The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

Bellatrix, Captain America and the Princess - this is really our only shot of Bitty in her costume this year!  I might have to make her reenact it tomorrow so I can take more pictures....too pathetic?  Nah.
It Just Isn't Halloween Until Someone's Crying, Right?

re we done yet?  Is it over?  Yes?  WHEW.  We made it.

I am so tired I can barely keep my eyes propped open but seeing as how this has pretty much been my worst blogging month EVER I thought I'd throw in one last post on before midnight.

Halloween.  I love it. I hate it.  It is one of those holidays when I truly relish the evening-after feeling, as opposed to Christmas where I feel pretty much instant depression the moment the last gift is opened.  I'm sitting in my living room, the scent of burnt pumpkin and freshly-extinguished candles still wafting through the air, the kids tucked into bed for their well-earned, sugar-powered dreams.. And it is just lovely.

I have to say that this was a Wonderful Halloween, which phrase I will stand by even if it is slightly oximoronic.  The kids' costumes were done days ago instead of hours ago like most years, and they weren't that expensive to pull off.  The weather has never been so perfect for us before, which I'm feeling guilty about knowing how the east coast has faired this week. (Hurricane Sandy, for future reference.)  It was so warm that it made it possible for us to host a pre-trick-or-treating supper which snowballed into maybe 8 families joining in.  I wasn't sure we'd be able to fit even three families into our little cottage, not to mention a crowd big enough to create our very own Halloween parade.  But we just stuck them on the back porch and had so much fun eating chili and rolls, artichoke dip and dry-iced apple juice that we almost forgot to get everyone out the door for trick-or-treating.  When we finally did get going we really did create a crowd big enough to strike fear in the eyes of home-owners and candy-passer-outers everywhere.  Okay, just in the lower avenues, but we were effective in our scare-tactics.

Highlights for me this year - the costumes really were fun for me.  Stomper made a great Captain America and I felt like he felt a little more grown up than if we had purchased a jumpsuit costume from someplace.  Bitty has such a love affair with the evil characters she wants to play each year - I love that dark streak in her.  And Bundle - I never did have Bitty wanting to just be something pretty so it was a delight for me to just doll up Bundle as much as she wanted.  Make-up, sparkly bun with diamond pins, ruby slippers and puffy dress, a little tiara - so fun.  And taking her to each door - she walked so slowly that we really weren't a part of the big gang of big kids - and getting the chance to watch the smiles from all the candy-givers was a treat for me. Oh yeah, and the way she put herself to bed at 8:15. That was great.

Let's see....there's probably something else I should be writing about, a few details I want to record but....I have no idea what they are.  I have to go sleep now.

Happy Halloween to all, and to all a good...start to the Christmas Season starting tomorrow, which we can't help even if we want to. Darn capitalism.

Actually at first glance this photo looks a bit like a nativity scene with our friend being dressed as a king, doesn't it?  





Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Miracle of the Lizard

Going along with the theme of my son's birthday, I feel that I must include a little anecdote about a birthday gift he received exactly 1/2 his life ago; his sweet little leopard gecko T-Rex.

T-Rex has had a good life.  At least I hope he has. We've tried to do right by him. (Secretly, I think T-Rex is a female, but since Stomper is sure she's a boy and nothing will change even if I'm right, we'll stick with the "he" pronoun.) However, over the past year or two he seems to really have been going down hill - he kind of stopped eating much at all and was losing energy and even some eyesight.  He just seemed like he was on his last legs, slowly dying.  One way you could tell was by looking at his tail - leopard geckos store fat and water in their tails which makes them all plump and fat.  T-Rex's tail was starting to look totally shriveled, almost like a little worm all wasted away.  Every morning I was sure we'd find a dead lizard in the aquarium but some how he hung on.

Then maybe 2 months ago we tried a new type of worms...

Oh my gosh, I just realized that once again, I am writing a very boring blog post.  Sorry. Oh well, I am still happy with our family lizard's health, so I'm going to keep writing.

Anyway, T-Rex started eating this new type of worm we had never tried before and within days he was going nuts for them, consuming at least five a day.  His tail is fatter than I have ever seen it and he's running around the cage like the youthful reptile he once was.

This is getting silly. But it can't be helped.  I'm quite fond of our little lizard and to see him snatched from the jaws of starvation and death like that has been very exciting and uplifting to me.  It's making me wonder just what is in those worms.....I can't decide if they're just super high in fat or if they have some sort of deep healing properties.....hmmmmm........





Oh You Know, Just Your Basic INSANE CRAZY Weekend..

....but that doesn't mean it wasn't wonderful.

Isn't it just lovely how sometimes our loads and schedules are busy but manageable with even an occasional breather here and there.  Then we take a moment to look at the calendar and realize that approximately five high stress, large scale and demanding events are coming up...all within about a 36 hour time frame.  And suddenly you need blood pressure medication. Maybe that only happens to me. All the time, it seems.

This weekend was one of those. Of course we had a soccer game and the usual business, but it was also the school Halloween Carnival on Friday night, for which I was the volunteer coordinator, plus my brother and his family came into to town to enjoy the weekend with us. I taught a Relief Society lesson on Sunday that I tried hard to prepare before the storm hit but didn't quite make it. Also there was this little thing...Stomper's birthday, complete with a large party on Saturday for a giant flock of boys followed by a small party the next day for just the family.  My goodness it was quite a weekend.  And yet, miraculously...it all worked out beautifully.  Even Peter and Sheri commented on how nicely everything flowed and how little fighting there was between my kids - a veritable miracle!

The carnival was ....not horrendous.  And the birthday party....also not horrendous!  I guess I have low expectations when encountering birthday parties and carnivals, go figure. There were a few rough spots during the carnival but over all it seemed to go well and I even scheduled a volunteer to take over for me half way through so I could go spend some time with my family instead of relying on Peter and Sheri to take my kids the whole night long.

Cousin Siena as Sally - Sheri made the most fabulous dress for her!
Princess Bundle - Bitty wasn't around for the photo shoot because she went early to the carnival with me. You'll just have to wait to see her as Bellatrix LeStrange.

Captain America! Like the shield?  We made it out of a $.75 pizza tin from the D.I. Oh yeah, and  15 bucks worth of spray paint.
 As far as Stomper's birthday party goes, it was very hard to write up a guest list without overwhelming ourselves.  Stomper has so many adorable friends and it did end up being a pretty huge group.  He had a tough time figuring out what he wanted to do with his big day and we ended up having both a bowling party as well as pizza and a late-over movie at our house.  I totally recommend going bowling at the UofU Union Building - it is so cheap and the kids really had a good time!  Of course, it hurt my back just watching those boys hurl their balls lopsidedly down the lanes, but probably not as much as it hurt the floors. I don't know how they hold up to birthday gangs of 10-year-old boys.







I knew all those boys wouldn't spend a whole lot of time actually sitting and watching a show at our housewhen there were birthday presents and kids and excitement all over the place, even when it was THE Avengers.  (Love those guys.).  But I was surprised that we really didn't have any major meltdowns or wrestling injuries or crying kids. It was exhausting but better than I ever hoped for.

A somewhat sad but very delicious attempt at a bowling ball cake with bowling pin cupcakes

We tried to maintain a strict no-wrestling policy but it wasn't easy
So, there you go.  We made it through one dang long weekend.  I guess I didn't really include pictures of me teaching my church lesson or of the four little girls playing super happily together while they unloaded plastic toys off the shelves by the dozens, so this entry isn't really complete. But I'm gonna call it good.



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sniff.

Today felt like it was the first seriously rainy, chilly day of fall.  We saw it coming in the weather reports and so yesterday when I was stranded at home all day with a sick kiddo (really?  After FIVE days of UEA, the kid had to wait until Monday morning to get sick? Wah!  Boo Hoo me!)  I decided to take on the tomato plants before the weather really turned.  It was time to pull them out and say goodbye.  Sniff.

I have mentioned before my great love of tomatoes and how hard it is to see them go every year. I am going to confess though that this year our tomatoes were so massive and abundant that...I actually got a little burnt out and had a substantial amount of guilt as I tore down the plants and found all the fruit left behind.    It seems almost sacrilegious that I could do such a thing, but you have to understand the scope of our tomato plants this year.

I just realized that this is going to be a very boring post.

Oh well - feel free to move on if you can't bear my extensive tomato monologue.

In the spirit of our tomato-love I planted five little plants this year and hoped that they would do well.  They were okay, but not great, partly because they were planted in the same place we always plant them and thus I think the soil was a little deficient.  Also, I accidentally bought four cherry tomato plants and it turns out that no tomato lover I know can keep up with four plants worth of cherry tomatoes.  This would have meant bad news for us except that at the beginning of the summer, when our five little plants were already starting to stretch their arms and roots, we received a gift of the five most PATHETIC looking tomato vines I have ever seen.  Someone knows that we love the Brandywine variety and so gifted these to us.  They were quite straggly and limp we had very little hope for their survival, not to mention their production. The thing is, we had to find a brand-new spot of dirt for planting and that fresh raw soil did the trick.

Although they barely changed at all for a couple of weeks, pretty soon we were shocked on a daily basis by their growth.  I meant to take a picture of Troy next to them with the vines towering over his head but before I did the tomatoes growing there became so massive and heavy that they were pulling the vines right over.  We were gathering tomatoes the size of grapefruit or larger and gobbling them up as fast as we could until about mid September when suddenly we were just kind of done.  As I pulled out the vines yesterday my amazement continued as I found that the vines stretched into the neighbor's yard over 10 feet - they were choking the grapevines which usually strangle everything in sight!

So, sigh, yes, the tomato plants are gone. But thanks to me neglecting them for a month, we found quite a haul yesterday and if I can get myself into gear we can have some good sauce and salsa and maybe one last BLT night before they all disintegrate into primordial mush. Which I will stir into the dirt to make even better dirt for next year.





Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Plethera

When my sweet little daughter Bitty got invited to go with a friend to a 'pumpkin patch' I envisioned one of those commercial places where you wander around some cute little photo-op pumpkins before spending $3 - $29 on a pumpkin.  Well, that's not how it went.  After Bitty was gone for a very long time I went to pick her up from her friend's house and discovered that I should have brought my pick-up truck because there wasn't enough room in my van for all the pumpkins.  That's how it goes when it turns out that this was an actual pumpkin farm where the girls went.  I guess her friend's mom's boyfriend is a chef who uses a lot of produce from a farmer in Tooele and thus the farmer said Come Pick Pumpkins! and that is exactly what they did.  We now have a porch absolutely loaded with adorable and also sort of massive pumpkins. It's very festive.  I'm a little afraid of being raided but until that day we love our holiday display.

One problem. The kids think we're carving every single one of them. Will someone please break it to them that they will be very lucky children if we manage to carve any at all?  Thank you.




Saturday, October 20, 2012

Super Proud!

We have a really fabulous Primary President.  We have had a lot of them in our ward and I'm so grateful for all the time they have given our kids.

This year the kids were challenged to learn and memorize all 13 Articles of Faith before the end of the year.  Honestly, I wasn't sure it was going to happen.  For one thing, I knew that if the kids were going to do it it was going to be up to me to find the time and energy to GET them to do it.  Plus, it's a lot to memorize.  But I totally underestimated my kids.  That's probably because I expected them to be grudging about doing the memorizing, me nagging and nagging like always.  But it was the complete opposite - the kids really wanted to do this and actually eagerly worked on each one.  And really, I thought we would kind of get through each article and then they'd forget it as we moved on to the next but actually they had them all down cold, give or take a word here and there.  Even still we go over about one a day and they have them memorized still.  I'm very proud.  I think it's the first time I've had them all memorized in my life!

So....I besides the fact that my kids are motivated and have above average intelligence, I must confess that they had a bit of outside motivation as well.  Our afore-mentioned fabulous Primary President offers to each child who completes this formidible task is awarded one giant chocolate chip cookie.  And when I say giant, I mean large-pizza-sized giant.  That's really all it took for my kids to want in on this project.  When they were awarded with their cookies they were beyond ecstatic.  Stomper began consuming his almost immediately while Bitty started weeping because she couldn't keep it forever and ever.  So, we took some pictures so she would feel better about eating it.





Awesomeness

I am going to begin with my own awesomeness.  I am awesome.  You want to know why?  Obviously not for being a stellar blogger as of late...hello, what day is it?  The 19th??  And this is my first post of the month?  No, I am awesome because it is nearly midnight and I have spent much of today successfully creating a single Captain America t-shirt out of four separate t-shirts, three of which I found in the bottom of my son's drawer.  I did this because Halloween is nearly upon us and the fact that my son settled upon a costume more than a week before the big day is a wonderful thing.  Upon committing him 100% to his character of choice I straight away began looking for appropriate costume pieces.  As it turns out, on this entire planet, as viewed through my web browser, there are only two possible choices for Captain America costumes besides those that cost over $300.  Not only do neither of them come with a sheild (doi!!) but both of them are the rather cheesy nylon jumpsuit things which are fine for cute little kindergartners but my 10 year old boy said no.  So we went with some cool army-type pants and this homemade shirt that took me many many hours to complete.  It looks awesome.  Of course, my vision is rather blurry at the moment and I'm afraid to look at it in the morning when I have had some sleep, but for the moment, I am awesome.

Ah, Halloween.  I love it, I hate it.  Next step is to complete Bitty's Bellatrix LeStrange costume...I love how she loves to be evil scary things on Halloween.  Almost as much as I love the fact that her sister wants nothing more than to be a princess with a sparkly dress.

And now to the real awesomeness.  The kids had extensive play dates today and there was lots of coming and going and here and there....and since Troy was away in Logan until past bedtime I thought it would be a perfect evening to take the kids and go see Brave at the dollar theater.  It is so fun to go to movies with Bundle now that she is big enough to get through the whole thing.  She wiggles in her seat to the music, she makes loud excited comments like, "She did it, mommy, she did it!!" and claps at the end.  Okay, we did end up heading to the bathroom twice and knocked over a tub of popcorn in the process but hey, I'll take it.

The best part of the movie was toward the end when things were getting a little scary,  I had Bundle on one side of me and Stomper on the other.  Bitty crawled across to sit on my lap and both the other kids leaned in until we were one big snuggle pile that amazingly stayed sweet and comfortable for the duration of the movie.  Anyone who has had small children pile up around and on top of them knows that it generally becomes wiggly and full of elbows before very long.  But not tonight. We all snuggled as best we could until the very end, where I found myself getting teary as the mother and daughter reunite.  That's when I heard a very small sniffle to my right.  I tried to by sly as I sneaked a peek at my sweet son but he caught my eye and gave me a small little smile.  And sniffed again.  After the movie we were walking along and he and I had a quiet second so I asked him if he had gotten a little teary at the end of the movie too.  He said, "Yes, I did.  I'm just like that. But I'm really really good at hiding it."  That made me smile, and I assured him that both his father and his mother have a similar issue though we don't always hide it as well.  For some reason watching my son get slightly choked up over a movie just made me feel happy.  I had an awesome night with the kids.

And now I shall be off to bed seeing as how I need to make a Captain America shield tomorrow.