Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Piano Recitals

Mark and Dax are both taking piano lessons. Unfortunately they are taking from different's a long story. So that means two different piano recitals.

Dax had his first and he played two different Christmas songs: We Three Kings and O Come All Ye Faithful. He practiced so hard and I never had to remind him to practice once. And he played perfectly! Dax has learned so quickly in the past 3 months that he's been taking lesson. I am so proud of his determination to practice every day...and his hard work pays off.

Dax's cousin Daniel takes piano from the same teacher.
They sat by each other and I think it helped them relax.

Mark's piano recital was the following week and he also played two songs. I didn't know he was playing two songs until I showed up and read the program, but apparently he knew because he brought the correct music. I had made him practice Joy to the World tons of times, but Mark also played Riverboat Jazz that he is memorizing for a festival competition in February. He played them both well and I am proud of how proficient he is becoming at the piano.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Dax's First Basketball Season

Dax played basketball for the first time this year. Randy was his coach which he loved. Dax played really well. He was able to make lots of shots which was good since many of the kids couldn't even get the ball up to the hoop. Dax also played some awesome defense. He stuck with his guy and his dad always gave him the toughest kids to guard! Most importantly, Dax loved playing basketball. It is his favorite sport and he loves it!!

Dax is number 10 so you'll have to find him in the pictures below.
They all lined up in hopes that the person inbounding would choose them to pass to.

Dax dribbling just a little bit high!

Dax played awesome defense!

Dax had so much fun playing basketball. He cried today when he didn't have a game.

Dax is super quick!
I must not have videoed as much as I thought. I only had a few short clips from one game. I'll try to be better next season. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Zoo Lights 2014

We visit a lot of Christmas lights and do lots of Christmas adventures, but our favorite activity this year was the Zoo Lights. We had a wonderful time. The night was warm, and there were no crowds. We only had to wait a few minutes to see Santa--it was perfect. There tons of lights and we saw some fun animals, too. Seth walked right up to Santa and talked with him for a long time. This was the only time during this Christmas season. Every time after this visit to Santa, there were tears.

We spent two hours at the Zoo and there was not one complaint of being hungry even though I didn't look at my clock until it was 7:30. We can't wait for next year.

There were a ton of lights!

Seth loved chatting with Santa. 

Mark asked for a puzzle and a chapter book.

Dax asked for ninja turtles.

The lights on the bridge were awesome!

How precious, right? They sleep with their tails all tied up together.

Seth loves the carousel.

Dax has to ride on the snake.

Mark has to ride on the mandril or the gorilla.

Even dad rode the carousel!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Trees...all done!

It took us a few days, but we finally got our Christmas trees in and decorated. Yep, we have two trees each year. A huge one in the front room and a smaller one down in the basement. We were pleased with both trees this year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Trees 2014

This year our Christmas Tree trip was a little bit different. Randy's sister was going to be out of town for Thanksgiving, so we bumped the Christmas Tree cutting to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving instead of the Saturday after. It turned out to be a perfect trip! There was no one else on the mountain (I think two cars drove past our little group), and there was a ton of snow for the kids to play in despite there still being no snow around here. It was also warm and sunny! Perfect! We had SO much fun! So I'm sorry for the long line of photos, but here they come...

There is a hedge in front of Grandpa Ockey's house that the kids can squeeze through.
Randy was so proud that his boys loved it as much as he did as a kid!

Mark went as far as he possibly could.

There is nothing better than sledding!

Dax loves to sled.

Mark has a hard time staying on the path, but he still has fun!

Dad likes to take a few slides down the hill, too!

We're off to find our Christmas tree! 

Waiting while dad chops the tree down.

Four-wheeler rides

Dax loves hot chocolate A LOT! 

So does Mark...they both were covered in chocolate.

Seth wanted to ride with "Gen!"

Mark got to steer on his own this year.

Cutest couple ever!

Time for a snowball fight!

Seth just hit me with a snowball. How rude!

Dax cried after this picture because his hands were so cold from the snow.

Dax is always eating snow....always.

Someone did not want to leave.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Oh my! I am a whole month behind on this blog. I am going to try and use this Christmas break to catch up, but I am not promising anything.

So here goes, Thanksgiving was a fun time. We traveled up to my parents' house and spent a few days playing with Grandma and Grandpa. It was a little quiet because only 3 of the 5 sisters were home for Thanksgiving. We had a delicious dinner with lots of yummy pies to finish out Pie Month.

My sister always folds fancy napkins! 


Randy and I used our time up in Idaho to finally visit the Rexburg temple. It was super windy outside so all our pictures turned out a little crazy, but we love attending the temple. And we love visiting new temples and admiring the unique features of each one.

We also braved a few Black Friday Sales...only because we were in Idaho. I would never attempt here in Utah. I got the Legos that I wanted and Randy found a drink at Sam's Club. Everyone was happy!

Here is our traditional family picture in front of the fireplace in my parents' living room:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pie Month

Chocolate Cream Pie was beautiful and delicious.

Hey, this is Randy~

October and November at the Ockey home are Pie Month. A few years ago we decided to start a tradition. I read an article in the newspaper that had a bunch of different pies with their recipes. So we decided to make a different pie every day for the week before Thanksgiving. In a temporary rush of sanity, we changed to a different pie every other night, but it was still too much pie. That first year, we had 4 amazing pies.

The following year, Natalie decided that she did not want to make a pie every day. So we modified our tradition. We had a different pie every Sunday night. We did a lot of research on different types of pies, and there were so many we wanted to try! Some of the old classics like Apple and Pumpkin were on the list, but so were some more exotic pies, too. There were things like Shoo-fly pie and Hoosier pie that looked interesting. In year two, pie month expanded to two months.

So this year, we find ourselves eating pie on 7 or 8 Sundays. I really wanted a Cherry pie, and Natalie was nice enough to comply, even though she doesn't like cherry much. We also had Peach pie, which we have almost every year thanks to our peach tree. Natalie makes a wonderful Apple pie, which we make sure to include every year. We also had Coconut Cream for the first time-- Neither of us had every tried it, and it became a new favorite. There was Chocolate Mousse pie, which drew chocolate lovers to our house from afar (well, Eagle Mountain). Blackberry was really good, though it didn't set up very well. It was much better after a day in the fridge.

Of course, I had Banana Cream at school, which I managed to polish off in about 90 seconds, too!

So here is our List of Pies from this Year. My review is in the text, and Natalie's input is in the caption.

Apple- Natalie makes the most wonderful apple pie that melts in your mouth!
I made two apple pies for my entire family,
and this was all that was left after we spent the night together.
My dad and Jonny weren't there, so they ate these last two pieces the next day.
Pumpkin- This is a classic and it's hard not to argue the BEST pie around. Natalie makes it so well!
I should have covered my knife marks with whipped cream. Oh well.
I wish I knew how to check the pie without sticking something in it.
Coconut Cream- This pie was surprisingly wonderful. We gave it two thumbs up!

This pie was delicious. Way better than I expected.
Peach- Natalie's Peach pie is amazing with vanilla ice cream. Fresh peaches from the tree help, too.

Next year I'm going to work on a new style of pie. I learned the lattice this year,
but you'll notice I have three pies with lattice. That's boring!
Cherry- I love the crust on the Cherry pie. Natalie grudgingly agreed that this pie was pretty good.

I am not a fan of cherry, but I was proud of this pie!

A look at the inside.

Chocolate Mousse- So rich and creamy. I thought I might lapse into a chocolate coma.
This was definitely Natalie's favorite this year, but she has a serious chocolate problem.

Blackberry- Berry pies are amazing, and this was no exception.

As Randy mentioned this blackberry pie was still runny and hot when we ate it because
I didn't get it baked in the morning as planned. But now we know for next year!
Egg Nog- I was SO excited when I saw this pie! (Actually Natalie found it). She hates egg nog, but she likes me, so she made it. It turned out to be "pretty good."
Blah...that is all I can say. I thought I might like it since the egg nog was
mixed with other things, but it was still disgusting. Yuck!  Everyone else liked it though.

Dazzleberry- I found this pie, and it is a winner. It's made of Blackberry, Blueberry, and Strawberry. Served with ice cream, this pie was fantastic!

I'm goin to be honest, I didn't think I would like this better
than the blackberry pie, but I did! It was super yummy!

Here's a list of pies that we've tried over the last two years. We're pretty sure it's incomplete because we didn't keep track very carefully. I've included a short description and rating for each pie.

Key Lime- This pie was so-so at best. Who wants a lime anything, not to mention a pie?
Hoosier- Sometimes called Sweet Cream pie, it'll make your socks roll up and down. My favorite!
Peanut Butter Cup- Made with Reese's Peanut Butter cups, this pie was so rich that a couple of bites were enough.
Shoo-fly- This is a molasses pie-- it tasted like a mole asses pie. Worst pie we've tried.
Banana Cream- I like this pie, but Natalie won't eat bananas. She gives it a thumbs down.
Sweet Potato- This is the same texture and look as pumpkin pie-- only not sweet (or good).
Lemon Meringue- This pie was good, but not amazingly so.

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