Friday, November 18, 2011

School Days

School pictures:

Ainsley the 5th grader
Hudson the 2nd grader
Camden the big preschool guy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Reagan Joy!

Dear Reagan,

Here it is. TWO. As in technically not a baby. It doesn't seem possible that we have been this little family of 6 for two whole years. But much has happened since your last (first) birthday letter. Lets get to it.
You are a love. Always have been. So patient with so many people wanting to give you love and attention. I'm still amazed at your siblings devotion to you. I thought that this would be the year that someone (especially the someone closest in age to you, ahem...) would get frustrated and mad at you because you would get into their stuff and mess it up. You have of course become very mobile and capable of destruction this year. Amazingly there is almost no irritation with you. I try hard to protect your siblings creations to protect your relationship with them, but even when I fail as protector and you destroy something, for the most part there is no frustration. They all just love you so much that they want you to be with them. Amazing. Crossing my fingers it continues.
There is irritation when you scream in the car. Sometimes you just don't want to be pinned down by that darn car seat and you go ahead and let everyone know how you feel. Loudly. This brings great irritation because you drown out the radio/adventures in odyssey and make it difficult to read. It also produces in Camden the need to scream, "beeeeeequiiiieeetttt!!!!" which does little to stop your screaming. Just had to throw this part in so you don't look back someday and think it was all sunshine and roses everyday!
Ever since you started walking you have been a hand holder. Not really out of needing to be connected, but to bring one of us over to do whatever you want. When you bring us over you then shove our hand on whatever it is you want. Often it is to the pantry or refrigerator. Lately it is becoming to bring me to a book you want to read. There has even been a time or two that you bring me over to show me something that you just got into that you know you shouldn't have. Yeah for developing a conscience! For awhile when you first started walking you wouldn't let two people hold your hand at the same time. I think it was way too confining. That was before your siblings taught you the joy of, "one-two-three-WHEEE!" and now you love to hold two peoples hands so you can swing away.
Speaking of swinging, I think we have a little dare-devil on our hands. Faster and higher is better. And big wild slides.. you love them. It is fun to take you places because you will try anything. You definitely think you are a big kid. You think jumping on beds, couches, and if someone will lift you on, the trampoline is great fun. Your sweet little laugh is intoxicating!
You are also the first Pate child to learn how to climb out of your crib before the age of two. That sort of threw me at first. However you and I have come to an agreement that if you climb out, you get put in your little pea pod tent. You don't mind it, it is where you sleep when you are away from home, but you prefer your crib when here. Consequently you don't really climb out. I am still a bit shocked! Nice that you caught on quickly.
You are still a binkie and blankie girl. Two blankies to be exact. The funniest thing you do is when you are tired or needing soothed you put the little fringe part of your blanket up under your nose. I guess you are smelling it. Adorable.
"Dada" was your first word, but "mommy" wasn't far behind. You understood what we were telling you quite awhile ago, but saved talking until the last few months. Every animal until about 6 weeks ago was a doggie. In the past month you have been stringing words together to make little sentences. Your first sentence was, "where'd my binkie go?" Great. That is going to be fun to take away. When you call your siblings by name it melts their heart.

Your favorite foods are pizza, spaghetti and pancakes. I hate to admit that you have discovered, thanks to Camden, that you love the tv show Curious George. You lead me over to where the tv remotes are and say, "show" and "monkey." You do love books, or "bookies" as you call them. You don't really have a favorite book, but we try and keep you away from non-board books right now because you are fond of ripping pages of paper books and then bringing them to me and saying "open." Evidently you are a little confused between things like raisin boxes or granola bar wrappers and books.
I think our favorite thing about you that we have discovered this year is your funny little personality. You like to laugh and make us laugh. You know when you are doing something funny and delight in it. You are also so pretty and cute. People stop me all the time to tell me what a pretty little girl you are. Daddy especially loves your soft, golden blonde hair.

This morning your siblings woke you up so we could have breakfast as a family and open presents. You weren't super impressed with the whole thing. Tonight when we had birthday dinner and opened gifts with grandma and grandad gave you a birthday cake toy that you were obsessed with. You loved it so much you wouldn't open up anything else. It was great practice so you knew how to blow out the candles on your cupcake!
We love you so much Reagan Joy. It is so fun to watch you grow. You are so cute and fun right now that I want to freeze time and keep you this way forever. However, I know that I'm going to love what you turn into. I love every minute with you sweet baby girl.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you.

May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace.

Happy second birthday Reagan Joy.

Love Mom.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Our family actually did all the following October events in a period of six days. It was a busy end of the week/weekend! Here is the recap:

Camden's preschool class took a trip to the pumpkin patch last Wednesday. Gramma Arlene got to go as a chaperone with him. It was a beautiful day and he had a great time. How cute is his little class!?!
This was his High School buddy for the day. Each kid had their own high schooler with them, and each group of three kids/high schoolers had one adult chaperone. The kids were well watched!

After trying to find a day we could go on our annual trip to the pumpkin patch with Gramma and Grandad and Auntie Kate we finally were able to go on Friday night. Unfortunately Grandad had plans so he couldn't come. I almost said that it was unfortunate that it rained, but actually it wasn't bad because most of the stuff was actually indoors (we don't actually pick out pumpkins at the pumpkin patch) and there were NO lines! Ainsley's friend Sydney came with us- here they are in the acorn pit:
Reagan is the family animal lover and so she loved the goats and chickens.
There isn't much I need to explain about how Hudson feels about the giant swings.
Reagan loved the swings too.
Auntie Kate helps out Camden on the swing.
Saturday was the Sunday School Harvest party at the Strandbergs. Whoever ordered the weather did a great job. It was super fun. Strandbergs are pretty much the best ever for letting us all come over. In a rare moment of boldness Andrew and I dressed up as Samson and Delilah.

Ainsley trying to eat a donut on a string.
Sunday was pumpkin carving day. Andrew did a great job. Ainsley made Minney Mouse
Camden wanted the bird from angry birds. How awesome is this? It is better in person.
And Hudson represented the Ducks. Don't be fooled and think that is a drawing of a duck on top of the "O". It's not. It is a bat. Because that makes sense right?
And finally the culmination. Halloween night. I didn't actually get any trick-or-treating pictures because have you ever had four kids trick or treating that all walk? We hadn't either. Turns out that keeps you busy. We went with a whole pack of kids from the neighborhood. The big group of kids along with no streetlights in our neighborhood (okay, in our whole town) make it really tricky to keep track of your kids. Hudson's goal was to be the first kid at every door. Ainsley and her friend made their way a little slower. Reagan wanted to walk, but of course couldn't keep up. She made it up to three doors total. I carried Reagan on and off and tried to keep my eye on the older two.
Hudson-Jango Fett, Camden-Buzz Lightyear
Andrew was with Camden who enjoyed every minute of Halloween. Camden saw no reason to hurry through the event. He didn't keep up with the other kids. With Andrew watching him he would go up to each door alone, having been left in the dust by the pack. He would procede to have a long conversation with each person who opened the door, about everything from their house, their Halloween decorations and how he thought they could be improved, and their candy selection. Andrew said it was hilarious. Two times the person didn't come to the door fast enough and Camden opened the door to try and let himself in. Andrew explained that he couldn't do that because we don't know those people. Turns out that wasn't the best explanation because at the very last house which was our next-door neighbors who Camden loves he opened the door without even knocking as he was yelling to Andrew at the driveway, "this is okay because I know these guys!" I will have to do a whole post on Camden and our neighbor Chuck. Funny stuff.
After much debate over a costume choice for Ainsley she ended up going with tennis player Maria Sherapova. Not only is it her favorite sport, but Maria wears necklaces and dangly earrings. Getting to buy new jewelry to make up a costume was the icing on the cake.
Reagan was the fourth Pate child to wear this giraffe costume. She wasn't a big fan. I finally got the costume on, but never was successful with the little hood/head part. Oh well, she is plenty cute without a giraffe head.
As you can see no one lacked for candy.

My friend Tara made these shirts for the kids, and Gramma and Grandad grew the pumpkins with each kid's name on it. I just tried to get everyone to look at the camera at the same time. Fail. Super fun and successful Halloween for everyone!