Gingerbread Houses 2016

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 color run

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.

Fall bike ride

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.

Words of 6-year old wisdom

Sam is spending many of his summer days with a good friend at camp. We signed up for the same camps all summer so that the boys could spend time together. An added benefit is that we can divide driving duties. Here are some gems from the boys’ car conversations today:

Friend: “The way to get rich is not to spend any money.”

Sam: “or to find lots of treasure”

Friend: “yeah. That makes sense.”
Friend:  singing “Bill Nye, the science guy” repeatedly

Sam: “why are you singing that?”

Friend: “Because I love science, of course!”

Sam: “I don’t think he does much science”

Friend: “yes he does. Why else would they call him Bill Nye the science guy?”

Sam: “I’m pretty sure that’s the name they gave him when he was born. Actually, it probably used to be ‘Bill Nye the science kid’.”

New helmet

We’ve been on a mission to learn how to ride a bike this week, a mission that Sam wasn’t completely on board with. Sam got his bike two years ago and loved it at first. We went on several family bike rides (with training wheels), but on one of those, Sam fell down and got spooked. After that, he rode only in slow motion and we eventually moved on from bike riding. I’ve brought the bike out now and then, and at some point we decided that the training wheels were causing some problems. We took the training wheels off in September and promised Sam that he could get a new helmet once he learned to ride without the training wheels. Riding without the training wheels was hard. He really couldn’t stay up at all. Next, we removed his pedals and let him use it as a balance bike. Sam was into this for awhile, and it helped him get some balance. Interest was lost again, and eventually we put the pedals back on. We’ve started and stopped several times since then, but Sam never forgot the promise of a new helmet. Every time I let go of his seat and he stayed up for a few seconds, he’d ask, “can I get a new helmet now?”. Last Sunday I told him that we’d get him a new helmet on Saturday if he rode his bike every day this week. He didn’t always want to, but he did it.

Sticking to our original promise that he could get a new helmet once he learned to ride, we went out and let Sam choose a new helmet yesterday. He chose one that came with dry erase markers and stencils. He can draw on it and change the look when ever he wants. Here it is: