Monday, May 9, 2016

Springtime Days

The wild honeysuckle is blooming! As are the first few daisies with many more that will be blooming soon.

These gloriously beautiful spring days have been so full here! Outside work, indoor work, time with friends and family, business work, relaxation, walks or runs, handwork, and other simple pleasures of life.

Over the last few weeks, photos were captured of some of these things . . . .

Our apiary is growing! Dad has been a busy beekeeper. and one project he was/is working on is assembling more boxes and painting them. These are ones he just finished priming. 

For the first time, he set out and baited a couple of swarm traps a few days ago, and this one has already been a success! Saturday a swarm took up residence in it which was exciting. So that will be another hive added to the apiary!

Weeding and mulching in the strawberry bed was one of the things I did last week. A friend of my Mom's gave us some more strawberry plants this weekend, too, so I'll be planting those today.

Mom has been busy in the garden setting out her plants and mulching. She grew some of our best ever pepper plants this year! 

The sun setting on a recent peaceful evening . . . when this photo was taken, I was enjoying a walk soaking in one of my favorite times of day.

 Freshly mulched tomatoes . . . if they do well, we'll be restocking our tomato canned goods this summer

Speaking of canned goods . . . about a month or so ago, a friend of my mom's was moving, and the below cabinet was one of the things she had for sale. Her late husband's grandfather who was a cabinet maker built this, originally as a tool cabinet, but it works so well for canned goods since it is very well built with heavy-duty shelves. As soon as we saw it, we knew that it would work so well for us!


After Dad got it set up inside, Mom and I had fun loading it with all of our canned goods. Ever since I was a teenager, I dreamed of having a cabinet, or something like this, so that our canned goods could be organized in one place (or at least some of everything.) It's one of those little things that just makes me happy looking at it. :) Only thing is that after this summer's canning, it won't have nearly enough room for all the jars! :)

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One thing I have been keeping busy with is making lots of product for my business; researching and developing new products; and then of course . . . the farmers market each Saturday which I really enjoy. My business is growing, and it is exciting to see!


Making more oatmeal and honey sugar scrubs

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Remember me mentioning in a recent post taking a break from crocheting on my afghan to work on another project? Well, this is what I was working on . . . .


. . . a little afghan for our friend's little boy who is due in July. We went to her baby shower on Saturday, and the afghan was finished in time! It was special crocheting it and thinking of and praying for the precious little blessing soon to be born. What a gift children are from the Lord!

Leah making cute little burp clothes that were part of a beautiful basket she put together of things for baby (I wish I had a photo to share of everything all finished and together!)

The shower itself was so enjoyable! Two hours full of friendship, fellowship, laughter, games, and all for sweet Meagan and her coming little boy . . . .

The refreshment table (though before all the food was out) 

Leah visiting with some of the ladies who came

Me helping get one of the games ready 

Meagan trying out her new glider rocker with her little nephew

Playing one of the games

Now to wait two more months until he's born. :) On a related note, Meagan is coming out today so we're looking forward to spending time with her. I am so thankful for her friendship and the blessing she has been to me!

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Our time at the therapeutic riding center continues to be so wonderful! One day every week, Leah and I spend much of the day out there, and a post will be coming soon about it. In the meantime, here is a sneak peak . . . .

With a very sweet two-year old girl that Leah and I both work with and quickly grew to love. It was such a joy to work with her during the spring session and also see how much progress she made during that time! Her strength and walking skills improved dramatically . . . so proud of her and all her hard work!

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A week and half ago, Mom, Leah and I spent a fun morning together thrifting/antiquing in a nearby quaint, old town . . . .

Mom and Leah browsing through a new antique/craft store that we hadn't been to before. It had a lot of nice things, and we enjoyed walking through it.

Leah, Mom and I . . . so thankful for both of them!


And to close, this is one of many passages that I have read in the last few days that has been an encouragement to me:

"Behold the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope for His lovingkindness,
To deliver their soul from death
And to keep them alive in famine.
Our soul waits for the LORD;
He is our help and our shield.
For our heart rejoices in Him,
Because we trust in His holy name.
Let Your lovingkindness, O LORD, be upon us,
According as we have hoped in You."
Psalm 33:18-22

God is such a loving and good God . . . and how wonderful His Word is! It truly is words of life that can encourage, strengthen, help, and convict unlike any other written words ever can . . . because it is God Himself's inspired Word to us.

As we read His true Word and let it flow into our hearts . . . as we let it work by the power of the Holy Spirit and seek to apply it to our lives . . . it does not "return void." It truly is "living and active", and it is powerful and can work in our lives in ways that cannot be well understood unless experienced. How very, very thankful I am for it!

Here is another passage that I read yesterday which was also really an encouragement:

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:14-21

10 comments:

  1. Sarah!!! I do not know if you remember me, but I used to visit your blog a lot about 4 or 5 years ago. And here, today, I randomly stumbled upon your blog again. I had no idea that you were still blogging :) this makes me happy.

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Optimistic Existentialist! Yes, I do remember you commenting before. Welcome back. :)

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  2. The cabinet looks perfect for all your storage. I do like to see jars lined up looking so professional! My little cupboard holds all my apple jelly jars, I don't make much else now.

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    1. It is perfect, Elizabeth! It sounds like we are a like in our appreciation for seeing the jars all lined up. :) I love how it looks! Mmm . . . apple jelly sounds delicious. What a treat to be able to enjoy!

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  3. Isn't springtime wonderful!? Your strawberries look terrific. We have some strawberry plants that are growing nicely, I am hoping we might have enough for jam.
    The afghan you crocheted is beautiful! What a special gift for your friend.
    It is such a blessing and inspiration to see your family work together the way you do. Thank you for sharing the verses from Psalms and Ephesians. I love them both!

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    1. It is indeed, Sarah! And it's my favorite time of year. :) That's great that your strawberry plants are growing nicely! Hopefully you'll have enough for jam! Strawberry jam is so good . . . as is strawberry rhubarb. I was working more in our bed yesterday and noticed little strawberries are growing now. I'm hoping ours produce well, too, as we just finished off our last jar of jam.

      Thank you for your kind and encouraging words! And you're welcome for sharing the verses. :)

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  4. WOW! I'm almost afraid to ask how many bee hives your family has now! Last I remember, wasn't it around eight or so? Won't be long until you have a full fledged bee farm!
    I'm afraid raising bees has never been on the top of my wishlist as far as homesteading projects go. But I do love to see all your family does with it! It's very fascinating. :)

    WHAT A CABINET! That's what every home canner needs! How wonderful! It must have been so much fun stocking it and getting all those goodies organized. :) Is that all last years produce that you've preserved? 0.0
    I don't know about you, but I've entered the mode of trying to use up all I can of last years abundance to clear room in the freezer! Haha! So much zucchini...

    That's a beautiful afgan. I love things like that, because of all the thought and work that goes into it.
    I feel like crocheting and farmers markets were made for each other. Though, now that you're attending a bigger one, I wonder if there's too many customers around to crochet much.

    Oh my! It's hard not to wish to be at your volunteer center. Little children and horses at the same time? Can it get any better? Oh my! How wonderful!!! It must not even feel like work at all!

    Great post! Thanks for sharing with us!
    -Christina

    P.S. This song has been on a our Christian radio station lately. It's encouraged me a lot. I thought it might encourage you too!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAmh3yvmzXs

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    1. We actually only have 7 hives right now, Christina, as we lost some over the winter. But we're growing again and will be increasing by quite a few hives soon! A full fledged bee farm is what my Dad is working towards. :) It's exciting to see it growing!

      Your comment about the cabinet made me smile! Oh yes, we had so much fun stocking it. :) And yes, it is all last year's product and some from the year before as well. It's so nice that canned goods last so long! Trying to use up produce in the freezer sounds familiar! It's fun to get all ready for the new harvest, isn't it?

      Thank you for your kind words about the afghan. :) If I had time at the farmers market, crocheting there would be really nice, but usually I am too busy for that (which is a good thing!)

      I know you would love being at the volunteer center! It is an amazing experience being there. Definitely a highlight for us every week. And no, it doesn't feel like work at all. :)

      That song is so beautiful and powerful . . . thank you for sharing. It was encouraging!

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  5. Oh What a wonderful Cabinet! It always makes me feel so good to look at my canned goodies all organized! Your afghan is so pretty and I know will be used and much loved...especially with all the love and prayers you put into making it.

    What a joy you and Leah must get from your volunteering at the center with the kids and horses (and I know from your previous post at the nursing home). Isn't God good to let us receive love and joy when we are giving it to others.

    Bees and new life everywhere in your garden...Spring is wonderful.

    Thanks for sharing the verses from Psalms and Ephesians. I love them both!
    God Bless....Linda

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    1. Isn't it, though, Linda?! We're loving it! Oh yes, I know the feeling of looking at all the canned goods organized. I didn't realize that you canned, too . . . how neat!

      Thank you for what you shared about the afghan. :)

      Oh yes, we do get so much joy from volunteering at the center! And yes indeed, it definitely is. We are always so blessed by our time there!

      Spring is a wonderful season, and I hope yours has been going well for you and that plants and things are growing well!

      You're welcome for the verses . . . I am glad they could be a blessing!

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Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)