Do i have to keep my bitcoin client running for it to be downloading block chains?
still in the 140k when the block chain is currently in the 150k numbers
Yes, and it does take a long time. Note that the downloaded blocks are tied to your wallet.dat file and not the client. If you remove your wallet file and restart the client, a new wallet.dat file is created and it starts from 0 blocks.
Wait what? That's the exact opposite of what happens. I've swapped wallet.dat files around all the time and it never had to redownload more than a few blocks. It will rescan the block chain to make sure you're not missing any, yes, but not start over from 0.
Anyway, iamag, it helps if you realize that the "wallet.dat" file isn't really a wallet in the traditional sense. Every transaction is stored in the public blockchain, which every single person using Bitcoin downloads. In theory, this blockchain file is exactly the same on everyone's computer. Your wallet.dat file is a list of private keys unique to your machine. When the Bitcoin client downloads a new block and finds that one of the keys matches with one in your wallet.dat file, it says "Hey! That transaction belongs to me! Now I'll update the GUI to show that these coins belong to this specific client."
In short, if you know the address that the coins were sent to, you can check BlockExplorer and check to make sure the transaction occurred. If it's there, then note the block number that the transaction occurred in. As soon as your client catches up to that block number, you'll see the money appear in your client.