Smack in the center of farm country is where the
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
bus stops this week. Beautiful fields of corn arranged in perfect rows stretch as far as the eye can see. We are in Gladbrook, Iowa, and we are here to join the community to help a local family rebuild their home and farm.
The Kibe family: Shawn and Amy, Kody (13), Blake (10) and Christian (6). Theirs is the story of a young family who leave big-city life and move to the country to introduce their children to the wholesome, hardworking and rewarding life of running a farm. These kids have thrived, learning the lessons of hard work and reaping the rewards of working together. The boys' grades began to improve and they began to spend a whole lot of quality time together tending to the livestock and scraping by running a working farm. A few days before Christmas '05, the family was out picking up Mom from her job at a local department store when they received a frantic call from a neighbor: Their house was on fire! The Kibes returned home just in time to see the firemen tossing the charred remains of their wrapped Christmas gifts out of the broken windows. The house and most of its contents were a complete loss. This family needed our help and a second chance.
One of my projects this episode was working with Preston on Kody's architecture-themed room. Preston designed this awesome drafting table that I was able to build for him. I also wanted to make sure that the Kibes would feel secure in their new home so I made sure that we put in all the latest fire protective equipment available on the market. A unique piece of art in this home is the awesome work of Pat Acton. Pat makes these incredibly detailed replicas of famous landmarks out of nothing more than matchsticks, and he presented a model of our
home made from 6,000 of them for display. As incredible as the matchstick home appeared, it takes a backseat to the actual Kibe home. Our incredible builder Rick Tollakson of Hubbell Homes, based out of West Des Moines, Iowa, created a beautiful home that was perfect for the Kibes and their needs and that just looked beautiful, built with precision and skill down to the last detail.
Iowa is football country, and Gladbrook is no exception. Friday night the design team and I went out to the local high-school game and got to meet the locals and feel the love and support that the Kibes had provided firsthand. The high-school cheerleaders are just one example of how this community continues to come together, presenting us with the $250 they had been working so hard to put together for a trip to a cheerleading competition in Florida! Imagine that, they were willing to give up their trip so that a family they hardly knew had a chance to rebuild their home. Preston and I were so moved by this gesture that we decided to give that money back to the team; they really deserved the trip.
Thanks for reading, stay tuned to catch these wonderful families and communities that the
design team and crew have the fortune of meeting and working with every week.
ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition airs Sundays at 8 pm/ET.