Monday, September 29, 2008

1. Fall. We drove up the canyon yesterday before church to appreciate God's creations (a.k.a let Josh and Dekker get all their wiggles out). It really was beautiful seeing all the trees starting to turn color.

2. Yummy Sunday dinner. The menu last night was pulled bbq beef sandwiches, corn on the cob, and baked potatoes. For dessert- warm peach cobbler with homemade vanilla ice cream!

3. Visiting with the Barrands. Our good friend Bryce recently had a herniated disc operation and so he's really out of commission for the next couple weeks. Saturday we took him season one of Lost and some zucchini muffins. We sat and visited with the till pretty late just swapping stories. It was fun.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

1. Chelsea Newsome. One of my newer Laurels. She's always chatting with me and complimenting me. Last night we went to the BYU annimation studio for a little presentation from the professor over that department (and it was very cool). I drove the girls and on the way back and this was an exchange between Chelsea and I:
"Sister Runyan's cool cause it was only like 5 years ago that she graduated from high school!"
"Well, I can't be too far off... how old are you 25? 26?"
"Oh Chelsea, I love you! I celebrated my 30th birthday this year!"
"No way! I would never have guessed you to be older than 26!"
How sweet is that?!

2. Neighbors. Angela drove me to pick up my car from the body shop (we had a softball dent that had been fixed, and the rim around the wheel well wasn't staying on right after the repair) while Jessica watched her, Angela's, and my kids. Then later Jake's softball games and my young women activities overlapped by a little bit and so Amy Adams watched the boys for about a 1/2 hour and last minute notice. Thank you for such a kind neighborhood!!!

3. Dark chocolate peanut butter. Jessica told me about this find from Target. Very tasty and less sugar, calories, and sodium than your standard Skippy or Jiff!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

1. Rachel. I taught Rachel when she was a laurel. Even though she's been graduated for more than a year now she still keeps in touch with me. She called me the other day to let me know her grandfather had passed away, and then when she got into town (from Cedar City where she's going to school) she came by to hang out with me and the boys for a while. She's become a woman of great faith, and is a good friend.

2. KSL finds. I got a cool, armless, leather love seat for $100 the other day- brand new! I moved my black hope chest upstairs to serve as a seating bench when needed- and I set up the love seat where it was for more comfortable extra seating downstairs for those often times when we have several people over to watch a game/movie/etc.

3. Prayer and inspiration. I've been getting subtle answers and guidance lately that has been very needed and very appreciated. It pays to look and listen.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Costa Rica Notes

This is more for myself for future reference... but I post it here in case anyone else is interested.

Rental car- would have waited to use a rental car until after leaving SanJose. While driving in Costa Rica was definetly an adventure, it was nice to come and go as we pleased and not have to always worry about finding a taxi, or catching a bus.

Transportation in general- Would maybe look into Nature's Air flights to the major destinations and just rented a car/moped once in the area. The distances weren't all that far, but driving took forever since the roads are so narrow and turning. I was hesitant about small plans in a different country- but they actually looked pretty reputable.

Hotels- Definetly stay in a hotel closer to the airport (I hadn't realize the airport was 15-20 minutes from SanJose even though its called the SanJose airport. And it would have been really nice to just have a shuttle service to/from the airport. When traveling in the green season (not as busy) it might have been better to not have reservations to allow for more flexibility- to instead have a list of a few reputable hotels in our price range and just check in/out as we pleased. Although it was reassuring to know my mom knew where/when we'd be places so that she could get in touch with us in an emergency. Definitely loved LaPosada at Manuel Antonio and would stay there again in a heartbeat!!! Would stay closer to the volcano and more outside of LaFortuna if returning to the Arenal area (I picked a hotel in LaFortuna thinking it'd be good to be close to everything- but everything we wanted to do was closer to the volcano).

Food- I did pick hotels that included a breakfast, which was good and I would do again. But I would also make sure they had refrigerators (most did anyway) and would go to the store and buy basic things to make lunches to save on costs, especially since the food was not only expensive, but not very good. I would also have looked up reviews on restaurants in the areas we were visiting in advance- so we might have increased our odds on a good experience/cost.

Money- For Costa Rica we found no need to change money at a bank. Most all the restaurants, and certainly hotels and tourist attractions/activities took credit cards. Where we used cash we could almost always use dollars, and got back change in colones that we could use where we needed local denominations.

Catching up

1. Costa Rica obviously. Check out the photo blog for a run down. So much fun. Missed the boys, but it really was a treat to just be with Jake. We enjoyed sleeping, coming and going as we pleased. Arenal Area was fun. Hot springs AMAZING, and the zipline- very cool. We both could have spent more time in Manuel Antonio. Beautiful beach, hip town, cool vibe, and better food. So many funny memories too- Jake's scary face, our laughable rental car, "pura vida" cheesiness, and Jake almost getting eaten by a large fish while body boarding.

2. Being home. While the trip was fabulous- its always nice to return home. I have just been loving and appreciating Josh and Dekker so much the past few days. Little moments that just melt my heart.... like yesterday morning when I came downstairs and found them both sitting on the kitchen floor with a box of cereal- just taking turns dipping their hands in for a treat. Or the way Dekker is always pretending to say goodbye and then to return overjoyed as if he hasn't seen me in days.

3. Family time. Friday night we had a family jam and dance session in our room. We were all singing, dancing and playing instruments- it was pretty fun. Saturday morning we went to the Lehi pool with the Barrands. THANK YOU Barrands for introducing us to such a fun, kid-friendly pool! We had a blast.

4. Peaches!!! Peaches came on while we were gone and my sweet Mom canned peaches, made freezer jam, and baked peach pies and such as well as accumulated a pile for me to use... I made my own creation of oat/peach muffins, which we topped with homemade (and light, yet incredibly delicious) peach ice cream, and then a little caramel sauce. Everyone raved. I was graciously pleased.

5. Too many to count. I really have felt overwhelmed with blessings lately... I just can't even begin to list them all. This is just the briefest of overviews. Maybe now I can get back into the habit of writing them!

Monday, September 8, 2008

1. Stake regional conference. I particularly liked Elder Jensen's remarks.

2. Mere Christianity. I'm reading this for the second time- with Jake this time (it being his first time through it). C.S. Lewis just has a remarkable way of placing things in perspective and explaining what could be complicated, very simply.

3. Park City with the Bush family. They had access to a condo and invited us to join them playing in the pool and such. It was a fun little escape. Best of all their kids shared their "floaties" with Josh- and Josh LOVED them- he totally felt safe just floating and kicking around the pool by himself (us watching from nearby of course) but he did great!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Randomness after some major slacking

I've been really bad about this blog lately. Just hasn't been a priority I guess. Sorry.

1. Garrett's Birthday. This was this last Sunday. As per his request I made green curry with chicken, sweet potatoes, etc. over rice. I make this more often in the winter- and withe the cool weather that blew in that afternoon it was a tasty meal. Garrett also admitted to not being the biggest fan of frosting loaded birthday cake (understandable) so I made and apples crisp that we topped with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel topping. MMMMMM! lots of things to be grateful for on that day- not only did we enjoy great food, but celebrated the birth of one very cool young man. Seriously, Garrett is a very real and naturally cool cat (which I mean in a good way, despite the fact that I despise real cats).

2. Family drives. Monday was labor day- and absolutely horrible weather- cold, windy, rainy and all. To top it off Josh woke up 3 times during the night before throwing up- so made us extra hesitant to expose others to him on Moday. What do you do? Pack snacks and cartoons for the kids and hop in the car for some cruising. We drove around our favorite neighborhoods in Pleasant Grove looking at real estate (as much as we try to stay committed to this house we can't help but look). Our thoughts as of late are actually turning to finding a building lot that we can pay down as well as our current home over the next 3-5 years and then build on.... Land prices have gone way down so it could be a good investment?!? Then we drove out to Midway- ahhh so beautiful and found some actually conceivably affordable lots in our favorite neighborhood there.... hmmm.... something to think about. And then had a late lunch at our very faborite Mexican restaurant Tahahumara before heading home.

3. Dekker's latest facination with shoes and lines. Lately Dekker is always pulling out shoes and putting them on. His, which are the right size, are too hard for him to get on though, so after pulling out and going through all of HIS, I then find him pulling out mine, or Josh and walking around with them on (usually different ones from different pairs on each foot). He also loves forming lines these days- often with shoes, or trains, or toys... Hope that's not a sign of OCD??? In any case, both things never cease to make me snicker.

4. KSL. I know many who are a fan of creigslist- but here at least I prefer the much better, and free classifieds listing on KSL. You can post and browse listings for free, and they have pictures and are more easily searched/sorted. This week I found a battery powered riding GO DIEGO GO! Jeep. Asking price $60 and I got it for $50. It was just up the road in PG and Josh loves it- so do all the neighbor kids- which is good because before Alexis was the only one with motorized power and it was passed around a lot. Now there are two to share in our cul-de-sac of fun!

5. Vacation planning. Our Costa Rica trip is coming up quick (next Thursday!!!) So I've been busy pulling together the last of the details. Pretty exciting!!!!