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gingerbread….graham cracker houses…2010.

for me….the best part of this project every year is setting it up.
it is so pleasing to the eye.


my kids must have asked me TEN times in an hour "when will we do the houses?!"
i don't like to start a craft until i am ready.
i need things set up.
i need things a little teeny bit organized.
i need to have it ready so i can sit and watch, take pictures or video and be able to help.
when i am not prepared…i end up with a short temper….and snap at them for silly things that aren't their fault.


i built the houses for them with hot glue….
even after the complaining that we weren't using REAL gingerbread.



we worked in the dining room for two reasons….
it was clean and the afternoon light pours in this room.

my kids wore their pajamas ALL day.

scott uses this word for EVERYTHING.
"my gingerbread house is beast"
"this hamburger is beast"
"my muscles are beast" 
and the other kids (and their mother) have started too….

"this latte is beast!"  "this casserole recipe is BEAST!"  "that mini van is BEAST!"  ha ha ha i am kidding.



i can't imagine doing this more than once a year.
it's too much work to even consider doing it more than that….

not that anyone was asking me to do it in the summer.
just thinking about how much work they are.

i got a flip video camera on black friday.
i love it.

please enjoy my first video.   

lauren didn't join us because apparently she was upstairs watching sponge bob and criminal minds.
i made her a house but i was forced to have to decorate it myself.

guess who was still at the table 20 minutes after all four other left?  
putting cinnamon toast crunch on the roof as shingles!

i was calling it art therapy for the day. 

Georgia - Finally got round to seeing this video.
The wierd thing is i never wouild have guessed that Annie had such a deep voice! i thought it would be kinda high pitched squeaky … she sounds SO CUTE!!!! i like ur ‘Yes’ as in ‘dont talk to me im filming Yes’ to her questions! haha

Kelly - How fun! I love the video. My hubby got a flip for me for a wedding present a couple years ago. So fun. Maybe I should post a video on my blog sometime. It was so neat to watch yours and hear the voices of all of you. Have a great day today! Kelly

Sue - We have made graham cracker gingerbread houses for about 15 years. My girls are now in their 20’s and we still have to make them. Their childhood friends still come over too, with new friends joining us. It is a tradition I hope we never lose.

dkim - I’m sure you probably know, but you can get icing that hardens like cement to keep the houses together. Available at michaels oe possibly in the little kits. I have made these for many years but have finally retired. I told my teenagers they were welcome to make it themselves.

suzyhomemaker - first time to visit your amazing blog and i must say i feel right at home…from your “24 hr jammie jam” (all day in PJs is a way of life for us during the holidays) to THE teen buzz word of the year. “beast” has now replaced “dude” as the go-to noun/verb/adjective/adverb in our family lexicon.
your blog is BEAST! all best in 2011!

Jenni Carlisle - That video was B*E*A*S*T! Hahahaha! I could eat Annie up! I love how she kept taste testing!

karen - So cool to hear your voices!
Annie seems so grown up when she talks! I wouldn’t have thought that!! Sean is a cutie pie!I love your voice too!
Great video.

Jane Flores - I make gingerbread houses for Christmas with my niece – this year was the first we missed in at least 8 years! When her baby sister came along, Erica didn’t want to share the weekend at Aunt Jane’s, so Sophia and I do haunted gingerbread houses at Halloween! I’m addicted now – I covered heart shaped boxes with the little conversation hearts for Valentines. I’ve covered pumpkins with candy corn for Halloween and I have a big plans for Easter this year!

Jill - I have to laugh at your little one… eating all the candy 🙂

Amanda-ThriceBlessed - I somehow found myself hosting a gingerbread house making PARTY with my 2 oldest girls, so I was managing 7 kids hyped up on sugar….Yowza! I blogged it here:
And I agree, the set up is the best, so colorful!

BeckyB - You’re my hero! I loved getting a live-action peek into your fun! Thanks so much for sharing.

Julie - Cute! We did those last year and now I’m wishing we had done it again this year. Got too busy! Loved the video!

Heidi - That is hilarious that the “beast” thing is big in your house too- my 15 year old stepdaughter uses it for everything, as do all of her friends. Except most of the time we hear “so and so is the beastiest QB on the team” or more recently, “your dad is the beastiest point guard Ive ever seen” 🙂

Jessie - Awesome video! I always wondered what your voices sounded like…it’s like reading a book and finally getting to see the movie 😉

elisa - Everything looks so pretty Meg. 🙂

Jeanne - We love doing this too! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I am hoping that we get to spend time together again in the new year.

kasey - so awesome. I made “peep” houses back in April for lola and her girls scout troop to decorate…but i used the squirt frosting the day before and let them dry overnight.
cool beans.

Susan Lehrman - Meg, have you ever tried royal icing for this project? It’s made with powdered sugar, water and meringe powder–really easy. You can get the meringe powder at Hobby Lobby, maybe Graber’s and maybe WalMart although the Newton WalMart has cut down on their craft section. Royal icing is really easy to work with…it dries before I get each graham cracker house done. It also dries quickly for the kids when they’re sticking their candies on. I like to use it because my grandsons like to eat their houses (yuck!). My granddaughters of course save theirs!

becky lee - I love, love, love your blog so much! I am a bust pastor’s wife/emergency room nurse with a 3 year old and 6 year old. We also hope to start the adoption process in the next year. Anyway, your blog is so beautiful and brilliant and a great inspiration to me on how to get the most out of family time. I’d love to email you, but your default link isn’t working. Could ya send me your addy?

Kara - We made a gingerbread village with our 4 1/2 year old twin boys and 3 year old daughter. It was quite a feat…and I was just like you…still crafting and decorating 30 minutes after they were done. I just HAD to make icing icicles. Just HAD to.
So fun! Happy New Year!

MGF - Awesome. I think it was brilliant to have the houses set up before hand.

Vera - Your set up is GORGEOUS!! I do this every year with a pack of 3-5 year olds (last year 2-4 year olds!) so I just use paper cups and a plastic table cloth so I can throw it all away after… but your way is much prettier. I hate disposable dishes, so maybe next year I will do it your way and deal with the clean up.
I make icing out of egg whites, cream of tartar and powdered sugar and I beat it on high for about 8 minutes – that stuff is seriously like concrete and holds as well as glue. And if you’re not scared of raw eggs, it’s yummy too!

Amy jupin - Your dining room looks beast.
I think these pics are totally beast.
And I’m totally loving all these craft posts too. They are so beast it’s sick.
Don’t I sound coolio talking like this? Not so much huh? 🙂

Beth - I LOVE art therapy 🙂 Where’s the picture of your house though??? I just got the book “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity” from the used bookstore for half price (all of their books except internet books are half price right now!!). Want to do it with me? We could call it our grown-up art therapy time 🙂

Holly - ok so beast is the word in our house right now. Hannah says it all….the….time!
Love the gingerbread houses. I did not use hot glue and well ours looked more like shacks! I am using hot glue next year!

Juli - Oh cool! I loved watching your video! Annie’s voice didn’t match what I thought it’d sound like. She sounds more grown-up than I expected. I expected a tinier voice with those cute little kid lisps. nope.
Flip video…arent they BEAST?!

leonieke - gos, i can’t even imagine how much work this is, (and even more after everyone has finished his house…..). i think this is a project that i adore seeing at your blog,but with a big worning on it “don’t try this at home 🙂 ”
you must be the best mother there is.

Rebecca - I LOVED the video. I’ve been following your blog for years, and it is so cool to hear the voices that go with your kids. They are so well behaved! I love Talby’s face when she is working on a project — so serious! I can’t believe how your boys do the projects too, amazing. My son loses interest after 5 minutes. And Annie sitting there eating the candy was hilarious. Thanks for posting. Hope you guys have a wonderful and happy new year.

Lisa - Love it! Really wish I had more kids ;)They grow up too fast!!!

Bryony - This seems like a fun project but such a waste of perfectly good food. You could have used icing or marzipan or something to glue the houses together and then it’d have been edible afterwards?
I just don’t like to see wanton waste like this, it makes me feel uneasy 🙁

Joye - Is there anyone that has/or is going to start some type of campaign for Edie from Life in Grace??? Would love to help replace things or give money to a fund towards her rebuilding process. That’s what this season is all about….and Lord knows she’s given so much to all of her readers! I don’t have a blog so don’t know where to start, but you are all very powerful ladies with big voices. Let us know and let’s spread the word!

Julie - Two of my kiddos watched this with me and they kept asking “Mom, is this for REAL?” haha! Then one of my boys whispered in my ear “They’re eating the candy!”
So fun!!

meaghan - LOVE The video!!! i don’t know why it was so fun to actually hear their little voices?! hot glue is genius! xoxo!

Lucylu ~ - oooooooh… awesome!

Stacy - The “beast” thing is so funny, my 12 year old son says everything is “clean” this new hat is “clean”, we all find ourselves saying it too. Love your houses!

Katy - I think we are going to do graham cracker houses next year. They look so cute. 🙂 And you are making me wish I got a Flip on Black Friday!

nic - your graham subdivision is so festive; love the photos (and your gorgey bowls–ohmy!). we do this every year as well on my birthday (dec 21st)…i call it forced family fun, and all within dragging-to-the-kitchen-range MUST participate.

adrienne - very fun!!! love the video too 🙂

Becky - I lOVE the idea of hot gluing the graham crackers. We tried the tiny gingerbread houses this year and they were quite the disaster. I also like the fact that you – like I – need to set everything up! I say whatever keeps craft time fun is worth any amount of pre-craft-crazy-mama! 🙂

virginia - i guess sean

Lynda@Me and My Pink Mixer - Such pretty bowls for all the candies! Great idea using Graham Crackers ~ I’ll have to try this next year. My teenage daughter and I love watching Criminal Minds – it’s one of the few things she will do with me 🙂

Kelly - Cinnamon Toast Crunch as shingles! Brilliant! We do one big sugar cookie house at our second Christmas with my in-laws. This year they aren’t coming until January 7th so I still have awhile to gather my supplies. 🙂

Amy Jo - Love this! Also, I teach 7th grade English in Oklahoma, and BEAST is all the rage down here, too. 🙂

Nicole Q. - This is the first year since having kids that we DIDN’t do a gingerbread house. After seeing your pics I may just have to do one next week before kids go back to school. Shoot! Your pictures got me – I’m like you – I need a little organization first! Hope you had a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Staci - Ohhhhhhhhh 😉 I love Annie’s little voice 🙂 We tried your trick of hot glue and crackers this year…I liked it…but how in the world do you get those crackers to break with a triangle point??? I think I may have cursed a few times ;( heehee 😉 Kids had a great time though 🙂

Melanie - I love the idea of the glue and crackers:) Do you love your flip? I have been wanting one.

Nicole - Hot glue is genius! We had a bug party with 3 year olds and I made 20 houses with melted sugar for the glue! Ugh! Next year it will be a hot glue party!!

Lorie - You do the coolest things with your kids! Love reading all about it…and everything else! Keep on keepin’ on!

Lindsey@ Piecefully Home - this is my first year that i DIDN’T make a graham cracker gingerbread house with my kids 🙁
it’s always my favorite craft to do with the kids, but somehow it just got pushed aside. next year i won’t make that mistake again! your houses look lovely.

Tanya @ Life in 3D - We did a kit for the first time this year with two 3yo’s and an almost 2yo. IT. WAS. WILD!!!
Glad to hear I’m not the only one who needs a touch of organization PRIOR to the crafting craziness 🙂
All of the accessories are definitely eye candy 😀

kristin - i love this for so many reasons. sean reminds me of micah…his pondering look, questioning, the patterned candy. i love that annie is asking questions…that reminds me of preschool. good boy, scott, for working with such enthusiasm. even though he’s a boy, he reminds me of naomi. and talby, so quiet and working so carefully.
merry christmas!

Denise C. - How sweet! I just came across your blog (through Clover Lane). Love it! 🙂

Anna Marie - I love that you did the video! I hope there will be more. It is fun to be able to put voices and mannerisms with faces. Makes you all even more “real”…haha.

Tess S - i watched the video with my 3 (nearly 4) year old.
madeline: “who’s that?”
me: “her name is annie.”
madeline: “oh, that annie sure is cute!”

debbie - The kids. The colors. The sweet voices. The cuteness!

Sarah - Great Post! Love all of the colors and your pretty bowls! Great video, adorable kids and love the music!! And the “Beast” thing cracked me up…..with 4 boys between my hubby and I we hear this ALL. OF. THE. TIME. SO funny!

Trish - We need to see the finished products 🙂

se7en - Ha Ha – I am a firm believer in art therapy… I do it all the time!!! Folks always say: “Where do you find the time to craft?” The real answer is that my sanity demands it!!! Hope you guys are having a really fun time!!!

Tere - Love the colors. Love the houses. Thanks for the share, and the voices! It was great to hear them.
And the sneak peak into your dining room. When will it be fully unveiled? Can’t wait. Happy New Year.

Monica Huete - Hummm, they look yummy !!!
SO beautiful !!! … ^___^

Leah - Great post! You are a great mom for putting all that effort into that project. I only have one kid and I’m not sure I can do that just yet. By the way, Talby takes her crafting VERY seriously!

Rhonda G. - Loved the video…It was BEAST! Happy New Year to you and your sweet family.

Kori - We made one this year…first time ever. Is that bad? Anyway, I too found it to be something that (most) everything else needs to be done in order to do it in a stress-free manner. We bought a Wilton kit, and while it was great and had pretty candies, the icing needing an hour to set for the walls to be stable was too long for us. We did other things in that hour and ended up only getting halfway through. I think next time I’ll try something different.
I must say it was very fun seeing your blog come to life! I like it!! 🙂 - So much color! This very inspirational, thank you!

Christina - You are so great! We have kits and have yet to find the time to do them. Are you allowed to make them after Christmas?! 😉

~Debra - Beautiful pictures! That sure looks like a lot of fun! We haven’t done a gingerbread house in years. Maybe next year?!

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