The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s off to camp I go

I’m leaving for five days to cook at our chuch’s middle school camp.  Yeah, I’m going to be cooking for 300 of my favorite 11-13 year olds.  I can’t wait!

I haven’t even gotten out of town and one of the other cooks has already punched me in the face.  She got startled and gave me a back hand to the left eye.  I just got new glasses yesterday.  I had to get them re-adjusted this morning!!!  Hopefully I won’t have a black eye AND that will be the last accident for the week.

I’ll be back on Friday.  Until then, blog on my friends . . . . blog on!

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Changing my prayers

I’ve been praying a lot this past week.  And I noticed I was falling into old habits.  Habits that I’ve been trying to break for the past few months.

I heard a prayer that radically changed the way I want to pray.  I don’t know who was doing the praying.  I kind of think it was Beth Moore in a video my Bible study was watching.  And while I’d like to credit her with all things awesomely spiritual, I can’t honestly say it was her.   One very simple sentence caught me off guard.  In paraphrase, it said, “Please let them feel Your presence.”

Just six little words that jerked my eyes wide open and caused me to reconsider many things.

For probably all of my Christian life, one of the repetitive things I’ve asked of the Lord is to “be with them.”  To guide the surgeon’s hands, to save someone.  I had a huge epiphany in those few moments after the prayer.  Guess what?  If I truly believe He is the omnipotent God of the universe, He’s already there.  He’s already working.  He’s already beckoning all of creation to come to Him.

When our life situations take a major turn for the worst and all hope is gone, He’s there offering His comfort and His new mercies every morning.

When we’re weary from fighting the good fight, He’s there renewing our strength.

I have tried to get into a new habit . . . . asking that His ever-presence be felt.

That His grace and mercy be considered by a broken heart.

That the person broken by despair will reach out and take hold of the hope He offers.

Yes, Lord, may we feel Your presence.

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“Ramona and Beezus” Movie Review

I’m a book reader. I have been ever since I could read. I remember in the first grade boys making fun of me for reading oversized Beatrix Potter books. I told my mom and she said they were just jealous because they were too stupid to read. Aren’t moms great?

Anyway, as an elementary student, many of the Ramona Quimby books were being published. And I fell head over heels in love with Ramona and everyone in the books. Some of my fondest memories include getting the “new Ramona book” and reading the whole thing in one sitting. Luckily, I passed the same love onto my daughter who read the series a couple of years ago.

Imagine my utter shock when I was contacted by Allied Integrated Marketing and asked if I would be willing to review “Ramona and Beezus.” Utter shock doesn’t really describe it.  A few days later, my daughter and I found ourselves at a screening . . . . . . we were beside ourselves with joy.

The movie was wonderful.  Obviously they tried very hard to cram eight books into one movie. Therefore, the movie didn’t follow the books exactly.  But it stayed so true to the spirit of the story lines and characters that the inaccuracies didn’t bother me in the least.  Many of Ramona’s most classic moments were depicted in the movie including my favorite, which has to do with guts.

I also feel the movie was very true to who Ramona’s family was portrayed in the books.  They were never portrayed as extremely well off, so there weren’t any mini-mansions to be seen.  And though the movie wasn’t set in the time period the books were written in, there was a timelessness to it made it feel as if it could have taken place at any point in time.

On a side note – the movie takes place in Portland, OR where the books took place.  It was filmed in Vancouver, B.C. but the attention to Portland detail flat out blew my mind.  I live in the Portland metro area so I’m pretty familiar with all things PDX.  In one scene, Ramona has a brief encounter with a city bus driver.  The bus driver had on a real Tri-Met uniform.  Hello!!   The high school Beezus attends is a real high school in Portland, as well as the elementary school Ramona attends.  Along with so many other things that it would take too long to list.

For me, the simple ink drawings in the books are as important as the story is.  In the movie they brilliantly include the drawings.  Want to know how (and trust me, it’s brilliant)?  Go see the movie!!!!!

In short, the story was fantastic, definitely a feel good flick for the summer.  The acting was top notch . . . and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Selena Gomez as Beezus.  She did a fantastic job portraying a teenaged girl who at one minute loved her little sister and the next minute didn’t.  I felt it was a very real picture of a teenage girl.  And Joey King as Ramona – even her hair was spot on!!

I would recommend taking anyone who is old enough to sit through a movie to see it.   Family values are at the forefront of this movie and you won’t be disappointed in any stand the characters take.   And for those of us who felt Mrs. Cleary was writing the books specifically for us (am I the only one that thought that??), this will be a very sweet walk down memory lane.

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True Fasting

Have I already blogged about this?  I have no idea and at the moment, I’m too spent to look up and see if I have.  So if this is a repeat (and I don’t think it is), I apologize.

My heart is extremely heavy tonight and I will explain what’s going on without throwing any stones.  Tyler and I have a niece that is 19.  Her parents were never married and my niece never had a relationship with her birth father (I’ll call him Ray) until last summer.   And it was long distance at that because she lives in Washington and her father in Alaska.  Over this past weekend, Ray was in a horrible motorcycle accident.  He wasn’t wearing a helmet and sustained a major head injury.  At this point, things are looking very bad.  I was just told by Ray’s brother-in-law that the CT scan he had earlier today did not show good results and he’ll be kept on machines so the family has time to make a decision.  My heart breaks for them . . . . . my niece flew up there today to see Ray and his family.

My niece, Anna, has been a part of my life since the day I met her wonderful Uncle Tyler.  That’s 18 1/2 years.  I have had many, many feelings about the adults in Anna’s life.  Most born of sheer frustration and very intense.  My mind has been in bad places at times.   And now we have this.   So what in the world am I supposed to do about some of the feelings I’ve had over all these years?

I’m going to fast.  Not in the traditional sense, but in the sense that God commands in Isaiah 58:

6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk, (emphasis mine)

10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

God says a lot more about fasting in that chapter, but this is the part that stuck out to me.   I will do my best to lose the chains of injustice by praying for those I feel have been innocent victims.  I will not turn away from my beloved niece, my husband’s own flesh and blood therefore mine as well.  I will do away with pointing fingers and malicious talk.  Why?  Because I love God first.  And I love Him more than I love my desire to do the opposite of what He commands.  And who wouldn’t want the God of the universe to be their rear guard (aka have their back) and guide them always?

A few other verses have been popping into my head over the last 4 or 5 days . . . those verses that are so easy to forget, like “doing to others what you’d have them do to you,” “loving your neighbor as yourself,” and that whole problematic passage in Romans 12:

14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.

21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

So there you have it.  Time for me to act like I’ve actually been a Christian for 29 years and that it’s had some effect on me.  And of course, if you’re the praying kind, Ray’s family would covet your prayers now as they have to make some very difficult decisions.

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WFMW: L’Oreal Bare Naturale Mineral Foundation

I have very sensitive skin.  Add on top of that a nice case of rosacea (albeit a rather light case) and I have a fine mess on my face.  Finding products that don’t irritate my skin is extremely difficult and usually I finally find something after many, many things that don’t work at all.

One of my friends looked lovely one day and I asked her what kind of make up she was wearing.  It was a brand of mineral makeup so I immediately headed out and got some.  It seemed to work, but gradually my face became very irritated.  I thought the rosacea was getting worse and never thought it could be the makeup.  I was running low on the mineral foundation and ran to Target and bought some L’Oreal Bare Naturale Mineral Foundation.

In the course of a few days my skin literally transformed.  I haven’t had skin this soft and smooth since I was in my 20’s.  It’s almost like the foundation was more of a treatment than makeup.  The coverage is fantastic and wears very well all day long.  Obviously if you have large pores, the powder makeup will show those off very well.  I was blessed with quite small pores so this works for me!

Join in the Works For Me Wednesday fun HERE.

**I was not contacted by anyone or given anything for free for this blog.  I just happen to love the makeup!**
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Alaska Cops: Truth is stranger than fiction

“His what is what?”

“I need medics. His face is frozen to the ground.”

“Is he dead?”

“Negative. He’s alive. A citizen just bought him a cup of coffee and put it by his face. I don’t know how he’s going to drink it.

“If it’s hot, pour it on his face and it should unfreeze him.”

“Okay.”

(Pause)

“It worked. Medics just arrived and are transporting him to the hospital.”

**Funny thing is, I didn’t make this story up. My husband was a real cop in Anchorage, AK for 6 1/2 years. I could probably write an entire book titled ‘Two cops in Alaska.'”**

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My First Virtural GNO

Yes, I do realize that it’s still the afternoon.  I have to prepare ahead because my son is coming home from camp after being gone SEVEN days and I might be a little busy tonight.  I will probably have to hit some of your blogs up tomorrow morning. Anyway .  . . I met Ann recently and decided to participate in her GNO.  Since this is my first time, I’ll post a little about myself.

  • I have an irrational fear of birds.  Don’t ask me to explain.  Did you see “irrational” right before “fear?”
  • I was born and raised in Alaska.  That’s a whole year of therapy in itself.
  • I have homeschooled my two kids for 9 years . . . . we’re starting our 10th this fall.
  • My beagle and chihuahua drive me crazy.  If they weren’t so cute, they’d be dead.
  • I hum, whistle or both about 95% of my waking hours.
  • Making my husband laugh makes me very, very happy.
  • Making my 14 year old son laugh is a miracle.
  • I am a jack of all crafts and master of none.  I think I have ADD when it comes to crafts.  And a lot lighter bank account, too.
  • I live in SW Washington state and I love it!
  • I have the sweetest 12 year old daughter . . . . I don’t talk about her sweetness/kindness much because I think a lot of people would think I’m lying.
  • I shouldn’t care so much about what people think.
  • I have the best neighbors in the world.
  • I think the only way my chihuahua would ever be perfectly content is if I suddenly sprouted a marsupial pouch and could carry her everywhere I went.
  • I couldn’t sleep last night because I’m so excited for the 14 year old to get home from camp tonight.  But I promised I wouldn’t scream and/or cry and/or jump and/or gasp loudly when I pick him up.

That’s about it for now!  Enjoy your GNO.

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Dog Fight

It was just an average day around the house when Gwen (beagle) decided to start talking trash to Belle (chihuahua).

Hey Midget!  Can you hear me down there?  Can your sesame seed brain process the fact that I’m talking to you?

Excuse me?  What did you say?  I’m sorry, but I’m very confused.  Mom must’ve given you a bath because you actually smell good . . . . I’m so used to “dead varmint” smell that I almost didn’t recognize you.

You take that back. TAKE. THAT. BACK!!  I do not smell good.  I smell offensive.

One more word from you and I’ll be forced to open a can of chihuahua whoop derriere.

Oh yeah?  OH YEAH!!  You can’t even open a teeny tiny can of whoop derriere because you have no opposable thumbs.  NO THUMBS!

That’s just like you.  Take a cheap thumb shot and then run for your pathetic life.  I know you’re terrified of my rippling muscles.  Get back here and fight like a dog.


{Psychedelic gratuitous violence fight scene}

Back off now little dog, I’ve got ya!

I will never admit defeat . . . no matter how bad the tartar build up is on my teeth!  Or how strange that snaggle tooth appears.

Enough of this ridiculousness.  I’m going outside.

Now that that’s over with, I’m your favorite?  Right Mom?  Right??

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Perk and No Faith

Tonight I had the first perk ever of having a blog.  Amber and I got to go see a screening of “Ramona and Beezus.”  I will post a review on opening day (July 23 – take your family and go see it!) and I won’t give anything away now (other than to say izzzzzzzzzzz all good).  Oh!  And I met another mom blogger there and that was fun, too.

The Ramona Quimby book series by Beverly Cleary has a permanent place in the hearts of both my daughter and myself.  I have loved the books since the late 70’s and Amber read all of them a couple of years ago.  When she finished the last one she asked me if Mrs. Cleary was writing anymore.  I told her no and that she was 93.  Amber replied, “Well she isn’t dead yet!”  We’re both a little Ramona crazy.

So when the opportunity came for me to take my daughter to see the move 10 days before it opened, well, how amazing was that.  When I told her of this fabulous occurrence here is the conversation that followed:

Her: I’m afraid it’s not real.

Me: Why?

Her: Well, not many people read your blog.

No faith in her mother.  None.

Then when I proceeded to tell Austin (who could care less about Ramona and is at camp this week) this was the conversation:

Him: It’s probably just a scheme and you’re going to end up dead like all the people you hear about believing a murderer was really a nice guy they met online.

Me: {speechless}

No faith in his mother.  None.

I guess I’ll show him when I pick him up from camp this weekend all alive and everything.

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If I Could Relive Any Day of My Life

It would definitely be a day I spent with my mom.

Any of them.

It wouldn't matter which one.

The obvious answer to the "why" question is that she's been gone now for almost a year, living at her new address in heaven and I miss her.

But as much as I miss her, I don't want her back. I know she's in heaven. She's free of pain. Free of insecurities. Free of the things that held her soul and heart captive on earth. She's in the presence of our God and Savior. I would never want her to come back and have to leave all of that.

But if I could relive a day, I would.

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