It Was No Small Feat

We have a new family photo!

What a relief! I have new photos for my blog, new photos for speak engagements, and best of all — our Christmas picture is done.

I have to confess that it was not easy to get this accomplished. With fourteen of us, there were so many details to cover, the first of which was selecting a date when everyone agreed to be present, including the photographer.

Next we had to coordinate our clothing and find shoes that fit the kids. I tried to look through the kids’ clothes several times during the week, but the days flew by and although I knew what a few of them were wearing, there were many gaps in my plan. Saturday found me digging through closets, dressers, and bins of hand-me-downs, sure that I would find something. After trying on one thing after another, I finally ran to the store at 7:00 to buy Eby a pair of jeans, and a sweater for Honeybee. Did I mention that Russ and I were supposed to have dinner with friends at 6:30?

My family can attest to the fact that I did not handle Saturday well. My list was so long and I couldn’t seem to get any of it done. I feared that Sunday would come and one of the kids would not have shoes to wear, I wouldn’t have decent snacks (bribes?) to keep everyone happy, or one of the older kids wouldn’t show up in the right place at the right time. In the end, I had to send a text to all of my older children seeking their forgiveness for my rotten behavior — they forgave me.

We went to the early service at church, raced home, fed the kids a snack, did some last minute ironing, dressed everyone, and headed out to the university campus where we met our photographer.  Once we got started, everything flowed pretty well.  Mimi and Rusty had ideas about posing everyone, while Russ and I focused on keeping the kids happy.  Who would have known that a bag of Easter jelly beans found in the back of the pantry could be so helpful?

We wrapped up the photo shoot at our house, where Russ’ parents joined us and we got some pictures with them.

I never did manage to make the special Sunday dinner I had planned, but I was one happy mommy at the end of the day.

If you are thinking about taking a Christmas picture, don’t delay!  You will be so relieved to have it checked off your list.

A special thank you to Chris Walker who did a phenomenal job taking loads of photos all while keeping the kids happy.  That was no small feat.

#341 – 350 giving thanks

smiling faces in our family photo

clothing that worked!

shoes that fit all of the kids

a new photo in my blog sidebar

Sweet Pea here for the weekend

Mom and Dad Q.’s  visit for the afternoon

landscaping with our church small group for a local elementary school

sore muscles from shoveling gravel

sisters – one older, one younger.  I love them.

ready for a productive school week

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Chantelle
    October 24, 2011

    Beautiful! Just beautiful! 🙂

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 24, 2011

      Thank you, Chantelle.

      Reply
  2. Laura
    October 24, 2011

    Love the picture—you all look great. I figure our next family picture will involve a JMU graduation robe! I love you too sister of mine!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 24, 2011

      Thanks! I think Mom and Dad are going to be happy to have a new photo on their wall.

      Reply
  3. Chrissy
    October 24, 2011

    YAY! What a beautiful family portrait! And…what is it about pictures that stress us out? I do the EXACT same thing. By the time we get to the location, I'm sweating profusely and I only have 7 kids! Good grief.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 24, 2011

      Chrissy, seven is a lot!!! I think it's because we know this is our one big shot at getting a nice picture and we're going to have it a long time – that all adds up to loads of pressure. It is much easier for me when I'm taking the photo and not trying to be in it.

      Reply
  4. Pam
    October 24, 2011

    I only have TWO….and I sweat profusely Chrissy! LOLOL Great new pic Lisa! Beautiful family!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 24, 2011

      Thanks, Pam!

      Reply
  5. Emily
    October 24, 2011

    I love: autumn trees on the sides, the shades of gray, the TEAL on the sides (Awesome idea!! who thoguht of that? It works perfectly!), Eby's grin. Ladybug's hand on hip, hand-holders in the front, sweet and wise parents.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 24, 2011

      Emily, thanks for the kind words. We have done jeans with white shirts several times, jeans with black and another color, and of course, last year, we had the wedding theme going. This year we decided to try to break out a bit and do something different. I'm glad we did – even if it meant that nearly all the men wore gray sweaters, and I had to buy a few things. I love how it looks.

      Reply
      1. Emily
        October 24, 2011

        It looks totally awesome. And I want Honeybee's silver shoes in my size. Ask her if I can steal them. 🙂 (just kidding.)

        Reply
        1. One Thankful Mom
          October 24, 2011

          Funny thing about Honeybee's shoes, she was going to wear black flats, but her friend left those nifty silver shoes here when she spent the night, so Honeybee put them on and wore them for the picture. 🙂

          Reply
  6. Kylee
    October 24, 2011

    Such a pretty picture of a beautiful family! Your family photo shoot sounds almost exactly like ours! Rumor is, we're getting family pictures taken during Thanksgiving. It will be the first ones with the little girls, so I'm excited to have them….but it will be quite the task as well! We 'only' have 10, so not as many as you! Congrats on getting them done early! : )

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 24, 2011

      Kylee, I was very thankful for the older siblings who had ideas about poses – we did some fun ones too – like on a fire escape (which was a bit scary for me with my little guys). They also helped make sure the little girls' hair was looking okay. I hope to order to our Christmas cards this week 🙂

      Reply
  7. Carrie
    October 24, 2011

    Your family photo is gorgeous – so many little details that round it out perfectly. I have to say the colors you chose were great and very classic too. I think you will look back on it in years from now and it will be timeless!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 24, 2011

      Carrie, I actually woke up the morning of the photo and worried that the colors weren't going to look right with the fall foliage. I knew it was too late to change the plan, so we went with it. I'm glad we did! Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  8. Mary F
    October 24, 2011

    Wow! This looks like art :). With three under 4, soon to be 4 under 4, we just go for everyone having a happy face (which translates into only mom and dad looking at the camera). This is so lovely. So many stories and lives meshed into one family. Does it make your heart joyful?!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 24, 2011

      Mary, there's something to be said for just having everyone in the same place at the same time – even if they aren't looking at the camera. Your children are much younger, so set the bar low. I think props are helpful with little ones too – bubbles, candy canes, etc. People will love seeing a picture of your kids, no matter what!

      Reply
  9. Mama D's Dozen
    October 24, 2011

    GREAT pic!

    Sadly … it has been years since we've had all of us together for a family pic. One of our sons even missed both family weddings this summer, due to military service.

    I have no idea what I 'm going to do for a Christmas picture this year. I just can't imagine sending out a pic that is missing one son.

    Maybe we'll do a pic with just the 6 kids still at home.

    Great job! I totally understand the stress of trying to get an extra large family "matching" for a family pic. You all look beautiful. LOVE the teal on the sides.

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 24, 2011

      Thanks, Laurel! One of the reasons we took this photo now is that Sweet Pea will be moving away for residency and will be gone five years — I try not to think about it too much. We don't know where in the country she will land, but it is going to get much harder to get everyone home and squeeze in a photo shoot too. Maybe you could do a collage-type Christmas photo with individual pics of the kids who can't be home?

      Reply
  10. Paula
    October 24, 2011

    Eight people is hard enough… I don't know how you get your whole family together AND get a nice looking photo! Which it is… beautiful!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 24, 2011

      I think our photographer had a lot to do with it; He was very relaxed and open to suggestions. The timing was also important – we went to the early service at church (8:30), came home, fed the kids a big snack, then got them dressed for photos. It seems to have worked out well. Thanks, Paula!

      Reply
  11. kristen
    October 24, 2011

    beautiful!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 24, 2011

      Thank you, Kristen!

      Reply
  12. Courtney
    October 24, 2011

    it's so beautiful! thanks for sharing the "real" behind it, though!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 24, 2011

      Saturday was so real, it was downright painful! I am thankful to have it behind me and now I get to enjoy looking through dozens of photos finding the ones I like best. I hope to share lots more. I stopped by your blog today – sorry I didn't leave a comment! Next time…

      Reply
  13. Debbie
    October 24, 2011

    Oh my goodness this is so hard to do — and all my kids still live at home! We had one taken for the church directory and I had us coordinated down to beads in my youngest daughter's hair. Only to realize I can't really use them for my Christmas photos as the re-print prices are little too much for me. The thought of figuring it all out is again is too much. I may just take an ultra casual one — Something always works out every year! — great photo.

    DEB

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 24, 2011

      Debbie – that is too bad! It is so much work to get a family ready. Since you have the clothes all figured out, maybe you could pull it off one more time, at least of the kids?? If not, you're right, a casual shot will still be great. And by the way, I didn't even attempt to figure out hair accessories in advance, so I am super impressed with your beads.

      Reply
  14. Anita
    October 24, 2011

    It's perfect!!! Everyone looks lovely and everyone has a bit of personality shining through! 🙂 Have fun pulling this picture out and smiling at it over and over (don't you love doing that with a good family shot?!).

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 24, 2011

      Anita, thanks for the kind comment. It will go in the frame in our entry way and I'll see it every time I come down the stairs, which will surely make me smile. There are quite a few other fun shots that I plan to hang around the house. My family is my art.

      Reply
  15. Andrea HIll
    October 24, 2011

    Should have visited your blog first v. f/b. Now I see it was for Christmas too. Can't wait to get my hands on that picture. Everyone looks amazing and I LOVE the color coordinations. Very unique. I can't even begin to imagine what it took to pull that off. Missing your special family very much.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 24, 2011

      Andrea, we would love to see you. Any chance you'll make it over for a visit before too much snow flies? I'm glad you like the pic – I'll be sure to send you one. And yes….I'm hoping to get my Christmas cards ordered soon. We'll see if I pull it off!

      Reply
  16. Sarah
    October 24, 2011

    Awesome pic!!! I love how everyone is touching each other so affectionately. I see a lot of love in your family!! I can totally relate to the pre-photo shoot nasty mom-ness. Happens to me too. Glad that our kids have grace and that I'm not like that most of the time. Your outfits turned out awesome…very hip family!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 24, 2011

      Sarah, I am very thankful for grace – from my family, from Jesus. I need it because I manage to mess up on a regular basis. Thanks for the kind words.

      Reply
  17. Darci
    October 25, 2011

    Gorgeous family pic! 🙂

    Reply
  18. shelley
    October 28, 2011

    this picture makes me so happy

    Reply

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