April in Review 2023

April started off with a bang and more than a bit weird. Here we go.

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Week 1

Okay, it was more than a little weird.

I subscribe to a monthly tea of the day and the tea for April 1 was Cursed Tea, and it was. It was well and truly cursed and it was terrible. I then had to make both Jeff and the Artist taste this horrible tea. It was so bad that even the smell was making me gag. Jeff was absolutely amazed I got this if it had such teas, and I had to explain it frequently had good tea, but this particular tea was just so horrible I couldn’t stand it.

Then that night I was going to make Mama Fry bake from St. Vincent and Grenadines, only to discover that it was basically fry bread and that is not something you can make a meal out of. So I quickly revised my plan and used the Mama Fry bake to make Navajo tacos, which is essentially using fry bread in place of a tortilla. They turned out fine despite the first attempt or two not going well.

Monday I helped at The Artist’s AHG troop as responsible adult, which mainly meant I sat in the room and talked with other adults. I did wander over at one point and get a picture of The Artist working on her project. They were making stained glass.

I continued working on the questions for April’s Book Quest over at Lorehaven, The Chase by Bradley Caffee, it’s Superman’s favorite dystopian book series, and I’ve found so many great questions to ask.

We had a meal from UAE, Biryani, but I managed to forget several different ingredients, so I can’t really claim it was a true-to-life version of the meal, but I enjoyed it, especially the toasted cashews we added on.

I got a random picture of Batman just chilling with Leezard and reading one day, and I just loved the picture.

And then the last picture is Superman after surgery on his wrist. After 8 months in a cast, we finally went with surgery (we actually almost did in December, but the doctor at that time thought it looked healed, but it was reinjured in February). He spent the day watching TV with us, and then we finished off our multi-year gaming campaign. It was an epic ending that I still have to write up, when I do it will be added to Addie’s Journal, and maybe at some point it will be turned into a series of books.

Books read:

Games played:

Week 2

Easter was insanely busy, as you might guess. Parking was crazy, there were so many cars. Afterward, we went home and got ready for the cousins and the Easter T-rex greeted them with much squealing and chasing. Then we had our Easter egg hunt, with Batman happily sporting many many bunny ears he stole/was given by the cousins. It was a fun Easter, and everyone was quite happy.

Superman went in to work on Monday, despite having literally just had surgery on Friday, so I made Batman go eat lunch there, I got this oh-so-happy look from him as we were leaving. His co-workers were amused by it.

What is especially amusing about all that, the area manager came in later (his store manager had been let go for not doing his job over the weekend while Superman was off), and said, “Why are you here? Are you cleared to come back to work?” So his boss basically told him not to come back until he had a doctor’s note clearing him to work. When he called into the doctor’s office asking about that, the receptionist said, “Oh honey, you just had surgery. You do not need to be going to work.” So he has to wait another week before he can go into work. Then we’ll see what the doctor says on Wednesday.

We had two international meals. First we tried a chicken and rice meal from Somalia. It was rather bland, this was particularly interesting because when The Artist tried just the chicken she said it was really flavorful and good. Reading up on other recipes, I think it probably needed more spices for the rice because “rice sucks up spices.” Which I believe now.

This recipe was also the recipe where I caused the coffee grinder (which I used to grind spices) started smoking. Apparently, when you toast spices they really mean it when they say let the spices cool.

Our other meal was, consults notes of what I cooked this week, Cape Malay Chicken Curry from South Sudan. Cooking the recipe, there was no curry spice in the recipe, so I don’t know exactly what makes it curry. But then, I’ve also read that curry powder is a combination of spices.

When I went to pick up the Artist at the care farm she volunteers at, she had just finished weeding, and so I got to help her feed the plants to various different bunnies. The bunnies were quite happy to eat whatever plants we gave them and they were adorable.

Books I read

Games played

I don’t remember if we played any this week, which is a shame

Week 3

Let’s see, all the stuff happened this week.

We went out to dinner to discuss Tress of the Emerald Seas, Superman backed the secret novels, and was eagerly looking forward to everyone finishing the book so we could discuss it. It finally happened that weekend and we happily ate large amounts of soup as we discussed the book and Superman’s questions.

We had teen hangout and it really cracked me up as each teen boy came in with another game, and slowly but surely there was a rather large stack of board games.

I’m working on a baby quilt for one of my former students, and the top is all done, so now it’s time for the applique. She’s got a Winnie the Pooh themed nursery, so I’m adding a fun applique at the bottom.

We tried two different country meals. First was a meal from, gets up and finds notebook with the country name, Vanatu Tahini, it was just Superman and I eating this and we both took one bite and rinsed the sauce of the meat. It was just such a weird flavor and an odd texture. I really don’t understand why the texture was so weird.

Then we tried the Tuvalu chicken and mushroom. First I struggled to find any recipe that I could find the ingredients for before finding this, and at first it was fairly tasteless. I ended up severely modifying it before Jeff got home from working late.

That’s the other part of life right now, his work has decided after transitioning him from his original job and out-sourcing it to another country, then a few months into the new job as he’s learning the new job, they’re going to bring back word yet another country is doing from overseas to the US, so he’s getting trained twice a week after hours to learn this new code. It makes for very long weeks for everyone.

Superman went back after his surgery, and now has the official cast, and it stays on for another month, and then he gets rid of the cast and I’m guessing will then get rehab again. Sigh…

Finally, the top middle picture is of my kids leading a Bible study for our homeschool group. It made me smile as they had a few extra friends there, to lead in Bible study.

Books read

  • The Crossing: Arlan’s Pledge– I’ve got mixed feelings on this, I think I’m realizing I don’t like Celtic fantasy stories, or not ones that focus so much on wearing tartans, plaids, and kilts, the story was good enough, but not my favorite
  • Snowfield Palace– I reread this one Thursday night because I wanted something familiar as I was feeling down and needed a quick happy thought
  • Ordinary Knight– this was on sale, and I really like the author, and I’m trying to slowly buy all of her books. It was a fun little novella, it’s on the verge between YA and middle grade

Games played

  • Sweet Existence– a fun kind of team game, it’s been a bit since I played it, and I really should play it again to try and remember how I would classify it
  • Pathfinder Level 20– you’re Kobolds trying to make sure you aren’t killed by players who just need to kill a few more monsters to hit level 20
  • Tak– this is a game based off a book, it’s a 2 player game rather like chess
  • Superfight– a fun group game

Week 4 and change

I was going to finish this last night, but the dog had lots of seizures, and then I was up all night dealing with her seizures, so here is me sitting down now to get this written up.

We are sprinting through our last 10-15 countries and states, so I have several meals related to countries, of which I only included two pictures:

  • Sierra Leone ginger spice bread- which was really more of a dessert but we ate as a sort of breakfast for dessert, that was wildly popular
  • Turkmenistan chicken recipe which no one had any great feelings for one way or the other, it just sort of existed
  • Seychelles Rougalles- another no one had strong feelings for, unlike the spice bread which I’ve gotten multiple requests to make again because it disappeared in less than a day, and that was with several people not home because they were working

The top right and left pictures are from church, this particular Saturday we went out to set up the cones for church, Batman saw me taking a picture and hid behind the cone. The next morning at church I managed to snag a picture of all three kids reading before church, you can’t see Superman, because he’s sitting across the lobby in another set of chairs.

While the boys went to a birthday party, The Artist had a big sig/little sis event with a younger friend who is kind of like a little sister. We had my small group of high school girls over and we had a dessert of strawberries and whipped cream and then painted their sister’s nails and put masks on. Everyone loved it, it was a big success and I’m sure we’ll do something like this again.

And that was April. I’m finally getting this finished up as I’m taking a break from making dinner. I did all the prep work of cutting up stuff and now it’s time to go cook the Saint Lucian chicken roti, I’m not excited by the spice palate (curry), but I am excited to try cooking roti bread, which looks to be somewhat similar to tortillas. We’ll see how it works.

Jeff got me an antique secretary desk for Christmas, and I finally got it set up where I want it, now to figure out just how I want to use it. I love antique desks like this, so it was pretty cool to find it.

The boys’ friend had a birthday party, and so they decided of course the best way to wrap his present was find the biggest box they could and then turn it into a scary-looking man. Seriously, it’s rather disturbing.

I’ve been thinking through what I’ll do with these posts now that the kids are graduating because obviously my life is changing, and I’m not sure. I’m somewhat thinking of consolidating all of my month in review posts down into one post per school year, we’ll see. If I do that, it’ll be an insanely long post, like 12,000-15,000 words. I don’t know, any opinions?


2 responses to “April in Review 2023”

  1. That ginger spice bread sounds amazing, and it might work gluten free…

    I’ve always wanted a secretary desk. I hope you love yours!

  2. Natalie PlanetSmarty Avatar
    Natalie PlanetSmarty

    I hope you keep your monthly updates! I find them very fun to read and know what’s going on not only with your kids but with you too. I hope Superman heals well and completely after his surgery!

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