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Sunlight Burning at Midnight a memoir by Jessica Ronne


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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!!

Life, Laughs, and Laughables

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It is recap Monday, a rundown of the Ronne Family madness and any highlights that may have ensued over the past week.

First, Tuesday morning bright and early we received a call from our realtor informing us that someone wanted to see the house at 2:00. No big deal, the cleaner had been there the day before so the house was clean and it was just a matter of figuring out where to have Josh and Jada so that they wouldn’t be running underfoot, frustrating a potential buyer.  I was able to find a babysitter who brought them to the park, and I promptly left the house after making sure it was spick and span. I returned at 3:00, assuming that I had given more than enough time for the realtor to show her client the house and the sitter returned five minutes later as well with two tired 3 year olds. Upon a quick run through, I was admittedly suspicious as to whether or not the realtor had made it; with all of the upstairs doors still being closed. However, I settled in, determined to start some dinner preparations, taking chicken out of the fridge along with some other ingredients and a loaf of bread. Josh and Jada had happily found themselves in possession of a milky way candy bar, still in the wrapper, discovered on the garage floor and were joyfully giddy that mom had allowed them to eat it before dinner. They were admonished to “share it nicely.” Here’s a picture of Josh feeding Jada bite by bite – nicely.



Of course, the second I sprawled all of my raw goods amongst the kitchen counters, I heard a hard knock at the garage door along with a cheerful, “Hello? Sorry, we’re late, can we take a quick look?” I frantically tried to pick up the kitchen mess while apologizing, (not sure why I was apologizing?) and hurried outside to busy myself with chicken duty (cleaning the coop). Exactly ten minutes later the two women emerged with a quick “thank you” before loading into their slick SUV. Instinctively, I knew that could not have meant a highly successful showing.

As I assumed, the feedback we heard the following day was, “It was too cluttered.”

Duh, we have 7 kids. Sorry, just not going to happen right now. If a client can’t see past the clutter, this house is probably not for them. We are in a bit of a questioning period about the move right now. Things aren’t falling into place exactly how we envisioned and we’re trying to pray through whether or not we have enough faith to just “jump ship” regardless of having all the ducks in a row or if we’re feeling a shut door or possibly even a “not now door.” We don’t feel a complete peace one way or another so we’ve thrown out some scenarios, almost as small tests, to see if our path may be steered through this method. It can be hard to determine God’s will at times.

The next day I did my tri-weekly grocery shopping run and found day old apples on sale for a dollar a bag! I bought four bags, which will last about 3 days in our house. Keeping this family in food during the summer is intense. The kids eat breakfast and lunch at school during the year - it just simplifies life not having to think about storing enough food in the house for those two meals, but during the summer, we can’t exactly expect the school to continue feeding them. I tend to make grocery store runs 3 or 4 times a week. I suppose I could do one huge run once a week but I DREAD putting all of those groceries away so I break it up in bits and make a few runs. It feels more manageable that way.


Thursday was the last day of school for the kids. I’m not going to lie, I dread this day. It is different for those of you with two or three kids, it just is, and you’re going to have to take my word for it. Even those of you with 6 or 7 “normal” kids, it’s different. We cannot throw the whole family into our vehicle and go anywhere; Luke hates it and makes it miserable. If Luke does not stay in his normal, we all pay for it. He screams, hollers, and head bangs, and we are willing to endure it once a week for church but that’s about it. I accept it, I embrace it (eventually) but do not judge me when I dread it as well. It takes the whole family a good two weeks to adjust to the new environment of all of us being together all day long. The hardest part as a mom is to wrap my mind (literally) around the emotional and audible onslaught. It is HARD to not lose it with 7 kids WANTING to talk to mom all day long. They are still at the age where they like me and want to share every little detail that pops into their minds times seven. It’s intense. To remedy this, we have incorporated a sitter into the budget, two mornings a week, also known as “keep mom sane money.”

Friday night we had a fun family cookout. Hamburgers, chicken, potato salad, chips and SMORES!


mabelMabel drying herself on the pavement

meditatingmeditating girls 

smores1cooking our smores

smores3so good!

The boys have been watching too much Bear Grylls or something like that because they actually wondered if they could eat this bug that they had caught.


Saturday night was date night! This is a weekly occurrence that we GREATLY appreciate and this week we enjoyed the company of a new friend of mine who I met through our newspaper article. Coincidentally, she has 7 kids too! And she was a widow and a former pastor’s wife, and she cracks me up! She’s one of those wonderful people who lives in such a state of truth, not hiding behind a mask of perfection or perceived perfection, what you see is what you get and bonus, we both hate laundry. Thanks for a great night out Kate and Tim.

Finally, a big picnic to end the week! Family, food, and fun! The kids ran and played hard and fell exhausted into bed – our ultimate goal every night...

picnic1my pretty girls

picnic2mabel the monkey

picnic3Jada feeding Josh so he gets dessert

picnic4Boys will be Boys

That’s it – our week of life, laughs, and laughables…

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Just Keep Livin!!

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