Friday, June 23, 2006

A New Deck

This weekend we are enjoying visits from Jeremy, Sara, Caroline, and William. Well, it's only been one visit so far, but we expect them (or some of them) again today and tomorrow.

Jeremy is spending this weekend building a deck out back for us. Since we moved in (in 1998) we've had a 3-foot step out the back door. Finally we are getting around to remedying that and the deck is going in. As all our other guys are in Ohio at the CHEO convention, Jeremy's assistant and student for this project is Josiah. They spent almost all day out there together - except for coming inside to cool off a few times! Today promises to be cooler (it's in the 50's now!!!) so they should have much better working conditions today.

While the guys worked, Caroline managed to keep the rest of us smiling all day!

And she helped out in the kitchen as we finished up food prep for the upcoming Faith & Freedom Tour.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

A couple weeks in the life of us

While we certainly could be spending all our time oogling over our new little grandson/nephew, the fact is that there are other things going on around here as well. As I (Jessica) am back in town again, I find myself once again in the position of family chronicler and blog updater. So here we go!

My time in Alabama was absolutely wonderful! It was very special to spend that many weeks with my sister, bro-in-law, niece and nephew. All four of them conspired to keep me busy and entertained during my 10 week stay in the south, so I have come home enriched with more memories, experiences and friends.

The last week of my stay was definitely the craziest, which is why I stayed for it. Late nights, early mornings and busy days! For the last several days we had 11-13 people staying at the apartment each night - with more at most meals. Very memorable.

Six of the guests were Josh and his crew who had driven down after a conference in New York to help out for the last few days of Justice Parker's campaign, and bring me back home. Finally on Wednesday night, June 7, we said most of our goodbyes and stayed up late once more just for fun. Thursday morning we packed up, said our final goodbyes, squished us and all our stuff into Josh's suburban (the guys gave me the front seat so they felt most of the squish), and hit the road. Jonathan chronicled those last few days pretty well, so look here for pics and commentary!

While on the road we got a phone call about the very exciting happenings in Illinois which increased our desire to get home quickly. After a short stop in Ohio (complicated only slightly by me getting us lost while I gave Josh a break from driving) - we arrived home around 2:00am on Friday!

Friday was busy enough with us setting up for the special event that evening and taking a quick visit to see William.

Dr. Trifkovic's presentation on 1500 years of Balkan history that evening was both fascinating and overwhelming!! Granted, the late nights and long hours of the proceeding week didn't work to my advantage that evening, but I am looking forward to sitting down and listening to the recording of the lecture with a stack of encyclopedias, a dictionary, more maps, and a notebook, and gaining a better grasp on eastern European history.

This week has been much more laid back:

Monday was spent unpacking and shopping ... and selling kittens.

Tuesday was spent painting, teaching, and prepping the kitchen.

Wednesday & Thursday were spent baking 150+ dozen cookies (same reason that we did so last year) and teaching piano lessons. I'm really not sure what everyone else did those days! Oh, Jonathan took (and scored well on) the entrance exam at Rock Valley College where he'll be taking some classes this fall.

On Friday, we had friends who are missionaries to the Ivory Coast here during the day. It was good to catch up with them again and hear first hand of their work and adventures (such as experiencing an emergency evacuation from the Ivory Coast to Mali due to the unrest there) and enjoyed catching up with them and sharing music together! In the evening we ran over to visit with Jeremy, Sara, Caroline & William.

Today we're doing more baking, having a family over for dinner, preparing for tomorrow's get-together with Grandpa & Grandma Erber, Aunt Jill & Uncle Don, and doing some general house cleaning - and a little more painting.

Looking ahead we eagerly anticipate the arrival of certain special people who will be returning home to the midwest this coming week!

While the rest of us were down in Alabama, Dad, Mom, Joanna, and Josiah brought our chickens in to be butchered! We now have a bunch of tasty roasters in our freezer...

Corrine is excited to be moving back to Wisconsin!

Winston doesn't seem to care where he lives - as long as he's with Mama!

Mom, Joseph, and Josiah cleaning up the yard.

One of our four kittens that now have a new home.

One of about 2,000 cookies that we baked this week!

More fun in the kitchen! (Joanna, Josiah, Joseph)

A visit with "big sister" Caroline Joy.

Enjoying a family visit getting to know someone very special...

... William Henry Erber

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Our Little Men

William Henry Erber - 5 days old

Winston Curtis DeLadurantey - 7 weeks old

Friday, June 09, 2006

Boy, Oh Boy!

Once again, we are thrilled to announce the safe arrival of a baby boy!
Jeremy & Sara welcomed their new son, William Henry Erber, yesterday morning. He weighed 8lbs. 10oz. and is 21" long.
Mama, Papa, Sister and Baby are well and very happy this morning - as are the numerous aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins!
Praise the Lord for His many blessings to us!