gingerbread house

The kids and I escaped down to VA for just shy of 24 hours to spend some time with my SIL and her family.  I adore Scott’s sister so a visit to her house was a bright spot in our week.  

We arrived in the early afternoon with time for me to take the 4 boys to the park while Aunt Karen took the girls to run a few errands.





Then after dinner we built and decorated gingerbread houses. 


Now, I must say we did not have luck with building a sturdy construction of said houses… the nifty little trick on Pinterest turned out to be a bust, to say the least, however not a single kid seemed to mind as they still were able to consume gobs and gobs of sugar throughout the endeavor.  IMG_7407

I love this picture of my nephew… arm out on the bench, mouth full of graham cracker and icing… he was one very happy little boy.  Pretty sure his face says, “man this is the best after dinner activity ever”IMG_7402

Then there’s my youngest… roof falls off mid decorating, no problem, just eat the roof.



While Karen and I struggled to find a way to make the houses stand, we called in for back up with Jim… and as is often the case, he once again proved that dad/uncles rock… “What having problem with your gingerbread houses ladies, here let me take a stab at it”


And he builds a TRAIN…

making this little guy the happiest 5 year old ever.


My oldest son wanted to take a stab at constructing his on his own, he tried using reeses cups to serve as part of the construction…and when it didn’t exactly hold up, he laughed it off. 


My 8 year old’s house reminded me of Dr Seuss, couldn’t you totally see this house in Whoville?


And when my youngest daughter’s house collapsed, she embraced it and instead made what looked like a plate of cookies.


Because after all, what are gingerbread houses for anyway?  Just an excuse to have fun and eat sugar.

As usual, we had a blast with them and made many wonderful memories!


We decorated our gingerbread house this weekend…before Christmas this year—astonishing, I know.

The big 3 had a fabulous time.



Unfortunately, our youngest found the experience quite confusing and a tad frustrating.  “Why, oh why, aren’t they letting me eat that candy?”


I might have snuck the lil guy a few pieces of candy while they were busy working.



The kids were quite proud of their work.  And I have to agree.. it is most definitely the best looking one they’ve ever done.  IMG_9455

Of course the competitive and ahem, humble, little circus crew they are, they declared that “our house is so good, if we entered it in a competition it would surely win.”     Yea… we’ll spend some time working on humility over the holiday season.



Much like the decorating of the pumpkin, the constructing of the gingerbread house didn’t happen according to the traditional time line.  We here at the circus like to do things in our own time, thank you very much!

I mentioned before that this year I decided to go with the kit over baking from scratch.  I bought the kit in early December and kept waiting for that evening when we were all home and not already busy with something else.  I didn’t want to cram it in just to do it, I wanted to enjoy it. 

And so, the gingerbread house was built on January 5th.  Same day I got around to taking the ornaments of off our tree and our decor off the walls.  My son asked if we could keep the gingerbread house out or if we had to take it down too.  I assured him we could keep it up for a few weeks. 

IMG_2640 I was surprised by how much my youngest contributed to the project.  In addition to eating a corner of the the chimney and the foot and leg off of the gingerbread snow man, she decorated an entire side of the roof.  The kids all  had a blast decorating the gingerbread house.  We even survived the roof collapsing and one side breaking into two, with no tears! 

I told Scott next year I might just plan to build the gingerbread house after Christmas and go ahead and wait to buy the kit till afterwards as well.  We could save 75% on the cost and we all had just as much fun doing it in Jan as we’d have had in December (maybe even more). 

For more fun tackles, check out 5 Minutes for Mom.IMG_2631



My first memories of making a gingerbread house are at my high school friend Katie’s birthday party.   It became a tradition.  Each year her mom would bake the houses and make the icing and supply all the candy.  We’d all come over for her birthday in December to decorate our houses.  It was a ton of fun!  We’d sit and talk, sneak candy and decorate our houses.  I believe we made an all night affair out of it.

At least I hope so.

Because take a closer look at what I am wearing.  The good ol’ ESLEEP flannel pajama shirt with my jeans.


No one else is in their pjs here.  My one friend is wearing her Ace Hardware Polo shirt so I assume she just came from work.  Did I show up in jeans and a pajama shirt?   Or did I get icing all over my shirt and change into my pajama shirt b/c I was planning to spend the night?  That is the option I am going for.  Because I truly hope I didn’t walk around wearing pjs and jeans as my fashion statement in high school.  Though I wouldn’t put it past me because I really was THAT cool.

I really did enjoy constructing these homes each year with my friends.  So much so, that I decided we must begin such a tradition in our home.

The first time we attempted it my son was 18 months old.

oops you caught me snacking

He quickly caught on that one of the best parts of decorating gingerbread houses is eating the decorations.  :-)

We didn’t get to it the next year… guess I was still adjusting to life with two kiddos.

But the next year we were back at it again.  This time with two eager helpers and one “supervisor.”

IMG_7903 decorating the gingerbread house

I learned a valuable lesson that year.   It took three days to build this house.

One to make the house pieces.

One to assemble the house.

One to decorate the house.

I decided after that to wait until the kids were older to make our houses from scratch.  I envision a day when they are older and are excited about designing their own mansions.  We’ll each design and build our own and have a whole village on our counter top.

But with three preschoolers, I think the “made from scratch” aspect is lost on them.

This year I bought a kit at BJ’s.  It has the pieces already made, the icing ready, and the candy included.  And I think it was actually cheaper than buying all that candy individually.   I’ll post pics of that fun at a later date.

In the mean time, clic on over to THAT family to check out more fun from the past!