The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bitty-isms

At a park with a little stream:
"Shall I go into the raging waters?"

On the way to a friend's house:
"I'm running as fast as my little legs will carry me!"

At the friend's house, upon being asked if she would like to see something cool:
"Will it turn me into a princess?"

While wearing her kitty jammies:
"I'm the big girl kitten and you're the mamma kitten."

While wearing her new flower pot jammies:
"I'm the flower and you're the pot because I'm growing in you."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Notes on Parenting

I'm thinking that my daughter should consider pursuing a career in whack-a-mole. I don't think that's an actual profession, but you know, it could be. She could go from town to town, a carnival roadie, playing whack-a-mole all day. She could earn piles of those giant stuffed animals and sell them on ebay or something.

Why is Preslar writing this foolishness, you ask? I'll tell you. I think that Bitty is actually psychic. She has the most uncanny ability to know exactly where and when I'm about to take a step. And she instantly goes there. So as I'm stepping, she's suddenly there, so I make a quick swerve to miss her, but due to her psychic abilities, she's already moved to that new spot so I crash into her anyway. It seems like she spends the entire day doing this. She may have learned the behavior from our dog, who also has an ability to sense exactly where you want to go, and promptly block the pathway there. When Bitty does it, I try to ask her nicely to please move, and she, almost without fail, moves even closer to the object I'm after, thus making it even harder for me to get there. I feel like I'm square dancing all day long. So do you see how her psychic ability to know just where somethings going to be and instantly being there first could give her a serious advantage at mole-whacking? Totally, right?

Also of note: I don't know what I did to instill in my son such faith in his parents. He truly believes that we are capable of almost anything. "Hey, that sounds kind of nice," you're thinking. No, it's not. Not when his requests are things such as the following:

"Mom, could you please knit me a spiderman suit and a t-rex costume today?"
"Mom, could you please dig a hole in the back yard and put an octopus in it?"
"Dad, you could be build me a new dinosaur out of pieces of metal?"
"Mom, could you please make me some trees?"
"Mom, could you please make me a fiddle?"
"Mom, could you please polish my frog's skateboard?"

Hey, at least he's saying please, right? These are all actual requests, by the way. I'm never sure how to respond, because let's face it, there's part of me that really needs him to think I actually am super mom. There is also the part inside me screaming, "Are you crazy? What do you think I am, supermom?!?"

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Magical 21st


I know so many kids born on the 21st of August. Our Bitty, LWD in Seattle, Stomper's buddy Brandon, my friend's twins, my other friend's daughter...it's quite the day! So happy birthday to all. Especially to our little Bitty. We had a little shin-dig at the park. I thought it would be easier to do it there than at home (of course, not having a toilet at home contributed to that decision). Even in the future, when we hopefully will have a toilet in our house, I think the park is the way to go. I didn't really have a theme, any games, any crafts....just playing! We had family and a few friends there, and I kind of thought it was a little over the top until I realized that it was all just people who care about us and people who love to be together.


Cake by mommy, candles by Bitty. (Three were not enough.)

The, uh..."birthday fairy" had some interesting requests from Bitty this year. First and foremost was her request for a sparkly trumpet. I sicked my mom on that one, and she did find a couple of fun things at Red Balloon:



Also requested were purple roller skates (which we decided to NOT get her), a wand & crown (which we did get her), and a bus. That's right, a bus. I did find a Little People Bus at the toy store, but felt like she had enough stuff coming her way as it was. For example, she had also spotted at the grocery store a PINK phone. Not just pink, it was also sparkly. And it had fur. Well, feathers really - anyway, it was very shiny and poofy and pink. Love at first sight. My sweet in-laws got that for her. Hey, what family doesn't need a phone like that around? Also well-loved was a pink parasol from The Becky and the flower-girl dress that my now 10-year-old niece wore to my brother's wedding seven years ago. Bitty was quite the site:


The kids played and played at the park - I loved watching Bitty flitting around in that get-up. They all just raced around on the sunny grass, screaming and giggling. I was so proud of Bitty - she really didn't melt down, like I totally expected her to, and I was proud of Stomper too. Birthdays can be hard for siblings. But they did great. The one near-incident happened early on when my parents arrived, bearing a lovely bouquet of balloons. One of them, (of course t it was the purple one), escaped, and Bitty started to lose it. I tried to help her by saying it was going up to heaven and she then asked (now, this is a little sad, but also very sweet and cute,) if Matthew would be throwing it back to her from Heaven. Awwww. No, honey. But we're thinking of him, aren't we?

So happy birthday, darling daughter. It's been four days and we're still celebrating.



(I know, the picture's fuzzy, but I've always loved this one of Bitty at about 6 months...)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Troy's 20th

20th High School Reunion! Wow! What's really funny is that I think I had a much fun as he did. Troy has such a great group of friends. That is one of my biggest hopes for my own children; to have a strong group of good people for friends. I have really gotten to know and love all of their wives. Here's the guys:


Not pictured is Mike, the legendary diver. He showed up later. There are a couple other guys too who couldn't make it that night. You know, as a kid in high school, you develop friends, but looking at this picture I'm just thinking about how you never know the paths life leads us on, and how those friendships will strengthen. In the picture above I see a guy who's wife is currently pregnant with triplets - they will be babies #5-7 in their family. I see a guy who's wife had a hard time getting pregnant, and now they have two sets of twins after two rounds of in vitro. I see a bishop, a former bishop, I see someone who just got engaged, I see Troy who lost his little baby just over a year ago. Life is so... so... hard? Wonderful? Crazy? Yes. Grateful for friends.

My favorite part of the evening was seeing an old friend of mine. Little did I know, when I entered the Missionary Training Center 12 1/2 years ago that one of my teachers was in the same graduating class as my future husband. Yes, when I left on my mission to Korea I first spent nine weeks in Provo learning about how to be a missionary and how to speak Korean. Every day we had three teachers, and my favorite teacher of all was Brother Piper, who was with us in the evenings. He was just awesome, and our whole group (seven of us) looked forward to the evenings all day long. We played crazy games, we shared our thoughts and feelings, we tried speaking Korean. I really looked up to him. Here we are:


I don't think I had quite the double chin when I was 21....ah, well. I must share my favorite crazy Korean game Brother Piper (okay, I guess I could call him Vaugn now) taught us. It was called the love game. You should try it. Stand in a circle. Be perfectly silent. One person is it, and they point to another person. The two people on either side of that person punches them on the arm as hard as they can. The punched person must remain silent. This is exceptionally difficult, by the way. If you are unable to be silent, everyone votes. If there is a unanimous vote in the affirmative, everyone gets to punch the person one more time. Gee, now that I'm reading over that it sounds more like abuse than a game, but trust me, it's hilarious. Almost worth the pain. I tell you, those Elders in my group always took it easy on my companion Sister Burbank, but they sure took it out on me.

Okay, one last photo - a group shot at the park the next day:


What a great group. I have a feeling that my 20 year reunion (in the year 2011) won't be quite as fun. My husband just doesn't know anyone from my class. The truth is, I would really love to go to the reunions from 1989, 1990, and 1992 much more than my own! Maybe I'll sneak in.

Anyway, once again I'm just astounded by how my life is filled with wonderful people.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fun with Edward


If this photo makes no sense to you, you may now log off or go find something else to read.  If it makes you laugh, then you must be looking forward to the day after Thanksgiving just like I am.

I think that I have perhaps spent too much time at The Becky's - she has been one of my home-away-from-homes, and I find that two Twilight readers living together is getting a little out of hand.  We have, in our spare time, enjoyed cruising you-tube, and have discovered some very hilarious videos.  (Now, if the picture above makes no sense, this won't either, so I advise you, once again, to go find something better to do.)


There are many more dumb spoofs out there, but I have to admit that there is a really funny line in another one: "This is wrong, Edward. She's not skinny enough." Funny. Sad. Pathetic. As Homer would say, "Poor broken lonely grownups!" And just so you know, The Becky's husband was the one driving the little car when he got sandwiched in a four car pile-up at a red light.  He may look manly enough to stop a Nissan from plowing over his wife, but that isn't what really happened.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday Goings On

So what are you doing this fine Saturday morning? I bet it wasn't what I was up to - vacuuming the lawn! Anyone? Anyone? No? It's not your typical Saturday morning activity, I know. My awesome parents (awesome picture to follow shortly) came over early this morning to help us out. For three weeks the refuse that was formerly our bathroom has been sitting in a heap on the back lawn. Troy had plans to start carting it all off to the dump one trailer-load at a time until our guardian angel sent us a card in the mail, telling us that our neighborhood clean-up would be at the end of the month. Yippeeeee! This means that starting today, we can pile all sorts of stuff in front of the house, and it will get picked up in the next 10 days or so. So, we are not rid of the pile yet, but thanks to my parents, the pile has quickly been moved from all over the back yard to a smaller pile on the curb. We did have to stop my dad from categorizing the garbage into piles by size and color (you get one guess as to where I get my OCD streak), but all in all, the job was quickly done. You can always count on my parents for that. All that was left were the crumbs of insulation and decrepit bits of dry wall. Thus the vacuuming. And now to the awesome picture. I have a goal to be like my folks when I'm nearing 70:

Next week they're leaving on a trip to go biking in Glacier National Park. I admire them so much.

And now, on to another awesome photograph. My dad just emailed me this shot, taken in1982 (!!!) of a camping trip that I don't remember in the slightest. We went to Estes Park with two other families we knew and loved in Boulder, both of whom eventually ended up in SLC as well. I have many a fond memory of dinner parties with these families. I'm sure the grownups thought the parties were for themselves, so they could sit and talk, like all boring grownups do, and what I now do, but really it was all about the kids playing for hours on end, each occasion being an epic adventure of crazy kid escapades. Anyway, it's a great picture. See if you can find me.

And now perhaps I'll consider changing out of my sweats. Sweats are very good, because you can sleep in them, then get up and put shoes on to help your very motivated parents move piles of trash, and then go straight back to lounging.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Olympic History

I, like so many of you, have entered into a period of heavy television viewing as the Olympics are going on. Let's call it...entering the confinement. Every morning I seem to wake in a groggy haze of Olympics Hangover, having stayed up beyond reasonable bedtimes in order to further glut myself. It's pretty fun.

I have to share that I think this love for the Olympics stems from long ago, exactly 24 years ago, to be exact. That would be the summer that my family moved to the great city of salt. Actually, that would be the summer that my father already had moved, in order to start his new job, while my mom stayed behind in Boulder, CO, desperately trying to sell the house and keep the kids busy. My sister spent most of her time in SLC with my dad, but those two weeks she was home with us. There wasn't much left in our big house - all the furniture had been packed away. But there was a television on the living room floor that we gathered around, flopped on our stomachs with our chins in our hands, cheering for every athlete from the USA we saw. I remember watching Rowdy Gains swim. I remember watching Greg Louganis dive. I remember even getting all excited about the rowing. (Not that there's anything wrong with rowing, I had just never cared about it before.) But of course the most memorable events, those during which I remember screaming and jumping up and down like crazy, were the gymnastics - men's team gold (I'll always love you, Peter Vidmar,) and then that crazy Mary Lou Retton and her 2 (count 'em, 2!) perfect 10 vaults, crushing the hopes of the little red-headed Romanian she was competing against. I always felt sorry for her. But as Margaret and I were screaming our heads off and jumping in circles, close to tears over the victory, my life-long love of the Olympic Games was firmly established.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Still Missing that One Essential Item

First of all, you need to know how proud of my husband I am. I don't think either of us knew how huge this bathroom project was going to be, and he's coming along great. He only had one nervous breakdown last week, and for that I can hardly blame him. But then two of our neighbors came in and gave him a boost, and in two days, both the plumbing and electrical work were all done. Thank you, Tim and Bill. Anyway, the bathroom project is moving forward, though we have yet to install that one essential piece of equipment that would make life at our home a little (lot) easier. The potty. Until then, our garage will continue to house our port-a-potty. Wheeee! We do have a floor, and within the hour I think we'll have the fan in. Well done, Troy.

When our neighbor Tim was over helping us with the plumbing, he left his mark:



I think it's actually a pretty fun idea. He told me that in every house he's fixed up, he always does something like this for future generations. It makes me think I should put together a little time capsule for our family and put it in the wall before the cement board goes up in the next couple of days. Any suggestions of what to include?

We're coping pretty well, as noted by my daughter's delighted smile during one of her many "sink baths."

Friday, August 08, 2008

Highlights

As I've mentioned before, I'm quite the to-do list-a-holic. I'm addicted to it. On that to-to list I often jot down the things I want to blog about, and since we have been floating from home to home (while Troy continues slogging through the whole bathroom thing) the list has gotten longer and longer. Now I'm having a brief stop-in at home (every few days we just HAVE to come home to see Troy and get refreshed before heading out on the road again,) so I thought I'd try to quickly post a few of the highlights from the past month.

Highlight #1:
Stomper finished up Summer School

Stomper had such a good time doing his little summer school - I have to give major kudos to the teachers at Bennion for putting on a really fun program for these kids. Every day was packed with great art projects, science experiments, special guests, field trips and the like. I think my favorite art project of the year was the day they laid out huge sheets of paper on the sidewalk outside, and let the kids literally step in the paint and run all over the paper. Stomper ended up covered head to toe in multiple colors. It was great. Here's a picture of his class on their field trip to Red Butte Garden:



Highlight #2:
The 24th of July

Seems so long ago. I guess that's because it was. There were two days of celebration for us - thanks to the Mayfields, we discovered that the city of Bountiful holds quite the party the day before. We went up there to join our friends for a parade, a BBQ, and fireworks. The parade was kind of hot and long, but the kids loved it. Here's a video of Bitty showing off her moves as the floats went by:

video

My favorite part of that day had to be the fireworks. My kids have never seen the up-high-in-the-sky kind. It had been a long fun day, with both kids basically disappearing with their friends and interacting with them much more than with myself for the day. However, as it became evening and we drove up to sit on the lawn of Misty's sister, it was dark and late, and we were just sitting down on the grass. The first big boom happened, and of course Bitty burst into tears and Stomper even panicked a little. I gathered them in my arms and we snuggled up, and within a few minutes all three of us were captivated. They were right over our head, and the show was a long and good one. So beautiful. I just love those moments when you suddenly get to be reminded of just who is a part of your own wonderful family. After the whole loud exciting day, it was just wonderful to sit there and experience my kids' first big fireworks show with them, all snuggled up.

They zonked on the way home, which was good, because the next day was another big one - Troy's big brother Rick put together a Preslar family gathering at the folks' house, with dutch-oven cooking as the main attraction, possibly second only to the spectacle of all the little boys running across the yard and jumping into the blow-up pool we brought:




Highlight #3:
Campout in Oma and Apa's Backyard

I'm not sure how this got started - it was probably my fault. Somehow, with Adam and Whitley being in town, we decided that having a sleepover in my parents' back yard would be a good idea. This, of course, was the night before a camping trip for me. It was a little crazy, but we did set up a tent in the back yard. I'm not sure how much sleep anyone got, of course, but it was fun. My sister and her three girls, me and my two kids plus Adam slept outside. Smith was also slated to sleep out with us, but he kind of wandered back in with Whitley around midnight. A little crazy, a lot of bug bites, and very little sleep. Sounds like fun, right?




Highlight #4:
Mom-n-Kids Trip to Bear Lake

I guess I'll say that next year, either the dads are coming too, or the kids aren't invited. What that means is that we do hope there will be a next year. Four of us; Emily, April, TL and I, went up to the KOA campground in Bear Lake. This is a historic campground in our family because when Troy was 14, he and his best buddy Mike Tuckfield got dropped off there to live for about a month. They had a job picking raspberries every day, but spent their free time biking around the lake, jumping in every time they got hot, and getting incredibly tan. Can you imagine doing that these days? Just dropping off your kid at a campground for a month? Me neither.

Anyway, we had a great time, although it was also rather exhausting. We did find the KOA cabins to be great - clean, cute, good amenities. I'd totally do it again. Except the kids either have to get older or stay home. Or we need more help. I think the low point of the trip was probably the tin foil dinners....need I say more? Probably not. Those things never really work out. Especially when you have ten hungry crying kids on your hands. That explains why we ate s'mores before we ate dinner. A great memory from the trip: being sound asleep in the front of the cabin in a bed with my kids, when suddenly I opened my eyes because the light had been turned on. Also, there was a strange man sticking his head through the door, looking shocked and horrified, and mumbling something about, "I'm so sorry! I guess I'll go find my own cabin now..." Remind me to lock the door next time. Potentially scary, but he and his family turned out to be very nice neighbors. Almost as nice as the sweet lady who loaned me her swimming suit when she overheard me say to TL, "Oh my gosh! I forgot my swimming suit!" Of course, she eventually needed it back, which is why I ended up in the pool the next day wearing some strange turquoise swim trunks and a lavender t-shirt plastered with flowers and the phrase, "Property of Camp Cutie." It was the best I could do at the local KOA market. A keepsake, for sure, though you'll never catch me in it again.

Sorry, can't help but post another slide show here - there are too many great pictures.


If you actually made it to the end of this very long post, then ...well, sorry about that. But you can't know how happy I am to be able to cross off FOUR things off my to-blog list! Yay!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Too Many Potato Chips

I think I'm addicted to self-gratification. If any of you have ever eaten a meal with me, you may have already picked up on this fact, seeing as how, no matter who you are, I can eat faster than you. I have many memories of guests in our home sitting down to dinner, getting all ready to take their first bite of food and looking up in surprise when the entire Romney clan were slurping up their final bites already. Fast. Pretty much, I'm a gobbler, and sadly, the habit is not limited to food alone. I am also an incurable book gobbler. Every time I'm really looking forward to a book, I promise myself that this time, for sure, I will read it slowly and enjoy it. Savor it. So I pick it up, start the first chapter, and then it's already too late. At each chapter ending I promise myself, just one more! I can stop any time I want, just one more chapter! (Please don't ever let me get my hands on anything alcoholic, by the way.) It's just like going through a bag of potato chips.  One is never enough.

I trust you know what book I have consumed in one gulp this time. Of course, it's the new Stephenie Meyer book, "Breaking Dawn." But it's just so much worse than you think. Now, before I confess everything, you must understand that I have spent days and days away from home, unable to attend to my regular duties. (But let's be honest, I would have totally neglected them anyway.) So, I was staying at The Becky's house last week.  It was Thursday night, and I was all set to go to a midnight party with my friend Misty the following night for the book release.  I realized that I wasn't feeling very excited, and decided to pick up Twilight, the first in the series, to get back in the spirit of things.  Let the bingeing begin.  I couldn't help myself - I got totally caught up all over again in the whole story and ended up re-reading all three books, and then went straight into the fourth, finishing quite early this morning, and am still riding the high from the immense literary caloric intake.  

You know, it can't be healthy to do this.  I could tell that immediately when yesterday, as my children were climbing the walls with boredom, I took them for an outing to Farm Country at Thanksgiving Point.  It was "2 Dollar Tuesday," and so the entirety of both the valley to the north and the valley to the south had emptied simultaneously into Thanksgiving Point.  Too many people, not worth the savings, just so you know.  Anyway, there I was, lugging around my stupid shoulder bag because I had to bring the book with me in case I found a moment of reading time.  I didn't.  But in the meantime, I kept looking around at all the moms just like myself and thinking, "Look at all these weak and hideous mortals!"  Yeah, perhaps it's time to pull my nose out and get a life.  Maybe that's the good part of snarfing down these books so fast - it's over so soon, so I am not absent from reason, sanity or reality for too long. Any more than usual, that is. At least I'm not getting fatter from this kind of over-consumption.  Though I suppose sitting on the couch all day isn't helping much.