Our Family

Our Family


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Thursday, November 22, 2012

"Thanksgiving Day Celebration"

Today was a great day to celebrate all God's goodness in our lives. Bryan and Jordan and their spouses are on the same schedule of spending holidays with us, so it was great having both families for Thanksgiving. "Grandma" aka Tony's mom lives in Bella Vista, so she was able to join us as well. Jordan, Jenna and myself planned our meal on Sunday after lunch. I have to say both girls did an amazing job with their portion of the meal and I think David joined in on some cooking as well.
"The Cooks" Jenna, Me & Jordan

"The Spread of Food"
"Yummy Food" we all enjoyed!!!

"The Crew" Hudson, Jenna, Bryan, Tony, David, Jordan and Grandma

Okay I have to explain the following pictures. Tony's mom, "Grandma", loves to sleep. She can keep us all entertained without even knowing it. Bryan was beside her on the couch and we were all hanging out watching football and not even trying to be quiet. Bryan had his iPad and decided to start taking pictures of Grandma. We figured a group picture would be fun. Tony had no idea what we were doing, he was in another room.
Grandma, Bryan, Jenna, Me, Jordan & David

Since we had so much fun with a group picture, why not have more fun. We had Jordan make a sign so Bryan could put Grandma on E-Harmony Facebook page. I'm not sure if she really made the page, but we had lots of fun!
"Grandma" she keep life interesting!

This is how we got the picture!

It was great having all of us together today. We started playing a game called "Things" but Hudson woke up shortly after we started, so GPa took Hudson outside while the rest of us played the game. Grandma even joined in on the game and made it more fun.

After Bryan and Jenna left,  Jordan helped me transform our home from Thanksgiving to Christmas in a short amount of time. I always love having her help me decorate the tree.

I continue to praise God for my health and so thankful for ALL His goodness in my life!

"Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Thanksgiving 2012"

Psalms 56:9b-13 "This I know, that God is for me.  In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.  What can man do to me?  I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you.  For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life."

It seems like yesterday we were celebrating Thanksgiving and now it is upon us again.  I've seen a lot of posts on Facebook of what different people have been thankful for this month.  I wonder how different our world would be, if we found gratitude and thanksgiving everyday for ALL God does for us.  The fact we wake up and get to see His beautiful creation, smell, feel, hear, walk, talk and so many other physical things He gives us, which is only a small glimpse of blessings we get to have.  I was in a bible study one time that talked about being in the "Wilderness".  The Israelite people were brought out of bondage in Egypt and God continued to provide for them.  It seemed like they had so much to be thankful for, but they continued to complain.  If we took one day and recorded complaints vs thanksgiving of our own life or the lives of others, I'm afraid the complaint/grumbling compartment might win.   We have so much to celebrate throughout the year but Thanksgiving and Christmas seems to be the time we tend to take more notice of His blessings.  I am rejoicing and celebrating His goodness in my life and I know that no matter what comes my way, good or bad, He is still worth praising.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." I have complete hope and confidence that this journey here on earth is just temporary and one day I will stand before Him and be in awe of His glory and beauty and realize everything on this earth was just temporary. 

I also realize this is a sad, lonely time for many that are far away or have lost family, friends and loved ones.  My prayer is that I can be the hands and feet of Jesus and encourage others around me that feel hopelessness.  Revelations 7:15b-17 "and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.  They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat.  For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

I am so grateful for this journey I have been on this year.  I know I would have never asked for it, but I also wouldn't change anything about this year.  The Lord has brought me and my family many blessings right in the midst of the storm and there is no way to explain or describe the peace that only He can give.  Happy Thanksgiving to all my family, friends and new friends through this blog.

"Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"

"Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

"Yahweh Yahweh"

I believe so much in the power of prayer and have felt the prayers of so many faithful family, friends and people I will probably never meet.  Last night was one of the first times in a long time that I went to bed and slept ALL night without waking up once.  I had such a peace in my spirit when I woke up this morning.   During my quiet time I read this verse; Psalms 41:3 "The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health."  I wrote in the margin of my bible today's date with these words (thank you for the faithfulness of those that pray for me).   I didn't go searching for this scripture it "just happened" to be where my daily reading was for today.  Tony and I met with my oncologist at 9:15 this morning to find out the results of my CA 125 (cancer markers).  When the doctor first came in, he thought my CA 125 had gone up from the previous month because he thought my number was at 50.  I reminded him that it was 65.5 and he went to double check.  He came back in the room and said that was great news because this week's number was 65.1 and that is going 2 months without any treatment.  He has decided that for now, no further treatment is necessary.  He said there could be a good chance that 65 could be my baseline number.  He sent my tumors from my surgery off to be tested or as he called it "sliced and diced".  He went over all the information on what was obtained from the testing but it was all greek to me and Tony.  Basically it would help if future treatment is needed and what drugs would be most helpful to benefit my body.   He felt going on a monthly maintenance program would not benefit me at this time since my cancer markers are staying at an even number.  We will recheck my numbers again next month and if they are still in the same range, I will probably be able to go a longer amount of time between testing.  All I know is the God I serve, trust and believe in is a Mighty God that still continues to do miracles in my life and desires to give me "good gifts" from above.  I have no idea what next month will be like but I do know that today I have great health and I am so grateful for ALL He has done and shown me.   I continue to feel His healing hand upon my life and I've said it before that when I am worshiping Him through songs I feel more strength and power of Him living in me.  We've been singing a song in our youth group and we sang it again last night called:
"At Your Name-Yahweh Yahweh"
Here are the lyrics:

At Your name
The mountains shake and crumble
At Your name
The oceans roar and tumble
At Your name angels will bow
The earth will rejoice
Your people cry out
Lord of all the earth

We'll shout Your name, shout Your name
Filling up the skies
With endless praise, endless praise
Yahweh, Yahweh
We love to shout Your name oh Lord
Verse 2
At Your name

The morning breaks in glory
At Your name
Creation sings Your story
At Your name angels will bow
The earth will rejoice
Your people cry out
There is no one like our God

We will praise You, praise You
There is no one like our God
We will sing, we will sing
There is no one like our God
We will praise You, praise You
Jesus is our God
We will sing

I was also reading this morning in Exodus of when the people of Israel fled Egypt in chapter 14 and here are a few things I underlined in my bible that spoke to my heart; part of vs 4 "and I will get glory; that I am the Lord; "  vs 14 "The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent." vs. 28 "not one of them remained"  I know God was talking about the Egyptians in vs 28 but I know He is fighting for me and I am trusting that no cancer can remain in my body!!!  The meaning of Yahweh says "I am that I am" Exodus 3:14 in other words, he is saying "My name is the fact that I exist."

You might be reading this blog and not even believe in God.  My prayer is that you would see how great and amazing He really is and if there was no other reason to praise Him, His son dying on the cross would be enough!

"Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. "

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Our Family"

Once upon a time our family only had 6 people in it.  When I married Tony, he had Alesha, 16 years of age, Chris, 14 years of age and I had Bryan, 8 years of age and Jordan, 5 years of age.  As you can see below, we were all very young and had lots of hair. 
Tony, Chris, Jordan, Bryan, Me and Alesha

Through the years we've seen a lot of changes and our family has grown a great deal in numbers.  God has been so faithful to our family and His mercies and blessings are new every morning.  Great is His faithfulness!!!  We now have 7 grandchildren and #8 is on the way in March. 

It has been 3 years since we've had a family photograph made.  We have gained 3 new family members since our last photo.  I decided the night of the wedding rehearsal, that it would be a great time to capture a picture of all of us together.  Rhyanne Ketron graciously agreed to come out and take our pictures.  It was one of the craziest nights on the square of Bentonville.  It was our First Friday on the Square with toy vendors.  Luckily we had a church family, Erin Freeze & family, stroll by while we were taking pictures and I asked them to be a distraction so at least everyone would be looking toward the camera.  It takes a lot to get all adults and kids looking in the same direction.  I am very pleased with our pictures and so thankful for the time we had to share together.

"The Pate Clan"
Kimberly, Eric, Alesha, Kaitlyn & Carter
Jaxon, Kacee, Chris, Cadence & Addison
Jenna, Hudson & Bryan
David & Jordan
The excited soon to be married couple!!!

We've been so blessed through out the years.  Each one of our kids have married amazing Christian spouses and we couldn't have asked for a more precious gift for all 4 of our children. How great is our God!!!!!!
Ephesians 3:20-21 "Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

"Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Photo Booth Family Fun"

It may be several weeks before I have actual wedding pictures but couldn't pass up the opportunity with the few fun pictures we have of our family during the reception. Bryan sat up a photo booth and captured some great moments.
David & Jordan (son-in-law & daughter)
Jordan & Bryan (daughter & son)
Jenna & Jordan (daughter-in-law & daughter)
Me & Jordan (mom & daughter)
Kaitlyn, Kimberly, Alesha, Eric & Carter (daughter, son-in-law & grandchildren)
Addison, Cadence, Kacee, Jaxon & Chris (son, daughter-in-law & grandchildren)
Jaxon & Chris (son & grandson)
Me & Miranda (my niece)
Danyelle & Annie (my niece & great-niece)

So thankful to have almost every one of my family members at the wedding.  I was only missing one brother & sister-in-law.  All of my nieces, nephews & grandchildren were there and couldn't have felt more blessed!

"Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"A Long Appreciated Break"

It has been almost 2 months since I've had chemo or blood work done.  My hair is starting to come back in as well as my eyebrows & lashes.  I will be having blood work drawn tomorrow to check my cancer markers (CA 125).  I will return to Dr. Ivy's office for the results this Thursday.  The last time I had test ran, my CT scan showed no signs of cancer but my cancer markers were up.  Dr. Ivy wanted to give my body some rest with all the wedding plans going on, before rechecking my blood work.  Original plans were to keep me on a maintenance program of chemo, once a month for a year, after I was in the all clear of cancer.  My heart says I'm ready to be done with chemo, blood work and doctors period.  If I allowed myself to think too much, the unknown could get to me.  I have to keep trusting and believing God's plans are already in place and He is sovereign over ALL my days.  Psalms 90:12 "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." Since my diagnosis back in February, God continues to bring people (women) in my path that have been diagnosed with cancer.  His strength and grace continues to carry me each day and I am so thankful my eyes have seen more clearly ALL His blessings He continues to pour out over me.  I know there are many times and days I take so much for granted by grumbling and complaining, but I try and stop and recognize how great a God we serve and know any good in my life is from Him.  Mark 10:18 "And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good?  No one is good except God alone."

This past week was super busy from a wedding, cleaning up, and lots of family in town.  On top of all that our daughter-in-law, Jenna who is 21 weeks pregnant, had her gall bladder removed on Thursday.  She and baby did great through the surgery and I am thankful I was able to help take care of Hudson for a few days.  The newlyweds are back home safely and it was nice having everyone together again last night.

Tomorrow will begin a new week for us all and I'm trusting God's will to be done in all things.   Matthew 6:10 "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."

"Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"A True Love Story"

I wanted to post my thoughts and feelings from Jordan's wedding before my brain forgets.   I want to always remember and cherish her wedding day and never forget ALL God did on such an incredible day.   I always thought planning a wedding for your daughter would be very stressful and never could imagine how the "big" day would go.  Would I have peace, anxiety or be extremely emotional?
The only way I can describe the actual day we experienced would be to say..., "it was a fairy tale wedding".

We began the day early at Horton Farms.  Hair and makeup began at 7 am.  By 10 am Jordan was completely transformed into the most amazing beautiful bride I have ever seen.  I walked her to the door of the "barn" that leads outside.  On the other side of the door, her groom was waiting to see her for the very first time.  The tears began to fall as I told her how much I loved her and how proud I was of her and knowing I was letting her go see the man of her dreams and the young man I had prayed for her for 24 years.   I knew at that point that this was reality and I had to let her go and a new chapter of my life was beginning.

As the door closed behind her, I could only imagine the emotions she and David were experiencing seeing each other as a bride and groom for the very first time.  I am thankful to know Bryan was there to capture that incredible moment.  I know their emotions ran away with them and many tears were shed.

The first time they saw each other.  A true love story!!!!

We arrived at the church by 12 noon and had some wonderful friends provide lunch for the bridal party and family.  Jordan stayed in the bridal suite to relax and prepare herself for the upcoming ceremony after family pictures were taken.  It's amazing how fast the day progressed as 2 pm came closer.  We heard the music begin and knew this was the time we had long been waiting for.  I remember walking in and seeing lots of people but it was hard to look around and actually see any faces.  Once I was seated, Hutch walked out with David and the 2 best men following.  When I saw David's face for the very first time, my heart melted.  I could tell he had been crying.  As the groomsmen and bridesmaids walked down the aisles, David's tears began to flow and you could tell that nothing was going to stop them for falling.  Seeing how emotional he was, caused me to become more emotional.  The doors closed at the end of the aisle and it was time for me to stand and watch my beautiful daughter be escorted down the aisle by her dad, "Tony".  Here is the song that was sung, and the doors opened when the words "Holy Bride" were sung. 

Wash Me In Water :
Wash me in the water of the Word, I lay me on the alter of Your will, Present me blameless,Without blemish, Holy Bride, White, Lord, purify Your Bride 
(Ephesians 5:26-27)
As Jordan started down the aisle to David, the tears were falling from both of their eyes.  After Tony gave her away they proceeded up to the stage with Hutch, and the ceremony continued.  Hutch did a phenomenal job with sharing how Christ will someday come back to get His church and how the picture of what God had done in David's and Jordan's life was what God intended for our lives to be at the marriage alter.

David has truly loved and respected Jordan and courted her in a way that I truly believe has honored the Lord.  Jordan's hands were the first David ever held.  He guarded their hearts, souls, body and mind by never allowing themselves to be alone in a home, at church or in a building.  I have loved watching their lives together and knowing it was as pure as God had intended.  I think David must have read the Song of Solomon  many times.  My study bible says the purpose of this book is; "to tell of the love between a bridegroom and his bride, to affirm the sanctity of marriage, and to picture God's love for his people."

The ceremony came to an end with the long awaited "first kiss".  What a shout of joy and celebration to witness such an amazing thing between a young pure couple.  I believe the angels in heaven were celebrating with all of us that day.  Hutch announced them to the crowd as Mr. & Mrs. David Street.  They walked off the stage and danced down the aisle to "Baby, You've Got What It Takes" by Michael Buble.

The bridal party pictures were taken after the ceremony, but we had to find the bride and groom first.  They had disappeared somewhere in the church.  Once they were found, the kissing carried on for almost every picture and you could tell they were loving every minute of it.  

We preceded back to Horton Farms for the reception.  Jordan was able to have her dream wedding with it ending with dancing with her groom and dad.  I couldn't have asked for a better day and more precious memories than what I experienced on that day.  I will always cherish that day in my heart and so thankful God allowed me such wonderful health to enjoy every minute. 

Bryan has a few weddings to edit before we get to see all of Jordan and David's pictures, but below are a few he posted on Facebook:

Oh how I love this girl!!!!

So proud of this little guy!!! Our Huddy!!!

"Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Friday, November 2, 2012

"My Heart's Desire"

My heart is so full of joy today that the tears falling from my eyes are tears of celebration and rejoicing.  I have a Savior that has been so faithful and good to me.  9 months ago today I was given news I never hoped to hear.  I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer.  When I was discharged to come home from the hospital, I got on the internet and Googled Ovarian Cancer.  After reading all about it, I felt my life was over and I had no hope.  Satan used the internet that night to cause all kinds of fear in me.  My biggest fear on that evening was, I would never see my little girl get married.  God calmed all my fears and doubt almost immediately after that long night and day after and ever since then, my hope and faith has remained in Him.  He has blessed me far more than I could have ever dreamed.  My little girl is getting married tomorrow and I have absolutely no doubt David is the young man I have been praying for for the last 24 years.  Tony has fought for Jordan ever since he became her dad at the age of 5.  I think he has scared off almost every boy that has ever wanted to have a relationship with her.  He was the tough dad that believed and knew it would be worth being the "bad guy" to not give in to letting her date young men not worthy of having our daughter.  He's always told Jordan she was a "prize to be won".  I know friends have doubted at times how hard he was on her, even when she was old enough to make her own decisions.  I even doubted some.  I am thankful God brought Tony into my life and my kid's lives.  If it weren't for Tony Pate, I'm not sure where me or where my kids would be today.  I am so thankful that tomorrow when I see him walking her down the aisle, I will be praising Jesus for ALL He has done for our family.  When the doors open and I see a pure and holy bride walking in to see her bridegroom, it will be because of God's Amazing Grace that this ceremony is possible and I am there to witness this beautiful occasion.  Any tears shed will be tears of gratitude and worship to a God that is alive and wants to give His children good gifts. 

Psalms 21:2-6 "You have given him his heart's desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips.  For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.  He asked life of you; you gave it to him, length of days forever and ever.  His glory is great through your salvation; splendor and majesty you bestow on him.  For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.  For the king (Janet) trusts in the Lord, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved."

God has given me my heart's desire of seeing my children grow up and marry into wonderful families and I am so blessed to have a husband like Tony Pate that has loved me more than I could have ever hoped for and love my children like his own.  I am rejoicing and celebrating in His goodness today!!!

"Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."