It’s been a busy few weeks and I haven’t posted for at least two weeks, I’ve really thought a lot about what I wanted to talk about and even had a really long rough draft which I’ve completely deleted.  So here I am, just sitting down to dinner after a way to busy Sunday, (I don’t like busy Sundays but this one was “good busy”)  and trying to think about what to write.  The whole purpose of this Blog is to talk about my love for running and the joy I find in my family. Well…

On Saturday, June 23rd, at 12:57 pm, AnaLee Mae Krumenacker came into this world.  We had a healthy delivery and a healthy baby.  This makes 4 for us. 4 kids by the age of 32 doesn’t sound too bad.  I don’t know if I feel quite prepared to support a family of 6 on one income, or come September, no income while I go to school full time.  I honestly don’t know how we’ll do it, but if I’ve learned anything since Leah and I have decided to start having children and not have her work outside the home, it’s that The Lord Will Provide.  Sometimes I see couples who can go out to the movies and dinner whenever they want, who can sit down and eat warm meal at the same time,  who can take a week long road trip, or who can go shopping at Costco and be done in half an hour.  We used to be able to do those things often but after almost 7 years of marriage and 4 children later, our focus has shifted.  We can go to the movies and dinner but now it’s the dollar menu and a cartoon at the dollar theater,  dinner is no longer a sit down and eat affair, it’s an “Eat your vegetables, quit playing with your food, and 3 more bites” sort of thing now, and 3 of our week long “road trips” in the past 6 years have been to the hospital for the delivery of our next child.  And don’t get me started on the Costco trips. (3 hours instead of half an hour and trying to cut up those huge pieces of pizza on a one ply plate with a plastic fork and knife is ridiculous.)

But would I trade it? Not for anything!  The Lord has always provided.  3 years ago I was out of work for a time, we had no idea how we would make ends meet.  We tried to live thriftily off of the money we had and when we finally got to the point when we started to ask people for help, that very week, I got a job.  The Lord Provided.  Another example, we had two children and small two bedroom apartment.  The apartment was great but probably would’ve been a little cramped for any additional members of the family.  We started looking at houses but payments were just too much and we had no idea how we could afford any of the ones we looked at.  One day we drove past a cute little house with a For Sale By Owner sign out front.  I glanced at it and drove right past but felt prompted that I should turn back around. So I turned around, pulled in the driveway, and got the phone number off of the sign.  I called the person and asked to know a little bit more about the house, they said it was a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house, new paint, new floors, and new appliances.  I asked how much and they said, $15,000. I asked if they meant $115,000 or even $50,000 and they said no, $15,000.  So we set up an appointment to see it and ordered a home inspection immediately to see what was wrong with it.  To make a long story short, we bought a beautiful $15,000 home, that the year before had sold for $100,000.  The couple we bought it from said that they didn’t want “who gets the house” to cause problems amongst their adult children and that they wanted to give it to someone cheap so they could afford to fix some of the little problems in the house.  I continue to be amazed that I could deserve a blessing like this, but I know that I my wife and I have done all we can to put family ahead of ourselves and I strongly feel that we were given this house to support us in having the beautiful family that the Lord intended for us. (and 2 months later we were pregnant with our 3rd child.)

Really this is all beside the point.  What have I gotten from choosing to forgo some of these things is 4 beautiful children. These children bring me more joy than I have ever felt in my life, and it is great to see them love each other and love and serve their mom.

Right now I go running about 3 -4 times a week.  I have a 4 year old, who every time I step out the door, asks, “Are you going on a race? Or are you just going to run around a bit?”  He loves to hear about my races, and lately every where we go he wants to race to see who gets their first.  This small example reminds me of how much we influence our children.  What or who do we love in our lives? How do we treat others, what do we do in our spare time?  Sometimes I apologize to my wife for the time away from home running or at the gym, or the money spent on shoes, workout clothes, and running magazines.  She reminds me that I am building a sort of heritage for the kids.  They see me running, exercising, and making choices that allow me to be healthier and be around for them for a long time.  For me to be able to pass that on to them is priceless.  I am reminded of the scripture that states, “Children are an heritage of The Lord.” (Psalm 127:3)  These children are a gift from God and a great responsibility and we pass ourselves onto them, so who are we??

I’d like to end with a quote from Elder Robert D. Hales, “In many ways earthly parents represent their Heavenly Father in the process of nurturing, loving, caring [for], and teaching children. Children naturally look to their parents to learn of the characteristics of their Heavenly Father. After they come to love, respect, and have confidence in their earthly parents, they often unknowingly develop the same feelings toward their Heavenly Father”  In order for us to teach our children about our Heavenly Father it is important that we show them who he is through our actions and our lives and in so doing we will see the light of Heavenly Father and The Savior in their lives and this will bring us one of the greatest joys imaginable.