Here goes...in a quick snap shot.
|Ellie at her piano recital....this would be a FIRST for her as well as DADDY AND MOMMY!|
|Ellie's AMAZING piano teacher...Mrs. Angie is truly a gift to our family. She invests in my sweet Ellie Bug's life and has truly made a positive impact on her.|
|Snuggle time...John David absolutely loved snuggling with Rosey each night. He would always ask her to "put on her black jammies" because they are so warm and cozy.|
|She grew up OVERNIGHT...First 6th grade "dance"...**sigh** ....|
|Just hanging out with Becky...got his hook and lantern!|
|Making the candy cottage...this smile is 100% authentic|
|James Daniel, aka Harry Potter, helping add some chocolate cereal to the cottage!|
|Jenna, ready for school, in her pj's, elf hat and Elroy in hand!|
|Uncle Ryan is so silly.|
Christmas was a complete gift and blessing. I would like to say that we had no major meltdowns, but that just isn't the case. I believe I had the first one. LOL! Even with a few minor meltdowns here and there, our family experienced a beautiful Christmas together. We spent much needed family time together and enjoyed all the goodies and gifts that go along with it. I have a few very special sights and sounds tucked away in my cherished memory spot to keep forever. The boys turned 4 and had a pirate party at Legacy gymnastics. Claire was invited to her first big "social" dance at the Greystone Country Club. We made our candy cottage and Ellie and Jenna absolutely loved every single second of it. We have our annual "Cookie Day" at Mamaw's house..girls only. Sweet baby Camille Noelle Pate was born, the day after the boys' birthday. Seeing my family (healthy and well) sit together and light the unity candles at our Christmas Eve church service was definitely one memory I won't forget. Hearing Ellie play Christmas music on the piano for the first time is a beautiful memory. Watching the girls sneak into the keeping room to find their "gifts" at 4am in the morning. Our first big family Christmas party at our house with lots of folks and food. Spending our first Christmas with Mr. Howard (my new stepdad) and my mom and brother, Ryan, in their new house was special...remembering the honey baked ham and turkey and of course the "real deal" ginger snap cookies in the cool Christmas tin. Spending two weeks with Becky and Rosey was awesome...Dad even taught me how to make grape leaves (and he even let me do my own ultra light version...haha!) Sharing Christmas Day with Mamaw and Papa and Philip and Katy and cousin Sam, and now our newest cousin, Camille, was a beautiful blessing as well. Taking a huge Christmas meal to a needy family (that didn't even have flooring in their home, and were struggling so bad they didn't have power last month), made our hearts very sensitive to the fact that we live most of our days selfishly as we sometimes desire more that what we already have. It makes me feel shameful in a way. I am thankful we took this family food, and gave ourselves and our children a crisp picture of what some people endure on a daily basis. Not to make us feel guilty for what we have, but definitely to allow us to reflect on how blessed we are and how capable we are to be servants to His people in need.
Having family to share the holidays with, being healthy and being allowed the opportunity to share life together, the good and bad, really doesn't have a price tag.
I will add pictures when I return from carpool pick up and gymnastics.
|John David watching his movie on his DVD player Mamaw and Papa gave him, through his binoculars....He is a strange kid..LOL!|
|Cookie Day at Mamaw's house...tradition for the girls. We always have a wonderful time baking cookies and of course decorating them!|
|Picture of me and my Dad. We were being goofy. This was at our big family Christmas party.|
|Uncle Phillip with James Daniel|
|Papa with two of his boys.|
|Nana hanging out with Ellie and Jenna at the Dirty Santa gift swap at our party.|
|My big girls doing a very nice job cleaning up from the party! LOL!|
|My sweet mom-in-law!|
|James Daniel Sr and lil James Daniel|
|Nanny and John David|
|Ellie was so happy to "steal" this gift at the Dirty Santa swap...|
|Our family...with cousin Sam.|
|These kids make me smile, and scream, and smile, and scream, but mostly SMILE!|
|Celebrating Christmas with Mr. Howard and Nana|
|Starting a new tradition...Christmas Eve night before they go to sleep, siblings will exchange their gifts with each other. Very sweet and loving to see them become so excited to share this time with each other.|
|She was so surprised. Had absolutely NO idea Santa was bringing an IPhone!|
|Baby doll named "Jenna"...the one that Jenna found on the computer and told Santa he could get it from Amazon! Lol!|
|James Daniel got drums....|
|John David got a monster truck!|
|Becky enjoyed assembling all the toys:-)|
|Precious. Rob and I actually just sat back and watched them tear into all of their gifts. AT THE SAME TIME....it was a beautiful moment.|
|Celebrating Christmas with Mamaw and Papa....Lots of laughter and giddy grins.|
|Rocking out the Christmas night with Just Dance 4|
|Mamaw and Papa got the boys a duo basketball goal for indoors. It is awesome and we all enjoy playing it.|
Our Christmas holiday break was full of love and much joy. We are sad to see it come and go so quickly, but we are thankful that the best gift of all, the birth of a perfect baby boy, who becomes our salvation carries on through all the years....until eternity!