"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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I Wish You A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year

Merry Christmas.

Happy Holidays.

Happy New Year.

I hope that the holiday season has been awesome for you and yours dear readers.  It certainly has been great here in Drosche Land.  December has been busy here, as life seems to be lately, but I wanted to make sure and close out the year here with you.  Plus I haven't posted any pictures of Christmas yet!  Yikes!  Luckily I think I'm still in the acceptable time frame for holiday pictures.  For a few more hours at least.  I'll do my New Years recap post tomorrow and focus on Christmas today. 

We are a little over a week into our Christmas Break here and it has been great.  Restful.  Relaxing.  Fun.  Joyous.  Just what we needed this holiday season.  Last year was Stella's 1st Christmas, but being just 6 months old she didn't get much out of it.  18 months though is a fun age for Christmas.  She knows who Santa is and will, on cue, say, "Ho, Ho, Ho" when she sees his picture.  Super cute.  So it has been a blast to watch her this year as she experiences everything about Christmas.  The only thing we didn't do was actually make it to see Santa this year.  Best laid plans and all.  Oh well, maybe next year?

The boys are still in the prime age for Christmas, especially Jackson.  He just loves opening presents.  He genuinely gets excited about any gift he receives and genuinely loves watching people open presents.  One of his best traits.  Braeden is on the cusp though.  You know what I mean.  He sort of has things figured out about the big man in red.  But I think his childhood will just not let go of it yet.  He knows something is up, but still believes.  So, the magic is still much alive here in Drosche Land, as I am sure it will always be.

This Christmas was also a special one for Amy and I as it is the last one we will celebrate as a family of 5.  With the adoption moving briskly along we will have our daughter with us next year!  Crazy to think, but so exciting as well.  We did take some time to talk, just the 2 of us, about what she might be doing this year.  How she might be celebrating.  Its bittersweet of course, but knowing that it was the last one we will all celebrate apart did bring some comfort.

So, celebrating the birth of our Savior was a pleasant experience here in Drosche Land this year and I pray it was for you as well.  We still have a few days left of break and, thankfully, have no big plans for them!  Just more rest, relaxation, and family.  Sounds great!  So, Merry Christmas.  Happy Holidays.  Happy New Year from Drosche Land to you. On with the pictures!

All is well, merry, in Drosche Land.

Stella's 2013 Christmas Picture

Jackson's 2013 Christmas Picture

Braeden's 2013 Christmas Picture

My 3

Annual Christmas family picture!

The boys opening presents

Stella and one of her 2 Cabbage Patch babies

A stroller!

Jackson loved his Minion goggles!

The boys opening their Kindle Fires

Stella loved opening presents!

Amy opening Braeden's gift for her that he made at school

Bows!

KINDLE FIRE!

Feeding her baby

Minion goggles and a fart gun!

Her new princess nightgown

He's getting so big!





Tuesday, December 03, 2013

That Bites


No, Stella is not trying out for the role of Quasimodo in an all-baby production of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.  Nope, the above picture is just another adventure in to the world of her many allergies.  This one was an allergic reaction to a mosquito bite.  We were outside for 5, yes 5, short minutes on Sunday afternoon and one of the little insects managed to bite her on the outside corner of her left eye.  Despite Benadryl and Neosporin, she woke up yesterday morning looking quite rough.

From the second we noticed the bite we were on alert. See, back in October during our ill-fated Columbus Day camping trip in Galveston (I don't think I posted about this now that I think about it, one of the many mental posts lost in my busy absence maybe) she was bitten many times as the campsites were swarmed with mosquitoes.  Her bites eventually swelled up and turned into a staph infection.  Ugh!  After about 3 weeks, many doses of Benadryl, and a special prescription Neosporin-like medicine later they were under control.  So when this newest bite happened we figured it might get ugly.  So we dosed and slathered.  But, again, it didn't help much.

A quick trip to the doctor yesterday afternoon confirmed that it was, in fact, just an allergic reaction and we could do little else for it other than wait.  So that's what we have been doing.  Luckily though she is used to having random mishaps and medical drama follow her and she hasn't slowed down a bit.  So much so that she got hurt at school today.  I guess having compromised vision from the aforementioned swollen eye affected her depth perception and she ran into a wall.  Poor thing!  Now she looks like this.


Luckily the swelling from the allergic reaction has gone down quite a bit today.  But she now sports a nice bruise on her cheek/eye area.  Oh well, such is life.  But my little girl is a trooper.  She has kept her perky spirits about her and has been as into everything as she usually is.  So that is a blessing and we have been enjoying her goofiness despite whatever malady befalls her.  

So, just another little adventure here in Drosche Land.  Another little health/medical issue for us to power through.  We're always kept on our toes here.  Always.

All is well, swollen but unstoppable, in Drosche Land.  


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

The flu.

That's how I spent my Thanksgiving.  How about you?

Yep, that's right.  The flu.  That blows huh?  See Amy went out of town on Sunday to a conference.  The kids and I were doing just fine.  Until Tuesday morning when I woke up.  I knew around 4 am that something was very wrong.  Very very wrong.  After texting Amy and other family members it was clear that I was going nowhere that day.  Amy's Mom came and got the kids to take them to school.  My Mom came and got me to take me to the urgent care clinic where I was, unsurprisingly for anyone, diagnosed with the flu.  Back home and in to bed I went.  Meanwhile Amy was back on the way home from Dallas and would pick the kids up.  

Behind all of this, orchestrating it all, was my wonderful wife.  Amy.  After picking up the kids she headed to the grocery with them all to pick up supplies for Thanksgiving dinner since we had now been uninvited to any family event, understandably.  I was banished to the bedroom and put into quarantine.  Where I have remained.  I only began to feel better earlier today so Thanksgiving dinner was put off until tomorrow.  My sister-in-law brought over leftovers for us so we could have something.

Do I need to go on about what I am thankful for?  I think my last 3 days summed up above do just that.

Amy.  Could I ask for a better wife?  No.  And to be honest I don't know what I have done to deserve her.  She has taken care of all of the kids (oh by the way Braeden is also flirting with flu-like symptoms in all of this), the house, and me.  She has recorded all of my medicine and has monitored by temperature religiously, tracking it all.  Brought me food and drink.  Sat with me, at a far distance, to keep me company while I have been in isolation.  Nope, I don't think it gets any better than this when it comes to a soulmate.  I am so thankful for Amy.  She is an amazing wife and mother, God has truly blessed me with her.  I cannot wait to enter into this next adoption adventure with her as I have, once again, seen first hand everything she has to offer to a child of ours, be they natural or adopted.

My kids.  They are amazing.  Helping Amy out, mostly, when she needs it.  Waving to me and blowing kisses from a distance.  Just being little laughter-inducing distractions when life desperately calls for a distraction.  I look at them and see the amazing people they will grow up to be and it is awesome.  And then there is the next addition we are pursuing.  Who knows when it will be, how long it will take, or what they will look like.  None of that matters though because in the end He has it planned out and has an adventure for all all set.  Now we just travel it.    

Family.  Taking care of the kids.  Taking me to the doctor.  Bringing us food.  Calling and checking in, while lovingly reminding us to keep a distance :).  Crazy though they may all be, we all seem to pull through for each other whenever it is needed.  But that's what family is right?  I hope that your family is the same.  That they make you feel the way mine makes me feel.  That they love and care for you as well.  Even the family you couldn't be with because the flu kept you from your previous plans of traveling to visit them for Thanksgiving.

Friends.  Texts and Facebook messages to wish me well.  Just little things.  New and old, near and far.  They are there and let you know it.  Hopefully you have friends that are the same, I am sure you do.  Just as family can do, they make like a lot more fun and enjoyable.

So, Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope that yours was filled with family, fun, laughter, and turkey.  Hopefully yours was not spent confined to a bedroom while you battled the flu.  But, if you were, I can only hope that you had someone half as amazing as my wife to help care for you.  Hopefully tomorrow brings a return to health and normalcy here in Drosche Land.  That was the end of the holiday break, at least, can be enjoyable.  As usual, this holiday has been far from what we'd expected, definitely an adventure.  Just not one that we would like to repeat.  Ever.

All is well, feeling better and thankful, in Drosche Land.    

  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Deja Vu All Over Again

Adoption.

It's never truly left our hearts or minds.  It's been nearly 2 1/2 years since we had to stop the process with Margaux.  It was sad.  It was hard.  But we do believe that it was part of God's plan for us.  We have Stella.  

However, Amy and I have never stopped feeling a pull toward adoption.  

It's hard to explain.  We've tried.  To family.  To friends.  But honestly, it's hard.  We feel that God has placed adoption on our hearts.  That He has called us to do something.  We have spent the last 2 1/2 years trying to figure out what that something is.  Should we adopt?  Should we advocate for orphans?  Should we raise money?  Awareness?  We didn't know.  We discussed it at length and prayed continuously.  We waited.  And waited.  And you know how little I enjoy that!

About a month though it came up again.  As usual, just working its way back into our lives.  Adoption.  What to do?  So we talked about it once again and found that DePelchin, an agency here, was having an informational meeting.  So we decided to go.  We hadn't told anyone yet.  We thought, and hoped, that attending the meeting would help to guide us where He needs us.  So we went.  It was eye-opening.  Enlightening.  And it provided us with an answer and a direction.

Yes, Amy and I have once again begun the process of adoption.  Its quite different this time around though.  We are not seeking international adoption, for many reasons.  Instead, we are staying local.  We will be adopting from CPS.  The one similarity will be the fact that our child will likely be of an ethnicity different than our own.  No big news there.  I mean, we were in the process of an international adoption once upon a time.

So, the orientation meeting confirmed in us the calling to adopt.  We told our parents.  They were surprised, and understandably so seeing as how this came out of nowhere really.  But they will warm up.  Again.

Yesterday we began work on the application and have it nearly completed already.  Again, not our first rodeo.  Also, much of the legwork with gathering all of the documentation is already done and we will be able to use it all this time around.  So in that sense this adventure will be slightly easier.  Having said that though, we have a long road ahead of us.  We know that.  Again, nothing new.

The boys are both very supportive of an adopted sister.  Oh, yeah, we are looking to adopt a girl, between the ages of 2-7.  Again, much like before.  Braeden and Jackson both understand that she may look different (race) than us and they do not care.  They are excited.  They find it cool that Stella will have a sister.  

I guess that's about it.  It's getting late here and I'm fading fast, but I wanted to get this post out.  I've been mentally writing it all day.  Here we are again.  This blog started with the news of our adventures into adoption.  It then followed us as we planned for Margaux and eventually had to say goodbye.  It has seen the birth of Stella.  Job changes.  Life.  It's all been here over the past 3 (wow, almost 4) years.  And now we are back to adoption.  Another adventure.  Hope you're ready for the ride.  We are.

All is well, haven't we been here before?, in Drosche Land.                 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Snapshot - Not Quite

Picture it.  Galveston Beach.  Columbus Day weekend.  2013.

(On a side note, are your totally channeling Sofia and one of her stories from Golden Girls, or is it just me?  Anywho, back to the post)

We finally found the time to take the camper out again for a trip!  This time with the cousins.  However, as is usually the case with us, the trip had it's share of crazy drama.  It was warm, not horrible, but warm.  We also had to camp on the bay side of Galveston State Park, not the beach side as we would have liked.  As we originally planned.  See, this trip was rescheduled from a summer trip we'd planned.  Back when Jackson broke his arm and could not get it wet, much less sandy and sweaty.  So we lost our beach side site.  But how bad could the bay side be?  Well, think mosquitoes.  Giant ones.  In swarms.  Yeah, it was that bad.  Stella ended up getting bites all over, leading to an infection.  But that's a post for another time.  Back to the picture.

I'm always taking pictures.  I always have my iPhone handy.  Posting to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, texting them.  I'm always taking pictures.  But the busyness of life that has kept the posts here few and far between as of late also made for very infrequent photo sessions.  Hence the lack of a Sunday Snapshot in a very long while.

But we were at the beach and I of course had my iPhone.  I love beach pictures.  Who doesn't?  The scenery.  The lighting.  The water.  The fun.  You're bound to get a few good shots right?  At least one stunner.  See, that's what I thought.

So, there we are on one of our escapes from a swarm of mosquitoes jaunts down to the beach and I am following Stella around.  It's late afternoon and she is having a blast.  I'm in total Dad/iPhone photographer mode and am kneeling in the sand behind her as she runs around.  I'm calling to her and trying to get her to look at me, smile, laugh, anything.  Just waiting for the perfect shot.

Then, the moment comes.  The sunlight is behind her, the wind is blowing, she turns around and looks at me with a beautiful smile.  Snap!  Got it!  Woo hoo!  I'm feeling pretty good.  I quickly check it and it's stunning.  Ok, enough playing, I've got my shot and we can get back to having beach fun.

Fast forward to when the trip is over.  We're back home.  The camper is backed into the garage (quite easily this time!).  Laundry is started and we're getting ready to settle back in to our usual routine.  I get out my Macbook and pull up my Photo Stream.  There it is.  I can't wait to view it larger.  Edit it.  Play with lighting.  Black & White?  Sepia?  High Contrast?  Oh the possibilities are endless.  However, when I open the photo I notice something I hadn't that day on the beach.  See below for yourself.


Yep.  That's right readers.  There it is.  Smack in the middle of my "perfect shot".  A big line of slobbery drool flying out of her mouth and blowing in the wind.  Nice.  I laughed, how could you not?  Sure I may be able to edit it out if I tried.  Make the photo into the one I thought I'd snapped.  But why?  This one is so much better.  It has all of the elements I mentioned before.  Lighting, wind, the perfect pose.  And right there in the middle of it all - life.  Happening all the time, whether you expect it or not.

So there you have it.  No matter how you plan for and try to orchestrate things, sometimes it just doesn't go off as hitched.  Sometimes it's amazing and better than you'd hoped for, and sometimes it's not.  Sometimes it's a big string of slobber coming from your toddler's mouth in the "perfect shot".  Ahhhhhh, life.

Below is another "nearly perfect shot" very similar to the slobber pic.  It was taken just moments before.  The only flaw was that Stella wasn't looking at the camera.  It's the one I posted on social media.  But the true gem is this slobber picture that I have been saving for this post!  HA!



All is well, picture perfect, in Drosche Land.


Ni Hao Yall

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Not What I Expected

So, last week was my birthday.  I turned 30+3.  Nope, still not ready to type the number. Oh well.  

It was a good birthday.  Nice and easy.  But it made me think a lot.  I mean, here I am in my (thankfully still) early 30s.  I guess I am now fully an adult.  No denying that.  Marriage.  Career.  3 kids.  2 dogs.  House in the suburbs.  Doesn't get much more adult than that does it?

But it got me thinking about how much life has changed in just the past few years, much less the last 10.  Is this what I expected 30+3 to be like?  I don't know.  Did I ever really think about being 30+3?  Probably not.  But I can guarantee you it was nothing like this.

Now, don't get all shocked and judgmental.  This post isn't necessarily heading in the direction you may think it is.  It won't be what you're expecting (ha, pun on the post's title).

No, this isn't what I expected my life to be like.  I never thought I'd be a teacher.  But here I am in my 10th year teaching 1st Grade and not a day goes by that I am not thrilled with my job.

I knew I would be married, I mean I am pretty co-dependent so it was a given.  But I could never have expected to have a wife like Amy.  One who supports me in everything I do.  Encourages me to be everything that I am and want to be.  Does the bills.  Cooks amazing foods.  Is an awesome mother.  Nope, I didn't expect any of that.

I wanted kids.  But these 3?  They far exceed anything I could have dreamed about.  Braeden, Jackson, and Stella all daily make me smile.  My heart swells and often I can't imagine loving them any more than I do.  Sure they test my patience (also a daily occurrence) but lying down to sleep at night I thank Him for these 3 blessings that I never could have expected.

Teaching at the same school I attended, and loving every minute of it?  Nope, didn't see that one coming.

To have met and made some of the friendships I have?  Again, I'm codependent, but these people are great.

I could go on, but I think I have made my point.  

Nope, I never expected 30+3 to be this.  To be everything that it is.  To be here where I am.  To have the blessings that I have.  To be as thankful as I am.  Nope, I'm still surprised.  God has given me so much to be thankful for that I am in awe.  Daily.  Sure, getting to 30+3 has been an adventure.  The road as had many twists and turns in it and has often been bumpy.  Hurricanes.  Adoption adventures.  Job changes.  So much more.  But it has led me here and here is good.  It's exciting to continue down this road and to see what comes next.

So, maybe this post is a bit sappy and sentimental, but it was a very contemplative birthday this year.  Guess that's what happens when you turn 30+3.  Didn't see that coming either.

All is well, but that's to be expected, in Drosche Land.


Monday, November 04, 2013

Birthday Eve

'Tis the night before my birthday and it's getting late, everyone else is sleeping as tomorrow I await.

Hello again.  Have you seen that movie from the 80s?  With Shelley Long?  I love it, it's great.  A great comedy from my childhood.

Welcome back.  Now the theme song from Welcome Back, Kotter is stuck in my head.  True, before my time, but I was a child of Nick at Nite.  Not the current one with original programming and stuff from the 2000s.  Ugh.  I'm talking about when it was new and they played actual classics.  The Facts of Life, Bewitched, Laugh-In, The Patty Duke Show.  Or have those become vintage and the 90s classics?  Am I getting that old?

But I digress and enough TV references, for this post at least.  So I'm back.  It's not been a whole month, we're a few days shy of that, so you couldn't have forgotten me yet.  However, this seems to be the theme for my dear blog this year.  Who knew 2013 would be so busy?  New jobs, new schools, a toddler.  Anywho, I'm still here.  

So, tomorrow is my birthday.  I can reminisce via this blog of the days when I was lamenting turning 30.  Oh how young and naive I was back then.  :)  I still can't believe that this year I'll be 30+3.  Yeah, I don't think I'm actually ready to see my age in digits just yet.  Yikes.

Another year older.  I don't feel a year older.  I definitely don't feel 30+3.  I think.  Then again, maybe I do.  Maybe this is how it feels to be 30+3?  Not much different than 23 or even 30 for that matter.  Just a little, ok a lot, busier and with more diapers.  But those things can be directly linked to the presence of kids.

The main difference I have found with getting older is the inability to think of gifts that I want for my birthday.  You're always asked.  I used to be able to rattle off an extensive list.  Nope, not anymore.  Am I wiser?  More content?  Probably not.  Maybe the list is just too long for me to single out particular items?  Maybe.  What about you?  Do you find it hard to think of what you want the older you get?

Well, this post seems to be walking the fine line of blogging vs rambling.  Maybe I've crossed it already?  Basically it could be summed up with 1 - Hey, I'm back!  2 - How have you been?  3 - Tomorrow is my birthday.  

Nothing fancy, just me.  Again.

All is well, almost 30+3, in Drosche Land.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Better Late Than Never

Or so the saying goes.  If that's the case, then I don't feel as bad about my absence or the fact that I am just now getting around to posting about Jackson's 6th birthday which, for the record, happened on September 25!  Yikes!

Yeah, so life got busy again.  It seems to have a way of doing that huh?

So Jackson turned 6.  6?!  Seriously?  I mean I can hardly believe it.  Whenever I look at him I still see the little baby that I would wake up and feed several times a night, every night.  That little guy that would cuddle up with me in the recliner and drink his bottle, then we'd both pass out together.  Memories.  

Luckily he is still that little guy.  Still goofy.  Still full of energy.  Still just as cuddly as always.  Only now time has come and gone and suddenly he is 6.  Braeden has always been the mature kid.  Always the one who wanted to be older, never satisfied with being his own age.  I mean, he still jumps at the opportunity to hangout and play with older kids.  But not our Jack-Jack.  Nope, he was the baby for 4 1/2 years.  Now he is a big brother, the middle child.  And, if birth-order studies are credible, he is definitely a middle child!

6.  He started, as he does every year, counting down to his birthday right after Amy's in August.  He knows his is next and he is quick to remind anyone and everyone.  6 is our birthday year.  The year we let the kids have their "big" party and invite all of their friends.  Given the broken arm we didn't know how this would play out.  He originally wanted to have it at Monkey Joe's, one of those indoor playplace/jumpy places that are all the rage now.  But he changed his mind to Chuck E. Cheese, his favorite, his standby.  

We celebrated his actual birthday at home, just the 5 of us.  It was fun, nice, and easy.  Just the way we like it.  Then that weekend (yikes 2 weeks ago already?!) we had the big party.  He had a blast.  Friends came, there was pizza, presents, cookie cake, and tickets.  What more could a new 6-year-old want?  Not much since he, as he always does, claimed it to be the best birthday ever when he went to bed that night.  Melts my heart every time he says it, because it is genuine and honest.

So, wild hare that he may be, my little guy is growing up.  But he has managed to keep his kid-ness and love of childhood and fun ever present.  6.  Wow.  I haven't uploaded all of the pictures I took at his party (I know!  Shame, thy name is Dusty) but I will share them once I do.  But I got some great shots with my iPhone (since it is always handy) so I will share those here.

All is well, one year older, in Drosche Lane.

He loves boardgames and this one looked right up his alley!  He loves it and it is tons of fun!

Love his face!  

Goofball! 
In the Ticket Blaster at Chuck E. Cheese!  He was so cute and I'll admit I think it looks like so much fun too!

We love us some Duck Dynasty around here and Jackson loves his new Si shirt!

He is always so genuinely excited about every gift, this is his reaction to everything he receives!

Finally!  He's been waiting for it!
  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hot Stuff

No, this post isn't about the Donna Summer song.  Nor is it Amy's nickname for me (or is it).  Nope, instead I am going to tell you about my brief encounter with the Houston Hot Sauce Festival.  With an emphasis on hot and brief.  

Now, I love me some spicy food.  Yum.  So when a Groupon for the Houston Hot Sauce Festival came up this past summer Amy bought it.  Festivals are fun.  We enjoy going to them.  This seemed like a great idea.  Flash forward to yesterday, the day of the festival.    We'd had torrential downpours all Friday during the day and night.  We were wondering if we would even be making it to the festival.  However, the rain stopped, the morning came, and the forecast cleared.  So we ventured out.  It was located at a convention center and when we arrived we thought it might be held inside, score.  But no, it was outside.  But hey, it's in a parking lot.  But no, it wasn't.  It was in the grass, or what was grass before the aforementioned storms, coupled with the setting up of all of the booths and vendors.  Now it was mud.  Lots of it.  With patches of muddy grass sprinkled throughout just for giggles.  No, seriously, it was muddy.  But we decided to brave it, give it a shot.  After all, we'd driven all the way there.  So in we went.

We squelched our way into the festival.  The boys spotted the jumpy houses right away.  Sadly, it was a pay-for-jump arrangement and I couldn't see spending a minimum of $2/per boy to have them jump.  Oh well, we moved on.  The first booth we went to had a sauce called, I kid you not, Death Nectar.

Well, rather than start off slowly (as my dear wife would later suggest that I should have done) with the milder sauces, and then working my way up to hotter ones, I opted for the Death Nectar.  It was hot.  Very hot.  But also very good.  The guy said it was rated 337.  That sounded high, but out of what, 1,000?  After sampling I headed to buy a water.  The fire was dwindling by now and I was doing well.  Then Amy suggested that we get the boys a snow cone, since there wasn't a ton for them to do.  On the way back from the snow cone vendor I started feeling funny.  A little weak.  Shaky.  Amy took one look at me and told me to go find a place to sit down.  Apparently I didn't look too good.  Pale.  Sweaty.  Yeah, I was feeling way worse, like I was going to pass out.  So I found a seat and tried not to pass out.

Well, I didn't pass out.  After about 5 minutes I was better.  However, given then events of our brief encounter with the festival we decided it would be best if we called it a day and headed home.  Thus ended our adventure at the Houston Hot Sauce Festival.  I don't think we will return.

On the way home I did research the sauce I'd tried.  Turns out the 337 the guy was talking about, was 337,000 Scoville units.  If you are not familiar with the Scovile units, I suggest you look it up.  Especially if you are venturing out to a hot sauce festival.  For an understanding of the rating of the Death Nectar, it is about 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.  A jalapeƱo rates 3,000 - 8,000 Scoville units.  The ghost pepper, one of the ingredients in the Death Nectar, is one of the world hottest peppers and can reach above 1,000,000 on the Scoville scale.  Had I been better versed in this prior to our visit to the festival, I may have avoided the Death Nectar.  However, it makes for a good story.  Visit here to read more about or to purchase the Death Nectar.  I'm still working on Amy about getting some, it was good.  She just rolls her eyes at me!  :)

Death-opensky_thumb.jpg
Grinder's Death Nectar


All is well, cooling off, in Drosche Land.
       

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Recasting

Recasting.

Now, I'm (for once) not talking about TV and the type of recasting that brought us 2 Darrins on Bewitched (Dick York, the original was my favorite), 2 Aunt Vivs on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (the 2nd one?  Seriously?), or the 2 Beckys on Roseanne (3 changes when you count the one back to the first).  Nope, I'm talking about Jackson and his broken arm here.

Now the title makes sense right?  Although you're thinking about the TV shows now too right?  But back to the topic at hand.

Today was Jackson's appointment.  We'd been hoping and praying that the cast could come off.  Hoping and praying too, that both broken arms were healing well.  So, as it turns out one of the bones has fused back together and is looking great.  The other, the one that was completely broken through, is in line but not fully fused.  Amy was faced with the option of a 3-week period in a brace or a recasting.  She very wisely chose, after discussing with me via the phone, to recast.  The thought of keeping a simple brace on a very active 5 (soon to be 6) year old for 3 weeks and hoping and praying that it wouldn't break again was just too daunting.  So we went with the recast.

Luckily this time we could go with the waterproof cast!  Hallelujah!  4 weeks of bathing a  very active 5 (soon to be 6) year old boy with a cast has been exhausting.  Lately Jackson has been wanting us to smell the cast, insisting that it stinks.  We took his word for it.  He found it hilarious.  We found it ewwww!  

So, here we sit, facing 3 more weeks in a cast.  Thank goodness it is waterproof!  When all is said and done (hopefully this will be the final casting) we will have had 1 week in a splint and 7 weeks in a cast.  The idea of a brace is not off the table though once the casting comes off.  Just for added support and strengthening since the break was at the growth plate.  But we will cross that bridge when we get to it and I of course will keep you updated.  So, thanks for the thoughts and prayers.  They are much appreciated and needed.  I'll leave you with a picture of Jackson and his new cast, he chose red this time.  Also one of the cast he had removed!  I'm off to see if Bewitched is on Netflix or Hulu and practice my nose twitch.

All is well, roles recast, in Drosche Land.  

He was bummed at first but pleased with the waterproof status of the new cast!

Ewww.  Just that.  Ewww!
    

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Quack

So, I know that I am late getting on this bandwagon.  I know.  But I have become totally addicted to Duck Dynasty.

Now, you know I love me some reality television.  However, with our decision a while ago (maybe a year now?) to get rid of cable I don't get to see as much of it as possible.  I mean the good trashy stuff that's on cable.  Sure I love Big Brother and we sort of follow the craziness of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, and I am stoked about the upcoming season of Survivor.  But I miss the Housewives.  OC, Atlanta, New York, New Jersey.  See, cable reality shows aren't really on Hulu or Netflix and those are our primary ways of watching TV now.  Being busy we don't always get to watch it live.  So Hulu and Netflix team up to be our DVR.

So, I've gotten off on a tangent.  Big surprise right?  But I'm back now.  I have been hearing all about Duck Dynasty.  Seeing it on Facebook.  It seemed awesome.  It seemed like something I'd love.  However, patiently as I might wait, it just never is going to make it to Hulu or Netflix.  Come on cable channels, unclench!

This past holiday weekend we were at my sister-in-law Amanda's house and she has cable.  So I was bound and determined to watch some.  Lo and behold it was everything I could ever hope for.  Ahhhhhh.  Thus began a love affair with yet another TV show.  This time though, Amy fell for it with me.  We are full-fledged addicts now.

But we can't stay at Amanda's.  Nor can we trek the 8 miles over there to watch TV.  What ever is a TV addict to do?  Enter my wonderful wife.  Turns out Duck Dynasty is available on iTunes and you know we are Apple people, having already bought our second Apple TV.  So she surprised me and bought Season 1.  We spent the remainder of the weekend relaxing on the couch and marathoning our way halfway through the season.  

What joy!  What bliss!  What fun redneck comedy!  Sure, maybe some of it is staged.  What reality show isn't.  But I still think the core of the show is true and awesome.  The best part about it is that it is something we can all watch.  The boys love it as well.  I can't say the same thing about all of my other reality TV shows (sorry housewives).

Do you watch Duck Dynasty?  What do you think?  Do you love it?  Which is your favorite? Phil?  Miss Kay?  Willie?  Jase?  Jep?  Uncle Si?  I can't choose, although Uncle Si gets Amy and I laughing all the time!  If you, like I was, are one of the last remaining people to see this, I highly suggest you watch!  Trust me.

Oh, and just to give you an extra laugh, there's an app too.  It's called Beard Booth.  I love it.  See the picture of the boys I made below!  AWESOME!

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

HA!

Friday, August 30, 2013

One More

Ahhhh, a title with a double meaning.  Deep.

One more day left in August.

One more post to catch us up with the events of this past summer.  

This post will get us caught up for the month of August, but don't worry, it won't seem like a month while you're reading.  Sure, August was crazy busy, but it was mainly busy with one event - back to school.

Change was the theme for summer.  And lots of it.  As you know Amy is now teaching 2nd Grade.  She is loving it.  To her it is the best of both worlds.  The kids are still young and fun and innocent.  Yet, they're mature enough so one doesn't have to deal with bathroom accidents and shoe tying.  She has a large class, 21 students, so things are always busy and this first week and a half of school has tired her out.  But she, and her kids I'm sure, are having a blast.  Jackson is also now attending her school.  You'll remember that we made the decision to split the kids up between our respective schools.  It was not an easy decision and one that we thought, prayed, and talk about at length.  However, we are certain that we made the best decision.  Jackson loves his school and especially his teacher.  He is adjusting well and it is going to be a great Kindergarten year for him.

My big change was of course moving to a new school.  But not just any school!  Nope, I am teaching at the school where I attended 2nd - 8th grades.  Where I met Amy.  The church where I was baptized and confirmed.  So that has been a ton of fun.  My principal was my 8th Grade teacher way back when.  It is pretty surreal to be back after so long.  My classroom now was my 5th Grade classroom so long ago.  (Ironically my 5th Grade teacher is now the 8th Grade teacher at Amy's school!  Small world!)  But it has been an incredible new year!  I have 18 great students and a wonderful group of coworkers.  Everyone in the church and school has been so welcoming and excited; I couldn't be happier.  Braeden and Stella attend my school and both are doing very well also.  I think I am slowly adapting to the idea that Braeden is in 2nd Grade.  Wow!  It still feels weird to say it.  He has had a blast!  Making new friends and is totally in awe of his teacher.  Stella is being the social butterfly and winning people over left and right.  Teachers, students, other parents.  No one is safe from her charm.  She knows just how to win them over.  

The first couple of weeks were busy and a little stressful as we dealt with conflicting yet very similar schedules and learning new curriculums, schools, rules, procedures, and so much more.  But we survived and things are starting to slowly settle down as the year begins.  

Of course Jackson breaking his arm was a highlight of August.  Again, we could not be happier that surgery is not needed.  He only has about 2 weeks left in his cast.  After that he will just need to wear a brace for a while to strengthen it all back up since one of the breaks was at the growth plate in his wrist.

Is that it?  Dare I say we are caught up?  I'm sure there is at least one thing that I have forgotten, likely more.  But I'm growing tired of catching up, although I hope you're not.  So, we'll call is caught up.  Thanks for bearing with me through these past few posts, as scatterbrained and jumpy as they may have been.

Oh, one more thing.  Today ended up being a surprise day off for Braeden, Stella, and I.  Late last night we found out that the city shut off the water at school due to a problem with the waterlines.  Boom!  Day off!  So thus began our now 4-day weekend since Monday is Labor Day!  Oh, now we're caught up! :)

I'll close with this picture of the kids on their first day of school!  2nd Grade, Kindergarten, and Waddlers.  They are adorable!  Here's to a great new school year!


All is well, caught up finally, in Drosche Land.
          

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Back At It

So, here I am.

Back.

I believe that last year there is a similarly titled post around this time.  

So, August was supposed to catch us up on July and the summer.  Then August began.  August is to teachers, what April is to accountants.  Needless to say, things have been ridiculously busy here in Drosche Land.  So much change going around, our heads are still spinning.

So I'll try and cram as much into this post as possible to catch us up and bring us current. But it may get long so if you need to pause for a snack or beverage, that's cool.  

So, where were we?  July.  We bought a camper.

We stayed at home for July 4th and, as usual, celebrated with some small time fireworks.  We enjoyed it and no one lost an eye or finger!  Although there was a close call with a rogue firework that didn't go as "aerial" as it should have.  But the kids enjoyed it and I got to blow stuff up.  A win-win.
Jack's favorite are the sparklers!

Braeden's first time with a Roman candle!
  
Then we were getting ready to head to Arkansas for our big family vacation with Amy's family.  We do it every year and Arkansas has become a favorite spot of ours.  Well, a few days prior to leaving, 2 I believe.  We took the van in to get inspected.  It failed.  Crap.  So we took it to our mechanic to figure out what the issue was.  Turns out she was in worse condition than we'd anticipated.  I mean, she was well loved, a true workhorse.  But her time, with us at least, had come to an end.  The needed repairs were expensive and there was no guarantee that she would even last a year.  So, we decided to get a new car.  Shut up!  Yes, we did.  Although we'd enjoyed being car payment free for about a year, we couldn't avoid it any longer.  So we headed to Carmax (where we bought the van) and looked for something to meet our many needs.  We'd researched online and ended up just happening across a Toyota Sequoia.  It had what we needed and wanted.  It was big, with a 3rd row to hold everyone and everything.  It could tow our new camper.  It has a sunroof.  Ok, not a need but still a perk!  Best of all, the price was great and we got a fair deal on the van as a trade in.  So, we bought a new car, just about a week and a half after the camper.  Seriously.  It's never a dull moment here.
The new car in all her ginormous glory!

We are totally in love.

So we headed to Arkansas in our new (to us) car and loved every minute of it.  The vacation was awesome!  Stella did very well considering it was her first ever vacation away from home.  Our family was luckily understanding of the fact that she wakes up early and only teased us a little.  The boys found a new love of riding on a boat and being pulled in the tube.  I found that I can hold my own against Amy's brother and cousins, all around 10 years younger than me, on a rough and wild ride on the aforementioned tube!  Still got it!  It was great to get away and we enjoyed the much-needed vacation.  Possibly the best part of all was when we went fishing and Jack caught his first ever, and second, and third fish!  Amy learned how to unhook them so we will be prepared for our next big catch.  I caught a catfish that was just slightly too small to keep, much to Jackson's and my dismay as we love us some catfish.

I have a habit of taking "Road Trip" pictures.  Amy kindly obliges!

Jack the fisherman!

I love this shot of Amy and I.

Stella enjoyed the lake and didn't fuss too much over her lifejacket!

My girls!

Catch of the day!

Braeden enjoying the boat!

The last bit of July was spent at home, relaxing and bemoaning the fact that summer was all too quickly drawing to a close.  You know the drill.  But, before we all got back into the swing of things, we did make some time for a trip to the beach.  Now, I know people, even my fellow native Houstonians, hate on Galveston.  Yes, the water isn't crystal clear.  Yes, there is seaweed.  I get it.  But I still love me some Galveston.  We had a blast.  The boys have always loved the beach but we weren't so sure about Stella.  Turns out we needn't worry at all.  She is a little beach bum herself. She took right to it and didn't fuss all day.  She enjoyed herself splashing and running around, every now and then stopping to try and eat some sand.  It was the perfect goodbye to summer and left Amy and I wondering why we don't make it to the beach more often.  So we make plans to camp there over Labor Day!  However, with the latest development of Jackson's broken arm, we have had to cancel that since casts and water don't exactly miss.  Another camper trip foiled!  But there are plenty of other times coming up.

My girls at the beach! 
My favorite shot of the day!

My boys playing around!

Stella and I building sand castles!

So, that brings us through the busy month of July and into August.  True, August is nearly over but we're nearly caught up.  I promise.  This post has gotten lengthy, although I hope I've won you over with the many pictures!  :)  I'll do one more catch up post to fill you in on the joys that have been August 2013 here in Drosche Land.  Then we'll be squared away and ready to move forward.  And yes, that post will come before the end of the month.  I have a week!  

All is well, nearly caught up, in Drosche Land.