"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, January 30, 2011

Sunday Snapshot - Shopping

Okay, so it might be kind of early to shop for Margaux (I'm so happy I just blogged about her name so I can refer to her now!) but we are excited.  Sometimes a little retail therapy does wonders right?  So, this week's post again focuses on getting ready for her.  We haven't bought a lot yet, we can't get too many things for obvious reasons (sizing, length of time until we get her) but we can, and have, gotten small things here are there.  The first picture is of an adorable little tutu dress Amy and I bought for her, technically the first article of clothing we have bought.  It's sized 36 months so we should be able to use it.  The others show things Amy bought while at the conference this past couple of days working her Scentsy booth.  We have crosses for each of the boys for our cross wall, so obviously she needed one too.  The others are fun girlie accessories!  Can you tell we're just a tad bit excited?  I know, we need to hold off and not go crazy, yet, but a little fun here and there won't hurt!  Enjoy!

A little skirt with white and gold tulle and little gold flowers?  How could we pass it up?
 Margaux's cross, from one of the vendors at the conference.  In the middle the plaque reads "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart" Psalm 37:4.  Quite appropriate for our little desire.

Handmade hair bows?  Enough said!

 Possibly our favorites.  The orange headband stretched out to fit around her head.  The white hat is just beautiful.  The cupcake and ladybug clips are removable and also can serve as hair clips!  Love it!

Ni Hao Yall

What's In A Name?

Ok, so, as you can tell from the title of this post we have decided on a name for our daughter.  We have had it for a couple of weeks, pretty much since we got the great news that we could proceed with her.  In the past Amy and I have split the naming responsibilities.  We pour over baby name books, websites, and apps searching for ones with just the right meaning, just the right sound.  With Braeden we agreed that Amy would choose the first name and I would choose the middle.  Amy fell in love with Braeden, she has a thing for Irish/Celtic names.  I have always loved the name Oliver, so that was an easy choice for me.  As a bonus our choices fit perfectly with each other, at least we think so.  Braeden is English for "broad valley", not the reason we chose it.  Rather it was chosen for the meaning of the diminutive Brady (which we do sometimes call him) which means "spirited".  Oliver is Latin and of course has ties to peace (olive tree/branch).  It is also Scandinavian for "kind or affectionate"! 

When Amy was pregnant with Jack, we reversed roles.  I got to choose the first name and Amy the middle.  I have always loved the name Jackson, although I must admit that his name was technically Christopher for a while and we still have paperwork with that name on it.  One day Amy and I both confessed to each other that we no longer liked the name Christopher and thus, Jackson emerged!  Amy again chose an Irish name with Riley.  The meaning of Jackson is not fun or interesting, it's English for "son of Jack".  But I have just always loved this name.  Riley is Irish for "valiant".  Again we are lucky that the two names we chose go well together.

However, with our daughter things were a little different.  We knew we wanted to keep her Chinese name, it is after all part of her and who she is.  So we began with the idea of giving her an American first name and keeping her Chinese name as her middle name.  Then we ran into difficulties.  We each already had one child who we got to choose names for, but now what would be do?  How would we ever come to an agreement on just one name?  I mean it had been difficult enough the first two times around to agree on the names even though we had a system.  We had a list formulated already, but once we saw her some of the names we had chosen clearly did not fit her and were thus thrown out.  This only complicated matters because we were back at square one.  So, when in doubt, we busted out our handy dandy, fail-proof, and well worn baby name book (The Mother of All Baby Name Books bu Bruce Lansky).  With 94,000 names, half of which we could use for girls, we were bound to agree on something, right?  It wasn't long before we were reevaluating our decision on her name.  We had it narrowed down to two names but we couldn't choose.  One of them I had chosen and the other Amy had chosen.  We loved them both so much, and honestly neither of us was willing to give in!  So, we compromised.  We would use both names and her Chinese name.  There, done!  The best of both worlds (literally).

So by now I know you are squirming with eager anticipation at our choice.  I don't want to keep you much longer, but I have to give you a disclaimer.  I can only write about her two American names as we are not yet in the position to share any information about her just yet, hopefully that will come soon.  So, until then you'll have to settle for 75% of her name, but trust me, the whole 100% is (like her) beautiful.  Here goes:

Margaux Eliana _______ Drosche.

Margaux was my choice, Eliana was Amy's.  Like it?  Love it?  Let me know.  Not so fond, that's ok too (just don't tell me, grin and bear it!).  :)  Margaux is French and is a form of Margaret which is Greek for "pearl".  We thought this quite appropriate since the area she is from in China is situated on the Pearl River.  China also being the leading producer in the world for pearls.  Eliana is Hebrew for "God has answered me".  The symbolism behind this meaning is clear as she is the answer to our prayers for this adoption and for a daughter.

So, there you have it!  One of the first things we can share about our beautiful little girl.  Hopefully soon we will be able to share much much more.  We have spent the weekend filling out gobs of paperwork and are currently smack in the middle of the extensive Home Study Autobiography, each of us having to fill out our own.  There are 8 pages to the document which includes tons of basic and obscure questions about us, our families, our beliefs, our health, etc.  Hopefully we can finish this tonight or tomorrow and get it emailed to the agency.  Luckily we are almost done with this first set of paperwork.  Not so luckily it is only just the beginning!  Hopefully we make it through without carpal tunnel syndrome!

All is well, and named, in Drosche Land.


Friday, January 28, 2011


As in paperwork.  In adoption lingo it's called the paper chase and Amy and I have laced up and started running.  This past week we filled out, faxed in, and mailed off our official adoption agreement (think contract)!  This was the first in several forms we filled out this week and is only the tip of the iceberg.  After the agreement followed some financial papers, informational papers, and our Letter of Intent (LOI in adoption lingo).  This LOI is one of the most important pieces of paperwork we will encounter in this process.  It states our desire for our daughter and our plans for her love, care, and well-being once she is home with us.  It's been written and emailed off as well and we are awaiting word on how it looks, if anything needs to be added/changed/re-worded.  

Then there's the paperwork we must read and use for research.  Enter our 67-page Dossier Guide that will detail every thing we must gather, fill out, send in, pay for, or otherwise handle in the coming months.  I have plans to curl up with it this weekend and do a bit of reading so Amy and I can begin planning everything.  Speaking of Amy she if off at her very first Scentsy show!  She has a booth at the TX District LCMS Early Childhood Conference.  So, it's been just the boys and I since yesterday.  We've been having fun, but missing her terribly of course.  Luckily she comes home tomorrow afternoon/evening and I'm sure she will be joining me in the aforementioned reading plans!

This coming Thursday is Chinese New Year!  We have some things in mind as we plan on ringing in the year of the rabbit, it's going to be a big one for us (year that is, not rabbit)!  However, due to the massive celebrations that will be going on in China this coming week we plan on hearing very little regarding anything.  Most offices will be closed and everything there will be partaking in the festivities.  This buys us a little time to get a game plan in place and begin working on more paperwork.  I wonder how many times I will use the word "paperwork" over the next 10 or so months?  Tons I'm guessing.  If you read and keep count, let me know!  :)

All is well, paper after paper after paper, in Drosche Land.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Snapshot - Granny

My mom and aunt chose pictures from Granny's life to display on the funeral home's website.  These 60 photos (their limit or they would have chosen far more) also played to music at her viewing and the beginning of the funeral.  I thought it only appropriate that this post too was dedicated to her.  I really wanted to go through and include some of my favorite pictures from this collection but I couldn't copy all of the pictures from the site so I've also posted the link in order to include those pictures and the great slideshow presentation.

  One of the most recent pictures of Granny.  Also the one chosen for the funeral's bulletin.

Ni Hao Yall


Disney calls it "The Circle of Life".  The Bible mentions it several times, possibly best in Ecclesiastes 3: "(1)There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:  (2) time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot . . . (4) a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. . ."  This was even then the basis for the song Turn, Turn, Turn by The Byrds.  Why do I mention these things?  Well, this past week the concepts mentioned in all 3 references have been made painfully clear in our lives.

Shortly after publishing my last post about more good news on the adoption front we received a devestaing phone call from my dad.  My grandmother, Granny, was nonresponsive and was being rushed to the hospital.  It didn't look good and there weren't many details.  My mom was on her way to the hospital to meet her and see what was wrong.  Not too much longer came even more dreaded news, Granny had apparently suffered a massive stroke and was essentially brain dead.

No!  What?!  Huh?!  Upon receiving this news Amy and I got dressed and packed the boys some clothes.  It was about 8:00 p.m. and they were sound asleep.  We dropped them off at Amy's mom's house and we headed out to the hospital to meet my mom.  And to say goodbye.  Admittedly, I was in shock for the duration of the drive to the hospital.  Amy can attest to this, and some of the random topics I talked about on the way.  When we got to the hospital we began to grieve as my mom met us and told us the story.  Granny had gone to get the mail and wasn't feeling well, she had a headache.  She came back in and laid down.  This didn't help so she took some medicine and laid back down.  Sometime thereafter she had the stroke.  It occurred at the brain stem.  Due to this location and the severity of the stroke, there was nothing that could be done.  She had a DNR already in place, but my mom kept her on the ventilator until my Aunt arrived.  After saying our goodbyes we honored her wishes and she was taken off the ventilator.  We stood there, together with her one last time as she went home.  We held her hand, kissed her, and told her how much she had always, and would still always mean to us.  When the time came, it was quiet and peaceful.  This by no means meant it was any easier, but it did bring consolation to know that she went that way, there was no trauma or pain.

After a while we returned to Amy's mom's house around 2:30 a.m. in enough time to get about 2 hours of sleep.  We decided to keep busy and go to work the next day, despite the fact we were emotionally, physically, and mentally drained.  The next few days were rough for us.  Questioning why.  Wondering how to move on.  What happens now?  Possibly one of the best things during this time was when Amy chose to tell Braeden about what happened.  His response was matter-of-fact as he stated that now she could be in heaven playing with Jesus and Aunt Roe (my godmother and Granny's sister who passed about about 3 years ago).  We continued to talk about Granny and the situation with the boys, Amy taking the helm in these conversations because I was not able to.

The end of the week brought the true finality of the situation as we held the Visitation for Granny on Friday evening and the funeral Saturday afternoon.  There are not words to describe how difficult it was to say goodbye yesterday and many of the questions from this past week still remain.  There is much work to do in the coming months, mainly falling on my mom and aunt.  Amy and I, though, have of course offered to help as much as possible with anything we can do.  Who knows what the future holds for our family or how we will adapt to a life without my grandmother, who was clearly the matriarch of the family.  This has been, though, a reminder of how fragile and brief life is.  You never know when it will come to an end.  This has led to a lot of introspective thinking and analyzing about our lives and those of our family members.  This past week has also given us a clear example of how the Lord gives and takes away.  We relish in the joy of the impending adoption of our beloved daughter, yet at the same time mourn the loss of our beloved Granny.  Balancing the changes and seasons of life, both the good and the bad.  One of the hardest parts being the fact that Granny will never actually get to meet our newest addition.  Which brings me to probably one of the best stories I will ever be able to tell.

Thursday Amy was going through the mail when she received quite a surprise.  They had attempted to deliver a piece of certified mail from Granny.  Since we had not been home it was taken back to the Post Office.  What could it be?  The earliest we would be able to get to the Post Office would be Saturday morning as we prepared for the funeral.  Saturday came and we made the trek to retrieve the mysterious envelope.  What was it?  Tuesday morning, the day she died, Granny had mailed us a card.  It was a simple card, stating that it was simply because she had been "thinking of you."  Inside a hand-written message: "To bring home my China doll" and a check to help get the adoption underway.  Pretty amazing huh?  So, no, Granny will never get to meet our daughter, but she will always be with her.  This one final gesture sums up my Granny perfectly.  Always loving.  Always praying for and thinking of others.  Always caring.  Always there.  Always with us, no matter what.

All is well, mourning and remembering, in Drosche Land. 


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MORE Good News!

Well, here I am again ready to update about all the excitement and joys of the past few days.  So, last I blogged all was well and we were moving forward.  Well, I'm happy to state that it is more of the same.  I'll start with Monday.  Amy called first thing, as was the plan, to "lock" her file.  Well, turns out that since we are slightly over 6 months away from submitting out dossier (on Amy's 30th) we can't actually lock her file.  However, our new best friend at the agency told us that they would ask permission to take her off of the main shared list of children and place her solely on the agency's list, this would essentially be somewhat of a pre-lock situation for us.  We went ahead with that plan and filled out our official application.  As if that weren't good enough news we got some more good news of the financial sort!  It is truly amazing how many things are suddenly just falling into place!

This brings us to today.  We hadn't thought that we would hear anything back about her moving to the agency's list since China is about 14 hours ahead of us.  We figured out this morning that when we are going to school in the morning, she is going to sleep that night.  When we are going home at night, she is waking up the next morning!  So, we were totally expecting to have a few days of waiting.  However, around 1ish this afternoon we heard back from the agency and they did receive permission to move her to their list!  Woo hoo!  We are set!  Needless to say, this made our day!  As happy as I was, it was even more fulfilling to see Amy's response to this latest news!  The look on her face was priceless and one I will remember forever.  

So, what's next?  Well, on Amy's 1/2 birthday we will be 6 months out from submitting our dossier which means that we will be able to officially lock her file and hopefully finish and submit our LOI (Letter of Intent).  More great news, followed by more waiting, such is the cycle of this adoption adventure.  We have been thinking about and discussing what our LOI will be so we will probably get started on that pretty soon.  We are crazy happy, obviously, and are just in such amazed excitement that this is all actually, finally happening!  

To celebrate we do have special plans for this weekend.  We have been mulling over painting her bedroom!  We are in love with the colors that I posted in the Sunday Snapshot post this past weekend!  We will see if that happens this weekend and who knows?  Maybe there will be another Sunday Snapshot of her bedroom!  

All is well, blessed with more great news, in Drosche Land.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Snapshot - The Room

Ok, so the subject of today's post isn't here yet to join us, but the nevertheless, the post is all about her.  See, as I previously mentioned we started to get her bedroom ready.  Not much has been done, but it's enough to make it clear that change is coming to Drosche Land, in a beautiful little package.  And when she arrives, she'll need some place to sleep!

 The much-debated crib.  Here to stay?  We'll see.

 The chair we love, which inspired our color palette for the room.

 The colors for the room, yellow (Pale Honey) for the walls and red (Bijou Red) for accent!

  A very special book to us, read many times by all here in Drosche Land!

Ni Hao Y'all

The Next Step

So, I know everyone has been waiting with bated breath regarding the great news shared in the last post.  Well, delayed first by frustrations and then my my sickness, here is the update, you can breathe now.

So, you know we have the file of a very special little girl.  The next step, aside from the prayer, consideration, and consultation with our doctor, was the financial planning aspect.  The prayer part went very well, we excelled at it.  The consultation with our doctor went well also, she is fabulous.  We love Dr. Kinalska.  The financial planning, however, did not go as smoothly as we had planned or expected.  Plan A started out strong but came to a screeching halt on Thursday afternoon.  We were really upset, but no worries, onto Plan B.  But it was not going to be that simple.  Plan B came to a similar screeching halt on Friday.  By this time we were in full-on panic mode.  Everything had seemed so perfect, so meant to be.  But now what?  The only thing that brought a little calmness to us was the fact that nothing could be done by anyone over the weekend.  It bought us some time to think and work on Plans C, D, and (if needed) E.  Well, I won't lie to you, we had our share of lows, extreme lows in fact.  But, once again the answer was simply to be found in trust and faith, in God that is.  Again, not something so easy to do, but very necessary in this process.

Saturday morning I woke up sick, really sick.  I only get sick about once a year, and of course it would come at a time like this right?  Well, while I was writhing around in a semi-conscious state in the bed, Amy was at work downstairs, getting a head start on that trust and faith plan I just mentioned.  After some more praying, thinking, and planning she came to realize that we could find the money to begin the process on our own!  The adoption could go on as planned!  By planning, scrimping, and saving we will be able to cover about half of the expenses in cash.  This will get us to August when we officially submit our dossier after Amy's 30th birthday.  This gives us the time to plan, scrimp, and save some more to figure out the rest.  

So, needless to say we are, once again, blissfully ecstatic!  We spent a good portion of today getting her room ready.  Gone is the office/craft room.  Here is the bedroom that awaits our little girl.  We brought down our crib from the attic even though we cannot decide if we should use it or not.  I say yes since that is most likely what she will be used to, Amy says we should get her a bed.  We will see, for now we have the crib set up and ready.  The dresser is cleaned out and ready to go as well.  We even went out and bought a fan, also installed, and paint samples.  Yes, we know her arrival is a long way away, but we are preparing nonetheless.  

So, what's the next step?  Well, tomorrow Amy will call our agency and "lock" her file.  Then we begin the process of waiting some more for our approval and getting our home study started.  Surreal as it is, it's really happening!  I wish I could share more information about her and pictures, but we are not at the point in the process where we can.  However, as previously blogged, as soon as I can, you know I will be posting!  Until then we continue to ready her room, talk about her, and of course stare, wide-eyed, at the picture of this beautiful little blessing!

All is well, moving forward, in Drosche Land. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The File

What file?  Funny you should ask, that's what this post is all about!  Sit down though, I've got some pretty big news to share.  Are you sitting?  Good, let's go.

Ok, so first of all I would like to begin by stating that God truly does work in some amazing ways.  This fact has been shown to us all too much the past few days.  I'll start back a bit in order to give the entire story.  So, you know that we have decided to take the house off of the market (here).  Well, this wasn't the easiest of decision for Amy and I to make, but one we felt confident in.  As important as the adoption is to us, it had kind of been put on the back burner while we dealt with the new adventure of selling the house.  Who knew God would bring it up to the big front burner in such a big way.  So, the night that we officially decided to stay here, Amy was checking out the list on our agency's website, the awesome Great Wall China Adoption (check it out).  We hadn't done this in quite a while, and honestly I don't know what made her think about it.  However, she did and saw the picture of an adorable little girl.  She called me over and of course I too thought she was beautiful.  Plus, her special need was something we had already discussed and agreed that it was something we could manage.  Coincidence?  So, over the next few days Amy or I would bring her up again, usually with the "Isn't she precious/adorable/cute/beautiful?" statement.  Then we got an email from the agency, their usual newsletter.  However, this one was about children with limb differences, again something we have already identified as totally manageable.  Coincidence?  Ah, but alas, we first filled out our application for the GWCA's Waiting Child list in February of 2010 and it is only good for 6 months, we never resubmitted it because that was when we were beginning to discuss listing the house.  We of course have decided to resubmit since moving the adoption back up to our top priority.  Lastly, when Amy took Braeden to the doctor on Monday the adoption came up in her conversation with the doctor.  Dr. Kinalska, our excellent pediatrician, then happily offered to help us review any files we might receive in the future!  How awesome is that?  Coincidence? 

Which brings me to the grin-inspiring, heart-melting, and awesome events of today.  Amy has, over the past few days, been asking me about whether or not we should call and inquire about the little girl, who we have by now memorized.  Well, what could it hurt I told her this morning.  The worst they could say was no, right?  Well, after a phone call from Amy and an email from me we heard back.  They were emailing us her file!  To review!  Seriously?!?!  Amy came over into my classroom to personally deliver the good news herself.  I can still see the joy in her face when she told me!  So, as I type this we have her file, with so much information about the wonderful little girl, in our possession.  Even greater news, we can proceed forward if we choose to do so!  Seriously?!?!  Amy thoroughly researched the special need on the Internet tonight and we are totally comfortable with it.  Tomorrow Amy will be making an appointment with the fantastic Dr. Kinalska, to have her review the file and give us any information she can.  We also have left a voicemail with another doctor to see if they too will review the file and give us their thoughts.  We plan on making a decision by the end of the week.

Due to privacy reasons and as part of the process I can't give any information on the little girl other than the fact that she is beautiful.  Have I already said that though?  :)  I'm not sure when I will be able to right now, but rest assured as soon as I will you know I'll be blogging and posting pictures like crazy!  Pretty great news huh?  So many things just rapidly fell into place this past week, rocking our world.  It is impossible to deny the fact that God has a plan for us, and it appears as though it is coming to fruition!  I am so excited yet still in shock at it all.  Just this morning everything was the "usual" and we were still in the very beginning of the process.  Suddenly, in less than 12 hours all of that has changed and we have been thrust fully into the adventure!  Seriously?!?!  So, tonight I have a whole new set of thoughts and prayers with which to end my day.  One of our favorite verses, especially throughout this adoption adventure, continues to run through my head.  How true and comforting it is - "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

All is well, reviewing reviewing reviewing, in Drosche Land.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Well, it must be some kind of record.  10 days into the new year and both of the boys have been sick.  Last week we found out Jack has an ear & sinus infection.  Yesterday Braeden was diagnosed with bronchitis.  We are once again slowly building up our own pharmacy here in Drosche Land when what needs building up is our immune system.  I can't complain too much thought because this has been a relatively easy year as far as illnesses go, for us at least.  

Today I stayed home with Braeden while he recovered and attempted to break his fever.  The good news is that it is down to that not-really-a-fever level of 99ish.  He hovers anywhere from 99.2-99.9.  Just to be on the safe side though, Amy is staying home with him tomorrow.  Bronchitis is new to us and we don't need any relapsing, or worse, pneumonia.  We are also hoping that Jack doesn't pick it up from him.  They are both bundled up and in bed already as we all hunker down for the cold weather tonight!  Woo hoo!  I just hope Braeden sleeps better.  Last night I found myself in there frequently soothing him and pulling a Super Nanny as I sat on the floor waiting for him to fall asleep.

While home today I became more aware of a sickness that I seem to have, and Amy will agree on this one.  I cannot sit still.  Laundry, dishes, baking, dusting, straightening, or any other excuse to be up and moving around.  Whatever the reason, I seem to find it.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I did make plenty of time to laze around and watch TV.  I mean how could I not?  But I did get a lot done so I do feel super productive.  Who knows?  Maybe I have adult onset ADD or something.  Or maybe I just have a very short attention span.  Either way, the house is straightened and organized, there are no dirty clothes, we have freshly-baked Chocolate Amish Friendship Bread, and the dishes are done.  So I guess in the end it's a win-win.  Plus I'm hoping that all of the random work I do around the house helps to burn off at least some of the calories I consume as I tend to experience random lulls in self-control when at home, snacking on various treats throughout the day (did I mention the bread?!). 

So, the antibiotics, Tylenol, Motrin, and cold medicines are stocked up here as we trudge through another cold and flu season.  I hope that we continue to have a smooth go of it though.  I'm running out of things to do around the house and am still working to rid myself of the 4ish pounds of holiday weight.  

All is well, thoroughly medicated, in Drosche Land.



Sunday, January 09, 2011

Sunday Snapshot - Year in Review

So, I've been thinking about what pictures to post for this Sunday when I got a great idea.  Although, I will be upfront and admit it is not my own original idea, one I have seen on several of the blogs I follow.  A trip through the photos of 2010.  I have gone through all the pictures from last year and it was hard to narrow it down.  The best I could do was about 2 pictures per month!  Looking back it was not only a busy year, but a great one.  We have the pictures to prove it!  Enjoy!

  January 2010
 I took this of Jack and I at one of Jared's basketball games.  It is one of my all-time favorites of us!

February 2010
Go Texan Day 2010 - adorable!  I cannot wait until this year - they have boots!

March 2010
The Backyard Camp Out!  Such a success we have to do it again!

April 2010
 Easter of course brought many great pictures, but this one has to be my favorite!  I love the look on his face!

April also brought the addition of a new pet to Drosche Land - Nemo!  Sadly he has gone on to the great fishbowl in the sky, but the kids loved getting him!

May 2010
 May wouldn't be complete without Braeden's birthday and he turned 4 in 2010!  Yes, 4!  I can't believe he is now going to be 5!

At the end of the month we took a trip, the boys' first, to the beach!  They loved it and have been asking since when we can go again!

June 2010
 Summer came!  My first at home and the boys and I had a blast at home.  Early on in the month we had a little bunny come and visit us in the backyard!

Splashing, definitely the favorite daily activity in Drosche Land over the summer!

July 2010
 Another fun thing we did this past summer was make our own Play Doh!  Something else they ask to do again - often!

July 4th!  More sparkler fun - we will see if Jack participates this coming July after the New Years mishap!

August 2010
Amy's birthday!  Just about 1 month post-surgery and we were already seeing the awesome results!  She continues her success and looks even more amazing than she did here!

September 2010
 Are our kids really old enough for board games?  Apparently so, in September Braeden won his first game ever - Sorry!

 September also brought Braeden's first homework assignment!  He was so proud, almost as much as I was!

Of course the end of the month brings Jack's birthday!  3, seriously?!  Already?!

October 2010
October brought the listing of the house. Still an important memory from this past year, despite the revelation of today's prior post!
Wolverine joined us for Halloween 2010
As did Batman
What's October and Halloween without carving pumpkins?  The boys had a blast scooping and cleaning their pumpkin!
HA!  And who could forget the great pumpkin seed rain of 2010!

November 2010
 I turned 30, I can say the actual number now! :)

 My birthday trip to San Antonio with my beautiful family!

The obligatory Alamo photo!

December 2010
 Braeden's winter dance recital.  Of course he didn't dance, but his little brother was still proud of him!

Merry Christmas!

Ni Hao Y'all

Sit Down, Relax, Stay A While

Well, you can tell from the lack of posts this week that vacation, in all its forms, is finally over.  School resumed on Monday and our courses began again on Thursday.  Although it was a nice and smooth week to ease back into things, it was busy nonetheless.  Luckily though, all is well and we have remained sane despite the end of a wonderful vacation.  Which brings me to the title of this post.

So, as you know, there has been zero, zilch, nada, nothing, no interest in the house since it was listed almost 3 months ago.  Yes I know 3 months is relatively short, especially given the housing market.  And yes I know it was the holidays.  But seriously.  Nothing.  No showings, a failed Open House, and no inquiries from the website or the sign out front.  This has caused Amy and I to reevaluate our plans right now.  Since around Christmas/New Years we have been discussing whether or not we want to keep the house listed, or move at all for that matter.  After a couple of weeks of heavy discussions and looking closely at our lives and plans for the current and near future, we have decided to un-list the house and stay here for a while longer, a few years at least.  

See, apparently you can only proceed forward with one major life change at once, if you want to keep your sanity at least.  Right now we have 3 major adventures swirling around - the adoption, moving, and possibly buying a 2nd car.  Financially, mentally, emotionally, logistically we can only do one of these at a time.  Once we looked at the situation in this manner the answer to the question was clear, the adoption is far more important to us at this time.  Having made this decision now, we can begin saving up and planning for the adoption, so once Amy turns 30 in August there is a strong chance we may be ready, or very close, to beginning the actual process.  This means that by this time next year we would be fully into the process and possibly (fingers-crossed) have a picture of our daughter as we prepare to travel to her!

So, although it sounds easy it wasn't.  After much praying and thinking about it I truly do believe that this whole process was God's way of getting us to prioritize our life and get everything ready, finding out what was most important.  I'm comfortable with that thought because then all of the work we put in wasn't for naught.  Another silver lining is the fact that the house is immaculate and well-organized.  We have been able to purge and organize our house and can now work on keeping it that way.  Also, we will be able to do some of the minor updates to the house we have always talked about - flooring, lighting, etc.  On the downside, Spring Break will bring the back-breaking work of reclaiming the garage and unpacking and sorting everything in there, deciding if we truly need it or not.  Eventually, in the future, we do plan to move.  But that will be when there are 5 people residing in Drosche Land!

So, this will most likely be the last post with the tag of moving for a very long time.  All in all it was a fun and educational process.  I'm happy with the decision, I cannot wait to have our daughter join us finally and making this decision has just gotten us closer to her!

All is well, staying put, in Drosche Land.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Sunday Snapshot - Fireworks!

One of the benefits of living so far out is the fact that we are outside of the city limits.  That means it is legal for us to buy and use fireworks!  This past year was once of the two times a year when we get to take advantage of this fun privilege.  Since the boys are so young and fireworks are crazy expensive, we stick mainly to the small ground-dwelling pieces, with the occasional addition of Roman candles and other small aerials to our arsenal.  Sparklers have always been a favorite, but that may change after this year.  A stray spark flew onto Jack's arm and gave him a little burn.  That quickly put an end to his participation and he joined Amy as a spectator.  Luckily I was able to get a few good shots before the mini-disaster.  All in all we had fun sending out 2010 and ringing in 2011 with a (small) bang!  Enjoy!

Our standard fare!  We love the tanks & chickens!  Also note the offending sparklers!

My beautiful wife in her usual spectator spot!

 Jack enjoying the sparklers in the calm before the storm!

 I love the night setting on my new camera that let me capture the fireworks!

 Amy taking care of Jack after the attack by the rogue spark!

 Jack showing off his war wound!

Ni Hao Y'all


Vacation that is.  And with it the Christmas season officially ends.  I'm posting about this early in the day so I can spend the rest of the day wallowing in self-pity on my new couch.  I wish for just one more day, a few hours at the least.  Last night I insisted on staying up as late as possible in order to maximize my vacation time.  Ironically I was tired earlier than usual and turned in around 11:00 p.m.  Tonight I think I may stay up late again, just to make a stance against the end of vacation.  We'll see how well I do.

It's not that I don't love my job or miss it, I do very much.  But this has been a great vacation and I am always sad to see Christmas vacation end.  This year is flying by so I guess before I know it we will be celebrating the beginning of summer vacation.  But then I'll be mourning the end of a school year so I guess it's bittersweet all the way around.  Oh well.  It was real, it was fun.  I got a lot of good TV watching in so you know it was a success.  We watched 3 full seasons of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami.  I am totally addicted to Kardashians now and cannot wait for Netflix to add more seasons for instant viewing.  We also watched 2 seasons of Deadliest Catch and I gained new loves in Hoarders, American Pickers, and Dexter.  Then there is always Nip/Tuck and I am almost done with that series.  What can I say, I'm addicted to reality television.  Thanks to Netflix, Wii, and Blu-Ray, I now have multiple options to feed my addiction!  

The only thing that makes the end of this vacation slightly bearable is knowing that I have 3 more days of "vacation" until our Masters courses resume.  I suppose I'll really hit rock bottom on Wednesday night.  Until then I will eat up any second of anything that can be termed as vacation.  On the couch of course!

All is well, in mourning, in Drosche Land. 

Saturday, January 01, 2011


Well, 2011 is officially here.  We decided this year to ring in a new year quite uneventfully by relaxing at home and blissfully doing nothing.  Boy did we do it too!  After Amy and I picked up the boys from my parents' house following our Date Night we made a quick stop at the ridiculously crowded grocery store before heading home to enjoy our brand new couch.  Oh, I totally forgot to mention that the other day so I will go off on a tangent here for a minute to discuss this.  Amy has been gently insisting (bugging) me for the past year and a half to get a new sofa.  I have been holding out and I must give myself credit for lasting so long.  However, I was blindsided the other day when out of the blue Amy mentioned we would go couch shopping.  I was trapped so I went a long.  A day of searching later we are the proud new owners of the most amazing couch in the world!  Thank you Gallery Furniture for your awesome furniture and great deal!  It has 4, yes 4, recliners and a console where we can hide things like remotes!  The best part of it is the fact that it is a 3-piece sectional that includes a full-size sofa, love seat, and a ginormous wedge.  So we can rearrange it however we see fit.  This will come in very handy when and if we ever do move since we obviously do not know what kind of living room we will end up with.  Needless to say, we are thoroughly enjoying our new couch and have been spending as much time as possible lounging on it!  But I digress, time to get back to the post at hand.

With the arrival of a new year I have been debating what my resolution(s) will be.  Such a difficult decision to make every 12 months.  What can I realistically accomplish, stick with, or do???  Maybe this year I will just list all the things I can think of and attempt to get as many of them checked off as possible.  After all, I do love making a good list.  That way if I don't finish all of them I will still have some sense of accomplishment when I check things off.  So, on with the ideas.  Some easy, some quite lofty.  We will see what successes 2011 brings.

-  Lose the 4 (or 5 depending on the day) pounds I have put on this holiday season.
-  Be a more active member in the financial freedom of our family (Amy stop rolling your eyes)
-  Be more patient with the kids, not everything has to be done my way (Amy, didn't I just ask you to stop rolling your eyes ;)!)
-  Finish the Bible reading plan I began last year (only about 2 months left) AND start a new one!
-  Begin praying for the adoption process and our daughter
-  Finish my Masters!  (Yes I know this will obviously be done, but it'll give me something to check off and provide motivation!)
-  Take more pictures of the boys and document everything (should be a cinch with my new camera!)
-  Stop worrying/thinking about the move.  What is meant to happen will happen.
-  Start reading for pleasure more (I still haven't finished Breaking Dawn!)
-  Drink more water!  (Not instead of caffeine, I'm not cutting down on that, but in addition to!)

Ok, so there are 10 things.  I'm sure more will pop into my head over the first few weeks of this new year, but for now that seems adequate right?  Some seem like easy successes, others more ongoing ideas.  Maybe I'll revisit this post in 364 days and see how I've done.  Plus having 10 things will make figuring out percentages easy!  Ok, now let's get to work!

All is well, resolved, in Drosche Land.

    Our awesome new couch - huge & wonderful!