Ryan Hanning Ph.D
Ryan Hanning

Family Blog

The Hanning Homestead

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Family Update #1 - We made it!!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Greetings from Whites Creek. First of all, we want to thank everyone for all your prayers and support. Your love and friendship has taught us something about ourselves that we could not have discovered on our own; we are a bit nuts.

We’ll do our best to keep you updated every week or so on our progress on the homestead.


The Move

After a week of bittersweet goodbyes we headed out on Sunday July 1st at 1:30am. Ryan went the northern route with Annie, Nathaniel, Ezra, Jacob and Gianna, along with 5 goats and all our belongings in a 6x12 trailer.  We arrived in Oklahoma City a little after 18 hours, 3 breakdowns, 1 near miss of a huge elk and had the best Tri-tip ever made, and equally amazing hospitality with the William’s—a family we had not met before but was courageous enough to give us two rooms and a huge yard for the goats! We arrived in Whites Creek just outside of Nashville late on July 2nd after the truck randomly stopped 9 times, shot the truck, claimed victory and got to work on getting the house ready.

Rebecca went the southern route with the Isabel, the twins and Jacinta. Slow going with the little ones, they were able to spend a few days with Rebecca’s sister. This short visit was filled with laughter, love, and lots of catching up. They also tested how well sound traveled through Aunt and Uncle’s house as Jacinta cut 3 new teeth, the twins got a stomach bug and Rebecca accidently played random songs on Google play in the middle of the night. Great Danes are still being prayed for. We all reunited and praised the Lord on Thursday evening and started our new life together in Tennessee, que the music…

Enter the Zuk’s!!! Their whole family just happened to be in Tennessee for a family reunion. They stopped for the night to hike and go to Mass with us before driving North to see more family. What a blessing to not feel homesick for a few days! Ryan and Kelly, thanks for coming! And sorry for getting lost a mile away from our house and turning around in middle on a 2 lane road.


The Homestead:

Tennessee is beautiful! It’s green, it rains a few times a day, there are fireflies, and the little kids in the area all say “sir” and “mam” without sounding like weird homeschooled children, it’s probably the southern accent.

The house is humble (which is sweet way of saying small) and sits on 3.5 acres just 15 minutes north of Nashville in a small little rural community, originally a 90 acre parcel owned by our neighbor’s family. Most of the people in the area have lived on this street and around Whites Creek their whole lives and have been super hospitable. Praise the Lord, it seems like we fit right in. Truck? Check. Beard? Check. Livestock? Check. An overt suspicion of large government? Check. Church on Sunday? Check. Baptist or Catholic? Catholic? Acceptable.



July 5th-10th

July 5th – Zipline. Installed 80 foot zipline in between a large pear tree, and what we think is a chestnut tree. A fun diversion in between unpacking.

July 8th – Is it getting humid in here? AC breaks down. Main return line broke under the house. Repaired in 2 hours by the boys and I with 2 five-gallon buckets fashioned into 14in ducting. Large snake skin on the supply line looked fresh.  

July 9th – What’s that smell? While scouting out potential planting areas a smelly muddy area was found. I described it as swampy and a potential natural water feature from the run off on the property. Rebecca described it as septic and a potential for typhoid for the children. Ends up Rebecca is right, no typhoid, but the septic is backed up. Stinky Pete’s the local septic company comes on Thursday. In the meantime water rationing and no playing in “Dad’s water feature.”


July 10th – Where are the goats?  After a week of having the goats in the front yard at night dancing on window sills, with Gideon, our buck, wearing an emasculating Masai goat chastity belt that Rebecca fashioned from a leather ASU Life Alumni Member folder—go Sun Devils—we finally picked up 330ft. of 4x4 fencing. See pics below. This is the temporary goat area until we can figure out where to build a permanent goat area.  Also poured an extra fence post for a pulley clothes line off our back deck and began preparing a spot for our first TN garden.

I wouldn’t say that Tennessee has changed us but we did eat at Steak and Shake twice, and for the first time we actually priced out made in the USA overalls.

Summary of week #1.  Three ticks, no Matt Maher sightings.

Ryan Hanning7 Comments