Snapshot: fun with Mod Podge

edited to add recipes below


To streamline cooking, we’re putting our frequently used recipes to the inside of the cabinet doors near the range. No more searching!

As requested, here are closeups so you can see the recipes we included so far.  We’ll probably add more over time, but these are the ones we use the most.



Grandma’s Wacky Cake (also called Crazy Cake)

A rich, delicious Depression era recipe that contains no eggs, milk or butter.  I think everyone’s grandma had a recipe like this.

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 6 Tbs. cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbs. vinegar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

In an ungreased 9×13 pan, combine dry ingredients.  Mix with a fork until thoroughly combined.  Be sure to get the corners!

Add water, vinegar and vanilla all at once.  Mix thoroughly again.

Bake 35 minutes at 350 or just until cake tests done.  Don’t ice it, because the soft moist top is the best part! To make it special, dust with powdered sugar.

Chocolate Oatmeal No-bake Cookies

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
4-5 cups oats

In a 4 quart pot, stir together sugar and cocoa. Add milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil 2 minutes.
Working quickly, remove from heat and stir in butter, peanut butter and vanilla. Confession: I never measure peanut butter. 1-2 big glops from a spoon will do nicely. Stir in the oats and drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. Remember, work quickly. If you are too slow your cookies will cool and set in the pan and you’ll be forced to eat the rest straight from the pan with a spoon. Not good for the hips.
Let cool thoroughly and enjoy.


Moist Fudgy Brownies from scratch

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, opt.

Combine eggs, butter, cocoa, sugar and vanilla.  Stir until combined.  Add flour, salt and walnuts and stir again.

Bake in a buttered 9×13 for 25-30 minutes at 350, just until done in the center.  Serve warm.






Snapshot: laundry


Parker is helping Natalie sort clean laundry into 4 baskets, one for each bedroom. I love hearing their playful banter as they work, and I’m always surprised at how well toddlers can identify the owners of laundry. What happens when the baskets get too full?


“Hulk smash laundry!”

Snapshot : happy helper


8yo Rachael couldn’t wait to learn to change Calvin’s diapers. She is now certified for wet diapers and working toward her degree in Infant Poop Changes.

Snapshot: hair


Somebody has a whole new crop of hair coming in! In about 6 weeks, he’ll look like a little redneck boy with a natural buzz cut. 🙂

Snapshot : one way to escape dish duty


Cooking dinner gets an automatic pass on dish duty, but there is another way. Here’s the favorite way to escape dish duty: entertain tired and restless little ones. Books and baths are the two most popular tools for the job.

Snapshot: time to celebrate!


Perry finished his 1st grade math workbook recently, so the two of us are out for a celebratory milkshake. I have decided to make a tradition of this: your choice of $1 treats for any qualifying accomplishment. Yes, milkshakes at Chik-fil-a are more than a dollar but I have a gift card. Next up: Rachael is about to finish a reading book, while Bethany aspires to go 3 days without an accident. Yes, we will most certainly celebrate that feat when the long-awaited day arrives.

Snapshot: reading to little ones


The older girls have been going out of their way to spend some time with the little ones each morning. Lydia is reading Eric Carle’s book, Dragons, Dragons to Parker, taking time to discuss each illustration.

Snapshot: quiet time


She’s not officially doing quiet time, but Becca found a checklist app for her new Kindle to help her through her day. In the background, Perry Boy is looking at books. Right now, 4yo Bethany and 2yo Parker take daily naps, and 8yo Rachael and 6yo Perry do quiet time.

Snapshot: Princesses do school too


4yo Bethany is enjoying her first-ever school book, Spectrum Preschool Math Readiness. I love their workbooks for the younger set!

A snapshot from our day



Finished a reading lesson with Rachael a few minutes ago, then she helped me unpack a couple of boxes in my bedroom. We found my leather juggling balls!