Sunday, August 16, 2009

An abundance of Hills.....

So it is becoming an annual tradition..what you ask? Hillapalooza. That is right, in true definition of a "palooza" we gather as many possibly Hills together (this trip was a grand total of 17-- that is 10 adults and 7 kids...we are almost out numbered) and have a great time for a week. Also is true "palooza" fashion we eat a lot, drink some, take a bazillion pictures and all in all have a fantastic time. The activities started on Sunday evening when Brad (Ryan's older brother), Michelle, Brady and Sydney arrived.

We packed up the kiddos, drinks, pack n plays, etc and headed over to Mah and Dah's house. We had a fantastic dinner of Flank steak and twice baked potatoes (aka Tenene potatoes, this is my MIL's pet name for me). Oh my goodness I can eat 3 of those things!

Below is Chaz thinking the high pressure sprayer is a riding toy. Why wouldn't a (nearly) two year old see this wonderful contraption as a riding toy. He jumped on, found what he thought was a handle and said "GO, GO"
is this the "busted" look or what? I really could care less if he plays with barbies but the look on his face is priceless. This Barbie box became the hit toy amongst the boy cousins.

There is an old camera that doesn't get uses (it is ancient and uses film!) So Marcy decided to bring it over and let the kids play with it. Again, another HUGE hit with all the kiddos. It is funny to me how they know exactly how to point and shoot. You think they have had a camera or 2 in their face since the day they were born??

Brady was the best "babysitter" ever. From the moment we walked in the door he was perfectly happy (and good!) taking care of all the kiddos. Note: we have 5 from 3 and under. yep 5!!! We joked everyday about how each of us wanted to take him home with us. Meghan of course got dibs because she has a million kids. I think Michelle (brady's mom) thought we were kidding, nope I would take him in a heartbeat!

Random picture of Ben with the pet snake.. cute!

and then we have Brandon, who we all swear is a clone of my little one. Always into something, always climbing but ever so funny!

So i wasn't sure if i would ever be able to get all the kiddos together for a group picture.. why not start on day one and hope for the best. So i began the wrangling of the kids about 6 minutes before this picture was taken. Brady was a huge help in this event as that is definitely what it was. Sydney and Anna jumped right up on the couch. Clearly they are girls and love to have their picture taken. Chaz and Ben weren't too much trouble and they just loves to sit with Anna. Brandon and Jackson we another story. WAY too busy! I had to take pictures of the "process" because it was just so funny. Seriously it was a little like herding cats.

If i could photoshop these three together i would as there are great shots of all the kids but in different pictures. I would consider the below the "best." What does it take to achieve this high rank? We a higher percentage of the kids are facing forward (although Anna decided to wave thus covering chaz's face), most look reasonably happy and smiling and last but not least by the 12th picture you just flat give up that you will ever get a "perfect" picture.

What would you say is the #1 thing your parents told you not to do?? Jump on the bed right? well obviously when you toss a bunch of cousins in a back room at the grandparents all heck breaks loose.. (note: i understand I am in this picture and i want to clarify that i am only trying to keep my little one from falling off the bed.. however i understand i am and will forever be guilty by association)

but i mean seriously look how much fun they are having!
and then there is this picture.. all the kiddos climbed into the pack n play... most were having fun but poor little Jackson didn't really enjoy this activityWe missed Monday night activities at Cameron and Marcy's because we had a birthday party for my Meme (83!) and Aunt Sandra. (that will be a separate blog)

However we resumed the festivities full force on Tuesday.. we all traveled down to Rogers to hang out at the Clawson's. It was also Mike's birthday so we doubled up the fun!

For the boys 1st birthday mike and meghan had a great idea to have everyone chip in for a GIANT swing set! What a great idea! The second the kiddos hit the backyard it was on! Kids running and climbing to new heights.

Brady was the daredevil..

Jackson went right to the top!

Chaz jumped right up climbed to the top and went down the slide.. yes my heart skipped a beat but that is ok..he made it down without incident...

Stupid human tricks play by play..

Brad puts beer on head...

Brady enters frame and innocently pretends to flick the can off his dad's head

now what you don't see is the "evil" uncle Ryan in the background who actually flicked the can...

So last year for everyone's birthdays we bought the most retched adult drink known to man (this included but was not limited to Clamato (beer and clam juice) Texas sucks beer, Beer 30, Colt 45, etc) This year instead of buying crap, we decided to get some good stuff. Ryan's birthday was in may so his was a little late but classic... If you know my husband you know he is afraid (yes afraid) of Ketchup.. so when Meghan found this cute bag at pottery barn it became the perfect gift back for his 6 pack of Modelo.

When Chaz heard "Cake" He ran into the kitchen where he had eaten dinner, grabber is eating seat and brought it back to the table as fast as possible. The boy wanted some cake..

Mike and sweet little Anna ready to blow out candles..

Anna helped make her Daddy's birthday cake and did a FANTASTIC job!!!

Meghan didn't have her camera so she went running to get it.. Mike looked as if he was going to blow out the candles but Anna put a quick stop to that. She was so cute in covering his mouth so her mommy could get her camera.

Sydney being silly
The next day i took off work to join the family at Fastlanes (if you don't have one I can only explain it as a supped up Chuck E Cheese... much cleaner, better games, much bigger) It is very nice to still have some kids that will just jump on the games and have fun (without money :)

Cousins playing cars.. SO fun!

They really had no idea they were really playing. It was great!

Chaz and Jackson

Way in the back of the place there is an inside go cart track... next to it is a little riding car for kiddos. Chaz didn't care that the car didn't move.. All he wanted to do was buckle himself in .. you know, safety first!
Notice the pay card in Brad's teeth. He is one of the unfortuante souls whos kid is old enough to know when he is playing.. Hey, at least he can still trick Sydney!

So about 1130 and almost to the end of the bowling game chaz started to melt. Although he did really good at the begining of the game he didn't last to the end. Bless my sister-in-law Michelle. She graciously took him from me (because he was squirming and exhausting me) and held him in the postition known to all moms.. if the butt is low they can't successfully wiggle out of this one :)

That night we went to AQ Chicken House.. Although i don't have any pictures *shucks* it was a sight to see. Note: All the Hill kids ahve worked at AQ in one capacity or another. This also includes Michelle.. Marcy and I have also done our fair share of salad making and caterings. I say this because it explains why we would brave a restaurant with all these kids.. well we are like family there and they can't get rid of us.. They do however sit us WAY in the back and give the waitresses fair warning of the chaos that is abotu to ensue. All in all it went off fairly well.. i mean with 17 people and little incident i would consider the dinner a success.

Before the Hillapalooza I had a conversation with Marcy about having a photoshoot at the UofA. I thought it was a great idea as we rairly get an opportunity with all the family here. She knows a great photographer who is very flexible with our schedules.. He was great! (i don't have those pictures yet but will post them as soon as I do) Below are the candid ones I took of the kids..

I can't believe how big Brady is getting. He was our ring bearer in our wedding (and was only 1!)

and these little munckins are getting so big! To think back to a year ago..what a trip!

and my "little" one... wow, he will be 2 in less than a month!
and he still likes to play in everyone's shoes (these are Sydney's)

and ol' Jack-Jack will be 2 in November.. my how time flies!

The last night of Hillapalooza was really like and old hippyfest.. it was hot and humid. All the kids were outside chasing fireflies. Some with not much clothing on (Chaz and Anna) So I saw yet another opportunity for a group shot (i am missing some of the kiddos here but it still made for two great shots!)

These memories are something I will cherish for years and years to come. I was very close to my cousins and grandparents when i was growing up and summers are some of my best memories! I hope the kiddos remember these times for many many years. (there is reallly no way to forget as their mom's took 100s of pictures)

I will leave you with a funny story, every night or morning as we were loading up i would do "role call" with Chaz. He is getting where he knows everyone's names but with the "new" people and abundance of people i wanted to get a little quiz going... So I would go "Ok, Chaz we are going to dinner and we will see Dah (he would say Dah) Mah, Anna, MikeMike, Aunt Meg, Ben, Brandon, Brad, Brady, Shell, Sydney, Cam (or uncle T as Anna calls him) Marcy, JackJack.... he was rally good at some and got better over the week at the rest.. he was a master by weeks end.. Anyways now anytime we get in the car he starts going down the list.... Anna, MikeMike, Dah..... it is SO funny to me. I hope you enjoyed Hillapalooza 09!

1 comment:

  1. I am so jealous - looks like you guys had a great time. That swing set is killer - where did it come from?