Little Mermaid and Prayer – Coping Methods for Peace

As promised here is my two weeks of profound wisdom on being an introverted parent who recently discovered herself raising two very extroverted children. First, I have researched every morsel out of this topic, as I do with any new information that dumps itself into my existence, and I became fixated on it,  proceeding to explore all of the in’s and out’s until I considered myself to be a self – professed expert on the subject at hand.  Notice I said, “I consider myself” absolutely not one other soul in the universe may buy into my perceived intellect, but that’s ok, we all need a little more self – confidence occasionally, take it or leave it.

Here are 5 techniques that I have found to be effective over the past few days as I navigate through this new terrain of extroverted personalities.  Some of these have been suggestions from blogs written by other introverted parents living with either an extroverted child or an extroverted spouse, some are from certified research on introverted versus extroverted personalities, and some of them are ideas that made sense to me so I tried them.

1.      Setup for idea number one – It drives me crazy that Josh and Jada will have absolutely nothing to tell me for two hours prior to my decision to workout but as soon as my legs hit our treadmill, with ear plugs jammed into my ears blaring some Bon Jovi craziness, three year old Jada has an urgent 30 minute story to tell me.  I have desperately missed my gym in Michigan and the daycare that it provided. My solution – the next time I worked out I did something deeply profound.  I sat down with her and explained that when mommy is working out, she needs to either tell Josh, or puppy or kitty, or naked Barbie her stories or wait until mommy is done working out but she is not to tell mommy stories while mommy is on the treadmill.  However, mommy would be more than happy to listen to her story once mommy is off the treadmill. No arguments, just a blank stare with a smirky look telling me she totally understood what I was saying. I have worked out twice, in her presence, since this conversation has taken place, and she has not uttered one peep to me while I am on the treadmill.  The second I’m off is a different story (literally) all together, but I have that half hour to decompress when I need it.

2.   Ryan and I initiated a very entertaining, lighthearted dinner time conversation about extroverts and introverts and how these personalities can be very different from one another.  We led if off by asking if anyone had heard of these terms (Caleb had since he had been around when I was researching it) so he was very eager to contribute his vast amount of information on the subject, (he’s a little bit like his mom).  Everyone knew exactly which one they were (except Josh and Jada) and they all got a big kick out of comparing the differences seen in the personalities. We then discussed ways that we could help each other as a family.  For instance, “Caleb wants more sleep than you do Tate because he’s very introverted, so if you want to stay up and read books in the media center, you may, but your bedroom is going to be for sleeping and it needs to be a quiet environment for those who want to sleep.” Knowledge is power.
3.    I’ve always prided myself on being a mom who does NOT resort to watching videos in the car other than on long car rides.  My tune has recently changed.  I have discovered, quite by accident, that when my extroverted children are watching a video, like Little Mermaid for example, it gives me some peace and quiet. Don’t judge, I have seven children…

4.     I’ve made the effort to converse with all of my children on a daily basis.  The easiest way I’ve found to make this happen is through our car rides home from school.  I have all day to wrap my mind around the fact that I will be in a car for 30 minutes with 4 children at 2:30 in the afternoon each day.  My introverted self has made peace with this, it’s not always easy, but I choose to immerse myself in the onslaught, recognizing the amount of energy it will take from me, engage them, humor them, enjoy them, one by one, on these rides home.  I’ve found that if I don’t monitor the one on one (in other words, Caleb, “Tell me about your day” Mya, “Tell me about your day” the extrovert (Tate) will happily hijack each and every conversation leaving his introverted siblings speechless.  The introverted ones don’t necessarily mind this, being introverted, but that doesn’t allow me a glimpse into their lives if their brother is always  willing to conversationally step up to the plate for them.

5.      Acceptance and lots of prayers for patience, pure and simple.  My life will not always be this crazy, my weeks are admittedly pretty easy with all of the kids in school, and I don’t work outside the home so I really have quite a few quiet moments.  I have chosen to wrap my mind around the fact that the weekends will be a little (a lot) crazier and have taken measures to escape that overwhelming feeling that comes occasionally by embarking on long trips to the library or the grocery store with just a child or two or three.

Just keep livin!!

The Picture Spoke and I Didn’t Listen – A Lesson in Introverted Parenting

Disclaimer – This post is looking at broad, societal generalizations of two strikingly different personality types.   It is merely my understanding of how these personalities interact together on a very small scale of life otherwise known as the Ronne household and how we can successfully mesh them together to create a peaceful and harmonious environment beneficial for all of the family members involved.   

The writing was on the wall from the day I married this man and became mom to three new children.  

It was always there, right in my face, prominently displayed upon our fireplace mantel for the whole world to see, but I never saw what the picture was really saying, speaking to me in a still, small, quiet picture voice.  You see, if you look closely at this picture, you will notice mostly subdued, tired, calm looking children, with two subdued, calm looking parents, that’s what will catch your eye, mostly… except for two of the beings in the picture.  Two children who I would be adopting within the year and becoming legally mom to, two children who I would choose to love as my own, regardless of the lack of bonding I had with them during the early years, two children who would cause me to repeatedly bang my head against a wall in despair and guilt over feeling like I was failing them as a mother because I could not for the life of me figure out why they ticked the way they did, two children with so much joy, so much life, so much exuberance, so much energy, and SO MANY FREAKIN WORDS ALL THE TIME.

I have researched, labeled, prayed, and attempted to reason with these blessings from above in an effort to wrap my mind around how they tick, why they are wired so differently from anything or anyone I’ve ever mothered or experienced before, and I’ve come to the realization, almost three years into knowing them, that it all boils down to two words, two words that have freed me from the confines of guilt within my inner soul in ways I never knew possible and opened my eyes to a realm of possibilities, those two words being so simple, yet so profound:



This moment of revelation, where the Heavens opened up and rang down answers, was a day that happened quite by accident when I stumbled across one woman’s blog entry about being an introverted mom raising an extroverted child and how challenging it was for her and then the fire was eternally stoked. I knew in an instant that I had unearthed the deep mystery of my reality as well and it all started to click.   I spent hours that day researching anything and everything I could find on this very eye opening discovery.  Tate and Jada are extroverted –straight up extroverted, and I am straight up introverted, as are the other 5 children in the family, including the four who have come from my very own loins and as frustrating as it has been for me, I have to imagine these two children have been equally as confused and frustrated, especially ten year old Tate who had a whole new form of motherhood to contend with and adapt to.  A mom who didn’t want to talk about everything, a mom who needed to decompress often, a mom who would jam head phones into her ears to avoid speaking or interacting for periods of time, a mom whose eyes would glaze over in the morning as he bounded down the stairs eager to fill her ears with every single thought that had passed through his mind during the evening.  These two children love to talk, need much less sleep than the rest of us introverted souls, and always, always want to be doing something social.  Their batteries are recharged through going places, seeing people, seeing the world, flinging decorative throw pillows around the room, getting reactions, negative and positive reactions doesn’t matter as long as it leads to someone or something acknowledging and conversing with them, constantly pestering their siblings for the same type of reactions, expressing every single feeling very vocally and very externally, and attempting to fix the funk their introverted mother appears to be in occasionally by doing what they would love to have done for them in a similar situation –BY TALKING, whereas I’m screaming in my head, PLEEEASE…. just give me two seconds to THINK.    

Introverts do very little of any of this because most actions exhaust us after a certain amount of time.  Introverts process almost everything internally and by the time something comes out of our mouths we have thought it through, completely and thoroughly, including any implications that may be involved, and we have deemed it worthy to be vocalized or written to the world as something we stand behind and give our stamp of approval upon (thus many introverts are writers). We are very much homebodies, avoid small talk (it doesn’t seem worthy of the energy), need a significant amount of sleep, and have a much lower need to be social, but that’s not to say we don’t have friends, we are very loyal people and once we actually allow you into our realm of trust, you will be there for a very long time, therefore our circle of intimacy is usually quite small.

The world, especially our American world, is much kinder and more welcoming to extroverts.  We as a culture encourage stress, constant movement,  making all the friends and social media contacts as can possibly be made, loud, inhibition less actions,  excessive congregating and forming groups for this and that and attending  this class, and that Bible study and if you don’t, Why in heavens name wouldn’t you? Don’t you want to grow spiritually with other believers?   Are you struggling spiritually?  Are you backsliding?  What in the world is wrong with you?

Extroverts give the appearance of being much more loving and giving as people than the introverted crowd, generally  basking in the joy of being social, giving back, setting up charities and organizations, hob knobbing with all the people of the world about the next big fundraiser or activity planned and while this is a true characteristic of an extrovert, there is also something inherently and often times unconsciously selfish in these actions in that the acts themselves fill something inside of the extrovert; they fill a void required through this outlet of social stimulation. 

Now contrast this with the introverted perspective on life. No, I probably don’t want to go to every activity and class out there, not even probably no, just straight up no.   My brain needs a lot of time to decompress, alone, or with a single person, either a close girlfriend or my husband.  I enjoy reading something, simply and quietly in the privacy of our home.  Introverts aren’t necessarily rude people although our behaviors are often misinterpreted as rude, we are just very intense people who need to get away from it all and reenergize ourselves; in contrast to the extrovert who gains energy from people and a constant social life, introverts loose energy at pretty rapid paces when we are called upon to be always socially available, not to mention it can cause some massive headaches because it’s just not how we are wired.   It’s not even that we don’t want a social life, we just realize that it will drain us, and we will pay for it with hours of down time and medication later.   Ryan and I love date night and 90% of the time it’s just the two of us, in a quiet place, chatting about life.  Occasionally we double date with people who are very dear to us, and although we enjoy it, the time leading up the event can cause some anxiety because we both realize how much more  it will take out of us to double date, this feeling of being “on” for other people.  Introverts totally understand this, extroverts think we’re nuts because we can’t and won’t stay out until midnight, soaking in the moment, chatting and dancing the night away.  If we did this, we would need to regroup for a month.  It’s exhausting to feel like you need to be on all the time and introverts feel this especially in the presence of an extrovert. 

Bottom line, I love these children fiercely.  Being introverted, I will take some time to process this, claim it as my reality, and then my first born nature will kick in, and I will make it as right as I possibly can by our family. I hope to have some practical suggestions to share in the next post for other introverted parents struggling as well or if you have suggestions, please let me know in the comments.  Ignorance can seem to be blissful for a period, but knowledge is ultimately the most powerful force.

I’m exhausted, time to decompress with a nap…

Just keep livin!!

Coffee, Catfish, and Peach Jelly

I’m not gonna lie, it’s been tiring at the new homestead, but we are finally seeing some light in the Ronne household.  I have ZERO inspiration or time to write something coherent right now, so I hope you enjoy the continuing saga in picture form. 

Of utmost importance, Caleb was the only student in his class to have a perfect score on the first test of the year.  He was pretty proud.


Ryan left last Sunday to return to Michigan for four days of packing, painting, and prepping while I was left to maintain the zoo.  It was not the best four days of my life to say the least, and I spent a considerable amount of time drinking this…


and gabbing to my girlfriends back home about my loneliness. 

When daddy is gone the kids generally seem more bored than usual, or maybe it’s just the one parent phenomenon, so to remedy some of the boredom I surprised Josh and the rest of the gang with one of Josh’s birthday presents, 30 days early.  They had hours of fun with their new puppet show.


We also celebrated Luke’s 9th birthday in true low key fashion, REALLY low key fashion.  I picked the kids up from school and decided to run through McDonalds drive thru for dinner.  And since I’m a multi task queen and had to pick up ring worm medication for Luke’s outbreak, I promised the kids another run thru for dessert if they could all behave for 5 minutes in the car eating while I ran into the local Dollar General for the meds.  They happily complied. Luke didn’t seem to mind the lack of birthday festivities, fully enjoy his McDonalds feast.


I also had time to pick up some peaches from a local Mennonite community down the road, and I decided to make jam.  Making something delicious with my own two hands brings an incredible amount of comfort to the soul.   


One day, completely out the blue, the mosquitoes decided to leave our property!  It was so wonderful! I planted some of my clearance goodies from Lowes and then made a little picnic for Josh and Jada.


And, when I felt supremely overwhelmed (which did occur occasionally – I was without my man for 96 hours) I would lay down in our master bedroom and enjoy this beautiful view.


Where I would enjoy these little morsels that arrived in my mailbox that morning.   Something about magazines is incredibly soothing.


When Dad returned, he walked the kids about a mile through the woods and fields in our backyard to the Tennessee River where Caleb caught the first Ronne cat fish.  The other kids were mesmerized by how he fileted it. I stayed away, gross….



Over the weekend, Mya made Mabel a beautiful crown from the ivy growing all over our property. Doesn’t she look lovely?  (I have no idea why this child always looks constipated in pictures)

mabel I finally slept like a baby and accomplished A LOT one day.   I organized the pantry, the junk closet, and the makeshift laundry room which consists of no washing machine no dryer, a big piece of plywood, and all of the kids separate clothing bins.  Something about having these three areas organized has settled my anxiety for the moment.     




Just keep livin!!


My Optimistic List

Good Aspects of Tennessee Life

1.      There’s country music playing just about everywhere.

2.      The BBQ is AMAZing…

3.      The fried green tomatoes are equally amazing

4.      People have all the time in the world to chat and socialize.

5.      You don’t have to pay for trash service because there isn’t any.

6.      Our internet actually works better in the middle of nowhere in Tennessee than it did in Michigan.

7.       If aliens ever took over the world, we could be very self-sufficient in our little corner of the world, especially with all the tips we’ve learned from watching Bear Grylls on a daily basis.

8.       Along with number 7, we have plenty of wild life to eat if we ever desire to be super economical – rabbits, deer, fish, grasshoppers, and rattlesnakes. 

9.      PEACEFUL – enough said

10.    Old time gospel songs are played every Sunday morning on most of the radio stations. Makes me feel like I’ve been transported 100 years back to a different time and place.

11.  The history – I recently discovered that our back yard was part of a confederate base during the civil war. 

12.   Lots of cute, old churches.  I love these, not that I’d probably attend one with Luke, but I love to gaze upon them.  In fact, I was married in one of these. wed1

13. The lack of flies

14.  School starts the first week of August

15.  Beef is seriously cheap here.  I would have paid $12-15 dollars in Michigan for a steak. Here I pay about $6.00.  We will be indulging much more often. 

16.   Lack of chain restaurants, in fact outside of fast food I haven’t seen even ONE.

17.   The SUN

18.   People are really good about warning one another about cops hiding out on the road, thus giving all of those trying to overcome a small speeding vice plenty of time to slow down.  

19.   I won’t have any problems finding a photogenic, cute, old barn for family pictures this year.  In fact, I even have a few options available on my own property.


Just keep livin!!