Handies Peak

As the sun cast its golden rays, it was a beautiful sight.

To get to the trailhead for the 14er Steve and I could do, Jesse rented a jeep. We left the cabin at 4:15 a.m. and were hiking about 6:30. Because it was a short 14er—5.5 miles—we didn’t need to start hiking in the dark. 

The hike began above the treeline, and we enjoyed several varieties of beautiful wildflowers, especially in the first mile of the hike. 

We also saw a type of bird we hadn’t seen before and haven’t identified. Anyone know what they are (see the picture below)? They were lying among the rocks, and looked so much like the rocks we could hardly discern them, even when they were pointed out right next to us.

You can click into this picture to see it bigger.
Jesse Maxwell
Mary and Anna Maxwell

A little over halfway up, it appeared we could have rain moving in so Anna, Jesse, and Mary took off at a fast pace to summit in case we needed to turn back. Steve and I just continued plodding along. The weather held, and Steve and I summitted as well after three hours of hiking.

After a quick ascent, Anna took this picture of Jesse and Mary.
Steve and me coming up.
Jesse is very knowledgable of the surrounding peaks
The Maxwells on top of Handies Peak

We didn’t stay long on top because of the incoming weather, but long enough to get a few photos and take in the amazing panorama of God’s creation. The others had been there long enough to enjoy the views and get pretty cold with lower temperatures and wind.

Anna found herself a great recliner rock on the way down
Notice how much the light changed by mid-day.

For our week in Colorado, Steve planned progressively more difficult hikes every other day, with a rest day in between, to make sure his body was able to take on a 14er after his stents in March and be as acclimated to the altitude as possible. He did great and was happy to be carrying 30 pounds less body weight up the mountain too! 

If you are wondering where Sarah was for this hike, she was at the cabin working on her next book. She has developed some altitude sickness the past couple of years that make it increasingly unpleasant for her to hike at altitude. So she takes advantage of the 14er hikes to have hours of writing solitude in a writer’s paradise. She’s currently brainstorming and plotting the outline and structure for the sequel to Finding Change.

Sarah walked to a little coffee shop
Enjoying the mountain views and quietness
Jesse with the jeep

While we love 14er hikes, this is our greatest joy: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). Part of those hikes for each of us is praise, worship, and thanksgiving to our glorious Creator.

Trusting in Jesus,

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
Psalm 8:3-4

Colorado Odds and Ends

We had a delightful time in Colorado and arrived home last night. There is something refreshing about leaving your normal routine/work schedule and being away. The mountains truly are a symbol of God’s majesty. Saturday evening, we took our family photo next to a gorgeous mountain stream.

We have more hikes to share about but in the meantime, here are some random pictures.


The little grocery store wasn’t your typical store–but it had most groceries.
The girls brainstorming ideas for their Bible club.
The VRBO cabin we stayed at in Lake City.
Dad grilling for us
On our way out of the mountains, we stopped in the town we normally vacation near. Some of us went for a short little hike after church.
We enjoyed sweet fellowship with our friends outside of Denver.
We helped them with some projects, including cooking.
Jesse working
With our friends, we made desserts with at least one unusual ingredient, and then let our families vote on them.
The brothers cut and served the desserts so that things would stay more anonymous.
Yesterday, on our final leg of the trip, we stopped by friends to share a meal with them.

“Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the
glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in
the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom,
O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.”
1 Chronicles 29:11

Back to Homeschool

It’s back to homeschool for many of our readers. Time to pull out the new books, plan your schedule, and launch into an exciting year of learning! Ladies, your investment in teaching your children is priceless. Bless you.

If you need a little kick-start encouragement, check out these helps from my mom:

Managers of Their Schools

Managers of Their Schools is a practical, confidence-building book written by my parents who had 30 years’ experience. Learn more here.

For the Maxwell families, school is beginning too, so we wanted to share a peek at the new students. We love seeing second-generation homeschoolers.

Anna Marie with her crew

“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

God’s Handiwork

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
Psalm 8:3-4

Jesse took this photo at American Basin on the way up to Handies Peak.

Two Miles Short of Expectation

We are so grateful to have this time away in the mountains. Since Lake City, Colorado, is all new territory for us, we’re enjoying our exploring.

On Mary’s birthday, we wanted to climb a mountain we can see from our cabin — a 12 or 13er.

We started bright and early and enjoyed our time hiking.

Lots of beautiful aspen

When we got above the treeline, the views were so pretty.

We climbed to this scenic overlook and made some decisions. Based on the time, the looming clouds, and the distance yet to go, we decided not to attain the top. We were about a mile short of getting to the top. 🙂

Dad and Mom

Since we’d taken two vehicles to the trailhead, Jesse took the descent fast, so he could get a half-day of work in. We girls went a little further for an adventure and later caught up with Dad and Mom who headed down.

The clouds continued to build.

As we enjoyed a break (can you spot Anna on a recliner rock?), the storm with lightning began to move in.

The storm added some moisture and the lightning a little drama to the end of the hike but thankfully we were below the tree line.

Anna signing out of the trail log book
FaceTime with Calia and Elissa

We finished with a treat for the birthday girl in town. Happy Birthday!

“I press toward the mark for the prize of
the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:14

Happy 23rd Birthday, Mary!

Mary with nieces and nephews

Happy 23rd Birthday, Mary! We’re so happy you get to celebrate another birthday in the mountains–for the record, this is the ninth consecutive in Colorado.

Mary is sold out to the Lord Jesus and her passion is serving Him especially in ministry to children. Her eyes sparkle and her happy laugh are a testimony to the joy of the Lord being her strength. She loves to help others and does so with a true servant’s heart.

With Bible club friends

Mary treasures her time in God’s Word and is faithful to deepen her walk.

We hope you have a delightful birthday in God’s Word, hiking, enjoying chocolate, a latte, and great family times. We love you!

Making happy kids
Mary Maxwell

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his
righteousness; and all these things

shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33