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.

24 November 2017

Happy B-Day [Party], DJM!

This year, we ended up celebrating on a smaller scale than usual, with only extended family and some of our “adopted” family.

Our Little Man insisted on recycling the soccer and baseball party themes, combining them. (I didn’t mind!)

As I later wrote to each of our “adopted” kids:
We enjoyed getting to spend time “as family” with everyone present. We really appreciate the positive influence you have in the lives of our two Little People.

The busyness of life, with ever-increasing demands, has inspired me to come up with a new application of a favorite psalm (one that JM chose twelve years ago as a testimony during our church’s annual Thanksgiving Service when we were  finally  expecting our first).

The passage has often moved me to tears:

“Who is like the LORD our God?”

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
[and now “The Mission House”] ūüėŹ
as a joyful mother of children.
Praise the LORD!
(Psalm 113)

Back then, we would never have imagined a life – or especially a house – surrounded by college students. I am especially thankful for these who so beautifully illustrate the truths of today’s article from Desiring God Foundation:
In the new-covenant era — our era — the family emphasis in Scripture is not mom, dad, and three kids. It’s the church family. When the biblical priority gets reversed, it hinders rather than helps the growth of God’s people.
Of course, we must seek to uphold the importance of the nuclear family, but we don’t want to make an idol of it. If we consider what the apostles emphasized, we see that their focus was much more on the Great Commission, personal holiness, and growing the church family. And it is this family from which no single Christian is to be left out.

So thankful to be seeing truth lived out... Especially thankful to be seeing Jesus in our students...

21 November 2017

End of Semester Thoughts

We’re thankful for random (last-minute) invitations to participate in life’s adventures – including cross-cultural yet local experiences – with college students.

Last week when the students’ first choice closed early, we discovered another (new to us) Peruvian restaurant right here in MVD!

The workload in the developing college project often becomes overwhelming – at times even compelling us to temporarily “borrow” time and resources from other areas of life. I am, however, encouraged this second time around (in contrast with this same point in the first cycle of foundational grammar and composition courses).

One week ago, I got to running the numbers...

If every student turns in all assignments, by the end of this week I will have graded research-writing projects at least 99 times this semester! (And that doesn’t even count all the work JM has put into grading.) That’s quite a bit for a start-up operation!

Details! Details! Details!
[Argumentation, exegesis, parenthetical documentation,
paragraphing, punctuation, etcetera!]

I am thankful to be team-teaching with JM. (I hope he feels the same!) In all seriousness, I am thankful for his insight, suggesting that we divide the major research-argumentation paper (a first, remedial experience for the majority of our students) into its five sections, grading bit by bit all along. Besides breaking down an otherwise daunting task into workable sections (for ourselves and our students), this approach has allowed us all to see (and to gauge) improvement throughout the project, enabling us to provide more practical, hands-on learning than ever before. And that aspect has been especially encouraging!

One challenge for those with clear vision is the time it takes for others – even teammates – to truly appreciate and begin to share that vision. Trying to teach basic research and writing skills (albeit on a remedial level) is a long-term investment, and I am thankful to be involved in this work that is foundational to the success of the college project...

16 November 2017

¡Y es narniano!

Mucho ha cambiado en estos tres √ļltimos a√Īos¡Ahora es el narniano m√°s peque√Īo de nuestro grupo!

#Cr√≥nicasDeNarnia  #CSLewis  #filosof√≠a

11 November 2017

Celebrating Life!

Looking through photos, I was noticing a pattern and wondering: Why do we end up celebrating late-October birthdays in mid-November (or even later)?

The workload of the last several weeks has reminded me: Ah, yes! Grading research papers (and miscellaneous late work) will do it every time!

Thankfully, we have a long-standing tradition we like to call “birthday season” in our little family! This week we managed to “sneak away” for a couple hours, and DJ enjoyed opening some “belated” b-day presents.

Meet Tommy (and some friends).
Everything about him is . . .

And, by that evening, he had finished reading the entire book! (What?!) And he wanted the story to keep going... ūüėŹ

We love our Little Man!

09 November 2017

Little Engineer!

I just love the details provided by my Little Man’s engineering mind! 

And the cut-away view... ūüėŹ

Can you spot the wiring inside the console in the cockpit? What about the “controls” the pilots use? And the exit doors in the airplane? (Hint: One is on the wing!) He even explained that the exit doors open up to become slides...

By this time, I probably shouldn’t be at all surprised that our Little Engineer’s “record button” was on when we last traveled (late last year), remembering stuff I may or may not have actually focused any attention on...

His focus constantly amazes me!

07 November 2017

Learning French!

Je suis heureuse! Ils commencent à étudier le français un peu!

#FirstThousandWordsInFrench #QuiACreeLeMonde

06 November 2017

“Desde Sim√≥n a Pedro”

Vivimos en “la era del vac√≠o”, as√≠ ha denominado a nuestros d√≠as el fil√≥sofo contempor√°neo Gilles Lipovetsky. Su definici√≥n filos√≥fica para nuestra realidad es desarrollada en diferentes conceptos de los cuales voy a destacar dos: “Vivir sin ideal, sin objetivo trascendente resulta posible” y “vivir el presente perdiendo el sentido de continuidad hist√≥rica”.

La vida del Ap√≥stol San Pedro no encaja temporalmente dentro de esta “era del vac√≠o”, pero comparte su misma esencia. Compart√≠a en su interior la realidad de ser poco trascendental y sentirse incompleto.

El libro que tienes en tus manos revela el maravilloso encuentro entre un coraz√≥n vac√≠o y la eternidad... Una familia, alg√ļn pu√Īado de amigos, pocas expectativas y una gran boca defin√≠an a Pedro. Lo que √©l a√ļn no sab√≠a era que su vida estaba a punto de cambiar para siempre. Lo que no sab√≠a era que dejar√≠a las aguas y comenzar√≠a a pescar en la tierra. Lo que no sab√≠a era que su coraz√≥n, metas y sue√Īos ser√≠an transformados. Lo que estaba a punto de iniciar era el viaje que lo convertir√≠a en el l√≠der m√°ximo del movimiento m√°s importante de la historia. He aqu√≠ parte de su historia; he aqu√≠ su viaje... desde Sim√≥n a Pedro.

Al comenzar a leer el libro, me llamó la atención Рrealmente me tocó profundamente Рel punto final del Prólogo:

Qui√©n sabe si puedas encontrarte t√ļ tambi√©n con el maravilloso Dios que caminaba a orillas del Mar de Galilea en sandalias. Vivimos en “la era del vac√≠o”, excelente oportunidad para buscar la verdad que puede llenarlo.

Esa es mi oración para todos tus lectores.

Fotos: FotoGonza

Ser parte en la presentación de este libro fue para mí un gran privilegio, un verdadero punto alto en este semestre.

¡Felicitaciones, Maxi! Te queremos mucho.

¡Gracias a Dios!

04 November 2017

Memory Lane: North America

An email message from Shutterfly today reminded me of “memories from this week six years ago...”

What fun to take an unexpected little trip down Memory Lane!

Banff National Park, Canadian Rockies



My Mountain Men!

A Fun Project!

We then headed south, out of Canda, to Utah!

“Between Birthdays!”

We Utah!

SO thankful for the blessings of digital photography!

03 November 2017

¡Me encanta! ♥

Me encanta lo que representa este trabajo escolar. Ya me lo imagino a mi peque, concentrado, copiando cada detalle...


31 October 2017

Birthday Celebrations!

We took a birthday drive east this year. In the spirit of full disclosure, the day turned into one of those that’s not comprised mainly of “Kodak Moments” – a phrase which I’m guessing could translate as “fb post-able moments” in modern vernacular! At any rate, the afternoon proved to be one in which the demands of life caught up, especially with our exhausted Little People, and we ended up driving back home (a lot) sooner rather than later.

But I’m thankful for moments spent as a family last Saturday.

On Friday evening our college students had organized an informal “snack and fellowship time” before our chapel hour. I made a last-minute coffee cake, and we surprised JM by singing to him. (The “light red” balloons, I must clarify, were left over from a church function.)

“¡Qu√© los cumplas feliz!”

DJ took a cake to school yesterday. Initially, he was rather unsure about the idea – but ended up having a great time!

¡Feliz Cumple!

And so life – with all the current end-of-semester demands and challenges – rolls along! We feel keenly our need for grace! And we are thankful for our gracious, loving Shepherd!

23 October 2017

Pray for us! (October Ministry Report)

We appreciate your praying for Uruguay!

You can read details about activities of the past several months as well as those planned through the end of the year in our October 2017 Report (posted, as usual, at: Good News from a Distant Land).

We rest on Him and in His strength we go!

You can also read our abbreviated July 2017 Report there on the blog.

The Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You (Psalm 84:11-12).

22 October 2017

Iglesia Bíblica Maranatha

“¡Gracias, chicos, por todo el trabajo hoy! ¡Son una bendici√≥n!”

Fue un día soleado (en contraste a aquel a fines de mayo).

¡Gracias a Dios!

¡Pasamos relindo!

Sigamos orando que Dios obre por medio de su Palabra compartida...

19 October 2017

¡URUGUAY nom√°!

¡Uruguay clasific√≥ al Mundial Rusia 2018!

Video de Vicky Rodríguez

13 October 2017


Life was exciting at our Estadio Centenario on Tuesday evening! What a way to clinch our spot to Russia 2018!

We thoroughly enjoyed the evening with friends.


Photo credits: Asociaci√≥n Uruguaya de F√ļtbol

Photo credits: Asociaci√≥n Uruguaya de F√ļtbol

This is my favorite picture of the evening!
“Oscar Washington Tab√°rez is an institution in Uruguayan football, having taken charge of the national team at Italy 1990, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014. Known as El Maestro, Tab√°rez is an attack-minded coach fabled for his astute tactics and fatherly approach to his players. The mastermind of Uruguay’s 2011 Copa Am√©rica title win, he also has extensive experience at club level, with Pe√Īarol, Boca Juniors and Milan among the sides he has coached” (

30 September 2017


Two years ago I used the same title: E had been chosen as one of seven finalists in her age group in a national writing contest – Un Cuento Celeste – sponsored by AUF (the Uruguayan Football Association).

She participated again this year.

Although she did not place this time, we decided to attend Thursday evening’s awards ceremony to visibly support the educational effort represented.

She was (and we were!) surprised by an unsought and unplanned opportunity...

Photo credit: Asociaci√≥n Uruguaya de F√ļtbol

I’ve been a bit discouraged in the past several weeks – given current issues and challenges on the educational landscape (both general and personal) – and specifically asking my Loving Shepherd to intervene in unmistakable, encouraging ways...

“Thank-you, God!”

Photo credit: Asociaci√≥n Uruguaya de F√ļtbol

Although we’d crossed paths only three times previously with AUF’s Chief Press Officer, each time was a delight; he is such a humble, perceptive, personable professional! On Thursday when we “bumped into” him as we entered the auditorium where the awards ceremony was about to take place, he congratulated E. We quickly explained that she hadn’t won this time – but we were there to show our support for the contest. He was visibly appreciative...

As E and I filed into that last row, I overheard him asking JM for E’s name; I hurried her into her seat! (E later confessed that she overheard him asking for her last name, too.) I assumed he might acknowledge her (as a participant in the contest), asking her to stand for a moment (or something to that effect).

Instead, at the very end of the introductory remarks by sponsors and one of the jurors, he started to tell how, on his way into the auditorium, he had run into a contestant from a previous year and congratulated her; he told how he was surprised to learn that, although she had not won this time, she was there to show solidarity and congratulate current winners. He then proceeded to invite her to the front – to help give out the gifts!

Video: Asociaci√≥n Uruguaya de F√ļtbol

Having gone with the objective of a teachable moment – “rejoice with those who rejoice” (in the words of Paul in Romans 12) – we were surprised by extra joy! E was given amazing opportunity to live out the very values (“respect, solidarity and friendship”) highlighted by this writing contest.

The hoped-for teachable moment was turned into an incredible, rewarding experience for our family. “Better than winning!” JM and I agreed; this is the type of learning experience we will remember for life.

I love the mentors vision of Maestro Tab√°rez, our national team coach, and his legacy as the teacher he is, instilling values through his work with the team and the soccer association. “¡Gracias, Maestro!”

And I’m thankful beyond words for his assistant’s insight in recognizing and seizing what he recognized as a teachable moment, too. “¡Gracias, Mat√≠as!”

In Tab√°rez’s own words: “¡El camino es la recompensa!” (“The journey is the reward!”)

And Im SO thankful for *another hug* from our Loving Shepherd!

(And we got to enjoy the book fair, too!)

23 September 2017

¡Vacaciones de Primavera!

Comparto im√°genes que dan un buen resumen...

¡El poder de un buen libro! ¡Los cuentos de la selva (de Horacio Quiroga) al rescate! (Y fue idea de Dani...)

En las palabras de JM: “Esos minutos de paz... ¡Sin precio!”

Y a menudo las mejores oportunidades son aquellas que surgen de manera espont√°nea...


¡Un picnic, a √ļltimo momento, en el fondo de casa! (Fue otra oportunidad media espont√°nea).

¡Hay tanto para amar en esta foto!

Nos fuimos de paseo, ¡pi, pi, pi!” (¡En un auto lindo!)



“¡Feliz Cumple!” para un compa√Īero de clase de Eli.

(Dani, feliz de ser invitado también).

Y esta noche vamos como familia a una reunión inter-iglesias...

¡Gracias, Dios!