Category Archives: Family News

Saying Good-Bye to Summer

Y’all, it’s time to say good-bye to summer. It’s hung on for quite a while here in Kansas, and before I have a special autumn post on Monday, I thought I’d share something else.

Mom was a lifeguard and swimming instructor in her teens, and she’s an excellent swimmer. This is her third year giving swim lessons to Nathan and Melanie’s kids. Every week, she dedicated swimming lesson time with each child, working on their skills. She has a plan on what to teach them based on their level, and it’s exciting to see the progress over summer.

While waiting her turn, Bethany read a Moody book. 🙂

Then, last month, the kids did a Show and Tell for some of the family.

Mom with her students

“How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!
therefore the children of men put their trust
under the shadow of thy wings.”
Psalm 36:7

Happy 25th Birthday, Jesse!

These three are close buddies

Happy Birthday, Jesse! We’re grateful for you, your love for Jesus, faithfulness to share the Gospel, work ethic, and love for the family.

Jesse enjoys studying God’s Word and besides his morning quiet time, he can often be found in the evenings and on Sunday afternoons doing more studying. He truly values a solid foundation which is only through Jesus.

Happy Birthday! We pray you continue to grow even more in the Lord and pursuing Him.

Jesse loves his nieces and nephews
Jesse on Uncompahgre Peak pointing out something below

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example
of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity,
in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
1 Timothy 4:12

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). 

Melanie Maxwell’s Pick for An Extra Curricula Filler

Sometimes it’s nice to have a productive filler for homeschool kids, and when I asked Melanie what a favorite pick was for the prior school year, here’s her answer.

The Never Bored Kid Books!

(Titus2’s Amazon Affiliate links are in this post, above and below: see our privacy policy.)

With dot-to-dots, puzzles, riddles, word games, and more, there are plenty of things to encourage kids in their learning skills. As with all things, one must use discernment. If Melanie comes to a page that doesn’t meet what they’d like for their kids to do (i.e. magic or scary themes), she’ll just tear it out.

The Never Bored Kid Books might be a good addition to your homeschool day.


“O Lord, open thou my lips;
and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.”
Psalm 51:15

Cleaning Out the Freezer

Sometimes our freezer gets stuffed with odds and ends so we have a clean out gathering. The other night, Anna, Mary, Sarah, and I pulled all those odds and ends from the freezer and had a “picking” party. We looked at each item and decided what it could be used for and who would make it. 

We decided to save the following for easy pull-out-of the freezer meals:

  • hamburgers
  • sloppy joe meat
  • pulled bbq pork

We put most of what we found in a soup that Anna, our master soup maker produced. This included:

  • leftover cut up pork chops
  • steak chunks
  • leftover stir fry
  • pork broth
  • beef broth
  • onion scraps
  • frozen chopped celery
  • a bag of stew vegetables
  • tomato sauce

We had meat and broth for a fried rice meal that Mary volunteered to make although she hasn’t made that before but said she would learn how. She also took the chorizo sausage we had gotten from our grocery store on a Free Friday Download, corn, and brown rice that she was going to make into a small casserole.

We found two single-serving meals, which was perfect since Jesse, Anna, and Mary were headed for a conference the next week, and those meals were ones Sarah could eat while they were away.

We find labeling our frozen items invaluable. When we put something in the freezer, we know we will remember what it is. However after several months in there, when it is pulled out sometimes we don’t know what it is—if it isn’t labeled!

Trusting in Jesus,

“Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store” (Deuteronomy 28:5). 

Random Life from Ministry to Mountains to Home Life

God has been so gracious to us these past seven weeks since our past Random Life. When the girls came home, we jumped into County Fair ministry the next week, and things continued a whirl with things we had going. Colorado truly was a beautiful break from the normal busyness to be together as a family.

Now with summer at a close, we look forward to what God has in store for our autumn season.


Anna and Mary went early to the fair that Saturday to let the kids have some hands-on practice doing balloons.
A young man reciting the 10 commandments
A sweet treat at the fair on a precious break–the girls had few of those. Neat part was it was nearly given to us from their 4H frequent flyers.
Proclaim Day at the end of the summer Bible Bee study
Taking the test (with one of the aunts in the room as the observer)
Arnold likes shoes
Benji trying out a walker
Sweet times
Water balloons on aunties’ playtime
Dad’s birthday–don’t you love this picture one of the little girls drew? Look at those eyes!
Axton with Grandma time
This adorable family taking a walk together
Ruthie has become a pro at the monkey bars.
Nathan took his kids out for a pre-first-day-of-school breakfast.
Lots of summer birthdays.
In Colorado, I took Mom’s pictures. We battled mosquitos. 🙂
Nothing like working on my book with gorgeous mountain views!
We girls took two hikes together. This one was from the opposite side of the valley, so we got gorgeous views of Lake City both hikes.
Saturday work project
John is discussing possible options for fixing our sticking patio door.
Cleaning vehicles after our trip
Watching Calia and Kyle so Joseph and Elissa could celebrate their anniversary

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee.”
Isaiah 26:3