Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Picture Perfect WEDNESDAY - better late than never!

I had many grand plans for this post. Plans that included posting it on, ya know, MONDAY!!! However, the flu bug has bitten the B Manor, thus throwing all plans out the window.

I also envisioned a year end post in which we looked back through pictures and I poetically encaptured the year's memories and brought a tear to all of your eyes.

But, now, it seems, the only tears are in MY eyes, cause I tend to get teary when I puke. Now, for the record, I have not puked yet, per sey. I have, however, been puked ON three times in the last two days. And, in my feeble little mind, that soooooo counts!

And, now, for your viewing pleasure ...

We got the girls all dressed up for church on Christmas Eve and prepared to take pictures, and in a strange turn of events, it was Miss Sophie who proved uncooperative ...

Hattie gave a charming smile - it was so sweet!!!

Sophie, on the other hand, kept trying to grab the camera!

(see what I mean?)

Yeah, no body was cooperating for this one!!!

And then there was one ... and hello, it was Hattie!

Afterwards we had a little birthday party for Baby Jesus!

(And, yes, that is a tealight for the candle - because, being the good Christian woman that I am, I forgot the birthday candle for the Sweet Baby Jesus!!!)

But the cake was yummy, as proven by the following ...

Sophie is quite serious about her cake eating business!!!

Hattie just likes to have a little fun with her cake.

And, as they ate, we read the kids version of the Christmas story!! Hattie seemed to really understand things this year. All day long on Christmas, she kept saying it was Baby Jesus' birthday!!

And I cannot tell you how that Blessed this mommy's heart!!!

Christmas morning we woke to all of the gifts beneath the tree...

Hattie got this lovely baby doll set. And it remains untouched to this day... She prefers the cheap magic wand that she found in her stocking.

Sophie got some Little People sets that Hattie commandeered. But that is OK, because SHE prefers the old cell phone that she received. She is always trying to take everyone else's and this way she has her own. She LOVES it!!!

Hubby got t-shirts and socks. Thank you Santa!!! He also got a swell mug. And it, too, has remained untouched!


I got some straws ( I HEART straws!!!) and a ped egg, both of which have been used profusely!!! Wanna come feel my feet? Smooth, baby, SMOOTH!!!

Here is Sophie playing shy with the camera .... Ummm, who are you and what have you done with my baby?!?!?!

And, here is Hattie a little out of focus (have I mentioned that I am currently hating my camera!!!) due to the dancing she was doing with her magic wand! So sweet!!!

Well, that is all we have picture wise. And now, I must go and rest... all of this thinking has worn me out.

If I have a burst of energy before the end of the day I will try to get that year recap in ...

I wouldn't hold my breath on that one!

Have a BLESSED new year! Be safe and God Bless!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Explanation Required!!!

***Scroll Down for Sophie's First Haircut Pics!!!***

OK, I have had several people ask me why the hairy heck I went out for a haircut yesterday if I am just gonna grow it out. So, I feel an explanation is in order ...

See, I gave Hubbs the gift for Christmas, and he LOVED it! He was very excited (at least that is what he claimed ...). But, in cleaning out bathroom the day before he had found a Martina McBride CD that was in there from a much earlier attempt to grow it out a little. And he liked that look better than the one we had chosen as the "short version/in-between/getting-there" style. Here is what he chose ...

So, as a result, I set out yesterday to begin the process. I took said CD to the salon and had the shaping process begun.

Also, and here is a fact that I work VERY hard to keep from the general public, I have absolutely NO body in my hair whatsoever! None! Zippo! NADA!

Therefor, I must have some texturizing done to the top of my hair or I will most certainly look like a drowned rat by the time it dries. For instance, in the pics yesterday, I actually have some styling product in it, but the hair blessed dude that cut my hair yesterday seriously underestimated my need for lift. So, even though semi-styled, I still look like a rat on the way to drowning, if not quite there yet.

I will be having a re-introduction session with my hairdryer and curling iron later today!!!

Oh, the joy that this gift will give me ... it had better, at LEAST, make my man happy!

And now, back to my Holiday Bloggy Break!

See ya next week!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Big Day for Sophie!

We interrupt this Bloggy Break for a very important announcement .... (insert drum roll) ...

Our Sophie Bug got her very first haircut today!!

And, her beautician was none other than her mommy!!! I am very proud to say that she was an excellent client! I am so proud of her.

I, however, had a very emotional time with it. She is my baby after all, and this is just one more step into being a big girl! I had to follow the haircut with a big 'ol piece of chocolate cake to drown my emotions!!!

Hattie and I both got hair cuts too. I cut Hattie's bangs - I would have pics of that too, but since I was cutting while Daddy held her head still and her hands down (she is not a fan of the haircut since a girl at a shop stabbed her in the forehead about a year ago ... don't even get me started!!!), there was no one to hold the camera!

I went out to get mine done, and had not styled it yet, which explains the LOVELY do I am sporting!!! I only wish it could explain away all of the chins ... Guess that's what I get for drowning my emotions in chocolate ...

Here is one last shot of our girl on her big day!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What It's All About

OK, first, I want to thank you for helping me with the hair dilemma of 2008. I think I have made my choice, with your help of course!!! The general consensus was between the two longer styles (numbers 1 & 3), but we must remember that my hair is very short right now, so I think I will frame a couple of pics. We will start off with number 2, knowing I can mess it up like number 4, and then grow it out from there. Now, if I can just stick with it long enough to get it grown to at least number 3!!! Then maybe we can shoot for number 4!

Now, I have a lot to tell y'all (Hi Fran!!), but, truthfully I have so much to do in the next couple of days - including focusing on the REAL meaning of Christmas! So, the blog will have to wait. I will be back after Christmas - there is a meme I have been tagged for, stories to tell and - of course - pictures to show. And there will be even more of each after the big day!

But, before I go, I want to make sure that you know what Christmas is all about ... And Linus, I think, says it best!

To think that the King of Kings left is throne for a manger, chose soil over streets of gold and humanity over divinity, for US! That is, for me ... and for you. I pray that you know that today. That you rest in that today. He came for you! He was so unwilling to live without you that He did the only thing to make it possible for you to live with Him. He lived here, he walked among our sin and depravity so that we could know His grace and forgiveness. And, He died here, only to rise again in three days, so we can beat death as well.

Please, do not let that gift go unopened.

It was a strange way to save the world indeed ...

...but, where would we be if it had been different?

May you know the One, TRUE Peace and Joy this Christmas and all year through.
Have a very Merry Christmas! I love ya all!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Picture Perfect Monday - Lookin' A Little Like Christmas

We have gotten a LOT of snow around here lately, and Hattie is lovin' it (sophie has a cold, so she has not been out in it yet, but she wants to...). We also got a chance to meet the Big Guy, Santa himself!!! Here is a look at the last couple of weekends here in B Manor...

Sophie is not quite sure what to think.

Hattie, on the other hand, is diggin' it!

She's also diggin' a little snow angel action (and so is Mommy)!!!

But, the snow kept coming and it got a little deep!

Thus, allowing for some sleddin' action!
Yeah, winter is a hit around here (except for the whole shoveling, scraping and digging out stuff!)
By the way, today is my Daddy's Birthday.
Thank you for loving me so well. You are the very best Daddy a girl could have. You didn't have to love us, but you chose to anyway. You are living proof that anyone can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a Daddy.
I love you SOOOOOOOOOO MUCH! I hope that your day is as wonderful as you have made my life!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Baby Changes Everything

***FIRST OFF - don't forget to vote!!! (scroll down one post for info!)***

I was cleaning around the house today and had Faith Hill's Christmas special on in the background. Love me some Christmas music :)

Then, I heard her introducing this song and stopped to listen.

I am telling ya, it rocked my world...

I cannot even begin to imagine being in Mary's shoes. Oh, the faith it took to trust in God's plan!! She was just a teenager and she allowed God to use her in such a huge way. She let him change her world and turn it upside down. She took a chance on losing everything - her family, respect of her community, her LIFE, her betrothed. Had Joseph chosen to accuse her, she could have been killed. Had no one believed her, she could have been imprisoned or cast out.

But SHE believed.

She believed God. She believed the Angel. And she believed Joseph.

And, because she did what she was asked by God to do ...

A Baby Changed EVERYTHING!

Merry Christmas - I pray that you know the ONE True joy of this season. Please let Him change YOU!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's Only Hair ... Right?

So, things here in B manor ("things" being MONEY) are a bit tight this Christmas. And, in an effort to limit what we spend, hubbs and I are trying to come up with gestures to show our love, rather than things!

Now, as you may have read yesterday, we did buy some gifts for each other (the cell phone for me and some clothes from WILDERNESS HEAVEN for him), but we got smoking good deals on everything we purchased, and, except for the phone (yes, I am ashamed), it was all stuff we needed. And, JUST FOR THE RECORD - after the WalMart fiascoes, I did tell him to forget it and just get me Mamma Mia. Because, THAT is a necessity!!! Just ask Teri or SuperModel!!!

We have decided that that is all we are going to spend on us though. PERIOD.

So, in an effort to perform a grand gesture of kindness and love towards my man, I have devised a plan ...

Bwah Ha Ha Ha!!!

Truth be told, he does not like short hair on ladies. I have very short hair. And I am the only lady I want him looking at! So, I've decided to grow my hair out a little.

Now, I KNOW that I do not look good with LONG hair, so I am not gonna go crazy. But, I figured I can grow it out some ( a little at a time to see how it goes). And I have found a few pics that I like, and that I HOPE he will like as well...

Here is where you come in. I need a little help deciding! I am gonna show you the pics and then, if you would be so kind, please head on over to my sidebar and cast your vote. And then, if you would be so kind-ER, please leave me a little comment to tell me your thoughts.

See, the written word is one of my love languages and, y'all, I NEED LOVE!!!

(PS - that y'all was just for you Frannie!!!)

Here are the choices:

No. 1 - Still a bit messy, but long enough to make my man happy ... this would, however, require me to dig out the old hairdryer and curling iron.

No. 2 - Not as messy, shorter in the back, but longer up front.

No. 3 - this one can go messy or neat, it is longer all around. This would require the styling implements FOR SURE! It's kinda Meg Ryan-y in French Kiss

No. 4 - This one is still short in back, longer in front, but choppy and messy and maybe not as MUCH styling stuff needed.

No. 5 - OR, I could go a little retro. Like Audrey Hepburn in How To Steal A Million.
Now, if this style could just come with her neck and lack of many chins...
Can't have everything I guess!!
So, please let me know what ya think! And then I will print the pic out and frame it for his stocking with a letter of explanation!
Man, I must really love that man!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Our Weekend ... Sad as It Was

So, this was the weekend for the B men to take their guns and head north. Ah, yes, hunting season is upon us again...

However, in a sad turn of events (at least for the fellas), there was engine trouble :( It seems that my father-in-love drives his big fancy truck so infrequently that it has become home to some mice.

Oh yeah, I am serious. I don't think I could even make this stuff up!

The little critters burrowed chunks out of the insulation and made themselves a little, mouse poopy home right there atop an engine thingy that I cannot think of the name for. It musta been an important thingy though, cause the engine would not start - at all!!! Hubbs was about to offer our vehicle when mother-in-love looked over at father-in-love and asked if he was feeling ok. "Are you having chest pains?" to which he answered a sheepish yes.


They learned last year when our son Steven broke his KNEE how very far the hospital is when you are deep in the woods! No need to go there again!

Hubbs came home a little sad. So, what is a good wife to do when her man cannot go to the wilderness as planned? Yep, we loaded the car and set out for the wilderness STORE!

But, hold up. Don't go engraving my name on the Wife Of The Year trophy just yet... I happen to know that there are two very good reasons to go to the wilderness haven of Eastern MI. One, there is a Panda Express in that mall. And two, there is a Verizon store right next door to said Wilderness joy. And, if wilderness can put a smile on my man's face, new cell phone beauty can do the same to mine! And, by golly, my phone was up for renewal the very next day.

See, we are trying to cut back on expenses - waaaayyyyy back! And texting is cheaper than talking - waaaayyyy cheaper. So, I have been hinting for a QWERTY endowed cell phone for Christmas for a few weeks now. And, by hinting I mean cutting out every add, checking websites daily and telling him where to find the best price, begging, pleading and sending SuperModel after him at church to show him HER new phone! But, ya know, not in an annoying kind of way.

So, we are at the mall and, in all my sneakiness and ninja skills I hand Hubbs his Christmas presents and send him off to the cash register. Oh yeah, I am that good! Hubbs is picky though, so it is better for all involved this way! We also got a few things for the girls - who were in the stroller with us! (And the ninja-ness is taught to a new generation!) Then we headed off to the food court. 'Cause nothing says "gee Honey, I am so sorry that your weekend was ruined" like a big 'ol bowl of orange chicken, some egg rolls and a few crab puffs!

Then we headed off to the Verizon store, so I could show him what I had in mind. Now, standing outside looking in, the store looks a bit on the small side. Throw in a few dozen patrons and one family with a double stroller commonly referred to as the SUBURBAN for kiddies and ya got yourself some serious store cozy! Hubbs' mood dropped a few points. I show him the phone, we check the price and ask about our VIP $50 discount. And learn that it cannot not (usually) be used on the secondary line - and I cannot upgrade until tomorrow, but if I could the kind lady would be ever so gracious enough to let me use it, but oh so sorry ya just can't! See ya!

Now, we had been to WalMart earlier in the week - hubby's favorite spot on earth! - and had seen the pone for about $50 less than in the store. So the next day, after church, we head our little tails to WalMart. They are out. She does some checking and finds a few at another location in the OPPOSITE direction from our house! Since the girls are getting fussy - and, by fussy I mean screaming at the tip top of their lungs that they want FOOD NOW (yeah, they are so demanding that way!), Hubbs says that we should go home and then one of us head out to the other WalMart in search of the phone.

And apparently, I am the "one of us" of which he spoke. So, I left in a quest for my own Christmas gift - which seems only fair.

But, it seems the lady did not check her source carefully, 'cause that store had been out of 'em for days! So SHE called another store - even farther - to find another one. I asked her to call the store to be sure that they had 'em. She did. They did. And I was off. But not before asking about the procedure. I did not want to get all the way out there to find that "yes, you can have the phone for this rock bottom price if you stand on your head and sing the Star Spangled Banner backwards at the top of your Lungs while juggling with your feet"! She explained the process to me - but left out the very important detail that the person whose name is on the account - the one with the PRIMARY number - has to be the one who does the upgrading.


And thank you so kindly!

I went home - after throwing an ever so Christian like hissy fit - completely bummed out.

SO - are you bored yet? - Hubby set out yesterday afternoon to get the phone at the Verizon store and see if the ever so kind lady would still allow me to use his discount. And he took Hattie. And she was great - right up til the time that they called his name. She then proceeded to throw herself a little fit that had the entire store looking at him. 'Cause she learned her hissy fittin' skills from the master! The helpful sales person checked our account and told the Hubbs that we were over 30 days delinquent so we could not get our phone. Ummm, no we aren't. In fact that lady that checked in on Saturday (who was not there) told us we actually had a credit! But hubbs was in no mood to fight with anyone other than Hattie. SO he walked out and came home.

He told me the tale, just before he left for the grocery store so he could calm down - all the while picking up a few things for his precious wife! As soon as the door shut behind him I got myself on the little phone and called to check the story. Yes, we do have a credit. I threw a slightly less ugly mini fit and told the kind lady our tale of woes and she had pity on me ... or at least my man. She not only gave us the $50 off, but she is sending the phone to our warm comfy home for FREE!

And SHE is my new best friend!

Hubby's too, I am sure!

Side note number one - Father in love is fine ... He has a touch of the angina. For the most part it is under control. But, ya know, on hunting days ya gotta make yourself a nice fat fritter for breakfast and put all the sausage you can find in the house in it! Hello chest pain, nice to see ya!

Side Note number two - we also took the girls to see Santa - the Wilderness store Santa. Nothing like a deer looking over our shoulder as you tell Santa all you want for Christmas. And the pictures, PRAISE THE LORD, were free.


But ya have to wait for Monday to see em. I am getting a bit desperate for Picture Perfect Monday stuff, like pictures, since my camera has been acting funny.

Hmmm, guess I shoulda mentioned THAT to Santa!

Ah well, maybe my new phone will have a good camera!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Boo Mama's Christmas Tour Of Homes


OK, so we here at B Manor are joining the festivities over at BooMama's place! So welcome to our humble home ...

Let's start in the yard, shall we.

Here is the yard nativity that my handsome husband found for me - he built the stable himself!

And what Christly birthplace would be complete without a star to light the way?

As we approach the house, you will notice the lovely garland my Hubbs put into place just last night (yes, we do love to procrastinate!!).

And our Christmas wreath waiting to welcome you at the front door.
(and, BooMama, this pic is photo evidence of why you should choose ME to win the new camera ... after this very poor quality photo was taken, and before I could get a better one, the old camera up and died!)

But, let's not forget my hopeful hint to the weatherman!!! I love me a white Christmas!
(Ask me again in April - Easter, I prefer a little GREEN!!!)

Here is Mr. Snowman to welcome you inside - notice he carries a reminder that YOU are fearfully and wonderfully made!!!)

And, HERE is the real reason for the season. Yes, we do love a little Santa around here, but you will find our home filled with reminders of what this season is TRULY all about!


An Angel sits at the top of our Christmas tree.

She is there to remind us to Take Time to Hear The Angels Sing - my Great Grandma's favorite saying!!

Well, Sophie lives here, so there is a fence around our tree.
Inside the fence you will find a few nutcracker soldiers keeping watch.

And on the tree, you will find a vast array of ornaments.

Homemade ones - like this first one that Hattie ever made!

Antique ones, like these that hung on my Grandma Straight's tree my entire life.


And fun ones, like Mr and Mrs Clause - from our first year as Mr and Mrs B!!!

And, of course, we have a Choo-Choo Train making it's way around the bottom!

And, here is Hattie's very own Nativity - than you Duhlstine family!!
And, of course, our stockings.

These are precious to me - my Mommy made each of them by hand. Steve's is a mountain climbing snow boot (because the first time my parents met him, he was bringing me the tree that he had gone up into the mountains to chop down for me!) Hattie's is a very close replica to my original stocking that had to be replaced a few years ago. Sophie's is an UGG style boot - because they are comfy and wonderful and ever so cute on tiny feet! And mine is a ballet slipper - because that is what I wore for my wedding! (Now, to be honest, for my reception I rocked a pair of purple converse high tops - which my mommy refused to make me because they were not "stocking worthy"!!!)
And, on our mantle, you will find one of two Christmas Villages. Our first Christmas, we bought my mommy this village and I loved it so much that after Christmas, Hubbs stalked every single Target in town until he had collected every piece for me! Good thing too, cause that was the only year that Target carried these babies!

And, this is the Santa that always sat by my Grandmas tree.

Now he sits by mine!
(I just got a little teary. Cannot believe she's been gone a year.)

And, of course, every home needs the Christmas Story LEG LAMP!!!! And, yes, it sits in our center front window all lit up every night! 'Cause we are just that tacky!

Awwww, here are two favorite Christmas items .. two little Santa Babies in the tub!!

And here is the BEAUTIFUL center piece that my sweet friend Jane won at the Ladies Christmas Banquet last week at church. And then she gave it to me!
One more reminder of the REAL reason for Christmas!

I hope that you enjoyed our home. I loved having you stop by - come any time!
And I pray that this season, and all year long, you know the One TRUE Joy of Christmas!
And, remember, take time to hear the Angels sing. It is a sweet song of love, redemption, forgiveness, peace and joy. A song written just for YOU!
Merry CHRISTmas!