Contact Us
  Helen's Journal

Sign Up
  New Content E-mail List


  Barley Products

  Bean Products

  Buckwheat Products

  Canning Supplies

  Corn Products

  Lentil Products



  Oat Products

  Pea Products

  Pet Bedding

  Popcorn Kernels

  Rodent Pet Food

  Rice Products

  Rye Products

  Seed Products


  Soy Products

  Wheat Products

  The Aardsma Family
    The Dad
    The Mom
  Jennifer (Aardsma) Hall 
    Treasuring Home

Dr. Aardsma's
Educational Products

  Dr. Aardsma's Drills
  Dr. Aardsma's
Saxon Math Checker



Helen's Mulberry Lane Farm Journal

October 8, 2011

We Use This For That

Idea One:

I have had several cheese slicers over the years. I've never liked the fact they slice the cheese so thick. Recently I started using my Oxo peeler which I use to peel potatoes (it is of the same type my mother had and is the ONLY peeler to have!), to make nice thin slices of cheese. The thin slices of cheese are great for sandwiches and for salads. If I want a thicker slice of cheese, say for grilled cheese sandwiches, then I just put on several layers of the thin cheese.

Idea Two:

Someone gave me an old desk a few years back. The desk was all warped and not of much use. But I loved the two deep file drawers in the desk and decided to keep them. I've used the drawers for various things over the years. At present, one is in my office on my desk. I use it for filing my "need to take care of asap" stuff. The other is in my closet filled with pillow cases.

I like finding new uses for old things. It sometimes takes me awhile to find a use, but eventually it takes it place amongst my "early garage sale" decor.

Life Is Precious

Life is slowing down a little as the garden winds down. Our first frost is imminent but it looks like Indian Summer is upon us.

Today, Sunday October 2nd, is a gorgeous fall day and we are expecting similar days this week.

It always love it when a nice day happens on Sunday. I have a chance to leave the office and get outside for long walks and lingering thoughts. Gerald and I took an early morning walk in the cool while the children were eating store bought cereal in their beds. (Our Sunday luxury is store-bought cereal for breakfast---but who said they could eat in their beds?)

It was a simply glorious walk. A touch of fall color was showing on the tips of the trees. There was no wind; a rarity here where we live. (Ever heard of the Windy City? We live two hours south of it.) We walked around our local cemetery. Always quiet and no crowds. We call it our private park, and we don't have to maintain the lawn! Half way through our walk, two rambunctious boys (our own Tim and Caleb) rode up on their newly acquired tandem bike, a recent gift to us. You never saw two boys have so much fun. The best things in life are still free!

Caleb and Tim loading up the canoe.

This Sunday afternoon, Gerald has taken Tim and Caleb fishing and canoeing on a nearby lake. Rachel and I are luxuriating in the quiet. I am working on a tribute for a very special person in my life. I roughed out the basics and plan to get back to it later after my thoughts gel further. Secrets abound on that one.....

We have a new grandson, born in July, (I know, I'm behind.....) to our daughter and oldest child, Jennifer. This is number five for Jennifer & Steve. They now have one girl and four boys.

Welcome to the Aardsma clan little Toby!

His name is Tobiah Jacob born on July 20, 2011. Tobiah means GOD IS GOOD. "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations." Psalm 100:5. Jacob was chosen after Jennifer's grandfather, Jacob Allen Aardsma, my wonderful father-in-law, now in glory. He was a strong man of God. Toby missed his great-grandfather's birthday by only one day. Jennifer says, "Our prayer is that little Tobiah will grow to be a man of God like his great-grandfather, and that his life will be a testimony of God's goodness."

I got to see "Toby" (as they are calling him), when Jennifer and her family arrived for our annual homecoming in August. Toby was only three weeks old when they came to visit so I didn't have to wait too long but it seemed forever to me! After they arrived and I hugged Joshua, Ethan, Katie and Sammy, I got to hold Toby. I cried as I beheld his precious little face and held his sweet little body. I usually feel pretty choked up when meeting a new grandchild for the first time. It is what I call a "holy moment." But the tears came pouring out this time, more than usual.

There is a context to everything. As a mother to ten children, (seven adults now on their own, and three still left to raise,) I have experienced my share of joy and pain. When any of my children experiences joy over the truly important things in life, I rejoice in a deep way, with hilarity in my soul. When one of my children suffers pain, I cannot breathe for the pain. I know you mothers of many years experience know of what I speak.

Jennifer has lost three babies over the last several years. The last one, her dear Anthony, was lost 18 weeks into the pregnancy. He was fully formed and beautiful when he was born. As Jennifer shared the pain of her empty arms and heart with me over the next months, my pain was deep. Tears come from time to time as I remember Anthony, and they come now as I type.

On July 20th, when Toby made it safe and sound into Jennifer's arms, the angels were rejoicing and so were we. And that is an understatement! Jennifer's and my tears mingled together over the phone lines. We couldn't speak. We were in one of those "words that cannot be uttered" times. We were so profoundly thankful for God's tender mercies to us.

Jennifer told me that after Toby was born, she just wanted to hold him all the time. Even when she got home, she carried him around in the sling. When he was sound asleep, and she had so many tasks calling her attention, she just couldn't keep herself from just picking him up and rocking him. She needed him close. I understood.

So, when I finally got to hold Toby in my arms, the flood gates just poured open and the tears flowed freely. I was so grateful for him and his sweet smelling skin and his cute toes and his long thin piano fingers. I couldn't take my eyes off him. It was a "holy of holy moment."

After one of our mealtime devotions, it was Gerald's and my privilege to pray a blessing over Tobiah. I held Tobiah in my arms, and Jennifer and I cried, while Gerald asked God to bless this new life. We united our hearts in prayer that Toby would do great things for God and make a difference in this needy world. Gerald prayed for wisdom for Jennifer and Steve as they raised Toby, and for his brothers and sister as they help mold and shape Toby's life. It was a sober yet thrilling moment as grandparents.

Children's children are the crowning glory of the aged...
Proverbs 17:6
Toby is talking sweet baby talk to me.

Jennifer rejoicing in her new little olive branch.
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Psalm 127:3

Life---a precious gift to be cherished.

Thanks for stoppin' by and catchin' up a little.


Happy Fall!


             Copyright ©1996-2021 Mulberry Lane Farm. All rights reserved;photos and content.