Happy 23rd Birthday, Anna!

To an incredible woman who loves the Lord Jesus and desires to serve Him: Happy Birthday, Anna!

You all probably don’t realize it, but Anna is always an integral part of whatever she is around, quietly moving behind the scenes. She’s quick to volunteer to do a task; she’s ever willing to baby-sit when there’s an in-law who needs help; she makes amazing meals and turns ordinary ones into speciality-restaurant quality ones; the list could go on. She is such a delight.

Anna’s personality: vivacious, resourceful, diligent, happy, determined

What tops off an entire day of celebration? An extra hour!

Happy Birthday, Anna!

Anna MaxwellAnna Maxwell

“Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and
longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast
in the Lord, my dearly beloved.”
Philippians 4:1

Anna Marie Hosts a Surprise Party!!

Surprises are a wonderful, and Anna Marie knows just how to pull off a surprise celebration. She decided to have a surprise Moody Book party for Sarah. I have to add a little sis-in-law promotion. Anna Marie is super sweet, and she knows just how to make someone feel special. 

Here is the list of events as they unfolded.

Mary and I were playing with the kiddos on Friday morning at Gigi’s house when Anna Marie popped over to discuss the party food. We came up with a long list of foods that were in the Moody books (mostly desserts) and started weeding them down. We ended up deciding to keep it simple—homemade pizza and sugar cookies—because there was so much to fit into one evening besides eating. 

Hmm… wonder if someone was sampling a cookie.


Plans were coming together. The day before the party, we had Aunties’ playtime at Anna Marie’s house so Sarah wouldn’t come visit us. Mary let each of the girls take turns helping her make the cookies while I played with the littles outside. We then finished with a walk, staying away from our house because we didn’t want any little girls to announce that we had been making cookies.


Anna Marie busily worked on creating a sign and other projects while the rest of us felt a bit helpless, because we couldn’t do too much without Sarah knowing.

Abigail and Bethany frosted all the cookies and put sprinkles on top.

Tuesday, party day, rolled around, and things were finally coming together. Joseph and Elissa asked Sarah for some last minute help before dinner in order to allow us to finish the party preparations. Otherwise Sarah would wonder where we were all going. Yay! We could finally talk again as we raced over to Anna Marie’s.

Everyone was bursting at the seams with excitement.

Christopher called Joseph to see if Joseph would ask Sarah to drop a tool off at Christopher’s on her way home.


Sarah texted us to let us know that she would be a little late for dinner.


Christopher was out front “working” when she pulled in. 


She gave him the tool, and Christopher asked if she could go inside for a minute because Anna Marie wanted to show her something.


Everyone had gathered at the end of the front hallway. As she walked through the door, we all said, “Surprise” and then told her we were celebrating the completing of her Moody book series. 

Anna Marie’s surprise worked.




After dinner, the little ones went outside for a Moody I-J-N (In Jesus’ Name) project, picking up sticks at a widow’s house (aka Gigi’s house).DSC_3011We had Bible time and read 1 Corinthians 13, just like the Moodys did in one of their books.


We then played a Moody trivia game that I had written. It had everyone thinking hard and laughing hysterically as they tried to answer questions like, “Who was Mr. Adams?” Abby was the only one to get that one right.


Even Abby, Bethany, and Tina played.DSC_3024Meanwhile, Andrew occupied himself by trying to turn summersaults. 

Nathan got 1st place, Sarah 2nd place, and Abby 3rd place. Nathan has been reading the Moody books to his family in the evenings so they got almost all the questions right—even more than Sarah!

We closed out the evening with one of the games the Moodys enjoyed playing—rhythm.


Anna Marie did an amazing job of planning and coming up with a festive Moody-themed party! We all had a blast together that night.

DSC_3046Congrats to you, Sarah, on a job well done!

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation,
in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
1 Timothy 4:12

Excitement Builds

Yes, the excitement is evident for Moody readers across the world as they place pre-orders. But, not only for them, I’m excited! Last Wednesday, I received the F&G proof. It was my last proof to go through and make sure everything was in proper order before the books were bound. The book is beautiful, packed full of Colorado adventures. It’s almost surreal to see the proof sitting on my desk. Books will begin shipping next week.

Check out this e-mail I just received from a mom about Colorado with the Moodys:

Hi Sarah,
I just wanted to let you know that our 6 little ones (and their mother) are so very excited to hear of this, and read this new book!!  Thank you so, so, so much!!  We are more grateful than you will ever know.
Sounds like there’s a new upcoming writing project for you, also. Can’t wait to hear more.


Remember, between now and November 2nd (next Monday!), when you pre-order Colorado with the Moodys, I’ll sign your book. While you’re at it, don’t forget the redesigned Keeping Our Children’s Hearts. Many of you are ordering it, along with catching up on the Moody Series, and buying other Titus2 books.



“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord,
and not unto men.”
Colossians 3:23

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Sewing Day

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox collection week is coming up, November 16-23, and you should see Anna’s containers and bags of good deals ready for her boxes. She’s been diligently buying things throughout the year when sales come up at Wal-Mart and online. For more information on Operation Christmas Child, see their site.

In an effort to add a very specialized touch to the boxes, Anna and Mary decided to call for a girls’ sewing morning. All the sister-in-laws and nieces were invited, as even Abby and Bethany love sewing.

The girls were resourceful and found fabric we could use to make little purses. I will add a disclaimer here: the pattern directions weren’t easy to follow, so I’m not going to recommend it. Maybe some time we can do a step-by-step tutorial.

Wednesday morning, our dining room and kitchen transformed into a sewing-for-shoeboxes workspace. Meanwhile, Mom graciously babysat all the little ones.

What a delightful morning we had! Fabric everywhere, sewing machines humming, “now how does this work?” questionsyes, and some comical moments as we tried to figure out how these bags really went togetherfun food and great fellowship. Eleven bags later, we were so happy and ready for lunch. Anna made spaghetti and garlic bread so the moms wouldn’t have to go home and fix lunch.

Why not add a personal touch of your own to your shoeboxes this year? The children will love it!



"Hmmm. Now how do these things work?"
“Hmmm. Now how do these things work?”
Almost completed!
Almost completed!


Snack time!
Snack time!
Mom with the little ones who weren’t napping at this point.
Such fun fabric!
Anna Marie was very faithful to cut out purses.
I can only imagine the joy of the girls who receive these cute purses.


Left to right: Drew, Melanie, me (Sarah), Lydia, Tina, Mary, Abby, Anna Marie, Anna, Bethany
Left to right: Drew, Melanie, me (Sarah), Lydia, Tina, Mary, Abby, Anna Marie, Anna, Bethany
Mary added a special touch to them.
Mary added a special touch to them.

“My little children, let us not love in word,
neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”
1 John 3:18

Happy 5th Anniversary, Christopher and Anna Marie!

Happy 5th Anniversary to Christopher and Anna Marie.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 5 years since that beautiful, rainy autumn morning. We enjoyed standing with Christopher and Anna Marie as they covenanted before the Lord Jesus and witnesses. The wedding was truly a reflection of purity, holiness, and honor to Jesus.

Now, they have Joshua, Ruthie, and Lydia! Seeing their little personalities blossoming is so sweet.

Anna Marie has been a true jewel to Christopher. She’s such a fun mixture of spunk, determination, joy, and adventure! Christopher’s been a great husband to her and amazing dad to their children.

Happy Anniversary!

Christopher and Anna Marie Maxwell

“… but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua 24:15

Colorado with the Moodys

I can’t believe the day is here. Finally. You can now pre-order Colorado with the Moodys!

Colorado with the Moodys, the tenth and final book in the Moody Family Series is also the longest. Why did I decide to finish out the series? You’ll have to read the book to find out. Rest assured, this doesn’t mean the end of my writing career. The desire to write literally runs through my veins. I love to write. I’m already enthused with the new characters and plot for my next book.

If you order Colorado with the Moodys between October 19th and November 2nd, I’ll happily sign the new book. We expect the books to begin shipping the week of November 2nd.



Also, because I’m so thrilled to share with you this news, I’m putting the entire series on a special sale for only $75 until November 2nd. That’s even more discounted than our normal set. Moody books make perfect Christmas or birthday gifts.

But I have more news. See my post below about the redesigned Keeping Our Children’s Hearts book.

Remember, if you order $35* (see exceptions) or more, you qualify for free economy shipping in the United States.

Happy shopping, and I can’t wait to sign your book.


“I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings,
and will not be ashamed. And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.”
Psalm 119:46-47