December 13, 2014

Gingerbread House Extravaganza 2014

The 6th Annual Gingerbread House Extravaganza was an overwhelming success. We had a lot of fun with the Mc family and are also very grateful they invited us over to their house for the festivities. Some day when I'm making the big bucks, I'm going to knock out a few walls in our house to make it more entertaining friendly.

Before I show this year's creations, I have to back up a year. It looks like I never got around to posting the 2013 gingerbread houses. First of all, Katie and the boys made a Hundertwasser inspired house. If you don't know the work of Austrian artist and architect, Friedenreich Huntertwasser, check out this link. I think Hundertwasser would be proud.

I decided to make the Santa Barbara Mission. I think all fourth graders in California have to make a model of a mission as they study California history. Since we moved to California when I was in fifth grade, I missed out. I made up for it with this creation. It is certainly a work of fantasy since I don't think it ever snows in Santa Barbara.

And now to 2014...

Here we have several photos of the crew hard at work.

The kids are all growing up so fast. I miss the days when most of what they did somehow ended up on the floor. Somehow, my socks ended up relatively clean at the end of the evening.

Katie paining her piece of the wall.

Rob and Maddie working on their very cool tree (see below).

The Mc boys with some help from Tomas created this wonder. They didn't fool me however. I know what they were up to. The Mc kids like to nibble on their houses throughout the season, so I totally get why they crammed as much candy on the house as possible. I personally would start with the Bosten baked beans. Anyways, I think the house is amazing.

Rob, Mary Ann, and Maddie worked on a mid-century Eichler inspired gingerbread house. I had never heard of Eichler before, so I googled him (click here). I LOVE his style. If I could build a dream home, I would like something like his style. Although, I'm not sure how a more flat-roofed home would do here in Utah where we can get considerable snow in the winter. The Mc version looks authentic to me. I love the Christmas lights.

A little over a month ago, Tomas, Katie, and I were talking about the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. As we told Tomas about the history of the wall and remembered when we got to see the wall, we all came to the conclusion that we needed to create the Brandenburg Gate and wall in gingerbread. I worked on the Brandenburg Gate and Katie and the boys did the wall. 

Here is the inspiration for one of the wall sections.

And one more photo of inspiration.

I'm most proud of the Quadriga (a chariot pulled by four horses) on top of the Brandenburg Gate. And yes, I did carve out each horse individually.

All in all, I was very happy with this year's gingerbread effort. The Gingerbread House Extravaganza is one of my favorite traditions, and I really hope it continues for many years to come.

December 01, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Since Oma and Opa moved down here, we didn't go up to Preston for "five whole days" (like Liam used to exclaim).

The annual Turkey Bowl was held in our park. Once again, I was the sports photographer. Instead of getting out the big camera, I used my new phone. The teams were the same: Tyler and Liam versus Jon, Isaac, and Tomas. The game ended in a tie–mainly because we wanted to eat, and also because in the end, it's just better to stop at a tie.

Chloe and Audrey cheered from the sidelines and watched silly videos on Chloe's phone.

Here the highlight reel.

And here we have the winners...

After the game, we headed over to Oma and Opa's new place for Thanksgiving dinner.

We all had a great time and ate ourselves sick.

And then, Liam got sick. (not from the food!)

Everyone headed up to spend the rest of the weekend in Logan for the family reunion. That is, everyone but me and the sicko. I was sad to miss the party and especially the Preston Christmas Parade, but I was able to tackle a mountain of neglected homework.