Category Archives: Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread Houses 2013

I hope you’re all relaxing and enjoying the week between Christmas and New Year’s — even if this isn’t a week of vacation days for you.  We’re having a quiet week — no kids home this year to keep us running.  And to prove it, I think this is the earliest I’m managed to put together the Gingerbread House post!

This year, we were missing three key players.  {BooHoo}  SweetiePie, TheFirstChild, and my CuteNiece1 were all working.  We were also missing the boy’s best friend who has joined us for several years, so his mother and sister filled in for us and we had so much fun that we’re all hoping they’ll be regular gingerbread house makers.  Voting was really tough this year — there were five houses and ten votes.  Two houses tied for last place with no votes and it was almost a tie between the other three houses.  With nine votes counted, they were in a dead heat with three votes each.  Luckily, the last vote was a tie-breaker, rather than going to one of the last place houses.

Team 5:  TheManoftheHouse and Me.
We got no votes. So sad LOL! Since we’d been to Iceland this year, we decided to go with an Icelandic theme. We decided to create the ticket house at the beautiful Jokulsarlon glacial lake. We had icebergs, a boat, and an employee entrance door that was too small to write employee in one line. ;-) We also put black sprinkles on our roof to represent volcanic ash falling on the house.

Thimbleanna: Gingerbread Houses

Team 4: TheSecondChild and NewGirlfriend.
Love appeared to be the theme of this house LOL. I think they did a great job considering NewGirlfriend had never made a gingerbread house before and as TheSecondChild says “I’m the least artistic person here”. I thought I heard one of them say that this was supposed to be a brothel, and knowing TheSecondChild and his history of naughty houses (he’s the one who started naughty houses many years ago) it wouldn’t surprise me. I thought the use of the hearts was cute — we could save this house for Valentine’s Day!

Thimbleanna: Gingerbread Houses

Team 3: CuteNephew and CuteNiece2.
For some reason, these guys love to pick on their older cousin and they re-visited the theme of a future house belonging to TheFirstChild and SweetiePie. A house full of wild children, a hard working SweetiePie and a lazy, football watching FirstChild. There were wild little kids everywhere — starting fires, hanging themselves, and wreaking havoc (they mentioned that all the children are girls, btw). SweetiePie was inside the house cleaning and TheFirstChild was watching football on the big screen tv. This house really didn’t look like anything special, BUT … CuteNephew had a big surprise in store for us. Just as we were getting ready to vote, the “big screen tv” came to life. He’d very cleverly left his cell phone inside the house and he “tuned” it in to a football game. It looked just like a big screen tv in that little house. He had us all howling with laughter and it was great fun. Oh So Clever!!!!

Thimbleanna: Gingerbread Houses

Team 2: CuteFriend’sMother and CuteFriend’sSister.
This cute “couple” did an amazing job on their house. They’re a McDonald’s family and we LOVED their house. They had so many clever touches and came prepared with the red and yellow dusting flakes. I loved their cute little Ronald McDonald, the kiddie ball pit, and the great snake-around drive-thru. These guys made voting really tough!

Thimbleanna: Gingerbread Houses

Team 1: MyDadLovesMeBestSister and CrazyBIL.
This was our winning house and these two were ruthless. MyDadLovesMeBestSister has been gunning for a big win all year — she even has a board on Pinterest titled “Gingerbread Houses — I’m Going to Win this Year”! CrazyBIL came prepared and right away he started carving a ski slope from cardboard boxes. Their theme was the up-coming Russian Olympics. Their house was SO darn cute and MyDadLovesMeBestSister outdid herself on the icing decoration for the house. Look at those beautiful loopy icicles! I LOVE the clever tow-rope up the front of the slope too. What a team! Of course, being CrazyBIL, he had to throw in the Olympic controversy too — I’ll spare you the narrative, but it’s there in the pictures!

Thimbleanna: Gingerbread Houses

So, there you have it. The 2013 Gingerbread Houses. It’s getting harder and harder to come up with ideas, but I think everyone did a great job this year!

Thimbleanna: Gingerbread Houses

XOXO,
Anna

Gingerbread Houses 2012

Thank you for all the sweet wishes for TheSecondChild’s speedy recovery from his cat bite. He’s gone home now and all seems to be back to normal — or so he tells me. It was certainly a memorable Christmas for us — I’ll always remember it for the chaos. I was even so distracted that I forgot the dinner rolls for Christmas dinner. The shame! We got a beautiful snow on the 26th — and to prove that bad luck comes in threes, SweetiePie capped off our string by having a little fenderbender in the storm. All these pesky little inconveniences — but everyone is fine, so we really can’t complain!

How is your between week going? Are you finding any time to relax? This is one of my favorite weeks of the year — we have snow, no work, and I even had time to go take a fun little knitting class — more about that later. In the meantime, I’ve made it through pictures of our 2012 Gingerbread competition.

Team 5: TheSecondChild, CuteNiece2, and BestFriendofFirstandSecondChild. I’m not sure what was going on with this team, but I can say that we had to censor part of their house. Too political for our happy little blog here. As you can see, the topic involved taxes — very timely for the fiscal cliff mayhem going on in Washington now.  They did have some very cute touches — unfortunately, you don’t get to see them all LOL!

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Team 4: TheFirstChild and TheManoftheHouse. What is it with these men? These guys almost had to be censored too. They decided to tease the aforementioned BestFriend about a blurry picture that was taken of him dancing with a girl a few weeks ago. They blew up the picture and recreated the bar — changing the bar name from 8 Seconds Saloon to 8 Sexonds. Naughty Naughty. They did have some fun touches though — a disco ball hanging from the ceiling, a bucking bronco in the corner, a raised “wood” (ahem, shredded wheat) dance floor, and horses hitched outside.

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Team 3: MyDadLovesMeBestSister, CuteNiece1 and BigDaddy. MyDadLovesMeBestSister is always very creative with her candy. They started out by creating a nativity scene with a manger and horses in the center of the house. Then, something happened and they changed their plan. Maybe making a statement not to worry about their house? They created the Don’t Worry Be Happy House. I love the sprinkles on their roof, the dog with his pile of dog bones, and their cute little people with the wild, colorful hair!

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After the first round of voting, there was a tie for the Team1 and Team 2 houses.
Team2: CrazyBIL, CuteNephew, and CuteNephew’sGirl. CrazyBIL always decides to create alternate shapes with his houses and he ends up carving up the gingerbread pieces. They created a prison this time. Where did that come from LOL??? Maybe, everyone is getting tired of trying to think up new themes??? Anyway, they were very clever with the details. Note the spaghetti window bars and rails for the fences.  And orange jumpsuits for the prisoners. They even had an escaped prisoner who ended up in a pool of blood. Very fun!

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Team1: SweetiePie and Me. In honor of our trip to the UK this past summer, it seemed only fitting that we would make a UK house, don’t you think? We briefly thought about crumbling a bunch of gingerbread to make a mountain with exhausted climbers in the snow on the top.  But then, we decided to go more decorative instead. That’s Big Ben in case you can’t tell, LOL. We tried to make The Eye out of pretzels, but it wouldn’t hold, so I piped some frosting on a cookie sheet and baked it at 200 degrees for 10 or 15 minutes. I was quite surprised when it worked.  Anyway, SweetiePie very cleverly created the rows of bobbies and a double decker bus.  Then she created a river and we made a mini London bridge.

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Can you guess which house won in the run-off? It was Big Ben — Yay! I’m starting to think people vote for my houses as a reward for all the time I spend baking the gingerbread parts before Christmas. Either way, it’s very nice of them!
So, that’s it for another year.  Thanks for your visit — I hope you’re ready for New Year’s and that you’re having some fun this week!
XOXO,
Anna

Gingerbread Houses 2011

So? How’s that relaxing in-between week going? I’ve had a chance to read just a few blogs and it looks like lots of you are reading, resting and making plans for the new year. As it should be! We’re managing to lie around and play with Christmas toys a little, but mostly it’s been busy. Today will be the third (and last!) day of painting in MeMum’s kitchen — you may remember that I did the cabinets a long time ago, but the ceiling, walls and trim were never done. Finally, we’ll have that big job out of the way.

I’ve also had time to weed through the many pictures of the annual gingerbread competition. We had a wonderful time again this year with lots of laughs. I’d like to congratulate my cute little family this year — we didn’t have one. single. collapsed house. WooHoo! They’re becoming real pros at the construction. There were lots of groovy little details too — several of which I don’t have good pictures of because you have to remember to take them before the roofs go on the houses.

Gingerbread Houses

So, ladies and gentlemen, I proudly ( ;-) ) present to you the Houses of 2011:

Team 1:  SweetiePie and CuteNiece1. Santa’s Workshop.  SweetiePie is a real pro with the icing and this house was adorable.  They have Mr. and Mrs. Claus out front and a super cute elf workshop to the side of the house.  All the elves were at their stations working away.  (The icing on the bottom right pictures says “Elves enter here —>”)  I loved this happy cheerful house!

Gingerbread Houses

Team 2:  CuteNiece2, CuteNephew, and BigDaddy.  With BigDaddy on the team, we knew it was going to be pretty funny.  They decided to do TheFirstChild and SweetiePie’s future house.  The house where they have a bunch of children.  The house that is falling apart.  The front door is off of the hinges, the roof is cracking and one of the unruly children has started a fire at one of the corners of the roof.  CuteNephew very cleverly carved the burned portion of the roof and then held it over the stove to get the charred look.  The other unruly children are climbing on the roof and have crashed the family car into a tree.  The created a pretty cute interior too — there’s a beautiful striped carpet and big screen tv (bottom right picture).  And, of course, TheFirstChild is parked on the sofa watching that tv.

Gingerbread Houses

Team 3:  TheManoftheHouse and TheSecondChild.  This was the team that started the trend into irreverent houses five years ago when they made a frat house.  They decided they should finally clean up their act and make a church.  Being an all-male team, they were a little spare on the frosting, but they had some clever touches.  We all wanted to know why the people were squished behind the bench.  Don’t be silly — they’re kneeling and praying.  I love the little bell in the steeple!

Gingerbread Houses

Team 4:  MyDadLovesMeBestSister and CrazyBIL. CrazyBIL is a physical therapist so they made a model of his clinic.  The small touches to their clinic were SO cute.  They had workout tools everywhere — I loved the dumbbells and the pile of broken crutches behind the clinic.  They also included a parking lot to one side of the clinic, and my very favorite touch, an outdoor yoga class (middle picture) to the other side of the clinic. Their proudest touch was the lighted candle inside — CrazyBIL created an open chimney so that the candle smoke could escape.  Unfortunately, after awhile, the gingerbread started to get soft so we had to blow the candle out to avoid a cave-in.

Gingerbread Houses

Team5:  TheFirstChild and Me.  We stumbled around trying to think of something that would have most of it’s contents outside of the house.  We finally settled on a tree farm.  Which sent TheFirstChild (and the rest of us) into fits of laughter remembering an old high school tree farm joke.  So, we iced up the house and planted trees everywhere.  Then popped in a few tree-shopping families (one with a candy cane sled).

Gingerbread Houses

Great fun again this year!  We held our traditional vote.  Can you guess the winner?

Team 4′s Physical Therapy Clinic came in third, only lagging by one vote.  Then Team 1′s Santa Workshop and Team 5′s Christmas Tree Farm tied for first.  So we had a run-off.

Ta-Dah!:

Gingerbread Houses

Go Team 5!!!  We only beat Team 1 by a vote and I really think their frosting work was superior.  Plus, I think we won due to all the memories and laughter this house generated.

So, that’s it for this year.  I can’t believe how quickly the year has passed.  I probably won’t get back here for a few days so I’d like to wish all of you a Very Happy New Year!  Stay Safe and Have Fun!!!

XOXO,
Anna

Gingerbread Houses 2010

Whew!  I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s weekend.  It sure whizzed by quickly — in fact the whole Christmas break is just a blur to me.  As much fun as it was, I’m thinking it will be good to get back into a routine.  Thanks for all your fun comments on my blogiversary giveaway (if you missed it, the drawing is still open until Jan. 7th, just go HERE.)  It’s been really fun reading all of the comments, especially from those of you who are just discovering blogs.   There are so many wonderful blogs out there — prepare to be inspired!

Gingerbread Houses

Anyway, lots of you mentioned the annual gingerbread competition.  You’re all so cute — thanks for being interested! I’m sorry I made you wait so long, there just hasn’t been any time to go through the pictures.  I didn’t think we were as inspired as last year, but we still had lots of fun.  So, let’s get to it!

Gingerbread Houses

Team 1 was supposed to be MeMum, CuteNiece1 and TheSecondChild, but TheSecondChild had to work late on the 23rd, so he wasn’t able to come home until the morning of the 24th. We jokingly refer to this group as our crazies and we laughed that the team draw put them all together. I think they had big plans to make a psych ward, but somehow that changed when TheSecondChild couldn’t make it.

We had a CuteFriend of the boys’ stand in for TheSecondChild at the last minute. CuteNiece2 was working late so CuteFriend and MeMum started building the house. CuteFriend had never built houses with us before and as he was constructing the house, MeMum was often heard to utter “just wing it”. They were having a terrible time and when CuteNiece2 arrived, she rolled up her sleeves to get things straightened out, but by then, CuteFriend was also saying “just wing it”. Sadly, “just wing it” wasn’t terribly effective and their house collapsed and they threw in the towel.

Gingerbread Houses

Team 2 surprised us with an adorable American Eagle house in honor of CuteNephew’s new job at our local American Eagle store.  He and SweetiePie made a wonderful team and they did a great job.  They left a roof off so that the inside of the store could be seen with all the clothes and mirrors.  I love all the special touches on this house – especially the swirly frosting.  Very, very cute!

Gingerbread Houses

Team 3 was TheManoftheHouse and me.  We did a camera shop and didn’t even manage to finish our house.  We wanted to put lots more frosting on the front and back and a line of kids waiting for Santa photos, but I spent most of the first hour fixing bad frosting bags for everyone (note to self: use plastic bags next year).  While the initial construction on our house was drying, TheManoftheHouse was busy building that adorable little camera on a tripod.

Gingerbread Houses

Team 4 was CrazyBIL, TheFirstChild and BigDaddy.  Their house started out looking suspiciously like last year’s house and when BigDaddy was spotted making a sleigh, someone asked them what they were making.  CrazyBIL said a Sleigh Wash and we all started laughing.  It WAS just like last year’s house.  The funny thing is, before we all started, the three of them discussed whether a sleigh wash had ever been done, and none of them could remember one.  After that discovery, they changed course and made people going into the sleigh wash or something or other.  There was serious cheating going on when they ripped off a big hunk of cotton from my nearby snow village scene and used it for smoke coming out of the chimney.

Gingerbread Houses

Team 5 was MyDadLovesMeBestSister and CuteNiece2.  They made a super cute art studio and I can’t believe I didn’t manage to get a good shot of the front of the house.  Look at those adorable little topiaries that MDLMBS made from Lindor truffles and Reese’s peanut butter cups.  Those were my favorite touch from all the houses.  Followed closely by the cute little pretzel easels featuring Christmas art work.  Oh So Clever!!!  They left the roof off of their house too (ok, it might have kept falling off) and it made for perfect views into the arteeeest studio.

Gingerbread Houses

And the winner by votes?  The Camera Shop.  I’m thinking it was either a sympathy vote because we ran out of time or because everyone loved the little tripod camera. We gave the prizes (movie tickets) to the runner up team — SweetiePie and CuteNephew.

Gingerbread Houses

So, there you have it.  We’re all running out of ideas for houses, so hopefully it won’t be even more downhill from here!

XOXO,
Anna

Gingerbread Houses 2009

Finally, I’ve managed to get the gingerbread houses together.  I’ve been a lazy bum this week — just hanging out and not doing much at all.  It seems like I’ve cleaned a lot, but you’d never know it by looking around here.

This year’s competition was pretty tough.  The top players came prepared with a theme in mind, which made it really fun.  The good news is that everyone kept it clean this year (no strip bars or frat houses!)  The bad news is that everyone kept it clean this year — which translates to:  not as funny.  Everyone topped the creativity scales and had a really good time though, so it was all worth it!

TheManoftheHouse and I were the defending champions from last year and we came in Dead. Last. Not one vote.  It was fixed!  We didn’t really have a plan, but when I saw the pretzels, I thought we should do a log cabin in honor of our pioneer ancestors.  And every log cabin has a clothesline outside, right?

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My nephew brought a guest to the competition (a girl! – she had fun, she’d never made a gingerbread house before) and they made the Tinsel Town Theater.  You’ll notice that Up is currently running on the marquis and there is plenty of popcorn and candy for all the people standing in the ticket line.

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Between the next two houses, I can’t remember who came in second and who came in third.  (I’m sure SweetiePie knows though!)   CrazyBIL and my youngest niece teamed together and created Santa’s Sleighwash.   Check out the cupcake liner door flaps and the dirty sleigh going into the sleighwash and the clean sleigh coming out of the sleighwash.  So Clever!

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TheFirstChild and SweetiePie always have a theme and this year was no different (we’ve decided next year that the honeymoon is over and we’re going to split them up.)  They made a Jump School to commemorate the fact that they went skydiving in August of this year (and lived to tell about it).  Oh So Cute!  Look at the little skydivers and the airplane.  And doesn’t SweetiePie have pretty icing-writing?

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And Tah-Dah!  The First Place winners this year were MyDadLovesMeBestSister, BigDaddy, my oldest niece and TheSecondChild. (Ha!  I’m thinking they won due to being the biggest team – I’m not bitter or anything LOL!)  MyDadLovesMeBestSister achieved her Master Gardener status this year, so to celebrate, they created a Garden Shed.   The flower pots and little candy trees on the front are enough to melt any voter.  Not to even mention the compost pile, butterflies on the left side of the house and the Koi Pond behind the house.   Congratulations Team Garden Shed!

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I’m so proud of my little family.  When we first started decorating gingerbread houses years ago, they used to slap the frosting on the houses and make a big mess.  I love seeing how much thought and creativity they put into the houses now!

So.  On to the New Year!  I’ve bemoaned the fact that November and December flew by.  And 2009 too.  But to heck with that.  What happened to the last decade?

R2000

Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were partying at the turn of the millennium???  As I look forward to 2010, I just have one big wish — I want time to Slow. Down.  That one big wish would facilitate all the little ones (more family time, quilting, knitting, reading, yadda, yadda).

And one other big wish for all of you — a Happy and Healthy 2010.  Happy New Year!!!

XOXO,
Anna