Friday, December 19, 2014

Gingerbread Houses

Somehow Elaine got it into her head that Christmas means making Gingerbread Houses.  She’s been asking when we are going to make one – repeatedly.  It sounded…sorta fun.  I was in IKEA and they had gingerbread house kits for $4.99, so I picked up two of them.  We put it on the calendar to decorate them tonight.

To be sure everything was ready, I opened the kits last night.  Just gingerbread cutouts.  No decorations.  No icing.  And they were shattered.  Broken into many pieces.  I looked up a recipe for icing “glue”.  I picked one from a favorite blogger who makes gingerbread houses as a family tradition since she was a girl.  It was a “no-fail” type recipe, or so she said.  I spent a little too much money on some candy decorations at the store.

I was mixing up the Royal Icing when I remembered that my piping bags had both split while frosting Elaine’s birthday cake last month.  (They were only about 15 years old…).  So I cut the corner off a Ziploc and fitting my coupling and frosting tip.  This turned out to be another epic fail in a series tonight!

Making Gingerbread Houses
Licking the frosting beaters…didn’t keep them happy for long!

The “glue” did not do as well as had been claimed, and we were pretty much unable to salvage the gingerbread cutouts from the kit.  We resorted to graham crackers, which worked pretty well…until we ran out of them.  When Elaine's house had no roof.

Making Gingerbread Houses
Right before cave-in # 763!

Making Gingerbread Houses
My little sugar tooth enjoyed sneaking ingredients from the whole process!

Making Gingerbread Houses
Roofless is in, right?

Making Gingerbread Houses
Nolan’s garden – that’s a fence around a Dinosaur Bath, and a goldfish in the pond.  The pink sprinkle pile?  They are worms.  Ben’s idea.

Making Gingerbread Houses
What gingerbread house would be complete without princesses?

Making Gingerbread Houses
We have a table with M&M plates and gumdrop chairs inside Elaine’s house!

Making Gingerbread Houses
Elaine’ creation!

At this point the zippers on the Ziploc bags had split and frosting was oozing everywhere.  Nehemiah had stripped the white board of all accessories and fell out of his chair doing so.  Ben and I were both covered in frosting, so he cried on the floor for a minute before we got to him.  Liberty spied and snatched the bowl of M&M decorations…and devoured what was remaining.

In the end, Nolan settled for a miniature cottage with massive gardens, and Elaine chose a roofless house.  We had lots of fun together, though.  We made some memories but decided this was the only year of gingerbread houses in our family.  It will not be a tradition in this house!!! 

Making Gingerbread Houses

Making Gingerbread Houses

We doused all four kids in a bath together and put them to bed.  Then Ben scraped “glue” off the table and floor while I recovered control of the sprinkles, candy, and kitchen.

And Ben’s take on the whole night?  “IKEA makes gingerbread houses of the same quality as their furniture!”

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

First Sleepover
First Sleepover!

Wearing Grandma’s Shoes

My Four Blessings -  we are gradually getting the hang of going for a walk without a stroller.

img_2713   img_2714
The twins are getting into creating their own style – including sunglasses, winter hats, picking their own shoes, and sometimes a necklace or purse.  Libs has one boot on and one off…Nehemiah is wearing Elaine’s glasses.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Night to Remember

On Monday night I got to have a date with Elaine in the City.  It seems like she’s gone backward in some of her obedience and respect lately, and we thought perhaps she was getting lost in the shuffle of deputation.  Ben was home on Monday so it was the perfect opportunity for us to head into Manhattan.

The beginning of a mother daughter date

Though I had everything planned, it was a total surprise to Elaine.  She got dressed up and wore her pretty dress coat.  We exited the train at Rockefeller Center and walked up to 5th Avenue.  I kept asking Elaine where she thought we were going.  She didn’t realize it until we were right in front of the window display at…American Girl Place!

Selfies on the Train   Selfies on the Train
Selfies on the train

We checked our coats and enjoyed the store for a while.  Elaine got to pick out a couple of dolly purses (the only things in the store I could afford!) and some pictures and a catalog to “dream about.”  Once I showed her that the doll outfits and accessories all say “8+” on them, she settled down and was content to not buy one…yet.

American Girl Store!  American Girl Store!
That’s American Girl Place behind her…

After the store we popped over to see the Rockefeller tree lit up.  Elaine was more enthusiastic about the ice skating rink than the tree!  I gave Elaine the choice of going to Alice’s tea cup or a restaurant.  She looked around and asked for pizza!  I think she is definitely a City Girl and knows that we have the best pizza in the world!

American Girl! and Rockefeller Tree! American Girl! and Rockefeller Tree!
By the tree

Rockefeller Tree and Christmas Lights
One day I will go to the Top of the Rock

Rockefeller Tree and Christmas Lights

Rockefeller Tree and Christmas Lights
The Tree!

Rockefeller Tree and Christmas Lights
Turned out to be a great picture!

Rockefeller Tree and Christmas Lights   She picked pizza
The ice rink, full picture of the tree, and my ‘Lil New Yorker eating her pizza!

After dinner we were headed toward the M&M store in Times Square, but we were stopped by a sidewalk artist.  At first I said no, but before I knew what was happening he had Elaine in a chair and was asking if I wanted “funny” or “real”.  I asked the cost, but when he told me I said, “No thanks, I think we will just move on.”


At that, he insisted that I could get the real one for just “ten dollah”.  So I said yes.  I watched as he expertly drew Elaine’s picture.  I remember as a girl going to a polo game with my family.  They had a sketch artist there, and I still have the picture the man drew of me.  Every time I see the artists in the City I am tempted to get one done, but I have never splurged on the purchase.  I totally loved his sketch of Elaine! 

I wanted to just roll up the picture and be on my way, but he would not give it to me without a frame which was another $20!  I started to insist that I wasn’t getting a frame, when he gave it all to me for just “twenty dollah.”  I had a $20 bill in my wallet, so we took it.  It was definitely a splurge, but so worth it!

Date Night with ElaineDate Night with Elaine

Elaine wasn’t too sure about the drawing while she was perched on the chair with a half-smile on her face.  But when she saw the framed picture she was convinced!  She hardly let it go for a second all the way home!

We picked out an expensive half pound of specialty M&Ms, got “short” hot chocolates at Starbucks, and headed home.

Date Night with Elaine

On the train Elaine said she was glad she had such a wonderful time, because “when you told me about it I didn’t think we would have very much fun at all.”  I’m not sure where that impression came from, but I was glad to have so much fun too! 

Friday, December 5, 2014

You’re a City Kid When…

City kids are definitely different!  We got a good laugh in family devotions today from Elaine.  We were discussing Creation, and reviewing some of the days we had already talked about.

Grand Concourse

Ben: “What did God call the dry land?”

Elaine: “Sidewalk!”

Here’s another one:

Ben: “Who is Daddy’s Helpmeet?”

Elaine: “Mommy”

Ben: “Who helps more?  Does Daddy help Mommy more, or does Mommy help Daddy more?”

Elaine: “Mommy helps Daddy.  You leave all your stuff in the floor and she picks it up!”

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Today is my mom’s birthday.  (She’s 29, for those who are wondering!)  I am so thankful for her influence in my life.  I think I appreciate her now that I am a mom myself, and I realize the millions of little, unnoticed tasks that a mother does to keep her children happy and her household running.  I’m sure I have no idea how many sleepless nights she spent with me when I was sick, or maybe even worrying about me and the choices I was making.  How many late Christmas Eve’s she spent finishing homemade gifts and getting things ready for a special Christmas.  How many times she gave up her own time to drive me places or pick me up at work.  Thanks mom – I may not have appreciated it then, but I sure do now!

It is hard to raise your kids in a Christian environment with the world all around.  But my mom always made sure we were in church, and Bible study, and youth group activities.  She encouraged us to have devotions and she made sure we went to summer camp every year to hear the Word of God without distraction.  And I know there were countless lessons and conversations that happened everyday which helped shape my life into what it is now.

I love you Mom- Happy Birthday!

Elaine, Andrea, and Grandma Godby on the Brooklyn Bridge

Godby Family Pictures

Mom visits Andrea's new home

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Ice Cream Sundaes
Elaine helped Dr. Steadman hand out his prayer cards at a recent mission’s conference, so he gave her some money to treat the family to ice cream.  Liberty enjoyed the straw as well!

Ice Cream Sundaes

Ice Cream Sundaes

Ice Cream Sundaes

Ice Cream Sundaes

Liberty on Top of the World
Liberty on top of the world!

Reading Books
Twinsie book time!

Reading Books

Watching Tunes
Liberty loves sitting at the computer and listening to music while she watches the visualizer on iTunes!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our day started out like this...

And finished up like this...

"Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good; for His mercy endureth forever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all His praise?"
Psalm 106:1-2
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