Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Gingerbread House

The Kit
The Candy
Licking her lips!

The final product!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Night in Bethlehem

Last night our church had a night in Bethlehem.  It was a great experience for all of us.  Ellie loved visiting all the shops.  She was able to make perfume, tie some rope, grind some wheat, knead some dough, make a mosaic and get her dinner from the farmers market.  
Family Photo
Ellie taking a ride on the horse!  
Notice the vial of perfume she is wearing around her neck that she made.
Grinding some wheat
Meeting baby Jesus. 
 This was the highlight of the evening for Ellie. At the end of the nativity program Ellie went running up to meet baby Jesus.

There was this one guy dressed up in navy biblical attire but he had a white beard as part of his costume.  Whenever Ellie saw him she kept on calling him Santa. I think she was a little confused about the fact that there wasn't a Santa at the Christmas party...  but by the end of the night she was satisfied by seeing baby Jesus.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Eve dinner.... a little early

We are going to be away for Christmas so we decided to have the Rowley's up a week early to celebrate.  A couple of hours before the big celebration we received a call and great-grandpa Rowley has mrsa (a highly contagious disease and can be fatal for little ones) so we had to cancel our celebration.  We had prepared a feast so we decided to have some friends over to celebrate with us instead.

Ellie and Hazel enjoying their dinner

Ellie giving Hazel a little too much love for Hazel's taste I think....

We all had a great time and enjoyed lots of yummy food.  We celebrated Christmas morning this morning... but only took video footage (oops).

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Terrible Twos? I don't think so.

We are loving this phase of Ellie's childhood. I love the fascination and excitement that she has with each day of life.  I love that she is growing and learning so much each day.  Below are some of my recent favorites.
1.  When I yell "Ouch", as in I just stubbed my toe, Ellie comes running to whichever room I am in while yelling in return... "You ok Mommy?"
2.  She is fascinated with the lights of the season and gets so much excitement and joy as we drive around at night and she sees the Christmas lights on.  She helps to remind me to enjoy the festivities of the season.
3.  The other day I was running on the treadmill in one room and Ellie was off playing in another.. when I finished I went to see where she was and what she was up to.  She was up on a chair at the kitchen sink with a towel getting it wet.. then ran to her little table and started scrubbing vigorously.  As I went to see what had happened... she was scrubbing the ink she had gotten on the table while drawing...  I was pretty impressed that she was cleaning up without being asked!
4.  She LOVES to help me cook. Anytime she hears me working away in the kitchen... she comes a running, drags the chair over from the kitchen table, and starts asking questions as to what we are making (and of course asking to have a taste).  It is so much fun to have a little helper in the kitchen.
5.  When Ellie hears a boom, as in something has just fallen, she comes running.. "I help you Mommy."
6.  The other day I was off cleaning up one of the bedrooms and I heard water from the kitchen sink.. I came to see what was going on... Ellie had the dish scrubber in her hand was scrubbing the dirty dishes in the sink.
7.  Ellie's friend just recently was potted trained and upon learning that her friend was a "big girl" and went on the potty Ellie has been fascinated with the concept.  BUT when she attempts to go on the potty and the attempt fails....she says, "Not working Mommy, it's not working"... which I think is just too cute!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....

Ellie and her animals

Ellie has this thing for her little animals that my mom got for her when we visited her last year in Guatemala. These little animals are by far her favorite little toys. I had to ask my mom to bring back a couple more packs when she came home in July because these little animals are easily lost and they were getting low in numbers. I will frequently walk in the room Ellie is playing in and all of her animals are all lined up in a row or all laying flat with a blanket ontop of them as she says they are "sleeping" and she requests that I use a quiet voice as not to wake them. This week she lined them in in rows of two. I love the way she paired them... either by size or by type of animal. All she needed at the end of these two rows is a boat and she would have been ready for Noah's Ark!

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Bouncy Place

We went with the Karren's to The Bouncy Place this week. It was mine and Ellie's first time to one of these facilities. Wow.. it was FUN! I think I had just as much fun as Ellie did:) It was fun to see Ellie's progress in just an hours time. In the beginning she needed help climbing up a few of the obstacles to get to the slides and what not. She would also want to hold my hand and go down the slide with me as they are pretty fast slides. By the end of the hour she was climbing up the obstacles faster than I was and wouldn't dare wait for me at the top to go down the slide together! It was so much fun and we will defintely be visiting The Bouncy Place again soon!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Belnap's Visit

I love it when company comes to visit because it is a great excuse to do all the "touristy" type attractions in the area. We had a great time showing my sister and her family all around Seattle.

We started off the day after Thanksgiving at the Holiday Parade in Seattle.
Ellie enjoyed seeing all the balloon displays and dancing snowmen, trees and clowns.
Ellie was SO excited to see Santa! This is going to be a fun holiday season!
We took the Belnap's to one of our favorite places in Seattle... Pike's Place Market.
Watching the fisherman throw the fish around. Notice the doughnut in Ellie's hand... the highlight of the day was the little doughnut shop at Pike's Place where you get HOT doughnuts that they make right in front of you.. yummy!
Saturday night we went to the Bellevue Botanical Gardens light display.
The kids loved see the light displays. The highlights were the pond display with a swan, the spider and its web, and the butterflies.

We also went to Snowflake Lane in downtown Bellevue on Saturday night. Drummers march down the lane and dance to Christmas music. Ellie's favorite part was the candy canes that they passed out. My favorite was the cold "bubble" snow that they shoot off of the top of the mall. It was fun to watch the drummers march down the lane and listen to Christmas music.The cousins left at 6 am on Sunday morning. We were sad to see them go. Ellie keeps asking "Where cousins go mommy? I sorry." It is so sad! It is like she thinks that she did something wrong and that is why the left! The poor thing! At least we get to see them in a month!

Thanks for coming to visit! We miss you guys already!

The Cousins are Coming!

My sister, Jeanette, and brother in-law Shane, and their five kiddos drove all the way from Idaho to have Thanksgiving at our house! It was our first time as host/hostess for Thanksgiving... but it all turned out great (a couple of hours earlier than expected but great nonetheless) We had such a fun time! Ellie loved every minute of the 5 to 1 attention from her cousins!

The Gang
Evie getting a ride in the shopping cart!
We had a FULL house!
Off to the annual turkey bowl!
My First Turkey!
The kids on the starting line of the turkey trot!Getting some exercise after the big meal!

Sunday, November 04, 2007


We had a Halloween Party at music class this morning.... probably not the best idea to start the kids off on Halloween morning with a sugar high... oh well. Ellie had a great time and some of the moms were smart and brought mini PB and J sandwichs for the party which Ellie ate so that made me feel a little bit better about the whole thing. All the kids were so cute dressed up in all their costumes. Halloween evening we went to our ward Halloween Carnival.
Ellie got her face painted, won some cookies at the cake walk and "caught" a prize at the fishing pond.

Friday, November 02, 2007


So I have to admit.... it has been a few years since I have carved a pumpkin. We never really got around to it in previous years... but this year we did it! Last Monday for Family Night we carved out our Jack-o-Lanterns... it was SO much fun! Ellie was so excited and anxious to help by sticking her hands in to get out all the seeds. Upon completing the pumpkins Ellie kept on asking where the ears were so we had to add a couple "ears" to the pumpkin. The best part was going out on the front porch to put a light the pumpkins....Ellie just sat out there completely mesmorized by the jack-o-lanterns.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Pumpkin Patch

On Friday we went to the Pumpkin Patch with some friends. It was a sunny but rather chilly day. These girls were on the quest for the perfect pumpkin and went up and down the field before each finding "the keeper." On the lookout...
King of the haystack
Say cheese :)
Taking a break from the quest

Caramel Apples

Last Monday we went over to our friends house for a special family night of making caramel apples. It was a fun adventure that was simply delicious. Who knew that the tangy combination of a granny smith apple topped with caramel sauce and lots of goodies could turn into such a tasty creation! I think this activity has to go on the list of traditions for the month!All the kiddos being creative with their apples... there were so many choices for toppings!
Ellie making her apple

Monday, October 22, 2007


I love traditions... what they stand for, the great memories that they help recall and continue to create. One of my favorite Clarke family traditions is making pumpkin shaped sugar cookies in October. Since my birthday is in October when the tradition stood that you brought cupcakes to class on your birthday.... we always made my moms amazing melt in your mouth sugar cookies.. and they were always a hit. Now we continue the tradition and make the sugar cookies every October and then again in February as heart shapes for Valentine's day. It is a good thing this tradition is just twice a year... because I have already eatten 8 LARGE pumpkin cookies today so I am glad we don't do this more often.

Our friends Hazel and Dewi came over to help us make our pumpkin cookies which made it a great fall activity. Ellie's favorite part was snitching the candy corns off the cookies!
Hard at work
The fun part!
Resting after a long morning of cooking!