1. We live really close to my parents.
2. My dad works at a great vineyard, ergo, we get the benefits of a dad who works at a really great vineyard.
3. My mom works at Monticello as a tour guide, ergo, we get the benefits of the coolest stuff that Monticello offers.
And so in the first week of December, my mom invited us to Monticello's Staff's Friends and Family Gingerbread House event. I was a little apprehensive going into the event with my little hellions, not sure if Monticello was prepared for the possible bloodbath that might ensue when Pax and Aidan butted heads over the construction and design of the house, but it was an offer I couldn't resist.
My apprehension was quickly put at bay when
1. I saw how well-prepared and carefully planned the event was scheduled to be, and
2. There was a mother there with her FOUR hellions, so I knew I had a pretty good chance of coming out ahead on the hellion-to-mother ratio. We'd fly under the chaos-radar, I supposed.
I'm happy to report - no bloodbath, no tears (except for the youngest hellion belonging to the other mother - when she was not allowed to eat her fifth cookie -) and an overall wonderful way to spend the afternoon - and we have a creative, original, and very teamwork-evident house to prove it.
We started by learning about the various architectural structures favored by Mr. Jefferson. Here, my mother teaches the group how to create Corinthian columns:
This was a truly delightful afternoon, and just the thing I needed to get me into the holiday spirit. It was also deeply gratifying to see these three boys work so well together as a team. (Not to mention that if Mr. Jefferson were alive today, this design would be a shoo-in for The New Monticello! I bet Jefferson is just kicking himself for not thinking of adding a drawbridge to his estate.)