An Unusual Birthday: A Day in the Life of Anna

We celebrated Anna’s 18th birthday late (on Friday), and we wanted to give you a taste of what a birthday is like, at home and after the fact, and with an unusual twist in the evening. When we did a day with Abby earlier, people enjoyed it so much and requested something similar with a person in our immediate family, so here it is.

The day started out, not quite as early as some, since the girls didn’t exercise before Bible time. A little before 5:30 a.m., it was time to get up to be ready for Bible time at 5:45. All six of the children at home meet Dad in the living room for our own individual time to read God’s Word and pray, but we like to arrive early to be able to chat and visit with each other.

What greeted Anna in the living room? A “Happy Birthday” sign made with Mint M&Ms.

Ready for Bible time, bright and early!

Around 7:30, fresh muffins were available for breakfast, made by Sarah. A “page” was made throughout the house, announcing they were out. We even had enough to send to all THREE sets of relatives.

After breakfast, Anna had to start on a mission. It was decided at the last-minute to make matching outfits for Anna Marie, Melanie, Abby, and Bethany, to match us girls for our family picture (planned for this Tuesday). Anna began looking for patterns.

Then, it was time to make phone calls. What JoAnn’s store might have the fabric? Sarah had amazingly found the receipt from when we had bought ours in April, so that allowed Anna to approach the task more easily. After spending time on the phone, it was discovered two stores had it, but of course not the closest ones. Grand Island, Nebraska (not an option), and Topeka, Kansas (1 hour 15 minutes away). So, Dad graciously said he’d go to Topeka to get the fabric.

Time flew by, until it was 10:30, and Anna was going to squeeze in a little time to work with Sarah. Anna is training to be able to do Sarah’s job. For now, this will help Sarah to get the Moody book written, but as is hoped, someday the Lord will bring the right guy for Sarah, and she’ll no longer be available to do what she does.

Two book reprints need to get done, so Anna got to take the “master” seat and do hands on work with Sarah overseeing and coaching.

At Sarah’s desk…

11 a.m., and it’s GiGi and Grandad’s time. When Joseph was a little guy, he used to ride on the back of Mom’s canister vacuum. At that point, Grandad and Grandma offered to watch the younger ones so Mom could clean without distractions. That special Friday time has continued over the years. Now, little Abby, the great-granddaughter, gets to join, but the numbers are slimmer as children have graduated. Lately, it’s been just Anna, as Jesse and Mary have needed the time to do school since we have been gone quite a bit since September.

That line of cars is actually a parade.

Playing with Aunt Anna is so much fun.

Abby and Gigi.

Abby and Grandad.

After Anna comes home, she’s not really hungry for lunch, since a snack is always served on Fridays at G&G’s house, plus, a special dinner is coming up, so after chatting with whatever family members are around, she goes to practice her fiddle. Anna’s time is filled to the brim, and even though she’s done with school (graduation family party coming soon!), she does not lack for things to do. In fact, she’s busier than ever.

Cleaning used to happen on Friday mornings, but since Mary is busy with school, cleaning is done Friday afternoons or Saturdays. One of Anna’s chores is to polish the glass top on the stove.

When cleaning is through, it’s time to get ready to leave. Leave? Where? We’re going out to eat! A VERY special treat: Olive Garden. Let’s backup. On Anna’s actual birthday, in Spokane, when, bless her heart, she was totally down and out, a family gifted her in an incredible way. They handed a card to one of the Maxwells at the conference, and it was for the birthday girl. Upon opening it, Anna found a large amount of money, and it was indicated that the birthday girl could take the family out to eat at Olive Garden, and maybe she would like some of the relatives to join us. Anna was extremely overwhelmed by this family’s generosity. What a treat it was for all 16 of us to go out!

Dad asked the waitress how we could pray for her, and she was surprised by such a request and paused. She asked us to pray for “strength,” and upon inquiring what that exactly meant, she said she was a single mom and needed “strength.” We definitely prayed for that and for her salvation! 🙂

Nathan and Abby (with her little jumper that a family gave to her in September).

This was the first party with the newlyweds back and a new addition to the family: Anna Marie (welcome!).

It was a rainy, autumn evening, very reminiscent of what October 31st weather is normally like. We were so grateful to be together in a cozy setting. Miss Bethany decided to be awake and crying, but after Sarah finished her meal, she took a turn with Bethany, and eventually Bethany fell asleep.

We had a sweet time in God’s Word after we got home. Nathan had to go back to work for part of the evening, thus he was missing in the picture above.

Then, Anna opened presents, with help from Abby, who was extremely delighted to be apart.

Turtle cheesecake time (minus the pecans). Sarah had made it the day before and put the final toppings on just before the actual event.

Dessert was enjoyed, and it was a special time for all.

Some of the relatives began to make their departures after dessert/cleanup, and Abby was promised by her daddy that she could play with Aunt Anna for just a few minutes.

Thank you for coming along to take a peek into this birthday at home (after-the-fact!).

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10).

29 thoughts on “An Unusual Birthday: A Day in the Life of Anna”

  1. What a wonderful family time you have. It’s so nice to see 4 generations living close like you do. I’m wondering, how do you polish your glass stovetop? Mine never seems to really look clean. Happy birthday Anna. I love reading the family blog and hope to meet you some day.

    Johnna B
    The product we use is called Cerama Bryte Cooktop Cleaner.

  2. T hank you for shareing wonderful day , it was blessing . your blog is such uplifting , it encourages me with walk with jesus thank you and may god bless your family . april

  3. Thanks for sharing your special day! Is someone allergic to pecans (we have a similar allergy here)? Blessings to all!

    No one is allergic to them!

  4. Anna, what a wonderfully blessed and busy day you had! The love for one another is so abundantly clear. I have also seen how much Abby loves
    to play and spend time with you.
    To be able to share in the lives of your family through four generations, is a testament of God’ great work.
    To all 16, thank you and bless you

  5. Happy Birthday Anna!

    That was such a fun post, and lovely to see what a ‘day in the life’ is like.
    Thank you so much for sharing your day with us.



  6. That’s great! I’m sure Anna will agree that it made up for her sickness on her actual birthday! Happy ( late) Birthday!

  7. Happy Birthday, Anna!! Well, a couple of weeks ago. I loved the photos. You’ll have beautiful memory to share with generations to come.

  8. Happy belated birthday, Anna! What a blessed day for you! How happy you look!

    God bless! Rebecca K.

    My sister,Annah’s 18th birthday is coming up soon and she has so longed to go to Olive Garden!

  9. Thank you for all the time it took to put this photo collage together! I loved seeing the sequence of Anna’s day and hearing about all the details. What a nice surprise after she was so sick on her actual birthday.

    My oldest two sons happen to be waiters at Olive Garden (as they work their way through college) and we all enjoyed seeing the restaurant photos! They recognized the plates and glassware even though the building looked different…plus, they said it looked like all of you simplified things for your waiter and ordered soup, salad, and breadsticks! I guess only an OG employee would pay attention to details like that!

    Thanks again for sharing…and thank you to Anna for sharing a day with us!

  10. I love how Abby sometimes scrunches up her nose for pictures! My daugther, Haleigh, is 5 and she still does that sometimes!

    Happy Birthday to Anna!


  11. Happy Birthday, Anna, you are a sweet, smiling positive young lady. We enjoy visiting with you and your family. ENJOY!

  12. Happy 18th Birthday, Anna! May the Lord bless you as you continue to serve Him in every area of your life! It was such a blessing to be able to meet you (and your family) two years ago at the conference in Magog, QC and also have you attend my baptism, I will never forget those memories! (I was 18 then!) May the Lord continue to make you into that godly young laddie He would have you to be!
    Praying for your family as the Lord brings you to my mind!

    Love in Christ,
    Samantha~ Quebec,Canada

  13. Very nice. Thanks for sharing! What a model of a family spending time together. I think it is really cool you shared with the waitress. We had a very similar experience–all 5 of us eating at Olive Garden courtesy of a gift card. We were on vacation and fixed our own food to save money with our special sit down dinner to look forward to (we never do this–usually just do fast food). It was a sweet, special time.

  14. Hello from a friend in the Spirit,

    I really enjoyed reading this post, especially since I turned 18 myself at the beginning of October. Your family is such an encouragement to our family. Thank you! I’m looking forward to seeing the graduation post and gleaning ideas – it is just so difficult to keep everything Christ-centered.

    ~Michelle, in NJ

  15. Happy Late Birthday Anna!!

    I love seeing how your schedule flows, especially with so many older ones who are at home waiting for the Lord’s timing. It is such a pleasure to see the joy and sweet countenance of each person. Thank you for sharing. God bless.

    Katheryn F.

  16. I’d love to know what time you head to bed! Also, what time do you ladies exericse and are you still walking primarily? This is something I’d like to start adding to our family’s day now that my children are growing up. It seems like anything we can do to pull us together or keep us on the same routine is a help toward right attitudes and family fellowship.

    Would love to see more posts like this.
    We get up at 4:45. The girls have been running. Teri and I walk 4 days a week and work out 2 days. The girls have begun joining us for our workouts. The boys work out 6 days a week from 5 to 5:30 before Bible time.

  17. Happy Birthday Anna!!! Y’all are such a huge blessing and encouragement! I am so glad you were able to have a wonderful time out with your whole family at the Olive Garden. What a wonderful blessing, especially after being so sick on your actual birthday.

    Many blessings to y’all!!!

  18. I so enjoyed reading all about Anna’s day and her birthday celebration – – what a special time for your family! 🙂 I’m sure you all enjoyed eating at Olive Garden–YUM! After my spinal surgeries this past summer, my Sunday School class gave me a gift card to Olive Garden–a real treat! 🙂 ~ Also enjoyed viewing all these pictures–such a precious family. ~ And Sarah, your turtle cheesecake looks like something out of a recipe book–so yummy!
    Blessings from (rainy) Georgia,
    Patti M. 🙂

  19. Happy belated birthday, Anna!

    Glad you could have such a great treat with everyone going out together! I am sure you are very grateful to that kind and generous family!


  20. What a sweet gift it was from the family at the conference to give Anna money to take out the family! Just today my family and I were eating at a local restaurant (In Statesboro, GA) and a couple we do not know paid for our entire meal. I think they saw us pray and the Lord must have just touched their hearts to bless us. The waitress came and told us after they had left. May we pass on such kindness and blessing to others 🙂 Blessings to this year of Anna’s life!

  21. Wow, what time do you guys go to bed? that’s amazing. It must be great to be able to have a family that all rises at the same time, has excersise time together and has bible study so early in the morning. 🙂

    God Bless,

    Most by 9 and the rest by 9:30

  22. How I wish I could have a family life like yours. How I wish I could’ve grown up in a family like yours, my life would’ve been so much different.

  23. What wonderful pictures. Would you mind sharing what dress pattern you use to make your jumpers? I having been looking for a longtime to find an appropriate pattern & can not seem to find one. Thank you & have a blessed day,
    Sorry it took so long. McCalls #3129!


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