April Reflections

It seems a little cliche to open almost every monthly wrap-up post talking about how fast time flies—but I literally don’t know where April has gone. I just suddenly realized on Tuesday that April ends this week.

I love that April starts feeling like spring, even though spring began officially in March. We still have some cold nights and days, but the air is gradually getting warmer, flowers and trees are blooming, my energy is renewed like a bear coming out of hibernation.


The highlight of April for us is our grandson’s birthday. Facebook always shows pictures and memories from that time seven years ago when Timothy came unexpectedly 10 1/2 weeks early. Those weeks in the NICU were hard on many levels. But God brought everyone through, and Timothy is now a strapping, smart, sweet, funny boy.

We’re continuing to adjust to our empty nest. Jesse is enjoying “adulting” and learning to cook. We got his old room painted and my craft/sewing stuff moved in. We still have to move the things on the wall to the new room, and then Jim will be ready to paint the old sewing room, which we’ll turn into a spare bedroom. I’m looking up ideas for decorating it. My pink-and-flowers-and-lace-loving self would be thrilled to go full tilt. But often men stay in that room, usually my oldest son or my step-father. So to be merciful to them, I’m looking for something more neutral.

I like the idea of a beachy theme (which I just discovered is called “coastal” now) and have a Pinterest board of ideas. I grew up in Texas near Padre Island on the Gulf of Mexico, and almost any major event as well as several minor ones took place on the beach. Plus one of my all-time favorite family vacations took place on Folly Beach in Charleston, SC. There’s just something restful to me about the beach—at least, a beach that’s not crowded.

After seeing this Spare Oom sign (a la Faun Tumnus in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), and decorations like this bookish pencil holder and end table, I was sorely tempted to try to make the room like a Narnian English study. But we’d probably need to spend more for that kind of look. Plus all the rooms like that I see online are dark, and I much prefer light, airy rooms. The furniture that will remain in the room is white. So I think I’ll stay with beachy.

We also fulfilled my husband’s long-standing dream of getting an RV. It was a matter of finding a good deal on a used one in good condition at a time when our finances could take it on. We’re having fun outfitting it and look forward to taking it out for the first time.


I mentioned on a post about Timothy’s birthday that he’s into Minecraft now, and his party used that as a theme. So I wanted to have my card for him incorporate Minecraft somehow. The Cricut didn’t have anything related, and it didn’t occur to me til I was all done that Hobby Lobby might have had some stickers. I ended up looking up free Clipart images and printing and cutting them out. I even found a Minecraft font I could use for the wording.

I put the heart on as an afterthought and didn’t realize that messed up my centering until it was too late. Oh, well . . . live and learn.

Watching and Listening

My husband discovered the Home Fires series, about the home front in England during WWII. I had watched it a while back while riding my exercise bike, but I enjoyed watching it again with him. The cinematography is gorgeous. It gets a little soap-opera-ish in places, and there are some wrong relationships, but nothing explicit is shown.

I’m still working my way through Lark Rise to Candleford, but haven’t been using my bike as much just due to general busyness.

In-between audiobooks, I listened to several episodes of The Christian Publishing Show podcast. I also enjoyed the Literary Life podcast episode on Why Read Fairy Tales. Originally, fairy tales weren’t necessarily meant for children, and they imaged some aspect of the gospel. I learned that most fairy tales we’re familiar with today (and most that the Disney movies are based on) aren’t the originals, but were rewritten by someone to make them moralistic. Also, did you know that “hero” originally meant the main character in a story, not someone with heroic qualities? And there’s a difference between a cautionary tale, a folk tale, and a fairy tale? All in all, a very good and informative episode.


Since last time I finished:

  • Preparing for Easter with C. S. Lewis. This was my Lenten reading. It was kind of a disappointment because it didn’t really live up to the title, and too many excerpts were pulled from their context and therefore not as easily understood. But there are always some good nuggets in a collection of Lewis’ writing.
  • Be Confident (Hebrews): Living by Faith, Not by Sight by Warren Wiersbe. A small, helpful commentary on the book of Hebrews.
  • Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof, an excellent Christian novel set in the post-Civil War years. A young widow comes to keep house for her husband’s cousins, one of whom is deaf and addicted to alcohol. Two of the brothers are attracted to her, causing a rift between them.
  • Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope (audiobook), the second in his Chronicles of Barsetshire series. A satire of rival clergymen and rivals for a rich young widow’s hand.
  • The Narrative of Sojourner Truth as told to Olive Gilbert (audiobook). A freed slave who later became a well-known speaker for civil and women’s rights.

I’m currently reading:

  • Be Counted (Numbers): Living a Life that Counts for God by Warren Wiersbe
  • Ten Words to Live By: Delighting in and Doing What God Commands by Jen Wilkin
  • Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof, sequel to Sons of Blackbird Mountain.
  • How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren (still . . . )
  • Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie


Besides books reviews, Friday Fave Fives, and Laudable Linkages, I’ve shared on the blog this month:

And that just about wraps up April! How was yours?

(Sharing with Grace and Truth, Grace at Home, Hearth and Soul, Senior Salon, What I’m Into, InstaEncouragements)

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.


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. 🙂


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.


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.


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?


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


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.


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)