Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! Welcome 2009!

Well, here we are at the beginning of a new year. We did our traditional movie and dinner early on New Years Eve. We saw High School Musical III and went to O'Charleys. Later in the evening Rod, Cheryl, Josh, Tori, Amanda, and Alex joined us for games, food, conversation, and watching the ball drop. New Years day was spent relaxing, getting this blog caught up, and doing a little work in the basement. The Stauffer's pray you will be greatly blessed in the new year.

More Stauffer Christmas Pictures

Some of these were so good that I wanted to share. The girls are sitting so pretty, we couldn't resist a picture. Tim and Mark got Grandma into Wii bowling. Hunter and Mason got the Clone Wars Wii game and are quite excited. Even Jessica is surprised! Dennis just booked himself a cruise (and we got him luggage to take with him).

Christmas with Grandma

The day after Christmas Mark, Jessica, Abbi, Mason, and Madison came down. The next day Dennis brought Grandma (Nana) down and we had a wonderful time together. This was Grandma's 90th Christmas (she'll be 90 in October) and we were honored to share it with her.

Rite of Passage

As Hunter is nearing 10 years of age, there was one gift that didn't really count as one of his 3 that he gets from us. That gift is a Red Rider BB gun. While some of you are thinking he will "shoot his eye out," actually he does very well with it. Through scouts he has earned his beltloop and pin in shooting. His first concern was that Daddy didn't include eye protection. Little did he know that Daddy already had that covered. Hunter is now old enough to realize that this is a tool and not a toy and he must have adult supervision to use it. As he improves his marksmanship and responsibility he is growing from a boy into a man. Father and son have been practicing almost daily since. He did hit a bulls eye Christmas day (bottom picture)! They're now saving cans to shoot. I might also mention, as his friend Peyton also nears 10 years old, she got a pink one this year!

Santa's Gift

While Santa has always been a fictional character in our home, Tim and I still have fun playing "Santa." This year, Tim's mom left some money that we chose to spend on the kids in the form of Wii accessories. They now have enough controllers, chargers, games, etc. Too, we were able to the the coveted Guitar Hero. After the gifts were opened, we sneaked upstairs saying that there might have been a gift we forgot. As we were "looking for it" we hooked in the Guitar Hero and blasted the sound. Instead of kids running down the stairs to see what's under the tree, our kids ran up the stairs to see what all the commotion was. Needless to say, they're thrilled. Thanks Mom (Granny)!

Christmas Morning

Well, unlike many households, when the first child was up (Holly) there was no big excitement. Actually there was nothing under the tree. There were 4 worn out children, 2 exhausted parents, and a tired grandma. For this reason I'm thankful the kids aren't caught up in Santa and experiencing great disappointment. We were able to eat our cinnamon rolls, read the Christmas story from Luke 2 and John 14 in honor of Tim's mom, and begin on the gifts by 10:30. Trust me, there was nothing lacking in the present department! After cleaning up we prepared for our honored guests, Tommy and Vanessa. We enjoyed a meal of filet mignon with baby French fries followed by a Happy Birthday Jesus cake from Ele Cake Company.

Last Stop Before Home

We made one last stop Christmas Eve at LeAnn's cousin Angi's house to pick up her mom. Her other cousin Tarri was there as well as all the kids. It was then back to Tim's dad's to load all of our stuff. We made it home about 12:30 am. Believe it or not, there were still a couple of gifts to wrap before turning out the lights.

Christmas with Larry and family

After leaving Papa and Maggie's we went to visit LeAnn's dad and Patty. We all then trecked over to LeAnn's cousin Gary and his wife Jamie's house for the "Merriman Mahem." The food was great and presents were abundant. With a move on the horizon, this is probably the last year we'll participate for a while.

Christmas at Papa and Maggie's

How blessed we are to have another Christmas with Papa and Maggie. We were able to have a good visit with them and bring them a Marian's gift certificate. Grandparents are a gift from the Lord.

Friends are for kids too!

I dare not forget! We trecked out in the ice on the afternoon of the 23rd to "pick up a last minute gift." Hunter even said, "Can't it wait until tomorrow?" No, we had to go to Best Buy. However, we weren't planning to "buy" anything at that time (they already had enough of our $). While we were playing Rock Band and looking at the Wii games, who would walk in but Zac & Peyton! Boy, was that a great gift to pick up! Days before Holly cried herself to sleep wishing she could spend Christmas with Peyton. This came pretty close. All the kids had a great time together between Marians (Hunter won the girls a stuffed animal in the game room), the pool/hot tub, and their Nintendo DS. For those of you who know about Hunter and Peyton's betrothal, she received a Littlest Pet Shop VIP pet. Peyton said it could be their first child. Blushing with embarassment, Hunter said it could be their first "pet." At least they already have a house (a whole other story)!

"Friends" at Christmas

During our high school years and time in "Friends" showchoir, it seemed like we did shows on most days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Being with friends was what our Christmas was all about. What joy we had being able to reunite with many of them at Marians two days before. Despite the ice, we had a great visit. No pressure or expectations were there like is sometimes associated with family gatherings. We ended the night at a hotel with Scott and Val and family then followed up the next morning at the home of Chip and Betsy. "'Cause a lifetime's not to long to live as friends."

Dance Recital

While the big recital is coming in June, students at Grace In Motion were able to share their talent with their parents before Christmas. The dance classes danced, the choirs sang, the art students had a small gallery, and food was enjoyed by all.

Children's Choirs

Hunter and Holly had their chance to sing as well. Hunter is in Made 4 Praise and I lead Holly and the other 1st and 2nd graders in Made 2 Praise. They played O Holy Night on the handbells. Both of their choirs along with Wee Praise (about 50 children in all) got to sing with Heather Payne, formerly of Point of Grace. It was a beautiful night of worship.

Sing We Now of Christmas

The Christian Educational Consortium offers a wonderful chorus and drama program that Haley and Bekah are a part of. Mrs. Davis did a tremendous job of combining both groups in a lovely performance. It was well attended by youth and leaders from 9th and O.

The Perfect Christmas Tree

Now, if it were up to me to pick the perfect Christmas tree it would be an artificial pre-lit one. However, I'm outnumbered, and we get a live one each year. This year it was Bekah's turn to pick the tree out. We went to the Garden Gate nursery by the church and they had beautiful looking trees. It was a cold Saturday night with a few snow flurries in the air. We brought our treasure home and put it in the stand to fall. On Sunday I put the lights on. Monday night we dragged out all the ornaments and placed them on the tree. As we went to bed and Tim began to pray we heard a crash. The tree had fallen over. Thankfully only two ornaments were lost. A new stand and two days later we had the perfect tree that would carry us through the season.


For anyone who knows the Stauffer family very well, you know all about Dennis' fudge. He begins at Thanksgiving and goes until New Years making his renowned peanut butter fudge. He is currently passing the skill on to his teenage granddaughters (Haley, Abbi, & Bekah), although it looks like they may still need a few more lessons. Not only is this good bonding time between Papaw and girls, but those who eat it benefit also.

Bekah's 14th Birthday

Bekah turned 14 on the 28th of November. The week before she had some girlfriends over for a sleepover then they got manicures and went shopping the next day. For her actual birthday, she wanted to rise early and go shopping as it was "black Friday." Bekah, Haley, Abbi, cousin Ann, Aunt Jessica, and mom were at Kohls at 4:00 am. We shopped until noon when Papaw took everyone out to Panera (which he really doesn't like, by the way). We ended the day with a cake from Ele Cake Company.