Sneak Peeks

Here is a peek into my cell phone photos over the past three weeks of our move.   I’m not very good about picking up my camera, but I am good about always having my phone nearby!

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First day in the new house and the kids entertained themselves for hours by using the packing supplies to play house.

SneakPeeks2 No oven, no problem!  Crock pot lasagna was pretty tasty.

SneakPeeks3Poor girl, “them skeeters” love her more than any other family member…

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Bored kids asked if they could cook up an idea they saw on one of those nature shows they are obsessed about.   I eventually agreed to the idea; although I did not partake in eating any of the fried morsels.

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It’s hard to tell from the picture, but those are fried grasshoppers.  I think I am now in the running for the coolest mom ever, or maybe it’s the biggest redneck mom ever, whatever category I’m in, it made my 10 year old boys extremely giddy.  I, their mother, have absolutely no frame of reference in my female brain as to why eating fried grasshoppers would be exciting. 

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Sword fight!  The kids had a blast taking old pieces of trim that we ripped out of the house and making swords out of them.  Luckily no one was hurt in the process.

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As the septic and water problems continued to pile up, we had to get creative with the household chores. 

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Ryan had to use a bucket to remove the water from our one working bathtub because we couldn’t drain it or the water would end up all over our basement floor. Here he is looking thrilled at having his picture taken during this memorable moment.

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And, although I didn’t have to resort to washing our clothes in the river, I did have to wash them in the bathtub.  I have gained a deep, DEEP appreciation for washing machines.  (Ignore the part of the picture that looks like a massive Barbie Burial plot).

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Date night! We took full advantage of our new sitter who is working out great. The picture, however, looks like every single other self portrait Ryan and I take together on my phone, I think even down to the same hat and hairstyle. 

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The other day, Josh was having a rough day having not slept very well at night.   I thought this picture would be an accurate portrayal of how we are all feeling right about now.

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Just keep livin!!

Really, Really Bad Things…

It has been bad – really, really bad the past week.  I’ve hidden behind optimistic smiles and posts but things have not gone well in Tennessee land.   The first week of the move I was running on adrenaline, the thrill of it all, and the pure excitement that goes along with something new, but the next week things started falling apart big time, and then I started to fall apart big time. 

To recap, we moved to the middle of nowhere in Tennessee, with our 7  young children and handicapped son, pulling them all out of fantastic schools and friendships because we felt God’s tugging in our lives to step out as a family and reevaluate our priorities and get back to the basics of life including self – sufficiency (a dream of mine and Ryan’s: animals, gardens, canning, freezing, making soap and everything in between sort of idea) and relying on one another and God’s providence in our lives.  In other words, we wanted a simpler life that we could call our own.  Not my former life, or Ryan’s previous life, but a life that we as the Ronne family hacked out all by ourselves, and it has been a painful process.

 The day we moved, late in July, we had our first major issue, a plumbing issue that had to be addressed quickly or we would have water all over our basement. I called no less than 20 plumbers within a 30 mile radius of our house and absolutely no one would come out to us.  I finally called a plumber in the nearest bigger town, and he agreed to fix our problem if we would pay an additional $75 traveling charge.  No problem, we agreed.  He came out, hooked up one little part, and three hours later handed us a bill that said $1200.  That’s all it said, no breakdown of anything, no parts, just $1200.00.  We reluctantly paid it, having very little choice and then realized of course after the check had been written that we may have been seriously scammed.   The company has since been reported to the BBB. 

Next, our huge, gigantic, septic problem, the problem in fact being that no one in the entire county has any idea where our septic system is, and we have to find it or we won’t have a water problem  in our basement but in fact a sewage problem.  In the meantime, while everyone and their brother is out looking for our septic system, we are seriously redneckinizing with a temporary pipe running out of our garage door. Really classy looking.  I was still optimistic even after the septic issues; however, the next few days, completely shredded any optimism that remained.   

 We were robbed of our first mortgage payment, discovering that someone stole it en route to Nashville, drove to St Louis, and cashed it with a United States Treasury Stamp – that cannot be a good thing to do, so now we will repay and in the meantime try to get our initial money back somehow.  Josh and Jada were unexpectedly dropped from preschool after I spent 3 hours in a town 40 miles away from my house, filling out 30 pages of paperwork to get them enrolled, WITH THEM BESIDE ME THE WHOLE TIME.  They were dropped because they lived out of county, although other out of county children were admitted, including one little girl who lives right down the road from us, a very confusing sort of political thing we think we’re dealing with.  Our permanent loan was postponed due to a filing error, Ryan’s rental house in Texas was damaged due to a tornado,  (more out of pocket expense), our air conditioner went out on the muggiest day we’ve seen in a while and we can’t sleep because it’s so hot, we’re getting up at the crack of dawn to drive our kids to school every morning, and last but not least, my first born son, the one who always seems to have it together, the one who has seen way too much in his life, wept as I hugged him last night because he can’t make any friends at his new school.  Through tears I told Ryan I was yanking him out of school and homeschooling him (not true at this point, I can be a bit rash).  

I don’t share this information for pity, we chose this, but I do ask for prayers.  I am so lost right now over what in the world we’ve done to our life.  We had such a peace about it all and now I cry every single day over all the issues, the loneliness, and my children’s pain in starting over.  I know nothing good comes about without some heartache, I see this theory so clearly in my blended family every day – one of the hardest things I’ve been called to do in my life, but this is putting me through the wringer.  I’ve never lived outside of my comfort zone before so maybe this is very normal, and I’m just being a big baby about it all, a pretty good possibility, but right now I feel like I am being pressed down, shaken, and poured out but not in a good way. 

I had my hair done the other day at a local beauty shop, very Steel Magnolias feel for all of those reading back home, and while I was gone my dear husband wrote me the sweetest letter.  This is just a small piece of the love he blesses me with.  

“The measure of obstacles we have to overcome often is a sign of the greatness waiting for us on the other side. When I reach my breaking point I often think of you and the obstacles you have overcome in your life and it gives me strength.”

Currently, I do not share his strength or his optimism at all.   I’ve never conveyed only the good, happy, tingly feelings of my life, and this move will not be an exception.  I need some prayers, my kids need some prayers, and my husband needs prayers. 

Just keep livin, right??