A couple of weeks ago, when my Dad knew he was going to be visiting for the weekend, he asked if I could put a Stauffer Sunday together. A Stauffer Sunday is when the whole Stauffer crew gets together. For many, many years, this happened on the second Sunday of EVERY month. I grew up with this being a given. It's what we did. Sometimes we would complain about it, but most of the time we were excited to go see all the cousins. There are 14 cousins (plus my two step brothers makes 16). Growing up, before my parent's divorce, there were 23 family members that gathered. That didn't include any "adopted" family members. The Stauffers have an open door (or extra plate) policy. The family that hosted made the main dish, and the others were given food assignments. Each month we would celebrate that month's birthday's and anniversaries. On your birthday month, you were asked to give a speech. We would all gather before lunch, and Grandpa would ask you about your year, and your walk with Christ. He would ask about school and anything else you were up to. We hated giving our speeches! It was so embarrassing! Any other family announcements would happen here to. Engagements, babies, you name it. Then Grandpa would give a little sermon about what was on his heart. He would then pray for lunch, and the rush to the kitchen would begin.
We all have very fond memories of Stauffer Sundays. It was wonderful to grow up in such a close, loving family. The last few years we haven't carried on this tradition. The family has just gotten too big.
So when Dad asked me to host a Stauffer Sunday, I said.....well......we will see. When Grandpa passed away a few days later, I knew we needed a Stauffer Sunday as a family. I planned on doing tacos and everyone chimed in with food that they would bring.
The family has grown to over 70 people now. I was really nervous about having enough food, and enough room in my house! I made 15 pounds of taco meat!
We ended up with 52 people on Sunday! It was crazy! Kids were running around everywhere, my cousin's were wrestling on the floor with anyone they could grab (me included). The bigger kids (and a great Auntie that will remain anonymous) were playing Just Dance. And we had more food than we could all eat. It was comforting to us all to be surrounded by family.
My Dad's wish is that we can do a quarterly Stauffer Sunday. It's not easy, and we need a bigger space! Hopefully we can keep this tradition going in some way or another. I want my kids to grow up with the same family time.