Saturday, January 30, 2016

Baby Calf Names of 2015

I had a lot of fun putting together our Baby Calf Names of 2014, so I decided to do it again this year. We returned to tradition this year and gave all of the baby girls names that start with the same letter as their mothers' names.

Some of the names were decided on pretty easily; Monika named several after her classmates. Other names took a little research and some polling.


Glen wanted Georgia's calf to have a southern name, so we did a little Googling and found Glynn, which is the name of a county in Georgia.

Galangal was a name suggested by a reader after I asked for suggestions for Garam Masala's calf. Garam's mother was Garlic and her grandmother was Galena. We named Galena after Penzeys Galena Street Chicken & Rib Rub; she was born at the same time as a whole group of spice girls: Vanilla, Basil, and Ginger. Galangal is the name of a spice in the ginger family. One of the other suggested names – Ghee – was given to Garlic's calf. I jotted the rest of the suggestions down for future use.

Here are all of the names we picked for our baby calves in 2015, followed by the calf's mother's name.



Gemma – Gem



Gambler – Gypsie
Windy – Whisper
Maggie – Marble
Madison – Mahina
Gina – Ginn



Stephanie – Star
Macadamia – Mango
Popcorn – Pumilum
Mary – Midori
Lanky – Lana
Mac – Morgan
Melody – Mellow
Cheeky – Char
Thorn – Thistle
Gaga – Geisha


Ice Cream
Ice Cream

Donut – Donah
Whorl – Wink
Galangal – Garam
IceCream – Icicle
Jelly – Java


Ghee with Garlic
Ghee with Garlic

Dolphin – Dove
Stella – Stormy
Junie – Julep
Ghee – Garlic
Sissy – Shine


Ulyana – Ursa
Glossy – Goose
Iris – Ivy
Ghost – Golly
Noah – Noelle



Beatrice – Beauty
Glynn – Georgia
Astrid – Aloha!


Delta with Dawn
Delta with Dawn

Minne – Marge
Mistelle – Moscato
Delta – Dawn
Lauren – Lass



Wisp – Wilma
Whistle – Wilma
Dynasty – Divine
Janet – Judy



Cherry – Cherub
LaVida – Luna
Louisiana – Liberty



December – Duchess

We also house a handful of Jerseys for a friend of ours. He had three heifer calves born here this year. Sometimes he names them, sometimes our kids help name them.

Legacy with Glen

Lydia - Loopy
Hannah - Holli
Legacy - Lily

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Strawberry Ice Cream Day Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

When I resorted to sending e-letters two years ago, instead of tangible Christmas cards, I called this post The Christmas Letter. Last year, I was a tad bit later with my letter, so I named it The New Year Letter. Well, I'm really late this year. By the time I sat down to start this letter, it was National Strawberry Ice Cream Day. So, since it's too late to call this a New Year letter and it's too early to call it a Groundhog Day letter (barely!), this will be The Strawberry Ice Cream Day Letter. Seems fitting to me!

all of us

2015 was a fabulous year for our family. We had lots of fun and made lots of memories. A couple highlights include a wedding in the family and our first year of 4-H. We set a goal of making more time for fun and we did pretty well. We did more swimming and fishing, we camped and we waterparked, we did more snow tubing and sledding, and we learned that fun can be last-minute and uncomplicated.

Dan at piano recital

Dan is rocking third grade this year. And when we celebrated his birthday last month, I realized through tears that he's half-way to being an adult. He still loves engineering things outside – this year he hand-carved a sword out of a cedar branch and imagined the rows of bales behind the barn into castles and pirate ships and forts. His indoor activities still include reading and LEGOS. Dan also started piano lessons this year, which inspired me to start playing again; it is a delight to hear piano music in the house again.

Monika fishing

Even though first grade has meant a lot more homework for Monika, she has taken it all in stride. She became a full-time dancer this year and is now talking more seriously about gymnastics. She still loves to help milk cows and name the new calves. Her list of calves to take to the fair next year would fill two trailers. I've found her playing LEGOS more and she's been teaching herself piano with Dan's music.

Daphne in mud puddle

This was a big year for Daphne. She really found her voice and has been exerting her independence. However, she'll still tell you that she's "Dad's girl" and "Mom's girl". She'll also tell you that she's a dragon, which is sometimes a good simile for her behavior. She thrives on spending time in the barn and in the tractor. She loves LEGOS as much as her brother and sister; it's incredible to watch her little fingers build.

Glen continues to be steady as a rock, stabilizing us all as life tosses us in a million different directions. He puts in long hours outside and his hard work is evident in the well-being of our cows and the quality of our crops. His ability to analyze situations and think outside the box keep our farm business moving in a positive direction. In his spare time, Glen took up tinkering on old tractors this year and looking for old anvils at auctions.

Me with Glory

I'm still splitting my time between farm chores, keeping up with the kids, writing, and agricultural advocacy. I'm also finishing up a year-long dairy leadership program. My off-farm adventures brought me to some really cool places this year. I am incredibly thankful for all of the people who pitch in at home so I can be away.

This year is shaping up to be just as full as any other year. My goal for this year is More Together. That doesn't mean "get it more together", although there are days when I feel that way. The goal is to work more together and play more together. Dan and Monika are becoming capable of helping with more chores outside, not just their chores in the house. I believe it's critical for them to continue learning that work is important and so is play. And both are more fun when done together.

the kiddos

If you want to keep up with our work and play, and what's happening on the farm, you can follow along here on my blog (you can sign up to have blog posts delivered to your email inbox), on Instagram, and on Facebook.

I hope the remaining 48 weeks of 2016 are full of joy and togetherness for you and your loved ones.

Glen, Sadie, Dan, Monika, and Daphne