My parents don’t slow down.

They are always on the go.

Which makes me happy since sometimes that “go” is to visit us here in the desert.

Especially in the winter when it’s tennis season down here (my dad had a tournament).

We took advantage of that little good fortune and had a gingerbread house extravaganza over the weekend.

Or, as Lucy requested we call it, a “Peppermint Palooza,” which I thought was very creative in light of the “Pumpkin Palooza” we put on on a whim with cousins one Halloween a couple years ago.

Isn’t it interesting how sometimes as parents the things you come up with on a dime are like Disneyland to kids? And other times they are like the worst thing in the whole wide world and you might end up in a counseling office some day trying to talk through the damage those words unknowingly did? (Does anyone else ever think about that or am I weird that way?? I do know, even when I try my very best, there are going to be some detrimental things that come along some day.)

How was that for a giant digression that had nothing to do with this post?

Because we didn’t even call it a Peppermint Palooza anyway, since all we had were some measly candy canes that were peppermint.

But we DID have fun I tell you.

The prep work crew while Lucy finished her massive amounts of homework:

I didn’t know I could meet my matches for loving making gingerbread houses, but Elsie and Aja may have beat me in their exuberance for that stuff.

And that made me so happy because there’s nothing like creating and talking and being together at the same time.

We sat around the table for a long time just engaged in all three.

And the results?

Grammie and Elsie’s creation we like to call the “Frozen Palace:”

Aja, Poem and Ezra’s creation complete with a pond and a duck in the back yard, and a cactus too:

Lucy wanted to examine that puppy for a while:

Jo, Lucy and my little cottage:

(Jonah apparently couldn’t let go of the broom…)

The judges:

It was a cozy night cozied up with these people I love, and we got something crossed off Lucy’s Christmas “bucket list”:)

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  1. Thank you for sharing your family and traditions with us- this looks so fun!! And really lovely for you all to have family in town to do these fun activities with while all the older kids are spread out away from home! These will be such treasured memories for everyone (even if they moan and groan in the moment) and i admire your dedication to quality family time.
    Are the older kids involved via FaceTime or zoom for some of these things or are they all just so busy that you hold off until Christmas break?

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