Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Mitchell went on a handcart trek last weekend with the youth of our stake. You might be thinking, isn't it a little late in the year to go on a trek?? Yes. It was. But having been in Stake YW's, I know how hard it is to find a date on the stake calendar to do an event like this and I trust that they thought and prayed about it and went with the best answer. There was a 4 day weekend at school, so they took advantage of that. I know we tried to plan a trek several times and couldn't fit it in... So I was very happy they were doing one and my son got to experience it.

They left on Wednesday after school and headed up to the ranch that Mitchell worked at all summer, just above Zion National Park. The kids got settled and prepared for the trek the next day. They spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday pulling handcarts and surviving freezing temperatures. Mitchell said they hiked 7-8 miles the each day and climbed over 1000 feet the first day. The temperatures Thursday night were between 5-10 degrees. Not everyone was prepared for that kind of cold. Mitchell said it was awful and he about froze. He said it was so hard to sleep and everyone was miserable. They woke up to frost on their tents, which made for yucky tents when they had to pack them up and set them up again that next night.

It sounds like they had a real pioneer experience! Murmuring and all. The leaders wanted it to be a hard experience for them and it was. I hope that when the youth experience hard challenges in their life that they can remember this one and know that they can make it!

Brother Merelli in our stake took some pictures and posted them online... here is the link to them all. I downloaded a few of Mitchell.

All ready...

Mitchell's Company

Mitchell's Family

Here we go!

Getting harder...

Let's take a break...

Mitchell said one of the hills was SO hard. His group made it up and several of the boys went down and helped other groups up. He said he went down and up 5 times helping people. Good job! 3 rows of boys pulling.

Stop for the night

it looks so cold!

Here we go again...

He said they went to the top of the hill on the left.

Mitchell shooting for food. He hit his bird! They made it into stew.

Brother Benson looking on... he worked so hard! Thank you!

Pretty view.
The battalion came and recruited the boys for a few hours...

The girls had to keep going without them...

They made it! Yahoo!!!

Mitchell was happy to get home and climb into his nice warm bed! He said it was very hard and he never wants to do it again! I hope he learned that he can do hard things!

Thank you to all the leaders who worked so hard on this!! I must say I was happy I wasn't in charge. But when I went to the post fireside I felt sad that I wasn't there.....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Grandma & Grandpa Visit

My parents came to visit last week for my nephews baby blessing. They stayed at Scott's house so they could help with the babies. We missed having them here!

We were able to get together a few times while they were here...

Here are some highlights:
Blessing day
Joseph John Westra

3 generations of Westra's...

Ashley & Grandpa

Tanner trying to stay entertained at the luncheon.

The happy couple!

Mitchell is ready to leave...

Lots of friends came...

My cute mom...

2 of my handsome boys.

Today Tanner and I went to the Hoover Dam with my parents, Scott and Jenn and Jenn's mom Joanna. We went to see the new bridge that just got finished. It's so high! They have a path that goes up to a pedestrian walkway that crosses the entire bridge. It was pretty amazing. It takes 16 seconds for spit to hit the ground! Tanner and Scott tested it many times. I may or may not have joined in with them... : )
It was perfect weather... not too hot and not too cold.
Tanner carried baby Jack.

The view of the dam.

Tanner loved the opportunity to say dam as often as he could!

The bridge view from the dam...

Afton had no fear! She wanted to climb everything. Threw a major fit on the bridge because Scott wouldn't let her sit on the railing.
She spent 20 minutes climbing the stairs. She was filthy dirty when we drug her to the car.

Look at the big horn sheep! they were right above the parking lot... they looked fake!

Thanks for visiting mom and dad!

Monday, November 8, 2010


We went to my brothers ward on Sunday (i will have a blog post for that soon) and this is how my boys waited for church to start... you can't see Mitchell's face, but you can see his hands. All 3 were on their electronic devises. Boys playing games and John checking football scores. Maybe they were reading their scriptures on them??? It's a nice thought.

(They did get put away once church started.)

Oh my gosh!

My daughter is engaged! I can hardly believe it! I have a lot of emotions and thoughts going on in my head right now! Like, I am so happy for her! She is on cloud 9. Like, I really like Scotty! He's a great guy. I'm so happy she found a worthy priesthood holder to take her to the temple. Like, how in the world are we going to afford a wedding right now?? Like, we can have a nice simple reception, it doesn't have to be a dinner. Like, I can't believe how happy she is! Like, she is way to young to get married! She will be 20 in a few months. Then I remember that I was only about 6 months older than her when I got married. Like, she has only known him 4 months, is that long enough?? Then I remember that I only knew John 3 months before we were engaged. Like, how can I be old enough to have a daughter getting married. Like, this is the next step in her life. It's what we taught her, it's the next step to eternal life. I just really want her to finish school! Like, I need to loose 30 more lbs. Like, where am I going to find a nice dress? Like, I don't really want to share my daughter... she's mine. Like, I'm so glad we know his parents and know that they are great people with strong testimonies. Like, I really am so happy!

These pictures were taken right after they got engaged! I will let Ashley blog about how he proposed. Her blog is listed on the right side of mine.

Isn't her ring beautiful! I will keep you updated on a date.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

MItchell is 17!!

My first born son is 17!! How can that be?? Time flies when you are having fun!!

Here are a few of Mitchell's favorite things at 17... (it was a struggle to get him to answer a few simple questions, I guess I shouldn't have tried to talk to him while he is hungry on fast Sunday!)

Band: All kinds of music
Food: All food
Restaurant: Chili's
Fast Food: Wendy's
School subject: None
Store at the mall: Pac Sun
Dream Car: Lamborghini
Sports Team: Chicago Bears

He has a soccer game on his birthday. I will write more about that tomorrow. It was a hard loss. But the girls came to cheer him on and brought some birthday surprises! Thanks Carli, Anna, Michelle and Christina! I wanted to bring treats for the team, but figured Mitch might not like that... so I was happy the girls brought something!

We went to his 2nd favorite restaurant for dinner, BJ's Pizza. It was so yummy!

He got his own pizzookie! It looked so good!!

Presents! Lots of clothes.

I love my Mitchell! I am so glad he is my little boy. He works hard at school, has good friends and goes to early morning seminary most days. He seems to like McDonald's early in the morning these days... Soccer season is over, so he is looking for a job... if anyone knows of one. He is excited to get practicing for volleyball season.

I love you!