Cousins’ Camp

As our children married and began to have their own children, my husband and I decided that we wanted our grandchildren to know and appreciate each other. Though we knew that eventually the families might move to other parts of the country, in the summer of 1987 we lived fairly close to each other. It seemed to be a perfect time to get the grandchildren together.

We mailed them invitations to a “cousins’ camp” to be held at our house. It would run from Monday through Friday, so we told them what time to arrive and what to bring with them.

Monday, the day of their arrival, was also our day to irrigate our property. Grandpa gathered the children together and played water games with them. Everyone got soaked from head to toe and had a marvelous time.

That evening we let the children sleep on the livingroom floor. The two littlest ones slept in the same sleeping bag and giggled all night.

Tuesday morning, we took the children to a friend’s farm to let them see the equipment and animals. The tractors were the highlight of the day. That night, we set the tent up in the backyard and let everyone sleep outside. Our daughter Laura supervised the activities and tried to get the children to sleep—but they were having so much fun together that her attempts met with limited success.

Later in the week, we took the children to Brigham Young University to have lunch and to see Grandpa’s office. We also went to BYU’s Monte L. Bean Life Sciences Museum. Another day we gave each child a brightly colored T-shirt that read “Cousins’ Camp” and had a group photograph taken.

When we look at our photo and remember the fun times of that week, we realize that the hard work and lack of sleep were worth it. We built memories and bonds of love that will last a lifetime.

We had a second “cousins’ camp” last summer and look forward to having another one this year.Laureen Jaussi, Orem, Utah, as told to Julie Jaussi, Logan, Utah

The “No-Haircut” Haircut

Do strangers on the street look for Scooby-Doo when your husband, son, or brother passes by? Do the neighbors get nervous on nights with a full moon? Perhaps it’s time to help your guy get rid of the shaggy look when he is between trips to the barber. The task is relatively simple when you give him a “no-haircut” haircut.

Hair grows approximately one-half inch each month, so you’ll need to do minor trimming in a couple of key spots, namely the bangs and neckline. Trim his bangs level with his eyebrows or barely above them. Then shave his neck—but avoid cutting into his hairline.

With this minor barbering, his hair will look neat again. The results will look professional, and he will beg you to give him a “no-haircut” haircut again.Mariam J. Grisham, cosmetologist, West Jordan, Utah

Baby’s First Newspaper

One of the first things we did for our newborn daughter was to buy her a newspaper. The act wasn’t prompted by an overzealous interest in our daughter’s education; we were beginning her personal history.

My mother started this tradition when I was born, and over the years the newspapers she saved for me and each of my sisters and brothers have become fascinating keepsakes. By reading them, we have discovered what was happening throughout the world on the day we were born. But even more interesting are the local articles and advertisements, which tell about happenings in our hometown and show the prices and popular fashions of the day.

Start a great tradition for your children or grandchildren by saving their birthday newspapers. It will probably be most interesting to save a hometown newspaper as well as a major metropolitan one so that they will have records of both national and local events.

A birthday newspaper can also be a delightful addition to a book of remembrance for yourself or a loved one. Many newspaper publishers and large libraries have major newspapers on microfilm. You can get photocopies for a minimal charge.Julia West, West Jordan, Utah

Color-Coded Clothing

Keeping up with laundry for our five children is a major chore. Since our three boys are close in age and size and have many similar items of clothing, sorting and putting away their clean clothes is especially time-consuming. But I have come up with some ways to simplify the task.

  1. 1.

    When I buy underwear for the boys, I alternate sizes in white and colored fabric. For example, all size four underwear is white, size six is colored, and size eight is white again. Sorting the size eight and size four clothes is not hard because one set is obviously larger, and the colored size six clothes are easy to pick out.

  2. 2.

    Since all my boys like white socks with striped tops, I color code the sizes. When the socks are new, I sew a few stitches of colored thread in the toe of each sock—a different color for each size. The colored toes make it easy to find the ones that are the same size.

  3. 3.

    When I make T-shirts and pajamas, sometimes I have enough fabric to make matching clothes for two or even all three of our sons. I try to make each one slightly different so I can tell the sizes apart easily—one T-shirt may have a V neck, another a round one; one pajama top has a band around the sleeve, the other does not. A friend of mine has modified this idea when she makes tab-front T-shirts for her sons. She puts two buttons on the smaller size shirt and three buttons on the larger size.Loretta Evans, Idaho Falls, Idaho

Hooked on Home Evening

When my husband and I were newly married, our bishop called us into his office. “You are a family,” he said. “If the two of you begin now to hold regular family home evenings, when the children arrive, you will have developed a habit that will continue forever.”

So each Monday night my husband and I held home evening. Sometimes we taught each other a lesson from the manual; other times we discussed scriptures we had been reading. We also set or evaluated our progress toward goals or expressed our love for each other and our excitement about our marriage. One evening we tape-recorded the story of how we had met and fallen in love, hoping to play it someday for our children.

Eight years have passed since then, and we’ve rarely missed a home evening. As we gather our four children together each Monday, we are grateful to that wise bishop who helped us develop a valuable habit.Carolyn C. Williams, Sacramento, California

[illustrations] Illustrated by Lynn Rogers