Childrens Halloween Party 6

We have been to my Brother and Sister in Laws social club this evening for the children Halloween party and it was and always is a fantastic night. It is a night for all the children and most of them dress up (except for MaxiMad who goes as himself) and have a great time. Cheesy tunes are played by the Menacing Boys Disco, parents are dragged up on the stage to show off the dance routines to the children and party games are played.  Apples are bobbed and fancy dress competitions take place. Toffee apples, Halloween cakes and toffee lollies are eaten. It is always a wonderful experiance and tonight is more »

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A Warm October Day 6

Today has been a totally unseasonably warm day for late October, maybe global warming has started, but I am not complaining as it is half term and the mini’s need lots of exercise.  On a typical Thursday we do our shopping with my mum, so we set off to our local Aldi and got the shopping for mum and us and then decided to spend the rest of the day having some Fun. Now I have to say that I was taking the shopping to the car when the above was happening and was not all that happy that mum allowed both the mini’s to put holes in the bums of more »


The Fantastic Mr Fox 2

I took MaxiMad and my niece to see The Fantastic Mr Fox and we all really enjoyed it.  I was worried that it might be a bit gruesome for them, but was totally wrong on that count.  They both took the killing of the chickens in their stride and positively loved the fact that Mr Fox got his tail shot off!!  Now I expected that from the grandson of a farmer, which is what MaxiMad is, but not of my lovely neice. What can I say about the film, it has fantastic animation, which is kind of like a cartoon background with the characters as puppets.  Jarvis Cocker does the soundtrack and more »


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Writing Workshop on a Wednesday 8

What did I want to be when I grew up. I have to say that this changed day by day when I was younger, initially I wanted to be a VET, then a solicitor and then an accountant.  I was a very quiet child and overly dramatic, which according to my brother I still am!!! I really enjoyed my primary and infant school, but when it came to seniors I hated it, really I didn’t like it in the slightest.  So when it came to exam time I wasn’t that hopeful and decided to review my options and decided that a YTS (yes I am that old) was possibly the best way more »


Christmas Cake and Christmas Puddings 6

I always start soaking the fruit for Christmas cakes and Christmas puddings at Half Term, so I have weighted, measured, chopped, washed, dried and then covered in alcohol all the fruit this morning with the minimads.  We tend to use what we have or rather what alcohol my mum has open (so it was a mixture of sherry, brandy and rum this year). Last year we gave out mini Christmas cakes as part of our presents and they went down really well and were very easy to make and simply iced (well you cant really do ornate with a three  and two year old helping and as you know its all more »

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Pumpkins and all that 10

We decided that we would carve our precious pumpkins today.  We are so proud that we managed to grow them ourselves in the garden.  Like all things in TheMadHouse, it was a family affair, but MadDad took centre stage. Although MiniMad is a super duper scooper Watch out man at work and concentrating hard Nothing too scary, the minimads dont like scary A face and a bat Then roasted pumpkin seeds, delicious and so simple. All you need do is scoop out all the seeds and clean them.  We like ours salted, so I boil then in salted water for 20 minutes, then toss them in garlic butter or olive oil more »


Spiritual Sunday 3

For every dark night, there is a brighter day The clocks “fell” back last night (spring forward, fall back is the only way I remember this) and this means that the evenings will be darker earlier and this has been something I have not been looking forward to in the slightest. One of the times I have most cherished since the mini’s started school and preschool has been our hour at the park after school.  This has been an excellent way of them running off all that excess energy.  Both boys are well behaved at school and seem to have a sudden burst of energy upon escaping. I took the advice more »


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Wet weather Halloween decorations 3

Well today has been very wet, so I decided to do some very easy Halloween decorations with the boys that required minimal preparation or involvement on my part. So we made paper pumpkins and drew faces on orange balloons.  Whilst MaxiMad was a football practice I did was cut the paper for the pumpkins and black triangles for the mini’s to decorate them with.  I also blew up a couple of orange balloon’s (I need to get some more as they really enjoyed this part) All the mini’s did was colour in the paper with orange crayons and then stuck the black card where they wanted it to decorate them.  I then more »


Salt Dough Halloween Decorations 5

We love salt dough here in TheMadHouse.  It is an inexpensive and fun way of making and modeling.  I picked up a set of cookie cutters from tesco for 99p.  They are small, but they are fine until we fine some larger ones and have a few spare pennies. Basic recipe 2 cups of plain flour 1 cup of salt 1 cup of warm water I also add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to make the final decoration harder. Mix the flour, salt and lemon juice adding water until you get a firm dough. Then knead the dough.  The more you kneed the more pliable the dough will become. We basically roll more »

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An Apple for the Teacher, well a necklace 3

MaxiMad gets a weekend homework project each week, nothing hard, just a little something.  It has been to learn his address, draw his favorite hobby, write to 20 and last week it was to draw some number and colour patterns.  He gets his project on a Thursday and it is returned on a Tuesday, so this evening we got back from the park and checked out his book.  The comment from last weeks work was that his teacher liked his colour pattern and would love a necklace like that.  Well MaxiMad decided a necklace she should have (she wont make that mistake twice!!). I have lots of beads for the boys, more »


Picture Perfect Meme 7

Linda at ‘You’ve got your hands full’ tagged me with the Picture Perfect Meme, which Tara at Sticky Fingers started. You have to show a picture that your children have drawn about you. You may remember that a little while ago MaxiMad made a trip to the local sorting office where he saw the life cycle of a postcard he had previously posted.  Well on that postcard was a picture of his family. A while back MadDad ordered me the the wonderful Handmade home by Amanda Blake Soule, who is Soulemamma.  In it she makes Portrait Bookmarks (she has a free PDF with the instructions on here).  I thought these were a more »

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A Very Proud Mummy 6

If any one would like to ask me what I want for my children it would be for them to be happy and balance individuals. Well MadDad and I spent the evening at the minimads school talking to the boys teachers and I have come away a very happy bunny. We were told we should be proud of our children as they are balanced, happy and well mannered children.  MiniMad is in the Preschool and you will remember that it was terrible getting him settled, but it seems all in the distant past.  His key worker, who is the head of nursery informed us he was a real joy.  A very more »


Writing Workshop on a Wednesday 5

Josie at Sleep is for the weak holds a weekly writing workshop with several prompts posted on a Monday, this week I chose: You will eat what I put in front of you with out a word of complaint and then thank me for cooking you a nutritious, low salt, healthy and tasty meal – not a peep out of you. You will allow mummy to sleep till 6.30am. You will not shout “please come and wipe my bum” continually a the top of your voices until I turn up.  I do acknowledge you first time and set off. You will not bring friends ie worms and other creatures to the dinning more »

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Making a start on the Christmas Presents 4

Look, my new to me sewing machine and my first project on it.  A new swimming bag for MaxiMad.  He picked out the fabric when we were in York a few weeks back from the Cath Kidston store (he has taste that young man)! Thing is once I had done one and mini mad saw it, I had to make another one this afternoon.  I also made these key rings as Christmas Presents and one for myself, as I always end up popping my car keys in my mouth to hold it I dont have any pockets on (so I can strap the children in their car seats). Do you like more »


A shelf makeover 7

We had this white shelf in the garage, since we moved in 3 years ago, we bought it with the intention of using it in  the hall area, but it was damaged and the company refunded us.  We found a better solution for the hall and we were not sure where to put it, or all that enamoured with the white finish. Finally we decided on a place above my chalkboard painted wall in the kitchen, but I just didn’t like the white. My solution, paint it hot pink 2 coats of primer and 3 coats of pink spray paint later (which we had in the garage, but for the life more »

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UP 6

The Family Mad raided the boys piggy banks and went to see Up yesterday at the local independent cinema.  Both boys have been looking forward to this, Disney have been showing “up”isodes on Playhouse Disney, so they both knew about it. MaxiMad really enjoyed all of Up, he especially liked when they were exploring and the balloons on the house.  It held his attention throughout the film and he really liked Kevin the bird.  MiniMad started off well, but soon got fidgety.  We knew if was a risk taking both, but he really wanted to go.  He managed most of the film, but I think that it will be DVD for more »


Spiritual Sunday 2

The Past is Over This is a new dayone that I have never lived beforeI stay in the now and enjoy each and every moment Now that Autumn is here it is far too easy to get wrapped up in all the upcoming events, Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas and sometimes I am guilty of focusing on them, rather than just enjoying being where I am. I am measuring time by the number of sleeps before I go into hospital, rather than enjoying each day as it come, so this week we I am going to try and forget about hospital and live in the now, rather than worry about the future.


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Home Made Pasta Sauce 3

Cooking, baking, making, gardening, cleaning, well everything in TheMadHouse is a real family affair.  We tend to really enjoy doing things together.  Some may find that strange, but I love spending time with all the men in my life, including that very strange cat too.  Anyway I digress.  Remember all those green tomatoes from the garden, well some had ripened and we decided to make a sauce for pasta. So we set too, kind of in a production line way.  MadDad and I deskinned and deseed the tomatoes.  Maxi and MiniMad strained the seeds and juice. DadDad prepared the peppers and onions and MaxiMad chopped them.  I then cooked all the ingredients more »


More Halloween Crafts 9

Seen as I have the colour changing pens out already for the Autumn tree collage I did with MiniMad this morning, I decided to do some secret Halloween pictures for when the boys came home from school and preschool. Again you can not get much more simple than this.  I used the white (colour changing pen to draw Halloween shapes and words on white paper and let them lose with the others, so they could find their messages and pictures. Not elegant, but fun none the less.  You dont need to have colour changing pens to do this though, you can use a candle or a white crayon and water paints more »

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Autumn Days and the Grass is Jeweled 4

My wonderful Fly friend Wendy sent this craft all ready prepared for the minimads all I added was the colour changing felt tips which had been supplied by my mother in law earlier in the year. Basically she printed out the tree and the leaves and we coloured them in with the colour change felt tips and then changed them to represent the autumnal colours that we see all around us at the moment.  This became a discussion on photosynthesis and why some tree lose their leaves and others dont – quite in dept for my 35 year old head, let alone minimads 3 year old brain who thought up all more »