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. ♥

Canning Season

Tomatoes. Peaches. Blueberries. Sauces. Soups.


It’s canning season {perhaps mixed in with a smidge of nesting season?} and the little cream colored 1950s stove, nestled in my kitchen, has been hard at work for the past few weeks. Actually, we ended up outside on the back patio for most of our canning – it’s much easier that way. Easier to clean up. Easier to still enjoy the day and sunshine. Easier on my tired feet.  I can pull up a chair while the baby naps and slice a bushel of red tomatoes or ripe juicy peaches in an hour while the girls play outside in the last few days of summer- or better yet, they are often recruited to join in the canning party.


Not only are these girls learning about canning for when they are future homemakers, they were actually truly helping me!


I tried a new recipe without pectin for the peach jam … it turned out scrumptious. We have so many jars of peach jam now – I’m pretty sure most of our Christmas presents will include a nice jar of peachy-summer jar!


Here’s the recipe:

Pectin Free Peach Jam

4 lbs. of fresh peaches
3 cups of sugar 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/2 cup of water

Follow the usual instructions of preparing peaches (peel, slide, take the pit out) and toss into a pot where you will mix in the lemon juice.
Place pot on stovetop and set to medium heat. Add water and sugar and stir till dissolved. Keep stirring to prevent scalded jam (no fun!) or sticking.
I test my jam or jelly using the freezer test – place a plate in the freezer until cold, drop hot jam on plate and run your finger through it – if it stays separated, it is ready to can.
If it runs together, it still needs more cooking time.

Fill clean mason jars, wipe rims clean, place new seal lids on top and water bath for 20 minutes.

 I just finished a mountain of tomatoes (diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and salsa) this weekend and still need to can the tomatoes popping out of the garden with their last hurrah.

I’ll be back … after I sort through how many more jars need filling.

P.S. Have you been canning? What’s your favorite thing to can? Any recipes to share?

 Have you ever tried pressure canning? Let me warn you, it’s WONDERFULLY fulfilling!

September 2, 2015 - 4:55 pm

Erin Lynn - That peach jam looks yummy! Could we have a bump pic, pretty please? Would love an update on the coming little “L.”

September 2, 2015 - 3:53 pm

Lynda Lu Gibb - Wonderful to see you and your girls putting the bountiful harvest that God provides in our rich country. So Blessed!

September 2, 2015 - 12:38 pm

Courtney - That peach jam looks delicious! Next on my canning list is some old fashioned chili sauce and pasta sauce (do you by any chance have a recipe for pasta sauce? I’m struggling to find one that we all like!) We also recently made a batch of sweet relish. Love this time of year!

Tiny Steps

Lavender has decided to start walking!

And at 16 months, that’s our latest walker, with Lucia, our other late bloomer, walking at 15 months and our earliest, Lyla, at 9 months! Some mothers, I think, dread the toddling stage but  is say go for it, Lavender! Imagine all the places you can go now …:)

August 30, 2015 - 5:47 pm

Jen Heemskerk - Way to go Lavendar! The older she gets, she is looking more and more like Lyla!!

August 27, 2015 - 1:02 pm

Erin Lynn - Precious little one!

August 27, 2015 - 11:00 am

Maike - Aww she looks so adorable and the light is perfect. So pretty. It never seems to get boring there. :-) Who is sharing the room with who btw?

August 27, 2015 - 10:23 am

Tawnia - She is just too cute!

Meet Marigold.

It’s funny to step back and see the little girl you are {humbly, fumbling with God’s grace} raising and realize she’s turning into something … wonderful … a little lady … someone who, albeit shyly, can handle responsibility and tasks that a few years ago were daunting. It’s beautiful to see the character and interests blossom as she finds out what makes her tick and what makes her heart beat.

Life moves on, the old cuckoo clock hanging on the kitchen wall forever tells me that another hour has swept passed … we need to make the most of every hour, every day. Little ones merge into middle ones and soon middle sized ones are growing into bigger ones. For my daughter’s sake, I will not point out this growing-up fact too often as she sheds tears and cries at the thought of leaving dollies and make believe, frolics and carefree days behind. And I tell her , she’s not near to that yet. No one can force you to grow up. The world may morph 8,9 and even 10 year olds into “tweens” but we unintentionally ban that word from our vocabulary. No such thing here in our home. She’s still in her childhood and one day, when she’s ready, she will step gracefully over the invisible, magical border of child and older child, but for this beautiful moment – for this glorious chapter in her life – she’s a precious, young, 11 year old, full  of life and sweetness,  a creative side that wants to flourish and a love for animals.

Enter Marigold – Lacey’s Nubian goat. When we first brought Marigold home (oh, there’s a story to be told!!), Abby and I both looked at each other, shook our heads and said, “We gotta sell this goat NOW. What were we thinking?!” She was hyper, jumping fences, would not stop crying (and Nubians have a loud bellow like cry) and was generally a naughty goat.

Lacey begged us not to sell her, she claimed this doe-eyed, noisy goat was her favorite …
Well just two months later, Marigold has been quieted, she rarely cries (as in never) and Lacey has found a new best animal friend.


I wish I could freeze this time forever. A summer where my sweet 11-year-old finds joy and friendship with a floppy eared-Roman nose goat.

Have you ever seen a goat a smile?


Well, you just did.


August 19, 2015 - 5:23 pm

Shannon - Lacey has gotten soooo tall!!!!

August 17, 2015 - 10:52 am

MARY - WOW! I thought I would look up your blog to check some canning things-planning to peach pick tomorrow- I BARELY recognized Lacey! She’s so grown up!!!

August 9, 2015 - 6:25 pm

Jen Heemskerk - Oh my goodness, that last photo is so precious!!! Lacey is so blessed to have such parents such as yourselves that see what’s best for her! I’ve heard that goats are so gentle and caring creatures! How wonderful that you have a few!

Summer Girls

Last night, the girls humored me by allowing me to take them into the field for an updated photo {thank you to Auntie Kate for the gorgeous dresses!} … they grow so quickly over the summer with all that wonderful sun and wind and fresh air … I know these precious girls are gifts from the Lord – they are not mine, but have been entrusted to Abby & I to raise while here on this earth. We both feel so blessed to have such a wonderful responsibility….


P.S. Do you want some tips for taking photos of your children? I can include them in future posts, if you are interested.:)


P.P.S. We also had our mid-pregnancy ultrasound today  – and we were able to bring the girls into the room to “see” their baby sister/brother. It was very sweet … seeing the baby wave at them and move his/her arms around … seeing the gorgeous heart beating away … we did not find out the gender (in case you’re wondering) … so it will be a delightful surprise once the baby is born! I have been feeling very good with this pregnancy – other than feeling pretty tired. As soon as the sun sets, I set! No late nights for me! Muscles are sore but that is normal. Hard to believe half of the pregnancy is over already.

August 14, 2015 - 8:28 am

admin - yes, they are learning to swim! The older ones, especially. :) We do not have formal swimming lessons but we have had a pool set up in our yard for the summer every year which truly helps!

August 14, 2015 - 7:22 am

Maike - They look all so very pretty. Some look a lot like you. The second from the right looks like she might be one of the more cheeky confident type of girl while others look very calm. It is so interesting seeing them grow up, hearing about their thoughts, likings, personalities. Only I forgot by now how everyones name is. ^_^ Have they learned to swim yet?

August 10, 2015 - 10:27 am

Lynda Lu Gibb - Your girls have the summer reflected in their sun-kissed skin and their sunlightened hair..a perfect reflection of what summer is..abundantly glowing!

August 9, 2015 - 8:02 pm

danessa stride - I would love some tips, I am breaking out into the photography world, and any tips would be a great help, I was also wondering what kind of camera and lens do you use most?

August 8, 2015 - 7:53 pm

Courtney - Would love to get some tips! Your pictures are always so beautiful, you’re very talented!

August 8, 2015 - 1:49 pm

Erin Lynn - Please give us tips! Your daughters are so very beautiful!!! Love the bump pic, you are so tiny:-)

August 8, 2015 - 1:23 am

Mara - Yes!! Would love tips. Your pictures are always so beautiful, then again you have very photogenic girls.

August 7, 2015 - 9:40 pm

Monica Seiler - Yes please! Tips would be appreciated


We have kittens!!

And oh my …. talk about the sweetness … I truly cannot think of anything cuter, sweeter, more adorable *with the exception of newborns! Hee hee!*

Kittens are so. much. fun. We are working on trying to get them all in the basket for a photo but they do not want to listen.:)


P.S. We will need to find loving homes for our five kitties … if you are interested, email me.:)How can you go wrong adopting a kitten?!

August 8, 2015 - 9:49 am

Lauren - Look how they’re all different colours! How sweet! I wish I could have one!!

August 4, 2015 - 12:28 pm

Maike - How many kittens do you have? It only looks like two. I love the color of the orange one and the second picture is just the most perfect soft nice colored one there is <3 So sweet! (I replied to email, but not sure if it got thru):-)