Each year the high school students in the band, jazz band, string ensemble and chorus at Young Musicians of Virginia pile into big cushy coach buses and travel somewhere to perform, and have some fun. This year the Spring Trip was the second week of March, and the destination was Asheville, N.C. to perform at the Biltmore, and a retirement community nearby.
At the Garner’s, the first week of the month was a flurry of planning and packing. Not only was The Daughter excited, but since there was a shortage of male chaperones, The Daughter and I had convinced Mr. Garner to sign up to travel along! So he was packing and making preparations of his own. He was a little nervous about leading devotions, but he was in his element with the group skits. A great time was had by all! I stayed home and worked on our Spring Term schedule, Folk Song booklet, and binge-watched the last half of the only season of Philly. I think these four days were the first I’ve actually been completely alone in about 15 years. I relished the time, listening to music, and cleaning out all of the leftovers in the fridge.
The middle of March was all about American Heritage Girl activities and badges.
There was a self-defense class for the Emergency Preparedness badge, and for the “outdoor activity” for March, our events coordinator scheduled a day at the Rock Gym to give the girls a chance to start the Climb On badge. The Daughter has always loved climbing – from our stone porch wall as a toddler, to the holly tree out back as teen – so I knew she would love it. The older girls took belaying classes on a week night, in order to keep the cost down for the younger girls on the following Saturday. They haven’t quite earned the badge, but they hope to meet at the Rock Gym over the summer to finish up.
After watching many, many episodes of Worst Cooks in America, Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay, The Next Food Network Star and other cooking shows, The Daughter decided it was high time to get started on the Patriot level requirements for the Cooking badge. Some of the tasks are business as usual, but one or two will make her stretch. She has to make a yeast bread from scratch, a quick bread from scratch, a pie crust from scratch, a full meal, try a new recipe off of the internet, add recipes to her recipe collection, plan three days of healthy meals and make a shopping list, research meat preparation safety, and prepare a recipe that requires peeling and chopping fresh fruit. She tackled the hardest one first – making the yeast bread, thanks to Alexandra’s recipe for My Mother’s Peasant Bread. She followed up later in the week making a full meal. She will be working on this over the next couple of weeks. Like the Family Helper badge, this is another AHG badge that mothers can really get behind!
We fit in our weekly visits to the beach at the Chesapeake Bay, and visited the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. To our disgust, they were closed last month in order to install an exhibit called Lantern Asia. We happened to see the exhibit one day when we were able to make it through the gate before the price went up, and were reminded of a Chinese Restaurant Decor Sales Convention a la Oriental Trader catalog. The decorations, in shades of rarely-seen-in-nature-neon, looked crass and unnatural in proximity to the softer hues of real buds and blossoms that signal Spring in Virginia. Still, people loved it. Of course, people loved the big inflatable duck at the Chrysler too, but at least that was free. We will be glad when it’s over. We love visiting the gardens and watching each week as the flowers in bloom ebb and flow, the trees leaf out, and scent fills the air.
The end of the month brought Easter, and #1 Son came home for a very quick visit to see the grandparents, and join us at church. It was a rainy, dreary day outside, but the worship of our Risen Lord was rich and joyful. The week after Easter, the Daughter had no commitments because co-op and American Heritage Girls were both on Spring Break. We kept our homeschool studies going, but it was more relaxing. We walked on the beach, had a fire one evening, and enjoyed the slower pace.
“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” Eudora Welty