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I'm a single mom with two great kids living near Dallas, Texas. This is my life; day to day things that are probably only important to me. This is my record of my ups, my downs and the road that I've taken along the way. For whatever reason YOU'RE here, I hope you find something you can enjoy and/or relate to. God bless.

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Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Sunday, July 31, 2005


I want to say thank you to all the kind emails I've received. Believe me, I love sharing these wonderful websites with y'all, I'm just blessed to have come across them myself.

Today's Quote 7/31/05

The one little boy came up to me and started pointing to my hand. I looked down and I must have cut it on something because it was bleeding. He ran inside to get me something that looked like a Band-Aid, but I passed on it and waited till I got back to the FOB. He did help me pour some of the water on it to wash it off. He was so proud that he could help. I’m telling you that the kids of this country are the ones that will be able to turn this country around if they are ever given the chance.

by: SFC Kevin Kelly
Stationed in Iraq, 155th BCT
John Upperman is an officer in the Texas Army National Guard whose unit was activated for deployment in August 2004. He has just returned home from Iraq for two week's of R&R. Please take a moment to read his blog today on his trip home. It's wonderful. *Warning, have tissues handy.

A few more hours

My family is on the road home. I don't know how the week end has gone by so fast, but it has. I've talked to them several times, and they've been having a lot of fun. Mark has visited (again) the places of his college days and played some hackey sack in the familiar old places. He took the boys to eat at the old haunts and they've spent some quality male bonding time together. I spent some pretty great quality bonding time too, with myself. Sometimes you need to be so aware of what's going on around you and who needs what or who needs to be where when...that you lose touch with yourself. Who you are, or more importantly, what you're about. That's what I've enjoyed about this week end. Knowing my family is safe and happy, I've been able to relax and just take care of me. I hope I don't have to go another 20 years without getting to spend some quality time with 'me'.

Today's Quote 7/31/05

Real stars are not riding around in the backs of limousines or in Porsches or getting trained in yoga or Pilates and eating only raw fruit while they have Vietnamese girls do their nails. They can be interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me any longer. A real star is the soldier of the 4th Infantry Division who poked his head into a hole on a farm near Tikrit, Iraq. He could have been met by a bomb or a hail of AK-47 bullets. Instead, he faced an abject Saddam Hussein and the gratitude of all of the decent people of the world.
by: Ben Stein http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1331469/posts

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Today's Quote 7/30/05

The biggest problem I have with the whole comparison between Iraq and Vietnam is that most, though by no means all, of those who peddle it, use it (as the old saying goes) like a drunk uses a lamp post; not for enlightenment but for support.
by: Arthur Chrenkoff

so far...so perfect

In a perfect world, a late night goes hand in hand with a late morning. So far...a perfect week end.
I did get a call early in the evening that Casey had lost one of his contacts when he was taking them out to go swimming. They'd searched and couldn't find it. The poor guy was so upset that he didn't want to go swimming and just went to bed. Mark had called me from the pool, where Charlie was making friends with kids in the pool...of course, and I had them go to the room to let me talk to Casey. I told him that I had his prescription for his contacts and would have them filled today so he could have them before he got home. We talked that sometimes 'life' just happens and he felt better and was on his way to the pool when we hung up. Poor kid.
Mark had said they got stuck in rush hour traffic and spent over an hour going 15 mph. Yuck. At least they took a ton of their favorite cd's.
I'm sure they're having as much fun as I am. Life is good.
*Update: Got Casey's contacts...all is good. Wouldn't be too much hardship if he lost them more often, his doctor is just too cute. :)

Friday, July 29, 2005

Thank you 1st Sergeant Kasal

by David Ray
photo by LtCol Norm Root

...one you won't spot on "60 Minutes"...
Marine 1st Sergeant Brad Kasal (in the middle). This photo is from the most recent major offensive in Fallujah. Sgt. Kasal sacrificed his own safety to save a room full of fellow Marines. He ended up taking several AK rounds in the leg. Most of his lower leg was blown away but you can't tell it from this pic. He took rounds in the back which his armor saved him from. He took one round through his butt which passed through both cheeks leaving 4 holes in him. And he also took the brunt of a grenade blast. He jumped on top of a younger Marine to cover him from the fire. He killed the terrorist who did most of the damage to him and his men, and despite a massive loss of blood he never stopped fighting. Notice that he's still holding his pistol. He has been put in for the Medal of Honor for his actions on that day. He already has several Purple Hearts for previous battles throughout his career and he has turned some down so that he could stay with his unit. While in the hospital he has met President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and several other celebrities. He said that President Bush came in by himself and had a very long, sincere, and friendly visit with him.
S/F and Aloha ...David

Guy Time

Mark is taking the boys tubing in San Marcos and New Braunfels this week end. I've got two entire days to myself. Last time that happened was...wait, don't think it ever has. Yup, so I'm excited. Mark went to college in San Marcos, and he and I have tubed there. But, I think it is the first time for the boys...it was either raining or too cold every time we've visited San Marcos with them. I know they're going to have a ball. And I've got a sneaking suspicion that I will too. :)

Today's Quote 7/29/05

"Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

Mudville Gazette

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Today's Quote 7/28/05

Our enemies in the war on terror have no tanks, no air force and no navy. Their greatest and most powerful weapon is an American media more interested in today's controversy than tomorrow's victory.

written by: Lance Frizzell


(This guy is so awesome)

Charlie's got a girlfriend

This girl is cute! Charlie met her while helping her mom move last week end. Her mom is a friend of my husband's from work. Charlie invited her to go to youth church last night and I met her when we went to pick them up afterwards and take her home. A decent 20 minute ride, so got to talk to her some. This adorable long blonde haired 13 yr. old had one of those smiles that you just stare at and think *WoW*... Open, honest and free kind of smiles. I can appreciate that kind of smile because I'm on of those people that may smile for a split second before my hand goes up to cover my mouth. Don't ask me why, no idea. But this cutie shared her smile freely and it was an amazing sight. She was sweet, sincere and intelligent. Way to go Charlie, she's a keeper.
*Side note: Charlie took 2 showers (and even re-wet his hair a couple of times after that) to get ready for his 'date'. How cute is that? Gonna need some kind of dowry deposit, though, mom to compensate for the water and electric bill.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

1st LT Lance Frizzell

One of my favorite things about having my own blog is getting to share what I want to. And...I want to share 1st LT Lance Frizzell with any and every one I possibly can. This guy is awesome. He is a 1st LT Medical Platoon Leader currently serving in Northern Iraq.
Yup, another military web site, so get over it. :) In civilian life, he's the Press Secretary for the House Republican Caucus in the Tennessee Legislature. I love the blogs by Kevin Kelly and John Upperman, but Lance's site is different in that it isn't so much a personal commentary as it is daily reporting. His photographs are touching and his writing is honest and informative. Please, check this guy out. And you're welcome in advance. :) :)

The cycle of life

I have no idea how this happened. Casey just drove off by himself for the first time. He has performance course this morning, 7:15 a.m., and it's raining. I knew he wanted to drive himself this morning, so I got him up early...because it is raining, after all. I went through all the details on how the road may be slick, how the brakes work differently when they're wet, where to park...even I quit listening to me! I stood outside and watched him drive off for the first time in a car by himself. I waited as long as I could...yup, I did, I drove by the school to make sure he'd made it okay. By the way, he didn't park where I'd instructed him to...where it would be easiest to get out with out having to back up into a crowd of other kids. But how do I tell him that I know he didn't park where I told him to, with out telling him how I know?

There are firsts all through life that not only demonstrates their independence, but gives you that heart tug that you're just not needed as much as you were a heartbeat ago. Like...when they learn to wipe their own butts. You're grateful...but you're needed less. When they fix something for themselves to eat instead of telling you they're hungry. You're grateful...but you're needed less. When you see them folding clothes out of the dryer that you didn't even know needed washing. You're grateful...but you're needed less. Now he's driving away on his own. And I'm standing there waving good bye as I tell myself this is just the cycle of life.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Best chocolate cake

Casey picked his birthday cake from Krogers. It was what they call Triple Chocolate Cake. First, it's a huge cake...could serve a small town or two days in the Bratcher home. :) It is absolutely wonderful, everyone that has had it nearly melts as they eat it.
All in all, a great birthday. Got his license, we took him to Abulelo's (his favorite restaurant) and had a cake to die for.
Later, I'll have to write about how he nearly didn't pass the eye exam at the DMV, with his glasses ON. And that is why we're on our way to the eye doctor now.
Update: Yesterday at the DMV when he had to take his eye exam to get his license...he put on his glasses and read the line he was instructed to. The DMV clerk looked at him for a second, maybe two, and said "Try it again, and I'll tell you now...it's all numbers. There are no letters in it" Casey tried a second time and the clerk said "keep going", so Casey went back and tried it again. When he finished, the clerk said "there are two more numbers". Casey finally finished it and I said to him "Eye Doctor...TOMORROW". The clerk laughed and said it was barely enough, but with us taking him to get his prescription updated she passed him. Casey denies needing any glasses what so ever. He's pretty sure of it, lol. So, today the eye doctor said he definitely needs new ones and we're getting him contacts this time. He's not happy, but at least he'll be able to see while he's unhappy. :) He goes to class tomorrow to learn how to wear them. And Monday he get's his wisdom teeth pulled. Hope growing up is all he hoped it would be.

Another Excellent Blog: ' Who's Your Baghdaddy? '

This is my latest favorite site (thanks Rebecca, Waynes mom from Waynes World...another favorite site, for sharing it.)
http://uppermansblog.blogspot.com This is a blog from a Texas soldier in Iraq. Gives an honest insight to what's going on, and an honest opinion as well. Thank you John.
This is a sample of John's blog:

Early yesterday morning there was an insurgent attack to the north of our base camp. This in and of itself is not unusual, but the nature of the attack serves to illustrate the level of depravity of these scumbags. In the morning hours there was a funeral procession traveling along the main highway that eventually leads into Baghdad. As the procession was moving it came under insurgent attack, which resulted in a few dead and several wounded civilians. Subsequesntly, an Army Military Police unit was notified of the attack and moved into the area to provide support. Once they arrived and secured the area it appeared the insurgents had left the scene so the MP unit began treating the civilian wounded. Unbeknownst to them, however, the insurgents left behind a Trojan horse in the form of a car bomb. It was remotely detonated, which resulted in several more civilian and U.S. casualties. In other words, the insurgents attacked innocent civilians knowing that we would arrive to offer medical aid and then left a car bomb to attack the U.S. forces as they were treating the wounded. This is the bile we are dealing with on a daily basis. I have a hard time referring to them as "men" because they are human in form only. They have no soul, no conscience, or anything else that permits them to be associated with the human race. They are an evil cancer and they need to be extracted from the body of earth.

We are here to conduct the surgery.

Once again :) http://uppermansblog.blogspot.com/ Thanks, John Upperman. May God keep you safe.

When we bless others, we're blessed.

If you've ever given freely, expecting nothing in return, you'll know what I mean by being blessed in return. It's just the cycle of life, the cycle of love. Sadly, when you give expecting something in return, it's not giving...it's trading. Okay now, with that said I want to share something that has blessed me so much and I hope that some of you will feel led to give freely.
There is a site: www.anysoldier.com that is truly amazing. Someone told me, when they told me about this site, to be careful because it was addicting. I laughed...how naive I was. :) This is a site where soldiers write to let us know what their unit can use. They also update their situations and send pictures. I thought that our military would provide for all their needs over seas. Again...naive. One of the things I read over and over that is wanted in Iraq, Afghanistan...is baby wipes. How simple is that? Imagine... And the bugs, sand fleas...so they ask for bug spray and wipes as well. And drink powders. Imagine nothing but plain water...EVER. How about a bag of store bought cookies maybe, a bag of sweet tarts. Or maybe a cd to listen to in the tent. What I just went through is maybe a $30 purchase at Walmart, or better yet Sams, or Big Lots. To our men and women...A BLESSING!!!! And so many of our military have NO ONE over here sending them anything at all. Imagine seeing all around you receiving packages every couple of weeks when they finally do get mail...and you get nothing...again and again and again. www.anysoldier.com These packages go to the men and women that never or rarely receive anything, for whatever reason. Or some units put the bulk packages on a community table and it's like Christmas!
NOT TO WORRY ABOUT POSTAGE! Ask at the post office for a FLAT RATE BOX. It costs $7.70 and you can send up to 70 lbs. in it.
The heat is 120 + (PLUS) and they are often in hot vehicles under 50 lbs + (PLUS) of heavy body armor. And when they're not in a vehicle, they're in the sun...there is rarely shade! Something that has been a big hit is the misty mate to help cool them off. www.coolourtroops.com
If you're led to bless our men and women in the military, please visit www.anysoldier.com and read their stories. You can choose whom you'd like to bless...man, woman, army, navy, air force, marine... REGARDLESS OF HOW YOU FEEL PERSONALLY ABOUT WAR OR THE MILITARY...THEY ARE STILL THERE NEEDING YOU.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Gotta give Katy a 'shout out' :)

So I get an email from one of the greatest people I've ever known, my friend Katy Johnson, complaining that she wasn't mentioned in my friends posting... Well Katy, YOU LEFT ME!!!!!! Yeah, so your hubby gets an even BETTER job in OHIO...and you just take off and follow after him! Oh, I know what you're saying "but I gave you my mums...", this is true, you did. And the great pots too...I know, I know, I didn't forget the pots.
Seriously, Katy is one of the best friends anyone could ask for. She's a pain in the butt with her honesty, painfully blunt with her opinions and has been a net to catch me when I've fallen more times than I care to count. She doesn't judge, just loves. And what I said for my friends Mac and Terri goes full strength for Katy too, she loves me in spite of knowing me. Trust me, I'm not easy. My friends know all my secrets and better still...they keep them.
Katy, give me a picture and I'll show the world your smile. :)

Birthday Boy Posing

I asked Casey for a birthday picture, and this is the pose he gave me, lol. He'd just got home from Performance Course and we're on our way to get his drivers license. Okay girls...he's 16...6'1", driving and available!! :)

Happy Birthday Casey...Sweet 16 Already??

Yup, my baby is 16 today! He got his birthday present last month, the kid wanted a full size sofa that has split end recliners and a hide away fold down tray in the middle. I love this couch. I want two of them. He's already got a car to drive, but still...what 16 year olds want a couch? Mine. LOL. Casey has the largest room in the house, the entire upstairs is made into one room. I've always wanted this room...but Mark (boooo, hisss) has always nixed the idea because there isn't a bathroom upstairs.

Case and I had a good talk this morning too, before I took him to his Performance Course work out. We talked about when you take romance out of a relationship, all you have is friendship. I want him to understand romance is important, especially to women. If you treat a woman as a friend long enough...that's all she'll be. And then...it's probably too late to turn back the clock. I hope he took hold of what I was saying and runs with it. I love him so much. Happy Birthday Kid.


Okay, so I feel a bit guilty about yesterday's post. But not bad enough to delete it, LOL. Mostly I feel guilty about bad mouthing my oldest son...he's such a wonderful kid. I just hope he learns that it's okay to take after your dad in some ways but not in all ways. Hopefully he'll realize before he gets much older that a woman knows more about how to treat women than a man does...especially his dad. I dearly love my boys, and I pray for their guidance every day of my life.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Sometimes life just sucks

(July 26th. OKAY, I'M EDITING THIS POST... If you've already read it, GOOD. If not, I've calmed down in the last couple of days and you'll just have to live with not having read it sooner. :) *Side note: My husband is a great guy and I'm crazy about him. But, geeze, he can tick me off. )

...and today was one of those days. My husband is a bleep and my oldest takes after him in how to bleep bleep. Fortunately, my youngest has feelings and honestly cares about others. Oh, wait...my hubby cares about others too...like bleep bleep bleep bleep.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Migraine Saturday

Woke up this morning with a migraine...what a pain in the butt, and I'm being nice there. I've had migraines since around 9 or 10 years old. My mom had them, maybe genetic. Sometimes I've had them for up to four days. The last couple of years I've not had them as often as I use to, but it seems this summer they're occurring more. Maybe it's the heat, I don't know. Sooo...today's pretty much been a bust.

Got the car out of the shop around noon. Thought Marko was going to pass out when they told him the cost...$600 for the horn to make sound once again. Sounds great though, lol. They said it was lucky the air bag hadn't gone off in my face too, the coil for it was completely worn. No idea what that means, but whatever. Then we hit the grocery store, all four of us. It's fun shopping with the whole family. After we got home I headed to bed with some pain meds. After about 6 hours, I'm feeling some relief but not a lot. The guys went to help move again and so the house has been quiet, which I'm sure has helped. And...Trouble (my kitten) curled up next to me and purred me to sleep when I couldn't quit grinding my teeth from the pain. Love that cat. The name, Trouble...it's a story. I've got 3 cats, Trouble the latest. Marko had told me 'NO MORE CATS'. We've always had more animals than room...normally 3 cats and 3 dogs is the norm for us. So...when I came across Trouble at the vet's office while I was there taking Porter (our chocolate lab) in for shots, I fell in love with him. Mainly because he was the only one out of the litter that someone had dropped off that wanted to play with Porter through the kittens cage. A couple of days later while I was BACK at the vet taking a cat in for a urine infection...(see a pattern here? yeah, well, guess it's easy to take Marks side, huh?) and Trouble was still there. He was kind of the runt and no one had taken him home yet. I brought him home, and Mark didn't talk to me for about 3 weeks. I knew pretty much that was how it would be before I left the vet's office, so I named him Trouble right after I said I'd take him. And now...everyone including Marko, absolutely adores this cat. He plays with the dogs as much as the cats, he just doesn't realize that he doesn't weigh 70-80 lbs too.
The guys are home with Long John Silvers...men with food. What's better than that?

Friday, July 22, 2005

It's Friday...means nothing to me.

Stayed up way too late last night...again. Which is no biggie, other than I was up at 5:15 a.m. to get hubby off to work, got Casey up for Performance Course (2 more weeks), dropped a car off at Goodyear for some work and fortunately had my buddy come pick me up, came home to get Charlie up for his volunteer work at the library (which I'm sooo proud of his doing) and picked Casey up.
Hmmmmm, finally got started (again) on the spare room. It either needs to be a bigger room or I have to reduce the amount of furniture. I'm such a female. :) Plus I'm keeping the soldiers 'care package fixins' in there. There's gotta be a way to make it all fit and still have enough room to be comfortable. It's gonna take longer than I thought. lol
So, back to my day. Casey and I picked Charlie up from the library and went to have the car washed and detailed. The guys are sooo funny. They're always making me laugh. I love it when they're the best of friends. With just the 18 months difference between them they can be the best of buds or the worst of enemies. Seen both, sometimes it's not pretty.
After the car was done we got some lunch. They chose today and it was Jack In the Box...yeah well. Now we're home and I'm fixin to start on the room again.
Mark is picking the guys up early to help his friend, Laurie, move again. She apparently has a daughter that Charlie says is 'very hot'...so he's picking out his moving outfit to wear tonight. How cute is that? And all this means to me...I GET ANOTHER NIGHT ALONE!! Just doesn't get any better than 2 nights in a row, unless it's 3. :)
My best friend, Mac, and I are celebrating this years birthdays next week with our 3rd best friend, Terri. We're trying to decide where to go and what to do. Wild enough for fun, tame enough to where no one gets hurt. What to do, what to do?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Shopping for school clothes :)

I love shopping for back to school clothes. Of course, I've got two boys...so I enjoy it a whole lot more than they do. Most of the time, I just get what I think they'll like and if they don't I take it back and try again. They're pretty easy...jeans and tee's, a few long sleeves to roll up and the typical multi pocketed long baggy shorts. Which, in itself is no big deal to find...but with my kids being so tall the long shorts are nearly always too short. But hey, I enjoy a good challenge and given the time, I'll find them. So, Charlie and I shopped today and had lunch. A good day. Half of what we bought is going back tomorrow, but it's okay. I did find Casey a good pair of jean shorts that come a couple of inches below his long legged knees, AND he likes them. YUP, a good day.
Found some cool new pillows for the couches too. About time, been looking for some that I like for about a month. Guess I'm not easy to shop for either. :)
Charlie and I hit the Guitar Center and got some new strings for his latest guitar. My rock star.
Day's 1/2 over, but I think I'm home for the day. Think I'll have a glass of wine and sit outside to read for awhile. It's 100 degrees outside, not bad for Texas in July. Mark and the guys are helping Marks friend Laurie move tonight, so I've got a night ALONE. A good day followed by a good night. Gotta love that!


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Wednesday is almost over :)

You can see in the picture I posted of the boys that Charlie is growing his hair out. His hair is a bit curly and as good as it looked, everyone with curly hair wants straight hair (and vice versa). So at Charlies last trim, his stylist told him he could put straightner on it. Well...it wasn't fun but it looks really good. Poor kid, the straightner stunk, burned his skin and took forever to rinse out. But he does look great. What'cha think?

My Guys

This has gotta be one of my favorite pictures of my guys. Charlie (14) and Casey (15) in San Antonio making me smile at dinner. My guys are the greatest.

Best Friends

Terri and Mac, friends who love me in spite of knowing me. :)


As much as I love a camera, it should always be pointed away from me.

Wednesday 7/20/05

It's not even 8 a.m. and I'm wondering how long this day is going to be. Up at 5, getting hubby off to work, feeding animals, getting Casey up to get ready for Performance Course that goes on all summer and taking a bit of a break before picking him up in about an hour. Wouldn't be such a big deal if I could get in bed before 1 a.m....but that never happens.