Monday, December 31, 2007

Gingerbread Cathedral

This Christmas I wanted to make a Gingerbread House. For Thanksgiving our family in Washington got together to build the houses together. I, of course, built mine from scratch using a template I found online. (here)But either the templates were off or the recipe I had was off. The result was a poor example of a gingerbread house. (I'll upload the picture when I get back home.)

In California at Erin's Mom's house I knew I would have some time to find a good template and a good recipe to make a great gingerbread house. I tried another template from the site referenced above, but the pieces didn't even line up in the cutouts, and everyone else's templates were too simle. Four walls and an "A"-frame roof is too boring for me. I decided to make my own. With a pencil, paper, ruler and some foam board I started to create my masterpiece for this year.

Cathedrals have great shapes and are usually very ornate, so that made the perfect idea for my house. After designing the church (loosely based on St. Pauls Cathedral in London, England) I needed to find the right recipe. I lost the recipe that I used on last years gingerbread house After going through two not-so-good recipes, Erin's mom found a great one. I was a little discouraged that I wouldn't be able to make the house because it was taking so much time, but finally I was able to get it done.

The resulting structure stands at over 1 foot tall with the Point of the cross at 20½ inches. The footprint is 12in by 17in and consumed two full batches of dough. Next it needs to be decorated, probably by Erin's mom. And lit up. I cut out places in the bottom to install lighting.

For more pictures, visit:

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Fun and Our Newest Nephew

I'm having trouble putting pictures where I want them, so these are backwards. Oh well. Here is Auntie Jackie with her nephew. Is he cute or what!?
Christmas Eve we spent with Joshua's family in Gig Harbor. We had fun visiting with the Muellers from CA. The highlight of the evening was the surprise gift to Joshua's folks ... all the kids chipped in for new reclining chairs! It was a lovely evening cut only slightly short by our trip to the airport. We had a late night flight to CA and arrived just before midnight. After sleeping in a bit, we had fun opening gifts with my mom and sister. Then we had dinner with some other family members and enjoyed visiting. Last but not least we spent Christmas evening with my dad. He has two new kittens that entertained us all.

Seven days after his due date, baby Caleb came into the world. After 17 hours of labor (yikes!) they decided to do a C-section. So, at 7:57 pm on 12/27/07 we met our 7 pound 4 oz nephew. He is too precious and he and mommy are doing well.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

13 weeks and feeling better

We have officially entered the 2nd trimester and I am feeling a whole lot better! Hooray! Now I only feel sick when I need to eat (which I still have no desire to do and am consequently at -5 pounds from pre-pregnancy). Yesterday was our last day of school for the year. My room moms threw an amazing party and I left with more gifts than I have ever had in my life! The children are excite about the baby and the questions have already begun. "Why can't I feel anything?" "How does the baby get out?" "Will you name the baby my name if it's a girl?"
On Monday we are flying to So Cal for Christmas, and hopefully to meet our newest nephew , courtesy of my brother and his wife. :) Today is the due date, so let's hope he's here before we fly back home! The fun is only just beginning ...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Blog Upkeep

I know we've been very bad at updating our blog. Thank you for not giving up on us. I've uploaded some pictures that we captured during the month of October. So much happend that month. Erin's birthday, Joshua went to the Albuquerque balloon fiesta, Joshua's birthday, and we carved a hole into the kitchen door for the cat to be able to eat his food in the garage.

Click here for all the pictures:

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Baby's First Picture

Introducing the newest member yet to join the Hardwick family! Here are the first pictures of our expected baby. We aren't going to find out if it's a boy or a girl until his/her birthday. So please allow us the luxury of assigning a sex on occasion knowing that we will be using it loosely and interchangeably. Because, lets face it, the baby is a person and not an "it". So the very first picture of her/him from head to tail is located below. He/she is upside down with the feet near the top. The doctor also took a video (which we'll receive later) where the baby waved hello to us.

We are very excited to be new parents, still wondering if we're ready for it I'm sure. Erin wasn't sure she was pregnant for the first month. As soon as the test rang positive, she became positively sick. I thought "morning" sickness meant it happend only after sleeping. Erin corrected me that like a day is separated into morning, afternoon, and nighttime; so the first trimester of pregnancy is considered the morning, hence the term previously mentioned. It really should be called "before and after sleeping, between meals, not-excuse-enough-to-miss-work, until-Jesus-returns" sickness.

Lately we've taken to asking people how they got more than one child, "Did you forget the pain?" "Yes" is often the reply. Some weird amnesia must go on in a woman's head once she holds her new child that makes her think "I could do that again." I'm glad I'm not a woman. Even if a file cabinet gives me a static shock, the next time I'll have somebody else pull files for me.

Oh, I almost forgot, the doctor offered a new benefit that's being tested at their practice. You can get a 3D modeling of your own baby after the sonagram. I don't know the benefit yet, but it was a pretty good value at $1,500 plus the cost of materials.

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