The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

YFMWNOEWL – The acronym taking the world by storm!!

Or not.

You Found Me When No One Else Was Looking is my irregular installment of search terms people use to find my blog.  Some are funny and some are disturbing.  So without further adieu . . . . .

are beagles loyal

I get a bazillion beagle queries.  It really makes me reconsider my priorities in what I blog about.  Anyway, the answer to your question is, yes, beagles are unbelievably loyal.  Until they smell something that smells better than you, that is.  Which is just about everything.

i cant believe thier real mascara

So much about this makes me cry . . . the grammar for starters.  And it’s “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.”  The mascara is “They’re Real!”  And seriously, go buy some.  It rocks.

why is my beagle an idiot

DNA.  I have searched the depths of my soul for this answer as well and it’s all I can come up with.

where is vancouver wa

Just one of the many reasons we Vancouverites tend to have a chip on our shoulder.  Even worse, I’m about 99% sure this came from someone who lives in the state of Washington.

hump on the back of my neck

I would suggest going to a doctor and not looking at (and surely mocking) my Glamour Shots.  {And no, I’m not posting a link to the original GS post.  There has been way too much interwebs damage done to my psyche at this point to make it easy for you to find the pictures and post them who knows where.} [Of course, if it bothered me that much I should just take the post down.] {I think I’m missing the shame gene.}

cabelas 2 person cot tent

If I had one of those, someone would be dead.  I glamp, I do NOT camp!!!  And two-person tents definitely fall into the camping arena.

my beagle puppy is driving me crazy

It gets better.  Just keep saying that to yourself.  Someone has to believe it.

how to have an immaculate house

Step 1: Don’t read my blog.

cheri fantasy fest video

Yes, I realize my name is also the name of a p*rn magazine.  I bet this Googler was sorely, sorely disappointed.

how to scare your mom for kids

Really?  Kids need help with this?  Mine never did and still don’t.

a dill pickle theme

For what?  A baby shower?  A birthday party?

purple eyes in real life

Uh, no.

c-7 neck hump

hump on back of neck pictures

Now my feelings are  getting hurt.

blue tarp dog shade

Apparently even our dogs can be white trash.

can you cook meatballs in the oven


does litehouse toasted sesame ginger dressing go bad if it is passed its date but has not been opened

Yes!  Really I have no idea, but wanted to keep things positive.

how old is jon bon jovi

Perfecty-seven.  Like I always say, Mama had Elvis and I’ve got Jon!!!

how many weight watcher points in princess marshmallows

If you put “princess” in front of anything it equals zero.

mr cruzzo


mistake try


ice box cak

Reminds me of Franck from the “Father of the Bride” movies

Franck Eggelhoffer

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Now I get it


I get why, a.) the government sticks its nose where I think it shouldn’t and, b.) why people snap.

Yesterday the family and I went to a Mariners game in Seattle.  It was a lot of fun and the M’s won!!  And even though I thought the players looked like children and not the millionaires many of them are, I tried not to act like an old woman.  Then I went in search of food.

All I wanted was a green salad.  The directory lied.  It said salads were available at “various locations” on our level.  Wrong!  After determining there were no healthy options on my level, I headed down the stairs.  To make a very long story short in which I almost lost my mind, the only place to get a salad in Safeco Field is on the suite level.  I did not have suite level tickets therefore no entrance for me.  I ended up with a veggie burger that I’m sure had so much salt in it that my blood pressure went up 30 points.  Seriously, Safeco Field, McDonald’s (which is 500 times grosser than you) has salad options.

Now I kind of understand why the government wants to tell us our business.  I get why Michelle Obama wants king sized candy bars off the shelves.  I. get. it.  I was just one of the masses who couldn’t get their hands on something healthy if my life depended on it.  Plus all that walking around aggravated my bad knee (cue old, broken down woman music now).

Do I think there should be a law to make places like Safeco Field provide healthy food?  No.  One would think that intelligent people could make that mental jump on their own.

I get it now.  I don’t agree with the government trying to regulate all aspects of life and business.  But I know why they try.

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Linky Love

Today I’m going to post some links to things I love around the interwebs.

1. Pinstrosity  I just found this website today.  I have had a few Pinstrosities but I’ve always been too demoralized to take any pictures of the results.  Thankfully, some people aren’t.

2. Bar Harbor Tea Company  My neighbor brought me back two of their teas from a cruise she went on, Wild Maine Blueberry and New England Maple.    I’ve made them both as iced tea . . . they’re both fantastic.  But the maple is indescribably good.  Oh my.

3. One Thousand Gifts  I read the book (same name) by Ann Voskamp and it changed my life.  Literally changed my life.  I used to feel silly for getting so excited and happy over the small things in life.  For example, I have an African violet that had gotten too big for the pot it was in and appeared to be two plants.  As I was removing the “two” plants for transplant, it was actually “one” plant and was attached!  I realized this just as I heard the snap of the root breaking in half.  ARGH!  I went ahead and planted them and only expected one to live.  They both lived but only the main one continued to flower.  I looked a couple of days ago and there are buds on the one I thought for sure was going to die.  I got so excited I sprinted to tell my hubby.  He gets that I’m like that and doesn’t make fun of me (on most days).

4. Sharp~End Dog Pencil Sharpener  Now from the sublime to the ridiculous.  The description says the dog barks as you twist the pencil.  I would, too!

5. Bakerella’s Red Velvet Cookies  I’m on a gigantic diet so I should make these, no?

6. I Keep Crashing from  A disclaimer . . . Regretsy is not a family friendly website.  I get her posts in my RSS feeder and she always tags the inappropriate ones with NSFW (not safe for work) so I don’t read those.  I go to the individual posts and don’t roam around on her website. That said, this woman is a comic genius who finds the most horrendous things Etsy has to offer.  My two favorite categories of her’s are, “Things That Are Not Steampunk” and “Healing Through TragiCrafting.”  TragiCrafting is making crafts in the wake of some tragedy so the seller can make a quick buck.   I’m sure there will be a stream of products for the Batman movie massacre.  It is shameful and April (Regretsy’s author) makes sure we all know who these lame-0 sellers are.

These are just the links I love this week!!!

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Dream a little dream

I’ve been watching one of his dreams come true all summer.

But yesterday was the big day.

The day his world got a little bigger because of a dream God planted in his heart six years ago.

Six years ago he was a camper at his first church middle school camp.  A sixth grader who couldn’t wait to get away from his family for a week.  {I tried not to get my feelings hurt over this.}  He had the time of his life and I’m pretty sure at that point decided he wanted to be a counselor when he was old enough.

The waiting has been hard.  In the last year or two they put a rule into effect that you had to be a minimum of a junior in high school to be a counselor.  Finally!  This was the year.  He turned in his paperwork, had an interview and we prayed for the best.

A few weeks later we found out . . . . and it was the news was that he’d hoped for {and the news that I might have sort of begged God repeatedly for}.  I’m so proud of him and so thankful to God for awaking his servant’s heart at a young age.  He will be home from camp for less than three days and then will go on a service trip to central Oregon.  I can’t keep up with him this summer and he can barely keep up with himself.  But it’s the best kind of chaos there is.

And now that he’s gone, I have five days with one of the other loves of my life.  Oh yeah, this girl:

Mostly she’s relieved that she can watch all the HGTV without her brother complaining.  And we can do our silly girl things and talk about all the nonsense we want without Austin rolling his eyes.

And once she gets up, girl’s week is full speed ahead!

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I’ve given up

I had a dream.  A dream of running in a 5K.  As of yesterday I have officially given up.  Why?  My right knee.  I have issues with it from a couple of previous injuries (at least I think) and running/jogging is just too painful.  The pain doesn’t sideline me but it is not fun.  And if it’s bad enough, it makes it hard for me to sleep.  If only my right knee could be as wonderful as my left knee.  But I’ll stop comparing them because that’s supposed to be bad for their relationship.

I did a month of physical therapy and it helped somewhat.  But now I have a strange pain on the other side of my knee and it’s discouraging.  However, my Disney Princess/Medieval Torturer therapist suggested bicycle riding.  She wanted me to stay off the treadmill for a while and bike instead.  We got a membership at a community center and I started riding a stationary bike.  I loved it.  LOVED IT!!  I thought maybe this bike thing could catch on with me.

My week to test this theory was a couple of weeks ago when my husband and I went to Sunriver.  Alone.  Without kids.  For six days.  It was the best vacation of my life!  Anyway, we rode bikes all over and the difference in my knee was amazing.  No pain!!  So as we sat by the pool on our iPad’s we looked for bikes to buy me when we got home.

We found one on Craigslist and once it got back from the bike shop for tune up I rode it for 10 miles yesterday.  And got a sunburn, but we won’t talk about that.  Here she is in all of her “oh by the way lady, the front fender is on backwards” glory:

After the ride yesterday, my knee didn’t hurt!  And it didn’t hurt the rest of the night until I walked all over downtown Vancouver with flip-flops on. But we won’t talk about that, either.

So I’ve given up my 5K dream and replaced it with a love for biking.  Not a bad trade-off!!

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Embracing the nightmare

Well, maybe not the nightmare.  Maybe the anxiety dream.  I have a lot of anxiety dreams.  A lot.  They usually center around high school and college, not enough time to pack, too much to pack, forgotten locker combinations, registering too late and enduring the chaos of the first day,  buying a house with a lot of “hidden” spaces that are in total ruins and have to be fixed, blah, blah, blah.  I have others, but these are the most pervasive.

I’ve hated them forever.  Tried everything I could think of or research (that wasn’t voodoo juju!) to get rid of them.  As I posted earlier, I read Anne Lamott’s “Some Assembly Required.”  In it she tells one of her friends about her “morbid, terrifying fantasies . . . . the wild horses ready to tear apart the world.”

Her friend replies, “But you created those horses . . Then you tied them to the trees and gave them a flick on the butt.  They’re figment horses, false-evidence-appearing-real horses.  If you don’t tie the horses up, they just racket around, and that’s not so bad, because they burn up the wild energy. So don’t tie up the anxiety fantasies, either.” (emphasis mine)  A thought occurred to me after reading that.  Maybe all those dreams I have serve a purpose.  They burn up all my wild mental energy.

I’m pretty laid back about stuff and it takes a LOT to bother me (despite what my son says).  Maybe I burn off a big portion of my anxiety in my dreams.  Quite frankly, I’ll take that any day over fretting, stewing and freaking out in my every day life.

I’m not saying nothing bothers me – it does.  I haven’t reached some Zen new aged funky state of balance and perfection, far from it.  But I am able to live my life not running from one emergency to the next.

Is it because I work out a lot of anxiety in my dreams?  I don’t know.  But this is a new way to look at a situation that has bothered me for years.  Maybe  a simple change of perspective is all I need.  Maybe accepting the dreams as beneficial to me would change a lot of the bad feelings I have towards the dreams.

It’s certainly worth a shot.  I’m not trying yet another remedy to get the dreams to stop.  I’m just going to try to ease into myself and not fight myself so much.

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Currently the following things are happening . . . .

My laptop (aka My Precious) is dead.  It is the fault of the power cord which shall be replaced post-haste.  Post haste = Tyler ordered one off Ebay and it should be here in a couple of months.  I miss My Precious so.

I can’t post any pictures even if I wanted to because I keep them all on My Precious.  Oh wait!  I have 7 or 8 pictures on this computer, the following being my favorite:


Bwahahahaha.  It cracks me up every time.

Currently I am trying to be cool on Instagram.  My daughter has informed me that I have the most boring Instagram ever.  Case in point, I posted pictures of baby tomatoes that have just begun to grow.  She might be right, but see for yourself!  I’m KeliKana.

My beagle brought a slug into the house.  It is now inching its way across the kitchen floor and she’s watching it.  Oh, nevermind, the man-child flushed it down the toilet for me.

Speaking of the man-child, he is hanging upside down off the couch and texting.  And telling me the house looks strange upside down.

Also speaking of the man-child, we are locked in a fashion battle.  We’re getting family portraits taken in August when we’re in California.  He told me that I can’t make us wear matching clothes because we’ll look stupid.  We need to look like ourselves only better, not stupid.  I show him all the lovely family beach portraits on Pinterest with matching outfits and he accuses me of “just wanting to look like everyone else.”  I should threaten to wear only my swimsuit.  That might send him into so much shock that he’ll just go along with whatever I pick out.  (My blog’s tagline, “Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time” is very accurate.)

The daughter is avoiding the man-child because he’s trying to get her to get him something to eat.

Currently I don’t want to kill the beagle.  This is a major development.  The shock collar, uh, I mean training collar, worked after only three “training nudges.”  She is a changed dog.

The chihuahua has decided the beagle isn’t barking enough so she’ll make up the difference.

I just can’t win.

Currently I am tan.  Tyler and I spent almost a week in Sunriver and the weather was amazing.  I rarely tan and I am so excited.

I bought a bike.  Today I rode it under stupid conditions and got mad.  Mostly at myself.  Then I spilled Tyler’s 5,000 piece wrench and socket set.  Okay, it’s probably less than 5,000 pieces, but putting all the itty bitty things back in their itty bitty spaces was a nightmare.

We got the bike off of Craigslist and then took it to a cycle shop to get it tuned up.  Everyone who works in the cycle shop is hopelessly awesome and cool and hip.  They’re nice and probably all professional bikers.  I was already starting to feel completely a little inadequate when one of the employees pointed out that whoever put my bike together got the front fender on backwards.  I. wanted. to. die.  The FIRST thing he said to me when I picked it up was, “Yeah, we turned that fender around.”  Cue the dying all over again.

Currently I am falling asleep at the keyboard.  Time for dreamland . . . after a bit of Anne Lamott’s “Some Assembly Required.”  It should be required reading for anyone whose children are going to grow up some day.   Her perspective is simply amazing.



Super Simple Recipe Binder Update

A couple of months ago I posted how I made a binder for all my recipes.  It’s been over two months since I started using it and it is a roaring success!!

Like I posted before, I have used just about every menu planning service there is.  E-mealz, 5 Dinners in One Hour, Saving Dinner, etc.  I even did Dream Dinners for a couple of years.  They all had their pros and cons, but overall were good.  The difference with my binder is that every recipe in there is kid approved.  The kids have a few food items they refuse to eat (shrimp comes to mind, as do beans and spinach).  Some of the meal plans had recipes that I just didn’t know if the kids would like.  They know they have to eat what I make, but it drives me nuts to cook dinner and then they sit there and choke it down.

That’s the number one reason I love my binder.  It might sound like I have picky, spoiled kids.  I don’t.  But I’d rather just cook something they like rather than having a tension filled dinner time.  I will have years to cook a virtual culinary trip around the world when they’re gone.

Pulling the recipes out before my grocery shopping trip is so simple.  Then I write out what I’m going to make during the week.  It’s really a really sophisticated and complicated weekly menu list.  Here it is:

I’m thinking of selling this “does this paper have the plague?” dinner recording system as shown above so please don’t use it without my written consent.  Nevermind, if I just say it’s copyrighted then it is, right?  I don’t have to go through any legal process, I’m just sure of it.

All joking aside, this whole way of planning dinner has made my evenings go so much better.  It was worth the effort!





Yeah, I’m quirky.  I was unaware of one of my quirks until this past week.  My friend, Tara, recently addressed a group of people where she mentions in it that growing up in Alaska leads to quirkiness in your life.  Trust me, she is so right.  (You can watch Tara’s debut in the comedy world here.  You’ll be glad you did!)

Growing up, my grandparents had a bearskin rug.  The entire thing from head with long, bared teeth, to the little stubby tail in the back – it was gorgeous.  I spent countless hours as a child playing on the rug.  As I grew older it got moved to the wall (probably from all the “countless hours.”  Oops.)

Oh, did I mention it was a grizzly bear hide?  And did I mention how my grandpa came into possession of it?  I will make it a short story because it’s all my psyche will be able to handle.  In the 60’s my grandpa, his brother and a couple of friends went hunting.  While they were sleeping one night, a grizzly decided it needed to be in the tent.  So it broke in, in the total darkness of the wilderness, and attacked.  Someone (either my grandpa or his brother) got stuck in their sleeping bag and couldn’t escape.  At some point my grandpa shot the bear dead.

I remember as a child (and probably yesterday, too) trying to wrap my mind around being attacked by a grizzly, in the dead of night and being trapped in your sleeping bag.  And here’s where we get to the previously undiscovered quirky . . . . apparently I am petrified of bears.

Where I live now this isn’t much of an issue.  But living in Alaska for as long as I did, I saw a few bears in the wild.  And I was never impressed.  More like blood running cold shock.

Fast forward to last week.  Tyler and I were at Crater Lake and we drove through a campground.  The sign that greeted the visitors said something to the effect of, “Bears have been sighted.  Make sure your food is locked up.”  GASP!  But I was okay.  As we drove around, I noticed each campsite had a lockable, steel cache to keep food in.  What I wanted to do at that point was yell, shake Tyler and scream, “Bears! Bears! Bears!  BEARS!!!!”  The (very small) rational part of my brain took over and I calmly said, “I don’t think I would want to camp anywhere that provides caches because of, ya know, (clearing throat, barely maintaining control) bears.”

He nonchalantly says, “All that’s around here are black bears.”


You mean man-eating attack machines aren’t lurking around every corner set on devouring me?

That’s good to know.

Also good to know is that black bears are much less “man-eaty.”  I can breathe out now.

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God’s not in it

I hate hearing this.  Okay, okay, there are times that a person makes a stupid, willful decision and God is not pleased.  Ya know, murdering, lying, cheating, etc.  This is what irks me . . . when people have a failure in life and they believe the failure was simply the fact that God wasn’t “in” it.

What scripture supports that?  Even Jesus, JESUS, had what the world would see as failure.  It’s right there in Matthew 11:20, “Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent.”  (NIV)  So, if you follow my brand of Christianity, Jesus = God.  To me, if you see that failure = no God then how could Jesus have performed miracles and many people didn’t repent?  Wouldn’t that count as a failure in the world’s eyes?  And the lack of the presence of God in some Christian’s eyes?

The fact of the matter is that God is in the successes and the failures.   He works both things for our good.  In “One Thousand Gifts,” author Ann Voskamp asserts that maybe the only thing negative about failures (and bad things in general) are our feelings.  We perceive things as bad, but we don’t know the whole story.  We don’t know how things are going to end.  We don’t know how things would have gone if everything in our life was hunky dory.

We don’t know.

That’s why we trust a God who does know.  And if we’re smart, we quit questioning him on every little hiccup in life and trust that He has our best interests at heart.

And He is Good.


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