Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sundae Reward

Talon received a reward coupon from school for a free sundae at Braum's. Why did he receive a reward?  For making 100s on all of his reading tests on the computer!   Hurray, Talon!
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Monday, January 30, 2012

Crazy HHR Door Lock Drama

Our Chevy HHR is possessed... really.

Both key fobs stopped working a few months ago. Even with new batteries.  Fobs are pricey so we started  locking the door with the inside button  and unlocking it with the key-- old school style. 

But what to do when the actual key won't unlock the door?!

Yep, you read right. On Friday night, the key went in the keyhole but wouldn't turn. 

Have you ever heard of such a bizarre thing? 

And scary! What if a mean dog or killer was after you! Yikes!

Our situation wasn't that dire, thank goodness.  My hub and I had met in a nearby town so luckily we had two cars.  But it was after dark and we were exhausted from work and grocery shopping at Walmart. 

Funny how bad stuff always happens when one is exhausted, isn't it?   

So what did we do?  

We drove sixteen miles home-- hub soldered three spots inside each fob and put in new batteries to give us four possible shots. Two keys and two fobs.  

We drove back to the car to try but expected to have to leave it overnight. 

Guess what? The first key fob tried worked!  And seeing the headlights flash on was a beautiful sight to see!

I don't brag on my hub enough but let me say now for all posterity: He is a soldering genius!!

Have you looked inside a key fob? The insides are tiny. Don't know how he did it. 

And actually, both fobs work now but we are too gun shy to lock the door. It is still a mystery why the door wouldn't unlock with the actual key and we don't want to take any chances.  

Online research shows many complaints concerning keyfobs, doorlocks and even an ignitions that won't turn off so probably the HHR is just a poorly made Chevy-- it is being discontinued, after all.  

But my hypothesis is that the car is possessed and in need of an exorcism. 

What is the weirdest car glitch that you have experienced? Have you or anyone you know had bizarre problems with an HHR?
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wonton Hits The Spot!

Love the mixed red and blue china patterns. Adds a bit of whimsy to the soup eating experience, don't you think. 
This beautiful bowl of comfort is from the Hong Kong Restaurant, an off the beaten path joint, in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. 

My little boy and I split this big bowl for a light lunch on a busy Christmas shopping day in December.  The day was just chilly enough for this soup to perfectly hit the spot and tide us until the next treat--- handmade ice cream from the Mexican ice cream factory.  Yes, the day was also just warm enough for ice cream and we do like our dining to be multi-cultural. 

The Mexican ice cream factory will be featured in a future foodie post--  It is ah-mazing  so be prepared to swoon. 


Ruby Tuesday 2Ruby Tuesday 2

Smiling Sally Pin It

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lovely Yellow House

This is my brother's new house in Portland, Oregon. Isn't it beautiful?! 

So charming and so much character.

And it is yellow!!

But can you guess what else has me swooning?

That lovely wraparound porch!   Us southern girls do love big ol' porches... and this one is just perfect for reading, thinking, visiting  and, of course, tea sippin'. 

Oh, I can't wait to loll about on this porch with a good book. (and visit with my brother)  

Here is a photo of the house in Portland's snow storm last week:

 Definitely too chilly for porch sittin'! 

My brother emailed this with the title 'Life in a Snowglobe'. It does look like a winter wonderland.

Heehee,  and very funny in a karmic sort of way. Why?  Because my brother lived in Hawaii for years... whenever it was stinking hot or frigidly cold in Oklahoma, he would call and tease us with  perfectly balmy island weather reports. 

So far, Oklahoma is having a very mild winter with lots of 'no jacket' days.  

So in accordance with official big sister code:  Hahahahahahahahahaahaahaha!

Linking to: Weekend Reflections



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Friday, January 20, 2012

Winter Swingtime

Look! Nary a jacket-- in January!!

So far winter here has been temperate-- no snow or ice storms or minus 0 windchills. That is just fine with us.

Well, Talon would like at least one decent snow but he is enjoying all of the out of the ordinary winter parktime and outdoor playtime. 


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Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I was so productive during our holiday school break--   cleaning, de-cluttering and organizing. Barely knocked the top off but still it was a great feeling.

There were drawers full of paper to shred so Talon and I shredded ourselves silly. 

And what is shredded paper good for? 


Talon had a ball tossing confetti at midnight New Years Eve.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

A Dangerous Composition

At Guitar Center awhile back, Talon tried out all the keyboards and even composed a tune.
 If your speakers let the bass come through,  you'll hear the full of effect of his dangerous composition. 

His Gram and his Dad are songwriters and they are going to love this video. Bet they think he might win an Oscar for best movie score someday! Pin It

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lesa Loves... Hawaiian Tea Time!

Nothing better than a cuppa to make a winter day more cozy. And to make it cheerful as well? 

A happy yellow cup. 

And tea from Hawaii. 

Isn't the packaging beautiful?  Takes me away to one of my favorite places on earth. Blue ocean, fragrant flowers, fresh fruit, warm sun, balmy breezes... mmm... okay, okay, I'm back.

My sweet grown up baby brother sent this tea to me.

Love. Love. Love. 

The gift and the giver.

Do certain colors brighten up your dreary winter days?  What happy warm place do you drift off to on a cold winter day? Please share.

Smiling Sally

Also, linking to Ruby Tuesday 2. The RT button wouldn't work for some reason.

Thursday Favorite Things

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Ringing in the New Year!

 This fun bell shaped shadow is cast by a nearby town's Christmas decorations. 

Ding Dang Dong... 

Happy New Year!

Shadow Shot Sunday 2 Pin It

Merry Medley Photo Diary 2011

Oh my, after a week long bloggy break, I uploaded my Christmas Eve/Day photos. Guess how many there were. 

Over 300!! 

Can you believe it?!  Silly question, eh? Of course, you guys believe it. Most of you are crazy camera clicking bloggers too.  But still. That is a lot.  

Between getting back to work, parenting and housekeeping, it took another week just to edit.  Whew, I'm worn plumb out so without  further ado...

The Official DustyUs Family Merry Medley!

The main event?  

Talon, of course!

Stocking surprises are almost as cool as Santa toys.

 In the top right quandrant: A cool sportscar computer mouse with working head/tail lights;  Talon slicing a tiny Darth Vader candy dispenser with a light saber; Wonka bar!

One of my favorite things?

 giving Hub funny stocking stuffers. The paint sticks and gloves are hysterical... well, to me anyway! Don't worry!  My hub isn't only a skilled bone idle procrastinator... he is also a good sport! 

We love our...

MamaGram!  And not just because she gives great gifts!

A little bit of Lesa too.  And more Talon, of course... that little scene stealer! Making his mama share the limelight! For shame! 

Love me some Christmas merry making!

Can you tell?

Until next time...
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Monday, January 2, 2012

Children's Classroom Party Game Ideas

No more blah classroom parties!

Are you a teacher or homeroom parent responsible for hosting or planning a class party soon?

Check out these games for inspiration. They are Christmas versions of traditional party games but could be adapted to suit any holiday or theme. 

Musical Gift/Hot Gift Game

This is a version of the hot potato game (or musical chairs, if you prefer).  In this game, the players sit in a circle passing a 'hot' gift quickly around the circle while music plays. When the music stops, the player left holding the gift gets to unwrap a layer of paper.   The game continues until the last layer of paper is removed and that player keeps the gift.  


In this instant, the gift was a large Hershey bar wrapped in about 10 layers of varied giftwrap.  

Talon got to unwrap a layer of paper!

A very good game to increase motor skills and teach sportsmanship.

The gift wasn't hot enough for this girl-- she slowed the game down on every round which drove the other players craaazeee!
  Most of the kids loved playing this game but there were a couple of disgruntled players-- maybe they need to play again!

Snowball Toss

Toss the balls through the holes and win a prize. Harder than it looks since the styrofoam snowballs are light. Only two kids won prizes but they all had fun and there were no bad sports.

Yes,  my silly 'ham' of a boy was the only one who acted out scooping and forming a snowball.

Pin the Nose on the Reindeer

Played just like 'Pin the Tail on the Donkey'. The players who pin the nose somewhere on the face or closest to the face get prizes.

Mrs. R's party games were cute and fun. They made the party so much more memorable than just snacks and a movie.  Good on ya, Mrs. R! 

What a fabulously creative teacher! We are very grateful that Talon is in Mrs. R's class. He is having the best first grade year ever!

And not just because of the party fun, but because of the intense but fun focus on academics.  Talon has learned so much so quickly.

Throwing a mean party is just icing on the cake!


Hope these party game ideas provide inspiration for your next children's party be it at school/home/church.  Please share any ideas for adapting these games to other holidays/themes. What other children's party games do you recommend?

Just had an idea pop into my head for a little boy's Nascar birthday. Pin the steering wheel on the Nascar racecar.  What do you think?
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