Hello Friends! Is 2016 being good to you?
Wow, it feels good to be back. 2016 has started out like a dog-friendly fireworks display; quietly explosive. We have hit the ground running and not exactly at my sedate grandma jog pace either. I have had, over the past few weeks, this constant feeling that I need to catch up. I am in a state of shock at how everything seemed to get so far ahead without me. Have you ever felt that way?
In between both Dear Husband and I being at the full throttle part of super exciting projects on our relative work fronts, the geyser burst, the air conditioner crashed during a heatwave and my car battery died overnight. Yoh! Can we just slow things down puh-leez.
The children have each also had a little bumpy start to the year for different reasons. Pretty Girl is in the throes of Grade 5 girl social dynamics mayhem. It’s a minefield of tears and confusion one day and sheer joy and jubilation the next. It’s also very exhausting to parent. Handsome got moved to a new class without his favourites and it threw him, which threw me. We both needed ice cream.
Three weeks into the school year and things seems to be settling down for my small people. This new peace has arrived just in time too because this very week we have had the privilege of celebrating the fullness of life that is my sweetest Noah Jack. My baby boy turned six this week. I have to admit, I have needed a moment to take that in.
It’s always around birthday time that I consider the age gap between my kiddos, which is a couple of months shy of five years. It’s a big gap. We are navigating such different worlds with both of them at the same time.
Pretty Girl is finding her independence, finding her opinion (she has many), navigating her new space. It is a brand new realm of parenting for me, one that stretches and challenges me.
Handsome on the other hand, is learning sounds, trying to tie his shoe laces, mastering the art of writing his own name and seems determined to bring home every Mr Men book ever written. It is a comforting and familiar space. It is also horribly reassuring to be doing these wonderfully simple things with him. I still feel like I know what I am doing here at 6, especially now that I know what lies ahead for us both after 10.
My Noah. I want him to be a gentleman. I want him to be a good man. I want him to know that a wife is a treasure and a sister is a gift. I want him to learn kindness and generosity and healthy ambition. I want him to believe in himself and make a way for himself in this world. My biggest prayer for him is that his talents and his passions will collide in a spectacular way.
I also never want him to grow up and become a man that has facial hair and needs mitchum and wears a size 10 shoe. Parenting is having a very conflicted relationship with your children’s inevitable progression towards adulthood.
You can reminisce with me and look back at the story of how he came along and how we celebrated five and three.
If your child goes to school on his birthday, you want today’s Beer Box cake Recipe. I think there is only one because I searched the net and this recipe is the one and only one out there. It makes a perfect beer box sized cake which is great for a school birthday as it can be cut into at least 24 pieces.
Decorate at your whim. I did a blue base and edging and then used the gel food colour “Electric Orange” to make the 6. We have discussed my abilities in this novelty cake area, and I must say, I am well pleased with my effort.
Hip Hip Hooray Handsome!
- 8 eggs
- 750 ml (3 C) castor sugar
- 150 ml (⅔ C) cocoa powder
- 815 ml (420 g) cake flour
- 30 ml (2 T) baking powder
- 500 ml (2 C) warm water
- 150 ml (150 g) oil
- 5 ml (1 t) vanilla essence
- pinch of salt
- 500 g butter, softened
- 500 g icing sugar, sifted
- Few drops of milk
- a few drops of gel food colouring of choice
- To prepare the beer box, first double check the the corners are secure. Line the box first with tin foil and then with a layer of baking paper.
- Whisk together the eggs and the castor sugar together until pale and thick and light.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into a bowl.
- Mix together the water, butter and vanilla.
- Add firs the dry and then the liquid ingredients to the whisked eggs and sugar mix and beat just until all the ingredients are combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared box.
- Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 180°C for 35 - 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool completely.
- To prepare the butter icing, beat the softened butter with an electric mixer until pale and light.
- Add the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
- Use a few drops of milk to get the icing to the correct consistency.
- Colour the icing and decorate the cake as desired.