Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thankful Thursday: 20 Years



There are so many things for which I am thankful.  I'm thankful for my husband's smooth recovery from surgery.  I'm thankful for Genevieve's life.  I'm thankful for all the things in general like Christ, family, and food on our table.

But today I want to express my gratitude for 20 years of marriage with my husband.  Yesterday, we celebrated our 20th Anniversary.  We met in high school.  I was a junior, he a senior.  Mid year, we transferred into the same Drama class.  Of course, right away, I noticed how tall Greg was (6' 6" for those who don't know him).  But I was also intrigued by his name.  Everyone called him "Sabo", so for the longest time, I thought that was his first name.  lol

We became friends, and after only two months of dating, we were engaged.  We didn't marry until a year and a half later because I had to graduate first.  Three months after graduation, I was Mrs. Gregory Sabo. 

What an adventure these past 20 years have been.  We've had our ups and downs like most married couples, but the ups have definitely out-numbered the downs.  We love each other more than we can imagine, and can see how God has molded us into the couple we are now.

Tuesday afternoon, Greg whisked me off to Fredericksburg for a night in a B & B.  You won't believe this, but this was our first time in 20 years that we have gone away together.  Shocking, isn't it?  Between pregnancies, nursing babies, time, schedules, and life in general, we were never able to do it.  Well, this time Greg wasn't going to let such a wonderful milestone pass us by without doing something special.  So, with baby in tow, we escaped.  I was so surprised.  Our very sweet older girls took care of the kids while we were away.
This is where we stayed.....The Angel's Lodge.



Our room was beautiful and cozy......



I could go for one of these at home....



We enjoyed a lovely breakfast which was delivered to our room...



Here is our little bundle of sweetness enjoying time alone with Mommy and Daddy.  She was such a good girl, and it really helps that she sleeps through the night.  Once she went to bed at about 8:30, the night was ours....



We reminisced into the night the past 20 + years.  We went year by year and tried to think of our favorite memories.  We shared laughs and took in all the joy of God's faithfulness in our lives....

Here we are on the front porch of our room.  The sweet lady at the front desk was kind enough to get our picture.  I wanted to kiss her when she told us that we looked too young to be celebrating 20 years of marriage.  Score!  ;-)  She really flipped when we told her we had nine children and that our oldest was engaged to be married.  All of the staff there was superb!



As if the celebration wasn't incredible enough, we came home to another surprise.  A few friends from church went in together to get us a gift card to The Melting Pot.  Talk about being speechless!  Isn't that the sweetest thing ever?  What a blessing!  Our oldest daughter, Cheyenne, made reservations for us.

We feasted on "The Big Night Out".  We even had to take dessert home because we were too full to squeeze it in.  We asked our wonderful waiter to get this picture for us.  And speaking of our waiter, when we told him we were celebrating our 20th anniversary, he asked, "What's your secret....I can't even make it 20 days!"  We joked with him a bit and shared a couple of practical ways to stay married, but once we established a rapport with him, we told him the true secret.  We shared with him that Jesus was the secret.  The night was only made more special by getting the opportunity to share Christ with this young man. 


After the kids went to bed, and we had more room in our bellies, we brewed some coffee and enjoyed our dessert. 

This was truly an occasion to share our thanks.  There's so much more I would love to share, but then this post would turn into a novel. ;-)

What are you thankful for today? 

Don't forget to head on over to The Marathon Mom and read about what others are thankful for!  :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Quick Tip: Freezing Bell Pepper


To quickly add bell pepper to your soups, chilies, or casseroles, simply dice them up when you bring them home from the grocery store.....


Put them in a freezer bag in the desired amounts....


And store in the freezer!

I LOVE red, yellow, and orange bell peppers.  And I love to cook with them, adding beautiful color and nutrition to my recipes.  Here, I used red peppers because during the summer they are at their cheapest price.  I usually buy a six pack of multi-colored peppers for just under $7.00 at Sams, which comes to about $1.16 a piece.  But when on sale, I stocked up on Red Bell Peppers for $0.88 a piece. 

Frozen peppers are fine for adding to soups, chilies, and casseroles.  But if you're making Fajitas or just want to eat them as a snack...leave them fresh. 

What veggies do you love to store in the freezer to speed up your meal prep time?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Chloe




It was just a short time ago that she was this tiny little baby....




Now, she's a lovely, seven year old little lady...




She's sweet, funny, kind, and helpful...


She loves all things arts and crafts, she loves to read, and she isn't afraid to get dirty!

Happy Birthday, to our sweet Chloe. We love you so much and hope that this special day brings you joy! You are so special and we're so thankful that God created you, for you were fearfully and wonderfully made!  (Psalm 139:14)

We love you, Bunny!

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's How We Roll

Why would we let a few billion days of 100+ degree temps prevent us from pitching the tent....


My husband, the fun dad, won't hesitate to set up the tent INside for his babies when it's too hot (or cold) OUTside...


Here are some of the kids enjoying a night of "camping" with their cousin, McKenzie.  The kids had a blast...but they had waaay too many comforts for camping if you ask me.  Do you see those mattresses?

That's my husband, the fun dad.

He is da bomb!

It's how he rolls...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sweet Amelia


Our precious Amelia is six months old.  How can this be?

I often find myself taking in moments that I don't want to forget, purposefully committing them to memory so that I will remember them forever...even the smallest of details.   A couple of weeks ago, the kids were playing outside like usual.  It was a lovey day...a bit cooler, so I took her out in the walker to enjoy the fresh air.  We stayed on the porch so she could cruise around freely and watch the kids play.  She loved it so much.  There was a slight breeze that she seemed to enjoy on her face.  She giggled and smiled as she watch the older kids play.  It was sweet. 

There have already been more days like that one, but I want to remember that day.  There was nothing especially significant about it...we just went outside like we always do.  But it was one of those small details that struck me as a moment I wanted to remember forever.

Amelia is sitting up and just about to take off crawling.  She's scooting and just getting the hang of the arm/leg coordination for full blown crawling. I'm not sure I'm quite ready for for her to be completely mobile.  ;-)

She's very smiley and has a sweet disposition.  She's determined.  If she sees something she wants, she won't give up until she's rolled, scooted, or army crawled her way there.  It's amazing how early you catch glimpses of a child's personality.

What a miracle...to be entrusted with such a gift.  Thank you, Father!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Quick Tip: Lasting Lettuce

Keep your lettuce fresh and crisp longer by processing it as soon as you bring it home from the store.  This works best on Romaine and leafy lettuces.

Cut of the end off of the bunch.  Wash each leaf under cold water.  Pat dry.


Place leaves, neatly stacked, on a dry paper towel. Cover the with another paper towel on top.


Place the bunch into a gallon sized ziplock bag.  (Here, I used plastic wrap because I was out of gallon bags.)  Store in refrigerator.


Now, you've got lettuce ready to go for salads and sandwiches. Not only will it cut down on cooking prep time, your lettuce will stay fresh a lot longer this way.  Give it a try!

What are your favorite tips for keeping lettuce fresh longer?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Free Printable Coupons



If you buy any the of the following products, or have wanted to try one, now is the perfect time.  Click on any of these links and print your free coupons.  I thought these were note worthy.

$1.50 off Clorox 2 Stain Fighter/ Color Booster

$4.00 off any Non-Drowsy Claritan Allergy Product

$1.00 off any Robitussin Product

$2.00 any one e.p.t. pregnancy test

$1.50 off any Johnson's Natural product

$0.40 off three (3) Campbell's Condensed Soup

Or, click below to browse the whole selection.

Coupons . com

Coffee Addict

Hello, my name is Jonathan and I'm a coffee addict...


We have never seen a small child love coffee so much.  When Greg and I have our morning coffee, or our "need-caffeine-to-stay-up-late-and-watch-a-movie" coffee, Jonathan is always nearby, ready to sneak a sip.  It's crazy!  It doesn't even matter if it's straight black or loaded with cream and sugar....the boy loves it!

While on my run this morning, Cheyenne caught Jonathan in the act.  Thankfully, the pot had been turned off, so the coffee was not hot. 

We'll really have to keep an eye on him now that we know he'll try to get his fix right from the pot!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

With fall quickly approaching, these yummy-to-your-tummy Pumpkin cinnamon rolls are the perfect addition to your breakfast menu. 

But don't wait for fall...it may never come...especially if you live in Texas.  So go ahead and make them now.  :)


Ingredients
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, softened
Cooking spray


Filling:
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces


Glaze:
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon hot water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


To prepare the buns, dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour, pumpkin, and next 5 ingredients (pumpkin through nutmeg); beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.


Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of the remaining 3/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).


Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into the dough. If an indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)

Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Punch dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Roll the dough into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Spread the 1/2 cup softened butter on the dough evenly. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Roll up the rectangle tightly, starting with a long edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal.

Cut roll into 12 (1-inch) slices. Place slices in a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 25 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375°.Bake the rolls for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

To prepare the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and vanilla extract in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over buns. Serve warm.


Photo Credit

Monday, September 12, 2011

Menu Planning

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One of the most rewarding aspects of motherhood is feeding my family. Putting meals on the table that will nourish and satisfy my husband and children bring a sense of joy and fulfillment to my heart. But it can also be challenging and overwhelming keeping a family fed three times a day, every day!

Growing up, my mom would write down meals for the week, and then compose a coordinating grocery list. So, when I got married, I did the same. Each week, for years, I would sit down and think about what we were going to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As my big girls got older, they too would help in this area.

But it was still a big job! Especially as our family grew. Often times, just sitting there thinking of what to eat was mentally exhausting.

One day it occurred to me....why not put this menu into a database, with the coordinating shopping list, and hit "SAVE"!!   And, each time we write a new menu, we'll do the same and eventually accumulate many menus from which we will rotate. Then, all we have to do is print off a menu and coordinating list and shop! 

So that's what we have done for the last seven to eight years. We now have about ten menus that rotate every two weeks. If we get tired of a particular meal, or want to incorporate a new recipe, we simply change it out on the database and adjust the ingredients on the list.  Done!  So much easier than starting from scratch each time.

For us, two week menus work best since my husband gets paid every two weeks.  In addition, I only have to 'big' shop twice a month instead of four.  But plan your menu according to what works best for your family schedule.  Whether weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly, having an organized menu plan will save time and money in the end.

Here is the menu we are currently using.  Click on image to enlarge.




And here is the coordinating grocery list.  (click on image to enlarge)



As you can see, this list contains only food items that we need for every recipe on the menu. If we need to restock other items such as cleaning supplies, paper products, or toiletries, we simply add them to the end of the list where it says "Other Items Needed".

The night before we shop, we print off our list and go through the freezer, fridge, and pantry and cross off anything we do not need.  For instance, we have yeast on the list because we bake breads, rolls, etc.  But since we buy yeast in bulk, we don't always need to restock it.  Same goes for Chicken Stock.  I almost always make my own, so I rarely have to buy it.  But, I have it on the list just in case I don't have any in the freezer.  It's always best to include all ingredients on your list, and simply cross off what you don't need.  The key is ensuring you have all the ingredients you need to prepare your meals so that you're not running to the to the store in a pinch.

What if I don't want to prepare or eat what is planned on that particular day?

Because we've shopped for everything on the list, we're free to swap dishes as we please.  If we've had a hectic day and there is a more labor intensive meal planned that day, we just switch out for something faster or easier to prepare.  Or, if another meal sounds better that day, we switch.  The important element here is that you have everything on hand, and you don't have to think about what to eat.  This also helps us to look ahead and get meat out of the freezer and into the fridge for thawing.

We try to balance our meals.  Some require a little more prep time or cooking time.  Some are quick and easy.  Some are cheap and some require more costly ingredients.  We like variety in the meals themselves, as well as the work involved.

What is FFY? 

FFY is Fend For Yourself.  Since we usually eat a big lunch on Sunday, dinner is usually clearing out leftovers, or making a sandwich, or snacking on fruit and crackers.  Greg and I tend to the little ones, but the older, capable kids fend for themselves!

In our family, life is so busy and there's much work to be done.  This menu system has saved a lot of time.....and gas.  Since we've shopped for everything we'll need, I'm not running back and forth to the store.  If we need milk or fresh produce, we make a stop while we're out running other errands.  The best part is...I never have to stare into the fridge, ominously trying to decide what to make for dinner. 

So how about you?  What are your favorite tips for feeding your family with efficiency?  Do you have any questions about my system?  Please leave a comment...I'd love to hear from you!

Photo Credit

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Save Money with TracFone

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TracFone for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Are you searching for a low cost phone and plan for your family, but don't want to be bound by a contract?  Have you struggled to find a plan that fits within your budget, yet gives you the freedom to buy as much or as little time as you need?

Several years ago, we purchased our first TracFone.  We wanted a cell phone, yet didn't want the monthly responsibility of an ongoing bill that we couldn't back out of if things got tight.  We looked into several pay-as-you-go plans and ultimately found that TracFone offered more for our money at the lowest cost.

We bought a $15.00 phone that, unbeknownst to us, had Double Minutes!  So each time we purchased a minutes card, we got double the time.  Double the minutes for the life of your phone is a feature that can be purchased separately, but like ours, some phones include it. 

Since then, we have purchased three TracFones and love them.  There are no contracts, no credit checks, no activation charges or cancelation fees.  Plus, their phones are packed with features like camera/video recorder, web access, app capabilities, mp3 player, and full keyboards for as little as $29.99.

Additionally, TracFone has great nationwide coverage.  We've never had a dropped call and reception is great!

Buying minutes has always been convenient because we normally just pick up a card while at the grocery store.  But now, you can also reload your minutes online.  You can purchase as little as 50 minutes for $9.99 or 200 for $30.00.  We just purchased minutes online for the first time.  The minutes were delivered instantly. 

Lastly, this is the only wireless service where you can call internationally for the same price as any other call.   

TracFone has been a huge help in keeping our family connected at the lowest price possible.  To learn more about their features, watch this YouTube video:  So many features

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Swagbucks

I just ordered another $5.00 Amazon gift card courtesy of Swagbucks! If you haven't signed up for Swagbucks yet, you're missing out on FREE stuff.



Remember that Giveaway I just hosted?  I purchased that wonderful cookbook for FREE with my Amazon gift credit I received from Swagbucks!  I also purchased much of my school material this year using my Amazon gift credit.  It's free.  It's easy. 

You earn Swagbuck from doing regular web searches that you probably do every day anyway.  Why not earn the Bucks while doing it. 

There are other prizes and gifts that you can buy with your Swagbucks, but I always stick with the Amazon gift cards.  You can buy a $5.00 Amazon gift card for 450 Swagbucks. 

Click on image above to get started.  Did I mention it's EASY?

*This post contains affiliate links.

And the winner is.....

Jar-O-Entries


Our highly scientific method for choosing a name......grab a cute little boy and have him stir up those names well!

And the winner is......
Joni O.

Congratulations Joni!  I'll be contacting you and sending out your brand new, shiny, gorgeous cookbook!  I pray that this book blesses you and inspires you in the kitchen! :)

Thank you ALL for entering.  My first Giveaway was a lot of fun.  Check back regularly for more Giveaways in the future!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Two Amazing Offers

I usually don't post two offers...but these are so good, I wanted to share both.  (Click on image or link to begin)

Do you have a family photo or a cute piece of artwork from your child that you'd love to see on a nice, sturdy canvas?



Canvas People  is offering a FREE 8 x 10 or $50 off any size canvas as a special introductory deal! This coupon can be applied toward a larger size canvas, creative effects, or beautiful frames! But, 2 Canvas are always better than 1 and with 50% off your second canvas and 50% off shipping there’s no reason to only get one.

This would be a fun way to decorate a child's room with their own colorful artwork.  Or, personalize your home with a beautiful canvas family portrait. 


The second offer is one you don't want to miss if you don't already have a way to back up your computer.  You should consider this incredible offer.  It's even more incredible because you don't have to offer your credit card info for the free trial like most companies require. 



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*This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Quick Tip: Tackle Toothbrush Germs

Escova de dentes - Toothbrush

Did you know that the average toothbrush contains bacteria from blood, saliva, oral debris, and even the toilet?  Every time you flush the toilet, bacteria fly up from the bowl and can travel up to five feet away.

Tackle those germs by pouring a little bit of Peroxide on your toothbrush every few days....or after any illness.  Hydrogen Peroxide has natural oxidizing properties that will aid in sanitizing hard surfaces and objects, including toothbrushes.  It's what we do in our home.

*You can use vinegar as well, but I'd prefer not to taste vinegar first thing in the morning.  It would clash with my coffee.

Photo Credit

Monday, September 05, 2011

GIVEAWAY! The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Be the winner of my first GIVEAWAY!


Who wouldn't want to win a FREE copy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl

This collection of scrumptious recipes and beautiful photography is a must-have in your kitchen.  And I haven't tried a Pioneer Woman recipe that I didn't love! 

Own a copy already?  No problem.  It would make a lovely Christmas gift.

You may enter up to FOUR times.  Here's how:

1. "Like" Sacred Mommyhood on Facebook
2. Write a quick blog post announcing my GIVEAWAY...and link to this post.
3. Link this post to your Facebook status
4. Follow Sacred Mommyhood on Twitter and tweet this Giveaway

Choose one...or do all four to increase your chances of winning.  *Just be sure to leave a comment in the comments section below letting me know in which ways you entered.*

This GIVEAWAY will run through Friday (9th) at 10:00pm.  I will announce the winner here on Saturday.  Please be sure there is a way to contact you.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Easy Breakfast Tacos

Tortillas Three Rolled Landscape

We love our Breakfast Tacos.  They're quick to whip up, full of protein, and delicious!  Perfect for a Sunday morning when you're busy getting the family ready for church.   And, it tides the kids over until lunch time!

Easy Breakfast Tacos

1 lb bulk sausage
8-10 eggs
Enough flour tortillas for your family
Grated Cheddar
Salsa and Sour Cream (optional)

In large skillet, brown sausage.  Drain.  Add eggs right into the sausage and gently stir until eggs are cooked.  Warm tortillas and build your tacos.  Add what you'd like.  Serves 8-12.

On the run:  Assemble tacos and wrap them in foil.  Very easy to eat on the go.

For Pot Luck:  Once cooked in skillet, transfer sausage and egg filling to a crock pot.  Bring your fixings and you've got an easy Fellowship Brunch meal.

Photo Credit

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Thursday, September 01, 2011

We Almost Lost Her - Part 2


(Read Part 1 here)

What Happened?

My husband is a phenomenal father.  He loves his children and takes an active roll in everything we do with them.  He's also a phenomenal husband.  He takes very good care of me...and this includes giving me breaks as I need them.  One of those ways is taking the kids to the pool.  It's fun for them, and gives mom a break.

He takes the kids swimming every other night after dinner as the norm.  I stay home and enjoy some peace and quiet.  I usually keep the baby home with me, but she had gone once before and really enjoyed the water, so Greg took her again.  Cheyenne had decided to stay home.  I was a little nervous about Greg having so many little ones with baby Amelia going, but Celeste, our 16 year old, was going too...and she helps to keep an eye on everyone. 

I tend to be one of those nervous moms.  And with nine children, I worry about keeping them all safe.  Every time Greg takes them to the pool, I say the same thing to him... "Do a headcount before backing up, and keep an eye on all of our babies."  He usually just smiles, understanding that it just makes me feel better to say this even though I know he will do those things.  Then, I pray.  Every. Single. Time.  I pray for the children's safety, knowing full well that accidents happen everyday.  I also pray for any other children who may be swimming that day too!  It just breaks my heart when I hear of parents losing a child.

While at the pool Tuesday night, Greg had the little ones in the shallow end near the steps like usual.  He was in the pool with them and had the baby in his arms.  He watched them all play.  The older kids were in the pool farther down having fun.  Genevieve (3) and Jonathan (2) kept playing with a hose that led into the pool right at the steps.  Greg had to get after them a couple of times because they wouldn't leave it alone.

Again, Jonathan went back to the hose, so Greg turned around to get Jonathan away from it.  Genevieve had still been on the steps in the pool.  By the time Greg turned around...Genevieve was gone.  Thinking she had gotten out and run off to another area of the pool, he scanned the premises trying to spot her.  When he couldn't find her, he looked down into the pool.  But, between the ripples from the kids splashing and the glare of the sun reflecting on the water, he couldn't see anything.  Suddenly, he caught a faint shadow of pink at the bottom. 

He walked a few steps toward her and reached down to pull her up, with baby Amelia still in his other arm.  To him, it didn't seem that long from the time he saw her on the steps to when he turned around looking for her, so he thought he would pull her up and she would just cough up some water and cry.

When he lifted her up, she was blue and lifeless.  She was not breathing.  Greg thrust her up to the side of the pool and quickly got out.  He set the baby down and yelled for the other kids, who at this point were oblivious to what had happened, to get out of the pool.  He told Celeste to call 911 and began rescue breathing.  Turns out, our cell was dead and the pool phone was not working.  No one else was around to make the call.

Celeste hurried back, picked up babyAmelia, and gathered the other children.  Providentially, a young woman walked into the pool area, saw what was happening and dialed 911.  The kids stood in utter shock watching Daddy resuscitate their sister.   

Greg had done about four rounds of rescue breathing and back blows before he saw signs of life.  He gave a final breath and she began coughing and vomiting water.  The young woman stayed on the phone with 911 relaying information. 

Once Genevieve came to, a gentleman from across the street ran over to assist Greg.  The man is an MTI at Lackland and was also a paramedic.  The man continued to help Genevieve expel water while Greg made the dreaded phone call home.

The ambulance was the first on the scene and the paramedics quickly took over.  Then the fire trucks and police vehicles arrived.  By this time, people had gathered outside their homes, and several had run over to assist.   Genevieve was loaded into the ambulance ready to be transported. 

Cheyenne, who had chosen to run over to the pool, beat me there.  She helped gather the kids into the Suburban while Celeste was busy talking with police officers.  My daughter said a sweet woman had come over to the car to offer comforting words to the children.  How precious that woman was to do that. 

At this point, Greg was about to head to the hospital in the ambulance until I flagged it down.  Greg jumped out of the ambulance and went back to the kids to help the older girls get them home.  Once he got them home, he got himself and the baby out of their wet clothes, and headed for the hospital.

Prayer

God answered my prayer that day.  I prayed for protection over my children, and He watched over and protected all of them, including Genevieve.  For those of you who don't know my husband, he is a fire fighter.  He's actually an inspector now, but was on the truck for 16 years.  He was trained to save lives.  And by God's amazing grace, he saved his own daughter's life.  I marvel at the possibility that Greg's whole career, and all of his training was meant for this very day!  We will never know, but what an incredible thought. 

Please pray for my husband.  He does not see himself as the hero who saved his daughter.  He sees himself as the dad who didn't prevent this from happening.  As a Christian, Greg believes and trusts in the sovereignty of God, and understands that this was no surprise to God.  But, as a father, and a human being, he's left with the guilt of it happening on his watch.  He's the one haunted by the image of his baby girl's lifeless body stuck in his head.  It will just take time for him to recover from this.  So please pray for healing and peace.  Pray also for my children, who were traumatized as well. 

God has used His people to minister to our hearts and meet basic needs.  We had hundreds of people praying for Genevieve.  Friends helped by coming to the hospital to offer support.  Friends came to our home with food and snacks for the kids.  And friends drove back and forth to the hospital bringing us food and things we needed from home.  There were also phone calls, emails, prayers, love, and the kind of support that demonstrate the hands and feet of Jesus! 

Our little Genevieve has made a full recovery.  She remembers some of what happened.  When I asked her how she got under the water, she said, "I sinked!"

We got home from the hospital last night.  She was so excited to see everyone and all the kids were very anxious to see her!  They had been so worried, that none of them could sleep the night before.  When it was time for bed last night, they all wanted to be near her.  So, Greg laid blankets on the girls' room floor and let them all sleep together.  It was a sweet time for our family.

We're a bit more rested today, but still exhausted overall.  For now, we're just clinging close to our family...and to our Heavenly Father, the author and perfector of our faith!

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,  for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 
James 1:2-4

We Almost Lost Her


"Hello?" I answered.

Greg quickly replied, "Genevieve's breathing.  She went under.  They're transporting her." 

"GREGORY!!", I yelled.  "Don't let them leave without me!" 


At that moment, one of my biggest fears was unfolding.  One of my children has nearly drowned.

I hung up the phone and ran out the door.  My oldest daughter, Cheyenne, followed.  As soon as we stepped outside, the eerie sounds of the emergency vehicles cut me to the core knowing they were coming for my daughter!

Our community pool is in the next subdivision.  The two subdivisions are joined by three miles of walking trails.  I was desperate to get over to the other side before the ambulance left.

Cheyenne and I jumped into the van to get there quickly.  It wouldn't start.

"Father, please help me get there!"  I prayed.

There was no time to waste.  I jumped out of the van and ran across the street to ask my neighbor, Rosemary, to drive me to the pool.  Before I reached her door, Cheyenne yelled to me that she was taking the trails, and took off running.  For a split second, I thought about doing the same, but didn't think I'd make it in time.

Rosemary and her husband Gary rushed me over to the pool.  It took about five minutes from the time I pounded on their door.  Just as we rounded the corner to the pool, I saw the ambulance pull out of the parking lot.  Frantically, I asked Gary to stop so that I could flag down the ambulance.  I couldn't bear the thought of missing it and not being with my baby immediately!

I reached for the door, but couldn't get it open.  In a panic, I fumbled for the lock as I saw the ambulance driving toward us.  I yelled to Gary to stop the ambulance, fearing I would not get the door open in time.  Just as the ambulance was passing, I got the door open and took off running, yelling and waving my arms in the air, trying to get the driver's attention. 

I remember the picture in my head of people gathered outside their homes, watching all of this unfold.  They must have been heart-stricken watching this mother desperately try to flag down the ambulance that carried her baby.

As I was running alongside the ambulance yelling and waving,  I hit the side of the vehicle with my fists, finally getting the driver's attention.  He stopped and waved me to the back. 

I made it.  Praise God I made it!  I climbed in and my husband jumped out and said he'd meet me at the hospital. 

"Bring the baby", I said in a frenzy.  And off we went, full speed with lights flashing and sirens blaring.

The ambulance ride was surreal.  I was so relieved to be with Genevieve, yet in disbelief that we were in the midst of this near tragedy.  Genevieve looked pale.  She was quiet and unresponsive.  But she was alive.  Thanks to her daddy, she was alive.  I leaned down to her ear and just prayed.  I told her I loved her, and I sang to her some of her favorite nursery rhymes.

The paramedics tried twice to get an IV in her, but were unsuccessful.  However, the poking and prodding got Genevieve crying, which was a good thing.  Crying meant breath.  It meant responsiveness.  It meant life!

By the time we arrived at the hospital, she was stable.  Her O2 sats were low and she was "grunty", but she was doing well considering. 

As we settled into the emergency room, our sweet nurse friend, Stephanie, walked in.  She was on duty at that hospital.  She had heard the news through our pastor's wife and came to check on us.  What a comfort that God provided us.  One of our most precious friends...on duty...and by our side.  She even stayed with baby Amelia so Greg and I both could go with Genevieve for the CT scan and X-ray.  By the time we got back from the tests, our pastor was there, as well as several other friends who came to comfort us and pray for us.  Word spread quickly through our church e-loop, my home school e-loop, and Facebook.  The power of networking at its finest.  People all over were praying for our daughter and asking how they could help us.

God answered our prayers, all of the tests came back normal.  Praise God!  Genevieve would need to stay overnight for observation....but that was it.  Our baby was fine.  God had spared her life. 

Part 2 - What Happened? 
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