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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 30, 2006


Borrowed from Leesa

What Your Soul Really Looks Like

You are a warm hearted and open minded person. It's easy for you to forgive and forget.

You are a grounded person, but you also leave room for imagination and dreams. You feet may be on the ground, but you're head is in the clouds.

You believe that people see you as a bit small and insignificant. People pay more attention to you than you think.

Your near future is still unknown, and a little scary. You'll get through wild times - and you'll textually enjoy it.

For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Senior Pictures

We got Casey's proofs for his senior pictures, and these are a couple of my favorites. There is one with the tux that goes in the year book, but these look more like 'our' Casey to me.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Y'all that read the comments along with posting one have surely seen many, many comments from my friend, Abi. I've known Abi since she was a scrawny little rug rat, playing basketball in my driveway and helping Casey (along with Nikki) learn how to ride his bike without training wheels.
Well, that was many, many years ago and she's grown into a wonderful and loving young woman. She has made me very proud of her. I wanted to share with y'all what 'little' Abi has grown into. I love you Abi.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Birthday Pictures

Charlie and I took Casey to IHOP for his birthday breakfast, where we gave him our gifts and cards...and I took noise makers. :) The staff all came and sang happy b'day to him and gave him a brownie with ice cream. People stopped on their way out to wish him happy b'day. Good time. :)

Casey's favorite cake is red velvet (same as Charlies, and same as their dad). When I told him I wanted to make him one a couple of days ago, he said if I was going to make it rather than buy it that he'd really rather make it himself. *Note: I am determined to learn how to cook. So, after breakfast, we shopped for a cake and couldn't find a 2 layer, so I bought 2 single layer cakes, came home and put them on top of one another. Well, great idea in theory, however the side icing on the top one fell off, so I bought some cream cheese icing and sort of 're-did' the cake.

Mark came by to bring Casey his gift and card from him and he had cake with us. It wasn't uncomfortable, so we're all adjusting and I'm happy about that. I'm grateful that Casey told him he could come by for his birthday, that is a big step for him.

The church called and asked if Casey could come by tonight to help with taking down the things they'd built for Vacation Bible School. I talked to the church later and they told me they knew it was his birthday and was having cake for him. That thrilled me. He'll be so surprised, and humbled by it too.

All in all, a good day. Thank you all so very much for all the birthday wishes for Casey. I'm going to have him read them when he comes home. Y'all are like family to me, and I'm so grateful for you all.

17 years ago today...

I had a beautiful and healthy baby boy. We named him Casey because my dad had always wanted a son named Casey, and we liked the name. He was beautiful and precious then, and he's handsome and precious now. I am so proud of this young man.

This is a very hard birthday for him, for all the apparent reasons. He doesn't want to celebrate this birthday, and that's very hard for me to go along with. Last night we talked about what a blessing his life was, is and is yet to be. We talked about how Satan (yeah, if you don't get where I'm coming from, just roll your eyes and skip a head a little, I'll still love ya :) ) had tried for so long and in so many ways to keep him from coming into this world and how faith won every battle Satan waged against us having him. We talked about what powerful things God must have had planned for his life for Satan to have waged battle after battle after battle to try and keep me from having this child. But the victory was Gods...and so was Casey. We talked about how many things he's seen God do in his life. Then, we talked about how Satan is still trying to block his walk with God, and currently he's doing it by trying to steal Casey's joy.
Yes, his dad walked out on us, abandoned us without a thought as to how it would devastate his children, in search of his own happiness. But that has nothing whatsoever to do with what a great and loving person Casey is. It was simply another road block Satan is putting in his way to steal Casey's joy and separate him from his walk with God. I told Casey how much I loved him, how very proud I was of him and that I hoped he knew that I would die before I'd ever leave him.
We healed some last night. I can't begin to imagine how much pain this young mans heart is in, I'd do anything to make it better. But this, I suppose, is part of growing up and I know in my heart and with faith in my Father God, that Casey will be a stronger and even more compassionate man for it.

Please lift him up today, on my baby's 17th birthday.

Hugs to all, and may God bless and keep you.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Blessings in disguise

Just a quick note. Life is good at the Bratcher home...or maybe that should be the 'McIntire Bratcher' home now. Casey and I are about to leave for his athletic physical, so I'm short on time, but wanted to tell you all that we're good.
I had my new stove and refrigerator delivered this weekend and am thrilled with both. The stove, however, did not work and I had to hire an electrician because Home Depot said my wiring wasn't 'strong' enough for the stove. As it turns out, the crew delivering my stove from Home Depot had reversed the wiring when they put the cord on and it was their fault. My electrician documented it though and I'll be turning that bill in to Home Depot.
But, the blessing was the electrician was this sweet guy that was a retired judge from the county I live in (and an ex cop) who is doing this now just to stay busy because apparently you can retire early (after 20 years) from his job. He was a great guy that gave me some great advice and I really appreciated him. So, see...blessings in disguise.
Okay, enough...gotta run. Back later and hugs to each and everyone of you.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Sometimes people get in ruts, may be a comfortable rut, but a rut all the same. Sad. Sometimes it takes getting tossed out on your butt from that rut to find out exactly what you're made of.

I remember when I was married to my first husband. We both knew that we were in a rut of drugs and alcohol...but it was a comfortable rut. It's all we'd both ever known. It took a few years for me to realize that it was a dangerous route we were on, but once I knew it, I really knew it. Unfortunately, we didn't come to this realization at the same time and all he could ask was why I'd changed, he'd thought we were happy the way we were. We were, till I wasn't. Fear kept me in that marriage longer than I should have stayed, and longer than was fair for my husband. But, I'm made of pretty strong stuff and once I set my mind to something, it's all but a done deal. Marriage to divorce, it was about 5 years. When I set out on my own, it was frightening, until it wasn't...until I remembered that I was good on my own. Uncertainties? Sure. Adventures, unlimited possibilities? Absolutely. At that time, I began working two jobs that I loved, found myself moving to Texas from Indiana all by myself (with 2 cats and a dog tagging along) and found myself another job I loved, with a great husband and two amazing kids to follow.

There is that saying that we have to go through the valley to get to the mountain, and the only way to get there is to just keep walking. That's what we're doing, the boys and I, we're walking. Life seems to change a little bit every day. I've found that some friends are actually better friends than I'd ever imagined, and I've found that some are not. I've found that some family loves me more than I'd realized, and I've found that some can not actually walk the talk they've been talking for years.

I've learned many things about myself over the last couple of weeks. Mostly, that I like the person that I've become reacquainted with and that I hope I never lose her again. Ruts should come with those big yellow road signs that say 'Warning...Possible Life Ruts Ahead', but they don't. By the time you're in one, you're comfortable. There are warning signs, however, such as boredom, loneliness, lack of motivation... The trick is to recognize them without accepting them.

*Thanks for all the emails and phone calls. I'm sorry for being gone for so long, it was selfish of me and I apologize. I know y'all care. I appreciate y'all very much.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Popcorn and a movie...

I had a great evening. The boys went to teen church last night, and left early to help on on some construction for the vacation bible school coming up next week (which, by the way, Casey will be teaching at *proud mom here*) so they left around 5:30 and got home a little after 10. My first time all alone for awhile.
Had a nice call from a friend that made me smile and laugh, something I really enjoy lately, and then I watched 'Basic Instinct 2'. Don't roll your eyes at me. I remember 'Basic Instinct' and just out of curiosity I sort of wanted to see '2'. Since the boys were gonna be gone, I made me some popcorn, turned off the lights and watched Sharon Stone do her stuff.
Now, I remember when this came out and how everyone made fun of Sharon Stone being too old to make such a sequel...I've gotta disagree. Yeah, the movie was fluff, but I enjoyed it because it was something that I was doing by myself for the first time in...a couple of weeks I guess. The movie kept me guessing till the end, and still guessing some, but I'm telling you...I'd kill (okay, maybe not kill, but definitely maim) to have Sharon Stones body and I love her bone structure...and she has the sexiest walk. Sound rather gay? LOL, I'm not, but I can still appreciate beauty.
So, it was a good night. The boys had fun, I had fun...yup, a good time was had by all.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

New Video Up On Charlie's Blog

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Peace, Please Be Still

I sort of feel like I've backed myself into a corner here. There seems to be all these different emotions and questions tearing at each other inside of me, and I don't have anything to do with them. I can't write about them, though that's what I want to do. I can't talk about them, because I honestly do not want to give them voice. I want them to quiet down and stop pounding at the walls of my head, but I don't know how to make them be still. I could get drunk, but I don't like to drink. I could take a bunch of pills, but I don't want to cower from my responsibilities.
I'm on my knees a lot, and I know that I have the strength and the faith to see me through anything this world throws at me. I know there is a divine peace, I've been there many times. Maybe it's harder to get there now because I have passengers on board...my children. But I'll get there again, because in my heart I know that God is in control.

I know, not much of a post. but I can't and I won't post what's begging to get out. Because, let's face it...once something is done, it's impossible to take it back. Some of us have found that our the hard way. I don't want to make that mistake.

Monday, July 10, 2006

One Weekend Down, A Lifetime To Go...

The boys and I went to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie yesterday. The showing we were going to was sold out, so we bought tickets for the next show and waited 40 minutes in line...there were actually 6 lines, and we were in line 4 to get in. Fortunately, Casey managed to keep us entertained...that kid is such a blessing.
The theater was so packed. The boys always sit in the first couple of rows, I like to sit in the very middle, maybe a bit more towards the back, with my feet up on the chair in front of me. Well, that was out of the question. The ushers were having everyone move in towards the middle so there'd be more seats together. This opened up two seats next to me instead of one and a couple sits next to me. I kid you not, I have never smelled anything or anyone so nasty in all my life. It smelled like the man was rotting from the inside out. I knew there wouldn't be a seat anywhere else for me to sit, and I either needed to stay or leave the theater. This was an older man, maybe 60ish or older and for some reason, the odor was stronger sometimes than others. I so wished I'd had some perfume on me, I'd doused myself with it. A lot of the film I sat with my hand over my nose or fanning myself. Lord, have mercy, it was out and out foul.
I didn't know if it was because of the odor around me, or because of the film itself, but it seemed to go on forever. Not that I didn't enjoy the movie, but if Johnny Depp wasn't on the screen, I just kept wondering how much longer I was gonna have to sit there.
After the film, the kids said basically the same thing...it was too long. But, I do love watching Johnny Depp.
We had lunch at Steak and Shake. Been awhile since we've been there, but that's where they wanted to go and we enjoyed ourselves. My kids, they are the absolute best. They've got the greatest laughs in the world.

Friday, July 07, 2006

...And There You Have It

I want to thank all of you for your kindness and concern for the boys and myself. I am simply overwhelmed at the emails along with phone numbers, and I promise that I'll only sell them to the highest paying solicitors. ;) Hey, I am a single mother of two now, and growing boys gotta eat. Yeah, I know you know I'm kidding. And, that is something else many of you are asking me, if I'm really as strong as I sound or if I'm hiding my feelings (which I know is not a healthy thing to do, but thanks for telling me anyway, because I know y'all care). But you must keep in mind that my boys do occasionally read this dribble of mine and I'd never let them hear (or read) anything bad about their dad...and Mark may read it as well, and I don't want to hurt him.

Of course I have feelings that want to come out in the form of screaming, breaking things, and tears. I haven't done any screaming, only broke one thing and it was something of mine, figures...and the tears, well, the tears were heavy but they're gone now.

Nearly everyone asks if I saw this coming, even if it was unconsciously. No, I really didn't. I've always said that Mark was one of the nicest men I've ever met, and except for his recent actions, that will always remain true. We have developed, over the last few years, different interests and hobbies. We've been married 22 years this October, so I figured that happens. I suppose I was wrong. I'll admit that I've been lonely for a very long time in the way of romance. However, I also figured that after 22 years, still being best friends with your spouse, with benefits, was what long term marriages probably turned into. Again, I suppose I was wrong. I love Mark, and I have no doubt that he loves the boys and me. But it's the "in love" that is missing.

Over the last several years, Mark has indulged in a behavior that I'll not go into right now. We all deserve our privacy, and Mark is no exception. This behavior has been a source of conflict between he and I. I always hoped he would eventually get a handle on it, and that has been my constant prayer. But, we all have the freedom of choice. You may not know this about me, but I'm rather outspoken, and I do have a tendency to say what is on my mind. Oh, you did suspect? Well, I don't suppose I keep it a secret. :) Mark did not appreciate this when it was concerning his behavior. I understand that. That is his right, but it's not in me to refrain from speaking my mind when I'm highly concerned over something that is affecting my family. This, I believe, was the straw that broke the proverbial camels back. Do I regret anything? Absolutely not. I will fight to protect, not only the physical but spiritual, health of my children.

Though I'm deeply disappointed in the way Mark left, and the damage he has done to our children, I am not disappointed that he is gone. It has actually been...I don't know how to say it, perhaps more peaceful, more relaxing...since he left and I moved everything of his out into the guest room. The boys and I have drawn much closer, and they are very protective of me, which sometimes makes me cry. They've become the 'man' of the house and they're taking that responsibility very seriously. I've assured them many times that their father will not abandon us financially, as that is what he's told me over the phone, but, and their point is valid given the manner in which he left, they are afraid to trust him. Charlie keeps asking if I'll be able to buy him some shorts for school, because a lot of his are getting too small. That breaks my heart that they are worrying over things like that. They are trying very hard to find jobs, as am I. I'll no longer be able to sub, which I have always loved, but I'll need to find something full time with benefits which subbing does not provide. No, I'm not teacher certified, so teaching full time is not an option.

Last Thursdays post 'Part Of Life' must have been a sort of prophesy, and going back to read it several times has given me strength. Each of you have given me strength...and hope, and I can't tell you how much I've needed it and appreciated it. I don't have any parents or family of my own, only Marks. Which, have been so supportive and loving, I am very blessed to have them. I only have 2 friends, one here and one in Ohio (Katy), and they are hurting for me so much it breaks my heart that I've done this to them. What I'm trying to say is thank you, all of you, for caring so much about me. I don't know why I deserve you, but I thank God for you.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Braces and the 4th

Charlie got his bottom braces put on Monday morning. Yes, they're pink. However, the kid is in a whole lot of pain, still. Monday and Tuesday it was awful. He had a canker sore inside his bottom lip before he went and they rub against it, plus, they just hurt period. He's had nothing to eat, except for what he can take through a straw, like soup and such. Poor kid. I think they're starting to feel better because late last night he soaked some cereal for maybe 1/2 an hour and then ate it.
On the 4th, the boys and I went to Heritage Village in Dallas. I can't believe I've never been there before, it was amazing. It's like an old west village. All the houses, hotel, Dr's office, General Store, etc...are all original buildings brought here from around the state, all made in the mid to late 1800's. Many had the original furniture from the homes. They also had civil war re-enactments, people living (pretending) in the homes and working in the business's that explained things to you if you wanted. I didn't know that they use to build houses with the kitchen in a separate building because since they were cooking over fire, there were many kitchens that caught on fire and so it made sense to keep it as a separate building to keep from losing the houses too. There was an old school, completely furnished with the old desks from the late 1800's to early 1900's. The boys sat in the desks and read some of the books supplied on each desk. Casey and Charlie also wrote silly notes to each other on the black boards that each desk had.
We had a lot of fun. I'm so glad we went. We were there for maybe six hours...there was so much to see and do. My kids talked to everyone there. People look at them like they're nuts sometimes, and chances are good there's a ring of truth to that, but the boys always nod and say 'hello, how are you today?' or Casey will say something like 'top of the morning to ya'... I don't know why, they've just always thought it was funny and they've gotten in the habit of doing it. I just smile. I love them so much.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


I'm sorry I've been lax in bloggin lately, been sort of a difficult time here. I'm sure I'll go more into it later, but for now, I'll just say that Mark walked out on the boys and I Sunday morning. No one was home at the time but Charlie, and he left Charlie to deal with it all by himself. I came home to Charlie crying his heart out all alone. I had no idea he was leaving. He has moved in with a girlfriend, that is gay.
I will write more later, promise