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Even parents need a break sometimes. It’s a full time job watching and raising children. So, it’s no wonder some parents take some time to themselves and go on vacation. These parents decided to leave their kids at home while they took a much-needed break from their everyday life. They never would have expected to see what happened when they returned home, though.

The Schoonovers

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Karen and Chip Schoonover lived in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with their four daughters. Even though they lived in a holiday destination, they decided that they wanted a week-long vacation somewhere just the two of them.

The Letter “H”

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Karen and Chip decided early on that they would name all of their children with names that started with the letter “H.” They had Heather, who was the oldest and already out of the house and married. Then there’s Hollie, Halice, and Haley.


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Hollie was the oldest daughter still living at home. The second her parents told the girls that they were going on vacation, she started to plan a scheme that she would get her sisters to help her with. Their goal was to create the best Christmas ever. As the girls planned, Hollie asked Haley to document everything.

Big Dreams

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Hollie had big dreams. She wanted to be a star in Hollywood. In the meantime, she was practicing makeup and would give makeovers to her friends and family members. She never thought she would have a knack for interior design too.

Camera Lover

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Hollie loved to have pictures taken of her. She had a natural talent for posing and finding the right angle. Her sister Haley loved being behind the camera, so the two were a perfect pair. The girls used these skills in their plan to create the perfect Christmas gift for their parents.

School for Halice

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Halice wasn’t as artistic as her sisters. She decided to go to Coastal Carolina University, the same school her sister Heather had attended, to study physical therapy. She even went on to grad school.

Heather’s Life

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While Heather is close with her sisters, she wasn’t as involved in the Christmas surprise. This was partly because she was married and had moved to another part of South Carolina where she worked with marketing and lived with her husband.


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The girls didn’t always live in Myrtle Beach. They all grew up in Seminole, Florida. It wasn’t until they were older that they moved to Myrtle Beach and became a staple in the town.

Recording the Process

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With Haley behind the camera, she documented the entire process of the girls’ Christmas surprise. She did such a wonderful job that when they uploaded it to YouTube, it received thousands of views.

Rearranging the House

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A lot of kids think that cleaning the house is a great surprise for their parents. However, the Schoonover girls wanted to do something a little more impressive. They decided to give the house a complete makeover before their parents got home.

Beginning the Project

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To begin their large project, the girls decided to do a deep cleaning of the house. This involved mopping, scrubbing, and dusting. They also decided to gather items and junk they didn’t need anymore and throw them out.

The Purge

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It felt good to purge the house of unwanted and useless items. They even went as far as ripping up old, stained carpets. They were quick to realize that they may have bitten off more than they could chew.

Asking for Help

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While the couples on HGTV make projects like this look easy, the girls soon realized that they were going to need some more help if they wanted to finish in a week. They knew the perfect guys to help.

Updating the House

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The girls’ goal was to update their parents’ house as much as possible. This meant fixing it up, getting new furniture, and making some repairs. However, they were quick to learn that moving the old furniture out of the house was much harder than moving new furniture in.

Fit for the Project

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It’s a good thing the girls weren’t strangers to physical labor. They all loved going to the gym and staying healthy. Heather actually studied sports science in college.


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The sisters were a tight-knit team. They knew how to work well together and how to play off of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The Schoonover family was all about teamwork and getting along.

Overcoming Obstacles

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Big projects like this always have issues that you will probably run into. The Schoonover sisters were no exception. They didn’t give up though. They overcame every obstacle that came their way.

Waking Up Early

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Every day the girls would get up early and get to work on the house. Even though the weather was cold and their beds were warm, they were determined to surprise their parents. So, they relied on energy drinks and coffee to get them energized.


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The girls decided to repaint every room in the house. They didn’t realize what a big project it was, so they called in reinforcements. It was this part of the project where they wanted to give up.

Physical Strain

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Renovating a house is no easy project. It requires a lot of physical work. So, a couple of days in, the girls were starting to feel sore and the effects from lack of sleep.

Slow Improvements

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Slowly, the girls started to see their house improve. It was on the fifth day that just two of the sisters, Hollie and Haley, were left working. All of their other hands were too tired or busy to help them.

Team Haley and Hollie

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Haley and Hollie made tremendous progress by themselves on that fifth day. Not only had they painted the rest of the rooms, but they also installed new carpets throughout the house.

Working Throughout the Night

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The girls worked through most of the night. They hardly had any sleep even though they were only half way done with remodeling the kitchen. The cabinets still needed another coat of paint and they had made a mess of their supplies.


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The girls took some time to reflect on their work and how they felt. They were exhausted and started to break out in stress acne. Hollie even stated that she felt like she was “in the army.”


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The girls decided to make the surprise even more special by adding a distraction to the mix. So, they asked Heather, the oldest sister, to come to the house and greet their parents when they got home.


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The girls were nervous for their parents to come home. After all of their hard work, they wanted their parents to be surprised and love the work that they did to the house.

Parental Instincts

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The moment the Schoonover parents stepped out of the car, they felt something was up with their daughters. They couldn’t tell what was wrong, but they knew something was different. Their first surprise was seeing Heather at the house.

Noticing the House

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The first thing Karen noticed was the front of the house. Jokingly she asked, “Alright, who cleaned?” Little did she know that her entire house was not only cleaned, but completely updated.

More Surprises

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“Your surprise isn’t over yet,” Heather said as she led her parents into the house. Their parents could not believe what they were seeing.

Hard Work Paid Off

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Karen couldn’t help but put her hands up to her mouth in surprise. She kept exclaiming, “What!” every time she walked into a new room and noticed the drastic upgrades.

Rewarding Feeling

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Overwhelmed with love and happiness, Karen started to cry at the beautiful work her daughters had done to the house. The kitchen now had dark cabinets that contrasted with light blue walls and new marble countertops.

Before and After

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Just look at these before and after photos of the kitchen. Not only does it look cleaner, but it looks much more chic and elegant.

Upgraded Comfort

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The living room looked completely different with the new couches and coffee tables. Not only was the room upgraded, but also the family’s comfort level.

So Grateful

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The girls’ parents were overly grateful for their daughters’ hard work. They couldn’t believe that they had torn up and replaced the carpets and bought new furniture.

The Best Surprise

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The parents were overly impressed when it came to the master bedroom. They loved how everything in the house matched each other. It felt like walking through a spread in Home Living.

Christmas Surprise

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This was the best Christmas surprise their parents could ever ask for. They loved all of the hard work and love that went into the project. They also loved watching the video the girls made of all their hard work.

Going Viral

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The girls went viral online when they uploaded their video. People loved the whole heartedness of the family and how dedicated the girls were to finishing such a big project in just a week.

Finally Famous

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While Hollie had always wanted to be famous, she never thought it would be due to this project. She loved the attention and that she got to share it with her sisters.


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One day while scrolling through Facebook, Haley noticed a photo of her and her sisters attached to an article. She couldn’t believe that someone had written an article about their video and people were sharing it online.

International Headlines

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The girls made headlines internationally including in countries like Portugal and India. They couldn’t believe that they were getting so much attention. While attention wasn’t their goal, they still loved every minute of it.