Sunday, December 28, 2008

More Family Black and Whites

I have taken countless pictures since we have been traveling, but I am not uploading any of them to my computer. Unfortunately, I have completely filled my computer with music and photos...and am having a hard time getting the files backed up. So, the only recent pics that are actually on my computer are those I am using for projects.

These are some of the pics I took for a Christmas present I did for my parents. And to answer your questions, Angie, I use natural light and place them by a window with indirect light. I usually place the velvet (I think it's two and a half yards long) on a wall at a ninety degree angle from the window...and just try to get it to stay up however I can. This time I attached one corner with the binder clip to the top of some blinds and stuck the other corner into my parents' wall with one of those corn on the cob holders. Yay for improvisation.

I really have no idea what I am doing. I am just figuring it out as I go along. But I did want to answer you. :-)

MIKE (my brother who is two years younger than me) and his girlfriend of two years, MELISSA

He is a lawyer in Colorado Springs and loves hiking and photography. So, he's always fun to talk to. Melissa I met for the first time this week, and she is such a sweetheart. She fits so well in our family, and I hope to get to see lots more of her over the years.

PATRICK (my brother who is 4 years younger than me) and his wife, HANNAH

They have been married for almost four years now and live in Indianapolis. After many years in the army including service as a medic in Iraq, he is in school at IUPUI and is beginning his studies to be a doctor. He got all A's and a B, and I am so proud of him. Hannah is wonderful and an amazing wife for him. She is a property manager, so they get their housing for free. Pretty sweet deal.


I think that, if you are reading this, you know who we are. :-)

JEFFREY (my brother six years younger than me) and CALEB

Caleb loves Jeff, so I thought that I could coax Jeff into getting his picture taken by having Caleb pose with him. But, Jeffrey is purely nocturnal and never seemed to wake up until Caleb was down for his nap. And by the time our little man was up, it was dark outside and I could no longer get the picture I wanted. So, in the end, we used a bounced flash, a bribe of chocolate and some Colts jerseys. :-)

Monday, December 22, 2008


We are spending lots of time with family as we travel...and it has been so great. We were sad to leave the Carbaughs. It is always such good quality time with Christine and Tony, and Caleb loved playing with his cousins: Makkedah, Seth, Courtney and Emily. We would love to live closer to them. This morning, we took these pics of the kids before we left.

And Sarah, to answer your question, I bought a piece of black velvet at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon (love those!). I just hang it in the background with binder clips. So easy and it makes backgrounds so simple and undistracting.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Oh Baby!

We are currently in the middle of our month of traveling...and enjoying every minute of it. I wish I could say the same about the negative 6 degree temperature outside. The day before we left, I took some maternity pics for a friend who is one of the cutest pregnant women I have ever seen. So, Kristen, here are a few of them and the rest will hopefully be in the mail tomorrow. :-) Thanks so much for letting me practice on you! It was lots of fun.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Our Christmas Card

Happy December! I thought I would post our Christmas card on here because we never seem to order was the case again this year. :-)

We have been super busy these last few weeks. After finishing the semester up and looking forward to a break, we all got sick. I hadn't planned on that, so I didn't get anything done this week that I had planned. But, I got to spend some good quality time with my sick family all week. :-) We are hoping to go to the doctor...Caleb for the second Kansas on Tuesday.

Our yearly travels begin tomorrow morning. We are going to Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. We are looking forward to seeing family and friends, and, as of now, I am looking forward to the trip. We are driving, and it will definitely be an adventure. Please pray for us.

I am right now procrastinating packing, and so I had better stop and go get that finished. Hope you're all enjoying the Christmas season. I love this time of year.

Monday, December 1, 2008

What we've been up to...

A Summary of November:

** Brandon's mom, Hope, came to visit us. We had a great time with her. We always enjoy being around her, and we look forward to seeing both her and Barry, Brandon's dad, in a few weeks.

** We raked leaves for the first time since leaving the midwest. Our trees are yellow and lovely, and Caleb got to experience the joy of leaf piles for the first time today. More pictures to come.

** Brandon's hernia surgery went well, and he is recovering well. He feels lots better, and he has had no more blood clots. Even with his inability to pick up Caleb, we are managing really well. Caleb is becoming really independent and can do everything except get into grocery carts by himself.

** Caleb's sleeping has been up and down all month, but we are getting more creative in our parenting. I think we are all learning together how to help that little boy get the rest we know he needs.

** Donnie and Renee Begay reported to NMSU to officially join us on campus as Cru staff. They are a Native American couple who went to school here and have begun the first ministry within CCC to Natives. We are SO excited that they are here! We got to spend the week with them while they stayed with us as they were moving in to their new home. They have moved just a few blocks from us, and we love our new neighbors. They have a one-year-old, Natalia, with whom Caleb has quickly fallen in love.

** Caleb has developed a habit of taking every single book off his shelves (and because I was an elementary ed major, he has a lot). He pulls them all down, and sits right in the middle of them and reads forever. It is the cutest thing. Though the cuteness factor is quickly wearing off the more time I spend cleaning them up.

** I am sure there is more, but that is all I can think of right now...seeing as how it is pretty late. Hope you all had a wonderful November...and are enjoying the start of the Christmas season.

** more thing...Caleb seems to have learned to smile for the camera. I am sure it is temporary, but I will enjoy it while it lasts. :-) I so enjoy that smile.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! a nation...are so blessed in so many ways. a family...are unbelievably blessed as well. I pray our lives would be characterized by gratitude for all that God has given matter what our circumstances may be. I have a long way to go.

Thank you, Lord, so much...for our sweet family and wonderful friends. Thanks for our home and all that you have given us. Thank you most of all for the incredible gift of Jesus. Thanks that you made a way for us to be called your children when you sent your Son to take our place on that cross and make us right with you. May we all understand the significance of that gift even more this Thanksgiving and Christmas season. I love you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Welcome Noel Isaac Pelton!

Our sweet little nephew was born last night, and both he and his mommy are doing well. Jeff, Brandon's brother, and Julia welcomed their second child into the world at a little after midnight Atlanta time. We are so excited he's here...and hope it won't be too long before we get to meet him. It is so hard sometimes living across the country from our family.

Check out their blog for more pictures of this sweet little thing.

GREAT JOB, Julia! We're really excited for you guys...and so grateful to God for the precious gifts that He has given to the world in your children. :-)

We love you!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Check this out!

We know some seriously gifted people.  PLEASE check out this video that some of our Cru students made.  They made it to promote Denver Christmas Conference...a week long, life-changing conference over Christmas break.  God has done unbelievable things in my life and in countless others through this event.  This year's conference will be my thirteenth.

Watch this video.  I guarantee you'll laugh plenty, and the more people that watch, the more votes they get for the video.  It is a contest, and there is money involved.  And we all know how much college students need money.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Scrapbook Pages

We've been home a lot, and Brandon is going to bed super early. So, I have had some time to do some pages for the scrapbooks that I will probably never complete.  I probably should have been cleaning or something, but this was more fun.  Also, for the last two nights, Caleb has gone to sleep without crying...and he has stayed in his bed!  This is quite out of the pattern of the last several weeks.  So, I am elated.  

One advantage of digital scrapbooking is that while no one besides family really ever looks at scrapbooks, these pages can be more easily shared...over the internet, in digital picture frames, etc.  I do have a goal to print them in a photobook eventually, but I have yet to even print a single page.  

Friday, November 14, 2008

Our Medical Updates


Brandon's surgery went well yesterday.  We had some wonderful friends from church switch off babysitting our little man, and I got to spend most of the day at the hospital with him.  He was nauseous and dizzy from the anesthesia for a while yesterday, but he is doing better in that department.  Now, he is just really sore and has to sleep a lot.  Being immobile for long periods of time is not at good for preventing blood clots, so please do keep praying.  He hasn't been able to walk around as much as we thought he would. 

I don't think the doctor prepared us that well for how much he would need to recover from his surgery.  I had another impression entirely.  He will be out of commission for a while, I think.  


I think I had mentioned that I was supposed to go in for some fertility tests this week.  I cancelled them, and I am going to start in January.  Our insurance deductible is really high, and mine hasn't been touched this year.  So, I am going to wait a few weeks to allow the costs to go to my 2009 deductible...which will hopefully be finished off by the costs of pregnancy.  Si Dios quiere...  

Thanks for the notes, emails, texts, comments and calls.  We love our friends.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Brandon's Surgery

Right now, I am in the hospital waiting room, and Brandon is in surgery.  He is doing well, and he should be out in an hour or so.  Please pray he won't have any more blood clots as a result of the surgery.  We don't like blood clots.  As we were praying last night, Brandon thanked God again for the hernia...because he wouldn't have gone to the doctor about the pain in the leg. That pain turned out to be the blood clot, and we are so grateful that he went in for the hernia. We'll also be really grateful it's gone. 

We took some pictures on our computer while we were waiting. It was strange seeing him lying there in a hospital gown hooked up to an iv.  Thanks, Lord, so much for our good health. 

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Trip to the Zoo

Brandon's mom, Hope, has been in town since Thursday.  We have loved having her visit, and we will be sad when she leaves.  She is always so fun and easy to be around.  

Although we have read countless books about all kinds of animals, Caleb had never seen so many of them in real life.  So, we decided to spend Saturday afternoon at the El Paso zoo.  

My mom loves elephants, and so Caleb has a rocking elephant, an elephant pillow, and several elephant toys and books.  But, no scaled down model can prepare you for seeing the pure immensity of an elephant in real life.  

This was his reaction:

The sea lions were a fun surprise.  

And I really liked this guy. 

We were so impressed with the zoo, and it won't be long before we are back again. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Doctor's Appointment

I went to the doctor today to talk to her about my infertility.  We are going to start tests next week...a progesterone test to see if I am ovulating...and a few others. It was harder than I expected to sit there and discuss this with her.  I guess it was because it makes the problem more real. 

The Lord gave us an incredible child two years ago, and I believe he will bless us with another one again.  I am not exactly sure how He will do that...whether through getting pregnant or adoption...both wonderful options.  But, God is helping me to trust Him, and I am grateful for the opportunity to walk with Him on this journey.  

We really do appreciate your prayers.  Thanks, friends.  We love you. 

And as fears have risen in my heart, the Lord has continually been blessing me with amazing views of the moon and planets...our lovely sunsets...autumn...etc.  And, He keeps reminding me that He who created all this created me too...and He has our lives in His hands.  Thanks, Lord.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Minnie Mouse, a Spider and a Little Fireman

Tonight, Caleb and I went out to kids' night at Texas Roadhouse with friends.  The kids dressed up for the event, and the restaurant had candy and games ready.  We had lots of fun.

Caleb was a fireman.  We had the yellow coat thanks to his cousin Seth, so we just bought a hat. Kaylee was the cutest little spider ever...and Taylor was Minnie Mouse.  They were hysterical. 

Leah and her husband Jason went through childbirth classes with us, but it wasn't until we met her again at Toddler Time at the library that we became friends.  They're adorable, aren't they?

Sidenote:  Thanks for the prayers and comments, friends. I/we are so grateful for you. 

 And Mrs. Mitchell, if you read this again, would you please give me a way to write you back.  I was so excited to see your sweet note, Rachel, and I would love to catch up with you again, my friend. 

Sunday, October 26, 2008


We love you!  :-)  

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Still Waiting...

When you're single and dating someone, people often ask,
"When are you getting married?" 

When you're married without kids, people often ask,
"When are you guys thinking of having kids?"

When you are married with kids, people often ask,
"When are you guys thinking of having more?"

Although these questions have been known to be annoying, I often find myself asking them in conversation.  I, personally, have never minded responding to them either, but answering that last one has been getting a little harder lately. 

As many around here already know, Brandon and I have been wanting to get pregnant again for over a year now...since last August. Because my pregnancy with Caleb was unexpected, I think I expected to have a baby nine months from when the date we decided we wanted another one.  I never dreamt it would take the fifteen or so months we have been waiting for a positive pregnancy test.  God has had other plans, it seems. 

Some days are honestly hard, but thankfully most are not.  Overall, the Lord has shown His goodness to us in so many ways.  I have grown more and more grateful for what He has given me...especially in our son...and I am cherishing each stage of his development.  I have been able to better understand the struggles with infertility of some of my very best friends.  And, most importantly, He has reminded me again and again that it is He who is directing my life, and the plans I so carefully lay out aren't always His.  I am just grateful that His plans are so much better than mine...and so glad that one day I will get to see just how true that is. 

So, I guess I am writing this to let you in on our struggle and ask for prayer.  Please pray that we will trust Him and get to know Him better through this process of waiting.  Please pray that we would walk well with Him through this...and that we would follow as He guides.  We have thought and talked about adoption for a while now, as there is such great need out there for homes for so many kids.  We had planned on having a few of our own before possibly adopting, but God might have other plans for us.  Please pray for guidance with that as well.  THANK YOU so much. 
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; 
in all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


As most little boys do, ours loves fire trucks.  Our friend, Mark, is a fire chief at a station here in town, and we went to visit him and check out a real life fire station...since we have been reading about them so much lately. 

Just as we were getting ready to go, they were sent out on a call.  Caleb was fascinated to see the firemen leaving to help people.  He especially loved the lights and sirens.  

Mark and the other firemen were great...and so willing to answer our questions.  It was a really fun experience...and one I am sure we will try to repeat with friends someday. 

"Bye fye-a-tuck!!!"

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Big Boy Bed

We were blessed from the beginning with an absolutely amazing sleeper in Caleb.  He has inherited that, I would say, from his parents...and we had lots of help along the way from the BabyWise books by Gary Ezzo (AMAZING).  

So, when we decided to transition Caleb to a toddler bed, we were thinking it would be as easy as everything else has been along the way.  Well, not so much.  He screamed so much that first night that Brandon ended up spending the night in his room.  The next week or so went the same way.  He didn't nap.  I wasn't getting any sleep during the night or even during the day.  I wasn't getting anything done...and I was so tired.  

The screaming never stopped, so we decided he wasn't ready...or I wasn't ready.  Something like that.  So, now the opening in his crib is pushed up against the wall, and I am sleeping at night again.  He has security back, and I have my three hour window during his nap to get stuff done. Our home is happy and peaceful yet again. 

But, I would welcome any thoughts other moms have on the subject from your own experience. I could use all the help I can get for when we try it again in a few months. 

Friday, October 17, 2008


We have had a very busy few weeks, and I have been very bad at updating our blog.  A lot of that has to do with the "my little boy is not sleeping so I don't feel like uploading pictures...I just want to sleep" phase we have going through lately.  More on that later. 

Two weeks ago, Caleb and I joined the Washburns and headed up to Albuquerque to see the Hoppes in the hospital as well as the Christensens.  We had such a great time...and it was definitely not long enough, in my opinion.
Baby Izzy is amazing!  He looked great and is really among the cutest little boys in the world. His surgery went really well, and he was released from the hospital just a few days after our visit...weeks earlier than expected.  God answers prayers pretty well, doesn't He?  And that little boy is so blessed to have such great parents.

You'll see many more pictures of Izzy soon.  We had a fun photo shoot today, and I got to spend tons of time looking at that little cutie through my viewfinder.  Good times.  :-) 


Caleb and I got to spend some good time with Kyle and Chrissy and their six-month-old, Ina.  We miss them a lot since they moved up north.  Chrissy and I got up at four thirty in the morning and RODE BIKES to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  It was pitch black...and such an adventure.  It was so good for me in every sense of the word.  

There is something about Albuquerque that makes it wonderful for hot air balloons.  Hundreds of balloonists from all over the world gather together there for the largest balloon invitational on the planet.  It should definitely be on everyone's life "to-do" list. 

Thanks, Kyle and Chrissy, for your unbelievable hospitality!!