I think it's a good sign that my kids say to me all the time, "Do you want to take a picture of me doing this?" Maybe it's because I am very careful to avoid PKBS (Photographer's Kid Burnout Syndrome). Maybe it's because they all love attention. Maybe it's because treats and silly talk crank up during picture time. Regardless, I am glad that I can play with them and get some fun personality shots.

Part of this year's PHOTO RESOLUTION was to get a good honest shot of each kid every month. So here are their portraits for February.

Ruby:

I love her snaggle teeth, the smattering of freckles and the way the sun is lighting up her whole self as she cracks up about a silly joke.

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Jasper:

In so many ways he reminds me of my dad, in the way that he looks and of how much he adores attention. He is such a ham and loves messing around with me and the camera. Last time we took pictures, he patted me on the back and said, "I'm so proud of you, Mama, for doing your best."

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Tymen:

It's been quite a month with this boy who was found yesterday smearing menthol rub all over the bunkbed and who's been sneaking food out of the pantry. We're working hard to reel things in with him. This face says it all. Monkey.

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Theo:

Love the look of pure bliss on his face as he learns how to open the door up for himself.

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Here's a few more favorites from the month.

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We've had some great times this month but to be honest, there have been some bumps in the road too. We've been struggling a bit with some heart and behavior issues with the older three. (The baby has been pretty much his happy self except now that he is sick and goes around yelling a lot...poor boo.) It feels like we are hitting the same stuff again and again with those three and it becomes really easy to focus on the issues and kind of miss the big picture. Ben and I have been preparing to teach a class at our church this coming Thursday night on The Five Love Languages of Children (by Gary Chapman) and it's been so timely for us. We have recognized some significant areas that we've been missing in loving them in ways that are particularly meaningful to them and I think it's really factored into some of the discipline issues we've been seeing. Even in the past few days, taking some extra time to cuddle first thing with Jasper (our physical touch guy) and to listen to and participate in projects with Ruby (our quality time girl) has made a real difference. We were trying to figure out when is the most meaningful way to love Tymen and we have recognized that he thrives on words of affirmation...and feeds them back to us. Even last night when I was tucking him back in before I went to bed he was sound asleep and even so, responded to me with his eyes closed and very groggily . "I love you, Tymen." "I love you, Ma." "You are the best." "You are the best, Ma." "Tymen, I have always wanted you." "I always wanted you too, Ma."

It's a humbling path, parenting.

Love these four.

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