Saturday, May 31, 2008

Did You Know About Seventh Grade Initiation?

Did you know about seventh grade initiation?

This morning, my daughter's youth group came to "kidnap" her. They got here about 6:45 am and came in beating on her door and screaming for her to get up. They blindfolded her and took her off to get their next "captive". They all went to one of the older kid's house for a time of "getting to know each other" and the incoming seventh graders ended up being pushed into the pool (all in good fun of course!) Then they headed off to IHOP for a pancake breakfast and lastly back to the church building for some "words of wisdom" from the older kids. My daughter looked at me funny when I asked her if she had fun. But she did say that if it had been someone else and she'd been in on the "kidnapping" it would have been funny! She also said that watching the video of herself and her classmates was funny!

Did You Know Where to Find More RAM?

Did you know where to find more RAM?

Of course, I am using ram to mean Random Access Memory for your computer. If you are like me and doing more of your shopping online, there is a site where you can check your system for 100% compatibility. They can automatically check your hardware configuration to match which upgrades are compatible with your system. You can even get free shipping!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Did You Know Xylitol is Dangerous to Dogs?

Did you know xylitol is dangerous to dogs?

I got an email today from the pet shelter talking about the dangers of xylitol to dogs. Xylitol is a sweetner used in sugar free candies and gums. It has apparently been known for several years to be dangerous for dogs. Even one to two sticks of gum with this sweetener can kill a small dog. A dog of 65 pounds can die after ingesting 5 or ten sticks. This is something for pet owners to be aware of and careful about. This tidbit is confirmed by

Monday, May 26, 2008

Did You Know About the Softball Player Who Was Carried to Victory?

Did you know about the softball player who was carried to victory?

I just heard today about the softball player who was carried to the opposing team ! Today, my dad and my grandpa told me about the Western Oregon player who tore her ACL rounding first base after hitting her first home run. Because she would have been called "out" if her own team mates helped her, it was up to someone else to reach out to her.

Playing for Washington, another couple of players who could put themselves in another person's shoes, carried the hurt player around the bases, essentially helping their own team claim a defeat.
How's that for good sportsmanship!

Did You Know About Savings Accounts?

Did you know about savings accounts?

I've had a savings account for as long as I can remember. My grandpa was on the board of the credit union. I can even remember going to business meetings as a kid. So when my own kids were born, I felt it important to open a savings account for them too. I like how it gives them a safe place to save money for bigger future purchases. I think they like knowing they have some money in the bank.

Did You Know About the Reverse Dictionary?

Did you know about the reverse dictionary?

I often use; seemingly more often than my big dictionary here at home these days. I recently came across the "reverse dictionary" feature. Here you can type in an idea or thought to get that just right word you are looking for.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Did You Know About the Stark Musuem of Art?

Did you know about the Stark Museum of Art?

In an effort to afford the Southeastern part of Texas a way to educate and appreciate nature and the arts, the Stark Foundation has provided various opportunities to members of its community. I have not been to Orange, Texas, but lately I have heard of some great new programs that are being offered in their community, provided for by the Stark Foundation.

I just learned about the Stark Museum of Art. This collection focuses on American Western Art through many different displays. The exhibits consist of paintings, sculptures, artifacts, glass and porcelain items, as well as rare books and manuscripts.

The main permanent collections include Western Art, American Indian Art, Decorative Arts and the Rare Books and Manuscripts collection. Each of these looks to be interesting and useful to the citizens in the community, as well as the many visitors to the Stark Museum.

Mrs. Miriam Lutcher Stark began the collecting of various art, furniture and decorative items. Her son, H.J. Lutcher Stark picked up her passion for collecting and soon he and his mother began a vision to house the items in a museum. Mr. Stark married Nelda Childers who grew to share his passion. Together they made many trips throughout the Southwest. During their time on these travels, they collected art work, beginning in the 1920’s and 30’s. They continued their trips and their collecting, even acquiring a rare set of volumes by John James Audubon. After Mr. Stark died, his wife set his dream in motion, opening the Stark Museum of Art in 1978. The Foundation continues to collect works of art even today. They provide programs for schools, teachers and families. At times they offer special exhibits, concentrating on one particular artist’s work. And one of the best things I learned is that admission to the museum is free!

Did You Know About Social Borrowing?

Did you know about "social borrowing" ?

I had not heard this term before. But today I was reading through Jerseygirl's blog . I came across this post about social borrowing . Well, since I love to save-thrifty, ok, cheap-I thought I would check out the website . I love the idea. Basically, you expand your neighborhood across the internet so you can find folks to lend, borrow and swap things with. I think it sounds like a good idea! Thanks Jerseygirl !

Did You Know About Jaeger LeCoulture Watches?

Did you know about Jaeger LeCoultre watches?

I must admit that I was not familiar with these watches before today. These are some fine looking watches. These watches are one of the few made in Switzerland where almost every component of the watches are made and produced in-house. They look like they would make a really nice Father's Day gift. I'm sure most any dad would be proud to sport one of these watches on his wrist.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Did You Know About a Local Gas Station's New Sign?

Did you know about a local gas station's new sign?

As I pulled out of the gym this morning, I saw the gas station at the grocery store. Each time I go past, I check the newest price. Today I noticed they have replaced their sign with a new digital sign. I guess that way it is a lot easier to update the price daily!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Did You Know We Are Now Certified Scuba Divers?

Did you know we are now certified scuba divers?

That's right! My family has been busy over the last three weeks taking a scuba diving course! My husband has been wanting to since we did an intro course last summer, so this year, all four of us took the plunge! It was a lot of work, but we did it! The kids love it, especially my daughter. Now we are just eagerly awaiting our first trip out. Hopefully soon we will be able to get out to one of the new diving lakes in the area.

Did You Know Where to Find Discount Air Conditioning Parts?

Did you know where to find discount air conditioning parts?

I know that in our area, with summer fast approaching, I have seen numerous homes getting new air conditioners or just getting older units serviced. It gets hot quick in this part of the country and folks don't like to be without AC. And that includes in the car! If you are in need of a new air conditioning compressor or other AC parts, you can check out the best deals online with a simple search for prices below list price.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Did You Know I Had More Good News/Bad News?

Did you know I had more good news/bad news?

Here is the story written (dictated) by my seven year old nephew. Fortunately, we had a good time with these!

Unfortunately I did not have a game.

Fortunately I had practice.

Unfortunately my practice was rained out.

Fortunately the next time I had a game.

Unfortunately when it was the second quarter Granddad told coach to sit me out.

Fortunately I got to go back in the third quarter.

Unfortunately a boy got hit in the stomach with the ball.

Fortunately he felt better soon.

Unfortunately they got the ball.

Fortunately I defended the ball and kicked it over some of the kids.

Unfortunately the black tigers got the ball again.

Fortunately we got the ball back.

Unfortunately another kid got hit in the head.

Fortunately we made a goal.

Unfortunately right after we made a goal, it was the end of the game.

Fortunately we won the game!

Did You Know The First Major Car Rental Company Committed to Going Green?

Did you know the first major car rental company committed to going "green"?

I just found out that Advantage Rent a Car has committed to having a 100% fleet of fuel efficient vehicles by 2010. Already, over half their fleet is Smart Way certified and gets 28 MPG. These vehicles are better for the environment, when compared to other vehicles.

Advantage offers daily and weekly rates along with special offers. Right now, you can even rent a car for $20 a day! It's easy to make your reservation online and the online Starlink Management System is free.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Did You Know About My Nephews' Good News/Bad News Stories?

Did you know about my nephews' Good News/Bad News stories?

Yesterday, I had my daughter write a "Good News/Bad News" story. I also wanted my oldest nephew to write one too (actually dictate.) We had fun with these stories. Here I wanted to share with you my oldest nephew's story:

I hit a baseball.

Unfortunately it fell to first base.

Fortunately the first baseman missed the ball.

Unfortunately the first baseman picked up the ball.

Fortunately I hit a runner in.

Unfortunately I was tagged out.

Fortunately my team won.

Unfortunately the other team cried.

Fortunately they got a nice trophy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Did You Know Why Blogging Makes Me Happy?

Did you know why blogging makes me happy?

Well, there are many reasons that people blog. But blogging has become a favorite hobby of mine. And it has even evolved into more than a hobby for me. There are many things I love about blogging. First of all, I have always loved being able to learn about the world outside my window. I have learned a lot about the way other people live and think. I have learned many interesting facts (which I love to share on this blog) and found places that I would love to someday visit. I love meeting and talking to all the people who keep such interesting blogs. I love learning to write down my thoughts. I love seeing the photos others share and I love sharing some of my own. I love how easy it is to blog. And I absolutely love that I can get paid to do something so easy and fun! It really has made me happy to be able to use my blog to make some money. We have gotten to do some things we may otherwise not gotten to do. We have made trips, I have had money for books, we have been able to get the kids some things. These things really do make me happy! And all because of my humble little blogs! :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Did You Know About Twin Lakes?

Did you know about Twin Lakes?

This is another local diving lake. It is also used by tri-athletes to train for open water swims. It is only about 18 minutes south of Houston. It is an old rock quarry that had been turned into an RV camp. Later, the diving was added. There are five boats and an old bus underwater. There are also platforms about 15 ft. down. This allows classes to do their initial open water dives and have a place to perform their newly acquired skills outside a pool.

Did You Know About Unlocked Cell Phones?

Did you know about unlocked cell phones?

I've not heard of these, but then again, I am pretty much behind the times. I think this is a great idea for folks like my sister who does a lot of traveling in and to several different countries (and she may already have one!)Basically, an unlocked phone allows you to use different GSM-compatible carriers around the world. This would help alleviate lots of phone hassles for folks like my sister.

Did You Know About Mammoth Lake?

Did you know about Mammoth Lake .

This is a newly opened lake for scuba divers in the area. Here they found the tusk and skull of a mammoth, along with remains of a five foot armadillo and giant sloth. They have added some features for underwater viewing.

Each section of the lake will have a theme. There is a Bus Stop with old buses to view. There is a space themed area with an F-5 fighter jet and other NASA remains. There is also the old Looping Starship ride from Astroworld.

Another Astroworld attraction has found a new home in Mammoth Lake. Some track from the Mayan Mindbender can be found here. There will be a Bermuda Rectangle and a Jurassic area as well.

The dive site was opened as a need was seen for local divers. Many people living here on the coast get certified to dive, but then had no where to go. This new lake will house a full service dive shop as well as give lessons and do the open water dives all on site.

Did You Know About

Did you know about

Last Christmas I made an order from We are all happy with the purchase. I love the weekly deals. I love the speedy delivery. I love the quality products. If you too are looking for the best buy on nearly any item-from tools to toys, laptaps to luggage, be sure to check out

Friday, May 9, 2008

Did You Know Some Americans are Outraged by Myanmar?

Did you know some Americans are outraged by Myanmar?

I guess I should not be surprised.

This morning on the news, I heard the newscaster state that some government leaders are outraged that Myanmar won't accept aid from America. Outraged? I think that is a strong word and wonder why one would be outraged?

If I knew a family that did not want my help based on whatever their reasons were-different values, different way of life, different world view, I know I would be sad and disappointed. But outraged?

To me, it is the same, only on a larger scale.

Did You Know Marijuana use by teens is reportedly down?

Did you know marijuana use by teens is reportedly down?

This morning as I watched the news, they told of a bizarre drug case involving some teens and marijuana. However they ended the report by stating that teen use of marijuana is down by 25% over recent years. That is good news to me. Fewer teens experimenting with gateway drugs means fewer teens getting addicted to that and harder drugs and that means fewer teens having to go to drug rehab.

Did You Know We Almost Missed Our Plane Home?

Did you know we almost missed our plane home?

Using the Disney Magical Express to get to the airport meant we were running on their time frame. That meant we had to report to their pick up area three hours before our flight time. We got to the airport about two hours before our flight.

We checked in and went to get something to eat. It was still a little early, so we walked through a shop, went to the restroom, and took our time. Then it was time to get to the gate. Getting through security and to another terminal meant we needed to step it up now.

After passing through security, we got onto the shuttle train to the other terminal. When we got there, my husband realized this was NOT the right terminal after all! It was back where we had just come from! We were worried we would have to go through security again (taking too much time) but thankfully we did not. We began hurrying down the hall, as our name was called over the loud speaker--telling us we had sixty seconds to report to the gate!! Thankfully we were almost there, but it was at the very end. My son-the track runner-took off and got to the gate for us! We were all laughing by this time! I was afraid the other passengers would be mad, scowling, etc. There were no seats together, but I found two together for the kids. The older man they sat with was very nice and even made conversation with them. One man got up and gave us two seats together, since we were "having too much fun"!

What an end to our trip! :)

Did You Know About the Renuzit Home Maker Give Away?

Did You Know About the Renuzit Home Maker Give Away?

The winner gets a $20,000 home makeover with Tanya Memme! I just learned about this contest, so it is too late for me to enter. But the final voting is going on. And we get to be the judges! That’s right. We can go in and vote for the ten semi-finalists in the home makeover contest.

It’s easy and free to vote. Simply go to semi-finalist gallery to vote on your favorite entry. You can vote once per day until June 7.

I went in and looked through a few of the entries. Right away, I knew which one I would vote for. The one with the young teen and the messy room that needs transformation! I can completely relate to this way of life! Teens with messy rooms filled with smelly clothes make me wish for a transformation to fragrant flower; bathrooms to a beach, and kitchens to a spring meadow! I also applaud the courage it took for this young teen to shoot this video! Ok, yeah, if his family wins, it will be worth risking his budding man-hood to dress like a fragrant flower! I say more power to him, and I voted for his video!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Did You Know About our Visit to Magic Kingdom?

Did you know about our visit Magic Kingdom?

The night before we went, we were all a little giddy. My son said "I am going to be a little kid tomorrow!" That is just the feeling Magic Kingdom brings out in you. We had a plan for Magic Kingdom, because we found out that they closed at 7 pm that night. We were afraid we would not get to finish everything we wanted to do.

We knew we wanted to hit either Space Mountain or Buzz Lightyear first, get fast passes if needed then head straight over to the other two mountains-Splash Mountain and the Thunder Mountain Railroad.

When we got to Tomorrowland, the wait for Buzz Lightyear was only ten minutes, so we thought we would go ahead and jump onto this ride. This was one of our favorites from our previous trip. The ride is a car with a power cannon attached to the front. You ride through a video game, shooting at targets throughout the ride! There is a screen in front of you that keeps your score. This is tons of fun for the kids and grown ups alike! And our wait actually turned out to be about five minutes!

After our ride, we went directly to Space Mountain. My daughter had never ridden this one and was anxious to do so. The wait said it was about 20 minutes, but I doubt we waited quite that long. While waiting, see if you can figure out what the meteorites are that float along the screen ! The ride itself was much rougher than we remembered and somewhat of a let down after riding the Rock N Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios. We stopped in to catch the comedy show by Monsters, INC. This was a fun show, with the MC animated on-screen, but able to pull off audience participation and jokes on the audience!

Then we headed for Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain. We did not know which to get the fast pass for and which to stand in line for. They were both pretty long. The kids chose to get the passes for Splash Mountain, and that turned out pretty good as that line got long fast! After about 20 minutes in line, we rode Thunder Mountain and headed over to Splash. I love this ride! I don't really like getting wet (and you will get soaked!) but I love it because it is all about Bre'r Rabbit! Most kids won't even know who it is since Disney won't re-release Song of the South, but I love it! And yes, I got SOAKED!

The kids and my husband then went to the Haunted Mansion. I got fast passes for Peter Pan while waiting on them. That turned out to be a good idea. That ride is one of my favorites and I did not want to miss it. The line early on was 40 minutes and it is a slow moving line. This was about 11:30 and our pass was not good until 2:30. A little later, all the fast passes for this ride were distributed. Upon our return, the line for this ride was 50 minutes. It is a fun ride through the story, but they have speeded it up; I would prefer not to be rushed through the ride (but then I had fast passes, which got us on in about ten to fifteen minutes, and I did not have toddlers hanging off of me!)

I got to see the Hall of Presidents, then met back up with my family. We took a lunch break (hot dogs and chicken wraps) and then my son wanted to head over to Tom Sawyer Island. This is a relaxing place to take kids to play and rest, but he was adamant that we not miss it "for old time's sake!" We rode the raft over and went through the cave and the fort, even the secret tunnel. We hung out there for a little while before heading back. Then we struck out for the Pirates of the Caribbean. They have changed this ride a bit so that it now matches the movie.

We could not leave the park without visiting the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. I love this tree house! It has a working water wheel and everything is set up like the old movie.

And you get a nice view of Space Mountain.

We of course went back to ride Peter Pan and catch the boat through Small World.

We headed back for another pass on Buzz Lightyear. Getting stuck this time around allowed my husband to max out on the points. As we came back around, we noticed a parade in which regular families were being asked to participate with the other cast members. I am sure that was lots of fun for those families.

We then stopped to do some shopping, check into dinner reservations (none to be had in any of the parks, save Epcot at 8:45!) and got to see the flag lowering ceremony. Then we headed out to eat at downtown Disney. We took the monorail to the Contemporary Resort and caught a bus from there.(There are no buses from Magic Kingdom to Downtown Disney.)

We loved our day in Magic Kingdom, and if the kids would have been a little more willing, I'd have loved to see the Winnie the Pooh ride, Snow White's ride, and the Philharmagic show. Guess I'll just have to go back! :)

Did You Know About Social Spark?

Did you know about Social Spark?

I have heard of this before but not researched it much. I just learned that SocialSparkis now live. Social Spark is an innovation of the IZEA company. It is a place to allow bloggers and advertisers to come together for mutual benefit. The bloggers can choose to place display ads on their blog or write sponsored content. Advertisers can target blogs based on content and decide which blogs to sponsor, giving them increased traffic and potential customers, while creating buzz and exposure for themselves and their products.

While browsing through some of the profiles, I came across the "mom with the brownies". Of course the name caught my attention, so I took a look. This looks like someone whose blog I want to read! She is a homeschooling mother looking for frugal ways to do things. That is a kindred spirit!

In looking at whether I will utilize Social Spark on my blogs, I realized that I had heard some negative feedback from another source about the pop up ad banners from this site. I know that can get annoying. I have not dealt with it yet myself, so I am not 100% sure just what my source is talking about, but perhaps it is something IZEA will consider in the future.

So, Social Spark looks like a good way to get bloggers together with each other and with advertisers. It’s free and easy to join Social Spark, so stop by and check it out to see if it can help enhance your blogging experience.

Did You Know About our Day in Epcot: World Showcase?

Did you know our day in Epcot's World Showcase?

Though this can be rather hot, I enjoy walking around Epcot's World Showcase. It is set up so that there are small sections that represent several countries around the world. You can usually find some place, or two, to eat "local" foods. There is shopping and some sort of exhibits from that country as well.

We stopped first in Mexico for an appetizer of nachos. We went inside the San Angel because I'd heard there was a ride there, and we'd not seen it before. We found the ride in the back behind the shop and took a ride through Mexico hosted by Donald Duck and friends as the "Three Caballeros".

We walked through Norway and Germany pretty quickly. The Maelstrom in Norway had a line, so we decided not to wait. And in Germany, we decided not to wade through the drinkers!

We stopped in China to see if we could get a reservation to eat (no). I went in and saw the "Tomb Guardians" which were a replica of the terra cotta soldiers! My son got a strawberry green tea slushee.

We kept walking around to the American Experience. It did not show for another half hour so we walked down to Japan and then would back track. There was not as much to see as I remembered in Japan. We went back to the American Adventure and went inside to wait and cool off. We heard an a Capella music group sing some patriotic and folk songs in the rotunda. Afterwards, we were informed that the show was broken and would not be playing. We left there and were able to catch the Japanese drummers. That was pretty cool!

We continued walking. We were thrilled to be able to get a table in the restaurant in Italy. We ordered two dishes to share. The cannelloni was absolutely delicious!! We then headed over to the bakery in France we had remembered. We all chose a different pastry to share. YUMMY!!

We spent some time walking around the shops in England and then headed back to Future World to catch some of the attractions we had missed. Our only real disappointments in Epcot were missing the American Adventure and not seeing any street shows. Before (we had gone in December and got to see each country's version of Santa) we had seen acrobats and the living statue and musicians. This time we did not see any of those. To end our day in Epcot, we got another set of pastries to share while watching the fireworks show Illuminations. This is a really spectacular show that we all enjoyed.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Did You Know About our Day in Epcot: Future World?

Did you know about our day in Epcot: Future World?

We spent last Tuesday in Disney's Epcot. Epcot stands for Experiemental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. There is much to see and do in Epcot and we were concerned about getting a "late start". The day was warm and the park was very crowded. As the line into Spaceship Earth was rather long, we decided to skip it. Although there is a new sponsor inside, my husband remembered it as being boring before and did not want to go through the wait for it. We headed first to the attraction he most wanted to visit: Mission Space.

This is a simulator mission to Mars. My daughter and I were a little unsure about it all. It was set up with two lines, one with intense training and one with mild training. We decided to go ahead and experience the intense training. We were separated into teams (our family was together) and put into simulators. We watched a movie and felt as if we were being blasted into space!! Each of us had different assignments and had to push the proper buttons at the proper time. The ride was a fun one and we all enjoyed it.

We moved on to some other attractions in Future World. I do not remember the exact order that we took in the attractions. Some we got fast passes for and came back to. This included Test Track and the new Soarin'. We found that these were probably the best attractions to get the passes for, as the wait times grew long very quickly. We got our fast pass for Soarin' at noon and it was not good until 7:30 pm and the passes were all distributed by 1:00. Right now it seems fast passes are a "must" for Soarin'.

We took in Test Track and had a great time on this ride. My son enjoyed the ride, but he really loved seeing the cars on display at the end of the ride.

We enjoyed the new Nemo attraction. The props were all great. I read that you can even do a dive here!

The Honey I Shrunk the Audience is the thing I least looked forward to. I HATE this show! But I wanted to do everything together, so I went in and covered my eyes on the things I did not want to see. The guy next to me laughed to see my feet in my chair. I planned it that way since I knew what was coming!!

We found the attraction Journey into the Imagination. My husband and I really enjoyed it. The kids thought it was for little kids. But it was a good one. The Kodak gallery inside was not as good as we had found it on a previous trip. It was a fun place to play around for a bit while waiting, but it did not have the photo maker and emailer that we had used before. The innovations pavilions were also disappointing to us. Last time they were filled with all kinds of cool games and things that the kids really loved. This time there were a few games, Wii among them (is that really an upcoming innovation these days?) My daughter and I did get in on a "game show" which we won our segment of! We did go back and ride Mission Space another time. This second ride, though hours later, made both my daughter and I feel queasy. I had to sit and relax with a Sprite.

We did notice that there is now a character greet spot in Future World. This makes the littler kids a bit more happy. The Soarin' ride was a fun one for us all. (well, my husband was a bit disapponted.) You sit in a seat and are raised up off the floor. You watch a film and feel as if you are soaring over California. You take in sites of Yosemite, The Golden Gate, and many others. You end in Disneyland for a firework show! This was a big hit with people of all ages. It was fun but I would not want to wait 110 minutes for it (that is how long the line was!)

This was the Flower and Garden Festival and the flowers and topiaries throughout the park were really nice!

Our time in Epcot's Future World was filled with fun for the whole family.

Did You Know About Our Next Vacation Plans?

Did you know our next vacation plans?

What with all the excitement in our lives lately, you would think we would be done with traveling. But all it has done is to add fuel to the fire! After an exciting trip to Disney, we wonder if/when we will ever get back. And now we started our scuba diving class this week, so we need to plan a diving trip this summer. We had talked about taking a cruise and diving, but now we are thinking of checking out the flight deals and just flying down south for a diving trip. Who knows where we will end up? We just know that we are ready to make some plans!