Friday, October 30, 2009

What I Did With the Rest of My Pumpkin...

                                 Picture of pumpkins ready to be decorated for the upcoming Annual Gaerte Hog Roast~ more on that next week!

I decided to try my hand at making some pumpkin puree....why not I also roasted pumpkin seeds for the first time, so why not give it a shot?

Here is what I did....

I had two small pumpkins, and when I say small I mean they were about 2-4 lb pumpkins. The kids got two from a library program. I cut them both in half. Like I said on Tuesday, we took out the seeds then I scraped all the extra sticky orange stuff...I am sure it has a technical name ,but it's not coming to know what I talking about! I put in the halved pumpkins (skin side up) into a large roasting pan. I then filled the bottom of the pan with water. I put enough water that it covered the bottom of the pan (in order for the water to steam the flesh of the pumpkin. Bake at 375 for 1 hour (that is all mine needed. The instructions I read said 90 check it after an hour). I removed my pumpkins from the oven and put them on a plate to cool for about 5 minutes. Then I scooped out the flesh, only leaving the skin to toss in the trash. I scooped the flesh directly into my food processor. I processed it to the puree of my liking and then put it in a plastic container and put it in the fridge until I can decide what yummy things to make with it. Maybe pumpkin bread, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin cookies, I just can't decide!

Do you have any super yummy pumpkin recipes on hand that call for pumpkin puree? If so, please leave me a comment or shoot me an email I would love to try them out!!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just for the JOY of it!

This week I am so JOYFUL for the following.......

Yep! It may seem crazy to some but JOYFUL TO laundry is all done...all folded...and with a family of SIX  bodies in this house that shed clothes, these moments really don't last long...only until everyone gets undressed and ready for bed and them POOF.....More laundry to I cherish the short lived moments when I am caught up!! Kinda makes me feel like SUPER MOM....until someone bursts my bubble and brings me back to reality...ahem..

You can't tell me this is not a pretty picture.....Sometimes it is the little things in life and the little things in life that bring up so much JOY!!!

So that's it for me this week....if you want to see what is bringing others JOY go visit Sharon @ Good True and Beautiful!!!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Well I wanted to give a little commercial in case of you are in need of a cleaning service.  My mom has decided to start up her own cleaning business. So she is looking for anyone who can provide her with leads, or people to talk to about jobs, or people in need of her cleaning services.

So if you have relatives who are coming in for the holidays and want some deep cleaning done because you know they will give you the white glove test and there is no way you are gonna fit this into your schedule...Let me know and I can direct you to my mom. Of course I am speaking to those of you who live in my know who you are! She is open to ONE time spring cleaning, or a spruce up before the holidays, to weekly or bi-weekly cleaning of your home or business......

So there it is my little commercial for my mama! I can tell you she is a great, honest, and hard working lady who is looking to do something she enjoys....not that I'm partial or anything...but I am!

Email me ( or leave me a comment with your email address and I can direct you further.


Wonder Why Wednesday?

Welcome to Wonder Why Wednesday!

I find that whenever I add humor to my day, my week, my mommy's moments it always make life a little easier to swallow.....anyone else feel that way?
With that in mind, this series it meant to be done and received with a playful spirit in mind.


As Americans we are so wasteful? My kids leave food on their plate and then whine they are hungry in a couple of hours....We don't eat all the leftovers and then they spoil.....ya know just plain old wasting. This came my mind lately the other day when I caught myself being all "tickled pink" that I use up ALL the mustard...every last drop to make meatloaf. Then I used up all the rest of the crackers in the sleeve before they went bad (which is the usual with us..they don't usually go bad because we eat hem up), and in the same day I scraped the last of the peanut butter from the jar and at lunch used every last smidgen of mayo. Whew!!! Funny how I got such satisfaction out of knowing that I didn't waste any of those such meaningless items.
As a family we try very hard to be good stewards of everything that the Lord has blessed us with. Justin and I are trying to instill in our children the reality that not all families, children, and pets are as loved as we are in our own family. Having an excessive food supply that surpasses our needs and a secure warm home is a luxery and a blessing, not a right. Living in America spoils us! Most of the world does not live the way we do yet we waste so much. Does that leave you WONDERING WHY and how you might be wasting your resources?

 I want to challenge you with a few questions...

How are you teaching your children to be good stewards of the things they are given?
When was the last time you reached out to someone without wanting something in return?

Feel free to copy my banner and link up!!! I would greatly appreciate it if you remember to link back to!....


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

 With the help of Lance, I roasted some pumpkin seeds for the first time last night! It was really simple actually, and Lance really enjoyed helping out. We decided to experiment a bit and made a salty batch and a sweet batch (brown sugar and cinnamon). Well I might have burnt the sweet needless to say they were not a crowd pleaser.....BUT the salty batch really turned out well and I will definitely be making up another batch of those! Here is how we did it, in case you want to give it whirl yourself.

We hollowed out the pumpkin and then took out all the seeds and put them on a baking sheet (while we were outside). Then we brought the seeds in the house rinsed them off in a strainer, getting all the little stingy orange stuff off of them. The next step was to put the seeds on a paper towel to let them dry for a few minutes. We also patted them dry to help this step go faster. After they were dry to out liking, we divided our seeds into the two groups, salty and sweet, although this is obviously not needed if your just making one big batch. Then I poured regular table salt on top of the seeds and mixed them around with a wooden spoon. After mixing well I added only about 2 tsp. of veg. oil and then mixed well again. To prepare my baking sheet I sprayed it well with Pam baking spray (HINT: I read to avoid using a spray with butter, it tends increase the chance of burning the seeds.)

To roast the seeds....a lot of things I checked out varied in temp. from 200 to 350. I really depends on how much you want to keep on eye on higher temps they brown quicker so you need to be really watching them closely (or they burn like mine second batch might I would say to go with 250 to 300 and then check them every 5-10 minutes and flip them to be sure they cook evenly. When putting the seeds on the pan be sure they are all flat on the sheet. (not piled on top of each other).
Ours turned out really yummy and make a great snack! I know there are a tons of different flavors you could make your seeds...lots of things you could try....So don't throw away all those seeds...Bake them for a yummy, healthy treat instead!

On Friday I will share what I did with the rest of the pumpkin!!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Scentsy Review & Giveaway!

I had the fantastic opportunity to be sent a Scentsy plug-in and brick of Sticky Cinnnamon Bun melts to review!! I am a candle lover, always have been so I was really excited to check out this company I had never heard of before. Scentsy is a company that offers home parties, internet parties, or book parties and they are have been around for about 5 years now.
I have had my plug-in for about a month now and I really am loving it! The smell is amazing!!
Please hang with me throughout this review...It's kinda long but I am really excited to share it with and because I knew nothing of how these great things work I wanted to share what I learned from the wonderful consultant, Heather, that I have been working with!

Scentsy a great company that offers a wickless candle, using a warmer that is powered by a light bulb, so it is very safe around children and pets, and you don’t have to worry about lead, soot, or flames like you do with regular candles – and Scentsy is less expensive!
Scentsy provides superior fragrance without sacrificing health, safety or style! We have over 80 scents to pick from!! Our wax bars have 50-80 hours of smell time to them when warmed. And over 50 warmers! Scentsy also have Plug-ins, Room Sprays, & Car Candles!

Plug-ins do tend to get pretty warm to the touch compared to the warmers.  There are a few different options to make the change go smoothly.
If you want to save the wax:
·    Turn off the plug-in and let the wax completely harden.
·    Take a little spoon, toothpick or harder small spatula and pop out the wax, put in a baggie for later use.
-    Turn on your plug-in and let the wax soften for about 5 mins, the pour back into the mold if there is still scent left, if not then pour into the garbage wipe clean with a tissue then put a new scent in.
·    Save the wax to make fire-starters for the wood stove.
If you do not want to save the wax:
·    Leaving the plug-in on take a paper towel, tissue, or toilet paper and soak up the wax, through in the trash and put in fresh wax.
·    This will also help your trash smell nice.

Scents are easy to switch.

The wax will not evaporate from the warmer/plug-in, when you notice there is no scent left pour it out, wipe it with a tissue and put another cube in.

Different Ways to Change Wax
1. While wax is melted- pour back into bar container.
2. Turn off warmer- wait 5-10 minutes for wax to start to harden. When it reaches a “gummy” state- peel it out of the dish top.
3. Use a paper towel to soak up wax and discard.
4. Turn off warmer- wait until wax is hard.
Use a clean Popsicle stick to pop out the wax.

If wax still has scent left- save in a baggie or mold back into bar container until ready to use again. Always clean dish between scents with a paper towel. If most of the scent is gone, discard or pour into a fun candy mold and harden in freezer for a few minutes. Place these in a drawer, cabinet or locker.  The also make cute ornaments! 

NOTE: Putting “new” wax into “old” wax is not a good idea. This will dilute the scent of the “new” wax.

The warmers do plug into the wall and they have a switch on the cord to turn them on or off. The plug-ins do tend to get warmer than the warmers because it is smaller and more compact so less room for the heat to flow. I can put my hands on the warmers when they are on, on the other hand I turn off the plug-ins before I change them as they do get a little warmer.

Where to put your warmer in your home or office?

To obtain maximum use of a scent, a place near a good air flow will carry the scent through your home. Placing a warmer too close to an air draft from a ceiling fan, right next to a window or vent will slow down the warming process. The wax warms at a low temperature and may not scent as well if a draft cools the wax before it can reach ideal temperature. One option is to open a window in a room but place a warmer close to a doorway/entry to that room. The air flow should carry the scent without cooling the wax.

Place the warmers/plug-ins out of the way so they don't get spilled, (if they did happen to get spilled the wax will not burn you as it only heats a little bit above body temp). You can stick your finger in the wax and not get burnt. I always suggest placing the plug-ins in a plug-in that is up from the ground or if that is not possible place it in an area that is not high traffic.

Try mixing 2 or 3 scents to create your own Scentsational Scent!

Scentsy wax and warmers are designed to work together and only with each other. If the wax is used in any other container other than a Scentsy warmer, we cannot guarantee that the scent will last as long or the safety either. Most warmers on the market burn at a much hotter temperature causing the scent to evaporate quicker. Other brands of wax and tarts do not usually work well in a Scentsy warmer as they need a much higher temperature to melt.

Room Spray Tips
Room Sprays can be used to freshen up lots of things! 
Car Candles ~ Tennis Shoes ~ Raincoats ~
Silk Flower Arrangements ~
*As with any room spray containing scented oils, they can sometimes make the dyes in fabrics run, check for colorfastness on an area that is out of sight!*

Car Candle Tips
~ Hang one near a laundry basket to help with the odor ~ Hang one in the coat closet during RAINY/SNOWY months to keep away the musty mildew smell ~ Ideal for teenagers to hang in lockers at school, with sports gear or gym bags ~ Leather Car Candles are great for golf bags ~ Put them in your trash can, between the trash liner and the can ~ Place one near the litter box ~ Drop one in your vacuum bag ~ Mail a car candle to a loved one for an unexpected treat ~
*Make sure your car candle hangs freely and does not touch anything that the scented oil can ruin!*

To browse through the latest catalog go here

Heather, the great Scentsy consultant, is very excited to offer ONE BLACK Groovy plug-ins (the design you see in red) and one brick of the Sticky Cinnamon Bun!!!

Deadline for entries is November 4th, 2009 @ NOON! USA entries only

Leave a seperate comment for each....
1. Follow or Subscribe to Gaertegang! ( 1 entry for each)
2. Follow me on Twitter
3. Twitter, Facebook, or email your friends about the giveaway! (1 entry for each one you do)
4. GRAB my button!!! (2 entries)
5. BLOG about the giveaway! (2 entries) Please leave me the link...

At the end of this giveaway I will be hosting a Scentsy internet party for all my Gaertegang readers, friends, and family.....I will post more info on that when the giveaway closes


Lovable Moments

 Tuesday and Wednesday of this week were just beautiful and very warm.....we spent LOTS of time outside..while we still have the chance. I was able to get an outside painting job done and still have time for some hanging out in the sunshine with the kids....

We started off our Monday with lots of tears. When we woke up we found our Butterscotch dog in the middle of road...dead....It was a very difficult day for us all.

On Wednesday I captured this very special moment with the kids and our Midnight dog. (We are thankful that Midnight seems to be adjusting well to missing her sister.)

Midnight is such a sweet dog, and you can tell she doesn't mind being loved on, laid on, and is totally cherished by us all.....Have a GREAT weekend!!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just for the JOY of it!

 Well I have put my fence to some good use! I thought it was best for me to wait until spring to plant any I did up for the fall!!

Happy Fall!!!

 The boys and I had fun stuffing up a good scarecrow...we used a milk jug for the head and drew a face on it...then filled it with water to make it stay put....

I went to town to buy some Mums and instead I found I decided to buy these flowering kale that were on clearance instead!! I can't help's the bargain lover in me...

 I also stumbled upon a place that I got all my pumpkins 1/2 off...great trip to town!

So my friend Sharon ( you know that gal who did such a fantastic job on my header and button) is starting a new carnival today....So head over and check out what brings other JOY!

So how many of you decorate for fall?


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wonder Why Wednesday


Welcome to Wonder Why Wednesday!

I find that whenever I add humor to my day, my week, my mommy's moments it always make life a little easier to swallow.....anyone else feel that way?
With that in mind, this series it meant to be done and received with a playful spirit in mind.


Woman were made to be multi-taskers? I think it is a pretty know fact that a BIG difference between most men and women. Men generally can focus on ONE thing at a time, while women are tend to be fixing breakfast, making a grocery list, answering the phone while checking their email. GOD MADE US VERY different in that department...Wouldn't you agree?
I heard something lately that really stunned me....a women recently shared during Sunday School (we were studying marriage) that men actually have a "Nothing Box". So you know when you just sitting around and you ask you hubby, "So, what cha' thinking about honey?" Then they reply "Nothing." Well it turns out, IT'S TRUE! I had no being the wonderful women we are, we want to fill that "Nothing Box" with something.....but guess what when we fill it...they get another "Nothing Box"!   FUNNY huh? Well in all seriousness I envy that a little bit.....I want a NOTHING BOX!!! I want to sit down and enjoy a night of rest without thinking about the next, laundry, school, getting my quiet time, soccer practices, and I could go on and on. I am sure most of you can relate!
Do you sometimes find that you multi-task yourself to death? The other day I had to just stop and laugh at myself.....I started to go get the cleaning supplies to clean the bathroom...then I thought as I walked by the washer and dryer that I should first switch a load of laundry then clean the bathroom while it was running....okay back to getting the cleaning supplies....then I saw the toilet paper and thought I should grab a few rolls and restock the tp under the sink...onto the bathroom....So as I started to clean the bathroom I need paper towels and go the kitchen to get them them I notice dishes that need put away. So I thought to myself, "While the toilet cleaner is doing it's thing, I will put away the dishes"....then I notice the counter needs wiping...then I remember oh ya I am suppose to be cleaning the bathroom......okay you get the point but I could keep going! That's when I stopped myself and laughed. Then I thought to myself....slow down GIRL!!! One thing at a time!!!  All of this makes my WONDER WHY I think I need to be zooming around multi-tasking myself into a stress mess.
Please comfort me by telling me I am alone in my zooming around the all do these funny running around cycle of trying to get a million things done at one time, right?


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Zach's 2-Wheelin' It!!

 To say that this little guy wanted to learn to ride a BIG boy bike, would be an understatement. Zach, being the youngest of  three boys, always wants to do EVERYTHING his BIG bothers do. So a few weeks ago Justin worked with Zach for a couple of hours one night and he has now graduated to an official BIG BOY bike with NO training wheels!!

 Here he is getting ready to show me what he's got!! You can see the excitement in his eyes!

Look at that smile...He is so proud of himself.....and you should have seen my face.....Smiling as big as ever with my eyes being a little teary. Oh how my kids are growing faster that ever! I intently watched him while snapping pictures for a couple of hours.

 Zooming by......that is best way to describe how I feel about my kids "graduating" to all this BIG kid stuff. Ya know, on some days I feel like my children are the most "needy" children in the world.....needing me for so many mundane tasks (sometime they just make up stuff to need me for just for fun I others days I realize I better truly cherish those moments of "mundaneness" (probably not a real word) because they are fleeting and ZOOMING by!

Mommy and Daddy LOVE you so much! We are so proud of you and the hard work you have put into riding that great bike of yours...You are growing into such a GREAT helper with a compassionate heart for others. We pray for you each day and can't wait to see what things the Lord has in store for you!

LOVE, Mom & Dad

Monday, October 19, 2009


 CONGRATS to Christa (Miller) for winning the Charlie Hope CD!!

CONGRATS to Nicole for winning the Susan Marlow Combo!

More giveaways coming as soon as I can put them on!!


Bluegrassin' with the Gaertegang

 Now that fall has set in and bluegrass festivals have ended, Hubby is gearing up for some good ole' jammin' sessions! He had his first one two weekends ago. Does everyone know what a jam session is? I am thinking you do, but just in case you have no idea what I am talking about...I will explain as best as I can. Basically it's a group of "bluegrass lovers" ( in our case) that get together and just play music. From basic beginners to professionals everyone just plays and learns from the other players. It seems to me that everyone usually plays in a they can see others people's fingers....and they play for hours and hours.
I do not play an instrument nor do I have any desire to learn to play one. It's hubby's passion and I support and encourage him. My kids all seem to love bluegrass...and love playing around on their instruments. Lance plays banjo, Caleb wants to learn guitar, and Zach is liking the mandolin.

 Here is just part of the jam....Zach is loving every minute of "playing music" with Daddy!

I think he would have stayed out in the barn all night if I would have let him. I think this jam session ended sometime around 1am...not for me though I went to bed (smile).


Friday, October 16, 2009

FREE Amazon Prime Membership Hurry end TODAY 10/16

 I ran across this great post link from Money Saving Mom.....which took me to Money Saving Madness to let me know about a FANTASTIC deal!!! Amazon Prime Membership is being offered FREE through today ONLY!!!! This normally would cost you $79!! This 3 MONTH membership entitles you to 2-day FREE shipping on ALL minimums!!!!!! I am so excited and really think this will be wonderful while I do some Christmas shopping online!!! Be sure to follow here STEP by STEP instructions. I had no problems!! You even tells you how to turn off the automatic after the 3 month trial your card will NOT be charged!!!

Oh Happy Day!

 I don't know if any of you are this way, but sometimes it doesn't take much to get me excited....Like for instance, my sweet hubby came two weekends ago after and auction and told me he got something for me. Well I had no idea what he was talking about and then he pulled out this box with all these freezer containers in them!!! YIPEEE!!! Can you tell the containers on the left are still in the wrapping, yep that's right BRAND NEW!!! Wanna know how much he paid for all of them? I bet you do.......$1.00! Oh how excited I was, probably a little to excited, but HEY THIS IS BIG FOR ME!!! I am forever running out of freezer containers.

I think this just goes to show that the little things in life can bring such joy! What little things in life are you thankful for today?

Thanks honey for thinking of me! I LOVE YOU!!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Update on No Work Sheet Wednesday..

 I thought I might update you on how our "No WORK sheet Wednesday" were going. I am happy to report that I think I came up with a real winner!! Here are a few things we have been up to on Wednesday's. Fort the the bedrooms.....followed by......

 Secret HIDE OUT boys all love using this is a good time for us to put them to some good use!! Plus they get some alone time...Yesterday Zach and Caleb made a great "tent" using the bunk beds in their room and then Julia, Zach, Caleb, and myself all climbed in and listened to Caleb read us a chapter book. It was so FUN!!!

 Lance decided the other day that this week he would "teach" an art class right after breakfast. So he put up his sheet of paper and instructed us on how to draw a pumpkin...stem and all. Then after we all had finished that one he taught us how the step-by-step method for drawing a blue bird.....He was so proud that he got everyone's attention and of course he loves to "instruct others" (smile).

 Here is his captive audience...minus me for a second while I grabbed a picture...but I sat in on the learning as well!

 Here is a sample of our marvelous art work..per Lance's instructions....We all enjoyed it and said Lance will have to lead us again sometime in the near future.

So there are just a few things we are doing on Wednesday to keep FUN in our school days.....Here is a really fun website that was given to me (THANKS Harmony!). I thought you might like to check it out.....E-Learning for kids


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wonder Why Wednesday?

Welcome to Wonder Why Wednesday!

I find that whenever I add humor to my day, my week, my mommy's moments it always make life a little easier to swallow.....anyone else feel that way?
With that in mind, this series it meant to be done and received with a playful spirit in mind.


When you decide to take a couple minutes to make a phone call that everyone in your house seems to flock into the room needing you? All my children can be upstairs or outside playing together, ever so nicely might I add, and then I get on the phone and all havoc breaks out!!! Someone enters the room crying, wanting to tell me something that "just can't wait", Julia wants to be held or wants a drink ASAP! I am convinced they have some little sensor, radar, or some other wireless device that is unseen to the mommy eye, that is installed into their little precious bodies while they are in the womb. Okay, so I know that they really don't have any device implanted because if they did us mommy's would I guess that I'm still stuck wondering why and how they know when I pick up the phone.......

I am not sure if this is something others will want to link up let's try it for a couple weeks and see! If no one has the time, or feels the urge to join in I will continue the series but delete Mr. Linky (after two weeks)...Feel free to grab my little banner if you want to participate and don't forget to link back here!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blog Worthy Moment!

Do you ever have moments, events, or situations that happen to you and then it dawns on you "That is a blog worthy moment?" Well I do and my husband of course loves to tease me and say "You need to put that on "The BLOG"! "

So here is something to make you say " glad that didn't happen to me!" and maybe even laugh a little!

So yesterday, Monday, I am minding my own business and catching up on laundry, dishes, and meals....but then again when am I NOT doing one or more of those things? Anyway....I was in the laundry room switching up a load of laundry (whites)........well let me back track a minute....For the past two days I have been smelling this unwelcome smell from my laundry room. Since my laundry room also doubles as our mudroom/coat & shoe storage area I hadn't given it much thought. Only because I have had an extra amount of smelly things to wash lately because of a two year who is potty training (and doing well!!), and a four year old ,that shall remain nameless, that has been going potty IN HIS BED in the middle of night (grrrr!). So like I said, add that to the muddy, wet, dirty coats and shoes from playing outside and you get some less than delightful smells that emerge.
Okay back to the washer.....As I was putting in the last handful of wet clothes into the dryer I felt something fall on to my bare foot ,because I was wearing flip flops.....I DID NOT look down immediately, figuring it was just a wet sock or wash cloth......well then I DID look down and it was a DEAD MOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So as I was screaming and wiggling all around being totally grossed out, my boys came to my rescue me and ask what I was yelling about. I told them and Lance promptly said, "Oh mom, (sigh) no big deal it's just a's no even alive..." Yep! That is the kind of sympathy I get around here!!!
Well I am happy to report that the yucky smell from my laundry room is GONE!!! I am also hoping that we very boring around here the rest of the week, because that is about all the excitement I can handle in one week...I like boring....uneventful....that's okay with me!!!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Guess Where I am going?

Hubby & I just got official confirmation that he has won another trip this year!!!! This year we are heading off to Grand Bahia Principe Resort in PUNTA CANA!!! It will be cold here when we leave for a 5 day stay....nice and tropical there!!...ohhh I am so spoiled....and LOVING every second of it!!
We celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary on November 6th, so I think it's makes this trip an extra special getaway time!!! I am so thankful for a Husband who truly loves what he does and works super hard at his job...which results in him winning trips like these. (The top 20 salesman in the US, for this certain company, get to go on the trip). I am REALLY thankful that they are able to take their spouses along...we only pay for my airfare!! I know to cool, huh?
I am so thankful that my hubby has a job that makes these otherwise unrealistic trips a possibility for us....That you Jesus for such a blessing!!!!
So if you need to find in the mean time, I will be on doing LOTS of sit-ups, arm work outs, and leg lifts in order to "get my beach body on".......that part NOT SO FUN!!! But ohhhh so worth it by the time the trip arrives!!!

Draw & Write Through History ~ Mama Buzz Review ~

Okay the day is here! My first Mama Buzz Review!!!(I know you've been checking out my little button on my sidebar and wondering what that is all about. Well, here is the first book/product I have been blessed to take part in reviewing.

We were sent a FREE copy of the first book, Creation through Jonah, in this series of four. Draw & Write is published by CPR ( a Christian company). This fantastic series is written by Carylee Gressman, homeschool mom and mother of seven. The great illustrations are done by Peggy Dick, a mother, pastor's wife and former graphic-design artist.
My boys love to draw, and they didn't waste any time diving into this new book. Since I, their mama, (and school teacher) can't draw a stick person to save her life, I really appreciate resources that can teach them how to better their talents in the art department. I love several things about Draw and Write Through History. I love that is can be used to supplement whatever time in history we are learning about, or use it alone just for the pure enjoyment of drawing (and sneak learning facts in while they don't even realize it). I love the step by step in which each "project" is presented. Breaking each drawing in smaller steps that make drawing fun even for people like me who seemingly have no art ability look like an artist.

Want to try it before you buy it? Take a sample art lesson HERE!Here is a picture of the first two pages in the book. I decided to have my boys each write their name and the date on each picture they draw in this series and then I put them into my school binder so I can watch them improve their skills as we work our way through the school year. My two oldest boys participate twice a month in an art class at our local library, and I am very excited to have this great book to use in between those class sessions. I would highly recommend this great series who is looking to supplement their history lesson with some hands on applications of art work. I also really like that because this book does such a nice job of breaking things down into step that I can use it for my Pre-school age kids as well as my older kids, which is so huge for me when I can find something we can all enjoy together.

One book is $12 or the whole series Books 1-4 for $40 available HERE.

Creation through Jonah
-Book 1
Covers the time period from c. 600 B.C. to A.D. 395- Book 2
Vikings to the Middle Ages and lightly touches on the Renaissance- Book 3
Pilgrims, Pirates, and Patriots covers mostly American History to the Revolution- Book 4


Friday, October 9, 2009

Charlie Hope CD Review/ Giveaway!

Challenge & Fun Company sent the GAERTEGANG this entertaining children's CD to listen to and enjoy. I would say this would be aimed at 4 year old and younger as a primary target. I know a couple boys who are older than that around this house that enjoyed listening to the CD as well. Charlie Hope is the artist/songwriter on the CD. She has a very soft and mellow tone to her voice and makes listening to this CD easy to do even for us mommy's.

You can a sample of the CD HERE
You can buy the CD for $14.95 HERE (Free time offer)

Challenge & Fun Company is offering another GIVEAWAY...YAHOO!
Open to US residents...DEADLINE is 10/18/09 at NOON!

ENTER to WIN a CD for yourself....It would make a great stocking is getting time to start thinking about those things you know....

1. Grab my button!(2 entries)
2. Follow Gaertegang
3. Subscribe to Gaertegang!
4. Twitter the giveaway!
5. Facebook about the giveaway!
6. Blog about the giveaway!(2 entries)
7. Enter Susan Marlow's Book/Lapbook Giveaway!


Susan Marlow Book & Lapbook Review/Giveaway

I was blessed with the privilege to be able to read and review a book by Christan author Susan Marlow. Susan is a fantastic woman whom I have gotten to know over the past few months. Equally as great as she is, are here refreshingly wholesome and adventurous books! I would recommend these books for 3 grade and up.

Susan sent me the first book in the first in the Circle C Adventure series Andrea Carter and the Long Ride Home. Andrea Carter is a 12 year old girl who seem to constantly find herself in the mode of making what she thinks are good decisions that turn out to be bad judgment. She is a spirited young girl who loves the feeling of independence and has all the confidence is takes to think she has things under control.
Even though I have boys, I have been using this book as our read aloud, they adore this book.. What kid wouldn't like a book about adventure, suspense, bad guys, and being in the country. We loved this book so much we promptly bought books 2,3,&4 (Book #5 is due out Feb. 2010) so we could keep the series going! Our normal schedule is to read one chapter together after lunch, but the boys ALWAYS beg me to keep reading! If your kids are begging to keep going, who I am to say no? So lately is have been two chapters about 3 times a week. I have to admit, I am enjoying the books as much as they are.

You can purchase each book HERE for $10.50 (this price includes S&H)
Buy all 4 Books for $30 from the same link above (this price already includes S&H)
Susan also sent along a LAPBOOK that goes along with the book we read. Each book has it's own lapbook to help you dig deeper into the story and understand the times, surroundings, and happenings of the time. It has been very helpful to be able to share these fun extra details with my guys. This lapbook has helped them to grasp the story and the era that theses stories take place, which helps to "build up" the next book! This was the first experience with LAPBOOKS, which some of you might find hard to believe that I have homeschooled for 4 years now and never even heard of them before ( I must have been living under some rock....) I enjoyed the process of making the book so the older boys and I could enjoy the whole learnign process together. We have not finished going through the entire book yet but we are working on it, and it has been a rewarding experience all the way around.
The lapbooks are made by, A Journey Through Learning , and are sold at CurrClick for $13.00......I saw on there site they are currently running a sale of 25% off...go stockpile some if you think this is something you would love to do with your kids.

Susan also offers an option to purchase the BOOK plus the LAPBOOK for $25 FREE SHIPPING!

WANT TO YOUR OWN COMBO (Book plus Lapbook)PACK??? 

I bet you do!!! Here are the way you can WIN!! Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry....Thanks...Open to Us residents...DEADLINE 10/18/09 at NOON!

1. GRAB my button!!(2 entries)
2. Follow Gaertegang
3. Subscribe to Gaertegang
4. Twitter about the giveaway
5. Facebook about the giveaway
6. Blog about the giveaway (2 entries!)
7. Enter the Charlie Hope CD giveaway!

2 Giveaways = 2 WINNERS!!

Congrats to The Suburban Jungle, you won the Labyrinth Balance Board!!

Congrats to Jstaces, you won the pattern from Marie-Madeline Studios!!!

Thanks to all who entered...two more giveaways SOON to come!!

(I sent an email to both of you girls please reply within the next 48 hours!)


Harvesting seeds now for Spring planting

After posting yesterday about "putting my garden to bed" for the winter and getting it ready for next spring. I thought I would share just a few tidbits on what I am up to in my flowers as well.
Call me crazy, but there is something I love this time of year about collecting seeds!! There are a host of plants annuals and perennials alike that you can harvest seeds from now to plant next spring. Here are a few I harvest from my yard zinnias, mallows, hollyhocks, cosmos, sunflowers, columbine, cone flowers, and morning glories. I know there are MANY more flowers that can be harvested, but I just wanted to give you a few. I just wanted to make you aware in case you had not clue this was even possible. I know when I was first getting started in my LOVE OF FLOWERS I had no clue!! Someone had to tell me, so now I am telling you..that's how all good things are passed down, right?

I thought maybe an illustration might be helpful..
Here is what my morning glories look like after they are done flowering, but they are not ready to harvest yet. Notice the white color and they are firm feeling.
Here are some that are ready to be harvested. They look brown, dried, and crumbly to the touch.
Here is Julia helping me harvest some seeds. We just squeeze the "brown part" into the bag. I really love that my kids love to help me harvesting so much...
I love the one on one time I get to enjoy with them as each one of them takes turns helping me. I love those teachable moments we share together outside as we enjoy God's creation.
I love that I serve a GOD that LOVES us enough to care about the details.
Not only did he make every flower so different, the way the petals are shaped, the color, and the fragrance is different for each one. GOD loves us enough to make things so wonderful for us to enjoy.


Is anyone else collecting seeds? If so, share which ones you like to harvest.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Getting My Garden Ready for Fall!

What a blessing it has been to have a garden again this year. I have enjoyed the whole process from picking out what veggies to plant....working up the soil...planting...Yep, I even enjoyed the weeding....and finally the harvesting and canning! Since canning has slowed down for most of us, I would talk a little bit about what I plan to do now, in the fall, to get my garden ready for next year!

First: Finish getting the corn husks, and left over tomato plants out of the garden.
Second: Tilling up the soil again...I always love how it looks when it's freshly tilled!
Third: Amend the soil (I already added a little horse manure in this past Spring)...I am planning to go and buy some amended soil (I want to add in a good mix of sand, compost, and other organic materials...It should be under $20 for a whole truck load.) Then I will till it again......My reason for doing it now it that it will then have all winter to break down and really my get soil ready for next Spring! Now is also a good time to consider where you want to plant your veggies next year..I know it good to rotate them to different spot each year.
Fourth: Transfer thorn less Red Raspberries....I am super excited about Justin's aunt giving me a few starts of her raspberries!! Fall is the best time to do this....also a great to transplant other things such as strawberries. Speaking of strawberries, I have already put straw around all my strawberries to help them "keep warm" through the winter....I know mulching of some sort is recommended. I am planning a new layout of my garden. I have decided to make my garden bigger because I want to incorporate a flower (cutting) garden as well! I also want to have a place in garden dedicated to easily transplanting flowers from my current landscape or have a place to put new starts that others give me.
Fifth: Take an inventory of the things I would like to plant again...Figure out what things are not worth planting again.....whether you need to increase or decrease of the amount of seeds you plant. Now is a great time for taking care of is still fresh in your mind! If I wait until next Spring.....forget it....I will have no clue!
Sixth: I get a couple different seed magazines so I will spend some time later this winter marking it up with things I might like to try....even if you choose not to order the seed from a seed company they offer some great ideas to think about! If you do not currently get any seed magazines you can go here and here to request a few!

The only other thing to consider is if you are near a wooded area or an area known for "little helpers" like rabbits, deer, and raccoon, you might want to consider fencing of some sort. I didn't have any of these problems this year but I think our two puppies, who seem to be "night owls" and love chasing things, might have helped out that situation (smile!)

So there are a few things I am planning to do to get my garden ready for winter...Brrrrr!

I thought I might also add that if you want to start a garden in the Spring, whether this will be your first garden or if your getting back into gardening, then you can follow these same steps Of course, your first thing you need to do is decide where to put your garden.....keep these things in close to a Boldwater source, pick a place that makes sense for your family...Example: If you have little kids you might want to consider putting your garden within close proximity to the swing set or play while your working in the garden they can play and you can still keep an eye on them. Just a thought!




Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New Series....

I got this idea little idea in the middle of the night a couple months ago and I am just now getting around to starting it.....I find that whenever I add humor to my day, my week, my mommy's moments it always make life a little easier to swallow.....anyone else feel that way?
With that in mind, this series it meant to be done and received with a playful spirit in mind.

Feel free to borrow my "logo" and use it. I only ask that you link back to Gaertegang.

Ever Wonder Why.........

People who don't like people work in the customer service business? I mean if I go to a store and I can't find something and then I ask an employee "Where might I find such and such?" Shouldn't they be more than willing to help me.....and not just shrug me off and say, "I don't know..." and then proceed to walk anyway.... That leaves me WONDERING WHY don't you get someone who does know to help do these people keep there jobs with such a lack of interest in doing their job at all let alone well....WHY do these people work in customer service if they lack interest in actually helping the people who help them to keep their jobs....the customers? Well I don't have any actual answers but I could think of a few solutions to deal with such people, but we won't go into that....still it leaves me puzzled and WONDERING WHY?

Since this is the first week I don't expect anyone would want to link up today...but next week I will have Mr. Linky for anyone who wishes to share any WONDERING WHY...they have on their mind!


Last Molly Update

I wanted to update you one more time on Molly, who we (along with many others) have been praying for. She was able to come HOME on Monday!!!! God is so good and has used this whole situation to work in many hearts about the importance and the effectiveness of prayer. I am happy to report that Molly comes with very little deficits, compared to what she could have, and will endure a bit of physical and occupational therapy here at home. Our prayer is now that she will continue to heal completely and be lead a seizure free life. Also our prayer for her family to get the must needed rest from this journey they have been on....and before baby #5 arrives in 4 weeks!!!
Thanks for praying. I know I have been blessed and challenged while following Molly's progress and I hope you have been to. It is important that when prayers are answered so QUICKLY like in this case that we should be just as quick to GIVE GOD all the honor and praise HE DESERVES.....

Praising God in all of His goodness,

Meals for October

Here is a peek into what the Gaertegang is eating this month after my monthly shopping trip....


Homemade pizza
Tilapia, mashed potatoes, peas
Fried chicken, baked potatoes, roll, corn
Potato soup
Chicken quesadillas
Meatloaf, sweet potato casserole, butter bread
Tator Tot Casserole, green beans
Lasagna, garlic bread
Spaghetti bake, veggie
Chili, crackers and butter bread or rolls
Pork burgers, fries, pork and beans
Fish, veggie, applesauce

LUNCH- super we can get back to schooling
BLT sandwiches, apple slices
salad with croutons and all the fixings
cold meat sandwiches, chips, grapes
Mac & Cheese and hot dogs, fruit
PB&J sand., raisins, chips
Chili dogs, fruit
Cheese toasties, fruit

Egg & Sausage Casserole
Pop Tarts ( for fast Saturday soccer mornings)
Sweet rolls (for Sunday mornings, twice this month)
Oatmeal with blueberries
blueberry muffin, yogurt
scrambled eggs with bacon and shredded cheese
Biscuits and Gravy


US Air Force Museum

Our last day of vacation were spent at the US Air Force Museum.....well I can some it up in one word PLANES.....LOTS OF PLANES!!!!! We did have a lot of fun. We even got to walk through a couple of planes, ride in a simulator, and learn TONS of the about history.
Can you say HUGE!!! I was blown away at the size of these missiles.......
Caleb actually gave me ONE good photo from tongue out, no thumbs up, or funny face.....The boys all loved being able to sit in the cock pit and pretend they were flying the plane...very FUN!!
The kids all loved seeing the tall buildings.....Some of them shouted they were so happy to see their first skyscraper!!! This is a picture of the Cincinnati as we passed through.
Some of us liked it more than others as we passed over the Ohio River! Well we had a great vacation and always love spending some quality time together. Hope you enjoyed coming along for the ride!!!



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Creation Museum

Our first decision for vacation was that we wanted to go to The Creation Museum. We spent the entire day here. From 930A until 5pm....we saw countless cool things...when we first walked in there was this man carrying this snake and a lizard. I stayed as far away as possible but close enough to snap a picture.
We started off through the massive set-up of a museum with wall to wall people.
Lots of different facts on dinosaurs....
I loved all these colorful sceneries . This one is Adam naming each of the animals.
We toured the museum from 930a-12:15p then we went to watch a presentation in one of their theaters that had lots of special effects that ended and then we headed to the Planetarium for another worth the extra money!!! Lunch time after that!!! Then we were off to check out the outdoors.....

They had a little "petting zoo" or so they called it. It wasn't a total waste of time, but it was nothing worth writing home about....The camel below was probably the highlight!
I enjoyed the museum very much but I was in my element in the flower garden we went through.....I took LOTS of pics but I will just share of few....
Here is Caleb putting on a smile and asking me if I really loved all the flowers...YEP LOVED IT!
There was a pond you can see in this pic....the kids have fun throwing the fish some food..
Here is Julia after a LONG day with NO NAP....The face tells it all..
The garden also had several water features, at least four or five that I can think of. I would love to one someday....I love the sound of water flowering....
Another highlight especially for anyone who doesn't enjoy flowers as much as I do, was the suspension bridge. I was giggling at the amount of adults who were jumping around and wiggling the bridge just because they could....I wasn't sure who was having more fun the kids or the adults...

If you are going to be in Southeastern Ohio....just over the bridge into Kentucky is where you will find The Creation Museum. I would say it is so worth the trip, money, and time to go! Our kids all really liked it, but it was a long day for the youngest two...and we were on our second day of vacation with no real naps. It cost us around $100 for the Museum and the Planetarium (the two youngest kids were FREE (under 5 is FREE but they still need a ticket). I would also recommend that if you plan to make the trip to get your tickets online. The Museum only allows a certain number of people in per day I think, plus you can avoid the HUGE line of people waiting to get tickets. We walked right in with no wait since we had our tickets! There are many other things I could tell you about our day, but I realize you time is valuable. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email or leave a comment with your email address if you are not a blogger so I can contact you.


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