The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Our Little Gal Turns Seven

I do rather wish that our youngest child's birthday didn't happen to line up with the last day of school. After all, her big sister's birthday lines up with the first day of school.  And...Stomper's is basically right on top of Halloween.  It's a bit too much going on at each of those times. But what can I do?  Grin and bear it, that's what.  And do everything I can to celebrate the birthday kid to the very best of my ability.  Which is actually quite limited, now that you mention it. I'm not a very good party planner.  I always think I have things really well planned but then all of my activities end up being over and done with in about 20 minutes, even though I managed to spend way too much money on it all.

I was a little late in getting the word out about a birthday party for Skippidy.  It was just such a busy couple of weeks that I didn't get to it until less than a week before her birthday. I quickly threw together an online invite and invited 10 little kids over.  I invited more than I thought I could handle because I thought with the short notice and the last day of school we'd have some kids who couldn't come. Wrong!  Everyone could come.  .....yay.....

The day began with a birthday breakfast of Skippidy's favorite morning dish, the Swedish Pancake, otherwise known as The Crepe.  Doused in powdered sugar.  That's the only way we do it around here.  I'm sure it would be better if I provided fruit or something but I'm pretty sure it would just get ignored and left to sadly wilt in the shadow of the mighty sugar vessel.

Following the afore-mentioned last day of school and its many many tears, we hurried home to prepare for the party.  Skippidy and I had chosen to celebrate with a back-yard outdoor games party.  We both thought this sounded fun. I didn't have to come up with too much of a theme or get matching place settings or decorations or anything, and she was so excited about the start of summer that it seemed like the perfect fit.  I would like to say that finding games that are all age-appropriate and not too expensive or challenging for me to put together is not an easy task.  Oh yeah, especially when you consider the fact that you would also like the games to be fun and keep the kids busy.  I had only scheduled an hour and a half for the party - I thought I was being brilliant by keeping it well under two hours but even that 90 minutes proved to be too much for me. Ten extremely hyper and excited kids are not as easily entertained as they would be if there were only two or three of them gathering on a non-birthday afternoon.  Add three times the children and a birthday cake and oh man is it hard to keep them busy.

The successes were: this silly game where you put a pan of water in the middle of a circle of kids and hand them a die.  The kids take turns rolling and if they get a certain number (say a 6 or a 3) they get to slap the water really hard.  They LOVED this game.  Let's see...that might have been the only one. I'd say our relay involving pouring a cup of water over the top of your head and into the cup of a person behind you was moderately successful except that occasionally the kids deliberately threw the water in one another's faces.  I'd also say our water-ballon fight went pretty well except for kids getting hit right in the ears.  Also, some kids were perfectly willing to throw the balloons but not as willing to get hit with them.

Definite failures - an ABC scavenger hunt, don't even ask, and a balloon and paper plate-paddle tennis type game. ("This is boring...what's the next game?")

Thank heavens for an ice-cream sundae bar, and for the fact that cake and ice-cream take way more time than all 6 of my games put together.  And thank heavens that one little gal's mom decided to stay and lend a hand for the last part. And thank heavens that Skippidy had a great time. And thank heavens that the birthday dinner she chose, which followed the birthday party and was attended by her grandparents, was just corndogs and french fries.  And thank heavens that it is now over.

And thank heavens for Skippidy!  I'm telling you, we are lucky to have this gal. She brings cheer and love and tenderness to our family. There really are not words enough to describe this magical little gal and her joyful essence.  I look at her all the time and just wonder in amazement that I am the lucky lady who gets to be her mom.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Another School Year's End

Every September it feels like the year will never end, and every June I'm surprised when it does, even more quickly than the last.

It was a marvelous and emotional end to the year.  I have really loved the girls teachers. It's hard to move on from such a great year, especially when a couple of your other favorite teachers at the school are moving on to other parts of their lives and careers.

Ah but I'm getting ahead of myself.  As you would expect, I somehow made sure my last week of school was absolute insanity. Why would it be anything but?  I guess that is just how I do things. Not only did we have the end of year carnival, but it was also Skippidy's birthday on the last day of school.  Oh yeah, and I decided I'd work that week too.  Duh.  Next year remind me to stop working at my job the week BEFORE the last week of school.  It was just way too much.

Here are some of the kids I worked with this year - they were a part of a great class and I'll miss (most of) them!

On the night before the last day of school we held our annual carnival.  I experienced some miracles that night. I know it's silly to get worked up about a bounce-house, cotton-candy, carnival game, pizza slice, snow cone infested hullabaloo, but when you're in charge of finding the volunteers and you need about 70 of them and you can only get about 55, when people show up and say, "I forgot to sign up, can you use my help?" you feel looked after and really rather blessed.

Skippidy told me that the popcorn was the gold at the end of her face paint rainbow. Most unappetizing treasure ever. 

After a late night of cleaning up and counting cash and doing all that carnival stuff, we got to bed and the next day was it. The last day of school (and Skippidy's birthday) were actually here.

I had just enough time during the day to run and grab balloons and put together a few party games for the afternoon before I ran over to the school.  There's always an end-of-year sing along and performance.  I was surprised at how few parents were there this year, but the ones who were there were some of my favorite friends.  It was a very teary time.  Not only are two of my favorite teachers in the school moving on to other schools and other paths, but there are many families with 6th graders who graduated and they have no more kids at Wasatch.  Plus my dear dear friend is moving to California.  So basically it was a big old cry-fest for all the grownups while the kids looked on in alarm and horror. I love our school.

Bitty absolutely adored Mr. Fuller this year

Miss Blank is like a magical Snow White of a teacher.  She is amazing.

Actually Skippidy started full-on weeping during the school song and she couldn't stop.  She clung on to her teacher and just bawled her little eyes out.  I'm getting a little teary just writing about it!  

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Days of Birth and Memory

My 43rd birthday has come and gone.  This year was a little weird because my sweet husband had to be in Portland for the whole week of my birthday. Thus it was a quiet celebration but that was fine with me.  I missed him, but I also enjoyed doing a lot of my favorite things on my birthday.  It was happily not on a day that I had to work, and so I was able to take myself out quite a bit. I started with breakfast with my friend Emily, then headed off for a tasty drink and 2 hours at the new Marmalade Branch library. They have these rooms you can use for 2 hours at a time and they are beautiful and quiet and you can just go do whatever you want in there.  I like to take my writing things and really zen out in there.  

Following my writing time I enjoyed a lovely little down town lunch with my friend Becca. We ordered very healthy salads and also shared one of my favorite treats - sweet potato fries. I could eat those every day.  After lunch I pampered myself with a manicure and pedicure.  I was very indulgent and I loved it.  The girls were so cute after school - they made me a crown, which did not stay on my head without assistance.  I was therefore not able to wear it out to dinner at Noodles and Company where the kids and I ate.  Yes, I ate out every meal of the day, but that was fine with me.  Best birthday gift?  No cooking and no dishes.  Yay me.

Other celebrations happened after Troy's return - Becca invited the poetry group over for treats one evening the next week, and my family came over for birthday lunch on Memorial Day.  And best of all, Troy gave me a beautiful new cast-iron enamel-coated dutch oven which sits proudly on my stove top.  Her name is Duchess.  I call her Duchie for short. I love her.

Since Memorial Day was right after my birthday, the girls and I decided to take a very quick trip to St. George.  We had a four day weekend and thought that would be a great way to spend it.  Cap decided to stay in SLC so he could hang with buddies, Troy was getting home while we were gone, so it was just the three girls.  That was pretty fun.  And funny enough, Peter and Sheri had been thinking of coming up that same weekend, partly to see us, but mostly to see the new lion cubs at the zoo. Hey, why not do it all!  The gals and I spent Thursday - Saturday in St. George, and then we all hopped in our vehicles and returned to the north. We got back to SLC just in time for a party celebrating my niece's graduation from high school.  (Crazy!  My sister no longer has any children in public school!)

St. George was toasty warm which meant we were spending a day at the pool, but mostly we just hung out and played with Peter and Sheri's ridiculously adorable kids.  

We sure enjoyed seeing those sweet little cubbies, and had a magically quiet morning at the zoo, despite the fact that it was Memorial Day.  I'm telling you, you never have to deal with crowds if you just go right at 9:00 in the morning, even on Memorial Day.  The place was HOPPING when we left, but we had those cubs practically all to ourselves. 

Oh yes, as well as traveling and having my brother stay with us, we had also planned a Preslar Family gathering that Sunday night - we were feeling like we just didn't get together with Troy's family as much as we would like, so we had a little back yard BBQ.  The weather cooperated beautifully, most of the family was there, and it was a thoroughly pleasant evening.

Cousins of Cousins getting along so well!

So there you go.  Super busy weekend, after a super busy week.  Couldn't have thought of a better way to spend our long weekend.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Showcase Spec-tackle

Every year I know the very end of school is really truly here when we hit our Arts Showcase. Over the past five years as I have been heavily involved in this evening - for five years I've been the PTA's Volunteer Coordinator and have needed to round up somewhere around 60 volunteers to pull off the event.  I've gotten very good at wheedling. And this year, well, this was the year that I got to try out being both the Volunteer Coordinator AND the Treasurer for the PTA. I really like being the treasurer.  And I'm pretty used to being the Volunteer Coordinator - it's ok.  The best part of it is getting to know lots of people.  The worst part of it is trying to find anyone to take the job away from me. I'm starting to think that that will not actually happen until Skippidy is done at Wasatch.  But whatever.  This year wasn't actually that bad, even though I was doing both jobs. That is, it wasn't that bad until the night of Arts Showcase.  That's the one night I found that doing both of those jobs really really sucks. Oh well, next year I'll know that I need to find a substitute volunteer person or something.

Valerie, Melissa, Kalleen, Tracie, Augusta and Natalie

A very flattering picture of me in my back room selling shirts and checking in the volunteers and being totally exhausted

I'm so happy to work with the cool moms I get to know - that's my big plug for joining the PTA. You become a part of your community. I don't think a photo has ever been taken before of the moms working all dang day long trying to get ready. I truly love these ladies.

I always end the night feeling pretty proud - proud of my kids and the awesome art they create all year long. I feel proud of our amazing school, and proud of the creativity of the teachers and parents in putting together an amazing night.  I don't think I've ever felt more elated than I did this year though.  I'm not sure why - it was just an absolutely beautiful night.  Things ran smoothly, the building looked amazing, we were able to get ample donations, the art was wonderful.  My dad even came.  He doesn't usually come to stuff like this, but I think he's been needing to get out more so he and Margaret came and they were very impressed and that made me feel great.