Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's Paige Hemmis Talks About the Arboleda Family
This week we traveled to my home state of Wisconsin to surprise the Arboleda Family. This family is amazing. Rex and Clare followed their dream and came over here from the Philippines with CJ, their oldest daughter, when she was just a baby. They bought a house and Rex got a job as a music teacher.
Rex not only teaches people about music and dance, but how to live a healthy lifestyle through the love of music and through the love of dance. It's one thing to be a teacher and teach kids the regular curriculum and it's another thing to think outside the box and to combat a bigger problem. Rex has brought it to our attention that one in four kids in America suffers from childhood obesity. That's a crazy statistic. I had no idea that that problem even existed and it is a big problem. He would like his message to get out to kids everywhere and this week we're going to help him with that mission.
Rex and his family have started a life here and really wanted to inspire people and reach out into their community and that's exactly what they've done. They're so full of life yet they're living in this tiny little house. You would think they live in a castle. They have so much love. They're so smiley. They think they have the greatest life and you see where they're living and it's a shoebox. It is about 500 square feet. There are seven of them and they have no room. This week we get to show Rex that all the work he's done is not in vain. They love each other so much and they get along so well sharing that tiny little house. We're going to make that house a little bit bigger, but I guarantee this family is going to remain close.
I'm working on CJ's room this week. I love this little girl. First of all, I don't know how she lives in that room with her three brothers who are constantly loud and climbing and yelling and just being boys. How she does that on a daily basis is beyond me and how she keeps a smile on her face is amazing. CJ is very talented. She's a good student. She even said that sometimes she just puts on her headphones and crawls up into her bed and does her homework there because that's her only bit of space that she can call her own. I want to give CJ a room that celebrates the little star that she is and gives her own space. So when you walk into her room it's going to be like a Hollywood set and you'll be backstage with CJ.
Since this week was all about fitness and we had some extra help from Derek Hough and some of his friends from Dancing with the Stars for a dance-inspired demolition. My favorite part about this entire week was the dancing. I had so much fun because usually we're just on a construction site. You've got the tool belt and the work boots and your gloves, you're picking up two by fours. This week I'm dancing around, I'm doing spins, I'm doing turns — I feel like a dancer even though I'm just really a carpenter.
I'm so happy to be back in Wisconsin. I'll say it again. I'm so happy to be back in Wisconsin! This is where my whole family lives. This is where I'm from and may I say the people are incredible. I have gotten so much help this week from our wonderful builders at Lexington Homes and have met so many wonderful people. We just couldn't have done what we do without their support.
My mom and brother are both educators and the fact that we were able to help a teacher this week was amazing. This week, we were not only able to give the Arboleda family a wonderful home and pay back a teacher who has given so much to the community, but we were also able to take the message that Rex is getting out there and make it global. Childhood obesity is a serious problem and I think for too long we've looked the other way, and now we have a chance to spread the word, to spread this "Move to the Groove" program that helps kids stay fit and to stay healthy. We can help that!