End-of-April Reflections

what happened in AprilWell, April has been quite the month, hasn’t it? I’m sure it’s been different for all of us than any other time in our lifetimes.

We were sad to have to cancel our oldest son’s visit here and our usual get-togethers. But we were thankful to see videos of our grandson’s Easter egg hunting and Easter basket unpacking, and then we did a three-way FaceTime with all the family for his birthday. We’ve had a few socially distanced visits with everyone but our oldest, so we’re not as deprived as some. It’s all still not the same as normal, but it could be worse.

Like many of you, I’m caught between knowing we need to reopen businesses and fearing another wave of outbreaks when we do. Our state just released a three-phase plan starting tomorrow. I hope it goes well. My husband and I will probably keep doing what we’re doing and hang back for a bit since we’re in at-risk groups.

So many people have talked about having extra time. I don’t know where mine has gone, but it doesn’t feel like I’ve had any extra on my hands! I have listened to some free writing-related webinars, but other than that and making face masks for the family, I haven’t gotten much extra done.

One of the nicest things about April has been seeing nature come back to life with the lawns greening and flowers and trees blooming.

Family

This birthday for my grandson was supposed to involve a big camp-out. That didn’t happen, but my husband set up his tent in the back yard for a few days. My son and grandson came over and got to explore it. It’s big enough that they were more than six feet from each other inside. We sat in lawn chairs while Timothy “mowed” the grass for us with his toy lawn mower. 🙂

Timothyisms

He learned a knock-knock joke this month:

T- Knock knock
Who’s there?
T- Europe
Europe, who?
T- I’m not a poo!

🙂 He tried to voice-text it to me, but I didn’t get it til his mom wrote it out in a text.

Creating

The only card I made this month was for Timothy’s birthday. I started to incorporate camping since that was the theme for the rest of his birthday. But I had seen variations on this mowing idea on Pinterest and wanted to use it. One of Timothy’s favorite things is when Granddad comes over to mow, and Timothy has turned so many items into imaginary push and riding lawn mowers. So when I saw this idea, I knew I would do it for him some time.

Watching

My husband and I watched an interesting PBS production called The Windemere Children, about Jewish children and young people who were rescued from Nazi prison camps after WWII and taken to an estate in England. Most were orphans, though they had to wait a bit to learn their family members’ fates. Some had only known life in the camps and a “survive any way you can” mentality. The first time baskets of bread were served, they grabbed handfuls and hid them in their rooms. The director said, “Let them. Let them see that here is plenty.” They were taught the English languages and customs and just given time to acclimate before either being adopted or starting to work. That was such a wise thing to do. The program was moving, as was this article about one of the men who was a teen then. The article also contains a photo of the actors with the men they portrayed.

And though it wasn’t planned, we happened to watch a different movie with a variation on the same theme titled Resistance. It’s the story of famous mime Marcel Marceau and his work with the French Resistance, especially in getting Jewish children out of France during the war. It was very good. Unfortunately, there was one brief bedroom scene. For those who like to fast-forward through such, as we do, it comes right after a girl steps out of a shower (she’s not the problem; she’s covered). (Updated to add: the scene is not explicit, no nudity is shown. But I still wish it had not been there. And, of course, this being wartime film, there are a few violent scenes.)

I was trying to find season six and seven of When Calls the Heart to watch while using my exercise bike, but it only seems to be available to rent. So I’ll have to wait on that. Then I saw there was a spinoff called When Hope Calls that was free, but when I looked it up on Amazon Prime, it said it could only be viewed with a Hallmark subscription. I hate when Amazon lists things that you can only get by subscribing elsewhere.

Do you have any recommendations of good clean movies or series on Netflix or Amazon Prime?

Reading

This month I’ve completed (links go back to my reviews):

I’ve collected most of Wiersbe’s “Be” commentaries as they have gone on sale for a dollar or two for the Kindle. But I kept forgetting about them. Finally I remembered to pull them out in conjunction with our church’s Bible reading plan.

I’m currently reading:

  • Over to Candleford by Flora Thompson, the second in the Lark Rise trilogy (audiobook)
  • Castle on the Rise by Kristy Cambron
  • Dying to Read by Lorena McCourtney
  • Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises by Dr. Michelle Bengston

Blogging

Besides the Friday’s Fave Fives, book reviews, and occasional Saturday Laudable Linkages, my Monday posts have been applicable not just to the current pandemic, but to living with trials in general:

I also shared some of my favorite songs about Jesus’ death for us and songs to celebrate the resurrection.

Writing

Not much this month except for a devotional and guest post I’m going to send to sites that accept such. I’ve been listening to podcasts and webinars about writing, as I mentioned. Now I just need to get to it.

With April, it seems we’ve turned a corner into full-fledged spring. I love the weather in April and May before the heat of summer starts. I know this May will be a let-down for many with graduations and the usual end-of-school activities canceled. Perhaps our Mother’s Day will have to be as subdued as our Easter was. But we can count our blessings that we’re alive and well. This year will be one we’ll remember just because it was different.

How was your April?

(Sharing with Grace and Truth, Faith on Fire, Inspire Me Monday, Global Blogging,
Senior Salon, Hearth and Soul, Purposeful Faith, Tell His Story,
InstaEncouragement, Worth Beyond Rubies, Let’s Have Coffee)

27 thoughts on “End-of-April Reflections

  1. You had a full month! I just love the card you made for your grandson. and what a fun knock knock joke!! I love it!! made me smile as I sit here reading blogs during the MOST boring Zoom mtg for work. hahah…..

    I recommend watching Call the Mid-Wives which all 8 seasons are currently on Netflix. I started the series last summer and just finished it. It’s so well done. It starts out in the early 1950s and season 8 ends in 1964. It’s set in a poor section of London.

    A couple of good clean movies we recently watched was called Same Kind of Different from Me, A champion heart (even my husband loved this one), To go along with your period flicks i do recommend The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. It’s deep and tough (holocaust).

    • I watched The Boy in the Stripes Pajamas a while back. Heartbreaking, both the book and the movie, but so well told. I loved the book Same Kind of Different, so I would probably like the movie, too. Thanks for the recommendation of Call the Midwives. I had seen listed on Netflix and wondered about it.

  2. These are so packed-full that I always have various thoughts and then forget half of them when I comment 🙂 I’m so glad you could still get together some with Timothy out in the yard. I do think the outdoors seem pretty safe. And like you, I don’t really seem to have had a lot of free time either. That is okay though; I like having plenty to do. I’ve loved all the TV things being made available — last night my daughter and I counted 29 operas we’ve seen since this started, thanks to The Met’s free nightly streams. Due to that I haven’t read as much. Your card for Timothy is just adorable! I too love spring (I think it’s replaced fall as my favorite season). Our pear trees in the area are gorgeous this week. Happy May to you and yours!

    • Wow, 29 operas! I used to listen to a Saturday show on the public radio station where they played operas from the Met and explained them. I never saw an opera until college, so the extra information helped a lot. I’d love to try to catch one or two, but I don’t think my husband would be interested. 🙂 I read somewhere that free musicals were being made available, but I have forgotten where that was happening.

  3. I love that card! I’ve been FaceTiming every day with my nineteen month old grandson and keeping in close touch with my older daughter who is pregnant with twins. That and lots and lots of baking and cooking from scratch … but not enough reading and even less writing. I did finish one essay, but wow is it hard in isolation without the usual stimulation. Stay well!

    • I’ve had an urge to bake more, too, for some reason. My problem with writing is having everyone else at home, too. They are working in different rooms, so it shouldn’t be a problem. I just concentrate better when I am alone.

  4. Barbara, hi! Your reading list is so inspiring right about now. I’m doing a re-read of favorite books because the library is shut down. I miss it.

    The tulips made me smile. My husband surprised me with a bunch yesterday when he ran into the store to pick up some milk.

    Grace.

  5. Your month sounds a lot like my month, Barbara. I wind up wondering “Where did all the time go?” I love your grandson’s knock-knock joke. I think I will teach it to my 4-year-old grandson. He has a good sense of humor!

    Thank heaven for video chats. We have has several with friends and a few with the whole family – all 3 boys and their families. We also had some socially distanced hikes with our son and grandsons who live close but there’s nothing like being able to give the little ones a hug!

    I think I will check out the Warren Wiersbe study guides. They sound like a good accompaniment to Bible reading. I also will look for the Windmere Children. Bill and I are always looking for things to watch on TV. Thanks for the good recommendations.

    Stay safe!

    • The Wiersbe guides are nice in-between guides–more than a study Bible, but not as detailed and heavy as other commentaries. I do miss those grandchild hugs! But I am thankful for all the ways to keep in touch and see each other that we have these days.

  6. April seems to have sped by, and I’ve been doing all the usual things, but have added a few projects of the cleaning and organizing variety. May, however, will begin our mowing season, so life’s pace is going to pick up a lot!

    • My husband mows our yard and my son’s, so spring and summer keep him pretty busy with that almost weekly task. I’ve done some little bits of cleaning and organizing–not whole rooms or sections, but a shelf or a spot at a time.

  7. April seemed to have been a weird combination of the longest month and the fastest month 🙂 We are looking forward to May in the hopes of less rain and more sunshine, equally more time outside.

  8. I know what you mean about supposedly having more time but nothing to show for it. April has definitely been a strange month. I have The Windemere Children recorded but haven’t got to watch it yet. I can also recommend Call the Midwife. Great series.

  9. Since I’m sure there are some comments and posts I’ve missed, forgive me I am being repetitious. Since you are reading the second book by Flora Thompson, I assume you already know about or have watched the PBS series From Lark Rise to Candleford. We watched the series sometime ago, so don’t remember all the details, but remember that it was enjoyable. You will get to see a younger Mr Bates from Downton, if indeed you were a Downton fan. Also, a wonderful underappreciated movie is Mom’s Night Out! I’ve watched it several times and love it. You’ll see Patricia Heaton, (Everybody Loves Raymond) and Sean Astin (Hobbit movies) and country star, Trace Adkins who is wonderful! It would be a great Mother’s Day gift.

    • I haven’t watched the Lark Rise series yet, but I’ve seen it advertised and look forward to watching it. I wanted to get through the books first. I looked up Mom’s Day Out one place and only saw it for rent. I’ll have to look more and see if it’s free somewhere first. I’ve heard good things about it.

  10. I’m visiting from Senior Salon link up. I enjoyed reading your April reflections. Love your card for Timothy’s birthday and his joke. Enjoy May! #senisal

  11. Ahhh, Barb. I think it’s wonderful that you guys were able to see some family in a social distancing way. Your grandson sounds like a delightful boy. 🙂 You must be a prolific reader! That’s quite a list of books. I read, Finding Peace in Wishing Bridge, a novel by Ruth Logan Herne. I enjoyed it. I’ve also been trying to begin to get caught up on my magazine reading. I think I’m hopelessly behind there.

    Our April felt busy with everyone home and never an empty house. It’s been an adjustment for this mom, who’s used to having freedom in a quiet home most days. 🙂 But, we’re navigating things well for the most part.

    • Somehow I don’t get to magazines as often, either. I’ve struggled with everyone being home, too, and having my routine and quiet disrupted. But I’m seeking God’s grace to be gracious and kind and hospitable and trusting Him for the pockets of quiet He knows I need.

  12. I still haven’t gotten much extra done either. A lot of my daily routine is still the same. But I’m trying to be more proactive this week to shift things around a bit for my mental sanity. 🙂 I did work in the yard a bit more and hope to do that today too before it turns cold again. Glad you got to at least social distance with much of your family. Sometimes we have to take what we can get. Happy Birthday to Timothy! I love your card for him.

    • My everyday routine hasn’t really changed all that much either. I did just realize recently that, with not eating out, I am cooking more. So that does impact my time. And it helped me to realize that there was a reason I felt like I had less time. 🙂 Yes–I’m trying to remember to rejoice in what we can do (socially distanced visits and FaceTime) rather than moping about what we can’t. But I am so, so, so looking forward to hugs and meals together with the whole family again.

  13. Babara, that card is adorable!

    I’ve been listening to writing webinars as well. Wonder if we’ve been in the same ones!

    Thanks for asking about Netflix ideas. I’m needing some, too. Call of the Midwives sounds pretty interesting!

  14. Lovely to catch up on all that you have been experiencing over the last month: lots of positives and I hope this continues! Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

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