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Well Monday went well - in fact J and E had such a good time that they refused to go home when their mum came to collect them :lol: The dynamics worked because visitor J and our J are very similar in age and aptitude, while E is exactly in between K and L and she enjoyed doing girl things with L (who's just discovering girly stuff!) and playing with K (who has rather more time and patience for her than her own brother, as he likes the fact that she can do a bit more than L ;) ). They brought surprise presents with them to break the ice, as it were; for K and E, for J and J and for L. In fact they all played with all of them, the snow being a particular hit once we had put it in the freezer for a couple of hours. In fact it is still going strong - although a little more gets dropped and swept or hoovered up each time it comes out to play!
Also on Monday we got the exciting news that Rebecca (from P&T) has had her baby, a little girl :D Still haven't found out whether she managed the VBAC she wanted but hope to pop round and get the full story soon ;)
In the evening I went out to a Friday club prayer and planning meeting, as usual held in a beautiful, well-cared-for, large home which always leaves me feeling conscious of our cramped, cluttered and incredibly untidy little house. Consequently have spent rather too much time on rightmove looking up houses we could just about afford which would give us enough space to have a proper spare bedroom, a kitchen we could eat and live in, a room to store HE resources and toys (and maybe also play/work in) and a proper, tidy, toy-free grown-ups sitting room. There are some, but none near enough to Bob's work to avoid a lengthy commute :( If only he could work from home - or we could suddenly have the brainwave idea for a small business which would bring in loads of money for very few hours with total financial security. . . Yeah right!
Tuesday was a bit stop and start, as we were supposed to be going to see my friend with the twins, but when I checked my email there was a message saying she wasn't sure it would work logistically because of multiple school/nursery runs for her older boys, then another saying the children were all ill so visit was off. We prepared ourselves for a day of pottering and workbooks, then had a phone call from her to check we'd got the email and whilst chatting decided that we would go after all and just risk the possibility of catching the bug. In the end it all worked out well, as J and K love playing with her boys, who were just about well enough to need to run off a bit of energy then collapse once we'd gone. Meanwhile I was able to do a bit more sling enabling (I really should look into doing it as a business!) and I think we have finally found the perfect sling for her in an :D
Despite traffic and learner drivers we made it back in time for J's French club and a nice chat with a few other mums also waiting for their little darlings ;)
Wednesday was once again reading morning for J and K and science for J (who refuses to tell us what they do as he says it's a secret :? ) then dragging the children away whilst stuffing food into them to raise blood sugar enough to avoid horrible tantrums (theirs and mine!). Amazingly the boys had done lots of English without complaint before we went, but any attempt to get them to do maths once we got back met with rebellion and sullen attitude. In the end I got sick of them both and threw all three children out into the garden with a treasure hunt which involved finding and counting natural objects - we agreed to call it practical maths :mrgreen:
For tea we ate potatoes grown in our own garden (in the old toilet cistern the plumbers left behind when they refitted the bathroom!) boiled and served with butter (yummy!), Grandad (runner) beans cooked with tomato and coriander (equally yummy) and cabbage with almonds - then spoilt it all by finishing off with chocolate sundae from a revolting packet mix. Actually, Bob and the boys made and ate the sundaes, as L and I were both so shattered we went to bed halfway through tea. . .
Despite such an early night L slept through (although I did hear her wake and whimper a couple of times in the night, but she didn't come through or ask to feed) until 7, and despite such an early night I was still struggling to get out of bed as Bob was leaving for work (and telling me I had to get up now; he had to go!) which meant that by the time I realised we had no biscuits and no milk for parents and tots and we would have to go via the Coop to get some we were already late. I did manage to throw together some bread dough to take and grabbed a carton of eggs as we were leaving , so at least we had something for the older children to do and something for lunch ;)
We made texture pictures using scraps of material like fleece, silk, bubble wrap, sandpaper, wool, fun fur and corrugated cardboard, then thought of words to describe each scrap. As usual just now K was rather more enthusiastic than J. . .
Once everyone had left we wolfed down fresh bread and hard-boiled eggs then rushed over to the other side of town for African drama (although it is now far more music than drama) which L asked to join in this time. She managed to maintain concentration for 45 minutes of the 60 minute class, then came running through saying "I'm tired of music now!", had a brief feed and promptly fell sound asleep :lol:
Then we rushed back across town to home, arriving with just enough time for a quick drink before setting off to collect B and F from school and bring them home for tea. F  has just started in reception and is absolutely shattered; it reminded me of how J used to be and how terribly hard it was to do anything much with him in the evenings other than shovel in some food and get him to bed :( Still, B and the boys had fun, mostly playing Operation, while L watched and F curled up on the sofa with a picture book. J did some great money addition to find out who had won the game, then got very frustrated when K kept randomly adding to his score so that it would be higher than J's (winning) amount. I don't think J minded that K was pretending to win, but it really bothered him that he was making up numbers!