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Sunday, July 29, 2012

I Love...

I love bath time and soapy babies and the smell of lavender shampoo.  
And summertime storms and hugs from friends.  
I love cold glasses of milk and red, ripe strawberries.  
And books about big, hungry bears who like to eat them.  
I love wagon rides and spotting the ducklings in the pond.  
And turquoise toenail polish and brightly colored sandals.  
I love the sound of my children laughing when they share a private joke.
And peanut butter smudged on chubby, toddler cheeks.  
I love fluffy, "cotton ball" clouds and the bright pink buds on my rose bush.   
And cinnamon chip muffins and necklaces that jangle.  
I love lazy, Sunday evenings and the hum of the AC.   
 And snuggling my little ones.  
And being happy 
being me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

(Well...I Think I'm Crafty)

Why I Don't Craft As Much As I Would Like To, or Why I Only Craft Late At Night
When Everyone Is In Bed
A Conversation With My Five-Year-Old

Lilly:  Hey, Mom!  What are you doing?

Mama Leisha:  I'm just working on a craft.

Lilly:  Hmm...what is it?

Mama Leisha:  I'm making an American flag.

Lilly:  It looks weird.

Mama Leisha:  No it doesn't!  It's cute!

Lilly:  It doesn't look right.  It doesn't even look like a flag.

Mama Leisha:  Sure it does!  It's just..."artistic."

Lilly:  I don't even know what that means!  Are you sure you're doing it right?

(Mama Leisha, sighing and burning fingers with the hot glue gun.)

Mama Leisha:  Lil, I'm pretty sure I'm doing it right.

Lilly:  Well, it looks really weird.  It doesn't even look like an American flag.  How will people know that we are from America if our American flag doesn't even look American?!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!  Everyone's a critic.  Especially my Lilly.  She keeps me on my toes!

If you would like to make this weird, "doesn't-look-right," non-American American flag craft, then all you need is:  an 8X10 frame (from Hobby Lobby), red and white and blue yarn, silver stars (or any other embellishment you'd like to try...silver or white buttons would be cute), a glue gun, and a lot of patience!  Obviously, the critical five-year-old is optional.

Wrap, wrap, wrap the yarn around the frame, to resemble an American flag.  Glue your stars on and you're done!  Easy peasy.  And if you ask me, I think the finished product is pretty terrific!

(Just don't ask Lilly.)


(A note:  U.S. of A-ers, I realize this craft would have been great to do to celebrate the 4th of July.  I also realize I'm sharing it on the 24th of July!  I'm a little late.  BUT, it's STILL July and the Olympics are coming up.  Wouldn't this craft be fun to incorporate into your Olympic viewing parties?!  Or simply, as a way to show your support for Team U.S.A.?  Just a thought...) 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Laundry Day Adventures!

Sometimes doing the laundry is a surprising adventure, for the simple fact that I have absolutely NO IDEA what I'm going to find in my children's laundry baskets.

You would think I would find clothes, right?  Au contraire.  (I bust out a little French when I want to feel fancy.  In my sweat pants.)

I have found "previously sucked on" gummi bears in pants pockets.  I have found "petrified" string cheese and play-doh nestled among Elmo shirts and princess pajamas.  I've even found a soiled diaper at the bottom of one of the baskets.  (My theory is that in an attempt to be helpful, one of the kiddos mistook the brown, wicker basket for the small, white, plastic garbage can.  I suppose when you are under four feet tall, and under six-years-old, it would be easy to get confused.  HEY!  Maybe that's where all our socks are going...out with the trash!)

One of the worst things I found amidst the tiny-people clothing was Cam's fake, rubber lizard.  I probably don't need to tell you that I just about dropped dead on my laundry room floor when I saw that thing.  I may have cursed!  (Sorry, Mom.)

Recently, I've been finding toys.  (The reprieve from food items has been nice.)

A couple of weeks ago, I found all of these in the little mister's basket:

The week after that, I found this in Ms. Lilly's basket:

Yesterday, I was greeted by this little guy (who'd been hiding out in Lilly's church dress):

Admittedly, the Doc Squinkie made my heart happy during an otherwise mundane and miserable chore.  I identified it as a symbol of my children's innocence and preciousness.  They are still so young...but they won't stay that way forever

One of my most favorite "parenthood quotes" is from Thomas S. Monson.  He once said, "If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all to soon and that you will--to your surprise--miss them profoundly."

Though it seems so very far away, there will eventually come a time when my laundry won't loom over my head, threatening to overwhelm me with it's volume.  It will just be mine.  It will just be my husband's.  The gummi bears, the toys, the clods of dirt, the rubber lizards and the holey socks will all be gone.  And as I search my wonderful (and mischievous) children's faces--the big eyes, the little baby teeth, the smooth and chubby cheeks, the button noses--I realize I'll miss it.  All of it.

I'll miss them.

Maybe I'll even miss that nasty, petrified string cheese that seems to greet me with a, "Hello Mama!  It's laundry day!" 


Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Great S'mores Experiment

Wheeew, child!  It has been hot around here!  With temperatures varying between 102F and 104F this week, I have been acting like a hermit and staying locked up in my air-conditioned home.  (Geez!  Where do I live?  The surface of the sun?  How do you Arizona peeps do it!?)  It is "melt-your-eyebrows-off" hot out there.  It is "I-can-feel-sweat-running-down-my-back" hot out there.  It is "why-is-my-hair-shriveling-like-steamed-spinach" hot out there.  (I think you get the idea.)

I always chuckle to myself when the temperatures rise because meteorologists on the news start engaging in kooky "experiments."  Like frying eyes on the sidewalk.  (That's gross.)  Or baking cookies in a parked car.  One glorious day, while tuned into the local news at noon, I watched a delightful anchorwoman make s'mores outside.  In the studio's parking lot.  With nothing but a little aluminum foil and the hot, July sun.

I thought, "She.  Is.  Brilliant."

Naturally, my second though was, "I MUST try that."

Today, Lilly and I participated in "Mama Leisha's Great S'mores Experiment."  If you'd like to give it a whirl, all you need is aluminum foil, mallows, graham crackers, chocolate, hot pavement, and sunshine.

Build your s'mores on a small piece of aluminum foil.  Gently wrap it up into a compact, square package.  (I say gently because the crackers break easily.)  Find a REALLY hot place outside--like a driveway, parking lot, front porch, etc.  Just as long as it is a hard, paved surface that never sees the shade.  Lay those babies down and let them cook.

Here's the tricky part:  Knowing how long to "cook" them for.  Answer:  I have NO idea!  I thought surely, with as blazing hot as it's been, they'd cook in under fifteen minutes.  Not true!  That marshmallow takes a while to melt down!  (Plus, there were a couple of factors to consider.  First of all, it was a little overcast today.  It seemed our sun was playing "hide n' seek" with our gloomy, gray clouds.  Second, we conducted our experiment later in the day.  If/when we do this again, it will be on a clear, blue sky kind of day.  And we'll do it under a toasty, noon-time sun.)

The best advice I can give is to check your s'mores often.  We checked ours every twenty to thirty minutes.  They sat outside for about two hours.  Seems painfully long, doesn't it?



Warning:  They are an ooey, gooey mess.  And they're positively divine!

I think we'll make s'more s'mores tomorrow! 

A couple of handy Mama Leisha tips:

1.  Don't use heavy duty aluminum foil.  The regular kind works best.  (Our "heavy duty foil" s'mores took even longer to goo-ify.)
2.  May be placed on a BBQ grill for faster cooking.
3.  Next time we make these, I'm considering omitting the chocolate until the marshmallow melts down.  The chocolate melts the fastest.  Perhaps adding it "late in the game" will make it less syrupy.  Worth a try!  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Today, I'm grateful...

Today, I'm grateful for the people who support, uplift, and encourage me in all areas of my beautiful life.  I'm grateful for the people standing in my corner--who cheer me on to victory and success, especially when the race gets tough.  I'm grateful for those who extend kindness--as sweet and as warm as the summer sun--to all the people around them.  I'm grateful for the people who see the good  in me, who believe in my great worth despite my silly imperfections.

Today, I'm grateful for the people who love me.

These people do.

(Side note:  Ms. Lil saw this picture and said, "Who are those people?  They look creepy.  
And why are they in the jungle?)