"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.