The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Magic. Just Magic.

Has there ever been a band that many of your friends and family love, I mean absolutely adored, and they play them for you and show you videos and... you like them. Yes.  Like them very much.  But then something happens, something clicks and suddenly you get it. You get in on the magic.  I happened for me in the mid 90's with UB40.  So many people I knew just loved loved them and I kinda liked 'em, until I joined the gang up at Parkwest to see them in concert.  And suddenly I loved them too.  I got it.

Last night I got to go to a show to see a duo....did you catch that, by the way?  Last night I GOT TO GO OUT to see a concert.  Bundle is growing up just slightly.  Thank you thank you Myca, for being my gal.  My friend Myca put my kids to bed!  Including Bundle!  This is fabulous.  Anyway, back on track.  Troy and I went to go see The Civil Wars at our new favorite concert joint, The State Room.

I have liked their music very much.  We heard about them from our friend Adam, who took Troy to see them last February or something and Troy's been hooked ever since. But I don't really pick them for my tunes to clean the kitchen or go for walks - they're pretty mellowish, serious sad topics...not especially upbeat.  So I wasn't in love.  Until I went to see them.  We attended the show with our dear friends Angie and Adam and sat up in the seats for the opener, which was fine.  Then clever Adam, as soon as the opener was done, popped up out of the seats and we got a front-and-center spot on the floor. The Civil Wars came up on stage.  Just one man, one woman, and the instruments they play - often just one guitar.  And it was just absolute magic.  Even compared to my beloved Weepies.  (They're still my favorites...of course.....) Their performance sparkled.  How can I possibly describe it?  John Paul White is a dead ringer for Johnny Depp gone to the bayou.  And Joy Williams....well, I think I have almost as big of a crush on her as my husband does.  She is somehow adorable, sweet, sassy, sexy and just joyfull all at the same time.  She sings with a twinkle in her eye and and smile tucked in the corner of her mouth at all times.  They are almost choreographed in their performace and you just can't tear your eyes off of them.  Okay, I can't do them justice. Here's a video.



They have such fabulous chemistry on stage together.  They're actually both married to other people and I wonder how their spouses handle it because they just are so awesome together.

Okay, I'm just blathering now.  Lovedlovedlovedloved it.  Hope they come again soon.  I'll never forget it. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Magical Back Yard

The dog days of summer continue around here, kinda good, kinda hard work for mom, but the weather has been just lovely.  Troy and I have been putting rather a lot of work into our back yard lately - perhaps you think any work we're doing should be going into the interior of our house, but you would be so wrong.  Look.  Just LOOK at this:



We've de-cluttered the back porch, purchased some comfy chairs in which to hang out, planted herbs in pots and hung flowers from the beams.  Troy hung up our hammock. We have planted vegetables. Troy is regularly mowing the lawn, which I appreciate so much because it's fun to hang out there when the lawn is so nice.  He is also doing this amazing thing - he's building a tree house!  So far it's just a platform but the kids already adore it.  And go outside. A lot.  And stay there.  See?  It's heaven.  Then today seemed to actually get warm enough to pull out the good old and extremely aged blowup pool.  We put about  5 inches of freezing cold hose water in it this afternoon just to keep the kids happy and in their usual style they enjoyed those five little inches to their very fullest.  Bouncing, splashing, competetive speed leaping....and Troy and I just stand on the back porch smiling and taking pictures and biding our time until the inevitable tears need mopping up.  This evening it was from Bundle, who's feet were little blocks of ice after an hour in the water.  She survived after much...bundling.  And snuggling. 

So I know.  If you've stuck with this blog for any length of time, you may not be super excited to see another round of kids-playing-in-the-pool pictures, but Troy and I just can't help ourselves.  I think photos like these are what get us through those fabulous months such as....January.  So, sorry, for our own future-sanity, we're posting more pictures.



 Don't worry, if that had hurt as bad as it looks like it does, I wouldn't have posted it.





Speaking of Bundle, she had an episode with the hose the other day.  Excellent photo opp.




Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Survival

I took Bundle for the most glorious walk this evening.  The weather hasn't turned hot yet so it was cool and lovely, just before sunset.  I hoofed it through the avenues for a while then strolled down by the park, where Bundle insisted we stop and I agreed.  I pushed her in the swings for a bit while I watched a couple of guys doing some serious frisbee tossing across the grass.  It made me think very fondly of my pre-Troy/post-mission years when I hung out with my brother Peter a lot.  We'd walk to Laird Park almost every summer night together after dark and throw a frisbee around.  The walks to and from the park gave us a lot of time to talk and then running through the cool night air chasing frisbees was just fun.  One night as we made our way to the park I even grabbed a peach off of a tree, whose branch was reaching over the sidewalk and dangling the perfectly ripe fruit right over our noses. I took it as a sign that it was there just for us.  We shared the juicy thing, licked our fingers and proceeded to our nightly disc-tossing.  Great memories.

Also while at the park I watched two young girls, college-age probably, who were there just swinging and talking.  I did a lot of that with my friend Anne, at that same park even.  We'd bring ginger ale, our favorite, and just swing and talk.  The swings back then were much taller and if you really got swinging you shot right up into the cottonwood trees. 

So, my walk tonight brought back many happy memories.  And it was good for my soul.  I so needed to get out.  My poor kids today....scratch that.  They were just awful today.  I don't get it.  I'm trying to be Mary Poppins here - I must be kind, I must be witty, very sweet and fairly pretty, take them on outings, give them treats, sing songs, bring sweets... Well, my 'cheery disposition' keeps going straight down the toilet.  I'm just going to say that the kids are not handling summer well, even on the days when I plan the things they're most excited to do.  Not that staying home helps.  All is drama and tears and fighting.  Mary Poppins is going away now. 

***

That was two days ago.  I'm not managing to get to my computer often!  But the air is momentarily calm and so I thought I'd post a couple of events from the previous week.

Last Saturday we went to the chalk-art festival down at the Gateway Mall.  I've never been to the event before and I'm so glad we went, even though we waited until late in the day and the kids were already quite tired.  It was really really neat.  First we stopped a did a little chalking of our own, and the strolled along the street looking at all of the art.  I bumped into an old friend, and found out that his brother whom I used to date, did one of the drawings.  It was pretty amazing. I feel a little sad that my drawing and painting is currently hibernating but I can not summon the desire to get into the mental space I have to in order to paint. Perhaps someday again.   In the meantime I'm appreciating the art of others - I don't think I'll ever miss the festival again.  We really loved it - the kids were completely fascinated.


 This one is my old friend's - amazing, right?







Sunday of course was Father's Day and we celebrated in our own special way - Bundle spent the previous night up and sick all night long.  So Troy, bless him, took the day off from his Sunday duties and church and hunkered down with us all day long.  It poured rain throughout the day, and most of us stayed in jammies until mid afternoon.  The kids showered Troy with gifts - hand sculpted statues for his office plus some homemade keychains and the like.  I myself gave him Oreo cookies and a bag full of his favorite gorgeous red apples.  It wasn't a really fabulous Father's Day gift, but that man is hard to shop for.  So he gets treats and permission to shop for himself.  Not that he needs it, but he has it anyway.  We are sure blessed to have our Troy.  He is talented, takes good care of us, and loves us all the way we are, thank heavens. 









We also spent an evening with our St. George cousins - they hung out in Salt Lake while my brother Peter was a complete tough guy and ran the relay from Logan to Park City - he put in about 20 miles!  We have been frequenting the library, picking up our summer reading prizes, and also enjoying many play dates with friends.  At this very moment we have two kids over and Stomper is watching movies with the big sister while Bitty is playing with the little brother.  No one is fighting.  Ahhhhhhh.  We just may make it through!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Off to an Energetic Start

I'm having an extremely hard time believing that we've only been out of school for a week.  We have hit it hard on the "getting out of the house" end of things.  I'm going to confess that it's partly a coping skill seeing as how two of my three children reside on the brink of warfare with each other at all times.  We've been gone so much and so busy that our to-do list is already diminishing.

Our first big outing was to the Kennecott Copper Mine, and just getting out there proved as big an adventure as seeing the mine itself.  I've never been there in all my years of dwelling it Utah, and though it was a little alarming to take in the scope of the mine, it was certainly educational.  We went with a small group from our soccer team and we had a great time, especially having lunch together afterwords at a local park where we discovered that local kids have kept a running list of every bad word they could think of etched into the play equipment.  Stomper quickly comforted my fears by letting me know that he only knew the first one and the third one.   





The very  next day we got up early and drove an hour north to Crystal Hot Springs in Honeyville Utah.  Troy was sad he wasn't able to join us - he spent much of his childhood driving to Honeyville to visit his Grandpa Preslar, who used to own the little corner store there.  We stopped to take pictures of the kids on the rickety wooden porch on the way home, which was fun.  The springs themselves were really fun.  The water was quite salty and turned all of our suits slightly orange, but its warmth felt wonderful. That is until about 1:00 in the afternoon when we all started to feel like we were stewing ourselves.  Then it was time to leave.  I was so proud of Stomper - there were two big water slides there that intimidated him, especially the part where you crash land into rushing water at the bottom.  He almost had a major meltdown, but rallied and eventually gave the slides a try and of course loved them.  I'm really excited to head back there come November or December.  It was a fun little destination.





We've been to the aquarium, out to lunch, and had play dates.  We've been to the park and eaten popsicles.  And the weather has been perfect, which we heartily deserve after the past few months as winter just would not give in to spring.  It's not so hot that going outside is miserable yet, and yet warm enough to do some swimming, which we did yesterday: 




I don't think I'm going to be able to keep this up all summer. My kids are going to have to get along at home a little bit!  Please!  But really, we're off to a very fun start to a hopefully great summer.  I think I've taken more pictures in the past two weeks than I have in months.

Have to Post This One

Can't help myself.  I totally loved this.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Beloved Teachers

As Stomper keeps telling me, the past year has gone by just like 'that!' (He demonstrates the extreme speed with the snap of his fingers, of course.)  We've all been shedding some tears over the past week saying goodbye to this year's wonderful group of teachers.  I mean it.  The kids have been bawling since about three days before school let out.,,,,,and so have I.  :)

  Mrs. Lloyd
About Mrs. Lloyd, Stomper says, "She was really nice.  She had fun projects like taking us to the zoo and learning about African animals and bugs.  On my birthday we had a sword fight.  I will always remember making the African Mask." 

That reminds me!  His teacher does these amazing 3D African animal masks every year and Stomper chose to do a crocodile.  I came in to help him a couple of times and I think the final result was pretty amazing. I think I posted a picture of it a couple of posts ago for their art night.  Anyway, a picture of his mask appeared on the cover of this year's final newsletter - I thought that was pretty great!



 Mrs. Scott and Mrs. Clark

About Mrs. Scott, the main teacher, Bitty says, "She was one of the kindest teachers that I have ever had.  She barely got mad at all and that she always liked to fun stuff and that she just was so kind. One of the fun things was the school carnival and that we got to make pinch pots and little houses. We got to be in kindergarten for such a long time.  I hope that Bundle gets my same teachers."

 Besides saying goodbye to our regular teachers we have also had the chance to visit our beloved Miss Patti, the preschool teacher that both big kids had for their first year.  She retired this year and her daughters threw her a party at sugarhouse park.  Patti is amazing - she taught for 20 years and our little family was just a blip on her screen but she acted like not a day had gone by since we had seen her.  Both kids were shy at first but quickly warmed up and remembered what great years they had with her.


I am so grateful for the wonderful teachers we have had this year.  Hopefully  next year we are equally blessed.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Demise of the Flaming Griffins

As our school year has drawn to a close, there have been many celebrations and fond farewells.  Both of the kids had their final soccer games last weekend.  Bitty's was so cute. This year she was on a little co-ed team and ended up being the only girl among a darling group of boys, none of whom go to our same school.  I'm a little sad because they were such a great little group and due to the fact that first grade teams are divided into boys and girls we definitely won't see them again.  When we got to the game on Saturday, we discovered that  a gal from Bitty's class was on the opposing team! She is an absolute doll and I'm so sad they weren't on the same team!  I love her family too.  Sadly, they were only in Utah for a year, visiting from South Carolina.  So, it was fun to be together that one last morning.  Her parents and I did a lot of cheering for both sides. Bitty loves soccer and I think we're going to have to sign up for another year even though there are so many other things she wants to do too.  I can't deny that she's a rockin' little footballer.


And then there's Stomper's team.  I don't think any of the team parents knew what to say last fall as the boys decided that the team name just had to be "The Flaming Griffins."  We laughed a lot, actually, in a very fond way, and deliberated on whether or not we should have t-shirts made.  "Proud Parent of a Flaming Griffin," or something along those lines.  I'm sorry to say that his team does not boast a winning season.  Actually, we didn't win a single game this spring, but that doesn't even matter.  I adore this group of boys and their families and I'm so delighted to have these people in our lives and building solid friendships with our children.  That's an answer to prayer, I'll tell you that. 

In the evening his team regathered in the gorgeous back yard of one family to enjoy a little more time together.  Plenty of yummy food and tons of romping wrestling tumbling boys all over the place.  And some cute girls too. I'm excited for next fall.  We'll just have to see if they keep that awesome team name for one more year.  Go Flamers!



Thursday, June 09, 2011

Happy Birthday.....BUNDLE!

Don't yell at me.  The end of school is a crazy time of year.  It could seriously give Christmas a run for its money.  It has now been nearly a week since the big day but I am proud to report that I have officially MADE IT through Bundle's first two years.  Hooray for Bundle, hooray for me! We did it!  Now we get to enjoy her wonderful twos before we hit that very scary year of three.

We had a very mellow celebration, just the grandparents joining us for cake and ice cream and a few presents.  There were also balloons, of course.  I feel that a party can't be complete without a bright bunch of balloons floating nearby.  Bundle was fascinated with them, of course, and I did something very stupid. She was begging to hold a ballon and I did not want her to be sad so I handed it to her, warning her not take it to the yard and let it go because it would fly away forever.  "Okay," she sweetly replied, and promptly made a bee-line for the back yard, let the balloon go and waved goodbye forever.  Duh.  She thought it was absolutely hilarious and that pink balloon did not end up being the only one to be released into the wild despite our best efforts to keep them contained.  Bitty was not happy with this turn of events, but she eventually recovered.

Bundle took a long time to figure out what was going on - we prepped her for days about her birthday, we asked her all day long whose birthday it was, and it wasn't until about 8:00 that night that she finally started saying, "Birthday for ME! Happy Birthday, Emma!" (In fact, as I type this, she is sitting on my lap, hanging onto my elbows, looking at the pictures and saying, Happy EMMA Happy BIRTHDAY.  Very cute.) Of course, if you ask her how old she is, she will dutifully report that she is seven.