All posts by Sarah Maxwell

Happy 24th Birthday, Jesse!

Jesse Maxwell

Happy Birthday, Jesse!

We are grateful for Jesse’s life and testimony for Jesus. This guy is steadfast and faithful.

Awesome facts:

  • He is extremely articulate about sharing his faith in Christ.
  • He is crazy strong. 
  • He is artistic.
  • He is an adventurer. 
  • He is musically gifted.
  • He is a problem solver.


Happy Birthday! Please leave Jesse a comment below and make his day extra special.

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and
whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
(Matthew 16:25)

Teri’s Favorite Chicken in Chipped Beef

We wanted to share with you a super simple chicken dish our family enjoys.

Teri’s Favorite Chicken in Chipped Beef

2 pkgs. 2 ounces each chipped beef (we like Carl Buddig brand)
6 medium-size chicken breasts
1 – 10 3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper

Line a large, shallow buttered baking dish with the chipped beef and then place the chicken on top. Salt and pepper the chicken. Mix cream of mushroom soup and sour cream (leave the soup condensed: do not add water or milk). Spread with the soup-sour cream mixture and bake uncovered, in a 300-degree oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

In the pictures below, we doubled the recipe.

Begin by laying the beef on the bottom of the pan.

Place chicken on top.

Salt and pepper the chicken.

Mix cream of mushroom soup and sour cream together.

Spread on top of the chicken.


“In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust;
let me never be ashamed:
deliver me in thy righteousness.”
Psalm 31:1

Random Life From Heat to Mountains

I’m so excited to share this Random Life post with you. Life has been full and very blessed.

Jesse’s big project this summer has been the two bathroom remodels, and with help (a big thank you to all the family who did!), they were completed just before the renters needed the house mid-August. I’ll share a separate post about the work project!

It seemed we had a lot of traveling too. The last Random Life I posted from my West Coast trip, and then the day after I got home, Anna went to Canada for a friend’s wedding. The next week, we left for Colorado!

You’ve seen less of me because I’m editing my new book with the copyeditor date approaching! I’m really excited to share more details.

Grab yourself a coffee and enjoy Random Life!


We celebrated Dad’s birthday with just our immediate family. Then, we did a triple birthday party (Dad, Mom, and Mary’s) with all the relatives a bit later. I’ll probably share a post on that if I remember! 🙂 (Trivia here: spot Arnold in the above picture: a place he likes!)

Jesse gave us a house tour that night. I’d been gone
for 10 days and hadn’t seen it for a while even before that. 

Nathan and Melanie’s crew participated in the summer Bible Bee study and
enjoyed attending monthly events, often with GiGi.

Many hours put into Jesse’s house

Anna flew to Canada for a friend’s wedding and was so blessed.

Beautiful sunset over the prairie

Wouldn’t you love to take one of these bunnies home?!

Anna with the bride and her sister

Brothers and Buddies

We girls went on a birthday run with Bethany! This little 8-year-old is a great runner.

Then, she enjoyed a birthday breakfast with her daddy.

These two.

Babies are enjoyed here at the Maxwells

Mary making a favorite treat of Mom’s: pie crust, with butter, sugar, and cinnamon.

Deliciousness right there

Mom’s birthday happened right before we left for Colorado.

Anna Marie & Co brought over shortbread for Mom

Drive to Colorado

Coffee in Colby

This was actually done as a Live Photo, and if you look carefully, you’ll see the best part of it.

Hiking Princeton. The beauty of seeing the sun rise.

Loved our hikes!

Mount of the Holy Cross hike–an adventure for sure! That post will be coming!

Ice cream after their big hike (and French fries)

Anna discovered this in her coffee one morning during Bible time

Back in Kansas, Ellie was well taken care of by Christopher’s family. Here Ruthie’s holding onto her collar while one of the kids hides–then Ellie goes and finds the person. It’s our Find Me game and loved by all.

Lydia’s hiding spot

Enjoying some cuddles before Ellie came back home

I spent a lot of time editing in Colorado. I loved the gorgeous setting!

Speaking of cuddles, these two “kittens” at
Nathan and Melanie’s are so cute.

Catching up on Titus2 orders when we got home!

Grilled pizza Anna made

This doesn’t look good. I think he was considering jumping on the table.

Anna took Calia on a rain walk. Talk about adorable.

Anna, Mary, and me out with Melanie
for ice cream to celebrate her birthday

My editing buddy.

Saturday projects

Smiles all around from these sweet girls.

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
in believing, that ye may abound in hope,
through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

Romans 15:13

John and Chelsy Maxwell Expecting Baby #1!

We’re excited to share the Lord has blessed John and Chelsy with a baby due January 23rd, 2019!

We’re so grateful to have a family who not only values children but loves them. John and Chelsy announced with a creative flair. When you get to be the fourth one married and twelve nieces and nephews down the line, you have to think outside the box.

One Sunday, when everyone was gathered for lunch (except Anna and Mary were on their trip), John had his plan. When someone prayed to bless the food, John quickly taped Psalm 127:3 over our Scripture board. Opening our eyes, we looked at the board, and we knew someone had baby news! Yes, it could have been any of the couples, but the obvious grinning couple was John and Chelsy. We older ones hugged and shared congratulations. I loved watching the nieces and nephews as it dawned on them, and the talk began. Even Drew looked across the table and asked one of his cousins if they’d just heard the news! The nieces and nephews adore new babies!

Chelsy is just over half way and feeling great 🙂


“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD:
and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”
Psalm 127:3

The Leavenworth County Fair, Part 2

I’m excited to share with you more on the fair! Being our third year, kids came looking for us. There was a line formed every day we arrived. We loved our “groupies” who came every single night and we knew each by name. Many others had come in previous years, which was special to reconnect.

We saw huge enthusiasm from the children. They never seemed to mind the wait time for their balloon or face paint. Believe it or not, some came to the fair just to get their faces painted.

One grandma told me that the tracts we gave out last year were read and re-read so much they fell apart! This year, I found several new ones. See the end of my post for links.

It has proven to be a beautiful way to share the love of Jesus. Many parents asked why we were doing it for free? When we explain that we love kids, and we want them to know how much Jesus loves them and that this avenue is a perfect way for us to do that–it makes total sense to the parents!

A mom shared that she could tell how much effort Mary put into the face painting, treating each one as special and not doing a rush job. I loved that aspect too.

Anna’s balloon creations are complex. It’s not just a few pumps of air and twist. No. Each one requires a specific amount of air and then what she makes involves multiple balloons with all kinds of steps she memorized. Children loved her balloon art!

Different family members came out to the fair each night to help in various ways. They did line management, handed out tracts and visited with people.


I found some new tracts this year.
God Knows My Name (my favorite!)
Frogs (although we use KJV with all our books and just in general, this tract is NIV)
Help! Save Me
Heaven’s Checklist
3 Things God Cannot Do

These three girls were adorable. Here they discussed if they were cousins or just friends!

Christopher helped out with balloons two nights.


Can you tell these girls are best friends?!

A sweet stop in from Nathan and Melanie’s crew!

This girl came every night, and on the final day, she asked if she could paint a butterfly on Anna. With complete confidence, she did the entire thing, no hesitation.

Christopher did a Name 10, Get 20 with young people. That’s Name the 10 Commandments, and if you do, get $20!

This guy named all 10!

The night Jesse came he spent a lot of time handing out tracts and sharing. 

I enjoyed talking to a blog reader one night!

I told you Anna’s creations are incredible!

A really great horse that this guy put around him so he could ride.

The night Christopher brought his whole family, Anna Marie and girls gave out some cards to tell about the booth, and Christopher and Joshua witnessed.

Mary used sparkle glitter to add finishing touches to some of the paints.

You know, part of line control is deciding when to call it a day so we could be timely as the building closed at 10pm. The easiest way to do this happened after counting up the # in line and approximating how much time each would take. Then, we gave the person deemed to be last a balloon, which said End of Line. This worked out to be a light-hearted way to end things because even at 9:30, we’d still have people stopping in wanting a face paint or balloon!

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:
that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of
your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving
together for the faith of the gospel.”
Philippians 1:27

Mount Sherman, A 14er Family Hike

On Mary’s 22nd birthday (last Tuesday), we left the cabin before dawn and drove to the Leadville area. The weather did not seem promising with heavy clouds and even light rain as we arrived at the trailhead. We’ve yet to have to turn around on a 14er due to weather, but I thought this would be our first because we are very cautious especially concerning thunderstorms. These didn’t look like the thunderstorms that typically come up in the afternoons.

Jesse is our master route guide, and he planned for us to take an alternate (shorter) route up Mt. Sherman. We parked near an old abandoned mine and began our trek, in the mist and cold.

We hiked up a beautiful mountainside with a great trail. The weather changed literally by the minute, and so sometimes we took a break to get our rain gear out and other times we stopped to take it off.

On the ridge, the trail joined a popular route, so we gained a lot of company, which is great. The wind was really strong as we did the final ascent.

Enjoy the pictures and journal below of our hike!

PS – We arrived home Monday afternoon, and I’ll be catching you up on the hikes later!

On the way, we saw a herd of elk!

The dirt road we took up to the trailhead was gorgeous.

These sweet sisters of mine, all ready for the hike.

Hiking up at a steady pace.

Take a break to de-layer. As you can see, it was at an angle not terribly conducive for
one’s Camelbak to stay in one’s possession.

Notice the rain in the upper left coming in. You can see it approaching, and then when you don’t see it
approaching, and you feel wet, well, you know it’s now upon you!

As we reached the ridge, the wind picked up and it began sleeting ice pellets,
which thankfully didn’t last too long.

Now this is looking back down the ridge as the family approaches.

The ridge consisted of lots of rocks, and the wind was really strong, and the temperatures cold.

The summit itself was flat and spacious. A SAMS sister picture (Sarah, Anna, Mary).

Awesome picture of Jesse!

Dad and Mom summit!

Here’s a view back down to the valley we climbed out of. I circled where are vehicles parked.

Time on the summit is spent chatting with others, eating snacks, layering or de-layering depending on the temperature, texting friends and family pictures, and enjoying the views.

You want to know my favorite summit food? Junior Mints!

Dad and Mom

Anna found this wrench-shaped rock.

The views going down were gorgeous and the weather on the ridge pleasant compared to the way up.

But by the time we got to the bottom of the ridge, the weather changed
again, and it was time to layer up again!

Mary and Jesse

Another great rock shape

Hiking down (down to short sleeves!)

Jesse and Mary decided to do their hiker’s duty and build a cairn for the benefit of their fellow hikers. You need the perfect rocks, so they worked to select the right ones.

The finished cairn with its builders.

I’ll let you in on a little code word Anna has coined: recliner rock. Here Anna is enjoying a recliner rock–if you can really picture a rock being comfortable? It has to be the right smoothness and angle to be able to lay back on, and surprisingly enough, she finds herself quite a few recliner rocks on hikes.

Mount Sherman (we think) is about in the middle of this picture.

Enjoying a break at the stream.

A selfie at the end of our hike.

What could be better than to grab a coffee in Leadville? So perfect!
Mary enjoyed a birthday phone call AND a caramel latte 🙂

Jesse took the opportunity for good WiFi to plan Thursday’s hike, Mount of the Holy Cross, which just Mary, Anna, and he did. I can’t wait to share on that one!

Anna took a picture of Mary’s gifts.

We celebrated Mary’s birthday that evening.

Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up
for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought
for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!”
Psalm 31:19