December 07, 2008 07:04 PM by Candace Young
This week Ty and the Design Team are honoring two very special school bus drivers. It’s the DeVries family has medical situations that are being made worse by their living conditions. The team watches the family saying hello from Minnesota. Ty explains that the mother, Susan, was diagnosed with a serious heart problem as a child – it is a life-threatening condition. Dirk, the father, lost his arm in a farm accident. Ty says that they are heroes, because even though they have these challenges to deal with, when the kids’ school needed a music teacher, Susan volunteered, and she and Dirk make musical instruments. She also stepped up when the school needed a bus driver. Susan recently underwent heart surgery, but it didn’t work, and the house is jeopardizing her recovery.
The teenage daughter, April, explains that they can’t afford to fix the house, and with only one arm, her father cannot do the necessary physical labor around the house on his own. She says she loves her parents and is very worried. Ty asks if they’re ready to help this family and the Design Team shouts, “Let’s do it!”
Door Knock Day
“Good morning DeVries family!” Ty shouts into the megaphone. The elated family emerges from the house squealing and hugging the Design Team! Ty talks to Susan about her heart condition (it makes too many beats), and listens to the kids’ feelings about their mother’s illness. He tells them that they are headed on vacation to Niagara Falls!
Ty and Susan tour the yard and she shows him the stepping stones she has painted in the back of the house. Next, they check out the house, which is literally rotting inside and out. Ty is amazed to see that when they couldn’t afford tiling for the kitchen floor, Susan painted it to look like tiles! They go upstairs, and Ty sees the collection of yarn that people give her, as well as the water damage over the bed.
Outside, Paul meets with Derik, the teen son, who makes things out of duck tape, and who is really funny. April, meanwhile, explains that she is passionate about the environment, and the younger daughter, Hannah, shows Johnny her treehouse, where she finds solace from her worries about her mom’s health.
Ty and Susan head over to the school next, where she shows him the rooms she uses, and the instruments that she and her husband have made. Ty asks how she goes on without focusing on the fact that her heart could basically stop at any moment. Susan says she pays attention to what the kids need, and the school. She has hope that things will get better.
As the family leaves for vacation, Ty explains that as much as they need to build a new home for this family, they also need to help the school that means so much to Susan.
A convoy of school buses rolls up to the DeVries house and all of the volunteers disembark! The builder, Al Larsen from Larsen Contracting, makes a speech about how much the community appreciates what the DeVries family does, and Ty says they should let the family know that they’re there. In Niagara Falls, the family is having a ball, but stop to see the volunteers via video. Ty announces that it’s time for the demo as Dirk and Susan smile and watch. Ty has decided that a musical rhthym is in order for the demolition! After some musical tapping with hammers, the bulldozers do their job, and Susan laughs, “Now that’s a symphony of destruction!”
The new 3100 square foot home, which is in an ‘H’ shape is well underway. Eduardo explains that for this home they will be recycling energy. Ty says he will be doing the master bedroom and will take old things and make them new again as the theme.
Tracy and Paul have gone to the school and meet up with all of the kids in the gym. They tell the children that there is a big surprise coming – Hallmark donated $50,000 for new musical instruments! The kids cheer, and Tracy has them record messages for Susan on special Hallmark cards.
Johnny explains that the new house is watertight as compared to the old house. Paul is making a duck tape work desk for Derik. Eduardo is collecting recycled goods for April’s room. He found some cool old fabrics, some old records, and took some newspapers from a park bench. Paige goes by him driving a solar car! Ty is in Sears choosing items for the new master bedroom, including a comforter he designed which uses real yarn!
Eduardo is out back doing a courtyard and cookout area. Johnny is bringing nature inside for Hannah’s room.
In Niagara Falls, the DeVries family is sight-seeing when Tracy calls saying there is a surprise tht should be arriving right now! The family is presented with the basket full of Hallmark cards. The first one tells them that the school has been given new instruments, and the rest are the childrens’ messages. Susan says she can’t wait to go back home!
The furniture has arrived and Ty leads the volunteers in opening the trucks and loading the stuff into the house, including a whole collection of new musical instruments which the volunteers try out – with a little help from the school marching band and their trombones!
Day 7 – The Reveal!
The limo arrives and the DeVries family gets out. Dirk is astounded that the huge crowd had waited for them in the rain. Ty tells them that there is hope behind the bus. Everyone chants and the bus moves. The family weeps with happiness, and they meet Al Larsen, the builder.
Ty explains that the butterfly Susan had painted was the inspiration for the design of the house, and shows her that they put the actual step stone in a place of honor in the front yard. The family first checks out their outdoor courtyard and cook out area. Hannah says it’s like having a living room outside!
As they go inside, Susan notes how wonderful it is to feel the warmth. Ty comes in and they tell him their new house is fantastic. He urges them to go check out the rest of the house. April goes into her new room, which has been designed with all reused things. She says they nailed it! Hannah checks out her ‘nature’ room and says that now she will be able to feel calm inside the house! Derik opens the door to his room and duck tape is everywhere. He says he could literally smell it! He wonders how anyone could not like duck tape! Ty mutters, “I wonder if we could make a whole house out of duck tape?”
Ty then takes Susan and Dirk to see the new master bedroom. They open the door and take in the fireplace and striped walls, which match the special comforter. The couple is amazed by the ensuite bathroom and Susan hugs Ty when he enters. He tells them that this is supposed to be their sanctuary. He then takes them outside where the kids from the school are assembled and ready to play their new instruments for their teacher! At Ty’s prompting, the children play ‘Go Tell It On the Mountain’.
Susan comments that she wants to continue to make a difference in people’s lives, and that now her heart is lighter.
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Photos Courtesy: albertleatribune.com