Recording an Album Part 1

In the midst of our Easter craziness, have I mentioned we're also recording an album?? I know, we're crazy! The timing isn't what we would have chosen, but we are confident that this is God's timing. We are sooo busy right now. Between this and The Thorn we are busy 13 out of 15 nights and I am also planning for Easter (baskets, dinner, etc), trying to work on Laurel Haven, and be a good mom! Oh, and our washer and dryer broke yesterday. Never a dull moment around here, folks.

To give you an idea of what we're doing, I thought I would have my hubby guest blog. Unfortunately, he is short on time these days (imagine that), so I put together an interview. Here goes!

Q: What is this album that we're working on?

A: The New Life Worship Choir album.

Q: Who is the New Life Worship Choir?

A: Around 100 people from our church who love God and love to worship.

Q: Why record an album?

A: Because there are songs that people need to hear, that can be encouraging to them. It is a way of communicating God's love and connecting people to Him.

Q: How long has this been in the making?

A: Six years!

Q: How did it come to be?

A: Our friends at Integrity (who have recorded New Life albums in the past) opened the door for us to begin talking about it. I had wanted to do it for a long time and started writing songs for it. But the timing wasn't right. So in the spring of 2009 we started talking about the possibility. It just continued from there. We finalized the plans in January (budget, time line, etc).

Q: What have you done up to this point?

A: We made the song list and worked on the arrangements. The arrangements are a bit different than what we usually do because they are specifically for choir. Then we went to Nashville and cut all the rhythm and orchestra tracks.

Q: What are we working on currently?

A: Currently we are tracking the choir vocals on 6 different evenings at New Life Church.

Q: What's the next step?

A: After the choir vocals are finished, we send it to Hal Leonard, the publishing company. They work on all the printed music. We will work with them on graphics for the cd and book covers. The project will be complete and release in November 2010.

Q: What would you like to see happen with this project?

A: I'd like for churches to utilize it for their choirs. I would like it to spark the worship of God in people's hearts. I want it to help people connect with God.

It's been awesome to see a dream come to pass and the goal is for God to use it to help people. We named it "God Be Praised" because that's the point. If it doesn't bring praise to God then it's just words and music.

A little sampling (this is from the "scratch trax" from last spring)...


Out of Whack Transformation Thursday

I've been pretty good about the last couple of weeks...projects for Laurel Haven have been running smoothly and I had given myself an unofficial goal of having a new project done by each Thursday to begin linking up to all the fun linky-parties.

Well, we're in Easter season. If you didn't read what that means around here, you can read all about it here. So, I haven't had a lot of time to work on Laurel Haven. I have several half-finished projects that I will hopefully finish in the next couple of weeks.

Then, I realize that Easter is next week and we're having dinner over here and my house is a complete wreck. No, seriously, one of the worst shapes it's ever been. We've been so busy and when we're home we're tired and just want to hang out together. The last thing we want to do is organize rooms, pick up toys and clothes or clean out the storage room. Or the garage. My list of to-dos is long. I'm keeping up with laundry and dishes and I do my best to have the main living areas, well, livable.

My dining room...has had picture frames (that workers took down) laying against the walls since we came home from the hotel. We cleared out the room (minus the frames) so I can do photo shoots of Laurel Haven projects. Well, the dining set moved in last week. Then, I decided to sell a bunch of baby clothes on craigslist. So, I organized them on the table. It looks like a garage sale. When one woman came to look at clothes she actually asked me if we were moving in or out. Yep, it's that bad.

That's not to mention the half-paint job that still exists from our mold/hotel/ceiling craziness.

So, I decided to start. I knew I wanted to clear out the dining room before Easter. In order to do that, I needed to finish the paint job in the entry way so I could hang the pictures that belong there.

I did take before pictures of the wall, but they disappeared from my camera (see? I AM losing my mind). The walls used to be kind of a mustardy-yellowy-gold. They are now a nice neutral (Whole Wheat from Sherwin Williams). It took me two nap-times and one after-bed-time to paint.

I measured the wall and cut strings of yarn accordingly. I laid them on my floor and assembled the frames inside the way I wanted them to look on the wall. I thought I was doing well to even do this much...I'm kind of a get-it-done-quick-without-any-measuring type of girl. And I was doing this the day my hubby left for a trip and the kids are home on spring break.

Then, I hung my pictures. Lots of family pictures and some random art. And our "Scripture" art. When you're a pastor, people like to give you Scripture art. I don't mind, though, and I thought this would be a neat way to display them.

The kids actually did fine while I worked. Emma helped with the littles and Caleb helped me by handing me nails and the hammer.

Unfortunately, I'm sloppy so several of the frames fell while I was hammering. Broken glass. Yuck.

But, here's how it turned out.

Please don't take note of the *lovely* brass light fixture. I have plans.

Several of the frames are crooked. I keep telling myself that it's "eclectic" and "random" so it's okay if they're crooked. I'm not really convincing myself.

And there are 2 random frames that are higher than the rest. I am justifying this by the thought that I may add more frames to go all the way to the ceiling. I am kind of convincing myself of that.

Mostly, I'm taking comfort in the fact that the wall is painted and the frames are hung. They are no longer laying in my floor. I had one more person come today to buy more baby clothes. I am a teensy bit closer to my clean dining room!


Easter Season at Our House

It's funny as I've been reading through some of the blogs that I read...all these creative ideas for decorating eggs and amazing Easter centerpieces...

I buy the egg coloring kits (which I haven't bought yet)...and we color them. Just like it says on the package. Not a lot of creativity here.

Easter "dinner" is a pot-luck that my mom normally pulls off (what would we do without my mom?!). That we eat at some point mid-afternoon. Between church services. On paper plates.

We normally get home around 10pm the night before Easter. I get our kiddos to bed and then arrange their Easter baskets. That they will open with my mom. While I'm at church the next morning.

It may sound like I'm complaining. I'm not. It's just that this holiday (like many others) is one that requests that our time, emotions, efforts and energy be directed at church.

We participate in our church's Easter production, The Thorn.

The Thorn from Thorn Productions on Vimeo.

This year we will be doing 11 shows. We've participated in it since before we were married. Brad sings (of course) and is participating more and more in the production and ministry aspects. I have done everything from the role of Mary to stage crew to make up to singing in the choir. It is an amazing way our church tells the story of what Jesus did for us. Thousands of people come and watch. Our prayer is that, through this "play", we can show how He loves us. We watch as Jesus performs miracles and plays with little kids. Then we watch as He is betrayed and murdered. Then we watch as He comes out of the tomb! I cry. every. single. time.

As our kids are growing, this is becoming their ministry as well. They go to all the rehearsals with Daddy (while i stay home with the littles). They count down the days to the first performance. They make new friends. They learn more about the story of Jesus (even though there is a portion of the show that they've never seen because it isn't age appropriate). They learn more about their identity and what specific gifts God has given them.

We head into 3 services Easter morning, well, tired. But so full and excited for all that God has done. In us, and in other people. It is a morning of true celebration. We don't celebrate about some fable or story that happened thousands of years ago. We celebrate because we have found Life. And we have helped other people find It, too.

I LOVE Easter season. Are we tired? Yes. Are we a bit overwhelmed? Sometimes. Are there times I wish I could stay home and do fun Easter crafts? Definitely. But, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

My prayer is that my kids would continue to love Easter like their Daddy and I do. For the true reason of the season. Jesus!


Dining Set Transformation

Thanks for all of your kind comments on my last couple of makeovers. You guys are all so encouraging!!

Here's my latest transformation! This one brought on a lot of sweat and tears, but was soo worth it!
The before, plain wood legs and black top...

(Please ignore my messy garage)

I painted it creamy white and then distressed.

And added some new hardware to the drawers.

The chairs used to be the typical wood color with black vinyl chair cushions.

Now they are creamy white with chocolate faux-leather cushions.

I love the transformation. The color combination is gorgeous!

You can see more details here!
Also seen at


Stool Makeover

I, once again, forgot to take a real "before" photo, but if you can imagine older, rough wood with this red velvet fabric on the cushion...

you'll have an idea of what this stool looked like before.

Here it is now...
I am in love with ticking stripe fabric.

It's classy without being stuffy and overdone.

You can see more details here!

Also seen at:


A glimpse...

Ever wonder what life is like with 5 kids, ages 8 and under? If not, read no more.

**long post warning**

Yesterday was one of those challenging days...

Tuesdays are laundry/pick-up the house/homeschooling with Paige days. However, there were some chairs listed on craigslist that were perfect for a table I'm working on. They were aaaaallll the way down on Ft Carson, so I knew I couldn't get it all done. So I...

throw a load of laundry in, pack snacks and toys, and get on the road with the 3 littles (Paige, Brooke and Micah).

drive almost 45 minutes to arrive at the gate of Ft Carson where they take my id, registration, insurance and have me get out and open the hood and all the doors while they place a mirror underneath and check out the car. Scaaary! I know they are doing their jobs, and I definitely appreciate the security measures, but I am very intimidated. I feel like I'm at border-crossing in Mexico.

arrive at the apartment to get the chairs. The people aren't home. Call them. Then wait for them to come home. Load the chairs and get back on our way.

Arrive home. Fix lunch quickly, feed them and put Brooke and Micah down for naps. No homeschooling today.

Get texted from one of my friends (who we were with last weekend) asking if we're sick because they are. Text back, no, thankfully we're healthy!

Change into paint clothes. Paint for almost 2 hours.

Change into "mom" clothes. Load 3 littles into car.

Wait in carpool line. Get Emma.

Drive to McDonalds for ice cream.

Driving back to school. Micah throws up. Everywhere. Wait, aren't we healthy?

Pick up Caleb from school.

Get home. Give Micah a bath. Endure the amazing tantrum as I wash his hair.

Start dinner.

Micah throws up again.

Call B for back up.

Put Caleb in charge of dinner.

Clean up Micah's *mess*

Realize I am out of laundry detergent. NEED laundry detergent to clean up *mess*

Get everyone eating.

Micah throws up. Brad is home now, so he cleans the *mess*

Get Brad, Caleb, Emma, Paige out the door to Thorn rehearsal.

Sit in kitchen with 2 littles waiting for Micah to throw up again. He doesn't.

Set up playpen in our closet layered with sheets and trash bags. Set up noisemaker. Put Micah to bed.

Put Brooke to bed.

Bring stool-that-I'm-currently-painting into my room to distress.

Brooke in my room "can I wake up now?"

Put Brooke back to bed.

Finish distressing stool.

Get in bed for some Tivo.

Thorn crew comes home. Caleb and Paige to bed. Brad leaves for grocery store for needed laundry detergent. Emma coughing.

Vicks for Emma. Emma to bed.

Go to sleep.

Brad home. Forgot laundry detergent. Leaving again.

Go to sleep.

Wake up around 5:30am to someone throwing up. Realize Micah slept all night. Walk into living room where B slept on the the couch. Find Brooke sleeping on floor with "bucket". Find Paige and Brad in the bathroom taking care of *business*

Thank amazing husband for letting me sleep.

Pour coffee.

Start another day...


Emma's Dresser

I finished Emma's dresser!

Here is the before...

She asked for a blue dresser. I picked up some oops paint from Lowes, thinking it was the blue that I wanted. Well, it ended up being pretty bright.

However, as I started distressing, I noticed the paint was turning a beachy-green as I rubbed the sandpaper on it.

I decided I liked the brighter blue/beachy green/white primer look with the natural wood showing through...

I think the antiqued brass handles added the perfect touch with the distressed paint!

I am linking up again this week:


Nightstand Transformation and Some Exciting News!

Here's my latest transformation!



And now for some fun news!! Starting with this nightstand, I am going to be selling my transformations and offering refinishing services!!
For now, this is only available for clients within driving distance of my home...but please feel free to pass the word or let me know if you're interested!
I will be calling my business Laurel Haven Interiors and I will have my website up soon. BUT, I wanted you guys to be the first to know! Until the site is up, you can email me at www.laurelhaven@live.com, or of course, leave a comment here!