Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

The picture above symbolizes what today is really about. It says so much without even saying a word.

President Barack Obama rests his hand on President Lincoln's Inaugural Bible as his wife Michelle Obama holds it as he takes the oath of office at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Edited on Jan. 24, 2009.....OK, call me warped, and I guess you can call DD warped as well because she's the one who pointed it out to me, but doesn't it look like an alien is holding that Bible? I know it was cold out there and everything, but I think she should NOT have worn those green gloves.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Move That Bus!!!!!!!

We DID make it back to the site of Extreme Home Makeover. Thursday we took the afternoon off and went to see them "Move That Bus".

We rode the bus again from the Convention Center to the homesite. The bus was packed! But, everyone was happy and smiling. Even the lady who's cut in half in this picture who lived by the worksite, but they wouldn't let her walk in. She had to drive to the Convention Center and come back on the bus to see everything.

Before we even got off the bus, we could see the crowd. There were so many people there. I even saw one of my students there. Oops! Teacher got caught playing hooky.

We were in the front row, but not right in front of the house this time. We were about 3 houses down the street. We weren't able to see the close up stuff at the house, but at least we were there and got to experience the whole thing. We'll see the up close stuff on TV anyway.

DD and I made a sign to hold up (hoping that would get us on camera). I chose the flourescent yellow color because I thought it would be the most "eye-catching". Here is DD holding the sign and showing both sides (wish I could "move that porta-potty", but it is what it is).

Being that there is a TV show being filmed during this whole process, things get done a little out of order. The crowd shots for the family coming home in the limo and "Move that Bus" are shot a couple hours before the family even arrives. Here is the empty limo (although we didn't know that at the time):

There was a LOT of standing around. The crowd went wild every time there was a hint that the family was coming or that Ty was spotted on the scene. Here he is going over his lines:

and with Didiayer:

The family was scheduled to arrive between 2 - 3, but actually drove down the street at 4:00 p.m. We all cheered and shouted and waved our signs. It was LOUD! As soon as the limo passed us, the crowd moved right in and followed it towards the house. DD and I were behind a little baracade and couldn't join in on that.

There are several times that we MAY show up on the TV show (crowd shots of the limo coming down the street and move that bus, and then when Ty runs past giving high fives to the crowd). Yes, we did get a high five. Well, I got more of a sideways one (He hit my finger) and he missed DD's hand completely.

And, finally, here is the family as they unlock the door to their new house:

Hey, you know the bus>

Yeh, that one. Well, on Monday afternoon, DD and I saw that very bus parked in the downtown metropolis of our tiny little town. It was parked in front of the thrift store and across the street from the one and only market. Wonder if our podunk village is going to be on national TV?

Well, you know where we'll be at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 8th. Watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition! Check it out!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wow! It IS Extreme!

There were over 4,000 people volunteer for the Extreme Home Makeover build, but we weren't picked to help out. Oh well. The family chosen to receive the makeover live in Fresno so at least it's close enough for us to go watch. MaryAnne, the mom, was born without legs and only one functioning arm. She is the single mother of four teenage children. She has worked very hard to support them on her own and buy her own house, but the house is not setup for a person in a wheelchair and she's always getting hurt in her own home. The family is on vacation in Colorado this week while their "dream home" is being built back here.
I went to the worksite this morning. WOW! It IS Extreme! The timing and teamwork and cooperation that goes into the building of a house in such a short time is truly amazing.

Everyone parked at the convention center and rode the bus onto the site. The crew has several whole city blocks filled with trucks, trailers, motorhomes and equipment. We arrived at about 8:40 in the morning and it was cold and foggy. They ran into a problem last night so the pouring of the concrete was delayed until this morning. When I got there, they were putting the finishing touches on the concrete. They added something to the mix to make it dry VERY fast. Within an hour, they were ready for the walls.

Michael Moloney, one of the designers, shot a scene explaining the situation. "Here we are on the morning of Day 3 and we're a little bit behind schedule. When we were digging the foundation, we ran into a TON of mud and water. But, early this morning we brought in this material that is made out of sand and ground concrete which is keeping with our green theme and that took care of the problem. If there's one thing we have learned from MaryAnne, it's that nothing can keep us down." That and several variations are what he said over and over and over again as the camera crew filmed. They must have done at least 10 takes, probably more. And, he was freezing. He had several bloopers which were pretty funny and got everyone laughing. He really played to the crowd.

When he was done shooting his scene, he came over to talk to some of the spectators and sign autographs. And, yes, his teeth are really that white in person. And, he's thinner in real life and FULL of energy and personality.

I was right in the front row as the cameraman went by so you very well may see me on the show (if I don't get cut). I'm right in the front row in front of the house wearing a red baseball cap, a red turtleneck and a dark grey wool coat. Look for me! Look how stinkin' close I am to the action!

Next up, Designer Didiayer Snyder......

And the arrival of the walls....

It was quite something to see these walls come off the truck. They just unhooked the yellow straps, the truck beds slid together, the front tilted up and the framed walls were dumped off the back with a big thud and a cloud of dust.

The framing crew was ready to go, and Didiayer was right in there with them holding up the framework, climbing a ladder and shooting her scene.

Next on the agenda was the arrival of sheeting from one of the local lumber yards and a bit of humor was in store. The driver of the forklift-thingy got himself stuck in the dirt and had to have someone with another forklift-thingy come pull him out. It was quite suspenseful waiting to see if he would loose his load or tip the whole thing over. When he was in the clear, we all gave a big cheer.

After hours of waiting for Ty Pennington, yes by then it had been hours....Remember, I arrived at about 8:40 in the morning and it was now 11:45....the boy next to me spotted him coming down the street. He was dressed in a black and white flannel shirt which made him stand out from the rest of the blue Extreme Home Makeover shirts. Quite to the disappointment of all the onlookers, he did not come over to the crowd, but he did wave and smile several times. He was moving in and out of the framing of the house and climbing on the beam that will be at the top of the garage door shooting a scene. He wasn't quite as hyper as I had thought he would be, but then again he did go up and down that ladder quite a few times and he was moving around pretty darn fast.

And, then......he was gone. He walked back down the street and vanished from sight.

Time for more walls to arrive and another round with the lumber company and the fork-lift thingy driver. He decided that he was going to take some beams off the back of the truck right in front of us and lift them over our heads. That's when I said, "Outta here." Cuz' I'd seen just how good he wasn't at manuveuring that equipment and didn't want to get squished.

All in all, a FUN morning and a GREAT memory. Hope to make it back again before they finish filming to share the experience with DD. And, we can't wait to see the show when it airs in March.

EDITED: I was on the news! Yep, there was a closeup of me wearing my red baseball cap with my hair in a ponytail in all my glory smiling at the camera on the news.

And, this picture is on the Fresno Bee's website. See if you can spot me in my red hat.....

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year 2009 (A few days late)

I know, I know....It's already 4 days into the new year and I titled the post Happy New Year. I've been busy......PLAYING.

Our family has the need to extend Christmas for as long as possible due to location, step-families, in-laws, etc. So, we've had several celebrations throughout the past week.

Boy does the tree look wimpy. It really does look better in person and at night with the lights on - I promise!

CHRISTMAS DAY - Off to pick DD up from her dad's to bring her home. She opened her gifts and checked out her stocking and then the gang arrived for the party. The gang being: Grandmother, Grandpa, DS and Girlfriend. We had a pasta bar meal (spaghetti and meatballs with marinara sauce, tortellini with alfredo sauce, garlic bread, green beans with turkey bacon, pies, and lemon cake). YUM! But, DS just lost 30 pounds and says that "carbs are evil" so he and girlfriend didn't eat as much as the rest of us.

He's also for some reason decided that cameras are "evil" too.

Then, it was on to opening presents...

Me (Oh Wow! I need some color in my face. I look like a ghost.)

DD and the cat who decided he needed in on the action.

DS and Girlfriend (DD and I made that chef's hat for him.)

Grandpa - No, we didn't MAKE him sit on the floor. He wanted to.

Mother/Grandmother - Snuggled up on the couch.

Oh, forgot to mention that it SNOWED!!!!!!!! It SNOWED!!!!!! It SNOWED!!!!!! On Christmas Day, it SNOWED!!!!!!! DD and I were so excited that we danced in the kitchen!

Since I'm just starting this blogging thing and this very simple post has taken me WAY LONGER than it should have to create, I will continue with the rest of the celebrating later...........(To Be Continued)

EDITED on April 13th......Well, now that Valetine's Day and Easter have both come and gone and I have yet to "continue" sharing our Christmas celebrating, I think I'm going to skip it this time. You lucked out!