Jan 17, 2012

Expect the Unexpected

Tonight when we arrived home from the boys' basketball game at 11 p.m., I went to clean our "stuff" out of the Suburban. As I grabbed my full, large cup of soda from McDonalds, it struck me it was now an empty cup and I did not drink it. Something had hit the straw and it pushed through the styrofoam. The soda ran out the bottom of the cup all under the floor mat. (Don't worry dear, I cleaned it up. It will be good as new after daylight comes tomorrow.)

Then I decided that some lambs needed to be checked on. I hadn't planned to do that, but felt it was needed. As soon as we got down there, I saw a twin that looked weak, and sure enough by the time we got it to the house Joel thought it had died. When I put the warm bottle nipple in its mouth it sucked and sucked. The poor thing hadn't had much nourishment since it was born yesterday.

Sometimes its hard to tell how much milk they are getting. You just have to watch the quiet ones closely.
(When  lamb hunches its back its a good sign to keep an eye on it.)

After the little one ate, its heart rate came back up, then I put it to bed with the "babysitter." 
 Hershey, of course. 

She licks them and loves them. 
Tomorrow, if the little one gets stronger, she'll go back in with mama.

So, with that done. It's time for bed... and what to my surprised eyes does appear, but a very naughty beagle who has been in trouble for sneaking in and laying on the couch. 

Apparently, he's very smart. He ran past the living room tonight and remained undiscovered longer...
...on our bed!
I whacked him with a throw pillow after Dylan and I were done laughing at him.
Now, Goodnight all!! 

Jan 5, 2012

Chocolate Meringue Pies

 Chocolate Meringue Pie

No Jello pudding in this one. It's the real deal and turns out rich and yummy. This recipe is for one regular pie. I doubled it, chose to use deep dish pie plates, and prepare crusts from scratch. 

Note: A child wearing a chef's hat adds extra fun to making pies. 


  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked (or bake your own with the pie crust recipe here)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar


Don't ya love the "Get tough." shirt, and the camo apron? 

 He's a manly man chef.

  1. Mix together sugar, cocoa, corn starch and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually mix in milk. Cook and stir over medium high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to medium low; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove pan from heat. Stir about one cup of the hot filling into the egg yolks; mix back into the custard. Return saucepan to heat, and bring to a gentle boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in vanilla. Pour hot filing into crust.
  2. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, and continue to beat until stiff and glossy. Spread evenly over hot filling, sealing meringue to crust.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden.

Jan 4, 2012

"Homeschooling" As We Know It

Day one of return to homeschooling after our Christmas break:
After our "school time" was over, while my groggy husband was recovering from waking at 2:30 in the afternoon, I went to him frustrated, "I cannot get so and so out of bed, and by the time we are all in the same room to begin school, someone tells me that they have farm work to do, and, and..."  He wisely said, "If they won't get out of bed, drag them out." And he said, "Get them up extra early to get the work done before school." Hmmm. I had already though of that, but had no commitment to doing it until after my pity party was done. Then, there was no where left to turn except to fix it or forget it. I was not going to forget it, that makes them lazy and irresponsible, and makes me grouchy. So, I'd best get resolved to fix it.

Day 2 of this week of schooling:
His tail has almost grown back,
after being attacked earlier this fall.
Everyone fed and dressed appropriately for the public by 7:45 a.m. and ready for farm work. Two boys handle the the breaking of ice for the sheep, looking for new lambs and any other sheep maintenance needing to be done. They also feed the rooster. (I like that rooster. He thinks he's a sheep because he's the lone chicken here right now, and he's funny.) Those two were out the door. The other two boys are responsible for moving cows, as we rotational graze, and feeding the dogs. As they headed out, I heard, "The farm truck is out of gas." (Translation- this means they will be absent from school for a couple of hours if they have to walk.) Okay, I can get frustrated, which changes nothing, or fix it. One kid feeds dogs, the other goes with me to town for gas and other feed store items for the sheep (salt, mineral and the like). Shew, we got it done. All done. The new lambs taken care of, the cows moved, the sheep salted, and back in the house by 9:30 to start book learning. Ag class was done. Everyone got an "A."

One of the Ag teachers.
Day 3:
All up, fed, dressed, chores done and back in the house by 9:15 a.m. Yes! They worked hard, got done and now have time for things they'd rather be doing. Like this.

Joel went on a "Civil War hike." 
Homeschooling is fun. It's great to be together as family all day long. Here at the start of the new year, I am re-organizing, re-planning, reviewing and really having a hard time making myself do those things. I just want to get down to business, not figure it all out.  It is not natural for me, nor easy. I am a go-to gal. I want to get up and get going on something I like to do, something artsy and creative. But, if I see my time with my kids as an investment, I can do it. I'm gonna fix it, (fix me and them) and not forget it! By the grace of God, with prayer and perseverance we will all come out better and have a good, productive year!

My buddy, Trouble, and her twins

"Triple Trouble"

Soft, warm, cuddly and harmless. Raising sheep is great!

Masonry class...they're getting an "A."
That is real, heavy, creek rock, not faux stone.