Henrietta: Almost 5

It’s been a long while since I’ve written an update on our blog cow, Henrietta. She will be five years old next month, and it’s high time for some details. 

Henrietta still lives here on our dairy farm, gets milked three times a day, and enjoys eating, sleeping, and lounging with her pals.  

Aren’t they a fun crew?

You may remember her last calf was a bull born in November. She currently lives in pen number four, but she’ll only be staying there until about the first of the year. At that point she will ‘dry up’ or quit giving milk in preparation for giving birth. She is expecting her fourth calf in February. 

Her two daughters are also both milking cows in the herd. 

Sophia, or 4056, had her second bull calf at the end of July. She’s a great milk cow and has never had any health problems or challenges out of the ordinary. She was not, however, terribly cooperative about having her photo taken. She’s eating below on the right. 


Lucille, unfortunately, is the opposite. She is two years old and she had her first calf in June. Her calving was truly one of the most difficult births I have ever seen. The baby didn’t survive, and Lucy barely made it herself. She will not have any more calves. 

The bright side for her is she has recovered pretty well over the summer. She’s an average milk cow and has settled into the routine of the barn. She still lives in a smaller pen with a group of other special needs cows, and she is getting less timid and more assertive at the feed bunk.

While Etta’s two daughters are a rather extreme example, they show the up and down of dairy farm life. You will have many healthy, happy cows and lots of good days, but you also have sick animals, challenging days, and cows or calves you can’t save. Life and health can so quickly turn to sickness and death, and it’s a hard reality to learn and re-learn on a farm. Still, that reality is true in our human lives too. We fight and grieve our way through loss to hopefully emerge stronger, and with the grace of God we will. 

Let’s end on a more cheerful note, shall we? Nearly five years ago I first picked out our blog calf.


Posted in Cows, Henrietta (Etta for short!) | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

County Fair Time

Our local county fair was going on last week, and we knew the little farmer just had to visit his first fair. He loves to look and watch things in new places, and we also decided it was a necessary prelude before his all-important first trip to the state fair.

Yes, he will definitely be going to the state fair, and no, we don’t have the day or the logistics planned yet.

We really had too many things to do at home to be carting off to the fair, but we went anyway. Do you ever do that — take off for something fun when you have dozens of other things you should be doing? Spoiler: we caught up over the next few days and it was totally worth it. :-) 

My former childless self sometimes used to look with pity at parents toting their babies around the fair, especially in the heat when it looked challenging, hot, and possibly miserable. I now realize how wrong I was. (Not about hot weather being miserable though!)

No, now I understand that with extra stuff to haul and a stroller to push the trade offs of baby smiles and quizzical looks of wonder more than balance things out. Not only can I not imagine leaving my baby behind, but I see how fun it is to experience the movement, the noises, and the joy of the fair by watching his reactions. This kid is pretty cool.

In the barns we think he was most interested in the pigs. And terrified of the chickens! We didn’t take as many pictures in the dairy barn because he gets to see cows at home, but I could not resist a pretty group of Brown Swiss.


The prelude was successful, and in less than one month it will be state fair time!  

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Child of God

God generously gave us this little chubby-legged miracle, and several weeks ago it was time to give him back. Give him back through the water and the word of baptism. Fortunately we still get to keep being his earthly parents! 

Of course JR and I bit off more than we could chew with our to-do list, and somehow it seemed wise to use baptism celebration as an excuse to check long overdue house projects off the list. 

I’ll just say two brief things. 1) Tiling a small bathroom still takes a long time. 2) It’s not good when overnight houseguests show up and you are still working on installing your new toilet. I thank Linda and Jim for their understanding. 

We did survive, the bathroom got finished, and we had a lovely church service. We also enjoyed grilled burgers, salads, beans, fruit, cake, beer, etc at our home in the afternoon. 

Little man wore JR’s baptism suit, vintage 1984, and even though he couldn’t wear the bonnet during baptism it may have been my favorite part. He was totally a serious baby for his close ups.

Because I promised baptism pictures in my last post I’ll go ahead and over share them in just a minute. First, I’ve got to say this.

My heart was so full on baptism day and it continues to be. God’s grace is so, so good. I know not everyone chooses infant baptism, but to me it is beautifully symbolic of how we all receive grace. We don’t deserve it, we don’t fully understand it, and we may question it. Being saved by grace through faith is still very real. There’s nothing we or he can ever do to earn God’s grace, and so we chose to baptize him early in life because Jesus calls us to baptize. It plants the first seed of faith in our little man’s life, and we as parents will nurture that faith through God’s grace. 



Posted in Being a Mom, Family Fun | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Baby’s First Race

The town I grew up in has a 5K and 10K race every year over Fourth of July weekend, and I’d been eyeing it for awhile as Griffin’s first race. He loves riding in the Bob stroller and the miles are good for both of us. As long as the weather wasn’t stormy or unbearably hot we would go for it.
My running still hasn’t exactly been consistent, but I knew I could muddle my way through 3 miles. (Yes, definitely taking the 5K option this year!)
I stayed with my parents the night before and one of my sisters drove me to the start so I wouldn’t have to wrestle a car seat and Bob stroller on the bus. Point to point course.

It was a beautiful low humidity morning, though the sun warmed things up enough that I was still a sweaty mess by the end. G slept most of it and opened his eyes at me for only a few minutes in the middle. 

The only downside was the course is mostly on a bike path. I started in the back to be polite, but it was really narrow to weave through all the walkers for the first mile. My main goal was just to run a consistent pace and keep my baby happy, but I secretly hoped to be under 30 minutes. It wasn’t chip timed, so that didn’t help my cause. The race wasn’t huge though with only about 150 people.

I tried not to look at time too much, but I was happy with a 9:09 first mile. Final official time was 28:17, so I’m in a little better shape than I thought. And I was first place woman with stroller; if that would have been a category. 

My sister walked the 5K with her son, husband, and baby on the way. I think they were the true winners on Saturday!

Here’s some more scenes of all the fun.🙂

This week we are in major project mode at our house, we’re working away on the farm, and we are trying to get ready for baptism on Sunday. I’ve already wondered several times if I’ll survive the week, and the fact that we’ve just torn apart our upstairs bathroom doesn’t help.😉 I know we will survive though, and I’m looking forward to celebrating the gift of baptism. I’ll check in with you next week with more photos! 


Posted in Being a Mom, Family Fun, Running, This and That | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Pictures and a Winner!

It’s been a busy stretch at the farm and at home, so I appogize for not announcing the cow socks winner sooner. I’m sure you’ve all been on the edge of your seats.😉

I use random.org to select a winner, and the lucky one is comment number 4 from Jill W. Watch your email for a note from me, and I will get your information. Thanks to everyone who participated! 

With that I’ve just got a few photos for you. 

Who doesn’t like a good baby and mom photo?? 

While doing a ton of yard work this weekend I started hacking apart an overgrown arborvitae near our porch. Or rather, growing into our porch. As I pulled back a branch I saw this beautiful little nest. I quit cutting and left the rest intact. I hope these little robins hatch soon, and once they move out I can go back to my tree trimming!

Just for good measure, here’s our little man who seems to grow taller every single day! 

Posted in Baby Calf Care, Being a Mom, Cows, This and That | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment