Different Packaging

“Eat your carrots, they are good for your eyes and will help you see…”

This phrase can be heard said in kitchens around the world as mothers try to convince their kids to eat the hard orange veggie.  Did you know, carrots contain beta-carotine, which the body converts to Vitamin A, an important nutrient for eye health?  Perhaps my mom and many others have been onto something.

Why all this carrot talk?

Since moving to Haiti I have said goodbye to the world of perfectly prepared, pre-packaged baby carrots in the local grocery store. I have said hello to dirt covered, mis-shaped, variety sized carrots from the local market.  The picture at the top of the page are a few carrots I recently purchased from the market.  Not quite the grocery store perfection I grew up eating.  After many months of receiving my less than cookie-cutter perfect carrots I began to wonder, is this what carrots look like in the U.S. when they are pulled straight from the ground?

Don’t judge, it’s an honest question from someone who has not been around her fair share of “carrot planters.”  I took this question to the most logical place:  www.kidsgrowingstrong.org, a kid friendly website with loads of gardening advice.  After a few minutes of very strenuous carrot studies, I am convinced of one thing, a carrot is a carrot is a carrot.

You can plant a carrot in the U.S., Haiti, or anywhere else for that matter, and it will always be a carrot.  Pretty simple, huh?  This “Veggie Lesson” is also a good reminder of another very foundational truth:

People are people are people.  Granted, we all have “different packaging” but, we were ALL created in the image of God with the same basic needs (Gen. 1:27).

Our time in Haiti has helped me see this truth on a whole new level.  I have stepped out of a world of English speaking, Cheese-Burger eating, Football loving Americans.  I now function daily in a world of Creole speaking, Rice & Bean eating, Soccer (Football) loving Haitians.  A people whose packaging is different, yet we are the same.

Just this morning I was talking to a few Haitian women who were intrigued by the fact that I was indeed going to have our baby here in Haiti.  They were excited to learn I would deliver our baby very similar to how they had their children, and that he would be “Haitian.” This led to a time of each woman sharing about her particular delivery experience, the early days with their baby at home, and on and on, you know how moms can be.

As the conversation concluded, my heart delighted as that simple conversation helped me continue to see through our different cultures  and into the lives of my sisters in Haiti.

Some days the challenges of Haiti are difficult to see through.  But, as our relationships are strengthened and we continue to learn, I am humbly aware that we are all just a bunch of carrots.

I guess moms have been right for all these years, carrots really do help us see clearer!

Below: My carrots after a good bit of work, mmm mmm good!



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Baby Time!

We are having a BOY!!!!  In just a matter of months Little Man Salter is going to make his grand appearance and life as we know it will never be the same…

We are so EXCITED!

I will confess, I have never pictured myself as a “boy” mom.  But, as I watch our little man’s daddy and grow more in love with him everyday, my heart fills with unbelievable joy to think about the gift of raising our little guy to be just like his daddy!

My love of pig tails and ballet skirts will be put on hold as I enter into a whole new world of mud puddles and dump trucks, a world I cannot wait to be a part of!  I find myself noticing little boys everywhere these days.  I watch them play with their friends, I admire their cute little khaki pants, and my heart melts when I see them walk hand in hand with their momma’s.

Oh snap, we are having a BOY!

Trey and I are huge country music fans.  I’ll never forget riding in his jeep one afternoon when the song “Watching You,” by Rodney Atkins came on the radio.  He immediately turned it up and said, “This is one of my favorite songs!”  As the song played I listened to Trey sing along word for word and it was then, deep down inside I wondered if one day the Lord would give us a little boy…

“We Love fixing things and holding momma’s hand, we’re just alike hey aren’t we dad?  I wanna do, everything you do…cause I’ve been watching you…”


Listen to the song here:  Watching You…

Here’s to the beginning of a whole new adventure.  Momma’s of boys, any advice for this first timer?


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A Little While…

True confession, I am a mess!

A few days ago I was making some pie crust (insert your “oo’s & ahh’s” here over my amazing domestic abilities).  After what I thought was simply a small portion of flour on my cabinet, I stepped back for a moment and noticed crisco and flour remnants on every square inch of counter top, floor, and myself.  I had done it again, made a bonified, certified, MESS.

As I looked at the mess, the reality of washing crisco and flour off several dishes hit me.   I was surprised to see that instead of being overwhelmed by the mess, I was excited about the goodness to come a little while later.  Yes, I knew clean up had to happen.  But, this particular day I went a little “Pie-Crust Crazy” and made a chicken-pot-pie for dinner AND a derby pie for dessert.  Two of our favorites!

I stood and looked at my messy kitchen, I did not see more work to be done.  Instead, I could smell the warm pies baking in the oven and anticipate my husbands surprise as he came home to discover a pretty tasty dining experience, if I do say so myself.

My perspective was on the end result, not on the mess it took to get me there.

Messes are a part of life.  Instead of allowing our messes to be a burden, could they actually serve as a reminder that there are good things to come?  Think about it…

When planning for a big move the house becomes a total DISASTER.  Messes are everywhere, yet in a little while a new home is established and order is recreated, the mess was NOT permanent.

College students, trying to prepare for an exam or complete a semester…the dorm room, notebooks, closets…EVERYTHING is a mess.  But, after a little while another semester is complete and they are one step closer to completing their schooling.

Young momma’s, spilled milk and peanut butter smears found everywhere!  But, after a little while, the sweet gift of healthy children, strong and ready for all that may come play together in the living room.

One more terrible story on the news.  Sex trafficking, poverty at home and abroad, bus crash takes innocent lives, each one a terrible mess…only for a little while.

In 1 Peter 1, we see that even the biggest trials (messes) are simply for a little while.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

Our messes are so temporary.  They are simply here for a little while and can serve as a huge reminder that there WILL be good to follow.

The end result of all the flour mess?


2 half eaten pies, 1 happy family, oh…and another mess in the kitchen after the meal was complete.  Oh the mess, but oh the goodness!

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Great Expectations

Throughout the past 6 weeks, I had been eagerly looking forward to Friday, July 26th.  This was to be the day of our 3rd doctors appointment.  We would have an ultrasound and get to see how much our little one had grown.  We would listen to the heartbeat and know the journey was going well.  We would then mark our calendar and begin the countdown again, until the next appointment arrives.  Yesterday, July 26th did not go as we had expected.

We arrived at the Dr.’s office only to be informed by the cleaning help that the Dr. was not in the office.  What was he talking about?  Of course the Dr. is in, we have an appointment that was scheduled weeks ago and is only minutes away.  Where is the Dr.?

After a few phone calls and some minutes of clarification we were informed our appointment was supposed to be rescheduled, yet we were never contacted by the secretary.  The result?  An emotional pregnant momma, in tears, sweating in the Haitian sun at the reality that there would be no Dr. visit today.  A high expectation, greeted with a tidal wave of disappointment.

We love our doctor, and are pleased with the help we are receiving, and we will be returning Wednesday afternoon for our appointment.  While we are thankful for such a quick rescheduling, I cannot sit here and say I was the happiest of campers yesterday morning.

I am quickly learning, when a stinky situation occurs, and my stinky attitude follows, a teaching moment arises between my Lord and I.  Here’s what’s up:

Our daily life is FULL of expectations.  Expectations over tasks we will accomplish, people we will see, and events that will occur.  When my expectations are met, I am content.  When my expectations are not met, I am disappointed.  Disappointed or not, my reaction to each circumstance should be controlled by truth and not emotion.  Which, I must admit is incredibly difficult in my current season (pregnancy that is).  Yesterday, a simple truth came to my heart immediately when I realized our appointment was not going to take place…

We WILL be let down in this world.  Do not get me wrong, a cancelled Doctors appointment is a very SMALL let down, but nevertheless, a time to learn.  As I sat in the car while we left the Dr.’s office my mind raced with questions:

How am I supposed to respond in this situation?  Why did I allow myself to set such a high expectation on this appointment and now leave so disappointed?  I cannot believe I’ve done it again, I have allowed my expectations to run away with me and now I cannot get past the let down!

A few hours later, after a few errands, Trey and I sat down to lunch and took a minute to recap the events from the failed visit.  (Conversations always work best for us when food is on the table).  It was then, we began to discuss “expectations.”  The good, the bad, and the ugly they bring into ones life.  The result?  Expectations are not bad!  However, the difficulty is keeping our expectations in balance and focused on the truth.


Romans 8:19 tells us that creation groans with eager expectation to see the work of God fulfilled.  In 1 Peter 1 we see the testing and trials that come in this world are but for a little while.  My daily expectations will at times bring extreme happiness, and at times disappointment.  The Lord allows us to have expectations.  Along with every aspect of our lives, He desires that we use these expectations to bring Him glory.  May every expectation point us towards the GREATEST EXPECTATION we can have as believers…

Our Lord will return and call His children to Himself.  This has been GREATLY EXPECTED for generations and generations, those who expect and wait for this will NOT be disappointed.

I realize I need to work on controlling my expectations when it comes to daily circumstances and events of the world.  But when it comes to expectations of the work of my Savior, may my mind race with eager expectation.  May I desire, long for, and anticipate His work with the greatest of expectations and know there will be no disappointment.

Praise you Father!  May you take every expectation, good or bad, and remind us we are your Children.  Children of the King.  May YOU be our GREATEST expectation, we trust your Word and know we will not be disappointed!



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A New Look

We are so excited to introduce you to our new blog site, “Planning in Pencil.”
Let us start by saying, we are glad you are here.  We hope you like what you see, and follow us for throughout the upcoming days.

If you are new to our blogs, be sure to check out our “About Us” section in order to get to know us a bit from the get go.

“Planning in Pencil,” has become a bit of a tagline in our home.  As seasons change, unpredicted circumstances arise, and life simply happens; we are glad we have made our plans in pencil.

Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

Nothing about this life is said to be “cookie cutter” perfect, but instead full of highs and lows.  Full of those moments we wish we could relive over and over, and then those we would rather forget.  Whatever may come, we trust fully in our Lord and Savior, our great God, who promises to establish our steps.

Here’s to stepping into a new adventure in the blogging world with all new posts and a whole new look.  For now, enjoy exploring this site, and check back in with us tomorrow as we continue the story together, eraser marks and all.

With Freshly Sharpened Pencils,

Trey & Chelsea


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