Max needs money.

I mean, he’s a 16-year-old boy who has to pay for 1/2 of all his clothes and gas money (more about that here) and upcoming-I’m-sure-expensive dates.  Plus he really likes to eat at Costa Vida 🙂

So he needed a summer job like nobody’s business (thanks for all the ideas about summer jobs back here).

The problem is that he has two national volleyball tournaments this summer and some serious practices leading up to them, so getting a regular job was hard to come by.

On a separate problem, we needed some help at our new home building site.  There were some serious things that needed to be moved and cleaned out to keep the work going. 

So we hired Max and a few friends to help out for the day.
2013-05-24 iPhone 763052013-05-24 iPhone 76306They really did work hard, although it looks like hardly working in that picture up there.

That and a discussion with a friend gave Dave the whiz bang idea to hire Max to be the go-to grunt-guy at the new house.  We would have to pay someone to do it anyway, so why not hire our own son who needs the money and who could learn some serious great stuff in the process.

Plus, what a great feeling to work so hard on something and then be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor by actually living there. 

I personally thought it was a brilliant plan that husband of mine conjured up.

Max did too at first, especially when he and Dave sat down to work out the details and a goal for how much cash he should save up by the beginning of the next school year.2013-06-02 iPhone 77000
But some days I’m not so sure he is pleased as punch about that thing.

It is HOT around here I tell you.  2013-06-29 iPhone 80029
Oh wait, it did get down to a low of 90 that night, (brrrrr), but 118?  Yeah, that doesn’t make for fun outdoor construction work.

He has cleaned up more insulation and scrap stuff from the builders than he’d want to count:2013-06-26 iPhone 79952
But he’s also tried his hand at using a small jack hammer to fix the garage:2013-06-06 iPhone 77214
He’s helped wire some of the lighting:2013-06-06 iPhone 77223
And more jack-hammering on the back porch:2013-06-07 iPhone 77236
I tried it for a little while to see how rough it was, and I’ll just say that is no cake-walk.2013-06-07 iPhone 77234I told him it would make for some big muscles though, cause that thing is hefty. 

He smiled his slow smile at that little fact.

More wiring:2013-06-20 iPhone 79791
And cleaning.2013-05-22 summer kick-off 758632013-06-04 iPhone 770382013-06-27 summer 79618I’m a pretty proud Mama of that boy right now. 

Because he hasn’t complained (much).

And I’m always a lover of the “we do hard things principle.” (here and here)

Now if we can just get that thing done and move on in…

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  1. Wow, what a great worker he is! It's so important to foster a good work ethic in teenagers nowadays. S many parents seem not to bother, crazy!

    Also those temperatures!!! You can keep that heat. It was the hottest day of the year so far here in London yesterday – a 'scorching' 82 degrees.

    It's 75 today and everybody is complaining about how hot it is!

  2. I think your kids are inspiring. While I can't have children, I do love helping with my nieces and nephews and I will certainly be sharing this great summer job idea with them. Living in Calgary where all the flooding has happened, there is lots of volunteer and paid labour to be done.

    Thanks for the great message!

  3. Can I send my 17 year old son to your place for awhile? I think he's confused as to why the money isn't falling form the tree when he shakes it anymore.

  4. We decided to take the cleaning on at our new house too instead of hiring it out. We figured it was a good way to cut cost, and teach our kids to work hard. I hope they will also appreciate the house more when we move it, fingers crossed. Good luck, my kids are only 10, 8, and 6 and I already feel like they cost a fortune, the cost of teenagers scares me ;).

  5. You got pretty family and hard working sons:) . Having a good family is all you need ,i wish i had a family like this .N he is great son indeed 😀

  6. Oh man, I have been whinging about the weather here but our highest day time temperatures have been lower than your lowest night time ones! I think I would simply stretch out on the ground and die if I were over there. I'm so impressed that Max can work in that heat at all (and so glad my summer job is in a generally cool office!).

  7. Work usually doesn't conform to free time.

    I think you are lucky there were no injuries. I don't see any safety items worn on legs and feet.

  8. OH, my goodness, I am so excited for you! A new home and it looks wonderful! Can't wait for you to share more pictures. And, I love the idea of them helping with clean up. I have a son who is 15 and I am always trying to find hard labor for him to do. I think it makes him feel so much better about himself and instills a confidence that can be found no other way. Thanks for sharing. And, as for the safety comment, they weren't wearing flip flops and let's face it, sometimes it's all we can do to get our kids to the place we want them without hassling them about one more thing. 🙂

  9. It's a power tool. No idea if there is an age requirment in the state for using a small jackhammer? Gym shoes aren't going to protect the foot much better than flip flops. In this case he is not a kid but a worker. Pieces can fly so the legs should have protection. Can also damage hearing.

    I agree most do something risky in life and manage to survive.

  10. I think I must have missed something…You're building a new home? I thought you guys had bought an already existing home?

    On another note—THOSE TEMPS! Ack! I would die! Good for Max for learning hard work and the value of a dollar.

  11. Hi Shawni,

    His work is impressive! But I noticed the shoe issue as well.
    I used to work in construction and even for short visits my technical colleagues would change into safety shoes. They are nog expensive and very, very worthwile.

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