The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Spring BREAK - The Middle

Not quite the blogging momentum I had in March....I'll try to catch up.

Way back at the start of spring break, my friend Emily and I were sitting in church and when the meeting was over we started chatting about what our plans were for the week.  We realized that neither of us had much going on and were lamenting the fact that many people we knew were heading out on grand excursions.  We thought, hey, why don't we just be crazy and go somewhere ourselves?  We'll be super exotic and spontaneous!  And that, my friends, is how we ended up on a whirlwind trip to Vernal, Utah.

It was actually super fun. Em went home that afternoon and searched for hotel rooms in the bustling metropolis that is Vernal. I looked up a map to the local dinosaur attractions, where I remembered going as a little kid.  We left Tuesday morning, drove east for three hours until we arrived in the wee town.  We pretty much went straight to the local dinosaur museum.  We made one stop along the way - a place I thought was the dino museum because I saw giant statues of dinosaurs outside.  I almost came to a screeching halt when I saw them because they are the exact statues of which I have pictures with me and my dad.  I figured we had hit the right spot.  We hadn't.  It was just a city park outside the library and another tiny little museum of the local heritage.  I felt super guilty going inside and asking for directions to the big dinosaur museum because it was completely empty in there and the girls at the desk desperately wanted us to stay. But our time was limited so we slunk away and headed for the museum.

We spent a lovely couple of hours at a very neat dinosaur museum, letting the kids run through the displays and outdoor patio.  We let the kids browse the gift shop and I chatted with the people at the desk.  We found out we were only about 20 minutes away from the actual dinosaur digging site and that it closed in 40 minutes.  Em and I realized that we probably wouldn't have a chance to visit there in the morning (when I said whirlwind, I really meant whirlwind) so we hopped into the cars and sped out there as fast as our little Sienna minivans could take us.  Legally, that is.

I was afraid that we would have no time to see anything fun, but as it turned out, 15 minutes was exactly how long we needed to see a great site at Dinosaur National Monument and be completely satisfied with our journey.  There's an ancient river bed there that trapped a lot of dinosaurs once upon a time.  A bazillion years later the riverbed was lifted up as a mountain was formed so the side of this mountain is absolutely covered in dinosaur bones.  The paleontologists decided it would be just as easy to just erect a building around the bones as it would be to excavate them, and so there is this cool place to go see the site.  And 15 minutes is plenty of time to enjoy what is there.

After we left the monument, we headed to our hotel.  It was perfect.  Very comfortable, and everything about it, including the pool, was kind of tiny.  I think it was even called a "Microtel" because it was just small.  But since there seemed to be very few visitors, we had the pool to ourselves.  The kids had great fun creating some type of sporting event in the pool while Emily and I soaked our bones in the hot tub.  What more could we want?

We had to head home pretty much first thing in the morning, after we took advantage of the hotel breakfast.  Those boys can put some serious food away.  I was impressed.

Even though it was just one night away and we didn't exactly go on a grand tour, we had a great time.  Any time I get with Emily makes my life better.  She has these four wonderful boys who give my boy (and his sister too) a whole flock of brothers.  I can't imagine life without them.  And I can heartily recommend Vernal as a vacation destination.  It is quiet, clean, and really really not crowded, and we had fun!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring BREAK - The Beginning

I am finding that the older my kids get the more I look forward to breaks from school.  The breaks used to be the scariest because I felt like there were these endless empty days with little little kids wanting me to entertain them and feed them and get stuff for them constantly.  Actually....that's still kind of how things are.  It's just that the kids aren't quite so little and we're all exhausted from have very busy schedules with lots of homework time and cello practicing.  We really need the breaks.  Plus I'm starting to see that kids grow up rather quickly after all and I enjoy the time I get with them.

Despite the fact that we had no big plans for one of those classic Spring Break awesome vacations, we had a really fun week together.  Day 1 may have been the best, actually.  On Monday, I took the kids to the new aquarium for the first time.  It turned out that some of our old passes were still good for some weird reason, and so we only had to pay for Skippidy to get in.  Seeing as how it would have cost us almost $60 to get in, I felt that this was a pretty good deal and made me feel that we could even handle paying $5 for a photo booth session on top of the $12.95 admission price.  We piled in the car in the morning, turned on music we all love to sing to (this would include selections ranging from Katy Perry's Roar to Hugh Jackman's OHHHHklahoma!) and all of us, even the 12 year old boy, sang along at the top of our lungs.  We thoroughly enjoyed the aquarium.

By the time we were hungry for lunch I thought hey...we're so far south we can go to IKEA for lunch!  Cheap Meatballs! I thought we could get an inexpensive little lunch together but guess what.  My kids have never eaten at a cafeteria-style place before.  They were pretty excited to each get their own tray and make selections along the way which actually began to pile up.  Couldn't resist a dessert, which I noticed were placed at the START of the line.  Cap got a salmon salad...and mashed potatoes...and a roll...and ate half my meatballs.  Skippidy also got salmon and Bitty got ribs with all the sides.  Holy cow.  Not only was our lunch about double what I was thinking, but we had so much food that the cashier's eyes about popped out of her head.  Never fear, we Preslars could handle it.  We ate just about everything.  Impressive AND alarming.

After IKEA we were so far south I though...hey, Swig is just in Lehi, let's go to Swig!  (If you don't know what this is, you are missing out.  It's like a drink-buffet.  I recommend the Dirty Diet Coke which is Diet Coke with Coconut Syrup, and I also recently tried the Raspberry Dream which is Diet Dr. Pepper with Raspberry Syrup and Coconut Cream.  Oh MAMA it is tasty.)  I know, we had already been to IKEA's spring break!  Why not.  The kids were pretty darn pooped and on the way home instead of singing our hearts out everybody took a nap.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The Drama Bug Bites Bitty

When we got a notice last fall that there was going to be a school play with rehearsals held in the afternoons twice a week, my heart kind of sank.  Cap had done an after-school-rehearsals play in 5th grade and it made his homework life really tough.  And I knew that Bitty was going to want to do this.  But how could I say no?  Obviously I couldn't.  So as soon as she saw the notice and approached me with shining please-please-please-let-me puppy dog eyes of course I said yes.  And guess what.  She loved absolutely every minute of it.  Never once did she come home sad, tired or frustrated from a rehearsal.  In fact, she came home with energy and joy, basically totally adrenalized.  Her BEST homework nights happened on play practice nights.  It was AWESOME.

The play was perfect for a grade school group.  It was basically an ensemble piece teaching the audience everything you need to do in order to behave more like a child.  This included instructions for how to be a picky eater, how to fight with your siblings in the car and how to let your mom know that you're bored.  It was clever and quite funny, and made life easy on us because there were no sets to create or costumes to labor over.  It was quite lovely.  Cap and Skippidy loved it - they both saw it once at school and then came to both nights of the performance.  They seemed to know the words to the songs by the end of the week just as well as Bitty did.  And if she gets this happy and cooperative through being in plays, then I can't wait for the next one.