Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Violin Competition


In the list of accomplishments by members of the Erber family, another line has been added. Last Saturday was an annual music performance competition hosted by the Mendelssohn Club in which various Erbers have competed on various instruments in various years. This year, Joanna was the only Erber represented. Her category - Senior Strings; her instrument - the violin.

Now before announcing where she placed in the competition, I must make these notes about the last two months:
1. She had 10 days almost entirely off of practicing while we traveled to Texas for the SAICFF in early January.
2. She had another 10 days off of practicing after spraining and partially dislocating her shoulder in a sledding accident.
3. She cut the fingertip of a finger important to violin playing just a couple of weeks before the competition.
4. And she was one of the youngest ones in her division of the competition.

This brings us to last Saturday and the competition where Joanna took Honorable Mention in her division!! Many, many thanks to her teacher, Mrs. Chodorowski, for all the work she put into Joanna in this past year! And, of course, congratulations to Joanna for sticking with it, and practicing hard - and practicing especially hard here at the end with all those set backs! You sounded great!

Monday, February 23, 2009

A year ago...


Yes, today is the day! Josh & Abbey's First Anniversary!!! Congratulations to you both!

What a full year it has been! We love you and pray that God will bless you with many, many more years of blessing and of serving Him together!

For those who love to look back at the pictures, there are plenty of them on this blog! Check: Here, Here, Here, Here, Here and Here!

It was a beautiful day in every aspect, and stands out as a highlight amongst the collection of best days in the history of the Erber family! I get excited all over again just remembering that day and all the joy and blessing the Lord poured out on you both and us all on 2/23/08.

Congratulations, Josh & Abbey!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Little People


We love having Josh and Abbey bring Isabella over to visit! :-) She's growing up so quickly!


Today we get to have the blonde little people here for the afternoon while Jeremy & Sara head off to take care of some errands. But I also just came across these pictures that we took during the weekend that we had all our little people here (except Grace & Bella) while their parents were at the couple's retreat.

We had lots of fun together from Thursday evening through Saturday evening. There's nothing like having five wonderful little people ages four and under - two of whom are two year old boys! What a blast!


The girls wanted to look like "Maria" (von Trapp, of course). The boys didn't want to look like Maria but did want something on their head. So we went for the pirate look. William had one too, for awhile, but apparently it came off before we got a picture!



They didn't exactly follow the rules, but the boys entertained themselves for awhile with a Connect Four travel edition that is missing pieces and has to balance when it stands up because the clips are broken. :-)


Keeping warm eating breakfast in the living room next to the wood stove. We got a bit of blueberry on our jammies and had to throw them in the laundry, but we had lots of smiles and I had to do laundry anyway!

Ah yes, this picture was taken a little before the last one. We were still wrapped up in blankets and not 100% awake yet for this one.


Camille doesn't seem to be quite awake from her nap, eh?


All the fun we had together really wore us out! Poor Corrine was convinced she was NOT tired and did not need a nap...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Beware...


Our family loves having company, even for a short afternoon or evening visit. But, it is only fair for us to occasionally warn our guests that accepting an invitation may also engage you to play some game during which you may have to perform some feat you had never considered before - such as drawing a broken spark plug, or impersonating two elderly ladies knitting (Josh & Aaron, above), or performing gymnastics (Mr. Yen, below)... Anyway, we had a blast this past Sunday and look forward to entertaining ourselves with other victims... er, guests... in the future. :-)
video
Y'all come soon, ya' hear?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hibernation...


As has become apparent in the three years of this blog's existence, the Erber family seems to go into a sort of hibernation during December and January - especially January. Our blog seems to fall fairly silent during those weeks, and to some degree I suppose our family does, too. It has been said that the modern fragmentation of the family was started when central heating in a home became standard. Well, our home has central heating - the heat all comes from one central point and does not mix into the rest of the house very well when the temperatures stay regularly below zero! So, we found ourselves very frequently resorting to our living room and the cozy wood stove it contains. Mealtime? Fill your plate in the kitchen and then move to the living room. Evenings? Grab your book/game/project and move into the living room. Free time? Congregate in the living room. So January found us spending lots of time together staying warm.

Today, however, we come out of hibernation. See all that snow in the picture above? It's all melted now, turning our yard (and gravel driveway) into what looks like some sort of mud preservation area. There is sunshine that lures us out onto the porch to consume our midday meal while absorbing a few long absent sun rays. And then there is also the scented breeze that reminds us that we live just north of a dairy farm...

Granted, there is snow in the forecast again for tomorrow, and it is still early February, and a glance at Nathan & Jeanine's wedding photos reminds us that even into April things are cold enough around here to not be green yet, so we do still have a bit of winter ahead of us. But for today, we are enjoying an early dose of spring fever!

Not that we've actually been idle... Liberty Day is just around the corner! The mailing is out, registrations are coming in, and - with a history of several hundred attendees from a more than a dozen different states - the event does require a little bit of work!


We also enjoy the opportunity to have friends over during the "less busy" months. Last Saturday we had the Carlson clan over, but the only picture we have is this one of Jonathan and Joseph serving the cakes that Mr. Carlson had made. Mmmmm...

Plus, we do live very close to a bunch of our extended family, so family duties and pleasures do require a bit of our time, too! After church on Sunday the whole clan descended on our house for visiting and LD discussions and visiting. Somehow we found a limited supply of food in our fridge - but we did have a bunch of leftover mashed potatoes which, with the help of many hands, were quickly turned into Gnocchi with Pesto Sauce. Thanks to Winston for persevering in the kitchen despite his oft-mentioned Gnocchi-making-induced-exhaustion. :-)


And, could we possibly sign off a blog post without a picture of the little Bella we all love so much? She is very healthy, and very interactive. She loves to smile and "talk" with people, and even sort of chuckles at times!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A weekend to enjoy!

The kids always have fun with Auntie Jessica!

Whether fishing...


Or, playing cars...


There are always fun times when Auntie Jess is around!


Isabella will soon figure out that snoozing is the last thing you want to do when all the cousins are together!


The couples in our church headed out to a retreat center in southeast Wisconsin. It was a refreshing weekend, in more ways than one!


There were puzzles to solve...


Chats to enjoy...


Cozy times...


And great messages from R.C. Sproul, Jr.


Then when we got back home our family had the privilege of hosting Dr. Sproul. Sunday morning he spoke to our church, then it was time to say "good-by" and send him on his way - back to his family and hometown in Virginia. It truly was a blessed weekend! Thanks, RC! We hope you'll come back again! (Maybe when it's just a tiny bit warmer???)