John David Pate-3years old

James Daniel Pate-3years old

Monday, June 28, 2010

All-Star Beach Trip!

Jenna:"Hey Ellie, want to go jump in the water?"...Ellie:"No, we can't, remember the oil!?!"....Jenna:"No fair, other kids are playing in the ocean!!&;quot;...Claire:"Yeah, but their mom probably isn't as OCD as ours"....BOYS:"I say we go for it, just blame it on us, she lets us get away with ANYTHING...hehehehe"

Girls, Girls, Girls.....

Oh how we wish the ocean were clean so we could PLAY!

CONCENTRATION...she was stoked!

Boys LOVED this ride. They laughed the entire time. SO fun to watch your kids have fun.

Mamaw riding go-carts with her granddaughters, and no we didn't have to beg...she totally loved it..haha!

Mamaw with the big girls, floating in the lazy river. Notice Jenna in the background, she said, "I don't feel like a picture right now, I'm fine"..haha

The Pate and Mullinax (friends of ours)...KIDS...all 8 of them, yes, we have 8 kids within 8 years of each other....In birth order, Claire, Kate, Ellie, Jacob, Jenna, Nathan, James and John David...

Daddy with the boys. James LOVED his goggles!

Gotta love how Claire is holding John David's neck to make him look at me, and James is shouting STOP TAKING SO MANY PICS MOM!

Mommy swimming with the girls!

Here is a quick update with the Pate Brood!

We spent the majority of June at the ballpark. What joyous fun we had as a family, with the experience of All Stars. We are so proud of Claire for all of her hard work and dedication throughout a LONG hot season of Oak Mountain All Stars. Her team was invited to participate in the State Tournament in Gulf Shores, what a huge honor. They fought hard, and placed 5th overall. We had a great team, superior coaches, amazing parents and we feel so blessed to have been a part of something so special.

Long live the days of eating our meals out of the cooler, changing diapers in the trunk, hosing off Ellie and Jenna with the concession hose pipe after playing in dirt for 8 hours, throwing/batting for hours upon hours, eating popsicles, chanting "Mud on ya face, big disgrace...we will... we will ROCK YOU DOWN, SHAKE YOU UP, LIKE A VOLCANO WILL ERUPT, LOOK OUT WORLD HERE WE COME!!!"....oh so much fun. I feel sad that it is over, but looking ahead, we have one more month of FUN before school gets underway.

Here are some pictures from our weekend.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day...a day to celebrate three amazing men!

A Father's Hand...

is an amazing thing...

Father's everywhere today are being celebrated. Those who are with us and those who are no longer here on this Earth. I celebrate the lives of three amazing men today in my life.

My dad is a man of amazing love. He has such a compassionate heart. From the early days when I was a little girl, one thing I always remember my dad most for was the love he had for his children. Not only a great love for his children, but my dad works harder than most anybody I know. I am grateful for the work ethic my dad has always possessed a work ethic to be admired by all who know him. I am so thankful he instilled that work ehtic and drive to never give up in me at such a young age. One thing I have always known throughout my entire life, is the love my dad has for me. There is no question whether my dad would go to the ends of the Earth for me, or do anything for me, and that is an amazing feeling. He has always sacrificed immensely for my needs and desires, and that is something that I don't take for granted. I have so many memories of my dad through the years, from working with him in a strip mine, ,to watching him bury my first dog and then hold me in his recliner as my heart broke, to waiting up for him really late at night when he would work 15 hr days just to give him his two bologna sandwiches I made for him, to the countless hours of jumping waves in a raft together at the beach, to flipping hamburgers with him when he owned a restaurant, to the day he gave me away to the most amazing husband God could have ever designed for memories of my dad are priceless and I thank God for the wealth of love we have for each other.

My father-in-law is more to me than just a "father-in-law". He has been a constant in my life for nearly 17 years. I am 31 for those of you who are doing the math..haha! Mike Pate has an answer for just about anything I can think of to ask him. He has advice for every situation or circumstance we have ever been in. He has a love for me that is more than just a "daughter-in-law" relationship and I thank him for it. I am most proud to call him my father-in-law because of the wonderful man of God he is. His sacrifice and love for his family is completely selfless. He has taught me through his example of sacrifice and love for his family, that in the day's end, having family and love to share is more valuable than the worldly stuff so many seek after. I am deeply thankful for him.

And lastly, My husband, the father of my children....what an incredible man he is. A man of such integrity. He is so valued in our family. My girls look at him to fix any problem, from the tangled hair of a barbie doll to the delicate art of scaring away monsters..especially "rock eater"..haha! Not only does he have girls to look up to him to solve all the world's problems, he now has two sons to follow in his unique footsteps. My husband has always been a great dad to our children, with our first born, he was good, with our second born, he was even better, with our third born, he was what I consider the best, but with the addition of our boys, he is at stellar level! I am so proud to call him my husband and the father of my children. I realize how blessed our family is to have him lead us daily in the way God desires a family to be led. I thank my Heavenly Father every single day for the relationship He has ingrained between Rob and I and our children. Rob Pate, you are truly amazing in your ways of fathering our children. I commend you on your efforts to support us, love us, comfort us, entertain us, guide us, and share yourself with us. I am so thankful that you are a man who loves his family above all else this Earth offers. Spending time with us, instead of countless hours golfing, racing, fishing, sporting events, etc. means so much me. The bonds being formed between you and our precious little ones will remain forever.

Happy Father's Day to three wonderful men, who have all touched my life in many unforgettable ways. I pray God bless you each as you deserve a special blessing just for simply being who you are.

Friday, June 11, 2010

18 months old!!!!

Okay...time can slow down at any point now...I just watched the video of these miracle babies back from their earlier days, and I can not believe how fast the past 18months has gone. Boy am I so thankful I took this past year off to spend with them.

They are both doing just wonderfully. I am so thankful to report good health and well-being. We visited our amazing, talented and oh so very kind pediatrician last week, Dr. Darby McElderry..we adore her. She said they were growing fine (still little and behind a bit on height and weight, only in the 10-25th percentile) But she said nothing to worry about, they don't even have to correct their gestational age anymore. She went through the 18 month check list and the boys are both doing everything they should be for typically developing 18month olds, so that great, especially since they were two and a half months early... I still want to keep them babies a little while longer, but I am afraid they are choosing to grow up instead. The "do it myself" stage is underway...boy oh boy, I am going to need some extra patience in my day for this next stage.

Here is a recent video I took before bedtime a few nights ago. I forgot to ask them to "Praise Jesus"..that is my favorite trick they do, they throw their hands into the air above their heads...and I also forgot to ask them to say "Uh Oh", but they generally say that when either of them has forcefully tossed their drinking cup onto the floor.

And just so I don't forget these special milestones later in life, here are a few "tricks" they are doing at 18 months old.
*waves bye bye and says bye bye
*knows the dog, snake, sheep sounds
*John David can find the ball in a picture book and point to it
*James can find Elmo in his picture book and point to it
*scribbles well with aqua doodle marker
*opens pantry and fridge when hungry or thirsty
*knows head, foot, nose, teeth,
*knows praise Jesus
*Can find each family member if you ask them "where's claire?"
*says, Mama, Dada, Bubbles, Ball, UhOh, Bye Bye
*answers to commands: "go get your diaper", "throw this away in the garbage", "go get your drink"
*can jump, throw a ball, climb a chair (and definitely climb stairs)
*my favorite trick is asking them to "step" into their clothes while standing and holding on to my is funny because John David is very wobbly and hangs on with a death grip so he doesn't fall over.

These boys are growing up quickly. Won't be long before we start talking "potty" time...and ooooh man, I can't wait to get them out of Kindergarten that is...hahahah!

11 months..watching the birds in the early morning...

18 months...watching the birds in the early morning...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Here is the update from his caring bridge page posted a week ago.

Home Sweet Home! It was bittersweet to leave our home away from home and leave the new friends we had made. Strong relationship​ps were developed between us and fellow patients and their families as well as with the staff at Children's. There were a few tears shed. But everyone knows and agrees this was the best thing for Ross. We have appointment​s in mid July and can have a mini-reunion​n then.

We've been home since Friday night with mixed results. Ross is doing fine medically but he is still easily agitated. He's had a couple of restful days and nights and a couple that weren't so much. We think it may be the combination of the feeds and medications we're using. We changed a couple of things just before we left. We plan to call his doctor in Birmingham and ask a few questions and see if we can't get this figured out. We can't wait for the time to come that Ross is able to enjoy a real extend​ed time of peace. It all just takes time and a little bit of this, and a little bit of that until we get it all figured out.

What a miracle that sweet boy is home. I still continue to pray daily that God will restore his health to the fullness it was prior to his tragic accident. As I was running the race for him a few weeks ago, I felt such a peace and presence of God. I remember thinking to myself, that little boy's story could easily be anyone of us. For some reason God chose him and I pray for that "glory in the morning" for the Folmar family. I have not had a chance to travel back to Auburn to visit with the family, but I intend on doing so in a few weeks, once he and his family are settled. The donations that flooded in for him were overwhelming. Each time I opened an envelope, my heart felt such compassion for that sweet family. I always asked God to bless the individual who sent the donation. Because of your selfless donation, I was able to give 500 dollars to the Folmar family....WOW! I am amazed at the beauty of God and how incredible it is that He works through people like me and you.

Thank you all for your support and please do continue to pray for this special little boy and his family, as they have such a long road ahead of them.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Well folks..the time has arrived! These miracle babies are now officially going to BIG BOY SCHOOL! I am returning back to work in August so I thought a little transition time this summer would be beneficial to them. Of course we LIVE at the YMCA (if not the ball park..heheh) so they are very well adjusted with being away from home, the bigger issue would be "sleeping" away from home.

They understand the word "play" so as soon as I pulled into Learning By Design I started saying, "Let's go play, who wants to go play, James is going to play, here we go John David to play, Mommy is going to play, yay for play!!!" It worked wonderfully, they both WALKED in holding my hands and did great. NO tears...not even from me!

The only issue from 9-2 was nap. Lee called me to ask if they had a special blanket or paci to help them nap. Of course I told her NO, they had a boob for 18 months! So the nap routine at home is go to bed and close the door..DON'T OPEN THE DOOR until nap time is over! So I suggested to do that and let them scream it out. Sounds harsh, but it works. So, she said they WERE NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT and screamed with rage for a little bit but then "figured it out" and went to sleep!

Boy are we so blessed to have the childcare situation we have. Lee Folge kept Jenna in her home (along with other teachers' children) for several years. But now Lee has opened up an incredible childcare facility next door to our schools...AWESOME. She has her same ladies that helped her from her home as well as some new amazing gals.

The boys did great on their first day, Mommy LOVED her special 5 hours in her classroom (have my room ready to go other than my desk and a few filing cabinets) and all in all it was a lovely day.

#1 question I get on a daily basis is...."Are you really going back to work??!!" and the answer is...."Y-E-S!!"

I have stated before (somewhere, here or facebook one) that happiness and contentment with your life doesn't come from staying home or working a career. I have Christ as my center wheel and everything else spins from it. I can't imagine how hard it will be to prepare for work, school for five kids and keep balance in my home (not that it has ever been easy since the miracle babies arrived), but I don't doubt I will figure it out with my super source of strength..MY GOD, after all HE is where I draw my strength from.

Gratefully, I have an amazing husband, one in which I am so proud to call my partner, Pate Family teammate, true bestfriend in the entire world; and the ship would sink if we didn't work so well together.

Yall pray for us as we approach August...LET THE NEW JOURNEY BEGIN!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

More Utah Video and Pictures!

Our First "REAL" camping the desert!

The girls found a cool!

The morning after we spent the night...LOOOOOOng night with very little sleep but still tons of fun.

Jenna approved of the SMORES!

Becky and Jenna taking a break!

That is one sacked out little guy...

Yes that is ME and my crazy loon brother, Ryan...he actually got me to climb the side of a mountain!

Here is the video of the kids with Uncle Ryan on our last day at Becky and Rosey's house. He was teaching them all different instruments and put together a little tune..precious and sweet!