Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, June 30, 2012

church nursery

Hey there !  It's hot! hot! hot! here in Kansas...record breaking temps for June yesterday, 100 plus!

 I'm sitting here in my cool air conditioned home catching up on some long neglected projects and chores.  Before I start anything new, I want to show my far away kids what I've been up to these past few weeks so I can close this chapter of my summer. 

I don't think I have ever worked on anything as rewarding and challenging in my life!  On January first of this year, the first thing that popped into my head as I woke up, was the plan for this nursery remodel.  Ideas just started buzzing around in there and wouldn't go away.  What a way to start the new year, right?  It took several months of drawing and redrawing, but I finally got a rough picture of what was in my head.

I wont bore you with too many details, but after  several long committee meetings  we finally got approval to get to work in late May.

I had already started work on moving the library to another room upstairs so that we could use that room for our bed babies.

I spray painted an old el cheapo desk of my son's for some extra storage...and painted an old cabinet left over from the library and took the doors off for easy access to the toys.  The walls are painted a Martha Stewart color called Salt Glaze.  It is a very soft blue and I love the soothing feeling it gives the room.  The white cribs are from WalMart and were only $139. plus the mattress...love me a bargain!

The floor blanket is from fabric found at WalMart and it was the color inspiration for the whole room.  Very soft blue, pink,yellow and brown. There is a companion fabric of stripes in those colors and I used it on the back side, as well as in some wooden embroidery hoops on the wall.
I should have taken some close ups of it, it's so sweet and soft.

I just spotted that HUGE black boom box and I think I must start saving for something a little less obnoxious!  O well, this whole project was about reusing what you have and making it work.  If you look closely you will see a lot of things that I just had around the house being reused or redesigned.

The door you see here  leads into a small room that joined the pastor's office.  He graciously gave up the space so we could turn it into a little room where nursing mom's can have some privacy. Part of the project was to build doors to close off that space from the office.

Here's a peek inside the nursing mom's room.  I found the wicker chest at the flea market in town, recovered the cushions on a rocker we already had, put some soft white curtains up from Target and
the space is now a cozy quiet retreat for our moms.  I'm still searching for some peacful art piece to hang above the chest, but there's no rush.  They are already finding it quite peaceful!

I found that toile fabric in my stash...like I said, a lot of recycling took place around here!

Here's the new expanded foyer...we knocked out a wall to make this space twice as wide.  Before it was just a narrow hallway that was always clogged and crowded.  Now we have such a light, airy, roomy space for the parents to check in and pick up the kids!  I am so please with how this improved the whole space!

One of the things we were able to add was the large counter for parents to sign in on, fill out visitor forms, and pick up their pagers.  At one point, the men almost had me convinced this wasn't needed, but I have  wanted this for so long, I'm really glad I stuck to my guns, because it is GREAT!
Sometimes, you just have to put your foot down! 

Another great feature that everyone is excited about is the one way mirror, where parents can peek in on the kiddos and make sure they are doing well without being spotted.  It really is a good
 idea and helps  visitors and new parents to the nursery feel more confident about leaving the kids.

I'm still working on some cute little coat racks to hang right under the window, but there's plenty of time for that.  Who needs coat racks when it's 100 degrees anyway?
Im also searching for some pretty art work or a welcome sign for that small wall behind the counter.

Here's what's on the other side of that one way mirror!  New long counter space for changing diapers
( we didn't have any change space in the old room) and preparing snacks and craft projects. A super deep sink for washing off toys...  A new flat screen tv for the occational video and brand new U shaped table and chairs.

We knocked out the all between two rooms to make one large one that has the new table on one end and the toys here on the other end.  New bright cieling tiles, more lights and new cushiony carpet make this new room feel so bright and fresh!  I did repaint the old shelving fondly referred to as Big Bertha and she will serve us well for many more years.  We sprang for a new kitchen set from Little Tykes and the kids love it.  Unfortunately somebody yanked off the faucet right off the bat, so I'm not sure it will last as long as the old handmade one did!  arggh!

Here's something I'm really proud of.  As soon as I saw these on Pinterest, I knew we had to have a set for the new nursery!  I really hope they help the kids access the books better and I think they turned out pretty darn cute!  I built them myself with a little help from hubby with the clamps and nail gun.

Here are two of our mascots...I have asked one of our moms to scan some images from the curtain fabric (also from WalMart) so that I can make prints to frame.  I wanted something up on the walls for our grand opening and stumbled upon these cute guys at the Dollar Tree...guess what they are!

Gift bags!  I just cut them off the front of the bags and framed them in 12x12 frames made for framing a scrapbook page.  Are they not adorable?

Here are the other two little fellas

I already had the frames so the whole project only cost $4.00!

This room is for our Toddlers and we were able to keep the paint and wallpaper that was already in there.  New carpet to tie in in with the new spaces really brightened it up.

I can tell you that these pictures do not do the space justice! We started with a budget of $7500 and went over by about $1200, so almost 10G for the whole thing.  We had to use liscened plumber and electrician to comply with city code and could have saved some money if we hadn't had to do that.  The rest of the labor was volunteer and about 40 people worked on it for 5 weeks.  It was awesome to see the turnout of workers.  Two men even took a week of vacation to work on it!  We also found old termite damage in the process of tearing out a hall wall, so added work and materials to fix the floor added to the cost of the project.  The new ceiling was something we didn't budget enough for, and we decided to add pad under the carpet instead of just gluing it down, so that meant extra cost.  It was worth it in the end though...everyone who steps in comments on how soft the carpet feels.

We started on this project about a month after my husband had total knee replacement and he was the job foreman.  If you know my husband, that means he had his hand in every aspect of the work, including climbing ladders and climbing under the floors to look at termite damage!  During the last week he ended up in the ER for shortness of breath and had to spend the night in the hospital for a heart cath proceedure!  He was checking up on progress from his hospital bed and was right back to work the next day!  This whole project would not have happened without his guidance and hard work!

I will be forever grateful for his contribution of labor and support on this...I  cannot even express how much it means to me!

Here are a few shots of the hard work

Moving day

and it was VERY hard work!

These guys are my heroes.

I get all teary eyed just remembering how hard they all worked.

Dreams do come true... sometimes you have to wait and pray and work hard for them, but don't be afraid to dream ... roll your sleeves up and be ready to do the work it will take to make them come true! 

The best part of all?    The KIDS love it!   Some of our alumni want to come back and be nursery kids again! 

That makes it all worthwile, that's why we did it in the first place!

What will I do with the rest of my summer you ask? 



  1. Love it, love it, love it! What a blessing the folks at Trinity have in you two.

  2. oh my GOOD golly! This is UH-mazing! Zain would like to come and chew and drool on every toy and safely crawl and be gazed at through that glass! I would like to nurse in comfortable air conditioned privacy (the last time I bothered to even leave the sanctuary to nurse I got walked in on by two different men-awkward?! good thing I was using my trusty MB cover!). that is some prime real estate in that room to communicate with the art you choose to the tired struggling hearts of some mommies! I LOVE the whole thing. YES YES YES the counter is essential for the check in when you're new and wrestling with a baby and a bag and trying to write on some card--i'm telling you, as folks who were at a LOT of churches with a baby a few years back, the nursery is a bigger make or break than the pastor for young families looking for a place to visit again! and being able to look in on them is HUGE as they are dropped off in a strange place, sometimes you just need to check back in and KNOW that they are doing ok! such a great idea. what great servants who made this all possible, most of all you and dad! you guys are so awesome. i'm with lisa, i hope the trinity folks know what they have in you two. want to come to leb and do the same thing? :)

  3. Hi! I would love to borrow your book storage idea! What a great space saving idea! Could you tell me the measurements of the three pieces of wood you used? wieandk@hotmail.com Thanks so much!!!

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"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Welcome to my happy place. A place where I can share ideas, projects, and dreams. I am a nester, a crafter, a creator and a dreamer I hope you will find inspiration and encouragement for the journey you are on. I am a Jesus follower, wife, mother and nana. Blessed beyond measure, just trying to live my life gracefully and make a difference in my small world. Join me!