I don’t know about you, but I am pretty much o-ver most of the shows my kids watch. When they do watch television I work, but every once in a while it’s nice to snuggle up and watch something with them. Trouble is, I don’t particularly care for the shows they like. I mean, I do think there is some great kids programming out there these days (Daniel Tiger anyone?!) but even as many options as there are, I just don’t have something I love to watch with them, until now.
If you haven’t seen it, “Fixer Upper” is a 60 minute (42 with DVR) show on HGTV about Chip and Joanna Gaines, who live on a small farm in Waco Texas and renovate homes. Of course, they do much more than that, and it turns out my kids and I BOTH love to watch.
Here’s why your family might too:
1. Chip and Joanna work together. It’s cool to see a couple whose roles and gifts complement each other so well. It’s also neat to see how their skills rub off on each other. Most couples wouldn’t imagine tackling working together (especially renovating!) but these two are an inspiration. They are genuinely kind to one another and appreciative of the other person and their role in the project. They share responsibilities and even let the other person tackle projects they’d rather do themselves sometimes.
2. They involve their children in their work. Their four kids are always involved in their projects in some way, whether picking out décor, making crafts, picking fruit for display or simply showing up to encourage their mama, they know what their parents do. For me, this is so valuable, because it creates an open door between work and home so that kids see work as an important and meaningful part of life instead of something that simply keeps parents away.
3. The words “I love you” are spoken in every episode I have seen, which is all of them, many times. I mean, there aren’t a lot of renovation shows (or shows in general) where kids are hearing and seeing love expressed between spouses or from parents to children, but Chip and Joanna do, often.
4. They are funny. Chip is a little slap-stick and Joanna is a silly kind of funny, but they absolutely make us laugh – and there’s just something about laughing together that’s good for a family. Laughter heals a long day almost every time.
5. Joanna works outside and inside her home, and it’s cool to see the balance. Chip takes as much responsibility for the kids as she does, and he cheers her on in front of them (and vice versa) which is so great to see in a world where spouses often speak so poorly of one another.
6. The farm. My kids just love when they are on the farm. Whether they are planting things, picking things from the greenhouse, feeding cattle, or playing with chickens, the farm is fun. It’s great to start conversations about where things come from and what we can grow ourselves. (I’m still waiting on all this farming knowledge to magically transfer to me via the television and I stop killing every living thing I didn’t actually birth. I’ll let you know when that happens.)
7. They invest in things others would give up on. The whole crux of the show is about finding the good in things that might seem broken and bringing them to light. They see value in homes other people would walk right by, and there are lessons there that reach far beyond renovating. There’s nothing like seeing dead things come to life, and that’s their specialty.
Fixer Upper airs on HGTV at 9PM Tuesday evenings (or reruns are on almost every single day!) – and if you don’t have cable, you can watch full episodes at HGTV.com or stream on Amazon or Netflix.
Special thanks to Carrie Burch for sharing her custom cross-stitch of the Gaines family. You can find Stitchfolks on Etsy.