Category Archives: Family News

A New Kind of Birthday Gift

Dad and Mom are blessed to have such a growing group of grandkids! Over the past 10 years, Mom shopped and kept up with a gift each child would like.

Recently, they had an idea. Instead of a physical gift, the child gets a special evening over at Grandpa and Grandma’s. There is a string of summer birthdays, so Mom got right on scheduling.

The kids have totally loved their special time. After all, isn’t the gift of quality time something to be valued?

We began with Abby, then Joshua, and last Christina. Up next will be Danny and Drew, the birthday-cousin-twins. They will have separate nights. 🙂

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7

Of the Red, White, and Blue

Patriotic colors. Red, white, and blue. We wear them as a symbol that we belong to this country, and we’re proud of our heritage. Red signifies hardiness and valor, white is purity and innocence, and blue is the symbol of vigilance and justice. We’re grateful for the patriots who bought our freedom with their own lifeblood.

The Pledge of Allegiance declares one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

One nation under God and with justice for all. Sadly, our beautiful nation has taken God out of so much, including the right to life for the preborn. Justice for all means they should have a voice too. They’ve done nothing wrong to deserve to die.

If you have given your life to Jesus and are trusting in His shed blood, I encourage you this Independence Day to cry out for repentance for our great nation.

Happy Independence Day!


“Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such
as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth,
judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor
and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9

Father’s Day Recap

July is here y’all, and we’re down to less than a month before Anna and Mary arrive home. Thank you for praying for them. The Lord is blessing their time, and they are seeing spiritual fruit.

We celebrated Father’s Day early with the girls, but we celebrated again on Father’s Day proper. For Mother’s and Father’s Day, we cancel our extended family lunch so the young families can celebrate however they like. Then, in the evening, whoever wants to is invited over to our house.

The four of us (we’re a small group, just Dad, Mom, Jesse, and me) received an invitation to join Christopher’s crew for lunch. After lunch, we moved into the living room and enjoyed talking. Christopher got out a whiteboard and began drawing. He draws a new picture each day to encourage the kids to look for what verse it’s showing during Bible time (hopefully a post on that later). Joshua and Ruthanne watched him, and I was curious about the picture too. Suddenly, I realized.

BABY announcement. We loved sharing in on the joy and seeing the kids’ reaction too!

In the evening we had a delightful time blessing Dad and being in God’s Word — all 20 something of us, and 3 generations. I’m grateful to be a part of a family who values children.

Since only some of us knew the baby news, Joshua announced before the cousins recited the Scripture they’d done at church earlier.
Happy hugs and rejoicing
So much activity, and this isn’t even a wide angle.

“Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage
for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.”
Psalm 119:11

Baby Dolls and Carriers

It’s been a busy week on the Maxwell home front, so I’m sorry we haven’t had another post sooner. You’ll hear from Anna Marie below. –Sarah

Thank you all so much for your sweet comments and joining our excitement for our new baby on the way! We are so very blessed!

One question was asked that we thought others might be interested in as well, so decided to make it a separate little post.

“Are your girls using the Ergo children’s baby doll carriers? What brand of baby dolls do you prefer? I like that larger size.”

Before Elizabeth was born, I thought it would be great to get new baby dolls for Ruthanne and Lydia as gifts once the new baby arrived. I found some 20” dolls on Amazon that I loved—and then was thrilled to find that our Walmart had almost the exact same dolls for $5! I don’t know why they were that price at our store just then, but it was such a wonderful little blessing to find them! They are made by JC Toys and can be found on Amazon here. (All links in this post are Titus2’s Amazon affiliate link and bless the ministry. See Titus2’s privacy policy.) It’s been perfect that they can wear size newborn to three-month clothes and the girls have actually become quite proficient in baby changing—even able to help change Elizabeth with their skills. 🙂

The baby carriers they have are these. They work well, though the 20” baby dolls are maybe a little bigger than it’s designed for. Elizabeth is using one that works well with smaller babies (helps to tie it together in the back to keep it from falling off shoulders).

And mine is an Ergo Omni 360. I was given an Original Ergo before Joshua arrived, which I loved and used a lot; and then received an Ergo Omni 360 after Elizabeth was born and highly recommend it as I feel like the company made some great improvements. The biggest pluses, to me, are being able to carry a newborn without an insert, and being able to carry older babies forward-facing while maintaining a good ergonomic leg position. They’re expensive, but if you have baby gift money … you can buy them at Bed Bath and Beyond using a 20% off coupon.

Happy baby-carrying!

Anna Marie

“That our sons may be as plants grown up in their
youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones,
polished after the similitude of a palace.”
Psalm 144:12

Maxwell Cousins Photo Session 2019

Anna Marie today is sharing about the Maxwell cousin photo session. — Sarah

What began as a first birthday gift for Abigail ten years ago has become an annual event anticipated by a growing number of Maxwell children! I love seeing how Christopher creates a special experience for each child, connecting with them and capturing their sweet personalities.

First, he takes individual photos in two sets–one with natural light, the other in our living room “studio.”

Typical Danny fashion.
The Maxwell Cousins

Then we do some various groupings: families, father/child, mother/child, etc.

At the end, we sometimes do a fun “extra” shot or two, and I think those always are among my favorites!

We are thrilled and anticipation is running high. I’m feeling really well at this point. It’s been sweet to see the children’s excitement–Lydia’s hand slipping over to rest on my stomach to feel for the baby during Bible time, or the children asking (again) when we will be able to feel it kicking, or talking about names, etc. We appreciate prayers as this new little one develops! Baby is due February 2020.

Anna Marie

“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and
wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and
that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:13-14

Father’s Day Surprise

Each week, our little church has special music by the young people. Our friends love it. Anna Marie planned a Father’s Day surprise.

It took a lot of work and coordinating, but Anna Marie managed to pull off a beautiful program of Scripture recitations and the song, I’d Rather Have Jesus. With all the children included, it’s amazing, but it really did stay a surprise!

God’s Word came alive with the children’s enthusiasm and heart-felt love for His Word. One portion they shared was this:

“For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand.
I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God,
than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield:
the LORD will give grace and glory:
no good thing will he withhold from them
that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts,
blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.” — Psalm 84:10-1

May this next generation be strong and faithful followers of Jesus.


Practicing one day (thanks, Gigi for the picture)