Catching up.

4:17 PM

Well, believe it or not, we're still alive over here at the Smucker household.

    Things have been busy, as you have probably have been able to guess by the lack of posting.  It's strange, you would think it would work the other way...when I am busy there would be lots of things to post about and when I'm not, there would be a lull.  But the lulls definitely abound on the blog when it is the opposite in the real world, and I find myself too caught up in the whirlwind of life to think much about blogging.  Plus, when Blogger decides to go on strike and make posting photos next-to-impossible that doesn't help the "hiatus" situation any.

Moving on we are BEHIND on updates, (and everything else, I know) and so here goes.

Charlotte is of course growing like a weed and is over 10 months old by now.  Did I miss the 9 month update???!  Ug, I hope not....I'm too lazy to go back and check right now.  In any case, here she is at a whopping 10 and 1/2 months old.  And boy is she ever CUTE. It's o.k. for me to say that because it's common knowledge that all moms think their babies are darling, so.....moving on. Her most recent developments are two more teeth (making 6!!!) and her first word, "mama" (sweet victory, since Jocelyn's were "dada") and playing peek-a-boo, all by herself.    She has been growing more and more active, pulling herself up and standing, and mastering the art of climbing stairs, making no place safe anymore with our stairs all over the place.  She is still a charmer, generally happy except for when she's working on teeth, and still a good nurser.  She loves her daddy and always give a nice reaction when he comes home from work.  She eats a little bit of anything these days, and usually just eats bits of whatever we're having for dinner.  I am already starting to think about her big birthday coming up in June, and I can't wait to celebrate her dedication to the Lord on Mother's Day.  

   Charlotte, you are just as sweet as you could be.  I love when you wake up from a nap and your hair is all fuzzy and your cheeks so flushed and pink.  I have enjoyed these past 10 months with you so much and I am excited to see how much you will grow and change this summer!  Hopefully you will start walking before your big sister did so we can enjoy that while the weather is nice. You are so dear to me.  I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be.  

 So funny to me how Big sister has no desire to smile for pictures when she's the primary subject, but as soon as I'm taking them of baby sis, suddenly she can't resist getting into every shot and cheesing for all she's worth.  Little stinker. Just ignore the wild hair/random hair clips too.  It's hard enough to prepare one child for pictures!

 This 10-month photo shoot just slayed me.  After dressing her I found myself already fighting tears. I'm not sure if it's the corduroy jumper, the tights, or the Mary Janes, but this outfit just said "First day of school" to me.  And Charli-babes, I am SO not ready for that. You need many, many moons and summers with your mama before you go skipping off to school without me, thank-you very much.

   Then we have our sweet Jocelyn.  Oh my, she has been changing too.  She is in that stage of life where it seems nearly each day she is a little bit taller, stronger, bigger.  She is putting words together more and more, and the other day she got her purse and her baby and told me all about how she was going off to town to get groceries, and she was planning to get cheese, an apple, and other things.  It was precious.

   The three of us are all battling nasty colds, so we couldn't go to the weekly play date today.  I missed seeing the other moms and felt the need to get out so we headed to the park and spread our germs there.  Plus I hear that fresh air can help with colds? Myth? Truth? Help me out here.

    The playground is certainly one of her favorite things in life right now, and I'm still not sure if I go there totally for her pleasure, or for mine.  Not only is it relaxing and good to be out in the fresh air, but I always have a good, healthy dose of the "Good-Mom drug" by the time I leave.  You other moms know what I'm talking about.  We berate ourselves daily for a million different little things that make us feel like "bad moms". Things we forget, things we don't do and should, or do and shouldn't....things we say, things that annoy us, and times we show it.....the list goes on and on.  But every once in a while, there is that craft, or activity, or thing you do that just instantly gives you a shot in the arm of "Good Mom" feeling.  And taking my kids to the park does that for me.  They have fun, I feel like a Good Mom, it truly is a win-win.  And after all, we need it don't we?  Us moms are so HARD on ourselves 99.9% of the time.

    Let's see, what else is she doing lately.....  She is starting to put together where places are, and can guess sometimes where we are going.  This is of course a cause of great sorrow if I turn the opposite direction of a place she thinks we should be going to.  She also has people she is getting quite attached to, and asks to pray for them BY NAME every, single day. It is precious, but makes for lengthy prayers sometimes, even when I'm just trying to bless her food, but that is a good thing, and I never want to discourage her from praying for the people she loves.  It's something I want to develop more in my life, and so this is a daily (multiple times!) reminder to do just that.  So if you're on her list, you're getting lots of prayers sent your way these days!!

    She  is very into her uncle Shelby, and lucky for her, he has been around quite a bit for the past year.  Did I ever mention on my blog that my younger brother has been living with us for over a year?  That's really weird if I haven't....anyways, he has been serving with Gospel Echoes and is living with us until the end of this year. He has been so wonderful with our girls, helping out with occasional babysitting and they both love him.    I'll have to get some pictures of him sometime on here.

   I love how lately everything is a "time" for her.  She wakes up and says, "Breakfast time! Breakfast time!" Over and over until I move in that direction.  Then it's "jammies time" "bath time" and "dishes time"  and anything else she deems it "time" for.  Kinda cute, kinda annoying.  Mostly cute though.

  It's so strange that for as much as she hates/fears animals, they make a big impression on her.  We saw a baby calf on a walk one day and she asks for the baby cow, without fail, every time we go on a walk.  And it's been a long time.  She also comments on the baby sheep, and how they're nursing, and the chickens with daddy at work (he has them over there as he's been making the hutch for them), etc.etc.  I am hopeful she is developing a tolerance for animals, and will soon be over her fears.

 Speaking of getting over happened almost before I even realized it.... she went down the big slide without me!  She's been going down the smaller ones for a long time now, but hadn't tackled the big one yet, and today she did.  No fanfare, no me chanting "You can do it!", nothing.  She just climbed up there and went.  And another teeny tiny piece of me died.  In a good way, of course.  Much like when they take their first step or stop nursing.  It's growth and change, and those are very good things, but some day she won't need me anymore, and each little baby step of independence is a reminder of that, and I can't seem to make myself not think about it.

   My precious Jocelyn, what a big girl you are growing up to be!  You are sleeping every night now in your big girl bed, and you seem so small in it.  I love your love for praying and for stories from the Bible.  I think it's safe to say your favorite is the one about Mary and baby Jesus, you ask for it every day.  You are starting to sing (finally!) and that thrills mama.  You are my big helper, getting diapers and wipes for me, helping wash dishes and putting your toys away.  I am thrilled to see how you have been growing and learning and changing.  You are a good sister, and I can't wait to see how the two of you girls are just going to be the BEST of friends.  I love you to the moon and back.

   And then there's us....well I have no pictures of us, but I suppose I can share a few random ones of what we've been up to lately.  We've had the weirdest weather lately.  Not too long ago it was gorgeous, luring me outside and my summer clothes out of hiding, and then....boom.  Cold and rainy again.  Today it was sunny and cold, and so you bundled up in layers and would nearly sweat in your car and then get out and freeze.  And I never have any idea how to dress for that weather. 

   To the ladies who told me about the audio feature on my Bible app....thank-you!  How perfect!  I was able to "read" some Psalms while watching my daughter play and kick back in the bright sun that makes actual reading on an iPhone very difficult.  Perfect.

   And just for fun, here's what our fridge looks like these days.  We are busy.  And I am a list-maker.  I am a list maker because I am unorganized, and lists make me feel like I can at least pretend there is a reason and rhyme to the thing, and it's not all threatening to swallow me whole at any given moment.  Lists give me a sense of calm, like "Oh hey, no big deal that the next 8 weekends are full, because it's on the calendar."  Or "Hey, no big deal that I have to make those desserts and food and snacks and etc. because it's on the list".  That sort of thing.  And even if it's a false sense of security I like it and I need it and don'tyoutakeitawayfromme.  

And here's the aforementioned chicken coop that my husband made for me.  Isn't it perfect?!

   A group of us ladies had the honor and privilege of attending the Living Proof Live Beth Moore conference this past weekend, and let me tell you...It. Was. Awesome.  If you've never been to one, you need to do yourself a big fat favor and GO.  Like, yesterday.  I was not even remotely prepared for how moving it would be.  The worship was so powerful, I wished it would have gone for hours.  The sessions spoke to many things I have been facing in my life RIGHT NOW and Beth Moore never once made it all about her.  It was all about Him.  It was such an uplifting, encouraging time, and I was so grateful to get to be a part of it all.  


    Well, I'm sure I could go on and on.  I guess that's what happens when you don't blog in forever and a day, but I'll wrap it up.  It's good to be back.

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  1. Loved hearing how you feel about your lists - they tend to make me feel the opposite. Having tons of things on my calendar makes me feel very busy. Maybe I need to learn to let them be my friends b/c this is a very busy season of my life!

  2. What absoulutly darling children you have! sounds like life has been busy:)


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