Category Archives: Family News

To Susannah, A Letter From Your Aunt

Dear Susannah,

Today is your 11th birthday. It’s hard to imagine you 11 years old here on earth because my memories of you are as a beautiful one-day-old baby. I think you and Bethany would have looked very similar!

Susannah, we loved you before we even knew you existed. We’d prayed for your daddy and mommy to be given a child for several years, and oh, the joy we felt when they told us about you! The days and weeks passed, a little too slow it seemed, as we were anxious for you to arrive.

One night, while we were away on a ministry trip, we got a midnight call from your daddy, saying they were on their way to the hospital. Mommy was having contractions. How far away Florida felt from Kansas at that moment! During that next month, Mommy was pretty much on bedrest. That didn’t keep you from being as active as ever, and you had well-earned the nickname Thumper.

The day came about a month later. Your birthday. You were so gorgeous: a headful of dark curls, chubby cheeks (even for a preemie!), and tiny, blush-pink lips.

Your time here lasted three short days. Days filled with hope, prayer, tears, and then releasing you to Jesus.

I want to tell you something, Susannah. Your parents are brave. It took courage to face losing their longed-for little girl, to go through grieving, and to hope again. Yet, they did. It was hard, really hard, but they walked courageously, not allowing their grief to overcome them. Eleven years later, God has given them a happy, full home with five more children. But you’re not forgotten. You’re still missed.

You’ve given me a new compassion for those who lose babies. You’ve taught me that weeping may endure for a night, and one’s heart feels like it’s been crushed, but joy comes in the morning. You were created in God’s image, a beautiful, amazing treasure on loan to us for three days.

We love you Susannah, and we can’t wait to see you in Heaven!

Aunt Sarah

“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal,
proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb… And they
shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And
there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light
of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign
for ever and ever.”

Revelation 22:1&4-5

Sweet Times in God’s Creation

We’re enjoying these beautiful spring days mixed with some winter leftovers. 🙂

Anna has taken Christopher and Anna Marie’s children on walks as her schedule allows. Love these smiles below!

After a run with Nathan Friday, Mary and I joined themLydia “walking” Ellie

“Nevertheless he left not himself without witness,
in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven,
and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”
Acts 14:17

Newborn Maxwell Photos

The two youngest Maxwells each got their own photo session. We often try for the 1-week mark for pictures. For Elizabeth’s photos, Christopher transformed his living room into a mini studio. Christopher and Anna Marie’s family has really grown, so when it came time to pictures with all five children, wow! Trying to arrange all five, get them to look at the camera, and keep the photo framed properly, whew! It’s an exercise.

Elizabeth Grace

Christopher took this one–she was so content.

This is arranging them all.

I loved this picture of Danny.

I guess we told them to look at the baby. The boys got the memo but the girls did not.


Christopher and Anna Marie Maxwell and family

Now, on to Kyle’s. I did his with natural light. Definitely challenging, as Christopher is a pro with setups and light and poses, but it was great to push myself and work on creative shots.

This was taken with a black blanket as the background and using natural light from the window.

The sweet siblings.

I love this photo. So very sweet. Mommy and Baby.

This was a feat to get! 🙂

Sweet Kyle.

Happy little guy

“We will not hide them from their children,
shewing to the generation to come
the praises of the Lord, and his strength,
and his wonderful works that he hath done.”
Psalm 78:4

Children’s Reading Books That Motivate Sharing Christ

Summer with the Moodys
Summer with the Moodys

Eternity. That’s what matters. As you moms pour yourselves into your children and do the daily taskswiping the runny noses, reworking yet another math problem, looking into the eyes of a child who just disobeyedmore than anything, you desire to see Jesus in their lives.

Do you know that a simple reading book can be an excellent discipleship tool, all through an engaging storyline? Check out the Moody Family Series. 10 titles plus 2 Christmas stories that will inspire your children to be more like Jesus and share Him with others. Remember, you receive free shipping at $35 from Titus2. It’s our way to bless you!

Read what two moms just shared with us regarding the fruit from Moody books in their children’s lives. To me, this makes writing all worth it.

My daughter, Emma (7), has even begun witnessing to other children she meets using the “Good Person” test.  This week already she’s witnessed to 4 people (1 brother, 1 cousin, and 2 kids at the park).  There are also times when I’ll hear my children saying to each other, “Would the Moodys do (act, say) _____?”  I’m as excited as the kids wanting to know what happens next as the stories continue.  I find myself relating to Emily Moody at times and even feel convicted about certain areas in my life as we read along. Mandi

I have to tell you, Samuel’s been an avid, excellent reader since age 3.5 (he’s 7 now), and it’s SO HARD to find him books.  We’ve found a few we thought were ok, and he’d promptly start them and say, “Nope. This one isn’t good because of (insert issue here).” He was just beaming reading yours. I was showing him how you add your “Not All Fiction!” section at the end of each book. His eyes widened, and he said, “WAIT! You mean the Moodys aren’t a REAL family?” Hahahaha! He was partly crushed and partly amused! He just loves them. He’s read the whole series like three times now! And he’s been writing out the Bible verses you chose in your books, and he’s been giving them to doctors, repair people, etc. He was very inspired by how the Moodys shared Jesus with others! Kelli

“And of some have compassion, making a difference: And
others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating
even the garment spotted by the flesh.”
(Jude 1:22)

Activities to Keep Little Ones Occupied for a Short Amount of Time

Hello, and welcome to a practical idea post. As part of the Titus2 ministry, I often interact with homeschool moms. During a recent conversation, one mom asked for ideas for what little ones could do to be occupied during a short span of time when Mom is helping another child. For example, maybe you need to go over an older child’s school assignments for the day, and you need something to occupy a little for 15-30 minutes.

Here are some ideas from my sisters-in-law, Anna Marie and Melanie.

Andrew, 3, has several favorite sets of toys he plays with. His top favorite is actually an awesome fire engine my parents gave him for Christmas. When I was over taking pictures for this post, I agree. It’s pretty neat.

Andrew also loves Legos/Duplos. Legos encourage creativity in building and play. Playmobil 1.2.3 sets are another favorite of his.

Then, for some educational and learning activities, Anna Marie’s little girls love these items (the links below are Titus2’s Amazon Affiliate links. See our Privacy Policy.):

I hope these ideas bless you as you look to creatively occupy young children!


“Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD
with my whole heart, in the assembly of
the upright, and in the congregation.”
Psalm 111:1

Random Life, from Winter to Spring

It’s time to share another Random Life with the Maxwells. We praise the Lord for His gift of two little ones, Elizabeth and Kyle, born 6 days apart. I think a lot of February we spent in anticipation wondering when they’d be here.

For most in the immediate family, life is filled with work and ministry. God is so gracious, and we delight in following Him!


An Aunties’ playtime puppet show going on here.

Cleaning at Anna Marie’s pre-baby!

Celebrating Chelsy’s birthday a little after the fact.

I made cake pops.

A new shipment of chicks!

Date night for John and Chelsy at Cheesecake Factory

After Valentine’s Day sale shopping for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

Reading time.

My sweet “puppy” who is now 2!

This amazing Mom of ours helps the young mommies out with ironing!

Mary designed a creative set up for the book tables at the conference.

Benjamin turned 1!!!

A whole lot of sweetness here!

Dad and Joshua tossing a fake fish. Long story, but Joshua loves Pike Place Market in Seattle.

Late night talks

Sunday morning, when all the family was gone, my newest sister-in-law (Chelsy!!!) brought muffins and mochas over for us to enjoy.

Anna helping a sweet family.

Baby holding time!

Anna and Mary have helped a lot with little children care.

Mom and Kyle

Anna and Kyle

Mary and Kyle

A birthday party for Baby Elizabeth, and the little girls received new dolls!

Mom and I stopped at our local coffee shop one Saturday, and who should drop in but relatives who were on their way for an outing!

Anna and Elizabeth

Burrito making weekend!

But y’all, this is my favorite picture of the entire post. Anna took Calia on a walk the other day, and one house has this little bench with reading books. Talk about CUTE!

“And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
that hath dealt wondrously with you:
and my people shall never be ashamed.”
Joel 2:26