The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Decadence

Last week I hosted my fourth and final Teacher Appreciation Week. Yes, that's right, I said FINAL.  I actually really love putting on Teacher Appreciation Week, though I still can't quite figure out how that became my job four years ago.  I love feeding and pampering and treating the wonderful teachers at our school.  And as much as I love it, I am also exhausted by it.  It's so much work and effort, even for just one expression of appreciation each day.  I've been very happy to have found a willing mom to take my place next year.

One of the ways I treated the teachers this year was this great day where I arranged for 10 minute massages for the teachers on one side of the faculty room and on the other, a chocolate fountain surrounded by platters of fruit and cake and pretzels to dip.  The teachers seemed to love it and hovered there for quite a while both before and after their massages.  I didn't want to run short, so I made sure I had plenty of chocolate. As per usual, I slightly overdid it.  I'm a chronic overdo-er.  Except on the days when I'm a total and complete underdo-er.  It's extremely rare for me to be a just-righter.

The kids got a glimpse of the chocolate fountain which I had borrowed from a friend.  They watched as I put the pieces together and got it ready to take to school.  They begged for a chance to use it themselves.  At the end of the school day I discovered that cleaning a chocolate fountain should have been assigned as one of the tasks of Hercules.  It was not easy.  And I thought that perhaps the kids would be satisfied by dipping fruit into a bowl of melted chocolate instead of me having to reset the whole fountain business.  Oh dear...haven't I been a parent for quite some time now?  Shouldn't I have known better?  I should have.  The kids let me know that I had PROMISED the use of the fountain and that NO INDEED would dipping in a bowl of chocolate be in any way the same.  Oh brother, I was going to have to clean it up again.  (I would like to insert here the fact that my children let me know these things very politely with good manners and decorum.) (Mostly.)

Troy and I decided that if we were going to have a chocolate fountain we might as well really enjoy it and spread the love, so we called some friends whom we knew might be game for a spontaneous, school-night, later-than-it-should-have-been invitation to come gorge themselves on chocolate.  With a little fruit on the side.

The resulting party was just....so chocolatey.  It's fun making a kid's fondest dreams come true.  Here, come drink from this flowing fount of candy.









Saturday, March 21, 2015

Don't Eat My Eggs!

On any given morning in the Preslar household you may hear someone shout, just as they go walking out the door, "Don't Eat My Eggs!" You'll look around for the eggs and see there are none in sight. And you'll be confused.

This may seem a little strange. And....it is.  I'll give you that.  But you should know that it is a fond farewell and expression of love and also another method of teasing me. Troy insisted that I blog about it so that we always remember how this phrase came to be.

Not too long ago, probably in the fall, I had made scrambled eggs for breakfast.  As is usually the case on a busy school day morning, I had time to make the eggs and I had time to serve the eggs but did not have time to eat any myself. I was busy doing the hustling and bustling that moms always seem to be doing.  My delicious eggs sat there on their pedestal of buttered wheat toast just waiting for me.  The time got closer for the kids to get out the door and still I hadn't had a bite.  Finally I had to leave them there while I quickly walked my brood to school.  Troy was still home and after we had our family prayer and buttoned up coats, he sweetly called to us as we stepped out the door, "I love you!"  His little daughters each sang out as they stepped through the doorway, "I love you too, daddy!" and "I love you so much too, daddy!" Then it was my turn to walk out, and I turned as well but what did I call out? I love you too? Nope. It was the now infamous, "Don't eat my eggs!"

After a moment of disgust at my lack of returned affection Troy started laugh and then I did too and decided to quickly reassure him that "Don't Eat My Eggs" is just a little euphemism for "I Love You" and he had just misunderstood me.  The kids found this to be riotously funny and have been shouting it out periodically ever since.  Just for the record, Troy did very kindly leave my eggs alone and I enjoyed a very tasty if slightly room-temperature breakfast upon my return.

Hey Troy, like I said, DON'T EAT MY EGGS.


Friday, March 20, 2015

OHHHHH....Klahoma!

I am sure I have mentioned in the past that my mother raised me on many the Broadway Musical.  My childhood was filled with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Cats and The King and I and The Fantasticks and West Side Story and....the list goes on.  And on and on.  So many that we just loved.  Being a very serious Spotify user, I created a playlist of some of my favorite songs from my favorite musicals.  I started with the basics - Oliver, The Music Man....and pretty soon I had a playlist with over 300 songs on it and it's still growing.  I have loved musicals, that is for sure. When I found out that a nearby junior high school was going to be performing Oklahoma, I had the immediate desire to go see it, despite the fact that it was a Jr. High production.  I had heard that the annual musical coming out of this school was pretty darn impressive compared to most Jr. High material.  And as it turned out, we knew several of the kids performing in the show, in fact the son of some of my closest friends had a leading role and they had extra tickets one night.  I talked Bitty into going with me.  Cap had already seen the play - his sixth grade had been invited to attend as a field trip and he didn't really want to see it again.  I have high hopes of Bitty following in my footsteps as a musical-fan, so I talked her into joining me.

The show really was very well done and I was quite impressed with the young singers.  Of course, they really were quite young so those singing pipes had a ways to go, but we really had a good time.  I love going on dates with Bitty, partly because she just blossoms when she gets one-on-one time with a parent.  I think I've mentioned that before.  It's such a treat.  And she followed the story and listened to the music a lot more closely than I expected her to.  In fact, as we were driving home she was asking about some of the songs and I felt it was time to let her know that Hugh Jackman, Wolverine Himself, had performed the part of Curly.  At first she thought I meant that that very evening Hugh Jackman had been there singing and she asked me, "Does he even GO to that school?" I quickly let her know that Hugh Jackman is a bit older than her father and is from Australia.  No, we did not see him sing that night.  What I meant was that he sang that role at one point.  In 1999 in London, not to put too fine a point on it.  I found the soundtrack on Spotify and let her listen to Hugh belting out about beautiful mornings as we drove home.  She ate it up.

I decided that she might enjoy seeing the video of that 1999 London production, and it turned out to be harder to get my hands on than I thought.  I was very happy to find a used copy of the play on DVD through Amazon and quickly bought it.  When it arrived I put it on for Bitty and even though I knew she enjoyed the music I wasn't expecting her to sit through the entire play and then sit through it again a couple of days later.  Even Cap was drawn in and watched much of it, and both of them have been heard singing bits and pieces of it from time to time.  Bitty even has a few whole verses memorized.  It is SO awesome.  At least I think so.  I'm sure not everyone would think that finding out your kids are fans of an old musical is that awesome but I sure do.  One person who definitely does not?  That would be Skippidy.  Every time she hears the first strains of "There's a bright golden haze on the medder....." she rolls her eyes and groans and begs us to turn it off.  So I do...and plot what musical to next introduce them to.  Into the Woods?  Peter Pan?  Fiddler on the Roof?  So many choices, so little time!




Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Family Nobleman



For several weeks now Cap's 6th grade class has been studying the feudal system.  The teachers even assign everyone a class every Monday based on their grades the previous week - Cap never made it to being The King as a couple of his friends did but he was a noble almost every single week.  (Noble was second to royalty.) Okay, once he was a serf but got upgraded to a knight after he turned in one assignment that had been late.  If nothing else, the program provided a most excellent motivation for getting homework done and done well.

The culminating event of this eight week period was a feast.  A full-on medieval feast.  The teachers set up the gym with banquet tables and a stone-wall backdrop.  They played music featuring mandolins and the kids even learned a dance.  I took several videos of Cap dancing but because I love and respect him I will not be posting them here.  My sixth grade man would find that rather humiliating.  


After the dancing came the court jesters, otherwise known as a local improv duo who came and performed, playing interactive games with the kids and making everyone belly laugh for a good half hour.  Then the feast began.  Each of the kids had their own goblet, which they had made themselves.  I'm trying to not be biased but seriously Cap's was the best.  His was the only one with 3D claws coming off the sides.  From these fabulous creations the kids drank vast quantities of ginger ale.  The serving wenches poured drinks and brought platters of roasted chicken, bread, cheese and grapes. I was lucky enough to take on that most dignified role of serving wench, though I decided against wearing a corset and mob cap.  I went with jeans and an apron.  I was also lucky enough to be the gal who got to pick up the roasted chickens from the very medieval Costco.  One note - it can be slightly awkward to walk around Costco with a cart loaded with 14 roast chickens.  If you ever do this be prepared to field many witty comments from bystanders.  So witty.  




 It was really fun to watch the kids huzzah and eat with their hands and call for more mead.  But that wasn't what I loved the most.  What I loved the most was Cap. He was really excited for this event and talked a lot about it as the date was approaching.  He really really wanted a costume.  Kids were invited to dress up and he drew me a picture of what he wanted to wear and....I couldn't do it, didn't have anything like it....and....so I decided to just surprise him and rent a costume from the local costume shop.  

You know, I don't know if that's good or bad.  Am I spoiling him or treating him to a really special memory?  I'm going with the latter.  It was so fun.  It wasn't expensive, it was just a simple cloak and feathered cap but....he looked great.  And was so happy.  Well, I say it wasn't expensive but really it could become expensive after all because he adored that cloak and begged me to buy it or pay someone to make one just like it.  So far I haven't given in. But I might be thinking about it just a tiny little bit.  He pretty much wore it for every waking hour of the 24 it was in our care.  Gosh I love that boy of mine.











Sunday, March 15, 2015

An Evening Out

Daylight Savings.  It's here.  And I know that it has its downside - we all seem to be waking up in the dead of night every morning now, and my kids are having trouble falling asleep before 11 pm....but I'm going to stand by it anyway and I'll tell you why.

Last Sunday night, the first evening of Daylight Savings, our family left the house and went to the park after dinner.  It was sunny and cool.  The kids ran around with friends.  It was so lovely.  I LOVE having sun in the evenings. Just a pleasant stroll to the park, grownups chatting away, kids scampering just as they are supposed to do. Could not have been more splendid.  I'll take it.











Saturday, March 14, 2015

Confession

Hello.  My name is Rachel.  I'm a slightly chubby white housewife in my early 40's.  And I really  like dancing to Boom! Shake the Room by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.  But only when I'm alone.

That is all.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Man of My Dreams

Turns out I'm not very good at that thing where it's your spouse's birthday and you plaster social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram with pictures of him along with captions about how wonderful he is and how much you love him.  Those things are very very true.  He really is wonderful.  And I really really love him.  I just didn't really post anything, and I am not sure I took a single photo of him on his birthday.  I am not feeling like a very wonderful wife right now.  Luckily for me, I think that social media posting is not my only option for expressing love for my husband.  You can also make him a cake and give him books of poetry so.... I may have been okay. Phew.  Troy, I love you.  I know your birthday was several days ago (and since it is now past midnight it's officially Tuesday now, thus making your birthday a full week ago) and it's kinda overdue, I would like to say....you're wonderful and I really really love you.

Here are some wonderful things about my husband.

He loves his kids.  And when I say loves, I mean he ADORES them.  It is abundantly clear - just watch him with them.

He loves me.  Thank you Troy, for creating a safe space for me to be my weird and completely awkward self.  And loving me anyway.

He is brilliant and has a memory like a computer.  He just knows stuff and remembers things.  This is very handy.  He's like my own little Siri.  I can just ask him stuff and he knows it.

He's a craftsman.  His vision for our home and other projects is amazing.  He'll propose an idea which I try to visualize and think I kind of get where he's going with something, but the results always floor me.  Like the twinkle lights on our back porch.  He never cuts corners, he just does jobs very very well.

He is a man of faith, even during very challenging times.

He is funny, and irritatingly and charmingly good at teasing.

He is a fanboy of almost all the same stuff I am.  Well, not entirely.  Marvel? Yes.  Joni Mitchell?  Not s'much.  It's incredibly fun to enjoy pop culture with him.

He loves the wilderness and out doors.

I could go on...but we're nearing 1:00 in the a.m.  So I'll just say this.  Troy, you're my best friend.  Thank you for not giving up on me when I had to cancel our first date or when you kept calling and leaving messages and I kept returning phone calls to my neighbor Troy instead of you.  I adore you and consider you to be the best part of my life.  Despite the tickling.  Thankfully the kids are here to share that burden with me.



Monday, March 02, 2015

Another Weekend Gathering

After our wonderful weekend in St. George, we zoomed home Monday afternoon just in time to get ready for a very big week.  We had so much going on! Friends coming in town with a gathering at my house, hosting a birthday party for a different dear friend, my brother and his family coming to town from Seattle for the week and having dinner at my house, going to a play in which our friend's son had a leading role, not to mention the regular stuff like tons of homework, practicing the cello, play rehearsal, dinner dishes....oi.  It was a big week.  But such a fun one.  So Adam and Whit came down with their family because their little gal turned 8 and she was going to be baptized. They wanted to have family there so instead of us all traveling these they came here.  It was so nice of them to drive down - it's such a rough drive.   So not only did get we to have dinner together during the week, we had Peter and Sheri come up here Friday evening to stay with us and we all got together for the baptism.  We gathered at a church in Kamas, Utah close to where Whitley's family lives.  And though we were only together for a few hours it was just heavenly.  As always, I absolutely adore being with my siblings.

I love any chance to get these boy cousins together


Aunty Margaret with all her nieces - a true love story right there

And Aunty with her Nephews. Being an aunty is the best, and having one is even better.

We did a little sibling photo shoot - this one just makes me kind of happy.


And here are some other very silly ones:




And more grandkid/cousin shoots at a grill where we met after lunch for really tasty salads and burgers.




The weekend flew by way too quickly but I loved every minute of it.  Hopefully it isn't too long before we all see each other again.