The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

Vancouver, NOT B.C.

30 Days About MeToday I’m supposed to post about where I live.  Welcome to the wonderful world of Vancouver, Washington . . . . a place not many know exist.  Even those who live in Washington.  But we’re used to it.  We’re eclipsed by our sister across the river, Portland, Oregon.  For most people, we’re just a spot on the map they have to pass through to get to the green capital of the world.

Here’s an idea of where we are:

We basically sit on top of Portland.  Not that anyone cares, though.

Here are a few historical facts:

Headquarters of Hudson’s Bay Company (established 1825) and named Fort Vancouver.  You can read about the history here.

In 1806, American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark camped near the Vancouver waterfront on the return leg of their famed western expedition. Lewis characterized the area as “the only desired situation for settlement west of the Rocky Mountains.”  Even in 1806, we rocked.

Oldest permanent non-native settlement in Pacific Northwest (1825)

Oldest living apple tree in Pacific Northwest (planted 1826)  I’ve seen it.  It just looks like a large, nasty old tree.  But it still grows apples!

First sawmill in Pacific Northwest (1827)

Oldest public square in Pacific Northwest (Esther Short Park, 1855)

Notable soldiers who served at Vancouver Barracks:

    • Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
    • Gen. George McClellan
    • Gen. Philip Sheridan
    • Gen. O.O. Howard
    • Gen. George C. Marshall
  • One of the oldest continuously operated airports in the country (Pearson Field, 1905-present)
  • World’s largest spruce lumber mill for airplane construction during World War I
  • Pearson Field, landing site of first transpolar flight (Soviet, 1937)
  • Major shipbuilding center during World War II

I bet you’re just shocked you’ve never heard of such an important place . . . right?  Yeah, whatever.

I love the ‘Couve (one of the many nicknames of our city and much nicer sounding than “Vantucky.”)  You can live here and not feel like you live in the craziness of Portland.  Yet the wonderfulness of Portland (and there is so. much. wonderfulness) is just a 15 minute drive away.  I think it’s the perfect place to live!

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A YouTube video

30 Days About Me

I will never, ever, EVER get tired of this YouTube video.  It has become part of my family’s everyday life.  I have the Bedroom Intruder app on my phone.  Everyone in my family will randomly blurt out quotes from Antione.  “You are so dumb,” is by far our favorite.  I love Antione, I love his sister, I love everything about this guy.

The video I posted is the full story: the original news story and the following internet craziness that followed.  Enjoy!

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Favorite time wasters, er, I mean websites

30 Days About MeWhat are the sites I waste the biggest parts of my day on?  Here are a few:

  1. Facebook.  If you need me to hyperlink this site, I’m sorry.
  2. The Pioneer Woman.  She has it all: life on a ranch, recipes that make you wanna slap yo’ mama, homeschooling, photography and basset hounds.  She is simply the bomb.  She’ll also have a cooking show on Food Network this fall.  My daughter and I are breathless with anticipation . . . . hopeful that every show will have many appearances of her basset hound, Charlie.
  3. Wikipedia.  I am a compulsive researcher.  I have to know stuff and I have to know it now.  I even have the WikiPanda app on my phone.  I need information.  How reliable is it?  I don’t know.  I go there for information, not necessarily the truth.
  4. Art Beads.  This is the site I drool the most over.  I took a couple of jewelry making classes and so now I know just enough to be dangerous.
  5. Etsy.  The site of thousands of homemade goodies.  Sounds atrocious, doesn’t it?  Well, it can be, but by in large it is nothing but pure amazingness.  My husband knows if he ever finds me staring glassy-eyed at the computer, just shut it and get me some water.  I’m on Etsy overdose.
  6. Google Reader.  I like to read a lot of blogs.  But if I had to try to remember every one I read and then go there every day, I’d miss some great stuff.  This site allows you to simply input the blog address and the reader keeps track of all the new posts.  So I only have to remember to go to one site.  This is really great for my friends who don’t post every often.

Here’s a tutorial explaining how to use the Google Reader.  It seems a little complicated at first, but it’s revolutionary!

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Happy Anniversary!

Nineteen years ago today I walked down the aisle of a very large church, on my dad’s arm and thought, “Wow, this really is it.”  Then I said “hi” to my pastor’s wife.  Umm, okay?  Here are a few things I remember from that day:

  • When I got my hair and makeup done, my stylist told me I was the calmest bride she had ever seen.  She was in her late 40’s and owned the nicest salon in Anchorage at the time, Chez Ritz.  I figured she had seen her share of brides but I didn’t know what to make of her comment.
  • I remember one girl being in the room the bride and bridesmaids got dressed in.  I barely knew her and she was stressing me the heck out.  I told one of my bridesmaids to please get her to leave and she did.  I’ll always be thankful, Hannah!
  • I’m sure you can’t tell from the picture, but my dress was big and poofy.  I had a strange lace thing in the back that went over the bottom of the zipper.  It wouldn’t stay up, so the same bridesmaid from above got her mother to dash over with a sewing kit.  I was literally sewn into my dress.  Thankfully Tyler had a little penknife and he cut me out later that evening.
  • It was time to walk down the aisle and two of my bridesmaids were missing.  There was a bathroom in the back hall and I figured they were in there.  I whipped the door open and there, on the single toilet, was one of the missing bridesmaids.  I will never, ever forget her mouth gaping open and I told them it was showtime.  And I will never speak her name in conjunction with this story.

Despite all the silliness before the ceremony, the actual shindig went off without a hitch.  Absolutely perfect.  It was grand.

But the grandest of all was marrying the love of my life.  Nineteen years later I’m still crazy about him.  We’re not the kids we were back then and thank the good Lord above for that.  We’ve been through some crazy horrible losses.  We’ve been through some crazy amazing blessings.  We have two teenagers and are still able to form coherent sentences.  We manage to have date night about three times a month.  We can go camping and still speak to each other by the time we get home.

It’s been quite a ride, but he’s still the one I choose.  Every. Single. Time.

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Curry, curry, curry

30 Days About Me Day 21: A recipe I love

For most of my life I thought I hated curry.  This would be because I’d never had it and my mom told me it was awful.  Many Not too many decades later, enter my neighbor.  She had a nanny emergency about three years ago and I ended up watching her precious three-month old son for a couple of hours.  She told me to help myself to anything and that she had chicken curry salad in the fridge.

My curiosity got the best of me and I had to try the salad.  That was the end of my lifetime of disliking curry for no reason.  I have been head over heels in love ever since.   OH!  And that same neighbor has a sister visiting Thailand right. now. and she’s bringing us back some curry!!  How did I ever get so lucky?

Chicken Curry Pasta Salad

    • 1 lb chicken breast, diced
    • 1 tablespoon sweet curry powder
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice, divided
    • 4 quarts water (for boiling pasta)
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 lb dry bow-tie pasta
    • 1 cup frozen petite peas
    • 1/2 cup minced red onion
    • 2/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon dijon-style mustard (I use the type with the seeds in the mustard)


  1. Combine curry, oil, and 1 T lime juice, pour over chicken, toss to coat, cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours.
  2. Heat large nonstick skillet over med heat, add chicken.
  3. Cook, stirring regularly, about 3 min (or more). Reduce the heat a bit if the sauce starts to darken.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, let cool while the pasta boils.
  5. Boil pasta in salt and water, rinse and set aside. For about the final 2 min of cooking time, add the peas, drain and rinse w/rest of pasta.
  6. While pasta cooks, prepare the salad dressing. It is important to have dressing done at same time as pasta, so pasta doesn’t sit w/out dressing too long, as it will clump.
  7. In a large bowl, blend minced red onion, mayonnaise, mustard and 1 T lime juice.
  8. Add the curried chicken w/all the sauce out of the pan; whisk to blend.
  9. Add pasta and peas, toss to coat and add salt if desired (which I never do).
  10. Serve right away or chilled for later. 8-12 servings.

I got the original recipe here and made a few of my own tweaks.   This is one of the few dishes my whole family can agree on.

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Dream a little dream home

30 Days About MeDay 16:  Describe your dream home or show us a picture

The stage I am in life, I look at things a little differently.  I see children leaving home.  I see my husband retiring.  I see me getting older.  Believe it or not, the hubs and I talk about what we want in a house once we get to retirement age.

One thing we totally agree on: SINGLE STORY! Why is it every time you forget something it’s always upstairs?  Always!  And why in the world is the laundry room on the bottom floor and all the bedrooms are on the top floor?  Plus, given my history with stairs, I’d probably break all my hips.  More than once.

We also agree on downsizing.  I do NOT want to take care of a ginormous house in my golden years.  And the 1/3 acre we live on has pretty much burned Tyler out on yard work.  I’m hoping our final home will have a yard.  I’m thinking at that point, we can pay someone to take care of it (shhhh . . . don’t tell him I said that).  But the grandkids gotta play somewhere, right?   And since I’ve told the kids I want tons of grandkids, I’d better be prepared.

Here’s a good approximation of what I think would be just grand:

And I even have floor plans.  Yes, the plans call for stairs to a basement.  This will NOT be happening!  Nor will there be an upstairs bonus room.  I’ll just spend a fortune and get the plans changed.  See how easy that is?

Ahhhh.  I can almost smell the new paint and carpet right now.


Guid mornin!

30 Days About MeDay 14: Somewhere I’d like to travel

There are about 50 places I’d like to travel to and it was hard to narrow it down to one.  The list includes Paris, Great Britain, Italy, Greece and many places in America.  But the place I’m really feeling like visiting is Scotland.  How could you not love a place that looks like this:

Or a castle:

And the heather.  Heather is so much more romantic when it’s not in my back yard:

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A big impact

30 Days About Me Here we are on day 13 of 30 Days of Me.  Today is “Something or someone that has had a huge impact on my life.”  I made a rule for myself on this one.  I can’t say Jesus, the Bible or my family.  I think it’s just a given that those have had the biggest impact in my life.  But this is about huge, not the biggest.

Without a moment’s hesitation I can say someone who has had a huge impact on my life.  It’s my beloved Beth Moore.  She has had the most impact on my Christian life of any person.  I have done all but two of her Bible studies, read a ton of her books, seen her in person more than once, been to simulcasts, and probably more.

I don’t really know what it is about her.  But she speaks to my heart.  More importantly, God speaks to me through her.  She is the first to say it isn’t about her, it’s about God.  I agree 100%, but there is  something about her that draws tens of thousands of women to God.  I have learned more about my God, myself and others because of her.  Simply put, I doubt I would have the kind of relationship I have with God without her influence.

She reminds me of a coffee cup.  In the mornings when we need our caffeine fix, most of us don’t drink straight out of the pot.  We use a cup.  The cup is just the vessel that holds what we need.  Beth is the coffee cup that holds a supersized dose of God.

I just wish I could thank her in person.

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Something I’m OCD about

30 Days About MeIf you peeked into my life on any given day, you’d realize that OCD isn’t in my vocabulary.  I just don’t take things all that seriously.  But, there are a couple of things in my life I blow a gasket over so here ya go . . .

My juicer

If you’re the unlucky one who uses this and then doesn’t clean it out?  I give a whole new meaning to “outhouse rat crazy.”  There’s a reason I set it up right next to the sink.  You have zero excuses not to clean up when you’re done.  And if you happen to say, “But I thought you were going to use it next,” when you never asked me to begin with . . . . outhouse rat crazy to the 10th power.


Don’t touch me when I sleep.  Obviously, the only person who could break this rule is my husband.  He suffers from hypnic jerk (it’s real, just click the link).  Come to think of it, he doesn’t suffer at all.  When he’s falling asleep and any muscle group twitches, it doesn’t bother him one little bit.  If he’s touching me?  It bothers the crap out of me.  How does one fall asleep when at any second your beloved’s arm will jerk, or his hand, or his stomach, or his ankle?  I particularly don’t enjoy it when his whole hip tries to check me out of bed.  UGH.  Thank you sweet baby Jesus for our king size bed.

If you ask my family, there’s probably a lot more that I’m OCD about, but I’m clueless at the moment 🙂

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I’m with the band

30 Days About MeYeah, yeah, yeah, I missed yesterday.  Some days your life is so busy that your blog must wait.  Yesterday was such a day.

Today is our favorite band/artist.  Like I could name just one.  Here’s a tidy list:

Third Day

Pretty much my all time favorite band.  I love these guys – they can do nothing musically wrong in my eyes.  I follow two of the members on Twitter . . . . Facebook is just a given, right?  *sigh*  My favorite thing about Third Day is the lead singer, Mac Powell.  He’s a man who sounds like a man.  I love his voice.

Bon Jovi

I am a child of the 80’s and Bon Jovi is my birthright.  As I always say, “Mama had Elvis and I have Jon.”

I enjoy many artists over a variety of genres (just not country) but these two will probably go do my grave with me.