We baked our own gingerbread houses last year, and Sam decided that we needed to stretch ourselves a bit and make a really big one in 2017. Here it is!
We’ve hit one of the golden times of the year when neither Sam nor I has to worry about going to school or doing homework, and we fill our long days with bike rides, trips to the park, too much screen-time, and crafts. It’s also the time of year that Sam remembers his hobby of making stuffed animals. Our newest addition is appropriately named Gem-Eyes. It’s unusually plain for one of Sam’s creations.
Sam has been working hard at swimming lessons for the last 3 months, and it really shows!
Our favorite Christmas tradition is attending the Gingerbread House Workshop hosted by Kidsquest Museum, and between illness and Thanksgiving and finishing out my quarter at school, we missed it. I couldn’t see us let the Christmas season go by without decorating a gingerbread house, so we decided to do it at home. Sam invited two close friends (and a sibling of one) over to decorate houses, and we got to work. We could have bought kits, but I decided to try baking them myself. I found some measurements for the pieces online and measured everything out on some cardstock. Sam helped by cutting out the pieces. Next, we taped together the cardstock to make sure everything fit together. We made a few adjustments (shortening the roof and ditching the chimney), and then got started. I made 4 batches of gingerbread so that we would have enough pieces for 6 houses (4 kids + 2 extras, just in case). It was a lot of rolling and baking, but it was also fun. Sam looked forward to it all week, saying that Saturday would be a very special day and he was going to love it. Dave expertly assembled the houses on Friday night, and everything was ready for Saturday.
Alas, two of our guests got sick and could not come to the party, so we ended up with four extra houses. Dave, Sam, and I each decorated our own. Sam decorated another one this morning, and we’ve got one still undecorated. We decided to display them on the ledge above our kitchen:
The party didn’t turn out quite the way Sam had hoped, but we did have fun and we’ll probably try again next year. Sam wants to make a two-story house next time. Specifically, he wants to make a house that looks like the one across the street from us.
School fundraisers are the worst–a fundraising company comes in to do an assembly to get the kids fired up about the junky prizes they’ll get if they ask everyone they know to buy something or donate money. I was so happy that Sam’s school did it differently this year. The PTA opted not to hire a company. Instead, they organized a color run themselves. Kids, parents, and community members were invited to participate in the run and have a BBQ afterward. It was a really fun event, and I believe the PTA raised enough money for all of its programs this year.
Sam and Dave did the run together, and Sam loved it. There were stations around the school where participants were sprayed with various colors. Sam’s entire shirt was covered with the paint. He went through the stations backside first so that no part of him would be missed.
Sam designed his own tooth fairy pillow! It’s a monster that he named Hawaii because its many legs resemble a Hawaiian lei. The nose is a pouch for teeth. We will be using it soon, too! There is a very wiggly tooth in Sam’s mouth. I just hope the tooth fairy doesn’t find him like this when the time comes:
We started this project on a day when I put my foot down about screen time. He was bored and didn’t know what to do with himself, so I suggested that he draw a picture of the tooth fairy pillow he wanted. Soon he was choosing fabrics from our fabric bin, tracing the patterns he’d made, and cutting the fabric. The next day, he admitted that making stuffed animals was more fun than playing Minecraft and agreed to a daily screen time limit of 30 minutes.
Hawaii rekindled Sam’s old hobby of stuffed animal making. He’s planning to create a book of his stuffed animal designs, which will not contain instructions because he wants to inspire people to come up with their own designs. 🙂
We forgot to get any shots with the bikes in them, but here are some pictures from a bike ride we took today in Carnation.