Gigi's Blog bio picture
  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Mother to six Little Women and Two Little Men. Married to a Happy Mortician. Caretaker to goats, chickens and many, MANY bunnies. Photographer. Homeschooler. Lover of Jesus, coffee & tea and all things pink & vintage.

Golden Eyed Frogs

“If you have not done it recently, try getting out somewhere into the fields or woods, even country lanes, or on hard packed sand running along a shore … discover a bit of moss still green as it sheds its snow and seems to hint of spring to come, clinging to the base of a tree.
Walk for an hour … along tiny paths, up steep hills, following a stream bed.

It is in nature, among the things which God has created designed and brought forth Himself,
that we are in the most natural atmosphere to be inspired.
Creative ideas are apt to flow in the midst of the creativity expressed in God’s creation…”
-The Hidden Art of Homemaking

 

The once spring warm air has slowly changed into a cool misty May morning. Older girls were settled around the kitchen table, working away steadily to finish their book work before the warm weather arrived again, tempting them to explore the great outdoors, leaving their stubby pencils, well-worn erasers and rabbit-eared books neglected.

The three little ones were tromping through the yard, finding new, inviting places to discover and explore on this drizzly morning. Their small rubber boots were coated with fresh mud and their faces were shining. The fields around our home recently became alive with the signs and sounds of spring – including the amazing, wonderful calls of newly awakened frogs and toads alike. It was just awaiting the discovery of the three small ones.

 

While the baby slept, I quickly carried out the large laundry basket, overflowing with wet, clean laundry. Spring muddy season certainly increases the laundry loads, not to mention the potty training of our resident young man of the house. I remembered seeing the Amish hang their laundry on misty wet mornings, when we visited Pennsylvania quite a few years ago … I suppose it will still dry

“A little drizzle won’t harm anything,” I thought to myself as I pegged up the articles of clothing, skirts and blouses, little boy overalls and many, many socks {mostly mismatched}. I recalled my grandmother calling a little rain “an extra rinse” for the laundry.

 

My just turned six year old daughter was down in the long grasses at the corner by the field, eyeing up the new frogs that had suddenly appeared for springtime. Her giggles and splashing were so abundant I was surprised when she leaped up, slimy frog in hand, and proudly pronounced…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I got it! I got the big momma one, mommy!” she squealed with excitement.

 

 

 

Bringing the poorly-handly frog to me, she raised him (or her?) up to my eye level.

“This one’s the mommy,” she firmly stated, pointing to the squishy, frightened frog. “The mommas are bigger. See …? And look at her eyes… they have GOLD!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“There’s HUNDREDS of them, mommy,” my little girl said, pointing back to her little pond-ish spot. “And they’re all making babies.”

 

I oohed and ahhed over the spotty frog and looked into the eyes of the little girl who was so excited to be catching such creatures on this misty morning.

It is in these moments, these dirty, normal every day moments, that my heart just bursts with thankfulness to be a mother … it means so much to be at home with these children … to see them growing, tromping through the mud, freckles slowly sprinkling out on their noses after a few days of spring-like sunshine … seeing new every-day, yet exciting details … the regular happenings of a normal, regular day … I know it all could missed in a blink of an eye … I know it is a gift from my Creator … I know He has blessed our family with these children … with a life of laundry and baking and messes and noisy dinners and muddy mornings … I wouldn’t trade it for any other creative career or tempting travel.

 

The God who created, names and numbers the stars in the heavens
also numbers the stars of my head. He pays attention to very big things and to very small ones.
What matters to me matters to Him, and that changes my life.
– Elisabeth Elliot

=
May 9, 2018 - 2:01 pm

Gigi Yes, I know … time marches on, sadly! 🙁
I do that, too, Tara, you are so smart! I even just buy black socks from the dollar store. Their grandma has purchased “fancier” socks and that is where the problem comes in …. I need to ditch all socks except black or grey!

May 9, 2018 - 12:32 pm

Tara C I can’t believe how grown your kids are! It seems like they should still be little babies!
An idea for socks – our kids love to take their socks off and just leave them all around the house. lol! This often means mismatched socks. For our son, we’ve found that buying a pack of socks all the same colour works really well!

May 9, 2018 - 6:37 am

Gigi I KNOW! She just turned six last week!!!

May 9, 2018 - 12:10 am

Rachel Joy Wait a minute…Leia is already 6?? I remember when she was born!! She is too cute loving on that froggy. <3

May 8, 2018 - 5:20 pm

Monica This made me smile! One, we have a toad that has been waking us up every morning and my son volunteered to go out and find it this morning. It was right under our window and I loved how he described it. “It’s just a green frog, mom, with a big hanging thing at his throat”. It sure did sound like a big ole toad to me! Second, I too, leave my laundry if a little shower comes up. It’s too much trouble to load the damp laundry back to the house, only to have the sun come out and dry it a few minutes later. Or we hope it turns out that way!

May 8, 2018 - 3:17 pm

Brenda (Gigi’s mom) So sweet … I love frogs too … Good for Leia!!! Love nature … God is good and we love his creations!! xoxo

Rising Early

 

I love them that love me;
and those that seek me early shall find me.

Proverbs 8:17

 

 

It is with a happy heart that my feet touch the floor in the morning.

I have come to absolutely love my early mornings, watching the sun rise, quiet and peaceful. It is my private time to sit and read my Bible, drink my first cup of lovely coffee and enjoy an hour with the Lord.

I was convicted to rise up early last year when I realized that there really was no other quiet time during the day to do devotions or spend quality time reading the Bible. There are so many verses in the Bible that tell us Jesus, Himself, rose early. Is there a better example to follow that our Lord’s?

One of my favorite woman in history is Susannah Wesley. She also taught her children to rise up early and spend time in the Scriptures. Her son, John Wesley, was devoted to rising early as an adult. He would wake up at 4 a.m. and study his Bible. What a mother to have taught her children – and by her own example!

My own mother is a good example of a devout early rising – I believe she rises at 3:30 am.! She is amazing. I will settle for 4:30 a.m., or 5 a.m. if it has been a late night with a baby. 🙂

Getting up early before the family has proven to be one of the best habits I have formed. For indeed, it is a habit, a training one must work to gain. It does not always come naturally to everyone, but with training, it can be attained. {It helps to have a cat that needs to be let outside every morning around 4 a.m. and a baby that needs nursing around that time, as well!}

Naturally, I have always been a night owl, but with the birth of each child and the busier my days became, my cozy bed called my name earlier and earlier. Now instead of going to bed at midnight, my husband and I try to get to bed by 9:30 – 10 p.m. at the latest. I rise around 4:30 a.m.- 5 a..m. although my best approach is to rise at 4:30. A.m.

This leaves a practical amount of time to do some morning routines and still allow time for Bible reading, prayer and daily prep work for homeschool.

Some of my friends, who know I like to wake up early, have asked how I can manage without waking up the household. When I rise, I slip quietly downstairs without my slippers on. Slippers definitely seem noisier when the entire household is asleep! I choose to get ready downstairs, using the extra bathroom to freshen up for the day. If I was to get ready upstairs, no doubt I would wake someone up. Once I am dressed and ready, I light a fire in the kitchen woodstove to warm up the kitchen and check the back woodstove to see if it needs new wood. (In the cooler months, we try to keep it running throughout the night as it heats the girls’ side of the house.) Still tiptoeing about, but now in slippers, I return to the kitchen to boil my water for coffee.  We use a large Bodem style coffee pot which works wonderful with the cookstove.

Hot, steaming coffee tastes so lovely in the morning. Now it is time for my Bible study! Grabbing my Bible, pen, planner (which I loosely use) and my big cup of hot coffee (cream and half a sugar, please), I return to the cozy back room, which is now toasty warm from a nice roaring fire.

There is a lovely rocking in this room, just cozy enough to nurse your baby in or curl up with a book – and that is where the morning devotions take place. It is opposite of the fire and the warmest spot in our house in the early mornings.

I am reading through the Bible using a schedule from Alistair Begg’s Truth for Life ministry. Every day, I am emailed a list of four chapters which are scheduled to be read. It is easy to follow and I love it … I use my beautiful King James Bible. It is my favorite.

 

 

When the Bible reading is over, I will copy a few verses that speak to me into my planner. This is also my time to pray and be quiet.

It is always a blessing to read an Above Rubies devotional, as well.

At this point, it is nearly time for the family to awake.  If I have time, I will print some work off for the girls’ school, or I will order some books online and so forth. This is also the time that breakfast is started and dinner is prepped. My daily goal is to have dinner prepped and ready by breakfast or at the very latest, lunch time. It takes the stress away from wondering what is for dinner all day long … and it leaves my afternoons more relaxed.

{My Bible cover was made by Frannie – I just love it!}

If I am awarded enough time, this is also the perfect time to prep something for baking – either cookies or muffins or a few loaves of bread. By breakfast time, the cookstove is generally warm enough to begin baking. If I can mix everything ahead before the little ones wake up, it is much easier. While doing some kitchen work, I am able to listen to an Elisabeth Elliot morning broadcast. The broadcast is only 15 minutes – I wish it were longer some mornings, but it’s perfect to get your morning going.

 

And this, ladies, is the BEST way to start my morning! I feel very passionate about waking up early – even if it just an hour before the rest of your family or your husband wakes up. It is such a blessing – such a rejuvinating way – to begin your day — at the feet of Jesus!  He knows how much sleep you need – if you have little ones or teenagers that stay up late … and He will give you the rest you need. Waking up and starting your day before your household, quiet and alone with your Bible, will be such a blessing to you – I promise. You will be refreshed and ready for your tasks at hand, your challenges and you will find spiritual and physical rest in your Heavenly Father.

 

 

 Cause me to hear thy loving kindness in the morning;
for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk;
for I lift up my soul unto thee.

Psalm 148:3

 

 

 

April 28, 2018 - 5:07 am

Gigi I love that you still rise early, even though you do not have to! You are a great example!

April 27, 2018 - 5:54 pm

Brenda Clair (Gigi’s Mom) I think this is an amazing post!! Even though I don’t have any children at home, I also love to rise early! It’s so much easier to hear the Lord, in the still quiet hours of the morning. I am sure there are many scriptures about early rising too! Love the post, Gillian … thanks for the inspiration. xo

April 26, 2018 - 5:03 pm

Gigi Kristin, wow, well, thank you. I do write from what is on my heart – I never want to seem judgemental or preachy or like it’s perfect out here, but we’re all on this journey of loving Christ and growing closer to Him until we reach Heaven.
I have not heard of Building Blocks. I shall have to look it up …do you have a link?

April 26, 2018 - 5:02 pm

Gigi Monica, I can so relate. 🙂

April 26, 2018 - 5:02 pm

Gigi Danessa, that is wonderful! I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

April 26, 2018 - 11:13 am

Kristin Dear Gigi,
Your posts are always so lovely and affirming. You share in such a sweet and practical way that I look forward to each post.
I love Truth for Life and especially BBN and E.E. I also love Building Blocks for the Family. Having these messages to listen to and encourage me while I work are such a treasure. Thank you for taking the time you spend on writing.
Kristin

April 26, 2018 - 10:14 am

Danessa Stride Thank you so much for your inspiring words, you are such a blessing! I have just downloaded the BBN app on my phone, and will be using it! Love your posts, keep up the great work!

April 26, 2018 - 9:30 am

Monica This was so encouraging! It brought back a memory of a few years ago when I probably had four small children at the time (now I have six, age 15-4). I was feeling particularly overwhelmed and frustrated on this day. I was sweeping my living room and I could show you the exact spot I was standing where I was both sweeping and inwardly crying out to God. And it was like a ton of bricks hit me that said “5am”. I was like, what? Surely not, Lord! But I did start obeying and wasn’t always perfect at rising at that time, but on the days I did, it was amazing how much more smoothly my day would go and I have great memories of moments in my Bible and prayer. Now my day starts a little later (usually our mini Jersey, Ellie, wakes me, mooing for her breakfast and I’m scared she’s going to wake the neighbors) since my children are older but it’s ALWAYS a blessing to rise before the rest of the house and gives such a peaceful start to the day. Loved this blog and your pictures. And I’m definitely checking out the resources you linked. We enjoy Alistair Begg and also I’ve always loved Elisabeth Elliot’s ministry. Checking those out…. Have a great day, Gigi!

April 25, 2018 - 7:18 pm

Gigi Well, I’m sort of the girl that jumps in feet first, all or nothing. So yes, cold turkey. 🙂

April 25, 2018 - 6:27 pm

Kristal Oh Gigi, so convicting! May I ask, when you decided to rise earlier, did you do it cold turkey, or did you rise earlier in small increments until you reached your desired time?

Spring Cleaning {Feathering Your Nest 💕}

“The homeliest tasks get beautiful if loving hands do them.”
~ Louisa May Alcott

 

 

Our Ontario April has been cold, full of snow and ice, but … it is still SPRING … and warmer temperatures are coming soon!

The cooler weather has not stopped us from doing some good ol’ fashioned SPRING CLEANING (my favorite!) and planting some seeds for the family garden (also a favorite!). In fact, the drop in temperatures has meant we are able to spend more time indoors and manage to clean a few pesky areas that needed some cleaning attention.

 

My personal goal is to do one extra chore every day. While I still have my regular chore and tasks at home, if I try to clean at least one extra area every day, I just feel better about the day. Perhaps it is like a constant Spring Cleaning cycling through the house …

 

For example, yesterday, while the girls were playing outside after school, I cleaned out the master bathroom drawers, the utensil drawer in the kitchen. The previous day, I cleaned out three pantry shelves, repainted and stocked them back nice and clean.

Spring Cleaning … do you attempt it? I feel as if the art of homemaking and cleaning is lost in this new generation. There is joy in cleaning your home, however, and there should be a feeling of peace as you look back over your home, tidy and neat. Oh, how I love a good cleaning! I’m not very great at organizing yet (I am working on it) but I do love to clean – something I probably inherited from my very clean, very organized, very orderly mother. ☺ She is much, MUCH more organized than I will ever hope and dream to be, but at least I can enjoy my cleaning sprees!

 

Last week, I posted a list on the fridge for all the girls and I to see. Each day, we pick one item to cross off on the Spring Cleaning list. So far, we have cleaned all the upstairs windows and sills, cleaned out the boy closet, tidied the girls’ closet (but it is a constant problem with six girls getting their clothes, etc.) and I even cleaned the master closet (the place where all the extra “no home” items end up).

We still have much to do – this week, I hope we can get to the downstairs windows and tidy up the rock border that lines the flower beds around the home (once the snow melts!).

Whenever there is a sunny day, I pull down some curtains and begin washing the curtains, as well. I just LOVE hanging the laundry on the line outside! It is so fresh and clean smelling! There is NOTHING like it. I have not used a dryer in four years, but even line drying inside is no comparison to hanging your laundry outdoors in the fresh air.

When the sun shines, I have noticed a dingy film over our kitchen walls from the cookstove. I do think that will be my Saturday chore this weekend – scrubbing down the walls in the kitchen. Our old home needs some baseboards washing, as they very dusty, especially from the woodstoves …{update: I was able to scrub down all my kitchen walls today before breakfast as I got up extra early to get this task done! A blessing indeed!}

The family vehicle needs a good spring cleaning, as well!

 

{homemade dishwashing soap – it is much gentler on my hands.
We wash all our dishes by hand.}

 

Just for fun, I thought it would be a good time to list my favorite cleaning materials:

 

Fly Lady purple rags – these are truly the best cleaning rags and I just LOVE them! They do everything … clean windows, wipe all surfaces, wash dishes, clean walls … the list is endless.  I have even given these rags to friends as friend because I love them that much! I have tried to find cheaper rags elsewhere but never has anything come close to these lovely purple rags. 

Norwex window rags – I have not had to buy paper towel in years. We have used these window rags for three years now and they are just fabulous. I usually wipe down with the Fly Lady purple rag and then dry with these Norwex window rags.

Norwex Mop – My mother had this mop but did not use it. She gifted it to me, which was a HUGE blessing. I just love this handy mop. It works so well and it’s easy to use.

All Purpose Miracle Cleaner – my favorite household cleaner right now. You can use whatever essential oil pleases you, so you can adjust it to the season and your mood. Right now, I am using Rosemary to boost the cleaning powers. It is just lovely. Sometimes I add tea tree oil or lemon. Both oils are amazing and have powerful cleaning abilities.

Here is the recipe:

Add 1/2 cup of Borax to 2 gallons of warm water. Add a tablespoon of dish soap and 1/4 cup of vinegar. Mix well. Add essential oils of choice.

Borax: that lovely box of cleaning powder, is really a miracle cleaner – I always make sure I have a few boxes in the store room for the household cleaning. I have read that it is possible Borax was possibly used even in Bible times! As it is a naturally occurring mineral, from what I gather, it is completely safe and healthy to use in your home and for your cleaning products. It can be used in toilets, on carpets, to make homemade laundry soap and scrub showers.

 

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

1   Fels-Naptha  or Linda soap bar
1  Cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½  Cup Borax

-Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads)

I will make up a big batch and store it in some glass jars I have found at local thrift stores.

At the end of a cleaning spree, I love to sit back and admire the wonderful job. Nothing has to be perfect but it should be clean. I also think this teaches my daughter the value in keeping a clean home!  One thing I have noticed with my sweet, precious grandmother is that no matter where she lives – whether it was a trailer, mobile home, apartment or house – she had it sparkling clean and welcoming. I never saw a speck a dust in her home! I truly believe a clean home is a welcoming home. It should not matter whether you live in a fancy house or a modest home, it is your job to keep it clean! With this large family of mine, we need to stay on top of the cleaning. Our regular chores are done daily – our extra house blessings are done as needed. And our home is FAR from perfect. I will get one room clean and then before I know it, another room needs a deep cleaning. That is life, I suppose, but we will continue to clean and see the fresh blessings!

When you have finished your extra task for the day, sit down, pour yourself a cuppa tea and light a fresh scented candle. Enjoy the the fruits of your labour!

 

To be… discreet, chaste,
keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands,
that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Titus 2:5

 

 

April 23, 2018 - 5:02 pm

Gigi Ohhh, I like the sounds of that book! I might have to put it on my wish list. I browsed online through it this morning – it looks fantastic!

April 23, 2018 - 5:01 pm

Gigi Milessa, I understand! My hands are the same, as well … I have heard that dry hands also is related to lack of vitamin D. My dishsoap is truly simple as I make a batch of homemade soap and then grate it to make liquid soap. In this last batch, I had some soap that did not harden well, so it made perfect dishwashing soap. I add lemon or tea tree oils to the soap as I am washing the dishes. It is much milder than store bought and without any chemicals. My homemade soap is made from coconut oil & palm oil so it is very gentle on hands.

April 22, 2018 - 9:08 pm

Milessa I just want to say, thank you so much for sharing with us. I would also like the dishwashing recipe. My hands have taken a beating this cold winter, any little good change is so needed. Hope you guys have a wonderful week. Milessa

April 22, 2018 - 8:51 am

Monica Hi, Gigi, I loved this post and the wonderful photos. I definitely enjoy cleaning and have found what works for me is “here a little, there a little”. What I do is write all of our rooms on a scrap of paper, cut it into strips and put it in a bowl. When it’s deep cleaning time, I will draw out a “room” from the bowl and that is the room I work in cleaning, organizing and purging. I usually do three rooms a week until they are all done. I guess it’s the kid in me that enjoys the “surprise” in seeing what room I have picked from the bowl.. This week I was at my daughter’s violin teacher’s house waiting on her to complete her hour lesson and I picked up A book off of her bookshelf to read while I waited. It was “Mrs. Dunwoody’s Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping”. I wondered if you have read it. When I saw your post I was reminded of that book. I really enjoyed the old fashioned perspective on cleaning and the schedule that she used back in the late 1800s. Such a delightful read!

April 21, 2018 - 5:39 pm

Katy I love spring cleaning! We have been working to get our home spring cleaned as well…although the weather has been a bit depressing! I love to line dry our clothes but only do so when it is nice out…I have some clothes outside right now actually! I love line dried towels especially….I like the scratchy feel when I get out of the bath! 🙂

I love to use Borax as well! We have a claw foot tub and I like to use it in there to give it a good cleaning! I used to make my own laundry soap…but now that I have a high efficiency washing machine I haven’t looked up if it works in those machines or not?

All your photos are just lovely! The flowers make my heart sing! I love fresh cut flowers in my home! I Just wish they lasted longer! 🙂

Norwex clothes are amazing! I don’t have the mop…but I have many of their other cloths and they are just fantastic! 🙂

I hope you and your family are having a lovely weekend and week ahead! 🙂

Warmly,
Katy

April 21, 2018 - 11:59 am

Gigi Bobbie, thank you for your sweet words!
Yes, it was great fun to kick the dryer – so to speak. I stopped using it when we moved in to our home and finally asked hubby to remove it to the garage so I could have the space for storage instead. I line dry inside by the woodstove. I hang up the clothes when we go to bed and they are dry by the morning. It is a great winter system, saves money, humidifies the house and saves the clothing! Plus, because I do it nightly, it is not too bothersome or in the way.
For the cleaner … I use a smidge of pink dishwashing soap! Yes, I put it into spray bottles.
Yes, I use the laundry soap on everything! I have for years!
Regarding stiffness from the line, we have learned to get used to it! I have tried vinegar but it does not really make too much of a difference, I found. Nothing like fluffy towels from the dyer, sure, but it is even better to have line dried fresh-smelling towels, I think! No chemicals!

April 21, 2018 - 9:00 am

Our Home of Many Blessings I love love love when you share homemade goodies!! I would love to kick the dryer, and have hung my clothes and such on the line for years. Theres nothing like hanging back up your curtains from being outside on the line! What do you hang your clothes on inside the house?Do you have a trick for the stiffness that you might get in certain clothes,jeans,or towels?Also I am making that homemade detergent for sure! Do you use this recipe on everything including cloth diapers,baby clothes,delicates,etc.? How did you make your homemade cleaner pink?Its so lovely! Do you just pour it into spray bottles when you need some?Would you share your dish soap recipe also?…PS…Im so glad your back!

April 20, 2018 - 7:58 pm

Gigi Kristal, thank you for your encouragement. I agree – hard copies of information is the way to go!

April 20, 2018 - 5:51 pm

Kristal I love your recipes! After your website crashed I learned I can’t rely on Pinterest to keep my recipes safe. My goal this month is to write out all my favorites on recipe cards to store safely. Thank you for continuing to share. I’m so glad to see your blog up and running safely again!

When You Need Time to Slow

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour
dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.

-Henry James
Portrait of a Lady

{a “new” to us teapot, my sweet husband brought home last night}

Sitting together in the evening, after the busy-ness of dinner time, cleanup, bed time baths and barn chores and family devotions, I confessed to my husband …

“I do wish I could freeze time right now …” I said, sipping my chamomile tea before bed. 

My husband nodded and we both sat, quietly, watching the flickering fire in the woodstove. With our eldest now 14 years old and still a baby in the house, our family’s ages extend a wide range now. There are needs at every level.

Yet, the girls are at such great ages – some independant and some still needing mommy & daddy …  the boys are still the babies and we have yet to experience having an older boy around the house.  With eight children, we have older and younger ones all mixed together … yes, certainly we make up one big, messy, noisy happy family … but it’s SUCH a blessing!

 

I truly feel as if all my energy is devoted in this family of mine – I do not have much left to give to other events or outings or gatherings. Everything is carefully selected in regards to how much time and energy I can spend outside the home. Although I’m finding it very busy and very full, the days are sweet and filled with memories in the making.

 

Sometimes I wish I could pour this feeling of motherhood into another mother’s heart … to encourage her and help her see how the days are not just do-overs, not just repeated loads of laundry (because we all have laundry to do – big or small families alike) or endless meals that need preparing … there’s SO much more .. the shaping of characters … the watering of seeds planted deep in your child’s heart … the telling of stories of Jesus and the Bible … teaching manners … reading together … baking together … making music together … gardening together … cleaning together … being silly and being serious together …

 

… learning together as a family … making mistakes and apologizing to each other … helping little ones with muddy boots and wet spring coats or standing on a stool beside mommy in the kitchen, helping prepare a tray of homemade cinnamon buns …  and if I am not careful, I feel like I could miss it all in a blink of an eye …

 

It was with this thought in mind – freezing time and wishing I could slow down the clock – I realized we needed to have our little family afternoon tea parties again. It had been awhile since we had gathered for Tea at Two on Tuesdays … this week it was time to pull up the pink velvet chairs and pour some peppermint tea and sit and be still together. To freeze time … even if just for half of an hour …

 

 

It was simple and lovely. We all read some poetry, drank our piping hot tea from chipped tea cups and passed around the teddy bear cookies. No one minded when the two year old tipped his tea cup over and ate too many of the cookies.

And then it was not long before it was nap time and all the tea cups were washed and dried and put away … the cookies were all eaten and the little ones were tucked into bed with their blankies … and there it was …

 

… a moment in time, frozen for this momma’s heart.

 

 

April 26, 2018 - 5:28 am

Gigi Thank you, Katy!

April 25, 2018 - 10:01 pm

Katy This was a lovely post!!! Not sure how I missed it! 🙂

April 19, 2018 - 12:17 pm

Gigi Paula, what a great idea to have a tea room! I love that you set time aside for a relaxing, endearing activity with your grown children…

April 19, 2018 - 11:21 am

Paula Your words soothe my morning spirit….a great way to start my day. I have a tea room in my house. When grown children come, we sit and enjoy tea. Even visitors. I am happy reading your tea story. You are a giver of forever memories for your children. Keep enjoying your life.

April 19, 2018 - 5:59 am

Gigi Sarah, yes, we have sweet cuddly kittens again. They are so fun to have around! I hope you find one soon for your family.

April 18, 2018 - 4:56 pm

Gigi Thank you for leaving a comment. Yes, I agree with you – I have to make sure I extend myself and my love and my mothering all the way down from young ones and babies to older ones … it is a good way to pour out our energy, however! Be encouraged!

April 18, 2018 - 2:55 pm

Sisters with a System Hi Gigi, I visited your blog today through the Raising Homemakers Link Up. I really appreciate your message and heart in this post. I have five children very spread out in their ages. (3-17) and have definitely felt the Lord impressing on me that too much of my time and energy is being poured into my older boys, while my younger are not getting enough slow time with mommy. Thank you for sharing your heart!

April 18, 2018 - 10:13 am

Sarah What a lovely time spent together! The little kitten is adorable. I wish I lived near you, as it seems you have kittens each spring. I am looking for a kitten, and haven’t found any ads for them in our area.

April 17, 2018 - 7:36 pm

Gigi Thank you! I will try to fix this … it is all a bit of a mess right now!

April 17, 2018 - 5:21 pm

Pamela Laurie Hi, love your blog but may I give a suggestion? It is very hard for me to read your new white on pink print. It is pretty but impossible to read. Thank you and may God bless you and your family.

Keeping Quiet When Required

{My blog was “hacked” recently so I apologize for the delay. I am grateful for the wonderful men who helped restore the blog. Please be patient as I go through it , slowly, and restore the details.}

The day was unraveling fast. I had gotten up later than I had hoped … and my devotion and quiet time was abruptly cut short by an early rising baby … breakfast was late … the three year old woke up cranky … halfway into my morning task of making an apple pie, I could feel myself feeling short and ill tempered.

I gathered the girls together around the piano after breakfast … we were to practice a few hymns that they will be singing at a small family recital in May. Flipping through our hymn book, I located our song of choice.

“Heaven Came Down”, I announced to the girls as they fidgeted and wiggled behind me. Someone poked somebody and another whined that her hair brush was still missing.

Today, I thought, we’ll try singing in harmony. 

 

“I’ll just play the lead and sing and the harmony loudly … you follow along after me,” I said, picturing the moment to be a blissful parenting moment of “aha! … NOW you can sing harmony whenever you wish!” It did not go as anticipated …

Trying to teach the older girls the art of alto proved to be more challenging. In fact, nothing seemed to be in harmony that morning.

” I can’t sing those notes,” one girl whined.

Sing louder, I instructed, tapping along the song, Heaven Came Down, on the keyboard. All I could hear was the three year old belting out the tune in my ear. At least she was singing loud enough to be heard. Still, complaints about the song were mumbled but no lovely singing angels were joining me in my choir attempts …

The song ended in frustration. It certainly did not feel like Heaven came down in that music room…
Things just got icky after that. Grumpy moods, short tempers, lazy characters were brooding in our home that morning.

Within a few hours, I could feel the frustration levels top off … I wanted to call my husband and cry or vent or explain …. I wanted him to help … {how?} or at least know challenging my day was going … and it was not even lunch time yet.

 

Something stopped me from calling him, though. I just couldn’t bring myself to pick up the phone and call him in the middle of his busy work day to complain.

 

A prayer of “Help!” was sent up to my Heavenly Father instead. A listen to a good, old fashioned sermon to get my attitude in check while I washed up the lunch dishes … a few breaths of fresh air outside in the April afternoon … it all helped.

 

I thank God I did not call my husband to complain … because deep in my heart, I knew he did not need to hear my woes and worries, even if they seemed monumental at the time. I know his day would not have been brighter and happier had I called and unloaded my troubles on him. Now, I am not saying you cannot call your husband or talk to him about your trials in your day, however I do feel there is this general mentality that women can just complain whenever they want.

I’m so busy. I’m so stressed. I can’t handle my life. My workload is wearing me down. My children are tiring. My job is too much. My life is too stressful. I’m so tired.

 

I hear this often – and sometimes it comes from my own mouth.

I am ashamed! Ladies, it’s time to pull up our socks, put a smile on our face a use the joy of the Lord as our strength.
Do our husbands need to always hear of our woes and trials by text, phone call or the minute they walk in the door? Let’s not forget … they, too, are tired. Perhaps from other trials in the day, but still they are weary.

Later that day, in our read aloud time, we read through a chapter of the Ingalls family … I noticed, in a certain situation where the family was frightened and somewhat stressed, unsure of what was to come around the next corner, Ma reacted with gentle wisdom.

“Ma looked at him astonished.
Her mouth opened and then it shut;
she did not say anything.”

-By the Shores of the Silver Lake

 

Oh, Lord, help me to be like this great wife in history!
I do not need to say everything that comes into my head. I do not need to dwell on the negative and feel sorry for myself!

No care is too small for Jesus, indeed. However, we need to be careful with our self-pity thoughts – remember: someone else is always having a worse day than you.  Do we REALLY have the right to whine? Find the joys in the day, look for the positive moments, change your mindset and avoid feeling like you cannot handle your life. God will give strength and renewed joy if you as – and if you choose to receive it!

 

Later that evening, when my husband came home, sore and tired, I greeted him at the back door. The children jumped around him like excited puppy dogs, asking him about his day and holding up their art projects for the day … I , too, greeted him and stood holding the hefty baby boy in my arms. I smiled as the man of the house slid his coat off and untied his heavy dress shoes.

“What? What are you smiling about?” he asked, suspiciously. ” What? What did you do?”

I smiled even brighter.

“Nothing,” I replied. “It’s what I didn’t do that makes me smile.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 17, 2018 - 10:45 pm

Monica I’m so glad your blog is back! And I do so relate to this post. I have complained to my husband many, many times some of which he even came home from work to take over or check on us. While I admit it was a great relief to me to have him come home, ashamedly I failed to first consult and rely on my Heavenly Father. Today I was needing to vent or rant about something and I was forming a text in my mind to a couple of my friends and the Lord helped me to see how I just needed to wait on it awhile. And “awhile” ended up being I never did text to rant or vent to them. Thank the Lord for giving us strength to be quiet. It sure keeps us from regret! He is so gracious!

April 17, 2018 - 4:20 pm

Gigi Thank you for your encouragement, Katy! It’s a slow progress in learning for me, as well… 🙂

April 17, 2018 - 1:08 pm

Katy Loved this! I love your honesty and how you point to Christ…always! 🙂 And you are *so* right…we don’t always need to open our mouths…this is a lesson I too am learning (albeit slowly!).

I’m sorry your blog got hacked! How awful! Your updated look is pretty though! 🙂

April 13, 2018 - 6:00 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings This is exactly what I needed to hear today!Thanks for Sharing your thoughts.Somebody else does go through this to!!