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. ♥

32 Weeks

So here we are … mid 32 weeks … I thought I should try to get a photo as it has been a few weeks – I rarely feel “photo ready” right now so while doing my chores may be a good perspective of daily life while pregnant.



The baby is growing and kicking, moving lots and is head down (Praise the Lord for that!). While there are the typical aches and pains of late pregnancy going on, I am still grateful in my heart for the blessing of this little one, who has already captured our hearts even without being born physically.


I have been able to stay on top of my “plan” to do some deep cleaning and organizing before baby is born, which also coincides with Christmas {perhaps, a mixed blessing!}.  Daily, there have been some major tasks crossed off on the to-do list, which is very encouraging – ie, cleaned out the pantry, prepared and cleaned out gardens for winter, cleaned out my closet, cleaned linen/baby closet, cleaned school room hutches, organized and cleaned laundry room … there’s much to do still, but most of the projects require my husband (like prepping chicken coop for winter and getting the barn ready for the goats to have their first winter with us).   It feels GREAT to get some projects out of the way {even if I pay for it with annoying Braxton Hicks contractions as a result}.


Our midwife care has been fantastic – I highly recommend visiting a midwife if you are expecting. The care is very different and very natural. I am so grateful for the wonderful doctor in my life that encouraged me to try a VBAC nine years ago, which then resulted in many successful deliveries – AND I am so grateful for my sweet midwife who has been with me for the past three babies.


We have not settled on any names yet – eek! We have our standby boy name that we have never been able to use, but still have not chosen a girl name.
We might be choosing a name after baby is born.  I suppose that is okay, right?

November 12, 2015 - 12:27 pm

Samantha Erin - You look so beautiful Gillian…and that beautiful golden light is so yummy. I love the name Laurel. I did a photoshoot with a girl Laurel and it really struck me as such a lovely name and very unique.

November 11, 2015 - 2:11 am

Lauren - Looking good, Gillian! 32 weeks already, I can’t believe it…… Soon you’ll be holding your baby girl (heeeheeee) :) :):) I thought of some girl names, Lulu, Lily, Lauren ;) have a blessed evening!

November 10, 2015 - 11:09 am

Liz - Totally fine to pick a name after! We were set on this baby being aria… When she was born, she was definitely not an aria! ;)
You look beautiful, so happy for you all!

November 8, 2015 - 7:35 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - GORGEOUS!!! Love this picture Gillian! You should frame this one. Did Lacey take it? Can’t wait to see and hold the new “baby”, no matter what the name or sex. xoxo

November 8, 2015 - 4:00 pm

Heather - You look amazing :)
Just catching up on your blog because it’s been a few months! Love it all.
I had a name all set for my third daughter and changed it the next day in the hospital. I had struggled with the commonness of the name but I just couldn’t imagine anything other than Emily in the end.
Can’t wait to meet the newest little one!

November 7, 2015 - 1:44 am

Tawnia - I was thinking of you today! :) While trying to decide on our “girl” name (we too have a boy one already but its so hard with each girl to find a new “love” girl name) :) I came across the name Lisbeth and it made me think of you :)

November 6, 2015 - 10:52 pm

Cassy - Hey Gillian congratulations and good luck I miss you guys I hope all the other girls are good

November 6, 2015 - 1:11 pm

Erin Lynn - Choosing a name after baby is born is perfectly fine! No worries. Just call him/her “baby” which is what everyone does for the first month anyway. Beautiful pics of a sweet expectant mama. You might inspire us all to have more. Of course, I’m trying to talk my husband into “just one more” anyway.

November 6, 2015 - 11:24 am

Sarah - You look so lovely! These picture are so beautiful with the lighting and the old-fashioned clothes basket. : )

November 5, 2015 - 1:14 pm

admin - Thank you, ladies, for your sweet words. :)

P.S. Teresa, would you mind emailing me your phone number? I have a favor to ask you and my email is not working right now (to send, I can receive, but not send)….? :) Thank you!

November 5, 2015 - 1:05 pm

Teresa - You look amazing… I see a little Laura as a perfect girls name as you now have your own little house on the prairie..ummm hills ! God is good!!!

November 4, 2015 - 11:05 pm

Julianne - My husband and I are expecting our first this Christmas (I’m just one week ahead of you :) ), and we were blown away by the difference in care that we experienced when we switched from an OB to a midwife! Our midwife team has truly been an answer to prayer and we feel so relaxed going into this birth! (at least at this point!)

We are the same as you – still fishing for a name. Although we know we have a son on the way. If we had a daughter coming we would be all set to go!

November 4, 2015 - 6:51 pm

Kristina - Wow, 32 weeks already! You look beautiful!

Stitches of Love

Lately, as the weather has turned a bit cooler and Autumn embraces the November chill, the girls and I have been indoors a bit more. This means more time to pick up the crochet needles, knitting needles and looms on those grey afternoons of quietly sitting by the fire. Sometime we listen to audio stories, other times we can watch a movie during our crochet/knitting, but sometimes I just find the girls picking up their projects as they please throughout the day.


As our thoughts turn to Christmas, this year, we have decided to knit or crochet (or loom) baby and child hats to send overseas.

The girls are calling their hat project Stitches of Love



{Lyla’s first few hats she created}



We will be sending the little hats to a Salvation Army compound hospital in Zambia – the same compound Abby and I were able to spend some time at when we were first married.
We have also contacted some missionaries in Nepal to see if the hats can be distributed there, as well.


{Lacey’s growing collection of baby hats}

It’s exciting to see the girls creating these little hats with a purpose to bless others!


If you know of any children who would like to create a few hats (or a LOT of hats!)
to send along with our packages,  we want to encourage as many children to participate.
If we could have 10 children knit up 10 hats each, we will have a lovely little parcel to send overseas!
And using a loom does not take long.
It is encouraging and exciting for the children to see their finished work in less than a day.
We could easily reach 100 hats in little time!
Send me an email at gillian @ and we can talk over details.:)

Happy Knitting/Crocheting!

Making Mixes

Nesting. It’s a wonderful thing.

Except I think I would do all of these tasks anyways, even if I was not having another baby.

For our family, getting ready for baby really only involves the following:

- strip cloth diapers {done}
-air out baby bed with fresh linens (although the baby co-sleeps with us for quite some time)
{someone’s still sleeping in this bed so not done yet}
-clean out diaper bag (which needed to be done anyways) {not done}
-empty out a drawer for new baby in nursery dresser {done}

And that’s about it.
Babies don’t really need a lot of “stuff” – they need their parents, a warm blanket (maybe a new knitted hat?) and lots of love.

Because we don’t know the gender, I don’t really feel too inspired to wash every article of baby clothing that we own.
It would only take one laundry load and it would all be done after baby’s born so it’s not an urgent matter.

So for me, one way to nest and prepare for a new baby, especially when you’re already a mother and have a household full of children, is de-clutter, clean and organize your home.
This includes the basement, closets, cupboards and pantry. If I can manage, I’m hoping to get to most of said items before the baby arrives, but that may be shooting for the stars. I figured if I clean at least one drawer a day – or tackle on project a day – I might just get it all done.

Or maybe not.
Because I am blogging right now – and my closet is a serious disaster (however, just to mention,
I did clean out one homeschooling/craft cupboard today as part of my overall-to-do-list, not to mention my other chores for the day).
One great thing about knowing a new baby is joining the family is the sudden urge to throw out clutter and junk.
I love it. It’s all too amazing how fast “things” accumulate when you don’t even notice.

                                                                                                          But yes, back to the nesting. Or just plain ‘getting organized’.


Besides throwing out clutter and trying to get organized, I have been stocking the pantry and canning/cold room  … this week, I’m working on make-ahead mixes.
I thought that perhaps it would also help as the girls are older and may want to bake some cookies or muffins one wintery afternoon while I snuggle the newborn on the couch.:)

So far, we have mixes prepared for the following tasty treats:

pancakes and waffles

I have pasted the instructions to the backs of the jars so it is easy to assemble in a moment’s notice.

I have often wanted to be “one of those moms” who has a nice hot breakfast warming up the kitchen on cool autumn and winter mornings. These mixes definitely help in that category.
We tested out the scones with tea for a warm, tasty breakfast this morning and they were delicious. Perfect way to start a chilly morning!

If you are interested, here are the links to the recipes I used:

Pancake & Waffle  Mix from Hearts, Hands, Home blog

Muffin Mix from Thrifty Couple{really liking this recipe!}

Cookie Mix {will come back after I find the link!}

Scone Mix from Little House Living

Brownie Mix from Hearts, Hands, Home

Do you have any make ahead mixes to share? I’d love to swap recipes …:)

November 3, 2015 - 8:05 pm

shelley - such a great idea to make the mixes ahead! love how you think :) will definitely try the scone one, I’ve been on the search for a good scone recipe forever!

November 3, 2015 - 7:11 pm

Tawnia - I will definitely be making up some of those mixes! Thank you! I have already started into the nesting, cleaning, organizing stage even though we are only 22 weeks along with #4 here :) (do you find it starts earlier with each new baby?) I love the idea of making up mixes :) Soon we will start cooking and freezing meals for the days when I am tired and prepping is just too much! :)

November 1, 2015 - 1:12 pm

Grandma Cardinal - So wonderful those L’s will be whipping up jots of goodies’
Your scones are scrumptious!

October 30, 2015 - 9:57 am

Annie - Oh Gillian! I had no idea you were expecting again. Congratulations to you and your lovely family.

October 27, 2015 - 9:28 pm

JES - Beautiful pictures Gigi! :) I also am on a make-ahead-mix kick right now! Thank you for sharing your recipes with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays… Happy nesting!

October 27, 2015 - 9:27 pm

JES - Beautiful pictures! :) I also am on a make-ahead-mix kick right now! Thank you for sharing your recipes with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays… Happy nesting!

And then We Were Five.

It’s been busy around here lately -
with scrumptious Thanksgiving feasts, reconnecting with out of town company and extended family members, family baptisms and of course …
Lovelyn’s birthday!
Five years ago, our tiniest baby yet was born the day after Thanksgiving.
So each year, her birthday is in the mad dash of turkey, stuffing, golden leaves and family festivities. A great season to have a birthday, in my opinion.

Even without hosting a party, we try to make sure each of our children know they are special and loved on their birthday.
Being in a bigger family can have it’s perks – there are lots of us around all the time so when we want to throw a party, it’s still entertaining, noisy and fun!

{In a North American society of big birthday parties, not officially throwing a “real” birthday party can often make me feel guilty, however.
And yet, growing up, I believe I had one official birthday party – and it did not bother me as a child…
So, we  have stepped away from most big birthday parties

and try to celebrate simply and with a much smaller ado – but that’s another blog post…}

We choose a Winnie the Pooh day for this sweet little girls of ours …
homemade waffles in the morning with the table decorated to theme by the big girls {so nice having girls old enough to help with things like decorating!},
Winnie the pooh snacks during the day, pin the tail of Eeyore and then a birthday dinner later with
some of the grandparents, complete with a Pooh-bear pinata (probably the best part!) …


{Look at the fantastic cake her grammie made her! We were so impressed!}

It’s very difficult to believe that five years has gone by. Makes you realize how each day is a gift and a treasure.
God bless you, sweet Lovelyn Angelica Joy, as you walk through the next year of your precious life. xo We are grateful to be your parents!


“Please, everybody, look at me!
Today I’m five years old, you see!
And after this, I won’t be four,
Not ever, ever, any more!
I won’t be three – or two – or one.
For that was when I’d first begun.
Now I’ll be five a while, and then
I’ll soon be something else again!”
-Mary Louise Allen




October 29, 2015 - 11:48 am

Maike - Do you mind sharing where you get these country praerie dresses from? I love these and am searching for such dresses a long time but can only find to glamorous vintage dresses or too stiff amish like dresses. I’m trying to find one for myself to wear.

October 18, 2015 - 12:28 pm

Sherri Smith - So sweet. I remember coming down to the hospital with Lloyd to see your newest L at the time. She was the first newborn I’d ever held, the only one that new to the world and so very very tiny. Happy birthday lovelyn.

October 17, 2015 - 9:41 pm

Lynda Lu Gibb - Your family celebrations have their root in “real” traditions..that is a blessing to see. Love shines through all your loving efforts.

October 17, 2015 - 9:05 pm

Kristina - I hear you on the big-birthday culture, and I agree with you all the way. What are we teaching our children with extravagant affairs, other than to value extravagance? Simple, homely birthdays are the sweetest and the best! It looks like you made a lovely birthday party for Lovelyn. Very sweet.

October 16, 2015 - 6:52 pm

Rachel Joy - I cannot believe she’s 5!! I remember when you were pregnant with her. I remember when she was born! We did all those tiny bath bombs at that time. Oh Lovelyn! Sweet girl. Happy birthday!

Do you love being home? {+ a homemade pasta recipe}

September was such a pleasant month. It’s hard to believe it’s quickly coming to an end.


We were on our way home  from the girls’ Bells and Chimes choir practice the other day and we had to stop at the cottage (Grandparent’s home) quickly. My father in law and his retired good friend were sitting casually by the river, drinking coffee and chatting, watching the salmon swim upstream. The good friend was saying how his wife was back at their farm, preparing homemade pastas for their dinner. He raved about his wife’s cooking and you could see the pride in his eyes as he described the delicious home cooked meal that would be waiting for him when he arrived home.


What struck me is that this wife could easily have been out … shopping … being busy, basically, not at home … she’s child free and not “tied” to being at home. However,  every time I have dropped by their house, she’s doing something around their cute country homestead. Canning, cleaning horse stalls, cooking meals, cleaning, gardening, hanging her laundry on the line. She truly must love being a home maker – and I respect her for that. My mom is also a great example to me – she also loves to be home, cook, preserve food, clean, organize, bless others by inviting them over for delicious meals …


Having a busy schedule and running about can be a very big distraction from taking care of your home and family. There are many attractive diversions in this world that keep our hearts and minds far from home – and many of those outside engagements are valid and wonderful – but too much on your plate is still too much on your plate. I think it is very easy to validate our outside commitments and push aside our duties at home in favor of busier, sometimes more glamorous schedules.

Speaking of on your plate, the story of the homemade pasta inspired me to get out our pasta maker (given to us by a dear friend – thank you, Kate!) and make some fresh pasta noodles for our dinner that night. The girls helped and found it as exciting as ever to roll the dough through the maker and watch lovely noodles form.




 Here is a basic pasta recipe:

{We double for our family.}

2 eggs

2 cups of flour

pinch of salt

teaspoon of olive oil


Pour 1 3/4 cups flour into a large bowl and make a well in the center.
Crack eggs into the well and mix flour and eggs together with a fork.
Stir oil and salt into mixture; gradually add water and remaining flour until a dough starts to come together.

Knead dough until dough is elastic and soft.
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Separate into three equal sections, flatten out with pasta roller twice.

Choose the settng you wish for a particular noodle type and roll dough through pasta maker. That’s it!




We laid the noodles on a floured cookie tray until ready to cook.


Cook in boilng water for three to five minutes – add to favorite pasta sauce and enjoy!

October 1, 2015 - 8:21 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings - Oh yummy! Thank you for sharing this!! I would love to have a pasta maker! I make homemade chicken and noodles recipe that is super yummy and make those noodles from scratch. I have an idea already what im gonna use these noodles for!

October 1, 2015 - 1:44 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Good job, Gillian and girls! The pasta looks amazing and I bet it tasted delicious! Yes, I LOVE being a homemaker and cherish those years that I was able to be home. Alas, my life has reversed and now I am a working woman but I will always have fond memories of being at home, being “just a wife and mother” Loved it!!! xoxo