Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Best Day Yet!!!

I love how God changes my mindset sometimes! Today, I woke up very early after having a less than a peaceful evening. Jordan took a long time to go to sleep last night, and just when I thought we had that "put to bed" no pun intended - JP started waking up! He woke up crying several times throughout the night. So I woke up this morning with heavy eyes - totally not ready to "take on the day".

But God stepped in and redeemed my day and my spirit. I had the wonderful pleasure of getting to visit with another new friend today! She has a little girl - Natalie - she is the same age as JP. All three kids played great together, while Michelle and I had a great time getting to know one another better. Then after JP's nap (Thank you Lord!) we picked up a little swimming pool for the kids and they had an afternoon of great summer fun!

Then... I got to cook a healthy dinner for my family - which I just LOVE to do!!! While cooking the kids played peacefully and without arguing in the backyard! Does this sort of thing really get to happen? I just love days like this!

Here are some pictures to enjoy... the kids playing in the water!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Day at the Quarter

Saturday we took the kids to the French Quarter for the very first time. We got up early, not by design, but because the kids just LOVE to rise with the sun - and decided to treat the kids to beneigts at Cafe Du Monde - guess we had to get this out of our system. We were thinking if we got there by 8:30am we would miss the long line and crowds. We were wrong! But the line moved relatively fast and the kids enjoyed watching the horse & buggy carriages arrive - they thought it was a parade!

We got to our seat and the kids dove right into the fun breakfast foods. Well, let me rephrase that... Jordan said they were yummy but tasted them with caution. I think she was concerned about getting too much of the powdered sugar on her clothes - not the case with JP. He took right to them!!!

After that we let the kids play in the park area of the French Quarter. They LOVED playing in the trees and even found a few flowers to bring to us. I can totally see us spending weekend mornings here often. They are so easily amused!

Of course we couldn't leave this are without getting their picture taken with General Andrew Jackson! Jordan LOVED this statue! JP just wanted to climb or scale it and did his best to do so!

After this we went across the street to see the Mississippi. They had to do some climbing to get there... and the entire time I'm thinking - "this is good for them and good for us - surely this will allow them both to take a nice long nap when we get home!"

Once we got to the top they wanted to go down the few little steps to actually put their feet in the water. John of course keeping a tight grip on JP - otherwise I think he would have jumped right in for a "swim" - smart Daddy!

We enjoyed the many of street entertainers along the walk. We also saw several people getting married in this same area! Way too cool!

The kids certainly had a blast! We ended a day with each of the kids getting a book about the French Quarter. I think this picture shows everyone just how much fun they had... JP was indeed ready for a nap upon arriving home!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just a typical week...

Well, I know I've been blogging about fun events that have been going on here in New Orleans - festivals, bible studies, Easter and the like. However, we do have some pretty normal days. Does such a thing exist? Normal? At least normal in the Franklin way... so I thought I would share a few of those moments with you all... Tuesdays have been tagged as "Jordan Days". Meaning she & I do something extra special and she gets to help me with a lot of other fun extra things. Here she & I made beaded necklaces and bracelets. We had so much fun!

Here is the finished and completed work of art. Jordan ended up making a beautiful pink and red set - adorned with pink hearts!

One day I realized that the kids were playing almost too quietly in Jordan's room. I must say - playing quietly almost NEVER happens! So imagine my surprise when I went to go check on them finding this! I don't think my kids are going to have any problems adjusting to Mardi Gras!

We typically try to narrow down "snack time" to just 2 times a day instead of "all-the-live-long-day" - and this is the result of having strawberries for one of their daily snacks. Who would have thought that 5 little strawberries could have caused this big of a mess!!! At least he really enjoyed them. Wednesdays are "JP Days" - and he wanted "more & more" strawberries! We had to change his clothes before we could go grocery shopping. Of course he had a cookie to top off the strawberries!!

Then finally today, Jordan came out of her room looking like a blast from my past! She's all ready for the roller rink! Only problem... she's only skated on carpet and our house here is "all tile all the time"! She still needs practice in learning how to skate - but at least she's going to look great while learning!!

These may not seem like "normal" days to everyone else - but we're sure having fun! Later today we're going to go clean out the car and take a walk on the levee (the kids' favorite thing to do!)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Women of the Bible Group

Journey Ladies

On Saturday morning I had a wonderful treat! I had the pleasure of attending one of the many groups of bible studies that meets throughout New Orleans. This was the Women of the Bible group. We had a great study and discussion on 2 fascinating ladies of the Old Testament - Sarai & Hagar. Margaret-Mary did a wonderful job leading us in a very vibrant conversation. I was so impressed with must how much these ladies know their Bible! I love spending time with fellow sisters of the word! I think we all went home with a little more wisdom than when we arrived. I think we all hope that we can learn from Sarai's mistakes and trust God more with our lives and let Him be in control and wait on His timing to reveal His plan for our life.

French Quarter Festival 2009

The kids got to have their real first taste of New Orleans! On Saturday around 2pm we took the kids down the River to the French Quarter Festival. Jordan had a blast. All she really wanted was a t-shirt and a snow cone! Which you can tell from the pictures she totally enjoyed both! JP on the other hand was none too pleased to be confined to the stroller. He wanted to get "down" and get in the mix of everything. We all enjoyed the great music and general people watching. John & I took a side stop from our diet to enjoy a fish taco! Click here for more pictures from our day at the festival.

Friday, April 17, 2009

New Haircut!

Okay, so about once or twice a year I get a really good (rather) significant haircut. I found this really cute salon just down the street from our neighborhood. Today was a great pampering day! At 10am I got my hair cut and then at 11:30am I had lunch with a new friend! We had a wonderful salad at this little cafe called "Cafe What?" I just love my husband for letting me have such a delightful Friday morning.

Okay - I know you're all wondering why I'm not posting a picture of my new haircut. Yes, I had about 5-6 inches (or more) cut off. And it's not for lack of trying. I took several pictures of myself - and well, just wasn't happy with them. I even took a few with both my camera and my cell phone. None of them seemed to do the haircut justice! So - I tried! I promise a photo will come later.

But for now - just know that the long-haired Penny that you know & love and is now stylin' a "new-shorter-new-improved do".

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fun in the backyard!

Tonight we had a great meal! I'm really enjoying cooking again for my family. Tonight I cooked for them Baked Tilapia on a bed of salad greens. There was also grilled onions and bell peppers and sauteed cabbage. After dinner we all retired to the backyard. The kids enjoyed showing off their talents while John enjoyed a nice cigar. I was a proud Wife & Mommy - everyone was happy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Crescent City Classic 2009

Every Saturday before Easter there is a 10K that runs through New Orleans. It's called the Crescent City Classic. Our church mans the 3 mile mark water station. Our entire family participated in this and had a blast. Even Jordan did her part. Here you can see her in an over-sized t-shirt. She had such a great time lifting up water cups to the runners. Almost everyone that ran by her wanted to take water just from her! It was so adorable!!! She said next year she wants to wear her swimsuit because she got splashed with so much water!

Oh yeah... during the race I got bit by a caterpillar! I know it seems strange - but it was serious!

Our New Home

Okay, here is a picture of our sweet rent house! It is so adorable. We absolutely LOVE the location of this house in relation to the city. The kitchen is super nice. I have plenty of room to cook amazing meals where Jordan can help me.

In the grassy picture with the truck... that big "hill" is the levee. Just on the other side of that is the Mississippi!

We're finally here & loving New Orleans!

Well, I finally gave in to the pressure and created a blog. I hope that everyone will enjoy keeping up with us in this manner. I'll be posting pictures of the kids - as well as bits and pieces of our life here in New Orleans.

To update everyone... we're doing great here! We are living in a part of New Orleans called River Ridge. From our yard we can see the levee that separates us from the Mississippi! In fact our first few days here I was standing in our back yard and literally saw a huge boat (barge - who knows, I'm still learning) passing by! It was super cool!! Then this past Saturday we took the family up on top of the levee and took a nice stroll. There is a jogging path up there and I hope to start using that again soon. It was super cool to see the River that close up!!

I sold my t-shirt company right before we left Houston. I was very proud to have built something that had value and is continuing on in my absence. Sherry is doing an awesome job keeping Impress Me! alive. So for the first time since I was 16 I find myself unemployed. And I'm LOVING every minute of it. Today, all laundry will not only be complete but in it's proper place! What an accomplishment! Tonight I've prepared Lemon Caper Mahi Mahi with asparagus and pesto grilled tomatoes.

This morning Jordan and I made things to mail to our friends in Houston, made a butterfly craft and she helped me to make the marinade for the fish. Wow! I am having a blast being a Mommy!