Christmas Day Programming

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Just to let everyone know, if you are interested in some quality Christmas Day programming, tune in online at wftsradio.com and see what they have listed for the day. They don't post their programming schedule ahead of time, unfortunately, but if you check periodically throughout the day, they will usually update.

My guess as to their programming for Christmas Day is that it will probably have a few talks about Christmas, probably by Father Jenkins and Mother Mary Bosco, and perhaps some sermons from yesterday (Sunday 12/24/06), the day of Christmas Eve. Perhaps even some Midnight Mass sermons or music.

There will surely be some Christmas Carols sung by the Daughters of Mary played in the extra space in between shows. The sisters sell their music online, and you can listen to pieces of the songs.

I wish you all a very Blessed Christmas!

The True Meaning of Christmas

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"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was made nothing that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men: and the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through him. He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light. That was the true light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His won received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become the sons of God: to them that believe in His name: who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God...

And the Word was made flesh,

and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-14


Sleep, Holy Babe
A Christmas Carol

Sleep, holy Babe, upon Thy mother's breast,
Great Lord of earth and sea and sky
How sweet it is to see Thee lie
In such a state of rest.

Sleep, holy Babe, Thine angels watch around,
All bending low with folded wings,
Before the Incarnate King of Kings
With reverent awe, profound.

Sleep, holy Babe, while I with Mary gaze
In joy upon that face awhile,
Upon that loving Infant smile
Which there divinely plays.

Sleep, holy Babe, now snatch Thy brief repose,
Too quickly will Thy slumber break,
And Thou to lengthened pains awake,
Which death alone shall close.



Let us not forget the greatest Christmas gift of all...

"For God so loved the world, as to give His only begotten Son, that whosoever should believeth in Him, may not perish, but may have everlasting life."
John 3:16

What a reminder of the perfect example of giving, of love, of sacrifice...an innocent Child, Who we think of, helpless and innocent in the manger, knowing what His destiny will be. The epitome of purity and innocence...a baby. But not any baby--the divine Infant, Christ Jesus, Who was begotten without sin, lived without sin, and yet died the death due a sinner...Who took on the punishment for us all, so that we may be saved. And think of Mary and Joseph, looking down upon their Son, knowing all the prophesies spoken of the Messiah, and knowing at least in part, the sorrows He was someday to endure.

What a great gift of love and sacrifice it was for Mary to say "yes" to God when she was asked to carry the Son of God, knowing the ridicule she would endure, knowing the sorrows that would pierce her heart. How many among us would want to have a child, knowing in advance, and for certain, that horrors and sorrow would befall our child, and that we would have to watch and suffer in silence? And yet, in perfect obedience, she did not question, but simply said "yes". St. Joseph, too, must have had such great faith. Knowing not only that his Son would suffer greatly, but that he, his foster-father and the leader of the family, would be able to do nothing to protect Him. He took on a great burden for the love of God. He was told in dreams to take Mary as his wife, to flee with his family to Egypt, and eventually to return to Nazareth. Each time, he simply obeyed.

Love, sacrifice, and redemption. These are the true gifts we should cherish this Christmas season. This is what Christmas is all about.


Christ, the Light of the World, Is Born!!!

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Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

"And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him up in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night watches over their flock. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them, and they feared with a great fear. And the angel said to them: Fear not; for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people; for this day is born to you a Saviour, Who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you: You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying: Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will. " Luke 2:6-14

"O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
Come ye, O come ye
To Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels.
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord."



Problems with the Kimkins Link

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I posted this as an answer to a comment, but I thought I'd repeat it here in case anyone else was interested.

One of my readers said the link to the Kimkins website wasn't working. I don't know what happened, Blogger seemed to eat it...it turned into some kind of Blogger link. I have fixed it now. If it happens again, please let me know. I'll list it here, too: Kimkins Website

I would love it if anyone interested in Kimkins use my link to get to it...if you sign up, I do get credit for it, and get a little "kickback." After a while, I figured if I'm going to extoll the virtues of the site and give them free advertising, I might as well get something out of it!

But I'd recommend the diet even if someone chose not to use my link. I really believe in the diet, it's the only one that worked really well for me. Atkins was good too, but Kimkins is faster, and has great hunger control if you're faithful to it. The best thing about the website is that if you join, you not only get all the info and support you need (very personal, too, you can ask Kimmer herself any questions), but also it is a one-time fee. So even though I'm pregnant now, I can still visit the site if I want, but if I don't, I can just jump back in a year from now when I'm ready to go on the diet again, and there's no additional costs.

I'm really struggling not being on the diet now. I miss the hunger control, but most of all I miss feeling good. My mood swings and some of the depression are back. I need to find more carb balance. There's got to be a way to eat healthy for my baby and not suffer from carb-induced depression!

I'm happy to answer any questions about the diet. I know the website doesn't give a lot of info about it up front. You can also look at my November and December posts from this blog and from my other blog, Weigh Out Of Control for more details.

And to anyone on the diet, good luck!

Meditation on theJourney to Bethlehem

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"At that time, there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled. This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child. " Luke 2:1-5

The journey to Bethlehem would have been difficult for anyone during the time of Jesus' birth. Walking long, dusty, rocky roads along with many other travelers and their animals who were also seeking out the cities of their ancestors' birth for the census. But one can only imagine the experience of Mary, who was nine months pregnant at the time.

Those of us who have been pregnant know only too well how difficult it is to bend over, get up out of bed or out of an easy chair, to do even the simplest household tasks. If you've been unfortunate enough to have to travel by car or air or to move during your last weeks of pregnancy, you know the fatigue and discomfort this brings. But imagine how weary and uncomfortable Mary must have been...likely she tried to often shift positions on her donkey, or get down occasionally and try to walk, only to have to somehow get back up on its back because walking was too difficult. Sleeping on the hard ground at night would have been a nightmare. Needing to stop often to rest, or drink, or answer nature's call would have made the trip even longer.

It is no wonder that by the time they reached Bethlehem, for all Joseph's planning and effort to get his wife there in time to get her a proper and comfortable room, they arrived too late. Once there, they were so late that there was not even room on the floor of an inn for his patient wife. Poor St. Joseph must have felt so awful! Imagine his worry and desperation, and how guilty he must have felt that he couldn't even provide his wife a bed, knowing she was ready to give birth. Though it was through no fault of his own, he must have been beside himself...exhausted, worried, sick with guilt, and desperate to find her somewhere, anywhere she could be comfortable. It was enough that his poor wife would have nowhere to give birth, but the idea that the Son of God should be born in a public alleyway if he did not find somewhere soon...it must have been more than he could bear. But he continued on, likely both of them praying and having faith that God would provide them a place.

In the end, they were told of a stable. The idea must have been disappointing to Joseph, but no doubt by this time he was grateful because now at least Mary could be made somewhat comfortable, and they would have privacy. The relief they felt upon reaching the stable must have been palpable. Mary, weary and in great discomfort, must have been very glad indeed to rest upon the straw, and was no doubt joyful that the birth of her Son was near. Mary, who was present for the birth of her cousin, St. John (the Baptist) and possibly other relatives, knew what to expect, but St. Joseph, being a man alone with no midwife to help, and not having any intimate knowledge of his wife, must have been concerned and very unsure of himself. He prayed often for strength and wisdom, to be able to aid Mary in any way he could, and that the birth might go well and easily for her.

"O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel."

It's Official!

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Blessing # 5 is on the way! I tested positive last night. I'm kind of surprised. I usually don't test positive until I'm two weeks late. Although I'm not sure when the date of my last period was (poor recordkeeping, lol) I didn't think I would test positive til next Tuesday or Wednesday. I don't feel pregnant, really. I guess I feel tired, but not overly so. Going to bed at an insane hour lately is probably responsible for that. I also had been feeling lately that I just could not do the diet anymore. Which is probably my body's way of saying "stop dieting, you're pregnant, you dummy!"

Anyway, I shouldn't be surprised, since unfortunately I stopped breastfeeding at five months postpartum. (I plan to do everything in my power to avoid that happening this time around.) I should be more surprised that it took so long to get pregnant! But God knows what is best, which is why we trust Him with the size of our family. I had a year between the last two pregnancies, and felt ready when I got pregnant. I feel that I'll be ready for another baby when this one comes, but I wasn't quite feeling ready to be pregnant yet, lol! I don't at all mind the first trimester...it's the third that I hate. It's been getting harder each time. But I shouldn't complain. My pregnancies have been relatively easy. God has blessed me that way. It's probably to make up for the fact that, due to circumstances beyond my control, I've been forced to have all four of my children by cesarean.

Being pregnant does explain why, since I've gone of the diet in the last week, I have gained back HALF of what I lost!!! If I eat properly in the first trimester, I tend to lose a little weight. Then I stabilize in the second, and gain in the third (partly due to getting tired of "watching" what I eat). This time I plan to follow either the Weston A. Price diet or the Blue Ribbon Baby diet. I've heard good things about both. The first I believe is a good, all-around healthy way of eating for anyone. Some people with wheat or milk allergies tend to find they can tolerate wheat and milk on this diet, when they eat it as the diet prescribes. The second diet claims to virtually eliminate the risk of pre-eclampsia and toxemia. I have had pre-eclampsia with my second pregnancy, and I had gestational diabetes with the fourth. I hope proper diet will help me avoid such complications.

I still plan to reduce my carbs (Americans eat WAY too many) but in a way that is healthy for pregnancy. Most of my carbs will come from fruit and vegetables, and homemade, organic whole wheat bread. I want to get a grinder for grinding wheat berries for fresh flour. Whole wheat begins to lose nutrients within hours of grinding.

I hope everyone is having a good Advent!

God bless.

Temporarily off diet

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I've decided to go off the diet temporarily. My cycle is late, and I suspect I am pregnant. I don't feel pregnant, though. My husband says I don't "look" pregnant (he can always tell from the changes in my body). But just in case, I'm going off the diet temporarily. This diet is very very low carb, and not suitable for pregnant or nursing women. I'll let you know what happens. I never test positive until I'm two weeks late, so I have another week to go.

"Confirm Clearly" Pregnancy Tests Are Giving False Positives

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This is a shame to hear. I am soooo glad I didn't buy these. I was thinking about it, since I could get pregnant at any time now. Bad enough to waste the money, but what about the emotional scars that such a test could give? Pregnancy tests can often give false negatives, but not usually false positives. Imagine how terrible it would be for a woman who has been trying to get pregnant for a while? Sheesh!

Check this out. Apparently Tammy's husband is pregnant!

Learning About Sin

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Okay, I admit it...I'm feeling a bit of maternal pride, lately! My four year old son has gotten to that stage where he is really growing as a person. Sometimes I think he is being a better example to me than I am to him.

We often read him religious picture books that we have acquired. These are often kept put up, and taken down on occasion or when we go to Mass. (They are easily torn.) We have them on subjects such as angels, St. Joseph, the Crucifixion, Easter, praying, Bible stories, Mary, and one about a little girl who led a remarkably holy and short life. His favorite by far is the one about "Jesus dying on the Cross", as he says. He sometimes takes it to naptime with him, and will study it for the longest time. He remarks often that "someday I want to be a priest, so I can teach the Roman soldiers a lesson about God, so they won't go to Hell". He says this also about pirates, mean people, and various other "bad guys." Oh, and he also wants to be a firefighter. I suppose it would be a good combination, because then he could save sinner from real fires and the fires of Hell!

He asks me sometimes whether something is a sin or not, and if it is a big sin or a little sin. Naturally I tell him all sin is bad because it offends God very much, Who is perfect and should never be offended. But I also tell him about the differences in sin, and that although all sin is bad, all sin is not equal. I'm glad to see that it is something he wants to learn about, yet is not inordinately preoccupied with it.

Not long ago, he was chastised and sent to his room for some offense. I wasn't there at the time. After a few minutes, he was allowed to come downstairs. Without being asked, he went to my husband and apologized, and said "Daddy, while I was up in my room I kneeled down and told God I sinned and asked Him to forgive me." Awwwww! What a sweetie. I have to give my husband credit for that one--he often has before-bed talks with my son on such subjects as forgiveness and mercy. And of course, it's always good to have Veggie Tales movies for reinforcement of those lessons!

Mommy, I Made a Sacrifice!

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Recently, this is what I hear quite often around the house. A while back, while watching the cartoon "The Day the Sun Danced", which is about the story of the children of Fatima, I explained to my four year old son what sacrifice means. In the video, the children were making little "sacrifices" to God for the sake of poor sinners. They would give their meager lunches to poor children, say prayers, and offer up their own sufferings as a sacrifice for the purpose of earning extra grace for sinners, that the sinners might accept God's grace and save their souls. The children did not want sinners go to Hell.

My son asked many questions, and has a pretty good grasp on the concept. When he doesn't feel like sharing his toys, sometimes he will pause thoughtfully, then walk over and give the toy to a sibling. Then he'll run smiling to me and say "Mommy, I made a sacrifice! I gave my toy to my brother, even though I didn't want to." The first time he did this, it brought tears to my eyes. I'm so proud of him!

The funny thing is, he doesn't quite understand that you can only offer up your OWN sacrifices to God. When his sister hurts her foot, he will say "mommy, I'm offering up her pain as a sacrifice for poor sinners." I tell him that is very nice, but since it is her suffering, then she has to be the one to do it. LOL, he still doesn't quite get that part!

The children are very giving towards each other. Although they don't always share, and there are plenty of squabbles over toys, they are learning to be kind to one another. The teaching about sacrifice just makes it easier to do. My son has really taken this to heart, and has made him think more often about the needs and feelings of others.

I am glad that we have that movie to remind the children about sacrifice. Many of the problems of this world could be solved today if people had the proper attitude about love and sacrifice. Love IS sacrifice. If you are not willing to make some sacrifices for the ones you love, then you do not truly love them. This is why so many marriages fail today. People think it is all about the emotion, the passion, and most of all, the fun. Once it isn't fun anymore, once hard times hit, once a sacrifice is required of them, they want to get out of the marriage. Suddenly they are bored, or have "fallen out of love", or it is just "too hard". They act like fourteen year olds with their first summer job: "Gee, it's not fun anymore, I think I want a new job." If we train our young people to understand that true love is sacrifice, then they will know that when marital hard times hit, it's time to roll up their sleeves and do some hard "work" to make the marriage better.

The Bible is filled with examples of love being sacrifice: "For God so loved the world, as to give His only-begotten Son" 1 John 3:16. God sacrificed His Son for love of us. Jesus was willing to suffer severe torture and death for love of us. Mary stood by and watched in agony as her Son was slaughtered, never raising a hand to stop it...because although she loved her Son, she also loved God and wanted to obey Him, and she loved all of us too, and knew that her Son must die so that we might live. All these are examples of true love, with the love of God and Jesus being the only perfect love. Although we are not capable of such depths of love, we should aspire to emulate it.

If we are not willing to make sacrifices for others, then we love ourselves more than anyone else, even more than God. That's not to say that we should make all sacrifices every time. But we should have a general attitude of being willing to sacrifice. This comes more easily in regards to our children...but when it comes to our marriages, to our fellow man? Not always easy.

I'm glad my son has learned this lesson early. He truly loves his younger siblings and (most of the time) has their best interests at heart. If only I could more often follow his sweet example!

Patience is a Virtue...passed on to your children!

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As some of you know, patience is something I have struggled with, especially in the area of child raising. I didn't see having four children as all that much harder than three, but I'm entering a stage now where my infant daughter is becoming more demanding. I often find myself with four children demanding my attention at once, with so much going on that I end up snapping at one or more of the children, before I even hear what they are saying. This can produce many problems, including one child feeling like I don't want to hear what he has to say, or another child feeling like he has no way to express himself. That is why I have really been working on this lately.

I've found that being on my new diet has helped. I am rarely depressed anymore, and have a lot more energy and patience. I also have recently realized that the discipline problems I've been having with my two year old have most likely stemmed from a frustration of not being understood. He sees his older siblings talking and being listened to, whereas he is still learning new words, and didn't know how to properly assert himself and be heard. Instead of stating what he wanted, or telling someone how he felt, he would just scream. Or should I say, shriek! He was throwing himself on the floor often throughout the day, and having fits. Believe me, I know the fault is mine. Somehow along the way, he got a little bit spoiled, and adding that to his excitable temperament...well, let's just say it's a bad combination.

My solution? First, I spent a day or two being extremely patient with him, and instead of punishing him on the first offense, I would explain to him that he needed to use his words like a big boy, and tell me what he wanted, or tell his siblings when he wanted them to stop doing something. I might give him one more chance after that, then he would be disciplined. When I saw him use his words instead of screaming, I lavished him with praise and affection. After a few days, he was really getting the hang of it. I also noticed that he went through a maturing process around the same time (I say halleluia when this time comes in every child's life!) and he has not only started talking more and behaving more "grown up", but is also obeying better, wanting to help out more, and learning to be nicer to his siblings. He is even learning to share and make sacrifices for them now, like his older brother does.

Ah, the blessings of a (slightly) quieter house!

Line Training: A Variation of Blanket Training

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After hearing the virtues of blanket training a baby on many websites, including the Duggars, I decided to Google it. I found a post on Prarie Frog Blog about a variation of this, called Line Training. I'm having trouble accessing any Homeschoolblogger blogs lately...I'm assuming it is down. So here is a cached version of the post, which is below another post about spoon feeding a baby.

Basically she used strips of webbing (woven strap material) instead of a blanket. She started training with a square made of the webbing and used it in place of a blanket, then after that she just used a line of it across a doorway. I like this idea. Much cheaper and more portable than baby gates, and it gives the baby a lot more room than just a blanket area.

I'll be trying this myself on my nine month old daughter, who is getting more interested in exploration. For some reason, she was OBSESSED with my end table full of remotes, books, etc. But when we put up the Christmas tree...nothing. She didn't even notice the giant, wide, sparkly tree in the corner. After lighting it, she BARELY noticed it. Then suddenly a week later, there she is with an ornament in her mouth. Yikes! Time for some training. Right now I'm just not leaving her unattended with the tree, and saying "No!" if she goes to touch it. She's actually listening about 90% of the time...the other 10% she waits til I'm not looking and makes a second grab for it, lol. I love the idea of line training, because instead of having a big gated off area in front of the tree, I can just tape down a line around it. Hmmm, maybe I need to do this with the two year old who is NOT obeying 90% of the time when I tell him to stop stripping ornaments off of the tree!