Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sneak Attack

Last Chance!

Today and tomorrow are your last chances to get your favorite Scentsy fall/winter scents. Here's what's going away (maybe forever!).

Central Park Pralines
Christmas Cottage
Christmas Tree
Cozy Fireside
Cranberry Spice
Eskimo Kiss
Guava Nectar
Just Peachy, Ginger
Pineapple Paradise
Poinsettia Pine
Pumpkin Roll
Rustic Lodge
Sentimental Cider
Spiced Grapefruit
Toasted Caramel Sugar
Tropical Twist
Vanilla Suede
Vanilla Walnut
Winter Wonderland

All of these scents are 10% off this month. Now is a great time to stock up! Also, if you are making an online purchase, please click on "Africa Mission Trip Fundraiser" first. I am donating my whole commission from sales on this party to my Sister in law Tiffani and friend Tracie who are going on a mission trip to Africa this summer. Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stauffer Sunday

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.

Here's the crew from Sunday!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Auntie and Drew

My sister just sent over a disk with family pictures. I had to laugh at the amount of Auntie and Drew pictures she had. This last one is from a year ago January. He has outgrown calling me "Auntie Hottie", which makes me sad. I'm now "Auntie Howee". He's still my little monkey boy!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Letter to Grandpa

We had Grandpa's celebration of life today. It was a great service, with so many people! I was having a difficult time this morning. My head knows that Grandpa is in a better place, but my heart still hurts. All 16 of us grandkids were asked to write a letter to Grandpa. Some excerpts from these letters were read today. I debated whether to post my letter, but decided that it's good to share what an amazing man Grandpa was.

Dear Grandpa,

You were truly one of a kind. There will never be another like you. You were a giant in your faith, with a humble heart. While others talk of their faith, you walked, lived and breathed yours. You had the biggest heart of anyone I know. You freely gave a Christ like love.

One of my earliest memories was spending the night at your house and getting colored pancakes for breakfast. You would flip a rainbow of pancakes all morning long. Us kids thought you had magical pancake powers. And now Dad flips pancakes for my kids. You started a tradition that will be passed down for many generations.

Another fond childhood memory was skiing with you. Especially when you sent me down my first big hill by myself, and Dad had to try to catch me before I hit a tree.

You never had to preach about service, you showed us all how to serve others. You gave freely of your time and talents. I will never forget the times you helped drive tractor at our pumpkin festivals. Everyone loved getting a ride from Grandpa. You did this out of love (and for a cup of coffee). You were also known to sneak out to the "bathroom" while a group of us were out to eat, only to find that you were paying everyone's tab. You never wanted recognition for your service, it just gave you joy.

As kids we never knew how lucky we were to have Stauffer Sundays. Didn't everyone get together with their families every month? I can't tell you everyone's birthday, but we knew what month they celebrated. Your birthday month was when you had to give a "speech". While we fought that as kids, we also knew we were loved and cared for. We wanted to please you and give a good report every year.

When Nate was born, you exclaimed, "5 great grand daughters and one great grandson". You called him Nate the Great, which has stuck to this day.

I feel that I am the most blessed, because I had the best last moment with you. When I saw you last week, you gave me a hug and kissed my cheek. You said, "I love you very, very much". You then asked me to pray for dinner (because you almost "sinned" by taking a bite before prayer). You held my hand as we prayed. Grandpa, I will treasure that moment in my heart forever.

You have left the greatest legacy, your family. We will do our best to emulate everything you were and stood for. We will follow in your footsteps of service and love. We will tell the world about Christ. We will do all of these things because you showed us how.

I love you too Grandpa, very, very much!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Goodbye Grandpa

Grandpa Stauffer went to be with his Lord on Tuesday. He is finally pain free! While this is difficult for us left behind, we know he is singing in Heaven with his boys. Grandpa had the biggest heart of anyone I have every known. We are all blessed to be a part of his legacy. I love you Grandpa, very, very much!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Grandpa's Letter

A few months ago, Grandpa Stauffer called and wanted to know if I knew how to "do that email thing". He wanted to email The O'Reilly Factor with a viewer letter. So I told him I would help him out. Grandpa gave me a hand written letter, and then I  deciphered his handwriting and emailed this letter. The letter is a great testament to who Grandpa is and what he stands for. I'm sharing this  now for his grandchildren, so that they get a chance to see Grandpa's words.

I just finished and enjoyed, Pinheads and Patriots, very much. I am 82 years old so was affected much by the depression. My Dad was affected even more. He never borrowed a dime, all cash for cars, house, ect (personally). When the war started in 1939, he was forced out of contracting and moved to a farm given to him by his father in law. I bought my own farm in 1950 and raised 4 boys and 1 girl. I supplemented farm income (dairy and poultry) by 10 years driving a milk truck, 10 years as a fertilizer salesman and 26 years as an Insurance agent. Long days and hard work, but the rewards were 5 children, 16 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren. Lots of love, a wonderful wife and no regrets. I am a regular Factor watcher.

Alvin Stauffer
Lynden, Washington

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tale of the Teapots

I LOVE coffee. And hot tea. And hot cocoa. And hot cider. Ok, you get the idea. When I'm cold, I like to drink something hot. I'm always cold! So I use my tea pot ALOT!

My morning routine consists of me starting a teapot of water first thing. I make my instant mocha, and Lily gets a hot cocoa. A couple weeks ago, I was following my normal routine, but forgot to check that there was actually water in the teapot, before I turned on the burner. Being that I have a brand new stove, within a few minutes, the empty tea pot had melted the plastic handle on the lid. The tea pot was still usable, except for the fact that hot steam would burn your hand when you picked it up.

So I bought a new tea pot. What I didn't realize, was that this tea pot didn't whistle. I'm known to start something and get distracted by another project. I rely on the whistle to remind me that I started a pot of water. So just a couple days after I bought the new tea pot, I was reminded of my forgetfulness by the sound of the smoke alarm. The tea pot had boiled until it was dry, then started melting (a very stinky smell!) and smoking, setting off the smoke alarm. Thank goodness for the smoke alarm!

So I had ruined two tea pots in a week. I had posted my tea pot adventures on Facebook, and my Aunt Joni felt sorry for me. She bought me a new tea pot. But she made sure that whistled. And boy does it whistle. It's the most annoying whistle there is......and that's a GOOD thing!

A friend also brought me an electric tea pot, that turns off on it's own. I'm starting to think that people were very worried about my safety!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Africa Mission Trip Fundraiser

My girlfriend Tracie and my sister in law Tiffani are going on a mission trip to Africa this summer. I am so proud and excited for them. They are stepping out in faith. They are scared, but know that God will break their a good way. Here's Tiff's blog post where she tells why they are going to Africa. She made me cry with this post!

Mission trips are expensive. Both Tracie and Tiff are going fundraisers to cover the costs. I wanted to help, and the best way I can right now is a Scentsy fundraiser. I am donating my whole commission from all sales on their fundraiser. To help them out, click on my Scentsy logo on the side of the blog, then click on  "buy from party" next to the Africa Mission Trip fundraiser. Then shop away.This fundraiser will be going the whole month of February. Thank you in advance for helping me, help them.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Uncle Dan is the Man!

Dan was super Uncle today. He was up early to help get our nephews on the bus before school, then went out to babysit the other nephews for a few hours. He came home and offered to take my friend's kids for the evening so she could join us for girls night. Gotta say, he scored a TON of points with a lot of people today!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pajama Day

The kids had Pajama Day at school last week. I was getting ready that morning and told Lily to go get dressed. She looked at me with 13 year old attitude and told me, "Mommmmmm, it's pajama day, I don't have to get dressed!". Oops! Glad she remembered.

It hit me as we were walking to school that this is their last Pajama day together. Next year Nate will be in Middle School, and things will be different. I'm trying to cherish these last few things that they have together in Elementary School!