"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, December 31, 2010

Year In Review

Well, 2010 is rapidly coming to a close.  A little over 8 hours left, depending upon your time zone of course.  With it ends another decade as well.  So, I thought what better way to end the year via blog than to revisit, review, and update some of the information covered in the posts of our blog's inaugural year.  There were 181 (182 counting this one) posts this past year.  Not too shabby for my first year if I do say so myself.  So, on with the review (yes, I have anally put it in alphabetical order of events).

Adoption - This was the big reason that we started this blog really.  We wanted to keep everyone informed with all the happenings of our lives, but it was also our intention to document our journey to our daughter.  We have extensively discussed this and we know that this is how we are going to expand our family.  We have looked through the lists of special needs and have noted the ones we are capable of  accommodating.  We are still fully into the adoption, but with our current lives it has gotten pushed a bit further back.  Right now we plan on fully entering into the process no later than next January 2012.  With the possible move in the future and the financial aspects of the adoption, we feel this is the best choice for our family.  We are super excited about the process, especially the trip to China, but we have to be realistic about it all and do what is best for us all.

Amy - Of course there is the big news about Amy's gastric bypass surgery this past summer.  It was a big decision she made for herself, her health, and our family.  Honestly I could not be more proud of her.  She has done remarkably well and has lost 80 lbs thus far.  She looks amazing and we are both super excited to see how well she continues to progress over the next 6 months until she hits her 1 year anniversary.

Dave Ramsey/Debt Snowball - This was a big year for us financially as well.  Thanks to Amy (and Dave's program) we are happily on the road to financial freedom and being debt free!  It has not been without some bumps and setback here and there, but we trudge forward knowing the pay off is going to be totally worth it!  The biggest victory possibly came this Christmas as it was a totally "Cash Christmas" here in Drosche Land.  No credit was used for anything and we are super proud of ourselves.  2011 will undoubtedly bring further success in this adventure!

Lady Gaga - Of course I had to include this event!  Amy scored me tickets to the concert and this summer traveled to Dallas for an amazingly fun concert.  A mini road trip and kid-less fun was just what the doctor ordered for the adults in Drosche Land.  She comes to Houston again in the spring of 2011, we will see if I have any luck with the radio contests that are sure to happen!

Masters - We are almost done, the end is near, there is a light at the end of the tunnel!  I have just 2 courses left, Amy has 4 (sorry Am!).  While it hasn't been hard work we are definitely done with being students.  Let's just say that I will not be pursuing another Masters, or Doctorate for that matter, any time soon.  I cannot wait until we graduate and one thing is removed from our over-crowded plates!  On a positive note we did get some postcards from GCU in the mail the other day stating that graduation was near and we should log on for more information about getting ready for the big event.  I think I'll do that once this is posted.

Moving - The latest adventure here in Drosche Land.  We made it 3 years into our planned 5-year stint here in beautiful Cypress.  The house has only been listed for about 2 months but we have had no interest whatsoever.  You may recall the showing that never was or the Open House where no one came.  What's next?  Well, after much debate Amy and I have decided to keep the house on the market until Spring Break.  If it sells before then, we will obviously make the choice to move.  However, if March rolls around and we are still here in Cypress struggling to maintain a clutter-free home we will have to make a decision to stay or go.  Right now we are combining the wait & see and prayer stances on the move.  Amy thinks that we will have no offers or interest in the house at all, I am working to remain positive that something will happen.  We will see what God has in store for us concerning this adventure though!

Scentsy - Amy started her own adventure this year as she became a (quite successful) Scentsy consultant!  This started quite innocently when she was introduced to this awesome product by some friends (Thanks Taryn & Dedrick!) and quickly turned into something super fun and super rewarding.  Amy has already enjoyed success as she moves up the ladder and builds her team.  2011 should be very exciting as she is going to be traveling to shows and conferences to run a Scentsy booth and spread the scentsational joy that we have come to love.  *Shameless Plug Alert* Remember you can always visit her website here.  I personally am proud of Amy for doing so well and I cannot wait to see how she continues to amaze me this coming year!


Does that cover it?  I think so.  Those seem to be the biggest adventures from the past year here in Drosche

All is well, bidding 2010 adieu, in Drosche Land.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pay Off

So I thought that the Christmas vacation would bring with it tons of time to blog and catch up.  However, I have found it more important and rewarding to just relax and hang out with my wonderful family.  Awwwwww, right!  So here I am to blog a bit.  So, on with the post.

You may be thinking - "What 'Pay Off'?"  You might also have noted that in the previous paragraph I mentioned the word "vacation".  You might also have put two and two together to surmise the topic of this post.  That or you are just frustrated with me for not getting to the point.  Ok, ok.  So, I don't know if the higher-ups at GCU read my prior blog post (here), if God answered my prayers, or if it were always in the cards and I just didn't know.  Regardless of the reasoning (although I like to believe that my venting post had something to do with it!) Amy and I actually have a BREAK FROM OUR COURSEWORK!  Yes that is right.  Ironically, beginning the day after said venting post, we began a 2-week break.  Yes, 2 weeks!  That means that as of today we still have 1 week left in our break!  WOO HOO!  Let me say, it has been AWESOME!  I have loved not worrying about posting replies to discussion questions, putting off work, working last minute, etc.  Ahhhhhh!

Obviously I am enjoying myself.  We have not done much during the break so you know it's been good.  I think it might just be the break we have been needing to revitalize ourselves, at work, with coursework, and as a family.  It has definitely been a great way to end a good year.  One of the best parts may be coming tonight as Amy and I send the boys off to spend the night with my parents so we can have a relaxing date night!  We've picked out a new restaurant to try and are ready to have a relaxing evening together.

All in all we have been thoroughly enjoying our vacation and it's not even over yet!  What's up for the rest of our vacation?  More of the same!  Just family time, relaxing, watching TV, and a whole bunch of nothing!  The only thing I have planned is to do some much-needed laundry so we will be able to leave the house (fully-clothed) once the vacation is over!  But since I seem to have an odd affinity for laundry, it's not really that much work!  :)

All is well, ON VACATION, in Drosche Land.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - Christmas Present

I know what you are expecting.  Fabulous Christmas pictures from the festivities of 2010.  Well, you won't find them here in this post.  I took them.  I have them.  And I was originally going to post them here today.  However, a curve ball came my way this Christmas and it's name is  A BRAND NEW CAMERA!  Boy oh boy have I been wanting and waiting for this.  I have always wanted one of those big fancy cameras that does about a bazillion things.  But they are expensive and thus I have been waiting and biding my time until I could get one.  Well, thanks to my wife's online deal finding self and the collaborative funds of my wife and my parents I have to wait no longer!  I am the (very) proud new owner of a Canon Rebel!  Of course I played with it instantly this afternoon and am in love with it!  I have some lengthy manual reading to do though so I can take full advantage of all it has to offer.  But for now, here are some of the pictures I took today with my BRAND NEW CAMERA (I'm still a little excited!).  I didn't even play with or edit them yet, I cannot wait to start that part!  The first subject was, of course, my beautiful wife!

Amy, my beautiful wife!

The boys obliging me to "just one more picture"!

 I love the way Braeden's eyes turn out in pictures!

I take full advantage of the rare occasion when Jack will stand still and pose!
Ni Hao Y'all

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

The presents have all been opened.

The food has all been eaten.

The clothes have all been tried on and placed in the closets.

The toys have all been unpacked and played with.

Christmas 2010 has officially passed.  Christmas is by far my most favorite holiday and time of the year, however, I have troubles when it's over.  Although I haven't been professionally diagnosed, I do believe I suffer yearly from PCSD (Post-Christmas Sadness Disorder).  It begins about 4:00ish on Christmas Day and continues through the day after.  It should fade here soon.  I just miss all the magic and fun of it all once it is over.  If only I could somehow slow time down for Christmas Eve through the day after, I think it would help.  For the mean time though I will just look back fondly on the events of the past few days.  That should help.  Another fun thing about this Christmas is that it very well might be the last one we have before the adoption gets into full swing.  By Christmas next year (HOPEFULLY!) we could have a picture and name of our daughter who is waiting for us in China!  That right there is enough for me to wish it were next Christmas already!

It was a wonderful Christmas.  I think I say that every year, but honestly it just seems to always get better.  It all begins Christmas Eve when we spend the day with Amy's family.  This year Amy made gingerbread cookies from scratch (Can we say delicious?!?!).  The kids all decorated one for themselves and one for Santa.  Then we head to church together where we divide our time between wrangling the kids and worshipping.  After that it is back to Amy's Mom's house for the standard fare - crackers & cheese and eggnog.  Then it's time for the presents!  Once it is all over comes what very well might be my favorite time of the year.  Driving at home in the dark on a cold Christmas Eve with the kids beginning to doze and Christmas music playing.  Ahhhhh, melts my heart just thinking about it.  Granted this year it came with a little drama (Jack had a meltdown (HUGE) due to a blanket crisis).  But once that passed I was able to have my moment!  After we get home it's time to leave Santa and his reindeer their treats and put the last piece on our Advent calendars!  Then it's off to bed for some visions of sugar plums (what are those anyway?) while we wait for the big guy to come and deck our halls with presents (fa la la la la la la la la).  Before bed I have one last tradition of my own - A Christmas Story!

Christmas morning comes and brings with it the birth of our Savior!  We also get to glimpse pure joy and excitement in the faces of the boys as they take it all in before letting loose on some meticulously wrapped gifts.  After the ravages of the morning are cleaned up it is off for some quick visits to both of our parents' houses to share the joy of the day!  Returning to home brings a Christmas nap and vegging for the remainder of the day.  Oh and playing with new toys of course!

The day after Christmas is the time we celebrate with my parents.  We head to their house where we enjoy a Drosche family tradition of sausage squares (my Dad makes the best (although mine are pretty good too).  We snack on a variety of treats while opening the presents and hanging out.  A little playing with the toys while we relax before heading back home for a repeat of the nap, vegging, and playing routine.

That in a nutshell is my favorite time of the year.  Family, food, fun, and remembering the greatest gift we could ever receive.  Makes the other 364 (365 if it's a Leap Year) days pale in comparison.  So, as I sit here remilogging (reminiscing + blogging) I think I have found the perfect treatment for my PCSD.  It's there in the photos I just uploaded to Facebook.  It's sleeping peacefully in the bedroom down the hall.  And it's sitting right here next to me.  I hope that the holidays have brought you the same joys, wonder, merriment, excitement, and bliss that they have brought to me and my family.  I also hope that looking back at the last few days helps you get over your PCSD, I know I'm not the only one who suffers from it!  :)

All is well, MERRY CHRISTMAS, in Drosche Land. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Grrrr! Argh!

I'm here to vent.  You've been forewarned.  

Ok, so it's the Christmas break right?  Vacation right?  Right.  Apparently no one told Grand Canyon University or my professor for this course.  They must have missed the message.  That or maybe it hasn't been on their calendars for the past 2,000ish years.  Regardless of the reason, the coursework continues, despite the holiday season being in full swing with the big day rapidly approaching.  I have another assignment due tonight.  To top it off, I have a discussion post and responses due by Saturday, you know Christmas day!  Enter the grrr and argh from the title.  

Now I do take some responsibility for the frustration since it is due in part (albeit a very tiny part) to my habit of procrastination.  However, I shouldn't be procrastinating or not procrastinating any homework this week, in my humble (and valid) opinion.  I mean seriously?!  It's Christmas.  A break would be nice.  Especially considering we haven't had one since last Christmas when we had a one-week break in between courses.  Since then it's been nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  No breaks!  While this does bring the benefit of finishing early, it does bring the frustration of never having a down moment from it all.  Not that the work is hard, it's just always there to be done!

Ok, so I think I am done venting now.  See, it wasn't that bad was it?  Who knows, maybe a Christmas miracle will arise and my professor will bestow upon us a break of some sort!  Until then I will just stick out my lip and stomp off to do my homework.  I'll try to make the most of being home all day and get it finished early so I won't have to do any (or much) tonight!  Ok, I'm better.  Thanks!  I'm off to (grudgingly) do some homework!

All is well, grrr argh, in Drosche Land. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - A Country Christmas

Yesterday we traveled to my aunt's house in Mount Enterprise, TX for my family's Christmas celebration.  According the sign, Mount Enterprise is home to 575 country-lovin' people.  I will admit the Piney Woods of East Texas are beautiful and it was quite peaceful.  We had a great time and the boys enjoyed playing outside with their cousins and doing other country-esque activities such as riding 4-wheelers, petting horses, and sitting on bulls.  I didn't get many pictures, again I forgot my camera (a bad habit lately).  But luckily I had my iPhone (of course) and was about to get a few good shots.  A great beginning to the 2010 Christmas celebrations!

 Braeden playing on the playscape!

 Jack playing around!
 Jack petting the horse
Braeden petting the horse, you should have seen his face light up!  

Ni Hao Y'all

Not So Much Mingling

Well, the busyness of the season has kept this post from being published earlier, but it is here now.  So, as you may recall, this past Friday was the Jingle Bell Mingle at TLCC.  Every class does something, but the Pre-K students are the big stars since they get to dress up as members of the Nativity.  Braeden was assigned the role of Shepherd.  We bought the costume materials and I began hoping and praying the performance would not go the way of every other performance and dance recital, i.e. Braeden crying and sitting with me while we watch everyone else perform and I turn a slight shade of green at all the other click-happy parents reveling in the joy of their child's performance.  Well, the crazy week was coming to a close.  Amy and Jack returned home and everything was getting settled Thursday night in preparation for the big event.  Then at 11:00 p.m. Braeden came into our room to tell us he threw up.  From then until about 4:00 a.m. he threw up about every 30 minutes and none of us got more than an hour of sleep.  I'll admit, I was sad at the thought that his big moment wouldn't even come up to give him the chance to try.  Lo and behold he spent Friday morning in Amy's office since neither of us could take off of work on that crazy day.  After my 1/2 day I went to get him and he seemed better, so I got my hopes up.  Turns out it was just the Tylenol and he crashed in my room, remained asleep as I carried him into the sanctuary for the Mingle, and only woke up to watch.  He fell asleep on the way home and didn't wake up until Saturday morning.  

So, the moment came and went without even the possibility of him performing.  I got a good picture of him sleeping in the church pew and then one decent one of both boys in front of a Christmas tree at church.  On a side note Jack did remarkably well and thoroughly enjoyed shaking his maraca to Feliz Navidad!  Of course in all the insanity that was that morning I forgot to bring the camera so that moment lives on only in my memory and two blurry iPhone shots.  Oh well, luckily Jack has 2 more Jingle Bell Mingles so I have plenty of chances left to get good shots of him.  Plus once we adopt our daughter she will have her chance at the Mingle too!  So I am slowly getting over the great 2010 Jingle Bell Mingle fiasco and am putting it behind me.  Slowly but surely I'll move on.  Until then, enjoy the few pictures from this year!

All is well, performance or not, in Drosche Land.

The proof that he was in fact cast as a Shepherd in the 2010 Jingle Bell Mingle!

The little Shepherd that wasn't

    2010 Jingle Bell Mingle!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Next Step

So today we may have taken the next step in the adventure that has been selling our house.  I stress may because we will see what benefits, if any, it brings about to our situation.  Today our realtor brought in a team of other Realtors for a walk-through of our house.  I am nearly positive that it is for them to evaluate our house and give suggestions about what can/should/might be done to help get it sold.  I'm trying to keep the phrase "constructive criticism" in my mind as we await to hear a response from our realtor tomorrow about how it went.  I have always had a problem with that term and in fact find it to be quite an oxymoron.  I find very little criticism to be constructive, mainly because when it is given I am too upset/worried/offended about being criticized!  I much more prefer the term advice or suggestions.  I had nearly gotten used to the idea of strangers walking around in my house when I'm not there (despite the fact that we've only had one failed showing and an unsuccessful open house) but this is different.  This is a group of strangers with opinions and "constructive" criticism.

The worst part of this is the fact that our house was not in it's neatest condition.  Now, I'm not talking anything straight out of Hoarders, but still not as tidy as we've been trying to keep it in the hopes that strangers will drop by with wads of cash to purchase our home.  My biggest peeve, there were dirty dishes in the sink!  Gasp!  I hate that.  But see, there are two, yes two, very valid excuses for this.  One it's December and we are not actually home that much during the week and when we are we are generally too tired to actually work on the process of tidying.  Two, Amy and Jack were out of town in Kansas for her aunt's funeral and I was dog/house sitting at Amy's Mom's.  Therefore I was not able to straighten or tidy the house prior to the walk through.  Oh well, my hopes is that this group of constructively suggesting (criticizing) strangers could overlook this fact and find other more constructive advice (criticisms) to give us.  So, I will just have to get over the anxiety and general upset-ness I have felt all day knowing that my untidiness was on display.

But I digress.  It's slow going here as we continue to wait out this latest adventure.  I'm hoping the new year brings more productive results and possible a sale (fingers are crossed).  On the upside, my want to move into Jersey Village was heavily validated over the past few days as I stayed at Amy's Mom's house.  She lives just outside Jersey Village and it only took 20-30 minutes (with a Starbucks stop) to get to school, and that was on the main lanes so I could exit and make the Starbucks stops.  Getting back from work was just as delightful as I flew back (on the HOV) in about 20ish minutes!  So it is clear that I am cemented in my desire to become a Jersey Village inhabitant.  The longer we wait the fewer houses I have bookmarked on HAR in Jersey Village remain available.  Yikes!  I should probably go and check for fresh listings!  For now though we continue to wait it out.  It's not too much to ask is it?  We just need a buyer, oh and a house we like.

All is well, awaiting to be constructively criticized, in Drosche Land.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - Christmas Portraits

Ok, so last weekend we went and had pictures taken.  Mainly for our Christmas card this year, but also because it has been so long since we last did so.  Lucky for us a family friend is starting up her photography business and has been wanting to practice on us and Amanda's family.  So, we traveled to Memorial Park in the chilly (perfect for Christmas pictures right?) weather with Amanda and her kids.  We were pretty open as to what we wanted.  My only goal was to get enough good shots to get a beautiful Christmas card made.  We began by posing all the kids and that went well for about 30 seconds until they had had enough.  The goal then was just to get as many cute pictures as we could, posed if possible and candid also.  We took family pictures with just the four of us, followed by Amy and I only.  Then they just began to follow the kids around leading to some of the best.  An hour and a half and a couple of hundred pictures later we were finished.  Needless to say I am ecstatic with the results.  I have already made our cards and will be handing them out next week.  I am only posting the pictures as they were taken here, no editing.  They are wonderful.  Many would look great in black and white, sepia, or with other tricks done but that will have to wait until Christmas break when I have the time.  It was hard to find ones to post but the ones below are some of my favorites (those in our Christmas card have been excluded so the cards will be a surprise to those who receive them!).  Thanks Kimberly and Tyler for the beautiful pictures, we're in love!  Enjoy!

 A good one of the boys together

 One of my favorites of Jack

 Braeden looking so big and contemplative!

A great one of Braeden

One of my favorites of Jack, captures him perfectly!

 Braeden again looking like such a big kid

 Just being Jack!

 We had a lot of fun with the hats!

A great one of Amy and I

 Merry Christmas from the Drosches!

Ni Hao Y'all

Tune In

So, I think it's pretty obvious that I am a raving TV addict.  But I'm ok with that.  Some people have sports as a hobby, or scrapbooking, or collecting something.  I watch TV.  I'm pretty sure that I would go into withdrawal if I were without it.  I know that when the power goes out I am lost and all I can think of is what my TiVo will be missing also!  It's is amazing I have done so well without cable.  However, the drive to be debt-free has inspired me.  Plus with Netflix, Hulu, and networks posting shows on the Internet, I'm good.  But I am not in the school of thought that TV is bad for you or rots your brain.  Quite the opposite in fact.  I think TV is awesome and extremely valuable.  I mean think about all one can learn, do, or enjoy via this magical box.

Cooking, home improvement, history, crafting, entertainment.  The possibilities are endless!  Plus you can learn a lot about yourself.  For instance, through watching Supernanny I know that my crazy rascals aren't that bad, and neither are my parenting skills!  Watching Hoarders shows me that my house isn't really horrible messy, plus it inspires me to clean it lest I become a featured guest on the program.  See what I mean?  I've given this a lot of thought lately and feel that it completely justifies my love (obsession) with TV.  I'm just further educating myself and maintaining life-long learning right?  Right!

This morning Amy and Jack left with her mom, Adam, and her grandparents to attend the funeral for her aunt in Kansas.  I stayed behind because it is not the best time for me to miss work and I kept Braeden so he would be able to attend as many practices for the Jingle Bell Mingle as possible to avoid another performance catastrophe.  We are having a little vacation of our own as we stay at Amy's Mom's house to take care of her dogs and Lucy.  Why is this relevant to this post?  Well, Amy's Mom has cable!  So, needless to say I plan on doing a lot of learning over the next 3 days!  Ahhhh, hundreds of channels of visual enjoyment how I've missed you!

All is well, remote in hand, in Drosche Land.


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Oh No He Didn't!

Braeden that is.  Dancing.  See, yesterday was his annual Christmas Dance Recital.  This of course brought the usual question: Will he or won't he dance?  Obviously the answer was no.  Apparently he loves being in class, but when it comes time to perform he shuts down.  Call it stage fright, call is performance anxiety, whatever it is he just can't ever seem to get past it.  Luckily I was able to get 2 (1 more than the last recital) cute pictures before he totally melted down (see below!).  So, another performance missed.  It doesn't make me angry anymore, or even frustrated.  I do though wish I could, for once, sit back and enjoy the performance and gloat over my adorable child like the rest of the parents.  Rather than sitting there with my crying one while the other kids ham it up for the cameras.  But alas, that is not the case, not yet at least.

We do though have one more chance coming up.  Next Friday is TLCC's annual Jingle Bell Mingle and since Braeden is in Pre-K he is actually going to have a part!  Tonight we went out to purchase the materials for his shepherd costume.  As excited as I am, I have to admit that I am also quite nervous.  See, this is one of the last performances he will have, the other is at the end of the year with his Pre-K Graduation.  Starting in Kindergarten there are no more pageants or performances, he will just be a part of the school's Advent service.  There is nothing wrong with that, just not a chance for an individualized performance.

So, another week of wondering lies ahead.  The costume materials have been bought, the costume will be made in school, the camera will be charged, and family members will be there to see him.  The only unknown left is how things will pan out.  We have told him that crying or not he will be with his friends and will go through with the performance.  Obviously we hope that it will not come to that.  I'm just going to continue to hope for the best.  With luck next week's Sunday Snapshot will be filled with great pictures of my little shepherd receiving the good news about the birth of our Savior.  That or there will be pictures of a weeping shepherd!  Stay tuned!

All is well, just not always ready to perform in public, in Drosche Land.

Here he is, all dressed up and ready to not dance!

Jack was so proud of his Bubba and insisted on taking a picture with him! 


Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - Thanks!

Ok, so technically these pictures are from Thanksgiving so I should have posted them last weekend.  But I was just so excited about Christmas decorations that I chose those for last week instead!  A fun time was had by all that day.  The boys enjoyed playing outside with their cousins.  Mainly they pushed and pulled each other in a wagon and raced push toys up and down the sidewalk! So, this week here are some shots of my two crazy boys.  Both of whom I am immensely thankful for - all year long!  Enjoy!

 I love his smile and the fact that he is always willing to stop and pose for me!

 He took his racing seriously!

Jack likes to get close to the camera when you take his picture.  Most of the time they end up blurry or too close.  I actually like this one!

 Of course Jack joined in on the racing!

Ni Hao Y'all



Ok, so I haven't blogged in a week!  I know you've missed me and hearing the random ravings and antics that go on here in Drosche Land and I am sorry for the brief hiatus.  Fact of the matter is, it's December.  December is to teachers what April is to CPAs and others in the tax industry.  Holidays, rehearsals, performances, shopping, decorating, etc, etc, etc.  You name it we have to cram it all into 3 weeks that fly by at blazing speeds.  But enough about that, you get the point - we're busy.  This past week, the first of the season just hit me hard.  

So, I know what you're wondering.  What has been going on in Drosche Land this past week?  Funny you should ask, I was just going to tell you.  Despite all of the busyness, not much interesting actually.  Pretty much the usual - work, meetings, homework, you know the drill.  Pretty boring, also a possible reason for no blogging - lack of topic!  The biggest event was probably today when we met up with Amanda and the cousins to take Christmas pictures.  A friend of ours is starting up a business and we have been serving as guinea pigs/practice.  We bought great coordinating outfits for the boys, Amy, and myself this past week.  I must say, we looked good!  :)  So we took pictures of all the kids, just Braeden and Jack, the 4 of us, just Amy and I, just Amanda's kids, and Amanda and her kids.  All in all it was about an hour and a half and I just heard that about 800 pictures were taken!  Looks like I will have plenty to choose from to make our card for this year.  Oh, that's something else to add to the growing to-do list: finish the Christmas card list!  

Lastly Amy and I are entering the final week of another course!  After this Wednesday I will have only 2 courses and Amy will only have 4!  I cannot wait until we are done!  It will be weird, but totally awesome, to have all of that time back!

So, there you have it.  The missed week in a nutshell.  Now all is well that we are all caught back up.  I hope to not go so long between posts so frequently.  I can't believe it is already December 5th and this is the first post of the month!  I was starting to miss it and go through withdrawal (I know you were feeling the same way!).  :)  Ahhhh, but all is better now!

All is well, and current, in Drosche Land. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - O Tannenbaum

Thanksgiving means turkey, family, pie, shopping, green bean casserole, and other tasty delights.  It also means time to decorate for Christmas!  This is just what we did, all throughout the week!  The boys had a blast as you can see from below.  Our house is now completely festive and ready for the season!  Enjoy!

 The wreath Amy and I made

 Helping Jack help us decorate the tree!

 They had the best time!

 My little reindeer helpers!

Amy doing her usual job of handing out the ornaments and telling the stories about them!

Our stockings hung with care!

Our family tree upstairs!

Our show tree downstairs!

Ni Hao Y'all


Well, we are officially finished with decorating the house for Christmas!  It only took about a week of sporadic work, but we finished!  Downstairs, upstairs, inside, outside, it's all done!  One of my favorite parts about being in a house vs. an apartment has been the fact that we get to put up and decorate 2 trees!  The tree is definitely my favorite part of Christmas decorations.  We have one upstairs and one downstairs.  The one upstairs is our family tree.  It has all our special family ornaments from when Amy and I were little as well as ones we have accumulated together.  You know, full of memories and reminiscing.  It is artificial for 2 reasons.  One - so we don't have to lug a real tree up and down the stairs, and two - we got an awesome deal the day after Christmas a few years back, something like 80% off.  The downstairs tree has always been real.  This is what I refer to as our "show" tree.  You know, all the ornaments match and there is a theme.  Ours is Red and silver.   I have always been a real tree person, we never had artificial ones growing up.  Kroger, Houston Garden, Home Depot, and Lowe's.  All places I have purchased trees.  Moving out to the middle of suburban nowhere has it's benefits.  Not only are we 15 minutes away from Dewberry Farm for pumpkins in the fall (visit them here) but we are also, somewhat, close to a great Christmas tree farm - Spring Creek Growers (visit them here).  For the past 2 years we have been going there to cut down our own trees and it has been great.  We have gotten some great memories and great pictures.  This year though, things went differently.  We typically go to get our real tree the day after Thanksgiving.  This year we made the momentous and difficult (for me) decision to purchase an artificial tree for downstairs.  It may sound silly but it really was tough decision for me.  But, with the house being on the market it just seemed easier to go the least-messy route and get another artificial one.  It's beautiful, thank you Martha Stewart via Home Depot!  

On the bright side though, Scentsy makes a holiday scent called Christmas Tree that smells just like, you guessed it, a fresh cut Christmas tree!  And we're not talking a fake smell like those little tree-shaped air fresheners you put in your car.  This smells like an actual tree!  While I was out putting up the exterior lights Amy switched out the scent in the living room to Christmas Tree to surprise me.  She's great isn't she?  A keeper for sure! Got an artificial tree but still want to enjoy the fragrance of a real one?  (Shameless plug alert!) Visit Amy's website here to learn more about it and/or purchase!  :)  So, real or artificial?  I enjoy both.  Although I have to admit that I do enjoy the clean and less-messy approach offered by the artificial options!  Regardless, the house looks wonderful and we are ready for this most exciting season!

All is well, for real, in Drosche Land.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Gobble Gobble Shop

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone.  Turkey, pie, dressing, green bean casserole, we had it all!  We had a lot to be thankful for this year.  In addition to the usual things: family, friends, jobs, etc. we also were thankful for the fact that this was the first full year of our freedom from debt!  It has been an amazing year and we have come so far.  We also were thankful for this because we are so close to starting the adoption!  Next Thanksgiving we will (hopefully) be fully into it and possibly thankful for some great news!

In addition to the great food, we also got to experience Black Friday for the first time.  We headed out into the cold and rainy night to wait in line for deals at Toys R Us and WalMart.  We then headed back out at the crack of dawn for more fun at Target and Costco.  We ended up saving tons of money and had a blast doing so!  Definitely started a new yearly tradition.  I am also happy to say that, in reference to the above portion about Dave Ramsey, everything we bought was paid for with cash!  Woo hoo!

Lastly, what Thanksgiving would be complete without Christmas decorating?  We actually began last week but really got into it today as we put the tree up in the loft.  The kids had a ton of fun decorating it and then decorating the mini one in their bedroom.  Tomorrow we plan to head out to cut down the tree for downstairs and that will conclude our decorating!  I'm smelling a Sunday Snapshot!  Speaking of pictures, I took loads of all the cousins playing together on Thanksgiving.  Below are two of my favorites of the boys!  All in all it has been an excellent vacation, one everyone here in Drosche Land definitely needed!  I'm excited about tomorrow!  I am totally in the Christmas spirit now thanks to the shopping, decorating, and Christmas music playing on the radio!  Just 29 short days!

All is well, will a lot to be thankful for, here in Drosche Land.

Braeden always knows how to stop and pose for me!

  Jack was also willing to oblige!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


So the last post fraught with the excited anticipation of what joys our Open House would bring.  Ok, maybe not fraught, but definitely hopeful.  Well, as one can surmise from the fact that a follow-up post was never written, the Open House was a bust.  A huge one in fact because no one, yes not one, single, solitary would-be home buyer stopped by.  The only person enjoying our freshly cleaned home was a lonely real estate agent.  For all I know he sat on my couch, watched my TV, ate my food, and rifled through my underwear drawer.  Just kidding, I doubt he did.  Although I have to admit that the thought has crossed my mind about how eerie it is to have complete strangers wandering around your house when you aren't there.  Oh well, I hope he enjoyed himself!  So what now?  I have no clue actually.  Our realtor called Amy yesterday and basically just said such is the issue with selling a house during the holiday season.  So we wait.  Some more.  In all actuality the house has only been listed a month.  Today marks the one month mark from when we signed all of the paperwork to list the house.  Again, on the bright side the house is remarkably tidy considering we have the boys who, at times, seem to think it is their sole life goal to create mess and mayhem.  Currently the house is undergoing a seasonal decoration change as we pack away the harvest items of pumpkins, leaves, oranges, and browns.  Out come greens, reds, and all the glittery Christmas paraphernalia!  Yes I know, poor Tom Turkey gets the shaft here in Drosche Land.  The world has seemingly skipped over Thanksgiving in order to get a jump start on Christmas.  We here have hopped on the band wagon, mainly because a week-long vacation is the best time for us to do massive redecorating.  Sorry Tom!  

So, the house remains listed.  You can always view/share/buy it here!  I guess in the scheme of things a month is a very short time for the listing, especially given the time of year.  I remain optimistically hopeful that next year we will be celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas in our new house!  Look out Jersey Village, here come the Drosches!

All is well, still listed, in Drosche Land!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wide Open

So today was our first Open House since our house has been listed.  It was scheduled to be held from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.  I have no clue how it went and I am wondering when it will be before we hear?  We started cleaning and organizing yesterday and then kicked it into high gear this morning.  There wasn't too much work to be done since we have been so busy that we haven't had much time to clutter it up.  We left this morning at around 9:30 since we had some other errands to run and Amy had a Scentsy party to go to.  Another launch of one of her team members, Robin, actually.  So, I'm not even sure how we will tell if anyone came or not when we get home.  I counted the flyers in the house before we left - 15.  So I will see if there are any fewer than that when we get home.  Other than that I guess it is just a waiting game to see when/if the realtor calls us to let us know.  We were slightly hesitant because our realtor wouldn't actually be there, he was busy.  Instead, he was sending one of his people.  So who knows?  On the bright side if we don't get any offers at least the house will be super clean for Amy's Scentsy Open House in 2 weeks!  So, hopefully I will be back later to blog about Open House news, given there are any hints or details left behind!  Otherwise, I will just be back with a Sunday Snapshot, which I'm still working on.  Until then, we wait.  Not my favorite game!

All is well, open for business, in Drosche Land. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Course Grind

Well, if you haven't guessed by the (I think pretty clever) title of this post and its labels, this is about the coursework for our M.Ed. adventure.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm all for being a life-long learner, staying on top of what's new, and furthering my education; but I'm about done.  It's not that the work is hard, just time-consuming and cumbersome.  I shouldn't complain though I know because this has all been free to me through Trinity (I LOVE my job!).  But still.  I have forgotten what it is like to not have homework or have to submit an assignment.  To just be able to come home and now worry about what discussion questions I have to answer, papers to complete, or journals to write.  Maybe I am partly (ok largely) to blame since I have become quite the accomplished procrastinator when it comes to my homework.  Much of it, ok like 99% of it, is done on Wednesday night right before the deadline.  That is unless there is a predetermined due date for something.  As tiresome as Wednesday nights have become, it works for me and allows me to almost (and I stress almost) forget that I have coursework to do.  Until Wednesday that is.

As of right now I have 2 1/2 courses left.  That fact is a double-edged sword in itself.  On one hand I only have 2 1/2 courses left.  But, on the other hand, I still have 2 1/2 courses left.  Catch my drift?  I used to think I wanted a doctorate of some kind.  I mean, how cool would it be to be Dr. Drosche?  Um, yeah, that idea is long since gone.  I'll be content to go by Master Drosche.  Yes, I said it.  Like I mentioned before, this is all free to me through Trinity.  That fact, and the fact that I am borrowing books from a co-worker who previously got her M.Ed., is more than enough blessing to not complain.  But I don't want to do my homework!  Ugh.  Speaking of, this week is a group project so that's good at least.  I need to get started on reading my portion of a 65 page article.  Instead I decided to vent/whine via blog.  Thanks for listening.  

So, I've had my say and I'm done.  I've gotten it out of my system and am (somewhat) less frustrated.  Ahhhh, I love the therapeutic benefits of blogging.  Thanks for attending my pity party.  Be sure to wrap some cake in foil and take it home with you.  Guess I'd better go get some homework done.   :)

All is well, of course it is, in Drosche Land. 


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - Field Day

The pictures for this week come from this year's annual Fun Run & Buddy Field Day at Trinity.  The youngest it goes is Pre-School so Jack won't get to participate until next year.  This year though, was Braeden's 2nd year.  He started off well, then had a mysterious crying spell, but finished his laps and calmed down.  Between Amy and I we got some good shots.  When looking at them though, I can see the big kid I blogged about yesterday!  Wow!  

Run, Braeden, Run!

He loves all kinds of athletics (doesn't get it from me!)

Walking with Amy after the meltdown

I liked this one so much I tweaked it!

Ni Hao Y'all

Saturday, November 13, 2010

You Can't Force Them

To stay young that is.  Yeah, I'm talking about the boys here.  They seem to be rapidly growing before our very eyes.  The title of the post is also a reference to the boys' sudden, and rapidly increasing, infatuation with all things Star Wars.  Gone are the days of cartoons like Clifford, Thomas, and Handy Manny.  Well, maybe not totally gone, but those days are definitely fewer and further between.  Instead we focus on sports, comic book heroes (namely Batman and Spider-Man), NASCAR, and the aforementioned Star Wars.  We are currently 2 episodes into the franchise (IV and V) and will continue to power through the remainder of them each and every Friday night (otherwise known as Drosche Family Movie Night).  Luke Skywalker ("The Skywalker" as Jack calls him), Darth Vader, and light sabers are the dominate topics of discussion around here lately.  Yoda, however, is by far the favored character by both boys.  Very interested in him are they.  Sorry, slipped into Yoda-ese there for a minute.  I am enjoying this though as I loved Star Wars when I was little, so in a way I get to relive a bit of my childhood with them as we train to become Jedi warriors.

On a side note, Amy and I are planning a very Star Wars Christmas in Drosche Land this year.  We are busy planning, researching, and adding many Star Wars themed items to the boys' Christmas lists.  It should make for a Christmas that's out of this galaxy.  Ha!  Get it?!  Well, I thought it was funny.  

So, when did it happen?  Did I blink?  Take too long of a nap?  I'm not sure, but somewhere along the way I traded my babies in for kids.  Big kids.  Most of the time the fact that they are older means more fun.  They understand more and are able to do more.  They have a sense of humor and help out around the house.  However, with big kids comes big attitudes.  And big mouths.  And big fights.  But, for the most part they are awesome.  Just big(er).  Every now and then they forget that they are supposed to be big boys and I glimpse in them the little boys I have become so accustomed to.  Then, the moment is over and I have my big boys back.  I can only imagine that this will continue to be the case as they get older and older and finally break free of my white-knuckled grasp and grow up into adults.  It's inevitable.  For the time being though, I will continue to relish every moment.  Trying to balance out the big boy movies, toys, and video games with some Disney or stuffed animals.  For as long as I'm able to.

All is well, the Force is strong here, in Drosche Land.   

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fair Game

So, you know by now that Amy's Scentsy business is booming and she is loving it!  She has 4 people that have joined under her and they are all doing well also.  Today she made another milestone in her business though, she booked her first conference/fair!  The post title makes sense now huh?  Get it?!  She and a member of her team will be running a booth at the TX District LCMS ECE Conference in January!  She is super excited and I am super proud of her!  

It's funny though because when this new adventure started for her, she was in it just to get some free and discounted product because we are huge Scentsy fans here in Drosche Land.  However, she quickly realized that she actually wanted, and was capable of, much more!  I have to give it to her though, she has done an amazing job!  Who knew that she would be so good in sales?  But then again I have to admit, with her brain for numbers, charts, money, and planning, it really isn't that much of a surprise at all.

So, I'll take another post to brag about my wonderful wife and her latest accomplishment.  Insert shameless plug here!  :)  One more adventure for us to take on and add to our schedules!  But, as I always say, if we weren't so crazy busy we would be bored senseless!  The next couple of months will be filed with exciting planning, ordering, stocking, and preparing for her first show.  That's in addition to the parties and open houses she has scheduled in there too!  I'm sure I'll be blogging about more in order to document every detail about this adventure, and all the other ones we take on in the meantime!

All is well, scentsational in fact, in Drosche Land.  

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - My 30th Birthday!

My birthday brought about some great pictures thanks to my wonderful wife and her great camera!  Below are some of our favorites and some that I have played with a bit.  This was an awesome birthday and in case you didn't know, my wife is AMAZING and I am so lucky!  Thanks Amy, I love you!

Me in all my birthday garb!
 My Chocolate Espresso cupcake from Crave!

 A family picture!
 The boys in front of a fountain at the Riverwalk

Waiting for our boat ride
Braeden on the boat
 Jack on the boat

 The boys and I on the boat

Ni Hao Y'all