"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

Monday, March 31, 2014

Home Study - Part 1

So Saturday was the day. Finally.  After two reschedulings we completed our first Home Study visit this past Saturday!

There was a lot of vacuuming, mowing, and tidying that went on that morning prior to the arrival of our caseworker but we got it all finished. All in all it went very well, not really worth all of the worry and anxiety we'd worked ourselves into.  She was here for about 4 hours total. In that time she observed us giving the kids lunch, talked us through the process, administered the individual interviews to Amy and myself, and took a tour of the house. 

We've been prepping for so long that there weren't really many suggestions for things that we needed to do before the next visit. Since we are straight adoption and not foster or foster-to-adopt there are some questions concerning procedures but she will be finding out the answers to those and then we can work on them if needed after our next visit. 

The kids were very good too while she was here. Stella was her usual self and our caseworker even commented on how much personality she has!  Ha!  No kidding. The boys pretty much stayed upstairs, as usual, occupying themselves with TV  and toys. I was even able to get Stella down for her nap so that was great. 

After the visit was finished we were left with a huge stack of paperwork to go through, fill out, and sign before our next visit. Being ourselsves though, we finished it last night. We are currently awaiting a response to see when our next visit will be. Either this Sunday afternoon or next. The sooner, then better so I hope it is this weekend even though we are super busy with taking the camper out for her inaugural run. 

The next visit should just be more talking. The boys will have their individual interviews and I am sure Amy and I will hear more about the process and what to expect next as well. But we shall see. One more Home Study visit and then we wait some more. Wait for the writing of our caseworker's report. Waiting for the approval of our Home Study. Waiting to be sent into matching and begin that process. We all know how well I do with waiting so I hope I find a measure of patience in the next few weeks and am able to stay calm. Until then we just pray and wait, wait and pray. You know, the usual. 

All is well, one step closer, in Drosche Land. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Just Keep Swimming

No. This movie isn't about Finding Dory, the upcoming sequel to Finding Nemo. Although, since I'm on that topic now, I'm quite excited to see it. The first movie was awesome and I love the character of Dory. Ellen is hilarious. Plus Stella is just getting to the age where she is into Disney movies. Right now the favorite it Frozen, and boy is it her favorite. So I know she will love this one too but I digress. 

Nope, I'm talking about actual swimming here.  Last year, you may remember, we took some time off from the boys playing sports since Stella was so young. It was just too much to lug a baby and all of her paraphernalia around to practices and games. Far too much schlepping in the heat for us. But it's a year later and things have finally, somewhat, settled into a smooth groove. So we decided to re-enter the world of competitive sports again. 

Their cousins joined a swim team last spring/summer and the boys wanted to then. Amy and I kind of took it in but didn't think too much about it since we'd decided against sports already. However, time flies and enrollment time was soon upon us a few weeks ago. Thus the discussions and decisions began. We were clear with them that a swim team is quite different than soccer or t-ball. The sport is different, the schedule very different, and swim team parents are a whole different breed all their own (more on this later if you have no clue what I'm talking about).  We also were very clear with them that once they sign up and commit, there would be no backing out. Not if it was too hard or something else came along. They agreed and we began. 

The first task came right before Spring Break when we had to have them fitted for their swimsuits. Wow. I mean you watch it in the Olympics but those suits are teeny. I mean teeny.  Since the boys are already on the small/slim side their suits basically look like Lycra socks. But they loved them and it only pumped them up more when they tried them on and ordered them. I myself am so glad I will not be donning swimwear that is anything close to what they'll be wearing. You're welcome. 

We still have goggles and swim caps to get but practice doesn't begin for 2 weeks. In that time we will be preparing for the many practices and meets that will be overtaking our lives for the next 2 1/2 months. But, in the end it will be great excercsie and they will become such great swimmers just by the constant exposure to the sport. So it's a win-win. I'll try to remember that when I'm waking up at 5:00 am every Saturday to head to a meet. That thought, and tons of coffee, might help the day go by more smoothly. We'll see.  But ultimately everyone is excited so that is a good thing. Plus, having all 5 cousins in huge same sport and on the same team (albeit in different age brackets) will be nice too. Easy to make it to everything and see everyone.  Another win-win. 

All is well, testing the waters, in Drosche Land. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

A-Z 2014

Well, March is almost gone. As unbelievable as it may seem. That, and maybe you've noticed the badge to the left of this blog, means that it is time for the April Blogging A to Z Challenge!  This will be my 3rd year to participate and I am, as always, excited. 

I signed up a while ago and have been planning and mulling over themes and topics since then. My first year I blogged on random topics, each post containing a picture. Last year I blogged about the A-Z of Stella and having a new baby girl as our lives were still in a whirlwind after the addition of the little miss. But this year?  What to blog about?  

I thought about doing pictures again, but didn't want to repeat myself. I thought about doing A-Z for the boys or one of them this year and the other next. I thought about doing the A-Z of adoption since that is the hot topic here in Drosche Land as of late. I even thought about doing the A-Z of me, but am I really interesting enought to warrant 26 posts?  And of course there was food. But, again, as much as I love to eat, I am no cook by any means and this isn't really a food blog so I hesitated with that. What to blog?  What to blog?

Then it hit me.  Something I know well. Something I love. Something I'd enjoy posting about. TV. Yes, TV. It is no secret that I love TV. It's a hobby. It's an addiction. Call if what you will but I have always loved watching TV and I think I have a pretty wide range of tastes when it comes to what I'll watch. I often think it would be a fun job to be a TV critic, loads of fun in fact. But I do love my job very much so a career change is out of the question. Especially since it would mean more school. Ugh. 

So, there you have it. My theme.  TV shows. I've actually got 25 topics already planned out and just need to start scheduling posts so I don't get behind.  Z is giving me some trouble but luckily I have some time to figure it out.  It was hard to narrow it down at times but I think I have chosen some of my all-time favorite shows.  The theme isn't terribly interesting but I do think it will be fun and I have enjoyed planning and mentally writing so far so we shall see how April goes. 

Well that's it for tonight. Just wanted to get my theme out there and begin the process. It's going to be another fun April!

All is well, challenge accepted, in Drosche Land. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Trading Up

Spring Break. It's pretty much over. The last few hours of Sunday are waning away and the fun of the past week is quickly becoming a memory. Tomorrow life resumed and things get back to normal.

We had a great Spring Break and truly enjoyed ourselves. As usual we were super busy the entire time and I now need a vacation to recover from Spring Break, but I'd probably just make more plans rather than vegging out like I'd like to do so maybe it's best that there isn't one. But enough about Spring Break. I'll post more on that later, I've got something else to talk about here. Plus I'm not done sorting through all of the vacation pictures. 

So. Trading up. You know that Amy and I love camping. You also know that this past summer we purchased a pop-up camper. We loved it. Sure, our first couple of attempts were fraught with drama and are memorable for all the wrong reasons, but we did love it. 

However, we neglected to get an air conditioner installed when we bought it. Something we almost instantaneously regretted.  Our plans of using an a/c unit we got from Home Depot never panned out the way we wanted them to so the week before Spring Break we began the process of getting one installed. Well, as is the case with us, it was also an ordeal. They had to order the part. Then they couldn't just install it because a hole had to be cut for it. But then they couldn't find any plans for the camper so they didn't know if it was pre-braced or pre-wired for one. Ugh. So we picked it up at the last minute and decided to take it out without one. After all the weather was nice and it would likely not be needed. 

Enter Spring Break. The weather was amazing and we actually used the heater for the first time due to the chilly temps. We did get a little warm on none last day but it wasn't has horrible as we'd experienced. But we quickly realized that we had already outgrown the pop-up. Especially with our upcoming trip to Disney this summer and the adoption. So we decided to upgrade ourselves and get a bigger, hard-side camper. 

Well, easier said than done. The process ended up being several days, several looooooong days, as we went through the motions of what we wanted, what was available, what we could afford, what we could manage, etc.  Long hours were spent at Camping World. We were still tired and exhausted from our Spring Break trip but it had to happen now, we're in a time crunch with spring already here and out weekend filling up with swim team (a post for another time).  Plus we wanted to take it out a couple of times before Disney and we have only a few months left in the one year buy back deal we were taking advantage of. 

But, at long last, the process was finished. Finally. We have our dream camper. One that is big enough for us to use now and grow into with our family over the next many years (we will not be going through this process again for a very long while).  So, on with the details. 

It's 26 feet long. It has a queen size bed for Amy and I, a twin over full bunk, a dinette that converts to a bed, and a sofa bed. Plenty of room for all 3 (soon to be 4) kids to have their own sleeping arrangements. It has a bathroom with a toilet and shower. It has a good sized refrigerator with freezer. And it has a ton, I mean a ton, of storage.  It's huge. Double the weight of the pop-up, triple the height, and about 10 feet longer. But thanks to some awesome tow hitch upgrades and a special brake system installed it drives smoother than the pop-up ever did. It was nowhere near as difficult to pull as I'd worried myself it would be. My only concern is backing it up but that will come with practice so we shall see about that. We are so excited and happy to finally own it.  We are also thrilled to have our garage back since this is way too huge to fit there so we had to rent storage for it. 

Our inaugural trip is set for the weekend after next so I will keep you posted on how it goes. We cannot wait and are counting the days until we get to take her out.  But until then we are happy and excited. I'll leave you with a few pictures we have of it from when we picked it up yesterday!  Woo hoo!

All is well, rv-ing, in Drosche Land. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014


Well. Today was supposed to bring you a post about our first Home Study visit. 

A little over a week ago we finally heard from the person in charge of our Home Study. We were ecstatic. The appointment was scheduled for today, 11:00 - 4:00. A nice long time to get to know us, our home, and build a relationship that will help us to bring home outer daughter. 

We were cutting it close since it is Spring Break and we are reading out of town tomorrow to go camping, but the Home Study visit was so important we knew it had to be squeezed in. Last weekend we began cleaning and straightening everything. That way today would bring a quick once-over and we'd be ready. 

Then we got an email last night. Our caseworker had been out of town and unable to read through our file prior to meeting us. She would have to reschedule. Next Saturday was worked out. 

Argh. Bummer. Not what we wanted to hear. We did not want to push the process back for another week. But, it is what it is and we moved on. Next Saturday. Luckily we will be back from our trip with plenty of time to finish prepping the house and ourselves. 

So now we focus on vacation. Who doesn't love a vacation?  This will be the first Spring Break trip we've ever taken. With Amy being a Director for so long and Stella being so young still last year we have never gone anywhere so we are all pretty excited. Planning is done but packing is not so tomorrow morning will be a flurry of activity as we head out.  Which reminds me that I have to change out the laundry. So I guess I will say goodbye and get to that.  Stay tuned to upcoming posts on vacation, the Home Study, and another new adventure. 

All is well, change of plans, in Drosche Land. 

Sunday, March 09, 2014

5 for Friday

Yes.  I know it's Sunday.  But Friday was busy, as always, and then there was the situation with Lucy.  Then yesterday was Lucy's post.  That brings me to today.  I really want to do these 5 for Friday posts.  They're fun.  Hopefully I'll get one done on a Friday.  Maybe.  One day.  Until then it's Sunday and here's a look back at last week!

Last Sunday was Dr. Seuss' birthday.  But you just can't celebrate that man in one day, especially when it falls on a weekend.  So this past week I broke from the reading curriculum and did a week-long author study on Dr. Seuss.  The first day we learned about him and what got him started with The Cat in the Hat.  It wouldn't be a celebration, or day in my classroom, without a fun themed hat right?  Of course I shamelessly wore mine around school all day and to carline at the end of the day.  You can't teach 1st Grade and not celebrate Dr. Seuss!

This also happened on Monday.  It's a green tea cupcake with ginger frosting.  Yes, you read that right and yes, it was amazing.  It came from Gigi's Cupcakes.  We have a little good behavior deal going with the boys.  After a certain number of good days they get a reward.  Jackson's is always frozen yogurt from Menchi's.  Braeden's is cupcakes.  Monday marked his completion of his days.  I'm glad I remembered to take a picture of this because it wasn't there for long.  Mmmmmm.

Tuesday was Mardi Gras!  Our time in New Orleans is still a highlight in life for Amy and I so every year this makes us smile.  I also celebrate in the classroom with my students.  Again, another fun headpiece.  We don't go all out but we do talk about what it means, tie it in to Lent, eat king cake, and I throw beads at them.  All in all, it's a great time!

I promise this is the last selfie for this post.  Guess last week was full of them (Amy rolls her eyes at this point).  It's Lent again.  This year I again chose to give up sweets.  Before the day was out I had been offered chocolate-covered strawberries and cookies by students.  But I stayed strong.  40 days is a long time and I'm missing sweets something fierce.  But Amy and I are in it together.  Accountability partners you might say.  She took an extra step and gave up flour in addition to sugar.  Yikes!  She's stronger than I am definitely.  My sweet tooth is aching.

Friday brought an end to our Dr. Seuss studies.  Of course, as with any Dr. Seuss unit, we enjoyed green eggs and ham.  It was a hoot watching my students crack their eggs.  It's amazing what mental suggestion a little green food coloring can make.  Some kids just can't get past it to realize that it is just eggs!  HA!  We didn't get to make our oobleck, but I'll squeeze it in next week.  Another fun favorite.

So, there you have it.  My 5 for last week.  Even if it's Sunday!  Hope your week was awesome!

All is well, Friday or Sunday, in Drosche Land.

Saturday, March 08, 2014


Last night we said goodbye to our dog Lucy.  

In January we noticed she had developed a lump on her right front leg.  She began to lick and snitch at it, making it raw.  So we took her to the vet and it was diagnosed as a hot spot.  Common.  Antibiotics and spray were prescribed and we got a cone for her so she wouldn't bother it.

Time went by.  The lump got bigger.  She continued to mess with it, even with the cone, and it began to bleed.  She limped around and it seemed to bother her.  So Amy took her back to the vet.  It was a tumor of some sort.  We decided to have it removed so she could get out of the cone and return to normal.  That appointment was yesterday.

After school Amy called me.  The vet had called her midday.  They didn't like the look of the tumor, it had grown a bit in the week since they'd last seen her.  There were more, smaller ones, up her leg and on her chest.  A quick biopsy proved what we'd feared.  It was Cancer.  The tumor was inoperable due to it's size and the fact that it was a mast cell.  Removing it would only cause the Cancer to spread more quickly.  Given the other tumors it was likely they were present internally as well.  So the decision was made.  To help her.  To put her out of her pain and discomfort.  The humane choice, but definitely not the easiest. 

Amy had been having an uneasy feeling all week.  She seems to have a 6th sense for things.  Just one of her many awesome traits.  I guess I knew too, I just didn't want to think about it.  She had been more irritable toward us and the kids lately.  She had been sleeping a lot, was very lethargic, and just not herself.  It was time.  It was right.

So, Amy made the appointment with another vet and picked her up.  We brought the kids together with her and told them.  To let them say goodbye.  Braeden took it very hard.  Jackson, as usual, was just quiet and aloof about it.  But it will come out eventually.  He just processes differently.  The requested a picture with her, one last time.  Tearfully I obliged.  Amanda then took them so Amy and I could take her to the vet.

No details.  It was hard.  Very hard.  But it was right.

But in all things HE works for the best.  The funny thing is is that she was originally scheduled to have the surgery on Thursday, but I totally forgot and fed her breakfast.  Yikes.  This caused us to have to reschedule for yesterday.  HE knew.  Thursday would have been too hard.  This way we could have the time to say goodbye and mourn over the weekend without worrying about returning to school the next day.

She was an amazing dog.  10 years old nearly.  She's been with Amy and I our entire married life.  We got her in New Orleans after our first miscarriage.  She helped us through that.  She was with us when we needlessly evacuated from Hurricane Ivan, keeping us company for the 14 hour car ride.  She evacuated with us for Katrina.  3 moves.  3 children.  2 more miscarriages.  Road trips.  Vacations.  Good times.  Bad times.  She's been with us through it all.  

So it's odd not having her around.  Not having her underfoot when cooking and eating.  Not having her bound around the house.  Not hearing her snore loudly.  Not here to kick her water bowl and fuss to remind me she's thirsty.  It's different.  

Rex is doing better than we'd expected.  He knows something is different though.  He follows us around the house if we move.  Lays very near to us if we sit.  He was very attached to her too.  She was a great big sister.  We will see how he continues to handle it.  He is naturally an anxious and timid dog, so this will likely be something he has trouble with.  But we are all in it together.

Last night we prayed as usual.  We thanked Him for Lucy.  Thankful for the decade of crazy fun she brought to us.  Thankful for the unconditional love and loyalty she gave us all.  Thankful for her.  

So, here we are now.  Going on.  Moving forward.  Time will heal us.  Slowly, but it will.  She was a great dog.  She will be missed and forever loved.

All is well, mourning, in Drosche Land.


The kids and their photo

Sunday, March 02, 2014


As in a new month.

March. It's finally here. Finally. 

Well, February went out with a bang.  Continuing its "seriously?!" status that we had become familiar with. I can't remember if I've posted about this before or not but a few months ago Stella suffered from a case of Nursemaid's Elbow. You know, where the elbow pops out of socket. Yep. Life. Anywho, it was easily solved with a trip to the ER and we moved on. 

Flash forward to February. It's the 28th. Literally the last day of the month. A month that has not been easy for those here in Drosche Land. Just a few hours to go and we were free. Then Stella's teacher caught me on the way back to my classroom from lunch. They were worried about her left shoulder/arm. Maybe it was out of socket?  She'd been randomly crying off and on all day and randomly not using the arm off and on all day. Crap. Crappity crap crap. She'd had a minor little fall in the hallway that morning. Just the usual. Was that it?  Who knows. Regardless, I found myself leaving work early on Friday and heading to the ER. 

We get there and she seems fine. The brief nap on the way revived her.  Amy met us there and agreed that she seemed fine. Nurses and doctors did as well. So, what was up?  Possibly it was out of socket but popped itself back in when she slept and relaxed. Maybe. Who knows. The good news was that she was fine. The bad news was that February tried one last time to ruin a day. Argh. 

But it's over now. Behind us. It's March!  Time to move forward. Time for a fresh start!  I have a good feeling about March. I think it will be far kinder to us. For starters we hopefully will receive a phone call this week regarding our Home Study. Our file has been sent and we just await the call to set up our first meeting.  Hopefully a post about that is forthcoming this week

So there. Something is positive about March already.  Take that February. Take that. 

All is well, marching forward (pun intended), in Drosche Land.