Home Evening Agenda

We were already using a typical home-evening assignment chart. But all too often our preparations were last-minute, and not well thought out. When my husband called us together for a family home evening, he didn’t know ahead of time who was prepared or the specifics of our various assignments. It was sometimes difficult to begin with a spirit of reverence.

Since what we needed was organization and preparation, we solved the problem by making up a supply of agenda sheets. Each week we now attach one of these sheets to a clipboard which hangs in the kitchen. We still use our old assignment chart, so that each person knows his assignment; but after each has done his preparation, he “signs in” on the agenda sheet. Preparations must be completed by dinner time on Monday.

Now when dad calls us together for family home evening, the agenda sheet shows song titles, lesson title, detailed activities, description of treats, and the name of each one assigned.

There are side benefits, too. At the bottom of the agenda, the person in charge can write his thoughts and feelings about that home evening. These sheets are compiled in a home evening journal for future reference. What a difference this system has made in the quality of our family home evenings! Sandra Smith, Tempe, Arizona

Nail Polish Nuisance

When you open a bottle of nail polish, lubricate the grooves of the cap and bottle with petroleum jelly or cold cream, and the top will never stick again. Cynthia McMullin, Tustin, California

Catalog Your Patterns

Do you get tired of searching for a sewing pattern? Do your pattern envelopes get torn and pieces lost? Is it hard to fit all those pieces of tissue paper back into the envelope? Here is a solution.

Store the pieces to each pattern in an eight-by-ten-inch manila envelope. At the top of the envelope, write the pattern number and brand name. File these in numerical order in your pattern drawer or box. Then punch holes in the original pattern envelope so that it will fit in a small looseleaf notebook. Group together dresses, pantsuits, children’s wear, etc., as in a store catalog.

When you want to sew, look through your catalog, find the pattern picture you like, check the number, and get the pattern from your file. Paula J. Lewis, San Bernardino, California

A Home-Torn Mural

Using colored construction paper, show children how to tear out the component parts of a landscape (foreground, middle ground, and background) and paste them together on a piece of 9-by-12-inch paper. Then things like trees, rocks, houses, clouds, sun, shrubbery, automobiles, airplanes, snow-capped mountains, fences, etc., can be torn from more paper into exciting shapes, and pasted down firmly. It’s sort of like putting a jigsaw puzzle together, except each family member makes his own design.

“Tearing” seems more fun than cutting for many children; but if the young artist wants to cut his components with scissors, this is fine. Sometimes a combination of cutouts and tearouts works well together. The whole family could design a large mural, each contributing his respective parts. One hint: do not use too much paste or the finished project will warp. Murray F. Allen, associate professor of art education, Brigham Young University

Get Up and Grow

It is ironic how one can give fervent thanks in nighttime prayers for many blessings and arise the next day yelling at those very blessings. But so it was for me. I awoke one morning to find myself overburdened with early morning chores because sleep had appealed to me more than arising early. The house was cluttered, the baby was crying, and my three-year-old was loudly demanding something to eat. With those incentives and an unattractive reflection in the mirror staring me in the face, I arose with a growl and a snort and a promise to myself that my children would take an early nap.

I was in a rut. I knew it, and I knew what to do about it. But the warm blankets and comfortable bed were too tempting. A virtuous woman “riseth while it is yet night,” says Proverbs 31:15 [Prov. 31:15], and the scripture goes on to tell all the many things that this woman can accomplish because she arises early. She is not a frustrated woman. There was that dreadful word—frustrated.

I really had very little to be frustrated about. I had a wonderful husband, many friends, and a beautiful new baby. My three-year-old son was also one of my blessings, but this active young soul was a very tangible challenge in my life. Yet here I stood (or sagged) as a frustrated individual. I knew that the only solution was to change my habits.

Therefore, with mind as “the master of my fate,” when the clock struck four the next morning, I jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom to wash my face and further awaken my somewhat dulled senses. I talked to myself in encouraging tones: “You’ve got the will power; you are a child of God.”

I read the scriptures. I reread the scriptures. I couldn’t believe that I actually understood them the first time through. The rusty cogs of an unused mind were starting to move again. Movement is wonderful!

“Time for prayer,” I thought. So I prayed. After two whole minutes without interruption, I quit my mumbling of trite phrases and began to talk to the Lord. What an exhilarating feeling to know when you are doing something right!

With the housework quickly out of the way, I even had time for a brisk walk around the block before breakfast. This was great, as I communed with nature, exercised my limbs, and enjoyed near silence in a waking world.

As I served breakfast to my uncomplaining husband, I basked in the joy of seeing this dear man eat his breakfast for the first time in many months.

My time with the children was free of frustrating chores and thus much more delightful. I became part of my three-year-old’s activities, and I found my toddler fascinating—and not so frustrating any more. We began to plan our days together, even down to the time when we would both take naps, if I had stayed up later than 9:30 the night before. I found that generally I was not tired—my metabolism adjusted. (Others, of course, may need more sleep.)

The things I could accomplish as a wife and mother gave me the special feeling that eludes many with wealth untold—that of actually being happy. My frustration was replaced with satisfaction as I learned to “prepare every needful thing; and establish a house … of prayer … a house of learning … a house of order, a house of God” (D&C 88:119).

Although there are still days when I need a little more sleep, they are few, for I’ve found the rewards of a full day that starts early. Jill Dudley Dyches, St. Louis, Missouri

The Day Jeff Left

When our oldest son came home on a four-day leave from the U.S. Marine Corps about three years ago, I felt an unusual concern for his safety. All during his short time home we seemed closer than usual.

As the day approached for him to leave, however, I had a feeling of impending doom.

I kept telling myself that my worry stemmed from the possibility that Jeff would have knee surgery upon his return to base, and the fact that I could not be with him. Still the heavy feeling persisted. As the time came for him to leave, the feeling grew stronger, and I did not want him to go. I cried when he boarded the plane.

All the way home I felt impressed that something terrible was going to happen, and I silently pleaded with my Heavenly Father not to take him yet. We were converts to the Church, and I told my Heavenly Father through my tears that I had not had the knowledge to teach Jeff correct principles while he was young. I asked him to please grant me the opportunity to correct my mistakes and try to teach him now. Over and over I pleaded, “Please don’t take him now.”

Before going to bed that night, I knelt in prayer again and pleaded that Jeff’s life would be spared.

After Jeff got back to base, he called and said his surgery had been postponed. When I commented that I was grateful his trip back had been uneventful, he replied, “But it wasn’t.” The plane he transferred to in Washington had to turn back because of engine trouble, and the passengers were told later that if it had stayed in the air another minute or two, it might have crashed.

No one can tell me that my prayer was not answered. I know my Heavenly Father has given me another opportunity to teach my son, and I’m grateful. Melba Secrist, Gasport, New York

How Much Protein Do You Need?

Proteins are essential to life. But people who consume a varied diet of meat, fish, milk, eggs, cereals, vegetables, and fruits will get adequate amounts in their daily diet. On such a mixed diet, a man weighing 154 pounds (70 kg.) requires about 56 grams of protein a day, a 125-pound (57 kg.) woman requires 46 grams, a sixteen-year-old boy 54 grams, a sixteen-year-old girl 48 grams, a twelve-year-old 44 grams, and a five-year-old 30 grams.

These amounts of protein are easily obtained from the basic food groups. Two glasses of milk supply 18 grams, four slices of bread 8 grams, four servings of fruits and vegetables about 6 grams, and one serving of meat (3 oz. or 85 grams raw weight), plus an egg or a serving of baked beans or Italian spaghetti, approximately 24 grams. Such a diet totals 56 grams of protein.

The following list shows the calories and protein in some popular foods. (Figures taken from the USDA Agricultural Handbook, no. 456, 1975.)




Protein (grams)

Milk, skim or whole

8 ounces




1 slice











Bacon, medium thickness

2 crisp



Hamburger (2 oz.) and bun




Hot dog (2 oz.) and bun




Baked beans and pork

3/4 cup



Cheese, grated

1/2 cup (2 oz.)




1/8 of 14-inch diam.



Ice cream

1/2 cup



Milk pudding

1/2 cup



Green beans

1/2 cup




1/2 cup




1/2 cup




1 cup



Peanuts, roasted (Virginia type)




Peanut butter

1 tablespoon



Macaroni and cheese

3/4 cup




1 tablespoon



1 tablespoon


While it is important to get adequate protein, additional amounts are wasteful as they are used only for energy or fat storage. It is also possible that high amounts of protein aggravate some types of liver and kidney disease. Dr. Ruth M. Walker, assistant professor of food science and nutrition, Brigham Young University

[illustrations] Illustrated by Mary W. Garlock