All posts by Sarah

Susannah’s 10th Birthday

Happy 10th Birthday to my little niece, Susannah, who is celebrating in heaven. For those who are new to reading the blog this past year, I’ll explain the purpose of this post.

Nathan, my oldest brother, married Melanie in 2002. They both were committed to letting the Lord decide how many children they had. Four and a half years later, they were ecstatic to find out the Lord was blessing them with a little one! I think one of the hardest things in life is waiting–and they were a beautiful example of patiently waiting on the Lord. Melanie’s pregnancy was high risk due to multiple factors, and she was on bed rest quite awhile. Then, little Susannah was born March 21st, 2007, 6+ weeks early. But being early wasn’t the problem. She never moved or opened her eyes. In the womb, she had been an active little one, even earning the nickname Thumper. During labor, Thumper was carefully monitored, so it was a mystery to the doctors as to what happened.

Death is inevitable. 10 out of 10 people die. But saying good-bye is hard. Really hard. I now have an empathy that I never had for those whose little ones have entered heaven on the early side. The crushing sensation–the darkest night–would “normal” ever feel “normal” again–yet, even in the midst of sorrow, spring bloomed, and slowly the hurt began to heal. 10 years later, Nathan and Melanie are surrounded with five children. God’s mercy is abundant.

But even with time, that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten. Just yesterday, when I was making tortillas with Abby and Betsy, I thought about Susannah–we think of her as a baby, but the reality is, she would have been 10 today. So, yes, we miss her here on earth. But the separation is only temporary. Because of Jesus’ shed blood and His mercy, we’re heaven bound!

For those who have lost little ones in any stage of pregnancy, stillborn, SIDS, or some other situation, know that we care and we hurt with you. 

If you can handle a tear-jerker, here’s the slideshow of her short life.

The music is by Joseph, Anna, Jesse, and Mary. Joseph wrote the lyrics.


“… weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Psalm 30:5

Benjamin Maxwell’s Newborn Photos

Wednesday afternoon, Mary helped me with Benjamin’s newborn photos. Usually, it’s Christopher and me doing the photos, but this time, it ended up to be just me. So, since I don’t know the whole professional-light-set-up-the-living-room thing, we decided to use only natural light. It worked out perfectly.

The first key was wrapping him. You know that really cute swaddle? Babies love it, and it gets them nice and calm for their photos. And usually asleep. Well, I wasn’t any help with the wrapping part, and I’m grateful for Mary taking several tries at it until she had little Benjamin in a good wrap.

Anna helping Mary as she wrapped
Usually, babies will sleep, but Benjamin decided to watch us for awhile. So sweet.

Love all that hair!

Christina, Abby, Benjamin, Andrew, and Bethany Maxwell

Mary was amazing
We were so happy to get this one.
Finally. Asleep.
Daddy + Son

“… but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
Ephesians 6:4

Beef Liver Dog Treats

I’ve posted about Ellie’s dog treats before. They are highly effective for training and motivating a dog. I recently saw the price drop, so I ordered another bucket. I’ve never seen the price this low ($20.95), and who knows how long it will last. Ellie would give you her stamp of approval.

Here’s the link on Amazon. (Titus2’s affiliate link, so you can read our disclosure here.)


“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast…”
Proverbs 12:10

Spring Back to Winter

We’ve had quite the week. From the tornado sirens going off Monday night when a strong storm was in our county capable of producing a tornado to snow today. Yep. So I have to erase my words on no more down coat for this season. I’ve had to wear it twice lately. The flowering trees burst forth this past week due to our lovely temperatures, but with the cold and snow, we’re bidding them a short good-bye.

I’m so thankful for our Lord who creates times and seasons. What a beautiful reminder that the Lord supplies our every need. Psalm 146:15-16: “The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.”

Watch for a post soon with Benjamin’s newborn photos. I can’t wait to share. He’s simply adorable.


Monday the girls and aunts enjoyed a walk and the beautiful flowering trees.

Baby Benjamin

With the dawning of March, we’re still rejoicing in the blessing of Benjamin’s arrival. But even without looking at the calendar, I know what this month holds. So while we rejoice in Benjamin, we also remember sweet Susannah who was only with us for three days. I’ll share more on her birthday in two weeks. Through good times and hard times, God is absolutely faithful! The Psalmist paints a beautiful picture of God’s mercy:: “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.”

I realized I actually have pictures of each person in our immediate family holding Benjamin for the first time! I’m hoping to do a newborn photo session with BJ soon, so I’ll share when I can.


Dad and Benjamin Steven
Mom with her newest and two oldest grandchildren
Sarah (me) + Benjamin
John + Benjamin
Anna, the faithful babysitter, and little Benjamin
Jesse and Benjamin
Mary and the little snuggle bug
Cuteness all wrapped up
A little smile

“Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have
we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is
to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.”
Isaiah 26:8

From the Mouth of Babes

If you need a smile for your day, wow, watch this video. Talk about cuteness all wrapped up in these two little guys. You’ve got to love Andrew’s improvisation!


“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast
thou ordained strength because of thine enemies,
that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.”
Psalm 8:2