Creation Book – FREE Printable!

FREE Printable Creation Book Craft at happyhomefairy.comI’m so excited about this little project I get to share with you today!  And just in time for Earth Day, too! It’s kind of hilarious because it has been a lonnnnng time coming.  I started making these books with my students back in October and I JUST NOW sent the last one home.  SHEESH.  With 2’s, usually everything they do is lightening fast.  They can bop from building with Duplos to eating 100 pretzels to tearing apart the kitchen center in about 14 seconds, but when it comes to projects like this, things are usually slow and steady. That and the fact that I didn’t know how to use the machine that puts the binding on books like this so they sat in my closet for about 3 months before I finally asked someone to help me because I needed the shelf space in my closet back. BWAAHAAAHAA!

*I got the inspiration for this book from The Preschool Experiment blog.*

It’s all very easy to put together. Before you begin, here are the supplies you will need…

  • FREE Printables below
  • Yellow and black construction paper, glue (page 1)
  • Cotton balls, blue tissue paper squares, glue (page 2)
  • Brown construction paper, green paint, green dot marker (optional) cut-out flowers, glue (page 3)
  • Yellow crayons, stickers (page 4)
  • Blue dot marker, bird and fish creation printable from HERE, glue (page 5)
  • Person cut-out, animal stickers, glue (page 6)
  • Blue paper circle, green tissue paper squares, red heart, glue (page 7)

As we worked on the different days of creation, I taught the kids the little song that is featured on each page.  It is sung to the tune of, “Frere Jacques.” creation book 1creation book 2creation book 3creation book 4creation book 5creation book 6creation book 7creation book cover

Click HERE for your FREE Printable Creation Book Cover

Click HERE for your FREE Printable Creation Book Pages

I hope you enjoy this project with your Happy Buddies and it helps them learn about the greatness, power, and beauty of our Creator. Happy Creation Book-ing! :-)

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Revelation 4:11

Piggy Cupcakes and Happy Baby’s 3rd Birthday

pig cupcakes at happyhomefairy.com

Would you believe that Happy Baby turned 3 years old on Friday?!

When we started talking about what kind of party he wanted, he immediately said he wanted a Peppa Pig party.  To be gender correct, he actually insisted on it being a George Pig party (Peppa’s little brother).

About 2 days before the event, he changed his mind and asked for a minion party again, but I tricked him into keeping with the Peppa theme by promising to make him these unbelievably adorable piggy cupcakes.

Here is how I made them…pig cupcakes1

First, whip up a batch of cupcakes.  Then dye a can of vanilla frosting pink and frost the cupcakes.pig cupcake2

Cut a bunch of strawberry creme wafer cookies into small triangles (I bought these at Walmart).pig cupcake3

Use kitchen shears to cut a bunch of strawberry-flavored marshmallows in half.pig cupcake4

Place one marshmallow half on each cupcake.pig cupcake5

Place 2 of the wafer triangles on top of the cupcake.pig cupcake6

Add candy eyes (found at Walmart) and a pink icing snout.

piggy cupcakesAnnnnd you’re done!

Who needs minions when you’ve got these adorable oinkers?!

jet's party 1jet party2jet party1jet partyjet party cupcakejet party pigIt was a perfect day.  We decided at the last minute to host his party at a nearby park and Happy Baby loved having unlimited quantities of cousins, playground time, pizza, and Peppa.

I thought it interesting that Happy Baby’s birthday fell on Good Friday this year… A reminder of the darkness that surrounded the first several months of his birth, but how God brought about a glorious resurrection in his life and ours.

We are so grateful for this precious boy whose happy heart and sense of humor sprinkles our days with reminders of the unfailing faithfulness and mercies of Jesus.

Happy Piggy Cupcake-ing and Happy 3rd Birthday, Happy Baby – you are a treasure.

<3

Happy Resurrection Day!

easter1easter2easter7easter4easter3easter5

Yesterday was the annual family Easter egg hunt at my husband’s Grandmommy’s house.

Happy Buddy found the ‘Golden Egg’ and got to take home this special treat as his prize…easter6

I am not going to lie – I have already contemplated 3,000 different ways I can try to sneak that thing to Goodwill.  Before you think I have no heart, I feel the need to remind you that our house is about 1,000 square feet.  We practically need to build an addition on Happy Buddy’s bedroom to house this bunny.

Maybe he can just replace a dining room chair.

Or a bed, for that matter.

:-)

Happy Easter, sweet blog friends!

May you know the joy and hope of Christ’s love for you today.

– Julie :-)

“Let us thank the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was through His loving-kindness that we were born again to a new life and have a hope that never dies. This hope is ours because Jesus was raised from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3

Easter Conversation Cards – FREE Printable!

easter conversation cards at happyhomefairy.com - these are ADORABLE

I apologize that this printable is coming in so close to Easter.  I promise I had good intentions to get it done earlier, but those good intentions got flushed when everyone in the house got sick this past weekend and instead of quiet, creative pockets of time, we were all draped over our beds under the influence of Tylenol and back-to-back Peppa Pig episodes.

In some of the more discouraging parts of the weekend I had to preach to myself that if Jesus endured the cross, I can endure a house full of angry germs.  And Resurrection Day is coming so I needed to fix my gaze on the hope that is mine through Jesus’ work on that cross – everlasting life in a place where sickness will be NO MORE.  I will be particularly happy not to have to clean out a puke bucket ever again.  Hallelujah!

So, without further ado, here are 16 fun and meaningful conversation starters for you to use around your Easter table this Sunday.

Easter-themed conversation cards! Perfect for our Easter family dinner!cards 1cards 2

Click HERE to download PAGE 1 of Easter Conversation Cards

Click HERE to download Page 2 of Easter Conversation Cards

*NOTE – You will need one plastic Easter egg and a few marshmallow PEEPS to complete a few of the conversation starters.

And if you’re looking for some yummy recipes to go with all of this amazing conversation, check out THIS POST featuring the BEST Easter dinner menu ever.

Now I’m off to take someone’s temperature!  Feel free to wipe down your computer with a Clorox wipe after reading this so our germs don’t hippity hop your way.

May the Lord bless you!

Happy Easter Conversation Card-ing! :-)

A Delicious Easter Feast

the best recipes for Easter dinner at happyhomefairy.comI keep turning around and being surprised by how fast the weeks are flying.

Happy Buddy said to me on Sunday that next week was Palm Sunday and I was like, “That’s ridiculous, no it’s not.”

And sure enough – it is.

The Easter season is here!  I have a BIG printable for you that I am hopefully going to get to work on this weekend if I give my kids a bag of pretzels and put them in a cage.

But today I have been thinking about some of the yummy recipes I have on this site and I wanted to share what, in my humble opinion, would be the perfect Easter feast – a delicious combination of flavors that is sure to make everyone’s tummies sing right along with their mouths after belting, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” at church.

honeybaked ham

Image Source – HoneyBaked.com

First, buy a ham from Honeybaked.  You’re welcome.

potato casserole at happyhomefairy.com - perfect dish for potlucks - never any leftovers and SO easy!!!Next, make THIS amazing potato casserole.

the best salad EVER.jpgThen make THIS salad (it is my most-requested, most popular recipe EVER).

The-BEST-Banana-BreadBake a batch of banana bread – (you can find this recipe at chef-in-training).

IMG_0329Serve up a side of THIS applesauce Jell-O.

lemon bars2And for dessert, enjoy THESE lemon cheese bars.

I promise that everyone will be in hog heaven (quite literally, if you are eating ham).

I’d love to know if you plan to use any of these recipes with your families this year!  Feel free to leave a comment below or drop me an email.  It always warms my heart to know how this site is helping you build a happy home – and stomach, for that matter.

Happy Easter Feast-ing! :-)

The Grace Response

The Grace Response - learning to respond to our people in love instead of anger.One day last year when I picked up the Happy Buddy from school he immediately burst into tears.

He informed me that he had not gotten a sticker that day because he had been caught eating mulch on the playground with another boy.

Another day when he climbed into the car after church he confessed tearfully that he had been given a time out during Sunday School because he was goofing around during the Bible story.

Then there was the time we got our seat belts on and he let me know that he had gotten a ‘little wild’ at the end of the school day and had to walk laps during recess.

And I can’t forget the time he informed me that he had kicked another boy where it counts (shall we say) and then lied about it to his teacher.

Most mornings before my children are released from my care into the hands of another, I try to remind them that they are little ambassadors for Christ as well as representatives of our family and that it is important for them to do good, respect well, obey quickly, and listen attentively.

I will even often pray a blessing over them before they race to their respective classrooms.

So you can imagine that when my child comes home from school and tells me the stories of failed attempts to listen, obey, and be respectful – my flesh gets a teeny tiny bit mad.

Probably because I know the depths of wickedness in my own heart and how easy it is to fall into the trap of judging another mama based on her child’s behavior.

My kid was making me look bad.

(As I typed that sentence I felt my computer giving me a disgusted look.)

Truth is, my anger is linked to my own pride and sinful desire to have people think I am perfect and can produce obedient, excellent children.

So when I get angry at my kids after they confess their sins to me, I am really just reflecting ME and my selfishness instead of the sweet grace He tenderly, patiently, and lovingly extends to us every. single. day.

God has been working on me in this area.

He has helped me to see a few things more clearly – the first being the precious gift that it is to have a son who doesn’t want to keep secrets.

Because if I want to encourage my child to be a TRUTH SEEKER – to not be content in the withholding of his wrongdoings – to openly confess and experience the freedom of a life lived in truth-soaked light, then I have to get better at responding with grace.

And God KNOWS I want my boy to be able to confess his struggles to me as a teenager so if I am putting him down, punishing him, and making him feel bad now in his openness – it’s looking pretty certain that he won’t trust me with that info in the future.

What does the ‘grace response’ look like, then?

When Happy Buddy gets in the car and rattles off his behavior, instead of scary eye-balling him in the rearview mirror and saying things like, “How could you do that?!” or “That was a horrible choice!” or “No dessert for you tonight, young man!” or “You know better than that!”

I listen quietly and then carefully and gently ask questions.

“What made you think mulch would taste good?” (I admit, we got a good laugh out of this one.)

“Why was it hard for you to sit through the Bible story?”

“Why did you feel you had to lie to your teacher?”

“Would you want someone to kick you in the jimmy?”

Asking questions helps us reflect a little more on the poor choice so that hopefully in the future he will be a bit more discerning and a bit less impulsive.

And then I get the opportunity to say, “Thank you, son, for sharing this with me.  Nothing you  do will make me love you less.  You are a precious boy.  Now let’s pray and ask God to help you make a better choice next time.”

This same response works in our marriages too.

I remember one time the hubs and I were at a busy store with the boys and he motioned to the woman in front of us wearing some incredibly form-fitting work out pants.  He whispered to me, “Let’s walk a little faster so we can get past this woman.  It’s hard to not be tempted to look.”

As a woman who struggles with weight and body issues and the general feeling that I will never be pretty enough (again, all about me), I can take his honest, precious plea as an opportunity to get angry.

I could say things like, “Why can’t you control yourself better?” or “Why am I not enough for you?!” or “Are you saying I am FAT?!”

But if I want him to remain in open communication with me and help him feel affirmed in his honorable desire to be pure, then I have to respond as Jesus would.

“Thank you for sharing that with me, my love.  You are a good man.”

And then I may or may not have grabbed his hand and bolted so fast out of that store you would have thought there was a fire.

How do you respond when your husband confesses that he spent too much money this month?  Or when he calls to say he won’t be home for dinner?  Or when he realizes that he forgot to get the one thing you asked him to go to the store for?

The grace response consists of 2 things – the first is that it recognizes that YOU are a sinner ALSO in need of a Savior.

The second is that God is loving, forgiving, compassionate, kind, and good to YOU, so now you get the opportunity EVERY DAY to be a reflection of Him to your people.

Which will hopefully spread to the world and inspire less irrational kicking where it counts, less judging other mamas, deeper, richer relationships with our children and spouses, glory to God, and more grace, grace, grace.

A few Sundays ago we sang this line, “Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee.”

I like the sound of that.

– Julie :-)

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

Simple RAOKs You Can Do While Driving

We live reeeeally far from our work/church/school, so we spend a LOT of time on the road.

I was recently trying to take inventory of the ways I am working to teach my children about kindness and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that most of the kind things we are actively doing each day happen in the car.

This is good because #1 – The children are physically contained and are mostly an attentive audience (because you can only play the license plate game so long, yah know?), #2 – The children are learning how to love and serve others as Jesus did, and #3 – I am not spending a lot of extra money or going on any extra outings that require a lot of forethought and supplies (ie. that time I tried to do 30 RAOKS for my 30th birthday and ended up stopping after 7 because I was so overwhelmed and broke – lol!).

The ideas I am about to share are great because they work quite naturally into the life you are already living!  It will be easy for you to add these simple RAOKs (Random Acts of Kindness) into your family’s daily adventures.

My personal favorite thing to do while driving is look for cars that are trying to move into my lane.  I LOVE seeing someone’s blinker on because it is an opportunity for me to wave them in front of me so that they can get where they need to go.  I talk to my kids about being a thoughtful driver who pays attention to the needs of others on the road.  We can get so focused on getting where WE are going that we forget to have an attitude of a servant – quiet, humble, and in search of ways to be make someone else’s life better.

This kind of calling on our lives does not have to get in the backseat once we get behind the wheel. :-)

So I made a little FREE Printable featuring 9 easy RAOKs to do while driving for you to print and then leave somewhere safe on your dashboard as a reminder to bless others as well as inspire your kids to do the same.

car RAKS

Happy RAOK-ing While Driving! :-)