Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Chirstmas!





This year we celebrated Christmas day as a little family of 4 (and a half :) It was a little different not being with a big group of family but we enjoyed the laid back time spent at home, too. We went to church in the morning (after a breakfast of fresh baked cinnamon rolls!) and then came home and opened stockings. The afternoon was spent hanging out and making homemade eggnog. For our little family, we've made the tradition of picnicking in the living room beside the Christmas tree. We had baked Brie, shrimp cocktail, eggnog, summer sausage and cheese, and Reuben dip with crackers. Delicious! After supper we listened to Paul read the Christmas story (Hannah needed some persuasion to sit still...different story...different time...) and then we opened gifts. I hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas as well!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Suvar Christmas





This past weekend we got together with Paul's parents and siblings to celebrate Christmas. We ate the traditional Villia dinner and opened gifts afterward. We even managed to get a family picture of everyone - which was quite an accomplishment considering 2 minutes before the picture was taken Owen was throwing a fit and Hannah was squealing at the top of her lungs. We stayed up late playing games and eating until we were stuffed (and maybe beyond that!) We had a great time and Owen thoroughly enjoys his construction trucks he received and Hannah is loving her dollhouse (thanks everyone!)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving





I stop and think where we were a year ago, I have many reasons to be thankful. A year ago, Paul was without a job (lost it the week before) and we had no clue what to do next. But God is faithful, like He always is, and opened a door call Gateway Woods. Now a year later we have almost a full year of work under our belts, two healthy children with another on the way, and someone has come along who wants to rent our house in Antwerp (yea!).
We had a great time with family over the 4 days we had off. We got to be with Paul's family on Thanksgiving day and spent the night as well. Then we spent the remaining 3 days in Illinois with my family who we hadn't seen since last Christmas :( It was wonderful to finally see my grandparents again - i even managed to get a picture with them. Owen became fast friends with Kate and we attempted a picture of the 4 kiddos Sunday morning. We can at least say we got them all in the same picture, but that's about it... The picture of the pumpkin fields is to explain why there's a shortage of pumpkin pies this year (boo...) My aunt and uncles house was surrounded by fields just like this. Filled with pumpkins that couldn't be harvested because the fields are too wet. All those pumpkins rotting in the fields...so sad.
Despite the sad display of rotting pumpkins we had a wonderful time and so glad we were able to get the time off to spend with family! :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

3 year pictures






A week or so ago, I took Owen's 3 year pictures. He was so sweet, trying to pose for me - so cooperative! I can hardly believe I have a 3 year old. He started Sunday School last Sunday and really enjoyed. They were discussing David and Jonathon and how they were best friends. When the kids were asked who their best friends were, Owen replied, "Hannah!" When they told me that, my heart about melted - so sweet :) He is also learning memory verses, which he has already memorized. We're pretty impressed to say the least.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The jig is up



OK, I've kept it a secret for 6 months, but now that it's over, I'm bragging on my man. : ) Since April, Paul has been training to run the Columbus Marathon. We were able to get a few days off of work, grandparents watched the kids, and on Saturday morning Paul and I headed down to Columbus. We headed downtown to pick up his race packet and then spent the rest of the day and night with Ben, Jaime, and Alayna. Dark and early (5 AM) Sunday morning we rolled out of bed, Paul got geared up, and we headed downtown again to find a decent parking spot. Thankfully we found a good place to park and had Paul to the starting area at 6:30 AM (an hour before start). Ben graciously came along so I didn't have to wander around Columbus on my own -thanks, Ben! It was mid-30's at the start with a slight breeze, but skies were clear and the sun came out once it rose. Ben and I saw Paul off at the start and then headed to the halfway point (got some coffee along the way) and cheered Paul on at the 13 mile mark. We then "toured" downtown while heading in the general direction of the finish. We caught Paul again at the 26 mile mark, where he had .2 miles to go (that is where the pic was taken). Paul finished the race and we caught up with him afterward, got a few pics, and then headed the 10 blocks or so back to the car. Paul is a modest man and would rather I had not posted at all, but....I'm so proud of him for his accomplishment. This was his first marathon, and he is now saying he would like to do it again to do a few things better the next time. He finished in at around 3 hr 38 minutes, tired, sore, cold, and happy he was done. I enjoyed the whole experience, walking around Columbus (i love that city!), spending quality time with Ben :), and cheering Paul on. Sunday night Paul and I stayed in a hotel downtown, went out to eat, and relaxed. We headed back north Monday noon to collect the kids and head home. A great get-away weekend (maybe not relaxing for Paul, but fun nonetheless!)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Celebrations





OK, these pictures posted out of order??? And I still haven't figured out how to type between pictures so bear with me : ) The cake above is the one I made for Owen when we got together with our families over the weekend. He requested a Percy cake - the thing took me an hour and a half to make! Only for my child... The Rassi clan was in town for the annual Columbus Day weekend reunion, most of the Suvar's made it over, plus my family as well. There were about 25 in attendance for lunch and cake. Quite the 'party' for a 3-yr-old! : )
Yesterday, on Owen's birthday, we were on duty at Pine House. While the resident's are off at school in the morning, we have a little family time. We gave Owen his gift from us - a bike! We were pretty pumped to give it to him. We brought it out to him before lunchtime, hoping for an excited reaction. He stood there and smiled and then said...."can i have a peanut butter jelly sandwich, please?" not quite what we were looking for :) but about 5 minutes later as he is eating his PBJ sandwich, he says "i like the bike. i want to keep it." he then proceeded to bike all over the kitchen the rest of the day. i think he likes it...
For supper I made a pumpkin chip loaf of bread and put cream cheese frosting on it. And the resident's sang him happy birthday. Hard to believe our little guy is 3 and headed off to Sunday School next Sunday. Thanks to all who celebrated with us - Owen is enjoying all the gifts : )

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Owen!

I am currently posting while on duty so do not have access to a great newborn pic of Owen. When I get to my computer I will most definitely post one. But I didn't want this day to pass without acknowledging the 3rd birthday of our first born. It's hard to believe it has been 3 years already! He has brought joy and laughter, frustration and tears. But I am so glad God chose us to raise his Owen. Happy Birthday, Owen!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Races and "Boo-boos"



Funny title, I'll explain.

This past weekend, my friend Margo and I ran a 4 mile race in Ft. Wayne. We signed up for it back in April, with the plan for it to motivate us to get in shape through the summer. Despite 1st trimester nausea and fatigue, I continued to jog/run and we both finished under our goal time. I don't know if I will continue to run 4 miles (Paul prefers that I don't) But maybe 1-2 miles with some longer walks thrown in... we'll see...

The other picture is of our little Rambo. Hannah tripped over her own feet last night and hit her head on the coffee table. She put a nasty gash in her forehead which Paul and I mended together with a butterfly strip, a bandaid, and a large piece of tape so Hannah couldn't rip it off. Today she is acting fine and is showing no signs of any pain. I'm just praying for no infection...I'm keeping an eye on it. Her forehead was dented in pretty bad right afterward but in about 10 minutes time the dent was gone. It was very odd but maybe it has to do with little kids and soft bones. I am also thankful for the thick padding she has on her forehead, something odd both our kids have been blessed with : ) I think that Hannah is going to be our accident-prone one...again, we'll see... : )

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Long time no write



My apologies, but it has been awhile since I've posted an update. Summer finally ended and for the first time in 9 years I was effected by the start of school (this time relieved :) Life slowed down in one aspect as we now have more family time with the residents in school. But in another way life got full as we are now covering 2 houses as alternates. We are on campus in the houses 18 days out of the month and sleeping in our own beds (bliss!) around 11 days. But it's a time of stretching and growing and I am working on keeping a thankful spirit throughout. Our kids are learning flexibility and seemed to have gone with the flow with no complaint. Baby #3 continues to grow and as I am typing this, is kicking and doing somersaults (I love the feeling!). We are looking forward to our ultrasound next month to get our first glimpse at the next Suvar. We aren't finding out the gender - we'll be surprised along with the rest of you! In regards to the pictures, Hannah likes helping me with the laundry and will load the clothes for me (sorted or not!) This is one good thing about front loaders! Even toddlers can help! Last month we had a day off and went to the zoo with my mom. This was one picture of Owen getting up close with a mongoose. I think that sums us up for the time being. We just keep on keeping on.....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

7 years


I didn't want it to get too far beyond the date to acknowledge our 7 year wedding anniversary. Seven years ago, on August 24th, I married my high school sweetheart. We went out to dinner on Monday (thanks Grandpa and Grandma for watching the kids!) and were discussing what we had been through in the last 7 years together: between the 2 of us we've had 9 jobs, moved 4 times, and owned 9 cars. We've grown a lot together, and I'm so glad that with all the moments that have happened in the last 7 years, I had Paul there to share it with. :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Vacation





Well, we've been home a little over a week but now that the Gateway Auction is behind us, I have a moment to post a few pictures from our trip out East. We left Friday and drove as far as Castile in upstate New York. There we rented a 7 bed-room farmhouse that we all stayed in for Friday and Saturday night. Some of the Suvar extended family also stayed in the area for a small reunion so we all congregated at the farmhouse on Saturday night for that. Sunday after church we headed to Massachusetts and stayed with George's cousin and her husband in their home about 45 minutes outside of Boston. We stayed there Sunday-Weds nights. Monday we hung out and went to a barbecue and swim party at another one of George's cousin's house. On Tuesday we toured Boston and had another cook-out with more cousins, aunts, and uncles. It was great to finally put names to faces with all the relatives! On Weds we drove an hour and a half south to Falmouth, MA which is on Cape Cod. We ate in a local pub, toured the little shops, and then hung out on the beach for a few hours. We rounded out our east coast experience that night with a huge smorgasborg of scallops, shrimp, swordfish, salmon, and lobster. All which we bought and prepared ourselves :) Thursday morning we packed up the clan and headed home. We drove a little over halfway and stayed in a cute bed and breakfast in PA. On Friday we drove the rest of the way home and crashed exhausted on our couch :)
We had a great time. I've been telling people it was a trip, not necessaryily a vacation, because their wasn't a lot of downtime :) But a lot of great times were had and good memories made. Many thanks to Mom Suvar for doing all the preparing and planning and many thanks to Chris and Patty for putting up with us for 4 days in their house. Going out east has only made me want to go back!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

The kids




My Grandma Steffen would have said "they're not kids, kids are goats, they're children." But anyways : )
I thought i would talk about the kids since you most likely check this blog for that and not my random complaints : )
Hannah is cracking us up these days: babbling and pointing. She loves animals and gets so excited when she sees dogs, cats, the animals in the barn, even those in books. She is starting to say a word that sounds like doggy and is definetly saying daddy very clearly. She loves books and a certain one that has animals in it with fuzzy pages for feeling. She'll sort through all the books until she finds it and will crawl around with it until she find someone to read it to her. If i'm on the floor she loves to come over and just sit in my lap. Hannah is starting to give kisses and can be cuddly at times which i love :)
Owen says the darndest things which crack us up. He is still facinated with trains, planes, and "happercappers" (helicopters) He is deep in the 'troublesome twos' pushing limits and seeing what he can get away with. He loves to horseplay with Hannah and generally she loves it, except when she is sat on for too long (go figure!)
This past week the kiddos stayed with the grandparents: G and G Suvar Mon-Thurs and G and G Steffen Thur and Friday. I went to pick them up on Friday and we swam in mom and dad's pool for a little bit. Hannah was more content to crawl around naked. We then spent Friday night and Saturday with Paul's family and celebrated Father's Day with them. Owen got to go out on the paddle boat and loved it - he got 4 different people to take laps in the boat to extend his ride :)
Many thanks to the grandparents for watching the kids for the week!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Just let go...

Humility...ahhh..such an easy word to say, such a tough thing to achieve. I have been faced recently with the opportunity to work on this. Something in my life has not gone my way - it went God's way instead. I have prayed all along that God's will would be done, but when it actually occurred and it didn't go along with my plans, well, that is a hard pill to swallow. I have had to work on humility and remind myself that life isn't about my glory, it's about His glory. So I have been thinking and praying about this over the last few days and trying to work on it. And then I was reminded by someone today that it's not the matter of me "working on it" - it's the matter of me letting go and allowing God to work through me to make me into something pleasing in His sight.

There is so much more to this story and so much more that I am trying to understand and work through, but I wanted to get this much typed up and recorded for a couple reasons 1) I want to be about to come back to this some day and hope that I have improved from this point and 2) I want someone to ask me how I'm doing every once in awhile - keep me accountable.

Because although I am going to work on letting go and allowing God to work, I may try to pick up the reigns from time to time and try to do something myself.....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I'm just saying...


I haven't mentioned much lately about how things are going in our life at Gateway. That is not because I am hesitant - it's mostly because it's hard to find/make the time : ) But I must say I am loving our job. Paul and I get to work together (which for the most part is working really well) and Paul gets so much more time with our own kids than he would have if he was still at his former job. This picture is just one example of that. This is after lunch on one Tuesday afternoon and Paul is enjoying a little tea party with the kiddos (this is something that 3 years ago he said he could never see himself doing - especially with his son! : ) We also enjoy the time spent on duty in the house working with the residents. We currently have 5 residents and they just finished out the school year on Monday. Of course there are challenges but I think each one makes us stronger and helps build the relationships we have with the kids in the house.

So, I just wanted to give a little update to rest assure you that life is going great here in Grabill, we are loving where God has placed us, and excited about where he continues to lead! : )

new look

i noticed that my friend carmen has the cutest backgrounds on her blog so i went to the address up the corner and found all these cool layouts and it was way easier than i thought it was going to be to change mine as well. there were a lot of cool ones, so i may be changing it regularly, but on second thought, i really like this one, so it may stay around awhile : )

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I love my man



Just wanted to post a few pictures of Paul being a great Dad: snuggling after baths and reading books before bedtime.

Hannah's new trick




So, Hannah wandered out the back door while i was cooking supper - no problem I had an eye on her....until I turned to stir something on the stove. When i turned around she was a third of the way up the slide. After Paul ran over to supervise, she proceeded to climb all the way up to the top. As you can tell, she was quite proud of herself.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Weekend with the Rassi's




This past weekend we had Mike, Carmen, Kate, and Lincoln visit. Saturday morning it was overcast and rainy, so we hung around the house: watched some youtube videos and Owen and Kate play Wii, broke up some 'fights' between those two, and caught up with each other's lives. Thankfully, after the kids' afternoon naps, the sun came out and it warmed up. Lincoln and Hannah crawled to the front door and couldn't wait to get outside. We went for a walk, to a park, and then ordered pizza for supper. Unfortunately our time with them is always too short and they headed home on Sunday after church.
It was fun to watch our kids interact since they are so close in age. I think they had a good time as well : ) Owen is still asking about Kate and the big truck that she drove away in...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Celebrating 1



We had a beautiful day to celebrate Hannah's birthday. Everyone from both sides of the family were able to make it and we had a great time playing croquet, hanging out, and eating delicious food. Hannah enjoyed digging into her cake, but enjoyed the ice cream even more. Thanks again to all the family for making the effort and getting together!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Hannah!







Well, it's been quite a year. A year ago at 3:30 in the afternoon Hannah Karen was born into this world. She has been a joy and a great teacher of patience. The reflux that plague her (us) from week 5 to just short of 6 months of age is but a not so distance memory. Hannah was different from Owen from the beginning: she's a belly sleeper and has been from almost the beginning. She been a more stoic faced child and often has a look of quandary. Which makes her smiles that much more joyful. : )She prefers to be held instead of crawling around and seems to be quite the momma's girl. But she always "dances" (bounces up and down) whenever she sees daddy. Hannah entertained us with her walrus flop crawl for a few months until she figured out it is easier to use hand and knees. She currently is cruising along furniture and loves to push chairs and push toys across the room. This year has gone fast but already Hannah has taught us so much. I thank God for her daily (if not more than once a day) and am so glad she was put into our lives. Happy Birthday, Heena (not a misspelling, this is what Owen calls her, and I've kinda adopted the pronunciation)