Monday, February 28, 2011

The Entire Family, Together

This weekend we had a special gift to be together as a whole family: Dad, Mom, Whitney, Ben, Taylor, Uli, Leesha, Sam, Jayme, Caleb, and Mal...and let's not forget the two (outdoor) cats, Daffy and Timmi, Whit's guinea pig, Kingston, and the animals which like to visit every once in a while, "Peter Rabbit" and "Rusty the Rooster" (except our pheasant friend did not show up this weekend). :) The Triple "F" Ranch was true to its name: Faith, Family, and Fun!
Whitney moved back home three weeks ago and is trying to rearrange/refocus her life. It has been neat and interesting to have her home again, as it has been almost six years since she has been involved with the family at home. Uli, our foster daughter/sister, had some extremely difficult times last year while she lived with us (she lived with us for a total of two years) as she began healing from trauma in her past. She is now currently living at a foster home not too far away from us, and we are now so privileged to continue being a part of her life through phone calls and visits. (We love ya, Uli!) To get the entire Garms family under one roof at the same time was so special.

After we were settled in after attending church, we set up the tripod and snapped a family photo. (Never pass up one of those opportunities!) See above to check it out!
Oh yes, we also took this Sunday afternoon as an opportunity to run through a couple new songs. While Leesha and I did dishes (on a side note, when people ask if we have a dishwasher at home, we kids quickly reply, "Right here!"), I peeked into the living room as Mom, Sam, Jayme, and Caleb were practicing a song, and couldn't resist taking a few photos. Here's my favorite...

I can't reveal what song it is, nor how Ben, Leesha, and I will be creatively involved with it-you'll just have to attend a concert in the near future!

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for the Garms Family
P.S. Sam, Jayme, and Caleb are singing the weirdest version of the hymn, "In the Garden", as I prepare to publish this blog. Trust me, though it's in three part harmony, you do not want to hear this one! (You never know what they'll come up with next!)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tickle My Funny Bone: Early Mornings and Bad Dates

We love to laugh as a family! The kitchen is usually a center for laugh and silly randomness (sometimes, though, it gets a little out of hand!), and in our family, laughter is as contagious as a cold. :) So, I thought I might share the joy a bit.

First, here is a solemn warning to any music group who does not confirm a booked concert before arriving at the venue:

Looks like the last group who sang here ended with a barn burner and forgot to put the fire out! :)

Actually, this was after one of our very first concerts (no, we did not start a fire). While driving to the church, we had noticed a burned-out bar (hmm, shows the result of such places, right?) on the corner and had an idea. When we started toward home later, we pulled over and grabbed a couple of instruments. Ben placed the camera on a pile of equipment (we're always leaving the tripod at home when we need it most), and we posed quickly, as it was a chilly November afternoon. Thus the picture above!

Next up: a few days ago, I drew a cartoon based on a supper table discussion on one of Dad's interesting mornings. (Sorry I can't get it any larger; I would say click on the picture, but I'm having difficulties right now and it's not working out!)

The scenerios are true...including the last line about seeing which chord on the piano would wake us older kids up (except in reality, Ben was involved in that scheme), I condensed several stories into one. Gives you a picture into the Garms family's always interesting household!

Hope you might have at least chuckled at this post and your day is a little bit brighter!

"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bone." (Proverbs 17:22 ESV)

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!

Taylor for The Garms Family

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Off to the Duplicators!

I am so happy, I almost want to cry!

Everything is ready to go: the "Thank You, Lord" CD recording is mastered and on a high quality compact disc, all the graphic designing is finished, edited, and approved, and we are sending it all off tomorrow morning to the duplicators!

The local post office closed minutes before we completely finished the final listening, so we'll have to be patient and wait till the morning to send it off.

Thank you so much for all your prayers and support during this long process. All the last licenses and ISRC codes came through today (hallelujah!) and we felt a peace and joy around us as we completed the final steps. Praise the Lord!

Now comes the waiting. But waiting is good, isn't it? We learn to rely on the Lord as we wait for His perfect timing-and His timing is always best. We may think we are behind on schedule for the CD, but God is always on time, everytime.

"Thank You, Lord!"

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for the Garms

P.S. As Dad and Mom promised, let the pizza party begin!!! HOORAY!

Monday, February 21, 2011

"Thank You Lord" CD Updates

Well, here I am sitting on the couch, wrapped in a cozy blanket while a winter snowstorm ensues outside, and Ben just pushed play on our former demo CD from last October. The recording is okay, but our actual CD is going to be so much better.

Dad, Mom, Whitney, Ben, Leesha, and I finished listening to our second-to-final mixdown/master CD, and we feel very excited! It's a representation of who we are and our abilities at this time; it will be like taking a piece of our concerts home. One of the most exciting things about the album is the CD can go places we cannot go - our music and God's message can reach individuals, homes, and other venues where it may be impossible for our family to reach. May the Lord bless this new facet of ministry!

We are waiting on some licensing aspects for the songs, and I am still working on the graphic designing with Mom and Dad. The plan is to send the entire project off to the duplicators this week. We are so close! If you would, please beseech the Lord on our behalf that everything would go smoothly, all licenses would be procurred, our family would be safe from satanic interference, and the hope and power of Jesus Christ would shine through this CD.

Wow. I am suddenly overwhelmed at the goodness of God. When we first began singing together (even in the practice stages), we always dreamed of someday, somehow recording a CD; we didn't know how, when, or if even we were meant to, and now, the Lord has graciously allowed us this great opportunity. Praise the Lord!

We closed the almost-final listening session with prayer, asking the Lord to bless this project. We feel at peace about it, and are looking forward to finally making it available for YOU to be blessed.

Ben is creating an audio demo/commercial for the CD, so you will be able to hear a "sneak peek". I am also in the process of compiling video and pictures for a short behind-the-scenes video. Be on the look-out for those coming out in the near future!

I realized I never did reveal the story behind the last picture of this blog. "The time has come, and the time is now, so Marvin K. Mooney, will you please go now?" (Sorry, I couldn't help but quote a favorite Dr. Suess book!) Yes, let me inform you of a special surprise on our first album.

Around the time we began recording in the Cave, Mom had a brilliant idea to ask our church choir to sing a song with us: the fun gospel hymn, "Power in the Blood". During our concerts, as might know, we invite the audience to sing along with us, and we have lots of fun together. (In fact, Great Adventure Gospel Band has a rule: you cannot leave the concert until you sing along with us! :) We were still deciding what songs we would want on the CD, so the idea was laid aside among the other ideas.

Now, some friends from our church, Bob and Edna, love to attend our concerts (pretty soon they'll be able to sing on stage with us, I think!). Once during a concert last year, Dad asked the audience to tell us of a favorite song from the concert which they'd like to hear on our CD. Bob and Edna were there, and Bob came up to Mom, saying, "I liked that 'Power in the Blood'; it was rousing with everyone singing!" Mom later shared it with us, and then we decided to go ahead and put it on the project.

In December, we asked our church choir to sing with us on "Power in the Blood". So on December 29th, we had the choir over to our home, and recorded the sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses on separate tracks. We had much fun during the whole process and enjoyed sweet Christian fellowship afterward. (I'll post several videos of recording on the behind-the-scenes video I was talking about earlier.)

We are thrilled, to say the least, to have such a neat song on our CD, and hope you will enjoy it as well. The choir was great and added a wonderful "touch" to the arrangement.

In conclusion, pray for us. Pray for Ben and the final mastering he is doing. Pray for me as I finish creating the CD artwork. Pray for wisdom for Dad and Mom as they handle much of the licensing "stuff". We certainly appreciate it!

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for the Garms Family

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How Do You Like the New Blog?

Isn't it beautiful? Fresh, light, and inviting, right? It was time for a design update, and with our great new pictures, how could I resist? We did a photo shoot last Wednesday while we were at Faith Lutheran Church in Forest Lake, MN, and we love the results!

Leave a comment, if you're brave enough, and let us know your thoughts about the new look!

-Taylor for the Garms

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy 25th Birthday Whitney!

The Garms kids on Whit's birthday

On February 9th, our dear Whitney turned a momental 25-years old! It was the first time in many years that we were able to celebrate with her, as she is currently living at home again-and what a joy it was to commemorate the special day with our big sister and daughter.

Whitney's infectious laugh and outgoing personality lights up any room, and her tender-hearted sympathy wins even the crabbiest person over. :) She is quick to serve, resourceful and is very conscious of others' needs. A natural leader, Whitney has been a favorite sister to play with and always has the "brightest" ideas. Sam is teaching her how to play drums and has promised to award her a drummer diploma soon because of her "concentration, coordination, and determination." She is a great blessing in our lives, and are privileged to share this time with her.

Ben included this verse in his card to Whit, and I thought it was a beautiful verse to share:

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagles." (Psalm 103:2-5)

Happy Birthday Whitney! We love you!
Taylor for the Garms