Just Another Perfect Day at the Pumpkin Patch

pumpkin patch 1 pumpkin patch 2 pumpkin patch 4Well, we went to the pumpkin patch on Tuesday.

For some, it was a very emotional experience.

pumpkin patch 3pumpkin patch 5 pumpkin patch 6 pumpkin patch 7 pumpkin patch 8 pumpkin patch 9The Happy Baby wasn’t exactly thrilled about our ‘fun’ family outing.

Although he did stop crying once someone gave him the stickers (note above).

But by then the Happy Buddy was losing interest (note facial expression).

Ha!

You know every year I give it the old college try and every year someone cracks under the pressure of having a camera in their face.

My children clearly do not have a future in child modeling.

They are just way too cooperative. :-)

Even with the Happy Baby’s fluctuating mood, I decided to be ambitious and go for the whole family shot.

pumpkin patch 10 pumpkin patch 11 pumpkin patch 12And that was as good as it was going to get because then the memory card on my camera was full and I’m pretty sure Happy Baby got a pumpkin stem in his eye.

Ahhh… Who needs perfect photos when these ones are so much more entertaining?

Of course as soon as we got in the car the Happy Baby said with an enormous grin,

“Pumpkin Patch?  Again????!?!?!”

Did you get the ‘perfect’ pumpkin patch shot this year with your Happy Home?

Happy {{early}} Halloween!  Don’t forget to add these FREE Printable Witnessing Stickers to your Halloween candy!  And you might want to try some Trick or Treat Practice before you head out tomorrow! :-)

- Julie

Recipe – Prize-Winning Chili

prize-winning chili - the perfect recipe for fall!

 I am planning to make this on Halloween for our family to enjoy after a crisp, fall afternoon of Trick or Treating in 80-degree South Florida.

:-)

Prize-Winning Chili

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

28 oz. can diced tomatoes

29 oz. can tomato sauce

2 cubes beef bouillon

2 (1 1/4 oz) pkgs. chili seasoning mix

7 oz. can diced green chiles

16 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

16 oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Garnish: shredded Cheddar, cheese, sour cream, minced onion

Directions:

Step 1 – Brown beef, onion, and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat; drain.

Step 2 – Mix remaining ingredients together and add to beef.

Step 3 – Cover and cook on low heat for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Step 4 – Top servings with shredded cheese, sour cream, and minced onion.

amazing chiliIn case you are wondering, I didn’t win the prize for this delicious chili recipe.

Some lady named Jan from one of my Gooseberry Patch cookbooks did.

I think you will find that the prize was, indeed, well deserved. :-)

Happy Chili-ing!

*This chili tastes EXCELLENT alongside my famous cheese biscuits!  Recipe HERE!*

A Fun Story to Tell for Halloween!

a fun story to tell for Halloween - this is ADORABLE and my kids will love it!!!I apologize that I haven’t been around much!

Now that the Happy Baby is walking – yup, walking (praise the Lord!) – I am finding it difficult to find time to spend with my sweet readers here at Happy Home Fairy.  He loves to go outside, so that is where we have been.  Gone are the days where I would pump and blog and make silly faces at him while he smiled contentedly at me from his bouncy seat – lol. :-)

I decided to do a video for you today!  I even put my unwashed hair in a bun and wore my workout clothes for you!

Real glamorous stuff over here, people. ;-)

I found a super awesome story that is perfect for the pumpkin-filled season we are in right now.

It would be such a fun thing to share with your Happy Home one night after dinner this week.

You can find the whole story written out with detailed pictures HERE, but I learn better by watching, so here I am telling the story to a sweet group of little friends.  If you are a visual person, too, then I hope this silly video helps!

Watch closely – the Happy Baby is with me and tries to steal the scissors out of my lap.

Mom of the Year points right there.

Enjoy the story!

Happy Pumpkin Story-ing! :-)

Easy Fall Tree Craft

easy fall tree craft!The trees here in South Florida stay pretty much the same all year round.

So when the season of fall hits, I have to find other ways to make up for this dilemma.

My little 2-year-olds had a lot of fun with this craft and it brought a real spirit of autumn to our classroom!

easy fall tree craftFor this craft you will need some construction paper (brown, yellow, red, and orange), some scissors, and a glue stick.

We cut out the tree trunks and had the kids glue them to a large sheet of construction paper.

We let the kids rip pieces of various colored paper to make the leaves (good for those fine motor skills!).

Next we drew a light circle with pencil over the trunk to indicate where the children should put the leaves.

Then we let them glue and stick leaves inside the circle.

We encouraged a few leaves to ‘fall’ outside the circle for an authentic seasonal effect.

easy fall tree craft!!Don’t you love them?!

Happy Easy Fall Tree Craft-ing! :-)

*See more super easy and super cute Fall Tree Crafts HERE!*

To a Special Mum – FREE Printable!

This is SOOO adorable! Buy a mum (just a few bucks at Lowe's), attach adorable free printable tag and give to a mom in your world who you would like to bless!

As a mom, I am constantly thinking about how much I NEED my mom friends.

I called one up this afternoon and we each took a minute to share the day’s trials (like how one child has now decided that taking off his diaper and painting a carpeted room with his poo is perfectly acceptable and other child is having some trouble in school) and simply lament together how hard this whole mom thing is!

It was completely therapeutic.  She oohed and ahhed over just the right things and she affirmed me with these 5 powerful words:

“You are an awesome mom.”

By the end of the conversation I wanted to reach through to the other side of the phone and give my friend a giant hug.

Doesn’t it feel good to hear that little bit of encouragement when you are in the mommyhood trenches?

Doesn’t it feel good to be noticed?

Well, here is an easy way to give the gift of hope and life to a mom in your world who is roughing it with poo and meal-planning and budgeting and diapering.

mum 2First, pick up an inexpensive mum plant.

You can find adorable little pots at Lowe’s for just a few dollars.MUM TAG

mum 1Then attach my FREE Printable tag.

Next, drop it off on a mom’s doorstep for an extra special Fall-themed surprise.

And that’s all there is to it!

mumI gave a mum to my very own mom – who definitely deserves affirmation for being super special (note homemade fort in the background, courtesy of super special mom).

**Get your FREE Printable MUM Tag HERE!**

Happy Special Mum-ing! :-)

Fun Halloween Costume Ideas for the Family

12 hilarious family halloween costume ideas!If your hubs is super secure in his manhood, then you might want to consider one of these hilarious Halloween costume ideas that get the whole family involved. :-)

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I got the biggest kick (errr bite) out of this funny family Shark Attack costume from The Fickle Pickle.

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We watch Despicable Me at least 6 times a week.

I think this family really nailed their ensembles!

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I adore this precious Care Bear family from HERE – complete with the important little heart on the back (you have to go see it – too cute).

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An iPod and earbuds!  How clever is that?!

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Take your Happy Home on a transformational trip to Neverland like THIS FAMILY.

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You and the kids will be the Lion and the Tiger and the Bear, and your Happy Hubby can be the ‘Oh My,’ courtesy of My Sunshine Photography.

This gives your Happy Hubby an ‘out’ by having him participate but without having him feel emasculated. :-)

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THIS LADY’S husband has no issues with feeling emasculated! :-)

How awesome is he?!

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Everyone loves Toy Story!

Check out these costume ideas from HERE.

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I love this spin on the traditional after school snack from HERE.

I’m thinking the milk carton is not too thrilled. ;-)

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Got a new baby?  Make him your little hot dog like HERE.

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Your whole family can go Phineas and Ferb like these great costumes from Sugar Bee Crafts.

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And finally, I nearly wet my pants laughing when I saw THIS family’s Rainbow Costume.

I hope you found some inspiration (or at least got a good laugh) as you plan for the 31st!

Happy Family Halloween Costume-ing! :-)

Craft – Knuckle Pumpkins

knuckle pumpkins - SUCH a cute and simple little craft for fall!

This little craft has definitely become my favorite so far this season!

And it couldn’t be easier.

Simply gather up some orange paint, a piece of paper and a paintbrush.

knuckle pumpkins 1Then have your Happy Buddy make a fist with her hand.  Paint the four fingers in the fist (not including the thumb) from one knuckle to the other.

knuckle pumpkins 2knuckle pumpkins 3Gently press your Happy Buddy’s fist on to the paper.  You may need to gently roll it back and forth to make sure the paint transfers well.

knuckle pumpkins 4knuckle pumpkins 5We cut our Knuckle Pumpkins out and made a little patch of them for our bulletin board in the hallway.

The craft really caught on and we started seeing Knuckle Pumpkins cropping up on other classroom bulletin boards.

knuckle pumpkins 6I like how this class added their own stems and vines.

What a sweet keepsake or little something to send to the grandparents this month!

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Happy Knuckle Pumpkin-ing! :-)

**Thanks to Early Activities and Projects for this great idea!**