How this Adventure Began

I’m sure someone is asking the question, “Why move from Iowa to Florida?”  In a word—grandchildren.

But actually that’s only one piece of the puzzle. A couple of years  ago we were considering a move back to Ohio because all eight of our grandchildren were there. We had two opportunities appear to be opening up to us but when we followed up with them both doors were closed. We decided it just wasn’t meant to be so we remained content to stay in Iowa.

Then last year, my husband Randy began to feel like a job change was definitely in  our future. After much prayer we made the decision to start our own company again. We’d had a business for about 15 years in Ohio and felt God directing us to start another company. We officially formed Cherry Ridge Creative Concepts in March of this year. We believed that by year’s end Randy would no longer be at the  job that had moved us to Iowa 10 years ago. We explored many options to get this new business off the ground but didn’t really have any clear direction. One difficulty was that Randy’s workshop isn’t heated and he loses several months each year to the cold Iowa winters.

Then we went to Florida to visit our oldest son, Andrew and his family. They had moved to Clearwater, Florida from Ohio in March. When we visited in May we would sit on his patio in the early morning and talk about our future. One morning we were enjoying the breeze and listening to the birds. Randy said,” You know, I think I could get  used to this.” For the first time, we looked at each other and knew that we were to begin to pray about another cross-country move.

We had all the pros and cons of such a move on our minds from morning till night every day of our 2 week visit. We talked with Andrew and Christine about all the details that would need to be addressed and went home with much to consider and pray about.

For the next 3 months we prayed and researched our options. In June our son David left home to move to Florida and just a day later, Aaron left home to move back to Ohio. We now had only one child still living at home.

I wasn’t prepared for my nest to be emptying so quickly! I was struggling with all the changes and at the same time feeling like this was just the beginning. There were many more changes coming! Change is never easy for me. My family teases me about how I can’t even rearrange my furniture. It’s fine the way it is, why change things?

But I know I can’t grow if I’m unwilling to change. I must decide if I trust God with my life or not. If I do, then I have to allow Him to direct the changes that will cause the growth. So at this point I am trying to trust and trying to look at the future with anticipation. I will never be the same….and that’s a good thing.


The Next Chapter for the Maxey Family

We bought our first house in 1982. It was a cute, story and an half bungalow built in the early 1900s. It had character and we loved it. My husband and I spent many hours on big and small projects, working together to make it a home. I was content with my little home and my growing family. At one point I remember a conversation with our neighbor about the project we were doing. He mentioned that certain kinds of projects helped increase the value of the home for resale. My response to him was something that makes me laugh now. I said I wasn’t very concerned about adding value since I didn’t see myself moving. In fact, I went even further and said I envisioned my grandkids coming to visit me in that house. Little did I know that God had other plans.

Just four years later we sold that house and bought another story and a half home on two acres in the country, fifteen miles from our first home. It had two bedrooms and one bathroom. To say that it was fixer-upper would be an understatement.

Over the years we steadily added boys to our family until we had five who all shared one bedroom. We’d dreamed for years about adding on more space and it seemed it was time to take action. We spent the next two years building an addition on our home that was larger than the original house. During the building, we added another son to our gang. At last the final inspection was complete and we moved into our new space just in time to welcome our seventh son in 1999. We spent five years making some incredible memories in that home. Again I had expected to have grandchildren visit me in that house and we almost made it.

In the Summer of 2005 we make the decision to move once again. This time it was much more than fifteen miles. We sold our large dream home , packed up six of our boys, a dog and two cats and moved almost 700 miles from the home we’d lived in for 20 years.  Two days before the moving truck left our driveway we learned that our first grandchild was on the way. To read more about that move read Monkey Bars.

We’ve had ten wonderful years in our home in Iowa. We’ve watched our boys grow into responsible, caring young men. Three are married now and three are young adults. The youngest will finish his homeschool journey in 2017.  When we moved to Iowa in 2005 I though sure it would be our last move. I guess I never learn!  God again has a different plan.

I believe at this point, God’s desire is that I begin to share our journey. We will be moving once again but unlike our last cross-country move when we had a job and no home, this time began with a home and no job.

I would like to invite you along for the journey. You can keep up with the adventures of the Maxey’s move from Iowa to Florida here on my blog. I welcome you to sit back and enjoy the ride!

Let the adventure begin!



A Multigenerational Summer

I’ve had the pleasure of having five of my grandchildren visit for two weeks.  Since all of my grandchildren live eleven hours away, I rarely have little children in my house, so when they come  it’s an adventure. And when they go home, the instant void is almost overwhelming. Suddenly quiet, suddenly empty.

This year, our visit was a little unusual. Right in the middle of their time here, I had to travel to Florida to help my elderly grandfather adjust to the loss of his companion of twenty plus years. While I was gone my son took his family to Minnesota to visit his wife’s relatives. When we all returned about five days later, we picked up where we left off and continued our activities for a few more days. Now they have left for home and I am left to ponder what exactly happened to me in these two short weeks.

What I experienced was an incredible spectrum of events and emotions. I was at my home with my grandchildren, enjoying the  innocence of childhood. We played games, read stories, played at the park, visited the zoo and went for walks. Meals were chaotic but fun to share with so many at the table.

The next thing I knew, I was flying to meet up with my brother and his wife and then driving with them to Florida. We spent the night somewhere in Georgia. We talked for hours about our children and grandchildren, we laughed about the childhood memories we shared, stopped for quick, simple meals and were on the road again. I loved having this rare time with my brother when we could share our lives, both past and present.

After traveling the better part of two days, we arrived at the assisted living facility where our ninety-six year old grandfather lives. We spent the next few days listening to the same stories of his youth, eating rather bland institutional meals, and playing games of Triominoes where we sometimes had to wait for him to wake up after he dozed off in between turns. We visited the doctor’s office, the bank and took him to his favorite restaurants for meals a few times. I spent one entire afternoon with him by myself. The feeling of being his granddaughter and nothing else was such a special time. We talked of the days that only he and I remember and many days that are in his memories alone, since he has outlived nearly all of the people who shared those experiences.

In many ways, he is as childlike as my grandchildren and yet, there is a depth of wisdom that rises to the surface in his more lucid moments. He has seen so much in a life that nearly spans a century. It might be tempting to brush him aside, as it is challenging to listen to him ramble and hard to watch him struggle with everyday tasks. Let someone else care for him. I have more important things to do, caring for my own children and enjoying my own grandchildren. But I could never turn my back on him. He and I were about the same age when we became grandparents. When I think that he saw me the way I see my grandchildren now, it’s hard to imagine that so many years have passed. Wasn’t that just a little while ago, when I was sleeping over at his house on a Friday night?

When my grandchildren left this morning I felt such a sudden void. Did my grandfather feel the same when we left him a few days ago? Suddenly quiet, suddenly empty. And isn’t it strange that I can share this experience with him? To be both a grandmother and a granddaughter at the same time is something I never expected.

It’s all made me consider what lies ahead. One day, will my grandchildren be visiting me like I visit my grandfather? Will they struggle to be patient with my slowness and my confusion? I hope I can model for them what it means to love unconditionally. Not for my sake, but for theirs. To be able to give them the gift of loving family no matter what, is something that means so much to me. Family is worth the investment of time and  the sacrifice of personal agenda. I can see it from both sides of the spectrum and is a beautiful sight to behold.

Do you have a grandparent, parent, sibling or grandchild that you haven’t seen in a while? Spend time with them and love on them. You’ll be so glad you did.

Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyer

I’ve been a fan of Joyce Meyer for many years. I’ve seen her in person and even had the privilege of sharing a meal with her when she was just starting her ministry. Her teachings have encouraged and inspired me through some tough times.

I recently discovered that this book is available in Kindle format on I encourage you to check it out and take a look at her ministry’s web site. Besides writing, she has a television show, teaches throughout the world, and publishes a magazine. Her web site features a lot of resources that will help and encourage you in your spiritual journey.