Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Potato Fudge

This fudge is a favorite of my family. I started making it 5 or 6 years ago. My DH talked about it frequently as a favorite of his growing up so I asked my in-laws for the recipe. They have since passed on, so this is a way to remember them during the holidays.

1 potato, boiled and mashed ( I use a little milk and butter to get a nice consistency)
confectioner's sugar at least a pound. It may be more or less depending on the size of your potato
peanut butter

While your potato is still warm, add confectioner's sugar 1/2 a cup at a time until the consistency is that of pie crust dough.
Roll out the dough into a rectangle (depending on your potato, this could wind up being 2 rectangles)

Spread the rectangle with peanut butter (I guess you could use something else as filling if you don't like peanut butter. I bet it would taste good with Nutella.)

Roll the dough up like a jelly roll, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Slice into very thin slices, approximately 1/8" thick or thinner.

This is VERY sweet and rich, so you don't want to do more than nibble.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A loving example

My Auntie Mary passed away this morning. She was elderly, and had been in poor health for quite some time. I understand she was not suffering. I had not seen her in years, but she was in our thoughts at every family gathering.
She was one of two aunts left on my mother’s side. You see, she was my mother’s aunt, my great aunt. She was just Auntie Mary to all of us, however, and there were many of us. She was one of many children. Her siblings included Jim, John, Patrick, Siobhan, Nonie, and Tess. I am certain I have missed someone in that list. Now only Tess is still living.

Each of the siblings had at least a few children of their own. In fact, there are so many cousins on my mother’s side that I cannot name them all. I know Mary had Maura and Alice, but I know that she had others. Alice is not too terribly older than I am.

Tess had Jim, Kathy, Maryann, Theresa, Johanna, and Patty. Patty is several months older than I am. Patty is my mother’s first cousin. She and I graduated from high school together. My mother’s father was Patrick, also known as Patsy. He sired Stephen, Mary, Norah, Bridget, Kathleen, Hanna, and Patrick. Mary is my mother. Her brother Patrick is only seven years older than I am, and his children are close in age to my children. I have children who are older than some of my first cousins, and first cousins who are just old enough to have baby sat for my older children. One of my cousins is sixteen years old. She and my thirteen-year-old daughter get along really well. One of her older sisters is right between my older two children in age.

I am the oldest grandchild of my grandfather Patsy. My children are older that the children of most of my first cousins on my mother's side. Many of my cousins have very young children, and several are not old enough to have children yet.

This gives you some idea of the family dynamic. Anyone from a large family understands the challenges that trying to keep track of all the nieces, nephews and cousins brings. Auntie Mary always made you feel like you were the most special child to ever walk into her home, which is no small feat when on Christmas day you could have anywhere from fifty to a hundred relatives stop by to visit.

When I was about thirteen years old, the age my younger daughter is now, we stopped in at Auntie Mary’s for a visit on Christmas day. Not only did she appear delighted to see us, but she also had gifts for my brother and for me. I was thrilled that she had thought of me, and thrilled with the gift. If you grew up when I did, you would remember the “kissing potion” and oversized, flavored lip balms and glosses that were all the rage. This is what Auntie Mary had for me. It was a cola flavored lip balm, and may have been one of my favorite gifts that year.

In retrospect, I realize that Auntie Mary had several “extra” gifts under her tree. A few were for boys, a few for girls. She was the type of person who sought to include everyone. I was not very confident at thirteen. I felt very awkward in most situations, but I felt loved at Auntie Mary’s.

Thank you, Lord, for the example that Auntie Mary was to my family, and many others. May she rest in peace.

A giveaway from the Homeschool Lounge

The Homeschool Lounge is giving away a GPX 4GB Digital Audio MP3 Player with Stereo EarbudsRetail Value: $66.00
Favorite tunes play on with this 4GB digital audio MP3 player. At home or on the go, just plug and play to hear songs through the stereo earbuds. The headphones give easy access to volume control and preset equalizer settings let the sounds come through loud and clear--all the time. From GPX.

You can join me in this giveaway by checking out the Homeschool Lounge and this event here.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

A review of Map Trek

A couple of years ago my daughter was studying Ancient Egypt and Ancient Israel. One of the exercises her lesson plans called for was to use a map of Ancient Egypt and to fill in certain cities, rivers and landmarks. I could not find a map in any of the homeschool resources that were available to me at the time. Fast forward to a couple of months ago. Terri Johnson of Knowledge Quest and Bramley Books put out Map Trek: Ancient World An Atlas and outline maps of world history. There are lesson plans, chronological maps from the Descendants of Noah, Mesopotamia, Ancient Africa, Ancient Egypt, The Exodus, Early Greece, Solomon’s Kingdom, The Founding of Rome just to name a few. I use Mother of Divine Grace syllabi, and they frequently call for the use of maps. Map Trek lists the following curriculi as using chronological maps for their history programs: TruthQuest History, Story of the World, Biblioplan for Families, Tapestry of Grace, Sonlight Curriculum, Mystery of History, My Father’s World, Living Books Curriculum, Ambleside Online and Winter Promise. I am certain that any geography program would also benefit fro the use of these maps. The ability to contrast how different areas of the world look today with how they were laid out in ancient times is of great value to anyone currently studying geography or history.

If you are in need of maps, I recommend taking a look at this resource. It is not the only map resource I have purchased through the years, but I really am glad I have found it. When my son studies Ancient Egypt and Israel, I will have the resources he needs to more fully understand what he is learning.

Thank you Terri Johnson for a great product. I am looking forward to looking at the Map Trek Medieval World next. My daughter is studying that time period now.

I have placed links to Knowledge Quest products at the top of my blog. Feel free to go check them out.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Teacher's Book Bag

The Teacher's Book Bag is monthly unit studies. They are available as Preschool-Kindergarten, First through third, and Fourth and beyond units, or as a package of all three "grade" levels. I just purchased the December Book Bag for Fourth and Beyond. It is all about the Human Body. In looking through it, I was pleased with both the information and the activities. It is a well put together unit, and the information is professionally presented so that anyone could easily teach the unit.
Teacher Book Bag also has lapbooks and other unit studies available. They can be found at Currclick.com


I wrote a short essay on an advent traditions. It can be found on Catholic Exchange. I hope you will hop on over there to read about Jesse trees.

May the Lord bless us all this Advent season.