Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Today Ethan got together with a few of his friends for paintball. It was a beautiful, warm sunny day, just perfect for it. The game is called woodsball... as they play it in the woods! They split up in teams, strategizing together with one team on ambush and the other on recon. They've got plenty of trees to hide behind. It's a lot of fun, but you ought to see the welts they get from being shot. Check Scott out in the picture below. Can you see his gun? Usually when he plays he's covered head to toe in camo and leaves...I call him the "tree man." Today, it was just his gun...he plays to win.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Welcome to my world...mud and men! Here is a picture of their boots on our back porch. Charles just identified them and yep, they're all ours. We've got several pair in our house just inside the door also. When you've got four men and they all have several pairs of farm boots, plus mud boots, 4-wheeler boots...well it's a boot world....a muddy boot world. They usually take 'em off before they come in, but more oft' than not, they can be heard saying "Mom, I just need sumthin' real quick" leaving muddy boot tracks on the floor. I love my men!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas From Tennessee

Merry Christmas to you all. We spent Christmas Eve with Kris and Steve and then went to the candlelight service at Rogersville United Methodist Church. The candlelight service is the highlight of our Christmas every year, seeing old and dear friends and sharing in the celebration of our Lord's birth. No gift can surpass the greatest gift of all given by our Lord and Savior... the gift of salvation. All we have to do is open it. We pray blessings on your family as you celebrate this special and holy day. Here are some pictures of our memories. We'd love to hear about yours...

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Pecans Are Dropping

We wait for this time every year. In December, when the weather turns cold,the pecans drop from the pecan trees. The East is loaded with them. We have our favorite trees scouted out, with the best one near the Methodist Church (our old church). Big pecans that are so tasty. This year the church choir was practicing their cantata and we could hear their voices through the windows. I savored the time. We picked up a couple buckets full, leaving plenty for others. What will we be doing during those long winter nights....cracking pecans.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Gift Boxes

This morning some members of our church met together to assemble and distribute food boxes to those in need in our community. The deacons in our church sponsor this event annually. What a great time of fellowship and service. We delivered our box to a young man who lived nearby. He was very touched and thankful. God is so good! Everyone who participated was blessed!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Good-bye Suburban

Randy came home from college broke and came up with this brilliant idea about taking our old suburban to the crusher for money. His Dad gave him the okay with stipulations: he had to remove the front and rear ends, engine and transfer case.... now that's a boy project, grease and all. Here are some pictures of Randy taking the front end off. See the big oil/transmission fluid spill? Yep..I don't believe his parents were happy about that! What a memory.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Perfect Cedar

One of the many good things about having a farm is you don't have to go far to find a Christmas tree...just out the back door. Our property is loaded with cedars, not the most glamerous Christmas tree, but time you cut the bottom off and with some simple pruning, it looks beautiful.... and oh, how it fills the house with the scent of fresh cedar.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Live Nativity

Our church had the opportunity to participate in the live nativity held in downtown Rogersville as part of the Christmas celebration activities. It started snowing this morning which added to the excitement (and cold..burrr) of the day. Turned out that the snow kept most people at home! Scott was a wise man, looking very royal I might add, and I was an angel. I made both of our costumes the day before. It was a lot of fun except for our frozen feet. We had to stand for 2 hours in the cold, but it actually went by fast. What a perfect day with snow gently falling from the heavens.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pumpkin Creme Brulee

I came home from errands and found Scott and Ethan in the kitchen cooking. Now any of you who know Scott, knows this is unusual behavior as he's never been a man in the kitchen. And to find him making "Pumpkin Creme Brulee" was indeed a pleasant surprise (aka shock). Well, he followed the recipe exactly... almost. I sweetly asked "Whatcha gonna do with all those egg yolks?" He had accidentally put in all the egg whites instead of the yolks (and he was wondering why the eggs didn't look "frothy and lemon-colored" like the recipe described!) Anyway, he baked it as is and it turned out yummy and very heart healthy! The next night he made the recipe again with the egg yolks. Much more creamy and rich. My husband is still surprising me after 23 years!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Day at the Littles

Happy Thanksgiving to your family from ours. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It means family and friends, a time of reflection thanking the Lord for the many blessisngs He's given us... a kitchen full of noise and laughter. Here are some pictures of our special day. We pray God's blessings upon your family. Love, the Littles

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Little Elk

Here are some pictures of Samson, Dee and Gideon. Gideon was born June 30, 2008. The first picture was taken when Gideon was only a couple days old. All the other pictures were taken yesterday so you can see how Gideon is growing. Samson is now 3 years old and his rack is huge. We have last years horns on our mantel and these are twice as big. He's a beauty to look at and knows us well, eating out of our hands. He loves fruit of any kind, especially apples and berries. It's the rutting season now so he's kind of "rammy" and majestic looking all at once. Dee is a good mom to Gideon. She sure holds her pregnancies well... she had Gideon and we didn't even know it until a neighbor spotted the little guy. We never grow tired of watching them. How many people can say they have elk for pets!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Candle making November 2008

These candles are made of 100% beeswax. I couldn't tell you how many bees it took to make these candles, but we've been saving the wax for several years. I sure love the smell of 'em. Every candle is a different color, depending on what the bees ate and when Scott took the honey off the hives. I had the easy part, all I did was melt the wax and pour it in the mold. Did you know that to stimulate the production of beeswax, the bees gorge themselves with honey and then they huddle together to raise the temperature of the cluster. The bees then produce a wax scale one at a time. The bees chew the wax scale and working together, they gradually form it into honeycomb. It takes a whole hive working together. I find this fascinating and maybe Scott does too, that's why he's a beekeeper. Aren't God's designs so perfect? I thought about this the other day. The bees make the wax, but God made man to light the candle...to light the world.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Walnut hulling November 2008

Tennessee is home to the black walnut tree and come fall, they all drop. Got walnuts? We’ll hull ‘em for ya. We pay $10.00 per 100 lb of hulled nuts…and come they do. They bring 'em by the bag full, truck full and trailer full. Good extra income for those willing to put forth the work in picking ‘em up. It’s a walnut year for sure, just ask the locals. They haven’t seen this many walnuts in 20 years...it’s a sure sign of a hard winter to come. Ever wonder what they make walnut stain out of? Ask my hands. One day I got caught without gloves and they were stained brown for a week. Nothing takes it off, just time. Went to school and the kids said “Your hands look like my granpa’s”. Yep, I had man hands, hard working hands for sure. This is our second year hulling walnuts and we’re really enjoying it, especially meeting all the nice folks.

Wyoming hunting trip October 2008

Scott and Ethan left for Wyoming with our neighbors for their big hunting trip out west. They’d been planning it for six months. With the camper loaded up they were finally on their way. For several of the guys it was their first time out west. Their 10 day trip took them across country and through the Badlands, South Dakota. After a stop at Mt. Rushmore they headed to Casper, Wyoming. Randy met up with them for a quick weekend, flying from Nashville. He had to make a late overnight stop in SLC which gave him time to see his Birrell cousins and they took great care of him:) As for the hunting trip, the men saw several deer, but that was the extent of the hunting. They had a great time anyway, full of memories. Scott says their trip next year will be better!