All posts by Teri Maxwell

Grandma’s Bookbag

If you want to see other posts in my Grandma’s Bookbag series, see this link.

Through these almost thirteen years of reading to grandchildren, the Usborne touchy-feely book series “That’s Not My . . .” has been a top favorite. We have three of those books, but when I am at our married children’s homes, I see others in the series.

Our three books are:

That’s not my tractor (Titus2’s Amazon affiliate link are in this post–see our privacy policy).

That’s not my train (you’ll have to toggle to the different options, because the paperback and hardcover link wouldn’t show up)

That’s not my truck

These board books are toddler books designed for interaction. On each page, we learn why the tractor, or whatever the theme of the book might be, is not “my tractor.” It might have windows that are too shiny. On that page, the child can look into the shiny train windows. Perhaps the next page tells us the train has a side that is too bumpy where the child can run his fingers over a corrugated insert. The book ends with, “That’s my train” and the special reason why.

In addition to that cute theme on each page is a little mouse, bunny, or bird. That gives something else to ask interact with the child concerning. They can point out the animal when asked where it is after looking around the page for it. And I can teach them the animal and how to find it if they too young to do it on their own.

Two of those books, we bought twelve years ago and the other, I purchased used. They are all still in good shape and part of my toddler Grandma bookbag.

“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and
become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom
of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little
child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4).

Maxwell’s Basic Homemade Granola

We’d like to share our simple, granola recipe that we love pairing with yogurt.

Maxwell’s Granola Recipe

Preheat oven to 350º. 

Heat on the stove just to boiling: 
1/2 cup butter 
1/2 cup honey 

Add 1 tablespoon vanilla after butter and honey starts to boil. 

While butter and honey are heating, mix in a big bowl: 
6 cups Rice Krispies (we use the off-brand ones from Aldi)
5 cups rolled oats 
3 tablespoons cinnamon 

Add the butter/honey mixture to the dry ingredients and stir well.

Divide into two cookie sheets with sides. We use a pan liner on our cookie sheets.

Bake at 350º for 20 or so minutes until it’s looking a little brown. We usually stir at 10 minutes and switch the pans from top to bottom.

Remove from oven and stir granola in each pan.

Turn oven down to 250º, return pans to oven, and bake until granola reaches desired level of crispness, usually 20 to 30 more minutes. We take ours out to stir and swap the pans top to bottom every 10 minutes.

There are many other things you can add to granola, but our girls enjoy this plain version.

“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all
things, which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).


Sarah in a meal photo! The others were out of town for various reasons.

This week we are enjoying advancing into more normal, pre-Covid family interactions.

Gigi was two weeks out from her second Covid vaccine on April 21st. Because of that she felt the freedom to resume some activities she missed for 13 months—like going to church. She joined us at our church (her normal church has been Main Post Chapel on Ft. Leavenworth for over 35 years) and then came to Sunday family lunch. What a treat for us!

Anna Marie recently finished her last treatment at the cancer center, and they are also stepping back into more social interactions. They invited Steve, me, and the aunts to a delicious Mexican feast Monday evening. Everyone was so excited to be able to be with them in their home again. And we are delighted that Anna Marie has the health and energy to want to cook for and have guests over for dinner! Thank You, Jesus!!

Trusting in Jesus,

“I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound:
every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full
and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” (Philippians 4:12).

Resurrection Sunday

We were blessed and rejoiced in Resurrection Sunday. This was our first year to be back in a church building for a Resurrection Sunday service, and we loved celebrating our Saviour’s resurrection with our church family.

We navigated our holiday meal around being at church for 3 hours since our family planned to gather and eat at our house at 1:00 p.m. to allow us to be back to church at 6:00 p.m.

This year Gigi was able to join us, whereas last year Covid restrictions meant no one else could be here. Because Gigi was here, Nathan’s family chose to stay back since several in their families had colds. Christopher’s family also didn’t come since they continue to social distance until later in April when they reach the 1-year mark for Anna Marie’s chemo treatments.

For the two families who couldn’t join us, we plated their food, and they picked it up from our house. That was a bit of a feat since we sent food out to 15 (Anna Marie is on a very special diet so she wasn’t eating our meal.) while trying to keep food hot for the 17 eating here.

It was a sweet time to be together and also to enjoy, what is for many in the family, our favorite meal of the year. We have that meal at Christmas too.

“He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come,
see the place where the Lord lay” (Matthew 28:6).

No Longer Recommending

After glowingly telling on the blog about the LETSCOM U8I bluetooth headphones we use, we had quality problems with them. Last month, my first pair totally died. I felt 6.5 years of almost daily use, considering they cost less the $20, was reasonable. So I ordered a new set. Then two weeks after that, I ordered yet another set to have paired with my computer. 

Both of the new sets had problems. One wouldn’t stay paired. The other didn’t offer a verbal warning when the battery got low. I contacted the company about the problem with the first set, and they quickly said it was in warranty, and they would replace it. 

I also asked about the pairing issue, thinking maybe it was an incompatibility problem with my computer. They gave me a list of steps to work through before trying it again. I still had the problem. Then I decided to use it with my phone rather than the computer. It didn’t say paired with my phone either so that said it was a defective set.

That first replacement set arrived today It was to replace the headphones that didn’t give the low battery warning. Would you believe, when I went to use them, they wouldn’t stay paired. I was shocked. It was the same problem that my second new set of earbuds had.

Because of three defective sets of new earbuds, I decided to send the two I purchased back to Amazon since I was within the 30 day return window.

If you purchased a set, and it is defective, and it is outside the Amazon return window, I can say the company is good to work with. They were offering me a refund or to try another set. 

Since I had highly recommended these headphones, I wanted to let you know right away about these recent issues and withdraw my recommendation. Has anyone ordered a new set and had them work well? Does anyone have another brand you like? I need to try some others now.

Trusting in Jesus,

“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (1 Peter 5:10).

The Messy Towel Drawer

When we built our house eleven years ago, we planned the kitchen to be efficient and productive. One of those enhancements was two large drawers beside the sink where items that are normally used with the sink could be stored. One of the drawers holds our dish-drying towels.

For all my married life, I folded dish towels after laundering them and neatly put them in the drawer or on the shelf where they belonged. We go through several dish towels each day so we wash them two or three times a week.

One day, one of our sons questioned why I went to all the work of folding the dishtowels when they were stored in a drawer, out of sight. It didn’t matter if they were wrinkled since they were used again so quickly. My best answer was that the drawer looked nice with neatly folded towels.

Pondering that discussion, I decided it was worth trying dish towels going directly from the dryer to the drawer. Practically speaking, it was great. Aesthetically, it left something to be desired. I enjoyed the five or ten extra minutes I gained by not folding the towels, though. In the end, I decided a tidy drawer where it didn’t matter, wasn’t worth the time.

Our current towel drawer!

I think that was about three years ago. If I spent 20 minutes a week folding dish towels and haven’t had to do that for 3 years, I just figured out that netted me 52 hours of time to do things that do matter.

What about you? Any things come to mind that you might be doing that have outlived their reason to do them and that you could gain time if you let go of continuing to do them?

Trusting in Jesus,

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
(Ephesians 5:16)