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 October 2016

“Happy Birthday, Little Man!”

This evening marks the sixth anniversary of our seeing – for the very first time – the face of a Baby Boy with whom we had already fallen deeply in love! For months we had called him by name, sung to him, spoken to him, and held him – all with him hidden away, in secret.

Hearing his first cry that night (a vigorous one!), I’d spoken comfortingly to my “Itty Bitty Boy” (causing one of the nurses to exclaim: I’m not sure he’s so “itty bitty” – at almost ten pounds!) He weighed 9 lbs. 14 oz. to be exact!

Upon hearing my voice, our Baby Boy had immediately stopped crying, amazing the nurses.

And when JM had spoken to him right afterward, he’d strained to open his eyes to see his Daddy for the very first time.

And that alert attitude has continued non-stop these past six years.

The kindergarten staff in Montevideo recently listed his “attentive, observant posture” (toward learning) as one of his academic strengths. And just this past week, he performed very well on standardized placement tests here in the USA. Looking back over the challenges of the past two years, we are especially thankful...

We love you, Little Man!

27 October 2016

Making Memories! ♥

Just a few glimpses of our first week of travel...

Pronto... Listo... ¡Ya!  [Ready... Set... Go!]
(Or maybe: “Ready or not, here we go!”)

We’re thankful for time with these precious friends – people who’ve impacted our lives because of their consistent love for Christ.

And I wonder if Brody the Bruin realized how privileged he was to have had his photo taken with two of the most avid soccer fans in the world?!

#SomosCelestes  #UruguayNoMá

¡Estamos re-felices de habernos encontrado
con una uruguaya muy querida!

And we’re especially thankful for time with extended family...

Love ‘em!

Bike, baseball, books! (And acorns!)

And a bonfire! (And birthdays!)

15 October 2016

“Hugs for my soul!”

The past two years have been intense on many levels for our family: Full of lessons of all kinds... For me... Lessons that were difficult and unsought... Moments that stand out, especially as seen through the lens not only of a mom but also of an educator... And as I look back, noting how much both E and DJ have learned and grown and profited, I am thankful (once again and more than ever) for our Loving Shepherd and His guiding – even down paths we would not have chosen then...

He always leads in righteous paths – for His own name’s sake! (What awesome truth!)

And anecdotes like the following are hugs for my soul:

In mid-September, inspired by E’s friend who spent the day with us, DJ spoke Spanish here at home almost all day. At one point, when told to wear a jacket to play outside, he asked:

¿Puedo usar la de Rayo McQueen?

I had to stop and process what he’d just said. (Huh?!)

Then I realized: That’s how you say “Lightning McQueen” in Spanish!

And I’m the one who first spoke Spanish to my two – and even before their births – but now I’ve gotta catch up with ‘em...

This boy still loves his blocks!

At the end of September, we were spending the afternoon with friends in northern Montevideo. DJ, who was drawing, held up his picture and asked:

¿Cómo me va quedando?

A truly “native” idiom that requires an equally idiomatic translation! He was inadvertently proving how much he truly thinks in Spanish!

And he loves drawing people right now...

In other (related) news... Several weeks of volunteering, teaching English at DJ’s kindergarten, came to a close on Thursday of last week. DJ was very proud to have me at his school. And I’m thankful for several especially good opportunities to witness of the eternal hope that is found in Christ. Another personal highlight was getting an in-depth evaluation of DJ’s academic progress from his teachers’ perspective. Suffice it to say that I’m very, very, very thankful!

On January 11 of this year, I’d written:

Awhile has passed since I last posted “funnies” from DJ. His being overwhelmed with the whole schooling challenge seems to have temporarily influenced even his communication at home. But, thankfully, his eager participation in “artistic expression” as he prepared for and then participated in his end-of-the-year program made him “turn a corner” in his communication overall.

We’re thankful for the gift the administration of the pre-school has been to our family this past academic year and especially for the directors’ insight and how their hope (that DJ’s participation in so many roles would act as a catalyst for verbal communication) paid off! Since December, DJ has constantly surprised us with his expressiveness in both English and Spanish!

(And on August 9 and 10 he started speaking Spanish at school – and hasn’t stopped at all since then!)

And here are some language “funnies” that I jotted to myself in email but did not get to include in blog posts.

On March 11 of this year DJ asked: “Is hair a kind of plant that grows on your body?”

[Is /heh-oh/ a kind of plant that /gwohz/ on /yo-uh/ body?]

He added: “When we give it water, it keeps growing!” [/gwoh-ing/]

Those comments came from a boy that still doesn’t enjoy either haircuts or getting his hair shampooed!

And this anecdote (from January 31, 2014) really got lost in email! (Keep in mind that’s it’s over two and a half years old now...)

They were so little back then!

While JM was away, counseling at  camp that summer, we other three had the following conversation:

E: My mosquito bites itch.

I: Well, mosquito bites are a fact of life right now; you’ll just have to ignore them.

DJM: I’m going to /ignohw/ mine /mohwquito/ bites!

I: Good! That means you’re not going to scratch them.

DJM: (chuckling, after that very key short pause when he’s processing the information) I’m not /ignohwing/ mine /mohwquito/ bites!

He understood my explanation! (Hee! Hee!)

12 October 2016

“¡Bienvenida, Primavera!”

In the last few weeks we’ve enjoyed extra opportunities for fellowship. The latest involved a day trip to Campamento Emanuel (on the coast) with Templo Calvario, one of the EMU churches in Montevideo.

Flying kites – or, in most cases, trying to do so – made for lots of fun and laughter!

DJ and E cheer for opposing soccer teams – the classic rivalry!

Being at camp always gives opportunity to admire God’s creation!

DJ especially enjoys being at the ocean...

He was totally in his element...

We’re thankful!

09 October 2016


El término discipulado sin duda tiene múltiples matices de significado, incluyendo las ideas de enseñanza, disciplina e impacto de individuos a través del vivir de día a día.

Y me parece que esta foto (casi) lo incluye todo (y especialmente la idea de lo “diario” del discipulado):

¡En pleno partido en el Estadio Centenario! 

08 October 2016

“¡Uruguay, te queremos!”

“Te queremos ver campeón...”

October 6, 2016, was a historic date for our Celeste!

We won against Venezuela’s national team, with a final score of 3 to 0 – the same score as that of our July 18, 2000, win (and the last time we’d been able to do more than tie with them on our own turf). What’s especially exciting for JM and me is that we were there for that game in 2000, which was JM’s first time attending a Celeste match!

(I have a picture somewhere of that game; I need to scan and post it here.)

We were also there, in our own Estadio Centenario, for Thursday’s historic game, with a dear friend, her brother, and one of our students, sitting right behind the goal when Edi Cavani scored his two goals – the first one only 15 seconds into the second half!

Incidentally, with those two goals, Edi Cavani tied with Diego Forlán for second place on the table of historic Celeste scorers, equaling Forlán’s record of 36 goals scored while playing with the national team. (And, for the record, Forlán is an outstanding team player, whose all-time professional record includes an impressive number of assists as well as goals!) We’re thankful to have been able to see these two play together along with Luis Suárez, another favorite.

Nico Lodeiro scored our first goal in the 28th minute of play.
[Photo credit: Marcelo Bonjour, Ovación]

An Argentine newspaper (Diario Perfil) echoed the typical sentiments surrounding Uruguay’s soccer players on the world stage:

La duda eterna: ¿Cómo hacen?
Con menos recursos que el resto, siempre se reconvierte:
Ahora terminó la primera rueda puntero. El proyecto de Tabárez.

The eternal question: How do they do it?
With fewer resources than the rest, they always come back:
Now they finished in first place in the first round. Tabárez’s plan.

Yes, iwas a historic game on multiple levels – and we’re thankful to have been a part. And in the midst of a couple of very demanding weeks, we welcomed the respite, distraction, and fellowship the occasion provided us.

Pray for us! (October Ministry Report)

These last two weeks, since returning from the Ladies’ Retreat in “33” have been intense for our family. Added to the “normal” comings and goings in our “home” area (upstairs) and the shared kitchen, office, and library/classroom areas (downstairs), we’ve had more than the “usual” opportunities for counseling and fellowship, including JM’s preaching for a three-day weekend of anniversary services in an EMU church in northern Montevideo.

In addition, there have been several “unusual” opportunities, including my editing of the autobiography of one of our veteran missionaries and substitute teaching (English) at DJ’s pre-school, as well as significant planning sessions for FEBU (the college project) involving us both.

You can read details about our last quarter and the upcoming quarter’s activities in our October Ministry Report (posted, as always, at Good News from a Distant Land).

We are constantly and keenly aware of our need for wisdom and strength to meet daily challenges. We appreciate your praying for us!