Thankfully, their Papa is quite handy with tools and can build pretty much anything. I make the dough, cut it out with a template, and bake it. I make the royal icing that he uses to put the houses together. We do make quite the team! Each year we get a little smarter. This year I made an extra copy of the template. After the pieces were baked and dried, he trimmed them to size based on the template (they seem to spread out during baking!) Doing this meant everything fit nice and neat and it didn't take long until we had the houses assembled.
What I'm finding especially enjoyable about our annual tradition is how their decorating skills are improving and how their creativity is growing. At first, they had to be guided along with ideas of how to decorate the roofs, walls, etc. Their Mothers and I would have to work the piping bags filled with messy frosting. Now they are thinking on their own and coming up with some really cute things! Their piping skills are getting better, too! I also enjoy the camaraderie between the girls, how they share ideas, encourage, giggle and laugh. These are times that will bind cousins and sisters for life!