Sunday, April 30, 2017

April :: A Month in Review

April was a light blogging month.  I did share 5 of my best homeschooling tips.  I know - 14+ years of homeschooling and only 5 tips.  Hah!  I also shared about our casual way of learning in the early years.  Sharks took front and center for a few weeks.  Peter now knows that shark books have a call number of 597.3 at the library.  He's checked out every one of them and I've read just about every one of them.

Without further ado, here's a chronological photo dump from April with captions.

One of the favorite, yet more stressful, spring events is Creative Arts Day.  CAD is a county wide 4-H event which gives youth the opportunity to develop, perform, and be judged on their favorite creative arts.  Trophies and ribbons are awarded to the top placed finishers.  This year Sam performed a violin solo and was awarded a blue ribbon for his BMX safety gear demonstration.  Our 4-H club performed a 1-act play; both Amber and Sam participated.

Amber drew from her homeschool chemistry labs and did a demonstration on extracting DNA from saliva.  Although she was incredibly nervous, she was awarded a blue ribbon.  The most anticipated part of Creative Arts Day is the 1-act plays.  Amber received the 3rd place high school actress trophy.

Blurry auditorium photo.
Once CAD was over we settled into a more normal spring filled with cooking and sibling competitions, trailer painting and fishing.

Country sausage gravy over biscuits is favorite.  I tried a new one pan method, which results in a super flavorful, creamy gravy.  And there's only ONE giant pan to wash instead of two.

Always some kind of competition going on outside my kitchen window.  The tires were from last weeks tire flipping competition.

Emily's college and work schedule keep her gone for lunch and coming in right at the end of supper so she hasn't been cooking much this year.  With her impending move, she decided to use her spring break to brush up on her cooking skills.  She made us these delicious homemade cheese fries to go along with our Friday fish fry.

Amber and Emily (and us) bought a pretty run down trailer for super cheap.  Amber's been giving it A LOT of TLC.  It's on its way to looking pretty sharp.

We've been having an Easter egg hunt and homemade pinata bash for years.  It's a most anticipated family event.  I took over 100 pictures, but this is by far a favorite.

Amber pushes Joseph aside when Warren yells, "GO!"  You're never too old for an Easter Egg Hunt and never too young to be pushed around by your older sister.

Again, my camera card has over 75 pinata pictures, but I'm just sharing one.  We make our pinata with a 12 inch latex balloon, newspaper strips, and Liquid Starch.  This year we covered the balloon with 7 layers.  Each layer has to dry completely, about 1 day.  We started a week in advance.  It's super easy to do, cheap, and holds up fairly well even through teenagers.

I've been taking the kids' Easter picture on this step since Emily and Nick were toddlers.  It's getting pretty crowded, but they still squeeze in upon my request/begging.

A beautiful Easter basket cake my friend Karrie made for our Easter dinner, complete with a delicious lemon filling.  I might have had a piece or four.

And still more fishing.
April isn't all fun and games.  There's plenty of work going on.  Warren pressured up the irrigation engines and prepared for his yearly newborn baby, i.e. frost watch.  Only it's worse - a baby can be tended to in the warmth of your bedroom, but frost watch?  He has to slip into clothes and head outside and frost watch nights are the coldest nights of the spring.  Try getting back to sleep after you just got a cold sprinkler in the face.

Anyway, frost watch comes with the job, and he tends to it like a trooper, rarely complaining, unlike me with newborn babies.  I think I complained.  I'm sure I complained.

Our first walk on the marsh of the spring.  We actually had a warmish Wisconsin day so we had to take advantage of it.

Moving water again.  Here's an old post about checking and moving water on the cranberry marsh.

When you're on a walk and your brother keeps trying to run ahead of you.  People, it's not all sunshine and rainbows around here.

And still more fishing.

I hadn't sat down at the sewing machine in months.  Piles of jeans with ripped pockets and blown out knees, a torn flannel shirt, a blanket intended to be Maria's extra winter blanket, and church pants needing hemming all waited for me in a heap.  With a prom dress waiting to be altered, I had to tackle the pile or stuff it all in a garbage bag and forget about it.  I chose to actually tackle the pile.  It was made easier by binge listening to The Homeschool Snapshots Podcast (see the computer laying on the floor).  Maria blessed me with her singing, too.  As I type this nothing awaits mending, even the prom dress was finished on time.  (Note:  Emily just entered stage right wondering if I could help her fix her swimsuit.....and so another pile begins).

BMX season is back in full swing.  Sam's in the white.

So far Nick's the only successful turkey hunter in the family.  Sam still has a couple days of season left.
Although not out of the ordinary, snow on April 27 is still annoying.

But it did make the fish bite.

April wasn't quite full enough so Amber decided it was time for an appendicitis.  Just 5 nights before prom.  She's young and super healthy so she healed up enough to still attend prom and dance the night away from what I heard.
Well that should do it.  May is right around the corner and one peek at the calendar has me hyperventilating thinking about all that's to come - our 2nd high school graduate, our oldest moving away for her summer internship, year end conferences, curriculum planning for next year already, preparing the garden.  I'll stop now; it'll all get done - it always does.

What was the highlight of your April?  What are you most looking forward to in May?  Share in the comments.

Pinnable Image