Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

This has been such a crazy year, I really felt like we did a ton of nothing. It wasn't until I went through all of my pictures for the year that I realized all that we did. I think it's important to realize how much we really accomplished this year, and celebrate the milestones. Here's just a few....

  • I Graduated!!! I finished my AA that I started 14 years ago, a goal I had for years. (And got all A's)
  • I rejoined the work force. This was a scary transition for me, being a stay a home Mom for 9 years. I hope that I will get better at balancing work and home.
  • We welcomed a nephew and niece to the family this year. What a joy baby Drew and baby Ashlyn have been to the family.
  • We survived a 10 day camping trip down the coast. That was a long trip for us, but we all survived and had fun.
  • I survived a camping trip and a road trip without Dan. This was a challenge for me. I don't like to do these things without him (and still prefer to have him with).
  • Grandma Dennison endured a torn aorta, getting a pace maker, hip surgery and shoulder surgery. The family held strong and was by her side the whole time. With love and support, Grandma is home and healing.
  • I started my Scentsy business and had a great first year. I'm still learning and growing, and have a great team of consultants now!
  • Dan finished his schooling to get his Mate's license. This was a challenge considering his classes were in Oregon and he had to fit it in on his time off. We are very proud of his accomplishment.
  • Lily had her first ballet recital. She remembered every step and gave great effort.
  • Nate got glasses and adjusted with no problems. He managed to not break his glasses (my fear) the whole year!
While we had many struggles this year, I resolve to remember how much we overcame and grew this past year. Our family was rocked with miscarriages, cancer diagnoses and many other health problems. I pray that 2010 will have less struggles and more joy.

Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Battle

Christmas with my Dad is always crazy. I tend to host because he lives out of state. Christmas with my Dad means 22 people this year, and this is just immediate family. So along with Dad and my step-mom Marsha, it's all 6 of us kids, spouses and families. Really it's an easy crowd, everyone is laid back and we all get along great......until Dad brings out the toys. Every year he finds a "toy" for all the boys. In the past it's been airplanes, zip pulley wheels, and air guns. This year he pulled out 8 nerf dart guns. He had pulled them all out of the boxes, put batteries in them (Oh yes, they make noises)and had them all ready for war. Once he handed them out, the battle began. Darts are flying everywhere, and we are trying to protect the babies. My step brothers are using chairs as sheilds and Nate is collecting darts to refill his gun. I tried to get pictures and video, but you really can't understand the chaos until you have lived through it. This year Jessica and Tiffani got tired of getting hit and stole a couple guns and fought back. Dad has been warned that it is no longer acceptable to dicriminate against the girls. We need our own weapons to defend ourselves. Great, 20 people with guns next year........I think I may need to hide the breakables before Christmas!

Here's one of the video clips.
video

Sunday, December 27, 2009

More Christmas






Done! We are finally done with Christmas. Here's a few of my favorite pictures.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Wishing you a very Merry CHRISTmas! May you be blessed, surrounded by family and friends!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas #1





Our first Christmas celebration was yesterday. We have a total of 6 this year, two being at our house. This is normal for us, so I'm not stressing out.....yet. Yesterday was the whole Stauffer clan. It was great so see most of my cousins and we all were shocked at how big the great grand kids are getting. Grandma wanted a picture of all the great grands together......that was a big job. Here's a couple of my pictures. I love the first one of Grant crawling away and two fingers pointing him back!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Great Gift Books

Last December I did a blog post on some of my favorite childrens books. Click HERE to read that post. I would like to add a few more books to my list of favorites. Books are a great gift, and really encourage the love of reading.

Toddlers/Preschool

Dinosaur Roar by Paul and Henrietta Stickland

I'm a Little Teapot by Iza Trapani

Edward the Emu by Sheena Knowles

5-7 years

Pigs Can't Fly by Ben Cort

Bedhead by Margie Palatini

Fancy Nancy series by Jane O'Connor

8-10 years

Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney

Calvin and Hobbs series of books by Bill Watterson

Priceless

New Christmas dress for Lily: $6.47 (Seriously!!)

New Christmas shoes for Lily: $8.00

The look on Lily's face and the "Oh my gosh" when she saw her new dress: Priceless!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Praise Report

Thank you everyone for your prayers!! Thank you Lord for answered prayers! Grandma Dennison is now home and doing well. We, along with the doctors, are impressed at how well her hip is healing. She still has her shoulder in a sling and needs to regain strength in her arm, but is learning to do everyday things one handed (Also very impressive since it's her left arm and she's left handed).

Yesterday the ladies of the family (along with some of the guys who drove the ladies in the snow) had our annual lefsa making party. This is a traditional Norwegian food that my Great Aunt Laurel always made for the holidays. A few years back she taught the next two generations how to make lefsa and a new tradition was started. We had this gathering at Grandma and Grandpa's house and helped them decorate the Christmas tree. The whole time there the snow was coming down, giving us a little more Christmas spirit.

So remember to pass on family traditions, and cherish the family you have this Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's Begining To Look Alot Like Christmas!


You know it's almost Christmas when I'm getting daily boxes from UPS filled with Scentsy! I'm placing my last order this weekend, so contact me if you want a Scentsational Christmas gift! Also, if you place an order online, you must have it in by December 15th to guarantee delivery by Christmas. Some of my favorite scents right now are Snowberry, Cinnamint and Satin Sheets. Click on the link on the side of the page to visit my Scentsy website and see all of the products.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jingle Bell Run

On Saturday Dan and I will be doing the Jingle Bell Run to benefit the Arthritis Foundation. Click here to find out more info. Tonight we are having a benefit dinner with all donations going to the Arthritis Foundation. We will have a spaghetti dinner at the Everson Fire Hall from 5:30 to 8:00pm tonight. Dinner is $5 a plate or $8 all you can eat. Dan has been working on evergreen table arrangements that he is donating tonight. We will sell them and all money will go towards the Jingle Bell Run. Here's a couples pictures of his arrangements. If you would like to support this cause and buy and arrangement, we will deliver it anywhere in Whatcom County.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Oh Christmas Trees....

This is MY Christmas tree. It's an artificial tree that we have had for 10 years. It's nothing spectacular, but Dan has always complained that I don't decorate it the "right" way. He likes lots of colors and colored lights. I'm a white lights kinda gal. So this is the first Christmas season that Dan is home the whole time. We have always wanted to go cut down a tree with the kids, but it just never worked out with Dan's schedule. So this was the year! While talking about cutting down a tree, the kids decided that it would be fun to have two trees this year. So I put up my tree and the kids and Dan decorated their tree.
We found the perfect tree at Noon Rd trees. They have a great place, beautiful trees and great prices!
Here is Dan and the kid's tree. They love it, and I have to say it turned out pretty nice. We may have to do this every year.......there is still no way I'm giving up my white lights!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

When a great idea......turns into a fire!

This summer I had the great idea of making Scentsy samples for the fair. I bought cute summer themed candy molds and proceeded to melt wax, pour it into the candy molds, chill, pop them out, then repeat.....like a million times. I then thought that cute themed samples for each season would be a great idea.

So here we are at Christmas and I have snowflake candy molds and a brick of snowberry wax. I started making my samples, and the wax just would not come out of the molds.

Plan B: Melt the wax in an aluminum foil pan, let it harden, then cut out with small cookie cutters. Great plan. It worked great........until I put the pan back in the oven to remelt the leftover wax. I guess the cookie cutters cut through the pan, and wax dripped in the oven. Next thing I know, the house is all smoky. Yikes.

So tonight I turned on the oven to make dinner and not long after I have flames in my oven. I'm yelling fire, the kids are running out of the room screaming, and I'm trying to figure out what to do. I turned the oven off, then threw water on it (my hubby later tells me that water was a bad idea....oops!) and the fire is out. Once the oven cooled down, and Dan came home, we scraped the bottom of the oven to get all of the wax out. Right now the oven is on cleaning cycle, and we have a door and window open to get the smoke out of the house. Did I mention it's only 30 degrees outside? BRRRRR.

So the lesson is, put a cookie sheet under the pan of wax. And clean the oven in the summer!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Black Friday Shopping

My sister in law Tiffani and I decided we need to teach a class about Black Friday shopping. We really are the seasoned pros and are now famous after my Mom was interviewed by the local paper about our Black Friday traditions (and interviewed on the radio Friday morning).

Really the best advice we could give is don't go alone. Go with friends and family and keep a good attitude. Seriously, if you are grumpy, STAY IN BED! So here's a few tricks of the trade we have learned over the years.

  • Don't get a cart unless you really are getting more than you can hold. A cart will slow you down in Target and make traffic flow much worse.
  • Expect that the people behind you will laugh if you buy a snuggie for your dog! (We were the one's laughing!!!).
  • Must have caffeine.....and lots of it! We have my Aunt Ruthi call in our coffee orders and pick them up for all of us. She always gets two extra hot chocolates for the people around us. This year a lady walked up to Ruthi and asked for two lattes and a hot chocolate (joking of course). Imagine her surprise when Ruthi hands her a hot chocolate and says Merry Christmas!
  • Combine your purchases with family to get the most discounts and coupons. By combining our purchases at Target, we were able to use a $15 off coupon, plus they gave us a $10 gift card for spending $100.
  • If you have a coupon code, share with the people around you! We shared a coupon code at Old Navy with a complete stranger and she saved an extra $15.
  • Don't be afraid to wave down a stock boy who is walking by with a stack of DVD's that you were looking for!
  • BE NICE! Just because it's Black Friday and it's 4am, don't be rude! Help others and be kind!
  • Have a plan!!! Tiffani makes a notebook, I have a list, and we have a plan on where, when and what we need.
See you next year, bright and early!