Monday, December 15, 2008

Graham Cracker Happiness

I was tired yesterday when I came home from Church. I wanted to take a nap, but I knew there was no time to waste. I unloaded and re-loaded the dishwasher, made a quick lunch for everyone (tuna), and put Conor down for a nap. At least I would have a few toddler-free hours.

Sunday is the day when my stepkids come over, and we get to be all together as a family. I like to make it extra special for them, and for all of us. We usually have a big Sunday dinner, and the girls help peel potatoes and set the table. Pretty. I roast a chicken. Or two. Seasoned just right, and finger-lickin' good, really. Lion House rolls, corn, beans, fruit, mashed potatoes and gravy. Like a mini-Thanksgiving.

Of course, when we sit down to eat, I have to remind the boys that I did not go through all of this work to cook a nice dinner and set a beautiful table so we could hear fart jokes, racist jokes, or the violent imaginings of their junior high minds. Good grief! How will I get them married? Ah, the family dinner. A time to learn so many things. Like, let's not use our chicken leg bone as a spoon, okay?

Everyone helped clean up after dinner, and get the table cleared because last night was the night of the Graham Cracker Houses! A favorite tradition, no matter how young or old. See the spread? (Oh, and by the way, this lovely dresser, which I turned into a dining room sideboard--mostly to spare poor Adam from having to lug something else up those infernal stairs--was FREE! Yes, the friend that sold us the armoire for $100, gave us the dresser as a bonus, just to be nice and because he had to get it out of his house in preparation of new furniture. Isn't it perfect?)

It's always cool to see how different everyone's creation is. Even Conor got into it this year. I constructed the little house for him and then piped some royal icing on it, and he stuck his little candies on.

(Adam's apartment building)

Anyway, my tiredness dissolved somewhere between those tuna sandwiches and the graham cracker frenzy. I don't remember feeling tired again until everything was cleaned up, wiped down, put away, and the baby was snoozing. The Christmas carols were playing, and the white lights of the tree softened the edge of the early darkness and the rainstorm that was brewing outside. I'm grateful for that burst of energy. Moms only have so many Christmases with their little ones. Mine are getting fewer and fewer. I want every memory to be jolly and warm, and sugary sweet. I want them to fall asleep smiling.

Like my mother did for me.


idahohubers said...

That is quite an undertaking! I'm impressed. We do ONE house for all 3 kids. I do remember doing this as a girl though and it is a great memory. I didn't realize all the little things my mother did through the haze of tiredness to make holidays and such fun for us until I had kids. It all comes full circle doesn't it.

Your dinner table conversation sounds like my in-laws house. Unfortunately, my brother's in law are in their 20's!

Sarah said...

We did my family's annual gingerbread house making party last night and after the way it turned out, I think doing it at home with just my little family, everyone making their own individual ones, would be a much better way to go about it. Not saying I don't like getting together with my family to celebrate Christmas, but last night was kind of a bust and I was somewhat disappointed. I will move on though.

Your houses are all perfect!

Luisa Perkins said...

I love that tradition; I hope we get to do ours this year.

Annette Lyon said...

Suddenly feeling like I should turn in my mother badge or something. :)

YogaNana said...

Ah, tuna and graham crackers! :o) Remember the year your brothers decided to make airplanes and cars instead of houses?

Angela said...

You are amazing! I don't know how you get it all done! Great tradition!