Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Giveaway and a Big Announcement!

First I want to tell you guys about a book I've been reading.  It has been such a blessing and has served to inspire and uplift me.  It's the book Living Virtuously- A wife's guide to keeping her heart & home by Erin Harrison.

It makes such great reading and a wonderful reference for when I am feeling frustrated or uncertain and want suggestions on things like raising my children to have Godly character or how to get the clutter in my house under control.
Part of the reason I like the book is because Erin is SO real.(You can check out her blog HERE.)  I am certain if I met her she would talk exactly how she writes.  She doesn't hold things back and try to pass herself off as more than she is.  Sometimes her stories of "mistakes" she has made make me cringe, but only because I can see myself so much in her. Her writing is so courageous, it's like talking to a wise friend.  It's a book that will encourage you and give you a good kick in the rear to get you going!  
Here's a peek at what you will find inside:
In this helpful guide you will learn how to…
• face adversity and find joy in your circumstances
• clean and organize your home so that it is a haven of rest
• be frugal and meal planning
• organizing  life so you have more time
• teach your children good work ethic while embracing motherhood
• control your words and actions
• keep your heart pure
• honor your husband
• find balance in all areas of life

And because this is the season of giving, I am hosting a giveaway!  Erin was kind enough to send me an extra copy to give to one of you! Check out the Rafflecopter Giveaway below.
You can also get the book for a limited time for $8.47!  That's 50% off the normal price of $16.95!  Enter HOME5 at checkout.
*This sale has been extended until Friday, Dec 5th! 

Now the Big Announcement!
I told you guys a few weeks ago that I was going to be going over my goals and changes I wanted to implement. The biggest change is going to be on this blog.
What I'm about to tell you probably goes against all of the advice you would get on how to have a successful blog, but I finally feel at peace with the direction my blog is going.
For the past year I have been trying to write more and reach out to my followers more but I just feel so scattered and uncertain.  So I have decided to make a few big changes.  A few weeks ago I signed up for an online fiction writing course but had been unable to engage in it because I was spending my free time trying to write on the blog.  Then I ran across this quote from Christin Slade.
"Before you get lost in the details of blogging and social media, get disciplined to hone the craft of writing a bit"
This statement gave me pause and confirmed the way I had been feeling and the direction I have wanted to go.  So with that in mind, I want to announce that I will be taking a 3 month hiatus from posting on this blog.  I hope you are all still here when I get back.  But if not, I know that I am going in a healthy direction and this is an answer to many questioning prayers.

What happens in those 3 months?
Well, to start with, I will be participating in the writing class and improving my skills so that when I come back I can deliver posts with increased quality.
I will be developing stories that I have started but never continued.  I have wanted to write fiction since high school but never committed to it. 
I will be writing interesting posts for the blog but not posting or feeling the pressure of having to put out content.
I will also be working to clarify the direction of the blog.  Am I a farm & garden blog?  Only a homeschool blog?  I need to figure that out.  I am hoping to send out a survey to find out what interests my readers have, but I also need to figure out who I am and what I know I can write about well.

 Does this start right away?
No and yes.  I will be maintaining the blog until the end of the giveaway and then I will be off on hiatus.  We are moving to a new town and the Holidays are a busy time. But I hope to return to you all as a more complete blogger.  To be able to better encourage and inspire you.  And to have a clear vision of who I am as a writer and a person.

So thank you all for following along on my sporadic blogging journey!  I hope to see you in 3 months!

Now for the Giveaway!!!
*available in the U.S. only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Before you get lost in the details of blogging and social media, get disciplined to hone the craft of writing a bit. - See more at: http://christinslade.com/creating-your-passion/#sthash.fxTwVX5v.dpuf"
Before you get lost in the details of blogging and social media, get disciplined to hone the craft of writing a bit. - See more at: http://christinslade.com/creating-your-passion/#sthash.fxTwVX5v.dpuf
Before you get lost in the details of blogging and social media, get disciplined to hone the craft of writing a bit. - See more at: http://christinslade.com/creating-your-passion/#sthash.fxTwVX5v.dpuf
Before you get lost in the details of blogging and social media, get disciplined to hone the craft of writing a bit. - See more at: http://christinslade.com/creating-your-passion/#sthash.fxTwVX5v.dpufB
Before you get lost in the details of blogging and social media, get disciplined to hone the craft of writing a bit. - See more at: http://christinslade.com/creating-your-passion/#sthash.fxTwVX5v.dpufBe
Before you get lost in the details of blogging and social media, get disciplined to hone the craft of writing a bit. - See more at: http://christinslade.com/creating-your-passion/#sthash.fxTwVX5v.dpuf

Sunday, November 16, 2014

It's My Birthday! And You Get a Gift!

Hello everyone!  In honor of my birthday today, I am sharing an awesome freebie with you!  

Educents was generous enough to put together this amazing freebie for my readers.  They have great deals on homeschool curriculum plus other great items for any child.  And I love that they always throw in a freebie or two!  

You can get this set of 16 freebies, worth $54 just for being a reader of The Chicken Wire. The freebie includes products like the Frozen ABC unit, Sight Word Rings, Rhyming Bunnies, and so much more!  And you guys, as my readers, are the only ones who will have access to it!  But if you want to share, please be sure to use this link http://www.educents.com/thechickenwirenov2014.html 

This freebie is only available from Nov 16th-19th   

To access all of these fun products, click HERE or click on the image below.  I hope you and your children enjoy all of the fun activities that are included.
And a very Merry Un-birthday to you!  

Friday, November 14, 2014

ABC's of Homeschooling Through the Holiday's: G is For Gingerbread

Welcome!  I am so excited to be participating in the ABC's of Homeschooling through the Holidays over at Upside Down Homeschooling.  You will definitely want to go check out all of the other articles over there.  There is tons of inspiration for the Holidays! 

G is for Gingerbread
Traditions are such a big part of Christmas  We have the traditions that have been held by our families for years and we love making new traditions.
Something that has become a tradition at our house is making gingerbread men and decorating them and their houses.  We love to make and eat the cookies, and for the past few years we have also bought one of the pre-made kits and let the kids go wild pasting candy on with copious amounts of frosting!  I didn't realize how much they LOVED doing this until a picture of them from the last year came up on my computer screensaver and they all excitedly gathered around to discuss it.  As they talked about plans for this year it became evident that they would love a Gingerbread Unit study.  So I have put together a bunch of ideas and I'm going to share them with you!
I've included a free printable, a list of our favorite gingerbread stories and a fun busy bag activity that you can make!
CLICK HERE to access the activities and free printable...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Don't let Christmas sneak up on you this year!{Giveaway}

When life seems crazy and you have so many details swirling around in your head, do you ever wish someone would just come alongside you and tell you what needs to be done? 
That's exactly what 100 30 Days to Christmas- Procrastinator's Edition does!
You may have already heard about 100 Days to Christmas.  An e-book that helps you prepare for the Holidays, from September to Christmas. But if you are like me and you don't start thinking about Christmas until you start hearing Christmas carols on the radio or start shopping until after Thanksgiving, then this is your version of 100 Days to Christmas. 
"This eBook is the condensed version of the popular 100 Days to Christmas eBook. As much as I love planning ahead for the holidays, I am well aware that it is not always possible to begin planning for Christmas in September. If you’ve longed for a peaceful Christmas season but have always found yourself waiting until the last minute to really get started, or if
you have already started but need some motivation to kick your planning into high gear, then this guide is for you."

How it Works!

Whether you have an organized or chaotic personality, this book can be utilized to make the holidays run smoothly.  When I get my binder set up, I feel like I can take a deep breath and see clearly where I am headed.
It's set up so that you have a daily task, reminders, and steps to take to make maximum progress in your Christmas preparation and planning.
"The 100 Days to Christmas 2014 eBook was designed for daily use from November 25 through December 25 (exactly 30 days). Each page lists the date and a motivational task, activity, or event. Most days also include additional resources listed at the bottom of the page including one or more of the following links: a list from ListPlanIt.com, a photo board on Pinterest,
a link to further discussion on the official 100 Days to Christmas Facebook page, or other resources that may be helpful during your holiday journey."

Besides the daily task pages, there is a plethora of lists at the back to help you figure out spending, gift lists, menus and more!  And all of those lists are incorporated into your daily tasks.

The Cost

The e-book will be on sale ONLY from Monday, November 10 to Black Friday, November 28
 30 Days to Christmas: Procrastinator's Edition is available in PDF format for just $8 and includes checklists and a workbook of 15 interactive downloads.

The Giveaway

I am excited to be able to give two readers their own copy of 30 Days to Christmas: Procrastinator's Edition!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links.  I received this product at no cost in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are solely mine.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Life Lessons in the Craft Room

I intended to share with you guys the project I'm working on right now but instead I have to show you what I'm taking apart today.  I tried to bring this poor thing around but I just need to take it back to the beginning row and straighten it out.  I tried to fill in gaps and ended up pulling this all sideways. Sigh...

This feels very representative of my life right now. Do you ever just push on with something even though you can see that it's all going wrong?   Instead of taking the time to fix something I just carry on and hope for the best.  Sometimes we just need to go back to the basics and take the time to see what's pulling us all of kilter.  Over the next few days I am going to go over my goals for the month and prioritize my activities.  I need to make sure I am spending my time on things that are important, not just things that fill time.  I have been feeling overwhelmed recently with homeschooling, keeping up our house, blogging, the approaching holidays, decluttering our house to prepare to move, etc. I had a friend tell me recently that personally I need to find three things to really commit to.  I'm already a mother and a homeschool teacher.  So what is my third thing?  And what sub-headings can fit under that final thing?  ;)
Next week I'll be sharing some of my goals, how I plan to get there and hopefully some printables that can help you take things back to basics and get life straightened out as well!
I will also be sharing a great resource from ListPlanIt to help you prepare for Christmas!