Baby Dolls and Carriers

It’s been a busy week on the Maxwell home front, so I’m sorry we haven’t had another post sooner. You’ll hear from Anna Marie below. –Sarah

Thank you all so much for your sweet comments and joining our excitement for our new baby on the way! We are so very blessed!

One question was asked that we thought others might be interested in as well, so decided to make it a separate little post.

“Are your girls using the Ergo children’s baby doll carriers? What brand of baby dolls do you prefer? I like that larger size.”

Before Elizabeth was born, I thought it would be great to get new baby dolls for Ruthanne and Lydia as gifts once the new baby arrived. I found some 20” dolls on Amazon that I loved—and then was thrilled to find that our Walmart had almost the exact same dolls for $5! I don’t know why they were that price at our store just then, but it was such a wonderful little blessing to find them! They are made by JC Toys and can be found on Amazon here. (All links in this post are Titus2’s Amazon affiliate link and bless the ministry. See Titus2’s privacy policy.) It’s been perfect that they can wear size newborn to three-month clothes and the girls have actually become quite proficient in baby changing—even able to help change Elizabeth with their skills. 🙂

The baby carriers they have are these. They work well, though the 20” baby dolls are maybe a little bigger than it’s designed for. Elizabeth is using one that works well with smaller babies (helps to tie it together in the back to keep it from falling off shoulders).

And mine is an Ergo Omni 360. I was given an Original Ergo before Joshua arrived, which I loved and used a lot; and then received an Ergo Omni 360 after Elizabeth was born and highly recommend it as I feel like the company made some great improvements. The biggest pluses, to me, are being able to carry a newborn without an insert, and being able to carry older babies forward-facing while maintaining a good ergonomic leg position. They’re expensive, but if you have baby gift money … you can buy them at Bed Bath and Beyond using a 20% off coupon.

Happy baby-carrying!

Anna Marie

“That our sons may be as plants grown up in their
youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones,
polished after the similitude of a palace.”
Psalm 144:12

Maxwell Cousins Photo Session 2019

Anna Marie today is sharing about the Maxwell cousin photo session. — Sarah

What began as a first birthday gift for Abigail ten years ago has become an annual event anticipated by a growing number of Maxwell children! I love seeing how Christopher creates a special experience for each child, connecting with them and capturing their sweet personalities.

First, he takes individual photos in two sets–one with natural light, the other in our living room “studio.”

Typical Danny fashion.
The Maxwell Cousins

Then we do some various groupings: families, father/child, mother/child, etc.

At the end, we sometimes do a fun “extra” shot or two, and I think those always are among my favorites!

We are thrilled and anticipation is running high. I’m feeling really well at this point. It’s been sweet to see the children’s excitement–Lydia’s hand slipping over to rest on my stomach to feel for the baby during Bible time, or the children asking (again) when we will be able to feel it kicking, or talking about names, etc. We appreciate prayers as this new little one develops! Baby is due February 2020.

Anna Marie

“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and
wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and
that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:13-14

Father’s Day Surprise

Each week, our little church has special music by the young people. Our friends love it. Anna Marie planned a Father’s Day surprise.

It took a lot of work and coordinating, but Anna Marie managed to pull off a beautiful program of Scripture recitations and the song, I’d Rather Have Jesus. With all the children included, it’s amazing, but it really did stay a surprise!

God’s Word came alive with the children’s enthusiasm and heart-felt love for His Word. One portion they shared was this:

“For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand.
I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God,
than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield:
the LORD will give grace and glory:
no good thing will he withhold from them
that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts,
blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.” — Psalm 84:10-1

May this next generation be strong and faithful followers of Jesus.


Practicing one day (thanks, Gigi for the picture)

Friendship and Blessing

A special Titus2 friend, Marilyn, gifted me with this beautiful quilt made by her mother-in-law, who is in her 90’s, and her sister-in-law. The quilt now hangs across the back of our sofa, and I use it as a wrap during my morning prayer time.

Trusting in Jesus,

Marilyn and me

“She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her
hands hold the distaff” (Proverbs 31:19). 

Scripture Memory With Little Children, Part 1

Sarah asked me (Anna Marie) to write a post about helping little kiddos with Scripture memory. I don’t feel like I have any revolutionary ideas, or like we are pros at it, but I can share what we do right now.
In this post, I won’t go into reasons why we want to prioritize Scripture memory, but I highly recommend the free ebook download titled Whatever It Takes, from Scripture Memory Fellowship. We picked it up at a homeschool convention a few years ago, and it re-inspires me every time I read it!
This will be a two-part blog post series. Below you’ll find three of the ways we memorize (the final three later!).

Listening—this one seems to be key with our little ones. Their morning routine includes listening to an audio Bible (free here from Faith Comes By Hearing, or there are others available). They listen to Scripture multiple times a day with family and school Bible times, and we keep a memory passage on a whiteboard in our dining room that we repeat before most meals. Even the littlest kiddos chime in, attempting to quote with us. We are often surprised at how quickly they can rattle off enough to show that they can quote it, although for a two or three-year-old their speech/pronunciation ability seems to lag a bit behind their mental ability! In addition, Scripture Memory Fellowship has a tool called VerseLocker, which makes it easy to play selected passages of Scripture. It’s straightforward to use, and we really like it being able to “turn on” our memory passages to keep them in our minds.

Reading—this is (obviously) for those who can actually read. Joshua learned much of Jonah just by reading and working on it himself, combined with listening to an audio recording that we played a lot while working on other things.

Repeating—ties in with listening but is key! When we are working on a new verse, I will have the children repeat it after me phrase by phrase, usually various times through the day (especially breakfast), discussing it with them and trying to draw out things in each phrase to make it more memorable for them. We try to repeat verses a few times throughout the day when possible.

Sarah will be posting Part 2 in the next few weeks!

Anna Marie

“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?
by taking heed
thereto according to thy word.”
Psalm 119:0

To My Dad on Father’s Day

Dear Dad,

Looking back over the years, I see how your life has been filled with sacrifices. A sacrifice means it costs you something. 2 Samuel 24:24: ” … neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing.”

You’ve given up things you loved because family was more important. Back in Nathan, Christopher, and my early childhood days, you loved to fly small airplanes and be out on the sparkling water in a sailboat. Not only did you see that was taking away resources and time which could be used better, but you also knew it would create appetites in your kids for those same things.

You and Mom made the decision to only have three kids, after seeing Mom’s struggles with depression. Seven years later, when God changed your hearts, you had the courage to reverse that. Raising five more kids was a tremendous amount of sacrifice!

When God led you to leave your corporate job and start a business, that required more sacrifice.

While raising eight kids, you sacrificed so much time and money for our sake. Even now, you and Mom go out of your way to bless the married couples as opportunities arise. Not many people in their 60s would love to have single, young adults living with them. You not only welcome it, but you do it at no cost to us! Sacrificial love.

Sacrifice. The beauty of giving up something because you value something more.

You value your family, and your walk with the Lord Jesus more than anything else in this world.

Most recently, you’ve sacrificed your diet to have more years left to be with us and sharing with others.

Dad, thank you. Thank you for your sacrificial example. I love you!

Sarah for all EIGHT

Steve and Teri Maxwell
Dad with me, Anna, Mary, and Jesse on our “pre” Father’s Day celebration before the girls left

“That they might set their hope in God,
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments:.”
Psalm 78:7