John David Pate-3years old

James Daniel Pate-3years old

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What-a weekend!!

We had a fabulous weekend together. Friday I took Jenna to the zoo for her special "date" with mommy. The weather was gorgeous and we didn't have a single problem (which is a rarity). The boys were awesome and Jenna was perfect. Just a blessed day from the Lord and I thank HIM for it. Then Friday night, it was Ellie's special "date" with mommy. She chose to eat dinner at IHOP and get her finger nails painted at Wal-Mart. Yes, Wal-Mart because I needed to get milk and cereal too so why not knock out two birds with one stone, right?! We had a fabulous time together, just the two of us. She felt so special to be able to have Mommy all to herself. I too really enjoyed listening to her tell me all about her fabulous school (Brunos Montessori) and everything that rates as a "favorite" in her little four year old world...It is the simple things that the kids enjoy when they get a special day with just mommy or daddy by themselves. Ellie got to put the groceries in the buggy and help "checkout" all by herself when we were at Wal-Mart..whereas she usually has to "take turns" with other sisters. On the way home that night, she thanked me several times for taking her to eat pancakes by herself and coloring with her at IHOP (while we waited for our food).

Then Saturday we spent the evening with Papa and Mamaw eating a yummy roast dinner and watching Auburn whip up on Ball State. Well actually the men watched Auburn...Mamaw and I were running the daycare. She and I were tending to SIX kiddos. Our five children and my precious nephew Sam. Lots of fun and lots of noise!! The girls piled up in Mamaw's bed and watched Little Mermaid while the Auburn game lasted til after 9:30. They loved it!

Lastly, Sunday after church and naptime (we don't miss nap at our house EVER), we went to the AL State Fair...thank you Mamaw for taking us out for a night of TONS A FUN! Claire and Mamaw rode just about every ride TWICE while me and Rob took the little ones around. Papa worked his way around with the little ones and then back to Claire and Mamaw at the night's end. That is why I only have one picture of Claire from the fair...she stayed with Mamaw most of the night. I am thankful they had their special time together. Claire has to share grandparents all the time with her little sisters and brothers whereas once upon a 4 years ago it was just her and only her. In a matter of four years her grandparents now have FIVE more grandkids to shower with love and attention so I know she thoroughly enjoyed her time with Mamaw and Papa ALL BY HERSELF. Ellie and Jenna had a blast riding all the kiddie rides. They enjoyed a BIG ice cream cone and even got to win two big blow up dolphins because Rob and I did the "guess your weight" and won...The guy said he thought Rob weighed 245lbs...hahahah...he actually weighs 215. So the little girls had a blast as well and the boys just got a super long ride in the stroller.

Jenna and Ellie having ice cream cones at the fair...

Mommy and John David watching Ellie and Jenna on the airplanes.

Papa and Jenna watching the monkey show..

Daddy and Jenna riding the tea cups...

Jenna riding the "blue fish"...

Claire and Ellie riding the rollar coaster..

Boys enjoying their juice cups as they strolled around the fair grounds...

Watching Football with Daddy...

(their shirts say, "watching ESPN with my Daddy!"

Ellie's Date Night with Mommy

She is posing with her Hershey bar here. I told her she could eat the whole candy bar all by herself and she gave me this look! Usually when we get a candy bar grocery shopping, all the girls have to share this time it was all Ellie's and she was SO happy!

Ellie getting her nails done (at the Wal-Mart salon..haha) for her "special night"...

Elllie chose IHOP for her special date night dinner...her choice...go figure!

The girl LOVES pancakes..


She is so proud to be the big sister when Claire and Ellie are at school. We had such a great time together. I am very grateful to be able to share this special time being home this year with her.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pics and 9 month Check UP!

Here are some recent photos...enjoy!

This is just a picture of what my kitchen table looks like on any given evening. Claire working on homework, Jenna working on number puzzle cards, Ellie working on a math game on the computer and James and John David are eating their turkey and fruit medley!

James is so ready to crawl. He can brace himself on all fours but falls as he tries to "take off"...too cute!

This was one Sunday afternoon after church and lunch...happy boys playing in the floor with Claire.

John David helping me clean the kitchen. Because he is rotten and needs to be in my presence, so I propped him on the counter in his bumbo seat while I loaded the dishwasher....what is funny about the picture is that two seconds before this, he was wailing in the floor, but the moment I put him in his bumbo seat, he flipped his "happy switch"...

James Daniel doesn't suck a paci to comfort himself in the middle of a rageful fit, he prefers my boob but that is not very convenient when I am driving so this time he chose his next best favorite...the tag to this bear.

James and John David had their 9 month old check up today. James weighing in at 16.11 pounds and John David weighing in at 18.5 pounds....yes boys and girls, it seems as though these little guys have slowly but surely "caught up"! They are officially "ON THE CHARTS"...even if they are only in the 25%...that is still really good considering they are 10 weeks behind the calendar. They are in the 5% in height and 75% in head circumference (lots a brains..thank you daddy!)and those are the percentiles for "uncorrected age" which means Dr. Darby didn't chart them as their gestational age but their true calendar age. Pretty impressive since most preemie "catch up" between a year or two. We are hopeful and prayerful that these little miracles will continue to defy the odds. I love to brag to everyone who asks about them, what pure miracles their lives are. I never leave out the details of their miraculous journey in the womb as well as since the day of their birth. We have nothing but praises after praises on their health, well-being and development.

They are both sitting up totally without any support, scooting around and "belly crawling", starting to chomp on puffs, eating three meals a day with 5-6 breastfeeding sessions (they don't skimpy on that for sure) which by the way is a pure blessing that my body is still producing and nourishing them...I truly am thankful for the "homemade milk", and they are pitching fits like typical 9 month old babies, and one last thing THEY ARE BUSY BUSY BUSY BUSY BOYS!! I told my mother in law on the phone tonight that I fear they are going to be "all boy" as the stereotype goes and a bit on the hyper side...constantly moving. But with that being said, they are good babies. Feed them, burp them, make sure they have slept well, give them lots of toys and they are generally happy. OF the two, John David wins the "spoilt for momma" award this month. He has to face the opposite direction of the kitchen while I am tisk tasking or it is fuss and cry until I get him...usually when he is tired though. James has leveled out more as they have grown but I think he is happier partly due to out growing the reflux that plagued us in the earlier days.

So that is all for now. The little miracle boys that we were all praying so hard for this time last year, are doing better than anyone ever expected. They are healthy, thriving, growing well, developing just right, and like my dad says; full of piss and vinegar!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009


I just wanted to post some wonderful BIG news that came tonight at the Pate house...

Claire prayed a prayer of salvation with her Daddy. It was a beautiful moment for us to share together with her. She came to me this afternoon and told me she couldn't stop thinking about something that she wanted to talk to her daddy and I about. I told her after dinner and bedtime for the little ones we could "talk".

She explained how the last couple of days she has had this "feeling" that in her heart she has changed and that she "feels" different. She has been asking a lot of questions lately and telling us many stories from her Sunday school classes. I have always talked with her about living a life that is pleasing to God and sharing HIS love with others. We are not shy at all about our faith but just recently she has really been talking about being a "follower of Christ".

She cried with me last night as we were praying for Riley (a precious little girl that is four years old battling cancer right now). After she said her prayers I asked her why she was crying and she said she just felt so bad for that little girl and wanted to do something for her. Claire has raised money from our yard sales to send to her family because Riley's mom lost her job. Claire also sent her tooth fairy money to Riley because she said there wasn't anything she really wanted other than animal bracelets and that wasn't as important as sending it to help Riley's family.

Anyways, point being that Claire has really been showing signs that the Holy Spirit has been working on her heart and I kind of thought this moment might be coming soon. Well tonight as I listened to her sweet voice pray to Jesus to save her from her sins and to please come in her heart and live with her forever, I couldn't help but cry. My heart was so overjoyed and full of love at that moment listening to her. It was almost like I had all these flashbacks of her sweet little life as a baby, toddler, preschooler and now big kid. I could remember moments that were so special to me that I will never forget and now I have experienced the best one of them all. Other than the day of her birth, this moment ranks as the most special of all.

I realized that today is the anniversary of the passing of my Nanny (her name was Mary Lucille Bassett) and when I told Claire that 8 years ago my Nanny died, she said, "Do you think God had known all this time that I was going to be saved on this day 8 years after she died"...Wow! That is incredible I told her, and then I explained that God plans IT all and that yes, my Nanny was praising the acceptance of Christ in your life right now in Heaven with many other angels!

Watching your children learn of Jesus and grow into a relationship with him, learning how to pray and then witnessing their prayer of salvation is definitely one of those mommy moments you just never will forget. I will remember it all for years to come. She was wearing her "claire beach airbrush shirt" and pj pants sitting next to her Daddy and me on the couch.

SO that is our big news of the day. We now have a new sister in Christ, and her name is, Claire McKinely Pate!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Handsome Little Men....if I do say so myself!!

Here are some pics from last week. Notice the Auburn helmet in the is Daddy's helmet from when he played at Auburn.

James Daniel is in white and John David is in blue! Even though it is so obvious to me who is who, some of my family requests that I "label" who is who...

I was hopeful we could get at least one good picture of them....I think we were successful!! I would love to have some family photos made of everyone together soon. I was really trying to wait until the boys were sitting up well. Anybody have any photographer (reasonably priced, remember we have a family of 7 to feed, we can't spend a fortune on a photographer) please let me know. We would love to use someone here in the Birmingham area. Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Just some random thoughts I don't want to forget....

Random thoughts of the day....

Each morning I am able to enjoy a cup of coffee and make pancakes with my sweet Jenna, I thank God for the opportunity.

I love my days with Jenna and the boys. Watching Jenna learn and explore life each day brings such joy to my heart. I have to focus on the sweet moments with her so I don't lose my mind when she is having one of her "two year old" meltdowns. Being able to see the boys' smiles and laughs each day and each new milestone along the way is PRICELESS...wouldn't trade this time for any amount of money.

When I have the chance to read 20 books to Jenna in our "favorite reading spot" and she says, "one more time mommy" I beam!

Nursing the boys together is such a blessing that I realize not everyone gets the chance to experience so I savor it each and every single time.

My heart is filled to the tip tip top with admiration for my husband, I am grateful beyond words that God chose Rob to be my prince here on Earth and to share this "life" HE has so undeservedly blessed us with.

My Claire Bear is growing up so fast. She is such a beautiful girl with such a tender spirit. I love her so much.

My Ellie Bug is growing into such a big girl. She has a love of learning, nature, FOOD, and everything in between. She has turned out to be such a unique little girl and I love her so much.

My Jenna Boo keeps me entertained ALL day. She is remarkably smart following after her two big sisters. I am thankful she is transitioning out of the "terrible twos":) I love her so much.

My precious little miracle baby boys, I want to cry daily at the remarkable growth that has taken place in your lives over the past 9 months. I stand amazed! I am infatuated with you both and just can't get enough snuggle loves from yall each day.

Thank you Father God for the life you have designed for me. My heart is so grateful. I am humbled in such a mighty way for the course you have led me. Thank you for the immeasurable amount of love and grace you pour onto our family daily. I desire to honor you in all that I do all the days of my life.

I know that was all really random, just wanted to document some thoughts I had today.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

WAR Eagle!!

We had a great weekend. Relaxing and uneventful! We spent time with friends Saturday night watching the Auburn game. So much more fun winning than losing...haha! The kids had a blast and Daddy didn't mind hanging out with the guys while I enjoyed good ole "girl" time with my best friends Aimee Martin and Jill Mullinax.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9 Months Old!

Today marks the 9 month milestone in the lives of these precious little miracles... James Daniel and John David Pate! I am still completely in awe of their existence and the remarkable progress they have made since their miraculous birth. An early intervention therapist visited today to check on the boys and was amazed at all they were doing. She (along with many others) commented on how "busy" they seem to be, and also how "vocal" they already are. Both boys are constantly moving. At once upon a time ago, it was mostly James squirming and jerking about. Now, John David has joined the forces and he is just as spastic as James. They are all the time moving and "talking" if not asleep. James has begun using the "m" consonant sound and John David has the "d" sound mastered. John David has also figured out how to "pitch a fit"..seriously it is a different kind of cry and almost an anger in his voice. Quiet funny actually. It makes me proud and feel confirmation that cognitively they are doing well. I see more and more "typical" behaviors each day. My new favorite is the look they give us when we are eating something. They reach out for what we are holding and try to bring it to their mouths. They understand that we are "eating" and they want to do the same. Also, they are moving around on their bellies. Not on all fours yet, but cruising on twos...

A single day will never pass that I don't reflect on the power behind their success. I know without a doubt that the greatness we are witnessing in their lives is from God. He has graciously blessed us with these beautiful, healthy baby boys and I will forever be grateful and thankful.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Eye exams!

Today we paid a visit to Daddy for eye exams. Jenna and the boys had their first eye exam. They did a wonderful job. James was perfect, didn't fuss at all. John David did well until Rob started looking at his retina (with a ridiculously bright light!~) He did NOT like that light nor did he care for being restrained lying on his back. He kept screaming, "nadada nadadada nadadad!" Sounded so cute, sounded like he was saying no dada, no dada!! The exam was quick and Rob said both boys look outstanding. No problems to report of and they both have the same prescription...(+2 for those of you out there who know what that means, cause I sure don't! haha!!) Here are the pics from the day. Yet again, I am truly thankful to be at home with these precious children this year. I miss teaching but love more than anything spending my days with these babies. I am so amazed at their growth and development.

I can't leave out the "drama" of the day!! It never fails, as soon as I think, "The day has been smooth, no problems!" something happens. Today after a pleasant morning at daddy's office, we leave to go pick up Ellie from her school(she started Bruno's Montessori School) and we were half way there I heard Jenna shout, "Mommy there is something red on my hands...and my dress...any my milkshake...and just everywhere Mommy!" Sure enough the girl had a nose bleed in the back seat of my van (after I had reminded her over and over again to NOT make a mess in the back of the van with the milkshake) I look up in my rearview mirror and see what appears to be a clown face..Like my bestfriend Jill says, "IT IS WHAT IT IS" and seriously that was true. So we stopped, cleaned it up and then were on our way! I had to end up going back to Daddy's office to give him his keys (he and Jenna took my van to get her a milkshake for being such a great little girl.