Look Who Is Turning 1

This adorable, brown-eyed, cuddly, happy, smart, Mama’s boy turns one today!

Just seeing his smile makes me smile!

Who knows, maybe he’ll have a new cousin born on his birthday? No news yet, but the day has just begun!

“For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness;
his countenance doth behold the upright.”
Psalm 11:7

Make the Most of Your Leftovers, Part 1

Welcome to a new series: Make the Most of Your Leftovers. We plan to continue this, giving you ideas on how you can use leftovers.

Anna has developed quite an art of putting together leftovers into delicious soups or casseroles. When we rave over the casserole, she tells us to enjoy it that time because there won’t ever be another one just like it. I am trying to learn from her.

Here are the leftovers I had available:

  • rice
  • ham gravy with ham chunks
  • 3 biscuits
  • pork spare rib meat


Since there are only 6 of us at home now, we have downsized our casseroles to 8×8 pans.

First I greased the pan, and then put a layer of rice on the bottom. I would say about 1/3 the depth of the pan had rice.

Anna suggested I sprinkle a light seasoning of garlic salt on the rice to give it some extra flavor.

Our next layer was the meat we had picked off the spare ribs from a couple of days earlier.

Next, we added a layer of ham gravy that we had thinned a little so that it would seep nicely into the rice. 

We put the casserole together and refrigerated it two days before we used it.

Before baking at 350 degrees for 1 hour, we topped it with the cubed biscuits and sprinkled parmesan cheese over that.

It really was delicious!

Trusting in Jesus,

“Who giveth food to all flesh:
for his mercy endureth for ever.”
Psalm 136:25

In the Blink of an Eye

One can assume his morning started as normal, yet this morning would end differently. Was he momentarily distracted as he drove down the highway so that he didn’t notice the truck turning? No one will ever know because he slammed into the back of it, and in a flash, his life ended.

Months ago, one pleasant summer evening, it was a perfect night for a bike ride. But as he changed lanes, a car struck him, in a flash, his life ended and the driver’s would never be the same.

Sudden. Tragic. Irreversible. One can’t guarantee they will live a full, long life. One may only have 21 years, perhaps 36 years, or fewer years on this earth.

Friends, the purpose here is not to focus on death, but life. May we not take even a moment for granted. May we rejoice in the life God has given us and invest it as He leads.

“But this I say, brethren, the time is short…”
(1 Corinthians 7:29)

“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without,
redeeming the time.”
(Colossians 4:5)

And friends, if you haven’t, please settle the important matter of where you will spend eternity.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
(Romans 3:23)

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt
believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou
shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
(Romans 10:9-10)


True Love

I’ve been marveling over this verse lately. This is the ultimate expression of love:

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10).”

May you show Jesus’ love in a special way today to someone else!

Simple Meal Ideas for Homeschool Moms

I’m excited to share with you another guest post from Anna Marie, currently due with Baby #5 any day! As you busy moms know, when it comes time for dinner, it’s best to have a plan in place. How does one juggle meals, little ones, and homeschooling short of hiring a maid?! 

My mother-in-law received a request for simple meals on a budget for busy homeschool days a while ago. When she asked me if I had any go-to recipes or ideas I could share, I said yes. Some of these ideas are gleaned from both of my moms; my mom taught me about freezing cooked meat ahead for quick meal prep, and Mom Maxwell has been an encouragement in the meal rotations and the idea of having a meal plan to reduce the thinking involved in both planning and answering children’s questions. Those of you who have read Managers of Their Homes will probably recognize that theme. 🙂

  • Meal planThis reduces the amount of thinking you have to do on any given day and gives you a ready answer to the question: “Mommy, what are we having for _____?”
  • Have a meal rotationI should have more of these set because the days I have done it are so much simpler. For instance, tuna sandwiches for lunch on Tuesdays; popcorn, apples, and cottage cheese for lunch on Friday, homemade pizza for dinner on Saturday, etc. I tried Taco Tuesday dinner, but making tacos for everyone is pretty involved for our family so instead, we do a variation: taco soup or taco-seasoned beans with hamburger served over rice.
  • Cook and freeze meat ahead! This is a HUGE help for speedy meal prep! The main thing I do this with is chicken breast. We buy fresh chicken breasts in 40# cases. I boil a stock pot full of them and either shred them (I use my KitchenAid mixer with the beater bar to shred them; just have to be careful not to over mix) or chop it into small chunks. Then I spread it in thin layers on silicone mat-lined baking sheets, freeze, then dump it into gallon Ziploc bags. This is easy to dump some into soup, stir fry, cooked beans with various spice combinations to serve over rice, etc.

Mary helping me process chicken

  • Marinated chicken breast piecesThis is another thing I like to do with the chicken breasts. I cut it into smaller serving-size pieces, place it in quart size freezer bags, and pour marinade over it before freezing. Our favorite has been an Asian Honey Sesame Marinade. It marinates wonderfully as it thaws in the fridge for a day or two, and is simple to grill and serve with some cooked rice and steamed broccoli for an easy summer dinner!
  • Soups are one of my greatest easy meal friends. I like to make a big batch, freeze a couple meals’ worth, and have it available for at least the next day’s lunch. This is a super easy lunch to put on the stove to slowly warm, then serve with sliced apples or baby carrots (our kiddos love baby carrots with a bit of peanut butter to dip them in) toast, crackers, tortilla chips, or leftover cornbread. A lot of soups I make without a recipe just by combining broth, some sort of meat, sometimes tomato juice/puree, and frozen mixed vegetables (we buy bags of organic mixed vegetables including cut up carrots, green beans, peas, and corn from Costco). Other favorites are chili, taco soup, and bean with bacon soup.
  • Another easy meal to make ahead is oven burritos. Anna helped me get a nice stash in the freezer a few days ago so we are ready for after the new baby arrives! We first cooked organic tortillas from Costco (they come uncooked in the refrigerator section) and assembled the rest of our ingredients: mashed/salted pinto beans, ground beef made into taco meat, and shredded cheddar cheese. As we make the burritos, we place them on cookie sheets lined with silicone mats and put them in the freezer. After they’re frozen solid, I package them into gallon Ziploc bags.

These are some of my go-to easy meals, and I’d love to hear yours below!

Anna Marie

“That they may teach the young women to be
sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.”
(Titus 2:4)

Maxwell Grandbaby Due Soon!

Anna Marie worked on a fun baking project with the children yesterday, with some help from Mary and Christopher. We are looking forward to sharing the “final” photo (which reveals the baby’s name) with you when their baby arrives. Yes, that’s right—Baby is due any time now! We are grateful for your prayers as we anticipate this new little one’s arrival. Please also keep Elissa and Baby in your prayers as Elissa nears delivery. This makes Maxwell Grandchildren #11 and 12. Praising the Lord for His gift of life.

“I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people:
and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.”
Psalm 108:3

The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.