Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Resounding Voice Recording Studio Happenings

Yesterday a friend from our church, Miss Becky Knottnerus, came over to record a sample CD for advertising. She'll be giving copies of the CD to a variety of wedding planners in her area, so it was wedding music on the docket! As you can see in the picture - Becky sang, Jessica accompanied, Joshua recorded. We spent the afternoon in Josh's studio recording three songs: Cherish the Treasure, O Perfect Love, and The Lord's Prayer. I think the product will turn out well, but in the mean time, if anyone is getting married and is looking for a soloist...

Monday, March 28, 2005

Resurrection Sunday Dinner

Here are some family pictures of a pleasant afternoon spent together yesterday at Aunt Jill & Uncle Don's house.

Our hostess, Dad's sister, our Aunt Jill

Grandpa & Grandma Erber

The J. Erber Family

Nathan & Jeanine DeLadurantey

And, of course, we have to include the belle of all photos these days: Miss Caroline Joy Erber

On Aunt Jill's couch

On Daddy's lap

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Spring is... springing?

Spring appears to actually be making an appearance in Chemung, Illinois, today! Despite yesterday's snow (patches of which still remain scattered throughout the yard), today was Springy enough to beg us outdoors for lunch. Temperatures reached the mid-40's as we enjoyed the warm sunshine and an easy lunch (aka leftovers) together on our front porch. Spring is the time to eat outdoors because there aren't any bugs yet (although I saw two) and there's nothing like spring air. Actually, our family tends to be fanatical when it comes to fresh air. This past January I even found a sibling (who will remain anonymous) in her bedroom enjoying a good book curled up in an easy chair next to an open window during a snow storm! "Isn't it nice?" she inquired as I entered the room...

Anyway, lunch outside is traditionally a default setting here throughout the Spring, and as we're enjoying it for the first time today we had to share it with you all!

Now, back to the work!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Happy Birthday, Jonathan!

Today Jonathan celebrates his 17th birthday! Happy Birthday!

Monday, March 21, 2005

Liberty Day 2005

Patriots of all ages gathered at the American Legion Hall in Capron, Illinois on the evening of Saturday, March 19, 2005 for the 7th Annual Liberty Day Festivities! Sadly, the Erbers were preoccupied and didn't get many pictures! We're seeing what we can get from other folks, (if you have some, send 'em over!) in the mean time, you can at least read about the event! We'll add pictures as we get them!

After some pre-program music (Miss Heather Englund), some opening statements (Jeremy was MC), and singing (everyone), Joshua kicked off the evening with a speech on "The Mantle of Liberty." He exhorted us to study the lives of our heroes not just so that we can admire them all the more, but so that we can emulate them - for they have given to us a mantle of Liberty which we will pass on to the next generation. Will it be better or worse for having been in our hands?

Mrs. Diana Ortega then took the stage and eloquently recounted the story of the enscribing of Francis Scott Key's masterpiece, The Star Spangled Banner. She also read the words to all four verses of the poem and reminded us of the richness that is lost when we only sing the first verse and neglect to remember the other three.

Our across-the-street-neighbor, Miss Jessica Bernhardt, then came forward and beautifully sang our National Anthem for us, accompanied by her brother, Jacob.

Next came a performance that I have a feeling is becoming an annual tradition - a harp/violin duet. Despite being young musicians, Joanna & Raeanne Carlson sound great together and have a lot of fun doing it. Up on stage they were both so composed, you'd think that they weren't the least bit nervous! This year they played "This Land is our Land."

Next I took the stage for a few brief moments to croak out an introduction to the 2nd Virginia convention. I "croaked" it out because a cold had the audacity to stop by univited on Friday and steal my voice away! Some have been kind enough to say that my voice was simply "dramatically low." Dramatic or not, it's a good thing I didn't have much to say!

Of course, next came the centerpiece of the evening: The arrival of the delegates and the reenacting of the 2nd Virginia Convention. The interaction of these guys gets better every year! We added a couple of new parts (Wm. Riddick and Andrew Lewis) and they stepped right in and helped round things out perfectly! They guys looked great, too, as they sported professionally made wigs and full costumes. As usual, Mr. Henry's eloquence won supporters and his resolutions carried by a sizeable majority...

Patrick Henry paces as he the intensity builds shortly before uttering the famous closing lines.

Up next was a guitar duet of God of our Fathers, performed in classical style by two young men from our church, Jeremy Degenhart and Jonathan Fowlks.

Following their performance came the premier performance of "Ticonderoga!" We took the story of Ethan Allen's taking of Fort Ticonderoga and adapted it for radio. We had a lot of fun with sound effects and organ music, and the cast we had was incredible! It was such fun to work with everyone. The character's voices were supplied by a bunch of young people in our church - and one dad in there, too. Ethan Allen's lieutenant was our youngest character (8-year-old Josiah) and the part of Benedict Arnold was carried by 18-year-old Aaron Englund. Everyone else fell between those ages. Joanna was Mrs. Allen, Joseph was the British commander (Captain Delaplace), Jonathan was Ethan Allen and a handful of others carried the rest of the characters. Mr. Yen and his daughter, Kathryn, were absolutely excellent as "Dad" and "Daughter" who had the opening and closing dialog to the story.

Col. Seth Warner (Jeremy Degenhart) and Col. Ethan Allen (Jonathan).

But moving on - maybe I should issue a warning - light entertainment ahead!
Jeremy, Joshua, Jonathan, Joseph, Josiah & Nathan took the stage next as the Erberantey Men's Ensemble performed a light-hearted, knee-slappin', foot-stompin', hand-clappin', backwoodsy rendition of an old favorite, The Battle of New Orleans: "In 1814 I took a little trip along with Col. Jackson down the mighty Mississip'..."

More music followed the boys - although it was more dignified in nature! Miss Becky Knottnerus came forward to sing "God Bless the USA."

Poetry followed as Miss Kathryn Inyart took the stage and reminded us of the many influential men and women who never made the history books. The fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, friends and countrymen of our heroes. The men and women "in the ranks" who gave their daily lives in faithful and upright service to the Lord and their country. She then quoted "Men of Honor" and "Women of Grace" two poems written by Miss Heather Englund.

Jonathan then reminded us of the sacrifice and heartache that so many suffered in fighting for the cause of Liberty by dramatically recounting the legend of the "Blacksmith of Brandywine." The four senior members of the Erberantey then sang the song with the same title.

As the evening was drawing to a close, Dad took the stage to remind us that if we want to see a restoration of truth and liberty in our day, than the responsibility lies upon our shoulders. We must humble ourselves and seek the Lord. We must honor the Lord with our lives, serve Him, follow His precepts - and then He will be the one Who heals our land. Ultimately, our work is in vain if He is not at work.

Jeremy then shared some closing remarks and ended with this quote by Robert Lee:
"The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of prgress is so immense and our means of aiding is so feeble; the life of humanity is long; that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the eb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope."

Jacob Bernhardt then returned to the piano and performed an inspiring rendition of "Onward Christian Soldiers." It was a brilliant arrangement enjoyed by all who heard it - though Joseph & I were distracted by trying to figure out how to get the piano leg to stop squeeking! :-)

We then closed the program with the singing of three verses of Once to Every Man and Nation.

For the next few hours, the 200 attendees enjoyed refreshments, a bit of dancing (Virginia Reel), and a formal discussion concerning current events, covering some of the if, what, why, where, when, and how we should take a stand for truth and righteousness today.

And I think that just about covers the evening's events! We had a great time and there was lots of talking and laughter in those hours following the program. Those of you who were there - if I missed something, just comment below!

Jessica Erber

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Pictures along Pagles Road

Hello Friends,

Thought we'd share a few pictures taken around here recently. This morning we woke up to a BEAUTIFUL snowfall... and it continued all day. It was warm enough (mid-30's) that it was very heavy and didn't even accumulate all that it could have, but we still got several inches and it was really pretty. Winter's final fling (maybe final - who knows!).

Jonathan took this picture looking down our road this morning:

For those of you who haven't been here, this is our house!

And this picture is our yard... the open space there held an ice rink for a few weeks this January. Lots of hockey games (played with sticks, brooms and mops) and lots of fun!

And this picture was taken earlier this week just down the road.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Today Joanna turned 12! Happy Birthday!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

ICHE has a new website!

Our family has been very busy lately with a ICHE stuff. Since Dad is the president of Illinois Christian Home Educators (ICHE) and the organization's office is in our home ICHE is a big part of our life. "Convention Season" runs from early March (when advertising first goes out) through after-conference recovery in late May. For the last couple of years, ICHE has been publishing The Alliant which is a free quarterly magazine that goes out to over 10,000 homeschooling families throughout Illinois and beyond. That means that convention season starts a little earlier (in early January) as we hurry to finalize all the details and get everything to our editor so that she can format it all and get the file to the printer, so that he can get the magazine to the mail house, so that the homeschool families can start receiving their copy of the magazine in early March. Agh!!!

ICHE has a new website! Last week The Alliant was mailed out advertising online registration for the convention, but our website was in the process of being changed and their was no online registration on the old site. So we began getting a bunch of emails saying "Where is it?" and now, finally, the convention information and registration is all online!! Check out the brand new look at:

Oh, and if you see any errors in the text, let me know. I've spent all afternoon filling in the text and I think it rather probable that I've got some mixed up sentances, etc. in there somewhere! There are still some 'bugs' along the way that we've been trying to work out (our web guy has been great) and some "coming soon" pages that I still have to fill, but I think we've got enough there to launch it on the great sea of public access! :-)

Let us know what ya' think!

Jessica Erber

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Baby Shower!

On Friday we hosted a baby shower for Jeanine. Josiah took a bunch of really good pictures for us... but the card in Jonathan's camera decided to go bad that evening so we only have a few post-shower pictures! AGH!!!

We had a wonderful time. As you can see in the picture above, we decorated by hanging "clothes line" filled with baby clothes around the house and had baby toys and shoes, etc, out and about. We even decorated the bathtub with baby stuff! :-) Everyone was very talkative and seemed to enjoy themselves and Jeanine received many very cute and practical baby items - including enough diapers to last for several months!

The Erber sisters relax after the shower.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Calm between the storms!

Joseph takes a break after a week of "Spring Cleaning" (a deceptive term as we have snow again) and a day of Baby Shower preparations! Tomorrow we'll be having about 45+ ladies here to celebrate the baby due in the DeLadurantey branch of the family. Yes, 45 ladies and just 2 young men - Joseph and Josiah. Josh and Jonathan have been down in Ohio all week helping Sara's family with some building projects. Today they drove over to St. Louis, MO where they will meet up with Dad, Mr. Marlin Strand (the other elder in our church), and a group of other men for a conference on eldership this weekend. It sounds like it should be a really great conference, but I personally think us ladies will have more fun! Joseph & Josiah have been whispering and planning things to do during the shower - that is, when they aren't serving the ladies as bellboys.

Jessica Erber