When Your Plans Crumble…

Christmas is a time of great anticipation, lots of fun memories, and wonderful time with family.  But sometimes it can also be a time of unmet expectations:  We didn’t receive the gift we asked for, the cookie decorating turned out to be a disaster, or one of the children had a complete meltdown at a relative’s home.  The idyllic picture in our head just didn’t quite turn out to be reality.

We had an experience this week where all my plans went awry.  Despite never attempting this with the boys before, I decided it would be super fun to make gingerbread houses.  But not just any old gingerbread housesgingerbread houses made of Rice Krispie Treats (one of our family’s favorite treats).  It was going to be fantastic.

As usual, I didn’t follow the instructions (I’m not really sure it would have turned out much differently had I followed the instructions explicitly…but I guess we’ll never know).   :)  We didn’t have enough Rice Krispies to make 2 batches (as the recipe suggested), so I just thought I would piece the parts of the house together with toothpicks.  It seemed to work at first…


But then the structure quickly began to sag.  I stuck a can of cream of mushroom in the center, thinking that might help hold the top up…but it didn’t.  Within 5 minutes of completion (and about 40 minutes of effort ahead of time), this is what our “gingerbread” house looked like.


After my initial disappointment, I quickly disassembled the house and slapped the front/back on a plate for the boys to decorate.  It would now be a 2-dimensional gingerbread house.

They didn’t care one bit whether it was 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional.

They had a blast.

Little Brother did way more eating than decorating.

Caught ya, little stinker! 


Big Brother was determined to cover every square centimeter of that Rice Krispie treat with some type of sugar confection.


It was an afternoon of smiles and laughter…despite the fact that my plans had literally crumbled to the ground.


Rather than getting frustrated that nothing was working (like I would normally do), I think God gave me a spirit of calmness and contentment.  So what the “gingerbread” houses didn’t turn out like I wanted them to…my kids had just as much fun with our 2-dimensional “houses” as they would have with the real deal.


Unfortunately, I can say that I have let unmet expectations ruin my attitude in the past.  I get disappointed sometimes that things aren’t picture perfect…and let the small diversions stress me out.


This feeling of peace in the midst of crumbled plans (and gingerbread houses) is foreign to me these days…I realize now just how uptight I have been!  But over the next few weeks, I’m saying a special prayer for myself that God will help me to have a positive, unstressed attitude when all the plans go awry.  Because they will.


“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”  -1 Peter 5:7


  1. says

    Basically you wrote this post for me. I am so exactly like this all the time! Initial plan didn’t work so my attitude tanks despite how much fun the kids had…and they don’t even know the difference! I am so happy to hear that God settled such a great sense of peace on you. Seriously read this with a giant smile on my face – it totally made my day.

  2. says

    Our 2nd Christmas together, my husband and I got stuck in an ice storm, with the Christmas tree attached to the roof. It was nearly a solid sheet of ice by the time we got home. We took it onto the balcony of our apartment and had to thaw it (for a LONG time) with a blow dryer. It was not a pleasant evening, to say the least, but you know, every year we still talk about that tree and smile in rememberance.

    Your children will talk forever about the year of the falling Rice Crispy treat houses, and they’ll be smiling– big– and so will you:)

  3. says

    Great post! Just out of curiosity, did you bake your Rice Krispie pieces before assembling the houses? We were going to try this over the holidays…

  4. Crystal M :) says

    Hey! I’ll be praying for peace for you as well. How great that God DID grant you that grace so that you and the boys could still enjoy a fun project. Thaks for a GREAT reminder!

  5. AK says

    I love the 2D house idea. That would be so much easier for the preschool aged kids I babysit! And congrats on staying calm and coming up with a great solution–I think staying calm in the face of unexpected circumstances is one of the hardest parts of being a mom sometimes!

  6. says

    Haha this is hilarious!! the first picture looks great and the second one made me crack up. Good work on these! and my 2 year old is just eating all the stuff too! Cute pic!

    • Joanne Schmidt says

      HI, a great post! I have many memories of making gingerbread houses, with my children ,and wiath ny oldest grandchildren, and now I have a few younger grandchildren to start it with.I have a few suggestions – with Rice Krispy treats (bought at the store or home made) be sure they have dried out by lying on a plate for a while before trying to make your house – since “fresh” home made RK treats are usually deliciously gooey when they are first made. That might have caused your initial concerns.
      Also, I have seen the idea that the RK/melted marshmallow and butter mixture can be packed into small cardboard milk containers (or cut-down tall ones) to make a solid square OR taller apartment building). When “dried” a bit, then peel off the cardboard, and make a cardboard roof or mold a RK Treat roof on top of the “building”. Then it shouldn’t fall apart when it is decorated.
      The same “waiting time” is needed for homemade gingerbread houses. I’ve too often tried to get the “kids” to help make the dough and bake it and cut it out in the shapes needed for the walls, etc., and then we’ve had to wait for it to cool ! and does that take a lot of patience – for the adult as well as the kids.
      If possible it does work if we all go out to toboggan (we live in a snowy part of the world) – while it cools and firms up, and then we come in to warm up with hot chocolate and decorate – and of course with time left for the final stage of eating the leftover cookie pieces and candy :)

  7. Michele says

    Thank you so much for sharing this post! I definitely needed to know that I’m not alone in this! And not only did you share but glancing through so many of the comments…apparently there’s a LOT of us out there! At one time, not only did I allow my frustration to ruin MY time, but everyone else’s as well. :( Then with some help from Above, I got a little better at it just ruining mine. I would like to say I’m completely at peace, but the Lord knows that I have to take baby steps just to get from where I’ve been to where I am, even though He’s dragging me there! Lol! He’s opened my heart to our first year in homeschooling, and we’re blessed to have Him leading us every step of the way! Thank you again for sharing your kindred spirit! Merry Christmas!

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