Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Updated Review on Duck Dynasty

I've watched more Duck Dynasty shows and while it continues to be fun, there have been more "adult themes" so I wouldn't recommend it wholesale for children.  The patriarch has strong, good views about sexual fidelity, but he also talks fairly openly about his attraction to his wife.  That is a GOOD thing, that he and his wife are so happy together, but I wouldn't want my 7 year old thinking through some of his remarks.

I am fairly certain they really stage the show, too.  NO WAY can any family, even a family as quirky as the Robertsons, have so many randomly amusing things happen.

There is a lot of sibling rivaly too and while it is kind of funny, again I don't want our kids thinking they should act like the (adult) Robertsons do in indulging their sibling rivalry.

So I would say for an adult, it is probably a fine show.  Young ones, less so.  And keep in mind it is television, not reality.  I am guessing they tell the family members to start down a certain path and then the cameras roll. I doubt that any of the dialogue is scripted, but the crazy happenings are probably staged to some degree.


This is a little random, but...

We're in NAP TRANSITION here.

Sarah was taking one nap a day, in the early afternoon. Daniel was taking 2 naps a day, one in the morning and one in the late afternoon.

Over the last month, I've been transitioning Daniel to one nap, and Sarah to NO nap.

Dropping Daniel's morning nap makes life a lot easier for us in terms of being able to go places and do things.  He will occasionally doze off in the car if we are driving somewhere in the morning, but it is short.  Then he is ready for a good long nap in the early afternoon.  He also goes to bed well at 7:15 p.m. or so because he is tired.

Sarah is napping today, but she misses her nap most days.  When she gets a nap, she is up LATE.  She shares her room with Miriam and Angela and will often keep them awake talking and yelling until 9:30 or 10, which no one likes.  If she misses her nap, she is often really grumpy by 6 p.m. but then goes to sleep easily by 7:30 p.m.

I've always been obsessive about our young children's sleep patterns. I guess it is the engineer coming out in me.  Even as babies, I try to keep them up a fair amount during the day so they sleep better at night. Of course, they DO nap a lot during the day, I just don't let them nap for hours on end during the day when I know they need to eat. 

As toddlers, I don't want them taking late naps because I do not, I DO NOT, want them awake until 11 p.m. or midnight.

My way isn't "the right way" at all.  Parents parent based on temperament. I have to admit it makes me chuckle when I read about toddlers who just fall asleep on random couches and chairs and floors because I'm very diligent about having the kids sleeping in their beds.  But some people are way more laid back and relaxed about sleep times and wake times and meal times.  I love it how differently God makes us all!

This works well for us because I am a very scheduled person. I want some assurance that the kids will go to sleep fairly well at night, and be able to get up a certain time in the mornings.

Now my big kids are a different story in terms of their sleep patterns, but the little ones...I'm the one in control (insert evil cackle...)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Command Civilian Award for Valor

Yesterday Kevin received the Command Civilian Award for Valor.  He and a coworker, G., both received the award for saving the life of a colleague in early June. The colleague had a heart attack, lost consciousness, stopped breathing, and his heart stopped beating!  G. applied CPR and Kevin ran for the AED and used it.  The result was that their coworker's heart started beating and he survived to make it to the hospital. A few days later, he had extensive heart surgery. He is now home, recovering.

Here are G. and Kevin.

Here is the medal of valor.

It was a very moving ceremony.  The large room was packed with people who work in the complex, and a  2 star general presented the award and made a few pertinent remarks.  He praised G. and Kevin for their quick and expert response, and also pointed out that others were to be thanked for providing the training and deciding to set aside funds for the AED devices. 

  Kevin's mother came, as did our older 6 children (and me, obviously.)  We didn't think the 2 littles would necessarily behave :-).  The children found the ceremony interesting, and a couple of them talked to the general afterwards.  He was very kind to them.  Probably the biggest highlight was that the children had to get yellow visitor passes to be in the complex. They thought that was awesome.

 The whole thing was a very neat experience.  Kevin and G. certainly didn't think of awards and ceremonies when they saved their coworker's life.  But it is pleasant to be commended.  And as the general said, this was a good example to others that being prepared for a life threatening emergency is a GOOD thing. Kevin and G. both chose to take training on the off chance they would need it.  By God's grace, they were ready and available when someone's life hung in the balance.  This man's survival literally hinged on minutes, if not seconds.  It really is amazing that he survived and that he is cognitively unimpaired. Praise the Lord!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Houston, We Have a Climber

I know, not the safest position. We are working to teach Daniel not to climb unsafe objects.  I've had 8 kids and I think he is the most enthusiastic climber we've ever had.  I'm praying for the Lord's protection over him...

Here he is, in our library book box.  He got in there entirely by himself...first he climbed up on a stone ledge at the end of the family room, then he climbed into the box.  And he's proud of himself, you can tell!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (Documentary Review) Plus...My Thoughts on Weight

  So this week (while I was feeling sick and therefore sitting more than usual), I watched a documentary entitled "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead".

  The basic premise is that a very overweight guy (with an autoimmune disorder, no less) named Joe (from Australia) came over to the United States for 60 days.  He connected with a physician named Fuhrman, and went on a juice fast for 60 days. So, juice, for 60 days.  Nothing else.  The juice was made by mixing a whole bunch of raw veggies (kale was a big component) and fruits in a blender, and slurping it down. That was it, for 60 days.

Not surprisingly, he lost a lot of weight.  A LOT.  Just under 100 lbs.  He felt a ton better.  His nasty, uncomfortable autoimmune disorder, which is a skin ailment, largely subsided.  He did stay in contact with doctors and had blood tests as he was on a host of prescription meds so needed to be evaluated frequently as he decreased his medication usage.

 The documentary takes "the man on the street" approach as Joe chatted with people in New York City for the first 30 days of the fast, followed by people across the country for the second 30 days.  There was much discussion of weight, health, emotional issues involved with eating, etc.

  I enjoyed the documentary.  It was informative, funny at times, sad in others.

  One particularly enjoyable aspect of the documentary was that the second half focused largely on a truck driver that Joe met on his travels. This guy had the same rare autoimmune disorder and he was over 400 lbs.  He was not wealthy, whereas Joe is a millionaire.  After a call for help, Joe rushed to get this truck driver friend started on the juice fast.  It was a big success, and it was a delight to see a much slimmer, much happier truck driver interacting well with his kids at the end of the documentary.

 Kevin and I had a brief discussion of the film.  I have read Dr. Fuhrman's book "Eat to Live" and... hated it.  I chuckle a bit at that, because Fuhrman uses GOOD data to show that the best diet is one that is composed of raw veggies and that rarely includes meat.  ARRHGHGGHH!  UGGGHHHH!  I renamed his book (in my mind) the "I Hate Meat" book and refused to think about it much more.

  I eat a lot of meat and eggs.  Actually, my diet is based on the suggestions of Dr. Bernstein's "Diabetes Solution"; he advocates a high protein diet for diabetics (and I am diabetic) because protein releases glucose into the bloodstream slowly, and blood sugar swings are a major problem for diabetics.

   So who is right, Fuhrman or Bernstein?  Maybe...both?  My hope is that variations in diet are fine so long as we are wise.  Truth is, humans live all over the place.  Some people, like the Inuit of Alaska, have traditionally had very high protein diets and apparently thrived on them.

  That is the hard thing about dietary advice...so much advice, so many different studies, it is overwhelming!

  As Kevin says, the juice fast thing is something to 'wrap your arms around'.  I liked that description. Both Joe and the truck driver in the documentary were in bad shape. They were heavy and miserable from their autoimmune disease.  They  needed to do something drastic. They did, and it worked out well.

  Other people need to take a moderate approach. Both Joe and the truck driver were able to "drop out of society" for a couple of months!  Most of us have daily responsibilities that won't allow us to just go AWOL.

  Still, I did appreciate the documentary as it was thought provoking.  We live in a culture where obesity is an epidemic. And the obesity epidemic is spreading...Mexico, which is a much poorer country than the USA, has more obese than the US.  That's largely because Mexicans now have fewer physical jobs (more city jobs, fewer country jobs) and empty calorie food is cheaper than healthier fare. 

  It helps me look at our own family and contemplate how best to raise our kids.  We are an interesting case because I'm not a health nut but somehow we're raising thin kids.  We've got 8 children and the eldest is 5 ft. 4 inches tall and 95 lbs.  Now that's skinny. Number 2 has a different body type and is 5 ft. 3 inches and is100 lbs.  Pretty skinny.  Number 3, our first son, is 10 and, get this, 68 lbs!  Skinny, skinny, skinny!

  But the point is that skinny isn't the issue!  We live in a culture that worships skinny!  By those lights I'm doing great as I've had 8 children and am only 132 lbs. I'm 5 ft. 8 inches.  I'm skinny!

 And why?  I would say...largely genetics.  My dad is tall and naturally thin, as is one of my brothers.  We run to lean in the gene code.  I also eat a very limited diet compared to most people because I AM diabetic...so no normal bread, limited potatoes, peas, carrots, and fruit, no pizzas, no doughnuts, no sugary pop.  I am actually 10 lbs lighter than I was when we got married, probably because I do have to eat so carefully. Still, as I said, I run to thin.  Other people would eat what I eat, and gain weight. I must have a fast metabolism.  And honestly, the diabetes is BAD.  I hope I won't have many side effects from it as I'm controlling my blood sugar, but diabetes is a nasty disease.  I am probably not as healthy as many of my age even though I'm thin.

  Kevin has a bigger body build and 4 of the kids seem to have inherited his build.  He's only 165 lbs, 5 ft. 9 inches tall.  He's lost 20 lbs in the last 6 months as he decided to start working out and eat less.  Result, a fairly rapid weight loss and a lot more strength.  The man blew me away a few days ago when he casually announced he had done 200 push ups.  (Um, I could do 1.  Maybe.)

  My point is this -- we focus culturally on how thin we are.  That...is stupid.  And unhealthy.  A person can be thin and very unhealthy.  A person can have a bigger build and yes, some extra weight, and yet be quite healthy.  The LOOKS don't matter nearly as much as the attitudes and the heart.

  So looking over our lives, I'd like to point out some general principles that I think are good.

1.  Don't use food as an emotional tool to feel better.  Lots of people do.  Lots of people eat when they are sad, angry, upset, etc.  That leads to depending on food instead of God. Obviously, that's bad.

2.  Don't go to restaurants a lot.  I think that helps. We don't.  We don't have enough money to take everyone out to eat often.  Of course, people CAN eat out all the time and not have weight/food issues.  But I think it is harder.

3. Focus on health.  Focus on being healthy as opposed to fitting a cultural expectation. 

4.  Try not to eat a bunch of processed foods.  We don't do beautifully at this but we're stepping in the right direction. This summer we're eating much from our garden.  We make most of our food from scratch (which is to say, I don't use Hamburger Helper and that kind of thing, at least not often!)

5.  Remember that we are loved regardless of our weight.  I have friends who are frustrated by their weight.  Yes, I think losing weight when one is too heavy is wise, for the sake of our health.  We are temples of the Holy Spirit. But regardless of how much we weigh, we are loved by God.  Let me put it another way...some people (and I'm one of these people) tend to focus on ONE THING as being a major problem and they are never happy until they "fix" that thing.  But we may never entirely fix a trouble spot.

6.  Realize that what works for one person, may not work for another.  This juice fast thing would drive me around the bend.  Furthermore, I am not sure it would work well for a diabetic.  Having everything blended makes me think it might break down quickly, which would mean soaring blood sugars.  I'm not trying it so we'll never know.  I have a number of friends trying a new way of eating entitled "Trim, Healthy Mama".  You know, it sounds good. But I don't feel led to embark on it.

7.  Pray for wisdom, and trust God to answer.  I keep learning new things about healthy eating. It IS important.  It isn't enough that our children be thin, we want them to be healthy. I'm not there yet, but hope and pray that the Lord will guide us gently towards wide food choices for the rest of our lives.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Crawling Towards Normalcy

Ok, I'm getting better. That's good news.

I really have a hard time with physical limitations.  I want to be a good wife and mom and when I can't even go OUTSIDE without an asthma attack, I get truly frustrated.  It is SUMMER.  There are a million fun things to do and I can't even go outside!

Yesterday I did drive to a nearby town to meet a friend who was kindly giving me some extra clothing for our 2 middle girls.  All I did was drive there in an air conditioned car, help haul some clothing into our car, stop briefly at the library, and drive home.  By the time I got home, I was gasping for air.  Now that sounds dramatic and I wasn't blue or anything, but it was uncomfortable.  And I was annoyed with myself for making the trip, though having the clothing was AWESOME.  Or maybe it is better to say I was annoyed with myself for having grumpy lungs.

Kevin gave me a much needed talking to.  He suggested I have one really good day breathing wise before I go anywhere again.  And today was pretty good. I didn't step outside more than once or 2ce and only for brief moments. I did feel better than yesterday, by quite a bit.  So I'm stepping in the right direction.

Dear Annie Kate, who writes a totally awesome blog at http://anniekateshomeschoolreviews.com/, left me a comment encouraging me to TAKE IT EASILY.  Annie Kate has celiac disease and has spent years getting healthy after being very ill.  So she's walked the talk. 

We live in a culture that really celebrates "no pain no gain", "be tough", "push yourself."  I have pushed myself in the past and I've regretted it. Actually, this illness is probably partially the result of being too busy the first 2 weeks of the family illness. I was dashing around taking care of extra stuff and probably that made me experience more symptoms when I finally did succumb.

So, everyone is healthy but me.  I'm close to Ok.  This Sunday is the annual trek to King's Island, a local amusement park.  I am NOT GOING.  Kevin and his mom are taking the six older kids and the babies and I will have a quiet day at home.

I think I've turned the corner and that is good.  But I'm still going to rest, as hard as that is.  And I'm going to cling to the truth that my husband, and my children, and my Lord and Savior, love me even when I can't do as much as usual.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hot, Humid, and Very Still...

It's the first major heat wave of the summer, which is surprising given that it is mid July already.

Whew, it is hot!  And humid!  And there is no wind.

After an illness that lasted too long, Lydia was finally well enough to go swimming.  I wasn't up to watching all the kids in the pool, but this year the older 3 are allowed to swim in pairs or triples.  Lydia and Isaac decided to go swimming together.

Naomi kindly sprayed the other children in the front yard.  It was SO hot that spray from our cool well was most refreshing.  They loved it.

I'm still not 100%.  I'm better. I'm not coughing much. But when I overexert myself, I have trouble getting enough air.  Sigh.  The air quality probably isn't superb right now.  I am thankful for Kevin's willingness to stay home yesterday, and my big kids' help today, so that I can rest.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

This Week in Pictures

I know this LOOKS bad, but it is actually a step in the right direction. I am organizing our bookshelves by putting a specific author's books together, plus getting all of one kind of book into a specific bookshelf.  I am also (gasp) getting rid of a bunch of books.  I am not much of a hoarder -- except where books are concerned. It is hard for me to part with books.  But reality is, some books just aren't very good.  Some others are Ok, but are readily available from the library. So I'm getting rid of books.  I'll take a picture of all the books I plan to donate at some point, and post it.  Because I'm proud of myself. 

Kevin very kindly bought me a new laptop!  I am SO excited.  He bought me a Netbook a few years ago and it is has served me well, but lately it has been struggling.  It is SO SLOW.  Kevin researched and studied and analyzed and suggested this one, and we bought it yesterday. We are very cautious about buying things like this as of course we need to be careful financially, but we decided this is an appropriate purchase.   Kevin is still working on getting the proper "stuff" loaded but...I love it already.

Our sweet boy is walking!  Not all the time yet, but he is getting more and more confident.  He is also very proud of himself and giggles madly as he walks, which sometimes results in a decrease in concentration. When he does plop down on his plump rump, he usually puts his head on the floor and wails indignantly.  Which is cute.

Lydia has been pretty sick.  She has been coughing badly for more than a week now.  I took her to the pediatrician 2ce last week and now she is on antibiotics.  She says she is improving and I hope she is, poor dear.  I so appreciate how good she is with Sarah.  Sarah just wanted to hang out with her big sister Lydia yesterday, and here Lydia is gladly sharing the chair.

The harvest has begun!  We've got zucchinis, tomatoes, and green beans starting to bear.

Last but not least, the Mighty Has Fallen.  The Mighty being ME.  It has been two full weeks since Miriam succumbed to the current illness and started it all.  I was healthy and I was healthy and I was healthy...and then on Thursday I got sick.  Friday morning I wasn't feeling well at all, and went to the doctor.  She diagnosed bronchitis and put me on antibiotics.  So far I'm really not feeling much better, which is discouraging.  If I don't talk, I don't cough too much.  Coughing is bad because it irritates my already unhappy throat and lungs and then I keep coughing. So I need to NOT TALK. Not trivial with 8 kids, 3 of whom do not read yet.  The youngest doesn't care if Mama talks or not, but Sarah (age 2) in particular struggles with Silent Mama.  We'll manage.  Thankfully, Naomi has stayed strong and healthy and has been carrying a heavier load than usual.  I am very thankful for her skills and helpfulness.  I write notes a lot and thankfully, the worst hit while Kevin is home from work. I hope I am better tomorrow...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

 Daniel is making great strides (literally) in the walking arena.  Here is was pushing around a stroller with help from Isaac.  Yesterday and today, he was toddling back and forth between adoring parents and siblings. He still crawls almost all the time, but I predict that within a month he'll have given up crawling forever.

Yesterday, the power went out for 45 minutes during a massive storm.  We were thankful we weren't out for longer.  Naomi very helpfully pulled out a couple of games.  Mastermind became the big craze for at least a short period of time.  It's a fun game...I won't explain the rules but...its fun.

Here is our bedraggled cat, Sunny. He looks like something the cat dragged in, not a cat himself.  We had a major storm and apparently he was out in it.

  What can I say. They are so stinking cute.

  In less cheery news, I'm feeling sick, finally.  I was hoping to miss it.  I always hope that. The usual pattern is for most of the kids to get sick, and I run around taking care of everyone, and I get optimistic and proud of myself for NOT getting sick, and then I finally get sick.  Sigh.  So this is the bronchial, asthmatic kind of sickness.  I'm praying I get over it quickly.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


You'd think our sweethearts would be better by now, and most of them are.  Lydia, however, has been coughing and hacking and generally not sounding good.  I finally took her into the doctor yesterday and the doc diagnosed a prolonged asthma attack/problem.  So she is on steroids and using her inhaler frequently.  It seems her lungs are inflamed and unhappy, and so it is taking her quite a while to get over this.

All this is annoying, but I had a very sad reality check on Monday evening.  It had been a challenging day as I was tired, had had 2 bad nosebleeds, and needed to run around to 2 doctor's appointments that day which added to me feeling frazzled.  I was reading Facebook at the end of the day and got the devastating news that a friend's grandson died in surgery that day.  He was born with some serious medical problems and was having surgery to begin correcting them.  I don't know the details and I don't need to, but dear Baby C died in surgery.

I was reminded once again how easy it is for me to take basic things for granted, like the health and life of my precious kids.  I really cannot fathom how hard this is for the little one's family.  It was an absolutely necessary surgery so they don't need to question whether he should have had it or not.  But to lose him.  To lose him.  His grandmother is a very gifted photographer and while I never met this little guy in person, the pictures of him melted my heart and made me love him from afar.  So I'm doing a lot of praying for the family.  I know the baby is with the Lord, but those left behind will mourn until they are reunited with him in Heaven.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

This Week

This week...

We've been sick, or at least many of us have.  Miriam came down with a cold type illness almost a week ago. I knew from bitter experience that it would spread and of course, it did.  I THINK 6 of the kids have it now, or are over it. 

Lydia got it the worst, which is a bit odd as she used to be our healthiest.  Poor sweet girl. She lost her voice entirely yesterday and has been coughing quite a bit. She is on the mend.

Until yesterday, we hadn't gone swimming in a week.  For a while there, we were swimming EVERY DAY.  Then it got colder (really quite cool for late June!) and we got sick.  Then the pool got really dirty as Kevin and his main helpers were sick and busy so weren't cleaning it as much as usual.  Mid week, Kevin and the girls did toil away for quite a while and got the pool back into good condition.  But it was still raining a lot!  Finally, yesterday we had a clear spot and the younger 6 went down into the pool area.  The middle 4 swam, Sarah stuck her feet in, and Daniel crawled around and thought about falling in.

  Our kids spent some time playing with Wiki-sticks. Not sure about the spelling on that.  Anyway, they are these sticky, colored lengths of plastic that can be coiled and twisted to make sculptures.  The funny thing is we got them several years ago and the kids got tired of them (which happens) and I lost track of them in our sun room's art storage.  Then I found them, and thought about throwing them away, as I'm in a "throwing away" mood right now.  Fortunately, the kids found them before I threw them away, and promptly showed me they still like them a lot.  Naomi, in fact, asked if I could buy some more :-).

I feel like we've been in survival mode the last few weeks, with Kevin's surgery followed by this illness.  But I have been thinking about the upcoming school year.  I plan to begin a light schedule in early August.  As part of my preparation, I put up an American History timeline in our study.  I know it is a terrible picture...each century is represented by one row.  I tend to obsess about doing things "correctly" and I was getting myself all wound up on how to make the perfect timeline. Finally, I just decided to go ahead and make something.  Yes, homemade and not very classy, but it works.  Each 8 by 11 inch paper represents 10 years.  I'll show close ups some other time.

 There is no particularly good reason for this picture except that Daniel is cute :-).

Sarah is very cute too.  She also continues to be an absolutely adorable, sweet, much loved pain in the neck.  She has been sick, and that just makes her toddler squared!  I mean, really, child!  MUST you get bored in your high chair and dip your hands in milk and smear it in your head?  Must you change your mind about what you want to drink several times?  Must you get angry and hit people with things?  Well, she's a work in progress. We all are.  She just lets it hang out more :-).

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Duck Dynasty, and Other Random Mutterings

I am not much of a TV person, and I am REALLY not much of a "reality TV" person.

But we heard about Duck Dynasty, a reality series about a family of Louisiana millionaires who run a business selling duck calls and other paraphernalia.  After a LONG wait, I got the first DVD disk from the library.

And honestly, it is hysterically funny.  There is no way it is completely unstaged because truly ridiculous things happen, but it is FUN.  Furthermore, while there is some good natured joshing, insulting, and grumbling, the family members obviously love one another. Each episode ends with everyone gathered around the table of the patriarch and matriarch, and the patriarch prays to the Lord thanking him for the day.  The CEO of the corporation then does a voice over talking about the blessing of a good family.

The patriarch is a stitch, a total stitch.  He specializes in down home advice about marriage and family.  One of the earliest scenes has him butchering and cleaning a host of bullfrogs for dinner while he tells his teen grandson what to look for in a marriage partner.  One of the things he says is that you gotta find a woman who can cook, because you can't live on love for 50 years of a marriage. 

I had to laugh at that, because honestly, I couldn't cook well when Kevin and I got married.  I grew up with a mother who cooks amazingly, but for some reason I never learned.  Maybe it was that she was so good that I didn't want to bother.  We joke that I lived on corn and bread during graduate school and actually...that often WAS dinner though I did make chili and spaghetti for lunches. 

When we got married, Kevin did most of the cooking but I started to learn some of the basics.  When we moved down to Ohio after Kevin finished graduate school, I became a stay at home wife (and mother when Naomi was born) so I needed to learn how to cook.   And I did.  I'm quite a good cook now.  It just took awhile.

We are determined to teach our kids how to cook before they leave the house. Naomi and Lydia usually cook one dinner a week.  Below is a vat of chili that Lydia cooked up on Tuesday.  It was very good.

Regarding Duck Dynasty, I think most people would enjoy it so long as they don't take the family members' statements TOO seriously.  They say some ridiculous things in a "this is the gospel truth" tone, and their statements certainly aren't applicable to all people at all times in all places.  Speaking of gospel truth, I do appreciate that the family members are Christians and obviously love one another.  There are a few mildly crude discussions at times (like when they were making a giant duck call for the Guiness Book of World Records and the initial attempts sounded more like passing gas than calling a duck) but all in all it is a very clean show.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Guinea Fowl Visit the Kendig Pullets

  I thought this was a funny interaction between the neighbors' guinea fowl and our young chickens this morning.  Our poor chickens, stuck in the coop. Those lucky guinea fowl, flying free.

  Guinea fowl DO fly, that's the important thing.  Our chickens can't, and the same neighbors who own the guinea fowl also own a chicken killing dog.  This dog is tiny. Cute. Adorable.  I had NO idea she was terror on chickens until the neighbor told me they USED to have 2 chickens of their own, and the dog killed them both.

  So sorry, Chickens.  You need to stay in your safe coop and just chat with the guineas through the fencing.