The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bitty's Birthday Tea

In true ME fashion, Bitty's birthday party planning began with a minor disaster.  I seem to be in a constant state of semi-crisis, but so far my ship is still afloat.  Leaky, yes, but still on the water.  For now.

So Bitty and I talked for weeks about her birthday - this was a party year for her and she had all sorts of ideas.  Some were bigger, some were smaller, some wildly outrageous.  Finally, to my surprise, she told me she just wanted to take a couple of friends to The Beehive TeaRoom in downtown SLC, which is where we went last year.  Ok, great, no problem - I made some simple little invites and sent them out in a bit of a hurry because as in all things involving ME I was short on time.  A couple of days later I called the Beehive TeaRoom to let them know we would be coming and....oh boy.  Much to my sorrow, the TeaRoom has closed. Forever. I am so sad!  It was such a darling little place.  Along with sadness I instantly felt some serious stress and panic.  The invites had already been sent!  I looked around for a couple of other options but just couldn't find the right fit.  I mean, there's always the Grand America and its High Tea at like $27 a person....eek!  No!  So we decided to just do it on the back porch and expand our circle a bit to include a few more of Bitty's good friends.  After all, my friend offered to let me borrow her eclectic tea set (again - we also used it for a Bundle Birthday) and how hard could it be to make a few cucumber sandwiches and a pot of tea?  Well, like I said, this party involved ME so it of course became way more stressful and complicated than I meant it to.  Why does everything I plan feel like I'm chasing it downhill as it tumbles out of control at an ever increasing size?

Part of the issue was that I didn't bother planning the party around a time where any other adults could really come help me - a couple little girls at a tea shop would be fine, right?  But then with the abrupt change in plans I found myself alone with 8 girls for two hours with a party to host and food to set up and pictures to take.  I was sweating to say the least, but you know, like everything else that I seem to panic about, it turned out fine.  Maybe not picture perfect, but definitely good enough.  And Bitty had a great little birthday.

Bitty ran her own get-to-know-you games to start with

Since I already needed to make a cake for that night, we opted for bakery treats.  

I found these great little tea cups at IKEA for a take-home for each girl.

Show me that dainty pinky finger, girls!

Our attempt at a civilized croquet game lasted about 5 minutes before it dissolved into total chaos and I gave up, sending them inside for a show and tell of their favorite youtube videos until parents arrived and resuced me.

 So the birthday story isn't quite done yet, but the final chapter will have to wait until the next post.


Gracious school seemed to start early this year.  I even know a few people who started two days before we did!  We started on Wednesday, August 21st, a day which happened to also be my daughter's eighth birthday.  Oh yeah, and she wanted her party on the same day as her birthday.  Oh yeah, and it was also the PTA welcome breakfast for school which started five minutes after the bell rang which happened after our family birthday breakfast, all of which happened before I went nuts putting together a birthday party plus dinner for more family.....

....but I digress.  It was a crazy busy day, and yet it all worked out.  I was pretty worn out by the end of it but I would do it again for my gal!

Let's cover school first.

I will begin by noting that I adore our school, and I am thrilled about the teachers the kids got this year.

Here they are getting their first-day-of-school measurements:

Bundle especially seems to be shooting up at a crazy rate - she grew like 2 inches or something in six months.

After The Measuring we enjoyed....don't judge me.....BACON PANCAKES.

Soooo good.  I think we learned about them from a cartoon - Adventure Quest?  Stomper kept asking if we could please have some "BaconBacon Pancakes" and Troy kept asking if I could please make them on a day when he would be home.  First-Day-of-School-Birthday-Breakfast seemed like just enough of a party to try these babies out.

Probably not an everyday-breakfast item.  But if you're the kind of person who likes a little syrup to get tangled with your bacon before you gobble it, you would like these.

Okay, time to move on from the bacon pancakes.

As I was cooking, Bitty opened a couple of small gifts, and her siblings each found a small token at their places as well:

After our scrumptious breakfast it was time to get off to school and take a few more pictures in the process:

What a gorgeous new 3rd Grader

My Handsome 5th Grader - eek, that sounds old!

Here's to a wonderful school year.  Now that it's been a week I can say that the transition has been a little rough, (WHAT?  HOMEWORK? GETTING UP ON TIME? NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!) but then again, they have a rough time getting used to summer! So hopefully they'll get into the swing of things within the next six to eight months.  Then summer will start and the adjustment can start all over again.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Night With My Very Own Brownie

The second of Bitty's two Girl Scout camps happened last weekend, and I was much more comfortable with this one than the last because I didn't have to send her off and wonder how she was doing - I got to go with her!  (Poor Bundle.  She is so tired of being left behind!) Despite leaving a sad Bundle, I was very happy to have a chance to give all my attention to my middle child and spend a really fun over night with her.

Her camp was held at Trefoil Ranch, a girl scout facility up Provo Canyon.  It is quite the facility!  I wasn't sure what to expect but I'll tell you, I wouldn't mind hanging out for a few weeks every summer at that gorgeous lodge all snugged up in a narrow canyon.

I was shocked to see some gold and amber leaves as we walked around.  I know autumn comes early to the mountains, but I wasn't expecting it quite yet!  Made for quite a site, though.

Bitty and I had a ball.  It was a little slow getting up there due to horrendous traffic including two different accident scenes on the freeway. (I hope everyone was okay!)  Evenutally we made it, and once we were there I let Bitty hunt down a great sleeping spot for us.  There were probably 60 families there, mostly just a mom and daughter duos but some families had more than one daughter there.  The lodge was gigantic, plus there was a separate bunk house, and every room was stocked with these huge mattresses, covered in vinyl, that you could drag around and plop where you wanted.  Bitty chose an upper level porch for us, really wanting to sleep under the stars.  Brilliant choice.

We spent the evening playing games, chatting with the three other families we knew, eating a yummy dinner and eventually gathering around a campfire for singing and s'mores (which were prepared for us in the kitchen, thank heavens.  I didn't love the idea of 60 girls all clamoring around a fire trying to poke sharp things into the center of the flames.)

I was worried that we would be bombarded with bugs, but somehow Bitty and I both escaped our adventure without a single mosquito bite.  We snuggled down into our puffy sleeping bags and she held a flashlight while I read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to her until we were both falling asleep. I think she lasted longer than I did - in the morning she told me about the falling stars she watched and I totally missed.

 We were up very early to pack up our stuff before gathering for breakfast (crunchiest sausages I have ever had; I could actually smell them burning as I was stuffing my sleeping bag and almost ran down to the kitchen to attempt a rescue.  I should have.  It's not a happy thing to wake up to the delicious smell of cooking sausage, only to smell them start to burn and yet be served them for breakfast anyway. Only complaint of the weekend.)

After breakfast we divided up into groups to do things like Kapers, nature walks, archery and team-building games.  It's kind of weird but the best part of the trip for me was when we went to archery, discovered that only kids age 9 and above got to use real bows and arrows and Bitty was heartbroken.  She almost dissolved on the spot; she so did not want to use the Nerf arrows provided for smaller kids. I thought for a moment about helping her just get through it and then thought to myself, you know, this is HER weekend - we should do whatever she wants.  So we made our excuses, headed back to the lodge where there is a basement absolutely stuffed with games like ping pong, air hockey, hula hoops, velcro-frisbee catch, and stuff.  I think the two of us spent 1 1/2 hours down there playing together happily with almost no one else there.  It was really fun. And she is surprisingly good at air hockey.

I am looking forward, if we remain a girl scouting family, to going again with both girls.  With everything that Bundle has seen us go and do, there is no way she is letting me off the hook when she gets old enough to start scouting!!

Squashing It All In

As is my habit at the end of every summer and school draws ever nearer and nearer, I had a panic attack.  Have we had enough fun?  Have we gone enough places?  Have we been properly sunned? Are the kids beside themselves with joy at what a wonderful summer their faithful mother has provided for them?

Of course not.

I guess we had better cram in a few things for our last few days!

Let's see, what did we do.....we:

...went to the Aquarium:

...went to Seven Peaks:

...went to the Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point:

...went to Hollywood Connection where Bitty showed off her mad skating skills too speedy for me to capture on film and Bundle had her first skating experience ever:

....anywhere else?  Oh yeah, a couple days later we did the zoo with Peter and Sheri and we got caught in a massive cloud burst that trapped us there for a while.  We actually went home and had hot cocoa!!

So, NOW have we had enough fun?  Probably not.  But everyone is tired and crying so that must mean that we have done enough. I hope.