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It’s like herding cats

It’s like herding cats

November 21, 2006

Until I had children I never realized all the work that went into taking a single good photograph of everyone together.

You think it would be easy… set everyone up in position, tell them to look at you and smile….

No, me.  Look at ME!

Instead they will imitate the child wrangler standing behind you

Is it hard to just look

And someone will cry at the sheer horror of being forced to have their picture taken

Oh the horror of being forced to sit on a stool and smile.

And so to maintain the last shred of sanity, I divided the children into two groups.

Top of the naughty list

Which worked well.


As you can see.

Nothing says I love the Baby Jesus like pinching your face

Having to touch your sibling during photo taking is like torture.

An elbow to the neck should make him back off

Someone is always unhappy


Finally I remind them that I know Santa’s phone number.

Lovely littles

This one made it to the card

And so another year of christmas card torture has ended.

To see a slideshow of the entire set click here.

Posted by Chris @ 10:33 am  

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  1. jeans5kids says:

    that was really cute if not the “perfect” christmas picture and in the last pic does one of your son’s have his shirt on backwards (I just throw that in there in hopes you’ll notice and take some more pictures to entertain us all)

  2. nicki says:

    what a riot!! Great pictures. Thanks for the laugh.

  3. Marianne says:

    Omigoodness. You have the cutest children in the world. I’m pretty sure my ovaries just exploded. THOSE DIMPLES!

  4. Jennifer says:

    Yay! How adorable. Great job Chris.

  5. Jennifer says:

    CUTE! They have grown so much since last year, especially your oldest and youngest two. Great shots.

  6. InterstellarLass says:

    Oh I LOVE the pouting photo! The boys smiling, and she’s just standing there with an awesome pout! Watch out!

  7. jody says:

    They are so scrumdillyicious.

    So, which one did you pick?

  8. MotherReader says:

    Those were great. I’ve always had success with groups of kids by telling them that we’d do a few serious pictures and then - if they were good - a crazy picture. It does work. But not so much with a toddler.

  9. halloweenlover says:

    My favorite is the Santa one. I love those kids.

  10. Gretchen says:

    Poor S, he was so good for the whole session. Wait, unless that is a cardboard cutout of him? He has the same expression in each photo, LOL. I’m sure you heard all about his suffering though his siblings’ anitcs afterwards, right? I’m still procrastinating doing the Christmas Card Photo. All the boys need haircuts, and I have no idea what they will wear. I’m thinking pajamas, since that seems to be their favorite outfit, lol. I can’t get sweaters onto most of them anymore.

  11. cowmomba says:

    Our best pictures of everyone together are captured after we take a few deliberate “silly shots”. Get it out of their system and over with!

    Turns out, the “Silly Shots” are the favorites of everyone who looks at the pictures.

    Happy Holidaze to you and your family!

    ~Tammy~ (Mom to six boys and one girl)

  12. Ashley says:

    Your kids are so good-looking. I am loving all those dimples!! Mery Christmas!

  13. alice says:

    That was so damn cute - I can’t even stand it. I’m going to link to it off my web site. THe best part as always is your commentary about it. I’m getting ready to do ours for this year, and I keep putting it off. Yikes.

  14. Jamie says:

    These are so cute!

    I am a wimp. I took my girls to get pictures made Friday and thought I would have a nervous breakdown and I only have TWO children!

  15. Cathy C says:

    Love, love, love!

  16. Angie says:

    I so feel you. Once I had more than 1 I had a problem, but I think 3 was the number that made it impossible to have the perfect picture.

    Although the one with the baby looking to the side is pretty close. . .

  17. Jen says:

    They are all so very adorable! Are you going to photoshop them all into one picture for the Christmas card?

  18. Lilly says:

    Beautiful photos! Your children are all so handsome and cute. And the lighting is great. (Looks like you don’t need any photoshop this year :) )

  19. Jenna says:

    Great Picture, and you told the story wonderfully! I love the pic with your daughter pouting, too cute.

  20. Cakes says:

    haha! And my family wonders why I don’t shell out good money for professional pictures?!

    Gorgeous…as always.

  21. jm says:

    Is it okay if I am very, very much in love with your children? But in a more “omg, how cute and fun” way, not a creepy internet stalker way. These photos are awesome and I think the series PLUS your story should be your Christmas card. Seems impossible to have to pick just one or two.

    Heh. Cat herding. Welcome to my last job as a change management consultant. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SmgLtg1Izw

  22. Chris2 says:

    Your children are all the cutest kids ever. OMG, those dimples, he also looks sooo much like you. You & hubs must be so proud. What a great looking bunch! Happy Thanksgiving.

  23. Sunny says:

    You have a beautiful family!!

  24. But Momma says:

    I hope your littlest one makes you laugh as much as he makes me laugh! Of course my favorite is the one of him crying. Cause I’m warped that way.

  25. Maliavale says:

    Nothing cracks me up as much as the phrase “like herding cats,” except, of course, for pictures of your kids.

  26. Finelly says:

    The three boys at the top look like, other than the height, they could be triplets.

    They look adorable.

  27. Playdate Susan says:

    I vote for the one with Miles crying. Mostly because I love the look his sister is shooting him: “Get it together, buddy, so we can get this OVER WITH.”

  28. peepnroosmom says:

    You have a beautiful family.

  29. Leigh says:

    I try to read often, but never comment. What a beautiful family you have!

  30. kris says:

    These are great pictures - please PLEASE use the one with your littlest crying. That is just adorable (you know, despite his emotional pain. ;)

    Thanks for the sweet birthday wishes, lady. :)

  31. Elizabeth says:

    You have the most adorable kids!

  32. The Wooden Porch says:

    Those are amazing! What did you do for the background? I agree with an earlier comment, print them all out on one page, with the commentary, and there’s your xmas letter. Who cares about the boring, “In Jan, we went on a cruise. In Feb, I went to the dentist, In March, we got snowed in… yada, yada, yada…”

  33. Lisa M. says:

    How do you not just explode over the cuteness of your gaggle?!? They’re all just so….CUTE!!! *passes out*

  34. Elizabeth says:

    Oh, some of those are destined for the inevitable “wedding video.” Whenever I have photo hell with my kids I think of that. I can’t wait, but the poor guests will have to sit through an hour of goofy photos when they really want to hit the buffet line.

  35. The Sanity Inspector says:

    It’s easy to get kids to sit stock-still, to get their picture taken. Just tell ‘em that you’re using the video camera.

  36. daring one says:

    I have a hard enough time with the 4 of us. Sheesh. I’ve got to get on that too.

  37. Mama Duck says:

    Ha, it’s bad enough trying to get ONE to sit still, I can’t imagine. Makes for a great blog story though, eh?? ;) That’s why Photoshop was created……

  38. Jennifer says:

    They’re adorable!!! You done good!! :)
    Our professional shots turned out OK…come check ‘em out :)!

  39. Heather says:

    Where in the heck did this year go? It just seems like yesterday I was sitting here at your site, looking at the Christmas photos you posted last year! Wow! Adorable pics, all of them.. ;)

  40. kalisah says:

    OMG. That third one from the bottom reminds me of when I was 8 or 9 I guess and I was pouting in one of the photos and my parents chose THAT ONE for the xmas card b/c it was “so good” of my brother and sister but in reality it was to TEACH ME A LESSON DAMMIT. I clearly need therapy.

  41. Erika says:

    what a gorgeous bunch! They get cuter everytime I see them!

  42. Chris says:

    I swear, it’s the same kid at different ages! Except the one with longish hair. Don’t want to insult the menfolk, ya know. They all look so much alike! Great pictures. Thanks for sharing!

  43. liz says:

    Holy guacamole, your kids are gorgeous.

  44. Karen Rani says:

    Great pictures Chris. That’s some nice wranglin’ ya did there.

  45. meredith says:

    Your kids are beautiful, grimaces and all.

  46. Meg says:

    Wow, I needed that laugh today! Are you gonna photoshop the good ones together? I think that would be hilarious to have your Christmas photo be one that is clearly hobbled together from other pictures…

  47. Suburban Turmoil says:

    I love every picture. I think the pictures of kids showing their “true colors” are more memorable, anyway. My all time favorite picture of myself is my kindergarten school picture, when I made a face at the photographer. I remember that I didn’t like him because he had a bushy moustache. I tried to convince all my classmates to make faces because of it, but in the end, I think I was the only one who stuck with the plan. :)

  48. Darren McLikeshimself says:

    Ha! I LOVE the third one!

  49. nabbalicious says:

    You always get the damn funniest photos! Hilarious.

  50. Fold My Laundry Please says:

    Somehow 7 kids doesn’t seem like very many when you see them all standing next to each other in a photo like this. I sure it seemed like a lot when trying to get the pictures taken, though!

  51. adwina - insparenting.com says:

    What cherished moments and precious pictures you and the kids have, Chris!

    They are so beautiful. Well, I’m actually a little bit “disappointed” because I thought you would dress them in similar themes. ;)

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
    I think Digging the Best out of Us as Parents would be a wonderful little present for you, your friends and families. Hope you enjoy it!


  52. Fold My Laundry Please says:

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  53. Jennifer says:

    You have such a beautiful family! How you even got them all to sit there long enough to get ONE picture I don’t know :)

    Happy Holidays!

  54. Lori says:

    I so know that pain!

  55. Jana says:


    You have a simply beautiful family…and I can’t believe how much your number 4 son looks exactly like you! You are extremely blessed…

  56. Jamie says:

    This was the best! We’re taking our 4 in soon, and I was dreading it, but I’ll be sure to see the fun in it, too, now. Cute family!!

  57. Joy H says:

    Ahhhhh, love it!

    Simply b/c I said the EXACT same thing trying to photograph my four a few weeks back.

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