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.

07 January 2019

Twelve Days of Christmas!

December was extra busy with academic obligations and challenges on all levels, including finishing up online courses (for three of us). So we extended the Christmas Season by celebrating Twelve Days of Christmas! When the twelve days actually begin (whether on Christmas Day or on December 26) seems to be a matter of debate. Either way, January 6 (“Epiphany”) is a red-letter day on the calendar here in Uruguay.

Here’s what we did to celebrate the mini-season...

Christmas Day with extended family!

Edited pictures from Christmas Day (and wrote the blog post)
Began our traditional reading of Christmas books as a family
Read a favorite Christmas book, What is Christmas? and a new one for this year, The Secret Santa of Olde Stonington

Enjoyed hot chocolate & candy canes before bed

Last-minute “cook-out” in the back yard with college students

Finished reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!

Recorded DJ’s villancico: ¡Venid, pastores!

Potluck lunch at church

New Year’s Eve

Recorded E’s carol: Joy Has Dawned!

Baked and decorated cookies: Shepherd’s staff & sheep

Fun with origami!

Cook-out in back yard with extended family

New Year’s Day

Cook-out in back yard with extended family

Made (more!) cookie dough
Edited and uploaded E’s and DJ’s Christmas Carol clips

Finished reading a family favorite: The Story of Holly & Ivy

Baked and decorated cookies for cashiers at La Favorita (where we go to exchange currency)

A long-standing tradition of my Mom’s that I’ve wanted to keep!

Outing to Feria de Navidad (a Christmas Fair at the park nearby)

We love the food at the fair!

Baked and decorated the rest of the cookies!

This has (finally!) been the year for cookies!

Día de los Reyes Magos

Books are gifts of preference – much loved and enjoyed!

SO much to be thankful for!

02 January 2019

Christmas Carols!

On Saturday afternoon we recorded DJ singing a villancico and quoting a passage from Luke 2 – all in Spanish. Both were his part of our simple program at church on Sunday, December 23.

On New Year’s Eve we recorded E’s carol: Joy Has Dawned!

(And just this afternoon I finished editing and uploading both clips to YouTube.)

Besides sharing these snippets of life with grandparents, these (almost yearly) video clips have become another way to gauge growth from year to year.

SO thankful!

01 January 2019

30 December 2018


We stopped by another shopping mall on the way back from our earlier church service (and shared lunch).

The frosty decor belies the summer weather outside!

E and I loved the colors!

While there, we splurged on our favorite ice-cream!

DJ got an extra special treat for his solo part in the Christmas program last week – and for cooperating with the recording yesterday. J

(Post on that finished product pending...)

28 December 2018

“Punta Carretas”

During the Christmas Season, we enjoy visiting various shopping malls throughout the city to see the holiday decorations. Although the decor seems to go up earlier each year, we usually don’t get to break away from teaching and administrative demands until later in December. This year’s visits to shopping malls started with an afternoon outing to a new (to us!) mall – in Las Piedras.

Yesterday we visited one of our favorites – Punta Carretas – near Montevideo’s southernmost tip. Part of the fun for our family is noting how much the decor theme varies from year to year...

Can you guess this year’s theme from the pictures?!

Although December marks the beginning of summer here in this part of the southern hemisphere, snow is a favorite holiday theme – most likely rooted in Uruguay’s Spanish and Italian heritage.

Hourly “snowfalls” in this shopping mall consistently draw crowds!

The three “Reyes Magos” have been another traditional aspect of Uruguay’s celebration of Christmas.

E and DJ enjoyed talking to them – in both Spanish and English! They also found out that “Baltasar” speaks French! J

Rain showers were in the afternoon forecast but, seeing a patch of blue sky, we decided to walk the couple of blocks down to the coast to try to catch glimpses of the sunset. We were not disappointed!

We even saw rainbows!

I 💙 my family!

We ended the evening of the Third Day of Christmas (or should I be saying Second?!) with Hot Chocolate and Candy Canes – which E had discovered in with our own Christmas decorations in the closet!

“¡Feliz Navidad!”

26 December 2018

Christmas Memories...

What a blessing to share Christmas Day with my siblings! The last time we were all together for Christmas was five years ago here in Uruguay.

Lots and lots of photo opps!

Other highlights included calling “Los Abu” in Florida – and singing Christmas Carols together.

Thankful for technology!

Marcos gave a mini concert on his ukulele. (His original hit featuring “Cheetos” is probably copyrighted, so I’d have to obtain permission before sharing it publicly!) J

DJ is a fan! J

The cousins enjoyed several rounds of UNO and Phase 10.

And we shared many laughs...

Esteban’s rendition of the iconic Gringo Smile!

Thankful for abundant blessings!

Thankful, most of all, for Eternal Joy, accessible to us through the One whose birth, life, and death in our place we pause to especially remember once again.

🎶🎵 JOY to the world! The LORD is come! 🎵🎶

HE comes to make His blessings known
Far as the curse is found!