Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Splash Universe Day

On Monday we got to take a family vacation day to an indoor water park that is not to far from our house. We had tons of fun together! The kids really loved being in the water and all the slides. We did conclude that we think we could have spent 1/2 a day there and that would have been plenty.

 Good Times....Great Fun.....Memories Made....


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My FUN Bulk Food Store Stop!

I don't have time to post about our trip to the Indoor Water Park right now, but I wanted to share with you my goodies I picked up at E&S Bulk Store while in town!

I won't list everything I got but here is are some of the bigger bulk items I got.
#25 popcorn
#25 whole wheat flour
#50 unbleached white flour
#10 cornmeal
#10 raw sugar
Big bottle of oil
2 big bags of homemade organic regular noodles
and as you can see lots of other goodies as well!!

THIS STOP was my most exciting part of the day....nerdy huh? I can't help it!! I am so excited to be stocked up on so many of the things I use daily or weekly around here!!! (I think the part of not having to grocery shop excites me the most :)


PMS Night! *Pizza~Meaningfull Conversation~Stamping*

 I had so much fun at my first ever "PMS Night" last Friday night. I arrived at 7p or so and stamped until midnight!! read it correctly MIDNIGHT!! Ohh so much fun and ohhh so productive as well....27 cards was my total!! I am thrilled and hope to maybe do another on in May sometime. Well I realize that some of you probably think I am totally crazy for spending so many hours stamping, so let me put it this way. NO children, NO interruptions, HOURS of creativity, adult conversation (again without interuptions), food, meeting new people, getting to use all kinds of FUN and NEW gadgets that I don't have!!!!! I bet you just might want to go along with me next time!!! Here is the array of things I got done....some of these were partial put together cards that I just put on my own cardstock....which is the only way I could get so many beautiful cards done!


Monday, March 29, 2010

March's Character Trait Activites~Patience

 In out kit for this month were given an empty green dish and some grass seed. This activity of planting grass helps to teach the kids patience while working together and patience while they wait for the grass to spout. (Along with other wonder life skills like nurturing the grass with water & light, commitment to make sure that watering is consistent...then wait some more!

 Above: Caleb and Zach used team work to fill the dish with soil...good job boys!
 Here Lance got the job of sprinkling in the grass seeds. There is something very gratifying about planting seeds and watching them grow. It only took a few days for the grass to start sprouting!
 Now it look nice and lush and green! The boys have enjoyed "cutting the grass" on several occasions now. It is grown in nicely and we can now place our cross in the grass.
 Notice the rock beside the foot of the cross? We wrote the 2 Peter verse  reference on it with a permanent marker on one side. We talked about what being patient look like with "one word" then wrote those words on the other side as a reminder.
The kit also came with a FAMILY NIGHT paper. It encouraged each family to plan a night....doing anything you wish, as long as you are together as a family. So here is our family night plan!! We are heading to an indoor water park nearby!!! We got a gift certificate to go there as a family Christmas gift...good thinking huh? So again, the kids are practicing their patience while they have been waiting all month to go.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Kitten Update...

Well I told you last week that our Rosabell cat had 7 kittens. I will spare you all the details, because some are still yet unclear to us.......short story we went out to find the next morning we had only ONE kitten left. Also the mama won't sit still long enough for the surviving one to just to make it more interesting she kept laying on top of it. So now we are dropper feeding a newborn kitten with milk replacer......yes all for the sake of a barn cat. Truth be told, I am only going to all this trouble to please my Caleb. He was so heartbroken over losing all the others I felt it was important we show this kitten some extra LOVE. So this little kitten is now running our life...feeding just like a new born, cleaning it, making sure the hot pad under it's little show box is warm...but not to hot. Yep, all for my Caleb. It does help that he (Caleb) has said to me several times now...."Mom, thank you so much for helping to keep my kitten alive. It's one of the best presents you could EVER give me....really mom I appreciate you getting up in the middle of night to feed it and all." Enough to make my heart melt....and so I will continue to help this little one grow and thrive just for him.
Want to see what this little one looks like?
He/she (not sure yet) weighed 3.92 oz on Friday at 24 hours old.

 Julia thought this little one needed a special bed to sleep in. Soooo I let the kitten take a nap in it, before moving her to a shoe box where it could move around some.


SOOC Saturday!

 Once again I am having FUN with Slurping Life and sharing my Straight Out Of the Camera Image. These pictures are not allowed to be edited....and have to come SOOC......

These proud boys are having fun welcoming our new additions!! If you missed my posts on their arrival you can go here and here to check it out!


Friday, March 26, 2010

Kitten Update...

I didn't take the time yesterday to tell you all the details of our kittens, so I will today! Yesterday morning Caleb went out to feed the Cats (we have two) he discovered that his cat, Rosabell, had her kittens. He came running into the house and announced their arrival with such excited!!! So we all ran out to check them out as soon as we could get on our coats and rain boots.

When I got out to the barn I noticed right away that these were "fresh kittens". Yep...still wet most all of them. I explained to the  boys that we should be as quiet as possible because this first time mama might be nervous with all of us around here new babies. So we just sat and stared at them and tried to help Caleb contain his excitement. Some of the kittens were already nursing and then out of no where we heard this little meow, that was rather loud for such small kittens. Then Rosabell sat up a bit and starting licking off another new little one. Luckily her head was in the way and no was "educated" in a very real way about giving birth. It was all a very fun morning full of excitement.

We came back into the house to leave them all be and let Rosabell attend to her kittens. The boys were a flurry of questions, "How soon will they open their eyes? How soon will they walk? When will they eat real cat food? So Caleb ran to get his book about Cats he got for Christmas a year ago and they were all huddled together reading aloud the answers to these questions.

After things settled down a bit Caleb came to me and said, "Mom this is the best day of my life! Better than Disney World (which we have never been to), better than Splash Universe (which is are going to very soon). I have always wanted kittens at my house and today my dream has come true!!"

A little later he says well if I call Rosabell "my little girl" what does that make the kittens to me......(he thinks for a minutes)....a GRANDpa!!! Ohhh I am pretty sure I lost it that very second and we enjoyed laughing together and rejoicing over the simple in life like new kittens.

Here are a couple pictures of the new little ones:


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Additions to the Gaertegang!

We are so pleased to introduce you to the newest members of the Gaertegang (at least for a now)! We new our precious Rosabell was expecting kittens soon, and this morning Caleb went out to feed and water here, along with Snowball, and this is what he found.....

 We are so excited about little ones. I think they are seven so far....from what I can see.


Looks Like I've Had Company (uninvited company)!

 I went down to the basement yesterday to get some seeds to do my second planting of tomatoes and some other things, and this is what I found...........(insert angry shrill sounds)

Apparently we had some very uninvited guests at our home and didn't even realize it...until yesterday! "This thief" ate all my pumpkin seeds, both varieties, my new sunflower variety that I was excited to have to add to my others......ripped open my bag of sugar snap peas & one bad of sweet corn, but I guess those were not his favorite because he left them all there is a pile for me to reclaim. My watermelon bag was chew up some but luckily I don't think he stole any of them. Ohhh ya and my Moonflower seeds must be yummy too because he just left me the bag.Grrrrrr! I know it's my own fault for being silly enough to think that these critters wouldn't break into them. I guess in my world I pretend these critters NEVER enter my we don't have uninvited furry things......ohh I wish that was the case! You can bet that the traps are already set and ready to unleash some justice on "the thief" that I am sure is somewhere roaming unseen.....even though I am going to pretend otherwise because it creaps me out!!

On the JOYFUL side, my seeds I started on the 13th of this month are doing GREAT!!! They are staying nice and cozy under the grow light by day, and on top of the corn stove by night. I also planted a second round of tomatoes, Delphiniums (perennial), and some Stevia (herb...the leaves are 30% sweeter than sugar).

So that's all from the Gaertegang this Thursday....go see Sharon here and read more joyful happenings!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Awana Grand Prix 2010

This past weekend Lance got to participate in the Awana Grand Prix for the very first time!! He was so excited to design, paint, and then show off his car to anyone he could Here are some pictures from this past weekend.

I believe there were 40 entries in the race this year.
 Here is Lance's creation "The General Lee" pics are some other cool creations!

 Here is a shot of part of the track.... We had good time watching the kids...we didn't win, but thought we did well for our first year. Lance is already talking about his engineering changes he will make next year and the new car design along with the new name....good times.
Like I said.....I think it's safe to say he had a good time!


Winner of Virginia Soaps..

Congrats to Shannon at The Peer Review for being the winning entry!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Spring!

 It's officially Spring now! We all LOVE to be outside when the weather warms up. One of the kids favorite things to do is eat their lunch on the trampoline. ~Julia was more interested in jumping while they were trying to eat :)
 We worked in the yard, went for a couple of bike rides, played on the swing set LOTS, and took care of some Spring cleaning jobs last week! This week I think the weather is suppose to be a little cooler so I plan to catch up in the house once again.

So what are you favorite things to do in the SPRING? I would love to know....


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hurry.....enter now!!!

Shampoo bar, laundry soap kits, and great smelling soaps (Virginia Soaps & Scents) giveaway ends at NOON MONDAY 3/22!!! Hurry and enter now....last chance!!!!!!!

Pampers Cruisers Clearance Cart at CVS!!!

Just a quick post to let you know that I stopped in at my local CVS tonight to grab some much needed sinus medication and saw a cart stuffed totally full with Pampers diapers. They were clearance out at $4.49 a pack...matched up with some coupons (which I did not have with me....frown) these would be a real steal. Just so you know Pampers cruisers are also on sale this week for $8 something with $3 ecb....I was really hoping that these would also qualify and then I would get them for a $1 each. NOT SO MUCH....these did not produce any ecb....just so you know. Still a great deal if you need them.....they had various sizes, I just grabbed the ones I needed (big sigh....because I even have to still buy them....Miss Julia is on a potty training boycot!!!). I'm sure you could call your local CVS to see if they have such a cart....before you make the trip!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

A BIG DAY here at the Gaertegang~Just For the JOY of it!

 Today has been such a joyous I just had to share it with you!!! Today we FINALLY after way to long, had someone come install our crown molding for us!!! When I repainted our kitchen/dining room area I did not paint all the way to the ceiling because I bought the molding to put up immediately after we painted. Well let's just say it been a LONG time since I painted and it still looked like this........
 So every time we have company I feel like a heel not having this project done!! We decided to hire a sweet retired man to come and install it for us! I have come to the conclusion that it is sometime worth it to hire out things that don't break the bank, but get the job done.....And now it looks like this........
 Ohhhhh happy day! I am amazed at how good it looks. I love how it just finishes the look of the room! Now I just might have to go buy some more molding and have him come back to do our living room.....but for now I am going to be ever so excited about this "monkey off our back" being completed!!

To read more joyous happenings around the blogsphere go here!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

~Gaerte Grandkids~

My sil shared this pic on her blog a while ago, but I wanted to share it here with all of you! This is a shot of all my kiddos plus Ben & Maggie. The kids always love hanging out together just as much as we do! They are all growing up so fast I can't hardly believe it!!!


Homemade Window Cleaning Solution Recipes

I am cleaning the windows on the first story today!! Ohhh Sunshine how I love you!! I googled homemade window cleaning solutions and this is what I found...just in case your in the mood to wash your windows this week! Be sure to scroll to the bottom and read the tips I found...very clever!

Recipe #1

2 cups rubbing alcohol (70 percent isopropyl)

1/2 cup ammonia

1 tsp dish detergent (liquid)

top with water until you have 1 gallon of window cleaner

Recipe #2

2 cups water

3 TBS vinegar

1/2 tsp dish detergent (liquid)

Recipe #3

1 gallon water

1/4 cup vinegar

1 tsp dish detergent (liquid)

Recipe #4

1 gallon water

1/4 cup vinegar

2 TBS lemon juice

squirt dish detergent (liquid)

Recipe #5

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 gallon warm water

Recipe #6

2 TBSP cornstarch

1/2 cup household ammonia

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 gallon warm water

■Mix the ingredients in a bucket, make sure cornstarch is thoroughly dissolved before using.
■Spray windows with preferred cleaner solution then wipe clean with crumpled newspapers. The newspaper helps prevent streaks.

■Avoid cleaning windows and glass when the sun is hot and shining on the window–glass will dry too fast and there will be streaks.

■Also wash one side of the window in an up and down direction, on the other side scrub side to side. This will help determine which side of the glass has the streaks that need to be polished out.

~Starting Plants From Seed 2010~

 On Saturday, I was able to steal away some time and get my seeds planted! I decided to pot up all of my large variety tomatoes, some of the other two tomatoes varieties, green peppers, impaiens, and wave petunias. I started 72 cells (on the left), and 30 CowPots = 102 plants (hopefully!)
 I have pouring over all the information on seeds starting that I can lately and these are some helpful hints I have learned.
* You must use a soil that states "Seed Starting Mix". I can attest to having a failed attempt last year with my seeds because I thought...soil was soil...not true in this case.
* First fill your cells or pots close to the top leaving about an 1/8 inch.
* I then watered them well. You want the soil very moist, but not soggy!
*Put your seed on then according to the planting directions you might need to sprinkle on a little more soil. In some cases you leave the seed alone and they germinate without being covered at all.
*I then used a spare water bottle to spray the top to moisten it just a bit.
* Cover your cells/pots with their dome tops. If you do not have a "dome system", you can use plastic wrap and that will serve the same purpose. The reason it just to keep the moisture in and create a humid green house effect to allow seeds to germinate.
* According to all my seeds, they need a 70-80 degree environment to germinate. I put them on top of our corn stove where they can be warm and away from little hands. (I still had the "Don't touch mommy's seeds unless you want me to turn into VERY MEAN mommy talk!")
*You can buy heating mats that are made to put under your domes. I use a heating pad I already have on hand and move it around throughout the day.
* Once the seed sprouts up out of the soil a bit, it is time to remove the cover. This is important for  a couple reasons. The plants now need LIGHT (about 12-14 hours), and they need circulation. Also be sure to give them a good watering either with you spray bottle, or water them from the bottom (lifting out a cell block, placing water in the tray then put the cell block back in. This allows the plants to soak up the water from the roots up and doesn't damage your little sprouts.
* Put your new sprout in sunlight for 12-14 each day. Be sure it is NOT DIRECT sunlight. Direct sunlight will dry out the sprouts and "burn" them. If you are in my situation and have no south facing windows that you can place your sprouts in, you need a grow light. I asked for mine for my B-day last year. I ordered the light fixture HERE. I ordered grow light bulbs that are made especially for growing plants from seed HERE. I have read that you can use any florescent light and use a combination of bulbs for this same effect (although I can not attest to how effective this is since I have never done it this way.)
*Continue to check the soil each day for dryness. Simply use your finger to check it.
 Here they are all potted up! Nice and cozy on the the hard part....WAIT!!! Once they sprout (within the next week or so) I will move them down to the basement under the grow light.
 Well here are the CowPots I told you I ordered earlier this year. I saw a program on how these little pots are made and was totally fascinated. Yes, I know it doesn't take much sometimes! Made with 100% Cow manure...without the! You plant your seed in these beauties and then when it's time to put them in the garden you just plop them right in. TWELVE weeks after you planted your seeds in them they started to naturally decompose and fertilize your plants for you! Lovin' that!
If your interested in getting some for your garden they are $6.99 for a 12 pack...making them .58 each
Just from the reading I have done I have read they are better than peat pots. Again I can not testify to this, I can only pass on what I read as far as reviews that customers did on their website.

Just a little thing to think about....If you order these items from Amazon you can usually take advantage of FREE shipping if you spend over $25! I LOVE FREE SHIPPING!

(I am not being paid to advertise for this company, I just wanted to share my find with you.)


Tuesday, March 16, 2010


 We started a new program this past week that our homeschool coop is offering. Each month our family will be given a "kit". Each kit also has a character trait that the activities for that month revolve around. This month our character trait is PATIENCE. Our kits included this beautiful wooden cross that Caleb is painting. He did need patience as he was painting. I explained the importance of taking pride in his work, and remembering what that cross mean to us as Christians. He enjoyed being able to paint it all by himself.
 As you can see, he was concentrating so hard he didn't even notice I was there taking pictures. In the weeks to come, I plan to share what else we are doing to reinforce PATIENCE. A character trait that doesn't seem to come very easy for most of here at the Gaertegang.
 We have our cross displayed on our corn stove with this month's trait. I wanted to keep it in a place that we would see it often and it could be a reminder to us as we go through our day. I know you can't see it in this picture, so I thought I would share what it says under Patience: "Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation." 2 Peter 3:15a


Monday, March 15, 2010

Winner of Rubbermaid Giveaway!

Congrats to LIFE FOCUS~ for winning the drawer organization system!

Hey everyone, hurry on over and enter my Virginia Soaps & Scents giveaway !!!


Cans, Cans, and More Cans!

 As you can see, my stairway that leads to the basement is covered in cans. Why? Because my adorable and very hands-on son is so excited to put together my new rack for storing canning jars. We decided this would be so helpful and free up a lot of space I could be using to stock up on other staples.
 Lance wasn't able to totally complete the project without a little assistance for Dad. To his credit the directions were actually misleading.....because since he is 8yrs old he actually follows the directions FIRST instead of LAST...smirk! As you can tell in this picture, he is not at all proud of himself and his accomplishment! Nope not at all.....
Fully loaded down....I hope they are right about the 50 lb per shelf limit! Just in case inquiring minds want to know...Spaghetti sauce on the bottom.... tomato juice sauce on the 2nd from the bottom....tomato juice & spaghetti sauce on the 3rd from the bottom, salsa on 2nd from the top...the top is now even more full of extra store bought canned goods.
Now I have more room to store all of these extra goodies. Not the best quality photo, but you get the idea! Since I stopped couponing, for the most part, this summer I try to really stock up on staples each time I shop. Kroger ran a great deal during there mega sale on BBQ sauce and ranch, making these items cheaper than I could buy them at Aldi. I try to take advantage of deals like that when at all possible. It really is amazing the deals you can find when you educate yourself on what a "sale" really is.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

In Need of prayers....

~This post was started Friday (yesterday) morning, but I am now finishing it~
This morning is a sad morning for me. I am in a state of feeling overwhelming discouragement and failure. My children seem to think they run the house lately. Along with that, comes all kinds of negative side effects.Just like any other family there are character issues we are constantly working on with our kids. We go through seasons were we feel like they are doing well and "really get" what we are trying to teach them. Then we go through storms, like now, were they seem to remember NOTHING! All those talks about respect, love, compassion, obedience, ect. seem to be a foreign concept. I try not to beat myself up to much when we are in the midst of these storms. At the same time, I know these children have been given to me by God for such a short time. It is my job and responsibility to "train them", and I do take that job to heart. In these times I think of the times I have blown it and not been the example that I desire to be. I think of all the "ugly mommy moments" that my children have seen. But today, Saturday, as I finish this post I am encouraged. WHY? Because, of the Savior I serve and what that means for me, my husband, and my children. I am not the standard my children can hold as an example, instead God is that standard. His love is perfect, His compassion is limitless, His arms are big enough to hold us all, His shoulders are big enough to carry our burdens and imperfectness, His grace and mercy is enough to cover all our shortcomings and sin, His sacrifice is why I take peace in knowing I don't have to try to be perfect. I just have to willing and whole hearted give these things to Him and know He will pick me up in His loving arms and carrying me on those days when I feel I just want to throw in the towel, stick my head in the sand, go find a deep dar cave...I'm not picky any would do in those moments.
In these storms the Lord reminds me that I need to take away things that are distracting me, and get down to what is really important. If that means setting time limits on my computer time, setting a limit on how many meals I cook from scratch that week, saying no when people ask me to help out with something that would take me away from home.....then DO IT. I know God is good all the time...all the time God is good. Because I know that, I can keep on keeping on. I know that in the end God will be glorified, I will learn something that God is trying to teach me, and my perspective will be brought back where it needs to be. So although I am not all excited and jumping for joy about what seems to be an impossible challenge of bringing my children's hearts back where they should be. I am trusting God and knowing that He will bring something so good out of what seems so YUCK to me.
So pray for us would ya? Pray the God would be glorified in our home.....


SOOC Saturday!

Julia snatched up her brother's "laptop" the other day. I asked her what she was doing and she said, "Checking my email!" She was so serious, yet so proud of herself....the whole thing totally cracked me up.
Check out some more SOOC shot at Slurping Life.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Outdoor Fun!

 Here is my find of the wee (last week). I got these beauties at Aldi for $9.99!!! I was so overjoyed I can't even tell you! These same boots were $30 last year at TSC!
 It didn't take me long to put those boots to work. I cleaned out this flower bed. Last year I planted sunflowers in the back then zinnias in the front. I think I will do the same this year.
 I put Justin to work pruning our apple trees. We did not finish, to big of a job for one afternoon, but at least we got started on it.
 The boys were in charge of carrying the brush to the burn pile. They ended up being a great help in between playing sword matches with the sticks they found...
I trimmed a few twigs off my pussy willow shrub and brought them inside. Within a few hours they were already opening up to show these pretty buds.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Raw Energy~Mama Buzz Review

By: Stephanie Tourles
Raw snacks are nature’s original fast foods—delicious, easy to prepare, and bursting with the ingredients you need to stay healthy and energized on even the busiest days. Stephanie Tourles offers 125 recipes for parfaits, trail mixes, smoothies, energy bars, juice blends, soups, vegetable chips, dips, candies, cookies, and more. Made from unprocessed whole foods—such as nuts, seeds, dried and fresh fruits, vegetables, oats, carob, cocoa, and fresh juices—these snacks have fewer than 250 calories and are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and enzymes.

 I found that this book was full of some great information on the importance of oils, nut, veggies, and fruits in our diet. I was disappointed to find that most of the recipes called for ingredients I had never heard of and did not have in my home. I would not go out and buy all these needed ingredients just to try out recipes I have no idea if anyone would like. Over all I would not recommend this book, if your main objective for getting the book is for the recipes. 

DANIELLE~ Thank you to Storey Publishing for sending me this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

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