Not the Norm.


{photos by Abby – my awesome hubalicious}



{baby headband by Sassy Sweet Pea}


I took the girls out for lunch to a local diner last week.
You should’ve seen the looks on some people’s faces as one, two, three, four¬† (and one baby) followed me to the table … “Are they all yours?” “Oh, you are in trouble in the teen years!” “You have your hands full!”

Lots of remarks. Some positive. Some just out of curiosity (“Trying for that boy?!”), others out of encouragement, some are negative.
Many moms, now grandmas or moms of older children, often come to me and sigh and say “I wish I had more children … ”

Sometimes I just smile. But sometimes I feel frustrated with the negative comments, only because they are usually said right in front of my children – definitely within earshot. Can you imagine, as a little child, always hearing people say to your parents “And so are you DONE now??!” or “You’re crazy! I don’t know how you do it!” …

I want my girls to hear positive words about them – blessings – instead of negative comments that we have chosen to have more children than the average family in North America. {And we only have five – there are more families with way more children!} I want my girls to remember my responses when we go out and someone says “Your poor husband!” …

“Actually, Abby wanted all these girls.”
“Yes, honestly, we do have hands full but our HEARTS are more full.”¬† (Okay, cheesy? Yes, well it works. And it’s true.)

“And, no, I’m not (100%) scared of the teenage years with five girls – because God is control.”

“Yes, we’d LOVE more!”


And yes, I *AM* so blessed! These children are gifts from God and I am EVER SO grateful for each and every one of them. And I’d have 20 more if I could. (Maybe?!)


Big families have always fascinated me. How they work. How they handle the number of people in their family. How they manage a home. How they travel. How they function in society.

And now we have a big family. And I love it. I can’t wait to see where God takes our ‘little’ family as He weaves us together in His plan.


{Leia Hyacinth – 7 weeks old}







It’s been a while since we’ve done a giveaway – I think it’s time again! A little while ago, The Hungry Hollow contacted me about giving away this GORGEOUS apron on the blog!

Hands up for those who makes messes while you are in the kitchen?!


Well, let me just say the days of apron-wearing are NOT over yet.

They may have been tucked in the closets during the 90s but today, ladies, today, is the day to DON an apron! (Seriously. I LOVE my aprons. I use them when I can, bake, cook… all messy kitchen related things.) Even if you only bake cookies once a month, this apron is worth wearing.


I had no model so sorry I had to model it. :S



One reader will *win* this apron – all you have to do is go to the Hungry Hollow facebook page, like them, come back and let me know in the comments!! They have a great website full of fantastic tips on raising your own food, gardens, chicken raising, baking, canning … all the works, my lady friends. I love this site!


At the end of the week, we’ll draw a winning name using


And listen, once you win this apron, you will have NO excuse but to get baking! (Okay, unless there is a heat wave – wait for a rainy day and then bake up a storm!)



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June 18, 2012 - 12:29 pm

Amber Black I may have missed the deadline but wanted to comment anyway. Gillian, you look stunning! I came from a big family too and recall hearing a few comments. We did without some things growing up but I can honestly say that it made me a better and stronger person and I love that I have a big source of love and support to turn to when I need it. If I had started my family earlier I would have more children too. I always said I wanted 5 children and here you are. I love living vicariously through your posts and am so glad I know you through cyberspace. You are an inspiring women and an amazing mom. {{Hugs}} Love the apron BTW!

June 16, 2012 - 10:05 pm

Julia K what a beautiful apron!! Just liked the Hungry Hollow!!
(and seeing all of your beautiful pictures makes me want another baby!)

June 16, 2012 - 10:34 am

Natalie Love your blog, love my family of four girls and would LOVE to be baking in a Hungry Hollow apron!

June 16, 2012 - 10:31 am

Natalie With four girls I have heard all of those comments before. I love having a big family and that my life is full of meaning. I also make a lot of our baked items from scratch and will be keeping an eye on the Hungry Hollow!

June 16, 2012 - 10:13 am

KC Quaretti Oh goodness your photographs are beautiful!!!!! So happy to know about Hungry Hollow! Hugs, kc

June 16, 2012 - 10:13 am

KC Quaretti Oh goodness your photographs are beautiful!!!!! So happy to know about Hungry Hollow!

June 16, 2012 - 8:01 am

Marlys Folly I hope that this is still open as I would love to have that apron…but if not I enjoyed reading your blog… I come from a family of 9 and can’t even imagine not having many brothers and sisters.. My mother passed away at an early age (my youngest sister only 4) and when I look back at that time, I think my dad would have gone crazy if there were only a couple of us (I was already grown and out of the house) but he needed to pick up his feet as he had many children to support. We also got many comments about our big family – some rude, some nice but we all grew up happy and rich in love and have good jobs and have had our own families.. I do have a story when my mother was expecting my second youngest sister, I needed to stay at home with the younger children when she was in the hospital so talked to my teacher about it… My teacher said “SHE”S HAVING ANOTHER BABY!” I am sure you can imagine the voice… and I told her in a straight face… No, she is having Dana over again (I was 14 at the time)… Love that you think your girls are a gift from God… Children are precious and are a gift ~~ I feel it even more that I have never been able to carry a pregnancy full term and get irritated when mother’s say “I should have never had you” ~~ I have told them to appreciate their gift as it was given with love! But I am rambling…
By the way… I already had liked Hungry Hollow and will look forward to more of your blogs and wonderful pictures..

June 16, 2012 - 7:51 am

Lauren I know what you mean – I feel the stares as I walk around with 3 in tow and my belly growing with number 4. I always wonder how to graciously respond in a way that affirms my children and lets others know, hey, we love our kids!

I liked the Hungry Hollow on facebook – love that apron!