Rex lost many jobs as he could not maintain one while they were living in Phoenix. After Rex lost his job, there was no steady income and the family's wealth slowly dwindled. Rex’s alcoholism continued to run rampant as the living condition of the family worsened. In desperation, the family began stealing the money and clothing they needed. On the night of Christmas Eve, Rose Mary brought the family to church, including Rex, who had been drinking in large volumes beforehand. While at church, a drunken Rex ruins the sermon and gets himself, as well as the rest of the family kicked out. When they return home Rose Mary gives Rex a gift, a nice new lighter. Rex proceeded to use the lighter to light the tree on fire, burning it and all the presents beneath it. The kids cried out in dismay as Rex laughed at what he has done. The family once again is forced to shut down and close off from what Rex has done. Later, that spring, Jeannette turned 10. Now being in the double digits, Rex was happy to offer her anything she could ever want. In response to this opportunity, Jeannette asked for her father to become a sober man. After some deep thought, Rex then decided to lock himself in his bedroom for the next few days, restrained, to suffer through the effects of withdrawal with out any temptations. Through his agonizing screams, Jeannette remained outside his door with an orange juice jug filled with water, for whenever he may need it. Once Rex is sober again, he decides the family needs to take a road trip to the Grand Canyon. However, on the way there, Rex drives so fast the car breaks down. With their road trip ruined and no car, the family has no choice but to walk and hitchhike eighty miles back to Phoenix. When they return, Rex begins drinking again, and the family becomes frustrated with him and with their life in Phoenix. Rose Mary acquires a new car and makes plans to leave Phoenix. She wants to relocate the family across the country to West Virginia, where Rex's parents live. On the day of their departure, Rex refuses to go with them, but the kids beg him until he agrees to come along.