Sonidos Serranos

Sonidos Serranos: Sounds of the Sierras...
Reflecting some of my family's interests: God's wonderful creation (especially mountains and hills!), music, and language...

Psalm 121:1-2 (NASB)

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.

15 October 2016

“Hugs for my soul!”

The past two years have been intense on many levels for our family: Full of lessons of all kinds... For me... Lessons that were difficult and unsought... Moments that stand out, especially as seen through the lens not only of a mom but also of an educator... And as I look back, noting how much both E and DJ have learned and grown and profited, I am thankful (once again and more than ever) for our Loving Shepherd and His guiding – even down paths we would not have chosen then...

He always leads in righteous paths – for His own name’s sake! (What awesome truth!)

And anecdotes like the following are hugs for my soul:

In mid-September, inspired by E’s friend who spent the day with us, DJ spoke Spanish here at home almost all day. At one point, when told to wear a jacket to play outside, he asked:

¿Puedo usar la de Rayo McQueen?

I had to stop and process what he’d just said. (Huh?!)

Then I realized: That’s how you say “Lightning McQueen” in Spanish!

And I’m the one who first spoke Spanish to my two – and even before their births – but now I’ve gotta catch up with ‘em...

This boy still loves his blocks!

At the end of September, we were spending the afternoon with friends in northern Montevideo. DJ, who was drawing, held up his picture and asked:

¿Cómo me va quedando?

A truly “native” idiom that requires an equally idiomatic translation! He was inadvertently proving how much he truly thinks in Spanish!

And he loves drawing people right now...

In other (related) news... Several weeks of volunteering, teaching English at DJ’s kindergarten, came to a close on Thursday of last week. DJ was very proud to have me at his school. And I’m thankful for several especially good opportunities to witness of the eternal hope that is found in Christ. Another personal highlight was getting an in-depth evaluation of DJ’s academic progress from his teachers’ perspective. Suffice it to say that I’m very, very, very thankful!

On January 11 of this year, I’d written:

Awhile has passed since I last posted “funnies” from DJ. His being overwhelmed with the whole schooling challenge seems to have temporarily influenced even his communication at home. But, thankfully, his eager participation in “artistic expression” as he prepared for and then participated in his end-of-the-year program made him “turn a corner” in his communication overall.

We’re thankful for the gift the administration of the pre-school has been to our family this past academic year and especially for the directors’ insight and how their hope (that DJ’s participation in so many roles would act as a catalyst for verbal communication) paid off! Since December, DJ has constantly surprised us with his expressiveness in both English and Spanish!

(And on August 9 and 10 he started speaking Spanish at school – and hasn’t stopped at all since then!)

And here are some language “funnies” that I jotted to myself in email but did not get to include in blog posts.

On March 11 of this year DJ asked: “Is hair a kind of plant that grows on your body?”

[Is /heh-oh/ a kind of plant that /gwohz/ on /yo-uh/ body?]

He added: “When we give it water, it keeps growing!” [/gwoh-ing/]

Those comments came from a boy that still doesn’t enjoy either haircuts or getting his hair shampooed!

And this anecdote (from January 31, 2014) really got lost in email! (Keep in mind that’s it’s over two and a half years old now...)

They were so little back then!

While JM was away, counseling at  camp that summer, we other three had the following conversation:

E: My mosquito bites itch.

I: Well, mosquito bites are a fact of life right now; you’ll just have to ignore them.

DJM: I’m going to /ignohw/ mine /mohwquito/ bites!

I: Good! That means you’re not going to scratch them.

DJM: (chuckling, after that very key short pause when he’s processing the information) I’m not /ignohwing/ mine /mohwquito/ bites!

He understood my explanation! (Hee! Hee!)

12 October 2016

“¡Bienvenida, Primavera!”

In the last few weeks we’ve enjoyed extra opportunities for fellowship. The latest involved a day trip to Campamento Emanuel (on the coast) with Templo Calvario, one of the EMU churches in Montevideo.

Flying kites – or, in most cases, trying to do so – made for lots of fun and laughter!

DJ and E cheer for opposing soccer teams – the classic rivalry!

Being at camp always gives opportunity to admire God’s creation!

DJ especially enjoys being at the ocean...

He was totally in his element...

We’re thankful!

09 October 2016


El término discipulado sin duda tiene múltiples matices de significado, incluyendo las ideas de enseñanza, disciplina e impacto de individuos a través del vivir de día a día.

Y me parece que esta foto (casi) lo incluye todo (y especialmente la idea de lo “diario” del discipulado):

¡En pleno partido en el Estadio Centenario! 

08 October 2016

“¡Uruguay, te queremos!”

“Te queremos ver campeón...”

October 6, 2016, was a historic date for our Celeste!

We won against Venezuela’s national team, with a final score of 3 to 0 – the same score as that of our July 18, 2000, win (and the last time we’d been able to do more than tie with them on our own turf). What’s especially exciting for JM and me is that we were there for that game in 2000, which was JM’s first time attending a Celeste match!

(I have a picture somewhere of that game; I need to scan and post it here.)

We were also there, in our own Estadio Centenario, for Thursday’s historic game, with a dear friend, her brother, and one of our students, sitting right behind the goal when Edi Cavani scored his two goals – the first one only 15 seconds into the second half!

Incidentally, with those two goals, Edi Cavani tied with Diego Forlán for second place on the table of historic Celeste scorers, equaling Forlán’s record of 36 goals scored while playing with the national team. (And, for the record, Forlán is an outstanding team player, whose all-time professional record includes an impressive number of assists as well as goals!) We’re thankful to have been able to see these two play together along with Luis Suárez, another favorite.

Nico Lodeiro scored our first goal in the 28th minute of play.
[Photo credit: Marcelo Bonjour, Ovación]

An Argentine newspaper (Diario Perfil) echoed the typical sentiments surrounding Uruguay’s soccer players on the world stage:

La duda eterna: ¿Cómo hacen?
Con menos recursos que el resto, siempre se reconvierte:
Ahora terminó la primera rueda puntero. El proyecto de Tabárez.

The eternal question: How do they do it?
With fewer resources than the rest, they always come back:
Now they finished in first place in the first round. Tabárez’s plan.

Yes, iwas a historic game on multiple levels – and we’re thankful to have been a part. And in the midst of a couple of very demanding weeks, we welcomed the respite, distraction, and fellowship the occasion provided us.

Pray for us! (October Ministry Report)

These last two weeks, since returning from the Ladies’ Retreat in “33” have been intense for our family. Added to the “normal” comings and goings in our “home” area (upstairs) and the shared kitchen, office, and library/classroom areas (downstairs), we’ve had more than the “usual” opportunities for counseling and fellowship, including JM’s preaching for a three-day weekend of anniversary services in an EMU church in northern Montevideo.

In addition, there have been several “unusual” opportunities, including my editing of the autobiography of one of our veteran missionaries and substitute teaching (English) at DJ’s pre-school, as well as significant planning sessions for FEBU (the college project) involving us both.

You can read details about our last quarter and the upcoming quarter’s activities in our October Ministry Report (posted, as always, at Good News from a Distant Land).

We are constantly and keenly aware of our need for wisdom and strength to meet daily challenges. We appreciate your praying for us!

29 September 2016

Spring Ladies’ Retreat in “33”

During the Ladies’ Retreat at Campamento Emanuel last October, I was invited to speak at the September retreat at Campamento Bethel in Treinta y Tres, about four hours northeast of Montevideo. So that’s where we spent the last half of last week. Because both E and DJ had Spring Break then, we were able to make this a family trip – though it wasn’t a vacation for me!

We enjoyed a spectacular sunrise on the way!

The scenery going northeast on Route 8, through Canelones, Lavalleja, and into Treinta y Tres, is some of our family’s favorite.

We enjoyed the flora and fauna in “33” as well.

Happy Campers!

On Friday afternoon we went to La Charqueada, about half an hour from the camp, where we hosted “Un Café para el Alma” – serving ladies from the area and generating Gospel-sharing opportunities.

While there in La Charqueada, DJ befriended a very gentle horse:

I love his little jump of joy!

The theme of the retreat was: “Meditaciones del Evangelio” with special emphasis on the truths of Romans 8:28-30 once again. The teaching was well received, and the fellowship was some of the sweetest I’ve ever enjoyed. I’m thankful.

This was my first time teaching with a Portuguese translator.
(She was good!)

The total attendance was about seventy, including about twenty from neighboring Brazil.

In JM’s words: “Great grace, excellent response, and beautiful days. Thank you for praying.”

16 September 2016

A South Atlantic Cyclone?!

The South Atlantic is generally not thought of by meteorologists as a place where tropical cyclones can form. The water temperatures are generally too cool and the vertical wind shear too strong. The area is so devoid of tropical storm activity that no government agency has an official warning system for storms there...

Click here to read the rest of that article, and click here to read a more in-depth explanation of this rare phenomenon.

Nevertheless, southern Brazil and the Río de la Plata region have experienced a number of extremely strong wind storms in these years since (what later became known as) “Hurricane Catarina” hit southern Brazil in 2004.

Just this winter we’ve experienced several extremely strong wind storms here in Uruguay.

The “cyclone” depicted in the following image hit in late July during FEBU’s block class.

[Photo credit: MetSul Meteorologia]

And the storm that hit Uruguay this past Tuesday (Sep13) certainly caused a stir! Comments with the image (on the MetSul fb page) also point out the snow-capped Andes to the west and smoke from fires in the Amazon further north (at the top of the picture).

[Photo credit: NASA via MetSul Meteorologia]

The storm was called a “meteorological bomb” and a “super cyclone” by MetSul Meteorologia.

These images (from GOES) highlight the cyclone’s impressive size.