John David Pate-3years old

James Daniel Pate-3years old

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Christmas 2013 and Happy New Year 2014

Another Christmas has come and gone. What joy it is to share the holidays with family and friends. As I sit her in my still, quiet keeping room, looking at the bareness of the room, I can't help but feel a tad bit of sadness. The sadness that my babies are growing up so very fast. The sadness that we won't have many more "Santa" cookies and milk, reindeer food to throw, and the "magic" of Christmas Eve nights. It is funny how for several years I was exhausted with raising babies and little ones, and now I find myself exhausted from raising little ones and middle ones. LOL! But in the exhaustion is a blissfulness that I don't want to see disappear. And from the testimonies of so many mommas that have seen this particular season come and go so swiftly, I want to cling to these moments and savor these memories while I can. I have always struggled with the "busy-ness" life throws at a young mom raising her family. I have to intentionally force a slowing down of my spirit so I don't rush past the pureness of the innocent love and admiration my children have for the simpleness of life. When I walk into their rooms and see a mess a mile, I must remind myself that one day that mess will be no more, just as the pre-schooler won't either.

This Christmas was etched with memories of giggles and glorious laughter as enjoyed the simpleness of singing "Frosty" at least a hundred, thousand times in the car. And Elroy and Eliza leaving personalized popcorn buckets for each kid with "movie candy"...underwear hanging from the ceiling fan, toilet paper rolled around the Christmas tree and "blue milk"...Watching the traditional Christmas movies (Christmas Vacation the fave this year) at least a hundred, thousand times. Celebrating with all grandparents (healthy and well)...a trip to the mall to see Santa TWICE, because he left early the first trip and we just had to go back again. Seeing Santa in Halloween costumes and formal pageant attire was a memory for sure. Going to Brookstone to try out the foot massagers. Ellie choosing the biggest, fattest sugar cookie with sprinkles to share with her brothers while Claire and Jenna window shopped the stores Brookwood Mall...Class parties for all the kids, and Daddy and boys were able to join Jenna for her Gingerbread house decorating and special England Christmas presentation. The Cuevas family giving us the GINORMOUS, real baked gingerbread house to decorate. Cookie Day at Mamaw's house with the girls. Lots of baking and cookie decorating. A tradition the girls look forward to each year. Claire's "frye boots"...Ellie's Flip Fest camp paid off, Jenna's American Girl doll, James' electric guitar and John David's remote control robots were a hit this year. Kids were doted over by each grandparent and lavished with much love. We have thousands of pictures from the season and beautiful thoughts to keep preserved for years to come.

Our family is growin up...FAST...and Momma Bear is feeling the resistance in allowing it to happen. I know part of raising kids is "letting them go" but it tugs the heart strings to actually experience it in fullness....

I pray for my children to know the love of Christ through their father and me. I pray they would have a childhood of love and memories with each other that bring smiles of happiness and laughter of joy when they reminisce  of their "Christmas holidays"....

Christmas with Nana and Mr. Howard 

cuteness cuddled up

SO happy. Been wanting one for a year now. 

WDE baby!

Christmas with Mamaw and Papa

The two "BLUE EYES" of the family!

Daddy and his GIRLS! Precious. 

Ellie painted a "sunset" picture for Mamaw. Sunsets are important for our family, because that is our reminder that "No man can create the real thing, only GOD can do that"

New "big girl teen" bible for Claire!

Christmas Eve Candle Light Servie

Christmas with Becky and Rosey

Jenna painted with her thumb prints...a canvas art for Rosey.

Jenna reading her "message from Rosey" in the book she received. Each year, each kid always receive a book from Rosey, and the personal message inside is read every single time the book is read. Very sweet. 

Ummm how stinkn precious is this. Hand crated and painted, personalized, wood strip for practice. 

Real Deal tools right there! Thanks Becky!

Our Family Christmas Morning

Christmas Eve night. Santa cookies, and reindeer food. 

Electric Guitar Anyone???
I love that every picture of my sweet Jenna, she has a missing tooth grin. LOVE it. She lost her first tooth right before Christmas. 
Miss Me Jeans....oh day they won't be cool...but for today, they are SO COOL!

Flip Fest...Gymnastics Camp. Thanks Santa...You must have had a raise this year...

Is he even awake. Geez. What kind of face is that. HAH!

Paintings by boys did for me. Um, I will keep FOREVER....SOOOOO precious. 


John David got me a Devil's pitch fork for sweet! LOL~!

Kids said, "Even when yall are like grandmas and grandpas and stuff, we still want to do this breakfast for Christmas Morning!"

Gus got a gift from Santa...."Sug"


So as the year of 2013 comes to a close, I again, thank my Heavenly Father for all the blessings and gifts He so richly gave to our family. Even for the days of "wandering around in the wilderness" trying to figure out my job situation...for all the highs and even the lows, for all the days of laughter and love with our family, for our amazing church worship services,  family and friends to pray with and love together, for AUsome Auburn Football memories, for beach week vacations, birthday celebrations, healthy, strong bodies, the privilege of living daily life together as a family, supporting each other and encouraging one another when our hearts were heavy, when we experienced stress and loneliness, for all the special encounters with His Holy Spirit, we are just plain thankful and honored for it all. As life keeps journeying on, I am beginning to truly the "feel the experience" of "Time Fleeting"....

My 2014 prayer is for my life to reflect more of 1Peter 3:8-12 and less of my selfish ways, and the patterns of this world. I hope my husband and children feel unconditionally loved and adored by me. 

Happy New Year my precious Family!  I love you all, all the way,  to the moon and back!