The life of a WAHM, scrapbooker and Disneyland geek. Welcome to my crazy life!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar: Billabong-inspired Tee

I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar: Billabong-inspired Tee

Love this T-shirt make-over. Will be making it for my nephew soon!!! You've always got good ideas, keep them coming...PLEASE!!! Great way to upcycle an ol shirt (hubby's)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I didn't die

I've just been busy but I'm making a commitment to get back to my online blogging. I may use my new URL as a personal and recycling/ upcycling/ crafty blog..... we'll see.... Check me out over there as well.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Eat Well While Spending Less

Day one in my eat well while spending less challenge. I've been trying to improve my diet so I can take off some weight. However, I haven't really been trying to get in all the fruits and veggies I ought to. I also haven't been making myself stick to a predetermined budget. I am challenging myself to change our menu to eat better and try to eat for less. This site is going to be the basic menu plan but I will plug in changes where needed for my family.

Monday, February 11, 2008

CHA 2008

Went to CHA today to have a look around. I love that we have the show in Anaheim for 7 (I think maybe 8) more years! I helped out at the Petaloo class. Then took a look at all the great products that are being released at the show.

Petaloo has some GORGEOUS new flowers out. Lots of cool designs and lots of cool colors. Thanks to Tabea and Jeff for letting me give you some sneak peeks of the cool flowers.

For the perfect end of my day I asked Tim Holtz to pose for a picture with me. He is such an unbelieveably talented guy and very sweet to take out time to pose with me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- The Epiloge

It took me 2 days to get through the entire book. No, I'm not going to reveal what happens. Yes, it was a great book. Which one is my favorite? I'm not sure but this last one has to be right at the top of the list.

So what's next? I think "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. Time for some serious reading before the summer is over. We will see though, I might just browse through the book section of the new Super Target and pick up one more fictional romance before I get too serious. There will be time for serious when school starts..... I can't believe that this year I'm counting down the days before school starts for both Drew and I.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Happy 90th Birthday

Saturday we attended a 90th birthday party for my grandfather.

Drew read the latest Harry Potter book from start to finish. Now it is my turn to read but I have a feeling it will take me more than one day to get done.

Mark seems to have a talent for catching me with an odd expression on my face.

The kids amused themselves watching the water ripple across the pool. All in all it was a perfect summer day.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Before and After

Before starting my fitness program-

Currently I'm working out an hour a day 6 days a week and really watching my calories closely. I've still got a long way to go but I'm pleased with the progress.

Guard Start

Today was Drew's first day of Guard Start. It is a pre-lifeguard training class. In addition to the class the kids have to work as a volunteer for 4 weeks at the pool. It was more work that Drew thought it would be but I think he'll enjoy it after he gets used to the time in the water.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The haircut

This is Drew about 2AM Monday morning as he left for camp. I can't believe how mature he looks with this haircut. Where did my baby boy go?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The calm before the storm

After 13 years with a child in the house I forgot how quiet it can be and how good it feels to have a good book to read in the quiet. This summer I've zipped through 6 or 7 romance novels and have enjoyed every minute of it. I've got a couple more to breeze through before the new Harry Potter book comes out on July 21.

I have everything done except fingerprinting so I guess I'm ready to go back to work/ school. I'm enjoying this week of rest before we launch into more preparations for Drew to start back. Starting Monday Drew will be in Guard Start, a pre-Lifeguard training class. Two weeks of that and he'll be back to school. I really love this school schedule. I get to enjoy the vacation time with Drew and he doesn't get completely bored each summer waiting for school to start. Mark and I did the bulk of the back-to-school uniform shopping while Drew was gone this week. Drew will be so excited that he can wear black clothes (uniforms) at the new school. Drew will be so happy that he doesn't have to go shopping for uniforms. He might even find himself liking uniforms if he isn't careful.

I signed up for a quilting class today. I'm debating though. Do I really want to take quilting or start working on the costume projects I have planned? I ought to get Mark's pirate shirt cut out and then decide if I really need to take the quilting class now or if I should wait a few weeks. I got Simplicity 3758 to make some shirts for Mark (and I.) See it here.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

It's the little things

Even my feet are shrinking. I am thrilled by the fact that my feet are now medium width instead of wide. I can't wait to go shoe shopping.

I worked on the 3rd and 4th of July selling fireworks. I had a great time helping out the local Boys and Girls Club by working as a volunteer in their booth for a few hours each day.

I shocked my 13 year old son by being able to fit into one of his new shirts.

I kicked up my work outs and started counting calories (to some degree) and dropped 4 pounds this week. I'm so glad to see the numbers on that scale finally changing.

I started water aerobics and I have been really enjoying it. So now I'm working out for an hour 6 days a week. 5K on the treadmill 3 days a week and water aerobics the other 3, then just a 30 minute walk on Sundays.

I took 2 tests last week and aced them both. Why didn't I mention this last week? I just got my test results back this week for one of the tests.

My 13 year old is getting ready to leave for a week at Scout camp. He leaves in less than 2 hours. This is his first sleep away camp so I'm a little excited and a little nervous. He got his hair cut so he wouldn't roast a camp. I can't believe how mature he is starting to look.

I started shopping for uniforms for my son to go back to school. It isn't that I'm excited for him to go back to school, but I'm glad to get at least some of the shopping done and out of the way. When Drew goes back to school, I'm hoping to head back to work (at a regular 9 to 5 type job.)

Almost nothing in my closet fits me anymore. It is time to get my sewing machine out and do some work on the clothes that I really love.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Caffeine free and insulin free

I stopped drinking decaffeinated drinks about 2 weeks ago. It wasn't intentional, I just ended up shopping when that was all that was on the shelf. After I suffered through a few days of nasty headaches, I decided that I wasn't going back to drinking caffeine on a regular basis. I've been drinking a lot more water; it's good for me, right?

When I started working out 3 months ago my insulin needs dropped dramatically. I went from taking 40+ units a day to taking 20 units day. Things remained stable until about a week ago, when my blood sugars started crashing in the early AM hours. I started lowering my insulin dose more and more until I was taking just a few units a day. Today when I saw the Dr. I asked if she wanted me to just go off the insulin or switch to oral meds for a few weeks. I got a prescription for Metformin and Saturday will be my first day totally insulin free. The doctor says that this med should boost my weight loss as well. That's fine with me. I've lost 16 pounds in the last 3 months according to the MD's scale. She's really happy with the 16 pounds but I'd really like to get this weight off faster.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Birthday Party

Saturday was Aidan's 5th birthday party. I always enjoy getting together with my family. Here are the Keesee women- my mom, my sisters Tabea and Dessa. The cousins are all in this pic.

The kids had a great time with a pinata and a bounce house.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Can it really be summer again?

I took a break from blogging; I find it hard to believe that an entire year has gone by. What's new with my family?

Drew finished up the school year with a couple of awards.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I finished 6th grade, I'm going to Disneyland!

My son finished school June 8 so we took off June 9 bright and early to enjoy a day at Disneyland. We arrived just as the park opened and started off for Tomorrowland.

I'm not a very good shot so you can see that I've ridden this ride way too many times!!! I love that you can get these free pictures mailed to your home email address and print them out at home. I like that they show your score while on the ride to.

We took a trip on Star Tours and Space Mountian. The next stop was for the boys to turn in their VMK quests. The kiosk outside was not manned so we dashed into Innoventions to find the indoor VMK kiosk. I'm not sure if this was simply because it was a busy day or if this change will be permanent for the hot summer months. The inside of Innoventions is much cooler for the Cast Members, that is for sure! After getting some new VMK cards the boys couldn't resist spending some time playing VMK.

Next they visited with Stitch. We love this attraction that is located in the Innoventions building. This is a picture I took of Stitch but they also give you a photo that you can download and print at home. For some reason Blogger doesn't want to upload the picture or I'd post it here for you.

After Innoventions we rode Autopia, ate lunch, rode the Matterhorn, Big Thunder Railroad, Haunted Manstion, Splash Mountain, we piloted the Mark Twain, went to Tom Sawyer's Island, Indiana Jones, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, Gadget's Go Coaster, Another go round on Roger Rabbit and finally ended up with Space Mountain. Whew! What a day it was!!!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Disneyland don't forget these things

My Disneyland Checklist

Hats (for a hot sunny day this is REALLY helpful)
Jackets for the evening
Camera (extra batteries if needed)
Passes and lanyard
Debit card
Frozen bottles of water
Motorola 2 way radios
Snacks- granola bars, crackers with peanut butter filling, Pringles
Bag of pennies and quarters for smashed pennies

As you enter the park be sure to get a map and the schedule of shows.

The show schedule lets you know what time the shows are and also gives the times when characters are available for photos.

Another tip is to go to the Disneyland website and get their calendar before you go. That way you can create a tentative plan for your day.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Disneyland if you have to use a wheelchair this summer

Are you heading out to Disneyland this summer? Have to use a wheelchair for some reason? Read this for helpful hints.

Main Street USA
Disneyland Railroad- you can stay in the Wheelchair- EXCEPT at Main Street Station! You cannot get on or off at Main Street with a W/C unless you are able to drag it up and down the steps and get in and out of it. Probably not a good idea!! However I don't consider it a ride as much as a resting place or a short cut from one area to another.
The first 50 years attraction- This is in the Area where Mr. Lincoln usually is. This is great for a shady air conditioned rest.
Any of the restaurants on Main Street are good for a sit down and rest.
Plaza Inn- They have good food, indoor seating but a little tough to navigate with a wheelchair (be warned!!)
Best restroom- towards the rear of Carnation Café there is a great little handicapped restroom. Rarely is there anyone in there unlike the ones near the main gate.

Tiki Room- shady and air conditioned a great place to take a break (full Wheelchair access)
Near the Bengal Barbeque there is some nice shady seating plus room for wheelchairs.
If it is re-opened the Aladdin story telling is nice. This isn't the Aladdin show but you basically sit there and they tell the story of Aladdin and have the kids participate.
Best restroom- there isn’t a really good one but the one unless you can access the one in Aladdin’s Oasis (they are only open during the show.) The ones at the entrance of the land are OK but usually crowded.

New Orleans Square
Pirates will be open again soon and it is *almost* like taking a rest!! Nice and cool and fairly wheelchair friendly. This is one of the rides which can take MUCH longer in the WC access line, so if you can walk in definitely walk in!!!
The Disney Gallery- they have an elevator if you cannot take the stairs ask a Cast Member to help you find the way.
Royal Street Veranda- shady area near the restaurant but there are a number of shady areas in this part of the park
Best Restrooms- near New Orleans Square Depot. These are popular rest rooms and can be crowded but they are the only ones you can access unless you eat at the Blue Bayou.

Critter Country- it is a little bit of a hike getting in and out of this area when you are pushing an adult in a W/C, if we are really tired we usually skip it.
Winnie the Pooh is one of the 3 rides that can take a wheelchair as is (the person can stay in the W/C.) The others are Small World and Buzz Lightyear (and Cars in CA Adventure.)
Best Restrooms- and only ones are in the Hungry Bear Restaurant. They are nice and large but can be tricky to get to in a wheelchair (restrooms are on the first floor and eating is upstairs.) Once you figure out how to get there you are good!

Do not go to Tom Sawyer's Island with a W/C unless you just want to sit in the shade while the kids chase around. We give my son a walkie talkie and let him roam around. But all-in-all the island is not a good place for Wheelchairs.
Mark Twain Riverboat- shady if you stay on the first floor and very relaxing. Also if your children are some of the first ones on the boat and w/c are usually the first passengers onboard, ask if the kids can pilot the boat. It is a great photo opportunity.
Golden Horseshoe Stage- nice break from the heat and sun
Rancho del Zocalo- great Mexican food and lots of shady places to sit.
Best Restrooms- Big Thunder BBQ or try the ones next to the Rancho del Zocalo restaurant. No one seems to realize the restrooms and a shortcut to Fantasyland are tucked back behind the restaurant.

ToonTown- not much shade plus the downhill and uphill pushing to get a WC in. We don't go there if we are tired.
Chip and Dale Treehouse has a little bit of shade but all in all there isn’t much shade in this part of the park because it is newer.
They do have 2 play areas for the kids which might have shade but rarely have someplace to sit for the people who aren’t in wheelchairs!
Best Restrooms- the only ones are Goofy’s Gas Station but they can be really crowded and they are small. Avoid the rest rooms here if possible with a wheelchair.

Fantasyland- there isn’t much shade in Fantasyland
Village Haus Restaurant has seating and shade
At the front of the castle near the Plaza Gardens stage there is a bit of shade. This isn’t too far from where the princess’s photography meet and greet area.
There is a small amount of shade in the area around the Mad Tea Party Tea Cups.
Best Restrooms to the left of Small World (before you enter ToonTown.)

Honey I shrunk the audience (show)- if you are hot and tired this makes a GREAT place to take a break!!!! The person in a W/C can stay inside the W/C for the show. Air conditioning is wonderful and the show is cute.
Buzz Lightyear is also shady and cool and takes the person on the ride in their wheelchair if they want to stay inside; this is great at the end of the day if you are getting tired. Be sure to stop at the computer stations at the exit of the ride to send your free Buzz photo home to your email address or send it to friends as well. There is usually a small line but it is worth it!
Innoventions- really FUN place to go for shade and air conditioning. They have an interactive Stitch area that is AWESOME if your kids are the right age to enjoy it. I thought it was really cool technology! J Be sure to check in there (on the second floor) first as sometimes you have to get reservations for later. The kids can play all sorts of Disney video games while you take it easy and there is some seating so this makes a decent place to take a break.
The area near the exit of Space Mountain where the bathrooms are located is a great shady cool place to rest a bit. There are benches for seating and a water fountain as well. If you ride Space Mountain in a Wheelchair this is where you get in line (at the exit of the ride.) The line to ride can be longer for people in wheelchairs. Get a Fast Pass if you can and hit it later without a big wait.
Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port- good Italian food, big portions (most are at the park.) Also there is a good amount of inside seating.
Best Rest Rooms are the ones at the exit of Space Mountain.

OK, those are my hints and tips for summer at Disneyland in a wheelchair or if your health isn't 100%.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Pirates are Coming!

A Pirate'S Life For Me (Yo Ho)

"Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We pillage plunder, we rifle and loot.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.

We extort and pilfer, we filch and sack.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
Maraud and embezzle and even highjack.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.

We kindle and char and in flame and ignite.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
We burn up the city, we're really a fright.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
We're rascals and scoundrels, we're villians and knaves.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
We're devils and black sheep, we're really bad eggs.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
We're beggars and blighters and ne'er do-well cads,
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
Aye, but we're loved by our mommies and dads,
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me. "
Words by Xavier Atencio

The excitement builds more each day as we approach the re-opening of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and the opening of the movie "Dead Man's Chest." Click here for a history of the ride, a movie trailer and a (coming soon) pirate game. The entire area surrounding the Pirates ride is undergoing a refurbishment and will reopen around the time of the movie release. We are among the Disneyland fans that are looking forward to seeing Captain Jack Sparrow integrated into the ride. As soon as I get word that the ride is reopened I will take pictures for my scrapbooks and for the blog. (Sounds like we have 2-3 weeks to wait.)

Here are some Disney font sites

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A day at Disneyland is serious business

It isn’t just for kids. Disneyland is for adults too. To have a good trip to Disneyland you have to do your homework. What? You don’t do any research before you go to the park? Oh my, well, let me tell you how to plan a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth.

First, check the Disneyland website calendar page. This will tell you the hours the parks are open, what fireworks,shows and parades are scheduled and what rides are closed for refurbishments. When the calendar shows an early closing time for Disneyland it means that they do not expect a large crowd (or in May and June in can mean there is a Grad Night event.)
You may want to check ticket prices while you are on the Disney website also. It is really important to buy your tickets before you arrive the day of your visit. It gives you one less line that you will have to wait in.

Get to the park before the gates open. REALLY! The Mickey and Friends parking structure opens one hour before the park on most days. Try and get there when the parking structure opens and then board the tram for your ride to the park. If you already have tickets you have the option of heading over neard the Disneyland hotel and boarding the monorail to enter the Disneyland park. If you are at the gates 15 to 30 minutes before the park opens this is a good thing!

As you enter the park be sure to grab a Map and show scedule(or maybe 2) for your stay. The map shows where everything is. The show scedule tells you about the shows and parades and lists where Character picture opportunities are. These 2 tri-fold brochures are available at the gate as you enter or you can zoom over the Guest relations where they have a supply of them hanging on the wall. If you don’t heed my advice or lose your guides you can ask any of the many maintenance people for a new one.

Have you piloted the Mark Twain, sat in the tender (front) of the Disney Railroad train as it circles the park, enjoyed the view from the front Monorail car while you talked to the engineer? You haven’t? You better subscribe to my blog and stick around while I share the things I’ve learned by being a total Disneyland nerd.

This is a picture taken in the Autopia Golden Ride vehicle. These vehicles are at the park for Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary and may be leaving soon- that is a secret I don’t know.

Disneyland hints and tips

I have lived in Southern California almost all of my life. One of the things I love about living here is being able to visit "The Happiest Place on Earth." Even if you've visited the parks you may find some hints and tips to make your next visit more magical.

Before you visit the park you may want to check out the dining menus. You can do that at the MousePlanet website. They list the menus for both parks, Downtown Disney and the hotels. They also have info for special diets.

Do you want to know the best times to visit the park? Visit Disneyland Attendance Center for an overview on the crowds. Also you will want to know with days have Early Entry if you will be visiting and will not be using this feature. If you visit on a day with Early Entry the people who have the option wil be there an hour ahead of you and there will already be lines in FantasyLand. So plan accordingly if you visit on one of these days but get in at the regular time.

Fast Pass (FP from here on out) at the DLR is a wonderful thing!!! My first thought about FP was that it was silly. Why would I walk to a ride, get a ticket then have to leave for a few hours just to come back and wait in line again? I knew that the FP line was supposed to be shorter but it was all the crossing the park back and forth that didn’t make sense to me. And what if you missed your time “window” printed on the ticket? Then you wasted your time the first go round.

Well after reading Dark Beer’s DETAILED posts on Fast Pass and how it works over at Mouse Planet’s Discussion Boards I decided to give the Fast Pass a try. I’m not really big on all the walking around the park back and forth over the same ground like I did when I was a teen. So we incorporate the FP into our day by heading around to the rides that we like. Before we get into line for the ride we get Fast Passes for every one in our group. Then we hop in line. Some days when we get to the park early we can just kill 5-10 minutes and get right into the Fast Pass line and use our passes. If not we just move on to the next ride and repeat the process as we move through the park. Then we go back with Fast Passes and ride those rides again as we make a second loop around the park. We end up making 2 complete loops around the Park on most visits but I know when I was a kid I never had enough time to ride ANYTHING twice so this system really does work when you know the rules and are able to use the system to your advantage.

DON’T FORGET that on a busy day they can run out (sell out) of Fast Passes!!!!! So if there are rides that you want to ride twice, make sure you visit them EARLY in the day if you are visiting the park during peak season (like the next few months!)

Do remember that you can NOT use a Fast Pass early but you can use it “late.” It has to be used the day it was issued but you don’t have to be at the ride at the exact time that is on the Fast Pass. This was a BIG help for me to learn that Disney sort of ignores the timestamp if you are busy ion the park and don’t get back at the exact time of the FP.
Find out what rides are currently on Fast Pass and currently not connected to the system if you can (check MousePlanet for updates.)

If this is your first visit to the park be sure to figure out a route in advance, it really does speed things along and makes the day go more smoothly. It doesn’t prevent spontaneity but it prevents crossing the park in crowds and using your time walking.

I’m going to wrap up by saying that if you are planning a vacation at the Disneyland Resort (DLR) and have AAA that you ought to check into the AAA vacation packages. Not only do you get early entry when you stay at a Disney property but ONLY when you book through AAA you get Enhanced Fast Pass. The regular Fast Pass only lets you hold one active/ unused FP at a time, but the Enhanced FP lets you hold one FP for every ride in the Park. If you decide to use this option do be sure to read the link above to MousePlanet’s discussion boards and Dark Beer’s explanation of Fast Pass and Enhanced FP.

Friday, April 07, 2006

I have a new blog

I know this one's still out there and I think I will update it the next time we visit the Mouse. However, I have a new blog for scrapbooking and it is located

So head on over there if you are interested in scrapbooking, scrapbooking as a business or my life in general.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Have a Disney Day!

It is Spring Break and we've been enjoying our time off at Disneyland. Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebration officially starts on 05-05-05 and they are making some exciting changes in the park. You can read more about the celebration here. If you want to get more information on Disneyland there are many good Disney fan sites. I like Mouse Planet and Mouse Info. Both sites have active discussion boards. I also enjoy peeking into the past at Yesterland. Some of the rides I remember and some I'm too young to remember.

We've been able to see the brand new fireworks show and ride on the new Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.