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.

30 December 2008

Winter Flowers!

Aren't they beautiful?!


And as I pulled into our driveway this morning, I noticed the first camelia to open on our bush...

24 December 2008

Celebrating the Savior!


A child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6)

"You shall call His name Jesus,
for He will save His people from their sins."
Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken
by the Lord through the prophet:
"Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son,
and they shall call His name Immanuel,"
which translated means, "God with us."
(Matthew 1:21-23)

Read more of the story here, here, and here.

18 December 2008

She's growing up!


Contrast December 2006 with December 2008...

17 December 2008

Home, sweet home!

It’s a cool, drizzly day in the Upstate – 57 degrees F, according to the weather icon on my Google homepage. The berries on the tree in front of the bathroom window have droplets of water on them that form and fall, form and fall, form and fall...

It’s nap time for the little one... And for me, it’s the perfect time of day to sit on the couch, listening to Handel’s Messiah, as I try to make progress on coupon clipping and organizing – glancing up now and then to enjoy the happy little Christmas tree lights...

16 December 2008

"Out of the mouth of babes..."

(and almost-3-year-olds!)

Our pastor has been encouraging us and working with us as a church on memorizing the following passage from the prophecy of Habakkuk:

Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the LORD,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord GOD is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds' feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.
(Habakkuk 3:16-19)

On a Wednesday evening about a month ago, our pastor asked if anyone had come up with any creative ideas as memory aids, etc. It occurred to me to try to get Elizabeth to start memorizing the passage by making a rebus, with picture cues for key words, etc. Well, I haven't gotten that far yet... But I have started quoting parts of the passage to her while we're driving – partly as an effort to "redeem the time" on my part.

On the way to "school" yesterday, we again worked on the passage. But instead of quoting the entire passage, I started with: “The LORD God is my strength.” I paused to see if Elizabeth could supply the last word. I forget what she said but since she didn’t get it right, she got a little frustrated. (She already tends to be a perfectionist – very intense!) But I moved on to the previous phrase anyway: “I will rejoice in the God of my…” and she said: /vation/ (The last time I’d worked with her on the passage was sometime last week!) After repeating those two phrases multiple times, I added the phrase previous to them: “I will exult in the LORD.” I repeated all three phrases, stopping for her to complete the last two with “salvation” and “strength” – and since she had been successful in remembering /vation/ and since she was being successful in consistently completing the two phrases, she was very excited (doing her little shivers of joy, little giggle, etc.) As we were approaching Piney Mountain Rd., I finished going through the three phrases and paused, concentrating on traffic, etc. A little voice from the back seat said: “...my high places…” Precious little memory! We hadn't even said those verses since last week sometime. So we added the end of the passage. She was very, very excited – enjoying her successes! And then last night, working on the passage with Daddy, she completed the entire last line of one of the verses. (If I'm remembering correctly, it was: "...the God of my salvation.")

I am both rebuked and encouraged by the privilege and responsibility that is mine as a Christian parent and teacher – to redeem the time and teach my child to memorize the Word of God. (And it makes me have to work harder at memorizing, too – I'm finding that it's not as easy as it used to be!)

11 December 2008

thankful for – a break from the norm

We took a break last week to enjoy the beauty of God's creation and life as a family! I'd forgotten how much fun building sand castles, blowing bubbles, and feeding seagulls can be...


(And now I must get back to the "vacation recovery program" – cleaning house, putting things away, etc., ETC!)

A Mother's Prayer


Lord, give me patience when wee hands
Tug at me with their small demands.
Give me patient and smiling eyes;
Keep my lips from hasty replies.
Let not weariness, confusion, or noise
Obscure my vision of life's fleeting joys.
So, when in years to come, my home is still
Only happy mem'ries, its rooms may fill.

A good reminder, hanging on a wall in Elizabeth's room, this poem was given to me framed by my assistant pastor's wife at a church baby shower for Elizabeth and me. It seemed a good follow-up to yesterday's post.

It occurs to me that it may also represent a mind-set needed in discipleship of people of any age...

10 December 2008

thankful for – hand-made decorations (and what they mean)

The Lord God has been exceedingly good to us!
(Notice the paper bag pumpkin on the right.)

There was a time in the not-too-distant past, when I seriously doubted whether I would ever have the joy of hand-made school projects and decorations. Looking at the precious Thanksgiving projects, brought home from K-2 and propped up on our desk as decorations, has literally brought tears – of unspeakable joy – to this Mommy's eyes!

The daily demands and incessant pressures of being a Mommy to a little person can cloud and crowd out the moments of joy (quite often found in routine and seemingly mundane tasks of daily life). I could have lived my entire life without the privilege of wiping this precious little face and these grubby little hands! But instead – what a privilege and calling! God – in His goodness – sends moments like these, with precious tangible reminders, to correct our thinking...

Having had – in the goodness of God's plan for our life – to long and wait for a blessing that can so easily be taken for granted, we are constantly rejoicing in God's goodness to us in sending us our precious little girl...

And now I can hardly wait to see what Christmas decorations will come home!

thankful for – cheap gas

Take a look!


Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow!
Blessings large AND small!

22 November 2008

thankful for – Jesus Christ, my Savior

HE is my personal Savior!

As we approach Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for the following divinely revealed truths:

Christ died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God...
(1 Peter 3:18)

God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
(John 3:16)

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy...
(Titus 3:5)

By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
(Ephesians 2:8-10)

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed."

(Romans 10:9-11)

(Scripture quotes from the New American Standard Bible.)

15 November 2008

thankful – for coupons

I've recently become an avid fan of couponing! (Yes, it's a noun that has been "verbed" in modern English!) Up until recently, I didn't realize the full potential of coupons; in the past three or so months, however, we've been able to make encouraging progress financially as we look forward to "deputation" and getting ready to leave for the mission field of Uruguay!

(For those of you overseas reading this... Yes, I'll miss the couponing game! I must admit that I thrive on this kind of challenge. But I know that God will always provide – I can trust HIM to be more than enough. He is faithful!)

The latest, greatest couponing experience for me occurred at Walgreens today. Here's a snapshot of the loot...


This seemed to be "holiday baking" week at Walgreens. Here's how it all played out with the help of coupons in the weekly store flier, stacked with manufacturers coupons, plus the $5 off a $20 purchase coupon Walgreens emailed to me. I went to two stores – the first was out of two desired items, and I wanted to use a second coupon on the Carnation evaporated milk deal anyway. According to my receipts, the totals were:

First trip:
Total "out of pocket" – $15.05
WG coupon savings: $10.51
WG advertised savings: $4.00
Manufacturers coupon savings: $2.55
Total savings: $17.06

Second store:
Total out of pocket – $6.45
WG coupon savings: $4.11
Manufacturers coupon savings: $3.50
Total savings: $7.61

Notice please that both times my total "out of pocket" was less than the total I saved! But the best part is that it was all FREE because I used my Walgreens gift card – thanks to their EasySaver catalog deals (where they refund the price of certain items each month and add a 10% bonus if you decide to get the rebate on a Walgreens gift card)!

Now I can hardly wait to get started on holiday baking!

A special thanks to my friend Andrea (here) who introduced me to her two favorite blogs – Crystal at "moneysavingmom" (here) and Sarah at "Fiddledeedee" (here) – which in turn caused me to enroll in the "Walgreens 101" and "Publix Super Saver Deals" online courses. Thanks, ladies!

While concentrating anew on frugality, recent sermon applications have repeatedly brought me to focus on generosity and biblical good works as well. (See an earlier post on those topics here.)

To see my new blog, inspired by couponing, click here.

12 November 2008

naming letters upside down

Elizabeth surprised me on Sunday (while we were eating lunch with Tío Alfonso) by naming the following letters correctly in Spanish – while looking at them upside down! I wish now that I'd gotten a picture of the actual poster that was laminated onto the table, so I’ve tried to make a replica with some resemblance to the original...


Our little fan of letters – big and small, English or Spanish – named all the letters correctly in Spanish, except for the S in exóticos which in the actual font on the poster looked very much like a capital G. She also commented that one of the O’s had a little stick – ¡Tiene un palo! – as she pointed out the accent mark!

This is, of course, the same little girl that finds capital A’s and H’s in parking lot designs and tries to build letters with her mega blocks… (I think she inherited her Abu's ease in memorizing visual cues! Don't you agree, Abu?!)

honoring the veterans dearest to us

Thank-you! We love you!

Honoring "PaPa" on November 11, 2008.



Honoring "el Abu" in January 2008 at the Veterans' Monument in downtown Greenville.


And on the 4th of July 2006.


We will always remember. We will always be proud.
We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.
~ Ronald Reagan on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day

06 November 2008

wonders of God's creation

We're enjoying beautiful autumn weather here in the Upstate!

While running errands up in Traveler's Rest today, I got to wondering where Little Texas Road led... Since I had just filled up the car (named Teeny Tiny – partly because we finally joined in a long-standing family tradition of naming vehicles and mostly because Elizabeth still insists that it's Tia Tini's car!) and since I'd paid only $1.92 per gallon (can you believe it?!), I decided to go for a little drive. It's a nice little back-country sort of road (we even saw some cows), so it was perfect for catching a few snapshots.

05 November 2008

post-election ponderings

Encouraging thoughts for November 5, 2008.

Headline: God is on the throne of the universe! (See Psalm 2.)

My dear husband read an encouraging passage to me last night before we knew the definite outcome of the presidential election.

The Holy Spirit used the Apostle Paul to write the following words to Titus, the pastor of the church in Crete:

(John Mark prefaced the passage by pointing out the description of the Cretans, the people Titus was pastoring, in chapter 1. We couldn't help but notice a parallel to our modern society...)

"Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."

The instructions to Christians in Crete in the first century apply to me, an American Christian in the twenty-first century. (Let's not forget the mercy of God in saving us!)

Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed,
to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.
For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared,
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.


Amen!

I'd also like to share a link to an encouraging article I just read; Pastor Chris Anderson in Ohio outlines a biblical response I, as a Christian, ought to have...

Christians and the Obama Administration

Amen, again!

28 October 2008

Happy Birthday, Dearest!


Happy Birthday to a wonderful Christian man, husband, father – and friend!
(Aren't these wonderful snapshots of my two favorite subjects?!)

E-l-i-z-a-b-e-t-h

Our eager Little Learner is a great joy to us! She surprised me by spelling her name on October 15, pointing to each letter in succession on the name tag she brought home from school earlier that week.

Note however, (before you get too excited) that she also wanted to make the title My name is... say Steel – so weve since made that addition.


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19 October 2008

little architect

Or maybe engineer?!

Definitely and delightfully ALL girl, Elizabeth also is (like her Mommy before her!) interested in what are typically considered boy's toys. She loves anything with wheels and is very interested in learning specific names of vehicles, etc. She came up with this train, using wheeled parts from three different sets of blocks...


She also loves to build, combining larger blocks with smaller, at times fitting all of them snugly into spaces. She'll even use books as building materials, too...

She obliged me and exhibited some of her handiwork...

Notice the typical (cheesy!) toddler grin...

18 October 2008

I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!

The Old Testament prophet Habakkuk received unwelcome news – news of coming national disasters. He responded in the following words:

I heard and my inward parts trembled,
At the sound my lips quivered;
Decay enters my bones,
And in my place I tremble
Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress,
For the people to arise who will invade us.

Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,

Yet I will exult in the LORD,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord GOD is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds' feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.

(Habakkuk 3:16-19)

07 October 2008

How sweet and awful is the place...

Following our meditation from Psalm 37 (one of my favorite psalms!) on Sunday evening, the following hymn came to mind:

How sweet and awful is the place
with Christ within the doors,
While everlasting love displays
the choicest of her stores.

While all our hearts and all our songs
join to admire the feast,
Each of us cries, with thankful tongues,
"Lord, why was I a guest?"

Why was I made to hear Thy voice,
and enter while there's room,
When thousands make a wretched choice,
and rather starve than come?

'Twas the same love that spread the feast
that sweetly forced us in;
Else we had still refused to taste,
and perished in our sin.

Pity the nations, O our God,
constrain the earth to come;
Send Thy victorious word abroad,
and bring the strangers home.

by Isaac Watts

02 October 2008

Invest where there is a guaranteed return!

Store up treasure in heaven!

Our pastor has been teaching from the book of Isaiah on Sunday evenings, a series begun a year ago (if I remember correctly). On September 28, in the providence of God, he preached from chapter 23: Vanity Fair Overthrown. (Did John Bunyan perhaps have this chapter in mind when he wrote that section of The Pilgrim’s Progress?)

For a good summary of the sermon, click here. (By the way, I didn't read Andrea’s thoughts until I had finished writing out my own!) In the context of Isaiah 23, application was made from three New Testament passages. And I’ve been meditating on those passages this week…

Question for application: Am I controlled (enslaved) by a love of money?

Matthew 6: Verse 24 is the pivotal point of the passage: No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

“No one can serve [lit. slave for] two masters…” Why? Because a master demands ALL of his slave’s time! And the Greek term for wealth in this context is worth noting: mamonas, for Aramaic mamon (mammon); i.e. wealth, etc. personified as an object of worship. The use of the term mammon implies that slaving for wealth is idolatry. If I’m serving wealth, I am not serving God; I cannot serve two masters because the demands of one master occupy all my time, thoughts, energy, etc. So, who then is my master?

Test: On the one hand, where am I storing up treasure?
In verses 19 to 21, Christ says: Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Test: On the other hand, am I worried that I won’t have enough?
After saying: No one can serve two masters... You cannot serve God and wealth. Christ then says: For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

Mind-numbing, stomach-churning worry is slavery! Worrying about not having enough and slaving to store up treasure are two ends of the same stick. Those who think themselves “poor” and are slaving, worrying about how to get more, are just as enslaved by the love of money as those who are “rich” and slaving to get more. Christ says that I must stop slaving to store up treasure on earth and I must stop slaving by worrying that I don’t have enough and need more.
Question: How much is “enough” for me – for any child of God through faith in Christ?
In I Timothy 6, the apostle Paul under divine inspiration states (in verses 6 to 8): Godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.

Consider the warning in verses 9 to 11, instructing against slaving for material gain and encouraging God-honoring pursuits instead: But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness…

Consider the specific instruction in verses 17 to 19 for those who have been blessed (by God!) with abundant material possessions: Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

And who among us, especially living here in the United States of America, has not been blessed with material possessions? Besides food and clothing, most have homes larger than 500 square feet in relatively safe neighborhoods, plus several modes of transportation, not to mention the daily blessings (so often taken for granted) of running water (cold and hot!), electricity, air conditioning and/or heat at the touch of a button, clothes washers, dryers for rainy days, etc.

God seems to emphasize that having food, clothing, and covering is “enough” and that with those we must be content! Yet even when those may seem scarce, He instructs us not to worry. Look at how He provides food even for the birds and how He clothes even the flowers of the field – and HE knows our needs!

So we are instructed to be content with “food and covering” and “not to be conceited or to fix [our] hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” – and we are instructed “to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share…” and thus “store up for [ourselves] treasures in heaven.”

Question for application: So am I controlled (enslaved) by a love of money?

Test: How do I respond to others?
In James 2, the apostle James under divine inspiration writes (verses 1 to 4): Do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, "You sit here in a good place," and you say to the poor man, "You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool," have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?

How do I respond to the people that God brings across my path? How do I treat the rich? How do I treat the poor? Do I make distinctions? Am I prejudiced? Do I shun those I view as unable to do anything for me but treat nicely those I view as able to do something for me – because I have “evil motives” (of potential personal gain) in mind?

In verses 14 to 17, the apostle James provokes us to serious self-examination: What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

True faith in Christ (as defined in the Scriptures as a whole) involves repentance – an inward change of mind/attitude, agreeing with God’s revealed truth – a change that is proven by outward actions. And in verse 27 of chapter 1, the apostle James prefaces this definition of living faith with a definition of “pure and undefiled religion” – that is, following Christ's perfect example. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Am I a true disciple of Christ? Am I following His perfect example? Am I looking only for opportunities to gain? Or am I also looking for opportunities to give? Am I concentrating only on (economic) frugality? Or am I also seeking specific opportunities to demonstrate generosity?

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)

Concluding thoughts: Christ instructs me, in Matthew 6, to not be enslaved either by trying to store up treasures on earth or by worrying about food and clothing. And then He reassures me: Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

27 September 2008

Bitsy, Bitsy Spido

"Bitsy, Bitsy Spido" (in Elizabethan) is an oft-heard song around our house. We joke that it's actually Elizabeth's version of "The Song that Never Ends" due to the fact that she always ends the song by repeating the beginning phrase; in her ending, however, she does change from her "BITSY, bitsy spido" to the "ITSY, bitsy spido" that "went up the water spout" (but not "again"). And I just love the melodramatic interpretation, too. This may be my favorite video clip yet...

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favorite video clips

There’s no doubt about it: Elizabeth is learning A LOT at her little school – and she loves going! She surprised us by singing this Months of the Year song just last night.

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As you can see, she obviously loves singing – and her Daddy is having fun teaching her some basics of music theory!

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18 September 2008

E’s recent language developments

OK! I’m still in catch-up mode on Elizabeth’s journal but thought I’d go ahead and include some recent notes while they’re fresh on my mind – even though I have other older notes on scraps of paper that I still need to record in the journal...

First – some background on Elizabeth’s recent language developments...

She went from using mostly two-word combinations (noun/adjective phrases and prepositional phrases in November/December of last year) to expressing entire thoughts, sometimes in whole sentences and including idiomatic expressions like: ¡Qué asco! (That’s yucky!) during and after our trip to Uruguay in May of this year. Cousins Florencia and Lucía proved to be great tutors!

A challenge of raising a bilingual child (where exposure to both languages is not equal) became clearly apparent after our return to Greenville. Elizabeth insisted on talking about herself in third person, using her name. For example: Elizabeth lo hace. (Elizabeth will do it.) Perhaps a partial explanation is that we as parents tend to refer to ourselves in third person – we’re so enamored with our newly acquired titles of Daddy and Mommy! For instance: “Mommy will help you.” Or: “Let Daddy do it.” Whatever the case, Elizabeth was hesitant to begin using first person in Spanish.

We also wondered how she would catch up in English now that she was speaking so fluidly in Spanish. But we needn’t have worried... Adding Tuesdays to her Mondays and Fridays at her school gave a great boost to her English skills. In fact, she began using first person in English before she did so in Spanish and was consequently more easily able to make the connection to yo in Spanish. Another challenge involved changes in verb endings in Spanish – changes that for the most part are not present in modern English. But we’ve come a long way since then...

On Sunday of this week, Elizabeth bit her finger while she was eating. As she was crying, she held up her finger and said: Mordí el dedo. (I bit my finger.) Morder (to bite) was a new verb for her, and she figured out the first person singular form all by herself, based on my using the second person singular form to ask: ¿Qué pasó? ¿Te mordiste el dedo? (What happened? Did you bite your finger?)

Verbs obviously present challenges not only to students of foreign language but also to children being raised in a bilingual setting! Elizabeth does what any child learning her parents’ language does – she tries to make everything fit the regular rules she’s already learning. Of course, exceptions to the rules then become the challenge… Logically, according to the rules for -ir verbs, /abrido/ should be the past participle of abrir and not the irregular abierto. That’s a common issue around our house these days. And Elizabeth will sometimes accept correction and at other times will insist on what sounds right to her. (Sounds like I’m back in the foreign language classroom sometimes?!)

Elizabeth has been involved in a lot of imaginative play lately. Specific instances last week and this week involved her Baby Doll (from Yaya for her second birthday), Ton-Ton, and her Fisher Price farm animals. She gives the animals voices (altering hers so that it’s nasal or deeper, etc.) and makes them talk to each other. (The little cat says to the dog: “I’m little.” And he replies: “I’m big.”) And the Baby Doll waves and says either “Hi!” or “Bye-bye!” – very insistently, of course, until we notice and respond!

And for a while now, she has enjoyed imaginative play with Tatá’s kitchen and the play glasses, cups, and saucers and toy food that she got last Christmas. She especially loves to serve us coffee from her little cups. (Could that be a commentary on a favorite beverage at our house?!)

She is definitely more talkative than ever! And she often tires of our conversations with each other (especially at supper or when we’re going somewhere in the car), and she wants to be involved. When she wants me to stop talking to her Daddy so that she gets a turn, she will say: ¡No hablas, Mamá! ¡No hablas! She should of course be saying: ¡No hables, Mamá! ¡No hables! But she’s obviously still learning the imperative forms of verbs – not to mention the proper language register for speaking to one’s parent and authority!

Along those lines… As she has been talking more and more and demonstrating how much her vocabulary has expanded, we’ve often commented: Tenemos una nena muy habladora. Or in English her Daddy will say: “She’s my little talker!” She will now, out of the blue, say (and make us laugh): Elizabeth habla mucho. (Elizabeth talks a lot.) And she’ll often add: Mamá habla mucho también (except that she says /tambén/). (Mommy also talks a lot.) And then to make it even funnier to us, she’ll add: Papá habla bien. (Daddy speaks well.)

Funny little girl!

Encouragement

Two truths from the Bible...

Our pastor presented these truths earlier this summer and then reminded us of them again yesterday evening. (Repetition aids learning!)

What should be my response under pressure?

Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness.
(Psalm 37:3)

God is our refuge and strength,
Abundantly available for help in tight places.
(Psalm 46:1)

Rubber Rain Boots

What is it about toddlers and boots – especially rubber rain boots?! Elizabeth rediscovered her rain boots from Auntie Monika today and had to put them on! Never mind that they didn’t at all match what she was wearing – or that it’s not raining and we’re inside anyway! She was very proud to be wearing her boots and informed me: Papá tiene botas también (except that she says /tambén/). (Daddy has boots, too.) He does – he has work boots! ¡Es cierto! I replied. Pero Mamá no tiene botas… (That’s right! But Mommy doesn’t have boots…)

We were getting ready to eat lunch. I asked: ¿Querés comer con las botas? ¿O sin las botas? (Yes – we use the Uruguayan vos form at our house!) (Do you want to eat with your boots on? Or without your boots?) Rubber boots must get hot and sweaty – especially without socks! She looked down at them and then back up at me. Sadly and hopefully, she said: Comer con las botas… I picked her up and hugged her! (She’s SO cute!) As I was kissing her, she said: Elizabeth tiene botas – y Papá también (except that she says /tambén/). I replied: ¿Y Mamá? Mamá no tiene botas… I pretended to be very sad. She took my face in her little hands and very earnestly said: ¡No quejas, Mamá! (She should, of course, have used the imperative quejes – and added the reflexive pronoun te, too.) (Don’t whine, Mommy!) Can you tell what other lesson we’ve been working on at our house?!

Oh… By the way… I heard the boots clatter to the floor as I was dishing up the soup… Apparently, rubber rain boots do get hot and sweaty – especially without socks!

15 August 2008

Pronto, listo, ya...


(Ready, set, go...)

After setting up this blog in March of this year, I allowed it to lie dormant for almost five months. It’s not that I didn’t have anything to say... (Ask JM!) But I wasn’t quite sure where to begin...

So, this afternoon, I took a look at the layout, etc. that I’d chosen back in March and decided to launch...

Check back, at your leisure, for more...

And to our dear families in other parts of the world ~ esp. our beloved Uruguay and the Caribbean... This will hopefully be a prime place to check for Cache-Barri updates!

:o)