Friday, July 31, 2009

Thoughts on Psalm 27

At Bible Study this week we looked at Psalm 27 focusing on verse 4. In the Message it reads:

I'm asking God for one thing,
only one thing:
To live with him in his house
my whole life long...
...That's the only quiet, secure place
in a noisy world.

If we make our house with God we will live in a quiet, secure place despite the noise that constantly surrounds us. How do I "dwell with God" in my noisy day to day life? Where is that place that I find God during the day and can sense His presence?

My world is super, super noisy. Even when the "people" noise has quieted at night there is still window air conditioner units and computers that create constant noise. On top of that my mind makes a lot of noise too.

The verse says the only quiet, secure place is living with God. That means I should stop looking for peace and security in other places...friendships, books, scrapbooking, my children's behavior etc. When I am "dwelling with God" then I will still have peace and security when relationships are difficult; my children bicker, are sick, or act crazy in public; or when I'm not able to have time to myself.

I've written out that verse and taped it above the kitchen sink. That way I see it often and think about it. Right now it gives me a lot to think about.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More on Potty Training

Here we are at just about 8 months of potty training. I think we are on day 4 of Aliza wearing panties during nap time and they have remained dry! Hooray for one step closer to completion. However, she still will not poop in the potty and her pull-ups are wet in the morning.

Tonight we were at the library and she waited too long to tell me that she needed to use the bathroom. She had to waddle across the library holding herself, but she made it!

We've come a long way. Just a few more hurdles to cross!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


After the thunderstorm downpour we went outside.

And then we took a bath!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Freed Family Fun

Jeremy's aunt, uncle and cousins from Oregon were here for the weekend. That called for as family fun as possible while they were in town.

It all started in Aunt Donna's pool...



Aliza could not wait until Sunday to go swimming at Donna's.

Katelyn got pushed in.....
Matthew with his Grandpa, Bob

Pop with his children: Donna, Darryl, Bob, Phil, Karen

Julie and Chris

Day 2 was spent at the beach:

Then back to Buzz and Donna's in the evening for seafood supper, tractor rides and pictures:

So I have to admit that I'm a little biased to this family since they are from Oregon and are related to people I know in Oregon. God knew I needed to have one permanent West Coast connection!

A good portion of the Harold Freed family.

Colin, Kristen, Betsy, Phil with Pop

Donna, Jackie, Buzz and Katelyn

Joel and Aliza

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Septic Tank Relocated

As I was walking out the door to deliver the children to Mom on our anniversary, Jeremy called and said Mr. Septic was on his way to our house to begin relocating our septic tank. The first step in our house remodeling project. I needed to stay and talk to him since he needed to see our plans so that he would put the tank in the right spot.

That day he came back and pumped out our old tank. The next morning he put in the new tank. It was hooked up by noon. The timing was great since no one was home during the period of time that we had no plumbing.

The excavator sat in our yard over night while we waited for a load of gravel to fill in the old tank. Aliza made herself right at home. Her sippy cup was in the cup holder, her purse is there beside the seat and she was looking at pictures on the iphone.
Our yard is now a little boy's play heaven. Lots of dirt. Josiah pulls his wagon all over the dirt and up and down the little pile of gravel that is left. He is a MESS by the end of the day!
This is the finished product. That is a lovely fake rock that covers the portion of the new tank that needs to be above ground. It is about 3x larger than it would need to be! I figure it will keep that piece from being bothered during construction and then it can be removed!
For all the locals, thank you for paying your yearly Bay Restoration Fee. This tank was paid for by the State of Maryland through the Bay Restoration Fund! (The rock was included.)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Day for Us

Last Tuesday we celebrated 8 years of marriage by spending a day and night "just the 2 of us." Jeremy and I do not have similar interests so we have to be very intentional about spending recreational time together. If we stay home we end up doing separate things and not spending the time together that we are supposed to.

Recently Jeremy has taken an interest in golfing. I got him a set of golf clubs for Father's Day. I had the idea of riding in the golf cart while he played 9 holes. We were behind a 20 person tournament so that took most of the afternoon. I got to read and relax and he had fun too.

Jeremy has been wanting to eat at Outback Steakhouse so that's where we had dinner and then we stayed at a hotel in town. The front desk person at the hotel claimed to recognize us....we stay at the same hotel every time we have a night alone.

If he asked me to marry him again, I'd say Yes!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More on Our Little Vacation

These days I start vacations with mixed feelings. Part of me would rather just stay in the normal routine and schedule because it is a lot easier and the other part of me is excited to do something new and exciting. And there are always key moments when I think "I will never do this again" and other times when I think how fun it is to watch the children doing and discovering new things.

My first "I will never do this again" thought comes when I'm packing....and packing....and packing...and trying not to forget anything essential. The trunk was packed full: pack n play, stroller, 3 suitcases, sleeping bag, cooler with lunch and breakfast foods, laptop, camera equipment, golf clubs (!?) and I forgot the booster seat for Josiah.

So we start with an easy 3.5 hour drive to our destination of Williamsburg, VA. Aliza is super excited so she didn't take a nap and resorts to squealing to express her excitement which leads to Josiah squealing with her. Aliza eventually falls asleep. About that time I start thinking we should make a plan for supper. Then Josiah falls asleep. I figure we should just keep driving.... When Josiah wakes up we have hit traffic and lots of it. We were in bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go traffic for at least an hour. It is after 6:00 by this time (this is where schedules come back to bite you!) and Josiah starts to fuss. Jeremy's trusty iphone leads us to a Chick-Fil-A at 6:45. Josiah is screaming by this time! Jeremy is tired from driving in the traffic and I am stressed out listening to Josiah cry. Not that great of a combination. This is another moment that I am promising myself that we will not do this again for a long time!

We arrive safely and Grandma and Grandpa are happy to see us. The children explore their lovely surroundings. They sleep great together in our living space. Aliza is excited that she can come straight to Mommy and Daddy's room so she woke up during the night to use the potty. That was fine because she was dry in the morning! Hotel rooms are great because they usually have dark, heavy window treatments. The children slept until after 8:00am every morning, I think, because the room was so dark.

So the first morning we head to the pool. Neither one of them have really been in a pool before and I really wasn't sure how it would go. Josiah loved it right away. He giggled and took off right away walking on his own in the water. The water came up to his chest and if he lost his balance he had no way of standing up by himself. That morning before we went to the pool Jeremy told me about a newspaper article he had just read about a drowning. He and I were on high alert. Other parents probably thought we were crazy, we were practically on top of our kids the whole time!

Aliza sortof hung out on the step. She liked jumping in while I held her hands. I think she went to the big pool with her Daddy one time. When we left she couldn't wait to go back though.

When Josiah got tired of the pool. He wandered around on the deck. Waved to every one he saw and tried very hard to climb through the fence.

After Jeremy and I took a couple hours alone in colonial Williamsburg, we had our next new experience. Mini golf. Aliza had fun. She worked hard to get that ball in the hole! And she kept at it for 18 holes. Josiah carried his own ball and borrowed Jeremy's golf club at times. =)

The next day was more of the same pool and mini golf! That night we put Aliza to bed before Josiah had fallen asleep. Our reward was listening to them giggle, squeal and carry on for an hour and a half. They needed some happy brother/sister bonding! Our other reward was that Josiah was way too tired by 10pm and had to cry himself to sleep.

Yup, that was our vacation. Pool and mini golf! And the trip home was much quicker and quieter. Josiah took a super long nap when we got home. I think 3 nights away was about the limit for these tykes and their Mommy.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Few Days in Williamsburg

We spent 2 days in Williamsburg with Jeremy's parents. Aliza and Josiah had their first experience swimming in a pool. Josiah was much more daring than Aliza. After about 10 minutes he walked across the kiddie pool by himself. Don't worry. We were watching like hawks! It took Aliza almost an hour before she walked across without holding a hand.

Josiah kicked his feet and swam with Jeremy. It was Aliza, though, who could hardly wait to go to the pool again the next day.

The video captured it much better than pictures. Maybe I'll post a more entertaining rendition of the weekend later!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fun Moments

I am lovin' that little grin. Aliza is doing her funny face. =) Both of them were coloring happily beside each other. It was a most lovely 5 minutes. Aliza was even shared the colors with Josiah. Josiah did some coloring--and some crayon eating.

My newest dishwasher. As soon as Josiah woke up from his nap today he communicated clearly (without words) that he wanted to wash dishes.

Aliza has recently decided that she wants to sleep on the floor of her room beside her dollies. Notice how both of them are so nicely tucked in. Tonight is her second night on the floor and both yesterday and today that is where she took her nap. It's one idea of hers that is not worth arguing about!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

07/08/09 @ 10:11

Elizabeth Kartchner posted a challenge on her blog to take a picture of what you are doing at 7/8/09 at 10:11 am or pm. What a great excuse to capture a little moment during the day.

So here we are at 10:11am:

Making chocolate zucchini cupcakes. Aliza's job was to put the papers in the muffin tins.

She was pretty excited about her job!

And a couple hours later they tasted very, very yummy!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Blog to Book

I was stalking UPS today. He brought the birthday present I was really hoping for. I got my blog printed as a book. I'm hoping to do this every year, well, for as long as I decide to keep up my blog.

I found a couple sites that printed blogs from Typepad or Wordpress, but this was the first I found that printed from blogger. I got it from It is a new service for them. The book looks great (I couldn't take a good picture!). The pages are nice quality and the pictures look good. What I didn't like was that you can't edit the posts once you upload to the site. They also include the blog comments in the book and for some reason they attached random last initials to some of the people who left comments. So it's not a perfected service yet, but I'm happy with it.

I'm watching for's software realease for next year. Of course I might just have to go for the cheapest since I post too frequently and exceed the page limit included in the base price.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Today's the Day--

I was born--30 years ago! I'm the kind that gets sortof nostalgic and sentimental the night before "big" birthdays. I remember sitting on Dad's lap the night before I turned 13 so that he could hold his 12 year old one more time before I became a teenager. I didn't cry, but it is strange to think that my 20s are behind me. Now my 30s are ahead of me and, boy oh boy, is there a lot to look forward to!

The fun started yesterday with a lunch with my sisters and some of my friends. My friends are on the right--Maria (in green), Elizabeth (in orange) and Chrissy (in pink). Jan is hiding on the left and the others are my sisters. Lunch was really yummy and Janell made cupcakes for dessert. I ate everything. =)

Jeremy took the day off today. It was just a quiet day. Then we went to Mom's for supper tonight. I made a big dinner request this year--shrimp from Ray's Shanty, corn on the cob, fries, corn muffins. It was extra yummy!

Mom gave me PLASTIC glasses. Hooray! Remember the cut finger from the broken glass? That won't happen again!

Aliza was extra excited about me blowing out the candles because.....
...She knew she was next! The Sheats tradition is that after the birthday person every other child gets a chance to blow the candles.

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Bit of Independence

This was a monumental trip to the zoo. Josiah got to walk. Notice that Grandma came along....and also Aunt Laura and Aunt Linda. There was plenty of supervision to go around. haha. It was a lot of fun to watch Josiah discover the animals.

Holding Grandma's hand--most of the time.

Still doing lots of pointing. Josiah is making some animal sounds now. Aliza was gracious enough to teach him a peacock sound. Have you ever heard a peacock? It is pretty much a scream. I frequently have 2 peacocks in the back seat of the car.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is a flamingo. Aliza came up with that on her own and it cracked me up. I should have gotten the flamingos in the background (standing on one leg).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Diaper Bag Fun

I'm so excited because this blog posted is perfectly timed! I bought bags for my sisters from a gal I went to Jr. High with and then asked her to make a diaper bag for me. (I know she would want me to be quick to add this she made this bag from a pattern. It is not her own design.) It matters not to me! I love it and it is great to have a diaper bag that is fun to carry.

Oh! The perfect timing part. Columbia Lily Designs has a restocked etsy site--as of today! Follow the link on the right to her blog and there is a direct link to her shop. PLUS she has some giveaways right now.

Here it is. It has plenty of room for sippy cups, diapers, bookkeeping stuff in the front pocket, camera, water bottle, and anything else I can think of to weigh myself down. lol.

And best of all it is approved of by Aliza!!!