Monday, December 31, 2007


Well, we hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (in about 5 1/2 hours as I write this). The photos below are more or less in chronological order.

Dana and I wrapped presents while the 2 older boys were in school. Cade was our official present put-under-the-tree-er and insisted he do each and every present. Dana moved them before this photo, but he had carefully stacked the presents on top of each other right up into, and on, the tree branches.

Cade and I visited the Santa in the mall a week or so before this photo was taken. Of course, I didn't get any pictures, but Cade walked right up to Santa, hugged him, and talked to him like an old friend. When I took all 3 boys to have breakfast with Santa, Cade wanted nothing to do with him and refused to get anywhere near him. Go figure.

We spent Christmas with Dana's family at Inlow this year. Follow along on my photo journal of the several days we spent there.

It snowed several inches the day before we got there. Cade loved playing in the snow. Here he is picking up snow balls and throwing them at me or in the fresh snow.

As you can imagine, all the kids were about to pop with all these unopened gifts around. The presents were sorted and stacked more times than I could count.

We spent a large portion of our Christmas Eve sledding down Ron's Suicide Run. The hill is about 30 miles long at about an 80 degree angle. Right about the time you break the sound barrier you launch off the dreaded Jar-Your-Bones Jump before crashing down 1/2 a mile later on Spinecrunching Slope. At least that's how I explain it. The kids didn't seem to think it was all that bad.

Kevin says his hand slipped off the handle on this one. I think he was just trying to pull a motocross inspired nac nac. Watch the video below to see how this one ended. You have to click on it twice to get it to play.

Here's a sequence from one of Cameron's better jumps. The look on his face was even better in another picture but it was blurry. This rather mild "Mommy!" look will have to do. I especially like the way he bends his legs backwards and flattens his nose on the sled on landing.

If you can't get a good shot of a good jump, get a shot of a good crash. Here's Kevin hitting the eject button.

Tyler jumped out of the track and almost took out Ron. I love the look on both their faces.

I'm not as flexible as Cameron. I also kept my head up. I thought I was going to die during the run on this video. Those trees got awfully close.

Speaking of nearly dying, check out these photos and video of Dana. She thought the sledding looked like fun so she wanted to try it. I told her to go on her stomach and use her arms to absorb the landing. I also told her to start from about half way up the hill. She didn't listen to any of my advice.

Dana also made her one and only run later in the afternoon when the sled run was getting faster and faster. Here she is at Mach 2 with her hair on fire. She looks just slightly nervous.

Fortunately, Dana couldn't hear everyone laughing because HER EAR WAS PACKED WITH SNOW!!!

Ah, here's a photo of me showing what a loving, supporting husband I am (I'm showing her the gnarly picture I got as she came off the jump). That isn't a smile of laughter on my face. No sir. That is pure grimacing. I was in pain after seeing my lovely wife crash. Watch the video and I'm sure you'll be in pain too. Everyone else just about wet their pants from laughing, er, from being so frightened.

Poor Dana dug a 5 foot trench with her face on that one.

Here's a nice photo from before "the incident". It would be the last time Dana smiled all day.

Ron says, "I'm getting too old for this."

It's hard to get a good photo with everyone smiling when you have this many people.

OK, so now it's Christmas morning. The Samp and Reynolds boys were all in one room and weren't allowed out until someone came to get them. As I approached the door (shortly after 6 am) I heard some muffled talking and movement. When I opened the door it was dead quiet. After a moment, I bellowed, "Rise and shine!" There was an immediate explosion of energy. I blocked the door while we waited for the Slugas to get up and the boys were about to pass out with anticipation. This was an unposed picture but I think it shows the excitement in that room.

Santa brought Cameron a new bike!

Kevin got that Ripstick he's been wanting!

Cade got a wagon! How did he fit all that in the sleigh and how the heck are we going to fit it in the Expedition to get it home?

Let the carnage begin!

It's amazing how easily some people are fooled by cubic zirconia.

We came home the day after Christmas. The boys had a few more presents to open when we got home. Kevin finally got that darn Xbox 360 and Cameron got a Nintendo Wii. Sheesh! Later that evening, my parents came over to exchange gifts. The gave us a new camera! I guess they were tired of us borrowing theirs. ;)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tree Hunting and Fall Pictures

OK, we finally got a whole bunch of pictures downloaded. The first batch was taken at my parents house this past weekend. The boys had a ball playing in the leaves in their back yard.
The second batch is from our trip to the mountains to cut a Christmas tree. On the way home, we stopped at a play area and spent some time playing in the snow.

You'll probably notice that Cameron rarely smiles nicely in pictures. 9 out of 10 shots are like this.

Cade sees no reason why he shouldn't be up on the roof with his brothers.

Cade helped decorate Pa and Tootie's tree.

This is what our boys look like most of the time.

A rare, nice shot of all 3! Notice Kevin got his braces off!

Playing in the leaves.

Moving the ladder is a tough job. It's a good thing Pa had a lot of help.

Cade loved sliding down the hill. He rode down with us several times.

Cameron and Kevin in a race down the hill. It sure looks a lot flatter in the picture than it did in person.

Kevin about to get whooped by his dad in a race down the hill. I must have been doing Mach 3 at the bottom.

This was Cameron's last ride for obvious reasons. Kevin got a front row view of the crash.

Cade held down the step stool while I set the tree.


King Cade

Kevin helped Pa drag their tree back to the truck. Where was he when I needed help?

Da Family

Da Boys

Sunday, December 2, 2007

More Random Pictures

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. This year it was just the 5 of us so it was quiet (relatively speaking - we do have 3 boys running around) but it was nice too. Dana made a wonderful meal that included everyone's favorite dish and everything tasted great.

We drove up to the mountains on the Sunday after Thanksgiving to cut our Christmas tree. My parents went with us just like they do every year so we make a nice family day out of it. This year we were lucky in that it snowed several inches in the area on Saturday. The kids had a ball playing in the snow. Even Cade enjoyed making throwing snowballs and sledding down the hill. We took those pictures with my parents' camera so I'll post those when I get them downloaded.

So once again, we don't have much to post in the way of pictures. Most of the those that we do have are pretty grainy because we still haven't made the effort to get a better camera. If the fact that these poor children are growing up with only 2.1 megapixel (or whatever) images to document their youth just tears you up inside, please feel free to make a small contribution to the "Help Mike & Dana Get a Better Camera" fund. Paypal is accepted. Just kidding.

The boys helped decorate the tree. Cade already has bedhead and he hasn't gone to bed yet.

Cade also helped me set up the tree.

Cade likes to ride the skateboard down our driveway.

Here's the one picture we took on our trip to cut the tree. I know you people in other areas of the country will laugh but snow is hard to come by around here.

Here's our house this Christmas. It isn't blurry because of the camera it's because I didn't use a tripod.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Extra Pictures to Share

No photos again (darn it) but I have to brag about my boys' soccer games this weekend. The coolest moment in Kevin's game was when he broke through the defense at midfield and ran down the field with 3 kids hot on his heels. He kept the ball perfectly under control and took a shot over the goalies head and to the left. I really don't think he was expecting that at all beause he was crouched down low ready to pounce to either side. Kevin played goalie the second half and fended off all shots. His team won 2-1.

Cameron's team actually played together as a team for once and also unofficially won their game (the league doesn't keep score). Something in Cameron snapped last week when he broke out of the pack and dribbled down the field and around a couple of kids to take a shot at the goal. Until that day he usually either stepped on the ball or tripped over it when he tried to dribble while running. This weekend he dribbled up and down the field and around all the players like he's been doing it for years. He even scored 5 times! To top it off he made a dramatic save by sliding into the ball to keep it out of his goal right near the end of the game. His team "won" 12-11.

Ok, enough bragging. Here are some miscellaneous pictures that I took recently. Nothing special but some of you might like them.

This balloon flew right over our heads at a recent soccer game.

These pictures were taken from our upstairs porch a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, the full moon rose too far north this month to be able to crop the houses out of the view.