April looked like this

“There is, of course, the personal satisfaction of writing down one’s own experiences so they might be saved, caught and pinned under glass, hoarded against the winter of forgetfulness.  Time has been cheated a little, at least in one’s own life, and a personal trivial immortality of an old self assured. ”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, North to the Orient

April Fools Day kicked off the month.  I usually ignore it, but The Daughter did not.


It was really windy in early April, cherry tree blossoms blown free descended like clouds of pink snow, leaving puddles of pink petals under the trees.  As for The Garners, we raked 10 bags of leaves thanks to our quirky Quercus Laurifolia who clings stubbornly to her leaves in Autumn, but finally shakes them off with great abandon (10 bags worth of abandon) in a sort of annual spring fling.

We had visited an evangelical Anglican church located in the upstairs of an older Presbyterian church for Palm Sunday in March, and went back for Easter.  The joyful proclamation was perfect and we found ourselves soaking up the Scripture readings, the Psalms, and the Gospel brought into the midst of the people down the center aisle.  Glory to you Lord Christ!  A great point of departure from other churches we’ve visited, were the prayers.  The prayers were not “prayers to a village god” as John Stott would say, focusing only on sick congregation members and pet projects, but a full and complete intercession for the world, for leaders, for the church universal, especially the persecuted.  It has annoyed me no small amount that decapitated Egyptian Christians, refugees piled up in Syria, and kidnapped girls (just to name a few), all of whom are our brothers and sisters in Christ, never seem to appear in the prayers of the churches we visit.

Aside from the usual homeschool, co-ops, piano lessons, The Daughter was busy pulling together her AHG Harriet Tubman project – a baby item collection for Crisis Pregnancy Centers of Tidewater. Early in the month she delivered flyers to the neighbors on our street to let them know about her project to help moms in need. Almost every house has a front porch with steps, so when she was finished, she assured me that the daily PE time was covered!  She dropped off collection boxes to both of her co-ops the following week.  We were thrilled with the wonderfully generous response she received from our neighbors and co-op friends!  She ended up with over 200 baby items; lots of baby wipes, shampoo and lotion, baby bottle sets, nail clippers and nasal aspirators, onesies and homemade knit baby hats!

Mid-month we went out to Midge’s to see how the garden soil had done after all the preparation in November.  We rolled back the tarp and pulled back the pine straw and the soil was perfect. She had onion sets to plant, along with lettuce and swiss chard.  Beans and okra will go in a little later. While we worked in the garden, The Daughter was at her project partner’s house making tissue paper flowers and 120 rice krispie treats for the AHG Outreach Night – the culmination of all the various requirements to earn the Harriet Tubman Level Award!  Whew!

Somehow we managed a trip to Richmond to see Van Gogh, Matisse, Manet: The Art of the Flower exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  The exhibit was misnamed, as the big three were a rather smallish part of the special exhibit ($15 per person) which focused entirely on French floral still life of the 19th century. Photos were prohibited, but we checked out the VMFA’s American Gallery and got a few photos there.  We stayed at our usual Hyatt Place, and then got up the next day to drive to Lynchburg to see #1 Son play Ultimate Frisbee.  The Ultimate Sectionals were held at Liberty University on their beautiful intramural fields. What can I say? He was the best!  Driving through Virginia, the Red Bud trees were bright fuschia on Friday, and by Sunday they were blooming.  Lovely!


I have been slowly accumulating books for next year.  I buy most of The Daughter’s books used, through Abe Books, sifting the listings for “Very Good” condition and “free shipping.”  Most of the time this works out well. Although one year I ended up with Asser’s Life of King Alfred, in beautiful condition, hardback with a lovely leather cover intact, but in the original Latin.  I pull largely, but not exclusively, from the booklist on Ambleside Online.  They tend to rely on out of print books, and online (Gutenberg) books or Kindle.  We vastly prefer real books in hand, which requires the occasional substitution.  I like some of the suggestions from Charlotte Mason Help, and do some searching to fill gaps (music history, Virginia history, local nature, world history).  Over the next few months the books will start trickling in. By mid-summer, perhaps I’ll be ready to post a final book list with schedule.  Let’s hope.

The month of April ended with a slight lull after all of the pressure of the first few weeks, which enabled me to rest and heal up from a terrible sinus infection!

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” Eudora Welty


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