dual personalities

We’re doing all right.

Well, y’all. We’ve reached week two with the dear pup. It has been a long ten days. A new puppy, a new puppy owner, and a downtown (even if it is Jefferson City) apartment is a lot for one person to handle. Thankfully, I have my mother and sister who can talk me off the ledge with grace and love each night.

The pup is growing! He’s getting heavy to carry around! And he’s getting cuter!

Lest you think he is calm and cuddly all the time, most of the time he looks more like this.

We had our first rainy day today (with several more in the forecast grrr) and thus our first wet no fun walk.

But, he handled it like a champ.

In other news, downtown Jefferson City had it’s Living Windows night on Friday. Last year, my parents were in town and we went to the Governor’s Mansion to see the decorations. This year, I wandered alone while worrying I was a bad dog mom for putting Mr. Smith in the crate.

I enjoyed seeing the crowds at the windows looking very old fashioned.

I also loved that High Rise Bakery had a family dressed as the nativity outside.

It warmed my heart.

“And this is the confidence that we have toward him in that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears it.” (1 John 5:14)

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning

I love this rendition of an old Anglican Christmas hymn by the Gettys and Ricky Skaggs! Ricky Skaggs always gets it right–better than that old bishop could ever imagine.

Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Vainly with gifts would His favor secure;
Richer by far is the heart’s adoration,
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.

–Reginald Heber, 1811

Although I became disillusioned with Disney as far back as the early 1990s, I still find this shocking and disturbing.

But then, I have literally been saying this for thirty years.

This is a good one from Andrée Seu Peterson.

The author of Hebrews (5:14-6:2) was frustrated at laying the same groundwork over and over again and was impatient to move on to meatier subjects.

We will need the meat and not just milk before too long.

And if you know, you know:

The light shines in the darkness

A busy week and a busy weekend! Non-stop activity. On Friday I helped decorate the church…

By Sunday morning it looked really nice and very festive!

On Saturday daughter #1 buzzed home to introduce the wee doggie and get a break from being home alone with a semi-frenzied pup. (She doesn’t look too frazzled herself, does she?)

Mr. Smith is quite a cutie and we all took to him immediately…(especially the wee bud who was very angry when the pup had to go into his crate and he had to go home…Life is hard sometimes.)

On top of all this we checked off a few important things on my To Do list: we bought a Christmas tree from our super friendly local Optimists…

…and daughter #1 put up the outside Christmas lights!

I also managed to go to my church’s Advent ladies’ tea held at the seminary where I had never been. (No pictures) It was very nice–there were scones and cucumber sandwiches and tea and hymn singing and a spiritual message!

During the service at church on Sunday the Covenant School (4-5 grades) Ensemble sang a “Celtic Noel,” the organist played a dramatic version of Handel’s “For Unto Us a Child is Born” and my Bible Study leader sang an operatic rendition of the Lord’s Prayer (Lottie spontaneously clapped at the end) and we all sang some good Advent hymns. Yes, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Afterwards we had bagels and creme cheese and the twins got another chance to frolic with Mr. Smith. Then everyone went home and I collapsed.

(We also FaceTimed with this precious angel…)

Hail, the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings
Risen with healing in his wings
Mild he lays his glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

–Charles Wesley

I am listening hard

It has grown cold here in flyover country, but, so far, no snow.

But I like this poem by Billy Collins.

The painting, Snow West Village New York City, is by Anthony Butera.

Peace be within thy walls

Well, I caught up with my Bible reading and I decorated the mantle…

I got out all the framed Christmas pictures of visits to see Santa past and present…

…so the house is starting to look rather festive.

And here’s Sting singing one our favorite Advent hymns!

The angel Gabriel from Heaven came,

His wings as drifts of snow,

His eyes as flame, ‘All hail, said he, ‘Thou lowly maiden Mary,

Most highly favored lady, Gloria!

-Edgar Pettman, Sabine Baring-Gould

Meet Mr. Smith!

Well, get ready for Wednesday dog content, readers! Yes, Mr. Smith the West Highland Terrier has arrived. He’s full of vim and vigor, hates to be confined, and loves to snuggle while watching TV. We’re still getting to know each other and adjusting to regular nighttime potty breaks, but he sure is cute. He’s named after one of the best movie dogs, played by dog actor extraordinaire Asta, the wire fox terrier.

More to come next week, I’m sure!

Tidings of comfort and joy

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

–James 4:7-8

I am trying to catch up on my bible reading. I fell behind last week. It is a lot, but I am forging ahead. (And it is all pretty great.)

Meanwhile Sunday was the first Sunday in Advent. The year is racing to its conclusion! They have, of course, started playing Christmas music intermittently on the Christian radio station, which can be irritating, but I liked this rendition of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. (A banjo always adds a lot.)

This was very interesting: “Operation Pedestal: Two Lessons for the Contemporary Spiritual Battle From the Relief of Malta 1942”

Anne, of course, has something good to say about being thankful. “It is the gracious passage of time that makes difficult moments endurable. It is the effulgent light of eternity that makes all the difficulties of the present tolerable.”

And this is a good article about a fellow St. Louisan and Presbyterian who died last week: “When grief holds hands with gratitude.”

Grace and peace to you!

The painting is The Penitent Magdalen by Georges de La Tour, circa 1640.

Come let us walk in the light of the Lord*

Last week was exhausting and I will need a week to recover! But, of course, we had a wonderful time together doing all the things.

Watching the parades with Mimosas and cinnamon rolls…

Eating big meals…

…and throwing a swingin’ party on Friday complete with DN’s party punch and charcuterie board…

But we totally forgot to take any pictures!

After daughter #2, DN and Katie headed back east, we consoled ourselves with bingeing our favorite Christmas movies to start off the holidays…

And we put up the little tree…

After bringing up lots of Christmas stuff from the basement, daughter #1 left Sunday morning to pick up her new puppy…

…and we went to church with the boy and the wee twins. Afterwards we celebrated the boy’s birthday in our familiar style…

…with food (you don’t have to eat your veggies on your birthday!) and cake and presents…

And then I collapsed.

*Isaiah 2:5

More postcards

Today is a day for giving thanks! We are thankful for so many things…

The Ultimate Fam…

…Cousins…

…Shared interests…(checking out the prices at an antique mall)…train ’em early!

…lunch out with the Compton Ladies…

…vintage Beanie Babies…

Jumpin’ on the trampoline…

Pete the Cat!

My cup runneth over. Relax and enjoy the Mimosas, the parades, the food, the family, Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), a fire in the fireplace, living in America, and all the blessings of this life.

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:17

Sneak preview.

Here’s a little sneak preview of the goodness that’s about to hit the blog on Wednesdays.

Yes, I am getting a West Highland Terrier this coming weekend and his cuteness will grace the blog. One more thing to be thankful for, am I right?