Easy Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Activity

easy fine motor valentine's day activity at happyhomefairy.com

I know this is late, but this week has been BANANAS.

First of all, my little 2 year olds and my boys’ classes had their Valentine’s Day parties on Tuesday so I had to have all their little Valentines ready (you can see what we made HERE).

Then I was the speaker at our school’s weekly chapel service on Wednesday morning.

Thursday was Grandparent’s Day (an event that my class and the other 2 year old class got to sing for (adorable) but which cost me a few years of my life as we waited in the hallway for our performance cue for 20 minutes (insanity)).  Do you know what it is like to be in charge of 30 excited 2 year olds in a crammed hallway next to a room packed with 300 people for 20 minutes????

Think Lord of the Flies meets Jurassic Park and you will have a small window into my morning on Thursday.

Friday was a teacher work day at my school and then I ran to the mall with my mom (who was in town for Grandparent’s Day – yay!) to try to find her a dress for my little brother’s wedding (which is in just 3 weeks).

That afternoon I had a meeting with someone to try to find out how to move my blog to a self-hosted site so that I can add advertising and try to make a little money.  One thing the guy asked me in order to gauge how ready I am for this move, was how consistent I am with posting.  My response was something along the lines of, “Uhhhhh whenever I am not needed by anyone” – which is usually about once a week, at midnight, for about 10 minutes.

And Saturday was spent celebrating the people I love by decorating the kitchen table all fancy for Valentine’s Day only to see them all take their pancakes into the living room to watch TV.

Needless to say, instead of going on a hot Valentine’s Day date last night, the hubs and I were in bed by 9 – lol!

So here I am on Sunday getting this post to you about 3 weeks late, but hey, it’s not even midnight and I’m all for stretching out celebrations.  I mean who’s to say that Valentine’s Day has to end on the 14th?  In my opinion, Valentine’s doesn’t technically have to end until March 1.

I went to Dollar Tree and found these cute plastic heart buckets and these sparkly heart picks.

The hubs helped me drill some holes into the lid of the bucket and then we let the kiddos have at it!

fine motor activity for valentine's day 1fine motor activity for valentine's day 2fine motor activity for valentine's day 3fine motor activity for valentine's day 4This was a really simple and fun way to strengthen my kids’ hand muscles as well as help with their one-to-one correspondence.

They  can push the little heart sticks into the holes as well as pull them out for a great time!

fine motor activity for valentine's day 5I hope y’all had a good Valentine’s Day!

Happy Baby sends you a smooch!

– Julie :-)

Adorable FREE Printable Valentine (and it’s HEALTHY)

There are so many Raisins why Jesus loves you FREE Printable Valentine at Happy Home Fairy!!I really wanted the boys to hand out Valentines this year that were both healthy and Christ-centered.

And these little yogurt-covered raisins are SO popular with the kids in our preschool (but you can use plain raisins too).

raisins valentinesI thought they came out pretty cute. :-)

Especially that the message is one we ALL need to hear.  Jesus – singing over each of us, counting all the ways He adores us (Zephaniah 3:17).

Would you like the FREE Printable?

There are so many Raisins why Jesus loves you FREE Printable Valentine at Happy Home Fairy!Get it HERE.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Easy Valentine Gift Ideas for the Teacher

Easy Valentine Gift Ideas for Teachers

Happy Baby has extreme sensitivity to light, so anytime I turn the light on in his bedroom in the mornings or whenever we walk outside, he has a really hard time adjusting.

The last couple of days when I have gone outside to get my little man from the pick-up area after school I have found him wearing a pair of sunglasses.

His teacher’s.

She loves him so much she sacrifices her own need to beat the Florida sun beams in order to serve Happy Baby.

That’s Gospel Love right there!

It is only fitting to strive for opportunities to bless the people who bless my children every school day, so here are my favorite, inexpensive, and fun ways to show your child’s teacher some love this Valentine’s Day.

happythoughts21It Takes a Big Heart to Shape Little Minds (Free Printable) – Happy Money Saver

Bag of Chips ValentinesYou’re All That and a Bag of Chips (Free Printable) – My Three Monsters

sm-sock-valentine-2You Knock My Socks Off, Valentine (Free Printable) – The Crafting Chicks

Free-Valentines-Printable-for-TeachersHershey’s Bar Wrapper (Free Printable) – Club Chica Circle

Valentine-for-Teachers-367x500Have a Colorful Valentine’s Day (Free Printable) – My Frugal Adventures

mint“You were MINT to be my teacher!” (attach to box of Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies)- Source

Riesens-Teacher-Gift-Riesens-Why-I-Like-You1‘Riesens’ Why I Like You (Free Printable) – One Creative Mommy

Free-Teachers-Valentines-Day-Card-e1360695836440Thank You ‘A Latte’ for All that You Do (Free Printable) – Jolly Mom

measureYou Measure Up (Free Printable) – Capital B

pinkI’m Tickled Pink That You’re My Teacher (Free Printable) – Homes.com

love_not_germs_2Spread Love, Not Germs (Free Printable) – Simply Sprout

Lip-Balm-Valentines-Day-Gift-4Valentine’s Day EOS Lip Balm Gift (Free Printable) – Tried & True via eighteen25

burts beesBee My Valentine (Free Printable) – Polkadot Chair

Happy Valentine’s Day Teacher Gift-ing! :-)

9 Days Left and a Valentine’s Day Recap

How was everyone’s Valentine’s Days?

I had a lot of fun staying up way too late putting up a few simple decorations in the kitchen for the Happy Buddy to find when he woke up.

Then I plastered the master bathroom with these ridiculous love notes for the Happy Hubby to find. :-)

The Happy Buddy and I put together this little “‘Riesens’ Why I Love My Teacher” Box for the gals who love on him at school every day – which  I just realized I misspelled ‘Riesen’ in the photos below!

love box for teacherlove box 2love box 3I love that the Happy Buddy sees discipline as something that is for his benefit. :-)

It was also Grandparent’s Day at the Happy Buddy’s preschool so I got to see him perform in the sweetest little concert, singing songs about how much Jesus loves him.

On our way home from that, we got to Heart Attack a sweet friend of mine’s house (I posted the photo of it on my Facebook page!).

Later, the Happy Hubby came home from work a bit early and watched the boys so I could take a quick nap – BEST VALENTINE GIFT EVER. :-)

Then my in-loves came over to babysit so the Happy Hubby and I could go on a date.

We went to Longhorn.  I am obsessed with their Grilled Salmon Salad…  Mmmm… Still dreaming about it.

Real romance here – I had to pump in the car while we waited for our table.  The Happy Hubby serenaded me with a stream of iPod favorites to drown out the wah-wah-wah of our delightful third wheel.

We ended our evening with some House reruns and then the Happy Buddy waking up every 10 minutes all night long because he had a fever.

Reality Check!!

One of the things the Happy Hubby and I talked about on our date was how amazing my Happy Home Fairy readers are.

This Parents Blog Awards competition has filled my heart to overflowing as I have been blessed by your support and votes.

I mean, the girls I am ‘competing’ (I don’t care much for that word as I’d love it if everyone could win!) against are AMAZING.

We’re talking they have like 50,000+ followers, incredible website design, beautiful photography, fabulous content, etc., etc.!

But for some reason – only the Lord knows! – many of y’all are voting for the Fairy (and my I-don’t-even-know-how-to-do-hashtags-on-Twitter-self), and that has been just so precious.

But things are definitely neck and neck and there are only 9 days left to vote!

You can vote once a day – and we’ve found that it is set up that you can vote 24 hours from your previous vote (so if you voted at 10 pm one night, you can’t vote until 10 pm the next night).

Would you keep voting for Happy Home Fairy and sharing it with all your friends and family??

Simply click on the image below and it will zip you right to the voting gallery.

Parents Blog Award Finalist

I cannot thank you enough!!!

And if you have any fun Valentine’s Day stories of Heart Attacking or what your mail carrier thought of his/her Valentine, I’d LOVE to hear about them!  (But maybe keep the topless movie stories to yourselves!  Haha!) :-)

Happy Voting Some More-ing! :-)

14 Ways to Love Your Happy Hubby (PG-13)

hubby lovin'

Every year when Valentine’s Day rolls around, I have to spend a few minutes checking my expectations.

Ahh… expectations.  Those little boogers can really put a damper on days that are supposed to be fun and memorable.

If I expect the hubs to spend Valentine’s Day lavishing me with flowers and cards and candy, and maybe he doesn’t do any of those things, then those crushed expectations will make me want to spend the entire day moping and grumbling and feeling bitter wondering why the man I married isn’t more like the guys in a Nicholas Sparks novel.

This is not healthy, my friends.

I love the way Courtney from Women Living Well put it in her awesome post about Valentine’s Day expectations“There are no exceptions in the Bible where it says on Birthdays, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day we have permission to be selfish and self-centered.”

And then she shares this humbling verse from Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”

So what do we do with that?

We, as wives, let our husbands off the hook tomorrow.

We stop expecting them to serve us all day long and instead find ways to serve them.

And we do it with joy in our hearts because it puts joy in God’s heart to see His daughters walking in obedience.

Now I am not saying that my hubby never makes me feel loved or never serves me.

Oh that blessed man serves me every single day!  For starters, he drives the Happy Buddy to school every morning, battling 8 am traffic before he has even had a chance to drink a cup of coffee, he never complains when I don’t have anything planned for dinner and he has to eat leftovers (again), he helps get our boys in bed on the nights he is home, he bought me a new computer when I dropped my old one in our church’s parking lot, he subscribes to my blog, he went against everything he felt about Social Media and opened up a Facebook account last week just so that he could vote for Happy Home Fairy every day in the Parents Blog Awards competition, he gives me massages on occasion, shows me grace when I screw up (like when the Happy Baby fell off the changing table he didn’t judge me or make me feel like an irresponsible parent and that blessed me more than he will ever know), makes me laugh ’til my sides hurt, keeps our house safe, fluffs the pillows on the couch before coming to bed because he knows I like waking up to a nice-looking sofa, tells me I am a good mommy when I get up in the middle of the night to pump, listens to me when I have had a bad day wrestling anxiety concerning the Happy Baby, gives me the wisest counsel when I need it, occasionally breaks out his guitar and leads our family in worship, prays with me, cleans up poopy diapers or the Happy Buddy’s 24-hour stomach bug vomit without complaining, works hard every day to provide for our family…

Ohhh… the list goes on and on.

Why should I forget all these wonderful, precious things just because our society has made a day on the calendar demand red roses (which don’t even last) and chocolates (which inevitably make you depressed and break out the fat pants)?

What lasts is an attitude that isn’t about what I want but what God wants.  An attitude that says, “I am going to make it my mission to love and serve the people God has put in my family without expecting anything in return because that brings glory to God.

And isn’t that the whole point of Happy Home Fairy?

The happiest homes are the ones that understand this calling.

So take a good long look over this list of 14 ways to love your man and pick one or two or three to rock his socks (or his pants – I’m just sayin’) off tomorrow. :-)

Happy Best Valentine’s Day Ever-ing!

*I must credit To Love, Honor, and Vacuum for several of these ideas.  She has an AMAZING post on How to Flirt with Your Husband that will bless your marriage so much!*

14 Ways to Love Your Kids

14 ways to love your kids

I am trying to make it my mission to do most of these ideas with my boys this week in honor of Valentine’s Day. :-)

The other night when we were reading a story before bed and the Happy Buddy asked, “Can we read that again?”

I remembered this list and said, “Yup!”

He almost fell off the mattress he was so excited.

It’s the little things!

Happy 14 Ways to Love Your Kids-ing! :-)

*I must credit Little Wonders’ Days for several of these ideas – she is doing an amazing series each month called 10 Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Show Your Kids You Love Them.  All of her ideas, photos, and posts are absolutely adorable and inspiring.  You will love it!*

Love Your Neighbor

3 ways to love your neighbor this valentine's day at happyhomefairy.comThe second greatest command Jesus gave to us is to love our neighbors.

Neighbors can be anyone – your mail carrier, your pastor, a mom at church, the grocery store employee, bank teller, etc.

Today I’d like to take the word ‘neighbor’ quite literally.

Meaning the precious people who God has chosen for you to live next to or near.

Here are 3 ways you can brighten up your neighborhood this Valentine’s Day with a little of His love.

heart attack#1 – Give your neighbor a HEART ATTACK.

Not the kind that lands your neighbor in a hospital bed, but the kind that will hopefully leave them feeling better than ever. :-)

Simply cut up a bunch of hearts from pink, red or purple paper, write sweet messages on them, then tape them up on your neighbor’s outside front windows.

They will be so surprised when they come home.

The Happy Buddy and I did this for our next door neighbors last year on Valentine’s Day (you can see more of our secret mission HERE).  They left their Heart Attack up for like 2 months!

*Note – Whipperberry has created a FREE Printable set of hearts for you to use on your Heart Attack adventure.  They are so cute!  You can find them HERE.*

Click Image for Idea

Click Image for Idea

#2 – Bake them a TREAT.

Who wouldn’t like receiving something homemade from your kitchen??

We all know that food is a great way to get to someone’s heart!

Cookies, brownies, cupcakes, or a fresh loaf of bread, whatever you fancy.  (Personally, I love making and delivering THESE simple Pretzel Dots to neighbors.)

I also love these FREE Printable Baked With Love Tags from Lil’ Luna.  They are perfect for sharing a bit of deliciousness.

candy gram for the neighbors#3 – Spread the love with a Candy Gram.

A few years ago the Happy Buddy and I hit up our local CVS for various candies and snacks and turned it into a fun little candy gram.

We bought a red poster board from the Dollar Tree and cut it into a heart before writing our message and attaching the treats with a little tape.

Then we left the heart on our neighbor’s doorstep, knocked, and made a run for it!

These simple ideas are inexpensive and something you can throw together in the next couple of days (which is usually how we roll around our Happy Home!).

I hope your neighbors will be feeling God’s love through you this Valentine’s Day! :-)

Happy Love Your Neighbor-ing!

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31