Saturday, December 11, 2010

Another excuse to eat candy at Christmas

I have an unhealthy love of royal icing. Most of the year, it doesn’t bother me; I can go about my business and I don’t think about it. But around Christmas time I start seeing gingerbread houses and thinking of the thick frosting and its sweet, almost metallic simple flavor. And I get the urge to build one myself, if only to have an excuse to make my own batch of frosting. The only problem is that I don’t really like gingerbread (something I never seem to remember until I eat it again).

I do, however, like graham crackers. So this year I decided our gingerbread houses would be replaced by “Christmas Graham Cracker Houses.”

Dana and I went to Winco and got some candy to decorate our structures. IMG_4479I decided I would make a graham cracker long house and Dana wanted to make a fortress (or at least part of a fortress).

I was done with mine in about 10 minutes and content to begin eating off the excess frosting and left over gummi bears. IMG_4478 It looks like it was built by a 7-year-old and I’m OK with that.

Dana took the entire length of the movie “Elf” (“You sit on a throne of lies!”) to build his Christmas graham cracker house. But it looked way awesomer than mine.

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His fort was complete with a cannon, cannonballs, a turret, a flagpole (with a flag), a red carpet, and gold to guard. Pretty elaborate.

I decided I’d let mine sit over night before really tearing it apart and eating it. The next morning the graham crackers had already started to get soggy. No big deal; I was not surprised. I had thought it would probably happen. I figured I could put my house in the oven at a low temperature for a few minutes to get the soggy mostly out of the crackers and then eat them.

I was wrong. I left the house in the oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes or so. It smelled yummy, like warm graham crackers. But when I opened the oven, this is what I found: IMG_4485 The Christmas graham cracker house of gummi bear horror. Dana especially liked how the gummi bears left little imprints of their presence in the frosting, as if to say, “We were here! Do not forget us!” IMG_4486 And to add insult to injury, the graham crackers were still a little soggy.

Dana’s fort met a more traditional fate, IMG_4491 but stood up surprisingly well to the onslaught. That’s quality frosting. We think whatever soggy graham crackers and melted gummi bears don’t survive today will be donated to our cockroaches as their early Christmas gift. Maybe they too will have an affinity for royal icing.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


We forgot to announce in the last post that we found out we are expecting a boy!

We can’t wait.

stork brings viking

Surprise Attack from Florida!

This week we have had a special surprise visit from Katie and her kids, all the way from Florida (Welcome back to the Great NW). It has been great to see them, because it has been almost a year and a half since they moved to Florida. We had the chance to go and see them at the airport and then again when they came to my mom’s house on Saturday.

Here are Megan and Daniel at the Airport. They were excited to see us:


Katie Anne came to pick Katie up at the airport and Katie got to meet her niece, Rose.


Natalie is growing up fast. Also, Anton is having fun flying Megan around in the background.


The first thing I noticed was how big the kids have grown. We had a great time playing with them. One of the highlights for me was this video I got of Daniel. He likes to build things and then promptly destroy them. He had been doing this for a bit with these stacking boxes and then knocking them over with some soft swords. I wanted to take a video of this, but ended up getting something a little different: (pay special attention to Anton's expression at the end of the video)

Build and Destroy

Here are some other nice photos from Saturday:


Daniel loves Star Wars…so does Anton.


Megan attacks by the sword.


Natalie is telling us an amazing anecdote.


Natalie enjoys Anton’s girlfriend, Tessa’s, company.


Outnumbered, Ruth fights for her life.


We are glad they could come and hope we see them again before they leave.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Turkey-Lurkey Thanksgiving and ZOO LIGHTS!

Yes, we do remember that we have a blog… sometimes.

We celebrated Thanksgiving, like I hope all of you did, with family and tasty food. We even got to cook some of it (I made cranberry sauce and Dana made some olives come out of a can).

We ate dinner with Dana’s Dad and his wife and her kids. It was very fun and the preparation was riddled with banter and “helpfulness.” Dana stayed out of the kitchen as much as possible, but here’s what it looked like.

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It was all very delicious. And of course there was pie for dessert… that didn’t last long enough for a photo shoot. Yum.


Because Dana is a zoo employee, we got to go to the special premier of Zoo Lights for awesome people. It was pretty cool. If you’re in the Portland area, you should go see the lights; it’s worth the cold walk to see all the neat lights.

Like these…

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Stay tuned for more adventures…