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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Call Me A Contractor!

Question:  What do you get when your cute, pixie faced five-year-old poo poos an "adult sized" poo poo (EEEWW) in the toilet, clogs it with an additional half roll of toilet paper, flushes it, and then neglects to tell anyone that the contents are flooding the bathroom floor?  (And seeping into the hallway carpet, and settling into the master bedroom, and making it's way into the living room below via a collapsing ceiling?)   

Answer:  A.  Big.  Stinkin'.  Mess.  AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!

(Do you hear that?  That is the "snap" of a cold Diet Coke can being opened by my nimble fingers.  I've been opening a lot of them lately....I'm coping.)   

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What Do You Want To Be?

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was little (and just as kooky as I am now), my sole ambition was to be She-Ra.  For a period of time, I imagined myself welding a sword and riding a winged horse.  When I grew tired of my "princess of power" dreams, I aspired to be a fashion designer.  I had a lined, spiral bound notebook that I filled with my drawings of clothes.  Most of them ball gowns.  All of them foofy and poofy.  By the time I was eight, I was moving on to bigger and better things...Modeling.

Yep, I wanted to be a model.  Looking back now, I can't quite understand why I desired such a thing.  I'm terrible in front of a camera.  My wardrobe has always been passe.  My nose has got a lot of personality, which the industry would probably regard as...well...big.  Alas, a future in modeling was tossed out the proverbial window faster than Naomi Campbell could toss a cell phone at a defenseless maid!

I had other ambitions:  School teacher.  Librarian.  Restaurant owner.  (What the heck?)  Dancer.  Dance teacher.  (People, I can't even dance well!)  Author.  School counselor.  Poet.  Actress.  A business woman.  (But only for the power suits, the sexy heels, and the expensive briefcases.)  When adults would ask me, "What do you want to be when you grow up?," my answer was always changing.

Last week, Lilly Mae was asked the same question by her preschool teachers.  Her school--as part of the curriculum--did a unit on careers.  Lilly's teachers invited a few parents to come into the classroom and talk about their jobs.  Lilly loved it!  When I picked her up from school, she ran up to me and said, "Mom!  Mom!  I know what I'm going to be when I grow up!"

"What, Lilly?," I asked.

"A mom."

I hope Lilly grows up knowing she can do anything.  With courage, determination, goals, and a game plan, she can be whoever she wants to be.  She can do whatever she wants to do.  With God, nothing is impossible.  The sky's the limit.  She can work hard and accomplish much.  I look into her pretty brown eyes and see all the potential for greatness.  She could be She-Ra or a teacher, a model or a chef.  She could be an athlete or a nurse, a writer or a business owner.  And, of course, she could be a mother.  If that is one of the jobs she decides she wants (in twenty-five years), then I would have to tell her:

My darling, excellent choice!
Being a mother is the greatest and most important job of all! 


Friday, May 18, 2012

Tell A Story

Last month, McHubby and I took the tots to the Discovery Gateway Children's Museum.  The museum features a number of exhibits that focus on interactive play and emphasize learning through FUN.  There is a media exhibit, where kids can sit at a news anchor desk or "report" the weather in front of a green screen.  There is an adorable "Kids Eye View" exhibit that gives children the opportunity to explore the "big" world on a "kid-sized" scale.  (Think mini grocery store with mini shopping carts;  mini post office with mini mail bags; mini house, mini farm, mini construction site.  It's hilarious!)

While wandering through all the exhibits we came across the "Story Factory."  Being the "lit head," book worm, English nerd, wannabe poet laureate (ha ha) that I am, the exhibit piqued my interest.  It's subject matter ranged from modern multimedia to classic stage to elements of narratives; it's point being, "everyone has got a story to tell."  (It doesn't matter how you tell it, just tell it!)

Lilly and The Camster ran over to the stage to play in all the fairytale costumes, while James and I lingered by the "elements of narratives" display.

There are six basic elements of a narrative:  plot, setting, characterization, atmosphere, conflict, and theme.  Creatively combine all these important "ingredients" and you're on your way to "baking" a great story.

To help children start thinking about narrative, a number of pictures where hung on the wall, asking children to create a story around those pictures.  One caught my eye, naturally, and a conversation ensued:

Me:  Psst!  James!  Why is this person running?

James:  You're joking, right?

Me:  What!?  No!  I need your help.

James, sighing:  Aleisha...

Me:  Why is this person running?

(James, rolling his eyes, remaining silent.)

Me:  I...can' finger on it.

James, smiling:  That dude is running because a bear twice his size is thinking about taking a bite out of his butt!!

Me, snapping my fingers:  You know, Jamesy, I think you're right!

As we left the exhibit, I thought about how James and I are writing our own story.  The story of us.  Complete with plot, setting, theme, and yes...occasional conflict.  And though the story may be zany and quirky, and a little bit sweet too, there are five simple words you'll rarely find in the content:  Jamesy, I think you're right!

Because he rarely is.   


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Winner, A Fashion Statement!

A big CONGRATULATIONS to pretty mama, Hilary Christensen!  She's the lucky winner of 
the $25 gift certificate to the Wood Connection!

Thank you so much to all the lovely ladies who entered.  And as always, a heartfelt and sincere  
THANK YOU for being a "Mama Leisha supporter."  
I greatly appreciate all the comments, follows, emails, friendships, and love.
I'm blessed.

Last Sunday I could not warm my feet up.  They were freezing!  In an effort to "toast my toesies," I put a pair of McHubby's thick, athletic socks on.  When he approached me about going on a Sunday drive (like old people do!), my first thought was, "There is no way I'm taking these socks off!"

So I didn't.

I put my sassy, burnt orange-colored flats on...right over those "several-sizes-too-big" socks.
What do you think of my fashion statement?!

   ("I'm sexy and I know it.")

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mom, I Love You Because...

(Excited to be posting about moms and motherhood in May--Mama Leisha's way of celebrating Mother's Day!)

I walked into my locally owned grocery store (to make an important Oreo cookie purchase) and was met by a charming surprise...

Over all of the checkout stands, giant Mother's Day banners were hanging from the ceiling.

Apparently, various elementary schools from the valley were asked to participate in the project.  Certain classes were given materials to make the delightful banners.  Each young child was asked to write a special message to his or her mother, finishing the statement, "Mom, I love you because..."  The end result made my little "mama heart" go pitter-patter!

(I'm sure I received a number of confused stares and curious glances as I tried to balance on the end of my cart; desperate to extend myself tall enough to snap a few pictures.)

Here are some of my favorites:

--I love you Mom for loving me.
--I love you so much that you take me to school.
--You look like me.
--You take such good care of me wen I am sick.
--Thank you Mom for feeding me.
--You help me with my stufe.
--Mom I love you because you help me with a whole lot like with my homework.
--I love you Mom and for the food.
--Thank you Mom for buying me video games.

So precious, right?!  I think kids are wonderfully tender and honest.  It's exemplary!

During my drive home from the store, I thought about my own mother.  I asked myself the same question that had been asked of those elementary aged kids:  Mom, I love you because...?  Effortlessly, I thought of many reasons.

So to my Mama Jenneice...I love you because you always had homemade cookies waiting for me when I got home from elementary school.  (Warm, gooey, chocolate chip cookies were the ultimate "after school snack.")  I love you because you were never afraid to run through the sprinklers with us in the summertime.  You didn't mind getting your hair wet.  I love you because when you laugh hard enough, you start to cry!  I love you because you are a good, fun, kind grandma to my tots.  I love you because you are a stellar example to me, of what it means to work hard for (and to sacrifice for) a family.  You represent what it means to unconditionally love your children.

And of course I love you, Mom, and for the food!

(Why do you love your mama?  Be sure to tell her this week!)          

Monday, May 7, 2012

Watermelon! (Guest Post and a Giveaway)

I have always loved watermelon.  I love to eat the fruit as much as I love spitting the seeds!  I love my watermelon flavored lip gloss.  I think the watermelon Jolly Rancher is the tastiest of "Rancher family."  I have a watermelon scented candle.  So... imagine my delight when I walked into the Wood Connection and saw all of their adorable watermelon crafts on the shelves.  What a great way to celebrate the upcoming summer season!  I just knew I had to make something.  Stop by the Wood Connection's blog, to see my guest post/tutorial. 

Here's a sneak peek; two pictures that make me giggle because they are so "typical Aleisha."

I do craft in leopard print pants, occasionally.

And yes, that is a Diet Coke beside my project.  It's a "craft time" staple!

I was SO thrilled with the finished project, I took it outside for a photo shoot on my front lawn.  
(I'm sure my neighbors think I'm crazy!)

A big, "watermelon-sized" THANK YOU to the Wood Connection for allowing me the opportunity to guest post!  (And of course, thank you for being one of my favorite places on earth!)  The Wood Connection has generously donated a $25 gift certificate to be given to one lucky "Mama Leisha" reader.  Entering the giveaway is easy:

1.)  Simply follow Mama Leisha via GFC!  (Google Friend Connect on the left side bar!)  If you already follow, THANK YOU!
2.)  Leave a comment stating you'd like to win.  (And who wouldn't want to win this?!)
3.)  If you visit the Wood Connection's blog and leave a comment on my tutorial, that's another entry.

The drawing will close Saturday, May 12th at 10:00pm MST.  The winner will be announced Monday, May 14th.  There is one caveat:  The Wood Connection is located in Murray, UT.  They do not ship their products.  The drawing would most benefit Utah residents, people who visit Utah often, or readers willing to travel to Utah to claim their prize!  (Thanks for understanding, and if you're willing to travel I'll take you out for a cheeseburger!)  

Happy Watermelon Crafting!!!