Drop Thy still dews of quietness,

Till all our strivings cease;

Take from our souls the strain and stress,

And let our ordered lives confess

The beauty of Thy peace

-J. Whittier

There are some sisters who are naturally neat and super organized. They never lose control of their houses. Their closets and drawers are neat. They can always find the scissors and the tape; and they always use their coupons before they expire. This housekeeping help section is not for those super-keepers, but many of us could sure use their input! These tips are for the rest of us who find there is always something lost, late or spoiled, but who are not content with disorder in our homes.

Since the keeping of the home is our God-given occupation, sisters, we have to take full responsibility for the condition of things in our homes. As daughters of Yahweh and students of the Scriptures we have come to value the beauty of order. With order comes peace and relief from the frustration we feel when things are out of control.

Through this "Housekeeping" section we hope to encourage and motivate each other to set our hearts on our homes, to dream beautiful dreams for our homes, to face and overcome our tendencies to procrastinate, to discipline ourselves in the wise use of our time, and to seek out and put to use the housekeeping skills that work for other sisters.

Our homes are as different and individual as we all are but there are a few basic chores that are shared by most everyone:

And many can add:


Sis. Lindsay Billington (Ewen Road Ecclesia, Ontario, Canada) sent these lovely sayings to encourage us all:

"I am not a homemaker because I had too little ambition or education to make anything else of myself. No - I am a homemaker because God has given me the infinite honour of being a wife, and I am delighted in employing every ability that He has eqquipped me with in this glad career." (Author unknown)


"When you make a determined decision to dedicate yourself to marriage, home, and family, the list of things to do at home is endless." (L. Sherman)



We would love to share any housekeeping or motivational tips that work for you (e-mail us).



Whether we do wash every day or all at once on a dedicated "wash day," we must discipline ourselves to finish folding and putting away each and every load we start. This will save countless frustrations for us and for our families. We need to make a fast rule for ourselves - when each load of clean clothes is dry - put it all away - right away. It is so much easier and quicker to take five minutes to fold one load and put it away than to wait till there is a mountain of mixed and wrinkled clean clothes that take up the whole couch or kitchen table AND will take up a good part of an hour or more to sort through and put up (not to mention the time added because some now need ironing).

Laundry is one of those household chores that cannot be avoided or ignored. So we need to take charge of it and refuse to let it get out of control. We can add much peace to the hectic school, work and Ecclesial schedules of our families by sparing them and ourselves the panic of having no clean towels, underwear, socks, etc. on a school, workday or worst of all, Sunday morning.

"Grandma's Laundry Instructions"

We often think that the women of old must have spent more time on doing laundry than we do in this present age of automatic washers and dryers. Sometimes I wonder. The women of old usually washed once a week and even less often in the winter months. How often do we wash? Families of old had fewer clothes than we do today, and they were more careful not to soil their clothes, using aprons and work dresses to protect their clothes. It may be that we are working too long and too often at our "automatic" appliances because our families are too free to grab a fresh towel or a fresh outfit. Of course none of us would want our families to wear dirty clothes, but there is a balance we should consider that takes into account the value of the time and energy of the one who "gets to" do the laundry.

"Now, as always, the most automated appliance in a household is the mother"

-B. Jones



Drying Laundry: (Not for wet and cold climates.) Hang all your tops/shirts out on coat hangers on the line straight after they have finished washing. Garments made of stretch fabric dried like this rarely need ironing and are quick to put away. Business shirts are easier to iron. Hang trousers on trouser hangers and they only need a very quick iron too. Hang small things on clothes airers outside and just bring inside if rain threatens. Small children can reach the line to hang their own clothes out. Have a clothes line installed under your carport or verandah to keep them out of the rain in summer and winter. I never use a clothes dryer. (Sis. Jude Pillion, Happy Valley Ecclesia, Adelaide, South Australia)

Laundry with a Baby: I have a two year old who always sleeps well at night and for naps. For me sleep-deprivation has been non-existent because she learnt to settle herself. When she was a baby when I put her to bed I made sure she was fed, changed and burped then I wrapped her up and put her in her cot. Even if she cried a little I would leave her and go and hang out a load of washing. Inevitably the crying was finished by the time it was hung out and she was peacefully fast asleep. My washing was always done and hung out; and since about 5 months of age, she falls asleep peacefully without any fussing. She has slept 12 hours all night since she was three months old (excluding the evening room service feed which I dropped when she started eating solid food). Sorting out sleep routines has been fantastic to allow me to keep things in reasonable order most of the time. I would thoroughly recommend the book “On Becoming Babywise” by Robert Bucknam and Gary Ezzo which is available in USA and Australia for establishing feeding and sleeping routines on the foundation of a solid marriage relationship. (Sis. Jude Pillion, Happy Valley Ecclesia, Adelaide, South Australia)

Children Learning How to do Laundry: My nine year old son and eleven year old daughter do their own laundry. My son typically wears dark clothes so he ends up doing a dark wash, and my daughter typically wears light clothes and she does a 'white' wash. I have to remind them to do it once a week, but they enjoy doing it once they get going. I still have to help my son fold his clothes, and as long as I don't watch my daughter fold hers, things work out okay! I homeschool so they can fit this in during the 'school' day. (Sis. Rachel Launchbury, Portland Ecclesia, Portland, Oregon, USA)

Sorting clean clothes: When taking in the laundry, take it off the line in the order that you will walk through the house. Fold it at the line all the while enjoying more time in the garden (because we have lovely gardens in New Zealand). Then walk the washing to the appropriate room and the job is done! This also saves on ironing. (Wanganui Ecclesia, New Zealand, Sisters' Class: Gaylene, Deb, Coral, Lucy and Suanna)

Sorting: I have a handy time saving tip for sorting washing. To begin with I have two separate baskets in the laundry for dirty clothes - one for white and one for coloured clothes. As soon as my children are old enough to take their clothes off by themselves I teach them to put white things in one basket and coloured things in the other (this also is good for teaching them colours!). This way I have my clothes pre-sorted when I am ready to wash.

When taking the clothes off the line I have a basket for each member of the family and as I take the clothes off I put them in the appropriate basket straight away and then they can go straight to each child's room. I find this saves double sorting the clothes (i.e. putting them in one basket straight off the line and then having to re-sort them into correct piles once inside). (Sis. Sarah Tucker, Eastern Suburbs Ecclesia, Perth, Western Australia)

Sorting/Matching Children's Clothes: When I buy ANYTHING new, I mark the clothing with a china marker or clothing marker because we have three men in the house - I've done this since I only had two, and it works very well! Even the bottom of socks, because they lose them at Manitoulin Camp - first Kid's Camp, then Youth Conference. The only thing is, when they take their shoes off, their name is on the bottom of white socks and do they ever get a laugh out of that! For dark socks, one son has a colour of thread that I sew on, and the other son has a different colour. My husband has no thread. 

I also have 5 laundry baskets - one for white - HOT; one for dark colours - WARM; one for light colours - WARM; one for COLD water wash; and one empty basket for putting the dryer load in to bring upstairs to fold. (Sis. Patty Robinson, Brantford Ecclesia, Ontario, Canada)

Laundry Sorting: We bought an inexpensive (about $15 U.S.) laundry sorter that has three mesh bags attached to a plastic frame. The bags are colored white, blue and green. I use them for laundry hampers in our bathroom. We put all our whites in the white bag, darks in the blue bag, and other colored clothing in the green bag. This saves me from having to sort through all the dirty clothes to find a load. I just grab a bag and go. (Sis. Angela Drake, Westerly Ecclesia, Rhode Island, USA)

Please e-mail us if you have any laundry tips or motivation you would like to share (i.e., how do you keep your socks matched, children's clothes separated, etc.). We also LOVE funny stories!

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"She is like the merchants' ships;

She bringeth her food from afar"

-Prov. 31:14

Grocery Lists: I have a list of grocery items that I regularly buy or need to have on hand. I update this every few months. Then when I come to write my shopping list I can do it quickly just checking in the fridge and pantry what items on my list I have run out of and adding any items I don’t regularly buy. I write my shopping list in order of how the items are stocked in the supermarket aisles so I do the aisles in order only going along the ones I need; then my route follows the dairy cabinets, the fruit and vegetable section, the meat section before going through the checkout. It is really quick (if I don’t browse). To avoid browsing in the supermarket and wasting time, I plan the week’s meals ahead of time and write the shopping list accordingly. I like doing one new dish a week and a regular day of something really easy, e.g., Thursday is fish fingers and wedges night. (Sis. Jude Pillion, Happy Valley Ecclesia, Adelaide, South Australia)

Grocery Coupon Training: When my daughter, Sis. Angela Drake, was old enough to use scissors, we began a mother/daughter coupon team that lasted until she married. As her abilities increased with age, so did her responsibilities and experience with using grocery coupons. Eventually the entire coupon job was turned over to her (around 7-8). She cut out the coupons, circled the expiration date in red, filed them in an old square lunch kit (using business-size white envelopes for dividers), took them to the grocery store with me, pulled any coupons that matched what she saw I was purchasing, and presented our stack of coupons to me at the checkout stand. For all her work I shared half of the coupon savings with her, which she calculated up and divided out from the receipt. Of course this was a real boon for me but I was amazed how competent she became at the whole system. As we were shopping she would advise me to choose a particular brand or a different size for which she had a coupon. It became like the child's game of concentration as she would stop and say, "wait, wait, I know I have a coupon for that" - and she usually did! This is one of the few traditions that continued even into her teen years. Today, as a young wife, she is more efficient in her grocery shopping than I am. When I see her careful list accompanied with her organized coupons, a wave of happy memories washes over me. (L.C.)

Please e-mail us if you have any shopping tips or motivation you would like to share.

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  Grating Lemon Rind: I have a tip for grating lemon rind. If you secure a piece of baking paper over your grater, before grating the lemon, you will get a much better result. The rind sticks to the paper which you can just scrape off. This means less waste and it is easy to clean up too. (Sis. Alison Carlton. Brighton Ecclesia, South Australia)

  Cutting Onions with No Tears: I have a tip for chopping onions without the tears. Cut the ends off, peel as usual then put the onion in your freezer for about 5 minutes. This freezes the juice giving you time to chop. This works every time. (Sis. Alison Carlton, Brighton Ecclesia, South Australia)


Cutting Onions with No Tears: I've got a tip that others might find useful: if you have a rangehood above the oven, turn it on, take your chopping board over to it and chop the onions there : no tears at all. It really speeds the job up! (Sis. Sophia Brumby, Aberfoyle Park Ecclesia, South Australia)


  Picnic and camping tablecloth tip: We enjoy camping and picnicking, but not the dirty condition of most public tables in the parks or campgrounds. It was getting too expensive to buy disposable table covers so I started using several old fitted twin bed sheets instead. They fit great and the elastic sides and corners keep the "tablecloth" in place. My old twin sheets were left over from my now grown kids' beds (Raggedy Ann and Andy, Lions and Tigers, etc.), so they are cheerful, colorful and bring back happy memories. I was surprised to find six of them unused just sitting in my linen closet. I can use a fresh one every day while camping. I've even enjoyed seeing these happy sheets from so long ago back in my laundry. (-LC)

Cooking Tips:

(Sis. Isabel Luff, Houston Ecclesia, Texas, USA)

  Going to a park for a cook-out? Pack your charcoal briquettes in a cardboard egg carton and tie shut with string. No mess and you can ignite carton and all at the picnic site. (-LC)

Cook your evening meal in the morning. When I was a young mother I often found dinner time to be very stressful. I was tired, the kids were restless, and I knew my hungry husband would soon be coming in for a landing. After suffering through many late and haphazard dinners, I decided to try planning and preparing my dinner in the morning. What a great benefit this came to be for both me and my family! I would prepare as much as possible in the morning - even going so far as setting out an empty pot on the stove with a can of whatever next to it, or setting out the box of ready-mix products with the water and salt already measured in a covered pot. I would make the salad or jello, peel and cut up the potatoes and/or vegetables and have them ready in the refrigerator. Most meats can be slow cooked all day or completely prepared in the morning and reheated for supper. This not only takes alot of stress out of the hectic dinner hour, it also cuts down on the after-dinner clean up as part of the cooking mess was already cleaned up in the morning. I also discovered missing ingredients early so I could pick up whatever was needed when I ran errands and/or picked up kids in the afternoon. (L.C.)

Sis. Patty Robinson (Brantford Ecclesia, Ontario, Canada) writes: "This is just a funny aside, but it's not really a joke sometimes in our house! Make your supper the night before or very early after getting up, as you may stay out in your garden all day, like I do!"


Please e-mail us if you have any cooking tips or motivation, you would like to share.

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One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach.

One can collect only a few,

and they are more beautiful

if they are few.

-A. Lindbergh

Most of us have too much stuff. Our houses are not too small, we are just overfilling them. We should not burden our lives down with too much stuff. If we can't even use our cupboards and closets for our everyday needs - we have too much stuff. It is not "frugal" to burden ourselves and our families with excessive "potentially useful someday" stuff. We must not only be good stewards of the money God gives us but also of the time and energy God blesses us with. Money is not always the most important or most valuable thing to guard. We must weigh the value of the possession against the value to our mental and emotional well-being to be rid of it.

For example, how pleasant to open our underwear drawers and know we can reach in them even in the dark and pull out a clean pair that fits and are in good repair. Let's think of our underwear drawers now. Are they "stuffy"? Do they have 5 pair of too small, 6 pair of ripped or torn, 3 pair that bind and ride up, and five pair of favorites that fit and are in good repair? We need to be good to ourselves by mending the torn ones and getting rid of the other useless pairs that make it hard to find our favorites.

This should take only 10 to 15 minutes and is a good starting point to motivate us to go through the rest of our drawers. Since most of us do not have a lot of time on our hands, we may need to hold ourselves back from the urge to jump in and clean out all the drawers and cupboards at once. This may lead to pulling every thing out in heaps and leaving our houses looking worse than when we began!

This example can apply to every cupboard and drawer in our houses. The contents of most drawers/cabinets can be separated into three categories: (1) throw out, (2) sell or give away and (3) store for use (or repair). If we don't use it, however good or valuable we think it is, it is better for us to sell it, give it away or throw it out and free ourselves and the space in our houses from it.

Why Bother?

Too much clutter is not harmless. It can affect our relationships, limit our activities and upset our mental and emotional well-being. Many of us are actually in a type of bondage to the clutter in our houses caused by too much stuff. God is perfectly capable of providing for our future needs. We don't have to store excessives of everything. Do we really need excesses of clothes in every size and style in our closets and drawers? Do our children really need two boxes of toys, two closets of toys, two rooms full of toys? Too many toys will never be enough. Do we really need 20 - 40 plastic storage bowls and tubs crammed in our kitchen cabinets? Could we possibly eat 20 bowls of stored food before it went bad?

Messy House Bondage

Oh the calm freedom of an orderly house! We are not talking about a "perfect" house - that can be a bondage all it's own. An orderly house will inevitably have it's little heaps of daily messes. We are talking about the bondage of mounds and mountains of messes that in a short time can spread like leaven to every room until they are out of control! If any of us are in that prison now, we are NOT alone, it happens to everyone at one time or the other - to one drawer, one room, the garage, etc. But order is so beneficial that it's worth the effort to restore it. How many opportunities have we (or our children) passed up to enjoy visiting with dear friends because we couldn't let them see our house? How many good ideas of getting together with friends have we had to abandon because we didn't want them to see the mess. How long would it take us right now to get our houses presentable to share with friends? One day? - two? One week? - two? One month? - two? When we have to hide out isolated in a messy house we not only lose out on times of fun but also on opportunities to comfort and minister to others. Hospitality is an honorable part of our ministry to others, which our messy homes should never keep us from performing.

Restoring Order

Yahweh is a wonderful God who loves to restore things that are lost. Each new day is a new start. Yahweh Himself has a specific plan. He "orders the steps of the righteous." We also should make a plan, a list, a workable system - and then "order" our steps by it.

We don't live and move and have our being by happenstance. Yahweh has a plan and a purpose for our lives. The more we live our lives with no plans, no deliberate thoughts, no purposeful actions, the closer we get to total chaos. The natural bend toward disorder cannot be completely conquered in this life, but it must be daily and deliberately managed by God's principles of order and peace.

Quick Start

It is easy to feel overwhelmed and to have no idea where to begin, but here's a quick start that gives fast, encouraging results. Firstly, we need to set a timer for 15 minutes. Step one is to make our own beds. (This is the quickest task that results in a whole room immediately appearing neater.) Next, we gather up a load of wash and start the washer, then run a sink full of hot dishwater and soak the dirty dishes. If we have a dishwasher, we can load it, start it running and soak the rest of the dirty dishes in the dishwater. While the clothes are washing and the dishes are soaking, we next can grab a trash bag and go around the kitchen and then the living room filling it with newspapers and trash. We keep filling this trash bag until full and then take it out with the rest of the kitchen trash. When we come back in the house if the timer hasn't gone off yet, we can grab the dishtowel out of the hot soapy water and try to wipe down the kitchen counters before the timer goes off. Just think, while we're washing down the counters, the dishes are being washed and/or soaked and clothes are being washed all at the same time. There is a lot of cleaning action going on - it's a good, quick start.

Start Small in Tackling the Clutter

Many jobs by our dread seem to take longer than they actually do. We may be surprised if we time ourselves. It takes less than three minutes to unload the dish drainer or dishwasher, about five minutes to fold and put up a load of clothes, about two to three minutes to make a bed, three minutes to sweep the kitchen, etc. So why do we dread and put off a three minute job? What's the fuss? Usually the actual time it takes to complete a job is not worth the mental strain we later have to live with if we put it off. Later, we will regret the mess we have to live in much more than the few minutes we spent doing the job in the first place.

How do you possibly eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

No matter how large the cluttered area or room, the clutter can be put to simple order one bite at a time. Once we have selected the cluttered area or room we want to work on, we need to set a timer for 10 minutes and work on it daily for only those 10 minutes. A good place to start in a room is at the door and then work clockwise around the room. If we do this every day, the problem area will soon be in pleasant livable order. Then we can move on around the room clockwise or select another problem area, set the timer and keep after it every day. We must set our goals, work daily towards them, and continue until the elephant is all eaten!

If this does not result in extra trash each day then we are not thinning out the unnecessary clutter which is caused by too many things. We must resist the urge to just reorganize our overabundance, to just repack it in tighter and neater, and learn to throw out what we don't really need.

Excessive possessions weigh us down and interfere with a simple, orderly life. Once we bare down our lives to basic comfortable essentials, we set ourselves and our families free.


Toy Pickup:. I have a quick pickup tip that I use with my 15 month old, Shiloh. He loves putting things inside of other things and he also loves dragging them around everywhere, so my husband and I bought him a little toy wagon that he can pull around. Now every night when he goes to bed, I say "Let's put all the toys into the green wagon" and as soon as I start he is quick to follow. Then I tell him to pull the wagon to "Shiloh's Room" and he takes it right in there. This is such a time (and back) saver, plus he has fun doing it. (Sis. Ronda Markwith, Orlando Ecclesia, Florida, USA)

Hospitality Benefits: A good way to get yourself motivated is to invite some sisters and brothers over. It will make you take a good long look at what really needs to be done. So set a date for a get together and that will get you going. You'll feel good when it's done and you'll get to enjoy some time with your brothers and sisters. (Sis. Kim Lewin, Cranston Ecclesia, Rhode Island, USA)

Clutter-Free Surfaces: Another tip is to keep less stuff on any surface. The more stuff on something the more time it takes to clean. It is so much easier to wipe something down when you don't have a lot on it. Even in the shower, if you have too many shampoos and products in the shower, you will be less likely to clean it as often because it takes too long to move everything. (Sis. Kim Lewin, Cranston Ecclesia, Rhode Island, USA)

Toy Clutter: I read in an article recently what I thought was a great idea for getting your children to pick up their own things. The article talked about mothers who walk themselves to death picking up after their kids all day long: taking clothes and toys to each child's room. The solution was to buy a bin basket or crate for each child, preferably colorful ones (maybe a different color for each child). The child's name is put on the bin and the child can even decorate it so they feel a part of the system. This may even help to make the individual bin system more of a joint positive experience. As a mother goes through her day trying to keep the clutter at bay and the house in order, instead of walking each item to each child's room, she can throw each item in the bins. This is especially helpful for families with two story homes! The children are then responsible for emptying their own bin. Before the child can play or even receive a small treat like a cookie or a popsicle, they must have their bin empty. Before long the child will empty it without being asked, if they want to play or know a treat is coming. It teaches the children to be responsible for their own things. This method works for all age groups from toddlers to teenagers. Another idea to try is to make "emptying your bin" a part of the child's bedtime routine. That way they start every day with an empty bin. (Sis. Angela Drake, Westerly Ecclesia, Rhode Island, USA)

Organizing Photos: I have always wanted to make really nice memory scrap books to put all of my photos in. However, I never seemed to have the time to make up the scrapbooks, so I had tons of loose pictures everywhere in boxes, etc. I finally decided to just put the photos in a regular inexpensive photo album as soon as they were developed. It keeps them all neat, together, and in chronological order. That way, if I do get the time to make a pretty scrap book, I know right where all my pictures are and there will be no time-consuming sorting out. I also find that I look at the photos a lot more when they are in an album - even a plain one! (Sis. Angela Drake, Westerly Ecclesia, Rhode Island, USA)

Please e-mail us if you have any organization/clutter control tips or motivation you would like to share.

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Mother's Wrinkled Hands


Such beautiful, beautiful hands!

Even if her heart was weary or sad

Those patient hands kept toiling on

That her children might be glad.


I almost weep when looking back

To childhood's distant day!

I think how these hands rested not

When mine were at their play.

- Author unknown


All Purpose Natural Cleaners: I keep a spray bottle of diluted eucalyptus oil handy in the kitchen. It has many uses. It can be sprayed on invading ants, used as a room freshener, and sprayed on the bin to clean and freshen. When sprayed on the stove top, it breaks down the grease and makes wiping up the stove much easier. Diluted eucalyptus oil is also helpful to prevent spreading cold germs through the whole family. If someone has a cold I spray it in their room and on any door handles, phone, etc., that they have used. Another natural product I use is Bicarb soda and vinegar instead of commercial cream cleansers. It works great for bathrooms and in the kitchen (especially on stainless steel). Bicarb soda with vinegar and boiling water in the water outlets helps clean and freshen them. (Sis. Diane Spina, Gosnells Ecclesia, Perth, Western Australia)

Quick Cleanups: I have found it helpful to keep a bottle of Windex glass cleaner and a bottle of spray cleaner (e.g. VIM, Mr. Clean, etc.) in the pantry near the kitchen and in the bathroom. That way they are always there in order to get a quick wipe down on the counters whenever time permits. (Sis. Lindsay Billington, Ewen Road Ecclesia, Ontario, Canada)

Cleaning Tips:

(Sis. Isabel Luff, Houston Ecclesia, Texas, USA)

Cleaning with Alka-Seltzer:

(Sis. Isabel Luff, Houston Ecclesia, Texas, USA)

Trash: If we put 10-15 trash bags in the bottom of each trash basket, when we take out the trash, a new bag is right there handy to replace the one we just took out. (Sis. Angela Drake, Westerly Ecclesia, Rhode Island, USA)

Bathroom: I keep the bottle of bathroom spray cleaner and a small brush in the far corner of my tub. That way, right before I take my shower, I spray down the shower and tub and give it a good scrubbing. I never worry about getting all wet and dirty because I'm about to take a shower anyway. (Sis. Angela Drake, Westerly Ecclesia, Rhode Island, USA)

Please e-mail us if you have any cleaning/scrubbing tips or motivation you would like to share.

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"I got more children than I can rightly take care of

but I ain't got more than I can love."

-O. Guffy


Splinter Removal: When your kids get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily. (Sis. Isabel Luff, Houston Ecclesia, Texas USA)

Dripping Ice Cream Cones: Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips. (Sis. Isabel Luff, Houston Ecclesia, Texas USA)

T.V. Control: When we did have access to the world of television, (in our area you have to have cable or satellite to get channels and we have chosen to have neither), I used to create "TV tickets" for the children. I would distribute them at the beginning of the week. I would give them each six. Each ticket was worth 30 minutes of TV time. If they watched a long program, they would have to give me two tickets. When they were out of tickets they would not be able to watch TV again until the beginning of the next week. This was helpful, because they knew the rules, so there were no problems. Now they are only allowed to watch selected videos, and only once a day. The rest of the day is usually filled with reading, listening to music, coloring, playing, etc. The result....I have a seven year old, who is reading on a fourth grade level! (Sis. Cassandra Plew, Kouts Ecclesia, Indiana, USA)

T.V. Control: Upon getting married, Jim & I were given a TV. We tried to take it back, but the store wouldn't accept it. It lasted about 7 years and then blew. We never fixed it. Our kids grew up with no TV, and since we lived in Newfoundland, we did various other things. Our children READ a lot. We played games together, as a family. They listened to recorded stories on tapes or records from the library. We were almost daily visitors to the library. We had outdoor activities with them - we got them involved with the CYC at a very early age, because we became CYC leaders when they were young and before some of them were born. We rented a TV on special occasions once or twice a year, and very carefully monitored it. If we rent one now, we almost only watch videos we choose. TV is enjoyable for a short period, but we all enjoy taking it back to the store. Our family is closer because of this and we still play games with our 22 and 18 year olds. (Sis. Patty Robinson, Brantford Ecclesia, Ontario, Canada)

T.V. Control: I was recently over at Sis. Sharon Glumac's house (Houston Ecclesia, Texas, USA) and noticed a good idea for controlling the children's T.V. watching. She had a small white marker board right next to their small T.V. with the names of the shows listed that the children were allowed to watch that week (there were less than five and all were on our Public Educational channel). She and her brother/husband, Ed, look ahead in the program guide and if they see a show that they feel may be helpful or educational, they add it to the board. They can take others away if they feel there might be too much time spent in front of the T.V. that week. I thought this was an excellent idea. (L.C.)

Kitty Litter Box: When scooping out or changing the litter in the cat box, I always, always use double plastic bags. There is nothing worse than discovering a trail of dirty cat litter through the house that sprung from a tiny hole in the plastic bag! (L.C.)

 Tom Cat Spraying Not "Welcome": I have a really good way of detering tom cats from spraying on your front door. I use naphthalene flakes. I sprinkle a few teaspoons under my welcome mat, it does not harm the cat but does stop them spraying. I do this every 6-8 weeks. (Sis. Alison Carlton, Brighton Ecclesia, South Australia)


Please e-mail us if you have any child/pet care tips or motivation you would like to share.

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Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;

they toil not, neither do they spin:

and yet I say unto you,

That even Solomon in all his glory

was not arrayed like one of these.

-Matt. 6:28-29

Spring Bulbs: (This applies to cold climate areas). We all know we should plant our spring bulbs in the fall! BUT: If anyone has leftover bulbs in their home, or would like to buy them now (since they're SUPER CHEAP), put them in the refrigerator. You can plant them just as soon as the ground can be worked up. A little frost won't hurt the below-ground-bulb. They should pop up with your regular bulbs. (Sis. Patty Robinson, Brantford Ecclesia, Ontario, Canada)

Please e-mail us if you have any gardening tips or motivation you would like to share. 

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