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Goals for a New Year

New Year This post may contain affiliate links.

You may have noticed that for the past year, things have been a bit slow around here. I don't post nearly as frequently as I did when I first started blogging. The truth is that in the past year, God has called me to be more present at home. We homeschooled our youngest last year, and my older one simply needed a little more of mom's time and attention. The first part of this school year was spent getting my younger one adjusted to life in middle school (which I honestly think could be a full-time job -- Middle School Transition Specialist).

For a while, my hopes and dreams as a writer and blogger had to be set to the back burner. My first calling is as a mom, no matter what my other passions may be.

Now, however, I feel like my girls are pretty settled in their routines and God is saying yes to some bigger and better things for Everyday Truth. This blog is my passion. It's where I can pour out my heart and impact other people for Jesus. It's where I can share the stories of our life with you in the hopes that you will see something in us that can encourage or help you.

I've never been one to follow the blogging "trends." What you get here is simply the outpourings of my heart. That will not change. Everyday Truth will still be devoted to helping you find God in the everyday moments with your kids.

Today, though, I want to share with you my hopes and dreams for this blog for the coming year and explain the reasons behind some of the things you'll be seeing that might be a bit different.

Blog

So, here are my goals for my blog.

I plan to be a whole lot more consistent in blogging. I'm not going back to a five-day-a-week schedule, but I am planning to post three days a week. Most weeks, it will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

I hope to offer more giveaways and reviews on the blog that will benefit you. Be assured that I will only pass on products to you that I personally have found success with. I want to share my favorite things with you, not just push product.

I'm also planning to give Everyday Truth a fresh look that will hopefully be easier to navigate and have a cleaner look. Look for those changes in the next few months.

Writing

Many of you are familiar with my e-book Everyday Christmas. It's my dream to write enough of my own stuff that I can make a living simply writing. To that end, I have a couple of things in the pipeline for this year. This spring, I'll be publishing an Everyday Truth Bible study and this summer, I'm planning to make available my summer fun packets that will help you create your own summer adventure with your kids.

Speaking

Many of you may not know that I am available to speak to groups. I've done this in a limited way in the past but this year, I hope to put more focus on speaking to groups of women who are simply seeking God in their parenting. If you're interested in having me speak to your group, just shoot me an email at ldfairchild@comcast.net.

Facebook and Pinterest

If you didn't already know, Everyday Truth is on Facebook. Just click that little Facebook icon in the upper right corner of the blog, and you'll find us. We're also on Pinterest. You can click the little Pinterest icon up there as well.

Until now, Facebook and Pinterest have really just been a place to attach my blog posts, but this year, I want to change that. I want them to be places of true community. To that end, you'll find me posting more frequently on Facebook. I'll be sharing questions, short snippets from our lives and some of my favorite things that I think you might also enjoy. I'll also be pinning more things on Pinterest that I think will be useful for all of you.

In return, I'd love for all of you to chime in on the conversation in those places. I'd love to get to know all of you as much as social media allows. So, if you have a question that you need help with, don't be afraid to ask it. If you need prayer, let us know. I'd love to pray for you. If you have a story to share, please do -- because I'm all about the stories.

E-mail newsletter

Some of you get Everyday Truth in your inbox every time there's a new post. If you don't get it in your inbox and you'd like to, just enter your e-mail in the little subscribe by e-mail box on the right of the blog. Later this year, I'll start sending out a once-a-week newsletter that will contain links to all of that week's posts, links to some other people's blogs that I think you'll find interesting and sometimes some information about products and deals that I think are fabulous.

Affiliate links

I know in the past you've sometimes seen a disclaimer on my posts that says "This post may contain affiliate links." That simply means that if you click on the link in the post and you buy something through that link, I get a percentage. It doesn't cost you anything more. It's simply a payment to me from the company as a thanks for promoting them. I don't promote companies or products I don't believe in.

I include affiliate links because my long-term goal is to make enough money blogging and writing that I don't have to do anything else. That's a win-win for both you and me. I get to do what I love, and you get more things to read that you love. I tell you all of this because I want to be completely honest about what I'm doing. I never want this blog to be more about money than it is about ministering to other parents.

I believe that God has called me to this ministry, and I don't plan to change things to be all about making money. I'll just be inserting things that fit with the mission and ministry of Everyday Truth.

I'm looking forward to a fantastic year with all of you. Thanks for being readers and followers of Everyday Truth.

Back to Homeschool Giveaway: More than $1,000 in Prizes

As many of you know, we're embarking on a homeschooling journey with my younger daughter this year. As I enter this school year (we start on Thursday) with some mixed emotions -- I am, after all, radically changing not my daughter's life but my own -- I find myself wondering what this year will hold. I know there will be some great days, some OK days, and some disastrous days. I pray that this will be the best thing we've ever done for our daughter. Because we're embarking on this new adventure, I wanted to be able to celebrate it with all of you. That's why I joined some other bloggers for this Back to Homeschool Giveaway. There are some great prizes in this giveaway package, including an iPad mini, so be sure to check it out and enter at the bottom.

Back To Homeschool Giveaway!

It's that time of year. New school years are starting for public schools. For those who homeschool, your school might have started a month ago. Or you might not ever stop - you just keep going. :)

It doesn't matter what point of the school year you are at, new items are always exciting whether it be new curriculum or a new planner or some random thing that helps your day run more smoothly! Of course, there is something better than new things for your homeschool – new things that are completely FREE! To help kick off the unofficial start of the new school year we're hosting a huge giveaway full of great prizes to benefit someone's homeschool!

There are multiple companies out there who serve the homeschooling community. We've lined up a number of great companies who have graciously offered to be a part of this outstanding giveaway. Prizes include a 16 GB White iPad mini, $50 gift certificates to various homeschool companies, the Deborah & Co. online clothing store, Lilla Rose hair accessories, Cowgirl Dirt Makeup, and more! We wanted to bless a homeschooling family and also pamper the homeschooling mama who works so hard at not only raising her children but also educating them! For a complete listing of all the prizes one family will receive, look below!

(Affiliate Links Included)

For The Family

iPad Mini

A 16 GB white iPad Mini! You can purchase a lot of wonderful learning apps which can enhance your homeschooler's education. ($329 Value)

mini ipad case

Bodhi Black Mini iPad Case ($50 Value)

Paper Dolls

Noble Rose Press Complete Collection of beautifully illustrated historic paper dolls, and a sweet, wholesome coloring book for children. ($85 Value)

Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention 2014

Teach Them Diligently Family Pass to your choice of one of four different locations! An amazing homeschool convention that will bless and encourage your family. ($50 Value)

Mardel-gfitcard

A $50 Gift Card to Mardel Christian and Education Book Store!

Light of Faith

$50 Gift Card to Light of Faith, a wonderful homeschool store owned by a very sweet family!

queen homeschool

$50 Gift Card to Queen Homeschool Supplies, an outstanding resource for Charlotte Mason curriculum!

homeschool in the woods

$50 Credit to Home School In The Woods Publishing, a store that sells lapbooks, timelines, and more!

MOHVol1-2ndEd

$40 Downloadable MP3 files of Mystery of History Volume 1. Through downloadable MP3 files, you can listen to the professionally recorded stories through the voice of the author, Linda Lacour Hobar. With accompanying text in hand, you can read right along with the author as she breathes life into the stories.

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T-Tapp DVD program for Mom and Children to do together! Includes TappCore and TappCore 2. These workouts include short movements that are great for quick workouts. Thanks to The Encouraging Home Blog for Donating these. ($30 Value)

Making-Vegetables-1

Making Vegetables Book by Shoshanna Easling, owner of The Bulk Herb Store. Beautiful pictures, loaded full of information on gardening with seeds and building greenhouses. Perfect for the gardner in your family. ($19.95 Value)

ABC's For Godly Children Banner1

The ABC's for Godly Children Curriculum is a comprehensive, Bible eCurriculum centered around teaching children ages 4-10 about the God they serve and how to have a heart like His. PDF Download. ($14 Value)

For The Mother

Deborah & Co Button$50 Gift Card to Deborah & Co., an online clothing company that offers women's maternity, and girl's clothing. Custom hem lengths and fabric selections available!

Lilla Rose Flexi Clips

$50 of select products at Lilla Rose. Consultant will pick select items and mail them to you. Flexi Clips that actually work to hold up all your hair, in a beautiful way! Seven different sizes for varying hair textures and lengths.

Sew a Fine Seam

$50 to Sew A Fine Seam, a sweet Etsy Store that has beautiful items, such as the ruffled scarf above. She is also willing to let you apply your $50 towards custom sewing. Jill blogs at Sew A Fine Seam blog, which I love to visit when I have a few extra minutes. Her photos are gorgeous and I love reading about the projects she does!

Clementine Embroidery

$45 to Clementine Patterns, embroidery patterns and complete kits for making beautiful pictures to grace the walls of your home.

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$45 to Breezy Tulip's Studio - the most amazing watercolor paintings that are sweet and centered around the home life. Also Breezy sells chalk art collection of scripture verses. Beautiful artwork for the walls of your home.

StressAwayGiveaway

Stress Away Roll On from Young Living Oils. Homeschooling is hard work and brings stressful moments. Stress Away Essential Oil is excellent at relieving some of those anxious feelings that stress can bring. ($33.00 Value)

 

$25 Gift Card to Cowgirl Dirt - natural, almost all Organic Mineral Makeup and more! Outstanding makeup that is gentle on the skin, but lasts all day!

To enter, use the rafflecopter below. The list is long due to how many companies and bloggers are involved. Grab a cup of herbal tea and take a few minutes to enter! You can always come back and finish up later.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday Introductions: The Young Peacemakers

I love the sound of little girl giggles. They permeate my house for most of the summer. Including my girls, we have six girls who live in the neighborhood, and we have an open-door policy at our house. My girls' friends are welcome almost any time. During the summer that means that there are kids in and out of my house almost constantly, which means there are plenty of little girl giggles all summer long.

Unfortunately, there are also plenty of little girl fights, as well. With six girls, several with strong personalities, disagreements are inevitable. Someone often feels left out or put upon by the others. A lot of times, it's five against one or four against two. These disagreements can often end with one child in tears or another stomping off to go home, neither of which are healthy responses to conflict.

God doesn't want us or our kids to live in a state of constant conflict. He wants us to live at peace with others. Romans 12:18 says "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Conflict is inevitable in life. It's up to us to teach our kids healthy ways to deal with conflict.

This summer, I'm taking the six girls in my neighborhood throught The Young Peacemaker series. This collection of 12 pamphlet-style books walks kids through the steps for resolving conflict. It looks at wrong responses to conflict and points kids in the right direction. It talks about the motives behind conflict and good ways to resolve it. And it does all this in a comic-book style format that is engaging, fun and biblically based.

I've read a lot of books on parenting and spent a lot of time looking at resources to use with your kids. This is the best resource I've found for teaching kids to deal with conflict. If you're looking for a curriculum to use with your own kids or with a group of kids, check out The Young Peacemaker.

We're about halfway through the 12 books, and I've already seen results. Instead of stomping off or getting mad, the girls in my neighborhood are learning to work through their conflicts. They're much more likely to create a compromise or get help solving an issue now than they were six weeks ago. Just the other day, I saw them respectfully work out a disagreement that just weeks before would have resulted in tears and drama.

We still have some of the drama (it's nearly impossible to avoid with that many girls around), but The Young Peacemaker is teaching these girls powerful tools that make conflict something to be dealt with, not something that will drive a wedge and break up friendships.

Friday Introductions: Resurrection iWitness

Easter is coming, and I'm always looking for different ways to share the Easter story with my girls. My two daughters have been going to church nearly every Sunday since they were born. The resurrection account is one they have heard over and over and over again. I never want that account to get old for them. I want it to be fresh and new and even surprising. The story of Easter is awe-inspiring. Jesus died, was dead for three days, then rose again. The most amazing part of all that is that He died, not because of anything He did, but because of something I did. He took my sins on himself and died so that I might have eternal life. I want my girls to be awed by that every time they hear it. It should never grow old.

Unfortunately, in this world of video games and 10-second attention spans, we're all less surprised by the resurrection than we should be. The account of Jesus' death and resurrection become just another story that we've heard before. That's why I'm so excited about a new book about Easter. I know, you're thinking, "Another book? How is that going to keep my kid interested in the resurrection account?" But this isn't just any book. It's Resurrection iWitness and it looks like one of those "-ology" books.

My girl love those "-ology" books you can get at the library. Pirateology, Titanicology, we've read a bunch of them. The girls love them because they take a big subject and break it down into little, understandable chunks. There are flaps to open, notes to read and diagrams to study. These books make reading interactive and interesting.

Resurrection iWitness is an interactive experience that your kids will return to again and again. The book includes only those facts that are agreed upon by a majority of scholars. It uses those historical facts to make a convincing argument for the truth of the resurrection. This is a great tool to use with the Scriptures to help your kids see that the historical facts line up with the biblical account.

You can learn more about Resurrection iWitness clicking on the video at the top of this post or checking out the Apologia Facebook page. If your kids are more into the digital age, there's even an iPad app. Check out this video to learn more about the app.

The account of Jesus' death and resurrection, should never grow old -- for us or our kids. The most amazing thing ever happened at Easter -- Jesus died so we could have life. The message of Easter is found in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." That's a message we should never get tired of hearing.