Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Eve....Justin's parents....

 Shortly after we arrived at Grandma & Grandpa Gaerte's house, Lance appeared proudly to show me his "handy work" that clearly went well with his football sweatshirt....then when I questioned him what he used to make those marks, he promptly and still proudly held up a permanent black marker. Then he saw the shocking look on my face and then learned it was not such a great idea....So what do I do, hurry get my camera and snap a picture....then he was embarrassed to no end! For future reference a moist make-up cloth took it right off with a little scrubbing.
 A little group photo before opening presents...
 Someone grabbed a pic of us as well.....
 Lance read Luke 2 to us all before the unwrapping began.....
 Sometime during opening presents George must have been inspired to add this great white beard!
After being spoiled with lots of great stuff from G & G Gaerte....Justin decided to give the boys an early gift from us before heading home.....a snowmobile.....he called me AFTER he bought it (not the normal way we do things around here....ahem....) and said "I bought the boys a snowmobile for Christmas." After about dropping the phone, and then reminding him they were already DONE for Christmas...."He said well I got a good deal, amd I know they will LOVE it!" Okay so he's got me there...they loved it...who wouldn't!! I am sure we will get much enjoyment out of it for many years to come.....


Shopping a little before Christmas...

 Well we got an item that needed returned...we thought it might be better to return it before Christmas actually got here rather than after. So the two older boys were off for the day, and the two younger kids and I plus my mother-in-law headed to town.
 Zach thought a trip to the mall, entitled him to a rocket ship ride!
 Julia doesn't really looked thrilled, but she was having fun! Really I promise...
 So we shopped a little more and then ate lunch which meant time for another ride.....and least that is what Zach said.....
                                                               See she is having fun...I told ya!

Fun trip to town amongst all the crowd a few before Christmas!!


Bread Machine Recipe Book Giveaway!!!!

Well in case you missed the post I got a BREAD MACHINE for Christmas (anyone else hear angels singing???). Okay so you can tell I am super excited about making my own bread, right?  Well I was notified just the other day by one of the creator's of  to see if I wanted to try out their recipe book. Of course it only took me about .5 seconds to hop on brainer right?
Do you have a bread machine? So you know someone who has one but never uses it anymore? Well that is where Brandon, creator of the recipe book, found his family. He had exhausted the recipes in the manual searched the web for more recipe but didn't find one recipe book devoted to just bread machine recipes. So then was born "Greatest Bread Machine Recipes of all time".

What you get: 

  • 100 easy to use bread machine recipes that you can print out and use.
  • Easy cutout pages make it a cinch add the recipes to your recipe box.
  • Every recipe is indexed so you can find the perfect bread in a snap.
    Each recipe is tested to work with modern bread machines.


Essential Bread Machine Tips.
Learn how to make perfect bread every time.

 Okay so don't miss this part......FREE SAMPLE recipes are available to EVERYONE!!

To sum it up you get 100 printable ready to use tested recipes....bonus tips on how to get perfect there is a 100% no questions asked money back guarantee!!!! If you want to run over and grab yourself an instant downloaded copy for $9.99 go HERE!!

 Well you could also enter to win a copy of "Greatest Bread Machine Recipes of all Time"!!! They were super GENEROUS at and told us to pick TWO winners!!!!! So get your typing fingers ready and ENTER NOW!!!!

Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry. Deadline is 01/10/10 at NOON!

1. Go to the Samples page and tell me which one you would try first from that list.
2. How often do you use your bread machine? Or do you make your bread by hand?
3. Follower (on the side bar) Gaertegang!
4. Subscribe to Gaertegaerte!
5. Follow me Twitter!
6. Facebook or Twitter about the giveaway!
7. Blog about the giveaway!!!(3 entries)

Plenty of ways to enter....Good Luck!!! REMEMBER 2 WINNERS!!!


Winner of the Breezy Hat!!

Congrats to Dawn at the 1869 farmhouse for being entry #50, the chosen winner!!!!!

A HUGE "Thank You!!" to Nicole at The Bloooming Button for sharing her fabulous talent with us all. Since we can't send you all a FREE adorable hat, be sure to go get your own with some of that Christmas money you might have received.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009


If you haven't yet entered the GIVEAWAY for the Breezy hat you need to HURRY and do so!!!
Deadline is 12/31/09, tomorrow at NOON!!!


Another Family Gathering....

 Well here we all are crammed together....and this only a shot of about a fourth of room full of people!
 Julia grabbed Grandma as soon as we walked through the door...Great time to take a picture since they looked so Christmasy (not a real word....I know!)
 This picture of Julia pretty much describes how much fun we have whenever we go to Grandma & Grandpa Cormany's house......always joyful and full of giggles!
 Justin and his cousin Josh teamed up against the "younger" men for a little ping pong challenge....Sorry I can not report who won.....I guess I forgot to ask....


MORE Snow!!!

 Oh there is something about the way that a snowfall can make everything look so lovely....I fall more in love with the Creator even more every time he blesses up with a snow covered landscape!

 More snow equals more fun....Dad is getting in on the action! The boys had so much fun rolling snow balls all over the yard...great packing snow!!
 Here is Justin showing off his start to the snowman......
 Forget the snowman....the boys wanted a snow fort!!!! Complete with a plywood top and all...grins...Oh the great memories they are making!!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our First Christmas Gathering of 2009....

 After eating lots of yummy food, we started in on some crafts for the kids. My cousin made up some Rice Krispies Christmas trees, they she provided white icing to put on the trees and had lots of fun fixing to decorate them with. Fun and simple enough for even a two year old like my Julia.....
 Yet still very FUN for my 8 year old who could be as creative and detailed as he wanted....THUMBS up for this edible craft!!
 The second craft was these cute light bulb reindeer ornament. Another cousin spray painted abtou 30 light bulbs with brown paint. The kids got to put on the the brown pipe cleaners (start them in front then twist them in the back like a bread tie). Some kids even added two or three pipe cleaners...for the 30 point buck kind feeling....Then the kids had to wait in line for eyes,  and a nose to be hot glued on. The mouth was made with a simple permnament marker...Then the kids could choose to put earmuffs on their reindeer as well....the band is a pipe cleaner cut in half....then the little cotton balls for the muff part (same ones we used for the nose).....
 We did a little exchange ($10) with gifts. Zach was thrilled to get this Lightning McQueen car!

We had a good time and I enjoyed seeing my family...which for the most part I only see once a year.


Playing Around...

 We have been enjoying some great times playing lots of different games around here....I am not totally sure what is going on in this picture...I think they are sorting to find one complete deck of cards....with little boys who "borrow" cards...a full deck equals a miracle around here!
 An intense game of Battle Ship is going on here...I think Justin is loving it as much as they do!!
Of course the Christmas season just isn't complete without lots of cuddle time! Here is Zach and our dog Midnight.....who thinks she is big stuff because I let her in the house to cuddle up with the boys for a while....we all enjoy loving on here.....I only let her the on the title right inside the door for her little "visit" then back outside she does...I am have enough animal in the house (referring to kids) I don't need a real one!
 "Let it snow!!" We got a great snowfall here before Christmas and the "men" decided that was a great time to head out for a little ice fishing!!! Zach is getting ready to pile in the truck and head out.
 Doesn't he look cute all geared up....I love his hat...I'm jealous that I don't have one...ohhh so SOFT!!
BTW they did bring me home some fish...cleaned them....and they are in the freezer to eat whenever we decide to pull them out.....which needs to be soon....they sound YUMMY!!!


Monday, December 28, 2009

Lots of Crazy FUN!!!

So here is a video of the event that was taking place when I pulled into the driveway after all that cookie baking. Never mind that the children are in an unsafe area where my oldest son could have ran into the other as he rounded the corners.....never mind that our homemade bleachers are totally hillbilly....and never mind that fact that this mama happen to have her camera with her so she could catch it all on video!!!

What race would be complete without an interview from the winner??!! Since Justin is an auctioneer (on the side) he has this bull horn speaker that is perfect to break out on such

Also Justin just couldn't help himself...he had to interview the crowd videos needed here, the kids just thought is was so fun to hear there voice so LOUD on the speaker..Remember in these photos that Daddy dressed everyone for this GREAT outdoor event...somewhere along the line someone forgot to tell Dad that purple and hunter orange do NOT go together.....(Funny..but I am not least he put a hat on her....grins...)

Well that is just a little more of our Pre-Christmas FUN! More to come...if you can stand it!


Pre-Christmas Fun.....Baking Cookies

 In early November, we set a cookie baking day for us girls to be able to bake...kid free wasn't that we didn't want the kids to have fun with us...we just had a long list and only one partial day to make it happen. Unfortunately, I ended up not being able to make it until around 2pm that day! Hubby ended up having an auction that day so I had to hang with my kiddos until his arrival. So needless to say I actually missed most of their I did my own at home the day before and that morning before I came to join in on the fun!

 Here is a peek of some of the cookies we made.....Mmmmm! We had cookies piled all over the place! 

When I got that afternoon the kids and I took some regular brown paper bags and stamped them up with some fun Christmas stamps I had on dress them up a bit....then we piled some cookie/candy goodies in each bag to share with some special people!
 Julia & Zach had a ton of fun thinking they were so cool getting to use Mommy's stamps (because that is not something I let them do normally). All went well I only had one stamp pad that was ruined in the process....and it was a cheapy so I didn't really mind.

Up tomorrow....I will show you what I found when I pulled in the driveway after baking cookies!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


 Okay so I was sooo EXCITED when I opened up a new bread machine Sunday!!!! I have been able to get a few helpful hints from Justin's aunt (Thanks CINDY!!) who also has a bread machine. My manual was also very straight forward and helpful with tons of recipes and hints on how to get the best results from my machine.

So I wanted to ask you all.....what are your favorite web sites or cookbooks that you get recipes from for your bread machines???
Also I have learned that getting bread flour in our area is somewhat of a challenge....or so I have been told. I ended up ordering my first batch of organic bread flour online last night. I want to get cracking on some fresh bread!!!

So let me hear some suggestion on sites, blogs, or favorite bread machine cookbooks!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Random Thoughts~~Because that's all I got in me today....

Well I hope you are finding some peace amongst the Christmas craziness. We have baked, wrapped (even re-wrapped a present that Julia thought was for her to open), and of course decorated. We are ready for all the family festivities to begin. We kick things off tonight like all other Americans, with a Bluegrass jam, okay so maybe not everyone does this....grins....just my husband and some others. Saturday and Sunday we have get togethers with extended family. It should be a good time....the kids can hardly stand all the excited that Christmas brings! I am not sure how many more "How many days till we open presents?" I can handle!!!  At the same time, I remember feeling that same way at their age....yes I can remember that long ago! One issue that is bothering me.....I CAN NOT find our stockings anywhere....grrr!!!! I guess I will just have to get creative and think of something else to use...shouldn't be to much of a challenge.....I am open to ideas you might have though......leave me a comment!!!

I would ask that you pray for Miss. Julia and myself. We both went to the doctor on Wednesday both diagnosed with sinus infections....nice of her to share, huh? Not so much! I'm totally annoyed and want to start feeling better. So pray the medicines will start doing their job FASTER!!! Also prayers that we don't pass it on to the rest of the brood in the mean time.....although Hubby has been complaining of a sore throat the past couple of days....which how mine started...ugh! Of course, he's not to sick to play some music tonight though...funny how that works....grins....

Well I am hoping to maybe post some pictures on Monday or Tuesday about our Christmas's this weekend, but I am not making any promises. (I figured you all are going to be busy yourself and probably won't even notice.) I am thinking it's time for a little blogging break during the holidays.... HEY!!!! DON'T forget to enter my current giveaway for that adorable Breezy hat!!!! (ends 12/31)

Remember leave me comments on what I could use instead of the stockings I can't find.....

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions you do with your family!

Here are a few of ours:
1. Load up and go check out Christmas lights!!!
2. Have Lance read Luke 2 before opening gifts.
3. We open stockings together & then go around room opening one present at a time (it makes the gift opening last a little longer instead of everyone tearing into everything and being done in 5 minutes.)
4. At Justin's grandparents, we start with the youngest in the family and they open all their gifts....then we move to the next youngest...and so on.....builds character in the kids because they have to wait their we can actually see what everyone gets..LOVE that!
5. To share the love a little, one year we go to my in-laws for Christmas day and the next year we are at my parents house for Christmas me it never really matters what day we get together, but it does to some.....we started this when we had our first child...worked ever since!

Merry CHRISTmas and thanks for stopping in to visit The Gaertegang.....much appreciated!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Finding Joy in My Kitchen....

 I thought I would take a second and share with you a new blog (well new to me). It's called Finding Joy In My Kitchen.....I have really enjoyed checking it out!! This blog is very user friendly and organized really well...making recipes easy to find!!
I have tried several of her recipes Apple Crisp, Blackberry bars (I used blueberries instead), and Lemon Herbed Chicken in the crockpot. I am really wanting to try homemade bagels that she just posted this week.  So if you seem to be stuck in pattern of making the same old thing for your meals, stop by and visit this blog and you'll find a whole host of new things to try!!


A Note of THANKS!~~Lance

Dear Lance,

Have I told you lately how THANKFUL I am for you? Your my first baby, my firstborn, my "trial baby". I have learned so much as a mommy as I have raised you. You have taught me even more about the kind of person I want to be. You are strong, inventive and very creative. You are excited to take on life and a challenge at any moment. Your compassionate spirit warms my heart just to be with you. Your helpful heart makes my life easier as a mommy in so many ways. I am especially THANKFUL for all your cheerful help on days like today when mommy is really sick and feels overwhelmed to take on the day. I am so glad that you have a never ending thirst for knowledge and a love for reading. Both of those will take you far on your journey to becoming a man. Your growing love for the Lord and your knowledge of Scripture inspires me in my walk each day. I am THANKFUL that you have seen your need for a Savior in your life and pray you will continue to walk with the Lord all your growing days.

Christmas is such a special time for us to celebrate the people we love and are THANKFUL for each day. I know how much I LOVE you and cherish your presence in my life.....I can't imagine the LOVE Mary felt for her first born Son, Jesus. I can't imagine how THANKFUL she was just to know Him and raise Him....knowing He was the Savior of the world....

I hope the message of Jesus's birth never grows old to you. I pray the LOVE story of our Savior's journey here on earth always remind you of all we have to be THANKFUL for.

I LOVE YOU my first born son,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Coupon Codes to Save You $$$$$$

Little Passports is offering all Gaertegang readers a 20% discount of your ENTIRE order!!!
Use code LPFF2009 at checkout. You can order these Explorer Kits by the month (pay monthly, cancel anytime). You can order them in 3, 6, and 12 month subscriptions as well. Your children can explore and learn about Brazil, Japan,France, Egypt, Australia, Mexico, South Africa, India, England,
China, and Argentina with a 12 month subscription.

 Piggy Paints is also offering Gaertegang readers a discount code and it doesn't expire until VALENTINE'S Day 2010!!! You can get 15% off (you can use this code on sale and clearance items as well) when you use codeTHANKYOU15L.
If you missed my review on Piggy Paints, check it out here!
To shop around go HERE! 
A quick reminder that Piggy Paints ships worldwide and ships FREE when you purchase $25 or more in product!!!!
One more thing....sign up to follow Piggy Paints on Twitter and receive secret sales and special offers!!

Lauren Nicole is also offering a great coupon code for 15% off you purchase...just a note that she is actually not fulling anymore Christmas orders, but she does reopen Jan. 4th. The coupon code is 'facebook'. If you missed my review on my necklace I got from Lauren Nicole you can read it here.


Never Buy Wrapping Paper Again!!

Good Wednesday to you all! I wanted to share some fun news with you...yesterday was my ONE year blogging anniversary and was also the day my 100th follower signed on.....FUN HUH??!! Okay so I am sure you really don't care, but I am tickled pink about it...grins....

So VOCAL POINT sent me an email on this article that I thought I would share with you all.....Some super great ideas on things around the house you could use to wrap your Christmas presents this year! I am so relieved that last night I finished wrapping EVERY present!!!! (Pause, because I am doing a little celebration dance....) So HERE is the link.....Check it out!!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Potluck Survival Guide~~Mama Buzz Review

Oh ladies, I am so thrilled to tell you about this book.....I guess that is what you call it...Cook book, Tips/Hints book, "How-to Book", Calculator book, I mean really this book does it ALL!!!! This wonder Survival Guide is written by Cherie Kimmons, published by Five Star Publications, and sells for $18.96. (which is on sale)
Hold onto to your seat because I am about to say something shocking......THIS IS A MUST HAVE BOOK!!!!!! This book is worth WAY MORE than the sticker price....I can't believe I am saying that, but honestly girls you need one. This master piece is filled with close to 300 recipes I am thinking....I actually tried to count them, but with 4 kids and a husband I kept getting interrupted and losing count so somewhere after 250 I gave up. Okay so 300 recipes and then Cherie has filled this book with invalueable information on hints/tips on each recipe!!!! I love it when other people can make the mistakes and then tell me about them...saves me time, money, and frustration. All these great hints help to ensure I make the best food I can in less time....I LOVE that!!! Cherie talks about preparing meals for your childrens sports teams, classroom gathers, and  any other large group. She gives suggestions on food to serve as even provides you with an amazing chart to calcualte how much food to make for that event. As I went through this GUIDE I felt like I was learning so many things I hadn't heard before! Helpful things that I wondered why I hadn't seen before in other cookbooks and what not. I feel that this book is great for women in all season of life as well. If you are a young married you will learn a wealth of information on how to cook great meals for your spouse. If you are a mommy of many children, again this book provides all that info, and we all know that our kids grow up and then have friends over. Since I have 3 boys ( one girl too), I know that having some friends over will one day equal feeding a small army with large appetites!!! Also those children will be involved in all sorts of activities that will require needing to fix food for many active teens! If your children are all grown, well then that equals them having their own families and now your a grandma and have many more mouths to feed.
So really I feel like I couldn't say enough positive things about this book....I am slowly working my way through each page and combing over all the great information. I have up to this point been skipping around and checking all the different sections out so I could get a good idea of the book and what it had to offer....which is a lot of must know goodies!!!

Thank you to Five Star Publications!! The Gaertegang appreciates being a part of this great tour of Potluck Survival Guide!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Free Mp3 Downloads on Amazon

I know several blogs have posted that AMAZON (ohh how I LOVE amazon!!) has over 20 FREE downloads available for Mp3 players!!! It's a great way to build up some music on your player for FREE!! It's super easy to do...I loaded mine on last Thursday night....If you like Contemporary Christian music like I do you need to check it out! Most everything I loaded on mine was Christmas music, but that's okay with me! So if you haven't yet taken advantage of this FREEBIE hurry while you still can!!

Okay so right after I hit post on the above paragraph I went to Amazon to see if there are some more FREE music to download...just for the fun of it.....and I clicked on Christian & Gospel music (there are many to pick from) and I found there were yet some more FREEBIES that were not on the other list!

HINT: Even if you don't have any type of player you can still download theses songs onto your computer and listen to them!


~~Thanksgiving 2009~~

I know I am going backwards a bit, but I just realized that I didn't share any photos from Thanksgiving yet! With the wirl wind of get together and then leaving for our trip I guess I just overlooked it. So here are a couple of pictures of all the fun....

 Well we started off eating......
 and we kept eating.......
 then we played....
 then we relaxed with some good book reading.....
 then we cuddled...
 even remembered to take a family photo (although not our best one, it works!)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Vacation to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic~~December 2009

 On our first night at the resort, we enjoyed a nice meal with the company Justin won the trip through. I know this picture doesn't do the moonlit night justice , but I wanted to share it with you.
 These little trollies were constantly running around hauling people from one end of the resort to the other....
 This is Justin with some other guys he does not know....all in the name of Karaoke fun! It was funny that when you combine people from many different places around the world he can get  a wide variety of songs and languages.
 Hanging out listening to Karaoke night with lots of the other couple who were on the same trip!
 This is the night we went to the Seafood restaurant....always great food no matter where we went!
 Each night there was some sort of show you could go and watch....Boggie Nights....The Legends...and the last one we saw was The Lion King.....which was their best show I thought!!!
 Getting ready to go eat Japanese food...
 On our last night we ate at an Italian restaurant...super yummy!!
 So I guess you can sum up our trip in just a few words.....Beach....Food....Rest!!!

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