It’s Been One Damn Thing After Another Around Here

I wanted to check in with all of you and let you know what’s been going on. So far, December has totally kicked our collective asses here at the Edwards house, and we are trying valiantly to salvage what’s left of the Christmas season.

The month started out with Ryan coming down with one of those mystery illnesses that just knocks you out completely for about a day or so. Once he was better, Kaitlyn did that thing for a two days where she can’t keep anything down at all, even water, and we have to keep her hydrated by giving her water from a teaspoon. She also came down with an earache, but fortunately it passed on it’s own.

Then it was Chris’ elbow. He has an old injury to his left elbow, he doesn’t even remember how it happened, but every few years or so it will get sore and swell up around the bone a little. Only this time, it swelled up huge, like he had a lemon sticking out under his skin. It got red, hot, and swollen, so I made him go to the doctor. She looked at it and basically said “huh. no clue”. She sent him to the hospital for an x-ray, which also revealed nothing. She put him on a course of 150 mg Amoxicillin, which did absolutely no good. Now  almost two weeks later, his elbow is still swollen and hot, although not as red. The doctor’s diagnosis? It will swell up once in a while and there’s nothing they can do. Peachy.

Meanwhile, while he was still dealing with the worst of the elbow problem, Chris came down with the stomach flu. He spent two days puking violently (I know, eww), and then I spent one day doing it. He got better for a day, then developed severe stomach cramping. Like, the moaning in his sleep all night long kind of cramping.  At that point I had slept maybe three full nights out of the first ten of the month.

And then, Friday night he went to bed early with a bad sore throat. Saturday morning when he woke up, he says to me, ‘my throat really hurts, how does it look?’ so I look, and his tongue was completely coated with thrush. I made him drive immediately to Lansing Urgent Care, where he was diagnosed with – you guessed it – STREP THROAT.  Extremely contagious strep throat. I mean, seriously.

So it’s December 16th, and so far, I’ve spent the month cleaning up puke, wiping hot foreheads, taking temperatures, cooking dinner for any random number of people since on a daily basis we never know who will feel well enough to eat, grabbing three or four hours of sleep where I can, and trying not to lose my mind.  Chris got another Amoxicillin prescription only this one is 500 mg, and after two doses yesterday, he felt well enough today to take us to Horrock’s to pick out our Christmas tree. I even had the tree lot attendant take what’s become our traditional Christmas photo – one of us posing in front of a tree in the lot, casual, no posing, no primping, just how we look at that moment.

christmas family photo tree, outdoors table for five

 You’d never guess how sick Chris really is by that nice smile on his face :)  So anyway, that’s what’s been going on with me and my family. I announced in the car on the way to Horrock’s that there were nine days left until Christmas, and dammit, I was going to enjoy them.  The boys are of course, too grown up now to enjoy silly things like singing along to Christmas carols in the car or watching Christmas movies at home, but they were warned not to make any sarcastic or snarky comments about MY Christmas stuff.

I want to watch feel-good Christmas movies and sing the alto parts of Christmas carols. I want to walk around the mall and look at the store decorations and admire the huge tree that goes up near Barnes & Noble every year. I want to drive around some evening drinking peppermint Mochas and hot chocolate while searching for the houses with the best decorations. I want to sit here in the living room with all the lights off and just gaze at the tree with the decorations and the lights glowing.

I want to get out my Dickens village and my snowmen collection and see Christmas everywhere I look. I might only have nine days, but I am going to enjoy them all! And no one, NO ONE in this family is allowed to get sick (or any sicker than they already are) because we have had quite enough of that, thank you.

Stay Fit During The Holidays With These Tips From Tennis Player Mardy Fish

This time of year may be may be known for crackling fires, tasty goodies and relaxing with family and friends, but that doesn’t mean your fitness routine should also be on vacation! As a member of the Bumble Bee Foods Bee Squad, I present this webisode featuring some thoughts from Mardy and his trainer on staying active during the holidays as well as a few exercise tips from BeeWell for Life nutrition experts, Willow & Stephanie.

Mardy Fish is sure in great shape! If you, like me, live in a cold climate, read this article titled How to Prevent Winter Weight Gain from Willow and Stephanie. It has tips on what to wear when you exercise outdoors, healthy comfort food recipe links, and tips for controlling carb cravings. They published this recipe on for Mac ‘n Cheese with Cauliflower that looks so good! Use the “Save”

Visit to find more nutrition and fitness tips. While you’re there, create an account and commit to logging your fitness journey. By logging miles or calories consumed, or completing challenges, you’ll earn points that translate into dollars for the cause of your choice – either the American Diabetes Association or WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.

I’m a member of the Bumble Bee Foods Bee Squad, a group of bloggers who help  with promotions in exchange for products and compensation. All opinions are my own.

bee squad badge bumble bee foods table for five

Wordless Wednesday 12-12-12

CHRISTMAS 2001, the boys were five and three :)

Christmas 2002

CHRISTMAS 2003, Ryan, Nathan and my nephew Jamison with my sister in law Alisa



Christmas Stockings

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Getting Settled in a New Area as a Military Family

English: Arpin Van Lines moving van, Abigail D...

English: Arpin Van Lines moving van, Abigail Drive, Superior Township Michigan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When moving to a new area as a military family it can be quite overwhelming. There are so many things to think of and take care of when moving. Getting settled in is important to families and can be done quicker than you think. Take into consideration these few tips to help you in your move:

Get to Know the Community

First off, it is very important to get to know the area around you. Learn where the important places like banks, hospitals and grocery stores are when you first move in. Take some time to drive around and learn the area. You are much more likely to be comfortable and feel settled when you know the area. This can be a simple drive around the city or area you are moving to before hand or doing it on a Sunday afternoon. Either way be sure to take time out to learn where your important places are from your home.


Start Unpacking the Home

Next, you should think of the best ways to unpack your home. When you are living out of boxes it never truly feels like home. This should be on the top of your to-do list. Easing the unpacking process starts when you are packing. Be sure to label the boxes so they can be properly placed when moving in. When you get the boxes to your new home start with putting them where they belong. If you stage them in the areas they will be placed it is much easier to unpack. Focus on one room at a time. It is overwhelming when you are trying to get your house in order. By taking the time to focus on one room at a time you will not be overcome by the stress and can have room by room in order and beginning to feel like home.

Storing Extra Items

Another great way to help while you’re getting settled in is to make use of a self storage unit. A few years ago, I knew a military family that moved from New Orleans to NAS JRB Fort Worth who wisely decided to a rent an inexpensive storage unit near Dallas while they house hunted off-base. You can place larger items (or those that might be in the way) in storage for safe-keeping until you’re ready for them.

Moving around and getting settled is different areas can be a big part of a military family. Use these tips to help make the transition smooth and seamless.

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Menu Plan Monday 12-10-12

You can tell from this week’s menu that I’m in the mood for comfort food this week.  The only dish I have to start early is the crockpot bbq pork, which is simply a 3 pound or so pork shoulder cooked in the crockpot with a little water until it can be shredded, then it goes back in with Sweet Baby Ray’s bbq sauce until the sauce is soaked in and it’s warm all the way through. The hardest part is waiting to put it on the sesame seed buns and not just scoop it right out of the crockpot and directly into my mouth!

menu plan monday on table for five

Roasted Chicken Breasts and Red Potatoes
Crescent Rolls
Green Beans

Crockpot BBQ Pork on buns
Frozen Fries
Steamed Peas

Garlic Toast

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes
Dinner Rolls

Creamy Mushroom Chicken
Mixed Veggies


WHAT’S ON YOUR MENU THIS WEEK? Share your weekly menu plan and find tons of great recipes at every Monday.

menu plan monday table for five

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