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Uniting the calves

Not sure why the video shows sideways on my phone…πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Was a beautiful morning to move the three youngest calves over to join the others. Always a delight to watch them interact with one another and try out those running legs!πŸ˜†

First one to make the trip was Hank – the baby…who is actually bigger than all his older siblings, lol. His longer coat really makes him look fluffy!πŸ™‚

Next up was Sam…😊

And then, April. She pretty much ran over like she knew what she was doing…☺️

This afternoon’s feeding will be interesting… Probably some chaos will be involved, but normally it doesn’t take too long for them to catch on to the routine.πŸ™ƒπŸ™πŸΌ

2nd calf 2018

Last evening after work was done, showers done, and the 4 of us sat down to watch a movie together, the call comes: Gluey had her calf.πŸ˜‚ Figures, right?πŸ™„ This is always the hard part – had the girls’ been up in Grey Heaven, we would not have known she’d had her calf, so we would have found out in the morning. BUT, once we KNOW a calf’s been born, we just can’t NOT go and check on the situation…especially with a snowstorm on its way annnd Gluey’s past fiascos…😬

So Mike & I got bundled up and headed next door.

Could tell from a distance that the calf was a boy, and that he had just been born. He was still wet, and hadn’t eaten yet. Gluey has had 8 calves for us. This boy makes her count 4 girls and 4 boys.πŸ‘πŸΌ

The snow was just starting to stick, and we had about an hour of daylight left, so we told Gluey she had one hour to prove she knew what to do… If he wasn’t cleaned up when we came back out, we’d bring him inside and milk Gluey so we could feed him ourselves.

Michael randomly chose the name “Phillip” for him when we came back inside to catch some more of the movie. I thought it was kinda weird as I had no idea where that name came from, but it ended up being the perfect name…πŸ˜‰ (This will make more sense in a bit, I promise.πŸ˜‚)

So now it’s an hour later. Yes, Gluey had done relatively well at cleaning him up, they were still alone together, and he was walking around looking like eating was on the agenda. The snow was coming down a little heavier, so it was a really hard decision to let them stay together. But after much consideration and prayer, that’s what we decided to do.πŸ™πŸΌ

Came out extra early this morning to see how things were going. Found “Phillip” up by the round bale feeder with the rest of the mamas.❄️

Mike got a halter on him, but then he decided he didn’t want to walk…πŸ™„

So Mike carried him and led the way into the barn.πŸ’ͺ🏼

He’s MUCH bigger than Patty, so it was a challenge for Mike to carry him as far as he did. These bodies lack the oomph they used to have…πŸ˜¬πŸ™πŸΌ

Next Mike carried “Phillip” upstairs. He was pretty wet from the snow, so I grabbed a towel and dried him off a bit. Began to wonder at this point if he actually HAD eaten…😟

Gluey milked well, and we got plenty for “Phillip’s” morning and afternoon feeding. Got his bottle ready and headed up. NORMALLY, a calf that has been with its mama overnight is not interested in a bottle the first day with us – especially bull calves – they just lay around and pout for a day, but by the next morning they are ready to eat and do fine after that. BUT THIS GUY SUCKED DOWN ONE WHOLE BOTTLE AND A BIT OF ANOTHER. We hardly had to cooerce him at all to take the bottle. All signs to us that perhaps he really had NOT eaten with Gluey.😠

We are VERY encouraged he is doing well now and we rejoice in the resiliency of these animals.❀️ He is not out-of-the-woods yet. We’ll be watching him closely, especially over the next 24 hours. And “Phillip” is now being changed to “FillUp” in my records. Because that’s just the kind of weird-word-girl I am.πŸ™ƒ

Patty continues to flaunt her cuteness to us, visitors, and the cats – especially Junior.😻

Lord, we thank you for the gift of life. For the patience You have with us as we stumble through difficult circumstances. For allowing us to feel Your mercy and grace as we go. Continue to grant us the sustaining strength and divine wisdom we need to navigate through this farming adventure. In Your name, we pray. AMEN

Our count is now 1 boy+1 girl. Lord willing, 5 more to go…πŸ‘πŸΌ

Christmas reflections 2012

What a whirlwind of a season! Started preparing this post weeks ago – and am thankful I’m finally getting it posted! πŸ™‚

Enjoyed a wonderful time of preparation for Christmas, and despite some challenges during the actual week of Christmas, had a great time visiting with family and cherishing T-I-M-E. That would be “time” for building relationships, “time” for leaning on the Lord for strength, “time” for creating memories, “time” for resting, “time” for practicing thanksgiving, and “time” for adoration of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ – the REAL reason for this season. πŸ™‚

I took a lot of pictures as our homemade gifts came into fruition, and hopefully I can get them posted before January is over…

Christmas Eve began with our tiny service in the barn next door. This year we read through the familiar passages in Luke & Matthew, plus some from Genesis & Hebrews. We chose “The Message” translation to read from, and I so loved the sentence from Hebrews 10:14… (regarding Jesus Christ’s SINGLE sacrifice for sins) “It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people.” πŸ™‚ We sang Christmas hymns as the cats harmonized with their purring, lol… It was a simple, but beautiful time of worship. πŸ™‚

A funny story about Christmas morning… one of my gifts to the boys was for them to wake up to the smell of “fresh bread”. Since all our bread is sourdough, and requires a 2-day process to complete it, that meant I had to begin the “end phase” before bed, get up at 3am to separate the dough into loaves, and bake it around 5:30am. Not too big of a deal for the 5:30 part, because that’s about when Mike & I roll out of bed anyway… All worked without a hitch – UNTIL I REMEMBERED I HAD TOLD MIKE’S DAD I WOULD COOK THE SHRIMP HE PURCHASED for the “appetizer brunch” planned at his house for Christmas Day… LESSON LEARNED: the smell of shrimp boiling TRUMPS any fresh-bread smell, lol! Fortunately some friends had made us a lovely scented candle for a gift – it worked well to at least get rid of the “fishy” smell! (Thanks Ben & Brittany!) πŸ™‚


After enjoying Christmas morning here, mid-day next door and then the afternoon/evening up in Cleveland with my side of the family, we looked forward to picking up Mike’s brother & his wife, our 2 nieces + new nephew at the Cleveland Airport at 10:19pm. Well 10:19pm actually turned into 3 something am… It was a very stressful night as we watched a terrible winter storm creeping up from the south & our Nebraska family was stuck in Chicago! Thankfully, they all landed in Cleveland ok and made it back down here around 5am – about four hours before the storm hit!! Praise the Lord… πŸ™‚

So after TWO NIGHTS of sleep deprivation for me, it was quite the challenge to complete the last minute gift wrapping/assembling. Emotions for me were very quick to surface – be it a snappy tongue or tears… Not exactly how I had envisioned that day to be. 😦

My morning devotions were such a blessing during this time – led to lots of journalling that I am slowly adding to my “raw ramble page”… πŸ™‚ It was so wonderful to finally get to meet our nephew, Sawyer! And bless his heart – he was so patient with his Aunt Dawn…after MONTHS of waiting (& whining) about being able to hold him, I didn’t do a thing but PASS OUT when we sat down together, lol…


Fortunately, I caught up on my sleep after that, so I had other opportunities to make up for my heavy eyes… πŸ™‚


It was great to spend time with our nieces, too – always fun watching the boys entertaining their cousins!




Played “bring-every-stuffed-animal-we-have-to-see-Baby-Jesus-in-the manger” over here, at our house…



The winter storm brought over 6 inches of snow, so sled-riding made the agenda…


With some snowballs being thrown, of course! Paul got Uncle Ben pretty good, lol… (Fortunately, his glasses were not broken!) πŸ™‚


Got up to the “big hill”, and Michael & Paul had fun blazing trails.


And this pic hurts my knees just looking at it! Here’s Paul getting a running/jumping start…


And of course, a time outside wouldn’t be complete without Michael on the ground… At his request, he got buried in the snow, lol… πŸ™‚




Another day, more family made the couple hour drive up, so our crew had fun playing with more cousins!


The “younger” ones went sled-riding between our two houses. I took these pics from the comfort of a nice, warm kitchen, lol… πŸ™‚


Funny how little boys naturally gravitate toward a snowball fight! If you squint, you’ll see cousin Joe aiming for Ben… πŸ™‚



Alyssa found time to work on a craft she got as a gift…




Uncle Mike with Sawyer…



Addi & Sawyer both got some cuddle time with Grandma…




Aunt Jenny with Sawyer…



And Michael with Sawyer…





And then the poor guy had to put up with his crazy aunts dressing him up…



Thought this pic was hilarious with his fist up – boys think he looks like Thor, lol! πŸ™‚


Sadly, we were not immune to sickness during the week. It hit Grandma first, then Paul, then Mike… Nothing major, just annoying. They were all pretty tired for a good 4-5 days, and Mike’s seemed to end up as soreness in his back. Again, for us it was more spiritual warfare – an open door for the devil to attempt to steal some joy, and it led me to more “<a href="http://“>journal rambles“…

On January 4th, I was led to 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24 from one of my devotions. It went along perfectly with my reflections of Christmas – where we battled exhaustion, prolonged sickness, irritations, hurting bodies, and even boredom in recovery. It’s fascinating to witness how evil can work on our physical bodies to affect (attempt to affect) our Light! Father, strengthen us to battle these circumstances today – each our own hurdle… As these bodies heal, keep the memories fresh in our minds so we can’t help but to overflow with thanksgiving as we speak of Your amazing love and provisions. Thank You for fresh perspectives and encouraging passages from Your Living Word! Amen.

our “italian sausage” recipe

For every pound of ground beef we add:

1-1/2t sea salt

1t garlic granules (or several minced garlic cloves)

1t coarse black pepper

1/2t fennel seed (or a little more than that…I love fennel seed!)

We mix it in while it’s cooking.Β  That’s it!Β  Super easy, and tastes great! πŸ™‚

Yesterday, we made barley stuffed green peppers – here’re some pics – perhaps I’ll get that recipe up next…