"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

Saturday, August 29, 2015


A decade. 10 years. 

What can happen in 10 years?  What has happened in 10 years?

2 moves: 1 apartment and our first house. 3 children. 3 jobs at 3 different schools. 175ish students I've taught. The loss of our first dog. The adoption of 4 others. 4 cars.  2 campers. A trip to Disney World.  There's so much more too, a decade's worth of adventures.  The last ten years have been busy, but amazing.  We have had our ups and downs and we have been thoroughly blessed.

Today marks the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  Every year on this day New Orleans is on my heart and mind, but especially so today.  I mean, ten years is a long time.  A long time.  In some ways it seems like a lifetime ago, something that is so far in the past that it's hard to even imagine it happened.  Yet there are times when I can close my eyes and instantly we are back there.  I can see every detail of our apartment, our school, the city, the Mardi Gras parades we attended.  As with any memory, there are parts that will always remain in the forefront of my mind, while others have faded so much they are almost gone.  

It was truly an amazing time in our life.  Amy and I were fresh out of college and newly married.  We were in a new city far (6 hours) from home.  Not just any city either, New Orleans, it was like we'd moved to a whole other country.  But that's what makes New Orleans special.  It is like no other place on earth.  We made friends with our coworkers, some of whom we are still in touch with.  Granted it's via Facebook, but we do still communicate.  The Kindergarten teacher Paula played an important role in our lives.  She became the mother figure for us since we were both out of the nest for the first time and far from  home.  Likewise we filled a void for her as her children were moving away to college.  It was such a fun faculty.  Weekly faculty meetings at a nearby restaurant.  Parties.  Late nights and weekends at school.  23 Mardi Gras parades.  Yes, lasting friendships were built.  Ones we still look back fondly on.

People always ask what we think things would be like if we'd gone back.  That's impossible to say though.  The experiences we had while in New Orleans have helped to shape the people we are.  The teachers we are.  Living there, going through Hurricane Katrina, deciding not to return, and everything since have led to this point.  I love my life right now and I could not imagine it any other way.  My wife, my kids, my job, my family, my friends.  None would be the same had we decided to return.  Therefore I don't think about what if.  

Now, that's in no way meant to diminish how hard it was to decide not to return.  It was, in fact, one of the hardest decisions we've ever had to make.  We loved it there.  Our apartment, our job, our friends, our life, the city.  Amy and I discussed it so much, over and over.  It actually ended up being quite an easy decision to make given the fact that He had decided to bless us with Braeden.  Finding out Amy was pregnant really left us no choice.  We had jobs but had no care for him.  Moving back to those uncertain futures was not really how we wanted to begin parenthood.  Going back to the environment with its questionable health risks was also not something we wanted to expose Amy to.  So, the hard decision really wasn't that hard after all.  Just very emotional.

Watching the devastation play out before our eyes while being so far away was very hard.  Seeing everything we'd come to know and love literally get washed away tore us apart.  Going back eventually to see the damage for ourselves was an experience we will never forget.  Those images are burned into our memories, just as vivid as all of the positive ones.

So now, here we are.  Ten years later.  The city has rebounded.  We've watched it from afar.  They've grown and changed.  They've adapted.  It is different, that's obvious.  It will never be exactly the same as it was before.  In some ways that is sad.  People moved, people died, lives changed, memories and places lost forever.  In other ways though change is good.  They're stronger.  They're proud.  Amy and I talk about returning all the time.  We've been back only once, before Braeden was even a year old.  We returned for Mardi Gras and it was wonderful.  It has just never worked out to return since.  Every year we think, "Maybe this year", but it's not.  Timing just doesn't work out.  But who knows, maybe this year is the year.  The desire is there and the kids are old enough to travel and visit and understand as we lead them around the city we once called home.  The city we love still and where part of us will always remain.  And who knows?  Maybe one day we will move back.  Retire there?  Maybe, maybe not.  We've talked about it.  We will just have to see what He has in store for us.

I could go on and on, but I don't want to ramble.  Maybe I'm too late for that already.  I'm sure you'll forgive me though.  Right?  Thanks.  So, today and every August 29 I say a special prayer for New Orleans.  For the city as a whole.  Residents past and present.  Friends.  I thank God for it all; the memories, the life we had, the relationships, the experiences, the lessons we learned.  I pray for continued strength and resilience.  For blessings to abound for this great city.  10 years.  Wow.

All is well, a decade later, in Drosche Land. 


Wednesday, August 26, 2015


So. Apparently today is National Dog Day. How apropos this post is as I intended to write it even before I found out about today. Anywho, on with the post.

So you may remember that we got Mickey and Minnie last summer, shortly after returning from our trip to Disney World.  Rex was lonely after we'd had to say goodbye to Lucy and he needed a friend. Amy and I had always been talking about getting smaller dogs so once she saw the two of them online, it was a done deal.  We also literally thought we were done. 3 dogs. That's enough. Right?

Well, fast forward back to this past summer and our apparent inability to take it easy and go a summer without some kind of fun new adventure to create. Pair that with the fact that the SPCA was overcrowded and having a $5 dog sale and we stood no chance. $5!!  That's a huge discount to their normal adoption fee. So we headed to the SPCA to just look. Maybe we'd find a new furry family member, maybe we wouldn't. 

We knew what we were looking for. A female. 2-3 years old (so she'd be house trained). No larger than Rex. Not too many strict criteria. Surely we'd find something. If it was meant to be. Well, apparently it was because we found her. She was so quiet in comparison to all of the barking ruckus in the SPCA. She immediately took to Jackson, animals typically do. Truth be told, he basically picked her out. So we had them take her out and bring her to a private too, to meet. She was super timid. We were nervous but she was so sweet. We decided yes!  I mean $5!

So as we are finalizing her paperwork we find out that she had just been spayed the day before (hence the timidity). She'd only been at the SPCA for 2 days and that day was the first day she'd been available for adoption. It was destiny. Just as the case was with Mickey and Minnie.  So we knew we'd made the right decision.

We thought and thought about a name. Mickey and Minnie go together so we decided to find something that would pair well with Rex. Something meaning royalty. He was after all named after the Kind of Carnival (Mardi Gras!). No one liked Regina. We call Stella Princess so that was out. Queenie was a bust also. I finally suggested Duchess and everyone agreed that it fit. So there we had it. A new member to our family. Duchess. 

It was now clear that we owned a pack of dogs. 4 dogs is a pack indeed. It took her a while to warm up to the other 3, she was just so shy, but after about a week they all were getting along. By now she is fine and they all cuddle and play and run around like crazy together. It's a noisy bunch, but a happy one. 

Truth be told this was probably one of the cheapest and easiest hairbrained idea we've ever had. She wa son sale!  We still had a kennel large enough for her and she ate the same food as Rex. It was a smooth and simple decision. One that we have been pleased with. She's been a blessing and is super sweet and we love her. So, all in all, it wasn't really a truly crazy idea. Not really. Right?  So there's my post to introduce Duchess and with everyone a happy National Dog Day. 

All is well, + 1 more furry family member, in Drosche Land. 

Meet Duchess!

She's so sweet, just look at that face!

Meeting her brothers and sister for the first time!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

3rd 3rd

Ok. Let's do some more catching up from this past summer.

Let's see, there's no better place to start than at the beginning.  The first thing to happen in June was Stella's birthday. She turned 3. I say it three times a year I know, but I don't know where the time went. 

3 years. My little girl. She has been such a blessing to us and has changed out lives in so many ways. It was one things with boys in the house, but throw a little girl in the mix and all bets are off. She has each of us wrapped around her finger in some way or another. She truly believes she runs the show.  Dealing with her allergies has also been an adventure that has taught us so much. We took a difficult challenge, one that could have been a negative impact on the family, and turned it into something positive. We're all eating much healthier now thanks to this little girl and her diary and soy allergies.  

She's feisty. I maintain that she gets it from her mother. She knows what she wants and she definitely has her way of getting what she wants. But as headstrong as she is, and boy is she ever, she's also a delicate little princess. She's all ruffles and bows, pink and purple, Barbies and baby dolls. She's my little girl. And now she's 3. The 3rd Drosche to turn 3, hence the post title. Our baby.  With every milestone she makes, I become increasingly more aware that we are moving forward in life. Entering new stages. Every first for her is a last first for us. Sometimes that's hard to take and some times it's exciting. One thing is for sure though, with this little girl around there is never a dull moment. 

So she's 3 now. She greeted this age as she does with everything, headfirst and ready for action. 

All is well, another 3rd birthday down, in Drosche Land. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Ok. I know. It's been a few weeks since the last post. The one where I mentioned a summer-long hiatus. But I am back. I've been here. But, as you know, we've been in full-on back to school mode since August began. Today was the 3rd day of the school year for us all since we all started on the same day this year, Tuesday!  Luckily our schedules and calendars are far more aligned so we shouldn't have any issues like last year's Spring Break debacle. But I digress. I'm back. Here I am. Back to school. I'll take a brief pause from the hiatus catchup to talk about back to school.

Braeden. He's in 4th Grade this year. Yes, 4th Grade. I'm not quite sure how it happened. Time warp maybe?  Regardless, he is.  He and Amy are stoked because this is Amy's first full year in 4th Grade so they have a lot in common and have been bonding over mutual 4th Grade stuff. It's cute and I'm so happy for them. He's very excited because, for literally the first time in his school career, he's away from any family members at school. He's moved out of my hallway and upstairs!  Upstairs?!?!  OMG. He's always been just down the hall or in my class. I see him at lunch, briefly. Maybe in the hallway if I'm lucky and the stars align.  But it's good for him. Independence, but at a slow pace that he can be comfortable with. That's right up his alley. Another huge change for him is that our Athletic Director is allowing 4th Graders to play up to JV sports this year. He's now on the JV Soccer team!  OMG!  He is so excited and is having a blast. He's had 2 practiced already and comes home exhausted but joyful.  Sports his definitely a love language for that kid. It does however bring about changes for the entire family as he has practice 4 times a week until 5:00 pm. That means later nights for us all. But they're growing up and we are experimenting with later bedtimes. So far, so good (fingers crossed). Hopefully that'll continue to be an easy adjustment as we head into the school year. 

Jackson. 2nd Grade. I'll be honest, it was fun having him in my classroom last year. I do miss him but I know he is having a blast in 2nd Grade. He was nervous for the first day, but came home ecstatic and eager to tell us all about his teacher and everything she has planned for his class. This is the same teacher Braeden had for 2nd Grade and he also loved her. She brought out a lot of good in Braeden so I am so eager to see how Jackson grows and develops this year.  He is continuing to manage his ADHD well and we are adjusting to getting back into the school to me routine and schedule. He is also excited because he will be playing on the same Soccer league with his classmates as he did last year for Soccer and for Baseball. He also has grand plans to join them for Basketball. His practices begin next week on Fridays from 5:00-6:00. So late nights are the name of the game here in Drosche Land. But at least I'll get some time to work and plan and grade.  He's grown so much over the summer. I see him in the hallway and sometimes I'm amazed at just how mature he can look. 

Stella. She started PreSchool 3 this year. She's down my hallway now. So far it's been good. I've made sure to not linger and avoid if possible. The few times we've run across each other she has been able to hug and say hi without crying. She loved school, always has, and she is having a blast. She adores her teachers and we are working on not just calling them by their last names, but using Mrs. before. She has some weird aversion to using titles when speaking about people, it's quite hilarious. But she's a trip and is having so much fun.  She will be starting dance this year. Dance. Like ballet. I can't even begin to wrap y head around my little princess being old enough for dance. Her practice is in Wednesdays. So there's the other day of the week. Ha!  You thought I'd gotten at least one day that was extra-curricular free didn't you?  Wrong!  As it turns out we have Faculty a Meetings on Wednesdays so it's not really any inconvenience. Just another stage of life we are entering. The busy stage. As if we weren't already busy enough!  

Amy. It's her 2nd year in 4th Grade and her first time to start the year off that way after stepping up mid-year last year. This is the class she taught back in 2nd Grade a few years ago so that's a fun and unique experience. She's loving it and having a blast. I never would have imagined that she would be so happy and content so far away from Early Childhood.  Who knew?  We'd both always thought of her as an Early Childhood teacher. But after leaving administration a few years ago to step back into the classroom, she's been hopping around and experiencing all the grades. First, Second, Fourth. But
she's great at that.  Again, she's excited to be teaching the same grade that Braeden is in and in fact,
she even worked out a field trip for her class to the same place that his class is attending later this war. That'll be tons of fun!

Me. Last but not least. Me. I'm in 1st Grade. Always. I love it here. Beginning my 12th year and I'm amazed at that. 12 years. Wow. This is a big year for me because at SML we are in the process of doubling our Elementary grades beginning with Kindergarten last year. That class then moved up and we doubled 1st Grade this year. I've never co-taught with anyone or had a teach member who taught the same grade as I did. Luckily for me the other 1st Grade teacher is a good friend who was a PreSchool 3 teacher for a while and has been waiting to step up. She is awesome and we have already begun to build a great team so far this year. It's going to be a lot of fun. New, but fun. The other PreSchool 3 teacher stepped up to teach one of the sections of Kindergarten this year as one of our teachers left. She is also a good friend of ours. Throw in the other K teacher, who I worked with at Trinity for years and is also a family friend and Stella's Godmother, and we have one amazing K/1 team and it is going to be an epic year!  At SML this year we also have a new principal, who is amazing, and several new teachers. So change is the theme for this school year, that's for sure. But it is going to be awesome. He has so much in store for us and I cannot wait to see His plan play out. 

Well, I guess that sums it up. 4th Grade, 2nd Grade, PreSchool 3. They each love school (for which Amy and I are so thankful for) and we are off to a great start. There are a lot of new changes in our lives for this year so we definitely should have many adventures in the coming months. But I am excited and ready for the ride!  Here goes nothing. 

All is well, another school year underway, in Drosche Land.


Hey. So I was gone. For a while. But now I'm back.

I took a bit of a hiatus from blogging for the summer. Just needed a break. Life was busy. I had lots to say but then again, felt I had nothing interesting to say. I felt burned out.  So I took the summer off. I love blogging and hope that the time away will have served to rejuvenate me. 

It wasn't a terribly busy summer, quite the opposite in fact. But there was still a lot that happened. So, I'll probably spend August recapping the events of June and July. Just to bring things current. 

Hopefully that will only take a few posts because school is less than 2 weeks away!  I returned to work this week as my report date was Monday. Amy has been home with the kids this week, spending a few hours a day in her classroom and running last minute errands. She officially reports next Monday so we are within spitting distance of getting fully back into our routines and schedules. Crazy, but there's some comfort in that as well. 

So, I guess that's about it for now. Just a quick post to explain the hiatus and jump back in to the blog. I'll have to look at my calendar to begin reviewing June and July in proper chronological order. Because I'm particular like that you know!  Until then!

All is well, back to our regularly scheduled programming, in Drosche Land. 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Another Year Down

Well, summer has arrived in Drosche Land!  Granted, Amy and I still have meetings this week, but school ended for all of us last week.  The kids and I at St. Mark celebrated our last day on Thursday, Amy celebrated her last day of the year at Epiphany on Friday.

What a year it was too.  Busy and hectic, both professionally and personally.  Of course we started the year off with T & L and being foster parents.  That, in and of itself, brought all kinds of back to school adventures.  Then they moved on and we adjusted to life as the 5 of us again.  Then after Christmas Amy stepped up and began teaching 4th Grade after the sudden death of her coworker earlier that fall.  Did I ever mention that?  I feel like I did, but maybe not.  Long story short - the 4th Grade teacher passed away at the beginning of the year.  It was sudden and sad for Amy, her coworkers, and the students at Epiphany.  They continued the semester with 2 subs who alternated days.  Amy began to feel a calling to step up and help.  We prayed, thought, talked, and prayed some more before Amy finally decided He was calling her to serve in a new way.  She'd had a Student Teacher in the fall so it worked out perfectly that she took over Amy's 2nd Grade classroom full time in January when Amy moved into 4th Grade.  She loved it, but it was hard.  The whole situation was unique and crazy, but she did well and is excited to begin a full year as a 4th Grade teacher in August.  Who'd have ever thought she would be teaching that high up?  Not I!  My year was great.  I had a great class and great parents.  I also has Jackson in my class.  That was fine, but was also an interesting adjustment.  So, that's our year in a nutshell.  On to the kids.

Braeden on the first day of school!
Braeden on the last day of school!

Braeden.  Third Grade.  I found it hard to believe that he was in 3rd Grade this year.  Now I find it even harder to believe he is no longer a 3rd Grader!  Crazy!  Our first born.  The one who teaches us about everything.  This was a big year.  At the start of the year, 3rd Grade was out of our territory.  Amy had only taught up to 2nd Grade and I live in 1st Grade.  So, 3rd Grade was a whole new world for us.  No longer could we assume we knew everything (not that we do that).  We were learning the ropes right along with him.  He loved his teacher.  She is a sports fanatic so he was right at home with that and often we would hear about fun conversations they would have at lunch or in the classroom, discussing sports, athletes, etc.  It was great for him to have that aspect to relate to.  He grew so much this year.  He now has a sense of humor and, luckily for him since he is in our family, understands and uses sarcasm (correctly most of the time).  This was also the year when he stopped being a little kid.  Suddenly he acts like a teenager and is vocal about new things such as his hair and clothing (despite the fact we wear uniforms at SML).  The downside to the growth has been the attitude.  Oh wow!  But he has mellowed a lot lately and I think we are getting him back from the land of the pre-pubescent (for now at least).  All in all, 3rd Grade was great for him.  He loves multiplication and thrived with it, and even learned to love and take pride in projects (namely completing a poetry book and report on Uranus (yes, Uranus, and there were MANY jokes make about that, by myself of course)).

Jackson on the first day of school!
Jackson on the last day of school!

Jackson.  First Grade.  Wow!  Growth, incredible growth, was the name of the game for Jackson's 1st Grade year.  He grew academically so much, going from shy and intimidated, not willing to try to read or anything; to reading above level and loving school and learning anything and everything.  I taught Braeden in 1st Grade and it was fine.  Jackson I was worried about though.  We are very different and can sometimes butt heads, but that was not at all the case (very often).  It was a lot of fun and I think it was good for both of us, bonding us and bringing us together.  He also came out of his shell and made friends this year, buddying up with a friend (ironically named Jack) and having his first, and second, sleepovers and planning more for the summer!  Possibly the funniest thing about having him in my class was his insistence on referring to me as Mr. Drosche whenever school matters were being taken care of.  We'd already told the kids to call us that at school, just our family's preference, but he took it a step further and continued that at home during homework times or during school functions!  But that's Jackson, all or nothing!  We also continued to learn and live with his ADHD, changing medicine as he grew and managing his symptoms via diet.  All in all he had a marvelous year and we are so happy that he is thriving.  It is nice to have all the kids back at one school together.

Stella on the first day of school!
Stella on the last day of school!

Stella.  Toddler 2s.  Wow!  She is no longer a baby, that's for sure, and also no longer a toddler.  She is a full-on kid now.  As sad as that is, to have our baby growing up, it is also fun to see her grow and develop her own personality.  And what a personality she has!  She knows what she wants and is sure to let everyone know that.  She is full of spunk and sass (from her mother?) and keeps us on our toes.  It may be hard to handle sometimes, but honestly we would not have her any other way.  She also has grown so much thanks to her two awesome teachers.  Colors, numbers, shapes, songs, etc.  She is a sponge and has learned so much this year.  She is so excited to be in PreSchool next year and is already talking about it.  She will be down my hallway next year so that should be interesting, especially considering that Braeden will be moving out of my hallway and upstairs for 4th Grade!  Gasp!  We just recently (yesterday) celebrated her upcoming 3rd birthday and I am astonished that she is that old.  She reminds us so much of Jackson so we kind of know what to expect from her, sort of.  All in all, she had an amazing year and we will miss the Toddler program so much as she moves into the "big school" but we are ready (as much as possible) for that adventure.

So, there you have it.  A long-winded (do I offer any other kind) retrospective of the kids and their school year.  It was a great year for us in Drosche Land, despite being full of ups and downs.  But then again, every year is.  We grew a lot and learned a lot.  As great as it was though, we are all very happy that summer is here.  Everyone needs a little down time to recharge!  Thanks 2014/2015 school year!  It was a blast!

All is well, Toddler 2s/1st Grade/3rd Grade down, in Drosche Land.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Life's A Beach

I feel like I've used that title before. Maybe?  Maybe not?  Well, there are worse things than a recycled post title. 

So we are coming off of a long weekend, Memorial Day!  We always go out and this year it was much needed since it has been a crazy/rough/long year. Plus, we haven't taken the camper out since New Years so we were long overdue for a trip out. 

This year, as we often do, we headed to Galveston. Now I know it's not white sands and clear water, but a beach is a beach and any true Texan is just fine with a trip to the Gulf of Mexico.  After last year's disastrous camping trip to the bay side of Galveston State Park (recall that's when we were attacked by a million mosquitos and Stella ended up with a staph infection), we were so excited to be staying on the ocean side of the park!  The drive out was fairly uneventful, with the exception of Mickey, who seems to get severely carsick everytime we take him out, always resulting in an unpleasant bought of intestinal distress in his kennel. Other than that though it was good. Thanks to Amy who was riding in the back and somehow managed to clean it up without the need for a stop on the side of the road!  

The stay at Galveston was wonderful. Friday night was an easy setup night followed by our usual hot dogs and s'mores meal. Saturday was spent at the beach enjoying the beautiful weather. Sure the winds were crazy strong, but that's often the case at the beach. Sunday morning brought a bad rainstorm so we spent the first part of the day stuck inside the camper. Luckily Amy and I had just installed our new TV, so we got to give that a go. The afternoon brought about a clearing and we ventured out to the Railroad Museum, which everyone (remarkably) enjoyed. We hitched up early Monday and headed home to avoid the impending weather.  Luckily we made it home by lunch, long before the storms began. I'm sure you've heard of how bad it was/is here in Texas. Crazy rains and floods. We have managed to come through it unscathed (prayers of thanks) but many are dealing with power outages and property damage.  We even had school canceled today due to the flooding, bringing about an added vacation day and some further rest and relaxation.  It seems (fingers crossed) as though the worst is behind us. More rains possible tomorrow, but we shall see. 

Summer is quickly approaching. The kids and I have only two days left, Amy with three as she goes through the end of the week!  Then it's week of meetings before summer begins!  And we have big plans for this summer!  Not Disney big, but tons of fun and adventure nonetheless. But that's a post for another time. Until then I will leave you with some pictures of our fun Memorial Day beach vacation!  Time to prep for the return to school tomorrow!

All is well, beachy keen and safe & dry, here in Drosche Land. 

Ever since they were little, the boys have loved to run in and out of the water. Like a kid-friendly Baywatch opening!

She was pleased as punch to wear her new Hello Kitty bathing suit all day long. This girls loves the water!

Who would have guessed that all three would be enthralled by the Railroad Museum!

We saw the Weinermobile at Wal Mart!  Yes they got whistles. Yes, I did too!

Monday, May 18, 2015


So I'm still here.  Just the usual slow May fresh off of daily posts in April.  #endofyear. Such is life when you teach. But I'm here and I'm posting. 

Sleepovers. Did you have them as a kid?  Host them?  Go to them?  I didn't. I was not the sleepover type of kid. I wasn't antosocial, just more of a homebody I guess. Luckily the same cannot be said for my kids. This year alone, between the boys, they have had more sleepovers than I did in my entire life. Granted that was just one, but still you get the point. 

I credit this newfound fondness for sleepovers to two things. 1 - they are growing up. I'm guessing this is the age when sleepovers begin. It's fun. It's cool to have your friends over for the night and/or go to their house. 2 - St. Mark. It is such an awesome environment. We are so blessed to have it as our church home, my job, and the school for all 3 kids. It's just been so amazing these past 2 years. Sleepovers are big. Especially in Jackson's class. A pair of my students is literally having a sleepover nearly every weekend. They rotate. Sometimes in twos and sometimes larger groups. They're always together in some grouping. It's awesome!  Definitively lends to the familial relationship my class has with each other. 

This year marked the first sleepovers for both Braeden and Jackson. They've each hosted and been a guest. Braeden was the first earlier this year when a friend invited him over for his birthday. Braeden had never been before. He was nervous. He's a lot like me at that age. Just thinner and more athletic. Despite the nerves we encouraged him and he had a blast!  He invited the same friend over to our house last week to celebrate his birthday. It was a lot of fun. 

Jackson followed suit this spring. He hosted first, inviting two friends over. It was a new experience for us having that many people over. I mean we'd hosted the cousins but they're family. This was different. It went very well and was also a ton of fun. Just this past weekend one of the boys invited him over and he was ecstatic and eager to go, not nervous at all. I was though. See, you'll remember, Jackson is the one who wakes up frequently and comes to our room. Randomly. In the middle of the night and often around 9:00-9:30. I'm also not 100% convinced that he isn't sleepwalking at times. But who knows. So I was nervous about that. No parent enjoys being woken up in the middle of th enlighten, much less by some kid that's not their own. We shared this with Jackson and he must have understood because the sleepover went without incident. 

So, it's not a ton of sleepovers but, in Drosche Land, it's a big deal. A milestone of sorts. They're growing up. They're coming into their own and developing and building friendships. Both boys are already planning the next sleepovers so I am confident that this will become a regular occurrence.  And I'm ok with that. It's fun. Different having other kids who aren't your own at your house, but fun. I can on,y imagine how Stella will be.  I shudder to think. Having multiple boys over is one thing, were used to that. But several little girls, that's a whole other kind of craziness. Luckily we have a few years before that begins.  Time to prep. Time to buy earplugs. Girls are loud!

All is well, sleepovers included, in Drosche Land. 

Tuesday, May 05, 2015


Today is Braeden's birthday. He turned 9. 9!  I'm still in disbelief.  He's the one that made Amy and I parents. The one who taught us about diapers, sleepless nights, and fevers. But he also taught us about hugs, silliness, and love. I'm not sure if I've shared the story of Braeden's birth before. If I have, sorry, this may be a repeat for you. But it's a great story and one that we love to remember often, especially once a year. 

I think back to that day, 9 years ago, when I was at work. We'd recently relocated back to Houston due to Hurricane Katrina and found ourselves expecting. We hadn't fully committed to staying, we still wanted to return to New Orleans and the life we'd begun to build there. But then, suddenly, everything changed. It couldn't be just about Amy and I anymore. Nope, we would soon have this tiny little human who would depend solely on us. We had to start thinking about what was best for him. So, we made the touch decision to stay in Houston. It was back home for us, near our families and everything we'd grown up with. We were starting to rebuild. Amy had found another job and I was subbing and working as a teacher aide until I could find a position myself. We were staying with my parents and searching for an apartment.  All was slowly settling. 

May 5. We were still over a month away from the due date.  We had plenty of time to plan. Right?  To pack. To prep the apartment we'd moved into. To sort, wash, sterilize, and learn about all of the baby gear we had been blessed with. We had some time still.  Wrong. I was working Extended Care when I received the call. Amy thought maybe her water had broken. Say what?!  But she thought it might be a false alarm. I decided to head home early anyway, to check on her. Halfway home another call. Nope, this was the real thing. Forget heading home, we would meet at the hospital. It looked as though it was go time.

But things were to take another turn from our plans. He was breech. Yep. Breech. As I'd been  he wouldn't turn and Amy wasn't laboring. So the decision was presented to us: c-section. What?!  As scary as having a baby was, this tripled, maybe even quadrupled that. But here we were and there was no turning back. Not now so we moved forward, no other choice really.  So anxious and praying we went. 

After the surgery all seemed well. Braeden was small but not tiny. He was healthy. Sent to the NICU for monitoring since was considered pre-term. The next day all was well. Here was this tiny little thing that, just less than a day before, had seemed like some distant thing we'd been planning for.  But he was here. Now. Soon we learned that he was having som eblood sugar issues, trouble maintaining it. He was pricked so much on his little foot for testing that he still bears a birthmark-like scar that wasn't there when he was born. We now began to worry. There was a chance that Amy would be discharged before him if they couldn't get it all squared away.  Again, anxious and praying we moved forward, waiting to see what would happen. 

Luckily all worked out and he was able to be discharged with Amy, stabilized and ready for home. So we packed up this little bundle of joy and headed home to our new life as a family of 3.  Visitors came. More gifts were bestowed. Bags were unpacked. We started to settle into our new normal and Amy and I, so very naively, thought that not much has changed. This parenting thing didn't seem so difficult. Yeah, that didn't last long. Little man had his plans to teach us and train us as parents.

9 years. I don't know how I'll feel next year when it will be an entire decade!  He's grown into such an amazing person. Sure, there are rough times, there always will be. But deep down he's a good kid. A loving him brother. A loyal friend. A close cousin. A devoted grandson. A son. Our son. The first one. 

Happy 9th Birthday Braeden. I love you. 

All is well, 9 years and counting, in Drosche Land. 

Monday, May 04, 2015

Hand Wash Only

Nope. Not talking laundry here. Actuall, I referring to the way we do dishes here in Drosche Land lately.

About two weeks ago we suspected that our dishwasher was leaking. Upon pulling it out and inspecting it we found out that yes, it was leaking indeed. To top it off, it wasn't something simple like a hose or anything. Nope. That's now how we roll here. Instead, the leak was coming from some hidden, indeterminable place underneath the dishwasher itself. 

So, after discussing it and weighing the options, Amy and I decided not to have someone out to look at it. Realistically that would come with an exorbitant cost and would likely result in the confirmation that repair would be too costly, thus meaning replacement was the better option. So, not having the money to replace it immediately, we decided to wait. 

Enter the hand washing. It's not bad really. I mean this is how people washed dishes for how long until the dishwasher was invented?  Surely we can last a little while as we work to save up for the replacement. Right?  Right.

This all has just brought to mind how short-lived appliances can be. 7-8ish years seems to be the lifespan though. Our dryer is making a lovely screeching noise when in use and may turn in its notice before too long. Crazy.  If something had to give up on us, I'm glad it was the dishwasher since that is a cheap and easy fix.  Well, the waiting and saving up is cheap and easy. I've been in the need of a dryer before. It's not pretty. Relying on the sun and wind to dry out your semi-privately displayed underwear. Not pretty at all. 

So for now we are thankful for the little things like appliances that are easily replaced by manpower.  That and the realization that 5 people go through a lot of dishes and maybe we can reevaluate how we use dishes and be more conservative in our usage. The One-Cup-A-Day Rule will be in full effect this summer once we are all home.  That's a sure thing.

All is well, dishpan hands and all, in Drosche Land. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Zombie & Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

1. Zombie - The Cranberries. Confession. This song isn't in my collection. Somewhere I know I have the CD, stored away like some ancient artifact. But it comes to mind for the topic and it fits so it gets included. Surely you remember this song from the 90's?  I loved it then and I still love it now. So much going on. The words, the political message behind it, Dolores O'Riordan's voice.  It's one of those songs that, although I haven't heard it in forever, I still remember the words and will sing along whenever it comes on. I have to stop trying to remember when it came out though, it ages me and makes me feel very old. So I'll stick with "back then" and be happy with it. 

2. Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah - James Baskett. Ok. Everyone knows of this song. I mean it's Disney. It's a classic. It's global. I'm sure you're singing it in your head right now too. Sorry though, it'll likely be stuck there for a while.  Who doesn't love this song. Sadly my kids have never seen Song of the South and it's difficult to come by, what with how times have changed and all. But it's still a classic and if you go to a Disney theme park you're sure to hear it. It's also just a fun, positive, happy-go-lucky song. Puts you in a good mood and makes you smile. Well, the first couple of times at least. After that, maybe not so much. 

Well, that's it. Just like that April is over and the challenge has come to an end. Fun. But this is a "Z" post and I will look back later and post about it then. 

All is well, Z down and finished, in Drosche Land. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Your Song & You and I

Your Song - Elton John. Classic. I love this song. It's a simple romantic song and has been covered many times. But again, the original is the best. I mean, it's Elton John. Having said that though, I do like the rendition from Moulin Rouge. But I like Baz Luhrmann and his movies. But I digress. This song. It's great. Makes me want to put on some oversized ostentatious glasses and relax. 

You and I - Lady Gaga. Yes. Her again. You know I love her, so she had to make this list several times. This is one of my all-time faves from her (I'm sure I've said that before) because it's tied to a special memory. A few years ago when Amy bought me tickets to go see her she played this song. But it was for her then upcoming, unreleased album and hadn't been fully tweaked and finished. She just sang it straight out at the piano.  No frills. No fuss. Just awesomeness. So, when the album came out and the finished song was present Amy and I reminisced and enjoyed it. So it makes me smile whenever I hear it. That and it's just awesome. So it was a natural for "Y". 

All is well, Y down, in Drosche Land. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Once again here we are. That time of year in the countdown when the letter "X" comes up. X. Poor letter. Misunderstood. Rarely used.  Especially as the initial letter in a word. Not totally useless. I mean we wouldn't have foxes or boxes without it. Nor would we be able to fax someone or refer to our saxophones by their shortened diminutives. But to begin a work with "X"?  Well, that's just downright rare. And even when it's present it uses the sound from the letter "Z". Poor X.

Clearly I have no song in my collection beginning with this underutilized letter. A quick trip to Google returned a few examples. Xanadu by Olivia Newton John.  XO by Beyoncé. A few others. Yet I am unfamiliar with them. Sure I have heard of the two I just mentioned but they made no impact. So I cannot comment on them or provide you with guidance in finding a song beginning with "X". So I'll simply dedicate this post to the poor letter itself. For now unused in this month's posts. But, there's always next year!

All is well, X down, in Drosche Land. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Way I Am & Wrecking Ball

1.  The Way I Am - Ingrid Michaelson.  OMG.  I love this song.  It is so sweet and fun.  It makes me think of Amy every time I hear it.  I think it is the perfect little song for a couple to have.  Nothing sweeping or overly romantic about it.  Not a ballad.  No huge musical score.  Just something simple and easy to show love for someone, no matter what.  A personal fave of mine.  Plus, she works the word Rogaine into the song, kudos to her!

2.  Wrecking Ball - Miley Cyrus.  Yes.  I know.  It's Miley Cyrus.  On a wrecking ball.  Licking a sledgehammer.  There are so many things wrong with that.  But that's the video.  Taking the song away from the video I think it becomes something totally different.  A sad lament for love lost.  A double entrendre for the term wrecking ball.  I like it, aside from the video of course.  That's just crazy.  But listen to it and try, your best, not to picture the video.  The song in itself is pretty good.  At least I think so.

All is well, W down, in Drosche Land.  

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Violin & Video Games

1.  Violin - Amos Lee.  Another singer/songwriter.  Amos Lee has an awesome folksy/rock/soulful sound that is addictive.  I have no clue where I heard this, so it is like to be via iTunes, but I was instantly taken.  There is just something about his voice and the music that just calms and soothes.  Puts me in such a great mood.  His music has also been used extensively in commercials (Sweet Pea) and TV shows.  I guess because it also makes for great background music; relaxing and soft.  If you have not heard of him, or this song, I highly recommend it.  You will not be sorry.

2.  Video Games - Lana Del Rey.  Her voice.  Haunting and seeming like a throwback to 1940's/1950's.  Her first album, Born to Die, is awesome and every song on it is epic and I can listen to it straight through over and over.  Sometimes you just need a slow song with a slightly melancholy feel.  One to just veg out to.  You know what I mean right?  Lana Del Rey is just that.  Enjoy.

All is well, U down, in Drosche Land.     

Friday, April 24, 2015

Underneath & Uprising

1.  Underneath - Alanis Morissette.  I have loved Alanis since she first came around, way back in the 90's.  I was in high school back then and her first album, Jagged Little Pill, was one of my favorite CDs back in the day.  I have always bought all of her albums when they've come out and listened to them on repeat, memorizing them.  While she has somewhat faded from mainstream radio and airplay, she remains one of my all-time favorite artists.  This song is from one of her later albums and is all about changing yourself and being happy with yourself before you can change the world and others.  A good message, everyone should have a strong sense of self-worth and confidence.  Plus it's got a great hook and I just love Alanis.  Oh, and remember, she was an original character on You Can't Do That on Television (see last year's "Y" post here) so that is awesome too!

2.  Uprising - Muse.  Love this!  The beat is wicked.  Throw in the fact that it was used to promote the reboot of the series V (not as great as the original but still pretty cool) and it's a winner.  One that is great to crank up loud so you can feel the bass vibrate through you.  Surely I'm not the only one who does this with a good song?  Anywho, this song kicks and I'm listening to it now as I post.  It's also great to play when you need to be pumped up and ready to take on a big task or event, I mean the whole thing is about being victorious.  Win!

All is well, U down, in Drosche Land.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

These Dreams & Thrift Shop

1. These Dreams - Heart. It's Heart!  Honestly, this isn't my favorite Heart song. That would be Barracuda but "B" was full so here they are with my 2nd favorite. Who doesn't love a good 80's power ballad by a girl group?  Well, look no further. Here is a great one from Heart. This song marked a comeback from the group after dwindling popularity after the late 70's. It's been covered and used in numerous TV shows and movies so I'm sure you've heard it, a snippet, or a version thereof. Somewhere along the way. But the original is the best, as it usually always is. 

2. Thrift Shop - Macklemore. Ok. So you have to know this song. I mean, how could you have escaped it?  Did you know what "pippin' tags" meant before this?  I doubt many people did. It's catchy. It's mainstream hip-hop. And yes, I have no shame in stating that I can recite/sing/dare I say rap every word. The boys love this one too and it's always one to please when it comes on. Causing us all to stop and jam for a couple of minutes.  Maybe even on the way to Goodwill to score some great second-hand deals?

All is well, T down, in Drosche Land. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

St. Elmo's Fire & Secret

1. St. Elmo's Fire - John Parr. Who doesn't love a great Brat Pack movie?  Well, if you weren't born in the 80's then maybe you, but that would just be one of the many things you've missed out on. This is one of the main movies from that era. I haven't seen it in forever but it's a great one. And this song. The theme song from the movie. It's such an awesome and typical 80's song.  From the instruments to the wording to the way it's composed. Just a great throwback. I'll play it and turn it up loud. I think it's slowly growing on the kids!  Up next, the movie!

2. Secret - The Pierces. Maybe you've heard of this and maybe not. If you have a penchant for teenage soap operaesque drama then you'll instantly recognize it as the theme song from Pretty Little Liars. I've mentioned before my addiction to this show. I just can't get enough. I'm caught up via Netflix and am awaiting the addition of the most recent season!  Loving the show and the song I had to download it. It's a great song. Kind of a gothic feel to the music and tone of their voices. I also just love the words and song itself.  Just awesome. But I don't know who "A" is, so don't spoilt it for me?!  :)

All is well, S down, in Drosche Land. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Redneck Crazy & Royals

1. Redneck Crazy - Tyler Farr. On my, this is Braeden's all-time favorite song. He will request it no matter what. It just gets to him. I love it too. It's a great country song. A little bit of heartbreak and a little bit of revenge all wrapped up with a great chorus and a twang. It doesn't hurt that Willie Robertson is in the video. We love us some Duck Dynasty here in Drosche Land. This is another go-to song for feeling good and singing out loud. Whenever and wherever. 

2. Royals - Lorde. She makes a second appearance this month. The song that introduced the world to Lorde and made her famous. Love it. The beat. The chorus. That voice. They all work together to just make it awesome. I will admit though that it makes me feel slightly ancient to know that she is only 18. Seriously?!  Oh well. I guess it's a good thing I'm young at heart.  

All is well, R down, in Drosche Land. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Queen & Que Sera Sera

1. The Queen - Lady Gaga. She makes another appearance on this list with this track. Not released as a single, that I know of. To be honest it's not one of my faves. I love all her music but this one has fallen off of my radar. Admittedly it partially makes the list because it is the only song in my collections beginning with the letter "Q" so it was this or nothing. I'm sure there are many mor earrings beginning with this letter, just none I am too familiar with or own. Sad. But it's Lady Gaga so it's worth a listen. 

2. Que Sera Sera - Doris Day. Ok, so it's not in my collection but I do love this song. Sure you've heard of it before. Whatever will be, will be. You know it?  Right?  Used in the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Man Who Knew Too Much. I love a good Hitchcock movie but I haven't seen this one in years. But the song became well known and Doris Day's signature song after being used in her tv show. There's son trivia for you thanks to some quick research and Wikipedia. You're welcome. So, not in my collection but came to mind and I love it. Maybe I'll add it now?  Heading to iTunes after publishing. 

All is well, Q down, in Drosche Land. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Paint It Black & Push Me To the Floor

1.  Paint It Black - The Rolling Stones.  What music-themed list would be complete without The Rolling Stones?  I mean, they're like 178 years old but still awesome!  This is my favorite of all of their songs though.  Not quite sure why, just is.  It's a classic though, how can you not love it.  My kids, not so much.  Hard to believe it is nearly 50 years old.  But, like The Rolling Stones themselves, still kicking!

2.  Push Me To the Floor - The Parlotones.  Again, not quite sure how I came about this one but I'm glad I did.  It has a fun and quirky video so that also helps this song to be pretty great.  It has a fun alternative/indie feel that I like.  To be honest, I haven't heard this song in quite a while though, but I know the words and can hear it in my head if I think about it.  Maybe I'll go look up the video on YouTube.  Bring it back to the top of the playlist?

All is well, P down, in Drosche Land.  

Friday, April 17, 2015

Oh Louise & Ocean Front Property

1.  Oh Louise - Korey Dane.  Ok, I honestly cannot remember how I found out about this song.  Maybe a freebie on iTunes?  A commercial?  I have no clue.  It is likely an iTunes freebie and I love those.  Most of the time I like them, only occasionally are there ones that I think are totally crap.  This, though, is not one of them.  I love this song.  It may be one that falls to the bottom of the list and the back of my mind, but whenever it comes back on I am in love with it all over again.  Like an old friend that you haven't seen or spoken to in forever and then you meet up again and it's just like old times.  It's kind of like that.  Give it a try.  Plus it somewhat falls into the singer/songwriter genre and I am a total sucker for that kind of music.

2.  Ocean Front Property - George Strait.  The King appear again.  Love this.  I know all the words and shamelessly sing out loud the entire song whenever it comes on.  I mean, it's George Strait.  Need I say more?  This is another of my all-time faves of his and it never gets old and never ceases to please.  Timeless.

All is well, O down, in Drosche Land.  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien & New Soul

1. Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien - Edith Piaf. LOVE this. I cannot express to you how much. I don't know when I first heard it but you may know it from the commercial a few years back where the lady drops her engagement ring down the drain. Or maybe you are like me and have a thing for French pop music?  I also love Edith Piaf's other works, she is amazing. I highly recommend La Vie en Rose, the movie about her life. Marion Cotillard is phenomenal, and I just like saying her name.  Sadly, no one else in my family shares my love for this wonderful song so I rarely listen to it, mostly when I'm driving alone, which is also rare. But I do so love this song. 

2. New Soul - Yael Naïm. One, I do love this song. Two, I enjoy typing her name because I get to make that fun "i". It's the little things people. Anywho. You may have never heard this song before. I found it a few years ago when Apple used it in one of their commercials, I love the music they choose. So, I headed over to iTunes and downloaded it. I've been enjoying ever since. I suggest you give it a listen if you've never heard of it. Something new. Something different.  I'll admit though, I don't have any of her other music so I can comment on her entire library. Maybe I'll check it out?

All is well, N down, in Drosche Land. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Man & Make It To Me

1. The Man - Aloe Blacc. One of Braeden's favorite songs. One he always requests when we are taking turns listening to music from my iPhone in the car. For me it's another one of those go-to, feel good songs. I'm sure that on more than one occasion a complete stranger has caught me belting this song out at the top of my lungs. Yes, I'm that person!  I do enjoy this song so much that I've debated making it my ringtone; I just can't part with The Walking Dead theme.  Am I the man?  Maybe I am. This song sure makes me feel like I could be!

2. Make It To Me - Sam Smith. Here he is again on my list. His songs are so bittersweet and melancholy. But the words and his voice make them so addictive.  I love the fact that the song is about someone's unrequited love for a friend who is oblivious. Have you seen the video?  It totally plays off on that theme. I'm sure Amy is laughing reading this as we have been in that exact position. She was Sam Smith and I was the clueless love interest. Luckily I came around and realized she was my soulmate. And we all lived happily ever after. So stay strong Sam Smith, there's still hope!

All is well, M down, in Drosche Land. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Let It Go & Livin' On a Prayer

1. Let It Go - Idina Menzel. Yes, I know. But I do have a 2 1/2 year old daughter. She is so intro Frozen it's not even funny. She adores it. We've seen the movie more times than I can remember. She's got dolls. She's got books.  She loved the Frozen Fever short before the movie Cinderella. Whenever the song comes on she sings and spins around "like a princess". So naturally this song brings my little girl to my mind. And I smile. Now, I'll also go one step further and admit that I do love the song. I do. I love the movie. I do.  I've not tired of either of them and I'm not ashamed to admit it. There. I've said it. I love Frozen. I love Let It Go. I love the running gag with John Travolta and his ineptitude and inability to say her name correctly. I love it all. 

2. Livin' On A Prayer - Bon Jovi. Come one. It's Bon Jovi. A total nod to my 80's childhood and love of hair band rock and ballads.  I know more than a few of you out there will belt this sound out at the top of your lungs when it comes on. Maybe you are now, or at least in your head. I know I am. So many awesome Bon Jovi songs, but this one is my favorite. I can't refer to myself or anyone else being halfway anywhere without breaking into the chorus. So good. Timeless really. Another song that I can play and it's sure to put me in a good mood.  I think I'll play it right now in fact. Rock on. 

All is well, L down, in Drosche Land. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Knee Deep & Kiss the Rain

1.  Knee Deep - Zac Brown Band.  Love them.  This is my favorite non-ballad Zac Brown band song, I just couldn't narrow it down to one for them.  It's a great feel-good song about having fun.  Kind of this generation's Margaritaville.  It never ceases to put me in a good mood and get me singing along whenever it is on.  Also, having seen them perform live at The Rodeo, they do a killer job live.  Amazing.  This is just one of those songs that can pump you up and make you smile, whenever it comes on.  Definitely a go-to.

2.  Kiss the Rain - Billie Myers.  I'm not sure exactly what it is about this song.  The song itself?  Her voice?  The words and meaning?  I just like it.  Do you have one of those songs?  I may not always seek it out, but when it comes on (either on the radio or when my iPhone is shuffling through my library) I enjoy it and don't skip it.  I don't have much to say other than that.  Plus, there aren't a ton of songs, at least in my collection, that begin with the letter "K".

All is well, K down, in Drosche Land.  

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Jump In the Line & Judas

1. Jump In the Line - Harry Belafonte. Yes, the song from Beetlejuice, likely where I first heard it. An awesome movie, but this post is about the song.  Calypso.  It's just a fun song. Also, it's hard not to sing it without emulating his Caribbean accent. Try it, I dare you. This is also one of Jackson's all-time favorite songs. He can get down when it comes on and will belt it out with me at the top of his lungs. It's awesome to experience, trust me. So, that's also a major reason why I love it so much. 

2. Judas - Lady Gaga. She makes her 2nd appearance this month. This song is also a favorite of Jackson's and he will often request it, being (like me) a huge Lady Gaga fan. It is also one of her more interesting videos with all of the religious imagery and references used in conjunction with a biker gang. Definitely a unique way to sing about betrayal.  She's nothing if she's not interesting. But I do love it so and, again, will listen to it endlessly. 

All is well, J down, in Drosche Land. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

I Will Wait & I'm Not the Only One


1. I Will Wait - Mumford & Sons.  Love this song. Love this band. I am a sucker for a banjo too and this song has a great inclusion of it. There's just something about the folksy sound of the band, the banjo, and the lyrics that all just work together. A little country, a little rock, a little folk, a little bluegrass. It just gets to me on so many levels. I'm not often at a loss for words, but this is one of those times when I just can't put it to words. I guess maybe that's a sign of its success for me?

2. I'm Not the Only One - Sam Smith. Sam Smith. Wow. There is not a song of his that I don't love. I could, and have many times, listen to the entire album on repeat. But this is my favorite of all of his songs. Bittersweet from beginning to end. Plus, have you seen the video?  I love it and feel it fits the song so well. Plus it's got the actress that played Quinn on Glee and she is awesome. I may or may not have listened to this song, sometimes to the chagrin of my kids, the entire way to school and home again on more than one occasion. That's a 40-50 minute trip each way folks, about 10 listens depending on traffic. Yes I've counted. But it's just that good. All of it is, but this is the best.

All is well, I down, in Drosche Land.