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.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pie Eating Extravaganza

It's that time of year again... Hawk Walk celebration time. Every year Randy gets involved in some crazy stunt to reward the children for earning tons of money in their fundraiser. You've read about them before! This year it was a pie eating contest. Teachers could choose whether to participate or not, and obviously Randy isn't going to turn an opportunity like that down. 

The contest started with pies that were filled with disgusting things like peppers and worms. So the teachers threw that stuff all over the place. Seth was starting to get a little worried, especially when mom got hit by a pepper thrown by his own dad. Then the real pies were handed out and the chaos continued. Some teachers were trying to actually eat their pie, while most of them were throwing it, or spooning it onto other teachers' pies. Seth was not a fan of the craziness. He was half in shock through the whole event.

Randy won, of course. He requested banana cream pie and he ate it very quickly. Once he was finished through, the other teachers turned on him and he ended up with a pie thrown at this back, as well as one thrown at his face. It was a huge mess, but a huge success.

He looks happy now...

On your mark, get set....



Pie fighting!

Mrs. Yingling and Mr. Ockey were in heavy competition.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Halloween was our usual adventure. We got beautiful hand-made costumes from Randy's sister. Mark and Dax loved theirs, and Seth wouldn't wear his. The older boys were Ninja Turtles, Raphael and Michelangelo to be exact, and Seth was to be a cute little monkey. We got the costume on him only once, but at least we got a picture. After that, he cried if we even mentioned it.

We got Seth dressed up for trick-or-treating, though, after Mom improvised a really cute Batman costume. (Seth went to the Ward Party dressed as Spiderman with stuff he chose from the dress-up box). At first, Seth wasn't too excited about knocking on doors. At our first door, no one was home. At the second, we were told that the family wasn't ready for trick-or-treaters. The third family wasn't home either. Seth was really getting worn out on the whole idea. Finally, though, a door opened and he got some M&Ms. "I do one more tricks, Dad!" he said. I probably heard that 40 times as we covered most of our neighborhood. Each time he was as excited as the first. I'm pretty sure he only took 3 treats at the Custers, though I should've been watching him a bit more closely!

Mark and Dax were great trick-or-treaters. Dax only had to be carried most of the way home. Mark (almost) always remembered to say thank you, and the boys were told how cute their costumes were about 100 times. 

Mom and Dad don't care too much for Halloween, but it helps when the kids do!
For the Ward Party, Dad dressed as Capt. Kirk and Seth was Spiderman.
Dax makes a really great Raphael, complete with the occasional attitude.
Both boys required that Ninja action shots be taken.
Mark thought his nunchuks were so cool.
Mom thought her photography was so cool.

That precious smile lasted about 8 seconds in the monkey costume.
Mark had to do a ninja move!

Seth loves Batman right now, but making this costume the
night before was not what mom wanted to be doing!

Getting ready to go trick or treating

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Seth Has Stolen Our Hearts

Seth loves to cheese for the camera!
Maybe it's because he is the youngest boy. Maybe it's because he is our last child. Maybe it's because he has big brown eyes. Maybe it's because Randy and I love when our boys are two. Maybe it's a combination of all those things, but Seth is definitely pulling all the strings around here. He looks at us, says something cute, and we melt! We think he is so adorable.

Seth is learning his letters. He knows about 25 of the 26 in the alphabet. He consistently calls the letter 'R,' Rabbit, instead of saying it's name. It is so adorable we haven't corrected him yet. You can see it in the video at the end of this post. Seth loves to learn and we do a few little school activities each week while Dax is away at preschool. It's fun to teach him and read with him. Seth loves books, too.

Seth also loves music. He is always asking for me to turn on "songs," especially from Frozen and Beauty and the Beast. He also sings songs which is the most adorable of all. He know almost the entire song of "Baptism." You know, "Jesus came to John the Baptist..." and sometimes Seth changes it into a melody with "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam."

Seth loves vehicles--trains, garbage trucks, tractors, anything with wheels. Whenever we drive anywhere, he points out every truck, bus, or train that we pass. He loves to play with those toys too and right now, his favorite thing is to build cars or trucks out of Legos.

Seth also loves to play games. Every day he pulls out a game to play--his favorites are Sequence and Guess Who!

Most of all, Seth wants to be with his big brothers. He likes to do and play what they are playing. Mark and Dax love to tell knock knock jokes and so Seth invented his own knock knock joke. It's in the video below and I guarantee you will chuckle.

We are so grateful that Seth is healthy. He went to the cardiologist a few months ago and everything checked out perfectly. He gets to wait a whole year before going back which is the longest we have ever waited. We are lucky to have Seth as part of our family and we love him to death.

Seth is always up for an adventure. Here we are at the Natural History Museum.

He is even cute when he's sleeping!

Making silly faces like his big brothers.

We had to take a picture with every tractor at the pumpkin patch.

Watching Frozen for the 10th time at grandma's with the cousins.

Seth likes to dress up. Here he is Spiderman with
a firefighter hat, sword, and horse.

Seth loves to be outside!

Seth couldn't believe how many pumpkins we saw.
Seth is a champ at the doctor. He never cries, and he puts up with all the tests.
I guess he's just used to it now.

I wasn't kidding about EVERY tractor at EVERY pumpkin patch.

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