Thursday, July 7, 2011

Our little firecracker turns 12!!!

Because I am soooo tired, I'm going to cheat a little and repeat Taylor's birthday tribute from last year. You can read it HERE. Can you tell how much I love that kid??!!! He is such a special guy.

Taylor had a great birthday. We woke him up with his "breakfast in bed." When he took the lid off the tray, there was a note that said that Dad was taking him out to breakfast at IHOP. He LOVED that. They had a great breakfast, then Jer took Taylor to Walmart to pick out a shiny new bike! He had really outgrown his old one and was thrilled with the one he chose. All of the kids pitched in some of their own money to help pay for the bike, so it meant even more. Then it was off to the movies. We went to the dollar theater and saw "Rio." Totally cute. Everyone loved it. That evening we had planned to go and see a parade, but we were all a bit tired and overwhelmed at the thought of getting everyone ready, so we just stayed home and barbequed hamburgers and played in the backyard. We ended the night with a few fireworks and a drive to a spot that overlooks the valley where you can see all of the firework shows. It would have been a perfect end to his birthday, had Taylor not been sitting on top of the van (to watch the fireworks) when Jeremy slammed the van door on his hand. ): From the sound of his cry I was sure we had lost a finger or two, but now that a couple of days have passed, it seems he'll be just fine.

You know, I was reading my friend Tiffany's blog about her Fourth of July. She has three beautiful kids. They were all dressed matchy-matchy in red, white, and blue, their table was set all festive, and their gorgeous brick home looked beautifully decorated for the holiday. For a moment, I wistfully thought of my box of Fourth of July decorations that remains in the storage room, untouched this year. I thought of the regular old plastic tableware and plain napkins that we used, and the very un-fancy dinner we had. I thought of my old tradition of buying the kids a new summer outfit from Old Navy for the Fourth of July (when we just had three kiddos.) I thought of how this year, Jeremy bought matching flag shirts for all the girlies from Walmart, none of which ended up being worn on the Fourth because I had let the girls wear them a few days before due to the lack of clean clothes (I'm always behind on laundry) and that I had forgotten to get them washed for the Fourth. I thought of how once upon a time, I did Jessica's hair all fancy and cute on the Fourth, with ribbons made to look like fireworks. And I will admit, I felt just a bit sad.

Then I came upon this picture.

Yes, Sophi's hair and face is a mess. Lexi's eating her burger without a bun and is laying down to eat. And we'll all pretend we don't notice how dirty Sophi's feet were as she's eating! But as I looked at this picture, I was overwhelmed by the thought of how these two precious girls are living the American dream. How they have come to a family that adores them, a country that offers them every freedom, a home that gives toys, clothes, and all of the food their little tummies want. How in just a few months, these girls have become all-American girls, and more importantly, sisters! It helped me remember that this is what's right for our family right now (I know it's not for everyone), and that it's worth giving up the cute decorations and matching cute clothes and fancy food for awhile, right?

Happy Fourth of July, albeit a bit late!

Notce how Elli's torn down our net.

Have you ever seen a cleaner cob? Graci gets every kernel off perfectly!


  1. Great great great updates guys! I so love seeing you guys - and y'all make the perfect point - decorations vs. living life....I'll take the latter every time! Great stuff on the beach too - just wow!!

    Happy Birthday Taylor - we love you guys!!

    hugs - aus and co.

  2. The picture of Sophi eating corn on the cob is a classic! I am glad you are able to have such a true and amazing perspective on this whole adventure. I look forward to a week of "perspective" with you all very soon!!

  3. I agree about that picture with Sophi eating the corn. That is amazing! I loved all the pictures. Happy Birthday, Taylor! Our boys are getting old too quick! Oh - and Graci is so pretty! It is a good thing she has brothers to "protect" her.