The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lights On!



We totally hit the jackpot last weekend.  What a treat!  Stomper has developed a friendship over the past couple of years with a cute boy; they've been classmates ever since 1st grade and then he joined our soccer team during second grade.  He is just a sweet boy, and he and Stomper get along really well. You know, both being major Harry Potter fans they always have a lot to talk about!  We've even started having him over once a week while his mom works and the boys continue their constant chumminess.  So it just so happens that this kid's dad is the director of the Downtown Alliance and over the weekend, the day after Thanksgiving, there was a big celebration at the Gallivan Center to turn on the Downtown Christmas lights.  So Stomper's friend got to be the kid, alongside the mayor and his wife, to push down the big plunger turning on the lights.  He got to pick one friend and happy for us, he chose Stomper.




I have to say that I have always loved the lights that sparkle all over our beautiful city during the month of December.  They are just enchanting.  However, I sometimes shy away from the hoards of people flocking down there all month long.  I had heard about the Lights On celebration a week ago but didn't think I wanted to haul  my kids down there in the cold and deal with the parking and the people.  But then my friend called and invited Stomper to be a part of it and I'm so glad she did.  It really was cool.  I even had a couple of Stomper's cousins and my mom with me -  we had a big crowd just on our own!  But we headed down to the Gallivan Center anyway, listened to a great children's choir for a bit, nibbled on candy canes, and then Stomper got to go up on stage and help turn on the lights.  He even made the evening news - pretty cool!


It was a great kick-off to our holiday season and I'm so glad we got the chance to be a part of it.  Now all we need are piles and piles of snow.....

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Doldrums...

Uh, hi.  Guess I needed a little break from blogging there - like for an entire MONTH.  Talk about the doldrums! So.....where to begin?

Troy and I at this moment are sitting down on our cozy couch this happy Thanksgiving weekend to watch another installment of Lord of the Rings. We started last night - it seems like a fun addition to our holiday to enjoy these wonderful shows again which were a part of our every Christmas for a while there.  What great shows.  And, since I happen to be sitting here on my can, I  might as well also catch up here just a bit.

Life has been hectic as always these past weeks, and has frankly felt a little motonous and overwhelming.  Anyone familiar with the feeling?  (It leads to very low productivity when it comes to blogging. And also kitchen cleaning.)  It was very helpful to celebrate Thanksgiving this year.  I celebrated it very deliberately - quickly putting away our jovial Halloween decorations but definitely leaving all things Christmas on hold, and trying to really focus on what this past year gave us to be grateful for, for all its gifts.  We even made a Give Thanks spot on our fridge where we created a tree covered in leaves that each stated things we were grateful for.  That made for a fun exercize every morning at breakfast.  We had lots of light hearted (yet still sincere) things to be grateful for - everything from forks (the utensil, not the town  :) to bacon.  And many more things that are a little closer to our hearts, like friends, family, our baby Matthew and even our angelic puppy Alex.  It lifted my spirits to scan over the leaves each day as I worked in the kitchen.  I'm sure that will be a tradition we keep up each year.


So I'm sure this will take a couple of posts to record the highlights of November 2011.  Perhaps I'll just begin with where we are and work backwards from there.  What a wonderful Thanksgiving Day we enjoyed yesterday!  It was a Preslar year and we were lucky enough to meet at the new home of Troy's oldest brother Rick and his wife Tonja.  They just finished it this fall - it's up in Cache Valley and it is just beautiful and comfortable.  I could cook all day long in that kitchen!  Espcecially if I had those gals with me - that was fun.  The food, I just have to say, was probably the tastiest I have ever enjoyed on any Thanksgiving ever.  So good.  I give a great deal of credit to that king of all pork products; bacon.  (I seem to be mentioning bacon repeatedly in this post....) Bacon in the salad, bacon in the beans...  baby.  Also, I got a new recipe from my friend Jordan for these rolls that just knock your socks off they're so good.  Huge pillowy crescents that just melt in your mouth.  And everything else too.  Oh my gosh it was so good!  And it was such a nice atmosphere. The kids mostly roughhoused downstairs which was great to not have them underfoot.  All the little kids just adore Tonja's two teenagers - they glommed onto them all day long!  I bet they were exhausted....







Of course it was totally hopeless getting Bundle down for a nap even though I tried very hard to lie down with her after our dinner.  I was zonking out myself (ahhh...turkey.....) but Bundle wouldn't have it.  We gave up and just spent a very pleasant afternoon playing games and eating pie and this awesome pumpkin cheesecake I made - I found the recipe from listening to NPR!  We departed the valley around 6:30 that evening and Bundle instantly fell asleep.  I figured I was pretty much toast, that she'd sleep all the way home then wake up and hang out happy as could be until 2:00 a.m. or so.  But oh happy day she stayed asleep when we got home and remained asleep until 7:30 this morning!  Hip hip!  Hooray!  All in all, a wonderful day.  I'm so grateful for my Preslar family.  I love them all dearly.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  (Ha ha like anyone even reads this blog anymore!  Well, Happy Thanksgiving, me!)

Thursday, November 03, 2011

One Fantastic Halloween





We really deserved a great Halloween.  For the past few years the weather has been freezing, seeming to go  suddenly cold in time for both Stomper's birthday as well as this holiday which actually encourages kids to go outside at night without their coats and ask strangers for candy.  In fact, last year it rained so hard we barely celebrated Halloween at all. 

Oh, not this year.  It was beautiful.  Our valley is currently a riot of colors, the weather has stayed mild, and we were able to trick or treat for what seemed like hours.  As we do every year, we started out at Troy's parents' house.  They live on this great little culdesac in the Milcreek area and we have a running tradition of beginning our Halloween festivities there.  They have the sweetest neighbors, and our friendships are developing as we pay them a little visit each year.  From there we moved on to a friend's home to enjoy a quick bowl of chili with several families before we took the troup out into the cool dark night to gather candy from the neighborhood.  It was such a relief to not have a single child crying due to cold toes or fingers.  Having several adults around to herd the mass of children streaming around us was also extremely helpful, especially where Bundle was concerned.  She was so adorable, having completely caught on to the traditions of the evening.  She didn't want to miss one single house, no matter how much slower she was than the big kids.

We had some great costumes this year. Stomper has been big into ninjas, and happily we have a black karate suit (I think there's an actual name for those things but I don't know what it is) that made him happy.  I had some gold fabric and I made him some wraps for his arms and legs, which he quickly discarded or rejected as we were getting him dressed that night.  I also attempted a hood which, you can see, looks kinda weird, but hey.  Whatever.  The night before Halloween I actually pulled out our buckets of decorations and old costume pieces. Most people choose to do this several days or weeks before the actual holiday, but not me, not this year.  Anyway, as I was hanging up a decoration or two Stomper found some werewolf  accesories in the box and decided at the last minute to be a "werewolf ninja."  Okay, son, whatever, just don't make me buy or make you anything the morning of Halloween. 

Bitty, for MONTHS, has had her heart set on being a dementor, of Harry Potter fame.  I was very reluctant to get or make her a costume until the last minute due to the tendancy of my children, despite their many promises to the contrary, to have sudden changes of heart when it comes to their costumes. But she was determined, so finally I gave in.  I got some cheap black satin fabric and fashioned a dementor-esque cloak.  I had other plans as well - masks of various types and even a hood, which she did wear for a little while.  She never would let me mask her or paint her face despite the fact that I had made two or three masks according to her directions, but it didn't really matter.  She looked great.  Especially after dark, as she stretched her arms out to the sides and ran down the street, making her shredded gown blow out behind her. 

And Bundle.  Thankfully she is young enough to be willing to dig through the costume bucket and pick something out when a costume was required.  She usually ended up as a kitty cat of some type, though usually a headless one since she refused to wear the hood.  No worries.  She wasn't denied any treats on that account!

And now the great battle of the candy begins.  Just how much candy a day is too much?  No idea, but it does make for a powerful tool in the "if you eat your vegetables" department.  

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Mother of a Nine Year Old? Oh, Nuh-uh, Not Me!

Or...Happy Birthday, Stomper!

No way that my little son really turned nine, right?  I guess this happens to all of us, and I know a lot of my friends are thinking, "Nine?  That's nothing!  Just wait until you send your baby to highschool!  Or on their first date!  Or on their mission!!!"  I'm still in total denial about all of that.  Let's just focus on the first decade.

So yes, my son turned nine.  His birthday landed at the end of one of the busiest weeks I've had in a long time - I had a total of FIVE COUNT 'EM FIVE events at school in four days that all needed multiple volunteers - one of them needed more than 50.  That would be the Halloween Carnival.  And it's over.  And it went well. Yay.  Stomper's birthday, in fact, was the  very same day as the carnival.  Nuts. 

We had a great celebration, though.  The morning began early with Stomper's favorite breakfast: Swedish Pancakes, aka crepes.  And a few little presents to open: lego hero guys, paper airplane book and a "How to Draw Dinosaurs" book. Then it was off to school. We decided to start alternating years of having parties - this year was a not party year for Stomper and it turned out great.  He picked one special buddy (that was hard!  He's got so many good darling buddies!) and we took him to Build-A-Bear with us.  Stomper and his sisters and Brandon all picked out a toy, and the birthday boy got to also choose an outfit.  That was great.  Then we sped home - I got ready for the carnival, my brother Peter and his wife Sheri came into town and totally bailed me out by watching the girls for an evening, including taking them to the carnival, while Stomper wisely chose to skip it and go to dinner and a movie with his Dad.  I don't know who was happier - Stomper or Troy.  The Halloween Carnival gets pretty nuts.  And that's an understatement. 



This is what I thought when Bundle was trying to pick out a
purple teddy bear with rainbow and silver hearts all over it.  Not that I was going to
 let her know that's what I thought about it.

The other time we went to Build a Bear we ended up with a Bear, a Wolf and a Cat and they were named Beary, Wolfy and Kitty, respectively.  This time the kids produced slightly more creative names; Stomper chose a Koala named Timmy, Bitty chose a Bear named Vanilla and Bundle chose a dog which looked so much like her daddy's childhood pet that she graciously named the dog Bandit in the dog's honor.


Stomper of course picked sea food for dinner and happily chomped away at crab legs and shrimp before heading to the dollar flicks for another screening of HP7.2. Luckies.
Then on Saturday we had some cake and ice cream with grandparents, a couple of aunts and an uncle, three cousins, two sisters, two parents and one friend. We gave Stomper a large collection of modeling clay. That's been a hit. Stomper's been making creatures with it ever since, and he and his daddy went so far as to make a couple of stop-motion movies, which are completely awesome. And I'm sure there are many more to come.
 
The kids spent an hour or two in the leaves in the back yard having a complete and total ball.  It was the MOST gorgeous fall day you've ever seen.
 

It was a great celebration for my darling son.  I love him dearly.