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Dear family & friends, Well it appears to be that time of year again …. End of one year beginning of new one … end of one chapter and the start of another. Life truly does go on. Here is our year in review … I’ve tried to come up with an interesting way to do the review this year and asked for my family’s help so here are their thoughts – in the form of a “wordle” - of what 2009 has meant to them. Click mouse to advance slides Click mouse to advance slides
The Stauffer’s spent this year as a family playing games, creating memories, sharing in siblings trials and giggles. Not much down time was spent in our actual home as one whole family but the family chaos was full of love, faith and fun … here are more stories, memories, thoughts: Click mouse to advance slides
Stauffer's at Confirmation September 2009 Stauffer's at Easter 2009 Stauffer's at Christmas 2009 Click mouse to advance slides
So I’ll start with my stories first this year…Let’s see what might need some explanations… not much really. I think my husband would say I forgot to put Facebook on my wordle. I have enjoyed connecting with my family and friends through this internet connection, but if you’re not my FB friend I will give a brief explanation: I’m an involved wife & mom of four kids, addicted to DrPepper, and still Director of Children’s Ministries at St.Leo’s. I’m currently involved in LIMEX which stands for Loyola Institute for Ministry Extension. I am working toward a degree in Pastoral Studies through Loyola University and Regis College. All this may lead to chaos but it is the life that is mine and I am grateful for the gift of every bit of it. Click mouse to advance slides
Let’s look into Steve’s 2009 … looking at his wordle you see his involvement in the kids lives and activities. One of the activities of Steve’s that will be changing in the next year is within the Fire Dept. He made the decision to step down from Chief so that he will have time to go back to college. He’ll still be involved on the dept fighting fires and helping with EMT calls but with the kids activities, college classes and more demands at work the difficult decision needed to be made. CaseIH is still his employer and there are possible plans of sending him abroad again next year! We were all interested in the stories of Steve’s childhood as he relived them on our family vacation to Michigan.. Poker runs on the motorcycle have been a new experience that will most definitely be repeated in the upcoming years. This was the final year of coaching softball though as our girls are all beyond the peewee stage. Everyone seems to be getting older. Hmmm…. Is the 4-0 nearby????
Kyla is currently a fifth grader who is beginning to expand her horizons from being the tag along to be the participant! Besides hitting the double digits she is now involved in band (saxophone), playing Bremer Volleyball, Husky Hoops Basketball, Optimist Soccer, and an altar server at church. She will be going through the DARE program, still loves doing crafts, writing stories and spending time with her friends giggling & laughing - just hanging & being typical 10 year olds. The Aurora Tornado did not help squelch her fear of storms but it did give us an opportunity to research, learn and explore weather and you know the saying “knowledge is power” well it helps remove some fears some of the time too! But she is our worrywart, so we’ve also been working on her prayer life I’m trying to work this phrase into her psyche “pray first & let God worry for you” rather than “when all else fails, pray!” Her newest challenge and privilege was being asked to join the Future Problem Solvers, this has been a great experience for her. We’re just relishing in the fact that this is our last elementary year EVER! Relishing might be a strong word … but we decided, as a family, the school year of 2009-2010 would be a year of celebrating, not tears of sadness;, so with that I will stick with the happier word.
Let’s take a look at Alexa’s wordle… Alexa’s FPS team earned a trip to the International Competition that was held in Michigan which begot us a family vacation as well. It was quite the experience, the trip, the competition and the RAIN! But we all had a good time and were glad the competition was in Michigan! Alexa has had to deal with some hard situations this year with the deaths of a favorite great-uncle, as well as that of her Godfather. On a happier note though school, education, learning and friends are all A+ for Alexa. Last year she participated in a drama production, which she loved and I‘m sure she will be in this years as well! This year she has enjoyed competitive volleyball and has a pretty wicked serve! She’s contemplating many possibilities for her future: teaching, fashion designer, biker chic - the last one is inspired by the bike rides she has enjoyed with her dad on his motorcycle; pretty sure its not a profession but a future passion, she is daddy’s girl. She’s still in band and truly enjoyed being one of Steven’s biggest fans this football season. 2009 had many memories for Alexa some happy, others sad but they are her memories. Her stories.
Melinda has many stories of 2009. It was quite the memorable year, many trips, multiple activities and all things that make Melinda Melinda! She went on a BoyScout trip to Colorado - white water rafting and rock climbing were the highlights. She went to Montana with YoungNeighborsInAction (YNIA) highlights were making friends from Washington and California, as well as helping disadvantaged people Also during the summer she umped & played softball, that is when she was home & not traveling or at camps. During the school year, Melinda has enjoyed be involved in band, the musical, weightlifting, volleyball and basketball but her favorite I believe has to be track. She lettered last year as a freshman in the Shot Put! This year, as a sophomore, she has had the opportunity to coach and ref youth in the Husky Hoops program. Thankfully her BFF is also involved in all the sports and fine arts activities which enables them to get the much needed bonding time that is not filled by texting or face book. Oh the joy of teenage girls. Melinda is quite involved in the church too. And beyond all that, her favorite pasttime is babysitting. ~whew!
As you can see from this neatly constructed wordle that Steven T has many thoughts about 2009. Let’s see he is a record holder in Hang Clean, a 4 year survivor of the weight room, lettered in Football, involved in track, marching band, jazz band. He’s in National Honor Society (treasurer too), graduated from Jr Leadership Academy, is in FBLA (& a co-chair for a committee) and is ranked #3 in his class. Oh and he got confirmed this fall, is an Eagle Scout, and will be graduating this spring (gasp!) But I think what overshadowed his whole year was the blasted knee injury and surgery! That and winning back to back state football titles!! Steven’s knee incident changed his whole summer as he had to give up nearly all summer activities (Colorado, YNIA, football, 7on7, umping...) but it didn’t change his outlook on his final football season - he was determined to be playing football his sr. year, his determination paid off as he got to suit up 2 games sooner than predicted! And Steven ended up winning the teamwork award at the end of the season! The other notable thought on his wordle is that he has given up soda, carbonated beverages … where did I go wrong ? He is a wise and healthy young man and we are all so very proud of him, his grace, integrity, and guts! God truly has blessed us with him and his beautiful sisters !
Autumn is a Shitzerainian & Mocha is a German wire haired pointer. Autumn is somewhat feline and the dominant one. Mocha is still puppy and subordinate somewhat. Mocha loves to freak out at anything sparkly or lighted … she gives us all much amusement as she looks at you with the dumbfound look of “ I don’t unner stand yous peoples” Autumn quietly just tolerates us … although she does give awesome hugs … usually telling you she needs to go outside but they are still very comforting. Silly dogs … silly blessings in our lives! Mocha and Autumn are our dogs…
We hope you have enjoyed our recap of 2009! 2010 has already b e gan with adventures, stories and many memori es and we are only 9+ days in! We still have some memories to share … here are the pictures – you'll have to ask about the stories behind them! Here's hoping you & yours enjoy twenty ten, with many blessings and peace from within! Love, the Stauffer's Steve & Jodi and S * M * A * K
Thanks for walking down memory lane with us! If you are curious or are wanting more memories Check out our past holiday letters … Stauffer holiday letters Peace & many blessings, ~ jodi In case the link doesn't work: http://sites.google.com/site/staufferland/holidayletters