The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Welcome, Phil.

I would like to welcome a new member of our...household.  I can't quite bring myself to welcome Phil to the family exactly but I'm agreeing to let him reside here and do my best to care for his needs.  Phil is some type of small brown scorpion brought to us from the deserts of Utah by our adventurous and rather frontiersy next door neighbor.  He was pretty tickled to be presenting Stomper with this exotic new pet and Stomper is  beside himself with excitement.  He is, after all, the kid who loves all things carnivorous, especially if they have claws or pincers or a poisonous aspect to their predatory physiques.  I'm not entirely sure how Phil came by his name - it certainly doesn't carry the same ferocity as T-Rex, our leopard gecko.  Speaking of good old T-Rex, he is still around, approaching his 5th anniversary with our family.  I am quite fond of our little lizard I can't quite tell you why T-Rex feels so much more like a pet than Phil.  Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I feel completely comfortable holding T-Rex whereas with Phil there is a strict do-not-open-this-enclosure-under-any-circumstances rule.  Yeah, that poisonous stinger aspect has got to be it.  Hopefully Phil leads a long and happy life eating crickets and digging under sticks.

Not a very good picture - he's so small it's hard to get a close up picture of him, but here is Phil the Scorpion:


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Swan Song

Perhaps you heard it this evening, softly drifting on the warm air, the sweet sad notes of a trumpet playing taps just as the sun set.  That was us.  We were saying goodbye to a beloved friend about whom we've been blogging every summer since this blog began. In fact, I posted enough about the miracle of this friend that I was pretty sure no one wanted to read about it ever again.  Yes, it's true. Our faithful and very long-lived old pool finally died.

I don't suppose it's reasonable to expect an inflatable pool to last more than ten years especially considering the abuse it suffered at the hands of our offspring and their comrades. But since it did last those ten years I guess I thought it was invincible. Turns out, it wasn't. I mean, we patched little spots here and there, but once it became clear that it could barely hold water we thought it might be time to let it go.

Good bye, dear pool.  You served us well.  You were very bouncy and deep and splashy and held lots and lots of water that warmed up perfectly if you just had the patience to wait for two or three super dooper hot days in a row.  You only killed a little of the grass.  And we'll love you forever.  Also we're buying another pool tomorrow.  Sorry.

And as a fond farewell before we heartlessly replace it, here are some best-of pictures of the longest-lasting inflatable pool in history.

2012

2011



2010

2009

2008


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Taking Note

I don't have any pictures to post with this one, and it's not anything long or deep or thoughtful.  I just had a little tiny thing I want to remember always, so I thought I'd better post it here.

I was hanging out with Bundle and she saw a fly buzzing around so she asked if I could go grab the

"shoo-flier."  

Cutest word ever for a fly-swatter.  And that's all I have to say.

I'll discuss my tactics to summer survival in a later post...assuming I am still surviving at that point.

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Journey to the South

After the trauma of the first week of summer last year (I vaguely remember lots of tears, yelling, fighting and that was just the first 10 minutes after the bell rang) Troy and I decided to take premptive measures and plan a trip the morning after the carnival.  It ended up being a very good idea.

After the huge week Peter and Sheri had already had - a visit up here to see us and the zoo, then a trip to Disneyland the day after they got home - I wasn't sure they'd have the energy to take us on too but it worked out beautifully. I'm sure part of the success of the trip has something to do with the fact that the kids are all growing up enough for travel to not be so demanding.  For example, on the drive down to St. George I think I only had to do the butt-to-the-windsheild position once!  This is a big deal.

We knew we were heading to the desert at a toasty time of year, so we basically planned a water-outing every single day.  It was great!  The first afternoon we went to the local splash park, after which we cruised back to the house so I could attend Sheri's weight training class she teaches at a near-by gym.  Crap!  It was really hard!  But it felt great.  I can't remember what it's called, but it's one of those classes where you lift weights along to music.  I only felt horribly sore and achy for four days....which was basically the rest of the trip.  Funny.  Sheri is awesome.






The next day we went to ...some reservoir.  I can't remember what it's called.  But it just has the most wonderful red sand for what seems like miles.  The kids had so much fun, and the water, though chilly, was clean and beautiful and the sand was perfect for playing in.  That was a good time.  Admittedly we went through two entire canisters of sunscreen, but playing in the sun for hours was worth it.








We also hit the city pool, which I guess has been around down-town St. George for a really long time - Sheri's Dad worked there in high school as did Sheri, so she's planning on her kids working there too!  I guess not much has changed, according to her reports.  It's a great pool - not too fancy but plenty for kids to do, including a hydro-tube.  Stomper never even set foot in the regular pool. He just headed straight over to the tube and spend three solid hours going down.  He met a little pack of kids to hang out with - he's been doing that more lately which has been really fun.  There were a couple of boys and one cute little 12 year old girl whose name was either Gwen or Quinn - I don't think Stomper ever really figured that out.  The boys had to take off after an hour or so but Stomper and Qui/Gwenn stuck it out together the whole time.  Awwwww.....I hear that our phone number even got passed out a time or two but so far no calls for my son, despite the fact that he's actually checked voicemail hopefully a time or two since we've been home.  Cute now...not sure how I'll feel about that in 3 or 4 years!!





Another fun bit to the trip was the fact that Peter had been asked to play in his in-laws church meeting on Sunday (he's a cellist).  He had no idea what he was going to play, even a couple of days before. Apparently he and I inherited the same procrastination gene from someone. Nor did he have anyone to accompany him.  Well, there happens to be a little piece that I used to accompany our sister Margaret on ever since about 5th grade and though my piano skills are decrepit at best I can still manage Bach's prelude set to Ave Maria by...somebody.  It's a nice simple little piece and it was really fun to play with Peter.  I'd like to dust of those skills sometime.  Later.  Not during the summer.

Peter and Sheri's yard also added a ton of fun for us.  They have put so much work into it and now instead of a dusty patch in back of the house they have grass, a sand pit, a trampoline, a playhouse and a junglegym with swings.  Plus a great inflatable pool which we kept filled for most of the weekend.  Basically, we'd go someplace and swim and get hot and all sticky with sunscreen.  Then we'd come home to shower and clean up and the next thing you'd know, all the kids would shuck off all their clean clothes and hop into the pool naked.  Fabulous.  What summer is all about.

So Pete and Sheri - thanks for a wonderful weekend.  Hopefully you are now taking a very well-deserved REST and not going anywhere for a while!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Last Day of School

Oh my gosh you have got to be kidding. There is NO WAY it's only been a week since school got out.....feels like at least a month....I'm so tired.......

My friend came over today to let our kids play and the two of us just sat there like limp little noodles with barely enough energy to carry on a conversation.  She was wondering if there was something wrong with her but luckily she had me to validate her issue and show her that she's not the only exhausted mother out there.  I think it takes us all a while to adjust to the rigors of summertime.  Fun it may be, and the break from homework is pleasant, but let's not deny that we have to be ON all the time.

Okay, what was I saying? Oh yeah, last day of school.  It went well - neither kid cried on the way home, unlike last year.  It was a step up for sure.  As always I grew very fond of the kids' teachers and feel a real sense of loss at the end of the year.  A lot of people raise their eyebrows in surprise when I tell them that my children generally weep at the close of the year but that's because they're just thinking about the end of homework and early mornings.  But if you think about the part about not seeing their friends every day and saying goodbye to a teacher they'll never have again, it's pretty understandable.  And kinda sweet.


I love that Bitty wanted to wear a tie to school. Okay! Whatever!



We did of course spend that evening at our school carnival.  Being on the PTA I was there for the whole time.  I just have to give a shout out to the people who have volunteered for pretty much every single activity this whole year.  What a bunch of troopers.  I had a good time being behind the scenes.  Hopefully it wasn't too stressful for Troy to be on kid patrol for the evening.  Stomper is big enough to just take off with friends, which he did.  We barely saw him all night long.  Bitty is big enough too but sometimes she is more solitary than her big brother which doesn't seem to fit her profile, but there you go.  She did run off on her own but not with friends.  She was just sort of dancing around the playground all by her self, spinning from one attraction to the next in a dizzy haze of cotton candy and snow cones.  Bundle was the only one who needed supervision and that was mostly just to limit her cotton candy intake.  After seeing her chow down on one cloud of the stuff I was wondering if we were going to get a repeat of the pink-barf year but that crisis was averted.  So yes, the carnival was a great success and it was a great way to end the year, as always.

We have about 15 pictures in this series of "Bundle attacks cotton candy" - we couldn't help ourselves.  It was so adorable to watch her shove her face into it we just kept taking pictures.




Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Birthday Girl


Despite the fact that we had already had a massively crazy weekend (visiting family, 50th Wedding Anniversary Party, Zoo Trips....) we just had to squish Bundle's third birthday party in there as well.  I mean partly we really wanted to have Peter and Sheri here for the party, and it did seem like more fun to throw the party on Bundle's actual birthday.  But truthfully, we just didn't have a single other day we could have Bundle's party before about July.

Also, I confess. I totally copied my friend's tea party idea.  Actually, that's not quite true: I know it is not possible for me to pull off a tea party such as my friend threw for her daughter.  But I thought it was a cute idea.  So I did a way-scaled down tea party, and even that I could not have pulled off without Peter and Sheri to help me decorate and put it all together.  Whew, so glad they were here.  Sheri even asked a couple of times..."Uh, what would you have done if we hadn't been here?"  Freaked out, that's what. So thanks!

And it turned out just fine.  Adorable, in fact.  I borrowed tea cups from a couple of friends and made cupcakes that actually turned out cute if not spectacular.  (I don't need spectacular, I just need pretty good!) Sheri got all the girls in dress ups with fancy hair.  My dear friend Myca went nuts making tutus for the little girls as a party gift and the four cousins did a LOT of twirling on the grass. They were a hit. Bundle was the perfect birthday girl and we really had a nice afternoon celebrating her wonderful three years.











Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Rocky Shores

Being a person who is a frequent visitor to our Hogle Zoo, I have been keeping an eye on construction on the new Rocky Shores exhibit for something like 2 years now.  It was so worth the wait.  I love it!  Sheri, my zoo-happy sis-in-law planned a trip up here just for the opening.  Of course, opening morning itself was kind of a night mare.  The zoo turned the ribbon cutting ceremony into a big old pain for all the families there, making us sit in the hot sun while people we couldn't hear all said a bunch of stuff which I'm guessing was all kind of the same thing but since we couldn't hear, I'm not sure.  Once we actually got into the new area we were very pleased with the incredible displays and enclosures.  They are pretty amazing, and there is a big group of new animals.  What is really neat is the back story of each animal.  They all have stories and reasons why they're being cared for by a zoo.  The best has got to be Big Guy, a big old sea lion that was found in the wild after he had been injured somehow.  He is blind in both eyes, and after capture he was supposed to be euthanized but he was so calm and mellow and happy that they couldn't do it.  He has been able to cope and thrive in captivity and so has been brought to our zoo where he swims happily in circles, memorizing the geography of his enclosure.

Despite the rough start to our Rocky Shores visit we decided to come back with our husbands and my two older children on Saturday morning first thing.  (Whoever shows up to the zoo at 2:00 p.m. on a Saturday on the 2nd day of a new exhibit when it is 90+ degrees outside, I don't understand you.)  Our Saturday morning visit was much more pleasant and we had wonderful views of all the animals.  I can't wait to go back, actually, but you will only find me there at 9:00 a.m. on the dot or not at all.  Good job (mostly), Hogle Zoo.












The Perfect Storm. I Mean Weekend.

Don't you love that thing that happens when every single upcoming event on your calendar falls on the same weekend?  It seems to happen more often than seems logical or even possible but there it is.  This happens to have been just one of those weekends.  It wasn't bad at all, in fact it was completely wonderful in many many ways.  It was just kinda hectic.

Here's the rundown.  We had....a 50th wedding anniversary party for my in-laws at our house, my brother and his family staying at our house for three nights, 2 separate trips to the zoo to see the new Rocky Shores exhibit, a luau for a graduating nephew, an end-of-season soccer barbecue, a birthday tea party for my now-three-year-old daughter, a PTA meeting, church, lots and lots of cleaning and decorating, catch-up-blogging, finding volunteers for our school's Family Fun Carnival and feeding everyone all weekend.  Oh yeah, plus one diorama of an American crocodile in its habitat due Monday morning.  (Mrs.3rd Grade Teacher, don't you know, a diorama for my son is a diorama for me?) So add making lots of homemade play dough to the list as well. (Side note, I really love Stomper's 3rd grade teacher.  Just a bad weekend for the diorama.)

So, yes, it's been a bit busy.  But it all went beautifully.  I think I'll blog about a few of those things separately and just start with one event here.

My sweet in-laws celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary here on Friday night and it couldn't have been more fun.  It was just our Preslar family and we had a great time hanging out on the back porch chatting and grilling while the kids ran wild in the forest at the back of our yard.  (Yes, there was a boy cousin wielding the Captain America shield at all times.) We shared memories and made grandpa cry, we watched a slide show of wonderful old photos, we listened to music on Pandora from 1962 which was a lot of fun.  It was a lovely celebration and I feel very blessed to be a part of the Preslar family.