The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Monday, January 01, 2018

Happy New Year!

The week after Christmas yielded some quiet days. In fact, I don’t think there was a single event listed on our calendar. We spent a lot of time snuggling near the fire, catching up on movies, and watching Chase devote himself to the total immersion in one of his favorite Christmas gifts, a new game for his PS4. It pretty much completely sucked him in for the two week break. I'm a super good mom. We got a little fresh snow on Christmas and so Troy took the girls sledding one day. 

Here’s Emma trying to stay awake for family reading by the fire. She failed but very comfortably so. 

Here’s Romney showing off her new dress that was her present from her Auntie Sheri. It’s significant because it’s an adulte size! (XS but still....)

One fun afternoon was spent as the ice rink. Ok, the ice rink itself wasn’t that fun. It was super duper crowded and the ice was so choppy it was painful. But we were in excellent company. Our good friend Heather and her two boys Nick and Luke came to town from California and we got together with them plus a couple of other boys from Chase’s kindergarten class to enjoy some crappy skating and great company.

These boys are just absolutely huge now. All freshmen in high school - so crazy to think that they met as kindergartners. 

Then, just a day or two before the new year, Peter and the rest of the St. George crew arrived. We decided to meet up at the Aquarium in Sandy as they arrived in the valley. We had thought that this would be a great idea but since it happened to be the same great idea that everyone else had it was actually a terrible idea. I've never seen the place so packed before. We did not stay very long.
Iva loves her cousin Chase.

I know they were hoping for a ton of snow to play in but there just wasn’t much. We filled our time with trips to the zoo and letting the grownups chat while the kids played and argued and played and ate except for Chase who stayed upstairs with a PS4 and a monitor. He was pretty happy with this arrangement.

We did get a chance to head to the zoo for their annual zoo lights display. Slightly anti-climactic after Christmas but still fun. I've made it to the zoo a couple of times now but still haven't laid eyes on the two new polar bears. Hopefully one of these days

We even made it back downtown to see the lights. We had learned in years past that a post-Christmas viewing of the lights was much less congested but it was still pretty nutty down there. Still, those beautiful lights are worth a little discomfort.

While our cousins were in town we had to abandon them for a bit on Saturday morning to head to the annual Preslar family Christmas Party. Sam and Kathleen very generously hosted and we had a great time enjoying soup and appetizers and a great spread of Christmas cookies. Sam's son Noah has taken to enjoying music on LP records - he's got this cool little record player up in his room that he and Chase and funnily enough Emma went up to enjoy. Troy and his brothers as always really seemed to love being together and talking. Lots of great gifts, time chatting together and a peaceful morning. 

As Christmas Eve was on a Sunday, so also was New Years Eve on a Sunday. We knew this would possibly make for a challenging day of celebration. But we wanted it to be fun. Sheri was a hero - she put together a really fun list of minute-to-win-in type games that she orchestrated throughout the day. Every hour or so she’d start up another one. Since we had so much time between post-church (barely past noon) and ringing in the new year (nearly 12 hours later) we spread out the games and invited our extended family to join us whenever they could. We had the company of cousin Kate and her Cameron early in the day. They played a TP-wrap game with us then brought bunnies over for everyone to snuggle.

I'm not going to lie - NYE got very very long. The games were fun - rug racing across the floor, skittles sorting, Kleenex box emptying - lots of fun. And also it was just a long long day. My dad came for a bit, my sister came for a bit, and we tried to get the kids to decide to go to bed early but every last kid was still awake at the stroke of the new year. Long day.

We survived. We survived New Year's Eve. We survived 2017. A lot happened and we welcome 2018 with open arms!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Christmas At Last

Before I get to actual Christmas, I have to mention one other absolutely fabulous evening that I forgot to write about in the previous post. After our friend Mary appeared quite suddenly one evening early in December with a gift for our family, we really wanted to let her know in return how much we love her and her family. We decided to pick out a little piece of pottery made by our friend Ben and deliver it one evening very near to Christmas. We called her to find out if she was going to be home. The next thing we knew we were invited to visit the lights of Layton Park and have dinner at her house. We rendezvoused at a park in Layton that was absolutely decked out in lights and lit-up figures. It was quite magical. So magical that I did not take a single photo. After a lovely and chilly stroll around the park, we headed to Mary's quaint Victorian house for dinner. Though it was quite impromptu Mary had taken the time to totally deck out her table in Christmas dishes. We enjoyed warming up with chicken chili and her fresh rosemary bread after the cold walk. What a good friend.

Finally it was time for Christmas Eve. It was kind of a funny year - this was the first year without my mom. I mean, she wasn't really with us last year either in truth - but she was in her care center and we all made time and effort to be with her on the holidays, and my dad definitely had that place to go to every day. Not this year. He's been having a hard time. He ended up planning a trip away to California with friends and sort of a blind date in California over Christmas. At first I thought it was strange but as the holiday season wore on and I could see his loneliness I ended up feeling really glad and excited that he had an adventure to look forward to. None of the rest of my family was around for Christmas either so we found ourselves with an open schedule on Christmas Eve. We decided to invite over this absolutely wonderful couple from our neighborhood - we love them so much. They had a baby in the fall and don't have a ton of family around either so we were excited when they accepted and were able to spend the evening with us.

Christmas Eve was on a Sunday this year which I really enjoy. I love having that spiritual time to focus and contemplate and sing together. That was lovely. Then I came home and quickly cooked all afternoon. I wanted to do a traditional turkey feast and it went pretty well. But not great. It was pretty good but I kinda overcooked the turkey. Not easy to do in a crockpot but somehow I managed it. That's not really the point though. The thing I was most excited about was that I got to use my grandmother's china dishes. I have to say, they are a little bit hideous! She got them back in the 30s I think and they have a touch of art deco and a touch of fussy-flowery-ness and they are cream and gold and pink and well, kind of just awful. And yet somehow I just love them. I love my grandmother - my mom's mom. I was given this set of china and really just haven't used it at all. My husband I think would be fine if I never used them again. I loved having an occasion to pull them out.

And here are the Walkers with the deliciously adorable baby Thomas. We absolutely loved having these dear friends over. We planned a rather rigorous schedule even Buddy the Elf would have been proud of - I had quite the list of activities. Ok, we didn't eat entire rolls of toll-house cookie dough. We did enjoy dinner, plus making cookies and decorating them for Santa, plus watching A Muppet Christmas Carol, plus eating awesome waffles for dessert. I think the Walkers kept trying to leave but we wouldn't let them because we kept having more things we wanted to do with them. My kids were so happy. They love the Walkers.

Finally though they made it out the door and we settled everyone in for a reading from the Bible as well as The Night Before Christmas. We committed everyone to staying in bed for the whole night and strictly forbade them from entering the living room until they all came upstairs and got us out of bed first. I did get a couple of visits during the night from sleepless little monsters but I sent them back to bed. Troy and I did get to enjoy a few quite minutes by the tree in the quiet dark and firelight, just like we hope to every year. That's my favorite. But we were pretty dang tired so it didn't last long.

Morning came very quickly and the kids weren't shy about bombarding us and getting us out of bed. We insisted on a five minute snuggle first.

I'm going to brag about a couple of things that I was super excited about on Christmas morning. First was the stockings. Santa may have decided to fill the stockings this year with a whole heap of treats that come from the fun little shop Pirate O's. Santa may have spent more than usual on these goodies this year because Santa just couldn't resist all delightful looking European chocolates and sweets. Santa sampled a few and felt happy about his choices.

The thing that I put a ton of time into was two scrapbooks for each kid. Over the years I have saved the kids creations, treasures and notes - I've kept packets of their drawings and funny little invitations and things like that. I just didn't know what to do with them. I made them into books - pretty simple books. Just plastic sheet protectors with three ring binder clips holding them together. They are so fun to look through though. I also saved my favorite pieces of their art and was so happy when I found these big portfolio books to slip them into. I'm delighted that I no longer have piles of art shoved in corners of my house. The books look great and will be so easy to add to. I love them and I think the kids got a kick out them too, although they probably will appreciate them more later. (Oh gosh that makes me sound old.)

Some other memorable gifts were a watch for Chase, walkie talkies for the girls, Chase's first concert tickets (Philip Phillips in March) and play tickets for the girls (Newsies in July - front row!). I was most excited about the play tickets - I made a scrapbook for the girls and me, and put all the programs to shows we've already seen in there, and the girls have been writing memories about the plays. I'm so excited to add to this book since going to musicals has become one of our favorite things.

I'm also pretty happy about a gift I gave my brother Peter - we had them this year and it was so fun to pick things out for them. A bracelet and a spa trip for Sheri and for Peter? Well, for starters he made this hilarious comment one day about Star Wars - how Uncle Owen had every right to be concerned about Luke going to Toschi Station to pick up Power Converters because it turns out the Power Converters are a group of strippers and definitely up to no good. We thought this was hilarious. So...I made a t-shirt for Peter advertising the Power Converters' appearance at Toschi Station. I thought that was hilarious. But the really big gift that was way beyond our usual Christmas Giving was a surprise ticket to Hamilton when it comes in April. We both love it so much, and I have a friend who was able to get tickets early. I was so grateful that Troy encouraged me to go and to take Peter with me. I am beyond excited to go.

What a very Merry Christmas.