Decorations filled the bowls, ready and waiting to dazzle.
Rulers and pencils and templates lay scattered around, and words like slope and "rise over run" floated through the air.
Soon the house began to smell good as two different batches of gingerbread dough cooked in the oven. One recipe is our old favorite, the other is a new favorite that Sarah found.
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 tsp. ground ginger
4 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups molasses
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
6 cups flour
Cream butter and sugar and gradually add other ingredients, stirring in flour last. Chill, roll out 1/8 inch thick, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes.
But every year, the creativity that emerges from this family (they get it all from their dad) totally blows me away.
I am very aware that our family is changing as our amazing kids grow, and that this may be the last time the six of us are together for the Great Choate Gingerbread Bakeoff.
So, I'm soaking up every minute, every laugh,
every delicious bite of JBU's clock tower, a Christmas tree, our home complete with the six of us, JBU's cathedral, and a gothic prayer chapel complete with stained glass windows.