John David Pate-3years old

James Daniel Pate-3years old

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I want to post the urgency of this prayer request to encourage all of my awesome followers who spend daily time in prayer to please pray for this family. I do not know them personally but when I was first notified of this precious little boy, Ian Ellis, I was laying in a hospital bed praying with my soul that God would spare the lives of the little boys growing inside of me. I remember Ian's story and prayed for him often, then I lost touch...well now I have been contacted again from a friend of my sister-in-law that sweet baby Ian is slowly fading and facing death. Hospice has been called in and he is not doing well. His caring bridge page is
PLEASE take a moment to go to his page and read his story. My heart breaks for his mom as I can't even imagine the pain in which she feels as she has watched her precious baby boy's health deteriorate.
I think God brought me to this prayer request tonight for two reasons. ONE, to remind me of the blessing of 5 healthy children (even as the days are so overwhelming and tiresome handling them all, ALL THE TIME!) but to also remind me that we have a duty to each other as Christ followers and that is to lift one another up in prayer with the Faith and assurance that God will take care of it all. That He is the power behind the miracles that are performed daily in our world. I will not pray a wimpy prayer for Ian...I will pray a mighty prayer for him. I will pray that God provide a miracle for that little boy and that his family will feel the peace of the Holy Spirit as they are enduring such hard times right now.

Thank you for praying for this family.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

6 month check up!!!

The girls hanging out with my mom.

Smiles before their SHOT! It is so pitiful because they are totally clueless and have no idea it is coming:(

James Daniel showing off how handsome he is with his big gummy smile!!!

John David on the scale...BIG OLE SWEET BOY!

SO the check up today went just fine. James weighed 12lb 13oz and John David weighed 14lb 7oz...about a pound and a half difference. They are in the 5th percentile in height and weight according to their chronological age (the age in which they were born) but in their corrected age (which would have been their due date) they were in the 50th percentile, which is average among their peers. Dr. Darby said she was pleased with their developmental growth as well. They are showing all the "typical" signs for their corrected age (which would be about 4 1/2 months old). They are cooing (all the time now), smiling at anyone, anytime, for any reason. They can sit with support, roll from front to back easily and James can roll from back to front as well. They are grabbing at objects, playing and showing signs of excitement when it is time to eat or take a bath. They have different cries to communicate with us...the fussy cry, the screaming "I'm in pain" cry, and of course the "pitching a fit" because I am mad cry!

Both boys received one shot and one dose of the roto virus vaccine. We have chosen the alternate shot schedule so the boys don't receive more than two shots at one time. They also had blood taken to test their hemoglobin levels. James was severely anemic and John David was slightly anemic so both boys have now started iron supplement and vitamins. We discussed increasing their meals to fruit and cereal mid-morning and fruit and veggie in the afternoon. They have done remarkably well transitioning to solids. They still nurse about 6 times a day!

They are growing well and developing wonderfully and we thank God for it all. I know I say it all the time, but I seriously stand in awe each day I am blessed to spend with them, watching them grow and develop into their individual beings.

Thank you all for your prayers for these boys. God hears them and has heard them

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Doesn't matter how long and hard my days have been, when I end my night with these precious smiles and hear them laugh and giggle, I am filled with such joy!

I will update Thursday after the boys have their 6 month check up with Dr. Darby. I am anxious to see their weight gain and look at the charts to see how well they are "catching up"... We are so full of praise that God has continued to keep them safe and healthy.

Now how can you watch that video and not smile. Remember where they came from..God himself sent these little miracles to us and they have a story. We will share with the world forever the goodness of God and how gracious He is. I try to share their story with at LEAST one stranger a day! I still stand in awe each morning I awake with them, purely healthy and thriving. I will never forget the day I was told they had a 30% of surviving. Look at these boys now, healthy and strong and only because God has allowed it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Swimming, Birthday Party, Father's Day and Park Play!!!

Here are a few pictures of me and the kids swimming last week. This was my first attempt to take them all to the pool by myself. I must say, they surely enjoyed it, and I was surely worn out afterwards. The hardest part of it all was keeping Ellie from falling in the water with her cast, taking Ellie and Jenna to potty every 5 min (because I swear they drink half the pool water!), and taking turns putting the boys in the water. Notice I didn't mention Claire, because she is totally self sufficient at the pool now! WOW only 6 more years and I'll be able to lounge and read a book while the kids swim...hahah! It is so much work but well worth it to see the joy on my kids' faces. I am determined that our children will have a fulfilled, happy life regardless of how difficult it is and busy it is with a large family. I am thankful for all of my children and will work hard to provide for them and share all the joys of life with them.

Precious boys smiling at me before bedtime. I LOVE the time we have together snuggling before I nurse them to sleep each night.

Claire's 8th birthday party. Family and friends gathered at our neighborhood pool to celebrate with her. I can't believe my sweet Claire Bear is 8 years old. Just like all mommas, I can vividly remember the day she was born. I remember the emotions that filled us all when we saw her enter this world. I remember crying and feeling so thankful to God for His blessing upon us. Happy Birthday Claire Bear, I am so proud of the incredible young lady you are becoming.

Uncle Phillip and Cousin Sam

ALl the girls!

Claire begging to open her presents!

Daddy and both boys! Isn't that just the cutest float you've ever seen?

Daddy and James...I can definitely see the resemblence..can you?

Father's Day! IHOP breakfast and swimming ALL was such a fabulous day. After we stuffed ourselves with pancakes and eggs, we lounged (yea right, played like crazy) at our neighborhood pool all day. I thank my dear husband for being such an amazing father to our children. It is so awesome to see the bonds forming between he and each of our children. I love to watch thier excitement each afternoon when they hear the garage door open..."It's DADDY...!" They all scream in unison and then rush to meet him at the steps. I remember doing the same thing when I was a little girl. I could hear my dad's truck top out at the top of the hill above our house and I would run out to meet him in the drive way. I also remember the joy of playing in the floor with him. I remembering thinking, "My dad is so big and strong..the strongest man in the world" I am thankful my girls get to experience the same love and admiration of their father that I did with mine. It was a great Father's Day!

Playing at the park. I promised the girls I'd take them to play at the park the first day there was the slightest breeze..sure enough, this morning on our way to the gym, Ellie said, "Mommy, I think today needs to be a park day, there is a breeze!" The girls had a blast while the boys slept in their stroller under a slide in the shade. We spent about an hour and then had to leave because I couldn't tell if the kids' faces were red from sunburn or sweat!!!! Claire was at camp with a friend so she didn't make the park trip. BTW- My life is much easier when I have her to help out- she is going to be a wonderful mom one day!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Utah Trip....and boy was it a trip

So we made it...BARELY! For those of you who don't know (sorry for the delay in posting) it has taken us a couple of days to recover from our 44 HOUR travels back to B'ham. Our trip was exceptionally fun but the traveling back was HORRIBLE! We left Bear Lake Sunday morning about 6am and arrived in Birmingham Tuesday morning about 1am. NOT IDEAL FOR A FAMILY OF 5 SMALL CHILDREN. However, our vacation to Price, Utah was awesome. We enjoyed every bit of and made some lasting memories with the our loved ones. I want to thank all of my "HOWA FAMILY" for making our stay so special. My children haven't stopped talking about you guys since we got back. Here are some pictures from the trip.

Airport and Plane pics...In case you are wondering what it is like to travel across the country on airplane with twin infants, a CHALLENGING two year old, a HYPER four year old and even a relatively calm seven year old; IT IS PURE CRAZINESS! I was mostly proud that my children were able to travel 14 hours without ANY TELEVISION or MUSIC of any kind. They were entertained the old fashion way, books and stories! One more funny side note; we received quite the stares and oohs and aahs in B'ham and even in Ohio, but traveling with 5 small children in Utah wasn't anything out of the ordinary at all. As a matter of fact, we would have ranked below average for number of children per family in the state of Utah! Ha Ha!!

Ready to go!!

Papa and Ellie drawing!

Van ride to my dad's house. They were a bit excited..bouncing off the walls by the time we arrived!

First night at my dad's house. The boys were so tired. We left our house at 6am Tuesday morning and made it to my dad's house by 9pm. The boys slept so good in their bed. Thanks Cindy for letting us borrow Hayden's bed! The quilt the boys are covered up with in the picture is another one of the famous Aunt Sybill quilts.

Riding Four Wheelers...SO MUCH FUN!

Playing under the homemade tent in the dining room.

Becky with John David.

Becky with both boys...For those of you who don't know, my dad is called "Becky" by my children. It is all Claire's fault..haha! She was about 1 and the ONLY grandchild when she tried to say "grampy" but mistakenly said "becky" stuck and hasn't changed since!

This was a special day. We made Lebanese bread. Claire and Ellie and Jenna enjoyed rolling and flipping the bread dough. Mamaw even tried her hand at making a loaf.

The girls on top of the rock pile at my dad's house.

The whole gang...Uncle Ryan, Darlene (Mamaw), Mike (Papa) Rob, Me, Mose (my dad, a.k.a Becky), Rose (my stepmom) and all the kiddos: Claire, Ellie, Jenna, James, and John David. We are standing in front of my dad's house.

The 3 Little Bears..haha!

Here the girls are picking flowers with Rosie (my wonderful stepmom) The kids absolutely adore her. She is excellent with them. She is about the only one that can tolerate Jenna for long periods of time. Jenna loves her "ro ro" and will generally behave better for her than most!

Me and my goofy little brother...Uncle Ryan ran those four wheelers up and down the mountains more than a few times. This picture is of us on top of a really big mountain. It was gorgeous up there. Absolutely breath taking.

Smores NIGHT! This was hands down my most favorite food I enjoyed during our trip. Yummy! Ellie told me afterwards, "I only like the chocolate, the cracker and marshmallow aren't very tasty!"

Here is the "camp out" upstairs in the cabin. I really can't believe my dad and stepmom slept on the floor in a cramped tent with my children so they could "camp out"...well, actually I can believe it! They would do just about anything for these girls.

Here are the pictures after the marathon.

(I only got one pic of us immediately following the race, Daddy was not in the mood for socialization...He was interested in finding the van and going home afterwards!)

This was our last night at my Uncle Curtis Howa's Cabin. Look at the gorgeous lake behind was amazing!

This picture was the end of our "vacation"...little did we know at that moment that all heck was brewing the next day. We left the cabin at 6am the next morning, drove 2 and a half hours to Salt Lake, boarded a plane heading to Cincy,Oh and flew for 3 and a half hours before landing in Louisville, what is funny about that is that the flight attendant announced welcome to Cincinnati Ohio as the pilot announced welcome to Louisville Kentucky!!! Seems as though we ran out of fuel and had to emergency land in Kentucky to "re-fuel"....
After we were diverted to Kentucky to "re-fuel" we eventually arrived late in Ohio only to miss our connecting flight to B'ham, Delta was kind enough to give us a hotel to stay in for the night. The earliest flight to B'ham was the following night at 8:30pm. Here the girls are piled up in the bed at the Hyatt. I took this picture at about 11:00pm once we settled in. BTW- we arrived at the airport Sunday afternoon at 3:00 pm...and yes, it took from 3 until 9 to smooth out the chaotic mess we were in! The girls were so excited to be staying in a fancy hotel...I was not quite as excited but nonetheless...very thankful to have a place to sleep.

Finally on our way to board Delta flight 1788 to Birmingham, ALABAMA!!!! It was 11pm and we were all so exhausted. Our original flight was scheduled to take off at 8:25pm but due to bad weather, it didn't take off until 11:00...we were delayed THREE times!

Our trip to Utah was amazing. The kids had a blast and the big people did too. We enjoyed our time visiting with my family. Running the marathon with my husband was as equally as awesome. He may think differently, but I LOVED it. He says the only reason he runs the races is for a motivation to make him run and stay healthy. I am just purely addicted to running and LOVE if for nothing more than the "runner's high" I get after a long run. My dad and his precious wife Rosie were so terrific to our family. Entertaining and putting up with us all with smiles the entire time!

Here are some pictures of my family with our children. BTW- my dad has one sister and 10 brothers

Uncle Danny and Aunt Debbie

Uncle Dew

Aunt Jean Ann

Uncle Bobby

Uncle Eddie

Uncle Rex

Uncle Paul

Uncle Phillip