Lake Fun with the Pierces


Abby & Jack


Emma & Ellen

Friends and Family

Utterly Adorable

Not enough time in the day


A prayer to St. Joseph

Friends of ours who are still in El Paso recently buried a statue of St. Joseph in our yard. It is said that if you bury a statue upside down in your yard and say this prayer your house will sell. When the sale of your house is concluded St. Joseph is dug up and placed within the new home. We have many who are praying for us and for the sale of our El Paso home. We are grateful to all of you who include us in your thoughts and prayers. It is my hope that by including this prayer on my blog our house will indeed sell. Thank You

O, Saint Joseph,

you who taught our Lord the carpenter's trade,
and saw to it that he was always properly housed,
hear my earnest plea.

I want you to help me now as you helped your foster-child Jesus,
and as you have helped many others in the matter of housing.
I wish to sell this [house/property] quickly, easily, and profitably
and I implore you to grant my wish by bringing me a good buyer,
one who is eager, compliant, and honest,
and by letting nothing impede the rapid conclusion of the sale.

Dear Saint Joseph,
I know you would do this for me
out of the goodness of your heart and in your own good time,
but my need is very great now and so I must make you hurry
on my behalf.

Saint Joseph, I am going to place you
in a difficult position with your head in darkness
and you will suffer as our Lord suffered,
until this [house/property] is sold.

Then, Saint Joseph,
i swear before the cross and God Almighty,
that i will redeem you
and you will receive my gratitude
and a place of honour in my home.



Berries and Wine

Blackberries are one of my favorite things.  No, not the handheld, electronic version, the fruit.  On one of our daily walks we stumbled upon wild blackberries.  I was surprised at the amount of fruit on the wild bushes.  The more I looked the more I discovered that they are everywhere.  The bushes like to grow along the creek in  our neighborhood.  The more we walked the more we found.  I was determined to go and pick some for myself.  The kids love to pick strawberries, apples and peaches so I was sure they would enjoy this.  The fact that the berries were not in nice neat rows and were along a creek only added to the adventure. 
The kids and I walked down to the creek and found several bushes.  I explained what we were looking for and that we only needed the black ones not the red ones.  I handed out their cartons and away we went. At first the enthusiasm was abundant.  Then a few complaints came and went.  Blackberries have thorns and after a few pokes and a little blood, Jack was done.  Mark and Emma kept on picking.   Then Emma was bitten by a fire ant and then she was done.  Mark and I picked a few more minutes until he was distracted by the search for more bushes and off he went to follow the creek. I continued to pick berries determined to get enough to make a blackberry recipe I had found.  While I picked I listened to the buzz of several dragonflies,  the gurgle of the creek and the whining of my children.  Jack was hot, not to mention bleeding from a cut on his ankle.  Emma was whining because, "no one asked her if she wanted to pick the stupid berries."   I tried to over look the whining after all I was the one who forced them out into the creek.  I am so mean. 

As a parent I try to add variety to our summer vacations.  I truly thought that this would be fun, and for me it was.  I have to admit I had a beautiful image of my kids and I laughing, joking and discusing the wonders of picking wild blackberries.  As it turns out I once again exceeded my own expectations.  It appears they will someday need therapy for the blackberry picking mom made them do!  Eventually, I decided to go and hot, tired and a little bloody we returned home with just over 4 cups of wild blackberries!



Hello?  Is anyone there?  I know I have seen you walking past.  It's me your quilt in progress.  I was just wondering when you were going to get back to me?  It seems that quite a bit of time has passed since we last worked together.  We just wanted you to know that we are here for you.   We are ready to work when you are. We are concerned because we have been sitting here for rather a long time.  While we don't normally like to complain, some of us  do have pins in us.  Not that were in pain, yet, just uncomfortable.  Perhaps you haven't forgotten, you just cannot remember where you put us.  We are here on  your dresser. Just to the right of the stack of Twilight books and under a few headbands.   You might have move the scissors and look under your daughters pajamas from last night.  Yes, there we are quietly hoping the next time you walk by you will be coming to get us.   While we were sitting here we thought that you might be more inclined to work on us if we promised to match our corners.  If this would be helpful, we could probably talk a few more of us into it.  Although you know there are always a few rebellious souls who make the rest of us look bad.  If you could just give us a time frame that would be good enough for now, you know tide us over for a while.  So, we will let you get back to whatever you are doing that is more important than quilting.  Just hurry back soon.
Sincerely your quilt pieces.


Happy Father's Day

The father of three children had won a toy at a raffle. 
He called his
 together to ask which one should have the present. 
"Who is the most obedient?" he asked. 
"Who never talks back to mother? and
"Who does everything mother says?" 
Three small voices replied in unison. "Okay daddy! You get the to


Thanks A Lot

I would like to say a big THANKS to my  sister and her family for letting us stay with her this past week.  Crazy, hectic, insane, exhausting are just a few of the words that would describe our visit.  Dealing with 5 kids ages 12 to 2 was challenging but with the two of us it was a blast.  We enjoyed watching our kids play and listening to them giggle. 
Mark and Ian became best buddies.  Ian idolized Mark and Jack often referring to them as one person, Markjack in his toddler-isms.  Mark was super helpful and was a great babysitter.  I enjoyed watching them interact.  It was great to see while Mark was the older of the 2, Ian was definitely the boss!  

Jack was slightly interested in Ian and attempted to play trains and the Wii with him.  If you haven't played with a two year old give it a try sometime, I guarantee you will either  come away smiling or gritting your teeth.  Oh, the two's!  What a crazy age.  

It was great to see Kaela and Emma together.  They did lots of girl stuff and had a blast telling secrets and giggling.  It was interesting to watch the girls ask for things. They figured out easily who was the pushover (Danielle)  and would always start there.  Finally they would say, "Emma's mom said it was OK."  of course I knew nothing about it.  The true tale was at dinner one night.  We all went to a very nice restaurant on Virginia Beach called Catch 31.  We dined on the outdoor patio, with the beach and ocean in the background.  Everyone had gotten dressed up and the moms were trying desperately not to get ketchup on us.  The girls got together and decided they wanted to go down to the beach.  They discussed strategy in hushed whispers.  Then it was decided they would each ask their mom separately.  I am not sure what they anticipated but I said,"No"  even though I was assured they would not get dirty or wet.  Dani however said  "sure. After dinner."  Okay they were stuck.  They discussed it further and tried asking again changing some of their qualifiers.  Emma pleaded saying, "don't you believe me."  Again I said 'NO'  At this point Emma said, "Why do you always say no and Kaela's mom always says yes."  I tried logic and explained that I did not always say "NO."  I even sited examples.  Apparently she was unimpressed because she said, "I wish Aunt Nell was my mom!"  Thanks-a-lot!

While the weather was overcast and gray the smiles and laughs had our days sunny.  We spent only one day at the beach and as you can see the weather was not cooperating.  But how can you be sad at the beach?  


Soccer for the Princess

This week was Emma's dive into Summer Camp.  This was the first year I could get her to agree to go.(and even then I had to stay until she said it was OK to leave.)  Emma struggles, as I suppose most youngest children do at one time or another, with growing up.  She wants to be "big"  like Mark and Jack, yet she fills the roll of "baby"  so well.  She decided on her own to start playing soccer.  She has always admired her brother for playing and God knows she has logged in enough time watching.  I am not yet sure what inspired this new interest but she seemed happy with her decision.  Ah, with one catch.  There is always a catch.  She is ready to go to soccer camp provided she has the right accessories (most people call it equipment).    First and foremost it's about the shoes.  Big surprise.  We spent the better part of an hour trying on soccer cleats.  First we tried on the pink one, then the nike with the color changeable swoosh, then the plain black.  All the while her brothers were reeking havoc of one type or another throughout the store.  She decided on the black nike with the white and blue trim (you can never go wrong with black) .  Then it was shin-guards, hair ties and what type of shorts to wear.  Exhausting work.  I wasn't sure even after the shopping extravaganza that we did indeed have everything she "thought" she needed.  And sure enough everyday she came home with a new item(s) that she "needed."  Fortunately, a quick raid of Mark's old soccer things provided us with everything, almost.  Soccer camp was a huge hit.  Everyday she told me stories of what they did, who she talked to,  and what she had for snack.  Today was the last day for soccer camp.  Emma was quite upset that soccer would be ending.  I assured her she would be able to play this fall.  While slightly pacified she threw in a few tears for good measure.  After every camp ended I would ask, "So how was your day?"  And she would rattle on for at least 30 minutes.  Today, was no exception.  I picked her up and asked, "So how was your Last day??"  To which she replied,  "It was great momma!  We played boys vs. girls and the girls won!  But best of all you know what I learned today?!"  She was so excited I couldn't imagine what it was.  " I learned this.  After we beat the boys we would sing.  Girls go to college to get more knowledge. Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider."  Well, that is something.


Extra! Extra!

Read all about it New Species of Scytheolopods found buy scientists Jack and Emma.  These Scytheolopods are very rare indeed living thousands of feet underground.  According to Jack "this is why they have never been discovered before."  Apparently, multiple worm like creatures can come from one egg type.  The Scytheolopods are grouped into three types.  the Orients, the Carriopods and the Carefulopods.  The temperature of the soil determines the type of worm which will develop.  I am told by Emma that the Orients live closest to the surface but are rarely seen "because people just think they are regular worms."  

The other worms, carriopods and carefulopods live deep, deep, deep under the surface of the earth. The worms have been discovered to share some characteristics with meteors found in the area.  Thus Jack concludes they may be of extra-terrestrial nature.  

More study of these new an exciting creatures is needed to know for sure.  

In other news I have finished another quilt top!  This quilt pattern comes from the book 40 Fabulous Quick-Cut Quilts.  by Evelyn Sloppy.  This book has many wonderful patterns which I hope to sometime tackle.  I believe I may actually purchase this book because I just cannot renew it enough times to get them all done.   This quilt is called Fall Frolic and was made with 22 fat quarters.  I discovered in my searching that Ebay can be a wonderful source of cheaper fabric.  
This quilt was made with this fat quarter bundle from Moda.  ( And look no triangles!)

 Do not however be fooled by the title as I was.  Quick Cut does not mean Quick Assembly.  The author is very creative at breaking down very complicated looking quilts into simple steps.  This in combination with her great diagrams make the patterns easy to follow.  I have at least 6 other patterns flagged in this book.  I have already started the next quilt in this book.  Now if only my kids would cooperate and let me quilt.  


Self Portraits

Isn't it interesting the way we see ourselves. Most of the time I try to buy alcohol I get carded.  I always get a critical eye looking at my drivers license as if I am using my older sisters license.  Not that I am not thankful for looking younger, but I often wonder what they see when they look at me.  Do they notice I am barely 5 feet tall with blonde hair?  Do they not see me toting 3 kids around?  How can they not see the wrinkles and gray hair that I saw only this morning?  I once saw and interview with Tyra Banks who said she never tells people what she thinks her "imperfections" are because it only draws their eye directly to it.  I find it rather remarkable that what I see as obvious signs of aging are often overlooked by others who know me.  

Recently Jack and Emma did Self Portraits at school.  I was fascinated by their drawings.  I was amazed at the characteristics they drew and others that were overlooked.  And in Emma's case, she has been trying to decided if she should cut her hair so she drew herself with shorter hair! 

I was fascinated by the fact that they see themselves so differently than I do.  It is really remarkable that each drawing hold elements of each child beyond the physical.  I love their triangle suns in the corner and that Jack drew birds as V's.  Yet, even in these drawings it is obvious there are things they like and dislike about themselves.  Things that others overlook everyday. So, my question to you is "Who do you see when you look in the mirror?" 



You know it's Monday when your mom drags you out of bed at 7:30 am.  Not only is it earlier than you had ever intended on waking, it its also the first day of summer vacation!  You ignore her and say something incoherent.  She leaves to pester someone else and you hope, no pray, that she will not return.  No such luck.  What seems like seconds she returns, turning on lights and ripping sheets off of you, muttering something or other.  Why won't she just leave me alone!  "Why do I have to get up?"  you ask.  Oh, yeah.  Your sister has soccer camp this morning, super.  Not at all looking forward to sitting for 3 hours while you watch your sister play, you drag yourself out of bed and stumble over your clothes from yesterday, or was it the day before.  No matter.  You contemplate leaving the light to the bathroom off, reluctantly you turn it on.  On your way into the bathroom you peek at your self in the mirror and think, "man, this summer cannot go on like this. I hope I get to go fishing this afternoon."  Then you step up to the toilet to do your business and you look down, "What the Heck is that!"  

You have got to be kidding.  There's a Frog in the toilet!   "MOM!!!"


Silly Putty

Silly Putty, as I have come to find out, shares many similar properties with gum.  It is stretchy, mailable and now comes in multiple shades.  It isn't as sugary as gum but can be just as sticky. When stretched it forms thin strands which get tangled in hair just as easily as gum.   It does bounce when dropped, as gum does not.  However, it does have the mysterious quality of becoming lost or missing from time to time.  Despite arriving in a handy egg shape case it never seems to make it back into said case.  Silly Putty also, as I have seen first hand transfers and maintains newsprint ink on it's surface, a fact I have never tested on gum.  

Emma received a beach bucket and shovel along with assorted "prizes" from her end of the year party.  Included in the prizes was a neon green egg with an equally neon green piece of silly putty.  When we picked her up from her last day of school she was a bottle of energy, bubbling over with excitement about her goodie bucket.  She ran through the list, bubbles, play-doh, rubber ball,  stickers, temporary tattoos,  plastic grasshopper, sidewalk chalk and this green egg with "What is this stuff?"  Well, leave it to big brothers to educate their little sister.  Jack chimes in ,"Cool, it's silly putty!"  "What do you do with it?" Emma asks.  "All sorts of stuff." was Jack's reply, "Let me see it."  Jack played with it and gave everyone a synopsis of the last time he had silly putty which ended with, "Then, I don't know what happened to it."  Then it was Marks turn to look at it, after all why should Emma get to play with her toy first or even second?  Moments later screaming and crying erupt from the back seat.  What happened?  Well it appears the silly putty was dropped or thrown poorly, depending on which party you are addressing.  Never mind, that it should never be thrown in the car in the first place,  and it was declared "lost forever."  I made them both search the back seat and they uncovered nothing.  When we stopped they searched again.  Then when they got in the house I searched the third time, because the thought of green silly putty sitting in the car as it heats to over 100 degrees is frightening.  Still we uncovered nothing.  We were in and out of the car at least 3 more times after the "incident" and we still had not uncovered the mystery.  I figured it was kicked out at some point in our journey and didn't worry about it.  

Well, I found out just how wrong I was this morning.  I was up with Ginger everyone else was asleep, it was quite peaceful.  I had my coffee and was finished entertaining Ginger when I pulled out my knitting.  Yep.  I found the silly putty.  There it was in all its neon green gooeyness representing all the attributes of silly putty.  Apparently, it had become quite hot while traveling in the car and was melted on to my pink silk yarn, covering my stitch counter, my point protectors and my needles.  I don't have to tell you, how happy that made me. I took 30 minutes to scrape, peal, scrape some more, pull and tug off what I could.  Another 30 minutes was dedicated to freezer time. (it works for gum?!)  Then more scraping, and pealing.  I was able to salvage all but one poor row; in which the chemicals in the silly putty formed a bond with the silk yarn and sadly permanently glued the neon green to the fibers.  So, another 30 minutes was spent frogging and then cutting away the mottled green and pink yarn and joining a new skein. 

Emma was positively thrilled that I had uncovered the mystery of the silly putty.  She played with it all morning, stretching, pulling, molding and rolling it between her fingers.  She carried 
all over the house, not letting anyone else even think about touching it.  It had been found.  Alleluia.   Up until the time of this post I thought my adventure  with the silly putty had ended.  Then I looked upon the carpet and what should I observe.  Yep.  Green silly putty in the carpet.  I have a feeling the silly putty will be "lost" again very soon.


A new art

Brothers and sisters argue.  That every parent knows WAY to well.  Well, my kids while practically perfect in every other way, (HA!HA!)  still argue, fight and argue some more.  They find the oddest things to argue about.  At times I am convinced they argue because there is nothing more fun than an argument.  As a Mom, this drives me insane.  Not only do I hate the fact that they arguing, but I really hate the fact that I am dragged into it constantly.  Somehow, I am like the Magic 8 Ball mommy.  Irritate me get me all shook up and then turn me over for your answer.  I think they find it just as funny to get me worked up.  

As my kids have aged I have found that their arguments have evolved.  First it was the common,  make me mad and I'll cry or bite you.  Oh, the toddler years.  Then It was make me mad and I'll tell.  Okay, so maybe that one still is in effect.  Recently, I have started paying closer attention to their poking and prodding of one another.  I have discovered they are elevating arguments to an art.  First it starts innocently enough with teasing.  Then a harsh word will be said and the words, "I'm just kidding" shortly follow.  Most recently, I noticed the introduction of something most remarkable.  Foreign Language.  Mark has taken a quarter of both french and spanish this year. Jack and Emma picked up snippets from their friends in El Paso and the rest I believe are made up.  Here are some of the things I have overheard.

Ferme la bouche - shut your mouth
ce infecte - you are infected
tu-discusto - you are disgusting
salgo - go away
tu stupido - (fairly obvious)
NO, soy listo -No I am clever.

 I am not sure whether to praise the fact they have take to using another language or be angry they are still arguing.  Not to be out done I have picked up my own answers.  
"Cada uno a sus cuartos!"  -  Everyone to there rooms!


Slate vs. Shale

Shale as I am told by Mr. Webster is a soft, finely stratified sedimentary rock that formed from consolidated mud or clay.  Where as  Slate is a finely grained homogeneous metamorphic rock which is, I've recently learned, derived from shale.  Why? You are asking am I enlightening you with my newly found knowledge of geology?  Well, it seems my weekend was suddenly spun on its axis because of this type of rock.  Shale and slate are both made up of layers which are brittle and fragment easily, and as we found very, very sharp.  If you are a fan of water you may have at one time or another used this type of rock for skipping.  Regardless, this is the purpose for which we were using it.  Boating on the lake this weekend was the perfect way to spend some quality time after having John back from traveling the globe.  We headed out early, found a nice cove, ate lunch, swam played on the shore and were having generally a fabulous time.  When our quiet peaceful day was shattered by Jacks' blood curdling scream.  

If you are a mom, you know what I mean.  There are tears, there is whining and there is even sobbing, but when you hear the scream of blood and pain, you know. At that exact moment your heart skips a beat.  You know without looking,  it is your child in pain.  Your worst fears take over and you are driven by the one goal, helping your child.  The worst part is usually you can do nothing.  Sure you're there to comfort, wipe tears, apply pressure, apply ice but at that moment you know you are absolutely helpless. Fear and adrenaline drive you to seek help, to do what is necessary.  And most of us do.  Tomorrow the guilt and the what ifs' will come.  Today is for the here and the now, this child, this injury.  So, you push on depriving yourself of sleep, food, water and even clothing, for the well being of your child.  Nothing in this world can prepare you for the depth of pain you feel.  Then it seems as quickly as it happened, it's over.  

This all occurred to me as I stood in the ER with Jack for 5 hours on Sunday.  (Stood I might add, freezing in my bathing suit smack dab in the middle of the ER.)  All the while praying, wishing, hoping that I could bare his pain.  Jack suffered a fractured middle finger with partial amputation of the finger tip.  He endured X-ray, poking, peeking, injections, medication and stitches with a brave face.  Never have I seen a braver 9 year old.  He had the courage of a warrior.  Even joking and trying to make ME laugh as he said, "Mom,  I really wanted to spend time with you alone.  But, this isn't exactly what I had in mind."  Today, he is cranky, grouchy, bossy and home safe, where he belongs.  His bone will heal.  His nail will grow back.  The sutures will be removed.  Once again he will be whole.