Sunday, October 7, 2007

Extreme Makeover Home Edition, The Woodhouse Family

Today, my husband and I were privileged to be able to take part in an episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition. The Woodhouse family from Colorado Springs, Colorado were surprised last Sunday when they were chosen for a makeover. They knew they were one of at least five families in the running. I know Kim Woodhouse personally. She's the vice-president of the Colorado Springs chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers--Worship! Write! Witness!

So, hubby and I, along with about 10,000 other people, went to the reveal. We got there just after 1:00 PM and the parking area looked like a day at the circus. We found other ACFWers and stood with them, and then we stood, and stood, and stood, and stood. I'm not sure what delayed the 2:00 reveal, but it didn't happen until about 3:30. It didn't matter. We were all enjoying watching the crew, the marching band, and the crowd--some who know the Woodhouse family personally, and some who were locals wanting in on the excitement. I was surprised at how many blue Extreme Makeover Home Edition t-shirts were in the crowd. These were people who had volunteered in some capacity during the week of building. Many of these people didn't know the family, but wanted to help in any way they could.

The weather cooperated Kayla-style. Ten-year-old Kayla suffers from Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Disorder, which limits her ability to feel pain and keeps her from sweating so she needs to be in cool temperatures at all times. The temperature hovered around 55 all day, with a very small shower that came through around 2:30. I know that God sent the front through to lower our near 90 degrees from the week prior to a safe temperature for the reveal. He sent the rain because I was complaining to those around me that I didn't want to get wet. Gotta love His sense of humor!

But we dried off sufficiently and waited some more. I think we collectively yelled for the bus driver to "Move that bus" several times before he actually did it. There were a lot of practices, including a "fake family" who arrived in the limo so the production crew could block the shot. We learned that the Woodhouse family were near the sight, in either a tent or a trailer, just waiting to hop in the limo. It was bandied about that they were hooded when they got out of the car so they couldn't see their house.

Finally, the real limo drove up. The crowd erupted in whoops and whistles. Ty Pennington stood talking to them, as he does on every show, and then we got to chant for real: "Bus driver, move that bus!" I wish I could tell you how the family reacted, but I was in the middle of some really tall people, some with children on their shoulders. I did manage to get some pics by holding my camera high and snapping away, but their backs were to me.

Some more talking to the family. Then they moved about 20 feet. More talking and filming. They moved 20 more feet. More talking and filming. They moved 20 more feet until they were finally in front of the house. More talking and filming. Finally, they got to go inside.

Ty and two men from the crew stood outside the house on the porch. Ty looked like he was studying his lines. Someone from the spectator area let out a wolf whistle. This got the three men laughing. Ty pointed to the one in shorts and we could see that he mouthed, "That was for you." The two crew members proceeded to dance and act silly just for the crowd.

With the family deep inside the home, their brand new car was brought around and parked in the driveway. We decided to wait for them to come out to see it. There were rumors flying that they could be in there for three hours since they were filming in every room, but they came out about an hour later. With pure joy on all of their faces and the kids running to their new car, Kim stood there with her mouth open. Yes, I've got pictures of that, too. This car is a beautiful blue with a white top and get this--it's a 2009 Ford Flex, a new concept. We heard Ty tell them that no one has ever sat in one of those, and no one will for another year. How cool is that?

While they were filming at the car, they asked us all to be quiet. Cameras rolled and then we heard "I'm a red-neck woman . . ." from someone's cell phone. The crew ran to her to get her to turn it off. Then someone else's phone rang. One of the crew asked to see it, then pretended to throw it. Then, we heard another phone ring. It belonged to the security guy! It was just too funny.

The house is a 4200 square foot stucco home with a bowling alley in the basement. The show is set to air in January.

Please continue to lift the Woodhouse family in your prayers. Also, please consider making a donation. I don't know if there were any announcements of checks given to the family as I've seen on other EMHE shows.

This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I'm so happy to have had a small part in it.

The following are just four of the seventy-five pictures I took. Hopefully, they give a small idea of this exciting day.

This is of the house and car, although the car didn't show up until after the family entered the house. I'm putting it out of order so you can see the entire scene.

Here they're being filmed in front of the house. It took several shots to get them to this point, and then a couple more before they were allowed inside the house. It must have taken all their restraint not to run past the camera crew and into their new home.

After the family toured the house, they saw their new car for the first time. They went on to "see it for the first time" two more times as they shot more takes. I had no idea they were such good actors! Each time, they whooped and celebrated.

Kim with her mouth open. She truly was blown away by this generous gift. This is a 2009 Ford something-or-other. Sorry, I didn't catch what it was. Nobody else has this car, and won't for another year.


Georgiana Daniels said...

Thanks for sharing your experience and photos with us! What a happy day =)

Jan Parrish said...

That's completely awesome. I'm so happy for them. God knew just what they needed. I wish I could have been there.

Annette M. Irby said...

Thanks, Kathy, for posting this! How fantastic!!

I'm praising God for this huge blessing in their lives.


Mary Connealy said...

Thanks for writing this, Kathy. What a wonderful thing for them, and how great you got in on it.

Catherine West said...

Thanks for the update! I was thinking of them and wondering how it was all going! And now I will be able to tell my family to quick asking if this is the ACFW family every time the show comes on! We'll look for it in January! I'm sure we'll get an exact day closer to the time, right?