Anatolian Shepherds Page

Friday, March 27, 2009

Extreme Makeover Home Edition!

I can't help thinking: Wouldn't it be awesome to have Ty Pennington, and The Design Team show up at my house yelling through a megaphone: “Good Morning, Grytdal Family! Glenn, Carla, Kolina, Parker, Ben and Molly! Wake up and come out here!” I can see myself and my family running out the front door, laughing, and crying. I’d hug each one of them. So glad to see them, so thankful they were here!

Every Sunday, for the past four years we’ve made sure we are ready precisely at 8:00 p.m. (Mountain Pacific Time) I sit in my chair, lately with a quilt on cause it’s so cold outside. Sometimes with a six year old on my lap, because he can sense that mom might need to snuggle one of her children before the show’s done.

I can remember the stage, where Ben wanted me to make his hair “spicey, just like Ty’s!” I can’t tell you how many time’s I’ve cried pools of tears because the families were so wonderful, and so deserving. I have cried because the house was so perfect for the site and so perfect for the family. I’ve cried because some child would have a better life, because if it.

I can envision us showing our 1067 square foot home to
Ty. Telling him the problems with our house, and why it doesn’t work for us, any more. I’d tell him why my fourteen year old daughter has no place to go to read at night, because her three year old sister will wake up if she goes in their bedroom to read. They share a 10'X10' room. The same situation is true of my thirteen and six year old sons. The older two have both been known to go outside to our mini van to read in peace. That's a lot more comfortable in the summer than it is right now!

I’d show him our small kitchen, which isn't big enough for a dinner table. There isn't a dining room. I'd explain that I love to invite people over, but I haven't had a place to put them for many years. I'd explain that my youngest son has a food allergy, and that I cook most of our food at home, because it is healthier for all of us, and much better for him. I love to provide locally grown food for my family.

I’d show him the mold on the bathroom ceiling, because the fan can’t keep up with six people showering/bathing. I'd show him the second bath tub, which we can't use because it has a crack in the bottom, and we can't afford to remove and replace it. The bathroom is so small, we'd have to replace the tub/shower with a shower stall, only. It's been storage for our extra stuff for at least four years.

I’d show him the places in our kitchen and our living room where the decorative molding is separating from the wall/ceiling due to settling of our house. I'd show him the sink in the kitchen, and how the facing is separating from the wall. And I’d show him how the house is set up on cinder blocks for a foundation.

How there are no sidewalks and no mud room, and why that is a bad thing with four children.

I would tell him why we had to give up our Washington State Foster Care license last September after six years, because there wasn’t any more bedrooms to put foster children in. How two of our four children were adopted from the Child Welfare System, and why I am so proud of them.

The Design Team would each choose one of my children to “get to know them” so they can design the perfect room for them. How do they do that? They get it right every time!

I’d love to tell them about the non-profit organization: “A Hope and A Future” which I am the (volunteer) Executive Director of, and which helps foster and adoptive families. I am one of three founders of this organization.

Foster and Adoptive families are some of the most giving people in our society. They give their time. They give their money. They give their homes, wisdom, and families. And they give their hearts.

A Hope and A Future is the only service organization in our area, available to encourage and help retain the entire foster and adoptive family in a tangible way. We provide new and gently-used clothing and household goods. We serve an average of between 55 and 75 families each month (over 300 people.) And we serve the entire family (biological, adoptive and foster.)

Right now we don’t have a building, or office of our own. My living room and bedroom are the office and file room. A well-used laptop (Mac PowerBook G4) was donated to us, and it has been an magnificent help for the past two years. An incredible donation of a brand new printer last year, was so helpful. The Five-Mile Prairie Grange is very generously allowing us the use of their facilities. At this time, and for the past five years, we have needed to transport all of our donated goods by U-Haul; set up; host “Donation Station;” and then tear down; and transport back to our rented storage unit; and store. All within approximately six hours. It takes about 25-30 volunteers to host "Donation Station" each month, and we are getting tired.

We could set up our free “store” permanently. Organizing the clothing by size, on hanging racks. We've gathered hanging racks, over the past several years and they are on the North side of our shop. The household goods could be organized on display racks and tables. We'd love to be able to serve foster and adoptive families better and more often. We could help out on an emergency basis, when a child shows up at a foster home at 2:00 a.m. without any clothes. When the police close down the meth house they live in, all their clothes and toys have to be destroyed. Some times all they have is the blanket they were given after the hazardous incident “shower.” D.C.F.S. simply does not have the storage available to provide the necessary clothing for all the children they help. We could provide pajamas, a clean stuffed animal, a few toys, and clothing for the next day. And then they could come back and we could provide them with more! We can always use new and gently-used pajamas, diapers, and clothing of all sizes, for all ages.

We could add so many additional services to area foster and adoptive families, if we could just have a place where we can set up permanently. I envision a lounge area for foster and adoptive parents to enjoy while waiting for children to finish visitations, physical therapies, psychological therapies, etc. “Coffee, Tea, or Soda?” A safe comfortable place, with a play room, and reading room to enjoy with their other children, not participating in court ordered services. I have a dream of a professional choir made up of foster children. One that tours to places they can only dream of, in order to raise awareness of America’s invisible children, of all races/ethnicities. Also office space.

Sunday night is the only night that Ben is allowed to stay up past bedtime. He loves the show so much, how could we prevent him from seeing people gathering together from all over America, giving of their time. Giving of their money; giving because it is the right thing to do for others; giving because it is truly better than receiving. Brought together by the awesome personalities of Ty Pennington, Michael Maloney, Paige Hemmis, Ed Sanders, Paul DiMeo, Tracy Hutson, Tanya McQueen, Rib Hillis, John Littlefield, Didiayer Snyder, and Eduardo Xol.

Remember the episode where Ed Sanders got his hand severely injured by a saw while building a unique (and extremely beautiful) piece of furniture for the bedroom he was working on? It was miserable weather, and they were way behind. Everyone was so tired, and he made a mistake, and it hurt him, badly. I was truly worried about him, and was so glad when he recovered and was able to return to the show! I love his british accent, and how he pesters “Pauli” (Paul DeMeo.) And Pauli... he’s such a hoot! I love Paige Hemmis. She is so intelligent and talented, and is such an incredible role model for women. I would love it if my daughter’s would use their intelligence and learn to be handy, like that! And Michael Maloney... how can you not just fall in love with his perpetually cheery personality, and phenomenal smile?

We are always impressed with the "Green" builds. We love the idea of solar and wind power. My husband is particularly interested in that part of the show, since he is a Stationary Engineer and an HVAC Technician by trade.

He has the illustrious distinction of being Spokane County's budget cut, not just once... but twice! You know the drill. Last one hired; first one laid off. Now the wonderful news is that he has always been employed. We are a single income family, and I think he would work for a fast food restaurant, if he had too, in order to provide. But we have lost a lot of our personal income, to their budget cuts. 'Nuf said!

So what am I doing? Why, I’ll tell you! I am gathering together the information to send in to ABC. I am completing my application package (I'm making a list, and checking it twice!) And if you know my family, and you feel inspired to do so, I am providing you all the links to nominate our family. But only if you want to.

I long to hear the words: “Bus driver, move that bus!" and “Welcome home, Grytdal family, Welcome home!”

Glitter Text Generator
Extreme Makeover Home Edition Applications - Click here if you or someone you know can be helped by the Extreme Makeover Home Edition team. (Off KXLY’s website)


  1. I hope you do get pick you guys sound awesome! If you do will you have some room for pets? You can find a nice rescue pet on our volunteer site GOOD LUCK!!!

  2. Thank you so much, Tami. We've actually rescued two border collie/mix puppies. We have an Anatolian Shepherd puppy. We also have three rescued cats, 23 chickens and 1 rooster. We hope to add a couple cattle and pigs to the menagerie, someday. Thank you for thinking of pets in need of rescue, though. I am a firm believer in spay and neutering all pets. I'll be sure to check out the website you provided.