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

Gigi Blog bio picture
  • 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. ♥

Oscar II

After reading that Lucia’s pet bunny, Calico, died a few weeks ago, a very kind blog reader choose to bless Lucia last week.

She emailed and told Lucia she could have her pick of their bunny litter as a gift. It was a very exciting day for my little, shy girl to travel to the farm and choose her new bunny from their newest litter.

When we pulled into the farm’s driveway, Lucia giggled and said, “I feel like I’m famous….”

 

Then her shyness took over and she did not say much but quietly choose which bunny she would be taking home.

Welcome to the family, Oscar II. {Her rabbit looks identical to the bunny I owned when Abby & I were married … his name was Oscar, hence, now we have Oscar II.)

You will be well loved!

{And a big thank you to Janelle, who so kindly blessed our little girl with her act of kindness in offering Lucia a bunny of her own … what a sweet heart you have!}

 

 

P.S. Yesterday afternoon, Lacey started noting changes in her goat’s behaviour and we *think* she might be at the beginning of labour. Eeeek! So exciting! We actually did not even know her goat was pregnant, so this is a very new thing. If it is indeed true, this will be our first kidding together. I got up a few times in the night to check on momma goat, Mercy, but there is no sign of active labour yet, just signs of something starting. I hope I am not wrong – guess, time will tell!

July 3, 2015 - 11:16 pm

Janelle - So lovely to see Lucia and her new bunny together! I adore these beautiful photos you’ve taken of the two of them. He’s grown so much already – and I love the new name.
He does have very similar colouring to some rex rabbits – to check for sure, wet your hands and rub them down his coat and then give him a brush with your fingers or a hair brush. If his hair starts to look wavy or curly, he’s a rex. (I think he’s more likely a cinnamon, though.)
I know Oscar will have a long, love-filled life with your Lucia. My heart is so happy to know he’s in a good place.

July 1, 2015 - 8:45 pm

Gillian - She keeps her bunny outside during the day and brings him inside at night (just too many predators out there in the country!). I believe the bunny is a rex…

June 30, 2015 - 9:39 am

Our Home Of Many Blessings - Awwww,how sweet! I have a sweet shy girl myself and she is such a blessing to us! The bunny is so beautiful,what kind of bunny is it?Does your daughter keep it inside or outside?

{Seventh} Heaven

God is good and faithful!

 

There are nine heartbeats in this photo.

 

It still feels very surreal to Abby and I, but it’s true (confirmed by hearing the heart beat with the midwife)! By God’s grace, we will be having another precious bundle to hold by the end of the year (or shortly thereafter)!:)

Grateful to God as the first trimester was very smooth with little sickness – the only thing I suffered from was exhaustion (which is quite normal for me anyways – we all fall into bed tired!).  I never dreamed we would have this many children  in our family – but it is so wonderful, so much fun and such an incredible blessing!

God is good and we are excited to grow our family again!

P.S. And no, we are not “trying” for a boy …. we will be happy with a girl or boy!

 

July 1, 2015 - 6:27 pm

Heather - Fun, fun, fun times nine!!! Can’t wait to see the photos :)
Would love to see bits and pieces of your new home, if you’re willing. Love the playroom.

June 28, 2015 - 11:52 pm

Audrey - Sweet congratulations Gillian! So thrilled for you and your inspiring family <3

June 28, 2015 - 10:38 pm

Dana - Congratulations to you and your family :)

June 27, 2015 - 9:47 pm

Kristina - Oh, praise God! What a beautiful blessing. I am so happy for you and your husband and your girls! Praise God and congratulations to all of you!

June 26, 2015 - 8:30 am

Melanie - Congrats Gillian! I check in every once and a while on your family of L’s! And today I checked and there’s another one on the way! Congrats! S/he is being born into a house of love!

June 23, 2015 - 4:18 pm

Samantha Erin - Congrats Gillian! I am so enamored with your family and lifestyle. You are a huge inspiration to me and I frequent your blog so often to continue to follow along. To think – I’ve been following along since the time when you only had three littles and was following strictly b/c of the photography connection! Thank you for sharing your family and your farm life. I LOVE your recipes and love that you have discovered EO’s too. You are an incredible mom and the blogger I hold in the highest regard (b/c I have no idea how you find time to blog but am so thankful you do!) Much love! xoxo

Samantha

June 23, 2015 - 4:17 pm

miranda - You popped into mind today and I thought I’d look up your blog…… WOW! Am I ever glad I did!!! Huge congratulations to you and Abby and your L’s!!! XOXO

June 23, 2015 - 5:44 am

Maike - Oh what a sweet surprise. Didn’t thought you would add another one, but this will be so exciting and the girls seem like they enjoy every addition to the family too. And oh my are the girls grown. Not too long ago, there were 2 tiny toddlers and the chubby baby. Now it’s one baby toddler and two other girls. ^_^

June 22, 2015 - 11:07 pm

Isela - Congratulations my friend!! One more sweet heavenly blessing! Happy for all of you :) Love from us :)

June 22, 2015 - 10:36 pm

Isela - Congratulations my frien! One more heavenly blessing! Love from us :)

June 22, 2015 - 6:28 pm

Sarah Washburn - Wow … what a tremendous blessing! I am one of 7 children … 5 girls and 2 boys! I love that family picture … it is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing, ~Sarah (visiting from Radical Femininity)

June 22, 2015 - 1:35 pm

Lauren - (BLESSING FROM THE LORD****)

June 22, 2015 - 1:19 pm

Lauren - AAAAAAAaAAaAhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! GILLIAN!!!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! I’m so very excited for you!! What a. Lessing from the Lord!!!!! I’M ESTATIC!!!!!!

June 22, 2015 - 9:17 am

Patty Patterson - Congratulations! I was once told that seven was God’s favorite number and would have loved to have had seven children myself. We were blessed with four – and I am grateful for each of them. And even more grateful for the grandchildren they are blessing me with! :-) Children are one of God’s greatest gifts!

June 22, 2015 - 8:57 am

Teresa - so excited for you! I love the anticipation of seeing what the next little person into the world will look like and act like–each baby is so unique and precious! Congratulations!

June 22, 2015 - 8:51 am

Melissa Mullinax - Awwww!!! How wonderful! Congratulations to you all!

June 21, 2015 - 10:44 pm

Our Home Of Many Blessings - Omgoodness!!! I’m so excited for you! Congratulations!!!:) We have 7 children also and would love more if God saw fit!

June 21, 2015 - 9:42 pm

Tara - Congratulations!!! Miss Leia looks just a wee bit excited about this :)

June 21, 2015 - 6:41 pm

Erin Lynn - Congratulations! So exciting!!!! Love that you don’t care about whether baby is boy/girl. We have five sweet girls and one small son and if God gives us another, would love to have another daughter!

June 21, 2015 - 5:31 pm

Betty Gauthier - Congrats on the news of the newest Gauthier baby to be. I hope you have a wonderful pregnancy and look forward to hearing the blessed news of a healthy baby.
Love Aunt Betty

June 21, 2015 - 4:45 pm

Kim Robbins - congratulations Gillain, Abby and the “L”s we are so happy for you!!! God is great!

June 21, 2015 - 3:55 pm

Jen Heemskerk - EEEEK!!! So exciting for all of you!! Congratulations! =)

June 21, 2015 - 3:37 pm

Monica - So exciting! Congratulations

June 21, 2015 - 3:35 pm

Gill Eardley - Wow! Congratulations! You are a baby making machine! Will you ever stop?! Lots of love to you all Xxx

June 21, 2015 - 1:35 pm

Kristine - What an amazing blessing! Congratulations and wishing you all the best for a healthy pregnancy!

June 21, 2015 - 11:02 am

Courtney - Wonderful news! Congratulations to you and yours!

June 21, 2015 - 10:35 am

Janelle - What a blessing!!!! Congratulations to you all!

Building a {Home} Library

“I can never get a cup of tea large enough
or a book long enough to suit me.”
-C.S. Lewis

We LOOOOOOOOOVE books here at our house.

I mean … love!

When a used book sale is on the calender, we’re all counting down the days with high anticipation!

After hitting two homeschooling book sales in the past few weeks, the bookshelves in our home were overflowing.
A beautiful sight – but also really annoying and messy. I literally had books doubled up row by row on one bookshelf.

Now, we have this little room attached to the girls’ room (which they all share) that has been labelled a “playroom” (I have always disliked this name – and I do not like the idea that a whole room would be devoted to toys?! Insanity! We also don’t like that overloading feel of so many toys …. yuck) and a “nursery” but it really was neither. Just an extra room that we used for the girls. We’ve always talked about having our own library room but the thought of building built-in bookshelves was utterly daunting.

So while staring at the cluttered bookshelves in three different rooms, I decided to bring a majority of the books into this extra room to create a home library.
Dragging up two completely ugly laminate bookshelves from the basement was no easy task, but I was hoping with a little elbow grease, we could add the bookshelves to our upstairs library room.

This is what the bookshelves looked like when I started:

Ugly, drab and boring!
They were an eye sore and I have always disliked them. So, like everything that is not my style, it was time for a spray paint redo!
{I tried priming it but the primer would not stick on the laminate at all….}
After a few coats of white regular spray paint, I began painting over it with regular white paint. It took many coats and it was not perfectly done but it looks a lot better than when we started!
{I  bought a piece of crown molding at the hardware store and Abby added it to the top of the shelves.

He added trim down the middle to connect the two bookshelves together.}

And with these shelves, we have the making of our own home library.
The girls love it and have been re-discovering books they completely forgot about!

 

Not all the books are in the room yet, but this is far as I was able to get organized.

{This was taken with a wide angle lens so the room appears bigger than it really is but this was the only way to fit the room in my lens.}

 

{I’d like to put up feature books every now and then…}

 

I still have four more bookshelves on the main floor but this is what I manage to do so far.
My plan will be to swap out last year’s homeschool books and
put them in the library as I am ready to put out the next school year’s books.

 

Here is a {free} bookshelf I dragged in from an old barn and painted. It’s solid wood and perfect height for little ones’ book collection.

A darling, pretty piece of fabric was found at a local thrift store – I was thinking it would make a cute cushion cover for the rocking chairs in the Library.

I’m pleased to see extra room on the shelves – which means, more books may be added!

It is nice to have a majority of the girls’ books in one area as it helps me feel a bit more organized for school and less scattered.
We have also arranged them on the shelf according to subject, etc. I know that won’t last long but it was fun seeing how many books were in the science section, the animal and wildlife, history area and so forth.

We have so many wonderful classics that I could never bear to give away or toss away such great books, even if we have already read them.

How do you manage all your books? If you homeschool, do you keep your books or give away when your children are finished reading them?

June 23, 2015 - 2:04 pm

Rachel - I have that same princess-piggy piggy bank! I turned mine into a Prayer Pig. I write little prayers of request or gratitude on little pieces of paper, fold them up, close my eyes, feel the prayer (as Anne Shirley might, hehe!) and pop them into the pig. Mine’s full now and this post has reminded me I have to empty her out and start over! :)

June 20, 2015 - 5:44 am

admin - Heather, wow, that sounds amazing! Thanks for thinking of us! Wish I could pop by and pick it up today!
Maike, thank you!
Melissa, I want to sit in there all day too! Looking forward to a rainy day of reading!

June 19, 2015 - 11:21 pm

Heather - Love the little glimpse into your sweet room for the girls. Wish you lived closer because I have a century-old white painted cradle that needs TLC. It was my grandma’s and I no longer have room for it. Perhaps you have a space for it? If you’re ever in the Oakville/Burlington area, leave a comment on my blog and it’s yours :)

June 19, 2015 - 2:44 pm

Maike - Wow, your house looks so very pretty, whimsy, and full of love. I adore your simpel handmade famr life so much. If you ever need a helping hand there, I would be there right away. It’s the life I have always dreamed of and I love reading your blog. <3

June 19, 2015 - 9:09 am

melissa - it looks so dreamy!! i could sit in here and read ALL DAY LONG!

June 19, 2015 - 8:20 am

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Gillian, that looks so AMAZING!! What a great job … you are very resourceful and creative!! Way to go, ….. xoxo

June 19, 2015 - 5:46 am

Gillian - Thanks, ladies!
Yes, a vintage section of fabrics would be *AMAZING*!

Jen, the chandelier was here in the house when we bought the home … however, I have found many at garage sales or online on kijiji – sometimes they need cleaning up and painting, but it’s not a hard project.

June 18, 2015 - 5:58 pm

Erin Lynn - I love their beautiful room! Great job on the bookshelves, and I think that creating an environment that is conducive to reading and learning is key to homeschooling. Such a fun post, love to see how you decorate your “nest.”

June 18, 2015 - 10:21 am

Our Home Of Many Blessings - I have a really hard time giving books away.I will always share them and give one to a friend when they would like one but just our old books that we school with or have had for years I just can’t bring myself to get rid of them.lol.We have a huge love for books as well and have 7 children,so our books have really stacked up through the years.I love your house!!So sweet and lovely!!!We have a similar set up of books galore and redone shelves including a little place for tea!;) I am always looking out for shelves that need a little touch up!…I think that fabric is beautiful!We have this sweet little fabric shop that’s a few hours down from us that is just simply wonderful!A sweet older couple have owned and ran it together for almost 40 years…..they try modern but have that wonderful old fashioned vintage line of fabric that I am madly in love with.I always stock up with yards of it when we pass through!

June 18, 2015 - 9:30 am

Jen Heemskerk - what a great book display! Your home looks so lovely and dreamy! I love the pink with the wainscotting and the most perfect chandelier! Where do you find them all?

When Daddy {Can’t} Go to Church

I was grumbling to myself on Saturday morning, knowing Sunday was just around the corner and again, I would be going to church alone with the children.  Stewing the details around my head, the fact that my husband was working on Sunday just down right irritated me.

“Church is important,” I was saying to myself. “God tells us to take the Sabbath off and be with our family! My husband should be going to church with us! And doesn’t he know how *hard* it is to sit through a service with six children by myself?” {Our church does not do Sunday School and we are grateful for that – in fact, it was one of the reasons we choose this church, however it does make sitting through a service a bit more challenging, to say the least, when you have young ones.}

 

Let me back up and say – my husband DOES go to church with us when he can. But every other week or so, he must work a Sunday. He’s a mortician and morticians do not necessarily get weekends off. If someone dies, the family members need a funeral director who’s willing to be there at any time of the day, week or month, holidays or not. Yes, even Christmas Day.

 

So sometimes, he goes to work and I go to church alone with the girls.

And this week, it was really bugging me. I was frustrated and tried praying over the situation (because it is not about to change any time soon … we’ve been dealing with this lifestyle for the past 13 years of our marriage). And then I thought to email a Wise Woman of the Word, someone I trusted would have a good Biblical answer to my problem.

 

Her name is Lori and she blogs here. I wrote her a heartfelt email, explaining my grumbling spirit, my husband’s job, how he works Sundays and how it frustrates me!

Her reply was just what I needed. It lifted a huge weight from my shoulders and I looked at the entire situation with a different light. I knew she would help me sort out the problem and look at it with a Biblical perspective.

{See the value of having wise, older women in your life?}

This was her reply:

 

Dear Gillian,

It’s okay if he doesn’t go to church with you on Sunday because we are NO longer under the Law and its ordinances. We are under the Law of grace. Show grace and love towards your husband. He is NOT sinning; he is working hard to provide for his family. He shows he is a godly man by his behavior; supporting and loving his family. We are the church! My husband missed many Sundays due to traveling and sometimes, he just wanted to take the day off and play basketball. So what? He still loved me and the children, loved God and was faithful to me. Admire him for all of his wonderful qualities, which it sounds like he has a lot of and praise him for them. Stop making his life any more difficult than it is. Praise his hard work to your children. Thank your father-in-law for leaving such a good job for your husband to provide for your family! Rejoice!

Blessings to you!
Love,
Lori

 

She is so right! There are many who go to church faithfully week after week who are hypocrites and not living the life of a Saved person during the week.  Going to church does not make you saved.

Now I am NOT saying skip church to play sports. I am not saying to gather up flimsy excuses to skip church whenever you wish. I am a bit of a stickler, I’d say, about going to church and not missing very many Sundays.  However, I am saying, I know my husband loves Jesus, he loves his family, but he has to work Sundays now and then. It knew it was time to stop pouting and time to rejoice that I have been blessed with a husband who works hard for our family – even if means he cannot sit beside me each Sunday after Sunday.

 

I wanted to write this to encourage other wives who may also be sitting alone in their church row some Sundays of the month. First off, you are not alone! God sees your heart and He sees your husband’s heart. He knows whether we are going to church to fulfill the motions or going to church to grow and serve and train up your children in the Scriptures. We are not to be the ‘Holy Spirit’ to our husbands. If your husband is saved, then you are a blessed woman, even if he cannot come to church on a weekly basis.

Do not be discouraged, my friend, when you see other families with dads completing the Sunday picture.

Thank God for the husband He gave you and rejoice!

 

June 17, 2015 - 6:10 pm

Heather - Love your transparency and your wisdom in searching for a godly answer to your frustration, Gillian. I love Lori too :)
You know it’s a God response when it all seems to make sense and the result is peace and harmony. Bless you as you raise those amazing girls! XO

June 16, 2015 - 6:46 am

Lesley Mooney - What a powerful Testimony of truth!!! :) We are so blessed to have women in our Church to go to and become accountable to !!! We have that at our Church as well!!! BTW ( Your Mom is one many of the women go to for advise!!! Have a Blessed week with your beautiful Family !!! :)

June 15, 2015 - 10:53 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - What a great blog, Gillian! So truthful and heartfelt … I love Lori’s reply to you – what amazing truths! Be blessed by your husband, your children, your mentor Lori and most of all by the Lord! What a great testimony of His Love for us! xoxo

June 15, 2015 - 6:51 am

Rose @ Walnut Acre - Thank you for this honest and encouraging post. I’ve been dealing with a similar situation and this truth is what I needed.

June 15, 2015 - 1:12 am

Our Home Of Many Blessings - Wonderful post….I am a faithful reader to Lori’s blog.I am always looking for a new post from her.I consider her a great Titus 2 woman and read her posts over and over again.!She tells it like it is and I need that….over and over again!You give wonderful insight as well and I’m so glad that I found both you ladies!!!

June 14, 2015 - 8:58 pm

Terri-Ann - PS- our church does not run a Sunday school during the worship service either. I know how tough it can be to get my boys to settle and stay (sort of)focused. We have about 75 kids under the age of 12 who attend at our church, so you can imagine the general hum and noise constantly there. But I absolutely love that we all sit and listen to the same sermons together. By the age of 7 or 8 my boys were really starting to listen and take things in.

June 14, 2015 - 8:55 pm

Terri-Ann - My dad worked in the airline industry and shift work meant he could not choose to always be home on the a Sunday. My mom (and now I) reallythought church going was an important part of keeping the Sabbath holy and dedicated to God. However, she did realize that the Sabbath didn’t have to be a Sunday. My dad could still keep a day apart, serving, studying, reading the Word, even if it happened to be Thursday that week instead of Sunday. Since you and your family have the blessing of being home and together almost every day, you might find a way to create your own Sabbath if Sunday fills up.

Rain & Rest and {DIY Deodorant}

A heavy June rain is soaking the countryside today …

…rain drops drizzling down the windows of this old home, a steady watering of my gardens is a welcome sign.  Little girls are sprawled out on their beds, some reading, some napping, some singing “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”… it’s a quieter day for us.

A welcome change after weeks of glorious running in the sunshine and summer bliss. We are all ready for a day of rain and rest.

 

{window boxes filled with pretty flowers}

It’s been a while since I have shared a DIY recipe. I’ve been meaning to post this one for a while but we’ve been outside and computer time is low on the priority list.

I’m a *big* fan of DIY homemade products and projects you can do at home with minimal cost. For the longest time, I’ve wanted to try homemade deodorant {we all know how bad that stuff is for us!}, but honestly, I was skeptical. I truly didn’t think it work. Let’s face it, it’s not pretty to be stinky. And I didn’t want to make the switch if it didn’t work.

 

Well, of all times to make the switch, this was the month to really test it out with gardening, working outside, cleaning chicken coops, carrying sod and so much more.  And I have to say, it works! I am SO glad to get rid of the store bought deodorants! And this recipe was SO easy and quick!

Ingredients required for Homemade Deodorant

 

1/4 cup of baking soda
1/2 cup of coconut oil
a few drops of preferred essential oil
1/4 cup of cornstarch or arrowroot powder

 

Simply melt down your coconut oil in a double boiler, mixing in 1/4 cup of cornstarch or your choice of arrowroot powder, along with the baking soda. Once it’s all mixed, choose an essential oil of your liking. I chose lavender and tea tree oil.

Pour into a mason jar or whatever container you have chosen to store your deodorant in. {I’m sure you could pour this into your old deodorant container but I didn’t even want to keep it in plastic.}

It will cool and be a perfect texture. To apply, just scoop a small amount on your fingertips and rub into your armpits.

And done! It’s that easy!

 

Have you tried homemade deodorant? Did you like it? I’m truly impressed with the results and, thankfully, will most likely never buy a store bought deodorant again!

 

June 13, 2015 - 10:30 am

Our Home Of Many Blessings - Your house seems so wonderfully simple and beautiful and I love it!! Thanks for the diy project!!I,m gonna try this!