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December 2011

A Ma & Pa Wilson Christmas Article by: Melissa Watson Photography by: Melissa Schubert & Jeanette Wilson unless otherwise noted.


hroughout the next few weeks, families everywhere will be busy with the hustle and bustle the Christmas season brings. The yearly family traditions, each unique and special to one’s own family and the many festivities one takes part in or attends this time of year are already upon us. Time spent shopping for the perfect gift for your loved ones, caroling, plays and numerous parties with church, work and family fill our days. This is no different for Grady and Janet Wilson and their family. Christmas, among other holidays, is filled with rich family traditions and time spent building

December 2011 memories with each other. Deck the Halls Preparing and decorating their 4,100 square foot log home for the Christmas season is always a fun and creative challenge for Janet each year. Starting the decorating the last of October, she is usually putting the finishing touches on her home the week of Christmas. Besides the ten Christmas trees Janet puts up each year, the house is filled with various decorations throughout to match the rustic lodge décor of her home. Each room, having a special theme, for example, the bear room, the moose room, the

Photo by: Roger Wade Studio |

Southwest buffalo room, and the North American woodland room, just to name a few, are decorated accordingly. A wide variety of decorations are used to embellish the predominant décor such as red berries, wreaths, sleds, cranberries, grapes, apples, elk horns, deer, bells and even sixteen inch pine cones specially purchased and grown only out west. The biggest tree, which is twelve feet, is situated in the family room. A nine foot tree stands in the living room, and an eight foot tree in the master bedroom which is where the family gathers for their Christmas celebration. Smaller trees down to

December 2011 four feet are scattered throughout the home mingled with greenery, lights and tasteful and exquisite decorations for the Christmas season. One very unique tree situated in the dining room is decorated with red birds. The glass ornaments in this home are extra special because Grady’s mother is the artist of each delicately hand-painted bulb. In the dining room, majestically displayed within open doors of the rustic, yet elaborate hutch is a beautiful Nativity. Listening closely, one can hear the peaceful

and tranquil sounds of a waterfall. Exiting the dining room and entering into the breezeway, an astounding visual of the soothing sounds previously heard is before you as you take in the beautiful waterfall trickling down the walls. Enhancing the natural beauty of it is the stunning three foot Nativity, handmade from chenille. This amazing work of art is situated across from the waterfall in the breezeway window, set off and embellished with pine, berries, and lights giving one a sense of awe as they gaze upon it. If anyone is lacking in Christmas

spirit, a stroll through the Wilson home is sure to stir up the spirit within of this wonderful season! Here Come the Relatives The Grady’s have a total of 14 that all gather at their home Christmas Eve. This includes daughter Melissa and her husband, Jackie; son Nathan and his wife Jeanette; and grandchildren Chloe, Graycee, Jon-Luke, Dalton, Levi, Bridgette, Chelsea and Jackie. The food consists of a delicious assortment of finger foods. Throughout the house, one can smell the aroma of what Janet and her family call

December 2011 ‘hot toddy;’ a mixture of apple cider, cinnamon, and other spices, steaming from the crock pot to be enjoyed throughout the evening. Everyone then gathers in the spacious master bedroom for the traditional reflection of Christmas followed by opening of gifts. Son Nathan reads the Christmas story of the Nativity from the Bible, and the family takes this time to reflect on what Christmas means to them.  The family then gathers around, holding hands, praying with thankfulness in their hearts for everyone’s safety throughout the year and the tremendous blessing of all being together.  Next, everyone picks a spot for gift opening time!  Someone is elected to hand out gifts, but no one is to begin opening till all are handed out.  Then one at a time, gifts are opened while all are watching, and daughter Melissa takes pictures to capture memories to be enjoyed many years later. Breakfast is Served To top off an already eventful day, some of the grand kids stay the night with Ma and Pa while the children’s parents and older grand kids return to their home. The next morning Ma and Pa cook breakfast in Janet’s cozy, but well equipped kitchen complete with Jenn-Air appliances making it easier to cook a variety of things. The décor of the copper farm sinks and counters along with elk horns above provide a cozy,

December 2011 old-fashion feeling of Christmas from days gone by. One fond memory Janet recalls is their first Christmas breakfast in their lovely log home five years ago. The grand kids were given slips of paper Christmas Eve and told to write down their ‘order’ for breakfast Christmas morning.  The next morning Ma and Pa Grady cooked and served each one their special breakfast. Looking back, one can see where it’s not the big things that make the most heartfelt memories, but really the simple gestures in life that we talk about and remember for years to come. For the grand kids, Christmas breakfast at Ma and Pa’s is definitely a very special and memorable event each year!

Dreams of Christmas Future The Wilson’s had always dreamed of building a large and rustic log home one day; that dream became a reality five years ago. Planned out with great detail and decorated so uniquely and creatively, their home is amazing! Realizing how tough and difficult life can be at times, Grady and Janet’s desire was for their children and grandchildren to always find in their home a place of refuge, peace and comfort. They strongly and passionately feel that the spirit of Christ abiding in their home and his love, along with their family and friends to share it with, are what brings joy and fulfillment

to life and makes their house a home. They rejoice in the many special memories already made in Christmas’ past, but are excited and anticipate the new and wonderful memories to be made this Christmas season! Article By: Melissa Watson, Honest Abe Log Homes Photography By: Simply Posh Photography - Melissa Schubert, Jeanette Wilson - www. Roger Wade Studio

Merry Christ mas!

December 2011

The Mighty Douglas-Fir Not Just for Christmas Trees Douglas-Fir is used in Honest Abe Log Homes as exposed 4” x 8” ceiling beams as seen above the dining room table, which are supported in part by the huge 8” x 12” Douglas-Fir girder above the bar area.

As my family and I were putting up our Christmas tree last night, I couldn’t help but to think of the tree itself, the mighty Douglas-Fir. Nationally, it remains one of the most popular Christmas tree species. The needles are dark green or blue green, one to one and a half inches long, soft to the touch and radiate out in all directions from the branch. It is shipped all over the country and exported to the Hawaiian Islands, Guam and parts of Asia. It takes seven to ten years to produce a Christmas tree. The Douglas-Fir is named after a Scottish botanist named David Douglas. The trees grow from central

California, western Oregon and Washington, and north to Alaska. The tree can live for a thousand years, mainly due to a very thick bark that allows it to survive moderate fires. The Douglas-Fir can grow from 70 to 390 feet with two-thirds of the tree being limb free, which gives the wood a clear, almost knot free appearance. Honest Abe uses the Douglas-Fir for several different things in its log and timber frame homes. It is used for ceiling beams and girders, heavy timber rafters that support the roof system, the post and beam frame

December 2011

Douglas-Fir is used in Honest Abe’s Heavy Timber Roof System as seen above. The exposed rafters seen in the loft area are Douglas-Fir.

work in our timber frame homes, trusses, wall ties, and support post that support the house itself. Honest Abe uses it because of its strength, but it also offers more than just strength. It gives the home owner a nice color contrast with the Eastern White Pine logs. There are cheaper options, but we feel like the Douglas-Fir offers more bang for the buck. Resilience, hardness and density result in its excellent strength-to-weight ratio and makes it ideal for framing construction and as supporting load-bearing members.

The character and attraction of this bedroom suite is largly effected by the exposed “Heavy Timber” Douglas-Fir ceiling beam system.

The straight, dense grain translates into the ability to hold a nail and excellent curative properties mean it’s not likely to warp or split thus increasing structural longevity. The Douglas-Fir is used for much more than just log and timber frame homes. It can be used for bridges, highway guardrails, railroad ties, and even home built aircraft. But this time of year it does make for an awesome Christmas tree inside your Honest Abe Log Home. Article by: Dan Smith, Salesperson for Honest Abe Log Homes

December 2011

Cornett Begins Construction of Second Honest Abe Log Home

Customer: Mike & Christine Cornett Salesperson: Greg Watson (Cookeville Model) Log Profile: 6 x 12 Genesis Crew: Isenberg Log Home Builders Inc Mike & Christine Cornett purchased an Honest Abe Home back in 1993 from Greg Watson and enjoyed the experience so much that when they decided to build again, Honest Abe was the only option. After meeting with Greg and working with our design team to perfect their floor plan, they were ready for construction! The Cornett’s were in familiar territory when Joe Isenberg and crew showed up at the job site. Isenberg Log Home Builders Inc (over 600 log homes built in a span of 35 years) had constructed the Cornett’s first home. Mike had specifically requested him again. The Cornett’s home is 1,600 sq. ft. with two bedrooms and two baths. They have an open living room/kitchen located in the center while the bedroom/baths are situated on each side. Over the center portion they opted for the cathedral look with our Heavy Timber Rafters above. Hip trusses were used on the wings, and a 38’ x 26’ garage was connected by the porch. Joe and crew have nearly completed the dry-in. Article By: Josh Watson, Construction Coordinator for Honest Abe Log Homes

December 2011

House of the Month: The Rivergate The Rivergate is one of four designs to be release over the winter of 2011 and 2012. The designs will become the Honest Abe Cottage series of floor plans. The Rivergate features 1,120 sq. ft. on the first floor with another 728 sq. ft. on the second. An attached garage provides 576 sq. ft. and is attached to the home via a breezeway. Staying true with the “Cottage” theme, the Rivergate features an abundance of porch and deck area, creating outdoor living spaces for its inhabitants. Other than the traditional living room, dining area and kitchen, the home’s master bedroom, master bath, mudroom and half bath are all located on the first floor for convenience. The second floor adds two bedrooms which share a bathroom. The additional loft is perfect as a reading area, or home office space. Another Honest Abe Cottage will be released in January!

December 2011

Rachel’s Christmas Fudge

Ingredients: 3 cups sugar 3/4 cup margarine 2/3 cup evaporated milk 1 12-oz. package of semi-sweet chocolate chips. 1 7-oz. jar of marshmallow creme 1 cup chopped nuts (optional) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Preparation: Combine sugar, margarine and milk

in heavy 2-1/2 quart saucepan; bring to full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate until melted. Add marshmallow creme, nuts and vanilla stirring until blended. Pour into greased 13” x 9” baking pan. Let cool and cut into 1” squares. ENJOY & MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Recipe By: Rachel Meadows, Sales Manager for Honest Abe Log Homes

July 2011

Honest Abe Monthly, December 2011  

Honest Abe Monthly is a publication of Honest Abe Log Homes Inc., which designs, manufactures and builds energy-efficient, custom log homes,...