While we were on vacation on Lake Superior's shore, I took advantage of the beautiful scenery and the amazing early autumn weather to take a bunch of pictures of our children whom we currently label our "12-and-under" crowd (taking the term from restaurant menus).
Mr. Beaver and I can't believe we have only four kiddos left who aren't yet teens. We're saddened a bit because we love parenting little ones. While a young child will most likely be the first to cause a major spill, he'll also be the one to say something so cute that the whole family gets a rejuvenating laugh. While a young child is the one who has to be retrained for the 1,000th time how to neatly make a bed, she's also the first to do something so silly that your day is graced with mirth. Young children are such a gift from God! They still see the world with awe and their wonder is contagious.
Mr. Beaver and I have heard people say they're relieved to be empty nesters. Although the two of us are the right age to have an empty nest, we feel just the opposite. We're happy to still have our home filled with the lively energy and laughter of little ones.
Some of the shoots here were very purposeful, like the one directly below, and a few are just snapshots of the fun we had during our North Shore "photo shoot."
Although 7-year-old Oksana (right) never uttered a word of complaint as I took hundreds of pictures (one of the secrets of getting a few good shots), this photo speaks volumes! Bless her heart, she stayed good-natured through the whole session (as did the other three kiddos).
After we'd already taken plenty of pictures we came upon a lawn game, set up near the hotel's lobby. Getting to play this was a fun reward for these patient kiddos.
A benefit I enjoy when I photograph our kids is being reminded in a tangible way just how blessed I am as a mother. It is a very good, generous Father who has given me the privilege of parenting these four former orphans who make up our precious "12-and-under" crowd. I am forever grateful to my God.