Saturday, January 30, 2010

Julia's new blanket!


It's nothing super special, but here it is. I love this material we used, there is nothing softer! I just used what I had on had, which made the frugal mommy in me very happy! White fabric wouldn't be my first choice, but that's why I have a washing machine, right?

DANIELLE

Kroger Mega Sale


If you haven't hit Kroger's Mega sale you might want to consider it. I was able to get 41 items for $57...which was great considering $11 was toilet paper and I got 4 things of Johnsonville brats and sausage, plus 2 Cascade items....I got FREE International coffee creamer and a FREE cool whip! I was so excited that my home PC decided that it's strike of printing off coupns was over. For some reason it printed most of them that I wanted. Yahoo for that!!
I also made a run to Aldi and stocked up on canned items and a number of other staples. This grocery run has been the first time I have made a big run since mid-December. I had challenged myself to "Eating from the pantry/freezer" since that time. I feel very proud of how it all worked out. FYI: Justin made some little stops during that time for needed fruit,milk, bread, and cheese. I know during this time we didn't spend over $100 though. (giving God the glory for working all that that)        DANIELLE

January: Update on 2010 GOALS!!

 In case you missed my first post on "My list" for 2010...Here is an excerpt....
First of all, I should start by saying I don't get into making unrealistic life changes. I know that for me my list needs to include things I am committed to changing, thing I have been working on already, and realizing I am a busy wife, mommy, and homeschooler that just can't "Do it all". That doesn't mean that I didn't set some high achieving goals ....just that I kept my list limited.
I decided that dividing goals into categorizes was the way to go for me. As we go through 2010, my hope is to keep you informed in a very transparent way on how God is using those goals to mold me throughout the year. I plan to bring you up to speed on what is happening around the Gaertegang household and how "the list" is panning out......My purpose?
To give God the glory for everything, inspire you to set your own goals, and make myself accountable for the things I put on my list.

Spiritual:
#1 Continue to be consistent in God's Word daily. I am currently reading in Psalms right now, and have been very consistent this past month.
#2 Study my Bible in conjunction with a concordance commentary, so I can a deeper understanding. I got some great advice on some different study options to do with my daily reading. Now I just have to decide which one to go with.
#3 Begin prayer journaling again. I have also been faithful in writing in my prayer journal!
Homeschooling:
#1 More read aloud time together
#2 Continue "NO worksheet Wednesday" & Make Friday our test day
#3 Consider using a Unit Study next year
This month there is a reading program going on at the library and so we have been constantly reading! I am so thankful for the fun we are having..older children reading to the younger ones, having one on one reading time with all of them....so rewarding!
Wednesday's! We are enjoying the mix-up in our week.
Haven't did anything with considering Unit Studies....no in a hurry on that one.
Chores:
#1 Make myself a checklist of my household jobs...so I can better track what needs to be done. DONE

#2 Keep the boys encouraged/disciplined on their chore lists. Failed to keep up with lists this month...gonna hop back on the wagon and keep on keeping on!
#3 Do all things big or small with a servant's heart. This is a daily choice. Failing some days, but trying to keep in the thoughts as I go throughout my day.

Financial:
#1 Continue to faithfully tithe and be generous when led. I feel this is a such a personal issue, and I also feel it is not needed for me to share with you how much we gave or to where we gave....seems to easy for it to be taken as boastful...which is not at all what we represent. We do feel we were faithful this month.
#2 Be very conscious of how we spend God's money and what we spend it on. I wrote out a budget this month (which I do almost every month). I have been tracking every dime we spend and have been keeping running totals in each category. In order to meet our ambitious financial goals this year I feel this step is an absolute need.
#3 PAY OFF OUR MORTGAGE!!!! ohhh to be debt free....can't hardly wait!!!
We made incredible progress and paid down the mortgage 12.5%...  

Parenting:
#1 No yelling (Sometimes I feel like that is only way I am heard, not a good excuse though) I am excited to share with that I feel like we have made such giant step in right direction in this area! Let me tell you that is ALL God at work, because I know I can NOT to this without HIM.
#2 More patients...hence the no yelling issue. I also feel the Lord has blessed me with a great peace this past month. He has been gracious in dealing me an abundance of patience. I was just telling someone the other day that normally this time of year I am pulling out my hair for Spring to get here so the kids can get out and play. I have not felt that in the least bit. Yes, we have tense times during some days, but I know that God is blessing our house.
#3 Do all things in LOVE....listen attentively....play more! I have played more, I have taken more time to listen, and taken more time to discipline in love before "the eruption occurs".
Kitchen:
#1 Continue to learn more about cooking from scratch..Don't burn myself out...I have been enjoying my time in the kitchen...but the clean up, not so much! I also wish it would just clean itself after I am done. I have tried several new recipes this past month...liked some...not so much others.
#2 Continue to cook meals ahead whenever possible to help with time issues. I have used all the meals in the freezer now...so I need to plan a day of more freezer cooking!
#3 Keep collecting healthy budget friendly ideas.
Marriage:
#1 Monthly date nights. FAILED! No date night!
#2 Get away at least once a year!
#3 Being a happy helpmate at all times. Need to keep working on it..again a daily choice.
Hobby:

#1 Create a space for my hobbies (somewhere?) DONE!!

#2 Send a stamped card twice a month. I just got my space set up and organized so I now hope to send some soon.
#3 Quilt once a month. I have not quilted yet...again I just got my space again... I did sew Julia a new blanket...which she helped me with!
#4 Blog for fun...to document my family....not feel pressure (from myself) to keep a certain schedule
 

DANIELLE

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Good Laugh~ Just For The Joy Of It!

 To read more Just For The Joy Of It post from other bloggers...link here each Thursday!

Here is a little story that is sure to make you shake your head...then laugh!

A few weeks ago, we had the septic tank guy (aka: "Turd herder" according to my boys) come and pump out our tank. Which, by the way, was WAY over due of needing to be done!! So anyway we had been awaiting his arrival because they had already called to cancel and reschedule due to repair issues on the truck. Well he finally made it at lunch time one day...he was suppose to be here around 10a....and of course the first my boys wanted to do was attack him with 100 million questions about how he was going to accomplish such a task. I held them off for a little while, but once they were all bundled up they were pacing at the door to go out. So after the lecture of "Please don't bother the poor man to death, don't get in the way, and don't ask too many questions" I sent them off on their adventure!
You see, my oldest, Lance, was convinved that if he got enough information for this man that he could do a report for me on "The Turd Herder" for his school work that day. He had it all worked out, The story would be his spelling and language, writing the story also covered his handwriting, and he would of course draw me some detailed picture so art was out of the way as well. To conclude his school day, he would do some calcualting on how much "poo" he thought we had in our tank and how much the truck would hold....you get the picture right?
About 15 minutes into the "pumping out process" the man comes to the door and informs me his truck is now full and he will have to take it 35 minutes away to be emptied and then return to finish the job. Grrr...I thought, are you kidding me you take three times before you show up and then you come with a partially full truck and have to come back again!!! Well whatever, not such a huge deal just a bit annoying.
So after four and half hours the man FINALLY returns...that must have been some trip to take such a time. Again he starts what he needs to do and finishes.....without any little spectators. He again comes to the door for his money, and while I am writing him a check I was asking about how things went...he replied "I think I got it 95% empty"...I was not thrilled with his confidence level, but grateful the job was done. I said "Well I am glad to have it done with six of us in the house we were overdue for needing it pumped out." He looked at me and said "What four kids...I mean I could see if drugs were legal, but come on, there is no reason for that!" I stood still a bit taken back by his statement...then I just laughed a little...He went on to say "Are you just gluton for punishment or what? With that many you could never get away from them all at the same time." Again, what do you say after that? I just said "We try to get away together once a year and date nights are nice, but we like having our kids around."
After he left I processed the conversation over again in my head...laughing and then immediately calling my Hubby...."REALLY HE SAID THOSE EXACT WORDS" I told my husband,,,then we just laughed together!
I can say that even though I have never gotten a response like that before when people know that we have four kids...although I could tell some stories......It brought me joy~
I don't care what others think about the size of our family. What is really fun to me is that having four kids in today's world is considered to be so unthinkable....Like having 15 kids maybe 50 years ago.....I am okay with others thinking there must be something wrong with us to on purpose have four kids.....I don't think I want them to relate it to drugs though.....maybe instead to the LORD blessing our home with non-stop busy little people.
Ohhh there are moments in my day at times that I think I must be crazy to have four kiddos....but those are just fleeting moments.....we all have them I know.....So I wish you a JOYFUL Thursday..Thanks for stopping in to visit!
DANIELLE

What You Need to Know About the Census..From the BBB

WARNING: 2010 Census Cautions from the Better Business Bureau



Be Cautious About Giving Info to Census Workers by Susan Johnson

With the U.S. Census process beginning, the Better Business Bureau

(BBB) advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to

become a victim of fraud or identity theft. The first phase of the 2010

U.S. Census is under way as workers have begun verifying the addresses

of households across the country. Eventually, more than 140,000 U.S.

Census workers will count every person in the United States and will

gather information about every person living at each address including

name, age, gender, race, and other relevant data..

The big question is - how do you tell the difference between a U.S.

Census worker and a con artist? BBB offers the following advice:

** If a U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, they will have a badge,

a handheld device, a Census Bureau canvas bag, and a confidentiality

notice. Ask to see their identification and their badge before answering

their questions. However, you should never invite anyone you don't know

into your home.

** Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address

information.

Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking

information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. .

Census.

REMEMBER, NO MATTER WHAT THEY ASK, YOU REALLY ONLY NEED TO TELL THEM HOW

MANY PEOPLE LIVE AT YOUR ADDRESS..

While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such

as a salary range,

YOU DON'T HAVE TO ANSWER ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION.

The Census Bureau will not ask for Social Security, bank account, or

credit card numbers, nor will employees solicit donations. Any one

asking for that information is NOT with the Census Bureau.

AND REMEMBER, THE CENSUS BUREAU HAS DECIDED NOT TO WORK WITH ACORN ON

GATHERING THIS INFORMATION.. No Acorn worker should approach you saying

he/she is with the Census Bureau.

Eventually, Census workers may contact you by telephone, mail, or in

person at home. However, the

Census Bureau will not contact you by Email, so be on the lookout for

Email scams impersonating the Census.

Never click on a link or open any attachments in an Email that are

supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau.



DANIELLE

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

FREEBIE!!!



Would like your children to practice their handwriting skills PLUS learn from the Bible at the same time? If your answer is yes, head to this link, and get a FREEBIE!!! 59 pages of learning and handwriting combined! If you like this learning style I know this same author offers many others starting as low as .50 per download!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go here to see all here other products!

DANIELLE

Monday, January 25, 2010

Want To Know What I Ordered???

 I wasn't joking when I said I was excited and drooling over the seed magazines as they continue to greet me at my mailbox!!! Well I went ahead and got some seeds coming my way!! Ohhhh I can't hardly wait. Last year for my B-day I asked for a growing light to help me get a jump on getting my flowers and veggies started early. I am anxious to put it to good use!! Just in case you are curious here are the flower seeds I ordered. The following picture are taken from jungseed.com, which is where I placed my order!)

Cherry Brandy (related to the Black-eyed Susan)
  Climbing Snapdragon Mix
Heavenly Blue Morning Glory 
Moonflower (will flower at dusk...) 
Ruby Moon Sunflower 

Xtreme Hybrid Impatiens (sapphire mix)

Xtreme Hybrid Impatien (tango mix) 

Tidal Wave Hot Pink Petunia (16-24 inches tall!!)

 










As far as veggie go I ordered up sugar snap peas, watermelon (mini...they only grow to "personal serving size of 3.5 to 5 lbs), tomatoes (4 varieties), pumpkins, (2 varieties), bell peppers, cucumbers, corn (3 varieties), carrots (never tried), pole green beans (also a new one for me). I think with my order I also got free lettuce seed.....so now I will wait to get all of my goodies!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Giveaway that ends today!

Head over to visit Shannon....sign up for her giveaway ends today!

DANIELLE

Friday, January 22, 2010

100th Day of School!!!


Today, January 22nd marks our 100th day of school, only 80 more to go! It seems very crazy to me that we are already over half way done with our school year. This year I wanted to do some really fun things to celebrate our 100th day! I thought I would share my ideas (and some ideas from the internet)
that we did today.

 First I broke out the Cherrios...they had to count out 100!
 
 Then we made 10 groups of 10!
 
 Then they made picture and had to use all 100 Cherrios.
 
 Then we made up a list of what each of them would do if someone gave them $100.
Lance: movie $10, game $15, dart gun $20 (we already have way to many of those things), tithe $10, gameboy from Ebay $15, game boy game $10, Donation to Haiti $20.
Caleb: Gameboy game $20, offering $10, Pokeman cards $5, Board game $10, donation to Noble House $50 (local shelter), Molly's medicine $5 (this is the little girl who you all prayed for that had 2 brain surguries.)
 
 Then we got out our little change bucket. We measured 100 pennies (this is only 50....100 would have fallen over!) Then we measured $1.00 worth of nickels, dimes, and quarters and compared the measurements.
 
 After money counting we went to the living room for some active time. We did various activities for 100 seconds...jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups (we kept switching it up for the duration of 100 seconds). Then we did other things like make funny faces for 100 sec, lie without talking for 100 sec, praying for 100 sec, played target="_blank" "live cow, dead cow, and sleeping cow for 100 sec.
Then we came back to the table and numbered our paper to 100 and wrote 100 words we knew. 100 words might have been a little much for Caleb (1st grade). He made it though!!!
 
We also did some skip counting to 100....by 2's, by 5's, by 10's. Last we ended with making a list of 100 things we were thankful for....I enjoyed this so much! I loved hearing what they came up with.....some funny, some serious. At the conclusion of this activity, we had a great visual of all the things (plus many we didn't mention) that we have been blessed with!

Are there any extra fun you do at your homeschool or your children do at school for celebrating 100th day? Where are you in your school year?

DANIELLE

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chores For Mom~ Just For the Joy of It!



I decided one of my goals for this year was to make myself a chore list...Why, you might ask? I am a very organized person by personality, but FOUR kids later I have no working brain cells in the memory department any longer. I can't seem to remember what day I last changed the sheets on the beds...what day I cleaned the bathroom,ect. STOP!!! I know what your thinking....if you can't remember the last time you did something, then it is time to do it again. Well yes, maybe sometimes that is the issue I sadly agree, but not always. Sometimes I plain can't remember what I accomplished the week before......Amen anyone? So for me I was really feeling the need to write a "Mommy chore list". This list only incudes weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly things I need to accomplish. I don't seem to have any "issues" taking care of  daily tasks. So just in case you want  a little sheet of your own here is mine to spring board off of and simply print off for yourself.

Just FYI, If I wanted to be sure the task is done weekly I have four lines...once I complete the task I can write in the date. Two lines means bi-monthly...one line means I want to accomplish this once a month.......Disclaimer: I am sure I am dreaming to think that because of this list I will ALWAYS accomplish everything on it..maybe not, but at least I'll be organized...smile!

Chores for MOM

Clean the Bathroom _____   _____  _____  _____

Mop Bathroom _____  _____  _____  _____

Change Sheets _____  _____  _____  _____

Wipe Down the Table (legs and all) _____  _____

Wipe Down the Cabinets _____

Wipe the exterior of all appliances _____ _____

Mop the Kitchen/Laundry Room _____ _____ _____  _____

Dust Downstairs _____ _____

Dust Upstairs _____ _____

Sweep Upstairs _____  _____ _____ _____

Clean Inside the Oven and Microwave (UGH!) _____ _____

To see some more JOYFUL links go HERE
DANIELLE

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A God Moment....

 On Tuesday,  I sent out the following email to our church, family, and friends. I wanted to share it with you as well, but at the end this post I have the update on what events followed this prayer request.


Last night (Monday night), as Justin returned to his hotel, he was unloading a few last minutes things out of his van. He had noticed a young black family was hanging out by one of the side entrances...he heard the little kids playing....After collecting all of his things he started for the main entrance to head to his room.
The man called out to him as he was walking "Sir!"
Justin stopped and the man continued to approach.
This man started off by saying, "I felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to come and ask you if you could come and play special music for a revival service. I am the special speaker for the revival and I wondered if you could come tomorrow at 730p."
Justin response, "Well, what kind of preacher are you?"
The man "I preach the truth for the Word of God."
Justin then said, "I probably have a couple songs I could share."
The man then excitedly exclaims "I knew it!" (Justin said the man kept repeating "I knew it!" several times during their continued conversation.)

My point in sharing this with you all:
To bath my sweet husband and the last night of this revival service in TONS of prayer from all of us here at home. I can't even tell you how we both have been moved by this display of opportunity to share the love of God through music. My heart feels as if it might explode with excitement in watching to see what the Lord has in store for Justin tonight.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE for open ears, open hearts, and a true revival in the hearts of all who attend tonight. To GOD BE THE GLORY!

This next section is an email from my husband sharing what happened last night (Tuesday). PRAISE BE TO GOD!

What a time of worship last night!  I was the only white person there, but that didn't bother the Holy Spirit or the colored folks there.
 
There was about 30 people in a hotel conference room.  After some worship music (black southern style) we all got our knees and prayed for the Holy Spirit to do a work in us, while several pastors and elders anointed everyone with oil.  Then the guest speaker who called me aside in he parking lot the night before, called me up to misister with music.  I sang my song "Words in Red".  
 
It was the first time I ever played and had people standing up, raising their hands in praise and hollering out things like "Go On!, "Bring it to Us!", and "Testify!"
 
I told them my church back home was praying for their meeting and several of them jumped up and were shaking their heads and shouting halleiluhah!
 
The Church's music director came in late, right after my song, and they made me get up and do the same song again.
 
When I got through the 2nd time, she got up to the microphone and said my song was "confirmation from God" because she wants to sing country gospel professionally (she gave me a CD she's recorded) and my being there from Indiana was a sign. 
 
Then the speaker (tall slender 30 something preacher) got up and preached from Romans 8:10-11 and 1st John about the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit.
 
He was jumping around and shouting like I've only seen on TV.  I don't think he was putting on a show, he was just giving it his all.  The whole time he was workin' up a sweat preaching, folks were jumping out of there seats and shouting encouragement.  Kinda like an intense ball game.
 
When he finished, we sang some more and then almost all the adult men went up one by one and "Testified" briefly.  
 
Finally there was an alter call and several kids went forward where they were anointed with oil and prayed over.
 
Afterwards everybody was hugging and praising God. 
 
I had several people come up and give me a hug and tell me they couldn't believe God sent me all the way from Indiana to minister on the last night of their 3 night revival.
 
I'll never forget it and I thank you for the prayers.  I guess they recorded the meeting and the pastor wants to send me a copy.  If he does, I'll share it if anybody wants to check it out.
 
Be careful if you go walking to your hotel room  carrying your Bible and guitar case.  Who knows what you might be getting into!
 
Thanks,
 
Justin  
 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

FREE E-Book~ Thriving on Less


Go here for a FREE Download!!

Thanks Money Saving Mom!

DANIELLE

Monday, January 18, 2010

Want a new skirt?

GIVEAWAY here for a new modest style skirt!! I picked the short gold skirt....don't have anything like it in my closet....if you head over to enter...tell her Gaertegang sent you!

DANIELLE

FREE Lowe's Magazines

Do you love getting magazines in the mail that give you creative inspiration? I DO!! I have been getting a magazine from Lowe's for a while now. It is FREE and always has fun ideas for the home and garden. HERE is the link to go sign up to get your own  little inspiration in the mail.....BONUS this wonderful little magazine also has coupons inside them every so often.

There are two magazines to pick from OR get them both if they interest you:


Home & Garden: Bimonthly publication
You can get the smaller version (48 pg) FREE mailed to you (which is what I get)
or you can buy the 80 pg. publication from Lowe's for $2.98 per issue in the store.

This is a quarterly publication. I do not currently get this publication, but I am      signing up for it today!                                                  


DANIELLE

For the LOVE of Books....


Our library has so many great FREE programs we have been able to take advantage of. My two oldest boys have always loved going to art, which is offered twice a month for $2 per child for a one hour session of instruction...great deal! Even better is how much they Love Miss Joanie their teacher..she is so wonderful and sweet. This fall they started up Cooking 101 (FREE) for children 3rd grade and up. Lance went in Oct., Nov., and this month....he thinks he is a little chef!

As of yesterday, the library kicked off "Family Winter Reading Club". Each week you report how many books you read and then your family is put into a drawing for various goody baskets. Since we were a little excited about fueling our love of reading around here, we filled an entire bag with books when the boys went to art on Thursday last week. The program kicked off officially on Sunday, but we started reading on Friday....Above is a picture of what we have read so far......Some I have read to them, some the older boys have read, and we still have about a half a bag of books to read.

So if your kiddos are feeling a little caged in with the cold weather, start your own reading program amongst all the family members in your home. Have a piece of paper for each child and when they finish the book they write the title and then author...you could offer your own little incentives along the way...pick a movie of your choice to watch......stay up one hour late....pick supper...help mom in the kitchen making cookies....ect...be creative and have fun with it!

DANIELLE

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti Missionary Family Blog..

I came across this link from another blog I follow....she passed it on...and I thought it was so interesting and I have only started to read the blog just now. I wanted to pass it along to you all as well. I love that through this family's blog we can pray for very specific things for them and the country of Haiti.

DANIELLE

Lance's Quilt Completed!


I don't remember exactly when I started and finished this quilt for Lance....I am thinking 3 years ago. Okay so remember in my goals for the year, I mentioned remember that I am NOT super mom and I can only do so many things? Okay so with Julia's skirts and Lance quilt I decided to pay someone to finish them for me was worth it at this point. All that needed done to finish the quilt was to add the binding (the very outer edging). So again my mother-in-law rescued me and made it happen! I am thrilled to have these projects no longer hanging in the wings......I learned that sometimes you just have to bite the bullet.....admit as much as you LOVE doing something, you just are not getting to it.....and ask for help/pay someone else to do it for you....which is totally against my nature! (The paying part...not the asking for help.)

DANIELLE

Miss Julia's skirts done!


Remeber the fabric and patterns I got from Marie-Madeline Studios before Christmas? Remember the high hopes I had to have a few sewing days before Christmas to get them done? CONFESSION: It never happened! I did get started on one of the skirts....then they just sat...and sat...and sat. It did not help that I have my sewing machine packed away in a closet with everything I need also in boxes. That means in order to get these done I had to take time to go to my mother-in-laws (kids free) so I could accomplish these adorable things......Again it never happened.

So I decided to hire my fantastic sewing Diva mother-in-law to finish them for me! These little projects gave her something to work on and me piece of mind they were getting done! It was worth every penny...I insisted she was not working for free!! She inisisted otherwise....I WON!
They turned out sooooo cute! I can't wait for her to wear them...smile! Girls are so fun...minus the drama they produce! ( I think this is where I apologize to my mom for every "girl" moment I ever put her through......and just think my little drama mama i sonly 2 1/2 years old...So much more to look forward to.......big smile...big sigh!)

DANIELLE

Cookies for Breakfast?


This morning I achieved HERO status, according to my children. I allowed cookies for breakfast....I know...I know....but they are home made cookies does that make it sound any better? Not so much. Well you have to have some fun, right? Look how happy this little guy is.....I better get thinking on what nutritious lunch I am serving to make up for this breakfast fun!

DANIELLE

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Kids EAT FREE!!

I just found out there is this little nifty site that tells you resturants that offer FREE KIDS meals!! I don't know about you, but one of the major reasons we don't go out is because of the outrageous price is cost for a family of 6 to eat out!! Well this site would also be nice if your going on vacation and want to try to hit some FREE KIDS FOOD kind of resturants!!
In my area, Lone Star Steak House (I can almost take those yummy rolls in my mouth!) offers TWO FREE KIDS MEALS on Tuesday nights with a purchase of ONE adult meal.....That is HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Go HERE to check out where KIDS EAT FREE in your area!

DANIELLE

Need To Think Warm Thoughts?

Yesterday, I found myself wanting to stroll through many lovely magazines/catalogs that would inspire warm thoughts....of Spring...and of flowers and veggies....So I did a little search so I could get some seed catalogs on their way to my mailbox. I love sifting through the wonderful color of endless possibilities to add to my garden or landscape! So I thought I would pass them along to you all...Just in case you are also in need of some catalog sifting!

tmseeds.com

rareseeds.com  (heirloom varieties)

burpee.com

Johnnyseeds.com

jungseeds.com (I was able to request 4 or 5 different catalogs just from this site!)

So there you go, some WARM weather inspiration amongst COLD winter days!!

DANIELLE

Monday, January 11, 2010

A FUN find near me!!


Well look at these goodies I scored at a store near me, no less. During a FUN get togethert this past weekend with some friends I discovered there is this little shop near me that sells baking staples at a very reasonable prices.....So today while my oldest guy was at the library for a class I made a stop to check it out. I was thrilled at being able to purchase all this for $25! The honey was $9.50 on it's own though....we love honey around here and I don't often buy it because it's so costly but I thought this was a great deal on such a large can!!! I also bought dried bananas, apples, and pineapples and threw them all together for a yummy snack mixture...Mmmm! Then I bought some staples: two things of yeast, wheat germ, wheat bran, cinnamon, ginger, buttermilk powder (So I can whip up some buttermilk when I have a recipe that calls for it.), and Lecithin granules.
I didn't buy any today, but I also saw they had a #22 bad of bread flour for $14.75...which I thought was great compared to what I spent last month at another place online! I didn't need any right now, but I will keep that in mind for the next time I want to purchase some.
I am so excited to have a place so close to me that sells such great staples for great prices. THANKS AMY for tipping me off to such a FUN find!!

DANIELLE

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Year Goals...."My List"

I was inspired to get some goals written down for 2010. I really enjoyed reading what other bloggers had to say about their own goals for the year. First of all, I should start by saying I don't get into making unrealistic life changes. I know that for me my list needs to include things I am committed to changing, thing I have been working on already, and realizing I am a busy wife, mommy, and homeschooler that just can't "Do it all". That doesn't mean that I didn't set some high achieving goals ....just that I kept my list limited.
I decided that dividing goals into catagories was the way to go for me. As we go through 2010, my hope is to keep you informed in a very transparent way on how God is using those goals to mold me throughout the year. I plan to bring you up to speed on what is happening around the Gaertegang household and how "the list" is panning out......My purpose?
To give God the glory for everything, inspire you to set your own goals, and make myself accountable for the things I put on my list.

Spiritual:
#1 Continue to be consistent in God's Word daily
#2 Study my Bible in conjunction with a concordance so I can a deeper understanding (buy a concordance!)
#3 Begin prayer journaling again
Homeschooling:
#1 More read aloud time together
#2 Continue "NO worksheet Wednesday" & Make Friday our test day
#3 Consider using a Unit Study next year
Chores:
#1 Make myself a checklist of my household jobs...so I can better track what needs to be done
#2 Keep the boys encouraged/disciplined on their chore lists
#3 Do all things big or small with a servant's heart
Financial:
#1 Continue to faithfully tithe and be generous when led
#2 Be very conscious of how we spend God's money and what we spend it on
#3 PAY OFF OUR MORTGAGE!!!! ohhh to be debt free....can't hardly wait!!!
Parenting:
#1 No yelling (Sometimes I feel like that is only way I am heard, not a good excuse though)
#2 More patients...hence the no yelling issue..
#3 Do all things in LOVE....listen attentively....play more!
Kitchen:
#1 Continue to learn more about cooking from scratch..Don't burn myself out...
#2 Continue to cook meals ahead whenever possible to help with time issues
#3 Keep collecting healthy budget friendly ideas.
Marriage:
#1 Monthly date nights
#2 Get away at least once a year!
#3 Being a happy helpmate at all times
Hobby:
#1 Create a space for my hobbies (somewhere?)
#2 send a stamped card twice a month
#3 Quilt once a month
#4 Blog for fun...to document my family....not feel pressure (from myself) to keep a certain schedule


Okay so there it is...I felt is was important to keep my list in each area to only #3 items.
The point: To be able to keep a concentrated effort in each area.

So have you written any goal for yourself, your marriage, your household yet? If not, you might want to seriously consider sitting down (with your spouse) and writing you own list.....Why??? I heard once "If we aim for nothing we will hit it everytime." Having a goal gives us direction, and something to work hard for.....of course keeping in mind, that our "goals" may not always be the same as the Lord's. I think that if you spend time in prayer about what goals the Lord would want for us, we will have some perspective to shoot from.



DANIELLE

And the winners are......

CONGRATS to Sharon, and Ann for be the chosen winners of the Bread Machine Recipe books!!! I have sent both of you gals an email! Thanks so much to the creators of THEBEADMAKER.ORG!
Remember you can always head on over to their site and get your own inspirational recipes and the book for only $9.99!!!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter!

DANIELLE

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Fun Game To PLAY!!! ~~Just for the JOY of it!~



 In case you didn't know...we are a homeschooling family! Here is a shot of some of the kids at a FUN day at Camp for a special Homeschool day......looks like fun huh? This camp offers a once a month day the kids can go and learn different science applications...I drop them off at 915a...I send a bag lunch with them....pick them up around 245p.....The cost if $8 per child.....The kids love going...Mom/Teacher loves the day off once a month!!!!

So this morning the boys (Lance & Caleb) taught me a game they learned at Camp. Live cow, Sleeping cow, Dead cow......

 Here is LIVE COW
 
 Here is SLEEPING COW
 

                                                               Here is DEAD COW

Of course you could change the "animal" in the game to one of your choosing.....It's a great game to get the kids moving and burn off some energy ..... Here is a little video in case you want to see the game in action!

 

DANIELLE

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year Frugality...Paying Cash for all your purchases!

In  case one of your Goals for 2010 is to be a better steward of the money GOD had given you and you want a good place to start.....Pay Cash for all your purchases.... It is a very simple straight forward way to know where you are spending your money and how much you are spending....Simple have an envelope for each area of spending. When you get paid you divide the money into each spending envelope...when the money is gone...your done spending.....pretty simple yet effective! So in case you want to make "Living on a Spending Plan" more fun and pretty......go HERE to download the template and see the tutorial on how to make it.....



 If this sounds like something your family should start doing and your interested in finding our more details go HERE!

In case you haven't been around here at The Gaertegang to long and you missed the series on "Seeking Financial Freedom" be sure to check it out.....or maybe refresh your memory on it....
( This is a direct link to the series but it starts from the most recent post (last one)...so scroll to the bottom to Part One and then continue from there...sorry for the irritation..)

DANIELLE

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year Frugality...Make Your Own Laundry Detergent!


Yes, you might think the idea sounds really crazy...like I did when I first heard about "crazy people" making their own detergent....but now I am a believer....read on....

The first thing I have decided to continue through the new year is making my own laundry detergent. At first I thought I would be really complicated and not worth my time but then I did a quick search on you tube and found the process to make a "powder detergent" was super easy and surprisingly fast. In case you'd like to try and make you own her is what I discoverd after using up 3 batches....I washed 93 loads of laundry for about $8.00!!!!

The process is VERY SIMPLE..Here is how you can make you own.....
1. The first thing you need to do is choose which soap you want to use in your detergent...Some use Ivory soap, but I prefer to use Fels-Naptha (pure laundry soap). I like the smell much better than the ivory. You can use a simple grater to grate the soap. If you use a food processor makes this chore super speedy. When I made my first round of detergent I only had a grater available to me so I grated is as small as I could then put it one cup at time into my little food chopper to chop my pieces even smaller. This is a more time consuming way, but I still made three batches in an hour of my time......Just last week I made up another batch with a food processor and it took me literally 15 minutes...that included clean up!!!
2. After choosing which soap...grate or process the entire bar.
3. After you get your soap to a powdery consistency then your ready to add ONE cup of BORAX and ONE cup of the WASHING SODA.....just mix it all together and put it in a sealed container.....and there you are super great laundry detergent......


 ***Here are a couple hints I learned while using this detergent on my first 93 loads of laundry.....I turn on the water then add the detergent mix (I used one heaping tablespoon for most all loads, I saw up to 1 to 2 tablespoons is used...personal preference...) let the water run a few seconds more then added the laundry in. NOTE: This will not suds up like commercial soap...just so you don't panic...

***I store my detergent in an old ice cream bucket...work just fine...you don't need anything fancy...an old rubbermaid bowl with a lid will do.

*** I bought the Washing Soda ( 55oz box) $3.09 and Fels-Naptha ($1.29 per bar) at Kroger. The Borax came from Walmart (76 oz box) $3.36. I found all of these things in the laundry isle.

*** I realize that you could buy the super cheap detergent for less that you can make this...but with 3 with our outdoor lifestyle of mud, grass stains, and who knows what else I have to get the good stuff. I would usually get ALL or Tide at the store...so compared to those quality detergents it does save me money and doesn't require a lot of resource or a lot of my time. Again personal preference comes into play...just an idea to think for the new....Making your own deteregent!

DANIELLE

FREE Audiobooks...TODAY ONLY!!! (01-05-2010)


Available TODAY ONLY (Jan 5th, 2010)

In case you are looking for something to occupy your family's time...go HERE to download 3 audiobooks....Laura Ingalls Wilder's "The Long Winter" is one of them...


DANIELLE

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Oh My......2010 are you kidding me!!!

2010 just sounds weird to me....I mean I can't no believe that we are ringing in the New Year again....is it just me or didn't we just do that not to long ago? The older I get, the faster the year seems to go.....anyone else feel that way? Well we did not do anything to exciting to ring in the New Year. We hit the movie theater to see ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS......we all laughed so much and really enjoyed it just as much as the first one. Then we hit Walmart for a couple returns...then Pizza Hut for Book-It pizza cash in.....then onto the movie store to rent some flicks to watch while we waited to ring in the coming year. Well we got home to discover the clerk forgot to un-install the security things that hold the DVD's in the case.....so back to town to get those removed.....then we watched G-Force.....the kids loved it...then started Night at the Museum (#2) but then Lance felt really sick, Caleb fell asleep, and Julia kept asking for me to take her to bed.....Zach was still ready to party and stay up all night....grins......So at 11pm we surrendered and put everyone to bed and tucked ourselves in as well. Yep!!! Officially old and totally boring we didn't even stay up....
My mom, Julia, and I went to town the next day to return some Christmas items....boy, great day to go...TOTALLY dead!!! I guess everyone stayed up late and then stayed home to watch football...plus it was freezing. I picked up some Christmas stockings on clearance for $4.99 which was GREAT and I found six that coordinated together, which is nothing short of a miracle in my opinion.  I also had fun spending time with my mom and getting some things we needed around the house and for the boy's room. I am most excited about finding a new dresser for the boy's room (we are actually getting three new dressers...one for each of them....). They actually match and are new...both are foreign concepts to us for the most part up until this point. Nothing wrong with auction/garage sale non matching stuff...it's worked just fine for us for the past 10 plus years. I am excited to have the room look a little more "styling".

Anyone so anything super fun to ring in the New Year? Do you have any traditions you do each year? I would love to hear about it all.....


DANIELLE

Saturday, January 2, 2010

CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!

 Christmas morning began at our house...here are some pics of the fun!


 Julia was the last one up...the boys were none to thrilled that they had to wait on her to get up before they could open presents. I wanted to show you this adorable baby doll sling Julia is wearing. I ordered it off Esty...It is soooooo cute and she totally loved it and wasted no time putting a baby in it and then kept is on the rest of the morning...(Only cost $10)
 
 Lance was excited to get Battleship, because Justin has been telling him how much fun it is to play. (They have played it a few times since that day)
 
 Caleb was thrilled to have his own "real bow".....We already have a target so he's ready to practice...
 
 Zach told me he wanted a big truck that he could play with inside....this is what I came up with...It talks and goes forward, backwards, and dumps...super cool!
 
 After a little picking up, we were off to Grandma & Grandpa Byrd's (my parents) house....Julia showcasing LOTS of pink....
 
 Here is the crew....pre-presents...
 
 All the boys got remote control cars...Whew!!
 
 Here is Dad watching all the action
 
Here are the piles of presents......no shortage of spoiling here!!

Lots of fun, food, and too many presents to find a place for in our 110 year old farmhouse with not so much storage.....Good thing we did some weeding out before all this FUN!!

 DANIELLE

 
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