Sunday, October 21, 2007

An Extreme End to an Extreme Week

Well, I suppose I need to finish chronicling our involvement with the Extreme Home Makeover experience at Freedom Hills. Unfortunately, I don't have any more pictures to add since I was more focused on being in the right place and letting the kids enjoy themselves than snapping shots of stars.

We decided we wanted to see Renee's reaction (and I was hoping to be close to Robyn) during the unveiling of the house and so we traveled up to the farm right after church and took up our places in the VIP spectator section. Unfortunately, by the time we got there the only thing we could see were the rear ends of the contractors surrounding the limo. While most people were yelling "Move That Bus!" we were chanting "Move Those Butts!" We completely missed the moment and Robyn herself was enough of a VIP that I wasn't really able to get near to her either.

Having had a disappointing time of it so far, we wandered down to the new playground area that was built in front of the barn. The kids mingled with basically the same crowd with whom we'd been thrown together on Tuesday, ate chocolate chip cookies, drank water and waited. There was a lot of waiting going on. I think there were about 2 hours scheduled for the family to be filmed touring their new house and then they were scheduled to tour the barn and then on to the new riding ring. The plan was that when they opened the doors to the riding ring the culminating surprise would be for Renee et al to see the faces of all their dear ones standing there welcoming them home. This was a great idea for the first hour or so....

Once the house tour was coming to a close, we were shooed into the ring where we waited in as much silence as one can muster with about 100 people in an enclosed space, many of whom are children with disabilities, while they filmed the unveiling of the barn. We did get a brief look-see as we had to go through the barn to get to the ring and it is simply gorgeous! (Although some of the horses were very *not* happy with the changes!). The design team showed up about 20 minutes before Renee, Ellie and Alex and did their best to disrupt the hard-won semi-silence we'd managed to maintain. They remembered many of the kids and had a great time cutting up with each other. I think Miriam now considers Ed to be here personal friend and for all I know her arms were still entwined around his middle when the cameras started to roll. Suddenly the team was ordered to arrange themselves in front of the crowd and the doors were opened. Renee seemed really pleased with the ring, although she and the kids looked really tired to me - not surprising considering their marathon day. They filmed that take from several angles. Miah and Nate were starting to get antsy so we took them outside for the remainder of the filming. Unfortunately, the filming was over and Renee finally had a chance to mingle with folks but we didn't realize it so I missed my chance to get with her and hear her reaction. Alex did seem excited about his room. I was really hoping for something way cool for him.

So that's about it. Look for our family in bits and pieces when the show airs which is rumored to be sometime in January. Oh yeah, just for the record I want to say that "our" dog will also be on the show. On Monday they filmed a segment involving the trailering of horses. Since Ed refused to be anywhere near the animals, he called for a dog who he then went through the motions of trailering to "show" the rest of the team how it's done. He ended up carrying Strider down the hill and into the trailer. Strider was named by our children, claimed by our children and beaten and abused by Pooka during his short stay with us after we returned home following the fire and tried to resume a two-dog household. He's been living as Robyn's husband's Harry's dog ever since we had to return him to the farm when it was obvious Pook was not able to share her roost.

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