Christmas in Pearl River

Elyse's birthday, December 26

The family gathered at Jeff and Darla's house to grill hotdogs and hamburgers and celebrate Elyse's birthday. Ashleigh and Jordan watch as Darla helps Elyse open presents.

All six children are gathered around as Elyse tears into the gifts.

Elyse gets right into the spirit of things and pushes the active points on this interactive doll.

Elyse takes to the Learning Puppie immediately and pushes the active areas.

At this point on her first birthday, I think we can officially declare that Elyse has learned to walk. At Thanksgiving she took tentative steps, and in Birmingham a few days ago she took a few steps. But now she takes several steps whenever she feels like it. She has been walking confidently hanging onto my finger, and I think having the little doll in her hand gives her a little more confidence, maybe thinking that she has a little support.

Elyse was enthusiastic about the big cake that we were all to share, and Jeff helped her blow out the candle. But there was more to come. Darla had baked another little cake for Elyse alone!

Darla sat Elyse down with the little cake in front of her, and she immediately went for it with both hands!

This was just plain fun! Elyse was delighted both with the cake and all the attention and fun. And all the family, kids and grownups, were just standing around in gales of laughter, watching her. It was an occasion of just about as pure joy as you can find. Thanks, Elyse, for bringing us all such a good time on your first birthday.

December 27

We stayed around for the day on December 27 and it was a more relaxed time. In such circumstances, Ashleigh is likely to be found reading.

All the girls got time to play with some of their presents. Elyse liked pushing the active areas of the Learning Puppie she got from Aunt Sherry.

Jordan spends a lot of time playing with Elyse, and enjoys trying to entertain Elyse and make her laugh. Elyse usually responds with excited squeals - she is an appreciative audience.

Both girls jumped right into painting and drawing with the art materials given to them by Aunt Denise. Here is one of Ashleigh's creations.

Elyse will have an exciting childhood with her two active older sisters. Ashleigh pushes her high in the swing, and she hangs onto her pacifier and grins.

We enjoyed a relaxing day. I got to poke around in the shop with Jeff building a shelf and making a trip to Lowes. We headed out after supper to drive back to Meridian for the night and on home the next morning. We felt truly blessed by being able to enjoy Christmas with the Jeff and family and the Moyles.

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