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Ruby for Women A voice for every Christian woman March, March, 2012

“Her worth is far above rubies� Proverbs: 31:10

Contents March, 2012 www.rubyforwomen.ning.com

In This Issue . . . Page



An Irish Blessing Nina Newton, Sr. Editor


He Heard My Cry Amanda Johnson


Page 9

March Book Give-Away: Nothing but the Truth by John MacArthur


The Preacher’s Meadow Lynn Mosher


Italian Cream Cake Vintage Mama


The Poison Garden Keith Wallis


Trash Kristin Bridgman

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St. Patrick’s Day Vintage Puzzle Blocks Vintage Image Craft


St. Patty’s Day Corned Beef Christena Hammes


Did the Old Woman Sing? Elizabeth Baker


Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies Vintage Mama


Losing Weight Isn’t Just About What You Eat Christena Hammes

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Senior Editor Nina Newton Assistant Editor Amanda Johnson Creative Assistant Katherine Corrigan Family Fun Editor Beth Brubaker Gardening Dorothy Homer Devotions Lynn Mosher, Deborah McCarragher Poetry Keith Wallis, Lee E. Shilo Quilting Laura Brandt

Ruby for Women is an online Christian women’s magazine that offers words of hope, inspiration, and encouragement to women everywhere. Knowing that every woman has a story to tell, we seek to give a “voice to every Christian woman,” from all walks of life, of every age, from all around the world.

Feature Writers Carol Mokry, Connie Arnold, Kristin Bridgman, Amy Lignor, Sheila Watson Kraklow, Scott Henderson, Theresa Ceniccola, Scarlett Von Gunten, Charlotte Siems, Yvonne Anderson, Angela Blake Morris, Kausar Iqbal, Elizabeth Baker, Maxine Young, Pauline Creeden, Yvonne Carson, Kendra Peterson, Tina Smith, Christena Hammes, Roze Collins, Ginger Kauffman, Lisa Simpkins, Marcia Settles

If you would like to share your story with Ruby for Women, please email our Assistant Editor, Amanda Johnson, at ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Also, please visit our community website at www.rubyforwomen.ning.com where you can connect with other Christian women. Ruby for Women 2731 W 700 N Columbia City, IN 46725 editor@rubyforwomen.com 1

For advertising inquiries, please contact Nina Newton at editor@rubyforwomen.com






New Equation Search Word Puzzle Beth Brubaker



Cheesy Irish Potato Bake Vintage Mama

Hearing God’s Voice, Obeying God’s Call: The Story of St. Patrick



The Carrier Report Lee E. Shilo

Breathless Vintage Mama


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In the Making Keith Wallis

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Going to Church with a Special Needs Child Ginger Kauffman Cranberry Nut Granola Bars Vintage Mama

The Return of Inspiration Amy Lignor


Scrappy Spring Collage Wall Décor Project Vintage Mama


Footprints in the Mud: Driving (In)Courtesy Beth Brubaker

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Ask Beth Beth Brubaker


Choose to Plant a Seed of Hope Maxine Young


Four Simple Tips to Get You Moving Toward Your Weight Loss Goals Lisa Simpkins


Get to Know Rob Hammes and Ben Mosier Interview with Christena Hammes


Spring is Coming! Crazy Word Puzzle Beth Brubaker

The Silent Sound of Spring Keith Wallis


Frugal Living Tina Smith

Road to Damascus: Bible Block #6 Laura Brandt


God’s Mercy Through the Storm Roze Collins


Money Saving Mom’s Budget Crystal Paine


We Left the Garden Keith Wallis


The Waste of Worry Maxine Young


New Equation Search Puzzle Answer Key Beth Brubaker


Spring is Coming! Word Puzzle Answer Key Beth Brubaker


The Ruby for Women Writers


Credits and Copyrights

34 35 36 37 38


Zucchini Squash Casserole Maxine Young Spring Keith Wallis

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Five Lessons Learned While Home Schooling a Child with Developmental Disabilities Marcia Settles Children’s Book Corner: Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton Reviewed by Kendra Peterson Page 40

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Irish American Month Poetry Month National Craft Month Women’s History Month National Nutrition Month

March 1: Peanut Lovers’ Day March 2: Old Stuff Day March 3: I Want You to be Happy Day March 3: National Anthem Day March 3: Peach Blossom Day March 8: Popcorn Lovers’ Day March 11: Johnny Appleseed Day March 12: Plant a Flower Day March 14: Learn About Butterflies Day March 14: National Potato Chip Day

March 15: Ides of March March 17: National Quilting Day March 17: St. Patrick’s Day March 20: Proposal Day March 21: Fragrance Day March 22: National Goof Off Day March 25: Waffle Day March 26: Make Up Your Own Holiday Day March 30: Take a Walk in the Park Day March 30: National Doctor’s Day


An Irish Blessing by Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Several years ago I had the opportunity to travel to Northern Ireland. One of our cousins had married a girl from a small village outside of Belfast, Ballymena, and when they came back to America, she and I became good friends. They had actually met in Bangladesh where he was working with the Peace Corps building a hospital and she was a missionary nurse. About a year after their wedding, she wanted to travel back to Ireland to visit her family, and she invited me to travel with her. My interest in all things historical led me to read everything I could about Ireland, its history of tragedy and triumph, and the ongoing social and civil strife that the Irish people have endured over the centuries. And since my ancestral heritage is part Irish, my mother being born a Dailey in the late 1920s, it seemed like the perfect time for me to learn a bit more about the Irish people. Traveling to Northern Ireland was quite an adventure for this country girl who had never been outside the USA up to that time. Even though I had read everything I could find on the historical and current social and civil unrest in Ireland, little did I know that I was walking into a war zone in Belfast! We stayed with her family on their lovely little farm, and I was completely enthralled with everything Irish . . . . the incredibly beautiful countryside, the farms, fields, and sheep being herded along the stone-walled country roads. The lilting language, the loving and hard-working people, and the passion with which all Irish people embrace their heritage. One morning as we left the farm house for a drive into the city, I found myself attempting to get into the car on the driver’s side . . . . until I realized in that part of the world they drive on the opposite side of the road than we do here in America. Another faux pas occurred when we entered the downtown shopping district of Belfast. Because that was my first (and likely my only) trip to Ireland, I had my camera with me and wanted to take pictures of everything around me, including the armored tanks that patrolled the streets of Belfast, and the British soldiers standing guard on every corner. While my cousin and her mom were inside a large department story shopping (I am not a shopper!), I stood outside on the sidewalk with my camera. As one of the armored tanks drove slowly past, with a gun visible through the narrow opening at the top of the tank, I stepped off the curb and took a picture. Not a good idea! Immediately there were two policemen standing very close to me, one on either side. As soon I began to answer their questions, they knew immediately that I was an American, and when I explained to them what I was doing and where I was staying, apparently they determined that I wasn’t a danger to anyone. But there was a momentary possibility that I could have been detained in an Irish jail until it all got sorted out! My recollections of the Irish people still hold me captive with the beauty and joy of a people who are generous, loving, and gentle . . . . but who are also determined, strong, and passionate about their Irish heritage, no matter which side of that brick wall they live on there in Belfast. A beautiful people, and a beautiful country, and I am proud to claim my own Irish heritage. 4

He Heard My Cry by Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor Life happens and over the past several months a lot has been happening in my life. I have spent many days crying out and asking why and how and when the relief will come. I have felt despair and loss of hope. Like the Psalmist wrote, “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help” (Psalm 18:6a, NIV). I confess that after crying out to God, I wasn’t really sure how or if He would even respond. I was so wrapped up in the everyday lows that I assumed I would just be left there. But that is not what God wants for any of us. This past month I participated in Rick Warren’s “40 Days in the Word”. Each day’s study featured a specific verse. To my surprise, each day’s verse was a direct word to my ears from God. “From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears” (Psalm 18:6b, NIV). Through this study, I learned and even re-learned that getting into the Bible and truly studying God’s Word requires consistent, no distraction, focus and time.

By committing my undivided attention to the Word of God, I found myself being lifted up and held in the reassuring arms of the Lord. “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters” (Psalm 18:16). This morning I even found myself smiling as I turned the pages to read the verse of the day; it was a beautiful whisper from God straight into my heart. God has a message of hope and love for each of us, but if we choose not to set aside time for Him, we will miss what He has to say. I’m rejoicing over the words of love that God sent me this through this study and I cannot wait to read more! Scripture God used in my life during the first week of the “40 Days in the Word” study: Philippians 1:6, Philippians 1:27a, Philippians 2:13, Philippians 3:12b, Philippians 4:6, Philippians 4:13, and Philippians 4:19 Blessings, Amanda

www.keepsakesbykatherine.etsy.com 5

March Book Give-Away Nothing but the Truth by John MacArthur Scripture is clear about the fact that we must be prepared to communicate the truth of the Gospel when given the opportunity – and do it with the right attitude. But even when your tone is gentle and respectful, what, specifically, should you say when asked or confronted about your faith? And what is your overall responsibility to unbelievers as a disciple of Christ? Pastor John MacArthur responds to these very questions and more – with solid, biblical answers focused in four particular areas: * Your attitude * Your preparedness * The content of your answers * Your priority in witnessing Combining a biblical study of evangelism, a rational defense of Christian beliefs, and a practical approach to evangelism, this book offers a well-rounded perspective that can help you gently and confidently give an answer for the hope you have in Christ. If you would like to enter the March Book Give-Away at Ruby for Women, please visit the Ruby blog and leave a comment, including your email address. You will be contacted for your mailing address if you are the winner. The drawing will take place on April 1, 2012.

Be sure to visit

Ruby’s Reading Corner when you are shopping for books! Every purchase you make from Ruby’s Reading Corner helps support the ongoing ministry here at Ruby for Women. The next time you are planning to purchase a book for yourself, for a friend, or for a family member, please consider shopping at Ruby’s Reading Corner. http://astore.amazon.com/rubyforwomenreadingcorner-20


The Preacher’s Meadow by Lynn Mosher Years ago, in horse-and-buggy days, a poor circuit preacher made his weekly rounds to one of his favorite little churches. As he could not afford a horse, he walked several miles to the little, white church in the vale. On his way through the fertile valley that led to the church, he stopped at his favorite meadow to savor the change of scenery that each season displayed. He enjoyed spring as it burst forth with bluebells, daffodils, Queen Anne’s lace, and other wildflowers that filled the meadow and the beauty of the trees in fall as they boasted of their vibrant reds and golds. He loved listening to the bubbling stream that ran through the field. He laughed when winter’s snow and ice decked out the trees and shrubs, making them look like some of the icy parishioners in his church. On each journey to the church, he paused to meditate. Leaning on the old fence that surrounded the meadow, he praised the Lord for the beauty of His creation, for the privilege of serving Him, and for all the wonderful parishioners that packed the little church, always asking for the miracle of a bigger building that would someday hold many others. One beautiful spring day, he noticed a sign on the property…FOR SALE! He didn’t have long to be curious if someone would buy the property for the next week, a new sign appeared…SOLD! What will become of my lovely meadow, he thought. Soon construction began on the site. Disappointment did not begin to cover how he felt. Each week as he walked by, he could see all the progress that had taken place. Trees knocked down; flowers gone. The ground disturbed. A rumbling started in his spirit. Each week, he grew more annoyed. Mumbling and complaining chipped away at his praise until cynicism threw a dark shadow across his soul. His joy disappeared and he blamed God and even questioned his calling as a preacher. By the time he reached the little church each week, his spirit reacted so negatively that his sermons suffered and the people noticed the difference. 7

One Sunday as he walked to church, he became so angry at God for taking away his beautiful praise field and his great joy that he kicked at the fence and broke his foot. Luckily, a parishioner came by in his buggy and took the preacher to the doctor. He stayed off his foot for several months until it finally healed. The next spring when he was able to resume preaching, the parishioner came to pick him up for Sunday services. When the parishioner arrived, he told the preacher he must do something. “What is it?” asked the preacher. “You must wear this blindfold,” said the man. “What in the world for?” “You’ll see,” the man answered. “Humph! How can I see if I’m blindfolded!” “Don’t worry, preacher. You’ll love it when you see it. I promise!” The preacher just grumbled something else under his breath. When they finally arrived at their destination, the man removed the blindfold from the preacher’s eyes. As he did, the preacher heard, “Surprise!” “Wha-a-t? What is this?” He glanced around and saw his entire congregation surrounding him. “This,” said the man, “is your new church building.” There, in the middle of his favorite meadow, stood the most beautiful church building he had ever seen. The meadow once again displayed its fragrant wildflowers and the trees in full blossom welcomed him back. “I…I don’t understand,” said the puzzled preacher. The man said, “We received a large endowment from an anonymous donor to build you a new church building. Knowing it’s been your heart’s desire and since you broke your foot and couldn’t see what was going on, we thought we’d surprise you.” As his eyes filled with tears, the preacher fell to his knees, sobbing, “Oh, Lord, forgive me. I blamed You for taking away the very thing that gave me such joy, my beautiful meadow. I lost my praise and even questioned my calling. I had no idea You had planned something even more beautiful than I could have imagined. My cup of joy is now refilled and running over. Praise You, Lord!”


Has joy left your heart? Whether through some trial or heartache? Or maybe something has been taken from you? Has your beautiful meadow of joy and praise been destroyed? Have you lashed out at God? Have you questioned His dealings in your life? Have you grumbled and complained, questioning your calling? The Lord has a replacement joy in store for you. Will you thank Him in anticipation of its arrival and for His love and care for you? Will you praise Him again in your beautiful, new meadow of joy?

From His feet, Lynn

Italian Cream Cake from the kitchen of Vintage Mama March is typically the month when we celebrate all things Irish: Corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, soda bread. and Shepherd’s Pie. So, even though this is not an Irish recipe, I thought it would be a wonderful addition to your late winter recipe collection. It is not only beautiful and delicious, it is easy, too! What you need: * One package white cake mix with pudding * 3 large eggs * 1 ¼ cups buttermilk * ¼ cup vegetable oil * 1 pkg. (3 ½ oz) flaked coconut * 1 2/3 cups chopped pecans, toasted and divided * 3 Tbsp. rum flavoring * 2 (12 oz.) cans cream cheese frosting Let’s make it! 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round cake pans. 2. Beat cake mix, eggs, buttermilk, and oil with an electric beater on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in coconut and 2/3 cup pecans. Pour into prepared cake pans. 3. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks. 4. Sprinkle each cake layer with rum, if desired; let stand 10 minutes. 5. Stir together frosting and remaining 1 cup pecans. Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Chill 2 hours before slicing. Adapted from a recipe found at www.mrfood.com 9

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The poison garden always open for business; no reassuring lock, no drawbridged moat here be dragons in bloom. My dragons, readying for me their gaping maws, their singing breath. They remember my name always, always, when I’ve unforgotten theirs. Speaking, belonging, welcome home. The path has no safe passage no endearing charm but calls with siren song, in disguise of wonder, to the Adam in my soul. The gate is closed but my fingers draw close to the handle. 10

TRASH by Kristin Bridgman I smiled today as I threw the trash out. Why you might ask? Let me explain. We have a large, black, plastic trash can with a lid in the garage, just off the kitchen. The inside is always lined with a plastic trash bag that gets pulled over the lip of the can. The trash goes INTO the bag. Well…not always. When my son and husband throw trash in, they just open the lid and toss without looking. I always look to make sure the trash gets into the bag. This might have something to do with my perfectionism, which I’m trying to let go of just a little. Or it could just be that I’m normal in wanting trash inside the trash bag. Anyway, sometimes something heavy will be thrown in and the bag will come off of the lip of the can and become crumpled. When my guys just toss without looking, if that bag has come off, trash just piles up on top of the bag and when I come along, I have to take all that trash off by hand and insert it into bag. This can be unpleasant at times depending on what the trash is. It’s always been frustrating to me wondering why grown men cannot get trash into the trash bag. Gggrrrrr… But just a few weeks ago, we had a small scare. My husband found a lump that was quite disturbing. After all the googling on this kind of lump, the diagnosis did not sound good. And when the doctor said we need to look further into this, I got a little worried and went into my prayer closet. Praise the Lord, it only ended up being a fatty cyst and we were told it was nothing to worry about. Nothing had to be done. Again, Praise the Lord! I have to tell you though, while waiting the week to find out what the news on this lump would be, I began to see things a little differently, one thing being the trash. Would I rather have the trash pristinely in the trash bag and not have my husband around or would I rather have him around and have the trash, well, trashy. Seems like an absurd question until the security of your mate being around becomes endangered. I like my home clean and tidy and trash in the trash bag, but not at the expense of being alone. This sounds silly, but before, it used to be such an irritation to see the trash on top of the bag, clothes on the floor, candy wrappers left on the coffee table, socks in the floor inches away from the laundry basket, dirty glasses and dishes sitting on top of the dishwasher instead of inside the dishwasher. Can grown men not do these simple tasks? Maybe, but I’m not going to care anymore. One of the ways I can show love is to pick up after my men with a smile and feel so very blessed that they are with me to share this life with. Life can get messy and my husband has always been there with me through it all. 11

So I will be with him through his messiness of the house…the trash. After all, he works hard to provide for us and it’s my job to make our house a home. I never wanted to do anything else but that. So I pick up with joy whatever is not supposed to be on the floor, on the tables, and put trash that is sitting on top of the trash bag inside the trash bag. Remember the Proverb, “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife” ? Well, I don’t want my husband up there on the roof, I want him inside with me. So toss away honey, if it lands in the bag, woo-hoo! And if it doesn’t, I love ya anyway.

Dealing with Life Problems Abba, Father; A Simple Prayer [

by John Poche

“It’s not a matter of if we will experience problems, it’s when.” For most of us, life problems are inevitable. How do we deal with problems related to relationships, marriage, divorce, family, employment, work, finances, addiction, health or the death of a loved one? John shares his personal story of how a short prayer and simple praying helped resolve some stressful problems and change his life into happy, joyous and free. He describes the development of his simple prayer plan and numerous experiences of his twenty year prayer journey. He offers many suggestions in hope that his biblically-inspired simple prayer will help you experience the joy of knowing that God is present and working in your life. It worked for him; maybe it will work for you! http://www.amazon.com/Abba-Father-Simple-PrayerPoche/dp/145074933X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1321980994&sr=8-1

www.theresaceniccola.com 12

Make these charming St. Patrick’s Day Vintage Puzzle Blocks from Vintage Image Crafts These St. Patrick's Puzzle Blocks are based on Victorian originals of German design. Block puzzles like these were popular children’s toys, and could include dozens of blocks. The colorful chromolithographs used for the puzzles were often nursery rhyme or fairy tale pictures. For you, we selected six gorgeous vintage St. Patrick's Day postcards from the 1910s. These vintage images depict Irish cultural symbols, from harps to shamrocks to emerald landscapes. The technique is simple decoupage onto wooden blocks. Really, the only trick here is keeping track of the image pieces as you glue, so you can assemble the finished blocks and see complete images on both sides. One of the vintage images we provide is a classic illustration by Margaret Evans Price (18881973), signed "MEP." In 1930, she and her husband, Irving Price, partnered with Herman Fisher to found Fisher-Price Toys. As the company's first art director, she designed some of the signature products, while continuing to create original artwork for galleries and publications. Can you find her initialed artwork among our FREE vintage images?

Materials: •

Vintage images (see below).

Matte presentation paper, 8.5" x 11" (see Tips).

Wood blocks, 2" square (see Tips).

Matte decoupage medium, like Mod Podge.

Spray fixative for photos and artwork, like spray varnish (see Tips)

Razor blade or sharp craft knife.

Paper cutter or scissors.

Acrylic paint and brush, green (optional).

Fine sandpaper (optional).

Distress ink or walnut ink (optional).


Instructions Instructions 1. Print the vintage images on matte presentation paper. Spray the images lightly with photo fixative and let them dry. The images are slightly smaller than 4" x 6". With a paper cutter or scissors, cut each image into 6 equal squares, just under 2" x 2". Arrange the cut pieces to form the six complete pictures - so you don't get them mixed up. 2. Lightly sand the wood blocks to smooth the rough spots and edges, and wipe clean. Arrange the blocks in a 4" x 6" rectangle and place the pieces of the first image on top to form a complete picture. 3. Now, block by block, apply decoupage medium to the face of the block and the back of the image piece. Position the image on the block and gently smooth out air bubbles with your fingers. Immediately brush a coat of medium over the image and brush away the excess around the edges of the block. Let the blocks fully dry. 4. Assemble the blocks so the image is complete, then carefully turn all six blocks over as a unit. Arrange the cut pieces of the next image on the blocks, and apply them to the blocks with decoupage medium as before. Let them dry and repeat this process for all six sides of the blocks. 5. When the decoupage medium has completely dried, use a razor blade to carefully remove any overhanging paper edges. You may also gently sand the edges of the blocks. Wipe clean, and apply one or two more coats of decoupage medium to the blocks, a side at a time. 6. At this point, you could use a little distress ink, walnut ink, or light wood stain on the edges of the blocks, just to enhance that worn, vintage look. Tips •

Presentation paper is opaque white paper of lighter weight than photo paper. It is commonly used for printing brochures and fliers, because it is light enough to fold and mail easily. It is also an excellent paper for printing images for decoupage projects, because it lays flat and bends around curves and corners well. If you can't find presentation paper at your office supply store, use a bright white, opaque printer paper.


2" square unfinished wood blocks should be easy to find at your local craft store. If you only find other sizes, you can resize the images to fit your blocks. If you can't find blocks at all, you can cut your own from clear pine with a fine-tooth saw. Remember, a standard 2x4 is actually 1.5" x 3.5" so you'll need to start with something bigger. 14


Spraying the inkjet-printed images with a fixative will prevent the inks from blurring or running when coated with the decoupage medium (Mod Podge). The fixative we used was Preserve It! by Krylon, described on the label as a moisture-resistant "digital photo and paper protectant." A clear spray varnish would work as well for this project. Just spray the images lightly and let them dry.


Variations: Use patterned (scrapbook or wrapping) paper for one or more sides. Cut enough 2" x 2" squares and proceed as with an image. Or paint the blocks green first, let them dry, and apply images to only two sides of the puzzle. Lightly sand the edges of the blocks to wear away some paint, and rub with walnut ink or stain.

Here are the vintage images on the other five sides of the St. Patrick's Puzzle blocks:


St. Patrick’s Day Images from Vintage Image Craft




Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a Traditional Recipe from the kitchen of Christena Hammes The History Channel has this to say about St. Patrick – “St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity's most widely known figures. But for all his celebrity, his life remains somewhat of a mystery. Many of the stories traditionally associated with St. Patrick, including the famous account of his banishing all the snakes from Ireland, are false, the products of hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling.” To read more, visit Saint Patrick (http://www.history.com/topics/who-was-saint-patrick)

St. Patty's Day Corned Beef adapted by Christena Hammes from a recipe found at www.food.com Prep Time: 20 mins Total Time: 6 hrs 20 mins. Servings: 4-6 What you need: * 2 ¼-3 lbs corned beef briskets, drained, rinsed, and trimmed * water * 4 bay leaves * 2 (12 ounce) bottles red Irish ale ( such as Killian's) * 1 dash crushed red pepper flakes * 3 cinnamon sticks * 12 peppercorns * 3 garlic cloves, peeled * 3 cloves * 1 large red onion, cut into large chunks ( or other onion) * 4 -6 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks * 4 -6 medium red potatoes, quartered Dry Rub: * ½ cup brown sugar ( brown sugar Splenda works fine too) * ½ teaspoon ground cloves * ½ teaspoon ground ginger * ½ teaspoon mustard powder * ¼ teaspoon celery salt Let’s make it! BE SURE TO DISCARD ANY BRINING LIQUID THAT COMES WITH THE MEAT- INCLUDING THE SPICE PACKET! * Trim all visible fat from the meat - this may take some time (I use kitchen shears to ease this process). * Place meat in a large Dutch oven and cover with water. * Add ale, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves, a light shake of crushed red pepper flakes, peppercorns, garlic, and the onion chunks to the pot. * Bring to a boil, then lower heat just a bit and boil very gently, with lid ajar, for 4-5 hours or until meat is so tender that it breaks apart when you pull at it with a fork. 19

* Keep checking the pot from time to time to prevent boil overs - you will need to keep lowering the heat throughout the cooking process as the liquid reduces, especially in the first hour (It should still be hot enough to continue boiling gently, but not spilling over the sides of the pot). Step #2: * Meat should be very, very fork tender when ready for the next cooking stage and will have shrunk considerably from its original size. * In the last half hour or so of cooking time, boil the carrots and potatoes in a separate pot of water to cover and cook until fork tender; Drain vegetables and set in a small bowl. * Remove meat and onion pieces from boiling liquid (discard that liquid) and set into a large roasting pan (I usually pour the liquid through a strainer to catch the onion pieces). * Surround meat with boiled carrots, potatoes, and onion pieces. * Combine dry rub ingredients in a small bowl and rub all over the meat surface and sprinkle any remaining rub over the vegetables. * If needed, make up extra dry rub to coat the vegetables (we often do this). * Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 325°F oven for about 20 minutes until the top of the meat begins to look shiny. * Remove from oven and wait about 10 minutes before slicing into thin slices along the grain of the meat. Note: The meat will take on a very bright red hue when sliced- this is perfectly normal and is a result of both the brining nature of corned beef and the red ale enhances this color. I often make an extra pan of vegetables sprinkled with a full batch of dry rub and include not only carrots and potatoes, but parsnips as well (treat parsnips the same as you would a carrot.) I have successfully half-doubled this recipe when only larger corned beef cuts were available- larger cuts will take longer to boil but the roughly the same time to bake because the baking stage is merely to cook the dry rub into a glaze. PLEASE NOTE: If you substitute regular brown ale, then you will not get the same result in both color and flavor (You may substitute Irish ale or even an Irish lager if you must, but we really prefer the red ale). For more St. Patrick’s Day recipes, please visit www.food.com

www.katherinescorner.com 20

Did the Old Woman Sing? The Story of Anna Luke 2: 36 – 38 by Elizabeth Baker

She was a healthy Jewish girl who kept the traditions, attended synagogue and sang psalms as she worked around the house. In other words, she was just like thousands of other girls between the age of sixteen and eighteen. But to one special man she was more. We don’t know his name, but he chose, loved, and married the girl named Anna. Then tragedy struck. When Anna was in her mid-twenties, her husband’s life was cut short. All her neighbors and relatives would have agreed the loss was a tragedy, but they also regarded it as a judgment from God and believed Anna’s lack of children after seven years of marriage supported their conclusion. [1] Alone and grieving, she felt the sting. The normal thing would have been to return to the house of her father. Maybe she could start life again. Surely there was a widower or other suitable man looking for a wife. However, remarriage was not what Anna wanted. The decision could be forced on her by others, but in her heart she dreamed of something else. The Bible doesn’t pick up Anna’s story until she is eighty-four years old and the entire tale occupies only three verses. We are told she was a prophetess and she, “departed not from the temple but served with fastings and prayers night and day.” Have you ever wondered how that might work in practical terms? How did she make a living? Where did she sleep? We can’t be sure, but other verses and history give some possibilities.

Drawings of the temple most often focus only on the stately central building, courtyards, and burning alters for sacrifice. But the full temple complex was much more. There were also storage facilities [2], apartments [3], meeting rooms [4], and even rooms that served as temporary isolation chambers [5.] Imagine the space and number of laborers necessary when Solomon offered 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep in a seven day feast that fed a gathering of all the tribes of Israel![6] Even the daily functioning of the temple was huge. There was teaching, sacrifices, people, music, eating, counseling, prayer, praise, reading of the scriptures and much more activity swirling at all hours and although the vast majority of work was done by men, women were also employed. When Anna became a widow, her heart’s desire was to spend her life in service to God, and against all odds the Lord apparently honored her dream. We are not told many specifics about Anna’s life, but one way women served in the temple was by singing. [7] And, when singing was done to God and was about God, it was considered prophecy. [8] David had commissioned temple praise to be given continually and because the music was offered day and night, apartments in the temple complex were provided for the singers. [9] Did Anna sing? Was this one way she prophesied? We don’t know for sure.


But, if she did, her music, like her prayers and fastings would have been offered repeatedly, but not continually. Much of her time would be spent in the court of the women where she taught, prayed for and counseled with women of every description from all over the world. Hearing their concerns, bearing their burdens, her prayer list would have grown large and diverse. But the thing Anna likely prayed for most was the coming of Messiah. This promised event was the heart of Judaism. As prophetess, she was part of a long line stretching back through centuries whose duty and passion was to keep the promise alive in the heart of a nation. For sixty years she called on God to keep His promise then one afternoon it all came true. Anna was crossing the temple grounds when she saw Simeon in the distance. She knew the old man for he, too, spent much time praying at the temple, but as she approached, she noticed a baby in his arms and a young couple looking up at him expectantly.

She heard him praise. She looked at the child. She talked with the parents. And, she knew the promise had come true at last. It is fair to say that one of the first Christian missionaries was eighty-four years old, for when Anna discovered the promise was fulfilled, she told the good news to all who would listen. After sixty plus years of singing, her song had a new note. Messiah had come. [1] John 9:1-2; Luke 1:24-25 [2] Nehemiah 10:36-38 &13:5 [3] Malachi 3:10; I Chronicles 26:20-27 [4] I Kings 6:5-10; Ezekiel 42:8-13 [5] Jeremiah 35:1-2 [6] Leviticus 13:4-6 [7] I Kings 8:62-65; I Samuel 10:5 [8] I Chronicles 25:5-6; Ezra 2:65, Nehemiah 7:67 [9] I Chronicles 9:33 Visit Elizabeth Baker on her website at www.elizabethbakerbooks.com

Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies from the kitchen of Vintage Mama We made these cookies the other day, and they are so yummy we just had to share them with you. Fun to make with the kiddos, too!

What you need: * 1 cup brown sugar * ½ cup butter * I egg * 1 tsp. vanilla extract * 2 c. flour * 2 tsp. baking powder * pinch of salt * 1 cup chopped pecans * Adapted from a recipe found at www.allrecipes.com

Let’s make it! Beat the brown sugar and butter with electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until completely mixed. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl, then stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the pecans, mixing just enough to evenly combine. Roll the dough into a log and wrap in wax paper. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the dough and arrange the cookies on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven about 12 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 22

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Unique designer inspired jewelry, $15 and under everyday. New fashion-forward items arriving often!



Being a Woman A book by author Angela De Souza "What is the true meaning of being a woman?" The heart of a woman screams for romance and beauty, to be free to love extravagantly and to live intentionally. Should she be a 1950's housewife or the leader of a nation? Most women, especially Christian women, are rather confused about this whole subject. A great deal has been written on this subject, all with conflicting conclusions, leaving women not sure of what is true anymore. The Being a Woman book is a refreshing study where we have taken certain Bible verses and pulled them apart at our weekly Girl's Nights - it's NOT at all what you might think. We have delved into the Bible to find the truth and only the truth, nothing but the truth! Each chapter includes a study guide which can be used for self study or for small group study. Our Girl’s Night group has taken the bold steps of answering these questions too and included our unashamed, honest, exposed answers at the end of each chapter. Find out more about Being a Woman here (http://kingsdaughters21.blogspot.com/2011/01/being-woman.html ) Being a Wife is in progress and will be available soon, too. Special for all Ruby For Women readers: if you leave a comment on the Being a Woman page, I will send you a full set of printable Being a Woman study notes for free so that you can start a Girl’s Night in your own home. 23

Losing Weight Isn’t Just About What You Eat by Christena Hammes “It's a vicious cycle where we sleep poorly, we are less motivated to increase physical activity, and so we gain more weight, which leads to obesity related issues including sleep apnea.” (www.sleepfoundation.org) I can tell you from experience, don’t overload your schedule, and don’t think you can stay up all night, get a few hours’ sleep and keep on going without a consequence. Weight gain is but one consequence! “Six hours or fewer - you may think you function fine on this little sleep, but snoozing six hours or fewer a night for a period of only two weeks will impair your memory, reaction time and general cognition in the same way that staying awake for up to 48 hours straight would, according to a study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.” (www.self.com/health) It seems like for 2 or 3 weeks I have been sleeping an hour or two then waking up for 10 minutes, back to sleep for another hour or two (and if I’m lucky three or four) and I get a total of 5 hours interrupted sleep a night. My body and mind is beginning to tell me I need to make some changes. Instead of exercising 5-6 days a week I’m down to 2 or 3. I’m looking for quick fixes in the kitchen – all signs that something needs to change. Currently mine is hormonal and I need to get back on the bio-identical hormones, but it is also a schedule that is packed to overflowing – it is in me to want to do everything for and with everyone. So, until my hormones are back where they need to be, I need to make schedule changes to make sure I can get the rest I need. I won’t be able to help or fellowship with anyone if I let my body/mind run down. Stop and ask yourself – what is causing me not to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night? Can I take a nap on the days I get less than 6 hours? Do I need to cut out caffeine, turn the TV off, make my bedroom darker, or maybe playing a soft CD of Scripture would help. I love falling asleep as my husband washes me in the Word – it calms me. I understand the desire to lose weight quickly, but it’s not worth it only to lose your health in other areas. So please make sure to have a plan that includes your total body – mind, body and soul.


New Equation Search Number Puzzle by Beth Brubaker

Answer Key on page 70

Cheesy Irish Potato Bake (perfect with Corned Beef and Cabbage!) from the kitchen of Vintage Mama Creamy, cheesy potatoes, fresh from the oven, for your families St. Patrick’s Day feast! What you need: * 5 potatoes, peeled and sliced * 1 can (10.75 oz) condensed cheddar cheese soup * 1 ¼ cups milk * ¼ cup butter, melted Let’s make it! Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease a 9” X 9” baking dish. Layer the potatoes into the prepared baking dish. Mix together the soup, milk, and melted butter in a bowl until thoroughly combined; pour the mixture over the potatoes. Bake uncovered in preheated oven on a lower rack until the potatoes are tender, about 1 hour. 25

The Carrier Report A Short Story by Lee E. Shilo In the Second World War against Japan, many good men and women lost their lives on both fronts. The ego of the Americans and the ignorance of the Japanese contributed greatly to the complicated miscommunication on both sides. In the early morning of December 7, 1941, an Attaché' for the American State Department was rushing to leave Japan with the utmost possible speed. He was bound for Pearl Harbor with urgent and top secret information. He had arranged passage on a small fishing boat so as to not arouse suspicion. Unfortunately, this particular Attaché' did not hold a very high military rank. As a consequence, he knew it would be difficult to get higher ranking officers or officials to listen to him. He realized that he would arrive and dock in Pearl Harbor almost too late to deliver his top secret report. After finally arriving and wasting more precious time with military protocol, he made his way to the War Office. As he suspected, no official or high ranking officer was willing to listen to him. He ended up trying to tell anyone who would listen to his crazed ranting that all of the docked aircraft carriers needed to be moved or evacuated immediately. He told them he had proof that the Japanese were coming to bomb them inside the hour. Of course, history will record that indeed they were caught off guard and bombed by the Japanese Imperial fleet. In hindsight, they knew that they should have listened to the lowly Attaché'. Present day, in the halls of Pearl Harbor’s Navel War office, it has become known as the Carrier Report. Read more of Lee’s short stories and poetry on his website at www.shilocom.com


In the Making by Keith Wallis Above, the threatening calamity of clouds gently embraces sunlight, focusing its luminescent span a prelude to the refreshment of spring rain. Below, evidence of earlier showers percolates beneath our feet in time carved cavern and crystal caves. In the dark forges of eons and watercourse spin gems are crafted. While hand in hand we watch cloud swirl, its twin, unseen, in subterranean secrecy, continues a timeless creation. And my soul, and your soul, in resonant echo, parallel the growing seen and unseen. photo: Castleton, Derbyshire


Going to Church with a Special Needs Child by Ginger Kauffman It’s Sunday morning and we are going to church. We find our spot – halfway down the right side – and Samuel settles into the aisle seat. It’s where we always sit. And, like usual, it will be an eventful experience. Samuel, our 12-year-old son, is autistic. He is a wonderfully bright, articulate child with knowledge of Scripture that shames most adults. But he doesn’t know how to relate to others and finds it difficult to participate appropriately in the worship service. Most weeks lately he’s been going out part way through the service, finding a spot to read or rest, asking to go to the car, needing to go to the restroom. (We asked him why he doesn’t want to be in the service. “It annoys me,” he replied. “But why? Pastor Vic is a great preacher,” we said. He responded, “It annoys me to hear him preach about stuff I already know.” Oh, brother!) Today he has found a bench in the foyer where he can rest. Suddenly I hear him hollering and quickly go to the foyer to investigate. There stands Samuel, holding the door open, trying to shoo away three young teens who are skateboarding in the church parking lot. I politely ask the boys to leave during the service, settle Samuel down, and return to church. There is a commotion on the left side of the sanctuary and I see Brian, a 17-year-old with Down Syndrome and autism, jump up and run to the front of the sanctuary and head up the right aisle. He stops, looks around anxiously, and runs back to his seat. I think he is looking for Nick, his friend who also has Down Syndrome. But Nick isn’t in the service just now. His is out in the foyer talking very loudly to someone. I see Nick’s younger sister get up and go out to quiet him down. Worshipping today with our church family’s special needs kids is a bit more exciting than usual, but you can count on something happening nearly every week. Pastor Vic asks few rhetorical questions these days, since he knows Samuel will usually answer them! The congregation has come to expect these disruptions and loves and accepts our kids. We are quite fortunate to be in such a caring community, because I have heard from others that it is not always so. Some families I have spoken to or read about don’t feel comfortable in church. They feel they are unwelcome and their children are a nuisance. We worship with an adaptable group of folks who let us be who we are. When a family is unwelcome in church, where will they be fed? Where will their children find Christian community? And the church that turns away a child or adult because he or she is difficult or simply outside its comfort zone is missing out on an opportunity to grow, a chance to serve, and a blessing.


Is your church welcoming to families who live with special needs? Do you support the parents by loving their children? Are you open to finding a way to incorporate these children and adults into the life of the church, even if they may be disruptive? Here’s an idea. If you have a person in your church with special needs, find a specific task they might do. Consider their interests and skill level as you think about what they might do. What about having them help pass out bulletins, or keep an eye on the coffee pot so they can notify the staff when you’re running low? Maybe he or she would like to help arrange chairs before the service or straighten up after the service. As you involve them in the life of the church you will be telling them that they are loved and accepted within the body. Can you incorporate your special needs friends into an existing Sunday School class? Of course you may need a helper to assist the person, but it will teach the others in class that we are all God’s creation, dearly loved by Him. If you are not already doing so, ask the Lord if He would show you ways to minister to families and individuals with special needs. It may stretch you more than you wanted to stretch, but it will also open you up to a whole new kind of joy. And who among us couldn’t benefit from that! Ginger Kauffman says she wouldn’t have checked the “autism box” when dreaming about the children she would have, but is so grateful to be the mother of Samuel and his brother, who is also on the autism spectrum. The last 21 years of her life have been an amazing journey. You can read her blog at www.threeminutestonine.com

Cranberry Nut Granola Bars What you need: * 2 cups quick-cooking oats * 1 cup old-fashioned oats * ½ cup hulled pumpkin seeds

* ½ cup slivered almonds * 1 cup mixed nuts * 1 cup dried cranberries * 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

Let’s make it: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; line a 13” X 9” pan with lightly-greased parchment paper (an inch or so of the parchment paper should stick up on 2 sides to form lifting handles). Mix the quick-cooking oats, old-fashioned oats, pumpkin seeds, almonds, mixed nuts, cranberries, and sweetened condensed milk together in a bowl; spread into the prepared pan, evenly pressing into the corners and out to the sides. Bake in preheated oven until the edges are golden brown, 20 – 25 minutes, using slightly less time for chewier bars and slightly more time for crunchier bars. Allow bars to cool for 5 minutes in the pan before using the parchment paper “handles” to lift them from the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut into bars. Let the bars cool completely and store in an airtight container. 29

Ask Beth by Beth Brubaker

Dear Beth, When is the best time to start planting my seeds? I have a lot of packets, but don't really know when the best time is to start!

New Plant Lover

Dear Plant Lover, The best time to start planting varies on the plants themselves. March is when the nurseries start selling their seedling supplies, so make sure you stock up. As for what seeds should be planted, take a look at the back of the seed packet to see when is the best time. Outdoor plants must be started at least a month or two before replanting them outside, but if you have seeds for houseplants, those can be started any time of the year- as long as you start them in a place that's heated. Indoor porches generally are too cold for seedlings (unless they're well insulated) and you also need to keep pets from getting into them as they sprout. Some plants are really poisonous to pets and should be kept out of the rooms they inhabit. Pay attention to your seed packet instructions! Don't mix shade plants in with those that need full sun, or plants that need a lot of water with those that need little water- doing so will only kill half of your seedlings, because one of them won't get what it needs (or too much of what it needs) to grow properly. If you can, keep the same plants together in the same seedling bed and put them where you'll get the best results concerning sunlight. And don't forget to mark your seedlings! As you plant the seeds, mark the patches by individual markers or one marker per tray so you know which plant is which. One time my kids 'fixed' the signs for me, thinking they were helping, and I wound up with sage in my flower garden, and goldenrod in my herb garden! Follow these tips and you can be sure that many of your seedlings will not only survive, but thrive. Welcome to the world of gardening!

Happy Planting, Beth 30

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Four Simple Tips to Get You Moving Toward Your Weight Loss Goals by Lisa Simpkins The US has seen an enormous increase in the number of people considered obese by the medical community. In fact many call it an obesity epidemic. To combat this we find all sorts of pharmaceutical companies selling the "quick fix" pills, powders, and lotions that do nothing to actually help people take the fat off and keep it off. Of course the same could be said of the diet industry as well. There are so many different diets going around now you could pick one a month and in a year’s time still have more to choose from.

So start the day off with breakfast. Even an instant breakfast drink and a piece of fruit as we head out the door in the morning will get you off to a great start. #3 Move more. Depending on your physical condition you need to be moving more. Use the stairs rather than the elevator, park farther out from the office or the store, go for a walk around the block, go dancing, play with your kids. Make it fun. Running is not the only way to burn more calories.

What is truly needed are some sensible, proven weight-loss tips that people can implement no matter what their present physical condition is. That said, let's dive right in! #1 Drink more water. All too often Americans are borderline dehydrated and so their bodies are working on the water starvation reflex and not flushing the toxins and junk out. #2 Eat more often. I bet you thought I was going to say eat less. While it is true that to lose weight you need to eat fewer calories than you expend...you need to eat more often to get the metabolic furnace stoked up and burning right. Get it out of starvation mode.

#4 Finally, determine your "Why". Decide why you want to discard fat. Make your reason big enough to motivate you through the slumps that invariably happen. Keeping healthy is an on-going commitment. Our online expert system will help to monitor and support your decision to stay healthy with regular FREE NutriChecker Health Checks.

www.mamaslittletreasures.etsy.com 33

Spring is Coming! Crazy Word Puzzle by Beth Brubaker

Answer Key on page 71

This Space Space is For Sale! If you would like to advertise in an upcoming issue of Ruby for Women, please email editor@rubyforwomen.com for all the details

www.vintageimagecraft.com 34

Frugal Living by Tina Smith I don’t quite recall when I started being frugal, but it feels as if it has always been a part of my character. I was raised by grandparents who lived through the Great Depression, and I was always taught to be frugal with just about everything. Money, food, water, time, and just about anything you can think of except prayers. I was raised on a cattle ranch where water was often, and still is, a priceless commodity in the arid, drought-ridden, unforgiving terrain of South Texas. My grandparents were often even more frugal with water than they were with money. I recall recycling bath and laundry water by using it to water house plants during the dry summer months in my childhood. I can’t really say I ever thought we were poor in any way because everyone around us lived the same way, and we were happy; if we lacked anything we never knew it. Isn’t it funny how our earliest childhood memories of money often shape our lives? We often don’t even give it much thought. I often wonder if people who are not frugal believe that being frugal is being cheap. I am here to say that if you believe being frugal is being cheap, it’s really the furthest thing from the truth. I enjoy nice things as much as anyone. I just prefer to pay cash and get a great deal on the nice things I enjoy; it helps me enjoy those nice things so much more. I first consciously realized that I actually enjoy being frugal 19 years ago when I chose to become a stay-at-home mom. Choosing to stay at home and home school our children was my top priority then. Now that the children are grown up, the valuable lessons I learned from those years of having to be frugal to make ends meet are still with me, and a part of me today. Little did I know 19 years ago that the Lord would bless me so much by my just doing something that to me feels so natural and I love doing; saving money. It is always a great motivation for me to try and beat my last best deal and to teach people who are struggling with debt that there are so many great ways to save money, be debt free, and not feel deprived in the least.

“For wisdom is a defense, and money is a defense: but the excellency of knowledge is that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.”

I have learned that the Lord continually blesses those that make the best of what He gives them; good and bad combined. To me, being frugal is about Ecclesiastes 7:12 learning to enjoy all the best the Lord has to offer us with or without money! In the end we can’t take any of the stuff that society deems we MUST HAVE with us, and the only things that really matter are God, family, love, friendships, and good health. Who has not come across a person who is suffering from a life threatening illness who would not give every cent they have to be able to have just one more day of health. In a nutshell, being frugal is a mindset that can be learned if you were not schooled in it from childhood. There are many great learning tools out there. Feel free to send any questions you may have on the subject of frugal living to me at ifbpreacherswife@yahoo.com and I will be happy to share my knowledge with anyone who can use it. 35

Zucchini/Squash Casserole from the kitchen of Maxine Young What you need: 1 small zucchini 1 small squash 1 medium onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 4 slices of toast (bread of your choice) cut or torn into bite-sized pieces 1 cup of shredded cheese (cheddar and mozzarella or an Italian blend work well) 2 Tbsp olive oil 2 tsp Italian or pizza seasoning 1 tsp dried basil 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1 tomato, seeded and diced 2 eggs, beaten (you can use just egg whites or egg replacement) 1 Tbsp milk Salt and pepper to taste Let’s make it! 1. Wash, dry and cube squash & zucchini, place in a large bowl. 2. Add the oil, and toss to coat the vegetables, sprinkle Italian seasoning, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss again to coat. 3. Add the pieces of toast, 1/2 of cheese*, and 1/2 of the tomato. 4. Beat the egg with the milk; add to the bowl of veggies, seasonings and bread. Mix well. 5. Put the mixture in a casserole dish, top with remaining tomato, bake at 375 uncovered for 15 minutes, after the 15 minutes, lower the heat to 350 and cover the dish. Bake for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes of covered baking, check the vegetables by inserting the tip of a knife into two pieces. If the knife slides in easy you are ready for the last step, if it does not, replace the cover and check again after 5 minutes 6. Once the vegetables are soft, top the entire casserole with the remaining cheese, bake uncovered for 5 - 7 minutes or until the cheese is a bit browned and bubbly. 7. Remove the casserole and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before cutting into it. * The cheese can be adjusted according to seasoning. For this Italian casserole, I use a blend of Italian cheeses and a bit of cheddar mixed in. If you wanted a southwestern casserole, you could add corn to the veggies and a half can/bottle of jalapeùos (or fresh), use taco seasoning instead of basil and Italian seasoning, add a Mexican cheese blend instead of Italian cheese. 36

Spring by Keith Wallis

Towards Easter, newness bursting from decay. Whites, golds and greens splash the branches, and fresh fragrant fingers cloud and flex in gentle breeze. Bud and blossom ambush empty twiglets as the grasp and groan, of Winter retreats before the resolute, gardening, hand of time.


Five Lessons Learned While Home Schooling a Child with Developmental Disabilities by Marcia Settles The decision to home school is a personal and life-altering one for every family. Home schooling your special needs child may seem like an impossible endeavor, especially if you have no experience in special education.

* Know your Laws. We live in a home school friendly state. We have few rules concerning home education. We are required to notify our local board of education of our intent to home school.

It can be done, however, with the proper tools, commitment and when blanketed in prayer.

We are encouraged (if not expected) to keep records of attendance, progress and completed work, but do not have to submit anything at the end of the year or administer a state-mandated test.

My daughter received a diagnosis of “unspecified mental retardation” a few days after turning six. I had made the decision to home school when she was two. Many people wondered if I would continue to home school after realizing the extent of the challenges that lay ahead. My reply? Absolutely! Home schooling allows us to move at a comfortable pace and, most importantly, keeps her out of the “special education” bubble that would be inevitable in public school. She is able to interact with the community and strengthen her life skills while operating in the REAL “real world”. This isn’t to say that our days are easy and that I haven’t had to learn a few lessons myself along the way! Beauty is now eight -years- old and I’ve had plenty of opportunities to make mistakes! If I could advise any mother considering home schooling her cognitively challenged child, my advice would look something like this:

Other states have much more stringent laws however, so be sure you know what they are. I receive all my information directly from our state’s department of education. It may also be a good idea to become a member of the Home School Legal Defense Association should any problems arise concerning the legitimacy of your home school. *Take it Easy! I love to read, write and plan. My need for things to happen in a specified amount of time does not mix well with someone who learns at a much slower pace. I cannot tell you how many times I would whine to God, “Why can’t I teach her to read? Why isn’t she counting to twenty by now?” The Source of all wisdom and knowledge would gently remind me that I am not at fault and certainly neither is Beauty. She has accomplished so much already and is bright in many ways -Mama just needs to let things happen when they happen. If I remain consistent and patient in her education, progress will be made and stress will be at a minimum.


*Gather Support. Parents of special needs children learn very quickly how important it is to surround yourself and your child with people who understand and are willing to step in and assist you in your journey. Beauty is blessed with grandparents who are actively involved in not only her life in general, but also her education. A support team is critical when home schooling a special needs child. Beauty’s speech therapist does more than administer speech therapy . . . she takes on the role of a positive outside influence and strengthens her self-confidence and social skills. The same applies to her Sunday School teacher.

The internet is also a wonderful resource for gathering tips on such things as curriculum and learning styles. Take the time to “study” your child: how they learn best, their strengths and interests and focus on that. Ask the Lord for wisdom and He will provide.


It is also very important for Mama to have a support team as well. My parents are wonderful about allowing me some time for myself and for more focused one-on-one attention with my toddler son.

Psalm 139:13-16 and Jeremiah 29:11 and countless other assurances that God knows your child. He loves them and has a plan for them.

*Educate Yourself. If you have an official diagnosis of your child’s particular challenges, learn as much as you can about it. Scour the internet or library for materials pertaining to your child’s diagnosis.

Memorize Proverbs 16:3 and remind yourself daily to commit your works to the Lord. He will give you the guidance and wisdom you need to nurture and care for this blessing He has entrusted to you.

Mission Possible by Deborah McCarragher Deborah began her journey of creative writing soon after coming to know Jesus Christ as her personal Savior in 1989. She uses her spiritual gifts of encouragement and teaching in her home church. She is also a small business owner of over twenty years. Her primary goal is to share her personal testimony with others while bringing hope and practical help through her book. She and her husband have one married son serving in the US Military. They reside in north Florida. Mission Possible is a unique book in the Christian marketplace. It addresses a subject that is often overlooked and misunderstood. It is a candid look at my struggles and quest to reach my husband for Christ. It applies Scripture and biblical principles to everyday struggles encountered within a spiritually mismatched marriage. Mission Possible won the 2010 Readers Favorite Gold Seal Award for best Christian Non-Fiction book, and was nominated for the Christian Small Publisher’s Assoc. Book of the Year Award in 2009. http://www.Twitter.com/debitsdeb http://www.Facebook.com/Godmissionpossible http://www.Godmissionpossible.blogspot.com 39

Children’s Book Corner Reviews by Kendra Peterson

Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton Splat the Cat is an adorable cat that your child will fall in love with. In the first book, Splat the Cat, by Rob Scotton, Splat is very nervous about starting school, so he takes his best friend Seymour (a mouse) with him in his lunch box to cat school. The teacher, Mrs. Wimpydimple, tells the class that cats chase mice, which worries Splat since his best friend is a mouse. Seymour ends up saving the day by getting the milk door open, so all the class learns that mice are really nice after all. Splat has several books; Love, Splat for Valentines, Scaredy-Cat, Splat! for Halloween, Merry Christmas Splat, and Splat the Cat, Where's the Easter Bunny, plus more versions of Splat. Your children will love the illustrations in these books! Make sure to point out Seymour and what he is doing because he is so cute. Plus, in all the books there are a lot of ducks. When I read them in library classes, we count how many ducks are in each book. The Splat books are never in the library because they are always checked out! Your children are sure to love each Splat book. They are a great read-aloud with preschoolers to first graders.

Kendra Peterson is an elementary school librarian and in her spare time, she loves reading to children and helping them learn to read with great books.

You can purchase the Splat the Cat books on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Splat-Cat-RobScotton/dp/0007284543/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b/278-95917929192350


who never went away.

Hearing God’s Voice, Obeying God’s Call: The Story of St. Patrick Soft gray mist swirled silently around the cottage where Patrick waited for daybreak. Although it was springtime in the village Dalraida, the early mornings were always damp and chilly in the northern Irish countryside. Patrick lay shivering in the predawn darkness, far from the warmth of the embers still glowing in the fireplace at the center of the round house of Milchu. As Milchu’s servant, Patrick was allowed only to be in the cuile, the smaller room at the back of the turf home, where there was little warmth or light. In the early morning quiet, Patrick’s thoughts returned to his home and family back in Roman Britain. He thought fondly of his parents, Calphurnius and Conchessa, and his life as the only son of a Roman noble family. His father was the decurio for their Roman village, and his mother was a near relative of the great patron of Gaul, St. Martin of Tours. He remembered days of his youth, as the privileged son of a high-ranking Roman official, for whom no expenses were spared for his comfort and pleasure. Patrick also recalled the days when he first realized the mercy and grace that God had so lovingly expressed to him through the gift of salvation in Jesus, his Savior. But in the midst of the pagan household of the Irish chieftain Milchu, Patrick often struggled with fear and loneliness. His thoughts returned to moments of joy in the loving care of his family, and then he recalled the terror of his captivity, when he was snatched from his childhood home in the dark night of an autumn thunderstorm. Patrick shuddered as he remembered the rough words of Milchu’s soldiers as they pillaged and plundered the village of his youth. Their language was strange to him, it was not his native Latin tongue, but the unfamiliar Celtic words struck great fear into Patrick’s heart as the marauders shouted orders and roughly shoved his family out into the raging storm. Patrick had been only sixteen years old when he had been captured by Milchu’s soldiers. His family had been forced out of their modest but comfortable home at the point of the soldier’s spears. Their home had been burned, the animals slaughtered, and Patrick had been taken away for ransom. But the ransom had never materialized, after his family’s wealth had all been plundered by the pagan marauders.


Patrick thought of the long years of his captivity, nearly six years in all, during which time he tended the flocks of Milchu, the High Druid of Dalraida, in the valley of the Braid and on the slopes of Slemish Mountain. Patrick thought of all the days in which he pastured the flocks, and each day he would pray many times, up to one hundred prayers a day. He recalled how God had protected him , and his love and fear of God increased, as did his faith, so that many times he would stay out in the forests and up on the mountain, praying before daylight in the snow and icy coldness of winter. He thought of the chilly, rainy days of spring and even through the summer in the North of Ireland when he would seek God’s presence. And even in the midst of the misery of captivity, Patrick sensed God’s presence, as he neither experienced any illness as he wandered the valley of the Braid, nor weariness in his spirit because God’s Spirit burned in his heart through the lonely days of his servitude. Now Patrick realized that if he was ever to return to his home and family, he must find a way to escape the grasp of his master. In the damp, dark predawn mist, Patrick suddenly heard the rustling of the wind in the trees outside the cuile, and he felt the presence of his Heavenly Father in the humble dwelling. Patrick began to pray, whispering in the silence of the morning, asking God to reveal to him what he must do. As the mist of the morning began to lift, Patrick clearly heard God revealing to his heart that it was time to escape from his captivity, and God Himself would guide Him: "You do well to fast, my child: soon you will depart for your home country." And then, a very short time later, Patrick heard a voice prophesying: "Behold, your ship is ready." But how could he escape from Milchu, when his soldiers were ever-present, watching over the pastures and the mountainside? As the morning sun dispersed the dampness of the mist, Patrick arose from his straw mat in the cuile and went outside where the sheep were awaiting his arrival. Throughout that long day, keeping watch over the flocks in the valley of the Braid, Patrick prayed that God would give him wisdom for the next steps he must take on his journey home. He could see the soldiers of Milchu slumbering in the afternoon sunlight, just over a rise on the slope of the mountain. Suddenly he heard a shout from the direction of the soldiers’ outpost. He looked up to see two of Milchu’s soldiers grasp their spears and run wildly down the mountain side towards the round house of his master. Patrick quickly ran to the place where the soldiers had been resting and looked over the rise, in the direction of the round house. Fire! Great bursting flames of fire were shooting from the roof of the house and spreading rapidly to the back where Patrick’s few meager possessions were hidden in a hole in the floor of the cuile. All of Milchu’s family, including his servants and the soldiers, were frantically trying to put out the raging fire, and at that moment, Patrick remembered the night when fire had destroyed his own family’s home in Britain. Through the mist of memory, Patrick was suddenly struck by the realization that in the midst of the chaos of the fire, he would have an opportunity to flee from his captivity. 42

Taking only his water pouch and the leftover bread and cheese from his midday meal, Patrick scrambled across the valley of the Braid, skirted around the village of Dalraida, and left Slemish Mountain far behind him. As the late afternoon sunlight slanted long shadows across the valley floor, Patrick ran as quickly as he could in the direction of the western Irish coast, where God had told him that a ship would be awaiting his arrival to take him home to his family in Britain. For many days and nights, Patrick journeyed on with the morning sun at his back, towards Killala Bay and on to Cathair na Mart, 200 miles from the village of his captivity. After a long and lonely journey, Patrick looked down on the seacoast and there he saw row upon row of sailing vessels called curraghs in the bay. He breathed a prayer of gratitude to God for bringing him to the ship which was anchored at the dock, ready to set sail for Britain. Patrick hurried to the captain and begged that he be allowed to board the ship. “If you please, sir, I am bound for my home after many years away and must find a way to travel over the sea,” pleaded Patrick. “Where’s your money, then, lad?” demanded the captain. “I’ve no money, sir, but I will work for my passage,” replied Patrick. “Be gone with you, then, if you’ve no money!” exclaimed the angry captain, turning abruptly from Patrick and limping away. Discouraged but not despondent, Patrick walked slowly from the bustling waterfront, wondering if he had misunderstood God’s message. Wandering slowly back to the hut where he had found a crude shelter from the frequent rains and mist of the northern Irish countryside, Patrick began to pray again, seeking guidance from his Heavenly Father. Convinced that God had spoken to him and had told him to return home to his family in Britain, Patrick trusted that there would be a way through the wilderness that was before him. Suddenly, even before he had finished his prayer, Patrick heard one of the sailors shouting after him: “Come quickly, because the men are calling for you!” Amazed at God’s provision, Patrick turned back towards the rows of curraghs and the rowdy sailing crews, and joined the sailors on the ship bound for Britain. Throughout the long days and weeks of the journey to his home, Patrick was constantly reminded of God’s blessings and provision. Even as the food stores on the ship began to dwindle, and as the sailors harshly reproached Patrick for his steadfast trust in God, he continued to pray and trust his Heavenly Father to bring him to his family home. In those moments of darkness and fear, Patrick sought God’s face and remembered the words he had learned as a young boy, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Upon disembarking from the curragh on the wild and untamed coast of Britain, Patrick and several of the sailors determined to journey on together to their final destinations.

Suddenly, even before he had finished his prayer, Patrick heard one of the sailors shouting after him: “Come quickly, because the men are calling for you!” 43

After twenty-eight days of meandering through uninhabited regions of England, wandering aimlessly among the wooded groves and verdant valleys, the rough band of sailors were on the verge of starvation. Fearful of their blame, Patrick constantly prayed that God would sustain them. Then, on the morning of the summer solstice, Patrick again heard the soft whisper of God’s Spirit in the predawn breeze. “Go to the edge of the wood where you will be sustained.” Silently, so as not to awaken his companions, Patrick arose and walked to the edge of the wood as God had guided him. As Patrick broke through the dense thicket, there before him was a tiny sod cottage with a cook fire glowing on the outside hearth. Squatting beside the fire was an ancient, grizzled woman who appeared to be as gray as the ashes in her hearth. “Good mornin’, God’s blessing upon you!” Patrick heralded her so as not to unnecessarily frighten the old woman. “Aye, mornin’ to you, as well, lad,” she replied, barely looking up from the partridge she was roasting over the fire. “We’ve been traveling many miles, and have no provisions for our journey home,” he said, not moving closer for fear of alarming her. “Yes, well come closer to my hearth, lad, and you might share my morning feast,” she croaked. “God has led me here to you, this day,” he explained, “and I know that God will provide,” he began to say. But she just smiled and nodded as she looked into his trusting eyes. “Here, see the traps that I’ve laid behind my cottage,” she pointed with a gnarled finger in the direction of the woods in the back of her rough hut. “And see over here, in the sunlight, the garden where the herbs grow.” Patrick knew that God had brought him to this place, and he felt in his heart that this was God’s gift, not only to him, but to the unbelieving sailors as well. Many days later, after Patrick parted company with the sailors, he again felt God’s presence as he walked along the dusty road towards his home village. “There is much work for you to do, my child,” God impressed upon his tender heart. This message of encouragement lightened Patrick’s step as he continued on his journey. When the sunlight dropped below the horizon, and Patrick wrapped his tattered cloak around his shoulders and huddled near a fallen log to rest, he dreamed of his home, his family, and the message he had received from God. In his dream he saw a glorious angel, sent from God, who tenderly touched his cheek and told him, “God will honor your sufferings and your obedience, Patrick. It is now time for the next pathway on your journey. Return home to your family for a time, and then you must invest the remainder of your life in telling the Irish people about salvation through Christ.”


Upon waking, Patrick felt bewildered but intrigued by this message from God. He traveled on, finally reaching his family’s humble home on the fortieth day of his journey. With much gratitude and rejoicing, his family welcomed him home, and when he told them of God’s guidance in his life, they encouraged him to devote himself to training for the priesthood. Patrick journeyed on the path that God had set before him, and eventually he traveled to France where he joined the monastery of St. Martin’s of Tours, and later had the privilege of studying under the great teacher, St. Germain, the Bishop of Auxerre. During those years, it was the tradition in the territory called Morini, that Patrick was engaged in missionary work among the people. After twelve years in the monastery, Patrick himself became a bishop, and returned to Britain to fulfill his calling to preach salvation. Again God sent an angel to speak to Patrick in a dream in which he was addressed by Victoricus who delivered a letter to him entitled “The Voice of the Irish.” In his dream, Patrick took the letter with trembling hands, knowing that this was a message directly from God to Patrick’s heart and soul. "O holy youth, come back to Erin, and walk once more amongst us," were the words that were written, the voices of the children from Focluth, by the western sea of Ireland. In that moment, it was confirmed in Patrick’s heart that he must return to the land of his captivity. Throughout the months of the springtime of the year 433, Patrick was preparing for the next step in the journey God had set before him. Another missionary priest, Palladius, had previously received a commission from Pope Celestine I to minister to the pagan Celts of Ireland, but he abandoned his mission after fierce opposition from the Wicklow chieftain had terrified him. And so it was that, shortly before his death, Pope Celestine I sent Patrick on his way to undertake the mission of gathering the Irish race into the one fold of Christ. Late in the summer of that same year, Patrick and his traveling companions landed at the mouth of the Vantry River, close by Wicklow Head. The Druids were immediately up in arms against him, but Patrick was not disheartened. The intrepid missionary resolved to search for a more friendly territory in which to begin his sacred mission. His first objective, however, would be to go directly to the village of Dalraida, where he had been held captive by Milchu, to pay the price of ransom to his former master. Patrick was led by God to share with Milchu the message of God’s gift of salvation in Christ, in exchange for the years of slavery and cruelty that he had endured at Milchu’s hands. Along the way to Dalraida, Patrick traveled northwards where he halted at the mouth of the River Boyne where crowds of Irish peasants gathered around him and listened in amazement and wonder as he shared with them in their native tongue the story of the Savior and His love and forgiveness for each one.


Patrick continued on his journey over land towards Slemish Mountain, with the blessing of God’s presence each step of the way. As Patrick came over a rise on the slopes of Slemish, He was struck with horror when he saw in the distance the cottage of his old master, Milchu, enveloped in flames.

“Tell them of My great love for them, and tell them of the truth of the Trinity so they will understand My power above their pagan rituals.”

Having heard of Patrick’s imminent arrival, Milchu was terrified that Patrick intended revenge upon him. Milchu had gathered all of his family treasures into his cottage, and after setting it aflame, he threw himself into the fire. The village peasants whispered amongst themselves that Milchu’s pride could not endure the thought of being vanquished by his former slave. Though saddened by the death of Milchu, Patrick continued his mission to win the hearts of the Irish people for Christ and God honored his work by bringing many of the people to salvation. The work was difficult and Patrick was arrested many times by the Celtic Druids, especially outraged by the conversion among some of the royal families.

During one of his trials, Patrick again heard the voice of God’s Spirit in his soul. “Tell them of My great love for them, and tell them of the truth of the Trinity so they will understand My power above their pagan rituals.” As Patrick looked around him at the emerald green Irish countryside, he suddenly realized that God had given him a way to explain this truth to the people. The assembled chieftains surrounded him as he bent down and plucked a shamrock from the pasture, and listened in wonder as he explained to them the great doctrine of the Blessed Trinity. The triple leaf and single stem, in a simple yet profound image that they could understand, expressed the truth of God’s presence among them. Patrick traveled for more than twenty years throughout Ireland, preaching and teaching the Gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ. Patrick is much-loved throughout Ireland for his work in establishing schools and churches, and sharing the Good News of God’s grace and love with the Irish people. Many of the pagan Druids of the Irish countryside eventually banished their serpent symbolism to embrace the Cross of Christ through the teaching and preaching of Patrick. After many years of missionary work among the people of the land of his captivity, Patrick died on March 17, AD 461, but his legacy lives on in the legend of the shamrock and the faith of the Irish people. To read more about the life and ministry of St. Patrick, visit the following websites: www.irelandnow.com www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day www.saint-patrick.com www.theholidayspot.com/patrick 46

Breathless by Vintage Mama I don’t know if Breathless Is a good thing or a bad thing . . . While rushing here and there Late for work or picking up the kids . . . . I’m breathless. Late at night I worry about money, family, time, work And all day long I worry about money, family, time, work Always searching for a place of peace and tranquility Where life is simply slower, and in my quest for tranquility I’m breathless. But then I wake and see the face of my sleeping child Or the reflection of the rising sun on the placid lake And gaze into the loving eyes of the man who sleeps beside me I silently pray that this will forever be our sacred place I’m breathless . . . At the wonder of life, the heartache, and the moments of amazing, joyous, miraculous love and here I choose to stay remembering every breath and every touch, the gift of love, family, and life . . . . I seek this place of peace while enduring the pain of brokenness that sometimes makes me Breathless.


The Return of Inspiration: A Literary Review by Amy Lignor For quite some time now, the younger generation has been seen as simply the age of YouTube, Facebook, cell phones and video games. But in the last few years they have become the largest group of readers in the world. The reason for that, I believe, is two-fold. Number one, the young adult genre has become huge, with authors who really know their subjects. From the vamps to the werewolves to the dystopian lands that they’ve created, teens have jumped on board with these titles. (So have adults, by the way). The other reason the YA market has become so grand is truly because of the world in which we live today. There are a great many things in this life to be thankful for; there are blessings, good people, faith and hope that still exist in this day and age. Unfortunately, there’s a darker side that has also come on strong. From unemployment to poverty to politics to war to bullying - you name it, it’s in the headlines. So a restoration of faith and hope is a truly wonderful thing, and it’s being led by some amazing and enlightening fiction. Lately, the ‘fanged ones’ - those vampires that everyone loves - have gotten a great deal of competition from the ‘winged ones.’ There are a majority of angels that are of the ‘fallen’ variety who are trying their absolute best to redeem themselves. There are also love stories that are becoming as heralded as “Romeo and Juliet,” and more of these characters are showing up on the big screen every month. The idea for my book really stemmed from wanting to do a YA series based on ‘new’ angels; a fresh team that had yet to come down here. Matt and Emily are a partnership - an angel/warrior team that still believes in all the good, faith, hope, etc., that their teachers have taught them. They’re also extremely excited to get their first taste of freedom and succeed at their very first assignment. I originally wondered whether or not a ‘fresh’ team that’s been surrounded by ‘good’ could even make it down here among the seriously dark and sometimes dangerous world that humans dwell in. I wondered if they’d even want to. Told from a different perspective, I tried to bring back inspiration with this batch of divine beings. They certainly still have the adventure, suspense, heartache, etc., that others have experienced, but their biggest challenge is trying to keep their faith in each other while being faced with a brand new world that’s tearing them apart. Some, perhaps, will get angry. Matt and Emily have teachers - familiar teachers by the name of Mike and Gabe. They also have a great deal of friends ‘up above’ and they do return home to talk to them and get advice. They sometimes go home angry, sad, confused, or happy - all depending on the twists and turns that their human lives have taken. But these characters are mentors who offer humor and friendship to the team - no preaching involved. Inspiration is the key to The Angel Chronicles, and I truly hope it brings a little more light into everyone’s world. Until Next Time everybody,

Amy 48

Scrappy Spring Collage Wall Décor Craft Project from the studio of Vintage Mama Our craft room is overflowing with leftover scraps of beautiful paper that we’ve used for scrapbooking projects, as well as a wide variety of school projects, art projects, and collages. As we have started doing a bit of Spring Cleaning around our house, we wanted to create a few fun, easy, and inexpensive wall décor projects to bring a bit of sunshine to our home. We discovered this craft idea at our local Michael’s store and decided to give it a try! It is super-simple, and if you have scraps and snippets of paper or fabric, you can make one for your house this spring, too. What you need: * Styrofoam Sheets: (2) 12” X 36” X 1”; (2) 12” X 12” X 1” * Scrapbook papers: 12” X 12”, 7 – 10 sheets of the heavier weight variety (or use up some of your scraps like we did!) * Acrylic craft paint, to coordinate with paper * Paintbrush * Ruler

* Sharp pencil * Utility knife (with a new blade to be sure it is sharp!) * Craft pins * Craft sticks * Hook & Loop picture hangers * White craft glue * Low-temp glue gun and glue sticks

Let’s make it! Use the ruler / straight edge and pencil to mark cutting lines on the Styrofoam sheets to create a variety of sizes. Cut out the pieces using a utility knife. Paint all edges with acrylic craft paint; let dry. Cut scrapbook papers to fit the foam pieces. Spread a very thin, even layer of craft glue on a foam piece and adhere the corresponding sheet of paper (it works well to thin the craft glue with a tiny bit of water and “paint” the glue on the back of the paper – it allows for an even, thin layer of glue and does not create wrinkles or bubbles as happens when the glue is applied directly from the bottle). Repeat this process until all foam pieces are covered. Let dry. * To minimize the potential for the paper to become “wavy” from the moisture in the glue, be sure to use the paint brush technique, and then weight the paper down with a heavy book or other object while it dries. Using a low-temp glue and glue gun, assemble your wall collage in a pleasing arrangement. For additional reinforcement, if necessary, glue craft sticks on the reverse side to connect the pieces, making sure that the craft sticks are not visible from the front. Attach hook and loop photo hangers to the back. Try making this Scrappy Spring Wall Décor Craft Project with different color combinations . . . your could also cover your Styrofoam sheets with different fabrics and embellish with vintage buttons, lace, ribbons, beads, or charms. Use your imagination! 49

Footprints in the Mud Driving (In)Courtesy by Beth Brubaker We've all seen it - in fact; some of us have done it. Those faux pas that are considered rude, but excusable. Annoying little things like that friendly beep-beep when someone runs a stop sign, as if you say “Oops! Didn't see you there! Please don't hit me!” or those others that do one long beeeeeep as if to say, “I'm in a hurry, and the law doesn't apply to me at the moment - stand aside!” Okay, so the last one isn't excusable, but we usually don't call the police on him, either. Personally, I like the Sneakers - the ones that edge along the intersection like a snail, hoping that no one sees them. By the time their car makes it across the road, the light changes anyway, but he didn't officially 'blow the light'. I caught one person hunched down in her car as if to say, 'You can't see me!' Yes we can, and so did the cop hiding in the bushes - but he was too busy laughing to give you a ticket. Then there are the Bullies. You have two types - the Nudger and the Derby driver. The Nudger tends to take three miles to move over into your space with no signals, so you either have to slow down or ride the shoulder. The Derby driver practically jackknifes his car getting into your lane, as if he's in a ‘Need for Speed’ movie. Maybe he is, but you're not getting paid as an extra, so you slam on the brakes before he slams into you. The Signaler either doesn't know the turn signal is still on, or they met Mr. Derby on the interstate, and are taking precautions. The signal lasts forever, and when they finally do make a turn, it's so subtle it doesn't set off the blinker.

And no matter which way you go, they seem to be going to the same place- even if you're going to another state. Pausers are interesting to watch. These people never truly stop at a stop sign, but slow down long enough to stretch their necks and get a glimpse of the cross traffic before going through the sign. They're fun to watch because sometimes they don't see it's a four-way stop, and almost get nailed by someone. Their expressions are priceless - I never knew one's jaw could reach one's lap, and that a man can actually scream like a little girl - a three year old girl, in fact. The Protectors are probably the worst offenders of all. These people either just bought the car they're driving, or have it on loan from a parent, friend, or the mob. Potholes are given a wide berth (even if they're small enough to drive over), manhole covers are to be avoided like the plague, and heavenforbid they encounter a speed bump - it takes them three hours to just get the proper angle so both tires don't hit it at the same time, so the rear doesn't bounce and possibly bottom out. And they drive five miles under the speed limit. So, if you see any of these drivers, I suggest you program the GPS for another way to your destination. You might never get there if you don't!

Did you know Beth also has a blog? Please see more Footprints in the Mud at http://footprintsinthemudblog.blogspot.com and become a follower! 50

Choose to Plant a Seed of Hope by Maxine Young A few weeks ago, I began to look at pictures of where I used to go to school. Even though I graduated 11 years ago and it has since changed a great deal on the inside, it still looks completely the same on the outside - actually the pictures showed many of the buildings in exactly the way I remembered them. I looked at those pictures and longed for the time I was there; that simpler time I did not appreciate as much as I should have. I noticed on the church's website a sermon preached by my favorite professor while I was there, and I didn’t feel I could leave without listening to it. I cannot explain how it felt to hear the words of my old teacher after so many years. It was a mix of utter gratefulness and surprising comfort. He was speaking of God's greatness and recounted a cartoon of Charlie Brown (incidentally the one cartoon character I feel I most identify with). In the cartoon, Charlie stands on a hill and looks at a sky full of stars. He studies the stars for three frames of the four-framed cartoon, then he finally turns to leave and mentions to Lucy that he needed to go inside because he was starting to feel insignificant. The professor went on to say - we may feel miniscule - yes, but insignificant? Never. To God we are never insignificant. Never. What a warm feeling and welcome reminder. God is our Father and He loves us. Each morning when the sun rises, each spring when the flowers blossom, each autumn when the leaves change into brilliant colors, these are all gifts - these are all ways of God saying - I love you; you are significant to me. One of my most treasured memories of my old professor was when he took time out after a class to encourage me about my writing. At that time, no one had ever told me anything special about the things I wrote. It was over 15 years ago, but I remember feeling significant in that moment. God impressed on him to mention something I wasn’t aware of and a whole new world was opened up to me. Perhaps it was the world that God had intended to begin with, but if he had not taken the time to encourage me - I never would have considered studying another subject. My life might have been a little different. What if we, as God's children, did our best to make the people we encounter each day feel significant, heard, cared for or loved - just as God does for us? We've become so busy and inattentive, that taking the time simply to have a conversation while looking someone in the eyes has become a rare event. We are too busy with distractions to notice God's hugs and kisses, and we have no time to encourage one another and remind each other of God's love for us. No wonder we stress ourselves trying to find significance in our jobs, our bodies, our houses and spouses. We attempt to gain significance from our distractions – a very temporary fix. Unfortunately, seeking for any other significance outside of the will of God is futile - we can never find true lasting significance in the things of this world. We can only find our true and lasting significance in how God feels about us because His feelings will never change. 51

I have a challenge for us this month. I want you to ask God to reveal to you someone who might need encouragement, or a seed of hope planted in their hearts. Dedicate some time to encouraging that person and lifting their spirits. Perhaps it will be a reminder that they are significant to God, or perhaps it will be the first time you are letting them know how special they are to you. Write a card, take them out to lunch, share a phone call (it doesn’t have to be 3 hours long), bake them a cake . . . or some kale chips (if that's what you know they would like). Ask them what's important to them and then listen to the answer; tell them about the treasure they are to God. Do not be tempted to interject your own will, just consider yourself to be on a secret service mission for the King and sincerely, from the bottom of your heart, let someone know that they are significant and God loves them. It may be the only time they’ve ever heard such a thing, and you never know - 15 years after you've said it, they might just write about the experience and encourage someone to do the same. *Are you the one that needs some encouragement? Send me your email address and I WILL send you an e-card. Maxiney7@gmail.com

Get to Know Rob Hammes and Ben Mosier Interview by Christena Hammes Christena: Ben, what inspired you to write the lyrics for the song “Come, Let Your Fire Fall”? Ben: The inspiration for "Come Let Your Fire Fall" came from meditating on the life of Jesus. I was just thinking about His word and the Holy Spirit dropped those lyrics in my heart. For me that song is truly my heart’s cry. I want God's love and power to explode out of me onto the world around me. Christena: Rob, how did the music for this song come to your heart? Rob: Ben has never sung for anybody and he was pretty nervous about showing me the song (with lyrics and melody). After some encouragement, he sang the song into my computer, and we discovered a very natural sense of pitch and timing that even Ben didn't realize he has. The astonishing thing was that in putting harmonies and chords to his melody, I found that the chorus was not in a "normal" time signature. Since Ben kept singing it the same way every time he sang it, this must have been God's time, not Ben's! While the rest of the song is in "four-four" time, the chorus uses a "six-four" time signature. Be sure to visit Reverbnation to listen to all of the music by Rob Hammes and Ben Mosier. Their new CD, Faith has a Voice, is now available at http://www.reverbnation.com/robhammes 52

The Silent Sound of Spring by Keith Wallis

The first chorus of Spring: a rising voice, a surprise of colour. A choir of crocus soprano above the grayness of tired Winter’s retreat. Like a nest of newly hatched blackbirds beaks agape, begging for food these yellow petals reach out for the early sun. Now, green blades rise from the death of earth a promise of Easter’s repair for a broken world and the return of a God who never went away.


Sew-Along with Laura Brandt Bible Block Wedding Sampler Block #6

“Road to Damascus” It was along the road to Damascus that the apostle Paul met the Lord Jesus Christ. At the time, his name was Saul, and he was on his way to the Damascus synagogues. He had the blessing of the high priest to return Christians, bound, to Jerusalem. Acts 9:1 describes Saul as “yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” and it is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible because it details the account of how a man who was the enemy of the Christian church became a man who was sold out for Jesus Christ: so much so, that the Lord wrote the majority of the New Testament through him. For this block, choose three fabrics. I’ve used dark purple (Fabric 1), medium purple (Fabric 2) and off-white (Fabric 3). This block isn’t as hard to construct as it first appears. I found using templates to be much easier than using rotary cutting instructions; cut your pieces as accurately as you possibly can and follow the Key Block diagram on the template printout. Please note: all seams are ¼”; final block is 12.5” unfinished. Step 1 – cut your fabric. From Fabric 1, cut two pieces with template F and two with template B. From Fabric 2, cut four pieces with template B. From Fabric 3, cut two each with templates A, C, D and E. Fabric 1


Fabric 2

Fabric 3

Step 2 – With right sides together, sew diagonal edge of template A (Fabric 3) to the short edge of template B (Fabric 2), as shown. Press seam.


Repeat, sewing diagonal edge of template C (Fabric 3) to the opposite short edge of template B (Fabric 2), as shown. Press seam.

Step 3 - With the remaining A and C pieces from Fabric 3 and another B piece from Fabric 2, make a second strip like you did in Step 2, above. With the second strip turned 180 degrees to the first, these will become the two outer edges of your block.


Step 4 – start the centre section of your block. With right sides together, sew long edge of template D (Fabric 3) to short edge of template B (Fabric 1), as shown. Press seam.

Step 5 – with right sides together, sew short edge of template E (Fabric 3) to edge of template F (Fabric 1), as shown. Press seam.

Step 6 – sew B/D unit to E/F unit as shown, being careful to match seams. Press.


Step 7 – sew short edge of B template (Fabric 2) triangle to edge of D/F unit, as shown. Press seam.

Step 8 – with remaining B, D, E and F pieces, repeat steps 4 -7 and make a second, identical unit. Turn it 180 degrees to your first unit and sew the two units together on the long seam. Watch your alignment.


Step 9 – sew your two outer edges to the respective sides of your completed centre section to finish your block.

Wentworth County Quiltworks Bible quilt updates and a growing Bible Block-of-the-Month collection Visit Laura and follow along as she creates her Bible Block-of-the-Month Collection! www.wentworthcountyquiltworks.com 59

Send Out Cards with Danie Bell

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https://www.sendoutcards.com/28116 60

God’s Mercy through the Storm by Roze Collins May 23, 2011 Today, Monday, the weather is nice outside. Nice enough that I can be out working in the yard. My grandson William being here was so nice! He helped me start cleaning up the yard. ... he got to help me mow. He was so excited! We cut a few tree limbs down and took some to the burn pile. We picked up some limbs that had been cut before and were still lying on the ground. It was a really good day!

May 24, 2011 Today, Tuesday, we are still having decent weather. Back to working in the yard. During the day, all the grandchildren made it over to help in the yard picking up trash and hauling cut limbs to the burn pile out in the pasture. Pleasantly annoying, having a group of kids, some complaining, some just wanting to do certain things, not necessarily what needs to be done. Eventually, they settled in front on the swing set and jump horse, just playing and vacating any work that needed done. We took a break :). Four of the five went home and left William here with me to do more work outside. William mowed a good bit of the center part of the backyard; he was awful pleased with himself. We took a bit of an ice water break, and then back to work. We cleaned out the south fence line in the front by clipping out straggly branches and small new trees that were over shadowing the good ones. William complained he didn't want to haul anymore to the burn pile right now. So, since we had been working all day, we decided to go in and call it a day; we could haul them tomorrow. In the meantime, Pa needed some gasoline for some work on equipment in the garage. William and I loaded up a gas can and headed for the store. While there, I treated William with an ice cream of choice. It seemed nice to just sit and cool off and have some quality time together. When we returned (for the most part of the previous couple hours we had been hearing about bad weather and tornados 'up north' in Piedmont and to our west at Chickasha) the weather was on and giving warnings everywhere - away from us. A small announcement snuck in that there may be a circulation forming around Rush Springs. No identifying that it was actually a tornado and no real warning where it was going or its strength.


The weather report noted there was a 'storm' that would be coming over 'Criner' ... but never a confirmation that there was a tornado this close. The estimated time was approximately 4:58 pm. About 4:42 pm, Mike stepped out on the front porch to see the rotation heading straight for us.... "Get in the car! We have to go.... NOW!!!!!" What were we going to do? In disbelief, I had to see what he was seeing. Sure enough, headed right for our front door was a tight rope tornado. UNBELIEVABLE! Do we leave? Do we stay? Where would we go? The girls we had to warn them (they were at the back of the property in their own homes, unable to see what was coming). A quick call to our daughter Jessica to let her know to open the door for her sister Tiffany, and then and a quick call to Tiffany to tell her to GO.... GO NOW!!!!!!!!!! to her sister’s house. There was no time for them to come to the road and get away, they would have been caught in it, no matter what. Unaware of the actual strength and power of the storm, all that was left was prayer. Mike, William, Sabrina and I got to the car and headed south as fast as we could, trying to stop long enough to see what was happening. Then we saw it turn slightly . . . to the south! Off we went more quickly. All I could think of was my daughters and their babies! There was nothing else I could do - nothing. I left everything in the hands of God. At that moment, my faith was all I had to turn to. I would not let myself think otherwise - until we turned and went back. We had seen it cross the road behind us. There was a white cloud of debris flying everywhere. It was ugly and awesome at the same time. It was wicked and mesmerizing. BUT, it was over my children! I tried to call, but there was no answer. Would they still be there? What had they endured? That is an emotion a mother never forgets. How could they have survived that? When we reached the outer area where just the winds did damage, it was devastating. Then, as we neared the house, everything was gone - the houses, the barns, cars, trees, grass, everything! It looked like a bomb had been dropped. Vehicles from who knows where were on the sides of the road mangled and/or on their tops. Some were in barren trees; some were rolled up into balls or crushed and flattened. The trees were stripped of their limbs and bark. Grass was ripped out of the ground.


My daughters!!!! I had to get to them. Would they even be there when I got there? If so, would they be alive? After seeing this devastation, how could they be!?? Neighbors around us who were able to get into cellars / shelters had lost doors from them and some fought being sucked out of the shelters. As we arrived at the drive to our home, we could not pass because the trash trailer blocked it. But I was not waiting for anything! I bolted out of the car as soon as it slowed down enough for me to do so. As I ran with sheer adrenaline racing through my body, there were trees and light poles down everywhere. I am not sure how many I actually had to climb over, jump over, or go around, but somehow I got to the back. It was unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jessica's two-story home was leveled to the foundation. Tiffany's mobile home was nowhere around. "Anyone there!!!!?" I hollered as I neared what would have been Jessica's house. Ginger, Tiffany's mother-in-law, was standing in the drive alone, talking on the phone. Gradually, the grandkids and Jessica appeared! THANK GOD! But then she shouted, "Mom, we are here, but Tiffany is down!" I moved as quickly as I could to get to her. She was lying in the middle of the foundation, limp and bleeding from the head, the mouth, the nose, and her ear. Not good. I got on my cell phone and requested immediate help. At that moment Tiffany responded slightly with a few moans, but not words or motion. Some men showed up quickly and were there as first response. So we gathered the children and herded them to the front, leaving Jessica at the side of her sister. This a moment no mother wants to ever think will come. In the meantime, Tiffany’s husband Fabian and his brother David had been in Rush Springs and were on their way home as fast as they could get here. Straddling the roadblocks, Fabian made his way to Tiffany. He went in the ambulance with her to the hospital. Brent, Jessica's husband, was in Bartlesville at his folk’s house. They were hunkering down for bad weather there and in the same boat we were in – it was storm season. Did I say this day was DEVASTATING yet? There were nine at Jessica's house for this event: Jessica, her two children; Tiffany and two of her children; Ginger Tiffany's mother-in-law, and Lorenda and her baby (Tiffany's sister-in-law). Ginger had jumped in her van, and was unable to get out of it in time. These nine people rode this tornado and survived! A truly amazing testimony of God! It was only by His mercy they could have all survived. After looking at all the damage and devastation, with no fatalities from this F5 tornado, it could be nothing less than God's mercy. 63

The Visionary by Pamela S. Thibodeaux A visionary is someone who sees into the future. Taylor Forrestier sees into the past but only as it pertains to her work. Hailed by her peers as “a visionary with an instinct for beauty and an eye for the unique” Taylor is undoubtedly a brilliant architect and gifted designer. But she and twin brother Trevor, share more than a successful business. The two share a childhood wrought with lies and deceit and the kind of abuse that’s disturbingly prevalent in today’s society. Can the love of God and the power of His grace and mercy free the twins from their past and open their hearts to the good plan and the future He has for their lives? Find out in . . . The Visionary . . . . where the awesome power of God’s love heals the most wounded of souls. Pamela S. Thibodeaux is multi-published in fiction and non-fiction. Her writing has been tagged as “Inspirational with an Edge!” and reviewed as “Steamier and grittier than the typical Christian without decreasing the message.” She is the Co-founder and a member of the Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. As a former member of American Christian Fiction Writers (formerly ACRW), Golden Triangle Writers Guild, Coeur de Louisiane and RWA, Pam won Coeur’s 1999 “Diamond In The Rough” as well as their 2000 “Ruby” Award and received her RWA Pro Pin in 2001. A committed Christian, she firmly believes in God and His promises. God is very real to her and she feels that people today need and want to hear more of His truths wherever they can glean them. Although her writing is Inspirational, she does her best to encourage readers to develop a personal relationship with God. The deepest desire of her heart is to glorify God and to get His message of faith, trust and forgiveness to a hurting world. Her hope is that all of her stories will touch the lives of everyone who reads them and – in some way – bring them a truer knowledge of God and urge them into a closer walk with Him. Pamela has extensive experience in speaking on a wide variety of topics related to writing as well as women’s issues. To invite Pam to speak at your luncheon or event, email her at: pthib07@gmail.com http://pamelathibodeaux.com/ & http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com/ 64

Dave Ramsey endorses the Money Saving Mom®'s Budget Crystal Paine shares her secrets how to be free of the tyranny of money and debt Crystal Paine can point to her money-saving ways as a major factor in a life more focused on advancing the kingdom of God and less on earthly concerns. When she and her husband figured out how to live on under $1000 per month without debt while he was in law school, she had the revelation that a lifestyle of saving versus spending could provide a means of spiritual focus without being tied down by financial chains. Inspired by her family's experience, The Money Saving Mom®'s Budget (Oasis Audio, ISBN: 1613751281, $19.99, Feb. 7, 2012) is Crystal's book of step-by-step help for turning your finances and life around. Featured in national media such as NPR, Woman's Day and U.S. News and endorsed by Dave Ramsey, Crystal has helped busy women everywhere take control of their finances. In her new audio book she presents her most effective strategies designed for families of all sizes and income levels. With several inspiring "why didn't I think of that?" tips plus worksheets, Crystal breaks down goals into easy, manageable steps. The Money Saving Mom®'s Budget illustrates hundreds of ways to lower your expenses creatively and details dozens of ways to save money, stretch your dollars further, and bring in extra income. Crystal herself reads this audio book, which has been adapted from the print version to make it more suited to listening versus reading. Crystal brings passion and clarity to the chapters, more than just words on a page. "I want to come alongside Christians and give them practical financial tools so that a new financial freedom can enable them to live a life of generous giving, rather than a life of preoccupation with money," says Crystal. "If the people of God get their finances in order, oh, what amazing things we can do for the Kingdom of God!" Crystal's principles have worked so well in her own life that she is able to give all the proceeds from The Money Saving Mom®'s Budget to Compassion International, a child advocacy organization for the poorest of the world's poor. With over 160,000 fans on Facebook, Crystal Paine, in celebration of the release of The Money Saving Mom®'s Budget audio book will be hosting an iPad giveaway and holding a national online Live "Mom Chat" on April 4, 2012. Women can join the chat and follow the latest updates by liking her page at www.facebook.com/MoneySavingMom . In addition, Crystal will be on a virtual book tour from March 14 through April 5. You can keep up with her tour at www.LitfuseGroup.com/BlogTours If you're discouraged with your financial traction, if you're feeling stuck financially, if you're struggling to have hope in the midst of financial setbacks, if you feel like you're in a financial mess, The Money Saving Mom®'s Budget is for you!


Advance Praise "Crystal Paine does it all as an entrepreneur, wife, and mom-and that means she knows all about finding room in a home budget! From reducing clutter to finding amazing coupon deals outside the grocery aisle, The Money Saving Mom®'s Budget will help you make dollars and sense of your life again." -Dave Ramsey, New York Times bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host "A great solution for anyone who's struggling to get on a budget!" - Mary Hunt, founder of Debt-Proof Living and award-winning author of 7 Money Rules for Life "Fresh Inspiration...A practical, creative plan to make your life priories a reality." - Ann Voskamp, New York Times bestselling author of One Thousand Gifts About the Author Crystal Paine is a wife and homeschooling mom to three young children who has been writing on topics related to frugality for the last five years-and living a frugal, simple, and debt-free life since she was born. Her blog www.MoneySavingMom.com is one of the top personal finance blogs on the web, averaging over four million page views per month. Crystal has contributed to articles in Woman's Day magazine and All You magazine, as well as being mentioned on National Public Radio and CNN.com, in USA Weekend and Real Simple magazine, appeared as a guest on the 700 Club, and featured in numerous other local newspapers and radio and television stations.

You are invited to join Katherine’s Corner Book Club story for via

At Katherine’s Corner you connect with other book lovers and share a new every month! Every month Katie will post a new book list and you get to vote your favorite. Then, together we will read the selected book and discuss it the Book Club page at Katherine’s Corner blog.

the the

Once a month a new book will be chosen and you can leave comments on Book Club page throughout the month. A new book vote will be posted on 15th of every month.

read one the

The Book Club at Katherine’s Corner is a “no obligation” book club! Just the book with the other members of the club and share your thoughts with another. Settle in, read along, and leave comments on the book whenever mood strikes you.

Once a month is all the commitment needed. The fun part is that you can make comments throughout the month so you don’t have to keep your thoughts on the book silent until a specific meeting date. If you would like to join the Book Club at Katherine’s Corner, simply visit Katie at www.katherinescorner.com and sign up! Then, if you wan to help promote the book club, you can grab the button code to paste into your blog sidebar. You can find the code and all of the details at Katherine’s Corner. 66

We Left the Garden by Keith Wallis

We left the garden clothed in our lies and deceit and in our leaving began a darkening pace. We decant through arid places, a spring, leaving the garden sweetly fresh and brightly clear, nurtures green and breathing, full of source. Cloudly mixing debris with each distance grown. growing with stain and flaw and fault our pondering stream draws toxin from its banks and, growing away from the garden, shares this new bounty with the thirsty land. We grow fat and lazy laying upon our banks a curse, a poison gleaned along the way. Until we splash into the sea its salty welcome burning us away to naught. This is not our home, this homogenous mĂŠlange. 67

The Waste of Worry by Maxine Young Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Matthew 6:27 NLT Have you ever felt like part of the Bible was written just for you? Yes, I realize that the entire Bible was written for us, but when I read this verse it was as if someone was shouting it through a megaphone. This verse was meant for me. I have been a worry wart my entire life. If it were a profession, I’d be the expert people came to. I have created the curriculum, taught the classes and wrote the books. I have family members who are just as skilled in worrying, and we could have hour long sessions, just worrying together. There have been times when I would get tired of my worries, so I wouldn't mind picking up a few of your worries! You know, just to keep things interesting. Sometimes, just taking a pause to realize what I was doing helped me to ponder the question - what has worry ever given to me but heartache, frustration and a waste of precious time? I would put my worries down for a moment, but pick them right back up again. I distinctly remember referring to worry as my best friend at one point in my life. If we choose it, worry can be our best friend, because it's not going anywhere - unless we take special care to keep our distance. When I first started to notice that worry was affecting the day to day life, I knew something had to change. I recalled a little song about worry that I learned in church as a little girl. Why worry when you can pray? It asked, and so I prayed, and I would continue to pray, but my worry didn’t seem to lessen at all. I didn’t understand why until the day I realized that praying was just the first part of getting rid of worry. My relationship with worry started to change the day I heard a pastor say - Not worrying is trusting God to do His job. Those words jumped out at me. Was I trusting God? Did I have faith in what God said in His word? If I truly wanted worry to go away, I had to trust that God would do what was best for me according to His will. After all, the Bible says: "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." Romans 8:28 God will never steer us wrong. 68

I believe you but‌ By worrying about every little thing in sight, I was not trusting that God would take care of all I was concerned about - even though He promised He would. Not only was I distrusting that He would do His job, but more than likely I was probably getting in the way of His work in my life. How can I ask God for His guidance while not completely believing that He would take care of every single detail? Imagine telling someone, "Yeah I believe you, but I don’t completely trust you to do it right." That wouldn't really work out very well would it? There is no shortage of things to worry about in this life rent, school fees, food, the results of that health test, your children, your marriage, your job. Worrying brings nothing good to any of us, and yet we invest in it as if it will. The amount of time we waste by worrying as opposed to leaving it all in God's hands is mind boggling. There's no need to worry when you have God on your side, He can turn a worrier into a warrior. If you will commit to trusting Him to do His job, it will change your life.

Introducing the Ruby for Women Administrative Team Over the past two years, the ministry of Ruby for Women has grown into a full-time ministry for several women here in the Ruby community. We have been blessed to be able to partner with women from all over the United States in the work of Ruby for Women, and we are currently in the process of adding four new administrators to our team. If you would be interested in joining the Ruby for Women administrative team, please email our assistant editor, Amanda Johnson, at ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Here are the current members of the Ruby for Women Administrative team: Sr. Editor, Nina Newton Assistant Editor, Amanda Johnson Administrative Assistant, Beth Brubaker Affiliate Administrator and Pastor at Ruby for Women, Carol Mokry Creative Consultant and Graphic Designer, Katherine Corrigan


New Equation Search Number Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker

A River of Small Stones by Keith Wallis A beautiful and inspirational book of poetry, perfect for gift-giving this Christmas season Poems written as “small stones,� polished moments of paying proper attention to life Available at www.ariverofstones.blogspot.com


Spring is Coming! Crazy Word Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker

A Friend in Need ‌ Is there something you need, but just can't seem to find? Are you looking for a recipe, a store location, or the best places to go in a certain area? Do you have an item you would like to give to someone, but no one near you needs it? Send your requests into the magazine (bethatruby@aol.com ) with 'A Friend in Need' in the subject line and we'll publish it for you! When making a request, please include a current email address for a direct reply. Those who are answering queries are to correspond to the posted email address directly, and not to the staff of Ruby for Women. Items offered must be free (except for shipping costs, agreed to be paid by the receiving party unless otherwise agreed upon by the giver and receiver). All postal regulations must be followed. Ruby for Women can not be responsible for shipping costs or lost items.


To order “The Recipe Box� by Morgan Von Gunten, visit her website at iWoman Magazine http://iwomanmag.com/recipes


Rebecca Evans Illustration Children’s illustration art, quality archival prints of original watercolor paintings. The perfect, unique addition to any home décor or child’s room. Distinct from retail prints and designs, these printings offer individual style and character to any room. Each painting tells a story inspiring imagination and sparkling childlike wonder. Visit Rebecca Evans at her Etsy shop, Rebecca Evans Illustration http://www.etsy.com/shop/RebeccaEvans

Maritza Bonilla Independent Scentsy Consultant

702-738-6901 Shop My Online Store: Dress up a room with a Scentsy Warmer, add one of 80-plus fragrances, and enjoy! Shop here for all the latest styles and scents: https://bonilla.scentsy.us/Buy Host a Scentsy Party: Have fun while earning Host Rewards—free or half-price Scentsy Products—when you host your own Scentsy party: https://bonilla.scentsy.us/Host Join My Scentsy Team: Looking for a rewarding career that works with your schedule? As a Scentsy Consultant, you’ll set your own hours & have fun while you earn: https://bonilla.scentsy.us/Join To Contact me or to subscribe to my monthly newsletter: https://bonilla.scentsy.us/Contact flamelessforyou@aol.com

www.flamelessforyou.com http://www.facebook.com/Flameless4u


Let Gossamer Wings Publications transform your writing into a beautiful digital document to post on your blog or website! Are you a writer, poet, author of devotional or inspirational articles, children's author, writer of short stories, or motivational books? We have been creating eBooks and digital publications since 2006, and we are now offering our publishing services to you at Gossamer Wings Publications. Since 2010, we have published Ruby for Women, a monthly online Christian women's magazine which features family-friendly articles on home making, cooking, arts and crafts, poetry, devotionals, inspirational articles and stories, short stories, quilting tutorials, puzzles, kids' crafts, book reviews, gardening and frugal family living articles. In addition, Ruby for Women has published ebooks for poets and writers of short stories and devotionals, as well as ebook tutorials and patterns for sewing and crafts for mamas*little*treasures which are currently sold on numerous websites, including You Can Make This at www.youcanmakethis.com Beginning in 2012, all of our publications will be produced, published, and promoted by Gossamer Wings Publications, and we are now offering our publishing services to you. We will publish your writing, poetry, sewing and craft books, devotional and inspirational articles, short stories, and any other familyfriendly projects that you've been working on. You've been waiting for the opportunity to get YOUR ideas out to the world, but you just haven't known where to start! Now you can have a beautifully formatted eBook created for you at a price you can afford, and we will even help you promote your publication. At Gossamer Wings Publications, we will work with you to design your ebook to reflect your personality and express the words and ideas that God has put in your heart and mind. Email today for your FREE consultation and to set-up your very first publication with Gossamer Wings Publications! gossamerwingspublishing@hotmail.com


Introducing The Angel Chronicles by Amy Lignor

Until Next Time How does a girl choose between the one who steals her heart and the one who owns her soul? Matt and Emily were created for a specific job. Raised and trained as the ultimate angel/warrior team, they are sent down to save, defend, judge and forgive, depending on the 'life' they've been assigned. What they don't realize is that the power of human emotions, such as love, anger, passion and fear can take over even the best of souls, causing them to make mistakes and follow paths that lead to confusion and heartache. When the reason for their training is finally revealed, the angel/warrior team find themselves thrust into a world they know nothing about. Matt takes over the life of Daniel, a young man with a great deal of baggage. Emily becomes Liz, a girl living in a remote village who relies on nothing more than her own strength to survive. A violent storm erupts one night, and framed in the window of Liz's establishment is a frightening face. Let in by the soul of a Good Samaritan, the two visitors bring with them a past full of secrets that could literally change an angel's path and a warrior's plans. From murder to redemption, this angel/warrior team must find a way to keep the faith they have in each other in a world that's ripping them apart. You can purchase your copy of Until Next Time for Kindle from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0071LLL2M/ref%3das_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=tributebo oks-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0071LLL2M 75

Introducing Rob Hammes, Songwriter “Our praise in song, to the Righteous and Just One” FAITH HAS A VOICE Faith is imparted to me When I hear You speak Your presence closes in Fear disperses through the wind Your love has captured me There’s no place I’d rather be Your peace has covered me Now I can truly sing Chorus Faith has a voice Let us speak faith Faith has a voice Let us hear faith Faith has a voice We declare faith Faith has a voice Declare victory We are victorious We are victorious I speak with authority Knowing you are with me And when I speak it loud I hear doubt crashing down Your blood is over me You have set me free Your peace has covered me Now I can truly sing Chorus Faith has a voice Let us speak faith Faith has a voice Let us hear faith Faith has a voice Let us speak faith Faith has a voice Let us hear faith Faith has a voice We declare faith Faith has a voice Declare victory We are victorious We are victorious We are victorious

Lyrics by: Benjamin Mosier Music written and recorded by: Rob Hammes Vocals: Rob Hammes and Kathy Mosier Copyright: Has Breath Publishing LLC (2011) http://robhammessongwriter.com/ http://hasbreathpublishingllc.com/ To purchase this song please visit this website http://www.reverbnation.com/robhammes

From the newly released CD, “Faith Has a Voice” 76

The Ruby for Women community is a great place to meet new friends, share prayer requests, chat about your favorite books, recipes and crafts! Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to try out a few yummy new recipes! Here in the Kitchen of Ruby for Women we w Winter ill be posting new recipes weekly and we would love to have you share some of your favorite winter recipes with us, too! http://rubyforwomen.ning.com/group/fromthekitchenofruby

Valentine’s Day is a great time to support one another in pursuing our dreams and goals of building our online businesses. Please post your website or online business banner or logo in the Ruby Shopkeepers group so we can share your information with all of the members of the Ruby for Women community. http://rubyforwomen.ning.com/group/rubyshopkeepers

Do you have a blog? We would love to have you share links to your latest blog posts so that we can tell all of the members of the Ruby for Women community all about it! Please visit us in our Girls Who Blog group. http://rubyforwomen.ning.com/group/girlswhoblog

In our prayer request group, we pray for one another and uphold each other before our Heavenly Father. Please join us at We Are Praying for You and let us know how we can pray for you. http://rubyforwomen.ning.com/group/weareprayingforyou 77

The Assignment by Elizabeth Baker “I’m not sure when it started,” the angel Rachel began,“probably Bible College. They made a lot of noise in those years about doing ‘big’ things for God. You know, ‘Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life!’ that sort of thing.” “Is that bad?” JaKobe’s eyebrows drew slightly higher and the tilt of his head followed. “Don’t be absurd,” she defended. “But how often have you seen a human who knew what a ‘big thing’ or a ‘wonderful plan’ might look like in ordinary life?” ************* It’s been seven hundred years since the warrior, JaKobe, worked on earth but when his curiosity is piqued by Rachael’s strange request, he knows time has come to return. Follow his angelic adventure as he fills an assignment others have shunned. As you view an ordinary Sunday through angel eyes, a new world of possibilities will open. It’s a view that just might change your own ordinary Sunday’s as well! Reader Comments: “I love the whole angel interaction thing. I think you have a strong premise. . . By the way, I loved the whole intro and the way JaKobe decided to enter back into the human world.” — Jim Rubart (Author who read the script) “I enjoyed the book and found the characters to be very life-like, believable, and easy to identify with. The whole concept of angels waging spiritual warfare around us without our awareness is an exciting one and you portray it very well” — Janet Ann Collins (Author who evaluated the script) “This book is very deep and meaningful and has great potential to explain the deeper issues of our faith to those whose faith wavers and who don’t understand spiritual struggles in the church. … At times there are flashes of brilliance and understanding that took my breath away. Your writing is excellent and your characters very alive and real.” — Deborah Dunn (Author who evaluated the script) “[The book] just reaches out and pulls you in. I couldn’t put it down.” — Mike (reader) “I can’t wait to read the book again” -- Toyne (reader) “Are you planning on writing a sequel...or perhaps a series? I could have continued reading and reading....I especially enjoyed the chapter with the angels praising God. I printed that portion off and used it in my quiet time with the Lord this morning during adoration. I have written the praises in my journal for future use in prayer. ” — Penny (reader) 78

Introducing The M.O.M System Do you struggle to stay organized? Do you find yourself writing and re-writing lists day after day? Do you struggle to get your children to help around the house? Do you find yourself sounding like a “broken record” constantly repeating to your children what they need to do? Do you find that even if your husband or children offer to help it is easier to just do the work yourself than to explain it to others and coordinate them? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then The M.O.M. System is for YOU!

“Become the Household Manager (not the Household Doer)” As the household manager, TheMOMSystem helps you organize your priorities and coordinate various needs and tasks for your family. The lists save you time and energy. Start with TheMOMSystem cards and add your own personalization with details or color coding for specific people, priorities, or tasks you have delegated. This allows you to stay more coordinated and be more efficient, leaving you more time and energy for living life well (not just surviving as you fly from crisis to crisis)! Often I found myself being the “Household Doer” instead of the “Household Manager” — I was trying to be the one doing everything, but kept being overwhelmed by my never-ending “to do” list. TheMOMSystem helps you involve your children in ways that give them clear direction, clear expectations, and clear accountability. TheMOMSystem helps you teach them to be personally responsible for the tasks you assign them and helps you hold them accountable for communicating with you about their responsibilities. TheMOMSystem is also a tool to help you coordinate and communicate with others who interact with your household. Husbands, babysitters and grandparents can become more involved when you use TheMOMSystem to communicate with them. TheMOMSystem promotes you from Household Doer to Household Manager by helping you get better organized, delegate to your family, and communicate with those who interact with your household. To learn more about The M.O.M. System, or to purchase The M.O.M System, please visit www.themomsystem.com


Nana's BIG Storybook by Sheila WatsonWatson-Kraklow A collection of three of the most popular children's stories and rhymes written by Sheila Watson Kraklow, plus a bonus new story; they are all filled with the illustrations of Sheila Watson Kraklow. 131 pages Color Illustrations Complete Bible references included Ages: 5-12 Read-to-me bedtime or read alone Visit DoveQuill Publishing to order “Nana’s BIG Storybook” http://www.dove-quill-publishing.com/Nana-s-BIGStorybook.html

Discovery House Publishers Feeding the Soul with the Word of God

Visit Discovery House Publishers at www.dhp.org

A Garden of Love by Thomas B. Clarke An endearing gift book for the Christian woman who enjoys flowers www.bible-discernments.com www.prayergardeners.blogspot.com 80

Abundant Comfort and Grace Inspirational Poetry by Connie Arnold www.conniearnold.blogspot.com Thank you to Laura Brandt of Wentworth County Quiltworks for sharing her Bible Block Sampler with the Ruby for Women community! www.wentworthcountyquiltworks.com

http://shilocom.com/ 81

Meet the Ruby for Women Writers Aunt Dots, Master Gardener Aunt Dots has been writing for Ruby for Women since the very beginning. Her love for gardening started early in her life: “I believe I got my love for growing flowers from my mother. She had a large flower garden with annuals and dahlias. I had my first flower garden after I married and we lived in a garden apartment.” She now has perennial gardens, rose gardens, grape vines, asparagus, currants, gooseberries, walnut trees, apple trees, and hazelnut trees. In the winter months, Aunt Dots sews, making quilts that she has donated to a Mennonite Relief auction.

Scott Henderson, Vintage Image Crafts Scott is the creator of Vintage Image Crafts, a website where vintage images are the inspiration behind all of the crafts and scrapbooking projects. From the romantic to the whimsical, Victorian and turn-of-the-century illustrations can give your creativity a distinctive touch. These classic illustrations and photographs are rich in color, artistic technique and symbolism. This bygone art captures the essence of life’s highlights - holidays, celebrations and sentiments – vividly. You can find Scott at www.vintageimagecrafts.com

Beth Brubaker, Footprints in the Mud and Ask Beth Beth is the “Family Fun” editor here in the Ruby for Women community. She is a mother of two very active kids whose antics are sprinkled liberally in her columns. She has been married for 13 years to her Knight in Shining Armor, and she is delighted to share with us that they still hold hands in public! Her day job is working as a fabric artist, a homemaker, and a writer. Beth will be writing humorous articles about life in general, puzzles, and an advice column that is based on readers’ questions, as well as sharing hints and tips for everyday life that she comes across in her travels between her laundry room, living room, and kitchen. Don’t miss Beth’s columns in every issue of Ruby for Women! You can read more of Beth’s posts on her blog, “Footprints in the Mud” at www.footprintsinthemudblog.blogspot.com or email her at bethatruby@aol.com

Laura Brandt is the owner of Wentworth County Quiltworks and a child of the King whose one desire is to please the Lord. She quilts and maintains her website and her blog, as well as serving as a Moderator at Authorized Version Bible Believers Fellowship forum. She’s also edited books for up-and-coming Christian authors. Visit Laura at her new quilting website, www.wentworthcountyquiltworks.com, her blog, http://laurasthoughtsonscripture.blogspot.com, or the forum at http://avbbf.com.


Lynn Mosher, Devotions Since the year 2000, Lynn Mosher has lived with fibromyalgia and other physical conditions. During this time, the Lord placed the desire in her heart to write for Him. Now, armed with God’s purpose for her life and a new passion, she reaches out to others to encourage and comfort them through her writing, giving God all the glory. She lives with her husband in their empty nest in Kentucky. On occasion, their three offspring, who have flown the coop, come to visit, accompanied by a son-inlaw and three granddaughters. Visit Lynn at her blog, Heading Home, at www.lynnmosher.blogspot.com

Carol Mokry, Affiliate Administrator, Ruby for Women

“Jesus found me 37 years ago and we have been walking together ever since. He has been my help, hope and strength as I have walked through dark miles of trials and adversity. First and foremost I am a woman called to follow Jesus Christ. I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a credentialed minister with the Assemblies of God. It is my relationship with God that has made me who I am today. In all these things I can say if God is for me who can be against me, I am more than a conqueror in Him who loves me!”

Lee E. Shilo, Poetry and Short Stories I live on Vancouver Island, in Victoria, Canada, with my loving wife Elisabeth, paranoid cat, and crazy dog. I enjoy writing Poetry, Children Stories, Fantasy/Fiction, and especially (Believe It Or Not) stories. I have been writing professionally for close to 20 years, and have numerous Published Books / eBooks in that time. At present I am retired, but used to work in the print industry producing Wide Format Displays for Conferences and stuff. As well as being my passion, writing affords me some release of daily frustrations and everyday tensions. www.shilocom.com

Katherine Corrigan, Recipes and Crafts Hello, my name is Katherine. I am an open minded and spiritual person who strives to always maintain a positive attitude and greet each new day with grace, dignity and gratitude. I’m honored to meet you and to call you friend! I am originally from England and now living in the US. I have had the privilege of living in, and visiting, several different countries throughout my lifetime. I hold a rare dual citizenship with the UK and the USA, and I am a proud citizen of both. I work very hard to create designs for my shops and to provide an entertaining and informative website and blog. I hope you’ll stop by. Hugs, Katherine www.madeitforyou.com www.giftsbykatherine.com www.katherinescorner.com

Marcia Settles is a stay-at-home homeschool mom of a special learner and a toddler. She has resolved in 2012 to honor God in Spirit, Mind and Body. She enjoys reading and blogging about motherhood, nutrition, special needs and our honorable calling as women. You can check out her new blog at www.lovinggodwithspiritmindandbody.blogspot.com


Theresa Ceniccola

is The Christian Mompreneur, a Mentor to Moms Who are Running a Business that Supports Faith and Family. She empowers entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses with wisdom and grace through the Christian Mompreneur Mastermind program and her professional Marketing services, which include copywriting, marketing and strategy consulting and private coaching. www.theresaceniccola.com.

Roze Collins is an administrator at The NetSurf Café www.thenetsurfcafe.com

I'm Christena Hammes, married to my best-friend. We met at the Outside Inn so God could change us from the Inside Out!! We have two beautiful daughters (Lena and Amanda), two sons-in-law (Cameron and Justin) and one amazing granddaughter (Savannah Jo). I never knew what the Father's love was all about until I had children of my own. They really do hold your heart and forgiveness comes easy. http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/BlessedandFit#

Maxine Young I was born into a Christian family, attended church every week and Church schools even, but it is now as an adult that I am truly learning how to have a personal relationship with the Lord. You can read more of Maxine’s articles and posts on her blog, Hope and Writing http://hopeandwriting.blogspot.com/

Kristin Bridgman

I’ve been married to a very sweet, patient, loving man for 29 years. I’ve been a mom to two sons I love with all my heart for 22 years. I’ve been a born again Christian loving the Lord for 36 years. I home schooled for 14 years. I’m just an ordinary woman who lives for an extraordinary God. http://www.ponderingsbykris.blogspot.com

Tina Smith is a pastor's wife, a mother of 8, and grandmother of two. Some of her accomplishments include studying Global Business Management at the University of Phoenix and being a recipient of the Louis D Brandeis Honor Roll Award for her work with the Brandeis University National Committee in 2000. Her greatest accomplishment by far has been not going insane with all those little blessings the Lord sent her way in the form of children. =) .


Connie Arnold, Poetry

lives in North Carolina, is married and has two children and three grandchildren. In coping with lupus, fibromyalgia and other difficulties, she has turned to the Lord for inspiration and offers her inspirational poetry to offer encouragement, comfort and hope to others who are suffering. She is the author of Beautiful Moments of Joy and Peace, Abiding Hope and Love, and Abundant Comfort and Grace plus a new 2012 inspirational calendar, Glimpses of Grace. She also writes for children and is the author of Animal Sound Mix-up and has two other children’s books under contract. You can visit Connie at www.conniearnold.webs.com or her blog, www.conniearnold.blogspot.com

Sheila Watson, Kraklow, Guest Writer, DoveQuill Publishers Sheila is the author of several books, including “Nana’s Great BIG Storybook,” and “A Mission for Leedle Burro,” as well as a cookbook filled with her “sassy recipe” articles. Sheila is also the owner of DoveQuill Publishing Company. www.dove-quill-publishing.com

Deborah McCarragher, Devotional Contributor Deborah is the author of a Christian inspirational book for women titled “Mission Possible”. The book addresses living in a spiritually-uneven household. You can visit her website at www.AlabasterBoxPublishing.com for more information about her book.

Kendra Peterson has been married to Brad for 21 years. They attend Big Lake Church of God, and they have twin daughters, Rachel and Allissa, who are age 19 and in college. Kendra is a librarian at West Noble Primary School in Ligonier, Indiana for grades K-1. She loves reading to children and helping them learn to read with great books. In her spare time, she loves to camp and ride their Gold Wing around the countryside, and she loves spending time with family.

Ginger Kauffman says she wouldn’t have checked the “autism box” when dreaming about the children she would have, but is so grateful to be the mother of Samuel and his brother, who is also on the autism spectrum. The last 21 years of her life have been an amazing journey. You can read her blog at www.threeminutestonine.com

Charlotte Siems is a home-maker, home manager, T-Tapp Trainer, teacher, speaker and author. Her story of losing over 100 pounds with TTapp has encouraged thousands of people all over the world. She specializes in making home management and T-Tapp "doable" for real people and real life. She is happy to be a wife and mother of twelve children whom she has successfully taught at home for 25 years. Visit Charlotte and read more of her blog posts at www.charlottesiems.com


Elizabeth Baker is an author and retired counselor drawing on thirty-five years of experience helping individuals apply biblical principles to real-life situations. She currently lives in Pittsburg, Texas where she concentrates on her writing. A widow since her mid 30's, Elizabeth has four grown children, fifteen grandchildren, and six great-grands. You can find Elizabeth’s books at her website at www.elizabethbakerbooks.com

Keith Wallis, Poetry Keith Wallis is an English poet. He is a senior part of the leadership team of Houghton Regis Baptist church. An engineering designer by trade, he brings a eye for detail as well as faith into his poetry. As well as being ‘poet in residence’ at Ruby ezine, he is a moderator at ChristianWriters.com. His blog of ekphrasic poetry is: http://wordsculptures-keith.blogspot.com/ where you’ll also find links to his books and his other blogs. Married to Val in 1970, he has two sons and three grandsons. The eldest grandson is disabled and cannot communicate verbally. Though not an ‘academic’ (school was a disaster!) he was always fond of writing. He began submitting work for publication in the 1980’s after being encouraged by a community writer in residence.

Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor Amanda has been writing for Ruby for Women for the past year, and she has been a free-lance writer for several years, beginning her writing career as a young teenager. She also works for Love Unveiled, a ministry to women in undeveloped countries around the world. Amanda brings experience as well as a passion for ministry to the work of Ruby for Women, and she has a heart for reaching out and touching the hearts and lives of women everywhere. Amanda will be working with all of our writers on their submissions, as well as assisting in keeping the Ruby for Women blog and website up-to-date with new information daily.

Nina Newton, Sr. Editor When all of my four older children were in school, I returned to college as a “non-traditional student.” Eventually, I earned degrees in Classics and Philosophy, and a graduate degree in Medieval Studies: History of Theology. After teaching at a small community college in Michigan for seven years, my husband and I were blessed with the adoption of our two beautiful daughters, Gracie and Annie. Gracie is 11 years old and Annie is 9. They were both born in China, and we were able to travel to China two times to bring our daughters home. We live in northern Indiana in a small farming community where I work from my home office. For the past six years I have been designing and creating children’s clothing and various crafts. I began writing ebook patterns for my designs in 2007, and have several patterns available for sale on You Can Make This at www.youcanmakethis.com . I have also been a free-lance writer for many years, writing for two local newspapers when we lived in Michigan. My personal blog is at www.mamaslittletreasures.com where I frequently post tutorials and patterns for crafts and other sewing projects, as well as weekly reflections on life as a woman, wife, mother, and daughter of the King. 86

Credits and Copyrights All stories and articles are copyright by the authors. All pictures and images are copyright by the authors and / or have been purchased, used by permission or are in the public domain. If any pictures or images have been used inadvertently, and they do not belong in this publication, please email us and we will immediately remove them. Nothing in this issue of Ruby for Women may be reproduced, copied, or shared without the permission of the author. Advertising information is available at www.rubyforwomen.com/advertise Questions? Email Nina @ editor@rubyforwomen.com or Amanda @ ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Ruby for Women is published by rubyforwomen.com All submission inquiries should be directed to Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Ruby for Women editor@rubyforwomen.com or Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Advertising inquiries should be directed to Nina Newton at editor@rubyforwomen.com Web Design and Creative Consultant, Katherine Corrigan of Made It For You www.madeitforyou.com Please visit our community website at www.rubyforwomen.ning.com to see how you can help support the ministry of Ruby for Women. Special thanks to Scott and Martin of Vintage Image Craft for sharing their amazing craft ideas with the Ruby for Women community!


Profile for RUBY magazine

Ruby for Women, March, 2012  

The March issue of Ruby for Women features recipes for St. Patrick's Day, craft projects, inspirational articles, poetry, stories, and the s...

Ruby for Women, March, 2012  

The March issue of Ruby for Women features recipes for St. Patrick's Day, craft projects, inspirational articles, poetry, stories, and the s...