HER NAME IS RED

November 26, 2018


Her name is Red Elizabeth.

If you follow me on ig, then you know about 6 weeks ago, we welcomed another sweet little girl into our lives via adoption. We are definitely in that newborn haze and still trying to figure out how to balance 5 kids (not easy!), four of whom I am currently responsible for their schooling. It’s been pretty silent in this space and I had thought I would share more seeing how November is National Adoption Month, but we’re too busy adjusting and enjoying this sweet little babe of ours. Plus, I’m still trying to figure out what and how to share. There are so many hearts involved; adoption is joy and loss existing simultaneously together. It is Red’s story to share, so I don’t want to overstep because this belongs to her. But just like I have shared the birth stories of our other girls, how she entered our lives is something we take joy in too. I will share what I can in time, which probably won’t be much, but for now, let’s start with her name…

Red symbolizes blood, life, and family. It’s sort of a different take on the name Scarlett. We are so thankful that her birth mom chose life for her. While she didn’t grow in my belly, from the day we found out this possibility, God started growing her in our heart. All 6 of our hearts. She is part of us. The Bratcher Bunch went from 6 to 7. Also, our prayer for Red is Ephesians 1:7 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” We pray that she would ultimately find her identity in the REDemption of the blood of Jesus and what He did for her on the cross.

Elizabeth is birth mom’s middle name, so we gave her the middle name Elizabeth to honor Red’s first mama. Her name is something that we discussed with her first mama prior to her arrival, and it was the name she was given at birth. Our adoption is open adoption, and we will always celebrate her unique story, so it is special that her name is a reflection of that.

My mother-in-law put all the girls’ names together in a way that’s easy for people to remember. She tells people, “A true, brave soul glows red.”


THE GREATEST SHOWMAN // HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2018

October 31, 2018


The girls are all obsessed with The Greatest Showman, and Glow wanted to P.T. Barnum, so that set the stage for this year’s Halloween concept. P.T. Barnum, in this case, has a special variety of curiosities from Laura Ingalls Wilder, straight for the Prairie, to Luke Skywalker from a galaxy, far, far away, and Honey Lemon from Big Hero Six. We had wanted to replicate the scene in the movie where Barnum puts up the posters of the acts and then they all sing, “Come Alive,” but if you follow on instagram, you know we’ve added another Bratcher girl to our family, and she came earlier than planned, so we ran out of time to put a little song and dance number together, but I think these posters convey the story the girls wanted to share this year.

Have a look back at our past Halloween stories…
2017: England News & Beyond
2016: Cutthroat Kitchen: Bratcher Edition
2015: The Mystery of the Missing Leia and Yoda
2014: The Zookeeper’s Wild Day
2013: The Mystery of Pinkie Pielilocks and the Three Bears
2012: The Adventures of Spider-Girl & She-ra
2011: Barbershop Quartet
2010: The Three Little Piggies
2009: Hannah and Gretel
2008: The Untold Story of Oz
2007: Little Red Riding Hood

Happy Halloween!!!


WHERE A KID CAN BE A KID

October 16, 2018


When I was 4 or 5, I had my birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s. I remember the excitement I had at the party and watching the big mechanical Chuck E. Cheese and friends entertaining us. It’s been a long while since then, but now with my own kids, Chuck E. Cheese’s is still as joyful and family friendly. Our family was invited to the unveiling of the Chuck E. Cheese’s new remodel in Foothill Ranch and we were enthusiastic about taking part of the festivities. We loved all the restaurant updates, the girls got to see a grand opening ribbon cutting, and Soul was so excited about helping hold the ribbon for it.

Gone are the mechanical characters of yonder, but in it’s place the characters come out for an hourly live show to sing and dance on their light up dance floor that kids can go on too. They also do a “ticket splash”, which my kids were all about, since tickets are king when you’re here, so they gathered as much tickets as they were able. My eyes were not on the tickets though, my eyes were on the breadsticks. Their breadsticks are my absolute favorite, with a side of ranch of course (I craved them all the time when I was pregnant with True). While they girls were happily devouring their BBQ chicken pizza, I was going to town with my breadsticks.

After dinner, we hit up the games with their play pass game system. We did the All You Can Play wrist bands and the kids had free reign of all the games for a couple hours. All they had to do was swipe and the game started, no more digging for tokens or bugging mom and dad for quarters to get more tokens. It was continuous play and laughter all evening long. I say laughter because some of my girls would just hit up the games of luck to get lots of tickets, and there were a few times they would cash out on 200 tickets in one play. When we started, we all vowed to clean the house of tickets, and I think we did just that because a few machines that we frequented at, ran out. And if you take a closer look at True, you’ll notice she wore an apron because she had plans to have an easy spot to house all her tickets. Clever girl, I tell you. By the end of the night, the girls had accumulated about 6000 tickets! They picked out a couple things for themselves and got a bunch of things for their friends too.

We went home exhausted from the whole adventure, but it was a special bonding time for our family. It was just the kind of carefree evening we needed. There was nothing on the agenda, but have fun, and by golly have fun is what we did. Thank you Chuck E. Cheese’s! It’s still definitely a place where a kid can be a kid, and an adult can be a kid too. Ben and I had way too much playing skee ball, which is my ultimate favorite game ever. We were happy to come home with a pocket full of happy memories with my own kids there.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chuck E. Cheese’s. The opinions and text are all mine. I appreciate the time you spend in this space, the support you give me, and the brands I partner with


THE SIX OF US

October 15, 2018


This was a special Sunday for the six of us. My girls have grown so much the last few months. Life throws unexpected things and these girls have risen to the occasion. God’s provided all the strength, courage, and peace they need, and then some. God is using this particular moment in time for their good and His glory. We might not see the immediate effects of the trials now, but we know it’s doing some deep work in the depths of their heart. All good things, I know.

The song “Wonderful Life” from the movie Small Foot has kind of been sort of family theme song lately. It’s a song of excitement, curiosity, and thankfulness for what’s to come and I think we’re especially feeling that now…

Take a look around
And see the world we think we know
Then look closer
There’s more to life than meets the eye
A beauty to behold
It’s all much bigger than we know
It’s only just beginning to unfold
So let it all unfold

Far beyond all reason in your mind
There’s a world mysterious
There for you to find
All these questions
That we always have
All we are is curious
There’s nothing wrong with that
So go ’round every corner
Search every part of the sky
‘Cause a life that’s full of wonder
Is a wonderful life

We will continue to wait on God to unfold our story. We know it’s gonna be a good one, even with bumps that may come up. This life now, with its joys and pains, points us to Christ. He is our hope, truth, filler of wonder, and because of that, it certainly is a wonderful life.


HUZZAH!

October 6, 2018


This week’s learned, links, and thankfulness…

So thankful to have knocked out a lot from my to-do lists this week. I have 2 major projects to finish up before I feel a little relaxed, but otherwise, I feel so much better. Earlier in the week, I was panicked at how behind I was on specific projects.

Praise God for friends. Seriously. I’m so thankful to have some really good ones. And then don’t even get me started on our parents… Ben and I have the best.

I learned it’s better to do the hard uncomfortable thing because God will grow you through it.

Busted out my sewing machine this week and made something really sweet. Can’t wait to show you guys!

If you were a 6.5 shoe, this pair of cowboy boots is so cool.

Toddler parents… this circus outfit would be so cute for Halloween. A quirky clown costume or something.

My BFF’s adoption day is in less than a week. This is such a big deal and something I’ve been praying and waiting for for a long time. All the praise hands! I will be crying so many happy tears next Friday!

And as you can see above, my husband got younger! What a difference a shave makes! I was the one that requested the beard, and while I love it, after 11 months, I started missing his face. So happy to have it back!

I got 3 posts up this week! What?!! Do you want more chatty life posts or craft stuff?


SOUL AND GLOW’S OLD ROOM

October 5, 2018


We did room switch-a-roos during the summer, and while the girls are loving their new space, I’m sharing their old one because I want to have it documented for when we reminisce. These are snaps of their room literally right before I took everything out, so it’s not styled at all, and very much lived-in by two little girls. And now that I’m looking at these photos, I really love their new room so much more. It suits their needs better and the room switched allowed us more space to organize all their stuff.

We kept all their big pieces of furniture (dresser and beds), but changed out a couple smaller pieces. These two girls are my neat freaks, so they like to make their beds in the morning and have everything cleaned up by the time they go to bed. They even have rules for when you enter their room. I’m not completely done decorating their room as there’s one wall that I’m just unsure about, but once it all feels right, we will share it here. I have shared bits of it here and here though.

Everything but the fan on the dresser is vintage, so I don’t have many resource links to share, except that the rattan beds are from Elsie Green.


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