Sunday, July 26, 2015

Yellowstone 2015 Day 1

We went to Yellowstone this year for the 7th time. It never gets old! We love it every time. The first day we left Blackfoot from Grandma's house and went straight to the park. We began the trip by driving the Riverside Drive in hopes of seeing bald eagles. We didn't see any eagles, but I spotted these cute boys by the river. 

Then we headed down to Old Faithful area. This year Mark and Dax participated in the Young Scientist program. This program is a lot like the Junior Ranger program but you get a fancy backpack to use around Old Faithful. The boys, mostly dad, loved using the digital thermometer to measure the temperature of the geysers and hot pools. I didn't catch a picture--oops. We also had the chance to see Beehive Geyser go off, which we had never seen before. We saw Old Faithful, of course, and then walked the close loop where we caught up with the Webbs. After seeing Castle Geyser begin to shoot everywhere, we met up with the rest of the Daniels clan.
Beehive Geyser was really cool!

I like this picture of Mark by Old Faithful.

We are getting old, but we are still cute.

Castle Geyser in the background.

We saw this Mountain Bluebird near the geysers.

There are lots of Golden Mantle Squirrels running around.
We drove the Firehole drive with everyone and took a picture next to the gorgeous waterfall there. We also saw this beautiful elk. Then we headed toward Canyon.

We tried a new hike this year called Ice Lake, which is near Norris. Everyone came, even Grandma and Grandpa. It was short and easy. Our boys loved having their cousins hiking with them. And of course, there was rock throwing once we reached the lake.
The older cousins
The Ockey Fam 
Throwing rocks is a must near any water.
After Ice Lake we headed over to Canyon. We love the beautiful Canyon and lower falls. We looked for our Osprey friends and they were on their nest just like the last time we visited. They definitely had eggs in there, and we caught both Osprey sitting in the nest. We birders were very excited.

We also drove over to Artist Point and took our traditional family picture. We also saw some bull elk and had a little bit of Utah rain (where it rains while the sun is shining) before heading down to Lake to spend the night. cool!

These boys are great friends! It was cute to watch them hold hands and walk together.

This is the elk we saw. After watching him for awhile, we finally saw the other two elk sitting behind him. 

I'm going to title this picture: Bison in the rain.

You can look back through time at all our pictures in this spot by visiting this post.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Girls' Camp

This year I got to go to Girls' Camp for a few days at the beginning of summer. I was in charge of cooking meals for 24 girls and 8 leaders. I also got to participate with the girls in all the activities. The scariest was walking a ropes course and then zip lining down...but it was also a lot of fun once I got up there. I just want to remember all the fun memories when I look back at my blog. So here goes...

Here's the crazy crew I spent 3 days with.

These are the two other camp directors. We had so much fun together!

This crazy Red Naped Sapsucker woke me up every morning at
5:30 by pecking on those metal benches. See video below.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mark's Birthday

Mark also got to attend Stadium of Fire for his birthday!

Mark turned 9 this year. 9 is so old! I can't believe that he is only one year away from double digits. Mark is such a great boy. He helps me all the time and works hard around the house. Mark is a good example to his younger brothers. 

Mark loves baseball.  SO much! He wants to play for the Red Sox one day. He had so much fun playing baseball this year. Mark loves all sports and he is quite athletic and successful at all of them. He plays soccer, basketball, and tennis. 

Mark has a strong testimony of the Gospel and a sound knowledge of the Gospel, too. He has already completed the Book of Mormon once and is working on his 2nd time through. I am very proud of him for reading the scriptures on his own.

Mark is an avid reader and puzzler doer. He is usually doing one of those two things if he isn't outside practicing his baseball. 

We let Mark invite a few friends to an Owlz game the night before his birthday. Shad and Daniel came with us and we had a great time. We had sno cones and lots of snacks. Everyone seemed very happy! We even had them announce Mark's birthday at the game. It was fun to hear them say Ockey wrong as they wished him a happy birthday.

Mark really wanted to finish the bird puzzle for his birthday. It's 1000 pieces and it has no edge, so it's quite the puzzle. But we got it done for a Happy Birthday for Mark.

Mark also decided that he wanted pie for his birthday. He wanted chocolate cream pie. We always have a 4th of July BBQ on Mark's birthday so I ended up making 4 pies to feed everyone who came. It was interesting having pie instead of cake, but I figure it's very American.

The 5 boys we took to the Owlz game.

Sno Cones for everyone! Yummy!

Crazy brothers!

A family selfie.

The bird puzzle all done!

We bought Mark some baseball cards because he has been loving my old baseball card collection.

Mark with his chocolate cream pie.

Happy Birthday Mark!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Seth's Birthday

The lion walked right over to lay by the glass while we were at the Zoo.

Seth turned 3 this year! He has grown up so much this last year. He is potty trained completely, even at night, which is a miracle. Our older boys took way longer for night time training. Seth knows all his ABCs and he's getting pretty good at counting to 20, too. Seth is very polite and always says thank you for whatever meal we are eating--doesn't matter where we are or what we eating, he will say, "Thanks mom for dinner." It is super cute.

Seth is a lot of fun. He loves to be silly and make crazy faces. He does not like to have his picture taken and he is working on being nicer to his brothers. He always seems to be jumping on them and knocking them over. Seth loves nursery and has always been happy to go (another thing the older boys didn't do). Seth loves listening to songs and he also loves reading Elephant & Piggie and Little Critter books.  Seth loves to play outside, especially in the sandbox. He wants to do what his big brothers do, so he is always playing baseball and basketball.

For Seth's birthday, he wanted to go to the animal zoo. My sister Tiffany was in town, so he got to go with lots of cousins because my sister Melanie came, too. We had a really fun day!

The cousins!

The leopard started pacing in front of the window while we were there.

Another cousin picture: Charlie...ha ha!

Seth loves bald eagles!!

He got to give the bird a dollar for his birthday!

We always ride the carousel!

Family picture!

We went to Red Robin after the zoo and Seth got a special treat!

Seth had quite the list of people to invite to his birthday party: Laurie & Glen, Grandpa Ockey, Tiffany & family, Melanie & family, and Grandma & Grandpa Daniels. All of them made it except Grandma and Grandpa Daniels...they live kind of far away in Idaho. Seth got lots of fun presents including this huge dump truck and the bubble lawn mower. He plays with both of these toys almost every day. 

I was a slacker on his birthday cake this year. I didn't make it. I ordered it and I am still feeling guilty about it. He kept asking for a Costco cake, but they don't have an ocean one which is what he wanted. So I should have just made it for him, but I got it from Macey's and I think they did an awesome job, but every time I look at the pictures I feel just a tiny bit guilty. Even though I was super glad after the zoo that I wasn't decorating a cake all afternoon in the heat. Next year I'll make him an amazing cake.

Seth loves any vehicle.

Seth LOVES this bubble mower!

The cheater cake...I'm a bad mom!

Seth had fun blowing out his candles.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Stadium of Fire 2015

Neither of us have ever been to Stadium of Fire before. I mean, who wants to give up there Fourth of July to see some country wailer strain their way through some so-called hits? Not us. But this year was different. This year the headliner was Journey.

Natalie and I wouldn't describe ourselves as Journey fans, but we are definitely rock-n-roll fans. And of course, we know all the Journey hits: Faithfully, Don't Stop Believin', Anyway You Want It, Open Arms, etc. Then Grandpa Ockey said he had 4 free tickets as he was performing (in the colorguard, not with the band!), and we were all in. Mom, Dad, Mark, and our nephew Nate made the trip.

Montel Williams was the MC!

Grandpa Ockey is ...well, if you know who he is,
you'll be able to pick him out in the middle of all those white shirts.

We were slightly worried about that plane on the left, but we loved the flyover.

The seats weren't exactly great, but the show was. We were actually sitting at an exact 90 degree angle to the stage, so you couldn't see anyone that went back from center stage. But the new lead singer for Journey never went back there. He did run all around the front of the stage, into the pit, up along the aisles, and into the hearing impaired session, much to the chagrin of the security guards.

Mark was super-impressed with his first rock concert, and all we've listened to in the van for the last week is Journey. Now Dax and Seth are even begging to listen to them.

It was a fun group!

Mark loved using the phone flashlight.

The rest of the show was really cool, too. It was a tribute to rock-n-roll, so all the fireworks were timed to old rock hits. The fireworks were shot directly over our heads, and we were literally picking ash and paper out of our hair. Sometimes we'd even get hit by a larger piece that stung a little.

The fireworks were directly over us. It was awesome!

But we had a great time. The only awkward moment was watching Grandpa Ockey in his full dress uniform stoicly saluting the Star-Spangled Banner as it was screeched out on the electric guitar. You could almost hear his blood boiling, but he made it through.

All in all, I could see myself at Stadium of Fire in the future-- if they ever bring another rock-n-roll band!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Instant Karma!

Dax was given these things for his good deed.
We've been trying really hard to teach our boys some manners. One of the things we've worked on is holding the door open. The lesson is, when you come to a door, look for someone to open it for. So we were proud of Dax when he ran ahead to open the door for us at Brick Oven last night (we were there for Mark's Birthday.) We trooped through the door and went to get our name on the waiting list. In a few minutes we were led to the table.

When Mom and Seth returned from our first trip to the pasta bar, the manager and 3 workers were standing at our table. They made a bit of small talk, asking where she was from, and if we came often. When Dad returned with Dax and Mark, the manager said, "There he is! You know what he did?"


"Two of us were standing outside looking at the facade, and we watched as this little guy held the door open as your family went in. Then, he continued to hold as about 15 other people walked in without noticing--but we noticed, and manners are important to us."

He went on to thank Dax and tell him what a great kid he is. Then came the Instant Karma! He asked if Dax liked the rootbeer, which of course, he does. So he took Dax on a short tour of the kitchen, showed him the dishwasher that "cost more than [his] house" and took him downstairs to the two 100 gallon rootbeer vats. He let Dad take pictures and Dax was even allowed to look inside at all that rootbeer.

Then he gave Dax 3 BYU cups (enough for his brothers) and let him fill up his own 2 liter bottle of rootbeer to take home.

We were so grateful that Dax received this recognition. It's hard to teach manners, and for one brief moment someone made the lesson worth it. It was Instant Karma! Just another reason to love Brick Oven.

These are the boring old soda boxes for all the non-rootbeer flavors.

These are the 2 hundred gallon root beer vats.

Dax got to push the button to fill his own 2 liter bottle of rootbeer!

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