Monday, November 26, 2012

Saying Goodbye

It is with a sad heart that I've decided it's time for me (and all of you), to say "goodbye" to Making Home Work. I've been blogging here for nearly two years, and while I started out with a wealth of family and home information to expound upon, I've found that I've now shared the majority of it.

I know time is valuable, both yours and mine. And rather than having me struggle to come up with topics and then asking you to read less than stellar blog posts, I'm going to stop Making Home Work. I'll still keep the old blog posts up for the time being, and I do enjoy posting new information about my novels. Schooling the Cowboy is coming out next winter, and I'm sure I'll have pictures, stories, and snippets to share with all of you. So I might well post new information when that time comes. I'm continuing to blog both at Regency Reflections and Craftie Ladies of Romance, if you want to come find me in either of those places. But for now, I'm saying goodbye to this blog.

I'll keep my website updated with information about me and my writing:

And I'll post news to my Author Facebook Page as well:

If you want to learn more about our guest contributor, Sarah Hammacker, you can reach her and read her excellent parenting blog at

Goodby to all of you, and thank you for making my blogging experience both fun and memorable!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Old Family Recipe Cookbook And Thanksgiving Wishes

In honor of Thanksgiving this year, I have a special gift from me and several other Love Inspired Historical authors. It's a digital cookbook of favorite family recipes, with a heartwarming true-life story to accompany each recipe.

In the book you'll find everything from my very own banana pancake recipe to cabbage rolls to hunter's stew.

If you're interested in getting a copy of this book, please leave a comment below with your email address, and I'll be happy to send you a copy. I hope to eventually get this cookbook up on my website, where anyone interested can download it.

And now for what I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving: YOU. All of you wonderful blog readers who bless me with your presence and comments and positive spirits. Thank you for taking time to visit Making Home Work, and please take advantage of the cookbook.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Who’s Sorry Now?

Apologizing has become an art form these days, with politicians, celebrities and CEOs saying “I’m sorry” in the public arena for misdeeds. Many times, the sincerity of such apologies are questions, with good cause in some cases. I sometimes shudder to think how all those public mea culpas look to children.

We want our children to apologize when they do something wrong. Usually, they can see—even if they don’t acknowledge—that their actions were not right and therefore an “I’m sorry” is needed.

But what about when the action was an accident, totally unintentional? Then it’s harder for the child to make the connection as to the apology’s necessary, but it doesn’t negate the fact that the apology should still be made.

One way we raise our children to be good citizens is to ensure they take responsibility for both their intentional and accidental actions. Whether they mean to hurt someone—with words or deeds—is not the point, and so many times we as parents get bogged down with the intent of the action. Instead, we should focus on the action’s outcome—hurt feelings or hurt bodies. If our child caused such hurt, whether it’s legitimate or not, whether it was on purpose or not, then the child should apologize.

In our family, we’ve tried to teach our children how to apologize. For instance, “I’m sorry,” isn’t enough. The child must say what he’s apologizing for. The child to whom the apology is given also needs to acknowledge the apology and tender forgiveness—at least verbally—by saying “I forgive you.”

Some wrongs might need more than a verbal apology. I’ve had my girls write letters of apology when they’ve hurt the feelings of a friend. The very act of putting down on paper why they are sorry can help them feel more remorse and also shows the other child their sincerity in the apology.

Children often don’t think to say they’re sorry because they’re still learning not to be self-centered. Helping them follow the Golden Rule—Do unto others as you would have them do unto you—is key to them realizing their need to apologize.

It’s difficult to apologize, because we don’t like to be in the wrong. We should remember that our children are watching us as we do—or don’t, as the case may be—apologize for our own wrongdoings. The more sincere and quick we are to say we’re sorry, the better example we’ll be for our children to follow.

How do you handle it when your child needs to say he’s sorry?

Sarah Hamaker is a certified Leadership Parenting Coach through the John Rosemond Leadership Parenting Coaching Institute. She’s also a freelance writer and editor, and author of Hired@Home, a guide to unlocking women’s work-from-home potential now available on Kindle. Her stories have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Sarah lives in Virginia with her husband and four children. Visit her online at

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Breakfast Casserole Recipe from Author Amber Stockton

We're back again today with author Amber Stockton, who has a delicious Breakfast Casserole Recipe to share. If you haven't stopped by our interview yet this week, Amber is giving away a copy of one of her novels. The contest ends Saturday, November 10 at midnight.

Breakfast casserole (can freeze and throw in the oven for 1 hour at any time)

1 package of hash brown potatoes or cubed/diced potatoes (frozen)
1 lb. of bacon or sausage chopped/diced (can substitute ham as well)
1 each of yellow, green, and red bell peppers, gutted and sliced into thin strips (optional)
1 lb. of shredded sharp cheddar
5 eggs broken and mixed
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Coat a 16x9 in. pan in nonstick spray. Dump in potatoes to cover the bottom and spread evenly. Sprinkle in the meat, bell peppers (optional), and shredded cheddar. Pour the eggs over top and add salt and pepper to taste. Bake in an oven at 375 for 45 minutes if ingredients are fresh, or 1 hour if casserole is frozen. Cool and serve.


Colonial Courtships: My Novella (Trading Hearts): Jonathan Ingersoll is a successful merchant trader along the Great (Connecticut) River. When flooding forces him to take sanctuary in an unfamiliar inn along his route, he meets the innkeeper’s daughter, Clara Marie Preston. Immediately attracted to her shy, yet caring spirit and quiet faith, Jonathan makes a point to return. But animosity from her brother gives him pause. Learning the source of the resentment only spurs Jonathan to try that much harder to prove his worth. Doubts are cast upon his character, and his trade sales begin to decrease. When he tracks down the pirates who attacked Clara’s brother and sees justice served, things take a turn for the better. Finally, he can accept the full blessing for a union of marriage and make plans once more for the future.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Amber Stockton

Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood. Today, she is an award-winning best-selling author, speaker, and virtual assistant who lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and a son, and an Aussie/retriever mix named Roxie. She has sold 14 books so far with more on the horizon. Three of her novels have won annual reader’s choice awards, and in 2009, she was voted #1 favorite new author for Barbour’s Heartsong Presents book club. Read more about her at her web site:

Tiffany has graciously offered to give away a copy of one of her books. See below for details.

Hi Tiffany! Thanks for being with us today. Why don’t you tell me a bit about your family. How many children do you have, and if they still live at home, how old are they?

I have 2 children, ages 3-1/2 and 1-1/2. They obviously still live at home and are quite under foot. :) They were born exactly 2 years, 1 week, and 1 hour apart. I spoke to my son in utero and told him he had to wait until his sister had her 2nd birthday before he arrived. He listened. :)

Wow, they sure are young. You must stay really busy around the house. Why did you choose to work from home rather than find a job elsewhere?

The spring before we discovered we were pregnant, I lost my job of 11 years due to cut-backs and corporate decision to eliminate me because I earned more than any other equivalent employee in my position. The economy at the time made it nearly impossible to find anything to equal my income, so my husband and I talked it over and we decided I’d increase my work from home. That summer, we learned we were expecting, and it solidified our decision. I’ve been working from home ever since and wouldn’t trade a moment of the opportunity to be with my children every day.

What is the most challenging aspect of working from home while raising children?

Time. I don’t have a lot of it with my children so young right now and so dependent upon me to change diapers, get them dressed or help pick out clothes, prepare all their meals, clean up after them, bathe them, etc. Nap time is what I consider my “sacred” time. I worked very hard once my son started giving up his morning nap to get my two children on the same nap schedule. It doesn’t work every day, as either one of them have been known to take short naps or no nap at all from time to time. However, for the most part, they nap 2 to 2-1/2 hours every afternoon, and that gives me a solid block of time to be as productive as I can be. I also work after they go to bed or first thing in the morning before they wake. I snag whatever time I am able to find.

Oh goodness, do I ever sympathize with you. My two kids are three years apart, and I started seriously writing when my youngest was just four months old. It's hard to get ANY extra work besides mommying and housekeeping done some days. 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?

Right now, no. They are too young. But I do encourage them to help me with little things like taping up mailing envelopes, carrying books and other items to the car when we have to make a run to the post office or other errands, and I explain to them the importance of mommy needing to focus on work sometimes while they are awake. I have been blessed with two children who play well together (when they aren’t engaging in typical sibling squabbles) or independently, so when I have a pressing need to complete a task for the publisher for whom I’m a virtual assistant, or work that needs to be done for my writing career, I can usually complete it without too much discipline interruptions. I pray it remains this way and only improves as my children get older. It would be wonderful to have their help with my work at home when they are old enough to be involved.

If you're married, what challenges did working from home present to your marriage, and how did you compensate?
Again, it’s the time. Because I work first thing in the morning, during nap time, and after the children go to bed, my husband and I often have to schedule “us” time. We were both single for the entire decade of our 20’s, and we’ve only been married 5 years this year, so we’re still fairly new at this. However, he is a gamer and when I am busy, he disappears into his gaming world, often not communicating to me that he’d like to spend time together. I try to remember to schedule that time, but removing the spontaneity has forced us to be creative in other ways for our time together. And we often have the conversation about communication to remind each other of the importance of letting the other one know how we feel. We’re both guilty of slipping into our “single” mindset, so it’s a daily practice.

If you could start all over again, what would you do differently? What would you do the same?

I often tell people I see every day why authors wait until their children are older before getting started with a writing career. It certainly wasn’t in MY plan to have a career first then a husband and children. My goal was husband and family then career, but God obviously had another plan…and a unique sense of humor. I’ve had to adapt. I’m not sure I’d go back to my original plan or not, as my life now is giving me a substantial amount of content for my speaking career, and it’s forcing me to depend on others to help me through this where if I had it my way, I might not have reached out as much as I do.

As for what I would do the same? That’s easy. I’d choose again to stay home with my children.

I completely understand. It's so hard to find writing time with little kids running around. And I think it's even worse for unpublished writers. I really think if I didn't get my first book contract for Sanctuary for a Lady when I did, I wouldn't still be writing. It took so much of my energy away from my family, and I wasn't even getting paid for it! That's hard. Is it worth it? What keeps you home instead of having an outside career? 

Most definitely! I knew at a young age I only wanted to be a wife and mother, but nearly 15 years of work outside the home helped me see I also needed to work. God provided the means and the opportunity for me to have it all and stay home. It’s a tremendous blessing in so many ways

Oh goodness, are we every opposite. I WOULD have chosen that career before marrying and becoming a mom. But God had different plans, and I found myself pregnant after only nine months of marriage.

Tiffany has graciously offered to giveaway a copy of one of her books to one lucky winner this week. To enter the contest, you need to answer Tiffany's question in the comment section below. The giveaway will end Saturday, November 10 at midnight. Tiffany will be back with us again on Thursday, sharing her breakfast casserole recipe. Yummy!

So, Tiffany's question for you to answer is . . . What do you see as one positive and negative aspect of working from home. Why?

Keep in mind you'll need to answer this question to be entered in the giveaway.

In the meantime, take a look at one of her new novels out this month, Stealing Hearts.

When Grace Baxton comes face-to-face with the thief who broke into her uncle's home, she isn't prepared for meeting Andrew Bradenton—not a young boy out to cause trouble and no hardened criminal, either. The judge sentences Andrew Bradenton to work for the Baxton family, and being forced to see him almost daily, Grace struggles with forgiveness. Out of guilt, Andrew offers to help Grace search for an heirloom book. When a handsome stranger appears with the book in hand, warming Grace's heart and finding favor with her uncle, Grace is torn over her growing attraction for both men. Andrew tries to prove the stranger is up to no good, but after key documents and money go missing from her uncle's safe, Andrew is seen as the guilty party. Will Grace discover the truth in time?