Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Chicken Rustler Strikes Again

It is with sadness that we report the death of four chickens. 

Chicken Finger, Chicken Patty, Francine, and Muffy (the latter two belonging to our friends and whom we were chicken sitting) died a tragic death sometime late Saturday night. They were slaughtered in warm, innocent, chicken blood and we mourn their loss. 

This tragic event follows the shady disappearance of Pepper Chicken some three weeks ago, also on a Saturday night. We now have reason to believe that Pepper, too, was murdered. 

**the following pictures may be disturbing to those who have a soft spot for chickens in their heart**

Exhibit 1: feathers and blood, evidence of foul/fowl play

Exhibit 2: footprints

The suspect is not in custody and still at large. We warn all locals to take seriously their coop safety and security measures. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

When Books Went to War

I just finished reading a phenomenal book titled "When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II" by Molly Guptill Manning. I picked it up, just by chance, at the library. It caught my eye on the "New Books" display as I let my kids do puzzles and play on the computer. I read the inside cover and was intrigued.

It claimed to be "an inspiring story for history buffs and book lovers alike." I didn't think I really had time to read of three kids, four and under. I don't get a lot of "me time" and the time I do get is precious. But, I checked it out, and I started reading it that night after the kids were in bed.

The history buff in me loved it for its small nuggets of World War II history I had never heard before. For example, I learned about the propaganda campaign Hitler waged against France before ever attacking. He funded radio programs that were entertaining, but slyly laced with paid broadcasters who "expressed worry over the German army's dominance and military strength." The French became paranoid. They were frozen by fear. "The mere innuendo of invasion somehow reinforced the idea that France would undoubtedly be defeated." When Germany did invade France, it only took them six weeks for the French to surrender.

It was inspiring to read how the determination of Americans to provide books for their service men. They truly felt they were fighting a war, not of weapons, but of ideas. Books were weapons. "We are waiting, Adolf Hitler. The books are waiting, Adolf Hitler. The fire is waiting, Adolf Hitler. The Lord of Hosts is waiting, Adolf Hitler" wrote Stephen Vincent Benét.

There are first hand accounts of soldiers who's war time experiences were tempered by books. Books were a relief and a refuge. Books were passed from man to man to man. Read and reread until you thought the ink would wear off.

Sadly, there were some, even American librarians and politicians, who did not support the efforts of the Victory Book Campaign. It made me consider: what other worthy causes are ridiculed and fought against, despite the good that they do? In response to one such politician, Althean Warren penned "He is so full of criticism and with no suggestions to help." How often do I criticize without creating a solution of my own?

As impressive as the Victory Book

Campaign was, it was not the ideal solution. There was a job to be done, namely, the soldiers needed easy to carry, lightweight books and donated hardcovers didn't meet that need. That's when Armed Service Editions (ASEs) were born. Small, reproduced copies of a variety of titles, ASEs were exactly what the Army and Navy needed and they were gobbled up by service men. You'll just have to read for yourself about all the work that went into the production of these wonderful books. "It would go down in history as one of the best-coordinated production programs of the entire war."

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What do I do??

This is what's happening at the Brown house right now. 

1 sleeping princess 

1 sleeping bean

1 sleeping brother

1 + 1 + 1 = 3 sleeping kiddos

This never happens!! I swept and mopped, scrubbed the bathrooms, and ate a handful of chocolate chips. Now what? Nap time for me??

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ear Infection

The kids all went in for their well child visits today. Turns out this little beauty wasn't feeling so well at the lake because she had an ear infection. Poor kid. 

So, cheers for antibiotics twice a day for the girl who "don't like it!" 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Lake Roosevelt 2015

We just got back from 34 hours in a car and over a week spent in hot Arizona with some of the people we love most. 

Going to the lake with three little kids was an adventure and sometimes I wondered what we were thinking, but it was worth it. We loved watching our Hyrum go from not wanting to go past the shallow water to swimming where he couldn't touch to riding on the boat and finally tubing behind the boat! Lindi had a couple of days where she wasn't feeling well, but she was able to celebrate her second birthday! Plus we loved her rocking hat and shades! Ellie liked just chilling as best she could. Thank goodness for cooling rags. 

My brother proposed to Ashley. Loved hanging out with them! I guess we'll brave the drive again in six weeks so we can celebrate with them. So excited to have a new sister. 

My Grams and Papa celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with all of their family around them. They are a wonderful example of what marriage and family are supposed to be. So grateful that families can be together forever. 

Mostly I just couldn't get enough of these people. I loved laughing with them. I loved swimming in the water with my dad and getting nibbled by fish. I loved having a Grannie to hold my baby while I ate dinner. 

My back wasn't ready to slalom this year, but we got Tony up on skis. His first attempt was superb. We also enjoyed tubing, but don't have any pictures to prove it. 

And then it was time to drive home. Did I mention we loved having our new van!?

Back to real life and buying a new chicken and catching up on laundry etc. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

To-do List

Do you ever have those days when you add tasks to your to-do list faster than you check them off? In some ways it's overwhelming and in others it makes for a really good day. 

So, today, I'm thankful that we're at least marking things off the list. I'm grateful my boy got to go for a ride in the Bobcat. His happy smile was perfect. 

I'm grateful I got to go to the grocery store with only the babe and the babe slept the entire time. I'm grateful that we finally found a place that has the right aged chickens for sale, even if they won't be in until tomorrow. Patty needs a buddy named Finger. 😂

I'm grateful our countdown is down to two, even though that limits our time to complete the checklist that is stubbornly not shrinking...yet. Most of all, I'm grateful there's a yet and that I have three cute kiddos that get to tag along. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Great Chicken Rustler Caper

In April we inherited two chickens. Pepper and Patty moved in and we were so excited. Fresh eggs and fascinating bird watching. Hyrum was especially excited. We told him they were a birthday present since they arrived on the day of his birthday party. A few days after they moved in, he took his camp chair out back and posted himself by the coop so he could "keep an eye on the chickens."

All was well until this morning. We woke up and saw that Patty (the larger, brown chicken) was out. How did that happen? And where was Pepper? She was nowhere to be found. Also concerning was that the coop had been opened significantly (this is not particularly easy to do). There were feathers scattered about the chicken run, mostly Patty's, and Patty looked a bit frazzled. It almost looked like she had been cornered and had put up a fight. 

Hyrum was quite sad to learn that Pepper was missing. He posted himself at the office window to see if she would appear out front. We drove him around the neighborhood before church so see if we could find her. No luck. 

He prayed that we would find her and if not, that we could buy a new chicken.

So, the question is... Who dunnit? Was it a coyote? A hungry homeless man? Or maybe an African porcupine? (That's a Hyrum theory. Gotta love him. ;) 

Whoever or whatever it was, we hope Pepper is happy. We hope they stay away from our coop in the future. We like our chickens, thank you!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

No More Ketchup

I've been an abysmal blogger. I have loads to blog about. Deep down in my heart I want to be a better blogger. I write it on my monthly and weekly goal sheet. I have every reason to be better, but something's gotta change. 

So, I've downloaded the blogger app on my phone. You know, this thing that is with me all day, every day. This thing that takes my pictures. Also, I'm going to push aside the feeling of "needing to catch up" because I just don't enjoy blogging that way and I'm sure that translates into people not enjoying my updates as much either. 

So, for today you get this adorable picture of my daughter (the new one the blog hasn't even met). 

We just love her. I think she's getting some meat on her bones. We call her Ellie Bean, or Her Royal Highness Ellie, Princess of Texas. She's going to make her maiden voyage to Arizona soon. That's a little bit terrifying. 

P.S. I love that little bow on her head.