Team Buddies

Are you missing wonderful opportunities of deepening your marriage and closeness as a family? When we were first married, Steve’s responsibilities were everything outside the house, to include taking the trash outside, and Teri’s were the inside of the house. We soon learned that was a bad idea.

Time spent together is a blessing because when working together with a common goal, hearts are drawn together. For many years we have often worked on projects as a family. Our current house was finished out by the family working hard together. Our adult children know how to work because of those experiences and have gained many skills. That time working together also brought hearts together.

When we built our house, the city required us to pour our drive with a sharp edge where it joined the street because the street would be repaved in time. The mini-asphalt ramp we made to join our driveway to the street lasted ten years but recently needed repair. Teri and I spent a Saturday with that goal.

After researching solutions and not having a way to get a small load of asphalt, we choose to use Aquaphalt. It took four buckets and lots and lots of energy to get it down. We will seal it next week, and then time will tell how it holds up.

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Anna Marie’s September Update

Happy Monday, y’all! Today Anna Marie’s sharing an update on how they’re doing. —Sarah

Hello Everyone,

Autumn is arriving here in Leavenworth! I love waking to the cool morning air, the golden brown leaves fluttering to the ground and sprinkling the deck and yard with nature’s confetti. In addition to family life at home—school, work, yard work, etc.— we have enjoyed some family adventures like going on little hikes at nearby Weston, having a picnic dinner at a site where Abraham Lincoln gave a speech (I love how we can bring our history studies to life like that!), and special games Christopher thinks up to play in the backyard with the children. Also, he and Joshua have done fall lawn rejuvenation for a few years now, and just spent a couple Saturdays doing that. Folks enjoy having this great father/son team work in their yard, and I love how Christopher includes Joshua in their little business!

While we are enjoying the beautiful weather here, though, our hearts go out to all those affected by the wildfires out west. My family (in Washington) is safe, and we are grateful for the rain that cleared the hazardous air conditions that were keeping them inside.

The change of seasons reminds me of the life seasons we are going through. As much as I sometimes wish I could go back to a previous season, this is the season God has us in right now. I want so much to not only be content in it, but to embrace and cherish it for the opportunities of spiritual growth and relationship-building in concentrated family time. Each season has its own beauty and ways of glorifying God if we will humbly accept it. That’s not to say it’s always easy, and I have definitely had emotional ups and downs along the way. I think reaching the point of admitting “I can’t do this” is right where God wants me—not continuing that train of thought in despair, but realization of my need for constant reliance on Him.

The children have been remembering last September when we were treating head lice. While that was certainly not a “season” I would have chosen, it’s cute to hear them talking about it and to realize what special memories we all have of that time. I know we will cherish many special memories of the season of life God has given us right now and I want to be content and thankful. I’m so blessed to have this time surrounded by my sweet little family!

I met a precious young mom at one of my treatment facilities and we quickly became friends, keeping in contact via text. I was grieved when I received a text recently from her husband letting me know she passed away; while I know it is glory for her, our hearts ache for her husband and three young children left behind. Goodbyes are a sad reality of gaining many sweet friends in cancer treatment; but I’m so thankful for the opportunity I have had to get to know these brothers and sisters in Christ and am grateful that He crosses our paths to encourage each other in Him! And I’m again reminded to cherish these days with my family because, cancer or not, none of us knows how much longer we have on earth. May we be faithful with every moment!

I’m continuing the Thursday afternoon treatments of targeted therapy every three weeks and Vitamin C IV’s weekly. A sweet neighbor of ours has been bringing dinner for us on my treatment day which is such a blessing as I usually get home right at dinner time; and we are thankful for Christopher’s flexibility in work hours since we aren’t having anyone over to help with childcare these days due to caution with exposure to any illness. Speaking of which…

We asked my oncologist about my immune system and his thoughts on social interactions. He said it’s not just about blood counts, but also how far out from chemo I am. For 3-6 months following chemo, he said my immune system will be compromised because my body will still be working to recover. So, for now, we are keeping on what we’ve been doing: being cautious, avoiding unnecessary shopping or being indoors with others, and grateful for the lovely weather to visit outside at a distance!

Since I generally prefer staying at home anyway, it’s not too great a hardship right now. 🙂 Mom Maxwell is doing most of our grocery shopping for us, which is a blessing, and she has helped us remotely in other practical ways like ironing clothes and cooking/freezing meat so it’s ready to add to soups, beans, etc. Abigail and others have blessed us with freezer meals, too. And I’m blessed by Christopher and the children’s willingness to help out and enable me to get more rest these days.

Thank you all again for your ongoing support and encouragement! I hope you are enjoying your beginning of fall and cozier days with your families!

Anna Marie

“For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.” Psalm 18:31-32


Jesse and Anna Maxwell’s Wedding Pictures, Part 1

We’re so excited to share with you the first installment of Jesse and Anna’s wedding pictures. It’s been a long time coming, but it took me two months to even give them pictures due to my book and website projects.

Where do we start? Jesse and Anna, like most couples during COVID, navigated a huge twist to their wedding planning. Yet, their ultimate desire was to have family and some close friends witness their marriage covenant before God. They willingly and graciously gave up their large(r) wedding and reception plans.

So much had changed in a few short months, including Anna Marie leaving for treatment (and the week of the wedding, she was in the hospital!). We missed Joseph and family along with Gigi who felt it best to stay back and watch the wedding remote due to the COVID situation.

Saturday, May 23rd, dawned beautiful and bright. Mom and Dad cared for Christopher and Anna Marie’s children on the wedding day, which was no small feat with 5 under 7.

Christopher and I photographed the wedding together. The day started about 8:30 when the girls arrived. I took getting ready photos and Christopher started Jesse’s formals about an hour later.

This bridal party was a lively bunch consisting of all family except for one groomsman!

Anna’s sister did her hair.
Jesse walked over from the AirBnb we stayed at with a note for Anna.
Coffee for all the gals!
The happy groom!
Throughout the day, I enjoyed working with some posing ideas.
Anna with her lovely bridesmaids
The radiant bride
A nearby church lent a perfect background.
The entire bridal party
Maxwell siblings minus Joseph
Mom and Anna
Mom and Dad with Jesse and Anna
Dad and Mom with Christopher’s kids (and Abby helping too)
Groom and groomsmen photos
Capturing mid-day formals in bright sunlight presents some challenges.
Guests consisted of mostly family with some friends.
Girls praying before the ceremony!

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother,
and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh”
(Genesis 2:24).

Grandma’s Bookbag

If you’d like to read past Grandma’s Bookbag posts, just go to this link.

Fire Engine Man and Digger Man

Andrew greatly enjoyed Train Man (see this post for more info on it), and he would see two other books in the series advertised on the back of Train Man. So he regularly asked if I would get those other two books. As a treat during Covid reading when we were doing it via Face Time, I ordered Fire Engine Man and Digger Man by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha (Amazon links in this post are Titus2’s Amazon’s Affiliate link, and Titus2 is blessed from qualifying purchases, see the Privacy Policy). Andrew and Benjamin were thrilled!

Fire Engine Man and Digger Man are simple board books with engaging illustrations. The one-sentence-per-page story line involves a little boy who loves his play enough to think about some day doing it as a vocation. He imagines all he would do if he were a real fireman or a digger man. One of the best parts for me is that he has a little brother and includes him through out each book.

Momma, Will You?

Momma, Will You? by Dori Chaconas was recommended by a reader of the Grandma’s Book Bag series. It turned out to be a favorite, especially with three-year-old Benjamin. This simple story has a farm setting with a mommy and two children. The children ask mommy one question per page about something they might do with one of the animals, giving her a choice of answering, “Yes, or no, or maybe.” 

On the following page, Mommy gives the answer with a cute explanation. Benjamin loves guessing what the answer will be, and the more we read the book, of course, the less guessing! 

The illustrations are outstanding and truly make this book a delight to read. 

Trusting in Jesus,

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and
power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure
they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11).

Labor Day Get-Together

Happy Monday, y’all! We wanted to share pictures from our big family get-together on Labor Day. It turned out warm and wonderful, and the backyard rang with laughter and good fellowship. We’re happy to have Anna Marie back with us.

We’re grateful for family who loves the Lord Jesus and each other.

Dad and Mom put a lot of work into our BBQ, and a special thanks to Gigi for providing it!

We’re excited to share wedding pictures very soon. Hopefully this week depending on my schedule. I’m so grateful to the Lord for His grace during this intense season of working on my book. Saturday afternoon, I emailed it to our copyeditor!


Dad played lots of Frisbee with the kids.
This looks like a lot of action at the food table.
Kyle reminds me so much of Joseph when he was a little guy.

“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore
sober, and watch unto prayer” (1 Peter 4:7).

More Changes

Joseph and Elissa have moved! Not very far really, but not like when they only lived a mile from us. With the birth of Caleb, they felt they outgrew their starter house and began looking for a bigger one. They decided to settle in Kansas City, closer to their church.

After finding their new house, they put their old house on the market. It sold right away.

Joseph and Elissa are only about fifteen minutes away from Jesse and Anna Patrice. Both couples go to the same church.

We know we will miss having Joseph and Elissa so close, but we are happy that found a home they are delighted with. They said they plan to make it back regularly for family Sunday lunches.

Steve helping Joseph paint the house before it went on the market
Cleaning out the garden before the house closed

“Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:
except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain” (Psalm 127:1).