Category Archives: Family News

Please pray for Anna Marie Maxwell

Today we’re sharing a post from Christopher and Anna Marie with an urgent prayer request.

As we approach 36 weeks in our pregnancy, a lot of things are changing in regards to healthcare for Anna Marie and Baby. Yet as our hopes, plans, and expectations are so very rapidly changing, we’re grateful to be trusting in the One Who never changes.

Earlier in the pregnancy, a small lump was discovered that could likely have been due to hormone changes and weaning. Our doctor has been monitoring it and we’ve done some imaging. Over the past weeks, it has been growing rapidly and showing concerning characteristics. These past few days, we’ve consulted with a number of physicians and health experts, and are setting up appointments to consult with more. On Wednesday, a surgeon who reviewed our case and imaging said he has no doubt it is breast cancer. While we are still waiting on pathology and would welcome news to the contrary, it seems 99% sure that we are dealing with an urgent and very serious health issue.

While many things are still being worked through right now, it seems our little one will likely need to be induced as soon as it is thought to be safe to do so, allowing Anna Marie some postpartum recovery in preparation for surgery.

What the future holds beyond that: we sure don’t know. Yet God does.

In this situation, we know exactly what our will is, yet our prayer is that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10, Luke 22:42).

We welcome prayers for wisdom in the many decisions we are facing right now, for healing and strength for Anna Marie now and in the days ahead, for our family to grow stronger and closer together through this time, and for peaceful hearts resting in God’s amazing grace.

Grateful for you all, and trusting in Him,
Christopher and Anna Marie

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn
of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find
rest unto your soul” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Joys of Grandparenting

As our grandchildren get older, we plan to give them practical Christmas gifts just like we did for our children. Last year, we gifted Abby (11), Bethany (9), and Christina (7) with Hobby Lobby gift cards along with an outing, including lunch, to use them. Since that was extremely successful, we decided to it repeat this year.

Our shopping trip happened the Monday after Christmas. In our travel conversation, each girl discussed how she planned to spend her gift card. 

Abigail was interested in acrylic paints and canvases like Bethany bought the year before. Bethany said she had begun doing sewing projects and wanted her own sewing supplies. Christina was happy with the card making supplies she purchased and used last year so she was excited to get more of those.

Grandpa added a bit more to the shopping trip by challenging each girl to see how close she could come to spending just what her gift card was for. To facilitate this, we brought clipboards with paper on them and pens for the girls to write down what they were getting and the cost of each item, adding them up as they went. That was challenging because some things were on sale and there were other coupons that could be used.

Then it was a drive back to Leavenworth and stop in at Taco Bell for lunch. Steve and I had our salads waiting at home so we sat and talked to the girls as they ate. 

We thought the girls did a wonderful job of shopping, keeping within their budget, and being content with what their gift cards purchased. We were blessed by the gratitude the girls expressed multiple times for their Christmas gift cards, shopping trip, and lunch.

Trusting in Jesus,

“The law of thy mouth is better unto me than
thousands of gold and silver” (Psalm 119:72). 

Behind the Scenes of the Maxwell Family Photo Session

I wanted to share a peek behind the scenes of our family photo session in early November.

Mary picked out the color scheme weeks in advance, and then she sketched out the composition of where people would be. We wanted a different photo location than last year, and a place closer to home, so we worked through a few options. Finally, we settled on what happens to be the first city park in Kansas!

A few days before the photo session, we realized it would be very beneficial to have someone near the camera, getting the kids’ attention (and taking the photo). With some scrambling, we contacted friends, and some kind neighbors happily agreed to.

The day arrived, and everything was on track, even though the temperatures were pretty cold.

Christopher and Mary worked on getting everyone arranged, and then we checked the camera settings. Our friends took lots of pictures, and then a break was had while I ran to see how things were looking. We rearranged anyone who needed to be to achieve a balanced look and began again until we thought we had enough options.

We know it’s a huge effort for the mommies to get their kiddos ready, and we’re so grateful for them doing that!

Mary did a beautiful job post-editing, bringing all the colors of the skies into a gorgeous composition. Thank you!

Enjoy a peek behind the scenes.


Most of the coats were tossed behind us.
Part of the group disappeared to watch a train
The end result
The girls wanted to get a picture to include in their Operation Christmas shoeboxes.
Isn’t Debi adorable?!

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and
hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto
you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”
1 Peter 1:13

The 2019 Christmas Eve Recap

Over the past 15+ years, we’ve made it our tradition to gather together with the married young adults and their families on Christmas Eve, whoever can come. Amazingly, it’s worked out to be everyone.

With almost 30 of us, the house rang with laughter, talking, and much joy.

I love seeing the little kids’ excitement over their gifts to the other cousins and aunts and uncles. Little Benji slept with his gift for Mary (art paint pens!) for nights before Christmas.

It’s a blessing to have family who love each other and love being together.

Enjoy the peek into Christmas Eve!

Have a great Monday,

Breakfast buffet
Little Danny has taken a huge interest in making coffee and watching it brew.
Dad and Mom gave Abby, Betsy, and Tina gift cards to Hobby Lobby which meant a shopping trip with Grandpa and Grandma (scheduled for the following Monday, which yes, happened!).
Anna gave Betsy running shoes.
Benji excited about his paint pens for Mary
Danny was very pleased about this new ball; what you don’t see is all the other funny things he did with it, including falling over and holding onto it. He found a need to sit on it to keep possession of it.
Notice again the little kid’s excitement giving to the adult
Talk about cute
I think Danny was “helping” Jesse open a gift which Danny himself gifted.
Quite a group of kids.
Calendars for Dad and Mom from Nathan’s crew
Mary made this amazing gift for Joseph. Truly a labor of love.
John’s gift was in a tree, and he was amazingly creative in retrieving it. He knew where the ladder was, but that would have been too easy.
After John retrieved his present, we gathered for a light lunch.
We’ve outgrown one table when we’re all together, so we’ve added a second smaller one, and although tight, it works.
Some played games in the afternoon.
Dad and Benji
Then, in the evening, we had our Christmas dinner and Christmas program.

After dinner, we had our little Christmas “program,” started years ago by Grandad. Here’s the link if you’re interested.

“That the generation to come might know them, even the
children which should be born; who should arise and declare
them to their children: That they might set their hope in God,
and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:”
Psalm 78:6-7

Happy New Year, 2020!

January 1st, 2020, the beginning of a new year and a new decade. May we treasure each day as a gift from God and use the time He’s given us here wisely.

We’d love to know what topics you’d like to see on the blog; we value your ideas.

Happy New Year with love,
Steve, Teri, Sarah, Anna, Jesse, and Mary (plus all the wonderful married brothers and their families)

“… nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom
I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able
to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”
(2 Timothy 1:12)

Happy Second Anniversary, John and Chelsy Maxwell!

Happy Second Anniversary, John and Chelsy! It was a cold, snowy Iowa day when you vowed your lives to each other two years ago.

You welcomed Axton John into the world 13 months later, and he’s such a happy, Mr. Personality kind-of-baby (all you have to do is look at that smile and bright blue eyes). You embrace God’s blessing of children, and we’re all excited that Baby #2 will join your family in June. Congratulations! We love you.

“As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man;
so are children of the youth.”
Psalm 127:4