almost forgot: apparently my FFA program is so successful that, this morning as his dad was driving him to school, our eldest son seemed quite distressed that he was “going to miss the first free-for-all!” 😀 it does seem to work — so far, at least, I’m a little more patient w/the kids, and they’re less likely to drive me insane, esp while I’m trying to fix dinner… I told my mother what I was doing, and she thought it was hilarious, “but hey, if it works, it’s pure genius!” my dh is also very appreciative of my willingness to try new things, seek solutions to problems, compromise, etc etc etc — his praise was generous, but I suggested he thank me properly later… 😉