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.

21 May 2016

“Mother’s Day” Season! ♥

Instead of “Mother’s Day” this year, we seemed to have a season! J

“Mother’s Day” in the USA was a week before ours here; fb informed me of that fact. And I got to feeling nostalgic, missing my Mommy whose love still shines... (I’m so thankful!)

E’s school program was two days before “Mother’s Day”:

Tus manos acarician mis silencios
Cuando lágrimas por mi rostro caen.
Tenerte para mí es un privilegio;
La imagen del AMOR ¡eres tú, Madre!

The late-autumn mid-morning air was quite chilly!

DJ’s school program was five days after “Mother’s Day”:

DJ shyly recited the poem with the rest of the class.
[He’s still not too sure about actually talking at school
(except in his own made-up sign language),
so this was a very significant step for him!]

I got to participate, too! J

And E was assistant photographer!

I received many thoughtful, hand-made gifts – the very best kind!

God has been exceedingly good to me – and I’m very thankful!

20 May 2016

A few more teasers...

Here’s yet another sneak peak from our family photo shoot...

Photos credit: FotoGonza

19 May 2016

¡Feliz Cumple, Diego!

Cumple el jugador favorito de Dani...

Le hizo un dibujo e intentó escribir “¡Uruguay nomá!” J

Gracias, Diego Forlán, por ser un ejemplo a seguir para mis peques. Has sido y sigues siendo una inspiración por tu ética de disciplina, diligencia, estudio, trabajo...

¡Qué pases re-lindo, junto a tu preciosa familia!

13 May 2016

Teaching Grammar!

I love teaching. (There are moments, of course, when I don’t feel quite so sure... But generally I love teaching.) And I especially love moments like the ones in recent classes where the lights go on and students get why they have to take my class. Even more, I love the moments in class when they tell of opportunities they’ve had to defend their study of grammar to others who don’t yet get it!


12 May 2016

Autumn Leaves!

Among the advantages of living in a “pedestrian culture” like MVD’s, pausing to savor the changing seasons ranks high on the list for me. Walking makes us take time to do that! We do take buses for greater distances or to save time when running errands downtown. But we usually walk to and from DJ’s kindergarten; it’s not quite 1.8-kilometers each way.

We especially enjoy the colors on our “favorite trees
on the walk to and from school!

Silk floss kapok trees were at their peak about a month ago.

And this month – as an added bonus – we’re trying to save “bus money” for summer camp! At the beginning of the month, JM figured out and then set apart all the bus money we would spend, riding to and from school, in one month; every time we walk instead, we put that amount in our “camp fund” box. (JM is especially trying to encourage the teens from church to see that there are real, daily ways we can all start saving for camp!)

11 May 2016


A big headline in our family’s educational news is:

“DJ Is Reading (in English) Now!”

He’s been reading a smattering of words for a while – and actually learned letters and basic phonetics (with E’s eager help!) over a year ago. But now he’s consistently reading “beginning reader” books. And he’s very excited about it all!

I actually find it very amusing when he literally shivers with delight, celebrating his reading of “word families” (loving how they follow patterns) or recognizing “sight words” (or “service words” or “wall words” or whatever they might get called) in random places (like in JM’s recent internet search for a video clip for him and E).

He was extremely pleased to get a perfect score on his latest quiz!

I’ve been wanting him to learn to read English before Spanish – because they’re so different and (more importantly for me) because E taught herself, figuring out the main differences between the phonetics of the two languages after asking a few basic questions while on a quick Christmas trip here, when she was only halfway through K-5 and learning to read English. Now that DJ is learning more and more pre-reading basics in Spanish in the afternoons, I’m trying to work with him more than ever in English.

This is my first time ever teaching reading. And although my first job, fresh out of high school, involved the immense privilege of working as the main assistant to a wonderful kindergarten (and first grade) teacher, I’ve frankly felt very intimidated by the idea of working “solo” on helping one of my own Little People develop such a vital, life-long, basic skill. But DJ is doing great!

And just a couple days ago, he read the first part of Romans 15:13 from our bedroom wall:

“May the GOD of HOPE fill you...”

The next day, still excited over that accomplishment, he drew a special picture for me and included that part of the verse, remembering and sounding it out  mostly on his own:

We’re obviously still working on the “silent e” aspect. And if you look carefully, you’ll notice that a few letters got mixed up, too. My favorite is the mix of English and Spanish phonetics in “FIU” [fill]. But I’m thankful for his eager progress!

[Please note some important details: He completed the picture, adding clothes. And he pointed out that he used the “greenish blue” marker for the eyes – in order to match his own!]

10 May 2016

Family! ♥

We’re still waiting to get “the full package” on CD...

Meanwhile, here’s another sneak peak!

Our Family!

Photo credit: FotoGonza

09 May 2016

Her love still shines...

“Mother’s Day” won’t be officially celebrated until next Sunday here in Uruguay. But I’ve been enjoying all the pictures and posts on fb.

So I’ll start this week with a story of my Mommy’s love:

DJ loves to use the bath towel my mom made for friends of our family up in OH as a gift for their first baby. She loved making these for others; she was Dorcas in the 20th Century.

And I’ll be forever grateful to this dear friend who kept it all these years – through two boys (now men!) who loved it and worked to share it – and gave it back to me for my Little People! (Thank-you, Cindy, for such amazing thoughtfulness!)

One day last week after showering DJ, I wrapped him in the towel and sat him on my lap – like he loves! (We call it: “A hug from Grandma who’s already in heaven!”)

And I got to reminiscing about my Mommy...

“She would love you so much...”

“She would be so proud of you and of the fact that you look like Daddy...”

“And of the things you say and do...”

I miss my Mommy so very much – and at the most random moments! But I was feeling especially nostalgic right then. The tears were dangerously close to the surface...

And then DJ said (in that frank and open way of his): “No one loves like you do, Mommy.”

♥ ♥ 

(But I had the very best teacher – who taught us all first and foremost by her example!)

06 May 2016

Our Little Lady! ♥

We’re eagerly awaiting the rest of the family pictures...

This one is a sneak peek!

Look who’s growing up?! 

Photo credit: FotoGonza