John David Pate-3years old

James Daniel Pate-3years old

Thursday, May 27, 2010

7am to 9pm!!!

Here are some pictures from the last two days.

Notice the pound of peanut butter on James' face...he tore apart his graham crackers and completely covered himself with peanut butter.

Do you see the kids...hehehe

Claire making faces at the lambs...told me that lambs are "not her thing"..hahah

Rob and Ryan going to ride four-wheelers!

My dad..aka Becky, with his granddaughters at the Price River.

Notice how daylight it still is and the girls are in their pj's ready for bed. It doesn't get dark here until 9pm...crazy!

My brother Ryan is such a nut. He has been awesome to hang out with. The kids love him to pieces.

Rosie with Ellie and Jenna

Ellie climbing a tree with her asparagus!

My Dad forgets that he is 63 years old and the slides at the park are for kids only...hahaha!

Ryan eating the home-made pizza my dad, Rosie and Paul prepared for supper! It was YUM!

John David climbing the slide by himself until Rosie joined in for safety support...what a crazy boy...the slide is like 9 ft tall!

My pretty little girls laying in the grass giggling!

Me and my brother with Dad!

Becky and John David riding the tractor!

The big girls were so pumped to be able to sleep in the camper last night. BIG smiles before drifting off to sleep.

Well...these kiddos are playing nonstop around here. We are preparing to take the kids on their first camping trip tonight. As Ellie puts it, "a for real camping not a pretend camping"...we are ecstatic to take them to Sanraphael Canyon and experience "real camping" with our children. I appreciate my dad and stepmom so much for all they have done to prepare this trip for us. There really is a ton of preparation before heading up the mountains for a camping trip.

The last two days have been extremely fun-filled and somewhat exhausting. The sun (and the kids) are up at 7am each morning and the sun (and the kids) go down at 9pm each night!

Here are a few of our favorite things:

*The HUGE dinosaur park
*Mommy and Daddy riding bikes up and down the mountain and all through town.
*Planting in Uncle Paul's garden
*Sliding and playing in the sand piles
*Family gatherings around the kitchen table (Ellie LOVES breakfast here)
*Playing Skip Bo
*Riding four-wheelers with daddy in the mountains
*Eating awesome breakfast every morning
*Visiting the swinging bridge in a little town called Helper
*Playing ball outside

Monday, May 24, 2010


WOW...we pulled it off...we actually managed to fly across the country with our family, arrange for my brother to pick us up and drive us to my dad's house to surprise him with a visit. And when I say surprise him, I mean he had absolutely NO idea we were coming. Obviously planning a trip to Utah with our larger family is quite an ordeal, but man oh man, was it totally worth it. My stepmom, Rose, and brother, Ryan, had it all perfectly planned out. They had been preparing for weeks for our arrival WITHOUT my dad having the least bit of knowledge about our visit.

My uncle Dew had my dad busy working in the yard out back behind his house as we were scheduled to arrive around 3pm. So we enlisted my uncle Dew to make sure my dad, aka Becky is what the kids call him, was out of sight as we neared the house. We snuck in, planted ourselves between the kitchen and living room and waited patiently....well not really "patiently" but you get the idea!

I called my dad to ask if he wanted to call the kids on the computer to talk to them (because we try and talk to dad and Rose on the computer at least a couple times a week) and without any reservation he said, "I sure do, I've been waiting to talk to my grandkids, I'm at Dew's give me 5 min and I will be right there!" I will post video later but for now, you can visualize my dad walking in his side door, galloping down the long hallway that leads to the kitchen (where he thinks he is about to go call his grandkids), and then as he turns the corner, five precious little kids (who love their Becky endlessly) jump out and shout, "BECKY!!!!!!!!"

OMG! The look on his face was priceless..and of course the tears came...I will post the video as soon as I get home. We are grateful for the blessing of the day. Our travels from B'ham to Salt Lake City were smooth. The flights weren't bad at all.

The kids have had an incredible time. Somewhat of a spiralling out of control kinda feeling, they run from one activity to another, just can't stop smiling and laughing, and their giggles and sweet voices just resonate throughout this house...which by the way is very large and spread out, so keeping an eye on the boys is rather challenging. My stepmom is amazing in all she does. She raised five kids as well, so the chaos of our family doesn't really phase her. My dad and his brothers run the family business here in Price called "Howa and Sons"

My dad and Rose live in my grandparents house (the house my dad was raised in with his 10 brothers and 1 sister). The memories at this home for me are so rich and vivid. The aroma of Shaklee detergent and Lebanese bread seeping through the house hasn't changed at all in my 31 years. It is so special to bring my children to the home I grew up visiting as a child, and longing to return to each summer.

Here are a few of our first day activities:

BIG pancake, egg and bacon breakfast
Riding four wheelers
Playing in the camper (we plan to go camping sometime this week)
Baking Lebanese bread (or rather playing with the dough and flour for HOURS)
Riding the wagon all around the yard
Riding on the fork lift with Uncle Dew
Helping Becky on the loader dump dirt in the back of a customer's truck
Planting squash
Cutting grass on Becky's "tractor"
Making homemade humus and banana pudding (Ellie's favorite)
Mommy and Daddy enjoying a bike ride through the small "downtown" of Price.
Playing in the sand piles
Sliding on the BIG OLE slide in Uncle Paul's yard
Feeding the baby lambs and goats