advent


2011 Advent calenders and a Pause in Advent 14

We also have two more calenders to add to that this year, both in the same format of 24 little books, one is the nutcracker and the other the Christmas Story, which I hope the boys will become attatched to in the same way as I am to my calender.

Finally, as I am not really a scrooge the boys do both have a chocolate calender this year from Hotel Chocolat, who also do the most divine Christmas hampers too


Christmas traditions – Christmas Eve 10

I blogged last year about our Christmas traditions, about creating memories and making our own traditions as a family.  Including a little of mine and MadDads best Christmas’s and sprinkling some new things, some things that are unique to us and to our life.  I want these tradition to cement the boys memories of their Christmas’s past and lead them happily in to their Christmas’s of their future. We have our advent stocking activities each day, which is wonderful and we also make sure that we have done all the shopping, wrapping and running around by Christmas Eve and we make a big day of it.   The Christmas Eve Elves more »


A Pause in Advent – Peace 6

n. The absence of war or other hostilities. An agreement or a treaty to end hostilities. Freedom from quarrels and disagreement; harmonious relations: living in peace with each other. Public security and order: was arrested for disturbing the peace. Inner contentment; serenity: peace of mind. I hasve been trying hard this week to find peace in what is a very busy and hectic world at the moment.  I still dont have the conservatory roof fixed or a resolution with the insurance company on the electrical items, but we will get there. I have spend every spare moment doing something, including baking cakes for school parties, attending carol services and helping mum more »


Not so gingery gingerbread 21

Last year we decorated gingerbread houses, but the boys do not like the taste of gingerbread so it was a waste in the long run, although it was fun. So this year we decided to make our own gingerbread men and decorate them instead, so I set about finding a not so gingery gingerbread recipe.  I couldn’t find one that was just perfect, so I adapted one until it was what we needed.   Ingredients 350g / 12oz plain flour 175g / 6oz light soft brown sugar 100g / 4oz butter 1 medium egg 4 tablespoons of golden syrup 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda ½ teaspoon of ground ginger ½ teaspoon more »


An alternative to salt dough ornaments 18

  We usually make salt dough ornaments at this timeof the year, but spurred on my Chris at Thinly Spread I decided to give cornflour dough a try.  However, typically I didn’t have the ingredients on hand to make her recipes so made up my own. Ingredients 2 cups salt two thirds of a  cup of water 2 cups cornflour Half cup water Method Mix 2 cups of salt with two thirds of a  cup of water in a pan and stir constantly over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until bubbles appear. Remove from heat and immediately add to 2 cups cornflour and half a cold water  and mix quickly to more »


A Pause in Advent Joy 7

joy / joi/ n. a feeling of great pleasure and happiness: tears of joy the joy of being alive. a thing that causes joy: the joys of Manhattan. v. [intr.] poetic/lit. rejoice: I felt shame that I had ever joyed in his discomfiture or pain. There is a real feeling of joy over adversity at the moment in the mad house.  We are all working hard to enjoy and make the most of advent, without making it a chore.  We are trying to find joy in the small things in our life, yes we have had enough of the snow, but it does make things feel clean and bright. We had more »


Nativity Scenes 11

  I am a great lover of nativity scenes and grew up with the lower image in my mums house.  When Maxi was born she gifted me it.  I love it, so do the boys, but as it is china they can not play with it and make up their own story, so we made our own version out of loo rolls. We had so much fun, but no images of us making them, as I was far too involved with the boys, glue, ribbon, scissors and lots and lots of fabric scraps! Oh and I went to Maxi’s Nativity yesterday and Mini’s is today, so I will be back with more »


A Pause in Advent – Peace 12

We had a pretty peaceful start to this week, as we had so much snow that the school was closed all week and MadDad struggled to get in to work.   We tried to make the most of each others company and use the time wisely. We really all enjoyed putting up our Christmas tree and inside decorations (there is far too much snow for the outside ones yet) and took pleasure in the simple things like hot chocolate and marshmallows. But the greatest lesson for me this week has been that peace is not something that is always an external thing.  We had a nightmare on Saturday morning when the heavy more »


Our advent activities, one mum creating traditions 12

As you probably gathered I believe in the wonder and joys of Christmas and want to welcome my boys to the warm arms of tradition.  I want them to relish advent each year, which is why I made our advent stockings last year. I wanted to make each day special in its own right, without is just being a countdown to Christmas day itself.   Write and post your letter to Father Christmas Help ice the Christmas cake Make Christmas cards Make shapes with the cookie cutters and playdough Make Christmas shrinky dinks Make paper snowflakes Go to Carol Service Colour in some Christmas pictures Make some Christmas fairy cakes Make paper chains more »


26

Today is the first Sunday of Advent and last year I took part in A pause in Advent with Floss from Troc, Broc and Recup and I have to say that it really did make me sit back and rethink what Advent and Christmas is all about.  It is very easy to get caught up in the commercialism of Advent and Christmas and taking time out to actively think and take a breath was and is really helpful for me. So what does advent mean?  It is a time of hope, anticipation and preparation.  It gives me the opportunity of introducing a time of family devotion and discussion at meal times.  It more »


Advent Crown 8

A large part of simplifying Christmas for me is making it all about homemade. Homemade decorations and homemade gifts I am a great believer in that the simpler things are, the more effective they are.

One of the main ways we start the festive season is by making our advent crown or wreath. This is one of the many things I remember doing as a child, however, I remember the Blue Peter version of wire coat hangers, tinsel and open flames!!


Reindeer Food, Hearts and Friends 14

I am a lucky lady you know.  I have made some wonderful friends over the internet.  I am blessed to have them and wanted to say thank you for all their support during this year. So, we make reindeer food as part of our annual christmas traditions, therefore, I made a little extra and have packaged it off to them and their little ones as a gesture of my feelings for them. Reindeer food I haven’t re-invented the wheel here, we basically use oats and glitter or coloured sugar. It is dead easy to colour sugar, pop it in a plastic bag, add food colour and shake!!  We use this as more »


A Pause in Advent – Joy 6

joy / joi/ • n. a feeling of great pleasure and happiness: tears of joy the joy of being alive. ∎  a thing that causes joy: the joys of Manhattan. • v. [intr.] poetic/lit. rejoice: I felt shame that I had ever joyed in his discomfiture or pain.  2009 has brought me lots of joy, I have shed the above tears and I have a family that brings me joy every day.  In the bible joy is more than an emotion it combines a sence of happiness with a state of blessedness.   For me this advent has been a time of biblical joy.  I have found the time to find more »


A Pause in Advent 6

Well my pause for Advent this week has to be on the whole Nativity play in primary schools. MaxiMad is in Reception and his play Woops a Daisy Angel tool place on Wednesday and you can read all about it here.MiniMad is in Preschool (nursery), he is in the afternoon group, which are the youngest children in the school.  We went to his production on Friday afternoon and it was more than a joy to behold.  Unlike Maxi, he had been practicing his songs aloud for about 2 weeks and they were along a pretty traditional line, away in a manger, jingle bells etc. The most wonderful thing was that all more »


Jelly Baby Jesus Cakes 12

  Ingredients Shredded wheat Golden Syrup Milk Chocolate Jelly Babys Royal Icing Cake Cases   Break up the chocolate in a bowl and microwave till melted, whilst scrunching up the shredded wheat. Add about a tablespoon of golden syrup to the melted chocolate (it keeps it melted longer, which is easier for the children) and then add the shredded wheat. Have a good lick at your spatula when you have finnshed mixing! Scoop out and place in to the cake cases, this is the chocolate straw. Add you Jelly Baby Jesus, very gently as not to wake him on to his bed of straw. Then cover him in a royal icing more »


Decorating on a Budget 2

I’m just a boy who helps around The workshop and I can be found Sawing for Joseph or shaping wood Helping a master who’s kind and good And now I’m here to wave goodbye To watch them go and know that I Am trusted to finish the table and stools And take proper care of the carpenters tools I have had a lot of of wonderful compliments on the Christmas Decorations here at TheMadHouse, so here are some tips for decorating on a budget. MadDad and I have been lucky enough to build up our collection since we were married nearly 14 years ago.  We decided pretty immediately that we wanted more »


Pine cone door decoration 7

Mary I’ve packed the oil And I’ve packed the grain, The water is ready Now listen again – Here are the blankets and covers And your mattress there, So please, my sweet friend, Keep warm and take care Today I have a very easy Pine Cone decoration, which I totally pinched from Sweet Paul. It is very easy for an older child to do on their own, MaxiMad and I did this together.  We also made one for my mum with red ribbon and golden sprayed cones, but forgot to take any photo’s of it before we gave it to her yesterday. I couldn’t find my glue gun (my mother had more »


A Pause in Advent – Priorities 7

“The Messiah shall come to Bethlehem – That prophecy soon will come true For Joseph is going to take me there And I know that my baby is due”. Today we will light the second candle on our advent wreath and discuss the shepherds and their sheep with the children.  I will be making cotton wool sheep with the minimads and we will have a quiet (we as quiet as possible with a 3 and 4 year old) family day. Christmas is creeping up on us this week and I have done my best not to feel overwhelmed by the things that often need to be completed before Christmas day.  I have more »


Christmas Decorations in TheMadHouse 8

Who am I? I’m Caesar Augustus! I live far away in Rome And I want to count all my subjects So, Mary and Joseph, GO HOME! Please let me take you on a tour of TheMadHouse dressed for Christmas…… First my wreath as you come to the front door Then the advent stockings hung over the fire Meet Rudolf one and Rudolf two the very annoying jungle bell rock singing and ear flapping reindeer that the minimads adore given to them my Grandma. My Plastic 1960’s Santa, which is older than me and pinched off my mum, which guards the dinning room door. More signing and dancing scary  soft toys, purchased more »