The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Girls vs. Boys. It's no Cabo, but I'll Take It

I don't think I ever mentioned here that we had a family vacation planned.  A big one.  A really big one.  (Well, for me at least.)  The entire Romney family, all 22 of us, were going to go to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  We were supposed to go this month.  Last week in fact.  We would have been home Sunday evening.  Are you picking up on all the past-tense verbs here? It's a somewhat long story how the whole vacation got instigated and planned, but a very short one on how it ended up not happening.  Two words.  Hurricane Odilla.  This lovely hurricane hit basically exactly where we were planning on staying, and we're very lucky really to have not only NOT been there while it happened (as many people were) but to be able to cancel all reservations and plans and recoup all funds spent.  Whew.

However, it was slightly depressing to have this big open UEA weekend in which we thought we were going to be basking on a sunny beach with dolphins swimming near by and sipping icy drinks by the dozens. (Did I mention it was an all-inclusive resort?)  We decided that we at least needed to go SOMEWHERE.  And where do we go when we want to go somewhere?  Especially when it's not July?  St. George of course!

We decided to mix it up a little this time.  Troy was feeling stressed about the amount of work he had plus he had been digging up big chunks of concrete out of our back yard and the lawn needed repairing and he just wasn't sure when this all was going to happen.  So we arranged to have a girls vs. boys weekend.  On Wednesday evening, the gals and I hopped into the minivan and headed to St. George.  I did get some longed for time with my brother - I feel like I haven't spend time with him forever.  And he's so awesome.  I could totally be their next door neighbor and be really happy.  Anyway, we hung out a bit and then on Friday morning Peter drove his car up to SLC to hang with Troy and Stomper doing awesome stuff like digging and sodding and eating burgers and watching lots of movies like Captain America and Transformers.  I think they had a great time.  The yard sure looks great anyway - thank you Peter for lending a hand!

The gals, on the other hand, pretty much did nothing productive.  We had such a fun weekend enjoying the St. George weather, the St. George Swig (my favorite beverage stop), the St. George sights and just hanging out together.  And also rubbing the beautiful buddha belly of Peter and Sheri's baby.  I did a lot of that.  I couldn't help myself.  We played at the park, we had dance parties on top of the water tower, we hiked in Johnson's Canyon, we ate more french fries than are generally considered healthy for a person.  Sheri and her sister threw a little cousins Halloween Party that was so cute.  Sheri and I also went to a Witches Night Out party at the local farm - this place really knows how to throw a fall-fest.  It was great.

The Buddha Baby and her awesome binki:



Getting ready to go on a Witches Night Out:








Sheri just had the kids pull out dress-ups from her box for our party:


Pin the Hat on the Witch

Bitty's less-than-effective blindfold


We posted a night sky scene in the blazing sun...looks a little weird -
doesn't David Bowie sing a song about Serious Moonlight?





A Beautiful Morning Walk Through Johnson's Canyon:




Seriously - could she BE any cuter?

Yes!!

Best Hippity-Hop Ever.




A Dance Party Atop the Water Tower:


The belly.....




Poor Little Pumpkin

It's October and in my life that means I feel rather like a ship at sea being sunk slowly by the growing weights of multiple PTA events, Halloween and my son's impending birthday. It's just so much. October gets me every year. Which is a little sad because it's pretty much my favorite month - especially this year. October has been absolutely gorgeous. Oh I love it so. Except for the sinking ship part. It's okay - it will all be over in 10 days, whether I succeeded or failed at all that I'm supposed to be doing. I'm really looking forward to November. No one ask me to do anything please.

Before the entire month gets away from me I must capture a fun thing we've had going on here. It started in the late spring when we were putting in a garden. We bought some tomato plants and herbs, some flowers for the porch. We had so much fun watching things dig in their roots and grow and get big and pretty. While this was happening we noticed a single leaf come up on the side of the yard by our neighbor's fence. It looked suspiciously vegetable-y, so we decided to let it grow and see what would happen. Fast forward three months - the side of our yard looked like a jungle with one great big vine taking over 40 square feet or something like that - somehow a pumpkin seed had gotten chucked into the yard and actually sprouted. We ended up with 9 awesome pumpkins as a total surprise. But there's one little sad part of the story.

See anything wrong with this picture?





Poor little pumpkin. The vine grew through the fence and we didn't notice that it had started growing back there until it was so big we couldn't get it out. We just watched it get bigger and bigger....and now it's just stuck! Our neighbor's bushes are so dense back there that I have little hope of us ever rescuing this one lonely pumpkin....it's making me kind of sad......

Maybe it could be the beginning of a fabulous Children's Halloween Story.... but I'm not sure how to secure a happy ending for this lonely little pumpkin!




Thursday, October 09, 2014

Not Too Late

The most wonderful thing has happened - our kids are reading. Like, on purpose.  Stomper and Bitty have both fallen in love with a series of books that are not I repeat NOT the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.  Not that I want to knock that series - it got both of my kids at least reading words on a page.  It's so weird - I was that kid who never stopped reading.  Who read under her covers at night with a flashlight, no kidding.  Who woke up with nightmares and soothed herself by heading to the bathroom to turn on the light, perch on a lid-down potty and read until my toes were frozen and I was sleepy again.  And I just don't seem to have passed that gene on down to anyone.  The kids love stories, don't get me wrong. They just prefer to either listen to Troy and me read to them or to listen to them on a CD or something.  It's been hard to get them to do much reading on their own. And then Stomper started reading Gregor the Overlander.  And he has read and read and read.  He's on book three, and he only started book 1 a month or so ago.  This is a very big deal at my house, trust me.  And now Bitty is reading them too. Suzanne Collins, praise thy name!  This wonderful author has hooked my kids and I couldn't be more grateful.

I am so enamored with children's literature.  Every night, as we have always done, we gather as a family and I'll read a chapter or two from some book or another to the kids before bed.  Harry Potter, stuff by Robin McKinley, The Penderwick Series, Rhode Dahl....it's wonderful.  And now after we finish our chapters they scamper off to read a chapter or two of their own.  Miracle.

As Troy and I have been talking about this phenomenon, we suddenly realized that something was missing.  We have a third child.  Oh yeah!  We thought back to when our older kids were her age and how many fantastic picture books we read to them night after night.  After night.  Stacks of books I'd bring home from the library every week or two.  And Skippidy wasn't getting that!  Her older siblings have surged ahead into their chapter books and while I read to them, she just curls up on my lap and falls asleep. Poor little caboose.  We decided to start making a more conscious effort to get her her own reading time.

These aren't very good pictures because I just snagged them on my phone as I passed by, but as I watched Skippidy's rapt attention to her dad as he read to her my heart filled up.  It's not too late - we haven't yet passed by every single little kid moment we will ever have.  There's still time for picture books and daddy-daughter story time.  I still get to go to the library and bring home a bulging bag of all those fantastic picture books out there to be gobbled up night after night.