The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Monday, October 02, 2017

Total Eclipse of the 12 Year Old

I'm not sure how it's possible for Romney to have her birthday land on the first day of school on a regular basis but somehow it keeps happening. Either the day before or the day of. Seems wrong somehow. I guess they've changed the day of the first day of school a few times, from a Monday to a Wednesday and back to a Monday again. Whatever the reason, Romney once again found herself facing the first day of school on her birthday. Only this year there was another big event happening. There was a total eclipse of the sun happening that day. And the path of totality would be passing just to the north of us in Idaho and Wyoming. Troy knew right away what a big deal this was going to be. Massive. He, way back at the beginning of the summer, talked about planning a trip to go witness the event. I wasn't too sure about the kids missing the first day of school but we decided to leave it up to the kids. Chase really didn't want to miss his first day as a high school student. Emma also didn't want to miss her first day, although had I known what a weird chaotic day it was going to be at both of their schools, I would have encouraged them both to go. Romney, in her usual form, was all for it. It was going to be a short day anyway, plus it was her birthday, plus she had already been to orientation. No question in her mind! And truthfully, the trip details were going to be demanding enough that it's probably good she's the only one who went, although I feel sad I missed it. I didn't go because I started a new job that day. I felt I couldn't ask for my first day of work off, although I wish I had. 

Before the trip, though, we put together a party for her on Saturday night. She told me she wanted "A Hobbit Party." Now, this does not mean a "hobbit-themed" party. It means a party in the style of Bilbo's 111th (Eleventy-First) Birthday Party.  Back yard, tables, candles, lights, flowers, music, delicious food. We did chicken pot pies, salads and a giant spice cake. We invited a couple of families to join us. We hung my friend Becca's beautiful bird garlands and flag garlands all over the yard. We lit candles and ate and sang and danced. It was really really fun, and I commend Romney on an excellent choice of parties!

Romney and Troy prepped for the birthday-eclipse trip really well. They scoped out a great spot in Wyoming that they wisely and correctly predicted would be away from the crowds of people. Troy was so brilliant about his choice - I know other people who went to Idaho and literally took more than 10 hours to get home from Idaho to Salt Lake City. Troy and Romney were home by 5:00! I was grateful for that. We packed them enough food and supplies to last them for a couple of days on the road with no services just in case. Fuel, maps, food, sleeping gear, water, toilet paper, money, all of it. They hit the sack early on Sunday night and got up at 2:00 in the morning to make the drive. They had a completely epic experience. What a great birthday treat for Romney, to get a whole day alone with her dad and to see an amazing phenomenon like that.

In the meantime, Chase, Emma and I all started our first days of school. I include myself in the group because I started my new the computer teacher at Emma's school! So it was my first day too.

I'm including a picture of Chase's buddy Soren who is very very nicely taking Chase to school every day. I have three children at three different schools plus I have a new every-day job. It's been a huge blessing to have help in the transportation department.

Emma and I set off for our first day. I took a picture of her....

And she took a picture of me!

I loved seeing Emma greet old friends in the halls with big excited hugs.

Can't believe she's a 3rd grader. She has a darling teacher I'm so excited about. Ms. Wiscomb! We love you!

The day really was rather chaotic. Teachers had each been given enough eclipse-viewing glasses for their entire class and all day long the classrooms went in and out to view the eclipse at various degrees. We got something like 92% coverage here, so things were a little dim and yellowy and strange, but nothing like what Troy and Romney experienced.

Here's me with my new boss, a wonderful principal, Deb Candler. Love her.

Strange shadows...

Flopped on the playground lawn to peek at the eclipse

Meanwhile...back at the ranch.....

Troy and Romney were lucky enough to truly have an other-worldly experience. I love these pictures of Romney.

They described an amazing event that I can only hope I get to experience as well some day. I was excited they made it home in time for some Panda Express/Birthday Dinner. However....the trip was a little hard on our gal. She spent her birthday evening in total tears and sadness. Troy said after she woke up at 2:00 she did not sleep again until the drive home, only about an hour or so. She was pretty much broken for a few days. I'm sure the nerves of starting junior high were involved as well, but it really did take her some days to recover.

Here she is after a good night's sleep (partially due to a wee unisom her mother may have given her....) and she really rallied. Of course, she was a mess by the time she came home again and really had a tough few days.

I'm happy to report that now we are in to the beginning of October Romney is happy, healthy, loves her school and classes as do Chase and Emma. We are settling in to the routine of new schools and jobs very well. I even make dinner every once in a while, but please don't check the cleanliness of the house. It could use a little work. I'm enjoying my job for the most part, but am still pondering on what I want to be when I grow up.  

It's definitely fun to get to hang out with my Emma at lunch recess every day....

And the computer lab where I work is starting to feel more like home. Forgive the selfies. I was trying to get an ok picture to post under my profile on our website. Which I'm in charge of. I feel so grown up.  

OH MY GOSH I THINK I'M ALL CAUGHT UP!!!!! ....Bring on Halloween. 

Last Dash of Summer

Once we got Emma's baptism all wrapped up there just wasn't much summer left, and it was going to go by in a blink. With Chase starting high school and Romney staring middle school there were going to be many days of registration and orientations plus the shopping too. We managed to squeeze in a few last adventures though.

Chase got to spend a weekend at Youth Conference, our ward's outing for the teens. They went on some great adventures, including a red-neck water slide, a working ranch, and to a couple of temples.

Also, the Missionary Training Center in Provo had a major addition and they hosted an open house for the general public to come and check it out. I didn't really know about it until social media slowly started showing more and more of my friends going and I realized that maybe something was going on. I checked it out and it turned out that the open house was almost over and there were barely any tickets left. Luckily I was able to nab enough for our family plus our good friends. We drove down, hopped on the bus that took us to the MTC itself, and took the tour. Emily and I walked in those front doors, took one breath and said, "It smells exactly the same!!!" It really did. There was just that MTC smell. Sort of food-ish with cleaning products thrown in...can't quite describe it but I'll never forget it! It was really fun to see the old campus as well as the new beautiful buildings. Sure did bring back a lot of memories!

The map!! How many pictures do I have of myself pointing to this very map? SOOOO many....two months in the MTC learning Korean and you sort of ran out of things to do. So you took more pictures at the map. Here my kids picked where they wanted to go on their missions. Australia, Mexico and....Florida. Awesome!

One miserably hot Sunday afternoon we decided to head up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Cecret Lake. Many other folks had the same idea we did, but we managed to find parking a ways down the canyon. The hike was lovely and the kids did great. They often grumble about getting dragged out of their comfy spots on the couch when we do stuff like this, but this day they all were really happy and just loved the lake. There's a little amphibious creature that lives in those waters called an axolotl. It's a type of salamander with these frilled gills at the side of its head. The lake is filled with them, and Chase especially had a great time hunting for them. He never got his hands on any but had a ball roaming the shores and investigating the depths. 

Random photo shoot: we had to capture this spectacular bed head of Romney's:

Another very exciting event in August was the removal of Chase's braces. He had them on for just under two years though that sometimes felt like an eternity. I was a little afraid that the orthodontist might change his mind at the last minute because one of Chase's front teeth looked like it had over-corrected and popped out of place. Indeed that was exactly what had happened but apparently teeth are pretty wiggly during this process and he just popped it right back in place and glued in the retainer and that was that. Chase was so thrilled. I think, even more than a month later, that he is still reveling in his braces-free and straight-toothed mouth.

Both Chase and Romney had no-parents-allowed orientation days the Friday before school started. Neither of them would let me take their pictures so I had to be sly.

I did a LOT of driving that day between our house and the high school and the middle school. I'm so grateful I don't have to do that every day.

For the final weekend of summer we got up on Saturday morning and drove up Milcreek Canyon for our favorite breakfast of biscuits and gravy. If you ever need a really good recipe for this you call me because I was given one by my sister-in-law Tonja and they are the best biscuits you will ever have.

It wasn't all that chilly but that didn't stop us from having a little hot cocoa.

How we love our Inigo, the Toyota from Spain. Troy got this new roof rack and it is awesome.

I guess that about wraps up our summer! We ALMOST got enough shaved ice, we ALMOST had enough fun. But never quite. I guess there is always another summer to look forward to!