Sweet sweet 16

If any child has experienced a year of change, of growth, of miracles it’s my Xander.

We still celebrated his birthday with the usual dry ice, mento/diet coke fountains, sparklers and balloons. I don’t see him ever outgrowing dry ice and he still gives me this look when I try to take his photo:

But he can’t help but smile.

For Christmas he wrote me a letter– and I wish everyone in the world could receive a Xander letter one day– “Dear Mom, I’ve had a really great year. When I think of all I’ve done I realize I couldn’t have done any of it without YOU.”  I’d continue, but I don’t want to embarrass him. Really, I give more credit to Hans. If ever a brother has been selfless, considerate and kind, it’s Hans. So many siblings seem to think they’ll flourish by pushing their siblings down, but the opposite is true: building your siblings, builds you. Watch Hans and Xander in action for two minutes and you’ll be convinced.

Thanks to Hans, Xander found the courage to run for sophomore class president and they’ve served together beautifully. Xander takes his position seriously. Introverted by nature, he pushes past his natural shyness and seeks out kids who seem lonely or lost. He wants everyone to feel included and accepted.

Just two days after his Feb. 5th birthday Xander went to Skyline Sweetheart’s Ball with darling Annie. I can’t think of a better person for his first date– a kind and loyal friend, Annie’s encouraged Xander every step of the way this last year.

Before the dance we had a family home evening all about dating etiquette. We reminded Xander that even though Annie’s one of his best friends, she’s also a very cool Senior girl who was kind enough to ask a little sophomore.

One of the very few occasions both Hans and Xander will attend a dance at the same time.

This year will also be full of changes: a driver’s license, Hans and most of his best friends leaving on missions, Stefan coming home and becoming the oldest child at home this fall. I hope, I pray he’ll build his younger siblings just as he’s been strengthened by his older brothers.

I think he will.

Happy birthday darling, creative, brilliant Xander! We love you so.



  1. Anne Marie

    February 9, 2015

    Your family radiates so much goodness and love!! Thank you for sharing glimpses into the amazing work you have done and continue to do. Your kids are going to continue spreading all that love and goodness you and your husband have worked so hard to give out. Wishing you and yours all the best.

  2. Lizzie

    February 9, 2015

    you make me so excited to have a son.

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