Saturday, November 04, 2006

What we haven't told you...

Sounds like an exciting blog post, doesn't it? Well, it really is just what we've done over the last few weeks that has not made it to the blog yet - which will make for a somewhat lengthy post, but here it is!

Four weeks ago today, Josh, Joseph and I (Jessica) left for yet another business trip. Both catering and conference recording were our duties at this event, and we didn't travel alone. Luke VonHolten and Ethan Webb joined us for the long week in San Antonio. After managing to fill nearly every last bit of space in Josh's suburban (including around our feet and on our laps), we headed south on Saturday, October 14 and arrived at our destination on Sunday morning.

The Hubers were kind enough to welcome us warmly even though we arrived several hours earlier than anticipated (thanks to not pulling the trailer and not breaking down this time!). Monday morning the work time began. Josh, Luke and Ethan spent the first part of the week recording the San Antonio Independent Christian Filmmakers Academy. The rest of us really didn't see them at all from Sunday night until Wednesday night. They were gone before we were up and back after we were in bed. But, from all reports it was enjoyable, educational, and well worth the work.

Back at the Hubers, Joseph and I rested up, helped with some projects around their house, went to see the new film Facing The Giants, Joseph got to kill a rattlesnake, and I did some major shopping and minor final food preparation. As on our trip to Texas earlier this year, I was in charge of catering the meals for Vision Forum's staff and speakers while Josh and crew worked recording the sessions that were presented during the weekend. This time the event was the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, and I had Joseph with me as my assistant. Somehow we managed to stay busy enough that we came home from this trip with no pictures at all. I think Luke and Ethan have some, though, and perhaps at some point we can see what they got.

Aside from a few fairly minor glitches, the meal preparations all seemed to go fairly well. Joseph was a faithful and capable assistant and gave up the fun of attending the festival for the fun of slaving away in the kitchen with/for me. Thanks, Joseph! (We really did have fun, by the way).

We did, however, get to get in on some of the fun of the festival. While we missed the film screenings and workshops, we did get to the opening ceremonies, Friday evening's keynote session with Stephan Kendrick (of Facing the Giants), the award ceremony, and the nights at the Arneson River Theater with George Sarris and Charlie Zahm. At each meal, we got updates from Josh, Luke, and Ethan regarding their opinions of the good, the bad, and the amusing, of the semi-finalist's films, and their award predictions, so we were kept in the loop throughout the days as well.

The post-dinner events were also a fun time to catch a few minutes of visiting time with various friends and new acquaintances who were in attendance at the festival. All in all, I think the five of us each came back having fully enjoyed the week in San Antonio, and with greater knowledge, experience, and excitement than we left with.

After several days of recovery and catch-up, came Saturday. Now while we had been gone, Sara had mentioned to Mom an autumn family tradition her family has had of making pumpkin doughnuts with an apple cider icing. We decided this sounded like a good tradition to adopt. So, on Saturday, October 28, we made somewhere around 200 doughnuts (and, of course, as many doughnut holes). Sara, Caroline, and William, Jeanine, Corrine, and Winston came to spend the day cooking, as did our friends Abbey & Wendy Hill. The guys and the rest of the Hill family showed up later in the day.

We DO have some pictures from that day!

"Hmmm. Did someone say 'donuts'???"

"They're so busy they won't notice us snacking..."

"Hey, we're still small enough to fit in the doll stroller!"

The house, of course, smelled rather good that day and I think we'll try to keep that tradition faithfully over the coming years.

That evening, however, the mood turned (slightly) more serious. Following dinner, the crowd of us moved into the living room for a planning meeting for the upcoming Liberty Day 2007. I actually haven't gotten around to updating the Liberty Day site yet, but hope to soon. We had some great discussion and were able to make some good progress in the plans for the event - from conference registration and scheduling, to the order of events for the evening celebration, to... well, you'll have to wait and see what all else!

We're almost caught up...

Monday, Oct. 30, through Thursday, November 2, we had the fun of hosting Amy Bentley at our home. I'm afraid I must confess that we don't have pictures of her with us, either! We met the Bentley family way back in the mid 80's, when Amy and I were only little tykes of about 3 years old, and our mothers were only slightly older than we are now! Mr. Bentley was then in the Coast Guard and a few years after we had met was moved across the country once again. Amy and I immediately began corresponding with those delightfully originally letters that a six-year-old can come up with:

"Hi, how are you? I am fine. I miss you. Write back soon. Love from your friend."

I assure you that without any (or with very little) variation, many such epistles flew between the Bentley and Erber residences. Over time, much has changed. Who would have guessed those many years ago that our correspondence now would be made up of lengthy emails covering nearly every subject under the sun? Who would have guessed that though miles separated us, God would lead both of our families through similar changes and growth? A lifelong friendship is a precious gift for which I am very grateful.

Yesterday afternoon we had N,J,C&W, J,S,C&W over for dinner and to get an updated family picture. Well, the picture of us all came together fairly quickly, BUT, some of the little people started to lose it as we attempted other ensembles. The grouping below we just totally gave up on and decided to try again on a happier day. This shot is just such a classic picture, though, that I had to post it anyway!


Kawell Writer said...

Wow, those donuts look good! May I request a recipe? I'm sure that we would love to have that tradition at our house!

Robyn said...

Miss Jessica,
How did Joseph kill a rattle-snake?
I keep forgeting to ask you.
Love ~Robyn~