Friday, February 29, 2008

More wedding pics!

The Hill's just posted some wedding pictures from the ceremony!

Oh, and just as an FYI, we are having an email problem. We can receive but can't send - except very sporadically. Not sure what's up, but hopefully we'll be up and running again soon!

Thursday, February 28, 2008


The last guest (Grandma M) left yesterday. The laundry is all caught up. All the extra sheets and towels have been put away. Sleep is mostly caught up on. Grocery shopping still needs to be done, but in the mean time, the leftovers are going a long way! Quiet is slowly descending on the Erber home again... momentarily, of course, but for now things are all settling back into place. And it's time to pick life back up again!

But how can we just "go on" quite yet? A wedding is an important and exciting event and we've hardly touched on it here since the event. We'd love to create a post filled with pictures for you, but that will need to wait until we have pictures to share! [I have included a few that we took, or found 'blog surfing', or were given by friends...]

In summary, God blessed us SO much all weekend long! From the moment our first guests arrived, through conversations with relatives, hugs with old friends, help just when we needed it, a church family cheerfully pitching in wherever needed (like cleaning up after us)... I think we've been smiling and laughing for a whole week! God is so very good. Who are we to deserve such grace and blessings?

The forecast was not wrong this time, and Saturday was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL winter day - and for northern Illinois in February that is so extremely rare. I honestly cannot think of anyway in which the weather could have been improved (I hear they got some good outdoor pictures, too).

The church - after getting all decked out - was beautiful and nearly every chair they had in that building was filled. We had to create extra rows in the sanctuary from chairs in closets and in the choir loft. The organist commented that they haven't had the church that full in a long time and the singing was wonderful! Not only was the church filled, but each one of the guests meant so much to us, and to Josh and Abbey. We thank each of you who came for sacrificing your time to travel (bright and early!) to the wedding, to witness their marriage vows, and to celebrate with us! It was such a wonderful, happy day and each of you contributed much to making it so!

The music came together beautifully, the flowers and bows and candles and greenery and all went up without a hitch and adorned the sanctuary gracefully. Nobody fainted or tripped. The groom's entrance was slightly delayed because... yes, even on his wedding day, Josh was called upon to asses a microphone issue. But a moment later it was resolved and in came he and his men - ready and waiting for the lady of the hour. Then in came the bridesmaids, the ring-bearer and the smile-wreathed flower girls carefully carrying out their duties. And then the bride on her father's arm!

Oh, how wonderful weddings are! How delightful to see God work in the lives of two families, in two people, for years, and then at the perfect time bring them to each other! How glorious are the rich blessings of our Lord! To Him be great glory, for He has done it!

Of course, the bride was lovely, and neither she nor the groom could stop smiling for a second - and I didn't hear anything about cheeks hurting from the smiles, either! I strongly suspect they are still smiling! We bridesmaids constantly checked in with them to make sure that there wasn't anything they needed, and they always said - quite convincingly - that they were just fine!

The reception was beautiful, too. The sun streamed in the windows warmly and cheerfully. The food was hot and tasty. Smiles, hugs, and cheerful conversation filled the room. Then, after several hours of celebration, came the time to say goodbye! With hugs, shouts, bubbles, a very decorated suburban, and many waving hands, they were sent off into the evening - and into their new life together!

After the wedding and reception, we had several of the out-of-town guests back to our home for the evening. We put out pizza, leftovers and other snacky things, and just enjoyed a laid back evening together visiting with these dear friends who traveled from their distant homes to be with us.

Sometime well after midnight the house became quiet. The wedding day was over. A new chapter had begun. A new family had been created.

Yes, God has been very good to us. And His mercy endures - forever. Great is His faithfulness!

Monday, February 25, 2008

"What God hath joined together..."

Thanks to the generosity of some friends, we have a few more pictures to share with you. We won't get the "official photos" from the photographer until later, but we'll share some of those with you when we can. In the meantime, please share yours with us! :-)

We love you two!!!

Just a snapshot of one of the groupings... an updated Erber Family! (Though from this angle Joseph is completely hidden by Jonathan. I think everyone else can at least be partly seen!)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

They are married!

Mr. & Mrs. Joshua Erber with their flower girls!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Tomorrow, tomorrow...

The Big Day is now only a few hours away! Need I say anything more? This week has been very special and very fun for the Erber family - and it is far from over yet!

Jonathan is taking off of school today, so there is just a little rehearsing to be done here this morning and then we've got to pack everything up (and try to keep it all somewhat organized so we can find everything when we're there!) and head out to Elgin for set-up, rehearsing, and dinner!

I did hold my breath, however, as I sat down to check the weather forecast for tomorrow. But when the page loaded, I had to copy it here: Absolutely Beautiful!

There is no such thing as better weather than that - in February in northern Illinois!

And so it is here. The wedding. Josh's wedding. He's been a great brother, son and friend to us, and has carried an important role in the Erber family for the last 23 years. We'll miss having him around (though thankfully he won't be too far away!) but we know that he will be a wonderful husband to Abbey, and that God will use them both to accomplish greater things together than either of them could on their own. In truth, neither of them are accomplishing a whole lot on their own right now anyway - other than smiling (though even smiles are brighter and bigger when they are together)!

But teasing aside, we have rejoiced to watch as our all-wise God has chosen these two and drawn them to Himself and given them to each other. Tomorrow will be a beautiful day! In fact, even without ladies in lovely dresses, men decked out in tuxes, adorable flower girls, a charming ring-bearer, a string trio playing softly in the background, an organ heralding the happy news, flowers, ribbons, candles, the sun shining brilliantly - yes, even were all that absent, the day would be beautiful, the day would be wonderful and happy and right. For as a man and a woman covenant their lives together before God, with the full blessing of their parents, and the loving support of family and friends... as Psalm 133 says, it is like precious oil poured upon the head, like the dew of the mountains, and there the Lord commands His blessings!

Can't wait until... Tomorrow, tomorrow!

Aunts and Uncles... and pictures.

Uncle Dick, Aunt Emily, Uncle Michael and cousins - we wish you were here, too!!

Uncle George and Aunt Clorinda playing "Duck, Duck, Goose" with the C's & W's last night...


Musicians rehearse.

Lunar eclipse. The sky was perfectly clear - our pictures weren't.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

48 Hours...

Whoa!!! 48. Forty-eight. Two days somehow sounds like more time than, well, 48 hours. But it is true. The time before us is short. Soon Josh will have a wife, Abbey will have a new name, they'll both have a new address - and the rest of us will have to just pick up with normal life again! :-) But even normal life is brightened by their constantly smiling faces - even if they won't be in house anymore!

Josh is out to breakfast this morning with an out-of-town guest, who will be one of the ushers on Saturday. Today we have to make a quick run to Walmart and the cleaners, make gravy and dessert for the rehearsal dinner, practice the special music selection some more, look over packing lists for the weekend, and relax and visit with Josh and our guests - and probably a few other things will come up. Then this evening we'll be having about 25 family and out-of-towners (groomsmen, ushers, and a few other folk) here for dinner, and the guys have a fun evening planned for Josh. Then we all try to get a few winks of shut-eye before tomorrow...

The weather for Saturday still looks good! With even a fresh dusting of snow forecast for tomorrow afternoon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Three days...

Well, we're getting there! Only three days left until the BIG day... Today Josh and Brian are moving furniture and "stuff" into the apartment for J&A. Mom is on her way to O'Hare to pick up Grandma and Aunt Clorinda. This afternoon we'll be able to enjoy some fun visiting with them, and then tonight we have a musicians dinner and rehearsal at our place. We just have to finish getting the guest room ready, get some food heating up, and take care of a couple of other little things, and then I think our list for the day is about done!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Four days...

Josh is on his way home from the airport with the first of our guests! Mom, Joanna and Josiah are out doing our final (major!) shopping. Joseph is out working with Jeremy, and so Dad and I (Jessica) are holding down the fort and working on the checklists! I think these next few days are going to go by really quickly.

Josh is pretty much packed up and ready to move out of his room - though a lot of his stuff will be staying here until they move into a more permanent home later this summer. I think now that there are only three boys in the house, they plan to move into one bedroom, and turn the other room into a guest room/study area. We'll see what ends up happening, though! It definitely is a guest room this week!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Five days...

Click here for current weather information for Saturday. Looks like it should be nice, and certainly much nicer than this past weekend. Yesterday our church service was canceled due to a lovely little ice/rain/snow storm that came through our area. It still snowing a little right now, but isn't supposed to accumulate to anything much.

Last night we put together final (?) lists for this week, with a chart for each day - what we need to do, make, eat, buy, pack, etc. Hopefully that will help keep us organized and on top of everything this week. Especially as the ever-dependable "They" say, this is supposed to be the biggest week for the flu this season... We're taking everything imaginable to try to stay healthy for the next several days!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

One week!

The programs are finished! One more detail to cross off the list.

(Guys and ribbons don't go together really well...)

The freezer is full - so full, I really don't think we can fit anything more in there! I guess that means our "do ahead of time" food prep is done! Another detail to cross off the list.

So, now we can just spend this next week sitting around relaxing by the fire...

...or maybe not...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Eight days...

We're just about to the one week mark! Yesterday was a day of running here and there. Josh and Abbey did some final shopping and moved some furniture into their apartment. And as we were gone all afternoon, we didn't hear about the NIU incident until a phone call later in the evening. Though we did notice a number of emergency vehicles headed that way about that time. Who would have thought DeKalb would ever call on our little town for extra help? But then, we sent a fire engine to the Great Chicago Fire, too. So I guess we come through when needed. What a hard day this must be for those families... we're praying that God would use Jonathan to touch hearts for Him as he speaks to students and possibly news reporters at RVC today.

Today Josh is out and about again, but we're hoping to get the wedding programs finished, printed, folded, etc. by tonight. And, of course, stuff a few more food items into our already overfilled freezers, and do some cleaning that's been on hold.

And in case you didn't read the comments on the last post, we do once again have a working camera in house!

Tonight we also get to have two little people here overnight while their parents enjoy an evening for Valentine's day - they'll be painting their home together... how romantic!

AND, big news here, the Liberty Day Foundation received their first registration for the 2008 Liberty Day Conference in today's mail! Don't miss the fun! Reserve your seat today!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Nine days...

I think Josh is enjoying this Valentine's day more than any previous one! Though, he did spend the day with Abbey last Valentine's day, too... It was more that several members of our families were together skiing with a bunch of other homeschoolers!

This is, however, a somewhat sad Valentine's day for the rest of us, as we mourn the loss of the last working camera in the house! It got baptized (immersion, not sprinkling, sadly), and so we are completely camera-less now. We plan to make an emergency run to buy one today, as it is very extremely necessarily important that we have one here over the next two weeks. Hopefully nothing too memorable will happen in the meantime!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ten Days....

... the countdown is on!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Over the weekend...

Hey, I finally got some pictures to upload, so here are a few from this past weekend:

Thursday, skiing
Friday, Liberty Day fliers and tux alterations
Saturday, Abbey's party

At Chestnut Mountain - looking down the chair lift, across the Mississippi River into Iowa.

12 days to go!

We're down to the final dozen days until the actual wedding day. But, of course, guests will be arriving before then and we have a couple of other wedding-related events next week, so this is really our final week of preparations!

AND, for those of you interested or simply curious, the wedding day is now close enough to be on the 15 day forecast...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

How fleeting are the days...

We're having troubles, still, with getting picture uploaded to the blog, so once again here is a plain text update. So imagine pictures of us at a bridal shower, imagine snow covered trees and lanes...

Yesterday was a big day. Big as in lots, heavy, and deep. For about 24 hours we had steady heavy snow "showers". Everything closed down for the day, so we got caught up on a lot of around the house things (like making tons of meatballs for Wedding Week meals). Ultimately, there are approximately 16 inches accumulated out there. Joseph was our hero as after working for Jeremy all day, he came home and cleared the driveway for us! We're supposed to get some more snow again tomorrow, but today is lovely.

Today is a big day for five Erbers. Shortly after 6:30am they were headed out the door along with a few Strands, a few Hills, and a Webb to hit the slopes. They had been planning a ski day today for some weeks, and the Lord graciously sent this snow at just the perfect time for them. They won't be back until very late tonight, but hopefully they will all come back in one piece. If you see the bride, groom or a member of the wedding party in a cast... I'm sure they'll be fine. And hopefully they'll remember to pull the camera out and snap a few pics that we can get up here!

Tomorrow is a big day. We'll have Jeanine and kiddos here, as well as Lauren Strand, and are hoping to get all the tux alterations done for the guys, and sew matching vests for Winston & William, AND get all the Liberty Day fliers printed, folded, addressed, stamped and mailed. If you'd like to print your own flier it is available online here. Or you can simply browse the Liberty Day Blog for all the important information. Eventually, we'll have info on books and resources that will be available for sale, but that is going to have to wait until after the wedding.

As I'm sitting here typing this, I (Jessica), Dad and Mom are the only ones home. But from the living room I'm hearing a doll laughing and begging to be tickled. It's only supposed to do that when it's tummy is squeezed (which isn't happening)... must be running low on batteries or something.

Oh, and Jonathan updated his blog with some pictures and video from his recent trip with his choir to the IMEA conference in Peoria, IL.

The two week forecast shows highs in the low-20's during the week of the wedding. So the weather should be nice for those of you coming in from out of town. It is hard to believe we're down to the final couple of weeks here!

Friday, February 01, 2008

More Bits

Well, February is here! And in switching the calendar to a new month, the wedding seems much closer... we can see it now on the last Saturday of THIS month! It's only three weeks away! And, of course, out of town guests are coming in sooner than that. We're excited around here!

And we are busy. Busy buying final accessories, busy finalizing whatever other plans still need to be finalized, busy with bridal showers (three in the last 2 weeks, and another one tomorrow), busy trying to also carry on school and normal life responsibilities, oh, and in the midst of wedding anticipation, Liberty Day is not to be ignored! I think we finally have all the details we need in house and I spent a day earlier this week updating the Liberty Day site. There is still some more that needs to get up there, and then I need to tackle the brochure to be mailed out.

We've also been doing a bunch of cooking/baking and filling our freezer with food to pull out when wedding guests are in town. Yesterday we made 8 loaves of sourdough bread, but they didn't turn out quite the same as they usually do. Somebody got them in the oven to rise before heading out the door, but apparently forgot to set the timer... and apparently no one else forgot to check it and when that certain Somebody got back home 4 hours later, she noticed that the bread wasn't out... yup, it had spilled all over the oven. It sure rose well, at least! For the next hour the house smelled like burning bread, because, well, the overflow was burning. So the loaves look a little funny, but we're grateful for a certain brother who assured us all that it was just "An all new look, but the same great taste!" Dear guests, you may be assured, however, that we'll be eating those first and making another batch for y'all!

Jonathan is out of town this weekend at a music educators conference down in Peoria, Illinois. He is there to sing with the Rock Valley Chamber Singers who are a featured choir at the event. There was an open to the public concert there as well, but I'm a little late here as it was last night. None of us were able to be there, but he reported that the concert went very well - something they were all concerned about with flu bugs going around, a very dry conference center (they were drinking like camels, he said), and little sleep on the trip. I'm sure we'll hear more details when he gets back home on Saturday evening.

I've got to sign off though, and make some of that sad looking bread into yummy French Toast for breakfast!