29 September 2007

5 Year Wedding Anniversary

Yesterday was our five year wedding anniversary and so much has changed. And we talked it over and have decided that since the first five worked out so well we'll give another five a try :)

Either a year or two ago I said I would post a photo of the great old church we got married in and so true to my word here is the inside the day we got married.

Some where I have another one that the phototgrapher took from the balcanony (yes, I know he took this one from the balcony too) that shows all the pews and more of the church, but I of course can't find it any where.

Here's the outside sometime ago. We found this great old post card a year and a half after we were married. I need to get it framed.

We didn't do anything special. The girls and I headed down to Waterloo to have lunch with Tim.

Here's Elsa all spiffed up to go.

26 September 2007

Tom and Jen's New Porch

My brother and sister-in-law put an new porch on their Victorian farm home this summer. Tim was supposed to help do this in exchange for all the help Tom's done for us over the years, but Tom must have gotten tired of waiting for him to get around to it and hired a local crew to do the work. If you want to check out the progress over the summer here are the links...

A little bit of remodeling...
Finally finished...

25 September 2007

Cedar Falls Tour of Homes

Aging Beauties

Hey everyone in the area. I noticed this in the Sunday paper. I'd love to go, but Tim said maybe, which usually means no, but I don't want to fight about it now. I'm going to keep pestering him though because it looks like a nice tour, and I'm not that familiar with Cedar Falls and it's always fun to find "new" places.

09 September 2007

So Why Don't You Just Move To Sweden

So as I was writing my last post I was actually thinking of how this wouldn't happen over in Europe. I myself have never been, but from what people who have tell me I would love it because of all the great architecture.

My sister has a Swedish boyfriend (yes that sounds like the start of a bad joke), and it's always interesting to talk to him about building and materials and such. From talking to him I gather that it's not so much creating a museum out of the structure, but using today's technologies to preserve a heritage.

Last time he was here he was questioning the use of asphalt shingles. He asked if they are really cheaper. To which I replied with out thinking it through first, "Yes." But as soon as I said that my mind started working and I replied that, "No, when you take into account cost verses the amount of time the product is durable, then they are probably not the cheapest option."

And I think this is our problem a lot of the time. Our thoughts are not far reaching. When our children grow up and see pictures of this beautiful structure will they curse us for not saving it for them? So there isn't a use for it right now but who is to say there won't be in 10 or maybe even 5 years? How responsible is it of us to keep tearing down (filling up our landfills) structures only to build something new (draining fossil fuels, destroying natural resources, etc)?

When I was a little girl there was a house just a mile down the road from our farm with what was probably a pretty average white four square farm house. But to me that was the most beautiful house in the world. I loved it and was going to live there when I grew up. Well the farmer tore it down. Now I am thirty years old and live three miles from where I grew up. So that house could have actually been a very viable option for me. I don't know that I would have lived there, but the option was taken away long before I was able to make a choice.

Are all the options being considered? Is it really as black and white as tear it down or fix it up? What about maintaining the roof and keeping the place secure, and then really make an effort in the next five years to find a solution that would work. So maybe that wouldn't mean preserving the layout of the original school, but at least you would still have this unique structure in your community. Trust me, no one will ever be able to recreate it.

And yes it's an old worn out building. But give those Swedes and other communities working to maintain their treasures a couple of years and you could see the advancements you need in building processes to make these sort of buildings born again. After all if virgins and Christians can do it why can't Decorah? And what if there is some dreamer out there who loves this building and just needs time to come up with the solution? What is five or ten more years to a 100-year old structure that if given a chance will stand another 100 and out live both you and I.

06 September 2007

Decorah's East Side School

I was watching the news last night and saw this story.
KTTC news coverage of story

What really sucks is the donation to demolish the building.
Decorah Newspaper coverage

It's one of the National Trust's 11 Most endangered places.
There's a photo in this link.

01 September 2007

New Family Website

My sister-in-law Jen has started her own blog to show case photos she's taken. She's sure to have more than a few shots of the girls as time goes on. I love the collages she did!

Check out Newton Boer Goats! (That's where Elsa's onsie came from)