Trip to Pearl River, Louisiana

December 21-28, 2007

We headed out for Pearl River on Friday Dec 21 and drove to Abita Springs in heavy fog about 9pm. Then we went over to Jeff's on Saturday and enjoyed sitting around his table again. Friend Perry Matherne with whom we worked after Katrina dropped by.

We let the girls open their gifts from Aunt Sherry early. It gave us the opportunity to take pictures.

Elyse with book from Aunt Sherry. The girls love books and have all been read to since their births.

Ashleigh and Jordan have a look at the nice photo albums they got as gifts. Elyse is very happy with the books she got.

The girls also received several videos, and they love watching movies.

This was a time for appreciation of nice gifts. The girls pose with their gifts, and Brenda's shirt was a gift to her. Elyse enjoys her new tricycle, a gift from Uncle Mark.

Elyse loves to pick up Scooter and carry him around. It's not clear that he's as excited about being carried, but he is wonderfully tolerant. And the moment she walks out the door, he's running to her enthusiastically, wagging his tail, so at least he wants the attention.

Ashleigh and Granddad Rod practice a Christmas carol to sing at the family gathering. Ashleigh has a high, clear voice and is enjoying trying to sing parts. There is a lot of baking going on, so Elyse sits down in a corner with the batter from some cookies.

Mom guides Elyse's hand in decorating some Christmas cookies - one of their family Christmas traditions. Then Jordan tries her hand. Then Ashleigh joins in and all three girls are involved in the cookie decorating.

We had extraordinarily clear weather on Sunday night, December 23, and there was a planet right next to the moon. It was too good an opportunity for Rod to pass up, so he spent some time trying to photograph it. The planet is at the bottom right of the photo, and you can see that it is a disk, not a star with flare lines.

He did actually cheat a bit, in that the moon and the planet are at different exposures. To get the planet to show up well, you had to badly overexpose the bright moon. So he then photographed the moon at the same magnification and then carefully overlaid the overexposed moon with the better exposure, using the transparency feature of Photoshop to accurately position the moon.

We enjoyed watching the dozens of ducks that came to the shallow lake in view of our unit at Abita Springs. With binoculars you could see them ducking to feed on the bottom vegetation in the shallow lake. At left some ducks are taking flight from the lake- they were a bit skittish, so I couldn't get too close.

It looked like this pair of Canada geese was nesting on this small grassy islet in the lake.

Seeing the geese and the ducks was a pleasant gift for Christmas Eve.

The girls seemed to enjoy the bike rides with Granddad Rod. We had a good ride on Christmas Eve, and this was with Jordan's small bike. She got a brand new 6-speed bike for Christmas and we rode almost every day. Twice Rod put the cart on the back of the bike and took Elyse along to the Pearl River City Park.

Christmas Morning with Jeff and family

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