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 him...it 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.

But wait...WHERE ARE HIS PANTS?!?

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 quit...so 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. ;-)

**UPDATE TO COME WEDNESDAY EVENING AFTER MY LETTER COMES!**

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
cinnamon

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.

Enjoy!



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.

RIGHT??

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 letters...it 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 stuff...it'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 (d├ęcor). 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.

WOW!!

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!!!

POPPY SEED CHICKEN

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!

UPDATE:

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.

AH, I'M JUST SO MAD!

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

MY FIRST LETTER FROM SWEET JOSHUA!

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!


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Recipe Wednesday - Corn Salsa

IT'S RECIPE WEDNESDAY! YAHOO!

Corn Salsa

One can of the following:
Black beans (drained and rinsed)
Black eyed peas (drained and rinsed)
Mexicorn
White corn
Chopped black olives
Chopped green chilies

Add in:
Large tomato chopped
Red/yellow bell pepper (or both) finely sliced
Green onions finely sliced (4-5)
Handful of minced cilantro (fresh is best, but still good dried)

Top with Fat-free Italian dressing and put in refrigerator to chill for several hours before serving with corn chips!

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!!