Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Boycotting the Portrait Studio

For various reasons, I haven't had the kids' portraits done since 2006. Me, who made a special point of keeping the portraits updated, and had a focal point in the living room with all of their current portraits.

First of all, the twins have brought most areas of my life to a grinding halt. Going anywhere with the twin tornadoes has a difficulty level that ranges from inconvenient to extremely challenging to impossible.

Secondly, "Portrait Day" always was majorly stressful. Getting them all dressed up and keeping them happy until their turn is a Herculean effort. The ones who go first are exhausted and starving by the end, and the ones who go last are completely mussed up by their turn, and Mom is ready to run screaming into the night.

Then there's the cost involved. Sure, portrait studios offer great deals sometimes, but there's always the fine print - "only one offer per family per visit." Sure, you get a 45-piece portrait package for $2.99, but that's only for the first kid, so then I have to add at least 40 bucks for each additional kid. An
alternative is to enlist friends or grandparents to take multiple kids at a shot, or to visit more than one studio in a day, or go on subsequent days. That is if I want to take all the kids at once.

Another option is to take them in their birthday months, but with a family of eight, that means I have to be at the studio every three or four weeks from March until August, plus once in the dead of winter, and I can't guarantee that there will be a special package deal available when I go. Then factor in football or swimming practice, Daddy's bizarre work schedule, nap times, the cost of gas, homeschooling in general, etc. It's just not worth it.

I find all of the options to be a major pain in the neck. So I'm going to try it myself this year, while they still have beach tans. These were taken in full sun. They're nice pictures, but I wasn't happy with the shadows. I'm going to try again tomorrow.

These were taken while it was still bright but the sun had gone down below the treeline. I was much happier with the quality of light in these, but I should have taken them about 30 minutes earlier.

Sarah says I should use this one, because it shows her silliness...

This was taken the next day, when it was overcast but still bright

I"ll keep experimenting!

Hearth and Home

Tonight was a momentous occasion...Andy lit our first-ever fire in our first hearth. Never mind that it was still warm enough for me to be in a sleeveless shirt!!

Michele, Clare, Theresa, Brian with Noelle, Natalie, Conor & Andy

The twins, looking particularly identical

Sarah and the twins fell asleep on the floor in front of the fire!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday Theresa!

Theresa recently celebrated her 5th birthday!

We welcome Uni to the family

Thus begins the babies' fascination with blowing out candles: