Just try taking Christmas pictures with four boys and a dog. I’m betting some of you have. I’m sure success will come eventually. I just took about 10 pictures (granted I just decided at random — didn’t even make sure their clothes or faces were clean…) and I think only one of them is remotely usable.

Yesterday we put up the Christmas tree and hung our stockings and decorated. We don’t have a whole lot of Christmas decorations. We keep things quite simple. But the kids do enjoy doing all the decorating. It’s fun seeing their excitement.



So after consuming the last of our Thanksgiving leftovers after church today (which by the way was muy delicioso!) I caught them all and forced them to sit still in front of the Christmas tree for 42 seconds while I snapped several pictures. There were various levels of cooperation… and as you can tell, few of those ever happened at exactly the same moment.

Here’s what almost perfect cooperation looks like…

But almost perfect means that one person is looking in the wrong direction and another person (who will remain unnamed) seems to look just a little too happy. And you’ll find that someone manages to hold that excessively happy pose in pretty much every single picture.

Another almost perfect picture… except for that one that looks like he’s got his head sewn to the arm of the couch. And the one that looks like he’s going to yank the dog’s ear (he didn’t by the way, and never has… that’s my disclaimer… you know that whole, “No animals were harmed in the making of this Christmas picture…”)


Then there’s this one where Mr. Someone up top still has his ear sewn to the arm of the couch and now Mr. Waytoohappy isn’t showing his teeth but his eyes say it all. He’s way too happy. And the dog is starting to get annoyed with having to sit here this whole time and in his mind he’s saying, “Hey, Mr. Excessively Happy, I have places to go, things to see, people to sniff… can you please wipe the silly grin off your face and cooperate for 32.4 seconds so we can be done with this madness? THANKS! Sheesh. KIDS!” I have the distinct power of reading the mind of highly intelligent animals. Don’t be jealous. It’s just a gift.


Then Mr. Insanely Happy smirks even wider, Mr. Ear Sewn to the Couch looks like the thread just got pulled a wee bit tighter and Mr. Proud to be an American is saying, “Put up your dukes!!” Mr. Been Behaving and Smiling Beautifully This Whole Time now feels the distinct and incredible urge to look at something other than Mom for just .0002 seconds does just that. The highly intelligent animal in the middle is looking at Mr. Proud to be an American thinking, “I just know this is all his fault. Oh good grief! Someone rescue me! Surely there is a place where this kind of torture happens all the time and it’s called DOGGY HELL.” He is thinking of running away, far far away, to the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm.


Finally, it seems as if the pain becomes unbearable, the torture too effective… the highly intelligent animal lets out a primal and unearthly scream several decibels higher than anything the human ear is capable of hearing which is why the children surrounding him continue on in their ear sewn to the couch, ineffably nauseatingly peppy, off in la la land and almost perfectly steadfast cooperative ways.


They have no idea that he’s thinking about getting a prosthetic opposable thumb purely for the purpose of shooting himself in the head to put himself, once and for all out of his misery… when suddenly…. something almost (but not quite) magical happens….

(((cue the hallelujah chorus)))


Mom manages to take an almost maybe possibly but not really usable picture! There is hope for mankind. Or not?

I think we’ll try again in a couple of days! ((sigh))

28 thoughts on “Try it. I dare you!

  1. Oh girl! Can I EVER relate. 4 boys and a girl…no dog..but, well, you can figure this is close enough. I’ve struggled through many a photo session just like this one. One Mr. Cooperative, one Mr. What are we doing here anyway?, one Miss “Blondie” oblivious to her surroundings, one Mr. Can’t give a real smile to save his life and the other is everywhere in between LOLYou gotta look at it this way..it’s real 😉 THAT’s real life. Gotta love it! :DSweet pics and the tree looks great :)~T~

  2. That was very funny. As a mom of three kids and three dogs I can imagine the entire scenario.Thanks for that fun moment at your expense.Rose

  3. Oh, they are adorable! They really are. Even the dog. By the way, I have that same Starbucks ornament on my tree, too. Fun, isn’t it?Mariawww.jubileeonearth.com

  4. O M Gosh, you had me rollin’ with your comments of the boys. Very cute pics, and I LOVE the last one for sure! Bruce is sure a beautiful dog!

  5. You have a beautiful family! I have yet to get a usable photo for our Christmas cards and I’m only dealing with 2 boys. I didn’t even attempt to include the dogs or cat.

  6. Oh Nan, you poor thing. You did have your hands full. But your pictures did turn out great. BTW, did you know that in Photoshop you can now edit an individual person in a group photo? Just found that out and since I have a bunch of monkeys that never completely cooperate I’m sure I’ll use this feature many times.

  7. I hear ya Nan! We did the same thing this weekend and I didn’t get a single usable picture. I gave up and just took movies..lol We’ll try again next weekend for a pic. The boys are adorable as always and Bruce is gorgeous. Makes for a wonderful Christmas picture.

  8. Three boys plus one girl here…I so feel your pain. That’s why I’m laughing my head off…(sorry). Your boys are stinkin’ adorable. Denise in IN

  9. just wanted to let you know that you made me lol this morning with all these pics and your commentary. i like the pics of your boys-every last one of ’em!

  10. This is why we do individual pics of the boys and then ds photoshops them into a montage. I like the one with the open mouthed dog and the wall-eyed ds2. Maybe you should see if they will all make that face. Then you could caption it “a little excited about Christmas”. Old Dominion Heather

  11. I was laughing so hard by the time I got to the end. Especially after the prosthetic thumb picture. That was too hilarious.I like your blog! I’m glad you enjoyed a beautiful holiday even if you were north of the border! 😉 The boys’ sayings are too cute – my oldest called mustaches “moosh mashes” for the longest time. And the youngest calls granola bars “monkey bars” no matter how many times you tell him otherwise!

  12. Wow, that’s impressive! I have two boys and a dog and I can’t get them to ever cooperate for a picture. :)Your boys are adorable and the dog is absolutely beautiful! God bless.

  13. OMG that was tooooo funny. I have the same problems but with my two doggies. One is a very calm 8 yo black lab/golden retreiver mix the other is a hyper 2 yo black lab that is a perpetual motion machine. Yes, half of the picture is always a blur. I think I need photoshop.

  14. Just so you know it doesn’t get any easier when they are teens. I’m helpful like that. :)~mom of 6 (15-21)

  15. I lost your link when I switcheroo’d my blogs and I just found you over at Pamela’s because she has a delish little goody for you. We always take our own family photos and last year was Pete’s “I have to be goofy in every shot” year and I actually treasure those photos more than if he had smiled and posed appropriately.Anyway, glad to see you again.http://robinellablog.wordpress.com/

  16. that’s funny! kudos to you tho, I only have 2 boys (9 & 3 yrs old) and its super hard to get pictures of my 2 rascals…

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