Friday, August 17, 2012

Hillapalooza // 2012

Here we go again. Yep, we did it in 2009, skipped 2010 due to some new babies, we did it in 2011 and we excitedly decided to do it again in 2012. We gathered in NWA for what I have affectionately coined as Hillapalooza. We added in Aunt EA this year so we actually still out numbered the kiddos. If you are counting-- 11 adults and 10 kids. Yes, you did read that correctly. 

Here is the list of kiddos..Yes, there are 4 four year old boy!!! And 7 of the kiddos are 4 or under. We definitely had our work cut out for us!!

Brady (12) Sydney (6) Madilyn (2)
Chaz (4) Dane (8months)
Jackson (4) Campbell (2)
Anna (6) Ben (4) Brandon (4)

Yes, 4 four year-old boys and 2 two year-old girls. Wow!! Also, I guess you did notice the top of the list was Brady. And he will forever be at the top of my list as he is a HUGE helper with all of these kiddos. Poor Brady, I am sure he needed a vacation after his vacation. He was such a great big cousin. I threatened to steal him several times throughout the week.
Madilyn was in love with Dane from the first moment. She simply couldn't get enough of him.
Before the fam came to visit Mah and Dah put up a awesome cover over the back patio and put out furniture, fans and a rug. It was a great place for all the kiddos to hangout. I think they had more fun playing with the fan remote controls than the toys. Night one was dinner at Mah and Dah's house. We rotated houses and dinner nights just so we weren't all planted in the same place for a week solid.
Dane was so very happy to meet all his cousins! He is a very loved new addition to this big ol' group of cousins!
Sydney was quite a fan of Dane as well. I mean, he is simply fantastic so I don't really know how you couldn't be a fan! I love how all the kids immediately took to each other. It warms my heart to know they connect every year without skipping a beat.
Oh Ben, you are such the silly kid.
I think this picture is hilarious. Only because we were threatened within an inch of our lives if we were to pull out our phones at the dinner table (or during the week at all) Mah said she was not having it. She refused to watch us on our phones for a week. Guess who broke said rule first. Yep, that would be the Hubs. He claimed he was "looking something up" Whatever.  After this point we were all actually really good at keeping our phones put away and enjoying the company.
Total sweetness. As I said before, this kid is amazing. He is SO good with the little ones!
Every evening as I was feeding Dane his bottle, I would get a little helper to feed the baby. She would jump in her spot (as she told me several times-- "My spot") I loved every stinkin' moment of it!  Forgive the no make-up going on here. It was Saturday, vacation and frankly I just didn't care.
Dah was quite fond of these little people. They are loud but he can't hear 100% and has become quite good at tuning out the noise. I think that is why he likes them so much. HA!
This is what dinnertime looks like with all these kiddos. We set up a long table and quickly shovel out the food so the kids can quickly shovel (hopefully!) it in!
 And this is one short as Dane has already been fed and is in bed. How he was able to sleep with all this noise, I haven't a clue.
Yeah, I have no idea why he was shirtless but he wasn't the only one.. Jackson and the twins were all shirtless as well. they must have had a great time playing outside before dinner.
Every once an a while Brady got a moment to himself and was able to play his video games. He usually wasn't left alone for a long time but we were able to get the little kiddos to watch a movie (or at least some of a movie) in order to let Brady take a break! HA!
After the dads played golf the next afternoon, Ryan decided to take a bath.....and Chaz decided to jump in afterwards. This is what I was lucky enough to walk in to. And yes, I got to clean it up.
After cleaning up the mess, it was back to Mah/Dah's for dinner. Someone was super excited to see the family again!
Crazy kiddos. I wish these pictures had sound. I wish I would have remembered to take video (note to self for next year) They were having a blast. No, we usually don't let them jump/stand on the furniture but this week, we relaxed a little on the rules.
I was able to catch a movie with the boy one afternoon. We all went to see Brave. What a great little movie!
Everynight.. Zonked!
We had lunch at Grubs one day. We were missing Cam and Mike (they were working) but we had everyone else in tow. Grubs did not know what they were getting. I am just glad it was slow.. Oh and they had kid's eat free! HA! Suckers!
Marcy and Cameron decided to take advantage of the neighborhood pool and invited the family over early for swimming and snowcones before dinner. Nothing like wearing the kids down before bedtime! Genius!
I love how stowic this little one is. She is so sweet and calm. She just sits, so content. I love this face!
Speaking of faces I love.
Marcy invited her best friend Katy, her husband Addison and their sweet little boy Turner. Everyone is a Hill! I think Turner was quite happy to be part of the party! He definitely enjoyed the red snowcones. And looked so super awesome doing it!
Chaz loved his snowcone but refused to smile for a picture. He was "too busy"
Jackson and Brady were happy to smile for my camera. Red lips and all!!
Anna and Sydney were nice enough to do the same.
Marcy also invited her sister's family to join in the fun. These kids are practically Hills so the more the merrier! Eli is such a cute little guy!
It was a beautiful day. Really hot, so the pool was an excellent refresher! I think everyone got in the pool. We had a great time!!

Sorry buddy, none for you.. not yet
Zonked.. every night.
I decided to have two of the nights at our house. We could let the kids run wild in the backyard or lock put them upstairs to play. The first night Brad and Michelle (translation...Michelle) were in charge of dinner. I simply offered the venue.

When Chaz woke up from his nap that afternoon he decided he needed on new clothes. Don't let the below picture fool you, it was 105 degrees that day. Yes, he is wearing long sleeves. I will never understand the temperature of this kid. He is always a little off. 

Anyways, as soon as everyone started to arrive the kiddos naturally flocked to Brady. He tried his best to explain a card game to two four year-olds with little to no attention span. Awesomeness.
Once the kids realized it was hot, they quickly retreated upstairs to make mass destruction.
Brady was at least a little crafty with his mess. How stinkin' cute is that?
Miss Campbell quickly decided that the kitchen should be relocated to the top of the climber. She was happy so why not?
I went downstairs for a bit to enjoy some adult time only to be beckoned by the kids "YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!!!" "It touches the roof" Oh my, what was I about to walk into. All I was thinking was... "I cannot even think of something big enough to touch the roof ceiling but I really hope nobody is climbing it!"

I rounded the top of the stairs. All the cousins had worked together to build this giant tower. I was so very proud!
And so were they! I had to take quite a few pictures in order to get (almost-Madilyn and Dane were downstairs) everyone in the picture. They were so very proud of their work. And that they should be!

And then the craziness started again. I quickly realized that four year-old boys are attracted to anything that looks like a stick, sword or other object that can be used in a major for fighting or jousting. Note to self: I have many days of breaking up sword fights between my boys.

Little guy was ready to get on the move with his cousins. After a week with all these kiddos, he will be running around in no time!!
Adults are boring.. HAHAHA!!
But they can be funny. Like when Uncle Mike tries to lay down the law on dinner eating. Yep, zero authority with these kiddos! Thank goodness Michelle was there to oversee the eating.
Some of my favorite pictures of the week. Mad and I had become quick friends. So it was easy to convince her to come outside and meet the Touchdown Hog. I mean, I know her Daddy went to the UofA but I just wanted to make sure she knew, understood and loved all things Hog. She was a fan!
and even a little sweet on the old hog. Kisses!!!
As a tradition we celebrate all the kiddos birthdays when we gather together this time of the year. We celebrate the kids birthday on their actual birthdays too but it is great to be able to celebrate them all at the same time. The kiddos look forward to this part of the week every Hillapalooza.
We all gather and sing!

and then we eat! CAKE!! I am pretty sure Campbell enjoyed hers!
I decided to have a sleepover with all the kiddos this year. Yes, I invited ALL the kiddos. We were ready and willing but three retreated to their mommas come bedtime (Sydney, Mads and Campbell) but the rest were left at our house. Before we did this we figured a good way to wind everyone down was an outdoor movie. This backfired but I will get to that in a minute. Anyways, if you remember several years back my dad built this awesome screen for Chaz's birthday party. We borrowed the projector from Izzy's sweet momma and set up shop in the backyard.
The kids were pumped to get everything in motion and the movie rolling! We gave them popcorn in individual plastic popcorn tubs and everything.
The adults were equally as excited.
All sitting so well, paying attention to the movie and eating their popcorn like little sweet kids should (if you don't see where I am going with this, you are blind)
Still good!
Yep, still chilling.. watching.. all is good..
All of them (or almost all of them) started to melt... running in the yard like a buncha crazy hippies. You want to know where the Hubs we failed?  Cars 2. Not Cars, but Cars 2. Have you seen this movie? If you have, enough said. If you haven't, don't bother. BORING! *Yawn*
These two lasted the majority of the movie.. Good for them.. The rest were melting like a popsicle on a hot summer's day
and then it was bedtime. Shuffle them all upstairs to their pallets and off to sleep they went. No really, they all went to sleep. I promise. I'm not lying. I was just as shocked.
The next morning the Hubs got up early and went to get the kiddos donuts. Brandon decided he needed some cereal before the donuts but once he got a donut it was colored tongue time!!
They were all so excited and so well behaved. Notice Brady is missing. You will not see him for the next bit (several hours to be exact-- we let him sleep in. He had his own room and was so excited to be by himself)
The kiddos loved donut time

After breakfast time the kiddos jumped right into their swimsuits. Chaz turned into a bit of a pill which I, being the great mom that I am, made sure to get several pictures of.
Muscles in the front, sour little boy in the back

"C'mon Chaz. Get in the picture"  "Mumble, mumble, mumble... no!"  Seriously, this is one heck of a host!
Luckily, it was short lived. He was game and they were all smiles!
And then they quickly scattered! The Hubs came out with the water hose and started spraying!!!

Then it was slide time. I still can't believe this thing is still alive (sort of) I mean it has made it through multiple birthday parties, random afternoons, regular get togethers and several summers. I will be shocked if it makes it to the end of this one.
I have no clue what Ben was doing but I love these pictures. Just a little boy having a great time!!
The boy was sitting on the porch in his excersaucer. He just loved watching the big kids play!
Then it was time for the slip and slide race. It was interesting how every single race was a tie. I don't know how it happened... other than this momma is a genius and knows if you don't have winners at something like this, there is no arguing. Bliss.
Did I mention I love this little guy as well? He is the character. These pictures prove my point
But mine? Mine had to take it one.step.further. Yes, he did.
There was a slight problem with the slip-n-slide but not to worry. We had PLENTY of little helpers!
And back to the slide
These kiddos were going crazy. From one thing to the next and baaaaaaaaack and fooooooorth, baaaaaaaaack and foooooorth.. They were having the best time!

I love these kids so much! They were all SO freakin' good. They just had a great time going a little crazy in the backyard. We were lucky that we got out early, before it hit the 100 degree mark.

And this little sweet pea literally sat for an hour and just watched the madness!
and ate puffs.
They took turns being the hose sprayer. This probably wasn't our best move and there was a little squabbling but for the most part we had a good "system" of turns.

This was the beginning of the end. Chaz decided he was cold.
He isn't dramatic or anything. This is his I'm-cold-and-wil-soon-shrivel-up-like-an-old-woman pose. We often have sighting of this during outside water time, pool time and any other water event that he decides he is done with.
He was sweet about it and just sat on the warm concrete wrapped up in his batman towel.
The Hubs decided to take the last few minutes of playtime to spray down the rest of the kiddos.
And one by one they all decided they were done cold
And now it is time for goofy pictures! Notice the little one in the back! I like scrolling through these quickly. It is almost like a movie. HA!!

I then shoved all the boys in my shower and put Anna in Dane/Chaz's shower. When I went to get her all set up I noticed this. All those kiddos brushed their teeth, no push from me. They collected every stool in the house in order to make sure everyone had a place to stand. How stinkin' cute?!?!
I gotta admit. Although I love them so very much, I am so glad they are not all mine. I do not know how I would function with quads. Just lining out their clothes and make sure they were all clean and dressed was a challenge and they were behaving! Imagine if it was a meltdown morning. No thanks!
I needed to get Dane down for his morning nap so the Hubs was told offered to take all the bigger kids on a walk. Chaz decided to have an attitude so you will notice him lingering behind. When will we be out of the four year-old whining stage? Soon, I hope!
The rest of the kids were pretty excited to go on the walk. Chaz eventually warmed up to the idea.  Thanks to the Hubs for taking one for the team here!
A little bit more playtime before the parents came to pick them up. Yes, Brady was STILL asleep!!

We took all the kiddos over to Mah/Dah's house for the rest of the morning and early afternoon. The mommas went to lunch and got pedicures. Yes, heaven!
We left all 10 kids with Dah, EA, Brad and the Hubs. They had their work cut out for them as we had pumped some donut sugar into them AND they had already been together for days. The newness is bound to wear off. We checked in on them a few times just to make sure everyone was still alive. :)  One of the best texts was one that Michelle received from Brad. I was rolling!
After a little more playtime and afternoon naps, we were back at my house for dinner. This night was our night. And tacos it was!! It was so nice to just let the kids run wild in the backyard. It is a great way to release all that crazy kiddo energy!
The one "girl toy" we have in our house. Madilyn loved this baby.
We followed dinner with leftover birthday cake. The kids were on cloud nine!
After a day with 100 degree heat, the slide was more than dry for the kids to play on that evening. I think they liked it!
Baby even got her turn!
Oh look, there is Brady! He was being goofy. Shocker
The next morning, the dads headed to golf and the mommas headed to the pool. Meghan has a great neighborhood pool and by 10am it was hot enough to get in. I took Dane to my Mom's house. My mom, Meme, Alexis and Kelsey were nice enough to watch him so I could enjoy some time with Chaz. No it doesn't take four ladies to watch our little guy. I think they all just love him so much!
Yes, this is a midair shot. Looks like he is walking on water. HA!

Chaz has become a pretty good swimmer this summer. I am one proud momma!!
I love Syd and her goggles. SO fashionable!
I have no idea what direction Brandon was giving to the crew but I found it hilarious. It was a good 10 minutes that he was bossing
Love him!! Jackson is sure the cutie!
When you put Brandon and Chaz together you never really know what they are going to do.
Jackson decided to sit on the kickboard....
Not sure that worked out so well. HA!
Chaz decided he was cold and he wanted to sit in the sun. I don't know how he can be cold in 100 degree weather but he comes by it honestly. I am cold all.the.time!
Lets send some cute pictures to daddy on the golf course.
And the devil water guns are alive again. I really hate these things. They start nothing but fights. Whomever made these probably made Playdoh as well!
 Madilyn got some swim time too!
Brady is such and awesome older brother. So attentive and careful around the little ones.
Yes, this looks like this little one is being tortured but she is actually laughing. Love it!!
Evil waterguns bring out the evilness in little boys. It was fun to watch but you knew it was all about to implode.
Watergun fight with momma and brother!

She loved it!!
"Baby swim??" I guess we are about to find out!
I look up to see this on the other side of the pool. I am not really sure what he was thinking about but it must be important. Look at that face!
Ahhhhhh, all that pre-planning was to get ready to jump in the pool. Got it!
Pretty girl!
Before we knew it, it was lunchtime. My sweet Mother-in-law was nice enough to bring us all Chick-fil-a! We ate and then I headed back to the house as the boys were exhausted!! This one told me he wasn't tired and didn't need a nap.. Ummmm hmmmmm.
and this one was not having it. He was tired but I found him just kickin' it in his crib.
So we decided to have a little snuggle time.
Dinner at Mah's house. Aunt Meg got to love on the baby!
As did Brad. How can you not love on this baby?? Look at that sweet face
I always try to get a picture of the kids when they all pile up on the couch. They make me smile. The kids were exhausted. I mean were were on night six on Hillapalooza. Who could really blame them?
I love Chaz in the picture. Sweet smile with the sugar bumb drink in hand. No Hubs, it is not the same as Gatorade.
And I love Jackson in this picture. How sweet is his face?? Anna just wants to hold the baby
Then they started to get goofy!
Captain Droopy Drawers found the walker and mastered it in moments. I have a feeling my life is about to get REALLY busy!!
Brady was so sweet with the baby. Again, such a good kiddo. Michelle, if you ever want to send him my way...I will totally take him in!!
Brady got a little too much sun at the pool. He may have been a little dramatic about it but heck, it was his turn for some attention.
Remember when I mentioned the fan remotes at the beginning? Yes, day six they are still a favorite "toy."
Sweet boy with his Mah.

So what do you do when your cousins aren't paying attention to you and you are the only person in the house with any remaining energy?? You moon them. Yes, that is what she is doing!
Mom and brother are zonked.
And the Clawsons look like zombies.
Mine was trying really hard to keep his eyes open..
and this one? Yes, he was in his place for the evening.
The next day the boys went golfing, again. So we went to Mah's to hang out for a bit.
I got one last picture with my new best friend!
Mah got a little hang time with the littliest!
I can't remember for the life of me why he switched to pjs in the middle of the day but he did. I am sure it had something to do with a diaper or food or something of the like. But at least they are cute pjs. I am so happy I took a minute to get pictures of the boys with EA. We love her so much!!
and a picture with Aunt Meg and Anna. Love it!
There weren't really any lunch plans so I decided to take the opportunity to enjoy lunch with just my boys.
Dane was great, he slept through the majority of the meal.
Chaz and I really enjoyed each other. We took funny pictures, enjoyed our lunch and ice cream. We talked about his new school, Hillapalooza, upcoming summer activities and how he is excited to turn five! It was a great lunch!
Best lunch date ever!!!!
Love him!!!
and him too!!
We decided to end Hillapalooza with a bang.....and big bang.  We decided to ALL (Yes, ALL 21 of us) go out (Yes, OUT!) to eat. We decided on Olive Garden, I mean if you are going to go out we may as well have yummy food. We called ahead AND went to dinner at the time that only really old people eat.  Unfortunately, all our efforts were kind of for nothing. It took them A LONG time to get us seated. There is only one spot in the restaurant where they can pull together enough tables for 21 people. The kids were actually really well behaved while waiting. All the adults bellied up to the bar and handed the iPhones over to the kids. Yes, we are those people and I will not apologize for it. Don't judge :) 

I also got the "eating seat" out of the car and fed Dane right there in the lobby. I thought it was quite brilliant. 1) we was able to eat dinner and he was getting really hungry 2) I had the little guy contained..Enough said.

Once we were seated the kids were ready for bread. Who can blame them?!? We kept the eating seat and put Mads in it. She is my buddy so I was very happy to sit next to her during dinner.
And this is the rest of the table. I wasn't even able to get everyone into the photo. God bless the servers we had that night. They were wonderful and really had a heck of a table on their hands. 
Sorry guys.. Mass destruction..
We got to the car and Chaz said.. "Ummmmmm, Momma?? I gotta show you something"
Olive Garden mint - 1, Chaz - 0
And we end Hillapalooza with some of the sweetest pictures I have ever seen in my life. The two littlest Hills. Mads really, really, really wanted to hold the baby. I just couldn't deny her and I am really glad I didn't
Hillapalooza 2012 was a success! We had a nice, relaxing time with the family. We love all getting together and really enjoy getting to see the NC Hills and EA. What a wonderful week!!

Check here for our Family Photoshoot 2012.

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