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« Christmas (continued)... | Main | A belated Happy New Year. »


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kim Scrap to my lu

Love your Christmas posts. And yes.........I too feel like my son is an ingrate at times. Really pisses me off too.

Oh....the ducks won!

Amy N.

you're not the only one that feels like you're raising pouty stinks of children. i feel exactly the same way many days. :)


Love the photos, love your stories!!!

I have two boys 17 and 19 and yes I
can feel like that at times and THEN
my 19 yr old calls me from the college
town (he went back a few days ago) where
he is living with his 5 buddies. He
cooked a full turkey dinner, with veggies
and gravy for them today. Today he makes
me proud!


Thank god for your last comments - I was beginning to think you weren't real at all!! Hehe! Yes my up until a few weeks ago lovely 2 year old is now into whining big time, and don't even get me started on the 7 year old. Happy New Year to you all! Love Katherine, England


WOW!!!!!! You got the most awesome shots!!!!!1 I love them all!!! And my nephews the same way.. ungreatful about that kind of stuff..

tara pakosta

um yes, i just sent my 9 year old ungrateful child
up to her room to reflect on her life.
she is complaining of boredom after getting a bunch of wii games,
ds games, craft stuff, and more for christmas! how can she be bored?!
and i have spent the whole day on and off listening to her cry of boredoM!
yes, ungrateful spoiled ROTTEN kids i have!

Nicky Anderson

The photos are amazing - how is the new / old house coming - how exciting. And loved your xmas present - the piano and of course, yours to yourself - the camera!!
And yes, all children make us feel that way at many different times, just growing pains. But they are so angelic (especially when they are fast asleep in dreamland)
Love your blog have been following it for quite some time.
Happy New Year
Nicky from Canada

Kim Holmes

So, I read your blog all the time and I love all the great photos and pictures and stories. I hate to say that I never comment. I don't know why - maybe because you tell the best stories, have the funnest times, the cutest kids and wonderful pictures --that I am intimidated! But, today - well, today you touched me even more than normal. I have 7 kids, 5 of ours and 2 of his and life is never boring. Don't get me wrong---I have cute kids, great times, and funny stories too ---but we spend a lot of time with attitudes and emotions ruling our "fun" family times!

Today, I realized that you have that same reality! All is well and good - even when we get attitude! Thanks for the bit of reality today! & congrats on your new old house! Very cool!

Tanya Webster

someday i wanna come down to jacksonville just because you make it look so awesome....

and as far as your question about you being the only one....hell no girlfriend!! same boat....same attitudes....same questions from this mom...i just asked karl the other day if i was a bad mom because my kids were all so ungrateful :) make you feel better??? :) Happy New Year girlie! :)


Don't worry you are not alone, my older nieces and nephew (13, 10, and 8)take the cake...but I choose to focus on the delight of my 3 yr old and 1 yr old nieces at Christmas, they did not care if they got an empty box, it was the thrill of unwrapping and everything was their very favorite and each person was thanked and kissed after each present that was opened...

I have a sign at work that says there will be a $5 Charge for whining, this Christmas I would have been able to retire from work...

Hsppy New Year!!!


No, you are not the only one who is raising ungrateful pouty stinks of children. I am doing a bang up job of doing that here in Albany, NY. My New Year Resolution is to pretend it's not driving me completely crazy.

teresa b

Ahm.. it's not just yours. Although at times I think I'm the
only one whos children do this.. and it doesn't seem to get
any better as they get older.. just more annoying!! hahaha

Great pix.. wishing you a wonderful New Year to you and yours!!


You're not the only one with little ungrates. I just went and told mine that I would not jump into the middle of them crying and yelling for me to come and solve their argument, and if they really loved each other they needed to go back into the playroom and work it out without my help. To my amazement, they did! Love your Christmas photos -- mine are all indoors this year because if we were outside we would've been up to our ears in snow!

Charli Herr

LOVE the pictures..What type of lens were you shooting with ?


It's almost as if they need a spank on the hiney before we can have a good time sometimes! Oy!

(no need to call cps--we are miserable with their whining most of the time!) ha.

Thanks for the great pictures--that camera is loving you being its owner!!!

Happy New Year!!!

Jodi Baldwin

I saw your sweet little Taylor on the front of the Mail Tribune the other day, didn't I? By the way what town is your new old house in?

Jamie Southworth

I also have issues with my kiddos. Sometimes they're so naughty then they turn it around and are so sweet it makes you forget the naughty moments.


DUUUUUUUUDE and after almost two weeks of together's bad, isnt' it? I wonder how I will survive the long summer vacation!


"Does anyone else ever feel like they are raising ungrateful, little pouty stinks of children, or is it just me?"

In a word, YES - spent a fortune on Christmas not to mention all the time, and a day later, they were asking for more

but I'll miss them terribly when its back to reality on the 5th

can't wait for my class, 19 DAYS


Thank you for saying your children aren't perfect. They sure look perfect in the photos. :) And add me to the list of parents with occasionally ungrateful children -- I have two boys who fit into this category, but I still love them to death. :)


I burst out laughing at Annie's comment about Santa not biting her! It is so funny to hear what is going on in their little minds. I do not have any kids of my own, but I do teach kindergarten, so I guess I have 42 kids! :) At our Halloween party I had a few kids say, "This is not fun! I am not having fun!" I was completely annoyed after all the planning, time and money I had put into it. Before the Christmas party I mentioned these past comments and how they had really hurt my feelings after all the work I had put in and I did not want to hear ANY complaints this time! Enjoy yourself or just keep quiet! It worked! :) Happy New Year! I can't wait to read about your family's 2009 adventures!


Oh I have 2 ingrates to. I love them but I tell you they sometimes never seemed satisfied and are constanly wanting more at 15 and 16.

Anywhoo your blog is a daily read for me,I love peeking at your photos and reading your stories, keep it coming. I have on my wish list that Karen Russell will come to southern calif and teach a photography class!!!


I love love love that last photo of Annie. WOW!!!


The pictures are really great! I would never have known that the kids were whining and pouting.


Love EVERY ONE of your photos. They are all stunning!!! Thanks for sharing these and the great stories of your kiddos. I think we all feel that way sometimes! Glad you had a Merry Christmas...and Happy New Year!

PS...would love to know what actions you used on some of these shots...if you have any extra time (wink wink). They really look amazing!


Spoiled little brats? But I thought I only had them. ;)

Wonderful captures, thanks for sharing.

That Santa looks really cool. So nice to see you didn't dress your kids up in matching or coordinated outfits. ;)


Sweet Yannie in her darling heart festooned tights just about melted my heart, she is just too precious & I'm SO glad that Santa didn't bite her, LOL!!

And yeah... what is it with kids these days anyhow?
You are not alone with your miserable ingrates, there are hordes of them in South Africa too ... so don't take it personally, clearly Ungrateful Pouty Stinkiness is an international phenomenon :oP !!!

Tonia Borrosch

Karen-what lens were you using on these? Was it all the same one? While I ADORE my 50 mm fixed, I find that it so limits me being fixed when I am indoors. What is the next best after this?

stacy t

i have two of those ungrateful children you speak of. yup - their whiny, want want want, give me give me give me, bratty selves. i still love them in spite of themselves. happy new year!


gorgeous shots!!!! my very fav it the last one!! is the flush in her cheeks natural, or photoshop induced??


looks like you all had a very memorable time - wonderful captures. :)

Susan Bowers's not just you.


Love your photos and stories, as always! But today, I love your comments even more! I must admit that I have been a little envious of your "perfect" life--it seems so different from my own! But today I realized that your life is just like the rest of ours, complete with whiny kids that complain during what should be a fun family day! :) I had thought perhaps I was the only one with that situation!!!! Glad to know I'm not in the boat alone! hehehe

Keep the stories and photos coming! Especially the "real" stories!!!! Wishing you & yours a wonderful and prosperous New Year!!

Mary Lou

No, Karen you aren't the only one with 'little pouty stinks of children' but these precious ones do grow up. And if we do it right they become wonderful adults who have 'little pouty stinks' of their own. It does come full circle, and as my momma said "Wait till you have children of your own!"...

Carrie P

Love the picture of Annie in the window of Bella Union.
And Yes, my kids are spoiled, but every once in a while they surprise me by actually thinking of me and cooperating (18 and 19 and 20) (especially this year with the annual in front of tree Sunday before Christmas shot) almost the best one ever.


oh lordy, that last shot is wonderful, i love her little expression & such a fab window too


Love the last photo in particular...Annie looks like a little angel in the window.


Kate here; proud mother of 3 pouty, ungrateful stinks, although they are beautiful to look at...

Grace P

I love your pictures but the last one from the window of bella Union was fabulous! At least you have 1 grateful child! LOL! My cousin feels the same she says sometimes she feels she does all these thing for herself...the girls are 2 and 5 and the 5 year old especially is always whinning. She screams would you rather stay home she says yeah! LOL! Doesn't mean it the will remember doing all these wonderful things with you realy. Happy 2009! Hugs Grace


Well, first of all--these pictures are gorgeous, don't think I can even pick a fav! Second, I'm rather glad to hear about your ingrates, I have a couple also and it's really ticking me off after all the new stuff and special things we've been doing over the past 2 weeks! But, it seems they go in phases and we just need to ride them out, so we'll hang in there and know that we're not alone:)

tammy t

I feel the same way about ours...esp. since they were especially winey and pouty before Christmas...then they go and do something generous, self-less, or just plain good and I feel a bit better.

Your photos are gorgeous. Esp. the one in the window!

Happy New Year!



You aren't the only mom out there with whining kids. I was hoping that would go away when they get pass 5. Maybe not huh? Crap. Great photos and Happy New Year to all!

Karlins Family


My children don't complain so much anymore. I got really really tired of, we instituted a new policy, no warnings, each time a parents has to raise an eyebrow at a child's whining...there is a chore assigned. For a while I had the cleanest toilets and floors in north america!

Kim S.

Oh, my boys NEVER pout, whine , complain. (wink, wink) Sometimes I feel, like you, that I've raised little ungrateful boys! Then they do something to turn it all around. I guess it's "normal". Your family is adorable and your photos speak volumes. Congrats to the Beavs (and Josh Downs) on the big win!
Kim in PA

Alissa Hall

LOVE all the pictures! Annie at the window of Bella's is my fav though.

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks my children are little ungrateful turds sometimes. And they usually pull the whining and complaining stunts when it's something that is supposed to be "special" - like the day you outlined above. I'll never forget trying to take two of my children (before the third was born) to the pumpkin patch one year. They drove me absolutely batty before we even left the house. Finally, I had them all buckled in and I was in the driver seat when one of them set me off for the final time. I gripped the steering wheel and shook my head like a headbanger and shouted, "This is supposed to be FUN!" I stunned them both into silence for the trip to the patch but unfortunately one of my new neighbors witnessed the entire scene and I was mortified. Fortunately, she's a mother too so we laugh about it now.

Annie L.

Great day!!!! Love stuff like that. You are defiantly not the only one that feels that way about raising ungreatful kids... But you just hope for one moment in the day it sinks into to them and they will later in life remember how mom made Christmas special.. That is all you can hope for..Have a great New Years... Love the last picture...Such a cutie pie...


You are SO not the only one who is raising ingrates. Both of mine (17 & 12 yrs) drive me NUTS sometimes, but other times they'll say something ADORABLE (like, Santa didn't even bite me - LOVE THAT ONE) and I forget about all of the times I wished for duct tape and straight jackets. =)

Nicole Ellison

I LOVE everyone of these pictures! Super duper love the last one of Annie looking out the window! You always catch the greatest moments!!!! I wish I was as quick as you!!!! I MUST get out and practice more!


You saved the best for last. That last photo is dreamy - love it. ...and thanks for sharing the reality of the story with us too. Love your blog.

jessica k

It is funny how I look at the photographs that I take too. It paints a picture of a perfect, joyous family also. Not quite reality. It's funny to think that my kids will look back at these photos and to them it probably will bring back memories of perfect, joyous family times. I guess we have to endure the pouting, whining and mad faces as we create these perfect memories.

Tammy Mellish

I look at your pictures, and feel like crying. You do that to people!

Lindsay Bordenkircher

Love your shots...they are so natural and unposed. I try to aim for that. Since you never use flash, do you use a tripod??

Jodie Ridges

Yep, mine are the same whiny pouty stinky ingrates as most other kids. Glad to hear that your Christmas activities pan out the same as mine.
Love all your photos. Despite the whinyness, poutiness, stinkiness and ungratefulness, you really do have a lovely family.
Jodie, Australia


Marty raises her hand - yes, I don't know how a usually very happy agreeable 4-year old can be a pouty stinky ingrate some of the times, but he is. sigh
love your blog. and your photos. and your ramblings. makes me laugh. it's NOT just my life that seems crazy!
swear by Love and Logic since you mentioned it on your blog ages ago, bought the book, love it. thanks.

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