My First Bi-Monthly Column!

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English: Zion Schoolhouse, Toronto

English: Zion Schoolhouse, Toronto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I am officially a Columnist!

I am now the Frugal Foodie for Molly Green Magazine!

Molly Green is a “The Old Schoolhouse” Magazine subsidiary, with a digital format Magazine coming out every other month. The magazine focuses on how to live simply and frugally, within a Christian context. I will be sharing how our family has managed to live on a very low-income, with a focus on food, shopping, menu planning, and recipes.

The magazine is in eBook format and is available by subscription only here:


Good To Be Writing Again

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I don’t try to hide the fact that my family and my service to God comes before my writing. Therefore, I was on a Sabbatical from July of 2012 to March of 2013.

Now, my girls have gotten a little older, my training of them a little more through, and my heart a little lighter. So I am ready to start writing seriously again. I am updating my blog weekly, putting in queries to publications that I would be a good fit to write for, and I am working on my first publications – a Home Economics Curriculum series for elementary aged students.

Please contact me if you have a suitable project for me.


A Schroader Family Blog: A Simple Life

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Schroader Family Writing Services announces their new blog: A Simple Life.

A Simple Life is a “Radical Departure from Today’s Consumer Driven World”.

It is about removing clutter, debt and things that are not healthy.

It is about finding peace, joy and calm in the simple things God has given us.

It is about one family’s walk with God and change from being driven by consumerism and flesh to being drive by heart and God.

A Simple Life is also a project to demonstrate April Schroaders’ writing ability in the Christian Writers Market.

Contact April by clicking the Hire Me link if you are interested in hiring her for your next blog, magazine or non-fiction book project.

Schroader Family Writing Services Has Moved

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City Hall in Meridian, ID, USA

Image via Wikipedia

Schroader Family Writing Services has moved from New Plymouth, Idaho to Meridian, Idaho.

Honestly, in the mostly virtual world of Freelance Writing these days, I am not sure this move matters much. If I had more local clients, I am sure the update would be needed and appreciated. However, most of my work is online, which leaves me to update a lot of W-9s, but not much more.

Which is good, because I just moved with a 1-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old. Obviously, I have plenty to do:-)

For those that read my blog, be it friend or professional, the move went well. We had a lot of help from friends and we are very grateful for them. We are almost unpacked and I have been sending off some queries already to find some additional clients. And I actually miss writing in the middle of all that packing and unpacking stuff.

Now if I could find somewhere to market my “Simple Living” column idea,…

April’s Resume

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Here is my professional resume:


2010 – Current Freelance Writer, Schroader Family Writing Services

  • Textbroker, Freelance Writer, Business Writing Market, Technical Writing, Health and Wellness Writing, Travel Writing – Textbroker is an online marketplace for written articles. Currently rated as a Level 4 Writer (levels are 2 to 5).
  • Churchmouse Publishing, Freelance Writer, Christian Writing Market – A paid, syndicated / published article
  • Armoral Tuttle Public Library, New Plymouth, ID, Volunteer, – Web Content Management and Site Updates
  • Resume Writing Services – Helping people get the job they want by assisting them in crafting a professional, quality resume

2006 – Current – Homeschooling Mother of 3 Children (and counting)

2005 – 2006 Senior Database / Backend Test Engineer, Consultant to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through Bridge Consulting

Product Description

The GrantView System is a heavily customized Grant Making and Tracking software built on an existing product using SQL, and XML. This new Grant making system was plugged into existing Gates Foundation systems including Financial and Reporting. ETL, the primary testing focus, consisted of using SQL DTS and SQL stored procedures to extract, transform and load data from the new GrantView system into the existing Data Mart and Reporting system, with some changes being made to the Data Mart schema to support the new data.

  • Wrote test specifications and test cases for full coverage of owned feature areas. Testing was primarily backend testing and involved mostly SQL data validation, with some data setup through the GrantView UI. Wrote SQL queries (multi-table joins, sub queries, etc…) to perform the data validation.
  • Became a feature area expert and worked closely with the team, especially the Developers, on any issues found. Performed troubleshooting, including backend analysis of issue, reading through SQL code, and using SQL tools.
  • Wrote SQL scripts to automate some of the ETL testing, mainly using complex queries and checksums to validate the data between the two systems. With some assistance from the Test Lead, plugged the SQL scripts into C# code, using Gates Foundation custom automation harness, to fully automate the testing and reporting of results and ran the automation on a nightly basis.
  • Performed document and code reviews on all documents and code related to ETL, giving feedback where useful.

2004 – 2005 Senior Test Engineer 3, Consultant to Microsoft through Volt Computer Services

Product Description

The Order Management Platform is a generic, flexible e-commerce platform built on SQL, ASP and COM that allows different product groups at Microsoft to use the components of the system in ways that suites their need to sell their products through the internet directly to their customers. Email Services and Feed Services, the primary testing focus, are Windows Services which run a series of SQL Stored Procedures at a designated interval to accomplish tasks such as importing vendor updates to orders and sending email confirmations based on new orders or updated orders.

  • Wrote test specifications and test cases for full coverage of owned feature areas. Testing was primarily backend testing and involved mostly SQL data setup and validation. Wrote SQL queries (multi-table joins, sub queries, etc…) to perform the data setup and validation. The set of SQL scripts served as partial automation of the testing.
  • Quickly became the group expert in Email Services (primary test area) and learned Feed Services to assist with testing when needed (and Feed Services integrated with Email Services). Performed Analysis on some Production issues that were found in Feed Services to assist with understanding the issue and getting to the correct design approach before it came to System Test.
  • Worked closely with Developers on any issues found. Performed troubleshooting, including reading through stored procedures and running performance analysis tools.
  • Wrote on-boarding / training documentation for primary feature area. Also wrote an automation evaluation document on what it would take to fully automate the Email Services feature, along with breakdown of grouping of test cases for best ROI from the automation.

2003 – 2004 Quality Assurance and Test Lead, Consultant to Microsoft through Murphy and Associates

Product Description:

Project Codename Edison is a Partner Relationship Management and Opportunity Management web-based and data integration system built on SQL Server 2000 and Windows 2003 using technologies such as ASP.NET and XML. Edison integrates Partner, Customer, Sales and Opportunity data from various MS internal systems including MSOrg, Sibel, Feedstore, Cert Partner, MSSales, Genesis and MOSB. The product is to support the needs of the World Wide Small and Medium Business Unit (Sales and Marketing).

  • Came on board with 7 weeks left to ship 1.0 pilot – lead 4 other team members, including 3 offshore resources in India, to write and run tests (including data validation with SQL), organized bug bashes, and started the setup and organization of the Quality Assurance Team in this timeframe.
  • For the 2.0 version, came up with creative solutions (using research and other’s experiences) to plan and implement a test schedule that would fit into the ship time box. This included organizing and leading bug bashes, user testing, prioritizing testing, and coordinating with the Development Team on defect prevention (including Dev running manual and automated unit tests before check-in). Communicated risks associated with shipping product in time box with capacity short QA Team.
  • For 2.0, participated in interviews and grew the team to 10 members, including 1 additional Lead. For 2.3, participated in interviews and grew the team to 22 members, including additional offshore resources and 1 additional Lead.
  • Held some Test Management duties as the point Test Lead for all major releases through 2.1.6. This includes: scoping and estimation, work breakdown, capacity planning and work schedules, master test plans, all project leadership meetings, JAD (feature / spec) session, and Test representative for major project decision making. Involved in all aspects of the SDLC.
  • Lead the team to do spec reviews, test case writing, running tests, logging bugs, and communicating issues. Got hands on when / where needed.
  • Conjointly lead the test automation effort including high level design, how to group test cases into suites for supportability of data driven automation, and low-level design reviews and code reviews. For UI testing, the main harness was a Microsoft custom-built .NET automation driver with API, use to access controls on a web page. Scripted Test Suites in C#. For data integration testing, SQL scripts with test databases and/or xml files were used.
  • Lead other kinds of testing including Performance, Load, Localization, Unicode, Globalization, Security and Privacy.
  • Involved in or lead Best Practices including how to write good bugs, triages and general project / team process improvement such as improving documentation and communication.
  • Initially handled all test coordination with our integration partners. Currently handle coordination with the Microsoft Sibel Team and share coordination and communication with all the disciplines involved in the Edison project, including Analysis, Development, Product and Project Management, User Support and Production Support.

Additional Quality Assurance, Project Management, and QA Management Positions since 1996. Many of these positions included Technical Writing.


2010 – Ongoing, self teaching writing and freelance writing business through books and online sites

2002 Continuing education courses and workshops, Volt Technical Education

File and Folder Operations with C#.NET

1997-1998 Continuing education courses and workshops, Microsoft Technical Education
Including Product Cycle Model, Survey of Testing Tools, Testing Websites I, SQL Server Basics, and Testing for the Global Environment.

1996 Computer programming courses, North Seattle Community College
Developed functional programs in BASIC and C++. Used basic Unix commands and wrote batch files using the Korn Shell. Learned data communications and networking basics.

1994 – 1995 Associate in Arts and Sciences, Bellevue Community College
Emphasis on psychology including quantitative and qualitative research and analysis. Tutored students in Algebra and Calculus.

Schroader Family Writing Services



Image via Wikipedia

Hello and welcome to Schroader Family Writing Services. Currently, we offer the following services:

  1. Resume writing
  2. Web content management and updates
  3. Technical writing and IT Industry writing
  4. Business writing and services – brainstorming / idea generation, business planning, marketing
  5. Non-fiction freelance writing specializing in the children’s and teen’s Christian market
  6. Non-fiction freelance writing specializing in the travel, food, and health and wellness markets

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