Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Easter Traditions

I'm slowly but surely working my way through my to-do list this week.
  • Some homework done
  • Preparation for Women's Retreat done
  • Book review, baking done and more baking today
  • More homework more to do
I seem to be spending far too much of my time in front of the computer, as all but the baking requires the use of such technology.

I'm now beginning to prepare for Easter. I've done my menu plan ~ found some very cute graphics in ClipArt. It looks very reminiscent of Spring rather than Autumn...but I like the cheery bright colours and happy faces. I wish I could cut and paste it to blogger, but somehow I can't seem to figure it out! If you search under the tag 'floral', you'll eventually find a row of flowers that look like they've been drawn by a young child. That would be the one!

As I consider what we'll get up to over a long weekend, that is full of significance to us, I ponder about food. Food is such an inherent part of all kinds of celebrations in, I would suggest, all cultures around the world. In the past, we've spent Easter at a friend's parents home. Then we've had some years where we've done our own thing and have wandered about in somewhat of a traditions desert. I'm just beginning to decide what it is I want to pass on to my family.

Foods help make Easter special to us, and turn our hearts towards great love and sacrifice that God gave us in Jesus' death and resurrection. Hot cross buns remind me of the cross of Jesus, which Jesus was crucified upon, on Good Friday. I plan to make hot cross buns on Friday with the kids. Roast lamb reminds me of how the Jews celebrated Passover, which happened right at the time of the Easter story. The lamb reminds me that Jesus was the perfect sacrificial lamb and that I no longer need to continue with the Levitical practice of sin offerings.

Then of course, there are those yummy chocolate eggs ~ not bunnies or chickens. Eggs. Eggs that symbolise the new life that Jesus gives me. Hollow eggs that remind me of Jesus' resurrection ~ that He is risen and alive.

What Easter traditions have you passed on in your family?

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

'Rebecca's Return' by Jerry S Eicher

My review for 'Rebecca's Return' has been posted here at Relz Reviewz. If Amish fiction is your thing, you're sure to enjoy Jerry's Adams County series. This one is book 2. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing how Jerry wraps this series up.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Monday's Holiday Menu Plan

There is something purely delicious about the first official day of school holidays. We won't think about the fact that I have to out in an hour for a brief drop off/pick up for the swapping of children for the day. It's just nice to ignore the alarm that went off for Dh's benefit. Nice, too, that I wasn't awake in the wee hours of the morn. A rare occurrence in my normal day-to-day life.

Another thing not to be thought about: the fact that the kids have 2.5 weeks off, but staff are back in 1.5 weeks. I'm sure the holidays will speed by if I blink more than once, especially with Easter in the very middle.

I'm hoping to find some baking inspiration this week. It never hurts to have a freezer full of yummy things for hungry tummies to be filled with.

On my dinner menu:

Monday: Moussaka, steamed vegies
Tuesday: Prawn, sweet potato & pumpkin curry, basmati rice
Wednesday: Sweetcorn chowder with cheesy tortillas
Thursday: Dinner out
Friday: Bacon wrapped chicken, hasselback potatoes, steamed vegies
Saturday: Dinner out
Sunday: Roast lamb, roast potato & pumpkin, steamed vegies

Sunday, 28 March 2010


We've packed much into this past three days. It's funny, how some weekends you're desperate for something half way interesting to do. Other weekends are so full you wish for a regular work-week to settle your pace a little!

We began with glowing reports from our children's teachers. It's always nice to hear how much your children are loved and how very hard they try at school. And then there's Mr Busy's times-tables. Hmmmmm. Maths Invaders, here we come!

Yesterday was filled with haircuts, movies, food and girlfriends. Always food for the soul in many, many ways. A late night, however, is not perhaps the best precursor to being the pianist for church the next morning!

Today we enjoyed a family picnic, though my eyes would've cheerfully given up if I'd been comfortable enough to sneak in a snooze. The kids have been indulged with far too much chocolate and lots of fun with teeny cousins. I managed to say something profound, though I didn't think it so at the moment the words were uttered. There you go, it happens sometimes, and it always takes me by surprise.

Mum gave me two more plates for my eclectic collection. Ugh...I got the money out and forgot to give it to her. I'll have to take a photo and show you my new pretties on day soon.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Kate: My 'Red House' Friend

I am so excited today!!!! One of my blogging friends, Kate (from Our Red House), has finally moved into her new home. It has been a horrible month for their family, and indeed a challenging year or two, truth be told. Kate's son sustained a serious injury a few weeks back and then they have been dragged through the messiest house settlement I think I've ever had the misfortune of hearing about. But this week they have finally moved and hopefully they will spend the weekend 'nesting' and making their new house a home to them.

A couple of weeks back I was reminded of the importance of encouraging fellow believers with Scripture. I always find that Psalms is my go-to place for whatever encouragement I need. I find myself returning to those verses, which are underlined in my Bible, to dig them out for others when they need it too.

There are times in life that challenge us beyond that which we think we can bear. Often, those circumstances are ones where no-one can really do that much to help you and only time and God's sovereign hand can bring resolution of some description. Distance and circumstance mean that all I could do for Kate is pray, and offer her the reminder of God's promises for the children He loves so dearly. A reminder that no matter how tough things seem, God is always faithful. I've wished I could make Kate's family a meal. I've wished I could sit with her in the hospital. I've wished I could just have a cuppa with her and let her talk and cry...or whatever. I feel like the only thing I could do (to pray) was so insignificant. And then I remember that in my apparent helplessness I was perhaps doing the thing that is most effective. Perhaps the most significant thing any of us can do is to pray to The One for whom nothing is impossible!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Last Day of the Term!

I can't believe this term has flown by so very quickly! It seems like just yesterday that we were beginning the year, all fresh and new. Here we are though, 8 weeks later and all settled in like we've been going forever. It's a strange thing,really!

Last night the girls overtook the kitchen to bake for their classes. I don't know if there's a whole-class input or my girls just want to eat yummy sugar-laden things early in the day...but there we are. Iced cupcakes for Miss Sunshine's class and iced bikkies for Miss Mischief's. Dh has been eyeing them rather longingly. It's amazing they've been untouched all night.

We have lots of relaxing planned for the holidays. Easter is right in the middle and we have already begun to make plans about how we celebrate it, this year. I've a number of books to be reviewed as well as that ever enticing pile on my shelf that call to me. Of course, I have my study to continue on with. I've completed one whole subject. I'm a question and half a project away on the second and I've just begun the third. Not bad for a week and a half's work! I'm still waiting to hear from the College of their decision regarding my practical placement. I will be phoning them after lunch today. It seems unreasonable, to me, that it would take well over a week to contact me about it. There are arrangements to be made and things to juggle if I must work in another classroom besides my employed time!

Before I know it, the Thursday after Easter will arrive and I'll be back at work. Seems like an awfully quick break from a staff point of view. The kids get another four days!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Recipe: Honey Joys

image: Looks just like mine, including white patty pans!

I realised the other day that it's perhaps quite some time since I posted a recipe. I thought I'd go with the theme "Quick". I needed something that is quick to make on Monday morning to fill lunch boxes. I was kind of thinking a quick recipe to type would be just the thing for a short study break, so you see, "Quick" really is the theme for the day. Particularly when I feel the need to counteract some rather lengthy events! Today's Primary section meeting was anything but quick. And my assessment projects for each subject are also nowhere close to quick. Rather, they are a protracted and involved process especially, in this case, when I need to bury my head in a piece of legislation that is relevant to the education sector. Remind me what I was thinking when I enrolled?

Truth be told, I can't believe I've never posted this recipe. It is a faithful stand-by for last minute occurences of Mum-I-need-to-take-something-to-share. Or as in my case the other day, you just need a tasty lunch box snack. This was always Mr Busy's request for class party contributions, because there was a little girl in his class who adored them. That child left the school but Mr Busy continues to ask for these.

Honey Joys

100g butter
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon honey
4 cups cornflakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Line muffin tin with patty pan papers.
  3. Combine the butter, sugar and honey in a small saucepan and melt on a low heat until the ingredients are well combined and the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Place the cornflakes in a large bowl and pour the melted butter and honey mixture in. Stir until well combined.
  5. Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin tin.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Oh the Drama of a Thwarted Menu Plan!

Oh what a day it has been! My dinner tonight was thwarted, for this evening at least.

The children have been going in circles, injuring one another's hands. All we need is for Mr Busy to sustain an injury and we will have come full circle. Both the girls have now been seen by doctors. Miss Sunshine's effort required an x-ray for our peace of mind, so we sat in the ED for a couple of hours this afternoon after school waiting for our turn to have 2 minutes (literally) with the doctor, only to be told it's 'fine'. I left Dh in charge of procuring something for dinner. Chicken and chips rather than the planned moussaka...but at 7pm and ravenous, Miss Sunshine and I didn't really care too much!

On a good note, I've gotten the best part of my second subject out of three done. Sitting in the ED was not the complete waste of time it might have otherwise been.

I wonder what the rest of the week might hold?

Monday: the thwarted moussaka that became chicken & chips
Tuesday: Apricot chicken, mashed potatoes, vegies
Wednesday: Chicken in fig bath, vegies
Thursday: Bacon & mushroom pasta
Friday: hmmm...maybe sloppy joe's? I'll decide on Thursday when I shop
Saturday: Miss Sunshine's cooking...chicken noodle stir fry
Sunday: Picnic lunch ~ tomato soup and buttered bread for dinner

*deep sigh* I think, tonight, I might go check my email and then relax. I'm pretty sure I've managed to do enough study to have earned that.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Chatting with Jenny B Jones

Our book club has just read 'Just Between You and Me' by Jenny B Jones. Last night we met and had our discussion....and then we were joined by Jenny herself, via phone.

We talked for well over and hour about all kinds of things....her writing process, how she combines teaching Year 9's with writing, how her stories impact her own life, , how she's developed a pretty thick skin to deal with criticism, how she met Sandra Bullock recently and oh so much more.

What an absolute thrill! Jenny is a really funny lady with a very deep faith. She is down-to-earth real and her writing reflects that. In fact, our book club deeply appreciated the fact that her characters have flaws and that things in their lives were messy. We all loved that she didn't tie everything up in a neat little bow at the end and we loved her descriptive humorous style throughout.

I have just two more questions now, though:

1. What does the 'B' stand for in Jenny B Jones?
2. How come your hair is straight now....Google images has pictures of you with curly hair. How do you get to to be all nice and neat like that??? This curly/frizzy-haired gal wants to know LOL.

If you're walking past a bookshop and see 'Just Between You and Me', pick it it. READ IT! You will have a great time!

Friday, 19 March 2010

When You Hit the Wall...

...metaphorically speaking, that is.

It must surely be the end of term. My calendar tells me it is so and this week my body has too. I realised, last night, that I really can't study until 11.30pm, wake up at 5am(ish) each morning and stay energetic!

What did I do, when tears came too easily and I wasn't able to think clearly about even the simplest of things? I stopped. Not because I had time to, which I certainly don't on a Thursday night. But because without stopping for a 1/2 hour nap I simply couldn't have made it through the bustle that is our Thursday evening.

I was talking with a close, precious friend this week about that humanistic mantra that tells us "you can't look after others until you look after yourself". That statement gets my back up. What it says is that I/me is more important than anyone or anything else. I don't believe that is how God intends us to live. Indeed the Bible is full of the opposite...putting other's needs above your own, bending over backwards to help those who need to be cared for, going out of your way and against popular, politically correct culture to look after the unlovely and the downtrodden.

There is a curious small thread of truth in that statement though. And that is the work of Satan, is it not, to weave just enough truth in with his lies to make them more acceptable? That curious little truth woven into a statement I despise is this: sometimes you need to be cared for by someone else. Honestly, you won't and can't always be the one to do all the caring.

As a mother, there have been many occasions when I have had to gather myself and push on. I know that every mother experiences that. You know, those days when you haven't had any sleep because of a fussy baby, or when you're really unwell but you still need to get your children to school. When you just don't feel like you can take another step in your day and yet you have no choice? As my children have gotten a little older and the ability to do their own thing without my constant input, I have received some wonderful blessings in being their mother. One of those things is that they are able to care for me in their own way, when I have truly been in need.

Yesterday as I was overwhelmed with that sense of exhaustion, two of them hugged the same time, because if one starts, Mr Busy simply has to join in! I lay down on the couch, knowing I wouldn't sleep long or deeply, but enough to have rested and they let me do so. I heard one of them say to a sibling "don't you wake her up!", in the sternest tone of a loud whisper. And when I did wake, feeling a little better, they all checked in to make sure I was OK.

Was I stamping my foot and saying "I'm more important than you and you'll just have to wait until I'm ready to deal with you"? No I was not. Rather, I was deeply blessed yesterday, because in my real need for rest my children protected me from themselves and allowed me that time. They came back later to make sure I was truly feeling better and that I'd be OK to move into the rest of the evening. They were gentler with their requests for permission and help with different homework odds and ends.

I think it is important, particularly for mothers, to acknowledge when you honestly require care from others. I think it's also important not to fall into that trap of playing the victim card. You know the one...."I do everything around here and no-one lifts a finger to help me". Even if you don't say it, when you feel it, it comes out in whatever you do. And it is unattractive. Believe me, I know! That mantra I mentioned before will set that victim mentality in motion like you won't believe! I am learning to take those feelings to God. It is, after all, only when we admit our weaknesses and faults that we experience His strength. Isn't that a much more attractive person to be with? I know that's the kind of person I would prefer to spend my time with!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

'The Silent Gift' by Michael Landon Jr and Cindy Kelley

My review for 'The Silent Gift' by Michael Landon Jr and Cindy Kelley has been posted here at Relz Reviewz.

This was such a good read! It is infused with pieces of what life was like in the 1930's, character, depth, and a mother's love for a special little boy. There are twists aplenty and the revelation at the end was the most surprising of all.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Hair Today....Gone Tomorrow?

No, I'm not talking about baldness! Rather, I've been pondering hairstyles. Specifically, I'm wondering if there's an age or era of a person's life where it's more appropriate to wear shorter hair? I know a few older ladies with longer hair, who always wear it up. As I look around I think I prefer the look of an older woman who maintains a feminine but shorter hairstyle.

Now I'm nowhere near as old as the ladies I have been observing, however, according to the children in my church, they consider me middle-aged...AAAGGGHHH! So I'm wondering, at what point does a slightly younger woman begin the journey that ends in a much shorter style? Or does it really not matter these days?

Why am I pondering these questions? I desperately need a trim and wonder if it's time to be daring and try something new, or do I just get the requisite 2 inches trimmed off and continue on as normal?

You know what I really want? A hairdresser who knows the exact style that will suit my personality, hair type and lifestyle and then gives me exactly what I need and I will be ecstatically happy. I'm asking too much, aren't I?!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Monday Menu Plan...On Monday!!!!

Yay, I made it. I've remembered and I have my menu plan for the week done. Although I've just been informed that due to an extra person staying for the coming weekend, of the teenage variety, that perhaps we could accommodate at least one or two of her three food-loves. I think it wouldn't be too hard to delight the heart of a delightful girl!

Today I finally received my first group of College subjects. The wrong workbooks were sent, so I needed to return them and receive the correct ones and the work programs, which comes separately, never arrived until I finally inquired. It seems sometimes too much patience isn't a good thing. Who knew! As I was reading through the information, I discovered that there is a stipulation that students NOT work in their own children's classrooms. I've already emailed, asking for an exception, as the two days I work are indeed in my children's classrooms. If you think of it, would you pray that those who make that decision on my behalf would do so with compassion and understanding.

So...onto our menu!

Monday: Nachos (I even found avocados at a reasonable price!)
Tuesday: Ricotta fritters, vegies
Wednesday: Chicken bacon rolls, vegies
Thursday: Crockpot meatloaf, vegies
Friday: Dinner at school
Saturday: Chicken Parmigana, vegies
Sunday: Chicken & Dumplings

I got the recipe from Chicken & Dumplings from Steph's Country Kitchen Goodness a way back when my children were babes in arms. Steph's site has since disappeared, which I was very sad about when I discovered it was missing. In any case, this recipe survived all that drama and we continue to enjoy it. Chicken soup with hearty dumplings is the perfect meal for a stormy cool Autumn evening!

I'm off to begin this year's studying :)

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Rubbing Shoulders with Fame

On Thursday our Year 3-6's went in to Scienceworks. It's always a full-on day of action, discovery, running, jumping, pulling, pushing, throwing and all sorts of other things. Add to that keeping track of your little group and any adult worth their salt comes home exhausted!

Our students ended up with the added thrill of being in 'The House of Secrets' at the same time that Coxy from Coxy's Big Break was filming. I'd seen men with big cameras and sound equipment at lunch time and wondered what they were filming for....and then I saw the big guy himself. I even smiled at him. He didn't smile back. I found this to be most curious. After all, we stay at the caravan park in Mallacoota where Coxy spent some time. He even spent a whole day filming with the park owner. The park owner has lots of good stuff to say about Coxy. Of course, Coxy should've smiled at me....I know the caravan park guy!

We will be diligent watchers of Coxy' Big Break, at least until we see that episode and discover if any of our kids ended up in the camera's eye. Actually, we're pretty diligent watchers anyway. He goes to all kinds of really interesting places and has a sense of humour that we appreciate.

I did learn this week, that two excursion days in one week is a pretty big week. Following that up with a day at the Caravan and Camping show....well, my feet are complaining and I was snoozing on the couch at 8pm last night!

Friday, 12 March 2010

The Cultural Use of Paper

The blogging world is overflowing with all kinds of interesting tidbits for the reader in search of information about almost anything! The other day I was seeking lunch ideas with a specific dietary need in mind and came across Keeper of the Home.

Having read through the information I sought, I decided to come out of the archives and see what this lady is up to right now. Vegie gardening (always exciting)....and writing about cutting down on kitchen waste. Specifically paper towels and serviettes.

And that got me thinking. Is this a wide gap in culture between the US and Australia, I wonder. I use paper towels to dry off a raw chook before roasting and for draining prawn crackers on the rare occasion that I make those. And then I struggle to think of a reason I might use them at all. A roll lasts me quite some months, and according to an American friend, our paper towels are tiny compared to what she was used to. And to further cement my position as a paper-neanderthal we don't use serviettes (or napkins) either. We used a damp face washer for the kids when they were small....if we really needed to. But otherwise we use cutlery and manage to get our food in our mouths without mess. On the rare day that we've been gnawing on chicken bones, we just go and wash our hands.

Over Christmas I was further puzzled when my SIL (who lives in the US) said if she'd stayed here she'd not have begun using paper towel with such abandon. Because, of course, in Australia you just wouldn't do that. Apparently when in Rome, however, you do as the Romans to speak.

So I am left to wonder. Maybe I'm one of a very small handful who use washable cloths for cleaning, but I don't think I am. Most of my friends by-pass this expense in favour of a more cost-effective method of cleaning. In doing so, we end up being environmentally friendly, perhaps without even intending to do so!

I love my Chux Wonder Cloths in the kitchen. They're like the Selley's version, only not so thick. Being a little thinner (but still very robust), they dry over the tap and stay fluffy if they've been rinsed in hot tap water and squeezed out well. For all other cleaning and various messes, we use cloth nappies. I had someone the other day offer to take them off my hands, since we obviously have no use for nappies any longer. But I (or the kids!) use them regularly because we are often mopping up some spill or another. They're worth buying just for that!

What do my fellow Aussie homemakers use?

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

'Heart of Stone' by Jill Marie Landis

Yes, I am still doing book reviews for my wonderful friend Rel. It seems they are becoming fewer and further between these days, but they are still happening.

My review for 'Heart of Stone' has been posted here at Relz Reviewz. It is a story that hits all the right marks for those who love historical romance and yet will surprise those who think they've 'read it all' when it comes to this genre. Jill Marie Landis is quite obviously an imaginative craftswoman.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

This Week's Menu

We've had a great long weekend....some time at the beach (before the storms!), time with friends, lots of baking, catching up on book reviews (and starting another book!) and delighting little people with golden syrup dumplings for dessert. I earned a few hugs out of that one!

All of a sudden we're back into our almost-normal school week, with a bit of a thud. Mr Busy's last comment, called out from his bed last night was "do we have to go to school tomorrow". Unfortunately, matey, we do. The girls and I are off on House Swimming Sports today so there is no rest for those of us who might be inclined to take a day or two more. I hope the blustery showers clear quickly ~ they're meant to!

My revised menu plan for this week:

Monday: Oven fried chicken, potato & mushroom gratin, vegies, G/S dumplings
Tuesday: Chicken cacciatore, rice, steamed vegies
Wednesday:Lamb chops with cranberry sauce, potato, vegies
Thursday: Singapore Noodles
Friday: Roast chicken, potato, vegies
Saturday: Chicken wonton soup, prawn crackers
Sunday: Sweet & sour pork, rice

Must get to and get these kids's so dark in the mornings now, that opening curtains is not enough to rouse them.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Holiday Hiatus

In Victoria we have a long weekend upon us. I'm taking a little hiatus from blogging to have some fun with my family whilst we spend time with a number of different friends across the weekend.

What does YOUR family enjoy doing on these little mini holiday breaks?

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Somebody Save Me....PLEASE!

Not me...not at the moment anyway.

But have you ever been in a tough place where you've managed to think for just a moment and that thought went along the lines of "if only somebody could just come and save me from myself and where I'm at"?

I've been there. A few years back, now, but I remember that feeling quite distinctly. And anytime I have someone close to me in that place I feel their heartache as keenly as thought it were my own again.

So what do you do when you care deeply and you feel powerless to do anything that will make a difference? Well, I suppose it depends on the context of your relationship with that person, I suppose. When I was struggling with a very difficult situation the best thing my closest friends could ever do was to invite me to THEIR place for a cuppa. Somewhere away from my situation and an opportunity to chat over something completely unrelated to me was like a breath of fresh air to me. Perhaps it was just knowing that someone cared enough to take a little time out of their day to encourage me, but it helped so much on those tough days.

Encouraging words are sometimes the very thing that will tip the scales in favour of continuing to plod through yucky muck. Tomorrow I'm hoping that my daughter's class will take that on board and find a way to encourage their Home Room teacher before her birthday on Saturday. She is a beautiful young woman with a heart that seeks God in everything....I hope by the end of tomorrow she feels as supported as a teacher can possibly be, and that her place in our school community is not in vain or unappreciated by those who gain the most from her gentle and loving nature.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

What Did I Learn Today?

I learned a lot of things today:
  • Little boys are nigh on irresistible when they gang up on you, use their best manners and beg for a play-date, because your son's friend can't bear another afternoon of watching his sister's horseriding lesson!
  • Other little boys are almost as cute as your own.
  • You miss a lot of 'stuff' when you're out of your regular classroom for two days in a row.
  • You can briefly by-pass the system at TAFE. The bookshop don't care if you have your work program before your order your workbooks.
  • Centrelink are better dealt with you don't have to talk to them.
  • When you pay that extra fee your birth certificate arrives in a very speedy manner.
  • Your daughter's teacher is worthy of being spoilt when it's her (the teacher's!) birthday.
  • Listening to 'Playstation Talk' is rather amusing when you're not watching what they're doing.
  • The only thing better than anticipating a holiday (long or short!) is actually going on that holiday.
I told you I learned a lot today. Now I need to learn how to get rid of a headache that's been dogging me for over week.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Menu Plans....Late Again

I seem to be running a day behind all over the place at the moment! Yesterday I left home at 7.15am to attend an Autism/Aspergers PD and returned at 5.30pm after picking up my children from a friend who lives just around the corner. She was more than happy to bring my kids home with her after school and blessed me greatly by organising all of them to have their homework done before I got there.

So...what's on our menu this week? Lots of things, for lots of hungry people!

Monday: Mini Quiches, potato, vegies (a return of the wonton wrappers!)
Tuesday: Chinese Corn Soup, Yum Cha Bites
Wednesday: Chicken Parmigiana, potato, vegies
Thursday: Pasta bolognaise
Friday: Sloppy Joe's
Saturday: BBQ chicken wings, cubed bbq potatoes, salad/vegies
Sunday: Hmmmm...must figure that out before I shop on Thursday!!!!

I'm going to enjoy a nice quiet morning at home before a couple of family meetings after school. Poor Dh is having a few days in a row of juggling work and children. I'm not sure why I say 'poor'...perhaps it's my sympathy for having to step into what is usually my day!