Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It's a first!

Look who's turning 1 today!! Happy Birthday, Caroline!
We all love you lots and lots and lots!!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Erber Family!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thoughts of Thanksgiving

"Last, and not least, they cherished a great hope and inward zeal of laying good foundations, or at least making some way towards it, for the propagation and advance of the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in the remote parts of the world, even though they should be but stepping stones to others in the performance of so great a work."
~ William Bradford
What an amazing thought it is to reflect upon the character of our Pilgrim forefathers this Thanksgiving! We remember, and thank God for, the sacrifices that they made, the hardships they suffered, the precedents they left, the words they penned, the principles they stood for, and the care and blessings that the Lord they served bestowed upon them. And yet, when we consider the motivation behind their actions, and the attitudes in which they carried them out, we should find ourselves humbled and inspired.

The inspiration is easy to find. Anyone who stands against great odds for nearly anything - and triumphs - becomes an inspiration to those who hear of it. And to think of a small band of families facing the perils of sea, the savage reception of a hostile land, the terror of unknown dangers, the privation of the necessities of life, the loss of half their number, and so much more, in hopes of establishing a community in which they could raise their families to honor the Lord, should be inspiring to any of us who seek to overcome obstacles or endure hardships that lay before us.

Humbling it is, however, to consider their humility. To consider that they did not think of themselves as "Nationmakers," they did not expect to be celebrated for centuries to come, they did not intend to be heroes. They merely wished to walk faithfully, and prayed that God would grant that they be "stepping stones" for the generations that would follow. They did not need to see the completion of the work, they did not need to be honored. They were willing to simply lay the foundation for the next steps, and leave the results, and the honor, to God.
"Thus, out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing... And as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all the praise."
~ William Bradford
They gave us much. Their foundations have been built upon. The work which they put their hands to has been continued. But what we remember most about them today is that they stopped their work and set aside a day to thank God. To thank Him, after all they suffered, for the many, undeserved blessings He had granted them. Theirs is a legacy of gratefulness.

Here at the Erber household we have much to rejoice in during this season of Thanksgiving. We have an ever growing family containing the most delightful people - not that we're biased. We have a comfortable home surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the country - at least, we think so. We have been blessed with wonderful friendships across the nation. We have the joy of worshipping the Lord together with the members of Christ's Church in Capron, Illinois. We have a country and heritage that we can claim with gratitude. We have another year full of memories. We have work that fills our hands, and purpose that fills our hearts. We have had opportunities to learn, serve, grow, stretch, weep, pray, rest, laugh, endure, and hope. We have Christ and His promises. We have witnessed the faithfulness of our Sovereign Lord, and can rest in His care. We are rich indeed. And yet to whom much is given, much will be required.

May the Lord find us faithful stewards of the blessings He has given us. May we never forget that He is the source of our blessings. May we walk in humility. May we seek to invest His gifts for the sake of those who will follow us. May we be stepping stones. May we never forget to give thanks.

Pictures taken just moments ago...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

We're back from Alabama!

The final conference of the year has come and gone, and we're back home to stay... for awhile, anyway! What fun it was to see the Kawell family for the first time in nearly two years. They graciously hosted Josh and I over the weekend and chauffeured us back and forth to the conference. Late nights were the rule (is anyone surprised?) and lots of catching up, and other delightful conversation was indulged in. AND, us Illinoisians were educated in the importance of college football - specifically Alabama vs. Auburn! We just happened to be in town the weekend of the big game...

The Kawell boys "sacrificed" some time to introduce Josh to Madden Football while we were there.

Josh specifically hit it off well with the Kawell's youngest, Nathan.

Lindsay, Blair and I have enjoyed each others company at several of the events we have traveled to this year. We enjoyed sharing the laughter and loneliness known only to those who have been "left behind" by older sisters who are finding the attention that they used to bestow upon their sisters, now consumed by certain special young men! :-)

The conference itself went very well and we enjoyed seeing some familiar faces again, and making some new contacts, as well. We are grateful to have enjoyed to the opportunity to work with the NCFIC this year.

Back at home, the family spent the weekend raking leaves and roasting turkeys! The trees are just about bare (aside from the oaks), so leaf raking should be almost done - maybe??? Turkey roasting, however, will certainly be done again this week. Last weekend's roasting was for the Thanksgiving feast that our church shared together this past Sunday after the service. The few leftovers that Josh and I got to taste after getting home later that evening were very good, so I imagine that the dinner itself was even better! I heard that the food was very bountiful, and that the facility our church rents never smelled so good!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Okay, so it isn't more than a dusting, but even so, there's white stuff on the ground and more flurries in the forecast for today.

The guys finished installing the basement stove and chimney just in time and we had our first fire in it last night. So now the winter winds may blow!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Updates on the Home Front

Homelife. There's not been much exciting enough to post about on its own, but there sure has been enough to keep us interested in life!

* On Saturday, Joanna and Josiah both performed in one of the Rockford Music Academy's string recitals. Joanna, on the violin, performed Bouree by Bach, and Josiah, on the cello, performed Hunters Chorus by von Weber. Good friend, Ethan Webb also performed on the cello... but I can't remember what he played!

* Josh and Dad have been busy finishing our basement - primarily working on the completing the bathroom, and installing a wood burning stove. As I type they are working on the chimney.

* A very large 10 point buck has been sighted in the neighborhood. Dad was on his way home from town last week when he saw something move in the bushes, came to a stop as the buck stood on the side of the road (1/2 mile from our home) and looked at him, before running away. We heard a couple of gunshots a couple of days later and tried to convince ourselves that some hunter was very happy with his catch, but Sara spotted him again on Sunday in the river that runs behind our home. At least one person in this house would be a more relaxed driver if we knew that he was not in the neighborhood any longer.

* On one of our recent beautiful autumn days, Uncle Don stopped by on his new motorcycle. Jonathan has a picture posted on his blog. Several of us enjoyed rides!

* Josh and Jessica will be flying down to Birmingham, Alabama this weekend for Resounding Voice's final conference of the year. It is a bittersweet thought that we are done traveling for awhile. Though we look forward to being at home, we'll miss seeing all our distant friends. Y'all come on and visit us now, ya' hear?

* On Sunday we enjoyed the experience of trying to get a good family picture. With two babies and 12 others of us, it was quite an experience. Thanks, Yens, for taking the pictures and helping get the babies to smile!! I'm sure it will only get harder in the years ahead. Next year already promises twice as many babies, and after that - well, maybe we'll just forget trying to get everyone to look at the camera!

* One of our neighbor's coworkers came out to Harvard last weekend to show them how to cook authentic Mexican food. They invited us over to join them, and we enjoyed semi-authentic Mexican food - they would have tripled the jalepenos if they were cooking for themselves!

* There was some distress in our home over several baking failures this past week until it was discovered that someone somehow mixed the containers of baking soda and baking powder, resulting in rather awful tasting pancakes, etc. How the error occured is still unsolved, but it has been corrected and we are again enjoying our food.

* We haven't posted pictures of late, because the adapter for Jonathan's camera was somehow lost in our recent travels. So to get a picture onto this computer is a little more complicated. That has been remedied, so we can now again post pictures!

* Wow! There was a run on LaSalle Bank today! The "Messiah" tickets were sold out by 9:30am! If you were among those who did get tickets, please let us know if you have any extras. If you didn't get tickets but would like to attend, let us know how many you need and we'll see if we can match the needs with the haves.

* There's a possibility of snow in the forecast for today and tomorrow (flurries, anyway)! Winter is on it's way!!!!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Looking Ahead!

Like we said, now that we're home we have an opportunity to look ahead to upcoming events and opportunities. A couple of these events we'd like to bring to your attention and extend an earnest invitation to each of you to join us for these special days.

First, foremost, and soonest, is the 2005 Do-It-Yourself Messiah, sponsored by The LaSalle Bank. We will be attending the performance on Tuesday, December 20th. This event is annually a highlight of our year. Tickets to attend are free of charge - but in HIGH demand. Be sure to visit their website ON November 15th to submit your request for tickets to this fabulous event. We'll be getting as many extras as we can, so if you don't get the tickets you request, or decide later that you'd like to attend, let us know and we'll see if we can help!

For those of you who have never attended, The Do-It-Yourself Messiah is an event hosted annually at the Lyric Opera House in Chicago. The soloists, the conductor, and the orchestra are provided. The "audience" becomes the choir. The attendees are divided into sections (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass), and after various opening comments by directors, sponsors, and such, the orchestra opens with the overture and we sing through Handel's Messiah. It is a simply incredible evening! Check out the website for some details.

Secondly, we ask you all to mark your calendars now for the 2006 Liberty Day Celebration! Due to a variety of scheduling factors, Liberty Day 2006 has been moved a little bit earlier in the year. We will be holding the conference and festivities on the weekend of March 3-4, 2006. More details to come, but be sure to reserve the date! We have Dr. Paul Jehle scheduled as a guest speaker, and have another special guest we are hoping to soon confirm as well! Click Here to read about last year's celebration, and Click Here (and scroll down a little bit) to see pictures from the first several Liberty Day Celebrations!

We hope to see you there!

Top Reasons to join us for the "Messiah"

Enjoy the unparalleled opportunity to stand outdoors in frigid temperatures waiting for the train!

Enjoy the hour-and-a-half train ride to Chicago in a reserved car with a bunch of fun people!

Enjoy the train ride with Josh.

Enjoy the sights and sounds of Chicago!

Enjoy singing carols in the streets of downtown Chicago while waiting for the doors to open at the Lyric Opera House!

Enjoy the beauties of the Chicago Lyric Opera House!

Enjoy meeting various interesting people, and being surrounded by hundreds of vocalists singing YOUR part!

Enjoy singing THE MESSIAH with a choir of thousands under the able (and delightful) direction of Maestro Stanley Sperber (I assume that he will be back again this year!). Enjoy, too, the talents of the quartet of soloists and the orchestra brought together annually for this incredible event! Enjoy the music, and the message that is so beautifully presented through each page of Handel's "Messiah." Rejoice in singing of our need of a Savior, the promise of the Messiah, the birth, life, death, resurrection, and triumphant coronation of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Rejoice in singing of the hope that now lies before us! Rejoice in raising your voice in the adoration of our Redeemer!

Enjoy hurrying to, finding, and boarding the train for another hour-and-a-half ride home in the middle of the night. Enjoy the many discussions that revolve around the events of the evening, enjoy the many discussions that don't revolve around the events of the evening, voice your opinion of this year's soloists, partake of the snacks shared, possibly witness a robbery attempt, smile at the cars waiting at the crossings while you ride by...

Enjoy arriving back at the train station after midnight. If the weather's right, enjoy a snowball fight in the empty parking lot. Otherwise, enjoy hurrying through the chilly wind back to your vehicle, and driving home.

Enjoy sleeping in the next morning.
Enjoy looking through the pictures taken.
Enjoy talking about it for weeks.
Enjoy the memories...

Thursday, November 03, 2005


We're back! Thanks to Vision Forum and staff, for once again inviting us to work with them. We always enjoy the opportunities to work and visit with the Vision Forum family and the various other friends we just happen to run into at their events!

We arrived safely at the Huber home on Saturday, October 22nd, after about 24 hours of driving (divided between two days).

We enjoyed relaxing with them that evening, and the next day.
Then came Monday. Between a funeral, various choir rehersals, visiting the Alamo, shopping, and trying to get "some" sleep, we were in and out and up and down for the next several days and saw quite a bit of each other in passing! We parted again with the determination that "someday" we're going to get together just to visit. Someday...

Joseph and Josiah enjoyed the opportunity to help out with the chores - including milking (and riding) the Huber's cow, Ruby.



A la mode

But moving ahead to the event that brought us down to Texas: the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. Once again, the SAICFF attracted a large crowd of Christian filmmakers from across the world. The collection of film shorts that made the semi-finalists list and were shown during the weekend included everything from hilarious, to thought provoking, to touching. Some were amateur films made by kids in their teens, some created by highly skilled professionals. Of course, there were also sessions given on various practical, philosophical and cultural issues behind filmmaking. We were there because Resounding Voice was hired to record the sessions during the festival - as well as the sessions given earlier in the week during the three day filmmakers academy.

The Huber family graciously planned and provided meals for us all to enjoy during the film festival. We smuggled the food through the convention center to a quiet area just outside the convention center along the famous Riverwalk. The weather was lovely, the meals delicious, and the company outstanding. :-)

Jeremy & Nathan Huber enjoy dinner together before the world premiere of 'League of Grateful Sons'

Just before viewing the League of Grateful Sons, the Sentimental Journey Orchestra entertained us with songs of the WWII generation. Lots of fun!

Hmm. Looks like a conspiracy to me...

Kaylianna Jane Huber and Caroline Joy Erber

Sunday October 30th, found a crowd of around 40 at the Huber home for dinner, from New Zealand, Oregon, Alabama, Illinois, Wisconsin, and, of course, Texas.

As you might imagine, we stayed up into the later evening hours laughing, talking, watching a few favorite films from the weekend, and generally enjoying each other's company.

Then came Monday. Our whirlwind visit to San Antonio was over. We bid adieu and were on the road around 10:30am. Around 10:30am on Tuesday, after sleeping through most of the 24 hour drive, we arrived back home. Now it's time to unpack, catch up, settle in, and look ahead! Having been out of town for most of the last two months has sort of put us behind on a few things around here!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Happy Birthday, Josh!

Today marks a very significant day in the life of Joshua David Erber.
Not only is it his birthday, it is his 21st birthday!

Happy Birthday, Josh! May God grant you many more!