Say Cheese

We've I've been wanting to take our family pictures now for quite some time.  Since before Easter actually, partially because I went through the trouble of finding the boys something to wear that would coordinate with the dresses that I made for their sisters.  (I bought enough fabric to make shirts for the boys too, but when push came to shove, it was so much faster and easier to just click "add to cart" and be done with the whole outfit!  We took pictures at my cousins wedding in our "Easter clothes", but Tim wasn't there, so they were incomplete.  Easter pictures never happened. 

I've been thinking that there is no reason I couldn't take our family pictures.  I mean, I do it all the time at home for birthdays, where I set the camera on the tripod (or table), set the timer, press a button, run into the picture and smile and wait for the flash.  Yes, I can do this.  I decided that we would take our pictures at Holmes Lake on Labor Day.  It was pretty windy that REALLY windy, so maybe after school on Tuesday?  Nope...windy.  You must understand that we'd "tried" to work them in for several weeks already.  Friday?  Raining.  Saturday?  Maybe in the afternoon?  The weather couldn't have been more perfect and due to Amelia having been sick for several days and still not feeling great, we had already postponed other plans for the evening. 

Now...we are the parents of seven children.  They did not all come at the same time, so we've had years to learn all kinds of things.  Today, we didn't apply much of our knowlege.  Instead, we had this grand idea that since we were going to be dressed up for pictures, we could just go to church--and confession too, and THEN take pictures.  Sounds reasonable, right?  WRONG!  What were we thinking?  That we could feed our kids lunch at noon and then ask them to get dressed, behave, not get dirty, sit for over an hour and be quiet, and then go take pictures?  Keep in mind, we're also asking them to wait until 8 pm to eat dinner, AND Amelia's been sick for three days.  Somebody should've shot us!  Have we NEVER taken family pictures before?  It is the ONLY thing that should've happened this afternoon--on full stomachs.  My dear friend Nancy came and found us so we wouldn't have to use a tripod...I can't imagine how few pictures we would've taken without her...we definitely would've given up earlier I'm sure!

Not a terrible result, but this was near the end when everyone just wanted to be done.  Here is what happened first:

It could only get better from here, right?

Well...we'll keep trying.  Eventually EVERYONE will look at the camera.
Maybe we'll try Millie in a different place...and apparently stretch, check our hair, and see what else is going on around the lake today.
My pleasant, sweet, calm baby girl was absent today.  In her place we had this crabby, screaming little monster.  (In her defense though, she has been sick.)  We tried to distract her and start again.

Nope...still not working.

This?  This she was happy about.  (Until we took her away and tried to take more pictures!)

Phase TWO.  Forget the parents, just get some pictures of the kids.

Getting there...

We finally just moved to Millie and hoped she would turn and smile in between hands full of sand being thrown into the lake.  We're going to come back and try again another time--with no expectations!  I guess this is why we pay Erica the big bucks!  :)  Thanks Nancy for selflessly taking your time to eliminate my need for a tripod. 

We did go out to eat afterward, and after the picture dissaster, we felt redeemed when we were given many, many compliments on our beautiful, well-behaved family.  (And a few, "You're brave for taking your kids out to eat in white!")  It's just laundry!  :)