The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

Dolphin Tale

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend a free screening of this movie with my daughter and niece.  If you want a quick, short review, here it is:  Go see it.

Now for the longer review.  “Dolphin Tale” is the story of a dolphin who loses her tail at 3 months of age.  It then focuses on the effort to save her life, saving the life of the facility she’s being rehabilitated at and saving the emotional life of a young boy and his cousin who serves in Iraq.  There are a few side stories that are interesting as well.

I was very encouraged to see Hollywood portraying family in such a healthy manner.  The parents in the movie had the children’s best interests at heart and acted accordingly.  If only more parents would do that!  I extremely enjoyed there being NO romantic subplot.  Guess what?  Single people meet all the time and don’t fall in love and get married.  You’d never know it to look at most movies, but it’s true.  I loved not having a sappy, emotional romance undermining the beauty of “Dolphin Tale.”

The main actors, shown above, were believable and very  good.  I’ll be honest, I can’t stand a poorly acted movie and this didn’t disappoint.  Although at times I thought I was looking at Naomi Judd and not Ashley!

That’s my humble opinion . . . take your family to see it and you won’t regret that you did!!

**The screening was provided by Allied Integrated Marketing**


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The Martha Stewart hits all time low

I subscribe to Martha Stewart Living magazine.  I either got the year long subscription for free or $5.  I’m not a huge fan of The Martha (“The Martha” refers to the worker bees who do all the work so the queen bee, Martha Stewart, can take the credit for it) but the recipes in the magazine are usually very good.  And The Martha does have some cute, crafty ideas that don’t cost an arm and a leg.  I saw one once.

Anyway, my obligatory earth toned cozy fall edition arrived today.  And while I’d like to blame The Martha colony at large for what I’m about to report on, I can only blame the real Martha Stewart for this.  Because her picture was in it.  And it states, “Text by Martha Stewart.”  And it’s under the “From My Home to Yours” section.  Thankfully, the article and all the pictures appear on her website so I don’t have to waste my time scanning, cropping and worrying if I infringed on some copyright law that no one will ever see since only tens of people read my blog  so I can easily show the evidence of the new all time low.

I guess I should have been warned by the title description: taxidermy.  I am not a fan of taxidermy.  I’m from Alaska and I know it’s a big deal to have dead animals that you so macho-ly killed hanging from every available inch of wall space apparently to impress all who enter that YOU are ruler of this domain and if you need to, you’ll be happy to shoot, hook or arrow anyone who doesn’t agree.   I happen to be the owner of a set of mounted caribou antlers, inherited through marriage.  Personally I don’t get taxidermy infatuation in case you couldn’t tell.  Ick.  Gross.  Anyhoo, this was Martha’s first picture:















This is a stairway in one of her many homes.  Uh, okay?  The thing that stopped me dead in my tracks is the baby black bear in the lower left hand corner.  A baby. black. bear. it so proudly boasts in the magazine.  Hmmm . . . . . got any golden retriever puppies or calico kittens you’d like stuffed and mounted, too?

Then there’s this beauty:















Perhaps the porcupine next to the booze is to scare children away?  That’s what I want next to my olives . . . a dust trap that has who know what living and reproducing in it.  Remember, I come from the land of taxidermy.  I’ve heard stories that would make grown men cry.

Let’s not forget this one:















The text accompanying this germ infested picture of baby bear carnage reads: I decided to have a bit of fun with my many animals and took them to the Playhouse at Skylands on the property for an adventurous photo shoot.

There are many more I could show, but this is the last one I could stomach:















Really?  Where I’m going to eat?  Birds painted on plates are one thing, but in used-to-be-living color right in front of me watching every bite I take?  I think not.

Oh Martha.  Of all the things you could have talked about this month, you had to choose one of the most tasteless, morbid, disturbing things out there and turn it into decorating fodder.  Even having “fun” with it.

I won’t be renewing my subscription.


Apparently my daughter

. . . doesn’t look like this anymore:
















Or this:










Or this:










Or even this:











I mean, that’s what I see when I look at her.  A properly respectable and adorable 5-year-old.  And maybe on a rare occasion, an 8-year-old.

Apparently my daughter does not look like that anymore at 13 years of age.

Apparently what my daughter does look like is what a modeling scout at the Taylor Swift concert thinks would make a great model.

Wait.  What?

On Tuesday, Amber and I went to a Taylor Swift concert with two of our friends.  (On a side note, if you ever get the chance to see Taylor Swift live, DO. IT.  Even if you only like her because she has good hair.  The concert was amazing.  That girl works her tail off and deserves every accolade she gets.  Anyway . . . . )  Just before we went in to find our seats, a scout from a local modeling agency approached Amber and her mother (at this point I have to call myself “her mother” because I was having an out of body experience and was viewing the whole thing from a few feet back.  Who approaches a five-year old anyway???)  I got the shpeel and there’s an open casting, and well she’s a little young but you never know, and, and, and.  I told the others to go into the concert and I stayed and talked to the scout for a while.

After she was done I vowed to talk to my friend, Val, whose daughter, Summer, is a model in this area.  The scout turned out to be the same one that scouted Summer a few years ago. Summer signed with that agency and things have gone well for her.   To make a long story short, both Val and Summer think Amber is too young (hello??  Five is too young!) to start in such a brutal industry.  And when I finally sat down and talked to Amber about it, she said it didn’t sound like any fun.  I told her we could revisit it in a year or longer and maybe it would interest her then.

Of course I think my daughter is beautiful . . . all moms do.  But as she’s grown (she’s 5’6″ now) and matured (long legs, long arms, super skinny), I have thought in the back of my mind she could pull off modeling. I prayed about it and vowed to keep my mouth closed.  If it was something that was meant to be, either Amber would have to bring it up or we’d have to be approached out of the blue.  Which we were.  Which might also have to do with the out of body experience I was, well, experiencing.   But Amber is not interested at this point.  Whew!

Oh.  Apparently my daughter does look like this:











Ten year anniversary

Today marks the 10 year anniversary of homeschooling in our house.  I realize it’s Labor Day . . . but the hubby works today and we don’t have any plans.  PLUS, I have a surprise up my sleeve for the kids on Wednesday that will include not doing school.  It would have been wasteful to take today off.

Anyhoo, since I’m so deep and sensitive, my immediate thought on this 1oth anniversary was, “Oh!  I wonder what gifts are traditional for 10th anniversaries?  Maybe I can get Tyler to buy me something.”  So I look up “10th anniversary gifts” and find that traditionally, tin or aluminum is to be given.  What?  What am I supposed to do with that information.  I felt like Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” when he decoded his first secret message with his Secret Society Decoder Pin from Little Orphan Annie.

I will somehow find a way to carry on by posting pictures of my kids.  An 8th grader and a sophomore.  How did that happen?

Austin was closing his eyes on purpose so he looks almost deliriously happy.  Which he was not.

He was forcing his eyes open at this point . . . or so he said.

My little shot of 8th grade sunshine!

I’ll admit, it’s nice to have the house quiet again.  It gets so noisy in the summer.  In fact, it’s so quiet I’m almost falling asleep posting this.  Oh wait, the beagle just came in . . . she’ll keep me awake!

I just found out that this is my 500th post.  Think there’s a gift for that??

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My Labor Days

I think I do this almost every year, but in case you’re new around here, here goes . . . . .

How long were your labors?

Kid #1, 2 hours

Kid #2, 0 hours

How did you know you were in labor?

Kid #1, I was induced because he was huge.

Kid #2, no labor for this one

Where did you deliver?

Kid #1, Alaska Regional Hospital (they have the BEST after delivery rooms)

Kid #2, Providence Alaska Medical Center


Kid #1, Epidural

Kid #2, Epidural —> anti-dry heaving meds —-> meds for most astounding headache of my life.  At this point I yelled,I’m never having another kid!  {Insert doctors and nurses laughing out loud.}  And this was all before she even made her way out.


Kid #1, Yes.  They broke my water and he decided to go nuts.  He completely flipped over, had his head up, one foot over said ginormous head and one foot down the birth canal.  Emergency c-section for me!  Later my doctor told me I probably couldn’t have delivered him anyway because his head was so freakishly large.  He takes after his mother.  :-s

Kid #2, Yes.  She was scheduled because she measured large (she was 9’15”) and my body was showing no signs whatsoever of letting this kid go.

Who delivered?

              Kid #1 & #2, Dr. Donna Chester.  The best OB/GYN in the country.

How about you? What are your numbers?

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Not exactly classy . . . .

. . . but it works.  Earlier today, my sweet friend Rachelle, posted a blog about a recent DIY project she did.  And like everything she does, from taking pictures to her kids, it was adorable and wonderful.

But I’ve been rocking the white trash version of an organized cabinet door cork board for YEARS!!  I present to you my DIY “Scotch Tape, Scraps of Stained Paper” collage:

Let’s take a more detailed look, shall we?

1.  The recipe for Tyler’s version of Thai iced tea (way too much sugar for me) and my version (long live Truvia).  The crookedly torn piece of paper is about twice as long and says, “AUSTIN” at the top.

2.  The back of the bag of dog food the beagle eats.  So I never have to guess and she never has to get fat again.

3.  My son’s doing . . . . it’s the recipe for chocolate cake in a cup.  Notice there are only numbers and no tsp. or tbs. or anything else.  Amber has made this several times and it almost always ends up being uneatable.  I wonder if it has anything to do with no tsp. or tbs. being written down?

4.  A note Tyler left me.  I think this dates back to Eagle River, Alaska and I brought it with us when we moved.  I’m sentimental, what can I say.

5.  The back of the bag of dog food the chihuahua eats.  Why I have it up there, I don’t know.  Maybe I didn’t want the beagle to be embarrassed about her lack of self-control.  The chihuahua has never had a weight problem.

5.  A recipe for iced coffee.  However, the recipe isn’t really right so I have to remember not to dilute it so much with the 1 c. of water.

And I wonder why my son doesn’t write down clear, concise directions.