Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Thanksgiving Play

A couple weeks ago I shared photos with you from the 2nd grade Thanksgiving play.  Click here to view.  Here is the video taken by Landon's teacher that I'm finally getting around to sharing.  Pay close attention to the narrator (I happen to think the narrator did a fantastic job)!  Something else fun I noticed was Asher's preschool class was sitting there watching.  Too cute!

Monday, December 21, 2015


How is it that I am writing about my little guy turning 8? As much as I hate to admit it, it's true, and he's loving it

This year was different, a sign of times to come, I guess.  Landon had a choice of how he would like to celebrate his birthday.  He could have all his family over to celebrate with a little party like how we've done it for years past.  With all the boys in his second grade class to come over for the afternoon for games and snacks, etc.  Or with a couple boys who could stay overnight and I would bring them back home late morning the next day.  Without hesitation, Landon chose to celebrate with a few of his good friends staying over for the night.
Let me tell you, this group of friends is just wonderful.  Such kind and courteous boys.  I was afraid that little brother would be the annoying 5th wheel, but they were so nice to him.  They included Asher in their nerf gun wars, played hide and seek with him, and were just sweeter than I could have imagined.  Both Landon and Asher had a wonderful time and we hope his friends did as well.

Landon's birthday celebration continued throughout the weekend with friends and family popping in to see him and share their well wishes.  He even got to see the new Star Wars movie this past weekend with his Dad.
Happy 8th Birthday, Landon.  We love you more than words!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Baking with the pro

Over Thanksgiving weekend, my sisters and I, along with a few cousins, got together at my Grandma Hackman's to learn the art of Culvert baking.   Grandma has been baking these for as long as I can remember and they are one of the most delicious pastry's out there.  If you google culvert, all your going to find is a picture of a ditch culvert.  Not at all the same thing.  Culverts are probably similar to a cream horn, but even then, there are a lot of differences between the two. 
Grandma followed the recipe to a T, however, there are a lot of tricks that she hasn't written down, such as beating the egg yolks briskly before mixing, having the eggs at room temperature, using 2% milk, etc.  Interesting enough, she also uses this dough for kolache's and cinnamon rolls. 

After mixing the dough and letting it rise for a couple hours, you punch it down and let it rise again.  Then you wrap pieces of the dough around these wooden dolls.  That takes some practice...

I decided I was better off manning the oven and letting my Grandma and cousins roll the dough.  They quickly developed a groove and were on a roll.  (Pun intended).

Then they rise again as they wait to head into the oven. 
After they came out of the oven, they immediately get brushed with butter.  Before filling, they must cool completely. 
And some of the finished product.  We made 4 batches and I can't even tell you how many hundreds that is.  Because our family is so large it takes a lot of Culverts for Christmas time.  We all took a bunch home, but most went into the freezer for Christmas. 
It was so much fun learning from Grandma how to make these.  It was also fun to hang out with my sisters and baby Jett, as well as a couple of my cousins.  I don't know that any of us are ready to tackle these on our own, and I have a whole new appreciation for how much work this is for Grandma (and Grandpa). 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christmas in Calmar

This past week, our boys had a chance to meet Mr. & Mrs. Claus.  Every year the town of Calmar, which is where I grew up, and about 5 miles from where we live now, hosts Christmas in Calmar.  Most of the business host some type of Christmas activity.  It is so much fun and the boys love it.  This is usually the first opportunity the boys have to share their Christmas list with Santa.  I think this may be our first picture with the jolly couple that Mom and Dad are not in.  That's a sure sign our boys are getting big!
Up on Landon's list is Lego's and Asher's is a fire truck tanker truck.  Santa asked the boys if they could each name three things they wanted and the boys could each only come up with one.  They said they didn't want anything else.  Let's hope Santa can come up with what they want!

After our visit with Santa we hopped on a tractor ride throughout town to check out some Christmas lights.  We were lucky enough to have an elf and the Grinch accompany us.  Despite it being cold, we had warm chicken noodle soup in a cup served by the local fireman.  It was so good!
A few other stops included Christmas ornament making, wine and beer sampling (for the adults), a live nativity, a stop to pick up miniature tractors made out of candy, popcorn for the little guy and caramel corn for the rest of us, and of course cookie decorating.  We had a blast and did I mention that all of this is free!  This event is just another reason why we love living in our small community and why it's so important to support local businesses. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Life's Blessing #274

These two fell asleep in our bed watching a movie last Saturday night.  Oh time...stand still, please.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmas Concert 2015

Last night, our boys had their school Christmas Concert.  It was extra special this year, as this is Asher's first year in school and he got to participate as well.  Asher's concert began at 5:30 p.m., and was with the other two preschool classes at SW Elementary.  It was super cute and always so comical to watch 3 & 4 year old's sing their little hearts out.

It was a little nerve racking not knowing how Asher would do for his first program.  Needless to say, he did great!  He was so cute as he scanned the crowd looking for his people.  We were waving and making big eyes and then he finally spotted us.  Oh that smile on his face was just precious. 

Asher was in the front row and we were thankful for that.  This child falls off his chair about 27 times a day so I was relieved he wasn't standing on the risers.  His shirt was became untucked, his hands were in his pockets, but his tie stayed clipped, he didn't cry, and he didn't pick his nose.  I'm going to call it a success.
After the 30 minute concert, Santa was present in the multipurpose room, and milk and cookies were being served.  Although Asher took the long route around to avoid Santa, he still managed to get to the milk and cookies.  It was fun to watch him contemplate which friend he wanted to sit by.

At 7 p.m., Landon's concert began.  This was the K-4th grade concert.  It's so crazy to me how much this boy is changing and growing up.  Before the concert began, he was sitting in his assigned seat among a few of his friends.  I'm on the other side of the gym, but had my long lens on my camera and was trying to zoom in on him.  That little stinker keys his friends in and they make it a full little game to avoid me.  They were ducking behind each other, turning around, and ducking behind chairs.  It was quite comical as they were snickering and laughing.  I can only imagine what kind of "game" they thought it was.   

Needless to say, Landon did great as well and sang his little heart out.  He even incorporated a few little dance moves.  Two of my nephews were also participating in the concert, so it was so much fun to watch them all.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving Play

Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to sneak up on Landon and his second grade class at SW Elementary.  They've been working hard over the course of a week preparing for a little Thanksgiving play.  This class did not disappoint. 

The play was set to begin at 12:45 pm.  I got there a bit early and most of his class was out for recess.  Landon and two other classmates were in the classroom with their teacher working on various projects.
This fun little set was spread out throughout the classroom from trees, to sticks and brush to a Thanksgiving table. 

Our little guy had the privilege of being a narrator.  He took this job very seriously.  Despite having the opportunity to read off the script, he still practiced his lines every night.  We worked on emphasizing words and changing his tone when needed.  Although he tried to play it cool, he was excited to have a microphone. 
There were several animals in the play including a woodchuck, crow, rabbit, sheep and of course a turkey. 

All the kids did such a great job.  Everyone was attentive and remembered their lines.  In the end, the turkey was saved!  It was so cute.  Great job to Mrs. Kriener and the second grade class.  Mrs. Kriener is so kind and patient with the kids.  Knowing the kids were excited, several parents were there, and they were minutes away from their holiday break, she let parents take serious photos and then a few silly photos as well.  I know she was taking a video, so I'll see if I can get my hands on that at some point and share that as well. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Adventures of Landon & Asher - #372

Landon is really becoming quiet social the older he gets and has really developed a great group of friends.  He spent Friday night at his friend Kyle's house with some other friends to celebrate Kyle's birthday.   When Kyle's Mom brought Landon home on Saturday afternoon, Landon, Kyle and another friend all darted off for Landon's room to sneak in just a few more minutes together.  He spent the rest of the day acting like a teenager, he was tired and his friends were so cool.  Oh my...
And then you have Asher.  His creativity is on a roll and he hates having his picture taken.  I had to hide to sneak snapping this photo, but he was just so cute.  Last night he was pretending to be a painter.  We cut the bottom of a pop bottle off (per his request) and he attached a piece of ribbon.  You can see it hanging around his neck.  This was his mask.  He also has pieces of paper tapped around his mid section and his feet.  That was his paint suit.  The box is his paint booth and his electric toothbrush (not seen in the photo) was his paint sprayer.  Love this little guys imagination.