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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!!

Ronne Recap and other Nonsense

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I’m starting something new on the blog by attempting to write consistently at least two days a week. I know, to be a successful blogger “they” say you should write daily, but I just don’t have the luxury of that kind of time being a mom of 7.  I’m hopeful that this structure will give my family an opportunity to actually see mom’s face  rather than a laptop version of her as they do so often, and I’m optimistic that it will also give me some added free time to work on my ultimate project- a book I’ve been writing since 2004 (more information on that soon).

Mondays from here on out are going to be Ronne Recap days. In a nut shell, for those readers who find the concept of a family with 7 young children and the daily grind of our life fascinating and entertaining, I will be recapping our wild and crazy times through words and pictures.

Another day (probably Thursdayish) I will either tackle a controversial or non controversial topic like grief, faith, sex, porn, marriage, birth control, or Rob Bell. When I write on these topics, or topics similar to these, I am in a strange way reassured that I still have a functioning brain cell or two left. Or, I will write about something completely random: such as addressing a question I receive, a comment I overhear or maybe even lassoing my husband into writing occasionally. You get the point, a grab bag of sorts on this day.

I’m hoping this structure will be good for the blog and positive for my home life.

Starting with Ronne Recap Monday… I’ll make it short and sweet with a rundown of our weekend activities.  

Ryan’s birthday was on Friday, and he finally caught up in age to his wife, reaching 36 as well. He’s not a big birthday celebrator which has admittedly been an occasional area of contention in our marriage. I like to make a big deal of birthdays (and holidays for that matter). I think they ARE a big deal; life and breath for another whole year is worth celebrating; especially considering our past lives, but he tends to view it as “just another day”. Our problem has been, I do for him how I would want it done for me - birthday dinner, cake, lots of presents, and always some sort of climactic surprise - an eyes wide open with wonderment moment. He, however, does for me how he would like it done; a general lacking in wonderment moments and more of a “just another day” kind of feel. We discussed this; one of our greatest achievements in marriage being our communication skills, and it boiled down to me being disappointed about his lack of excitement for gifts or anything having to do with the day. He reassured me that he IS excited, he just doesn’t know how to show it properly (probably a man problem).  I suggested therapy. Not really….

We are working through this, one conversation at a time, and I’m convinced by next year, he’ll have it sorted out. Here’s a picture of him opening presents after the kids go to school because he doesn’t want it to be a big deal.


Here’s a picture of him later on that night shooting rabbits in our yard; his request on his birthday.


 Yes, he was shooting them, not the ones with souls of course, just the ones that terrorize our garden and eat the bark off all of our trees. In the Ronne family we are staunch proponents of the death penalty in some instances. Death of our trees and vegetables is, in our opinion, a call for justice to be served. I have a confession to make here as well. I should issue a warning; I will be a major disappointment to some of you in a moment. Initially as my husband shot at these fluffy little varmints, I watched horrified and dismayed and then, a quiet uprising in my being began to flame. Admittedly, I have never shot a gun in my life, but I have been curious; something about the power of death and life held in this instrument. In a courageous moment of strength, I hesitantly reached for the rifle and gingerly held it in my hands. I struggled internally, swaying between anger and guilt as I recalled how those wretched creatures destroy my garden every year. Thankfully, the guilt dissipated quickly and completely.  I lifted the rifle high, looked 5o yards straight down the barrel at an unsuspecting target and proceeded to miss by a mile, bullet flying high in the air and landing somewhere in the field. Second shot, a little closer, with the wind of the bullet rustling the grass, third shot –


Cat’s having rabbit stew tonight! My proudest moment was when one of our ten year olds hollered out, “Dad, what’cha shoot?!” And dad replied,

“Your mom shot it!”

Oh yeah boys, you had better watch out, there’s a mama with some rifle skills at this homestead.

The next morning, Mabel and Mya had their dance recital.  They had to arrive at 11 for a 12 o’clock show.


 I dropped them off and proceeded to find the entrance to the auditorium. Finding it, I asked for a ticket and was surprised to have the clerk request $4.00. I informed her that MY girls were dancing, so I wasn’t one of the paying customers. She promptly corrected my mistake and suggested I find four dollars.

Times have apparently changed since I pounded out Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata for a piano recital 23 years ago. Back then we had to offer an assortment of cookies and refreshments to entice people into enjoying endless hours of classic renditions.

I was fortunate and found two open seats in the auditorium , five rows from the front stage, among two fully saved rows.  I’d say approximately 20ish chairs that one set of parents set aside for guests to be totally enraptured as their only child, a 4 year old princess, stretched to classical music. I must say, the stretching was magnificent.

Once home that night we had Ryan’s birthday dinner because his real birthday fell on the girls rehearsal.  I made hamburgers, chips, and cold yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Ryan appreciated the effort saying, “It’s important for the kids to see us making an effort with each others birthdays.”

Our girls will make wonderful wives someday.

Last but not least, the climactic surprise. I gave him what every man with 7 kids would want (or probably any man with children for that matter!) His moment of wonderment was a night on the town, with yours truly, complete with a comedy club, music, dinner, and a full night’s sleep. We had a fabulous time.

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In his defense regarding the birthday discussions, I was horribly sick on my birthday this year.  I’m sure next year our boys will have an excellent opportunity to see up close and personal EXACTLY how a wife should be treated on her birthday.

 Just a reminder, there is still time to get a FREE code for one of Elijah's fabulous songs, just take two seconds to subscribe to the blog!

Just keep livin!!

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Guest Sunday, March 26, 2017

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