November 30, 2008 07:07 PM by Candace Young
This week the Design Team is traveling to Holt, Michigan. Ty introduces the designers to the Nickless family, which consists of mom, Arlene, and three boys 11 and under. The father, Tim, was a critical care nurse who contracted hepatitis C and passed away. Ty explains that Arlene is now struggling to raise the boys on her own, and the house they live in is deteriorating – the boys even have to share the one warm room in the house! Notably, there is also a playhouse in the yard that the father never got the chance to complete. Ty tells the team that Tim, the dad, had many dreams for his family that he wanted to see to fruition – they vow to help the Nickless family!
Door Knock Day
On the morning Ty comes to the door, the overwhelmed mom, Arlene Nickless breaks down in tears. They are thrilled to find out that they are headed to Disney World. Arlene shows Ty some special rose bushes that her husband planted for her, before taking him inside to see the warped floors, plaster coming away from the walls, and the tiny cellar where Tim used to use his scroll saw.
Paige goes upstairs to see the boys crowded room, while Michael visits with one of the boys who is hooked on building with Lego. All of the boys are into toy planes, which was a passion of Tim’s.
Back outside, Arlene tells Ty that a support center called “Ellie’s Place” has been a real help to the kids. Ty hugs her and promises a ‘new beginning’.
Ed, meanwhile, has taken the boys out to see the unfinished playhouse that the father had started to build. He says he’ll keep the original walls so that Tim’s original work is still a part of it.
Ty leads the parade of volunteers to the house, which included Tim’s co-workers! Merrivale Homes is introduced to everyone as the builders overseeing the project. The builders say they will be bringing this family home to a new life! A woman that worked with Tim in the intensive care unit speaks about how much they miss him.
In Disney World, the boys are having a great time, when they are called to the video feed to say ‘hi’ to the volunteers. As they watch, Ty takes Tim’s co-workers inside to ‘rescue’ everything that Tim made himself from the house before the demolition. As the bulldozer wrecks the house, the Nickless boys beam!
They’ve made huge progress – the foundation is in and the walls are mostly up. Ed shows the area that will the boys’ clubhouse and play area will be – he’s sure the kids will love it! Michael is working on one of the boy’s beds which features a laser gun!
Rib is working in the garage area, transforming it into a new workshop for the boys to make things like their dad. Ty is refurbishing Tim’s old lathe. Ed has found a piece of wood to incorporate into the clubhouse, which has a personal message written on it from Tim to his sons.
Via video, some of Tim’s former co-workers speak to the Nickless family. Ty shows Arlene and the boys a plaque, which has been mounted in Tim’s honor at Lansing Community College. Ty also announces that scholarships have been set up for the boys there. He asks for a moment of silence. Arlene says that the boys will be proud of Tim when they attend the school and walk past the plaque.
Rib is incorporating some of Tim’s planes into the bed designs for the boys. Michael and Paige are visiting “Ellie’s Place,” the center where the kids go for support in grieving their father. Michael asks if the kids there would like to help with the building block theme for one of the Nickless boy’s rooms.
Ty is working on the secret room. The slides arrive for Ed’s playground. A Sears truck comes and it is full of new tools for the workshop! Ty announces later that he has the keys – it’s time to bring in the furniture! Out back, the playground and clubhouse are finished and Ed is testing the zipline!
The limo pulls up with the Nickless family inside. After they get out, Ty tells them they helped Tim build them a dream. “Move that bus!” is called out and the family is stunned to see their new, modern home! Arlene cries as she remembers Tim telling her that if anything happened to him, she should let go of the house because it would take her down. She calls this a new beginning.
Ty takes the family inside. “Oh wow!” shouts Arlene. The boys are amazed to see the wooden bowls that their father made holding fruit on the new kitchen counters.
The boys go to check out their new rooms. The middle son is thrilled with his space age room and bed with laser gun. The oldest son has an ‘electrical’ themed room, complete with a secret control room! The youngest son is moved to tears by the sight of his new room and bed which had his dad’s favorite plane mounted on it.
Ty takes Arlene to see her room, which was his special project. He used the roses and a framed photo of Tim to accent her space. Ty notes that Tim can now rest easy that his family has what he wanted to give them, and Arlene and the boys can move forward.
The next stop is the new garage/workshop. The boys are happy that there is a mixture of new tools and his dad’s older tools. The garage door opens and Ty tells the family to check out their now, 2009 Ford Flex!
Last, they are taken around back to see the new playground and clubhouse. The boys shout, “Awesome!” as they see the fully kitted-out clubhouse! They are shown the personal inscription on the piece of wood from Tim, and the boys try the zipline.
A plane flies overhead pulling a banner, which says, “Welcome home, Nickless Family!”
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Photos Courtesy: keepingthecastle.com