All posts by Teri Maxwell

Multitasking and Multi-Multitasking

Recently I read that when we multitask, we don’t do either job well. The take away was: don’t multitask. As a homeschooling mom, I needed to multitask and accept whatever standard I accomplished rather than not doing it at all. For busy moms, we benefit ourselves and our families when we develop the ability to think about what we can easily and effectively multitask and then practice it.

For example, Monday, I was prepping chicken noodle soup, which involved quite a bit of kitchen time. First I chopped the onion to simmer in the soup broth. Because the onion was huge, I used 1/2 of it. Rather than saving the other 1/2 for another day, I opted to multitask. I pulled 4 pounds of ground beef from the freezer to brown and sauté with the onion. We had no meal planned for that ground beef, but having frozen, prepped ingredients to pull for a quick meal is a timesaver for the future.

Since I was going to be in the kitchen peeling, washing, and chopping vegetables anyway, I multitasked by browning and sautéing the beef too.

When I homeschooled, I often multitasked by including a child in what I did. The child learned beside me, and we fellowshipped through it all—multi-multitasking. Often that is the case in the kitchen now, although my girls and I are currently peers in the kitchen. If there is no one else working with me, I listen to Scripture or something educational on my phone. 

What do you do well multitasking?

Trusting in Jesus,

“I will therefore that the younger women marry,
bear children, guide the house, give none occasion
to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”
(1 Timothy 5:14)

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

The Simple Gift

When moms write me struggling with daily family life, I often give them a beginning project. I ask them to smile more—smile at their children and smile at their husbands. Smiling is simple, and it communicates to the mom’s heart and to the hearts of her family.

If life is difficult perhaps because of attitudes, time pressure, lack of cooperation, hurtful words—faces become stiff, withdrawn, intense, and determined. A smile softens the face, communicates love and acceptance, and brings a measure of joy to Mom’s heart and to her family.

Whether life is rough for you or not, why don’t you try the smile experiment, and let us know what happens?

Trusting in Jesus,

A smiling mom! 🙂

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD,
and whose hope the LORD is” (Jeremiah 17:7).

How Teri Deals with Back Pain

Some asked for a blog post about dealing with the challenges of aging, particularly considering my back pain.

My schedule helped me consistently exercise throughout my adult years, usually walking. I think that allowed me to remain active as I move through my 60’s.

My back pain requires daily management, but I was quite encouraged by the PT I visited this summer who said my back-management routine has kept me from surgery, pain meds, and greater levels of pain.

I do 15 to 30 minutes of back exercises most days. I have tried lots and lots of back exercise routinesthose a PT gave me, some I have found in books, and some from Internet DVD programs. I currently use the exercises I feel are the most beneficial, plus the ones from the most recent PT.

I don’t know for sure, but I am guessing that those back exercises have helped me maintain mobility that allows me to get on the floor and play outside with my grandchildren.

I also use a device called a posture pump (Titus2’s affiliate link to Amazon: see our Privacy Policy if you want). Because poor posture has played a role in my back pain, I am continually working on my posture. A chiropractor recommended this device because I had lost the curve in my neck. According to more recent x-rays, that curve has been nicely restored.

Finally, I have worked to maintain my weight, and I think being a normal weight allows me more stamina, energy, and mobility.

As far as mountain climbing, I simply love to do that so I push my physical limits for those hikes. Actually my back does better up a mountain with a backpack than it does leaned over a sink washing dishes for the same amount of time. Steve and I enjoy our conditioning walks togethertalking and praying and getting in as good shape as possible in flat Kansas to hike Colorado mountains.

Trusting in Jesus,

“The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found
in the way of righteousness.”
(Proverbs 16:31)

Growing Up Christian

Regularly people say to Steve or me that they didn’t grow up in a Christian home, therefore they don’t know how to have a Christian home. We like to encourage them with the fact that neither of us grew up in Christian homes either.

After our salvation, though, we began to grow as disciples of Christ, through God’s Word. That impacted our lives, teaching us how to have a Christian home, where Christ is part of every fiber of each day.

Both Steve and I went regularly to liberal churches on Sunday mornings as children, not ones where salvation is preached or taught. Our parents did not have personal relationships with Christ. They weren’t saved (born again, converted) until we were grown and no longer living at home.

What a joy it was for Steve and me to be saved early in our marriage and then to see our dads saved years later. Steve’s dad and mom divorced when he was a teen, and after his dad’s salvation, when Steve was in his 30’s, Steve’s dad wrote and said he was sorry for all that went on. At my dad’s salvation, he changed from his Army career being his life to his Lord Jesus being his life. Our moms were saved after we left home but before we were.

Each time you find yourself thinking or saying, “I didn’t grow up in a Christian home,” use that to be grateful for your salvation, pray for wisdom, and search the Scriptures for daily truth to live by.

Trusting in Jesus,

Steve and Teri Maxwell

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and
that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast”
(Ephesians 2:8-9).

How to Plan Your Thanksgiving Meal Efficiently

I like simplifying holiday meal work. Here are a couple of things I do for Thanksgiving. I have a file on my computer simply titled “Thanksgiving” where I list the year, what we had to eat, who was there, what we had too much of, and what I would do differently next year, if anything. I think I won’t forget by the following year, but the reality is that I do.

Baking for Thanksgiving together

On my computer, I also have a master shopping list for our Thanksgiving meal. Earlier in our marriage, I developed a Thanksgiving menu based on family favorites and traditional Thanksgiving foods. By popular demand we continue using that menu except for adding ham as a second meat, which our boys bake at another house because we don’t have room here, and they love the ham. We can’t take turkey out because Thanksgiving dinner with turkey is my mom’s favorite meal of the year. Plus we love our turkey noodle soup the day after Thanksgiving and all the great leftover turkey meals a turkey provides.

We keep our Thanksgiving meal simple with just one salad and one vegetable. We have expanded to two desserts now that there are so many in our family eating the Thanksgiving meal. We use roasting bags for the meat that turn out perfect turkey and ham every year.

On the day before Thanksgiving, we invite my mom over to sit with us while we work in the kitchen. Then we spend several hours prepping as much of the meal as we possibly can. She usually finds jobs she is capable of doing and would like to do with us. It is a sweet time of generational fellowship.

When guests join us for Thanksgiving and want to bring something for the meal, we ask them to bring one of their favorite side dishes. We don’t normally have sweet potatoes or cranberry sauce, but those have been additions brought by guests.

We hope your Thanksgiving is simple, thankful, and full of joy and loving fellowship.

Trusting in Jesus,

PS: Two of our favorite holiday recipes:
Light and Fluffy Rolls
Teri’s Favorite Salad

Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks:
for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.”
(Psalm 75:1)