Have you met my family? – Part 2 of 4


Since I wrote about my daughter and her children who lives with us first, I am going to tell you about my children and their families by proximity to us.

My youngest, and only son, and his family live down the road within a mile of us.


My son works on the barges that travel up and down the river. He is one of the lucky ones. His schedule allows him to be home a week and on the boat a week. Although there are many instances where that schedule can and has been tweaked due to various problems. Boats can be docked for repairs, flooding on the rivers have resulted in temporary shutdowns, illness, just to name a few things.

Kelsey Baxter, there’s that namesake, is not only training to become a boat pilot, he is also a professional archer.  When he was in junior high, he took an archery project while in 4-H  which began his journey into this field.

He was taken under the wing of the president of the local archery club and his skill and love of the sport became apparent very quickly.  We have traveled to many archery events over the course of his career. He has competed at local, state, and national levels. Kelsey has won the state championship several times when he was younger.  He’s been working at this for close to 20 years now. His children are also involved in shooting bows.

The biggest problem he encountered during this time was a problem in his foot. I have seen him crawl from 1 room to another before a shoot because he was in so much pain.

Kelsey was in grade school when this problem first arose. At that time the pediatrician attributed the pain to tendinitis and put him in a foot brace. Then he had to have a special device made to wear in his shoes, but none of this helped with the pain.

He was finally referred to the local orthopedic doctor who put a cast on his foot. He wore this for six weeks with no noticeable results. The doctor immediately reapplied the cast for another six weeks. During this time, the podiatrist I was seeing had expressed concern over Kelsey being in a cast for so long.

When the second cast was removed, Kelsey started therapy, which lasted for about six weeks before the therapist referred him back to the orthopedic doctor. His foot was not getting any better and she told me that she had never seen anything like it.

It was at this orthopedic appointment that I began to feel very irritated. The doctor examined my son’s foot and indicated that he thought it was getting better and he should continue with the physical therapy. The man had not seen him in six weeks whereas the therapist had been seeing him at least twice a week for the last six weeks. I was not happy with his response.

Within the week I had an appointment with my podiatrist. He took additional x-rays and gave him a steroid injection in his foot which lessened the pain and gave him full range of motion….for a whole 20 minutes. Then the problem returned.

We returned the following week, reported the results of the injection and this doctor admitted that he was stumped. He referred Kelsey to a pediatric orthopedic doctor at a larger hospital an hour away.

At this point, we had been seeking help for his foot for about a year. We still had no idea what was wrong, only that he was always in a lot of pain.

We arrived at the appointment approximately 15 minutes early as instructed. Of course, I had to fill out all of those information papers.

Kelsey was called back without a long waiting period and we explained to another doctor what had been happening for the last year. This was doctor number five.

At this  point Kelsey was around 14 years old. The doctor said he thought what was going on was called a tarsal coalition, although this typically occurs when the patient is a little younger.  To accurately diagnose this problem, x-rays needed to be taken while the patient was in a standing position.

It only took a few minutes from getting the proper x-rays to confirming that his speculations were correct. We finally had a diagnosis.

From this doctor, we went to see a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. Since Kelsey had already went though all the steps that they would have suggested to correct this problem, he was scheduled for surgery. During this out-patient surgery, two bones were removed from his foot. And he was free from pain…for another year.

To read more on Kelsey’s journey through this continuing  ailment, click here.  (This link should be posted within another week.)

More on my son’s family is coming soon  Stayed tuned.

My life verse.

Weekend Recap – March 16, 2018


Boy, was it a fun filled weekend at our house Friday and Saturday.

It began with Integrity Ball sign-ups on Friday evening.  Of course, Dylan and Shyla want to add yet another activity to my ever-growing list. My planner in bursting at the seams.

For those who do not know about Integrity Ball, it is usually sponsored through a local church and in our case is available for kids 4 through 12/17 years of age. It depends on the number of kids signing up what age brackets while be available.

I chose to let them sign up through this avenue instead of the traditional school teams for a couple of different reasons.

  1. I am not 100% sure they are going to like playing. They both played when they were much  younger. Dylan hated it then. Shyla has asked in the past when she would get to play again.
  2. The kids are already involved in other extracurricular activities and this is just one more that I have to
    Do you ever feel like an unpaid taxi service?

    transport them to.  If they had signed up through the school, the places the teams played would be all over the county. With Integrity Ball, all games will be played at our church which is only about 5 miles down the road.

So they are now signed up for ball.

Saturday morning I got up early and ran to town to purchase items for Dylan’s 12th birthday party. He had requested homemade mac & cheese. I bought enough ingredients to make 2 large pans of it.

I also purchased 2 boxes of mini corn dogs to go with it. That meal proved to go over well.

Then of course, we had cupcakes and ice cream for dessert. After all, it was a birthday party.

The kids played with Nerf guns while it was light enough outside and then the boys came in to play games on the Xbox. It was actually a pretty frugal party.

Two of the boys spent the night, so I got up to make a breakfast for them and the rest of the family. I usually don’t make large breakfasts on Sunday morning.

We had scrambled eggs, waffles, sausage, and toast. Our guests went home with well fed stomachs.

So as usual after a party, especially one with a horde of pre-teen boys, the rest of the weekend was spent cleaning up and doing laundry.

What was  your past weekend like?

French Onion Beef Casserole


French Onion Casserole with elbow macaroni.

I tried this recipe recently, mainly because I love a good bowl of French Onion Soup. The name of this dish just reached out and grabbed me.

Before I post the recipe, I will say I did substitute the egg noodles for elbow macaroni because that is what I had on hand. Although I don’t think it changed the flavor, I will make sure that I either make the egg noodles ahead of time or have a bag ready to cook.

We all liked the recipe alright. It is not a dish I will make a lot. Maybe every couple of months or so.

I found this recipe on Pinterest. It originated at Life in the Lofthouse by Holly.

French Onion Beef Casserole
 Author: Holly
 Serves: 6
  • 10 ounces egg noodles
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cans (10.75 ounces each) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 jar (15 ounce) Lay’s French Onion dip
  • 1 cup French’s fried onions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Cook egg noodles in a large pot of water, according to package directions. Drain.
  3. Cook and crumble ground beef in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, until no longer pink. Drain any grease.
  4. Add soups and French onion dip to beef in skillet. Stir together to combine. Gently fold in cooked egg noodles to mixture.
  5. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle fried onions evenly over top.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve warm and enjoy!