Bringing Christmas Cheer

Wednesday, the day before the concert, we brought Christmas cheer to some elderly friends. It was truly a joy to share with them.

Elissa had a bit of a cold, so she stayed back, and we really missed her (especially one certain person).

After countless hours of practice and then six trial-runs for the concert, we were ready to move on to the real thing: Thursday evening. That post will be up next.



Quite the array of walkers!


A friend was very sweet to grab my camera when I went to play Carol of the Bells with the rest.DSC_6131DSC_6136DSC_6149DSC_6159DSC_6166DSC_6169DSC_6175DSC_6178

Praying before starting!DSC_6183DSC_6197

“… To visit the fatherless and widows
in their affliction, and to keep himself
unspotted from the world.”

James 1:27

A Christmas Tea

The Christmas season holds a lot for our family, so I’ll try to catch you up in a few posts on what last week was like.

Monday, we went to a Christmas tea hosted by a neighbor. It was a sweet time of fellowship and enjoying some German treats. We were disappointed Melanie and the girls couldn’t come (some were a little under the weather), but we enjoyed having our new sister-in-law along. Neighbor hospitality is a blessing!




“In the day of prosperity be joyful …”
Ecclesiastes 7:14

Spreading Christmas Joy

Because of numerous factors, we scheduled Sunday, the 7th, as our caroling evening. Anna Marie volunteered to bake all of the Poppy Seed Loaves that Friday. We girls had made the caroling cards earlier too.

At five o’clock Sunday evening, we loaded the van (aka the Poppy Seed Transport) and then discovered it was raining. Who wants to carol in the rain? We decided to brave it, and it added a new dimension to our caroling. The little girls certainly enjoyed their umbrellas.

Before long, the rain blew over, and the mild temperatures made it easy to have the little ones out. It seemed that almost every place we stopped people were home. Since caroling is our yearly tradition, our neighbors tell us they look forward it! Our family is expanding, so we make quite the parade. We love to bring joy to others. Maybe you could start a new tradition in your family.

Serving Jesus,

Poppy Seed Loaf

3 cups flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/8 cups oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons Poppy Seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons almond flavoring
1 1/2 teaspoons butter flavoring

Mix all ingredients for 1-2 minutes. Pour into 2 large, lightly greased loaf pans (in our case, we bought foil pans from the store and divided each batch into three loaves). Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees or until toothpick comes out clean.

1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring

Cool cake 5 minutes. Then, pour glaze over cake. While warm, remove from pan.


First, a few pictures from our card-making time.DSC_5377DSC_5358DSC_5391IMG_4684

Now onto caroling. IMG_4686IMG_4690IMG_4698IMG_4705IMG_4713IMG_4722IMG_4728IMG_4740

image1 (3)

This is a classic Aunt Anna photo!image1 (4)image1 (5)IMG_4741IMG_4755

For those to who care to know, the coats Melanie and Anna Marie are wearing is called a Suse’s Kinder Coat. IMG_4761

Our neighbor’s dog was a big hit with the girls.IMG_4768IMG_4771DSC_5909

Anna Marie worked so hard and made us lots of Christmas treats for an after-caroling party.DSC_5916DSC_5932

 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace,
good will toward men.”
Luke 2:14

Round Two: Walk Through Bethlehem

Saturday night went very well. We had the blessing of the little girls joining the rest on stage for a song. They definitely were cute, but the best part, to me, was hearing them share a number of verses they’d memorized from Isaiah. I think young children have a gift of a great memory, and I loved watching them say it.

Tomorrow, they’ll be playing at a retirement home and a nursing home. Then, the big day (the Christmas concert) will be here. We’re excited to see what the Lord has in store!

We caroled Sunday night, so watch for an update with pictures later.


“Let us come before his presence
with thanksgiving, and make a joyful
noise unto him with psalms.”
Psalms 95:2

Walk Through Bethlehem, Friday Night

Our Christmas season has officially commenced with the first live performance last night at Walk Through Bethlehem. We began the evening by taking a tour. It was a perfect way to start out! God truly gave us a miracle with His Son Jesus!

I love stepping back in time and pondering the miraculous event. As I watched the Roman guards keep a close eye on us, it made me wonder what it would have been like to live under that regime. Our guide, Mordecai, was great too.

When we were done with the tour, we went back to the sanctuary. Since we had gone to the church mid-afternoon to set up, that was taken care of.

I loved hearing my brothers and sisters (and new sister-in-law!) play and sing. The creativity in the arrangements is really incredible; God has gifted them. I don’t say that just because I’m their sister either.

Here are some pictures from yesterday. We’re looking forward to another delightful evening.



“Oh that men would praise the LORD
for his goodness, 
and for his wonderful
works to the children of men.”

Psalms 107:8

Walk Through Bethlehem and Maxwell Family Concert

A church here in town presents a wonderful Walk Through Bethlehem each year. We’re grateful to have a part.

During this weekend of December 5th, 6th, and 7th, the Church of the Open Door transforms their church by stepping back in time. You will feel like you’re experiencing Bethlehem 2000 years ago. A guide takes you around Bethlehem, explaining the different areas, and you meet era town’s people. It’s a great experience, leaving you in awe of all that transpired when Jesus came to earth.

While people wait in the sanctuary to take their tour, Joseph & Elissa, John, Anna, Jesse, and Mary, with guest appearances from the little relatives, will be sharing through music and testimony Friday and Saturday, 7-9 pm. If you get called for your tour before you hear their whole set, you can stop back in the sanctuary.

Last year, we enjoyed meeting some of you. Walk Through Bethlehem is a wonderful family activity. The actual tour times are Friday, 6-10 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 5-10 pm. If you want to hear my family, you’ll have to come Friday or Saturday, between 7 and 9. Please make sure to introduce yourselves; I’m usually in the back of the sanctuary with my camera.

If you live in the Kansas City area, the Church of the Open Door would be about a 45 minute drive.

The church’s address is:

Church of the Open Door
4800 South 20th St. Trafficway
Leavenworth, KS  66048

Also, on the topic of Christmas music, our family will be giving a very special Christmas concert on December 11th in Leavenworth. If you’d like more information, please e-mail us, and we’ll be happy to give you the details.

Need I say there is a lot of Christmas music happening around here?



“And the angel said unto them, Fear not:
for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people. For unto you
is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 2:10-11

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