All posts by Sarah Maxwell

Melanie Maxwell’s Pick for An Extra Curricula Filler

Sometimes it’s nice to have a productive filler for homeschool kids, and when I asked Melanie what a favorite pick was for the prior school year, here’s her answer.

The Never Bored Kid Books!

(Titus2’s Amazon Affiliate links are in this post, above and below: see our privacy policy.)

With dot-to-dots, puzzles, riddles, word games, and more, there are plenty of things to encourage kids in their learning skills. As with all things, one must use discernment. If Melanie comes to a page that doesn’t meet what they’d like for their kids to do (i.e. magic or scary themes), she’ll just tear it out.

The Never Bored Kid Books might be a good addition to your homeschool day.


“O Lord, open thou my lips;
and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.”
Psalm 51:15

Random Life from Ministry to Mountains to Home Life

God has been so gracious to us these past seven weeks since our past Random Life. When the girls came home, we jumped into County Fair ministry the next week, and things continued a whirl with things we had going. Colorado truly was a beautiful break from the normal busyness to be together as a family.

Now with summer at a close, we look forward to what God has in store for our autumn season.


Anna and Mary went early to the fair that Saturday to let the kids have some hands-on practice doing balloons.
A young man reciting the 10 commandments
A sweet treat at the fair on a precious break–the girls had few of those. Neat part was it was nearly given to us from their 4H frequent flyers.
Proclaim Day at the end of the summer Bible Bee study
Taking the test (with one of the aunts in the room as the observer)
Arnold likes shoes
Benji trying out a walker
Sweet times
Water balloons on aunties’ playtime
Dad’s birthday–don’t you love this picture one of the little girls drew? Look at those eyes!
Axton with Grandma time
This adorable family taking a walk together
Ruthie has become a pro at the monkey bars.
Nathan took his kids out for a pre-first-day-of-school breakfast.
Lots of summer birthdays.
In Colorado, I took Mom’s pictures. We battled mosquitos. 🙂
Nothing like working on my book with gorgeous mountain views!
We girls took two hikes together. This one was from the opposite side of the valley, so we got gorgeous views of Lake City both hikes.
Saturday work project
John is discussing possible options for fixing our sticking patio door.
Cleaning vehicles after our trip
Watching Calia and Kyle so Joseph and Elissa could celebrate their anniversary

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee.”
Isaiah 26:3

Scripture Memory With Little Children, Part 3

Joshua and me doing Bible Bee Summer Study

Part 1 and Part 2 here if you haven’t read them. You’re hearing from Anna Marie again on her Bible Memorization series: practical encouragement on hiding God’s Word.

I had fully intended to write part 3 shortly following the others; however, first trimester of pregnancy, life as a mom, and starting homeschool took over! But here I am, back to tell you how we choose, keep track of, and review our verses.
First, a brief recap:

  • Keep Dad and Mom inspired (If you haven’t already, I recommend quickly reading this free ebook download titled Whatever It Takes, from Scripture Memory Fellowship)
  • Listen to an audio Bible
  • Read personally and as a family
  • Repeat frequently
  • Sing Scripture (such as this: Amazon affiliate link which blesses the Titus2 ministry. See Titus2’s privacy policy.)
  • Write it out
  • Motivate (with a celebration, event such as Scriptorium or Bible Bee, etc.)

There are three main ways we choose passages:
1. Christopher sometimes chooses a passage for us to memorize that will meet a current character need in our family, such as Colossians 4:6,  Ephesians 4:31-32, or Philippians 2:13-14.
2. We have been working through a catechism-type question answered with a Scripture verse, that was in our Christ-Centered Curriculum lesson guide. Things such as “Who is God?” (Jeremiah 10:10) or “Name the 3 Persons of the Godhead” (1 John 5:7), etc. It starts with God, goes through creation, Christ, Christian life, and more.
3. This year we participated in the National Bible Bee Summer Study (which was excellent!) so we had two passages each week to learn with that. When we share at a Scriptorium, we choose a passage (or passages) from the Scriptorium list we want to do and then work on that as a family.

Sharing verses with a friend from church

I don’t have a perfect system for keeping track of what we have memorized. I’ve started a Google Doc and intended to add each passage to it as we go, but I’ve struggled to be consistent with that. What has worked for me the best is to write them out on index cards and keep them in a box (I got an inexpensive index card box at Walmart), then as part of our routine we have fifteen minutes of verse review where I cycle through the cards we have learned. We don’t get through them all each day, but when we are doing it regularly I know we’ll be covering them all over the course of a few days.

Joshua found this to be a good memorizing spot!

The children enjoy doing our review in Bible Bee format, where I say their name, they go stand by the fireplace, then recite the passage I give them. For instance, “Ruthanne, please recite Colossians 4:6.” She replies, “Colossians 4:6. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Colossians 4:6.” We all clap, then she sits down, and I say the next child’s name. Saying the reference before and after the verse is required for Bible Bee, and practically speaking, it does help us all remember the references better so we incorporate that.

Right now we are finishing memorizing 2 Timothy 2 as a family for the Scriptorium in St. Louis coming up on September 14th. In this process, I’ve been reminded again of the power of listening. Ruthanne and Lydia have wanted to listen to the chapter (I set it to repeat) during their afternoon quiet playtime, and I was surprised when Lydia started quoting the chapter and went several verses beyond what we have actually “worked on.” Granted, it wasn’t word perfect, but when they are that familiar with it, they pick it up rapidly. Just an encouragement to you parents to keep that audio Scripture going for your little ones!
Speaking of the Scriptorium—This is short notice, but if you’re in that area and want to share a chapter, there are still some available to sign up for—several less than twenty verses. We have been blessed by the time of fellowship and edification around the Word at Scriptoriums in the past and would enjoy meeting you there!
God bless you,
Anna Marie

“Thy hands have made me and fashioned me:
give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.”
Psalm 119:73

County Fair Ministry Part 2

If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.

We’re grateful for opportunities to share Christ and love a whole bunch of children. The County Fair has been a channel to do just that. You should see the joy on kids’ faces after receiving their balloon creation or face paint, the eagerness with which they take the tract—opening it to browse it and telling us they would read it—the patient waiting in line, pouring over the face paint option board, and their words of gratefulness.

Since we’ve been back to the fair four years in a row, parents and children eagerly anticipate finding us. They look for where we normally are. Our desire is that those we come in contact with feel loved and ultimately the gospel is shared through tracts.

Christopher and one of his children came out several nights to witness while walking around the fair. He said the teens were the most open to the gospel.

We’re so grateful for the support of our family in this endeavor.


A happy niece with a special balloon
I think those puffer fish have to be my favorite.
One night, when I walked around at the fair, it seemed I saw a lot of octopus creations. You don’t exactly hide with them. 🙂
How is that for octopus hats?!
Anna often had quite a group around her.
Christopher and Joshua
Kids were often very much interested in their balloon creation.
Puppies still melt me.
Anna made farewell heart balloons with a message to some of her frequent flier friends.
Packing out

“But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little
children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of
such is the kingdom of God.” Luke 18:16

Waterdog Lake Near Lake City

Saturday morning, our last day in Lake City, I wanted to hike up to Waterdog Lake, a trail Anna found when researching trails. A little over 8 miles round trip with moderate elevation gain, it seemed like a perfect thing.

With going to a new area, I love the adventure of finding out where trails take us. This one proved to be gorgeous. We climbed up the side of the mountain—steep but not too steep as it wound through the woods. Aspen groves clad in their stately ivory-trunks, meadows waving their grassy covering, mountain views towering over the valleys, a stream bubbling through the thick underbrush—these were all enjoyed while we discussed many great topics. We loved our time together as sisters.

Waterdog Lake
Views on the way down
Lake City

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and cometh down from the Father of lights, with
whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
James 1:17

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