neverpictureperfect family decorates gingerbread houses

Of course not real gingerbread houses.  I’ve bought the kits in the stores and they are awful.  The pieces are warped and won’t fit together. The gingerbread and candy tasted nasty and were so hard I thought I’d break my teeth.  Instead, this year we decided to make our own. I don’t own one of those gorgeous molds or cutters they used to sell (and probably still do, I just don’t have time or money to even look at things like that) at Williams-Sonoma and Pampered Chef.  Plus, I’m trying to go white flour free.  I feel awful when I eat anything with white flour, so I’m trying to give it up and stick with only whole wheat. SO I bought some Mi-Del whole wheat graham crackers to use instead of gingerbread.

First off, whole wheat graham crackers that are trans-fat free are not very sturdy. They break when you pick them up.  Not helpful for a four year old still working on small muscle coordination and very frustrating for a twelve year old with a plan in her head that is ruined by graham crackers, that, in addition to all these other faults, taste “funny.” Sigh.

The decorating starts out well, other than those minor details.  The royal icing works very well, and makes the houses very sturdy, in addition to being great for slight ummm graham cracker repairs.

I thought we’d build the houses tonight and then decorate tomorrow after the icing had hardened and the houses were completely dried.  The houses were stronger than I thought, so we went ahead and decorated. Everyone was so creative, and having a great time.  They gave “tours” of their houses to their siblings.  It was really cute.

Doodlebug's house "before"

After the kids were cleaned up, we had Advent and started putting the kids to bed.  What happened next is a bit of a mystery…I put a baby puppy gate across the doorway to keep the oh-so interested dog out of the dining room and away from the gingerbread houses. My husband went out to put those little covers over the outdoor spickets and up to the attic to get the space heater for the boys’ room and got distracted by a printer he was going to give someone.  He brought it down and said the gate was not across the doorway into the dining room.  My oldest daughter said it wasn’t across the doorway when she moved the gate to another doorway. Suddenly my husband is asking if it’s OK for the dog to be in the dining room. Uh-oh.  I hear Buckeye’s collar jingling the way it does when he’s being naughty.

Doodlebug's house "after"

Doodlebug’s whole wheat graham cracker house, the one he worked so hard on and was so proud of, is umm…well, being consumed by a VERY greedy dog. Nice. I’m pretty sure Kroger brand generic “spice drops” are not the best snack for dogs. Or gummy bears that have been having a snowball fight. Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not wishing indigestion on my dog, because I know who cleans the carpet when he’s had digestive indiscretions.

The first thing that came to my mind was wondering if I could trade in my dog for one that was too short to reach the table and didn’t mistake my four-year old in a snowsuit for a giant stuffed animal for his pouncing pleasure.  The second was the story of the wise man building his house on a rock.  And the foolish man, whose house went splat.  And our gingerbread fiasco.Our foundation was plenty strong.  It was the security system that needed a little help.

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