Loose ends

I have a bunch of unfinished agenda banging around in my head. Unfortunately, my disorganization manifested itself in a confusing and splat-like presentation of this morning’s Sunday school lesson. This is the curse of an out-loud thinker—if I don’t get a chance to extensively process my material with a bunch of people prior to presenting, I’m just a crazy person spouting gibberish. Mercifully, the class members gently shut me down, and now, after listening to them work on the issue for 45 minutes I know exactly (more or less) what I would say were I to ever teach that lesson again.

But I digress. The unfinished blog agenda is what I’m to be talking about.

I made another batch and rolled them in toasted coconut and then drizzled and/or dipped them in chocolate.

I liked them, but I prefer the plain marshmallows. I’m not a huge marshmallow freak—I don’t like to eat them just for the sake of eating them—so most of my marshmallows get set afloat a steaming cup of hot chocolate. And anyway, who wants bits of toasted coconut floating in their hot cocoa? Not me!

We’ve taken to roasting them in the fireplace. Divine.

I mentioned that using a 9×13 pan yielded super-thick marshmallows. So the next time around I did them in a jelly roll pan, but those were too puny-thin for my liking. The third time I made them I divided them between a 9×13 and a 9×9 and they were better. But I still kind of like the huge square ones best.

We’ve had marshmallows sitting around in jars on the counter for a couple weeks now and they’re showing no signs of going bad. So as best as I can tell, these keep indefinitely.

Unschooling Experiment
Our one week of unschooling has stretched into one month … and beyond. I have no desire to go back to the way things were. I’m curious to see if this unschooling period is just that, a period, or whether or not it will be sustainable for the long haul. Stay tuned.

Teaching my kids to play cards was one of my more brilliant moves.

Now they play cards, Uno in particular, which grants me some much-needed reprieve at various intervals throughout the day.


As with any baby, it changes as it grows. Over the past few weeks we have learned that:

a. pounding coins is really hard work
b. Yo-Yo has trouble seeing the big picture (we knew that before, but still…)
c. Yo-Yo does not possess the wherewithal or attention to detail that is required to make jewelry
d. I enjoy making jewelry
e. there is a market
f. running a business makes for an excellent math curriculum

Christmas Citrus
These dried oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes really boosted our tree’s pretty factor.

The sparkle sticks, however, have yet to be glued into twiggy stars. Maybe by next year…

I made another batch of chocolate-dipped candied orange rinds. I used six oranges and still had plenty of syrup. It yielded about three pints of chocolate sticks.

I used the leftover orange syrup in my simple granola recipe. (I omit the granulated sugar and add 1 3/4 cups of orange simple syrup in place of the water.) It adds a very subtle orange flavor to the granola. And it makes me think that some orange zest would be a swell addition to the French Chocolate Granola. Chocolate, coconut, almonds, and orange zest—how could it go wrong?

Remember that article that I mentioned? The one that got accepted? Well, it’s out in the January-February issue of Home Education Magazine. The author’s copy came in the mail. I opened it at the dinner table and did a honkin’ big happy dance, war whoops and all, right in front of my wide-eyed young’uns and bemused husband.

Not the actual I’M PUBLISHED!!! Dance, but you get the idea.

Miss Beccaboo was shocked, absolutely shocked, to see a picture of herself in a glossy magazine. Later she confided, “I wish you would’ve told me about it ahead of time so you could’ve gotten a better picture of me.” I told her that I chose that picture because it was beautiful. That was all the assurance she needed—she scampered off, pacified.

This same time, years previous: maybe not a true confession


  • Unknown

    I finished the marshmallow tonight – LOVE at first sight! I rolled a few in leftover crushed candy cane and they are swoony – would have been perfect in December, but I'll take minty hot chocolate anytime!

  • Misha

    Yay Yay Yay! Congratulations. I am trusting that is a harbinger of much more joy-dancing to come for you in this new year!

  • Margo

    congrats on the article!
    and the marshmallows (almost typed mushrooms) look swoony.

    ain't cards great? I've tried to teach G Uno, but I think she's a tad young. She had Old Maid in her stocking from Granny, so we'll have a go at that.

  • Anonymous

    VA is much easier on unschoolers. I have a "translator" friend (licensed tutor certified to evaluate homeschoolers) who does the requisite yearly evaluation (verbal in-person interview) and writes in "school-speak" what the school board wants to hear, which is basically that the child is "making progress" in reading and math skills.

    I haven't chosen unschooling (life learning) because I'm trying to please VA legislators, so I don't feel particularly beholden to keep all the letters of their laws.


  • Anonymous

    How do you get around the homeschooling laws? In PA, once they turn 8 yrs we have to document 180 days. The letter of the law says 900 hours. I am doing a rather awful job of keeping track. G is getting a great education but not in the traditional sense which is how the higher-ups measure. Doesn't VA say they have to be tested every so often? Don't you have to keep a portfolio?

    Aunt V.

  • meemsnyc

    Those marshmellows look like heaven! And dipped in chocolate, wow and wow. I love the look of the dried fruit, what a great idea to hang it from the tree! Congrats on the article!

  • Natasha

    Wow! Congratulations on getting your article published – that must feel exhilarating!

    And I noticed you keep posting pics of wonderful looking food… they're also so tempting, and I don't even like marshmallows.

  • Michelle

    Congrats on the article!
    I've been trying some of your recipes over Christmas and loving them! I made your Blueberry-Cornmeal muffins from a long time ago, and my hubby downed four within the hour! They were delish! And I made the eggnog; planning to taste tonight! I am so tempted to make the marshmallows – I think I'll try them tomorrow, since I have four egg whites left from the nog! Anyway I just wanted to introduce myself. I love reading your blog and am inspired by your abundant energy. I don't have kids (yet! only in my mid-twenties, lol) but hope that I'm a great mama like you when the time comes!

  • Mama Pea

    Huge, big congratulations on the article you've had published! (I do believe I said long ago that you would be a published author someday. I'm sure this is just the start.)

    Tell Miss Beccaboo that from the pictures of her on your blog that I've seen, she is indeed beautiful.

  • You Can Call Me Jane

    Congratulations on the article!! I thought I might be able to read it via the link…bummer. I LOVE the honkin' big happy dance photo.

  • Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig

    Lovely loose ends…and good job getting published! That is very exciting…and just the beginning..maybe?

    I am so tempted to try the marshmallows…HFCS and all…:)

    Happy New Year…

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