Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Introducing a New Erber!!

It's a Girl!!! This morning at 6:42am, Josh and Abbey welcomed their new little daughter into their arms and we are SO very, very excited!!

Miss Isabella Ann Erber
December 31, 2008; 6:42am
7lbs, 10oz;
20" long

Isabella, Abbey, and Josh are well and happy, just very sleepy! Praise the Lord for His many wonderful blessings, and for this very special one given as we greet this last morning of the old year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pictures from Christmas

Just a glance at Christmas Eve at Aunt Jill's house and Christmas Day at our house! Little text, lots of pictures.

The crowd on Christmas Eve - or most of it, anyway.

Caroline carefully opening her gifts.

It's a little out of focus, but I love his intense expression!


Camille eating cucumbers on Christmas Day. Our feast consisted of much, much more (way too much more - if it is possible to have too much food at a feast), but she loved the cucumbers! Actually, she looks like she's ready for a nap.

Baby Grace, and her new doll! I think she will be "Baby" Grace until this next little one shows up.

Da boys - checking out their gifts.

Josiah asks, "Uhhh, what is this?" as Nathan and Tom display classic reactions as the impact of the reality hits them. I know, such a nice gift. But hey - it fit the theme for the year, sort of...

Oh, yes! An air-horn for my truck! Just what I wanted!! :-)

Auntie Abbey reading to her baby's oldest cousins.

Showing off new shirts...

Time to go! Gotta love the socks, eh?

Jumping ahead in time to today...

Tomorrow is Nathan's birthday and his family came over to our place today to make his birthday cake. Corrine is trying to figure out what dress to wear for Daddy's birthday...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the week before Christmas...

On Friday night we had the VonHolten family over just for fun. This seemingly innocent little guy produced quite a number of laughs that evening! :-) A cup of Christmas cheer to anyone who knows what he is called (and can pronounce it correctly!) without looking it up! Thanks, VonHoltens!

On Sunday we had our Church's Christmas celebration. Pictured above are Caesar and a couple of young shepherds... we didn't really take many pictures that day, but thankfully others did! It was a wonderful afternoon of feasting (ohhh, was there food!!), music, worship and celebration as we rejoiced together in the wonderful gift of the Son of God.

Jonathan directed our string ensemble as they performed the Pastoral Symphony from Handel's Messiah, as well as a few carols.

Anna and Raeanne played together again... it was lovely, ladies! I'm so glad we have a harp in this church, Raeanne!

And from Dawn's Camera (operated that day by Elizabeth) came a picture of Anna and I playing a "just for fun" piano duet of Leroy Anderson's Sleigh Ride!

Elizabeth also got some cute pictures from the rehearsal for this event! :-)

I love Winston's expression in this one! Love you little buddy!

Ah, and then came Monday and our annual trip to downtown Chicago for the Do-It-Yourself Messiah! Again, we took almost no pictures, (do you sense that our family has a problem with this part of things?). But thankfully others did take pictures! Check out Dawn's and Wendy's. As always, we could go on and on with our delight in the music, the message and the opportunity to sing it with 3000 others in downtown Chicago, but we will spare you! We are so grateful for the gifts and inspiration that God gave to G.F. Handel and so grateful that even an unbelieving public will sing and sponsor the performance of this masterpiece! Praise the Lord!

As we don't have opportunity regularly to wear the lovely dresses we had for Josh & Abbey's wedding, we three bridesmaids decided the Messiah at the Opera House was the time and place to do it!

After the Messiah, nearly 20 people spent the night at our house - this picture was taken after a few of our guests had left. Thanks for coming up and braving the cold and snow! We're so glad you were able to join us!

Ahh... and there is no need to dream - we are truly experiencing a very white Christmas this year! Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pictures from the last two weeks

Things have been a little quiet around this blog for awhile - in fact, it has been rather silent! But it hasn't necessarily been quiet at the Erber home. So here are a few pictures just to briefly catch things up here.

A few unphotographed events of the last 10 days include, Josh & Abbey's Christmas party, Tara Y's birthday party, Joanna's violin recital, snowman building, shoveling, pushing/pulling cars out of ditches, rehearsals, shopping, decorating, cooking, baking... etc!

This picture was taken on Sunday, December 7th, on the way to the Yen's house in the early afternoon.

As we did last year, several families from our church headed over to a retirement community to share the story and songs of Christ's birth with the people there. This year, Caroline and William joined as an angel and a shepherd.

I wish we had gotten a picture of Joanna with one of the ladies we spoke with afterward. She was 90 years old, and had been trained on the violin at Julliard, and had performed for many years with a variety of symphonies in the Chicago area. She said that on Saturdays she walks the halls of the retirement center/nursing home and plays her violin still. But, she said humbly, nothing impressive - just songs she knows. After Julliard and symphonies I can only imagine what is in her "non-impressive" repertoire! She didn't play anything for us, but did beg Joanna to play some more for her, saying how wonderful it was to have someone in her home playing the violin again!

Before all the family showed up for a family Christmas celebration with Mom's brother's family, we attempted to get a picture of all six grandchildren all dressed up. I think it might have be close to impossible... I held the camera and just kept snapping away while grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and puppets strove to get them all looking at me smiling!

But then, Uncle George and Aunt Lori did show up and we indulged in a great spread of food (we're Italian, remember, and food must always the centerpiece of every gathering).

Then there was lots of talking, games, and ginger bread house making! I love the father/son expressions in the picture below. They don't resemble each other any, do they?

One final picture. Yesterday all the ladies were here with their little ones for a day of Strufoli making (and more ginger bread house decorating with all the leftover stuff!). Of course, you can't have mothers of toddlers around without discussions of parenting and (as they grow older) phonics, etc. So Mom pulled out old books, curricula, games, etc, used around here in years past. A regular Home School Convention/Book Fair right around the table! :-)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Caroline is 4!

Sunday, November 30, was Caroline Joy's fourth birthday! Our little dear is getting SO big! She spent the weekend at "Nana's House" in Ohio, and was driving home on her birthday, so on Tuesday they came over here for dinner and cake!

William also enjoyed the cake. He's been doing well learning his table manners, but I think maybe he needs to consider his bite size next... :-)

After dinner, Caroline showed us her newly developed skill of reading/writing simple words - such as cat, hat, and Dad. Yes, she certainly is growing up!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Thanksgiving Feast

Our family loves the Thanksgiving holiday! We dearly love the history behind it, (and we love to tell that story again during our dinner each year), we love the traditions that come with it, we love to decorate for it, we love the season during which we celebrate it, and we love the purpose of it - we love to recount the blessings God has poured upon us, and truly we have many such blessings to recount and for which to give thanks!

This Thanksgiving we had a delightful day with family and friends. There were only 18 of us in all around the table that day - not as crowded as some years, but still a pleasant gathering. There was plenty of yummy food, though the numbers of leftovers shrunk considerable as they continued to be consumed throughout the course of the afternoon and evening. We also managed to almost completely finish all the pie, too. (I believe by the end of the night there were only two pieces of pumpkin pie remaining - and they were enjoyed for breakfast the next morning by a couple of people who shall remain nameless.)

After dinner most of the rest of the day/evening was made up of music, games and, of course, conversation, until nearly midnight when we bid the last guests adieu and, after putting the few remaining food items away, finally called it a night!

Of course, in the days following Thanksgiving turkey soup makes a wonderful meal and we ate quite a bit of it! And we love our latest find of mashed potato dumplings...

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Giving Thanks

Our Thanksgiving Celebration has begun! The Plymouth Pilgrims feasted and celebrated for three whole days, and we agree that one-day holidays are simply insufficient. So our feasting and celebrating has already begun. Yesterday our church celebrated a feast of Thanksgiving together. As I was busy with other things I didn't get very many pictures, but I had to get one of our church's Thanksgiving Tree. It looks considerably smaller in this photo than if you were actually standing there. It was an impressive (and rather eclectic) collection of leaves each of which contained something that we were grateful for. Some were very specific and personal, and others very general. Some you knew instantly who wrote them, and others were items that most any of us could have written. Some were deep and thought provoking, and others were more humorous. We will definitely do this again in the future!

As Dad is our resident engineer, we asked him to design and sketch the tree, which he did - and impressed us all in his method of operation. :-)

A few pilgrim gentlemen showed up for our feast, as did a few Indians... We had some small pilgrim girls running around too, and I so wish I had a picture of them, as well.

We had a delightful time together, and the afternoon program was a lot of fun. Many thanks to all who participated in presentations! And, of course, a big thanks to all who helped cook and clean-up our feast! :-)


The church celebration wasn't the only event of the weekend, though. On Saturday Josiah had a cello recital in Rockford College's Maddox Theater. For those keeping track of his progress, he performed Sicilienne from Suzuki Book 7, and did a wonderful job.

And one final photo. The view from an upstairs window this morning:

Ahhh, isn't it lovely?