Saturday, June 30, 2012

50 Shades of Blue (Ridge)

Ok so I buckled and purchased the book everyone is talking about, Fifty Shades of Grey
The curiosity just killed me.
I do enjoy a good romantic read.  
The problem…this is NOT a good romantic read, and I don’t think I can finish it.  
Not because of my morals and values, 
but because it’s stupid.   
Really!?! THIS is what all the women are going crazy for?  
Call me a book snob,
call me unimaginative, 
but I just wasn’t that impressed.  

Anna is a 21 year old virgin who signs a contract with a sex maniac.  (Forgive me if my heart doesn’t stop in romantic thrills.)  This author has made millions.  I can’t believe it’s so popular.  Seriously, now I KNOW I’m in the wrong business.  

Hey if EL James can do it, so can I! 

You know what hasn’t been done?   The southern version of 50 Shades.

Ok, you twisted my arm…I’ll do it.

50 Shades of Blue(Ridge) by Amanda Sechrist

Chapter 1

Bernita looked in the mirror one last time.  Her beehive just wouldn’t cooperate today.  
Dag nab Southern humidity!  
She sighed helplessly while looking at her roommate,Whiskers.   
Today Whiskers was prancing around the house with the latest style by Bernita… a cute little bow with curling ribbons.  
“I’m doing this all for you Whiskers”,Bernita whispered as she shakily looked down at the piece of paper labeled: CONTRACT- DO NOT READ, JUST SIGN YOU IDIOT. Only three more weeks and she would achieve her dream to be a certified Pet Groomer, but for now Bernita had bigger fish to fry. 
Today she was meeting privately with the enigmatic, handsome, leering,fantastical Mr. Freddy Pabst Blue, the owner of Blue Ridge Fleas- the largest Flea Market this side of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Just thinking about what Freddy Blue had accomplished; all while looking cool and calm in his Blue hat, his patent Blue leather pants, his Blue belt buckle, and best of all his perfect, gleaming, slicked hair so black it looked blue… had her insides turning to mush.  
Bernita shook (rattled and rolled)  in anticipation of seeing him again, and she hoped he was packing his HUGE Carolina blue money clip!   
She found it so hard to be able to concentrate with him around.  Why, last week she nearly knocked over the table of antique civil war memorabilia when she saw him starring at her across the room!?! 
There was something about that glass eye that gave her the shivers. 

Quit thinking about him, Bernita told herself.  She forced herself to calm down and get dressed.  She only had a few minutes before Whiskers would need to be fed.  Bernita wanted to look special so she pulled on her favorite bedazzled t-shirt and her best pair of croc shoes- baby blue of course.  
She knew today would be the moment that would change her life forever.   Mr. Blue had told her he wanted her to sign the contract today.  He had been persistent about having her work for him.  
It wasn’t until he boiled her pet bunny that she knew he really, really wanted her.  Mr. Pabst Blue was sooooo romantic, especially when he would say “Let’s Get it On, Hot Buns”.   
Maybe she wasn't worldly, maybe her trailer park didn’t have WiFi which means she couldn't Google, sure she never had a boyfriend (although she did take that health class in sixth grade), and maybe Mr. Blue did have this weird place where he took all the VHS tapes called the ‘Blue Room of Doom'.  What the hey...Granny always said‘sun don't shine on the same dog's tail all the time’, so Bernita felt it was ok to sign the gosh darn contract.  
What’s the worst that could happen?  
Bernita was ready to become a woman, even if it did require electricity, rope, a scalpel, and some Crisco. 
This time there was no turning back and she was ready for love to take her to the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains!

What do you think?  Good stuff, right?!  
Don’t worry I won’t forget the small people on my way to the top!  
(I’m thinking Paula Deen can play Bernita when my script goes to theater.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Bubble Gum Smacking Day

Today we went on a field trip with friends.   Mrs. C. and Baby A. invited us on a day trip to the Natural Science Center and we were very excited.  We had originally planned for a bigger clan but our pal K. called in sick :( so we hope to make more adventures with her and the kids very soon.   Is there anything worse than being a sick mommy?

The first thing I always worry about when I go anywhere is- how are they going to handle the Sechrist Family?  Lucky for me I was with some people that had a good sense of humor!  How do people walk around without a sense of humor?  Why so serious, people? 

We saw lots of neat exhibits and reptiles and had moments to chat.   You know the phrase “if I had a dime.... I would be rich?”  Well if I had a dime for every time Connor said ‘I want to go see the reptiles’, I would surpass Bill Gates three times.

Baby A’s grandma was able to join us and boy did it work out for me.  Carlee was fussy and I was trying to hold her and push the stroller doing the whole ‘hip, knee, shove, shuffle’ dance to keep the stroller going.  As usual, help was needed for me.  I think Baby A. is on her way to being on overachiever because she didn’t cry once. I hope she is because we joked that a teacher’s kid and a preacher’s kid could equal some challenges in the future.  We finished our day with a picnic lunch where we watched a mob of ducks.  Even the little ducklings followed their mother without argument...Ok God I get it....I have work to do.

The real fun began when we made a pit stop at this gas station.  While Mrs. C got gas I went inside to get two sodas. 

HOLY Sheetz, this place is cool!
Why did we even make a stop at the Science Museum!?!  I could have stayed there all day.  Did you know they have like 25 coffee machines, and a milkshake machine, and a slushy machine, and a sucker rack, and magazines, and books, and made to order food, and Mallo Cups??  I almost forgot about Mrs. C. and the kids in the car.  I can’t wait to go there again. 
On our way back Connor asked me if we could go to the pool about 1, 123 times and I said ‘don’t ask me again’ 1, 123 times, and Carlee brought it all together by screaming us into home plate.  I’m beginning to understand why I don’t have that many friends that invite me places.

I was tired.    
When we got home, Connor FINALLY accepted the fact we were NOT going to the pool, Carlee took a nap, and I crashed on the couch with Facebook and a movie.  However, my time was interrupted because for whatever reason Connor was desperate for me to teach him how to blow a bubble!?  (CURSE ME- I’m the one that got him a pack of gum at Sheetz!!!)  

So for the next hour I taught bubble blowing lessons, we took pictures of ourselves trying to blow bubbles, and from that point we took about fifty pictures of ourselves on Face Juggler and laughed ourselves silly.  Dinner was late.  Is it any wonder the child can’t stay focused?  I think I need therapy.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Connor is such a Male!

I have this little glass statue in Carlee's room.

Connor:  Where did you get this mom?  Who is it?
Me:  When daddy and I got married someone gave it to us as a gift.  It's from the story of Cinderella.  It's my favorite.
Connor: (in a bright happy voice):  Oh Yeah! I see she looks like Cinderella now.  (pause) I didn't know Cinderella married Elvis Presley.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Laughter is an Instant Vacation

This summer I’ve been playing around with home videos on my camera, my iPod, and with Movie Maker; capturing moments with the kids.  As much as I love technology, my understanding is limited in the video making field but I’m trying to learn and share.  One thing I’ve been desperately trying to capture for weeks is Carlee laughing.  She has been making a few sounds that could be laughter.
It is NO secret that a mother will act like a complete and total IDIOT to get her sweet baby to laugh. Case in point: video below.  I really tried hard with filming  and laughing.  But no matter how hard I tried, I could NOT get her to laugh (or a proper video shot)…..

…so I brought in the Big Guns.  The only time she isn’t laughing is when I try (of course)!!!  

Spoiler Alert- toward the end you will see Darren in the back ground.  No he isn’t dead.  He just has the uncanny ability to randomly nap (i.e. sleep like the dead) during chaos (I am so jealous).

Friday, June 22, 2012

Beauty and the Wrestlin' Beast

Video Analysis:
A. Note the Pampered Princess whose shade must not be disturbed.
B.  Relief that Connor did verbalize “I’m going to drown you into a piece of shark”; he has been known to try to slip in another sh word.
C.  After two hours of watching Alligator Wrestlin’ by the pool I was ready to say the sh word.
D.  Do I see a reality show entitled ‘Gator Racers’ or ‘Hillbilly Hills’ in my son’s future?
E.  He did say 'thank you for asking', the ever polite rastler'.
E.  Speaking of reality shows, I see us as good candidates for Toddlers and Tiaras…bring on the tanning bed and fake teeth!
F.  While princess slept in the shade I had to participate in PoolMANIA. Connor tried to name me The Whaler with the signature move- Belly Flop.   I refused to be his tag team partner if that had to be my name.  I was renamed Mermilla and my signature move was the graceful, yet beautiful- Fin Kick.  Connor was The Piranha and his signature move was- The Bite Splash.   We fought the Electric Eels.  My bathing suit protected us from the electricity.
  THANK GOODNESS there is no known footage of this and I apologize in advance to any unemployed neighbors who had to watch us.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy 100!

Today I posted my 100th BLOG Entry!!!
However will I celebrate?
How about......

Really I don't want to.....but I must since it is my 100th Blog Entry.
I would like to thank myself for making this moment possible and my twelve followers......thank you, thank you!
(don't forget to join The Unbalanced Chronicles).


Today was a good day because I ran away.  Really.  I saved a few dollars here and there, I called my DEAR mother in law who was able to watch the kids, and I took off for a few hours of bliss (and I tried not to feel guilty about it).

When I taught in the fifth grade I learned that during the Colonial Era parents would sit at the dinner table and eat first and then allow the children to take the scraps afterward.  As a teacher, I see a fine line there.  Parent Group A who choose not to take care of their child’s needs (like give them baths, give them a secure and loving home, feed them three meals a day) and Parent Group B who sacrifice their own needs for their child’s wants (like parents who wear threads when the child has 200.00 pair of shoes, a child who plays an expensive sport while the house payment hasn’t been made in a while).  I think the majority of us fall in the middle threatening to cross the line.  When I walked out of the door my 6 years old demanded that I not leave… ‘You can’t leave until you take me to the pool’.  Ummmm. Excuse me, I can do whatever I want because I’m the grown up and how about a ‘pretty please can I go to the pool mam’?  If I ever wanted anything from my mom, it would take me all day to get the courage to ask for a favor and when I did it was in the sweetest, kindest voice I could muster. 

Are we raising a generation that think they are our equals?  Hey I love you little boogers but you haven’t learned the life lessons like spending all night writing a paper, working an every Saturday night minimum wage job, cleaning the toilet weekly, mowing a yard for free, working in a soup kitchen, eating bologna sandwiches every night because you know you can’t ask your parents for money again, driving a beat up old car so you can appreciate a nice car when you can afford one!  Come on kids you have to pay your dues before you become the boss, and of course by that time you will understand everyone else is the boss.

And I reminded myself of these facts when I wondered if Connor was bored or Carlee was crying too much or if I was spending too much on myself.  I just let it go and had a great few hours.  Out the door I sang this song to the top of my lungs.  Sure I got some weird looks at the stop lights but I let Freedom Ring!

First, I went to my hairdresser T’s house….
She has a little shop at her house and there are flowers everywhere!  Not only does she do great hair but she has a green thumb.  

I really enjoyed the visit.

Next, I went to cash in on my gift card my friend at church got me during the hectic VBS week (love you M).  I threw in an extra 10.00 to get the massage, hot towels, stones, the WORKS.  She worked on my feet for 45 minutes while I read two chapters of my book (heaven). 


The color is Satan Red.  I’m a Rebel Without a Cause today.

On my way to the van I saw three women I work with eating at Subway and we chatted and laughed for a few minutes before…..

…I hit the greenway to catch up on my Couch to 5K.  The thing about running is if you skip a week, plan to start from square one.  It was really hard and I did more walking than running.

Last, I returned home refreshed and rejuvenated and much more PATIENT with a promise of taking these fish
to the pool tomorrow,  if I’m asked!

Today’s Lesson- Do what you have to in order to make yourself a priority a few times a month.  Your family will benefit in the long run and will learn mom's need for self preservation.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Difference in Moms and Dads

What moms can do while holding a baby in one arm:
create dinner
tie shoes
work the DVR
type this blog
unload the dishwasher
seal a letter
load the car
get money out of the ATM
check Facebook
pump gas
sweep the floor
fold a load of laundry
talk on the phone
write a list of things to do
change bras
mix formula
heat bottle
apply eyeliner
put a straw in the juicebox
find the missing matchbox car
make the bed
go to the pool
pay for groceries

What dads can do while holding a baby in one arm:
Ask the question, ‘will you hold her while I heat the bottle?’

Monday, June 18, 2012

Busy Day

What a busy day today!

Morning Bath Time

Today we had a heart appointment with Dr. Williams (aka. Dr. Dreamy...really you should see this guy...he looks like a Hollywood actor.  Even Darren agrees).  Basically C. was identified as having a rare heart about three years ago.  It is a condition that must be checked every year.  It was explained that if the condition were to worsen he could require open heart surgery.  
Praise Report Today-  Dr. Dreamy says Connor's heart is looking good and that the aortic valve issue has decreased into a tiny pin hole that should not effect anything that he wants to do.  He doesn't even want to see him for another three years.  Dr. Dreamy also explained his own oldest child was diagnosed with ADHD and while it can be a journey, it is worth it in the end.  That information comforted us alone (we always wonder if it is us who is in the wrong).  Good Visit.

Celebration Shopping!  Carlee got some big bottles since she is a big girl....

Connor got some Wrestlers... and I got some Rolos!

This is for Mrs. E.
Last time she was at my house, Connor had wrestling on TV and she wondered why the wrestlers now wear underwear instead of long wrestling tights.  Just so you know, the toys reflect the new times also Mrs. E!, check out those gold undies. :)  Ok I'm going to stop oogling the toy now.

Out to LUNCH!  Delicious!

What do you do when Carlee needs to be fed??  
You ride the escalator with your dad six times until Carlee is finished.  (You might be a Redneck if you convince your child the escalator is better than the '3.00 a ticket' Unicorn Carousel at the mall......)

Darren got mad at us for writing on the back of the van.....

So we went through the car wash on the way home.

Nighttime Milkshakes and then......

Nurse the baby.  
Oh YEAH!  Nighttime Milkshakes are what I'm talking about.  You got some fries with that shake Ma?  No really mommy,  you got some fries with that shake?  I might have a little room left.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Good Bye Ms. Donna

Tonight I went to the funeral home for my fellow Sister in Christ, Donna.  I felt led to pay her a bit of a tribute because she always encouraged my writing and always made such positive comments about this blog.  I really dreaded being overcome with sadness tonight.  Oddly enough after I spoke to her amazing family I felt happy and joyous, there were no doubts about Donna’s impact or where her next journey would take her.  She was the real deal, and a terrific person.  She was a friend, mom, sister, wife, and foster care mother.   I wish I had more time with her, but here are some life lessons she taught me-

1.  Your best accessory- a smile right before something pink and purple of course
2.  Yes lipstick IS important
3.  A warm embrace goes a long way
4.  Teaching Children about God= Wonderful Adults who Adore You for Teaching Them
5.  Pass Along Compliments
6.  Laughter is the best medicine- with a capsule of song and dance
7.  Instead of criticizing young people…… embrace them, enjoy them, love them, and let them be who they are
8.  Facebook is best used for Praise
9.  Why eat one scoop when you can eat two?
10.  In your weakest, scary, and tired moments…..Trust God 

On my way home I celebrated Donna by buying two Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Chip Cookies and sang Wish They all Could be California Girls (except I substituted Carolina Girls for California Girls, :)).  
One time Donna told me I looked like Mrs. America (hey I ate lunch on that compliment for weeks) but Ms. Donna you wear the crown in my eyes! 

Romans 14:8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lords.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Happy Father's Day

"A father carries pictures where his money used to be....."

Darren Quotes:

Me:  Those telemarketers call all the time, and now they leave messages saying you’ve won something or they are a bill collector in order to trick you to call them back.
Darren: saying they are a bill collector in the Sechrist house is no way to get a call back.

Me:  I think I’m going to save for cosmetic surgery one day.  Would you get cosmetic surgery?
Darren:  I’m going to get those calf implants.
Me:  Then you will have to get thigh implants so your calves won’t be so big
Darren:  I could only afford to do one leg at a time.

Me:  My mom never let me listen to heavy metal music; granny said if you played it backwards it was devil worship.
Darren:  If you play anything backwards it’s going to sound like devil worship. Amazing Grace played backwards probably sounds like devil worship.

I can’t resuscitate the checkbook after this.”

“I was supposed to trace Carlee’s hands for her Sunday school class so they can make a surprise for Mother’s Day.  I can’t do it, will you?”

“I don’t know why you get mad.  Just tell your story instead of waiting for me to listen.”

Is she asleep yet??
“No her eyes are like Silver Dollars.”

Setting:  getting ready while the kids are screeching their heads off…..
D:  Where did you get this shirt I’m wearing?
Me:  I have no clue….I guess my boyfriend left it.
D:  If he comes back I’ll give him his shirt back and a check.

Me:  I had a dream that Carlee was screaming for formula and when I opened the can it was empty.  I think my dream is symbolic about my inner self.
Darren: I think it’s symbolic for my wallet.

Creating the memories is what the children remember.  It has been a major change going from a family of three to a family of four, but you continue to work hard and set a good example!  We Love You and Happy Father’s Day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Women Make it Happen

I have a problem (among many) - my heart is bigger than my brain.  It’s harsh but it’s the truth. It’s fine, really… age 30 I own it (Ok 33, but whose counting?).  Sometimes it’s really good to have compassion when others don’t, but then there are other times like….

…when I was in grade school I gave my brand new sweater away to a girl who said she didn’t have one.  When my mom found out her dad was a teacher, she demanded I get it back.  When I didn’t,  I got to wear my old sweater for the year.   When I was in high school, I defended my friend who was being attacked in the hallway with taunts of being a “disgusting queer”.   I stood right up and told them all to just shut up, I told them they were all disgusting pigs, and to leave my friend alone!!!  I didn’t really do the math before I said that….12 fifth year juniors with cigarettes and facial hair versus me a four foot eleven band geek.  That math doesn’t equal smart.  When Connor was three months old I picked up a strange man and his little boy in my car because the little boy looked cold.  Lucky for me he didn’t pull out a gun and make me and Connor his slaves for life.  I didn’t think first…..I just saw a small child and his father walking in the freezing cold.   

I like to think I’ve gotten wiser over the years but as usual I’m never wise.

This year I had the bright idea to continue being director of Vacation Bible School.  I really had good intentions.  Fast forward to this week please-   rain + a terribly colicky baby screaming four hours in a row (no joke) + a six year old inside + lack of sleep + remembering fine details + many phone calls= me a hot mess.  I was so tired last night I left Carlee on the diaper changing table while I went to attend to Connor.  I was in bed and asleep when Darren woke me up to tell me he moved Carlee to the bed.  It was at that point I realized I’m REALLY Nuts.  Really, really Nuts.  

As usual, God sent me some relief.  Angels in the form of other women.  I have many friends who say they can’t stand women; they prefer to be friends with men.  I don’t get that.  If it wasn’t for other women I really would have lost my mind.  Women from ages 16-60 have stepped in and helped me out this week.  I want to burst into tears and say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, by the way I’m NUTS!  They could have easily stood back and  judged me while making themselves feel good (in the way that I do to the Toddler and Tiaras mothers) but they didn’t…they held Carlee for hours, feed Connor, made sure he wasn’t running everywhere while eating twenty cookies, women stopped by to help Darren while I stayed at church, left their own infant attended to grab me some gas and tummy drops, women who offered to babysit at my home, who made me laugh with their own ‘crazy’ child rearing stories…. there were men who helped with bible school but it was the women who were my angels this week.

 For years Historians have wondered why Eve really ate that apple.  Many have contemplated, what did that very clever serpent say to her exactly??  
Let me go ahead and tell you:   the serpent said “Eve this apple taste like chocolate”.  Eve was the first wife with no other woman to talk to, to get advice from, to vent all of her emotions….. so of course she needed to stress eat. Duh.  Sure, we are all sinners doomed for Hell as a result, but Hey Eve don’t beat yourself up, I totally get it!!! 
(I might have to be a guest speaker on the History Channel with this knowledge.)

As we close this year’s VBS, I would like to thank my Angels- women who helped me make it happen (and forgave the fact that I am really NUTS)!
Enjoy the VBS Pictures here.  We are all Trusting God and it shows in the joy in the children's faces.

Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.
2 Samuel 7:28

Vacation Bible School 2012


Full House
Funny Skit by our Awesome Teens
Flying into VBS
One of Many Crafts

Dance and Praise
My Favorite- Drama
Hot Air Balloon
Creative Outlet
Do Not be Afraid for  the Lord is With You......
What is Chadder the Chipmunk doing next???
Rain is no Problemo for Games
Flying High
God Sightings...What Blessings do you see everyday?  God, Trees, Food, Friends?

 We start them early.  Buddies.

It takes a lot of workers to create a bible camp.

Leave your pain at the cross.

 He is Risen

Mission= Paying for Mosquito Nets for Children in Africa

Drama Mama