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Christmas 2017

Holiday House Log Cabin Open House Invitation Holiday House Memories Ideas for Log Home Decorating Solar Heating Tips Christmas Morning Frittata

Looking Ahead By Josh Beasley President, Honest Abe Log Homes Probably the best part of becoming a log home owner is that you become part of the family of owners willing to share their building experiences from site selection to plan d evel o p m ent , f ro m co nst r u c t i o n to decorating. In 2018 our family at Honest Abe is ready to introduce you to your forever home with a series of log raisings, open houses, special events and home tours. Regardless of where you are in the process of thinking about a log home in your family’s future and whether it will be your residence or a vacation getaway, Honest Abe is ready to share our expertise and experience. Probably one of the most fun ways to learn about building a custom log home is to come to a Log Raising! And, no, you won’t be hammering and lifting, but we will provide a demonstration of how a home is built in our climate controlled events building. Dates for the free, reservation-required 2018 events are January 27, March 24, May 19, August 4 and October 20. Families are welcome at the Log Raising. They each begin at 9 a.m. with a coffee and snacks and end at noon with a complimentary lunch. After the Log Raising, we invite you to accompany us to the Mill to see where the logs are kiln-dried, cut and stored before being shipped to the building site. While we always hope that everyone will get to a Log Raising at our Headquarters, we do want you to explore a finished home for building and decorating ideas. Each quarter in 2018, Honest Abe Log Homes will open one of its model homes located in the Middle Tennessee towns of Murfreesboro, Cookeville, Crossville and Moss. Each offers a chance to explore your own ideas while seeing how a variety of choices may be interpreted, such as log and corner styles, timber frame construction, roof systems, porches, staircases and more. For details visit the event calendar, follow us on Facebook or register for our mailing list. We wish for you a Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year. We’ll look forward to seeing you in 2018.

Christmas 2017

In this issue... Christmas Cabin Open House, p.3 Holiday House Memories, p. 4-9 Decorating Ideas, p. 10-11 Log Raising, p. 12 Solar Heating Tips, p. 13-14 Christmas Breakfast Recipe, p. 16 Honest Abe Living editing, design and layout by Claudia Johnson.

Connect with Honest Abe Facebook – Like us on our Facebook fan page and join the growing community. Pinterest – Make your board more beautiful by pinning Honest Abe pictures. Google+ – Join the Honest Abe circle for photos, news, ideas and more. Twitter – Articles, resources, photo galleries and log home news, all shared here first. YouTube – Watch and learn about log and timber frame homes on our YouTube station. LinkedIn – Follow company and log home industry news on our LinkedIn company profile page.


800-231-3695 For photos, floor plans and much more visit Find Honest Abe Living articles, stunning photography and more information at the Honest Abe Log Homes blog and news room.

Honest Abe Living, Christmas 2017

You’re Invited to Christmas at the Clayton Cabin

We truly enjoy living in our log home, and Christmas in our cabin is exciting. We emphasize fresh greenery and candles – keeping the decorations simple and traditional. There is fresh greenery on every door inside and outside. There is greenery on the mantel and candles in many places. We even have a real candle-lit fixture over our dining table. Our lighted tree is in a small galvanized tub and the tree trunk wrapped in brown burlap with brown wooden bird cutouts hung on the tree. With a fire in the fireplace, there is a warm, cozy welcome for our Christmas guests. – Ken and Joy Clayton You are Invited to visit the Claytons on December 9 On Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, Honest Abe Log Homes and Honest Abe homeowners Ken and Joy Clayton invite the public for a Christmas visit between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Begin the day by picking up directions to the Claytons’ Christmas Open House and enjoying refreshments at Honest Abe Crossville, 448 Crabtree Road, Crossville, Tenn., which will also be decorated for the holidays. This is a free event. For more information call your sales representative or dealer.


Honest Abe Living, Christmas 2017

A Log Home is the Perfect Holiday House


Honest Abe Living, Christmas 2017

Honest Abe Living asked some of our customers to share why living in a log home is particularly special during the Christmas season. They’ve shared their memories, observations and wishes as they’ve recalled the spirit of Christmas past in their holiday house.


Honest Abe Living, Christmas 2017

Regardless of where we live, Christmas has always been about family. It just feels a bit more traditional in a log home with the fireplace burning and stockings hanging from the mantel. – Dave and Pam Bullock


Honest Abe Living, Christmas 2017

One of the most enjoyable times in my log home is when I begin to decorate for Christmas! When I lived in my previous home, I only had room to decorate one tree. But now in my log home, I actually find spaces to decorate at least SEVEN trees. The time spent trimming each tree and hanging garlands gives my log home an extra beauty that only the Christmas season can bring. Every light on my trees and garlands simply echoes the heavenly hosts and Bethlehem Star – and the heavens and earth declare His Glory. From my log home I join in the heavenly chorus, “Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth peace and good will toward men.” And, occasionally, the dream of waking up to a White Christmas comes true. From the inside of my log home looking out to the natural sparkling beauty that only a White Christmas morning can bring has been a thrill that is unforgettable. It is truly my favorite time of the year. From my home to yours – I send you Christmas blessings and hope this is a wonderful season for you and your family! Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and “may all your Christmases be white.” – Sharron Bilbrey, Crossville, Tennessee

A Log Home Christmas – decorating, praising & wishing

Sharron captured a photo of a Christmas morning from her Honest Abe log home when her white Christmas wish came true.

Christmas Morning in a Log Home The most wonderful time of the year is already in the air at the Isenberg log home. Soon the five grandchildren bubbling over with excitement will decorate the traditional big tree with ornaments galore. We will also decorate the black tree, the pink tree and the USA tree. Our fireplace gets pretty crowded with eleven stockings – the big kids get a stocking also. Wrapping the presents is a family affair. Nanny makes sure there is no peeking. Finally. Christmas Eve is here.  The grandchildren sleep on love seats and mattresses in the floor in Nanny and Pa's bedroom. The stockings are magically filled during the night as Santa makes his appearance. However, the grandchildren must wait a little longer while Pa, Nanny and our three daughters cook a big country breakfast. Now it is time to open the presents. At this point Nanny begins to get a little sad because they will be leaving soon.  Then I remember they will all be back and spend the night for our New Year's Eve celebration! – Joe and Anna Isenberg, Moss, Tennessee


Honest Abe Living, Christmas 2017

Holiday Hideout is Place of Magic for Family Our log home is a family destination for our seven children and their spouses and our 18 grandchildren. Two of the seven live over 600 miles away. Not only do the beautiful decorations on the front and rear porches, the balcony, the mantel and the 9' tall Christmas tree excite the visual senses, but we get the added sensation when they walk in the front door and take a deep breath and exclaim, “Smell that wood!” With the beautiful exterior views of the lake and the snow covered forest, combined with the rugged wooden interior and stone fireplace, and all of the holiday decorations, all give such a sense of warmth, comfort, and peace. This log home brings our family closer together and creates memories for our grandchildren that will last throughout their lives. – Chuck and Ann Bailey, Brown County, Indiana

The Baileys opt for traditional Christmas decorations inside and out for the Honest Abe Log Home.

The Baileys’ grandson described his family’s Christmas tradition in a first grade art project. “His house is made of logs.” Even a child sees how special it is to live in a log home. 8

Honest Abe Living, Christmas 2017

Christmas Growing Up in a Log Home Log homes are amazing during Christmas time. When you get the chance to decorate your log home for the holiday there is nothing like it. The decorations blend perfectly with the warm feel of the wood. It's picturesque and it feels like you're living in a Norman Rockwell painting. And Christmas as a kid growing up in a log home was absolutely magical. It was a time of the year that was anticipated and looked forward to all year long. Not only because of gifts (I was a kid after all) but also because when I thought our log home couldn't feel more like "home" it always did this time of year. It was beautiful to look at on the inside and outside. – Ethan Birdwell, Moss, Tennessee

First Christmas Together in a Log Home is Special For my first Christmas with my husband, Nick, we cut down a live tree. We baked ornaments and painted them by hand. We strung popcorn. I made yoyo garland. It was fun! I think the great thing about Christmas is that everyone seems to come together to spend time together and celebrate the Lord Jesus. It is a time of fellowship, thanksgiving, sharing and best of all, time together. It's a time to make hot chocolate, share laughter and memories together, eat together. I do love seeing people's faces when they open and love their gifts, but it's really about time spent together. April & Nick Patterson on their first Christmas together after they married in 2012

– April Smith Patterson, co-owner, Honest Abe Log Homes


Honest Abe Living, Christmas 2017

Ideas for Decorating a Holiday Home By Molly Hix Cooper Honest Abe Interior Design Coordinator Christmas is a time for traditions to be made and shared with family and friends, and with that comes the time to prepare your home with decorations. The memories seem to flood in each and every year when the boxes are pulled from storage and opened to reveal the spirit of Christmas. Whether you are having your closest family come for an intimate dinner or a group of friends over to exchange gifts and play games, how you decorate your home will go with them and become part of the memory they have of their Christmas with you. Decorating a log home interior and exterior with natural greenery like magnolia leaves, cedar cuttings, fresh wreathes and garlands enhances the beauty of the wood components during the holidays.

If you want to make lasting impressions, you should always start with your front porch or the most used entry into the home. Make them want to come in and discover what is on the inside by the way you have decorated the outside. Your door and the area near is the gateway into your home. Hang a festive wreath on the door or windows all tied with beautiful bows. If you have any Snowmen or Santa’s group them together near the entry to make the home most inviting. Second, as guests enter the home let the first thing that they notice be the smells and sounds of Christmas. Have a special brew steeping on the stove with the aroma of cinnamon or peppermint flowing through out the home. Even a nice candle or candle warmer will do the trick. In the background, very softly and not overpowering, have the songs and sounds of the Holidays playing. Both adults and children alike love hearing Frosty the Snowman or Santa Claus is Coming to Town and will sing along with the music as the night goes on. 10

Honest Abe Living, Christmas 2017

As Christmas rolls around each year my family and I always enjoy getting all the old homemade and personal decorations out and displaying them for all to see. The ones I made as a kindergartner (all those years ago) still holds a very special place for me and are in every Christmas memory I can think of. If you decorate the home as a family, it is always nice to relive times past in all the older decorations. Some even have their special “spot” and it is tradition each year to place it and see it there. Next, I always try to bring the outdoors in. Fresh clippings of evergreens from your lawn or garden always make for a lasting impression. Simply clip the ends of evergreen bushes or trees such as a magnolia, holly, or cedar. Lay it beside a Christmas book on the coffee table or on your bedside table by itself.

Kitchens and bathrooms can be beautifully decorated and still remain functional. Subtlety is key in decorating heavily used areas of the home. Dining areas provide ample opportunity for expressing Christmas creativity.

You can even tie several different types of greens together with a bright red ribbon, add a few glass ornament balls sitting between the branches for an extra personal touch. Lastly, for all the special dinners or for Christmas morning breakfast, make your tablescape personal. Use your fine china dishes and silverware. Place name cards at each place sitting. You can even set up a children’s table with a brown paper table covering with crayons scattered around to keep the little ones busy while the adults talk and share their favorite memories of times past. Christmas means different things to everyone, and everyone has their own special memories they carry with them throughout the holiday season. Make a point to start traditions, to create memories, to encourage your family and friends to love the season as much as you love decorating your home and inviting them in. See page 3 for an invitation to a Christmas open house at


Honest Abe Living, Christmas 2017

Visit our model homes decorated for Christmas 2017

Get addresses at

Register early for the Jan. 27, 2018 Log Raising Call 800-231-3695 Limited Seating • Families Welcome FREE Event • Lunch Provided Reservations Required More info at

The Mill

Storehouse Located in the original Model of Honest Abe Log Homes & online. Details at


Honest Abe Living, Christmas 2017

Log and Timber Home Solar Heating Tips With the cost of energy costs doubling or quadrupling in many regions of the U.S. (homeowners are now spending an average of $2,000 a year) many are giving passive solar strategies a fresh look. Get started with these strategies when planning for a new log or timber frame home:

In most regions of the U.S. by simply orientating the home toward the sun, it will reduce its total energy costs by 30 to 40 percent.

Bring Your Compass If you plan on including some passive solar design, one should shop for land with a compass in hand and analyze each site’s potential. Your goal is a site with southern exposure. Another way to analyze its potential is to take photos of your property at different times of day (and at different times of year, if possible) to weigh your orientation options.


One doesn’t need a large parcel of land to position the home to take advantage of the sun’s power. A half acre or even less, can provide enough room to angle the home to benefit from passive solar orientation. Investigate whether an angled placement on your site won’t run afoul of community covenants or city building codes.

Doesn’t Have To Be True South To Work If possible the longer axis of the home, also known as the ridge line, should be oriented East to West. By facing the ridge line in that direction, the longer dimension of your home faces south and catches the sun. Although it is best to face the home directly south, it can be oriented up to 30 degrees away from due south and lose only five percent of the potential energy savings.

Consider Altering Terrain Is your building site hilly or heavily wooded? You can still make a passive solar design an option if you are willing to alter the terrain and thin some trees.

Floor Plan Fine Tuning Although any design can be used with passive solar, an open floor plan tends to work the best. An easy airflow helps disperse the energy absorbed from the sun, which radiates back into the home after sundown. Planning the rooms with attention to the usage can save energy in other ways. Areas like storage rooms, garages, or laundry rooms can be situated on the home’s east or west “short side,” where they can act as a thermal buffer. 13

Honest Abe Living, Christmas 2017

Window Location & Eave Strategies The sun is higher in the summer sky and lower in the winter sky. Designers use this constant to calculate window placement and the width of the roof overhang (sometimes called the “gull overhang”). The two architectural elements acting in concert, keep the high summer sun out while letting the lower winter sun penetrate deep within the home.

Choose An Experienced Builder A contractor or designer familiar with solar orientation will visit your site, preferably at different times of year, to understand how the topography of the land interacts with the sun’s path. Scale models can also provide the feedback on possible solar strategies.

Add More Thermal Mass The energy advantage of a log and timber home is in its thermal mass, which means these homes stay cool in summer and warm in winter. But you can add additional thermal mass by installing tile floors in front of south-facing windows. These will hold heat better in winter and keeping rooms cooler in summer.

Window Options The range of glazing possibilities today isn’t limited to just low-emissivity or “low-e” windows, which are typically the energy efficient option. One can specify different types of glazing on the windows to suit different orientations on the home.For example, using heat-rejecting glazing on west windows, R-value glazing for north and east windows, and clear double-glazing on windows that are south facing.

Utilize Landscaping Once your home is finished, become attuned to the pattern of air movement on your property and how it affects your home’s energy performance. Use this knowledge when creating your landscape strategy. For instance, evergreen trees on the north side of your home can buffer winter winds. Deciduous trees placed on the south, east or west can shade your home in the summer before dropping their leaves in the winter to let the sun shine in. One can also use this knowledge of sun and wind patterns for placing a hot tub, pool or vegetable garden.

Strategy A host of variables will determine your design strategy, from the latitude of your building site and terrain to the floor plan, wall height and roof pitch. Solar orientation costs very little to accomplish, yet if you plan well you’ll reap substantial rewards over the entire life of the home, in reduced energy costs and increased comfort. Courtesy of ©Log and Timber Homes Council, part of the National Association of Homebuilders.


Honest Abe Living, Christmas 2017

The Breakfast Queen’s Pasta Frittata Olive oil 3/4 c. chopped onion 3/4 c. thinly sliced red bell pepper 1 1/2 c. zucchini cut into thick julienne Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/2 c. whole milk 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving 2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, pulled into bite-size pieces 3 c. leftover cooked spaghetti

2 garlic cloves, minced 1 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms 1 t. dried oregano 9 extra-large eggs 6 oz. shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. 2. In a 10” cast iron skillet, heat just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring a few times, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper, mushrooms, and zucchini and cook, stirring a few times, until soft, 6 to 10 minutes. Add the oregano and season to taste with salt and pepper; transfer the mixture to a bowl. (If the vegetables have given off a lot of liquid, drain off most of it.) Wipe out the skillet and brush lightly with oil. Cut a piece of parchment to size and place in the bottom of the pan. Brush with oil. Set aside. 3. In large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the eggs, milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Add the Cheddar and Parmesan and blend on low. With the mixer running, add the cream cheese a few pieces at a time. 4. Put the spaghetti in the prepared skillet. Spoon in the vegetables. Pour in the egg mixture. Mix with your hands so that all the components are equally distributed within the pan. Pat down so that as much as possible the solids are covered with liquid. Bake until firm to the touch and lightly brown, 30 to 40 minutes. It will puff up when baking, then settle as it cools. 5. Cut into wedges and serve immediately sprinkled with some freshly grated Parmesan. This is also good served the next day. Wait until the frittata is cool, invert it onto a plate, and turn right side up again. Refrigerate and, when cold, cut into portions. Wrap them well and refrigerate. The next day, unwrap the wedges, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and reheat for 10 to 15 minutes at 400°. Serves 8 to 10.

With 200 recipes curated from Lodge's network of chefs and fans, Cast Iron Nation boasts a diverse array of recipes, stories and spectacular photography. Get it at


Honest Abe Living, Christmas 2017

Holidays look better from an Honest Abe Log Home Visit the Honest Abe Crossville Model Dec. 9, 2017, for refreshments and a tour of the home dressed for the holidays.

Honest Abe Living, Christmas 2017  
Honest Abe Living, Christmas 2017  

Read about Christmas with Honest Abe homeowners. Get tips for holiday decorating. Find out how to place a log home for best solar heating. L...