Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010

Here is our avalanche of photos from our Christmas celebration time......(disclaimer: this post may contain way to many photos of my family and may take up a small portion of your of your life. View at your own risk!)

A very touching gift to us from my parents, it is a sign for the end of our long lane to the house. It was such a great surprise...and I loved the color! THANKS MOM & DAD!

Julia was thrilled that gma & gpa Byrd bought her a Bitty Baby from American Girl Doll.

This is Christmas morning at our house...Each of the kids got one big gift, their stockings and that was actually worked out SUPER! The kids were thrilled with what they got, and I was excited to keep it simple.

Lance got his first real gun, a 28 gauge shotgun. Look out little critters!

As you can see, we are A VERY SPOILED BUNCH!! We have been blessed far beyond what we deserve. We are so thankful to be close enough to our families to be able to celebrate together. We realize this is a huge GIFT in itself. Every year Justin & I are so overwhelmed with thanksgiving for what God has entrusted us with. I hope you had a sweet celebration with your family and friends as well.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Dream House Pictures....finally.

We went to the house this morning, and the sun was not up yet and the misty fog was still hanging over everything....but I took some picture to share anyway. The first picture is a the view you get after you pull into the driveway.....

Here is a little shot of what is looks like when you turn the corner on the driveway..I love all the big trees. I can not hardly wait to see what it will look like in the Spring!
This is a view of the barn from the house right as the sun is starting to rise...the picture simply doesn't do it justice, it was really breathtaking. God is good.
The sun is UP and burning off of the fog.....I love the "old style" shape of the barn.

This is our little shop barn. It has a little workshop and room for some storage of yard equipment.

Here is the final picture I have to share with you today....THE HOUSE.....We have it totally torn apart on the inside...but the outside it still all in one piece.
Pictures of the renovation taking place inside to come.....we've accomplished so much already, but we still have a long way to go. To me, the process of getting it ready is part of the fun. I'm not so sure my Hubby shares my enthusiasm for all these projects.....(smile)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas season!

We kicked off the official "season of giving" about two weeks ago. These were totally unexpected gifts and the kids were just so smitten with excitement!
This past weekend we also enjoyed two extended family gatherings! Call me crazy but I really LOVE getting together with matter the or no gifts....

To wrap up our weekend we moved our thoughts to the REAL REASON and inspiration behind the season.....CELEBRATING the BIRTH of our SAVIOR....the best GIFT ever!!
It's always so heartwarming to hear the kids sing about the birth of the KING....The woman who put in all the hard work of teaching our children these great songs deserve some sort of metal....especially when they have to deal with naughty children during practice (not that I would know anything about that....uhem!) The program was wonderful way to start the holiday week with that fresh perspective on our hearts.
This holiday season my heart is overwhelmed more than usual with gratitude. A perfect little baby sent from God himself, to live amongst us to be a living example, and then utimately the perfect sacrifice for my sins and yours. Giving gifts is so exciting and fun this time of year, but don't forget the reason why we are celebrating.

From our family to yours........God bless you this Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another thing to ponder.....

I was over at CSN stores cruising around again....this time at tv stands. We are praying that our current tv doesn't die on us yet...although it keeps threatening to stop working any day now. When we move I was thinking of going with a flat screen....which stand is your favorite in the 42-60" category?
Also what is better LCD or plasma when it comes to tv's?

10 Days and COUNTING!!

It's only TEN days till Christmas and the countdown has been underway at our home for some time now....So I thought I would give you all a little Christmas tour of our home.

Our tree looks like it needs some more presents in this that I have all the present bought and wrapped it doesn't look so lonely!

I just LOVE this sign......Make sure you read it!!
I have a weakness for primitive looking snowmen!
My nativity scene was a gift to me several years ago from several different people...I LOVE IT!!
I know it's nothing fancy, but I hope you enjoyed the little tour! Merry Christmas to you all, I hope you are getting a chance to really enjoy the season and relax with family. Most of our madness fun starts this weekend! We even have been able to enjoy a little snow here to really get us in the holiday mood! Yahoooooo for snow!

Monday, December 13, 2010

My new favorite EDUCATIONAL addtition!

Does anyone else remember the listening stations when they were in school? The last time I ordered from Scholastic, I saw this time in their teacher section!!! The set comes with 4 headsets (Perfect!! I have four little kiddos) and then the little red box you see in front of the boys. We are huge fans of books on tape around here....and this works out so awesome for kids to either do all together or for the little ones to do while we are schooling the bigger kids. I love that we can multi-task without being a distraction to everyone else!!! I also LOVE that it is something the kids can do all together...which is sometimes really challenging to find things they can do all together since their are four of them!!

I don't think you can order from the Scholastic teacher section unless you have a teacher account so I looked up where you can get one of these great sets for yourself!! Here is a link to Educational Insights website. I saw that you can buy the center station (red box) and then buy the headsets seperatly....or you can buy them the whole set in a 4 pack or an 8 pack. This would make a fantastic gift for any family for Christmas!!! So for all of you last minute's a great idea!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Snow Removal....

Tis the season for that wonderful white stuff to fall from the sky!!!! We LOVE snow around our house...I know everyone doesn't feel all warm and fuzzy about having several inches of snow, but WE DO!! One thing about getting snow...our driveway tends to drift a bit....even with a little bit of snow. So here is our solution this year....

Good ole' manual labor...aka our "snow plows!!" It works out really great....they get to use up a lot of that never ending boy energy, and our driveway is nice and cleared out for us and any visitors that might come our way. WIN!! WIN!!! This is their second go around of "plowing the driveway", and they are doing a great job. I guess this is one of the advantages of these young men growing up!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Weekly Assisgnment download!

Joy, over a The Five J's,  is offering a free downloable weekly assignment sheet! Go here to check it out!

Make sure you plan to spend some time there...bookmark it...whatever you need to do! Her site offers an endless amount of wonderful information, free printables, lots of great stuff!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dominican Republic 2010

We just returned from 5 wonderful sunny days of the beach as our BFF! We went from mid 80's and sunny to home where is was 22 degrees and snow on the ground.....ohhhh well at least we got a little break in paradise! In case you are unaware of how totally and completly spoiled  we have been the last several years, let me fill you in. My husband is an outside saleman that sells cutting tools to machine shops. He has earned these wonderful trips for three years in a row now! I know kinda sicking isn't it? We have really appreciated these trips in every sense of the word and totally love our time away with just the two of us. Besides paying for my airfare we only spent around $20 on the whole time.....that $20 was mainly in tips for workers at the resort. I think it's totally awesome that when you go to these all inclusive places you literally don't have to spend hardly any money! (We also didn't buy any suveniors this year so that kept cost down.....wink.) Here are some of our pictures.....

Our view coming in...very mountainous....then a bit further in totally flat!
This is what our home away from home looked like
I love the sounds and the beautiful water! Pictures just don't do it justice.
This was at the welcome dinner for the company that we went with.
Justin had fun playing in the water!
While Justin played in the water I watched this guy search for treasures.
Eating out every night is pretty rough......
We broke away from the beach for a little while and played some mini-golf.
Justin totally killed me....I an NOT good at this game, but I had FUN!
Our last night at the resort..the Japanese restaurant was our favorite!

A special THANK YOU to all the wonderful and willing families who took their turn watching our kids while we were gone.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Need to buy for the Dream House List....."

Appliances are a biggie on our list of things we need to get over the next several months....I get the current one year old dishwasher in the house, but that is I was hoping my readers could give me some great input on their favorite picks.

I am wanting a front loading washer and dryer, HUGE fridge with the freezer on the bottom, I need to get a gas stove (ughhhhh I'm used to electric) you have appliances you LOVE?

 Feel free to share any and all comments about each appliance you would recommend!!

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
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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 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 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!)'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'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.

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