MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

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




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 🙂



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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 🙂




































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 🙂



LITTLE HELPERAs some of you probably know, this is my 20-month-old niece Avery, and she is my little helper.  Today, we worked in the yard.  Well, I did all the work while she mostly watched me and played with rocks–the girl loves rocks–so does her seven-year-old brother Christian–must be genetic :).LITTLE HELPER 2Anyway, here she is trying to step on a microscopic spider (or make it go away.)LITTLE HELPER 3LITTLE HELPER 4LITTLE HELPER 5Here she is sporting her “mean” look.  Are you scared?LITTLE HELPER 6Since my husband and I don’t have any grandchildren, I figure the next best thing to having them is to have nieces and nephews, and we do have plenty of those.  Most of them are grown though, so we dote a lot on Avery.  I have a lot of nicknames for her.  My favorite is Mamacita.  I also call her Miss Lucy, Miss Daisy, and most recently, Boss Lady (I’m sure you can guess how she got this one :).)

Well, this is part of how I spent my day with My Little Helper.  I hope you had an awesome day.

From my heart to yours!

Maxine 🙂

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“What are little girls made of, made of?  What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice.  And that’s what little girls are made of, made of.  That’s what little girls are made of.”

Do you recall this nursery rhyme or something similar from your childhood?  Without a doubt, male or female, children greatly enrich our lives.  But for some reason, little girls hold a special place in our hearts.

Although the Bible, at 1 Peter 3:7, says to assign females honor as to the “weaker vessels,” this is not meant to belittle them in any way–but rather, it indicates that we are to hold them in high respect and esteem–to treat them with tenderness as a delicate, precious vessel.

This little lady is my almost 20-month-old niece Avery, and she is the youngest of many precious gems in our family.  When her seven-year-old brother Christian heard me tell their mother (my youngest sister Lisa) that I was going to write a post about little girls, he unhesitatingly queried, “But what about little boys?”  I honestly assured him that I will do one at a later time about little boys, and I have every intention of keeping my word.

Since my husband and I don’t have any grandchildren, Christian and Avery seem more like our grandchildren instead of our nephew and niece.  So we’re always buying things for them.AVERY'S OUTFIT  The picture here is what we got for Avery last month when we went on our usual venture to the Great Smokies Flea Market.  And can you believe the perfectly matching pocketbook was purchased from a different vendor at the same market!  We also got the dress she’s wearing in the above photo from there on a previous trip.

My sister and her husband Eric recently redecorated Avery’s room, and I took a few 🙂 pictures today that I would like to share.  You’ll find them at the end of this post.  My husband and I also got the name wall ornaments and the Hello Kitty backpack in her closet from the Great Smokies Flea Market.  The stardust wall plaque may have come from there as well (I can’t recall.)  The doll (named Maya), on the changing table, I got from Cracker Barrel Restaurant.

Have an awesome evening, and as always, this is from my heart to yours!

Maxine 🙂


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Yesterday, I went with my five-year-old nephew and my sister (his mom) on a school field trip to the Atlanta Children’s Museum. It brought back so many wonderful memories of me and my own children when they were younger when I used to go on field trips with them and the tons of other things my husband and I did with them. Well, my children are grown now, but I still love spending time with them (that is, when they can find time for me). My husband and I don’t have any grandchildren yet. Years ago, I used to think that I would feel depressed seeing everyone else playing with their grandchildren while we have none. Now, however, while I appreciate that my husband and I now have more time for each other, we also have many nieces and nephews we can help spoil and spend time with.

In three of my books, A TEST OF FAITH, A HEALING OF THE HEARTS (of the THICKER THAN WATER anthology), and IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH, my little, young characters help to add spice to the lives of their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others. The Bible even calls our children an inheritance from God and a reward. (Psalm 127:3)

God’s own son, Jesus Christ, was such a warmhearted individual that people (even children) were comfortable around him. His loving and compassionate personality drew them to him. Jesus even went so far as to help us to appreciate that we should imitate the humility of young ones. Have you ever taken notice of how most children are so humble and teachable? That’s food for thought. Also, Jesus loved children so much that he did not hesitate to take them into his arms, even blessing them. (Mark 10:13-16)

I recall a time when my daughter and son were young and we were shopping in the grocery store. I had always taught them that it was rude to tell people to shut up. Well, this particular day, the two of them continued bickering back and forth at each other, and I had continually told them to stop. After telling them to quit for the umpteenth time, I finally said, “Shut up.” My son suddenly covered his mouth with his hand and said, “Ooh, Mama, you said, ‘shut up.’ ” In his mind, since I had trained them not to use those words, I had said what amounted to some very bad words. Thereafter, while still young, he would often ask me, “Mama, do you remember the time you told me and Tasha to shut up?” To this day, I smile inwardly whenever I think about it. He will soon be 27, and my daughter is almost 35.

Enjoy your kids while you can because they grow up much too fast. No, they’re not always sugar, spice, and everything nice, but to our lives, they add a whole lot of spice.

From my heart to yours,