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.

19 February 2012

Remembering and praying...

Six months ago, Amy Caldwell Bixby was promoted to Heaven. Please pray especially today for her family (her husband and seven children) – and for all who knew and loved her.

It will be well-worth your time to take a few moments to read (or reread) a blog post that was written by Amy shortly before she went to see her Maker and Savior.

I love her testimony!
I want to shout from the rooftops that if you will just believe Him, even though you can't understand now, even though some things hurt now, He will never truly hurt you. The pain we feel is a reminder that He is making it more than better – He's redeeming things so perfectly, that the pleasure He's preparing for me is beyond my comprehension; and so, even the pain is a grand evidence of His grace. 
~ Amy Caldwell Bixby (May 23, 1974 - August 19, 2011)

Brothers and sisters, pray earnestly for those who are suffering such great loss!
The pain of loss is severe because the pleasure of life is so great; it demonstrates the supreme value of what is lost. The screaming pain I feel at the loss of [a loved one] reflects the pure pleasure I felt in knowing [that one]. 
Jerry Sittser in A Grace Disguised

17 February 2012

Remembering: One year ago...

One year ago on the day-before-yesterday, we had just returned to the Upstate from travels in Ohio to learn that Jona had had a near-death experience. (A tract that is in the works tells the story, and I plan to share more on that later. Meanwhile, please pray for God’s guidance of and blessing on the tract project!)

You would never guess what Jona had recently been through by the pictures and video clip we took that evening:

We’re more thankful than ever for the “bonus” time (over two months) that God gave us with him.

We now miss him more than ever! Some days are harder than others. And as time passes and reality comes more and more into focus, we face new challenges. But, by God’s grace, we continue to rest in the knowledge that His way is perfect – and that the number of our days are ordained by Him!

You [God] formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You,
For I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.

15 February 2012

Celebrating the Little House!

We live in a Little House – an 800-square-foot house, to be exact! And we love it! But, as the extended family has grown, fitting them all in for a birthday celebration has become more and more challenging. So, we celebrate in waves...

For Elizabeth’s birthday this year, we started with a cupcake-theme celebration – on her actual birthday:

Especially for our Sweet Little Cupcake!

She’s so much fun to surprise!

We’d given her the first two of the nine-book Little House Set at Christmas (and we’ve been reading Little House in the Big Woods), so the real highlight was completing the set.

And that leads to the theme for the rest of the celebration!

When I asked what story was represented by the cake, Elizabeth shyly hugged my neck and, in a very pleased little voice, said: “Little House in the Big Woods!”

We then showed the cake to DJM, and Elizabeth explained:
“Es la casa chica en el monte!” (Monte is the Uruguayan term for eucalyptus grove – very dear to our little uruguaya at heart!)

Did I mention that she’s a lot of fun to surprise?

We celebrated with one side of the family one evening and then transferred the Little House and remaining tree to another pan of brownies and celebrated with the rest of the extended family the following evening.

Somehow, birthdays seem to be coming more often... And we’re trying to treasure the fleeting moments as good gifts from God’s hand...

04 February 2012

thankful – for Skype!

By God’s grace, we’re often reminded to be thankful for modern technology. There are moments, of course, when we wish we could live unencumbered by its accompanying problems! But for our extended family, continents apart, Skype has been an extra special blessing.

We had no way of knowing on New Year’s Day 2009 that Skype would become so important to us; it was on that evening that we helped “los Abu” in Uruguay first get set up with Skype.

We’re thankful for those memories:

Jona helped Elizabeth so she could get a better view.

And as we celebrated almost two years later, Skype again spanned the distance across continents – and we sang Christmas carols together.

We will forever cherish memories of singing:O Holy Night!”

As we celebrated Elizabeth’s birthday this year, Skype once again played a role. DJM was especially excited to see “los Abu” – and we now suspect that he thinks they live in the computer!

Yes, we’re thankful for “small” moments that have become so significant...

02 February 2012

¡Es uruguaya de corazón!

Our little artist is Uruguayan at heart! Shes constantly drawing – in notebooks, on scraps of paper, on her “drawing machine” (as she likes to call the Doodle-Pro).

Her latest artwork includes three of my favorites:

She loves learning in general. And to her Daddy’s delight, geography seems to be of special interest.

Uruguay is highlighted on this map of South America.
Also note the icebergs on the southern tip of the continent.

 “¡Viva Uruguay!” (Need I say more?!)

Note the mate, complete with bombilla,
on the little table by the gaucho.
(Another gaucho almost made it onto the horse –
but the paper wasnt tall enough to allow him!)

I love the Uruguayan themes! And, as a mom and teacher, I love seeing how she transfers onto paper, etc. what shes captured in her mind of the world around her...