Gingerbread Memories

Every year my sister-in-law Sara has a Christmas brunch at her house for the family and afterward we all build gingerbread houses.  It has become a beloved family tradition and I had to dedicate a blog post to this fun event.

She holds the party around the second week of December and we have a menu full of scrumptious breakfast items like egg casserole, muffins, and fruit.  Then she whips up a sticky batch of white icing and each family competes for the best gingerbread house of the season.

Like most family get togethers, it’s more about the love and memories than it is about the occasion.  It’s a chance for all the cousins to play together and share in the spirit of the season.

I am so lucky to have inherited another family when I married my husband.  I hope you enjoy meeting these delightful people in the post below and that it inspires you to spend  more time with those you love.

Here is my brother-in-law Shaun loading up at the buffet.  He couldn’t resit posing for the picture.


This is Taylor and Heather.  Two pretty, happy girls.


Sara, the talented party hostess is in the green, and in the hoodie is Christine, Shaun’s lovely wife.


This is my cute niece Kirsten, after making herself a drink at the hot-chocolate bar.


This is Grandpa Havey, who I have always lovingly referred to as “Raymond”.


This is Tanner.  He just turned sixteen and is a talented soccer player.  I don’t know if he liked me taking his picture, but he tolerated it!


This lovely lady is Melanie, Chad’s youngest sister.  We were missing his sister Dixie, Matt, and the girls this year because they live in Wyoming right now.  We were also missing Adam, Christine’s oldest son and Joe, Melanie’s husband.  We’ll be sure to catch them next year and post a big old embarrassing photo of them on the blog :)


This is my sister-in-law Jana, one of the nicest people I know, and her youngest son Braxton.  He’s really quiet, but has more personality than anyone you will meet.


This cute lady in the blue shirt who is avoiding having her picture taken is Rosann, the matriarch of our family.  She is not going to like that I posted a picture of her on the internet but she will forgive me.  Also, the cute little girl in the pale pink shirt in the back is Meghan.  She moves around so fast I didn’t get a better picture of her.  I also missed getting a pic of my newest little niece Emily.  She was not liking anyone today, so I will get her next time.


This handsome young man is Jacob, Christine’s son.


One of the traditions at this party, is that Uncle Dusty will read an inspiring story to remind us of the true meaning of the season.  He didn’t want me to take his picture either, but as you can see, I do what I want to.


This is my son Luke with his cousins Spencer and Jessie.  They always have a blast when they’re together.


Here is my darling niece Kylee dishing up some food with Kirsten.  I used to hold her for hours when she was a baby.  She doesn’t remember this, but I do.


Here with Raymond and Luke is my very handsome husband and my best friend, Chad.


There in the white shirt standing up in the back is my brother-in-law Scott.  He is a computer whiz and loves to get in the last word.  I don’t know how much he likes me, but I am quite fond of him :)


And probably my favorite picture of the day is my son Mason with his little cousin Zoe.  If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.



Chad and the boys never like my ideas for our gingerbread house, but every year it turns out cute.  This year we made a trailer complete with satellite dish, fire, discarded car seat, and trash can in the front yard.


The aftermath of all our fun is a little frightening!


I feel bad that Sara and Dustin get stuck with this mess, but we all appreciate them for having us over!

I hope that when the years pass and the kids all get older, that we remember to get together once in while and keep close as a family.  I am particularly aware this year how precious each and every person in my life is.  The love of family cannot be substituted or replaced.

We all have our own personalities, unique contributions, and different beliefs, but we are a family, and what a priceless thing that is.

Merry Christmas to all of you.



  1. Dawn Miller says:

    Love the gingerbread trailer. So cute! First one I’ve seen.

  2. Those pictures are so fun! It looks like you had so much fun, and your love for them really shows through in your writing.

  3. So cute Shauna!!

  4. Beautiful. I’m so glad you took those pictures and posted them. It was such a fun day and the kids all had a great time. Let’s see, everybody but Emily had a great time :).

    • I’m so glad you liked the post Rosann. It was a fun day and it wasn’t hard to take cute pictures of such a cute family!

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