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 !!!