Friday, May 30, 2008

Going Camping for the Weekend

The girls and I are heading out for the weekend. We're going camping with my brother and sister-in-law out at a place where we spent a lot of time growing up between camping and day trips.

Steven has to work this weekend, so he'll be home, enjoying the peace and quiet. After taking care of a client for 10+ years, that client is being handed off to another company this weekend and there are things that need to be done with that, as well as a new program his company is launching this week. So there is lots to be done.

The girls are excited and bouncing off the walls, continually asking when it is that we are leaving. They are so excited to be spending the entire weekend with their cousins.

I still have the car to load and the tent to get out, so my break is over and it's back to work for least for bit longer, and then it's fun in the sun and rest and relaxation. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Price of Gas

I've been watching the price of gas go up, and up, and up. We're talking .05 overnight!! This is a fairly nearby gas station about noon today. Thankfully I didn't need gas today. I drive around on fumes looking around to save .05 a gallon. LOL. What's your general area and how much are you paying for gas??

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Girls Bathing Suits

Girls bathing suits.

What's appropriate in your opinion??

One piece or two???

If two pieces, tankini, or bikini??

What are your thoughts?

Come out from lurking and share your opinion.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Look Who's in "Town" for the Summer!

One of my dreams is to someday take a Disney Cruise. Someday. Somehow. The Disney Magic pulled into the Los Angeles Port this last weekend after a 15 day sail from Florida through the Panama Canal. It'll remain here through the summer and return to Florida in August after completing twelve seven night cruises down into Mexico.

This isn't the first time The Disney Magic makes a Southern California appearance. It spent the summer months of 2005 here when Disneyland celebrated it's 50th anniversary.

Knowing how much I would love to see the ship, my wonderful husband drove me all the way to Long Beach just to see the docked ship. We saw it again a few weeks later when we were at the same port for the Tall Ships festival. Both times, we got to see the ship launch and sail out of port. And as people on the ship waved to us on land, me in my Disney sappiness teared up, wishing I too was on that ship, cruising off into the sunset, longing to experience all the magic that laid ahead for all those people in the week ahead of them.

And now, three years later, with the soaring price of gas, driving the distance just to see a docked ship is really out of the question.

There is a rumor about the Disney pages that there is a Disney Cruise ship in the works to permanently dock in Southern California. And if I remember correctly, there was word of it possibly doing Alaskan cruises. Now THAT would be two dream vacations wrapped into one amazing, unforgettable vacation!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

We spent our Memorial Day afternoon at the home of some friends from church. It was a huge BBQ with hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs, and tons and tons of side dishes. It was a great afternoon of fun and fellowship and good eats. The sun peeked out from behind the clouds for just a bit, and the disappeared for the remainder of the day. But not having sun didn't keep the kids from going into the heated pool off and on throughout the afternoon. And as the day went on, and the cloud covering gave way to cooler temps, we gathered around the fire pit. Who'd have thought that we Southern Californians would spend a part of Memorial Day huddled around a fire pit??? Definitely out of the ordinary for us.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Appreciation Gift

We were at a party this afternoon for a classmate of Hannah's. All of our kids have been together for the past three school years, and some of the parents have gotten to know each other really well over the years and we all enjoy hanging out and visiting. So Hannah wasn't the only one looking forward to seeing her friends (whom she's not seen for all of 48 hours), but I was also looking forward to seeing my friends as well.

One of the moms handed me a card and thanked me for all the work and creativity I put into being our class Room Mom. I tucked the card under my hands and thought I'd open it later, but she told me to open the card now. And inside the card expressing thanks and appreciation was a Target gift card!! And it was signed from "all the parents and kids of Miss Barrett's class".

I was so blessed and so blown away! I can't wait to go and use it on some things I've been wanting, but haven't wanted to spend the extra money, because of the increasing costs of gas and groceries, etc.

Friday, May 23, 2008

FOUND!!: "Cheap" Gas

I had to run an errand this afternoon and along the way I discovered a gas station with "cheap" gas. Cheap gas being ONLY $3.83 a gallon instead of the $3.98 a gallon we're mostly seeing in this area. It's amazing. People lining up for gas when it's $3.83.I wish I could say I took this picture. But the picture I would have taken would have shown wet streets and pouring down rain. It's Memorial Day Weekend in So. Cal and it's raining!! Go Figure.

"We're Not In Kansas..."

We're not in Kansas, so what's up with the tornadoes and tornado warnings here in the Inland Empire!?!?

It's so hard to believe that at the start of the week, we were melting away with a heat wave where we saw triple digits nearly every day for five days. And now, just days after that last hottest day, we see rain, hail, snow, and even a few twisters! While we missed the weird weather here at home because we were enduring the rain at Disneyland, the weather is just plain weird, even this morning.

It's Memorial Day Weekend, the first big hurrah weekend of the long summer ahead of us. And rather than deciding what cute sundress or shorts the girls will be wearing today, I'm wondering why it is that I put away all the winter clothes!?!? Oh yeah, because it's so unusual to have a high of only in the 60's in the month of May, in Southern California.

We are suppose to go to a pool birthday party on Saturday. And with more rain forecasted and thunder and lightening also in the mix, I know the birthday mom is stressing out, big time! I know, because she's emailed me for creative ideas to use because it looks like using the pool, will be out of the question...

"Unusual weather we're having, ain't it?"
~ Cowardly Lion ~

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Last Day of School

The day is here. It's the last day of school for Hannah. The LAST day of second grade.

Where has the last school year gone, I don't know.

I'm really sad about this school year ending for some reason. Is it the fact that my baby is getting bigger?? Or the fact I'm getting old?? LOL.

Is it the not knowing what the new school schedule holds for us?? Will our class that's been together the last three years all be broken up, the kids split amongst four different classes??

Or is it simply because we're saying goodbye to the best teacher Hannah has had thus far in her schooling???

It's a combination of all of them, but I think most of all, it'll be hard to say goodbye to her teacher.

And sitting here on the computer, blogging, catching up on my sites, isn't going to make it not happen, it's just going to make us late. LOL. Time to go wake up Hannah and shot those famous words of Nemo's Dad, "Last Day of School!!!!"

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Change in the Weather

Praise the Lord for cool weather!

We are currently experiencing a break in our heat wave here in Southern California and it's so welcomed. In the last week we've seen temps well above 95 and even into the 100's, today's high is only suppose to get to 75 with a cloud covering. It's such a nice change from the past week. It's also going to make Hannah's year end class picnic much more enjoyable!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Speaking of Control

Hello. My name is Darcy, and I am a control freak.

Truth be told, one of the reasons I volunteered the very first year to be Room Mom was so that I would have some control over some of the holiday things. As a Christian, there are things I don't like about some of the holidays. Halloween, it's the ghosts, ghouls, and wickedness that surrounds the holiday. For Christmas, it's Santa Claus. For Easter, it's the Easter Bunny. As Room Mom, I am able to seek out volunteers to provide things for parties, or take care of them myself. And when it comes to paper goods, I usually take that duty on so that I can go with the Fall theme for Halloween, a snowman theme for Christmas, and with Spring colors for Easter. LOL. See, control freak.

At preschool, I am one of two moms who are the Room Moms for Rachel's class. We work together as a team and it has worked out well for the last year until this week. For the past five days I've been trying to get a hold of her so we can firm up plans for the year end picnic. She had previously asked another mom about having our picnic at her house. So not only did I need to firm up plans with my Co-Room Mom, but we had to then had to run things by the host mom. If I had just been the sole Room Mom, I could have not wasted all these days and energy attempting to get ahold of the other Mom. I could have wrote the letters and got the information out all on my own. When you're the sole Room Mom, the only person you have to run things by and have contact with is the teacher, which is pretty easy, especially with Hannah's teacher.

Another example of my control freakiness, if an outing is planned with friends and her kids, I love to load everyone up in my van and drive. Why?? Because I know where the ins and the outs are for the carpool lanes, I know whereabouts I should attempt to get out, and finally, I can better handle the noise from all the kids when it's within the compounds of my own car. I'm not saying I can tone it all out, and that it doesn't bother me, I just can handle it better. See, control freak I tell you.

I realize now, after having written this post, I perhaps shouldn't have shared how much of a control freak I am. There are some reading this that now know the next time I suggest we go in my car, it's because of my need to be in control. And I apologize for that. LOL.

Busy Days

I'm still here. I didn't abandon my new blog. I haven't melted in the heat wave, at least not yet anyways.

It's the end of the school year for both the girls, which mean busy times for a Room Mom. Have I mentioned before that not only am I the Room Mom for Hannah's class, but I am also the Room Mom for Rachel's preschool class?!?! Yeah, I know I'm crazy. Bit of a control freak to be perfectly honest, but I'll save that for another post.

So tomorrow is Hannah's end of the year class picnic/party. I've been planning and preparing for it for the last three weeks. And it all comes down to these final days of gathering donations, putting together prize bags for the games, and making sure I have everything I might possibly need in my boxes. I've also been finishing up the teacher's gift.

As if Hannah's year end festivities haven't been keeping me busy, myself and the assistant Room Mom for Rachel's class finally connected today and made the final plans for their class picnic party on the 5th. It was a busy morning writing a letter home detailing the party, other year end details, and then getting them into the preschoolers cubbies before pick up time. On the phone with other moms, answering emails in regards to the party tomorrow, etc, etc, etc.

See, I told you I've been busy.

I have a lot of thoughts and potential blog posts floating around inside my head (anyone else do that?!?!), so don't give up on me. Keep checking back.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Heat Wave

>We are entering our 4th day of triple digits here in Southern California. It's been extremely hot an unpleasant. We were suppose to go to Disneyland this afternoon following church, but we decided not to because of the extreme heat. When it's 110 here, that means it's still at least 90 at The Happiest Place on Earth. And truth be told, if it's THAT hot there, it's not a good day to go.

This morning, I've been trying to think of something I can make for dinner that doesn't require turning on the oven. I'm thinking it's time to fire up the good ole BBQ! Here's to keeping cool on this fine May Sunday!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

My Camera

A few weeks ago when we were at the Airshow, I noticed my camera was acting up. The button that you push to take the pictures isn't working correctly.

Later that week, I researched local camera shops and took it my camera to one to be checked out. The guy said it'd cost half the price of a new camera to fix it. I was disappointed and left, surely thinking he was wrong. I've continued to use my camera, but it's frustrating.

Today, on our way home from the movies, we stopped off at another camera shop (I always have my camera with me), and that guy also said it'd be over $100 to fix it. The guy said I could leave it for an official quote on a repair, but I have too many functions this week. So I'll have to take it back some other time. So, I guess the guy at the first camera shop wasn't too far off.

I have a lot of things coming up that I NEED my camera. This week is Hannah's last week of school with a picnic on Wednesday. Rachel is celebrating her unbirthday next week at preschool. Hannah is off track and we'll be doing things. And then we're going camping in Mammoth in about 4 weeks, whereas last year, I took close to 500 pictures in just four days. See, I need my camera!!!
Or a new camera. LOL.

Anyone have an extra Canon Powershot 620 just laying around?? Needing a new home??? Perhaps I should try playing the lottery.

Spring has Sprung!

While the temperatures outside resemble more like that of Summer, Spring has Sprung! As I was outside the other day, hosing off the patio, watering plants, I couldn't figure out why there was bird poop in this particular spot on the patio. There was no place above for birds to perch...And then I discovered it. Despite all my efforts of stuffing white paper towels up into the spaces of our new patio covering to avoid a poopy mess like last years nest, the birds had built a nest atop of the paper towels. And there were already three little baby birds hatched and looking out. Steven says I provided the extra comfort for the nest with the paper towels. I'm thinking about how much easier the clean up will be with the paper towels there. LOL. The little birds are so cute and the girls have been checking on them daily. This morning, looking out the patio sliding door, the girls discovered that one of the birds had fallen from the nest. For a good hour, the girls were concerned about it's safety and well being. The girls already having a shoebox prepared with a bed of paper towels convinced Daddy to pick up the bird and put him in the safety of the box, which is where he is currently resting, while Daddy researches the internet to see if birds this young can eat bird seed, or if he'll have to go on a worm hunt.

Edited to Add - After researching baby birds online, Steven discovered that despite being too small to fly away just yet, the baby bird is still in the stage where the mommy bird will still care for it. Which means we won't need to go on a worm hunt this fine Saturday morning.

Friday, May 16, 2008

25th Anniversary of Thriller

The other night on Dancing with the Stars, there was a special tribute for the 25th anniversary of Micheal Jackson's Thriller.

Twenty Five years! I was nine years old, and I remember hearing the song, Thriller for the first time. It was at a slumber party. The song was played, and the lights were off, and I didn't sleep the rest of the night. LOL. That album eventually became a favorite of mine. To this day, I love the upbeat and tempo of a lot of those songs.

Steven says he remembered sitting in his mother's car listening to Thriller over and over and over again while his Mom was inside a convalescent home visiting a family friend. LOL.

Do you have memories surrounding the album, Thriller???

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Going on a Field Trip

I am accompanying Hannah's class this morning on their field trip to the nearby Art Museum. I am one of four lucky parents to have gotten a seat on the school bus. LOL.

It should be interesting, and fun at the same time. I know after this mornings adventure, I'll have a whole new appreciation for school bus drivers. LOL.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Starting to Plan...

It won't be long now and we'll be heading off into the hills, on a five hour drive to the Mammoth Lakes area to camp for five days. We're going to the same campground as we did last year, however, this year, my parents are having a trailer pulled into a campsite for them and will be staying a the campground rather than at a nearby condo. There is also some extended family planning to join us this year as well. It'll be a fun time.

At any rate, as the school year for Hannah is winding down (her last day is a week from tomorrow!!!), and Rachel's school year is coming to a close as well, I am starting to think about and plan meals, etc.

I'm always looking for new ideas when it comes to camp cooking, so if you have some ideas, and wouldn't mind sharing them, won't you please share them with me. :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Utilizing the Day Old Bread Stores

In recent months, I've really been utilizing the local day old bread store, the Oroweat and Thomas' bread store to be specific. It's an added bonus that it is also the Entenmann's outlet as well.

We have a Hostess/Wonder Outlet about a mile or two from home, but we don't eat Wonder bread products, and let's just say having access to the discount Hostess stuff was not good! We were always coming home with excess amounts of Twinkies, D*ng D*ngs, and Zingers, all for the sake of "Hannah's lunches". Ummm, yeah right.

With the prices of groceries consistently on the rise, you would be amazed at the savings when shopping at the bread outlets. For example for every $6 you spend, you get to pick something free. Usually it's a bread item, and then sometimes it's an Entenmann's product. They also offer a punch card, whereas once your card is filled, you get another item for free. If you go on Tuesdays or Thursdays, it's double punch day! Wahoo!! Today I came home with three free items.

Sometimes we can't always use all that bread when I get so many things free. So sometimes, I throw it into the back of the van and we venture to the local park and feed the ducks!

After regularly shopping the bread outlet now for the past four to five months, it kills me to have to buy bread at full price when I know I can get it a lot cheaper, usually at least 50% cheaper at the bread store.

If you have a bread outlet near you, and haven't been utilizing it, I highly suggest you try it! You'll be amazed at the savings!

Ingredients of a Godly Mother...

1. Requires a teaspoon of fear, but a ton of faith. (Luke1:26-34)

2. Requires a teaspoon of honor, but a ton of humility. (Luke 1:45-52)

3. Requires a teaspoon of panic, but a ton of peace. (Luke 2:41-51)

4. Requires a teaspoon of pride, but a ton a patience. (John 2)

5. Requires a teaspoon of tears, but a ton of trust. (John 19:25-27)

** Points taken from our Mother's Day sermon

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Bewitching Hour

What is the Bewitching Hour you might ask??

When I looked up 'witching hour', Wikipedia defines it as "the time when supernatural creatures such as witches, demons, and ghosts are thought to be at their most powerful".

While I don't like the talk of the supernatural creatures such as demons, witches, and ghosts, I'm telling you there are a few hours between the time Hannah gets home from school and dinner time, my children are at their most misbehaving time of the day.

Hannah is home from school and has homework to do and has to read. Rachel has missed her sister all day and wants to play with her. Mommy is thinking about, preparing, and getting dinner started. And for some reason, while it may look like he's just playing on the computer, the girls seem to forget that Daddy is actually working and proceed to come into the office numerous amount of times.

And this is where I long for Calgon.

The hours between 3:00 and 5:00 are tough ones for me.

Do you have any "tough" hours of the day where your children are at their absolute worst?!?!?!

Monday, Monday

Another weekend has come and gone, and so quickly I might add.

On Saturday, we did absolutely nothing all day long. It was so nice! Steven and Hannah played Pirates online game for nearly five hours, yes I said five hours. And I lounged about on the couch, watching chick flick movies. It wasn't until the late afternoon that we got ourselves presentable and met my parents for dinner. And then we went back to their house to show Gramma the pirates game and get her hooked up to play.

Sunday morning we were up and out of the house early. Not only was it church, but we ere having a continental type breakfast buffet at church in honor of the Moms. I arrived shortly after seven to help with the set up. The table turned out so beautiful. Steven's mom met us at church and attended church with us and spent the remainder of the day with us. Following the break down of the buffet table, and Steven breaking down church, we made our way to Orange County, to Medieval Times to be exact. We met up the entire side of my Dad's family, there were 20 of us. My Aunt Sandy treated the entire family, as well as the extended family of mothers, such as Steven's Mom, and Grace's Mom, to the mid afternoon dinner and show. It was a lot of fun, and the food was good too! We came home and settled in and thanks to our TiVo and East Coast Stations, we were able to watch the Survivor Season Finale much, much earlier than those having to watch it on the West Coast Stations. Let's just say that we knew the winner before the West Coast premiere had even begun. Oh how much fun it is to call and tantalize those just beginning the show and have three long hours ahead of them! LOL. You should have come and joined us! :)

This week holds a lot. With only nine school days left, I'm in the final stages of finishing up plans for the class picnic next week, and I am accompanying Hannah's class on their field trip this Thursday. Then there is Open House at the preschool that same night. Friday night is a BIG Night for my brother's band, they are playing at an outdoor amphitheater that is beside a lake! It's going to be so cool! Saturday is a baby shower for someone at our church, Prince Caspian is opening this weekend and that'll be a must see, and perhaps a trip to Disneyland on Sunday after church is in the works with family!

Another busy week, that's for sure!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Breakfast Love Puffs

Saturday mornings are a lot different from any other morning of the week. During the week, we're rushing to get out the door to school (although not much longer!) and on Sunday's, Steven is out the door by 7:00 to go set up for church. So Saturday mornings, I usually try to make a different breakfast of some sort, whether it be a breakfast casserole, homemade carmel rolls, or muffins. I found this recipe this week and made these this morning. They were light and very yummy.

1/3 cup shortening
1 cup sugar, divided
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, melted

In a small mixing bowl, beat shortening, 1/2 cup sugar and egg until smooth. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg; add to the sugar mixture alternately with milk.

Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Meanwhile, combine cinnamon and remaining sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll the warm puffs in butter, then in cinnamon-sugar. Serve immediately.

Back from the Mechanic

After being without my van for four days, my van was finished with all it's repairs, and we were able to pick it up last night from the mechanic.

For months and months there's been this moan, a really annoying moan. Turns out my power steering needed to be flushed and cleaned. The 'idiot light', aka check engine light has been on for months as well, we knew it was some sort of an emissions leak, once investigated, it was a pipe that was kinked and cracked, that was repaired, as was my front brakes. It's so nice to have my van back, and just in time for the weekend.

For the last four days, I've been driving the PT Cruiser to get the girls to and from school. While it's a fun little car, it is a stick shift and is a lot of work. I kept hearing the whispers of my Dad saying "Don't ride the clutch" in between every shifting of the gears. When I was first driving, my Dad had a Honda Accord that was a stick, and with every chance I got, I drove that thing. And because of my riding the clutch, it had to be replaced several times though the remainder of the years we had it.

So both of our cars have been in to the mechanic over the course of the last month with pretty pricey bills. Thank goodness the Lord provided for the repairs in the form of the stimulus check. We officially have $10.28 left!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Anniversary to our House!

Today marks 10 years since we moved into this house!When we moved into this house, it was brand new. It had no grass in the front yard, or the back yard. The carpet was perfect, without stains, without spots. The linoleum floors were pristine, no dents, no mars. The paint on the walls was fresh. Most of the rooms were empty, bare. And now, ten years later, we've got grass, we presently have gophers too! We have a beautiful patio and patio covering. The carpet, well, it's in need of replacing. The walls need painting. And the linoleum in the kitchen, it has more dents and mars than a beat up old pick up. LOL. And now, every room is filled with furniture. Filled with belongings.

Filled with lots of memories...

Heading into Mother's Day Weekend...

It's Friday and we are on the brink of Mother's Day weekend.

I have mixed feelings when it comes to Mother's Day. While I like acknowledging my own mother and all she's done as a mom, and while I like feeling like a queen for the day, what I don't like are the mushy poems, the mushy cards, when they are given to me. Any other holiday, I enjoy them. But for Mother's Day, truth be told, I don't feel worthy of all the mush and beautiful poetry. I don't measure up to what they are expressing.

Any other mother's feel that way??

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Accident on the Freeway

This afternoon, on our way home from errands, the freeway came to a slow crawl, due to an accident. It must have just happen because the ambulance and the firetrucks both passed us as we came to a stop on the freeway. We continued to crawl until we passed right by the scene of the accident.

It was an SUV on it's side.

A fireman was crawling through the back window to get to the trapped passengers.

And I saw one firemen lifting out a car seat with a child still strapped in it.

I was overcome with emotions as I saw that. Immediately I said we needed to pray. And it's a good thing the Lord can understand mumbo jumbo cause between being shaken by what I had just seen, and trying to concentrate on shifting the car into gear, I was having a hard time praying and making sense.

As I continued towards home I thought about that accident scene. Was it a mother on her way home from school?? From errands like us?? Heading to a child's sport practice?? What distracted her?? Was it one of her kids?? Was it another driver?? Was it her cell phone??

I thought about how easily we could end up like that overturned SUV. As a mom who drives her kids to and from school and here and there, there are many, many times I am a distracted driver. Distracted by the girls fighting in the backseat. Distracted by the noise and commotion. Picking up what's dropped and handing it back to Rachel, etc. On occasion, the ringing cell phone, etc. There's always a distraction of some sort.

I'm so thankful that the Lord always has His hedge of protection around our car in the midst of distracted driving. But this evening, the people in that SUV are in my thoughts and prayers...

My New Home

So this is my new home. This is where I'll be posting my thoughts, events, adventures, etc, etc. Check back often!


Hello. Is there anybody out there?? I've neglected my blogs for so long, I'm sure I'm just talking to myself. Which is fine. T...