Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Autumn Days

Well, we've had a busy week. Perhaps crazy or at least odd would be better terms, but busy works. To sum it up quickly let's just say that yesterday was the first day in over a week that in the morning our whole family was here and just our family was here. Of course, some of those that were here on the other days were family, but not legal residence at this address. :-) It was mostly busy work hours for the Erber men, meaning ladies and children were often here - which is our favorite way to spend a day, or a week! We've also been touched by a flu bug in various branches of the family, so we've covered for each other there as well.

William, enjoying grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. Don't know why that combo is so good, but it sure is - especially on a sunny autumn day.

Miss Grace keeps busy pretending to be laid-back and merely a quiet observer to life, but every so often she reveals some tricks she's learned in the past five and a half months! We love that baby darling!

Leaves, leaves, leaves! Fun, fun, fun!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Reformation Day Faire

On Saturday, our family drove down to Providence Church's Reformation Day Faire. Somehow we managed to come home with almost no pictures. So, you will have to be content to look elsewhere for those if you are interested. Perhaps Here or Here or Here would be a place to get started. The pictures here were nearly all taken by those photographers... It's so nice to have friends who are trigger-happy with their cameras! :-)

Their theme for Reformation Day this year was the Scottish Reformation, so shortly after we arrived and costumed ourselves (several hours sitting in the car completely costumed didn't sound super-comfortable) we headed out through the town square to the field - first up were the Boffer wars, and then, after lunch, other "Highland Games".

It was fun to see the numbers of people dressed in costume for the day. Why does dressing up make things so fun and festive? Somehow it just wouldn't have been the same event if everyone arrived dressed in 'normal' clothing. :-)

We also joined in singing the psalms, listened to a lecture by Pastor McDonald, and at the last minute, I, Jessica, was coerced into joining the cast for a small skit... coerced as in "Would you be willing to" and "Sure". Done. :-) So I stood on stage solemly behind Mary, Queen of Scots as one of her waiting maids, and then followed her off stage. Entirely unrehearsed I think we did a fabulous job.

Much of the time, for our family at least, was spent in conversation. Catching up with friends from Missouri, Iowa, and elsewhere. After dinner, they held a historical dance, which some of us participated in and some of us observed. Thank you, McDonalds & Providence Church, for all your work in organizing and hosting this event. We look forward to participating again next year!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tom's Birthday

Wednesday was Tom Del's 20th birthday! So it was time to celebrate! He came over after work and we welcomed him with a door full of balloons showering him as he entered...

Tom ordered a fantastic menu for dinner, and then helped with the dishes afterward! Happy Birthday, Tom. May God bless you much this coming year!

Sunday at Strands

On Sunday, after church, the Strands invited our family and a couple of others over to their house for an afternoon 'round the campfire. It was extremely windy, so we didn't stay around the campfire very long, but we did have a very nice afternoon/evening together! Volleyball turns into a whole different game when played on the side of a hill in intense wind like that! :-) Thanks for having us over, Strands!

Winston, out frog hunting... it's a little safer than Stegosaurus hunting, but I'm afraid it was similarly unsuccessful this time.

The men visiting after we moved indoors.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Weekend in Wisconsin

We spent this past weekend at the home of some friends up in Wisconsin. The Mangins attended our church some years back when they lived in our area. It's been about four years since we saw them and it was great to catch up with them again. They invited our family up to speak to some of the families in their area on the topic of courtship, so Nathan & Jeanine and family drove up with us. It was a very pleasant weekend. Thank you, Mangin family, for your hospitality!

Pictures from Mom's Birthday

October 15, 2008

Making and canning applesauce - yes, even on Mom's birthday we work! :-)

Meatloaf & Italian Stuffed Peppers... Mmmmmm


Ice Cream (yes, Winston is eating blue and green ice cream - thanks to Grandpa!)

Family hymn-sing around the piano later in the evening. We love crowded piano benches!

October 15, 2008 - a beautiful day of fall sunshine, family time and feasting!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Start Planning

At someone's request (you know who you are!) here is the information for the 2008 Do It Yourself Messiah at Chicago's Civic Opera House!

We are now just four weeks from the one-and-only day to request your free tickets, so if you wish to join us, mark your calendars for:

**Friday, November 14 (to order tickets) and
**Monday, December 22 (concert date that we'll be attending. Of course, you can go on the other day, if you want to go without us...).

In the meantime, start practicing!

2005 DIY Messiah Report
2007 DIY Messiah Report

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!!

It is Mom/Grandma/Margaret/Maggie's birthday today!
Happy, Happy Birthday to the dear Mama of the Erbers, Etc!

We posted this birthday poem back in 2005, but with only one word change, it still is true today! We love you, Mom!


To the matriarch of the Erber clan,
We join to give an applauding hand.

To you, mother, we wish to say,
Have a very happy day!

For all you've made our home to be,
For love poured on our family,

For all you are and all you do,
This happy birthday is for you.

Though three have flown our cozy nest,
Yet now there's more of us - not less,

And little babies to bring you joy,
(as we wonder again... girl or boy?!).

We all of us send love to you,
And birthday greetings send we, too.

Many more may God grant thee.
Years of love, and jubilee!

This simple poem was quickly writ,
But sincerity it lacks not a bit.

More heartfelt than our words can say:
We wish to you a Happy Birthday!

Monday, October 13, 2008

With our Church Family

Some of the younger ones, relaxing at our place, Sunday evening

Guys Paintball, on Saturday

Ladies visiting at our place, Sunday evening

Tall vs. Short(er) - Sunday evening

"Ladies League" - Sunday evening

Friday, October 10, 2008

Guests, friends, and happenings

Believe or not, we actually have been alive and busy in the weeks since our church's 10th anniversary celebration! In fact, we really haven't slowed down a whole lot. During the week, business is mainly school for those still formally studying, and work and ministry for the rest of everyone. But our weekends have been eventful!

At the end of the 10th anniversary weekend, we were delighted to host some new friends from Canada. We had met the Adams family on their way to California earlier this year, and now as they were headed back to Quebec, their route brought them through our town again! The Adams are members of CVP (our sister church that we visited some weeks ago), but have been serving as missionaries in Canada for the last several years. They were able to spend Sunday and part of Monday with us, and the hours of sharing and discussion were greatly encouraging to our family.

The following weekend, was a baby shower! No, it wasn't for Abbey... yet... it was for Abbey's mom and family who have been waiting and waiting for their baby daughter from China for some years. We are hoping to finally meet Miss Olivia within the next six weeks!

No, Sara and I didn't intentionally wear nearly identical outfits, but as we won one of the games paired up together, maybe it helped... or maybe it just showed that we think alike!

Then last weekend was a conference for church leaders that was held in our area. It was a pleasure to visit again with the Brown family from North Carolina during the weekend as it's been a year since we've seen most of them and it was wonderful to catch up a little again!

Dad gave one of the sessions during the conference, and we helped coordinate the afternoon tea for the leaders wives, and we hosted the McDonald family who drove the few hours that separate our homes and churches to attend and so were kept well occupied throughout the weekend. However, I didn't get any pictures from the weekend, and they haven't posted any of the ones that they took, so you'll just have to trust me that the were actually here! It was wonderful to have you in our home again, McDonalds! We're looking forward to returning your visit during the Reformation Day Faire!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Happy Birthday, Joseph!

It's hard to believe you're 17, Joseph!! Happy, happy birthday, brother! Our family would be so different without you! We're sure glad God gave you to us! May the Lord pour many blessings on you during this coming year!