Anna Marie’s Latest Update

Happy Monday, y’all! I know there are lots of new normals happening, but I hope your week is starting out blessed. Today, Anna Marie is sharing the latest on her health. Sarah

It’s been a while since we posted an update but wanted to, first of all, thank each of you for praying for us. Since I last wrote here, COVID-19 has swept the nation, and I think most families are now finding themselves at home together quite a lot! For us, we haven’t felt many tremendous lifestyle changes as we tend to be home most of the time anyway, but it definitely adds another layer of complexity to figuring out my treatments. None of this complicates anything for God though, and we are excited to see Him leading.

We got some good news a couple days ago! My CTC (circulating tumor cell count) has dropped to 0 (in January it was 2.3; not sure what it had gone up to when surgery was done). While in some cases a 0 could indicate “no cancer,” there is always the possibility that some of the circulating cancer cells that were previously in the blood, while not circulating now, have settled in an organ somewhere (where they can lie dormant). While we are still working toward a chemo plan of some sort it was definitely a praise that there do not appear to be CTCs in my blood.

We have been consulting with various oncologists to decide on the treatment plan we feel is best for me. The Lord used some unlikely circumstances to get us in contact with a medical oncologist in Seattle, with whom we consulted remotely. He does chemotherapy in a different way than is “standard of care” yet with very good clinical success (over the years he is seeing about a 1% recurrence rate vs. 10-15% recurrence rate with standard chemo)—all of this with less toxicity and suppression of the immune system typical with standard chemo. We would love to get the chemo plan administered locally, however, because it is not yet widely used in the medical community we suspect that won’t be possible. Which means I will likely be going to Seattle for three months of treatment. As you can imagine, there are a lot of logistics to that, especially with COVID-19 right now. We are praying that we can find someone to do it locally or that God will make the way clear for me to get treatment in Seattle.

I have a few ideas for upcoming blog posts. I’ll have to work to keep them pretty short (not one of my strengths) since my time is limited, but I’m excited about some special activities we’ve done recently that you might enjoy trying with your own family! A sneak preview is that we did our Scriptorium virtually with a couple other participating families by using Google’s free video-conferencing technology. Another day, we did a solidarity pack from Feed My Starving Children and free activities from Compassion International to have an afternoon/evening focused on children in poverty in other countries. It helps put “quarantine” in perspective when you think about how abundantly blessed most of us are compared to so many in the world! And it’s a good reminder to be praying and looking for ways to bless others instead of focusing solely on what’s happening in our own lives right now.

Anna Marie

“For there is not a word in my tongue,
but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before,
and laid thine hand upon me.”
Psalm 139:4-5

A Great Learning Opportunity

We just wanted to let you all know of an exciting opportunity. During this time, many companies are offering special opportunities and discounts. I noticed that Comptia is offering a month of free access to their CertMaster training for the IT Fundamentals+ certification. This certification is geared for middle schoolers on up. Don’t let that fool you; it’s not an easy test. It covers everything from basic functionality of a computer, hardware, software, coding, databases, operating systems, and more. It was a fantastic test, and their goal in creating it was to give you a taste of many different IT areas so you can see which you enjoy best. 

I took the test last January. This is a semi-new certification, and it wasn’t around when I was in school, so I took the opportunity to take it. It is a good stepping stone for A+ or other certifications. To find out more details, visit this link


“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one
of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.”
1 Peter 3:8

More Help for Coronavirus-Induced Homeschool Moms

Start with a Schedule

May I again encourage you on the importance of a schedule? Don’t make it complicated, but get it down on paper where everyone can see it. I guarantee you that it will eliminate many decisions and distractions and help you accomplish what you need to do each day during these circumstances.

If your children were sent home with schoolwork or your school is doing it online, the schedule will eliminate getting to the end of the day with school or other tasks not accomplished and piling up for the next day.

Ideas for Academic Work If You Don’t Have Any

If you weren’t sent home with your children’s school books and you are winging it, here are some ideas for academic work:

  • Have your child read aloud to you. That will develop your child’s reading skills immensely, no matter how good a reader he is already.
  • Have your child write an email or letter. Then go over it with him for spelling, grammar, handwriting (if handwritten), and interesting content. This covers several subjects in one and connects the child with grandparents or friends.
  • Have your child keep a journal. Again you will be covering writing skills plus grammar and spelling if you go over that with him.
  • Look for math facts worksheets online. Knowing the basic math facts equips your child for furthering his math knowledge throughout the grades. 

You might be surprised if you had your child do those 3 things each day: read aloud, write something, and complete math facts worksheets, where he would be academically when he is allowed to go back to school compared to his classmates who didn’t have direction and structure in their days.

No matter what your child was or wasn’t sent home with for school, it is likely that their academic work won’t take as long as the hours they were at school each day. If you schedule time for them to play together, play alone, play outside, do chores, play games, and do craft projects, you will help to fill that extra time without having bickering, destructive children on your hands. Remember, keep the schedule simple.

Trusting in Jesus,

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good
works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”
(Matthew 5:16). 

Changing Times, Stay-At-Home

(Last week, kids loving Ellie!)

Life has seemed to change by the hour over these past two weeks. It became even more real for us this week. Yesterday began our county’s 30-day order of Stay-at-Home.

We’re grateful for all the healthcare workers who are giving of themselves to help those in need. We’re praying for them and those affected by the pandemic.

We’re thankful for family! I can’t imagine how lonely it would be for a single person during this time, so please, reach out to that single person through text, FaceTime, phone call, or a letter to show you care.

Our last family lunch (at that point: the recommended/allowed number was 10 or less) before the order went into effect

Titus2 orders are shipping out as normal, and we’re grateful for the postal system continuing. Literally, overnight the world became homeschoolers, and ladies have expressed their gratefulness for scheduling advice (more coming soon!).

Since kids have more time (okay: I think most everyone does without social activities), we decided to offer Book #1: Summer with the Moodys, for 40% off (limited time). Since the book is set in the summer, even those who normally go to school will love it.

Depending on how long your stay-at-home order is, you could try to make the book last if you read one chapter per day (20 chapters).

We plan to keep the blog updated as our (new) daily life is underway. How are you doing with everything happening? How is it affecting you? And how can we be praying?

Spring is pushing out the cold, winter days, and we’re welcoming it with gratefulness to the Lord Who is so worthy of our worship.

Please remember, share Jesus and His redeeming love with those you see!


“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep:
for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety”
(Psalm 4:8).

How to Make Slime

We want to share a great activity to do with kids: SLIME! It’s quite easy, although it may take a time or two to get the perfect combo.

Homemade Slime

  • 1 cup Elmer’s glue (can be purchased in big jugs)
  • Food coloring
  • About a teaspoon of baking soda
  • Contact solution (can be purchased from stores like Walmart)

Warning: do not make this anywhere near carpet, because it will be a forever reminder.

First, find containers of some kind to mix it up in and measure in Elmer’s glue. Add some food coloring (to your liking) and stir. Next, add a teaspoon (or a small spoonful) of baking soda. All the while, stir. And stir some more.

Add less than a tablespoon of the contact solution. Stir and stir. When it starts to glob up and you can try to get it in your hands, go ahead. Knead it back and forth. You can add more contact solution if needed, but a fair warning. If you put too much in, it’s irreversible. It’s better to knead it a lot in your hands. If it flops, don’t worry. It’s probably too much contact solution. Go for it again.

Your kids will love stretching and do all kinds of creative things with their slime.

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the
earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice,
and sing praise” (Psalm 98:4).

Happy 13th Birthday, Susannah!

Susannah Maxwell, oldest daughter to Nathan and Melanie, would have turned 13 today. She lived 3 days before leaving this world and entering a blissful Eternity with the Kings of kings.

We love Susannah. She was beautiful, with dark hair and delicate features. We know many of you have lost little ones, and we hurt with you. The loss is real. Yet, it’s only temporary. Susannah is experiencing the unspeakable glory of Heaven.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

If you want to see a slideshow of Susannah’s short life, you can find it below or at this link if you are receiving this via email (music was written by Joseph, along with the other siblings accompanying).

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and
there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying,
neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
Revelation 21:4