"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

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Surf N' Turf

So we live on the gulf coast and the boys have never been to the beach!  Crazy I know, but then again so our the boys and our lives.  We have just never gotten around to it, until today that is.  A few days ago Amy had the great idea to take a day trip to the beach for this vacation weekend.  We ran the idea past Amy's mom and Amanda and they we in!  But instead of Galveston we decided to head to Quintana, a smaller and quieter beach down by Freeport.  The boys have been super excited about it, asking every day if it was time to go to the beach.  Today the day finally came.  I don't know who was more excited, Amy or the boys because they all woke up at 5:00 this morning ready to go!  So, once the sandwiches (PB&J) were made and the car was packed, and everyone was dressed in their swimsuits we headed out to pick up Amy's mom and make our way to the beach.  

Once we arrived, we barely had time to set up our chairs and umbrella before all the kids were begging to go to the water.  I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about how the boys would react since they had never been before.  However, after a few moments of hesitation they were running, jumping, and splashing around like they lived at the beach.  The boys actually do enjoy water and swimming since they get to go with DD whenever they visit (thanks Mom) so this was like a huge pool to them.  Despite all the buckets, shovels, and other miscellaneous sand toys we brought the highlight of their day was definitely swimming.  It was all we could to to tear them away from the water long enough for lunch and us to sit for a minute before they were up and at it again!  

Because we had a bit of a drive back, we left around 1:30 once everything was packed and everyone was rinsed off.  A water bottle of Gatorade later and Braeden was crashed out.  Jack held on for quite a while before he drifted off.  The drive back was eventful to say the least with 2 bathroom stops - one per boy.  Braeden's was on the side of the road, Jack wouldn't go then.  That lead to the second stop, I kid you not, 15 minutes away from home so Jack could use the restroom at a Taco Bell.  They both went again at Amy's mom's house so at least they were well hydrated!  Soon it will be time for a bath to wash the rest of the sand, salt, and beach off (Amy and I took showers as soon as we returned home) and hopefully two tuckered-out little boys will drift off to sleep with fun dreams of their very first beach vacation.  Due to the success of today, we are already thinking about the next time we can head out.  Who doesn't love an inexpensive getaway that is so close to home?  So, another successful first and fun adventure here in Drosche Land.  Oh, where are the pictures you ask?  Well, of course I took many.  However, you will just have to wait until this coming Wordless Wednesday!  I'm working on editing and enhancing some of our favorites!  Stay tuned!  

All is well, and beachy keen, in Drosche Land.   

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (On A Thursday)

Well, this week has been crazy busy for us.  In addition to regular homework it is also the last week of school for us.  Needless to say it has been hectic here in Drosche Land.  Thus the day late post.  Last night was a very late night as we struggled, for the second late night in a row (and to no avail), to help Amy's mom with a Powerpoint and didn't end up leaving school until after 7:00.  Once homework was submitted we were exhausted and honestly I just plain forgot to post.  Hopefully with school coming to an end and my first summer off, I will have more time to post and more to post about!  May has been rough for the blog.  So, here is Wordless Wednesday on a Thursday.  These pictures (from my iPhone) are from tonight when we were all making pizza.  Today was Trinity's end of the year Splashtown trip and it was awesome!  Next year Braeden will be old enough to go!  Aside from being fun, it meant and early night for us as we were home before 4:00!  So we had lots of time to relax and hang out!  What better way to spend it than making pizza!  The boys love making their own and Amy makes incredible pizza so it is always a special fun family event! 

How cute are they?

  Braeden takes his pizza making very seriously

 Can you tell Jack loves cheese?

Putting on (and mostly eating) pepperoni
The pepperoni is their favorite part!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Back to Reality

Well, our kid-free weekend was great!  Amy and I kicked it off enjoying some great Mexican food and margaritas on Friday night.  It was great to enjoy a meal by ourselves without helping one of the boys eat a taco or blow on a chicken strip to cool it off.  Oh, and did I mention we got margaritas?  Yum!  Saturday morning we, as predicted in the previous post, woke up at our usual early time.  However, also as predicted, we were able to lounge around and enjoy a quiet morning together.  After a fun lunch with Amy's family we dropped the boys off with my parents and went out again for kid-free night 2.  This time we got to spend some time with some old friends from high school!  We once again enjoyed Mexican food and margaritas!  Noticing our favorites?  We ate, talked, laughed, and enjoyed some awesome company for 6 hours.  It was a great time!  I found it amazing that we could all just pick up with each other and it was like it had only been 10 days since we last were all together not 10 years.  Despite being in different places in life, we found we have quite a bit in common.  It was like a great new step in friendship.  We are definitely looking forward to doing it again and often.  Taryn, Dedrick, Cassie, and James - great friends!  Thanks!

However fun it was to be just the two of us again, there was no better sound than those two sets of feet running up to us before church this morning.  Nothing better that the hugs and smiles we instantly received.  Ahhhh, it was comfortably refreshing to have everything back to normal and as it should be.  This afternoon the house was filled with noise, toys, and the sounds of Alvin & the Chipmunks again.  It was great!  So, time together alone - awesome.  Time with friends - wonderful.  Getting back to Drosche, party of four - perfect.  This weekend we got to experience the best of both worlds and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it!

All is well, and back to normal, in Drosche Land.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Drosche, Party of Two

Ahhhh, those carefree days when we were newlyweds.  No worries, no stresses, just the two of us.  We could pick up and do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted.  Well, we may be revisiting those days a bit this weekend since we are KID FREE!  I feel like we can yell it like people yell, "WE'RE DEBT FREE!" on Dave Ramsey's radio show.  But our time for yelling that will come soon enough.  In the mean time, WE"RE KID FREE!  The best part though is that it came about quite by accident.  We had already planned on the boys spending tomorrow night with my parents because we had made plans to get together with some old friends from high school.  Then, out of the blue, Amy's mom calls her on Monday and asks if the boys want to spend Friday night at her house because she is watching Jared, Austin, and Audrey already.  So we said yes of course!  So, while Amy's mom is going for sainthood by watching all of the grandchildren at once, we get to have another kid-free night!  Our plans?  Who knows?  Kind of funny because we usually have things planned so well, but for tonight we have nothing.  Amy has not been feeling too well these past few days due to high blood pressure problems and is currently getting used to being on medication for it.  So we will see what we are up for once we leave work.  Dinner out with adult drinks?  Maybe.  Dinner in with adult drinks?  Maybe.  Movies?  Who knows?  The best part is we should sleep soundly.  Notice I didn't say sleep in.  We are no longer that naive, we have long since come to grips with the fact that they boys have changed our sleeping habits forever.  The bright side?  When we do wake up, early though it may be, we won't have to rush around to get someone pottied or chocolate milk or something to eat because they are starving.  So the best part of a kid-free weekend - the relaxation!  Hopefully it will help prepare us for the "last week" craziness that is sure to come next week!  So, here's to a kids-free weekend!  Let the relaxing fun begin!

All is well, and kid-free, in Drosche Land.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Ok, so I have a lot of homework to do tonight so I am posting today's pictures early just in case I am too drained and exhauasted to do so later.  As promised in yesterday's post, here are the pictures of Braeden's brief performance in his May Dance Recital last night!  Enjoy!

 Here he is when he changed into his clothes for the recital, I took think thinking it might be the only picture we got!

 Here he is coming out, note the funny face - onthe brink of tears

 He finally sat down in order to get his ribbon!

His big moment - accepting his ribbon!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stage Fright

Well, tonight was Braeden's May Dance Recital.  Or rather it was the May Dance Recital for TLCC boys.  Yes, Braeden once again succumbed to stage fright and would not participate at all.  I was sure he was going to dance since he excitedly got dressed and waved at me from the door prior to the recital.  However, walking out he got that usual look on his face of complete fear that then dissolved into near tears has he walked out into the room.  He came straight to us and shook his head.  What were we supposed to do?  We had figured this would happen so we were prepared and since this was not the first time it had happened, we were over the initial sadness/disappointment/embarrassment.  So he sat with us and clapped for his friends as they danced, repeatedly turning down the offers to join his friends.  Amy saw the rehearsal this afternoon and said he did well, until he saw he that is, then he started crying.  So what gives?  Is it us?  Is it me?  Is it the crowd of people?  Who knows.  The funny thing is that on the way home I asked him why he wouldn't dance.  Shrugging his shoulders he said he came out and "saw someone in a blue shirt with brown stripes, white pants, glasses, and a nose."  Yes folks, I was the "someone" he was describing.  So, for whatever reason he hates public performance.  We will continue to support him and encourage him to participate in things, and we will continue to support and comfort him when he decided he doesn't want to.  The most bothersome thing is the fact that it makes us leery of signing him up for sports.  It's a lot of time, energy, and money to invest if he is going to cry and refuse to go out on the field.  Luckily we have a long time, filled with opportunities, until then.  Only time will tell.  I did get a few pictures though, of his brief appearance at the recital.  I'm saving them for tomorrow's Wordless Wednesday post so you'll just have to check back in to see them!

All is well, though avoiding the spotlight, in Drosche Land.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hanging by a Thread

So I think it's time to explain something that I have referenced in past posts and will often reference in future posts.  I'm talking about the red thread reference.  You may or may not be familiar with this, but it means a lot to Amy and I as we begin our adoption adventure so I want to share it.  It is based upon an ancient Chinese legend:

An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance.  The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break.

Originally this referred to couples in love, a reference of how people are brought together and united in love.  However, it has come to be a symbol with significant meaning for those couples adopting children from China.  It is clear to see why, especially when looking at it from a Christian point of view.  It was not necessarily in our "plan" for our lives.  Yet it was in His plan for our lives and was revealed to us when the decision to adopt from China and then through the Waiting Child Program was placed upon our hearts.  So you can see how we are already connected to our child although we do not yet know anything about her, other than that she is the next addition to our family and we are her true forever family.  The journey (thread) will be long and will not be free of setbacks or trials (stretching & tangling), yet at the end of the journey (thread) we will find the daughter destined to be ours.  Not only does this legend symbolize everything about this adventure, but it also brings comfort and hope to us as we pursue it.  There is an end and a reward to our journey (thread) no matter what we have to do to achieve it, and it will be well worth everything.

So, now it is explained and in future posts, when mentioned will symbolize so much about this exciting adventure we are embarking on.  Now it is understandable why I included a red thread into Amy's Mother's Day card this year.  Something Amy and I can hold on to and look to as we pursue this next part of our lives together!

All is well, and connected, in Drosche Land.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This week I decided to post two pictures of the boys that I played with in iPhoto.  Nothing major, but I enjoy editing and giving pictures special effects.  Just something simple this time, maybe when I have more free time I will delve into Photoshop and get into some serious editing!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Play Ball!

Well, these past two nights have been quite late for us here in Drosche Land.  In fact, we have not gotten home before 8:00 p.m. either night.  What could be keeping us out and about so late you ask?  Baseball.  Well, actually Little League Baseball to be exact.  Both of our nephews are on teams through Spring Branch and they both had games this week.  Monday we traveled out to see Austin play.  Prior to that though we did get to drive around one of the neighborhoods we are looking into since it was quite close to the fields Austin's game was at.  This is the Spring Shadows area and we were quite pleased.  The area we were looking in was nice and quiet; the houses were well maintained, and the prices reasonable.  The only drawback was the high schools they were zoned to.  We really would like the kids to go to Stratford.  However, there is really only one neighborhood we can afford to move into that is zoned to this school so we will see what the future holds for us.  But it was fun to drive around and actually look at the houses.  We would also like to start going to open houses just to get a feel for the insides, yards, and layouts.  But I digress again, back to the topic at hand: baseball.

It should come to no surprise to those of you who know me that sports is not exactly my area of either expertise or interest.  Amy on the other hand is different.  She enjoys watching sports and grew up playing team sports (I only played basketball for on year in 5th Grade but that's a topic for another post).  Braeden was super excited to be seeing Austin play, although slightly disappointed that he himself would not be able to play baseball with him.  But he enjoyed the experience of being out there and at times was glued to the game.

Tonight was Jared's game.  Once again Braeden was enthralled the entire time.  I spent the time talking, on Facebook, or just taking pictures of the kids (see below).  As much fun as I know the boys would have playing sports, I am still quite leery.  I mean some of those dads are uber competitive - I am not.  Those dads are sports fanatics - I am not.  Those dads know the game and get involved - I do not.  Did I mention that some of those dads are crazy competitive and really get into the game?  So I don’t know.  I'm not sure I want the boys yelled at or pushed so hard.  Then again, maybe I'm just being defensive.  But there is also the time (not to mention monetary) commitment you must make.  I mean seriously?!  Practice and games on weeknights means not getting home before 7:00 or 8:00 regularly.  I don't know how I jive with that.  Right now it would be nearly impossible to handle with our Masters courses and living out in BFE.  But in the future it is still going to mean late nights and hectic schedules.  So hmmmm. . .

I know there are also many benefits to the sports.  Reinforcing concepts of teamwork and the whole physical health of it all but I just don't know.  Maybe I am being biased since I am not a, how do you say this, athletic person at all?  But that shouldn't mean holding my kids back I know.  So I guess I already know the answer and outcome to this debate - get the boys involved in organized sports and let them choose (except for football - that’s a no-no per Amy).  Luckily with our Masters and living situation we (I) don't have to make a decision or commitment any time soon.  However, we are only about a year out from having to do so.  So, time will tell, as it does for many things.  In the mean time, getting together and hanging out with the cousins is fun and entertaining.  So that's good, gives me time to open up to the idea and get over myself!  :)

All is well, while weighing the pros and cons of team sports, in Drosche Land.

  Jack loved playing on the dirt mound!
 Austin & Braeden had fun playing together
 Audrey enjoyed relaxing and watching the game

Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Greatest Gift

Today was Mother's Day.  The day when we celebrate the women in our lives that love us, shape us, teach us, and mold us into better people.  And after they do that for all of us husbands, they still manage to do the same for our children! :)  So today's post is obviously dedicated to Amy.  She is not only an amazing wife, but also a phenomenal mother.  It had not been an easy road and has includes losses, pregnancy & birth drama, NICU stays (and the bills that follow), and back-to-back pregnancies; but she has handled it all in stride.  The fruits of her labor - two amazing sons that keep us busy, moving, and laughing.  And the best part of all is that now we get to face another exciting aspect of parenthood together with the adoption.  I get to see her become a mother yet again as we welcome our daughter into our lives.  Another exciting part is the fact that next year may be the last Mother's Day without our daughter!

I will pause here and take a minute to blow my own horn a bit.  The only reason I do this is because I have not always done a good job of celebrating this special day for my extraordinary wife.  Far from it in fact, but that's a post for another time.  This year, I vowed, was going to be different!  And it was!  I thought and planned and schemed and everything worked out!  Yesterday morning the boys and I went out for some last minute shopping as Amy got things ready for Braeden's birthday party.  I had to get her roses, 2-dozen white (the boys chose), and fixin's for the breakfast I was going to make.  We gave the roses to her yesterday when we got home.  Where was I going to keep them for a day really?  She loved them.  Step 1 - check!  I was anxious all night as I worried about the following day.  It had to be great; it had to make up for past mistakes.  So I set the alarm on my iPhone for 6:30 and slept, slightly restlessly.  One of the boys made a noise at 5:30 so I was awake from then until 6:30 planning and thinking.  Finally the time for my plan had come.  I took the boys downstairs and began making breakfast - monkey bread.  Amy slept in and came down just as breakfast was finishing - great timing.  She opened the gifts that I had so sneakily bought - a charm for her bracelet for Jack (finally), a personalized desktop calendar with pictures of the boys, and a photo card.  Thanks Walgreens.  My favorite part was the red thread I placed in the card as a reference to our adoption.  A wonderful story for a later post (Google it if you're interested).  She loved it.  Onto church where I had pre-ordered a corsage for some great 931 worship.  Top it off with a lunch at Los Cucos, paid for in cash that I had squirreled away, and the day was a success!  Well, the true happiness came with the nap we took when we got home.  I know that was one of the highlights of her day! :)

So, I think I did it.  I managed to show her how grateful we are for her awesomeness.  It wasn't about the gifts, or the flowers, or the food.  But about the thought, planning, and love that was behind it all.  Slam-dunk?  Maybe, but definitely a score!  I head to bed tonight as I always do - thankful for Amy and all she does for this family and all she is working to do for the future of our family.  The only difference?  Tonight she knows it as well.

All is well, and expertly mothered, in Drosche Land.

Amy with the boys (yes Jack is asleep as this was after the day's activities and right before the nap)
 My sneakiness paid off!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tonight's topic - the birthday boy!  4 already!  Wow!  He is growing up so fast!  Amy and I have spent the day talking and remembering how it all happened that very special day!  He had a great day and is already looking forward to his party on Saturday!  

It was hard, but he waited patiently for his cake and ice cream
Blowing out his candles.  He told us he wished for presents - that one came true!
Look at his mouth open wide for that bite!
 His new Kasey Kahne NASCAR toy!
 Iron Man!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Store-bought vs. Homemade

Well, tomorrow is Braeden's 4th birthday!  Once Amy and I got over the initial shock that he (and we) were that old it was time to start planning.  This year Braeden decided that his birthday theme would be Baseball.  Awesome!  Immediately my mind went to making a baseball cake!  I would make a standard round cake, frost it white, and then decorate it with icing (later changed to Twizzlers per Amy's great idea) to look just like a baseball.  I was excited!  So, eager with excitement, I pitched my idea to Braeden.  His answer was a resounding NO!  He instead wanted a baseball cake from Costco.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love a Costco cake or cupcake for that matter, but I was a bit disappointed.  So, a Costco it is.  I mean, it's not really my choice anyway right?  I'll get over it.  So we ordered a Costco baseball cake for his party.  Then I am hit with another idea!  I'll make a baseball cake for his actual birthday on Wednesday AND a set of baseball cupcakes for him to bring to school!  HA!  The best of both worlds!  Well . . . not so fast.  After buying all of the materials Amy and I come to a sudden realization.  This week is the first week of May, and May is the busiest time of year for teachers.  This week alone we have 4/5 late nights for a variety of reasons.  Tonight is the Spring Fine Arts Concert, that begins at 6:30, lasts about an hour, and we live in BFE.  So, by the time we get home, put the boys to bed, do homework, and make the desserts it'll be like midnight.  Too late.  So, on the way home tonight we will be making a quick stop by HEB or some grocery to pick up some cupcakes and a cake for tomorrow.  Again, I have to admit I'm a little sad.  Braeden won't care a bit since he will most likely be able to find something with Spider-Man or some other super hero or something that he thinks is the most awesome thing ever!  It would've been fun to make cute treats but, oh well.  There's always next year.  Just another reason to live closer to school, by the way the search is still on - hardcore but that's a post for another time.  So, we move forward with plans for the big day, photos of which will be covered in tomorrow's Wordless Wednesday!  He is super excited, and unaffected by the cake drama, which is how it should be!  I'm fine, really, I am.  :)

All is well, even with store-bought treats, in Drosche Land.