The girls cuddled up on the sofa under a blanket clutching their bags of popcorn. My concerns about spending the evening cleaning it up off the floor slowly dissipated. Their trusty dog lay at their feet, ready to hoover up any stray scraps before they became part of the carpet. And I realised we should have done this months ago. A late night, chilling together as a family. Watching crap on television and taking time to relax. Getting it wrong It’s rare for us to do nothing. During term time, we’re busy running from one activity to the next. Ballet,…

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We walked into the communal room and the children made a beeline for a playroom and some craft tables. Volunteers from a local company were running a Halloween event for residents to make masks and decorations. One of many opportunities for children to retain some form of normality during their family’s darkest hour. What is Ronald McDonald House? Every parent knows that sinking feeling you get when your child is ill. You see their suffering, but there’s nothing you can do to help them. And so you wait, helpless, for them to get better. That feeling must be multiplied hundreds…

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The house was quiet first thing in the morning. The dog danced around on the wooden floor but there was a certain emptiness that was unusual for our chaotic home. For the first time ever, the children weren’t there. The joy of chaos That night, the girls had stayed with their granddad. I went about my day as normal. Working, walking the dogs and preparing for the afternoon. And before I knew it, they were back. We sprang into action. Running around the house getting ready. Shoes on, coat on and out of the door. Autumn makes me feel like…

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As we fought our way through crowds of people and deflected requests for sweets, it dawned on me. Half term wasn’t going to be the relaxing affair we’d been waiting for. It was going to be chaos, just like every other week. Days out I do long for lazy days at home. Playing games, snuggling on the sofa and watching films. But school holidays are so short and I can’t help but make the most of them. So, as usual we’re filling our days. Half term got off to a great start with lunch in Birmingham followed by the fabulous Disney…

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The children sat, mesmerised by Captain Hook and his pirate ship gliding across the ice. Jolly pirates danced a jig to a well-known song and Tinkerbell flew through the air overhead. After last year’s Frozen show, they weren’t expecting such a vast array of colourful characters. Here’s what we learnt from watching the wonderful Disney On Ice Passport to Adventure. 1. Arrive early The atmosphere was electric outside the arena. Crowds of people milled around, looking for their entry gate. Excited children stood by posters of the cast to have their photograph taken, whilst adults queued to buy sparkly props.…

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The National Forest Adventure Farm is a brilliant family day out in Staffordshire. We visited yesterday for their Halloween Spook-tacular. At this time of year, it’s always going to be a bit hit and miss with the weather. But they’ve got it covered – with a soft play and cafĂ© indoors and lots of outdoor seating that is undercover too. Luckily the weather was kind to us and we checked out their activity board before embarking on an entire day of outdoor fun. The Spooky Shows Is it just my children who put food above all else? We arrived at…

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One of the best things about working from home is being with the children in school holidays. But the problem is, work doesn’t stop. In fact, half term is looking fairly busy for me. And we’re not in a financial position to turn work down. Grandparents to the rescue I’ve already scheduled in a few brilliant days out for the girls next week. The problem is, most of my days out are related to the blog, so I’ll need to write them up afterwards. What with the other work I have on, it’s going to be manic. Luckily, the girls…

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