Saturday, December 30, 2006

Celebrating the Holidays

Bellevue Botanical Garden Lights

On Friday December 23rd we decided to get into the Christmas spirit and see the lights and festivities that Bellevue has to offer. We started out at Bellevue Botanical Gardens. They put on a great display of lights. It really was a spectacular presentation... I was impressed!

Then we headed into downtown Bellevue to check out "Snowflake Lane." Every Decemeber the street right outside of Bellevue Square(the largest shopping mall around) turns into a what they call Snowflake Lane. Each night they have a little celebration at 7 pm. The street is decorated at each lampost with a huge drum. They have snowflake light displays lighting the street. At the start of the show they have a singer at each of the drums passing out candy canes and then they all get on their drums at start to sing when the music comes on... they are all playing some sort of tamborine. After a few minutes of the dancing carolers... the little drummer boy music comes on... out come the drummers through the crowded streets.... they each stop at their respective HUGE drum and get ontop and wait for the other drummers to get to their spot. The fake snow begins to fall from the top of the mall. This is one HUGE production. Ellie LOVEd it! She was dancing away ontop of her daddy's shoulders. It was a big hit at our house and we will definetly go again next year.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Windstorm 2006

We woke up at 12:30 am on Friday morning to the creaking and crashing noises of branches falling in our backyard. We look outside and the trees were swaying at a pretty scary angle. We decided to venture outside to see the what was to be just the beginning of the damage caused by the storm. While we were outside the power went out. Little did we know it wouldn't be restore for FOUR days! We scrambled around looking for flashlights and batteries, etc. We didn't sleep at all that night. I was too worried about the crashing noises I was hearing outside. The winds got up to about 75 miles per hour. At about 1:30 am we heard a one loud creaking noise and a thud was felt throughout the house. We knew that couldn't be a good sign but felt it safer to stay inside at this point and not venture out.

Once the sun came up we went outside to survey the damage. All of our neighbors starting to come outside at the same time and we all took a walk around the neighboorhood to see how everyone was doing. Two houses down a big tree came down and blocked off the road. Two houses down in the other direction one of their trees went into their master bedroom. Luckily no one was hurt.

The house next to this one had two trees hit it. And the house next to it had a tree go right through their bathroom. It was an incredibly strong storm.

It was interesting to see the sense of community as a result of the storm. All of the neighbors really got together to see what we could do for eachother. Unfortunatly a cold front came through the day after the storm and brought the temperature into the thirties so we were all pretty cold while waiting for the power to be restored. Brandon, Ellie and I eventually went to stay with Brandon's parents in University Place. They didn't have power either but they had hot showers because they have a gas water heater and they also had a nice wood burning stove that warmed up their house. When we came back home on Monday to check on the house we had a nice surprise. The power had been restored at 5 am! We were SO happy. We were very lucky as most of our friends didn't recieve power until just Thursday! It really made us appreciate our nice warm house!

Ellie's First Encounter with Santa!

We went to Brandon's parents ward Christmas party. Ellie was up three hours past her bedtime by the time that Santa came but it was well worth the wait. She was a little confused by this strange looking man and especially by all the people that were looking at her as she
sat on his lap. Even though we couldn't get a smile out of her we thought
she did pretty well :) Ellie being spoiled by Grandma with cake. Yummeee.
That is her expression as she is saying her usual peeeezzzz(please).