Our family has a soft spot for Miss Dawnie as she has been the boys' Sunday School teacher and welcomed them warmly each week. In fact, when I started editing this batch of Dawnie's family, Jasper pulled up a chair, grinned and said, "Miss Dawnie is a sweet darlin', mom!" There is nothing like having someone else love on my kids. And frankly, some understanding of them goes a long ways too, like when I picked up Tymen from class yesterday, and Dawnie wiped her brow and said, "Wow, that boy can climb." Thank you, thank you for the sympathy.

On this evening I met up with Dawnie and her husband, Darren, and their six beautiful kids. Personalities and looks and temperaments from one end of the spectrum to the other but a very obvious affection and link between them all.They were FUN and LOUD and CRAZY and game for just about anything. I loved being with them. I had to laugh at one point, when everyone dove thirstily into the iced drinks they thought to bring along, and then in the moving of one place to another the question was raised of how they would know whose was whose. Above the clamor, I heard the mama say, "We can share cooties! That's what family does...they share cooties!" Well spoken.

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Cadence. Dallin. Kira.

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Natalie, Amelia, Melissa.

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The matriarch and the patriarch.

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LOVED that they had this fun idea to bring along brightly colored bacce balls to use in the photos. Great idea.

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So let's talk family pictures for a moment. I am far more concerned that I capture personality and interaction amongst family members, than I am that everyone is looking like a perfect police lineup. I like the laughs, fun faces, looking at each other. Sure it's great to look at the camera but I don't want to get so posed that we miss the real expression. Are you with me?

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The men are a little outnumbered but they look like they can hold their own.

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We all have odd little family things that we do, right? For this family, it is the classic "giraffe face" portraits that they like to take at times. Dad, here, is asking, "Why me???" What a fun bunch!!

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Thanks for a wonderful night. I might need to work on my giraffe face and see if I can work my way into your family next time :) .

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