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.

29 November 2014

“Me regocijaré en el Dios de mi salvación...”

Me encuentro meditando en la oración y el canto del profeta Habacuc; así respondió él cuando oyó “las malas noticias” del juicio que venía sobre su pueblo:

El capítulo 3 comienza así:

Oración del profeta Habacuc, en tono de Sigionot [es decir, canto vehemente].
Oí, y se estremecieron mis entrañas […]
Y tiemblo donde estoy.
Tranquilo espero el día de la angustia […]

Habacuc respondió con fe – confiando “en el Dios de [su] salvación”:

Aunque la higuera no eche brotes,
ni haya fruto en las viñas;
Aunque falte el producto del olivo,
y los campos no produzcan alimento;
Aunque falten las ovejas del aprisco,
y no haya vacas en los establos,
Con todo yo me alegraré en el SEÑOR,
me regocijaré en el Dios de mi salvación.
El Señor DIOS es mi fortaleza;
El ha hecho mis pies como los de las ciervas,
y por las alturas me hace caminar.

Para el director del coro, con mis instrumentos de cuerda.

Así concluye el libro de Habacuc.

28 November 2014

Thankful for – “Substitute Turkey!”

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits...
(Psalm 103)

We had a very “low-key” Thanksgiving Day. It was actually a middle-of-the-work-week, middle-of-final-exam-week sort of day. But we do have so much to be thankful for!

We did take a few moments Saturday to work on “Thankful Lists!

And, thanks to several friends who shared a picture of the idea via fb, we came up with a “substitute turkey for our evening merienda (light supper at our house).


27 November 2014

Missing Jona...

Missing you, Buddy – especially today...
In my heart, you will always be my “Little Buddy!”
Remembering so many Thanksgiving Days we spent together as extended family – especially 2009 and 2010...
Thankful that you are now with Jesus, thanking Him face to face today and every day – forever! (Wow! What a thought...)
Love you and your family – lots!

26 November 2014

“Thankful Lists!”

This year, both Elizabeth and DJ made a “Thankful List!” craft. (We had fun!)

This was DJ’s first time, and he got excited about the idea of a list as soon as I suggested it to him. I had to write fast to keep up with him as he rattled off his list!

We traced each hand onto colored paper, cut them out, and transcribed the lists onto the handprint “turkeys.” DJ loves to cut paper and is actually very good at it! But I helped this time. While I was cutting out his project, he said: “Very good, Mommy! Good job!”

Elizabeth had to organize her list, prioritizing from 1 to 10.

We’ve also enjoyed looking back at lists from previous years: 2011, 2010, and 2009 (E’s first list when she was about DJ’s current age). So glad to have taken up the “tradition” again this year...

So much to be thankful for!

19 November 2014

#SomosCelestes ♥

We thoroughly enjoyed a (much-needed!) family outing three blocks away at the Estadio Centenario, watching our beloved Celeste engage in a friendly match against Costa Rica last Thursday.
¡Arriba URUGUAY!
We went early and enjoyed the late afternoon sun, watching part of the match the “Sub-20” team was playing. The weather was perfect with just enough of a cool breeze to add comfort.
¡Más hincha que ésta, casi imposible!
 Our Little Charrúa Princess is an avid fan – hard to beat!
“Let me go! Let me go!
We met up with a group of pastors who were in town for the second block course offered by FEBU.

Two of our FEBU students joined us later.

It was a wonderful evening. So many highlights!

Hearing the warmth of the clapping as the team was announced, especially for Suárez and Cavani. Of special significance was the fact that this was Suárez’s first time back in our stadium since this past winters World Cup! 
Both Suárez and Cavani scored!
Seeing our favorites “up-close” (i.e. getting some close-up pictures with my Canon PowerShot SX500 IS – one of our best deals ever from Sams Club!)

Seeing Cavani lift his arms in his trademark posture of prayer, right before kick-off.
The picture is blurry, but I’m thankful to have caught the moment...
Seeing Cavani kneel momentarily, immediately after scoring – hands folded, clasped to his forehead – giving thanks publicly to God. You have to put this into its cultural context: This is not the Baptist South. Uruguay is known as #1 in “atheism” and “agnosticism” in South America. Public displays of faith are not “in vogue” but come from real conviction and courage. I pray more than ever for Cavani, who professes to be my brother in Christ...
We tied 3-3 and ended 7-6 after penalty kicks. It was a thrilling match! (And we’re also happy about our 2-1 victory over Chile – in Chile – last night!)
SO thankful that our Celeste is one of the many things our Good Shepherd gives us richly to enjoy!

17 November 2014

End of Semester Thoughts

“Dear Diary:”
Last semester at this almost-end-of-the-semester point, I was in tears – thinking how much I would miss teaching my group of ten students... And I was comforted when I realized: “Wait! I can look forward to a second semester with them!” (I was teaching Grammar & Composition I, with an emphasis on the “grammar” part – a class I’d taught twice before on a college level.)
At the almost-end of this semester, the memories of the countless tears of frustration over lack of resources – and the time and energy drains involved in trying to compensate (especially when trying to teach basic documentation and argumentation writing skills to students who were never required to do a research project in high school!) – are crowding out even the possibility of any emotion except (the hope for!) relief. (Admittedly, my knowing that G&C III has been added to next school year (as a measure of solution to problems encountered in G&C II) means that I’ll be spending more time with this group of ten in the fall... And I do love them!)
BUT! Right now... Right now, I’m looking forward to taking a break from the college project... A break from having to say: “Mommy can’t play with blocks right now; I have to finish (fill in the blank)… I’m looking forward to having time to go to the park (only three blocks away) with my favorite little people... Or maybe to just soaking in some sun, sitting on the stone bench in our back yard, marveling at my little people’s imaginations... Or maybe to joining in on charcoal and brick powder drawings... Or maybe to letting them get dirty while they play, knowing I have time to fit in an extra bath... Or maybe...
Yes! I'm very thankful for the prospect of a break from the trying-to-develop-a-college project... I have a lot of other catching up to do... And every day I’m more and more aware of the fact that time does not stand still... They won’t always be this little...
It’s 2:30 a.m.; I’ll start by catching some sleep...

11 November 2014


Moves like these help explain why we love soccer here in Uruguay!

Yes! We watch soccer for the plays, not just the score...

(And, um, yes, I watched this clip about, um, a dozen times [at least!] before posting [on fb]...)

Can he be human?!

Maybe he's really an Elf...

Maybe the age of Middle Earth is not yet past... J

09 November 2014

Creativity at its BEST! ♥

We’ve been living in Narnia for a while now. At times, it’s hard to remember exactly what family life looked like (or rather sounded like!) before Narnia – although one member of the family is not nearly as excited as the other three. (I’m confident he’ll change his mind as he and his literary tastes grow. At the moment, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and Katy and the Big Snow are more to his liking.)

The current enthusiasm for Narnia warms my parent (and teacher) heart because The Chronicles of Narnia were favorites for both JM and me growing up; it’s been fun to see Elizabeth learn to love them just as much.

Narnia has already inspired several works of art this year...

Elizabeth got “the big picture” (the main point of the allegory) and joined all Narnia fans in wishing for more than seven books. Of course, we plan to re-read them, probably waiting until DJ can join in our appreciation. Because history tends to repeat itself, I’m confident Narnia will remain solidly entrenched in the fiber of our family life...

Meanwhile, we’ve been adding a bit of “Middle Earth” via the child-friendly animated version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic, The Hobbit. We chose to begin our journey with the 1977 video version mainly so DJ can join us from the very beginning of this adventure.

Hardly a day passes that we don’t hear children’s voices singing at least a line from: “That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates!” or “What should we do with the funny little things?!” or “Far o’er the Misty Mountains cold…”

Re-reading childhood favorites – and especially learning to appreciate their real value as an adult (and parent and teacher) – is very rewarding. I’m loving it! The professor’s quotes about “logic” are still – and even more – my favorites now that I’m a mom and writing teacher!

Living in Narnia (and studying the topography and geography of Uruguay on a third-grade level) also inspired the inventing of Yaugurú. (Do you see the connection?) J

Yaugurú: the official map

I especially love this aspect of Elizabeth’s imagination because I remember inventing, in conjunction with my little brother, “Tiny Land” and “Dwarf Land” when I was slightly older than she is now. I guess I could claim that her creativity puts her in good company… J And, a few years ago, I discovered that C.S. Lewis himself invented “Animal-Land” (along with his brother) when he was a boy of about our ages...

05 November 2014

1 Timoteo 2

Exhorto, pues, ante todo que se hagan rogativas, oraciones, peticiones y acciones de gracias por todos los hombres; por los reyes y por todos los que están en autoridad, para que podamos vivir una vida tranquila y sosegada con toda piedad y dignidad. Porque esto es bueno y agradable delante de Dios nuestro Salvador, el cual quiere que todos los hombres sean salvos y vengan al pleno conocimiento de la verdad. Porque hay un solo Dios, y también un solo mediador entre Dios y los hombres, Cristo Jesús hombre, quien se dio a sí mismo en rescate por todos...
1 Timoteo 2)
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all...
(1 Timothy 2)

To think & pray about...

(from JM’s fb page:)
We should be thankful for every right step that our nation takes, even when the motives are a mix of good and not-so-good. But let’s not forget that if we set our hopes on the political process, we will be disappointed—not to mention guilty of idolatry. Most of our brothers and sisters around the world long ago lost hope in government to solve their problems—if they ever even had such hope. Their political landscape has looked parched and ugly, even hostile, for a long time. The enmity is scrawled on walls and made into official public policy. Christian parents are faced with almost impossible choices in the schooling of their children, for example. Yes, we are encouraging them to take part in the political process, to try to make a difference in their culture. We as U.S. citizens should do the same. But at the end of the day, this world is neither friend nor home, even though its face may soften and its breath may sweeten from time to time.

01 November 2014

Celebrating Life!

Because of the busy-ness of this semester – and knowing we would celebrate later with family – we paused on a Friday evening to celebrate DJs b-day (the day after) with the college students.

We also sang to JM, whose b-day was three days prior...

DJ blew out his candles with one big puff as soon as JM lit them  and before we could even sing...

We re-lit them...

We love this Little Man!

¡Feliz Cumple!