Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 Favorite Image

A photographer friend of ours threw out the idea of picking out your favorite image of the year. Here are my 2 favorites.

I love a picture that tells a story and that makes my heart swell with the memory. This picture came to mind as soon as I read the post. It was taken on Josiah's 1st birthday. Aliza was so excited about his party. In the background is Aliza's booster seat from the table. She drug that chair into the living room when I was setting up chairs so that she would have a place to sit. Then when he was opening up his presents she was more excited about what he was opening than he was. She was able to be excited AND let him open his presents by himself. A very grown up moment for her! Josiah concentrating on the task and Aliza so excited she can hardly contain herself captures the essence of my childrens' personalities.

This one is my 2nd favorite. It was taken this weekend and I could just kiss both of those boys' faces. ;) Jeremy had just finished a round of tickling and rough housing with Josiah. Josiah had been laughing and laughing. There aren't many moments when I can grab a picture of Josiah with a huge spontaneous smile on his face!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas--Round 3

This is my last Christmas post--I promise! We are now with Jeremy's parents. Yesterday was our Christmas celebration and today has been a football marathon. We are now on 11 hours of football TV. The ladies have resorted to sitting at the dining room table. I'm blogging and Brandi and Karen are looking at recipe books. Exciting stuff!

The first gift Josiah opened contained the caterpillar tractor he is holding in his hand. He did not put it down the rest of the day. He opened his other gifts with one hand!

Joel was really thrilled about the Wonder Pets toy he got Aliza. She was really excited too. Wonder Pets is new favorite right now.

Jeremy is always pleased with his gifts. I didn't do so well managing his wish list and he got a duplicate. Oh well. He's happy. He got a discount on the golf clubs I gave him because he won a giveaway by the person I bought the clubs from. So they gave me a credit (and he knew what he was getting for Christmas!) He's happy though because now he can get himself something else.

Grandma had lots of help opening her gift.

Aliza has had more fun with her new princess tent. She served Brandi a picnic and Grandma a tea party.
Joel and Brandi

One more trip home and we are done traveling for a while!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas--Round 2

Aliza was surprised that today was Christmas. That means that she slept until 7:45! She couldn't wait to go downstairs and see the presents and she was tickled that she had 3 presents since she is 3. She said "Mommy, you count like me!" Of course she opened her 3 presents and wanted more.

Josiah opened his presents with popsicle in hand. He loves his popsicles! And he loved his truck too. He pushed it around and around the house. He was totally engrossed in checking out every inch of it.

Aliza thought it was very neat that her picture and name were in a Dora book. That is a LONG book and I read it multiple times today. I didn't mind. =)

We still have some snow on the ground so we headed over to my parents so that Jeremy could try out his new golf clubs and Aliza could ride her bike. Well, the bike only caused frustration early in the day so she stayed inside. Josiah, on the other hand, was in heaven getting to sit on some of Grandad's old lawnmowers while Jeremy played golf. The temperature was in the 50's so they spent over an hour outside. We all took naps and then had a turkey dinner. For dessert I made this cake--Jesus' birthday cake (Aliza blew out the candles for him.).
When we got home Aliza hopped on her bike again. I was cleaning up the kitchen and she exclaims, "Mommy, I was over there and now I am here!" And off she went on her bike. She was SOOOO excited. It was the icing on my Christmas Day to see her accomplish that. The video below is her riding in our house. Houses with a "circle" come in handy sometimes!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas--Round 1

Yesterday was Christmas for the Sheats family. I woke up early, excited to go to Mom and Dad's for Christmas. I thought maybe that waking up early stuff would stop when I turned 30! Oh well. It is always good to go "home" for Christmas even when you are a Mom. When I arrived I found out that my sisters also woke up early! =)

My brother called me first thing in the morning and I looked out the window. The roads were pretty ugly, snow with ice underneath. He didn't sound excited at all about driving on them and since I only live 4 miles from him I figured if he wasn't driving I shouldn't be driving either. He went for a test drive and I got my family ready. The main roads were clear so we drove slow and carefully on the back roads and all of us made it safely to my parents.

Josiah enjoyed the Christmas carols we sang.

Brian gave Caleb a birdhouse that he could put together. Caleb was so proud of it. He told us all about it. That bird house was never far from his side.

Gideon is serious on this picture, but he is full of smiles and giggles these days.

Josiah got a John Deere DVD. He was completely mesmerized by it. My Dad soon sat Josiah on his lap and he stayed there until the DVD was over. I don't think he hardly moved a muscle.

Aliza was given food and a kitchen. She loves it. She does not want to share and the kitchen now resides in her room where Josiah can not get it. She puts the food in and out of the cabinets.
The kitchen came in about a million pieces. Jeremy, Brian and Jeff worked hard to put it together.

Mom surprised me with an attachment for my Kitchen Aid that I didn't think was possible to find. It is a guard for the bowl that has a place to pour the ingredients into the bowl. Anyone who has a Kitchen Aid knows that there is very little room for dump ingredients in the bowl. Now the children will be able to help me bake with a little less mess.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


This little bit of snow created some extreme excitement at our house. Aliza could hardly contain her excitement. She watched the snow from her window until 10:30 last night. Then she woke up at 4:30am wanting to get ready for the day. She played in her room and looked out her window until she fell back asleep at 6:00am. So as soon as Daddy woke up this morning we headed outside. This was Josiah's first snow experience. The snow packed really well so they made a snowman and a fort.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tinsel and Carols

I received a box with tinsel as the packaging. I didn't get it discarded quickly enough. Aliza and Josiah had a blast playing with it. It occupied them for at least an hour. The memorable part of this video is about a minute into it when Aliza asks if I am going to put the video on my blog.

It is snowing. Aliza is excited. I'm sure there will be snow pictures to share soon!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Good Book

I've been reading a lot recently. I just finished reading Once An Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life. This was one I could hardly put down when I really knew I needed to go to sleep. My sister is working on her Master's degree in Conflict Resolution and this is a book she came across. It is a true story of an Arab man who was a sniper for Arafat, immigrated to America and years later became a Christian. He now has a ministry reconciling Arabs and Jews.

I also heard this weekend that the author of Three Cups of Tea has released a new book called Stones to Schools. I can't wait to get my hands on that one!

(I'm really bad at linking things so you'll just have to google the books yourself! Sorry!!)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Just for my Grandma

A year ago my Grandma moved into a retirement community and this year she hosted King Christmas at her facility. I called her several time this year and each time I called she mentioned Christmas and how she would like for us to be there. So this year we did it. It's a 12 hour trip one way. We got out there in a day, were there for 1.5 days and then took 2 days to return home.

It was good to see my Grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins, and cousins' children. There was lots of room to play and even a pool for us to use. Considering the amount of time we spent in the car my children did great. They were great travelers. They got to take turns riding with Grandma, Grandad and Aunt Laura. When they were with Mommy and Daddy they got to watch DVDs. This was all great except that it led to very few naps and extremely tired children when we got home!

I really thought I was not really going to have anything to blog about when we got home. Everything was so uneventful. Until this morning at breakfast at the hotel we were staying at. Aliza had already had 3 pieces of bacon and we told her that was enough. The serving tray was too high for her to reach so when I was talking to Josiah about staying in the breakfast room and turned around to see Aliza with a piece of bacon I wondered where she got it. Jeremy and my Mom looked at me with innocent expressions. They hadn't given it to her. It took about 10 seconds for me to realize that a man had just put down his plate of bacon and sausage gravy on his table and gone to retrieve something else. Aliza, yes, my daughter, jumped up on his chair and swiped a piece of bacon off his plate. Oh my goodness. I was mortified. I apologized to the man. Thankfully he took it well and seemed to be happy for something to chuckle about.

It's funny because I've been working on table manners with Aliza and Josiah. Things like stay seated in your chair (Aliza), stay at the table (Aliza), don't bang your silverware making all sorts of commotion (Aliza and Josiah) and keep your feet off the table (Josiah). Who would have guessed that I needed to address not taking food off a complete strangers plate! They will always think of something I haven't thought of. When Aliza is a teenager and thinks that I embarrass her....I'll let her know that the tables were turned at one point!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Cousins make great play mates! Aliza, Caleb and Josiah are just at an age where they are starting to play together. It is so much fun to watch them make up games and interact. Recently when they have been together they have spent more time running around and squealing than actually playing with toys. The Sheats gang will have 5 stair step cousins come May. It will be fun to watch them grow up.

I had an evening out tonight. I need to make some plans for these evenings. Tonight I just wandered around the mall. I didn't spend a penny. What I really wanted was a quiet place to just sit, pray and reflect. I haven't done enough of that recently.

Now I am gearing up for a big weekend.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


While I finished putting on some makeup this morning, Aliza and Josiah walked down the stairs together. As I walked down the stairs a few minutes later I heard, MMMmmmm, Mmmmm, MMMmmmmmm.... I tiptoed in to the living room and saw this magical scene.

They got up on the counter and retrieved the M&M kissed pretzels and re-enacted our evening last night. Josiah's face was covered in chocolate and Aliza was reading the Christmas books.

That is Christmas magic for me.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Our Tree

Aliza spotted our tree trimming treat on top of the refrigerator right before supper. She laughed so hard she got tears in her eyes. Then she wanted to call someone to tell them that we were having supper and then decorating our tree (she must her Mama's girl to have to tell someone!!). She then explained the process to her Daddy. We have to clean the spot and then get the decorations out and then get the tree (and I knew she was her Mama's girl again!). We had a super fun family evening.

In my December scrapbook kit last year I got these Cosmo Cricket Bare Naked Ornaments. I saved them for our tree this year because I knew they would be perfect. They are chipboard and came with coordinating paper to cover them. Child friendly. A little vintage. A bit of color.
Josiah's concept of decorating: Take the ornaments off the tree as fast as Aliza puts them on. Aliza introduced him to the nativity characters.

After decorating we got out our M&M kissed pretzel treats and read our little collection of Christmas books.

I think he liked the treats.

Gingerbread Men

Last week I really should have been thankful for cameras. I love being able to capture life and be able to look back and remember. And I should be doubly thankful for digital cameras. I can take way too many pictures and it doesn't matter!

Decorating gingerbread men has become a tradition. It was quite an action packed experience. Good thing we had one adult per toddler!

Aliza ate plenty of dough and frosting. Josiah ate more than his share of the jellybeans we used for eyes. Both of them had frosting all over. They had fun though!

My Grandad came "home" today. He and Gramma will be at my parent's house until at least the end of the month so that he can follow up with doctors here.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Festivities

A little sampling of our Thanksgiving celebrations.

Our contribution to the dinners. Candy turkey favors. Aliza had fun helping me made them.

Football and naps.

Lincoln Logs.

And a trip to Jeremy's family.

Surrounding it all is the fact that my Grandad is still in the hospital. I kept waiting for some definitive answer (and solution) before I blogged, but we are still waiting for that. He has a bacterial infection in his blood. That bacteria has to be coming from somewhere in his body. The type of bacteria seems to be pointing to his intestines. So far he has had a chest x-ray, CAT scan and MRI that have not provided answers. It looks like maybe he will have a colonoscopy next. He has 3 more days of IV antibiotics. My Gramma sits with him 10-12 hours a day, but she seems to be holding up pretty well.

I'm going to tell one story about my Gramma. She'll probably kick me when she reads it, but I want to remember. Gramma was waiting for my Dad to come in from the parking lot at the hospital when she noticed that a woman was sitting and really crying hard. Gramma went over to her and said "I'm so sorry. You are really hurting." The woman told Gramma that she just found out her husband had cancer. Gramma asked some questions and found out that this woman has no support system. Gramma offered to pray with her and the woman accepted. When Dad came in he also talked to her and prayed with her. Gramma could have been so absorbed in her own worries over not knowing what is happening with her own husband of almost 58 years that she didn't even notice someone else's tears. But she wasn't. She was able to see other people and not be afraid to reach out to someone who is obviously hurting. Thank you, Gramma, for that reminder.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful - November 25

  • Grandad has good doctors taking care of him. Before the evening is over he is going to be moved to ICU for closer monitoring.
  • Gramma and Grandad are here and not 12 hours away where they live!
  • The children slept late so that I could make supper early to deliver to Gramma at the hospital.
  • Survived the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving. I was trying to avoid that but the milk ran out.
  • We've received payment for some long past due invoices.
  • I got to talk to my aunt on the phone.
  • I totally blew off a friend last night since I felt like I should be with Gramma. She is still my friend today. =)
  • I have the most interesting bedtime talks with Aliza.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful for Helpers?

So I admit that during the process of making gingersnaps this afternoon I was not even 50% thankful for my helpers. Josiah got out the ice cream scoop and was scooping dough out of the bowl and was just generally in the exact spot that I needed to be in at all times. He then resorted to picking up the balls off the cookie sheet and licking the sugar off the them. He thought this was highly amusing!

Aliza's "job" was to roll each ball of dough in sugar. As she did she licked her fingers and between rolling the ball she was eating handfuls of sugar. I heard at least 10 times, "Mommy, I am thankful for---SUGAR!" And when I told her she had eaten quite enough her response was, "It's ok Mommy, I'm thankful for sugar." At least I've taught her something about the concept of thankfulness this week.

I suppose I should also admit that on some evenings I have sat down at the computer and nothing has come to mind to be thankful for. Well, it's not really true because each night I've sat down at the computer and thought, man, I'm really thankful for my Mom and Dad. But how would I ever sum up my thoughts and feelings in a paragraph?

My parents still teach me so much. Since we go to the church they pastor they have significant spiritual input in my life. As they grow in their faith I am challenged to keep my faith alive and growing. I am so refreshed and encouraged after my conversations with Mom and/or Dad. I wish I knew the key because I would be thrilled if my children grow up to have the respect for me that I have for my parents. Mom and Dad, thanks for loving me and my family and for all of the love, support, and help you continue to give me.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tea Party

So very thankful for tea parties. Aliza and I had some time together inside while the boys had time together outside. Aliza had big ideas of how this tea party was going to work. I think that this time I was able to make her dreams come true.

We needed a small outing this evening so we decided that we would pick up something for supper. Aliza decided that she would really like a taco. I have never seen anyone so excited about a Taco Bell soft taco. We ate every last morsel. She also enjoyed having the power over the only order of cinnamon twists (they came with the kids meal). Mommy and Daddy really wanted some and she gave us one. She then proceeded to tell us that she didn't want the cinnamon twists in her tummy. She just wanted to lick them.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Some Crazy Moments

(Photo courtesy of Aliza)

These are my Grandparents. I am thankful that my children have the opportunity to interact and even develop some memories of their Great Grandparents. They along with Meghan, Caleb and Gideon were at my house for the morning.

Moment #1:
Grandad cut up a tree that had fallen during the last rain we had so we were playing outside. When he was finished cutting the tree he told me that a certain berry producing weed we have in our yard is poisonous. I suspected as much and had done my best to keep those berries out of Josiah's mouth this summer. I had really done a pretty good job of it. No sooner were the words out of Grandad's mouth and I turned around to look for Josiah. He was coming towards me--both hands COVERED with purple liquid and his mouth looking like he had generously applied lipstick. Yup, those berries. (He's fine.)

Now when Josiah plays outside he gets dirty. Dirty with a capital D. So when I brought him in for lunch he was covered in, at least, poisonous berry juice, ash from the burn pile and grease from the chainsaw equipment. I washed his hands and face and put him in his chair for lunch. After adding lunch remnats to his clothes he was gross. So I took his shirt and pants off and went to start Aliza's DVD. No sooner did I get to the living room did I hear exclamations that Josiah had taken his diaper off and, you guessed it, not 30 seconds later were all my guests laughing that my son had left a wet puddle in the kitchen. All in the time it takes to start a DVD. I probably shouldn't add how much my son likes to be bare and how upset he was to get dressed again. Is that a guy thing??

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thankful - November 18

There is one (adult) person I can count on talking to just about every day. The phone call occurs just about every morning between 9 and 10, but some days it is around noon. It just depends. I'm so very thankful for my sister-in-law, Meghan. It just happens that we are in about the same stage of life with two children. She once thought (and told me) that I was old when I was 25 and was married 3 years. Now she is in her mid twenties and will be married 5 years in a couple months. =) It's funny how a couple years can change life and shrink the age gap. Meghan, thanks for being there for me. For encouraging me on days that I'm down or tired and making me jealous that your potty training experience is going so quickly and smoothly! I'm thankful that you live so close and are a part of my life.

Monday, November 16, 2009

On Pooping and Body Parts

When Aliza used the potty tonight I told her to try to poop too. She informed me that the clock only said 5:00 not 10:00 yet. Haha. It's becoming comical.

Aliza's all time best potty quote:
Mommy: Aliza, do you need to use the potty?
Aliza: No, I don't hear my pee coming out.

As I was posting my thankful post about Jeremy I realized that there are some people responsible for making him the man that he is. His parents. My in-laws! I'm thankful for my mother in law and father in law. Thank you for raising Jeremy to be a responsible, caring, faith filled, loving man. You did your job well.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

One Cool Mama

The sun returned today! It was nice and warm. Jeremy was at a Redskins game with his Dad and I knew that we were not going to stay inside all day. I also knew that if we went outside there would be no keeping the children out of the flooded ditch that Aliza has dubbed "the swimming pool." So we put on rubber boots and jackets and I let them loose. They played for an hour in the water and had SO MUCH FUN. In many places the water was higher than their boots. Josiah got completely wet. When we were finished we stripped outside and went straight to the bathtub.

I'm thankful for good sleep. I'm tired tonight!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thankful - November 14

This man. I am so thankful for him. There is one thing about Jeremy--if he decides to do something, he does it with his heart, soul and mind. He throws himself into it and learns everything he can about it. And that has included parenting and marriage. He is a wonderful Daddy and the perfect husband for me.

Today he took care of Aliza and Josiah all day so that I could scrapbook. After my breakdown this spring we learned how important it is for me to have some time to myself. Jeremy did not hesitate for one second about keeping the children one evening a week and an occasional Saturday for me to escape.

I wish I was more romantic and sappy. Jeremy, just know that I'm so thankful for you and when I look at you across the room or across a couple children sitting between us my heart swells because I know that you are my man for life.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thankful - November 13

Today I am thankful for a house that keeps my family safe and warm when the wind blows and the rain pours!

The ditch beside our house is full and we have a few places in the yard that are flooded. A dead pine tree fell over in the back, but not as many limbs have fallen down as I thought might. We also have some colorful leaves left on the trees. The colors are especially vibrant today against the gray sky.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful - November 12

There is a little challenge going around on Facebook to post something you are thankful for every day until Thanksgiving. An attitude of thankfulness is a good thing to practice so I'll take on the challenge...

I am thankful for yummy family recipes! I used my Grandma King's pumpkin muffin recipe this morning. Anything made in my Grandma's kitchen is sweet and yummy so I knew this recipe would be a winner. Plus my Mom (and Dad!) use it and their muffins are always yummy too.
We are on day 2 of another 3 day Nor'easter. So after our muffins came out of the oven we made a plate to take to one of our favorite neighbors. She was also tired of the wind and rain and was happy for some energetic little ones to fill her house.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Bright Sunshiney Day

We had the most beautiful weather yesterday and today. Blue skies, lots of sun and 70 degrees. Today we went to two parks and played in our yard. I think that is a record! This morning the children played so hard that at lunch they were completely quiet, ate their chicken nuggets in record time (before I could make my sandwich) and asked for seconds.

I love my kids like crazy, but I am so glad that babies grow up and mature. Aliza hopped up from the lunch table and went to the bathroom all by herself and came back to the table. It was lovely. Aliza was concerned about Josiah tonight when he was crying before supper. She went upstairs by herself to find a pacifier for him. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I was purposely keeping the pacifiers in his room now. To see her care about other people is a very satisfying experience.

Aliza loves it when I straighten up her room. Apparently she wishes that I would do it more frequently. Tonight when she realized that I can cleaned up, she said in a most dramatic tone, "You cleaned up my room. Amazing!!!"

Now for some adult time. This week's episode of Amazing Race is on the agenda for the evening.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Studying Tractors

A couple weeks ago I borrowed a couple tractor board books from the library for Josiah. He has loved them. He takes them in the car, on the swing, and carries them around the house. I was feeling bad about having to take them back to the library soon so I invested in a tractor book and a truck book that he can call his very own. I took all 3 of these pictures at different times today. He does not just look at the books, he studies them very intently. At least once today I checked on him because he was too quiet only to find him looking at his book. What a most delightful surprise!

This reminds me of his Daddy. Jeremy loves learning and when he is interested in something, he studies it until he has the subject mastered.