I Love Photographers

Since I am totally on the ball not on the ball at all, I was forced into taking pictures of my kids for a Christmas card. Let me be more specific: a picture of a three year old who still hasn’t decided what her signature smile will be and a 10-month-old who really just wants the camera so he can slam it to the ground. Which by the end of the night seemed like the best idea I’d heard.

To make matters worse, I am not a good photographer. Think of your Aunt Edna. The one who cuts off your head off or leaves the entire right half of your group picture out of the frame. That’s me. Factor in the antiquity of my Kodak EasyShare DX7400 with a time delay of oh, 97 seconds, and the chance of getting a decent picture of both Cado and Dutch is less likely than a recount claiming America really did elect McCain.

So here is a rundown of some of the shots we took. We=me and Big Guy. I have the camera in most shots and Big Guy is doing acrobatics like he was auditioning for the role of a clown in a traveling circus.

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Here we go! Not really off to a great start. I do like that this is a rockin’ shot of their pimp Christmas pajamas. (Note: should the words “pimp” and “Christmas” really be in the same zip code? Probably not.)

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In retrospect this one is not that bad if you ignore the red in Dutch’s eyes. I realize the length on his bottoms is a little long. When you have a 27-pound 10-month old in the 96th percentile in weight and 60th in height, this is just a fact of life. I’m hanging on to the thread of hope that we are going to cycle back through some of his clothes as he lengthens and thins. Which he will. Just watch. It will happen. Really. I didn’t merge my 5-foot family with a family of leaf eaters for nothing.

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Yep, he’s not so interested in staying put.

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Give. Me. That. Camera.

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Who needs Dutch? In fact, most of the people we are sending this card to might not even know we had another baby. Maybe we should just pretend, momentarily, that we meant to just send pictures of Cado. Yes. I think we are on to something …

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He didn’t like that idea. He caught wind of it and was really hurt he was being cut out of the picture. Literally. You can see the distress on his face.

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So maybe he really is more of a behind-the-scenes-kind-of-guy.  But hey! At least you have your first glimpse of Big Guy. You know what they say about big Rolex watches. Oh, really? They don’t say anything? Well, I’ll be. He really had me!

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Plan P. Use a ball to distract Dutch. Much to the utter delight of Big Guy, Dutch loves to play with a ball of any size … and with a little help you can actually convince yourself he is playing catch. This tactic would have worked if it weren’t for the hinderance of the DX740. Like I said, a shutter delay of 97 seconds does not make for great pictures (at least on purpose). For about every 951 pictures you take, one or two might cause your heart to leap within.

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IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII ssssuuurrrreeeennnnnddduuuurrr  aaaawwwwllllllll …

I wish I could tell you this was the extent of the picture flops. Not a chance. I have 70 pictures and the ones here are a random sampling of a torturous night of frantic picture attempts with delayed shutter speeds. My cards, however, are ordered.

You might be wondering which picture made it to the final cut. Well, you are just going to have to wait until you get your card in the mail. But at this rate, we considered saying “Happy MartinLuther King Day!” We’ll just have to see if the Free Rush Shipping! is just for the hopelessly naive.

Next year I’m getting their pictures taken in October by a professional photographer so like other respectable moms our cards will be beautiful and in the mail Dec. 1. Let me just think that until Dec. 1 2009 rolls around.

In the end, the card is not about us, our kids, their pajamas or even when it arrives. It is about acknowledging Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ our Savior. What there is not space to say on a 5×5 card we will say here: It is our family’s prayer for you to know the depth of The Father’s love experientially in your life.

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

John 3:16-18 /The Message

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Party Girl

There was a time when that meant something entirely different to me. I won’t take you on a sordid trip down memory lane. Okay it’s not that sordid. Really. Maybe. Who have you been talking to?

Either way that is not the trip we are taking today. In fact, we will just leave that a road less traveled.

The trip we are taking today skips over the posts I have in my “drafts” section that muse on everything from religiousness to baby dedications to running. We are going straight to a quick update on Cado and her recent Christmas party. This is not a deep, thoughtful post. It’s just a post of some fun my girl and I had.

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Baking cookies with an independant, strong-willed, opinionated three-year-old is a lesson in How To Live Life In The Spirit. Even when they are this adorable. Partiality noted. It is also a lesson in creativity. I think I stand to learn a few things from her.

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These are my peeps. From left to right: My Decorator and general Woobie, my go-to Child Developer/Christmas Party Book Reader, and my Party Consultant. They are very official in their posts and they made this venture infinitely more fun.

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In my silly little mind, I thought the girls would decorate one or two cookies, uh, beautifully, and then skip away to play ring-around-the rosy. I got that about half right.

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You have no idea how much dusting sugar (WHAT was I thinking?) six little girls can put on a single cookie. See that pile of green sugar just underneath Cado’s green hand? Yep. There is a cookie gasping for air under there.

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Look at these girls! This picture reminds me of one of my Kindergarten class (about this size, actually). I look at it now and can remember the names of each person, know today where most of them are, and still communicate with a few of them. When I look at this little gaggle of girls, I wonder if they will still be frosting cookies together when we moms are not around to make them.

I consider the party a success on the single basis that not one of their outfits was ruined. Hooray! Also, they really did all have a great time. Or at least that’s what the moms told me. They also did a craft project and listened to Miss C read the Christmas Story.  All in all, I can check “Three Year Old Christmas Cookie Decorating Party” off of my list.

For 11 months.