You Got the White Stuff, Baby

December 13th, 2010 | Posted by Alison Spath in Parenting

This was one of those “Homeschooling Rocks the (Gingerbread) House!” kind of days.


For the third year in a row, the girls and I hit up the annual Gingerbread House exhibit at The George Eastman House – a local museum that hosts this high fructose architectural extravaganza every year.

Gingerbread days of yore, we’ve come to this event with friends – but this year it was just us three Weeds gals, which meant we were all a bit less overstimulated, not quite so bossy and a lot less screamy to boot.

When we were offered the opportunity to partake in the Gingerbread Treasure Hunt upon admission, the biggest little gal of our trio snatched up that clipboard up like she was a high school cheerleading coach ready to holler out who made the squad and who got cut.

And hey – anything that gives us a reason pay closer attention to detail, a chance to practice writing our numbers and allows me to feel like we aren’t just screwing off most days here gets two thumbs up from me.

checking it twice

The best part about this sort of thing is the reminder that kids have a natural inclination toward learning – no prodding needed.  When you let their curiosity and tendency toward the unknown lead the way, learning happens all by itself in all sorts of ways.  Problem solving, critical thinking, planning, backtracking, learning from our mistakes – opportunities for experiencing these concepts present themselves without even trying.  It’s just a matter of getting out into this world and living in it.  Learning can be effortless and fun and even feel like a piece of cake – or a hunk of gingerbread house, as the case may be.

So let’s just see where this treasure hunt takes us, shall we?

The Nut House!

Nut House

Right this way gang!  They’re waiting for us.

A cute little cottage.


Awww, meeeee too!

I Dig Gardening

Classic Gingerbread.

bright house

Oh. You have a cat.


Good luck with that.

Farmer Insulin says “Eat Local”!

Eat Local

Why sure.  And hey, we just so happen to be heading over to the sugary replica of our local public market next anyway!

Public Market

Dang, that’s a good price for bananas.

Good Price

Excuse me – ma’am?  I simply must know where I can get a scarf like that!

And a juice bar!?

Juice Bar

I have totally underestimated the healthy living values of Marzipan Penguins.  I’ll take a green lemonade on the rocks – extra ginger, hold the garlic.

Taking my juice order.

Checking Them Off

Get it right, kid.  And don’t forget I said extra ginger!

“Please Do Not Touch”, that’s nice…


but I’m afraid we need a sign that says “Please Do Not Lick” either.  Not that I’m naming names of course.

Candy Vegetables


Historically we’ve gone to this exhibit and then run home all sugared up with ideas and inspiration to make our very own Gingerbread house.  Lots of fun, but you know what?  We just don’t need it.  This year I made the executive decision to skip the confectionery construction phase of our little tradition because a.) I’m feeling even more leery toward sugar than usual these days and 2.) they probably would have assaulted me with Barbie Grenades and My Little Pony Missiles if I told them we were going to go home to make a Sprouted Grain House and decorate it with raisins, cashew butter and apple slices.

And you know what?  It was all good.  Nobody batted an eye when I said “Not This Year” to the DIY Gingerbread House Project of 2010.  We skipped the corn syrup decorations from bulk candy and any gratuitous white stuff and still managed to enjoy our little tradition together.

A homeschooly, Girls Day Out made the day sweet enough – no extra artificial colors, sweeteners or sugary crap needed.  How do you like them apples?

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12 Responses

  • How fun! I love the Classic Gingerbread and the local public market.

  • I LOVE gingerbread houses! I think we may attempt to make one this year… We’ll see. What a fun day!

  • Good for you! I hate that so many fun traditions seem to revolve around SUGAR. Those are some beautiful houses, though. The ones I remember making when I was growing up looked nothing like those beauties.

  • Lisa says:

    Wow, those things are impressive looking…however, I also concur on being especially leery of sugar these days. I’d definitely be more impressed with a sprouted grain house!

  • Sharon says:

    I was thinking about this, this year. But then thought about the last couple years and how it was a lot of money to just run a muck. Glad you guys still went and Ava got some seriouse learning out of it. I would say if we homeschooled this would defantily stay a tridition for us.

  • Cindy says:

    I bought a gingerbread house kit for us to make and than passed it on as a gift instead.

    I’m with ya. one less sugar bomb day is fine with me!

    but than again I did bake my weight in cookies last week.

    they were pretty this year! (the houses)

  • Katheryn says:

    What a fun tradition! The exhibit looks amazing.

  • Jane/you-know-who says:

    The home schooling part was helpful for me. It made me finally, fully embrace the home schooling philosophy. The g’daughters will do just fine :-)

  • teresa wood says:

    How could “The Dollhouse Lady” NOT like this post?! I’ve never been to this exhibit and plan on it every year! What’s wrong with me?? For you Ali, and your readers….a great little idea I learned years ago. After Christmas, you can scoop up these gingerbread houses for a song all over, I’m talking like 90% off! Look closely to make sure there are no broken pieces, buy a few and store them in the freezer (you probably wouldn’t even need to since there’s so much sugar in them) for next year. It’s always a surprise and fun. Now that my kids are grown, I just make the houses for a table centerpiece for myself or a gift for someone I love.

  • Holly says:

    i just caught up on 5 posts.

    i loved them all, but your one about Nobody really hit home a bit. i think sometimes i think i need to do things by myself, but really – there is no harm in just doin’ what i want to do when i want to do it.

    amen mama, amen.

  • Erin says:

    So I started thinking about going back to blogging the past month or so because I’ve missed it and LOT of stuff has happened over the past 8-9 months that I need to write about and I am TRIPLY (a word?) committed to health now – so I go to the gym this week, and I pick up a copy of Runner’s World. Lo and behold, I read an article about people doing good deeds for others via running and YOU were in it! I look at the front and realize it’s a magazine from 2009!

    I thought that could NOT be a coincidence. One of the blogger who first motivated me to write a blog was no re-motivating me through the written word in an old a** magazine!?!? Oh, Universe. You so crazy.

    I’m back! New name(ish), better attitude, more fun. So glad the Weeds girls are well and you are still at it! Going to catch up now :)