Wednesday, December 31, 2008

22 Christmases In My Life...This One's THE Best Yet!

In my 22 years of life, there have been many many memorable Christmases!

Memories like:
  • The times we drove from Texas to Missouri every other year to be with family. As kids we packed the suburban full of toy and coloring books to keep us busy. Sometimes we would lay all the seats down and lay blankets out like we were camping out!
  • The times something went wrong in the kitchen....burning things, forgetting to even make certain items, the year mom was so sick Dad had to do it ALL!
  • The other time mom was so sick after surgery that we just had Christmas with our immediate family in our PJ's and having Missouri family join us a day or two later.
  • The times Grandma Ellie complained that her stuffing just wasn't as good as it normally is, but really it tasted better to me every year!
  • The Christmases without certain family members due to deaths and remembering to count our blessings because of it.
  • Adding new babies and husbands through the years.
  • Getting a kick out of the funny things kids say and do. Or getting annoyed by the things kids say and do.
  • Decorating the house up and down to look like the North Pole.
  • Playing board games after supper and gifts!
  • Mom giving her mom a mink coat she won on stage with Mary Kay and seeing her face! So many memorable gifts given over the years that were so special to us. Mine in particular, a new car!
  • Me coining the phrase when I was about 6, "IT'S JUST WHAT I WANTED!!" when opening EVERY gift and meaning it with all my heart!
  • Lauren eating a Macadamia Nut cookie on Christmas Eve not knowing she was allergic to it. She woke up the next morning with her eyes swollen shut and her face as round as a balloon! Every picture of her she held her gift in front of her face. :-( Poor Lauren.
  • Shelley using a roll of tape per gift and everyone making sure they told her she used too much! Love ya Shell!
  • Dave being pissed at how messy the house was after opening gifts.
I could go on and on!!

But this year, adding another memory to all the above is something so special that I'll always remember. Looking back at the list and reading about adding people to our family excites me. It excites me because I've always looked forward to being the one responsible for adding on. Whether that being a husband or a child. This Christmas I excitedly added a fiancé to our family Christmas, and next Christmas, I so proudly will be adding a husband!

Here's the story!

We were spending Christmas Eve with Josh's immediate family and Grandma Nonnie in Shawnee, OK, opening up gifts and hanging out. I opened up a beautiful Willow Tree from Josh that was the "Sign of Love". A sweet figurine of a girl with her arms crossed in front of her in the sign of love. Then he said, the rest of your present is out there (pointing to one of the closed doors of the room). I said, "Well can't you just bring it in here?" That was a BIG no, so I got up and walked to the door. When he opened it I saw white yarn on the ground. He told me I had to follow it until it ended. We walked through the hallway and towards the front door. In his goofy voice he said, "Well lookie there, it goes outside!" So we walked, and walked, and walked! His parent's house is on Oklahoma Baptist University's campus and is across the street from the chapel...about 400 yards (we know that because the ball of yarn was almost used all up! haha).

I followed the yarn across the street, into the chapel (when I realized it went into the chapel, I thought maybe this was IT, but I still wasn't would be just like Josh to just be creative in how he gave me his gift!), and up the chapel stairs to see that it ended under the Christmas tree. He pulled the box out and opened up an EMPTY box! hehe Since he so persistently told me we WEREN'T getting engaged for the many weeks leading up to Christmas, I looked at the box still thinking, this could be an earring box!! But then he pulled my GORGEOUS ring out of his pocket and made the sweetest proposal! We both cried, I said yes, and the rest is history!
We walked out of the chapel to see that his brother Ryan was waiting to take our picture.

Then the security guard pulled in asking who we were, how we got in, what we were doing, etc. Once he found out Josh was the President's son and that we just got engaged, he offered to take us up into the steeple of the chapel!! Only three people at OBU have those keys, so it was pretty sweet!! It's the highest point in Shawnee and we could see everything! We walked back picking up yarn all the way. After meeting his family back at the house we circled up for prayer and of course showed off my ring! ;-)

How proud I am to wear this ring and show it off. How proud I am of Josh overcoming obstacles the past 4 months while in the Navy. How proud I am that Josh and I have followed God's will for our relationship. How proud I am to refer to Josh as my fiancé. How proud I am of him!!

I know some of you might be wondering when the wedding is! Well, due to his Navy schedule, we're not 100% sure (and may not be 100% sure until about a month or two before)! AH! I'll definitely keep you updated!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Perfect Morning

It seems as though since Josh got home, I have been slacking on my blog posts. So, here's something to write about. A perfect morning as a nanny!

First, I wake up and realize my hair still looks great from it's 4:00 pm wash the previous afternoon, so I went back to bed for more sleep. When this happens, my heart is happy!

Then I get to work and get Jonah ready for gym class at this place. Which in itself always makes for a perfect morning! He loves it there! As his dad walks out the door he informs me that Noah has a Christmas party at school and they will be attending and then taking him out to lunch afterwards. When they do something like that, they usually don't have him home until 2ish. But that also means that Jonah doesn't get his little 20 minute nap in the car while waiting on Noah to get out of school. Which means he's WAY cranky during the two hour gap between lunch and nap. :-( No fun.

Well today was a different story. He even started the whole day off by giving me big hugs and kisses. He can be really lovey if he wants. I had a few errands to run after gym class and he was prefect through them all. Just as sweet as could be. Around 11:30 we headed home and he fell asleep just a few minutes from the house. I figured he would wake up though when I got him out of the car, but not this time! He was sound asleep!

So what do I do? TAKE ADVANTAGE!!! I carried him in and plopped us both down on the couch for a 30 minute nap! IT WAS PERFECT! Cuddle time with the cutest one year old I know AND a nap!

Can I hear an amen for naps and a perfect day?!

********UPDATE: 2 DAYS JUST LIKE THIS IN A ROW!!! WAHOO!!!!!********

Monday, November 24, 2008

Josh's Navy Graduation!


Wow, I can't believe I already got to see him and left again. One thing is for sure, I HATE BEING AWAY FROM HIM! I'm telling you what, when he's stationed somewhere stable and we can swing it financially, I'll be moving asap!

I will say it was quite a different visit, but what do you expect after someone has just gone through 8 weeks of hard core boot camp! While we (his family and I) were in Waukegan, he still had to report back at night to the base, wash up, and be on the toe line ready for role call. If he was even a second late he could lose his leave the next day. So, to say the least, we always got him there early! Having freedom all of a sudden was quite an adjustment. Plus, exhaustion consumed him. Poor guy.

It was so great to see him and spend some time with him too. I know that as soon as he's away from that base, he'll start to be back to his old self. I can only try to imagine what he went through and I can do my best to understand all his stories, but there's no possible way I will truly know. A huge part of me wishes I could have gone through it all to be able to help him. He has some light regret about his decision, but more so he said it's a "what have I gotten myself into" kind of feeling. He also said, "Lane! College would have been SOOO much easier!" I laughed and said, "Well you can just remember that to tell your kids someday...GO TO COLLEGE!"

He leaves in the morning around 4 or 5 am to go to "A School". We've thought Pensacola for such a long time, but it could really end up being anywhere. He was also informed they could choose to not send him to school and hold off on that, and instead ship him off for 6-12 months. AH! That is our worst fear for sure. And of course we've had our sights set on San Diego for "C School", but that can always change as well. Uncertainty it such a booger. That is definitely stressful for both of us, but we know that God is faithful and will always chose what's right for us.

I was hoping for a phone call today after Josh found out where he'll be headed to tomorrow morning, but he said that if he ended up not getting one, he would call me from the airport. Which means I'll probably be getting a phone call at 4am tonight! WORTH IT!

Enjoy the pics! Just remember, he just went through boot camp!! He doesn't smile in most of the pictures, which is understandable...he did just get out of place where smiling isn't something you do. But just know that he's got it somewhere in there!
**PS: Clicking on the picture should enlarge it if you want a closer look at some of them.**

Driving to Illinois! And me and sweet Dana waiting for graduation to start!

He's second from the right, then in the very back right, then on the right.

He was on the Honor Guard in a Performance Division...HUGE DEAL!

Navy flag and the Sailors Creed.

First time to see each other...then with the family.

MY handsome sailor! You know, he calls me "Sweet Pea"...I guess I could call him Popeye? The other day he said, "I got the wrong should really be Olive Oil...tall and skinny!" ha! (You all do know that Sweet Pea is the little baby on the cartoon right? Now you do!)

So tired. :-(

David and Dana...amazing people!

Brothers...hehe Funny pic!
Landon, Josh, David Jr., and Ryan

MY FAVORITE! His Dress Blues were my favorite uniform. He looked SOOOOO handsome!

We went to the Jelly Belly Factory and got to wear these awesome hats! What a cute cute smile! I knew it would come out sometime! I'll have to remember that a paper Jelly Belly hat, riding on a very colorful train, and getting some sugar in him will make him happy! Anyone know where I can find one of those trains? Let me know if so!

I love that grin and those dimples!

Like son like father? hehe Hey good lookin'!

Saying goodbye to the family Sunday morning. :-(

Since my drive wasn't quite as long as the others, I was able to stay the rest of the day and take him back to the base around 6:30 (which yes, put me in Louisville around 2:15am, UG..but so worth it!). We went and saw the new 007 movie, shopped around the mall, and ate a wonderful dinner at Red Lobster where the last picture was taken of us. He really opened up throughout the day and I got to see lots of pieces of "Josh" come out in his personality. We had a lot to catch up on that was a hard to do with so many people around and all of us asking so many questions, so it was very special to get to spend the day with him alone. He's struggeling a lot with being happy and content with this decision and was really able to spill his heart out at dinner....which was SOOOO nice to hear what he was going through inside. I hurt for him, but I know God is in control and things will work out for the best. We are both faithful and have full trust that God will prevail.

I miss him so much already and can't wait for Christmas to roll around. I pray he gets off for Christmas and the week after instead of the week before so I can see him. There is that slight chance our time off won't overlap. :-( That would stink. But again, God will take care of it all!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Letters # 7 and #8 + a Phone Call!

Sorry I've dropped the ball on last weeks was a busy week. But, I GOT TWO LETTERS LAST WEEK!! Wahoo! I got my normal Wednesday letter, but then opened my mailbox on Friday to see another letter!! Josh got some extra time off on Veteran's day to write another letter. What a treat!

Let's see, letter #7:
  • I've been here 46 days and have 12 left! I'm so anxious to see everybody.
  • I'm taking tests all the time and studying a lot to keep up.
  • I have gas chamber tomorrow. Nervous. Very nervous.
  • I had my performance test yesterday in front of the CO Commanding Officer of the Navy Admiral Roughhead. HUGH! Performed in front of 5,000 people. I was in the very front! So nervous, but I did just fine.
  • I wasn't moved up to E2 or E3 because my recruiter never sent in the paperwork for the recruits I got in. That sucks pretty bad!
  • My first paycheck was only $271 because of all the stuff I had to buy. That sucks pretty bad too.
Moving on...letter #8:
  • It's a Tuesday today, and also Veteran's Day. So we get like 4 hours to ourselves to get caught up on things: folding, studying, and ironing. I had to make sure to write you though.
  • I pray you're okay and healthy. I miss you so much. I ONLY HAVE 10 DAYS LEFT! So close! I can't wait to see you and family! I wont be hard to find due to being in the front row of everyone.
  • I hope your dad isn't working too hard on the it looks awesome!
  • I wish I could write more, but I really need to study. Love you so much!
WELL, ONLY 4 MORE DAYS UNTIL I SEE HIM!!! I work at the salon on Thursday until around 7 or so, and after that I'll drive to Chicago to meet up with his parents and one of his brothers. I believe Josh will have the rest of Friday off after his graduation, and most of Saturday and Sunday to do whatever he pleases. I'M SO EXCITED!!! Three days to spend with him and some of his family. Sounds pretty exciting to me! I bought the cutest new dress to wear'll just have to wait and see pictures next week...but it's just too darn cute! ;-)

I can't believe 60 days has almost gone by. I know through it all it seemed to go by slower than a snail, but now that I look back on it....MAN THAT WAS FAST!!! I sent my last letter this past Saturday. Which ironically was a little sad. Don't get me wrong, I'm so excited to not have to rely on snail mail for our communication, but it was pretty neat to send letters back and forth. Since I only got them once a week, I would live for Wednesdays! Throughout the day I would always log in my mind things I needed to tell Josh about in that night's letter. It's just so different! Couples now-a-days just don't write or send letters unless they are forced to. I feel blessed to have been forced to have this time apart. It really has been a great time of growth spiritually and within my relationship with Josh. It's definitely been a crazy, and long 60 days, but I'm thankful for them.


******UPDATE ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2008******

Oh how I love to look at my phone and see a missed call from a number somewhere in IL. Yup, I definitely missed a call from Josh yesterday. BUT DON'T FREIGHT! He called back about 10 minutes later and we got to talk for 45 minutes! He's officially a Navy Sailor! ;-) He's completed boot camp and is now just waiting for graduation to come on Friday. They are still having them clean and things like that, and of course still yelling at them, but done with tests and the daily physical things. At then end of boot camp, all recruits must go through what's called "Battle Stations". He called me right after that was over and sounded SOOOO tired. Battle Stations is boot camp’s ultimate test. It’s an exercise of 12 different scenarios incorporating what you have learned during the previous weeks. He was up for three nights I believe and after it was all said and done, he was presented with his ball cap. At that moment, he was officially a sailor! How fun huh? Well, I'm just so proud of him and can't wait to see him. He was so sweet on the phone to tell me that he wouldn't have made it through without me and that we did this as a team. He said I gave him a reason to do his best so he could use this to provide for us. He's just so sweet!! I leave tomorrow evening after I get off of work to head to Illinois and meet up with his parents and brother, Ryan. Pray for safe travel for myself and his family. I look forward to updating you all with PICTURES GALLORE!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Recipe Tuesday! Chocolate Mint Snow-Top Cookies!

I've just done awful at getting recipes up every Friday. So Tuesday it will be to make up for last week! ;-)

Try these...THEY ARE AMAZING!!! With Christmas only 6 weeks away...CRAZY HUH?...these are perfect to get you in the mood for decorating and Christmas shopping! If .ou've ever had Crinkle Cookies, these are very similar - but with mint!

Chocolate Mint Snow-Top Cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mint flavored semi-sweet chocolate morsels
6 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Confectioners sugar

In bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Over hot water, melt 1 cup mint morsels, stirring until smooth. In bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add melted morsels and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in remaining morsels. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; freeze until firm. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; coat with confectioners sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, until tops appear cracked. Let stand 5 minutes on cookie sheet. Cool completely.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Letter #6!

Oh how nice it was to receive letter #6! He said he just finished "Hell Week", so they say, and it was his favorite week so far! haha Ironic. They call it that because there are so many inspections that are really tough and people just get reamed for every little thing wrong.

He had mentioned in a past letter that the trainers don't really remember his name...which is a good thing there! If they know your name it's because they yell at you a lot. So, it seems like they don't ream him too much. When we talked on the phone he chose not to tell me about some of the things they have yelled in his face because it's pretty disgusting. So I guess when they yell at him it's not for screwing up....just the normal yelling. Anyway, he succeed this week again in not giving them a reason to know his name. Only to remember it for being impressed I hope!

He scored a 5.0 (highest you can get) on ALL his inspections! Ya that's right...he'll be doing the cleaning and bed making in our house...I'll just remind him he does a 5.0 job and I don't! haha

He got his uniform tailored and took his picture. He said, "I looked real good Lane...I mean REAL good!" haha They always say, "You gotta love a man in uniform!"
I guess we'll find out right!?

So I sent him something kind of know those sound cards?? Now they have them where you can record a 10 second message.

Um, DUH! I totally got one of those to send him! haha He said they played it in front of everyone several times. OOPS! I wasn't mushy in my recording, but it did play some corney love song at the end of it! Although, he did say it was good to hear my voice and he liked it a lot....just not everyone listening to it over and over again!

He was also so sweet to offer his bank info in MO so I can access money if I needed to. He's precious I tell you. I turned him down on that because I want him to save all of that, but still thought it was so sweet he wanted to make sure I was okay on money.

And to answer my friend's question from her comment on my last blog...YES! I DO love him so SO much! I'm so proud of him and just can't wait to see him and move forward with our relationship!

It sounds like he's feeling much better and things are speeding up. ONLY 15 MORE DAYS!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Letter #5

Well, this letter wasn't so nice to read. I knew Josh was sick, but he kept saying that if he went to the doctor that his graduation date could be pushed back, so he wasn't going to go. And for Josh to give in a go to the doctor is a MAJOR MAJOR deal! I can't stress that enough. HUGE DEAL!

But he ended up going to the doctor and was ordered a 2 day SIQ (Sick In Quarters). Which means he has to stay in bed all day long. He didn't say anything about it extending his stay there, but I'll ask and find out next week hopefully. Please pray for sounds as though he's very sick. The doctor even said he was really tough and was clueless to why he hadn't come in there sooner.

His letter was written on the back of a letter I had previously sent him. He said he has very little spare room to put his personal stuff, so he'll slowly be sending letters back for me to keep so he isn't forced to throw them away.

He's not enjoying boot camp (but who is suppose to enjoy it right??) and can't sleep at all. He said he thinks about me when he feels really bad (which is a lot!!). He said he imagines us sitting around my house watching a movie together and it helps him not feel so bad. He received a card from my parents and thought that was really nice.

He's having a hard time with studying. That's never been a strong point of his...hence him not finishing college...just not his thing. He said he can't remember things very well and it's just not sticking. His Aunt Terri sent him some pictures of us from his birthday/going away weekend at the lake with his whole family. He said all the guys saw it and though I was cute..hehe. Then he randomly went into health care stuff. He said that when we get married I will have full health care and we can add dental on it for like $15 (how do you like that mom?! ha!). He's had a lot of bills this month...totaling $800...which is taken out of his pay in the end. He wasn't too thrilled about that at all.

I sure hope he gets to feeling better soon. I hate that he's sick and not able to do his best. He wants to graduate top in his class, and missing days will put him behind. I pray for a fast healing and the ability to catch up and do well in his studies.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Memorable Moments In Nannyhood

I must start off by saying I'm wearing a darn cute outfit today that I bought here just the other day. And why is it that when you have on a new outfit you feel invincible? I dunno why, but today I definitely did! Therefore I took both kids here today for lunch (which we do every other week or so)! But this one had a Play Place! ;-) Which, I had never let Jonah, the 17 month old, play in.

But remember, I feel invincible today!

So we walk in, get our food, sit inside the Play Place to eat, and chow down! After finishing, both boys were eager to get down and play. Noah got done earlier than Jonah so he went and played by himself for a while and made friends with another boy there named Noah (we'll call him Noah2). I sat and contemplated on letting Jonah play in it or not, because I definitely didn't want to crawl all up in there to help him.

But remember, I feel invincible today!

So I decided that if Noah helped Jonah he should be just fine. Jonah and I go to a kids gym class every week and is exceptional in his climbing skills, falling and picking himself back up like nothing happened skills, and playing well with others skills. So, what the heck...why not right?!

Remember, I feel invincible today!

Everything went great!! The whole time they were playing great! Noah and Noah2 never left Jonah and took great care of him. I could hear them laughing the whole time...too cute!

Noah comes down the slide and says, "Um Miss Lane, I can't find the baby." (Why he called his brother "the baby," I have no idea.) I said, "Well I can hear him, so go look at the top of the green slide." Just then, I hear Noah2 yell, "FOUND HIM!!!" It wasn't long after that he comes sliding down the slide on his belly giggling the whole way down.


That's right...a pantless Jonah just slid down the slide...also missing one sock. He's been having "problems" lately with leaking out of his diapers due to some medicine he takes. Let's just say it's called "Diaper Chocolate." So of course fear struck in knowing that it was just about time to change that diaper! "OH NO! WHAT IF THERE'S DIAPER CHOCOLATE ALLLLL OVER THE PLACE!?!?!" So I run over, laughing might I add, to see all is clear in that department. But still, where are his pants and sock. Oh gee, I'm going to have to crawl all over this Play Place to find them Just then, Noah2 comes sliding down with pants and one sock in hand!

That's right, I'm invincible today!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The BEST Phone Call EVER + Letter #4

On my way home from work today, I prayed to hear from Josh soon. I just really needed to hear his voice and to hear how he is really doing. I walked into my apartment at 6:00, and my phone rang at 6:15. And yes, it was my sweet Joshua! We were blessed to talk for 30 minutes!!! GOD IS SOOOOOO GOOD!!!!

He started the conversation off talking so fast. He wasn't sure how long of a call he was going to get, so as soon as he started, there wasn't much stopping him. He sounded different. First off, his throat is hurting him bad, so that had to do with it sounding different, but there was something else to it. More mature I believe. He explained things to me he has written in letters that I didn't quite understand. Like the importance of being in the Honor Guard and exactly how awesome it is that he's in the 900 division. The Honor Guard means that he gets to carry rifles and it's quite an honor to be in. Also, they hand pick 78 guys (1 already now it's 77) to be in the 900 division. Being in this is an honor, but also means they move through things faster, are expected to have more leadership, and have more tests (therefore having to study harder). Which it sounds like he's doing well on all the tests...physical and classroom tests. He's made good friends with a guy, Snodgrass (they don't go by their first names, so he's not too sure what it is....he has an idea, but I forgot what he said). Snodgrass is actually going to be going to Pensacola afterwards as well. I'm glad he'll have a buddy there...maybe they can room together or something.

I called Dana, his mom, after we talked to fill her in on everything and she told me some things he wrote in the last letter they received. I think everyone's favorite line is, "I can make my bed better, take a shower faster, and shine my boots brighter than the other 76!" Boy doesn't lack confidence does he? haha

Okay let's see...what else did he say. He'll be graduating, if all goes well, on the 21st of November. He can only have 4 people come to his graduation and has been told he'll have two or three days afterwards to hang out with family. He still hasn't heard from the people in Pensacola yet to know if he'll get Thanksgiving off, but will let me know when he does. I'm praying he does!! I'm also praying time off of work for me. As of now, I have to work the salon on Saturday the 29th and have yet to find out when I'll be off of nannying. I'll figure all the nanny stuff out tomorrow. Pray I'm able to get some good time off to see Josh, his family, and of course mine as well.

I think that's all for now. ;-)


Okay, so his letter this time wasn't very long, but it was super sweet! I sent him a fill in the blank sheet a while back with some questions on it so he could tell me everything I was curious about. So he filled that out with a little note on the back.

He said:
  • Never have a moment go by without me not thinking of you. It gets harder as we go on. I stress pretty much all the time. I'm ready for it to be over! I'm just trying to stretch it through. I think of you and my family whenever I'm getting down and it helps me.
  • I asked him what normal day looked like, and this was his response: Everyday is different. I wake up at either 4am or 6am, shower and eat, drill hard, stand all the time, and go to classes. Classes are on slopes (dunno what that is), aircrafts, sexual harassment, and a bunch of other junk. Workouts include running A LOT! It's new everyday.
  • I asked if he feels like he was lied to about how things would be going into it: YES! I was definitely lied to. Some of it's the same, but a lot is different.
  • I also asked if he had made any friends...which he answered on the phone.
  • And of course, I asked how much he REALLY loves and misses me! hehe He said: More than you know. This paper isn't big enough to explain how much I'm in love with you!
He's so sweet! That's all for this weeks letter! Thanks for keeping up y'all...I adore you all!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Recipe Friday - Autumn Pumpkin Pie, Big D Friendly

In honor of the Fall season and a sweet friend, a wonderful pie recipe that's easy on the Big D.

Filling for Autumn Pumpkin Pie - a low calorie, low fat recipe for pumpkin pie

1 can pumpkin
1/2 cup of egg substitute OR 2 egg white and one yolk
1/2 cup sugar plus 6 packets of Equal
1 tsp of cinnamon, ginger, cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 - 12 ounce can of skimmed evaporated milk

Mix pumpkin with eggs then add milk. Mix dry ingredients and carefully add to wet.

Crust - a low calorie, low fat recipe for pumpkin pie

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons of low-fat margarine OR refrigerated butter spray (0 calories type)
4 Tablespoons of ice water
2 - 9 " pie plates

Combine ingredients, form ball, roll out between two pieces of waxed paper that have been lightly dusted with flour.

Spray pie plate with no-calorie cooking spray and carefully transfer crust. Fill with prepared filling and place into a 425 degree preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and cook for about 30 minutes longer.

Topping - a low calorie, low fat recipe for pumpkin pie

1 small container of lite whipped topping

Slice chilled pie and top with the lite topping and a small dusting of cinnamon if desired.

Makes 2 pies, or 16 servings for about 150 calories per slice.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Letter #3...The Best Yet!

Well, today was a LOOOOONG day working at the salon. When I mean long, I mean from 9 to 9....ya. STINK! Also, my mom called me while I was at work to inform me that my Papa Kenny (her dad) was being rushed to the hospital for a possible heart attack. She called back later to tell me it wasn't a heart attack, they had treated all his symptoms, but notice bleeding internally and they don't know where it's coming from (if I understood all that right). They are doing many more tests in the morning, so please say a prayer for him.

My letter didn't come yesterday like normal because of Columbus Day, so I got home to a lovely letter from my lovely this evening. Just what I needed to perk me up. And this time, the letter was 3 pages long!!! THE BEST YET!!! In the past, it's only been 1 because he hasn't had much time. This time around, a friend of his that went to boot camp with him, and actually got put in his division, was on duty that night and let him write a letter! How sweet huh?!

So, I know you're probably dying to know what's in the letter.


Oh right, that was just me...ALL DAY! Wanting to get home asap to read my letter!

So here it is...some quotes from "The Best Yet":

  • I'm doing better. I can't tell you how I'm changing. I don't have the time and if I got started I wouldn't be able to stop.
  • I love you Lane so much!!! I could write you all day. I'm going through a lot and it's about time. It's all good changes. I'm ready to spend the rest of my life with you. I hope you're doing okay. Tell everybody to send more means so much.
  • I just past my swimming test...easy. I'm not getting much sleep, which sucks. I have a PE Test tomorrow...hope it goes well. I think I've gained 10 pound....of fat. I'm not getting a good workout yet. 1 guy already quit.
  • I got a job in my division. PLO! Tell my dad that, he will laugh.
  • I noticed my hair grows faster than everybody else's.
  • I enjoy ironing...I ironed 76 handkerchiefs today. (YIPPIE! He'll be doing the ironing!)
  • We are busy from 5 am to 10 pm every night.
  • I cry at night when I read everybody's mail...I'm alone it feels at times.
  • My sinus' suck. I NEED DRUGS!
  • OH MY GOSH! I FORGOT! I got a penicillin shot 3 days ago...I passed out and started sweating bad. My rear end was on fire for 2 days!
  • I'm not crazy about Chicago's weather. Rain and cold wind. The wind is bad!
  • The food here isn't that bad, but I think I'm so hungry it doesn't matter.
  • By the way, when I write you guys I'm tired and can't see very well or think straight, so bare with me. (hehe...I can't definitely tell he's tired...I revise a lot of what he writes on the blog so it makes sense!)
  • I like all the verses people send me. Reading my bible is very hard to do at night. I don't have the ways of getting a hold of it. I have to sneak it. I pray before every meal and I think it's catching on. I also sing out loud at chapel and Sunday's...that really caught on. Everyone around me is singing now and loud with a smile.
  • I was told if all goes well I'll be out by the 21st! I really hope so (right before Thanksgiving)!
  • I was thinking you could send me a picture, no bigger than a baseball card - like one of the ones from facebook that I said I liked. I have to show my recruiters. I just had to throw away all my newspaper clipping of my Dad's OBU's dumb. (This coming from the boy who said NO PICTURES and NO MUSHY talk in the first letter...hehe)
  • I miss you so much and think the world of you. My dad thinks you're great, and that's saying something! Tell your parent thanks for the prayers. LOVE YOU and think about you more than anyone.
  • BE SMART! I want you to be around when I get out! (that line made me laugh...but sweet at the same time.)
  • Love, Josh - your man.
Heheh...he's so cute! Thanks to all of you for your prayers and for keeping up with us! Love you all!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Virtuous Woman – Proverbs 31

I’ve studied the Proverbs 31 Woman many times at different church events and Bible studies, but what I love most about studying this woman multiple times is the different things you pick up each time. Don’t you agree that the Bible is the ONLY book that when you read the same sentence ten times, it means something different to you each time? I LOVE THAT!

I’m studying the Woman of the Bible, a book I studied with my high school girls when I was a youth intern in Texas, again and am finding new applications in my life this time around. Being in a different place in life than last time play a HUGE role in that. I’m out of college, dating the man I will marry, and am working full time trying to build a business. I would definitely say that’s significantly different from 3 years ago!

Reading through the study of the "Virtuous Woman" in this book was so rewarding. Of course, I had to write Josh about everything I was learning too. Writing it down for him to understand was the best thing I could have done for myself. Does that sound selfish? It feels like I personally understand it more and am more excited about becoming that woman now that I’ve written it out. So, to help encourage others and to keep me excited, I’ve decided to copy down what I wrote in Josh’s letter.

Here we go!

The virtuous woman isn’t the yardstick by which we should be measured with, but our goal toward where we should be moving. Which is a huge relief, because this woman seems impossible to be exactly like her! She’s seriously amazing…”ideal”…and I’m striving to be like her. There are three different areas these verses talk about: 1) development of character, 2) labor, and 3) relationships. But first, the passage begins by telling a man what kind of woman he should seek in a wife. She should be of noble character, worth far more than rubies, he has full confidence in her, and she lacks nothing of value. Breaking it down, she fears the Lord and receives favor from the Lord because of all of those things.

The list of characteristics of a virtuous woman starts with her outer appearance (taking care of herself) and being strong and confident. I love a passage from this book: Confidence that is rooted in self makes one proud and is not usually expressed with dignity, but confidence that is rooted in a right understanding of God and who He has made you to be is always tempered with humility. Don’t you agree with that?? Although, I believe this applies to everyone, not just woman. It moves on to say she speaks wisdom with a kind heart.

The next area is labor. She is both a homemaker and a businesswoman…although they must both be surrendered to God, not at odds with one another. A virtuous woman has her priorities in tact, and her working outside the home doesn’t come at the expense of her home and family. She provides food and wakes up early to prepare it for her family. She finds useful things to do, doesn’t fear because God provides, and she clothes her family and home (décor). She is a woman who always keeps herself capable for her God-given tasks.

The last area is relationships. A Proverbs 31 Woman knows how to manage her relationship with her husband, family, and her neighbor, because she manages her relationship with God. The heart of her husband trusts in her and has confidence in her. She keeps her word, has good communications, and builds up her mate. Her hand is always ready to serve those in need at any moment.


I’ll say it again….WOW!!

That’s a lot to take in! But remember, the virtuous woman isn’t the yardstick by which we should be measured with, but our goal toward where we should be moving. And the only way we can move towards that goal is through our relationship with God. I realize this is getting really long, so I’ll wrap it up. I hope this was of some encouragement to you as it was to me. Love you all!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Recipe "Wednesday" (aka: Friday) - Poppy Seed Chicken

So, with my letters from Josh coming in on Wednesday's, I know I'll be wanting to blog about it right then and there. Therefore, Recipe Wednesday's will now be Recipe Friday's!! Why not right?? A fun recipe to try out for the weekend!

This weeks recipe...AN ALL TIME FAVORITE!!!


6-8 chicken breasts (chopped and cooked)
16 oz. Sour Cream
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
4 Tablespoons Poppy Seed
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tubes of Ritz crackers
2 sticks of margarine

Cook and dice chicken breasts. In large bowl, mix sour cream, soup, poppy seeds, salt, and pepper. Stir in chicken breasts and put in 9x13 pan. Crush Ritz crackers and mix with melted margarine. Top chicken with cracker mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

Great served over steamed rice! Serves 8+. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

It's All Going To Be Okay...Phew!


I called the Naval Command center this morning to see what their policy was on letters sent to the wrong division number. Their policy is to look up the last name in the roster and reroute the letter. If not found, they return the letters to the sender!

SO!! Hopefully all of the letters will come to him at once and he'll feel much better!

I over-nighted my letter today so he'll have something to read before he writes his third letter on Sunday night. Dang, I must love him a lot to pay $15 to mail a letter!!! hehe

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Letter #2 - I'M SO MAD...I'M SICK!

I got my second letter today from Josh. The first thing I read is...."I've been here over 15 days and haven't got a letter from you....every night the letters are passed out...Josh never gets one."

I'M SO MAD I COULD THROW UP!!!!!!!! I immediately called his mother to tell her the address was wrong. Come to find out, they received an official letter from the Navy with the correct address, didn't think much about it (HOW DO YOU NOT THINK ABOUT IT?!?!), and never informed me about it either. They too have been sending their letters to the wrong address. So, my dear love hasn't received a letter from anyone the whole time he's been there. That just breaks my heart!

I started calling the recruiting offices in Springfield, as well as the actually Training Command Center that he's located at. I left messages and will hopefully hear back first thing in the morning....ya riiiight....but you know I'll be calling again in the morning!! Surely those letters, probably 15 total from his parent and I (not including aunts and cousins that I know have sent some too), are somewhere! I just hope their policy isn't to throw them away if sent to the wrong place. That would just make me sad all over again if they have been thrown away. I hope they are stored somewhere or being sent back to the senders.


Anyway, the update from his letter sounded much better! He's doing better, he misses me a lot, he hates the glasses he has to wear, and got some really cool boots. (He's pretty random in his writing...all over the place.) One thing I was SOOOO happy to hear was that every night before bed, a group of 25 of the guys (about 1/3 of them) gather together and pray as a group. HOW COOL!!!!!! How blessed is he to have a group like that there! I couldn't believe what I was reading. It just lit up my face!

I will say, for a moment, I forgot the first line of the letter when reading about the prayer group!

But then, of course, I remembered about the first line of the letter and once again, got frustrated and very upset.

So I end my day with writing a 3 page, small writing, large pages, letter to my sweet dear with the correct address on the envelope! And you KNOW I'll be overnighting this one so he gets it before the weekend! haha

It's now 1:15 AM and I go to work tomorrow from 9:15 AM-8:3o PM. Thursday's are my long long day, so pray going to bed this late and being stupidly stressed over this dump situation doesn't make for an even longer day tomorrow.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


So at the beginning of this week I began to get very anxious to receive an address of Josh's location. His mom, Dana, had tried to get it several times from his recruiter, but he wasn't helpful at all. On my drive home from work Wednesday I got frustrated about it all! It's not like his recruiter didn't know what it was, he just wouldn't return Dana's calls and avoided her...ugggg. I get home, look in my mailbox...nothing. :-( But wait, I walk in the door to see my roommate sitting there. She usually works nights, but called in sick that day. Thus, she had already picked up the mail. THERE IT WAS!!!!!! The most beautiful thing I've ever received in the mail. My very first letter from Joshua! And yes, I say that name with so much sweetness in my voice. I just miss him so much.

I've had my good days and I've had my bad days. Mostly I just get emotional laying in bed at night talking to God about it all. Although, when I catch myself just having a pity party because I'm lonely and want to talk to him, I snap out of it asap. I think about Josh being the one in the new place with so many new changes. All I changed was not getting to talk to him on the phone. A big change for us since it's our main connection, but still...he's the one going through so much. I'm just so thankful I'm able to have great support from family and friends. I tell ya, Lauren Frazier has been the best friend a girl can have. She checks in often, prays for Josh and I over the phone, and is such an encouragement! God has blessed me for sure!

So, you're probably wanting to know if the letter was sweet and mushy....NOPE! haha First off, he's just not like that normally. Secondly, they read everything going out and coming in. And if they find something good to read in front of everyone to embarrass someone, they don't hesitate. So here it is...I'll share it all:

Dear Lane,
Wow, I can not tell you how different this is than I expected. I was way wrong. It's hard, very hard! I love you very much. I am trying very hard to stay focused. I have been told by the Petty Officers they read letters in and out. So there is a lot I want to say that I just can't...please understand. I have to keep things to a minimum. When you write back remember they read. So just tell me how everything is going, not how you feel to me....I know and you know how we feel. I wake up around 5:00 and sleep at 9:00 for now. I'm in around 10 days of processing, so it's not as bad as it will get. I don't have much time and can only write on Sunday's. I think about my family and you very much. Very excited to get out of here. I hate it. I'm yelled at and made fun of everyday...they find a way for everything. Tell my family I'm not sick...I called my dad the first night and told him I was throwing up and sick. By day two I was fine. I have a lot of things to tell you, so in one week I will try to. PS: NO gifts or pics!! :-(
Love Love, Josh Whitlock

So as you can tell...he needs LOTS of prayers. What he means by 10 days of processing is that he was in the first group of people to arrive at boot camp and would have to wait 10 days before everyone else got there. Therefore, yesterday (Friday) or today (Saturday) will be his official first day of boot camp. I believe he's doing a lot of cleaning, some physical stuff, but mainly dirty jobs. So really, our 8 weeks starts now.

In my letter back I reminded him of everything we've heard about boot camp from those who have been there. The first couple of weeks are really hard, but if you can make it through week 3, the rest isn't so bad. I'm so proud of him and I know he can do it, but I recognize it's going to be a big struggle for him...and I hate that. Only good can come out of this though! It'll make him stronger in a lot of areas. Before he left he told me that he's been holding a lot of his love back that he has for me because he knows it'll be so much harder while he's away. He said that he just can't wait to get out so he can show me more of the love he has for me...and of course I can't wait for that either! Hopefully he'll get more romantic...haha! DOUBT IT! Anyway, please please please continue to pray for him through this time. I talked to his dad, David, after getting my letter and we read ours to each other. There was only two things David was told of that I wasn't. He's in a "performance group"...which he's been told is much harder than normal boot camp. I'm not sure what the details are of that and how he got put in it, but we do know it's an honor to be part of a performance group. Also, he said the first day he was there (when he was pretty sick) he passed out in line and threw up when he came to. He said he was pretty embarrassed, but mainly just glad he's not sick anymore. His dad has also so nicely reminded me of the awesome bed making skill Josh will acquire and maybe he'll take up that chore in our home! I'll just hope for that!

That's all for now....more updates to come later. I love you all and thank you for your prayers!