Taylor turned 13 on July 4th-- I can't believe we have another teenager! We couldn't ask for a better one, that is for sure. Taylor is everything a parent could want-- sweet, hard-working, independent, a good brother, righteous, fun, and just plain good. He's not into girls just yet, but we have all kinds of fun sizing up the girls around here to see who we would love for him to end up with someday... :) Taylor loves sports and is dedicated to doing his best-- you will often find him outside shooting hoops or at the rec center playing a pick-up game. He is a great athlete! Taylor has read the Bible and the Book of Mormon on his own and has a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He makes wise, good decisions, even when those around him aren't doing the same. He is comfortable with who he is and is cool without trying to be. He's such a good example to us. Both Jeremy and I truly consider Taylor among our very best friends, and I don't know that many parents could say that of their 13-year-old. He is just pure gold. Happy Birthday, Big T!
Graci Kate turned 14 on August 4th. She has changed so much since that first time we held her in our arms less than 5 years ago! She is really growing up these last few months and starting to become more teenager-ish. She sleeps in (she used to always be the first one up), spends hours in her room reading or doing something by herself (she used to always want someone to play with) and she's spending more time in front of the mirror (though she claims it's NOT for the boys-- which is fine by us)! (: Our sweet Graci is so talented with all things crafty, and particularly right now, origami. The other day I was looking at some paper crafts on the computer with her and saw this swan that I liked:
I told her I thought it was beautiful. Later that evening, she came into my room and handed me one-- completely identical and perfect in every way. She's amazing! Graci is such a beautiful part of our family-- it feels so much different with her gone right now to Chinese camp. She is such an example of obedience-- she prays first thing in the morning every day before she does anything else, and reads her scriptures every single night without exception. I love this almond-eyed beauty of ours more than I can say! Happy Birthday, Princess Graci!
Darling Jesi turned 9 on August 6th. There just aren't words to describe this precious girl of ours. She is just magic. We love (nearly) everything that comes out of her mouth. She is hilariously funny, even when she's not trying to be, incredibly thoughtful and sweet, creative in every way, and just plain special. Her mind is just fascinating and innocent, and we love how she thinks and expresses herself. She has lots of spunk (not always good!) but we find it's almost impossible to get frustrated at her-- she definitely has us wrapped around her finger. Jesi loves dolls, dress-up, tea parties, Barbies, puzzles, princesses, "fashion hair-dos", reading, and anything pink or sparkly. She is pure sunshine in our lives. We love you, Princess Jessica-- Happy Birthday!
A quick update on Xander... We had an appointment with the surgical team yesterday. They took out one of the drainage tubes and took off the vac. His foot is still very swollen, discolored, and now has several very large blisters, some of which they are concerned about. There are some small areas that are turning black and so there is concern about tissue dying. We still have to keep in elevated and wrapped at all times, and not being able to move for over a week now has taken its toll. He's super emotional and just plain bored. Poor guy! Poor mom! He has a fever again today, which isn't helping things. The leg itself looks amazing! You wouldn't even recognize it from before. We'll have to do some before and afters once it heals some more. It's the darn ankle and foot that are causing such problems. I wish I could just fast forward time for him!!! Someday he'll just have an awesome scar to show off to all his friends, and this whole thing will be behind us. He was proud to learn he has "somewhere between 100-200" stitches! Oh, the things boys find consolation in!