Gigi Blog » The life and loveliness of Gigi's World

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  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Blessed to be a mother to half a dozen girls. Wife of an undertaker.
    Photographer. Homeschooler. Daughter of the King. Chicken raiser.
    Lover of Jesus and all things pink and vintage. ♥

Do you love being home? {+ a homemade pasta recipe}

September was such a pleasant month. It’s hard to believe it’s quickly coming to an end.


We were on our way home  from the girls’ Bells and Chimes choir practice the other day and we had to stop at the cottage (Grandparent’s home) quickly. My father in law and his retired good friend were sitting casually by the river, drinking coffee and chatting, watching the salmon swim upstream. The good friend was saying how his wife was back at their farm, preparing homemade pastas for their dinner. He raved about his wife’s cooking and you could see the pride in his eyes as he described the delicious home cooked meal that would be waiting for him when he arrived home.


What struck me is that this wife could easily have been out … shopping … being busy, basically, not at home … she’s child free and not “tied” to being at home. However,  every time I have dropped by their house, she’s doing something around their cute country homestead. Canning, cleaning horse stalls, cooking meals, cleaning, gardening, hanging her laundry on the line. She truly must love being a home maker – and I respect her for that. My mom is also a great example to me – she also loves to be home, cook, preserve food, clean, organize, bless others by inviting them over for delicious meals …


Having a busy schedule and running about can be a very big distraction from taking care of your home and family. There are many attractive diversions in this world that keep our hearts and minds far from home – and many of those outside engagements are valid and wonderful – but too much on your plate is still too much on your plate. I think it is very easy to validate our outside commitments and push aside our duties at home in favor of busier, sometimes more glamorous schedules.

Speaking of on your plate, the story of the homemade pasta inspired me to get out our pasta maker (given to us by a dear friend – thank you, Kate!) and make some fresh pasta noodles for our dinner that night. The girls helped and found it as exciting as ever to roll the dough through the maker and watch lovely noodles form.




 Here is a basic pasta recipe:

{We double for our family.}

2 eggs

2 cups of flour

pinch of salt

teaspoon of olive oil


Pour 1 3/4 cups flour into a large bowl and make a well in the center.
Crack eggs into the well and mix flour and eggs together with a fork.
Stir oil and salt into mixture; gradually add water and remaining flour until a dough starts to come together.

Knead dough until dough is elastic and soft.
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Separate into three equal sections, flatten out with pasta roller twice.

Choose the settng you wish for a particular noodle type and roll dough through pasta maker. That’s it!




We laid the noodles on a floured cookie tray until ready to cook.


Cook in boilng water for three to five minutes – add to favorite pasta sauce and enjoy!

October 1, 2015 - 8:21 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings - Oh yummy! Thank you for sharing this!! I would love to have a pasta maker! I make homemade chicken and noodles recipe that is super yummy and make those noodles from scratch. I have an idea already what im gonna use these noodles for!

October 1, 2015 - 1:44 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Good job, Gillian and girls! The pasta looks amazing and I bet it tasted delicious! Yes, I LOVE being a homemaker and cherish those years that I was able to be home. Alas, my life has reversed and now I am a working woman but I will always have fond memories of being at home, being “just a wife and mother” Loved it!!! xoxo

Honey Harvest

It was a beautiful warm September day…
our honey bees were out buzzing with delight, bouncing from goldenrod to the leftover flowers in the gardens alongside the house …
it was time to harvest the honey!

The main thing we have learned this year in bee keeping is to respect the bees. They are truly doing US the favor … pollinating the flowers, making the honey, helping out nature … we cannot take any credit for the honey and we are certainly grateful for any honey the bees will share with us. All the work is done by the precious hive. I can see, now, how bee keepers become attached to their little buzzing friends. You learn to work around the energetic bees, being careful not to step on them in the summer as they gather nectar from the purple and white clover around the house …. the girls would always be the first to rescue any possible drowning bee that had found it’s way into our small pool, scooping them out gently and placing them on the fence to dry  … when you keep bees, you  being to take notice of the bees, collecting nectar, all summer long and see them flying about, buzzing here and there … we never swat at them or felt quick to run. The bees were just doing their job. And they were doing it well.

I must admit, though, that Abby has really turned into the bee man.
He is the one that opens the hive to check on it and he has been the one to really get up close and personal with our bees.

For our honey harvest, we were told:
1) wear the bee suit (something we had not done up until this point)
2) be prepared because you WILL get stung.

Well, Abby did wear his bee hat, but, surprisingly, he did not get one sting through the entire process!

Did you know that bees only see fast movement? This means you need to work slowly and with patience when opening the hive and walking around the bees. Abby’s great at this – he’s a patient man, for the most part, and likes to work slowly whereas I would probably rush in, freak out and cause a panic and a bee swarm! Abby has done a great job in opening the hive each time, without creating a big problem for our bees.

The frames were full of honey and very heavy!
We drove them to his garage on our golf cart where we shut the door so the bees would not follow the scent of the honey.

The girls had already seen a friend harvest honey so they were quick and happy to uncap the combs.

Look at that beautiful golden honey! Well done, my bee friends, well done!

Everyone wanted to help …

Once uncapped, we put the honey frames into the spinner, which was generously lent to us by Abby’s uncle.
These spinners are expensive so we have yet to purchase one.
{Anyone know of someone selling one?!}

The seperator spins the frames quickly and allows the honey to run out of the spigget …

…isn’t it beautiful?

We strained it through cheesecloth (twice) and then jarred it in any size of jars that would work. This is sticky work and I would not want to do it inside the house.

Lovelyn LOVES honey – she could not resist a few finger licks …

My mom stopped by and snapped this picture of Abby with part of his first harvest – looking mighty proud there, boy …

All ready for gift giving or finger licking, ready for smearing on toast and savoring the sweetness in the cold bitter winter to come.

We will help the bees keep their hives warm this winter and thank God for a sweet, beautiful harvest.
Keeping bees has been so fantastic – we are so glad to have started out on the bee-keeping adventure!

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24

September 30, 2015 - 8:53 am

Kristina - Wow, this is so cool! And I know firsthand how good that honey is, too! :)

September 29, 2015 - 10:24 am

Lynda Lu Gibb - Your family makes everything look so wholesome and natural, that is food for the soul. Thanks for sharing.

September 29, 2015 - 8:16 am

Chris Mccoy - What a wonderful first crop of honey! I’m sure it was a very sticky process! Abby did amazingly well to not be stung. The labels are beautiful too. Missing your beautiful family, but so very grateful for your updates.

Cauliflower {Baby}

Apparently, our wee baby in the womb is the weight of a cauliflower right now -
although I do tend to have smaller babies so maybe not yet? But I certainly feel pregnant!


{26- 27ish weeks}


I do not take this pregnancy lightly – as I could have never imagined I would be so blessed to have these seven babies – in a season of my life where dear friends are suffering from the loss of babes in arms and pregnancies cut short, I often feel this pregnancy is a quieter one. Not so public. I would never want to flaunt in front of a dear friend who may be desperately yearning for a little one to love. It is a blessing to have a child but not one we can truly take credit for – I thank God for all the children He chosen to give us but I also feel humbled to be carrying another baby.

It breaks my heart to know of women who would give anything to have their belly grow with new life inside of them. My quiet prayers are lifted up for them, asking God to bless them with a child. I pray for my friends yearning for a baby to cuddle or ones waiting to see the pregnancy test say ‘positive’, others praying for adoptions to pull through with heart break after heart break of failed adoptions. Other precious friends struggle through desperate trials of life threatening sickness ravaging their little ones’ bodies, a grief too heavy for a momma to bear without the Lord. My heart and prayers are sincerley with them.

Children are a gift from Jesus.
Not an accomplishment or something we can brag about it.
We hold them in our wombs and arms but for a short while.
Every priceless day with my children is a day to give thanks to God. They are precious in His sight.






September 29, 2015 - 1:22 pm

Erin Lynn - Such beautiful pictures of a sweet mama!

September 28, 2015 - 10:10 pm

Lynda Lu Gibb - That is very sensitive of you Gillian..Your are truly blessed to have such favor. You expressed this beautifully.

Comings & Goings

This weekend was a sad one for the girls and I. We had to sell our two baby buckling goats. Thankfully, they went to a loving home and they went together as buddies! We found it so heart breaking to separate mom and baby goat and sell our two little kids.

I know, I know, what a serious hardcore ‘farmer’ I am – not! {Can I blame it on pregnancy hormones?!} We would have kept these lovely sweet boys (as we bottle fed Moses, the white one, from birth, after his momma died) but we thought it would be a bad idea to have too many males outnumbering the females (a problem we have had before with other animals – not a good setup).


We are grateful they are in a good, loving home and not in a stew pot.;)



But before we sold both goats, Lacey and Lovie entered wee David, our young pymgy goat, into the fall fair. David won second prize. Lovie was thrilled to bits!




We also had all our meat birds butchered (what an experience!) to stock up the freezer … we did not butcher the chickens ourselves as it was only $3 per bird to have culled. It was an ‘interesting’ learning experience for the girls, to say the least. But it sure felt amazing loading up the freezer with meat we knew we raised ourselves!

Next up, we are hoping to harvest the honey tomorrow. Hmmm – that will be interesting … I will try to take photos. I have heard it is the one time you are destined to get stung! Yikes!
I still have about two bushels of tomatoes that need canning from the garden. I have been canning non stop for what seems like a month now! I’m getting tired but I know it will be worth it mid winter when we go to the cellar and have such beautiful food stored away.

When Raising Firecrackers Burns You Out.

Hands up if you’re raising a firecracker?!


Okay, group hug ….! Because I know you’re tired, exhausted and wondering if anything you are doing is right when it comes to parenting this tiny whirlwind of a child.

Because I sure am … annnnd … this is my second in the line up  – but it still leaves me aghast some days as to how much Trouble (and yes, that is Trouble with a Capital T!) one little three year old can stir up.

Marker drawing on the newly cleaned carpet.
Stolen food from the pantry (mostly sweets, of course).
Breaking out of her bedroom at night and nap times.
Screaming fits, especially when tired.
Stealing sibling’s newest markers and leaving all the lids off. {See above}
Using lip gloss to paint the dresser.
Stubborn “Nos”.
Year long potty training ‘accidents’ (are they REALLY accidents at this stage in the game?!).
Even the dreaded biting of siblings. {How humbling!}
Oh, there’s more but I think you all can relate and are probably nodding your head right now – and if you can’t, well, just don’t go gloating in pride because- I tell you – if you have a few children, there is bound to be a strong willed one in the bunch.


Now, parents, of course, we love our strong willed child. We’d die for them, give them our last chocolate (at least before they stole it from us) and read 100 million bedtime stories to them. But those independant, loud, stubborn, wonderfully determined children really can test our patience and humbly prove just how many flaws are still embedded in our own character.

I’ll never forget (or maybe I will – that would be nice…) the day I had just finished scrubbing more, er,  pooh (yes, I’m sorry – seriously, gross) from the walls and bedding and door and crevices of this particular child’s room after she had decided to literally “make a mess” during her nap time. And this was probably the 345th time this had happened.

I was exhausted, after just having my sixth baby and therefore was tired and the usual-after-baby-weariness … after scouring down the bedroom that had been freshly painted with feces, I had just finished washing all the bedding from this ‘accident’ and was hanging it on the laundry line when a friend drove up … all oiled and relaxed from their day at the spa.

Yes, the spa, ladies.

She gingerly walked across our gravel driveway, not wanting to mess up her freshly painting toenails and explained she was just dropping by to say hi.

What a humbling, frustrating breaking moment – to be feeling so disgusting and worn out, failing as a parent, in comparison to the recharged, relaxed spa-visiting friend.  I don’t think I handled that social call very well.

Yes, raising these incredible strong willed children can truly wear you down.

Especially when you are trying to homeschool. Let’s face it. It’s just harder to school with them, around them  – if they’re not involved, they get into trouble or hurt someone or steal someone’s school books or raid the fridge, spilling the milk in the process.

{how I found her after ‘napping’ – yes, it was just as hard as you can imagine to scrub this off of the culprit…
and yes, it was the night before church,
so you can imagine what her legs looked like her in Sunday dress}

 But this parenting thing … it means there is more than just bleaching soiled walls and using olive oil to scrub off eye-liner staining your toddler’s skin. We, mothers, are called to this. Parenting is not all cookies and milk, snuggly bedtime stories and cozy summer campfires singing boy scout songs. It’s falling before God, the One who we are working for, and begging for yet another dose of loving patience and a grateful heart in the midst of it all. It’s realizing you cannot do it alone – that we can only do this mothering job with the strength of the One who assigned us this calling in the first place. I’m not enough, my human nature is impatient and frustrated more often than I care to admit … there’s no human way to get through parenting one or three or seven children without God’s sweet grace, a spirit of tenderness and the ultimate vision that we are raising little Warriors for God. Not just humans. Not just voting-tax-paying-upright citizens. I’m raising a little girl who will one day use her fierceness, Lord willing, to win souls for Jesus, to be a shining light in a dark world.


The interruption of my already scheduled day by a fiesty preschooler is supposed to be my day. I don’t need to start panicking that we are off schedule and running out of time because that is what God has scheduled into my day. That’s what I’m here for – it’s not an interruption, it IS all part of what I’m called to take care of. My best laid plans are not what God had intended. I may see a well oiled homeschool day, flowing with ease and wonder but my Heavenly Father may have another lesson for me to learn grace, mercy and patience …


It’s not easy, it’s certainly a daily challenge that can leave me breathlessly asking the One Higher to give me strength … but it is a calling that I aim to take seriously. Other than God, no one loves our children like we do – open-armed, with our whole heart, kinda love.

And so as we homeschooling and non-homeschooling mothers start our school year together, let us remember that God  has entrusted *US* to raise these children of His with love, discipline and patience- yes, even the firecracker ones that will always keep you on your tired, un-manicured toes.


September 18, 2015 - 1:14 am

Tawnia - Oh how I needed to read this post!! My 3 year old “middle child” Scarlett is definitely my firecracker! She is the most stubborn, strong-willed, needy child I have ever met. She has the brightest smile though (if you can get her to stop whining) and she is hilarious with her silly stories and songs. The same qualities that make her difficult are the ones I would not change because they make her who she is (though please remind me of this the next time she cuts a chunk out of her hair or kicks her sisters!). I just hope the same qualities of stubbornness, drive and persistence will one day serve her well! In the meantime she is is my crazy little blonde spirited wonder ! <3

September 16, 2015 - 2:31 pm

Courtney - I can totally relate to this today – my wonderfully strong willed little guy just dumped three full jugs of laundry detergent into my washing machine. Thank you for yet another wonderful post :)

September 11, 2015 - 3:14 pm

kristina - Yes, I have two of these little firecrackers (my second and my fourth) and they certainly can wear you out faster than the more mild-mannered children. But they can sometimes make you laugh harder, too! Your perspective is inspiring and encouraging, as always. :)

September 10, 2015 - 2:54 pm

Claire - I love and relate to the honesty and humour in your post Gillian. Good reminder that no matter what age or how many little people we are lucky enough to care for we all have the moments of being overwhelmed that you just wonderfully described. Thanks for this! xo

September 8, 2015 - 10:39 pm

veronika goisova - One of my favourite posts of yours truly:)Made me smile and yes my middle is like this,she just can’t help herself many many times every day,and does stuff thats she is not supposed to do… Love he rot pieces and hope for more and stronger patience to be given!)

September 8, 2015 - 1:10 pm

Sandra - Great big hugs to you Gillian! I hear you loud and clear. Hang in there. I’d like to say it gets easier, but even now my almost 16 year old ‘firecracker’ loves nothing better than a good argument (no joke, he’s told us so and is even debating studying to be a lawyer!). Whew! One book that I’d highly recommend is “Journey of a Strong Willed Child” by Kendra Smiley. She is a Christian author and I saw her speak on the topic a few years back. The book is written by both herself and her strong willed son. I have read and reread this book as I’ve raised my ‘firecracker’. The best pieces of advice she has given me?
1) Choose your battles carefully (they will exhaust you if you pick them all!) and whatever ones you choose, you MUST win
2) Find an encourager (or two or three) for your child who is outside of your immediate family. Someone who loves and adores them for who they are. Not always easy to find in a world where patience for ‘firecrackers’ can be limited. It’s been very helpful for my kiddo! Cheers!

September 7, 2015 - 6:19 pm

Jen Heemskerk - bwahahaha! I can’t stop laughing at this series of photos. I can so relate to this post though, there always seems to be one firecracker in each family to keep us on our toes. The good Lord gave me 2 of them! =D I remember watching the Christian film “Mom’s Night Out” and seeing how the mother in that movie had a child that drew on the walls of her home, and I was like: “What mother lets her kid even do that?” The very next morning, I literally found Evelyn’s name, in her own glorious printing, etched down the walls of my hallway. Not joke! ;-) It was certainly humbling and exhausting- I eventually just framed her signature as I could NOT scrub it off! Then I laughed, and cried, and laughed some more. God has a great sense of humour when he gives us these little firecrackers! Great post!