Just some random, irrelevant, humorous, and hopefully inspiring musings on life, love, faith, widowhood, remarriage, adoption, blended families, caring for a handicapped child, mothering seven children, chickens, cooking, grief, over-coming grief, and everything else in between. Just Keep Livin!!
In honor of Mother’s day I’ve chosen to recognize 7 little people who have made motherhood a reality for me.Caleb, Tate, Lucas, Mya, Mabel, Josh and Jada – you literally get me up in the morning and keep me on my toes (with lots and lots of coffee!).Each one of you has brought such joy to my life in unique ways, and although I’m not always the greatest at remembering to tell you how much you mean to me, know from the bottom of my heart, that you kids are my heartbeat.
Caleb – My first born son, named after one of the Biblical spies allowed into the Promised Land, a sign of God’s blessing upon our family. You arrived in my life when I was merely 25 years old, andI bore you with a great amount of pain and determination, but you were so worth it.You were my “little beaner” and we were buddies from day one.You have seen way too much in your short 10 years from your brother being severally handicapped, to your stressed out mom during many of those hard years, to accepting a new brother and two new sisters and embracing the fact that your mom would be spread even thinner than she already had been, to finally being the one to discover that your birth father had left our family to journey onward to his forever home. I am so proud of the little man you have become.I pray that you continue to find beauty in this world, continue to push yourself past all limits and continue to ask the questions that no one else will ask.Always open your heart even when this world will send numerous blows your way. Continue to trust in HIM son, he we make all of your paths straight. Dad and I love you so much.
Tate, my son.You ran circles around my brain for about the first year I was blessed to be called your mom.I’ve never met a child like you who could literally talk all day long!You always have a spark for life that has never faded, even when your own birth mom passed away and you were left with a gaping hole in your heart.You, Tate, gave your dad hope so that he could move on and pursue love again, and you paved the way for your family to step out of grief and embrace the gift of a new family that God had sent their way.Thank you Tate for being bold enough to speak it like it is.Thank you for your tender heart and for accepting and loving me as your mom.Thank you for always being cautious of not hurting my feelings or the feelings of others by speaking of things that would only be painful.Tate, you have not let the hardships of life keep you down and instead you have risen to any challenge and have actually risen above and beyond anything we could have ever thought possible.We love you buddy.
Mya – You bonded to me immediately. We mirror each other in so many ways and that has made our relationship easy sailing at times and at other times some pretty rough waters.They say, what bothers you the most in others are your own worst personality traits and tendencies, and I would have to say that is an accurate statement!You are my wingman just as I was called upon to be a wingman in my youth, and that makes you helpful, a know it all, dependable, and absolutely necessary in my life as a mom. You, my daughter, carry a special role in our family as the oldest girl, weight is put upon you that is not always fair but you never balk at what is needed or asked, you just fulfill your role quietly and respectfully (usually). You have an old soul brought on by heartache and life but right now, in this moment, I’m so thankful that I get to be your mom. Thank you for accepting this role so easily and readily. Thank you for loving me and welcoming me into your heart. Keep your eyes on Jesus and he will direct your path. I love you Mya Dru.
Mabel Grace.Oh sweet pistol girl.I wanted you so badly.Actually I wanted a daughter so badly and when you were lifted out of my stomach and the doctor said, “It’s a girl!”I just wept.You have brought a smile to my face during some of the darkest moments a person can walk through.Sweet girl, you were so oblivious to the pain surrounding your first three years of life, your birth daddy being diagnosed with brain cancer months after you were born, chemo, radiation, Luke’s brain surgeries, another terminal brain cancer diagnosis and finally the death of your first father.I’m sorry I didn’t have any better answers for your little three year old heart when you awoke to find him gone the next day.I’m sorry for the confusion and the pain that you’ve endured in your short 6 years.I’m sorry that I checked out on everything for those three dark months after his death. I thank God every day for sending you a new daddy and for the bond of love you have with him. Keep your fire my little pistol, it will serve you well (most of the time) throughout your days.Along with that fire, carry your sword of the spirit and nothing will be able to sever you from your path.I love you sweetie.
Joshua- my sign of a promise, named for the other spy who could enter the promised land. I had no idea why in the world I would wind up pregnant during the worst possible time in my life with your birth father on chemo and radiation.It seemed like you had to be a sign of a promise for my life, and you were actually a sign for something so far beyond anything I could have comprehended or conceived in those moments.You provided me with something to live for during those months when your birth father could live no longer.You gave me hope and a promise for a better tomorrow and that better tomorrow has been fulfilled for me, you kids, and your birth father.I look at you today, all little man of you, at 3 years old with a gun shoved down your pants just like your big brothers and marvel at what God pulled together in your life.You now have a sister you couldn't' live without and a brother who is not your blood but probably more your brother than any other family member, and a daddy who you love and who loves you. Little boy, God knew what he was doing when he placed you in my womb.Thank you Joshua Isaac for something you have no comprehension of right now, thank you for being born for such a time as this and allowing your mother to believe again that there would be beauty from the ashes.I love you crazy boy.
Jada –You dear little girl, I love you ferociously but at times, my goodness….You have a stubborn tenacity that would be hard on any woman. I didn’t have the chance to bond with you in my womb, and I didn’t bond with you in your infancy either.That was a gift you gave your birth mother, and I’m sure you made her final days here on earth full of peace and joy while cradling you in her arms. In fact, you came into my life during the “stinker” years of 1-3 and those aren’t easy for any mother, let alone a mother who hasn’t had any initial bond with a child. I have prayed, many, many prayers of patience and understanding during these last two years.We, little Jada Alexis, are finding our sweet spot finally.I am thankful to be your mom, and I’m thankful for the stretching and pulling of my faith and life that you have brought.I’m thankful that you have sent me to my knees repeatedly in an effort to seek God’s will for my children. Jada, you are my princess girl.Always remember, I love you, I want to be the mom you need more than just about anything, and that I chose you because of that unconditional love.I love you princess.
Lucas Aaron Ronne – you have changed us all for the better.People wonder what the purpose of your life is and it is such an absurd question. You find joy in every single day. I don’t think many people can say that.You find joy in school, in family, in movies, in music, in food, and in chocolate milk.Every day, these things bring joy to your life.You don’t wish your life to be different, just as I don’t wish my life to be different.We are all in God’s perfect will just exactly where we are and that’s the best life you could ever live - smack dab in his will.You, little boy, are such a blessing and in fact, I believe that your life isn’t even necessarily about you, your life is about everyone around you and how we each change because you miraculously live.You dear boy, are a miracle.My beautiful family is a miracle and just as you don’t wallow in your limitations, we also don’t wallow in our loss, and instead we rejoice in what was created from the loss.Here’s to you Luke, “let’s give ‘em something to talk about….!”
Here's a fantastic go to cookies recipe that can be adapted in many ways. This makes about 2 dozen cookies and they're almost guilt free as I've been able to replace many of the not so healthy ingredients with healthier ones. Enjoy!
2 sticks of butter softened
1/2 cup maple syrup or 1 cup sugar http://www.greatrivermilling.com/organic-pancake-waffle-mixes/
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups Great River Organic Milling Bread Flour Blend with oats.http://amzn.to/2F46IOg
1 tea baking soda
1 tea salt
1/2 tea baking powder
1-2 cups dark chocolat...
I glanced to the left and recognized a spattering of houses and to the right – nothing but naked branches swaying in the stagnant air. I leaned into the vacancy and began moving, one foot in front of the other – the vicious cold biting my face and freezing the tears as they fell. I walked in penance for whatever grave sin I had committed – a sin which had led to a recent life of so much pain and heartache. I knew that surely if my husband held the strength to wage war against numerous rounds of poison, and my son had the strength to defy the proclamations of death voiced against him, and my c...
A few days ago we told the kids that we had a surprise for them and to pack their bags for some fun!
They were excited – some of them handle surprises better than others (my bios become highly suspicious – like their mother - whatever; it’s character building), whereas, Ryan’s bios become the happiest clan of children in the whole wide world! There’s nothing they like better than a fun time and man, when they envision a good time, they go big. Ryan and I were craving snow and worked our destination around this desire, and so off to the Smoky Mountains we went – more specifically off to Gatlin...
Here are the waffles that we make ALL THE TIME at the Ronne house. Our kids are up and at em early - 6:00 a.m. early, which about made me die when we first moved to Tennessee, but I have to admit, I've gotten used to the early mornings (or I'm now 40 and don't require as much sleep). Whatever it is, these waffles are life savers. They are easy, filling, one bowl wonders full of nutrition, and the best part of all? They don't require syrup which saves you (mom and dad) the hassle of needing to clean up (house and kid). All of my kids lo...
Me – Mama – Queen Bee. The year began with Ryan and I realizing we needed to pursue a different kind of help for Lucas than we were receiving through the state. For a number of reasons, which I will explain in great depth someday but not today, we were frustrated with the system and decided to pursue some stability for him with a consistent person and that thought turned into an au pair. The plan was that she would help with Luke, the other kids, cooking, and cleaning. Ryan built an apartment in our barn (it’s so cute), and we began the process of searching for the perfect ...
Who doesn't love a warm, gooey cinnamon roll on Christmas morning, and in my opinion, it's even better if you can sneak a little nutrition into them as well! Here's my take on our favorite Christmas treat.
Just keep livin!
“MOM! Annabelle broke baby Jesus again!” one of my children shouted from the family room. I sighed and walked over to my youngest who was gently holding a delicate, ceramic baby Jesus in her small hands, a ceramic baby who had been placed front and center on our coffee table during the holiday season and usually replaced every few days with a fresh application of hot glue because Annabelle had somehow managed to dismember his arm from the rest of his body once again. “Annabelle, give Mama baby Jesus. You broke him and Mama needs to fix him - again.” “NO MAMA! ME WANT BABY JESUS!...
Remember the old metal table I had my eye on in my husband's junk pile
It's not an old metal table anymore! Not only has he masterfully restored it to a beautiful new desk, but he's also masterfully restored an old barn on our property into a quiet space for me to write and practice yoga.
I am loving the solitude of this space when I find time to escape for a few minutes and this is where I was able to chat about life the other day with Hallie Klecker, host of the Life Well Nourished podcast. So much fun, but I should preface with one little thing before ...
I say all of this not with the intention of eliciting sympathy, no, we choose this life, and although at times we question whether or not we should pursue a move to one particular hub or another, we have decided for the time being that we are in the right place for raising our family. This may change as kids grow and age and fly the coop, and then we could realistically look at 3 or 4 bedroom homes; however, that’s not our current reality, and we firmly believe God has us here for a reason (if not two or three reasons). Although busyness and life often keep us from bein...
Another book review coming from Mabel Grace. She really enjoys the spotlight (shocking, I know), and loves participating in these reviews on mom’s blog. Lindsay Franklin’s Adored devotional book for young women, was another perfect opportunity for her to showcase how relevant these books are for a young women like herself.
Hi, my name is Mabel. I am here to tell you about an amazing book that helped me with a few things that I am not very good at, well actually not at all. What I mean is that I am not good with patience. The book that I am talking to you about is called Ado...