3.03.2015

words, pictures and March!

Here it is, the 3rd of March and I'm still trying to figure out what happened to February!
This month is full of good stuff so I'm excited its here.
This post is random and is going to be filled with pictures that don't really "go" with it, but are ones we took in February. 
I wanted to spend some alone time with Rachel and she chose a 
day in Seattle. We had an amazing time eating, talking, walking, shopping, 
going to places like the top of the Space Needle, her first visit up! 
Here we are at an all-you-can-eat waffle joint above Pike Place Market.

 

Here she is reading at a table atop the Space Needle. She told me "its the most ideal place to read." :) 

Its our last month of Classical Conversations and while I love that program, I'm anxious to be done and to have one less thing we do weekly. Plus, I'm glad it ends on April 1st this year because it gives the kids and me 2 whole months to go over all the grammar we learned and have some fun with it at home, at our own pace.
I'm planning to do a post with a "review" on Classical Conversations in June, so if you have any questions you've ever been dying to know the answer to, please ask! I will do my best to answer them all in that blog post.

Our good friends Jonathon and Candice live in Tacoma and until they moved 
there, I had never been. But it only took 1 visit for me to fall in love. 
We only live 40 minutes away, so we go visit them and the city quite often. 
On this particular day we went to the Tacoma Nature Center with my childhood friend Rhiannon 
(she lives in WA as well now too!) 

I mean, really. Come on. I don't think I'd have to twist your arm ;-) 

We fell in love with this house. 

at the Nature Center 

Random acts of kindness. 
Big brother gives little brother a piggy back ride. 


My Dad is coming to visit next week and the kids have no idea. I do love to surprise people but I mostly don't tell my kids about family visits because they drive me crazy every hour leading up to the visit. I end up hearing "how long before they get here??" the month leading up to the visit :)
My Dad retired from his job of 26 years last week and it truly feels like the end of an era. I can't believe he's reached that point in his life (and yes, it makes me feel OLD).

at our favorite park in Federal Way last week. 

Last week we finally got to meet baby Isaac David in person! 
He totally stole our hearts. He's a cutie pie and let me hold him for a good hour 
without a single peep! 
(as a side note, I have a picture of Ethan holding Isaac's big brother Gideon 
like this almost 5 years ago when he was born. Swoon.) 


 I had a scatter brained crazy week and ended it with getting Rachel to her basketball game literally as it was ending. Smooth move, right? :( 
I felt so bad. She forgave me right away and said she knew it was an accident. 
I had wanted to grab some coffee (like literal coffee beans) at my favorite place in Seattle. 
Yes, it has come to that. I go into Seattle now to buy coffee on weeks I feel like drinking it. 
Its one of the rare places where I can find truly organic, pesticide free coffee beans. 
Lucky for me, we live close to the City :) 
Anyway, the girls and Miles were with me, so when we realized we missed R's game, we 
went to the city and did our best to make up for it. 

the flowers at Pike Place Market are like none I've ever seen. 
Simply gorgeous. Always. 

on the way back home we stopped at the hospital to see our friends' new 
baby, Molly June! She was born late Friday night and she is absolutely 
beautiful and sweet. We're so thankful God brought her here safely and she's so healthy. 


The kids have all had colds come and go and come again. I'm totally over this snotty nosed, hacking cold. Thankfully Jason and I are healthy and as of today Kara and Miles look very much on the mend. Between essential oils, the wet sock treatment and some eucalyptus rubs, we will beat this thing.
Spring seems to have sprung early this year and so we've been enjoying beautiful blossoms and being out in the sun with colds isn't all bad.

my friend Amy introduced me to this awesome oil cleanse she 
uses on her face. Its only these two oils with whatever scent you like. 
I chose eucalyptus oil for the scent in mine and I love it. 
Put a small amount all over your face and then wash it off with a wash cloth and 
hot water. Follow with whatever lotion you want, but keep it light! 


Oh, I have to share this recipe with you guys. Its SO yummy! I had a slice of this cake at my friend's house shortly after Valentine's Day (her husband made it for her for VDay) and I felt like I could eat the whole thing if no one was looking. So I used my Academy Awards Night party as an excuse to make the cake for my friends who came over. I will say, because its so rich, a little goes a long way and the cake lasts a l o n g time. 

So here's the recipe. You're welcome.

Best Chocolate Cake Recipe Ever 

Ingredients

  • Chocolate Cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.
2. For the cake:
3. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
4. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
5. Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.

7. Frost cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.

Buttercream (espresso) Frosting: 

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups butter (3 sticks), softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder

Directions

1. Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.
2. Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.
3. Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.
4. Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.

5. If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears to wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.

this is what you do when all 4 kids are sick and you have a whole basket of 
new library books! 

That's all, folks! Happy March :) 


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