Lillie Mae Acres

Lillie Mae Acres

Monday, October 31, 2011

Starting Tomorrow

November 1st, it'll be here tomorrow and that means NOTHING can stop Lillie Mae from decorating for Christmas. Well in all honesty, I've snuck and started already. I started Saturday when Matthew brought the big tree up from the shed. It's pre lit so it just stood here in the living room until today without any ornaments on it. I'm going to just do a little each day even if it takes all week.

The kitchen is still decorated for Thanksgiving until afterwards, usually the weekend. I enjoy taking my time and decorating early enough so we can all enjoy the seasons and holidays along with all the beauty that surrounds them.

I already have the boxes of Christmas cards sitting out so I can get started on them soon. I've got so much end of the year paperwork to complete and turn in with Matt's school work, that has to be done first. So him and I both will be very busy next week. His end of the year is mid November. That's one of the joys of homeschooling, you can take twelve months and spread it out, taking as many breaks as you want. The way he likes to travel and plays in the bands, there are a lot of times that we can't work a whole month without time off.

Starting tomorrow November 1st women everywhere will start their holiday decorating. I can't help that I've always been a preplanner. Although I work well under pressure, I do much better with a set of plans rolling around in my country head.

I can hardly wait until we all start sharing pictures of our homes decked out for the special months ahead.

See ya later, I've got to get to bed so I can be an early riser in the morning with the roosters and do a little bit more decorating.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Our New Little Man

Well here's our new little man, just a little early but healthy as can be. My niece called me in the wee hours of Saturday morning, I think it was 1:25am. She said she was in at the hospital and a little less than twelve hours later at 1:07pm baby Colliar arrived.

They are all home and settling in to the routine that one more little family adds. He's a good sleeper so far and it only took Lily one night to settle down and basically get back to her set bedtime, etc.
I am so proud of Mandy and the life her and Aaron have created for themselves in Missouri.
Her and I were just talking and she said the temps dropped dramatically overnight, but her and the kids are getting ready to go out for the first time to an appointment. Aaron went back to work this morning and she's got things to do, so off they go and it'll become easier and easier.
I just praise God for His greatness and for this new little healthy bundle of yummy love and joy. I wish I could be there to hold him and love on him but that's not possible right now.
I hope you all have a lovely day. I can't believe it's already Wednesday. I'm hoping to go Christmas shopping with my beautiful mom tomorrow and I've already started ordering what my two favorite guys want. I want the whole month of December to be relaxed and joyful, feasting upon the beautiful time of year and God, family, and friends.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

This Time of Year

Here is an unfinished list of my favorite things about this time of year.

Colors of fall, we're in FL so mainly inside decor
Cooler weather, less muggy
Choosing a scent(s)to use this season in our home - this year it's Mulberry
Talking about the holidays and family gatherings
Making lists and plans for Thanksgiving
Pulling out favorite recipes for the big day
Thinking about a fire
and smores
and marshmallows
and chili
and pumpkins
Wearing snuggly PJs and sometimes socks
Changing the throws in the LR, putting out the winter ones
Finding fall clothes in the back of the closet I forgot about
Thinking about a Christmas list and Christmas lunch
TV commercials

I doubt this list could ever be finished. There is just way too much about this time of year being so wonderful. It seems like everyday there is something else to think about or wish I could do. Right now, I'd love a hayride!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bringing Out the Thicker Ones

I do not decorate my living room for fall. As it get's cooler outside, it seems to take on a fall/winter theme with little effort. This week, I simply packed away the summer throws that I had sitting around and cuddled under all spring/summer and brought out the nice cozy winter ones. Buffalo plaid and checks of all colors are sitting around just waiting to be snuggled under for months to come.

Pretty soon the fireplace will need to be cleaned out and prepared for use. I want it to be all ready for that first roaring fire.

That may be something I do this weekend, I may bring the wood rack up to the back porch and get it stacked full of wood. Then a week or maybe two before Thanksgiving, we'll put up the big Christmas tree.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pitty in Pink

My beautiful pink cuppycake Lily just turned 2 years old and she is pitty in pink. Pitty is how she says pretty! Her mommy made sure to take a lot of pictures of her for us and of the big girl bedroom they created for her while she was out with her grandmother. Then they surprised her with it when she got home. I did the same on Matthew's 2nd birthday, way way too many years ago. Sniffle sniffle! I think the 2nd birthday is the perfect age and occasion to create a big boy/girl bedroom if possible.
My niece said Lily was so excited! She wouldn't let anyone on the bed because it was HERS. As of this morning, she still doesn't want anyone up in the bed except she did want her mommy to lay down with her for a few minutes. I just can't believe she's already 2 and in a big girl bed!
I love it! I made and sent her the wooden L I L Y letters for her wall and the decals on the new furniture match her bedding perfectly.

She looks pretty happy to me! Or should we say Pitty Happy!
Her grandmother made her a sock monkey cake. Isn't it adorable? Her baby brother is about to arrive any day now, mommy (my niece Mandy) has already had a few complications so they didn't dare plan a huge birthday party. They planned her big girl room and a few more nice gifts, her grandmother took her out for lunch so her parents could do this, and then I think they were going to take her to Chucky Cheese.

Mandy said these huge letters fit perfectly and cover up most of her play floor in her room.
Matthew, oh that banjo picking boy! We are so proud of him, not only for his great talents but for his walk with God and his personal relationship with God. He's a fine young Christian man and seeking His will for his future.
He just had to have this beautiful 1989 Granada! It's a Gibson banjo, and of course mom and dad wanted him to have it too because he is so serious about his music and picking in church and in the bands that he belongs to. If you don't know (which I didn't until recently), this banjo is a VERY GOOD thing!

Today I mowed the grass for the last time this year I think. It wasn't too high, I just wanted to trim it all up pretty one last time. My plants are fading away for fall and winter, soon I'll pile them all close to one another and get ready to cover them when the weather man tells me to.

Well, that's it folks. I've got a dirty kitchen to get up and clean and a huge comfy bed to go crawl into as soon as I can. Thanks for stopping by and I'll see ya later!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Looking Ahead & Getting Excited

Am I the only female that does not like shopping in crowds and fighting my way through big sale events during the Christmas shopping season? Surely not! You know I love shopping at a slow easy pace plundering through thrift stores, antique malls, and flea markets. That's way different than trying to decide what to buy someone for Christmas and running out to get it at the lowest price of the season, etc., etc. It's madness and spoils the reason for the season so I will not do it. You won't catch me in town the day after Thanksgiving. You won't catch me in town Christmas Eve or the day after Christmas. I'll wait a few days after Christmas and start checking on the sale and clearance isles as I go into town to grocery shop. That's when I find my seasonal bargains. People are back to being friendly then too. Have you noticed how the holidays bring out the worst attitudes in people that let it? What a shame!

I'm happy to inform the world that this year both of my favorite guys are wanting things that have to be ordered! Yay! I thought we were going to have to go laptop shopping for Matthew but he's decided he doesn't want or need one since he's fixing to get a new phone. So he has already placed some nice things in the checkout of an online catalog for musicians, and when I'm ready to place the order I'll just CLICK and it's done. How simple is that gonna be? He even told me a couple of the things are things his dad wants. BINGO!

I sure hope the above doesn't sound materialistic to you. Believe me, our greatest joy is the decorating and celebrating. Gift buying is certainly the least pleasure of it all. My mom and I have both started shopping each week for special items for the people that we wish to give a little something to. It's a pleasure to find stuff that I can stop and think about rather than just grab something for someone just because I think I owe them a gift. I do not like that feeling at all!

CELEBRATING and DECORATING....that's Lillie Mae's love. I love what Christmas is all about. I love the Christmas story, beautiful nativity scenes, cooking/baking, family, and friends. I have several get togethers bouncing around in my head for us to host here on Lillie Mae Acres and hope it all works out.

But first we're are already looking forward to Thanksgiving! My mom and I have already discussed and re-discussed the menu and the day. Who will cook what! I love Thanksgiving too. How about you, are you already looking ahead and getting excited? Are you already thinking about Thanksgiving?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Looking Forward To Decorating for Christmas

Hey there everyone., come on in. Plop down and enjoy yourself as you read this short post. I promise it's not a long one full of too many pictures like the last. I just had so much to share with you the other day!

Are you enjoying beautiful fall weather yet? We've had just a little, right now it's warm again. It won't be long though until we have steady cool temps to lead us into the upcoming holidays.

I was watching either HSN or QVC this morning and they had a beautiful fireplace and mantel decorated for Christmas. I looked over at mine and gave it a little itty bitty thought for just a second or two. Too early! I can't hardly wait though, how about you? I know I have some brand new lighted garland and other decorations that I got off of clearance isles after last Christmas. I try to hit those isles as much as possible and can usually get beautiful decorations for almost nothing. It's always like receiving presents when I open my storage tubs because I forget what all I've gotten and packed away. Of course I keep telling myself to STOP, it seems like each year I have to add a new tub to my already huge collection of tubs labeled Christmas out in the storage shed.
(I got this lovely graphic off the internet, it didn't list a source)

My niece moved earlier this year and was limited what she could take and actually wanted to take. I've collected Holly pattern dishes for a long time and she ended up giving me her collection to add to mine. So I guess you know what I'll be doing Thanksgiving night or the weekend after! The dishes she gave me are "new" to me. I'm excited

One more thing, I've been having problems commenting on a lot of blogs for months now. What is the problem? Are any of you having that problem? In the past couple of days I've written out comments only to have the page go back to my log in page. I log in AGAIN, then I've lost the comment I spent time preparing. Getting frustrated! So please don't think I'm not reading your lovely blogs and enjoying them, I have been and I will figure this comment problem out real soon hopefully!

Have a blessed weekend.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Such a GREAT Visit, Too Short

WARNING: Tons of pictures for your enjoyment so get yourself a cup of coffee and plan to visit for a while. I should have made us something sweet to nibble on.

I had so much fun! Matthew was determined to go to IBMA in Nashville, Tennessee for the second year in a row. He just couldn't decide how to get there. He wanted to fly, yet more of them could go if they got together and drove. The trip was on, then off several times. Finally, him and two of his Bluegrassin' buddies got together and made concrete plans to drive. That's where I come in.

A few weeks ago, my aunt and uncle stopped by Lillie Mae Acres for a short little visit on their way back home to north Alabama. They invited me to stay with them if Matthew and his friends decided to drive instead of fly, the guys could just drop me off on the way. I knew it would be a wonderful visit with two wonderful people that I really did want to spend some quality time with. So, that's exactly what we did. Such a GREAT visit, but way too short. I missed that sweet hubby of mine so much, but I sure was having a good time.

One day we spent almost a whole day driving around Amish country in Tennessee. Beautiful land speckled with Amish families among English families (that's us). Beautiful homes and barns, beautiful farms, and such sweet simple beautiful people. It was nothing like I thought. I don't know why I expected it to be more commercialized. There were no stores, no large showrooms filled with beautiful handmade items. These folks have no electricity, no running water, and there are no large quantities of anything. Large items like outdoor furniture are ordered unless he already has something made up and not sold yet. They tell you when it will be ready and you can come back for it. They will mail you a postcard, no phone call. They do not have phones!

We actually went to their homes. As we drove the beautiful winding roads we would come across wooden signs at the end of a family's driveway. Little white signs with black painted letters. These signs told us what that man and his family made and sold. Lumber, outdoor furniture, jams, pepper sauce, fresh produce, etc. Cash only!

Nothing fancy, nothing flashy. We even came across a selection of Kudzu Jelly. YUM, it tasted almost like Plum Jelly. KUDZU, that wild vine that smothers hills, buildings and anything else in it's path if it sits there long enough. Who knew it bloomed and was even edible? Everything on the Kudzu plant is edible except the stalk. The root is even cooked like potatoes. I sort of want to try one of those.

I only took a few pictures. We would have been stopping EVERYWHERE if I took pictures of everything that I wanted to.

My uncle told me that they do not want their picture taken. I suppose it was alright that I took a few of the buildings, and did sneak a distant picture of one of the girls. Then I felt almost ashamed, because I was intruding on their life and going against their wishes so I stopped.

In the above picture, my uncle is asking her where her husband is. They speak German inside their homes so their English has a very strong German accent. Especially the children. I can't remember what they sold here, I think it was supposed to be wooden outdoor play sets for kids. We found the family that builds those and they are such good quality. It doesn't take an expert to tell the difference right away between their products and those you see in stores.

Above, tabacco hung to dry out in the shop where the lumber is cut.

Above is just one of their schoolhouse - church buildings. No indoor bathrooms in any of their homes or buildings.

I was just fascinated with their homemade clothes. Pants worn by the boys and men with no placks, no back pockets. Most of the women and children were barefoot. The straw hats with the thin black band. How simple and plain, and it makes you wonder what they are thinking about us and the way we dress.
No curtains in their simple yet beautiful homes. All of them are painted white with black trim. None of their windows have curtains. The weather was so pretty that some of the windows were open. I would love to see inside but was told that never happens. Except, my creative, talkative uncle did get invited in a few years ago by the man that he ordered a lot of beautiful furniture from. We went to his home and was told that him and his family moved on about two years ago. What a shame.

One family grew pumpkins. I wish I had taken a picture of them, they were so bright and pretty they almost looked fake. Just piles of them. At that same home we were able to go to the building where a few pieces of furniture was. Her husband made beautiful hickory furniture and left the bark on. I purchased the quilt ladder in the picture below.

Not a nail, screw, or sign of glue on it anywhere. Just beautiful.
My aunt already had plans at her church so she invited me along. It was a sit down dinner with a guest speaker talking to us about the high number of children in foster care in Alabama. Each table was decorated in a different theme, all beautiful. We chose to sit at this beautiful PINK table, decorated in honor of Breast cancer Awareness. The food was yummy, the fellowship was so fun, and the cause was very touching.
My beautiful Aunt Vegie and me at her church. I met some really sweet and talented ladies that night.

See the above picture? How cute! One morning we went to a very small little country cafe for breakfast. It actually used to be the family's garage. So delicious, so friendly. I love places like that and sadly they are too few and far between.

I came home with some wonderful new recipes and you all know how I love those. More important is that I came home with new and old memories to treasure and share.
Below are pictures of those CRAZY Bluegrassers that can't even wait until they get to Tennessee to pick.
A good CD is always nice to have for a long trip, but live music is even better.

Of course they all had fun, met a lot of their favorite famous pickers, a lot of new pickers and fand, and that banjo pickin' son of ours called us wanting to buy a new/old banjo. He called me and I said call your dad. He called his dad and he said talk to your mama. His plea was that he got to pick it and HAS TO HAVE IT!!! Oh yes, the guy shipped it overnight yesterday and it arrives today! It's a very old Gibson and I've recently been educated (in the past two days) on these things by Matthew. If the banjo is quality, the older it gets the better it sounds and this new/old Banjo that is on it's way is the best.
Below are some more IBMA pictures of Matt's.

I guess they ran off and left Jeff in charge of most of their instruments.
J.D. Crowe and one of his biggest fans Matthew!
Doyle Lawson and one of his biggest fans Matthew!

That beautiful famous Ryman!
Kenny Smith picking Jeff's guitar. He complimented it too!

Someone made this Bass. Not the usual look!

I hope you enjoyed all of these pictures from our trips last week. Come back real soon.