Family Activities Around Pearl River

March-April, 2016

What's this police car doing parked in front of Jeff's house?

March 21. There might have been some puzzled looks in the neighborhood when there was a police car parked in front of Jeff's house for several days! This was his assigned vehicle to use in the three-day pursuit driving course with the Slidell Police Department. After he had completed the Police Academy, he had the opportunity to do this advanced driving course, and was very keen on doing it.

Ashleigh at home in her prom dress. We don't know the back story of the dress, and I could have cropped to show just her and the dress, but I liked a bit of the picture of the dining room and kitchen of their home. We have come to love that home on our visits.

We appreciated getting this lovely picture of Ashleigh in her prom dress. We also loved the picture of Elyse and Ashleigh. Having the picture of Jeff and Ashleigh is great too, but it reminds us of how fast time flies that we have a granddaughter who is a senior in high school and about to graduate. March 19.

At the prom. It was held in a venue decorated like a barn. We'll have to learn more of the story.

Ashleigh in the rustic setting of their prom.

Jeff in his police dress uniform with Elyse and Ashleigh.

As we understood it, the occasion was the honoring of police, firefighters and other public servants such as EMTs at Northshore Church on this particular Sunday.

In Jeff's case, there is quite a bit of backstory - he has served as chaplain for the Slidell Police Department for several years, and this year used his sabbatical to attend the Police Academy. It has been quite a meaningful experience for him and has not only had benefits in terms of his rapport with the police officers with whom he serves, but has opened up specific opportunities for ministry. He has done funerals and weddings for police officers or their families.

Having been certified by completion of the Police Academy, he is authorized to wear the uniform and carry a weapon. In fact, as I understand it, they require that he carry the weapon when he rides with the police in his uniform. He has a kit that he carries with him when he rides with the police in Slidell, which has been mostly on Friday nights. He showed us his kit during their February visit.

April 1. In news from the Arkansas family, Eli Lassiter is going strong in archery competition. His team, the Valley View Blazers, traveled to Hot Springs for the state archery competition. They won 2nd place in the state competition.

April 9. Ashleigh made a trip to New Orleans and the World War II museum for the state competition for History Day.

We were familiar with the World War II Museum and the Boeing Center from our visit there in August.

The presentations of their history projects by the competitors took place on the ground floor of the Boeing Center underneath the suspended World War II planes. It appears that there are four finalist being interviewed about their project, with Ashleigh being the second group moving clockwise from the bottom group.

At top left in this closer view, Ashleigh is explaining her project to the team of judges who are interviewing her.

Ashleigh's history project was on Yuri Gagarin, the first Russian astronaut. He was the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961.

Being a reader, Ashleigh had researched her project carefully, and was prepared to discuss it in depth with her team of interviewers. Jeff's take on it was that her careful preparation and being excited about sharing it with a team that was really interested was what earned her the top award.

Ashleigh is on stage to be recognized as the state winner for History Day in Louisiana. She would be eligible to participate in the national competition, but that is during the time she plans to be in Ecuador.

The coming of spring in Mableton

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