Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We have curtains...

Last night was a stay-up-late-talk-a-lot-while-you-sew kind of night! My sister-in-law, Brooke, came over. We both had projects...hers a little more intricate than mine. I was just sewing big squares for curtains. Fun times and much needed girl time for me. We laughed, I almost cried, we laughed, then I almost peed my pants.

Anyway...the square curtains. Square? No. Rectangle? Yes.
When I hung them up, I realized how awful I am at sewing straight lines.

*These curtains have been modified to fit correctly.* Works for me!

I added a line of gingham ribbon to the top for a bit of oomph. Yup...that'll do!

Thankfully, I have no plans on moving them up and down. They are strictly decorative. And no. I didn't measure. Correctly, that is. I know, I know....

Instead of ribbon to make the gatherings at the bottom, I used safety pins. No sewing, fast, easy...sure. Aaahhh...I love them next to my paint and new mantel.

Last night I lit an Autumn smelling candle and fell in love all over again with this house God blessed us with. Couple good company with really cool air outside and some pumpkin spice latte coffee...mmmm, cozy.

It helped that Brooke kept commenting on how cozy my house was. It's probably the best compliment you could give me about my house. Really. Don't tell me it's clean 'cause I'll know you're lyin'!

The only thing missing last night was the Christmas tree, the Christmas know....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Favorite DIY! *Updated*

When Hubs and I bought this house I had one thing that I really, really, really wanted before the holidays made their way around. If I had to save up all my extra money and count pennies, I was gonna have this.

A Mantel.

We never had one at our other house because there just wasn't a fireplace anywhere. We hung our stockings on the wall and it was fine, but a home to me screams a cozy fireplace....

And then I saw how expensive they could be if you bought them ready assembled. No thank you.

I'd have to do it myself. Which actually worked out so much better for me because I didn't have to scrimp and save. One Saturday morning doing nails paid for the wood, paint, nails, etc. Even if it didn't pay for the manual labor that hubby put in.

We went from this:

To hubs and his brother (thanks!) building me a half-cubby-wall:

To this (the rest I did myself!):

I took the molding off the cubby holes to frame above the mantel. The actual mantel is made up of a small molding piece and then a 1x4 above them that is screwed and nailed into the studs in the wall. Then, I nailed and glued piece of crown molding (it had a perfect angled edge) to the bottom of the 1x4. Then, I topped it with a 1x6 that was cut down to a 1x5 and then trimmed in small molding that creates little lip on the mantel. Then I Kilz it with primer and painted...and wah-la!

Now, my biggest issue is that I don't have anything to put on a mantel because I've never bought anything to do that! I'm thinking some apothecary jars filled with autumn leaves and fruit and then some orange and red berry picks. We'll see! I don't really care for mirrors above fireplaces, but for now, this will have to do! Yes, it's unbalanced, yes, it's a mirror...yes, it's not my favorite and yes I really need something larger up there to break up all the white (and now that I've taken a picture, I realize that streak-free windex doesn't mean streak-free at all!) but I'm so stinkin' excited to have a mantel!
(oh...did you all notice that I painted my walls? I love the color and it looks great with all my black/white stuff).

In all, it cost me about $40 for the molding (not counting the molding above it because that was FREE!) and $15 for the primer and paint, about $20 for the 2x4 and drywall to build up the half wall.

Considering mantels start at $175 for 6', we did pretty darn good!!!

Check out DIY Day at Kimba's!


One shopping trip to Goodwill and $5 later:

Not perfect...but much MUCH better.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Two by Two Taco Soup

Head over here for a Recipe Exchange:

I posted this over at my friend Shea's because she is having a crock pot party! Go visit her and give her your best recipe!

I thought I'd post it here, too:

Two by Two Taco Soup in the crock pot is a Llanos family stand-by! I have a six quart crock pot so I always make a lot. We eat it that night, Nic takes some to work for lunch the next day and I have a whole other dinner to freeze for another night.

2 cans diced tomatoes (I leave the juice)
2 cans black beans (don't forget to rinse these, otherwise your soup turns out a muddy color)
1/2 to 1 whole onion (how much does your family like onion?)
1 to 2lbs of ground beef (I use 2-already browned, with the onion)
2 cans diced green chilies
1 can of corn (you could add two, I'm just not a huge corn eater)
2 packages of taco seasoning
2 cups water
S/P to taste

Adjust for your family. Sometimes I add salsa instead of the chilies or green (and omit the chilies) enchilada sauce or red enchilada sauce instead of 1 cup of water.

We eat it with LOTS of cheese and sour cream and of course, tortilla chips! Now I wish that's what I made tonight....but nope....Tuna casserole over here...with no PEAS!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Need Ideas...

...inspiration! Affirmation!

Alright, I just need plain ol' help.

What color do I paint? Seriously. I'm OVER the beige-y walls and am dying to paint any wall that I can reach the ceiling on! I paint the staircase walls?
How about the living room? And if I paint...what color??? I'm dying for a red couch that I've seen (read: STALKED) at Ikea. Dying.

So, do I paint the family room a "cream in your coffee" kind of brown? A golden yellow? Green? Keep in mind that our base colors are black and white and then each room has a color that stands out...either red or green or both. Right now, with fall colors, I have all different shades of red and green and yellow. They really are my favorite colors. I tried doing blue and yellow in the guest bathroom and I just.can' It bugs. Like a stone in my shoe. (Brooke-that one's for you!)


Here's some pics of our down stairs living area....what say you???? And hey, don't know your kids watch Blue's Clues while you blog because your morning has been already such a yard sale that you just want fifteen minutes of no whining, complaining, crying, dirty diapers, and snotty noses! Whew. Can you tell it's been a trying morning?
Yes...I know it's messy. Yes, I know I could be cleaning instead of being on the computer. Yes, yes...I'll clean it up later. I know if only takes five minutes to do the dishes. I know there is hair-MY hair-on the floor...seriously...did you READ about my morning????

Ah, shoot dawg...I just remembered that I have load of laundry in the washer from last night. Apparently, I'm batting a thousand today. Great. Stinky clothes, stinky house, stinky Mommy with no shower.

But I really want to PAINT!

Oh...check out this cute pillow. Embroidery machines...gotta love 'em! I stole the idea from Ballard Designs, I believe.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Autumn Has Landed *Updated*

The Christmas Carols are playing in my only kid in school is BACK at school. It can only mean one thing. Football season has started.

Naw...that's not it...but I'm not kidding about those Christmas Carols.

It's finally....


Or Fall...depends on how you roll. We have a lot of real-life falling at our house thanks to my second born, so I call it Autumn.

And let me tell you! There has been an explosion of Autumn decor in our house!

Entry Way:

Dining Room Table:
The Kitchen:

Oh, and remember this cookie jar?
It needed a fall face-lift, too! (I swear those are different cookies in the jar!)

And then, I decided to add some make-up:

The guest bathroom:
Here I put a scripture about the harvest into a harvest-y picture frame. Not my best work, but for a two minute job, it'll do until it drives me bonkers and I have to fix it.

All the things I couldn't find a great place for have ended up on our's growing on me!

And of course....our new mantel! (It really needs some color...)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Broccoli: The Newly Discovered Truth Serum

They were lying.



My oldest proved his lying ways (of the last two days) when he tried to tell me that there was a birthday party at school and they had broccoli so he didn't have to eat his broccoli for dinner.

Oldest son: Mommy, we had a birthday party at school today and there were cupcakes, cookies, and broccoli. So, I've already had my broccoli for the day so I don't think I need to eat this broccoli at dinner.

Me: Oh, really? Well, I'll be sure to talk to Mrs. Warner and thank her and the mommy that brought it for serving such a nutritious snack.

Oldest son: Oh. Wait. I'm not sure if we had broccoli. I can't remember now.

Me: Well, you better tell me the truth because I'm going to ask Mrs. Warner tomorrow and if you're lying, you're going to get in bigger trouble than if you just told me the truth right now.

Oldest son: So if I tell you right now, I won't get in trouble?

Me: Oh, you'll still get in trouble, but you'll be in bigger trouble for not telling me the truth until later.

Oldest son: I don't think we had broccoli, Mom.

Uh, huh.

Which led to another conversation about the stinkin' ice cream cones.

Me: Who ate the ice cream cones, son?

Oldest: Hannah did, Mom.

Me: Remember what we just talked about? You better be telling me the truth. I will find out eventually.

Oldest: Luke and Hannah did it.

Me: Did you have one, too? (Insert evil eye glare, here.)

Oldest: Yes, Mom.

Uh, huh.

Needless to say, they lost the privilege of going to the first night of Explorer's (Awana's equivalent) and they had to go to bed right after dinner. No playing with Daddy, no tv shows, and no friends.

We'll see how that works out for us.

The worst part is that I feel awful for having lying kids. Like I'm doing a rotten job.

I'm sorry that I can't teach them everything they need to know about life before they need to know it. I'm only kind of sorry that they have to suffer the consequences for bad decisions.

I'm sorry that they are evil reprobates. (Just ask John McArthur).
I'm sorry that Eve ate that darn apple.
Eve better be sorry, too, dang it!!!!
I'm sorry they are born with a sinful nature.

I'm so thankful they have a Savior.

Oh, Lord...someday, they'll know.

Grace, grace, grace,'s my new mantra.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Liar, Liar...Pants on Fire?

How can you tell your kids are telling you the truth?

I don't wanna think that my boys concocted a story together to lie about who all the ice cream cones, but something is suspicious.

They blamed their sister. And I did catch her red-handed with one. But then they went on to say that she ate two other ones and that there were four in all (one was still in the box).

They had left over ice cream cone food colored 'stuff' in their molars. Yes, I checked. But they also had waffles for breakfast. Same color.

They are ALL sitting on their beds. I gave them my "evil mommy" eyes and they still both had the same story at the same time. Hhhmmm.

My oldest kept telling me, "I am NOT lying, Mom. Hannah had one in each hand and one in her arm and she kept eating them." His brother kept dancing around the room going, "Yeah, Mom. She ate THREE!!!"


I hate not being able to trust what they say, but they are at the age where lying sounds a whole lot better than getting in trouble. Darn that sinful nature!

Did I mention they are 5 and almost 4? UGH. Are they too young to quote Revelation 21:8 to?

Liars go to hell.

Yeah. They probably are.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Prayers That Go Unanswered

Or that take a really looooooong time.

Do you thank God for them? Or do you say, "Come on! I really don't see how it can work unless I get it now!" or "It's about time, God!"

I'll be honest and say that I've uttered those words in complete irreverence to God, His sovereignty, and His timing. Frustration gets the best of all of us and I, in particular, am not known for having much patience. (Don't snicker! You know who you are!)

I could write a whole book on the prayers that went seemingly unanswered. Now I see they weren't unanswered. They were a "no." And thank God for the "no's" in my life. But like I said, that could be a whole book...let's focus.

Since looking for a house to move to and the blessings of that story, there have been a whole bunch more minor stories (if there is anything 'minor' about God working and blessings).

One of which, is our air conditioner. It has been broken pretty much all summer long. I know you all have heard me complain about it, so no more complaints. That is not what this post is about.

This is about the praises of our family lifted to God in prayer, rejoicing, and reverence of a God who sees all, knows all, and counts our hairs on our head...or, in our case, the sweat beads on our brow.

This is about a hard-working husband in a stable job.

This is about finding renters for our house.

This is about family nights and scriptures and putting the things we tell our kids they SHOULD do into practice so they can see it lived out.

This is about having a husband who is long-suffering and wise to wait on God to work on our behalf. And is willing to call the warranty company and politely complain every time I called him YELLING about how HOT I was. (Don't pay any attention to Mommy, kids!)

This is about me NOT picking up the phone and cursing at people who are not doing their job the day after I've spent three hours just lying in bed awake...sweating. Because that wouldn't be a good Christian witness. And because my husband told me not to. (Ok, you can look now.)

This is about the blessing of family. They offered their homes, their beds, their money, their food, their condolences. My parents let us stay with them and bought us a portable air conditioner that managed to keep the down-stairs actually livable! Kevin and Brooke...stayed at their house. ALL SIX OF US. And then she even made breakfast. My sister offered her house and was a sounding board and champion in my corner telling me how ticked she is FOR me and willing to call on my behalf. Cindy told me the same thing. Sometimes, that's all you need to hear from someone. My in-laws offered their house, their pool, their babysitting services....

This is about a God who made a way where we saw no way. This is about a God who blessed us abundantly with a house, and then blessed us again with things for our house. And taking care of us while we are in the house.

This is about Noah having a school-teacher who goes to our church, taking away my last anxiety over putting him in public school this year.

This is about yard-saling and having a husband who watches our kids so I can spend his hard-earned money. (I told you he was long-suffering.) I'm really saving him money, you know. If I bought this stuff at a store it'd be way more expensive. So I spend five bucks to save $15. See????

This is about getting completely reimbursed for the portable air-conditioning unit when they originally said they would only pay $150.00 of the $440.00 it cost. God knew that the woman helping us was connected to us through a string of past circumstances with friends we've made along the way....we just found out. Today.

If I use my blog for anything, I hope it is to sing the praises of a God who cares, gives talents and blessings, and moves to turn the things Satan would intend for evil to good for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28, Genesis 50:20) So be encouraged! Have patience and know that God is moving, right now, on your behalf.

Even though you don't deserve it. (Ouch. Isn't that always the part that makes you rethink what you think about God's love?)
Even though I don't deserve it.
We never will.


There are strings being pulled on the puppet that you can't see but...'s still making the puppet move.