5th and final calf 2022

Well. Just 2 days ago I was writing about how it seemed like it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r for Nat’s calf to arrive… But today, I get to write about how we were caught completely off-guard with the arrival of Angel’s calf, lol.😳

Yes, we knew it was within a week of its due date. And, yes, we were hoping it would come early…😆 Yet, for some reason, we went unprepared into the field this morning to bring in our dairy girls.🙄🤦🏻‍♀️

Our normal routine is for Mike to head to the milkhouse first thing to get all our supplies to feed Mary Kate and Jake back by our barn. In that process of driving the 4-wheeler next door, he does a quick visual check from a distance to see if there’s a calf. He did that, and “assumed” there wasn’t one since all the cows were laying down and chillin’. [Never taking into consideration it might be possible Angel had her calf after we last checked her yesterday afternoon, so they had all evening/night/early morning to bond, eat, and rest together…😬]

So we did our normal chores at our place, fed Dude in the white barn, and then began our walk to the field to get the milking mamas. We were in a good routine and making good time. AND THEN. As I got closer to where Nat and Angel were, I saw an extra mini-cow laying next to Angel.😲 And of course, we never even thought about grabbing a halter before we headed out.🙈 What are we, rookies??!!🫣 Pretty sure 16 milking seasons disqualifies us from that category, lol, so…👵🏼👴🏼😂

It all happened so fast that Nat was already up before I could even get a picture snapped.📷

No time to go back for a halter now, so Mike & I made the decision to keep walking the crew down to the barn…👍🏼

The good news about it having been born yesterday, is everybody already knew it was there, so the only chaos was between Nat and Angel. Nat is only 2 days out from having her own calf, so this new addition understandably stirred up her mama instincts.😉

It’s a boy! Meet “Colorado.” (Think John Wayne movie: Rio Bravo🤠📽) This is Angel’s first calf for us. [Click here to read about when Angel was born.] We chose to use an Angus bull for Angel because they are known for calving ease…smaller head and body. We figured its coloring would look cool with its mama being all white, and we weren’t disappointed!🐮

Colorado was FULL of energy! He ping ponged between Nat and Angel all the way to the barn.🙂 (You can see Granny and Tilly watching on the other side of the fence.😆)

It was a relief to have everyone in the barn, and that Colorado followed the group so well.☺️

Mike was able to sneak the halter on Colorado without him really realizing what was happening.👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

We put QueenB in charge of watching over Colorado while we went back in the barn.😻 Angel was a trooper for her first milking and we are SO GRATEFUL!❤️

Colorado is NOT a fan of the halter, lol.😂

Adrenaline was still pumping for all of us after our adventure, but Colorado was at a whole different level.😳 He was not about to let me get a good picture of him for this post.😵‍💫

Made it!👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Dude didn’t know what to make of all this excitement, but he seemed happy to meet his new and smaller neighbor.🐮

Miss Tilly had fun escorting the mamas back to pasture…😂 She is sooooo cute!🥰

Soooo – just because Colorado is laying down and looking all calm and composed… DO NOT BE DECEIVED. He went C-R-A-Z-Y when Mike got in the pen to feed him his bottle. I mean, we’ve had timid calves before, but this guy??!! YIKES.😬😳

Picture those cartoons of bulls-striking-their-front-feet-in-the-dust-before-charging-type-crazy.🫣 I was in shock watching Mike absorb Colorado’s charges!😱 He had an idea that might happen given that Colorado has Angus in him, so he knew that these first feedings should be something for him to oversee. (Thank You, Jesus!✝️🙌🏼) If I wouldn’t have been so terrified that he would jump over the gates or hurt Mike, I may have tried to get a video. I don’t ever want to see that again, so I’m kinda glad I didn’t get one.😉

We are prayerful that Colorado will calm down for us as we earn his trust. It was encouraging to see that by the end of the feeding, Mike could reach over and pet him from outside the fence. Sometimes success comes in baby steps.❤️🙏🏼

Final tally: 3 boys and 2 girls.🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮

Now on to the next adventure…11 more days until Paul and Annie’s wedding!!❤️ We should be able to have these calves next door with the others by the weekend, and then we can finish transforming this barn into a wedding venue…🙏🏼👰‍♀️🤵🏻‍♂️

4th calf 2022

Every day for the past week we have thought, “Today is the day Nat is going to have her calf.” And each day we’ve been proven wrong, lol.🙄🙈 Until – TODAY!😆

I’ll back up and fill in how the last week has gone:

Anticipating a new calf soon, last Tuesday we decided to move Mary Kate and Jake next door to our barnyard to free up the calf pens in the milking barn. They were both eating great out of their buckets and ready to graduate to a grassy chunk of space.👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

Jake did NOT like his halter, lol.🤣

But Mary Kate didn’t seem to mind it as much…👍🏼

Took a few minutes to get them started, but then they were off!👍🏼

Mary Kate was quite the poser…🙂

She’s a pretty sweet girl, and is already being spoiled…😉

Jake, on the other hand, was a little cranky, lol…😂

It took a little while, but eventually they became friends.🙂

I’m sure Jake is thinking, “Ugh – sisters,” LOL.😏

They both ate great in their new spot, and are continuing to adjust well to their halter training.👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

Then Heidi kept rubbing on Nat🙄, so we decided maybe we should move Nat into the barnyard so she could have a little more free space. Plan was to do that the next morning…👍🏼

Friday was a dreary, rainy day. That made it even easier to move Nat closer to the barn so we’d all have less mud to wade through IF she had her calf…☔️

Nat kept hanging out at the gate that led into the far side of Eisengard – where Tilly & Granny are, so we decided to put the 3 of them together. Tilly was VERY excited and curious, lol.😆

Nat wasn’t really sure what to think about these new changes… She spent the weekend looking longingly at her friends on the other side of the fence.🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️

Now we’re caught up to this morning. Here’s our audience when we came over to milk. STILL no calf.😬 (Nat’s due date had been Saturday, so now we’re 2 days late.)

A couple hours later, Mike was moving fence and he thought it looked like Nat was starting to push. He came over to check on her, and YEP – 2 feet were visible!💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻

In the couple minutes it took me to climb over the gate and get closer, the calf was born!😲

Nat started right away to clean her calf up.👍🏼

It didn’t take long for Granny and Tilly to come over and introduce themselves, lol…🙃

It’s a boy! Meet, “Dude.” (Think John Wayne movie, Rio Bravo.🤠😂) This is Nat’s 4th calf for us. [Click here to read about when Nat was born.] [Click here to read about the calf she had last year.]

Less than 15 minutes old, and already trying to get up!🙌🏼

We decided to let Nat finish cleaning Dude up, and then come back for him after coffee break.☕️ (Dude was up and standing right after we left the field.👍🏼)

Dude was sound asleep in the warm sunshine when we returned.☀️ And he is pretty big – maybe the biggest one this season? What a blessing that he is so calm and willing to walk with the halter on!👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

He’s also VERY photogenic…📷

Almost there…👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

Made it!!💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻 We milked Nat and got enough colostrum for Dude’s feeding in a few hours.🍼

Now Nat has returned to the pasture with her friends, so she is happy!🥰

Only one final calf left – from Angel. This will be her first one for us.🙏🏼 She is due on the 17th.👍🏼

Tally so far: 2 boys+2 girls and one more to go…🐮🐮🐮🐮

Thank You, Jesus…✝️🙌🏼

3rd calf 2022

Even though this morning was chilly and crisp, the sunshine toward mid-day made it a perfect day to welcome Ruby’s calf.❤️ Uno had been early with Mary Kate by 7 days, but Ruby’s been overdue by 4 days, lol.🤷🏻‍♀️

We noticed yesterday that Ruby was looking close, so we brought her into the barnyard thinking she’d have her calf before the end of the day. WRONG.🤦🏻‍♀️ You can see in the next 3 pics that her tail was doing a lot of twitching, she held it out a bit, and she was doing a lot of turning and licking…all signs that a calf should be appearing soon! Granny & Tilly were just on the other side of the fence…😆

Since there was still no calf this morning when we came over to milk, Mike opened the gate so Ruby could be with Granny & Tilly. He thought maybe she wanted to be able to get out further and be a little more secluded. Ruby went directly to the low area that makes it hard to see her.🙄 And Tilly was SO INTRIGUED!!😂

I had to run to Carrollton for a bit, and on my way back, Mike txted that he thought Ruby was finally getting ready to have her calf! I pulled in by the oil well road and walked toward the middle of Eisengard on the outside of the fence. Tilly spotted me and came to greet me. Then she led me toward Ruby, lol.🥰

I had to really zoom in to see Ruby’s calf…🧐

…but Mike headed out from the barn and was inside the fence for a much better view. He was kind enough to take a pic for me before he checked to see if it was a boy or a girl.👍🏼

It’s a boy!!👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Meet Jake! (Think John Wayne movie – Big Jake.🤠) This is Ruby’s 4th calf for us. <Click here to read about when Ruby was born.> <And click here to read about her calf from last year.> We bred Ruby to a Hereford bull in hopes that she’d have a boy, so we were super excited that this was the case!✝️🙌🏼

Next you’ll see Granny and Tilly practicing their sleuth-like skills as they nudge closer and closer to the action, lol.🤣

We decided to give Ruby some time to get Jake all cleaned up and fed, so Mike and I headed home for coffee break.☕️😍 Then we came back over to make sure everybody was doing ok. Tilly was EXHAUSTED!!😆😴

Jake got right up and was a good sport about his photoshoot.📷

Here he is questioning Granny’s curiosity…🙃

And feeling comforted with his mama’s protection…🙂

Notice Tilly trying to sneak in from behind for an extra meal…🤫🥛

But her mama set her straight, and I think Jake was relieved, lol.👍🏼

We decided to leave Ruby and Jake together for tonight. We’ll separate them tomorrow morning before milking.👍🏼

When I came back over to feed Mary Kate her afternoon feeding, Granny & Ruby had both their babies with them by the water tank. It was another good time to snap a couple more pictures.😏

What a full day! Thank You, Lord, for another calf on the ground.✝️🙌🏼

New tally is 2 girls, and 1 boy. Lord willing, 2 more to go!🙏🏼

2nd calf 2022

Wow. Praise the Lord He had us move our dairy girls out to pasture YESTERDAY!🙌🏼 Because TODAY, Mike found this little one out in the field – all cleaned up and fed.❤️

We kinda thought Uno had some signs yesterday that she was close to calving, BUT her due date wasn’t until 5-1, so we figured we still had a few more days to go… According to OUR calculations, Ruby should have calved before Uno – on Monday (tomorrow). But the Lord had other plans. Uno’s calf has arrived first!👍🏼

Granny and Tilly were content doing their own thing and watching from the sidelines. It was such a beautiful morning!☀️

This is Uno’s 7th calf for us.❤️ [Click here to read about her calf from last year.] [Click here to read about when Uno was born here.]

It’s a girl!❤️ We AI’d our herd again last year, and chose to use milking shorthorn semen for Uno. She has been a good milker for us, so we were prayerful she’d have a girl… Lord willing, she will be one of our future dairy girls. HOORAY!💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻

Meet “Mary Kate.” (Think John Wayne movie – The Quiet Man)🤠 She was very laid back and calm for Mike to get the halter on her.👍🏼

Uno wasn’t very helpful in walking her calf down. She stayed in the back while others crowded around Mike and Mary Kate.😬

Eventually, we got Uno where we wanted her, and the 4 of us continued toward the barn. You can see Granny and Tilly up ahead in the barnyard…🐮

Once we got inside the barnyard, Mike got Uno into the barn and I waited with Mary Kate. She had a full tummy, so was content to rest and take in the scenery. When Mike returned, we got her into the barn.👍🏼

After milking Uno, she was quite happy to join her friends out in the field. The morning was perfect to welcome in our second calf of the season, and we were still able to make it to Sunday School and Church.✝️🙌🏼

3 more to arrive. Tally so far: 2 girls, 0 boys.🐮🐮🙏🏼

Robin rescue, cows on pasture, and a rock wall

What a fun week! Figured it would be a good time to post some updates before the last 4 calves arrive.🐮🐮🐮🐮

I got to help Mike rescue a robin earlier this week!😮 I know – shocking, coming from this scaredy-cat farmerchick, lol.🙈 [Click here to read about Mike’s hawk rescue back in 2011.]

So I had been hearing commotion in the bushes in front of our house, but just assumed it was normal nest-building sounds…😳

As I folded my 3rd load of laundry and STILL heard a ruckus, I decided to stand on the couch and look out the window… A robin had some string caught around its foot and a branch. Ugh.😨🤨

Here it is hanging upside down on the branch…🤦🏻‍♀️

I called Mike and he came home from down the road to get it out. He cut the branch, but couldn’t untie the string while holding it…which meant I’d have to assist…😬😳

The string was SO tight, that I actually had to use my sewing seam ripper to strategically snip it off in sections…🥴🧐

Thank You, Lord, for a tendered-hearted, fearless, farmer-husband who knows how to gently encourage his wife who’s terrified of flapping wings to disengage knotted strings without cutting the bird’s tiny leg…😅✝️🙌🏼

The robin flew away just fine once Mike released it.💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻

This morning was our window to move the dairy girls out of Mordor and into Rohan. They couldn’t have cooperated any better!👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

They saw us coming and were waiting at the gate.👍🏼

We wanted the 4 dairy mamas and the 2 heifers that we’ll be breeding in July to be in this group. I had to go in and encourage Ruby to hurry up and join the group.🙄

The beef herd will have to wait until tomorrow or Monday before getting out to grazing. They’ll enjoy that for sure, and we definitely appreciated that they didn’t cause any drama during today’s move for the dairy group.❤️🙌🏼

Here are the dairy girls walking to their pasture.🌾

You may notice a new structure up ahead… It’s from the boys’ old treehouse. The tree was taken down this spring, so we decided to use the steps as a way to go over the fence where there’s no close gate. (An idea we’ve talked about implementing for YEARS!) This will be a wonderful addition… A shortcut/timesaver, a fun place for watching sunsets, aaaand a good lookout to spot those pesky groundhogs, lol…🔫😉

Made it!👍🏼

If you zoom in on this next one, you can faintly see Granny & Tilly down in Eisengard. We’re going to keep them separate from this group of 6 for now. Putting all 8 of them together would most likely include a lot of pushing and shoving as they re-introduce themselves to Granny…and who knows what they’d think of Tilly, lol.😬 We don’t want to chance any of them going through the single wired fence around that area in Rohan. So for now, they can all see one another, but they’re in separate areas.👍🏼

And lastly – Mike had some helpers today to build a sandstone wall by the silo. Preparing for a small wedding here next month for Paul and Annie.😍🤵🏻‍♂️👰‍♀️

Stay tuned – calves should be arriving soon!🙏🏼

A+ for Granny

Just continuing on from yesterday’s post about Tilly’s arrival… Mike and I headed over to the barn before church to see how Granny was doing with her new calf. We were delighted to see Tilly all dry and fluffy, and with a full tummy, too!💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻

Granny scored an A+ with us! She is taking good care of Tilly, so they’ll stay together for now. We decided to wait to let them out into the barnyard until after we got back from church.👍🏼

They were both ready for some sunshine when we got back!☀️

And some pics of them outside to finish off the post. Of course Tilly went under the single wire electric fence as they tried to avoid my picture taking, lol, but Mike was able move the wire up higher and direct her back.🤦🏻‍♀️ 😆

An early first calf 2022

In typical Roberts’ fashion – here it is – a blustery, cold, February evening – and we’re welcoming our first calf of 2022, lol.❄️💨🥶

This is Granny’s first calf for us. We purchased her last summer from friends, and she’d been bred to calve the end of February. Mike noticed she was starting to bag up last week, so he began preparing the runway to bring her down from Mordor and into the barnyard. We wanted to have her closer to the barn so we could keep an eye on her just in case there were issues.🙏🏼

Our window to move her came on the 11th. Mike was able to clear enough snow and break up enough of the ice so that we could walk her down to the barn without issue. Thank You, Jesus!✝️🙌🏼

This was the perfect time to make some upgrades to the milking area… A series of panels and a gate have been added so we can section off the stanchions we don’t normally use. Since our herd is small, this will be helpful to create other options of space, and keep our girls where we want them when they come in for milking. The gate will be WONDERFUL to use for these aging farmers, as before we had to straddle over a waist high board to get into that area.🥴👴🏼👵🏼

We made a section where we’ve been feeding Granny her hay and she can bed down if she wants. She can also go out into the barnyard, too.👍🏼

Mike went over this evening to check on her, and there she was with her new calf! A girl!!💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻

We were trying to think of names that would go with “cold.” Paul suggested “Tilly” (think Tillamook Ice Cream😂) and we loved the idea – WELCOME, TILLY!!❤️❄️🐮

Granny had a good start on cleaning her up, and Mike thought it looked like Tilly had started to eat. So he closed them up in the barn for tonight and we’ll check on them in the morning. Our plan is to let Granny take care of her for now so that we don’t have to start daily milking yet. Our other mamas aren’t due until the end of April… We’ll watch and see what the Lord’s plan is for us.🙏🏼

Lord, we thank You and praise You for this new addition to our farm. What a fun way to add some warmth to this cold season! We thank You for the gift of being able to work alongside one another and enjoy the growth and harvest that comes from this farm. It isn’t always easy, and we are in awe of how You teach us through this process. We cling to You for guidance as we navigate this next season. Grant us the Wisdom we need to make the necessary decisions moving forward. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen✝️

Ruby, Uno, Nat, and Angel are the mamas due to calve starting the end of April. If you click on their names, you can read about their calves from last year. (Except Angel’s will take you to when she was born – Lord willing, 2022 will be her first calf for us.😉🙏🏼)

25 years ago today…

…Mike & I stood in a church and pledged our love to one another even though we had no idea what that meant. The Lord allowed us to begin life as husband and wife, and add two sons just a few years later. For the first thirteen years, we tried to live life in our own strength, but in His mercy and grace, the Lord removed the veil from our eyes so we could see ourselves for who we truly were – two sinners in desperate need of a Savior. He rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son whom He loves – Jesus Christ, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He qualified us to join in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of Light. And we will forever be grateful.✝️❤️

Our journey has not been smooth, but it has been sure. Each detail along the way has had a purpose. And each purpose has been for God’s glory and our good. Watching how the Lord has used life’s events to also draw our sons to Himself has been another gift that we will forever be grateful for.✝️❤️

And now, just two Sundays ago, we watched our son become a husband to Jennah, and we have gained a daughter. It was a beautiful, God-honoring day, and our hearts are full. Thank You, Jesus.🙏🏼

Just a few pictures that got captured on phones…💕

A surprise dance for our 25th anniversary…

10-25-21 UPDATE: And here are a few more pics from their photographer that we can add to this post.❤️

5th and final calf 2021

We wondered if Sarge might have her calf this morning… She’s been looking “close” for a couple days now. Her due date wasn’t until 6-5…

We had friends over for a cookout today, and when we went on a walk, I noticed Sarge was off by herself and was leaking milk. Sure enough – a couple hours later, Mike’s mom went on a walk, and there was her calf!🇺🇸🐮

Notice that Gluey never misses a photobomb opportunity, lol.🙄
Poor Sarge. She had Gluey and Nat being pretty nosey with her baby.🤦🏻‍♀️

This is Sarge’s 6th calf for us. <Click here to read about when Sarge was born.> How fitting that Sarge had her calf on Memorial Day!🇺🇸 And <click here to read about the calf she had last year.>

Mike & I went down to get the halter and open up the fences for the walk to the barn.🐮

It was fun to have so many spectators here for this big day!🐮
It’s a girl!!💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻

We decided to end our calving season the way we started it – by naming her after a special friend. Our first calf this year was named after our friend Gary, and today we named our calf after our friend Tara.☺️ Tara and her family were our spectators today. Her daughter, Jennah, will be marrying Michael this fall.❤️

Sarge was AI’d to “Bender,” a milking shorthorn. What a blessing that the two cows we purposely bred to a dairy bull both had heifers for us! Another gift from the Lord.✝️ (We weren’t able to find a picture of Bender to include in this post.) Time will tell if Mattie and Tara will be future dairy girls for us.🙏🏼

Here is Sarge encouraging Tara to follow her…
But it was a long walk for a tiny girl, so Mike carried her for a bit.😉
Poor Mike had these hovering mamas all over him, lol!😂
Jennah took this cute pic with Nat (Tara’s big sister) bawling in the background, LOL.😆
Michael carried Tara the rest of the way to the barn to give his dad a break.👴🏼
Mike milked Sarge just enough to make a bottle for Tara.🍼
And Tara did a great job of guzzling down her first bottle.👍🏼
And here is Tara petting Tara.☺️

What a blessing today was! A delightful time of food and fellowship with special family, and the ending of our calving season with another healthy miracle. Our hearts are overflowing with thanksgiving, and we move forward seeking Wisdom from our heavenly Father as we all transition into new seasons.✝️😇🙏🏼

Final tally 2021: 3 boys and 2 girls.🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮

Here is our future new daughter, Jennah, with Michael.❤️❤️

Father, thank you for all the men and women who sacrificed their lives to protect our freedoms.🇺🇸✝️🙏🏼

4th calf 2021

Saw some extra activity with our dairy girls this morning… Figured Gluey may have had her calf, and we were right! Hooray – calf #4 came unassisted on a beautiful morning. Thank You, Lord…😇

It’s a good thing we disconnected the wire before we headed up!

This is Gluey’s 11th calf for us. <Click here to read about her calf from last year.>

It’s a boy!🎉 Keeping with our John Wayne/True Grit theme, his name is La Boeuf…(pronounced La-Beef, lol😂)

Gluey was bred to “Gauge” – a beef shorthorn. (Gary and Rooster have the same dad.)

Gluey did a great job of cleaning him up, and it was a perfect morning to welcome a new calf.🐮
La Boeuf did a great job and walked all the way down to the barn.👍🏼
All that adventure made for a hungry calf this afternoon.🥛😍

Only one more calf to go…

Current tally is 3 boys and 1 girl.❤️❤️❤️❤️