Christmas Letter

I’m supposed to be writing our Christmas letter right now, but I’m just staring at a blank computer screen.

Maybe I’m still a bit brain dead after directing the children’s Christmas program over the weekend.

I’m not sure if I could correctly identify my own children right now, let alone describe in coherent sentences what they did all year!

But at least I have the family picture taken!

We took it on a horribly hot day back in August when Matt was home.

Well, actually, I should say “they” took it.  I made them get all dressed up, go to a nearby park in excessive heat and high humidity so Pedro’s special gal (bless her!) could take their picture –  while I stayed in the air conditioning. 🙂

I’m such a good mom like that.

DSC_0281She did a wonderful job – especially considering the hot, sweaty and slightly goofy group she was photographing.

Each with their own personality and quirks.

The girls had searched Pinterest for cool ways to pose.

But they didn’t always work the way they were supposed to.

DSC_0243 Gotta love the awkward group hug.

At least they like each other.

Most of the time.

But maybe not so much when they are sweaty.

And then there’s this shot…

DSC_0285It pretty much sums up the entire year.

Life with these kids is never dull.

Now to put it in words and get it sent.

And my mind goes blank…

The Dreaded Christmas Picture

It’s that time again.

Time to take the dreaded Christmas picture.  Time to find all the children, make sure they are cleaned and in coordinating outfits, line them up somewhere with a good background, make sure everyone is looking in the right direction, and have somebody snap a picture to memorialize the moment for all time.

I was ready this year!

When my niece got married in June, the photographer graciously snapped a picture of the whole family.

Bingo! There’s my Christmas picture – so easy – so painless.

Or so I thought…

When I pulled the photo up last week to send it in I was a little surprised. Okay – a lot surprised.

This picture was taken 6 months ago and I had forgotten to factor in adolescence.

Pedro grew almost 3 inches since that photo was taken and filled out. His entire appearance changed.

Now what?

The kids suggested a family shot in camouflage pants and black t-shirts – with guns. I nixed that one fast. Couldn’t you just see that one on Grandma’s refrigerator all year?!

Then Jan reminded me of all the family shots we took on our epic adventure in September.  Would one of them work?

Good question. I wondered if we could actually find a picture from a ten day camping trip in the mountains that I would want people to see?!

We decided to give it a try and sent Angel Girl to browse the over 3000 shots on the computer for all family pictures.

She came up with about 7 where everybody was actually in the picture and looking at the camera. We quickly eliminated the ones where the National Park sign was bigger than the children and where the boys hats covered most of their faces. (Note to self – on our next epic family adventure I will make the boys remove all head gear before pictures!)

Then I cut out all the ones that I was in (let’s just say I looked like I had been camping!) – and was left with one acceptable shot.

Christmas Pic Teton

The kids are all there looking in the right direction, you can almost see all of their faces, and they look like they are having fun.

Bingo – we have a family picture!

Actually – the more I look at it – the more I like it.  They look relaxed and comfortable. It captured who we are – blue jeans and cotton t-shirts, fleece hoodies and flip flops.

And best of all – it’s done.