John David Pate-3years old

James Daniel Pate-3years old

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Books of the Bible...

There are many things my children do that I am proud of (and many things they do that I am NOT proud of) but learning the books of the bible in 10 days, is definitely at the top of being one of my most proudest moments with them.

We will begin learning the new testament this week. Hopefully in about two more weeks I will post that video.

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:5-7

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yearly Developmental Evals..

I like this picture because as different as I think the boys look, in this picture I am not real sure who is who...and it is funny that both are clawing to get down..we were at the Barons game.

This is Ms. Brie, from the Shelby Arc..our wonderful Early Intervention Services. Brie has been visiting the boys each month since last summer. We will miss her so much as she moves on to her internship. John David didn't want to be in the picture so James is smiling for both boys..:-)

Mommy and John David playing at a "play place" indoors because it was only 102 degrees that day...

Book time..before bed time..I LOVE this time. Watching my children look and books makes me so so so very happy...

Yes, John David is driving a pink and purple bike...and LOVIN it...look at that smile...

I know, I have been extremely behind updating this blog. Truth of the matter, is that I am approaching the time in which updating this blog will be pushed further and further down on my list of "to do's"..I am returning to teaching full time in about two weeks. Our family is busy already, busier than I could have ever played out in my mind..but busy is about to turn into total madness, crazy, nutso busy when I am working FULL TIME during the day AWAY FROM is going to be quite the adjustment, but I truly believe it will be the best for our family. Now that the boys are approaching 2 years old, I need to return to the job I love just as much as they need to "go to school"... I am grateful from above to have Lee Fogle (Learning By Design) to send our precious boys to for school this year. Jenna will also return to "Lee Lee's" as she calls it, and I am sure of one thing, they will be LOVED and nurtured, cared for and educated on a daily basis. The level of peer learning, and guided instruction the boys will receive from their school will only help them to continue to develop and mature as they should be doing. I am just so thankful to have the opportunity for them to attend there.

Recently we had our friends from Shelby Arc (Early Intervention) complete a yearly evaluation on the boys. Thankfully the boys are growing and developing without any major concerns. They are both still a little behind on fine motor skills, but cognitively are right on track if not a little ahead in some areas. Watching them learn daily is such a blessing. We are beyond thankful for the little things....kicking a ball, running to the fridge for "mulk", opening the pantry door for a snack, pointing to pictures in books, trying to put on their sisters' shoes, puckering up for kisses...I could go on and on. Our therapist from the Shelby Arc that visit once a month to check on the boys' development and offer suggestions to help them advance, reported that the boys were doing wonderful. They will send me a detailed report later, but for our visit, they suggested we wait a while before doing a speech evaluation. Thus far, they seem to be fine in their speech and language development. So the focus for them right now is fine motor skills, and I am planning our mini mite boot camp to begin real soon...hahaha, j/k:-)

Here are a few new tricks I don't want to forget...

First phrase from John David..he was pointing under the bed and I kept saying "use your words, tell me what you need"..he looks at me and says "uh oh, ball, momma"...I just about cried..

John David named Claire "Wa Wa"...not sure how he came up with that one, but they call her by name all the time and it is distinctively "Wa Wa"...I will post video soon of their new words.

Saying "mainbow" for rainbow when we look at our Jesus book every single morning...I consider this their devotional time. I point out the "birds", "rainbow", "baby Jesus", "Angel", and "snake"..they can find them all.

Both boys LOVE brushing their teeth so each night as we go "night night"..all five kids and Mommy AND Daddy trott upstairs for bedtime routine, the boys start saying Ahhhh with mouthes wide open all the way to the bathroom sink...

Catching and throwing balls...James can catch better, John David can throw is funny to watch them cause John David can really chunk a ball and James can really catch the ball...hummmm...

The computer reminds them of three special people...Elmo and BECKY/ROSEY...when John David sees the computer he starts grunting saying, "Melmo" or "RO-RO and BECK BECK"...super sweet to see them point to the computer and say Ro Ro and Beck Beck..

Every time we pull into the garage both boys start pointing to the pink powerwheels mustang that the girls drive them around in... John David says, "uh, momma ride"

Oh yeah, and one very funny observation we have we drive by the YMCA, they point out the window and start fussing if we continue to drive on and not pull into the parking lot. Too funny...they LOVE to play at the Y! RIDICULOUS!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Here are a couple of videos I took last week.

We are all doing well. We are looking forward to our last lazy, fun week of summer! And then the madness will begin...back to school.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Planting Seeds..hopefully to produce FRUIT

My goal this summer was to soak up all that summer has to offer; swimming, sleeping late, visiting friends, movies, painting and creating, parks, just playing til dark! Then I also had hopes of teaching my children some valuable life lessons (cause that just happens naturally each day you spend 12 hours together) but learning the books of the Bible was at the top of my "summer to do list" and we have (I am shamed to admit) not completed it.

So, we are working hard on it. The big girls obviously learn at a quicker pace than Jenna, but nonetheless, we are ALL learning together.

One more full week of summer before we kick off the "new school year"...lots of emotions arousing...EXCITEMENT AND ANXIETY all wrapped up in one!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Well, here is the re-cap from last week. We are officially into the "free summer play" now...The month of June with All-Stars, beach trip and Utah trip just about broke the bank for our family, so we are on restriction now! It is still awesome though to wake up and have fun activities to enjoy together without spending money.

Giddy Up James Daniel..riding Dakota..Becky bought this horse for Claire 9 years ago and he has survived five rounds of toddlers...

Ice-cream cone Ellie earned at gymnastics and willingly shared with her sister and brothers.

Playing at Aunt Jill's house, waterslide and snowcones...FREE FUN

Playing in the basement...Sisters of Avonlee, deserted without a mom or dad, searching for shelter, escaping the wild bandits that want to rob them of their magic hair....FREE FUN (and very entertaining I must say)

Movie at The Rave...FREE (and we even brought our own yummy Cheetos packs)

Painting old boxes I had planned to toss, until Ellie reminded me that "those boxes would make perfect castle houses for their dolls...SOOOOOO, they painted them for a good hour....FREE FUN

Popsicles in the driveway after playing outside for a few hours!

John David heard me say, "Okay kiddos, let's get ready to GO..." and sure enough he flipped his "toddler meltdown switch" on and shared his feelings with all the onlookers....:)

Sonic playground. Claire used her birthday gift card to buy everyone a treat during "happy hour"...:)

James sliding

Ball Park..watching Daddy play Church Softball.

Definitely takes a great deal of discipline to not spend a single dime ALL WEEK...I mean we seriously ate lunch at home every single day, took picnic lunch with us a few days, didn't even get a popcorn to share at the FREE movie. There were a few moments though, that a mom just savors...

I told the girls we would go to the free movie, but we couldn't spend any money on snacks there so they needed to choose a snack to take with them. Jenna started to whine about it, and Ellie said, "Jenna we need to just be thankful we get to go to the movies and not worry about the popcorn stuff"...

Ellie was given a "free ice-cream cone" ticket from gymnastics and begged me to take her to DQ to get her cone. I told Jenna we would have some Moose Tracks ice-cream once we arrived home, but this special treat was just for Ellie, and surprisingly she was okay with it. Once Ellie had her MEGA cone, she noticed her brothers and Jenna watching her take it from the front of the van to the back seat and said, "Mommy I just have to let them have a teeny bit, it is just so amazing and I feel bad for them"....WOW, what a moment to cherish when your children learn the virtues of selflessness...I didn't say a word, just smiled in my rear view mirror.

Claire used her birthday gift card to buy her brothers and sisters ice-cream from Sonic one day. I told her she didn't need to do that, we would wait and have ice-cream at home, and she needed to spend her birthday money on herself..she said, "But momma I want to share with them so they will learn to do the same when they have the chance like me"....WOW, what a special young lady.

And you know what, I don't remember anyone complaining to much about our "free week" either. I am so grateful for such great kids. There are some things money just can't lessons about caring, sharing and loving each other in all you do...and folks, that is just priceless.

We are choosing to have another "free week" of fun. Starting tomorrow morning with donations we've gathered up to give to the Foundry (a rescue mission and recovery center in B'ham)...

And can I just say, it means more to me as a mom that my children learn life lessons of virtue and value, service and sacrifice, and learn to appreciate the simple things in life, to learn that money will NOT ever satisfy them, STUFF is just STUFF, and if we live by Jesus' life commands we live a life of joy and contentment that is honorable and pleasing to God.

Last picture...James on the left, John David on the right..19 months old TODAY!

Boys LOVE Elmo and they will sit and look at any Elmo book and point to Elmo on each page. When they say Elmo though, it sounds more like "Melmo"...too cute. Here James is pointing to Elmo and John David is saying "no" to him...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Claire Bear!

What a birthday celebration this girl had. My goodness, when I turned 9, I remember a cake and a dance party at my house with my favorite few buddies. This girl had a birthday week..hahaha! Here are the pics from Claire's 9th birhtday (I can't believe I have a 9 year old...and I also can't believe she is not in her room, playing tea party with her stuffed animals while I fill up her sippy cup....SO SAD!

BUT, I LOVE our new relationship taking form each day. She is becoming such an amazing young lady. I am so proud of her compassionate heart and responsible nature (most of the time), and more than anything her love and desire to be pleasing to God in all she does...with a little encouraging from MOMMY of course..haha!

Claire receiving her birthday gift from Becky and Rosey (my dad and stepmom)...even though later that night, after the excitement settled, she told me of all the money she got, her wish would be to visit Utah again and see Becky and Rosey.

Spending the night at Ross Bridge with her bestfriend, Anna Templin. Such a special relationship they have. And believe it or not, I was thrilled to spend the evening and night at a Spa Resort for half the price it would cost to have a "birthday party"...her choice and I thought it was a great one!

Family Dinner at Shonos...Claire LOVES this place. It is located in Hoover next to Hobby Lobby. Mamaw and Papa, Nana and Uncle Phillip and Cousin Sam joined us.

Just don't want to foget...

Here is my post on some simple things my baby (BIG) boys are doing that I just don't want to forget. Seeing that I don't have a baby book for them, just this blog, I am making a list.

19 months old next week...WOW..slow down time, slow down:(

*Climbing furniture- this is cute because I had three girls that DID NOT do this...
*Pointing to pictures in a book when asked to find something- a little behind here, but that is okay. The girls (which I know, I know, girls are different and they weren't extremely premature), but they did this at 12 months!
*Spiderman PJ's- LOVE their Spiderman PJ's
*Holding hands walking wherever we go!
*John David is playing cars...making car noises as he pushes cars around
*Both boys are figuring out how to put BIG chunky puzzle pieces together...not very good at it, but starting to figure how to find where it goes.
*Jumping, Spinning, Running, Sit-Down when told to do so..cute to watch them spin, cause they laugh!
*Commands they follow through with: "Go get your diaper", "Go find Daddy", "Where is brother?", "Can I have a kiss", "Where is your head, ear, eyes, belly, feet, PENGUIN..hahaha", "Can you close the door", "Throw the ball", "Where is your drink" (they run to the fridge)
*Everytime they see a tan truck or van, they both point and say "Mamaw"..
*When they ask for more of something, they sign it with their hands, but now they do it with their finger tips instead of clapping..(FINE MOTOR SKILL..YAY!)
*Swimming in the baby pool WITHOUT falling over...couldn't do that in May...
*But my all time favorite right now, is James saying "no" while John David shakes his head "no" when you ask them if they want to do something that requires NO for an answer...I will post video soon. It is hysterical...they do it at the same time...
*Walks to the computer and says, "Ro-Ro" (for Rosie, because we talk to my dad and stepmom on the computer quite a bit)
*Oh yeah, and hearing "Ma Ma" ALL DAY long is precious too...tiring, but precious.
*Spoken words right now: MA MA, DA DA, BALL, UH-OH, WHOA, BUBBLE, PA-PA, BECK BECK, RO-RO, NANA

My last 2 thoughts for this post, is to ask you all to remember a sweet girl named, Amber Moore. I feel ashamed I never posted about her on my prayer request list. But she has dealt with loss of pregnancy and baby three times now. She is childless, hopeless, hurting and beyond word description of devastated. She delivered Shiloh Hope a few days ago, at 22 weeks.

A dear friend named Carrie Collins (went to college together) is also healing from her precious little girl Charlie that she delivered stillbirth a couple of weeks ago. Carrie is my age, her husband has battled cancer (and WON! Praise God), she has two healthy, beautiful daughters, but recently has lost two babies. Doctor's think she may have a clotting disorder responsible for the losses. We all know God is creator and taker of life. It hurts me so to see my friend go through this pain. Please say a prayer for her and ask God for healing in her life.