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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Thanks:

1. The Barrands. These guys have been our hang out buddies lately. We are thankful for all of our friends, but it's true that its easier to hang out with those who your kids really enjoy being with. Sam and Josh are great friends and always get excited when we tell them we'll be getting together. They invited us to their home for FHE last night. Marcia made an incredible Brazillian dish for dinner. Bryce gave a nice kid-friendly lesson- and then we had a great time carving pumpkins. Thanks guys.

2. A washing machine. Oh my goodness! Laundry piles up so fast. Especially with a child in the spit-up phase, and another in potty training mode.... I am VERY thankful for my washer and dryer.

3. Firefighters. My heart goes out to those who have lost their homes in the fires of California. How sad to see so many even temporarily displaced from their homes. What courage the firefighters show as they try to fight as best they can!!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thanks:

1. A Sacrament meeting without a Cheezit disaster. Josh and Dekker were pretty well behaved this Sunday. Always a relief when that happens.

2. My laurels. I love those girls so much!

3. "Tio". Jesus Garcia is our good friend- someone who you know you can ask anything of and always depend on. He's actually the one who introduced Jake and I. We'd both met him in the mission, and he introduced the two of us a couple of years later. Anyway, he brought a girl over for dinner last night (not a "couple" yet, but we approved of her) and he is so sweet with our boys. Thus, he is known to them as "Tio" (uncle in Spanish). He also watched them Saturday morning while we went to the temple.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Thanks:

1. Mt. Timpanogos Temple. This is where Jake and I were married. Yesterday we went and participated in sealings. I'm so thankful we have a temple so close.

2. A cleaner garage. We finally got the old counter tops and other such junk that had accumulated in our garage cleared out. A friend lent us their trailer and we took a load to the dump. It always feel good to get rid of some baggage.

3. Thanksgiving Point's Cornbelly's. We met up with our friends the Barrands there last night and has so much fun!!!

I could really elaborate on all of these more- but I'm too tired. Sorry.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Thanks:

1. Date night. It's been a while since we've done a "real" date night- usually we'll go out to eat and just take the kids with us, or rent a movie to watch at home- but last night we had a sitter for a couple hours! We took a picnic up to Squaw Peak and enjoyed the sunset. It was nice to have some time just the two of us for a bit.

2. Indian Food! We ordered Chicken Tikka Masala, saag shorba and mulligtawny soups, and garlic naan bread take out for our picnic. We have to go to Bombay House at least once a month!

3. Ben & Jerry's. So then we picked up some Chubby Hubby and watched a movie. Not a frequent indulgence- but a good one!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Thanks:

1. Honesty

2. Humility

3. Strength

Thoughts:

These are three characteristics that I saw in my husband last night. He's been feeling quite a bit of stress lately- trying to stay at the helm of two businesses and balancing his efforts between the two. Being the optimist though, he'd never let anyone know that he sometimes gets discouraged. Last night he opened up to me and honestly expressed some of his frustrations and discouragements. As we talked through things he showed great humility in accepting "blame" for some of the mistakes he's made, and by recognizing his need to allow the Lord to be a greater partner in his decisions. And of course strength for being willing to take risks and to continue to move forward, and to look at the possibility of making some tough decisions he'd rather not.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thanks:

1. Opportunity to serve. There's a family in our ward who has a son and daughter in law living in Angola. I guess he works for Exxon and is stationed there. Exxon pays for a container to be shipped from the US to Angola every year for each family. There's another family that is leaving soon, and so offered to donate their container for relief items. The wife in this family works at a medical and orphanage site and came up with a list of basic needed items. They asked our ward to gather what we could. So yesterday I went through my house gathering things to donate. They wanted used clothes, practical shoes and socks (they said its best used because the people get jumped if they have stuff that looks new). I also gathered up sheets and towels which they said the medical center does not provide. I'd recently gone through all of our closets, but when going through them again, knowing that these people need so much- I found plenty to give. It felt so good to know that these things would be going to people who so desperately need them.

2. The web. I'm very grateful for the internet and the way it helps me keep in touch with friends and family. Yesterday I was particularly grateful for the endless amount of information that can be found (and used for good- it can be used for bad as well sometimes). As a mom, I've given up going a day and keeping my clothes clean- they always end up with spit up, drool, food, or runny noses on them- but I was really sad when I found a pair of fairly new pants had pen marks on them. New pants, permanently ruined?! Please no! I quickly looked up ink stains and how to remove them. I rubbed them with alcohol, nail polish remover, and then rubbed some standard stain remover on them. Hooray! The stain is gone.

3. Yummy pizza dough recipe (also found on the internet; allrecipes.com). So I've made this before- but last night Jake was extra impressed for some reason- he thought I'd gone and bought a Papa Murphey's Pizza because "it looks too perfect, and the crust IS perfect!". He knows how to put a smile on my face. The recipe?
7/8 c. warm water
3/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. white sugar
2 tsp. active dry yeast
Throw all of it into a bread machine (I got mine at a thrift store for $5 and it works perfectly) and set on dough setting. When finished spread on pizza pan and top with favorite toppings. Bake approx 15 minutes at 400*F.
One of our favorites (and what I made last night) is a thin spreading of prepared Pesto sauce, chopped marinated artichoke hearts, and chopped sun dried tomatoes then topped with italian blend shredded cheese (all of which are found at Costco). Or if you've got fresh ingredients on hand, another favorite is with a marinara sauce, thin sliced fresh tomatoes, zuchini, and a little diced spinach or basil topped with cheese> Yummy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Thanks:

1. Petco. So yesterday I was trying to think of something fun to do with the kids without costing a lot of money. Answer? The pet store. We cruised over to the local Petco and wandered around the store. We watched the dogs getting their hair cut, checked out the birds, the fish, the reptiles, as well as rabits, farats, mice, and guinea pigs. Josh loved it.

2. Our cars. I always say that cars are a necessary evil- but even though they'll never be an investment- I really can't complain too much. We've always had good luck with cars (even our "college" cars never gave us much grief). Our neighbor's transmission just went out on their only vehicle, so it's really made me appreciate the fact that I can hop in the car and run errands without much thought. So thankful that yesterday I made sure to give her a good wash after filling her up with gas. Love your cars and they will love you back?

3. Sunny days. These last couple days have been so beautiful. Warm sun with crisp air. You don't get much of a fall in Utah (it switches from hot to cold so fast) but those few days you do get are gorgeous!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Thanks:

1. Hungry, Hungry Hippos! It was so fun to play this with Josh. It was our FHE activity- and he loved it!

2. Temples. Our FHE lesson was on temples. Since it was the focus of this month's Ensign, and part of mine and Jake's new goals (since conference) I thought it appropriate. I pulled out our wedding pictures and told Josh that Mom and Dad were married in a temple so that our family can be together forever. We looked at pictures of other temples too and talked about why they are special. It was a simple lesson- but Josh listened, and I was touched.

3. My husband. Jake offered to make dinner last night! He made breakfast for dinner. Excellent french toast, hash browns and bacon. SO YUMMY! He even did most of the cleanup afterwards. Gotta be thankful for that!

Thoughts:

Things have been good lately. We can already see blessings for our renewed efforts at family scripture study, prayer, and family home evenings. We are trying to help Josh participate more in everything. It's really brought the Spirit into our home. Already it seems that Josh has thrown less fits and been more obedient. Jake and I also have more patience with him. During the days I'm trying to make sure I find ways to give more undevided attention to both him and Dekker. It really is amazing how small things (and efforts) can bring about great things (and blessings).

Monday, October 22, 2007

Thanks:

1. Life's comedy. So Sunday I was in the middle of sacrament; Josh and Dekker both with runny noses that were needing to be wiped about every 3 minutes, Josh all excited to explore the Sunday diaper bag and pull out every bit of its contents, and Dekker being wiggly with discomfort on my lap. The sacrament was being passed when Dekker decided to start pulling at my shirt and eating my neck (his way of saying "please nurse me!"). I reached for the cheezits Josh had pulled from the bag and tossed aside and gave one to Dekker to try and pacify him. Unfortunatly Josh saw this and jumped on top of the two of trying to pull it from Dekker's hand. I grabbed the container, and not realizing the lid was not secure, shook it at him saying, "Look, there's plenty more..." just then the top slipped off and they spilled all over the floor. This could have been a good laughing moment- but I scowled instead. Jake somehow came to the rescue and got Josh to help him pick up the mess. I take the water and try to take my thoughts back to a reverent place, but I'll be honest, it wasn't coming easily... its at this moment that I glance down at Josh (still picking up the last of the Cheezits) and notice something stuck to his ear! Looking closer I realized it was a mushy cheezit remnant that must have fallen out of Dekkers mouth in the chaos and somehow landed and stuck to Josh's ear!!! I pointed it out to Jake and we both began to snicker. It lightened the mood just enough to help me get over my frustrations and return to more reverent thoughts.

2. Inspiration. Jake and I have both recently felt inspired to try and hold real family scripture study. Up to this point we've mostly worked on companionship study- since the boys seemed too little to really understand. After the general relief society session though, I realized that Josh really needs us to start including him, and making it more applicable to him. Then the other day Jake came back from bishopric meeting (he's the ward executive secretary) saying, "We need to make some changes..." So last night we pulled out the children's pictured New Testament Stories (the only Book of Mormon one I could find was in Spanish) and sat down to read and then pray together. I was worried, because Josh doesn't sit still for too long most of the time- but he was very attentive and reverent. It was a success, and I'm excited to improve in this habit.

3. A heated home.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thanks:

1. SNOW! That's right, the first real snowfall has come to Utah Valley. Josh was so excited. It's fun because last year I thought he'd be ready to play in the snow, but he really wasn't too interested. This year though he was running and falling in it, making and throwing snowballs, and just loving it. It took me back to my childhood memories of the first snows of the year. SO FUN!

2. Football games and friends. This year our house is the gathering place for BYU football games. Pretty much every game you can plan on a party at our house. Although it can be a lot of work- preparing food for and cleaning up after- it has been so much fun to gather friends and family at our home every weekend. Jake and I said from day one we want our home to be welcoming and open- its cool to see our friends really feel that and to know they enjoy hanging out with the Runyans.

3. Hot cocoa. Need I say more?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thanks:

1. Our boat. I'm thinking that some of my thanks so far have seemed silly "worldly pleasures" or things like that- but Father does bless us with those things as well and I think its with those things that we need to be extra careful in recognizing because its those things that we can start to think we've "earned" or chosen for ourselves- but and Heavenly Father really is the one that gives us all that we have. The boat is one of those blessings. The boat has been such a fun thing for us this summer. Jake and I love doing outdoor stuff, but its harder with two little ones. The boat is something we can all do together- and with friends. We just pile everyone in the boat and head on out. This fall the weather turned cold so fast it surprised us. We'd filled up the boat with gas, and then it turned super cold. Any warm days seemed to fall on Sundays or days when we couldn't get out. Yesterday was a beautiful day (though chilly), so we invited the Bushes to go out with us for a cruise. We cruised down to the south end of Utah Lake and found a cool little island, and cove. We stopped and let the kids put their feet in the water, and just enjoyed the scenery. We still have 1/2 a tank of gas, but it will probably be the last time we take it out this year. It's been SO much fun.

2. Bri (Phillips) Hoopes. A few reasons why she's made it to the list today. Bri was an incredible mission companion. My light after the hardest point of my mission. She came to me as a gift- a greeny so excited and ready to work. And now so many years later she's helping me revisit those memories as she shares her letters to her sister who is now serving the Lord full time in Guam. Also because she's part of the inspiration behind this blog> Though I've been meaning to start it for a while, and Pres. Eyerings talk got me dedicated- knowing that she's checking it and keeping one as part of her "thanks" helps keep me going. And also because as we've shared our inner thoughts with each other over this past week- I've felt so much love for her and her spirit! She is a great example and friend. It's fun to feel that closeness again after several years. It makes me understand how things will be in the next life when we are reunited with souls that have been apart for lifetimes- spiritual connections are eternal.

3. Health. Jake got sick last week. Josh and Dekker both have runny noses now (which I get to wipe constantly)! Yet somehow, I've stayed healthy (and I'm usually the one who gets sick)! So I'm thankful that I can feel well as I help nurse them back to health- but also, even a cold can make you realize what a blessing it is to be able to breath clearly. None of us have major health issues to worry about. And that is a tremendous blessing!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thanks:

1. My mom! This morning my mom called me... doing the usual checking up on me, disguised by some question about cell phone plans. Jake teases me that my mom and I will call each other over the silliest of things- but I'm so thankful that she's that kind of friend and mom. The kind that just cares. Later she looked over my blogs and wrote me the sweetest email. She inspires me.

2. Pumpkins. For three years now sometime during the month of October we take a walk to a house around the corner that piles their yard with pumpkins and sells them. Maybe not as cool as going to an actual pumpkin patch- but definitely better than just picking one up at the grocery store. We told Josh he could pick one out- and he went straight for the white ones. Then we picked and orange one as well.

3. The Office. So my first Thursday post HAS to give a shout out to one of the two shows we're devoted to (the other being LOST). Tonights episode was a crack up as usual but had some pretty deep/emotional parts as well. The writing of these characters is incredible. You love them for the quirkiness... tonight just revealed all the more the inner workings of some great characters. If you've only watched the show a couple of times you're probably thinking I'm nuts. But trust me, it really does grow on you, and before you know it you're hooked.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Thanks:

1. Josh's first official drawing. Tonight Josh brought me this saying, "Look Mama, Elephant"... I looked and I could definitely see an elephant head. Up until now he's just colored and maybe attempted shapes (circle, triangle, etc) but this is the first time he's drawn a recognizable picture- and I just love it! I love the big ears and trunk with small eyes on each side of the trunk. I'm going to frame it!

2. Growing up. Okay- so today is a Josh day. But I'm also so thankful (and sad at the same time) that Josh is growing up. Age 2 has certainly been challenging- but lately Josh has been choosing to be more obedient. I've learned that if I make a simple request and wait a minute he usually says "Okay Mama". He even holds my hand now when crossing the street automatically, and tonight put things back on the shelves in a store after asking me for them. And he just stripped down and asked Jake to turn on the shower for him (he used to HATE showers).

3. Harvest. So this year was our first attempt at a real garden. We found out later that most the stuff we planted died because we weren't watering enough- but its been a good learning experience. With the weather is getting cold I figured it was time to take out the garden. A few days ago I picked the last of the tomatoes and tore out all the old plants. Today I blanched the tomatoes and have them cooking into a spaghetti sauce in the slow cooker which I'll freeze for later. Growing and reaping a harvest really is good for the body and soul. This year we ate fresh peaches, cherries, a few strawberries and raspberries, tomatoes, Lettuce, carrots and a couple of peppers. I learned about the importance of pest control, had to get creative with carrots when I realized I'd waited a bit long to pull them and had to pull them all at once and learned how to can peaches and tomatoes. I think that's pretty good progress.

Thoughts:

This last Sunday I taught all of the young women. I'm a laurel adviser, and normally just teach them, but the leaders each take 1-2 fast Sundays a year and teach the whole group. The lesson was on Wise Choices, and I really tried to put good thought and preparation into it. I even made a cute handout to go with it (I'm not usually too cutesie like that). It went well- the girls really participated and several girls and leaders complimented me after. I've always enjoyed teaching- from the mission, to my internship in Guatemala, to the senior MTC, and in various callings. I've been one of those weirdos who doesn't even mind giving talks in church or presentations in school. I hope I continue to have opportunities to use and develop this "talent".

Right now home and family life keeps me plenty busy- but I still think about going back to school and getting a MA degree so that I could one day teach at a University level. I don't really have any interest in undergraduate... but have always thought that university teaching would be awesome (where people are there more by choice). I don't even in what subject I would teach; I find Literature fascinating, but my schooling doesn't show it. Business is what my education is in and I really enjoy parts of that, but I don't know that I have or would have enough practical experience necessary for that...

Even if I don't get another degree though- I think a lot about further education- in a variety of ways. There are so many things I'd still like to learn. I love real estate- and would love to get my real estate license- which isn't that hard or expensive, but I'm not sure I could find a broker that would give me the flexibility I'd want- since I'd be more in it to help friends and family than to really go after it as a profession. I'd also love to take some horticulture classes- or cooking. Get back into the arts (I abandoned it after high school) maybe more in the form of interior decorating/design...

Randomly thinking back to the teaching thing>>> It is frustrating though that I enjoy speaking/teaching young adults and adults so much- but struggle with my own kids. You know how some adults just seem to be able to relate to and think like kids (Jesus Garcia is a perfect example)- that is SO hard for me. As a mom I struggle to have the patience and adaptability that requires teaching kids. I'm not good at coming up with activities or projects that Josh can participate with me in. Even when I try I end up getting impatient if he doesn't do it fast enough, or how I'd planned... UGH I need to work on that. Lately he'll say "play with me Mama" and hand me a toy car or something- after a few "vroom vrooms" or "crashes" I'm board and done- but I know its important for his imagination to really act out or get creative. The other day I thought "I'll sit down and do a Halloween craft with him" but couldn't think of anything. I even got online to look for some ideas- but when I didn't have all the necessary materials, or it looked like it would make too much of a mess I gave up and decided it wasn't worth it...again UGH. Guess I just keep trying. Its a good thing Dekker is getting bigger and soon will be able to play with Josh. I'm not much of a playmate.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Thanks:

1. A new vacuum cleaner! Domestic bliss. Funny the things I get excited about now!

2. White chocolate Chip macadamia nut cookies. I bought these from one of my laurels (frozen cookie dough) for her volleyball fund raiser and they are oh so yummy.

3. Reliable transportation. Jake wasn't home until late tonight, and after dinner when he still wasn't home and the boys were getting restless I could plop us in the car and run a couple of errands.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A New Beginning

I've been meaning to start this for a while. I've tried keeping other journals, but since typing is so much faster than writing, and bloggers are so great at archiving and saving data, I've thought for a while now that I ought to attempt a blog based journal. After Elder Eyering's talk I finally sat down and did it. So here goes....

Thanks:

1. For a place to download my thoughts. It's funny that its taken me so long to do this- because I can sense already that this will help me (if no one else). There is definitely something therapeutic about writing out your thoughts. And certainly even more if at least some of those thoughts are dedicated to gratitude to our Father.

2. My husband. How can I not list him in my first entry. I know I can be a difficult person- but he loves me unconditionally. I am so lucky to have a husband who loves me so much, and who is so concerned with my happiness and wellbeing. In a world that pulls so much at marriage and family- his devotion to me is untouched. I want to be worthy to be his for eternity.

3. My two sons. Again- must be listed in the first post. These two little guys can drive me crazy. Yet I would not have it any other way. Loving them has taught me much of our Father's love for us. Trying to teach and raise them has taught me much of our Father's efforts to teach us. And their love toward me has taught me much of Christ's love. I just tried to describe it but it is too profound. Charity and the words that have sought to define that term are all I can begin to say.

Thoughts:

Today I am good. Not bad, but not great. Today Marcia and I took the boys up to Trolly Square and Ikea. It was us trying to break the monotony that creeps into motherhood. It felt good to have so much adult conversation, and to get out of the house. It interrupted naps and other daily routines, but I'm of the opinion that while routines are good, children also need to learn to be flexible sometimes. And the "to do list" needs to be set aside once in a while.

Josh and Same have the toddler boy energy that you forget about until its there in your face. We sat having lunch at Ikea. The boys ate a little and then started climbing on chairs and yelling "bye guys" to all the departing patrons. One man looked left with a scowl and roll of his eyes, while another woman smiled and expressed her understanding of the forfeit required (in the battle for quiet or calm) for young boys at this age. Such is life.

This first entry is hard. I want to explain and reference so many things. Backtrack and summarize my life to this point. How can I do that?!?! It will come out with time. This is just a start. I think you and I will both know me better as I do this more. So thats it for tonight.