imageimageFour years ago, my niece Jessi Hadlock married Jason Sawdon, and they began a blessed life together. Theirs was the last wedding my mom, Jessi’s grandma, Collene Spencer was able to attend. Mom always felt very blessed by Jessi, and then by Jason too. Jessi and Jason were very much in love, but they knew that it was time for their love to grow, with the addition of a child. It had been a long wait for all of us who knew about the pregnancy, because unlike most couples these days, Jessi and Jason decided not to find out the gender of the baby. They wanted this whole experience to be filled with excitement and mystery. Lots of people asked them over and over again if they were going to find out what the baby was, but they stood their ground. The chosen names for girl or boy were kept secret too.image

Finally, six days after her due date, Jessi gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Adelaide Ione. She was born on August 25, 2016 at 3:18pm. She weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces and she was 20 inches long. She is a mix of her parents, and some see Jessi, while others see Jason, but there were tears all around when Jason introduced little Adelaide Ione to my sister Allyn Hadlock and her husband, Chris Hadlock, because her name was extra special. Adelaide came from Jessi’s grandpa Hadlock’s mom…Dorothy Adelaide Hadlock, and Ione came from Jessi’s grandmother…my mom, Collene Ione Spencer. I know that both grandmothers would have been very pleased. It was such a sweet name choice, and one that was felt deeply by the whole family. I know that my mom would have loved having a little namesake, and I’m sure Jessi’s dad’s grandma would have too. There are few things that are more of an honor to a person than that.

Little Adelaide Ione came home with her parents, and got to meet another member of the family, who was very curious about this new addition. Jessi and Jason have a sweet Boxer dog named Daisy, and Daisy thinks that little Adelaide Ione is pretty much the coolest thing ever. Daisy suddenly feels like she has a job to do…watch imageimageover this precious little person who has joined their family. Dogs are sometimes so motherly, and it is such a sweet gesture. Of course, little does Daisy know that before long that little person will be able to run and play with her. Daisy will soon have a playmate, and that will really be awesome. Adelaide Ione came home to find herself a part of a family who is totally in love with her, and that is a great way to start life. Congratulations to Jessi, Jason, Adelaide Ione, and of course, Daisy too. We are so happy for all of you.

1012520_10200670730066580_678793453_nWe don’t often think of little boys as being responsible, caring people, but when I look back on the life of my grand nephew, Xander, I see a very different boy than what most people see in boys. Xander is the oldest of the five children of my niece, Jenny and her husband, Steve. Being the oldest has it’s responsibilities, and lots of olders don’t really like that, but lately, I have noticed that Xander is taking on the responsibilities without being told to do so. He is a little more watchful over his younger siblings, especially his little sister. He is a little more into being the teacher of the younger ones, showing them how to do things…being the leader that I think he was meant to be. Xander has that big brother kind of personality that is a combination of helper, teacher, and playmate. I love the young man that he is so quickly becoming.

Xander has a sensitive side too, and a heart that has had to endure a some sad things. When his sister Laila passed away, it was Xander who felt that loss so deeply. His younger brothers felt the loss too, but Xander understood it so much more than they did, and it hit him very hard. Then when his younger sister, Aleesia came along, he developed a bond with her that helped to fill the hole that was left when Laila passed. Aleesia has really stolen her biggest brother’s heart. She moved in there, and he has found himself so content with the big brother relationship they have. When it comes to Aleesia, Xander is a big teddy bear for sure.

Xander is so grown up now in so many ways, but inside there is still a lot of little boy in him. He is so much like his dad…more so than any of the other kids. Xander probably looks more like his dad than any of the other kids, and while they all have great personalities, Xander is definitely his daddy’s boy. I see so much of Steve in Xander, and they have such a great 536840_10151550233137237_854328503_nrelationship. Steve is very hands on with his kids, and they thrive on that. Of course, they also get the nurturing balance of Jenny’s mothering, but these boys are all boy, and very much into all of the manly, sporty, muscle man things that their dad likes. Still, having a little sister has inspired their sensitive side, and no one more than Xander who enjoys being the oldest brother of this group. Xander has lived through so many changes in his family in he first eleven years, and as the family grows up, he will live through so many more, but he isone of those great kids who will be able to take it all in stride. Today is Xander’s 11th birthday. Happy birthday Xander!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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