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 November 2010

mas fotos favoritas

Finally! Snatching a few more moments to post more favorite "fotos" of our Little Man;

Tio Matias

Tia Tini

Tia Shannah (a.k.a. Tata)

Tio Alfonso

Tia Esther


25 November 2010

So much to be thankful for...

The doctors were very open with Jonatán and his family at his appointment on Thursday a week ago. They told Esteban and Esther that, as parents, they would have to decide if they wanted Jona to receive chemo in the future or not. Please pray for wisdom. We continue to ask the Lord for the miracle of complete healing; HE is the Great Physician!

We are praising the Lord once again for His abundant provision for Jona and his family. They are (right now!) on the way to our beloved Uruguay! They plan to be there until December 13, returning to the USA on December 14. The Lord provided abundantly for their tickets and other expenses for the trip!

Please pray for physical strength for all of them as they travel; pray especially for Jona. Pray that they'd be able to get some good sleep on the airplanes. Please pray that precious memories will be made during this special time together with extended family in Uruguay. Jona has not been to Uruguay for about ten years, and this will be the first time ever in Uruguay for his brother Marcos.

On Sunday morning Jona gave a testimony at Iglesia Bautista Calvario in Greer. He spoke in Spanish, but my dynamic translation of some of what he said (with his typical personality and sincerity) includes:

I’m thankful for my parents; they cook lots of good food for me!

I’m thankful for my brother; he makes me laugh when I’m feeling sad.

I'm thankful for my (school) friends; they visit me in the hospital and bring me treats!

I’m thankful for the cancer; it has drawn me closer to God.

My God is so big; there are no words to describe Him!

Thank-you for praying – for the whole family – and especially for Jona. Our God is big, and we are experiencing His abundant grace!

We continue to have so much to be thankful for!

A “list” of blessings...

According to Elizabeth:

Compare this years list to last years list of blessings.

We do have so much to be thankful for...

23 November 2010

La Chaim! (To Life!)

Life has been full!

Our Little Man is now three and a half weeks old. (Where does time go?!) Daniel James is keeping us busy eating lots! He has put himself on a (roughly) three- and/or four-hour schedule although he does at times revert back to a two-hour schedule. Yep! He's our Little Man and has a hearty appetite!

Being big has its advantages. He started flashing great big smiles at us when he turned two weeks old. His whole face lights up and we can see dimples in his chubby little face. The smiles are especially rewarding (when directed at his Mommy) during our middle-of-the-night episodes!

We're rejoicing in God's gracious goodness to us in once again answering many prayers and granting us the desires of our hearts.

"Who is like the LORD our God, Who is enthroned on high,
Who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth?
. . .
He makes the barren woman abide in the house as a joyful mother of children.
Praise the LORD!"
(Psalm 113)

15 November 2010

fotos favoritas

More favorite family "fotos" include:

the very proud PaPa and Grandma

Aunt Ruth

On our first morning as a family of four at home, Elizabeth wanted to tell Daniel James "the story of Jesus dying on the cross."

There are so many favorites but so little time...!

a very alert three-day-old Little Man

a very well-loved one-week-old Little Man

Yes! We have been abundantly blessed!

14 November 2010

November 14: Update on Jonatán

Just a very quick update:

Jona now has a CaringBridge site where you can subscribe to updates ("journal notifications") via email. You can also leave encouraging messages in his GuestBook.

Please continue to pray!

13 November 2010

Welcome, DJM!

Daniel James Matías weighed 9 lbs, 14 oz and was 22 inches long! We promptly changed our nickname for him from Itty Bitty Boy to Little Man!

We're going on two weeks now... Time really does fly when you're having fun AND when you're keeping busier than ever! That's why I'm finally getting around to posting some pictures...

Some of our favorite "brand new" pictures include:

about fifteen minutes old

about one hour old

"Best Big Sister"

Elizabeth had been looking forward to helping me dress him, BUT she wanted my help with putting on his socks "because they're complicated!"

the boy cousins – on the Garwood side

Jonatán was admitted to the hospital for surgery on the day I was discharged. These are definitely emotion-packed days for our family...

Do pray for us all!

11 November 2010

Thank-you, Veterans!

Elizabeth drew the following in honor of Veterans' Day and of our two favorite veterans!

for her "Abu" (Marine Corps Veteran)

for her PaPa (Air Force Veteran)

Thank-you, Veterans!

November 11: Update on Jonatán

Please pray for wisdom and for God's clear leading for Jona and his parents this afternoon. They have a 3:00 p.m. appointment scheduled with the doctors; they will be discussing options for further treatment.

Please pray!

Thank-you for praying!

09 November 2010

A soul to train for God...

Almost exactly five years ago at a baby shower given in honor of my Elizabeth, I was given a devotional book for new mothers. These days, as I have ample opportunity to contemplate the tiny perfections of my newborn son, I have repeatedly meditated on the following excerpt inscribed in the flyleaf of the book:

Here is a soul to train for God, and the body in which it dwells is worthy all it will cost since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me.

Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother's heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers!

Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blessed!

~ Elizabeth Prentiss in Stepping Heavenward, Chapter 18

06 November 2010

Saturday, one week ago...

By way of introduction: We'd heard that Pepperoni Pizza can help to advance the start of labor. We'd also heard that spicy foods can do the same. While out on a late morning walk on Saturday (one week ago), I got to thinking about those two theories in conjunction with a Papa John's Pizza Coupon that had recently come in the mail. (I was also thinking about Thursday's "trial run" at the hospital.) And I started craving the new pizza that was advertised... (I normally do not crave jalapeños!)

SO... For mutual amusement, here's the timeline for Saturday (one week ago), according to Papa John Mark:

1:00 p.m.
Papa John’s large Zesty Jalapeño and Meats Pizza for $11.00

4:00 p.m.
Something’s happening here.

5:00 p.m.
We’d better start timing these.

6:42 p.m.
Check in to hospital; contractions coming 5 minutes or fewer apart.

10:38 p.m.
9 lb-14 oz baby is here! (Natural delivery by God's grace!)

Pictures pending... (The Little Man is keeping me well occupied!)

05 November 2010

November 5: Update on Jonatán

Jonatán is currently in the hospital, recovering from extensive lung surgery – more extensive than originally planned. On Monday, the doctors removed seven "tumors" from one lung; they had to leave part of another one because of its proximity to the aorta. These tumors have appeared in spite of all the procedures of the last year – including several other minor surgeries on the lungs, plus the radical surgery on the arm, plus a year of extensive chemo.

We are reminded that our only hope for Jona's recovery is what Esteban has emphasized all along: Only the LORD can – miraculously – heal him. We are asking Him to do so if that is what would most glorify HIM.

As extended family, we are sensing keenly our need for our LORD. Please pray with us that we would continue to focus on eternity. We are trusting our Good Shepherd to continue to lead us in righteous paths – for His Name's sake! Please pray that our faith in HIM and in His good words will not fail!

We rejoice that Jona is doing well spiritually. In fact, my dad told me on Thursday that Jona was already walking the halls (surgery was on Monday), visiting the other patients in the cancer ward and praying with them, etc. He is a dear boy, and we love him dearly!

Please continue to pray! Thank-you for praying!