Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

December 13, 2013

Christmas home tour


The Daily Iowegian

---- — The eighth annual First United Methodist Church Nativity Display and Christmas Tour of Homes will be held tonight from 5-8 p.m. and tomorrow from 2-8 p.m. Tickets for the event cost $6. Nativity displays will be viewable at the church and also at the homes of Mark and Sandy Hoffman, Jay and Luan Torrey and Jeannie Cruse. Those wanting to go on the tour should begin at the church at 410 N. Main. Once arriving, they will purchase their tickets and get directions to the homes on the tour.

A free will offering soup supper will also be provided by the First United Methodist Women from 4:30-6:30 p.m. tonight. All proceeds will from the events will benefit Appanoose County charities. For more information, contact the First United Methodist Church office at (641) 856-3213.

Jay and Luan Torrey

The home of Jay and Luan was built in the late 1800s and is considered a four square with a porch. They purchased the home in 1992 from Sharon and Terry Barber. They raised their three children there who all graduated from Centerville High School.

Over the years they have worked on the house to improve it but tried to still keep the integrity of its history. Luan loves restoring and repurposing antiques and primitives.

Mark and Sandy Hoffman

Mark and Sandy purchased their early 1900 circa two story home in February of 1983. The entire house still has the original hardwood floors. Over the past years they have made such changes as replacing the three season porch with an 18x20 family room and full bath, enclosed the backyard, built a two leveled deck around a 70 year old sycamore, and have given each room some color; each room had been a shade of brown.

A previous owner during the early 70s had taken out the French doors and transit window and replacing the oak woodwork with painted straight-line molding for a contemporary look. Through our 30 years duration we have raised our three children, four bullmastiffs, a rabbit, a chinchilla, a hedgehog and numerous critters Mark would bring home from work.

A few of our family Christmas traditions are serving homemade soups, one being oyster, before going to Christmas Eve service, stockings and a goodie basket of fruit, fruit-bits, small cereal boxes, and breakfast pizzas from Santa. Our family heritage is German, so the kids have been hunting for the “Pickle” on one of our many Christmas trees to be able to open the family gift for the year.

Jeannie Cruse

Jeannie welcomes you to her home. She has lived in this location for eight years, but not always in this home. Tragedy struck the morning of Sept. 26, 2010. A squirrel on the transformer ignited a fire that traveled to the home. It was a total loss except for a few items that were sealed in containers in the basement. Fortunately Jeannie was out for a walk at the time so she was not harmed. The new home was completed in May of 2011 and she will be celebrating her third Christmas this year. This charming home features beautiful decorations and three different Christmas trees, some containing ornaments salvaged after the fire.