It may seem simple enough,
but gathering the large family for a portrait is no easy feat.
First, you must choose a time when everyone is home.
Second, I desired that we were all in fairly good shape, no black eyes, large scrapes on our faces, etc.
This is harder than you might think,
especially when one has 5 boys.
Third, everyone's clothes must all be clean at the same time.
Fourth, and hardest, all eyes should be on the camera,
which is virtually impossible, as seen here.
After countless shots, you are finally reduced to just hoping everyone has their eyes open.
Getting a good smile is not as difficult,
as daddy is known for making random comments that easily produce smiles and grins.
One and a half hours later, an acceptable photo is produced, and everyone sighs in relief.
They were all good sports, and it was a fairly painless experience this time.
It was all done in the nick of time,
as John was shipped off to fight fires in New Mexico the next day.
He could be gone for up to three weeks.
By that time, Rose will be on a plane bound for Uganda,
where she will spend the summer in ministry with Next Generation Ministries.
Anna will be absent most of the month of July counseling at camp,
something she takes great delight in.
She still writes to a few of her little girls from last year.
It will be so strange to only have 6 children at home for the summer.
As we scatter for a time, my prayer is that the memories we have made day by day
will be so tender and precious that each person who goes out of our doors
will carry the blessing of home and family upon them wherever they go;
The melody of our homelife will be a song whose voices of love and prayer
inspire them as they are far away,
comfort them when they are lonely,
and continue to whisper love and truth to their ears.