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

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas!

Yes, technically it's the day after, but still. Merry Christmas. 

How was yours?  Christmas here in Drosche Land was great.  With all the holiday hustle and bustle it did seem to come unusually fast this year though. I seems as though we were just in school preparing for the Christmas Break and now, here we are, one week into it and it's half gone already. But back to the post at hand.  Christmas. 

Our celebrations were the usual here. Last minute shopping, as always, on the 23rd. I love shopping right before Christmas anyway. All of the lights and decorations. All of the people hurriedly preparing for the big day. I just love it.  To me, it wouldn't be the same without this last minute shopping. Luckily we always seem to have something more to get so I don't think we will ever be in the position to avoid the stores so close to Christmas. At least I hope not. 

Christmas Eve involved decorating cookies with the cousins, always a fun time. Amy made some wicked good gingerbread this year and tweaked the recipe for some of the icing so Stella could enjoy it as well. Then it was off to church which is always fun and, of course, family tradition. We go to the family service at 4:00 which is good because we all have young kids so the later services aren't as suited for us. But I am looking forward to the day when a traditional service, complete with hymns and candles, is back on our level. After church it was back to Amy's Mom's house for out usual dinner of crackers and cheese, dips, and cookies. Dang!  I just realized I didn't get any eggnog this year. Not a single glass. Hmmmmm. Then we all opened the gifts with Amy's family. Tons of fun. I love watching the kids. Never ceases to entertain. Then it was back home to leave cookies for Santa and shuffle the kids off to bed so Amy and I could finish wrapping and Santa could make his visit. 

Side note: another year went by with the magic of Santa still intact for Jackson!  Score!  We shall see what next year brings, although I selfishly hope the truth remains hidden. 

Christmas morning came and the kids were excited to see that Santa had indeed stopped by our house. Whew, they'd been good afterall. Dodged a bullet or two there!  After opening our gifts we headed to my parents' house to celebrate with them.  There was more delicious food.  Both of our families opt for a snack-themed Christmas menu. This is fine by Amy and I. I mean, I love to graze all day long!  After lunch it was back home to spend the rest of the day on the couch as the kids began to play with every single thing they'd received. Well, nearly every single thing!  The rest of the day and night went peacefully and we had a great time. 

One of the most fun things about this Christmas is that Stella was actually of the age to understand everything. So, even though she's been through two Christmases, this was the first that she could truly interact with and enjoy. She loves to sing. All the time. Loudly. Most of the time it's "Let It Go" from Frozen. But this holiday season she would cycle through a medley that included "Jingle Bells", "In A Little Stable", and snippets of other tunes. She also loved to wish everyone a "Merry Christmas!"  It was adorable. She had a blast. 

So, here I sit. The day after Christmas. I may have mentioned this before, but it's always a little melancholy for me. The big day is over. You've been gearing up for about a month and then bam!  It's done. Decorations begin to come down. New gifts are put away. Everything returns to normal.  But that's a good thing I guess. Then we can continue to focus on the true meaning on Christmas and the gift He gave us all. 

So. Christmas 2014. I hope it was good for you. I was reminded of the many blessings He has given me. My beautiful wife, children, family, friends. It's been fun. Hopefully the remainder of the holiday break is as relaxing as today was. 

All is well, still in the Christmas spirit, in Drosche Land.  


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Movin' On Up

No, not to the East side. And I'm never going back to apartment living, regardless of how deluxe it may be. Nope, I'm talking about a different kind of moving up.  As in grade levels at school. 

Starting in January, once school resumes, Amy will be moving up (the title all makes sense now huh?) to teach 4th Grade instead of 2nd Grade. I know. It's still a bit of a shock to us as well.

It all began much earlier this school year, with a bit of sad news. The 4th Grade teacher at Epiphany suddenly passed away. It was very sad and emotional for Amy and her coworkers. Since then there have been 2 substitutes working together in the class. Amy, always willing to help and looking for a challenge began to contemplate moving up to take over. We talked about it. We prayed about it. We decided it seemed like what He was calling her to do. Everything was working out for it as well. Amy had a Student Teacher this fall who was also the daughter of a family friend. She graduated last week and obviously is looking for a job. The plan was to have her take over in 2nd Grade while Amy moved up to 4th as the permanent teacher. 

It was approved and everything was put into place. That was all a little over a month ago. It seemed so far off, but now the time is here. Yesterday was the last day of school before Christmas Break and today we spent the day moving Amy from her old classroom into her new classroom. We worked hard and made a lot of progress. We will go back on Monday to finish everything up. Meanwhile, over the course of the past month she's been working on lesson planning, reading through curriculum, and preparing herself to teach 4th Grade.  She's been super busy and, of course nervous, but all is coming together and working well. 

It make me laugh though. This girl who, in college, was so sure she would only ever be an Early Childhood teacher. She disliked any fieldwork or experience in anything above Kindergarten. One of our dearest professors who taught several of our classes always refused to put her in lower grades, despite Amy's insistence that Early Childhood was the only thing for her.  Instead, Dr. Keiper insisted she be well-rounded and not closed off to anything. You'd never know what He has planned. Ha!  Turns out she was so right all along. If only she could see what was going on now!

4th Grade. They're tall. There's multiplication and essays. Cursive writing and hormones. Yikes!  I have to admire Amy because I would never be able to do this, nor would I want to. But not Amy. Nope. Not my Amy. She loves change. Loves a challenge. Thrives under pressure and strained circumstances. She's nervous and forever worried she's making the wrong decision, but I know she will be amazing!  I have such confidence in her, as do her coworkers, principal, and the current 3rd Grade parents who had her in 2nd Grade last year and are ecstatic to have her again next year!  Awesome. 

So, another adventure about to begin here for us. Well, for Amy really. But it's a good thing. A very good thing. And I can't  wait to see how it turns out.  I also now have a strong urge to watch The Jeffersons after writing this. Sadly I don't think it's on Netflix?  Hmmmmm. 

All is well, challenge accepted, in Drosche Land. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Yes Virginia


You know the rest of the quote. There is a Santa Claus.  

Yes, we celebrate with Santa here in Drosche Land. The birth of our Savior and the true meaning of the season is always present and foremost; but we do include Santa. And the ever controversial Elf on the Shelf. But more on the elf later. 

When you have kids, Santa is suddenly brought back into your life. Like an old friend. One you've lost touch with over the years but who suddenly returns. Bringing with them many fond memories and traditions. You spend the next few years of your parenting life keeping the magic of Santa alive and well for your children. Reading about him. Telling about him. Visiting him. Writing letters. Yes, probably using him to bribe your kids to stay quiet for just one single minute.  (Hey, no shame, we've all done it). Then one day the magic is gone, and with it the old friend has left again.  That day came for Braeden last year. I'm not quite sure how or when or what prompted it, but he confronted us. Asked us the truth. Amy and I, shocked as most parents are at first I'm sure, feigned ignorance. Yeah, that didn't last long. The kid is too smart for that. So we told him the truth. We also told him about the magic that is the belief. The magic that inspires the love and giving of the season that we already focus in with Jesus' birth. Christmas. The whole package. The whole shebang. And yes, that includes the slight little white lie of the jolly old man in the red suit.  It also includes giving not receiving, family, friends, peace, and joy. 

He listened. He digested. He understood. Remarkably no tears were shed. Instead, Amy and I presented him with the task of "helping" us to keep the magic alive for Jackson and Stella. He was now in on the worldwide yearly secret. He enjoyed this and went with it. But I'll be honest, a little part of me (ok, a big part of me) was sad. He lost some of the innocence of youth with the realization. By the next day he'd put two and two together and figured out the shams that were the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Again, I cried, inside and outside. Our little guy was growing up. The boy who'd brought Santa back into Drosche Land was now slowly leading him out. 

Christmas 2013 came and was great. Then it was over and everything was back to reality. The secret was kept and our alliance upheld over the next year as it was filled with lost teeth and Easter. Then December 2014 rolls around. The tree goes up and the decorations come out. Silently the three of us meet, exchanging sideways glances. The facade is put back up and we remind him of his duty to his little brother and sister. All is well with Christmas.  Letters to Santa are written.  Engelbert our elf returns and is up to his silly little hijinks again. Jackson and Stella are blissfully unaware of the fib that the majority of the house is now telling.

Luckily Jackson shows no signs of following in his brother's footsteps this year and I am pleased with that. Not only will be magic continue here in Drosche Land, but the stress of adding another member into our secret alliance has passed. Frankly, Jackson cannot keep a secret to save himself and I am determined that Stella hold on to the belief for as long as possible. She's the baby. The last chance to keep Santa coming around here every year. I figure I've got a good 5 years left right?  

Sadly though, I know the time will come. We will all know the truth. But I hope by then the magic can still stay for fun. For entertainment. For nostalgia. "Santa" will come each December 25th and we will all smiles knowingly.  Until, of course, one of these 3 decide to have a child of their own and we can once again welcome the old man back into our lives.  But for now, we'd better watch out, we'd better not cry, we'd better not pout.  He's on his way. 

All is well, believing, in Drosche Land. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving

Well. It's nearly over.

The Thanksgiving Break. November. Both coming to an end very shortly. Time flew. It was a good break. For Amy and I it started with a conference on Monday and Tuesday.  Our Texas District always has a Lutheran Educators conference around this time of year. It was good and I learned some things and got some good ideas. It was located near NASA. I found out that Amy has never been to NASA. Ever. I was shocked. So I see a possible trip in our future?  I think the boys would love it as well. Who doesn't love the idea of space?  Being an astronaut. Weightlessness. Did you want to be an astronaut when you were a kid?  I did. But I also wanted to be an ice cream man for a while too so…. Dream big. 

Speaking of space we finally watched Gravity. Wow. Talk about anxiety attack. Major. Maybe I don't want to be an astronaut after all. We spent nearly the entire 90 minutes of the movie in panic mode. It's a wonder I didn't have a heart attack or eat myself into a sugar coma. But I loved it. Amy, not so much. Too much anxiety for her. 

Wednesday was spent relaxing and prepping for Thursday because we were hosting Thanksgiving for the first time.  Yep, the first time. Originally it was supposed to be my side of the family's yearly Thanksgiving gathering. But life got in the way and people couldn't make it. But we decided to host it anyway. Amy's mom and grandparents came over, as did my parents and grandmother. It was nice. Amy was an amazing hostess (I was not surprised) and the food was great.  It was nice to not have to travel over the holiday and spend hours in the car. The boys even mentioned this and how they liked being at home.  We also were able to start our day off by heading downtown to the Thanksgiving Day Parade, which has become a tradition of ours. That was fun and we enjoyed it. 

Thursday night I went out with Amy's mom for our annual Black Friday shopping. Yes. I shop on Thanksgiving evening. Yes. I do. I'm proud of it. We got some great deals and got much of our Christmas shopping out of the way. And I was able to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. So the two can coexist in the world. Family and Black Friday shopping. 

Friday we spent decorating the house for Christmas and prepping it for Amy's Scentsy Open House. She also had 2 friends over who sell Velata and Plexus. This was to promote Small Business Saturday. They didn't have a ton of people come but it was a success. Amy has begin selling Scentsy again. Now that life has settled down and she has the time for it she decided to revive her business. That and we love Scentsy around here so we are always willing to promote that. 

Today we finished decorating for Christmas and prepped for next week since the holiday is over. Amy's made lunches and laundry is all done. There are only 3 weeks until Christmas Break, but those will be a whirlwind of activity and busyness. 

All in all it was a good break. We rested. We relaxed. We ate great food. We shopped. I can't believe November is over and another birthday month has come and gone.  This also marks the end of hurricane season; another uneventful one. That is always a good thing.

So. That's about it. Random thoughts and reviews of this past week. I'll throw in some pictures as well to highlight some of the fun. December starts tomorrow!

All is well, thankful, in Drosche Land.


We enjoyed the beautiful weather at the park this past week. Fall is here!

My beautiful girls at the Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Yum. Enough said. 

#blackfriday

Look who has returned!  Engelbert!










Saturday, November 29, 2014

iNew



So, you know that my birthday was this month. Well maybe you did and maybe you didn't. But it was. My awesome wife got my family members together and got me an iPhone 6 Plus!  Sadly though it was back ordered for a while and I just received it about a week ago. 

But I love it. Love it. It's huge and I love it. You know I love a good Apple product and my iPhone is very near and dear to me, so this gift was perfect. It does many new and awesome things and I am still enjoying the newness of it all as I learn all about the new features available. 

One is the ability to record video in slow mo. Yes, I know this was technically available on the last new one, but it's new to me now. Who doesn't love a good slow motion sequence in a movie. Often it's a high action point in the plot and has some great music to go along with it. Now, my life is far from an action movie but that doesn't mean that my daily adventures cannot be documented in slow motion. Nope, not anymore. 

A trip to the park the other day (oh how I love Thanksgiving Break) was the perfect opportunity for me to try this out. Again, nothing super action packed. Just my little girl playing. But the video itself it cool and the fact that it is in slow motion makes it more fun. It's go me thinking of what I can have the kids do so I can record them in slow motion. Playing, running, jumping, acting silly. The possibilities are endless. 

What about you?  Apple fan?  Have you recorded something in slow motion?  Below is my first attempt!  Nothing fancy, but fun. 

All is well, slow mo and all, in Drosche Land. 









Sunday, November 16, 2014

Game Over

Soccer is done!

Sorry, did you not catch the excitement in that last sentence? It's done!  Yes, the soccer season for both boys is over!  Now, don't get me wrong. It was great. We enjoyed it. The boys had a blast. But it is nice to have Tuesday nights and our weekends back. Maybe we can slow down a bit. Maybe. 

Jackson did a great job and really grew as a player. His favorite positions was Goalie and in his last game yesterday he did a great job. This is a good position for him because it meets all of his needs. He gets to sit and watch the game, analyzing it all and following along. But at the same time, he does get the action and can throw himself, literally and figuratively, into the game when needed. He hadn't played soccer in a few years but quickly got right back into it. It also helped that we played in a league through his school, so nearly all of the boys in his class were on the team. They all get along so wel and practice at recess every day. This was good for him and helped him to build and strengthen his friendships since he is new at SML this year. I really hope that all of the boys want to play again next fall in 2nd Grade.  All of us parents want to keep the team together and I think it's a great idea. 

There weren't enough classmates in Braeden's grade that were interested in playing through the school league so we had to venture out into our area to find a place. We found one. It came highly recommended. They have leagues all around the city and had just recently expanded this season into our area. While Braeden had fun, especially since he got to be on the same team as his cousin Austin, we were not really impressed with the league. It was pretty disorganized and communication was lacking to say the least. We just don't roll that way here in Drosche Land. Braeden enjoys soccer, and every other sport for that matter, and it pretty good. But this season he didn't grow as much as we'd like and overall we were disappointed. Luckily though he had fun so that was good. Next time we will seek a different league where things run a bit better. 

It was a good season though. The boys enjoyed themselves and Amy and I firmly believe that soccer is the sport for them. So we are taking the winter season off and will play soccer again in the spring hopefully. We'd rather do that than put them in a variety of sports every few months. They both have some good skills in soccer that we'd like to hone. It caters to Braeden's natural athletic ability and is a great outlet for Jackson's extra energy, thanks ADHD. Plus it is fast-paced so he doesn't get bored or confused. 

So we've reclaimed some time and hopefully can slow down just enough for the holiday season to speed life up a bit. Plus, these past few games were super cold as we are getting hit early with some fall/winter weather. I love the cold weather but not every Drosche is as much of a fan as I am!  Oh well. 

All is well, off season, here in Drosche Land. 

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Happy Day




Birthday that is.

Today was mine. I traveled further down the 30ish road. I'm still getting used to being in my 30's despite having entered a few years ago.  It still amazes me that I am that old. 

Anywho, it was a great day.  Amy busted it to make my favorite foods for dinner and dessert. The kids made beautiful cards for me. And then there was my present. Amy got my family members together to get me an iPhone 6 Plus!  Holla!  However, despite being ordered a while ago, it has yet to ship so I am eagerly awaiting it.



School was more of the same awesomeness. My Room Mom, who also happens to be a friend and coworker, got the parents all together and spoiled me with gifts, lunch, treats, and general pampering. It was great. So nice to be thanked and appreciated. Definitely made the day. 


So here I sit now. Everyone in the house is asleep and all is quiet. Tomorrow is just another regular day. Back to normal. Now is that peaceful, yet slightly melancholy, time when it is all calmly coming to an end. Sort of like Christmas night once the presents have been opened, food eaten, and kids tucked in. Everything is over and you are thankful for your blessings, but still it is all slightly sad that it is over. Do you feel that way on your birthday?  Christmas?  Just wondering. 

But all good things must come to an end and today was definitely a good thing. I was spoiled by my beautiful wife and wonderful kids, family, friends, coworkers, parents, and my dear little students. Great gifts. Great sweets. It was quite the day. I'm very blessed and lucky. 


That's it I guess.  Tomorrow begins another adventure of a year in my 30's. What lies ahead?  What does He have in store?  Who knows, but I can nearly be sure that, if history rings true, there will be many adventures along the way. 

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


Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Vote


Happy Election Day!  Did you head out to the polls today to do your civic duty?  Did you early vote to avoid long lines?  Yeah, I didn't make it out for early voting, but I made sure to get out there tonight. 

I love Election Day. Love it. I'll be the first to admit that I am not the most politically active person. Nor do I always know the ins and outs of what is going on in our government. But I try. And I vote. It's just such an awesome opportunity and responsibility to have here in America. 

It's also one of my favorite things to teach my students about. Since their only in First Grade, we don't spend too much time learning about Election Day and its history, just the basics really. But on the big day I am sure to squeeze in as much knowledge about it as possible!  We go through valuable vocabulary such as candidate, poll, and ballot. We make little voter registration cards.  We discuss the importance of taking an active role in the government. And of course, we vote. This year it was on which cheesy snack was our favorite: Cheez-its or Goldfish (thanks to Amy for the idea).  They made little campaign posters telling why they wanted their candidate to win (thanks again Amy) and then we voted.  Chez-its won by a landslide, so Friday they will be serving their one-day term before we eat them. 

All in all it makes for a fun lesson. One that I hope at least begins a basis for their future learning and understanding of the concept. Who knows?  Maybe someday one of these little 6-year olds will grow up to run in an election of their own and the tables will turn with me casting my vote. That would be cool. 

Until then though, I vote. I educate and advocate to First Graders about voting. I do my part.  Do you? Tomorrow morning will bring fresh faces and new ideas into the spotlight of our country. That's exciting. New ideas. New causes. Change. It's not always so bad. 

All is well, ballots cast, in Drosche Land. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Aware



This is my dearest Jackson. This is also the face of ADHD. 

Did you know that October is ADHD Awareness Month?  It is. A lot has changed in our lives since Jackson's diagnosis last school year.  We've gone throught a lot with him. We've learned a lot with him. We're a lot better off because of it all. It hasn't been easy, but looking back it has been an amazing journey. 

Granted there are far worse things that someone could be diagnosed with. I don't say this to lessen his diagnosis or the disorder. Instead I say this to acknowledge the fact that we are blessed despite whatever hardships we've encountered. But it is a real thing. It is something that is diagnosable, yet it's also very individual. Jackson's symptoms are specific just to him, as are those of all ADHD patients. Likewise, his treatment plan is specific to him also. 

As you know, because I've mentioned it before, medication wasn't something we chose lightly. We prayed a lot about it. We talked a lot about it, to each other and his doctors. We thought a lot about it. We tried other avenues. But everything led us to where we are now. Two prescribed medications to help him manage his ADHD and be successful in school and life. We've been honest with him and he knows that the medications can only do so much. He has to work too. Work to understand his ADHD and to recognize his behavior and limitations.  It was a bumpy road to get the medication correct. The right prescriptions. The right dosages. The right combination. But we are here and what he is on seems to be working very well. Since he's in my class this year I am able to watch and observe thoughout the day.

One of the roughest parts of it all has been his sleeping habits. He's never been the best sleeper and has always woken up several times during the night. However, about 2 weeks ago it reached fever pitch. He was waking us up 6 or 7 times a night; sometimes with bad dreams and sometimes just because he was awake. This was all after taking about an hour to actually fall asleep in the first place. The irony is that sleeping issues are both a symptom of ADHD as well as a side affect of medication. Bummer.  After doing much research Amy found that melatonin was often used to help ADHD patients with their sleeping problems. We'd heard about this before but had never felt the need to try it since Jackson's sleeping wasn't so bad, until now. We liked the idea because it was natural and we wouldn't have to put him on another prescription from the doctor. We instantly noticed a positive change. He takes it about half an hour before bed and then by the time he's heading to bed he is calm and relaxed. He falls asleep much more easily and stays asleep. We've also noticed a difference in his mornings since he is more well-rested. 

So for now we've entered a plain in our ADHD adventure. Much welcomed after the mountains and valleys it's taken us to get to this point.  So we are enjoying it since it is an ever-changing disorder. We know dosages will change as he grows and eating habits change. But for now healthier eating (practically no preservatives or artificial colors/flavors) and medications have helped to bring out the little guy we knew was in there. The one that was hiding just under the surface, held back by the ADHD. 

He's thriving. He's happy. He's Jackson. I'll continue to update and blog about ADHD now that it is such a big part of our lives, as are Stella's food allergies (future post). Just a little something here and there to make life a more adventuresome journey!

All is well, despite ADHD, in Drosche Land. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Well Read

I love to read. I always have. Hey, it's a big reason why I teach and love my job. Amy and I have always been avid readers. For fun, that is. College textbooks?  Not so much.  But then life happens. Jobs happen. Kids happen. Dogs happen.  The free time in which to enjoy a good book seems to vanish into thin air. 

But I've decided recently to start reading again. Well, not that I stopped. But to make a more concerted effort to do so. To relax and unwind. Kind of like Amy and I are doing with running. Something for ourselves that we enjoy. 

Where to begin?  What to read?  I'm currently in the middle of several books. But I wanted to start fresh. Something new. So I decided to check out a book from the library. On my iPad. There's an app, Overdrive, that allows you to access libraries and their ebook database. You can then use your library card to check out. It's pretty awesome and I highly recommend it if you haven't done so already. All the fun of checking out a book without having to change out of your jammies and head to the library. 

Now, don't get me wrong. I still love an actual book. A real one you can hold and turn the pages. But I also embrace technology and the convenience of an ebook.  I think they can happily coexist. 

So the book I checked out is an Agatha Christie book, Hallowe'en Party. I love Agatha Christie and it's been ages since I read a book of hers. A good, old fashioned mystery. Ahhhhh. Sadly though my time with the book expires tomorrow and I cannot recheck it out since there is a hold on it. Thanks a lot random Houstonian for placing a hold on my book. Oh well. I plan on binge reading tonight. Who knows?  Maybe I'll finish?  

So. That's what's new here. What about you?  Reader?  Hard copy or ebook?  What are you reading right now?  Any good recommendations?

All is well, curled up with a good book, in Drosche Land.  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fitness

Yeah. So I am still surprised to find that I am writing about running and fitness. Much less the fact that I am actually running.  Craziness.

You might remember back in July when I posted about the fact that Amy and I had taken up running. Amy started the trend actually and encouraged me to try it. The 14 pounds I gained during the "waiting for the call" period of our adoption journey were also speaking to me. Granted their words were more along the lines of, "Have another donut!"  Regardless I decided to start. I mean, we are not getting any younger since we are 30ish. Plus, what good is all the healthy eating doing if we don't back it up with other healthy habits. 

I started slowly. Literally and figuratively. Not only did I move slowly, but I began with short distances. It wasn't long before I was moving more quickly and covering more ground. This motivated me to keep at it. That and the fact that Amy had also signed us up for our first 5K. 

The last time I blogged, I used the term rulking. You know, not fully walking but definitely not running. Well, I've moved past that now. I am actually running for the entire duration of my exercises. I know!  I'm just as shocked as you. Still. I started to enjoy it. I hadn't experienced the "runner's high" people spoke of, but I wasn't dying. 

Then came the 5K. Sadly Amy and I couldn't run it together. By then we had the placement of T & L and they could not be left alone with anyone but Amy and I. So I went with my sisterinlaw Amanda. It was a GlowFoam 5K. It was in the middle of August and it was hot. But it was fun. 

Prior to the race there was a concert. You were sprayed with colored foam. Multiple times.  You were drenched in foam residue. With several thousand of your closest fellow Houstonians. Then it got dark and the time for the run finally came. Black lights and more foam stations were set up along the    course so you could get further foamed and see yourself glow. It was pretty awesome. I'll admit too that it was fun. I enjoyed it. It definitely will not be the last 5K. Amy and I are already looking into some ones in the future that we can do together. Now, don't go jumping to conclusions. I'm not doing any half marathons or marathons. That's just crazy. But a 5K?  I can handle that.


So, there you have it. I run. Several times a week. Amy and I alternate days and times to fit our scheduled and we have gotten to the point where we make time for it. Not only has it helped health-wise (I've said goodbye to those 14 pesky pounds) but it is therapeutic. Calming in a way. It gives us some time to unwind and relax. Again. I never thought I would be referring to running as "relaxing" or "therapeutic". But it is and we are enjoying it. I still don't know if I have experienced any runner's high. I do feel good after a run, provided the heat isn't so oppressive that I feel as though I'm melting. Maybe that is a runner's high?  Who knows. Regardless, we run. I guess it is possible to teach a lazy dog healthy tricks and habits. Go figure.

My number!


                               Foamed up and ready to run!



All is well, step by step, in Drosche Land. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Kickin' It

It's been a while since the boys played sports. We took last year off since there were so many changes with new jobs and new schools. That was ok. We needed the extra time to adapt to the changes and get into new routines. 

However, as the new school year approached, both Braeden and Jackson every so subtly reminded us that they wanted to play sports. Again. As luck would have it St. Mark offers soccer through a neighborhood league for the kids who are not old enough for the school's team. This seemed very convenient and right up our alley so we signed them up. Sadly, Braeden's team didn't have enough 3rd Graders interested to make a team. Bummer. So we put that on hold for a bit. Jackson though joined the majority of the boys in his class on the 1st/2nd Grade team. This is great because they practice once weekly at St. Mark and have games on Saturdays, often at St. Mark. It's also less competitive than a separate league which is good for Jackson as he just wants to play. Win!

As it turns out we were able to get Braeden joined on a league near our house. His cousin, who is in 4th Grade, is also playing and we just found out they are on the same team. Another win!  They practice once weekly, the same night as Jackson. Even though it's way out by our house, the fact that it's on the same night makes it a win. Their games are on Sunday so our weekends have been taken up by soccer for the next few months but it's all good. Braeden's team is also more competitive, good for him as he is more serious about sports than Jack. 

So, everything ended out working for the best. Both boys get to play and Amy and I get the benefit of convenient scheduling. That's definitely something to rejoice about since it will likely not always be the case. But they are excited and so are we. This weekend marks our first games so stay tuned for details and pictures about that. I'm exciting about taking my camera out and using it more often. It's spent quite a while away since things have been so busy lately.  Another win. All in all I think we are ready for a fun and successful fall sports season here. 

All is well, having a (soccer) ball again, in Drosche Land. 

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Update

So I've been absent for a while. Life here in Drosche Land got pretty busy after the placement of T and L. Crazy busy.  So, blogging paused for a bit. As much as I wanted to post, there just wasn't the time or energy to follow through. 

I'll just jump right into the update and let you know that T and L are no longer with us. We received notification last Thursday that they would be moving to a new foster home on Friday.  Friday came and I took Braeden, Jackson, and Stella to school while Amy stayed at home with T and L. A few hours later the CPS worker picked them up and it was over.  As I've mentioned before this wasn't a surprise to us as we always knew it was the likelihood. 

These past 5 1/2 weeks have been quite the journey. Filled with ups and downs. We experienced a lot and learned a lot. We learned about each other, our children, the system, and of course T & L.  We continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers, that He would keep them safe. Hopefully in the short time we had them with us we were able to instill things that may help to shape their future. 

You're probably wondering what now?  What are our plans?  For fostering. For adoption. Well, this was something that Amy and I obviously prayed about and discussed in length over the past 5 1/2 weeks. We've come to the conclusion that we are not going to pursue anything further. No more fostering. No more adoption. We have 3 blessings that we love very much. We need to focus on the five of us now.  Adoption continues to be something that we hold dear and find important, we will just support and advocate in a different way than we'd planned. 

So we move on. Move forward. This weekend we have spent time relaxing and recovering. Stella is moved back into her bedroom and it has been rearranged for just her.  Amy and I have also spent a lot of time moving furniture and getting the house back in order.  It has been nice to sit. To enjoy each other. To relax. 

So that's it for us now. That's our update. Thank you to everyone for the thoughts and prayers during this past year as we traveled the road through the adoption and foster care process. It was felt and greatly appreciated.  Thank you. 

All is well, updated, in Drosche Land. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Getting Schooled




Well, I've been gone for a few days as things have been super hectic here in Drosche Land as we prepped for another school year. You can imagine how busy we have been with both Amy and    being teachers and having the 5 kids. But all is well and we have survived the beginning of August which was filled with meetings, preparations, classroom setup, meetings for T & L, and just life in general. We survived!  Today was the first day of school for all of us. Amy lucked out with a 1/2 day while the kids and I jumped in fully with a whole day. All in all it went very well. There were no tears this morning when getting ready. No tears when taking pictures, which I love to do. No tears during drop offs. That in and of itself is a success!  Everyone came home excited and exhausted. They are all asleep now but I, for some reason cannot fall asleep. So here I sit, telling you about our day. 


Stella. This year she is in the Toddler 2s class. Little Miss. Look at her. She was so excited to meet her new teacher, she talked about her for the past few days. She is potty trained and ready to go. Full of sass as always but sweet on the inside. Right now she is I so fully into wearing dresses which she proudly proclaims as a "pretty dress" over and over. So we let her wear one for the first day. She also loves her new shoes that light up (thanks Mom!). They are adorable. Right now in life she loves to play with all things girly still. Dolls, stuffed animals, purses, anything pink, bows, etc. Barbies are just around the corner!  Favorite foods are noodles and rice, she's a carb loader. She also loves fruit and French fries (carbs again). Sophia the First and Doc McStuffins are her favorite shows and she is obsessed with any princess movie, The Princess and the Frog and Sleeping Beauty are in full rotation now. She's a firecracker and has us all wrapped around her little finger.  Again, I'll mention her sassiness, oh my!  



Jackson. First Grade this year!  As you know he has come to St. Mark with Braeden, Stella, and I and I am so excited. That means that he is in my class and is the second of our children that I will have taught. He is one of a kind. We have found a good balance of medicine for his ADHD and he is thriving and focused. He loves numbers and anything mathematical. Right now I think he may be heading toward something related to engineering, I could totally see that. He's obsessed with his Kindle and Minecraft. He loves superheroes and collecting feathers (he found a blue jay one on the way to the car this afternoon). He loves being an older brother and dotes on Stella and L. While cartoons of any kind are still loved, he is getting to the age where he loves the Disney tween shows. Jessie, Austin & Ally, and I Didn't Do That to name a few. He had a great first day of school today and is excited to have me in class. With him being at Epiphany last year with Amy I really haven't seen him in an educational setting until today so that was interesting. With as outgoing as people think him to be, he is actually very analytical, sensitive, and quiet. He spent the majority of today just taking in the new surroundings and watching, assessing, and learning. I know he will come out of his shell eventually, he just takes slowly to new situations. But he is a trooper and there isn't anything he can't do if he puts his mind to it. 



Braeden. Third Grade. Seriously?!  Where has the time gone?  Oh he loved today and came home full of talk about his binder, planner, and all the procedures he learned. He loves school and is always excited to start a new year. He proudly proclaimed that today was going to be easy because, "first days are always easy because yet you don't have any homework yet!"  Just wait little man, just wait. He has always been, and still is, our athletic one. There isn't a sport he won't watch or want to play.  He would have the TV tuned to ESPN all day everyday if we would let him. He also is obsessed with video games, sometimes glued to his Playstation 3 and Kindle. He loves to read and is always wanting to start a new book, if only we could get him to finish one!  Like Jackson he is fully into the Disney tween shows. I think he truly believes he is going to turn 16 any minute!  Help us when he does becaus we already are dealing with some of that preteen attitude!  Oh my!  But he is an excellent oldest child, always wiling to pull extra weight and help ell out when needed with the many younger children. He has a huge heart and is a compassionate person, never thinking the worst of anyone.

T & L. Obviously I can't share their photos here. But they started today as well. T in PreK and L in Waddlers. They have adjusted to school very well considering they have never been in a group care setting.  T's teacher said she had a great day and was very excited to be there. Possibly the highlight of her day was her new backpack that she has been dying to carry since we bought it about a week ago. Her teacher is amazing and knows of the situation. She has been nothing but supportive and helpful. No matter how short of a time T is in her class, I know she will do well.  L has the same teachers Stella had last year so that was a smooth transition for us. We know she will be well cared for and loved. Her report today came with a picture of her with a huge grin on her face. She enjoyed it. She also is doing so well and that is exciting. Her teachers also are so thoughtful and caring, which we already knew when dealing with Stella and her allergies last year. 

Amy and I also had great days today. Our classes are awesome and the kiddos great. We are off to a great start. Amy is happy to be teaching the same grade for a second year and the stability and familiarity that comes along with that. I am so blessed to be at St. Mark and am loving it as always. 

So, all in all it was a great first day. Sure there will be days when things are far worse, but maybe I'll come back and read this post during those times to remind me of the good. This year is going to be a great one. It started off a little crazy with the girls' placement and all that has come with that, but we are adjusting and adapting. I know we will have a great time this year, all of us. It's so exciting. Everything is new and fresh. Everyone is excited and eager. I love my job. Well, I think sleep may finally come so I will wrap this up for tonight. One great day down and just a 170ish more to go!  Ha!

All is well, getting educated, in Drosche Land. 



Sunday, August 10, 2014

Visiting Hours

Well, the last we spoke Amy and I were preparing for our first visit with the girls' family.  Well, that was last Thursday and it went well. I mean, I guess it went well. We are newbies and have no frame of reference. However, it wasn't our worst case scenario, not by far. Therefore it was a success. 

Obviously given the circumstances of our meeting in the first place, it was awkward. I mean, how could it not be?  But the family members we met were nice. They introduced themselves and we did likewise. They did thank us for taking care of the girls and we obviously praised the girls and said good things.  Then we left them to their visit and spoke with our caseworker and filled out some paperwork. The hour actually went by pretty quickly. When it was over we talked a bit more, sharing some of the current details about T and L. They were enjoying school, playing with our biological 3, our dogs, etc. then it was time to go. 

Probably the biggest news was the fact that we found out a family member is interested in pursuing custody of the girls. This is a good thing. The goal of Foster Care is the mending and reunification of family and Amy and I totally support that. We don't know much more other than that though. There is no timetable. The girls could be with us for a week, a month, or longer. It all just depends on the process. So for now we just continue as we have been. Day by day. Minute to minute. 

Amy does have a phone conference with some family members tomorrow so we will see if that brings any answers or new information. We also still have to meet our new caseworker, also something that should provide some further clarity. 

Overall though the first visit was good. Interesting. It was surreal honestly. To even be in that position, one we never imagined or thought we would ever be in, was something to take in. But it was positive and it was something that I am glad we did, meeting the girls' family. Putting names to faces. Allowing them to see and meet us. I think it was good.

All is well, post visit, in Drosche Land. 

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

One Week In

Ok. So a week and a day technically. But I was tired yesterday and chose to veg and sleep rather than blog. 5 kids will do that to you!

But anywho. We've had the girls for a week now. And boy has it been a week. A rollercoaster would be an understatement. There have been amazing highs and ridiculous lows, often in the same day. But we are seeing progress in both girls. Slowly but surely. I think I said it before and I have heard it from countless other foster families, in person and via blogs, that you live day to day. Especially at the beginning

So I obviously can't share too much about the girls, although I'm dying to. I know pictures are a no but I'm not sure about names. So I'll stick to L for the youngest, 13 month old, and T for the older 4 year old. That way I can refer to them. 

L is doing well. She's young so she can adapt more easily and I is more flexible. We are working on weaning her from the binky and that is our major step with her. When we got her she had it in her mouth all the time. Now she only uses it for naptime and bedtime. See, we are just not binky people. Braeden was easily weaned. Jackson loved his and was more difficult. But by 13 months they were well past it. Stella didn't want to have anything to do with them past a month so it was never an issue. L though was a trough addict. But the good thing, in spite of the crying and screaming that comes with weaning, is that her verbal skills are rapidly increasing. She has found her voice and is not afraid to use it. Loudly. Anywhere. But that's a good thing. We will work on volume and words as we go. All in due time. 

T is a bit different. Being older she is more set in her ways and has more experiences to guide her each day. But she still has made some progress, albeit slow going. We work mainly on manners and rules to keep her and others safe. Baby steps. Slowly but surely. She and Stella have butted heads quite a bit though so that is our biggest hurdle right now.  Working on their relationship.  As you know Stella is quite headstrong and is used to being the sole female child in the house. Having someone else come in has been a bit hard for her. Plus first impressions were not the best so she is still holding onto that. But there are glimmers of hope. They do play together well occasionally. They do talk somewhat. Baby steps.

We have also been humbled so much and have seen His hand and the goodness of others so much lately. So many friends, coworkers, and others have stepped up to help provide the girls with clothing and shoes, food for the family, a listening ear, and other much-needed things. The things we never could have been prepared for when waiting for an emergency placement. There have been tears of joy and gratitude abounding and it makes our hearts swell. Just another way in which we know He is helping and guiding us on this adventure. 

Amy and I are hanging in there. We also have our good days and our not-so-good days.  Being a foster parent is a whirlwind of emotions, daily. Frustrating. Rewarding. Heartwarming. Trying. I could go on but I think you get the picture. However, at the end of the day we are confident that we are doing what He has called us to do.  We take it step by step and try to remember to seek His help along the way. We also are being sure to make time for ourselves, together and individually. Our runs have become therapeutic and we make sure to get them in. 

There is also the fact that we are back at work.  Our jobs have become somewhat of a respite too as we were told they would. Being with our friends and other adults is helping. Working and occupying our brains is helping. It's nice to be busy planning for the beginning of the year and giving our if minds a break from everything else. It's healthy. 

Which brings me to the fact that the girls have attended St. Mark for 2 days now. They are doing well. L has taken to her teachers and friends and is adjusting. She cries a bit but is enjoying it. T is with Braeden and Jackson since it's care for Faculty/Staff kids so that's good. Plus the daughters of a good friend/coworker of our are there too. So we are hoping it will be a good, slow transition to an actual school day. 

Wow. Just like that I have talked your ear off. But blogging is therapeutic too so thanks for listening.  I could go on and I am always blogging in my brain but I will wrap it up here. One last thing is that the girls have their first family visit tomorrow. Amy and I are nervous about this since it is our first time. We are also nervous about the potential for regression and mood changes afterward. But we are praying and know that He is with us as always. So I'll update on that later as well. Along with all of the other foster care stuff in my brain to share. But it's getting late and this is getting long. I think everyone is asleep so maybe I'll veg out with some Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. You know I love me some of that!

All is well, one week in, in Drosche Land.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Final Days

So we are officially in the final days of summer vacation.  Technically I always consider the last Friday (yesterday) to be the final day since a weekend is just a weekend. So that means summer is over for us here in Drosche Land since Amy and I both report back to our schools on Monday. 

In the last post I shared our good news about our foster care placement.  Well, after the first court date we learned that the girls would remain in CPS custody and thus with us. For how long?  We don't know. We do know that some family members (but we don't know who) did express interest. However, they too would have to go through the process we went through this past year as they explore a kinship placement.  That is all also dependent upon what CPS and the court think about that. So basically it doesn't mean much. We do know that the next court date it set for early September, so the girls will likely be here for at least that long. 

I know what you're thinking. Yes, our personal end result was a permanent adoption placement. However, you'll recall that we went dual-track and have accepted these girls as a foster care placement. The goal of foster care is to help families and help them to stay together. Amy and I fully support this as family and the health of the children are first and foremost. We always knew a temporary foster care placement was a risk/possibility, but it was one we were willing to take. So basically we are waiting. Anything could happen at any time. We just don't know. In this process nothing is "routine" or predictable since eveythting is dependent upon each family's situation and circumstances. So we wait. The one thing we do know is that HE has placed these girls with us.  We don't know the timing of anything, nor can we possibly ever predict the end of our adoption journey. We trust that HE has an ultimate plan for us and we are doing our best to stay open to it, listen, and follow. We take it all day by day. 

Having said that, these past few days have been busy as I am sure you can imagine. 5 kids. 5. Kids. That's a lot.  But it's not impossible, nor is it unbearable. Everyone is still working out their roles and relationships but we are seeing some progress. Yesterday was a rough day honestly. Today was better. I can't and won't go into too much detail right now, but suffice it to say we are all learning and working together. At the end of the day though, Amy and I know that progress is slow-going and the road will have twists, turns, and setbacks. But there have also been wonderful moments full of smiles and laughter. It's a rollercoaster. An adventure. 

So, another summer has come and gone. June was pretty normally-paced but I am not sure about July, much of it was a blur. Disney World. A new truck. Vacations. A placement. We were certainly busy but enjoyed ourselves fully. As much fun as we had, it will be nice to get back into our school routine. We are also hoping that this helps with the transition of the girls and gets us all into a stable and comfortable routine. The girls will be attending school at St. Mark with me, Braeden, Jackson (did I mention he's moving to my school?), and Stella. Amy is keeping them home Monday to finish up some of the last to-do list items of the placement and then they will begin on Tuesday. This will give them some time to easily transition into St. Mark before the actual school year begins. 

Well I hope your summer was fun and enjoyable. I know ours was. Are you happy to see it ended?  Sad?  Ready?  I'm sure it's a mix of emotions as it is here for us. 

All is well, it's August, in Drosche Land. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Placement

So it happened. Yesterday. We'd spent weeks waiting, not being selected for several placements. Then out of the blue it happened. 

We'd spent the entire day at a water park with the cousins. Kind of a goodbye to summer daycation. So, there we were; hot, waterlogged, and tired. Not 5 minutes in the car and the phone rang. I knew immediately it was DePelchin because we recognized the phone number. Here we were, not expecting it in the least and an hour and a half away from home. Not such a bad thing though since it always takes about an hour or so to hear back from CPS. We listened to the information and said yes. About an hour later, 5 minutes from home, we were chosen. 

Now, obviously I can't go into too many details for legal reasons. I'm sure you understand. 2 girls, sisters, ages 4 and 13 months.  They are adorable. They've been with us just a little over 24 hours as I'm writing this and honestly we don't know much. Such is the life of foster care though. We should know more tomorrow and receive some answers about what kind of placement this is and how temporary or permanent it will be.  Until then we are living in the moment. Once again waiting. You'd think that a placement would take away that problem. But alas, #fostercarelife. 

So 5 kids is noisy. It's a constant hum to dull roar of activity. Someone is always talking. It's likely that someone is crying or about to. There are not enough toys for everyone. Ever.  But they are all getting along very well. The girls are doing well. Stella and the boys are doing well too. I'm not going to lie though, it's a lot of work. 5 kids. Amy and I haven't sat much at all. You are always going. Sure, right now is the crazy time when everyone is adjusting and figuring things out, so it won't always be this way. But it is for now. But that's alright. Honestly. Amy and I both still feel strongly that we are doing the right thing. Sure there are risks with foster care and foster-to-adopt but it's worth it. Regardless of the outcome, Amy and I have been given the opportunity to care for these 2 girls when they so desperately need it. To make an impact. To show His love for them. Yes, we do firmly believe this is what He is calling us to do. Despite the fatigue and despite the risk. 

So, that's that for now. Tomorrow will be tomorrow and who knows what it will be. But tonight we are good and all is quiet as everyone is asleep. I myself am about to collapse and turn in myself. Just wanted to share the good news. 

All is well, now with 5 kids, in Drosche Land. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Making a Run for It





Ok. So if you know me at all you know that exercise and I are not good friends. We are barely acquaintances. However, this summer that has changed a bit. 

I've never been one for physical activity. When I was younger it was mainly due to being overweight. And lazy. When I lost all of my weight I just never got into it. I guess my laziness remained. That and I never saw the point. I'd much rather obsess over and control my eating to lose and maintain weight.

This summer though Amy started up a fitness plan with some friends of ours. They would run/walk every morning. At first I was all, "good for you!", and thought nothing more of it.   Then reality hit me. Hard. In the form of weight gain, the worst. I guess as I've gotten older, into my 30's my metabolism is not what it was before. It's still good I think, but I can no longer just drop weight as easily as I could before. Gasp!  Factor in all of the stress/anxiety from the adoption process and I had put on some weight. Not much, but it was above my flex range and I hated it. I eat my anxiety and being at home over the summer was not helping either. 

So, Amy suggested that I try running. Ugh!  Seriously?!  But nothing was chasing me!  No zombies or clowns, what was the point. But,alas, I decided to give in and try it out. How bad could it be?

My first time out I did 2 miles. I'm pretty sure I almost died. I may have blacked out somewhere along the way but I can't be sure. But I survived. Sure I was out of breath and my legs were killing me and I was drenched in sweat; but I was alive. So I decided to continue. That was about 2ish weeks ago and all is going well. It's not horrible. I won't say I love it, but I definitely don't hate it anymore. It is somewhat enjoyable, mostly when it's over and I've recovered, but enjoyable nonetheless. I still have yet to experience this "runner's high" people talk about. I'm pretty sure I have the runner's low down pat, but a high?  Nope. Not yet at least. But I've lost a few pounds and I feel better. 

Well, in keeping with the way Amy and I dive head first into adventures we have also signed up for our first 5K. Seriously. It's a GlowFoam run late next month and I am actually excited about it. It was Amy's idea and she talked me into it.  So, we are in prep mode now and I have stepped up my game to get ready for the 5K. Apparently it is like 3.1 miles so yesterday I upped my daily run to 3.5 miles. Again, I didn't die so all is well with that. 

Amy and I also got Fitbits yesterday to boost our fitness adventure. We are in love. You know I love me some technology and wearable technology is taking over. So now my Pebble I have the Fitbit on, I'm always connected!

Now, I'll quickly clear some things up for you. I do not run the entire time, not in the least. I am not that good. Yet. But I don't walk slowly the entire time either. I do a combo of briskly walking and running. Alternating between the two during my time. I'll call is rulking since it's neither full-on running but also not walking. That makes it sound better. Rulking. That's more my speed!

So, that's it. If you would have said, even a month ago, that we would be into fitness, rulking, and prepping for a 5K I would have said you were crazy!  But here we are fully into a new adventure and loving it. Life can be surprising I guess. Always. 

All is well, working on our fitness, here in Drosche Land. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

All Aboard

Nope. No train ride here. I'm talking about potty training. 

See with Stella being 2 and the twin puppies in the house, 38% of us here in Drosche Land cannot consistently use the restroom at the right time and in the right place. But we are working on it. 

We began potty training Stella the week we returned from Disney and all has been going well. Very well in fact. She has been ready for a while so Amy and I were pretty confident that it would be an easy task. It's a little different with Stella though than it was with the boys. See, Amy single-handedly potty trained the boys in a few days. I just stayed out of the way and gave verbal encouragement to everyone involved. But with Stella, somehow I became fully invested in the process. At the beginning Stella really only wanted me to take her to use the restroom. This was surprising for both Amy and I, but we went with it. We are about a month in now and she is nearly fully potty trained. In fact, there is only 1 diaper left in the house and she has only been wearing them at nap time and bedtime, keeping them dry during those times. This will be the last diaper in the house for a while. That is of occur ruse, completely depending upon whatever placement we get. We could be totally thrown back into diapers. We will just have to wait and see. For now though, diapers are off the Costco list!

The puppies have also been surprisingly easy!  This is great because it's been about 3 years since we had a puppy. Both Lucy and Rex were extremely easy to potty train but the twins are younger than either of them were. Yet, they have proven to be fast learners. When Rex goes out, they go too and they have learned what to do when outside. Nor inside accidents are. Lessening and they are using the training pad somewhat. Plus, like I mentioned before, the accidents of 2 4-pound dogs are basically nothing so that's nice. 

Easy going as it has been though, we have been potty training someone for the bulk of the summer. Hopefully everyone involved will be fully (or nearly fully) trained by the time school starts. Then we will be back to 100% here. For a while at least. 

So, it may not sound like the most exciting thing, but it has been an adventure here this summer. Teaching everyone to go when needed in the correct location. 

All is well, in training, in Drosche Land. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Double Trouble



Yes. The above happened this past week here in Drosche Land. 

Finally, some news on huge adoption front. Well, one of our adoption fronts. The pet one. See, we'd been debating getting a new dog for a while. We desperately missed Lucy and needed some grieving time. However, we also thought that Rex was lonely. He needed a companion. My parents watched him when we went to DisneyWorld and he loved hanging 
out and playing with her two dogs. Then we went on vacation with my family and again he enjoyed them. So, Amy and I decided to bite the bullet and get a new dog. 

Truth be told though, it was Amy who was ready first. Randomly one day she was researching and looking online. The next thing I know she was doing a great job lobbying on behalf of getting not one, but two dogs. Two?!  I wasn't so sure about this. Especially since we were looking at puppies rather than older dogs. Two?!  I mean, I've always wanted twins, but two puppies?!  At the same time?!  After some serious convincing I found myself with the boys on the way to a shelter. Amy had found two puppies and we'd fallen in love with their pictures. 

As luck would have it they were available when I got there. In fact, that was the first day that they'd been available for adoption after their initial inspection, doctor's visits, and spaying/neutering.  Plus I was the first person to inquire about them since I got there first thing. The boys and I were instantly smitten. About an hour later we were headed home with two tiny puppies in the truck with us!

They're miniature schnauzer mixes. We personally think they look like they are mixed with dachshunds.  If this is so the technical name for them is, I kid you not, schnoxies!  However, I prefer my own term - schweenies!  So that's what we are going with. Originally we were looking into chihuahuas or chihuahua mixes. But after some research we figured they were not for our family. So mini schnauzers it was. 

Their names at the shelter were Hannah and Hamilton. As cute as those sounded we decided on Mickey and Minnie since this was the summer of Disney!  They are 8 weeks old and each weigh just under 4 pounds!  So far they have gotten along so well with Rex. In fact, he is so timid around them and Mickey chases him around often. Rex is so mild-mannered and timid in nature anyway. But he has become very protective of them and always stays where he can see them. That or he just doesn't want to be snuck up on!

We are in the process of potty training them and even when they make a mess it is so small that it is not remotely difficult or stressful. They also sleep through the night without crying so that is great.  So, overall they have been a great addition to our family and have brought a lot of fun and excitement into the house. The kids love them and Are great, we are working with Stella on being gentle though since, she is two and in that rough and tumble stage, she can be a bit heavy-handed. 

So, there's our second big adventure of the summer. Last year it was the pop-up and the Sequoia. This year it was my truck and twin puppies!  It's always an adventure here so we will see what next summer brings. I shudder to think!  :)

All is well, now with puppies, in Drosche Land. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Keep On Truckin'

Hey. So we are on vacation with my family right now. It's the heat of the day which, here in Texas in July, is a good portion of the day. Today we are spending this time inside the camper. Amy and Stella are napping, the boys are having some relaxing time with their Kindles, and I am here catching up on blog reading and now posting. Nothing fancy, but relaxing nonetheless.

We try to limit the kids' video game/Kindle time throughout the school year and even during the summer. Although summer and vacation times are a but more lenient. They get some time each day with it though, I mean after all everyone needs a little down time to veg out right?  But that's not the point of this post, so on with it. 

Back in June we traveled to Disney World. It was amazing. Yes I know my promised posts about it all have yet to materialize, but patience dear readers, hopefully they will come while the summer is still current!  Anywho, we stayed at Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground. We took the camper with us and had a blast. The Sequoia though, did not have as much fun. 

She's a great vehicle and we love her. In fact, today is the one-year anniversary of when we bought her. She hauls around our brood comfortably and reliably.  She was bought for her roominess and her towing capacity. But that was back when we had the pop-up. Sure, she could pull the Fireside just fine, but gas mileage was brutally low. Also, we have grand plans of traveling to the mountains someday, maybe next summer. All the hills though may be too difficulty for our beloved Sequoia. So we began looking for a larger, more powerful tow vehicle when we bought the Fireside last spring. We researched. We toured lots. We compared. We talked. We prayed. We decided. 

A few weeks ago we took the plunge and bought a truck!  We'd originally looked into used as we had with the Sequoia, but given the fact that it will serve as a day-to-day vehicle as well as a workhorse tow vehicle we decided to go the new route. To save an wear and tear and get the most out of it. 

What did we get?  We happily bought a Ford F150 with a crew cab so we could have the room for everyone.  Our one an only requirement was that it have a gat tow package, anything else that it came with in our price range was icing on the cake. I'm lucky to have Amy who is such a savvy researcher. She was able to find the perfect truck, in the exact color I wanted - Denim. 


I'm still in love. She is wonderful and we could not be any happier. One first outing with her and the camper didn't go as expected (forthcoming post) but we brought her out for this one and it was so much better towing with a truck than the Sequoia. So, that's our crazy purchase for this summer. Last summer brought the pop-up and the Sequoia. Next summer?  I shudder to think!  :)  If you're in June marks for a truck I highly suggest Ford. It's my first Ford but when we compared the big 3, Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge, Ford just seemed to have everything we needed and wanted at the perfect price point. Plus they are known for their towing abilities and power. Nuff said. Love it. 

All is well, truckin' along, in Drosche Land. 




Wednesday, July 09, 2014

I'm Still Here

Well, I'd like to say that the reason I've been absent for a while was because we'd finally received that much-anticipated phone call. I'd like to, but alas that is not the reason. 

We actually did receive a phone call the day after we met with our DePelchin people. It was a placement call. However, CPS did not choose us so it was a no go. Since then we've been waiting and waiting and waiting some more. For that next phone call. The one where we will be chosen. Finally. 

It's an odd feeling actually. Technically the reason we'd receive a phone call is because children needed us because they'd been removed from their home for some reason. So really I feel guilty as I bemoan my waiting.  But I do. We knew the process was long yes. But I guess in my mind I'd imagined that once we got to the Matching process the wait would be over. Instead it has just changed to a different kind of waiting.  I don't do waiting well, as I have mentioned many times before, and am trying not to drive myself or Amy crazy throughout this whole process.

But life has gone on around the waiting here in Drosche Land. It is July?!  Wait, what?!  Summer is now half over, which is totally crazy. We've been enjoying a relaxed schedule and have been keeping ourselves busy. I have some other posts mentally being written about some of the goings-on here, and I still want to post more about the Disney trip, but I will get to those another time. This post was just to return to the blog and provide an adoption update.

Tomorrow we head on a family vacation with my family. Hopefully that is. Jackson was not feeling well at all this afternoon and threw up several times. Weird. So now we are in a holding pattern until tomorrow morning when we can reassess the situation and decide for sure.  So I'd better head to bed so we will be ready to go in the morning. 

All is well, 2 weeks of waiting and counting, in Drosche Land.