The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

This is too much

I’m watching Greta VanSustren and she’s interviewing Curt Menard, the borough mayor for the Mat-Su borough. He’s now talking about his son who died in a plane crash on August 9, 2001. His son, Curtis, was a very, very dear friend of mine and Tyler’s. Curtis’ death happened one month to the date after a police officer was killed in the line of duty in Anchorage when Tyler was on duty. The week after Curtis died, one of my friend’s daughters drown in the bathtub. It started a very dark period of my life.

For 16 months I was in la la land. The APD officer left behind a wife and 4 year old daughter. Curtis Menard left behind a wife and four children (11 – 1 year). My friend’s daughter was only 21 (she had a history of seizures and they think this is what happened when she was taking a bath). I couldn’t make heads or tails of what was going on. And while still in the grieving process, September 11, 2001 happened. I watched live as the second plane hit the tower in Seattle. I had just arrived at my hotel to attend a conference. Everything was cancelled and I was stranded in Seattle for five days.

That didn’t help my la la land state of mind. I could not make heads or tails of the tragedies I was enduring and watching people I cared for endure. None of them made sense and I didn’t understand why God didn’t spare at least some of these dear people. My confusion ended in depression. Someone told me that God meant it all for good. That was NOT the thing to tell me. Why? Because sometimes we won’t see the whole plan God has in motion until we see Him face to face. Trying desperately to look for the good in all of everything I was going through was not a way out for me.

Sixteen months after the officer was killed, I went to a ladies meeting at church. I did not want to go. I didn’t think the topic would have anything to do with me. We watched a Joni Erickson Tada video and she was talking about the despair she felt for years after her paralysis. She talked about how pat Christian answers usually don’t help people in the depths of despair. She said for her the only thing that helped was knowing that Jesus came to earth, lived a very human existence, experienced all the pain, suffering, tragedy and loss we do. He came down here and got messy and dirty with the rest of us. And then He died an unimaginable death so we could have fellowship with Him and His Father. So He could be our shelter in the storm. I was changed. Something in those words was the key for me to climb out of my depression and start living again.

He is all I need. So tonight, as I am unexpectedly forced to revisit the tragedies that tried to drown me in 2001 I will remember, He is all I need.

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Straight From My Heart Sunday

I was in the bathroom washing my face and I had something I just HAD to get off my chest and onto a blog. I was thinking of a title and one thing led to another and I came up with “Straight From My Heart Sunday.” I even made the little thingy up above with the help of Photobucket. I’m sure the title is running around somewhere else in the blogosphere and if I copied anyone, it is purely unintentional.

Okay, here’s my declarative statement for this week (can you tell I’m teaching school again): I could never seriously be in politics.

As you all know, the past 10 days has been quite a ride for this Alaska girl. My homegirl with whom I share so much in common is the vice presidential nominee. The attacks on her daughter have been heartbreaking. But it never really seemed real to me because I don’t personally know the Palins . . . . . . it was just sorta “out there.” And that kind of notoriety is not something I have ever imagined in my life.

But today it became real when I clicked on this news article on The pastor mentioned in this article is not the one on all the YouTube videos. The pastor in the Foxnews article, Larry Kroon, was our pastor when Tyler and I lived in Wasilla from May 1996 – August 1998. The Palins were not members of that church then – they joined in 2002.

Pastor Kroon is an amazing and godly man. Both my life and Tyler’s life was forever changed as a result of sitting under his teaching for over two years. When we moved closer to Tyler’s job in 1998 we even contemplated still going to church there, but it was just too far for us to stay as involved as we were. I will say for the remaining 5 1/2 years we were in Alaska I regretted not being able to attend Wasilla Bible Church.

I can’t imagine the scrutiny Pastor Kroon is going to come under for having a belief that is not that of the mainstream media. This is the same man I watched suffer through his daughter’s liver disease, waiting for a donor liver. And when they did have a match, they missed the call. The cell phone wasn’t heard because at the moment the call came, the family was in the middle of an extremely loud school gymnasium celebrating that daughter’s basketball team winning the state championship. She did eventually get another liver, but the disappointment and shock was unbelievable. But, glory to God, she was able to go on and do this.

Maybe it’s the wimp in me, but I would feel HORRIBLE that people were being eaten alive by the media just because they know me. I grew up in a conservative fundamental Baptist church, so I do guilt really, really well – thankfully I’m getting much better. I know it takes all types to make up this world and I’m thankful there are people out there like Sarah Palin who are strong. Strong enough to know right from wrong and try to make a difference in the world. I’m just saying I could never do it. I’m waaaaaaaaaaaay, waaaaaaaaaaaaaay, waaaaaaaaaaaaaay emotional. One nasty reporter would probably send me over the edge. And if my family got attacked? It would be all over.

So I’ll just stick to my family and my 4th & 5th graders at church. I seem to have a pretty high approval rating from them.

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First Day of School, Costco, and Sarah Palin

The kiddos were actually happy this morning as we started school. Well, Austin didn’t like the shorts he had on so he wanted me to cut them out of the picture. And he wasn’t thrilled about the shirt, either. I can’t imagine the drama if he actually had to leave the house!

Since I’m the world’s best homeschool mom, I had been spending the last week simultaneously procrastinating getting ready and flat out dreading the school year to come. Mostly dreading this year because last year was so difficult. In October I had some serious personal issues come up that left me emotionally vacant. Then, just as I was starting to feel some sort of relief from that, my mom was diagnosed with cancer in late April. For almost a year, I haven’t been in the best place all the time. But this summer was wonderful and healing and I feel better than ever.

And I shouldn’t have dreaded everything so much. Today was actually quite great. I had to establish dominance over my he-man child early on in the morning and things went pretty good from there. In fact, the kids were extremely happy, very mellow and went over and above the call of duty at Costco.

Yes Costco. I thought it would be a great day to go. All the kids are in school and life would be back to normal. At an earlier stop before Costco I found out school starts tomorrow. So guess what the Costco parking lot looked like? Yeah, like the looters after Katrina. I almost left, but the kids needed food for tomorrow. They’ll be staying for lunch on Wednesdays when they take their classes.

So I’m losing my mind just trying to find a parking spot. After we’re parked my purse decided to fall over and spill. I was just bending over to pick it up and there’s a frantic knock on the car window. I look up and it’s my daughter. She just wanted to wave hello. Uh, had I not just seen her . . . . well . . . . there’s not even a term called “no loss of contact.” So I made a hasty wave and while still trying to scoop up my purse innards, the kids decide to start playing drums on the trunk of the car. Did I mention this is my pms week?

The kids were great in the store that I told them was, “a real, living hell.” They put only approved items in the cart, didn’t wander off and didn’t ask for anything. It was a tad difficult getting through Costco because Amber decided she needed to be standing right next to me, holding on to the cart at all times. The thing is, she doesn’t always pay attention to where I’m going. So not only do I have to push a heavy cart around, I have to lug her, too. She’s 10 1/2 and almost 5 feet tall – not always an easy task. But after I emptied the cart into the car she did take the cart back for me.

Okay, Sarah Palin. Here’s my two cents. Her daughter is neither the first nor the last 17 year old to get pregnant. Do I think it’s great? No. Do I think it’s any of my business? No. Do I think teenagers make great parents? Not always. Do I believe with everything I have that God is more than able to make this a great – although not painless – family experience? Yes. Do I think sex outside of marriage is wrong? Yes. Let’s just say this is how I see it: It takes the same blood of Jesus to forgive someone for sex outside of marriage as it takes to forgive someone else for having a prideful attitude that they weren’t having sex at 17.

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Surreal moment

I think as the election gets closer and closer, I will have more surreal moments.

The first today was seeing a Fox reporter live outside of Wasilla city hall. Both my dad and my mother–in-law worked in that building. My dad, years before Sarah. My mil, with Sarah when she was mayor.

The second was when I saw Faye Palin, Sarah’s mil (actually her fil’s second wife, not Todd’s mom), being interviewed on Fox. I was in my mom’s bedroom and I yelled to the living room where my dad was, “DAD!! TURN ON FOX . . . . . THEY’RE INTERVIEWING FAYE PALIN.” We knew the older Palins when they used to golf at a golf course my dad managed and I was the bookkeeper. I probably haven’t seen Faye since 1992 . . . . LOL.

Strange things, my friends, strange things.

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Can I get a S-C-R-E-A-M???

My dad calls me this morning at 8:30 a.m. I was happily oblivious to the world and he knew that – LOL. He then tells me McCain has chosen his running mate. Okay . . . . I kinda thought he was losing his marbles to call me about that. Then he tells me who it is . . . . . SARAH PALIN !!!! No one probably knows her, but I do. She’s the governor of Alaska. And she happens to be from the same 9,000 person town that I’m from and that Obama’s campaign is making fun of now.

Un-be-liev-uh-bull. Even more crazy? Her younger sister, Molly, went to high school with me. Then we worked at now defunct MarkAir airlines together. THEN she was my kid’s dental hygienist until we left Alaska. Wild my friends, truly wild. OH! And when my mother-in-law worked for the city of Wasilla, Sarah was the mayor and was Betty’s boss. Betty even has her autograph on a goodbye gift. And my dad was friends with Sarah’s in-laws, Jim and Faye Palin.
Okay, she’s going to walk out with McCain in Ohio in a few. Now they’re talking about how she was Miss Teen Wasilla and her dad took her moose hunting as a kid.

I’m kind of tearing up. Never in a million years would I think that anything could put Alaska in the national spotlight . . . . . unless it was oil. It will be sweet for me to watch the media chronicle a life that was very similar to mine (until she became mayor . . . . ). Oh yeah, and tear her apart from limb to limb. I won’t enjoy that.

You can bet for the very first time in my life I’ll be watching the republican convention and the vice presidential debates. I might even turn it into a viewing party!!! I’ll be praying for her, too. I wouldn’t want to go up against a seasoned politician like Biden. Now they’re saying Palin is the only one out of Obama, Biden, McCain that has actually run a government. Hee hee . . . .

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