Squeezing in together time

It’s here people….. ice cream time is here!! To be very honest, the ice cream place by our house is open all year (yay!), but we generally don’t walk up there until all the snow is melted. Takes a while in Ohio….

Yesterday, was the first trip. ALL 4 kids came with me, none able to withstand the lure of blue cosmo, cookies n cream, or that peanut butter banana smoothie. I love…. LOVE when I can get the 4 of them to go somewhere with me. Especially because now, the clock is ticking. The oldest is counting down the days until she flies the coop for college, having them all together after that is going to be a lot less frequent.

So in honor of our togetherness, I forced encouraged them to smile at the camera as I tried to snap some candid moments around the ice cream table.

They are THRILLED

They are THRILLED

Most of the time, these are not amazing pictures. It is impossible to get them all to look at me, or smile, at the same time…or at all sometimes. But I keep them, because I am that emotional mom who likes to think back and start crying sometimes when I reflect on how much each child has grown/changed over the years….. I think they like it when I cry….

I am also that embarrassing mom who likes to save these pictures, and them bring them out and show everyone how much they’ve grown or changed since last year, or years ago.

For example, I just so happened to remember that just last year…. we were sitting around a table at this very same ice cream place, and I also made them asked them to smile nicely for the camera…

last year

last year

Isn’t that so cute!!!  Can you believe Jenna FINALLY has hair? Can you believe how long her tongue was/is??

People, I live for this stuff. It’s what I do.

Christmas then.....
Christmas then…..
Christmas now!

Christmas now!

See what I did there??

I know one day, I’m going to miss having all these kids under my roof. (I keep telling myself this….) So I do my best to keep a record of the times they actually LOOK like they are getting along, as they grow up, and before they grow away.

sniffle.

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Picture day

courtesy of forbes.alpineschools.org

courtesy of forbes.alpineschools.org

Picture Day….It’s coming next week.

It’s a big day, I think more for us parents than for our kids.

We can plan so much of this day, the outfit, the background, the hair….. but no matter how much we practice with them, we just never know how that picture day face is going to turn out.

I remember when the older kids came home after pictures…”Show me the face you did today! Did you smile?! Teeth or no teeth??”, and they would indulge with their best reenactment of the picture day face.

It doesn’t always turn out well.

You just never know. Possible future presidential candidate…. and they dig this one up:

face2

Ouch….

So, not knowing what the future holds… we do our best to practice our best picture face. Now, this will be Sammy’s first “real” school picture day. The first in a long line of picture days to mark his growth, his awkward phases, his acne phases, perhaps his bad outfit choices. My problem is, when I tell him to smile, it usually ends up looking like this:

face1

……. I’ve got a million of these faces from a million moments I’ve tried to capture as he looks so natural…until he’s told to smile.

But I’ve noticed something. Maybe you’ve noticed this too with your own kids. Sammy is always most photogenic when he’s not smiling, when he’s serious, pissed off, even crying.

I like to call this " Young Abercrombie" Taken as he is so mad at me for forcing him to look directly into the setting sun.... but SO worth it.

I like to call this ” Young Abercrombie” Taken as he is so mad at me for forcing him to look directly into the setting sun…. but SO worth it.

So we got a form from the photographer, asking for us to fill in the usual, background color choice, blah blah blah. With it came a little questionnaire asking what they can do to help my child attain a very “pleasant expression”, and do I prefer a serious face, or a smiling face?

Serious, definitely serious. And if you can get him teary eyed, but not actually crying, that would be great.