All posts by Teri Maxwell

A Mommy Retreat

Our two daughters-in-law with school-age children are busy homeschooling mommies, each with five children. When GiGi went to visit my sister for two weeks, it was a perfect opportunity to get a retreat day for both Melanie and Anna Marie—a time of spiritual refreshment. The goal was to give them a break from their everyday lives that are filled with giving of themselves in service to their families, and for them to be able to spend a day quietly with the Lord.

Melanie had her day first. She took a suitcase with her that was filled with Abby’s down blanket. It was a surprise for Melanie. Abby loves that blanket dearly, and Melanie used it all day! Bethany helped collect Melanie’s Bible and books. She wrote a note and put it in Melanie’s Bible. She also packed her lunch in a cooler.

An especially sweet part of Anna Marie’s day was the note she discovered at GiGi’s house for her from her 10-year-old niece, Abby, with Scripture verses on it. Psalm 63:1 was one of them, and when she read that verse, she spent much of the day studying and meditating on that chapter. Also in her hurry to get ready and out the door by 9:00, Anna Marie hadn’t grabbed breakfast. When she opened the fridge at GiGi’s, she found breakfastyogurt and cheese that Melanie put there for a special treat for her. Anna Marie told me that Melanie didn’t even know those were two of her favorite treats.

Trusting in Jesus,

Ellie came over with Sarah to take pictures,
and Danny is very fond of Ellie.

On Anna Marie’s day, in the afternoon, Anna was actually
babysitting for some of Nathan’s crew too, so she combined them!

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the
heathen, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10). 

Cherry Tart

Do remember our Austrian blog friend who sent us a cherry stoner (see this post)? She also sent us her favorite cherry tart recipe, which we wanted to try out with the cherries we stoned and froze. We usually make pies, cobblers, and crisps with fruit, but we hadn’t made a tart before so it was fun to try something new.

We served this dessert recently when we had weekend guests. We all agreed. It is delicious.

Cherry Tart

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 lb. cherries

Beat butter with hand mixer until fluffy. Then beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in sugar. Continue until everything is really fluffy. Then fold in flour with baking powder. Mix only until everything is combined.

Pour into baking dish. (I use a round one about 9 inch diameter). Then let the cherries sink in. You can use even more than 1 pound of cherries. Bake at 350° until golden brown. Serve warm or cold, with or without vanilla ice cream. It’s delicious!

“My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness;
and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips” (Psalm 63:5).

Grandma Teaches Swimming Lessons

The past two summers a friend offered the use of her above-ground pool to Nathan and Melanie for me to give their children swimming lessons. While we don’t go to public pools anymore because of modesty concerns, I was a lifeguard and swimming instructor in my teen years.

We set up a schedule to have two lessons a week for five weeks. I worked individually with each of the four older children for a 1/4 hour lesson every lesson day. The children were cooperative, worked hard, practiced between lessons, and made great progress.

Another friend with a big, inground pool allowed us to do our last two lessons there. That gave the children the opportunity to swim in deep water and for longer stretches.

I gave the children home-made certificates for their accomplishments as they passed various swimming levels, and I documented their progress for Nathan and Melanie. This year my friend with the inground pool offered to let us use it for an extra session where each child could show Nathan and Melanie what they learned.

I love working with my grandchildren, teaching them to swim and helping them with skills that could be lifesaving in an emergency. 

Nathan and Melanie put on a family pizza party as a thank you and gave me a gift card for a haircut and another one for the coffee shop next to the hair salon. The children gave me a best-swimming teacher certificate and thank you notes. Doesn’t that melt a Grandma’s heart?

Trusting in Jesus,

“Children’s children are the crown of old men;
and the glory of children are their fathers.” Proverbs 17:6


Many of you greeted GiGi, my mom, on her birthday when we posted about that. I thought you might like to know a little more about how her life is impacted with so many Maxwells living close to her. She is a greatly-beloved mom, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Even at 86, she invests in her family, and they invest in her.

She enjoys family fellowship time:

Taco Tuesday at Nathan and Melanie’s
Lunch out with me on Wednesday and then grocery shopping together.
Dinner at Christopher and Anna Marie’s Wednesday evening.
Dinner here on Saturdays.

On weekdays, Melanie and her children go over to GiGi’s house to put her American flag up outside and say the Pledge of Allegiance with her. After flag time, she walks with Anna Marie and her children in the morning.

During the school year, Abby and Bethany each had an afternoon a week when they went to GiGi’s house to work a puzzle for 3/4 hour.

This summer GiGi helped Abby, Bethany, and Christina on their Bible Bee study having a girl over for 1/2 hour a week on different days. She listens to Joshua read aloud for 45 minutes once a week.

On Fridays, most of the great-grandchildren come over, with Aunt Anna and Aunt Mary to help oversee them, for an hour of playtime and reading time.

GiGi is often included in outings that Nathan and Melanie or Christopher and Anna Marie make with their children.

If someone’s washing machine is broken, they do laundry at her house, and the clothes are folded when they return to pick them up.

Trusting in Jesus,

Walk with Anna Marie and crew

Pledge of Allegiance

Summer Bible Bee with Nathan and Melanie’s family

Summer Bible Bee with Tina

Listening to Joshua read

Time at Nathan and Melanie’s

Dinner with Christopher and Anna Marie’s family plus friends

Saturday evening dinner with our family

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

Grandma’s Bookbag

For those who read our blog regularly, you know that I have scheduled time each week with my different sets of grandchildren.

I have three book bags. One bag with board books that toddlers can’t destroy. That bag I give to the toddlers to occupy them while waiting for their turn to pick books. The next bag contains activity books and other books of preschool interest. The last bag has books with longer storylines or chapter books. Abby (10), Bethany (8), and Christina (6) usually pick the chapter book currently in the book bag for their reading time, and of course, all are welcome to sit and listen along.

We plan to begin sharing blog posts about top favorites from Grandma’s book bags in the coming months.

Here are two of my current favorites:

Train Man by Andrew Zimmerman & David Clemesha

This delightful board book is a favorite of Andrew (4) who loves trains.

Big brother in the book wants to be a train man when he grows up so this book follows him in his imaginary plans. He includes his little brother, letting him wear the train man hat and blow the whistle. We enjoy saying, “All aboard” at the appropriate places in the book.

The Gardner by Sarah Steward

Joseph and Elissa gave this book to me for Mother’s Day, and it is my top favorite. It is a longer story book with extremely imaginative illustrations. Every time we read it, we notice new details in the pictures. It is a story from the depression era of a little girl who has to go live with her uncle in the city for several months and the joy and transformations she brings in her new home.

Trusting in Jesus,

Note: The Amazon links in this post are Titus2’s Amazon affiliate links. See our Privacy Policy.

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

Garden in a Glass

About four years ago because of the recommendation of a chiropractor, we began juicing. At that time we had good friends who had completed a month-long, juice-only fast. They were our resident experts on juicing and started us on a solid recipe that we have settled into.

We juice for nutrition. Steve researched juicers before we bought and we purchased an Omega juicer. It was $239 in February of 2014 from Amazon, and they are now $299. (The Amazon links in this post is Titus2’s Amazon affiliate link. See our Privacy Policy.)

With our Omega juicer, we juice, and it maintains its nutritional value for 3 days. Other juicing technology allows for bigger pieces to be put through the juicer, which means less chopping, but air is introduced into the juice. That means it needs to be consumed the day it is made.

We juice and drink it fresh for 3 days. The rest we freeze at juicing time in sandwich size ziplock bags with 10 ounces of juice in each one. Sarah researched freezing the juice and discovered that while some nutrition was lost in the freezing, it wasn’t much. The tradeoff was worth it to us because freezing allows us to juice once or twice a month in big batches. (Side note: we prefer the juice chilled, and we also like to drink it with a straw!)

Here is our juice recipe:

10 lbs carrots
7 lbs apples
1/2 bunch kale
1/2 bunch celery
1 cucumber
1 large golden beet
fingertip sized piece of ginger root

Isn’t that bowl of fruits and veggies beautiful? Do you juice? Want to share your recipes?

Trusting in Jesus,

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed,
and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself,
upon the earth: and it was so.”
Genesis 1:11