I write and write and write. I am looking for authors and down-to-earth people who share my interest and can give a novice, like myself, good advice in this exciting but demanding field. Looking forward to hearing from you. God Bless!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Reflecting....

As I reflect back on this year, I realize how much I hope and pray that 2010 is better. Seriously, it has been a very stressful and busy time in the Runnebaum household this year. I have been unemployed and the bills have not stopped. How DARE they!!! We have had some behavior and school issues (none that are too serious and can not be resolved) with the boys. I started the process of peri-menapause....oh boy!(need I say more?!) And the weather continued to tease and play with our goals for this house. I have to say that this has probably been the most stressful year we have had since 1996. Financial strain can be very stressful on a relationship. Our's is strong, though, and we will persevere. There is no doubt.

We did have some good things that happened. Greg did well on his job this year and had several upgrades. I joined Jenny Craig and got my weight back under control making lifestyle changes in food and portion control. We had several memorable vacations (probably couldn't afford them....but we have the memories). And the boys had several milestones in school and behavior (heading the right way, I hope). So, all wasn't lost in 2009 but I sure do hope 2010 is better both financially and emotionally.

We are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel with my job that I will start on January 4. And I am determined to make 2010 a better year than 2009. My main resolution will be to focus on what's important and get my priorities straight. And those priorities are God and family. Everything else comes second to those. I have realized that if those two things are on the right track everything else will just fall into place. So, with that said...I want to wish everyone a wonderful and Happy New Year. Be safe and be thankful. Like a good friend of mine said, never think that a good deed goes unnoticed. Like the movie, It's a Wonderful Life - everyone has an impact on someone else's life. Make that impact a positive one. Make an impression in 2010. Make that the year that you look back and see all the positive things you accomplished and the good you did. It trully is a wonderful life if you look at all the things God has given us and use them in a positive and helpful way.

Runnebaum Christmas

We had our Runnebaum side of the Christmas the weekend before Christmas. What a fun time it always is. It's so good to get together with family. I just wish we could see them more often. With such a large family it's surprising how many people show up every year. Out of 92 possible, 78 actually showed up this year. I think that's a pretty good ratio. Greg's dad even showed up. We were all so thankful he was there. He hadn't been feeling well and we weren't sure if he'd be able to make it. It's always a good time with great family, delicious food, interesting conversation, a few cocktails (come on!... we're German Catholics!! haha!) and of course, a visit from Santa. The kids had a ball. And we had 2 new babies this year and 2 newlyweds. I wonder what 2010 has in store for us all.....

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

And the races are on!

I've been pretty behind in my blog posts. I haven't had a digital camera and had to always take my camera in to get the film developed and then scan off pictures. I appreciate technology SO MUCH!!!

Anyway, I'm trying to do some catching up before the end of the year. We got our digital camera but, of course, I've been too busy to read the instructions, etc. So, hopefully, I'll have all that taken care of by the first of the year. In the meantime, here are some pics of the boys from about 3 weeks ago. Both boys are in cub scouts and every year the scouts have a Pinewood Derby. This consists of getting a box with a wooden block in it, some wheels, and other accessories. You are supposed to shape, sand, and mold the block of wood into a race car. Then at the Derby, the scouts all race against each other and they give out medals and trophies for the fastest and the best looking.
Michael got 3 place on looks this year. Vince didn't place but he did get a blue ribbon for taking part in the races. He was disappointed but we told him this was just his first year and next year, we'd do better. They have a Rain Gutter Regetta coming up the end of January. They'll have another chance then. That race is with boats and you have to blow them down the gutter. We'll have to work on those "blowing" skills.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's a Wonderful Life

A friend of mine posted something that got me thinking about how life and situations change our personalities, lifestyles, and priorities. Not that I've never thought or pondered that before but it seems like it's been in the front of my mind a lot lately.

Years ago before kids, dept and family commitment I had a life. My husband did, too. Or I thought we did. We could come and go as we pleased. We bought pretty much what we wanted without really worrying about a budget. We traveled a lot and could hop on our Harleys anytime we wanted and go for a evening ride, long weekend ride or a trip across several states (that is if we had the vacation time away from our jobs).

Life seemed very simple back then. We were carefree; free spirits. We paid our bills and showed up for work on time but other than that, we could do what we wanted WHEN we wanted. We could sleep late!! Ahhhh...wasn't that nice. I remember the days when Greg and I slept in until about 9 or 10 on Sat. morning and then we'd fix a big breakfast. Afterwards, we'd watch a movie and then take a 2 hour nap.

We weren't stressed or, at least, not like we are now. Oh, we had things come up that were stressful but to think back on it now, it seems very superficial. The stress we may have endured then was so insignificant compared to what pops up in our lives now.

Sometimes I miss those days. Yes, I do. I admit it. I miss being able to sleep late and come home and not have anything to do but sit and chill out with my husband. I miss being able to do something without being interrupted a thousand times. I miss being able to go to the bathroom without someone barging in on me or hearing fighting and screaming the minute I leave the room. Yes, I miss (as much as I enjoy cooking) just fixing a quick sandwich or popping some popcorn for dinner instead of trying to provide a well-balanced meal for my family. AND, I miss the spontaneity of our sex life (I probably miss that most of all because that is the part that has probably suffered the most).

BUT, even with all these things that I have listed as missing terribly, they are only missed for a millisecond....only long enough for me to remember them. And then I remember my children and my husband and how I can't imagine life without them. I remember how my kids give me joy each day even when they are fighting with each other. I remember the hugs and kisses they give me as they crawl in bed with us at 6:30 in the morning. I remember the questions and wonder in their eyes as they learn something new. I remember the times I make breakfasts of pancakes and bacon at 7:00am as I'm wiping the sleepy out of my eyes knowing that they enjoy those breakfasts so much. (Thanks Mamaw & Papaw! You've spoiled them.) I remember their prayers and concern for their family and how they try so hard to please. I remember the tears from scrapped knees and their huge hugs when I can make their "booboo" feel better. .....AND I remember how all those things make ME feel. They make me feel great. Those things make me feel so wonderful. My life before my husband and kids seems so insignificant.

So, I guess what this amounts to is sometimes we, as parents and humans, don't always feel like our life is good or meaningful or what we had invisioned. Sometimes we think "How did I get here?" What am I supposed to be doing?" At least, that's what I've said to myself. But when I look into my innocent little boys' faces I realize that I'm here for THEM. I'm here to teach them the best I know how. It's not going to be easy but if I just step back and take a deep breath (and say a prayer) it will be OK and I will see the direction in which I need to go. They depend on us and it is SO worth it. All the sleepless nights and early mornings and stressed afternoons with homework, ball games and fighting doesn't seem all that bad when I think of what life would be without them and all the caos....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ring in the New Year!!

I just have to post this! I can't bear to see people miss out on a good deal!

RING in the New Year!! If you have a lia sophia party in January you get to pick out a ring from our collection for FREE!!
AND, the Drop List is out....our discontinued items that will not be in the new catalog coming out in Febuary. You can purchase those items until the end of January. There are sales, sales, sales!!!

December special - Buy 2 items at full price and get up to 4 items for 1/2 price.

January special - CLOSEOUT SALE!! Buy 1 item full price and get 2 items at 1/2 price.

Call me and book a party NOW! You don't want to miss out on these great specials. Hostesses can earn LOTS of free jewelry. (660) 621-5028. Check out my website www.liasophia.com/lindarunnebaum.

I will drive ANYWHERE in Missouri and over into Kansas!!

NOW is the time to do some GREAT Christmas shopping for those loved ones on your Christmas list!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving challenge

At this time of year I think people tend to reflect a bit more on their life and to think of things and people that they are thankful for. Or, at least, I hope they do. Our family has had some challenges this year and many changes as in years past but I think I have been more reflective this year than any other year before. I, personally, have had some emotional ups and downs (due to that wonderful time in a woman's life...) and we, as a family, have had some financial ups and downs (probably more downs that ups, truth be known). But I have found one thing that always stays constant and that's family and good friends.

Here is a list of things that I am thankful for. I challenge you to go through this same exercise this season. Maybe at Thanksgiving dinner with your family or maybe just in the privacy of your own thoughts. But think about what really matters to you this season and what is really important.

I'm thankful for:

- God and His infinite wisdom and humor.

- my family who loves me unconditionally and always will.

- my 2 sons which have changed my life and fill my days with laughter and endless surprises.

- my husband, Greg, who I am a much better person for having met.

- my friends who I love very much even if I don't see them all the time.

- my country. I am so very proud to call myself an American.

- for those in our military services putting their lives on the line everyday for our freedom.

- for those in the military that have died in past wars and battles that helped to make this country what it is today. May your deaths NEVER be in vain. I love you and appreciate you more than you'll ever know.

- for the shelter over my head, the food on my table, and my bed to sleep on at night. There are so many people out there trying to survive without these basic needs.

- And last but not least....I am thankful for my health. Right now, I am healthy (in all practical purposes...) but if some day that should change, I know that God will be right by my side helping me through the difficult spots.


Friday, November 20, 2009


I'm finally getting around to reading a book my sister gave me a few years ago. Those of you from Kansas City might remember Dr. James Dobson. He had a little excerp on the news where he would give advice on various different things regarding family. It was called Focus on the Family. Well, he wrote a couple of books about raising boys. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend them. He has some good things to say about raising kids. Here are a few excerpts:

"...One of the scariest aspects of raising boys is their tendency to risk life and limb for no good reason. It begins very early. If a toddler can climb on it, he will jump off it. He careens out of control toward tables, tubs, pools, steps, trees, and streets. He will eat anything but food and loves to play in the toilet. He makes "guns" out of cucumbers or tooth brushes and likes digging around in drawers, pill bottles, and Mom's purse....A boy harasses grumpy dogs and picks up kitties by their ears. His mom has to watch him every minute to keep him from killing himself. He loves to throw rocks, play with fire, and shatter glass. He also gets great pleasure out of irritating his brothers and sisters, his mother, his teachers, and other children...."

Here's another one I think most of us don't think about:

"...A child should not be punished for behavior that is not willfully defiant. When he forgets to feed the dog or make his bed or take out the trash...when he leaves your tennis racket outside in the rain or loses his bicycle, remember that these behaviors are typical of childhood. It is, more than likely, the mechanism by which an immature mind is protected from adult anxieties and pressures..."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Good advice for kids

I received an email a while ago. I'm sure a lot of you have seen it but I felt it worth forwarding again. These are rules for life that Bill Gates talked about in a speech he gave to some high school students. They're very true to life and I think every kid needs to realize the true concept of reality. Here they are:

RULE 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

RULE 2: The world doesn't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

RULE 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

RULE 4: If you think your teacher it tough, wait till you get a boss.

RULE 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

RULE 6: If you mess up, IT'S NOT YOUR PARENTS' FAULT, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

RULE 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of you parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

RULE 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

RULE 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

RULE 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

RULE 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.


In a recent post I told of one of our cats dying and another little kitty showing up on our doorstep. Here's a picture of her. She's so cute. I hope the wild animals don't get her like our last kitten.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Little ghouls

I know Halloween has come and gone but I still don't have my digital camera and it takes a long time to get film developed these days...lol. You can probably figure out what the boys were for Halloween. Michael went as a hobo and Vince was Dracula. They were so cute.

This was a skating party up at the rink down the street the week before Halloween. One of Vince's classmates had a costume party. Look....my little man is surrounded by all the "older women"...ha! He's such a charmer.

Michael at the corn maze. They had a blast! Of course, Greg and the boys felt like they had to keep hiding in the maze then jumping out and scaring me....lol! We had fun.

Monday, November 9, 2009

lost kitty..found kitty

Well, it was a happy but sad weekend. Thursday night, my dad and Greg were out stacking wood by the back door and a little white kitty showed up. She looked so pathetic. She was wet and absolutely starving. So, we made her a bed and gave her some milk and food. Sorry, I don't have any pictures but my camera is still on the blink and we haven't gotten a replacement yet.

Well, on Friday, the kids and I were coming back home from running some errands and found one of our cats, Shadow, out by the side of the road. He'd been hit by a car. He was Michael's cat. And Michael took it pretty hard. But, like the strength of a child, he was back inside in 45 minutes watching TV and completely healed....lol! He did help Greg bury him on Saturday. Shadow was a good kitty. We still have his brother, Blackie and also our big mama cat, Samantha. And now, the little white kitty named Snowball.

I'll post pics when I get a camera. Such is the up and down life of having pets. But I wouldn't want it any other way!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Great Pumpkin

Vincent's class went to the Pumpkin patch last week. They had so much fun. I was able to go with them and help drive some of the kids. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. They sure had a good time.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mojo wedding

I know this is a little late but I've been having problems with my digital camera which means I have to use a disposible camera. So, it takes longer to post pics.

Anyway, a few weeks ago we had 2 more Mojos tie the knot. We all had a lot of fun and it was so great to get together with everyone again and hang out with VooDoo Kitchin. Congratulations Matty and Shanna! We love you!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Always thinkin'

I was sitting eating pizza with my youngest son, Vincent. I love our times alone together because he is such a different person without his brother around. And the same goes for Michael not having Vincent around. Anyway, a commercial came on showing a policeman and Vince says:

"Daddy should work for the Highway Patrol."

I said, "Mmmm, why's that?"

Vincent: "Because when people get tickets, that would give us more money."

HaHa!! He's always thinking. You can see it in his eyes....those wheels are turnin'.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I've been thinking alot about life and death today. Yes, that sounds pretty morbid but, in just one day, I have spoken to 3 friends that have recently lost a loved one. Two of them had experienced this great loss 1-2 years ago and I was just getting up the nerve to call them. The other just lost her husband last night to cancer. There were extenuating circumstances in the previous 2 situations.... job change, no knowledge of phone number, lost contact over the years, etc. You get my drift.

It's a weak excuse for not contacting these friends during this difficult time in their lives. But what do you say?? That's what I struggled with. One of the people was a woman I had worked with and she lost her daughter to cancer about a year ago. I had such a nice conversation with her today and we exchanged emails, etc. so we could stay in touch.

The other person was the husband of a best friend I had years ago in my "running around and partying" days. She's been gone a couple of years now but I have such great memories of our friendship. We lost touch like a lot of people do but hooked up later in years to meet husbands and kids. I had the best conversation with her husband. It was like we were old friends. We had only met each other a few times and it had probably been 15 years since I'd seen him but we talked with ease. I miss Kath. She was a great person and so full of life. In one way I'm glad I didn't get the chance to see her riddled with cancer. Apparently, it wore her down pretty severely and that would have broken my heart. But on the other hand, I would have loved to have been able to say goodbye to her. In a way, today, I did that by talking to her hubby.

My point is, don't EVER take your time here on earth for granted. It can be ripped away in seconds. If you aren't feeling right (physically) or think something is wrong with your body, etc. go to the doctor. Have things checked out. You can't always tell if something is wrong and some illness don't have very strong signs. But, IF YOU DO feel something is wrong, please check it out. And have faith in God. He's there to help you through the rough patches. We may not always know why bad things happen but we can always be certain that God will be there to help us through it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Racing with friends

We went to the races at Kansas Speedway this past Sunday. Got our hands on some free tickets, courtesy of a good friend of my dad's. We took a niece and her family, a couple of the Mojos and their guests, some good friends of ours from KC and some good friends from Boonville. We all had a great time! Hadn't been to the races in several years. It was a beautiful day!

Typical words from my precious Vincent

Oh my gosh....I just had to post this.

I picked up the kids from school today and as we were driving home, the boys were picking on one another (nothing unusual) and saying they didn't like each other, etc. Those of you with kids, I'm sure, can relate. Anyway, I went on to say that I thought we needed to go to church more (actually we go quite often but maybe we should start going 3-4 times during the week...ha) because they needed to learn more about how to treat each other and love each other like Jesus would want them to.

Vince says, "I like going to church. It's just so long."

Then he said, "I like the part where we eat and they serve the bread."

I was cracking up!!!! I love the things kids say. I wish I could just bottle them up and keep them forever.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Great post...

A very good friend of mine posted a post on her blog a few days ago that I thought was very very good. It had to do with what really made a "super-mom". She talked about not juggling off-hour emails or having power lunches or corporate meetings anymore. She didn't have to hassle with rush hour traffic or deadlines. She used to have to do these things. I know because I used to work with her years ago at the same large international company in Kansas City.

But now, her days are filled with dressing 3 little girls under the age of 6, preparing breakfasts, lunches & dinners for her husband and children, running the kids to soccer practices and doctor's appointments, paying bills, home schooling, grocery shopping and dozens of other duties.

She doesn't have to juggle the job AND the home life. But the home life keeps her busy enough for both. In this day and age, I think we tend to forget how tough of a job being a stay-at-home mom is. You may not bring in the paycheck or make big important corporate decisions, but the stay-at-home moms are juggling so much while trying to mold their children into descent adults. And that involves making a lot of important decisions.

Hats off to all the stay-at-home moms. You ARE Super Moms in my eyes whether you get paid for it or not.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Courage, confidence or indifference...

This morning, I had an appointment in Columbia and also made a quick trip to Walmart while I was out. While I was in Wally World, I noticed people looking my way and giving me the "once over". It got me thinking.... "I am dressed pretty goofy looking." It had been a rushed morning. It's also going to be a rushed and busy day and I just wanted to put on some comfy clothes and not worry about it. And, yes, I looked like quite the sight. I had on an old blue and red Marion shirt that had moth holes in it, my tie-died colored sweat pants that I had cut off right below the knees because they were getting so thread-bare. I was wearing a light blue sweatshirt and a baseball cap. AND I had no make-up on.

Now, what I was thinking about was how different my attitude is now. Years ago when I was younger I would have NEVER gone out of the house not wearing make-up. And I would have been dressed in coordinating colors and outfits. I would have never thought of letting anyone see me like that unless it was (maybe) my family.

So, as I smiled to myself, I asked myself, is it courage that I'm letting myself be seen in public like this? Going out with my head up and hoping no one says anything to me or laughs at me. Or is it confidence because I'm older now and comfortable with myself and the person I am inside? Knowing that clothes don't make the person or necessarily say what kind of person they are. Or is it just indifference because I've gotten to the point in my life where I don't care what strangers think or what judgements they might make since they don't know the real Linda Runnebaum? Or, MAYBE, it's a combination of all three...??

Whatever it is, I know that I AM happy getting to the point in my life where I am confident in my innerself and the person I have turned out to be... Even if I do dress in tie-die thread-bare sweatpants and raggy t-shirts...ha!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

If we could only bring her home....

I had such a touching conversation with my boys last night. I don't even remember how it got started but I mentioned to the boys that I wanted them to write another letter to our sponsored little girl in El Salvador, Katerin. Our conversation developed into discussing what Katerin and her family eats and what the money we send actually buys for them. We talked about how people in some third world countries live. We discussed how some people don't have houses or some only have tin or blankets for walls and most only have dirt floors. Michael has such a positive and caring attitude. He was like, "That's ok. At least, it's only dirt. Dirt's OK."

After they got done with dinner both boys went into their room and started looking for things to send to Katerin. They wanted to send food. They were so concerned with what she was eating and if she had any toys. They were so interested in sharing with her and sending her something.

Well, this morning on the way to school, both boys said that we could let Katerin move to our house and live. It was so sweet. I said, "What about the rest of her family?" They said, "They can live with us, too. We have room. They can live downstairs and in the spare bedroom.....". I was so touched. I am so proud of my boys and what caring individuals they are. They may be ornery at times but they have such caring little hearts.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gasoline and a rope

Well, anytime you camp or spend time with my husband you can expect some excitement and adventure. Right before we were getting ready to pack up to leave Tony and Rebecca's this weekend, Greg and Tony decided to take down a limb on one of their trees. They had discussed it earlier in the weekend. The tree had died and Tony wanted to cut the whole thing down. So, Greg being the lineman that he is and (not bothered with heights, hanging out on limbs, etc....ha) said he would help him take off a limb to make cutting down the tree a little easier for Tony at a later date. Or course, the limb was not easily accessible and Greg had to rope the ladder to the tree (AND himself) and stand on the very top of the ladder and then try and use a chainsaw to get the limb down. He did it! And I knew he would but we were all holding our breath and saying prayers until he did. That's my hubby. Never a dull moment.... Oh, and what you don't see is Tony down at the bottom of the ladder holding on to it and getting pelted with sawdust. What an adventure.