Monday, December 20, 2010

Gingerbread, Trees, Cocktails and Smiles - or, What We Did This Weekend

So I don't think I ever want to do a Gingerbread house again. This is the 3rd year in a row we've done a kit, and I have to say that the photograph on the packaging is always extremely misleading. One could argue that it's false advertising, if one cared about it all that much. Now, part of this is my fault, I admit it. I never remember that you have to glue all the pieces together with the icing first and THEN let it sit for an hour before decorating - otherwise your house collapses. But still - one could reasonably expect the icing not to actually run off the roof, right? Or should I have known that ahead of time and whipped up a batch of my own perfect consistency icing to delicately pipe (or allow the kids to) onto our gingerbread village? At least this kit came with colored icing in addition to white, unlike last year's version that came with a packet of red food dye and instructions to color it myself. Oh - and they NEVER give you enough candy. Ever. And then the kids want to eat it all. Or fight over who used too much of this or that.

William's Toy Shop
Given my type A personality, I find doing a project like this very, very difficult. I expect to be able to just whip it all together into picture-perfect gingerbread glory, when the reality is so very far from that. I really should have taken a picture of the box to show you their 'example' but I was so aggravated when we were done it went right into the trash.
Evie's Candy Shop
Evie started decorating the roof of her Candy Shop with little red and green beads, of which there were not enough to do the whole thing in the first place when William decided HE wanted to do that too. Evie had a fit over this and just decided since she couldn't finish it, she was just going to eat it.

Jason and I did Santa's House and the Chalet; Sarah and Matt did the Bakery


So that was our fun Friday Family Night activity! I really need to learn to not take all this stuff so seriously - the kids had fun, and I'm pretty sure Matt was having fun laughing at me. While Evie was eating her house, I was ready to pitch mine across the room. Happily, I didn't give my kids THAT memory for future therapy sessions.


I think next year I'm going to get the kit to make brownies that look like gifts or something.
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Next up on our Fun Family Weekend, we finally got our Christmas tree! We don't usually wait this long, but with one thing (the weather) or another (our Pittsburgh trip and various concerts and such) Saturday was the big day! We loaded up the van Saturday morning & headed to the tree farm.


Unlike last year, Jason stayed close by me this time and we didn't almost lose him in the trees...

...while Matt made jokes about how late it was and how all the good trees were gone, and then he triple checked that yes, I was sure that THIS was the tree I wanted before he got to sawing it down.


Once we'd killed our tree, we dragged it back to the van to drive it home :)




If only some elves would arrive to finish decorating it for me :)
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 Now I don't think I've mentioned yet, but my kids had snow days on Thursday and Friday, and after all that Fun Family Time together, and all the bickering and fighting that goes along with that, we were MORE than ready for our 3rd annual neighborhood cocktail party Saturday night! Sadly, I didn't take too many pictures - and most of the ones I did take turned out terrible - but the GOOD thing is, I didn't take too many pictures because I was having too much FUN! A disclaimer to those who's photos may or may not appear here, if you're picture is here it's because I know you read my blog and you really should know better than to let me take your picture if you don't want it posted :) And if your picture isn't here, well, I wasn't sure you wanted a picture of you with a Cosmo in your hand posted for all the world - or the teeny tiny portion who reads this - to see :) But be warned for next year!! On to the party!!


Matt, our always friendly Master Mixologist

Kerri and Me :)

Matt and Cheryl, who is probably the only woman in the world  I'd let get that close to Matt :)

Mary and Megan, who along with Megan's husband started the evening
by walking into the wrong party down the street :) I love party crashers!



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Sunday morning dawned a bit early for my taste after Saturday's party, but a pot of coffee and some Tylenol later, I was ready to try and take a picture of the kids for Christmas cards! Yes, I know it's December 20th, but honestly this is when we usually get around to it. I really, REALLY wanted to do this early enough to take them outside, but this year it really got cold fast, so indoors we stayed.

Surprisingly, Jason was very cooperative! Its seems lately he likes to be contrary and not go along with things, but he was very willing and cooperative today. William was a different story. He was in a funk about having to go to church & the best he could manage was a grimace.
Then things got worse, as he was irritated at having to stand next to the GIRLS...
And then me being the Mom of the Year Winner that I am, I kicked him out and said it would just be the other three...
...and then of course I felt bad & called him back over, and things did improve from there - although I'm not sure why Evie's eyes are almost closed in the rest of these...




And I still can't take a straight picture to save my life :) I'll leave it up to you to guess which one of these beauties was chosen to grace our 2010 family Christmas Card - coming soon to a mailbox near you!

14 comments:

  1. These are great photos and show that you are really making merry around your house.
    ENJOY!

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  2. Oh let it be the last one!!

    I think your gingerbread houses are cute. They look about like ours...maybe better?

    Next year I want to see some "morning after" cocktail pics. ;)

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  3. Just think how much WORSE the gingerbread making would have gone if you'd made your own gingerbread and icing. And you're right, they never put enough candy in those kits. I always buy extra. Then I don't have to freak out if my kids start eating. :)

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  4. I think they look great!
    And Matt looks like Bond...James Bond. :)

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  5. Your parties sound like so much fun!!! Wish I was closer so I could attend lol.

    Love all the pics of the kiddos and even though William's got a goofy grin on the very first pic is my favorite.

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  6. hahaha oh I feel your pain!~! The ginger bread houses would drive me INSANE. (hence why I have NEVER done them with my kids)yes I know. I am terrible.

    and it's easier to split an atom than get a decent pic of 4 kids together. I was actually very impressed with the first effort!! your youngest looks especially cute in it

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  7. oh yeah, and HAVE A GREAT CHRISTMAS!! xo

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  8. OK
    So, I feel SO BADLY for sending you that kit!!
    Yes, everyone..it was ME...all my fault.

    HMPH

    Well, in my defense....I sort of pictured ME making it with your kids!! HAHAHA Ya know, had I made the party...

    Now, you know me...I live for this crap...so what I should have done was send along instructions!!! This is how I do it without losing my mind:

    1. Totally prep before a kid sits down..meaning, separate candies in zip lock bags..individual bowls of frosting...each has their own bag to work with...that way, there is no problem with someone taking all of a certain kind of candy

    2. have a HUGE bottle of wine at hand

    3. Before you begin, you talk about the GOOD things and the BAD things about this activity...houses can fall apart..BAD...but then you can eat them...good!!! It may not look like how you imagine..BAD...but creating is them is till a lot of fun...good!!!

    4. and you DRINK YOUR WINE through all of it

    5. You stress that the picture on the box is NOT REAL...it will NEVER look like that. But that is OK..the idea is to make a family memory and get to eat it later! Each creation is original...just like them...and that is why it is so fun!!!

    6. FINISH THE WINE then have Matt go and open you another bottle...

    I'm scared to put the ornament kit I got Evie in the mail now....

    How about I come next year and make them with your kids while you pour the wine????

    Oh..and be grateful that the family pet didn't die while you were making them...because that only happens to ME!


    should have made a gingerbread coffin....

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  9. Cute pictures! You guys are so elegant!! And your kids are getting so big.

    Merry Christmas my friend!

    xoxo
    Jen

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  10. I agree about the gingerbread houses! This year I was so over it. First time ever we superglued the roof together as it kept slipping apart.
    The best part my boys like is on New Years they take the house outside and bash it to smithereens with hammers.
    Love that toothy (toothless) face on William--I remember mine really showing that look when they had lost teeth.

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  11. I am cracking up over here!!! First, can I just say that it is the funniest thing that you are ready to throw your gingerbread house across the room while your daughter, wearing a shirt with peace signs all over it, calmly nibbles on hers. That photo had me cracking up!

    I loved all the tree farm pix and you all looked great for your party. Seriously? Black tie? Wow. Pretty people.

    I love the grimace on William. I think it is the age. You don't get a smile, they just bare their teeth. My husband calls it the Wallace & Grommet look...

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  12. Thank you for more Matt pictures!!

    Love your hair!!

    I couldn't even drink coffee after the party I attended because I'm too old now. I suck!

    Next year, I'm making a Gingerbread House from scratch! I am. Just watch me.

    Those last few pics of the kids turned out great!

    Love you!

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  13. I can't believe how BEHIND I was on your blog- sorry my friend - the holidays got the best of me and I stayed away from blogger.....

    We hot glue our gingerbread house (cause we NEVER eat it!) and I let the kids decorate it themselves - the first year I ever just walked away - it felt so darn good!!!

    ~Becca

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