Friday, December 23, 2011

gingerbread house, version 2011

This year's gingerbread house continues our tradition of houses that don't actually stand up once you put the roof on, so that isn't worth commenting on. Perhaps we need to change something somewhere. You will notice that only one roof is on, and then we took it off right away. We also don't need to comment on the surplus of candies (especially Jelly Bellies) (and the 72 oz bag of Chocolate chips, for which you can thank my younger daughter) and the lack of desire for dessert that night.

We have a nice normal Norwegian girl in our house. Which is why, our friends tell us, it has been so cold since the day she moved in. And why did you let the Thai girl move out???? But I, like usual, digress.

Anyway, she is soft spoken, polite and likes reading, crocheting and baking. So she got excited about the gingerbread house. My first warning should have come when we had all this extra dough (Marion, who is getting old, seems to think she can remember all the directions without looking at the notes she made last year.) and Lisa suggested making at outhouse for the back. (What is state of the art plumbing north of the Arctic circle, anyway? Do they really want to go outside at night (which lasts several months) to do their businesss?)

The house went together in the usual way, with the use of soup cans to steady the walls. The outhouse required a 6 oz tomato paste can on the inside. (There is a pun there. Think about it.)

We'd like to report that Lisa's English is, perhaps, too good. That green thing is a stick of gingerbread with gummi bears on it. She called it a berry bush.

As you can see, Lisa and her friend Madison, who is also deceptively normal, did a great job on the yard. There is a line of gummi bears waiting to use the outhouse. There are flowers on the outhouse, even in winter. (Insert comment about fertilizer here.) Then she decided that they did need to keep warm, so she made a fire out of broken candies. And a bench for some of them to sit on. Or stand on. Whatever gummi bears do.

There are some gummi bears looking out the window -- are they waiting in line inside where it is warm? And, by the way, that line hasn't moved in several days. Lisa said they are going to be really upset when someone finally opens the door in frustration and finds a tomato paste can inside. It is glued to the house and we can't get it out without destroying the outhouse. This is a catch-22 situation for the poor gummi bears.

You may notice that the outhouse is in the front, not the back yard. That was Jack's contribution. The actual quote was "We're from Appalachia. It's in the front yard."

Friday, December 09, 2011


The reason grandkids are so much fun is because I don't get them all the time. Also, since he is not at home, he doesn't quite know if he can throw a tantrum or not. So when I say "You can't throw a tantrum in the kitchen, you'll hurt your head when you hit it on the ceramic tile," he looks at me quizzically and decides not to throw the tantrum. He got mad at having to come inside the other day, and I told him: "Go ahead and throw the tantrum there, the rug is soft," and he refused to throw the tantrum.

Life is just plain easier for the grandparents.

And then they find the harmonica. I demonstrated it and he loved it. At first he tried to make the noise himself, but I told him just to blow and he caught on really quick. (Future Nobel winner, that one!)

Then I told him we would take his picture with it, and he went to the bedroom and dragged the chair to the kitchen, sat down and played. He played the harmonica for a good ten minutes after that. Then he got distracted and lost the harmonica himself.

I hope he finds it again when he comes back.

Jack doesn't.

Thursday, December 01, 2011


My daddy and grandpa made me the biggest leaf pile ever!