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.

31 July 2017

(Mini) Family Vacation!

Besides marking the end of the month, July 31 marks the beginning of second semester for FEBU this year. We’re thankful to have been able to spend a few days “off” (albeit coming and going) out at the camp in Guazuvirá.

We love “our” camp!

On the 17th, we took a drive further east, stopping at (or at least photographing) some of our favorite places.

Cerro Pan de Azúcar (“Sugarloaf” Hill)
[JM and DJ have decided that this will be
the first “mountain” they hike together!]

Mirador de Punta Ballena

Looking from Punta Ballena toward Punta del Este

♥ 18 years, learning together on this journey called life! 
[Photo credit: our very own E!]

Looking from Punta Ballena toward Piriápolis and Pan de Azúcar

Los Dedos in Punta del Este

Echoing what I said in May, I’m thankful for the gift of photography and the potential to cherish past moments like the jewels they are, holding them up and turning them so they sparkle again...

These past four weeks “off” (from teaching) have been busier than ever: organizing logistics for the FEBU block class at the camp in Paysandú (JM), taking an online course and wrapping up [late!] grading from last semester (me), and preparing teaching materials for this next semester (both of us).

The distance and our family’s school schedule did not allow us to attend the block class held up north, so we’re especially thankful for this past weekend and the time our family was able to spend with Ken Casillas (our friend and former teacher and pastor).

A highlight of his time in MVD for E & DJ was asking lots of questions
– and learning a little Hebrew! J

27 July 2017

Story Time!

Ten days ago, our Little Man (who had just become the proud owner of a brand new notebook) wrote a story (in English) on his own initiative, without our knowing that he was doing so.

“The /Sirt/ and The Flag” [by DJM]
(You can click on the picture to enlarge it.)

Please note that both the spelling (reflecting his [mis]pronunciations) and the punctuation are his original work! As a writing teacher, I’m amazed that he has managed to pick up so many rules of punctuation, seemingly by osmosis!

E’s example and enthusiasm (with “Un Cuento Celeste”), plus our being out at the camp, likely contributed to the storyline – and I especially love the theme of solidarity he displays!

 E is a great little teacher (even if she doesnt understand
the concept of Zone of Proximal Development quite yet!) 

Those wheels are always turning...!

Yesterday while DJ finished his lunch, gazing at the fire in the fireplace, he confided to JM [paraphrased]:

“You never really stop thinking. Because when you think you’ve stopped, you’re thinking about stopping!”

JM wisely replied (to our often over-tired Little Man):

“That’s why you have to go to sleep sometimes – so you can stop thinking!”

[Not much changes in two years or so, eh?!] J

25 July 2017

City Sunrise!

7:57 a.m.

On the way to school...


23 July 2017

“¡Feliz Día, Papá!”

“Father’s Day!” was last Sunday here in Uruguay. Life is crazier than usual right now, so we’ve celebrated in episodes.

E and DJ both (on their own initiative) gave gifts involving drawings that mirror aspects of our daily life as a family.

DJ’s reflect things that Daddy enjoys and/or that they enjoy together.

(You can enlarge the drawings by clicking on the collage!)

My favorites are riding the “103” (i.e. the crowded public bus!) to school, playing the piano (specifically “Milonga” as you can see if you look carefully at the next-to-last drawing), and soccer – of course!

E’s pictures are a good reflection of daily home life...

Crafts, computers, blocks, books, reading together...
(And “Abu Julia” enjoying the fireplace in winter!)

Our Little People amaze us constantly! The more I learn about cognitive psychology (especially as related to child development and education), the more I realize that our two are “normal” kids – who are being blessed with unusual opportunity!

As I read over and over again the crucial role that language development plays in cognitive development (and even in structuring the brain itself), I can’t help but wonder about the role that bilingualism is playing in these two!

I’m thankful! And humbled... Although there are educators who ignore, in practice, what they had to have been taught in theory, even those life experiences are part of the eclectic educational package that we are being gifted. The blessings include experiences that we would not have chosen ourselves but that are yielding advanced cognitive results beyond our expectations!