I could NOT resist! I stole this picture from Dylan's facebook page. These are nine of my all time favorite people in the entire world. It sounds like I'm speaking in superlative, but I'm honestly not. If you asked, who are your favorite young adults in the entire world? ... I would have picked these nine kids.
As a matter of fact ... all nine of them actually slept here last night! They're the best.
Ok. From left to right:
Alissa: i love this girl! (See the post from yesterday.) She's tough. Beautiful. Feels life deeply. Fiercely committed to what she loves. Swims fast. Is going to be the coolest adult ever. You'd want her on your team. Life is boring (and a little quieter) unless Alissa is in the room.
Dylan: the most thoughtful person I know, sharing the honor with his mom. Sensible. Dependable. I'd entrust my babies to him in a burning building any day. Even a few years back we had a standing rule at our house ... if Dylan (or Grant) invites Collin to go do something, the answer is always yes. We talk a lot. He makes me want to fly helicopters. Dylan's my Favorite Person so often that he's close to getting disqualified.
Gracee: sweet. She is the personification of sweetness. I've cried over missing her more than I've cried over missing anybody. The physical distance between her and Alissa since they were little has tortured me. She is the best friend Alissa could ever find. I would carry Alissa across the country to spend half a day with this girl.
Grant: he's far more amazing than his insane ability to run ultramarathons. He's funny. I have laughed more at texts from Grant than any other non-family type person. He officially has a room in our house (ok, so it's more like a closet) and I do wish he would occupy it someday. He's a hard worker, smart in school, knows where he's going and is carrying a ton of fun with him to get there.
Collin: perfect. If I wrote up a list of grievances he's committed from the first day he was born until today, it would be far less than his sisters' lists added together and multiplied by 12. When I was pregnant (sorry to say pregnant when I'm talking about you, Collin) I told God that I would take a boy, just one boy, as long as he was calm and quiet and close to perfect. One year, when a heap of families were camping in Idaho, the 20 or so kids got in a tussle about something and the parents and kids all had a big meeting to talk it over. I sat down, having no clue what had happened and noticed that Collin wasn't there. I leaned over to Grant and asked where Collin was. He said, "Collin's down at the beach. He didn't need to come." I asked him why not? Grant said, "Mrs. Thomas, Collin's perfect."
Caleb: Caleb is soft-hearted and passionate and artistic. He studies photography and is really good. He's passionate about political stuff and right and wrong and what's best for a country and what's not. He's funny and not afraid to be himself in front of me. He's smart in science. And an amazing self-taught computer guy gone professional. I can think of four careers that he would be awesome at if he ever decided to move on from what he's doing now.
Hannah: she's a lively child. She laughs a lot, but never too much. She brightens up a room. She's analytical and loves people. She's brave and forgiving. She's an artist and a dancer. Creative. She's all sparkles but can totally do mud. She tells me about her friends at school and makes me want to meet them. If I were her grade school teacher I would write on her report card that "she's a pleasure to have in class" and I would really mean it.
Kaisha: a different person than she was a couple years ago. In all the right ways. She's been through hell, if you don't mind my saying so. She's coming out shining and beautiful. She has an ability to hold up under pressure in a way I never imagined. She's all soft and gentle on the outside, but is all guts and iron on the inside. If you think you have her figured out, you're wrong. If you mess with her, you might walk away thinking you've won, but it's a sad illusion. She's actually kicked your butt.
Braden: just started coming around a couple months ago and now he's requesting bath towels and borrowing clothes. The guys gang up on him. They can make this Navy Seal bound, totally focused, in shape, intense, incredibly intelligent weapon owner sound like a dork because he can't twirl a pencil around his finger like Collin can. But he takes it. Then they give him a bunch of crap for the way he taps the table when he talks. He takes that too. Braden's cool. And I'm hoping it will rub off on the other guys.