Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hudson's birthday number nine!

Dear Hudson,

Happy 9th Birthday! You have been busy this year. Mostly growing. And growing. And growing. Do you remember being little and me reading you the book, "The Very Hungry Caterpiller"? "On Monday he ate through.... AND HE WAS STILL HUNGRY." That is pretty much you right now. And I think this is only the beginning. You are one tall kid and you are only getting taller. Your feet are bigger than mine now (a kid size 5 1/2) and you are 4 feet 9 1/2 inches tall as of this morning.

You've also been doing lots of growing in other ways. The way you think has changed some this last year. You don't always tell us what you are thinking about though. You are the quietest Pate kid, although that isn't saying much. You are a loud, chatty bunch. But you are more likely to need a little prompting to tell us what you are thinking or wanting to do. That evidently isn't the case at school, however. Mrs. Manzella told us at conferences that you are VERY social in class and she often has to remind you to not chat. That seems to be a bit of a family pattern.... starting with your parents. So sorry about that to all your future teachers!

I know I wrote last year about how much you like to play outside, around in the neighborhood with your friends. That hasn't changed. We feel really fortunate that because of where we live you and your siblings get to experience a pretty traditional childhood. You love playing out at the playground, riding bikes, climbing trees, and planning all sorts of intricate battle fields. You spent tons of time this summer setting up little army figures in all sorts of formations. You especially loved getting to use water balloons as little bombs. It provided hours and hours of entertainment. You are in general a very happy, and fun loving kid.

Legos continue to be your favorite toy. The new obsession this year is Lego Ninjago. I honestly don't get it at all, but you love the things so much. Your one request for your birthday was the Lego Supersonic Raider. It is a big Ninjago set and you didn't really think you would get it, so when you unwrapped it this morning you were thrilled. Your birthday party theme today was Ninjago. This was your friend party year. Consequently we had a houseful of boys this afternoon. You all had a great time making ninja headbands, ninja stars, playing lego games, and finally putting together a ninjago set that each of your guest got to take home. You were a busy, happy bunch of boys.

Sports have changed for you this year. You have always liked to play, but this year you found a new intensity. You are a total competitor now. You are focused and work really hard. You started out the soccer season not really knowing if you wanted to play soccer, and ended up loving it and doing really well. You are now even doing futsol (an indoor soccer game) and loving it. You never get tired and really run hard. I think back to just a couple years ago when we would say you were great in the first half, and then checked out in the second. That is not the case anymore. You have great energy and are really strong. Basketball hasn't started for you yet, so you have been going and practicing with Ainsley's team every practice. You never complain about doing it, and are doing really well. It is going to be fun to see you play basketball this year. 

Hudson, you are a sweet, good kid. I think about some of the things I have read about the different types of personalities of men and I believe you will fall into a "strong and steady" category. Your not super emotional, although you do have a temper that can flare sometimes. Daddy and I talk and pray about how to make sure we are reaching your heart. We want you to grow into a man who does great things for God, Hudson. We pray that you would be a strong leader, and yet gentle and kind.

Every line of Proverbs 10 is so valuable as you are becoming the person God intendes for you to be. I love how each line gives two choices. One clearly following God's ways, which are always smart. But the world makes the foolish ways look so appealing, especially in the years you are approaching, Hudson. We pray you would choose wisely. Here are the first few verses of Proverbs chapter 10:

A wise son brings joy to his father,
    but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.
 Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value,
    but righteousness delivers from death.
 The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry,
    but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
 Lazy hands make for poverty,
    but diligent hands bring wealth.
 He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son,
    but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.
 Blessings crown the head of the righteous,
    but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.
 The name of the righteous is used in blessings,
    but the name of the wicked will rot.
 The wise in heart accept commands,
    but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
    but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.

Hudson, daddy and I pray that you would choose God's way each and every day of your life. Better is one day in the courts of the Lord than thousands of days elsewhere. We love you so much and want you to experience the riches of living a life that is pleasing to your God. We make so many mistakes everyday, we hope that in spite of our mistakes you would see God's love for you and he would draw you to him. We love you so much Hudson. Thanks for being such a special, and wonderful boy. 

Love, mom

Excitement over opening your super sonic raider. 

All set up and ready for your birthday party.

You had everyone learn how to fold ninja stars. Folding paper is an obsession for you right now. I'm certain a big portion of the world has been deforested thanks to your fascination with ninja stars, paper balloons, and other origami. You were super excited about a star wars fighter jet folding book we got you for your birthday. 

The great 9-year-old! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Camden = Six

Dear Camden,

I'm going to steal Grandma Seaquist's line and say, "I love you with all my heart." Today you turned six. Six years ago when I was holding a tiny baby boy I had no idea what an amazing person you would become. The best thing to say is that in so many ways you never cease to amaze us. You have a great vocabulary. In fact, that is one of the things your teacher is impressed by. When I think of how to describe you a whole bunch of adjectives pop into my head. What is funny is how some of them are opposites of each other. Here is a list:


In the past year you  have grown up so much. You started kindergarten this year and FINALLY got to ride the bus to school like you have wanted to do pretty much your whole life. You love school, although it surprises me that some mornings you complain about having to go. I think you don't always want to leave what you are doing at home. You always come home from school happy. Your teacher is perfect for you, although getting her involved some drama. We thought you would have Mrs. Manzella, but then she got moved to 3rd grade. So not only did you not get her, Hudson did. So then school started and there were 40 (!) kids in your class so they spilt the class and you had a different teacher. After some issues there they ended up getting Mrs. Brier who taught for 30+ years at Deep Creek to come and teach your class and she is wonderful. You love her and she is great with you. At your conference she just talked about how smart you are and how she can't believe the words you use. Her only concern was that you and your friend Richelle hold hands and hug too much in class. Cute. Richelle is super sweet and fun so we get why you like her as a friend. She also looks a lot like Eleison who you adore so it makes sense. We had a little chat after conferences about not holding hands in school though.

Your plan for your birthday party was awesome, although I must admit I was worried. You wanted a "tinkerers" party. Basically you wanted to take stuff apart. So we collected a bunch of old machines, DVD players, remotes, power tools, cameras, etc and let the kids take them apart. It was great. I have had so many of the parents of the kids who came tell me later how much fun their son had and how they just loved it. It was all your idea. You also wanted to give everyone protractors and have them measure angles, and I shut that idea down. There is always next year.

You still like to dig for gold in the yard. And your sure one of these days your going to find some.

You still adore Reagan. You bring out the best in Ainsley. You and Hudson can fight like crazy, but I see the glimmers of a deep friendship between the two of you. The pattern between the two of you is for him to bug you, and you to overreact. Seeing the pattern doesn't help me shut it down often enough though.  I pray for the two of you would be best friends. I know God is going to grant that request and you will be blessed with a great relationship.

Camden, God has given you great abilities. When daddy was talking to Mrs. D (your preschool teacher) earlier this year about how kindergarten was going she said, "that kid will be a millionaire before he is 20." While I don't know about that, and I don't really care about you making money, I agree with her point that you are going to do great things. You are unique and God has a very special plan for your life. I am so lucky that I get to be your mom. I love you Camden.

Jeremiah 29:11

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Your machine cake.
Taking stuff apart.Intense workers.

The party kids.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Our baby turns THREE!

 Dear Reagan~

I’m not sure I can bear you turning three. You have been such a precious baby, three means you are a preschooler. This was our first three-year-old birthday without a newborn sibling in attendance. You are for sure the baby though, I suppose I have no choice but to let you grow-up. You will always be my baby though.

What I love so much about you right now is not something I can capture on paper. It is your sweet little voice. The way you talk is heart-melting. Everything from the way you ask for a glass of milk, say your siblings names (Camden is Canden), to when you are being silly and doing want to talk so you make funny little animal noises are precious. Unbelievably cute just doesn’t even begin to describe it.

It sorts of pains me to talk about television in a birthday letter. We don’t really let you or your siblings watch much TV, but I would be skipping one of your favorite things from the last year if I didn’t mention “Monkey Show.” You are very passionate about Curious George. Almost every morning you watch it, thankfully it keeps you still enough for me to fix you hair. You giggle through it and never stop being delighted to watch George’s antics.

One of the silly things daddy calls you is hydro-girl. This is because you love water. Pouring water that you got out of the refrigerator back and forth between cups and bowls is one of your favorite things to do. You love taking showers, baths, and most of all swimming. You will randomly go and get your swimming suit out and want it put on for no reason. Grandma and Grandad gave you swimming lessons for your birthday. You will love them.

When we went to Disneyland this summer I thought it was going to be really hard to have you there. You proved me so wrong by being absolutely delightful. The entire experience was so much fun for you. You loved the fireworks, every ride you could go on, and the princesses. We realized when we were there that you hadn’t had much exposure to Disney because when you saw Mickey Mouse you would call him “mousey.” You weren’t scared of anything, we even went on the haunted mansion and you kept saying, “Is this scary?” I told you that it wasn’t, that it was just funny and you were good with it. What I have been shocked by is how much four months later you still talk about Disneyland. You can’t wait to go back, and almost every time you see an airplane you think it is going to Disneyland.

I know in your first and second birthday letters that I talked about how much your siblings love you. That hasn’t changed. You and Ainsley have an adorable relationship, Hudson steps out of his “cool” grade school boy role to so sweetly play with you, but you and Camden are changing. As the two younger kids you are now either partners in crime, or sometimes fighting. He delights in making you squeal and run away from the monsters he is always telling you about. Ainsley and Hudson give in to you and give you whatever you want. Camden doesn’t let you get away with that, and you don’t let him get away with anything either. You are far from a passive, or easy-going. You will not let anyone walk on you!

A couple of things I never want to forget are how you hold out your hand when you want to show us something, you point to it with your hand, palm up, with your fingers together. It is darling. I love how when the boys are doing something like jumping jacks or push-ups you do it with them- it is hilarious. I also love how enthusiastic you get about some things. You squeal with delight and jump and dance around. There is so much personality in that little body.

You have been looking forward to your birthday for months. Your siblings have been pumping you up about it forever. We woke you up for our traditional birthday morning cinnamon roll breakfast. You opened your presents, one of which was the monkey backpack that you have been looking forward to for months. You also got a princess dress from Grandma and Grandpa Seaquist that you love. Tonight Grandma, Grandad and Auntie Kate came over for dinner and to celebrate with you. You loved your presents, and were especially cute with a little music box that plays Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Grandma taught you that when you were so little and you still love to sing it with her.

Reagan, I am missing the sweet little baby you were. But I know I’m just going to love every part of watching you grow up. You are sweet, adorable, so clever, and so fun to be with. Your daddy and I love you so much and can’t believe how God blessed us with you and your sister and brothers. Above all we thank God for you and desire for you to love Him and glorify Him your whole life.

Happy third birthday Reagan Joy!



“May the Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

Opening presents in the morning- the long awaited monkey backpack.

Your brothers were very happy to help. 

Polly Pockets!
At dinner tonight-

So much personality in that little face.

Mommy's sweet girl!

Ainsley helps with presents- although you don't need much help. 
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
Make A Wish!

You got them out- with help from brothers on either side of you. 

Your princess dress from Grandma and Grandpa Seaquist. 

Happy Birthday princess Reagan!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hudson's I Am Poem

In going through Hudson's papers that he brought home from school I found this poem he had written.

I am a good basketball player
I wonder how good I am at basketball
I hear a basketball
I see a basketball game
I want to be a good sport when we win
I am a good basketball player.

I pretend I am Michael Jordan
I feel like I am going to win
I tough the rim of the basketball hoop
I worry that I'm going to lose the basketball game
I cry when I get hurt in basketball game
I am a good basketball player

I understand I'm a good basketball player
I say I'm a really good basketball player
I dream that I made a basket from half court
I try my hardest in basketball
I hope my team wins this game
I am a good basketball player.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ainsley turns 11!

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” - Audrey Hepburn

Dear Ainsley,


Count it all Joy.

Sweet girl. I love you. As you are growing up there is less I can write here. There is much more going on inside of you. This year was different. You spent a week at summer camp and my heart almost withered up and died from not hearing from you for that long. Your heart grew that week to about double its size from all the fun and love you found there. You can't wait to go back. I can't believe I will let you go again.

Count it all Joy.

There was hurt this last year. Girls learning how to be friends isn't always easy. Mean girls one day, nice girls the next. Yuck. It stinks to go through this sort of stuff when you are the kid, watching your sweet little girl go through it may hurt even worse. But you have grown through it all. And it is the right thing. To learn who you are and why you are that person. That is what this season of life is about. This year was the beginning of lots of years of changing from a kid to a grown up.

Count it all Joy.

You excel at so much. You feel deeply. You love well. You play hard. You think.

Count it all Joy.

You spend your time reading (you still love mysteries and have discovered Greek mythology type books which you love), listening to Adventures in Odyssey (I'm not sure there is a bigger fan out there), jumping on the trampoline (a favorite activity with your friends), and playing with your siblings (I think if Reagan was asked to pick between me and you she wouldn't hesitate in picking you!)

Count it all Joy.

Eleven years ago when I was holding a tiny little baby Grandma Seaquist and I talked about how we wondered what your voice would sound like. I was excited to hear what you sounded like, I didn't yet understand how wonderful it would be to get to talk with you as you got older and hear all the lovely and interesting thoughts that you have in your head.

Count it all Joy.

What a blessing has been the last eleven years Ainsley. I love you and, as always, pray that you would continue to grow into a great woman of God.

I love you so much Ainsley Grace.

Count it all Joy. Mom

11 years ago and this morning before school-
James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

New child to add to the chore rotation

Reagan has decided she can set the table. Monkey see, monkey do.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Nothing good comes of this...

she learned how to open the pantry door.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Camden's Big Game

Camden's pre-k/kgtn. basketball team got to scrimmage last night during half time of the Barlow varsity game. The high school kids chanting, "Little Pate- Little Pate" when Camden had the ball was a pretty cool moment. Very fun experience for a 5-year-old. (and his parents!) They even announced all the kids names and ran through the row of cheerleaders at the beginning.

Defense is what Camden is all about. We are working on helping him switch over to offense when his team has the ball, usually he just keeps, as he says, "defensing" his man. His first game was on Saturday and at one point when he went out he got put guarding this really cute little girl. Before the ball had even been put into play he was "defensing" her and she was backing away from him, and so he would just get close and closer. The whole time he is making these intense faces. It was too much for the little girl and before they started playing she turned and ran off the court crying. It should be a fun season to watch!