Christmas in New Orleans

December 23-27, 2003

Rod and Brenda made the trip to New Orleans on Tuesday, December 23. We found Darla busy making this spectacular gingerbread house.

When we went into the house there was the wonderful smell of Christmas baking, and these parts for the gingerbread house and the gingerbread men were cooling in the kitchen.

As beautiful as the gingerbread house was, its beauty still paled before the beauty of these two, at least as seen through the eyes of Grandma and Grandad.

Jordan was enjoying a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows amid the delicious smells of baking.

On Christmas Eve we all went to the worship service at Peace Lutheran Church in Slidell, where Dave and Judy Moyle are members and very much invested in service. Dave and Judy invite the members of the church to their house afterward, so each year we have enjoyed that reception at their house with their friends from church. We returned to New Orleans for the evening and returned fairly early on Christmas morning.

We entered the house to hear Darla reading the Christmas story from Luke to the children. They had also celebrated with the advent candles. They had a series of readings for advent leading up to Christmas, a tradition since Darla was a child, she told us.

Ashleigh and Jordan were settled in comfortably with Pap, but they were anxious to show us and tell us about the advent candles.

After explaining to us a bit about each candle, they proceeded to blow out the candles. We were pleased with the priority given to the meaning of Christmas before the opening of any gifts.

Jordan and Ashleigh romped and wrestled on the floor with such spontaneous joy that it lifted us all.

Jordan was very quiet and gentle and attentive to baby Caleb. This was a new member of the family for us, born to Diane and Robbie since our last trip to New Orleans.

The Christmas stockings are a long-standing tradition of the Moyle family. Each family member has their custom-made stocking, and Darla had made up stockings for Grandma and Grandad Nave for this year.

Brenda holds Caleb who calmly watches the excitement of the other children with their stockings. Ashleigh, Bethany and Jordan hold center stage in front of the fireplace.

Judy and Dave with five of their seven grandchildren present for the giving of the stockings. Dave holds Lindsey, who is a little more subdued than her older sister and cousins.

On to the opening of gifts!

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