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(MC83)

May 1, 2002.

Dear Sisters,

I'm excited to announce a precious little baby's entrance into the world! Steve and Jennifer (Aardsma) Hall gave birth to their second son (my third grandson), Ethan Wesley Hall, on April 17, 2002. Ethan weighed in at 7 lbs 14 1/2 oz. Both Mom and baby are doing great. God did the needed miracle, allowing Jennifer to deliver by VBAC, as was her desire. Thank you, dear readers, for praying for Jennifer. I plan to give the full birth story soon in an upcoming newsletter. Meanwhile, I hope to post some pictures of Ethan on our web site, www.motherscompanion.org, as soon as I get them. They should be there by the time you receive this letter.

In a series of articles called ``Timothy's Diary'' I've been journaling the experience of mothering Timothy from the time I became pregnant with him. I've collected the articles up to this point into a book called Timothy's Diary: The First Five Years. It's an inside look at mothering from the beginning of pregnancy to the child's fifth birthday. Many subscribers have written over the years expressing the fun they were having comparing Timothy's progress to their own son or daughter of similar age. By pulling the set of "Timothy's Diary" articles together into a single book. I am hoping to make this woman-to-woman mothering resource much more conveniently available than having it spread out over many past issues of The Mother's Companion. I feel Timothy's Diary: The First Five Year provides a handy, easy-to-read look at normal mothering practice and child development during the critical first five years. This new resouce is included on the order form accompanying this letter. (Please note: Timothy's Diary is not available at this time.)

This spring has been a very busy one, as usual. David (15) has planted the potatoes, onions, beets, peas, radishes and lettuce so far. We are eating asparagus daily and will soon be enjoying rhubarb muffins, pie and crisp. Laura's daffodils and tulips are bringing their abundance of cheer to the homestead. Laundry is once again flapping on the lines and the chickens have been moved to their summer quarters. How I love spring!

With Spring comes rain, and rainy days mean the chilren are couped up indoors. We have had several days of rain recently. The younger children have kept the older girls and me busy cleaning---blocks and trucks in one room, making murals in another, stamping and puzzles in another. I call it "following the whirlwind!" Ever heard the saying, "Keeping the house tidy while there are children present is like shoveling the sidewalk in a snowstorm"? But, as Solomon pointed out three thousand years ago, some messes are worthwhile:

Where no oxen are, the crib is clean; but much increase is by the strength of the ox. (Proverbs 14:4, KJV)

I adapt this verse this way: ``Where there are no children, the house is clean and tidy, but from the work and play of children comes an abundant harvest".

Blessings,

Helen E. Aardsma



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