Monday, November 23, 2009

Thankful...

In The Spirit of Thanksgiving...


I just wanted to share how much fun i have had this month, reading every day about what all my friends and family are thankful for! You took the challenge to find something that you are thankful for every day... and you found them!

There is really so much to be Thankful for!

I hope it is ok with my friend Cindy, (maybe i should have asked first... Ü)

but i just HAD to share with you a message that she sent to me after she had taken on the challenge:

So Jodi I was thinking today... how writing something to be thankful for every day has lifted my spirits! i've been thinking of 2 or 3 things every day and it's been really nice :) It's amazing how fast gratitude can change an attitude?!

Cindy! I love you to Bits and Pieces! and by golly! I think she GoT it! Ü


I really am having a hard time, believing that November is about to come to a close. Where in the world does the time go?

This only confirms to me the absolute importance in my life- that it is so important for me to Stop; and count my blessings!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thankful... 11/07/09

Feeling Gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
-- William Arthur Ward
You have all been so Wonderful and amazing at sharing with the world, what you are Grateful for.
I am curious... We obviously have SO much to be grateful for...
HOW ARE YOU EXPRESSING YOUR GRATITUDE?
Give me your ideas... what are ways that we can express or show our gratitude to those around us every day?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thankful... 11/06/09

This morning i came across these pictures of Carson . My eyes welled up with tears, which were soon streeeeaming down my face... and I knew instantly what i was thankful for today!


Today, I am SO Thankful that i have been given the chance to LOVE this sweet little boy.
I mean, any of you that know me, even just a little bit, know that it is fairly easy for me to love children... but the chance that i have been given to LOVE Carson and Courtney is extra special. The love i have for them is extra special.

Many of you might not know, but it was Carson's Mommy that ultimately introduced Bart & I.

Kristi, Carson & Courtney's Mommy, passed away this last January-ending her long battle with Cancer. The week before she passed away, she gave Bart my name. He added my name to a list they had been compiling. He had no idea who i was, & thought that he would be stuck mowing the lawn of some 80 year old woman. Well, of course that was not the case-and a fairytale love story adventually began, all thanks to Kristi.

We miss her, but I will be forever indebted & grateful to her for what she has given me. She, for some reason... saw something in me & allowed me to be a part of, share & has allowed me to love her family. For that... there just aren't enough words of Gratitude.

Today, I am Thankful for this sweet face. Carson.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful... 11/05/09



is there any greater blessing then being a "(BME)"?
I don't think so! Ü
Today, i am thankful for love notes & the chance i have of being a BME!
how sweet is That!?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thankful...

Over at facebook, i have challenged my facebook friends this month, to update their 'status' at least once a day with something they are thankful that day. I love this idea, because even in such hard times for so many, i believe strongly that there is good to be found in every single day... no matter what! I know this to be true, because i practice it... every day... not just in the month of November when we all like to show extra appreciation and gratitude.
I keep a daily Gratitude journal. I love to count my blessings... every day. There is always something to be thankful for!

In the Spirit of being Thankful and this little challenge i have sent out to all of you, I thought that i would add a little bit of extra fun...

I want to share with you one of my gratitude journals. or at least... one for yourself! I want to make you one of your very own.
So! (pictures to come soon! I have to make it first! Ü This idea just came to me this morning) So! to be entered to Win... just leave me a comment telling me that you are commiting to the challenge. That you are going to update your "status" at least ONCE a DAY with something that you are grateful for that day. That is SO EASY! right?
I am hoping that this will make it just a little bit more fun.
The pictures i have added to this post has to do with what i am Thankful for today.
Today I am Thankful for a God. Mother Nature is a wonderous thing! It is amazing... the things she can do!
These picture are of mud! MUD! Mud in a street gutter in front of Bart's house. I took these pictures. I was amazed at what Mother Nature was creating.
You can see the shadow line created by the sun, just barely shining over the curb into the gutter. Where the sun had hit, it was drying out the mud and the mud was creating these spictacular curls! They were SUPER fragile! and would crack and break if you even breathed on them very hard.
but oh my goodness! They were so KEWL!
There are SO MANY 'life lessons' that i could take out of these pictures... but i will leave that one up to you-to take away from the pictures what you would like.
I just love them!
So, for today... I am thankful for a God that gives us Mother Nature who gives us amazing things to appreciate, if we only take the time to notice & appreciate!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Born Again American


Thanks Daddy for sharing this with me!
I am proud to be an American. I feel so blessed, that i get to live in such an amazing place. A Land of freedom & prosperity. I have been given the chance to live in and visit other countries. Nothing compares to our great America. We are having our struggles... but instead of complaining about it;
Are we ALL doing our part & what we can... do make America Great again! What are YOU doing, to make our country a better place to be? I would LOVE to hear your ideas! Please leave me your comments!
"Come said the wind to the leaves one day, Come o're the meadows and we will play.

Put on your dresses of scarlet and gold,

for summer is gone and the days grow cold.

~A Children's Song of the 1880's~

Friday, October 23, 2009

What a difference...




... a YEAR makes!

New Pictures coming soon of the Allen home Construction project!
We have UPDATES! and have taken some very anticipated steps forward!
Yay!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What makes YOU HaPpY?

is it a hot bath?

how about time with a special someone?

being outdoors?

working in the garden?

baking in the kitchen?

a good hard run, early in the morning?

accomplishing a long term goal?

gerbera daisies?

reading a good book?

a chocolate cupcake?

ohhhh... how about a nice warm snickerdoodle?

serving others?

We all come from different life experiences and walks of life, yet i bet we have more things in common & things that tie us in more important ways then what we might think...

Most of us have at least one hobby or treat that instantly lifts our spirits. For some lucky people, it's their job that brings them fulfilment. For others, close relationships are the key to contentment. Or maybe a favorite hobby.

Are there ways to increase our levels of happiness, particularly in the middle of a downturn?

One of the things that i use every single day is a "gratitude journal", listing all the little things for which I feel thankful on that particular day or week, or sometimes even in a moment.

Counting your blessings and reliving a positive memory from the previous day, week, month or year are two of the most effective techniques for boosting happiness for me.

I LOVE the Fall. I am sure it is my favorite time of the year. I now have another reason to add to my list of why i LOVE it soooo much!

Can you guess what i will be writing about in my "gratitude journal"?


Here is a hint: FAMILY!


Want another hint? Keeeep scrolling... Ü

YuP! We're ENGAGED! Ü

HaPpY! Ü

Frosted Pumpkins - Mmmmm the edible kind! Ü



Ingredients Cupcakes:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
4 eggs
Frosting:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 box (16 ounces) confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk, plus more if needed
Orange food coloring
Fine and coarse orange decorating sugar
Pretzel sticks or rods
Directions
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 12 mini cupcake pan indents and 12 regular indents with foil or paper liners. Line 6 jumbo cupcake indents with foil or paper liners.
2. For cupcakes: In a medium-size bowl, whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt together until well blended; set aside.
3. Beat sugar, vegetable oil, buttermilk, pumpkin puree and eggs in a large bowl on low speed for 2 minutes or until combined. Add flour mixture and beat for 2 more minutes or until just combined.
4. Divide among liners, filling each about 2/3 full.
5. Bake at 350°F for about 12 minutes for the minis, 18 minutes for the regulars and 26 minutes for the jumbos, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
6. For frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl on high for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioner's sugar, vanilla and milk and beat until smooth and a good spreading consistency, 2 minutes. Add an additional tablespoon of milk if mixture is too thick.
7. Divide the frosting into two bowls and tint to different shades of orange with food coloring. Mound the frosting on top of cupcakes and make rounded. Roll the entire cupcake in the sugar to coat or roll just edges in sugar, alternating between fine and corase sugars as desired. To make indentations, press a wooden skewer on top of the sugared cupcake. Add pretzel sticks or rods as stems.

Thanks Parents.com

tis the Season for "BOO-ing"

We miss Aunt Carrie.

Especially in times like these! When the "fun" holidays start to unravel. It is in times like these, that i want to be like her... i want to be her! Ü Aunt Carrie revels in Halloween & all things FUN! We were lucky enough to be the 'surprise' recipiants on occasion of a BOO treat on many a Halloween season!


I saw this post over @ TomKatStudio's (always just way too cute btw!) blog, and it made me miss my sister.
Have you ever been BOO'ed? or how bout DONE the BOO-ing?
OH! it is so much fun! it is door-bell ditching at it's finest! Just make a super fun Halloween treat & let the kiddo's make the deliveries!

So! in my sister's honor, i just had to share this adorable BOO, pre-made sign!

We will be BOO-ing this weekend!

Maybe something like...

this (by HostessJo.com - become a fan here) or This

so, don't be too frightened if you get a knock on your door this weekend... our bite only hurts for a little while...

Wish Carrie & all the cousins were with us!


Thanks TomKatStudio! SO CUTE! Become a FAN Here! Check our her ETSY here!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mom, are we there yet?

... if you are a parent, I imagine that you have heard this prob. just as many times as i have.


" Mom, are we there yet? "


Well, today i feel like just throwing that question out there myself!

This past year has been chuck FULL of so many different & life changing things for me.
So many new things have come into my life.
  • In February, i finally started on the addition to my house; the project that I talked about for at least a year before that!
  • Around that same time... the end of February, I met the most amazing man! Since then, it has been a whirlwind love story! They just don't write them this good! I FOR SURE have one up on every romance novel out there! bet ya 5 bucks! Ü Seriously... they just don't write them this good! (some day i'll tell ya the full story! it's a good one!)
  • With my wonderful love story... my family size Doubled! That in itself has brought its many wonderful times and stresses.
  • All four kids are becoming of ages that has required me, as a Mother, to learn new things. Who would have thought an 11 year old boy, who has been a total Angel his entire childhood, could be so onry all of a sudden! geez! Ü
  • with everything under 'construction'; SugarPlumStitches.com has been on hold for WAY too long. I can't even begin to tell you how much i miss it! how much i miss creating and sewing and seeing adorable faces come to life! Just know i miss it!

it has seriously been the most wonderful year! 2009 has ROCKED IT! I am so blessed, and my happiness over flowith Ü

with that said...

" Mom, are we there yet!? "

I am feeling it! I am FINALLY starting to feel somewhat settled! I think that i am getting Close!

  • Construction is in it 'finishing stages'. It has taken WAY longer then i had hoped. There were so many retarted hick-ups along the way, but my gosh! We have gotten past them! we are sooo close! Prince Charming has been a Hero. I don't know that i could have finished this project without him.

walls are up & painted! roof is on! tile has been laid (*side note... who would have thunk that i would have such a hard time deciding what the past tense form of lay is!!! is it layed? or laid? weird! so i had to look it up! Does Layed even really exhist? hmmmm. all of you get your minds out of the gutter! ;) ) in the studio & in the mud room! The doors are hung and they have knobs and everything! I can even lock up my house now! wow! No more of the entire backside of my house being wide open to the 'elements'. i have Even been using the GARAGE! I know... get out! with a garage door opener in my Car even! I know!... Crazy! Ü and the snow isn't even here yet! just a little taste of how NICE that is going to be!
We are nearly past our electrical 'hick-up'. soon. Geez... Power? I am going to have POWER? Niiiiice! Ü We need some hard wood floor layed and then carpet & some fixtures hung... oh. so. close!

  • the love story fairytale continues to move forward and continues to open my eyes to things that i have never experienced! Who knew love could be this good!? Not me! My Prince Charming shows me every day how much he loves and cares about me.

  • even with our instantly larger family... everything seems to be just fitting and falling into place. We have had our struggles for each of us to find our 'spot' and our roles, but it feels like it is all coming together. I am learning new things, and hopefully becoming a better Mom.

  • it must or might be the fall crisp in the air, but i have missed SugarPlumStitches more then ever! With construction almost finished, i just don't know that i can wait much longer to create-so i am jumping the gun! I am starting! and it feels OH! so good! (see below or click here) Ü

So.... the answer to my question today...??

" Yes baby! We are Almost there! " Ü

To celebrate us "almost being there", here is my first of hopefully MANY offerings of the fall/winter season! YaY!

Come on IN my Pretty...

Monday, August 31, 2009

LOVE

This summer, i have tried to involve my kids in being active & healthier. They did their first Triathalon! they were amazing! Plus we were all involved in several other organized races!
Well, the 'being active' bug has caught on! This makes me excited! Excited because we have been able to do several organized races together as a family this summer. I love that!

Being active comes with a bit of a price. Ü The kids have decided that they would each like to have an iPod of their own. Well... iPods are expensive... especially when you are buying 4 of them!!! So, Courtney, Drake, Sadie & Carson have pulled together and started their own little business!
(what...?? did you think "I" was going to buy FOUR iPods for them? heck NO!) Ü

It is called Move Me Designs.

The name has a few different meanings behind it... but for now... I just wanted to show you one of the adorable things that they have been working on for you!





Aren't these letter blocks ADORABLE!?
There are FOUR blocks. Each one with w/ a different letter.
In this particular set: L O V E
They have been painted RED and then slightly sanded and distressed. An adorable red floral paper has been added to the front, and sealed with a water-based sealer & then to top them off, some sparkles have been added.
Each block measures 4" x 4" x 1"
Their total weight is 20 ounces & they can be shipped first class or priority ($4.95)
This adorable set can be Yours for $6.00 + shipping cost.
(scatter JOY framed stitchery not included! Ü)
Add a little L O V E to your home, and help some kids stay active at the same time!

Have an idea of your own? Guess what! They will take custom orders! Let Move Me Designs know what letters and colors you would like used on your blocks... and they will custom build them for you!~ They are making 3 different sizes:
3" x 3"; 4" x 4"; & 5" x 5"

Stay tuned! because the kids have much more up their sleeves!
They are determined to get those iPods!

Friday, August 28, 2009

What makes You giddy?

Life is full of Happy moments, but when i say 'giddy', I am talking about those things that are so fun & just make you want to giggle with JOY! Do you know what i am talking about? Those things that are not necessities-or esencial for general happiness in life, but only full of wants and dreams. Thing that don't always come along in life-but they do if you work hard & reach long. Those things that make you giggle with JOY when they do come. They turn out exactly how you had them pictured in your mind and yet only better! You know them... those things that just add that extra bit of excitement to your already happy life as a BONUS.
I know you have all experienced what i am talking about & I want to hear about them!!!
What makes you 'Giddy'?
I thought that it was time for a little update on the studio over @ SugarPlum Stitches! This was one of my Very 'giddy' moments. We are laying tile in the studio. Even as the Very first row started to go in... i got the giddy giggles! I was so excited! It is beautiful & even better than i had it pictured in my mind. As we got more and more of the tiles laid, I was more and more thankful that i didn't change my mind on the paint color. I LOVE IT!
Here is what we have been up too!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Snickerdoodle Dayze


Summer tyme is a time for many favorites!

favorite foods

favorite activities

favorite colors


did i mention favorite foods? i love summer time foods!

watermelon

sweet corm

bbq

fresh veggies

and especially anything COLD! like otter pops & ice cream sandwhiches! MMMmmm My favorite ALL YEAR LONG cookie is the snickerdoodle! I love making them any time of the year for my family but in the summer... just add a scoop of icecream inbetween two of these soft yummies and you have yourself a delish treat for those HOT summer days!



What is your 'FAVORITE' of summer?



ENJOY:

Snickerdoodles
Cream: 1 1/2 cup sugar & 1 cup shortening
Add: 2 eggs & 1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir In:
2 3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt

Roll into balls approx. 1 1/2" - turn balls in cinnamon sugar
Bake 400° 8-10 minutes
cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes and then remove to paper bag/cooling rack to cool completely.

I don't know...


Drake asked me a question today.
"Mom, why does a mosquito bite itch?"

I had no idea.

this got me to thinking.
my kids are going to have questions! am i going to know what answers to give them? the correct answers!
i do not have all the answers i want to have them, especially as a Mother.

That kinda makes me nervous.

Now mind you... I don't think the salvation of my children or myself for that matter, lies on wether or not i know why a mosquito bite itches, but wether or not i am a good Mother does matter.

There is no job that compares to a Mothers.

I want to be a good teacher. or at least one that guides my children in the right direction.

There is so much that my children need to learn, and if they don't learn it from me... will they learn it correctly?

I want to be able to teach them discipline
They need to know the importance of being a hard worker
I want them to know of the importance of achieving goals.
They certainly need to know the value of money.
I want them to know that education is important.
It is vital to me that my children are good citizens. That they contribute to their country & communities that they live in.
It is also very important that my children are polite & that they have good manners. I want them to see and recognize all that is done for them by all those around them.
I want them to be Thankful!

They need to be honest
It is important that they have faith
I want them to learn how to be healthy. Eating & Exercise & to respect their bodies they have been blessed with.
This life sometimes brings dissapointment. How do i teach them to handle disapointment well?
Life also brings change. Change can sometimes be hard to accept, but it is a given. How do i teach them to deal with those changes that life will bring to them?



The list goes on and on...

it can be so overwhelming!


I've always been told to teach by example. I am doing my very best to live the best life i know how, but I sometimes feel that i am falling short in so many ways. I am trying to teach by example, but sometimes it doesn't seem to be enough.

Especially now that i have been given such an amazing chance to be a Mother Figure to 2 more beautiful babies that i love very much, and that i don't want to let down or disappoint.
I don't want to disappoint my children
I don't want to disappoint my parents
I don't want to disappoint my Heavenly Father-with this great responisbility He has given me.
&

I certainly don't want to disappoint myself.

Being a Mother is so important to me. My greatest dream is to have my children be successful little human beings. The thought that-it is up to me... it is a little frightening to say the least.

I don't know all the answers. I trip... a lot. How can that make me a good Mother? a good Companion?

I can only hope that the love i have for them & can show them every day - just might make up for my short comings. That is for certain.


i love them.

I thank God for all those who have taught me & who are teaching me in my own life.

Thank you friends for being my Rocks!

I don' tknow it all... but i will certainly do my very best.
What are some of the things that you have learned being a PARENT?
Did it help you to be a better PARENT?


BTW...

Why do mosquito bites itch?


Mosquitoes are a bit like flying syringes. Their large needle nose, called a proboscis, is ideal for quickly landing on a victim, withdrawing a bit of blood and then taking off for the next target. You may not notice a mosquito bite initially, but within an hour or two after a bite, you may have raised red bumps from mosquito bites that itch like crazy.
When a mosquito bites, she leaves behind saliva. In fact, the saliva present in mosquito bites serves the mosquito well, since it works as an anti-coagulant. These means the mosquito can quickly draw blood without catching your attention.
The saliva injected when a mosquito bites causes our bodies to produce a histamine response. We have a slight allergy response, and thus our skin around the bite area gets itchy. This can actually be a good thing, even if it’s an annoying one, because mosquito bites can transfer disease. In the US, risk of West Nile Virus is the main concern. In other countries, mosquito bites may transfer malaria and other quite nasty germs. If our bodies didn’t respond with the itch factor to mosquito bites, we might not realize we’d been bitten. Though knowing you’ve been bitten may not prevent the spread of disease, you can tell your doctor about it if you develop severe flu symptoms a few days or weeks later.
Some people build up a tolerance to mosquito bites. They may barely notice when they’ve been bitten, and the skin may not swell up. This is sort of like getting allergy shots. Small doses of mosquito saliva over time can cause us to become immune to the saliva. Adults more typically have less of a reaction to mosquito bites than do children. This immunity can wear off after a while, and an adult who hasn’t had mosquito bites for a few years might become itchy again after receiving a few new mosquito bites.

end tables & beadboard!


i love these end tables that fill in as a 'coffee table' too!

Shared via AddThis

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Sneak Peek...



AKKKK! I can hardly STAND it!
I just can't WAIT to show you!

So, I thought that i would come in and give you a 'sneak peek' @ what i have been doing today over at the
SugarPlum Stitches Studio....

SO EXCITED! Tell me what ya think...
(i didn't even get nearly as much paint in my hair as yesterday! maybe i am getting the hang of this! Ü)

Simplicities Of Summer

Life can be crazy & hectic...

mine lately is of no exception! Simplicity has been at the forefront of my mind for weeks now. I have desired a more simplistic day...

Lately our time has been taken up by so many things. Summer hit with a BANG!

traveling (almost 3,000 miles on ol' Bessie)

baseball games & practices

construction-my home has been turned over on its head-no bedroom for me; which means no closet!-no where to fit MY bed-the dirt! OH! the dirt!

my yard is completely torn apart. OH! how i miss my yard. beautiful green grass and flowers...

a new Love-& what to do with all that comes along with that! Ü even Love & Happiness can be a little stressful sometimes! Especially when each of us has a house to maintain... not to mention that one of the two is completely under construction!

work

visiting family

entertaining children

did i mention the dirt?

Now, while that all sounds like a bunch of complaining... I really do have to say that i am so thankful! EVERYTHING in my life right now is absolutely wonderful! (minus the dirt!) Just all of it put together... is chaotic! Somewhere in there, in the mix, it would be nice to be able to slow down just a bit. To be able to simplify things & find some quiet.

In my thoughts of simplicity, i came across this blog post:

The Homespun Heart

I loved reading it. Plus it got me to thinking... really, what is simplicity. I always LOVE to look up the actual meaning of words in the dictionary. Here is what i found for SIMPLICITY:

*the quality of being simple or uncompounded

i think that this might be what we all are looking for. a desire to weed out all the unnecessary clutter of things and activities that we have over running our lives. Time to breath and just enjoy my surroundings sounds wonderful.

another part of the defination of "simplicity" that i read was this:

*ease: freedom from difficulty or hardship or effort.

Now that got me really to thinking. Thinking about our purpose in this life... here on this earth. We were told that this life would not be easy. I don't think that i would like it to be. What sense of accomplishment comes from that? If everything were easy... how boring!

For me, there aren't too many feelings that top the one that i get when i have accomplished something that was very hard for me. I have seen a fair share of challenges in my short life so far. I am proud of who i am & the things that i have been able to accomplish. In over coming those difficult challenges and things, we learn and grow & become more like our Heavenly Father.

Although i desire those quiet moments of peace and serenity & whole heartedly believe that they are important to my sanity!... I too, have to say how thankful i am that this life isn't always easy. It is sometimes hard to balance; but I am learning!

I am thankful for the chances that i have to say... "I did it!!!" and be proud.
Sometimes just finding those moments of simplicity are those huge accomplishments! Ü

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Getting Closer...

Hi All! I just can't tell you how much i miss SugarPlumStitches & creating! However... I am getting closer to the completion of a project that has been in the works for over a year now. Which means that i am that much closer to creating again! I have been working on the addition of the NEW SugarPlum Stitches Studio! (not to mention a garage, two bedrooms, a bathroom & 1/2, dining room & family room!-pshewww!)
but it all started because i wanted a place to create & a place for SugarPlum Stitches to call home.
I am getting so excited! Excited for new things & especially a new space for creating! I miss it so much!
Soooo...
Just thought that i would come in and get started on our NEW BLOG! and give you an update. I hope that you come back often for more updates. Until i am up and running fully, i will come in and post some of my favorite things here to share with you.

Well, i know you aren't as excited as i am... but I at least hope that you share some of the excitement with me.

xoxoxo Thanks for all your love and words of encouragement. Can't wait to see you again SOON!