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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Anna's Crossing By Suzanne Woods Fisher My Review

I love historical fiction and this book was full of it! It was also full of adventure, romance, and all the good stuff I've come to expect from Suzanne Woods Fisher's books. Although it came out in 2015, I hadn't left a review for it online, but after giving it a second read I just had to share!

When Anna König first meets Bairn, the Scottish ship carpenter of the Charming Nancy, their encounter is anything but pleasant. Anna is on the ship only to ensure the safe arrival of her loved ones to the New World. Hardened by years of living at sea, Bairn resents toting these naïve farmers--dubbed "Peculiars" by deckhands--across the ocean. As delays, storms, illness, and diminishing provisions afflict crew and passengers alike, Bairn finds himself drawn to Anna's serene nature. For her part, Anna can't seem to stay below deck and far away from the aloof ship's carpenter, despite warnings.

When an act of sacrifice leaves Anna in a perilous situation, Bairn discovers he may not have left his faith as firmly in the past as he thought. But has the revelation come too late?

Amish fiction favorite Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her fans back to the beginning of Amish life in America with this fascinating glimpse into the first ocean crossing as seen through the eyes of a devout young woman and an irreverent man. Blending the worlds of Amish and historical fiction, Fisher is sure to delight her longtime fans even as she attracts new ones with her superb and always surprise-filled writing.
via Revell Books

Both Anna and Bairn have their own characteristics that keep building up throughout the story and into the ending. Anna's strong but silent-type character comes through with her bravery and faith, while Bairn is the gruffer, lost-his-faith-long-ago sort who we see grow throughout the story.

Both characters come together in what makes for a great and thrilling read that I highly recommend!
You can grab your own copy below.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

A Daughters Truth by Laura Bradford A Book Review

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my review on NetGalley.

Book Description

Emma Lapp tries to be the perfect daughter, to earn the loving embrace of her family and her Amish community in Pennsylvania. Yet she can’t quite win her mother’s smile—or her forgiveness for a transgression Emma can’t quite place . . .
Emma knows she’s a reminder of her mother’s greatest sorrow, having been born on the same day Mamm lost her beloved sister. The one bright spot has been the odd trinkets anonymously left at her aunt’s grave each year on Emma’s birthday—gifts Emma secretly hides because they upset her parents. But the day she turns 22, a locket bears a surprise that sends her on an unexpected journey . . .
Searching for answers, Emma travels to the English world and finds a kinship as intriguing as it is forbidden.  But is this newfound connection enough to leave behind the future she’d expected? The answers are as mysterious, and as devastating, as the truth that divides Emma from the only family, and the only life, she’s ever known . . .  
via Kensington Books

My Review

Laura Bradford definitely tells a story that got me hooked from the start! 

Not only do you get to see the growth of the characters throughout the story, but you're left with just enough room to keep wanting more. This book started me off with wanting more and ended with yours truly in tears. 

I loved Bradford's writing style and how well she told the story of Emma Lapp and her mysterious upbringing. You feel angry and shocked right alongside the characters in the story, but are also left wondering what's to come next and why. I didn't feel frustrated with the characters as I often do in other books I've read, as I found the pace of the characters developing stories to be just right.

I truly loved this story and how it was told. The only thing I found offputting about the book was how the Amish characters spoke so properly. Perhaps it's because of the district they live in (I know Amish traditions/speech/rules vary a lot from district to district) but I wish their speech would have flowed more freely. For example, instead of "We are going to go to the store..." I prefer to read "We're going to the store..." I just found the characters' words to be overly proper. Luckily, the story takes over that and I never wanted to stop reading it.

A highly recommended read for certain, especially if you're an Amish fic fan.

It releases May 28th, 2019!

You can buy A Daughter's Truth on:
Available in both paperback and digital.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Free Math Center Printable: Fish Flip

If there is one thing I know that is important for my kids to get it's subsitizing. Not only does it teach them to think visually and see math visually, but it can be seriously helpful later on in life too. Being able to visualize amounts in your head - say adding up your bill as you shop at the grocery store - can be a big plus.

So that's what we've been focusing on a lot this year with my 5 and 7-year-olds. The teen is a little past that ;)

That's why I have started making some fun math centers like this one. It encourages thinking visually and helps kids match up numerals, number words, ten frames and a number of objects. Plus it's super cute!

I just love these little fish clipart pieces and my kids do too, and this math center can very quickly turn into a game of imaginary play if you'd like as well.

This math center can be used in quite a few different ways. So here are a few ideas to help you use it:

Pre-K To Kindergarten

For this age group, you may want to start off using just the numbers 1-10 and the fish. I would start with numbers 1-10. The goal here is to have them visualize a number with a number of objects. For example, if they get a 3, they will put three fish down. This helps them not only know what the number three means, but to be able to spot a group of three objects without counting.

Obviously, at first, they will need to count. But after a week or two of trying, try putting any number of fish down and having them match it with a number card. You can then begin to add in the ten frames and number words.

When you add in ten frames, it's super important to have your kids realize that the top row has 5 spaces, and the bottom row as well. Once they are able to see how many boxes are full in the top row, they will be better able to add and subtract later on without always having to use their fingers or objects for counting.

I have found ten frames to be a huge help in addition and subtraction for my first grader. Being able to see in their mind's eye that 8 ten frame squares minus 2 means there will be 6 left over, is a lot more effective than having to use counters all the time.

Number words are another important skill you'll want to teach before first grade since they'll likely be doing a lot of problem-solving in math class. Even if they're already learning phonics, they can learn these number words by sight so they will easily recognize them in word problems.

Slowly adding these things into the math center can make it a lot easier for younger kids to handle. After they've mastered the 1-10 sets of cards, you can move onto the 10-20.

First Grade And Beyond
If you feel like this is an area where your child is struggling, you might want to look over my recommendations for pre-k to kindergarten first. It's always good to have a strong grasp on core fundamentals in math before moving onto something else!

For this age group, you can easily make this center into some fun games. Here are some ideas:
  • You can lay out all of the cards and have them match them up and then put in the correct amount of fish.
  • You can lay out all of the ten frame cards, number word cards, or both and call out a number card yourself. The kids can then race to find the matching frames and words, and pick up that many fish.
  • You could also put a certain amount of fish into the fishbowl and have them try to find the matching cards without counting. You could also do this with the ten frames or number words or numerals by themselves.
  • You can use this center for addition and subtraction practice too as an adding/subtracting mat.
If you can think of any more suggestions, just let me know in the comments below. I'd be happy to include them with credit to you!

My hope is that this math center helps you and your family or class, and it brings a bit of fun into your math lessons. I will be coming out with more math and reading freebies in the next few weeks, so please stay tuned! You can get your free download below in my TeachersPayTeachers Store...

Not a TeachersPayTeachers member? Don't worry, it's free and easy to sign up! Just click below.

Download The Free Fish Flip Math Center Here

Want More Freebies? Check out my freebie page here ---> Free Printables Page

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Free Printable 21 Day Fix Journals

I really hope these free printables help you with your health/fitness journey! 

Just scroll down for the download link - no signup required :)
**Please note: These sheets were made by me. Therefore, if you are going to share them, please share this page and NOT the direct download page, as per my acceptable use policy. Thank you!**

The 21-Day Fix is a 21-day fitness and nutrition program on It features 21 days of workouts and nutrition guidelines, which my journal pages follow.
There are 6 different calorie levels, depending on what you need in order to reach your goals. 

Need to figure out what number you need? Do some simple math!

Multiply your weight x 11. (This is your calorie baseline)
Add 400 to that number. (This is your weight maintenance number)
Now take away 750.  (Now here is how many calories you can eat to lose weight. About 1-2 pounds per week)

After you have that number, you just choose which program fits your needs. 

I have started using it myself and was looking for some nutrition trackers to use, but couldn't find any I liked. So I made some!
You can laminate these to reuse one sheet throughout the three weeks with a dry erase marker. Or you can print out 21 sheets to use one every day.

This set features all of the levels of calories and foods from 1,200 through 2,800. If you want to learn more about the program, just visit and try out a free 14-day trial. You actually get most of this program for free! 

*Please note that I am not associated or sponsored with in any way, I'm just using their program!

Friday, March 8, 2019

The Amish Sweetshop: A Book Review

Today I'm sharing a fun new Amish fiction novel with you. Actually, it's a few short novellas put into one book by a few great authors who are new to me. I always love finding new authors to add to my TBR lists, so I was excited to read these stories.

Read on below for a bit about this book, and my review of each little story. Enjoy!

Just to let you know: I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley  in exchange for my review.

Book Synopsis
It’s almost Valentine’s Day, the busiest time of the year at Beechy’s Sweets, where the Amish gifts of love and faith are even sweeter than the home-made candy. 

THE SWEETEST COURTSHIP National Bestselling Author Emma MillerAt age thirty-six, Jacob Beechy is a rarity—a master candy maker, and a bachelor. His mother, however, still hopes for grandchildren. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, she convinces Jacob he will need extra help in the shop and interviews a string of applicants—for his future wife . . .  

THE SWEETEST TRUTH  National Bestselling Author Laura BradfordSadie Fischer has accepted that she will never marry. Her scars from a barn fire are a daily reminder of why. So when she receives mysterious gifts leading up to Valentine’s Day, including chocolate from Beechy’s, she’s bewildered—yet curious. Sadie may not think she’s pretty, but there’s a young man who sees only sweetness when he looks at her . . . 

NOTHING TASTES SO SWEET Award-Winning Author Mary Ellis Pregnant and suddenly widowed, Hannah must give up the dreams she once had. But when she learns that her longtime English employer plans to sell his hardware store, she’s determined to buy it. She doesn’t realize that will mean following a clue from Beechy’s to clear a man’s name—and finding a partnership in work, faith, and love . . .

My Review
When it comes to reading Amish fiction, a few things about a story are really important to me. First of all, the author does his or her research. I know there are tons of different Amish districts with many different rules, but there are a few general ones that most districts do follow. There's nothing that frustrates me more than reading a book about the Amish where the author has obviously not looked up much about them. Not only does it make the story hard to believe, but it makes the characters lack depth too.

You'll be happy to know that in this book, all of the authors have definitely studied the Amish lifestyle. I especially loved how all of the characters come together at some point in the stories, so you get to know them from another author and character's point of view.

Each story had it's moments and storylines that stood out. In The Sweetest Courtship, it was fun to read about a male Amish character for a bit of a change. In The Sweetest Truth, we watch a young woman overcome her fears and insecurities to reach out to someone else. And in Nothing Tastes So Sweet, there's an exciting story about Hannah, who almost defies the rules she's brought up in and cares so much about.

If you're a fan of Amish fic, or sweet romance stories that have depth but don't get too steamy, then I just know you'll love reading this book!  So here is how to get a copy...

Get it On Amazon You can get a free preview on Amazon, too.
Get It On Barnes & Noble
Get It At Indie Bookstore

Monday, February 18, 2019

Little Red Riding Hood Storybook Playset

Dramatic Play Little Red Riding Hood Playset And Busy Book

I am super excited about this new product I've made for you all!
Especially because my own kids have been enjoying it so much!

It's a full printable storybook and busy folder or puppet playset. Just take a look at how we set ours up below.

In this set, you'll find a cute little storybook! SOmething I'm so proud of. 
It's filled with simple vocabulary, a few sight words on some pages, and is easy to co-read with beginning readers.

You'll also get a fun little playset to act out the story with afterward.
It includes:
  • 2 background scenes (outdoor forest and Grandma's House)
  • All the story characters
  • Decorations for the scenes

There are a lot of fun ways you can play with this set too! You can set it up as a busy folder like we did above. I put both background scenes on one sheet, laminated them and put them in a folder. 

I then put little velcro dots on both inside covers of the folder to hold the characters and decorations.
Here's a look at the first side..

You could also hang the background scenes up on the wall and glue popsicle sticks to the characters to make a fun puppet theater.

And the BEST PART? The WHOLE SET is just $3!

You can grab this fun set now for just $3, which includes both the storybook and the playset.
Get it on Etsy or TeachersPayTeachers for $3

I really hope you love it!
Remember to post a pic using it on social media and tag me (see my socials--->)
I'll be sure to send a freebie your way ;)

Get it on Etsy or TeachersPayTeachers for $3!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Valentines Day Sight Words Delivery Game

Valentines Day Dolch Sight Word Printable Set

Valentine's Day is just around the corner! I love how that one day can brighten up a cold, dreary February, don't you? All the lovely reds and pinks surrounding you - whether in your classroom, at home, or both, it's a fun day to show people that you care for them.

It's also a fun way to sneak in some "fun-school" style learning! I love printing out Valentines Day themed worksheets for my kids, getting books about love from the library, and of course coloring in Valentines Day cards for the family. That's why I made this fun sight word activity that you can use throughout January and February...
In this printable set, you'll get all 220 of the Dolch sight words separated into grade levels (pre-primer to third-grade). I've included adorable clipart of kids holding hearts with the sight words on them and valentines cards with matching words to "deliver" to the right kids.

My girls have been having a blast using them. I cut the kids out in strips on the wall and put little velcro dots on the hearts (you can these Vkey velcro dots super cheap on Amazon!). They take turns sticking the cards to the matching kids.
You can also make a busy folder, something else I love to do. Just laminate the pages with the sight word kids and put them into a duotang or binder. Use the velcro dots to stick them onto the pages. You can also store each pages matching cards in a little mini snack bag.
You could also hide the cards around the room and have the kids find them and then match them, or tape the sight word kids to the wall in different places of your classroom or home, and have your kiddos take a card and search for the right sight word kid.

There are so many ways to use them, and they're all tons of fun!

You can grab the entire set of sight words in this pack for just $2 in my Etsy  or my TPT store.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Printable Smoothie Shop Pretend Play Set

Printable smoothie shop set for dramatic play, classroom fun and more!

For months now my littlest little (who just turned 5) has been pretending to make smoothies. I don't know why - we don't really drink smoothies around here often - but for some reason she loves them! She has actually been taking her little alphabet magnets off the fridge, dropping them into cups and pretending to make all sorts of drinks - cute, right?

And while I love her imagination, I wanted to make her a set that she could play with that would be a little more fun, and that her big sister would enjoy too. Enter my Printable Smoothie Pack!

I've included everything you'll need to have fun making pretend smoothies with your child - whether you want an all-out smoothie stand, or just to print out the fruits and shakes to play with.

It's also a great learning opportunity to talk about healthy eating, get to know fruits, vegetables, and colors, and even practice some counting, addition, and subtraction.

You'll get a cute little blender (that comes in 3 color choices) to blend your smoothies in.
We hang ours on the wall and the girls pretend to drop the fruits in it.

I've included menus with both made up prices and no prices so that you can enter your own. This would be great for practicing numbers you're working on, skip counting by 2's, 5's, or more, or money with cents included.

Kids can even have customers make up their own smoothies with the "make your own smoothie" card. One to hang up for a menu, and one to have the "customer" write on.
That's great for creative fun anf number writing practice, as my 5-year-old did below...

I love their writing practice at this age❤

But that's not all! There are also these fun recipe cards kids can use to make up the drinks on the menu. It's a great way to practice counting! And they can also make up their OWN recipes with the "make your own recipe" cards...

There are blank cards with little cutouts they can stick on. You can laminate these and use velcro dots to stick them, or you can leave them as plain paper if they want to save their recipes.

These recipes are great for addition, and even subtraction with the included coupons...

And of course the open and closed signs, and name tags!

We had so much fun playing it this past week!

The best part? You can grab this entire set for just $3! 

Get a copy in my Etsy shop here (no signup required) or my TPT store here (free account required)
Or pin for later...

I really hope you and your kiddos enjoy it as much as we did!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Free Printable Alphabet Phonics Sprinkle Flashcards

Free alphabet flashcards with a fun sprinkle theme to use in your classroom, homeschool, or for play learning fun!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that your holidays and family get-togethers went well and you're all rested up now (or recovering!) for 2019!

We're into full swing here enjoying our morning baskets, lessons, and all the snow!

My littlest one is learning to read and already sounding out her CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words. We've also been practicing sight words and reading longer books together - her favorites are the Mercer Mayer Little Critter books. But we've also been really enjoying this one by Sally Sutton...

But more about that in another post soon...

But to start off the new year right I wanted to review letter sounds and upper/lowercase lette
rs with her. She sometimes gets her b's and d's confused, and we still need to review letter sounds together sometimes. Especially the whole confusing vowels make 2 sounds bit. So I made these fun and colorful flashcards for us to use - and I'm sharing them with you!

I know there are a lot of printable flashcards out there, but if you've managed to stop by my little corner of the web then I hope you enjoy these! They have colorful "sprinkles" on them, a bright blue frame, and three different colored letter options to choose from - black, blue and pink!

Just scroll down to download...
And remember to subscribe to my blog (in the right sidebar) to get more freebies and fun in the coming weeks. Enjoy!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Searching For You by Jody Hedlund

Searching For You
A Jody Hedlund Orphan Train Series Novel

*I received a free copy of this book to read through Bethany House & Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

If you've ever read a book review on my blog then you know how much I love historical fiction. Not only is it interesting to read back on how people lived during different times in history, but it's fun to look at different authors takes on it.

In Searching For You, Jody Hedlund takes us back to the 1850s and a young orphan girl named Sophie...

Despite years on the run, Sophie Neumann is determined to care for two young children. She won't abandon them the way she thinks her older sisters abandoned her. But times are growing desperate, and when she falls in with the wrong crowd and witnesses a crime, she realizes fleeing 1850s New York is her only option.
Disappearing with her two young charges into a group of orphans heading west by train, Sophie hopes to find safety and a happy life. When the train stops in Illinois for the first placement of orphans, Sophie faces the most difficult choice of her life.
Reinhold Weiss has finally purchased his own small farm. With mounting debts, a harvest to bring in, and past scars that haunt him, he's in no position to give his heart away . . . but can he say no when his long-lost friend shows up on a nearby train pleading for his help?

I honestly had never read one of Jody Hedlund's Orphan Train series of books, but I will admit that after reading this one I bought the first one too! She actually has a free first novella to start with (you can get that here)

Not only was Searching For You a well-written story that brought tears to my eyes during a particular chapter, but it brings you to a place not often written about in History.

A tenement apartment from the 1850s - unknown

The book starts out with a thrilling scene that brings Sophie into danger right away, so don't expect it to be easy to put down straight from the start. I'm not going to give anything away here, but I will say that although there are chapters in the book where things slow down a little, Sophie's anxious thoughts, feelings and memories keep you reading through the book.

If you've read the previous books by Hedlund in this series, then you'll easily recognize all the characters mentioned in this book, along with a few new ones (some that you'll love and some that you'll despise!). I was saddened to read that this will be the last book in the series, but am happy to have found a new author to follow - she had quite a few novels and series out so I've added them all to my TBR list!

You also might be happy to know that the book is  clean romance, though there are a few passionate encounters😗

You can grab a copy of this book here on Amazon. You can also check out Hedlund's other novels, as well as begin with her first FREE Novella in this series, An Awakened Heart here.