Helen's Family (2001)
Jennifer (25) is married to Steve Hall. They live in Virginia where Steve is an associate pastor responsible for, among other things, music and the youth ministry. Jennifer is the mother of two children: Joshua will be two in March, 2002 and their second child is due in April, 2002. Jennifer is a full-time homemaker, teaches piano lessons, plays the harp, and helps Steve with the church music ministry. Jennifer was home-schooled from 2nd grade through high school, and then attended Pensacola Christian College where she met Steve.
Mark (22) is married to Jenn (Forney). They have a son, Nathan, who was born in September, 2001. Mark is responsible for information technology and communications at Aardsma Research & Publishing (ARP). He is also the layout editor for The Mother's Companion newsletter. Jenn is a full-time homemaker, a piano teacher, and loves to sing. They live just five miles down the road from us in Paxton, Illinois. Mark and Jenn both attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.
Stephen (20) is a business major at Judson College in Elgin, Illinois. He comes home most weekends since he's only three hours away. He earns college money by making woodcarvings and doing odd jobs for neighbors. Stephen loves woodworking, bike riding, my home cooking, and playing with his younger brothers and sisters.
Laura-Lee (16) is the oldest at home. She is a junior in our homeschool. Laura does all the family cooking, keeping her teenage brothers well fed. (Her specialties are chicken pot pie and butter tarts.) She works part-time for ARP, writes for The Mother's Companion ("Laura's Corner"), and helps market vegetables from our one-acre garden.
David is 14 years old and the oldest boy at home. He is a freshman in high school and is also home schooled. He takes care of the homestead which involves milking the cow twice daily, chores with the chickens, and all the major garden work. David is presently doing a major construction job; building an 400 sq. ft addition onto our house. This is homeschool at its best! He will probably have this project done by Christmas, 2001. David enjoys fishing, reading Tolkien and eating Laura's delicious home made angel food cakes.
Matthew (11) is in the fifth grade in our homeschool. (We call our homeschool "Faith Christian Academy".) His responsibilities include cutting grass for our cow, keeping the garage tidy, and making all the family's bread. Matthew loves to hunt rabbits, read (he keeps our local librarian busy), "BURDY" (a youth gym night we host) and Sundays (no work!).
Rebekah (9) is in the third grade. She's excited about doing school on the computer using CD-ROM software this year. 'Beka helps me a lot with the younger children, does many after-meal clean-ups, picks garden produce for my customers, and is an all-around assistant to me.
Rachel (7) is in the second grade. She is still in workbooks, and looking forward to being on the computer next year. Rachel helps prepare meals, loads the dishwasher, helps with her two younger brothers, and plays a lot. She loves to go for bike rides with Stephen when he's home from college.
Timothy (4) is the subject of "Timothy's Diary" in The Mother's Companion. I've written about him since his birth, making him pretty well-known, although he probably won't like that when he's a teenager. Timothy gets to play most of the day, but he likes to be in on the action wherever it's happening. The other day he said to me, "Mom, how old are you?" When I paused to think he said, "What's the matter mom. Are you too old to remember?"
Caleb (2) is the youngest of the family (so far!). His favorite thing is to nurse, which he does a lot of. He tries to do everything Timmy does, which often gets him into trouble. He does some pretty naughty things, like emptying shampoo bottles and destroying audio tapes, but we all love him bunches. He keeps us laughing most of the time, and keeps me young.
Gerald (46), the father of this tribe, is a wonderful man, the love of my life. He heads up Aardsma Research and Publishing, where he spends most of his time doing biblical chronology research. The answers coming from his research are documented in ARP's other newsletter, The Biblical Chronologist. If you want to know more about what he is doing, and the work of The Biblical Chronologist, visit www.biblicalchronologist.org.Gerald is also editor-in-chief for The Mother's Companion newsletter. He has a burden for families and sees the need for encouraging mom's at home. Gerald loves children and has been a great father to our ten children. He hopes that I will have one more baby, a little girl, to end our child-bearing years. Me too! But, only God knows if we will or not.