The boys like to watch a DVD we have of the Berenstain Bears. One of the episodes is about a friend of Sister Bear, Lizzy, who decides to have a slumber party at her house. She starts off inviting Sister and one other friend, but by the time of the party, the entire school has heard of the party and shows up. I think that is what happened with my first hosting of the annual gingerbread house decorating party. I didn’t even make Thai food!!
I began by wanting to invite a German family that is investigating the Church, but has had a hard time feeling welcome or integrated into our mostly American and oblivious ward. (Most members think it’s funny to watch the missionaries struggle to translate things they say into German. Makes for a frustrating time for the German members who are trying to get something out of the talks and lessons…but that’s another topic I don’t want to start right now)…Anyway…I wanted to invite this family. The grandma recently got baptized. Naturally I invited her, and then our friends, the Kulinna’s, because they can act as my interpreters, since my German is nicht gut. Then, I invited the missionaries since Andy usually takes them home after church, and our party was after church. Next, Andy invited our friend from Schweinfurt, and then I invited our neighbors, and then I invited another lady from our ward. I think that is all I invited, but maybe I’m forgetting someone. Good thing the party happened shortly after, or there would have been more, I’m sure.
I spent the week mostly trying to prioritize tasks in my head, a few days baking gingerbread houses, and assembling and then menu planning and cooking (chili and bread). Let me tell you….almost 99% of the stress left as soon as I finished assembling the gingerbread houses. (I made 5) I felt like I could have invited more people then, or prepared a 10 course meal. It was absolutely amazing. I have a new-found appreciation for all the work Gretchen and my mom have done all these years.
The party itself went off without a hitch. Ironically, the family I specifically planned for did not come, but the grandma did, and she decorated a house for them. Everyone except for one lady from church was German, and none of them had ever decorated or made a gingerbread house like we’ve done for years. The boys ate a lot of candy. I’ve been trying to detoxify them ever since.