Gigi's Blog » Tales of the Mortician's Wife

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  • 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.Β Chicken and goat raiser.
    Lover of Jesus and all things pink and vintage. β™₯

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. πŸ™‚

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 isΒ  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? πŸ™‚ ) 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.


Β 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.Β  “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! πŸ™‚

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, 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!

Rainbow Ridge {Wormery}

Thank you all for the fabulous, loving comments regarding our pregnancy! It was so encouraging to read your loving and kind words. I’m nearly halfway through the second trimester now and feeling the baby move, which is so wonderful! We are choosing midwives yet again (they have been amazing to me! I need to write a post about midwife care because I am firm believer in them!) and, Lord willing, another home {water} birth. It would be our fourth home birth. I have learned so much with each pregnancy but … I will share this in another post. I just wanted to say thank you and Abby & I appreciate your support!

On another *totally un-related* note …


Our 9 year old daughter is our in-house bug girl. She loves bugs and carries around a little bug book to identify any creepy crawling insect or bug she may find. And so when I heard about starting a worm farm to do vermicomposting, I thought she would be the girl for the job. Last week, we packed up and headed to a local worm breeder (yes, there is such a thing) and bought 1 lb of red wigglers for Lucia’s worm farm.


What is vermicomposting? It is when these lovely little worms {not your regular earthworms} take all your garbage – or most of it – things like shredded paper, paper coffee cups, coffee filters, tea bags, banana peels, apple cores, etc. – sift through it over time and produce the most lovely, dark, nutritious soil for your garden and plants. Here is a website dedicated all to worm-farming and where we purchased our red wigglers.


For those of you who do not care for squiggly worms … sorry about this post. But God made them for a reason and they are quite amazing!

Not a pretty picture but here is the inside of the farm. Over time, those fruit scraps will be transformed into lovely soil instead. Just so you know, there should be no odor from this process so it is able to be done inside (for those with a smaller living space) without trouble. They can go outside during the warmer seasons of the year.

Lucia was pretty thrilled to set it up – and she feeds her worms as often as needed and is taking great care of them. Since her daddy runs a funeral home, they have a LOT of coffee and tea bags left over and lots of shredded paper – so that helped set up the little farm. He brings home a bag of the used tea bags, coffee grains, and filters every week or so.

So, yes, we now have a worm farm … actually, it is called Lucia’s Rainbow Ridge Wormery (as Rainbow Ridge is the name of our little homestead/wanna-be-farm operation).

Welcome to the family, little red wigglers.
We hope you make lots of lovely soil for our gardens.













May 3, 2017 - 6:37 pm

Gigi - Okay, I’ll see what I can do over the next few days. Congratulations on your baby that is due soon! How wonderfully exciting! Don’t be nervous. πŸ™‚

May 3, 2017 - 5:08 pm

Ashley - I would love to see a post about midwife care and home delivery. I have 5 children and our 6th is due in about 4 weeks. This is our first home birth and I’m starting to get a bit nervous. I’ve had two deliveries with a midwife but in a hospital so this is all new to us. Looking forward to hearing about your experiences.

May 3, 2017 - 9:47 am

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - So cute!!! Love it … you go, Lucia!!

A House for {Ten}

Our family has some sweet news to share … ❀


We will be a family of ten this fall!

God has blessed us richly with the anticipation of a new baby in early October. The girls were absolutely delighted when we told them …we set up a treasure hunt with clues throughout the house and outside, leading to a treasure of finding out they will be welcoming another baby. It was a fun way to tell them (even if they are not smiling in this photo!)


The idea of having another baby seems surreal to me – yes, even after all these pregnancies. Each baby is a miracle and a blessing from Heaven!Β  I never imagined our family growing so large, but I am so grateful and delighted about God’s plans for our family!

“Except the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain that build it.”
Psalm 127:1







May 3, 2017 - 3:04 pm

Gigi - Thank you , Katy!

May 3, 2017 - 7:14 am

Katy - Congratulations!!! How wonderful! Children are such a blessing! You have a beautiful family! πŸ™‚

May 2, 2017 - 6:46 pm

Claire Morris - So happy for you!! Congratulations! You have a beautiful family. xo

May 2, 2017 - 11:14 am

Gigi - Sylvia, I do indeed remember you. πŸ™‚ I hope you are doing well!

May 2, 2017 - 5:30 am

Sylvia Medeiros - Been a while & not sure if u remember me from broadway but enjoy your posts and admire you living life as foreigners and not as ones who are in the world. Congrats on yet another gift from God on the way. God bless
ps…i just lovvvve the girls’ dresses β™‘

April 29, 2017 - 1:12 pm

Gigi - Lori, that is just such great news!! Congratulations – Baby #4, right? I hope you are feeling well. πŸ™‚

April 29, 2017 - 9:55 am

Lori Speare - I’ve been waiting for this post because every time I’m pregnant you are too! We are also welcoming a new baby in October! Congratulations to you guys, what exciting news!!

April 29, 2017 - 6:22 am

Gigi - Thank you, Chris! So good to hear from you! πŸ™‚

April 28, 2017 - 8:46 pm

Chris McCoy - Idea re all soooo happy for you! What exciting and wonderful news! I must say this image is so beautiful with all those sun kissed cheeks! Just lovely. Miss you all so much. The girls are changing so much! And I’m sure there would be a great big welcome from the youngest and the oldest (being abby) for a third boy in the house. Although another girl would be the centre of attention.for dress up and all pretty hair Barrett’s, frilly clothes etc…lol. We are just so happy for you all!

April 28, 2017 - 1:56 pm

Gigi - Maike, thank you! I am curious, too!

April 28, 2017 - 1:56 pm

Gigi - Wow, congratulations on your new baby! Did you have a boy or girl? The girls keep wondering if your daughters will write back. πŸ˜‰

April 28, 2017 - 11:26 am

Maike - Congratulations – that is so exciting! And I’m curious already if Lazarus will stay the only prince in the family or if there will be a companion for him. ^_^

April 28, 2017 - 11:21 am

Our Home of Many Blessings - Congrats!!!!We are recently a family of ten also!!!

April 28, 2017 - 5:29 am

Kate - Wow – such exciting news! Sending huge congratulations to all of you. Kate xoxo

April 28, 2017 - 1:39 am

Gill Eardley - Congratulations to you all, another lucky L to love xxx

April 28, 2017 - 1:37 am

Rebecca - Oh YAY!!! How exciting! I’ve been wondering if you would be announcing a new baby soon — congrats to your lovely growing family!

April 27, 2017 - 9:00 pm

Kim Robbins - I am soooo excited for you! Can’t wait to meet your bundle of joy.

April 27, 2017 - 7:34 pm

Gigi - Thank you for sharing in our joy! πŸ™‚

April 27, 2017 - 5:34 pm

Tawnia - Congrats Gauthier Family! What a wonderful blessing ❀

April 27, 2017 - 5:12 pm

Lauren - I’m seriously happy dancing right now!! What wonderful news!!!!

April 27, 2017 - 4:52 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - We are GREATLY blessed!!! Can’t wait to meet the new baby!! xoxo

April 27, 2017 - 4:19 pm

Jen Heemskerk - AMAZING!!!! Congratulations!!!

April 27, 2017 - 12:34 pm

Gigi - Regina, thank you for the prayers. πŸ™‚

April 27, 2017 - 12:34 pm

Gigi - Thank you, Sarah!

April 27, 2017 - 11:57 am

Regina - Congratulations Gigi! That’s such sweet news. I will be praying for a easy pregnancy and delivery.

April 27, 2017 - 11:25 am

Sarah - Congratulations!! You are such a beautiful family! This picture is so lovely!! : )

She Turns Five!

April is a busy birthday month for our family. Today is Leia’s 5th birthday! It is hard to believe she is FIVE years old already! We adore her spunk and zeal and love for life and adventure! She keeps us on our toes and provides plenty of entertainment for our family. πŸ™‚ We love you dearly, Leia, and are so blessed to have you as a beautiful part of our family! xo


Leia asked to be a princess for a day – my mom bought her a pretty dress and we had a “fancy” pancake breakfast this morning with whipped cream and strawberries. Yesterday, her other grandparents came over and brought her a princess pinata and a cake. And of course, the birthday girl can skip chores for the day. I think she loves that the most!

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 awhile,
And then I’ll soon be something else again.

April 25, 2017 - 5:37 am

Gigi - Too cute, Lynda! Thank you for the blessings!

April 24, 2017 - 10:57 pm

Lynda Lu Gibb - In the last photo I can imagine her waving that “magic” wand and turning that kitty into a prancing white horse to ride away into the wind. God Bless her 5th year.

April 24, 2017 - 5:43 pm

Gigi - Thank you, Aunty Kate, for remembering her birthday and sending her a gift from England! You are too sweet and kind! The best auntie! xo

April 24, 2017 - 4:47 pm

Kate - Happiest of birthdays to precious Princess Leia! With lots of love from Aunty Kate xoxo