How To Access The Control Panel
The most common way is press the start bar (bottom-left), highlight settings, click control panel.
Another way is to double click on "My Computer", and double click on the "Control Panel" icon.
Accessing More Options
If you have never used the control panel, odds are you only have 6 or so options displayed. To view more, click "view more control panel options", located to the left. To adjust the icons, go to View and select "large icons", "small icons", "list", or "details" from the menu.
Add / Remove Programs
This is the proper way to delete programs and software from your computer. Just hitting delete won't cut it.
Usually your computer will come with a few .theme files for you to choose from. You can change your themes there.
This contains more desktop options, more on that in a moment.
You can install more fonts here. Check your "Help" index, usually located in the start menu.
The Display Panel
Double Click on the "display" icon.
Near the top of the menu you will have many options. "Background, Screensaver, Appearance, Effects, Web, and Settings".
In the background section you can adjust the wallpaper of your desktop, Appearance allows you to customize the colors of the windows and more, Effects enables you to change the default icons for a few elements, and settings is where you would go to change the screen resolution, color display, and more elements of your monitor.