The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

Tribute to Bitty

My favorite thing to report about Bitty's activities this spring was a little presentation her class put together.  They were to each design a super hero and then create a comic strip about their super hero.  Each super hero was to be someone who did good things for their communities.  Bitty created someone by the name of "Mr. Scribbles."  I am still not entirely clear on just exactly what Mr. Scribbles does to better his community but I think it has something to do with having the ability to find something bad, scribble it out and replace it with something good.  Something like that.  Anyway, after the class finished their creations they invited their families to a special event in which we could come and view their characters and comic strips, and the kids could dress up as their super heroes if they wanted.  If they wanted?  Of course they would want to! (Just what I want at the end of the year - another costume to put together...)

Bitty carefully described her character to me and how she thought we could create a costume; basically a shirt and pants covered in scribbles.  I had the idea to hot-glue yarn all over an old tee shirt and pair of pants.  I was pretty excited that I thought I already had everything I needed and would not be pulling an all-nighter over another costume this year.  (Yes, of course I procrastinated the creation of the costume until the night before.)  I put the kids to bed, I got started.  And discovered that I was out of glue and found myself walking blearily down the isles of Smith's Marketplace at 10:30 at night.  Somehow I can't manage to have a simple straightforward project, can I?  Despite the last-minute nature of the costume, I still think it came out cute enough.





She also had a music show-and-tell performance that it was extremely vital I attend.  Why?  Well, because I forgot to put the last one on my calendar and completely missed it and arrived at school that day to find an absolutely crushed little girl. Yes, one of those fabulous parenting moments.  So I made really really sure not to miss this one and I enjoyed watching Bitty positively BEAM at us for the whole performance.



Also of note was our school's end of year Arts Showcase - one of the busiest nights of the year, especially for me, being our PTA's volunteer coordinator. It is such a crazy night - our halls are completely stuffed with with proud parents and excited kids, each hunting down several of their own art displays. It is worse than Disneyland at Christmas time. (No, Sheri, I did not mean "better than.") The truth is that if we could convince our kids to skip it we would. But they get to display art they have been working on all year, including a ton of really cool items each class collectively makes and then puts up for auction. And they are so excited. So Troy comes to take pictures of the kids by their art while I am in the thick of things managing all the volunteers. It's a busy night. Troy deserves an award.






Bundle and Bitty earned some fabulous eye-wear after completing their art-work scavenger hunts.




Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tribute to Stomper


Just thinking about all the things I want to put into this post makes me realize one reason I might not have been blogging much lately. Things have been busy.

One of my favorite adventures of Stomper's lately has been the start of his martial arts career. He has been on a soccer team for four years now. Those boys on his team are such an awesome group of kids and I will never stop being grateful that we know them and have forged real friendships there, both for him and for me. I mean, LIFE LONG family friendships. But....it has become clear that soccer is not really his thing. We heard about a little low-key martial arts class and Stomper and two of his buddies have started going and he just LOVES it. I have always known that martial arts would be a big hit with him if he ever tried it. And I was right. Here he is on the day he earned his yellow belt. I think the focus is on JuDo....I think. :)



And...speaking of soccer, we have been really determined that we are done with soccer for Stomper.  He is just not that into it, he's one of the only kids on the field whose body just doesn't look like he knows how to play soccer.  He's very hesitant about approaching the ball and usually prefers to be on the sideline.  So we, along with several other families, have declared that we are done with soccer.  Except that...suddenly he's getting better.  And most of the kids on his team are going to sign on again after all and....they finally won a game last week.  I can't tell you how long it's been - more than a year.  His team has improved a lot over the past couple of years especially but never quite as much as other teams.  And then on Saturday his team really pulled it together and beat a team that regularly pounds us.  I was so proud!  The mommies on the sidelines were screaming possibly a bit more than was normal.  It was so fun and suddenly....I am not so sure about quitting soccer.  Dumb!  We already put our soccer money into martial arts and I know he'll love that more but.....still.  Having second thoughts.

The Winning Team!  Hurrah!!

Also going on for Stomper is the conclusion of a seriously tough year of school.  It has been great year; I love his teacher.  I kind of wish we were neighbors.  But it has been a BIG homework year and it has stretched Stomper to his limits.  We are pooped out.  (Let's face it; when your kid struggles with his huge homework load, so does his mother.)  (At least that is how it goes at our house. If you have it all figured out please don't tell me because I will just feel bad about it.)  As a final field trip for the year I got to help his teacher take the kids up to Farmington Bay, a bird sanctuary.  It was a beautiful day to be outside, but I will confess that I don't need to spend a whole lot of time in the future driving 5 10-year-old boys around in my car again.  I almost kicked them out at one point, but then one of them told me I sounded just like Katy Perry when I sang, and so I let them stay.








Monday, May 27, 2013

Mothers Day: A Tribute to Those Who Call Me Mommy

Yes, I am completely aware that Mother's Day was quite a long time ago. And yes, I am aware that I continue on the worst-blogging-month ever trajectory.

I'm trying.

Mother's Day (if memory serves) was wonderful. I got breakfast in bed, and that's all I ever really want on Mother's Day, mostly because it is such a total kick in the pants to see my kids' excited faces as they bring it to me. This year we had a very very busy day - my church calling is in the Primary with the kids and we had projects to do that day, plus I was speaking in Sacrament Meeting so I was up early hustling and bustling around. Bitty got up, saw me out of bed and shooed me right back to bed in so she could go cook for me.

The girls, with thrilled little grins on their faces, tiptoed upstairs and brought me poached eggs on toast, my favorite. I was glad I got up early to finish my last little jobs so I could relax for a few minutes to enjoy it.

I thought that in the spirit of Mother's Day, I would write a little update on each of the kids and some of their activities over the past month or two in honor of my sweet kiddos. I really am so very fond of them.

Mother's Day Cupcakes!

Stopping in for a Creamy at Grandma Preslar's House


I am sure it will take me a few days at least but I will now start on a post for each of my kids....

No More Sally For Me!

In the words of a great birthday card I received for my birthday, "Holy Crap! You're 40!"

Yes, it's true. I turned 40. And I can no longer quote one of my favorite movie lines ever:

Sally: (through thick tears) "....and I'm going to be 40!!"
Harry: "When?"
Sally: "Someday!"
Harry: "In EIGHT years!!"

Well, I guess I can still quote it but it no longer applies to me. Because I made it! I'm here. And....it's great. Weird. Fine. Great. It's fine. I'm glad to be here. I was kind of hoping to feel slightly more like a grown up at this point but maybe I better just let that go.

And by the way, this funny thing I found on Facebook is...really really true.



I ended up having a great day - Peter and his family came up from St. George and we spent the morning at the zoo with a whole bunch of really hyper loud zoo guests. We didn't stay very long. But it was still fun. Sheri took me for a pedicure in the afternoon - that is something that will always make my day. I have been admiring my shiny red toes ever since.

And then we had a small gathering in our back yard - mostly the soccer mommies from school and a couple of old mission friends, a couple of gals from the neighborhood. It was great. Yes, it meant that there was some cooking and cleaning that went on during my birthday, but it was totally worth it. It was so nice to sit out in the spring evening air eating yummy food - holy smokes my friend Kalleen made an AMAZING coconut cake - and enjoying some of the wonderful people in my life. My family, friends in the neighborhood, friends I've known forever - it just made me feel so loved and so happy. And I know I have many more friends - dear beloved friends whom I love like crazy - I just feel so blessed in friends. And in life too.
Not too deep, I know. I don't know what else to say.

And now, in the disturbing words of my brother, on to my 5th decade.  (Ack!!!)







We got my parents to do a little waltz demonstration for us - it got us a little teary

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Potter Strikes Again

I know, I know. Worst blogging month ever. I would take the time to explain myself but that would just take longer. And hopefully all the things that have been keeping me from blogging will actually end up as the subject of their own blog posts in the near future anyhow.

So, Harry Potter. Love him, I do. Really. I am a faithful fan of his series. But...I have to confess that starting from square one AGAIN feels Ike I have a really long uphill climb ahead of me.

I think it was in Stomper's second grade year that Troy and I started reading The Sorcerer's Stone to him - I recall reading much of that first one to him, we listened to the second one on CD on a drive to St. George, and after that Troy took over. They finished all seven of them a year or so later.

And now, guess who is finishing up second grade? Bitty. And she was looking for some new reading material. (She has turned into quite the little reader by the way - Stomper loves good books as long as he doesn't have to do the actual reading. He is getting better but how refreshing it has been for a kid to search out books and often read of her own free will and choice. I hope Stomper some day comes to love the adventure and escape of reading like I do.) (That was a very long side note.). Let's see...where was I? Oh yeah. So Bitty starts reading The Sorcerer's Stone. It is just a titch above her reading level and so she is asking for some help now and then until bit by bit we have fallen into an evening routine of me reading to her. Which is great.

My mom used to do a ton of out-loud reading to us kids; it's one of my strongest and best childhood memories. And I love the rapt attention I get from my daughter as I read. Having listened to Jim Dale so brilliantly and masterfully read the Harry Potter series several times already, I find myself trying and failing miserably to recreate some of his character voices. I think Bitty enjoys my attempts though.

But I can't lie - we have a LONG road ahead. Certainly a pleasant journey but ...so many pages for me to read. And I don't love a lot of book 2 (though the ending makes it worth it) or book 5 (don't like Angry Harry) and so many characters die (spoiler alert!!) - Bitty and I are embarking on quite the journey.

One more quick note - we wouldn't let Stomper see any of the movies until he and Troy had finished a book. Bitty half listened to about half of each book but we let her watch the movies anyway - she so wanted to not be left out. I was afraid her journey just wouldn't be the same and that we had ruined it for her. That is turning out to not be the case at all. Her memories of the story are pretty foggy but enough to keep her very in tune with the plot. She loves our reading time. I will have to change my sprinting nature to that of a distance-reader but as long as I pace myself we are going to have a great time on our Harry Potter journey. We will see how old Bundle is before she is ready to take her own trip to Hogwarts.




Monday, May 06, 2013

Peaceful Birthday Celebration

Yesterday was our angel baby Matthew's would-be sixth birthday.  Sixth.  That is really hard to believe.  Time continues to swoosh on by in all its weird little ways.



Happy birthday, sweet boy. I swear I can almost see you on the edge of my thoughts some days and though I can't quite capture the look of your face, I can almost snatch a glimpse of curly brown hair that I am sure is yours.  You seem tall and still and wise.  And watchful and smiling. And I so look forward to knowing you better.  You are very much a part of our family circle.

I don't think we have ever had such a tender and peaceful celebration of Matthew. Having our little kiddos around always makes things hectic; it can be very difficult to find a moment to do any quiet reflecting or pay loving respects.  Of course I wouldn't have it any other way; celebrating a child who is not here is made sweeter by giving my time to the kids who are here.  But of course I also crave the sacred chance to ponder and wish and grieve in peace as well.  That is why I am very grateful that yesterday was a perfectly sunny and clear day, both in our hearts as well as outside our doors.  

The kids, the girls especially, had a few ups and downs - Bitty gets the teariest and weepiest when we talk about her younger brother.  Bundle this year seemed to grasp a little of what it means that she has a brother not here.  This has got to be partly due to the fact that she is very taken with thoughts of our doggie Alex who left us almost three years ago.  Surely she has no memory of him; she wasn't even a year old when he died.  But she talks about him constantly and includes him in many a prayer, the sweet gal.  And she got pretty sad too.  Sweet.  But really for the most part the kids were kind and gentle with one another, playing together happily for several hours. I couldn't have wished for anything else.

We had plans after church to put together a picnic dinner and head to a quiet park for a few hours but before we could get Troy home from church meetings and get all the food ready, our three munchkins had already headed out to the back yard together and played in a mud puddle for two solid hours.  We got our things ready and then just let them enjoy each other.  What better celebration could I enjoy than my kids loving each other? After a rather arduous cleanup session we did load up the car and head to a serene little park high on the hill behind the capitol building.  As we drove through the sunny streets en route I saw all the families out enjoying the spring afternoon and I wondered if we would have any quiet spot to ourselves; it seemed as though no one could bear staying inside and who could blame them.  However, when we arrived at the park there wasn't a soul in sight; we had the run of the place, complete with a grassy hill and the grandest view of the Salt Lake Valley you've ever seen.


We decided to write our notes to Matthew first - the wind was brisk to say the least and it seemed best not to toy with disaster and lose our balloons before we had a chance to prepare for their departure.  We all attached our messages and sent them off, and then enjoyed a calm and yummy picnic complete with birthday cake.  The breezes were so strong that we had to gather in a pretty tight little circle around our cake and sing as Troy hurried to light the candles - we had about a millisecond to blow them out before the wind took care of it for us.  I loved being shoulder to shoulder around our lemony treat and singing together.  Great moment.  Then we got to romp around for an hour.  And guess what.  The kids did nothing but enjoy us and each other.  A birthday miracle.


I absolutely love celebrating Matthew's birthday.  I don't care how many years go by; we will always do it, partly just to bring into focus the precious lives that we have, and partly to remember our complete family.