Monday, January 30, 2012

The Top Three Mental Things You Need to Live Frugally

Naomi asked me to write about the top three things I believe someone needs to do to live frugally. There are a million and one ways to be frugal, but not every frugal tip is right for another. To live a frugal lifestyle, I think that what you do is less important than how you think. So I came up with three things I think enable those that want to live frugally to do so, especially in the United States where abundance is the norm and PayDay Loans are on every corner if that's not enough.

Have a clear reason or goal for why you want to live this lifestyle

Hopefully, the core reason behind living frugally is to live below your means, but what is the underlying moral or principle for why you and your family choose to do so? Is it because you want to remain debt free? To have financial security? To be a faithful steward of what God has given you? To be able to afford to give more to those in poorer situations? To teach your children financial wisdom? etc.

The more specific you can get, the easier it will be to continue a frugal lifestyle when you......

Realize that you are going against the flow

You'd think that living within your means would be applauded, but our soaring national debt is truly just a reflection of the status quo. I've been rather surprised at how often we are made fun of for living frugally, or how many times people buy us items they can't believe we can live without. I've actually had family members and coworkers purchase paper towels, scrubbing bubbles, and pillow pets for us because they thought we were too poor to do so, when we most likely earn the same wage. Evidently the use of cloth napkins, homemade cleaners and our child being without the latest toy fad (though she hadn't any clue what it was since we don't have television) is a wrong that must be righted.

Sometimes when you see others gobble up cool new toys, when you lament that your siding will probably rot off before you can save up the cash to replace it while your friends move into a nice new house, when you get razzed for bringing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to work every day for five years, it can be tough to fight envy, especially in the USA when it would be so easy to drop by a store and purchase an item you are in need of, but are you truly in need? Or do you need to.......

Learn to avoid functional fixedness

Sometimes a need to buy something is really just a lack of imagination or resourcefulness. Why buy paper towels to use as napkins when a few cloth napkins in every washer load won't affect your utilities a bit? Why buy taco seasoning when you already have every ingredient needed in your cabinet? Why buy special liners for your food dehydrator when your cold cereal plastic bags can be cut and used? Why buy cloth diapers when you can make them from discarded clothing? Why purchase a shoe organizer when you have an empty bookshelf taking up space in the garage? Why use bleach when the sun does the job for free?

Sometimes I find that if I just sit and think for a few days I'll discover how to meet my need for free with stuff I already have on hand. I started my Making Do with the Not So New blog when people thought I was rather ingenious for coming up with some ways to avoid spending money, but through the online community I found out I'm not the only smart one. The online community of frugal people is a real treasure, not only because of the ideas they share, but the camaraderie you are not the only freak trying to live simply and spend wisely.


Melissa Jagears is a stay-at-home mom who writes fiction into the wee hours of the night.

If you read Christian Historical Fiction, check out her Inspirational Historical Fiction Index to find those books sorted by setting, decade and other subjects.

If you are interested in frugality, check out the archives of her Making Do With the Not So New blog.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Take a Break: and Survey the Cross

Hello all you wonderful blog readers. How's your week been? Mine's been a bit crazy, as we're getting ready to leave for a two week trip. No, not to the Bahamas (sad, I know, I since we've had three winter storm warnings in six days). My mom's having pretty serious surgery on Monday, so we're going for a little visit. With all the packing and writing and cleaning I've been doing, I needed a little break. So I hopped on over to YouTube and found the most beautiful hymn. Enjoy.

What about you? When you get so busy you can hardly stand up straight, how do you de-stress?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Birthday Traditions: Creating a Special Day

Do you have special memories of birthdays when you were younger? Did your whole family gather around a candle-lit cake and sing to you? Did you wrap presents and give them to what ever sibling or parent was having a birthday? I remember doing all of the above, special memories and sweet thoughts that still bring a smile to my face when I think of them.

Now that I'm the mom, and no longer the child, it's my job to make the memories extra special for my children. Gulp.

At our house we don't go all-out ever year, holding a themed birthday party complete with favors and a clown appearance. We keep it simple, but special. Here's a few practical ideas that might be easy on your budget as well.

1. Let your child pick the cake he or she wants. My five year old got a specially decorated cake complete with dump trucks and rock candy for his birthday. My two year old went for taste over decorations and got a homemade chocolate cake (do not ask how long it took me to bake the monstrosity). But regardless of how the cake ends up looking or tasting, the important thing is that you put more effort into the cake than dumping a box mix together last minute. You planned ahead. You asked your child what she wanted the week before. You saw his face light up the first time he looked at the cake. These things matter to your little ones. They will create simple memories that will stick with them.

2. Let your child pick the meal he or she wants. We feasted on hotdogs when my youngest turned two. Hotdogs, mac n' cheese, and cake. We simply couldn't eat anything else given how much he loves hotdogs! Yes, it was a simple meal, but it again shows that your child's wishes are important to you.

3. Invite a friend or two to share the day. You don't need to have an all out party. You could even invite a friends family, which we do fairly often. But just getting an extra face over for the birthday dinner will mean something to your child.

So there you are. Three simple birthday tips that don't cost much but will show your child that he or she is important. And for those of you curious about the chocolate cake we devoured earlier this week, it's called Chocolate Truffle Cake and was featured in a Taste of Home magazine a couple years back. It's the best chocolate cake I've ever had and is quickly becoming a birthday tradition around our house. You can find the recipe here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thankful for : Birthdays

My youngest son turns two today. I went to the crib this morning and pulled his warm little body out from beneath the pile of blankets. He huddled against my chest and said "Hi,"--like he says every morning when I come into the room.

His five-year-old brother danced in and started jumping on the bed." Jeremiah's birthday's today. Can he open his presents?" To him, a birthday means presents and cake, what else?

"Not yet," I say, as I huddle Jeremiah closer and let my mind drift back to two years ago today. I was sore. I was tired. But I was already holding a precious little baby in my arms.

To Jeremiah, today is just another day. He'll enjoy the hot dogs (his favorite food) and chocolate cake we'll eat tonight. He'll enjoy the toys, though he won't understand why he gets them.

Jeremiah squirms, and I realize I'm pressing him too tight as I remember first holding the precious baby that almost didn't make it into the world. So I loosen my grip and snuggle my cheek against the top of Jeremiah's soft hair, and I remember.

I am thankful for my son:
For the gift of raising him and caring for him.
For the smile on his face when he's happy.
For the tears when he's sad.
For the way his eyes light up and he runs to hug me after I get home from being gone a few hours.

What about you? What are you thankful for when you look at your child today?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

And the Winner is . . .

Martha A!

Congratulations to Martha, for winning this week's giveaway, an ebook copy of Dance of the Dandelion by author Dina Sleiman. If you haven't stopped by and read Dina's interview yet, you're welcome to do so. She also left us with a great veggie recipe.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Product Review: Scentsy Pot

One of the favorite gifts I received this Christmas was a Scentsy Pot. These little pots have a light bulb inside them and a wax holder on top, and when you turn the pot on and melt the wax in the top, they release any variety of scents.

Now admittedly, there are a zillion scent-releasing items available to shoppers today. Anything from scented candles to tea-light pots that also melt wax to outlet plug-ins. So let me list why I like my pot so much.

1. It doesn't get hot--which is really nice, considering I have two little boys under five years old who are endlessly curious about any new thing mom gets. This is one of Scentsy's biggest boasts: the pot doesn't get hot enough to burn. Don't ask me how they manage this. But I'll verify that though the outside of the pot gets warm, it doesn't burn. Even the melted Scentsy wax isn't hot enough to burn.

2. It doesn't use a candle. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to make our house smell pleasant by using a scented candle of some sort. It doesn't matter where I put the candle or what type of candle I use, one of my boys will find a way to play with it. They'll climb on the table to get it or dump the melted wax into one of their play dishes. My eldest even singed the hair on a couple of his stuffed animals once. No, I am not a bad mom who doesn't watch my kids and lets them play with fire. It's just that a candle is far too fascinating for little boys, and the second mom's back is turned, they're into it.

3. It scents the entire downstairs of our house. Granted, our house isn't very big. But even with the pot plugged in the kitchen at the back of our house, I walk in the front door and smell it.

4. The scent lasts a long time. I've used scented wax before, and it always seemed that the wax would loose its scent long before the wax evaporated. I haven't noticed that with the Scentsy brand wax. I'm sure it will eventually loose its scent; it would have to. But I've been using the scents for about a month, switching them alternately back and forth, and I haven't thrown any wax out yet.

An interesting variable: I picked up some cheaper wax from WalMart ($2 for a brick with six cubes). I wanted to see if the pot got hot enough to melt all waxes, or if I had to use only the Scentsy brand. The pot melted the wax and released a wonderful aroma. However, the melted Walmart wax is hotter than the melted Scentsy wax. If a young child dipped his or her fingers in the wax, it might burn for a couple seconds, though I doubt it would do more than leave a red mark. Also, the Walmart wax seemed to loose its scent quicker than the Scentsy. After two days time, had to replace the wax, though that still comes out to paying under a quarter a day for the scent.

Scentsy sells its products through home-based sales representatives (similar to Mary Kay). If you want more information or to get in contact with one of their sales reps, go to their website And as I'm writing this post at the table, my kitchen is filled with the wonderful aroma of Black Raspberry Vanilla. Thank you Scentsy.

Tomorrow I'll be announcing the winner of a free ebook copy of Dina Sleiman's Dance of the Dandelion. If you haven't stopped by that post and left a comment and email address, be sure to do so, and you'll be entered in the contest. Otherwise, have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Easy Vegetable Snack Recipe with Author Dina Sleiman

Hello Everyone,

Naomi here, and we're back again with author Dina Sleiman, who's sharing one of her favorite veggie recipes with us. She claims it has her kids fighting over who gets to eat the most.

Easy Veggie Snack Recipe

1. Slather finger-food size cuts of veggies in olive oil. (Try carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, asparagus, or any other finger vegetable you can imagine.)

2. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Roast on cookie sheet at 435 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, until the olive oil caramelizes.

I'm hoping to try this with some celery and carrots later today, and Dina claims this recipe is unbelievably yummy. Plus it sounds easy enough that your little ones could help make it. (My five year old is obsessed with helping in the kitchen right now.)

Thanks for the recipe, Dina! And remember that our giveaway for an ebook copy of Dina's book lasts through midnight on Friday, January 20. If you haven't entered yourself in the give away, stop by our interview with Dina and leave a comment with your name and email.

And without further ado, here's more about Dina's debut novel, Dance of the Dandelion:

Dandelion Dering was born a peasant in the English village of Arun, but her soul yearned for another life, another world. One filled with color and music, with adventure and passion . . . with more. Haunted by childhood memories, Dandelion determines to find a better existence than the life every peasant in the village contents themselves with. Even if her sweetheart William’s predictions prove true, and her journey leads straight to heartache. From her sleepy hamlet to the intrigue of castle life, from the heart of London to the adventurous seas, Dandelion flees from the mistakes of her past, always seeking that something, that someone who will satisfy her longings. Will Dandelion ever find the rhythm to her life's dance . . . or did she leave her chance for true love at home in Arun village?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Author Dina Sleiman

Hello Everyone,

Naomi here, introducing a special guest today, Dina Sleiman, author of Dance of the Dandelion. Dina writes lyrical stories that dance with light. Most of the time you will find this Virginia Beach resident reading, biking, dancing, or hanging out with her husband and three children, preferably at the oceanfront. Since finishing her Professional Writing MA in 1994, she has enjoyed many opportunities to teach literature, writing, and the arts. She was the Overall Winner in the 2009 Touched by Love contest for unpublished authors. Her debut novel, Dance of the Dandelion with Whitefire Publishing, is now available at amazon and other online and ebook distributors. Dina is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency. She has recently become an acquisitions editor for WhiteFire as well and enjoys blogging at Inkwell Inspirations. Join her as she discovers the unforced rhythms of grace.

Thanks for that introduction Dina. Dina will be giving away a coupon for an ebook copy of Dance of the Dandelion with no limitations. In fact, if you already own Dandelion, you can use it for another one of our WhiteFire novels.

Can you start by telling me about your family? How many children do you have, and if they still live at home, how old are they?

I have a daughter, Christiana age 17, and two sons, Jonathan age 14 and Adam age 9.

I grew up in a family of three siblings as well. It was often entertaining. :) Why did you choose to work from home rather than find a job elsewhere?
I am not supermom. I can’t even imagine coming home after a long day of work and still needing to take care of my home and my children. Previously, I have worked part time outside of the home teaching English, dance, etc… More than about 10 hours a week really drained me. Writing from home fits my schedule and my lifestyle well. And besides that, writing is what I’ve always desired to do. I think at the end of the day, if you love what you do, you’ll thrive. Teaching drained me. Office work or physical labor would be much worse. But writing fuels me.

That sounds so inspiring. I'm glad you're able to do what you love. What is the most challenging aspect of working from home while raising children?
My children are school aged. So the biggest challenge to me is balancing my time during summer break. It would be easy for me to hide in my room with my computer all day, but I try to do plenty of activities with them.

When they were little, I kept my writing small to match. Poetry and skits for church mostly. I actually started my first novel while homeschooling. At that time I wrote mostly on weekends or when I could get away for a few days. Personally, I have a hard time writing with noise and chaos in the background. But I know some young mothers are able to write through anything.

Ah, I'm the same way. I cannot write with chaos in the background. But my kids are still young, so sometimes I have to be rather creative with my ways to sneak writing time. Did you ever get your children involved with your home business? What advice would you give mothers thinking about having their children help with their business?
Hmm. I suppose in a way I do. My daughter critiques all my books. In fact, I can safely say she’s my hardest critic and doesn’t pull any punches. She’s also the cover model for my debut book. And my nine-year-old son is already writing novels. I could imagine co-authoring a young adult book with him at some point in the future for publication. I have some funny little snippets of stories he wrote at age six in a nonfiction book that might be releasing next year.

The only advice I have on this issue is that when children see their mothers pursuing their goals with passion, they will naturally do the same. So whether or not your children help with your business, just watching you work toward your dreams will encourage them that they can attain theirs.

I love what you said about teaching your children to pursue their goals with passion. It sounds as though your children have a wonderful role model in you! What challenges did working from home present to your marriage, and how did you compensate?
Early in our marriage, my husband did not support my writing. He felt like if I worked, it should be for guaranteed cash. But we’ve come a long way in understanding each other. Once his career became stable, he didn’t mind me writing for my own enjoyment. And he’s seen how writing makes me a happier person. I think I’m a better wife and mother when writing because I’m more content and fulfilled. One of the lessons I’ve learned is to be sure to communicate what I’m working on and how long it will take so that he knows what to expect. For instance during my book in a month challenge, I told the family not to expect much of me and that I might let the house go for a while, but that I’d be back to normal in December.

I'm glad you got things worked out with your husband. I'm blessed with a husband that, by and large, supports my writing endeavors, even if he doesn't always understand them. If you could start all over again, what would you do differently? What would you do the same?
I might have started working on my novels sooner and stayed more in touch with the writing world. But that’s mostly logic talking. I feel like I followed God’s leading to the best of my understanding every step along the way. During the time I wasn’t writing, I did a lot of living, including church ministry. And I feel like that strengthens my books.

Is it worth it? What keeps you home instead of having an outside career?
Honestly, the idea of an outside career does not appeal to me. When my children are grown, I could imagine myself teaching again, but at this point I need to save all my attention and patience for them. I actually have a very introverted personality, and living with four extroverts takes up all my social energy.

Thanks so much for the encouragement and advice, Dina. It sounds as though you've really found a good balance between your home and your work. Dina will be back with us on Wednesday, sharing a simple recipe. To be entered in Dina's giveaway, be sure to leave a comment below, followed by your email address so I have a way of contacting the winner, whom I will announce on Saturday. And without further ado, here's more on Dina's debut novel, which I read and loved, Dance of the Dandelion.

Love's quest leads her the world over.

Dandelion Dering was born a peasant in the English village of Arun, but her soul yearned for another life, another world. One filled with color and music, with adventure and passion . . . with more. Haunted by childhood memories, Dandelion determines to find a better existence than the life every peasant in the village contents themselves with. Even if her sweetheart William’s predictions prove true, and her journey leads straight to heartache. From her sleepy hamlet to the intrigue of castle life, from the heart of London to the adventurous seas, Dandelion flees from the mistakes of her past, always seeking that something, that someone who will satisfy her longings. Will Dandelion ever find the rhythm to her life's dance . . . or did she leave her chance for true love at home in Arun village?

To find out more about Dina, be sure to visit her website.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Good Intentions

During a recent visit with my parents, we all went out to our favorite pizza buffet restaurant, and our four children asked to sit at their own table. We picked a table right beside ours and my husband and I sat with our backs to our children, in order to keep an eye on them.

Near the end of the meal, a woman stopped by our table, obviously upset, to say that, “Someone should tell those girls that it’s not polite to point, make faces and laugh at people.” Somewhat taken aback, I stammered out an apology and then turned to ask the girls what had happened.

The girls in question—ages 9 and 7—vehemently denied having done such a thing, the older one beginning to cry at the accusations. Upon further questioning, it came out that the pair had been engaged in their own storytelling that involved making funny faces and gesturing to the opposite wall, which would have meant those sitting in their path could have misconstrued the situation. Added to their explanation was the fact that we have never seen them behave in such a way toward anyone, we were inclined to believe them. The girls themselves were suitably chastised by the encounter.

But it presented an excellent opportunity to discuss our intentions and how those can be mistaken by others as not good. Their making faces and pointing in public had been misinterpreted by someone as directed at them—and it didn’t paint a flattering picture of the girls’ behavior or character.

We also talked about how the woman must have felt to think they were making fun of her appearance, and how devastated the girls would have felt had they seen someone doing similar things ostensibly about them. Too many times, we forget to talk to our children about trying to avoid the “appearance of evil” in their actions, especially in public or school. While some people will find fault in everything, many times situations like the one discussed in this post could have been avoided if we had curbed our own actions.

It’s a hard lesson to learn, but a vital one that good intentions are not the only thing we need to keep in mind—that we need to have a thought for our fellow man and how our actions might impact him.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Take a Break from Your Busy Week

Happy Wednesday, everybody! Are you stuck in the middle of a busy, overwhelming week? I sure am. We're doing some maintenance work at the church where my husband pastors, which means ripping up old cement, cleaning out some drainage tile, painting, and the like. Plus I had an emergency proposal request from my agent yesterday, and we've got even more things going as the week races to a close.

Regardless of how busy you are (or aren't), take a moment to listen to this beautiful hymn, view the lovely pictures, and give yourself a slight break from life's busyness.

On Friday, we'll be hearing from one of our favorite contributors, Sarah. So be sure to check back in.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Praying for Our Kids

One of the benefits of being a pastor's wife is I get to listen to lots of great sermons delivered by my wonderful husband. Yesterday he preached on intercessory prayer from Genesis 18.

To briefly summarize, it's the story of God deciding to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. God tells Abraham of His plans, and Abraham says "Wait! You can't destroy it. My friend Lot and his family are there. Surely the city isn't that sinful and wicked. If you find, say, 50 righteous people living there, will you spare it?"

And God says, "Yes, I'll spare it for 50 people." Except He doesn't find 50 righteous people, so Abraham goes back to God and asks God to spare it for 40 people, then 30 and 20 and finally 10.

God doesn't spare the cities, which is sad and a whole other topic in that ten God-honoring people couldn't be found in two cities. But God still partly answers Abraham's prayers and saves Lot and his family.

There's amazing power in intercessory prayer. Through prayer, Abraham begged that two entire cities be saved, and he would have gotten his wish--had there been righteous people in those cities.

And so, as we think about how powerful prayer is, and how much good prayer can do in our lives and our country, I'm wondering how often we pray for our kids. I'm not talking about little prayers like "God, please help Sammy to have a good day at school" or "God, let Sammy score a goal in hockey today," or "God, give Sammy a good grade on this test."

Really, truly, how often do we get down on our knees and beg the Creator of the Universe to intercede in our children's lives?

God has given me two precious little boys, and I only have one chance to raise them. I'm going to start praying harder for my little ones, and I hope you'll join me in praying harder for your children as well.
Angie Dicken is hosting me over on Writer's Alley today. I'm being interviewed on entering your unpublished manuscript in writing contests, particularly ACFW's Genesis contest (which I finaled in last year). Stop by and say hi if you have a chance, and feel free to ask lots of questions. I'll do my best to answer them.

Also, if you like the photo of my little guys at the top of the page, be sure to check out Michaela Wickman at Michaela took some author and family pictures for us last fall, and she did a wonderful job! She'd going to be appearing on our blog in February and giving away somLinke photos.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Product Review: Crayola Story Studio

For Christmas this year, my five-year-old son received Crayola's Story Studio Spider-Man Comic Book Maker. The set came with colored pencils, printer paper, and an access code so that we could log onto the Crayola Story Studio website and make comic books.

I wasn't sure how the "comic book making" would go. After all, my son is only five, and the package said ages six and up. But in short, he LOVED it. It's probably been his favorite present so far.

The coolest thing about the story studio is that it allows you to insert your own character into the story. And you literally get to build this character, which means you can not only name the character after your child, but you can build him to look somewhat like your child as well.

The site also features a photo upload to build your character. Just a warning, but the photo/character look-alike doesn't come out the way it appears on the advertising. Uploading your child's photo only gives you a basic head shape and nothing else. You still have to build your character from scratch. This wasn't an issue for me or my son, who wanted a character with crazy hair and who wears a crown, not one who looks exactly like him. But I've read some reviews where parents were pretty miffed about the character not looking close enough to their child when all was said and done.

So how does the site work? It essentially gives you a series of choices. You pick the shape of your character's head, then his hair, eyes, mouth, ears, super power, cape, boots, etc. Then you pick your bad guy, and you get a nine page story based on the bad guy you've picked. Inside the story, most pages offer things you can change. So your child chooses whether the Green Goblin gets trapped by a web or a cage, whether Spider-Man stands in front of a car or rocket ship.

After you're finished, you can save, download, and print the story. The cover prints in color, and everything else is black and white. Nine pages of comic book is a LOT for a five year old to color. I doubt he'll ever color one of the stories completely. But he's still thrilled to have a story he created. As you can well imagine, we already have a story featuring my oldest, Nathanael, and my youngest, Jeremiah.

You can purchase stories for boys or girls. My son received the Spider-Man one, but Cars and Fairy Tale Princesses are also available, with Barbie and Star Wars coming soon. The site allows you to save ten characters and ten stories to it, and you can delete these stories as you save to the computer. Overall, I'm pleased with this product, and I'm thinking my son will enjoy the $10.00 present for a long time to come. Because it's pretty cool to put yourself into a story with your favorite super hero. :-)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Encouragement after the Holidays

Hello Everyone,

I don't know about you, but I've sure had a busy holiday season. At times over the past three weeks, life has been so crazy I've nearly forgotten to breath. Or clean the bathroom, do laundry, write thank you cards . . . you get the idea. So I wanted to leave you with some encouragement from God's Word.

Galations 6:9 says, "And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season, we shall reap if we faint not."

Now that the holidays are over and life is swinging back into normal for most of us, let's not grow discouraged with all the regular, daily demands of homemaking and raising kids. Keep plugging on, and God promises you will reap rewards when the time comes.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Changes to Making Home Work in 2012

Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed your first forays into the coming year of 2012 on Saturday night and Sunday. Many of you probably have one more blissful day of a holiday break left before you head back to work and your youngin's head back to school. Or maybe both you and your youngins will be heading back to the kitchen table for homeschooling come tomorrow. :)

As you commence with your busy lives, I wanted to take a minute to let you know of some changes that will be taking place to Making Home Work this year. As some of you know, a group of moms of varying ages and abilities started this blog last February. Looking forward to the new year, several of those moms have decided to stop blogging here as they need more time to attend some of their other responsibilities.

We're sad to see them go and will miss all those leaving us, but at the same time, we're excited about some of the new changes, which I've listed below.

1. I'm going to be the main blogger for Making Home Work. This means you'll be hearing from me 2-3 times a week. Hopefully you'll be able to stomach so much of one person. :-)

2. Three of our contributors will continue blogging on a once monthly schedule. They will post on Fridays, and if you want to meet them (or myself) you can find us on the "about us" page.

3. The posts will be more encouraging in nature with less of a "how-to" feel.

4. This one isn't so much of a change, but we still plan to blog on the same topics, featuring tips, advice, and encouragement from other moms.

Thanks so much for visiting Making Home Work in 2012. I'm excited about the changes in store. I hope you are as well.

What about you? Do you have any big changes coming in 2012? I'd love to hear about them in the comments section.