Tuesday, November 29, 2016


We had a great Thanksgiving this year, and we added a few things to our usual adventure. Thanksgiving kicked off with the Turkey Trot at Dry Creek Elementary. Since Mark is attending Highland with Dad this year, Dax was the only one running. He wore his lucky Hulk sweatshirt again because he was convinced that was what helped him win last year. Well, it worked because Dax won the 1st Grade Boys Turkey Trot and we now have a turkey for Christmas since Grandma already had two turkeys to cook at her house.
Dax was the clear winner. Seth and I are holding the ribbon!
Dax is so excited to eat his turkey!
After school on Tuesday we hit the road and drove straight to Idaho Falls to stay with Stephanie and Bob. Though we only made one stop for dinner at Jeremiah’s in Ogden, and one stop to look at the stars, we still didn’t arrive until after 9 pm. We set up the cots in the extra room for the boys and got them to bed right away. They really loved staying with Steph because they could play with Abby and Ray, as well as about a million toys. They even grew fond of the cat after a while.

Wednesday after breakfast we headed for Grandma’s house. It was Mom’s plan to help with much of the cooking and prep, and she did a great job making pies and other dishes. The rest of us hung around the house, the boys taking full advantage of the foosball table (and Grandma) until it was time to go. Sadly, that night Seth started feeling sick, and his fever shot way up, so as usual, we were dealing with illness over Thanksgiving.

By Thanksgiving Day, Seth was worse, but there was little we could do about it. We headed back to Grandma’s and Mom couldn’t help much because she spent so much time taking care of Seth, who watched movies and slept on Grandma’s bed. Mark and Dax had fun playing with all the cousins and aunts and uncles as only Tiffany’s family didn’t make it up from Las Vegas this year. Still, we had a great meal, and Seth was feeling a little better by the time we bedded down at Stephanie’s house.
Grandpa's job is to cut the meat. 
Grandma makes a great Thanksgiving dinner. 
We had so many wonderful things this year including bacon wrapped dates.
We had turkey, ham, salmon, and roast. Dax ate 3 big pieces of roast. 
Mark ate 3 huge servings of mashed potatoes.
Poor little sick Seth. He was a good trooper, but only had 5 saltines on Thanksgiving Day.
Our family picture. It's tradition to take a picture right here every year.
On Friday we woke up early because we wanted to get on the road to our next adventure. We planned to drive all the way to Ephraim and get pizza before the Parade of Lights in Manti. We stopped at home for lunch and to repack for Christmas trees, and still made it in plenty of time. The parade was short, but that was okay because it was fairly cold out after dark. It was certainly a new experience for the kids, as they’d never seen anything like it before. We enjoyed hot chocolate and watched the old tractors and other vehicles roll by all lit up for Christmas.

We ate at Roy's Pizza...twice! It was heaven!
The Manti Temple was beautiful with the sunset as we pulled into Manti for the parade.
Dad spoiled us and bought hot chocolate at the gas station to warm us up.

We really enjoyed all the vehicles coming by with lights on!
Santa came by at the end!
Friday night we planned to stay at Grandpa Ockey’s house. It’s in pretty clean and good condition right now, but we brought along the cots and laid them out in the living room and made a campout of it. The boys were especially excited because Dad rummaged around and found a few old games they’d never seen before, so they spent the evening playing Stay Alive and Chinese Checkers. We all survived the night, and had breakfast at McDonald's. Then people started arriving around 9 am for the drive up to cut Christmas trees. This year all 5 of Dad's sisters made it up the mountain. There were actually more people than we'd ever seen cutting trees this year. Our usual parking spot was full, so we had to drive up to Aspen Grove.
The boys loved this old game called Stay Alive.
It was fun to introduce them to Chinese Checkers.
We had so much fun camping out at Grandpa Ockey's house.
Still, there was enough snow for sledding, and the boys took full advantage of it. All three went by themselves, and everyone had a turn with Dad, too. We also got two really nice trees. There wasn't much time for four-wheeling this year because of all the people there, so we headed down the mountain about noon. We only made one more stop for pizza at Roy's, which we shared with Laurie and Glen, and then we headed for home. It was another great Thanksgiving!
The boys love sledding!
Dax especially loves to crash!
Dad and Mom took a few rides on the sled together. 
Mom needs Dad to keep her from crashing. 
Dax is ALWAYS eating snow.
Mark attacked Mom with a huge pile of snow, but she caught him on camera.
It truly is beautiful up on the mountains.
Why do 4 year olds always need a hiking stick?
These three boys were fighting over who got to sit on Nate's lap! 
Seth would only ride the 4-wheeler with Glen.

November Adventures

This picture has nothing to do with this post, but I love that we have suit jackets for all my boys!
Aren't they handsome?
Melanie texted Mom early on Saturday morning and asked if we wanted to go to a BYU game. She had two extra tickets and wondered if Mark and Mom would like to join her and Daniel. It's hard to pass up an opportunity to go to a BYU game, and it was a beautiful November day, so we said yes and soon we were down at Cougar Stadium.
It was such a perfect November day which doesn't happen too often in Utah. 
BYU was playing SUU and it was clear that they were going to dominate the game. The boys had a lot of fun and Mark enjoyed teaching his cousin a little bit more about football. Mom even had to teach Melanie about targeting (which Dad had told her to do, but she didn't think it would come up). They purchased a Cougar Tail, a BYU brownie, and Graham Canyon ice cream to complete the perfect BYU experience.
It was super bright. Probably should have brought sunglasses for the boys.
Mark is in heaven at ANY sporting event!
It was a great day!
Inside this package is one foot long maple bar donut. Delicious!
While Mom and Mark were at Cougar Stadium, Dad took Dax and Seth on a hike up to Buffalo Peak. We'd done this hike when Seth was just a baby, and we remembered that it was super-steep, but our boys did it with no problem. The view of the valley is really breathtaking, too, and we had at least as much fun as Mom and Mark did at their football game.
Dax and Seth are great hikers!
I think Dax looks 15 in this photo for some reason.
Typical Seth face, and what is he holding? 
The views are beautiful at Buffalo Peak.
There are some great mountains to climb here in Utah.
Dax even took a picture of Dad to prove that he came too.
On a small side note, Mark had an adventure in November that I want to remember. He participated in a duet piano competition. Mark often participates in these little piano festivals, but he hasn't done a duet in many years and was asked a few weeks before the competition to step up and play with his friend whose partner wasn't quite ready. So Mark quickly learned the songs, and the two boys played really well together. They received a superior rating and had so much fun that they have already planned to enter the duet competition together next year.

Mark and his friend played so well! It was fun to see them have fun together.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Reflections Winners!

Mark's photo he entered for photography!
Reflections is always super-busy around here partially because we require our kids to enter in at least two categories, but mostly because Mom runs the whole program at Dry Creek and works as a judge at Highland. This year she did awesome, and so did the boys.

Mark entered at Highland in the categories of photography and film. The theme was "What IS Your Story," and Mark took a picture of a tree with a whole lot of tiny holes in it. He didn't win an award for the picture, but he did for his film. The film was really cool because he asked a whole bunch of people "What's Your Story?" He had lots of diverse people and ideas in the video, and it won an Award of Excellence and will move on to the next level.

Mark got to shake Mr. Hodson's hand. We sure love him!
Mr. Hodson told Mark that if he had been in his photograph it would have won, too! 
Seth really wanted to be in this picture.
We are so proud of Mark! You can see his film below.

Dax's picture of a tree that was bent in half won an Award of Excellence and moved on to the next level! He was so silly go up to accept his award. He slumped his shoulders and trudged up and then acted as if he didn't know how to shake Mr. Rencher's hand. He did much better when he went up the second time to receive another Award of Excellence for his art project, which showed a boy looking through binoculars at a lazuli bunting. We were really proud of our boys (and Mom)!
Dax's photo that won an Award of Excellence this year.
Dax really hates being in front of people.
He's not going to shake Mr. Rencher's hand.
Figuring it out....
Much better the 2nd time! We are so proud of Dax, too! 
Dax's drawing that won in Visual Arts.
Dad was secretly snapping pictures of Mom running the Reflections show!
Update: Mark won an award of merit (3rd place) in the Lone Peak Cluster for his video! We are so proud of him, and he really liked getting a bigger trophy!

Total Pageviews