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  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Mother to six Little Women and Two Little Men. Married to a Happy Mortician. Caretaker to goats, chickens and many, MANY bunnies. Photographer. Homeschooler. Lover of Jesus, coffee & tea and all things pink & vintage.

Happy Birthday, little Loyal!

The day came and went so quietly and yet my heart was so happy and full, as I held his little body as much as I could. I am so blessed to be his mother and cherish each moment of his young precious days. Soon, I know he will be running after his big brother and sisters and joining in the rowdy, never-ending noise and fun of a large family.

 

But for now, I hold him a little bit longer and cherish his fleeting baby days.

Yes, it is hard to believe a full year has passed since that beautiful night of Loyal’s birth … but yes, indeed it has. Days full of baby hugs and squishy toes, happy smiles and serious faces with funny eyebrowed-expressions… little teeth poking through gums, happy days in sisters’ arms … and learning to walk on his chubby feet …

 

 

 

 

Everyone in our little-big family is delightedly in love with Loyal … it is always amazes me when I see the girls doting on their baby brother … shouldn’t they be tired of babies in the family by now? No, indeed. They are not.

 

 

… the love does not run out, it just runneth over.

 

Happy First Birthday, my sweet son.
I am so blessed to be called your Mommy!
I love, darling! xxoo

 

September 22, 2018 - 5:19 pm

Gigi Thank you!! xo I think he is pretty sweet, too!

September 22, 2018 - 12:22 am

Lynda Lu Gibb Happy Birthday Loyal ! Two is an amazing year of discovery! Cherish every minute Gillian.

September 21, 2018 - 6:47 pm

Debby in Kansas, USA So cute! Did you make those little pants/overalls he’s wearing? He looks like a little man in them!!

September 21, 2018 - 2:15 pm

gramma cardinal Oh my heart! He is just so sweet! <3

September 21, 2018 - 2:04 pm

Brenda OH MY!!! That cake is almost as cute as Loyal xoxoxo Happy 1st Birthday Loyal!!!

September 20, 2018 - 11:25 pm

Monica Oh he is just too precious, Gillian! Happy Birthday, Loyal! ❤️

September 20, 2018 - 8:49 pm

Diane Such a little blessing! It does go by so fast. Glad you are enjoying every minute. Beautiful pictures too.

Canning Taco Soup & Enjoying Life

 

Why should we need extra time in which to enjoy ourselves?
If we expect to enjoy our life, we will have to learn to be joyful in all of it,
not just at stated intervals when we can get time or when we have nothing else to do.

Laura Ingalls Wilder
After visiting on the front porch for a while and enjoy a lunch after Sunday church, my friend sipped her cool water and asked me what my plans were for the rest of the summer. At the time, it was still August. I laughed quietly and said, “The garden and canning….”
I suppose she expected me to say “go to the beach”, “visit the zoo” … etc. but no, tending to the garden and canning and preserving takes up a lot of our summer time. And do we mind? No, I don’t think so. The girls know this is part of our life and I don’t think they know to expect anything else. We still have fun days, we still find ways to enjoy summer, but this life, canning, preparing vegetables, weeding the garden, watering the garden, sitting together in our outdoor kitchen, working side by side, this is enjoyable.

 

 

We have an *abundance* of tomatoes from our garden. Praise God! One never know what you will harvest when you first hopefully tend to your barren vegetable garden in the springtime. You can only hope and pray and do your due diligence and see what comes of it.

 

Last year, our harvest did not include many squash – why? I do not know. They just did not grow. This year, however, we have a beautiful amount of squash promised for our winter eating. Again, God be praised! I am determined to save the seeds of this beautiful squash this year, as it was a gift from a fellow gardener.  The seeds cannot be purchased at the store.

 

But back to the tomatoes … the girls and I picked four more bushels last night. And there’s more , although we are nearing the end.

I am giving a bushel to my mom for canning and have offered some to friends. One thing I have learned, as well, that God requires us to give and bless others with our gifts from Him! These tomatoes are a gift to be shared!

 

We have made plenty of spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes, ketchup, tomato soup and salsa. I will make another batch of sauce with these two bushels of tomatoes that are waiting on my outdoor kitchen table. I have also made and canned taco soup with our tomatoes. I find having our homemade canned soup on hand for after church meals, busy homeschool days or last minute ideas for dinner is an amazing help in the kitchen.

Yes, you will need a pressure canner – but they are worth every penny. I have this pressure canner and absolutely love it. I ordered it from WalMart and it was delivered right to my doorstep. Wonderful! It fits so many more jars than my old pressure canner.

Process in a pressure canner at 10 pounds of pressure; 90 minutes for one litre jars. Be sure to adjust pressure if living in a higher altitude.

 

It is best to serve this Taco Soup with tortilla chips or homemade tortillas … a lovely dollup of sour cream and a covering of shredded cheese. So delicious!

 

Important Post Script:  The topic of canning tomatoes safely has come up from one of my friends. Here is a useful trip from pickyourown.org – they have a great website full of lovely recipes and instructions for canning. I use lemon juice instead of citric acid.

“Tomatoes and Acidification: To ensure safe acidity in whole, crushed, or juiced tomatoes, add two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use one tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid. Acid can be added directly to the jars before filling with product. Add sugar to offset acid taste, if desired. Four tablespoons of a 5 percent acidity vinegar per quart may be used instead of lemon juice or citric acid. However, vinegar may cause undesirable flavor changes.”

 

September 13, 2018 - 8:51 am

Gigi Thank you, Sue. That is encouraging. ((hugs))

September 11, 2018 - 1:07 pm

sue Growing up, we also didn’t do family vacations. Funds were limited for such things and also, years ago, it just wasn’t what folks did for enjoyment like they do today. We raised our children in the same manner. We took very few “trips” away from home and our children seemed to enjoy them but when you ask them today what they remember most and base their own principals for raising their families upon, they will tell you it was the dinners at home around the table, games played at the table swatting at fireflies and just being together doing the simple things. Youre doing great Gigi, making memories with you family that they will draw on should Jesus tarry

September 7, 2018 - 7:04 pm

Gigi Shirley, that is encouraging! Even this week, we attempted a family getaway that did not work out. We will look at day trips instead. Thank you for your encouragement!

September 7, 2018 - 6:13 pm

Gigi We had some tonight (one jar did not seal) – super yummy! Needed a bit more salt but great and lovely! All the children loved it. 🙂

September 7, 2018 - 4:46 pm

Monica What beautiful tomatoes, friend! Towards the end of the garden season my tomatoes are always spotted and not really edible. Yours are still so beautiful! So do you dream about tomatoes in your sleep? 🙂

We love taco soup! Your recipe looks divine. How wonderful it will be this winter to pop open a couple of cans and heat for a few minutes and SERVE! I love it!

September 7, 2018 - 4:06 pm

Shirley We seldom left home for vacation while homeschooling.Home is best. Very rarely involved ourselves with outside activities, it really helped us stay on track and eliminated stress. You are doing a wonderful job. The results will be worth it all. We can say that following the Lord’s will has led to peace and kept us from falling into a lot of unhappiness.
God bless you and your family
Shirley

September 7, 2018 - 3:59 pm

Gigi Hi Bobbie, we don’t have a big need to get to the store too often – usually once a week we do a quick run in for things forgotten. I cannot order groceries online or I would! We do the bulk foods but that is dry goods only. So things like fresh fruits (seasonal) are bought weekly. Grocery shopping does not happen that often, compared to what you think it would for a large family. We buy our butter/cheese in bulk so it lasts at least a month long. Our grocery store needs are low, thankfully, and it rarely fills one of those small express carts. This is the payoff of the garden and canning, not to mention bulk goods and baking/cooking from scratch.

September 7, 2018 - 7:33 am

Our Home of Many Blessings And you guys just eat this as soup?That sounds amazingly delicious!!I’m gonna try this!…and yea,homemade taco seasoning!!I’m curious…do you guys do like grocery pickup and online ordering and such things,or do you guys head to the store every week or two and get groceries?

Tied Down

“Jesus made it quite clear when he said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30 ESV) I am amazed at how many Christians refuse to acknowledge this fact as it relates to the government school system. Our education is either based on biblical truth, or some other truth. There is no such thing as neutrality in this regard. All education is religious in nature. Since it is illegal for students in our government schools to be taught from a Christian perspective, then it follows that they must be taught from a non (or anti) Christian perspective.”
-Voddie Baucham

 

 

 

The lovely month of sweet September has arrived … here, in Ontario, we can feel Autumn approaching our doorstep. While the day hours are still hot and muggy, the mornings are perfectly chilled … just that hint of fall in the air …  there are signs everywhere to warn us of the approaching cold weather. Our Canadian geese are gathering in the farmers’ fields, preparing yet again for their glorious flight to the south … the goldenrods and purple asters decorate the fields, the colours of fall slowly emerging as the summer’s vibrant colours fade … but there are still beautiful days of warmth, butterflies are still flitting about, sipping sweet nectar from the last few late summer blooms. The nearly finished garden is bursting forth with readiness and keeping me busy …

{Lacey with her little brothers}

{so blessed!}

Today, thousands of children across the country lined up and filed into big yellow school buses, ready for their first day back to public school.
Again, this year, I am thanking God, humbly, for this blessing, this untold lovely joy, of schooling our children at home. There is a reason we are doing this. If you are a Christian and you have school aged children, I would pray that you consider home education. Please, if you have a minute (and we all do), watch this video. There is an incredible reason and it is one not to be ignored.

Students are not greater than their teacher.
But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.

Luke 6:40

Today, for the first time, this sweet little girl would have left our home and spent the entire day under the care of the government school.

If she was to go to a public school, she would be spend 14,000 seat hours from now until graduation under the government’s training. (source) 

Not only is that a frightening thought that the secular, godless government would have that much time with our impressionable youth, that does sound very opposite to our Bible’s teaching:

Train up a child in the way he should go:
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6.

 

Is it busier to have all the children at home? It certainly is – but I know why we are doing this. That changes everything.

I am so glad this little one was at home, with me and her siblings, learning alongside us as we schooled around the kitchen table.

 

I found a beautiful poem in a book I am reading … and I just had to share:

Tied Down

“They tie you down,” a woman said,
Whose cheeks should have been flaming red
With shame to speak of children so.
“When babies come you cannot go
in search of pleasure with your friends,
And all your happy wandering ends.
The things you like you cannot do,
For babies make a slave of you.”

I looked at her and said: “‘Tis true
That children make a slave of you,
And tie you down with many a knot
But have you never thought to what
It is happiness and pride
That little babies have you tied?
Do you not miss the great joys
That comes with little girls and boys?

“They tie you down to laughter rare,
To hours of smiles and hours of care,
To nights of watching and to fears;
Sometimes they tie you down to tears
And then repay you with a smile,
And make your trouble all worth while.
They tie you fast to chubby feet
And cheeks of pink and kisses sweet.

“They fasten you with cords of love
To God divine, who reigns above.
They tie you, whereso’er you roam,
Unto the little place called home;
And over sea or railroad track
They tug at you to bring you back.

The happiest people in the town
Are those the babies have tied down.

“Oh, go your selfish way and free
But hampered I would rather be,
Yes rather than a kingly crown
I would be, what you term, tied down;
Tied down to dancing eyes and charms,
Held fast by chubby, dimpled arms,
The fettered slave of girl and boy,
And win from them earth’s finest joy.”

-Edgar A. Guest

Did you notice that his poem was written by a man? He was, in fact, a father to three children and a famous poet and writer. He knew how precious and special children are to the family unit and society as a whole. Imagine if a poet would write such beautiful words now and publish them in a well-read newspaper? How fantastic that would be!

Being a full time mother, being a homeschooling parent, being at home, running the household and educating the children means I am not able to do everything else. There is much I need to say “no” to … but I believe we are saying yes to the Lord in a decision to homeschool.

These ties, they hold me tight and steady.

 

Yes, it is a good, a great thing, to be tied down.

September 6, 2018 - 2:54 pm

Gigi Andrea, I feel your anxiety! Lazarus was a baby last year and napped – now he’s up during school time … and Loyal naps … soon, Loyal will be up. I always have a toddler/baby in the mix so we definitely need to be flexible. Try to focus on the wonderful aspects of homeschooling even in the midst of a bad day. Don’t forget – even the Queen has bad days, I’m sure! 🙂 No job is easy, but this one is definitely worth it! ((hugs))

September 6, 2018 - 6:33 am

Andrea Thank you for this! We had a rough day yesterday…it was our first day of (home)school for the year. The first three years with two children were a piece of cake, but now, we have an 18 month old who only naps once a day and is quite a handful, so yesterday was…interesting. I was feeling a little discouraged because in addition, so many small things are going wrong lately, and it was all adding up. Thank you for reminding me what a blessing my children and homeschooling are!

September 5, 2018 - 5:00 pm

Gigi Hello Teresa, yes, I hear you – I will be sad when the last one graduates, but I have a long way to go until then! 🙂
Thank you about the dress – no it is from Amazon. I tried to purchase before from your daughter’s shop but there were issues with shipping to Canada …..

September 5, 2018 - 4:42 pm

Gigi Here in Ontario, the education system is much more than just descending from apes. It’s very, very liberal now.
I love your plan of homeschooling though! I commend you.

September 5, 2018 - 4:41 pm

Teresa Hi Gigi, lovely post! I am on my 17 year of homeschooling. I love every minute of it and I will miss it so when my youngest will be out in eight years. I love your dress did you get it from my daughters shop “Hello Modest” ? I love your blog…keep posting!

September 5, 2018 - 3:54 pm

Debby in Kansas, USA Homeschooling was unheard of when I grew up in Los Angeles in the 70’s. Aside from my year-long stand-off with my Biology teacher over descending from apes, everything that was taught to me was pretty basic stuff. If my teachers had spouses, life outside the classroom, opinions, etc., they sure never shared it with us and I don’t recall anyone ever asking.

However, by the time I married in the early 90’s, homeschooling was the only way I would’ve gone if our family plans had worked out. There was no way I would’ve sent any of my imaginary kids to public school. If anyone was going to mold their little minds, it was going to be me and my husband.

September 5, 2018 - 11:06 am

Gigi Kristal, it is always interesting to hear from someone inside the system. Thank you for sharing your input. It is also encouraging for me as a homeschool mom – as we have lots of open play time, especially for the little ones. Mindless testing … so sad and a waste of a childhood! We love to learn about many famous people in history who were educated at home because they did not fit into the public school teaching system …

September 5, 2018 - 10:46 am

Kristal Gillian, another wonderful post. We are young in our homeschooling journey (just 3 years), but I’m so happy we listened to our hearts and made the decision to do so. I was a public school teacher and it was a huge driving force to school at home. In kindergarten alone there were countless hours wasted on mindless testing (some on the computer—why you would have a 5 year old take a computer test is beyond me), no free play (90 mandated minutes a day for reading, 90 for math, 60 for science), one 20 minute recess, and no time for the pure joy of exploring and learning random topics for enjoyment. Not to mention absolutely no time spent talking about God. I know this isn’t everyone’s public school experience, but I was familiar with nearby school districts where I taught and they were all falling in line with this type of learning environment. I feel for our children.

September 5, 2018 - 10:06 am

Gigi Diane, thank you for your words of encouragement. I love what you said – saved in childbearing! Amen!

September 5, 2018 - 9:57 am

Diane Wow! I have really been enjoying this blog. Although you are younger me, this has been so encouraging. Love the pictures. They are so beautifully done. I have been “tied down since 1984 and I love it. There is a reason that the Bible says that women will be saved in childbearing. I know that salvation itself does not come from having children, but I know that much of my sanctification has come through motherhood and being a wife. I have been homeschooling since 1996 and I have two more years to go. After that I will be tied down with my 12 and counting grandchildren. 🙂

September 5, 2018 - 9:44 am

Gigi I don’t respect or honor Hitler – but it is interesting to see how he knew that controlling the children meant controlling the world. I will consider trying to find another quote that would seem more encouraging. Thank you for your input!

September 5, 2018 - 9:30 am

Karen I enjoy your lovely blog and your children are precious. I don’t always agree with everything, but I find another perspective interesting. I was dismayed to see you quoted Hitler – quoting someone is a sign of respect and honour. This evil man deserves neither. I’m sure there are numerous others whose wisdom could be shared instead. Please consider taking that down.

September 5, 2018 - 8:18 am

Monica Yes, yes, a thousand “yesses” to this, my friend. Homeschooling is THE number one conviction I have, one that grows with each year as the world grows darker and tightens it’s grip on the education system. I have a precious five year old that would have gone to school as well. My heart breaks thinking about her leaving her haven of safety here at home. No we can’t do it all and do it perfectly…but we can do it clumsily and Christ can handle the kinks for us in all His leading and wisdom.

The pictures are lovely! You are radiant, mama! Such feminine and beauty…I love it. And those blue checked dresses get me every time! ❤️ What precious photos.

September 5, 2018 - 4:41 am

Gigi Congratulations on 11 years! So wonderful! And yes, I am grateful for the freedom that we have for now, as well.
Yes, I know the sermon you’re referring to. A great one indeed! I will link it.

September 4, 2018 - 9:55 pm

Katy Yes!! Homeschooling is *such* a blessing! This is our 11th year of homeschooling and I am so thankful to have my children home with me. Mine are all in the upper grades now (I’m not sure how we got here….it happened so quickly!) I try to encourage so many people to homeschool (almost all the families at our church do…but that wasn’t on purpose. It’s just something we all do…not a prerequisite for attending our church!). I am thankful for the freedom to raise up my children in the Lord…which can only truly be done well if they are in my care most of the time! My boys were just baptized (they asked to be) and I just posted about it. What a blessing that was for my husband and I! 🙂 I don’t know if this would have been the case if they were in public school all day!

Have you ever read the quote by voddie baucham: “We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.” That’s from the book Family Driven Faith. I have read it and it is good. If you haven’t…I recommend it! 🙂 He is also great to listen to on podcasts/youtube sermons etc!

Anyway….I am super tired and just popped by quickly and now really must head to bed! Have a lovely rest of your week!
Warmly,
Katy

Why Bother?

  
“The only man who never makes a mistake
is the man who never does anything.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

 

The table was laden with 260 cobs of fresh-from-the-farm corn. Picked by our neighbours just this morning, it was all ready for the yearly Provisional project of putting it away for winter (and spring and summer!). Thankfully, we had the help of some lovely friends (who came all the way from England!) to shuck all that delicious corn, as well as help me cut off all kernels and prepare it for the freezer. We settled in for a morning of work.

The corn juices were flowing and everyone was catching up on the yearly news with our friends and their family … we drank coffee and ate homemade butter tarts in between pulling off the tight husks, all the girls all helped, the boys played and napped … we took a break for lunch and then finished up about one hour after the lunch hour was finished. All in all, it did not take too long to prepare the corn with all that wonderful help.

But why bother? This is the question raised often to me, sometimes, I admit, even by my own husband.  Why bother going through all that work? … growing the corn (or in this case, our friend grew it), shucking the corn, cutting the kernels off the cob, canning or freezing the corn, the cleanup, the sticky mess of corn juice everywhere … why bother when you can just go get a bag from the store in a quicker, easier fashion?

For starters … it truly is healthier. However,  it is also cheaper than buying store bought corn. It is more time efficient for me (and in my opinion, time is pretty valuable!). It builds memories with those who are helping the project. It helps with a household skill (the girls will know how to preserve corn when they are older, if they choose to do so with their families). It slows down time … in a way … you need to be at home to do these kinds of projects.

It’s different than regular life. It takes longer to prepare and handle the sharp knife needed to cut the golden kernels off the corn …yes, it’s faster to just grab a bag of frozen corn from your nearest supermarket but … look at it this way … a day spent with my children, working together, offers so much more.  It trains our family to work together as a team. We have to learn how to get along, to enjoy the mundane – not all of life is a tea part or an exciting day at the beach. There’s hard work invovled, there’s boring work involved and sometimes, just sometimes, there’s gardening, weeding, watering or canning involved. 🙂

This is a life skill, in some small way, to work on such projects and not complain or whine during the project. Later, with utter satisfaction, you may in turn see the end results on your dinner plate later in the season. In the winter, when the girls thank me for dinner, I will say, “And thank you to YOU! You helped with this food last year!” Whether it’s canning green beans or shucking corn, we are all involved.

 

We have also finished up most of our spaghetti/tomato sauce needs. We have moved on to salsa and ketchup.

Some days, we simply cut and dice the tomatoes and start boiling them down in a huge pot on the propane stove. This means the big work is done – the next day, I add the seasoning and spices and work on preparing the actual product. It saves energy and allows me to work on other projects or tend to my home as needed during the day. It spreads the workload out, in turn, canning big projects do not seem as daunting.

 

 

So, why bother?

It’s a lifestyle.


It’s a choice to be different, to eat different, to find sustainability from your own garden or local produce. It’s old fashioned. And most of all, it’s practical. It does not have to be for a large family – it certainly can be just for a married couple or a retired couple – simply prepare less food. It’s a fantastic skill to attain and it will only bless your family and loves ones in return.

 

 

It is certainly worth all that hard work – and bother.

 

 

Elsie’s Mennonite Ketchup Recipe

3 gallons of tomato juice
7 1/2 tbsp. salt
3 tsp. celery seed
1/4 tsp. cloves
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3 tsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. pepper
3 onions
4 1/2 cups of vinegar
6 cups of sugar
9 tbps. of clear jel or Thermflo

Mix salt and tomato juice. Boil down 1/3. Time will vary on this step. Add seasonings. Reserve a cup of the tomato sauce, cooled, for adding the Thermflo. Taste as you go to see what suits your preference. Once reduced enough, add your clear jel or Thermflo to your reserved cup of tomato juice. Stir well and add to the large pot. Process jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Let jars cool and rest for 24 hours before removing rings.

 

 

 

September 5, 2018 - 1:06 pm

Gigi Yes, it is a huge blessing! Tomato juice is no problem, corn juice, no problem – just hose off the ground!

September 5, 2018 - 12:25 pm

Katy So wonderful! I can as well….but not quite as much as you do! 🙂 I love that you have it all outside! That must be wonderful! Canning in the heat of summer can be difficult inside when it makes the whole house sweltering! An outdoor kitchen must be wonderful! 🙂

September 2, 2018 - 2:46 pm

Gigi Shirley, thank you for your words of encouragement. I’m still in training it seems, on most days. 🙂

September 2, 2018 - 1:55 pm

Gigi Hee hee! Abby surprised us by coming home for work to help …! I warned him to change, but he didn’t listen. I believe his shirt and pants were very dirty by the end!

September 2, 2018 - 1:33 pm

Teresa Did no one else get the memo about dressing up to do the corn? Abby is the only one dressed for the occasion !!!

September 1, 2018 - 9:13 pm

Shirley You are blessing your children with all you are teaching them. I admire you and all you do. And your readers are blessed to watch and learn from visiting here. You are a rare mother.
God bless you
Shirley

September 1, 2018 - 1:34 pm

Gigi Because I had company that day …. so just tried to make things easier …. I would prefer to do half frozen, half canned …

September 1, 2018 - 1:18 pm

Amy Curious why you froze the corn rather than canning it this year…

September 1, 2018 - 12:19 am

Lynda Lu Gibb God’s provision is bountiful.. so many blessings .

August 31, 2018 - 4:09 pm

Gigi You are right, Paula – I failed to mention that. It does indeed taste better!

August 31, 2018 - 3:55 pm

Paula Did you mention how much better all your canned foods taste? You can not go to a store and buy that corn. It is lovely to see your kids learning about preserving foods that are gifts provided by God for us.

August 31, 2018 - 10:54 am

Gigi Regina, for sure, some fun memories. 🙂

August 31, 2018 - 10:54 am

Gigi I agree, I love it when someone says “I have …. extra plums or so forth” for canning! What a blessing!
Yes, you are right. It is Proverbs 31. Thank you for the reminder! ((hugs))

August 31, 2018 - 7:54 am

Monica Yes it’s worth it! For all the reasons you stated! And it also just keeps the good food God has given us, provided for our needs, from going to waste. That’s why when someone calls me and says, “do you want to come pick xyz…because we don’t want it…” I just have to go and pick it because I can stand to see or think of good produce wasting away. Our garden was not anything like we normally plant this year, but thanks to other’s not wanting their produce or their “leftovers”, I still got to can some and put away. Another good reason is it’s very Procerbs 31…one never knows when some catastrophe could occur, fill in the blank…you never know…and you would have means of food for feeding your family…for weeks, if necessary! We have hurricanes pretty common where I live and sometimes the electric can go out for days if we are hit “just right”….it’s just nice to have a food storage! It’s being prepared for our families!

Very inspiring, Gillian, as usual! 🙂

August 30, 2018 - 10:16 pm

Regina What precious memories which makes all the hard work worth it.

August 30, 2018 - 8:56 pm

Debby in Kansas, USA I love reading all about it! I grew up in Los Angeles so my childhood was drastically different. Even though I was raised by depression era grands that were quite old fashioned, the wide open spaces around you just reel me in. My grands did mostly homemade everything, but on a much smaller scale. Also different foods because we’re Hispanic. Lots of beans, meats, chile, and sauces.

I think that what you’re teaching your children is invaluable. I believe all that knowledge will mean that many more options when they’re grown.

August 30, 2018 - 7:33 pm

Gigi That sounds like fun! I will look her up. 🙂 I would love some pears!

August 30, 2018 - 5:31 pm

Diane So fun to see your post today! We are all ears! 🙂 We have been freezing corn all week. Our neighbor grows an acre of sweet corn on a corner of our land to attract the deer. We can have as much as we want. We just finished up with our peach trees and now we will be starting with the pears. My daughter is putting up stuff at her house with my other daughter and her six kids. She is putting up a video on her you tube channel tonight if you want to check it out. Her channel is called Doug’s Wife.

My Reading List

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!
How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book!
When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

 

The August rain was pouring down, my soggy laundry was being doubly-soaked while waiting limply on the line to dry in the hopes of a balmy afternoon, but the canning projects were continuing.

 

“I suppose you don’t have much time for reading,” my friend asked, as we worked on a canning project together.

I thought about it for a minute and the replied, “Actually, I have more time to read now than ever!”  In fact, there are about eight books I am working on right now.

 

Why, as a mother of eight and a busy home life, do I have more time to read now than in previous years, when I had less children, fewer chores and simpler household duties?

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends;
they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
― Charles William Eliot

 

 

 


It is because I use my evenings to read before bedtime. Snuggling down in bed and reading a few chapters is much more relaxing than being on the computer or watching t.v. (that was not an option for me anyways). I also use an hour in the afternoon, if possible during nap times to have a cuppa tea and sit on the front porch and read a few chapters. It is a huge blessing to be able to be read! I don’t even want life to be too busy that I cannot have list of a good stack of books that are currently drawing my attention. My goal is to keep adding to our home library books that will encourage, inspire and teach.

 

A reader {Hello, Bobbie!} recently asked about my books that I may be reading right now, so I thought I’d post a few titles to share. Donna Otta, founder of Homemakers by Choice (now formally called Modern Homemakers), always said to have eight books on the go. Well, that’s me. I have a lot of books I am reading and it will depend on my day which book I choose to pick up and dig into.

 

What’s on my Bedside Table:

 

Marriage to a Difficult Man -this is not what it seems! A friend came by and giggled when she spotted this book cover on a coffee table. It is not an indication of being married to a challenging husband … instead,  a beautiful biography on Sarah Edwards and her marriage and relationship to Jonathan Edwards. I am only a few chapters in but am loving it. (More on this later!)

 

How to Shaping of a Christian Family – an Elisabeth Eliot book, so you cannot go wrong! I love, love, love her books – this book is encouraging and teaching as it explains how her family was shaped by her loving, devoted Christian parents. A very good book for all parents to read in regards to raising a Christ-focused family

The Hidden Art of Homemaking – by Edith Schaeffer – ohhhhh, I just **loved** this book! It was fabulous, absolutely fabulous. Yes, it’s dated, but sometimes dated books are the best because they gently bring us back to a time when podcasts, Pinterest and an easier life is not accessible. Do not let the title deter from reading it, if you think you are not into “homemaking.” It is more into the whole aspect of your life as a mother, wife and someones who manages a house.

Home by Choice by Brenda Hunter – this is  very important book to read. I am reading it slowly as it is something I feel very passionate and convicted about. In fact, my heart breaks when I heard of children left without their mother’s care for the majority of their younger years. It is not what God intended when He designated the family. Read and be encouraged or read and be convicted.

 

Be Your Own Doctor – I’m constantly reading this book, learning, seeing what I can do to make my family healthier. Sometimes I just refer to the book for an ailment that may be happening at that moment, but it is always handy. Let’s not forget the second volume, as well. Very good and very important to have in the family library.

 

This Victorian Life – a fun read, a living story of a couple who chooses to live their life as if they were in Victorian times. I have read her blog before and wanted to read her book. The author uses some choice words a few times (always surprising to me) and is obviously not a believer in Creation (evolution is mentioned and referred to) but an overall good read. Of course, I always love to hear about other people who may, perhaps, be living without modern features, such as a fridge or electric stove! 🙂

Luther & Katharina – now, I have just begun to read this book yet, but we are going to be doing a study on Martin Luther and his wife in September. We have already dipped into the testimonial life story of Katherina Von Bora – and she is one of my FAVORITE women in history.  I accidentally purchased this book – so I need to give it a good read. I absolutely LOVE the Katharina von Bora (another post, another story to tell) and LOVE her testimony, so perhaps this would be a good historical fictional read. The reviews are good, so we shall see. I will let you know!  I have not read a historical fictional book in a very long time.

 

And there are more books to come! But I will just leave you with a taste of a few … what books are you reading right now?

 

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture.
Just get people to stop reading them.”
― Ray Bradbury

August 24, 2018 - 8:54 am

Our Home of Many Blessings Hello! Ohhh, you should do more of these posts!!!…I have a couple of these and will be getting the others.I can’t wait to read them! I have just a huge lot of books and love them so. There all on exactly like what you have and I desperately seek out more of the old fashioned type of books. They are such treasures!…and if I stray away from reading and am getting wrapped up and frustrated with the world,I always pull out my very worn Debi Pearl books and Erin Harrison’s book-Living Virtuously… One is a kick in the pants kinda book and the other is a facing your me monster kinda book.Refreshing and so much Biblical Truth that I need….I can’t get enough! Anything from Miller to Mrs. Sharon White.I love them all….Thanks for your book suggestions.I can’t wait to dive into a new book!:)

August 24, 2018 - 5:05 am

Gigi Regina, that sounds like a great book. I have not read his books. I do love Nancy Campbell’s book so much, as well. I have to re-read a few of hers this fall, I think.

August 24, 2018 - 5:04 am

Gigi Debby, I love your book list! How fun! I love that you read your childhood books again. That is when you know it is a GOOD book and so well written! Adults should be enjoying such books! I find that is one huge blessing for homeschooling – I get to read or re-read all these wonderful books with my children. The girls & I are reading Cheaper by the Dozen and the missing Little House on the Prairie book right now (I am forgetting the title).

August 24, 2018 - 12:24 am

Regina I love books and I’m very discerning as to what I read. Currently I’m reading Through My Father’s Eyes by Franklin Graham. I would love to read The Hidden Art of Homemaking. I will read any book on homemaking. When I was many of your age I read many of Nancy Campbell’s books. She is one of my favorite Christian authors.

August 23, 2018 - 9:33 pm

Debby in Kansas, USA I always have several books going! Though I have no children, I read at similar times as you, Gigi. I read for about an hour after lunch, bedtime, and while dinner is in the oven and I’m waiting for my husband to get home. I’m currently reading the Kent Family chronicles series by John Jakes. Fictional characters but real history. I’m on the middle of the Revolutionary war. I’m also reading Beautiful in God’s Eyes by Elizabeth George. My bedtime reading is currently…..don’t laugh now!…Nancy Drew in Nancy’s Mysterious Letter. During the summer, I always hit my favorite books from my youth. I went through all the Laura Ingalls and Rose Wilder books in June and July so I took up where I left off last summer with Nancy.

I think I’m going to look up a couple of your titles. Thanks!

August 23, 2018 - 8:27 pm

Gigi Mine was a gift, but they are expensive. I believe it was purchased from a Mennonite company, which has now expanded to this website: http://www.lwcb.org/shop/view/6850

August 23, 2018 - 8:14 pm

Lauren Gillian, where did you get the Be Your Own Doctor book? Wherever I find them they are quite expensive.

August 23, 2018 - 1:24 pm

Gigi Sarah, your book recommendation sounds wonderful. I will look that one up.
I agree – hesitant to read modern fiction, indeed! As I said, I accidentally purchased it (thinking it was another book) so I am going to see … I have read two chapters and liked it so far. Let’s hope the romance is not inappropriate.

August 23, 2018 - 9:31 am

Sarah Thank you for sharing your current reading list! I am always interested to learn what others are reading. I enjoyed “Be Your Child’s Pediatrician” by Rachel Weaver, and it is a great reference book to have on hand. “The Hidden Art of Homemaking” is another wonderful book! I am currently reading “The Daniel Prayer” by Anne Graham Lotz. I have truly been inspired and challenged by this book. My current fiction read is ” A Face Illumined” by E.P. Roe, and I can hardly put it down at night! E.P Roe is a fascinating author from the 1800’s. I think you would enjoy his books. I will look forward to hearing your thoughts on “Luther and Kathrina”. I thought it looked interesting when it was first released, but I am often hesitant to read modern fiction.

August 23, 2018 - 7:59 am

Monica Ah, books! Dear to my heart, friend! I love the books you mentioned, just from the titles, as I have only read “The Hidden Art of Homemaking”… I currently am reading “Knowing God” by J.I. Packer, with my morning devotions. Before bed I am reading (again!) “Let Me Be a Woman” by Elisabeth Elliot and also “Little House Living” by Melissa A. Alink. It’s been a month almost since we have been to the library, so I’m going to request a few of the books you suggested. I can’t tell you what I would be right now, as a mother or homemaker, if the Lord hadn’t used books in my life to shape and mold me! ‘Tis true!
What have you been canning this week? I am going to put up pears this weekend as a nice elderly gentleman gave me three bucketfuls (in addition to what we already have on our trees!) and perhaps some jalepeno jelly! Hope your laundry got dry! 😉 Have a great day, Gillian! Another encouraging post!