Chester’s Freedom!

This morning, several of the children brought our little anxious-to-be-released squirrel back to a tree behind our new house. Chester promptly scaled the tree and clung to it. At lunch, she was still up in the top of the tree.

Later in the afternoon, I went outside to take some pictures of our guys plumbing, and I decided to check on Chester. Dad told me where she had been, so I scanned the tree for her. Finally, I found her, and began talking to her. After about 5 or 10 minutes, she eventually came down the tree! I was delighted. I put her back in the cage, as I thought we might keep her in there a little while to help her adjust to a squirrel’s life in a tree. But, she was quite unhappy back in her cage.

She drank for a LONG time from her water bottle. Then John let her out of the cage, and she happily ate some cashews nuts. After a little while, Chester went back up the tree. She came down again—with some coaxing from Anna and me—and scrambled around on Anna. Yes, I’d say our squirrel is enjoying her freedom!

Only for Jesus,


Chester–hanging on the tree enjoying her nut!


This is my favorite picture! Isn’t she cute?!


Oh No Not Again!

Christopher and I walk together on most Wednesdays. This past Wednesday, we had walked a quarter of a mile or so, when we saw a little figure charging us from someone’s lawn. Suddenly, we realized a small “teenager-sized” squirrel was bearing down to intercept us. Never having had this happen before we quickened our pace to “out run” the little guy who was moving surprisingly fast.

What would possess a little fellow like this to try and catch two grown men? What would posses two grown men to make them feel they needed to “out run” a small harmless squirrel? Surely something so cute and sweet looking couldn’t have rabies. Could it? Why would it chase us? Not wanting to find out we quickened our pace.

Here we were walking as fast as I could up the sidewalk and this adorable little guy was now on the sidewalk running as fast as he could after us and gaining on us. It was a most amusing sight, and Christopher and I had the appropriate response. We both were laughing as we were striding along. Christopher was casting backwards glances and giving me reports every 5 seconds or so. “He’s gaining on us.” “He’s getting closer.” “He’s just behind your feet.” “Careful don’t step on him.”

Finally we had to stop so we wouldn’t step on him, and he promptly ran up Christopher’s leg and perched on his shoulder. Then like a cat seeking attention, he scrambled back and forth from one side to the other. Christopher felt at any minute one of his ears was going to be breakfast for this cute little guy who by now had worked up a pretty big appetite.

Being a little frustrated because our walk was now in question, we tried to figure out what to do with him. The squirrel let me grab him and set him over in the grass, and we made a break for it. Not to be out run and frankly not wanting to resort to running, we set out at a fast pace again. We were aware of the cars passing by on their way to work and could imagine those people telling their coworkers: “You should have seen what I saw on the way to work. There was this cute little squirrel chasing these two guys who were almost running down the street.” So there we went again, laughing as we tried to put some distance between us.

Our plan didn’t work. This time when he caught us, he climbed up me. With a fresh idea, I took him and put him in a nearby tree. Again we hurried off. Yes, he soon caught us once more and we had to stop so as not to step on him. We tried this several more times unsuccessfully until we were at the place where we normally crossed the street. Compassion ruled because we were concerned he would be hit by a car if he followed us across the street.

So we decided we would try taking him back to where we found him. Putting him on my shoulder, off we went. Would you think he would stay there? No of course not, as squirrels are not known for their intelligence. To try and bring to a close what has now become a long story, we phoned Joseph and Jesse who came and retrieved the squirrel so we could continue on our walk.

Now we have her home and in a cage. Obviously someone had found this squirrel as a baby and raised her with a great deal of human socialization. Perhaps they had put her out to become wild again, but she was still wanting people companionship and feeding. We will begin attempting to re-acclimate her to living in a tree this week after fattening her up a bit. The last squirrel we had raised and were able to successfully re-introduce to “tree-life.” I had thought one squirrel was enough, but it looks like we have one more for a short time. Having this squirrel “charge” her way into our life is especially funny considering Jesse and Joseph said earlier in the week how they missed the first squirrel and would love to have another one.



The Blessings of Work

Today, we children, Grandad and Dad, powered through and finished compiling the rest of a Managers of Their Chores book printing. We have a great time talking while we work and just being together.

Then, this afternoon, Dad and Joseph talked/worked through some things on the plumbing project. That’s teamwork in action! The children were out cleaning up the house work site—that’s teamwork! I know the only “payment” they desire is Dad’s smile and praise of their job. 🙂

“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” (Proverbs 22:29).

Only for Jesus,

Arrived or A-Drift?

Teri and I were checking out at Sams when I asked the checker about where she was going to spend eternity. She responded that it would be heaven because of her Savior the Lord Jesus Christ. As we talked it was evident that she was truly saved, and her speech carried with it an excitement and love for the Lord Jesus.

I then asked her a question that I try to ask everyone who professes Jesus as their Savior. I asked her if she read her Bible every day. The conversation then took a turn that surprised Teri and me. She said how she has been in church since she was a child and heard every sermon there was to hear. Without directly saying it, she was saying that she didn’t feel she needed to read the Bible every day.

I encouraged her that just like physical food we need to daily partake of spiritual food. That is why God gave us His Word so that we could daily feed our souls. To our amazement, she became defensive about it even though my words were gentle and non-accusatory. By her response, it was evident she would not receive this form of “encouragement” so I let it drop and wished her a good day since we had finished paying. It is one thing for her to be convinced she would gain nothing from reading her Bible every day, but something entirely different in becoming defensive about it.

We are so blessed living in this country during this time to have the availability of God’s Word. May we never get to a point of thinking we have “arrived” and no longer need a daily time in our prayer closet with the Lord and His Word. It is so easy to be set a-drift following wrong doctrine and all manner of way of life, if we aren’t reading the Bible ourselves.

Each of us is filling our minds daily. The question is, “With what?” If her family is like the vast majority of professing believers, she is finding plenty of time for other things, most of which will not be beneficial for her family’s souls. May we be like the Bereans. “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few” (Acts 17:10-12).


It’s hard to know where to begin a post after the last one was about our precious little Susannah Joy. We all have been overwhelmed by the love and prayers of so many people. Nathan and Melanie have received many, many cards, and our family has received quite a few as well, not to mention all the e-mails. The Lord has truly been very gracious to our family as we have walked through the valley of the shadow of death. Nathan and Melanie were able to spend a few days away last weekend, which was a blessed time of healing and rest for both of them. Thank you from all of us for your prayers; we have truly felt them.

Over the last few weeks, the house work has continued. It has been amazing to see it take shape. The framers are beginning to put the rafters up. In the meantime, Dad and Mom are busy making house decisions. Dad is also preparing to start working with the boys on plumbing. A few nights ago, some of us children were over at the house, and we went up to the second floor/attic where we sat and talked. With a cool breeze blowing and the sun setting, it was a nice time to just talk.

Last month, Joseph and John purchased a used Bobcat machine. This has worked out to be such a blessing with the house project. The boys plan to begin their own business with it, and they already had their first job.

We’re excited about the extra space for the ministry. We are totally maxed out in this house. Some of us will be working on compiling Managers of Their Chores books soon with the ChorePack Kits, and even now, boxes of Chore books are stacked in the hallway. We have books out in the shed that don’t fit in the basement.

Thank you again for all your prayers. Our Lord is merciful and gracious.

Sarah for the rest


Joseph working on the house


John working on the house


Honey enjoys walking to the edges and looking over :-)! Notice the Families for Jesus trailers?


We thought this would be a fun photo.

Susannah’s Life in Pictures

A few days ago, I was unloading flowers from my car after Susannah’s graveside service. On my last trip to the car, I noticed a long, slender, closed lily flower had broken from the stem and was lying on the floor of my car. I picked it up, not sure what to do with it. As I looked at it, a thought crept into my mind that said, “Hmmm, a flower just like Susannah–beautiful, but will never bloom.” I know God had a purpose for Susannah Joy’s life, but little doubts can creep in sometimes. I left the flower in the yard for lack of a better idea.

Saturday, as I was walking through my yard, my gaze was caught by a fully open, beautiful and delicate, lily flower lying in the grass. It was the same one I had discarded only a day before. It had “bloomed.” It was like God showed me again that little Susannah had bloomed. She was here for the perfect amount of time for His purposes.

I wanted to share her slide-show with you. These pictures were scrolling on a screen at the funeral home after people exited the chapel.  A little unconventional probably, but we wanted visitors to see her life. Joseph helped prepare it for posting to the blog. You’ll need a Shockwave plug-in to view it. ( and look for the “Get AdobeFlashPlayer” icon.)

  • When you start it, you’ll see controls in the upper right that will allow you to manually advance each picture, or set it to auto-advance. The music you’re hearing is Susannah’s Lullaby written and composed for her by Joseph. It’s played and sung by a number of the Maxwells.
  • In the pictures, you will see Susannah, myself and Melanie, my parents (my mom holding Susannah and my dad participating in a little prayer service), Melanie’s parents, and Susannah’s tallest uncle. In the prayer service “Elder,” a gentleman in the Maxwell’s Families for Jesus Fellowship, came to the hospital to pray for her.
  • You will also notice a number of Bradford Pear tree pictures. When we left the hospital without our little Susannah, we noticed that spring had arrived and that the Bradford Pears were in bloom. The Lord provided this little blessing for us as our hearts mourned the loss of Susannah. We will never see another blooming Bradford Pear without remembering our Susannah Joy.

Susannah Joy’s Life in Pictures:

Susannah Joy's Slideshow and Lullaby
Susannah Joy's Slideshow and Lullaby


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