My online filing cabinet to share!

It is time to clean out and dispose of my many files but I am such a "keeper" that I can't just throw my years of stories, quotes, ideas, and memories away SO--- I am going to digitize them and put them in a blog to save in cyberspace as well. If anyone ever looks at this, I hope you find something that inspires creativity and fun energy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011



For many years we have attempted to make gingerbread houses with the family, but always found them falling and just disappointing!  This year, I learned that the key is in the icing!!  The following recipe was shared with me by my friend's mother-in-law and is very similar to the one I have been using for years BUT the directions for making the icing were a little better AND when I realized that I hadn't beaten the frosting stiff enough, I cheated and added an extra cup of powdered sugar and beat it longer to stiffen it up real good!!  The frosting was fabulous and did the job!!!  I was so impressed with all the creativity!!!
After 20 years of falling houses, we finally had a successful day of building!
So, 3 things I did different this year that seemed to take our gingerbread tragedies to successful structures:
1.  Get the frosting right!!!  It must be stiff -- it is the glue, literally!
2.  Focus on  your house foundation!  We started one wall at a time and made it a solid structure piece by piece with our frosting glue and then set a timer so the kids would let the frosting set.  We made sure the walls were solid before we attempted to put on any roofs!  Not a single house fell this year!
3.  Be patient!!  I told the kids it would take us 2 hours to make our houses!! They relaxed and we enjoyed chatting as we built our houses piece by piece!  They were anxious to get to the candy decorating part, however!!!

Other things we tried this year:
1.  I pulled up some pictures of gingerbread houses on google images for some inspiration!
2.  I also cut houses that were half the scale of the measurements in the directions and then had 2 kids working per house!  That was fun and got more people involved without sooo many big houses!  I'm sure the standard "graham cracker house" option would have worked, too!
3.  Get some fun candy and cereals to use!  It makes a difference!
4.  Don't forget the Christmas music playing in the background!
5.  Let go of some "mother control" and let the kids handle the pastry bags and have at it!  Messes will clean up!  But do wipe down frosting before it hardens -- remember it is the "glue!"


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