It's a small world for the Hanneman family

Meet Bryan, Natasha, Sam, Anthony, Rayla and Savina Hanneman.

Bryan and Natasha Hanneman met in 2005 while traveling in Europe as chaperones for a group of teenagers attending World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany. The couple's families joke that they had to go halfway around the world to meet someone that lived less than an hour away back home (Natasha is from Wausau and Bryan is from Marshfield).

The pair were married in Wausau in 2007 and spent a few years living in Madison before moving back to Wausau to be closer to family. The family have lived on Wausau’s west side for the past five years and love their neighborhood.

Natasha has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from St. Norbert College in De Pere. She worked in the insurance/managed care field as an account executive.

"The favorite part of my career was helping companies design and implement wellness strategies for their employees." said Natasha.

As a mom of four, she now stays home with the kids and calls herself a 'domestic engineer.'

Bryan has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from UW-Madison. He has nearly 20 years of experience in electrical design and engineering and is currently employed with Minnesota-based, National Facility Solutions, a disabled veteran-owned business.

"We feel blessed to belong to an awesome church community, St. Matthew Catholic Church." said Natasha. "They have embraced our family and kindly tell us how beautiful our family is after mass, which we interpret to mean that they enjoyed the free circus show."

"This is the first year we are proud soccer parents," said Bryan. "Our twin boys have had a blast playing on a team and learning to develop their soccer skills, which at the four to six age level include 20 kids buzzing around the soccer ball like a bee hive and post game snack enthusiasm. The girls love dance parties, reading books, and shopping with mom."

"During the week you could find us sneaking some chia cookies and coffee at Vino Latte, climbing the rocks and tower at Rib Mountain State Park, or kicking the soccer ball around our yard." said Natasha. "Every year we discover something new in Wausau, just last week we had a picnic and went swimming at Sunny Vale Park for the first time!"

The couple considers their family lucky to have most of their relatives either in Wausau or less than an hour away. "We love celebrating birthdays and holidays together." said Natasha. "Having my parents in town to help watch the kids on occasion is great for us to get a date night and a blast for the kids to spend time with their grandparents, too."

The family has one neighbor that they've kind of adopted and the kids call Grandpa. The younger members of the family love to bring him dinner and treats or sneak over to his yard.

"Last week another neighbor brought us over pineapple just because she had extra, another neighbor brought us cookies and a sweet note saying they love watching our kids play and that the kids really 'upgrade' the neighborhood, and two of our dear Wausau friends brought us meals, because it was a challenging week." said Natasha.

The family's motto, which is repeated often, particularly when all members are finally loaded into the car for a trip, is “Hanneman six, total bliss, whatever goes wrong, we can fix!”

"It’s kind of a positive affirmation for us as parents, a reminder that even though life is busy and crazy and there are so many kids, life is amazing and we feel so blessed to have these four beautiful children." said Natasha. "In all seriousness though, we teach kindness, humility, generosity, goofiness, and fun in our family."

"Our hobbies include ... kids!" said Natasha with a laugh. "We enjoy spending time outdoors, exploring Wausau’s parks, farmers market and kayaking at grandma’s cabin."

"Once a year we head to Jellystone Park in Warrens where we camp for a long weekend, stay up late watching Yogi Bear cartoons, drink a few too many slushees, swim and cruise around on a golf cart." said Bryan. "It’s the highlight of our summer!"

The family took their first road trip in March 2019, traveling to Orange Beach, Alabama.

"We spent the week soaking up the sun on the beach." said Bryan. "The kids had a blast building sand creations, searching for seashells and swimming in the ocean. It was a crazy drive at times with four kids, but it was empowering too, because we thought if we could make a 20-plus hour road trip with four kids six and under, we could road trip anywhere!"

This article initially appeared in Wausau Neighbors magazine, Best Version Media

Photos by Portraits by Tiffany/Graphic Impressions Photography LLC

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