John’s House Remodeling || Demolition

John’s house has taken an exciting turn. The entire place didn’t need to be gutted, but the dining room had a vaulted ceiling, so John decided to go ahead and tear out both the kitchen and dining room. We did this mid-September.

Demolition in progress!
The day we did this work was really hot.
Love this action shot!

John decided to put two windows in his dining room to open it up and allow more light. The breeze felt really nice.  🙂 

My sisters are AMAZING workers. I love them so much!

John rented a dumpster, and wow, it got filled, cabinets, bushes, you name it.

Y’all. FOUR MORE DAYS until the book announcement (Tuesday at 10AM!). I’m extremely excited to share with you!


“And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among
you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem
them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace
among yourselves.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)

How Teri Deals with Back Pain

Some asked for a blog post about dealing with the challenges of aging, particularly considering my back pain.

My schedule helped me consistently exercise throughout my adult years, usually walking. I think that allowed me to remain active as I move through my 60’s.

My back pain requires daily management, but I was quite encouraged by the PT I visited this summer who said my back-management routine has kept me from surgery, pain meds, and greater levels of pain.

I do 15 to 30 minutes of back exercises most days. I have tried lots and lots of back exercise routinesthose a PT gave me, some I have found in books, and some from Internet DVD programs. I currently use the exercises I feel are the most beneficial, plus the ones from the most recent PT.

I don’t know for sure, but I am guessing that those back exercises have helped me maintain mobility that allows me to get on the floor and play outside with my grandchildren.

I also use a device called a posture pump (Titus2’s affiliate link to Amazon: see our Privacy Policy if you want). Because poor posture has played a role in my back pain, I am continually working on my posture. A chiropractor recommended this device because I had lost the curve in my neck. According to more recent x-rays, that curve has been nicely restored.

Finally, I have worked to maintain my weight, and I think being a normal weight allows me more stamina, energy, and mobility.

As far as mountain climbing, I simply love to do that so I push my physical limits for those hikes. Actually my back does better up a mountain with a backpack than it does leaned over a sink washing dishes for the same amount of time. Steve and I enjoy our conditioning walks togethertalking and praying and getting in as good shape as possible in flat Kansas to hike Colorado mountains.

Trusting in Jesus,

“The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found
in the way of righteousness.”
(Proverbs 16:31)

We’re In the Countdown

Y’all, I’m really excited. This week is a big week for my new book. Many details are being wrapped up, and then the book is headed to press on Monday.

That’s why we’re in the countdown stage. We’ll be releasing the book for pre-orders Tuesday, November 21st, at 10AM, Central. Watch the blog for details.

God has been very gracious to me on this exciting journey. I’m overwhelmed by the countless times He gave grace and provided exactly what was needed. My family enabled me by taking over responsibilities so I could focus on the book. They also spent many hours giving valuable feedback as I edited. Friends have encouraged and cheered me on. This book included a first for me. I knew with tight deadlines there was only one way to accomplish it. Say hello to 4 a.m. wake ups.

I will give you another clue. This is a Christmas story—my favorite kind of story.


Mary sketching
So grateful for the boost my morning mochas gave! Sweet to enjoy one as I had my Bible time.

“Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness,
and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”
Psalm 107:8

Growing Up Christian

Regularly people say to Steve or me that they didn’t grow up in a Christian home, therefore they don’t know how to have a Christian home. We like to encourage them with the fact that neither of us grew up in Christian homes either.

After our salvation, though, we began to grow as disciples of Christ, through God’s Word. That impacted our lives, teaching us how to have a Christian home, where Christ is part of every fiber of each day.

Both Steve and I went regularly to liberal churches on Sunday mornings as children, not ones where salvation is preached or taught. Our parents did not have personal relationships with Christ. They weren’t saved (born again, converted) until we were grown and no longer living at home.

What a joy it was for Steve and me to be saved early in our marriage and then to see our dads saved years later. Steve’s dad and mom divorced when he was a teen, and after his dad’s salvation, when Steve was in his 30’s, Steve’s dad wrote and said he was sorry for all that went on. At my dad’s salvation, he changed from his Army career being his life to his Lord Jesus being his life. Our moms were saved after we left home but before we were.

Each time you find yourself thinking or saying, “I didn’t grow up in a Christian home,” use that to be grateful for your salvation, pray for wisdom, and search the Scriptures for daily truth to live by.

Trusting in Jesus,

Steve and Teri Maxwell

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and
that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast”
(Ephesians 2:8-9).

How to Plan Your Thanksgiving Meal Efficiently

I like simplifying holiday meal work. Here are a couple of things I do for Thanksgiving. I have a file on my computer simply titled “Thanksgiving” where I list the year, what we had to eat, who was there, what we had too much of, and what I would do differently next year, if anything. I think I won’t forget by the following year, but the reality is that I do.

Baking for Thanksgiving together

On my computer, I also have a master shopping list for our Thanksgiving meal. Earlier in our marriage, I developed a Thanksgiving menu based on family favorites and traditional Thanksgiving foods. By popular demand we continue using that menu except for adding ham as a second meat, which our boys bake at another house because we don’t have room here, and they love the ham. We can’t take turkey out because Thanksgiving dinner with turkey is my mom’s favorite meal of the year. Plus we love our turkey noodle soup the day after Thanksgiving and all the great leftover turkey meals a turkey provides.

We keep our Thanksgiving meal simple with just one salad and one vegetable. We have expanded to two desserts now that there are so many in our family eating the Thanksgiving meal. We use roasting bags for the meat that turn out perfect turkey and ham every year.

On the day before Thanksgiving, we invite my mom over to sit with us while we work in the kitchen. Then we spend several hours prepping as much of the meal as we possibly can. She usually finds jobs she is capable of doing and would like to do with us. It is a sweet time of generational fellowship.

When guests join us for Thanksgiving and want to bring something for the meal, we ask them to bring one of their favorite side dishes. We don’t normally have sweet potatoes or cranberry sauce, but those have been additions brought by guests.

We hope your Thanksgiving is simple, thankful, and full of joy and loving fellowship.

Trusting in Jesus,

PS: Two of our favorite holiday recipes:
Light and Fluffy Rolls
Teri’s Favorite Salad

Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks:
for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.”
(Psalm 75:1)

Random Life Pictures

Life is beautiful. It’s amazing. It’s busy. I’ll spill the beans. I’ve been writing. The Lord has been gracious, my family’s help invaluable, and I can’t wait to announce the book in 1-2 weeks.

Yes, you got the hint on the last post. Joseph and Elissa are expecting. Praising the Lord for this new little life. See their family picture below!

Autumn is beautiful. Cloudy days with leaves swirling through the air, hues of orange + red + brown covering the hill side, apple and pumpkin treats, cold mornings, cool evenings, and frost-covered grass.

Watch for a post from Mom tomorrow on her Thanksgiving meal planning tips!



Trying out Anna Marie’s Insta Pot!
A whole lot of cuteness in this dog.
Speaking of which…

Mom got a new haircut recently!
Apple processing time
Jesse grilling
John and Chelsy working on his house!
Winter time is right around the corner, and Dad takes awesome care of keeping the house warm.
Tina got new glasses. Super cute!

“But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law,
Moses the servant of the Lord charged you,
to love the Lord your 
God, and to walk in all his ways,
and to keep his commandments, and 
to cleave unto him,
and to serve him with all your heart and with all 
your soul.”
Joshua 22:5