Happy Monday, everyone! I’m overdue with Random Life (last one was end of November!), so I’m starting fresh: January 1st until now for Random Life.
The year started in full swing, with church, ministry, family times (including birthdays), and work.
In these changing times, we know our citizenship isn’t here on earth. May we use every opportunity to share Christ!
Sarah You just never know what crew we might have for Sunday lunches. Love to see Anna Marie smiling! Cozy reading time Anna watched Nathan and Melanie’s kiddos so they could have time away. Dad and Mom finished out the babysitting as Anna had some things she needed to do. Candlelight and prayer as we remembered the Roe vs. Wade ruling Burrito time My birthday cheesecake! Coffee and time out on my birthday Birthday dinner with Gigi Mom with Axton and Elliot for their Monday afternoon playtime. The boys love it! Ellie (barely) tolerating Arnold sniffing her. I think he liked the smell of Ellie’s ear drops she gets at bathtimes. Although we’ve had a lot of cold weather lately, we did have some sweatshirt-worthy weather in January. Love this little girl! Making an anniversary sign for their parents Dad, Mom, and I went to Joseph and Elissa’s to celebrate Caleb turning 1. Flag time with Gigi (she was in the garage due to the snow) Axton turned 2! Opening a wedding gift from a blog reader! Axton felt pretty big to have a Bible like Grandpa We had Christopher and Anna Marie’s kiddos over one night. Ruthie’s birthday evening (well, not her real birthday but her gift of coming over to our house) This foursome went on a Sunday afternoon walk in VERY cold temps. Another birthday girl, Elizabeth! New chicks! Christopher with some of the kiddos Nathan’s crew going out for ice cream on one of the coldest days of the year! The newlyweds got coffee and went on a walk on probably the coldest day of the year. Sweet memories! Like I said at the beginning, you never know what crew you’ll find on a Sunday. This was a sweet lady from our church. Arnold overseeing (literally) the new microwave installation “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Wow! Another month has flown by. The book is back from the copyeditor, and we’re in our final two weeks before going to press. I can’t wait to share more details with you next month!
Life stays busy here at the Maxwell home, and here is a peek at what’s been happening.
We enjoy seeing Christopher and Anna Marie’s family outside, so here Dad was spending some time with the little boys. Birthday dinner with Betsy Nathan’s crew has done some campaigning! How many of our blog readers have been helping out this fall? Sunday family lunch: this crew included Joseph and John’s families Axton and Kyle feeding Ellie treats. They like to use a little toy to give it to her. I spent many hours on the back deck editing this August and September. Right after my book went to the copyeditor, I watched Nathan and Melanie’s kiddos (except Debi), so they could have some time away. Isn’t this a cute capture? Aunt Anna motivated Benji with a reward, and he met the goal! Christopher and Anna Marie’s family picture The illustrator works best off a picture, so here Betsy and I staged a picture. For those of you who get the book later, you’ll see how much changes from a photo to illustration. It’s a neat process to watch! Doing school together. Lunch helpers Babysitting Axton and Elliott Danny waiting for the mailman This wasn’t staged. Cousins Caleb and Debi Tina giving Ellie a bath Nathan and family made tons of applesauce. Axton’s time with Grandma on Monday afternoons Dad and Mom went to Joseph and Elissa’s to celebrate Calia’s birthday! This girl is growing up! John and Chelsy and boys came over for dinner and Bible time one evening Mom and Dad have spent quite a bit of time doing Titus2 projects. Here Mom is packaging sticky tac, which goes in the Scheduling Kit for Managers of Their Homes. Sunday lunch with Jesse and Anna: great times! “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10).
Life is a whirlwind, and we’re grateful for all the Lord has set before us. His blessings are abundant, and we praise Him!
Dad and Mom had an amazing time in the mountains. We’re happy they had a time of refreshment and enjoying God’s creation.
August came to a close with full schedules, and we welcomed September. Last week, we experienced several days of cold and rain–breaking a temperature record from the early 1900s.
For me, days blur together in a whirlwind of editing. We’re almost there, and I’m grateful to everyone who has helped with the project. This is my final week before the book goes to the copyeditor. My to do list is growing for after it’s off.
We love you all! What is something you’re grateful for today?
Sarah One Friday afternoon, I took an editing break and spend several hours with Nathan and Melanie’s family mini-golfing and then out for dinner. It was refreshing (and warm! :)). Christopher and Anna Marie invited us over one evening for a thank you party for all of Mom, Anna, and Mary’s help while Anna Marie was in treatment. Just a little bit of creativity to try to fetch a toy. Kyle and Calia love vegetables, fresh from the garden! The time Dad and Mom were gone, we had gorgeous weather here in Kansas. Editing is more enjoyable in the outdoors. I’ve spent many hours these past weeks editing on our back porch. I put in earplugs (to block out distractions) and set to work! Don’t worry. We didn’t start it. Ellie can actually be a lapdog. I hear her dad was. Simon Peter is quite a chunk Dinner at John and Chelsy’s while Dad and Mom were gone Babysitting 🙂 D ad picked up several book reprints. Gigi and (spot the ?) Sunday family lunch, lots of happy times! There’s such a lot of cuteness packed in this girl! Friday, Mom watched Nathan and Melanie’s kids so they could have an evening out. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
This summer was different than the last several. Anna and Mary are usually gone for ministry (4-8 weeks). And the County Fair was canceled. Then, basically every day, Mom, Anna, or Mary was over helping at Christopher’s a lot of the time.
We welcomed Elliot Rex shortly after our last Random Life. There’s not a lack of people ready to hold him, and John and Chelsy love to share the little fellow. It’s such a joy to have our lives abundantly blessed with the next generation!
Even though COVID seems to have canceled many things and made life so different, our summer has been full.
We have some interesting things to share soon, so stay tuned! God is gracious, and we’re grateful for His leading in our lives.
Sarah Anna and Mary took the kids on a walk to listen for the tornado siren test–something Joshua especially is interested in. Then, on the way home, they had a snack party. My sisters are creative! Little helper Birthday girl (on a birthday picnic at aunties’ park)! Mom meeting Elliot Dad meeting him Gigi was so delighted that John and Chelsy named Elliot Rex after Grandad (Rex) A game of Bananagrams Anna cut a lot of little fingernails and toenails during the season of Anna Marie being away. I’m sure I’ve never seen her do this before on the railing, and I’m not sure what made her do this. Saturday work project Every Friday, Mom went over and cleaned at Christopher’s! Father’s Day Crew Father’s Day Baby snuggles Axton has his playtime with Grandma every Monday, and now Elliot joins him too. We enjoyed dinner with the newlyweds. The girls brought their wedding gifts. Mary gave them an ice cream maker (Jesse is refined-sugar free and loves homemade ice cream), and Anna gifted them with Christmas decorations (a tradition she has done for the last several brothers). Anna Marie with her family the night before she came home. They invested so much in her treatments as well! Her dad took her to all her appointments, and her mom and sister helped with Simon Peter and her food preparation! You never know when you might babysit kiddos so their parents can have an evening out. Here Mom is with all of Nathan and Melanie’s crew. Making the Welcome Home sign for Anna Marie. It’s what everyone says, but I guess mask-wearing is the new norm–even at the zoo. A great evening with John and Chelsy! A launch-the-website treat! Anna Marie is enjoying her walks with Gigi again! Those of us who would normally be available to help haven’t been lately, and we needed Chore books compiled. Dad and Mom took some time and made a great team working together. Organizing in the attic Nathan and crew enjoyed several days away in Missouri Dad’s birthday dinner These two. They both wanted in Dad’s office, and the reason why. They wanted treats. But Dad needed some peace and quiet. “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.” Philippians 3:1
How does one sum up 8 weeks of “not normal”? Combine that with Anna Marie being in treatment, Mom, Anna, and Mary spending tons of time helping at Christopher’s, and a brother who was preparing to get married! That’s not to mention the obvious stay-at-home mandate for Kansas until about a month ago.
I’m so grateful for the “extra” time staying at home afforded. The absence of getting together with others and outside activities helped me to focus on my book. I love watching the story unfold in first draft, and Lord willing, by the end of the month, I’ll be on to editing.
These past 8 weeks we enjoyed church (praise the Lord!) gorgeous outdoor activities, lots of walks (and runs!), garden work, Titus2 projects, the wedding trip, book writing, work, errands, and time to make special memories.
We’re thankful Anna Marie completed chemo round 7 (of 12) yesterday. That’s a huge praise!
With all the changes happening everywhere, we can rest in God’s steadfast love.
Sarah Debi is adorable! During COVID, Nathan joined the ranks of working from home. Garden work with Anna: you should have seen all the littles roaming around the yard, some playing and some helping during the process Betsy, Ellie, and I enjoying a brisk spring walk Abby made Anna Marie a hat and then a matching one for Elizabeth Picnic with Chelsy and Axton Picnic and then running around near where we did our family photo session Mary and Anna trade off helping in the evenings Mom cleaning out the van after Dad made a trip to the printer to pick up book reprints! Anna usually has a little following of kiddos wherever she goes 🙂 Anna and Mary doing a workout in the backyard while the kids played. Creative! The Missouri River one morning when Nathan and I were on a run. Keeping Christopher’s family supplied with good food! Outdoor church on Mother’s Day, and yes, it was chilly! We’re so happy to be now indoors for services. Can you figure out what it is? Lovin’ wearin’ Aunt Anna’s rain boots! Mom is so faithful to homeschool the children. Lydia’s birthday night at Grandpa and Grandma’s Christopher’s birthday party (Anna Marie was so missed!) Walking buddy! Joshua doing a work project with Dad Nathan and Melanie’s crew enjoying nature trails near their rental for Jesse’s wedding Day before the wedding a run was in order along a beautiful area for we girls Christopher’s VRBO was on a hobby farm, so the kids loved the animals. Family get together after the wedding Saturday Yes, so the wedding day ended with some drama. Mary hurt her foot (a swing broke and everyone on it basically landed on her foot). Urgent care did an x-ray and found it to be bruised and not broken. Such a huge praise! She was still on crutches for several days following and then went to being able to walk without them. She limps but it’s improved a lot. Christopher flew out the day after he got home from the wedding to visit Anna Marie. They were so happy to be together! Anna, along with Mary when she could, watched all the kids. Uno DOS is the new game they like. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).