Children’s Books That Make an Impact

I’m excited to share a sweet testimony from loyal Moody readers. You know. The Moody Family Series is really like a mentor (without children realizing it), and the examples are set through engaging storylines.

Summer offers children more free time than normal, so why not purchase the first several in the series or the entire set?

Read what Kim shared with me.

Sarah, I want to thank you for your precious booksour girls have loved them.  My husband and I have also had an anniversary meal made for us each year because of the example you set in one of your books! We thank the Lord for your influence on our children personally and through your books! Here is a picture of the fruit of your influencea grand anniversary dinner. 🙂 Thank you! Kim

Anniversary dinner inspired by the Moodys! You all did AMAZING on it!

“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

Girl Time

Good morning! Today I’m traveling back home after a wonderful week at my friend’s house on the East Coast.

My friend is expecting her 7th baby and definitely gets a case of severe morning sickness. Her husband was going to have ankle surgery, so I knew she could use extra hands for awhile. I flew in the evening before the surgery.

I’ve been so blessed to be here, and I’ve loved spending time with six little girls. Yes, all girls! I’ve loved their squeals of delight over cute things, like upon opening my Bible, the girl sitting near me was thrilled with my cute pen. So fun. I’ve loved taking the girls on walks in the mornings, making lots of freezer meals, doing water balloons, going on errands with the whole crew, and just helping out. My friend is such a jewel, and I’m blessed by all the sweet fellowship we’ve had.

Enjoy some pictures below!


The flights out were a little rough, the most turbulence I’ve experienced.

“Trust in the LORD, and do good;
so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.”
Psalm 37:3

What’s on the Outside?

Fresh cherries at our house meant homemade cherry pie. Homemade cherry pie meant rolling the extra pie crust dough into cinnamon and sugar slices to be baked for eating. On this occasion, though, after one pie-crust bite, John said, “Mom, I wonder if you put something other than cinnamon on the pie crust.” Sure enough, cayenne pepper sits in the spice cupboard right next to cinnamon, and that’s what was liberally sprinkled on the pie crust. Looking at the pie crust, we couldn’t tell the difference, but the taste shouted it!

Before I was saved, that was true of me. I thought I looked good on the outside but inside was different. I remember the day I was saved, the pastor had just said, “You can fool everyone around you, but the Lord knows your heart. If you haven’t repented of your sin and placed your faith in Christ, you are not saved.” Those words burned through my facade.

There have been times since then when my outside was put together, but the inside was not. Once I confessed my struggles with depression to my church family, I began to heal. They hadn’t known what I was dealing with inside.

What about you? Is the outside one way, but the inside another? Does the Lord want you to do something about thatdiscuss it with your husband, share it with a friend, ask for prayer at church?

Trusting in Jesus,

“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on
the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD
seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance,
but the LORD looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

A Backpacking Trip for John and Jesse

A while back, John and I decided that we should go on a backpacking trip together. We knew that with our work and the rest of life, we needed to simply schedule a trip or else it would never happen. Sometime a few months ago we decided on a weekend in the middle of May. Due to some unrelated things that came up, we pushed the trip off for two weeksto the first weekend in June. This ended up working out incredibly well as Colorado had a very large snowstorm the weekend we had originally chosen. Honestly, when we first put the date on the calendar, we didn’t think at all about snow. Either way, with the date set, we collected the necessary gear and chose our destinationthe Snowmass-Maroon Bells Wilderness area in the Elk Mountain range of Colorado.

John and Jesse heading out on a backpacking trip.

We left early Thursday for the 12 hour drive. We picked up snowshoes in Denver on our way up to the mountains. We arrived at the trailhead mid-afternoon and hiked a few miles up the valley that evening. About a mile or two into it, we came across a few black bears who were near the trail. Fortunately, though, we didn’t have trouble with bears during our time. In that area, it is required that food be stored in bear canisterslarge plastic containers that are supposed to be bear “proof.” I suppose seeing the bears confirmed to us that there were indeed bears in the area.

Jesse, just before making coffee

Trying out the snowshoes.

The next day we spent a while snowshoeingwhich was a great experience. They effectively prevented “post-holing” but also made traversing hills a bit less convenient. We eventually decided to turn around when the terrain became fairly steep and the snow structure had changed to where the top layer kept sliding on us. While the trail formed a loop, we opted to come back around and go up the other valley (where the loop would be coming down).

We hiked down, around, and into the other valley. That trail was more established, and the valley was even prettier than the first. Our campsite that evening would be difficult to improve on. It was situated in a large, clearing within easy walking distance of a rushing mountain stream. It felt wonderful to be in such a beautiful place and disconnected from cell service.

Our campsite on Friday night.
A beautiful view up the stream.
A view of Snowmass Mountain.

After a hot breakfast the next morning, we set off up the lovely valley. At one point, we got a terrific view of one of the Elk’s 14ersSnowmass Mountain. The views the entire trip were great. Further up the valley was an interesting stream crossing. A log jam had formed over the swollen lake/river and was the only “dry” route across. Fortunately, some of the logs were stable.

A picture of John and the lake below

We then hiked and snowshoed through the beautiful forest above the lake. I liked how quiet and serene it was. Even though it was melting quickly, the snow was still quite deep. The whole environment made for a very peaceful setting.

On a beautiful overlook over the valley.
Our tent, on the last night up the valley.
Almost at the trailhead
Back at the trailhead

We took it easy on the last day of our trip. After waking up with the sunrise, we made coffee, broke camp, and then hiked out. It was a great trip, and John and I had a fantastic time together. I don’t believe the pictures adequately communicate how pretty the scenery was. Even though I was tired at the end of each day, it was very refreshing to spend those three days in the beauty of God’s creation. And, if any of you are interested in going backpacking and haven’t before, here are a few things we learned as first-timers:

  • Everything takes watercooking, coffee, hydrationand it costs time and hand warmth to filter it.
  • Trekking poles (with baskets for snow) are great tools to prevent unintentionally and frequently sitting down when traversing snow.
  • Bears aren’t the only mammals interested in food itemsmarmots sure are too.
  • Melting snow on the edge of water can break when stepped on.


While we have been tent camping before, John and I enjoyed taking it up a level by fully disconnecting for a few days. The Snowmass wilderness area is remote and absolutely beautiful.


“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
Psalm 8:3-4

Maxwells’ Fourth of July Recap

We had a wonderful Independence Day! It’s sobering to think of the sacrifices the signers of the Declaration of Independence made. Do you realize that five gave their lives because of that act? Think about that for a moment. Where would we be without their courage? Doing what is right takes courage. It’s easy to go with the flow, but it’s an entirely different thing to go against it. Matthew 7:14: “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”


Abby and Bethany came over to help prepare for the party
Dad grilled
Nathan, Benjamin, and Melanie!
I really need a wide angle lens. I decided this time to do half table shots!

Hmmm. What’s up with this Drew + Ellie contest with food?
Daniel is getting to be such a grown up little guy!

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”
Matthew 5:7

How to Make a Healthy Lunch with Leftovers

Anna is our queen of using a mixture of leftovers and turning out an amazing dish. We want to encourage you moms on how you can use your creativity with leftovers and make a quick lunch.

Here is a recent example with four leftovers:

  • Broccoli
  • Shell noodles
  • Green beans
  • Smoked meat

Add some oil to your pan, let it heat up briefly and then add the green beans.

Heat for a bit and add broccoli.

Stir, allowing the mixture to heat, and add the meat.

Lastly, drop the noodles in. Stir gently.

I believe seasonings are Anna’s secret to success. Here she added Jack Stack’s meat seasoning along with some Italian dressing.

Top with cheese, and enjoy!

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 12:4

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