Monday, March 12, 2018

Research Recital

Mark and Dax's elementary school hosts a "research recital" every year. They both like to participate and this year they decided to do their research together. They settled on the topic of the Amazon River.

Mom really enjoyed watching them work together. Dax researched a bunch of facts at school and brought them home. Mark also did a little research, and then they worked together to create a Power Point presentation. Mom helped them find some images. They divided up the speaking parts and were all set.
Dax presented the first part of the presentation.
On the day of the Research presentation, they were amazing. Dax presented the first part of the Power Point and he remembered everything he needed to say. Mark went second and looked like a natural up there. Afterward, there are some reviewers who ask them questions. One was our principal, and another was the Lehi City mayor. They both commented on how the boys were natural presenters and how well they'd done. We were so proud of them!
Mark Johnson (Lehi City Mayor), two district office employees, Mr. Rencher (principal),
and all the research presenters in our group.
The last part of the Research Recital is a recognition night where everyone receives a medal and a treat. We were glad to see Mark and Dax enjoy working together so well.
Mark receiving his medal.
Dax might have watched the Olympics for too long! 
We are so proud of both Mark and Dax, and how hard they work at school.
There were about 160 kids who participated which was a lot of medals! 
S'mores donuts at the end make all the work feel worthwhile!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Mark's Basketball Season

Mark loves playing basketball!
We kept Mark in a rec league and a lot of the competition moved on. That made Mark kind of a big deal in the league. He scored a lot of points, blocked a lot of shots, and had a lot of steals. Meanwhile, his team won every game but one.
Mark loved playing point guard.  
This shot does go in!
Mark could often blow past everyone for a layup. 
Dad coached the team again, and exactly half of the ten players didn't play all that well. They had trouble catching the ball, and couldn't really even dribble. By the end of the year though, everybody made good progress. Since this was the first year of help defense and legal stealing, it was a big jump for a lot of these kids. Dad really liked helping them learn the little intracacies of basketball.

Dad has a great time coaching these big boys!
This is what the warm up time looked like at every game. All the Ockey boys!
Dad always had Mark play the point guard. Mark scored a lot of points and even made a few three pointers. His favorite play was getting a screen and taking it to the hoop. It took him half a season to learn to pass it to the weak side, but when he did, other boys got in on the scoring, too. As Mark continues to improve, he continues to have fun, and that's what matters most!
Mark was a great leader on his team. Mom was most proud when he made sure to tell everyone on his team good job or good game each week.
Mark's good friend Tyce played on our team and they had lots of fun together. 
We are missing one player in this picture, but here is the team! 
This team definitely had a lot of fun.  
Dax took a picture of the scoreboard of our last game. He was so proud of Mark's team!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Arches in January

Arches is the best National Park in Utah!
Mom had an idea to drive to Arches National Park on the Monday of Martin Luther King Day. It would be a three hour ride both ways, but we'd have time to get in a few hikes. Dad searched online and found a hotel deal for just $60. Since he was speaking at the annual Great To Be 8 event on Sunday night, we wouldn't be able to leave until late, but at least we'd get an early start at Arches.

We haven't been to Arches since Seth was just 1 year old (2013) so the boys don't remember much about it. They were really excited, though, because we've told so many stories, particularly about Seth hiking to North and South Window. When Dad got home from the Church at 8 pm, Mom already had the van packed and the boys in their pajamas. We made good time and arrived a little after 11 pm, and all the boys were asleep.

Our hotel was pretty nice for $60, but we didn't spend much time there. After a quick continental breakfast, we made our way into the park at about 7:30 in the morning. Our first stop was, of course, Windows Trail and Double Arch. The boys insisted on hearing and re-enacting the story of Seth walking this 1 mile-loop. It's one of their favorite stories, and Seth told it (with Mom's help) to the extended family for his very first Story Telling Night a few years ago. The boys did great on this hike and on Double Arch across the street, though it was pretty cold in the morning and there was snow on the ground.
We spotted this cute little bunny when we pulled up at The Windows. 
It was chilly in the morning, but it warmed up nicely!
The boys loved running up close to all the arches.  
They wanted a picture inside of Turret Arch.  
We have a picture in this same spot from our first Arches trip. 
The boys were a lot smaller, but the arches look pretty much the same!
We climbed down under South Window which we don't always do.  
Seth named this rock bacon rock.  
Here we are at North Window. It was beautiful walking around at sunrise.  
Double Arch is one of our family favorites. 
The boys climbed really high up into Double Arch. Mom was trying not to freak out. 
This raven was really hoping we would drop some pretzels. 
We knew we had to skip some things since the day was short, so Balanced Rock and the Delicate Arch viewpoint didn't make the cut. Instead, we went straight to Delicate Arch. We'd heard the trail was icy, but we didn't have any problem on the way up. This was the one place that was a little bit crowded, but we still saw only about fifty people at the arch. We spent quite awhile in the sun. Dax was still re-enacting our last trip and his encounter with a squirrel. Mark was testing out his climbing skills. Seth was worried about falling on the bowl-like surface surrounding Delicate Arch.
We saw the most snow on the hike to Delicate Arch. 
Mom loves exploring with her boys. 
Dax loves Arches, and always has since he was little. 
This was part of the icy section. Going up wasn't too bad, but coming down was slippery. 
Delicate Arch was beautiful. Mark and Dax walked right over into the middle.  
Mom wore her Delicate Arch shirt just for this hike!
You can just see the raven living on top of the arch. 
Mom and Dad sneaked a picture together. 
We all needed to worry about falling on the way down. The trail leading away from the arch is in the shade, so it's icy. We didn't slide on the way up, but it was a whole different story on the way down. We clutched on to each other and tried to skate our way along the trail. There weren't any major falls, though. We were glad to get all the way back to the car safely.

The Visitor Center closed at four o'clock and the boys had Junior Ranger booklets to turn in, so we decided to scrap the hike out to Landscape and all those other arches. The boys' top priority was Sand Dune Arch, and Mom and Dad wanted to try a new hike called Tapestry Arch. We decided that we could do both. We drove to the campground where the hike to Tapestry Arch begins. This is a short hike, and everybody loved the arch. It was a new favorite. Then Mom and the boys continued back along the trail that loops around to Broken Arch and Sand Dune Arch. Dad hustled back to the van and drove down the road to the other trailhead. Then he ran down the trail just in time to meet them at Broken Arch. We'd never visited this arch with the boys, and it is really beautiful. The trail goes right through the arch, too. We took a few pictures and then continued on (back for Dad) to Sand Dune Arch. The sand was too cold to play in much, but the boys still enjoyed climbing around and exploring.
We stopped for lunch and ended up having a snow ball fight. 
It was boys versus Dad. 
Tapestry Arch was a fun new hike. 
Another Mom and Dad photo!
We climbed right up into Tapestry Arch as well. 
These boys have no fear! 
Mark had some great poses this day. 
We hiked around to Broken Arch, and someone was nice enough to take a family pic for us. 
We were amazed at the ice on the wall on the way to Sand Dune Arch. 
These two climbed all over in a little slot near Sand Dune Arch. 
Seth explored by crawling!
We love Arches in the winter!
We had just a few more minutes for a last stop at Skyline Arch. This trail is very short and again, the boys remembered the pictures they took on our last trip of them hiding in the trees. Finally, we drove back to the Visitor Center and completed the Junior Ranger badges. We stayed at the Visitor Center until it closed around four o'clock, but we had one more stop to make.
Mom can't believe she got all these pictures with her boys. 
A reenactment picture!
So funny that they remember these silly things.
The family history books help keep our stories alive!
Dax loves Skyline Arch. He was pumped to hike to it again!
Moab Diner is our favorite restaurant in Grand County. We had to eat dinner there. The boys were excited because after we had dinner we let them order ice cream. That stop set us back over and hour and a half, but we still made it home close to 9 pm. It was an unexpected vacation, but one we really enjoyed!
Mom ordered this delicious burrito. But Mark and Dad are looking good, too!
Dax couldn't eat this whole thing, especially after he helped Dad and Mark with their banana split. 

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