I have done zero holiday baking, but that's been okay because Rachel baked gingerbread and spritz cookies and Andrew made sugar cookies. I didn't have to lift a finger (until it came time for decorating)!
But to start off this post, here's a picture of Phoebe and Alexander helping me make dinner on Sunday. We made a French toast casserole and they were such proud helpers!
Now that she knows about stools, she loves when we leave them out for her to push around the house and get into mischief. Here she is taking all the silverware out and piling it on the counter:
And here she is moving tools out from the "junk drawer" behind her and picking out new homes for the tools in the silverware drawer:
Looks like we need to move a few tools to the garage for a time (including this box cutter, which was rapidly confiscated from her). Baby-proofing is never done (sigh):
It kept her occupied while we decorated cookies, though, so I guess we can't complain.
Let's see...on Monday night we made gingerbread houses. Rachel had made up some gingerbread dough a few days prior, so she baked a house for herself, and then Andrew, Miriam, and Benjamin cut out graham crackers to make houses for everyone else.
We've hit some sort of sweet spot with the kids where we've managed to work ourselves out of a job and we hardly had to do anything for these houses. I mean, sure, it took some doin' to get Rachel's roof to stay on long enough to dry in place, but otherwise the kids were rather independent. Miriam helped Alexander with his house, and everyone else did their own. They all made very thoughtful decisions about their designs and carefully considered their candy consumption (Benjamin, for example, mused that it would be wise for him to put a hard candy in his mouth so he could suck on that one candy rather than inhaling gumdrops...and...I mean...that's really quite an excellent way to show self-control).
Here's Zoë's roof showing a very orderly pattern:
Here's Phoebe saying, "Pick me up, Mommy!"
Here's Benjamin's house coming along:
"That's what I said!" he said. "TOE-bag-in."
We ended up taking a break before Miriam and Rachel finished their houses so that we could put the little ones to bed, so I didn't end up taking formal pictures of their finished houses. But I did snap a few photos while we were decorating cookies yesterday. They're not the best shots and I thought maybe I'd get some better shots (but people have been picking at them already, so who knows).
Here's Zoë's with a lovely candy cane archway:
Benjamin's is in the middle here—you can barely see his outhouse in the back:
Here's Alexander's with the candy cane leaning on the roof, and the Christmas tree to the side. Benjamin's outhouse is to the left of Alexander's house. On the right is the house that Phoebe, Andrew, and I made together:
Here's Miriam's masterpiece, with a wrap-around porch, and check out those Christmas lights on the tower (they took her forever):
And, lastly, here's Rachel's gingerbread house with melted Jolly Rancher windowglass:
Here's Rachel joining us to do a little buttercream piping (even though she still had several more cookies reserved for flow icing).