John David Pate-3years old

James Daniel Pate-3years old

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

An Immediate Prayer Request

A former Dean Road Elementary teacher in Auburn, Alabama, who is currently the assistant principal of Auburn Early Ed. is living in a nightmare right now. I am sure 24 hours ago, Andrea Folmar was living her normal day to day life not expecting tragedy to strike.

Andrea has three handsome, healthy boys. Her younger two sons, Sam and Ross were playing a game called "Heat" (where one child throws a baseball as hard as he can to the other child and they try to catch it with their hands), Sam, who is in 8th grade threw the ball to Ross, who is in 5th grade, and it drilled him right in the middle of his chest. The danger of it though, is that it hit him hard in between the beats of his heart, therefore stopping his heartbeat. He went approximately 20 minutes without a heartbeat, which means oxygen to his brain was compromised. Ross was air lifted to UAB from Auburn and is in ICU right now. He is currently on life support and fighting to live right now. As of this afternoon, the doctors are not very hopeful for recovery for Ross. He is showing very little brain activity.

I am asking for everyone who reads this blog to please take a moment in your day, and pray for this family. I am currently praying for God to work a complete miracle in this young boy's life. It is so tragic to hear of this sweet family having to endure such a horrible time right now.

I mean, really, can you even imagine the horrible thought of your children playing out in the yard (as they do all the time) and then in a second of time your entire life's path is altered in a way that will never be the same.

I feel such an ache in my heart for the Folmar family. When I talked with my best friend from Auburn today, Valerie Bradley, we just cried together. In the midst of total chaos around me, kids running around, screaming, crying, interrupting me for random reasons, the clock ticking and proving to me we were late for church; I stopped a moment and reflected on all the reasons to "Not sweat the small stuff"...truly, we do tizzy ourselves with so much unnecessary stress. Here we are living such a wonderful life and so many around us are living complete turmoil.

Here are the people who are weighing heavy on my heart tonight:

The Folmar Family

Roy Dean (My sister-in-law's stepdad has been battling cancer for several years. He is not doing well, is in a HUGE amount of pain, spends most of his days on heavy medication and sleeps alot. He is going in for a scan on Friday to evaluate his tumor..please pray for him)

The Ayers' boys (preemie twin boys born to Auburn Golfer, Tobin Ayers in Atlanta, GA)

Baby Christopher (triplet brothers born a month ago at 23 weeks, Andrew and Brandon died within 10 days of each other, Christopher is still on the vent, has had some brain bleeding and seziures, and the doctors are saying he will have many health problems. Please pray for a miracle in his life, strength for his mom, Kristi and dad, Darren.

I will try to update as soon as I know something on Ross Folmar.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

We Rocked and Rolled Nashville that is...

Saturday morning (amidst the terrible weather) Rob and I ran our final half marathon for this season. The Country Music Marathon in Nashville, Tn. We enjoyed spending great quality time together. Eating at our favorite restaurants and having adult conversation, you know, the kind of conversation you get to have with your husband without having to wipe a face, feed a baby, tie a shoe, break up an argument, pore the milk, stir the mac n get the idea...just some good ole adult time:)
We were also able to visit some friends who also have identical twin boys (yes these guys are little miracles too)..the Coyle twin boys..Adam and John. Our family has prayed for them since they were born at 29 weeks (two weeks after James and John David were born) Brooke and I went to college together at Auburn and now we have even more of a special bond together...we were both given such a gift from God, the gift of rasing miracle twin baby boys.

This half marathon course was by far the toughest we've ever completed. The temperature was also very warm so we both struggled with the humidity. I became severely dehydrated around mile 7 and the rest was torture. I needed to stop and drink along the way, but I usually get sick if I do so, therefore, I didn't drink anything and pushed my body way to hard and as I crossed the finish line (in 1hr and 33min.) I PASS OUT! Yep, you read correctly, I actually passed out. I remember turning my ankle and falling down, but I do not remember how I ended up on the medical cot with lots of "little red people" taking care of me...dumping salt in my mouth and forcing me to lay still and keep my feet up. What an ordeal that was. So, I recovered just fine and first thing I asked when I was allowed to stand up was, "Where is my medal"...I just ran the hardest run ever and I definitely wanted my medal...hahah!

After the run, we showered and crashed out on the fluff beds for a couple of hours and then headed home to our wonderful children. My mom kept Jenna, Aunt Jill kept Ellie, Mamaw kept the boys, and Uncle Phillip and Aunt Katy kept Claire...did you cathc that, four different family members kept our kids so we could enjoy a race weekend together. Wow, I am such a lucky lady.

My stats: 6th in my division (out of 2,800 females my age), 22nd in the total females (about 15,000) and 200th in the total overall runners (about 30,000) so I am proud that I finished the race (cause I REALLY wanted to quit half way through) and I am proud that I finished well...I would of course liked to have been in the top three of my age division, but that just didn't happen this time. Maybe next time:)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ellie Bug's 5th Birthday!

Thanks Aunt Aimee Martin for designing the precious shirt for Ellie. She loved it!

Group shot of the girls painting!

Cupcakes! Yay! YUMMY!

She is really focused on that ice-cream!

Since Ellie is very lactose intolerant she doesn't get anything made with milk...especially ice-cream until yesterday when Daddy found lactaid tablets...OMG!! This is the first ice-cream the poor girl has had in three months! She was SO happy!

The S-I-S-T-E-R-S

Our Family - The Pate 7

Barbie Mermaid...Ellie LOVES mermaids!

Snow Cone Maker (electric and so cool...takes seconds to make your own snow biz...thanks Aunt Jill, Mommy will really enjoy the birthday cake snow cones:))

I just love this girl..yum yum..could eat her up

Me and Elizabeth Studinka (wouldn't be a teacher if it wasn't for her...just wouldn't even consider going back to work if I couldn't be attached to her hip:)

Ellie and Audrey Richardson

Nana and the birthday girl!

Mamaw with the birthday girl!

Me and Jill Mullinax (we've only been best friends for 22 years..thats all)

Ellie with her buddies!

Nana entertaining John David (yes, on top of the table, not safe but he loved it..haha)

Papa entertaining James (yes, with a cell phone, because he is seriously obsessed with electronical'll notice more pics of him later with remote controls and cameras)

Ellie and Emma Kate (dancing in the van listening to Aquamarine soundtrack!)

See...I told ya, the boy is smiling only cause he has a tv remote in his hands...James Daniel WILL be my little engineer! Oh yeah, and if the device doesn't work (like an old cell phone or tv remote) he has NOTHING to do with it..only wants the ones that work..y

BIRTHDAYs! Seems like we are celebrating a birthday every weekend at this house..whether it be our own or a friends'...guess that is just what happens when you have as many kids as we do.!Ha!

Anyway, we enjoyed THREE birthdays this weekend. Our own Ellie Bug had her fifth birthday, Ella Mayfield (Jenna's best friend) had her third birthday and Emma Kate Thomas (Ellie's best friend) had her sixth birthday. Our weekend was B-U-S-Y but filled with lots of fun. We also crammed in a ballgame and a sleepover party with another best friend, Kate Mullinax!


Friday, April 16, 2010

The End of a LONG Day!

So I have yet to have a day that is not purely exhausting or overwhelming. I try to think back to those boring, quiet, mundane days in my life...and I just don't recall them. It is funny how the path of life you are currently on seems to make the path of life you once cruised along just vanish. Don't get me wrong, I can still vividly remember certain days of the past, when Claire Bear was our only child (we stressed out WAY TOO much over her) and even the days when we lived in Auburn and then the days when Ellie and Jenna came along and of course the roller coaster ride God challenged us with the boys. But now that we are so insanely busy with these days of raising five little kiddos, the past seems to be such a distant memory. And frankly, it makes me so sad to think about those times I will never be able to re-live again. God says our days are numbered and we should live each day as if it were our last. WOW..have you ever really stopped and thought about that one...kinda gives me chills! What if today is your last one...

SO for today, I just wanted to say, I am trying my best to preserve the memories that I will only have one day as "memories" because the time will be gone, the kids will be grown and the "day in the life of Dana Pate" won't be so LONG or exhausting or will probably return to the boring, quiet and mundane days I once knew before God decided I needed to love, nurture, teach, DISCIPLINE, encourage, and mold five very precious souls.

After leaving my home this morning at 8:30am, we started at the YMCA (Mommy's therapy time), I swam a mile, showered and got dressed, picked up the kiddos from child watch and off we began our day of errands! Along the way, I managed to stop here an stop there, even picked up Nana to tag along with us on one errand so I wouldn't have to unload four little kids out of the van and into shopping carts. Ellie and Jenna enjoyed their peanut butter sandwich picnic at Target Concession(yes, I actually do pack a lunch when we leave so we don't have to eat fast food garbage or spend extra money eating out) And so therefore each girl was given 1$ to purchase their own fountain drink. They thanked me at least seven times for their "Sinerra Mist" (Sierra Mist). After the day was said and done, I promised to take them all swimming.......YES, I WAS EXHAUSTED AND DIDN'T WANT TO DO IT AT ALL....but I did, and we had a wonderful time. They were very appreciative and excited to swim and then I let them shower at the YMCA and get their PJ's on.

Here is the precious picture I snapped at the END of my very LONG day. Just didn't want to forget it~!

(This picture is funny too because Jenna has on Christmas pj's and I don't even care...)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Claire Bear's Backhandspring!!!

Here is a quick video of Claire doing her back handspring in the front yard. She has been doing it on the trampoline for a while now, but she recently started tumbling lessons with Bri at Legacy Gymnastics in Pelham (AWESOME PLACE!) and the girl finally nerved up enough confidence to do it in the front yard...(Notice her "mat" is Ellie's old nap mat from pre-school last year..haha)

We are proud of her!

Ball Park Boys!

We spent 4 hours at the ballpark for Claire's game yesterday. FUN in the SUN for sure. Here are a few pics of the boys in their stroller (for 3 and a half hours and out of their stroller for 3 and a half minutes!!!!) Obviously keeping an eye on two one year olds and a three year old and a five year old (and a five year old's friend) is just too many little kids in different directions (oh yeah,not to mention trying to watch my Claire Bear playing softball) so therefore the boys have learned to like their stroller...not that they have a choice, they are one and I am thirty-one so that makes me older and the "decision maker"...hahah! But they sure did enjoy that few minutes of freedom roaming the fence and red-dirt covered ground:)

Also, the boys will have a visit from Bri tomorrow. She is one of our early intervention therapist. She is so wonderful with the boys. I am excited for her to come see all the cute things they are doing now. We missed our visit in Feb and March so she hasn't seen them since January!

I will update her visit tomorrow.

Happy Sunday everyone!
(I am posting on a Sunday morning, which is rare, but since I am laid up on the couch with a VERY BAD SPRAINED ankle after falling down a hill running yesterday, I decided to use my time wisely and update a couple of new pics)

Saturday, April 10, 2010


So I figure one of my five children will wind up being a horticulturist! The obsession with playing in the dirt and "diggin" as Ellie Brooklyn defines it, seems to be a daily occurrence around here. Before the garage door completely closes, as we arrive home each afternoon from school, the first words out of Ellie and Jenna's mouths are, "CAN WE GO DIG..PLEEEAAASE!". So this past week, Ellie asked if "the boys" could have a shovel and play in the dirt. So 10 min. later, they were covered in dirt and two very happy little boys.

Here are some pics from the afternoon. I love the one of all five of them huddled in and around the wagon.

And here is a cute quick video of the boys playing in the dirt.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The PENGUIN shirts!!!

So for those of you who missed my post on the "pulling the penguin" story...let me re-tell briefly so you'll understand the shirts. A few months ago I was reading a penguin book to Jenna and in the story the author used the words male and female. She didn't understand so we had a quick lesson in male and female (meaning males are boys and females are girls) she understood clearly, "Daddy is a male, Mommy and Jenna are females"...HOWEVER, in the same day, James was playing with his boy parts in the bath tub as well as when I was changing his diaper so Jenna called out to me, "Mooooommmmmy, James is pulling his penguin!"...I didn't understand at first and then clearly realized she thought his "boy part" was called a "penguin". And rightfully so, since she is one of three girls in our family and we didn't really have a name for a "boy part" in our family. creative and very talented Uncle Frankie designed a "Penguin Shirt" and my crazy Uncle Curtis screen printed them for our family. Wow! What a memory we have treasured now in our family with our "Penguin Shirts"...

AND HERE IS THE VIDEO OF THE BOYS WEARING THEIR PENGUIN SHIRTS...The video is horrible and not clear at all, but it was funny watching James dance.


Here is a close up shot of the shirt. The top of the shirt says "I like pullin my penguin!"

Monday, April 5, 2010


This picture cracks me up cause Jenna is wearing "Christmas PJ's" on Easter morning..haha!

She is such a nut!


Our Family!

Mommy and her girls!


Mamaw and Papa with five of their seven grandchildren...

Daddy and his boys!

Ready for the egg hunt!

James Daniel playing on the stairs!

Our family had a wonderful Easter together. We started bright and early as the Easter Bunny left at 6:30am and must have woken up a few little kids as he left cause I heard, "Oh my gosh, look what I got" at about 6:30am. We enjoyed an early church service and then headed over to Mamaw's house for lunch and egg hunts. The weather was absolutely gorgeous so we played outside ALL 5:30 pm, we had some extremely dirty and surely exhausted kiddos. My favorite was washing off the grass from James Daniel's hands after he had devoured his banana Popsicle (dripping it everywhere, wearing more of it than what he ate) and then rolling in the grass. So his hands, arms and face were covered in sticky banana grass...

Papa hooked up the trailer to his tractor and pulled the little kiddos around his yard a good 20 times. I am sure he used up half a tank of gas entertaining them with tractor rides, but it sure was worth the memories made.

After we arrived back home from our fun filled day, we bathed all the kids, ate some egg sandwiches and ended our night making "Resurrection rolls". This activity was wonderful to do as a family together to remind our children again what Easter celebration is all about. Each girl was given a jumbo marshmallow and told to spray butter on it and roll it in sugar and cinnamon (while explaining that the marshmallow represents Jesus our pure and perfect Savior and the spices represent our sin that Jesus so selflessly took and put on himself) and then we asked the girls to roll their marshmallow in a crescent roll and seal it up completely (the crescent roll represented the tomb that Jesus' body was wrapped and laid in after his crucifixion)...baked at 350 degrees fro 8 min. produces a yummy roll that when you cut open proves to be the TOMB was the day JESUS ASCENDED TO HEAVEN.

I hope everyone had a beautiful Easter.