July 5, 2011
Zachary and Justin just got back from their camping trip to Cimmarron Canyon on Sunday. They had a good time overall,
but had some difficulties along the way. Got there with no problem and got their campsite set up on Monday. Got their
fishing license and climbed the mountain that afternoon and did a little fishing. On Tuesday they went downstream to do
some fishing and a windstorm came up. When they got back to the campsite they found that their tent had nearly collapsed.
The wind had caused the poles had splintered and they ripped through the roof of the tent. They went into Angel Fire
and found a new tent, much smaller the the original but was all that was available. On Wednesday they went to Red River
and did some sight seeing. Then on Thursday the ranger came by and said that they were closing the canyon due to expected
dry lightning. They had to be out by 5 PM. A little dissappointing as they had only been there a few days and had so far
had no luck fishing. They found a room in Eagle Nest at the Marina for 2 nights only even though they were supposed to
be there 5 more days. On Friday they went out on the lake with a guide named Andrew, a guide that we had used previously
when the boys were only about 4 and 5 years old. They caught 8 decent sized fish but only one salmon. Having no place to
stay after that night they went ahead and headed home on Saturday cutting their trip short, but caught a few fish and
seemed to have a good time while they were there. Pictures of the trip are on the photo page.
April 3, 2011
Quick update on what has been happening over the last few months. Zachary and the band had the opportunity to perform
at the Meyerson Symphony Center, a world class symphony
hall in Dallas that was designed by I. M. Pei. They put on a great show to a nearly sold out house. A few pics are posted
on the photo page.
About 6 weeks ago Zachary was invited to compete in a speech contest sponsored by the Rotary Club. He was awarded a
scholarship of $100.00 for his speech at the local club and advanced to the District level. His speech is posted on the
photo page if you want to hear what he had to say.
Yesterday Zachary competed in the UIL Academic - Speech and Debate district meet. In Extemporaneous speech he finished
third in his group and in the Current Events section his team finished in first and advanced to the Texas Regional Finals that
will be held in a couple of weeks. It has been a very busy few months for him and us but he has done some great things and
we are very proud of him.
November 11, 2010
Wanted to let everyone know about a big weekend that Zachary had. On Saturday the McKinney North Drumline competed
at the Lonestar Drumline Competition and they were awarded 2nd place in there division. In addition to that they
were awarded caption awards for best snare line and best bass line. The bass line is Zachary’s line so in his last
competition with North he did very well and we are very proud of him. Then on Monday he and the band got to perform
a song with the Dallas Brass, a group that has toured the world, at a concert that our band put on at the school
with about 1000 in attendance. Both videos are now on the photo page.
Click here for a link to the Dallas Brass
if you want to see who they performed with.
September 28, 2010
This past Saturday Zachary and the McKinney North Drumline competed at the Plano Drum Line Competition. They
were competing against 14 other drum lines in their division and against 72 drumlines in the overall competition.
It rained all morning and the kids were very wet by the time they got to the field to perform.
The drumline did a great job and ended up receiving trophies for best snare line, best front ensemble, and
2nd place overall in their division. They also were voted by all three judges as a finalist for the Outstanding
Arrangement and Musical Interpretation against all 72 competing drumlines. They did a great job and we are very proud of
them. This is their first trophy at this competition in Zachary's 4 years there. You can see a video of
their performance on the Family Photo page at the end of the photos of the Plano Drum Line Competition.
July 16, 2010
Well, I guess it’s time to post a summer update. We flew Zachary up to Spokane Washington on June 18th to
begin his DCI practices. They immediately put the kids to work the next day at 7:30 AM. They gave Zachary
a 70 pound drum to carry and practiced on the marching field from 7:30 AM until 11:00 PM each night. In
addition to that, he had to carry his drum up and down a large, steep hill 4 times a day to get to the
practice field. (not complaining, this is just what the kids have to do to learn a full show in 11 days
and wanted to give you all a jist of what his days were like) A few
days in, his knee began to get sore but was getting better and then he marched into someone and fell with
the drum and injured his knee further. They took him to the hospital and the doc put him in a knee brace
and he stayed off of it for a few days missing the first two exhibitions but marched the next two nights
in their first two competitions after which his knee began to hurt worse. At that time he made the decision
that he couldn’t continue and we flew him home from Boise, Idaho on July 6th. The good news is that his
knee got better after getting home and not having to be on it marching every day, and our doc here said
there were no injuries. He was very disappointed at not being able to stay with his group, especially after
the knee started getting better pretty quickly thinking he should have toughed it out, but it was a situation
that would have probably only gotten worse had he been marching every day and only got better by resting it.
He really wanted to finish the
tour, but there will be next year to try again. He had a great time while he was there despite the knee
problem. Hope to have some pictures posted that he took while he was there soon. Other than that it has
been a pretty uneventful summer.
I found a video of the group's performance on July 5th in Pasco, Wash. Unfortunately Zachary is not in it, it is the
performance the night after the last competition he performed in, but it will let you see what the group was
doing. It is in two parts, just click on the links below to see it.
May 16, 2010
Just a few things to report on for the last couple of months. The McKinney North Band Banquet was held a couple
of weeks ago and at the banquet, Zachary was named outstanding symphonic band member. We also awarded the two
Spencer Taylor Memorial Scholarships to Taylor Allen and Samantha Crump. The next week was the annual
percussion concert, some pictures are posted over on the photo page, sorry about the video, but it just didn't
turn out very well. It was an outstanding concert and all the kids did a great job. And lastly, yesterday was
Zachary's prom. There are some pictures of him in his tux over on the photo page as well.
February 21, 2010
Just wanted to let everyone know that Zachary was invited to perform and compete with the Spokane
Thunder Drum Corps International group this summer. The group is based in Spokane Washington. He will travel to Spokane
on June 19th, (sadly this might cause him to miss the potential Taylor Family Reunion), and then
will travel along the west coast performing and competing with the group. Their performances are in
Eugene, OR - Hillsboro, OR - Pasco, WA - Ontario, OR - Odgen, UT - San Jose, CA - Dublin, CA - Corona, Ca
- and Long Beach, CA. If any of yall are gonna be in any of these areas this you will have the chance to
see him perform. This is a big deal for Zachary and he is very excited to have been invited to be a
part of their group, one of those once in a lifetime opportunities for him that from everyone we have
talked to says, it will be something he will never forget. He makes us prouder every day.
The Spokane Thunder website is here and
if you want to see a video of their performance at the 2008 Open Class World Finals where they finished
in 7th place, click here.
November 27, 2009
Thought we would let everyone know about Zachary's big news. He finally began his search for a car
and found one he liked this week. Rhonda and him went to drive it this past Monday. After having
looked at about a dozen cars he decided he wanted this one and called the owners on Wednesday. He did
all the negotiating himself and made a deal with them over the phone. We went over Wednesday
evening to pick it up and it is now sitting in our driveway. Now if he can just get his drivers
license so he can actually drive it. Hope to get that taken care of in the next couple of weeks and
then no more taxi service for mom and dad. The car is a 1998 Accura Integra. It appears to be in
good shape as it is a one owner and seems to have been well taken care of. He couldn't get as nice
a car as he wanted with his limited budget, but we are hoping that this one will not have any unknown
problems and he can drive it for a while. There are some pictures of it over on the Family Photo Page
or you can get to them by clicking here.
For James and his Father: On Thanksgiving when Zachary was looking at his key fob that has the buttons
to unlock and lock the doors he noticed that on the bottom of it, it says "VIPER". He didn't even realize
it till the day after we brought the car home. You can
click here to see a picture of it, hopefully the
"VIPER" will show up on the photo.....So we guess he finally got the Viper he wanted.
October 4, 2009
I know it has been a while since we posted anything here in the journal, the summer was very
busy and went by way too fast. We are in full swing with marching season now and had our first
band competition this weekend. We marched at the Midlothian Marching Festival and the band
performed very well. Our band placed 3rd overall amongst all classes and our colorguard placed
1st overall amongst all classes. All in all a very good day for a band that is over half
freshman. We have our next festival next Saturday and then UIL contest the Saturday after that. Some
pictures of this weekend are on the photo page and hope to have a video of our festival performance
May 11, 2009
The end of the year McKinney North Band Banquet was this past Saturday night. It was a
great night. Rhonda was in charge of putting the banquet together and nearly everyone
has said it was the best banquet they have had. She really did an incredible job and the
pictures don’t do the decorations justice. During the night Zachary received an award
for Outstanding Symphonic Band Member. We also gave out the first two Spencer Taylor
Memorial Scholarships. They were awarded to Nikki Cassidy and Zach Bitting who happen
to be our schools Valedictorian and Salutatorian for this year. They are very deserving
recipients and we are proud that they are the first to receive it. It was more emotional
than we thought, but it was a great night and we can’t wait till next year. Pictures of
the banquet are on the Family Photo Page.
May 3, 2009
We had a very special night this past Wednesday. The Rotary Club I belong to had our annual
Celebration of Service Banquet where we present checks to the local charities that we have
decided are most deserving for this year. We were very fortunate that the club had decided
to make a donation to the Spencer Taylor Memorial Scholarship Fund this year for $1000 to
help us grow the endowment. It was an incredible gift and we are very honored to have
received it. Our Club also gave $6000 to Make A Wish to sponsor a wish for a local boy who
is battling cancer, and $13,000 to the McKinney Education Foundation to begin an endowment
for teacher grants. When the evening became even more special was when the third check was
presented to the McKinney Education Foundation, the Executive Director-Melanie Perkins (who
was with Make A Wish prior to joining MEF this year) started speaking she talked about how
great it was that all three organizations were tied together that evening through Spencer.
I don’t think it had occurred to us until right then, but with the MEF administering the
scholarship, all three groups receiving donations on the same evening together were all
connected to Spencer in some way, almost as if he had brought them together. It made the
night even more special and a memory we will cherish. Photos of the event are posted on
the Family Photo Page.
April 27, 2009
This years Relay for Life was this past Friday night. It was difficult to get up the strength
to go this year but Rhonda and I had decided to go for the ceremonies and then leave a little
after the Luminaria ceremony rather than stay all night. We hadn’t put together a team and so
weren’t planning on walking all night. When Zachary found out we would be leaving early he was
disappointed and said he would rather stay all night and on the day of Relay Justin called and
asked if he could come with us so we ended up deciding to stay later than expected so that they
could enjoy Relay. We worked in the Krings BBQ tent for a couple of hours and then got through
the luminaria ceremony and then walked several laps (Rhonda walked many more than me). There was
a lot of good entertainment this year that we got to enjoy, there are a couple of videos over on
the photo page at the end of the relay album of a couple of local garage bands. It wasn’t as
large of a crowd this year maybe due to the high winds, but there were many more people still
walking at 4 AM this year than in the past couple of years. At 4:30 AM we finally decided to
leave and go have breakfast at IHOP which has become an annual tradition. Attending Relay was
much more difficult this year for us, but we would have regretted not going and not staying as
late as we did.
March 24, 2009
A few weeks ago Zachary's spanish class in school was given an assignment to translate a spanish
song into english and produce a music video of the song, so he and three of his buddies began working
on the video and we finally received an early copy of the video yesterday. They haven't gotten their grade
yet, but you can click
here if you want to see the results of their work. Zachary is on the drums. There is also a link to
the video on the Family Photo page.
March 6, 2009
I know we haven’t posted anything in a while, but thought we would share this store with everyone. Last
night we had an unexpected visitor. Rhonda had gone out to get her regular fix of a bag of Sonic ice
(apparently they have the best ice anywhere). When she got home and began to head to the door to get
into the house from the garage, she spotted a snake right by the door. She decided rather than try to
get by the snake she would scare it away from the door so she could get in the house, so she began to
pick up random objects and hurl them at the snake. Alas, the snake was undeterred and now rather angry, and sat curled up and
apparently taunting her. She decided to hurry past the snake before it had the opportunity to strike and
make her way into the safety of the house. After finally making it into the house she summoned Zachary to
extricate the snake from the garage. After Zachary decided he was no match for this snake they decided
I should be the one to get rid it. Having had a 6 foot boa when I was much younger this should be no
problem I thought. I went to the garage and saw what seemed to be a harmless snake that appeared to be
about 18 inches to 2 feet long. Then I saw it shaking it’s tail rapidly as it sat curled ready to strike
and quickly decided this was either a “mute” rattlesnake or some other type of snake just trying to psych
me out. Well, the psych out worked and my manly demeanor evaporated quickly. I came back in the house to
find some tool to help handle this creature and decided on a mop, the length of the mop allowing me to
control the snake while keeping a safe buffer between me and him. As I attempted to place the head of
the mop on the snake’s body to immobilize it, it struck at the mophead several times with mouth wide open.
This, of course, depleted the last bit of my masculinity. I was finally able to get the mophead firmly on
the snake and stretch it out so that I could grab it’s still shaking but non rattling tail and place it in
a large ice chest. We decided to keep it in the chest overnight so Animal Control could come and remove the
snake today, as Rhonda didn’t want to let it go in the yard, giving it another opportunity to reenter the
garage and terrorize us yet again. Animal Control came today and removed the snake, ice chest and all per
Rhonda’s insistence, and identified it as rat snake or bull snake. As you can imagine, this identification
didn’t ease Rhonda’s mind very much, but at least our temporary house guest is now far away, and the mop
should continue to perform nicely in spite of it’s many snake bites. You can see the pictures of our little
(Spencer and Zachary's Papaw had this to say after reading the story and thought it should be added here)
He remembers years ago a young boy (That would be me) who went to Cimarron Canyon and found a little green snake and put it in
his pocket to bring it home, and if you can carry a snake in your pocket then why are you afraid of a little
snake in your garage?
December 8, 2008
Sorry it has been so long since the last update, but since Zachary's marching season ended we have just
settled in the last couple of months to get through the holidays. Zachary marched with the band in our
Christmas parade around the downtown square this weekend and his Christmas concert is December 11th. Rhonda
and I will once again play with the Parent/Alumni/Faculty band at the concert. You can see some pictures of
the parade over on the Family Photo Page.
October 30, 2008
This past Saturday, Zachary's Aunt Stephanie and her boyfriend Jamie came in from Houston and took Zachary
out to the Viper Days event at Eagles Canyon Raceway. There were many Vipers there to race as well as some other
race cars. Jamie was able to get Zachary into one of the Vipers with one of the instructors for the Parade lap. They
gave him a video camera to film from the passenger seat as they went around the track.
Click Here to see the video from the parade lap.
A little later Zachary was able to take about six laps around the track in a Corvette at full, race speed. From the look on his
face when they got to the house it was obvious that Zachary had an incredible time. He has now decided he
wants to get a Viper...hope he does well in college so he can get a job that will allow him to afford one.
If you want to see more about what Viper Days are you can
Click Here (www.ViperDays.com) to get to their website.
October 13, 2008
Zachary and the band had their second Marching Festival competition of the season. It was another long
weekend similar to last weekend, two very long days in a row, but again they did very well. They received
high marks from the judges and were awarded 4 caption awards in our class including - Outstanding Music,
Outstanding Marching, Outstanding General Effect, and Outstanding Color Guard. Mr. Myers, Zachary, and the
rest of the percussion section received the 2nd place trophy and a $200 cash prize from ProMark Drum Sticks!
We advanced to finals competition, placing 10th overall competing against all classes and some of the best
band programs in the state including schools from Frisco, Lewisville, Mansfield, and Rowlett. Another great
weekend for our band. On another note, we found out in the middle of last week that the percussion section, in last
weeks marching festival, placed 5th overall against the bands in all classes while placing first in their class.
Friday night was Middle School night, so all of the middle school band students joined the North band in the
stands to play along with them during the game.
October 6, 2008
Zachary and the McKinney North Band competed in the Denton Marching Festival this past Saturday. It was
a very long day for them. Zachary got to school at around 6:30 am on Friday morning and didn't get back
home until around 12:30 that night after the game in Sherman. Then he had to be back at school at 6:15 the
next morning for the marching festival. They marched at around 9:30 that morning and discovered they had
made the finals late that afternoon and marched in the finals that evening and finally got home around 11:30
that night, so it was two nearly 18 hour days for all of them. Despite the two long days though they did very
well in the marching festival. In their class they
received Best Music; Best Marching; Best General Effect; Best Percussion; Best Colorguard!! In the finals they
received 7th place overall in all classes and Best Colorguard in all classes. It was a very good day for them
and we are very proud of Zachary and the entire band.
September 22, 2008
It’s been 2 weeks since The Culinary Event for the scholarship fund and honestly, we are still reeling.
It was an amazing night! Amazing on so many different levels.
I don’t know how many know the story, but last year at a band meeting, a mom from the band board came
up to us and asked if it was ok if they gave a scholarship in Spencer’s name at the band banquet. We
were taken aback, but honored. We went home that night, knowing that the budget for a band is tight,
and for them to want to do this…we figured we needed to do all we could to help raise some money for
that scholarship. Gary knew Darren McGrady from Marketstreet and asked if he would be willing to donate
a dinner for the silent auction the band was about to have. Darren called back the next day and said,
“Let’s do something a little bit bigger”. I found out the other night at the event that Darren receives
several requests for fundraising events. He has to carefully go through them and can only do a portion
of what the requests are. When Darren had received Gary’s request, he clicked on Spencer’s webpage and
started reading and at the same time he caught a glimpse of his own daughter outside playing. She was
12 years old, the same age as Spencer when he was diagnosed, and he said he thought to himself, “we can
do better than this.” Hence, the beginning of a night that will never be forgotten.
I never truly could grasp how big an event this would be. I know I helped with some of the arrangements,
I know I sat in on meetings, I know I saw the donations coming in, but to fully grasp it…I just could never
wrap my thoughts around it. I’ve read of scholarship events that people do, I’ve heard and read about
benefit fundraising events, yet those have always been for other people, people who had more money, more
connections, more friends than we do, so to think we could ever have the capability of honoring Spencer
in this way…well, truly, it was never more than a passing thought. As I watched as people kept giving and
giving of their time, talents, money, I silently sat back and watched…occasionally voicing, “I can’t believe
this”. As more and more people got on board, we were just speechless. Over and over again, I saw the passion
and desire from so many to make this such a special event.
The weeks before the event, I watched as people poured their hearts into making this special. I watched as
they spent so much time preparing the menus, bulletins, getting donations for the silent auction, I watched
as they spent so many hours on the details that truly made the night special, and although we tried to work
as if it were just another project, we couldn’t help but think, Spencer is the driving force behind this.
Yes, the ones working on it are the ones accomplishing the work, but the main reason for all of this is our
son, Spencer. Wow, what a realization. To know that all of these people are giving so graciously of their
time and talents in honor of our son…incredible…words cannot capture those feelings.
The day of the event, I watched all the team from Marketstreet preparing, I watched the chefs preparing, and
in each of them I saw the passion it takes to make any event successful. I knew several weeks beforehand that
no matter if we made our monetary goal or not, the event was going to be a success. I wanted it to be, if for
nothing else, for all those that poured their hearts into it. As I watched the night unfold, I watched as the
kids and directors from the band arrived, I watched as many friends arrived, I watched as new found friends and
acquaintances arrived, I watched as people I had never met before arrive, and again, I was struck by the
graciousness of everyone I came in contact with that night. I was also struck by the fact that this was so
much how Spencer’s life was…so many people from so many different walks of life…it was very appropriate.
As far as monetary value of the night…we ended up raising close to $20,000.00. This is the amount we needed
to start an endowment for the scholarship. We still have a few donations coming in here and there, so we feel
confident we will hit the actual mark before long.
To everyone that made this night so successful…thank you. The boys have always teased me for coming up with my
own words, but I can’t for the life of me come up with anything better to say than this, so until the day I do,
please know that “thank you” comes from the very depths of our hearts.
I would like to say one final thing. Darren McGrady, The Royal Chef…words to describe him…there are none. When
we embarked on this, I wondered, what does he get out of this? As I spent time with him, I couldn’t help but
think time and time again how much I wish he had met Spencer. Oh, the smart remarks at someone elses expense
that would have happened! That sly sense of humor, but truly a good heart inside…so much alike they were. Chef
McGrady has a heart of gold. If there was ever someone that gives back, it is he. I’ve been amazed reading about
him and listening to him, he never wants any accolades, but he definitely deserves them. We are blessed to have
him and his family come into our lives.
It’s hard to sum up exactly how the night was, to say it was incredible, well it’s just an understatement. The
chefs, the host, the volunteers, the band, the food, the atmosphere…if you knew Spencer, you would understand when
he would nod his head, give a little grin and say, “Cool.” So simple, but it meant everything. The night was “cool”.
August 27, 2008
The Good Morning Texas segments promoting the Scholarship was today. It all went incredibly well and the band
sounded amazing. They did 2 segments, the first with Darren cooking for the kids and talking about the fundraiser,
and the second segment was the band playing and they interviewed the director Alan Harkey and then pulled
Zachary up to talk to him for just a little bit. We are so grateful that the folks at Good Morning Texas
did all of this to help us promote the scholarship. I am putting the links to both videos just below here if you want
to see them.
Royal Chef Darren McGrady Cooks for a Good Cause
McKinney North High School Band
August 10, 2008
Sorry it has been so long since we have posted an update, but it has been kind of a quiet summer since we got back
from vacation. Our nieces Sarah Jean and Katy came to spend a week with us and had a great time shopping in
the big city with Rhonda as well as a very hot day at Six Flags. Monica was here for a few days before she headed
back to Manhattan to get ready to get back to teaching. The date of the big scholarship fundraiser is getting closer
and I can tell you that we are beginning to get real nervous about it. We have never done anything like this
before and we sure hope, along with all the incredible help we have received from Darren, Ruth and her girls in
the cooking school at Market Street and everyone else that we are able to pull it off. Zachary started Summer Band and has been
in full marching and playing rehearsals for nearly two weeks now. Our band students and parents worked one of the concession booths at
Ozzfest yesterday as a fundraiser and we had a great time seeing and hearing Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica along with all the other bands,
Zachary especially had a great time. Other than that we are just ready to get back into a regular school routine but still
hate to see the summer end.
We do want to request a special prayer from everyone this week. It has been a difficult month already and this week will
be incredibly difficult on our family. Not sure what we will do Wednesday other than just making it through the day. All prayers
and good thoughts are welcome. Will probably be a good day to read
Spencer's Memory Page and submit your own memory if
you want. Getting them posted will give me something worthwhile to do that day.
July 17, 2008
We met today with the McKinney Education Foundation. They will be holding and managing the endowment for Spencer's
Scholarship. We don't have all of the details yet, but we should have everything finalized within the next 2 weeks. We will have an account
set up with them within the next week, which will give us the 501(c)3 status that we have been needing
to move forward with the fundraising event. We will post when we get more details on the set up with
July 1, 2008
We got some pictures scanned in from some previous Cimarron Canyon trips when the boys were
younger, they are posted on the family photo page.
June 28, 2008
Well, we made it back from our vacation in Cimarron Canyon. We had a great time, caught lots of fish,
and survived the 25 to 40 degree nights in the tent. Parts of the canyon and Eagle Nest were just as
it was when we were there last about 9 years ago, and parts were much different. The D&D café where
we had breakfast at least once or twice while we would be there had closed, but Gary who had owned
it for some 22 years was now cooking breakfast at the motel we had to stay at the first night, so
we still got to eat at least some of his cooking. Unfortunately he had had some heart problems that
forced him to give up the café. Sue Finley, who was still running the Marina, seemed happy to see
us after these few years. She was as funny as ever and set us up with our boat trips on the lake,
but sadly, Pepe, who had been our guide the past few times we were there had passed away in February
due to cancer. He was a great man who had taken me out on my ice fishing trips there as well. Sue
did manage to pass around the story and make fun of my first day ice fishing when I had arrived grossly
unprepared with jeans, t-shirts, and tennis shoes and nearly froze my first day, only to find insulated
coveralls and snow mobile boots which she had laid on the porch of my cabin the next day out of the
goodness of her heart. Kaw Lija’s was still open and going strong. Chris still owned it and was still
doing the cooking. He has added some Mexican food to the menu, which provided us with our first taste
of New Mexico green chile in several years. The canyon, which the movement of the stream changes almost
yearly, still provided some of our old favorite fishing spots, but some areas had changed dramatically
and were much harder to fish. The biggest change was in our small campground, which had sustained 80 MPH
winds a few weeks before which had taken down several of the trees there. We only had bears in camp a
couple of times which was less than usual, but much more deer and didn’t see one raccoon which the boys
had fed by hand in years past. Overall it was a great trip, but bittersweet that we went back this time
as a family of 3 rather than 4. That’s all I can say about that right now. The pictures are posted on the
family photo page which you can get to by
June 11, 2008
Today Zachary had drumline tryouts for next year. As you all know, he plays bassoon in band but as that is not a marching
instrument, he plays with the drumline during marching season. Last year he played the bass drum, but decided to
try out for the tenor drums this year. He has only been taking drum lessons since a little after Christmas and just
began practicing on the tenors a few weeks ago. Well, he found out after tryouts that he made tenors. He is very
excited and we are very proud of him. If you want to see what the tenor drums are,
click here to see Jon Mullins Tenor drum solo from last year, or you can
click here to see a photo of Jon on the Tenors at last years Drum Line Competition.
May 24, 2008
Thursday Night was Zachary's Percussion Ensemble Concert. It was the first concert we had seen with just the percussion
section, but it was very nice. I have posted a video of the concert on the family photo page if you want to see it, the
sound is not great. The video company didn't come out to make a DVD, so it was recorded from our camera. I should have the
DVD of the spring concert last week soon, and will get it posted when the Video company ships it to us.
I also have some of the items listed that we have for the silent auction for the scholarship fundraising event we have
coming up. Just click on the Auction link on the scholarship
page to take a look at what we have so far.
May 17, 2008
Tonight was this years band banquet and they gave out the first three Spencer Taylor Memorial Scholarships. It was a very
emotional night with some of the tributes to Spencer, but a great night knowing that part of him will live on through this
scholarship every year. Some pictures of the evening are posted on the Family Photo Page.
May 9, 2008
Most of the details are now finalized for the Scholarship Fundraiser. We have most of the chefs confirmed, and
the menu is now done. It looks like we will now have 6 chefs for the Dinner, and 3 to 5 more chefs for the reception
serving the Canapes. Chad Kelley from the Oceanaire Seafood room is the first of the reception chefs confirmed and I should have
pics and bio on him soon along with the other confirmed. All 6 dinner chefs are now confirmed and listed with photos and bios. The
raffle tickets will be going on sell next week and the press release will be sent out next week as well. Capital One
Bank has also signed on as a sponsor as of this week as well. They will be providing the goodie bags as well as a photographer
for the event and tellers to man the silent auction tables. To see all of the details, just click on the scholarship link
from Spencer's main page or click here.
May 2, 2008
Just got word today that Dallas Child magazine did an article on Darren McGrady and
his family. Darren is the chef who is heading up the fundraiser for
seen the actual printed magazine yet, but they did put a link to the web page about the scholarship in the article.
Here is a link to
the article, it is a great article about Darren and his family.
We got the pictures about Relay for Life posted on the
Rhonda will have an update posted
here soon about the evening.
April 22, 2008
Well, he finally made it home and all the pics are now posted.
April 20, 2008
Monica sent us some pictures from Day 3. Her camera was malfunctioning on Day 2 so we will have to wait for
Zachary to get home to get his pictures posted of that day.
April 19, 2008
Got just a few pics added of the first evening after they arrived.
April 18, 2008
Well, Zachary got on the plane to head to New York a few hours ago. I have got some pictures from the Airport posted
over on the family photo page. Will continue to add to them over the weekend as we get more pictures. Monica will be taking
some and sending them to us and we will get Zachary's posted when he gets back.
April 15, 2008
The band got a Division I rating in both the concert and sight reading portions of the contest. A big congratulations to
all of them.
April 15, 2008
Zachary and the McKinney North Symphonic Band performed in the UIL Contest today. We havent gotten the results yet, I will
post them here as soon as we know. I have the video of their performance if you want to listen to them uploaded over on the
April 13, 2008
Well, it's hard to believe we haven't posted anything in about 3 weeks. I guess it has been a pretty boring few weeks,
but sometimes boring is OK. Zachary is getting ready for his trip to New York. He will be having UIL Band
contest on Tuesday through Thursday, then they will be heading to NY on Friday morning and getting back late Monday
night. They will get to see the Blue Man Group and Lion King while they are there as well as The Statue of Liberty and a quick
trip to Ground Zero. Zachary should get to spend a little time with Monica during some of his free time while they are there.
Zachary is taking his camera, so if we can get him to take some pictures I will get them posted after he gets back.
He is very excited about going although Rhonda and I are a little anxious. Spencer and Zachary went to NY last spring break and
it will be hard to put Zachary on a plane to NY without Spencer.
Relay for Life is coming up a week from Friday on April 25th. Thanks to everyone who has donated, we will get
a recap and pictures posted as soon as we can after the event. We will try to not let it go so long without an entry
Mar 25, 2008
Just a note to let everyone see the new website I have been building. Still in just the beginning stages, but the stories are
beginning to be submitted. Click on The Faces of Sarcoma to see
the new site.
Mar 17, 2008
Well, it is time for Relay for Life this year. It will be on April 25th and we are hoping to go, but the jury is still out on
whether that is a good idea or not. Please pray for us for the strength to make the right decision when the time comes. Here is
the letter we emailed out for help with the event if you are seeing this and didn't get it. Also the Relay for Life link on the
main page is now current and will take you to our Relay page.
On April 25, my family and I have a chance impact many lives. How? Our son’s life was tangled with so many other lives, all sealed
with the same horrid knot. Cancer. Spencer, our son, became a part of this diverse community in March of 2004. Cancer has no
prejudices. People of all ages, all classes, all races, all genders can become a victim. Together, these victims and their families
are one. We are bonded by one thing. hope.
The first year after Spencer’s diagnosis, the story is no different than other extraordinary cancer survivors. Spencer beat
the odds. But, in March 2006, the cancer was back. New obstacles were presented. Amputation? Experimental drugs? Spencer had
Synovial Sarcoma, a very rare soft tissue sarcoma. The past years, we’ve asked so many questions only to realize that sometimes
there are no answers. Left with only hope, cancer research took on a life or death importance. Sadly Spencer’s story ended badly,
so we relay in hopes that no one else’s story will end badly.
The American Cancer Society is giving us a day to articulate this hope. April 27. Relay for Life. At events in 4,800 communities
nationwide, teams of families, friends and coworkers come together. How does this affect you? Cancer knows no boundaries. There
are so many people whose lives have had some contact with cancer. Whether it is personal, a family member, or a friend, most of
us know someone who is living with cancer, or someone who has survived cancer. Relay for Life is a way for you to hope with us
for relief. For a cure.
How? You can join a Relay event in your own community, you can support a team member participating in a Relay event, you can
purchase a luminary in honor or memory of a friend or loved one, you can donate your time, or you can help raise awareness for
this event. Although Spencer won’t be walking in Relay for Life this year, we have pledged to raise $1000 in his honor. If you
would like to help meet or exceed this goal, you can. Go to
Spencer Taylor Relay for Life donation page where you have the option
of donating on-line or printing off a donation form to mail in. Any donation is greatly appreciated. If you are interested in
learning more about the McKinney Relay for Life, go to http://www.mckinneyrfl.com/
or to find a Relay close to you, go to
Our first year, we walked because Spencer had fought so hard to learn to walk again. The second year, we walked because he
was back on crutches and unable to walk, the third year we walked in Spencer’s place as he had been blessed with the opportunity
to experience his first band trip. This year, we will walk in honor and memory of Spencer.
We also wanted to let everyone know about the Spencer Taylor Memorial Scholarship Fund. All the details that are completed at
this point are on Spencer’s Page at www.spencerswebpage.com then click on the scholarship link. Once you get to the main
scholarship page, you can click on any of the links at the top of the page for the fundraising details.
Gary, Rhonda, and Zachary Taylor
Mar 6, 2008
If you have looked at the PhotoShow of the trip to Italy that was sent to us, (the new one that is posted on the photo page),
you probably have seen that the music gets
pretty messed up through a good portion of the middle of it. Something in the encoding I did went haywire, and
I am working on it but haven't found a solution yet. I will have it fixed as soon as I figure out how to encode it properly.
OK, think I got it fixed now. It should be ready to go about 6:30 pm.
Feb 28, 2008
Finally got the videos from the Christmas Concert and got them loaded. The symphonic band is on there and has some pretty
good shots of Zachary on the bassoon. He is the third basson from the right when looking from the front. Also got the jazz band
on there and the parent band that Rhonda and I got to be a part of. It was actually a lot of fun after not playing my
trumpet for nearly 20 years. We weren't perfect, but didn't sound too bad for a bunch of old timers that hadn't played in
a very long time. The videos I have loaded are large files, if they don't load very fast for you I hope to have smaller
videos that will load faster in the next couple of days, might not be till Monday though.
Feb 13, 2008
We got word today that we now have a food sponsor. Market Street will be providing all the food for the evening at no charge.
We also have a commitment from Modern Luxury Magazine to help
us promote the event in their magazine. Darren also met with Chris, a producer for
TXA 21 which is a local station here. Looks like he will be doing a
weekly or at least regular cooking segment for them and he said he could give us some publicity as well. It looks as though
we will have everything finalized within the next 3 to 4 weeks and then we can really start promoting the event.
Feb 12, 2008
We got an update on the findraising event today.
Gary Cogill host of Good Morning Texas has agreed to
emcee the event for us in September. Along with getting an amazing emcee, hopefully our event will also get some
airtime on Good Morning Texas.
Click here to see Gary doing a recent interview with Paris Hilton.
Feb 6, 2008
Rhonda and I just got back from a very exciting meeting. Some of you may have seen the link on the main page to
the Spencer Taylor Memorial Scholarship. We haven’t said much about it because we are just now putting the
information together, but we had our first meeting today about a fundraiser we are trying to put together.
Darren McGrady, (click here to get to his website)
who was a senior chef to the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace for 11 years and then personal chef to
Princess Diana for four years until her tragic accident, met with us today and wants to set up a fundraising
event for the scholarship.
We are in the very beginning stages of planning, but this is a basic description of what Darren would like to do.
Darren and about 5 other celebrity chefs would prepare a 6 course gourmet meal for about 50 people. We would have
the event at the Culinary School at
where I work. There would be an initial reception for about an
hour where the chefs would prepare and serve canapés and sample some fine wines. This would be held in the upstairs
dining room outside the culinary school, tickets would be around $30.00 and all attendees would have the opportunity
to meet and visit with the 6 chefs. We would like to have the McKinney North Jazz Band providing entertainment for
the reception and in between courses for the meal.
After the reception, folks who purchased tickets for the reception as well as the 6 course gourmet meal tasting would
then move into the Culinary School. Tickets for the entire evening will probably be $150.00, only 48 will be sold,
and the 2 prime front row seats will be raffled off in the weeks leading up to the event. Darren thinks he might be
able to convince Gary Cogill, host of Good Morning Texas, to emcee the event. The night will unfold with each chef
spending about 20 minutes demonstrating the preparation of his course and then serving a sample to each attendee.
The courses will be appetizer, salad, soup, fish, meat, and dessert. While each chef is preparing their portion,
the other 5 chefs will be either helping or heckling the chef that is working. Each attendee will taste all of the
courses along with a nice wine pairing for each and at the end will receive a goodie bag with some gifts and a copy
of each of the recipes prepared that evening.
Our goal is to raise $15,000 initially, as that will provide enough of an endowment to fund a scholarship each year
into the foreseeable future. Darren has contacts with the food editors for the local cities magazines – Dallas, Plano,
McKinney etc., and he has some TV appearances coming up where he should be able to get the initial word out advertising
the event, he will also be able to give the address to this website through those outlets, so folks who may not be able to
attend the event can still donate to the scholarship fund through the page that is set up.
Needless to say, we are a bit overwhelmed by all of this right now. We had initially sent out a request for Darren to
provide something for the bands silent auction tomorrow night, but we were blown away when he called and said, why
don’t we try something else and see if we can make it a bigger deal. Remember though that this is all in the early
planning stages, we hope to have most everything finalized by the end of February and the event on September 7th.
As more details emerge we will post them here and I will try soon to get the scholarship page updated to showcase
the event as we get everything finalized.
Jan 15, 2008
Sorry it has been so long since anything has been posted, but we have been busy with the holidays and there just
really hasn’t been a lot to report. We made it through the holidays. Many parts of it were difficult, but for me
I think New Years was the worst. I just wasn’t ready to start a new year under these circumstances. Zachary has been back
at school for about a week and a half now. He enjoyed his time off and wasn’t ready to go back.
We did want to let everyone know that the McKinney North Band is planning to give a scholarship in Spencer’s name
this year. We don’t have all the details yet, but we will get as much information posted as we know more of the
details. There is a link (or you can
on Spencer’s main page that has a little information posted about the scholarship and further updates
on this will likely be posted on that page. We will try to do better to keep everyone updated with things
that are going on, but most of our lives these days just don’t seem news worthy.
Dec 21, 2007
We received this poem today and wanted to share it.
MY FIRST CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN
I see the countless Christmas trees
Around the world below,
With tiny lights like Heaven’s stars,
Reflecting on the snow
The sight is so spectacular,
Please wipe away the tear
For I am spending Christmas with
Jesus Christ this year.
I hear the many Christmas Songs
That people hold so dear,
But the sounds of music can’t compare
With the Christmas choir up here.
I have no words to tell you,
The joy their voices bring,
For it is beyond description
To hear the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me,
I see the pain inside your heart,
But I am not so far away,
We really aren’t apart.
So be happy for me dear ones,
You know I hold you dear,
And be glad I’m spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this year.
I sent you each a special gift,
From my Heavenly home above,
I sent you each a memory
Of my undying love.
After all love is a gift
More precious than gold.
It was always most important
In the stories Jesus told.
Please love and keep each other
As my Father said to do.
For I can’t count the blessings or love
He has for each of you.
So have a Merry Christmas and
Wipe away that tear.
Remember, I am spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this year.
Dec 12, 2007
Last night was Zachary's Christmas Concert. All the kids did a very good job. They also had an alumni, faculty, and
parent band which Rhonda and I played in. It was a very fun evening and All the kids performed very well as well as,
surprisingly, the band of old folks. The pictures are over on the family photo page as well as a short video of the
alumni band. Will have the full performance posted when the DVD arrives.
Also, Zachary has been selected as the spotlight student for this month, you can see his page on the McKinney
North Percussion Website by
Dec 8, 2007
Rhonda has spent the last few days decorating a Christmas Tree to put out at the gravesite. She took it out there
yesterday and took a few pictures. We didn't want anybody stumbling accross these who didn't want to see them, so I am
posting a link here for anyone who wants to see them.
Click here to the the pictures
Dec 6, 2007
This is just a little something I wanted to let everyone know about. Monday we got a phone call from the school.
They are honoring all freshmen that kept a 4.50 GPA for their entire freshmen year. They had a ceremony last
night and presented each of them with a cord. They wanted to know if we wanted to accept Spencer's cord for him.
Kind of like shocked us a little, but I told them we would be honored to accept it for him.
Can you believe he made this with all the school he missed and being on chemo half of the year. Incredible.
Anyway, just thought I'd share with you all and there are a few pictures over on the photo page of the night.
Dec 1, 2007
I know it has been a while since we posted anything, but it has been a difficult few weeks. This is not much of
an update, but felt the need to post something, so I uploaded some pics of the Christmas Parade in the Downtown
Square last night, but sadly the camera's batteries went out right at the beginning of the parade and I didn't bring
the spares so there aren't many pictures. The pics are over on the Family Photo Page.
May not be many updates the next few weeks, we have to get through
Christmas, then we are hoping that we will get a bit of a break. The guest book is still there if anyone wants to
leave us a message, we love hearing from everyone.
Nov 12, 2007
It's Zachary's birthday today. He is enjoying not having any more early morning band rehearsals now that marching
season is over. They do have one more parade to march in. The holiday parade around the downtown square on the 30th, but
no more football games or long days of rehearsals. We took him to eat at
Shoguns for dinner then back to the house for some
cake and a few presents. We think he had a good birthday but too bad it is a school night so he can't stay up all
night playing Guitar Hero III.
Nov 4, 2007
We had our next to last game of the season on Friday night. No new pictures posted as I didn't take the camera to the game.
Our team lost in a pretty lopsided game and now we have our last game Thursday night against Little Elm. Glad for the
upcoming break, but still kind of sad to see the season end.
Yesterday we went to the hospital for a remembrance ceremony for patients of the Center for cancer and blood disorders.
There were about 70 family members there of children who had passed away. It was so hard and sad to see how many
peoples lives have been torn apart by diseases like Spencer had. Although we were glad we went it was probably too soon
for us to have attended something like that. Zachary had decided that morning that he would rather not go, and we were
glad after having been there, as it was much more emotional than we expected. After some brief opening
remarks, they gave each of us calendars and all kinds of scrapbooking supplies for us to decorate our calendar
with whatever important dates and events we wanted to. Our scrapbooking skills leave a lot to be desired, but many of
the other families and especially the siblings had some nicely decorated calendars. Then there was a slide show movie
of all of the kids who had passed, then they did a choreographed sign language performance to a song, and at the end we
had a little
lunch and left. The hardest part of the whole event was probably just walking back into the hospital for the first time
since Spencer passed away there. It had been hard to even drive by the hospital much less walk into it. The feeling of
being overwhelmed started as we were making that hour long drive to the hospital that we had made so many times before, then
completely took over as we entered the parking garage and never let up after that. We ended up being very exhausted
as we left and will probably look back on the experience with better thoughts in a few months, but think it may be an
event that we just weren't ready for.
Oct 31, 2007
Finally able to do an update. We had the game against Lake Dallas in Corrinth on Friday night. We lost by 3 points
but was a very close game. The loss officialy eliminates us from the playoffs which is a little disappointing, but at
least we know we won't be traveling to a game on Thanksgiving.
On Saturday the band competed in the UIL Area marching competition. They qualified for Area by receiving the Division I
superior rating at the UIL Regional competition a couple of weeks ago. After all of the bands who had qualified had
finished marching around 6:00 PM, they announced the finalists and we were selected as one of the 10 finalists.
All of the finalists marched their show again that evening, we marched around 8:30 PM. From that group of finalists, 4
were selected to advance to the UIL State marching competition. We finished in 8th place, so didn't make it to state, but
we are very proud that they were selected as the 8th best 4A band in the entire Dallas, Fort Worth, and surrounding areas.
There are no more marching competitions and only 2 more games, so we are finally going to get a little breather, but it
will be sad to see it end also.
Oct 25, 2007
The first McKinney North School Newspaper was printed today and it had an article about Spencer in it so we thought we
would put it on here so you all could read it if you want to. You can click
here to see it. If that one is too
small to read, click here to see
a larger version, but you will have to use the scroll bar to see all of it.
Tomorrow we have a game against Lake Dallas so we will be going over there tomorrow night, then Saturday is
the All Area marching contest. By receiving the Division I rating in UIL last week it qualified us for the Area competition,
if we make the finals of Area we will Qualify for the state marching competition, so it will be another full
weekend for all of us.
Oct 19, 2007
No new pictures this week, but did get the video of the bands UIL Region 25 marching contest performance posted on the photo page. The
contest was Wednesday night and the band received a "Division 1 - Superior" rating. They will now be competing in the
Area Marching Contest next Saturday for the opportunity to go to the state competition.
Our game tonight was dissappointing. The team lost 49-21, two losses in a row now. The band was even a little off
tonight, think the kids are just very tired. With the 4 competitions in 4 weeks, as well as the games every Friday night
it is starting to get to them. At least they will have off all of this weekend now. They announced at the game tonight
that Zachary was selected as freshman of the
week this week, I don't have a picture yet of him being presented with the fish hat, as I decided I had enough football
game pictures and halftime show pics and videos, so I didn't take the camera tonight. As soon as it is posted on the band website,
I will get it posted here. Since he has tomorrow off from band, he and some buddies are going to the paintball park to let off
some steam. He should have a good time as he as about 3000 paintballs to use up.
Oct 15, 2007
Yet another busy weekend. We played Frisco Centennial Friday night. The band did well but the football team did not. We
ended up losing 41-10, our first loss of the season. The game was in a beautiful stadium though. No benches, seat backs on
Saturday was the Plano East Marching Festival. There were 32 bands there and we placed 15th. All in all not bad as our
school has an enrollment of just under 1300 students and more than half of the bands there have enrollments of 5000 to
10000 students. One of the bands was marching over 400 students. Our color guard did finish 2nd and overall the band did
very well. It was definately there best performance of the season. Wednesday is UIL marching contest and then we should
hopefully get a bit of a break and not be quite so busy.
Saturday was the 2 month anniversary of Spencer's passing. Was probably more difficult than the 1 month. As Rhonda put it,
It's strange how 2 months can
seem like an eternity and yet you know it's just the beginning. I didn't
have a very good morning, and I think Gary was kind of the same way, but we
had pulled ourselves together a bit and then the Flower Mound band came out
and the announcer announced they were marching to the music of Queen.
(Spencer's favorite band of all time) I can't tell you how many times
Spencer and I discussed putting together a half time show to Queen music.
Anyway, I sat and cried through the whole thing...they did a wonderful job.
People around us probably thought I was one of those moms that REALLY gets
in to their kids performances! I told Gary, we could have done without
that, but wouldn't have missed it for the world.
We did get a call Wednesday letting us know that Spencer's marker had
been placed. I wasn't sure what to do about getting a picture of it and putting it here, but so many people have asked
that we decided to put a couple on here. You can see them by clicking
and here. I didn't put them on the photo
page so that nobody would get to them by accident if they didn't want to see them.
Oct 7, 2007
It was another busy weekend. Zachary's grandparents came to see him march in the big crosstown showdown game against
McKinney high school. It was the first week to march the complete program. It's not a great video, but I was able to
get a video of the entire performance. It is at the end of the Crosstown Showdown album. The kids did a great job, it was
the warm up for their first marching festival of the year the next day. Zachary finally got home a little after midnight
and had to be back at the school for the marching festival at 8 the next morning.
The kids did even better at the marching festival than they had done the previous night. There were 20 bands there and most
of them much bigger than our band. We were marching 92 while most of the other bands were marching 175 to 225 performers.
We started the day at 8am and marched at 11:45 and then had to wait till 6pm to see if we made the finals. We did get to
see some incredible bands perform but we failed to make the finals by 2 places. All in all a very good showing by our small
group. Our flag girls did get the trophy for best colorguard. Another very long weekend, but a very good one spending time
with the visiting family members. The great part is we have to do this all over again next weekend, I think we are ready for a
weekend off. There is also a video of the performance in the marching festival album over on the photo page, it is not
a great video, it began to rain shortly into the performance, but not as much crowd noise as the video in the crosstown
Sept 30, 2007
My sister Stephanie came to visit us from Houston this weekend. She brought with here a scrapbook she put together of our
trip to Italy. I've got the pictures on the family photo page or you can
click here to get to it.
Thank you Stephanie, we will treasure it.
Sept 30, 2007
The McKinney Courier Gazette Newspaper was out at Spencer's birthday party with the band on Friday afternoon and the article is
in the paper today.
You can click here to see the article. One thing we didn't realize until we read the article is that the shirt they
at his party was Spencer's actual band shirt. They had his name on the shirt order list prior to that weekend and
he passed before the shirts were delivered and they decided to have everyone sign his shirt when it was delivered and give it to us. It is an
incredibly special gift.
Sept 29, 2007
It has been a very busy and full weekend and quite a roller coaster, but we think most of the busy stuff is behind us
and we are
getting through it. After the parade of homes this morning, we spent the rest of the day at the Plano Drum Line
competition. Zachary and the rest of the group performed very well and Jon, the drum line captain did a great job with
his tenor solo. We dropped Zachary off at school about 11:30 this morning and we just got back around 10:30pm. After
going non stop yesterday from 6am to midnight, then starting back up at 8 this morning for the Parade of Homes, he has
had a very tiring weekend, but is at a party with the rest of the drum line right now so he is still going strong. I have
posted some pictures and videos of the perfomances at the competition. The batteries ran out on the camera while shooting
the video so I missed about a minute of the middle while I changed out the batteries. All of the videos are in the Drum
Line Contest album on the Family Photo page.
I also have not had time to tell you about something else that happened on Friday. You may have noticed that the guest
book has received many new messages from folks that were referred by
Kidd Kraddick. Well, what happened is, Kidd is the
radio personality for the Kidd Kraddic in the morning show that is broadcast from here to several states. Several days
ago on a whim, Rhonda sent Kidd an email about Spencer. When her and Spencer would go to the hospital in the mornings for
all of his appointments they would listen to his show during what was usually a hour and a half drive,
and she emailed Kidd that Spencer and her had thought that two of
their comedy bits that they had done were the funniest they had ever heard and they had laughed all the way to the
hospital and she asked if he could replay those on Spencer's birthday. Well, he read Rhonda's email and then talked about
Spencer from some information he had gotten from the website here and then he replayed the two comedy bits. I have asked
them if they could provide us with a tape recording of that segment of the show as Rhonda didn't really expect them to do it
and I was at work so neither of us heard all of it nor did we record it. After Kidd gave out Spencer's web page address,
several people went to the site and now Spencer has new signings from Alabama to Oregon. If they provide us with a tape
allow it I will get it posted here. If not, I will have Rhonda give her description here of the segment they did as she
heard more of it and would know much more about it.
Sept 29, 2007
Yesterday was Spencer's birthday so, although it was a very difficult day for us, it was also a very good day in many ways.
We had been looking for a way to thank the band for playing at Spencer's service and Spencer had also wanted to have a
huge 16th birthday party. We decided in order to fulfill both of those things we would have a birthday party and feed the
band pizza before the game last night. Usually the kids collect money on Wednesday and one of the parents goes and picks
up all the food on Friday so they can eat right after school lets out. We brought in pizza from Brooklyns, Spencers favorite
pizza, and fed the band for Spencers birthday. As they were finishing eating the band officers walked out of the band hall
with a large wrapped gift. They said it was a gift for Spencer to be given to us. We unwrapped it to see that it was a framed
band shirt that all the band members had signed with the name of the show that they have dedicated to Spencer. You can see
a picture of it in the Colony photo album on the family photo page. We were not
expecting this and were very touched. The band directors and kids have been incredibly gracious and helpful to us throughout
this process.It was an incredible evening and I don't think we could have found a better way to celebrate Spencer's
birthday short of having him here with us to celebrate it.
This morning we went out to the Parade of homes. Every year the Dallas home builders hosts a parade of homes and the proceeds
go to the Make a Wish foundation. Each of the builders also gets one wish child and designs a room in their house
around that childs wish. Our builder was Derecor homes, and they designed a bedroom around Spencers trip to Italy. We
arrived and had breakfast around 9:00 and were introduced to the other builders and wish families. Then we went over to
see Spencer's room. The house was spectacular. As we walked through it we began to see things that we believe Spencer
must have had a hand in. From all of the sunflowers to birds of Paradise, to the LG TV's hanging on all of the walls. LG was
the sponsor of the first wish event Spencer attended where the boys met Tony Hawk, but they weren't a sponsor of this
event, it was just a coincidence, or as the decorator put it, "a Godincidence". His room was absolutely amazing and brought
back many memories of our trip. The builders and decorator did an amazing job of capturing Spencer's personality and
spirit. You could tell that it wasn't just something they had to do, but something that they put a lot of love and thought
into. The pictures of the Parade of homes is on the family photo page now, and we are heading to the Drum Line contest,
will get those pictures posted as soon as possible.
Sept 29, 2007
If you had trouble with the video taking a long time to load at the end of the Colony photo album that I put on the
family photo page yesterday, I think I have it reformated
so that it will load quicker. If you were unable to see it before and want to see it, it should work better now.
Sept 28, 2007
I have some new photos posted on the family page, but it is 1 AM so will have to wait till probably Sunday to post a complete
update of all of the events of this weekend. Have a full day tomorrow with the Make a Wish and the drum line contest.
Sept 25, 2007
I came across some pictures that Rhonda's mom emailed to us but that I never got around to making an album of. They are of
Spencer and Zachary visiting Palo Duro Canyon with Rhonda and going to the Cadilic ranch with their cousins Sara Jean
and Katy. They were taken July 13th and 14th. I have them posted on both Photo Pages or you can
click here to get to them.
Sept 15, 2007
The homecoming game was last night. We beat Forney 14-2, it was a very tough game but a fun game to watch. It was our
first home game so it was the first game to see our game program with the ad the band and football team put in there
in memory of Spencer.
You can click here to see the ad from the program.
The band also played Ave Maria for the first time in the halftime show, this is the song they
played at Spencer’s Service. It was a teary night but a good night none the less. All in all it was a very
difficult week with everything surrounding homecoming and then the one month mark on Thursday, but we made it through
and now are ready to tackle the next obstacle. We are finding our way through somehow, but we ask for your continued
Sept 12, 2007
I got some pictures posted on the Family photo page of the Homecoming parade last night. Also posted some of the Denton
game last week. I know it seems like we are posting alot of pics of football games, but this time of year marching
season seems to consume our lives. We also discovered that we had a lot of pictures of Spencer doing the big stuff that
he got to do, we
didn't have near as many as we would have liked to have of him doing everyday stuff, so we are probably overcompensating
pictures of everything now.
Sept 6, 2007
I have decided to post a link to some music files. All of these songs were from a playlist that Spencer had been
putting together over the past couple of months before he passed away. To us they all seemed prophetic of the events
to come. It was like Spencer had put this list together for us to hear after he was gone. Zachary took these songs from
the list and set it up so it would be playing in the background in the chapel on the night of Spencer's viewing. I can't
tell you how many times I have listened to this CD. It brings tears to my eyes everytime I hear it, but also seems to
somehow bring some comfort. You can
to get to the page that will play the music.
Sept 2, 2007
I think I have an idea of how we will start setting up the new look of the site. Spencer's Journal will now just be
Spencer's Journey. Any new updates will now be added to the Family Journal and if some of those updates seem like they
belong in Spencers Journey they will be added to the bottom there as well. We also have a new family photo page that
will have any new pictures or albums that we add, and Spencer's photo page will continue to remain as is. I am also
working on a "Memories of Spencer" page that will hopefully allow anyone to come in and add their own personal
memories of Spencer if they wish. I don't know if I am smart enough to do that, but will begin trying to work out a
way to do it, please be patient while I try to figure it out. Not sure how long that page will be there or if it
will work at all, but we have had several requests to put something like that on the site.
Sept 1, 2007
Still not sure how we are going to set up the web page, so will keep posting updates here for the time being.
We went to Zachary's first halftime performance last night. The band did real well for the first performance of the year.
It was difficult going to the first game without Spencer, but Zachary did a real good job and made it through his first
high school performance without any major mishaps. As they were introducing the band over the PA system at half time, they
announced that the marching program this year would be in honor of Spencer and was titled Sacrifice and Ressurection. That
surprised us but we were very touched. Pictures of the evening are posted over on the photo page, or you can
click here to get
directly to it.
August 30, 2007
It has been quite some time since we have posted anything on the journal here. Seems like there was always some new
doctor visit, treatment update, or new adventure that Spencer had been on that caused us to need to update this journal
in the previous few years, but
I just couldn't come up with anything to put in here the last couple of weeks. It has been an incredibly difficult
few weeks as we have had to try to adjust to our life without Spencer. I wish I could say it was going well, but it
is not, and I guess that is to be expected. Zachary started school this week and seems to be adjusting to high
school well, and will march in his first half time show tomorrow night.
As far as the future of this site we have decided to keep it up indefinately
at this time, but with a few changes. I have reversed the order of the journal entries. All previous entries were posted
at the top so the readers wouldn't have to scroll through everything to get to the bottom to see the new entry. Now it is
in chronological order and will likely have no further updates and will serve simply as the story of Spencer's Journey.
Hopefully the story can help someone who might be going through something similar to what we have gone through. We still
haven't decided whether or not to post any new entries here or leave this page as it stands and post all new entries
on a new "memories" page or something like that. We are also thinking about creating a Taylor family page with a link to get
to Spencer's pages from the new home page. It just doesn't seem like we do enough stuff important enough to put on a web
We do want to thank everyone who came to attend Spencer's viewing, candlelight memorial, and service. We also want to thank
everyone for the support and help given to us the week of Spencers service, especially Stephanie and Monica, without whose
help we probably couldn't have gotten through that week. I will continue to post any new updates here until we decide
what shape the site will take as we move forward.