Thank you guys, so much! We could feel your prayers. It was a GREAT day! I don't have any pictures because Wheel is super sensitive about privacy and making sure people don't cheat. . .though I have no clue how you would! We were to arrive at Sea World (where they were filming) at 10:30 am.
The morning started off with a bang. . .I don't think I told you guys, but Greg unexpectantly had the chance to go to Haiti with our Church's mission trip. So, he wasn't home for this weekend's events. Yes, it was sad not to have him hear. . .but the choice to go to Haiti or watch me on a game show was an easy one. So, my sweet friend Monica spent the night on Thursday night to help me get out of the house on Friday morning. It was a crazy morning with spills, poop and a million other little things all before I left at 9 am. The plan was for Brittani to pick me up so that Monica could take the kids to my aunt and uncle's for me and use my car for the day. Well. . . .I accidently brought my keys with me! We ended up dropping my keys off at a restauarant off the highway that a friend worked at and asking my Papa to pick them up and bring them back to my house for Monica. Yeah, crazy!
Our day at Sea World was uneventful We were in a room with 15 other teams. They film a whole week's worth of shows in one evening. . .so there were 15 teams and an alternate team. All 32 of us, plus the 6 Wheel handlers and 3 make up girls spent the entire day in this room! They went over the rules of the game, had us sign paperwork and showed us the different wedges and free spins stuff. Just basic prep stuff, but it was nice to get to know the staff and the other contestants.
Staff: We LOVED them! Sweetest group of people. . .if it weren't against the rules, we would probably be planning on keeping in touch with them! Jackie, Shannon and Cassie were the girls in charge of inspiring us. Talk about energy. I told them that I wish they came to church with me. . they'd make me look tame! The make up girls were adorable and had such sweet hearts as well. Missy was my make up girl for the day and was so sweet. . and make me look cute too! I don't wear much make up in the real world, so I'm always a bit worried that I'll look ridiculous. . but she did a great job!
Contestants: The whole week's shows were "family week" so there were teams of sister/sister, brother/sister, mother/daughter, mother/son and father/son and father/daughter. We hung out mostly with Aaron and Linda, a mother/son combo and Christina and Maria a mother/daughter combo. Both groups were super sweet and we didn't end up on the same shows. This meant we got to watch them (their shows filmed before ours) and cheer them on. PS: You'll see Christina and Maria on Monday night, March 9 and Aaron and Linda on Wednesday night, March 11!
The Wheel and Rehearsal: Mid-day, we went to the stage to practice playing the game. Everything is MUCH smaller than you think. The wheel itself is only about 3-4 feet across. About half the size you would think. . BUT it is HEAVY!!!! 4,000 pounds. This made it very hard to turn. The positions that contestants stand on are electric and can be moved up and down based on your height. During rehearsal they were set pretty low. . this meant that we could hardly reach the wheel and could only turn it about 8 spaces!
During rehearsal, we would stand up there to fake play while the contestant coordinators stood around you giving direction. They were trying to teach us to play quickly, think on our feet, call good letters, remember vowels, have a loud voice, solve puzzles and have lots of enthusiasm. It was actually quite stressful. As you are standing there, trying to see the screen (it was lit up at night but we practiced during the day) and figuring out how to play; you also had 5 people yelling at you with ideas! It was crazy and stressful. I'm sure it helped us play better later. . but at the time I was thinking "um. . .I don't want to do this anymore!". We did rehearsal a littel bit late in the day and they had already opened the doors so a few people were there. . .including some of our family and friends. So, on our way back to our "isolation room" they were shouting and waving. We had to ignore them though b/c our contact with them may be cheating. Still not sure how that would work, but we obeyed and ignored them! Brittani said, "now that we are celebrities. . they are dead to us!" If you don't know Brittani, she has a great sense of humor!
They filmed 5 shows that night and couldn't begin until it was dark. . .so the first show started at 6 pm. We drew for game 4, which was during the later of 2 filming audiences. This meant that our family and friends who got tickets for both shows sat there from 5 pm until 11! Our show filmed at 10 pm. Oh yes, did I mention that it was 45 degrees? Super cold for Florida! Our friends and family were all there wrapped up in blankets and sleeping bags. Stop laughing, you Northerners!
We waited for our turn to play in the "isolation room" and were able to watch the other shows. Then. . it was our turn!
I don't want to tell you everything. . .but it went well. We didn't win the "big money" but we made a whole lot more than we do in a normal day! And, we solved some puzzles. . .so I don't think we looked dumb!
A couple of praises that we were specifically praying for:
PEACE! We were nervous throughout the day but I got noticeably more peaceful right around 5 pm. I thought it was weird until I realized that I had specifically asked everyone I knew to pray from 5-11 pm! Thanks SO much. The Lord was so good to remind me of His Sovereignty all day. While I got nervous and my stomach got all twisted up. . .I felt the Lord speak so clearly to me "Really? You can trust me with feeding children and taking care of the poor in developing nations. . but Wheel of Fortune makes you nervous? I think I can take care of that." Duh! That was so comforting to me. I remembered the rest of the day. I was also able to share this truth with other contestants as the nerves got to them.
Clear Minds / Good letters: We were able to play the entire game without making major blunders! We called good letters for the most part. The puzzles that got to us that we didn't answer. . .we REALLY didn't know! There were a few puzzles that we totally knew. . but they never got to us. This made us feel good. You can't really beat yourself up for not hitting a home run if you never get a chance at bat! This also helped with trusting God with our win. We did our best and the rest was "the luck of the wheel". . .which I don't believe. . so God's sovereignty!
Our "team": We really wanted to be on a show where everyone won something and we had good energy together. For this reason, Brittani and I really wanted to be an encouragment to the other teams as well. In fact, the mother/daughter team that we appear with even asked us to pray for them before going on. Pray that God will continue to plant that seed in them.
Our interviews: This went great! I was able to mention my kids, my hubby, my church, Liberia and Children's HopeChest and Uganda all in pretty much one breathe! I pray that God uses this in some way, some where.
Well, that's it. We didn't win a million, but it's still a lot to us! We pray that God will use us on tv. I know that may sound silly. . .but when He is doing something, sometimes its the little things that push someone over the edge. So, I'm praying that He may use my mention of adoption, Liberia, Uganda or HopeChest to finish something He is nudging someone to do. Who knows? Only He does. . I may not know. For whatever reason He allowed us this fun opportunity, we are thankful. It was SO much fun and a great memory together. Thanks to everyone who was praying, who was there cheering us on (25 friends and family throughout the night!) and who actually cares to watch us (along with the 12 million regular viewers!) on
MARCH 12, 2009! Mark your calendars and check your local listings!