John David Pate-3years old

James Daniel Pate-3years old

Saturday, October 31, 2009

BIG NEWS and Halloween:)

BIG NEWS...James Daniel is PULLING UP...CRAZY! I am amazed at this boy. Both boys have been crawling for about two weeks now. John David pretty much stays in one location. He moves about but does it leisurely, James Daniel however, is a speedy gonzales! He is FAST and makes tracks in a hurry. He has been pulling up to his knees for a few days. He actually pulled up on his knees against the bathtub, kicthen drawers, carseats, ME and even his brother's back...





But tonight he pulled up to his feet. I didn't even see it. I was in the kitchen for a quick second and when I turned the corner he was holding himself up with ONE HAND...I just laughed and said to myself...he is gonna be like his momma...BUSY!!! Maybe he will run marathons with me one day:)







HALLOWEEN PICTURES...WHAT FABULOUS MEMORIES MADE WITH THESE CRAZY KIDS!

Jenna...aka Cinderella!


Ellie...aka Ariel!


Claire...aka Gertrude (GRANNY)


Family picture...Love taking family pics together...


Cutest baby frogs I have ever seen..don't ya think?? James is on the left and John David is on the right...in case you couldn't tell...

I have already mentioned in a previous post of how thankful I am for these baby boys each day as this time of the year reminds me so much of our journey last year. Tonight, I had moments of wanting to tear up just looking at these boys dressed up, so healhty and big..thriving so wonderfully. I wonder if every Halloween I will think back to the Halloween I was pregnant with the boys, trying to go about life as normally as possible, all the while with an extremely heavy heart worrying minute by minute whether the babies I carried inside of me would die. All I could do was pray to God what seemed like every single second of every single day. I am sure I will always think back to that time, and thank God for the blessing He gave us. I just don't feel that I even deserve the blessing of life God has given us in these miracles. I am just so grateful for their lives and I have such a love and joy in my heart watching them grow and learn each day.

Halloween day was filled with NAPS and REST TIME since it RAINED all day, cooking taco soup, making chocolate cupcakes with BLUE icing and sprinkles (thank you Ellie Pate) to share with family and friends that were coming to trick or treat with us. Daddy watched football most of the day and the girls and I spent time in the kitchen...pretty typical!

We shared our Halloween night with family and friends. Mamaw came over for pictures and playtime. Uncle Phillip and Aunt Katy came over as well with my nephew Sam. The Thomas family also joined us for trick or treating. Cole, Emma Kate, Jameson, Claire, Ellie, Jenna, James, John David and Sam...yep..that is NINE kids all under the age of NINE! The kids had a blast and of course ended up with a ridiculous amount of candy! They will have ONE week to enjoy ONE piece a day and then it will all magically disappear.

The Thomas kids, Emma Kate and Cole, with our girls..heading out to trick or treat!


Mamaw with her "grandbabies"


Aunt Katy and cousin Sam with the girls..



Uncle Phillip and Jenna...this was a sweet picture because as soon as Jenna saw him, she ran to him, jumped in his arms and gave him big loves:)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

17 years ago...


It was 17 years ago today that I met this handsome, wonderful young boy by the name of Rob Pate. It was a junior high homecoming date with a group of friends when we noticed each other. I had never seen him, nor had he seen me. I guess you could call it love at first sight, but a young love sparked in the halls of Erwin Junior High and grew into what we now share as a lifelong love for each other. I remember the day he knelt down in my downstairs playroom and asked me to be his wife and love him forever...we were 14 years old. We were the best of friends, inseparable and completely infatuated with each other...and still are today, October 25, 2009. We have been through many life experiences together. High school and college, marriage, kids, careers...I couldn't imagine any other human in this world that could satisfy my every earthly need as my precious loving husband does. I am so proud to be his wife, to serve him and love him and share our days together raising our family. I pray each day that God would continue to bless our marriage and strengthen our relationship as we continue to live life honoring HIM. Do I believe in fate, most definitely. I truly believe God had a plan for us to meet, form a friendship, fall in love and commit to each other in Holy Matrimony. I have to end this post with a story that confirms how much we are meant for each other. You know how old people who have been together their whole lives can finish each others thoughts and sentences? We'll of course we do that, but today as we were grocery shopping with our five beautiful children (and three grocery carts), we stopped in the freezer section. I am trailing behind Rob and Claire and Ellie (they are pushing two carts) and I have the third cart toward the back. I picked up some Great Value brand frozen veggie medley with red peppers, asparagus and potatoes. It looked like something new we've not tried before so I grabbed it to ask him what he thought, As I approached Rob in the front of our assembly line of children, he held up a bag of frozen veggie mix (GREEN GIANT ROASTED RED PEPPERS, ASPARAGUS AND NEW POTATO MEDLEY)....He had picked up the same exact thing (just the name brand version) and held it up at the same exact time...Seriously?!?! That is crazy how we do that and it happens almost daily. He takes words straight from my thoughts and I do the same. Call it a connection if you will, but we are so meant for each other. I am his FIRE and he is my ICE... what a perfect combo!

I love you Rob and cherish our days together. I will never forget the memories we share from all those October 25ths we shared together as our "anniversary" until we wed. You are an amazing man and truly my best friend in the whole world.

Dana

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CRAWLINGX2

video


Just had to post the video of James and John David officially crawling...on hands and knees that is. They have been scooting around and camo crawling for about a month now, but tonight at aprox. 8:30, I tossed a ball in front of them and they both took off for it. It was quite comical acctually. They both saw the minature football and instantly started crawling for it. NO warning at all..just full force GO and off they went racing toward the football. Too bad they won't ever be allowed to play football. (no dangerous contact sports for my precious little boys..nope, just bowling or swimming in their future)

The first crawl video I took was with our home video camera but I am not smart enough to figure out how to transfer it so I set them up for the phone video again. The quality is not great but man, what a special moment to see them crawl. I told Rob that these little miracles (8 months gestationally) actually began crawling before Jenna did. They are doing such a great job catching up! It is also pretty special that they both crawled on the same day. And to make the moment even more special, Rob and I were there together to see it.

Hope everyone has a great day.

Dana

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Remembering an ANGEL...Ian Andy Ellis






This post is dedicated to a precious little angel boy who was given his wings about two weeks ago. Ian Andy Ellis died Friday, October 9th at 3:00 in the afternoon. Many of you might remember me asking for prayer for him several months ago on my blog. His caring bridge page is www.caringbridge.org and then search for his page by his name..ianandyellis...if you would like to see pictures and read the latest updates from his mom. The journal posts are pretty powerful. I find myself going back from the past month reading them and finding so much strength to deal with my days after reading what that poor momma had to endure for 2 years...PERSPECTIVE my friends..everything we deal with in life can be better understood by simply putting things in perspective.

I will remember that little boy for the rest of my life. I do not know him personally but our family has prayed for him for months now. We have been following his story on Caring Bridge for about a year now. I vividly remember reading his story as I was strapped to a hospital bed last year during Thanksgiving and Christmas time. I would pray for God's power to save our babies as well as Ian. My heart soon became attached to Ian and I looked forward to daily updates. My girls (especially Claire) would ask about him daily too. We enjoyed watching the joy that was shared on the glorious days and then we would have tears on the not so good days. Explaining to an 8 year old and 4 year old why little kids get really sick and sometimes die is very hard. There is an innocence that kids feel when they pray to God. They don't bargain or pitch deals..nope, they just pray BIG, mighty prayers of healing. They point blank ask God to "fix Ian's heart cause the doctors can't". Well last week when his two year old little body finally couldn't take any more, he drifted to Heaven to go be with Jesus. I got the message on my phone email as we pulled up to our condo at the beach with super excited kids...excited kids and HEALTHY kids. My heart just quivered at the thought of that poor mommy sitting in her chair (she and Ian had a special chair they sat in ALOT together every single day) holding her baby boy that just literally died in her arms...at the same moment I was holding the hands of my girls sharing the news with them. SO sad, so upsetting, so undeserving, so tragic, so not what we wanted, so what GOD planned for his life. We don't understand. We aren't suppose to understand it all though. That is what our Faith does for us in this kind of time. I looked at my girls with their watery eyes and said, "Girls, just know that Ian is not suffocating anymore in his body that didn't work well. He is free and free is so awesome for him. We don't have to pray for Ian anymore because he is in Heaven and there is NO PAIN in Heaven" So now, we spend our days praying for his mommy and daddy (who by the way are incredible witnesses to the goodness of God. I would just ask that you pray for them. I can't even imagine their pain. They are wonderful people. If you have a moment go to his site and read about him. I remember him all through my days. I remember his mom all through my days as well. And Ian buddy, you caught our hearts and we loved you and prayed for you each day you were fighting that awful disease~

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Brotherly Love...video of them FIGHTING!

REMEMBER TO SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN THE PAGE AND TURN OFF THE MUSIC IN ORDER TO HEAR THE SOUND ON THE VIDEO.


This was the initial clip of the boys playing with the beloved "hammer"...seriously they love this stinking hammer and it keeps them so entertained for a long period of time. We gotta get another one!

video


Here is the "FIGHT" that broke out and boy was it comical to watch. Sorry the video is not the best quality..it was from my phone. But you don't need clarity to "see" the fight break out! Any guesses as to who you think is "stronger willed"????


video

Saturday, October 17, 2009

pictures, pumpkins, weekend fun!


James Daniel sporting his shades...Big sisters were dressing him up and he thought it was cool...probably just the individual attention they were giving him cause John David was totally left out just watching it all happen. Before the girls started playing with James, he was really fussy and squealing (extremely high pitch squeal) and of course as soon as the girls gave him an ounce of attention, he was completely fine!!!




The boys holding their pumpkins. We bought SEVEN pumpkins today to put on our front porch. You may not think of this being anything "special" however, it is extrememly special to me because this exact time last year, I walked around each day wondering, praying, hoping with all my soul that these little boys would survive and not die inside of me...and each day I would look at our porch with our family pumpkins lined up and think to myself, "Lord will there be 7 pumpkins on our porch next year, will I have two little boys to dress up for Halloween to trick or treat with next year?" So this picture is special to me because the miracles God so undeservingly blessed us with are HOLDING THEIR PUMPKINS!!!:)


Boys hanging out at gymnastics. What I thought was neat about this particular picture, is that their arms are positioned exactly the same way. This happens ALOT and is just really neat to see. So I thought I'd take a picture of them.


John David was first to figure out how to escape his carseat (when not buckeled in)..my fault! I no longer leave them unbuckeled in their carseats anymore!!!


Playing with firefighter helmets that Claire brought home to the boys from Fire Safety week at school. I couldn't get a good picture of them though. If John David smiled with the hat on, James took his off and vise versa, neither of them would keep the hat on and smile at the same time..







Boys watching Spain Park football game...their uncle Phillip (Rob's little brother) is the Linebackers coach at Spain Park:)



The girls were styling Daddy's hair...with sparkly headbands.





Thanks for checking in with the Pate Family. We are all doing well. John David has been battling croup this week. He has been pitiful at times. Hoping James does not get it, but let's be realistic...they eat from the same spoon, sleep in the same bed, share clothes and carseats. They are crawling EVERYWHERE now...unbelievalbe...I can't believe we are actually watching these little guys crawl around. They are also sitting at the table now for meals. They have booster seats strapped onto our kitchen chairs and sit at the island in the middle of the kitchen. The best entertainment we have found thus far...watching me try to cook and clean while managing the girls throughout the kitchen is so facinating to them...but just like all great things, this too shall pass....but for now, it is great. John David is eating very well with his hands (actually too well, he is scanning the carpet and hardwoods for whatever he can find) EVERYTHING goes in his mouth..so far I have retreived a leaf, fraction tile (kinda like a puzzle piece), coal (from the fireplace), and strawberry shortcake's ckae. James hasn't quite figured out the hand to mouth eating yet. He actually chews his food better, but you have to put it in his mouth for him (or help him do it hisself) John David just opens, shoves and swallows his food...

They have been on some table food for about two weeks now. This morning they had cinnamon rolls with the girls...what a mess!

As always, we thank you all for your continued support and prayers for these little guys. I am getting nervous about "sick season" approaching. Please, if you don't mind, remember to pray God's sheild of health on these baby boys as we will be very cautious with germ fighting!!! Thanks again.

Much love and next update, I will try to post video...for some reason I have not had much luck with downloading it lately...but I will try.

Dana

Monday, October 12, 2009

Beach Trip with our BROOD!

The whole family...amazingly all were looking at the camera at the same exact time...RARE!


So we did it, we actually took our brood down to the beach for a quick weekend beach trip. We couldn't have asked for a better trip to the beach. Such wonderful weather, absolutely perfect weather, and the water was amazing as well. Our condo was beautiful and the property was very kid friendly. The kids were awesome- the entire ride down and the entire time there. My mom was staying in Gulf Shores (about 10 min. from Orange Beach where we were staying) so she was able to hang out and play with us as well. Here are the highlights from the trip:



Daddy and his girls in the ocean..they all loved it!


Daddy and Claire hanging out in the hottub!


Nana holding John David while he is sporting her sparkly sequin visor..too funny!


Having a peanut butter and vanilla waffer picnic...


Mommy and John David:)


Is this cute or what???


James playing in the sand "on top of the towel"...yes there was sand ALL OVER the towel and he LOVED it.


Daddy playing in the ocean with James. He LOVED the waves and water. PRECIOUS memories!


One proud momma here. SO thankful for these little guys.


I LOVE this picture. Last year we had the same picture made and these little miracle babies were in my tummy, we just didn't know it..nor did we have any idea of the journey GOd was about to take our family through.


Daddy and James


Mommy and Jenna


Mommy holding her boys together (getting hard to do this cause they are getting so big!)


Silly boys..eating sand:)


What an amazing love God has given us to share. So thankful for our marriage. This is one awesome guy...such a loving, Godly man. Superior husband and father.


All the KIDDDOS!


I sure do love these kids. Could eat them up with a spoon of sugar!


Ellie and Jenna devouring white poweder doughnuts before we left for the pool!


Happy girls after eating at the Crab Shack..everyone had seafood except ELLIE...she had SPAHGETTI...go figure!


Ellie sliding in the sand...yes it took me a while to clean out all the sand in all the cracks...haha!


Beautiful girl...just beautiful...inside and out!


The whole family on our first day. The weather was so gorgeous.


Daddy and his girls in the ocean. Memories that will last a lifetime.


This girl is FEARLESS!


Precious. I want to take a picture of these three girls like this every year.


My three divas...Sweets, Sassy and Spit Fire!

Claire says: "I loved jumping in the waves with Ellie and Daddy in the ocean. The swimming pool was awesome too. The beds at the condo were like sleeping on snow..totally fluffy"

Ellie says: "I thought going to jump in the big pool with Laura and Danni (Dr. Hammond's daughter and her friend) was awesome. My favorite thing to do was playing in the waves and eating doughnuts because I love sugar and mommy doesn't let me have a lot of sugar"


Jenna says: "So I jumped at the waves and I swim in the hot swimming pool and I played in the sand."


The boys can't talk but if they could they would say:
"Thanks mom and dad for letting us play in the sand. Thanks mom for allowing us to get all dirty and actually eat some sand and play in the ocean with dad. Oh yea, and thanks for not making us sleep in that crappy hotel portable crib. Our carseats were way more comfy!"

Daddy says: "My favorite parts were entertaining three girls with a wet napkin around a fountain at a shopping center after dinner while Mommy was busy feeding the boys, and playing in the ocean with all the kids"

Mommy says: "My favorite part of our trip was the simple pleasures each day of watching my children have so much fun, seeing the laughter and smiles and joy from playing with each other and their Daddy. I savored the moments of quality family time we were able to spend together...and the doughnuts were pretty darn good too:)"


I am so thankful we took the kids down for a quick trip. Originally I thought, no way are we taking five little kids to the beach....what a nightmare that would be with everyone, but boy was I TOTALLY WRONG. They were all awesome. Everyone had such an amazing fun time playing in the sand and ocean and swimming pools. Rob and I were so thankful for the awesome weather. Staying on the beach was definitely a plus with our family. I had to "run to the room" on several occasions, so being conveniently located on the beach was nice. We had the double stroller for the boys to ride in to and from the beach and pool. I was only asked a couple HUNDRED times if "all those kids were mine"...funniest one though was a lady at the baby pool with her two year old son. She noticed I had Jenna playing in the pool and the boys were off to the side watching us. She said, "I don't know how you do it with two little babies with your two year old" and I just chuckled..said, "Well, I talk to the good Lord most all day long and it is amazing how much strength I draw from HIM"..but then a few minutes later, Ellie came over and said, "Mommy...(something like I am thirsty)" and the lady dropped her jaw and said, "Is she yours too?"...I chuckeled and said, "Yes, she is mine too!". Then instantly Claire walked over and said, "Mommy, (something like can we go get a drink)" and the lady said, "No way, she is not yours too is she?"...I just chuckled and said, "Oh yes, she is mine too!" Then the lady turned completely around to face the big pool (where Claire and Ellie had come from) and said, "ARE THERE ANYMORE COMING?" Ha Ha...I told her no mam, that is all the good Lord blessed me with, just the five...:) And what is really comical is that her two year old was incredibly SPOILT rotten (be seemed a little spoilt herself) and he acted like a one year old, and she complained about how "difficult" he was to deal with on a daily basis...oh PAH-LEEESE!!! :)

So all in all, the trip was awesome. I was completely surprised by how smooth it all went. I kept gaurd await for a catastrophe to occur, but none to report of.

Thank you dear Lord for such an amazing time with our family. We truly are humbled by your love and grace you shower us with daily. We don't deserve all the goodness you give our family. We honor you and love you and thank you!

Friday, October 2, 2009

YEP...these boys are ON THE MOVE!




Well I knew the day was nearing, but these boys are now officially on the move. They have to be contained inside of something if I plan to leave the room they are playing in. This morning I had James playing on the bathroom floor with me while I was trying to get ready for the day, I heard clanging in the living room that sounded like it was coming from the wrought iron candle holder on the marble fireplace, however Jenna was suppose to be upstairs in her bed napping and John David was snuggled in his carseat sound asleep last I checked, so I turned the corner and found John David turned upside down UNDER his carseat...all I could see was one little arm reaching for the candle holder and yanking it back and forth..CLANG, CLANG, CLANG
So by the time I retrieved JD from under his carseat and brought him back to the bathroom so I could finish drying my hair, I found James Daniel under my bed!!!!!! I am about to become busier than I ever thought possible! We are currently discussing turning the dining room into the BOYS ONLY room and move the girls' playroom downstairs. OH dear I need someone to come buy my house!