Monday, December 31, 2007

Merry Christmas

What a fun Christmas. Our gift to our kids is that we are taking them to Disneyland on January 3rd. Most of the time having a teacher for a parent is great because of the school schedule is great, the problem is we can't go anywhere when it is "off peak season." This year the way the school district calendar worked out Andrew and Ainsley don't go back to school until the 7th- which means that we can go to Disneyland during off peak season- less money and less people (we hope). Mom and Dad (G&G Seaquist) were so great about letting us take over there house-we were there with Tennille, Nathan, and kids for the whole week. That is 11 people living in one house. The good news is there house is amazing and it works out great. Christmas morning there were 17 of us there opening gifts. Amazingly we had it done in about 90 minutes. You should be able to see from the pictures how fun it was. My favorite moment was watching Ainsley and Hudson open our disneyland gift and slowly figure it out (t-shirts and other disney stuff), my second favorite moment was Zech running around going NUTS, being so excited about getting a combine. It was precious. Hopefully someday it will make it into a movie, until then you will have to just go with the pictures...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What a difference 8 inches makes...for 2 people

Ainsley was in need of a haircut, and when Aunt Tennille is here it is a good time for a free haircut. Our plan was 3 to 4 inches, but then Tennille told us about an organization called Beautiful Lengths that collects hair to make wigs for women going through cancer treatment. At first Ainsley's response was a very affirmative negative to even the 3 inches. You see, Ainsley is very attached to having long hair because, you know: princesses have long hair. But amazingly she had a change of heart and decided that it would be a good gift to give someone else and so she even went for the 8 inches. She really likes it now, and hopefully her hair will help someone going through a very difficult time.Before:
The cut hair

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Not one of the choices

The day before leaving for Milton-Freewater, in preperation for Christmas, I sent Ainsley and Hudson with a paper bag each and told them they needed to find 15 things to give away. Ainsley happily ran upstairs saying, "great, I've been needing to re-arrange stuff and clean up in my room." (I so "get" this child- as a kid one of my favorite things about Christmas was re-arranging my room.) Hudson came down about 3 minutes later saying, "I can't do it, I w(l)ove everything, I can't take anything out." I told him he had too. He looked around and then said, "okay, I'll get rid of these." Want to know what he was pointing to? our kitchen chairs.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Not one of my better parenting moments

So this is how my Wednesday went. Spend most of the day making cinnamon roll wreaths for "neighbor" type gifts. My happy little baking day with my kids took a turn for the worst when the animal that lives with us (that I refer to as the stupid dog) managed to get not one, but two of the wreaths and ruin them. Do you know how long they take to make??? I'm not really someone who has much of a temper, but one suddenly appeared at that moment, and in front of my tender hearted daughter I "gently" put the dog outside while saying something to the effect of "your never coming inside again, you can rot out there for all I care." Look at the title- I already admitted this was not one of my best parenting moments okay? This sent Ainsley to her room crying and yelling at me that I'm being mean to Cammie. So now I'm mad at the stupid dog for ruining my cinnamon rolls and making Ainsley flip out. I continued to make really sound parenting decisions when I went to go and talk to Ainsley my talk was listing for her all the families we know that used to have dogs before they had kids, then got rid of them because it is too hard to have an inside dog when you have little kids. My point was at least I haven't gotten rid of Cammie (only because her father won't let me, but I omitted that detail- I'm being honest with the Internet, selective honesty with my daughter). In hindsight that may have not been the best route to go. Unfortunately I can't even claim that I just blurted it out, I talked to Heather on the phone about it before I talked to Ainsley and she advised me not to say that. Sadly I didn't listen. The result is Ainsley is on a crusade making posters to put all over her room that say, "I love dogs." What I have done here is probably set her up to someday become a veterinarian. Which will be a real problem for me because a couple of weeks ago when I had to take stupid dog to the vet it was all I could do to not throw up right there in the office it smells so bad. I'll never be able to visit her at work. I'm also not paying for college for that either. Anyway- Ainsley and I are all fine now. I was almost back to my normal state of tolerance with Cammie until yesterday when we came home from a cookie decorating party and Cammie proceeded to eat Hudson's plate of cookies. The good news is I learned from my mistake the day before...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas - Take One

Monday night we had Christmas early with Andrew's family. It was so fun, the kids were so excited they could hardly stand it. You would think after opening presents on Saturday night at his party and Sunday with us for his actual birthday Hudson wouldn't be bouncing off the wall about more gifts. But not to worry, he had plenty of unwrapping still in him. The day before we met Jim and Arelen in Salem and rode the carousel at Salem's waterfront park, visited Santa there, and went and picked out food to buy for a family Arlene knew of that needed some help this year. The kids had a fun time picking out the food, although if it had been up to them this family's pantry would have been well stocked with candy, candy canes, chips, and cookies, and canned ravioli. We hope you can see how much fun we had through the pictures.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hudson at FOUR

Minutes after being born, 12-16-03

Blowing out FOUR candles!

Dear Hudson~

Wow. I just peeked in on you sleeping on this, the night of your fourth birthday. It hardly seems possible that that tiny little baby that we had just met at the hospital 4 years ago tonight has transformed into such a big kid in 4 very short years. The years with you have been filled with so much fun and laughter, I can't imagine life without you. It is really hard for anyone to be around you for more than a few minutes and not be smiling or laughing at something.

I don't think there is ever a year children change as much as they do their first year of life. Your year from 3 to 4 though has been a pretty amazing transformation though. This last year you changed from a big toddler to a full blown kid. The most fun part this year has been watching you develop your relationship with Ainsley. This year the two of you have become real friends. As soon as you were born we started telling Ainsley that God had really blessed her because He had given her a best friend in her own family. This year that changed from just a phrase we said to the truth. The two of you play and play and play. You love her so much that it is just torture for you that she has to go to school all day long. When Ainsley had a friend call and ask her to come over and she turned them down because she wanted to stay home and play with you it was one of my best parenting moments so far.

This is the year that you have also turned into a big brother. Right after Camden was born you asked frequently when he would be big enough to play. Now that he can crawl and walk you would prefer that he stayed away from your play stuff, but you are delighted when he is happy playing with a toy that you don't care about. You are very sweet and protective of him, my favorite example of your protective nature is how you alert the whole neighborhood when Camden has anything smaller than, say, a toaster by yelling, "Camden has a choking hazard!"

Hudson, you seem to be tapped into an endless supply of energy. You certainly keep us moving and never lacking for opportunities to work on obedience and self-control. The flip side is I don't know if there is a sweeter child with a more loving heart. You probably tell me at least three or four times a day out of the blue, "Mom, I really love you." You look at the world with a sense of wonder and awe that is so fun. The first night we went for a walk when people had Christmas lights up you would exclaim at EVERY house, "Oh my gosh, that is just gorgeous! We need to get that!" You have brought that joyful wonder and excitement and just love of everything and everyone around you to our lives.

We are so excited for this next year of your life. To watch you understand more and more about God. To watch you continue to enjoy Ainsley. To watch you and Camden begin to be friends. To watch you enjoy life. Thanks for being so fun for us to watch Hudson. We love you. Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Our life in Ornaments

Andrew's parents have a really neat tradition of getting an ornament each year that reflects something big from that year. Arlene then started that out for us when we got engaged. Here are our ornaments so far: The first one is the trolley Arlene got for us because we got engaged that year in San Franscisco ('95). The next ornament is a little "just married" car with little cans trailing behind us that we actually even found on our honeymoon('96). The little dog when we got Cammie('97). There is a wreath with a little house and a sign that says "home is where the heart is" which is for when we bought this house('98). Next is the Micky that we got when we went to Disneyland with Heather and Brent('99). We bought the nativity one in The Czech Republic for our 2000 ornament when we were there on a mission trip (it is made out of something native to Czech, I don't remember what it is though)

In 2001 Ainsley joined our family so that is the little baby bear with stars. The big bell with a moose on it is from Minnesota, we bought it there the first time we went there to visit Tennille and Nathan ('02). The next baby one is when we had Hudson in 2003. The little white church one is for the year we started going to Cornerstone (a little ironic considering Cornerstone meets in an elementary school!). In 2005 I started my little business "Bright Stars Tutoring" so I have a silver star for that year. And last year's is Camden joining our family.

Someone in this household (not me) finds it very funny to have a stuffed squirrel on our Christmas tree. He finds the movie Christmas Vacation very funny and likes to relive the scene where a live squirrel is accidentally brought home in the family Christmas tree and it wreaks havoc in the house. Not much of an ornament-but part of our tree none the less.

What will this years ornament be? It is a surprise because it has to do with what we are getting our kids for Christmas. A very good hint is that it will be very similar to another one that we have. (And NO- not a baby one!)

This is what we came down to for breakfast the other morning. Ainsley had made us a candy breakfast. It was hot chocolate (VERY thick), assorted candy, whipped cream and carmel for dipping. Why did she do this... she was thinking if she made this breakfast for us she might be able to eat some of it also. Can't blame her for trying!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Happy Birthday Camden!

To Camden on your first birthday~

I can't believe that it has been a whole year since your daddy and I were hanging out in the hospital waiting to meet you. We spent the day debating what we would name the baby if it was a boy. We went back and forth between Anderson and Camden. By about noon we had settled on Camden, but a middle name was harder for us. One of us wanted Jonathan and the other wanted Paul. As you now know, you are going to spend the rest of your life trying to fit two middle names on every form you ever fill out because of our fine compromise.

It has been so fun getting to know you this year. You have delighted us by being such a great, happy, easy going baby. You are adored by your brother and sister who fight for your attention. We have learned that you are not much of a morning person. I have to drag you out of your crib at 8:00 to take Ainsley to school, and your preference would be to just be nursed back to sleep and sleep for another 3 hours or so before greeting the day. The flip side of that is you are a little night owl. Your siblings go to bed at 7 and that is when you turn on. You are silly and love to spend from 7 to 10 just playing around all on your own. Not really the ideal schedule for a 1 year old, but for now it works. This morning we woke you up to have a cinnamon rolls together as a family for your birthday. Ainsley and Hudson were bouncing off the walls and you looked at us like we were crazy. If you had the words you would have been singing, "Happy birthday to you, I live in a zoo."

It is like you knew you were coming upon this 1 year milestone and prepared for it by learning to walk. In the past three days you have figured out how to walk all the way across the room. What is so cute is how pleased you are with your new skill. Your favorite part of the day is taking a shower. For some reason you absolutely love showers. If you are anywhere upstairs and you hear the shower being turned on you go nuts squeeling and "run-crawling" as fast as you can to get to the shower. If the person in the shower won't let you in you bang on the shower door like a maniac. It doesn't matter if you just got out of the shower, if it is on, you want back in. When you are finally let in you happily sit there letting the water go all over you playing with a couple little bowls. You would stay in all day, even as the water turns freezing cold.

You are the most verbal of any of our kids have been. We are anxious to see if you talk early. I'm happy because after Ainsley's first word being "dog" and Hudson's being "ball" I finally got you to say "mamma" as your first word. You elevated yourself to first place in the will! (all 6 dollars of it.)

We love you so much Big C. Thanks for making the last year so special. Thanks for joining the family!

Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm okay with "wonderful grown-up"

The pink eye plague visited us again today, this time attacking Hudson. This resulted in cancelling his play date for today and consequently sending him into a deep depression. He was rolling around on the floor lamenting his bad fortune saying, "but I need a friend, it's not fair, Ainsley has lots of friends at school and I don't have any." I said, "I'm your friend." He responded with, "(big sigh)no, no, no, your my wonderful grown-up, but (another huge sigh and pause) you are NOT (big emphasis)my friend." At least when he is a teenage I won't be one of the parents who are despirately trying to be their child's friend and still be an authority figure. At 18 days before turning 4 I'm already not his friend.

My favorite moment from this week was this conversation:

Hudson: Mommy, who is in charge of Christmas?
Me: I don't know, what do you mean?
Hudson: Like who is in charge of all of Christmas?
Me: Everyone helps out and does different parts.
Hudson: No someone is in charge.
Me: Not really.
Hudson: Yes, somebody is, I think it's Grandpa Seaquist. He's in charge.

Dad, should we get you a santa suit?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

4 years at Cornerstone

A little over four years when Cornerstone was in the planning stages Andrew told me he was really feeling led to go. We were completely happy at Good Shephard and I saw NO reason whatsoever why we would change. I didn't really know that people changed churches- come on- I was married in the same church that my parents and grandparents were married and and that EVERYONE in my family (that still lives in Milton-Freewater) goes to. Change churches- what the heck?! But being the completely submissive wife that I am (yeah, you do hear a little sarcasam coming through your computer screen- but I do really try) off we went to Cornerstone. Actually for the first 6 weeks or so we went to G.S. on Saturday nights and Cornerstone on Sunday mornings. That was especially tricky because I had Hudson during that time. Fast forward 4 years and I can't think of a better decision that we have made as a family (funny how that whole submission thing works out-remind me about that occasionally would you?). We love Cornerstone so much and feel so blessed to be in a church body that serves so much. Cornerstone is a place filled with people who love the Lord and are great examples to us. We couldn't ask to be surrounded by more wonderful people or be lead by a more amazing person than Barry. I was sick toay and didn't go and I really missed it. Thank goodness for the sermon archives. Here is video that was shown at our anniversary dinner. Watch for pictures of our kids:

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Our Thanksgiving

Our first time hosting Thanksgiving and we didn't serve a dry and gross turkey! Mom and dad were here all week, and Uncle Joe and Aunt Joann came up to visit Elizabeth so we all had Thanksgiving together with the Pate family also. Enjoy our pictures:

Monday, November 19, 2007

A little quiz

Lets play a little game. Which picture is of Hudson on Halloween 2004 and which on is Camden this Halloween?
Can't tell? Don't worry. I gave birth to them and the only way I know the difference is that Hudson had on white socks and Camden has on black. I said I wanted my kids to match, I didn't know that would mean they would look EXACTLY the same.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fun Christmas Project

So... Cyndi and I got ourselves into a little project. You can click on the link below to see what it is. BUT- If you are my mom, sister, mother-in-law, or sister-in-law DO NOT LOOK- seriously if you are one of these four people do not click on the link. Tennille just don't do it- it will ruin a Christmas surprise! Everyone else, hop on over to

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dressed up and "Dressed Up" mean different things to different people

Twice this has happened. I just put Hudson in the shower which was concerning to him because he had already picked out and put on his clothes. He said, "but I want to wear that after I get out of the shower for all day." (jeans and a t-shirt) I said that was fine but later tonight is the Cornerstone Anniversary dinner and you will get to get dressed up for that later. His response was, "Oh yeah! I want to be an elephant!"

The first time this happened was when we were in Oklahoma (I may have already blogged about this- but I'm too lazy to check back through posts, I need to to dry my hair and he won't be in the shower long). We were getting ready to go to Helen's funeral and I told Hudson we had to get out of the hot tub and go take a shower and get dressed up. The response was, "I want to dress as a dragon!" Heaven help his prom date some day.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Favorite Moment

Ainsley and Hudson decided to have a sleep over together tonight. How cute is this.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

If you don't see it, maybe it's not there.

Daddy: Hudson, did you pick up the little people in the playroom?

Hudson: Yes.

Daddy: So all of them are cleaned up?

Hudson: Yes. (long pause) Daddy...

Daddy: Yes.

Hudson: Don't go downstairs and look in the playroom.

The Lord has certainly blessed us with many teachable they were about obedience and honesty.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pecking Order

In our house it is good to be The Guest. We have tried to teach our kids that we treat guests in a gracious way. When Ainsley and Lauren were learning about being guests in each others houses arguments would sometimes break out over who was getting to be The Guest. Ties are broken, desserts are chosen, and games selected with The Guest getting the better outcome. Hudson had a friend over and they were having a hard time deciding what they would play, each had a plan that the other didn't like. I had to intervene before it became physical, so I pulled out the guest card. "Hudson, Colin is The Guest so we will start by playing his game first." Hudson may not be in school yet, but he clearly has an older sibling who is a full blow grade-schooler because his response was, "He can be the guest, but I'll be the teacher."

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Sugar Highs

Could there have been better weather for Halloween in Oregon?? First we went to downtown Gresham to Trick-or-Treat. Then the kids were so excited to hand out candy we went home and did that for about an hour. Then we hit up the neighborhood. The result of great weather was that it was possible to go to lots of houses, meaning LOTS of candy. I thought I had a great idea so we wouldn't still be battling candy every day until Christmas. I offered a trade-in. For every 10 pieces of candy they turned in to me they could have a dollar to spend at the dollar store. Great plan. They each parted with 20 pieces of candy, so Friday night we headed off to the dollar store. In the car on the way there Ainsley says, "the first aisle I'm going to is the candy one!" Uhhh... no, you miss understood the terms of the trade-in.

Hudson loves police officers (really anyone in uniform) so when we saw Jeff Durbin downtown we definitely had to do a picture. The next morning Hudson said, "Remember when I got my picture with Officer Durbin?" Me, "Yes." Hudson, "Is he a good guy or a bad guy?" Me, "A good guy." Hudson, "Awwww, that's too bad."
We managed to get a picture of all three of them together on the bench at the Carls.
"I don't know what is inside of these wrappers, but I think I might like it."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hope for my grandchildren

Today Ainsley will wear her 7th Halloween costume, Hudson has had 4, and Camden will wear his first. That is a total of 12 costumes. Every single one has been purchased from a store. And I'm not going to kid myself, there is really no chance I will ever make a costume. If yesterday is any indication though, Ainsley's kids may be in luck when it comes to homemade costumes. She spent her after school "alone time" (that's another whole post in itself someday) making costumes for "Giraffy" and "Lovie." Lovie's costume is created from cut up pieces of her bride costume from last year. Don't worry, she hasn't used it for dress up since Hudson colored on it with marker. This is the only thing we were every happy Hudson destroyed because it broke her fascination with dressing up as a bride EVERYDAY. During her 4th year of life she had the pleasure of being in two different weddings. This led to a major fascination with being a bride, which we are happy is over because she repeatedly stated that she thought it was both sad, and not fair that you only get to get married once. Not really what we are trying to teach her about marriage. So, here are the only homemade costumes in our household:
I'm sure tonight's trick-or-treating will be fun for our kids in their store-purchased costumes. Stay tuned for the pictures.

Along with cute homemade costumes some people have decorated darling little pumpkin cookies. We made monster cupcakes. At least the Pate household is never boring.

All this during one dinner:

Ainsley: (yelling just as "Amen" is said) He licked me during prayer!

Hudson: My elbow on my leg hurts. (your knee?)

Hudson: She didn't eat her apple and now it is roasting. (rotting?)

Tiffany: Why are you so excited about Halloween?
Hudson: Because you get Popsicles! (what?)

Hudson: (not wearing a shirt - we were having spaghetti, see previous post about laundry) Hey- I have three belly buttons! (

And a phrase that is repeated at just about every meal by either parent, "Hudson quit doing things to bug your sister, and Ainsley, quit being so sensitive."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Favorite Sunday Moment

Today we came home from church and Hudson started freaking out that he needed his lizard. Lizard? What Lizard? We don't have, and will never have a lizard in our house. (We do have a beagle I will happily give away to anyone who will take her.) We went through all the toys we could think of that might be a lizard but couldn't think of anything. He was freaking out in that way where he couldn't quite even communicate with us because he so badly needed his lizard. Finally Andrew figured it out, last night on the way home from some friends house Ainsley got to get a treat from DQ for her last day of soccer, they went through the drive through and by the time they got home to eat it Hudson had fallen asleep in the car. He was looking for his BLIZZARD. Fortunately, it was found in the freezer.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dear Children's Clothing Designers:

Please cease making little boys clothes that are colorful (read: can't be bleached) but then have white stripes, collars, sleeves, etc. That would be so helpful. Thanks so much. From: Mothers of little boys everywhere.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fall Farm Trip

Here is the video from our trip to the farm last week. We can't call it a trip to the pumpkin patch because we didn't actually touch a pumpkin there. Our pumpkins were picked from Grandad and Grandma Arlene's pumpkin patch. This is even better because the pumpkins came with the kids names on them!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud

We were spoiled by the perfect September and October weather last year for soccer. I think back to the beautiful Saturdays spent on the field. This year has been a different experience. The good thing is after the initial mud in the face and crying, Ainsley ended up having a great time and thought that mud soccer was really fun. I will admit that my washing machine and I are hoping for a little drier day next Saturday for our last game. Today's pictures:

This was before she had embraced the experience!

This was after-cold, muddy, but at least not crying.

The ball sort of stuck in the mud.

All the "Cheetahs" after the game- muddy but happy.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Playground of all Playgrounds

My first teaching job was at Halinan Elementary School in Lake Oswego where they are building a new playground. This article was in the Oregonian yesterday about the playground. My friend Heather's mom is the secretary there and she is quoted in the article. The old playground was cool, but what it is being replaced by... wow. The article says that the joke is you can see it from space. No school district money is being spent on it, one family alone donated $150,ooo. I totally support public schools and want good playgrounds for kids to play on, but I can't help but wonder what you could do in Sudan with $210,000. What do you think???

Monday, October 15, 2007

Don't tell the other kids UPDATE

Ainsley's second tooth was removed by the dentist with very little trauma. This is still amazing to me considering that up until Hudson started going to the dentist and doing great Ainsley almost had to be held down in the chair. As soon as she saw that he did so well it took away her ability to flip out over it. Hudson is hillarious, he sits down in the chair and opens his mouth so big a tennis ball would fit in it. They tell him he can close his mouth and wait until they are ready, but he doesn't. It is like he just can't process that, he believes sitting in the chair = open mouth.

Okay, back to the tooth. If you remember to last time Ainsley had decided that the tooth fairy was "just parents", and I wouldn't give her much money anyway so she was keeping her teeth. Well, the day before we were going to the dentist she told me that she decided she was going to save up all her teeth and put them under her pillow all at once so, "you will have to give me lots and lots of money." Later that day she came to me and told me she had decided to put her first tooth under her pillow because she would get a new one the next day, and that way she could add up how much she would get for all her teeth if she knew how much I would give her for one tooth.

She hadn't changed her mind by bedtime (a miracle in itself) and she put her tooth under her pillow. I had been preparing for this day since during fireworks by buying out all the gold Sacajawea dollars out of the till at the stand. I exchanged her tooth for one of the coins and hoped that gold dollar would be exciting enough to overcome the fact that another kid at school gets $5 for each tooth (she is right, I am too cheap for $5- come on we have three mouthfuls of teeth that are going to fall out. We need to be saving for braces.). Good news, she was thrilled the next day and actually put her new tooth from the dentist that day under her pillow to collect another gold coin. The lesson here is that by planning ahead and having something special I can only spend $1 instead of $5 on each tooth. Maybe if I start buying stuff and planning for her wedding now...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday's Favorite Moment

Today Ainsley went right upstairs after school to make something, later she came downstairs with this:Her teacher (who is wonderful) does lots of great positive motivation. One of the things she does is have a "weekly winner." When she announced who next weeks weekly winners were, a little boy cried because he hasn't been one yet (neither has Ainsley). Ainsley felt bad for him so evidently at school she told him she would make him a weekly winner, so she came home and made him a weekly winner badge like what the kids get at school. Made her sappy mom get a little teary.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

what will parent/teacher conferences be like???

Overheard today:

Ainsley: Have you ever gotten in trouble at school?

Emory: One time when I was talking and I wasn't supposed to be.

Ainsley: Oh, don't worry about that, that happens to me all the time.

please NO comments like: genetic predisposition, look at who her parents are, or no need for the nature vs. nurture debate- she is exposed to talking too much both ways, etc...

Monday, October 8, 2007

Rock Your World

Here is the picture I mentioned before from Oklahoma specifically taken for people at our church (Cornerstone). Andrew does the opening for church every once in a while and he used it for the opening yesterday. What he said for the opening is below.
A couple of weeks ago my 89 year old grandma went to be with the Lord. She lived the second half of her life in a body that was crippled by sever rheumatoid arthritis. So although I have a sense of loss that I don’t get to be with her now, I am so excited that right now she is in Heaven with my Grandad walking and enjoying eternal life without pain. The hope and promise of seeing my Grandparents again when I die and being in the presence of Jesus is an amazing promise to look forward to.

I’d like to share with you something from Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven, “By meditating on Heaven and learning to look forward to it, we don’t eliminate our pain, but we can alleviate it and put it in perspective. We’re reminded that suffering and death are only temporary conditions.”

Our family traveled last weekend to rural Oklahoma for my Grandmother’s service and we saw this picture-

Barry’s email this week brought up some of the reasons that he appreciates Cornerstone. Really, we do need to be a body that through the power of the Holy Spirit does rock the world. How can we rock the world? Praying, sharing our faith, letting people see the light and joy inside us. Resisting temptation, helping the less fortunate. Loving the Lord with all of our heart, soul strength and mind. And many other ways.

Every day we should be thinking and praying about how that day we can bring glory to God. So Cornerstone- Rock Your World!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Rethinking my decision

Remove Formatting from selection

You know, if we would have put him in preschool he could be doing this sort of thing somewhere else...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Favorite moments in the Sooner State

Our three days had many interesting moments, then again any three days with our kids have interesting moments. Here are some highlights.
It seems weird to say that one of my favorite moments was a funeral, but that that is why we were there and the service was really just about perfect. Grandma Andrews would have been very pleased. It was at her little country Methodist church in Howe. Katie did an amazing eulogy and Arlene really did a great job of carrying out her mom's wishes and celebrating her life. The weather was 85 degrees and was just wonderful. After the service we went to see the farm that belonged to Grandma and Grandad Andrews.

Another favorite moment was this conversation:

Tiffany: Hudson put it down (a new transformer toy) we're saving that to to play with during the service.

Hudson: (in a very whiny voice) But when is the service?

Tiffany: After lunch we will go back to the hotel, get dressed up, and then it will be time for the service.

Hudson: (in a VERY excited voice) Should I get dressed up like a dragon!?!

And do I even need to explain why two SLEEPING boys on our 4th of 4 plane flights was one of my favorite moments?
Thanks so much to everyone who was praying for us on our trip. We didn't know what to expect taking three little kids on a very kid-unfriendly adventure, but the Lord really blessed us with a very smooth and good family time. The kids had a great time on the plane and in the airports. They actually want to go back to Oklahoma! We were praying Ephesians 4:1-3 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. God really answered our prayers and made it smooth and comfortable to be humble, gentle and patient. We hope our time brought glory to Him.
And one last bonus- our other bag arrived this morning. We watched The Office last night (see previous post) -so now let the laundry commence.
We have one more picture to share, but it is not going up on the blog yet because Andrew is going to use it in his church opening on October 7th. Wouldn't want to give it out as a spoiler for our Cornerstone readers. And clearly we have some because today (to our surprise) Ainsley's story about the tooth fairy (see post) was in Barry's sermon! You can listen to his sermon as soon as it is posted here. Thanks again for praying for us.

Almost all home

We made it home, the flight and everything went great. The only thing missing is one of our bags. Most people would think that is bad. Turns out it is good news because I had re-sorted everything from a kid bag and a parent bag into a dirty clothes bag and a clean clothes/everything else bag. The bag we are missing is the dirty clothes bag. That means I don't have to do laundry tonight. Okay- good chance I wouldn't have done the laundry tonight anyway, but I would have FELT like I SHOULD be doing the laundry tonight. This way I can happily watch The Office season premier that we missed while we were gone without feeling guilty. Hopefully the bag shows up sometime soon, but not until after The Office is over.

Speaking of the Office, did you know God can protect children by messing with TV's? We have been waiting since last spring for The Office premier. It is seriously on our calender-a TV show. It is an exciting life we lead. Anyway- so we end up in Oklahoma on the night of the premier. We are dying about this and plan over and over how we can watch it. We have adjoining rooms with Katie so we plan to put the kids to bed and then watch it in her room. This is a little tricky because Oklahoma is in the central time zone so everything is an hour earlier there so it is now on at 8 their time, add to this that they are two hours ahead of us so it is like it is on at 6:00 for our bodies. But we have been up since 4:00 am so I don't think it is unreasonable for the kids to be tired enough to lay in bed and be quiet so we can watch the funniest TV show ever created. Evidently they thought it was unreasonable. God protected them from grumpy parents by messing up the TV's and making it so THEY DON'T GET NBC! What said it was NBC was showing the old movie Spies Like Us. What. The. Heck. We were so mad. Did I mention we have been waiting MONTHS to see this show? Oh well. Now we get to watch it tonight (thank goodness for DVR) and we didn't have to do something unthinkable to our children because they were jumping on the bed being little psychos during the time we would have been watching TV.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

So this is Oklahoma

Ever since I joined the Pate family I have heard Oklahoma stories, so it is fun to finally be able to see it myself. For anyone who hasn't heard this story, both of Andrew's parents lived in this little town in Oklahoma when they were kids, then both moved away to different places, and eventually met again in Oregon and got married. Once his grandparents moved back here they would come and visit every summer. So although Great-Grandma Andrews has lived in Salem for the last 14 years her funeral is here, and so we are too. Here is what has happened today:

The airplane ride was great fun and the kids did great. The loved the smaller (50 person) jet that we took from Dallas TX to Ft. Smith AR because it was WAY more exciting than the big plane. Camden did great on his first airplane voyage.
So far I haven't witnessed any of the famous things that I have been promised like horrible snakes, weird bugs, very strange giant road kill. All I have seen is this:

Maybe our boys will come home with this cut as a souvenir from the South.

Our hotel has a pool, but they closed it last weekend. We had to settle for the hot tub. It was 89 degrees here today, but the hot tub was still fun at night. Ainsley said that a hot tub is a good end to a peaceful day. I think a good end to a peaceful day would be Hudson going to sleep. He is still up even after two walks. He is the only one who took a nap this afternoon in the car so the rest of us are done and ready for bed. Hopefully he will be out soon.
Our other exciting thing is that our rental car is... an IMPALA. When we were in college Andrew's car was from his Grandparents and was an old '65 Impala. So it seems appropriate that this is what we are driving here, even if it is not teal and only half the size of his old one.
I'm going to try and sleep even if Hudson isn't!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My favorite moment today

It is only 2:22, so I realize something else could happen. But so far my favorite moment today was when crazy laughter coming from both boys prompted me to peek in Hudson's room. What I saw was Hudson "playing ball" with Camden. Turns out as I watched that their idea of "playing ball" was Hudson dropping the ball ON Camden and Camden laughing and trying to crawl to the ball before Hudson got to it. So cute to see their relationship beginning to develop. Camden just can't grow up fast enough for Hudson.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Our Weekend

Grandma and Grandpa Seaquist came this weekend. We had a great time at Ainsley's soccer game, going downtown, having dinner with Elizabeth, and going to church. It took all of 3 hours and 16 minutes after they had left for a child to be reduced to wailing tears desperately needing them. Hudson was playing outside and came in crying for Grandma and Grandpa because "my tummy got hurt by running into the wheel on the van" (how the heck does that happen?") Whenever Ainsley is so tired that she is reduced to an emotional breakdown over something that she cannot even articulate she cries for Grandpa. Evidently Hudson has learned this important skill as well. Speaking of Hudson, we were driving by Powell Valley and he said, "That's my Church" (as he does every time we drive by PV), he then went on to say, "they have treats there." I agreed, he then said, "Yep, that is why they call it CHURCH!" Before you question the theology we teach at our house, remember Acts 2:46 talks about the early church and how they all broke bread together going house to house. (okay, but full disclosure, we haven't ever talked about that with Hudson, it is all about the food with him.)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Just don't tell other kids!

On Thursday Ainsley's first baby tooth came out. However, you will notice that there is not actually a hole in her mouth. This is because I discovered back in August that her big teeth were coming in behind her still present baby teeth. This warranted a panicked trip to the dentist. Turns out that is really quite normal (but because just a week before I had been to urgent care with her to find out that the ear ache she had complained about for 2+ weeks was actually an infection I wasn't taking any chances this time. I have a hard time finding that happy medium between neurotically over-protective and neglectful). So the dentist gave her a month (which coincided with getting her teeth cleaned) to wiggle her tooth and try and get it loose enough so they could pull it with topical stuff rather than a shot. It worked and they pulled it without too much trauma. She has until October 11th when she gets sealants put on her teeth to get the next one wiggly enough that they can do the same thing. So as we are driving home from the dentist here is our conversation:
Me: Are you excited to put it under your pillow?
Ainsley: I'm not giving it to the tooth fairy.
Me: Why not?
Ainsley: Because the tooth fairy is just parents and you wouldn't give me much money anyway.
I don't know which I'm more surprised about, that at 6 she already knows the tooth fairy isn't real, or that at 6 she already knows how cheap I am.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Remembering Great-Grandma

On Tuesday the 18th Andrew's Grandma Andrews went to be with the Lord. She died 5 days after her 89th birthday. We are so excited that she is now enjoying life in Heaven able to walk, run, jump, and do all the things that arthritis has prevented her from doing for so much of her life. When I told Hudson that great-grandma had gone to Heaven, his response was "that's great."(he doesn't even begin to understand that he won't see her again for quite some time) Ainsley was much more upset and has shed some tears. They are both pretty excited about our trip next week to Oklahoma for her service. Hudson believes that we are going on the airplane to go to Heaven to visit her. From the stories I have heard I don't think Oklahoma is much like Heaven. This is a picture of Great-Grandma with Ainsley and Hudson on Thanksgiving in 2004. Ainsley was 3, Hudson was almost 1.