25. Candace and Val became empty nesters in 2021, celebrating Maksim’s graduation from NorthStar Christian Academy and then seeing him off to college that August—though Mom and Dad only got as far as the airport.

“I had to just drop him off at LAX. And I’m getting no sympathy from someone,” Candace lamented on her Instagram Story in a video made before she and Val were even home. Unmoved, her husband responded to the pointed dig, adding, “That’s what’s wrong with America, raising soft kids.”

In a later update, Candace said, “Maks did not call me when his flight landed. But I just called him, and he landed safe and sound, and we FaceTimed. And someone’s picking him up from the airport, and he’s sleeping on someone’s couch.”

They grow up so fast!

“It’s sad and heartbreaking at times,” the mom of three reflected in 2020 on The Open Door Sisterhood podcast about two of her kids being out of the house. “We don’t talk about the letting go stuff as much [as new baby excitement]…but it’s hard.”

She added, “You’ve poured everything you have into these people and you just have to let ’em fly.”

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