19 April, 2014

A boy-filled couple of days

We've had quite a time over the last two days. Note that doesn't say a "quiet time". No Good Friday holiday in Japan. Easter is relatively unknown in Japan. No Easter eggs.

School had a half day yesterday, but then they had a special event from noon for a couple of hours with the high schoolers putting on a carnival that included food and games, raising money for the school to give towards a project in the Philippines.

It turned out to be a cold, rainy day, entirely gloomy (about 12 degrees Celsius cooler than the day before, down from mid 20s to low double digits). But that wasn't the atmosphere in the rainy-day venue of the cafeteria. It was quite the place to hang out, if you could cope with the noise! 

I enjoyed a small portion of Sri Lankan chicken and rice and hung out with friends as we watched the chaos swirl around us. Kids paying to throw wet sponges at teachers and administration. Others paying to arm wrestle with members of the wrestling team (and usually winning, they were good sports). Face painting, balloon sculpting etc. A fun day was had by most (two of my boys went home early, it was too busy and loud for them).
Japanese futons make wonderful temporary wrestling mats.

Then I can home with two more, one of our own and a friend. Then an hour or so later we went and fetched another boy. So, five boys: 14, 11, nearly 11, 10, and nearly 9! Quite a collection. 

Wrestling was the first item on the agenda and they went at it hard. Particularly popular was the chance to wrestle our eldest. It was common for a bit to see him with one or more boy attached to him!

Then they stopped for some Ben 10 DVD action, then a simple dinner of hot dogs, potato wedges and salad.

After dinner we shuffled them through the shower and they took in some more Ben 10 then played HeroScape (war game) and headed for bed. It was all rather civil, really. Everyone in bed by 10, including us. Not all asleep, but in bed and quiet.

HeroScape before bed.

This morning things proceeded along a similar vein with similar components. One boy left at 11, another teenager joined us at 12.30 and one left at 2. Quite the revolving door. At least notable for our family. We generally live quieter lives than this, at least socially. Our family's makeup tends towards the introverted side and we do most of our socialising outside of our home.

I've loved these 24 hours, though. None of the boys who come have brothers their own age. It is delightful to hear the sounds of boys enjoying being together. Not to say it was perfect. We've had a couple of blow-ups, some times when we've had to put a lid on things (like toilet talk). But generally it's been a sweet celebration of boy-ness.

Today while they've been playing, I've been working my way through a recipe I found in the latest Women's Weekly magazine. (This isn't quite the same recipe, but I can link to it!) 
Don't these look mouthwatering! Even more so to those of
us who have hardly ever had them in the last 12 years.

Hot Cross Buns. Being a yeast recipe, it's taken a while, but they're finally cooked and cooling on the stove top just now. Though my nose is all blocked up (I've got a mild cold), it still smells amazing. Hot Cross Buns are another thing we can't buy here and I've never been bold enough to try making them. 

David did try last year, with moderate success. But this recipe isn't too hard and all the ingredients we had easily available—not to be taken for granted, I flick past 90% of recipes in this magazine because I can't get all the ingredients. I know they're supposed to be eaten on Good Friday, but in Australia they are sold for months before and after Easter, it seems.

Later this afternoon the two teens (our son and his friend) will head off to pick up a female classmate, "just a friend", to go to the high school banquet. So we'll have a quiet evening with just two boys. I think we will need it!

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