Newsletter Comments from Readers

Affiliate Disclosure

We always get some terrific comments to our newsletters.  I have been struggling with how to share some of these great ideas with my other readers, so here is what I am planning.  If you leave me a comment about our newsletter, I will add it here, and also you can link right here and add your own comments!  Keep sharing!  I have learned a lot from my readers, and now you can too!

Malia Russell


  1. Deborah

    Hi Malia,
    Another good home remedy for stuffy nose is using cider vinegar.

    You heat a cup or more of cider vinegar till it gets hot enough to make steam and then breathe the vapors. One thing to make sure is not to make a tent or to inhale through your mouth. And to take small breaths. It will instantly open your nasal passages. I couldn’t believe how well it worked. You can do it several times per day if needed. But I found after a couple of times, my nose actually cleared up.

    I did a search on the internet for home remedies for nasal congestion and I came across that remedy in several places. I don’t remember exactly where I found it now.


  2. Sandi

    I was just reading your newsletter about saving money and I feel silly sending you this money saving tip because I’m sure you already have shared it but I thought I would just in case. I have 7 kids and hair cuts were so expensive but I didn’t want them all to have a buzz cut so I bought Nancy K. Baetz e-book Hair Cuts for Little Men. She has tons of pictures and explained it so good. My boy’s and husband’s hair looks like I took them to the salon. It has saved us $120.00 every couple of months.
    God bless,

  3. Sher

    I haven’t been on your list long. Are you planning a Homemaking CLASS? A new website or a class like the Cindy Rushton conferences? or an email list?

  4. Maila

    We are working on a multi-week class, that WILL be hosted on a different site. Our site Homemaking911 has a lot of homemaking articles, but has other stuff, too. We have the homemaking stuff, home education stuff, fun articles, inspiration. The class will be a very focused multi-week class to help with all the basics of homemaking. I hope that answers your question. If you would like more clarification, let me know.

  5. Guest

    Good advice to glean what you can from it. I don’t do it all of course but I like many of her ideas. I think a price book, idea #5 is next on my list!

  6. Elaine

    This past winter we had a hard time getting everyone ready to leave the house. I was always yelling by the time we left. So one day in our school work, I had each child trace their hand on a piece of construction paper. On each finger I had them write a thing to do before we can leave the house. They were: Get dressed, brush hair, brush teeth, go potty and get coat/shoes on. I taped these beautiful pictures to the front door for a couple of weeks to remind them what to do. For my little one, I drew pictures of the things she needed to do, since she couldn’t read! The caught on very quickly. Now getting ready to leave is a much nicer event!!
    I also noticed that once a routine is learned, and it becomes a habit, you can add on to it. Now one of my children put the dog in her bed with her leash on before we leave, and another turns off all the lights. These little things keep them busy and quiet while I am getting my purse and my shoes and checking the stove, etc.
    I also learned this from a friend. She calls “front and center” and all of her kids come to her and line up in age order, (she has 8). I do the same for my three kids and they line up at the door when I am ready to set the house alarm. They also think this is fun!

  7. Kera

    In following Philippians 2:14-15 we give stars (literally star stickers) to children when they say “OK, mom (or dad)” with a joyful attitude, even if it is forced since sometimes we all have to force a cheerful attitude when doing something we dislike. They earn a star when asked to do or not do something, then respond rightly, and follow through obediently. After 20 stars they earn a small reward. A dessert, picking out a meal, special time with mom and dad for half hour, extra screen time, etc. After 100 stars they get a bigger reward. It works well, although they are still children and sometimes need reminders to have a joyful attitude before being asked to do something 🙂
    Kera Gieselman, homeschool mother of 3

  8. Rindy

    Every time I come to your site, I find something I missed the last time. Thank you for all the work you put into it.

  9. Julia

    Hi Malia,
    I am listening to your audio on teaching multi-levels . . . I’m in so much need with 10 children ages 5 mo. – 14!!!
    You talked about a handout which listed some online things. . . . awana CD’s, schoolhouse rock, McWiz kids? LIttle House CD’s?
    CanDo math Facts video.

    I would really love to know how to get the awana verses Cd’s and the Little house Cd’s to keep the little ones busy!
    please let me know!

  10. Malia

    My precious Julia:
    What a WONDERFUL ministry you have on your hands. I am sure it is exhausting sharpening all those arrows! May the Lord hold you firmly in his hands as you plan your school days!

    Here are the links: – Be SURE you get the right version of the Bible and the right CD for your child’s age. They come in a couple of versions depending on what your church uses. They have online support if you are not sure what you need. If you have AWANA there, you may ask at the church if they can order the CDs for you. We use these and think they are wonderful. – Here is an example of the Little House Books on CD. They have one for all the Little House Books. LOVE these! I used to check them out from the library, then started requesting them one at a time for each occassion: Birthday, Anniversary, Mother’s Day. Since they are “mine”, the children take good care and respect them. 🙂 – Math facts video. My kids like this. It does a good review of basic math facts.

    Also, have you seen Or

    Schoolhouse Rock: – that is for the DVD
    For the CD:


    Happy Homemaking!

  11. Amy

    Thanks for your morning tips- You asked for your reader’s additional ideas…

    Consider taking a shower in the evening, before going to bed, to save time in the morning. You won’t have to wait for your hair to dry and this could save some considerable time. It works for me!

    Also, get a hairstyle that is easy to care for. For years I had to heat up the curling iron and curl my hair everyday. Finally, I just decided I had enough and grew out my bangs. Now I can easily leave my hair down or quickly pull it back in a twist or pony tail. Just growing out my bangs has saved me 5 minutes in the morning!

    God bless you for your ministry!

  12. Steph

    We have recently discovered “green smoothies”, and I can’t believe that even my pickiest eater loves them!! He actually asks for more spinach. You can google “green smoothie” to get more information, but basically, we add a couple handfuls of spinach or romaine to the blender (high power, cheapies won’t work) along with whatever fresh fruit we have on hand (this week was banana, apple, apricot) and whatever frozen fruit we have in the freezer (this week was mixed berries from the frozen food aisle at the grocery store). We blend it until it’s smooth & my kids love it!!

    I’ve attached a picture of their green smoothie mustaches… You’ll see that our smoothies aren’t actually green because of the berries we add.

    You can also add other veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, beets, cucumber, squash, etc. The sky’s the limit!!


  13. Malia

    We have a vita mix and have learned we can sneak all kinds of things into smoothies. The kids are used to it now, so they just sit and try to guess what mom snuck into their “treat”. Thank you for sharing!

  14. Elizabeth

    I liked the idea of doing a to do list for my son. Thank you.

  15. Amy

    I am a frugal shopper too, and utilize most of the ideas that you have presented. One thing that I do is to shop at Dollar Tree for my cleaners, shampoos, etc. Everything in the store is $1.00. Once in a while there is a food product there that is cheaper – like pancake syrup, and sometimes pasta. But not usually. I shop the sales in my area – we have 3 grocery stores in my town. Every two weeks I go to 2 grocery stores and Dollar Tree to get the best deals. Thanks for all your work on helping us to be better homemakers!

  16. Malia

    Thank you so much for that suggestion. We do have Dollar Tree Stores here in Louisville, but I have not gone into them much. I may add this to one of my errand days, to see what they have available! Thank you for sharing!

  17. Yolanda


    I just wanted to let you know that I REALLY appreciate the virtual tour. My time on the computer has to be limited during the school week, and this has really helped me to get a handle on how the website can bless my family. Thank you!


  18. Mary-Grace

    Hi Malia,
    I read your comments and advice about staying motivated and at the end which caught my attention was that you asked me how I stay motivated? Well first off I do some of the things you mention like make lists of what I have to do, then lists of what is important to do first, and to get me really in the mood I collect my emails and try and read some of them, delete some and reply to some – this helps me get my hands moving for the important typing jobs. Occasionally I will play a few games of solitaire on the computer to help me relax but not often as this too is a time waster when I really should be doing all my written work.
    sometimes I sort out stuff for shredding which means then I have a pile of papers for recycling and a pile to file away.
    I have boxes all over the place with mostly things to be sorted into files, shredded, or recycled. I never seem to get them emptied completely as when one box is empty I seem to find something else to fill it – never ending circle there!
    Mainly, I try to do all my housework tasks first like you said, the dishwasher, the washing machine, the tumble dryer and plan the dinner for that day, so take out whatever I am going to cook. I then make my lists up. I am studying for university homework so I write down things that need completed this week and things that need research done from books or internet. The thing that motivates mostly is knowing that if I put all this effort into my studying now it will pay off in the end, or when I submit the work and receive praise from my tutors on work well done – I think that is motivation enough for me.
    I would like to think I am always motivated but am tired sometimes so this can make me lazy. I do pray though that I will achieve all my goals and complete the work expected on time.
    yours truly,

  19. Juliene Herr

    Malia, I get the 25lb (I believe it is) bag of bread flour at Sam’s and keep it in my parent’s upright freezer. It keeps great! Thank you!

  20. Nancie

    Hi Malia, I am responding to what I do to get my children to eat something new.
    In our home we have a rule, TRY IT ONCE!! So many kids turn up their little noses without even trying it. There are many types of foods I don’t particularly care for and I understand that our little ones have those same dislikes. So our children have to try it first. I must say it has been slightly amusing watching them try out new things. Beets did not go far in our home. One evening I decided to make homeade Calzones. My oldest refused to have anything to do with it. Calzones sound kind of odd.So I said remember our rule, that evening he asked for seconds. This has helped us a lot teaching our children to be open minded. We are also parents who do not make extra meals so our children. They have to eat the same dinner the adults are eating. This too has also been great (for me mainly). I feel it has kept them healthy because they are sharing in well rounded meals rather than kids stuff. Our family sits together and eats our meals together (something instilled in me from my grandmother) this family time is so important. Thanks you for giving me the opportunity to share.

  21. Debbie Jackson

    Hi Malia, I really enjoy your newsletters. Reading the January 2010 one this morning motivated me to get started organizing receipts and records for taxes.

    I agree that changing small things can make a big difference in finances. I was surprised to learn that using fabric softener sheets more than once would work. I usually cut them in half and use that half once, but maybe I should use your method and reuse a whole one 2 or 3 times.


    Debbie J.

  22. Denise

    I just read the 2010 January newsletter and wanted to make a few suggestions on what we have done to save money. The biggest moneysaver for us has been our MagicJack. We have saved TONS of money since we make lots of calls especially out of state calls. We are big fans of Craigslist and Freecycle. I also buy things in bulk from our local healthfood store (EarthFare) and reuse the containers when we purchase things there. I have also started using my slow cooker more along with my bread machine,smoothie maker and blender.
    Thanks for the great newsletter-now go get some rest!!!My youngest daughter was born in June so I know that you guys are so excited for the little one to make his/her debut:-)

  23. Leah Jones

    You should look at gDiapers if you are considering cloth but haven’t used them before. gDiapers are like a cloth diaper hybrid with either a disposable insert or a cloth insert. I have been using them since my 4 year old was a baby and I love them! It is all I have used on my 3 year old. Actually, I have used some regular disposables when we are on trips for the little one, but overall, we stick to gDiapers. They are super for sensitive skin and my baby rarely has a diaper rash… only when she’s had a little too much sugar. 🙂
    gDiapers has a new starter kit with tiny diaper covers for newborns. Check them out at
    Many blessings,
    Leah Jones

  24. Lisa Overton

    I have been discovering as many ways as possible to save money at home as well. You said that you reuse your dryer sheets 3 times, why not try the softener recipe the Duggars use? I did and it is wonderful. We have a family of 5 with one due in Sept. and this recipe gives us enough softener for about a year! Not bad for $15 ($10 for the big bottle of softener and $5 for the bucket).

  25. Stacey

    I was just reading your post about saving money and had a thought –

    another way to save in the laundry room is to use distilled white
    vinegar in your rinse cycle as your softner. With the laundry
    detergent that you use, you’d only need to use 1/4-1/2 cup per load
    to rinse all the remaining soap residue out of your clothes. The
    soap residue is what makes your clothes stiff. No more dryer sheets
    and no more chemicals/dyes/perfumes that aren’t good for your family.

    I use your laundry detergent recipe and vinegar for a softner and our
    clothes come out truly clean and so soft.

    Another thing you avoid if you get rid of the dryer sheets is the
    residue that can build up on your lint screen. That residue can
    become a fire hazard because it’s not letting the air flow through.
    You can check this by running your lint trap under water. If water
    is not flowing through the screen, then you have this residue built
    up on the screen. Scrub with soap and water until the water flows
    through the screen to remove this fire hazard.

    You may already know all this but thought I’d share just in case. 😉
    Manhattan, KS (The Little Apple)

  26. Deborah

    Hi Malia, Here are several money saving tips I have used over the years. One is for making homemade baby wipes. Here is the recipe/formula:
    You will need:
    10 cup container (ex: rubbermaid, w/lid)
    1/2 roll of Bounty paper towels
    2 tbls of baby oil
    2 tbls of baby bath
    2 cups of water
    Cut roll of paper towells in half, remove center cardboard, mix liquid ingredients, pour on top of paper towels, pull first towel up. Each roll of towels makes 2 containers of wipes, which lasts aprx. 3 weeks.

    I have found that if I let them sit for about 1 hour all the liquid has enough time to absorb the entire 1/2 roll. I also have tried several brands of heavy duty paper towels, and have found that Bounty expands when wet and the others seem to shrivel up. Remember do not shake the liquid, it will foam up.

    I make my own laundry soap also. I use white vinegar in my rinse instead of fabric softener. If you like it scented you can add essential oils to it. I put lavender in mine to match my laudnry soap. : )

    Another thing I recently have done is add some of my liquid homemade laundry soap to my hand dish soap. It extends my dishsoap quite a bit. I only add about a third to the bottle of dishsoap. If you add too much you won’t get any sudsing from the dish soap. I just don’t feel like my dishes are getting clean unless I see suds. : )

  27. Renata

    Try looking into one size diaper covers for your new little one. There are many different brands, a new one that isn’t too expensive is the econobum, or there are the blueberry and kissaluv ones as well, they are more but have leg gussets to catch blow outs. A one size cover might look like it costs more, but we have replaced more rubber pants than i want to count and as we usually have multiple sized children in diapers at once, you avoid the I don’t have a cover for so and so, but 3 for the small one.

  28. Melody

    I enjoyed having new idea’s for saving around our home. I have found that if I hang up my laundry it can save round $40.00 a month or more sometimes. I even hang laundry to dry during the winter. We purchased 2 clothes dryer racks and it dries well, even in the coldest, wetest times of winter in Missouri. If I do use the dryer, I rip the dryer sheets in 1/2. I workes better than reusing them.

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