Having tried them, I can say that the washing machine and tumble dryer are two of humanity's greatest inventions. They're no good for woollens, but even so, they've saved immense amounts of time, since I'm doing the laundry for eight people.
Are there any other inventions I should know about?
Also, if anyone needs overnight childcare so that they can attend the evening Valentine's Ball, I'd like to offer to help. We're staying in a hotel here, and I think for this purpose I'll set up one big room for the boys and another for the girls, with me sleeping in an adjacent room in-between so that I'll wake if anyone needs me. It's probably best that I don't take anyone under five or so, because they'll need more individual attention than I can give, but if you've got an older child who won't mind sharing with others, I'd be happy to have them stay over for supper and sleep.