August 30, 2013

The Love Dare Day by Day

From Stephen and Alex Kendrick



The Love Dare Day by Day: A Year of Devotions for Couples A yearlong journey helping couples transform and deepen their marriages, The Love Dare Day by Day, releases in padded hardback Sept. 1. From groundbreaking filmmakers and best-selling authors Stephen and Alex Kendrick, the new release of The Love Dare Day by Day from B&H Publishing Group also links readers to a free online marriage evaluation resource.

“You’re about to learn more about yourself and your marriage—some of it encouraging, some convicting,” Alex Kendrick tells readers. “In either case, you gain a new view of where you are with your marriage and with God.” 

The Love Dare Day by Day—A Year of Devotion for Couples joins the international phenomenon of The Love Dare, with nearly 6 million copies sold. (See for The Love Dare’s remarkable history.) In The Love Dare Day by Day, 52 biblically based “dares”—one each week—challenge married partners to unconditional love. Daily devotions amplify each dare’s scriptural base.

“Our marriages reveal our need to grow and deal with our own issues and selfishness,” Stephen Kendrick said. “But if we are teachable, we can learn the single most important lesson in life—to love. One powerful union, our marriage, invites us to learn to love another imperfect person unconditionally. It’s wonderful, it’s difficult and it’s life-changing.”

The Love Dare Day by Day features:
  • 365 readings on aspects of genuine love
  • 52 weekly dares to help readers better live out their love in marriage
  • Dozens of prayers spouses can pray for themselves and their partners
  • Questions to spur creative thinking about your marriage
  • More than 100 “Go Deeper” sections for personal Bible study on marriage and love
  • A link to a free online marriage evaluation resource

The Love Dare Day by Day is for one or both spouses. Each week’s “dare” ranges from focused prayer to specific ways spouses can build each other up. A few examples:
  • “Begin praying this week: ‘Lord, teach me what real love is and make me a loving person.’”
  • “Make a list of positive attributes about your spouse, then choose one each day and thank your spouse for having this characteristic.”
  • “Ask your spouse if you can begin praying together. Use this time to commit your concerns, disagreements and needs before the Lord. Don’t forget to thank Him for His provisions and blessings.” 
Simple? Yes. Easy? Rarely. But practical, doable and potentially life-changing. The Love Dare Day by Day—A Year of Devotions for Couples can lead to new marriages with the same partners.

Brothers, pastors, filmmakers and authors, Alex and Stephen Kendrick co-wrote the international bestsellers The Love Dare, The Love Dare for Parents and The Resolution for Men. They are among the co-founders of Sherwood Pictures and worked together to write and produce the hit Christian films FLYWHEEL, FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF and COURAGEOUS. Kendrick Brothers Productions is expanding their movie productions with renewed focus on encouraging and equipping the next generation of Christian filmmakers ( Alex and Stephen continue to serve on the pastoral staff of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga.

August 28, 2013

July With the Wachters

So August is almost over and I didn't post July photos yet.  Sue me.  I honestly am amazed that I even took
July photos.  I have become simply awful about photos.  When I do go to take a picture, half the time I can't find my camera and the other half of the time the battery needs charging or the card is missing.  But you know my motto... better late than never.  

So I promise you I have no idea what this photo is about.  I can not imagine why Carmella is wearing a sweater that is far too small for her nor why she is wearing her winter hat.  I can not fathom why both my girls are sitting in coolers.  The one thing I can surmise, judging by the next photos, is it all has something to do with getting ready for our trip to New York.
Because I remember the day Brianna came back from her run and sat in the boys room reading Martha Stewart Living while she directed the boys' packing.
And I remember Kaitlin training Carmella to take her nap on a mattress on the floor so she would be ready to pass her pack and play on to Addison.

We have been enjoying Sam's delicious blue vegetables for several weeks.  These potatoes are absolutely delicious.
The kids playing train in the hallway one rainy day.
And the girls watching Baby Einstein.  The kids are only allowed to watch one thing a week.  Typically, they do this on Saturday night when we have our date.  Elisabeth always wants to watch Rapunzel and Carmella always wants to watch Baby Einstein.  They take turns.  The boys are great sports and let them have the say most of the time.  
While it seems as if nothing is happening on the house project, lots of behind the scenes business is going on.  One of the things we had to do was change out three windows on the front of the house.  Unfortunately, one of them was a window we replaced last September when we remodeled Kaitlin and Brianna's bedroom.  I came in from the pool to get Addison up from his nap and found him working with his pa.

The kids shooting arrows off the shed roof
and swinging before dinner
Sunday dinner with friends and a vicious game of Mexican Train
More of the boys bounty... check out the purple carrots
When you have five daughters...
The architect delivering the drawings for our addition
The boys checking it all out
Kids building a green house
Pa and Carmella playing with Henry
Carmella and Emma Rose hanging out
When we went to lunch one Sunday afternoon I got out of the car and saw all the kids gathered there... a picture I don't ever want to forget
Making pennants for graduation
Addison... just one of the guys

August 25, 2013


The sun was bright as we stood outside of church visiting.  Nathaniel and Gracie found a way to keep their charge cool and protected from sunburn.


With Addison's diagnosis we have had to change some things.  One big difference is our approach to vaccinations.  Because of Henry's special health concerns Allen and I spent some time rethinking this position with Addison's doctors.  We decided all of our children would receive some shots we previously opted out of.

Our doctor felt the easiest way to handle this was to bring the whole gang in and have two nurses on duty to take care of business.

 Elisabeth got the worst of it, needing 4 shots all at once.  She is an amazing good sport and didn't make a peep about it.  Unfortunately, it came just before we went to New York for the July 4th weekend.  She ran a little fever and was just feeling generally icky, but managed on anyway.
Miss Lyshell went into great detail about how good the kids were for their shots.  She told us the story of a teenager who had been in the week before.  She said it took her 45 minutes of arguing with the kid to let her give him the shot.  I was repulsed as she told me about the way he spoke to his mother telling her that he wasn't going to take a shot.  And finally the nurse called in the doctors to sit on the kid so they could poke him.  Let's say it would have gone a lot differently if I had been that mother!
The kids were all such super good sports and even seemed happy to do something to help their brother out.  We decided to celebrate by going to the market for some ice cream and lots of toppings.  
We called it dinner.

August 24, 2013

The Keys To Success

To all those precious ones that couldn't travel to be with us today... we are thinking of you and thanking you for the part you have had in helping Brianna to become the amazing woman she is.  If you are here to join us for Brianna's graduation ceremony, at 2:00PM EST visit Art's Chili Pepper and click on the live stream player below.  For those who won't be able to watch live, this post will be replaced with a video of the ceremony sometime next week.  If you took time to be here today, please leave your own keys to success in the comment section.  
Watch the ceremony live below: 
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And if you aren't able to join in, here's the slideshow played during the ceremony to keep you busy while we upload the video:
I'd love for you to leave a comment and let me know that you were here today.  As always, if you prefer a private discussion, click my email button on the side bar.

August 23, 2013

Hillwood~ Brianna Senior Pictures

We knew we wanted our friend Susan to do Brianna's senior pictures but that's about where the inspiration stopped. 
Fortunately, Susan is a creative genius and was already working on some great ideas.
It started with a trip to Hillwood Estates outside of Washington, D.C.
I've got to tell you, I was surprised this place existed and that we never knew about it.
As we came to find out Hillwood Estates is the former home, turned Museum, of the late Merriweather Post.
Allen and I knew the name only from a concert venue located here in Maryland that we frequented as Teens.
And, duh, it wasn't until we were actually at the estate that we realized this was Merriweather Post of Post cereal company.
Since we were going all the way down there in the middle of the miserable July heat Allen and I decided to make it a day to spend with Brianna.
Susan said she wanted to try for a modern Downtown Abbey feel.  

And I think we captured it.  

As always we were thrilled with the finished product and found it hard to narrow the selection down to just a few.

The estate itself is absolutely amazing.  It is the epitome of posh and beauty.  I am looking forward to spending a day here with the girls checking out all that we missed.  And I am hoping for a day to sit in the gardens with a book and a coffee. 
There are lots of gorgeous photos of Brianna from this shoot, but my absolute favorite picture from the day is this one of Allen and her together.  It just captures the essence of their love for each other.   
I hate the way I look in these photos.  It was so hot and humid my hair was total frizz by the time we got to doing the photos with Allen and I.  I am not having any success losing my pregnancy weight and I couldn't find one dress in my closet that looked decent.  But I love this moment with our girl and we had such a nice day so here are the photos to remember it by.
We are so blessed by this daughter of ours and so excited for who she has become.  We look forward to seeing where the Lord will lead her and are grateful God gave us the opportunity to share in the task of helping her find her way.

I can not believe our homeschool journey together has already ended.  We love you, dear one. Congratulations!

August 22, 2013

The Duel by Eugene Field

The gingham dog and the calico cat

Side by side on the table sat;
'T was half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t' other had slept a wink!
      The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
      Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat.
            (I was n't there; I simply state

            What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)

The gingham dog went "Bow-wow-wow!"

And the calico cat replied "Mee-ow!"
The air was littered, an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico,
      While the old Dutch clock in the chimney-place
      Up with its hands before its face,
For it always dreaded a family row!
            (Now mind: I 'm only telling you
            What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)

The Chinese plate looked very blue,

And wailed, "Oh, dear! what shall we do!"
But the gingham dog and the calico cat
Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
      Employing every tooth and claw
      In the awfullest way you ever saw---
And, oh! how the gingham and calico flew!
            (Don't fancy I exaggerate---
            I got my news from the Chinese plate!)

Next morning, where the two had sat

They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole that pair away!
      But the truth about the cat and pup
      Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
            (The old Dutch clock it told me so,
            And that is how I came to know.)

August 21, 2013

Brianna's 18th Birthday

It's that time, again.  Another Wachter birthday.  Saturday Brianna turned 18.  This is a far cry from our 6 pound preemie.
Nana was one of the many to come down with our annual post VBS cold.  We let her hold Addison for a minute anyway, since it was her birthday and all.  
The weather was simply magnificent to serve Brie and fruit in the garden for breakfast.  With everyone feeling lousy and the weather being so nice, we just hung around chatting until lunch time.
We finally got up and moved when it got warm enough to swim.  Brianna chose cannoli over birthday cake for her dessert.
In the evening Allen and I took her to dinner at a local restaurant we've been wanting to try out for nearly a year.
We spent several more hours just sitting and chatting.  It was perfectly lovely.
I am sure we must have exhausted every topic under the sun.  And then we moved on to this grilled romaine salad.
It was a very quiet and uneventful birthday and in many ways seemed too understated for such a momentous day and a special girl, but it was just what Brianna wanted and just what we all needed.  Happy birthday to our precious girl!

Birthday Blessings
Pa: She has the creative ability to make the ordinary extraordinary. She has an amount of deep wisdom and soberness surprising in anyone especially an 18 year old.

Mom: She utilizes her gifts and abilities to make others feel special and appreciated.

Kay: She is a true friend, not just there when it's convenient for her, but there even when it get's tough.

Emma: She has the ability to accumulate wisdom, and to give it out when needed. If you go to her with a question or problem you know you will come away having learned something.

Than: She is very creative and uses that to make things beautiful.

Aedan: She is very thoughtful. She knows when you need advice or a hug.

Sam: She is a very good and kind leader.

Ellie: She is a good big sister because she will tell you what is the right thing to do.