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Archive for December, 2010

Catalog shopping

Remember when you were a little kid and you loved flipping through the big Sears or JCPenney catalogs, flagging pages with what you wanted for Christmas? Now I do the same thing when furniture and decorating catalogs come in the mail.

Most recently, the Home Decorators catalog came. If you haven’t seen the catalog or visited their website, it’s worth checking out. I don’t think I’ve ordered anything from them, but the was a coupon for $10 of a $50 order. Tempting…

I’m not in the market for anything new at the moment, but here are some things that caught my eye:

Becca Nailhead Chair

How lovely would this chair be in a bedroom, in front of a vanity? Or at a desk? I think I need at least one piece of furniture with nailhead accents in the house.

Samantha Side Chair

This chair isn’t even my style at all, but I love it!

Sabrina decorative wall mirror

I can’t decide if I’d like this mirror on our mantel (it also comes in white).

Margot Pendant

Love this! A new dining room light fixture is on the list of future projects and this one is a nice blend of traditional and contemporary.

I better stop. I could find something new for every room of the house if I wanted! What are your favorite online home decorating sources?

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Community Breakfast

It’s a beautiful thing to see a community of individuals come together for a purpose. Even when that purpose is simply eggs, a cup of coffee, and a good laugh.

It seems that most small towns are fading off the map, yet New Providence, Iowa, my hometown, has found its niche. New Providence is a small community of 200. The school consolidated and closed down years ago, there are no restaurants, no gas stations, and being a predominately Quaker community no bar. Beyond zip code most of the common shared experiences that tie a community together had left or died out. That was until a little over 5 years ago.

Monday morning breakfasts started out small as omelets over a portable burner and coffee brewed fresh. The idea was simple, give people a meeting place and a reason to come. And as it turns out, that was all that was needed, attendance would range from 30- 60. Soon they started serving pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and cinnamon rolls, and a volunteer wait staff  would make the rounds filling coffee cups and picking up plates.

(more…)

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Bored Yet?

Most of you with ample vacation time are spending an elongated holiday with family and friends. But after the presents are opened and the cheese ball has been consumed you may find yourself wondering, ‘ummm what’s next?’

If it was up to our family, we’d spend all of the time sitting around the table catching up on community happenings and reminiscing on old family stories. However, with the induction of my brother-in-law and now my dear husband we’ve officially become a game family.

Here is a collection of some of our favorites:

Card/Dice games

Board games:

What are the ways your family enjoy their time together? Have you adopted new procedures as the family keeps adding members?

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Merry Christmas

We are going to sign off early this week to steal a few extra moments to enjoy the ones we love and I encourage you to do the same.  Simply stop with the wrapping, baking, and cooking, take a moment to sit with the ones you love. (or at least convince them to wrap, bake or cook with you)

Merry Christmas,

Laura & Cody

Andrea & Adam

Christmas scripture readings:

Isaiah 9.6, Matthew 1. 18-25, Luke 2.4-14, John 1.14

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Under the Mistletoe

This is one holiday tradition Cody just can’t get enough of, lucky for me! After hanging a sprig in our kitchen I decided to look into this fun yet odd holiday tradition. If you enjoy this festive activity, I’d skip this scholarly jaunt.  Here are a few of the words the jumped out at me:

Parasitic, Norse mythology, uninhibited sexuality, gastrointestinal problems, poisonous, Celtic Druids… had enough yet?

Take it from me, just enjoy this delightful tradition.

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Boys and cords

What is it about boys and their fascination with cords (not the pants, the wires)? I’m not talking about the cords for the computer and TV. I understand those. They are plugged into something. They have a purpose. What I don’t understand are the extra cords. Lots and lots of extra cords. Where do they come from? And more importantly, why can’t we get rid of them?

I know I don’t have a lot of room to talk. I’m the girl who has every issue of Country Home every published, along with 100s of other magazines stashed in crates, under the coffee table and around the house. But at least the magazines have pretty pictures in them. I’m waiting for the day that drawer of random cords come in handy, but Adam promises me they all have a purpose.

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This fall has been one of big purchases in the Cooley household. First, a roof (hopefully the most expensive thing we’ll ever buy) and then a dryer. The joys of owning a home, right?

There’s never a convenient time to find out a major appliance is broken. I realized the dryer was broken when it had been running for over two hours and the towels were still damp. Meanwhile, there was another load of wet laundry waiting in the washing machine and the temperatures were freezing outside so I couldn’t exactly hang them out to dry. Instead I hung them in the basement, and they got dry, but they were stiff.

We called the Sears repairman to come look at the dryer and it would have been more expensive to fix it than to buy a new one. Too bad we had to pay someone to come tell us that. The dryer came with the house, and was probably 10-15 years old, but we hadn’t really planned on getting a new one so soon.

So we headed to Sears on a Sunday afternoon. I’m the one who does the laundry in our house, and I told Adam I didn’t want anything fancy. I just wanted something to dry the clothes. Adam, who has maybe done five loads of laundry since we’ve been married, thought the steam dryers sounded pretty great. Of course they are more than twice as much as a regular dryer. I quickly convinced him that wouldn’t be necessary.

I hate working with sales people. I kind of wish you didn’t have to deal with them at all. I knew what dryer I wanted (a Whirlpool Duet) and didn’t want to be convinced that I needed a more expensive model. I just wanted to get in, get out and get on with my Sunday afternoon.

This is where it pays to have a husband. Adam is great with salespeople. It must be from the years he spent working in customer service. I wish I could say he got us a great deal on the dryer, but he handled all the paperwork and I held back, avoiding eye contact and making it clear we didn’t want to be sold anything else.

And I have to admit, the new dryer looks much better than the old one (below). Even though it’s in the basement where no one sees it. Almost makes me wish we needed a new washing machine too, so they matched.

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