I have fond memories of making gingerbread houses with my mom nearly every Christmas from the time I was pre-K through my teenage years even into my early college years. And, not to knock those of you who purchase the pre-packaged gingerbread kits (because heaven knows, my kids aren't even lucky enough to get those most years), but my mom made her gingerbread pieces from scratch. It was a labor of love and I loved working side-by-side with her to construct sugar magic. So, when Jacob's second grade teacher emailed me to see if I might like to help on "gingerbread house" making day at school, you can imagine my excitement! Not only did I get to farm out the other two children to spend some one-on-one time with my almost eight year-old (who has gotten ripped off in the mom time department as of late), but I also got to make memories with him doing something I knew he was sure to love.
And so without further ado, I introduce to you "Sugar Overload 2009".
Later in the week came candy train making time with Nana, an easier alternative to gingerbread houses for those of us with younger children who can't seem to be able to quite master the art of frosting and balancing graham crackers or gingerbread while simultaneously decorating them. This is another tradition my mom started with us when we were younger. I had fun teaching my classes of 6th graders how to make these and was reminded how fun it is while helping my mom teach my kids this week. They can hardly stand the wait to eat the train. (I'm not sure they realize how hard the special "glue" frosting we made is or how disgusting it tastes. Somehow, I don't think they'll care as they bite through it to get to the candy.)