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aldol addition reactions

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Which one of the following best represents the flow of electrons in the key step for the aldol addition reaction that occurs when propanal is treated with sodium hydroxide?

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Michael & Aldol Condensation Reaction

We are preparing an a,b-unsaturated ketone via Michael and aldol condensation reactions. The reactants are trans-chalcone and ethyl acetoacetate (in ethanol and NaOH). This creates 6-ethoxycarbonyl-3,5-diphenyl-2-cyclohexenone. What I'm wondering is:

Why is it possible to separate the product from sodium hydroxide using acetone?
Could you tell me what is the purpose of this reaction (Michael and aldol condensation reactions), and the stepwise mechanism of the reaction.

Also if we started with 0.24 gr of trans-chalcone , 0.15 gr of ethyl acetoacetate what would be the theoretical yield ?

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