Saturday, December 31, 2011

ever have a morning like mine

I was up and dressed and had some of the kiddos fed while the last minute stragglers were still getting dressed. I was going to make some scones for breakfast but that sounded like too much work, then thought about baked oatmeal, but decided that a bowl of cereal would be quicker. Matthew was outside taking care of the animals. Kinda a yucky morning, freezing rain. His brother stopped by to pick up his parents car that we had borrowed the other day, and his wife came in to say hi. She had on a new sweater, that I love! Very nice! I told her so too. She said go to Target, they have a bunch on sale... I think I see a trip to Target in my very near future. I love sweaters! They have so many nice ones these days. Anyways...went on a little bunny trail there. We got rid of our rooster who doesn't crow, but we don't want any babies, and got a new one for the winter who is super small. Smaller then a bantam, not really sure what kind he is, but we'll see if he makes it with our big girls. I'll try to get a picture of him on here.Another bunny trail... I found the new book I want to read on my counter that I was trying to clean off, while washing the milk pails, I sat down and started to read a few pages. I then realized I had told the kiddos to make there beds and brush their teeth, and that I hadn't done either yet, so off I went to do that. While down there I saw that the towels needed to be washed so I started the laundry, moved things around on my bed so I could make it. Then dumped the clean clothes on my bed and started folding them. Then I remembered that I hadn't finished washing the milk pails and probably should go do that. But first I needed to fill up the water buckets and get them outside so Matthew could water the animals. Our outside water was frozen. Once the buckets were outside I washed the last of the milk pails. I went back to the wash and put the clothes in the dryer, started another load, folded the clothes I didn't get folded yesterday, and put them in the kiddos rooms so they could put them away, I went back to the kitchen and glanced at the clock, it was only 8:30! Oh man this is gonna be a long day, I thought as I filled up the dish pan to wash the breakfast dishes. Then wandered back to the bathroom to fill up the water buckets again to take them out side so Matthew could finish watering the animals!
Ever have one of those mornings where you just can't seem to get going? That's been me all morning. I'm not holding out much hope for the rest of the afternoon!! I think I need another cup of coffee or a nap!!
Have a great day all and Happy New Year too!

Friday, December 30, 2011

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A picture with no words. A moment I want to remember and savor!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

winter clean up

Yesterday was 50 degrees! Not very seasonal for us. Usually a lot colder then that! I'll take it though! We got a Christmas snow storm and got a inch or two, then we got heavy rain and away went the snow! Along with some wind! Yikes! We got some wind. Then the nice day, it cooled off quick in the evening though down to about 9 degrees. I was able to get the horses stall cleaned out. There was some frozen poo in there and I was able to get it all cleaned out. I know if I had been on the ball and not procrastinated and just cleaned it out I never would have had that problem. But I didn't want to go outside and do it, and I was busy cooking stuff for Christmas, yeah that's it!! Farm life is slower. Just daily chores and lugging water. Don't get me wrong that all takes time too! I'm glad for the change of pace in farming right now. A nice break from the faster pace of spring, summer and fall!
Today I started cleaning up my house and trying to "catch" up on some of the house work that I get behind on during home school. We have a wood stove and it's very easy to get behind on the dusting. Everything gets a nice coat of "fire dust" on it in no time. I had the kiddos help with "winter cleaning" instead of "spring cleaning." Actually I have 4 seasonal cleaning sprees. Plus all the regular stuff. Then you add all the Christmas stuff... things just need a good clean up. Tomorrow all the Christmas stuff will be exiting the house after the kiddos get back from their eye doctor appointment. I like to put the tree up, but once Christmas is over I like it out! We've left it up a little longer for Little Matt's sake. He was hoping his Christmas gift would arrive and he could have it under the tree, but it hasn't come yet. I checked and the company said the estimated arrival date would be Jan 3. Not leaving the tree up that long.
I'm looking forward to the new year that is coming up in just a few days! We have had a good year overall and am thankful for that! Next year will prove to be interesting with our land situation hanging in the balance, but I'm sure something good will come out of all this!
As for bringing in the new year we don't have any big plans. Never do really. How about you? Any plans?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

what's cooking in my kitchen

Alright so I'm probably thinking this is not the best thing to post after Christmas when everyone is on chocolate over load and coming off their Christmas highs. And people seem to always think weight loss is a good idea after the holidays and a new years resolution. But oh well. Let me indulge your love of chocolate! And if you don't have a love of chocolate you can skip this post. I will not be typing out the recipe, because it would take me forever as I said before and I don't want to leave something out. Just too many details. But I did snap a few pictures of the recipe for you! Now you can write it out! How nice of me right! I don't know if you can read it all, but I will tell you that it is a Pampered Chef recipe. I found it in their new "Chocolate" recipe cookbook. My sister in law got one, and I just thought it was great, then one of my sisters, who LOVES Christmas bought me one. How nice of her! I actually love it because I love chocolate. My poor husband. Can't wait until I can make some more recipes! And I will post pictures of them too! But that won't happen until next year! A big sigh of relief! Now here is the Fudge Tort with White Chocolate Mousse!

 Oh my look at that!! I didn't take a picture of the whole thing because I didn't like how it looked. It kinda fell apart a bit during transportation to my parents. It tasted good though. I think it tastes a little bit like the Chocolate Lasagna at the Olive Garden, that they used to have, but no longer do, at least here in Maine.  Just to give you a guess of what it tastes like. If you've ever had that dessert there. Oh so good!

Don't let the time it takes to make scare you. It's cooling time for the cake, and mousse, and such. I think it's worth it and will be making it again for a family get together!
Until next time!
Have a great day all!

Monday, December 26, 2011

after Christmas confessions

I hope ya'll had a very Merry Christmas! We did.
Today started the after Christmas clean up and put everything away. Our tree is still up for a few more days. After having lots of places to go over the weekend we all just kinda crashed today. We took care of things and threw away all the trash. The boxes and boxes of packaging that everything seems to come in these days along with all the bloody twist ties and tape that are on toys. It's enough to drive any sane person over the top. Not to mention the kiddos.
We have so much food, no not food but junk food and chocolates in the house... makes my head spin. Yes I did make some of it, but we are always given more and we all need to detox afterwards. And need something healthy and yummy to eat for supper instead of filling up on party mix, cheese cake, chocolates, etc etc for the past few days. So we are going to have turkey pot pie. Mmmmmm. And watch a few movies today that we got as gifts. 
So glad to be on school break. All of us need it.
One of the gifts for Little Matt didn't come. We told him ahead of time that it didn't come, and it should be here soon. He asked if I would wrap it up for him, and I said I would. 
I was supposed to bring some of my homemade garlic dill pickles to my parents for Christmas. Forgot them. I was supposed to bring them the next day, told my sister to send me a text in the morning. She did. I still forgot them. All day I was scatter brained. Really bad.
We went to a coming home from boot camp party for one of Matthew's cousins. That was nice. Yummy food too! Not on Christmas, but a couple days before. Our weekend was full of parties and food!
Once the kiddos were in bed snoring loudly and sprawled out in their beds, My Man and I had a quiet evening on the couch.
Now I have to run because I need to get supper out of the oven before I burn it and we have to eat chocolate again for supper.
Have no fear I will be posting the yummy Chocolate Torte I made tomorrow!!
Have a great night all!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

from all of us here at SweetLand Farm. Wishing you and yours a very blessed holiday!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

more chocolates

Again I don't want to disappoint. I finally finished the Triple Choc Truffles about 8pm last night. Now I have some baking to do, but actually I won't do most of it until tomorrow. Oh yea, probably outta take my ham out of the freezer today too to thaw it out. That would be a good idea. I've got so many things going this week I can't remember what day it is. I feel like I'm a day late with everything I've got going. My BIL said the best thing the other day that "if someone had told us Christmas was on the 25th this year maybe we would have been ready!" I just thought that was funny, because I feel so ill prepared. I don't think I am though. Maybe I should make a list...

Now without further ado

They are melt in your mouth good too! Sorry I just had to tell you. That and I think they look pretty. It's white choc, semi sweet choc, and bittersweet choc. I would share the recipe, but it's so involved to make some of these things it would take me forever, and then I would feel like I left things out. So instead I will tease you!
Have a great day all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas chocolates

OK, so as I said yesterday I would post pictures of the chocolates my sister in law and I made. I would hate to disappoint you. I only have one of the chocolates and then a trifle I made for a party at my in laws the other day. I will have to take a picture of the Triple Choc Truffles when they are done. I messed up the first batch and threw them out and then made a second batch that I need to finish. Today I need to get that done. I'll post a picture for you too. Try to avoid licking the computer screen too! hehe

 We have from the left bottom the one with the gooey looking choc filling those are the Choc Beignets. They had to be fried. Imagine fried chocolate! Yum. Then we have Reese PB Squares, the choc on top and pb on bottom. Just above that the white filled one those are Neehams. Then above that we have PB Balls, the brown ones.

This is the Double Choc Mocha Trifle. It's a brownie, white choc pudding & cool whip mixed with instant coffee, and crushed up Heath Bars on top and in between the layers! Yumminess indeed!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas confessions

So are you all ready for Christmas?! Me? No. Why do you ask?
Gifts are not wrapped, some still have not arrived, and some still need to be bought. Talk about cutting it short.
I get asked on Thanksgiving if I'm done. Nope usually haven't even started yet. I like to click a button and have it shipped to my house!
At least the tree is up, and the lights work this year! Bonus! Last year half the lights died a few days before Christmas.
 I would like to do some cooking.
I like to make chocolates with the kiddos. Then I like to give them away so I don't eat them all! Works out great for me! Just a heads up my SIL came over to make some with me, and I will be posting some pictures of the yummy looking treats!
I like to have cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning. mmmmm all warm and gooey! With Florida Natural OJ! No pulp of course.
This year should be interesting with milking, our tree, church and needing to get out the door early...
Christmas with my family will be on Christmas Eve. I'm so excited about it too! We always have certain foods when we get together too. All the necessities of course. This year I'm making a ham, homegrown, crescent rolls, homemade, and drum roll please... Fudge Torte w/ White Chocolate Mousse! OOOhhh yummmmmmmmm! Have no fear my blogging friends I will post a picture and maybe the recipe. It's a lot of directions so I will have to wait and see.
Have a great day all!!

Friday, December 16, 2011


What a day and a half we've had. I went to help Matthew today. He was hired to paint a room, to help out a friend, and he wanted me to come and help. I thought no big deal, I like to paint, and my mom was happy to watch the kiddos for the day. I could work on the trim and he could use the roller. Matthew's not big on painting, so I figured I would do the trim and let him have the big parts! Well we get to the house and the guy is there, and he wasn't supposed to be home until later that day. Matthew walks up on the deck and the man greeted us and said his dad had literally just died last night, unexpectedly. OH MY WORD! I was standing on the ground, ready to jump back in the car, after hearing that news. I felt so bad, the man was holding back the tears and I just hated to stand there. I dug my sneakered toe into the ground, literally about 2 centimeters from a large dog poo. There was another one to the left of my sneaker too! It's no wonder I didn't step right in it! I started to shiver because it was cold this morning, and I didn't have my jacket on, not to mention I was uncomfortable. Matthew spoke to the man and said we could leave. The man said no. They are in the process of moving and need to get the house ready. So he said come on in. Matthew motions for me to follow. I walk up the stairs and go into the house, I look at the bottom of my sneakers just in case some dog poo did get on it. Nope. Clean. Matthew and I made eye contact, and had the same thought. Awkward! We went into the room and chatted, then the phone rings and the man leaves us. We look at each other and shrug. Now what? Oh it was so awkward to be there. We motion to each other and start moving furniture out and lay down the paper on the carpet. It was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. Once in a while one of the dogs would bark. Matthew and I empty the room, fill the holes and start to paint. The owners of the house are downstairs. It's a raised ranch house. Neither one of us said very much all day, it was the mood of the house, and now us. Quiet. Sad. Thankfully we have been married long enough to know how to work together with very few words. A long, a gesture, a nod.  It was such a long day. Up and down a step ladder, up and down on my knees painting. We didn't stop for lunch. We just worked quietly all day. Not wanting to be a bother to the people mourning, and wanting to get the job done. We feel sad for the family that lost their loved one during this Christmas season so unexpectedly. Our prayers are with them.
Hug your loved ones and tell 'em you love 'em, cause you just never know.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Just couldn't resist this...

Maggie and Dandie in the pasture on this beautiful day! I had to sneak outside really quietly to get this picture, but I'm so glad I did, makes me go aaawwww.
The weather has been really mild for us so far. We've had some snow, but then the temps go back up to the 40-50's, and it all melts! Crazy for us, but I love it! I was tempted to mow the lawn the other day just to say I mowed it in December, but I didn't. I decided I'd mowed enough this summer! But I've been hearing on the radio that it's supposed to do something tomorrow, like snow. We shall see! Until then...
have a great day all!

Friday, December 9, 2011

for sale

This could be looked at three different ways. I guess it depends on which end of the sick your on. One it could be your house/farm for sale. It could be a sign in front of the house/farm you want to buy! Even better! Or if you are in my shoes it's a sign in front of the property you lease, for haying. Kinda an unsettling feeling. OK so a very unsettling feeling.Yup our wonderful neighbors are moved out of their house. We have seen this coming all summer long, and have been looking for different farm land to use/lease/buy. The man went into a nursing home. He's got dementia, and his wife just can't take care of him anymore. And his wife has decided that the house is just too much for her. And another winter with that drive way is another story. So she has moved out into a retirement home. We are very saddened by this. We lost some wonderful neighbors that are like grandparents to all of us. It's so sad to know they are gone, and won't be coming home again.We have no idea who is going to buy the house, and who our new neighbors will/might be. The place has been shown to some people, and some have come back for a second look. So it's good for my neighbor, but sad for us. We are not worried about the situation we are in, but we have been praying about it. I know God won't bring us this far in our farming venture to leave us hanging. I know He is faithful to His own.
On the flip side we have some things in the works that we are praying about as well. So we shall see where this is going, and we are excited about it as well!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

it's ready

What's up with this picture? Such a dreary day today. The fog is so thick and the air is very heavy.

Actually this is the roof of our little sap house! We got our new roof jack and chimney installed. (It's the silver thing, just in case you didn't know). And when I say we I mean Matthew did it. I was off having fun with some friends making Christmas cookies while he was putting this on. Thankfully our son was home helping him, just in case, on the ground mind you! Now there were four moms and 14 kiddos! That equals lots of sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, and frosting! Go figure! Had a blast! It's always fun to get together with friends and kiddos and cook, especially this time of year. Actually the kiddos put a little cookie with their frosting! Sorry I forgot my camera, so no pictures. But by the end of the day they were all pumped up on sugar! And wanted to do it again next year!!
Anyways, now we are ready for maple syrup season, even though it's months away. I don't know if ya'll remember but we bought a commercial evaporator last year, and had that "learning curve" with it. Having the chimney pipe be at two 90 degree angles would not work properly with it. It wouldn't get a good rolling boil and stay boiling. So it needed one straight line up, now it's in and waiting for the boiling to begin!  Looks good don'tcha think? I'm now looking forward to the spring when we can start the season!
Have a great day all!

Monday, December 5, 2011

a parents worst nightmare

Sunday morning started out like they typically do. It was a cold morning with a heavy frost on the ground, it should be cold, it's December. The only thing different was a couple that lives down the road from us, and attends the same church, was taking the oldest two kiddos to church with them because our van had broke down and isn't fixed yet, and we are borrowing my in laws car that won't fit 6 people in it. They are very nice people and the grandparent type to all the kiddos in church. They give them a small Christmas present and a card on their birthdays. So they came and took Little Matt and DaLaney. I was getting the younger two's hair done, and tights on and we weren't quite ready to leave yet. So about 10-15 minutes later we left for church. Rachel burst into tears and said she had to pee really bad. Too late to turn around and go home. Thankfully we found a portable one at a store. I was driving, Matthew had enough driving and, well I love to drive, so Rachel was all set and we were back on the road. The girls requested Christmas music. So it was. We chat as I drive, then we notice there was a road block up ahead. No one was going through. There were two options go left or right. The cop said take a left to continue on our way for our destination. We did. The girls were in the back happily singing the Christmas carols. One asked me if I knew where I was going. I said "a detour." "Why?" "Can't go the other way something happened." "Oh." More singing. Out of the corner of my eye I see Matthew dialing a number on the phone. One sided conversation is what I here. "Where are you?" It's his brother. "Oh, well call me when you get to church and let me know if they are there." Hangs up. I suddenly get a sick feeling in my stomach, and my hands turn all sweaty on the steering wheel. "I just got a real sick feeling in the pit of my stomach." I said. "Me too." Matthew replied. Suddenly it was very hard to breath, my chest constricted and I took in a deep shaky breath. I drive. There is a silver car in front of me. I have no idea where this road comes out. The girls are giggling. The phone goes off as we take a very sharp L turn to the right. It was my brother in law. "Do you have their number?" Hangs up. "They are not there yet." Matthew said to me. It's even harder to breath, my chest hurts, and I can't feel my legs. I take another breath. That silver car is still in front of me. Fear grips me and I start to sweat. "You OK? You want me to drive?" "No. Gives me something to concentrate on." My heart is racing, and I pray silently, "Dear Lord. Please keep our kiddos safe and protect them. Please don't let this accident be them. Please no God."  I seem to get tunnel vision and my chest is tight. I grip the steering wheel with my sweaty palms. I was suddenly thankful that there was someone in front of me going the speed limit, 45, and I had never been on this road and it was too busy to pass due to the traffic on it, probably it's not a very busy road on a typical day. I still couldn't feel my legs. My arms are tingling as I pray again. We stop and turn right. Matthew said something to me. The girls are still singing in the back. I suddenly knew where I was when I saw the road sign, and knew where we would turn out, I told Matthew that one of his childhood friends lives on this road and he just so happens to be a state trooper. He nodded. Just up ahead I see the stop sigh. The road is blocked to the right. I come to the stop sign. The silver car turns left. "The road is blocked." I state the obvious here. "We are going down that way." "I can't." I uttered. "Do you want me to drive." I just nod and take my seat belt off, and move, as Matthew gets in the drivers seat and down the road we go. Just a short ways down the little hill and turn I see the flashing lights. Nausea hits. I see an animal control officers black SUV, and other lights and cop cars. I see two cars off in the ditch to the right. They hit an animal, was my first thought. The road is slick and there is lots of salt on it. "Is it them?" "I don't know. I can't tell." I pray again as Matthew stops the car and hops out and heads down. The ambulance has come and gone. I can't breath, tears come down my face and I'm gasping for air. Fear that my kiddos were hurt, and I wasn't there with them. "You OK Mommy?" "I'm OK." "Sounds like your crying. Are you OK?" Rachel and Emma were concerned about me. They have no idea what is going on. I need to keep it together. I don't typically cry. "I'm OK." I'm still trying to control my breathing and fighting the urge to puke. I wipe my sweaty palms on my dress. I can't catch my breath. I watch as the cops approach Matthew. They are talking. My eyes are glued to the back of My Man. My legs felt like jello. I see the cars in the ditch. I pray. The phone goes off, and it's my brother in law. I can tell by the ring. Matthew left it in the car. I grab it and manage to croak out a "hello." "Yup they just pulled in the driveway. Their fine." I felt the hot, tears coming down my face as the words "their here, and safe" sunk in. Relief swept over me. I managed to croak out something to the affect of " Thank God. Thank you." And hung up. My whole body was shaking, and I was still sweating. I was ever so relieved that my kiddos were safe and sound at church waiting for us! I suddenly could breath and my chest didn't hurt. I got the feeling back in my legs. My toes were cold. I had so much air back in my lungs and relief coursing through my veins and tears I was trying to control. I look up and Matthew is walking back to me shaking his head mouthing "it's not them." I held up the phone and nodded. He gets in and I said, "your brother just called. They are at church."  Matthew looks at me. "You OK?" Breath. "Yup." I'm glad for sunglasses. It took me a few minutes to pull myself back together as I prayed and thanked God for his hand of protection on our life (kiddos). Matthew told me the cops were very nice about him going down there. And that he had had to take some deep breaths before he could talk after seeing the cars. One of the cars in the ditch looked like the one the kiddos left in.
Once at church we head in and I walk in looking for my oldest two kiddos.Rachel trips and falls, and Daddy scoops her up first as he was closer to her. DaLaney sees me first and come over and gives me a hug and a kiss on my cheek. "Hi Mommy. I missed you." I squeeze her tightly to me and kiss her soft cheek and whisper in her ear "I love you." "I love you too."  She smiles, and I fearsly blink back the tears. She had no idea what we had been though. "Where's Little Matt?" I search the room for him. "He's with some of his friends." I found him with my eyes and looked at him. His handsome face and boyish grin.  I went and sat down with DaLaney. When Little Matt came over I hugged him tight and said "hey boy, I love you."  And swallowed the lump in my throat. "I love you too Mommy." As he hugged me back. He has no idea. He sat down. Again the relief and thankfulness came over me. Our kiddos were safe. I've seen them and hugged them both. My life is good now. I could relax. We now have the number of the couple who drove them to church. 
The rest of the day went by without incident. That night we had 2 brother and sister in laws, along with all the kiddos over for pot luck supper, last minute, and read our Advent celebration together. We had some Ribbon candy too! Anyone remember that stuff? I didn't even know they still made it. My great grand mother always had it at Christmas time. It was such a treat for us kiddos to have!
That night the kiddos went to bed, in their own beds. Happy, full and safe. All four of them. I went in their rooms and looked at them each breathing slow, and deep, some were snoring. I covered the ones back up that needed covering and said another silent pray of thanks giving for their safety.

Friday, December 2, 2011

clean up

Ever clean out your recipes? I have some that I thought looked good, and have saved, but once reading through them and realizing that I'd never make them. Not to mention I cook entirely different now then when we were first married. I have had some recipes for years and never have made. Some call for those wild ingredients that I never have on hand and would go to waste because it only goes in that one recipe. So I decided to clean them out and throw them, to make room for the new ones I have found online and from friends. I try to organize it by main dishes and desserts, then extras like horse cookies. Yes from time to time I make cookies for my horses, they love them! So much better, now I just need to get them on recipe cards and in the cookbook. I like to use the old photo albums, they are perfect for them.
I also have a little photo album of recipes I use only when canning, like spaghetti sauce. I'm always rummaging through the cookbooks to find them, then finally the light went on and I put them together, and put them in the canner. So next year when I start canning they are all right there in one place!! Brilliant! Only took me years to figure that one out...
Anyhow, life is kinda slow, and by slow I mean farm wise things, most of all our equipment is undercover before the snow comes, again. Everything around the farm is picked up, like the kiddos summer outside toys, and the like. Barns are winterized and now we just wait for the snow. It has been such an awesome fall. We had an Indian summer, and so far it's still been mild for Maine weather. Some cold, but mostly warm sunny days, like in the 60's!!  No kidding, I've loved it too. I'm sure winter weather is coming, but it's been so nice to have some mild weather and not have to keep the fire going all day, but at night to keep the chill out and not have all the winter gear out!!!
I'm sad to have to say this next part. You remember all our wonderful chicks that hatched out and mama hen left them? Well we had five. One was a rooster and the rest were hens. Well three days in a row someone hit them. I guess they thought playing "chicken" in the road was fun. Makes me soooooo mad. They hit three hens, figures. Then we killed the rooster. Didn't want to deal with him over the winter, and don't want chicks. So we have the one hen from the five babies left.
Well I have tons of things to finish, so have a great day all! Just thought I'd let you know what I've been up too.