Thursday, June 17, 2010


Let's just say...

That all men can use power tools.
That all men can use an electric drill,
...circular saw
...and generally build whatever they put their minds to.

But the real question is...

Can they do it wearing a shirt and tie?

(**EDIT** This looks WAY more dangerous than it actually was. No, he didn't use his circular saw while wearing a tie.)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Morning Basket.

The days were a whirlwind. For a couple of weeks the weather was so beautiful, that even before the kids were dressed they were outside for the day playing in their pajamas. In so many ways it was wonderful. Our summer season in MN is so short, and letting kids out to play is something I don't want to restrict. However, playing outside with children for the better part of 12 hours is definitely exhausting.

The blur of summer fun was starting to take its toll on me. I was tired. Really tired. In the winter months our days have structure. We have plans, places to go, and a general outline to give our days some depth. In the summer when the sun starts to rise at 4am and doesn't set until nearly 10pm, it can easily seem like the days run together in busyness.

Something had to change. Reading one of my new favorites, I got an idea. Our own Morning Basket! Tailored to our very needs as family, as we sit down for breakfast, our Morning Basket has a few small books and some little prayers that we can say together as a family.

We've been doing our Morning Basket for two weeks, and it's quite apparent that it benefits me much more than the children; giving us an anchor for the day.

(Thank you, Mom, for the peonies!)
Here are the functions of our Morning Basket: (We don't do it all everyday, just what "Lil' P" allows)
1. Prayers, a Morning Offering, Prayer of St. Michael, Anima Christi, Hail Mary
2. Poetry. Right now we are reading through "When We Were Very Young," for the second time.
3. "Saint of the Day" This is in two volumes and was my husband's when he was a child. A half-page bio on the life of a Saint is a GREAT conversation starter.
4. Bible. Mark has this *COOL* Bible that acts as a comic strip. He, who is not a big reading-lover, tells me that he used to take this very same Bible to bed and read it. What a great way to retain stories! This is Luke's favorite part of Morning Basket.

We take about 10-15 minutes to do this in the morning, sometimes around the kitchen table during breakfast, or while the kids are playing dinosaurs/animals on the floor. Thank you again Jen over at Wildflowers and Marbles for this great idea!

Monday, June 14, 2010

An Addition.

Nearly five years ago I was newly married, living in a small apartment in a big, unfriendly city. Mark was in his first year of law school and was busy. I worked full-time and when Mark got home for the day he often had to leave back to the law library and work late into the night. I was sometimes scared of being alone and wondered what would help me fall asleep, on those nights alone.

During that time was the first time I ever thought about getting a dog. I've written before that I'm not really an animal lover. I'm not. It's a strange relationship, because I really love to learn about animals, and am always up for the zoo, aquarium, or Planet Earth. Some people connect really well with animals and are endlessly entertained by them. I am not one of those people.

Why would someone like me, then, think about getting a dog? Well, I thought that if I looked hard enough that somewhere out there a perfect dog would be waiting for me. Maybe it wasn't so much that I didn't like animals, but that the right one hadn't come along? It got me researching. I had some tough criteria, but to me, it was a win win. Either a perfect a dog would come out of the mix, or we wouldn't get one!

My Criteria:
1. A lazy bum
2. No jumping
3. No "yapping" or restless barking
4. No digging
5. No wandering
6. A loyal companion
7. Anything "high-strong" was immediately disqualified
8. A dog big enough to scare someone with its size, but harmless at heart
9. A dog that I could trust 100% to be safe with young children
10. A dog that could tolerate poking, prodding, and total invasion of space by children
11. Quite the same as the first, I just wanted a dog to be there, but didn't require a lot of exercise or attention. (Not that I want a dog to neglect, just not one that requires the maintenance of a child! I'm stretched thin as it is.)

Surely, I thought, this dog cannot be found. But, five years ago I found a breed of dog that fit each of my criteria. I brought the information on my breed to Mark who flatly said, "No. You're crazy. It's never gonna' happen."

But you know what? It DID happen! A bit over two weeks ago Mark surprised me with our very own Newfoundland puppy!

And, while nearly everyone around called us crazy two weeks ago, it seems that everyone who meets Stout wants a Newfie of their very own. He's that sweet, that wonderful, and oh so perfect. Have I mentioned that he's going to be close to 200lbs? All the more for the kids to climb over. Mark is a believer now, too, and has enjoyed having Stout at our side as we enjoy our summer.

Seriously, he's awesome.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Because you can't have boys without some adventure.

Radical Homemakers | Front Porch Republic

This is a book review, analysis and history lesson that I found quite interesting. I would encourage you to read the review! The biggest thing I took from it was how the current shift of families is to be consumers, or to have as much "stuff" as humanely possible, but, historically that was not the case. Apparently the book goes on to say that "once upon a time..." people made their own things and repaired their own things. And, unlike today, they actually owned their own things. What a concept!

Radical Homemakers | Front Porch Republic

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Danger Boys.

This sums these two up pretty well, don't you think?

One with a plastic bag over his head, the other reaching for the electrical outlet. Just another day with the Danger Boys.

Have I mentioned that I must have the busiest boys the world has ever seen?

Friday, June 4, 2010


Last week, Theresa plugged my blog on hers.

Theresa is amazing. She's like the Pioneer Woman. She can do it all.

Whenever I question myself, Theresa always answers, "Yes, Mallory, you CAN do this." She's been a great encouragement to me as I learn the ropes as a wife and mother.

Theresa taught me to cloth diaper, and is always teaching me about how to make something from scratch or to shear alpacas.

Theresa reads and comments on my blog frequently. Yes, that Theresa.

I was planning on plugging her blog regardless of what happened yesterday, but here I am plugging her blog for a different reason. Yesterday life as she knows it changed forever. Her son is fighting for his life.

Please, visit her blog, comment, leave encouragement for her and her family as they fight a sudden, rare, and life-threatening disease. Theresa's blog is in my sidebar, so after this post gets bumped from other posts, please keep going, and keep praying.


Out with the Old.

Last week we found our baby, Paul, pinned between the crib bar and the mattress. Our crib, it turns out, is part of a massive recall, and will soon be illegal to sell even at garage sales or Craiglist. We had a drop-down siderail crib from Target. The brand was Stork Craft, a Target product and made in China.

This is how the drop-down rail came "off track," creating a gap in rail and the mattress; the perfect size for a baby to get lodged.

The crib was cheaply made, as evidenced by Itty-Bitty Baby being able to do this to the bars.

Here's what we did about it.

Needless to say, our whole family was quite upset about the whole incident. Cribs should last more than three years, and when we bought our crib we had no idea it would be recalled. If you had a baby after 2004 and it has a drop-down siderail, please check to see if it's recalled, and make sure that the parts I pictured are secure.

In with the new! Our new crib is REAL wood, heavy, sturdy, and has no movable parts. This is promising.