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.