Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Song was Heard at Christmas

A song was heard at Christmas
To wake the midnight sky:
A saviour's birth,
and peace on earth,
And praise to God on high.

The angels sang at Christmas
With all the hosts above,
And still we sing
the newborn King
His glory and his love.

*** scroll down to the very bottom of the blog and pause the music before you click on the arrow to play.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"The Winch" by "Dr. Phil"

The boys had "called" the televisions last night for NBA. Fine with me... not much to see anyway until 9pm when Top Chef came on. Anyway, I was on the computer and called the girls in to watch some Christmas shorts on YouTube.
We enjoyed some classics like "Rudolf" and "Frosty" and "Little Drummer Boy". The girls were LOVING the short videos... and were begging for more. Holly walked through the computer room and suggested "The Grinch". Cool I thought.... Well, I do believe "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch" was a bit much for one of my littles! Lilli informed me that, "I am not scared of the Winch mommy, he is in the puter"... Abby on the other hand was both fascinated and frightened by this green creature who made his debut into her life last night thanks to her mom and sister. Interesting how she was a bit frightened but intrigued... asking a million questions.

She woke up this morning and the first thing out of her mouth was a question about how big the Grinch was. Oh so small... he lives on a mountain outside of Whoville... and we know from Horton Hears a Who (the first movie we took Lilli to go see) that Whoville is so small - it fits on a dandelion! This has made Abby feel much better!
I also explained to her that "The Grinch" is a story and cartoon that was made up by the same person who wrote "Sam I Am"... which is one of her favorite books! "Oh... The Grinch was written by Dr. Phil" she asked. Cracked me up.... Where in the world did she get Dr. Phil instead of Dr. Suess... I don't watch that show! Come to find out, the lady that cared for Abby in Australia watched Dr. Phil quite regularly while the kids were supposed to be napping... or so Abby tells me!

Top of my shopping list for tomorrow is the DVD "The Grinch". I promised Abby that the Grinch's heart grows and grows with the help of Cindy Lou Who and we will watch the video for her to see the happy ending! Lilli wants to watch "The Winch" too!

Funny how little things turn into such BIG things!
Finally.... Abby has decided she wants to be Cindy Lou Who for Halloween next year... anyone have any idea who sells this sought after costume?????

Friday, November 14, 2008

Growing Into a Big Girl

I had to say goodbye to my baby tonight. Abby that is... as she is no longer a baby. She is now officially a big girl.

Our tears flowed steady as we packed up her noonies (pronounced new-knees) aka pacifiers. I know I know... she is almost 5 and still used a pacifier at night ~ YIKES! But I just could not bare to take them away from her. And, I admit is was more me than her. It was like, as long as she needed those noonies, she was still my baby girl. Without them, the baby is gone...
But with her 5th birthday (Literally) around the corner, we decided last month that today would be the day. We have been counting down until today. We composed and mailed a letter to the Nooney Fairy to let her know that all the pacifiers would be ready for her collection tonight. And... that Abby would like a guitar in trade.
After we packed them up, Abby dictated a letter to this most special Fairy. She asked her to please take care of her noonies as she was almost 5 and did not need them anymore. If the Fairy wanted to take them to the Ring of Fire (Indonesia) and share them with the babies living in the orphanage, she could. The letter wrapped up with a presumptive thank you for the new guitar... hmmmmmmmmmmmmm ????

So Abby's tears dried up as she told me all the things that she can do now that she is a big girl... like play on a soccer team or basketball team and stay up a little later. All I see is a car and college and a wedding .......

How can 5 years fly by so fast? How can the tiny little 4 lb, 2 day old sweet baby that was placed in my arms (it seems like ) just yesterday be running around proclaiming her "big"ness??? I was so nervous when they placed her in my arms. She was sound asleep. I whispered in her ear and she grinned - a real smile I PROMISE- never openeing her eyes. She stole my heart that very second and it remains hers to this day!

World Diabetes Day

Know the Warning Signs:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First attempt:

A few of the big kids:

Joey saw the camera and left the court....

I warned about Holly in the post below:

Daniel actually cooperated a bit:

Daniel is going for the Zac Efron Look I do believe...

And just because I want to:

My Mission for the Rest of the Week...

It will be difficult to accomplish;however, I am setting my goals high.... I intend to get new photos of the 3 most difficult creatures in my world to photograph... my teenage children. Emphasis being put on the word/description/state of mind ~ "teenage".

They are the most elusive of species, these teenagers of mine. I think they have a special radar or a seventh sense and immediately detect my efforts in capturing their "unique qualities" on film. I also think Holly sends off a special glow shield that causes all images to fog and blur...

But... my dear husband is missing all of his children! He gets to see quite a few pics of the littles as they are quite the opposite and clamor to be front and center in front of anything that resembles a picture taking device! They will knock each other down in order to be the focal point of my photographic attentions...

I must not back away from this ever so important challenge as Joe deserves pictures of the older three ~ no matter the pain and humiliation I might suffer in getting them!

Wish me luck... I am going to need it! And... check back soon for all raw and un-retouched evidence of my mission! I hope I make it out unscathed!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Husband, My Veteran

Today is the day that we honor every person that serves our country. There is one special veteran that I hold especially near and dear to my heart. I have watched him serve our country for many many years now... I have never known someone that gives of himself as much as Joe.

My son asked me this morning if his dad was a veteran ~ he wasn't sure because his dad does not fight. Oh little man, you have so much to learn! What I told him.... "Daniel, your dad fights every single day. He fights for peace. He fights for those less fortunate that need aide and assistance during crisis. He fights for freedom for everyone in a very special way... a way that leads to peace instead of war... he fights for understanding and diplomacy. When you are older, you will understand that this fight is the most difficult of all". Daniel is now writing a report about his favorite veteran for English Class.
I am overwhelmed with pride when I think about everything I have witnessed Joe do. From mentoring young soldiers under his charge, negotiating and attending the release of an American Hostage in Indonesia, to being one of the first on the ground in Aceh after the Tsunami, Joe's military career has so many stand out moments. I could go on and on about this man but I am sure I would just embarrass him!

The most amazing thing to me, is that all the while he was doing his job, he was building our family. He is an amazing father and has made my (sometimes really crazy) dreams come true... and I can't wait as he makes my next dream come true... which is "happily ever after"! Oh I just want to go to sleep and wake up in July '09!!!!

Joe, I love you and miss you so much! I know our great country and others are better today because of your service.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Christmas Joy is Starting Early...

This is what the littles picked out to wear to school this morning....
Can you believe these cute holiday shirts are from Wal*Mart???? YEP! $3.50 each... they have the long white sleeves attached. Amazingly, the quality is the same (if not better) than similar shirts that I have purchased from Gap and Old Navy lately. On my grocery outing, I filled the cart up with groceries, and I bought these and a cute little red swing shirt with a silk bow with red velour leggings... again, $3.50 each! As Abby says... "Only at Wal*Mart!" ~ too funny!

This evening, they settled in after dinner to "study" some toy catalogs that Joe just forwarded us. When I say "study"... I mean as a graduate of law school would study for the bar exam! These two tucked in their "babies" for a nap and went to town picking out all the goodies their hearts could desire for Christmas... Abby tended to go with the whole Batman theme... while Lilli gravitated toward the kitchens and baby dolls.... Don't you just all remember when the JcPenney Christmas Wish Book arrived... I must have poured through mine a million times each December until the pages grew tattered and torn! Serious stuff....

Friday, November 7, 2008

Raining Inside and Out

I was going to go Christmas shopping this morning after I dropped the littles off at school; however, the weather was dreary so I decided to just sit in front of the fireplace and read my new book that arrived mixed in with all of Holly's things last night in an box.
As I read my tears fell - I am certain at the same rate that the raindrops were falling outside.
If you have not yet read this... it is a must for any parent of a child that spent anytime in an orphanage in China.
This book really touched me as Lilli had an Australian volunteer at her orphanage that cared for her so deeply. Aunty Sandy, as we so affectionately call her, gave Lilli so much love and affection. I KNOW that Sandy is the reason that Lilli is such an open, sweet, well adjusted little girl that has a smile on her face and love in her heart. I have told her many times that she is Lilli's angel... as well as an angel to so many other special children that will only know her love and affection. God Bless those that have this calling... I don't know that I could be that strong.

Budding Artist

This is Lilli's picture from school today. It is Lilli (upside down) and me... with buttons on my shirt. All the squiggles... well, Lilli tells me that is "cursive" writing and it says "Mommy has friends and goes to the store to buy things and it is her birthday soon".
I love how she has really "emphasized" her bangs as she told me this morning... they NEED to be cut!
She is now drawing a family photo on the back of this picture with one additional person in the picture... Santa!!!
Obviously, even the littlest Judge has embraced the holiday spirit weeks and weeks early! I can't wait for our first Christmas as a family of seven!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Night of "Rest"...NOT!

Basketball is in full force now... which means I am running the roads every night taking the older kids to practice here and there. I am averaging 2 practices a night and on occasion 3. This week, tonight was our free night... our one night to stay home, take our time on dinner, and rest. All was going great... I cooked pork chops on the grill, made twice baked potatoes and snap-beans... we took an extra long time around the dinner table enjoying the fact that "we could"... no rushing! The kids helped clean up and the kitchen was in perfect shape by 6:30pm. I took the girls up to get them in their pjs... in time for me to sit and watch Dancing With the Stars and the Top Design Finale. I was in good shape... until...

Lilli was getting ready to brush her teeth and she was just chattering away ~ like normal! She sounded a bit funny so I told her to blow her nose. She looked at me and this is exactly what she said... "no mommy, I don't need to blow my nose, it is the wad of toilet paper stuck in my nose that makes me sound funny". WHAT????? "What Lilli... what is up you nose? How did that happen? When did that happen?" Lilli responds "Saturday".....

I sent Abby for the flashlight and sure enough when I took a peak... just as Lilli had stated, there was a WAD of toilet paper up in her nose. Way up in her nose. I tried to get it with my tweezers... no luck. Plus... I was a bit scared to have the tweezers up her nose. So I put those down and moved onto the aspirator... no luck.

Our night of rest ended up with a late night drive to the local hospital ER. There were hundreds of folks in the ER... I just knew we would be there for hours. Lilli caught the eye of a young nurse and smiled and batted those beautiful eyes... and next thing you know we were in triage and in a bed.

The Dr. was with us within a few minutes and wanted to transfer her to the pediatric unit for sedation and removal... followed by a night in the hospital. I begged him to just "give it a go"... get the yuck out of her nose! I promised him that she was the best patient ever... as she really is! He agreed to give her one chance... but he was not too sure about it!

He summons his tools... and asked the nurse to hold Lilli's head. Lilli assured him that the nurse did not need to hold her head, she would not move. She even made him a promise... that she kept! She did not move a muscle and he was able to dig an amazingly large piece of toilet paper out of her nose. He was concerned about toxic shock since it had been in there a few days and was not "pretty" when he pulled it out.

The Dr. told Lilli that she was the best patient that he has ever had... in fact, it is amazing what a love fest our hour long trip to the ER turned into! The staff was coming out of the woodwork to say hello to Lilli. Don't get me wrong... I am not complaining... as I was thinking we were going to be in the ER long enough to watch Fox and Friends in the morning! We snuck out the back after we were done so the other patients would not see us all finished.

Lilli is now sound asleep... I would imagine she is breathing better than she has in days! I have to watch for foul drainage and fever... but the Dr. thinks he got it all and she will be just fine!
I hope she is dreaming about our new number one rule.... NOTHING GOES UP OUR NOSES!!!

So was my evening of rest... Now I just need to find out who was eliminated from Dancing and who won Top Design and I will be ready for dreamland too!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I do believe this will be the most important Presidential Election in my lifetime... It has and remains to be one of the most emotional.
I voted .... I voted for many personal reasons, the biggest for me being the protection of those Americans that don't yet have the right to vote.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Perfect Perfect Perfect

Danielle is the best! I seem to change blog skins like the wind and I love each and every design she has come up with!

This new Holiday look is by far my favorite ever!!! I told her I wanted something traditional but subtle... and I fell in love with this digital kit from Jen Wilson Designs. Danielle was able to take the kit, my "wants", and a great quote from my favorite holiday movie ~ It's A Wonderful Life ~ and voila... put it all together and WOW me!

You can click on her logo at the bottom of my sidebar if you are interested in your own "blogover" ... I might lead a quiet sheltered life... but it is pretty exciting for me waiting for the unveil! And Danielle is really fun to work with...

Thanks again Danielle... I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!!

Happy Holidays everyone... I am starting early this year!!!