Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy National Chocolate Cake Day!

Hello Sweetie!
As I am beginning again (rising from the ashes?) I have a chocolate cake in my oven, called a Wacky Cake. I stopped blogging and dropped out of most of the life I made for myself in the summer of 2011, after being diagnosed with postpartum depression with my second child, my husband deploying, and being banned from teaching and promoting something I loved doing where I was living in. I am ready to move on with life.

I am finding that I also need a way to document things going on in life, and have a place to look back and reminisce. I am horrible at keeping baby albums and photo albums, but I'm great at posting and sharing on Facebook, so here goes nothing, and boys (I currently have two preschoolers), I hope this is something you can look back on and be proud of me. My goals for my children are that you become kind, respectful, people who strive for heaven, contribute to society, and are self-sufficient. All the rest is icing on the cake.

My husband (DH), who made Chief (he's in the Navy) last year, and I are on the same page right now with life despite being on opposite sides of the world from each other because of deployment. We are going to give homeschooling a try and take things year by year. When he is finished with his sea duty rotation (which will be the end of this year), he will be going to shore duty. We should be picking orders at the end of March. I'm hoping we can try getting something overseas or in the Pacific Northwest, like Washington State. My reasoning is that I think it will be easiest on the family if we can move around while they're little. Plus, if we're overseas they'll pick up on a new language so much easier, and what's the point of being in the Navy if you're going to be stuck in the same place for over 13 years? Sure, he sees the world when he's deployed, but as my mother-in-law says, it's the parts of the world she never wants to see.

Today's project was collecting Sweet Gum Balls. Last week we were hit with snow that lasted until yesterday. Today it was in the 60s and gorgeous, and tomorrow we're supposed to be getting snow again. Let's enjoy the beautiful weather while we can! I sent my sweet boys outside to play and I went to collect sweet gum balls for future art and craft projects. This tree drops a lot of balls and they like to gum up our lawn mower - a human powered push mower. My thoughts, why not use these little land mines that cause so much pain when barefoot and when mowing for something good other than putting them in a plastic bag on the curb. When collecting things from nature that can harbor bugs and mold, such as sweet gum balls, pine cones, pecans, etc. Bake your collections at 200 degrees F for at least 45 minutes to bake out the bugs with the heat. No ones wants an unwanted infestation in your home.
Sweet Gum Tree

Baking pan piled with Sweet Gum Balls

I love listening and watching my boys play and use their imagination. They started out a bit rough today with not wanting to share and play together. This morning I pulled DS1 onto my lap in the rocking chair and played some music from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Once they finally got dressed, this took some time today, and they got outside they continued their quarreling for about 5 minutes, and then without my intervention they were playing Narnia. My boys' have a wild imagination. Last year they were Chris and Martin Kratt from the PBS show, The Wild Kratts for about 3 months. Then they turned into Harry Potter and Ron Weasley from J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter for about four months. Currently, they are Peter and Edmund from C. S. Lewis', The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. This morning DS2 was in tears because he couldn't remember his new name. He's very serious about being called his new name once he decides he's a character. If he does become an actor, I believe he will be a method actor!

While browsing Facebook, I read on someone's wall that today was National Chocolate Cake Day - my interest was piqued. I looked into it further, and found a website, National Day Calendar, and they have a FB page too, I'm following. As I said above, I have Wacky Cake in the oven. You thought I just said it's National Chocolate Cake Day and I have Wacky Cake in my oven…what's going on? Wacky Cake come from the depression era when life was really tough, when my grandfather would line his shoes with newspaper to keep the holes covered, kids would play kick the can in the street, and it was common to have beggars coming to your door. This cake does not contain milk, butter, nor eggs, yet it is moist and delicious. Here's the recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease a 9" x 13" pan.
In a large mixing bowl combine:
3 C flour
2 C sugar
6 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Make 3 holes in the dry mixture:
1st hole: 2 tsp vanilla
2nd hole: 1 Tbsp vinegar
3rd hole: 3/4 C vegetable oil

Pour 2 C water into the bow, mix and pour batter into the greased pan. Bake in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes.

Wacky Cake

I would imagine if you want to go paleo, or gluten free you could easily convert by substituting ground almond flour, coconut sugar and an avocado for the oil.

If you try substitutions, please leave a comment and let me know how it works!

Happy National Chocolate Cake Day!

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