Gingerbread House Party

Today we had some friends over to make gingerbread houses with us. Due to illnesses in our family and other families, we wound up having a smaller crowd than I expected, but it was fun and I think I might do this again next year. The kids loved it and were hyped up all day.
I made the house pieces out of graham crackers. To facilitate construction I pre-made the corners. I got that idea from a magazine. You just melt sugar and dip the crackers in it like glue. When I started melting the sugar I said, “Hm, are they sure it’s just supposed to be sugar in here and not liquid?” and Hannah said, “Mama, if you heat up a solid, it makes a liquid.” Budding scientist.

I also premade icing and put small amounts in snack sized ziploc bags. To make the icing, you just mix 8 tablespoons of meringue powder, 8 tablespoons of water, and 5 cups of powdered sugar.
While we waited for our friends to arrive, we amused ourselves by taking pictures. This is why we never have photos with the kids together. Someone is always crying, someone is looking away from the camera, and someone else is playing dead.
I made a coffee cake for the moms and it was really tasty. I used fresh blackberries I got on sale last week at Meijer. Perhaps because of how much butter and sour cream was in the recipe, the cake miraculously did not stick in my bundt pan. I know, I’m a glutton for punishment, but I keep using that thing. When it works, it’s nice.
Note Hannah’s extreme exuberance. She was loving the free access to sugar! This is one of the reasons we rarely have candy around here – when we do it’s like euphoria. The other reason we never have candy around here is that it makes the kids go nuts. But sometimes you have to live a little.

Here is Patrick hard at work on his house.
And here is Calvin working on his house (with Sarah in the background).
Titus and Alaina

I thought it was very creative of Calvin to make a house ON his house. See how he did that with the pretzel sticks? Quite an artistic effect.
Titus and Sarah hung out under the table in case the big kids dropped any choice morsels. You can tell they are both third kids because neither Alaina nor I flipped out about our babies eating candy. OK, before you sic the dogs on us, it wasn’t a LOT of candy.
K was very diligent and careful in how she decorated her house. She did a really nice job and didn’t eat any candy! Her mama must know some parenting secrets I have yet to discover.

Hannah’s finished product
Jack’s finished product (it started out with more candy on it, but he ate it already)

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