Today began with a discussion between me and Mark about the size of a patio we're putting in the back yard. He wants a 23' x 26' patio so we can have a place to play half-court basketball. I want a more moderately-sized, 20' x 23', patio so we don't have huge slab of concrete in the middle of our back yard, but enough room for for the kids to play. So we decided to compromise and get a 23' x 26' patio so we can have a place to play half-court basketball.
We had an appointment to get the kids' pictures taken for our homeschool yearbook at 10 this morning. This is one of my favorite parts of our being in our homsechool group. Since it's home-school we can include a lot of pictures of our family doing fun-looking things. It doesn't matter that someone might have pitched a fit 5 minutes before or 5 minutes after the photo--what matters is the publicised moment of family joy and peace which is immortalized in our yearbook.
Even though we could have stayed and had a group photo made at the studio, I wanted to save a few hundred dollars and go to WalMart instead. Fortunately when we arrived we weren't behind a group of five irritable and hungry kids who took forever to coordinate their smiles, because we would have been waiting forever. Unfortunately we were the group with five irritable and hungry kids who took no less than 90 minutes to coordinate their heads, blinks and smiles, and then pose for their individual shots. There were two ladies with a toddler who arrived five minutes after us who had to wait just to pick up thier pictures. I kept saying to the photographer, "Go ahead and take care of them, it doesn't matter--no really--it's OK." But she refused. It was almost as if she had some vendetta against them.
The first ten shots I told the kids to yell "Cheese!" When they got bored with that it was "Milk Shake!" Then I tried to come up with words that would be a reward for their smiles. What we learned: the words "gum" and "chocolate" do not produce attractive smiles for a family portrait. Then I left the area and let the photographer do her work with the croaky frog. The kids were exhausted. The last photo we took, which was the one where I just said, "Alright this is the last one! Y'all just hug!!" produced the best picture of all. This is the one we got in the large size.