This blog has been a little quiet this past week due to bad weather. Well, sort of. See, we used to have really great wireless internet service. Then they upgraded the tower and it hasn't been reliable since. But over the past few weeks it seems to have settled to a nice predictable schedule: on rainy days it doesn't work, on sunny days it does. Still not good, though. But then, the company said that certainly wasn't the problem and it was on our end, and they'd send someone out to check this morning. Well, it's been raining since late Saturday night, we haven't had a connection since Saturday. It's sunny today, we have a connection today. Nobody ever came out and fixed anything, so we are obliged to remain on a "sunny day service" schedule.
But all that is beside the point. The fact is, that as of right now, we can update you all on all the fascinating news you've been missing out on due to our absence from the cyberworld.
Before we move onto what everyone's up to these days, however, we've got an important headline to mention:
265 years ago today, September 14th - after 23 days of uninterrupted labor - George Frederic Handel completed writing his much beloved oratorio masterpiece, "Messiah."
For those of you who like to plan early, on Thursday, December 21, 2006 at 7:00pm we will be attending LaSalle Bank's annual "Do-It-Yourself Messiah." So mark your calendars and come on and join us for this incredible and delightful event (click here and here). If you're coming from afar, we'd be happy to reserve rooms for you the Erber Inn! For those of you who have come before, you will want to make note of the fact that they have a different procedure for procuring the greatly coveted tickets this year.
Okay, on to news on the homefront:
This past week both Joseph and Josiah finished their former math books and started new ones. An event certainly worthy of great rejoicing!
Jonathan continues to do well in the music courses he's taking at Rock Valley College (RVC). This past week he sang with the RVC choir in a 9-11 memorial service. He also spent a few minutes at the blackboard before the teacher arrived to teach the theory class earlier this week, diagramming and explaining certain things for some of the other students. As assistant accompanist for the choir, he has also worked one on one with various other choir members. Jonathan was also asked to sing the national anthem at the college's homecoming football game later this month! I'm sure there are other highlights to the last few weeks of classes, but I can't think of them right now...
Joanna and Josiah continue to excel in their respective studies of the violin and cello. At the urging of their teachers, this fall they joined the Rockford Music Academy's orchestras. Last Saturday was the first time they met with the orchestra, and I think they are both excited about participating in them.
On Saturday, Nathan & Jeanine, Jeremy & Sara, and the C's & W's, joined all of us (aside from Mom, Joanna and Josiah who were in Rockford as mentioned above) for a multi-purpose visit to Grandpa & Grandma Erber's home.
Purpose 1 - celebrate Grandma's birthday
Purpose 2 - business meeting for Jeremy, Joshua, and Nathan
Purpose 3 - introduce Winston to Aunt Jill
Purpose 4 - seal Grandpa's blacktop driveway
Purposes 1-3 were happily accomplished, but rain in the forecast required us to cancel the fourth purpose of our visit. But as that gives us a reason to go back again soon, that isn't all bad!
Saturday was a busy day, however. After arriving home from Grandpa and Grandma's house, we packed back up and headed 'cross the border' into the wilds of Wisconsin for an adventure. Okay, so it is only about 10 miles to the Strands house and the adventure was a birthday party for their now 9-year-old son, Evin. Oh, what fun! Arriving in our cowboy gear, we were brought out to the barn where - after some instructions and a brief demonstration - we were invited to try our hand at fencing! Having worked up an appetite after several rousing encounters in the lists, we headed towards the house for pizza. Following dinner, the Strands introduced us to a fun new group game, which defies description...
This week has been fairly eventless. School work, music lessons, 'round the house projects, and the like filled our days.
Yesterday evening, however, we had the pleasure of meeting new friends in the form of guests of Jeremy & Sara's. Mr. & Mrs. B are friends of Sara's family and as they were in the area they stopped by to visit with J&S for a few days. Last night we had them over for a dinner filled with interesting conversation - although a church men's meeting drew the men elsewhere for part of the evening.
This morning, we again had visitors as friends from Chicago that we haven't seen in awhile were out our way and stopped in for a pleasant chat.
Looking ahead to this weekend, we'll be spending it with most of the families from our church at a nearby campground. So far, the weather forecast looks good, and we know of nothing else to spoil the enjoyment and edification that can be found socializing with such a great group of families - excepting, perhaps, the thought of spending several hours pretending to sleep in the delightful atmosphere created by spreading sleeping bags on the floor of a canvas tent in the midst of a field in Wisconsin on a cold autumn night. Ahhh....
[Wouldn't you know it. By the time I finished typing all the above, it was dark out and our solar generated internet service had also gone to bed... Heavy fog covered our area early this morning and was followed by a couple hours of overcast skies which are just now clearing up. Hopefully, we will soon be again the beneficiates of full sunshine and possibly once again hook up to cyberspace and get this post up before it is too terribly outdated.]