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Wednesday, January 8, 2020


Our Christmas card photo from 2919. We made it last minute when our whole family came together in Crossville at the Cumberland County Playhouse. We took a little trip to see their production of Elf.
Afterward we enjoyed a meal at Cracker Barrel.

Monday, June 17, 2019

starting with a win

This boy is off to a winning start in his first goat show this season.  He showed in the Wilson County 4-H Livestock Group show on June 8th and walked away with the Grand Champion Goat and the first place in showmanship. 
Parker had an extra special fan club there with three of his great grandmothers cheering him on!


This little dancer recently performed in her first recital.  She wasn't nervous or shy about it at all.  She said she hoped everyone threw flowers at her feet!  We couldn't throw them but she managed to collect a few bouquets from her fan club that enjoyed her performance.

Bailee Mae Coutta
Dance Recital 
June 8, 2019

Saturday, April 27, 2019

making the secret sauce

Everyone pitches in to help get ready for the annual egg hunt and Easter picnic on the Ponderosa.  We furnish grilled chicken and ribs and our visitors bring side dishes and desserts.  This year Parker and Bailee teamed up to made the secret family sauce that we use to marinade and and spray on the meat while it grills.  The sauce is a 4-H recipe that my Dad tweaked and perfected after years of coaching outdoor meat cooking.  We haven't meet anyone who doesn't love it!

 The secret sauce contains apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, cooking wine and salt.  The amounts of each ingredient are adjusted to the amount of meat we are cooking!

Easter 2019

We had our annual egg hunt and Easter picnic scheduled for Saturday but the rain came down and the temps were freezing so we decided to reschedule for Easter Sunday, because no one wants to hunt eggs in their winter coats and rain boots!  Not to mention the fact that its very hard to grill in that kind of weather.  So about 50-60 of our friends and relatives came out to celebrate with us on a perfect day!  (Temperatures were 30 degrees warmer ).  The food and fellowship was great and everyone enjoyed being together.  We had egg hunts for the kids (We are now on our second generation of Easter egg hunters here on the Ponderosa) and the grown ups.  I think the adults have more fun than the kids!  

He is not here, he has risen, just as he said.  Matthew 28:6


Here’s an old photo from 1962. These are the kids I grew up with. Our parents played cards and we were together every weekend!  No one can remember who was having a birthday or any other details about the photo but it’s a classic and brings back lots of memories.  We all remain friends today!
Going around the table starting on the right: Byron, Marcia, Janet, Jimmy, Gina, Phil, Me, Debbie, Jackie and Charles

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

back to school

It's Back to School for these three today!

Parker starting the sixth grade at Watertown Middle School.

Brynn and Brooks starting second grade at Springdale Elementary School.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

july on the ponderosa

July on the Ponderosa has looked a lot like this!

our new favorite place

Last week we spent a couple of nights at the Gatlinburg Inn.   The inn was built in 1937 and has been family owned and operated since that time.
It is right in the center of the Gatlinburg strip and you can walk to everything.  I can remember seeing it in the 60's when our family would visit the Smoky Mountains.  Many famous people have stayed there including J. C. Penney, Lady Bird Johnson, Andy Williams, Liberace, Chief Justice Earl Warren and Present Herbert Hoover.  Its main claim to fame is that the song Rocky Top was written there in room 322!

Walking into the inn makes you feel like you entered a movie set.  The wooden doors, the key you use to enter the room and the furnishings speak of another era, but the restrooms are modern and there is wifi.  It is exceptionally clean and the staff are friendly and courteous.  Each morning there was a delicious hot breakfast for us in their breakfast room.

Our favorite place at the inn was the porch filled with rocking chairs. In the late afternoon about every half hour live entertainment would appear on the porch.  The entertainment was part of Tunes and Tales sponsored by the city of Gatlinburg.

 It was our first time staying there but will not be our last!

junior showmanship winner

This grandson had a great day at the Central Regional 4-H show. He was the champion in the junior showmanship class and three of his does won blue ribbons in their class.  He works hard preparing for the show and even in the ring while showing and we are very proud of him. This show was in Bedford County.

Parker and Primrose

Parker and Ruby Shade

Parker and Stella

Saturday, April 7, 2018

waiting for spring

I'm waiting patiently for spring.  My kitchen counter looks like spring.
My front door looks like spring.
But my thermometer says its winter with highs in the 30's and wind chills in the 20's. And a hard freeze is predicted for tonight.   I saw this forecast yesterday so I took a walk with my camera to capture some of the spring blooms and tender shoots that will probably get frozen tonight!

Hurry Spring!