John Maxwell and Chelsy Bontrager Are Engaged!

Guess what?? John is engaged to Chelsy Bontrager with a December 30th wedding! Some may know of the Bontragers’ due to their participation in the Bible Bee or maybe attended one of their family concerts. They are a delightful family who loves and serves the Lord with a great love for His Word and His truth.

John Maxwell and Chelsy Bontrager
John Maxwell and Chelsy Bontrager

We are excited to see what the Lord has for John and Chelsy as they begin a new life together serving Him. 

There are many wedding plans being discussed plus working on the house that John bought a couple of months agodebt free! We’ll be sharing on that soon!

Some have wondered why we hadn’t posted anything earlier. Well, we had planned not to post about them until they were married like we did for Joseph and Elissa. We had chosen the path of not posting about a relationship until after the wedding for the privacy of our children. However, the Bontragers’ posted about the engagement, so it is now public, and we re-evaluated.

The Maxwells

“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing,
and obtaineth favour of the Lord.”
Proverbs 18:22

Quality Sister Time

A friend of mine shared this amazing picture of her girls. They made Cream Puff Pie together, a recipe from Spring with the Moodys. I am blessed to hear how the Lord continues to use the Moody books!

The oldest sister has been a Moody reader for years, and in fact, the first time I met her, she was her little sister’s age! Now, she’s reading a chapter each night of a Moody book to her younger sister. Friday, they made Cream Puff Pie. I love to see this! Big sister investing in little sister and spending quality time with her.

So, you older sisters out there, what can you do to bless your sister? Please share your suggestions in the comments below. I want to here them! My sisters are my best friends.

Here are some of my sister-quality time hints:

  • Go for a walk or a run
  • Workout
  • Do ministry events or activities
  • Bake a dessert
  • Projects (like processing apples together!)
  • Visit a widow
  • Clean a relative’s house 🙂
  • Run errands
  • Play a game
  • Make cards (haven’t done that one for awhile)
Mary, Anna, and Sarah Maxwell after a run


“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
Psalm 133:1

Babysitting with Mary

Anna Marie needed to go to a baby checkup the other day, so Mary watched the children. Mary (and Anna!) love to invest in our sisters-in-law this way, and they totally enjoy the children!

Near the end, Mary and crew were out playing on Aunties’ Park, and I couldn’t resist grabbing some pictures. Absolute adorableness.


Mary and Danny
Ruthanne, Lydia, Mary, Joshua, and Daniel Maxwell

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:
but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
Proverbs 17:22

Operation Christmas Child is Right Around the Corner

I love seeing the items grow in our basement for Operation Christmas Child. Okay, well, they don’t just grow by themselves, I should say they’re purchased! Anna and Mary diligently work at finding great deals throughout the year. 

The National Collection Week is in just one month, so if you’ve been thinking about participating, please don’t delay!

Anna, Mary, Anna Marie, and most of the nieces and nephews went shopping at back to school time in August. This was the perfect opportunity to get practical supplies for the boxes.

Currently, Anna and Mary are spending individual one-on-one time with the littles and letting them come over and help with shoebox projects. It’s adorable to see!

Two things to note when purchasing items: toothpaste and candy (crying face here!) are no longer allowed due to customs’ regulations. I know the Lord will give creativity when it comes to replacing those two items, as those both were favorites in our boxes.

So, we’d love to hear, how many of our readers are doing OCC? Please post below!


There’s a lot of action to process here!

Awesome selfie!
Sweet Anna Marie and Daniel and Lydia
The girls planned for a snack time in the parking lot of Goldfish afterward. Smart move.
Sweet sisters

Lydia stacked erasers in a box.
I wish you could have heard her little sweet voice. Totally melt-worthy!
Anna, Mary, and Lydia Maxwell
Counting stuffed animals

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To
visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep
himself unspotted from the world.”
James 1:27

What Could be a Homeschool Mom’s Greatest Distraction

I’m excited to share with you a special post from Melanie. I’ve long admired how she manages technology through her day. So I asked if she could share how she does that with you all!

Melanie and her baby, Benjamin

School days are full of interruptions, but one of the slyest is cell phones. I remember as a kid when my parents got an answering machine so Mom could screen incoming calls and only answer during school hours if it was my dad. Now, we have cell phones and communication interruptions have become even easier to get caught up inbecause it just takes a second to send a text, or read a post, or read an email, or just send a quick question. Of course once the phone is in our hands, we notice one more thing we need to look at or answer.  

Nathan had been working on increasing his skill set and disciplines for greater success in his work. As I’ve watched him do this, I am inspired to have a similar drive to build my skills and disciplines to be the best homeschool mom and wife I can be. It’s not hard for me to find things I can work on, so obviously I am a work in progress!

One thing that I know helps me be a better homeschool mom is to remove distractions when I am teaching! A big thing for me is my phone. My goal is to keep my phone on the kitchen counter and do a quick check between subjects to see if Nathan has texted. I work to ignore other communication from family and friends until lunch, and the same for the afternoonignore texts until school is done for the day. Though I’m sure this can be a frustration for those working to communicate with me, people quickly learn my texting style and accept it. For most communication with friends, I use email. That doesn’t have the same expectation of immediate response as texting currently holds.  

A good way to remove a distraction is to place your phone away from you

My connection with my kids is so much better (and precious) when my phone is not my companion and focus. Our daily routine includes one-on-one teaching time with each kid. They look forward to this time and are very sad when it is skipped or excessively interrupted (there are always some interruptions—diaper changes, redirecting of other kids, etc.). How special it is when my eyes, mind, and heart are in tune to them. The time spent is so much more productive and enjoyable with that focus and lines up with the goal I have in front of me of being the best teacher I can be!

In Jesus,

Melanie and Christina doing school

“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt
talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou
walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:7).

What is Titus2’s Most Valuable Asset to the Blog?

Our readers!

Thank you all for your enthusiasm and comments on our 11-year blog anniversary. Wow! I wasn’t expecting to receive that many suggestions and ideas. We’re grateful. We value you as our readers and want to make what we share count and be related to what you’re interested in. I’ve compiled all of your ideas into a file so I can refer back to them and work on implementing them. 

We’re excited to work through topics you want to see and how the Lord would lead us to share on them. Ohhhh. So many great ones. Some of my favorites are seeing more of the sister-in-laws and how they manage school and even the lady who said her sons have looked up to my brothers and would love to hear from the guys on subjects. This is going to be really great! Watch for a post Monday from Melanie on an incredibly relevant topic to all you moms. I can’t wait.

Thank you for faithfully reading!


This was a fun picture Christopher took of his kiddos. Life is always full of adventure!

“Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
and our tongue with singing:
then said they among the heathen,
The Lord hath done great things for them
Psalm 126:2