How are we doing now?
Pretty good. As good as what could be expected of us, I think. Maybe even better than that!
Things are finally starting to settle down and get back to a little bit of normal. Again, as normal as what it could get I guess.
So, after the fire, we stayed with my parents. In their teeny tiny 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home. There were TEN of us living there. It was a bit of a nightmare. BUT I say that knowing how incredibly lucky we were and are to have family close during that devastating time. We lived there for about 3 weeks. Desperately searching for a rental home to move into during that time.
There were several homes for sale. But we couldn’t and can’t invest in that kind of financial burden with all of our money wrapped up in our lost home. At least not in that quick of a time frame. We did and do have the option to “cash out” with our insurance policy. But there are several extra hoops to jump through to do that. It is just a much more sticky and harder path to take over the alternative, which is rebuilding. Which is what we want to do. We loved our little house. Sure it needed some updating to accommodate our large family for a longer period of time, but it was a good house. We also LOVE our neighborhood. Our neighbors are amazing and we miss them desperately!
Luckily, through a mom friend of mine (Megan - you’re amazing and we are so grateful), I was able to get connected to a friend of a friend of a friend who owned a vacant home in the next town over. Cyndy and I went to take a look at it on our way to a volleyball tournament. It needed a very good cleaning, but it was liveable for the time being. So, we spent the next week or so cleaning it up and then we moved in! The owner of that house was amazing! We are eternally grateful that he allowed us to stay and live there, even for such a short time. It’s not usually a rental property for him. We just lucked into the situation that he owned it and it was vacant and he was nice enough to let us stay there until we could find something else. He would’ve let us stay there for the entire rebuild process. But making the drive from that house to the bus stop for the kids took 30 minutes during the last week of school. And although the house itself was great, it has great bones and amazing potential to become a truly beautiful home, the yard was very very small and not ideal for our big doodle dogs that need to RUN. But it was perfect for being plenty big enough for our family and getting us out of my parents house. It was also in a really nice residential neighborhood with some pretty awesome neighbors as well. AND walking distance from the city pool! (Which is more like a water park!) We ended up buying family passes to that pool and go often! We do really miss having our pool and big deck in our backyard, but we have made due and have had a lot of fun this summer.
So, although it was a big house and had lots of potential to be beautiful, it just wasn’t the ideal fit for us for the upcoming school year. So, we kept looking and reaching out to other rental options that would work better for us.
We found one! In the country in between the town where Clint works and the town where the kids go to school. It’s not quite in the district still, but it’s less than a 5 minute drive to the closest bus stop AND there is TONS of room for the dogs to literally just run - all day! So, we went ahead and signed that lease and made the move!
We have been here, in this country house, for about two weeks now!
We have replaced almost everything. Although, now we are at a point where with replacing all our necessities - the insurance money has dwindled. Honestly, we didn’t get as much for our contents as what we were expecting, as what we were told originally we should get. That was such a hassle. Trying to make a list of everything single thing you had in your home, a nightmare! And we did not get a full replacement cost back on each item. Which is frustrating and discouraging. Because a lot of our big ticket and expensive items were BRAND NEW. Like within 6 months of the fire. Several were within just a month of two!
We had actually used some of our tax return money to purchase some big and expensive items. So, they were literally brand new. And super expensive. But we only have 50% of the replacement cost for those. So, we were not able to fully replace everything. Also, I don’t think they fully believed me on how much food we had, or clothes, or shoes, or movies, or books, or holiday decorations. Lol. I was a bit of a hoarder to be honest. I was at one point an EXTREME couponer. Which is where a lot of the ‘hoarding’ tendencies stem from I think. I had a RIDICULOUS stock pile of things. I mean, it was a bit excessive. But we had it. And we lost it. One of the things that comes to mind is that I had a 5 gallon food bucket FULL of red wheat berries. (I had gotten big into baking our own bread at home). The replacement we got on that was for 16oz of wheat berries. Please tell me, HOW DOES THAT COMPARE?! We had 5 gallons!!! It would likely cost me $100 to replace that, at least. We got about $10 for that replacement. That’s just one example. I have so many! But this is not meant for me to sit here and complain. Sorry about that!
At any rate...we have replaced almost all of our NEEDS. We still have several WANTS of things that we had and would really like to have again, but with the money dwindling...they are no longer at the top of our necessity list. :(
Right after the fire we always had people asking, “what do you need?” And at the time, it was so hard for me to answer that. Because quite literally, we needed EVERYTHING. But we didn’t have anywhere to put it for a while.
And, I’m also a very proud person that does not like to ask for help. So, I kept just telling people “nothing” or “i don’t know yet”. I hate asking people for help. I also knew that we would be getting our insurance money to replace things. Little did I know that it would nowhere be enough. You don’t realize quite how much it costs to replace things all at once. You normally buy things little by little, so it doesn’t seem like much. But dang - money goes QUICK when replacing everything for a household of 7.
We were given SO MUCH! We have not needed to purchase any clothes for the kids. And we got a set of bunkbeds and a couple of mattresses for the kids. And just so much more that we are eternally grateful for.
Moral of this story...we are doing well! There are definitely still A LOT of things on our replacement list. Some things are needs, but most are wants.
Not that we expect anything from anyone and not that we even want to ask for more help...but if there are people out there who still are wanting to give their generosity and for those who still continue to ask how they can help...here is the information I have for you:
As always - we are eternally grateful to all of you, ALWAYS!! We have been so lucky and so blessed already to have such an amazing group of friends and family and community around us! Both physically and emotionally through the internet!
Nothing is ever expected and we absolutely HATE asking. This is more to answer the questions we get asked often. :)
Have a great day!