Saturday, August 27, 2011

Chicken Whisperer part 2

As I mentioned in the previous post, my little Ben loves the chickens. He has daily conversations with the chickens and just adores them.

Recently Ben came home from church excited to tell me about what he had learned that day. We had two chickens that had sadly died tragically in the weeks before. Ben was greatly affected by the death of these two birds. When we were sitting on the swing in the yard that Sunday evening, he said "Mom, those two chickens are up with Jesus. Jesus is taking care of them now. That is what my teacher told me." Ah how sweet. I don't know the situation with the souls of our chickens, but if that is how Ben feels, then maybe it is. Ben was very content and happy with the thought.

About four days later Ben comes running into the house. He was so excited to show me a frog that he had found. It was a large frog that I encouraged him to keep outside so that it could eat lots of bugs and be a happy frog. I warned Ben to not let it loose near the chickens since the chickens would peck it and it would die. Ben said he would be careful and guard the little frog from the chickens.

A few hours later he comes running in the house in full tears and a complete panic.

"MOM!!! The chickens ate my frog! The chickens ate my frog!!!"

Oh my. What do you say to a little boy who loves his chickens and loves his frog that is now gone.
While I comforted Ben, I sent the older boys outside and they discovered that there was no evidence of the frog being in the chicken coop. And trust me, there would have been evidence of a frog attack. But there was not a trace of any fowl activity. (sorry bad joke...couldn't help myself...Cory would be proud.)

"Ben" I started "I think the frog hopped away and is hiding. I think he will be ok"

"No. He's gone." His face was so forlorn. So solemn. "Mom, I need to talk to Jesus about this. Right now!" And before I could encourage him to go and kneel by his bed, he had dropped to his knees in fervent prayer. So I quietly left the room and left him to his prayer.

After a long moment later he came into my room. He was once again full of peace and he had a small smile on his face.

"Mom, Jesus will send me another frog to play with. It will be ok." I was so relieved that he was once again my happy Ben.

"Oh how nice Ben! I bet a frog will come out this evening when it cools down outside."
"Yeah probably."
"And your frog is probably with Jesus just like your teacher said. "

It was at that instant that a huge panic came over his face.


It was all I could do to not laugh. Thankfully I convinced him that Jesus probably had a pocket to keep his frog safe and that it really would be ok.

That evening a frog arrived for Ben to play looked a lot like the last frog he had. Ben still loves the chickens. And I am so thankful that my little boy's prayers are important enough that the guy upstairs will answer them and bring my little Ben the peace he needs.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Chicken Whisperer

Meet the newest inhabitants to our little plot of land... YES it CHICKENS!!

Or as Mark calls them "Chee-eeens!!"

Some friends of Cory were unable to have their chickens any more, and so we happily adopted them. We also purchased a few from a friend who had raised them from egg.

It was quite a challenge to get the chickens here, and their coop, but it has been very worth it. The boys have had some great learning experiences with them. It took us about a month to get the chicken coop (yes that is my old garden!! glad its getting some use!) how we wanted it to be. First the sides weren't to high and the chickens kept flying over it....which is NOT helpful in keeping the neighborhood dogs OUT of our yard. So we made the walls higher and then added a wire roof. The boys are also in charge of cleaning the coop. It could be their new favorite job!!..ok maybe not.

The boys LOVE getting the eggs. Its like an Easter Egg hunt every day!! The nine chickens are producing about 7 eggs a day, and the kids are loving them! We have been known to have scrambled eggs for breakfast AND dinner--ok that only happened when the older boys went backpacking but it was GREAT! Mark and Ben were in egg heaven!

Ben has discovered a special gift with the chickens. He has become their Chicken Whisperer. When he comes out to the coop, he calls the chickens "Come'ere my little chickens!" and then he tells them stories, tells them what good chickens they are, and tells them to lay eggs like a good chicken. He hasn't always been this way, at first he terrified the chickens....and was partially responsible for the death of one chicken. But, alas, he has changed his ways and has started to love the chickens. When ever a dog comes into the yard he is the protector and runs out to tell the dog to "Leave now!"

The chickens love him in return. They follow him around the coop as if he has a special treat for them. Which he does many times of course.

Who knew chickens could bring out Ben's soft side! Yeah Ben!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Backpacking Adventure!

James and his backpack! Yeah James!!

Recently Cory took Luke and James on their first backpacking trip. Last spring at the TJed Forum we listened to Nels Jensen spoke about the power of an outdoor adventure and so we decided to give it a whirl. But I pretty much chickened out on going. Yep..I am a big CHICKEN! I did go camping this year and that was a big step for me. I do love camping, but its been a while since we've gone. Having little kidos in an uncontained amount of area is really intimidating to me. Our house is only 1000 feet--so there is only so many places they can hide. Unlike the wide open spaces of the mountains, there are many many places that they can get to much faster then me! But I digress....

On a brief rest on their way up the mountain.

When Cory was younger, his Dad took him on a backpacking trip in the mountains east of Fillmore. There is a story from Cory's uncle about gold buried in the mountains just east of Fillmore. Legend has it that some Spaniards hid some old gold coins in a cave while they were fleeing from some Englishmen. Because the gold was cursed, when they went back to retrieve it, they couldn't locate it. Later some kids found some gold coins in a cave, they brought a few gold coins to show their parents but when they went back to the cave, they couldn't locate it. (Ok the cursed part is debatable but it sounds like something Uncle Lawrence would say, the story changes a little with time.) In the story, Uncle Lawrence Oliphant went with his two buddies to locate the gold. The three of them went down some shafts they believed to be close to the gold, however the machine that was there to refresh the air malfunctioned and they quickly ran out of air. Two of them were able to get out of the mine -however they do not remember how they got out. They just found themselves at the top of the mine passed out. Their third friend died in the mine and it was days before they were able to retrieve him.

When Cory's dad -Alan took him to locate the same gold. They found some old mines but when they saw the cave they believed to be THE CAVE, Alan ended up twisting his ankle and they were unable to continue. So they were unable to reach the gold also.

Now to me, the mine is sounding like the NOT the best place to hang out.

But off they went!

For three days they backpacked, explored, and camped. They found a nice little campground that I believe would be for horses. It was set up with picnic tables, fire pit, chopped wood, benches, and it was near the river! To fun! They even used the little portable cooking tuna cans that they made a week or so prior to cook their pancakes. Since they used old candles, they said that the pancakes had a distinct flowery smell.

The amazing pocket chair. What more can be said.

Here is James pumping water from the river for drinking. It was a wee amount of

Gotta love MREs!

THE campsite.

With all of the exploring they did not find the mines. Cory thinks they were over a mountain to far. But they hiked some grand mountains and had some spectacular views!
Cory said it best..."We had a great time."