MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

Fine Art Photography Inspired By Natural Creation & Wholesome Reading For Your Family's Entertainment

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I feel so very blessed to have a family who dearly loves me!!! Two of my greatest gifts from God are my children, daughter Natasha and son Stefan. It is not uncommon for them to just come home with something they’ve surprisingly gotten for me. Recently, my daughter gave me a Coach handbag and matching wallet.

Today, my son surprised me with the “Hidden Figures” DVD and book!!! I didn’t even know there was a book! Can’t wait to read it!

I’m not sharing this post to brag about what little I have materially but because I am so thankful for my family and their gifts from the heart. Even if they are something some may consider small (washing the dishes, running errands for me, asking about my day, etc.), I greatly appreciate and cherish it all.

And as always, this is from my heart ❤ to yours ❤ !

Maxine 🙂




Please help me welcome the newest addition to the BOOKS page of my author Web site, Annette Bentley Smith (aka Mrs. Annie)!!! 🙂 ❤

Mrs. Smith is a children’s author whose latest release NYRAH’S BULLY focuses on how to be a friend instead of a bully.

To find her on my BOOKS page, just scroll down to the bottom of the page. Links to some of her sites are also included for your benefit.

Welcome again, Mrs. Annie, and thank you so much for allowing me to include you on my site. Continued best wishes to you!!!

As always, this is from my heart ❤ to yours ❤ !

Maxine 🙂



avery-nyrahs-bullyThis little cutie is my three-year-old niece Avery! She is posing here with the newest release from our friend Annette Bentley Smith. As you can see from the expression on her face, she does not like it when anyone is bullied. She takes the matter very seriously and agrees with Mrs. Smith that we should be friends instead of bullies.

Have you read Nyrah’s Bully, Mrs. Smith’s new release? nyrahs-bully-front-2If not, why not purchase copies for yourself and a special someone? Available now in Kindle edition and paperback. Five-star reviews!

From my and Avery’s hearts ❤ ❤ to yours !

Maxine 🙂






Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior toward another person that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. It includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Also, in our age of modern technology, it also includes cyberbullying.

Sadly, children can be the victims of bullies, the ones doing the bullying, or witnesses of this hurtful behavior. I personally know what it’s like to be bullied because as a young child, I was a victim.

A very dear friend of mine, children’s author Annette Bentley Smith, has just recently released her anti-bullying book. Although it is a children’s book, it is also geared toward families, which is so important because children who are victims of this horrific behavior need all the support they can get but especially from their families.


To purchase your Kindle edition and/or paperback copy of Ms. Smith’s new release or any of her other books, please click here to visit her Mrs. Annie’s Books Facebook page.

Also, to read up on bullying and how you can prevent it and respond to it, click here to visit the official site of the Stop Bullying website page.

As always, this is from my heart ❤ to yours <3!

Maxine 🙂

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CHRIS & AVERY (NOV 12 '16).jpg

My eight-year-old nephew Christian and two-year-old niece Avery are so smart and funny! When someone in the family is sick, they try to diagnose them. Their diagnoses go something like this: “He has what I had when my stomach was hurting,” “She has to boo-boo,” and “She’s having a baby.”

Just like with most young siblings, there are those moments when they pick at each other. For example, Avery will pull Christian’s socks off his feet, smell his socks, frown, and then throw them across the room.


She’s the adventurer while he’s a little more laid-back at times.

There are never any dull moments when they’re around. They keep me on my toes.

As always, this is from my heart ❤ to yours <3!

Maxine 🙂

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AVERY54I believe our sweet, little Avery will soon be undergoing the period that all parents face or have faced–the dreaded terrible twos!  She’ll be two in January.  I’ve noticed that she is becoming very moody and whiny.  I have two grown children of my own, my oldest, daughter Natasha, and my youngest, son Stefan.

I had heard of the terrible twos when they were younger but did not experience it until Stefan reached that precious age.  And it was a living nightmare!  Naturally, he recalls none of it, and being the very sweet, lovable, and compassionate young man that he is today, has apologized profusely to me over and over.

But anyway, back to our little Avery.  I’ll keep you posted on how things progress with her.  In the meantime, please continue to enjoy her sweetness with me (while it lasts) in the photos that follow.

From my heart ❤ to yours <3!

Maxine 🙂


































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This is my nephew, Christian.  He’s seven years old.  Avery (my 21-month-old niece whom I post a lot of pictures of) is his sister.  Not long ago, I wrote a post about little girls and included pictures of Avery.  If you read it, you may recall that when Christian heard me tell their mom (my sister) that I was going to write a post about little girls, he immediately inquired, “But what about boys?”  And I promised him that I would also, one day, write one about boys.  So here is my post dedicated to all big brothers but especially to Christian.

Today, his class got to ride in a Hummer limo to a pizza restaurant for lunch.  This was his second time getting to ride in one, and he was super, super excited.  Among some of the things Christian loves are dinosaurs, sharks, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  We still have several of the Turtle series of old VHS video tapes from my son’s collection when he was young, and every time Christian comes to our house, he has to watch at least one.  If I’d let him, he’d watch all ten of them, back to back.  Needless to say, I’m all “turtled” out :).

He loves sharks so much that he once created his own shark exhibit on the hearth of their fireplace.CHRIS  Here he is here posing in front of it a couple of years ago.  Although a little sibling rivalry does exist between him and Avery, they love each other very much.












He’s a great big brother to his baby sister and a terrific nephew to my husband and me!!! 🙂 ❤

As always, this is from my heart ❤ to yours <3!

Maxine 🙂




AVERY21‘Cause.  This is my niece Avery’s favorite word now.  Every time we question her about something, she simply says, “‘Cause.”  We have no idea where she got it from.  She brings so much sunshine to our lives.  She was with my husband and me all day today.  Since we have no grandchildren, she and her brother Christian, who is seven, seem just like our very own grandchildren :).  So I imagine that nieces and nephews must be the next best thing to grandchildren.  Anyway, we’re enjoying every minute of being with the two of them.

Well, I’ll let you go now.  Why?  ‘Cause.

Hope you had an awesome day!  Have a good night!

From my heart ❤ to yours <3!

Maxine 🙂



ALARM CLOCKThis is my new, cute, little alarm clock–my niece Avery!  Last night, I set my old alarm clock on the nightstand to wake me at five o’clock this morning so I could get ready for my usual routine of taking Mama to dialysis.  But this morning before the alarm even had a chance to buzz, my husband and I heard our home telephone ringing.  Like most people, when my phone rings that early in the morning, I immediately think the worst.

By the time I got to the phone, the answering machine had picked up, and I could see that the number was my sister’s (Avery’s mother’s) cell number.  I continued saying hello, but no one would say anything.  Thinking there was an emergency with Mama, I instantly called my sister’s cell phone number.  When she answered, I was wondering why she was sounding so sleepy if she had just called me.

Well, if you’re guessing by now that my sister was not the one who called and that it was Avery, you are correct!  I wasn’t upset, though.  It’s happened in the past on several occasions.  My sister kept apologizing, and I had a good laugh before ending the call.  Anyway, that is what prompted me to write this post.  And before I let you go, I would just like to add that these little tots, nowadays, are more computer savvy than many of us adults as I’m sure you are already very well aware.  A while back when I let her hold my cell phone, I learned a new function on it that I did not even realize it had until I saw her perform it :).

AVERY & ME 2I know I talk about this little girl a lot, and that’s because I love her so much.  And since my husband and I don’t have any grandchildren, she and her brother seem more like our grandchildren than our niece and nephew.  Thank you for letting me share my fun experiences with them with you!  Please feel free to share some of your funny moments that you have with your family.

As always, this is from my heart ❤ to yours <3!

Maxine 🙂