Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Super Room for a Super Kid

Leaving the States can be hard on missionary kids. They miss out on a lot of things. Aside from the fact that we go years without Chick-fil-a nuggets and fries, the goodbyes to family are difficult to say the least. (Family and waffle fries are in a tight run for first place, though.) My husband continually keeps before the kids and me the incredible calling that God has placed on our family. During our family devotions a short time before our return to Cameroon, he shared many of the advantages of being a missionary. One of them that was a huge blessing to me was the fact that as missionaries, we don't have many earthly ties. We don't own land or houses. We don't really even have a solid place to call our home. We bounce back and forth between two cultures and we don't fit into either of them perfectly anymore. I don't say any of this to make you feel sorry for us. In reality, we have an advantage because our eyes can be more fully on our permanent home...heaven! Our focus has an advantage of being on the eternal without all of the earthly distractions. I don't want anyone to think we are super christians...I merely said we have an upper hand. This doesn't mean we have mastered it by any stretch of the imagination.

I say all of this as a preface to this post. I don't want anyone to think that I have to promise my kids material things to get them to return to our mission field of Cameroon. They all love living here. This has become very much home to them. To keep it exciting, however, I gave them something to look forward to upon our return. I wanted to add to the anticipation of going back home to Cameroon.

A couple of months before our furlough I told the kids that when we came back from the States we could redecorate their rooms. We had all of furlough to keep our eyes open while shopping...to get ideas off of the internet and choose how they wanted to style their room. The kids and I had a lot of fun browsing through pinterest boards and walking through the aisles of Hobby Lobby taking tons of pictures for ideas on what to do in their rooms. We came back bursting with ideas and we lost no time into putting those ideas into action.

Pastor Eugene is a member of Faith Baptist Church and an incredible artist. We sold many of his paintings while we traveled on furlough. He was the perfect person to reinvent Drew's boring room. Here is a before picture of Drew's room:

Ben's mom made Drew a John Deere quilt when he was small, so that was his original theme. I stenciled tractors on the border of his room and that was pretty much the extent of my decorating abilities. You can see hints of Drew's ideas in the before photos though...superheroes. He wanted a grown-up looking super hero room. Pinterest was my best friend and if any of my blog readers follow my Pinterest board, you saw my pins from the last couple of months, and you probably already have an idea of what his room is going to look like. I printed the photos that I found on pinterest, explained in detail to Pastor Eugene what we wanted and let him loose. I trusted his artistic judgement and knew he would do an amazing job piecemealing my ideas into an amazing work of art.

The idea was a faux brick wall. I brought back a mop sponge from the states, and he used this as the basis for the bricks. He brushed paint onto the sponge and then basically stenciled it on the wall. He painted the two accent walls with a gray base paint to resemble the mortar/cement for the bricks and then he got to work adding the brick. The base brick was done in an orangey color reminiscent of Georgia clay. He left open spaces for other brick colors at first. He began to fill those spots in with a red brick color. At that point I wasn't really happy with the orange. When I think of brick, I think of red. This is where culture comes in. The bricks in Cameroon are made of mud and most of the houses are the orangey color. So, when he thinks "brick" the color that comes into his mind is orange, and when I think "brick," I see red. So, after I explained this and showed him some more photos online he adjusted things, and the result was amazing and so very realistic!  He wasn't finished there, however. He told me he was going to add some black since often you will see bricks that are burned. I thought that was an amazing idea and it really added some depth and dimension to the look!

Here you can see the finished brick work. The piece de resistance, however, is the amazing mural that Pastor Eugene painted on the wall. Originally we were going to have him paint one brick wall, and then on the wall you see above, have a very cartoon looking blocked cityscape. Kind of like this:

Drew had a different idea, however. Late one night as I was walking into my bedroom and Drew should have been fast asleep, I heard a whisper out of his room, "Mom!" He proceeded to share his super cool idea of having a realistic cityscape, but he wanted it to appear like you could view it out of a broken brick wall. So, we explained the idea to Pastor Eugene and he did an amazing job of bringing Drew's idea to life!

Here is a collage of all angles of the finished product. 

The other two walls are white and we have commissioned Pastor Eugene to do some very cool Super Hero artwork on canvas. I can't wait to show you those when he is done! We are so thrilled with the finished product. Drew couldn't be happier. Each day that Eugene would come to paint, we would sneak in there and watch the progress. Here are a few more photos. In addition to the ones above, this will give you a better idea of the progression of his work.

So there you have it. A super room for a very special and super kid. Today the final coats of oil paint went on the trim in the room. Drew has to wait a couple more days for all of that to dry and then he can move back in! He is pretty excited ... and also pretty tired of sleeping on the floor! :) haha!

Here is a little sneak peek into something I'm doing to freshen up my own bedroom. I'll be sure to blog about it when I'm done with my little project as well.

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  1. Great blog, Beautiful. I love you.

  2. Becca, When are you going to bring Pastor Eugene back to the States with you? What an incredible room!
    Great job to Drew as well for envisioning that city-scape. That is amazing!

  3. Love it. I also love Drews idea about the city scape. I think Drew does a lot of thinking in his room at night. Like titles for his stories and such. He's a thinker.