Teaching that Work is Fun!
Today after regular school, I thought REAL LIFE school should start by teaching that work is fun! So many people today (including me) separate work from fun. All activities can be fun even if at first glance it looks like work. I just love to see people who love their work no matter what the job, especially employees! I see tons of satisfaction and joy on the kid’s faces after they have completed a REAL job that was just a little harder than they thought they could do. Some may complain through it all, but they ALL love the final result of hard work. By the time they reach age 10, they usually have been trained not to complain and are fantastic work companions. I grew up as an only child and now I just love having someone work with me. I make it a point not to do any work alone. Work is such a fun time.
Scott tells me that I under-estimate the time that most jobs require and this job was no different. We started a project that I wanted to accomplish in one day. I wanted to redecorate an entire room for my girls so that my youngest daughter could move into the big girls room. It actually took about 3 days to complete; I wasn’t too far off. I would not have been able to do this in 3 days if it weren’t for the help of the kids. The boys moved the furniture, the girls did the painting, and Scott and Hunter built the headboards.
You wouldn’t believe how projects fly by when you have 7 little helpers. That’s 14 extra hands. The boys moved my furniture and helped to make the headboards, and the girls and I painted! It is good for my boys to serve the girls…good training for being a great husband!
The most challenging part of our “renovation” was fitting 3 girls into 1 room. 3 girls, 1 room equals an intense logistical puzzle. I know what you’re thinking. She must be asking for trouble having that many girls cohabitating in one room. Or… that room must be massive to fit 3 girls. Surprisingly enough, neither of those scenarios are the case. I decided to have them all in the same space because they are best friends and they wanted to be together. I see these little ones playing, learning, growing and more importantly creating a loving sisterly bond over the next few years. And as for the space issue… this is a normal size room, which required a little out of the box thinking. But that comes with the territory of having 7 children.
I wanted this room to be a sanctuary for these little women. I wanted it to feel light, bright, and airy. I chose a Benjamin Moore color named Hepplewhite Ivory for the walls. It added the right touch of contrast not sparing any sense of warmth and openness.
We didn’t stop there. We brought out a stencil and used another Benjamin Moore color named Powell Buff, a rich golden hue, to add more texture to the walls. Then we added a bit of shimmer in a pearl shade in spots to give the girls a little glamour. You can never go wrong with a little glamour!
I’m all about being budget friendly and that meant using a lot of existing furniture and linens. We kept the curtains, dresser and mirror, and moved in a daybed from our study as Milly’s “big girl bed”. We spent our money on pillows and shams, a floor lamp, table lamp, paint, and supplies. The lamp shades are a wheat linen color. I felt that keeping all the bed linens in different shades of white would give texture, but keep the room simple.
I pushed the twin beds end-to-end creating a seating area for daytime.
This opened up a “common area” for play. I added the oversized pillows to make a cozy spot for reading, homework, or just playing with dolls. I actually used old linen curtains that I retrieved from the attic for the daybed coverlet. Scott and I made the stenciled upholstered headboards- more on those later. I brought in the antique daybed and added pillows to that as well. I threw in a beautiful table that Scott made for me out of sinker cypress, added the lamps, and viola!
It never fails! Beautiful smiles from beautiful girls that have worked hard on a creative, fun project. I pray these sweet girls look back on this time and have fond memories with their sisters. Here’s to quick redecorating and lasting friendships! Teaching that work is fun is a long but rewarding process. It seems to come more quickly to some than others. I want my kids to say that their hobbies are gardening, making a house a home, making furniture, building guns, or making something out of nothing! I want them to love every minute of life; not just the minutes they are “playing”. If you think about it, most kids pretend to be working in their play. We as adults do too for that matter. I guess I need to continue to re-shape my thinking as I train these little ones to work hard and love ALL of life!