The Christmas "spirit"

Saturday, December 21, 2013
Yup it is a long one....

Ok, so you know how I worked really hard to get all the "work" of Christmas done really early (December 1st) so I could spend the month of December liesurely enjoying my little family?  I took Karen's  Christmas Pledge and all!  And I did it.  I had all my gifts bought and almost all of them wrapped.  The house was decorated from tip to toe.  Cards were bought and sitting in my house.

Yeah well...  It did not exactly turn out the way I was envisioning.  I had lost all my addresses due to a computer crash last December so I had to rebuild my list of 210 thousand addresses.  Sorry if you did not get  a card this year. I probably did not get your address on my new list.  I tried. I truly tried. Kate loves helping me do the cards so this has become our tradition....



Love her lil tongue here.  And yes, she wears hats and earmuffs all the time, even inside.
Notice, she is wearing shorts?!


Scout hung out and watched the whole time...



We tried something new this year and went to Zoo Lights at our local zoo.  The night we had our tickets was super cold and rainy so they cancelled and we did have trouble getting in the night we went but once we got in, it was great. Iphone pics...




And my favorite picture of the night....Kate and Harry:)


Then it was Harry's 13th birthday!!!  He did not want a party or anything.  I picked him up early from school the day before his brithday and took him downtown to a coin show he really wanted to go to.  He collects coins and so we gave his some $$ for the show to add to his collection/investment.  I snapped this with my phone..he is all business.  We spent 3-4 hours at the coin show together.  It was nice mother-son time.


His breakfast kolaches on his birthday....


Woohoo...two teenage boys in the house now:)

Then, Will got a BAD case of the flu during his final exams.  He is at school right now on the weekend trying to make up his finals before Christmas. Poor kid! That was awful.  Dave also got sick. And Kate was served raw chicken in a restaurant last night so I am praying she will not get salmonella!!!  Good times.  I am downing the garlic like crazy y'all.

Anyway, in the spirit of relaxing and savoring the Christmas spirit with my kids, we decided to make gingerbread houses. And to add insult to injury, we decided to bake gingerbread people from scratch too.

First, let's talk gingerbread houses.  These things never stay together.  After 16 and a half years, you'd think I would have learned this lesson.  Some people swear by hot gluing and maybe that is the trick but my crazy kids think they are going to eat their creation eventually (even though I forbid it).


It all started out well....


You can see most of Kate's house standing while she is rolling out the fonant...

It went all down hill from there...literally. We could not get the darned roof on.


Kate's house kept collapsing.  It was awful and stressful and she cried and I yelled and she cried some more. There was absolutely nothing fun or relaxing or Christmasy about it.  It stunk.

After Kate finally calmed down.... and it took a while, Harry came to the rescue.
He is an awesome brother y'all.  REALLY awesome!


(one of Harry's best buddies was here to help too)




 He was much more patient and careful than either Kate or I was. He did not yell and he did not cry.  He knew Santa was watching. His house managed to stay together and he let Kate help him decorate it.  It became "their" house. So all was not lost but I think we'll skip the gingerbread houses next  year.  Just sayin.

Next up...we made gingerbread people from scratch.  We bake and cook a lot but I am not sure I have made gingerbread before..maybe once.  I could not eat any cause I am not eating gluten but the kids loved them.


Let me just tell you about Kate in the kitchen.  She rocks!  She mixes and chops and stirs and rolls out the dough.  She is a natural and she enjoys it all.





Will made one in a tuxedo that was great!  I did not get a photo of it though:(

Everyone came to help decorate the lil ginger people...






We have also watched Elf as a family and that was really good and we watched Charlie Brown Christmas too. Today, Kate and I are going to  our annual Teddy Bear tea with some special friends so we are excited.  I have to remind myself that sometimes the holiday activities go well and sometimes they don't but it is all good in the end because it is not about gingerbread houses or zoo lights.  It is about the birth of Christ.

Much more Christmas fun coming your way from our family this week:)

 I have been much more consistent about documenting all of our holiday activities on Instagram.
 Feel free to follow me there. Link on my sidebar.


  1. I rarely comment even though I love your blog and read every entry. However, after this post, about Gingerbread houses I felt compelled! After a particularly emotionally draining, negative, and stressful gingerbread making attempt at our house, one we refer to as The Gingerbread Debacle of 2012, we have also banned gingerbread houses. However, we now get such a laugh over the story. My husband likes to point out that some of the best Christmas memories come from the comedy of utter failure and the humor that can bond a family. I hate when he is right. :) Sorry you had your own gingerbread debacle.

    1. Rhonda,

      Thank you so much for your comment and I totally agree. Dave and I were talking about that last night. Each year,when we go look at lights…the kids bicker and fight and I get mad but we laugh about it and somedayI will miss that bickering:)

  2. We do gingerbread houses each year with my kids and my niece and nephew. We've tried the premade kits and now I make them from scratch. The one thing I've discovered over the years is that you put the house together the day before you need to decorate. I also make royal icing from scratch. The houses aren't perfect and the icing does run but once it is dry, it isn't moving. I use meringue powder instead of egg whites so that the kids can eat all parts of the house. Trying to decorate a house that hasn't fully set will always lead to collapse. So frustrating. I can see why poor Kate cried. =( We went through that the first couple of years until I did some research. I hope the rest of your holiday season is stress free with no illness!

  3. Hi Kim,

    I'm a complete lurker but saw your post on gingerbread houses and had to comment. We always wanted to do this growing up but they were banned in our house for much of the same reasons. Instead we found Kit Kat Houses, which were easy, fun and look fantastic, just like little log cabins. Plus icing is strong enough to act like glue when you stick the kit kats to the frame. Here's a link:


  4. here's a tip on gingerbread houses ... buy the house premade! it's a time AND sanity saver! Michael's has packages of candies to supplement what comes with the house kit.

  5. I'm a big fan of the pre-built gingerbread house kits ... I bought ours at Target this year. I buy extra candies at Michael's and everyone's happy!

  6. What a sweet story about the gingerbread house becoming "their house". I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  7. I saw premade houses at Publix this year...and it came with the candy/icing to decorate!

  8. Next year buy the gingerbread house pre--assembled. Costco $9.99! Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas -illness free and migrane free!

  9. I noticed for the very first time, that the gingerbread house instructions say to attach the four sides of the house and then wait for THREE hours, for it to solidify. We tried it and it worked beautifully. Merry Christmas!

  10. Love this post....THIS is what the holidays are all about. I see and fell the love and joy in your home, and that is such a beautiful thing!! Merry Christmas.

  11. "It was awful and stressful and she cried and I yelled and she cried some more. There was absolutely nothing fun or relaxing or Christmasy about it. It stunk." I laughed out loud here. :D I made a gingerbread house with my goddaughter this year and went straight for the pre-assembled version. I CANNOT HANDLE gingerbread house stress and remember it well from being a kid. Glad the gingerbread people went better! Merry Christmas from VA.

  12. OMG I hear you!!!! I tried to get everything done but the cards got lost in the mail, people who were not coming for Christmas decided to come and there were tears on gingerbread. Now I'm thinking to leave it all to the last minute! JUST KIDDING!!!!!!


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