Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Apple Bundt Cake

I love cooking so I decided, Hey, why not just post a recipe on my blog? It needs help.

So here it is. I found a recipe online last week and couldn't wait to try it. But being me, I couldn't follow the recipe so it's a little bit different, which is good because I don't remember where I got the recipe in the first place... Just a heads up: the apples in this cake make it really moist, and I thought that it tasted way better the next day; although there was absolutely nothing wrong with it the night I baked it haha

Apple Bundt Cake:
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups tart apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350*. Grease and flour a bundt pan and set it aside.

Mix oil, sugars, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. (I couldn't bring myself to put 1 1/2 cups of oil in my cake so I substituted some of the oil with applesauce but you don't have to do that.)

Add flour to the bowl then add the salt, baking soda and cinnamon and stir just until combined.

Mix in the apples, walnuts and raisins. Pour it into the prepared cake pan, or have your brother hold the bowl so you can scrape the sticky dough out. *cough cough*

Then bake it in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the cake comes out with just a few crumbs or clean. In my oven I think that was a little bit too long so next time I'm going to check it after an hour and go from there.

Then when the cake comes out of the oven, let it cool for about 10 minutes and hope with all your heart you greased and floured the pan well, shake the pan a little bit to loosen the cake then flip it upside down on a cooling rack and let it cool. Voila!!! Slice and enjoy :)

 And if your dad is anything like mine he won't think the cake is finished unless it has a glaze or frosting of some sort... so I made a toffee sauce to go with the ice cream too.

If anyone makes this recipe I'd love to hear how it worked out for you :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Homeschooling: Real Life

   I don't know how many people know about home schooling- the real home schooling, that is. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about it, so I want to talk about what home schooling was like for me.

   I'm so thankful that God led my parents to home school me before I started school. It was so good for me- I was able to learn at my own pace, I was able to form close bonds with my family, I had more free time to do other things, I was able to learn practical life skills, soooo many benefits to home schooling.

   I love to learn, I find it fascinating that there is soooo much information available, just waiting for me to seize it for myself. I think part of enjoying learning came from being home schooled because learning happened all the time, not just when I had to open a book and study. Life is full of teachable moments and when the whole world is your school, not just being confined to a classroom, the chances of learning something practical are much greater. Learning was fun for me and happened all the time. As long as I remain teachable, I will continue learning as long as I live.

   I learned to read when I was four and I've loved reading ever since. Reading opened up a world of possibilities for me. There were stories of far away places that stretched my imagination, pieces of history in a fascinating plot that made the facts more real and memorable than a textbook, lessons that characters learned that I would analyze and be able to apply to my life. There were biographies of remarkable people that challenged me to do something worthwhile with my life. There is the Bible, God's word given to man that we might know Him and learn how to live a life pleasing to Him. There were textbooks full of information to give me a foundation of knowledge for the rest of my life.

   I may not pursue college, but only because I don't feel it's what I should do. Not because I think I couldn't make it. And if I don't go to college, that doesn't mean my education is finished. I will continue to read and learn new things!

   I was able to spend my time pursuing activities I enjoyed and learning real life skills. I played on a basketball team when I was a freshman in high school at a Christian school and I enjoyed every minute of it. I learned how to play the piano and thanks to a wonderful teacher playing the piano is a pleasure. Now I'm teaching other kids to play, so I was given a skill that I can use for income. I've been helping my mom in the kitchen for as long as I can remember. Cooking for people and seeing them enjoy the food I've prepared makes me happy and is a way for me to care for them. It's a way to be creative and serve people. There are so many things I've learned and so many more still to be learned.

   My parents were able to choose a curriculum that they agreed with so they didn't have to counteract the information I learned, as they might have had to do if I had gone to public school and been falsely taught the material mandated by the government.

  I was taught to think for myself and research information rather than just accepting what someone says to be the truth. I was taught to seek wisdom from the Lord and not from worldly sources.
I was able to be myself, grow at my own pace, ask questions, and so much more! I was able to learn from someone that cared about me. The teacher was able to focus on my needs as opposed to a whole classroom of students all with different needs.

   I was part of a large home school group through my church so I had friends outside my family that were my own age, we went on field trips, we put on plays, we had science fairs, we had so many opportunities to make friends and learn.

  My brother and sisters are all also home schooled and we've had a lot of fun. Sometimes all the "togetherness" is one of the worst parts about being home schooled and I'd sell them off to the highest bidder... but those moments are very few and far between. For the most part, being with them is one of the best things about being home schooled. We've always been close and after we moved to our present location they became my best friends.

   I can't fully cover all of home schooling and do it justice but I hope this has given you a little glimpse of what it was like for me. Home schooling has been a HUGE blessing in my life and I am sooooooo extremely grateful for the Lord's hand in it all. I believe that home schooling has been advantageous in my life and there are so many benefits that come with it. I hope to someday home school my own children!

 Here is a link to a (humorous) video that talks about some of the more common myths of home schoolers: Seven Lies About Homeschoolers.

Set Apart Girl Magazine

Soooo I have some exciting news! At least I find it exciting..
 The May/June edition of the Set Apart Girl online magazine is up now! It always makes my day when I see that a new edition is up :)

It's written by Leslie Ludy and other young ladies at Ellerslie/ Set Apart Girl team.
Right now Leslie is writing a series "The Top Ten Time Wasters," there are articles on godly motherhood, dressing in a modest yet attractive way, and so many other topics. There is a section for what the Ludy kids are saying and doing. Occasionally there will be an article by an "Anonymous Warrior Poet," a godly young man writing to sisters in Christ. Ahh the whole thing is wonderful! This magazine is really encouraging to me, it challenges me, the pictures are beautiful, and if you haven't read it you should at least check it out!
Happy reading,