Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happiness Highlights

I had a TOUGH day yesterday....the whole day...never got better. However, something had caught my eye on Twitter ( I love Twitter), to take a moment and make some Happiness Highlights of your day. It really made me think about things that make me happy, or I prefer joyful (but that doesn't rhyme with Highlights) So...here it goes, (in no particular order)some of my happiness highlights.....

1. God's Word. I don't know how people go throughout life with out it. It has given me such comfort over the last couple of months. I am so thankful to the Lord that He has given us His word for encouragement and instruction.

2. My I Phone. This is what makes me happy right? I have had to think about giving it up, which has made me more thankful for it now. I love my phone.

3.Fall decorations. I love the browns and oranges.

4. Good friends and family that encourage me. The Lord has blessed me so abundantly in this area. I have a great sister and girls who are like my sisters. Not everyone has had this in their life and my cup overflows!

Getting pedicures with some of my favorite people for my birthday.
5. Lucy Griselda Ann Elliott. No one has been making me laugh harder. Like when she puts a sticker over her eye and comes around the corner and says, "Argh, Momma. I a pirate!" Or when I have rocked her in a chair singing to her in her room, and just when I think she's alseep. She says, with her eyes closed, "Sing it again." So...I do.
6. Matt , the love of my life. I am so encouraged by the Spiritual leader he is in our family. How the Lord is growing him in His walk with the Lord. His love and concern for others and how he loves his girls! I love you Matt! (P.S. I'm your Soldier!)
7. My Kindergarten "Star of the Week" Ivy Emma Elisabeth Elliott! This week is her "Gotcha Day" and she's star of the week. It is a good week to be Ivy Elliott. I have loved teasing her about all the surprises coming her way on Gotcha Day. She has made me so happy when I wasn't feeling good and she dusted the whole house on her own. I love her heart.

8. My house. Even though I only have it until Thanksgiving. I was looking around today, so thankful for the time I had here. I brought my babies home here. Great memories.

9. Twitter. Since I mentioned it before. I love the people that I follow and finding out what is going on with some pastors I like to listen to, and some celebs. :) And Pinterest....for those of you on it, you know. :)

10. The glowing green smoothie I have been drinking. Of course I would rather be eating a donut, but I feel good and it is helping in the weightloss.

11. My friend, Andrea, who is ALWAYS willing to watch Lucy when Matt has to go somewhere. She has been a huge help and I am so thankful how she actually gets excited when Lulu is coming...Ok. And Emily. :)

12. The body of Christ. Anonymos help and friendly notes for Matt and I when we haven't even asked for it. It brings tears to my eyes.

13. The $100 Visa gift card that I won in a contest at work, along with a giftcard from Target that we got as a present, that is my kid's Christmas presents all taken care of! That ROCKED! And when Kayce said," I couldn't be more happy if I had won that myself!" Happy....

14. Singing and worship songs. Feeds my soul. So thankful for the 3 years at Placerita Baptist where Aaron allowed me to be used and be creative. I have loved every minute of it.

Wow, once you get going, you can't stop! What makes you happy?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Smoothie Making: Healthy Living

Ok, so I hit a wall 2 weeks ago. I was getting dressed for church and I "Officially" had NOTHING to wear. I had gained that much weight. I had given away all of my "fat" clothes when I lost weight, vowing to never go back. One thing I have learned about myself through foster care and Matt losing his job is that I am definately a stress eater! I told Matt that I refused to go buy something, we should not be spending money on that, especially when Matt still doesn't have a job. So I said, I was going to change. I did great last week, I lost almost 4 pounds! I worked out on the eliptical for an hour for 4 days (my goal was 5) and tried to eat as healthy as I could. I also went back to trying to stay away from white flour, sugar, and dairy. I did Ok. I still had a piece of Sam's Club pizza....but stopped eating after that piece of pizza. I don't stress out over stuff like that because it needs to be a lifestyle.

The one thing that I had been wanting to do is "Juice" in the mornings. I have a great Blendtec blender and so I was on the search for a great Juicing, all natural recipe. I stumbled on a book that I got on my Kindle called The Beauty Detox Solution . It gives a great recipe for a glowing green smoothie . While, I don't agreee with everything in the book from a Christian standpoint. She does have some great tips and she talks alot about food pairing and how that gives you energy and makes you look and feel healthy.

I like the book for that fact that she gives you tips on how to incorporate (even on a small level) things to make you feel better and loose weight as a lifestyle. While I am at it, if you are struggling spiritually with your weight (as I do). There are 2 books which I highly recommend reading BEFORE this other book . These books have really made a difference in my life regarding my lack of self control with food. They are MUST READS for anyone struggling. They are "Made to Crave" by Lysa Terkeurst and "Reshaping it All" by Candace Cameron Bure.
Lucy helped me get everything ready.
Washing lettuce and getting it ready for salads.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Americana

Today Matt and I took the girls to the Americana in Glendale for a free kids music concert. It was really fun. They loved it. Ivy is turning into a great photographer. We love daddy for doing girl stuff with us!They had face painting there for the kids. I didn't let Lucy do it or her naptime would have been a disaster. She didn't even seem to notice.

Mom, Stop taking pictures while I'm trying to listen to the concert!
Melissa Green is great!
The Americana is beautiful, even on an overcast day.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Saturday Garage Sales

Ivy REALLY wanted to go to garage sales today. She had her and Lucy dressed, to go cups for the car with drinks, a banana for a snack , shoes on and beds made before I officially was ready. We went to a couple neighborhoods that the whole neighbor hood was having sales.

I saw a couple girls from church. One was my friend Merideth. She was there with her little girl. I spotted this Petunia Pickle Bottle diaper bag and told her she MUST have it. It retails for at least $200 and she got it for $5!
Hollie got a sewing machine and this picture with a cute frame. I think she is going to use the frame for something else.
I got a pair of BORN black sandles, some burlap, and these treasures.... a floral table runner, pink dishes to go with a collection I am starting for my girls, Lucy's initials, a small mason jar (that I put loose leaf tea in)....
a cast iron skillet and these rod iron plates(I saw on a blog to hang something like this on a wall and hang back packs on it or purses).
I spent less than $20 for the whole day, spent time with my girls, sister and friends. A great day!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fall decorating with Thankfulness

I have been really debating whether to get out my fall decorations or not. I LOVE decorating my house for fall. The smell of pumpkin spice and cinnamon, cookies baking, seeing pumpkins everywhere, browns, reds and oranges filling my living room. I love it all. But I have been really sad about moving and leaving our house. Not knowing where we're going to live, Matt still not having a job, trying hard to stay faithful and trusting the Lord. I have felt like this is no longer my home.

This little townhome that I have loved for 6 years. Some people would complain about a little townhome but I have loved every minute of it and have been grateful. I have been thinking what is the point of decorating when I have to pack it all up in a couple months anyway, but, on a whim I got it all out of the garage and started going through it.

I am determined to be thankful today for my little home. As I put up my little thankfulness sign I had tears in my eyes. I don't know what God is going to do with my little family but I am going to relish in being thankful for the many blessings He has given me.

Matt Chandler really convicted my heart with a sermon last week. He said that sometimes we get mad at God for NOT giving us we He never promised us to give us in the first place. I had to confess my sin with tears. The Lord never promised to give me a home. He never even promised that my family would get to live by ourselves. It made me more thankful for what is really important.....my salvation, my husband and girls, health, His provision, His faithfulness and love for my family. Ok. fully crying at the computer now. I have no where near arrived but today I am thankful.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 " Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

Psalm 118:1" Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His steadfast love endures forever."

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ivy's Kindergarten Favorites

TV. Show- Dora the Explorer
Movie- Care Bears
Song- Radio Disney's Pop Dreamer's CD "Do What You Want"
Musician- Mommy
Food- Pasta
Candy- Chocolate Ice cream
Toy- American Girl, Emily
Activity- Swimming
Friend- Kate Penberthy
Favorite thing to do at school- play on the playground with friends

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


So many emotions today. I can't believe five and a half years ago I was driving to the hospital to pick up my girl and today I took her to Kindergarten. She was so excited! She cried last night because she said she was going to miss all of the things that we would do together when she was in school. I put on my cheerleader face and told her of all of the fun things that she would get to do in Kindergarten, including one of them being ME being her music teacher!

I have taught at Legacy and Sunshine over 13 years and I never thought that I would be fortunate enough to have Ivy go to school there. I used to watch kids walk into school and think ,"Man, I would love to see Ivy in that uniform." Today was the day. I started to walk to the car, getting teared up, thanking God for Lucy, that I still have one at home. Again, a reminder that He granted me the desires of my heart. If I didn't have Lucy then today would have been much harder. Even in the pang of sadness that I feel in my heavy heart today, there are so many things that I'm thankful for. God is good....all the time.

New friends
Aunt Hollie came for my support. :)
Hugging Daddy goodbye
Ivy's new teacher, Mrs. Ottaviano
Last wave.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Meet the Teacher Night

I can't believe that it is finally here. My first born entering Kindergarten. In one sense I don't want tomorrow to come. In another sense, it needs to come because the anticipation of it is killing me. It seems like yesterday, we got the call that Ivy was being born. Now five and a half years later things are changing so fast. Ivy is the girl I love spending the most time with. She is a shopper, she gets my humor, we enjoy the same things, I enjoy our chats and now she will be at school. I am beyond blessed that her teacher is my friend Sabra. Sabra loves Kindergarten like I have never seen. She is so loving with the kids. I told someone yesterday that I feel like a Kindergarten teacher should be half "loving mom" and half "formal teacher" and I feel like that is Sabra. Ivy has already learned to say "Mrs. Ottaviano" and is soooo excited!Here is her new friend Kalea. They sit at the same table.

She sits in the front row, seat 1. I love it. She is right in the action.
It was different going to school as a parent. I have been to 13 Meet the Teacher Nights at Legacy, always as the teacher. I felt so blessed last night having my family there as I was teacher/parent. I have a feeling it is going to be a great year!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Family Staycation

Ok. So at the beginning of the summer I had a garage sale and sold all of my baby stuff so that we could take a family vacation this summer. Then 4 months ago Matt lost his job and so I saved the money to go somewhere to celebrate when he got another job. That hasn't happened. So while we needed to have some work done on both of our cars, there went some of the money, however, as I was reading one of my favorite blogs, this girl talked about her family taking a "staycation" so we did a mini one today. Our plan was to go to Santa Monica Place to window shop and have lunch. However, on our way there Matt said, "Man, I'd love to go to Tito's today." So me being the submissive wife :) , I told him we should go. It had been a while. Usually you can't find a seat but at 10:30am we had our pick. ( I know, you are thinking,"Who would eat taco's at 10:30am?" If your asking you haven't had Tito's!)Here's my yummy tacos. I should have taken a picture of happy Lucy with her head stuck in the refried beans and salsa. Yep, my girl is truly Mexican!
A great outdoor shopping place in Santa Monica. There was a famous female athlete in Nike and the Papporazzi were in the store filming her and taking pictures of her. I was sad that I didn't know her because it's in the sports arena and I only know actresses. But her bod was amazing...feeling a touch guilty at the Tito's.
On the 3rd floor roof looking down on Third Street Promanade.
This was my favorite part. This market had a lot of places to eat in there. I told Matt I'd love to go and eat there sometime.
Here is another part of the outdoor eating. You can see the Santa Monica Ferris Wheel from there and a sneak peek of the ocean.
Since we were only window shopping, we got in the car and were going to head over to the Grove. (one of me and Ivy's favorite places). On the way, we decided that we go there so often, so we decided to stop at Magnolia Bakery. It has a famous bakery in New York and they opened one in Los Angeles. SO CUTE! Ivy and I jumped out of the car and went in because the parking stinks so Matt and Lulu drove around while we picked out everyone's treats.

Ivy, the happy customer.

peanut butter bar(Matt), Vanilla cupcake with green buttercream frosting with sprinkles (Ivy), Chocolate with Chocolate frosting (Lulu), red velvet with a creamy frosting (of course Kelli!...I was a little surprised by my frosting but it was still AMAZEBALLS!)
Yes. Please.
Besides the emergency stop at Grace Community Church for Ivy to go to the bathroom, it was a smooth day. Loved spending it with my family! Check out these places and tell me if you liked them!