Friday, February 22, 2013

January HIghlights

I've been dreading blogging about January! It was a really hard month! We had to pack up our boy and drop him off at the MTC! It's everything I ever wanted for him, but I had no idea how much it would hurt my heart! I feel like a piece of me is missing! But, I keep reminding myself that this is what I want and I would be hurting more if he wasn't going! 

The first week of January was full of goodbyes! Everyone made me cry! But this one really made me cry... I hope they remember their Mitchooo when he gets home. Jack loves him so much! He comes to the house and looks around for him. Then he says that Mitchooo is on a mishan to Mexico. It's so cute!
Jenn and the kids say their goodbyes to Jack. (Scott was at school.)

We tried to spend some good quality time at home with him before he left. 
Skipbo. One of his favorite games.

Picking out his best ties! 

Packing everything in 2 suitcases for 2 years was hard. But he did it!

I washed and ironed all of his shirts... not sure why? They were going to be wrinkled when he got there.

On Monday night the 7th Mitchell was set apart as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. President Schlauder set him apart and it was a beautiful blessing. He promised him many wonderful things. He had us go around the room and say something to Mitchell. It was very sweet. I tried my best to hold it together, but it was tough. Tanner could barely get his words out. It was very tender. 

On Tuesday we headed up to Utah. We stopped for dinner in Provo and Ashley joined us. She was in between classes. We went to the Brick Oven. It was yummy. Cindy and Spencer came by to say goodbye since they couldn't come the next day. Spencer and Mitchell have been great friends all their lives. Spencer just got his call to Columbia! He leaves in June. It was sweet to see them together. 
Ashley, Spencer, Mitchell and Tanner

John, Cindy and I

After dinner we went up to Todd's house to spend the night. It was great to spend some time with them and see their cute kids! This is baby Aubrey. She is so cute!!
Auntie Allison holding cute little Aubrey
I crocheted this cute hat for her! I love how it turned out!

I made Charity and Emily these little headbands! Sharolyn says they wear them everyday to school! 

Emily loves her cousin Mitchell! She was climbing all over him!

Uncle Todd showed Mitchell his mission scrapbook. 

We got up Wednesday morning and headed down to Provo. We met Ashley and Scotty at the temple and took some pictures. 

Then we went to lunch at Zupas. We invited all the family in Utah to join us, so they could say goodbye to Mitchell. It was lots of fun.
Tanner and Scotty playing on their phones.

Sharolyn and Todd and little Justin

Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Mark.

Uncle John with little Aubrey

John loving his son!

Mitchell and his cousin Keaton. They are almost the same age and have been great friends! Keaton is on the baseball team at BYU and he is getting his papers ready. 
Mitchell and Keaton

Cousin Kathryn came to join us. She just graduated from BYU. It was great to see her.

Todd and my dad

Me and my boy!

Reality was sinking in. Only a few more minutes with his boy.

Mitchell deep in thought...

We said our goodbyes after lunch and then drove to the MTC. Tanner cried the whole way there. That didn't help me much! 
Saying goodbye to Dad.

Hugs for Ashley

Tanner is going to miss his big brother!
The whole family

Off he went... He didn't even look back. He was ready to go.

It was a long drive back to Las Vegas! We hardly said a word the first hour! We will miss our boy! But we are so proud of him and he is doing so good! We wouldn't want him doing anything else. He is so excited to get to Culiacán, Mexico. We know he will be a great missionary! 

Tanner had his 15th birthday on the 13th. I can't believe my baby is 15! He decorated his own cake!

A new controller for his video game.

One Sunday night in January I came home from church very tired. I just wanted to make pancakes for dinner. But Tanner said no... he made dinner. He cooked up some chicken in his special spices and made chicken alfredo. It was so good! He is our little chef!

One Saturday I got a text from Jared Clark. He works at the MTC and saw my boy! This text made my day!

John surprised me with a date night in January. We went to this place called "The Social Paintbrush". It was the best date ever! It's this room full of tables and each spot had a canvas, paint and paintbrushes. Everything was all ready to go. The room had about 30 people in it. The teacher stood on a stage up front and she walked us through every step of the painting! It was so fun.
John waiting for the base to dry.

adding some finishing touches

The finished projects! 
We can't wait to go back again!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

December Highlights

December was a great month! Very busy and very entertaining!

To start off the month, Ashley and I flew to Seattle to go to a wedding. It was so fun to get away with my little girl! We were able to catch up and enjoy each other, all by ourselves! Good girl bonding! My cousin Craig, married a good friend of mine from hight school and college. Their daughter Kelsie got married.  Ashley and Kelsie are very close in age and they have always been good friends. Neither of them had a sister, so they were sort of like sisters!

AShley wrote a great blog post about our trip here.  

We flew in on Thursday and stayed until Monday morning. My brother David picked us up from the airport and took us downtown. He worked a few hours, while Ashley and I went shopping! We saw some of the normal tourist sites.

Pikes Place Market

The bubble gum wall

The piggy bank

Next stop was the department stores. I was on a mission to find Frango's! (I bought about 5 boxes to take home. Yes, I ate almost all of them!) They are the best mints ever! Seattle used to have a department store called Frederick and Nelson's. (I worked there when I was home from college each summer.)  They made the best mints called Frango's. They are a staple at Christmas time in the Seattle area! My sister Julie always asked for a box of them at Christmas time. It was a lucky thing to draw her name for the family gift exchange, because you knew what to get her! Frederick and Nelsons went out of business in the early 90's and Macy's took over making the traditional Frango mint! Thank you Macy's!

Ashley was pretty excited to see the 1st Nordstrom! 
Me and my Frango's and Ashley and her Nordstrom!

We stayed at Julie's house the first night. That was great. Friday morning we went to Bellevue Square and did some more shopping!

 This is the largest "mall" Apple store in the world! It was huge! It is pretty brave of them to build their biggest store in Microsoft Country!

Julie and Ashley holding their iPhones in front of the Apple store

Julie and Gary bought my parents house many years ago and they are doing some remodeling and look what they found! The original laminate floor! Julie yelled for me to come see it and we just stood there and a flood of memories flowed over us!

Lunch at a very earth friendly cafe.

That afternoon Ashley and I went to the Temple with Kelsie and family. It was great to see so many cousins there! This is the "Johnny" tree. A family friend gave it to my family when my brother John passed away. It was a small little bush! We got permission to plant it in the temple parking lot and I take a picture by it every time I go there! I can't believe how big it has gotten! That means Johnny has been gone a long time. I miss him!
The Johnny tree
 Ashley and Kelsie

Mauri, Kelsie, Ashley and I

That night we went to a Wedding Dinner for the Bridal party and family. Ashley was one of her bridesmaids. It was really nice to visit with cousins there!
My Aunt Dorene and Uncle Dave. (my dad's sister)

My cousin's. Doug, Kevin and Cheryl

 Saturday the 15th was the wedding day! It was a beautiful ceremony. Kelsie looked stunning!

College roommates! Allie, me, Mauri and Suzanne

Kelsie and Cameron
 After the wedding, I went to lunch with my old roommates. It was great to catch up! Suzanne had her fresh returned missionary with her and her husband Mike. It was great to hear about Blake's mission. 

Allison, Alison, Blake, Suzanne and Mike 

After lunch I headed down to Puyallup and helped Mauri set up the reception. It turned out really pretty!
Julie, Aunt Doreen and Gary

My cousin Doug and his wife Denene

My brother David and his sweet wife Rebekah

Jeff and Doug (I couldn't believe how much Jeff looked like my Grandpa Westra!)

Family! Love my sister and brother!

Cute niece Natalie

Aunt Dorene and Uncle Dave

Ashley and I

Kevin, Cheryl, Julie and Gary

 Sunday morning we drove out to Davids house and spent the night there. I LOVE it out there. It's so peaceful. I feel like I am at a cabin in the mountains and I feel so relaxed there! 
Here is the river we played in this summer!

So pretty!
 Dave takes after my dad. Big bowl of popcorn with lots of butter and salt on it! 

I taught Rebekah and Natalie how to crochet these headbands!

Nat was pretty excited about hers!
Ashley and I had a great time together in my favorite city! I'm so glad our hubby's let us get away for a few days!

Tanner loves riding his longboard! He wanted an action shot to go on our Christmas card!

I came home and finished getting the house all ready for Christmas! I love all the new decorations I have gotten at the market where I work!

My Santa table

I have started collecting Nativities. I love them all!

On Christmas Eve we went over to Joanna's house. We had a nice dinner and had a good time visiting with Jenn's family. 
All the little kids were snuggled up watching a movie

Santa came to visit! The kids loved it! 

Christmas morning! We had a great day! Ashley and Scotty came over late Christmas Eve and spent the night with us. 

John's new shirt

The boys...

Panoramic shot! 

Scotty and Ashley

Ashley got tickets for the family to go see Les Miserables Christmas day! it was amazing! (we should have let Tanner see something else.... he hated it and made us all miserable!)

Happy Birthday Ashley!! My baby girl turned 22!
Opening presents
Afton and Tanner

Ashley's favorite dessert

Jack and I

Scott and Jenn
 Mitchell's mission farewell was the December 30th. Cindy's boys came down for the weekend. It was so great to have them! It meant a lot to Mitch!

The kids playing the Wii

Scott and Jenn came over for some cards.
Mitchell gave a great talk in Sacrament meeting. I was so proud of him! My nephew took a picture of him... I know it's not appropriate, but look how good he looks! He looked all grown up! It freaked me out a bit!

We had a little luncheon after church. We served Mexican food!
All the high school friends

Riley, Nickee, Preston, Colin and Jordan.

All the cousins! Curtis, Afton, Ashley, Spencer, Mitchell, Jack, Kevin and Tanner

Scott, Jenn and Scotty joined in! 

His good friend Hunter

Jack with his church back pack on.

Bishop Hodson and his beautiful wife Jan.

The kids waiting for lunch

Lots of friends came!

Jamie and The Jarman's

Silly Tanner and Dix

Afton Playing with my nativity set

I love how the shepherd is hanging out with the angel!
We tried to spend as much time as we could together as a family in December. We took advantage of every minute we had together! We worked hard to get Mitchell all packed and ready to go to the Mexico, Culiacán Mission!
I'm sure I forgot something in December...oh well.