Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wedding Plans!

We are so happy to announce the engagement of our son Jeriah to Shawna DuRocher. As many of you know, Jeriah is a senior at Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, IA. He will be graduating this spring with a degree in Pastoral Ministries and Counseling. He intends to continue on for his M.Div in the Seminary program at Faith.

Jeriah and Shawna met at the First Baptist Church in Colfax, IA where Jeriah works as the youth pastor. Shawna is active as a leader in the church's youth program. She has a Master's degree in counseling and works for the state of Iowa's Department of Human Services.

A wedding date will soon be announced!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas at the Kamberger's

Caitlin ready to begin opening presents.

The girls are anxiously waiting!

Juliana has the hang of this wrapper ripping thing!

Sarabeth only wanted 1 thing this year, and this is American Girl doll.

Grace's turn!

Sir Nathan the warrior is ready for all comers

Jeriah and Shawna

Mary's sister Cindy enjoying all the activity.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Sad Day

It has been a tough day today. You can go to Jeremy's blog to read the latest downer on the adoption front.

Today we had to say goodbye to Maggie - our 17 mth old Golden Retriever. She was born with a congenital heart defect with a rapidly progressing heart murmur. She would have good days when she would run and fetch, running hard and happily. Then she would have bad days when she would pace, vomit and sleep for endless hours. This past week she had nearly 5 good days in a row! That was very uncommon as of late. Last evening however she was starting to have some difficulty breathing. She went into pulmonary edema and progressively worsened through the wee hours of the night/morning. I slept on the floor with her for several hours, sure in my heart that she wouldn't last till the morning light. This morning her respirations and heart rate were very fast and she was totally immobile. The vet was out on farm calls and couldn't come until nearly 11am. He eased her into the great doggie beyond as I stroked her soft, shiny fur. She was finally at full rest.

We will miss you, Maggie! We will miss how you loved to run to fetch the tennis ball over and over; how you jumped in the lake and barked at the geese; how you unmercifully chased the kitties and chewed on their fur! No more noses on my leg while I eat at the table. No more squeaky toy squeakily saying ,"come and play with me".

Goodbye, dear Maggie!

P.S. a favorite video of Maggie as a very young pup, playing with Tessa

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Nothing to complain about

I have whined several times in this blog, both last winter and again this year about how much I dislike the snow, ice and cold......can't wait for spring etc. etc.

Today, I am thankful that I have electricity and a warm house (my corn stove needs electricity to run-- more on that another time). God has provided everything we need to survive, a home, heat, a great job that provides for my family and, as the title of this post says: I have NOTHING to complain about.

Many, many folks here in the midwest are tonight without the electricity that I'm so thankful for. The ice storms that have created so much havoc in this part of the country the past week have all been to the south of us, and I am also quite thankful for that. Please keep those who HAVE been affected by these events in your prayers.

1 Thes 5:18 "In everything give thanks...."
James 1:2 "Consider it all joy my brethren when you encounter various trials..."


Saturday, December 8, 2007

A busy week

It's been a very busy week at the Kamberger's. We continue to prepare for Christmas, decorating the house, shopping, Mary baking cookies (yummm). My last post mentioned the nice coating of ice that we received......well that nice coating of ice meant many, many injuries that we had to deal with at the hospital. The wards were full all week, especially the orthopedic floor, making for a long week of work. Our pastor and good friend Steve Cox was one of the wounded, as he took a tumble on Tuesday morning while walking out to his deer stand. He went down with his left ankle fractured in two places. Thankfully, as he fell he was able to safely slide his loaded firearm away from him as he was going down. Pins and screws took care of the bones and now he is going stir-crazy in a cast, mobilizing as best he can with a walker. Steve, Lynn, Phil and Susan Cox came over for dinner tonight and we had a nice visit. Mary made a dynamite pot of chili and Steve had many stories to tell of his time in the hospital.

The snow is falling again-- 2 to 5 inches is the forecast for tonight. Winter in North Iowa is very long! I was out with the snowblower earlier this evening and the temp outside was 7 degrees. I can't wait for spring!!


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Huckabee Surging!

Mike Huckabee has now taken over 2nd place in the national Republican polls. Click here to see the daily trend for each presidential candidate as polled by the Rasmussen organization. As of today, Huckabee is within 5 points of overtaking Guiliani for the national lead!

It's Baaaack!

Winter has made its return to North Iowa. Ughhhh.

A sheet of ice is covering everything as the first real winter storm of the season came through yesterday. After an inch or two of snow, we had several hours of sleet followed by freezing rain. Talk about a little bit of everything!

The end result is a hard coating of ice covering everything. The temps are expected to stay well below freezing all week, so what we have is here to stay. It's fun watching our dog Maggie slip and slide around the back yard but unfortunately for the kids, it's just not the kind of conditions to go out and have fun in (even tho they're trying-- hopefully no broken arms!)

Clear Lake has an annual "Christmas by the Lake" celebration which ends on Saturday night with a parade of decorated/lighted floats and then fireworks out over the frozen lake. This year's event was postponed by the storm. It has been rescheduled for next weekend. Hopefully the weather will cooperate more.

Prior to the storm's arrival, Mary went out to Kragel's Tree Farm and picked up our tree. We had gone out as a family back in October and picked out/tagged a tree, an annual rite at our house. Last evening as the storm blew outside, we put the tree up and decorated it. The wonderful smell of a fresh cut evergreen in the house is a sure sign of Christmas.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Huckabee at the Surf Ballroom

Mike Huckabee and Barry Goudreau jamming at the Surf.

We went to the famous Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake for the first time Friday night. Hard to believe we've lived here for almost 5 yrs now and this is our first visit to the Surf. For those of you who don't know the story, the Surf is where Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper played their last concert in February 1959. Shortly after the concert they were killed in a plane crash on the way to their next venue.

At the Surf, we enjoyed a concert by Capitol Offense, the band for which presidential candidate Mike Huckabee plays bass guitar. We were pleasantly surprised by the fact that the music was very good. We were expecting to hear the Governor speak some on the issues, but instead the night was about the music. Joining the band on stage for several songs was Barry Goudreau, the lead guitarist of the group Boston. The selections for the night were mostly rock songs from the 70's and 80's, including some southern rock hits like Lynard Skynard's "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird". With Barry on stage, of course the great Boston hit "More than a Feeling" went over well.

Governor Huckabee's campaign is heating up. He is now second in the Iowa polls with the caucuses coming up in just 2 months. He is also garnering more national attention and is now running neck and neck with Romney and McCain for third in the national Republican polls, just behind Fred Thompson and about 10 points behind Rudy G.

I still feel Huckabee is the best candidate. He is a true pro-life conservative who is not afraid to speak his mind. He has never waivered in his pro-life, pro-Christian stance. He has over 10 years of executive experience as the republican governor of a very democratic state, Arkansas. He was re-elected in this democratic state twice by very large margins. Rudy is for abortion rights. Romney has done the flip-flop on many issues. Fred T's not willing to discuss any of the issues and McCain is McCain. Huckabee knows where he stands on the issues and doesn't waiver from where he stands. Visit and click on some of the videos to hear what the governor has to say about the issues. Join Huck's army as he continues to mock the media "talking heads" by gaining ground on the first tier candidates. My prediction is here: Mike Huckabee will win the Iowa Caucus on January 3, 2008.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Introducing Jeremy Yue Yuan Kamberger

Many of you already know this, but Mary and I are returning to China soon to adopt our 7th child, Jeremy Yue Yuan Kamberger. Jeremy is 7 years old and has lived his entire life at the Yueyang orphanage in Hunan province. His chinese name is Yue Yuan Rong.

As you can see from the pictures I've attached, Jeremy was born with no hands. He has learned to adapt to this situation and can do anything the other children in the orphanage can do.

We will post further info regarding our travel dates when that info is received. We anticipate traveling in December.

A lightening strike!

Just as we were leaving church last Sunday the rain began. About 2 minutes after we got home there was a huge boom of thunder and simultaneous flash of lightening right outside the kitchen window. Shortly thereafter I began to tally the damages:

Main computer in the family room- nuked;
Printer- fried;
telephones- no dial tone
DSL- out
DirecTV receiver- nuked (or so I thought).

The local phone company came right out and got the land line and DSL back up. They needed to replace a box on the outside of the house. Initially the DSL didn't come back up. After some testing we found out the surge protector was also fried (the phone line was going thru the surge protector).

About 2 hours after the strike, the DirecTV receiver fired back up and seems to be working OK, although whenever I change channels there is a 2-3 second pause with a green screen before the picture comes in. This is new since the lightening.

As for the computer, the repair place said it would make a nice paperweight! Fortunately, they HAVE been able to salvage the data from my hard drive to DVDs, which I will be able to copy to the new computer I've ordered.

The power of nature is amazing.

An Update

It's been a very busy month or so since we got home from our vacation.

John has been putting in a lot of hours at work, and trying to get a little fishing in during the evenings. The walleye have been hitting again as the lake water temps get lower. During the heat of summer, fishing on Clear Lake eases off a little then picks up again as fall approaches. There are currently 4 nice sized walleye filleted out and in the freezer awaiting the fryer or grill.

Mary recently spent a huge amount of time organizing and doing a garage/yard sale. We were able to get rid of a lot of stuff, much of which was donated by friends and neighbors. The proceeds are going to be used for our upcoming adoption of Jeremy.

Jeriah is back in school, beginning his senior year at Faith Baptist Bible College. He is also still working as the youth pastor at First Baptist in Colfax, IA.

Caitlin is now in her sophomore year in high school. She is still being home-schooled but heads off to Ventura HS for band every other day, goes to piano lessons weekly and does DRIVER'S ED every Wed and Sat. This is a very stressful time for mom and dad!!! There's been 1 "STOP THE CAR NOW!" episode as a stop sign was missed, but overall Caitlin is doing much better as she gains experience behind the wheel.

Grace is in 8th grade and taking the usual subjects in school. She and Mary recently painted her bedroom in cool shades of blue and orange.

Sarabeth is starting 2nd grade and is reading very well. She has recently begun piano lessons and has memorized several Bible verses in the past two weeks. Mary is taking the 3 youngest kids to AWANA in Forest City every Wed afternoon where they spend time learning verses and doing games and activities. She is now riding her 2-wheeler with no training wheels and she and Grace each got their ears pierced (Grace's second set!) on the last night of our vacation.

Juliana and Nathan are doing pre-school several days a week with Mary... and are growing like weeds. They love to ride their bikes (a 2 wheeler with trainers for Nate and a 3-wheeler for Juls) up and down the sidewalk and all the kids enjoy going fishing. Sarabeth and Juliana have recently caught their first fish. Sarabeth hooked a yellow bass and Juliana got a small walleye. Nathan doesn't have the necessary patience yet, but hopefully that will come as he gets a little bigger.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

On Cape Hatteras

The Kamberger family is having a reunion this week on Cape Hatteras, NC. We have joined John's grandmother Dane, his Dad and stepmother Julie, and his brothers and sister and their families at a beachfront house on the Cape. We all arrived on Saturday afternoon and have been enjoying the food, fun and fellowship. The beach is right outside our back door and the water has been great. The kids have really enjoyed the pool and also getting all sandy on the beach. Nate is becoming an excellent sand castle builder, and an even better sand castle destroyer! We had some rain on Sunday evening into Monday, but otherwise the sun has been hot and several of us have gotten a little bit of burn.

Today, several of us headed south to the town of Hatteras and saw the famous Cape Hatteras lighthouse. We also went over the free ferry (a 40 minute ride) to the island of Ocracoke, where we had lunch and cruised around the little town there. We then ferried back to Hatteras island and arrived home to a great meal of homemade shrimp gumbo courtesy of John's sister Sheridan.

Tomorrow, all of the men and Caitlin will be going out to sea for a fishing expedition on the headboat "Miss Oregon Inlet". I'll be needing to get to bed soon, as we leave the house at 6am. Hope to have pictures of this outing posted later. As for now, here are some pics of the vacation thus far:

Caitlin getting ready to boogey-board

Juliana playing in the sand

Nate building a sandcastle
Caitlin and Juliana enjoying the pool
Gathering around the table, clockwise from bottom left: Juliana, Sarabeth, Kyle, Mary, Matt, Dawn, Caitlin, Grace, Nate, Lauren and Ed.
Me and my grandma Dane on the Ferry to Ocracoke
Mary and the kids on the ferry
The famous Cape Hatteras lighthouse
The kids and a pirate on Ocracoke

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Iowa GOP Straw Poll & A Wedding

On Saturday August 11, we attended the wedding of Daniel Cox and Maggie Gilliland. Dan is the son of our Pastor and good friend Steve Cox. We've had the privilege of watching Dan grow into a fine young man, and Maggie is a sweet match for him. The wedding was held at the Nevada Baptist Church, which we attended for several years. We lived in Nevada when we first moved to Iowa in 1996 until 1999. Nevada is located about 8 miles east of Ames, where the straw poll was taking place on the same day. BTW, I thought it would take Dan at least a half hour to get into that car, but he was determined (other things to do??) and had all the Saran Wrap cut off in about 5 minutes!

For the past several months, I've been investigating the merits and claims of many of the presidential candidates. I've never gotten involved in a presidential election this early in the process before, but with the condition of our country right now I thought it was important to be as prospective as possible, instead of jumping on a bandwagon later in the game. The person elected in 2008 will have a HUGE task of repairing a severely fractured country. In my opinion, the divisions within our country now are as large as any we've faced since the Civil War.

The older I get, the more conservative I become. The liberals just continually raise taxes and throw (our) money at the problems. They also want to use (our) money to fund other detestable programs such as tax-funded abortions. When I see how much of my paycheck goes to the government and think about how much more it could be if say, Hillary were elected- I cringe!

After much investigation, I decided several months ago to support Mike Huckabee for President in 2008. I read an intro piece on him in World Magazine and became intrigued. I then searched the web for more info and read his position statements at and decided he stands for many of the things that I do. I went to a "Meet Mike" function in Mason City and heard him speak, shook his hand and asked him questions. He was very cordial and seemed interested in hearing what everyone had to say. He went through the room, looked every person in the eye and shook their hand- introducing himself and making small talk. I was very impressed with his demeanor.

I'm not going to say that I feel Mike Huckabee is perfect on every issue facing us. He supports the "Fair Tax" which is a national sales tax that would do away with the federal income tax and the IRS. He will have a difficult time implementing this. Mike also states that: "While there is value in the "No Child Left Behind" law's effort to set high national standards, states must be allowed to develop their own benchmarks." I feel that NCLB is unconstitutional. The constitution nowhere discusses education. This is a state function.

However, none of the candidates is perfect. They all have areas where their views don't align with mine. In my humble opinion, Mike Huckabee is the best candidate in a crowded field. I was proud to cast my straw poll vote for Mike on August 11. I hope his strong showing at the poll will vault him into the national consciousness as the race goes on.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Family Camp 5 at IRBC

We attended Family Camp at the Iowa Regular Baptist Camp again this year and had a great time. This was Sarabeth's first time at family camp and she really enjoyed herself. Up until about 6 weeks ago she had never even been in a pool, and now she is going off the diving board with no flotation devices. She also went for her initial Jet Ski ride, Zip Line ride, and drove the bumper boats by herself this past week.

It was a busy week with all the activities as well as chapel services, great food and fellowship with friends we've gotten to know over the 8 years we've been Family Camping at IRBC. We also met several new families that we hope to see again in the future.

Zip Line Ride at IRBC

Friday, July 6, 2007

July 4th in Clear Lake

Clear Lake is known to have the biggest July 4th celebration in north Iowa, and this year was no different. The big parade kicked off at 10am and went down Main Ave. all the way to the lakefront. As usual, the police were in the lead blaring their sirens to signify the parade was underway. They were followed by the Clear Lake VFW honor guard carrying the flags, and then the Boy Scouts carrying many more flags. After the scouts went thru, we had a nice LONGGGGGGGGGGG wait for the next entry-- Bill and Hill! Yep, the Clintons were going so slow (visiting and campaigning) that the parade was held up for at least 15 minutes so they could catch up. After their entourage passed, we were finally able to enjoy the parade. Also walking in this year's parade was Mitt Romney, and volunteers from most of the other presidential candidates. I personally would rather see a parade with floats, bands and fire trucks, and leave all the politics out of it. The best parade "entry" was the Iowa Air National Guard, which did a fly-over with 3 F-16's. I was a little slow with the camera, but I did catch a blurry shot of them in the distance after they passed us.

It was interesting to note that one of the early entries, the Mason City VFW, was NOT in attendance this year. Their tradition is to march in uniform carrying their "blank shooting" rifles, which they will fire off periodically during the parade. This year, they were told by the Secret Service that firearms would not be allowed, so the group elected to back out of the parade. One of their officers was quoted in the local paper as saying: “There’s too much political stuff. They’re making us change 50 years of tradition because of two people, and one of them is a draft dodger who turned the White House into a whorehouse.” Needless to say, there are MANY in North Iowa fired up about this quote.

I would be remiss in not mentioning our parade hosts. Again this year we watched from the front yard of Ivan and Brenda Good, who own a home right on Main Ave. Many from our church family gathered on their lawn and enjoyed the good food and fellowship before the parade.

After the parade, we went back home and got ready to host a picnic. The Cox's and Nichols' along with Nick Oliver came over and we grilled up some yummy grub. The backyard was full of kids on the swings and playing volleyball.

The weather was perfect, sunny and about 90 degrees. Doreen Nichols fried up a batch of her onion rings, which are about the best I've ever tasted. We enjoyed a great time of fellowship and then at about 7:30, we headed to the church. We parked in the church's lot and walked about 4 blocks south to the lakefront where we spread our chairs and blankets out right on Lakefront Ave, which was closed. We then walked the kids down to the carnival to occupy some time before the 10pm fireworks. Everyone had a great time.

When the fireworks finally began, we were amazed. The city, with the help of corporate and individual donations, put on a $50,000 fireworks display out over the lake. The launchers were set up on 4 barges in the lake, and once they started shooting, they didn't stop for 30 minutes. It was non-stop, 3 or 4 starbursts at a time for the whole 30 min. Without a doubt, the best fireworks show I've ever seen.

Hope you all had as great a 4th of July as we did! John

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Monday, July 2, 2007

Our first summer vacation

We got to enjoy our first vacation of the summer last week, and I only had to use 1 day of vacation time to do it! I happen to work in a hospital pharmacy that is open 24/7, and one of the overnight pharmacists took time off the weekend of June 22-24. I volunteered to work those 3 nights, which gave me 4 days off the following week. Add in a day of vacation on Friday and voila, a whole week off to go camping with the family. I got home from work at 7:30 am on Monday, took a nap until about noon, then hooked up the camper and off we went to MacNider campground in Mason City. This is a nice campground run by the city's Parks & Rec dept, right next door to the city's pool facility. The Winnebago river runs just adjacent to the campground, and on the other side of the river is Mason City's largest park, East Park.

Monday and Tuesday were HOT, and the whole family enjoyed the pool both days. It was great to watch Sarabeth, Nathan and Juliana romping in the water. They all loved going underwater, time after time---no fear (which is dangerous). We had to keep a close eye on them. I think swimming lessons are in the near future! Sarabeth had never been swimming in China, so this was her first time. I think she's hooked.

On Wednesday the weather cooled off a little and we went crawdad hunting in the river. We caught quite a few along with some minnows. There was a huge flock of geese on the riverbank which Mary and the kids were feeding bread to. The geese would eat right out of their hands. On Thursday, we celebrated Caitlin's 15th birthday! We took her out to breakfast at McD's and then took all the kids to the HUGE playground at East Park. That evening we went out for Chinese and played a round of Putt-putt at a local golf facility. All the kids had a great time. The weather was fantastic and we sat around the campfire until well past dark. The little ones enjoyed catching fireflies and watching the bats flutter overhead as they began their nightly search for bugs. We also sang Happy Birthday to Caitlin as she blew out the candles on some birthday cookies.

On Friday morning, it was time to pack up and go home. Caitlin needed to do laundry and pack up to go to camp at IRBC on Saturday. She is working in the dishroom all week this week during Family Camp 2. It was a short week, but an enjoyable time away from home. We were only about 10 miles from the house, but with no computers, TVs, phone etc., we were able to relax and enjoy family time together.

The weekend was spent doing things around the house, mowing the grass etc. We are hosting our church's July 4 picnic on Wednesday afternoon, so the yard needed some work.