Friday, January 25, 2013

Just Because... A Couple of Photos

Our sweet Grace is 11 weeks old!  But here she is at 10 weeks.  I can't get enough of those cheeks!
Our spunky Genevieve turned 5 this month!  Such a big girl!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

42 Days to Fit: Week 3 Journal

I am now half way through 42 Days to Fit!  I thought it would be fun to give the total stats since I began.  Here are my results after three weeks:
*I've lost 7 pounds
*I've lost a total of 8 1/2 inches (measurements from bust, waist, abdomen, hips, thigh)
*My running endurance has improved greatly
*The strength exercises have become easier

Even though I'm thrilled to see visible results, I still have a long way to go.  Remember in my first journal, I mentioned I needed to drop 30 lbs?  Well, 7 lbs. is a start, but I still have a lot of work ahead to get back to this....(and the clothes collecting dust in my closet)....

This picture was taken just after we found out we were expecting baby number NINE!  So, I had already had EIGHT babies!  This reminds me that I can do it!  It just takes time and some effort, but I can do it!  :)

AND YOU CAN TOO!!!!  Are you still with me?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

We Know! 40 Years of Roe v. Wade

We Know They Are Killing Children-All of Us Know by John Piper

For forty years this has meant that any perceived stress is a legal ground for eliminating the child. We have killed fifty million babies. And what increases our guilt as a nation is that we know what we are doing. Here’s the evidence that we know we are killing children.

Read full article here...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

42 Days to Fit: Week 2 Journal

I can't believe I've completed Week 2 of 42 Days to Fit already! 
How I did during Week 2:
*I lost 1 pound (Although I wish it was more, I know I'm building muscle)
*I lost another inch around my belly and an inch around my hips
*The strength training was much easier this week, therefore I enjoyed it more
*I ran 5 miles on Saturday! :)
*I had one cheat.  And I blame my oldest daughter.
So on Sunday, my married daughter, Cheyenne, came over for our usual Sunday family lunch.  She announced that she would making Caramel Frappuccinos for everyone.  I knew I would not be having one, and that was fine. 
Weeeeeeell, she wasn't having any of that!  She walked over to me with a picture-perfect-magazine-worthy Caramel Frappuccino and set it in front of me.  Quickly, my other daughter, Celeste, reminded Cheyenne that I could not have one.  Cheyenne insisted.  I refused!  I told her that I had committed to this and I was sticking with it.  Well, wouldn't you know....that's when the begging began. 
"Pleeeeeeaaaaassssse, Mom!  Just try it!"
Being the good mom that I am...and seeing that this could change the whole course of the universe if I did not try it, I had to do my motherly duty and drink my daughter's most perfect Caramel Frappuccino.  I'm telling you, she practically twisted my arm!  Really!
So here's how I justified my cheat.  Since we are now allowed ONE dessert this week, I will fore go my dessert.  And honestly, it hasn't been difficult to avoid treats at all.  And kidding aside, I wasn't even tempted by the Frapp.  It was delicious, but I didn't feel like I needed to have it at all. 
Today begins Week 3.  I'm looking forward to it because I am already seeing results.  My body is slowly changing and I can see it.  Hooray!
Are you still with me?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Heart for Africa

Written by my amazing 17 year old daughter, Celeste (pictured above)
Dear Family and Friends,

I am so excited to share with you that God has given me the amazing opportunity to go back to Africa!!! I will once again have the privilege of loving on and caring for the children. In March, I will be traveling to Uganda to show the love of God to orphans. I will travel specifically to Kampala to stay and work with Return Ministries, a home for over 300 children.  The team will then travel outside of Kampala to the surrounding Villages and minister to the impoverished families and children that are located there. On the last full day in Uganda, the team will go to My Father's House in Kampala to work with the children there. My Father’s House is a school that serves Kampala and has about 400 children from the surrounding community that attend there.
Why do I want to do this again? Last year, as you know, I went on an incredible, life-changing trip to Ethiopia and Uganda! God showed me many things about ministering to other cultures, and what it looks likes to "care for the orphans" on a very personal level, and I must go back! My heart is to serve the sweet children in Africa who have touched my heart deeply in so many ways.
I want to tell them about God and how much He loves them. I want them to know that they are loved, even by people in the far reaches of the world. I also want to tangibly meet basic and physical needs. There's nothing more rewarding, and heartbreaking, than feeding a hungry child. Or providing a refrigerator to a woman caring for 14 orphans who didn't previously have one. Or giving a thirsty child a clean drink of water.  In addition, I look forward to visiting the schools, to play with and love on the children, and of course, snuggle babies!

Here's the challenging part (again! lol). Because the team leaves at the end of March, I must have $2000 raised by the 60 day mark. Well, the 60 day mark is Jan 15th. Yes, less than a week to raise $2000 (I have almost reached $1000 so far). That sounds really unlikely, but I know that all things are possible with God. And you all showed that abundantly the last time! So stepping out in faith, and with my parents blessing, I registered for this trip. I'm excited to also be traveling with my same team leader, Faith Sims, who quickly became both my second mom and friend. I look forward to this trip with more confidence and less nervousness because I will be with her.

Here's how you can help. Will you consider sponsoring me? Once I reach $2000, and my airline tickets are purchased, I will work very hard to raise the additional money through fundraisers. The total cost of the trip is from $3400-$3600. I am prepared to work diligently to raise the money. But because time is very short, I must raise $2000 quickly. Even small donations add up and help.

To Donate:

Go to the Visiting Orphans Donate page.  In the "Fund Category", scroll down and click on my trip, called "Sims team March/April Uganda”. Then enter the amount you wish to donate. Next, you will be asked if you'd like to donate toward a specific team member. Click the bubble that says "Team Member or Ministry Name" and enter my name, Celeste Sabo. And then simply enter your billing info. This would be the quickest way to make my initial goal of $2000 by the 15th.  

I also ask you to pray. This will be my second big trip away, and there will be a lot more to learn. But I am ready. Please pray for the team, for travel safety, and especially for the people we meet, that they would feel loved and needs would be met. Please pray that I would be able to raise the money needed to go.

If you have any questions for me, you can reach me via my moms Contact Tab above.

Thank you so much!

With Love,

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

42 Days to Fit: Week 1 Journal

I made it through Week 1 of 42 Days to Fit!  Hooray!
I thought I'd first share what some of my goals are for this challenge:
*Although I have about 35 pounds of baby weight to shed, my goal for this six weeks is to lose 15 pounds.
*I'd like to gain more energy.
*I'd like to be a little more toned.
*After too much indulging over the holidays, getting back to enjoying goodies in moderation
How I did during Week 1:
*I've lost 5 pounds!
*I've lost 1 1/2 inches around my post-partum belly!  (Even more if I total inches lost overall.)
*I already feel more energetic.
*I was faithful to NO dessert or sugar in my coffee.   
It was relatively easy to avoid sugar in my coffee and having no dessert.  EXCEPT yesterday!  It was our daughter's birthday.  And since I always make their cakes, I was tempted with batter and frosting.  The hardest part was making the frosting!  My divine chocolate buttercream!  Oh my, was it HARD!  I desperately wanted to eat a spoonful of it!  But I didn't!  It was also difficult to watch everyone else enjoy cake and ice cream.  I even tried to rationalize why I should partake.  After all, it was my little girl's birthday, and I should join everyone.  But I didn't.  I knew that a temporary moment of pleasure would be regretted afterward!  And I knew I'd be disappointed with myself if I gave in!  I made a commitment to do this, and I'm going to see it through! 
Running went well over the week, and so did the strength exercises.  I didn't particularly enjoy the strength training days, but only because I'm SO out of shape, which made it hard work.  Perhaps this week will be easier!
Today, begins Week 2! 
Are you still with me?  Would love to hear from you!

Friday, January 04, 2013

Grace's Birth-Part 2

Read Part 1 here.

I couldn't believe it.  We had gone from the joys and celebration of giving birth, to now facing a potential CPS situation.  And all over refusing Vit K and eye goop!

When we initially refused the treatments, the nurse was caught off guard.  She wasn't sure even what to do.  She said she would need to discuss it with the nursery staff and go from there.  When she returned, she handed me a refusal form and informed me that we would most likely be reported to child protective services.

Let me see if I understand this.  I can smoke cigarettes throughout my entire pregnancy if I wish to, and I can even choose to kill my baby in utero if I want to, but I can't decline a Vitamin K shot, or eye ointment that protects against exposure to STDs I know I don't have, without being reported to CPS?  Are you kidding me? 

Needless to say, our joy quickly turned to frustration.  The nurse left the room and we all discussed the situation.  Do we stand firm on our decision?  Or do we submit and give the shot. 

Because we have no moral objection to Vit K, we decided to go ahead and let them administer the shot.  Somewhere in all of this, I thought all the fuss was over the shot alone.  Even though I knew it was my right to refuse it (which we had in several previous births), it wasn't worth CPS getting involved.  We've been there before, and it isn't pretty! (Someday,  I will write about it.)

The nurse administered the shot.  A few minutes later, she came back with the eye ointment.  I was confused. I immediately said we were not allowing the ointment and told her we had only agreed to the Vit K.

Here we go again!

At this point, something inside me changed.  This was now a matter of principle!  No one was going to tell me what I could and couldn't do with MY child!  I told the nurse we would not be taking the ointment and that they could do whatever they needed to do about it. 

Once she left the room, I asked one my friends present to read the refusal form that we had been given earlier.  She pointed out several issues on the form, the most important one being that we would essentially be admitting to harming our child by refusing the treatments. 

We could not sign this form!

We explained the issues with the form to the nurse and she told us we would need to sign something or she would be held responsible.  I told her I would write a statement taking full responsibility for my decision and would not hold the hospital or the staff responsible, but that I would not sign a form that incriminates me as a parent. 

In the meantime, all we kept hearing was that this was the law.  In the state of Texas, the law requires the hospital staff to administer the eye ointment.  The law is a little tricky here because it does not prevent parents from refusing.  If the hospital has not checked their ointment box, they can be fined or even serve jail time.  No wonder they bully their patients.

Conversely, the Vitamin K shot is not required by law, however, you are required to sign the same incriminating "I'm-a-bad-parent" form if you refuse it.

By now, it's approaching midnight.  Greg and I are exhausted.  The nurse informs us that we will need to speak with Risk Management.  We weren't sure what to expect, but we said we would.  A short while later, a woman from RM calls me on the phone to discuss the matter.  She was very pleasant.  She asked me what was going on, and I informed her of every detail, even down to how our parental rights were being stripped away from us.  I also read her some of the ambiguous statements on the Refusal Form, and told her we could not sign a form in which we are admitting to harming our child.

She agreed with every word I said!

In fact, she wasn't even familiar with the form and agreed that parents should not be threatened with CPS for refusing these things.  I told her that I would gladly write my own statement taking full responsibility for my decision.  She said that would be fine!  She also said she would further investigate the whole CPS threat.

Shortly after speaking with RM, the nurse came back with a blank sheet of paper on which to write my statement.  I wrote my statement and then signed it.  When I gave it back to the nurse, she apologized for the situation.  Once she realized that we were informed parents, exercising our right to make decisions on behalf of our child, she was in our corner.  She continued to apologize throughout the evening.  We really appreciated her kindness and sensitivity toward us, and felt badly for her, that she would dare be held accountable for our decisions.

To make a potentially longer story short, all turned out well.  We were never reported to CPS, and everyone left us alone once we signed our statement.  The staff treated us with care and respect, and we were back to baby bliss!

The next morning however, when we refused the Hep B shot (to which we do have a moral objection), we were handed the famous form.  Again!  And again we were not going to sign it.  I found it quite interesting that they use the same form for "treatments" that are both required and not required by law.  Intimidated moms don't stand a chance against these types of bully tactics.

Funny enough, no one ever came back for our refusal form, so we averted another statement signing session.  And at exactly the 24 hour mark, at 10:00 PM, we were discharged and on our way HOME SWEET HOME!

Now, on a personal note: I struggled with all of this for a couple of days.  Since we had no moral objections to the Vit K or the eye ointment, I wondered if refusing them was the right thing to do.  After all, even Scripture tells us to submit to the governing authorities unless it's something contrary to the word of God.  (Keep in mind, we had refused these in the past without incident).  Was this something worth fighting for, or should we just quietly go along?

But as my husband and I thought and talked more about it, we were sure we did the right thing.  Our parental rights are being stripped away more and more every day!  By submitting to even these small scenarios, we are slowly giving the government more control and power over decisions regarding our children.  God has given us charge over our children, not the government.  We've read too many stories recently in the news where children are being removed from their homes because their parents made an informed decision about homeschooling, or a vaccine, or a medical treatment

**Please note that I am not saying you should do or think the same.  Every parent must weigh the situation, pray, and proceed as God directs.  This is simply how we feel/felt.**

Because we are growing increasingly concerned about our parental rights, we are investing more time and effort into keeping them.  You can too by going to and signing the Proposed Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S Constitution petition.  You can also watch Overruled and share it with your friends and family.

Despite those few hairy hours, nothing could overshadow the joy of bringing a precious new life into the world.  We are so thankful for our beautiful Grace, and thankful for God's grace, abundantly poured out upon us!

Have you had a similar experience?  Do you decline Vitamin K or Eye Ointment?  What would you have done if you found yourself in a similar situation? 

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Healthy Oatmeal Snack Bars

About a month ago, I felt the need to reduce the amount of sweets I had grown accustomed to eating.  Since we bake often, I grew into the habit of grabbing whatever had been baked recently as a quick meal or snack.  Though I am ALL for enjoying yummy treats and think we should, I could tell that my change in eating habits was causing me to feel very fatigued and lazy.  I needed a substitute goody that would satisfy my sweet tooth, yet have a nutritional punch too.

I came upon this recipe, and thought I'd give it a try.  I ended up tweaking it slightly and changing some of the measurements.  I really love these bars.  My kids love them too!  They definitely curb my sugar cravings without leaving me with a terrible sugar crash.  And now that I'm doing the 42 Days to Fit program, they're a perfect snack for me!

Here's what I came up with!

Healthy Oatmeal Snack Bars

1 1/2 C. oats
1/4 - 1/2 C. walnuts, chopped
1/4 - 1/2 C. cashews, chopped
2-3 T. cocoa (my hubby likes 2 T, I like 3)
3 T. ground flax seed
2 T. chia seed (if you have them on hand)
3 T. coconut oil, melted
honey (enough to sweeten to your liking)

Mix all the dry ingredients.  Add coconut oil and honey.  Mix well and taste for sweetness.  Line a
9 x 9 baking dish or pan with foil.  Spread mixture evenly into pan and press down with a fork so that the mixture is packed down.  Let cool in refrigerator for about an hour.

Once set, lift foil out of pan and cut into bars.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

42 Days to Fit: Join Me?

My sweet blogging friend, Brandy at The Marathon Mom, began her 42 Days to Fit program back in August.  Since I was pregnant, I knew I wouldn't be joining in on the fun.  However, I did plug it away in my mind, knowing I would like to do it after the baby was born.

As some of you know, I already run, and have been running for the last couple of weeks now.  So far, I haven't seen any visible results, but I've been through this enough times to know it takes time.  In addition, establishing a good milk supply for nursing is of utmost importance, so I have been eating like a horse.  Now that I have an established supply, it's time to start paying attention to what I am eating and eliminating some of the junk I've highly enjoyed over the holidays!

Today was the day....the start of Week 1!  What better day to begin a fitness program than January 1st right?  Every Tuesday will be the start of my new week instead of Monday.

So with just three and a half hours of sleep, I went running this morning.  Running will be my staple cardio three times a week.  And then I will do the circuit exercises twice a week.

Each week, I will have a food challenge and an exercise challenge.  This week's food challenge:

1. Drink only water!  Tea and coffee are okay, but NO sugar!
2. NO desserts!

OUCH!  Sugar is definitely my nemesis, so this will be a huge challenge!  I love anything freshly baked (which we do A LOT!).  Cookies, cakes, sweet, love, love.  This will indeed be my biggest challenge. 

Drinking water only should be fairly easy.  I drink mostly only water anyway.  I love Diet Coke, but my husband and I had already set a goal of giving it up.  I will still have my coffee in the morning, but with no sugar.  I use heavy cream in my coffee (yep!), and will still use that.

Click here to see the Week 1 Exercise Challenge.

So, are you with me?  It would be great to have a few partners to share in the fun!  I started today, but you could begin tomorrow...or on Monday.  I encourage you to read through all of Brandy's posts leading up to Week 1 to get all the information!

Come on back tomorrow to see what I am eating to satisfy my sweet tooth!

How's this for accountability?  Who's with me?


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