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Fortunately nobody else got the nasty tummy bug from me, so Thursday found us once again at parents and tots, although J was pretty much on his own as the other HE children all seemed to be (independently) ill. They both sat and did some work (Maths and English) while I got things ready, which was great and makes me feel less guilty about dragging them along to do what is essentially my voluntary work. :( gina came along at the end with j and e (both now recovered; e kindly passed bug on to her brother. . . ) and gave the boys a little bit of piano time while the rest of us did jigsaws. The boys are really enjoying doing this and it's nice to see how much J has remembered from the few piano lessons he did well over a year ago, before the teacher we had found moved too far away to be worth the journey. On Friday we had fun with buses to get to Friday club, as a mix-up of paperwork meant we hadn't realised the car was overdue for its MOT and the earliest we could get it into the garage to be done was over a week away. It was worth the effort to get there as the children all really enjoyed the art activity one of the mums organised, doing doodle pictures with oil pastels and the using paints to fill in gaps (pics to follow, but we had to leave the pictures there to dry as getting them home on the bus in the rain did not seem a good idea!) - we've done a couple since and turned them into very effective birthday cards :) The bus back took hours (literally!) as it went further out before it came back into town, then all round Will's mother's (as apparently is the local saying :lol: ), including a little trip round the hospital, so we decided it wasn't worth coming home before J had to go out again to a birthday party and instead we had lunch at Burger King. Nobody ate much (a few chips went down, but the veggie burgers were all passed on to Mummy, who didn't like them much either - where's Daddy when you need him? :lol:) but the free toys were a great hit: L got a "Molly-rom CD" and the boys swapped the Batman DVD-things they were originally given for a Bat-mobile-mobile each, which they love and have played with almost non-stop since getting them :D When we got to the party K, L and I were invited in as well, which was lovely and gave me a chance to catch up with the birthday girls' parents, who we know both from school and from church but rarely seem to have a chance to chat with any more. The weekend had lots of pottering, including Bob and the boys assembling and painting a new shelf unit for the bathroom and a fair bit of SOTW happening as well. On Monday we had planned to go to Mustard Seeds again, as L keeps asking to go, but once J and E arrived she decided she would rather just stay at home and play, which pleased the boys, so we made huge quantities of play dough and they spent ages with that, then ran round the garden for a bit letting off steam. Tuesday morning was spent at home doing lots of Maths, a little bit of English and a fair bit of playing, drawing, computing etc, then in the afternoon we had a long trudge to the doctor's surgery (because still no car) for m/w appointment, which went well but took ages so we were then too late to get back for J's French club :( We went to the park instead and had a long play, then got back in time to watch Blue Peter, so not such a bad afternoon all told ;) Wednesday was Wicken Fen, which Chris has already beautifully, so I shan't bother :P Fortunately E was not going,  but J was, with his dad, in a nice big car with enough seats to give us a lift too so we didn't have to cry off or risk driving illegally :) Then Thursday was back to P&T again , with some fun origami animals for the older ones to make (thanks Gina!) and the chance for more lovely baby cuddles as Rebecca brought baby R in to see us all :D B and F on Thursday afternoon - quite hard work as F very tired and not in a very good mood, but B is almost always chirpy and at home enough here now to just get on with things. They all did Hama beads, except L who tipped them on the floor :roll: and F who drew a picture instead, then we ate early and long and their mum was quite early to pick them up, so everything passed off okay. Should have been a nice quiet Friday, except that m/w had told me I *have* to have bloods done, even though I have declined triple test etc etc, because they need to know what my blood group is - the fact that I have had three babies already and given blood for years doesn't tell them for certain, it seems, as it might have changed! Hmmm. . . Anyway, off we all traipsed again, had bloods done (the phlebotomist was great - I only have the tiniest bruise :) ) and then came home, this time via two different parks and lots of playing, for a nice quiet afternoon. We've been watching The Secret Garden episode by episode and the children love it; it's a great way for me to get a nice quiet cup of tea ;) The car passed its MOT with minimal work (yay!) so Saturday found us filling the cupboards once more and also heading out to Emmaus to look for drawers to fit under K and J's beds - found one set, but still need another. The great thing about Emmaus is the lunches! We had soup and a roll for £1 (in fact £3 for all of us, as the hcildren shared) and then the most enormous slices of cake, again for £1 each - yum! Made up for cheap lunch by spending a fortune in a nice farm shop on the way home though. . .