The BYOM Potluck Cookout (The Easiest Way to Entertain this Summer)

I am so excited to share one of my sweet friends from high school with you today!  She has some of the yummiest recipes and a lot of great tips for keeping things uncomplicated in the kitchen – but without sacrificing delicious flavor.  I love her heart and her posts make me laugh out loud.  The Lord encourages us to open our homes and to always be eager to practice hospitality (Romans 12:13), but sometimes I don’t open our home because, let’s face it, it takes a good chunk of cash to feed a crowd (not to mention I am not always eager to make the bathrooms less of a sanitation hazard company ready).  In today’s post, Bet brings us a simple way to be obedient to Him, enjoy fellowship with others, and be cost effective all at the same time.  I know you will love her!

the easiest way to entertain this summer!Hey there! I’m Bet from Bet On Dinner, and I’m so excited to be posting over here today! I knew Julie before she was the Fairy, and now I love using her ideas with my two girls. I love how very real she is about being a mom!

Julie and Bet in high schoolJulie and me our senior year of high school. I was using black and white film…to be artsy, I guess? But yep, film. #thingsthatmakeyoufeelold

When Julie invited me to share something, she was probably expecting a recipe, since that’s mostly what I do on my blog (plus meal planning, freezer-friendly meal ideas, and sorting through my childhood closet for my internet friends). But I’m here to talk about how to make having friends over for dinner INCREDIBLY easy!

So: we LOVE to have people over. Obviously, I like to cook (and I really, really like to eat), but it just makes me happy to have people we love sitting around our table.

But. Sometimes this love can cause me to be a tiny bit c.r.a.z.y. I take on one (or two or three) too many cooking projects. I’ve been known to exceed decimate the grocery budget. I get testy with my daughters who continue to need things while I’m getting the house ready (whyyy must they do that?). I use all of the dishes.

In other words: I still get the warm fuzzy feelings of having friends laughing in my kitchen, but I’m also exhausted.

Does anyone else do this? Here’s the antidote:

a BYOM (Bring Your Own Meat) Potluck Cookout!

grillthe spread at a BYOM potluck cookout

As the host, your jobs are simple:

1. Invite some friends. A total of 6-10 people is a good size.

2. Ask them to bring some meat to throw on the grill and a side dish or dessert to share. (See? Potluck cookout!)

3. Make sure you have paper plates, something to drink, gas or charcoal for the grill, and your family’s meat for the grill.

4. Set out something to munch on while people are arriving and the meat is cooking. I recommend chips and salsa. (If you have a little voice in your head that says things like, “Hey! You could totally make the salsa!”, tell it to mind it’s own business.)

5. Set out yard games or bubbles, or spread out a blanket and toys for babies and kiddos.

ready for a BYOM potluck cookout
Ready to party!

And that’s it! With zero things to cook ahead of time, you’re not making a mess in your kitchen (and between the grill and paper plates, you’ll barely have any clean-up at the end). You’re free to hide your clutter in your bedroom straighten up, be kind to your children, enjoy your company, and then sit on the couch after they go home.

We did this for an early dinner a couple of weekends ago, and it was so fun and relaxing.

crazy hair at a BYOM potluck cookoutI even had time for one of my favorite pastimes: documenting this girl’s Cindy Lou Who fauxhawk.

Our friends brought roasted potatoes, watermelon, and brownies, and it was a perfectly beautiful day. And it was really nice not to be running around like a maniac before they arrived.

friends at a BYOM potluck cookoutSweet friends.

Bonus: this type of entertaining doesn’t break the bank and it’s possible to pull off last-minute. You could do it every week and not run out of hosting steam! I love removing barriers to getting people together.

Happy BYOM Potluck Cookout-ing!

(Psst! If you’re lucky enough to be invited to a par-tay like this, you could bring along some roasted sweet potatoes… or a chocolate chess pie.) :-)

A Father’s Day Project – FREE Printable

father's day project - free printable

Do you remember the project I did with my preschool class for Mother’s Day (find it HERE)?

Here is the same idea, but specialized for dads!

father's day project - free printable.father's day project - free printable - love thisI cut a large D and A out of poster board and took photos of my students holding the letters.

I printed 3 photos spelling D-A-D as 3×5’s and pasted them at the top of a large piece of construction paper.

Then I had the kids answer some questions about their dads.

The things they said were absolutely adorable.  I love that the child below compared the size of his daddy to a goat.  What’s funny is that when we did the Mother’s Day interview he said if he could buy his mommy a gift he would buy her a goat.

Apparently he is going to be a farmer one day. ;-)

I added the interview underneath the photos and laminated the whole thing.

father's day project - free printable!father's day project - free printable - so cute

We invited all the dads to our classroom for a Donuts with Dad party where I served my mom’s famous Breakfast Casserole, coffee, and Dunkin’ Donuts, of course.

The dads had a blast and the children couldn’t have been more delighted to eat unlimited amounts of sugary goodies.

I regret that our event was held first thing in the morning because it was a bit difficult to rally 12 2-year-olds flying high on Munchkins and glazed crullers for the rest of the day, but we managed to make it out alive.

Although at one point I saw a kid sneeze and the only thing that came out of his nose was powdered sugar. :-)

Here is the FREE Printable for you if you think the dad in your world would like to receive something like this for Father’s Day.father's day printable interview

**Click HERE for your FREE Printable Father’s Day Interview**

Happy Father’s Day Project-ing! :-)

End of Year Party Game

pin the head on the teacher - end of year party gameA few weeks ago we celebrated Happy Buddy’s last day of preschool with a big party and I was asked to bring a game. This is what we came up with…

Pin the Head on the Teacher!

For this project, I picked up a piece of poster board and printed some large photos of the Happy Buddy’s teacher’s head as well as a large photo of her body. pin the head on the teacher - end of year party game.Lol, can I just say that it creates a lot of mystery and a little bit of awkwardness when you ask someone if you can take a picture of their body??? pin the head on the teacherpin the head on the teacher 2pin the head on the teacher 3The Happy Buddy’s classmates loved the game and I loved seeing all these little people so excited about graduating preschool together.

If you’re still hanging on for the last day of school, I hope this idea comes in handy!  Otherwise, ‘pin’ it for next year!

Happy End of Year Party Game-ing! :-)

My 2015 Summer Bucket List

MY 2015 SUMMER BUCKET LISTLast Saturday was my first official day of summer vacation and let me tell you something –

I FELT LIKE A DIFFERENT PERSON.

Without the impending doom of my alarm clock going off at 5 am on Monday, I may or may not have frolicked around the house on Saturday like a My Little Pony.

I was also incredibly productive.  I washed Happy Buddy’s sheets – something I am sure hasn’t been done since the school year began, I worked on a project for our church marriage ministry that I have been putting off, I made my own bed, cooked dinner (something else that hasn’t happened since the school year began – ha!), and stayed joyful all day!  If the rest of summer is going to be like this –

I. CAN’T. WAIT.

Do you remember my Summer Bucket List from last year?  That was so fun to write and even though I didn’t get everything done on the list, it was still helpful to have goals so that I didn’t just spend the entire vacation washing sheets.

Here’s what I am hoping to do this summer…

1.  FLOORS – The hubs and I took a Financial Peace class with Dave Ramsey earlier this year and we have decided that one of the things we would like to save up for is new flooring.  We have had the same carpet throughout our house for about 12 years now, so you can imagine what it must look like.  There is that spot where Happy Buddy colored on with red Sharpie, the multiple spots that encountered a potty training accident or stomach bug incident, paint drips, dirt, mud – you name it.  You could probably conduct a science experiment based on the amount of elements found hidden in the carpet fibers.  We are really hoping to replace the carpets once our budget allows.

2.  CHORE SMACKDOWN – Lately I have been having this growing concern that my boys’ lives are way too easy.  This is a breeding ground for whiny, ungrateful attitudes.  When it comes to chores, I have kind of slacked off on them because in all honesty, it is sometimes easier to just do them myself!  Plus there aren’t as many broken dishes – ha!  But I know that my boys need good, hard work to help them appreciate their many blessings, so this summer our home will be attending Chore Bootcamp.  HERE is a good list of chores according to age that I am using as a reference.

3.  NEW JERSEY – I grew up in New Jersey and I haven’t been to see my Oma since THIS POST a few years ago, so the other day the airlines were having a good deal and I jumped on it.  I can’t wait for my boys to hang out with my grandma again and get to see all my aunts and uncles and cousins.  One of my uncles even has a giant pet pig that lives in their house named Franklin Boaris.  You can imagine how much fun it will be to see him!!

4.  TEACH HAPPY BABY TO SWIM – Last year we made it our mission to teach Happy Buddy how to swim and I am proud to say he is now a PRO.  Happy Baby on the other hand has a long way to go.  We are especially uneasy being around water with him because of his muscle weakness, so having him trained will be such a relief!

5.  NEIGHBOR LOVE – We have had several new neighbors move into the houses on our little street and I regret to say that I have not been over to welcome them yet.  I am hoping to make THIS RECIPE and drop by to say hello.  I also want to do some fun surprises for our neighbors this summer like one neighbor just painted their house and it looks really nice.  I thought we could drop a note in their mailbox telling them so.

6.  SHUT-IN VISITS – With the world falling apart the way it is these days, it’s easy to retreat into our quiet, comfortable lives and forget that one of our main purposes as Christians is to reach out and be a small part of the solution.  I know I can’t solve world hunger or the ISIS situation or environmental disasters, but I can teach my kids to love and serve the poor and needy.  One practical way I would like to do this is take the boys to visit a few of the older members of our church’s congregation who haven’t been able to leave their homes due to illness and/or age.  It’s risky bringing 2 extremely energetic little buddies into that kind of setting, but I really think it will be good for the souls of everyone involved.  The hubs even mentioned tagging along with his guitar so we can sing some worship tunes.

7.  WORSHIP NIGHTS – Speaking of worship, the hubs is the worship pastor at our church and this summer he has visioned out a few nights where we gather in a warehouse setting with a bunch of friends and guitars and just sing to the Lord.  I cannot even express how excited I am about this.  Worship on Sundays is my favorite and sometimes I feel like we just can’t linger in the Lord’s presence the way I would like because of service scheduling and time constraints.  This is a night to linger.

8.  BLOG DREAMING – I have been writing for Happy Home Fairy for almost 6 years!  It is one of my favorite things to do and I dream about it being my full-time job one day.  The hubs and I have been talking about ways we can try to monetize the blog, but that would mean moving it to a self-hosted site and investing some $$$$ into construction and design.  It is a big decision and I have some fears about it (like y’all wouldn’t follow me if I moved and then the whole thing would crumble), but we are praying and seeking God about the next step.

9.  MOVE HAPPY BABY TO BIG BOY BED – Happy Baby is 3 now, so it’s time to get him out of his crib.  Plus, he is also finally potty-trained so when he has to go tinkle in the morning if I am not there first thing to help him out, he tends to not be able to hold it any longer and thus the reason we need new carpets.  Lol.

10.  WEAR A BATHING SUIT – I mentioned HERE that I am carrying some extra weight right now, but I am determined to not let that keep me from wearing a bathing suit this summer and actually getting in the pool and ocean with my kiddos.  I have missed out on a lot of fun because of my silly insecurities and don’t want to let that happen anymore.  Plus, if you read THIS INSPIRING POST, you will probably go put a swimsuit on right now and just wear it permanently for the rest of the summer.

What’s on YOUR Summer Bucket List?  I’d love to know!

And don’t forget – my FAVORITE SUMMER THINGS GIVEAWAY ends TOMORROW night at midnight, so if you haven’t entered yet, do it NOW by clicking HERE!

– Julie :-)

Favorite Summer Things Giveaway and Blog Hop

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We have been on summer break now for 3 whole days and it has been HEAVEN.  Well, except for the part where my kids have already destroyed the house in 456 different ways.

It’s going to be a lonnnng 2 months. :-)

Do you remember my Favorite Things Christmas Stocking Giveaway?  Well, today I am revealing another incredible giveaway that is just like that one – only the theme is SUMMER.

Check it out…

Favorite Summer Things Giveaway Collage

I’ve rounded up some of my hand-picked favorite summer goodies and are going to give them all to one VERY lucky winner.

That’s not the best part though – I’ve also partnered up with 11 other fabulous bloggers who are doing the same on their sites (see the links below), RIGHT NOW!

1. Thriving Home // 2. Happy Money Saver // 3. Happy Home Fairy // 4. Heavenly Homemakers // 5. Kitchen Stewardship // 6. Nourishing Joy // 7. The Nourishing Home // 8. Intoxicated on Life // 9. Tried and Tasty // 10. The Frugal Girl //11. Mommy Hates Cooking // 12. Stephanie Blue

HOW TO ENTER:

    • Check out the giveaway collage above featuring all the beautiful bloggers I’ve partnered up with and their favorite summer things things.
    • Scroll on down to see the details for MY favorite summer things.
    • Enter to win in the giveaway below.
    • HOP to all the other sites and enter to win their favorite summer things!
    • Look around and enjoy the sites of these incredible bloggers.

Here is what I have put together for you…My Favorite Summer Thingsgiveaway 2giveaway 1

1. Amazing Bag from Target – I first saw this bag in a Target advertisement that I received in the mail.  They had me at the tassels.

2. Jar of a million Googly Eyes – There is no other craft supply I can think of that is more valuable to me than the googly eye.  Here are 14,000 of them to make your summer even more exciting.  You can even stick them on random things around the house to get everyone laughing.  Toothpaste tubes with eyes?  HILARIOUS.

3. Fit to Burst by Rachel Jancovic – One of my new favorite books for mommies.  I love this girl’s heart to make sure that mothers are equipped with encouragement to remember the JOY Christ gives us on the journey of motherhood.  A perfect beach read!

4. Sunscreen – A summer essential.  And the colors of the bottle conveniently matched everything else in my giveaway really nicely.

5. Inspirational Window Cling – Um, seriously?!  How cute is this?  Make it a summer service project one day to pick a friend (or stranger) and stick these as a surprise on his/her bathroom mirror or car window.

6. Summer Fruit-flavored EOS Lip Gloss – I just love these little EOS lip glosses.  The colors and shapes are so adorable.

7. Hair Ties – Summer is that time of year where I threaten to shave my head.  The heat and humidity turn my hair into something that looks something akin to the nest of a Sociable Weaver bird.  Which, if you don’t know what that looks like, click HERE.  I know.  I have one question for the Lord when I get to heaven and it involves me pointing to my hair and saying, “What exactly did you have in mind for this?”  Ponytail holders are a necessity to help tame the mane in June-August.

8. The Undoing by Steffany Gretzinger – Y’all.  This girl’s voice and songs are the real deal.  Track #8 is my THEME SONG right now.  It’s called “Steady Heart” and you can hear it on YouTube HERE.

9. Fruit and Nut Snack Mix – I love anything and everything that has an assortment of dried fruits and nuts in it.  This mix is one of my favorite combinations.  Throw in some white or dark chocolate chips and your tastebuds will thank me.

10. Necklace – I love big, chunky necklaces and this one just cried out summer.  I think it would be so pretty with a long, strapless maxi dress.

11. Sunglasses – When it comes to sunglasses, I say the bigger – the better.  This pair is quite similar to the pair I currently own that I am proud to say I have not lost yet and they have been in my possession for about 6 months now.  This is a small miracle.

12. Washi Tape – Perfect for adding extra pizazz to summer Pen Pal letters. :-)

13. Nail Polish – This bright coral color makes me happy and would look nice on the toes of someone who has her feet in the sand.

14. Chalk – This is like the quintessential summer item.  You can make a lot of fun happen with a small box of this stuff.

15. Giant Sticker Book – I bought this for my boys and then found half of the stickers all over Happy Baby’s bedroom walls the other day.  It kept them occupied for 45 minutes so I am not even mad about it.  If you need a quiet activity for your kids this summer I highly recommend pulling this out.  And then have a bottle of Googone ready.

16. Infinity Scarf – Pair this scarf with a tank and maxi skirt and go see a fun movie with your hubby one night this summer.  We are planning to hit the Minion movie in July.

Would you like to win this incredible bag?

GiveawayHere’s how to enter…

1. SUBSCRIBE TO RECEIVE HAPPY HOME FAIRY EMAILS (see side bar).

You will receive an email every time I make a new post (which is usually about 1-2 times a week.  Sometimes 3 times if I locked my kids outside with snacks that week).  Each post shares a quick craft, recipe, fun FREE Printable, or light-hearted reminder of Jesus’ grace and love for you on your mommy journey.  You won’t regret it!

2. SHARE, SHARE, SHARE! Share this giveaway on any of your favorite social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.).

3. LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TELLING ME YOU SUBSCRIBED AND SHARED AS WELL AS WHAT YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT MY GIVEAWAY GOODIES.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only (apologies to my sweet international readers).  The giveaway will end at 11:59 pm on Sunday, May 31 (EST).  A winner will be selected shortly after (meaning the next day as I probably will be in bed at 11:59 pm on June 7) and notified by e-mail.

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More about the Bloggers

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Thriving Home

Friends and stay-at-home moms, Rachel and Polly, began Thriving Home in 2012 as a way to encourage and equip moms in several areas of home life. They share healthy kid-friendly recipes, evangelize about freezer cooking as well as documenting many other topics relating to running a home and family including a few spectacular parenting failures from time to time. Swing by to join in on their crazy journey through parenthood.

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Tried and Tasty

TriedandTasty.com is a premium and well established recipe blog with a friendly, conversational writing style paired with magazine quality food photography. The recipes are typically very health conscious, with rich and decadent desserts occasionally included for good measure. TriedandTasty.com has a loyal following of ‘foodies’ and is gaining new followers every day thanks to its recipes being featured on the websites of high profile magazines, news outlets, popular Facebook pages, Pinterest boards, and more.

logoHeavenly Homemakers

Laura Coppinger and her husband have four sons ages 10-17. HeavenlyHomemakers.com is dedicated to inspiring women daily with healthy (and easy!) recipes, homemaking tips, spiritual encouragement, and good ol’ clean fun.

logoMommy Hates Cooking

Mommy Hates Cooking is a national cooking and lifestyle website that encourages families to take back the dinner table. Through her easy-to-prepare (yet looks like you spent all day in the kitchen) meals and her knack for breaking down meal planning, Kristy has become the busy-mom’s resource for the modern family.

Kitchen Stewardship Chalkboard Logo - BlackKitchen Stewardship

The mission of Kitchen Stewardship is to present healthy living in bite-sized baby steps, challenging people to make positive changes in their kitchens without being overwhelmed, and providing tools to balance a family’s health, budget, time and the environment. Katie Kimball and her team share family-friendly whole foods recipes, weekly challenges, and science-geek research on what’s healthy and what’s not.

logoNourishing Joy

Nourishing Joy is dedicated to real food and natural living. We’re on a mission to equip and inspire parents like you with the tools to make intentional, thoughtful decisions that work for YOUR family easy. Or at least easier.

happyhomefairy facebook pageHappy Home Fairy

Julie Brasington is the creator of Happy Home Fairy, a popular blog focusing on encouraging and equipping moms to choose joy on the parenting journey. She shares easy craft ideas, FREE printables, simple recipes, corny jokes, holiday fun, thoughts on raising her 2 boys, and honest, heartfelt messages to uplift the weary mama. bbb

Happy Money Saver

Happy Money Saver is a website that has a growing population of readers who are passionate about saving money, homesteading, gardening, cooking from scratch, freezer meals, DIY projects and embracing their dreams.

logo3Stephanie Blue

At Stephanie Blue, I blog about my passions: natural living and essential oils. My purpose is to bring hope to moms and help them discover ways to strengthen their families physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially.

frugal girlThe Frugal Girl

The Frugal Girl is all about living cheerfully (and well!) on less. Get recipes, DIY tips, painting ideas, photography tips, green living inspiration, and more from Kristen, a homeschooling mom of four.

IOL_Header_Design_no_taglineIntoxicated on Life

Intoxicated on Life is a resource for families who are looking to raise healthy families – body, mind, and soul. They cover a wide range of topics from healthy gluten-free recipes, to godly parenting, homeschooling resources, and more!

TNH Grab buttonThe Nourishing Home

The Nourishing Home provides family-friendly GF recipes, free weekly whole food meal plans, helpful cooking tips and techniques, and lots of encouragement to help you in your journey to live a more nourished life.

In the midst of your own houses getting wrecked by energetic and unbound little people enjoying summer, I hope that one of you will get to enjoy a little something these great giveaways have to offer!

Happy Summer! :-)

(And in case you are a regular reader and are wondering how I suddenly became an amazing photographer, my friend Ashley from 13:13 Photography helped me take these photos so I could impress everyone and get more followers.  Lol.  Thank you, sweet Ashley!)

Grace for When Your Pants are Snug

grace for when your pants are snug... love this encouragementA few years ago, after sharing my heart with a counselor-type friend, she turned to me, looked intently into my eyeballs and said in an authoritative therapist voice,

“What does Julie need?”

I think the answer she was looking for was perhaps along the lines of, “Freedom from this particular sin struggle…” or “To have a more intimate relationship with my husband…” or “To grow in wisdom.”

But instead I responded with, “30 minutes on the treadmill, 3 times a week.”

I’m a little embarrassed to admit the shallowness of my response, but I guess you could say that this small pocket of exercise had become something really important to me and my emotional/physical well-being.

Then about 8 weeks ago I hurt my knees pushing it too hard on said beloved treadmill and in order to preserve my ability to walk, I declared a fast from exercise so that they could heal.

And, ironically, at about the same time my knees were injured, life just seemed to get 5 steps crazier and I do not even understand how I fit 30 minutes of treadmill time, 3 times a week, into my schedule before.

This has been quite difficult for me as the healing process has been slow and unfortunately, without some exercise, my body has changed a bit over the last 2 months.  The things that were semi-flabby are now very flabby and my pants are snug and I am running out of ‘flowy’ shirt options, if you know what I mean.

It has been REALLY tempting in this state, for me to get discouraged.  To let the fact that I am uncomfortable until I can get home and put on stretchy yoga pants make me grouchy.  The voice of condemnation says I’m not working hard enough, it’s all my fault somehow, I’m ugly and not good enough and should just accept it and buy new pants.

And then that little annoying voice also reminds me about it being swimsuit season – UGH.

But here is the good news that I have felt the Lord whisper in my ear the past couple of days –

There is grace for this.

I am in a season.  I’m not giving up on making healthy choices.  I try my best to eat good food and not have too many accidents with that Costco-sized bag of chocolate chips in the pantry.  I know that summer is coming and maybe my knees will finally be ready to gradually get back into some kind of workout plan.

Somewhere along the way, though, that exercise time had become a little too important to me as I discovered how my identity – my beauty and worth was all wrapped up in the thing I thought I ‘needed’ so much.

I think the Lord gently uses situations like mine to remove the idols of my heart so that I can remain steadfast even if my knees are not treadmill ready ever.

Because perfect bodies don’t exist.

I’m holding my body and my schedule out before the Lord as it encourages me to do in Romans 12:1 and I am trusting that He is pleased with me and the ways I am choosing to spend my time in this season.

I need to teach, I need to serve my kids and hubby, and sometimes life just has a mind of its own.

Like the day I wrote this post.  I had planned to come home from work that day, change clothes, and hit the treadmill for the first time in 2 months.  But on the way home I got rear-ended at a red light, spent an hour talking with the police, came home, made a few insurance-related calls, cooked dinner, bathed the boys, rocked Happy Baby to sleep because he was in the car with me and needed some extra love and comfort, read to Happy Buddy, drove to Walgreens to pick up some antibiotics for Happy Buddy who has a double ear infection, washed the lunchpails for tomorrow, went outside to admire the hubs’ hard work of installing gutters around the outside of the house, and then made him dinner.

Then at 10 pm I sat down with the hubs to watch Gilmore Girls and blog instead of exercise because I felt that one of you needed this message.

Perhaps one of you had a baby recently and are overwhelmed with the responsibilities and you’re frustrated with the extra baby weight but you think that even if someone put a treadmill in front of you, you would fall asleep on it.  Or maybe you’re in a super busy season like me and waking up at 4 am to go for a jog is just not practical (nor is it good for your sanity).  Or maybe you have an injury too.  Or maybe your metabolism just isn’t what it once was.

Whatever the reason, dear sisters, take heart.

We do not give up on striving to maintain healthy and strong bodies, but ultimately, we don’t let guilt keep us from remembering what is most important.

You are beautiful because of Jesus.

You are beautiful because you choose to exude HIS joy no matter how you feel.

That confident smile of yours is what people will remember – not that little bulge at the pants button.

And heaven…  Heaven doesn’t have metabolism issues or bummed out knees or treadmills.

Hallelujah.

That is what Julie needs we all need. <3

– Julie

“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits for this life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8

(Hey there, sweet friends!  I would love it if you would stop by Happy Home Fairy again tomorrow for a GIANT Summer Giveaway that I am unbelievably excited about.  See you then!)

End of Year Teacher Gift – Book of Memories (FREE Printable)

end of year teacher gift - book of memories! free printable included! this would be easy to do and the teachers will love it!

I always like to find meaningful ways to honor my kids’ teachers at the end of the year.

They are worth it.

**This idea comes from the lovely LeAna at A Small Snippet.**

I drew up a simple questionnaire (FREE Printable at bottom of post), printed them, placed them in large manila envelopes, and sent them home to all of the parents of the students in Happy Buddy’s class asking if they could fill it out with their kids as well as add a small photo of their child before returning it.

The responses we got were so adorable!

memory book for teachersmemory book for teachers 4memory book for teachers 2memory book for teachers 3

I am so proud that my son’s fondest moment from class this year involved him using potty words (which, if you’re wondering, are ‘poop’, and ‘butt’) with a friend on the carpet.

He is clearly very serious about his education.

As a teacher myself, getting a keepsake like this is one of the best parts about being an educator!  You get a little peek into the way God used you in your student’s hearts that year.

A very rewarding feeling, indeed.

end of year book of memories for the teacher - so perfect!

Once everyone returned their filled out forms, I slipped them into some sheet protectors, created a collage of photos on PicMonkey for the cover design, and put everything into a binder.

I hope that Happy Buddy’s teachers will enjoy looking back through this book in the years to come.

And maybe YOUR child’s teachers will enjoy it too!

Here is the FREE Printable…

teacher questionnaire printable at happyhomefairy.com**Click HERE for your FREE Printable Teacher Memory Book Student Questionnaire**

Happy End of Year Teacher Gift-ing! :-)

P.S. Looking for more end of year teacher gifts? Don’t forget to check out my End of Year Gift Card Bouquet for the Teacher idea found HERE.