Monthly Archives: March 2016

6th calf 2016

Banana had her second calf for us this morning. It’s a girl!!! {Click here to read about her calf last year.} Michael named her Harriet.โค๏ธ (Her dad’s name is Harry, lol…) 

Michael got a halter on Banana, too, so he was able to lead her out of Mordor a little easier than it would have been otherwise. (She’s kinda stubborn, but she cooperates pretty well for Michael.๐Ÿ˜‰) Harriet followed well and made it the whole way down.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ  

To see some old posts featuring Banana over the years, click here and here and here.

The other nosey mamas waiting to see who is joining their group, lol…๐Ÿฎ 

Natasha welcoming Harriet…๐Ÿค—  

Today is a little bittersweet. Banana has been special to Michael, and he’s spent a lot of time showering her with extra attention over the past 4 years. He really wanted her to make the cut and remain one of our dairy girls, but that’s just not gonna happen. Last year, her rumen stopped working and we needed the emergency vet out to help her. Her appetite recovered, but we couldn’t use her milk for our dairy, and we actually dried her up in July. We decided to give her another chance for 2016, but it appears she is the same… Rats.๐Ÿ˜• Culling a cow from your herd that you are emotionally attached to can be hard, and I’m grateful for the time we’ve all had to prepare for this possibility. It’s just how farming goes sometimes. We are thankful for everything she has taught us, the wonderful memories of watching Michael take care of her, and for the two calves she’s had for us.โค๏ธ

Lord, use this experience to grow each one of us closer to You… Amen๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

5th calf 2016

Mike and the boys were greeted by Sarge and her first calf this morning! She had a girl… Her name is Natasha (think: Avengers/Black Widow๐Ÿ˜‰). 

You never know how it will go with first time mamas, so we are grateful all went smoothly for Sarge! {Click here to read about when Sarge was born.} And some more fun trivia to make your head spin: Cookie is Sarge’s mom, so that makes Natasha, Babra’s neice…๐Ÿฎ

We were glad the boys were here to help walk them down to the barn… Sarge was a little apprehensive about this new routine, but she did pretty good.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Natasha had to wait for a bit while her mama got a drink…๐Ÿ˜  


Natasha also had to wait for us to move Babra, Peggy, and Clark next door before she could have her own private pen. 

Babra and Peggy went in round 1…  

And Clark “flew solo” in round 2…

And my favorite pics – RUNNING!!!โค๏ธ  

So now it’s just Hope and Natasha in the barn. They’ll be ready to trek next door in a couple days.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ  

What a good feeling to be halfway done with calving for this season!! Count is now 4 girls, 1 boy.๐Ÿ˜Š

4th calf 2016

What a beautiful morning here!โ˜€๏ธ  

Mike and I started the morning out blazing a trail through the briars to get to our cross. It was a beautiful morning of prayer together on this Resurrection Sunday.โค๏ธ

Next, we headed over to check on the girls, and spotted some extra little legs…  

PeaPod had a girl! We named her: Hope.โค๏ธโœ {Click here to read PeaPod’s post from last year.} 

I had forgotten that we’ve had calves on Easter before… If you’d like to read about them, click here and here and here.

They walked over to the hay we brought.  

And then we prepared for the walk down to the barn.

These two weren’t as smooth as the last three sets were. Ended up giving Hope a ride down the rest of the way while her mama sauntered down at her own pace.๐Ÿฎ

Used some hay bales to close up a temporary pen for Hope…
…and then she promptly did a jailbreak right through it, lol!๐Ÿ™„ So Mike had to take a few extra minutes to build something a little more durable.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ  

And then reinforced it with the bales…

Couldn’t resist sharing this pic of Blake introducing himself to Hope.๐Ÿ˜

We weren’t able to make it to our church service this morning, so the four of us headed back up to the cross together. Paul picked us some daffodils, and off we went. Mike read Luke 24, and we shared/prayed together. It was nice to kinda reenact the Easter sunrise service we used to have…โœ

Tally now is 3 girls, 1 boy.๐Ÿ˜Ž

Thank You, Lord, for HOPE!โค๏ธ

3rd calf 2016

This morning we found this little guy with his mama, Tangerine. His name is Clark. (As in “Clark Kent”/Superman, in honor of Batman vs. Superman movie that is debuting today…๐Ÿ˜‰) {Click here to read about Tangerine’s calf last year.}  

Boys had another early baseball day, so Mike and I were on our own again. Somewhere in this group of girls is Clark… Can you see him?๐Ÿ˜  

Thankfully, there were no hiccups getting them out of Mordor…  

…until Tangerine saw the barn with Cookie and Gluey! She decided to SPRINT down the hill…ugh! So yeah – “faster than a speeding bullet” took on a whole new meaning to Mike and I as we did the best we could in our 43-year-old bodies to keep up with Clark’s full trot, lol… (Could have done without that part.๐Ÿ˜ฌ) 

It’s tricky to not drop your phone at this point… Can you see Tangerine’s udder swinging side-to-side??๐Ÿ˜‚  


Clark’s sisters are introducing themselves…๐Ÿ˜  

The count is now: 2 girls, 1 boy.โค๏ธ

2nd calf 2016 plus some answered prayer

Gluey had her calf waiting to meet us yesterday morning – a girl! {click here for see her post from last year} Boys named her Peggy. (first name of Agent Carter in Captain America movie๐Ÿ˜)

Gluey tried to “hide” Peggy behind some briars, lol…
And she was a wee bit stubborn and spunky…๐Ÿ˜

But (thankfully) it wasn’t too difficult to get them out of Mordor and they made the trek to the barn just fine. The boys had a scrimmage that morning, so it was just me & Mike. Hence, only a few pics…


Mike had to clean her up a little. She pooped on the way down and her tail rubbed it all over, lol.๐Ÿ™„


See Cookie laying there? Here’s where the answered prayer comes in… Friday I prayed the Lord would give us the wisdom we need for each scenario. Well, yesterday morning, Cookie couldn’t stand up.๐Ÿ™ She tried, but was super woggle-ey… That’s not “normal”, so before we went up to bring down Gluey+calf, we made the decision to place an emergency call to our vet’s office in Sugarcreek.

Dr. Lauren arrived not long after we brought Gluey & her calf down to the barn. We’d never met her before, as is often the case with emergency calls. Her diagnosis was that Cookie had milk fever…that basically she hadn’t been able to eat enough to compensate for the transition into her large volume of milk production. So she gave her an IV of vitamins and calcium. She said in textbook cases, the cows are able to get up within an hour, and we are happy to report that Cookie fit into that category!!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ 

What a difficult period this was for us as we began to analyze everything we had done the day before… Did we cause this to happen? Did we milk too much out of Cookie yesterday? Would it have been better to leave her calf with her that night…we’ve done that before, so why didn’t we this time? The attacks were relentless, but Dr. Lauren’s kind words and the faithful prayers of our friends were very reassuring and encouraging.โค๏ธ

Cookie is almost 7, and has had 6 calves for us so far. Not sure why this time was problematic for her, but sometimes that’s just how things go. Cookie has always been “more milk than meat”, lol. Seems like everything she eats just goes to her udder! It’s just how she was created.๐Ÿ˜‰ We understand that at some point she will be done milking for us, but we are grateful that it appears (for now, at least) she’s still hanging in there.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

So the answered prayer? At first I was thinking it was the fact that Cookie was able to get up…but then that would mean that if she hadn’t, it wasn’t an answered prayer. So no – I think the answered prayer was the Lord giving us the wisdom to call the vet for this one. Because here’s some behind-the-scenes truth about farming that isn’t talked about very often: there are times when the decision is made to not make that call, and the animal is put down. It’s hard, and can be ugly, but it is a part of farm-life. It’s usually a somber time, but it’s also a time where we give thanks for the life of that animal. That we had the privilege of being able to care for it while we had it, and that He used it to provide for us in some form or another. Farming is an amazing opportunity to see life and death simultaneously…both are miracles and full of many lessons.โค๏ธ

Ideally, we only have the vet here once a year in the fall, to pregnancy check our herd. And most of the 9 seasons we’ve been milking have been this way. We like that. But that isn’t always the case, which is hard for several reasons…we might learn we’ve done something wrong and get corrected, we might have to defend why we farm the way we farm, and then there is the whole financial burden…๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Yesterday, we really felt it was worth making that call and investing in the emergency trip for some extra help and expertise. Sometimes the Lord uses other people’s gifts and abilities to work His healing through. That’s what happened for Cookie yesterday, and we are grateful!๐Ÿ˜

Ok Lord, again we end in prayers of thanksgiving and awe of how You work. Thank you for being our strength each day and for allowing us to see so many of Your miracles here. We unite with the Psalmist and ask that You continue to show us Your ways and teach us Your paths, guide us in Your Truth and teach us, for You are God our Savior and our hope is in You all day long. Amen

1st calf 2016

It’s that time of year again: babies and baseball, lol.๐Ÿฎโšพ๏ธ
This morning OreoCookie started our milking season out with a beautiful heifer calf. {Click here to see her calf from last year.} Here is the pic Mike txted me after he entered the field this morning:

The boys have named her Barbara.

[This year there is no theme – they just want to name them as they come. Apparently “Barbara” comes from a character from the 1970 movie: Kelly’s Heroes. They will be calling her Babra (which I guess only makes sense if you’ve seen the movie.) Whatever.๐Ÿ™„ I just want her to have a name…๐Ÿ˜‰]

Boys and I got the gates ready, found the halter, and up we all headed to bring them down to the barn.

This pic is kinda cool. The heifer closest to me is actually Barbara’s big sister: Coco. {click here to see the post when she was born in 2014}

Cookie knew the routine and led Barbara all the way down to the barn. It was a great way to start this calving season!

Mama and calf parted at the barn.

And with that, our 2016 calves have officially begun to arrive. Lord willing, 9 more should be here over the next 8 weeks.โค๏ธ

Lord, thank You for today’s calf. She is beautiful, and we are grateful. We lift up the rest of the mamas as they prepare to have their calves. Grant us the wisdom we need to assess each case, and prepare our hands to help when needed. May we honor You in all we do. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen