Gigi Blog » The life and loveliness of Gigi's World

Gigi Blog bio picture
  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Blessed to be a mother to half a dozen girls & one boy. Wife of an undertaker.
    Photographer. Homeschooler. Daughter of the King. Chicken and goat raiser.
    Lover of Jesus and all things pink and vintage. ♥

Delicious Rhubarb Ketchup

 

If your garden is bursting with those big leafy lovely stalks of rhubarb, here is a way to use one of Spring’s first wonderful vegetables.

 

 

Don’t judge this recipe by the title of it – it is so delicious, so scrumptious, your family will love it! We have used it on steaks and burgers, but it can go over anything in regards to your dinner. Use it as a sidedish for a meat, slather your chicken in it and bbq, use it as a dip with crackers and cream cheese … but, Abby says it is best on a good meaty burger!

 

 

So, here is the lovely Rhubarb Ketchup recipe, given to me by my friend, Jen. (Thank you, Jen! We love it!)
I made two double batches of this ketchup and have canned it for the Provision Room.

~Rhubarb Ketchup~

4 cups of fresh or frozen rhubarb
3 medium onions, chopped
1 can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of white vinegar
2 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. of cinnamon
1 Tbsp. of pickling spice (drop in in a cheesecloth of some version of a spice bag)

In a large saucepan, combine the first eight ingredients.
Place pickling spice in a cheesecloth bag and drop into the pot.
Cook for one hour or until thickened.
I let mine simmer slowly for quite a few hours on the wood cookstove,
as I did not have a high hot fire going.

Once it is thick enough for your liking, discard spice bag.
Ladle into clean mason jars (size of your choice) and process in the water bath the smaller jars for 15 minutes.
After allowing it to cool on your counter, make sure the lids have sealed.
Tuck away into your Provision Room or canning room for months to come of ways to spice up your dinner dishes.
(It will also make a great Father’s Day gift…)

 

 

 

Enjoy! xo

 

 

 

Shared with Strangers & Pilgrims

June 2, 2017 - 12:37 am

Rebecca - I am going to try this. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

May 31, 2017 - 6:07 am

Gigi - Yum! Yes, that sounds a bit like our rhubarb sauce we make.

May 31, 2017 - 6:06 am

Gigi - Mom, it’s more like a sauce, relish, etc. for a side dip of a meat, etc. Ketchup has such a low quality sound to it but it is good!

May 30, 2017 - 9:16 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Yum!! We don’t eat much ketchup but look forward to having it on a burger at your place!! Love Mom xo

May 30, 2017 - 8:54 pm

Jan - I love relishes etc and am currently enjoying a caramelised onion relish which is wonderful on cold meats. However I would not waste rhubarb unless I had a paddock of it growing, nor would I make a relish from it. I am well aware it is classed as a vegetable but down here it is mostly used as a dessert. Rhubarb crumble, cooked and served hot with custard, or , my favourite, cold with thick cream. Wash well and cut into pieces a couple of centimetres long. Place in saucepan and cook very gently over a low heat. Be carefu;l as it catches easily. When soft , give it a stir and remove from heat. Carefully stir sugar into it, a bit ata time. Too much is as unpleasant as too little. The sugar will easily blend into the hot rhubarb.

Chicks, Rhubarb & Turkeys

 

 

Early this Saturday morning, Abby drove an hour away to pick up our little chicks. They will be raised for meat and eggs – they are a heritage breed, called Chantceler. We have moved away from the “traditional” meat bird for various reasons {mainly, wanting to be even healthier}. This breed, which originated in Canada, seems to fit all our needs – a good meaty bird, larger, can withstand traditional Ontario winters, and even lay eggs in the winter (we are hoping!).

We may eat half and keep half for the winter. We shall see.

 

 

 

 

There will be approximately 40 in total but the original hatch did not go as planned (when talking about animals, gardens, nature – we really need to rely on God – and whatever happens, happens), so we only have 20 chicks right now.

 

We are also raising a dozen turkeys – they are pretty cute as chicks.

Lacey found a favorite turkey and named him Noah. He pops his head up and down and strides along the cage faster and and peeps louder than the others. I asked her why his name is Noah – silly me, it’s because Noah’s ark landed in Turkey…


She asked that he be spared from eating.

 

 

I have two goose eggs under my friend’s broody hen – so I am praying they hatch! Wouldn’t it be fun to have some little goslings?


With perfect timing – or not so perfect timing – we also discovered a family of weasels or minks living in Abby’s work garage. This is bad news for someone raising any kind of small animal, especially chickens, ducks and turkeys. We have put out traps and poison but nothing has caught them yet. We are praying they do not start attacking the hens – it could only be a matter of time. They are vicious little creatures!

On another note, since our sweet baby #8 is due right in the midst of a big canning season, I have decided to plan ahead. All my soups and stews, I will try to can over the summer. I started canning some homemade chili this weekend, along with an Italian tomato chicken soup. If I can one type of soup or stew each week, we will have plenty for the Provision Room. This is a canning item I cannot skip as it makes such a difference in our busy days – just being able to pull out a jar of homemade soup during the cooler months and warm it up for the children for lunch or dinner is an amazing blessing.

Along with the recent batch of chili and soup, rhubarb was on the canning schedule.

Our neighbours down the road have a lovely, huge patch of rhubarb. They offered some to us so of course, I accepted! The girls helped chop up the stalks and we have made rhubarb ketchup, stewed rhubarb and vanilla rhubarb jam so far.

Would you care for the recipe of the Vanilla Rhubarb jam?

The original recipe is found here.

Vanilla Rhubarb Jam

  • 10 cups of chopped rhubarb
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup brewed Earl Grey tea
  • 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 packet of pectin
    (If you are unsure of using pectin, as I am, you may simply try a slow boil to reduce the jam further and skip the pectin addition altogether.
    Your jam may be a bit runnier, but that is okay, in my opinion.)

Combine the rhubarb, steeped tea and sugar and cook till boiling on the stovetop. Add the vanilla, lemon and allow it to bubble away gently for a few minutes (judge how long it will take, depending on how much liquid there is in your pot). When it has simmered away for roughly 10-15 minutes, add the pectin. Stir in gently and cook for another 5 or so minutes. Feel free to do a spoon test (pop a spoon in your freezer for a few minutes, remove and drop a bit of jam onto the cold spoon. Run your finger through the jam – if it stays and does not run, it is ready. If it runs back together, it will need a few more minutes to cook away).
Pour into jars of preferred size.
Wipe rims and ensure they are clean before putting on the new seal lids.
Process in the water bath canner for 10 minutes.

We had the stewed rhubarb sauce over pancakes this morning – it was so lovely! My husband was pleasantly surprised. This rhubarb sauce is scrumptious over vanilla ice cream, as well.

Here is the recipe for stewed rhubarb – which is SUPER easy to make:

Stewed Rhubarb Sauce

  • 6 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

    To be honest, since this recipe is so simple, I did not even really measure – but I surely doubled the recipe portions to ensure we have enough later in the year. Cook your rhubarb and ingredients over a medium heat until it a stew-like texture. Transfer to canning jars of your choice. I water bathed it for 20 minutes.

Are you interested in the rhubarb ketchup recipe? It is bubbling away on the stove top right now and we will have it over steaks tonight. It smells so lovely … what have you done with your rhubarb?

 

 

 

 

 

May 30, 2017 - 8:46 pm

Gigi - We love rhubarb strawberry crisp! I plan on making rhubarb strawberry pie filling, as well. Love the idea of rhubarb in the water! Great thinking! I was thinking it would be perfect in kefir water.

May 30, 2017 - 5:54 pm

Rebecca - Thanks for all the rhubarb recipes! Since I live a lot further north than you do, my rhubarb plants aren’t quite ready for harvesting, but I will be ready now when they are! I usually make rhubarb strawberry jam and just freeze a bunch for rhubarb water (instead of lemons, just throw diced frozen rhubarb in the water! Makes it tart and pink!) and rhubarb strawberry crisp. Yum!

May 30, 2017 - 2:06 pm

Gigi - Thank you for your encouragement, Stacy! I do love an old fashioned life!

May 30, 2017 - 6:51 am

Stacy - I really enjoy your blog. I love the old fashion lifestyle you bring. Would love to see your home. It looks beautiful in pictures. Have a blessed week

May 29, 2017 - 5:45 pm

Gigi - That is so kind of you, Kim! I will always take rhubarb! 🙂 But I have a good supply down the road so if you need to share with someone else, then please, share the rhubarb love around. 🙂

May 28, 2017 - 8:24 am

Kim Robbins - Gillian, if you need anymore rhubarb, let me know I have tons!! I am trying your rhubarb jam recipe this week!!

May 27, 2017 - 11:45 pm

Tawnia - Perfect timing for these recipes! We just collected a huge batch of rhubarb while cutting back our own enormous patch! Now I just need some jars!

May 27, 2017 - 9:27 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Gillian, I can attest to how delicious the vanilla rhubarb jam is!! Thank you for the jar and to confirm, It was DELIOUS! Regina, rhubarb is best gotten free, from nieghbours or friends! It is so epensive in the stores, I could never imagine buying it! Love ruhubarb!!!

May 26, 2017 - 3:22 pm

Gigi - Sure, I’m thinking the favorite turkey can stay for the winter – we shall see. 🙂
Yes, the ketchup is amazing! SO good! My friend shared her recipe and I will share the recipe on the blog. It tastes GREAT on steak or burgers.

May 26, 2017 - 11:55 am

Maike - I love rhubarb but I only know it prepared for deserts. Ketchup does sound quite strange. Have you had it before? What does the rhubarb give the ketchup, does it make it more sour or will the ketchup really taste like rhubarb? I would definately be interested in the recipe. Are you going to let the favorite chick stay alive?

May 26, 2017 - 5:32 am

Gigi - Surely some of your friends will give you some for free – then you can try it. It is so good! Don’t judge it by it’s sour taste because so much can be made from it. I hope to can strawberry rhubarb pie filling today. Yum!

May 25, 2017 - 9:07 pm

Regina Shea - Oh what cute turkey chicks. I’m embarrassed to say but I have never had rhubarb before. I’m 56 years old and never had it. It looks interesting but I worry if I bought some my family might not like it.

The Best Kind of School

 

A friend of my mom’s drove up to our home a few days ago … as she showed her around, introduced her to the animals, she looked around at the girls helping me plant the garden and jumping on the trampoline and promptly announced …

“You girls have the best kind of school.”

 

I thought about that for a moment and then dwelt on that comment later. The week has been so busy that I had felt we were skimping out on “school”. We have had little formal schooling this week – Bible memory, math, music, language, reading with a little bit of history sprinkled in there. It has been a very busy week of prepping and planting the three vegetable gardens, along with the flower beds that border the house.

I believe, as a homeschool mother, we often think school consists of physical books, actually crossing off pages of what we accomplished in school, seeing paper work accomplished. And while yes, that is so important and not to be skipped, there is another aspect to living a home-education lifestyle – one that you cannot nail down to a schedule, outline or plan … one that is organic and living and full of its own rhythms.  It was so refreshing to be reminded by an outsider that some of the best learning experiences are beyond the desk – or kitchen table. We all know this as homeschooling mothers -but I can get caught up in the official feeling of school and the amount of pages we can do a day in our Language Arts books.

This week, we have done our basics, but we have been outside from morning to sunset, working in the soil. The girls are running, squealing with dirt between their toes, jumping from piles of dirt to the another, showing me proudly how dirty their feet can become with the freshly cultivated dirt. They have had their hands and fingers deep in the warm soil, planting seeds, seedlings and plants, helping map out the garden and water the new tender baby plants. They have dreamed of their own little flower gardens and have asked for their “own bit of earth”.

Lacey had planted her calendula seedlings – with hopes the rabbits do not munch them down over night – the seedlings were started indoors back in the cold, Ontario mornings of April.

Today, Lyla is planting her little flower garden. She has been patiently waiting for her own little plot of earth – but as our vegetable garden keeps expanding, we needed her little section each time. Last night, her grandfather helped clear out a new spot just for her. I do hope her seeds and flowers grow. We even found a few websites that will send her free flower seeds in the mail. This just tickled her pink! She also wrote a business letter to a local seed company, explaining her age and desire to have a flower garden, and asked if they would send her a seed package in the mail. [I do hope they respond. I know it is easy to just purchase a seed package, but she was learning how to write a business letter so we thought this went hand in hand.]

 

Our 9 year old  Lucia is delighted a finding all the bugs and insects, worms and frogs as we work in the dirt. She has her own little praying mantis egg to hatch indoors, which we will release in the garden once the babies are hatched – and has even found an egg outdoors on our fence. Using her little bug book, she knew which kind of praying mantis each egg was without me looking it up.

Lovelyn, 6, planted her sunflower seeds and is hoping to plant more today. We will hope they grow nice and tall like beams of sunshine for her!

Leia, 5, planted her bean plants right near our patio so she can watch them grow. They are a climbing bean so we hope they grow nice and tall for her.

And the little ones are just enjoying the freedom of running around, playing in the dirty, soaking up the sun and being free. I have noticed a fair decrease of little squabbles while outside – I think everyone was just getting so cooped up being indoors for most of the winter. All this free time running around outside is doing everyone a favor.

 

“As for the baby, he is in bliss: divested of his garments, he kicks and crawls,
and clutches the grass, laughs soft baby laughter,
and takes in his little knowledge of shapes and properties in his own wonderful fashion…”

-Charlotte Mason, on outdoor nature time

 

 

 

 

 

With the help of my father and mother in law, and loving husband, we have expanded our vegetable garden – again. If any of you have seen The Long, Long Trailer with Lucille Balle, you will know what I am referring to when I name the garden the Long, Long Garden. Every year – sometimes even twice a year – we have expanded our garden as our family just keeps growing.

As we learn more about our food and nutrition, it also seems vastly important to be providing this food from our own hands and land. Yes, it is a work, but it is good work.
We are hoping to keep the weeds down with lots of mulch, delivered by a friend who has a tree business. We draw water from the well at the back of the property with a little gas pump and fill rain barrels, delivering the water on the golf cart to hand water the garden. I once thought this was too much work – there must be a more efficient way to water the garden – however, I have since visited a few Mennonite friends who have large, amazing gardens… they, too, water their gardens by hand, going up and down the rows with their watering cans each morning or evening. They also have to bring in their water from their source, as no water is available where the garden is planted. This was a bit encouraging to me. I will choose to see the beauty in this hand watering method – allowing the girls to help and enjoying the sounds of the morning, the birds, the wind in the trees and the calm before a busy day.  I also think this will be very healthy for the children, as well as for myself.

“He {the child} must live hours daily in the open air, and, as far as possible,
in the country; must look and touch and listen;
must be quick to note, consciously, every peculiarity of habit or structure,
in beast, bird, or insect; the manner of growth and fructification of every plant.
He must be accustomed to ask why––
Why does the wind blow? Why does the river flow? Why is a leaf-bud sticky?
And do not hurry to answer his questions for him;
let him think his difficulties out so far as his small experience will carry him.”

–Charlotte Mason
May 22, 2017 - 9:39 pm

Julianne - I love this! You have been such an inspiration to me as to getting my son outside! We live in Minnesota and also get our share of cold weather, but thanks to a post you wrote a few months back I’ve been encouraged to get outside as much as possible! (My little one is just a few days younger than your son) Now that the weather is warmer I love how he is content to spend hours outside just exploring and taking in nature. We are planning on homeschooling and I hope he, and any other little ones we are blessed with, grow up with a love of learning like your little ones are!

May 22, 2017 - 5:16 pm

Gigi - Inside in a special glass case! She is anxiously awaiting hatch day!

May 22, 2017 - 5:16 pm

Gigi - Sarah, love that you know what movie I am referring to… hee hee…

May 22, 2017 - 5:16 pm

Gigi - Hello, Anna! Welcome! I was born in Comox (if there is where you are) … and a piece of me remains there. I dream of a cottage on the ocean, but right now am enjoying Ontario life. I hope you find encouragement on your journey as a mother. Blessings!

May 22, 2017 - 3:40 pm

Anna - Great post! My neighbour Lyndy recommended your blog (she says you are friends), because I am trying to live a similar lifestyle, although I didn’t grow up doing all these wonderful things you have your children doing. I am a self-taught homesteader in the making and I want to raise my children like you are so beautifully raising yours. Right now I have only my first baby girl, but I have already considered homeschooling to give her experiences like these ones. I am a trained teacher and teach part time at a little private school on the ocean where the children plant a little veggie garden and live with the rhythms and seasons of nature. But I love that homeschooling offers so many opportunities for organic learning. And I believe children learn best when it happens naturally and doesn’t feel forced. Not to mention the many, many benefits to time spent learning outdoors.

Keep up the great work! Looks like your raising great kids.

Anna

May 20, 2017 - 1:12 pm

Sarah - This is such a lovely post! We too have begun planting our gardens. We live in an area where there are a couple large Mennonite communities. My mom and I visited two of their green houses yesterday to purchase plants. We had a wonderful time! Each year we try to expand our garden a bit. “The Long, Long Trailer” is one our favorite movies. : ) My husband and I watch at least once a year. Also, I love the picture of little Lavender and her kitten, so precious!

May 20, 2017 - 8:26 am

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Where did Lucia put the praying mantis eggs that I bought her? Is it inside or outside? We planted calendula also. Did you know the flower is edible? Lazarus looks like he wants to do gardening too. Mom xo

Teaching Children: Scheduling the Chores

Do you struggle with implementing a chore system for your children? Perhaps it seems like more work than just doing the chores yourself. That may be true, but the long term benefit – for you, your entire family and your individual child – will pay off in years to come.

With Pinterest and many homemaking blogs out there, there are bountiful resources to help you get started. I have seen my friends use fancy systems and plain, old fashioned systems to manage their chores in their homes.
Utilize what works for your family and stick with it.

Perhaps one of the keys to training your children to do chores is consistency.


For example, since September, I have been working with my five year old to train her to make her bed before breakfast (a struggle as she just wants to go downstairs by the cozy fire in the winter months and eat her breakfast) along with her chore of putting away the dishes after breakfast is cleaned up. For nine months now, she has complained and fought back regarding this chore. She did not appreciate her assigned task! She has a very strong will so this was definitely a challenge …

Now, suddenly, her bed is being made properly in the morning before breakfast and she willingly comes to do her morning chore of putting away the dishes without my request. It’s wonderful – but it took a long time to train her. Some other children are quick to learn and that is a blessing – enjoy it. 🙂

With having so many children, I found a simple chore system best. I could not keep up with “fancy bells and whistles” of some of these systems offered online.

Therefore, a simple excel spreadsheet is posted on the side of the fridge with daily chores that rotate through the girls. The older girls have the the following chores on a weekly basis:

cleaning of bathrooms (there are two for which they are responsible)
vacuuming and dusting the living room and dining room
cleaning up after meals (we call this Breakfast duty, Lunch Duty, etc.) – this means the child in charge is  responsible for helping clear the table, wash all the dishes, putting the dishes away, wiping the table and benches, and sweeping the floor. I assist on most meals as there are a lot of dishes to wash at every meal. We do not use a dishwasher as we would run out of dishes and constantly be running a dishwasher.
-cleaning the school room/mud room (mostly floor tidying up as this is a main traffic area and is constantly needing a sweep/vacuum)
-sweeping and washing the back stair case (this leads to their room and is often showcasing muddy toe-prints from the spring days outside)
-wiping walls from mud or handprints
-hanging up laundry on the line/taking down the laundry
-putting away their own laundry
-cleaning their own room, including vacuuming, cleaning windows, under bed, tidying closet, etc. This closet is a problem for us as six girls share one closet so if one little one makes a mess, it is often the responsibility of an older girl to ensure the closet is clean for the day.
– washing floors as needed
– sweeping the porches around the house
-collecting eggs
-watering flowers and garden
-sweeping porches and patio

A sample of other chores that are not daily include (these are not included on a chore chart – they are done as needed):

-cleaning our family vehicle
-cleaning chicken coop and stable
– taking care of the animals outdoors (this is not listed on a chore chart as it is a given)
-helping with garden work (generally, weeding and watering) – again, this is not listed, but they are required to do it upon request
-washing windows as needed
-stacking firewood and bringing in wood as needed in winter

 

“This is a home, not a hotel.”
-Kevin Lehman, on parenting your children

I would suggest making a simple excel spreadsheet or using one from pinterest, etc. and just write in the chores you want your children to do on a daily basis. Alternate it for the children so they are not doing the same chore every day. You can always add or take away depending on the season and age of the child.

Young children (3-5) are definitely old enough to clean their rooms, make their beds, set the table and help clear it. They should also be expected to tidy up their toys or anything they are playing with when they are finished. Six year olds are capable of helping wash dishes and sweep up. Even if they are not doing the best job (let’s face it – no one cleans like mom, right? 🙂 ) let them learn and encourage them as they go.

 

For the older children, they are capable of more than you realize. If you give them a chance to do their task, I am positive, even if it takes time, they will learn and begin to be such great helpers to you and your husband in your home. My husband has a hard time with this, as he was not required to do a lot of chores as child (his mom made his bed for her entire life). He automatically just does the task that is needed and I’m usually popping up beside him suggesting a daughter take up that responsibility instead. Dads and husbands are needed for much bigger tasks – such as mending fences, clearing snow, repairing plumbing problems, and such.

Our chores change with the season – and we are adding a lot more outdoor chores to our lists as the weather warms. The older girls help water the gardens in the evening, delivering water in the rain barrel with the golf cart. They use watering cans and water our large vegetable and herb gardens. When the garden begins to grow and the little girls can decipher the rows, they will help with watering, as well.

 

Now that I some older daughters – ages 10-13- (which is a great blessing!), I am giving them different tasks that will hopefully help her as she grows: tasks such as preparing part of the meals and in between food (such as muffins, cookies, etc.) for dinner, making lunches & laundry care, bigger responsibilities in the garden and animal care, mowing the lawn, etc.. While these are not really “chores”, they are some life skills that, I think, the girls should learn. They have already been doing these tasks but I am attempting to ask them to take over more often so they can be confident with their new skills. I think we would have different tasks lined up for them if they were boys but it will be a long time before we have a boy helping out around here.

I hope this helps some of you as you implement a chore system into your family’s daily schedule. Be encouraged – your rewards will come as your children learn to help out with the family tasks.

 

 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Galatians 6:9

 

May 20, 2017 - 7:52 am

Our Home of Many Blessings - Seriously a lot of what we do are the same!..I wish we were closer! We would come visit and chit chat!!…When do you have your kiddos do their chores?Before breakfast or schooling? They probably have certain chores at certain times.Do you have a routine that you kinda follow yourself during the day for housework,school,dinner,etc.Or maybe do certain household chores on certain days like Ma Ingalls?….(Love that book series by the way!)…and do you have a dairy cow yet?

May 18, 2017 - 6:20 pm

Lynda Lu Gibb - You learned from your wise mom very well Gillian..the skills you are teaching/encouraging/enforcing are life long skills!

May 18, 2017 - 12:06 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - This blesses my heart!!! Great job, Gillian, of helping the girls learn necessary life skills! Love it, xo

Teaching Children: The Value of Chores

 

Growing up, doing chores around the home was a given.

My two siblings and I had chores for as long as we can remember – stuck to the side of the kitchen fridge, my organized and tidy mother posted a schedule of our weekly household chores. And we did them. There was no need for money or prizes or gifts or allowances – we just knew that, as part of the family, we were to help out.

 

Now as a parent, my mother’s organization and dedication in teaching us chores is a gem! It has been a standard for our children, as well, to do their household daily chores.

Here are some reasons why I believe your children should be doing chores:

1. You are not super mom. You cannot clean the entire house, make a nutritious dinner, get your children ready for school – or homeschool them – and do every task that is required of you, along with keeping your house clean. Everyone helps make the mess, in general, so therefore everyone should be helping clean the house.

 

2. Your children need to learn how to clean their future houses. That is something I think is important! If you do not teach your children to be orderly and tidy, they will surely struggle as they leave the nest and prepare their own homes. Teaching your children to tidy up after themselves, keep their rooms clean, put their laundry away, do the dishes, prepare meals, help with outside gardening chores, is a life skill that cannot be skipped.  “A place for everything and everything in it’s place.”

 

3. It teaches your children the value of work and the results of a good labour. How will they learn to hold jobs, keep an interest in studying in future years or work on the mission field if they cannot weed a garden or clean their room without complaining? Take a short term missions trip with your children and they will soon see things are not always served on a silver platter.

4. The Bible commands it. Proverbs 12:11 says “He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.” Proverbs 12:24 warns against laziness, and Proverbs 14:23 says: “In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury {poverty}.” There are so many verses warning about idleness and laziness and the blessings of hard work and toil. You would be foolish to ignore such verses.

5. This one was added by my 13 year old daughter: Chores are fun! Yes, she actually said that. I was writing out this post and she came to read it over my shoulder. I asked her what I should add and she said “It’s fun! I like cleaning up!” Proof enough? Train while young. Personally, I enjoy doing chores, as well. There is satisfaction in a clean home, an organized closet or a tidy garden. Some are more enjoyable than others, but you can turn on some encouraging music and provide some little cleaning baskets to help the children be inspired to dust their rooms, wash down their windows, wipe baseboards and more. We actually do not find the house work to be “hard labour” compared to the outdoor work.

{Now, please do not think my home is clean and tidy all the time – real life happens here and a messy life it is at times! We work in spots and move to another area, so sometimes one area is clean but the other area is not. We have our areas that tend to get messier than others (closets – ahem), but we do work on cleaning them up.}

I have had some people ask me how and what do for a chore system for the children. I basically followed my mother’s example. No fancy bells or whistles – just a simple spreadsheet from Excel with chores assigned to each girl on a daily basis, alternating for the day of the week.

And yes, it is posted on the side of my fridge.

Since this post is so long, I will split this between a few entries so as not to ramble on too long. I will include more specific chores that my children do in the next entry and how to keep it fun and regular.

For now, enjoy your day with your children – working away beside you at some of the household chores.

 

May 13, 2017 - 8:28 am

Chrissy - So sweet these pictures! Our kids have always had chores too. They are such helpers to me. Waiting for more entries….excitedly.

May 11, 2017 - 10:37 am

Gigi - So glad they could help out! 🙂

May 10, 2017 - 7:07 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - PS They were very busy bees and I only had 2 of the girls!!! LOL

May 10, 2017 - 7:06 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Well, I was totally blessed last weekend when Lucia and Lyla came by and they wanted (insisted) to help clean the “new” Victorian House! Lyla insisted on dusting all the light fixtures and mopping all the floors and Lucia wanted to clean the staircase and vacuum!! There was nothing for me to do! LOL You have done a great job of helping them to understand the blessings of cleaning! Love Gramma Marshie xoxo

May 9, 2017 - 4:06 pm

Gigi - Yes, I understand. I love to meet and talk with other moms of many to see how they manage, as well. I can say this – yes, they do read at night, unless we go to bed exhausted (sometimes that happens in the summer months). The older girls are on one side and they stay up and share the light, while the little girls go to sleep. We read/do devotions in the evening until 8 p.m./8:30 and then the little girls’ light is out. Big girls can read for a while. In the winter, we tend to retire to sleep earlier so the little ones are in bed usually by 8 with all stories done and read. The spring/summer months are a later bedtime routine.

May 9, 2017 - 12:50 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings - Oh and when you homeschool,how long,your breaks,routines,etc.do you summer break or go year around.Basically what your weeks look like at a glance and how you run your daily subjects.Also now that you have a teenager how do you do chores with her?and an off the wall question…when do you put your kids to bed and do you let them read with a light on even though they share a room?Basically being nosy here and so curious how another large family mama does things!

May 9, 2017 - 12:39 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings - Great! I’ve been patiently waiting for a housecleaning post or two from you!!!Your daily routines and kid chores and such. So excited!