"When I met Barbara, I had been a widower for about two years. My precious wife died suddenly. Never again would I imagine anything being so difficult as waking the kids up, and telling them that their mother is dead," he recalls.
An added challenge is cramming eight bodies in a house that was built for two people. "I feel like we're a pack of puppies on top of each other," Barbara complains. "After the wedding, Ron brought Jake his stepson; Nick his nephew; and Emma, his daughter into my house with my kids: Tom, Cece, and Trent. Ron and I have permanent custody of Nicholas."
Eighteen-year-old Cece shares a room with Emma, who is half her age. Cece comments, "There are three 15-year-old boys hitting puberty, just battling hormones. My family is the Brady Bunch from hell!"
"No, not at all," Barbara says. "I thought it would be easy, not thinking that there are 15-year-old boys that are all hitting puberty right now. And they have such different personalities. I never thought that it would be just chaos."
Dr. Phil finds this interesting. "You didn't think that putting eight people ... compressed in this space would be a problem, let alone the dynamics and the personalities?"
"You said if it was up to you, you'd have five more," Dr. Phil observes.
"Well, I would love to have more kids, yes. It's fun! Makes me feel young," Ron says.
She replies that she wants her new husband to help out more with discipline. "I always seem like I'm so strict. I'm the one who's yelling at the kids all the time and telling them what to do," she says, conceding that
"Does she need more help from you than she's getting?" Dr. Phil asks Ron.
Jake speaks up. "It's me and Nick."
"And this gets cold, does it not?" Dr. Phil asks.
"Yes, very cold," Jake informs him.
Ron elaborates. "This is temporary until the basement is complete. Then we're going to move in the basement and give up our room for them."
Trent expresses his frustration with the cramped living situation. "We argue constantly. We are always in each other's faces. We argue over the tiniest little things. We have to share everything."
When Dr. Phil suggests that they come up with a family plan, Barbara says, "We have done that a couple times. We sat everybody down and said, 'Look, we're together in this. And we need you guys to get along.'"
"And what happens?" Dr. Phil asks.
"It's OK for a day or two, and then it goes back to everybody bickering and fighting again," she says.
Young Emma says it's not easy for her either. "Sharing a room with an 18-year-old is sometimes hard because she has a lot of posters up, and a lot of people I don't know," she says.
Dr. Phil says th
He applauds their efforts for trying to blend their families. Since Ron and Barbara have been married for two months but never had a honeymoon, he has a surprise for them. "We want to send you on an all-inclusive trip to Fiji!" he says. The couple will fly Air Pacific for a seven-night stay on the island, a trip valued at $15,000.
"That's unbelievable!" Ron says, stunned.
They will also receive a new dining room and bedroom furniture from JC Penney's Chris Madden Collection, worth $15,000. Bosch Home Appliances is providing $15,000 for a new stove top, range, dishwasher, refrigerator and washer and dryer.
Dr. Phil also thanks Barbara Palmer, Senior VP of Ameriquest.