Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ansel did the cutest thing today.

He called out for me, "Mama!" I called back to him, "Ansel!" We went on like that for a bit. He smiled every time I said his name. It was awesome! Ansel is so much fun! Being a parent is amazing, and I just love him to pieces!

Monday, December 01, 2008

14 Months Old

Ansel getting more efficient at walking and is stringing all kinds of "words" together. When he isn't all over the place, he loves to sit and read books. Ansel has a generous spirit and loves to share. He especially enjoys feeding mama and daddy. He likes to clap and move to music. He plays guitar or at least is plucking the strings individually :) Lights intrigue him. He wants to figure out how things work. He has 5 teeth and is working on 2 more. He is a wonderful little guy and we love him more everyday!
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Marriage Celebration: Lance & Shu's Game Night

This weekend we went to Michigan for a game night in honor of the marriage of our friends the Bredthauers! It was so much fun to see the happy couple and spend time playing games with them. If anyone knows me, they know that games are a favorite! Lance Bredthauer, the groom, was the lad that introduced me to quite possibly my favorite game of all--Pitch! It's a Nebraska tradition that I thoroughly enjoy. Travis took some photographs at the gathering. Pictured above: Ansel on Lance's shoulders and the beautiful bride, Shu, & Lance. Ansel is such a joy! He had a blast just hanging out and socializing with Travis' old friends from school. It was a fabulous night!

We got to watch Lance and Shu open their gift from us, which was camping gear--a dish & pot set for two, two coffee mugs, and a french press. The bride is not much of a camper, but we hope Lance will take her on many camping adventures with him! 

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Ansel is Walking

About two weeks ago Ansel stood up on his own for a long time. We were at Bible study and it happened in our friends' kitchen. We couldn't believe it. Ansel took his first steps two days later! Now he walks about 7 steps and then crawls, stands up and walks again. At this rate, it won't be long before he is running!
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Monday, November 03, 2008

Guess who's climbing?

Would you believe Ansel got up there all by himself?
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Sunday, October 26, 2008


Last weekend we went to Pumpkinville in Ellicottville, NY. It was fun to watch Ansel's excitement to see so many pumpkins. We went on a hay ride with two other couples and then strolled through the town. There were lots of unique little shops, but most of our time was spent in a little used book store. Ellicottville Brewing Company was the perfect setting for a late lunch. Unexpectedly, when our waitress came to bring our food, Ansel slapped her rear end, which in turn produced a surprised gasp. It was quite the adventure, but I bet we will always remember our first trip to Ellicottville with Ansel.
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Thursday, October 16, 2008

12 months

  Ansel and I were out on a walk when I captured this moment.  He loves to be outside just as much we do.  He is pointing and signing "more" and "eat."  He seems to understand so much, but is only clearly saying "Mama" and "Dada."  He also says something that sounds like a combination of "that" and "this."  Ansel is still cruising around and a man with a plan.  What an inquisitive, determined little boy we have!  He knows where his diapers go, and enjoys putting his clean diapers into his soiled diaper pail.  He is into buttons and electronics.  Ansel is a very easy-to-please, good-tempered kid 90% of the time, but he also lets us know just how frustrated he is when he fails to get his way.  With those blue eyes and that sweet smile discipline is so much harder than I expected, but I know that I have to do it because of my love for him.  

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Ansel's 1st Birthday!

We celebrated the big one last Saturday! Our garage was the setting for the raciest party of the year. Grammy and Mez Papa splurged on an amazing race car cake for Ansel. He wasn't so sure about the cake in the beginning, but Travis gave him a sample of the frosting and Ansel went for it!  Best of all was celebrating with grandparents and our Buffalo family! We are so blessed!
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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ansel's 1st Camping Trip

This weekend we went camping at Hamlin Beach State Park. We woke up on Sunday morning and decided to go camping. The car was packed in less than four hours and we were on our way! The three of us slept in our 2 man backpacking tent and spent time at the "beach." Ansel was so much fun to camp with!

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Here's to 4 years of Marriage!

Travis and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary on August 28th! We had a dinner date at Creekview Restaurant while our friend Mary watched Ansel. We walked to the restaurant, which is only a couple of blocks from our house, hand in hand on a perfect summer night.
God has deepened our love for one another through circumstances that, while difficult, have brought us more joy in our marriage and more compassion for one another. Blessings have been upon us in a move across the country, an internship, a job search, a heart attack, the birth of our son, a parenthood adventure, a kidney loss, and life-altering decisions as we listened for God's voice.
I am my beloved's and he is mine.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Best Looking Thing to Appear on Our Shelf...

While on the phone with my mom, I discovered our Ansel had found a place of his very own. He had nestled right into our serving tray!
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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Playing the Day Away

Ansel is 11 months old. He is very mobile and strong these days. He cruises all over the place and pulls himself up to standing on anything and everything. He is climbing. He is busy. He loves to flip through the pages of books. His latest discovery--the guitar! He strums the strings on the neck when it catches his eye. We can see the hint of a first tooth that has yet to break through! Ansel is changing by the minute--feeding himself, speedily crawling, and watching the world around him with his intense, deep blue eyes.
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ansel at the Door

This morning as Travis was heading out the door, Ansel started crying hysterically. Travis captured this moment.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Our dear friend Lois Stauffer went home to be with Jesus on Thursday, August 7th at 2pm. Lois was an amazing woman of God, who touched the lives of many during her 51 years on this earth.

Many people have detailed stories of the beautiful ways Lois has made her mark on their own heart. Her hospitality spoke volumes to anyone who spent time in their home.
For us, Lois has been a longstanding source of encouragement to both Travis and I in our walk with God, our marriage, and in the challenging endeavor of parenthood. Lois and her husband, Gene, exemplified what God intended for marriage. The relationship that they had with one another was one of love, tenderness, and the most treasured of all of earthly friendships. Gene and Lois have been like parents to Travis during his time at Kettering University, encouraging him in his relationship with Christ, challenging both of us in our pursuit of marriage, and then have become our family away from home since we have moved to Buffalo. We have spent many holidays in their home, which has always been lovingly opened to us by the entire family.

Even to end of her life on this earth, Lois continued to humble herself and lift up others. After she was diagnosed with cancer, she offered us a place in her home for Travis to recover from kidney surgery and continued to invite us to spend time with their family. Lois lit up a room with her smile and her life was characterized by an unwavering faith in the Lord, no matter how difficult the circumstances. Even just a few days before her passing when she was in too much pain to get out of bed or even sleep in the same room as her husband, she was still praying faithfully for everyone she knew.

I find peace in the fact that we will reunite with Lois one day in heaven, but will miss our chats over tea in her front yard, making meals together as a family in her kitchen, her wise advice, her gentle sense of humor, her genuine way of living out her faith, and watching her endearing way of ministering to those around her.

In the celebration of this sweet sister in Christ's life, I am once more challenged to be a blessing to those around me and to let God use me for his eternal purpose. What a blessing that Travis and her son, Andrew, became such good friends in college! Andrew is so much like his mom in the way that he selflessly reaches out to others, his carefree spirit, and wonderful sense of humor. I praise the Lord for bringing Lois into our lives, after knowing her we are forever changed and encouraged to stand out as one of His.

Gene, Lois, Michelle, Travis, Andrew, & Jonathan

Lois and Ansel

Michelle, Lois, and Ansel

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Newsboys rockin' the PAC at Darien Lake

We had a blast at the Newsboys show. Travis could almost touch the stage; he was so close! He followed them from the mainstage to this small stage in the center of the crowd and snapped this photo. We agree that this was by far the best concert we have ever been to and were so encouraged in our walks with God!

Our friend Steve is the producer for a local Christian radio station and got us passes to attend the whole event. Last night we ate dinner with Steve and his family in the VIP tent. It was fun to visit with the Napolis and eat with the bands and roadies.
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Kingdom Bound

We had the privilege of hanging out with Newsboys and Delirious? for interviews before the shows. It is clear that they have a passion and a purpose. It was great to hear them joke around and, let's face it, these guys have some sweet accents!



Us at Darien Lake

Ansel sleeping with ear muffs during the Newsboys show
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Wednesday, August 06, 2008