November 28, 2012

When You Are Expecting Not So Much a Package From UPS...

You know I hate to shop and I love the ease of shopping on line.  eBay and Amazon are my best friends.  Almost every day we have a package of something arriving on our front porch... coffee, syrup, batteries... anything most people would run to Walmart for.  It works for us.  I save a ton of money and even  more important a ton of time.  An added benefit has been becoming friends with our UPS carrier and his family.  Really, not kidding here.  We swap canning hints and stories of the kids and even some Christmas celebrating.

While the Christmas shopping, and shipping, season is upon us, our family is excited to be expecting a different kind of package, not so much from UPS, but rather a new little Wachter.
At just 15 weeks along "Henry" has become an incredibly special part of our family.  We only recently told the little children because we needed to get past some complications and wanted to get some positive feedback from our specialist before we let them get too hopeful.  Since we told them, they are beside themselves and keep asking when they can tell the world.

But here's the thing.  I used to think it was so exciting to share this news with those we know and love and even those we don't know.  But now I dread it like the plague.  Because people always say the dumbest things.  And it just crushes my joy.

After two surgeries, lots of painful treatments, a heartbreaking experience with a foster child and years of prayer to overcome endometriosis, we were literally beside ourselves with joy to share news of our pregnancy with Emma Rose.  We were amazed at how the Lord had worked in what three doctors called an impossible situation and wanted to share our miracle with everyone.  A lady actually told me I shouldn't appear so happy because it might upset two other ladies we knew who were struggling with infertility.

Then there was the time when Nathaniel was six months old and we announced Aedan was on the way.  We'd already had a round of nastiness from our family and could really use some positive feedback.  I ran to the ladies room in tears when a friend of ours actually said, to my face, that I was like a regular baby factory.

There was the time when I was expecting Samuel and another homeschooling mom told me there was no way I would be able to manage teaching the children with six kids.  Gee, thanks for the encouragement.  

Oh and let's not forget all the times people go on about how the youngest child will be so jealous and feel displaced.  Which by the way has NEVER been the case.

Or all the well meaning people who go on about how we can't fit another child in our little house or afford to support 4, 5, 6... kids etc.  Never mind that with rare exception we have never even taken so much as free babysitting and our children are all well fed and well dressed.

All the sweetness is not confined to friends, family and church members, though.  Even strangers get in on the deal.  In addition to the stares and comments about how we should "get a hobby" or cable and after 8 kids "don't we know what causes it yet", there are the women who tell me I'm crazy.  Yes, perfect strangers have said that to my face.  One stranger sticks out in my mind above all, though.  After seeing me with 6 children and pregnant again she stopped me and asked all the usual rude questions.  How many were step children?  How many times was I married?  And on and on.  I answered her inquiries as pleasantly as could be.  And then, as I put my item in the buggy and grabbed a toddler's hand to move on, she said, "You must have easy pregnancies to do that so much."  Ha!  I didn't correct her.  I just wished her a good day and went on with my shopping.

But I have thought about this woman's comment many times through my last three pregnancies and almost daily these last four months.  Because easy and pregnancy couldn't be any farther from an accurate description of how things go for me.

I spent two pregnancies on total bed rest with regular stays in the hospital with chronic poly-nephritis.  And then there are the blinding migraine headaches that came with several pregnancies.  The  four or five months of severe sickness with most of our children.  And then there is diabetes.  As a diabetic, pregnancy means intensive insulin therapy and lots of testing to make sure my blood sugar levels always stay in a safe range for both baby and me.  Some days that means 17 needles.  And you know what that's the easy part.

There's the hypoglycemia which comes with insulin treatment.  That means in an effort to keep glucose low enough for baby I also have to deal with it dipping into dangerously low ranges for me several times a day.  For those who don't know what diabetic hypoglycemia is about it means my mind stops working properly and I am unable to make even simple decisions like what to eat to bring my glucose back up.  It also comes with an array of other less than pleasant physical symptoms.  Everything stops while I tend to the situation.  After this interruption into a visit with a friend, or teaching a lesson to one of the children, FBI class, a church service or a doctor appointment, I am completely physically drained as if I just had a run a few miles on a 90 degree day.  On a good day that only happens a few times.  The nights are the worst, though.  After bringing my sugar up and showering and changing the linens (hypoglycemia causes you to sweat beyond anything you can imagine) I usually get severe chills.  I then toss and turn for a few hours and doze off just in time to do it all again.

Pregnancy is anything but easy for me.  It is a difficult and much prayed about nine months.  Right now, life is anything but easy.  In fact, it is down right hard.  I count it a good night if I can sleep even a few hours uninterrupted.  It's a good morning if I can get through our school lessons without two crashes.  Both are rare occurrences since insulin needs change every five days during pregnancy and it takes about three days to get adjustments regulated.  So I am completely physically drained.  On a good day I have about two hours where I feel well.  My family does great despite me,  but I feel like I am failing in everything that is important to me.  I am afraid to drive because I fear hurting someone.  In fact I hate going out in public because I never know when I will crash and as unpleasant as it is at home its even more miserable in the presence of others.  I tried to take the kids shopping for Kaitlin's birthday a few weeks ago.  I ended up sitting in a corner of Target for 20 minutes eating a bag of Reeses Peanut Butter cups we picked up in the candy aisle.  (Did you know they come in dark chocolate?)

And the fact of the matter is, unless you have been there, it is difficult or impossible to understand the true inability to do what I usually do... at church, in the community or even at home.  So people aren't exactly understanding when you say no or don't show up for every event.  We simply aren't able to help as we usually do.  Even unexpected guests, which we typically welcome are very much a drain at this time.  A few weeks ago I literally could not get the energy to type a text message reply and on three nights in one week we had friends drop by unexpected.

So why am I here?  I believe everything worth anything in life has a price.  Some are higher or harder than others.  This I believe is worth it.  Indeed, I can't think of anything more worth the trial than being part of God's plan to give life to another human being.

I believe every life is created by God.  I believe every child is a blessing.  Despite all the difficulties, I love being pregnant because I believe what God said in His word that every person is made in His image.  

And I believe the God who creates life has the power to see us through any trial He allows to come into our life.  He's seen me through more than I can count in more miraculous ways than I can begin to tell here.

I believe the God of Heaven has the power to provide for our every need.  As we have followed Him by faith and He has expanded our family, God has always provided for our every need.  In fact, I stand in awe each day when I see the ways He has blessed us with the desires of our heart and the ways He gives us opportunities to minister to others.

So, I invite you to join us as we celebrate a new life and praise the God who has given and will sustain it.  We look forward to seeing, not just how God will work in the next six months, but what He will do with this little life as he will rise up to serve the Lord.  I can not even begin to imagine what great works our little one will be used for.  But I sure am looking forward to watching the story unfold.  And I am grateful for the gift to be part of it.
For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Psalm 139:13-16

November 23, 2012

A Stitch In Lives Giveaway

You all know Kaitlin.  Our oldest and very talented 21 year old daughter.  Award winning seamstress and theatrical talent... among many other talents.  

Kaitlin has always had a heart for mission work.  As a little girl she collected her birthday money to send over seas to support missionaries in Thailand, Mexico and Europe.
In May she made these great little bags for her sisters and I using scraps of fabric and trims we had sitting  around the sewing room.  We all thought they were so adorable we suggested she go into business.
Kaitlin and her sisters spent the summer digging deep into the word of God and trying to find a way to do more for the Lord.  Out of that study was born Kaitlin's new business, A Stitch In Lives.  She has been stitching those great bags, and many other styles, to raise money for overseas mission work.  

And now, just in time for Christmas shopping, I am excited to invite you all to her official grand opening.  Her desire is to sew custom designed bags, although she does have a small inventory of pre-made bags.  
Check out her website and see what great things she has been up to.  Then start thinking of all the ladies on your gift list.  

I filled some of these with bath products from a little boutique I fell in love with at the beach and will be giving them to my girl friends.  But think outside the box.  The small wristlet would be excellent for cosmetics.  Elisabeth uses hers for toiletries when traveling.  I keep one with my scissors, needle and thread for a quilting project I am working on. Brianna uses her for her contact and glasses supplies. Fill one with some hair accessories for the little princesses on your gift list.  

To celebrate and spread the word I am offering a wristlet to the winner of a random drawing on December 9th.  You will have the option to choose from the pre-made inventory or to have a custom bag designed.

You can receive one entry for each of the following.  (For simplicity sake please leave one comment for each entry.)

*Promote A Stitch In Lives on Your blog.  (Please leave the link in your comment)
*Mention A Stitch In Lives on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ (one entry for each mention)
*Make a purchase from A Stitch In Lives (One entry for each item purchased)
*Email five friends and tell them about this great new website
*One bonus entry if you leave a comment sharing some great ways to use the wristlet    

Giveaway ends December 9th at 11:59PM.

November 20, 2012

Wobots Christmas on DVD

We love Christmas movies in our family and my little guys found this new Christmas DVD by Echolight entertaining. They particularly loved the space vehicles, robots and all shouted with delight when a futuristic Starbucks came on the screen. The floating space city reminded us all of Tomorrowland in Disney and what's not to love about that? Your little people will be delighted by this and will entertain them while you get your Christmas wrapping, shopping and baking done.
“A WOBOTS CHRISTMAS will have children and adults alike cheering the adventures of an orphan boy and his band of misfit robot friends,” said Benjy Gaither of LiveBait Entertainment. “It not only entertains but helps explain the real meaning of Christmas with the encouraging message that ‘God doesn’t make junk.’”

Welcome to Metropolipod and the orphanage home of Zak, a friendless boy with a challenging speech impediment who doesn’t like Christmas. Every year, he works his fingers to the bone making toys for other kids, but nobody ever gives him anything. A trip to Scraptown—a junk heap for unwanted robots—connects Zak with a group of oddball ‘bots,’ quirky misfits all. On the run from a wacky scientist bent on taking over the orphanage, Zak and his new friends learn a powerful lesson about how Christmas started with a baby named Jesus—who grew up to save the world. Inspired to embrace their true potential, Zak and the Wobots jump into action to save the holiday!

Produced by LiveBait Entertainment and distributed by EchoLight Studios, A WOBOTS CHRISTMAS is available Nov. 20, just in time for holiday fun and inspiration for the entire family.

"Benjy Gaither and the crew at LiveBait Entertainment are committed to providing quality entertainment that is at once fun, encouraging and educational,” said EchoLight Chief Global Strategist Christopher Morrow. “EchoLight Studios is delighted to help bring this uplifting animated adventure with a message to families this Christmas season.”

November 12, 2012

Unconditional- the novel & Firebird

This novelization and children's book are based on and inspired by the upcoming movie Unconditional. We love children's books and it is always neat to find a God-centered children's book. Judging by the novel it seems like the movie will be one you don't want to miss. Looking forward to the DVD release.

A brief bio from the press release:

NASHVILLE – Sept. 12, 2012 – As the anticipated film UNCONDTIONAL hits theaters this month, the novel it inspired debuted Sept. 1 going more deeply into the riveting story—inspired by true events—of one woman finding faith, joy and meaning after a seemingly senseless, devastating loss. 

“"The novelization of Unconditional will touch the heart of every reader,” said Acquisitions Editor Julie Gwinn with B&H Publishing Group, the book’s publisher. “This story helps us all see that even in life’s toughest storms, above the clouds the sun is still shining.”

From award-winning author Eva Marie Everson, Unconditional is inspired by the true story of Joseph “Papa Joe” Bradford—an African-American man who went from standout student to prison inmate where he had to fight to stay alive. A computer-hacking crime sent Bradford to jail, and once out he and his wife Denise dedicated their lives to helping under-resourced young people, particularly in Nashville. They established and operate the Elijah’s Heart ministry. 

In the book, Samantha Crawford is a celebrated children’s author whose beloved husband is killed in a senseless act of violence. Three years later, still grief-stricken, Samantha plans to take her life, but at the last minute someone needs her help and prevents the act. Reuniting with her childhood friend, “Papa Joe,” she finds her will to live returning as she witnesses his selfless dedication to Nashville’s throwaway kids. And, in the dismal housing projects, she might just find the truth behind her husband’s killing. 

Like characters in the story, the film and book will help the lives of needy children through raised awareness and by many ministry partnerships nationwide. A children’s book, Firebird, which figures prominently in the film, also debuted Sept. 1 from B&H Publishing and echoes the theme that God’s love shines through people and circumstances no matter how dark things seem. Similarly, another B&H book—a study guide featuring clips from the film—offers a four-week, biblically based study designed to help participants identify and overcome their fears and learn to help those in need."

The Perfect Gift

"Is it “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays?” Are they “Christmas trees” or “Holiday trees?” Prolific filmmaker Jefferson Moore tackles a controversial topic with heart, hope and fun in THE PERFECT GIFT, releasing on DVD in November. Featuring Christina Fougnie in her first film role—THE PERFECT GIFT is a story of a young girl who puts her foot down at having to share her birthday—Dec. 25—with Jesus. But Jesse, a mysterious drifter working at her church, knows all about the real reason for Christmas." via

As soon as November rolls around, everyone in our house starts itching to pull out the Christmas movies and delve into the season. We have a whole shelf of Christmas movies but it is hard to find a Christmas movie with Jesus as the main focus. Which is why I was excited when I was asked to review The Perfect Gift for it's release on DVD. 

This movie touches some controversial topics such as removing Jesus from Christmas, freedom of religious expression and making the church into a corporation. 

I love the soundtrack to this movie. Some great traditional Christmas songs jazzed up a bit mixed with some contemporary Christmas. Can you really go wrong with Christmas music? I just wish it was available to buy on CD.  For those who aren't as old fashioned as me, it is available for MP3 download on

Jefferson Moore plays his role well and at one point gives a very thought provoking speech with a fabulous presentation of the Gospel. I think we often remember Jesus coming to earth but forget the mission He was coming to accomplish- namely the salvation of man.

This movie has everything you expect from a Christmas movie and would make for a great family movie night.

November 11, 2012

October Baby -DVD

'"You saw me before I was born.' Psalm 139:16 (NLT) As the curtain rises, Hannah hesitantly steps onto the stage for her theatrical debut in college. Yet before she can utter her first lines, Hannah—unscripted—collapses in front of the stunned audience. After countless medical tests, all signs point to one underlying factor: Hannah's difficult birth. This revelation is nothing compared to what she then learns from her parents: she was actually adopted … after a failed abortion attempt. Bewildered, angered, and confused, Hannah turns for support to Jason, her oldest friend. Encouraged by his adventurous spirit, Hannah joins his group of friends on a Spring Break road trip, embarking on a journey to discover her hidden past … and find hope for her unknown future. In the midst of her incredible journey, Hannah finds that life can be so much more than what you have planned."

Since we saw this video on YouTube we have been anxiously awaiting the DVD release of October Baby. The movie has an incredible message and emphasis on one of the most critical issues of our day -abortion.

We were not disappointed by this fabulous film. Such a powerful, powerful movie and so very well done. Christian films tend to be cheesy but that is not the case with October Baby.

There are so many things you can pull from this but I'm going to just touch on two. First, I love the personification of aborted babies this movie conveys. Hannah is an abortion survivor who never would have taken her first breath if the procedure went correctly and yet you see her as a beautiful, intelligent, gifted, talented young woman. I think even us as pro-life supporters sometimes forget the individuality of each baby in an abortion statistic and that they would have grown up to be an incredible person made in the image of God.

Second, the writers did such a great job of showing abortion to be wrong while still being very sensitive to any woman watching who may have had an abortion. We should always keep in mind that women who have had an abortion are hurting people. We should never dull the horrors of abortion however we do need to be sensitive and not kick a person who is already down.

Great story, beautiful soundtrack, talented cast...all the essentials. I highly recommend October Baby.

November 10, 2012

1 Message

Let's start with a brief bio before delving into my thoughts on 1 Message
"Becca had it all: beauty, a successful fiance, and the job of her dreams. Everything was going according to her plan until the day she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the blink of an eye, her entire life came crashing down around her. The fiance ran off with some new fling. The dream job wouldn't wait for her to get better. The toll Cancer took on her body made her feel like less than a woman. Broken and alone, she refused to leave the house. She wanted cancer to finish what it started. But in her darkest hour, she found a mysterious ray of hope in the most unlikely of places. Kelly Filmworks and director Jefferson Moore (A Perfect Stranger, Clancy) present this inspiring story of a shattered woman who discovers the resilience to keep living in the message of a man she's never even met."
From breast cancer to depression to learning that your true value goes much deeper than your outward appearance, 1 Message deals with some very hard topics but handles them delicately and points the viewer to God. This is a fairly long movie and does begin a little slow but hang in there because once you get into it you are in for a very inspiring movie with a deep message.

Throughout pretty much the whole movie Becca is worried about people accepting her because of the effect breast cancer has left on her body. Her corespondent however helps her to see that a person's value is not based on their outward appearance. But the part I was touched by was how, after experiencing that kind of unconditional love, she in turn learns to give love unconditionally.

Another aspect that I really appreciated was the way it showed how when Dean reached out to help her, he in turn was blessed. I have seen that many times evidenced in life and it was a reminded that when take time to bless others, we are ultimately the ones being blessed.

A neat element is the way Becca develops a beautiful relationship with and her life is transformed by a man she has never met face-to-face. Through blogging we have met many dear friends via the internet and so that's was just a neat little aspect to this story.

Altogether this proved to be an insightful story of overcoming depression, learning your value comes from your Creator and the impact a hearing ear and encouraging word can have on a life.