Monday, January 30, 2012

Hello Family!

If you are on Facebook, we have a new family group! It's PRIVATE so you can't get in unless I let ya... so let me know if you want in cause you aren't already!

Love you everyone!
~Gretchen

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Since Thanksgiving 2010 was the last post, I'm guessing that BirchTales is perhaps finished. But, who knows, maybe this will be a jump start to revive it.





Food, fun and extra football players this year.





Getting ready





Foosball and football





Dinner line


Two birthday celebrations





























































































Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

No football ... the ball carrier was late, the star receiver was injured and on the sidelines, and the weather was so miserable that nobody minded missing that tradition this year. As for the other traditions - food, fun, a birthday celebration, family ... what more could you ask for?!






































Sunday, July 04, 2010

What’s Up In Chicago?

Hi Family,

It’s been a bit since we’ve checked in here… but we’ve been keeping http://gretchenandjason.net pretty current with our kitchen project…

Demolition continues today – including trying to get that built-in hutch out without destroying it…

Love to you all!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ann Arbor Birchlers Update

Jim - CCH named a Top 100 Hospital by Modern Healthcare. This award recognizes hospitals that have achieved excellence in clinical outcomes, patient safety, patient satisfaction, financial performance and operational efficiency. The winners were identified through an in-depth study by Thomson Reuters. The study evaluated 3000 short-term, acute care, non-federal hospitals in nine areas: mortality, medical complications, patient safety, average length of stay, expenses, profitability, cash-to-debt ratio, patient satisfaction and adherence to clinical standards of care.
The three legacy Hospitals of the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System - Ann Arbor, Saline and Livingston also received this award. Also named one of the Top 100 Places to Work in Healthcare last fall.

And its all because of ME!

Ginny - Wrapping up another year with her handbell choirs. They've done some cool stuff this year - just played jointly with a choir at Dexter St. Joe's and participated in a joint concert with Gospel choir from a church from Detroit. Pretty cool juxtoposition of musical styles throughout the evening. And great to hear Catholics singin' Gospel!

Amanda - Working part-time for a family with two young children. Expects to have second part-time gig for the summer for two school-age girls. After a winter of extensive reading she is now reading less and watching more movies (her first love!). Also works part-time for the "rents" to pay the rent.

Justin - Accepted offer to attend Virginia Institute of Marine Science (part of William & Mary) to pursue a Masters in Physical Oceanography. Tuition is fully paid plus he'll get stipend for research work that will allow him to afford to do this. Turned down similar offer from Texas A & M.

Andrew - Will finish first year at MSU, but leaving after that as his interest in veterinary medicine has waned and he never really felt like MSU was the right fit for him. Will live with five high school friends on UM campus in the fall (sounds like fun, but they're all really serious students) and spend his time working and/or going to Washtenaw Community College. Hopes and expects to transfer to UM in the winter or the following fall and continue his studies in (animal) science, but perhaps more geared toward research or something.

Joey - His baseball team is undefeated and should compete for the State Championship. Played at MSU's stadium two weeks ago and often plays at EMU. Still a singing fanatic in his Madrigal choir and gets lots of solos.

Josh - Doing well in just about everything. He has beautiful form on violin and Ginny even taught him and Tony some Byrds and Hollies songs! Loves to sing in the elementary choir.

Tony - Now being home-schooled (since Easter). Loves it and is a much happier boy. 1st Communion very soon - you probably just received invites. Did NOT like the taste of wine when he sampled it a few weeks ago.

Thanks to Gretchen and Jason for hosting Joey, Amanda, Tony, and me in March (at their old place). We were in Chicago for Ginny's neice's Christening.

Jammin' 2N Fammin' is Friday. I hear one of the performers is 60!

see y'all

Jim

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More House Pictures

Hi Family,

Ask and you shall receive!  Here are some more pictures of our new house (I am mailing them to Grandma, so you don’t need to print this for her):

  • View from the street. It’s a corner lot.  Our address is on the east side of a NS street, corner is the SE corner of the intersection. Gets lots of light!
    01_Front
  • View from just through the front entryway through the living room and dining room.  Those hardwood floors were refinished just before the house went on the market – that’s why they’re gleaming!
    02_FromFrontEntry
  • In the dining room looking back at front entryway through living room.  BIG beautiful windows that face north. The doorway seen on the left leads to the den.
    03_LivingRoom
  • In the living room, looking at the dining room. Kitchen door is straight ahead, as are the stairs to second floor.  The hallway for the two first floor bedrooms and the first floor bath is just behind the wall on the right of this photo.
    04_DiningRoom
  • The den.  When you come in the front door and through the entryway, the den is to the right.  This will likely be our piano room / library.  It has a nice big, west facing window to the front porch (and the porch swing!).
    05_Den
  • Bedroom 1 - First floor, off the living room.  This will be our office space.
     06_Bedroom1Office
  • First floor bathroom.
     07_1stFloorBath
  • Bedroom 2 – first floor, in the back.  This will be our Guest room.
     08_Bedroom2Guest
  • Kitschy kitchen. We’ll be re-doing a lot of it.
     09_Kitchen1
  • More kitchen. There’s a pantry off to the right of that back door, and stairs to the basement just past the built on cabinet on the right.
    10_Kitchen2
  • Second floor, aka master bedroom plus space to grow.   See floorplan below… this “room” is the full length of the house, aka 69 + feet!
    11_SecondFloorMaster1
  • Zoomed in version of the above photo.
    12_SecondFloorMaster2
  • Second floor master bath.
    13_2ndFloorBath
  • Pulling back from the bedroom portion, the rest of the second floor. The bathroom is on the left, just past that wood panel vertical wall.
    14_SecondFloor
  • Basement, with interesting paint job!  We’re hoping to finish a large portion of the basement to make it our family room with our TV and games (and yes, eventually toys and things…).
    15_Basement
  • Back of the house. Yard, side yard, deck, and there’s a driveway to the left, and an unseen garage too.
    16_Back
  • Floorplan – first floor.
    17_FloorplanFirstFloor
  • Floorplan – second floor.
    18_FloorplanSecondFloor

We are VERY excited!  Closing in a mere 10 days… then we’re having the upstairs hardwood floors refinished, and then we’re moving in on April 9th!  We’ll send an address update out once we officially have keys.

And yes!  We do have a guest room – with an adjacent bath – and yes you are welcome to come stay with us anytime you are in Chicago! (Ann Arbor Birchlers - we will have WAY more room at the new place - also, a driveway for you to park in!) 

Woo hoo!

Gretchen & Jason

Monday, March 08, 2010

Big News! Big News!

Hiya!

Jason and I are super excited to announce that we just bought our first house!

Here is a picture – ain’t she pretty?
BIG NEWS

3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2,000 sf not including the full unfinished basement.

We are closing on March 30th and moving on April 9th.

So happy!

Love,
Gretchen & Jason