All posts by Teri Maxwell

Grandma’s Bookbag – Acting It Out

If you have read our blog for more than a year, you probably know that we have a yearly tradition of acting out one of the books in Grandma’s Bookbag. The Twins’ Picnic is a lovely Rod and Staff book describing twins who want to have a picnic and how their mom responds and helps them with the picnic.

For our re-enactment, we start by reading the book together. Then we act the story out page by page. When the children were younger, I was Mother and two of the children were the twins. When there were more children, we improvised characters by adding more children in and giving them “S” names to go with the twin names, which were Stanley and Susie. 

Now there are so many children that I am only the director, and we have a narrator, mother, and each of the twins plus the younger grandchild who just hangs around until it is time to carry things to the picnic location.

It is a simple, wholesome activity to do with my grandchildren and they truly love it. I asked Abby, now 11, and Bethany, 9, whether they wanted to keep being part of the Twins’ Picnic. “Absolutely!” they told me. So we are making plans for what it will be like when Deborah, their youngest, is old enough to participate and looking forward to how we might act it out. 

Trusting in Jesus,

Joshua was the narrator for his family’s picnic. He is reading the prayer they are going to say together.

“Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast
established the earth, and it abideth.”  Psalm 119:90 

Wholesome and Inexpensive Outing

A relay race :: Christopher, Mary, and Anna
Passing the baton on for the relay race.

Steve and I delight to see our children investing in their children (our grandchildren) with memory-making, wholesome outings. A trip to the park for a walk (or for the littles it was strider and bike rides) and picnic isn’t costly, but it is exciting for them and becomes part of those precious family memories they will treasure in years to come. 

Christopher’s most recent outing included invitations to the rest of the family who might be free and spur-of-the-moment able to come to Weston Bend State Park for a walk and picnic. So on our family text thread, they told their plans and invited anyone who wanted to come and could to join them. John, Chelsy, and Axton were available for the walk. Our girls joined for the walk and picnic, and Steve and I went out with Gigi for the picnic. 

Trusting in Jesus,

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters” (Psalm 23:1-2).

Steve’s Diet for Heart Rehabilitation

Many have asked what we decided to follow for Steve’s heart rehabilitation. When we shared about the stents, we received blog comments that started us reading and researching. 

We (Steve and I) ended up following Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s The End of Heart Disease protocol (Titus2’s Amazon Affiliate links are in this post, see our privacy policy). We liked the carefully evaluated studies he quoted and the fact that his information did not appear to have a personal bias.


About 17 years ago, Steve was diagnosed with high cholesterol, and it was recommended he be on a statin drug. He didn’t want to do that. At the time, through our Christian health-care, cost-sharing program, we were introduced to Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live book and followed that protocol for six months. Steve lost 45 pounds (he started out weighing over 200 pounds) and brought his cholesterol down with food only. (When Steve’s doctor saw the results he was amazed and said “keep doing what you are doing.”)

However, we then read other heart/cholesterol information that led us to believe what was most important in regard to heart health had to do with blood glucose and insulin. So we began to eat things that weren’t allowed in Eat to Live, but that we liked and monitored our blood glucose. Our blood glucose was okay so we continued on that way. 

Steve gained back much of the weight he lost but didn’t think it mattered since he was exercising, and his blood glucose was fine. However, as we sat in the cardiologist’s office on March 4th, 2019, facing a heart catheterization and possible stents, we looked at each other and asked, “How did that work for us?”– obviously, not so well.


With The End of Heart Disease eating plan, we (Steve and I) don’t eat: meat, dairy, sugar, refined grains, oil, or salt (For those who are healthy, small amounts of meat are acceptable according to Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live.) We eat vegetables, fruit, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. We have learned a whole new way of eating and even preparing food. Who knew you could stir fry without oil or cook without salt?

Steve has lost 30 pounds, and according to Dr. Fuhrman’s recommendations has a few more to lose (possibly 10). I think he looks great, he feels good, and we recently climbed a 14er in Colorado. His cardiologist says with what he is eating, he is fine not being on a statin. The most amazing part is: after jettisoning everything we knew and loved about food, we are actually enjoying this new way of eating. 

Trusting in Jesus,

Steve and Teri Maxwell, Handies Peak, August 2019

“For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable
unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of
that which is to come.”
1 Timothy 4:8 

True Friendship In Action

Recently, before putting the Bible away that my mom uses for Bible time at our house, I opened the front cover to see what the publication date was on it. That date was 1973, but I also found something very special—a handwritten note on the inside cover to my Uncle Dick (Richard) from a now-unknown friend, Jason.

Jason was obviously a good enough friend of my uncle’s to give him a gift that offers the truth of eternal life along with a personal testimony. I am very grateful for friends who loved my uncle enough to reach out to him and invest in him spiritually. I want to be that kind of friend who cares for the souls of others.

Trusting in Jesus,

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he
that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the
wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). 

Grandma’s Book Bag

My grandchildren like the three newest books in the bag book. They all have a gardening theme.

Jody’s Beans (Titus2’s Amazon Affiliate links are in this post, see our privacy policy) by Malachy Doyle is a delightful story of a grandpa and his granddaughter growing beans. The illustrations in this book are superb. It seems that several of our books, including this one, show pregnant mommies in them, and all my grandchildren notice and love that part. 

Potato: A Tale from the Great Depression tells the simple story of a little girl during the depression who ends up going with her parents from their home in Iowa to Idaho for two weeks for potato picking. In this book, too, the illustrations are fantastic.

We Are The Gardeners by Joanna Gaines is the story of a family’s love for gardening that starts with a potted plant purchased at the hardware store and eventually that love grows into a beautiful, productive garden. There are many lessons learned in the process. In this book, the baby in the garden at the end of the story is a big hit. The storyline of We Are The Gardeners is a little more in-depth than the other two books with a paragraph or two per page rather than a couple of sentences.

Trusting in Jesus,

“And every plant of the field before it was in the earth,
and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord
God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there
was not a man to till the ground.” Genesis 2:5

Feeding on God’s Word

A mom beginning to schedule planned to awake at 6:30 a.m., but struggled to rise to her alarm. However, when her hungry baby cried at 5:45 a.m., without hesitation she went to feed him and enjoyed the earlier start to her morning. 

There are two lessons in this situation. First, shouldn’t we be like those sweet infants who wake up early crying for their milk except that our cries would be for the sincere milk of the Word?

Second, while you wouldn’t ignore the cries of a hungry baby early in the morning, might you ignore the alarm clock going off to get you up for your time with the Lord? Might you decide you need a little more sleep, turn it off, and roll over?

What are you hungry for first thing in the morning? What does it take to get you up to spend time with Jesus?

Trusting in Jesus,

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk
of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2).