"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, March 31, 2013

A to Z: The Theme!

Ok, so I have a theme.  


I know what you're thinking.  It's about time.  Why haven't you told us?  The suspense was  killing you and here I am, leaving it to the very last minute.  Well, dear readers, worry not.  See, I took a long look at the past year when thinking about a theme for this year.  What to blog about?  

I thought about pictures.  I love taking some pictures, but that was a little too similar to last year.  That and my photography has been a little slow lately with the busyness of life.

Food?  Well, I like to eat, but I don't cook.  At all.  Would my opinion on foods, without a recipe be worth reading?  That and what do I eat that begins with x?  Although I do love quinoa.

Books?  Well, I'm doing children's books for my teaching blog so I didn't want to overkill that thought.  That and with small children in the house for the past few years I really haven't had the time to read as much as I'd like.

So now what?  I'd signed up already.  I'd committed myself.  I do love the challenge too, so I couldn't just cop out.  What to blog about???

Then it hit me.  Stella.  If I look back at the past year, although tons has happened, having a 3rd child has been a dominant part of it.  Bingo!  ding ding ding!

See, I've been a parent for 6 years, but this was like being a new parent all over again.  I'm older.  It's a girl!  Cloth diapers?  So many things had changed in the world and our lives since we had Jackson.  So, my theme will be Stella/baby.  The A to Z of having a 3rd child, my beloved daughter Stella.  

I already have a lot of the letters assigned but, truth be told, I have yet to schedule any! Gasp!  I know.  Scheduling is key to success in the challenge so I need to get on top of that!  So, I hope you enjoy the next month and 26 days of insight into being a 3rd time around parent.  Funny?  Insightful?  Introspective?  Entertaining?  I promise nothing, well, other than myself.  So, join along with me once again as I work my way through the alphabet, April, and being a parent.  Again.

Oh, and I do still want to do Sunday Snapshot posts when I can and possibly even the occasional post that is unrelated to the challenge but totally related to Drosche Land.  We will see though.  Thanks so much!  Get ready!

All is well, ready for the challenge, in Drosche Land.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Disclaimer: No Drosches were harmed in the events of the story I am about to relay.  We are all safe and sound.  So many prayers of thanks to Him for that!

Dude!  So you know how it is when you feel like you can't catch a break?  You know what I mean.  Well, as you can tell from the photo above, I'm having one of those times right now.  You remember the blowout from last Friday.  Well, we're just getting over that.  It seems like a distant memory after the events of last night.

So I'm on my way home with the kids.  I'm totally 30 seconds from turning in to the neighborhood.  Then bam!  Literally, bam.  You know how they (whoever they are) say that most accidents occur near the home?  Well they aren't kidding.  Trust me, it's true.  There I am sitting at a red light, the last light until I turn in to the subdivision.  The light changes to green.  The cars in front of me go.  I go.  The car next to me slams into my car whilst (don't you love that word, makes me feel better to use it) trying to get in front of me.  Seriously?!  Well, after the initial few seconds of shock I floor it after them to get their plate numbers in case they're running.  I mean, I'm all for a good chase, but I've got the kids with me this time.  Luckily they pull in to a parking lot.  I'm already on the phone with Amy, who's at home cooking dinner (by the way she was making phenomenal homemade mac & cheese).  She stops and heads our way.  

I get out of the car, after warning the boys to stay inside the car (you never know).  I walk around and see the damage.  Seriously?!  Ok, so I may have said something a little stronger than that but hey, this is a family friendly blog.  The front panel from the passenger door to the front of the car is dented and scraped and the bumper is cracked in the front.  Crap!  I go back to get my iPhone to start taking pictures.  I took a lot, I want full documentation.

Meanwhile the girl, literally a 19 year-old, is getting her information ready and has mumbled, "Sorry.".  I nod.  I'm still to upset to speak and don't want to get all crazy on some poor stranger, even if they did just open up a whole can of financial drama and craziness in my life.  I decide I'd better get my information out and ready.  I go to open the passenger door and it won't open.  Seriously?!  This time I actually did say that.  The door itself is fine so it must be something jammed or out of line on the inside.  Crap.

Amy shows up and Jackson immediately hangs out the window and yells, "Hey Mom!  We've been in a major accident!"  Leave it to him for some comedic relief!  Then he jumps out of the car to assess the damage in wide-eyed disbelief.  Amy exchanges our info with the other driver as I call 911.

Long story short the sheriff comes and gets it all handled.  She's ticketed for changing lanes at an "improper and unsafe time".  Sad for her, relief for me.  I mean, I knew it wasn't my fault, but now there's proof.  We part ways, this time I answer her "Sorry." with, "It's ok.  Have a good night."  I've calmed.

Later at home, after dinner, I call and make claims on our insurance and hers.  Thus begins the fun of repairs and dealing with the aftermath of an accident.  Fun.  Note:  You were supposed to read the last "Fun" in a sarcastic voice.  Feel free to do so now if you didn't the first time.

This is not my first accident, I was in one in high school.  But that was light years ago and I'm all grown now.  So technically, I've never done all of this.  Fun (yes sarcastic again).  Up first on the agenda is a rental, if possible, and if her insurance will cover our deductible.  Contact with both Adjusters will be able to answer those.  In the meantime we wait.  And pray that our run of bad luck has come to an end.  Especially where it involves drama of the automotive nature.

We shall see.  But again, everyone is safe so it's only material items and money that we need to worry about now.  Not that those things aren't more than enough, but at least we don't have to place and injury cherry on the top of our towering accident sundae!

All is well, seriously, in Drosche Land.   

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Blow Out

Clearly I'm not talking about a visit to the salon here people.

So, the above incident happened to me on the way home from work yesterday.  But, before I get into it all I have to give you some background information.  Just listen.  Trust me, it will come in handy later.  Oh, and this may be a long story.  Hopefully it's interesting, but long.  You might want to grab a snack.

Over Spring Break we had a little incident with the Trail Blazer's liftgate.  See, we were getting ready to head out to the drive-in.  I was getting our chairs and putting them in the trunk.  The trunk was open.  The chairs are at the front of the garage so Amy decided to back the Trail Blazer out a bit to help me get to them.  Yep, you guessed it.  The liftgate got caught on the garage door.  Luckily no major damage was caused to either the car or the door.  However, the handle to the liftgate was damaged and we cannot get it open.  I made the decision to wait on getting it fixed.  I thought, "Eh, we can just open the glass top and get in that way.  It can wait.  We'll save up the money and do it later."  Famous last words.

Ok, so you're filled in now.  On with the original story.

So, I'm driving home.  I'd just finished a phone call when I heard a funny noise from the rear of the car.  Also, it wouldn't accelerate as well.  No smoke.  No flashing lights.  The only thing was the tire pressure light had come on.  Crap.  I pulled over onto the shoulder.  Now, keep in mind I'm on the HOV of a major freeway here.  On the far right side, where the shoulder is.  With all 3 kids.  I glance out my window at the cars flying by me.  I'll be honest dear readers, it took me a minute to get the courage up to open the door and step out.  I immediately saw the driver's rear tire.  Crap.  Back into the car I go.  The boys know something is up.  I try calling Amy but she's not answering.  We're supposed to eat dinner at some friends' house and we're meeting there.  Crap.  Not going to make that.  Amy answers as a huge Toll Road Authority tow truck pulls up.  Awesome.  I get the kids out of the car and into this giant truck.  The boys are clearly excited.  Stella doesn't mind too much either.  Into the tow truck we go.

Stella and I riding in the front of the tow truck.

The boys enjoying their ride!
Now things get funny from here.  The air conditioning in the tow truck just went out and he was on the way to the shop when he stopped to help us.  Shortly into our ride the "Check Engine" light comes on.  I can't make this stuff up folks.  Since we have a full-size spare we decide to have the guy take us to the park & ride to change it.  Now, think back  to the incident from Spring Break.  Remember?  Good, here we go.

So we get to the park & ride only to find out that the access point to lower the spare down from underneath can only be reached when the liftgate is opened.  Ahhhh, now you see the purpose for the story within a story?!  Crap. 

Now what.  Well, as it turns out, it is against his policy to take me to a second location so I'm stuck here.  Crap.  Troubleshooting via the phone with Amy begins.  Meanwhile the boys are collecting acorns from trees and running around while I hold Stella on my hip.  Amy has the brilliant plan to just remove the tire, take it to get replaced, and bring it back to put it on.  Great!  Saves us the wait time on another tow truck and the cost of one too!  

We begin the process when who should drive up?  Mr. Toll Road Authority Tow Truck Driver Man (note: not his real name).  He came back to check up on us.  Yes dear readers, there are still people like that out there.  Turns out though, he informs us that our jack (the one that came with the car) is crap.  And he's seen people lose a leg using one.  Crap.  So he uses his giant fancy one to get the car up and his drill-like tool to get the nuts off quickly.  We put it on my crappy jack and he leaves.  

The kids get loaded into Amy's van.  The destroyed tire gets loaded into Amy's van.  A tired me gets loaded into Amy's van.  Off to Sam's (literally across the street) we head.  I'll speed up the story here.  They get the new tire mounted and balanced.  We head back to the Trail Blazer and luckily it's still there and our crappy jack hasn't collapsed.  The tire is put on and we make a quick stop back at Sam's to get the nuts tightened before heading home.  Finally.  

Keep in mind that it is now 7:00 pm.  The tire blew at about 4:45.  We had one extra diaper.  No bottles.  No snacks, save for a few graham crackers that Stella ate.  However, God's grace was shining down on us as all 3, yes all 3, kids were very patient and well-behaved throughout this whole ordeal.  Sure there were moments here and there, but overall it was amazing.  The boys ask to eat out at La Finca, one of their favorite restaurants just across the street from our neighborhood.  Amy and I figure that it is a good reward for their cooperation but Stella is well past her bedtime and we didn't want to stretch our luck with her so Amy stayed home with her to give her a bottle and put her to bed while the boys and I went out to dinner.  It was nice to have some boy time, but the 3 of us were so exhausted that we didn't talk much.  We quickly ate and got Amy's order to-go.

Dinner.  Finally.

So, there you have it.  Just another little adventure here in Drosche Land.  Never a dull moment.  Lucky for us, we have once again begun to follow Dave Ramsey's plan.  Thanks to an emergency fund, we can handle this little mishap and it is no longer a burden for us.  Yes dear readers, we are back on track to financial freedom, but that's a topic for another post.  The events of yesterday have just cemented in us the need for financial freedom and have motivated us more to keep it up!  So keep it up we will!

All is well, re-inflated, in Drosche Land.   

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sunday Snapshot: 9 Months

9 months.  Wow.

I think that's how I began the 8 Month post?  Still, it amazes me every month.  It doesn't matter that I know it's coming.  It doesn't matter that I've already experienced this twice with the boys.  It still takes me by surprise each and every month when I stop to look and realize how much she has grown in just one short month.

Her new favorite smile!  I'm proud to say I taught her this!

As you can clearly see we now have multiple teeth.  5 in fact.  She's definitely learning how to use them too.  On Amy that is!  See, for some reason Amy is the only one she bites.  Never purposefully though, mostly accidental.  Well, at least I'm assuming it's accidental!  :)  It sure does seem as though she will take after Jackson and be putting anything and everything she can get ahold of into her mouth!  Oh the joys!

Blocks are by far her favorite toys for chewing!

This month's photo shoot started out rocky.  I was rolling right along and getting some great shots.  Then I realized that the SD card wasn't in the camera.  Crap!  After putting it back in I tried to recreate the magic we'd had before.  No dice.  She wasn't having it.  Full-on fit.  So we took a break.  Amy suggested a pause and a snack before trying again.  As is typically the case with her advice it worked.  About 45 minutes later we were back in our outfit and back at it.  It wasn't the same as before and I didn't get nearly as many pictures as I usually do, but I was able to get some great shots and edit some others to get them up to par.

Can you see the attitude here?  She was getting tired of the photo shoot by this point and it looks as though she wants to punch (or maybe bite) me.

As I've mentioned before she is off and crawling now.  Into everything.  I'd forgotten how, despite her chunky little arms and legs, she can blaze through the house at lightening speed!  She's already working on pulling up and standing so, we fear, walking is not too far away!  Yikes!  But her newfound mobility is a relief to Amy and I as we no longer need to be right by her all the time, holding her up or moving her around.  She's quite content to do whatever she wants and go wherever she wants.  Clearly she is under the impression that she runs this place!  I wonder where she would have gotten that idea?  :)

You know I had to have a black and white!

So here we are.  Another month down.  Just a few more to go before we reach her big birthday.  I am nowhere near ready for that!  I wonder what 10 months will bring?  She's babbling up a storm now and man can that girl "talk" once she gets going?!  She has a lot to say, all of the time.  Her favorite sound is, "baba", and she uses it with many different tones, intonations, and expressions to mean a variety of things.  It's hilarious and the boys will speak it back to her and carry on conversations about who knows what.  Hopefully they're not all secretly planning a mutiny!  Until then we just talk back to her and await her first word.  Amy is working on it being "Dada".  Braeden's was "Mama" and Jack's was "Hi".  We will see what her highness has to say!  It's only a matter of time.

All is well, picture perfect, in Drosche Land.


Sunday, March 17, 2013



As in Spring Break.  But also a break in general.

As you've noticed, maybe or maybe not, I haven't been around much lately and this is my first post for the month of March.  Well, I just needed a break.  I love me some blogging and reading blogs, but I just needed a break.  Know what I mean?  So I took one.  Nothing major going on, just a little break.  It also coincided with Spring Break so this post will as well.  But, I'm back now and rejuvenated.  Ready to resume posting and reading with renewed excitement!  Thanks for the warm welcome back.

So anywho.  Spring Break.  It was last week.  With Amy back in the classroom this was our first Spring Break together where we had off as a family.  Crazy huh?  We were stoked and could not wait for the extra time together.  We didn't have any major plans.  Just hanging around home.  A staycation so to speak.  It all began last Saturday with a trip to the drive in theater!  Have you ever been?  If not, I highly recommend it if there is one near you.  The one way out by our house is The Showboat Drive In.  We have been several times before and we never fail to have a fun time.  It's way cheaper than a traditional theater and the kids don't have to be super quiet or seated (a good thing when you have 2 boys!).  The original plan was to meet up with the cousins and make it a family thing, but sadly they began to get sick with flu-like symptoms Saturday morning (insert ominous music here).  But, Amy and I had promised the boys and we were really looking forward to it so we headed out anyway.  We went and saw Oz the Great and Powerful.  Side note: LOVED the movie.  I'm a big Wizard of Oz/Wicked fan so this was right up my alley.  Awesome and highly recommended!  The boys both enjoyed it as well and Stella did great, sleeping in her carseat as we watched the movie.  We didn't stay for the 2nd feature this time because we were tired.

Amy and I at the windy drive-in!

The kids enjoying some pre-movie playtime!

Sunday brought about a relaxing day at home where the biggest event was visiting a farmer's market near our house.  We picked up some veggies and Amy got 2 tomato plants to add to the garden.  Sadly, many of our little plants did not make it.  Maybe I don't have as green of a thumb as I thought?  Maybe I'm just not as diligent with watering as I should be?  Regardless, this farmer isn't giving up so easily.  On Monday we stayed home and worked in the garden, planting Amy's new tomato plants, some green beans we transplanted from inside (they'd been the sole survivors but I'm not sure how they're fairing outside), and carrots.  So our foray into an edible garden will begin on a slightly smaller scale than we'd originally planned, but we're still hopeful for a bountiful harvest of tomatoes, green beans, and carrots.  We'll plant more on the next go-round.

Looks good now, fingers crossed for harvest time!

Amy and the boys planting flowers

Hard at work!

On Tuesday we decided to once again purchase a membership to the Houston Zoo!  We've had one before and loved it.  Amy and I love the zoo and the boys do as well, especially Jackson.  Plus, with a membership we foresee many fun, and free, trips over the summer!  Stella did alright for her first time.  She loves her schedule, so being off of it a bit, along with the unexpected heat, made her a bit cranky at first.  Then she quieted down and looked around, eventually falling asleep in the stroller.  The boys had a great time and we left pleased with our purchase.  However, (remember the ominous music from before?) when we returned home we discovered that Jackson had fever.  Crap!  Well, at least it was over Spring Break and just the beginning.  So we began the beloved and well-known Tylenol/Motrin regimen and made plans to relax on Wednesday as he recovered.  

Then Wednesday came and brought a fever for Braeden.  Double crap!  Add another patient to the regimen.  Long story short, they held on to their fevers all week long.  Jackson becoming fever-free yesterday and Braeden today.  Luckily this means that we won't have to miss any work next week for illnesses (fingers crossed).  Another silver lining is that the unexpected sickness forced us to slow down and enjoy more time at home.  Our backyard camp out and fishing trip (two other Spring Break plans) have been postponed to Easter Break.

Adam came down from Nebraska at the end of the week since his Spring Break is next week and it was great to have him back for a bit since we hadn't seen him since Christmas and he hasn't been here in H-Town since last May.  We all enjoyed seeing him and he and I got to hang out Thursday night together.  

All in all it was a great Spring Break, even if it wasn't the one we'd planned.  We enjoyed some fun family time together and got to actually take a break from routine and rest a bit.  Funny how HE makes time for that even when we don't right?  So tomorrow we get back to our routine and I am not the least bit tired!  4:30 am will come all too soon so I must force myself to sleep here in a bit or I run the risk of some serious dragging in the morning.  So I'll sign off for now.  I also took Stella's 9 month pictures, but I will save those for their own post, maybe tomorrow.  

It's good to be back.  I've missed you dear readers and I've missed blogging.  Don't worry though, all is well and I've got a lot to say.  The A to Z Challenge is just around the corner.  I'm still thinking about a theme so I'd better hurry on that!  Yikes!  Let's hope for some divine inspiration over the next few days!

All is well, post-break, in Drosche Land.