MAD (Mindie, Adam, Alex, David) Family Fun is the result of friends and family asking "How do you find so much fun stuff to do?" So, I decided to share with everyone! There are no BIG secrets involved, I promise. I just have a knack for finding fun and now I want to share it with you!

MAD Family Fun is a place to find activities, events and ideas to have more fun with your family. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Travel the world at a "specialty" supermarket

All children can have their picky eating stages but around here we try no to let them last too long. My husband is a "foodie" and thanks to him our children (and myself) are exposed to so many types of cuisine. We have Indian night and Noodle night on a regular bases. We have a one bite rule that even applies to my picky self. I try to set a good example.

So when my husband said he found an Asian market in a nearby city, I was game to go have a peek at the possibilities.So we loaded up the children and took a drive.

And what did we find? Isle after isle of wonder! We saw everything from dried fish and chicken feet to boxes of preserved duck eggs and durian! I had never seen durian in person.... only on television. What is durian you may ask. Well, the durian a fruit and is distinctive for its "unique" smell. The edible flesh has a distinctive odour, some say like that of rotten onions! The ones at this market were frozen to control the smell. The smell is so bad that in southeast Asia, the fruit is banned from certain hotels and public transportation!

Durian fruit
We had great fun trying to guess what some of the stuff was since some of the items lacked English. We did pick up a few things, including a can of Eel our oldest wanted to try. After one bite he decided it wasn't for him, but I was impressed he even wanted to try (and no I did NOT try it.... no way, not even for the one bite rule.) He was much more pleased with the various Asian candies he had also picked out!

My husband is now on the hunt for some great Asian recipes since we now know where we can get just about ANYTHING. Though I promise you, durian will not be on the menu! If you have any awesome recipes feel free to send them our way at we would love to try them!

Friday, September 28, 2012

National Public Lands Day (Sept 29 and more)

Do you enjoy getting out into nature? Do you love our National Parks and Public Lands? Here is your chance to give back a little. National Public Lands Day is an opportunity for people across the country to volunteer in special projects to help keep these great natural spaces wonderful. To find out how you can help Click Here!

Some of the projects I found in my state include picking up debris, removing invasive species, collecting native species seeds, and trail maintenance. I was even suprised to see an event where you can help build bat boxes! Think of the impact you will not only have on nature but on your children by volunteering as a family. The only way to teach children to care for something is by doing. Hope to "see" you out there on

Craft Supply giveaway

Some of you may remember recently we were part of Esty's World Craft Party 2012. Remember me bugging you all to join the party so we could get a box of FREE craft supplies? Well we got to 25, the box came, and so did our friends and neighbors! We added in some of our own craft supplies and turned the kids loose to make whatever their creativity wanted!

We had a few things left from the party and I had some supplies in my stash, so I thought, why not pass then on to someone else who could use them! With the holidays coming up, it is a great time to teach children about making gifts rather then buying them. Up for grabs are supplies for the kids and some very nice stuff for those serious crafters.

One lucky person will receive:

A pad of construction paper
5 pack of paint brushes
5 sponge brushes
A paint pallet
10 count colored pencils
4 pine craft boards
3 pack of different style adhesive runners (it's tape)
A pair of Westcott Titanium bonded scissors ( I LOVE mine, these scissors are amazing)

It is simple to enter....Just like MAD Family Fun on facebook. You can also pick up extra enteries for other activities. So enter before Oct 12 for your chance to add to your craft supplies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Museum Day Sept 29, 2012, Free admission

Saturday Sept. 29, 2012 is Museum Day across the country! And you can get FREE admission!! How cool is that! To find museums in your area that are participating, click here. I actually found a nature center that is also participating that I think we might go check out!

"Eaten Apple" craft

Today is Johnny Appleseed's 238th birthday! So who is Johnny Appleseed? Well, Jonathan Chapman, born on this date in 1774 in Massachusetts. He was an American pioneer and missionary. As a frontiersman, he became a legend while still alive as he traveled to the frontiers of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, planting apple nurseries as he went.

To honor his hard work and the wonderfully yummy apple, why not make your own "eaten apple" craft. All you need is a paper plate, crayons, and either a brown pipe cleaner or a real stick. Simply bend the paper plate in half and cut out the crescent shape. Heep the cut away parts to use as leaves.

Color your apple. Don't forget to make your seeds! Next tape or glue the leaves and stem on. Your done. Simple, cute and a reminder of the man who helped make apples a big part of our nation!

Apple Crisp - A fall favorite

When the are turns crisp, you know it is time to make some Apple Crisp! I know there are a million and one ways to make it and everyone claims theirs is the best. I clam nothing! This is just the way I do it and the way our family has come to enjoy the great fall snack.

My family recipe.....

1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Combine and add to the desired amount of peeled, cored, sliced apples, coating them well. Place apples in backing pan.

1 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 Cup Flour
3/4 Cup Butter

Powder sugar

Combine into a crumbly dough. Crumble or pinch off pieces and place over the top of the apples. Bake at 350 degrees for around 30 to 45 minutes. After the crisp cools, combine milk and powder sugar in a bowl to make as much or as little glaze to drizzle over the top.

Now you could eat it right away and we always have a piece but I love it even more after it has been refrigerated. Let me just say, this is so addictive that I had to pack my son some in his school lunch today! He loves it that much. So why not whip some up and enjoy one of our family fall traditions. I promise, it's good!

This recipe was shared on


Monday, September 24, 2012

Count down to Halloween

I know, I know, it is only September. It is bad enough the retail stores are already "selling" Halloween (who are we kidding, and Christmas) not MAD too!?!? Oh yes, MAD too! Halloween is our favorite holiday and our oldest is already asking how many more days to Halloween.
He started to make a paper chain to count down like we do at Christmas and I told him to hold up, lets try something new. This simply countdown is made up of construction paper, twine, tape and stickers, that's it (all of which we had in our craft box.)
He is so excited that each night he gets to snip off another piece. Though I will say he is defently not happy about the number of days left! Ah to be young again.... anticipation makes everything seem so far away.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Make your own flashcards

Do you home school? Does your child need help with learning to read or spelling tests at public school? Why not make your own flash cards? They are cheaper then the pre-made packs you can buy at the store and so simple to make.

The oldest Fun Tester is in 1st grade so I made him up some Dolch List words to help him get some review. I took a pack of colored index cards and wrote out the words. I then used a hole punch and put a pipe cleaner through to connect them. Easy, colorful and DONE at a fraction of the cost of store bought flashcards!

This would be great for just about anything! Like math problems on one side with the answer on the back, states and capitals, etc.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

FREE Building clinic for kids

Here is a wonderful FREE activity for your kiddos! It is Lowe's Build and Grow Clinic. About every 2 weeks on Saturday morning they have these. Now I know it says recommended for 1st-5th grade age kids, but my son started at age 3! He loves going and now tells me "Mom I can do it by myself." And do you know what? He can!

Why, besides the fact it is FREE, should you take your kid to Build and Grow? Well there are a few reasons 1.) They learn how to follow instructions 2.) Read a "blue print" 3.) Use a hammer (yes as you hold the nail they WILL hit your fingers LOL) but the most important of all 4.) They gain confidence and joy from making something themselves!!!

Don't miss out on this free, fun activity. Sign up online and check out these upcoming clinics......

Fire Truck Sept. 22
Ghoul Bus Oct. 13

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pirate fun... Arghhhh!

I have boys, and around here that means pirates on a very regular bases! Here are a few of our past posts to help you get into the pirate mood.....

Pirate Day! This winter was filled with fun as we made an archer and used our coach as a boat! Of course we needed a hook and a spotting scope and a couple of parrots too. And don't forget a treasure hunt.

And every good pirate needs a ship! Why not make one out of ice!?!?

And don't miss out on the International Talk Like A Pirate Day page where they have stuff just for the Junior Pirate!

Monday, September 17, 2012

International Talk Like A Pirate Day is coming! (Sept 19)

Ahoy ye scurvey sea dogs! Ye be ready for talk like a pirate day?

That's right fun folks, Sept. 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Why? I don't know! But Arggh it be soundin like some good fun to me! In fact you can check this site out to find all sorts of Pirate happenings in your area.
Zoom in on your neck of the woods on the map and see if there be anything to visit. I have found all sorts of things on the map across the country! I guess everyone has a little pirate in em!

Apple head carving for kids

As some of you may know, I am a contributing blogger on Farm Chick Chit Chat. September's theme over there is Apples. And while baking pies can be fun for some children, I was racking my brain to find something a little more kid and male child friendly for my son. And that's when it hit me!
All summer long he wanted to whittle. Well of course at six, I am not about to give him a pocket knife unsupervised so he found other ways, like using a nail. So I thought, why not "whittle" (carve) an apple! All a child needs is an apple, a butter knife, and some imagination. For our project we did a "shrunken head."
I peeled the skin off one side of the apple and it was ready to go. Once the face was on all we had to do was wait for it to shrink up.
Now fair warning, if forgotten, the head will continue to decay. Which is kind of cool looking and a great opportunity to talk about such things. But if your like me, and completely lost track of the head due to outstanding circumstances, you could be in for a fuzzy surprise when the head is later located! So keep an eye on where your children take their apple carving!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Be positive with your children

Click the photo to get yours!

When our youngest was born 7 months ago, our oldest, who is 6 years old, did NOT take it well... AT ALL. He was jealous, refused to go near him and just flat out resented him. It drove me nuts because the baby had nothing but smiles for his brother. But what was I to do?

I was looking for some way to use positive reinforcement with our oldest son and then I came across a blog called Erica Bohrer's First Grade. There, I found these wonderful cards you can print out! Every time our son did something even remotely nice for his brother, like grab me a diaper, I gave him a card.

I also used the cards for other nice things too. I honestly don't think as parents we acknowledge our children doing positive things enough. After a while my son started ASKING me to catch him doing nice things! Why not catch your kids..... it will make everyone smile!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

FREE Movies for the WHOLE family!

Looking for something fun and free to do on the weekend as a family? Well if you live in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan or Missouri then I have just the thing for you! Goodrich Quality Theaters are having a Free Fall Movies series. Movies are at 9am and 10am, Sat. and Sun. and free for ALL ages. Yup, even we parents get in free!

In select theaters they are also adding a 9:30 am Saturday, Lights up sound down show, for children with Autism. How great is that! So check out the Free Fall Movies and see if there is a theater near you! There is one near us and I can't wait for Ice Age 4!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Outdoor fun, try something new!

Recently we attended a free Outdoor Family Fun Day put on by local conservation groups. Now let me just say, I personally do not hunt, but I have family members who have and do enjoy the sport of hunting. Being as our son is only six, his exposure to the whole hunting scene is limited. This was basically his first chance to get hands on with and learn about hunting and he had a blast! (even if you are not into hunting, activities like this can offer your children lots of fun and life skills too!)

Upon arriving our son made a beeline for the archery area. One of the gentlemen saw how excited he was and took his time to show our son how to properly hold and shoot a bow. It was great to see how much fun he was having and how proud of himself he was for learning a new skill.

Next up he wanted to try his hand at pheasant hunting. They explained hunter safety to the kids before they went on their "hunt." It was so cute to watch the children try to keep a shoulder to shoulder formation as they crossed the field. They would toss different colored Frisbees to represent male and female birds and the kids had to call out "hen" (no shoot) and "rooster" (shoot.) When a rooster was throw, four little wooden guns would go up!
He and I worked together to do some waterfowl identification and he got a duck call. Imagine 30 plus kids with duck calls....yes it was loud! They had a duck calling contest and again my son amazed me. He had NEVER used a duck call before and was up against kids with lots of experience. With five minutes to warm up he bravely stepped in front of a crowd of strangers and gave it his all! To top it all off, he won a pair of duck decoys!

Of course now that he has a duck call and some duck decoys he is trying to convince us he needs a duck dog (aka lab or retriever) too! Ummm, sorry son, no. I am so glad I spotted this free event in our local paper and took the time to check it out. Not only did we have a wonderful day in the great outdoors, but our son learned some new skills and gained confidence in himself.
What can you learn from our fun day? Try something new! You never know how much fun you will have if you don't. Try new things, learn new skills and along the way have fun with your family.
**This article can also be found on**

Friday, September 7, 2012

We have a winner!

I want to thank everyone who took the time to enter our Fun 50 States Giveaway. If you didn't win, don't worry, I give stuff away all the time! So keep your eyes open. Now, I used a random number generator and.... drum roll please...... our winner is:

 Joanna Teresa
Congrats! Your prize will be jumping in the mail and soon be in your box. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Play with your food!!!

Fall is here and to me that means apples. Sadly, Michigan's apple crops were hit hard this year due to the weather conditions. Prices are at an all time high and orchards are not advertising for U-pick.
What ever will we do? We will suck it up and buy apples at the store at mind boggling prices. We will scale back on the amount of cider and donut holes we consume. But we will NOT give up on the fun of fall and apples! 

After school, I set out a shiny red apple, some grapes, kabob stick and a knife. When my son asked for his snack, I showed him the supplies and told him we were making apple race cars. He was delighted by the idea and quickly got to work.

We cut slices for the car body, pushed broken skewer sticks through the apples, sliced grapes in half and attached them for the wheels. It was simple, fun, and nutritious! And the creativity did not stop there. He asked if he could make a worm. He lined grapes up on a kabob stick and used apple seeds for the eyes! That gave me the idea to make a worm coming out of my apple! ** Apple seeds are VERY slippery when covered in "grape guts." You might want to try something different for your eyes.**

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's.......

Fall is a time when the sky is filled with migrating birds and falling leave. And at least around here last week, hot air balloons! A nearby city was hosting the World Hot Air Balloon Championship and our tiny town was in for a treat as they "invaded" one day for landing!

We had a blast watching them coming and as they began coming down, we followed one of the recovery teams......... (and this is why you should always have your camera with you!) Team Sweden was very nice and let us get up close.

Some times in life you go looking for fun and adventure and some times it finds you! We learned the next night there would be a Balloon Glow event (which was free) and so our balloon adventure was to continue......

We arrived before dusk and got the chance to see them roll out and set up the balloons. These were fiesta (not race) balloons and the pilots were handing out "baseball" type cards to all the kids. Since the baby had stayed home with dad, brother was nice enough to ask for cards for him too. Each card had a photo of the balloon on one side and the "stats" on the back.

Once the balloons were all set up and dusk hit, they started the "glow." As we walked around one pilot was nice enough to let kids climb in the basket and "light it up" for them.

I think the look on my son's face just about says it all! It was a magical experience that we would never have had if we hadn't kept our eyes open for fun and taken the time to embrace the moment and follow that recovery team! My son is already looking forward to the next time the World Hot Air Balloon Championship come this way (in another 10 years.)