Monday, December 20, 2010


  I'm about a month behind on posting about what I am thankful for. This has been a very trying time for our little family. I didn't tell many people about this; but we decided to try out the foster-to-adopt program, thinking that since we can't have children that we would try and add to our family this way, at least until we make some big decisions about infertility treatments and adoption.
  We got a little boy the end of October, and we absolutely fell in love with him. My wonderful husband jumped right in and was the best dad I have ever seen. He fell in love instantly. The baby was 18 months and such a joy.
  A week after he came into our home we found out that he was going to be taken back to him family (because of privacy stuff, I cant say anything about the family, but lets just say it was a really bad situation). This broke our hearts. I have never felt a pain like this, my arms felt empty, my house was too quiet, the dining room floor was too clean, and I didn't think I would miss hearing "the princess and the frog" in the background...all day long.
  A month later DCFS called again, the baby was back in foster care, of course we said we would take him. It was a repeat of the same situation as before. Again, we had our barely mending hearts broken. So were done with foster care. I feel awful saying that, but there is no way we can do it. We want children so badly, that to have one come in and then get taken back, going through that over and over again...there is no way we could survive.

  The Christmas season has been especially hard because I just keep thinking of what could have been. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel...I hope.

  Even though this has all been very, very hard I do have a lot to be thankful for:

  • My hubby. Even though, he was hurting as much or more than I was; he was my rock. He was strong when I couldn't be and made sure I was ok.
  • My mom-in-law Wanda. She came over and despite her severe dog allergies, was here when they took him away.
  • My Mom, Nana, and Aunt Mirola; their kind, loving words and prayers made everything seem a little bit better every time I talked to them.
  • The little kiddo, in his short time with us he taught us so much. We never knew we could love that much and fall in love so fast. He taught us how to be a family and to lean on each other for support.
  • The priesthood. Words cannot describe how thankful I am that we have the priesthood in our home and in our life. The countless blessing of comfort and peace we received made it so much easier to deal with this. My dad in law and his co-workers, who valiantly gave up their time, gave us beautiful, thoughtful, and powerful blessings that got us through the next 12 hours until we reached New Mexico.
  • My wonderful & beautiful family in New Mexico, they surrounded us with so much love and support the second we got there.
  • My cousins Roberta and Criste are such sweet women, I am so blessed to have them in my life. They surrounded me with so much love, I don't how they knew I needed them to stay by my side the whole time, but they did. I can't express how much their kindness and love means to me
  I keep using the word love over and over, but I don't have another word for what I felt that all these amazing people were doing for me, they were loving me, and even though that's all they could have done. It was more than enough.  I have so much more to be thankful for, but this experience has taught me that I really need to value the people in my life so much more. Even though I feel alone a lot, I know that if I just reach for them, they will be there to help me through anything.

Roberta, Criste, & me.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Our new SUV!

I keep wanting to call it a truck, but its not its a SUV!

And I drive it!

 Im so excited!
It's not brand new, but its new to me and thats all that matters

On Monday night we went to a Dodge dealership that [1st] totally ignored us [2nd] kept trying to push cars on us that we didn't want and kept telling us that we couldnt get the car we wanted for the monthly payment we wanted (they didnt know we were putting money down) so after being ignored and lied too (I called about a specific car, when we got there they gave us the run around as to where it was), we decided to give up. John Watson Chevrolet is on the way home and was having a sale so we decided to stop there. After telling the sales guy what we (I) wanted:

Low Miles
Fit 2 dogs and {one day} a kiddo or two

He showed us the trailblazers first, and we just kept walking cause we wern't crazy about the way they looked on the outside. After showing us an awesome Equinox and realizing it was out of our price range, I agreed to look at the Trailblazers the 1st one was an '08 and it was ok, but the 2nd one had dual control A/C! It was an '09 and had all the bells and whistles. After arguing with my practical side (the '08 had 2K less miles and cost 2K less thant the '09) we decided to take the newer one for a test drive. It was really fun and we decided to take it! I love love love the dual control ac/heater (that eliminates the argument that always happens on trips, I want cold, Gary wants warm), leather seats, and all kindsa cool stuff. Plus it meets all my requirements!
And it helped that we had an awesome non-pushy sales guy (but he also didnt ignore us).

P.S. to the dodge dealership...we ended up spending more than we planned on and still got the payment we wanted!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


At the end of June we took a trip to New Mexico to hang out with my Nana & Papo. Nana had just had shoulder surgery and my mom and aunt were in need of some respite time since they were mainly the ones taking care of Nana and the house after the surgery.
I left a pillow on the floor...he quickly found a new bed.
Mossy is the newest member of the Elliott clan, he is a lab/pit/whatever mix. I was dead set against another dog (especially one that was part pit). Gary had been talking about getting another one for a while now. Well, when we got to New Mexico my Papo's dog had just had a litter of 12 pups, Moss was the runt and was knocking (or barking) on deaths doorstep when we arrived. Immediately Gary and I took to taking care of him. We bought milk replacement and fed him from a bottle and also introduced him to solid food. By the time we were getting ready to leave we knew that Moss had to come home with us. We also brought two of his sisters whom we found great homes for. Moss (so far) is the complete opposite from my big, lazy, ball obsessed, Ben. Moss is full of energy and is ALWAYS hungry. He is very vocal and thinks he runs the house. But he is also full of love and gives kisses all the time. He loves his big brother, and Ben is a good babysitter, always trying to keep Moss out of trouble in the yard.

After his 1st bath at Petsmart, hanging out with big bro Ben.

After lots of conversations with the Vets office, they reassured me that Pit bulls can be wonderful family dogs as long as they are brought up with rules, love, and lots of socialization. To make sure of this, we take Moss to the dog park a couple times a week and try to introduce him to as many people as possible. He has never shown any aggression towards a human but other dogs he has. So his dog park visits have been very beneficial, he even has a few friends that he loves to play with when we are there.

Moss a couple weeks ago, he looks brown in this picture but he is still jet black.
So this was a lengthy introduction...but I just needed to introduce our little "Moss-hole" (yup, that's what i call him when he gets in trouble)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tomato Soup

I've been watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on ABC and it made me really think about what we are eating. Even before the show we have been trying to eat better, and I think we are doing a good job! But watching the show just reminded me about why we are trying to eat better. So I checked out Jamie's Food Revolution book from the library (I love it, so I'm going to buy it!). The 1st recipe I made from the book was tomato soup. I've never been a big fan of it, but I know Gary loves it so I figured I would try. To my surprise, I loved it, I ate the entire bowl (by it self!) usually I will only eat enough to soak up the bread! It is so much better than the canned stuff! In the book Jamie asks that the recipes be passed on, so I'm passing it on to the 3 people who read my blog ;0) (Mom, you can make it, it isn't that hard and doesn't take that much time)

Serves 6-8
2 carrots peeled and sliced
2 celery sticks sliced
2 medium onions peeled and roughly chopped (I used half of a large one, and it turned out good)
2 cloves of garlic peeled and roughly chopped
1 3/4 chicken or vegetable stock (I used 3 cans of chicken broth)
olive oil
2  14oz cans of plum tomatoes (I used the diced ones)
6 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped.
a small bunch of fresh basil (I used 4 leaves and a tsp of dried)
sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Put a large sauce pan over medium heat and add 2 TBSP of olive oil. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Mix together and put the lid on askew. Cook for around 10 minutes until the carrots are tender but still keep their shape and the onions are lightly golden. Meanwhile, put the broth in a large pot, cover and bring to a boil. Add the veggie mix to the large pot, along with the canned tomatoes and the chopped tomatoes. Mix it with a spoon and let it come to a boil. When it comes to a boil turn it down to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes.

Turn the heat off and season with salt and pepper. Add the basil.  Using an immersion blender (or you could probably blend in batches in a blender or food processor) blend until smooth. Season again and serve.

*I paraphrased the directions.

After adding everything to big pot.

I served it with garlic sour dough bread that I brushed with olive oil and toasted.

With fresh mozzarella.

Potato Gorditas

Growing up my Nana always made "gorditas" (I really don't know what to call them in English, Gorditas, means fat girls in Spanish) with left over mashed potatoes. I look forward to these every time I make mashed potatoes I really don't have a recipe since there is always a different amount of left over potatoes but here is the gist:

Around 4 cups left over mashed potatoes
1 cup - 2 cups shredded cheese
Minced onions and/or chopped green chili (optional)

2 eggs
1 1/2 tbsp flour
oil for frying (optional)

Mix the 1st 5 ingredients together and form patties.

In a bowl scramble the egg then add the flour and mix well (it will be thick)

If you want then fry the patties in about a 1/4" - 1/2" of oil (this is the way Nana does it).

Since we are trying to eat better, I wanted to omit the frying step and try to bake them, to my surprise they came out great!!  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put the patties on there. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn the oven to broil and bake for another 5-10 minutes, keep checking on the gorditas so they don't burn! Take them out and enjoy!

Before I baked them. I used the cooling rack to try and make them crispier but the batter just dripped through, so I wont use it again.

Just out of the oven...and so yummy!

I can't remember who I said I would give this "recipe" here it is for everyone to enjoy!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bring out the hot-glue gun!

I have ALWAYS wanted someone to give me a mason jar filled with something, then topped with fabric and a such luck yet. So for my dear mom-in-laws birthday, I decided that she needed this lovely gift. I decided to fill the jar with homemade taco seasoning...but the fun part was making the top of the jar!

After about 4 sticks of glue, it was done (yes I said 4, and it's a small jar).
She hasn't received my creation yet (along with some glue-free gifts). But my hubby was supportive and when I showed him my creation he lavished me with the same praise that a 4 year old gets after making a macaroni frame.

I am still trying to figure out if that's a good or bad thing.

But I did make her some awesome taco seasoning and I made it mild, just for her, so hopefully she will ignore the strings of glue all over the jar  :0)

Onion Powder!

If you read the title you probably think I'm crazy, you wouldn't be that far off...

But the other day I had an onion that was about to spoil, and I didn't have anything planned for it, so I brought out the dehydrator and made onion powder!
The onions after they were dehydrated, it took about 5 hours on 145 degrees.

The onions in my itty-bitty food processor.

The finished product. I am guessing I got about 2 TBSP of onion powder from one onion, so I will never complain about the price of a bottle of onion powder again! But I really do like the taste of my onion powder over the bottled stuff, the one I made just tastes onion~ier.

I got the "recipe" from here

Monday, April 12, 2010

Easter with Mom!

Mom came to visit over Easter/Spring break. I loved having her here, it made having a sick hubby so much easier (more on that in a minute). Mom flew in on Wednesday night and stayed until Monday afternoon. On Friday we went to Temple Square, I have wanted to go there since I moved to Utah!!

It was cold, but sooo nice!

We were trying to get a picture of us with the temple in the background...I should have asked someone to take it for us!
The flowers at Temple Square are absolutely beautiful! We took bunches of pictures of them and sent them to my grandma, who loves flowers.

After Temple Square we went to Whole Foods, since I never go, but I love that store! I bought bread, olives, teas, and some other stuff...yogurt? Anyway, its all gone except for the bread. We also went to dinner in SLC. We had such a great day! I love having my mom here. So I'm on a mission, either she has to move up here or us down there...

So my hubby has had a cold for the past 2-3 weeks, so on Friday morning I went with him to the Dr. and he got antibiotics and a cough syrup.
innocent enough
About 10 minutes after taking the antibiotic Gary started throwing up
crazy projectile vomit
The vomiting continued Friday night and all day Saturday, in all of this crazy puke, not once did I fathom the idea that he could be allergic to the antibiotic.
I called the on call Dr and sure enough he said it sounded like he was allergic. At 10pm I was hauling butt to Harmon's to pick an anti-nausea medication.

Finally about midnight that night, he quit puking.

He is finally better...thank goodness!

So that was our Easter weekend :0)

Oh yeah, can someone tell me where spellcheck is on here? I haven't found it since blogger changed.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shinin' the sink!

Isn't my sink shiny? For about 3 weeks now I've been using Flylady's "flight plan" and Im loving it...the sink has been shiny and dish free for 3 weeks now!
Every night the dishwasher is turned on and I empty it in the morning...I can't believe how this small habit has made my house seem more clean :0)
This is the 1st of the Flyladys steps that i have adopted, Im looking forward to adding more to my daily routine. Is it sad that I'm excited to keep my house clean?

Dinner will not be the dinner table

Instead of buying all of our plants at a nursery this year, we decided to start our own! We bought those Jiffy seedling starter kits, some for tomatoes and some for regular plants (I guess tomatoes are the only ones that deserve their own starter kit?), seeds, and some brown paper looking pots for when they are ready to be transplanted. It's been fun watching them grow, but I think we may have gotten a little carried away....
We had to move the table next to the window so the plants could get as much sun as possible.

This is why we can't eat dinner at the table until mid-late May!!

My closets!

I need to organize my remodel pictures, as well as take some of the finished rooms...forgot to do that! But here are the closets I am soo excited about!!

The beginnings of our new hall & the hall painted, and closets done!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It's been so long

A lot has happened since January, well a lot has happened to our house. Were remodeling the basement! It's going to be great! The basement is already finished but there was this really long narrow room that was wasn't functional, so it ended up as a "storage" area.

We split the room into two and now its two smaller rooms plus we added a hall and two extra closets for storage! Each room has a 4' closet too! If you've ever been in our house you know there is ZERO storage room. So I can't help but be excited about all these closets!! Oh and Gary added cabinets at the top of the stairwell too!! Yay for storage!

The sheetrock is done, now Gary is attempting to do crown moulding in "my" room (I claimed one of the two rooms to do whatever I want to it! And I want crown mouliding!)

Pictures will follow soon!

We also agreed that this will be the LAST renovation we will do on this house!! I have waited for Gary to agree to this for a long time! 

It seems like it's been forever since Ive blogged, not that Im great at it, but I enjoy reading what I write :0) And having a scrapbook of our life.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Like my new hat?

I wanted to try a new craft and since I have failed time and again at real knitting, I decided to try loom knitting and I am hooked! I absolutly love my new hat which I finished tonight. I already started on a matching scarf (don't laugh).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

where are my teeth?

  On friday I took a tiny blue pill and Gary drove me to the get my wisdom teeth taken out!! I had 3 left (one was taken out in HS). 2 of the 3 broke while being extracted, I also got a cleaning and a filling while I was sedated. I just have to tell anyone who will listen to my complaining, how much this hurts!
  I have tried to eat semi-soft food and failed, I am getting tired of protien shakes and applesauce. Hopefully I lost some lb's while on this insane diet. I think I have a dry socket in one of the incisions cause its the one side that wont stop throbbing!
  Anyway, thanks for listening to my whining :) Have a great day eating normal food...think of me.


Florida was so much fun! Gary and Dad did lots of fishing, Gary even caught a 4 1/2 foot shark! We also went to Tarpon Springs, it's where the boats dock that bring in sponges, it was a lot of fun. It's also a small Greek community and the food was so yummy! There were lots of small shops that we went into. I loved it. The weather was also great, it was in the 70's most days. Ahhh, I'm missing it again.

We got back from Florida on Tuesday. I was so sad the entire way home, even the night after we got back I was still bawling. I miss my Florida family so much. I loved spending time with my dad, sis, grandma, uncle, and my Ruster (my BFF)!

Me and Ruster (Stacy) deep sea diving...she forgot her gear.

Me and Daddy

                       Dad and a Jack fish

Gary and his shark

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Mexico Trip

The two women in my life who I admire and love the most! My mom and my Nana.
The three of us, I miss nights like this when we were all able to just hang out and goof around.

My birthday dinner with my mom, brother and fried ice cream! I look awful cause I just had gotten off a plane!! What am I talking about? I went on a makeup strike the whole time I was down there, so ignore my zits please.
My trip was wonderful, I love my family and I love spending time with them. Nothing makes you appreciate what you have until its not there anymore. I even had a great time with my brother I love him so much, Im just waiting for him to get out of his rebellious teen thing.

Craft time!

Gary decided he wanted to make our niece and nephew their gifts for Christmas, the wagon for my nephew didnt really happen, but the caterpillar pull-toy for our niece Abbie did and I love it! He did all the hard stuff, all I did was pick the colors and paint a few blocks.

He drew some eye brows on after this and it looked kinda cute, but he made it a uni-brow! Caterpillar girl, definatly needs a touch up!
A menu board I made with Garys help :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 buh-bye!

2009 was full of ups and downs for us, thank goodness it was mostly ups!

  • We rang in the New Year at home, exhausted from a Christmas trip to New Mexico, then a work trip to Prescott, AZ for Gary to finish the job he was doing.

  • In February we found out we are dealing with two infertility obstacles.

  • Spent Easter with Gary's mom and sister

  • Work ended in May for Sam (yay!)

  • Sam headed to New Mexico for three weeks in June ( I had a blast!!)

  • Came home in July and we decided to try to concieve naturally.

  • Gary finished the porch!!!!

  • In August we spent our anniversary week in Yellowstone, we had a beautiful hotel room and had a blast!

  • Work started again for Sam, and a whole new set of challenges came up. But I have learned from them, so in the end hopefully I will be a wiser person(?)

  • October- Dr told us there was no way for us to concieve naturally :(

  • November - Gary turned 25 - Had an interesting Thanksgiving with Gary's family.

  • December - Saw an infertility Dr and he gave us hope!! (more on that in a later post). - We had a quiet Christmas morning at Garys moms house, breakfast was great! Then presents at his dads house. - Sam turned 25 (spent it in New Mexico with my wonderful family) - Happy New Year!!

Like I said, there were a lot of ups and downs, but overall I am so thankful for everything I have in my life, no matter what 2010 brings us, I know we can get through it.