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. ♥

Adventures in Baby Land

** This post is about goat labour! If it grosses you out, don’t read it!

There will also be photos of the birth. Nothing too crazy, but still, I’m just giving the disclaimer!**

This has been a busy few days around here!

All in a matter of one day, we had five precious, adorable kittens born as a surprise to us and a baby goat was kidded a few hours later! With chicks and baby ducklings, kittens and now a kid, it feels like animal baby world around here! I will be posting pictures of the sweet kitties soon, but first – our first goat birthing story!

 

We have been on goat-kidding watch for a few weeks with two pregnant does happily chewing the cud around the yard. Each morning, we would pray we wouldn’t miss it and that the baby would be healthy.  I’ve never had a goat give birth before and was tired of reading too much information about the entire thing. Experience is the best teacher, I say.

But yesterday, as I was hanging the laundry, I heard a funny cry from the small barn (which Abby just finished in time for baby goat season! Yay!). {Sidenote, animal owners, isn’t is amazing how you can you tell your animals apart by their calls? I’m surprised to find out we can tell which goat is crying , even if we are inside.} I knew right away it was Firefly – our pregnant doe who generally never makes a sound and is usually quiet, timid and somewhat shy.

 

I dropped the laundry basket and ran as fast as I could towards the barn, calling for Lacey and the girls … we all ran in an excited burst of energy just in time to reach the barn doors to see momma goat pushing out and her wee kid … he was half way out, his little head was laying there on the straw and momma was just being as calm as ever. All of us, including Lacey’s best friend, stood together and watched in absolute awe. Lyla kept saying, “Mommmmmyyyyy …. shouldn’t you HELP her?!” but there really was nothing to be done but watch as the momma goat, ever so calmly, pushed her little kid out into the world … {last year, this same goat kidded but the baby died, so we were a bit anxious to see this kid come out alive.} Firefly did amazing. She needed no help, so we all just stood back and watched with excitement and a few questions from some of the girls …

 

 

 

 

 

It was an amazing lesson on life for the girls – to see a baby animal being born, to see the umbilical cord attached, to see the momma goat cleaning up her kid, to see it was not as gross or gory or bloody as they thought it would be … it was fantastic!

 

In fact, the entire thing was beautiful. We couldn’t stop laughing and smiling and ohhh-ing over the sweet baby goat lying there on the fresh straw.

 

 

 

Lacey announced the sex – it’s a boy, she said, as she peeked under the legs to confirm …

 

 

 

I was unsure whether or not I should be the one to cut the umbilical cord (all the information I read said to cut it and so forth, etc.) so I waited to see what momma goat would do… after what seemed like 10 minutes or so, I decided to go back to the house to get some string to tie off the cord. Just as I left the barn, the girls called out and told me momma goat cut it herself. Perfect! Even better! (I was not looking forward to that part.) Nature taking over!

We stayed and watched the baby and momma for as long as possible … it was just such a wonderful experience for everyone to see this new life for our little farm … to see the momma taking care of her baby … to see the precious baby goat looking adorable and so cute even just minutes after birth …

 

Later when everyone left the barn to give momma some quiet time, Lacey and I returned to make sure the baby goat was drinking. We helped him find the udder and get momma and baby started together. It was so special to have a daughter who loved this adventure as much as I did. Later, she said, “Mommy, this has been the best day of my life!!!”
Totally worth it!

 

 

 

The girls first named him Little Cloud but later changed his name to Moses. He’s precious and healthy and so adorable.

We are so glad that we did not go anywhere that day and were able to experience watching such a fabulous birth on our little farm.

Perhaps it seems silly to be so delighted over an animal being born- maybe it’s something that requires you to be there in person to see the magic and miracle of it all. Maybe it’s because it was our first time seeing something like this. Either way, it was a fabulous day! And topped with the fact that kittens had just been born that morning, we had quite the adventurous day!

I will be posting pictures of the kitties soon … they are so cute …

Thanks for sharing in our joy of new life here at the Gauthier home!

 

 

 

July 12, 2015 - 12:37 am

Lynda Lu Gibb - Blessed to read of your growing and glowing.. you are privileged to have experienced that miracle of birth.What a wonderful meaningful way you are showing the girls the wonders of God! May you continye to be blessed..

July 10, 2015 - 4:48 pm

Our Home Of Many Blessings - Oh thats wonderful!!! Congrats on all those baby happenings going on at your home! It is amazing whether it is your first or your 100th. I loved what your daughter said about that being her best day ever,that was so sweet!Thank you for sharing,can’t wait to see those kittens!

July 10, 2015 - 7:42 am

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Gillian, I loved reading all about the birth!!! And I gulped and cried when I read Lacey’s comment. So blessed …. What an amazing thing for all the girls to be a part of!! So exciting! I can’t wait to see Moses :) xo

Sweet {Baby Bean}

 

 

 

It always super sweet to catch a wee glimpse into a miracle in the making with an ultrasound … hello, sweet baby bean.

You are so loved already. We can’t wait to meet you and discover who you are! The votes are in and most of the family has guessed you are a girl … while a few are hoping for a boy! Either way, you will certainly make our winter more cozy this year. We have our boy name picked out but needs a LOT of suggestions for an L girl name! {Willing to hear ideas!}

 

{15 weeks}

Lord willing, we will be doing another home birth with the same (WONDERFUL) midwife as the last few babies.
Still very hard to believe we have been blessed with another little one to love and cherish!

July 16, 2015 - 3:15 am

Rebecca - oh so wonderful! Congrats, I just love reading your blog and watching your adorable family grow. I myself have 3 daughters so far — maybe i’ll get another several as well! :)

July 10, 2015 - 8:46 pm

Tawnia - Haha we are pregnant together again ;)
I am partial to Laura, Lydia, Laney and Lyric/Lyrica :)

July 10, 2015 - 8:40 am

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Hi Gillian, how about Lenore after your Great Grandmother?

July 10, 2015 - 1:28 am

Sandra - Congratulations! I am so happy for you and your family. Babies are such sweet blessings. I was peeking on your blog as I had wanted to contact you regarding a session since we were just blessed with twin boys however you definitely need your rest…growing a miracle and nurturing your beautiful girls is the right priority for you at this time. So happy for you! I love the names Lauren, Lara, and Lily.

July 9, 2015 - 7:42 pm

Liz - Laura – as in Laura Ingalls (or spelled Lora)

July 8, 2015 - 7:33 pm

Kristina - Well, since we’re all discussing potential names… I like Libby a lot, and Lisbeth. Actually, Libby could be a derivative of Lisbeth. My great-grandmother’s name was Lillie Belle, and that’s another beautiful name. Oh, and Leonora. It is old-fashioned and quite beautiful. This is fun!

July 8, 2015 - 5:58 pm

Samantha Erin - So cute! hmmm some L names. I know name meanings matter to you so I tried to only include ones with good meanings!

Lottie
Lena
Laurel
Livia
Lily
Linnea
Linnah
Lydia
Lake
Lexie
Liana
Luna
Leigh
Ledah
Lettie
Libbie
Liberty
Lissie
Luanna
Luxe

I can’t wait to see what you name this baby, boy or girl :)

July 8, 2015 - 2:23 pm

Linda - Linda is a beautiful name

July 8, 2015 - 1:22 pm

Erin Lynn - I like Laney, Lilac, Lark, Laurel, and Lara! Love your other daughter’s names so I’m sure you will pick a great name.

July 8, 2015 - 12:39 pm

Shelley Jonea - Congrats! Lorelai sounds like laura-l-i(long i sound)

July 8, 2015 - 12:39 pm

Janelle - Oh, how I love coming up with names! Lark (songbird), Larissa (cheerful), Laurelin (land of the valley of singing gold), Lennon (dear one), Lennox (from Levenach, Scotland), Lena (woman of magdala), Lexi (diminuitive of the Alex names), Libby (God is my oath), Linnea (lime tree), Liliana (combination of Lily and Anna), London (from the great river), Liv (cover, shield, or life), Lively (full of life, energy), Lynley (from the flax meadow)…. I could go on for quite a while. Babynames.com is a great site for names – I use it constantly when I’m naming characters in a story.

July 8, 2015 - 7:51 am

Betty Gauthier - Such a sweet little peanut! I look forward to seeing your posts and all your pics of all your wee ones. So precious indeed!
I like the names Lauraine and Latisha and Lewellyn. Looking forward to hearing which one you choose or if you get to use the boy name……
Love Always Aunt Betty

July 7, 2015 - 9:55 am

Liz - Oh it does?! That’s really too bad!
Another name I love, but may be tricky bc you already have Lovelyn, is Lavinia
I’m due at the end of aug! Another girlie for us, little Aria Ann:)

July 7, 2015 - 5:45 am

Gillian - Jen, that is too funny about the dash! Who would have thought of that?!
Liz, thank you for the happy thoughts! I love Lilith too but it has a terrible meaning and I just don’t think I could name a daughter with such a dark meaning to the name – drats, though, as it is a really pretty name and I have liked it from the beginning!
p.s. when are you due?

July 6, 2015 - 9:48 pm

Jen Heemskerk - P.S. I’m a teacher and I see all kinds of names but the best “L” name I’ve come across {and I’m being sarcastic} is La-a , as in Ladasha….yes you pronounce the dash!

July 6, 2015 - 9:45 pm

Liz Bronsveld - Oh this is such happy news!! Congratulations!!
For girl names, my vote goes to Lorelei or Lilith! So pretty:)

July 6, 2015 - 9:45 pm

Jen Heemskerk - First of all- you are so beautiful and I’m so happy for you and your family to be having another baby blessing regardless of a girl or boy.
Second- here are some “L” girl names that I’ve always liked: Lynlee, Laurae, Lottie, Laney,

{Brewing} Kefir Water

So recently, shuffling babies on our hips and trying to keep an eye on our wandering toddlers while at a family party, my friend casually asked me if I wanted to have some of her kefir grains.

My answer was a resounding yes!

For those who do not know what kefir water is … it is a naturally fermented, fizzy drink that is wonderfully full of probiotics, vitamin B, amino acids, minerals and enzymes. It is fairly simple to brew at home, does not require fancy equipment and can be modified to taste once it is finished and ready to drink.

And it taste great! Truly!

There are tons of tutorials online, many websites with fabulous information so I’m not going to dish out the same details. But if you are interested, kefir water is something you definitely need to add to your kitchen! I’m by no means an expert at this yet, but am happy to be learning and adding kefir water to our fridge/pantry.

Here are a few links for more information:

 

Kefir Water FAQ

More helpful information

 

 

My grains have already multiplied and I will be giving some to  my mom soon so she can start her own brew.

If you have access to the water grains, all you need is a mason jar, water, cane sugar (or I have read you may use coconut sugar) and your grains {which are not grains at all -but simply referred to as grains because of their appearance. Kefir grains are actually a relationship formed between bacteria and yeast. Sounds scary but it’s not!}.

 

Measure out a litre of room temperature water and dissolve a 1/4 cup of organic sugar in water.

 

Add 1/4 cup of your kefir grains.

 

Drop in a slice of lemon and/or a piece of ginger (I made a few batches with ginger, a few without.)

My friend recommended dropping in a clean egg shell during the process, as well.

Place cheesecloth of fabric between lid and kefir water and screw lid loosely onto jar. Let your jar(s) sit on the counter out of direct light for 48 hours.
After the 48 hours, remove the grains using a plastic spoon or strainer. If you wish, let your brew sit for one more day to create the fizzy taste we all love. You will need to have room in your jar and the lid to allow for the ‘fizzy’ to happen (no one wants an exploding jar!).

At this time, you may also flavor your kefir water – we added homemade strawberry syrup to our first brew. It was delicious!

 

Once it is finished fermenting, it will need to be refrigerated. Don’t let it sit too long in the fridge … but trust me, it won’t … if you and your children enjoy it as we do!

The girls call our water ‘homemade pop’ … it taste so good! We don’t typically purchase soda or pop so this is a great treat for the girls. You can even add the kefir water to homemade popsicles! What a healthy treat! Lyla has requested a ‘root beer’ version … any recipes?

 

 

 

 

I will be looking up lots of great ideas for this to modify each batch to taste.

Have you tried kefir water? What are your thoughts? I always find it so encouraging to make something simply at home and yet still gain from the nutritional benefits!

 

 

 

 

July 6, 2015 - 4:57 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Can’t wait for my Keifer grains!!! :) YUMMY

July 4, 2015 - 7:13 pm

Audrey - This is for Kombucha, but I’d be willing to guess that it would work for Kefir as well.

http://www.culturedfoodlife.com/root-beer-kombucha/

I adore root beer as well, wish I could find it already made in stores! I’ve hoarded every water and coconut water kefir I’ve been able to get my hands on during this pregnancy :)

July 2, 2015 - 6:36 pm

admin - Jen, we used fresh strawberries from our picking last week – warm up water and berries in pot, crush up the berries (similar to making jam) and add in some honey or you may add sugar of your choice. Cook to create it a syrup. Add water if it is too thick. It turned out delicious. I shall have to go return to original recipe for exact measurements but it was pretty easy … yummy … we have made apple syrup (from apple peels) and blueberry syrup, as well.

July 2, 2015 - 6:18 pm

Jen Heemskerk - How did you make your strawberry syrup?

Work.

Hard to believe … how can it be?!… but it is July already. Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends. We are celebrating by staying home and having a regular day. How about you?

Our mornings around here are so noisy – is your home noisy in the morning, too? We have a friend coming to stay with us in July and I wonder how she’ll ever make it through the morning chaos.
Lavender, after having her breakfast because that is definitely first on her list to do, scoots about with the help of a handy chair. Devotions are read. Piano is practiced. Dishes are washed. Floors swept and chores are started. Everyone is talking about the day, the night, the dreams they had, who sat on whose chair for breakfast and so forth. It’s noisy, it really is.

 

 

 

I guess that is all part of a having a large family – because, I suppose that is what we are now – a large family. Funny how that just happened …

 

The girls and I spent the morning weeding a majority of our flower gardens yesterday. We have been having large amounts of rain so everything has just grown … well, like a weed. We try to weed once a week or more, but with the rain, it had been about a week and half and boy, those weeds were huge. While we were weeding, getting our fingers dirty, discovering bugs under rocks and roots that must be part of the carrot family, I was thinking about work – and hard work. Weeding is not something children love – but the girls have come to realize it just has to be done. Like putting away laundry every night and cleaning the chicken coop. My parents were great teachers when it came to work ethics – we all had chores and lots of them (or so it felt like that to me when I was younger). I honestly believe the majority of children in today’s society do not have enough chores.

Working together and taking care of your home and property is, although frustrating and exhausting at times, very rewarding.

I know of a family who has hired a gardener to weed their gardens – they have children the same ages as mine … as we were tugging at our big, nasty weeds yesterday, I couldn’t help but wonder if this family was robbing their children (and parents) of a very important life skill – learning to work together. Also, could it not possibly save money by having the children and mom and dad outside together, pulling weeds on a weekly basis. Or, if that seemed like too big of a task, could they ‘pay’ their older children to weed instead of paying an outsider? Often times, we have hire cleaners, gardeners, buy easy-to-make meals, have everything done and ready for our lifestyles and homes … so we can rush home, eat, and then turn around and drive our older children to town to their summer job … or take our younger children to summer camps and vbs  because they are “bored” and need something to do. I wonder, if instead, we should work to build a family economy at home that keeps everyone busy, helps provide a small income (if possible) and gives the children a fantastic work ethic and experience. Not to mention, spending time together builds precious memories.

We went strawberry picking last week. The girls helped and it did not take long to have all the strawberries we needed for canning. But while we were picking, we could hear other children grumbling and complaining while picking strawberries in a field with their families. “It’s too hot, it’s soooo hard, I’m bored …” Do you think, perhaps, these children are not doing chores at home, or maybe this is the first or only time they are experiencing “hard work”? And halfway across the field, you can see a Mennonite family, all the moms and daughters, quietly picking a truckload (literally) of strawberries together. I heard no complaints from their row. I only heard some laughter and quiet singing.

 

 

How can we expect our children to grow up and have a solid work ethic if they are not being taught the basics of work at home? What if they want to go on the mission field, only to discover it’s incredibly hot and uncomfortable, they need to dig a 40 foot ditch with only a shovel and … surprise, surprise … they just cannot handle it because they were not challenged enough to truly work their whole life?

 

 

Work also gives  children a sense of worth. It’s encouraging to a little one to know they can help out and make a difference. Don’t rob your child by pampering them so much that they do not learn the value of true, hard work. The next generation is already pampered so much.

If we’re not working together and raising our children to work, we are doing the next generation a terrible injustice.

 

P.S. Have you heard of Ants’hillvania? It is a great story for children to learn about how great work actually is for you! I listened to it when I was a young girl and now my girls are listening to it. Great Biblical story with fun songs about the ant and their work ethic.

July 2, 2015 - 10:53 am

Kate - The pictures of Lavender’s chair shuffle are adorable! Can’t wait to experience your ‘morning chaos’ in a couple of weeks. It will be a welcome change from my own version of morning chaos, with overlapping conference calls from 7am today. I’m coming ready to work, although I’m not the best at weeding – maybe one of the Ls can supervise me to make sure I’m not pulling out the non-weeds…..

July 2, 2015 - 10:25 am

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Gillian, you know that I LOVE this! Hard work never killed anyone LOL You have hit the nail on the head, as far as children learning to do chores and the FAMILY ECONOMICS! Great points! Your children are in a heritage of hard workers, both on Abby’s and your side of the family so it only makes sense that your children will learn the ethic of working hard! This blog makes me happy :) Love Mom xo
Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread Proverbs 12:11
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. Ecclesiastes 2:24

July 2, 2015 - 9:58 am

Samantha Erin - Sooooo true and well said. I was talking about this very topic last night with my friends on the car ride home from Canada Day celebrations. We also discussed how giving children allowances they didn’t earn is also a disservice to them. I had chores that I didn’t get paid for simply b/c they were a part of family life. I knew if I wanted to buy something I had to earn the money to do so…and had to find creative ways to make money. It was evident at a young age that I was an entrepreneur and that’s thanks to my parents NOT buying me stuff just because I wanted stuff. I knew if I wanted something I had to work for it.

July 2, 2015 - 2:40 am

Mara - Trying to implement this right now with my children. So much truth here!

July 2, 2015 - 12:53 am

Helen - I couldn’t agree with u more!! I stumbled across your blog a week ago and it’s absolutely lovely. I think it struck a chord with me because we share similar values in our families. I hope this is ok but I just wanted to ask you why you prefer a church with no Sunday school (as mentioned in a previous post). I only ask because I’m torn on this subject and haven’t really read anyone post on this before.
Thanks, Helen

July 1, 2015 - 11:31 pm

Renee - Hear! Hear!
Well said Gillian! I love watching how my young boys are becoming so competent and the joy they feel learning new skills working along side their parents. I believe that I am raising four future fathers/husbands…. Not just little children. It’s imperative to look to your childrens futures not just who they are at present. My boys are excited to become men one day…Im excited to help them get there !

July 1, 2015 - 9:13 pm

Jen Heemskerk - I cannot thank you enough for this post!!! As a teacher, I see this all the time! Every time I give my students work, they groan and complain with “it’s so much work”…I usually respond with “really, I’m asking you to write 3 paragraphs- in grade 6! That’s not hard work!” Oh! do I pray for the next generation, that as you say, do not have a good sense of work! They want easy and comfortable and honestly think they are owed everything. So, thank you for teaching your girls that hard work is important!

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?