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Monday, September 17, 2018

Motivation For This Week In Parenting

This week's parenting quote is a powerful one that never fails to stir me up!

"You are the bows from which your children, as living arrows, are sent forth."
-Khalil Gibran

For me this quote is powerful. It means that every day I have a chance to impact my children's future selves in an important way. Whether it's through words, homeschooling, playing a game or enjoying a good book together, every little thing matters and sends them forth into the world prepared for whatever comes their way.

What does it mean to you?

Please feel free to share this quote on social media or on your own blog or pages. Please just remember that you must keep my watermark in place at the bottom (see more at

Thank you and have a wonderful week of raising little ones!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Worksheet Wednesday: Skip Counting At The Ice Cream Shop Plus FREE Printables

Teach Skip Counting With A Fun Ice Cream Shop Play Center (And a free printable too!)

Scroll down for the freebie and this set!

So the school year has finally started! I must say that after 8 years of homeschooling I am truly finding joy in it now more than ever. First of all, I feel more relaxed since I have an older teen - he'll be 16 this year! I can see how wonderful homeschooling has been for him and know that even if every day (or year!) isn't perfect, things will still turn out alright! In fact, they'll usually turn out pretty great 😉

One of my goals this year was to include some more play in our homeschool. Last year I focused a lot on books, fun books might I add! But this year my 4-year-old is beginning her schooling, my 7-year-old is continuing too and both of them love games. So last week we played a really fun game made by Busy Little Bugs on TeachersPayTeachers. It was a cute shopping game that I just couldn't resist buying!

I also printed out some play money to go along with it and the girls had a great time playing shopping and counting out coins by ones. However, I wanted to continue on with the skip counting I started to teach my daughter last year. So I thought it would be a lot of fun to come up with different play stations for them to practice skip counting in. That's where this week's center comes from...

I made up this play Skip Counting Ice Cream Shop for us to play with! It can be played with as many people as you'd like - you can just have one person as the cashier/server and one as the customer, or you can have servers, multiple customers and a cashier.

It includes this fun printable sign that comes with a separate sheet of price tags. You can go by our method - which is practicing a different number to skip-count by every week, or you can mix them all up to practice addition. This week we're practicing our 2's, so everything costs two dollars.

The set also comes with these printable bills and coins. I printed ours on colored paper to make them a little more colorful, and save on ink! They come in denominations from 1-10 as well so you can easily practice a different skip counting number every week or mix them up.

Finally, there's the cone cards and scoops! The server will dish out the number of scoops requested and put them onto the cone either with glue or with pre-stuck velcro dots like we did. This way everyone can practice their skip counting! The customer with their "money", the cashier giving the total and even the server(s) counting up how many scoops a customer will get for, say, $6. We're counting by 2's this week so that would be 3 scoops!

Finally, here's the freebie I'm offering this week, which is also included in this pack. It's a printable set of ice-cream scoop skip counting charts - from 2's to 10's! So you get 9 charts, each with 15 numbers.

You can grab the whole printable Ice Cream Shop set in my Teachers Pay Teachers store here for just $2! And you can get your free set of printable skip counting charts by clicking here! Please remember if you're going to share this freebie to link to THIS page, not the direct download :) Thank you! And I really hope you enjoy your Ice Cream Shop!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Motivation For The Week - Laugh A Little!

This week's quote is all about having a good laugh. Whether it's with your partner, your kids, at a joke you overheard at the office or on a TV show, a good belly-laugh is medicine we all need at some point. So even if your day isn't going perfectly, google a funny meme or search for a "try not to laugh" challenge on Youtube. Get a little laughter - and sunshine - into your day!

"A good laugh is sunshine in the house" - William Makepeace Thackeray

*Please remember you can share this on your blog, social media, or print it out. Please just leave my watermark ( in there*

Have a great week!

Friday, September 7, 2018

A Simple Singing by Leslie Gould: A Book Review

Leslie Gould's newest book in The Sisters of Lancaster County, A Simple Singing.

*Psst - I received a free copy of this book on Netgalley in exchange for my honest review*

If you've read my blog for a while then you'll know that I'm a HUGE Amish fiction fan. I just love the escape from our everyday world full of busy-ness and lights and screens. Trust me, I would never want to give those things up (I AM a blogger after all) but I love to read about simpler times. It's the same reason I also love historical fiction. And this book by Leslie Gould just happens to combine those two things!

A Simple singing is the second book in this Sisters of Lancaster County series. It follows Marie Bachmann who thinks she pretty much has life figured out. Get married to an Amish farmer, live close to her parents in her own district and live the life of a farmer's wife. But as Marie soon finds out, God's plans are not our own...

For years Marie Bachmann thought of herself as the "good" daughter. She was the most loving to their mother, the most dedicated to their Amish way of life. But when a Mennonite farmhand, Gordon Martin, shows interest in her she can't help but be flattered--until her mother sends her off to Florida. While there, Marie begins spending time with bad-boy Eli Jacob, the bishop's son from back home. 
When Gordon shows up in Florida to volunteer in a homeless shelter, her life becomes even more complicated. At the same time her aunt begins telling her of a Civil War-era ancestor and the woman's uncommon bravery . . . a story that begins to work at Marie's heart.
Marie hopes returning home may simplify life, but Eli soon follows. As Marie grapples with whether she should court Eli or leave the church for Gordon, the story of Annie Bachmann shines a light on what God has for Marie's future.

I just adored this book! Not only is it full of the wonderful Amish fiction that I love, but the story of Annie was absolutely my favorite part. If you love reading a good, clean romance with a twist of the simple life then you'll love it too!

You can grab it on Amazon here or Read More About It On Netgalley Here.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

FREE Worksheet Wednesday: Pumpkin Number Match 1-20

Free Pumpkin Number Match Game For Preschool and on. A fun way to practice number sense.
**Psst - scroll down for the free download link...

Well, it's finally our first week of school officially this week! I've honestly been preparing all summer for this coming year for many reasons. Mainly it's the first year I'll really be homeschooling 3 kids, and there are so man different levels to think about.

My oldest, MJ, is in high school, while K is in grade 2 (ish) and A is just starting kindergarten. All three of them will be using a certain curriculum that I love called The Good and The Beautiful, but I didn't want to just leap in right away. Especially with the younger ones I wanted to start things out a bit slower and give them some fun learning games and resources to use.

This Pumpkin Match Game 1-20 is one of those things. Made for my youngest, A, it's like playing a fun game, but really gets kids practicing using number sense. That is, matching a number of things to an actual numeral.

And the best part is it doesn't stop at 10 - it goes right up to 20! Plus it has a fun Fall pumpkin theme.

You can choose to print them out and just match them up, or you can cut a slot in them like I did for the pumpkin to go in. It makes it a little extra fun!

You can start by giving your child a wheelbarrow and laying out a few pumpkins - I wouldn't put all 20 out at once since that would be a little overwhelming. I usually put a number out and then put about 5 pumpkins. You can adjust the number of pumpkins to your child's level.

You can go over the number and how to count to it first, or you can just let your child match them all up.

Whatever way you use these pumpkin matching cards, I hope you and yours enjoy them! Download below...
**Please remember that you can share this free resource from THIS page, not the direct download link below. Thank you and enjoy!**

Monday, September 3, 2018

Motivation For The Week - A Fitness Quote To Keep You Going!

Welcome to my motivation Monday! If you feel like you're lagging behind in your workouts this month then don't sweat it! In the busyness of this month, most of us let our own goals get put on the back burner. But remember to let yourself breathe too - sometimes the best medicine is a little R & R!

"Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live" - Jim Rohn

*Please remember that you are free to share this graphic quote on your blog, social media or print it out to enjoy. Please just leave my watermark ( in the corner. Thanks!*

Have a wonderfully beautiful week!

Friday, August 31, 2018

NEW Free Printable Wall Art Poster - Where We Love Is Home!

Well, I loved sharing my printable wall art sign last week and just couldn't wait to share this one with you all too! It features a lovely quote about home:
"Where we love is home. Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts". -O.W. Holmes, Sr.
 Don't you just love that? It makes me think of my own children making their way in the world, making their own homes, but never forgetting this one of their childhood. Their feet may leave but their hearts will not. Love it!

And you can absolutely print it out for free for your own home! It's a lovely, inexpensive way to add a touch of coziness and color to a room or add some light to a corner that needs brightening.

Download this free printable PDF below, and please remember ...
**Please share this download with whomever you like, just please remember to share THIS page and NOT the direct download page** Thank you!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Free Printable Letter Matching Worksheets At The Apple Orchard

Pssst - scroll down for the download link!

If there is one thing my kids look forward to every year, it's a trip to the apple orchard we love so much. It's actually a super fun place - there's apple picking obviously, but there's also 3 huge playgrounds, farm animals and a wonderful restaurant (with bar and apple gin included!).

A post shared by Debbie Jean (@debbiejeanmcmullen) on

So when I was trying to think of some fun themes for new worksheets for my youngest, apples were on my mind! She's 4 now and still has a bit of trouble distinguishing between some of the uppercase and lowercase letters, particularly the similar ones like ''b' and 'd' (whyyyyyyy did they make them like that!)

So to help her along I made these Uppercase and Lowercase letter matching sheets with a fun apple orchard theme - and of course, I'm going to share them with you. I'm nice like that.😎

You can print out just the letters your child struggles with a little, or print them all out and go through one per day or week. My daughter loves to color them in first (as you can see, some quite a lot!Also, her arm...) and help to cut them out with her little scissors. After cutting them out, you glue the letters on the appropriate tree - capitals on the capital tree, lowercase on the lowercase tree.

It's simple and requires no prep at all, just print and go! Click on the link below to download.
*And just a note - please feel free to share these free worksheets! But when sharing please link to this page, not the direct download page. Thank You!*

Monday, August 27, 2018

Motivation For This Week: A Parenting Quote

Happy Monday! Here's your motivational quote for this week - and it's all about parenting!

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men" -Frederick Douglass

I sincerely hope this motivates you in your parenting journey this week.
Have a good one!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Free Printable Wall Art Poster: Love Begins At Home

If there's one thing I've fallen in love with decorating our home during the past few years, it's beautiful wall art signs! I love the chalkboards, love the wooden letters and really love the printable signs too!

And while I'm always on the lookout for new ones to hang up, I thought making some of my own would be fun since I can use quotes that I love and beautiful backgrounds that will brighten our home.

And of course, I'm going to share!

I'll be leaving a lovely little home decor poster every now and then, and I sincerely hope you enjoy them as much as I do! All it needs is a pretty little frame from the dollar or craft store. They'll be free to download, and look just lovely hung up in a frame in your home - take a look at this week's sign in our home!

This poster features a lovely quote about home from Mother Teresa. "Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in that action." What a lovely reminder to let things go sometimes and just love the ones you're with! 

So please feel free to grab a copy for yourself, and share it with friends too by sharing this blog post! 
Grab your copy below...

Subscribe to my posts by e-mail on the right to stay tuned for more great freebies!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

FREE Printable: Alphabet Candyland - Learning Upper and Lowercase Letters Through Play

One of the most difficult obstacles for some kids to overcome before learning to read is recognizing letters. The concept that a capital 'G' and a lowercase 'g' are the same letters can seem confusing to early readers - and that's understandable! Most capital and lowercase letters look nothing alike!

So to help teach that concept to your kiddos (and mine!) while having fun, I made up this Alphabet Candyland Game.

Just like the real Candy Land, it features colored squares with corresponding colored cards that you draw from a pile.

The difference in this version is that each colored tile on the board has a capital letter on it. When a player lands on a letter, they must find the corresponding lowercase letter card to move on!

Without feeling too much like they're 'doing schoolwork', kids can learn to play cooperatively, identify colors, and of course, recognize lowercase and uppercase letters. And it's just so much fun to play!

Download your own free copy below, complete with printable rules, game board, color cards and alphabet cards. If you are going to share this download, please link to THIS page and NOT the download link - Thank you! And let me know how much fun you had below in the comments, or throw me a photo on Instagram @debbiejeanmcmullen.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Free Homeschool Planner For September! Get Ready!

psst - scroll down to the pic just like this one to download :)

I admit it - I'm a bit of a planner addict! I just love the feel of laying pen to paper and having a plan to follow every day. Even if I don't always follow it to a 'T' (and I usually don't!) at least I know what needs to get done.

But while I've been searching for just the right planner for our family homeschool, I was having a lot of trouble finding one. Mainly because the planners made for homeschool families with multiple children tend to have schedules made way too small, or with not enough subjects.

So I made my own!

This planner is a printable one that I'm going to release month-by-month - but don't worry, I'll always release it ahead of time! October's will be coming soon too!

It begins with a monthly goal page...

And then has 4 design options to choose from in daily schedules - for up to 6 students. On the side, you'll write subjects, and in the column headers, you'll put your student's names. You can have space for as many subjects or as much writing as you'd like - just make some lines for dividing.

It also has 4 different notes/to do/meal plan pages that really come in handy too!

You can print out enough pages for the whole month, or put them in sheet protectors and make them reusable for every day or week.
All the backgrounds are inspired by September, nature, and happiness! They just make me so happy when I open my binder now...

You could also print them booklet style with your printer's settings to make them a smaller agenda too. Whatever you do I hope you enjoy them!

Here's a sneak peek at my first day of planning...

What Do You Think?
Please let me know what you think of the planner - is there anything else you'd like put into it in the next months, or would you like something a little different? Give me a shout in the comments below or on Instagram or Facebook - show me how you're using it too! 
Download below...