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Childcare Comments and Suggestions # 2
--Tips and Testimonies from Our Worldwide Family!

(C) June 1996, The Family, Zurich, Switzerland

       Little People's Prayer Power       1
       Kids Get in the Word!       2
       Activity Ideas       3
       Fun and Fruitful Family Time       6
       Exciting Outings!       7
       Kute Kidz!       8

Little People's Prayer Power

MC/OC Prayer Warriors!
From Julie, India Area
       While our Home's road team was away, the MCs and OCs took up the torch to be the prayer warriors for them. They acknowledged the road team's every request for prayer with a fervent, full-of-faith spirit and came up with numerous fun and inspiring ways to get everybody behind them in prayer. When the road team returned home it was very exciting for the MCs and OCs.--Like welcoming home the winning team! There was such a spirit of unity, and prayer was what had brought it about.

Prayer Notebook
From an office, Latin America
       To help the kids be more in prayer for others, they have a little pocket-size notebook in which they keep note of people or situations they want to pray for, like loved ones in other Homes or countries. They faithfully refer to their notebooks for prayer requests at quiet time, mealtimes, etc.

Prayer Vigil in Childcare Groups
From Claire, Sara and Stephen, SEA
       In order to help our children partake more of the Lord's Spirit and get more used to praying desperately, we have scheduled each childcare group one morning a week to do Prayer Vigil for their devotions time. They read about prayer and testimonies of answered prayer, and then have desperate prayer and take time to hear from the Lord.

Hearing from the Lord
From Lara (18), Latin America
       The YCs asked their teacher how the adults "hear from the Lord," so she illustrated by telling them to imagine that she was Jesus and that they could talk to Him just like they would talk to her. They spent a little time trying that out, then the kids wanted to do it for real. They got down on their knees to pray and hear from the Lord and after getting quiet, Precious (5) said, "The Lord told me He's going to give Chris a verse." Chris (5) was a bit surprised, but after a short pause said, "Fear not." Precious said, "That's a good verse for Ryan (4) because he's scared of the dog."--Ha! A little child shall lead them! (Update: Ryan, who was very scared of the dog, took the verse to heart and now is quite happy around the dog. Thank You Jesus!)

Taking Time to Listen to the Lord!
From Ruth and John, SEA
       A real victory with our MCs is that after reading "Victory in Babylon" the Lord showed them how to hear from Him and not just pray shallow prayers. We had a devotions theme on prayer and then I suggested that we stop to listen to the Lord. It was a little hard at first, but now at prayer time every day they ask if we can stop and take the time to hear from the Lord. Our little MCs are really growing and maturing through this. Praise the Lord! It's very beautiful and encouraging to see them becoming real prayer warriors.

Kids Get in the Word!

Revolution Racer Track!
Academy Home, SEA
       To encourage initiative in memorization and review, the MCs and OCs made a big "Revolution Racer" track, with 4 "filling stations" before they reach the top. The goal is to pass each "filling station," which is only possible if they've memorized 16 verses and reviewed 30. The children love this chart, and it helps cut down on the foolishness and time wasted during the "in-between times," because everyone is anxious to make it to the top. They spend as much time as possible memorizing and reviewing.

Life of Jesus Slides and Word Tapes
From Rose and John, Europe
       We have a set of slides about the Life of Jesus. John has been showing them to the kids and they love them! They look up the corresponding verses in the Bible and read them out loud. At night we put on Gospel tapes before they go to bed and the kids are very excited as they recognize the stories from the slides.

Word Library for Kids
From Obede, Clara and Susanna, Latin America
       We set up a children's Word library by age groups. YCs have LWG, LOG and KTKs and Kidz Mags. MCs have LWG, LOG, KTKs, Victory in Babylon and Kidz Mags. OCs have pubs such as the TKs, Heaven's Children, New Heaven's Children, "Now It Can Be Told," "Bible for You," "Power and Protection," and some Christian Digests. The children have been absorbing the Word and are very faithful with their sign-in and sign-out books.

Building the Right Foundation
From Anges, Europe
       I've been trying to pour all I can into the MCs, especially in the area of witnessing. We've been having classes on Salvation, the Holy Spirit, boldness, etc., and we've made a real push with our memory work and trying to get our verses down well to be able to share them with others. I feel convicted, though, because after all these years of working with kids I see how I could have done a lot more to feed them the Word and have that attacking attitude of trying to redeem the time with the Word, memory and review work, molding their lives and building the right foundation in the Word.
       I want to feed them the Word constantly--put on Word tapes, review verses throughout the day, look up verses in the Bible, etc. They've been real inspired about it, too, since they can use the Word they're learning in witnessing. But that should be our attitude all the time, to prepare them for the times ahead and hide the Word in their hearts.
       They know the kids' pubs almost by heart now, as well as the main Bible stories, but they need to start seeing the deeper side of the Word, with simple Bible classes and verses that they can apply to themselves and their lives. They also really enjoy following along in their own Bibles when reading verses, and learning the books of the Bible in order by heart.

Quiet Time Projects
From Christina (18), SEA
       During quiet time our MCs and OCs didn't have much direction in their reading. As a solution the Lord helped us to come up with an idea to give them some input from the Word on different topics. We made a little wooden box about the size of an index card box, and cut pieces of cardstock the size of index cards. Each card has a different topic, such as forgiveness and mercy, love, wisdom and wise speech, etc., basically the main topics you find in the Pubdex and CAT Book. For each topic we looked up different KTK stories, LWG stories, topics in the Kidz Mops, etc., and wrote a little reading list on the card.
       For example, at the top of one card is the subject, "Love and Forgiveness." Then following is a list of the different kids' Letters that go along with the subject, i.e., "Scott the Puppy" (LWG 1), etc. The children come each quiet time and pick a card, and work their way through that particular subject, and then write their name and date on the back of the card. That way we can follow what subjects they're reading up on. It's been a real blessing to give them this guidance in their Word time and it is bearing good fruit.
       The Lord gave us another idea that made Talk Time more exciting and added a bit more spice to it. We typed up some different fun questions from the Talk Time booklet, printed them out nicely, and put them in a real cute decorated box. Whenever we have talk time, or even sometimes just at mealtimes, we bring out the little box. The kids really enjoy it!

Changed by the Word and Prayer!
From Lia (TS), Latin America
       When I was having problems with my oldest boy (14 years old) who was getting influenced by some kids (outside of the Family) he knew and certain movies, I started praying desperately for him. I shared with him the verse, "Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you that he might sift you as wheat. ..." After that, he started to seek help from the Word on his own and grew to really love it. He has now changed so much and so visibly that everyone in the Home has noticed! It showed me the importance of keeping the kids in our prayers because "they are in the world, but they are not of the world."

Basic Babes' Classes for Kids
From Shafan and Sharon (TS), Latin America
       Since becoming TSers, we have been seeing the need to help our children to continue with the same conviction and loyalty to the Word and Grandpa as always. We recently went on the attack and did the Babes' Classes with our kids, reading the age-appropriate Letters and bringing them down to their level. This was to help them absorb the Word. After doing this in-depth study, we had a "Revolution" in our Home of praying over every little thing and direction. Since then, the kids have been seeing the importance of prayer more clearly, and they ask for prayer during the day or when they see that things are not right. They are also seeing that it is only the Lord in us all and how much they need to hold on to the Lord and the Word!

Activity Ideas

Beauty Parlor
Academy Home, SEA
       A fun idea we had for an activity was a beauty parlor! We set up a room with a corner for hair-washing, a corner for hair-styling (all types of French braids, rolls, etc.), a place for hair-cutting, someone manicuring nails, etc. The children then chose to go to whichever corner they wanted or needed to go to. For example, if the boys needed a haircut they went to the hair-cutting section. If not, they could just get a hair-wash. We did this with one of our younger groups and they just loved it! Even those who didn't normally like getting their hair washed actually enjoyed it, because it seemed like the "grown up" thing to do!

Kiddie Word and Rest Day
From Amber YA, Latin America
       A fun activity we did was have a Word and Rest Day (W&R) for our MCs, something they had never done before and really wanted to try. They had a "W&R breakfast" together, and extra special Word time. For lunch we served sandwiches "cafeteria style" in paper bags (for easy clean-up!). In the afternoon they got out all the projects they always wanted to do and they had a blast! After their fun project time (with their favorite drama tapes playing) we went out for a "sunset stroll." It got dark sooner than expected, but thank the Lord we had a big bright light in our yard. It was very unusual for them to have an evening get-out! The children had such a good time, as they felt "big" having their own W&R!

Bedtime Stories
From Love, Latin America
       Reading fun stories from the Letters at bedtime has been special for the children. We read parts of "Maria's Life Story" (ML #1799, Vol.15) and showed them Mama's pictures in that Letter.--They were fascinated! We also read the full version of "The Princess and the Pea" (ML #1754) and "Don't Cry 'Wolf, Wolf'!" (ML #1762). They really enjoyed them and asked for them to be read over and over! We're seeing how much the children love Dad's fun stories straight from the original Letters.

Music Sets the Mood
From Precious, Isaac, Joy and Debbie, Pacific
       We've been trying to emphasize Affection Time with Jesus and have found that music really helps to get the kids in the right mood. In our Home we don't have anyone musically gifted to lead an inspiration, so the teachers play a tape of the songs for the kids and they just start singing along! The spirit of the music just overwhelms them! It was hard to overcome shyness at first but now they don't mind even if they sing off key!

Physical Education Tip
Academy Home, SEA
       We realized our children and JETTs need to learn more coordination skills, so we've been taking time to concentrate on teaching them these basic skills instead of just always letting them have "free play" time. We also started using the Activity Books more, as they have a number of pages devoted to games that can be played in the swimming pool to keep everybody moving and active.

Guinea Pig as a Pet
From Joanna, Pete and Florence, Pacific
       We got a pet for the children, a cute little guinea pig, and they are totally crazy about her! We visited several pet stores and called a vet to find out which type of pet would be best to get. We would have liked to get a cat, but one of our adults is allergic to them, so the vet's and pet store's advice was to get a guinea pig, as they are sweet with kids, don't bite, are clean, don't carry diseases (at least those born here), and they live on love!--In fact, they'll die if they don't get enough love! Our little pet has proven to be a big blessing not only to the kids, but to all of us. We'll probably get a mate for her, as Grandpa mentions that it's best for pets to have a mate.

Good Manners Award
From Tom, Joy and Ben, SEA
       We award those with the best manners with a "night out at a restaurant." We set up an area in the Home like a fancy restaurant and serve them a special dinner.

Manners Cards
From Tim, Michael, Lamb and John, SEA
       We made little word cards for the OCs that said "Thank you," "Please," "Yes sir," "Excuse me," etc. Every time a child was a "shiner" and said one of those, he received a card saying the same. The two children that got the most cards got a shiner reward at the end of the week. This was a big hit and a real positive way to ingrain these habits into them.

"Jesus Is Happy" Bell
From Ana Lua, Latin America
       The Lord gave me an idea to try with the YCs in our Home: Every time I see or hear them being loving to others, I have a little bell that I ring to remind them that Jesus is happy! This little game has motivated them to be more loving, kind and unselfish!

Talk Time Before Bed
From James, Charity, Joy, SEA
       It has borne such very good fruit with our YCs to have regular individual "talk time" or "walkie talkie" time! It's so precious when we have asked some of the kids that just arrived what they liked the best about this Home and it was "talk time." What we have been doing is each evening after the kids are in bed and a tape is playing, one of us takes one of the children and has a personal chat. The kids really pour out their hearts at times, and at other times we just talk with them telling them personal stories and testimonies, etc. The kids look forward to this and it has borne a lot of good fruit in their spiritual shepherding!

MC/OC Music Group
From Stephanie, Matt, Becky and Terry, SEA
       The MC/OC group has expanded their singing group to be a little music band. We have a small piano with a synthesizer and one or more guitarists. With just a little more practice they will sound very nice! They certainly have a lot of fun practicing!

Book Repair Party
From Lily C., Latin America
       The Lord blessed us with a lot of books in our Home, but sadly a lot of them were getting torn and broken. After making new rules, such as which age children could use which books, we had a "book repair night." We laid out glue, scissors, magic tape, paper, contact paper, etc. in the dining room and everyone went to work! We were able to repair almost all of the damaged books working together like this and we learned a lot about book repair and care in the process!

Dentist Visit
From Jonathan, Clare and Alf, Pacific
       A team of dentists came to the Home and checked all the kids teeth for free and gave us records of the check-up and good photos too! Praise the Lord!

Personal Time Tip
From FC
       OC Personal Time: Very often we like to do fun activities with the OCs for personal time, and we have found that this can even make it easier to draw them out. However, we saw that it is important to watch that an activity is not too absorbing so that it cuts down communication between us. For instance sewing or painting together may be fine, but typing or other such activities demand too much concentration to be able to talk--which is the main point of this time, for them to share anything they have on their hearts.

Idea Box
From Obede, Clara and Susanna, Latin America
       We put up an "Idea Box" for the children to put ideas for activities, menus, etc., as well as comments on any difficulties they have and would like to see resolved. We have already received some very sweet suggestions and ideas that were very easy to put into practice.

Appreciation Night
From FC
       We had a special "Appreciation Night" for our OCs for all they do around the house. The inspirationalists changed the song "Be a Happy Helper" to say, "OCs are Happy Helpers," and everyone shared their appreciation for them. The teens finished with a poem they had written for the OCs and a rendition of "Where Would We Be Without OCs?", after which we had a special snack prepared by the school groups! A few days later the OCs gave a "surprise" appreciation presentation for all in the Home which they had planned themselves, and presented everyone with cards, etc. It was simple, but real sweet and thoughtful--God bless them!

Making School Time Fun!
From Jimmy, Joshua and Tabitha, Pacific
       Having a variety of school activities has kept the older children's inspiration level high. We've been baking, playing shop using play money, gypsy dancing around a campfire, camping out in the backyard in tents, and having exciting times reading the New Wine. Even though there's been a lot to do around the house and with scholastics, the kids have been happy, helpful and wholehearted.

Ideas for "All"
From Joan, Europe
       As a Home we went over the things we've put into practice that have helped the Home become more united. These are some of the things people came up with:
       1. Sunday fellowships geared toward the kids--fast-paced, fun skits, kids performing.
       2. Having fun activities for OCs or JETTs on up, like Hippie Dress-Up Night, Balloon Volleyball, etc.
       3. United memory work (sometimes teens and adults, sometimes OCs on up).
       4. More united Word time with a concentrated effort to stir ourselves up in song and dance before each devotions or meeting.
       5. Setting up our parenting teamworks to include almost everyone from teens on up.

Committees Add Inspiration!
From Sharon, Rose and Solomon, SEA
       We asked our teens and JETTs, "What could we do to make the Home more inspiring?" There were lots of different ideas, such as: Go on more outings, go witnessing more, take photos, help on childcare activities, etc. So we tried forming committees to work on the areas that they have a burden for!
       One night two teens collected everyone's requests, and then organized the committees. There were committees for witnessing, follow up, outings, inspiration, photos, the "Affection Revolution" and activities, and the results of these committees have been fantastic! They have come up with so many good ideas! To help promote more affection in the Home, the committee posts an announcement with different ideas on how to show affection that day, like kissing the other person's hand and saying "I love you!" in the local language, or giving three hugs, etc.
       The Activity Committee has been planning very inspiring special activities for the children, and the younger kids just love it! We asked the Activity Committee to help plan and organize special activities on Family Day, because we adults didn't have that many ideas. They were thrilled to do it and didn't mind sacrificing some of their personal time to even help run the activities.
       The Inspiration Committee helps to plan our inspirations for devotions, and we'd like to have them organize some of our Sunday Fellowship meetings too. It's really been fun, and makes for variety in our inspirations, as they get people who don't usually lead the inspiration to sing a song they know, or they find new songs we can learn to sing, or maybe a couple of people are asked to do an impromptu acting out of the song being sung, etc.
       The Follow-up Committee is getting organized with mail ministry supplies and follow-up charts to keep track of the people they are witnessing to. The Witnessing Committee is also working on some ideas they had, like making checklists of what to take out witnessing, and little "phrase cards" to help those who don't know the language well.
       They've done all this themselves, though we do try to help them by buying any little items that might help in their projects, or letting them make a special snack for their activity, etc. All in all, we've been thrilled at their initiative, the way they have learned to work together, and the wealth of creativity and ideas that they have! Praise the Lord!

Fun and Fruitful Family Time

Hindi Classes
From Matthew, Anna and Crystal, India Area
       We scheduled two Hindi classes a week during Family Time, with one of the daddies teaching the children the basics in writing Hindi.--They love it!
       As part of teaching the children to be more outgoing, we're now making a push on helping them communicate with the adults in the Home, making it a point to greet the adults when we meet them, blowing kisses, etc., especially our little toddlers, as they can be a little shy.

United Activity on Family Day
From Joanna, Latin America
       In order to do more things together as a Home on Family Day and to help with new ideas and activities, on some Family Days we have been having a united activity time for an hour or two. This includes some fun games such as treasure hunts, geography quizzes, etc. We learned a good lesson though to minimize prize-giving, as it was creating a competitive spirit and causing hurt feelings in some of the kids. Now we just reward everyone at the end of games with a special snack or something in recognition of their participating in and completing the game. This has been more unifying and everyone feels happy that they accomplished something.

Family Day Ideas
From Katrina, Latin America
       Here are some fun activities for Family Day, or just for variety:
       * "Marriage Supper" party--one of our Family Day activities for everyone (adults, YAs, teens and children). We all dressed up like one of the MO Letter characters. We had each one come up in the front to present who they were. Afterwards we had communion and yummy special French sandwiches (canapés), buffet-style.
       * A special afternoon snack outside in thanks and appreciation for our parents and teachers.
       * At Easter time, we took some of our older kids to Catholic High Mass. It was very educational for them to see what church and a church mass is really like. We also had Easter slide shows and a big flannelgraph for the rest of the children.
       * We have a "Cinema Cafe" featuring different children's films. We use the biggest classroom and set it up like a little movie theater. The TV is set on top of a nicely covered table. The windows are shut and lights turned off, leaving just enough light for everyone to see their seats. Before going in, everyone presents their "tickets" which are distributed the day before. These tickets are punched by one of the ushers, and they entitle each person to a seat and a snack, which is served during intermission. Our OC girls are the ushers, and they have a lot of fun leading people to their seats with their flashlights. It's always lots of fun! Thank You Jesus!

Planning Family Day
From Mercy, Sharon, Peter, SEA
       We made a real step forward on Family Day, to get back into more of a "One Wife" spirit. Each Family Day teamwork gets together to plan out the whole day and who does what, who is with which children, etc. This helps us be more organized and make sure that the needs of each child are met, instead of smaller families having lots of individual time with their children, and children of larger families not getting any. It also helps keep singles from drifting into their own rooms. Our single brothers help in the care of the children of the single moms and vice versa, and some singles help with the bigger families. It's a lot more fun, and there's a more united spirit in the Home. (Editor's note: On some occasions, united Family Day activities are very helpful, giving both children and parents more variety in their activities. But other times, if parents and children haven't had much time together, they look forward to and need special time together. In either case, it is a blessing for parents of large families and single parents to get help from others so they {\ul \i can} spend personal time with each child. Thank the Lord for our wonderful "One Wife" Family!)

Exciting Outings!

Miracle Excursion!
From James, Chrys and David, Pacific
       Andre was planning on taking the class on an excursion, but our bus broke down and we were having great difficulty getting the parts we needed to fix it. Without a bus, the outlook for some sort of excursion looked very bleak, if not downright impossible.
       Well, we know that "it takes an impossible situation for God to do a miracle" and that's exactly what happened! When Andre went to teach his English class, the principal of the school invited the children from our Home to go with his school to a special science museum.
       So the next day we boarded one of the three large buses and took off for this special museum. The museum was very interesting, with many different exhibits and science type games to play and enjoy. We felt this was by far the nicest and most interesting museum we've been to.
       This experience taught us so much about how the Lord never fails to give us what we need and have the faith to ask for. Since this amazing day, the Lord has provided a nice van for us, two new air conditioners, rice and various food products and all the parts to fix our bus! Praise God!--He never fails!

JETTs Put Feet to Their Prayers!
From Micah, Merry and Gideon, Pacific
       The JETTs have wanted bikes for a long time, so we encouraged them to pray and provision them. After united prayer, we took all the JETTs and OCs in the van and went with them to various bike shops, where they explained our work and our need. The Lord taught them a lot and we ended our witnessing morning with 11 bikes from different stores! One store offered to fix any broken bikes we have in the future for free. We don't even have to bring them in, as he'll send his fix-it truck to our door! Thank You Jesus!

Camping and Canoeing
From Nathan, Mary and Stacie, Pacific
       Our OCs and MCs went tenting and camping for four days. It was a good experience for them and we took lots of good photos for homeschool documentation. They even got some instruction in canoeing and were all able to try it out.

Camping with Grandpa!
From Gideon and Jeremiah, Pacific
       We had a real fun camping excursion with our OCs and JETTs, during which we read some of Dad's camping series, which they were really enthused about. We're preparing some test papers and it's amazing how many subjects Dad covers in these Letters! It's really been inspiring to see how much one can teach and learn through them! As an example, just some of the subjects covered are: social studies, history, geography, health, nutrition and Bible history. What a teacher! What a sample to us!

Outing Ideas for Summer Vacations
From Peter and Flor, Pacific
       All of the children and adults enjoyed a one week vacation with outings to the beach, parks, indoor pool and many other blessings! The four- to six-year-olds and the OCs were able to go on several exciting scholastic outings and excursions (field trips) such as to a chocolate factory, a zoo, and a lot of witnessing excursions.

Boy Scout Camp
From Tom, Lamb, Michael and John, SEA
       We took the OCs on a Boy Scout camp excursion, which was great fun for them. We got a few books at the camp that go through the different stages of scouting and the lessons that children need to learn for each stage and activities for them. It seems quite practical and has very good ideas.

Sunrise Beach Breakfast!
From Obede, Clara and Susanna, Latin America
       We got up early and took the children to the beach to see the sunrise and made pancakes there for breakfast. Fun!

Two-Day Holiday to Historical Town
From Sarah, Charity, James, India
       The OCs went on a two-day holiday to Mysore, a nearby historical town, which they enjoyed immensely. They also helped provision some play equipment by phone and later went witnessing shop to shop, which was a real boost to their inspiration level.

Inter-Home Exchange
From Isaac, Precious and Joy, Pacific
       Precious had an idea about the possibility of having some of the kids exchange Homes, say for about two weeks. We've been having a few kids come to our Home for a change and we found that when they talked about their Home in the countryside, that our kids were really interested in their experiences. It was fun for the kids to have this change and be with their peers.

Visit to a Farm
From FC
       Our OCs took an excursion to a large garden a friend has. He showed us the earthworms he has been raising and explained their purpose, got the kids a bit wet with his sprinkler system, let them sample the strawberries and pick some vegetables, and he was really good at explaining it all. We are now looking forward to a visit to the animals on another part of the farm.

Kute Kidz!
From Lukas and Sophie, E.Europe
       When we took two-year-old Matthew's clothes off to change him we discovered his body was all covered with red spots! We were quite concerned, but he said so naturally, "Look Daddy, math dots!" Thank God for a sense of humor!
       The story also has a happy ending, as it turned out that it was just an allergic reaction to peanuts, which he had eaten for the first time.

From John, Mercy, Steven and Jon teen, Pacific
       I asked Marty (4) to pray for me when I was feeling a bit sick. So he said a little prayer and I said, "Do you have a promise we can claim?"
       He thought for a while, then said, "Ummmm, what's that stripy one? Let's claim that stripy one!" ("By His stripes we are healed" [EDITED: "Isa.53:5"].)

From Love, Latin America
       For a few weeks at bedtime Holly (1) had been faithfully adding the last word to each line of the "Goodnight Prayer": "Thank You Jesus for this..." "bed!", "And for Thy angels 'round my..." "head!" So I decided to try something new and teach her the Lord's Prayer. I started off "Our Father which art in...." and she chimed in, "bed!" I went on, "Hallowed be Thy..." "head!" responded Holly excitedly!

From Claire, Europe
       Four-year-old Christian came excitedly to the dinner table one day to share what he had learned in school: "Mommy! Mommy! Do you know what happened to the bad king? A big hand came on the wall and wrote, 'Mene, Mene, I'm gonna tickle a person!' ("Mene, Mene, Tekel Upharsin" ML# 162).

From Patty, East Europe
       Katrina (3), when asked by a visitor what star sign she was, said, "I'm a Leo and my sister's a Zebra!" (She meant "Libra," ha!)

From Aaron, Daniel P, Prem and Penny, India Area
       Preschooler Ana Marie of Jesse and Penny really loves the Scripture song tapes. While in the yard the other day she was heard singing: "Neighbor not for the meat which perisheth, neighbor not!" Ha!

[EDITED: "End"]

Copyright 1996 The Family