Monday, November 12, 2007

Extreme Makeover Home Edition Calls Us!!

This was a weekend to remember to say the least!. Thursday November 8th I received a message on my cell phone--the message said Hi this is KK Gregory with Extreme Makeover Home Edition and we would like to know if you guys would make a scrapbook for this family we are making a house for. It's really short notice but would you call me back." Not really getting the drift of the whole message. I called back this girl and said "now what do you want us to do?". She said they were working on a house and could we come get some photos they had found and scrapbook them. I still thought she was from some TV station in KS justing doing a little Makeover project, but I said sure we could do that. She said "Stop by the set and get the photos". Ok, I got the address and called Ali. Ali was on her way to Nebraska to the Siver Bella with Kara Ward and up until this moment she was thrilled to be going. Then I told her we were definitely working with the REAL Extreme Home Make Over ABC and she about flipped out. Now Linda and I were already stressing out because that weekend we were decorating the store for Holiday Open House and debuting the Creative Cafe and having a Cinderella Crop and ALi was GONE!!! Not that we are all attached to the hip--but really we are to make this store run great. I told Ali to get out of the car and stand on the highway and we would pick her up. Ok, so she didn't go for that (or Kara wasn't going to let her out of the car) So she and I played phone tag getting the ball rolling. Ali immediately called K & Co and they donated leather album and paper and embellishments and a several beautiful wood frames AND and keepsake wooden box with Marine emblem on front. Thank God that Jodi from K& Co even brought all that to the store. I arrived at the store about 4:30pm and called Linda who didn't have a clue what was about to hit her. Ali's husband knew where this house was so he lead the way for Linda, my Granddaughter Lexie and I. Now they have everything blocked off for blocks so Tom delivered us to the "Volunteer Check In Station", we told the guy there we needed to see KK that she had called us to meet her for scrapbooks. He looked at us like we were surely not going to try to use that made up story to get by him. He called security and to his surprise the person on the other radio told him to give us VIP badges and put us on a bus to go to the house. Ok, we thought KK would have someone hand over the pictures but no one knew what or who we were, so they had us walk to to the spectator area. It's all blocked off with metal fences and no one can get past them, but they let us though to the VIP tent where they radio KK and she says to meet us back up the hill at the trailer. So up the hill we go huffing and a puffing (two fat girls aren't make for walkn up and down hills) This darling little girl with an Elmer Hud hat on meets us and treats us like long lost relatives (I mean relatives you really like) She gives us the pictures in a says come on and I'll give you a tour of the set. I was thinking heck no we have to get back and get started because we hadn't even started decorating the store for the Open House tomorrow,but off we trailed behind her. My little Lexie was now having the time of her life and Linda and I couldn't believe KK was now walking us across the street on to the front yard of the HOUSE! She walked us behind the house and showed us the tents where they do metal and woodwork and the producer trailers and the Grip trailer with camera equipment. Then she took us inside Johnny's trailer and insisted we eat at the food tent while she got a disc for us.
Then Johnny walked by and she grabbed him and she "Please meet the Sisters". He was thrilled I'm sure >LOL Linda and I really didn't know who he was so we didn't fall all over him,so when he walked away KK says "are you guys familiar with the show?" By now she thinks we are true hicks . I kept thinking we got to get out of here if we have any chance of getting this book made by 5 Pm Friday. I have to admit it was all pretty amazing the team work, they have everything timed into fifteen minute segments so they know if they are even 3 minutes behind. When we were are the front of the house there was no sod when we came back around there was grass, flowers and trees. Its like Alice in Wonderland. So amazing and thrilling. We trekked back up the hill and back on the bus back to our car. Now panic sets in!! How will we ever get the store cleaned up and decorated, food and snacks ready and make this book???
Linda's wonder husband and son had already hung the banners while we were gone so I went to my office and started research on Daniel and the makeover stories while Linda took over the store and Open House details. Luckily, Sheila and Suzanne were in the store so they jumped on board to help with the albums. There were very few photos to work with and they were not very not quality so I thought how in the world are we going to make a great book out of only these few pictures. Now they are in no order and made no sense to us, so Suzanne laid them out on the table and make grouping out of them the best she could. Then we divided them and Suzanne, Sheila and I were to make TEN layout each and off they went. We synchronized our watches and said to meet back at the store by 3:30pm Friday and then we would put all out work together and deliver to the house by 5Pm Friday. Oh MY GOD I thought to myself, there is know way we can possibly get this all done and my mind went totally blank when I looked at those few little pictures I was left to work with. Now Ali, was about in tears that she wasn't here to help work on this so I told her I would use her Patriotic Album, that's when I thought it would be soooo neat to make it into an Extreme Makeover Home Edition for Danny's house. Small problem, I had NO pictures of that at all!! I searched on the web for pics and any information about Danny until 2:30am then I had to drive home to St. Joseph because my little Lexie (Who had been working with Linda and Kyle pricing and decorating the store) had a school program on Friday, where she was to receive two honor awards. Lexie and I arrived at home by 3:30am and I tried to sleep. I got up a 7am and tried to wake Lexie but she was a zombie and she cried because she wanted to be a part of helping Danny . She said she could get an award any day but she could never do this again, so what could I do but load her back in the car and we drove back to the store. I worked frantically on the Make Over book and as time was slipping by Linda helped me finish the layouts I had accepted from Suzanne. 3:30pm Time never flew by so quickly before I swear---- Sheila,her sister, and Suzanne arrive and we all put our work on the tables. It was truly amazing what we had all done in such a short time. They were awesome and we stood and stared. We had finished about 35 layouts and they looked so good all together. Linda and I really didn't think we should be absent when we were having an Open House so we stayed to Greet everyone and we really had a fun time. About 8:45pm KK called from the set and said the Marines where at the house and really want to see the albums could we bring them right over. GEEZE! Linda and I tell everyone we have to go and ran out the doors with the EK Success Basket, the box, the Big Framed photos, and the two albums. Kyle (Linda's son) was at the wheel with Lexie riding shotgun.

This time we drove up to the guards and told them KK told us to come Right Away. They radio down to the House and say "the Sisters are here". (by now we think we are Nuns or something, especially with all the VIP treatment we are receiving) We hear "Send them on down" and he motions for us to drive down the street where the house sets. (now keep in mind that No One but No One can go down that street) so we are totally surprised.
An officer is in front of the House and there is a tiny space between two other cars directly in front of the house that he motions Kyle to pull into. PANIC! He wants Kyle to drive in nose first not back in. Kyle about has a heart attack, because there are hundreds of people over on the other side of the street behind gates watching every move and here we are fix'n to get stuck between to vehicles. Yes, you guessed it, we had to pull in and out and in and out. Finally, the officer moved and had Kyle back in. Whew! We jump out of the car and KK is right at the door dying to get her hands on the Albums. We are hoping they even make sense, because we had no idea what order to put them in. She immediately starts crying and all the Marines surround the car. It was heartwarming to see how touched they were as they look at each and every picture. Pictures that we thought, how will we make that look good they were ooing and ahhing over. They took out flashlights and held them over the books so all could see. They laughed and joked and reminisced. We knew then and there it was all worth the effort, what a blessing that moment was. I forgot to tell you that "the producers" really didn't want a "scrapbook". They had framed some military things of Danny's and consider themselves good to go, but KK had a friend die in the War and she is a "scrapper" so she kind of called us in ooff the record. She said she just knew how important a scrapbook with all his unit and the accident pictures would mean to Danny and she was sure the producers would like it once they saw how much Danny loved it. As the Marines were hovered over the car and KK was crying, Johnny walked by and wanted to know what was going on, so he stared looking at the Scrapbooks and he was also very touched. So KK was right, they did love the Scrapbooks once they saw them and the reaction to them. KK and the Marines took all the frames and Scrapbooks into the finished house into Danny's new Military themed office and looked at everything again. Then KK came out and told Linda, Kyle, Lexie and I we could just go in the house and look around or whatever we wanted to do!! WOW, can you believe that? We couldn't, but we approached the front doors like Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion. We timidly opened the front doors waiting for the OZ to holler at us, but to the contraire we stood in the open doorway speechless (and if you know our family that is a miracle). I know how great these houses look on TV but believe me when I say nothing prepares you for how amazing they are in person. I can't tell you the details but WOW WOW WOW!! We drifted through each room not thinking anything could top that and then the next room would me a new surprise. Really it felt like we were in some kind of a dream, the way everyone let us do whatever we wanted and treated us like part of the crew. My little Lexie still hasn't recouped. As we were going out the back yard, KK comes out and says the Marines loved what we did so much they wanted to know if we could possibly frame a Marine T Shirt that had VERY important autographs on it. I said "No problem" as my sister nearly kicked me. As we got back in the car she said, "were on earth or we going to go to get that shadow boxed by noon tomorrow (Sat)?" Well, I thought if God was doing all this for us and Danny surely He would help us find someone to do it in time. The PRESSURE was back on.---the "Rest of the Story" on the next slide show.

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