Saturday, June 21, 2008

Show and Tell with Mel

So this weeks show and tell isnt really about me, but about what my husband and our family and friends got to be part of. Keith works for his family business which is a spray texture and drywall company. In August of 2007 his company was honored to be part of the show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

This episode was very special too because it was the 100th family that Extreme Makeover: Home Edition had built a house for. It was a very exciting time. The project was very hush hush. Nobody involved could talk about it to anyone. As a matter of fact, any information that was passed along from the builder to any of the suppliers/contractors involved was named "Project 508" (the 508 stands for something, but I cant recall at the moment).

They ended up building the house in 99 hours. Keith, members of our family and friends were up at all hours of the night and had to be prepared to do their work at a moments notice. Sometimes leaving the house at 2am because that's when the drywall was scheduled to be hung. Most of Keith's family was there either working or volunteering throughout the week. A few of our friends work for Keith too and volunteered their time with the company. I unfortunately did not get a chance to get down there because I didn't have anyone to watch Ella.

The Swenson-Lee family lives in Minnetonka, MN and were victims of domestic violence. Their story has been featured in many newspapers and more notably on Dateline NBC. On September 22, 2006 the lives of Teri Lee's four children were forever changed. Teri Lee's ex-boyfriend, whom she had a restraining order against, broke into the family's home and fatally shot Lee and her boyfriend. The children, who lost their father in a car accident a few years before, were home at the time. Lee's then 11-year old daughter witnessed the shootings. Police found her two young sons hiding in a closet. None of the children were physically harmed.

Lee's sister, Vicki Seliger Swenson and her husband, Erik, both school teachers, adopted Terri's four children and brought them into their three bedroom home. With three children of their own and another on the way, the Swenson-Lee family has doubled in less than a year and was running out of space.

I cant even tell you though how rewarding it was for Keith, the business, all the family and our friends to be involved with this. The tragedy that this family went through and the love that the Swenson family had to take in Terri's 4 children was so overwhelming. It is something that we (even through I didn't get to go down, I still feel like I lived it through him) will always be proud to have been a part of. It is something we will be able to tell our grandchildren.

Ok, now for my 2 cents....When the house was finished, ABC hosted a party downtown for all of the volunteers involved. It was very nice, had lots of food and an open bar. We all went and had a great time. We were even told that the cast of the show would be stopping, who are we most excited to see? Why Ty Pennington, of course. Thankfully, they did all show up later on in the night, after we had been there for a few hours. They even walked around for a short time to take pictures and sign autographs. I gotta tell ya, to see the women who frantically surrounded him was amazing. Here are all of these pretty girls, some hootchie, trying to get his attention....and then there's my mother in law. Dab smack in the middle of them. She didn't care if she got to talk to him or not, she just wanted to be close to him. It made me laugh so hard. I was actually quite disappointed in the real thing....On TV, TY looks to me to be a very tall, broad shouldered kind of guy. NOT AT ALL. Little man, is all I kept thinking. Little man. He was only like 5'7" and very slender. His pants were falling off of his ass so many time he had to pull them up over and over. And yes ladies....I saw his plumber butt. It was surreal, and actually quite a turn off. Dont get me wrong. Ty is very attractive, but, little man....little man.

So anyways, I just looked on the website for the show and coincidentally, it is replaying our episode tomorrow night! Sunday, June 22 8pm/7c. Check it out if you can.

Images were provided by the builder of the project: TJB Homes
Check out other Show and Teller's here.


  1. Wow, that is so totally cool! And so totally funny about Ty. Hehe!

  2. Such a wonderful and cool experience. The fact that Ty is so short is hilarious.

  3. I saw that episode - it was great! What an honor for your husband's company to be chosen.

    And TOO FUNNY about Ty!!!

  4. When EMHE was in Kansas City, a friend of mine was involved and she said the same thing. Seeing Ty in person kind of killed the dream. She said he was attractive but not as much as attractive as on television and yes, she said he was a little man. :0)

  5. I think that's a riot about your MIL.

    After hearing the inside scoop on a house Extreme Makeover built in my area, I have sort of mixed feelings about the program. It sounds like your husband had a much more positive experience.

  6. That's such a cool story-- when I have time, I love watching the show and always wonder about all of the volunteers it takes to pull off what they do. Interesting how things can seem so much more "glamorous" on television than in real life. I've seen a few celebrities in real life and they're NEVER as handsome/beautiful/thin/tall/flawless as they seem on tv. Congrats on being part of something so special though!

  7. I love the show and admire all who make it happen in one week. I will say that most famous people I have seen in person all seem to be "smaller" than on the screen. I am sure his is still just as animated and genuine. It is a wonderful show!
    I remember that episode and will watch it again (well, in between the NASCAR race).

    Alyson LID 01/27/06

  8. That is so cool! Sounds like an awesome experience. :0)

    He's still cute - even if he is short!

  9. What a cool experience!!!

    I love this show & I am now even more excited to watch it tommorrow.

    And that is just too cute about your MIL :)

  10. I just opened your S&T after recording the tonight's episode of EHM. What an amazing story and great experience.

    lmao about Ty - yuck!

  11. Great show n tell! It is fun to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, too.

  12. Joanna
    Thank you for sharing, what a cool thing to be a part of! "To truly find yourself you have to lose yourself in the service of another" I heard this somewhere.

  13. Shoot! I wish I would've read this yesterday as I would've loved to see the replay last night. Your description of Ty made me laugh out loud. Makes us appreciate what we have all the more doesn't it? Thanks for retelling the story.

  14. What a great experience and how funny about Ty.

  15. How cool that you guys were a part of EMHE! I LOVE that show. Makes me cry every stinkin' time.

    Isn't it strange how celebrities (especially men) are always so tiny IRL? And they're usually not nearly as attractive as they appear on screen. The only exception I've ever seen is Pierce Brosnan. The man is even better looking in person!

  16. Dang, I'm so behind in reading, I would have loved to have watched that show! I remember that story, but didn't know what happened to her kids. That was so wonderful that your family was a part of making their lives better. Those stories just break your heart, but knowing they have a loving family to fall back on is wonderful.

    Oh, and it seems like all celebrities are TINY. Little men, little men is right.