If asked how I would describe Tanner this is what I would say: innocent, loving, happy, funny, sweet, polite, thoughtful, helpful, loves celebrating events and is a true perfectionist. Tanner says when he grows up he wants to play soccer in college, work for his dad's company (tile/stone), play the piano like Michael W. Smith and he wants to go on mission trips with his dad so they can tell the world about Jesus. What more could a mother ask for?
We have home schooled since 1st grade. It has been a decision we will never regret. In the beginning we only pulled Tanner from private school because we were having financial difficulties and the plan was to keep him out for 1 year. Well, 2 months into home schooling my heart quickly changed because I loved spending that time with him and because he was the only child at the time, we had a lot of one-on-one time together. And then it was fun while I was pregnant with Tayden because Tanner got to feel him kick, watch him grow for 9 months and be a part of our pregnancy. When Tayden was born Tanner stayed all 4 nights at the hospital and slept in his sleeping bag - the hospital doctors/nurses thought he was so cute sleeping on the floor beside me and they would just laugh when he'd walk up and down the hospital halls in his PJ's and big doggie slippers to go to the kitchen to get snacks! After Tanner finishes with school he will sit and play with Tayden whether it's trucks, trains, cars or sitting to watch Tayden's "baby" movies. And then being pregnant with Tristan, I could not have imagined Tanner not being there every day. With a Trisomy 18 baby you are only promised THAT day and not knowing whether we'd even make it to December it was so important to us that Tanner have as much time as possible being a big brother to Tristan even before he was born. And then to be able to bring Tristan home for 56 DAYS? What sweet memories Tanner will always have of being at his baby brother's bassinet all day, every day. So homeschooling has allowed so much more for us than if Tanner was at school all day. Home schooling has so many advantages and along with educating him I also get to teach him how to act like a godly christian young man.
Tanner has only played one sport, SOCCER!!!! He has played the Spring and Fall season since he was 4 years old. He had the same coach and team until we moved last August, it was neat watching all of the kids grow up together. Trayc was Asst. Coach and I was Soccer Mom for his team up until last year. We love going to games on Saturdays to watch Tanner play and it's so cute hearing Tayden clap and yell "YEAH, BRO BRO".
Tanner has taken piano lessons since he was 8 years old, and he has received trophies the past 3 years. Trayc and I both played the piano growing up but Tanner is so much more dedicated than we ever were. He will sit and play an hour or two a day. It is relaxing to hear him play throughout the day. We hope he will continue to use his talent in the years to come.
Tanner has 4 very close friends (left to right) Ben, Tanner, Drew, Harrison and Avery (cousin). All 4 of these are boys from sweet christian families, we are grateful for their friendships and the christian influence Tanner is surrounded by.
Tanner loves going to church and has been very involved. His favorite part is being in the musicals twice a year. All 4 years he had received a part, whether it's speaking or dancing. His last Elementary musical was in May, he was Lazarus in the boys' dance routine, which he dedicated to Tristan because his part centered around Tristan's life verse - John 11:4.
Tanner and Trayc have their own sport they enjoy doing together, kayaking. They began about 2 years ago and we surprised Tanner last year with his own kayak on his 11th birthday. Now that we live so close to the water it's very easy to drive down the street and put the kayaks in. This also give them father-son time together.
Children grow up so fast don't they? I can't believe Tanner actually leaves for Middle School Church Camp on the 28th. He is really excited about moving up to Middle School, at church, because they go on Mission trips, Retreats, Camp and have Friday night Bible studies. He is so excited that we are going to be working in the department too. Camp is going to be the beginning of a very exciting time for him and the beginning of some great opportunities for him to learn more about Jesus and how to have a deeper and more personal relationship with Him in the upcoming year.
Tanner was an only child for 10 years, all he ever wanted was a house full of brothers/sisters, so you can imagine how excited he was when we told him on his 10th birthday that he would be a BIG brother! Although there is an age difference you'd never know it, they play like they are best friends.
And Tanner was really excited when we told him, last Easter, that we were pregnant again. Tanner handled Tristan's diagnosis, his birth and his death far better than we ever expected. He has experienced more than most by the age of 12 in losing his brother. It's been a long road but he has no anger or bitterness and never questions why the Lord only allowed Tristan 56 DAYS with our family. I have heard him on many occasions explain how much of a miracle Tristan was, it's so sweet to hear him share his testimony about him. Tanner has been a big encourager for me, during the day, when I'm sad or missing Tristan.
We are so proud of Tanner, he is such a blessing to our family. Our prayer is that Tanner will continue to be a young man who loves Jesus with all of his heart, that will never turn away from the Lord, that he will never comprise his standards and personal convictions for this sinful world.
Happy 12th Birthday, Tanner!!!!
We love you,1 Samuel 1:27 says: "I have prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him."
Mommy, Daddy and Tayden
Mommy, Daddy and Tayden