Sunday, April 2, 2017

Life Lately

Is anyone else finding it hard to believe that it is already April? How quickly the weeks have been flying by!

As spring is awakening here, outdoor work and projects are increasing which has been much enjoyed. With how my business is growing, it has also meant needing to find ways to increase product production and reduce time investment there. I have had success in that department which means more time to spend on other endeavors!

The last several weeks, I have loved having my days filled with a wide array of activities . . . making product ~ packaging orders ~ playing music ~ outdoor work such as clearing brush/hauling branches ~ deep cleaning in the house ~ going for walks ~ working out and running ~ a ladies Bible study that just began that meets every other week ~ correspondences/phone calls with friends ~ farmers market on Saturdays ~ the therapeutic riding center once a week ~ a bit of sewing ~ etc.

Here is a glimpse!

Farmers Market

The outdoor market began several weeks ago and has been going well! Albeit it has been a bit on the cold side those days. This past Saturday, I had to go get some hot chocolate from a booth down the way for Leah and I and the vendor next to us (an older lady we have become friends with), as we were all so cold!

I forgot to bring my camera each time so all I have is this photo of my booth that Leah snapped with her phone on opening day . . . .


It is really nice to be back outdoors and see and talk with many more of the regular customers again (who didn't go to the winter market), the camaraderie with the other vendors, the early morning fun as we all set up, plus selling lots of product is a definite blessing, too. :)

More soap curing . . . 384 bars to be exact


Outdoor Work

Every spring it seems like there is a great deal of winter clean up work to do as well as gardening tasks. As we wait for the rains to lessen and the ground to dry out allowing for the bulk of the garden to be planted, I've been doing other outdoor projects such as raking and picking up a bunch of little branches that had fallen during the numerous winter wind storms, littering a fairly large part of our property.

It is also time to get the barn cleaned out and ready for kidding! Yes, our doe's due dates are just a few weeks away. We are so looking forward to having the little goat kids again!

We recently realized that Sierra's doeling from last year was still nursing which meant separating last year's goat kids from their moms. They were not happy about the new arrangement, though are mostly adjusted to their temporary new pen . . . .

Prairie, Primrose, and Meadow

Of our does that are pregnant, Aurora is due first, and she is huge. She has kidded with twins each time so far, and had two doelings last spring. Here's hoping we have a repeat of that this year!

Aurora


Gardening

While there is only a bit of lettuce, kale, and spinach growing in the garden so far, there are lots of plants growing indoors . . . .


Mom started tomatoes, peppers, and celery several weeks ago, as well as a number of different flower and herb plants that we plan to use in arrangements for Leah's and Ivan's wedding. So far all of those are growing well!

Recently, I reset the rocks around the little front garden and started mulching it. I ran out of mulch so Dad got me some more in town and now there is plenty to finish this little garden and mulch some other ones, too . . . .

It won't be long and this will be filling out with growing plants!

Hostas growing


Working Out

When Leah and I began workout routines at the start of this year (using videos on Youtube), neither of us realized how much we would enjoy it. It feels so good to workout, be pushing ourselves physically, and building strength and endurance. It also amazes me once again, the incredible complexity and design of our bodies and how God created all the different muscles to work and function together in perfect harmony.

With running and working out, the Proverbs 31 woman continues to be an inspiration to me:

"She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong."
Proverbs 31:17

Ready for the workout routine

Both Dad and Mom have caught the workout bug as well, and Dad has started lifting dumbbell weights. He used to do a lot of weightlifting back in college and is enjoying doing some again!

Some of Dad's weights

 Mom has her own workout routine she is doing, too. It is fun to be doing this all together!

Ready for a run with a birthday gift from my parents . . . I really like it! It tracks my speed and distance which is easier than what I was doing before of mentally counting laps and keeping track of the time. Plus it helps me push myself further, too.


And to close, there was a Psalm that spoke to my heart the other evening, and I wanted to share part of it here . . . .

"The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You support my lot . . . .

"I have set the LORD continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices.
My flesh will dwell securely . . . .

"You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever."
Psalm 165, 8-9, 11

What an encouragement these verses are! God is so good to us . . . so faithful . . . and He pours abundant blessings upon us - simply His upholding us and being at our "right hand" is a great blessing in and of itself. And in Him, we discover true joy, for in Him is the fullness of joy. This reminds me of John 15:1-11 (one of my favorite passages!) about abiding in Christ . . . .

"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing . . . .

"If you keep my commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full." John 15:5, 10-11

Through abiding in Him as our vine and seeking to obey His commandments, then we can experience His joy in us in full. What a gift!

6 comments:

  1. How many bars of soap?? 384! You are becoming a big company now Sarah, soon be ready for a takeover!
    Your tomato seedlings look exactly like mine, also on the windowsill. Soon I will have to transplant them. How exciting to be growing plants ready for the wedding!

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    1. Your comment made me smile, Elizabeth. :) That's great that you have your tomatoes started as well! It's always fun to get the seedlings started in the spring and even more so once it's time to transplant them out.

      Yes, it is indeed exciting, and here's hoping they grow and flower well!

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  2. Amazing productivity on those soaps, Sarah! I have been wondering about your business; now that Niobrara Farms is thriving so, do you still have your etsy businesses? The homemade cross stich kits, etc?

    I totally agree that time is flying by! Especially since my daughter Bianca got engaged last weekend!:-) She will be getting married in TX in August, so needless to say, we have hit the wedding planning at full throttle!

    Good for you for making the time to work out and keep your body strong! For an active woman like yourself, it is a wonderful source of energy and definitely worth the effort!

    --Betsy

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    1. First off, Betsy . . . congratulations to Bianca and your family!! Such exciting and special times for you all! Please pass on my warm congratulations to her - I am so happy for her! And you all, too. :) You must be so thrilled, especially since this is your first child getting married! August isn't that far away so I can well imagine how busy you all are with wedding planning. I hope the preparations all go smoothly!

      Thank you! I currently still have both of my etsy stores, and Niobrara Farms is doing really well making up a significant part of my sales. I will be closing the As Lilies Etsy store, though, as soon as I get a chance. It will be easier to have just the one business, and I haven't been doing anything with the other anyway (other than filling the few orders whenever they come in.)

      Thanks for the encouragement regarding working out! I would wholeheartedly agree, it is indeed a great source of energy and worth the effort - plus it's fun, too!

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  3. Hello Sarah,
    Your Niobrara Farms sign is beautiful. I am always so impressed with your creativity and talents. I know your busy season is upon you and your family. I pray you all have a wonderfully productive spring.
    Blessings,
    Mrs.B

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    1. Thank you, Mrs. B! You are always so encouraging. :) Yes, things are indeed busy this time of year as I am sure they are for you all, too. Thank you for your prayers! All has been going well so far and productively . . . including three new goat kids! I hope all is going well for you all with the busyness on your farm!

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