Thursday, May 28, 2009

Congratulations Nathan!

Our brother-in-law Nathan just accepted the job as the principal of the upper school (middle and high school) where he teaches at Hope Academy in Minneapolis. Last spring break when we visited we went to see the school and loved it- here is the blog entry from that portion of the trip.

Hope is a great place. It is an inner city school (and inner city Minneapolis is WAY different than even inner-city Portland) that serves a very diverse population. It is certainly not your "typical" private Christian school. Almost all of their students are there on a scholarship of some kind. The children that attend have a sponsor that pays for their education... it is a pretty amazing program that they have started. The sponsors actually come and visit, and are involved with, the kids in school that they support. At least 70% of the kids qualify for free or reduced lunch. Here is their mission statement and vision: (the vision statement actually makes me get tears in my eyes- then again I'm a hormonal mess right now...)

Our Mission

To foster hope in God within the inner-city neighborhoods of Minneapolis by providing children with an outstanding, Christ-centered education.

Our Vision

Believing that all children are created for God's glory and endowed by him with an inalienable potential to acquire wisdom and knowledge, Hope Academy covenants with urban families to equip their children to become the responsible, servant leaders of the 21st Century. Committed to the truth, discipline, and values of the gospel of Jesus Christ, Hope Academy pursues this aim by mobilizing educational, business, and community leaders towards the important goal of serving the children of Minneapolis with a remarkable education, permeated with a God-centered perspective. This inter-denominational school will seek to unleash kingdom citizens who work for justice, economic opportunity, racial harmony, hope for the family, and joy in the community.

Hope's website is: if you want to know more.

Again- we are so proud of you Nathan- and Tennille, we know you can handle it too!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A realization

A few times during the last couple of months I have thought, "why if we were going to have 4 kids did we spread them out so much?" (basically 3 years between everyone) I have focused on how long I have/will have been changing diapers, rushing home for naps, etc. I have also contemplated the fact that I will be 41 when I go to kindergarten round-up for the last time. That is wrong. (by the way- our spacing was actually because I read some studies about how 2 years 9 months is the ideal spacing for siblings so they have the best socialization and language acquisition. I also liked the idea of after nursing for a year giving my body a break of a year off before becoming pg. again. Now I'm thinking- who cares? My kids are all talking well, social, and like my body has had "time off.")

Just now as I was getting ready for bed and brushing my teeth (and yes, it is only 8:30) it dawned on me the positive of the spread. I WON'T EVER HAVE FOUR TEENAGERS AT THE SAME TIME! Ainsley will turn 20 when #4 is still 12.

Some days it is the little things that get you through.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Go Barlow!

I'm going to take this opportunity to publicly brag about my husband. Everyone okay with that?

Barlow won the district tennis tournament today, for the sixth year in a row! Andrew would be the first to say that coaches get too much of the credit and too much of the blame, but really he deserves lots of credit. This was the year that his team was young and had the possibility of loosing a match or two, but they were undefeated in league (I think now it has been over five years since they have lost a league match). Yesterday and today was the district match, and because of some strange tennis rules I don't understand even when you beat every team in individual matches, you still have to get a certain number of points at the district match to win the league title. Barlow got a REALLY bad draw, the details of which I have had explained to me repeatedly and I'm still a little fuzzy on, and during the tournament yesterday one of his players was walking by a post and the post randomly FELL on his foot requiring a trip to the ER. Yet despite these circumstances they still won.

The boys on the tennis team are so fortunate because not only do they have Andrew for a coach, but Randy Alcorn volunteers as his assistant coach. Randy puts in an amazing amount of time and really invests in the kids. Earlier this season he was interviewed for an article for the Bruin Banner (being in a high school newspaper probably not top on the list of important accomplishments for someone who has written books that have been on the New York Times Best Selling List, but you know...) and this is what Randy said about Andrew:

"Probably the best thing is that Andrew Pate is such a great coach. If I didn't think he was a great influence on the kids and had a great attitude it wouldn't be worth it. I can't say enough how much I respect and appreciate coach Pate and what a great person I think he is."

It is one thing for me lavish praise on him, but it is nice to have it come publicly from someone like Randy.

Way to go Barlow... and Andrew. Love you!