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HOP IS A GREAT EASTER COMEDY FOR ALL THE FAMILY, full of candy, chicks and rock and roll. Slacker Fred (James Marsden) accidentally injures the Easter Bunny (voiced by Russell Brand) and then takes him in. Together, they must save Easter! Hop is showing in cinemas nationwide now.

Hello from Mumsnet Towers...


Where we're busy dangling our Mother's Day dos and don'ts under appropriate noses. Don't forget to do the same, if you haven't already.

Got a question for children's author and illustrator Giles "Purple Ronnie" Andreae? Do post one up; and, if you're quick, you could also nab one of the 50 sets of his new 13-book series World of Happy we're giving away for free.

There's still time to post a Q about RSI <adjusts chair> for our Q&A with expert consultant orthopaedic surgeon Tony Kochhar. And, what with the Easter break coming up 'n' all, we'd love more of your recommendations for great family Days Out.

Now for this week's parenting news...

Household incomes fall for the first time in 30 years: The average household's annual disposable income (the money left after taxes) dropped by 0.8 per cent last year. It is the first time since 1981 that UK statisticians have registered a fall in take-home pay – and it's the biggest fall since 1977, when inflation was running in double figures. (Telegraph 30.03.11)

Early Years benchmarks to be scaled down: There must be a simpler, less bureaucratic system for assessing how young children in England are developing, says Dame Clare Tickell, chief executive of Action for Children, who's carried out a government review of The Early Years Foundation Stage. Tickell recommends the current 69 benchmarks should be reduced to just 17, focusing on basics, such as physical development and language. (BBC News 30.03.11)

WIN JOHN LEWIS VOUCHERS! Please take part in this survey about washing up by hand and dishwashers (whether you have a dishwasher or not). Everyone who does will be in with a chance of winning £250 in John Lewis vouchers.

Other stories in brief


Hot threads

Quote of the week: ChristinedePizan has an inkling of what Mother's Day might hold: "I will be getting a card. I know this because my DS told me he made me one at pre-school today but not to tell anyone because it's a surprise..."


Try your luck with our March competitions. Here's what you could win:

Don't forget to keep an eye on winners' corner to see if your name comes out of the hat...

FUN HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN! Easter and summer day camps for children aged four-and-a-half to 16 years. Visit www.barracudas.co.uk for list of 28 locations. Enter MN11 into the promotions box online to receive an extra £10 off your booking. Offer valid until 11th March 2011.


Aitch's TV round-up: Louis Theroux – America's Most Hated Family In Crisis, Sunday 3 April, BBC2, 9pm
The original America's Most Hated Family doco caused quite the stooshie on MN in 2007 iirc, and it was my impression that Louis Theroux had left the Westboro Baptist Church at a speed designed to out-pace a survivalist's bullet. So, it is quite a surprise to see him back there again. The Phelpses, all 80 or so of them, have placed Theroux at the top of their Most Hated list (which will be a relief to gay soldiers). However, the hairy hate-freaks from Kansas feel that their message is so important, they are prepared to fraternise with the enemy this one last time... Brave of Theroux, to be honest, because things are now so bonkers up there, and the family so cut off from general society, that he may actually be in real danger of being tarred and feathered and run out of town.
Discuss this show (and others) on our Telly Addicts Talk board.

Recipe of the week: gin4me's Mother's Day truffles
Scrummy chocolatey treats to make with your kids and give to a lovely mum <wink> this Sunday.
You can review this recipe here - or why not upload one of your own?

That's all from us. We're off to make our own await truffles galore...
Love, MNHQ

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