"Think of all the beauty
still left around you
and be happy."
~ Anne Frank

Celebrate Spring Contest!
( a $75 value)

Drawing CLOSED

How to Enter: From great aunts, to mothers, grandmothers, and dear friends, send me an e-mail passing along a piece of wisdom these precious women have shared with you.

I'll post some entries in future updates.

Box contains: When God Makes Lemonade by Thomas Nelson pub., 8-5x7 blank Note Cards from Kohler Studios, Destiny CD by Celtic Woman, Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Forgiveness, and a Bird Habitat Scatter Garden!

*** U.S. entries only please

Winding our way home through the valley forsythias have burst into fountains of yellow everywhere. Frogs sing a sweet evening serenade in the swamp across our road. And just yesterday, I noticed mother squirrel is expecting. Her mate gathers peanuts from the nut box at a feverish pace, making sure they're prepared for their new brood. Spring has arrived!

Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;
To-day the glint of green is there;
Tomorrow will be leaflets spare;
I know nothing so wondrous fair,
No miracle so strangely rare.
I wonder what will next be there!
~L.H. Bailey

"Your time is limited,
so don't waste it living
someone else's life."
~ Steve Jobs

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved." ~ Helen Keller

Aunt Hazel's Krazy Kake

In the early seventies, Aunt Hazel sent us the recipe (original source unknown) for this moist rich chocolate cake, and since then our family has enjoyed every delicious crumb.

3 c. Flour
2 c. Sugar
4 tablesp. Baking Cocoa
2 teasp. Baking Soda
1 teasp. Salt

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Use a spoon to pull dry ingredients to the sides, making a well in the center.

In the well pour 2/3 cup canola oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Pour 2 cups of water over all and thoroughly mix together. Bake in a 9"x13" dish at 350° for 30-35 minutes.

Last spring I used this recipe to make a bunny cake. Instead of baking in a 9x13" dish I used two 8" round pans. Line bottom of pans with lightly greased parchment or wax paper. Check cake for doneness after 30 minutes.

Use one of the rounds for the face. From the second round cut two almond shapes, on opposite sides of cake. These form two ears and a bow tie for your dapper bunny.

Frost with a basic buttercream frosting. I used licorice for his whiskers, sliced gum drops for the spots on his bow tie, and flattened two mini-marshmallows for his front teeth. But you can be creative and add your own flare. Bunny won't mind.

You - God's Perfect Design

When you look in the mirror, do you see every wrinkle, every gray hair, every supposed imperfection, or do you see a person made in God's image?

Do you know what Jesus sees? With eyes of love and compassion, Jesus looks at you and sees someone of great value. Priceless in fact. Someone worth dying for? And that's exactly what he did. He died so you might live.

"God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

So the next time you look in the mirror, take a second look and try to see yourself as the beautiful daughter God sees. Whisper to your heart, "I am highly valued by God, and precious to him."

"The Lord your God in Your midst, The mighty one, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

Readers Dish On the Notable Women they Admire

Loretta - I know by "notable" you mean someone well-known...but to me, my mother was notable. She influenced me more than she will ever know, and she is gone now and there's no chance to tell her. The things she told me and taught me, I'm living by them today. Telling me that just because others did it didn't mean that I had to. I.E. if someone else's attitude or actions were less than kind.... it didn't mean that mine should be. The life that she led made her corner of the world better, brighter. Love that woman. The biggest blessing of my life, my mother.

Phyllis - Corey ten Boon who withstood and forgave unspeakable treatment, but following Christ's example was able to forgive.

Stephanie - The notable woman I admire in history most is Eleanor Roosevelt for being such a great advocate for the rights of women and African Americans.

Denise - Rather than a particular woman, I admire the pioneer women who went West in our country. They endured harsh conditions, were very resourceful, made-do, and managed families and then homesteads when they arrived at their destination. These women embody the American Spirit! And, many were women of Faith, and they used that Faith as a guiding force and focus in the most trying of circumstances.

Mary Lou - I most admire Mother Teresa of Calcutta because of her unselfish loving and giving to those in the most dire circumstances. She gave up a rich life to go to India to care for the poorest and sickest living in the gutters. She gave her all, and saw God in every person.

Sherri - I admire Queen Esther (from the Bible). She is definitely someone to admire for her strength, beauty, poise in the face of opposition, her courage, and wisdom. What a woman to admire and strive to be like!

Barb - My grandmother, Jessie Norris, had a profound impact on my life. She taught me about the importance of Christian habits, Prayer, Reading my Bible, Offerings & tithes, Fasting, Intercessory prayer, & testimonies...) and, she paid for my piano lessons for several years! Because of that, I am blessed to be part of a praise & worship team, & play keyboard at my church! She wrote a small book, called "Shut the Door" which is about prayer. She & my grandfather founded a Bible School (St. Paul, MN), and were in their 60's when I attended. But I never thought of them as being "old!" I'm thankful for my legacy!