Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year [and our new contact information]

Hello everyone!! Happy New Year to one and all!! Needless to say, Rob and I are very excited about what 2009 will bring for us as we move on to Red Deer. I have so much to write about and yet I have so little time and no way to add pictures, so I will be writing a lot once we are settled out in Red Deer. :-)

Our new contact information is as follows:
Our home info:
716 Lancaster Drive
Red Deer, AB
T4R 2V6
We have chosen not to have land lines at this time so:
Andrea cell: 403-877-2033
Rob cell: 403-877-2202
Our e-mail will be staying until Jan. 30th in order to give us time to get our new Canadian service up and running so I will post that address once I have it.
For any of you that may want to get a hold of Rob at the church, the info is:
CrossRoads Church
38105 Range Road 275
Red Deer, AB
T4S 2N4
The phone number at the church is: 403-347-6425
We don't have an official e-mail address for Rob at the church yet, so check the web site and watch for them to get that up and running. The web site is:
I talked with my new boss in the ER today and she wants me to do some orientation days on January 8th and 9th since these orientation days won't be available again until April! So, it looks like I will be off and running right away!! I'm hoping to negotiate some extra time off the following week as Rob is scheduled to start work on January 12th and I think that we will need a few days to settle in with school and daycare without both Rob and I at work as well.
Well, that's all of the information that I have for now. We are very excited to get out to Red Deer and start this new chapter of our life. Please pray that the 3 day drive out West goes smoothly and safely. I will blog as soon as we get everything set up out there and I will update you on how all the travelling went.
Take care and I will write again in 2009.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

An Update

I just wanted to write a little update. We had a wonderful time in Red Deer. The people are very warm and friendly and we were treated like a king and queen. Rob has officially been offered the job as Young Adults Pastor at CrossRoads Church in Red Deer. We have already officially accepted and we have a tenative start date of January 5th 2009. HOORAY!!! That is still tentative due to some issues we are still working through on housing, so once we know when we can get into a home, we will know when we can officially start.

I had a great interview with the manager of the ER at the Red Deer Hospital but I will still be talking with the manager of the Neuromedical Unit just to be sure that she doesn't have something I would be more interested in doing.

So overall, everything is going great. Seth is having a bit of an adjustment and has asked to "go home" a few times but so far so good.

We are wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Once we are settled, I will post all of our new contact info.

Thanks for all of your love and prayers.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Merry Christmas

Well, the POD is in the driveway being loaded and the final things are being packed up [including the computer in the next few minutes], so I am writing our final blog from Fond du Lac. I will try to post some pics from Red Deer and from our family time in Ontario.
I love this picture of Spencer that Rob took this week. I was so excited to share it here on the blog. As I said earlier, Christmas is my favorite time of year. Time with family and friends celebrating the birth of Jesus is for me the highlight of my year. Rob's mom just told us that she has bought tickets for Rob and I to join them at Handel's Messiah. That is also one of my favorite things to do, so on Dec. 20th Rob and I will be listening to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra play and the Mendelson Choir sing out scripture about the birth of Jesus and how He will save all mankind. For me, it is a little snapshot of what heaven will be like with the angels singing about the greatness of God.
We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Packing Assistant

Well, as you all know, we are a flurry of packing here. The baby has decided that the best way for her to help is to sit in each box before you get the chance to get anything into it. If you set up two boxes [which I tried so she could play in one while I loaded the other] she goes from one to the other. So, whichever one you focus your attention on gets a big Spencer Grace sitting in it. :-) I really had forgotten what it is like to have a toddler. She is so much fun. She is really getting a sense of humor and she has us all laughing with her and at her a lot of the time.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Let it snow...let it snow...let it snow

I have to say that I really like winter. I especially like winter in December. Snow makes me feel like Christmas is right around the corner and Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year! It has been snowing a lot over the last few days in Wisconsin. In fact, as I sit here blogging this morning, it is again steadily snowing. I wanted to share some of these pictures that I snuck out one morning to take. For me, there are few things as beautiful as the world around me with fresh snow on it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

On the Road Again...

I'm sorry that it has taken so long for me to post something here. Our life in the last few weeks has been a flurry of activity. Rob has been talking with a wonderful church in Canada for a very long time. We have been sending and receiving e-mails, having phone interviews and web cam inteviews etc. They have wanted Rob to go for his final interview since June...that's right...I said June. Due to delay after delay with our US visa renewal process this year, he has not been able to go for that interview. Let me be clear, Rob can go to Canada at any time, however, his being able to return to us here in Wisconsin was what we have been unsure of. While it would be manageble to have Rob take a few days away to do his interview...having him unable to come back while I work close to full time on the night shift, manage 4 kids, pack a house and set up a move was just more than I could even think about doing on my own. So we have been sitting here completing form after form for INS thinking that at any time we would be approved and go forward. That has not happened. We just received another request for additional forms from INS just two weeks ago.

We have decided [after a lot of prayer and discussion] to end our petition for our visa renewal, and return to Canada so that Rob can do his final interview at CrossRoads Church. When Rob and I sat down about 10 months ago as our last potential ministry opportunity was going up in smoke, I had Rob list out for me what his dream job would be. Well, I have to say, that CrossRoads offers Rob each thing on that list!! They have been so patient waiting for us to work out our issues with INS, but it has gotten to the point that we have absolutely no idea when we would be able to go for this interview [we have been working on this renewal for almost an entire year!] Two years without work is a very long time for anyone, but it has been especially long for Rob and when you have your dream job sitting there in front of you, it gets to the point that you have to trust God and do what He is directing you to do even if it seems foolish and illogical.

So, we are heading back to Canada so that Rob can do this final interview and we are trusting God that we will be moving to Alberta for Rob to join the pastoral team at CrossRoads Church in Red Deer, Alberta in 2009. We will be leaving Wisconsin on Thursday December 11th and going to stay with our loving, kind and very long-suffering parents. [A special thanks to both sets of our parents for being willing to have our chaos descend upon them! :-) ] From Toronto, we will be flying to Red Deer on the 13th for Rob's interview and a few interviews for me at the hospital in Red Deer. By the end of that week, we are hoping to officially know if that is where God has finally opened the door for us to serve.

Please keep us in your prayers as we go down this road. Doing something in faith like this when you have 4 children is very scary indeed. But, God has been with us for the last 2 years. He has always met our needs and we know that He loves us and has a plan for us. I hope that we can see many of you here in Wisconsin before the move, but if that is not possible due to time constraints, please know that we love you and it has been our pleasure to share the last 6 years with you here in Fond du Lac. We will never forget you!! For our Canadian friends and family, we are looking forward to a wonderful Christmas with our fabulous family and are hoping to see many of you in Ontario before we are hopefully making the long move to Alberta for Rob to start his job.

I love this picture of the baby that I took the other night. We have been so busy sorting, organizing and packing that we have all been very tired. We have gotten rid of a lot of the bigger things that we aren't moving and we moved our lawn furniture into the living room to have somewhere to sit until the move. The kids think that we should have made that change long ago. :-) This picture completely sums up how I have felt over the last two weeks....

Monday, November 3, 2008


I have to say that Halloween is my very least favorite of the seasonal holidays. I have issues with it and for many years we didn't celebrate it at all. Then we sent the kids to Harvest parties at whatever church we were serving at. The last two years, we have allowed the kids to trick or treat in our neighborhood with Rob. Fond du Lac does not celebrate Halloween with great enthusiasm. They only allow trick or treating on the Sunday before Halloween between the hours of 3:00 -5:30 pm. This is due to a child abduction with a very terrible outcome on Halloween night about 20 years ago. On that happy note, here is our brief selection of Halloween pictures from the last week. I'm sorry they're late. It's a combination of not really liking Halloween and being very, very, very busy here.
Here they are...the Wizard, the Fireman and the Queen.

I really liked this choice for a Jack O' Lantern. Jonah drew the bat and the ghost on paper and then Rob transferred the design onto the pumpkin. I think it came out really nice.

Here's the glowing Jack O' Lantern that was on the front step. Seth wanted a straight forward simple design. :-)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The King

Well, with Halloween around the corner, we have been dressing up a lot around here over the last few weeks. I thought that I would share this picture of Seth dressed up like 'The King'. He needed some help with cutting out the crown but the blanket robe was all his doing.

I have had a fabulous week with my son. He has done several things this week worth making known to all of you. This week the original prayers continue and Seth said, "Dear Jesus thank you for making" What a fabulous prayer. What an outstanding feeling! We should all be so thankful for who God has made us to be. Thinking that this was something they were covering in school, I asked his teacher and she assured me that they were not. So, that is just something that came into his mind and he shared it in prayer. I'm speechless.

He also introduced me to one of his school friends this week. Seth had forgotten his lunch at home and so I raced over to the school to drop it off. After seeing me in the classroom, Seth brought this little boy over to me. He puffed out his chest proudly, looked up at me, put his arm around the little boy and said, "Mom, this is my pal, Rene." He smiled at me with that little chest held out so proudly, he could have been a soldier standing for inspection by a superior officer. I looked down at his friend and told him that it was nice to meet him. The two friends turned and ran to another part of the classroom getting ready to say The Pledge of Allegiance and hear morning announcements. His teacher looked at me with tears welling in her eyes and said, "Wasn't that just a wonderful thing for him to do?" And I agreed.
When we received our diagnosis of Autism just about 6 years ago now, Seth being able to do these things was thought to be an least the doctor told us that it was.
After that meeting in the doctor's office being told that Seth had already reached the pinacle of what he would achieve in life especially in the areas of relationships and social interaction; after being told that he would need to be institutionalized; after being told that he would likely become violent and unmanageable; I did the only thing I knew to do...I prayed. I believe that God met me that night. He said this into my spirit, "Why do you believe that woman over Me? I made him and I will decide what he will become." With great humility I ended my prayer reminded that God is indeed bigger than our circumstances.
I have to say, that this week I was again reminded of that conversation with God so many years ago. I am so thankful that God has been right and not the very qualified specialty Pediatrician we had taken him to. I want to be sure to tell you that Seth still has many deficits and areas that need a lot of improvement. But, I see God's faithfulness and I know that if He has brought our boy this far, that He is more than able to take Seth as far as He wills for him to go. I am thankful this week for the promises of God and I want to encourage all of you to remember that He does keep them!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mommy's Little Helper

Tonight while I was loading the dishwasher after dinner, I turned around to see this site ... a baby in the dishwasher. She was attempting to pull out the bottom rack and unload the dishes that I had just loaded. With this crew of 4, it is always difficult to get tasks completed. Thankfully, I know that I am not alone in this. Those of you that have had small children around know that this is true. Whenever you start something they try to 'help' you. I had forgotten what it is like to have a one year old in the house getting into everything. It is moments like this that are reminding me to work smart and fast!! :-)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Biker Chick

Not too long ago, my parents went to a family wedding in Upstate New York. While there, they went to Orange County Choppers. My dad loves TLC and watches just about every show on that channel. So, he couldn't resist stopping by the shop and checking out the bikes. I'm sure that he wouldn't have minded meeting Mikey, Vinnie, Paul Sr. or Paul Jr. either for that matter. Anyways, being grandparents, they couldn't resist picking up something from the shop for each of the kids.

Here's Spencer in her OCC onesie. She looks so cute. She has finally decided that she likes to have her picture taken and now smiles every time the camera comes out. :-)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Duncan Seth Tannahill

Well, Happy Birthday to our son Seth. He turned 8 today! I can't believe where the time has gone. It seems like yesterday that he was born. Seth has Autism and that makes life for both he and us quite challenging. Despite all of the challenges that Seth has, he has a zest for life that is contagious. Seth loves to have fun. He loves to experience new things, and go new places. Out of all of our kids, Seth is the one that is always up for an adventure.
Well, my son, I pray that this year will be a wonderful one filled with lots of growth and new adventures.
We love you!
Here's the Cars birthday cake that Seth asked for. I think that it came out beautifully. I picked it up at Wal-Mart and the Lightning McQueen on top of the cake is a toy that he has been playing with ever since we stopped singing 'Happy Birthday'.

Seth loves balloons so Rob took him to the store and he picked out 8 balloons for his birthday.

Here's the older kids sharing a birthday hug.

Here's the birthday boy with the Bald Eagle that Grandma and Grandpa Kozsukan sent him. Seth has an obsession with Bald Eagles and he is so thrilled to own his very own eagle. He is a beautiful puppet with stiff wings that flap. Seth named him 'Edgar', and as you can see by the smile on his face, he loves him!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Little Farmer

Hoorah!! The computer has finally decided to co-operate and has uploaded the pictures that we have been trying for days to upload. Well, since it was such a hot, sunny, wonderful weekend, we decided to head off to a local farm to pick pumpkins and apples. The farm is called The Little Farmer and it is a wonderful place with activities for the whole family. They really make pumpkins, apples and other produce into a very family friendly experience. We had a lot of fun as you can see, however, the day ended with Seth being missing for 20 minutes and once found he refused to share his soda with a wasp and was stung. It sure was eventful!! But we were happy that we all arrived home safe and sound after a fabulous day out in the country.
Here's Lauren on one of their tire swings. You're seeing that right - it is shaped to look like a horse. Boy, the tire swing has come a long way since I was a kid!

The older kids liked this huge chair and immediately climbed up on it for a picture.

The older kids loved this 'fort' made out of hay bales. It had tunnels and passage ways. They spent a long time here.

Here's the gang walking through the corn maze. Rob and Jonah thought that it should have been more challenging. Are they Tannahills or what?!

I really like this picture of the baby in the corn maze. She had a lot of fun.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving My Fellow Canadians

Well, Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!! As most of our family is up there in 'The Great White North', I decided that I would send you all some Thanksgiving wishes. We are again having technical difficulties in uploading pictures to the hard drive [*sigh*], so I looked back into the archives and found these little beauties. These are pictures of Lauren from last year when she was in Kindergarten. They had made Native American headdresses and necklaces and then Pilgrim hats and collars to celebrate American Thanksgiving. She was so proud of her design skills! :-) I think she looks adorable and I can't believe what a difference a year makes. She looks so little in these pictures in comparison to how she looks today. Well, I hope that you like these.

Happy Thanksgiving to you. We love you!!

Here she is as a Native American. I love the necklace made out of Fruit Loops and noodles.

Here's the little Pilgrim. Doesn't she look like she just stepped off of the Mayflower?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Starting Early

The other night the baby brought out this book,
opened it and began to "read" it out loud to us. She would look down at the pages, tell us what it said in her little baby talk and then look at us to make sure we were paying attention to her. As you can see, she was very happy that we were in fact, paying attention to her. Her choice of reading material, you ask??? A book entitled, Plundering Pirates. :-) [Not exactly age appropriate, I know.]
We love to read in this family. Both sides of our family are strong readers who love to read for pleasure. It is something we are making a very conscious effort to teach our kids. I'm glad to see that our baby is already having 'fun' with reading! :-)

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Star Is Born

Well, here she is....our little star! :-) Lauren got these star sunglasses in a gift bag at a recent birthday party. Spencer loves them and is always trying to put them on. Well, she succeeded. :-) I for one, think she looks adorable.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

On Saturday we took the day and went to the Schiltz Audubon Nature Center just north of Milwaukee. It was such a beautiful day and we learned so much. We started out in their Learning Center which is one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in America. It has many special features. We sat through an hour long presentation on Birds of Prey. We got to see a Bald Eagle, a Red-Tailed Hawk, an American Kestrel, and several owls.

We hiked along beautiful nature trails.

We climbed all the way to the top of the Observation Tower.

The climb was absolutely worth it. Look at that view of Lake Michigan!

The kids really liked this teepee that had been constructed on the beach out of drift wood.

The kids are trying to skip stones.

Rob caught this little guy to show the kids and Jonah really liked him. He stayed with Jonah for quite awhile.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Spencer Grace Tannahill

First of all, I'm sorry that this post is a day late. We were having technical difficulties getting the pictures from Spencer's birthday loaded into the computer.
Well, our baby is a year old!! I just can't believe how fast this year has gone. I hope that you can bear with me as I take you on a little journey through pictures over the last year. I had wanted to do this as a slideshow, but I couldn't figure out how to do that, so you're stuck with having to go through my pictures one by one.
Here she is all red, wrinkly and brand new. This picture seems like yesterday to me.

Spencer at 1 month old, sleeping peacefully.

This was Christmas 2007. She was so little and not feeling very festive.

This picture is of the 4 kids in March. It is not easy to take a picture of 4 kids and have them all looking 'spot on'. Spencer had had enough and Seth's little chapped lips aside, I thought this was one of the best we could get at that time.

Here's Spencer in her snowsuit last March. I love the little yawn on her face.

Here's a picture of the girls earlier this summer. It's one of my favorites.

Here it is September 21, 2008 - one whole year old!! We decided since we had such a beautiful day to celebrate on, we would grill out in the backyard. Here's the baby sitting on her very own chair in the yard. She certainly wasn't going to sit on anyone else's lap!
Here's the birthday girl with her brand new doll from her Grandma and Grandpa Tannahill. As you can see by the smile on her face, she loves it!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Prayers of Children

I love to pray with my kids. It is one of my most favorite things about being a mom. What a special privilege it is to listen each night to the things that are in the depths of their hearts. I think you can tell a lot about a person by what they pray for. You certainly get the opportunity to know what is important to them. I have heard my kids pray for people who are sick or hurting. I have heard them pour out their hearts to God for things that they want for our case this is usually for Dad to allow them to have dinner at Culver's or for a puppy. :-) Remember we are still pretty young here. :-)

When you have a special needs child, faith and prayer are very difficult things to teach and to instill. Rob has been working on this with Seth and taught him to say, "Dear Jesus, bless my family. Amen." He has been praying his little memorized prayer for months now. Every night it was the same thing...until the last 2 weeks. He now has a desire to say his own original prayers. I am touched that our son wants to be original in what he shares with his God.

Last week he started out by saying his usual prayer..."Dear Jesus, bless my family. Amen." He then followed that by adding on..."this prayer was brought to you today by the letter S, the letter E and by the number 7." If it has been a while since you've watched PBS, let me just remind you that that is how each episode of Sesame Street closes. We all laughed with him and encouraged him in his original prayer. Telling him that he had done a great job praying.

In the last week he has been expanding on his originality - no longer starting with his little memorized prayer. Tonight his prayer was..."Dear Jesus thank you for the "or" sound in ... corn ... horn ... born ... and ... forlorn. Amen." As I said, it is interesting to listen to what your kids pray. I have to say that I have never heard anyone thank God for the 'or' sound before. But Seth [who is very interested in letters and words] is thankful for it and expressed his thankfulness. I can't wait for prayer time tomorrow night!!

Monday, September 8, 2008


I 'm not sure why, but today I'm feeling a little home sick. While scrolling through the pictures that we have on the computer I found these two from our family vacation in July of 2007 in Niagara Falls. In these pictures you can see Rob, the kids, myself and both sets of our parents. As you can see Spencer was just a bump in my belly. :-) I have to say that we have the most amazing family! I love that we can all get together and just have fun. This was such a fun few days and the time went by much too quickly. Hello to all our family whether in these pics or not. I love you all !!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

That Toothless Grin

Here's Lauren right after she lost the other of her front teeth. She was very excited to have lost both of them. We are enjoying her toothless smile and her slurred words. :-) She was thrilled to put this tooth under her pillow and find out what the Tooth Fairy would bring her. These are the moments of being a mother that I hope I remember forever!! :-)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Recycled Baby

Here's a picture of our darling Spencer. She had crawled into the recycle bin. Those of you Canadians who read this blog will recognize the blue 'Region of Peel' recycling bin. We keep this one in the kitchen to hold items until we take them out to the larger covered bin that Waste Management uses here in Fond du Lac. She was so proud of herself standing in that box. Jonah and Lauren thought it was SO funny until Rob suggested that they help him take her out to the big bin outside to go off to be recycled. :-) Dads just LOVE to tease don't they??

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The First Day of School

Here's the annual picture taken in front of the school sign. I can't believe how much bigger they're getting. Jonah and Lauren go to the same school, so they walked together this morning.

Here's Jonah lookin cool as he starts the 4th grade!

Here's Lauren waiting in line for the bell to ring. She was so excited to wear her very patriotic stars dress that her Grandma Kozsukan had bought for her. I think she looks so cute!

Here's Seth sitting on his bus all ready to go off to school. He was SO excited to go. He was dressed an hour before he had to go out the door! :-)