Generation Cedar

I can’t believe it! After almost a year since last April’s beastly tornado, through the love, sweat, sacrifice and devotion of hundreds of people, we spent the first night back at home Friday! I cried. We rejoiced. And we gathered around as my husband urged our children to remember, “This is not our house but the Lord’s, and we will live as such.” (“His mercy endures forever.”)

This is our living room, dining room and kitchen–all an open room and very livable for a family our size. Mallie and Kyla were trying to duck out of the picture πŸ˜‰ The room you see to the left will be a library with floor to ceiling shelves. (And if you are a new reader, almost all the wood–floor, ceiling and wainscoting, was milled using the fallen trees on our property.)

This is the island with a built in bench seat (inside the “L”) for added seating. The cabinets were salvaged from our previous house, painted and distressed, with some repairs by a dear friend, and I’m so glad we were able to use them. The first of many cost-cuts. You’ll likely realize by the end that in another life, I would LOVE to do “upcycled” interior design. Not that I’m good at it, but nothing thrills me quite like making something new from something old, saving a ton of money and achieving a uniqueness not readily found in standard or commercial products. In the background is the school/office area.

This picture shows the counter tops that my awesome husband made–it is my favorite feature. We made them out of pallets, trying to cut costs (we were originally thinking tile). I could not be happier about “frugal-forced creativity” in this case. He Β poured epoxy wood glaze to achieve the glassy, protective covering. We also did these in the bathrooms. Cost of cabinets and counter tops: a lot of hard work…well, and the cost of the glaze.

This is a shot of the living room from the back. The salvaged wood on this wall came from a house just up the road. The little room is our guest bathroom, with a homemade partition made of old doors. Here’s a close up:

I had this idea because the layout of the room requires the bathroom to be uncomfortably close to the living room. I wanted a bit of a barrier. Notice the Ball jar light (squeal).

Another shot of the island and the backside of the kitchen. I plan to do open shelving made with the salvaged wood on either side of the sink.

This old door (found at “junk man’s” house for $75) leads onto what will be a screened in porch. That’s an old refrigerator you see through the window. The Lord provided us with new appliances the day before we moved in but they haven’t been delivered yet. “His mercy endures forever.”

Old metal gate used as stair banister–$25

Our master bedroom, the only bedroom upstairs (eventually). I white-washed the walls. To save money there, in case you ever want to do it, instead of buying the special paint, just mix regular paint with water, 50/50. I painted two coats. It’s so crisp.

Ladder: $5–Suitcases: $0—Painting from my children: priceless. Oh, and if your husband gives you roses or flowers, remember not to toss them when they start to die. Β Just take them out of water and hang them upside down to dry. My very favorite decoration.

I love our bathroom. I wish I could have gotten a shot of all of it. The metal was an idea I probably got from Pinterest πŸ˜‰ and I love it!

There are no words to articulate what this year has meant for us. I almost feel I shouldn’t try because I will fall so short of communicating our gratitude and love for what the Lord has done through so many. I want to express my public gratitude for my husband. He has worked tirelessly to get us this far. And building a house with him was so fun, confirming our “made for each other” personalities. I dream, he builds. It’s like a beautiful dance.

It’s so true; a woman needs her nest. My heart sighs and sings to be home again. I feel alive.

Our basement has 3 rooms finished (laundry, closet and oldest child’s) and the rest of it is piled, I do not jest, floor to ceiling with boxes to unpack. So while I’m so glad to be home, the work still left to do is overwhelming. The basement will have to be finished little by little and in the mean time, five of the children are sharing a room upstairs (it’s the cutest though, I forgot to take a picture!) We built a “platform” across one end of the narrow play room and put a full mattress on top. The girls sleep underneath in what they think is a play house. It works for now.

We also still have a tremendous amount of finishing (trim, stairs, light fixtures, etc.) and the yard, well, you wouldn’t believe it if I tried to tell you πŸ˜‰


We also have been without Internet for several days and will not have it for a few more. So I check in here and there, but may not be able to keep in touch with you for yet a little while. I can read your comments on my husband’s phone πŸ˜‰ But if you wonder why this post might stay up for a few days, that’s why! And even then, our work will be long and hard, so I will do the best I can here.

I love you all so much. I can’t believe the sense of friendship I have here and the incredible blessing your words and prayers and gifts have been to our family.

You are amazing.

May The Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.

May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

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67 Responses

  1. Your house is absolutely beautiful, Kelly!! I know you are so thrilled to be in it even with the large amount of work left to do. It is good and satisfying work. May the Lord bless you for generations to come in that very house!

  2. Billy and I are so happy for you guys. We would actually love to come see you guys soon. YOu have a special place in our heart!

  3. Oh..LOVE all of this..can you give a tuitorial on the tin walls? I would like to do this for my little bath. THANKS!!!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing the pictures of your beautiful new home Kelly. Open plan living is very much the norm here in Australia and one of its benefits is that it does bring the family together and makes the kitchen and dining area the very heart of the home – a place to live out Psalm 128! I love the warmth of your timber cabinets. I also love the design of your rug – did you choose that? You have great taste! I also love old wooden ladders. I have two suspended from the ceiling in my open plan kitchen/dining/family room – one is a pot rack above the stove and another is used as a drying rack. The metal in your bathroom is what we call corrugated iron and it is also very ‘Australian’ and I’ve seen it used in similar ways in homes here. Looking forward to seeing more pictures of you all enjoying your new home and I think it’s rather special that you have moved in during your spring – a season of renewal and restoration when beauty bursts forth from the earth that appeared to be barren.

  5. How very special and unique! Praising God with you for how He’s supplied your needs so amply! Love and miss you!

  6. Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! Breathtakingly beautiful! So glad you’re finally back home! And I love the “Fruit of the Spirit” sign in the window πŸ˜‰

    Wishing you God’s richest blessings as you settle back in. You are a blessing, Kelly…thanks for sharing your joy with us πŸ™‚

  7. I started following your blog last year. I really appreciate your honesty and straightforwardness. You have an admirable boldness that I think many Christians (including myself) lack. I hope you do not get too discouraged by some of the comments people have wrote in the past. We need not make an apology for what Christ has called us to do but rather encourage others in following what the Bible teaches about our vocation, no matter what others may think or say. I don’t believe we are the same denomination but I appreciate reading your post as we have similar belief systems and I am always encouraged by your well thought out and researched posts. Thank you and keep pressing forward! BTW- Your house is beautiful and inspiring!

  8. I’m so happy for you and your precious family, Kelly! You and your husband certainly are a talented team! And hard-working. I praise the Lord with you. Oh–and the verses you quoted at the end are some of my favorites. God bless you all.

  9. Oh Kelly…….we all gathered around the monitor and marveled at how the LORD has blessed your family with such a beautiful house. PRAISE the LORD! Yes….HE has done a mighty thing!! The Wagner family rejoices with you! ((hug))

  10. Oh, sweet, Kelly!!! I read this with tears in my eyes, sorrow for the pain you have endured and great joy at seeing His faithfulness and your heart to express it. We still pray for you all and love you so much. You know I wish i could come down there and help you sort through all your ‘stuff’ and organize and put away. The Lord will give continued grace for each step of the way.

    If you ever want to chat again, i would drop everything to hear from your very own mouth updates and your heart.

    Praise the Lord!! For He is so good!!

    Love you and big, giant hugs!!!


  11. Your use of wood and other lovely old pieces is just beautiful! May God bless you and your family with many happy years in this house. Serve the Lord with gladness!

  12. Welcome home Kelly! What a beautiful place! I love all of the wood work and those counters…awesome!

    May the Lord bless you richly!

    Lots of love,

  13. Love it Kelly… Tell Aaron he did my memories proud. ;-)Beautiful Job. Love you guys and so greatful for your demonstration of grace throughout this ordeal. It’s inspiring to other believers.

  14. Praise God! He is SO good! Love your house! It is beautiful, but your testimony, and what God has done in your hearts, is even MORE beautiful!

    In Christ, Lazura

  15. I’m am so thankful that you are in a house of your own again! God is such an awesome God, always present and providing! You and your husband did a great job together, it looks wonderful!

  16. Congratulations and blessings, Crawford family!
    It wasn’t until I looked at the date that I realized we went through all this almost a year ago (our church area was hit by the “Tuscaloosa tornado”). I hope and pray its true that this event was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. But isn’t it wonderful that this renewal and rebirth coincides with the celebration of Our Savior’s triumph over death???

  17. Beautiful work! Beautiful testimony! I am so glad you are finally home after that devistation. Last September, we had two huge floods that wiped out entire communities and a tornado ripped through just behind my house. Thankfully, we were fine, but so many lost their houses. And the news is just filled with these storms! Hubby says word is that this year is supposed to be a big hurricane year, too. But the Lord says, “Fear not, for I am with you!”. What comfort we have in Him. What provision, what blessings.

  18. Praising God with you! This is so so wonderful!! The house is beautiful and I am praying that it is feeling like HOME! I love the airy feel of your bedroom! I also love that metal you all used in the bathroom! Great idea! Enjoyed seeing the house put together. So awesome!

  19. So happy for you and your family! Your home looks incredible…I love how you salvaged the wood and used it in your home!

  20. You are one talented woman, Kelly! Wow! Call the magazines! Seriously! You have done a beautiful job. I am very thrilled for your family to be able to move in!

  21. Yeay!!!! Your home is beautiful!! May you be blessed within it! Big hugs and love coming your way from all of us here in Pagosa.

  22. We are all so excited for you! Praise God for His provision and strength during this long year. The kids all took turns looking at the pictures and commenting on how wonderful it looks! You have done an amazing job, and it all looks so beautiful. I especially like the open front room. Such a wonderful place to gather as a family!

  23. Congratulations!! May God’s blessing be upon your new home and family!
    It’s been such an encouragement to see how God has provided for His children! Thank-you for sharing what God has done for your family!

  24. Wow – so amazing! πŸ™‚ It’s amazing to think that God had planned this home for you all before it was even a thought in your mind! After the calamity, He is your refuge! HE is perfectly faithful…”LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; for You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.” Isaiah 25:1

  25. I am thanking God for your family’s new home. I am so happy that you are finally in. There is no place like home, is there? And the love that has gone into it really shows. God bless you and yours, Kelly. You are such a lovely family and have been such an inspiration to us all.

  26. So very, very happy for you all! Words cannot express the deep and piercing way that I have been altered by this testimony (the entirety of this whole journey you’ve all been on) of you and your husband’s faithfulness to God, and His faithfulness to you! Bless his holy name!!

  27. Oh how truly happy we are for your whole family and all that have helped you along this journey!! We REJOICE with you in the Lord!! It is amazing to see what all God can do through the heart, mind and BODY(bodies) πŸ™‚ of such willing people!
    I can relate in some ways to your journey from last April to now…and God is so good!! He is RIGHT ON TIME, isn’t He!!
    Much love and prayers to you all!

  28. Love that you shared the pictures! My favourite is the guest bathroom entry design – awesome! I know that moving in is hard work…but I have a secret love for the organization of it all. God is good.

  29. Kelly:
    Congrats! How exciting and I love the pics, the house is just beautiful. My fave is the white wash in the bedroom, so peaceful looking.

  30. Oh Kelly, that’s so wonderful! So amazing to see this beauty from ashes in your house and the smiles in your hearts! thank you Lord for your goodness.

  31. Kelly, as a wood lover, your home is absolutely gorgeous! The wood tells such a story of redemption and using what ya have where ya have it. Beautiful and welcome home!

  32. Oh it’s just gorgeous! Reading all the cost cutting strategies makes it even moreso. Sooo happy for you and your family. The Lord has given you beauty for ashes! The open living/dining/kitchen is so conducive to large family living. That way you can keep an eye on many things/people at once!

    My husband is in small construction/remodels and does a LOT of tile countertops. Can’t wait to show him what ya’ll have done with yours!

  33. I’m just now back on-line after 5 days off! And the world didn’t end πŸ˜‰ And I really sort of enjoyed it, except for the nagging feeling of “missing something”. I have enjoyed reading all your sweet comments…thank you so much for rejoicing with us and walking every part of this journey alongside us. It has been amazing in a thousand ways.

    And yes, as several of you mentioned, April, the anniversary of the devastation also reminds us of rebirth and renewal. A month ago, there looked like nothing was living within miles of here, then suddenly the undergrowth began to push its greenery up through the acres of broken trees and you could see that all of Creation strains and groans toward life and replenishing.

    That has been immensely encouraging to me, and another reminder of God’s faithfulness to restore.

    Going to unpack more boxes πŸ˜›

  34. It is truly amazing. Thank you guys for the pleasure of helping with your home. I have grown to know you guys like family and really know what it means to be in the Covenant thanks to your family.
    May our God be praised within your gates.

  35. Congratulations on being in your “new” home!! The pictures are great. Thanks so much for sharing! Praying for you as you unpack and do the finishing work. I just thought of Philippians 1:6–Our Father is faithful to finish the work He started in each of us! Praise Him! πŸ™‚

  36. Thank you for sharing, I love the idea of “open plan living” for a home. Your house looks like your blog page design, so warm and homey. Praise the Lord.

  37. I would love to see pictures of your “store” clothes closet that you mentioned in a post some time back. I have 7 kiddos and storing clothes is a chore to say the least. I loved your idea about the closet with a key, that you could just go shopping when the kids need something. My kids call it shopping in their box. But I think having a closet would be so helpful. Have you actually fulfilled that idea? Thanks!

    1. I LOVE the pallet countertop! We are about to start one at my daughters house, if you have any advice I would love to hear it lol. The countertop it will be put on is curved, just wondering if a barrier will have to be put up so the epoxy wont run or if the epoxy is thick enough that I wont have a problem? Thanks!

  38. I have a home from 1880 that I would like to replace the countertops. I love the pallet countertop that you have made and I was wondering if you may have some time to share whith me how you were able to do it. Any help would be a blessing!!!

  39. i LOVE LOVE LOVE your kitchen countertops and am planning on doing something just like that, do you have a tutorial on how to make those?

    1. Suzy,

      I do not, but that’s a great idea! My husband did them. We tore pallet boards apart, nailed them down to plywood, then poured an epoxy glaze over them. That’s the gist. πŸ˜‰

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