Familes are like fudge, mostly sweet with a few nuts

The gingerbread house is finished!

The gingerbread house is done and on display at the museum. Ahhhh - it feels so nice.
We had a fun time trying to make a gingerbread version of the photo of the house at left, taken on my trip to Vermont a month ago. David did an excellent job with the archetectural and structural drawings. I put some walls together wrong and that necessitated redoing some of the roof pieces. Altogether we used 18 batches of gingerbread and over 20 of icing. I think it turned out okay. We put a light inside so you can see the furniture and Christmas tree inside. Of course there is a manger scene in the front yard and David is very proud of the Santa Sleigh and Reindeer he found to put on the roof.

One side of the house has a 2nd floor balcony - far left - and the other side has a covered porch. There is a dog house and puppy, of course. Shanalee named the dog "Jolly" but I forgot to write his name on his house - oops. I'm proud of the idea of a deciduous tree with a bucket hanging from it for collecting syrup. Probably the wrong time of year for maple syruping, but it just fit with Vermont.
The back of the house has a covered porch the whole width of the house and in the back yard we added a skating pond and sledding hill. Notice the bunny on the frozen pond and the fox watching him. A little added drama!
This picture was taken at 1:30 am Thursday morning. I only had a few details to finish before we took it in for display Thursday afternoon. It was a fun house to make and I really appreciate David, Kyle and Brett and all the help they gave me this year. Thank you - thank you.

I think we might get it finished in time

Brett also came to help with our gingerbread house. He comes up with great ideas!This morning, Tuesday, David and I put the top level of the house on before he went to work late and he got hold of the camera before I did. The house is coming along but I only have 2 days to go.

More Gingerbread

The gingerbread house is progressing. Saturday night Kyle and David worked on balcony and porch roofs. They do a great job.

gingerbread update

This is what our gingerbread house looks like as of Friday morning Dec. 3. Not much yet but we have already put in 36 hours. The windows alone took 3 hours to pour - 35 windows, 3 batches of sucker candy. All the gingerbread pieces are spread out on tables like this around the house. Now it is time for long hours on gingerbread. I've procrastinated this year and I'm going to pay for it with sleepless nights I'm afraid. But isn't it fun?

Snowed in at the cabin

After church on the Sunday before Thanksgiving Alesia, Nancy, Heidi (with baby Wynn) and I drove up to Nancy's Island Park cabin. It was a bit snowy but not bad. We knew a storm was coming in on Tuesday but we planned to come home Monday afternoon. Well, Monday morning
the roads between Island Park and I.F. closed and they did not open until Wednesday midday so we were strandded at the cabin all that time. We had a great time, and though we did get a lot of snow up there, the storm never got really bad where we were. However, we were very thankful
for showers, laundry facilities and the food at the cabin as we had only gone prepared for one night and one day. We were also very very glad to get home Wednesday afternoon in time for thanksgiving.

We played lots of games including a pingpong tournament and watched lots of videos.
We didn't get dressed until afternoon and we played with baby Wynn a lot. Alesia and Nancy went snowshoeing.
It was so beautiful! The last two pictures are a sunset and a sunrise.
It was so peaceful!

The Gingerbread house begins

While in Vermont with Tammie, I went looking for gingerbread house ideas and this is what I found. It is an old derelict house in the middle of a town called Barre and it just looks neat. I printed out the pictures and David started working out the archetectural drawings this week. That takes a lot longer then many would suppose. We finished them today. We have 47 different pieces and many of those will be cut out twice. We also started making gingerbread today and got 5 batches made. We figure we will need at least 15 batches for this house. I'm already planning the decoration and the yard. Any ideas what would be in the yard of a New England home? And what should we name the dog?

David is a "Friend of 4-H"

Saturday night at the 4-H Recogniztion night, David was awarded the "Friend of 4-H" award. I knew about it a few days earlier when they called to make sure they were spelling his name correctly, but it was a surprise for him. The people in county 4-H call David "Mr. Gwen" because he is always around, helping me and helping the program. The secretaries love him (and I do too). I really enjoy doing 4-H and being so involved, and I absolutely could not do it without all his support and help. He never complains about all the time I spend on 4-H and he sure could if he had a mind to. He is wonderful and I am so grateful that he has always supported and even encouraged my 4-H activities. Thank you David. I love You

Fun in Vermont

Tammie, Abigail and I went to Vermont
together to attend Joanne's wedding. We spent a week there. It was great fun. I had the camera so there aren't many pictures of me. At our last breakfast together the waitress took the picture at left and this one is Abbie in the trunk of our rental car. She was such a good traveler! Bedtime play, at left, was fun every night. Abigail actually warmed up to me a lot. Abbie was fasinated by the dog figurine outside one of the museums we visited. Left to right:
Abbie liked playing in her stroller while waiting in airports. Abbie and Tammie at the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial, and Tammie inside a Vermont covered bridge. The country was beautiful as can be seen below. That is until the last day when we had to drive through a snowstorm to get back to Burlington for our flight home. I'm not sure Tammie was comfortable with my driving in a storm.
This is Hilldene, the Vermont Mansion of Robert Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's son, one of several very interesting places we visited. My favorite was the Normon Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts. Our visit with Janeen in New Hampshire was also real nice. I had a really really good time and I'm so glad Tammie and Abbie went with me. Thanks Robert for loaning them to me for a week!

A Vermont Wedding

Joanne, my good friend and past college roommate, married Mark on November 6th.
I was able to go to Vermont to the wedding.
Left - Tammie and little Abbie went with me. Below is Joanne's family the night before the wedding. L to R. Mark, Joanne, Chris (son), Tiffany (future daughter in law), Alan (son in law), and Janet (daughter)
It was such a nice wedding and I wish Joanne and Mark all the happiness in the world!

They love my flowers

In the last few weeks before it got really
cold, I decided to clean out my flower beds for winter. I was amazed how many butterflies and bees were enjoying my flowers out front.

Halloween fun

Trick or Treat. Aren't they a cute bunch of Halloween spooks - a cat, 2 witches, a bat, two tigers and a turtle!

Kyle and family came trick or treating before leaving for Logan and we had fun at "Boo at the Zoo" with Mark and Elden and their families. James, the cute turtle, just went along for the ride.

Todd and Bethany stopped by Saturday and changed
into their costumes here - the killer peacocks. What fun costumes but Todd refused to go outside in it.