Sunday, November 30, 2014


Our Thanksgiving weekend is officially coming to an end, but before it does, I wanted to share all the fun we had this past week. We had such a great Thanksgiving this year, and my heart is filled with gratitude when I think about all I have to be thankful for.

There are SO many things I am grateful for . . . . .

This sweet girl tops my list. She brings my life the greatest joy I've ever experienced, and the love I have for her is indescribable. I thank GOD for her every day!

My Sister Brooklyn and the boys. . . These three mean everything to me. 

We had a chance to celebrate Thanksgiving the weekend leading up to Thanksgiving, and it was so nice for all of us to be together. Even though we live about 35 minutes from each other, we are finding it difficult to get together as much as we would like to. Any chance to see them is an added bonus! How handsome are my boys? Love you guys.

My Mama

What would I do without her? She is always there when I need her. Whether it's to talk, help with Ell, support, encouragement, you name it, if she can be there, she will. I love you Mom. 

And of course my Step Dad, Cortie! So Thankful for you too. 

My Mom made these adorable little turkeys she saw on Pinterest. Yes, Pinterest.
Ella loved them! Good job Gigi.

My Dad and Step Mom Debs

My Dad flew in last weekend, and we had a chance to spend a few days together. It was so nice, and I always love having him home. My Dad holds a very special place in my heart. I miss him every day, and wish we could spend more time together. Life is just so busy. Love you Papa, and we missed having you Debs. Hopefully next time! We love you and are so grateful for you. 

Ell usually takes a while to warm up to her Papa Doug. When we picked her up from school, she was so excited to have her Papa Doug home for a visit. They walked out of school hand and hand, and she never looked back. Lots of love from Ell this trip, and I know my Dad loved every second of it!

Jose's Dad, Mom, and Sister 

These three would do anything for our family. We are so lucky. Ell spends two days a week with Irene, Inocencio, and Lourdes, and she is always so excited to see them each week. They love Ell with all they have, and I feel so blessed to have them in my life. 

We were able to spend Thanksgiving night with them, and had a blast. Yummy dinner, even better desserts, and a very relaxed mood. A perfect night!

Must be the turkey, or a very good actress? I'll let you decide!

As soon as 7 O'clock hits, she turns into a nut! She was cracking us up. I love her sense of humor. 

My love, Jose

It goes without saying how grateful I am for this amazing man. I love you Be!

And lastly, to all my dear friends who are ALWAYS there, whenever I need you. You know who you are, and I am so grateful for your presence in my life. 

Hoping everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with their families and friends.

Now . . . . . on to Christmas. Let the fun begin!!

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Operation Christmas Child

This year, we were so excited to take part in Operation Christmas Child. I knew it would be a great learning experience for Ell, and I also love that we get to send some fun things to another sweet girl who desperately needs some extra love this holiday season.

We selected a toddler girl, from ages 2-4. Super simple for me since Ell is the same age, and I had the perfect little helper to pick out some gifts to give. I tried my best to explain to Ell that we were going to give all of our gifts to a little girl who really needed them. I also wanted her to know how important it is to share our love of Jesus with others. She was so excited, and loved helping me pick out all our goodies. I found a really cute Christmas box at Michaels, and boy did we fill it full. We were able to send off all the essentials for our new friend.

When It came time to put the My Little Pony and Santa coloring pack inside, the melt down began. I was so proud of her for pulling it together, and after lots of talking from Mom and Dada, she placed the items in the box. Such a great lesson for her. These moments are what it's all about. I pray she learns to have a generous heart, and always care about the needs of others. 

All set and ready to go.

We dropped our box off at church a few weeks ago, and Ell was so great. We walked it right up to the collection center and handed it off with a big, sweet smile on her face. My Mom had come to church with us, and it was so cute listening to her explain the box and who it was for. 
Melted Mama's heart for sure. 

This will definitely be a new tradition for us, and I am so happy to take part in such an amazing cause. It's SO amazing what a difference a small box can make in a child's life. 

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Chugga, Chugga, Choo, Choo!

On Tuesday, My Mom and I took Ell on her first Sprinter ride. 

It runs right along our surrounding neighborhood, so we always see it on our route to school, or alongside the freeway when we drive. Ell has always wanted to go for a ride, so what better way to spend our Veteran's day holiday then taking a ride, enjoying all of our freedoms so many have fought so hard for us. Gosh we are so lucky. 

Here she is with her Gigi purchasing tickets. I couldn't believe how affordable it was. Only $3.00 for all three of us to ride all the way down to Oceanside. It took us about 45 minutes with all the stops, and dropped us about a 1/2 mile from the water. It was perfect!

She loved seeing the tracks up close. She kept saying, "We cross these tracks in the car Mama!" 

Waiting at our stop! 

Of course she wouldn't look at the camera with Mama.

 So, so excited!

Still waiting, so we decided to take a pic!

Time to board,

and the fun began. She was in awe of all the sites along the way, and she was such a good girl. I was a little worried, but she did great, and was so excited the entire time. Love creating these memories with my sweet girl. 

When our ride came to an end, we walked to the end of the Oceanside Pier and had lunch at Ruby's. It was such a beautiful day, and Ell loved every minute of it. 

After a quick stop at the playground, we hopped back on the train, and headed home. 

We will definitely be taking this fun adventure again, but next time we want Dada to go. 

I can't end this blog post without sharing this picture of my biggest hero, my Grandpa Oge. Not only was he an amazing husband, loving father and grandfather, but he also fought with the many brave men and women in WWII. We lost him in February, and there's not a day that goes by where I don't think about him. 

Wasn't he so handsome?!!

Thank you for all that you did for our country. 
I miss you so much Gramps, and love you more than you know. 

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween Week

Happy Halloween!

Our week leading up to Halloween was super busy and filled with fun.
On Monday, Ell's school had a Harvest Day. All the kids got to dress up in their cutest western attire. Our little cow girl was SO excited to go to school and join in on all the fun!

They had a pumpkin hunt, and ponies even came to visit. 

My Mom went so she could snap some pics and take Ell home after(Mondays aren't a normal school day for her). Here she is with her class. I love seeing her with all her buddies. So cute.

This was right before the pony rides. I can't wait to see how the pictures turned out. Hopefully we get a good one of her actually looking at the camera. We'll see them on Monday!

My Beautiful Mama and Ell!

Then, this happened! Ell had been complaining about ear pain, and seemed to be getting a cold, so I got her into the Dr. right away and had her checked out. She was fine! Her tubes just seem to be bothering her. They are still on their way out. We both got a flu shot so that was a plus!

She was congested the rest of the week, but her normal, happy self!

We carved pumpkins on Wednesday, but unfortunately she was a naked butt(I wasn't thinking) and the pics are a bit too revealing for the blog! 

I spy an Ella be. . . . . 

Here she is right before school on Halloween. Had to snap a pic before we left!

When she got home from school, we were in full blown rush mode to get over to her besties for some trick or treating fun! I had this sitting out when she got home. A few goodies for our girl.

This year, Ell was a bumblebee. We traded costumes with her friend Madeline, so all I had to get was a leotard, tights, and some shoes. So easy and she looked so cute!

She couldn't wait to see Donovan . . . . . .

(Ella bee and Mike Trout)

and Emmers too! Such a cute, little Angels cheerleader.

Getting ready to head out!

The three amigos. Such a fun night with these three. Ell and Dono's friend Jordan also joined in on the fun. So sad I didn't get a picture with all of them.

We tried to get a rare family pic of the three of us! It's the best we could do folks!

We visited SO many houses, and Megs neighborhood was so fun. 

Every house we went to, Ell was so polite with her "Happy Halloween" or "Trick or Treat" greeting, and after EVERY house she would say, "We go to the NEXT one?" It was so sweet. She was in heaven, and it was so fun to watch her. 

When we were done, Ell and Dono went through all their candy, and we all sat on the floor chatting about our fun night and ate some treats. It was the perfect ending to a super fun night. 

Once we got home, she was still on a sugar high and had a hard time letting go of her pumpkin. We finally managed and got the little bee to bed without any tears.

 And, that's a wrap! Time for bed.

Now, on to Thanksgiving! By the look of the red holiday Starbucks cup, the holiday season is here. 

Lots of fun to be had in the next few months, and I can't wait!

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