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Monday, December 19, 2011

(MAM #1) The Gingerbread Guys

Welcome to MAM #1 (or the first Mood-Altering Monday post) but, hang on, now I’m a dad writing about MAMs… this is going to get confusing…
Anyhow, the point is I hope to add a smile to the beginning of your working/writing week (even though you’ll probably be reading this on a Tuesday this week…sigh!)

Recently, I attended a Christmas party arranged by a wonderful, local homeschooling group called Oahu MHEN, pronounced “men.”

(OK, so now I’m writing a MAM as a Dad at a MHEN party, mostly attended by Moms… see, I knew I’d confuse him :)

There were about 180 people there, and we boys, we band of decorators consisting of No. 1 and 2 Sons, myself and special guest star, Uncle Jerry; we were the only all-male team present for the event’s main challenge: Decorating The Gingerbread House, and boy, were we pumped up!
(OK, maybe we were more worried than pumped up, but how hard could it be to decorate a gingerbread house?)

I soon discovered that neither Jerry nor I had ever built a gingerbread (GB) house in either of our misspent youths, so this would be a first. However, I remained positive - sure it was new, but we had HEART – and the closest table to the exit...

As the afternoon progressed, it turned out that heart was about all we had…

You see, the ladies in charge ("Party Divas") had arranged for each family to receive a box, and inside was a veritable treasure trove of all things holy to a gingerbread house maker.

We were designated Table 22, and, as mentioned, we placed ourselves at the very end of one of three, looonng tables and we were ready to decorate an A-frame within the thirty-minute timeframe.

Table 21 greeted us with open arms, and offered any assistance we required. We thanked the friendly family, and got down to business – examining the contents of the GB box.
Being a manly man, the first thing I did was look at the complicated instruction manual – and promptly discard it to one side
along with its many pages of easy to follow tips…
To his credit, Jerry did try figure out said manual, but soon gave up under my withering stare of “We’re guys, are you really going to read that?”

Losing the head...
Arranging all the ingredients on the plastic-lined table, I noted there were two bags of green and white icing, small candies, square candies, round candies, one naked gingerbread slum and four, large gingerbread guys.

Fabulous… I’d forgotten the snack bag. Suddenly, there were only 2.5 GB guys – one was sacrificed in the name of lunch, and the other later lost his head in an argument with No. 2 Son.
Our first plan of action was for (most of us) to attack the poor gingerbread house with absolutely no rhyme or reason.

Sticky Fingers
No. 1 Son, however, decided to take on an additional project (a la Extreme Home Makeover) and he spent ten minutes working hard to see just how much icing would stick to his hands before the digits disappeared.

Seeing how inefficient this first plan was, we moved to Plan B, which was to sneak a peek at House No.21 and then copy some of their best ideas.

Plan B was as organized as Plan A, (except we were down a bag of icing) resulting in a terrible accident when one of the remaining GB guys couldn’t take it any longer and threw himself off the side of the house.
 Needless to say, we placed 48th out of 48 (BOO-YAH!!) 
(Oh yeah, we’re hip, we’re cool, we're in the Top Fifty :)

While we weren’t the winners of the grand prize – or any other prize – in the general vote, several moms mentioned later that if there was a “Messiest” or a “Sympathy Vote” award, we would have been a lock.
Oh, yes, that was so messy, it was worthy of an award…

Notice how our "slum" *should* have looked!
PS…. The funny thing is that even though Jerry and I were suspended from all Man-Card activities for a week, we both really enjoyed ourselves; the kids had a blast, and we’re coming back in ‘12 to take home the First Annual Messiest Gingerbread House Award.


Karla B. said...

It was NOT nearly as messy as you make it sound! I think you guys did great and I love the laughter and smiles had by all! :)

Erin N. said...

You guys did great, better than this momma, and I had 2 sleeping babies. My boys kept eating all the candy, so we had an icing house. This was great fun and a great story! Merry Christmas! :)

Lara Schiffbauer said...

It's all about the fun and memories, anyway! This was a great story - thanks for a chuckle!

Anonymous said...

We make Gingerbread houses every year. Love it. It's so much fun. I'm glad that you had fun making a GB house.

Stacy S. Jensen said...

Sounds like a fun time and .. it looks much nicer than the first GB house I tried.

Mark Koopmans said...

@ Karla, Erin, Lara, Mel & Stacy: Mahalo for writing - and making me feel better - about our gingerbread slum... er, I mean *house* :)

Jerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerry said...

Hey Koopmans...Uncle Jerry here. See what happens when you contract unlicensed "Gingerbread" house makers :-). SLUM is right. Good news for our "gingy" neighbors is at least we are not "hoarders". Horrible design talent is one thing but stacking stuff to the roof is intolerable :-). Yes...we did have fun even though our one man wrecking crew (son #2)was eating our design from the get-go. We were dooooommmmed! Thanks for the adventure though! Whats next? A knitting marathon? Giddy up!

Mark Koopmans said...

Aloha Uncle Jerry,

Not sure what adventure the boys will bring us on next, but keep the Man-Card close:)

C D Meetens said...

Sounds like you had a great time as a family, whatever the gingerbread house did (or didn't) come out like ;). This did make me laugh, so thanks for that!

Sarah Tokeley said...

This sounds like such a laugh, I bet you'll start practicing in November for nest year :-)

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