Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A few more pictures from our photo shoot.....

I thought I would share of few more of the pics I really liked but didn't put on our Christmas card.

 A big thank you to my sil who took all these great pics....

I just wondered if we are ahead of schedule or if everyone else has taken their holiday pictures yet?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The results of the family photo session......

I am super excited and happy to share with you a sneak peak of our Christmas card for this year.....compliments of SHUTTERFLY!!! ENJOY.....

Cinnamon Chic Christmas 5x7 folded card
Make a statement with Shutterfly Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

If your a blogger to sure to hurry over and take advantage of this amazing deal!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Big news in Zach's World.....

Zach lost his first tooth! He worked on that little tooth for two days before he got it out! Not only is he "big stuff" now, but he's learning lots of new things from his big brothers.
Apparently Caleb is giving Zach some math lessons....I was already taking their picture playing guns and then was able to catch this fun moment on camera.....I love it when that happens!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is such a special holiday to me. I love fall! I love the smell of fall, the pumpkins, the playing in the leaves, the harvest parties, hay rides, bonfires, sitting on the porch enjoying the cool air and warm sun....I could go on and on. I love that this time of year is an extra special time spent in reflection of the past year. Praising God for the journey He has carried each of us through in the past months...the good and the bad...and everything in between. As Christians, children of God,  I think we should have this heart attitude year around. We do live in a crazy busy sin cursed world that is constantly pulling us in every direction, which can cause our perspective to stray if we are not careful. So Thanksgiving is just a reflection of what our attitude should be daily....I love that!

2010 has been such an incredible year for us here at the Gaerte Household. So many blessings I could not even list them all....and let's be honest , you probably wouldn't want to read them all either! I did want to share several of them with....giving God ALL the glory for the great things He alone has done.

1. My family's health.
I am forever grateful that we have no food allergies or any other major medical things that would require us to be a high maintenance household. I think a healthy family is something so many of us take for granted.....I try very hard not to because I know it is such a gift.
2. My Hubby's job.
While many people around this great country have lost their jobs, I praise God that we have been spared this hardship. I praise God that my Husband really loves his job and enjoys working with his customers.
3. Our School year.
I am so thankful that even though I thought this school year sounded almost impossible before it began, it has gone smoother than any other year to date. Schooling three kiddos....with a certain three old girl that wants to be in the mix as well scared me to death. It's takes a lot of organization to make it happen, but I am so thankful to be schooling my children and wouldn't have any other way for my family at this point and time.
4. My Marriage.
I am so grateful for the mate the Lord has chosen for me. Married now for 11yrs., and I continue to fall in love with that man more every year. I smile when I think of how much we've grown up from that 19 yr couple when we met...learned so much...learned how to walk together in marriage with Christ the center of it all. 
With that marriage came in-laws....to sum that up I can just say "I am so very blessed, and I treasure that fact each and every day."
5. God's timing and His Blessings.
God's timing is something that I have had to learn and re-learn over and over this year.....I think it's my anthem for 2010. I couldn't even tell you how many times this has been a heart issue for me this year. I can't tell you all the stories or the details of each one, but I CAN tell you a couple of things.  God's timing is WAY better than mine. I am a type A planner/organizer kind of gal and that can often times cause my heart attitude to stray. Throughout the past year when I have willing and honestly given up control over something and lay it at the feet of Jesus, I have received such a blessing......Don't misunderstand this to mean I got what I asked for....because most of time of it DID NOT work that way. Most of time it was God saying NO to what my heart desired. Over the past year of hearing NO often I have learned that no is okay. (It's my heart that Jesus wants...for Him alone and His will for me to be enough.) I have learned to be content in what God has for me and my family....through that contentment he has brought more blessings than I can honestly count. I have also learned that "NO" sometimes just means NO FOR NOW.....thank you God for your grace and your willingness to be so patient.
6. Our New Home.
Just this week we bought a new home. Not just any home....our dream property. I am so humbled by this entire blessing and how it came about. I almost think someone should pinch me, I can't hardly believe it's really happening. Maybe some day I will tell you the whole story which would clearly illistrate to you just how amazingly personal God is. I see God's handprints all over this whole process. Praise be to God.

I could just keep going....but I hope you make time to sit with family or your spouse and say out loud the things you are grateful for...while giving the glory to God. All good things come from Him.


I would love it if each one of my followers could list one thing they are thankful for (it would bless me so much!)....it's doesn't have to be the #1 thing on your list....just pick one (or two or three)!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quilts Completed......

I have hit my stride in quilting lately. Pretty much every spare second I have had lately has been spent sewing. My first quilt that I finished is the biggest quilt I have ever did...a queen. The pattern is a disappearing nine patch. Here a look at the finished top....ignore all the wrinkles!

The next quilt top is one I made for Julia...She is so excited! She has a toddler bed so it won't fit her bed yet....but it will fit her twin bed when she switches in the next couple months....
The last quilt top is so wonderfully simple...it's made with a jelly rolls (2 1/2" wide strips). I know several new mommy's to-be in the near future so I thought I might get a head start on some baby quilts. I LOVE pink & brown together...what cha' think?

I can't wait to have the bigger quilts quilted and bound and finished...I plan to quilt the baby quilt myself...I'll show you more pictures when their totally done.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Family Bowling Night

Last weekend we enjoyed a family night out with the Lindsay's...we had such a good time!

I love how everyone has their own way of celebrating.
Ohhh man, another gutter ball!
Forget traditional bowling technique, we do whatever works for us....
Another hint: When technique fails you can always talk to the ball into going where we you want it to go (or have daddy help you like he does Julia).

Gotta love family nights out on the town!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

FREE 50 Holiday Greeting Cards for Bloggers from Shutterfly

The holidays are quickly approaching, that means several things at our home. First all the Thanksgiving prepartions begin...turkey, sweet potatoes, rolls, pumpkin pie.....followed by eating WAY TO MUCH of all those things plus some. Our family is a family of deer hunters, so we have to throw in some single parenting for a little bit while the men folk are out bringing home some meat....hopefully anyway.
Now we approach December...that means buying presents, decorating the house, putting up the tree, baking things to give to people we love.......and then one of the most FUN things.....getting a picture done to put on the greeting cards we send out. The picture part of this process always seems to be the most challenging....just to get it scheduled to be done...then to have all six of us looking and smiling in the same direction! It always  seems to take a small miracle just to make that happen...but the really fun part I think is then picking out and designing the card!
That's were Shutterfly comes into the picture.....they are offering 50 FREE greeting cards to bloggers! Gotta LOVE this promotion.....it costs enough to send them out...so getting them printed for FREE...yep sign me up!
Here are few of my favorite picks.....

I love the collage look so many photos can be included!
We might have to go with one like this to fit our whole family in.....
If you want to see all the choices to choose from go HERE

Shutterfly also offers many other products that you can personalize for gifts and keepsakes....go check out all their options and get a jump on your holiday cards this year!

Making Apple Pie Filling.....

My girlfriend and her hubby were sweet enough to bring me two boxes of mixed apple varieties to make some yummy pie filling. I had never made or canned pie filling before and I was shocked at how super easy it was!

Since I feeling a bit unsure of the whole process....I made Jenny come over and bring her boxes of apples and we made a triple batch together....it's always more fun that way anyway, right? I think so!
Once we cored, peeled, and sliced the apples (with one of those handy Pampered Chef tools) we were ready for yummy syrup! I was really easy to measure up and make. Here is the recipe:
Peel, Core, and Slice apples into quart jars, cover with syrup
*Be sure to leave head space (@ one inch)
*Burp the jars (run a knife along the inside edge of the jar to get the bubbles out)
4 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup corn starch
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
10 cups of water
Cook syrup until thick and bubbly-stir often. When syrup in ready add 3  TBSP of lemon juice.
Pour the hot syrup over the apples, burp, and seal jars.
Process 20 minutes in a hot water bath, or pressure can @ 5 lbs. pressure for 20 minutes.
Note: I did the hot water bath option. I heated up my lids before putting the ring on and then found that 30 minutes was the magic number for my stove.
Amount of syrup makes 7 Quarts.
One jar is enough for one large apple pie.
Don't they look so pretty all canned up!!
I made the best EVER apple crisp with this pie filling yesterday!!!! (I had a couple cans that didn't seal for some reason.....good excuse to use them!) I made my crisp topping with granola instead of oatmeal for the first time...WOW!! My hubby said I have to make it with granola every time from now on!
Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam
Pour two of the quarts containers into the pan
1 1/2 cup of granola
1 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of any nut you pick (optional)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 cup of cold butter
Combine all the ingredients and cut in the butter, the mix should then be crumbly
I cooked it @ 375 for 20-30 min. until bubbly

Monday, November 15, 2010


I've wanted to change up our bedroom furniture for the longest time now....and I was over at CSN Stores cruising their upholstered headboards and I wondered what some of your opinions were.

Do you like wood, upholstered, or metal. My house is decorated in a primitive country style....look around over there a bit and then come back and give me a couple of your favorites I can go check out.....

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

CSN Stores Review

Mission Bakset (set of 5)

I had the pleasure of CSN Stores contacing me to review some of their wonderful array of products. I was very excited when these arrived because I had a plan in place to use them for them for mittens, scarfs, and hats. I have had them in use for about a month for now, and so far they are holding up well. They are keeping things nice and tidy, and I LOVE that we can actually mind a pair of mittens without it turning into a HUGE ordeal. (Have you been there?)
If your interested in gettting some baskets to organize your space go Here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Encourage Reading.....

I remember reading when I was a kid...most of the time I dreaded it....book reports...yuck! As an adult I do enjoy reading. Give me a book, a spot next to the fire, and a warm drink I am good for hours!
One of things I have strongly encouraged and tried to develope in each one of my children is a LOVE of reading. I am a strong believer is teaching phonics. Learning to read always opens up a whole new world to our children, allowing their imaginations to take flight. My oldest, Lance, is an admitted book-aholic! That boys consumes books, sizable books (150 pages), in a few hours. I think one of the keys to creating a love of reading in my kids is allowing them to choose books that interest them. Although I don't always let them choose the books......I am the teacher! I do however bargain that if they read a book I choose then they get to choose the next book. (Just for the record, they do usually like the books I choose for them....)

Each child has an allotted time of reading to accomplish each day:
Lance (4th grade) reads 45 minutes
Caleb (1st grade) reads 20 minutes
Zach (kind.) I read 2 books a day to him
~These were actually goals the kids set and I agreed to them.~

Here are a couple other things were do to promote book worms around here:
* I love books that combine real events in history with fictional characters. The kids learn information and get to use their imagination at the same time. (Aka: Sneaky Learning)
* I love bio books. Learning about important people in history is important to me. Most of these people I know nothing about, because I was never taught or never learned. Either way, it is important to me that my kids know and understand important people of the past. (example: John Wesley, CS lewis, Daniel Boone, John Smith, Harriet Tubman, ect.)
*Pick books that have been made into movies.* I have my kids read the book first, then when they finish the book we watch the movie together. **I have only done this option with my oldest**
* I read aloud to the kids* I pick the book and then read ONE chapter at a time to them. Everyone picks a cozy spot around the room and listens as I read.
*BOOK IT* We are huge fans of this program by Pizza Hut!! If you are not in a program like this one, make up your own. Rewarding them for meeting their goals motivates them. (It also warrents a "night out" which equals NO COOKING FOR MOM.....it's a WIN...WIN for everyone!)

~A bit of advice~ I have learned that many of the "classic" books that are considered by some a  "must read" often contain material I do not want my children reading. This may pertain more to my the kids as they are older. I would strongly suggest reading books before you give it to your kids to read (or get the go ahead from someone you trust who has read the book). I think it is important that we are mindful of what ideas and graphic images are being suggested to our child as they read a book.
The following pictures are what prompted this whole blog post......I caught Lance in a reading trance last week and thought I should capture it on film....digital film anyway....

I promise that he did not pose for any of these photos...he caught me on the last one though.....he gets so into what he's reading he doesn't even know what's going on around him!!

So no matter how you prefer to read.....I hope as the weather cools off you can curl up with a good book and encourage reading in your house.

Design by Amanda @ BloggerBuster