The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Monday, February 27, 2012

Blogorama Chapter 5: Pinewood Victory

Troy and Stomper had quite the Pinewood Derby triumph this year.  Troy definitely does not do the project for Stomper, but he does know what to do to make the wheels spin smooth and fast and with very little friction.  Stomper designs it and paints it and all that good stuff.  Troy helps him weight it just right and smooth out the axels on his...tool thingy in the garage.  Sorry, honey, couldn't remember which tool you use for this particular application.

Stomper picked a lightening bolt as his theme for his car and it looks pretty snappy.  More importantly, that little car is speedy, and Stomper has a blue ribbon for his efforts.  Hoorah.  That was fun.

Drinking his victory milk.  I love that Troy takes the time to help this be a fun experience for Stomper.  

Blogorama Chapter 4: Return of the Curly Girl

It has been quite a while since I wrote THIS about saying goodbye to my days of having naturally curly hair.  Ever since I started having babies my hair has gotten more and more limp and less and less curly.  I tried to get it to keep curling but more often than not I found myself straightening it which I actually really liked but took so much time and seemed to be just killing the curls even more.  Years ago I came across a book called Curly Girl that gave some tips and methods for taking care of your curls. I tried it for a while but gave up after a few months.  I never did really go full throttle and buy the right products and stuff. I just thought it was hopeless.

Well.  I guess at that time I told my friend Erin about it and promptly forgot about it.  But in the fall I was hanging out with Erin a bit and she started thanking me for telling her all about it, that I had started a Curly Girl revolution in her neighborhood.  Even her hairdresser had gotten in on it and had been certified in the Curly Girl technique.  Sheesh - I had no idea it was such a big deal.  She gave me some samples of the products and made me re-read the book and guess what.  I am a curly girl once more.  I am so happy.  If you have curly hair at all, read the book and do what she says.

There.  There you have my testimony of curly girl.

Actually my sister and my sis-in-law Sheri have both hopped on the band wagon as well, so over the weekend while Sheri was up here we did a lot of talking about hair do's, much to the eye-rolling of our husbands.  Actually Troy's very supportive - I think he's very happy to have a wife who doesn't hate her hair anymore.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Blogorama Chapter 3: Guests for the Weekend

I'm not going to lie - there were more than a few eyebrows that raised when I told people that my brother and his family of four were coming to stay with us for the weekend.  After all our house is the size of a matchbox and we have only one bathroom.  But despite the obstacle of limited space, we have a great time when the Romneys come to stay.

They came over President's weekend - it was the weekend between teacher appreciation week and the book fair week, so I was pretty tired.  In fact I think I caught a cold pretty much the second they pulled up, but that didn't stop us from having a really great time together.  Their arrival was awesome - when they said they were coming in the morning I thought they'd leave at 9:00 and get here at 12:00 or something, so there was laundry every where, dishes up to the ceiling, and a lot of grocery shopping to get done. Bundle just stood by the window waiting for her cousins to come, no matter how many times I told her that they weren't coming yet. Then suddenly she starts jumping up and down and shouting, "They're here! They're here!"  What?  Oh man.  When they said morning, they meant MORNING like leave at 5am and get here in time for Peter to have a full work day with his computer.  So much for the clean house and stocked shelves.  But of all the people to catch me by surprise, no one is lower stress than Sheri.  In fact we spent the day together picking up the house, putting away laundry, going shopping and just enjoying being together.

We basically spent the weekend eating good food with various combinations of family members, watching movies, going to the zoo (Sheri's exuberance for the zoo is nothing short of infectious.  She treats it like Disneyland, and that's saying something,) going to bed early and playing dress up. Okay, that last one was just the little girls. Sheri always manages to get all four girls sporting the same hairdo at some point during our visits together and this time it was a triple pony-tail deal that had them all flipping their hair around for the day.  I just love it.

So, for all you disbelievers out there, house guests at the Preslar's are totally do-able.  Okay, there has to be some tolerance for extra bodies every where you go (Stomper spent most of the weekend playing quietly alone in the attic) but even three whole days together did not make us ready to say good bye on Monday.

Blogorama Chapter 2: Valentines Day

It is almost to the point where I can no longer blog funny and endearing little stories about my kids because they can now read and will be mad at me if they find out that I've been talking about them and telling all of their most appalling secrets. But I just can't resist sharing this one thing.

For Valentines Day the kids and I had a lot of fun making these white chocolate suckers - it was the easiest thing in the world.  I have little molds and you just melt the chocolate in the microwave, pour it in the molds and stick a sucker stick in there and let them cool off.  I'm only describing them because I failed to get a picture of the finished product. The mold was of a smiley face.  So we made these little super hero capes out of paper, punched a hole in them, stuck the sucker through and you had a little super hero sucker.  On the cape we wrote "You're A Super Friend" and then they signed their names.  I thought they were rather cute.

As Stomper was working on his I noticed that he took some extra time on one in particular...oh my sweet little man.  He's always got a serious crush on someone.  He's been crushing on the same girl for a long time now - ever since second grade.  So he took the super hero cape that was for her and just covered it in hearts.  I wanted to die it was so cute. I even took a picture:

I was reminded of the year that my mom helped us make little homemade chocolates for all the kids in our classes (funny that that is what I was doing this year only mine took about 5 seconds each and she had us making all these individual things with different colored candy; they were incredible.... if memory serves, which it probably doesn't).  I was packaging up the chocolates for my friends and classmates when I came across the one for my heartthrob; one David W. whom I'm sure is traumatized to this day by the force of my elementary school crush.  I put a few chocolates in his bag and felt like it just wasn't enough, like it just didn't have that special something I needed to show my true love.  So I ran to the cupboard, threw it open and started looking for something really spectacular to put in there (because homemade chocolates just weren't enough).  What I found was a jar of peanuts. I grabbed a handful and threw them in the envelope with the other treats.

I'll never forget sitting in my classroom, happily tearing through the valentines during our party when I heard from across the room a shout and an exclamation, "Hey!  Someone put peanuts in my valentine!"  He didn't sound as pleased as I had hoped.

I will always wonder if little Emma noticed that her super hero sucker cape was the only one with a few extra little hearts, scrawled by the untidy hand of a third grader in love.

Blogorama Chapter 1: Who is that Crazy Lady?

Who is that woman? I mean, Look at her!  She has straggly hair, food on her shirt and bags under her eyes.  She looks like she's been wearing the same clothing for days in a row.  I bet if you asked her, she wouldn't have any idea what day it is today.  I bet she smells bad.  Gross. Oh, wait a second.  That's me.

Can I just tell you what an insane couple of weeks I've had?  I don't think you're going to care much, but I would like to say that I am impressed with myself for surviving.  I am tempted to tell you every last thing I've done but it won't sound like it was very difficult or exhausting at all and you won't feel bad for me.

Okay, a brief rundown.  First off, my friends Adam and Angie are getting married, and I'm so happy for them. Angie needed a shower - every bride does and we love our friend, so I threw one together.  Only....because they are both long time ward members and they both have lots of family and other people who love them, we decided that about 100 people needed to be invited.  So that was a bit of a bugger to plan and carry out and organize.  Menu, gifts, centerpieces, food assignments....whew!  Glad I had some wonderful friends to help.

That fell two days before our school's Teacher Appreciation Week.  I'm the volunteer coordinator for the PTA (I hate to say this but I recommend avoiding this job if you can, though I also advocate volunteering at your school.)  So I was in charge of instructing all the class room parents on carrying out a little appreciation for the teachers.  But then the PTA itself does a big song-and-dance for the teachers - catering lunches, breakfasts, snacks, bringing gifts, holding raffles, that kind of thing.  And I did all of that too.  After a weekend with family in town (fun - will blog in a later chapter) the next week (the one we're just ending) was the book fair, for which I had to find all the volunteers as well as plan and carry out two more meals for the teachers because this week was also parent-teacher conferences and the PTA always does meals on those days.  I was feeling bad for asking all the parents for so much help over the two-week stretch so I just asked the PTA if I could please provide the main course for the two meals and just ask for sides; usually we ask for parents to plan carry out the entirety of the meals. But they had been asked for a lot (believe me, some of them let me know) and so I just wanted to do it myself.  And it is never as simple as it seems.

My brother introduced me to a phrase that I think describes my life more often than not: Project Creep.  A project (or a meal or a sunday school lesson or a Christmas card or whatever) starts out as one small simple idea and slowly gets bigger and bigger and bigger until you find yourself at 4:55 running out the door balancing two crockpots on your hips while yelling at your kids to be nice for five minutes while you just take this little entire carload of dinner/servingwear/more dinner to the school.  And that happened I think five times in 10 days.  I'm nuts.  And weird, part of me just LOVES feeding a crowd.  But I always end up in a serious pinch when I'm trying to pull it off.

Well, that was WAY beyond "just a brief rundown."  I just had to get down what I've been up to for the past MONTH.

I have many more Blogorama Chapters to write seeing as how life did not seem to slow down during my weeks of planning and carrying out.  I have to say, I have a few friends in the neighborhood who have affectionately dubbed me "The Cruise Director" because I'm always pulling things together.  I think it's a blessing and a curse...or just a really bad habit.

Thankfully there are no photos of me during this time period.  It's for the best, really.  Okay, here are some shower pictures:

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Just Thinking of Old Stories

Once again, I seem to find myself blogging in the dead middle of the night with bleary eyes, having posted nothing for many days, staying up only because I'm not in the mood to go to bed.  I know, everyone should always be in the mood to be well-rested, but some days going to bed means that tomorrow is just going to come all the quicker and I'm not ready.  So here I am.  I don't even have anything all that interesting to say - nothing exciting is going on, although I seem to be headed into the busiest and super craziest month of my entire school year.  I definitely won't be coming up for air until about March 5th.  But I was thinking about an old story I wanted to jot down because it makes me happy -

My dad has been listening to a lot of John Schmidt and Steven Sharp Nelson, aka "The Piano Guys."  They do have a lot of fun making music and videos and I enjoy them myself.  But my dad is hooked.  I haven't bought any actual CDs yet but he's got all of them.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  I just haven't gone there myself, is all.  But I have been thinking a lot about John Schmidt - he's actually been a part of my life for a long long time.

It all started back in the summer after 8th grade. Oh my gosh - what year was that...'87?  I think so.  I went on a church trip with a whole bunch of kids and had this terrific adventure as we traveled to Havasupai Falls in Arizona.  Can you imagine doing that now?  I can't.  The trip was crazy - hours of backpacking, complicated food assignments, kids sneaking out and skinny dipping in the pools at night (Me!  With my friend/cousin Jessica - that was the best ever) a bus break-down in the middle of the night on the way home, and of course, a little romance along the way.  With "Jeremy," last name not to be revealed, since everyone occasionally Googles their own name and that can lead to problems.  Anyway, Jeremy and I kind of had this little romance over the trip, though he was uninvolved in and hopefully unaware of any skinny-dipping that occured.  We did have many nice moments sitting on the rocks that looked across the lake to the majestic and just incredibly beautiful falls and gazing in total and complete awe at them. When we returned from the trip and before I decided I didn't like him as much as I thought I did which happened just about the time my parents caught us hanging out at my house alone together...sorry, tangent - he shared a tape with me.

This was an old, beat up, recorded-over-several-times little cassette tape.  And on it was some poorly recorded music of the most beautiful piano playing I had ever heard, my favorite of course being this piece about a waterfall.  (Surely you're familiar with John Schmidt's Waterfall number....)  I listened to it over and over, even after I was done listening to it to bring back the magic of the romance.  I just loved it so much. But this tape was totally bootlegged - from what I remember about it, Jeremy got it from a friend who had stolen it from another friend by breaking into his house by climbing over the garage door or something like that. (My memory is a little hazy on that detail.)  And THAT guy had recorded it from the artist's demo tape.  Or something.  I think. Anyway, there was no name to go along with the music and so I just listened to this anonymous piano player with no idea as to who he really was.

So a couple of years go by; I'm now a sophomore at East High and spending quite a bit of after-school time there as I participate in many a theatrical production.  One day I'm walking along in the hallway on a quiet afternoon; normal people go home when school is done.  But there I am when suddenly, very quietly, I hear the strains of a familiar piece of music. I stop.  I listen more closely, realize that what I'm hearing is THE guy, THE music I've had in my tape player or at least around it since my first doomed romance at the age of 14!  I start walking quickly, looking around for who might be playing this on their ghetto-blaster (which of course was slightly larger and more unwieldy than my ipod nano where I keep my John music these days).  (Oh my gosh - another quick tangent - my spell check does not like the word ipod and tried to replace it with IZOD! Get up to date a bit, spell check!  Ha!)

Okay, ANYWAY, nowhere can I find the source of the music until I chase it all the way down to the auditorium where I run in, see this big tall gangly red-headed guy sitting at the piano and playing his heart out.  I have no idea what he was doing there; he must have had a concert or something and was practicing.  Whatever he was doing, he certainly was not expecting a young, barefooted girl to come crashing in there, eyes shining, at a full run.  But that is what I did.  When he, in utter shock, stopped playing I blurted out, "IT'S YOU!!!" (Did I mention the drama thing?)

How does one ever respond to that phrase?  I don't know, and neither did he. Yes.  It's me. And who are you?  So I tried to explain my very random and slightly illegal story of how his music came to be a part of my life.  If slightly confused and certainly alarmed he also seemed pleased by having such an energetic fan, and I think I even did come back to the theater that night or the next to listen from back stage to him perform.

Obviously he has gone on to have a neat career with his playing, and I am heartily happy for him.  I am sure he has no recollection of the incident, but I'll never forget it.  In his honor, I'll post a video of The Waterfall.