Thursday, December 29, 2011

"It is more blessed to give than to receive."

I absolutely loved this Christmas!  Surrounded by family... the moments are even more cherished once they start going their own ways.

What made me most thankful and full of joy....

Usually, I will talk to the kids about what they want to "get" for each other and then I go from there ~ wrap and place all the gifts under the tree.  This year... everyone insisted on doing their own gifting for everyone.  Even the littles personally picked out each gift, wrapped them with care, and placed them under the tree after skillfully studying available locations. It was such a joy to watch how excited they each were to share with each other!  "Getting" is always fun... but it is truly a blessing to "give"!

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I've Been a Mother for 20 Years

20 years ago in a small hospital in the middle of Bangkok, Thailand, Joey was born at 7:59 am.  I became a mother for the first time.  Motherhood started as a great adventure and has remained so for the past 20 years!

Joey (and Holly) are home for the holidays and the house is overflowing once again. The house is decorated and full of life - music and fussing over the television... short order cook service expected in the kitchen... tons of dirty dishes and extra laundry....

I love this time of year for so many reasons...  but birthdays make it extra special at the Judge Home!

Happy Birthday Joey!  
Joey's 1st Birthday in front of the Christmas Tree.  

Joey's 20th Birthday in front of the Christmas Tree... he cooperated better when he was 1!!! ; )

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

E - I - G - H - T

Someone has been counting down the days forever!

It is easy to see that we are still going strong on the whole St@r Wars thing....  ; )  Abby had a great day...
Student of the day at school.  Chick Fil@ for lunch with a special cupcake surprise, her choice for dinner - Cr@cker Barrel, and then a great party at home.  Joey and Holly are in the middle of finals week so they were not here; however, they both Tweeted about Abby's birthday and that was pretty thrilling for Miss Abby!

Now I wonder if she will start tomorrow... only 364 days until she is nine????  hahahaha!

Never Doubt the Lillster!

She said she could... a few of us doubted her...

I am glad that I didn't "bet" against her!  ; )  I would have an "after" photo of a neat little pile of very clean bones... but my camera battery went kaput!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mom.... Run!

That is how Abby woke me up this morning.  I was rushed out of bed and down the stairs much like a (sleepy) lamb herded by a very talented sheepdog.

Giggling, Abby excitedly stopped in front of the refrigerator telling me i was not going to believe what I would see.

I opened the fridge to find this:

The girls had asked our trusty elf, Elvis, to show us a little magic last night.  Well, he did!  We woke up to green milk!  What an interesting cup of coffee I had this morning with frothed green milk!  : )

The girls loved the green themed breakfast!  They were also glad that Elvis choose to bring a scarf back from the North Pole to wear while he was in the fridge!  That led to an interesting conversation over breakfast about elves' closets.  What is in the closets?  Lots and lots of little red elf uniforms or do they have jeans and sweaters... maybe a Hawaiian shirt for the summer?  Hmmmmm... I guess we will always wonder about this!  ; )

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It "Clicked"!

I have 5 children.  Of the 5, 3 "learned" how to read.  It was evident on a daily basis that their reading skills were improving and they gradually "learned" to read.  2 did not learn how to read, it simply "clicked" all of the sudden.  They went to sleep one night struggling with putting all the rules and phonics together and simply woke up reading.  Seriously, all I can say for the 2 is something "clicked" while they slept.

Lilli was one of my two that simply "clicked".  I will admit I was a bit scared watching Daniel struggle many years ago.  It had all come so easy and "on schedule" for Joey and Holly.  But with that experience, watching Lilli over the last few years did not cause me concern.  I knew what would happen one morning.  I trusted and reassured her that it would happen.  And as with Daniel, when it "clicked", there was no looking back!

Lilli can read anything now!  And her comprehension skills are amazing!  It was worth the wait!  

Her current favorite:

I Forget Sometimes...

Borrowed from a friend's blog...

A Few Statistics from Searching the Internet:

Absolute Poverty: More than 1 billion people live in absolute poverty. This includes 700 million people living in slums, 500 million people on the verge of starvation, 93 million beggars, and 200 million children exploited for labor.
Minimal Wages: Half the world’s population—3 billion people—live on less than 2 dollars a day. About 1.2 billion people live on less than a dollar a day.
Hungry: More than 800 million people go to bed hungry every day.
Orphans: 500 million of the world’s children are orphans.
Sick: 1.5 billion of the world’s people have no access to medical care.

Homeless: 55 million of the world’s people live in caves.
No Food: 1.5 billion of the world’s people do not have enough money to buy food.

Uneducated: 121 million children around the world are totally outside of the educational system.
 Only 6.7 percent of the population has a college degree.
Oppressed: Oppressive governments deny religious freedom to 2.2 billion people worldwide.

Enslaved: More than 27 million of the world’s people are slaves.

Shackled Minds: 3 billion of the world’s people are denied the freedom to teach ideas.

No Gatherings: 3 billion of the world’s people are denied the freedom to assemble.

Disabled: Around the world, 88.3 million people are at least partially blind, 538 million people are at least partially deaf, 11.6 million are dumb (deaf mutes), and 150 million people are severely mentally disadvantaged.
Dying: Globally each year, 2.5 million die of AIDS, 1.5 million people die in manmade disasters, 1 million people die in war, 975,000 people are murdered, 500,000 people commit suicide, 25,000 people die of pollution, 21,000 people die in earthquakes, and 12,000 die in floods.

Imprisoned: Around the world, there are 4.5 million political prisoners, 1.2 million prisoners due to religious faith, and 1 million prisoners of conscience.
Urban Slums: In the past century, the number of urban slum dwellers has increased from 20 million to 700 million.

   AIDS: Almost 3 million people died of AIDS in 2006.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I Always Did Like the Number 14...

My children are very happy this morning as the official announcement was made at 7:15 last night:

                                    January 9, 2012 - Roll Tide!  Championship Number 14 !!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I Am Thankful

... for so many things!

I am especially thankful for my family... that includes the little artists that were responsible for the above artwork!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Holly Polly Just Makes Me Smile

Holly has decorated... and has proven that you are never to old for a little construction paper and glue!

Her Inst@gram pics:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

How Did I Get Here?

2 years ago I would have never sat down to watch a college football game.  Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed the games tremendously when I was a student... but besides cheering for the Saints and keeping an eye on Nascar, I really was uninterested in any sports other than those that my children participated in.

That has all changed.  How did I get here?  How did I become such a huge Bama Fan?  Guess it is all about the kids!

So I guess it is understandable that today will be kind of a sad day.  We were all so ready for a great game last night - number 1 vs number 2.  And... we were convinced that those numbers should be reversed!  It was not to be.  It was a great game... but the final score was not so great!

Hopefully, we will get our chance for redemption in the BCS National Championship in a few months!

Joey was up at 4am!  He was on both Sportscenter and College GameDay.  Love your sign Joey!  

Abby and Lilli are huge fans as well!  

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Baby is 9 Months Old

Today, I am a great aunt again- for the 3rd time!  My niece, Lacey, just gave birth to a beautiful little 7lb 15 oz baby girl named Myla.

I wonder if I am the only one who sees a picture of a new baby and maybe just maybe wishes that there was a tiny little baby in my home.... 

Well... that is not going to happen until I have grand-babies..... so .... I will celebrate the baby in my life... who happened to turn 9 months old today.  That would be Tucker....

I might be biased... but is this not the cutest face that you have ever seen? 

I was hoping for an "old fashioned" 10lb Yorkie.... we have about a month left to grow and we are weighing in at 7lbs .... so close!  It is so hard to find a healthy big Yorkie these days.... I am afraid, the Judge family would break a teeny little guy!

I am thinking we should have named him Scruffy instead of Tucker.  He visits the groomer and within minutes of returning home he has found a mound of old leaves and dirt to roll around in....

I think he knows he is a handsome little man!  

It is funny that the "experts" don't recommend these little guys as a pet for families.... I have to disagree.  This little man  is perfect ... 

Ok.... that was a fun photo shoot with my puppy.... but seriously.... it did not help.  I so love babies!

Welcome little one - I wish I was there to steal you away from your granny for just a second or two and rock you and sing you a lullaby!  

Candy - Smandy!

Yes... Candy - Smandy.... my littles have barely given their sugary treasure a second thought.  Halloween for them is all about the costumes!

This year, the winning choices were:

Abby's Choice.... Khaat Qiyn  (I know... google it! )  ; )  

I understand the Jedi "stop".... but the Chinese Herroine "stop"... hmmmmmm....  guess this is how she stopped the Huns!  : )
Also notice that the light s@ber has been so much fun to play with that it had to be taped up to make it to the holiday!  

You think Fa Mulan... She will set you straight... she is actually Hua Mulan...the historical Chinese Heroine that Disn@y based Fa Mulan on.   ; )  

It was a fun evening. Over the past few years, Abby and Llli have made it about a block or two before "pooping out" and asking to return home for hot chocolate and a comfy spot in front of the fire.  This year Joe and the girls decided to team up with some new neighbors that have 3 boys (that Abby and Lilli absolutely adore) and hit the sidewalks of our neighborhood.  It is funny that they hung in there for about 2 hours of fun this year.... they would never "quit" in front of their new friends.

As for Daniel... he had a rough night. ; ) He accompanied 5 of his female friends from school as they went door to door in our neighborhood.  How nice of him to sacrifice his time to protect these sweet young ladies.  hahahaha!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday in Alabama

At Talladega - hoping for a Gordon or Earnhardt Jr. victory.  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hand - Me - Downs

When the girls went out to catch the bus this morning, it was cool and raining.  It was the perfect opportunity to break out the raincoats.  They were pretty excited... as their raincoats are not just any old raincoats... they are hand-me-downs!

Many  years ago, I placed an order for 3 little raincoats from L@nds End. Daniel was starting kindergarten, Holly was getting ready for second grade, and Joey all set for third grade.  We were living in Jakarta at the time and they were the perfect little coats for the very wet tropical weather.  Daniel had the pleasure of wearing all 3 of the jackets as he grew...  Abby and Lilli will do the same.
They have all grown out of Daniel's little red one... but Holly's blue one and Joey's orange one are just perfect!

The funny thing is that even though it was many years ago... I would swear that it was yesterday.  I blinked and my littles above grew into my bigs.  I guess when Abby and Lilli outgrow the cute little coats, I will tuck them away for my grandchildren to wear one day.... better not blink or that will be tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Farms are So Cool"

First we visited a local apple orchard....

Yummy apple straight from the tree!

Abby opted for a fresh apple cider slushy.... even yummier!  

Next stop... a local pumpkin farm... where we did everything EXCEPT pick a pumpkin.  ; )

Finding golden treasure!  

Abby's expression says it all... she is growing up... she only "agreed" to ride to "protect" Lilli.   

YAY!  What a fun day!