Monday, February 28, 2005

And the winner is...

On Saturday Jonathan participated in the Rockford Mendelssohn Club's annual Chandler Starr Miller Scholarship Competition. He's been practicing for months (nearly a year) for this competition, but knowing who he was going up against he didn't expect to get anything higher than 5th, or maybe 4th place. Well, Saturday night he got a call saying that he took 3rd place in the senior division!! YEAH! We all felt that the news called for a celebration, so we had Jeremy, Sara & Caroline over and had banana splits! The picture above is of Jonathan and his teacher, Mrs. Charlotte Bendorf.

The two pieces that Jonathan performed for the competition were Beethoven's Sonata No. 5 in C Minor, and Rachmaninoff's Prelude in G Minor. He has literally shaken the house practicing these two pieces! In fact he's broken a key on our piano twice in the last month or so, and has been startled out of his concentration during practice by vases and such falling off the piano top onto him! We're becoming more careful with our decor. Oh, and we'd REALLY like a better piano. If you know anyone giving away a high quality grand piano, let us know!

Here's a picture of all the winners... Can you find Jonathan?? He's the tall guy in the back! Just in front of him to his right is Jacob Bernhard, the first place winner and our neighbor! Congratulations to both of you!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Previous Liberty Day Festivities pictures!

Perhaps the most famous picture from our Liberty Day Festivities. Liberty Day provided the cover (and feature story) of the Summer 2003 issue of ICHE's magazine for Illinois homeschoolers, The Alliant. That issue was mailed to nearly 10,000 homes across Illinois! Below are a few more pictures from previous years. We have a whole scrapbook full of photos, but it's not very easy to get pictures from a scrapbook to the web!

Josh, Jonathan, Jeremy & Nathan provide some lighter entertainment with this hysterical rendition of the old folk song "Revolutionary Tea." (Boston Tea Party)

Jessica (Lady Liberty) and Jeanine (Lady Justice) dialog concerning the oppression they are under today and the hope they have in the rising generation.

Jeremy Erber took some time in the 2004 festivities to explain the jurisdictional conflicts which lead to the War for American Independence.

Joanna Erber & Raeanne Carlson performed a violin/harp duet for us at the 2004 Liberty Day festivities. It was lovely and we look forward to hearing them again this year!

Beth & Dawn Beatty reminded us in this dialog of the great women behind the great men - the wives of our heroes.

Patrick Henry (aka Joshua Erber). A malfunctioning flash resulted in this theatrical picture. Josh has since purchased a higher quality wig with less hair! :-)

Mr. Brian Webb makes a great Thomas Jefferson. Here in the 2002 debate he sets forth his arguments in favor of Patrick Henry. BTW, we got him a better wig this year!

Mr. Fiordelisi made a great "Mr. President" for Liberty Day 2002. He presided over the proceedings of the 2nd Virginia Convention and witnessed the debate culminating in Patrick Henry's famous speech.

In this picture some of the lords and barons of England witness King John signing the Magna Carta - an important document in the history of liberty!

Friends joined us for the first time for Liberty Day 2000. Here some of the Huber family perform for us!

Here is Josh performing Patrick Henry's "Give me Liberty" speech for the first time! Liberty Day 2000

Monday, February 21, 2005

House Guest!

Opening our home to guests is something our family loves! This past week our family had the opportunity to host a lady from our church from Tuesday through Sunday. Mrs. VanDellen was recovering from heart surgery and needed to not be alone, so we moved one of the couches from the living room to the dining room and converted the living room into a bedroom. Unfortunately, we don't yet have the long-dreamed-of french doors closing off the living room from the rest of the house. So, although we did try to keep quiet, I'm afraid that Mrs. VanDellen ended up with a taste of life in our busy and at times rather noisy home! (Especially when Jonathan practices the piano!) Despite the noise, she had an amazingly fast recovery and within a few days of surgery was up and around and taking walks down our road and helping out around the house! She is now back home and seems to be doing just fine.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Liberty Day Preparations

Nathan (Thomas Nelson, Jr) and Jeremy (Richard Henry Lee) show off their new wigs at a rehearsal for the 2005 Liberty Day festivities! Mark your calendars now for March 19th, and plan on being there! Any of you out-of-towners, let us know if you want to come and we'll find a place for you to stay (ie. our house)! If you don't know what Liberty Day is ... well, then you've really got to come and join us. Simply put, March 23rd is the anniversary of Patrick Henry's Liberty or Death speech and that's what we commemorate each year. We reenact the entire debate surrounding Henry's speech - which debate culminates in the giving of Patrick Henry's entire speech. It is really an incredible performance. Surrounding that highlight of the evening are a bunch of patriotic, historic, musical, non-musical, inspirational, educational, and generally fun presentations!

Here Jeanine adjusts Jeremy's wig, while Mom, Josh and Nathan laugh at something! Couldn't be the wigs, could it?

Grassworks Convention '05

Have any of you homeschoolers out there ever been asked by some kid "So, like what are you guys always locked in a closet or something?" Well, I don't know about you, but personally I think that all the government schooled kids are really the ones "like, stuck in their closet". For example, the past few days Joseph, Joshua, and I were up in Wisconsin recording a conference on Grazing! How weird is that! But honestly, this is one of my favorite conferences that we record each year, mainly because it is all about food, we talk to lots of farmers, and there is really not much to do! :-)

As we were coming home from the conference and we drove up our road, I saw one of our government school neighbors walking down the road, and it was then that I realized that they were the ones locked in their "closet". I realized that this past week as we had been having fun talking with hundreds of people, and tanking up on some of the best raw milk, cheese, sausage, yogurt, beef... these kids were confined to their schoolroom and class schedule, or their street with local friends! In that second the whole myth of not being "socialized" (as most people define the word) was blown to bits! I suddenly wanted to go up to them and say, “Don't you get bored only getting to see your small 10mi radius all year?” Ok, sure, you get to go on vacation a couple times a year (maybe) but what fun is there at the places where most people vacation? An amusement park, water park, beach or some other "Place of Interest" can only be fun for so long, and yet traveling with your family and sometimes a few friends, to conferences all over the country seems to be an endless amount of fun, (and socialization). :-)

Just think of all the different kinds of people you get to know from all different places. Do most kids have this opportunity for variety and high quality relationships? NO.

So, next time you get asked if you just sit in your closet all day, just turn the question around and say, "Not at all! But don't you get bored of your classroom, classmates, class schedule and small 10mi radius?" You don't need to tell them this, but they are really the ones missing out on real life!

Jonathan Erber

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Small Family Joys

Having grown up in a family of 8 kids, it has taken the past 20 months to adjust to having only seven and then only six kids left in the family. But this week, there are only three of us, and we feel ourselves to be a very small gang indeed! Josh's business has brought Josh, Jonathan & Joseph up to Wisconsin for a conference. They left in the wee hours of the morning yesterday (Monday) and will return tomorrow (Wednesday) evening.

Last night, shortly after Joanna & I had gotten all settled in bed, a little tap was heard at our door and a young voice asked, "Can I sleep in here?" When you're eight years old and used to having a 13 year old with you, a room can feel awfully big when you're alone. So we pulled out the trundle bed and got him all set to join us for the night. Then Dad and Mom came in and between various telephone interruptions we reviewed the first 15 questions of the Shorter Catechism, prayed, said "goodnight," and were finally off to sleep. Or were we?

When you are used to sharing a bed with a brother, having a bed all to yourself can feel like a huge amount of space, so a couple moments later Josiah had tracked into the empty bedrooms and collected a few pillows to help fill the bed. And all was quiet again - for a moment - until a boy (who was perhaps feeling slightly crowded now?) called up in a squeaky voice, "Do any of you kids up there want a pillow to snuggle with?" Let's merely say that having that little imp in the room with us made the girls a little noisier than we usually are (despite a lecture to Josiah on doing as Rome when in Rome - and as we girls typically just go right to sleep, he should too). We did finally settle down to quieter amusement for a while, which included a few soft lullabys with intentionally discordant background vocals and lyrical commentary. Soon thereafter, however, they quieted down and I found myself alone with my thoughts listening to the even breathing of my 8 and 11 year old siblings.

I wonder, how many girls in their early 20's have as much real fun as I do? Do they have a clue how hysterical and profound children are? Three cheers for the life of a big sister!

Jessica Erber

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Caroline Joy Erber

Caroline Joy Erber. You've heard about her, and maybe even seen a couple of pictures, but here are a bunch of photos to introduce to you the precious little girl! I think you'll agree with us that she is quite a treasure!

Let's go play!

Going out!

Mama and baby!

Papa and baby!

Can there be no privacy?!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Welcome to Erbers, Etc.

Hello friends!

Welcome to our Blog! Here you will find a variety of random posts by whoever, whenever on whatever. It may simply be a picture, or an exciting update on everyday life. On occasion you may even find a few thought provoking paragraphs!