He’s Alive!

Worship at church today was especially precious and joy-filled.

We sang over and over these words, “Death could not hold you – you are victorious!  Praise to the risen King!”

Jesus is RISEN!

Nothing – not even temper tantrums at egg hunts (I’ll spare you those photos) or meltdowns during Easter photo shoots was going to rob me of that joy today!happy easter!.jpghappy easter 1.jpghappy easter 2.jpghappy easter 6.jpghappy easter 3.jpghappy easter 4.jpghappy easter 5.jpghappy easter 7.jpg

:-)

Praying you all have a beautiful day basking in His wondrous and glorious love for YOU.

Happy Easter!

“I am the Living One.  I was dead.  But look!  I am alive forever and ever!” Revelation 1:18 (NIRV)

Joy Is Coming…

I just got finished putting fresh sheets on all the beds in our little Happy Home.

I mean, can you think of a greater feeling than crisp, new linens?

I think not.

It might sound silly, but I thought having clean sheets would be a tangible way for my family to remember how He washes us clean.

:-)

Tonight we sat around the table with a cupcake and a solitary, lit candle.

I told the Happy Buddy that when Jesus died on the cross, it was like a light had gone out and darkness covered the earth.

The Happy Buddy blew out the candle.

The room went black.

We waited quietly.

Suddenly the candle flickered and burst into flame again.

The Happy Buddy stood back, shocked (thank you, $2 trick candles from the Publix party section).

I think God’s Word tells the rest of this story perfectly,

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness CAN NEVER EXTINGUISH IT.” John 1:5 (NLT)

So, dear reader, remember this truth when you are faced with what could be perceived by the world as ‘darkness.’

Sickness, death, pain, betrayal, struggle, hardship…

The night – the dark – never lasts forever.

Because this is what we are PROMISED“Weeping may last for the night, but…”

joy comes in the morning.jpgHappy Easter, Sweet Happy Home Friends.

The Blood

the blood 2.jpgToday is Good Friday.

It’s the day we remember the suffering of our Lord – the utter and complete surrender of His perfect life in exchange for our messy ones.

And during this Holy Week, I have been made so unbelievably aware of my mess.

Let’s start with my never-ending need to please people.

I drove a little too fast through our school zone on Monday (didn’t even realize it).  Several women I respect got very upset with me and I’ve been feeling so bad for disappointing them.

I got angry that the Happy Baby dumped his pee-filled toilet-training potty all over the bathroom floor and then went and pooped on the carpet in his brother’s room.

I had some insecurity about my job – wanting people to like me and desire to have their kids in my class.

I spent too much money on groceries.  Again.

I let the words of another make me doubt my calling in a particular ministry that I love.

I pushed the hubby too far in a conversation instead of wisely holding my tongue.

I paid too much attention to my phone.

I got jealous of a woman who has a super cute new baby with no health issues.

I wasted an entire afternoon feeling sorry for myself over a situation I have yet to fully surrender.

I think my kids ate chicken nuggets 3 times within a span of 3 days.

Add in some pride, fear, impatience, and unbelief and that about sums up my week!

the blood 1.jpgIf you didn’t already consider me a highly questionable source, you can do so now.

:-)

The point is, there’s a whole lot of ugly going on in this heart of mine.

 And being that I am a perfectionist, when I am faced with the realities of my sin, the temptation is always to let the above listed wretchedness take me down.

I mope around or overeat or complain to the hubs that I am worthless, nobody likes me, and a big, fat failure.

Oh, but Jesus didn’t die on the cross so that I could drown myself in a pint of ice cream and self-pity.

the blood 3.jpgDo you remember in the story of Moses when Pharaoh kept refusing to let the Israelites leave Egypt, even under the stress and horror of all the plagues?

The final plague was the worst of all – the death of every firstborn son in Egypt.

God had a plan, however, for His people, the Israelites.  He instructed them very specifically to kill a lamb and paint its blood over the door of their homes.  If they obeyed these instructions, then the Angel of Death would pass over their house and the firstborn sons would be spared.

When the angel saw the blood, he simply passed over the house.

He didn’t open the door to peek inside and make sure everyone was behaving properly.

God didn’t expect the Israelites to be perfect behind those doors.

It was THE BLOOD that saved them.

And that is our own sweet story, dear friends.

Our lamb is Jesus.

His blood is painted on the doorpost of our hearts.

And we are saved – we are set free!

I am not condemned for that laundry list of ugly I wrestled with this week BECAUSE OF HIS BLOOD.

This news is way more satisfying and joy-filling than ice cream (trust me on this).

the blood 4.jpgWhen I picked the Happy Buddy up from school recently and asked him how his day was, he immediately burst into tears and confessed that his name had been written on the board due to a poor choice.

In the past, being that darned perfectionist that I am, I have acted disappointed and upset with my son for daring to represent our family so poorly.

As if I really wanted him to feel bad for sinning.

But the Lord showed me awhile back that holding a grudge, looking at my child with condemnation, flailing my arms and shouting, “How could you do that?!” is not at all the picture of the cross.

No.

His response to the sin of His children is always love.

Because he just sees the blood.

Now when my son cried about his consequence at school, I wrapped my arms around him in a giant hug and whispered in his ear, “We all make mistakes, son.  Now we must make it right.”

He went to his teacher to apologize for disobeying the classroom rules and then we went to Jesus and apologized.

As our prayer drew to a close and we opened our eyes, I looked at my boy’s tear-stained face and said gently, “It is finished.”

I saw the burden lifted in an instant.

And he said, “Mommy can we have chicken nuggets for dinner?”

:-)

the blood 5.jpgWe are imperfect people living behind the doors of our homes.

We will have bad moments, bad days, bad weeks…

But all that bad is why Good Friday is so good.

Take that never-ending list of badness and daily remember the all-sufficient, unfailing power of our Savior’s goodness.

He sees the blood.

And today, my friends, it is finished.

Anyone want to celebrate with some Breyer’s? :-)

- Julie

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” Ephesians 1:7 (NLT)

FREE Printable Easter Treat Tag

FREE Printable Easter Treat Tag at Happy Home Fairy!!!.jpgSo I found THIS PIN and I was like, “Oh, this is so happening.”

I called our church’s children’s ministry director and asked her if she wanted a little gift idea to give all of her amazing volunteers on Resurrection Sunday.

She said yes and boom.

I present you with the cutest Easter treat ever!

You will need some Rolos candy, the FREE Printable tag at the bottom of this post, some Ziploc snack bags, a hole punch, and some yarn.FREE Printable Easter Treat Tag at Happy Home Fairy - so cute.jpgFREE Printable Easter Treat Tag at Happy Home Fairy.jpg

 Put together a few bags and add them to your Happy Buddy’s Easter basket.

Or surprise a neighbor!

Or a teacher.

Or the mailman.

I think chocolate and the Good News of Easter go pretty well together, don’t you? :-)

Click HERE for your FREE Printable Easter Treat Tag

Happy The Stone Was ROLO-ed Away-ing!

How To Make Minion Easter Eggs

how to make minion eggs for Easter! couldn't be easier! and so cute!!!!!!

The Happy Baby loves those adorable minions from the Despicable Me movies (I mean, who doesn’t??).

For his birthday party a few weeks ago we made some of these super cute Minion Easter eggs.

I thought I would share with you how to make your own because it is SO EASY.

You can whip a few together in about 2 minutes and sneak them in your Happy Buddies’ Easter baskets on Sunday morning.

minion eggs suppliesSupplies -

Bag of bright-colored Easter eggs (these are from Wal-Mart)

Self-adhesive googly eyes (if you just have googly eyes, you can use Glue Dots to attach the eyes to the eggs)

Sharpie marker

minion eggs - step 1Step 1 – Separate out all of the blue and yellow eggs from the bag.

minion eggs - step 2Step 2 - Open the eggs (you may have to cut the hinges off) and then attach blue tops with yellow bottoms and yellow tops with blue bottoms.

minion eggs - step 3minion eggs - so cute and easy!Step 3 - Add a googly eye and Sharpie marker hair and mouth details.

You can draw a black band around the egg to finish off the whole goggle look, but I personally thought it looked too busy.

how to make minion eggs for Easter! couldn't be easier! and so cute!!!

how to make minion eggs for Easter! couldn't be easier! and so cute!Step 4 - Make sure you make an army of them.

Or at least make sure you make Dave, Stuart, Jerry, Kevin, Bob, Carl, Steve, Tim, Phil, Mike, Tom and Donny.

:-)

They are so easy to put together that I just finished making a dozen for the Happy Buddy’s preschool class’ egg hunt on Wednesday.

We thought the kids would be delighted to find these egg-stra special little guys along the way!

Happy Minion Easter Egg-ing!!

How To Mail Easter Eggs

mailing easter eggs - such a cute idea!.jpg

My boys and I took a little adventure to the Post Office on Saturday.

Along with our water bill, we mailed off a few plastic Easter eggs.

mailing eggs - supplies.jpgIf you want to mail some eggs yourself, make sure you buy the Jumbo-sized eggs (we found the ones above at Walgreens).

mailing eggs - putting together!.jpgWe filled ours with some Easter grass, a few stickers, small erasers, and these FREE Printable Easter Lunchbox Love Notes.

We decided not to put chocolate in the eggs because… well, we didn’t want it to melt in transit. :-)

mailing eggs - ready to go!.jpgSlap on the address label and wrap the eggs with packing tape.

Then head to the post office.

mailing eggs - at the post office.jpgmailing eggs - weighing.jpgIronically, our postman’s name was Jesus.

He kept chuckling because the eggs wouldn’t stop rolling off the scale.

mailing eggs - such a fun idea for Easter to brighten someone's day!.jpgThey didn’t look the prettiest after getting stamped and wrapped with tracking codes and postage (about $2 each), but they were still going to be a cute thing to find in a mailbox.

I mean ANYTHING is better than a bill or catalog, Amen?!

mailing eggs - so fun!.jpg

When all the eggs were ready, Jesus was all smiles and even thanked us for making his day more fun.

I mean, you can only handle so many flat things and cardboard boxes, you know? :-)

Happy Easter Egg in the Mail-ing! :-)

Random Acts of Kindness for Easter

The message of Easter is LOVE.

And love is best shown when we choose to put someone else’s needs before our own.

Like Jesus did.

Here are a few fun ways you can share the sweet message of Easter with the people in your world.Easter RAKs at Happy Home Fairy

Happy Easter RAK-ing! :-)

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?  Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:16-18

Easy Cross Craft

easy cross craft at happyhomefairy.comWe did this easy cross craft the other day with my 2 year olds.

They loved it.

easy cross craft 2Supplies:

Cross template (you can print a great one for free HERE)

Glue

Tissue paper squares

easy cross craft 3Step 1 – Paint some glue onto the cross.

**Hey, do you like my poncho?  It’s from my mom.** :-)

easy cross craft 4Step 2 – Have the kids crunch up the tissue paper squares into little balls.

So good for building up those fine motor skills!

easy cross craft 5easy cross craft 6easy cross craft 8easy cross craft 7Step 3 – Stick the tissue paper squares to the cross.

easy cross craft 9easy cross craft 10easy cross craft 1That is all!

They look so pretty hanging in our classroom.

And most important, they keep our hearts turned toward Jesus.

Happy Easy Cross Craft-ing! :-)

The Joy Journey – Christ-Centered Easter Activities (FREE Printable)

The Joy Journey - Christ-Centered Easter Activities (FREE Printable).jpg

Easter falls late in April this year.

I love it.

We have 20 days, beginning April 1st, to go on a journey.

A journey that gives us a chance to look into the work of our Savior.

Hebrews 12:2 says, “We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne.”

This is it, my friends.

We want joy?  We must do as Jesus did.

We must look beyond the trials, the troubles, the tears of this world and remember the JOY that is waiting for us -

BECAUSE OF WHAT HE DID AT EASTER.

While this is the message to preach to our Happy Homes – to the world – every. single. day, this month brings an especially tangible and precious opportunity to make this joy come alive for our loved ones.

I put together 20 Christ-centered activities for you to help make it possible. :-)The Joy Journey - Christ-Centered Activities for the Easter Season 9.jpg

It’s called The Joy Journey.

The Joy Journey - Christ-Centered Activities for the Easter Season 10.jpgThe Joy Journey - Christ-Centered Activities for the Easter Season 12.jpgThe Joy Journey - Christ-Centered Activities for the Easter Season 11.jpg**You can print the 20 activity cards at the bottom of this post.**

The Joy Journey - Christ-Centered Activities for the Easter Season 1.jpgThe Joy Journey - Christ-Centered Activities for the Easter Season 2.jpgThe Joy Journey - Christ-Centered Activities for the Easter Season 3.jpgThe Joy Journey - Christ-Centered Activities for the Easter Season 4.jpgThe Joy Journey - Christ-Centered Activities for the Easter Season 6.jpgI cut mine out, put them into 20 plastic eggs, numbered them with a Sharpie, and placed them in a bowl.

I purposely tried to gather the easiest and most doable ideas (’cause, you know, if it requires more than 4 things, I usually start breaking out in a sweat).

You can grab a supply list for each activity HERE.

The goal is to do one activity per day during the month of April and prayerfully engage my little ones in the sweet message of our Lord’s journey to joy.

The Joy Journey - Christ-Centered Activities for the Easter Season 5.jpgAnd speaking of sweet, I may have slipped a few M&M’s into the final egg to be opened on Easter morning. :-)

The Joy Journey - Christ-Centered Activities for the Easter Season 7.jpg

Oh, dear bloggy friends!  I pray that this little website can help assist you in focusing your Happy Homes on the cross this Easter!

Bunnies are fun and adorable and are even a small part this journey and are, in fact, created by the Lord, Himself, but they are not what Easter is about.

The Joy Journey - Christ-Centered Activities for the Easter Season 8.jpgEaster is about the joy that awaits us.

Easter is about the joy we can experience today.

Right now.

Because Easter is about Jesus.

Click HERE for the FREE Printable Joy Journey Christ-Centered Activity Cards

Happy Easter, everyone. :-)

**Would love it if you could share this post with the people in your world.**

Tape Resist Cross idea is from The Golden Gleam.
Many other ideas inspired from Thriving Family.

The Easter Dress Tradition

I very rarely post selfies.

Mostly because I am NEVER ever satisfied with a photo of myself.

I’m all about ‘being real’ and genuine on this blog, but c’mon, it would just take too much work and too many shots before I felt even remotely comfortable giving y’all access to my bad hair days, large-pored nose, and Snow White skin.

But the other night I posted a pic on Instagram and within a short amount of time it became my highest liked photo ever and it got me to thinking that maybe I needed to share with everyone a little bit of the history behind it.

easter dress tradition.jpgThis is my mom.

She is a-maze-ing.

Seriously.

She is the person who will drive out to my house in the middle of the night to check my hair for lice when my husband is out of town because I am having a panic attack convinced that I have to shave my head.

She is the person who brings me a roll of paper towels or toilet paper whenever she comes over.

She is the person who my firstborn wants to marry.

She is the person who tells me everyday that I need to blog more because she believes in my writing and my mission (to which I respond with – GREAT! When are you coming to babysit so I have time to write????).

She is the person who, when told that one of my articles had been published over HERE at Parents Magazine, sat in front of her computer and refreshed the page 1,000,000 times so that the good people at Parents think I have a lot more fans than I really do. :-)

She is the person who regularly reminds me that it’s all going to be okay.

And, for the purposes of today’s post, she is the person who keeps my wardrobe up-to-date.

If it were up to me, I would still be wearing the clothes I had in high school.  I am a firm believer that if you hold on to something long enough, it will eventually come back in style.  Case in point – THIS.  Yes, I still have mine.

My mom has a great eye for fashion, gets rockin’ coupons for Macy’s, and often drops a bag on my doorstep with a new top or sweater or poncho or something cute and in season.

I’ve just started to tell people that whenever I look cute, immediately assume it is from my mother.

So what does all this have to do with Easter?

When I was a little girl and the spring season rolled around, my mom would plan a day and take me shopping for an Easter dress.

Except for the few years when all I wanted to wear were stir-up pants, mismatching socks, Keds, and oversized sweatshirts, finding a new dress was an incredibly special time.

Everything was bright colors and big flowers and thick satin sashes and white tights and white patent leather shoes.

Sometimes there was even crinoline.

And one year I even had a muff.

But as much as I loved sticking my hand in that thing… I really loved just being with my mom.

Well, that sweet lady has carried this tradition all the way through the years up until now.

In fact, on Monday night this week she kidnapped me and took me to Macy’s to look for an Easter dress.

easter dress tradition2.jpgWe tried on a few but this one was our favorite.

I thought it might be fun to ask my Instagram followers if they approved, so I decided to take a photo in the dressing room.

About 347 takes later an hour later, I settled on this shot.  I worked really hard to get my arm in the right place so that you couldn’t see the little pocket of pudge that lives under there.

I was also thankful that Instagram has filters that make your skin look less like a bottle of Elmer’s.

And everyone liked the dress so much that they didn’t even notice my mom’s boobs in the corner. :-)

Why buy new outfits for Easter?

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Anyone who believes in Christ is a NEW creation.  The old is gone!  The new has come!”

When we repent and receive Jesus as our risen Lord and Savior, He gives us a new outfit of righteousness to wear every single day for the rest of our lives.

We are no longer clothed in our sinful selves, but rather washed clean and made new by the power of His blood.

Talk about a piece of fashion that will never go out of style!

How sweet it is to celebrate this gift on Easter Sunday with a fresh, clean, lovely, never-been-worn-before outfit.

A true picture of what He has done for us.

Does your Happy Home wear new outfits for Easter?

**Dear Mom, Thanks for helping me tangibly experience the beauty of our risen Lord year after year.  I love you so much!!**

Happy Easter Dress Tradition-ing! :-)