Saturday, July 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Tanner!

12 years ago today Trayc and I were holding our first little boy, Tanner Alexander. He was definitely our miracle baby! We were told by 8 different doctors that we would never be able to have children. After 4 years of attempting to get pregnant, infertility medications and 2 invitro procedures we were pregnant! I am so thankful the Lord allowed us to get pregnant with Tanner, he was the answer to many prayers. Tanner was born 4 weeks early, weighed 5 lbs. 11 oz. and had no hair. We look so young don't we? We were so happy.......we NEVER thought that day was even possible!

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,
Mommy, Daddy and Tayden

1 Samuel 1:27 says: "I have prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him."


Rebecca said...

Happy birthday, Tanner! :)

Ashley Webb said...

Happy Birthday Tanner!

M said...

I have enjoyed getting to know more about you Tanner! My son Colby is 4y and it is my desire for him to grow up and be just like you! You are an awesome big brother, son and child of the Lord. I hope you had a wonderful birthday!!!

Houston, Tx

Kenzie said...


Happy belated birthday!! I know you make your mom and dad SO PROUD and I am amazed at what an awesome big brother you are to Tayden and Tristan. Wow... you are so impressive and I know that the Lord has big things in store for your life. Keep following after Him like you are... your mom and dad have been such wonderful examples of faith and trusting God in EVERYTHING. You are so lucky to have them! Know that we are wishing you a sweet year all the way from TX as both our families remember our little ones with Jesus.

God bless you Tanner!
Love lots,

Laurie said...

Happy Birthday Tanner!!~~

Wow, 12 years old and middle school.!
From the looks of the first picture, it looks about the same age as your mom and dad there:) Just kidding but they sure look like kids too. I hope you had a wonderful day celebrating your special life. You are so special Tanner, and becoming quite the young man your parents are so proud of. I have only *known* you since Tristan was born and I have to tell you I am so proud of you. What a great Big Brother you are to both Tayden and Tristan and you have the heart of the Lord. You are a son to be proud of in the most blessed way. God has great plans in store for your life Tanner, and I see Him leading you now. I am blessed to know you too.

Love and Big Hugs, Laurie in Ca.

Tamara said...

Happy Birthday Tanner! You have such a sweet mommy and daddy and I know that they are so proud of you! You are such a blessing to them and to those who meet you. Thank you for loving Jesus and being a "light for Him" in a dark world! You are special!

Dennis, Tamara & Hannah

Mandy said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Tanner. You are an amazing young man and I know your family is so proud of you. You set a great example for others and I know you will continue to be all that God wants you to be.


Cathy said...

Happy Birthday, Tanner! I don't know you personally but I have seen what a great big brother you are! Your family is very lucky.
Cathy & Annabel

Crystal said...

Happy Birthday, Tanner! Have a great time at camp!
I've been reading your Mom's blog for a few weeks now but this is the first time I've commented. I thought a birthday was the perfect time to say 'hi'.

Michelle said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TANNER! You are an amazing young man! Your family is so proud of you!! Keep up the great work!

The VW's said...

Happy Birthday Tanner! What a sweet, godly young man you are!

Have fun on your trip!

Allison said...

Happy Birthday, Tanner!

I grew up at FBC, too and have been reading your mom's blog for a while now. I hope you have a great week at camp - I have many great memories of that special time with lifetime friends and with God!

You are an amazing person who has experienced quite a lot for a 12 year old and I know God will use those experiences to mold you into an amazing man!

I hope you had a wonderful birthday and God Bless!

Jen in TX said...

Happy 12th Birthday1 I have 5 sons and one is 13. You are such a good role model for all young men out there. What a great big brother and son you are! You really should be proud. I have followed Tristan's story and I know that you have helped your parents in more ways than you know. Keep it up and always keep your faith!!! Happy Birthday!! Jen from TX

Rachel said...

Happy belated birthday Tanner! Your mom is very proud of you. I hope that my son grow up to love the Lord the way the you do.

Karen said...

Happy Birthday Tanner!! You are an amazing person, I want my son to be just like you!! Stay strong in your faith, God is doing a wonderful work in your life and I can not wait to see what is in store for you.

123 said...

Happy Birthday Tanner!
You are one cool guy.
God's light shines through you and that is an awesome thing. Have a great trip!
Traci in FL

pam said...

happy birthday to a very special young man!!

You most certainly make your parents very proud. Pam

Emily said...

Happy belated birthday, sweet Tanner! You are a such an awesome gift from God. I pray you are having the time of your life at camp right now!!

Kim ( said...

Happy Belated Birthday Tanner,
You are an amazing young man! You are so blessed with a wonderful family and they are even more blessed to have you. While Tristan was here, you inspired me with your strength and wisdom and loving ways time after time. The way you included all of the babies (my sweet Mary Grace) in your prayers and thoughts, meant the world to me and I will never forget it.
I hope you have wonderful year. Your little brothers are so blessed to have you as a role model.
May God continue to bless you.
With love,

Melody said...

Happy birthday, Tanner! You are such a blessing to your family! When your mom talks about you, we can all hear the pride in her voice- and she certainly has reason to be proud! Have a super birthday!

Lynda Branch said...

Hi Tanner, It's been a long time since I've seen you, but if I'm not mistaken, your mom and I were working together at the law firm Gable, Hair & Taylor when she got pregnant with you or at least trying to. I remember how big her desire was to be a mother and how thrilled I was when I found out they were pregnant. I've actually known your mom since Jr. High School, that would be known as Middle School these days...or was it High School? Regardless, it's been a long time.

I hope you had a wonderful Birthday and forgive me for being so late in sending you my wishes for a wonderful year ahead.

Much love and many prayers,
Lynda Branch

Jami Thompson said...


I hope you had an incredible birthday and a wonderful time at camp!!! You are such a blessing to your mom and dad, and to everyone you know. Did I tell you how much your mom missed you this past week? She couldn't wait to see you last night!!


Miss Jami

Jennifer D said...

Happy Birthday Tanner! What a great young man!

The Hull Munchkins said...

Happy B-day Tanner! I can always tell by the way your mom describes you what an exceptional young man you are.
Your insights into God's plan for your family always encourages me. Your smile has a pure quality that I don't often see in young men your age.

Although I don't know you in person, only on this blog, I wanted to tell you that you are an encouragement to a lot of people!!

Bless you as you grow into a man of God!

Anonymous said...

Sorry Yvette, but Tanner looks JUST like that picture of Trayc (the one from when Tanner was born). It just was so obvious to me today.

Happy birthday, Tanner!

redeemedintohope said...

I have followed your blog through your pregnancy and everything. Continue to check back on it ever so often. Thanks for continuing to share the beauty from ashes that Christ has brought you.

Jeanie said...

Happy Birthday Tanner!!