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. 
    Lover of life, coffee and all things pink and vintage. ♥

Looms for Love [Mailed!]

“Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter
unless it is about God and loving the people He has made.”
-Francis Chan

I handed the heavy bubble-wrapped package over the post office counter to the lady with a tired smile.
Outside the tiny post office in our small town, the summer morning was beginning to heat up quickly.
Weighing the package, the postal worker totaled the shipping cost.


She eyed me and I wondered if she was trying to figure out what was inside the floppy white envelope, addressed in a child’s imperfect handwriting.

“It’s going all the way to Africa,” I said, meekly opening up the conversation.

“They’re bracelets,  a lot of bracelets made by my girls and tons of other children from all over …”

She waffled the package between her hands, flattening it and stamping the outside as required.
“Oh, you mean those elastic things?” she replied.
“My grand daughter has one of those looms. She makes tons of them!”

Explaining what exactly all these [wonderful] children were doing with their elastic band creations, I asked her if her grand daughter would be interested in the next time we send a package overseas …

Earlier that morning, our kitchen table was transformed into a Loom for Love display … hundreds of bracelets of all shapes and sizes, color and pattern, everywhere …
a vibrant rainbow display of creations … amazing examples of children-led love …

Last month, we traveled as a family to an out of town church function where the girls were invited to share our Looms of Love in a booth setup. It was such a highlight for my girls!
Swarms of beautiful children came by that morning and helped create beautiful bracelets for the children of Africa.
Our girls were so excited to see other children wanting to help …

Little hands working quickly.
Little hands sharing love.
Little hands learning how small, simple acts of kindness can still be a way of sharing God’s love.
Little seeds planted in little hearts.

Over the past few months, we had so many amazing people send loom elastics to the girls so they could create more bracelets for the orphans in Mozambique.

Almost weekly, the girls would receive a parcel or envelope in the mail with more elastic loom bracelets to add to the parcel of love.

THANK YOU! Their faces would light up as they read the cards and letters and it brought renewed joy and excitement to the project.
Letters from adults in the community who felt called to help .. their words were touching and brought tears to my eyes.
Beautiful souls all working together to help such young children learn the value of sharing God’s love – even in the form of a small, brightly colored elastic bracelet.
Simple rainbow bracelets that will be worn on the arms of beautiful children so far away  … across the ocean …

We wish we could do more- but for now, this is how the girls are sending and learning to share God’s love.

The postal worked filed the envelope and ensured it was to be mailed that afternoon -
perhaps in the near future, her grand daughter can join in and send her bracelets to the orphans in Africa, I suggested …

After all, we are praying a little love goes a long way…

p.s. My children cannot wait for another opportunity to work with Looms for Love!! … thank you to everyone who helped support this sweet, little cause.
From those who mailed letters of encouragement to packages of elastics, to the children who helped fill the parcel full of love,
the girls and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
xxoo

 

June 30, 2014 - 10:20 pm

Elisha Wolter - This is beautiful! I would love my children to join in the next project, do you know when that will be? Small things done with great love, become big things in the lives of others. Your girls are beautiful, I love their eyes. Thanks for sharing, have a beautiful week. God bless.
P.S. Baby Lavender is adorable!!

Six Reasons to have Joy.

The quiet hum of the whirling fan creates a blanket noise this early June evening …  the stars are twinkling outside in the dark country sky, little baby Lavender is snuggled up beside her daddy and me and all her sisters are tucked into their beds for the evening, exhausted after an evening of discipleship at our church …

After going through some photos recently taken, I found this one …
and it literally brought tears to my husband’s eyes as we looked across at the sweet, amazing blessings the Lord has so greatly bestowed … how can it be that we, frail, fault-ridden parents, are entrusted with six, amazing souls? We are just silly humans, but immensely grateful for God’s abundant grace in our lives. These little children given to us to raise up, train and protect … we don’t take this job lightly. God is so good and we are thankful. We feel we are blessed with these six daughter and are grasping the weight of our responsibility in raising up maidens for the Lord.
Late nights with fevers, long, exhausting pregnancies, road trips with a million potty breaks, large family dinners where kitchen floors never stay clean, relentless loads of laundry, pre-planning every outing to ensure we arrive on time, finding too-many matching shoes and leggings for church, reading endless amounts of books together, baking cookies, potty training, cleaning up spills and remembering to be patient … it’s all worth it.
Worldly pleasure and earthly gain is all lost over time.
The world’s shallow sparkle quickly dims in comparison to the eternal calling of being a parent …
these moments and the lifetime, the day ins and outs of building memories and shaping lives with these girls is worth far more than we can fathom.

“The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy.”
Psalm 126:3

 

 

June 18, 2014 - 5:26 pm

Whitney - One word…. Beautiful

June 11, 2014 - 2:17 pm

Katrina - Gillian! I adore this photo!! And I was thinking what Alma Mater posted, about Leia and Lovelyn looking so much alike. All of your girls are so beautiful.

June 11, 2014 - 6:57 am

charlotte - I love all of your picture but this one is a jewel.

you are one lucky very lucky mom

June 10, 2014 - 5:28 pm

Megan Newbury - Miss you guys…think of you often and keep checking the blog to see how you are doing! Such a precious family :) Wish you were closer and we would come and get some of those eggs!

June 5, 2014 - 3:29 pm

Erin Lynn - Oh my goodness!!! This is absolutely beautiful!!! Love that you have so many beautiful and sweet girls. I know everyone seems to want some of each gender, but I think there is something extra special about all girls or all boys:-) Erin Lynn

June 5, 2014 - 2:37 pm

Annie - oh Gillian. How precious a photograph. blessed beyond measure. I love coming to your space and seeing snipets of your life. It usually makes me want to come over for tea :)

June 5, 2014 - 1:28 pm

Brenda (Gillian's Mom) - OK, I need this on a CANVAS!! Right now!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!

June 5, 2014 - 11:44 am

Alma Mater - What a lovely family. I can’t believe how much Leia looks like Lovelyn!

Egg-xciting stuff!

“It is a bad thing to think that time is our own to do what we like with.
We all have duties, and a certain share of our time must be given to those duties.
This power of making oneself work is a fine thing. Every effort makes the next easier.”
-Charlotte Mason

 

 

 

The three oldest Gauthier girls are going into business …

 

The girls’ summer project, and hopefully extending through fall and winter, will be their egg business.  We’ve been waiting to start this business for what seems like a long time – and now, it’s up and running!

 

Yesterday, we drove around on out little golf cart to all the neighbour’s houses to rally up some customers. So far, they have seven customers! We have ordered more hens to arrive for next week, which will make a total of 12 adult hens. We have a new flock of 11 babies that will start laying in the fall. By then, hopefully the girls will be able to expand their business.

The goal is to teach them responsibility, money managing, tithing, hard work ethics and much more. Already, they have proven to be quite responsible with the hens, as they are the main caretakers for the animals.  They are super excited and motivated now because they will be earning money!

The hens are super friendly and we love to have them roaming about. It’s rather cute – they [almost] like pets?!

 

 

Sadly, we are having issues with birds of prey (main, turkey vultures!) that want to attack our little flock … Lyla has it under control, though.

 

Nothing beats free range, home grown, made with love eggs from the country!

 

We created these pretty labels for their egg cartons and will begin delivery by next week. The girls are in charge of everything – keeping track of money, letting us know if the feed is low, putting them in their pen at night and ensuring they are happy hens.:)

 

It’s wonderful to have such an opportunity for the girls to learn! We are grateful.

 

p.s. interested in free range, Gauthier Girls Egg-xcellent Eggs? Just send an email and we will see if we have enough room for more customers …

 

 

June 5, 2014 - 8:35 pm

Rachel - Would like to be added to the list pls!

June 4, 2014 - 7:18 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Can I get on the delivery list? Please, pretty please? xoxo

June 4, 2014 - 3:16 pm

Jen Heemskerk - Seriously? How cute are they?! Wish I lived closer as I would be all over the buying of eggs! I have a good giggle when I see your girlies in matching clothes because secretly wish I could do the same, but alas I have 2 girlies that are anti-dress! LOL

A Gift.

“Children bring much joy to marriage. The older you get and the more you mature,
the more you realize that every other ‘thing’ we strive after in this life is fleeting and will pass away.
It is our children that are lasting gifts that will keep forever.
We can take them into eternity with us. Everything else will be left behind.
Wise couples will want the gifts that are lasting.”
-Nancy Campbell

Whether you have one, two or twelve children, they are gifts from the Lord. Lasting gifts … how wonderful … !

Here’s a quick photo of our newest gift, Lavender. She is such a delight!

June 3, 2014 - 8:54 pm

Elisha Wolter - Hello! Firstly, the quote at the start of this blog went straight to my heart, reminding me of the incredible eternal blessing I have of four little souls God gave me, so thank you for sharing it. Secondly, your daughter is absolutely gorgeous! Those eyes are stunning and that little baby mouth! Oh she’s divine! Great name too!Love your blog!

May 30, 2014 - 1:03 pm

admin - Erin, Thank you for your comment. I understand the conflict and the pressure that society puts on the women to work outside the home. It’s hard to let things go in order to be at home full time, however, be encouraged and know you are working at an eternal job, the most precious job on earth! Making memories, molding their character, teaching them and just being there for them – no one else can do that except a mother. It is a great blessing to be chosen by God to raise your little ones! There’s always time for work later, like you said. Try to find good friends who will encourage you in the same choices – that helps with the pressure that the world creates, as well.
Have a great day with your children!

May 30, 2014 - 12:50 pm

Erin Lynn - So beautiful! Loved the quote and your last post. So much I could relate to. I have made some hard choices about not working while I am back in school (online) just because time is so fleeting with my little ones. We can always go back to work, we won’t always have time with our precious little ones. Just being honest, I still get conflicted, and I feel like I need to get a job, as I think society puts so much worth on our work outside the home. Especially when someone asks about my work. But then I look in their little eyes, or read one of your posts, and know its all worth it. For years, I have left my children with sitters so I could work, now I have the time, and I can make memories with them.

Mission of Motherhood

“Sometimes I feel like if you just watch things, just sit still and let the world exist in front of you –
sometimes I swear that just for a second time freezes and the world pauses in its tilt.
Just for a second. And if you somehow found a way to live in that second,
then you would live forever.”

 

It wasn’t long ago – or rather, it doesn’t seem like so much precious time has passed – when my 10 year old {sweet} daughter was a pint-sized toddler, discovering the world, learning to talk and explore, learning to become a big sister to Lyla … As a first time mom, I did not realize how time would slip through my fingers like smooth sand … just whisping away day by day … I knew I wanted to be a stay at home mother to my daughter and the baby on the way, and so I quit my journalism job and started my photography business.
It wasn’t long before the photography took off – and fast … I love photography, I loved meeting all the precious families that came through for photos … I loved capturing their family’s memories and freezing time for them … but it soon, the photography business was taking up too much time from my *own* family … isn’t is strange how that works? I was working {at home} to be a stay at home mom, but in the end, my business, which was successful and exciting and something I truly enjoyed, grew so well that I had little time for my own children.
I never neglected them, I truly tried my best to be both – photographer and mother – and then a homeschooling mom, at the same time – they were mostly only babysat by their gramma and only for a few hours at a time … but I knew something was amiss.
When I was walking out the door to go to my shoot as my husband was walking in the door and I’d be passing him the baby and waving good-bye to the girls,
that signaled to me that something was wrong. I loved working my business  – photography is a passion of mine … it was hard to stop and look at the situation from a different perspective … but …

I had children to be a mommy.
I married my husband to be a wife.
I had a home to run.

I had moments to stop for a while and capture in my own life – it was all going by too fast.

At some point in my ongoing motherhood journey, the Lord sent a very valuable mentor into my life {a Titus 2 woman} … with a Biblical point of view, she showed me how I could be doing more for my family, that I should be doing more … that, while it is okay to have a job, it is never okay to have it be a bigger part of your life than your family.  I thank God every day for showing me what I was missing, what I was losing out … we can even be stay at home moms and *still* be missing out on the amazing calling of motherhood – it was are too busy or distracted with other commitments, it’s easy to lose focus of the mission of motherhood.

 

 

 

 

Compared to full time job, perhaps my photography business didn’t seem as time consuming – but the late nights of holding a baby and proofing at the same time, the running out the door and trying to figure out babysitters last minute for session …

 

 

 

 

it all just did not seem worth what I was losing out on – evenings with my children, moments with their daddy as he came home from work, carefree nights in the summer … just pure, old’ fashioned family time.
It was also a sacrifice to give up the money I was earning -  I mean, let’s face it. We {think} we can all use a little bit extra finances … especially with a growing family. We are now a single income family and that truly has changed how we live or spend our money.  [I'm grateful and blessed to have a husband who did not even think twice about me staying home full time ... ]

 

But I would not trade this calling as a mother for all the photography fame in the world … for a bigger bank account  … or for a growing, successful business … I didn’t want to just survive my time as a mother (especially those younger years), I want to enjoy it and love and capture it in my memory … I want to make memories and freeze time and teach and train my children … to love my husband and be home when he is home … to be available to the my daughters  in the evening hours, not just the daytime … to realize the call of motherhood …

 

 

{Leia’s face as daddy pulled up the driveway … may I be honest and say I’m so grateful to have evenings where I no longer have to rush out the door and miss these moments…}

 

Let us not be so caught up in things outside the home, job, volunteer hours, successes, pay cheques, status and success … that we miss out on the mission of motherhood.
The years here at home with children are fleeting – I want to be intentional and there, fully there.

 

 

 

 

 

May 25, 2014 - 9:20 am

Jen Heemskerk - The verse Nehemiah 6:3 comes to mind when reading your post. “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.” It is so easy to get distracted by things that may be seem beneficial {financially, relational} but our work is to focus on our families. Like Nehemiah- to build our families up, to train and raise our children in a God-fearing home! And we need to lead by example! Great post!

May 25, 2014 - 6:37 am

molly davis - Oh, how I can relate to this post. So much of what you said, rings true to my own life. I try to remind myself though, that late night editing in my home is the next best thing to always being available for my children. When I started this photography business, I too wanted to add a little extra income to our family. But now, I am recently a single mom (not by choice) and I feel that my photography is a blessing because while it is time consuming, I can choose when I work.

May 24, 2014 - 8:56 pm

Jessemyn - Yes! The question I’m always asking myself is, “who is getting my BEST?” That seems to correct my calendar when it’s full of the wrong things! 8)

May 24, 2014 - 5:25 pm

Claire - Well said Gillian xo