10 Things on my To-Do List for the Disneyland Diamond Celebration

There's never enough time to do everything I want to do at the Disneyland Resort. Next week I'll be there during their 24-Hour Celebration, but even with all that extra time in the parks, there's no way I can experience all the special events and celebrations they have planned.  I have the full list of 24-Hour/Diamond Celebration happenings and goings-on over at Bonggamom Finds, but I have to prioritize and decide which of them I really want to do.

So, after much agonizing, I've come up with a Top 10 List of things I have to do during our visit to the Disneyland Resort next week.  I'm not talking about eating a Dole Whip Float -- that's something I do on every visit.  These are things I'll only get to do during the 24-Hour event and during the Diamond Anniversary Celebration.  Without further ado, here's my list:

Wordless Wednesday: Grilled Cheese

This Sunday, April 12, is National Grilled Cheese Day!  Grilled cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods, and thanks to our beloved panini maker, it's so easy to make.  Whether it's grilled ham and cheddar, bacon and cheddar, tomato and cheddar, gorgonzola and fig, chevre and cranberry, brie and pear, swiss and mushroom, or any other combination of cheese and flavor kicker, there's nothing like it

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Parenting Advice for parents of grade school kids, from a 5th grade graduating parent


In less than three months, my oldest will be graduating from middle school, and my youngest will be graduating from grade school.  It's the end of an era.  My kids are growing up.

Even scarier is the speed at which everything happened. Those nine years seem to have gone by so quickly, and the four years I have left till The Pea graduates high school will pass even more quickly. It will go by in the blink of an eye, and I'm actually starting to panic.

Bixby Bridge

Bixby Bridge

If you're planning a drive down California's Highway 1, make sure your drive takes you across Bixby Bridge. It's one of the most iconic landmarks of Northern California, Big Sur and the Pacific Coast.  It has been a while since Alfie and I have been to Big Sur, so we took the kids there in November and had a great time enjoying the fresh air, the ocean view, and the sunset.

How we are spending spring break

Spring break is approaching, and many families have travel plans looming. Whether you're headed for the beach, a national park, a theme park, the city, or the countryside, you're probably really excited for what's in store.

Aliens have taken over my teen... but she's fighting back

A friend once told me that parenting during the teenage years goes so much easier if parents remember that an alien has taken over their teen.  Eventually the real person will emerge, but when faced with eye-rolling, inattention, attitude, rebellion, or worse, just take a deep breath and keep telling yourself, It's Not My Daughter, It's An Alien

Five Educational Experiences at the Disneyland Resort

The Pea and I just got back from a trip to the Disneyland Resort!  Her middle school band participated in Disney's Performing Arts Program, and I went along as a chaperone.  She and her bandmates had the experience of a lifetime. They went backstage to record soundtracks to some of Disney's most beloved movies, and they went onstage to perform at Disney's California Adventure.  In between, they went around the parks with their friends. It was the best of education and entertainment combined!

Going to the Disneyland with the Middle School Band

This is a picture from The Pea's first 6th grade concert.  She's been playing the flute since 5th grade, and she liked it so much she decided to stick with band throughout middle school.  Band is a big commitment; it takes up 2 precious electives every year, and it requires time for practice as well as concerts.  Band isn't the most glamorous choice of middle school electives either; the stereotype of the band nerd is alive and well even today.

I'm really proud of The Pea's commitment to band. She's getting all the benefits of a musical education, and she has made a really great group of friends, who are secure enough and self-confident enough to ignore the stereotypes and proudly call  themselves band nerds.

Ways to save time at the Disneyland Resort

Many Disneyland and Disney World posts are about ways to save money.  That's not surprising -- Disney vacations don't come cheap, and it makes sense to save wherever you can.  That being said, however,  I think the most scarce (and hence, valuable) commodities you have while on vacation is time.  Vacations never last long enough, and vacations at the Disneyland Resort seem to fly by in the blink of an eye.  If you're like me, and want to make the most out of every second you spend at the Disneyland Resort, here are some tips on how to save time while you're there:

So You Athletes Think You Can Dance? Yes, We Can!

Haka face paint

When friends and family think of my sons, the first words that come to mind are probably: IdenticalTwins. Soccer. Tough. Solid. Maybe Cello and Videogames and Drawing and Athletic. Maybe Dark Haired. I would add Handsome and Brilliant and Imaginative and Loving and a million other complimentary adjectives that make it obvious I'm their parent.