School Project Insanity

What involves royal frosting, fondant, literature, and power tools?

pretzel log cabin If you live at my house, it is a 4th grade school project!

My daughter read “The Sign of the Beaver” and had chosen to create a diorama (or “diarrhea” as my 2 year old calls it) of a scene in the book as her project.
I have not read the book, but she chose the log cabin scene, which of course, got me thinking. Why not construct a log cabin, and what looks more like logs than big pretzels? And if we were using pretzels, why not make the entire thing edible?Well, from that point on, the project became more complex than a fourth grade project should probably be, as her father and I debated on the construction techniques and materials that would be used to construct the cabin, and she repeatedly reminded us that this was to be a student project, and parents weren’t supposed to help too much. See, in this picture she is doing the constructing by herself! Of course, in the background, midst the chaos, you can see my husband’s power tools that he used to shave out notches in each pretzel to minimize the space left to mortar between the “logs.”
I think he was surprised that my royal frosting made such good mortar, and Kira got experience in “chinking” the cabin, like she had read about in the book. All in all, the project turned out well, but she was heard to mutter many things like “remind me not to do any more dioramas.” Or “I’m so tired. I’m going to have nightmares about dioramas.”
Here is Matt peeking out of the cabin. She constructed the figures from fondant, and was frustrated that it didn’t stick together as easily as playdoh might.
And if you are familiar with the book, hopefully you will realize that this is the scene where Matt teaches Ateen (sp?) how to read. You can see a big (swedish) fish they caught on the table, and a fireplace against the wall.
She turns the whole thing in tomorrow, so we’ll see what kind of a grade we–er, I mean she–gets! (She did warn her teacher that she had hired a contractor to help with construction, meaning her dad. I’m not sure about my contribution. A crazy, craft, lady to give lots of ideas and opinions!)


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  1. Bobby and Mikelle says

    Okay, I love you and my brother, but I think you are officially nuts!!! (Although it does look good.)

  2. Kim @ says

    wow! That's a whole lotta whole lotta! lol… it came out really cute!

    Kim @
    party inspiration

  3. Mrs. Prissy Pants says

    I'm a teacher and I would just like to say: Yay for you and your husband! It is so good to see parents take an active role in their child's education! At the school I teach at, we could NEVER assign the kids a project because they wouldn't do it, and their parents wouldn't help, etc. Sometimes I feel really discouraged about where our kids are headed, but look at what your family created! Your daughter will always remember that.

  4. Wow – great project! You guys are the best parents ever!


  5. Anonymous says

    Your daughter will be telling her daughter one day how her mom and dad helped her with her school project….this is "one of those moments!"

    PS: I spit out my tea with the name, "Mrs. Prissy Pants". LOL!

  6. That looks so great! I'm impressed.

  7. Kendra@My Insanity says

    Mikelle, I thought that had been established a very long time ago. 🙂

    Thanks everyone for the very kind comments! I've been afraid we would get in trouble for too much help and input. I do think she learned a lot through the process, though, about lots of different things.

  8. Thanks for the step by step process. I am good at using power tool so I guess my skill will come in handy. We are creating two log cabins (for two kids) of Sarah Nobel’s experience. No candy, no frosting. So I guess grout will work????

  9. I would like to know the secret to the “royal frosting”? Do you share recipes? 🙂

  10. Your daughter’s diorama looks fabulous! How did you make the “chinking” for the logs/pretzels?


  1. seo southampton

    School Project Insanity – My Insanity

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