This mantle is made out of a barn beam that came out of a barn that is believed to be built in the late 1800s or the early 1900s by a gentleman named John East in a town called Britton, Michigan. Here's the story of how it got here.
This house was built in 2000 or 2001. The Schroeders (Andrew, Christie & Lillian) purchased this home in 2012. They had moved here from a condo on 1079 Moreland street that Andrew had bought when he moved to Grand Haven in 2006. He met Christie in 2006 at a dart tournament at the Kirby Grill in downtown Grand Haven. Andrew & his friends put on the dart tournament upstairs, & one of his friend's girlfriend decided it would be best to bring Christie along to try to set them up. Christie says that Andrew barely said anything to her all night long, but that is his way. They soon fell in love and were married on May 3, 2008 at St Johns Lutheran Church on Taylor Street in Grand Haven. Their honeymoon was in Maui, Hawaii.
Christie's grandparents are Arnold & Irene Potter & Maurice & Grace Racey. Arnold & Irene lived in Wyoming & Maurice & Grace lived in Fremont. Arnold worked for a bread company & Irene was a stay at home mom. Maurice worked for Model Coverall & was a prisoner of war in the Korean war. Grace worked for Russ' Restaurant. All of them live in the greater Grand Rapids area.
Christie's parents were Calvin & Marlene Racey. Cal is a manager of a Russ' restaurant in Grandville & Marlene works for an eye doctor's office in Grandville. They were married at age 18, & had three children, Dan, Dawn & Christie. Dan owns his own business, Row 2 tickets & is married to Kim. They have three children, Sydney, Nora & Jacob. Dawn also works for Row 2 Tickets & is married to Greg (Mcqueen). They have two children, Grady & Peyton. Cal & Marlene are devoted grandparents who would do anything for their children or grandchildren. Cal is an avid sports fan, a golfer, & baseball card collector. Marlene loves to travel, shop & spend time with her grandchildren.
Christie was born on March, 31 1984, the youngest in her family. She was an excellent student, she has a beautiful singing voice & was an All State softball player in high school (something her father is very proud to point out). She was offered scholarships to play softball in college, but turned them down. She attended Central Michigan University, but later transferred to Grand Valley, where she lived in various apartments & with her parents in Jenison. She studied social work. She eventually got her Master's Degree & now works for Davita Dialysis. She helps people with various services & diagnoses them. She loves her job & is very good at it. She is always concerned with people's well being, at work & outside of work. She is a devoted wife & mother. She loves to shop with her mother, play softball, travel & spend time with her family. She's traveled around the world, including Hawaii &Australia. She is the love of her husband's life.
Andrew's grandparents were Earl & Doris Saville & Clarence & Rosemary Schroeder. Earl was a chemist, working for various companies including the Glidden Paint Company. He was one of the chemists who worked on one of the first exterior latex paints. Doris did various jobs & was a stay at home mother. They lived in Ohio until moving to Tecumseh, Michigan in the early 1980s. Earl passed away in February, 2007. Doris lives in Saline currently, & is 91 years old. Clarence & Rosemary lived on Ridge Rd in Britton Michigan. They moved there in 1946 when they were married. Clarence was a farmer & a school bus driver. Rosemary was a schoolteacher. Rosemary passed away in October, 2000 at her home on the Ridge Rd. Clarence passed away in May of 2013.
Andrew's parents are Thomas & Pamela Schroeder. Tom is a pastor at Christ our King in Saline & Pam is a schoolteacher in Ann Arbor. They met at Concordia College in Ann Arbor, & began dating while on a choir tour in Europe. They resided briefly in New York City, but spent the majority of their lives in Southeast Michigan. They lived in Waltz, Saline & Milan, where they currently live. They had three children, Heidi, Emily & Andrew. Tom always spent lots of time at his father's farm in Britton & would bring Andrew there many Saturdays to work when he was a child. Pam loves everything musical, she plays in the church praise team & directed choir. Heidi lives in downtown
Saline with her husband Scott & her children Quinn, Avery
& Kaleigh. Emily lives on the outskirts of Saline with her
husband Bob & her daughters Ella, Sophia & Lucy. Heidi
is a photographer & an interior decorator & Emily is a stay at
home mom after working for Consumer's Energy.
Andrew was born on July 3, 1979. He moved to the Grand Rapids area in 1997 to attend Grand Valley State University & got a job working with the Sherwin Williams Company. He graduated in 2001 with a degree in English. He then took another job with the Sherwin Williams Company, where he still works, now as a store manager in Holland. He is proud of the fact that his first paying job was painting the "Cow Palace", an old Britton building that was moved to the Schroeder farm. He is also proud of the fact that his Grandpa Earl Saville also worked in paint. He loves his family & his heritage, even though he moved hours away to Grand Haven. He loves to listen to & collect records, as well as attend concerts. He also loves sitting on his front porch & is an avid Detroit Tigers fan (the Tigers are beginning the American League Division Championship series today against the Boston Red Sox).
Lillian Isabelle was born on November 19 at Spectrum Hospital in
Grand Haven. Andrew & Christie tried to have a baby for a long,
& for a while were afraid that they weren't able to have
children, so when Christie got pregnant with Lillian, she was a real
blessing & continues to be to this day. She has red hair,
& inquisitive blue eyes, she loves to sing & has a
wonderful imagination. She is also very smart & very polite,
although sometimes she has a defiant streak not uncommon in redheads.
Her favorite things to do are jump on the trampoline, go to the zoo,
play with her "black game (mom & dad's ipad)" & torture
Winston the dog.
Andrew & Christie are planning on having a second child, if it's a boy they are going to name him ______ & they are undecided on the name if it's a girl. Lillian goes back & forth on whether she wants a brother or sister. The Schroeders attend Hope Reformed Church, right down the street from here. They believe that there are no coincidences in life, & that all of the seemingly inconsequential decisions that led them to this time & place with each other are all part of God's plan.
Today, October 12, 2013, the fireplace in this house is getting a new mantle & new brick. We hope you've enjoyed it. The mantle was taken from Opa's barn, which was owned by John East as mentioned above. Clarence Schroeder moved the barn to their property on the Ridge in 1946, the year they were married. This year, Tom Schroeder took one of the beams from the barn, & with the help of his wife, Pam Schroeder, they fashioned it into this mantle.
The Schroeder's family bible verses are two sides of the same coin. The first one is is Philippians 4:13 "I can do all this through Him who gives me strength." Christie wrote this bible verse on the floor of Hope Reformed Church when it was remodeled in 2013. The second verse is from 2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.'". We are only as strong as the God we rely on, & that God is stronger than any brick, oak or anything found on this earth, & as Tom Schroeder would say, "His love will never rot, rust or fade away".
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