Scripture Memory Party

Christopher and Anna Marie hosted a wonderful Scripture memory party on a recent Sunday evening. Christopher had encouraged all the cousins to memorize and come prepared to quote it before the others. Christopher had a reward prepared for those who recited their verses. 

The evening included singing and special treats. It was a wonderful time together. 

Steve and Teri

Drew reciting
Daniel was cute–he closed his eyes while reciting.
The group

“Let those that fear thee turn unto me,
and those that have known thy testimonies.
Let my heart be sound in thy statutes
that I be not ashamed.”
Psalm 119:79-80

Titus2 Christmas Specials

Mom has been writing Mom’s Corners for almost 30 years, and some of the early ones are compiled in our books, Just Around the Corner (Vols. 1 and 2). My dad also wrote monthly articles for dads, although now he writes weekly e-mails.

So, if you order $15 (excluding downloads) now through Tuesday, December 10th, you’ll receive one copy of Just Around the Corner Volume 1, for free.

In addition, if you order $35 or more from Titus2 (download orders only excluded), you can take your pick of one of my Christmas stories for kids: Christmas Comes to Sunflower or Sunflower’s Christmas Miracle. There’s something so cozy about reading a heart-warming story.

Plus, we still offer free economy shipping at $25 in the United States (some exceptions).

Titus2 Gift Ideas

What if you could give a gift that could improve your friend’s marriage or perhaps even save it? My Delight is a powerful book that grew from my own experience of being married for 45 years and mentoring ladies for over 15. This book will encourage and inspire ladies to make their marriage a delight.

The “Sweet” Bible study books (Sweet Journey and Sweet Relationships) are perfect to help Christian women grow closer to Jesus and their families.

Managers of Their Homes, with the included Scheduling Kit, has been our best-seller over the years and has helped thousands of moms manage their time. Three years ago, we released a revised version.

Buying a House Debt-Free could be the most influential piece of financial freedom advice you give a family with sons. Available in MP3 or paperback.

Preparing Sons is the “before” to Buying a House and provides solid ideas to help raise sons who can provide for their families. Available in MP3, audiobook, or paperback.

Don’t forget my kids’ books. You could start with Book 1 in the Moody Family Series (or gift them all) or Finding Change. 

Merry Christmas! I’m looking forward to catching you up on Random Life next week. Enjoy this amazing season. It’s a very full one here at the Maxwell house.


“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11)

Simple Meal Ideas with the Instant Pot and Dry Beans

Navy bean soup

Hello and welcome December! 🙂 I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving. Today, we’re sharing a post from Anna Marie on Instant Pots which we think you’ll find helpful. –Sarah

Since the season for good sale prices on Instant Pots is coming up, I thought this would be a good time to share our experience with you. Perhaps you, like me, have seen “Instant Pot” recipes everywhere and wondered if they actually are worth the hype. I received one as a gift a couple years ago (this is the one I have, and it is Titus2’s Amazon’s Affiliate link, which Titus2 earns from qualifying purchases, see the Privacy Policy).

The Instant Pot is in use almost daily in our home. I like the ability to quickly cook frozen (yes—you don’t have to thaw) chicken breasts or thighs. It’s super handy to be able to make broth from beef bones or chicken carcases in less than three hours. And for making easy-to-peel “hard-boiled” eggs in a jiffy, it’s hard to top. But what I use it for the most is cooking dry beans. They don’t have to be soaked ahead, can be spiced in many different ways, and can be ready within an hour or two. Since they’re packed with healthy fiber, plant protein, and many essential minerals (including folate which is great for pregnancy!), they make for a truly nutritious “fast food”!

8 quart Instant Pot

Here are a few examples of dry beans that we like:

Small red beans or chili beans are delicious in chili or cooked with Mexican spices and served over rice or taco salad.

Spicy red beans over rice

Navy beans or small white beans are perfect for white chicken chili or navy bean soup! To make a delicious quick soup, I saute carrots, celery, and onion in the Instant Pot before adding in the dry beans, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and water or chicken broth. Once cooked, I mash part of the beans (a potato masher works well for this) and it’s ready to serve!

Garbanzo beans/chickpeas are perfect on salads, in soups, or made into hummus. Sometimes after cooking about 4 cups of these in lightly salted water, I will stir in a jar of Tikka Masala simmer sauce from Aldi and some precooked shredded chicken. This is great served over rice.

Pinto beans are a staple for burritos or Mexican side dishes, and I use a hand-held mixer to mash them right in the pot when they’re done cooking. Left whole, we enjoy them on taco salads or added into soups.

Black beans are great in a “Santa Fe Chicken” with cans of diced tomatoes/chilis, corn, spices, and shredded chicken served over rice. If you’re feeling adventurous, black bean brownies are actually pretty tasty and have been enjoyed here!

Lentils cook quickly and don’t need to be presoaked whether you have an Instant Pot or not, but I’m including them here anyway because they appear on our lunch table weekly in Sue Gregg’s Lentil Rice casserole. I like to make it in our Instant Pot because I can put all the ingredients in after breakfast, and set the timer to have it done at lunchtime.

The children love being my “bean sorters!”

As you probably noticed, we frequently enjoy various seasonings in our beans served over rice or another grain. There are so many variations you can do with this and we especially like it with some precooked shredded beef or chicken added (I keep bags of it in the freezer for this purpose). And don’t feel limited to rice as a base; quinoa, millet, or even riced cauliflower all work great, too!

Keeping some containers of cooked beans in the freezer is also very handy to add in to vegetable beef or chicken soups, or for easy main-dish salad toppings.

Cornbread is a popular side dish that we have with our Instant Pot bean dishes and soups. It’s not cooked in the Instant Pot although I’m sure some people probably do cook their cornbread that way. My go-to recipe is Sue Gregg’s blender cornbread which uses whole dry corn. It takes me about 5-10 minutes to get it in the oven and then it bakes for 30 minutes. The recipe is available on her site in a PDF download of sample recipes. Search for the text “sample recipes” on the homepage to find the PDF download link. The recipe is on page 63.


We buy our organic dry beans, dry corn, popcorn, wheat, oats, millet, etc. in bulk from Azure Standard and have been pleased with the quality and prices (disclosure: the Azure link is an affiliate link that is part of their “Share Azure” program. If you order through it I may receive a credit in my account. You could also just go directly to Azure Standard’s site; or, if you have a friend who orders from Azure, ask them if they have a Share Azure link you can use). I’m sure you can probably find these at your local grocery store or health food store as well.

Tikka Masala garbanzo beans and chicken over millet

So, is an Instant Pot a necessity? No. But we’ve found it to be a time saver for the uses I mentioned. We have the 8-quart size and I love having that size (larger meals and/or more leftovers), even though it takes a bit longer to come up to pressure than a smaller one. If you have a smaller family or cook lower volume, the 6-quart would likely be adequate. We have seen both sizes come up on very good sales (for example 8 quart around $60) during the holiday season in the past. And, of course, there are other brands of modern pressure cookers that would function in a very similar fashion.

God bless you as you seek to cook nutritious meals for your family!

Anna Marie

“But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate
of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation”
(1 Thessalonians 5:8).

Happy Thanksgiving From the Maxwells!

The Maxwell Family, Colorado 2019

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18

God is always good always. There are always things we can thank God for.

Today especially, may we proclaim His goodness.

“Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his
wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the
longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.”
Psalm 107:8-9

We’re so grateful for God’s gift of eternal life through Jesus.

We’re grateful for the gift of family.

We’re grateful for you, our dear readers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Maxwells

“O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good:
for his mercy endureth for ever” (Psalm 107:1).

Mayflower and Plymouth, UK

Recently a blog reader sent us a note and some photos we thought you would enjoy. Here’s what she said:

I am a blog reader from the UK. I loved seeing the books you suggested for Thanksgiving. I actually live on Plymouth UK, and we are preparing for the Mayflower 400 festival next year. I was walking past the Mayflower steps the other day and thought that you might like to see a couple of pictures of what it looks like. The first is close up with both flags. They have just built a new arch ready for next year.”

The second is a bit further away so you can see the houses behind it and the steps themselves.”

The last is the view out to sea which would have been what the pilgrims saw just before they set off.”

It was interesting to learn of the 400th year festival coming up and preparations for it. We especially liked the photo of what the pilgrims saw as they began their adventure into the unknown in search of a place where they could worship God in freedom.

Trusting in Jesus,

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall
worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh
such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him
must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24).

Maxwell Family Day

Back in September, Dad had the idea to host a Family Day. It would be in our backyard and involve games and a barbecue. Originally scheduled for early October but canceled due to inclement weather, we rescheduled for the second Saturday in November. The day arrived, with perfect weather for our Family Day.

Anna, Jesse, and Mary took responsibility to set up an obstacle course before the event start time. The creativity they used to skillfully design an awesome course took some effort, but the results worth it.

Setting up
Testing out riding the bike.

11am came, and families began to descend upon the backyard with little kids’ faces full of excitement and delight. We started out with some activities such as corn hole (loved watching Grandpa and Grandma do that with the kids) and Spike Ball, while some of the young moms and Gigi sat and talked.

From there, we moved to Cat and Mouse. Mom found the game online–a perfect combination for young and old. People stand in a circle, and then you pick two names. Ahead of time, Dad wrote everyone’s names down and had them folded in his pocket. One person is the cat another the mouse. They are blindfolded, and with people still forming a circle, the cat and mouse can begin wherever they like. Then, the mouse can take one big step in whatever direction, and when it’s done, it has to “squeak.” The cat, still blindfolded, can take one big step (in pursuit of the mouse), and when it’s done, it has to “meow.” The goal obviously being the cat catches the mouse. It caused lots of laughter as the blindfolded people moved around. Even the older ones got really into it, taking ginormous steps to stay away from the cat or in the attempt to catch the mouse.

Kyle with his sweet smile
Some people had great maneuvers to outwit others.
We found we had to use ear protectors while the mouse moved because of the crunchy leaves.
Mom and Daughter
When we were preparing for lunch, I saw these three guys, and I had to snap pictures. Adorable.
Joseph took the little bike for a spin, and he had a whole group of kids running after him.

After that, we enjoyed lunch together. The menu consisted of hot dogs, veggies, picnic eggs, chips, and dessert. Everyone pitched in to bring things.

Adorable Axton

Following lunch, the anticipated obstacle course began. The absolutely beautiful part of this was the older ones coming alongside the youngers to help them. The aunts and uncles were right there with the littles, cheering, walking next to them, and encouraging. That’s what teamwork is all about. The reverse was true too. The littles cheering the aunts and uncles and daddies and mommies along. Many wonderful memories were created on the Maxwell Family Day.

You had to jump over a ball (small for the littles and big for the older).
Then you had to shinny through the hole in the playset and crawl under the mesh.
Next up was to walk across a little board and then step from stump to stump (you could get off).
You had to balance your way across the pipe.
You had to place a bean bag on top of your head and circle each cone and bucket 2 x (and not lose the bean bag). Talk about dizzy!
Hop onto the bike and try to stay between the boards.
For us older ones, that little bike was a hard thing to ride. You had to ride it around the tree (in the background) and making a turn on that little bike was difficult.
Cheering onlookers
You had to hop with a balloon between your legs.
Love all the helpers!
Melanie did it and there was lots of cheering.

Maybe Family Day could become a tradition in your family. We loved it, and I’m quite certain it’ll be an annual event at the Maxwells.


“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and
in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:8).

The Maxwell family and ministry blog of