February 25, 2013

Dropped Out... But Not Dead... and an Update

So I know, I just kind of disappeared, again.  Yesterday, I spent a few minutes catching up on some emails.  After I explained to a friend where I have been the last month, it occurred to me that I should probably let you know I am still alive.  Life has definitely not been easy this winter.  OK, who am I kidding.  The last 27 weeks have been nearly impossible.  But God is faithful and I know He is with us and guiding us and He has a point in all He is allowing to come into our life at this time.  And how much sweeter will the time be that Henry arrives for all the challenges we get to face now?

For time sake I am just going to copy some of my email here to let you know what all is up in my little world.
Celebrating my birthday with some of my very favorite people.

"I have been quite ill for some time, nearly a month. I suffer from exhaustion so extreme it takes up most of my days supply of energy just to get up make breakfast for myself and the baby before I have to go back to bed. A small cold that passed through in January has taken a severe toll on my asthmatic lungs. Even, though I barely got sick... just a little sore throat, no fever, runny nose or cough like the rest of the family... my lungs just couldn't take it. My oxygen saturation is so low my body is physically drained from one trip down the hallway. I am very frustrated at my complete inability to care for my family or do much of anything. Have you ever been too tired to even hold a book? ...I am on lots of meds and they do seem to be making a breakthrough in opening up my airways... Yesterday, I was able to be up most of the day. When I got tired I laid down on the sofa in the family room where the rest of the family was working and playing. So I do think we are making progress.
Allen is trying to keep up with being Mama and Papa to the kids as well as keeping on top of ministry and some serious stuff going on within our church family and be a full time employee with lots of travel. He is a good man and I am so grateful God has given him to me. I feel bad for the kids who are carrying a very heavy load right now. Not that they fuss or complain at all. In fact, this morning Allen was telling me he thinks they find it a blessing to be able to serve me so much. Just the same, it seems like much more than they should have to do. I thank the Lord for their love and diligence and willingness to care for all my duties and take care of me, too.  
As for Henry, we are still unsure of the status of his heart condition. The doctors can not get the views they need to confirm either way if the hole exists or how severe it is. The Lord has given us complete peace with it either way. However, if it is in His will we would like to know before birth so we can make arrangements...because of the way the heart matures, this condition will not become serious until he is about a month old...He knows best and we truly are not worried..."

And that about sums it up.  I did log on a while ago to put updated pictures of Henry and I saw Brianna beat me to it with her birthday post.  Such very kind and undeserved words.  Thank you for all your beautiful emails and comments wishing me a happy day.  I am so blessed by the friends in blog world and my real life friends who keep in touch through Art's Chili Pepper.

And speaking of birthdays... when I wasn't sleeping, I had a good day with the family.  The kids cooked some delicious meals and my favorite Hershey Chocolate Cake.

As you can see Brianna made over my blog and all the kids again amazed me at their thoughtful gifts.  But I have to say, I think Aedan's gift topped them all in the creative and thoughtful department.  I am not really too particular about many things.  But chocolate, coffee and pencils definitely top my list of things I am a complete snob about.  I can't stand a pencil that is too short or one that doesn't have a nice point.  My kids know well that when they bring me a pencil in order to qualify it must meet both these requirements.  Oh, and I only use American made pencils.  I know this sounds a little odd but did you ever notice how foreign made pencils don't sharpen right?  The lead keeps breaking and you can never get a good point.  So for my birthday Aedan went to  Allen and asked him to help with the purchase of a pencil cup with my name on it and a box of American Gold pencils.  Isn't that clever?  I tell you, this one is going to be an awesome hubby! He even sharpened them all for me and has been known to admonish anyone using one of "Mama's" pencils. I call him the pencil police.


In other news... we give the kids turns going with us for appointments.  That gives them each a special time with Mama and Pa and an opportunity to see Henry and get to know him.  We have always tried to keep our kids involved in our pregnancies in order to make the upcoming baby seem more tangible.  It can be hard for little ones to grasp the idea of a whole new person becoming part of the family otherwise.  We have found this makes an easy transition when baby arrives and the older siblings always love up on their long awaited brother or sister.  We have never had adjustment issues or jealousy problems when a new baby arrives, even though everyone outside of our family always predicts we will.  

After our appointments kids usually get lunch out or a trip to Starbucks.  We let Ellie choose a dessert when we took her to lunch a few weeks ago.  I was getting ready to point out some of the treats in the display case but she already had her heart set on this cookie.  Incidentally, she didn't eat but one bite, choosing instead to break it into little pieces to share with the other kids.  Love this happy face, though.

Carmella joined Nana for school one day
Ellie found these fake roses and made bouquets for all the kids rooms to celebrate Valentine's Day.

Work continues in the basement.  All our kids have become so handy by helping their Pa with remodeling this house.  Even Ellie is learning how to use the electric screwdriver... with Aedan's supervision, of course.
Kaitlin made these adorable desserts for the kids on Groundhog's Day.
And yours truly... this couch is where I spend much of my time these days.  Allen joked about how much school I've taught from this very position.

So this has not been our month for appliances!  First the espresso machine broke.

Then our well pump burned out.  Next, was the dishwasher.  And more recently the Kitchen aid.
Okay and just to prove my point I will add that the pot to the drip coffee maker broke and the carafe to the french press.  Do you think God is trying to tell us something there?  So one day, while we were waiting for the repairman, the kids ran the dishwasher and discovered that the latch wasn't locking and if they held it closed it ran just fine.  Aedan volunteered to secure the door so everyone had less dishes to wash.  
So this next one isn't a very good picture but I love the idea of it.  The kids have been working on clearing things out of the attic to make way for the second floor addition.  There are seriously some boxes that we put up there when we moved (in 2001) and never unpacked... because they were mementos or such (think of our wedding programs and stuff like that) which we just don't have any place for.  So bit by bit they bring down some boxes and we toss stuff out, donate it or list it on eBay.  The girls came across a box of toys from when they were Sam and Ellie's age.  Oh, boy!  It was so cute listening to them as they dug through the box and reminisced and laughed about their play time as little girls.  It was again another reminder of where they have come in what seems like such a short time.  My beautiful young ladies are all grown up, and yet, in each of them I see what hides in all of us women somewhere, a little bit of the girl we were and will always be with a little laughter, some frivolity, lots of hopes and a lifetime of dreams.  The only difference between being 4 and 41 is that at my age I've seen God fulfill my dreams of love and romance and a prince to carry me away while my sweet daughters still anticipate what magic the Lord will use to make their dreams become reality.  
In the absence of nieces and nephews around us, Allen and I love having these kiddos (and their brothers and sister) to dote on.  They are special friends to our kids and I always look forward to their hugs and kisses and chirpy hellos.  Last week they stayed with us for a day.  Unfortunately, I had to spend most of the day in bed, but I understand they all had a lot of fun times.  Among one of the activities Kaitlin and Brianna had them make cupcakes for lunch.  

How cute is this little trio?

Ellie was totally in love with my outfit for the SweetHeart Banquet.  Lots of purple and silver, what's not to love?  Anyway, she could not wait until it was over so she could dress up with my shoes and wrap. The very next day she spent tapping around in silver glitter peek toe shoes with 5 or 6 inch heels.  She truly amazes me in her ability to balance on them when her feet barely fill more than the toe.  I think her choice of pink dress and leggings worked well, too.  

I love the way these two follow each other around and play together.  I hope they will be like my big girls and be best friends always.
Kaitlin made them matching Rapunzel dresses.  She finished Ellie's this weekend.  Carmella hadn't yet eaten her breakfast and wasn't so keen on sitting for pictures but there you have it.
I have a few other things to catch up on but time has run out on this post.  Again, I want to thank you all for your prayers and encouragement.  Can you believe we have less than 13 weeks until we get to meet this little one?  So super looking forward to it!!!!

Got to go so til next time I send you all lots of hugs and many blessings,

Kat

Oh, and did I mention we are still working on the basement??????

February 24, 2013

Unconditional


"Samantha Crawford is living a storybook life: she’s happily married, she lives on a ranch where she keeps her beloved horse, and the stories she’s told and illustrated since childhood have become published books. When her husband Billy is killed in a senseless act of violence, Sam loses her faith and her will to live. But a death-defying encounter with two children leads to a reunion with Joe, her oldest friend.

Inspired by true events, UNCONDITIONAL stars Michael Ealy (Think Like A Man) and Lynn Collins (John Carter). As Sam watches “Papa” Joe care for and love the kids in his under-resourced neighborhood, she begins to realize that no matter life’s circumstances, the love of God is always reaching out to us."

I have been eagerly waiting for the DVD release of Unconditional since it was released in theaters, no where near us, last fall. Tuesday, while forced to spend the afternoon in bed, I used the opportunity to preview it with Elisabeth.  I've got to tell you, I was not disappointed one bit.  Papa Joe Bradford took an incredible God-given vision and in the face of much adversity he carried it out in a way that is inspiring to all. The writers, directors and actors do a superb job of telling his story.  In 98 minutes they touched on many topics relevant to the Christian life.  I personally came away with ministry ideas for myself, my family, and our church. 

And it was entertaining, too.  This movie will surely make you laugh and cry.  But, hopefully it won't stop there.  I pray it will create a stirring in you to rise up, find a vision and get busy showing the unconditional love of our God and reaching the next generation with the gospel of Jesus. 

One word of caution.  There are several scenes that may be upsetting to young children.  Elisabeth ran out of the room at least three times.  I suggest previewing this before watching it with your family.  With that being said, I can't wait until my copy of the DVD arrives so I can share it with Allen and the kids. 

Available for preorder on Amazon.com right now for just $12.99.  That's a savings of $8!  In stores March 5th.  Get some popcorn and plan your movie night now.

   


February 22, 2013

Pieces of Easter

On her way home for Easter, Alza Bennet is left stranded in the middle of nowhere when her car breaks down. Desperate to get home in time for the holiday, she offers loner-farmer Lincoln James one-thousand dollars to drive her home to New Bristoll, North Carolina. They begin their three day journey across the back roads of rural United States in a restored 1952 Chevrolet truck. As they come across different hurdles on their journey the hardest is learning to reconcile their very different worlds.

Alza is afraid of not receiving her family's acceptance having been too caught up in her own world to stay connected with them. Lincoln a recluse, a "hermit", struggles with facing the outside world. They both have problems, and through this journey discover the answers.

Centering this film around Easter was a fun idea because, really, how many movies do you know that take place around this often overlooked holiday?

Starring Christina Karis and Jefferson Moore this is the seventh film by Kelly Filmworks. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Kelly Filmworks produces family friendly films, such as this romantic comedy, with a Christ centered message.

Pieces of Easter is scheduled to be released in limited theaters on March 1st and the DVD on March 15th. Pre-order your DVD via Amazon.com or see a list of theaters here.

February 17, 2013

Abel's Field Giveaway

When I asked my gang what they thought of this new film starring Kevin Sorbo and Samuel Davis, they unanimously said, "It was different from other Christian films."  And they mean that's a good thing.  Abel's Field was well written, well acted and entertaining to boot.

Among many good messages in this story, I was particularly touched by Seth's dedication to his younger sisters. My kids also pointed this out as one of the things that made Abel's Field stand out.  So often, even in Christian media, brothers and sisters are portrayed as annoyances to each other.  It was a nice change to see an example of what siblings should be to each other.

Allen liked that Abel, the Christian lead in the film, was not a perfect saint.  He was portrayed in a very real way that all of us can relate to.  Just like the average Christian, Abel was struggling to overcome his past and gain victory over the sin in his life while trying to live out God's will, share the Gospel and be a good example to those in his life.  
Typically in Christian films we start with someone who is obviously lost and living a life full of sin... alcoholism, adultery, drug addiction, theft, anger... the list goes on and on.  As things get worse the rebel comes to the Lord and he cleans up his act at last.  In stark contrast, Seth is a good kid, working hard to do good things.  His life, even in the absence of parents, is full of great character traits.  But he is still lost and in need of a Savior.  That is a message our world needs to hear.  Even "good" people need to know the Lord.

Allen saw this video at Target and thought it looked like a good choice for family movie night.  What he didn't know was that Lovell-Fairchild had already sent me not one but two copies for our family to review.  One copy will go back to the store.  One will join our family library.  And the last copy will go to one lucky reader chosen on random.org.  Just leave me a comment by February 23rd telling us your favorite film for family movie night.  Followers only, please.

"Kevin Sorbo is known worldwide for starring roles in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Andromeda, among the most-watched TV shows in history. He also is an award-winning actor recently featured in WHAT IF . . . and SOUL SURFER. With the engaging new coming-of-age film ABEL’S FIELD, audiences see a different side of the action star. Now available on DVD, ABEL’S FIELD spotlights the vital importance of mentoring young people in today’s challenging world. 

"Since 1997, he has been a spokesperson for A World Fit For Kids, a nonprofit organization providing gang, drug and dropout prevention to teens through mentoring programs.

"Left motherless by tragedy and abandoned by his father, high school senior Seth McArdle (Samuel Davis) faces enormous pressure as he strives to support his little sisters. At school, he endures the daily bullying of the football team. But fighting back only finds him singled out for punishment and assigned to an after-school work detail under the supervision of the reserved groundskeeper, Abel (Kevin Sorbo). Much to his surprise, Seth discovers that Abel may be the only one who truly understands his struggles. As dark times lure Seth toward desperate measures, the reluctant Abel may be the one person who can point him back toward the light."

February 10, 2013

The Word

"He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction."  Psalm 107:20

What a beautiful picture of Jesus!  After God had created for us a beautiful world and a beautiful garden in which we could spend eternity in fellowship with Him... we blew it!  We chose sin and thus our own destruction.  He could have left there.  He probably should have.

 But not our God.  Oh, no!  He loved us too much and the fellowship with us was to important to Him.  So what did He do?  He made a plan.  No one else was worthy, able or capable to carry it out.  So He went even further.  He gave us Jesus.  His son, the beautiful Word, to come and deliver us from the destruction we had chosen.  Jesus agreed to come for no benefit of His own , but only to heal us.  And all He asked us to do was to choose Him... to choose life.  And why?  It all goes back to the beginning of the story .. so He could have fellowship with us... the people He loves.  Wow!  Wrap your brain around that for a while.

February 6, 2013

Welcome to Paradise

I have had this movie sitting in my in basket waiting for a review since fall.  Shame on me.  Anyway, today was the day... we watched it for our movie night.

Allen was raised Methodist and I was raised Catholic.  They have some nice church buildings.  You know stained glass, frescos, chandeliers and all that.  Then we became Baptists.  I don't know if it is true for all Baptist denominations, there are a lot of them by the way and not all Baptists are created equal, but for Independent Baptist churches they will make a church building out of just about anything.  Allen is known to say, "Baptists will put a pointy (steeple) on anything and call it a church."  As a matter of fact our very own church building is nothing more than a house with an auditorium added to it and a steeple on top.  Many years ago we knew a man who lived in the same exact model rancher.

In our travels we've visited churches that used to be just about anything and everything you can imagine.  One time we even went to a church that was in an insurance office.  Which worked out kind of well for them since the agents only needed the building Monday through Friday and the church only needed the building on Sunday morning.  For the record we were in Savannah, Georgia and it turns out we were the only white people there as well.  Which wouldn't have been any big deal at all except we had the times wrong and came in late.  And it turns out the door was located in the middle of the rows of chairs they had set up for service.  Add to that our five kids and we were quite a spectacle coming in.  In the end it was a great service and we had some great fellowship.  Periodically someone says, "Hey, do you remember that black church we went to in Georgia?"

But I digress.  Even though they didn't appear to be Baptists, the church in this movie had a lot of good points I could relate to.  For one thing, the building does not a church make.  God builds His church on those who know and love Him and want to give their lives to His service.  I've been in many majestic buildings that could hardly call themselves a church.  Likewise, I've visited many a church that barely had a building to call home but were greater than the strongest army in the world.

So when the church of Paradise, Texas burns to the ground and the church decides to remodel an old barn for their new building, I could really relate.  Of course, it wasn't all that easy.  Hearts were changed and relationships were strengthened along the way.

Oh, and much like Baptists, there was also a potluck and some good old hymns.


“WELCOME TO PARADISE proves the old saying, ‘God plus one equals a majority,’” said Brent Huff, the film’s director and co-writer. “Stars Crystal Bernard and Brian Dennehy bring to life a funny and uplifting story woven throughout with small town characters you’ll grow to care about.” Crystal Bernard (Wings), Brad Stine (CHRISTMAS WITH A CAPITAL C), and Brian Dennehy (THE ULTIMATE GIFT, COCOON), star in this wholesome, light-hearted feature that reminds us how love and acceptance go a long way in showing our faith.

Debbie Laramie uproots her home in Dallas when she’s transferred to a small church in the sleepy town of Paradise, Texas. Once there, Debbie and her teenage son brave a bumpy road as they adjust to a community in need of a guide back to God. The plucky pastor’s unique approach to church life polarizes the members even more—until a catastrophic chain of events leaves them without a building at all. An old barn is their only chance to keep the church alive. With the help of her supporters—and even a few naysayers—Debbie turns a humbling challenge into an opportunity to breathe new life into the community and inspires her new church to trust in her and God’s plan.

From Out of Pocket Films, WELCOME TO PARADISE is distributed by EchoLight Studios. It also features Bobby Edner (SPY KIDS 3D: GAME OVER) and William Shockley (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman).

“WELCOME TO PARADISE is a film with humor and heart,” said EchoLight Chief Global Strategist Christopher Morrow. “Every member of the family will find a point of connection with this story of faith’s power to bring out our best.”

February 5, 2013

one moment, please.

Hello people of the blog world,

This is not Kat (if you haven't already guessed that by now). But this is someone very much like her so that will have to work for now (now I'm sure you know who I am). 

There is a very good reason for this blog hijack. More specifically, today is Chili Pepper's birthday. Forty-one years. I know she doesn't mind me saying because unlike most women, she isn't ashamed. And why should she be? She has led an incredible life and try being forty-one and looking as stunning as she does and then you too can be proud. 

You guys may think you know Kat from reading her blog. But as someone who knows her probably better than anyone in the world (except her husband...now you know one person I am not) I don't believe you do. Because you only hear what she wants you to. Now, with most people this would be scary and you would be wondering what kind of monster or serial killer they are. 
...but not with Kat. She shows you her faults and failures and realness but I think you have to hear it from someone else (hence my presence) to understand her person.

First off, she is incredible. 

Now that that's out in the open we can proceed. 

What most people see when they look at Chili Pepper is the prophet in her. And when I say that I don't mean the kind who predicts the future (although she does predict the ending of all mystery movies with an uncanny accuracy...) but the kind who has the ability to see things other people overlook and is fueled with incredible passion for the Lord. As a prophet, she sees problems all around her that most people wouldn't and attacks them with a furry until perfection is reached. We've all known it and oftentimes it drives us away. But it wouldn't if you know the most profound aspect of this incredible woman: Her heart. 

The passion we all know so well comes from a heart overflowing with love. I have never seen a person love fiercer or with more intensity. And it is this love that causes her heart to break and propels her forward with an unreal energy to solve a problem that she feels will harm someone she loves. 
But she doesn't stop there. She is a scholar. She loves truth and craves it. And not earthly knowledge. You wouldn't believe the time and passion she invests in studying the Word of God. Never have I seen someone love the Bible so much and spend so much time in deep study. Her excitement when she discovers some little truth she never saw before always puts a smile on my face and makes me excited to get in the Word.

I went on a run with her the other day. Now this woman is six months pregnant, for those of you who didn't notice. And she has asthma. And is an insulin dependent diabetic. Yet you should see her endurance racing up those hills! I as a healthy, active person had trouble keeping up with her. But like that bunny with the battery on TV she just keeps going and going and going. And not just with running. She is a storm braver if ever I saw one. She can't stop. It's not in her character. She will push through and will finish and, bet your life on it, whatever she is pursing will be done to perfection. 
She's also an Jersey Italian. 

And loves Downton Abbey.

And food becomes art when she touches it.

And she is a complete kid in Disney World.

And radiates class.

She just keeps getting better, eh?

The other night we were having a discussion and came to the conclusion that by the time baby Henry is born she will have been pregnant for ninety months, give or take a few. Never once have I ever heard her complain. Why? Because she loves and believe in what she's doing. She doesn't have nine kids because of religious reasons or because she want to be different. She has nine kids because she genuinely loves them and each one brings so much joy to her. She is firm and is the model disciplining mother, but when you see her smile at them when she doesn't know anyone is watching, when you see her break down to their urging to read just one more story before bed, when you see the tears she cries when she sees them hurting themselves...you realize how much of a front that is and how hard it is for her to ever deny them anything but does it to herself because it's making them stronger and ready to live the life God has for them.

And in the blog world...well, you guys know that aspect of her pretty well. She's a lifestyle blogger (fabulous job description, no?). I believe she started blogging as a way to empty thoughts from her head and record the life of her family. But since then it has become so much more. It has become a way for her to reach out to mothers. Homeschooling mothers at their ropes end, mothers who are confused about raising their children, and women who are desperate for something deeper in their lives. Every time a reader writes in with a question or prayer request I see her pour so much love, time, emotion and soul into each. She loves them all so dearly and not only has she helped so many I have seen the growth in her and a spark of energy in her eye as she reaches out to each lady. 
If you've read my writing for this long you are a trooper. I feel as though there is so much more I could say but I will keep those thoughts close to my heart and share them with you another time. 

For now, let's hear it for Kat, forty-one and still the hottest mom on the block.

Dearest, best of birthdays and here's to many more years to come.

Ciao, amici miei.

Brianna Wachter...who hasn't made it easy on her and has been probably the most challenging of daughters but loves her dearly and couldn't be prouder to call her my mother.

p.s. *After* I published this Pa emailed this to me and asked me to post it on her blog:

You are the girl who stole my heart and filled it with love. The one who taught me much more than I can ever know. The only one who showed me what true love in person can be. To you my love I pray that God will grant you the desires of your heart this next year. This next year of your life will be a season of change and challenge. I pray for Him to comfort you in times of sorrow, walk with you in times of study and accept your praises in times of utter joy. And may there many days of praising Him this next year. God bless and Happy Birthday! -A

Clancy

We were excited to see Jefferson Moore return with the DVD release of Clancy the story of a homeless man who befriends an abused runaway.  This faith based film shows how we can win even the most hardened hearts with the message of love only Jesus can give.




"CLANCY shows the impact faith can have as it cuts across all our differences,” said Moore, who wrote, directed and stars in the film. “Clancy is a little girl whose grandmother pours love and faith into her. Despite terrible circumstances—an abusive, addicted mother—that faith not only stays alive in Clancy, it helps bring a spiritually dead, homeless war veteran back to life.”

The title character of CLANCY (Christina Dawn Fougnie—1 MESSAGE, THE PERFECT GIFT) is a little girl with a big heart. Just 11 years old, she must take to the streets, dodging social workers and hoping to return to her mother once her home life improves. She latches on to Nick, a homeless war veteran who wants little to do with life—much less a runaway who won’t leave him alone. When Nick is forced to skip town, a corrupt official’s plan escalates to a manhunt—placing Nick and Clancy in life-threatening danger. As they form an unlikely bond in the face of adversity, Clancy’s relentless faith affects Nick in ways he never expected—and ultimately becomes his saving grace.

Produced by Kelly’s Filmworks, CLANCY is distributed by EchoLight Distribution. It can be pre-ordered now with deliveries and immediate sales starting Oct. 2. CLANCY is available through such leading online and retail providers as Amazon.com, LifeWay Christian Stores and Family Christian Stores, among many others.

Jefferson Moore’s films often portray the gritty realism of truly challenging circumstances and show how faith can take us through even the darkest times,” EchoLight Chief Global Strategist Christopher Morrow said. “EchoLight is proud to bring his work to new audiences.”



February 4, 2013

3 Day Test

I was looking forward to previewing the latest video from Corbin Bernsen prior to Christmas.  We got an opportunity one evening while Allen was traveling.  The kids and I grabbed some leftovers compliments of our friend, Gosia, and sat down to watch 3 Day Test. 

A bit like Home Alone meets God, the youngers thought this film was hilarious.  They were quoting it before the credits rolled and have brought it up many times since.  Sam named it as one of his favorite movies.  While I didn't find it as intriguing as the children and it definitely was not life shattering cinema, this is still a good choice for family movie night.  The message of the necessity for fathers to get back to a life centered on family and home is one that can not be told enough in today's fatherless society.   If you are looking for a Gospel centered film with a touch of laughter pick this one up for your next movie night.

February 3, 2013

More Than Conquerors

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  Romans 8:37

As children of God, we have an adversary who spends his every device in an effort to take us out.  But here is the great thing.  As children of God, there is nothing Satan can do to us in which we can not have victory.

That's right.  Even in death, we will be conquerors as long as we walk in the will of our God.  We have His power.  And that's not all.  He has control of all that comes into our life.  The Bible promises us that all works together for good and what the world means for evil God will use for His glory.

Imagine the worst thing that could happen to a person is death, right?  But if we live in the Lord even death brings us victory.  Our suffering here on earth ends and we immediately go to the presence of our LORD.  What could be better than that?  


February 2, 2013

Undaunted

courageously resolute especially in the face of danger or difficulty : not discouraged.

Last September, when we were on vacation, I received the request to review Undaunted, the story of the early life of Josh McDowell.  I was really torn over doing this one.  Josh McDowell is somewhat of a hero to me.  I love his writings.  He holds so much insight into the word of the Lord.  His book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict is and incredible apologetic every Christian should read.  The chance to know a little more about this man who had given so much to the Lord was definitely an attractive proposition.  On the other hand, I had some knowledge of his life before Christ and I knew it would not be an easy story to hear. I requested a preview copy but put it off for a long time.

Finally, one night in December we popped it in the DVD player and curled up with the girls.  And I was right.  This was such a difficult film to view.  The real life story of abuse and alcoholism and molestation that defined the early years of Mr. McDowell are simply horrific.  And, although none of us could sleep after watching it, I am glad we did.

If the story had ended where it began, I simply couldn't bear it.  But Christ came into the picture.  And Josh gave His life over to the Savior.  What followed was an incredible story of a changed heart, a life sold out for for the Savior and forgiveness beyond human comprehension.

View this one and let it change you.  Let Josh's example show you the love of our Savior in a way that enables you to seek out and forgive those who have hurt you.

One strong word of caution.  I would preview this film before sharing it with your children.  The themes are very difficult and may not be suitable for young people.  On the other hand, it  could  be a great place to open discussion with your young adults.

Thanks to Mr. McDowell, EchoLight Studios and Lovell-Fairchild Communications for the opportunity to share this film with my family and readers.


February 1, 2013

Photographs and Pinwheels

As a gift for my upcoming birthday, Allen gave me a new camera.  I am so used to having a point and shoot with me everywhere I go and in everything that I do... I have been so lost these last few months since I killed mine during our trip to Disney.

 Tuesday was a busy day with doctor appointments and errands.  But the weather was near 70 degrees.
 Yeah, that is Maryland weather for you.  9 degrees one day and 70 three days later.  Go figure.  We like the element of surprise.  For the record we woke up to a few inches of snow again this morning.
 After my run, I came home and got Carmella up from her nap.  
 We grabbed the camera headed outside with the kids.
 She is not the easiest child to photograph.
 She was just so excited to be outdoors, I couldn't get her to stay put for even ten seconds.
 But it sure is fun trying.





 Elisabeth is a much easier model.



 Yes, that lollipop is pink, too.


 I love these overalls Kaitlin dolled up for her to wear outdoors.
And I love that unlike Carmella, she tries to put her head exactly where I ask her.  
 But how can one not try to photograph these beautiful round cheeks and that precious nose?

 I had to stop at Joanns that morning to get a few things for various projects the big girls are working on.
 I saw these pinwheels and knew my little girls would love them.
 Carmella ran around the driveway, she won't step in the grass, the whole time swinging hers and blowing on it to make it spin.
 Okay, so really it was Ellie's.  Carmella's is yellow but she preferred the pink.  I love that Elisabeth wants to share everything with her little sis.
 Between her running and me attempting to figure out settings I had a lot of blurry photos.  But that's how life is with Winnie sometimes.  She moves so fast, the world around her is a blur of giggles and kisses.
 I love the winter, but I also love days that hold the promise of spring.  I love being with my kiddos.  I love breathing the fresh air.  I love my pink little camera.  
I love my pinwheel days that are passing by way too fast.