Adoption, Foster Care, Love, Obedience, parenting, Reflection, Special Education

Walking in Obedience

Sometimes God speaks so loudly to our hearts it silences all our fears. Other voices grow quieter and matter less. That is happening to me now.

It started on New Year’s Day while driving home from church. My husband Andy, said that he felt like the Holy Spirit was urging him to start praying about our family, and specifically what was next for us. We both felt like our family wasn’t complete, but we were not sure in what direction God was steering us. We always just knew before. Our babies turned one year old, and we knew it was time to start planning for the next one.

This time felt different. We fasted and prayed and heard nothing. But God spoke loud and clear in the days and weeks that followed. He placed Foster Care in our paths almost everywhere we turned. He used other people’s voices, strangers, our son, worship music and scripture (Go figure).

For months, I had a whole list of reasons why my answer to God was an emphatic “No.” The list included the safety and ages of my children, my husband’s busy schedule, STRESS, finances, and my intense and unrelenting fear.

My sweet Lord began to tenderly answer back with all of His reasons. The items on my list paled in comparison to My Father’s and one by one became non-issues. Except for the last one. That annoying, overwhelming fear lingered.

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27 NLT

I’d read this verse many times before. But the words in my bible suddenly seemed more black and white than ever before.

So I said, “Okay.”

“Sometimes my very best

Is only my weakest yes

You see strength in every movement”

– Steffany Gretzinger

Andy came home from work that day, and with fear in my voice I asked, “So what are we gonna do?” He knew what I was asking and said, “We’re just going to walk in obedience, until God closes a door.”

My face: 😳

So we made the decision to start the process to become foster parents. Saying it out loud made the fear melt away, and I was overcome with His warmth and peace.

“Jesus, Jesus, You make the darkness tremble

Jesus, Jesus, You silence fear”

– Mosaic MSC

Even though we only came to this decision for our family a few months ago, I can see how God has been shaping me for this for years. It was early in my teaching career when I realized how deeply I could love a child who wasn’t my own.

I wish I could say things have gotten easier since we decided to be obedient and take steps towards becoming foster parents. That is not true. That is not even in the vicinity of truth. The stress of three little kids and the busyness of our current season has actually intensified. Life seems to have gotten exponentially harder all the way up to this very moment. The fact that we still started taking our preservice classes on Friday is evidence that God is driving this. It would have been so easy to scratch that one off of our never ending, ever growing to do list. But I trust God. He silences all my fears. I have peace. That is the beauty of moment by moment surrender to Jesus.

“And further and further my heart moves away from the shore

Whatever it looks like, whatever may come I am Yours”

– Jenn Johnson


Love, Courtney

Addition, Back to School, comprehension, fluency, Fun Stuff, Resources, Sale, Special Education, Summer, Teachers pay Teachers

Would You Like Some Special Education Dollar Deals?

So I’ve teamed up with some other special education bloggers to bring you something really fun and special.  Announcing Special Education Dollar Deals, AKA, SPED Dollar Deals.  To get in on the fun and super savings you’ll need to search #speddollardeals on Teachers Pay Teachers website to find all the goodies.  You’ll be saving 70-80% off the regular prices!  SPED  Dollar Deals is offered TODAY, Wednesday, July 7 only!

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So don’t delay!  I have not one, not two, but three dollar deals in my TpT store.  They are…


Regularly priced at $5.00 and yours for just $1.00 today only!

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Regularly priced at $4.00 and yours today for a buck!


Regularly priced at $6.00 and yours for just $1.00?  Yes, its true.

Get ’em while you can.  😉

“So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people to do in this world than to eat, drink and enjoy life.  That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them.”

(Ecclesiastes 8:15)


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educators, End of Year, resource, Resources, Sale, Teachers pay Teachers

Teacher’s Appreciation Sale 28% off Everything {Right Now!}

Click on the banner for the link to my Teachers Pay Teacher’s store and SALE!

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“The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.”

{1 Timothy 5:17}


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Counting, Math, Resources

Number Identification and Counting Packet {Zoo Animals Theme}

This number identification and counting packet has a zoo animals theme and is aligned with several Kindergarten Common Core Math Standards.

This packet includes flashcards for numerals 0-20 and flashcards with the corresponding number of animals on each. You can use these cards for memory and matching games, practice and review, assessment, etc. There are 10 worksheets that have ten frames and students are to count the number animals and write the number (0-10) on the line. There are 10 worksheets with blank ten frames where students are to draw the number given (0-10). You can have students use mini stamps, draw circles, etc. to complete these pages. Next, there are 10 worksheets that have ten frames and students are to count the number animals and write the number (10-20) on the line. Then there are 10 worksheets with blank ten frames where students are to draw the number given (10-20). All the worksheets are in black and white or grayscale to save ink. There are zebra print posters for numbers 0-20. For numbers 1-9, I used animals to show the touch points based on the TouchMath® counting strategy. For numbers 0 and 10-20, there is a picture representing the number. Print the posters and laminate them to display in your classroom. Also included are 10 Roll and Cover game boards for numbers 0-10 and 10 Roll and Cover game boards for numbers 0-20. To play the game, I would cover the six sides of all the dice with a white label so that this side represents 0 and the other sides represent 1-5. Have students use 2 dice for the 0-10 game boards, and 4 dice for the 0-20 game boards. Students can use bingo markers or animal crackers to cover the numbers. Finally, there are practice pages for each number 0-20. The pages have the numeral, the spelling of the word and a picture representing that number at the top of the page. Under that I included a rhyme to remind students how to write the number and then there are lines for students to practice writing the number. At the bottom of the practice pages there is an area where students are to draw their own picture representing that number.


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The clipart used in this file was created by me and Erica Haber.

I created this packet to use for special education and RTI intervention, both in and out of the classroom.

I hope you love it and that it really helps your students! If so, please rate me and follow me. I love to read your comments and I really appreciate your follows!

Thank you so much!

🐻 🐻 🐻

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones.  For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”

(Matthew 18:10)


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Sale, Teachers pay Teachers

Teachers Pay Teachers Sale Extension!

Teachers Pay Teachers has extended the sale for one more day!  You can STILL get 28% off your purchases using the promo code HEROES.


I hope you find something you SUPER!

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

(Luke 16:10)


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comprehension, fluency, Intervention, Reading, resource, Sale, Special Education, Teachers pay Teachers

A Sitewide Sale & A New Product!

Teachers Pay Teachers is throwing a sitewide sale called “Teachers Are Heroes!” Love it. The sale is this Wednesday, February 25. Use the promo code HEROES to receive 28% off your purchases!


I recently added a product which I am super excited about. It’s a fluency and comprehension pack of 8 passages on a sixth grade reading level. The theme? Social Media. What could be more relevant?! It is regularly priced $5.00 but will be marked down to $4.00 during the sale, plus you can get it for an additional 8% off using the code!

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This packet contains 8 fluency passages with accompanying comprehension activities. The fluency passages range from 6.1 – 6.9 Flesch Kincaid readability levels. They are all on a sixth grade reading level. Each passage describes a different social media platform including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube and Vine. They are all nonfiction informational text.

Using one fluency passage per week, this would provide interventions for 8 weeks. For each passage there is a teacher copy that you can print in color and reuse. There is also a black and white copy that you can print off for each student and record their scores on it. The comprehension questions and activities allow students to spend time on each selection and participate in close reading strategies to build reading skills. It draws upon Bloom’s Taxonomy to encourage higher levels of thinking skills.

*How to Use*
These fluency passages, comprehension questions and extension activities were designed to use as a reading intervention using the hot, warm and cold read strategy. For each week and fluency passage, it would look something like this:

Day 1: Cold read, discussion, comprehension questions (Lower levels of Blooms Taxonomy including Remembering and Understanding)
Day 2: Warm read, discussion, comprehension questions or activity (Middle levels of Blooms Taxonomy including Applying and Analyzing)
Day 3: Hot read, discussion, extension activities (Highest levels of Blooms Taxonomy including Evaluating and Creating).

These materials could be used in other ways as well including as whole group fluency instruction or as homework. The materials in this packet are aligned to several Sixth Grade Common Core Language Arts standards.

I try to make my fluency passages a little more fun than other ones I’ve used and who doesn’t love social media? I included my fluency progress monitoring graph to track students’ fluency progress with this packet. I also included labels for file folders to create “fluency files” for each student.

***Make sure you teach your students about safe Internet use rules, social media etiquette and guidelines. For the majority of these sites, you need to be at least 13 years of age. You may want to get parent permission before using these materials with your students.***

Feel free to use the Q&A link on TPT for any questions you might have!


“But test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”

(1 Thessalonians 5: 21-22)


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Resources, Sale, Teachers pay Teachers, Winter

Happy New Year *Sale*

Happy New Year!  Enjoy 20% off of everything in my Teachers Pay Teachers store!  Click on the banner below for the link to my store.

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“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away.”

(2 Corinthians 5:17)


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