The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Begins


So, my last post was about me being a good mommy.  This one is about me being a bad mommy.   I'm bad because I can not STAND taking the kids to the school Halloween carnival.  (Were those gasps of horror I just heard?  I know I know....)  It is so hot, and so crowded.  The hallways are packed beyond packed with people scuffling to get in line for the carnival games.  Kids from the junior high come and wrestle on the stairs and bump into the little kids.  I don't love it when certain grownups dress up in actually VERY scary costumes and wander the halls intimidating kids (come on guys, this is elementary school).  But I have to go.  My kids get so excited and they talk about it all week.   So, we went.  And phooey, we had fun. Stomper lined up for the fishing booth five times, I think. Luckily Bitty got to spend the evening with a friend which made things much easier for me.  And I'm choosing to look at the event as one more opportunity for the kids to wear their much-labored-over costumes one more time this year.  Well, I didn't actually labor that much - luckily every kid on the planet has already done the Harry Potter thing, so I borrowed almost everything.  I only had to do one thing.  Knit a scarf.  In all my borrowing I came up one scarf short, and I couldn't stand the thought of paying good money for one when I can get yarn so cheap and have the skills to whip up a scarf.  Stupid me.  (How many times have I said that in all my blogging years?  Many!)  I spent all of yesterday afternoon frantically knitting away - just like me, don't you think?  But I finished it.  Okay, it's a rather stubby little scarf (I mistakenly went for thick and warm and so came up short in the length department...) but Bitty loves it and so all is well.  I adored my little Hogwarts troop, and can't wait for tonight!



Now THAT's Good Parenting!


 When Stomper started public school I was devastated to find that our school didn't allow parents to bring homemade treats for birthdays. I understand the logic (no arsenic additives, please!) but I had always had this image in my head of the perfect platter of cupcakes complete with decadent heaps chocolate frosting. And sprinkles.  And I wasn't allowed to do it.  Instead I had to find some store bought thing; Stomper still wanted cupcakes so I'd end up with $15 of Hostess KupKakes (I spell it that way in utter mockery because I think it's a travesty for those things to be compared to real cupcakes, my apologies to Hostess and its fans.)  And I just wasn't happy.  What made it worse was that in his first year of preschool I was allowed the homemade treats and Stomper saw in the store a box of that red velvet cake mix and got very excited, so I made those.  And they were sick. 

Imagine my delight this year when his teacher, who I am growing very attached to, said that homemade treats were allowed after all.  I think she figured that making stuff homemade just had to be better for the kids than store-bought.  So finally finally I got to make real cupcakes.  The good kind.  I'll admit that there have been occasions when I have had to stay up very late whipping together some crazy thing for the kids and I get grumpy about it, shame on me.  But I was feeling nothing but blissful satisfaction when I made these beauties.  It was so fun.  And I felt like such a good mommy.  And they were so delicious. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dream Come True

Event Number 4:
A Love Affair with The Weepies



I know, "The Weepies" doesn't sound like a very happy name for a band, but I do love them so.  And they make me very very happy.  I discovered them about 3 1/2 years ago and they  haven't been on tour since then.  When I found out in August that they were coming I was so thrilled.  The Misty, always game for a girls night,  was nice enough to offer to come with me and Saturday night was the big night.  So fun.  Dinner at The Bay Leaf Cafe (very interesting selection of Southern and Philippine Food...) which of course included dessert - can't go wrong with peach cobbler!  A little window shopping and then off to The State Room for the music.  The opening band was a bit of a downer, but all was made right again as I sang along with every song Deb and Steve (a married couple who are The Weepies) had to offer.  They sang most of my very favorites.  Sigh.  Wish I were going again tonight!

Bundle took some serious planning around due to her understanding that she and I are actually Siamese twins, but thanks to my husband and Adam Grundvig, she did fine without me. And I had a fabulous time.  And I love The Weepies.  Here's their website:

http://www.theweepies.com/

Go and listen.  And join me in my happiness.

Smiled Upon By the Birthday Gods

Event Number 3:
Stomper's Pre-Birthday Party

Stomper doesn't turn 8 until Thursday, but seeing as how that day bumps right into the Halloween weekend, we thought we'd throw the party the weekend before.  We almost did it on Saturday, but thankfully I was inspired to do it Friday instead.  I'm thankful because Friday was cool, sunny and gorgeous.  Saturday it got cold and rainy and it's been precipitating ever since.  Thank you, birthday gods.  The park is the absolutely bestest place for a gang of 7 and 8 year old boys.  They can run and be crazy and loud and there are no walls for them to knock over in their...uh, vivaciousness. Perfect!  We pulled up to the park 15 minutes before the party started and it was comletely empty.  Thank you again, birthday gods.  Truly, they smiled on me that day.

Of course I ran into the same problem I always do of balancing the going-totally-overboard factor and the finding-enough-to-do factor.  I think I did okay, although I never would have made it without the help of grandparents and about 6 moms who stuck around to help out.  I felt guilty that I wasn't able to put on the whole party single handedly, but seriously, who could manage 15 little boys alone?  I can barely manage one!

Fun party!  There was a Ben-10 theme (if you don't know who that is I don't think you should lose any sleep over it - he's just a character from a cartoon,) and we had coloring pages, cookie decorating and a little craft.  That all took me 12 hours to prepare and about 23 minutes for the boys to get through.  Luckily, we were at the park and they could just go run.  Then when the running turned into wrestling and tree-branch fencing, my friend Heather (bless you, friend!) led the boys in a few games. 

Pizza, yummy cake and a few presents topped off a very fun afternoon.  Ready for another slew of pictures?  Here you go!










The Next Event

Event Number 2:
The Most Beautiful Funeral Ever -or- A Treasured Group of Friends

Tuesday and Wednesday of this past week were the funeral events held to celebrate the life of Ben Jacobsen and although it was an emotional week, it will also always be a very treasured one.  Although there was so much sadness and loss, there was also a beautiful energy and spirit everywhere. The gathering of friends from literally all over the globe was incredible to witness. I just soaked in as much time as I could with these folks I just love. To be counted as being a friend of some of these outstanding people was very uplifting and humbling and frankly, filled me with joy.  I feel so blessed with a life filled with friends like these, even if I don't get to see them often.  I was able to attend several gatherings; some official parts of the services, some spontaneous gatherings.  I didn't take enough pictures. Here's just one:

 (Sorry, not a great picture - my flash was acting up) 

Ben's funeral was perhaps the loveliest I have ever attended.  The words spoken were so tender, heartfelt and inspired. A prominent church leader was there and shared a very personal message with Allison, Ben's widow.  There was beautiful music.  Even the opening and closing prayers were meaningful and memorable. 

And now, there is the daunting task ahead of finding a way to support Ben's family he left behind, of helping them step along this very rocky way.  I hope I can find some way to help.

I think I will post Ben's obituary here, as it was quite inspirational:

Benjamin Garff Jacobsen 1974 ~ 2010 A young man with a great heart, a faithful spirit, a bright mind, a wonderful family, and a contagious zest for life, Ben died at home on October 13, 2010. Born March 26, 1974 in Salt Lake City. Graduated from East High School where he was captain of the cross country team. LDS missionary in the Japan Sapporo Mission. Received a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the U of U. As a licensed structural engineer, he was a founder of and partner in Structural Design Studio. In the LDS Church he served as elders quorum president and Sunday School teacher. Ben wisely married Allison Burbidge in the Salt Lake Temple in 1996. They are parents of Sarah (10), Cameron (7), and Nathan (4). Ben is survived by his parents, Ted and Charlotte Jacobsen; sisters Sarah Schmidt (Brian) and Laura Dunlop (Jason); brothers Bruce (Jenny), Paul (Holly), Andrew, and Scott (Courtney); Allison's parents, Dennis and Rosemary Burbidge; brother-in-law Clark Burbidge (Melissa); seven nephews; 10 1/2 nieces; beloved uncles, aunts, and cousins; and a large circle of treasured friends. Ben loved being outdoors with friends and family. He placed first in his heat in the 2008 Lotoja bike race. A year later, he completed that race in respectable time despite being diagnosed with cancer. This year, many of his biking friends wore "Team Firestorm" jerseys in Ben's honor and he was at Lotoja to support those who have been so supportive of him. His final entry in the blog chronicling his encounter with cancer states: "I now begin to move sooner than I would like toward the end of this journey but to the beginning of what will surely be an exciting new journey without the pain and stress of the past few months. I will be delighted to be free of pain but I shall very much miss family and friends (for a season), biking, early morning 'Dawn Patrol' in the snowy backcountry, the chance to help create a respected structural engineering business, hikes to Grandeur Peak with Allison, soccer games, violin recitals, Christmases, Hebgen, etc. I hope I will be allowed an occasional 'hall pass' to observe from afar the significant future events in the lives of my family." "Allison and I are deeply grateful for the love and support which we have received from medical professionals and wonderful friends and family, near and far, during the past 15 months. It has made the journey less difficult. Thank you!" "Although my mortal life has been shorter than I had hoped and anticipated, I have been greatly blessed. I have a truly remarkable wife; three bright, good children with great potential; faith in the Resurrection and eternal family relationships; six siblings who have loved, challenged and helped shape me; parents and in-laws who have loved, encouraged and cared deeply for me; great, faithful, loyal friends; wonderful business associates; and more than a few sacred times when I have known, by the Spirit, who I really am, the purposes of life, and the truths of eternity. I'll be just up the trail and around the bend . . ."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

That's a Big Behind

Behind, as in...I'm really behind in blogging. What did you think I meant?

In the first half of the month of October I didn't pull out the camera one single time, and now in the past week I've taken over 200 pictures.  Woah.  Well, in a super-human feat of strength and endurance I'm going to try to document the major events of the past 10 days before I go to bed tonight.  Wish me luck.

Event Number 1:  
A Long Awaited Road Trip

My brother Peter and his cute family bought a home in St. George a few months ago and I never attempted the trip down there to see it until this past UEA weekend (for you out-of-towners, it's basically a little fall break from school, Thursday through Monday).  I was so happy with my kids - the driving was great, and I was spouse-less for the trip, so I was grateful for that.  Peter and Sheri have a great little home and I was really happy to get a chance to see it and spend some time there.  We did a lot of hanging out, going to a couple of really fabulous parks, swimming in Sheri's parents' "pool" (the most amazing hot tub ever) and watching shows.  It was a great trip and I'm looking forward to many more jaunts down south in the future, say, around January?  (Worst month ever in Salt Lake City, just so you know.)

I just have to post a link to Sheri's blog - she caught a great video of the girls playing "Just Dance" on the wii - my video wasn't as funny.  This is classic:

http://sienaann.blogspot.com/2010/10/cousin-time.html

And now for the photo line-up:









Thank you Pete and Sheri, for a lovely weekend!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

'Til We Meet Again

Oh Ben.  I'm so sad you're gone.  You fought a valiant fight. More importantly you lead a valiant life, and I thank you for that.

I was just emailing a friend who was asking how I was doing, seeing as how I've lost two friends in the last month to cancer. 

This is what I had to say:

"Honestly it's been a very emotional month (and year) but I guess it's just making me appreciate all that I have, all whom I love and all that I believe.  Even during sad sad times I guess I recognize all that there is to celebrate. I mean, it is just awful to lose Ben.  And yet, what an incredible person he was, what a life he lead.  What an example there is for me to follow.  Same with Terri Lyn.  So yes it's been hard, and yet it has brought blessings too."

 Sad days.  Sending many prayers and much love out to the Jacobsens. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Billy Goats

Over the tumultuous past month I had a few evenings/mornings/afternoons of "I can't take this anymore!!! I need a break!!!" (Say....I'm having one of those days today.......) and Troy would be very kind and nice and take the kids away.  I don't know if he was being kind and nice to them or me, but it all worked out for the best. A few weeks ago during Bundle's nap, Troy (who gets the daddy of the year award) took the big kids up Emigration Canyon to a little stream we love and they had a ball.  You know, on daddy outings it seems like the kids are either completely horrid to him or just magically perfect.  On this happy day it was the latter, which means that we got our annual photo of the kids hugging each other:


And there were a couple of great pictures of them:



But the best part was their many reenactments of The Three Billy Goats Gruff:


video 

What a lovely afternoon they had.  And what a lovely afternoon I had too. 

Friday, October 08, 2010

I KNOW I haven't blogged FOREVER

and do you want to know WHY I haven't?  It's because of this little angel right here:


And when I say angel, I actually mean the Angel of Destruction. She looks innocent enough, I know.  Rather sweet, really.  But she knows how to get it done in the "Shred Everything in Sight" department.  Example - I thought it was hard enough to have Bitty breathing down my neck about cooking together every time I'm in the kitchen.  Observe:


But now Bundle wants in on the action too.  And she doesn't say nicely, "Mommy, can I please help you cook?"  She goes, "Uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh!!!!" while squirming wildly until I nearly drop her, reaching for whatever cooking implement I was trying to use.

Yesterday Bitty was sad about not playing with her big brother and his friend, so I invited her to come make brownies with me.  We scootched up a chair to the counter and she got started cracking eggs into a bowl. Stupid me.  I thought I was being smart by having her crack the eggs into a separate bowl rather than directly into the mixer.  Not a bad idea but it led to catastrophe anyway.  The first egg Bitty cracked splintered into a hundred little shards, all of which went into the bowl.  I started to fish out the pieces - we only had exactly as many eggs left as we needed for the brownies.  In those 30 seconds, Bundle masterfully scaled the chair Bitty was on and started reaching for the eggs herself.  She got one rolling and it plummeted to the floor with an extremely satisfying crunch and splat.  She looked at the floor, looked at the two remaining eggs, and you could just see in that split second a look of wonder and absolute joy cross her face.  Before I even had a chance to get my fingers out of the first egg the two remaining eggs had already been pelted to the floor with speed, precision and agility.  And Bundle was happy.  That is until she fell off the chair while I was getting the rag to clean up the eggs.  And then she started playing in the goopy mess before I had finished soothing her tears. And that was one 30 second incident.  Don't ask about the rest of the day.

Bundle's winning, just so you know.