A Mothers Ramblings: October 2017

Monday, 30 October 2017

Halloween Round Up

Home Made Halloween Treats

As you may have noticed, we LOVE Halloween here at A Mother's Ramblings. We love dressing up and taking part in the Trunk N Treat that our Church organises every year. We love doing crafts and making treats just like several of my blogger friends and we have a tonne of ideas on our blogs, that might have slipped past you. So here is a roundup of some of the best posts about Halloween Crafts, Foods and Fun that you still have time to get prepared to have fun with tomorrow night.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Halloween Shrunken Heads Craft

I was talking with Dan Jon Jr the other night about why people like being scared. We decided in the end that it was the rush of adrenaline and the excitement that people liked, and in some cases get slightly addicted to. We then talked about the different things that scared us, but in a nice way and I didn't then spend ages with my feet in the air because I was convinced there was a snake slithering around...

Something that did scare me when I was little, but in that delicious shiver down the spine way, were Shrunken Heads and when I saw a Halloween Craft that turned a humble apple into a Shrunken Head, I wanted to carve some. If you'd like to make some too, then you need to start work now or they won't shrink in time for Halloween!


Saturday, 28 October 2017

Halloween Puffy Ghosts Craft

When I said to Dan Jon I wanted to make some ghosts with him, he jumped at the chance for a little one on one time and because he knew that crafting with me would be a good way to check off the make something from the free time rules we have during any time off, that I had instigated in the Summer.

Spooky Halloween Fun for all the family

They were so fun to make, that Dan Jon thought we should blog about them as a craft that others might like to make and I bet, like me, you have all the items needed to hand too and if not, well they are very cheap to buy.

What We Are Eating W/C 28th October 2017

This week is the start of our change over of meals again. I'm pretty sure I mentioned it already, the children are going to be eating Hot School Meals and then eating lighter hot meals in the evening. Flyfour and I will also be moving over to lighter meals in the evening, but as we're also not changing our lunchtime meals we're going to have a supper together too, something like cheese and crackers or a plate of antipasto.

With that in mind, here is what we have planned this week!

Halloween Biscuits - Cute and Tasty!


Friday, 27 October 2017

JCB Zone At Gulliver's Land - A Fun Family Day Out! #Review

Living in Milton Keynes is fantastic fun; we have everything a family could need within easy reach of our homes, even a Theme Park aimed at Children between 2 and 13. This means that at Gulliver's Land there are rides suitable for thrill seekers or those who like it a little bit less hair-raising and a little more sedate and when we were invited to go and visit a new area that had opened at Gulliver's Land Milton Keynes dedicated to the most iconic of construction machinery companies - JCB, it was without a moment of hesitation, I agreed because I'd always had a soft spot for the yellow JCB as had Dan Jon!

JCB Zone at Gulliver's Land

We were not disappointed, the whole area was awash with yellow and black and looks amazing. I mean I guess it kinda helped that we went on a day where the park was covered in a beautiful blue sky, but I think that the brightness of the yellow would brighten even the greyest of days.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Half Term Halloween Treats - Spooky Cakes

When we sent this picture to Flyfour to show him what we had got up to one day during the Half Term, he asked us where we had stolen the picture from. Apparently, he'd forgotten that we now have a nice new shiny Kitchen (an update post coming soon!) and didn't recognise it in the picture below. I would be insulted, but I guess that it means he was impressed with our efforts if he thought I'd stole the picture from somewhere!

Half Term Halloween Treats - Spooky Cakes

Today, I thought I'd share how to make the spooky cakes as they are nice and tasty, ridiculously easy to make but look spooky and like you spent hours working on them!

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Half Term Halloween Fun - Lollipop Ghosts

The October Half Term is always family time for us here at A Mother's Ramblings and also time to prepare for Halloween too. In the past we've made decorations for our Trunk N Treat car boot design, decorations for our home, watched Halloween movies together, baked treats, carved designs into our pumpkins and worked on our costumes too. 

This week is no different and we decided to make a few treats to give away during the Trunk N Treat our Ward is having on Halloween and we thought we'd share them with you too!

Half Term Halloween Fun Treats - Lollipop Ghosts


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

What Do You Think?

Imagine, if you will, that you live on the edge of the trendy area of town. You live close enough to the local nightlife and restaurants that there are people who will park near your complex when they are on their way to the trendy area and you can easily people watch just by looking out of your apartment window.

Now imagine, that one weekday; not too late at night, about 9:30 pm, you are looking out of your window and you see an approaching middle aged woman standing outside of the apartment block opposite you. She isn't like the normal people who you see, on their way to a club or a restaurant or a bar and because of that she catches your interest. She's standing in the pool of light being given from a street light, so you can see her quite clearly.

The light of a Street Light


Monday, 23 October 2017

A Slightly Disgusting Funny Story

In the Summer, one of my friends moved abroad and we've been keeping in touch by WhatsApp, Facebook and email, because that's what you do these days. I was sending an email of something funny that had happened at Church, that I thought she'd appreciate, when I realised you all might appreciate it too; although you might find it disgusting, so be warned!

So our one and only Sunbeam had been sitting with me during sharing time. We only had a few children and so had combined junior and senior classes and this meant that our Sunbeam was the youngest by a couple of years and I was helping him to understand what we were talking about this particular Sunday.

Top Ender and Flyfour outside a Chapel

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Pippa, What On Earth Does *That* Mean?

When I said in my recent blog post about the Faith In God programme, that I would write a bit about my calling and what I get up to at Church on a Sunday, I expected it to be this post that you are reading right now. Then whilst I was sitting in Sacrament, focusing on the words of the prayer a thought came to me and because I am trying very hard to listen to Spiritual Promptings that I may be given, I knew that this idea was something I should write about sooner rather than later and so this post became an explanation post!

Our Ward Building

Within all religions there is a particular parlance and if you haven't been initiated into understanding so to speak they can be a little confusing. As I sat there listening to the prayer I realised that you might not know what some of these words mean in the way that I do because of my immersion in the religion and so I thought I'd do a little post about some of the ones I use most frequently, if there are any others just leave them in the comments and I'll try to explain those too!

Saturday, 21 October 2017

What We Are Eating This Week W/C 21st October

With this week being Half Term and the children going back to School Meals when they go back to School, we're having a bit of a change around and having a main meal at lunchtime and out evening meal will be something lighter and if I'm honest a bit boring after the first week... we're going down the plain and simple route of having Toasted Sandwiches, Soup and the occasional Pasta dish. I guess I'm going to have to start working out what I want to eat at lunch time when they have gone back to School!

Anyway, here is this week's plan.

My shiny new cooker is still shiny!

Friday, 20 October 2017

Frisbee Golf

Ages and ages ago, Flyfour and I talked about wanting to go to Lee Valley (It's on the border of Hertfordshire, London and Essex) not just to see the White Water Course that we spent hours watching on the Telly during the 2012 Olympics, but because they had something that sounded great fun, so much so that because we hadn't gone to do this in the past five years and I really wanted to, I added it to my Birthday Bucket List, so that we would have to go.

It was of course, Frisbee Golf.

The Family ready for a game of Frisbee Golf


Thursday, 19 October 2017

My Kids Make Miso Happy

Sometimes I look at my children and I'm amazed at them. I mean look at them. They look like me, they sound like me, they act like me, they smile like me, they love cake and the internet like me...

Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr looking adorable, just like their Mum

And then at other times I have no clue about them at all. I mean, take for example the latest reason I've had to raise one eyebrow at them. With half term coming up, I've been busy organising different events and activities for them and me to attend or do during the half term and one idea that was suggested to them that they flat out refused was making Sushi; Because apparently they hate Sushi, unless it looks like this.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The Importance Of Play

I was listening to some of the new Mums at School the other day as they were talking to their children on the way home. They were asking questions about what they had eaten for lunch and what they had done whilst at School and it pleased me that not one of the parents that I was listening in on got upset about their child answering that they had played with various items all day.

Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr, off to School where I hope they will play as much as they want!

You see, a few years back, I did overhear a parent who, as they talked with their child got increasingly angry about how their child hadn't done any work at School. They hadn't had a maths lesson, or sat and learnt to read, they hadn't even practised writing! The parent decided enough was enough and they were going to go and talk with the teacher. School was for learning not playing!


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

PIE Night

On a Tuesday night, after Orchestra, helping out at Rainbows and having something to eat, Top Ender heads out to a youth Church night which is known as Mutual. On these evenings, the young women and men who attend (and their leaders) do things together. Sometimes it might be a Murder Mystery event, or a competition between the two groups, or a party, or an art evening, or a cooking experience... it's just a time for them to get together and do things that help them become more rounded, like I explained in my Faith In God post the other week.

PippaD and Top Ender

Well, last Tuesday, Top Ender and the other Youth girls were going to have a PIE Night and after a bit of googling, I've come to realise that PIE stands for Personal Progress, Interviews and something Extra. So, Personal Progress I'll explain about in more detail in another post but for now it's a bit like the Faith In God award.


Sunday, 15 October 2017

Taking Time Out

I've noticed a worrying trend when reading peoples Facebook status updates over the last few weeks. No, it's not that everyone has been getting ill (that's normal this time of year!), it's not the lack of clothing several of my "younger" friends have been wearing (I hear myself say things to Facebook photos like "Put on some clothes, you'll catch your death out!"), no it's the lack of self care that is so evident that has had me worrying and an answer came to me when I saw a friend post this.

In case you can't read the status it says;
"Saw this picture on Pintrest. First thought oooh pretty autumnal photo. Second thought, look at all the nice peaceful things this person had time to do, pick apples, read a book, arrange conkers decoratively and take a hot drink out etc.... last thought nope probably doesn't have kids. I love my girls but wish I could steal more moments like these for myself. It's been a difficult month."

Now, the lady who posted the photo (who can name herself, but we're going to give her some anonymity!) is utterly amazing. She gives her whole life to serving others, to her children, to her husband, her family, her job and still manages to keep a smile on her face and look amazing every time I see her.

Oh and the lady who took the picture? That's Christina Loewen of The Scarlett Door and her Instagram is amazing and she has a daughter and another baby on the way, she likes Cats and of course would totally be my best friend if we lived in the same country and I wasn't quite so erm, Me.

Also, on a sort of separate note, how come when I "run to the shops" in a stained t-shirt to grab a forgotten essential I bump into the world and his dog, but when I'm looking good I see NOBODY?


Saturday, 14 October 2017

What We Are Eating This Week W/C 14th October

Another week, another meal plan. There isn't so much Pasta this week, (in fact none at all!) so I'm not sure if I'm feeling too well, but as it was really cold when I wrote the meal plan (because I refuse to turn the heating on!) there is lots of warm filling food.

My resolve is being weakened by the groans of my husband about getting out of the nice snug warm bed and into the coldness of our bedroom in the morning however, so the heating may (SHOCK HORROR!) be switched on sooner rather than later. I'm still wanting to hold out for November!

Lit Candles on the Fireplace


Friday, 13 October 2017

Fuse Boards and Bonding

The problem with knowing a little about everything, is that sometimes you don't know enough to stop people from unnecessarily scaring you. Which is what happened when Electricians in the past have been to our house and looked at our fuse board, which was installed back when the house was built in 1960.

The Old Fuse Board and Electricity Meter in a Cupboard

You know that sucking teeth sound that people make before they give you bad news? That's the noise they'd make, before telling us that they would need to rewire the entire house if they were to replace the fuse board and of course that's before they'd done the bonding, which required a lot more teeth sucking.

Flyfour and I couldn't afford for the whole of my house to be rewired, nor the making good and redecoration expense afterwards. So we did what everyone does, we ignored it and pretended that it didn't matter.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Top Ender's New Room

When we worked out the order of the things we were doing in our home. Top Ender's bedroom was supposed to be the last thing that we did. We thought that because of the wood panelling that was lining the lower half of the walls in her bedroom that it would probably need re-plastering and we thought seeing as she was going away to camp for a week with Church that we'd do it then.

An empty room would be perfect right?

Top Ender's Bedroom before the make over

Then we got a quote on how much it would cost to re-plaster the whole of Top Ender's bedroom and we knew that unless we really had to, we didn't want to re-plaster her room! So armed with a screwdriver I took part of the cladding off and discovered that her wall didn't need re-plastering! Sure enough, there were a couple of holes that needed patching but her walls were quite good quality and not for the last time this past summer we thanked our lucky stars that someone was watching over us.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Our New Rangemaster Oven!

When Flyfour and I were designing the Kitchen we wanted to get a new oven, and not just because the old one was green and starting to play up a little! We had initially thought it would be easier to just get an oven from Ikea along with the rest of the Kitchen, but we realised that we didn't want an Electric Hob and main oven, we're a gas oven family and we're also a double oven family!

Our Old Green Range Master

So, Flyfour and I started looking at Ovens. There is so much choice out there!

Luckily Flyfour and I had a few different stipulations over what we wanted in our oven and it narrowed the field down somewhat.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The New Garage Door

When we moved in to our current home, we were full of the hope and optimism that anyone moving into a new house has. One of the things that we hoped to sort out straight away was the garage door, which was broken and had been fixed by someone with perhaps less DIY skills than someone who should probably have been allowed to fix the garage door.

To stop it from being able to be opened, they had put a nail in the lock at the top.

Yeah, I know.

The Old Garage


Monday, 9 October 2017

The Slightly Boring Update on the Soffits, Facias and Guttering!

The first thing we ordered when we were starting the works in our home, was the guttering, the soffit and the facia and the other bits that adjoin the roof. Which is why of course, it makes perfect sense (Yes, you note a hint of sarcasm here!) that it was almost the last thing that happened in the scheme of works.

And not just because they cancelled it on the day they were supposed to turn up the first time.

Great graffiti at Bicester Village


Yeah, that was not a great day.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Faith In God - Err, What's That Then?

This past week I mentioned the Faith in God programme a few times and mostly everyone was really accepting of it, but I did get asked a question in my email asking what the Faith In God programme actually was, as they couldn't work out if it was a youth club, a religious thing or a thing I just made up!

The answer is, it's actually a mix of the first two. As much as I'd like to think I was that clever, there is no way I could have made up the programme. To explain properly I need to give you a little background. Stay with me if you already know this and if you don't, well read on!

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints aka Mormons


Saturday, 7 October 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 7th October 2017

Well, hopefully if everything goes right, I should by now have a new cooker installed and have my kitchen tiled. I don't want to think about the possibility of this not having happened, so if everyone can will positive thoughts to me that would be great...

Also, you know having your kitchen completely ripped out is a great way to find out what you have in your cupboards and needs eating; Apparently I buy a lot of canned tomatoes and different varieties of pasta! With that in mind, here is my meal plan for the next week.

Pippa's partially refurbished Kitchen


Friday, 6 October 2017

Why You Shouldn't Ignore Spiritual Promptings Like Me

Do you ever get that feeling, where you think you should do something? You aren't sure why, but the feeling nags and nags at you, until you either finally give up and do the thing (or something close enough to it that you feel satisfied) or you manage to bury the feeling deep, deep down inside and forget all about it?

Well, I get that feeling all the time.

For me, that feeling is what I recognise as a Spiritual Prompting. A prompting, or a warning, or a reminder from the Holy Ghost just for me and I thought I'd share one of the most recent times that I felt it and sort of ignored it, so that you can have a giggle over it with me and maybe next time you get a similar feeling you won't sort of ignore it like I did!

So imagine a wibbly wobbly time fade effect and let's go back to the last Thursday of September!

PippaD being happy

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Last Weekend

Last weekend was one of my favourite weekends of the year. No, it wasn't because my Kitchen was finally fitted, but because it was General Conference weekend and in our home General Conference weekend generally means I get to spend hours watching TV and when I'm not concentrating on the talks that are being given, I spend time with my family.

The new tradition that Top Ender and I have is that on Saturday morning we travel to the Northampton Stake Building to watch the Women's Session of the General Conference with other women from our Stake. Plus we get to eat Breakfast and Tops and I like Breakfast!

Top Ender, however, had volunteered to help out at a Rainbows and Guides camp and so I made my way to the Stake Centre on Saturday morning on my own.

Top Ender in her Guides Hoodie


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

No Gas and a Power Cut

Saturday was one of those busy family days.

I'd been to Northampton in the morning to watch the Women's Session of General Conference with other women and girls from our Stake and had only had one minor heart attack moment when the rubber strip on my windscreen started to detach as I was driving along the M1! The conference was great and after a drive back home (more sedately along the A5) and a trip to not one, not two but three local hardware stores and a quick stop at the Supermarket with Dan Jon and Flyfour to grab some lunch (Top Ender was at the Brownies and Rainbows Birthday Sleepover and Party) meant that we didn't have long at home before Dan Jon and I, had to head out to a Faith In God event at a local Rock Climbing Centre.

Dan Jon Rock Indoor Climbing at Big Rock


Monday, 2 October 2017

Bicester Village - A Family Visit

One of my unspoken (and unwritten) September Resolutions, was to spend a bit more quality time together as a family. I mean sure, we spend a lot of time together, but I don't mean the time where we're in the same room and talking but each of us doing our own thing. I don't mean the time where the children bundle into my bed and annoy me until I end up wrestling them into submission and ordering them back to bed, I mean REAL time together.

The "Spend-all-day-together-as-a-family" time, like the time we spent at Margate.

PippaD, Top Ender, Flyfour and Dan Jon Jr at Margate beach

Luckily Flyfour and the children felt the same and so we were able to think up some plans for different things that we wanted to do together, which is why a few Saturday's ago we went to Bicester Village.