Jpyful April!

April can be such a lovely month in the Deep South.  We have tulips blooming, everything is turning green, and the weather, whilst at times unpredictable, is generally heading toward warm.  It is also a lovely time to explore the mountains and the seaside and to revel in all of nature awakening.

This month, we are celebrating Eastertide in its fullest glory.  The calendar of the Anglican Communion and The Episcopal Church include an amazing array of Saints this month; so many wonderful people.   Our main festival dates in our family this month include:

23- St. George

25- St. Mark

29- St. Catherine of Siena

and I am looking ahead to Ascension Day (Thursday, May 18th) and the Rogation Days that precede Ascension Day ( the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday prior to Ascension Day).  There is also a Novena of 9 days that begins on Ascension Day and ends on the Eve of Pentecost.  So I am really thinking about how to mark that.

These are a few of my favorite things this month for my family:

  • Since we are still in Eastertide here,  dyeing of eggs,  thinking of the Paschal candle and light in our home, indoor dish Easter gardens, Easter carols (yes, they are real!) and attending church are in my heart, This is growing my own garden in my heart.
  • Gardens outside as well – especially leading up to Rogation Days which is a wonderful time to have seeds, gardening tools and homesteads blessed. My seedlings are getting tall and I will be planting them outside this weekend.
  • Spring cleaning, decluttering, and moving ahead with some simple decorating I have wanted to do in our home. We are re-doing our laundry room, which is something small that we can afford, but it will be nice to have that done. Other projects coming up include building a dry lot behind the barn for the horses in inclement weather, and painting thousands of feet of fencing!

These are a few of my favorite things for small children:

  • Ramping up all kinds of physical activity since the weather is generally nice…hiking, kayaking, roller blading, walking, never disappeared these past months, but I feel so drawn to these activities now. My teenage son’s outside homeschool program really pushes physical fitness and he has been working diligently on pull ups, push ups, sit ups, running but small children will enjoy all kinds of outside free play
  • Incorporating more and more loose parts play and re-arranging indoor and outdoor play areas.

P.S. — For those of you who are using any form of screens with your small children, how about looking at rhythm, play and outside time in preparation for Screen Free Week?  Screen Free Week 2023 is coming May 1-7! You can see for more details. 🙂

These are a few of my favorite things for grades-age children:

  • Spring handwork – wet felting, making beautiful spring crafts
  • Movement outside and exploring nature
  • Adjusting our rhythm to the seasons, but sticking to strong awake, rest and bedtimes, along with regular nourishing whole foods mealtimes.

These are a few of my favorite things for teens:

**Exploring new interests and possibilities for summer. Our son wants to learn guitar this summer.

**There are many wonderful camps for the summer. Sometimes by age thirteen or fourteen, the appeal of going to camp dissipates and sometimes it doesn’t, so you can carefully observe your child. It can be hard to know how hard to push. Our teen will be involved with our local youth parish activities this summer, including a three-day day camp of service, and helping at a horseback riding camp, but he isn’t so sure about going away for a week.

** Sleep! A lot of teens really need sleep over the summer.

These are a few of my favorite things for my own inner work:

  • In the past I had created a Sacred Hour – half to be spent in personal study, and half to be spent with our children in sharing the Saints, the Bible and Anglican traditions. This Eastertide, I am devoting some time to Anglican Studies and also using the Venite App for daily readings.  I am feeling very happy about this.
  •  I have been looking closely at boundaries on my own time and what truly makes me feel comfortable and happy in the way I use time. With the farm and work and homeschooling this is super practical.

These are a few of my favorite things for my own self-care and health:

  • Continuing to get up and work out before my day starts with the family.
  • Drinking water.

These are a few of my favorite things for homeschooling:

  • I love to get the vast bulk of my planning done over the summer. I will be posting plans for eighth grade as we go along. I am using several outside resources to shore up our teenager’s academic challenges, so that includes All About Spelling, Oak Meadow English 8 which we have already started, and a daily math program on top of blocks. He needs this to be able to enter a rather academic high school homeschooling hybrid so he won’t be behind. I have never shied away from combining blocks from traditional Waldorf resources with whatever my children have needed to be successful in high school and college. I know what works for our children at this stage based on how I teach, and what things are a weakness for me in teaching.

In the family:

** One young adult is graduating in December and will be in class through the summer.

**One young adult is graduating high school in May and will be off to an out of state university this fall.

Please share with me what is inspiring you this month!



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