The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

Interesting questions

I saw this little questionnaire on Amanda’s blog the other day and thought it would be fun to do.

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while your blogging?
I don’t snack while blogging at home because if I do, my kids say things like, “Why can’t WE eat at the computer??!!??” But when I’m blogging at Panera it’s a caramel latte and a cinnamon chip scone.

2. What is one thing you wouldn’t want to live without?
On a superficial level, my curly hair. It really doesn’t take a lot to take care of it.

3. Beach, Mountains, or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice?
Hands down, the beach!

4. What’s your least favorite chore/household duty?
Cleaning the shower in the master bath. Ugh. I’m so glad no one sees it but us.

5. Who do people say you remind them of?
That funny person they used to know.

6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying home with the fam?
I like both, but much prefer staying home with my family.

7. What’s your all time favorite movie?
Three way tie: A Beautiful Mind, Amazing Grace and Taking Chance. I think everyone should see all three of them.

8. Do you sleep in your make-up or remove it like a good little girl every night?
If I’m really tired, I put a t-shirt on my pillowcase and just go to bed. But my skin is much happier when I take the make-up off. And I don’t wear make-up everyday so it’s not like I have an excuse to NOT take it off.

9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you’ve never had a chance to learn? What is it?
I really, really, REALLY want to learn to knit socks on a single loop needle.

10. What’s one strange thing you’re really good at?
Clue. No one in my family will play it with me because I usually know the answer after my third turn. And after I correctly guess Tyler always says, “I was going to guess that on my next turn.” Then I start screaming, “RED-RUM! RED-RUM!!” and throw things at him. Can’t I be good at one thing? He’s good at everything else!

11. What first attracted you to your spouse?
He was so cute!

12. What is something you love to smell?
Hollister. I could sit in that store and just inhale all day. I LOVE IT!

13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people.
I’m bad about returning e-mails.

14. When you have extra money, what’s the first thing you think to do with it?
Go shopping.

15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? What makes you laugh the hardest?
I laugh pretty dang loud. I laugh the hardest at my husband when he laughs so hard he can’t breathe.

16. Where is your favorite place to shop?
Nordstrom, but I don’t shop there because of the prices. But I did get a sweater there recently that was calling my name.

17. What’s one thing you’d do more often if you had more time?
Write. Or clean my house.

18. Are you a big spender or frugal?
How to put this . . . . . . I buy 99% of everything on sale and find amazing deals. But the problem is that I buy too much on sale. Get my drift?

19. Who is your favorite character of all time?
It’s a tie between Anne Shirley (Green Gables) and young Almanzo Wilder from “Farmer Boy.”

20. Would you want to be famous?
With my luck, I’d end up famous like Kate Gosselin is, minus the cheating husband. I don’t envy her one little bit. And I wish she’d get off my t.v.

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Dog Drama from Years Past


One would think with my recent ranting and raving that doggie drama is something new in my life. It isn’t. We have had more than our fair share of dog drama over the 11 years we’ve had dogs. And yeah, the beagle doo in my closet this morning wasn’t fun, but it was not the worst thing to ever happen as far as dogs are concerned. I’m pretty sure the following story IS.

It was 2003, Belle was still a cute puppy and Ginger the sainted pug was in one of her morbidly obese phases. That dog was like a hormonal woman. She could put on and then take off weight like I’ve never seen before or since. The local J. C. Penny’s photography studio was having a one day event where you could have your pet’s pictures taken . . . . either alone or with the family. I decided to have the dog’s pictures taken with the kids.

It’s important that you understand the following so here goes. In Anchorage, Penny’s has a parking garage and a skybridge that connects the two buildings. It had already been a fiasco getting a five and seven year old ready, but add two dogs to it and it bordered on insane. There was no WAY I was standing still long enough to wait for an elevator because if I stayed still for too long, the hyper chihuahua would jump out of the purse-type thing I was carrying her in.

We were walking down the stairs of the garage to get to the skybridge and Ginger wouldn’t move. Are you kidding me? Ginger was the best dog EVER. (Don’t tell me how great your dog is because there will never, ever be another dog that was as amazing as Ginger – at least in my mind). For her to not move and refuse to walk was akin to, well, something. I’m not sure as she had never done it before and never did it again.

After pulling on her leash and having Austin push her, she got the idea. Also know that in the skybridge there used to be a little coffee shack, minus the shack. As we pass the coffee sans-shack, Ginger quits walking again. I had really had it at this point and probably embarrassed myself in front of the barrista. I have no clue . . . . it starts to get hazy at this point. We walked through the door into Penny’s and about four steps in a very nice woman looks at us and gasps. I was accustomed to this (remember, I had small children and a son with no sense of privacy) and just kept walking. Then she looks at me in horror and says the words that will forever scar my memories:

“Ma’am, your dog is pooping on the floor.”

Deep sigh.

And after the deep sigh, sheer panic. Ginger was perfect! She never did things like this, ever. And I was in no way shape or form prepared to deal with it. So what do I do? First, I caught the chihuahua mid-air that had jumped from the sub-standard purse carrier. Second, I had Amber hold Belle (chihuahua) and Austin hold Ginger’s leash. I then darted back to the coffee sans-shack and grabbed some napkins. I picked up the reminders that I will never be classy and sophisticated and breathed a sigh of relief.

Yet there remained a problem.

What to do with it?

I did the only thing I could. I went back to the coffe sans-shack and tried to discreetly throw it in the kinda full garbage. That didn’t have a lid. That was really close to the barrista.

I can’t begin to tell you how awful I felt. The poor girl. She didn’t deserve to have to smell my lack of classiness and sophistication all day! The shame. The guilt.

The picture session actually went well. I think it was the last time in Belle’s life that she was compliant, thus setting me up for years of disappointment in her. And how did I handle my shame and guilt towards the little barrista? When we left, we didn’t use the skybridge. Who KNOWS what could have happened??

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I’m pretty sure the kids had H1N1

After talking to a couple of friends tonight, I’m now about 99 and 9/10ths sure the kids had H1N1 this summer. Here’s the gist of why I think the way I do . . . . .

One of my friends had it this summer, too. She got it from her daughter, who got it from her son. And the son came home with it after summer camp. The same summer camp both of my kids were at. The three campers got sick at the same time with all the same H1N1 symptoms. Only my friend took her son to the doctor to have it confirmed – and it was.

I, on the other hand, was preoccupied with my mom’s losing battle with cancer. The H1N1 came less than three weeks before she died, so unless the kids were missing an appendage, I wouldn’t have taken them to the doctor. Well, maybe not that bad. Austin got it way worse than Amber did and I remember thinking if his fever didn’t break I would take him to the doctor. It broke that night.

I praise God that even though I was 100% preoccupied, HE wasn’t. He was still in control and still taking care of things when I couldn’t. I did everything in my power to take care of the kids . . . . . . but the thought of them being seriously ill never even crossed my mind. It was probably just God protecting me from going insane. Because if anyone is going to overreact, it’s going to be me.

His love is ever, ever upon us – even if we don’t notice for almost three months!

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Beagle – 2, Cheri – 0


I’m only half kidding about the picture.

Where to begin, where to begin? Yesterday Gwen decided I didn’t have enough to do. So while I was getting school books from the library, science experiment supplies from Fred Meyer and dropping a package off at the post office for Tyler, she came up with a little plan. She thought it would be great if she went outside in the mud and dug with what appears to be all four of her paws. They would be literally CAKED with mud. Then she would run in the house while I was gone and the kids were busy doing school.

But that wasn’t enough. Instead of staying on the Pergo, she gleefully ran ALL OVER the living room and dining room where the carpet is a very, very light beige. And up on one couch that is thankfully leather. She knew the kids wouldn’t notice until it was too late (and I really don’t expect them to keep an eye on the dog while they’re supposed to be, ya know, learning).

Did I mention we have a dog door?

So I got to shampoo the entirety of the living and dining rooms. I’m thankful we have a carpet shampooer or I would not be writing this blog. I would be recovering in a padded room.

Later as I was having the kids set the table for dinner, Gwen came in and Amber started petting her. She so sweetly said, “Oh, you’re wet.” Then the sweetness turned to confusion, “You’re stinky.” And the confusion turned to disbelief and disgust, “You rolled in poop again!” It was then things got interesting. Amber frantically ran around trying to wash her hands with as much soap as possible and I started yelling at Gwen to get outside.

Did I mention it was 6:00, we still had to eat and we had to leave at 6:30 to get Austin to karate and Amber to her small group? I spent dinner yelling at Gwen, “NO!!” when she would even look like she wanted to come in. She stayed out while I wolfed down my dinner and was left with about 15 minutes to give a very stinky dog a bath.

I don’t know exactly what kind of stuff she rolled in. We have a huge backyard with a wooded area. It could have been from her, Belle, a cat, a raccoon, a possum, or an Ewok. I have no clue. And I wish she would QUIT!

As I passed out on the couch last night due to puppy induced exhaustion, I had but one thought. Surely tomorrow will be better.

Guess what? Today is tomorrow and she’s already thrown up in my bedroom.

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The 30’s Edition

To get the story behind this picture, click here.

Alright, after doing the 20’s edition of me a couple of days ago, here’s the 30’s edition . . . .

30 – This would be the year I discovered Beth Moore, thanks to a wonderful Bible study leader named Dee Smith. And ushered in a crazy decade of unbelievable spiritual growth.

31 – Two of my sisters in law were baby making factories for a couple of years. There were babies everywhere!! It was awesome for me, the one not taking care of the babies. Oh Hannah, Tristin, Brooklynn and Matthew, you made your Aunt Cheri so happy. I embarked on the now 9 year journey of homeschooling.

32 – The year things went haywire. In the span of six weeks, a fellow police officer was killed while Tyler was on duty, a dear, dear friend was killed in a plane crash and a friend’s daughter drowned in their bathtub. I went to three funerals for people ages 27, 35 and 21. All this happened in July and August. By the time September 11, 2001 rolled around, nothing fazed me anymore. I watched the news coverage and was just numb.

33 – After climbing out of the fog of the previous year, the kids and I went to San Diego with my parents to visit my brother and his family. This is the year everything changed. After driving around southern California for 2 1/2 weeks with my jaw dropped at how much there was outside of Alaska, I decided we needed to move. I told Tyler about as soon as I got off the plane. He said, “Every Alaskan thinks that after they take a vacation. Give it 30 days and see how you feel.” 30 days later I told him we were still moving.

34 – We moved!! Tyler was always on board for moving, but wanted to make sure it was really what I wanted to do and not running on emotion. Moving to the Pacific northwest was about the best thing we’ve ever done. We found an amazing church, wonderful friends and we got to see Tyler more than a few minutes a day.

35 – My parents packed up everything and left Alaska in order to be closer to all of their grandchildren. They moved down here and like I’ve said many times, I am so thankful for so many reasons.

36 – The year I seriously considered putting Austin in public school. This was by far the most difficult year I’ve ever had with him. He is one strong willed little bugger and this year did NOT let me forget in any way shape or form. We did RAT (Remedial Attitude Training – a name I made up) that summer and I was ready to homeschool again that fall.

37 – Went to Las Vegas for the first time . . . . ick. I seriously doubt I’ll ever be back. We also went to Disneyland and discovered Sonic!! We were so happy when we realized they were expanding to our part of the country! It’s a good thing that the closest one is about 25 minutes away.

38 – The year my life would change forever. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and a cancerous brain tumor. It was hard on all of us, but Tyler was my rock. He still is.

39 – We got our beagle. Yikes. Mom’s cancer was briefly in remission and came back with a vengeance. This year I realized she wasn’t getting better and Tyler and I began to prepare ourselves and the kids. Mom and I took what would be her last trip home to Alaska. It never got over 0 degrees the whole time we were there. And there was family drama, but I’m so glad I was able to make the trip with her.

As most of you know, 15 days after I turned 40 this past August, my mom lost her battle with cancer. But thankfully, Jesus won the battle with death and I know my mom is now in heaven, living her happily ever after.

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The 20’s Edition

(Seriously, what is UP with that forehead?)

I got this idea from Amanda on the Living Proof Ministries blog. She just turned 30 and, well, I’m an entire decade older than her, but I thought I’d reminisce my 20’s as well.

20 – Transferred from the University of Alaska to Liberty University and finish my last two years of college there. Living in central Virginia proved to be quite interesting.

21 – After four years of college I couldn’t take One. More. Minute. of it. I quit and didn’t get a degree . . . . . and to this day, I don’t care. I did however meet two of my dearest, sweetest friends – Caroline and Jill. Started working at the long since departed MarkAir in Anchorage. One of my best friends, Kristy, died at the tender age of 22 from a brain tumor. I miss her to this day.

22 – Met this guy and fell absolutely, completely, shamelessly, shockingly head over heels in love.

23 – Married that guy. 24 – Interesting year of getting used to living with someone. We actually did pretty well, but did he have to be such a man?

25 – Got the baby itch bad. BAD!! Don’t know if Tyler had it . . . but I did. And it only took us 6 weeks after throwing out the birth control to get pregnant. My mom’s mom, Grandma Goff, died of lung cancer in December of that year.

26 – The arrival of Hurricane Austin. He didn’t come out crying, he came out with a rebel yell. Nothing could have prepared me for how much I loved him. And nothing could have prepared me for what a difficult infant he was. He’s almost 14 and if I’m not careful, thinking about his baby days can still make me tear up. I honestly don’t know how I survived. We moved to Wasilla and started building our first house.

27 – Our marriage somehow survived building said house. I will never do it again unless it’s the house I grow old and die in. Austin and I were in a horrible car wreck that left me with some pretty bad back damage. He was thankfully unharmed. A few months later, I got the baby itch again.

28 – The arrival of Amber. For as difficult as her brother was, she was the same amount of easy. And it’s true to this day. We decided two children was enough. Amber was 9’15” and I really didn’t want to risk a bigger kid (Austin was a mere 9’4″). We realized living so far from Tyler’s work (about an hour) was taking a toll on everyone. We decided to move and then hauled off and did nothing.

29 – (It’s hurting my brain to think this far back.) We eventually moved from Wasilla to Eagle River in order to be closer to Tyler’s new career – being a police officer. I settled into a much easier life since Tyler was home more, but that wouldn’t last for long. I got very involved in church and in general, this would be when my domestic bliss set in.

Remembering this makes me remember how relatively care free my 20’s were. Tragedy struck quite often in my 30’s. But it was also a time of unparalleled spiritual growth. Stay tuned for the 30’s edition . . . . .

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SW Daybook – October 5, 2009

FOR TODAY…October 5th

Outside my window… sunny and chilly. Supposed to be in the high 60’s all week – can’t complain.

I am thinking… why is it every time I sit down the dogs have to have a cage death match at my feet?

I am thankful for… insurance provided by my hubby’s job.

I am wearing… white shirt, gray capris, socks and hot pink Crocs.

I am remembering… that I need to get off the computer and get ready to see Toy Story & Toy Story 2 in 3d with the fam!

I am going… to be having surgery on my right pointer finger tomorrow morning.

I am reading… “Stepping Up” Bible study by Beth Moore and “Imperial Woman” by Pearl Buck. Beginning to think I’m never going to finish the Buck novel.

I am hoping… that after my surgery there isn’t going to be too much pain.

On my mind… my sweet neighbor who has been a joy for the last 5 1/2 years is moving today. She’ll be about 5 minutes away, but it won’t be the same. I hope the new neighbors are great.

From the learning rooms… getting the kid’s lesson plans written out for the rest of the week so I don’t have to think about anything for a couple of days.

Noticing that… it was COLD this morning. Okay, not Alaska cold -heck, it didn’t even frost – but it was cold for me!

Pondering these words… Beth Moore, “May the rocks never have to cry out in praise in my place.”

From the kitchen… Austin is getting ready to do a science experiment that involves boiling water. ACK!

Around the house… I really need to vacuum!

One of my favorite things… my dogs. Even though they drive me street rat crazy, I really do like them. And probably worry a little too much about their well being.

From my picture journal…

Little girl swingin’ in the swing. One thing about western Washington, when it cools down and starts to rain a bit more, things turn so green it almost hurts your eyes!

Join in the Daybook fun HERE.

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