Thursday, December 25, 2008

Virtual Christmas Card 2008

Since there is no way to reach all of you via the regular postal mail, I am instead posting a "virtual Christmas Card". Thank you for all your support and have a Merry Christmas!!!

And now for the story of 2008...
The Wilkinson family will give an update.

We'll start with the quints, who this year turned one.
They're five times the work…but five times the fun!
They walk, they mumble, they laugh, and they stumble
Play games with their parents and then take a tumble.
They poop and they play, they party and pray;
And they love watching Wiggles at the end of each day.
They pose quite a challenge for Mom and for Dad,
But their smiles and cuteness make everyone glad.
Healthy and happy, is what we all love--
And for that we still thank the good Lord above.

Rustin and Ryder, the two goofy boys
Take turns at the trouble and stealing the toys.
There’s Kassidy, Kaydence, and Kyndall too
Who like playing with dolls and trying on shoes.

Now Riley and Kaiya, they’re lots of fun too!
They like to play piano and go to the zoo.
Kaiya loves dancing, and Riley, his bike.
Having adventures is what they both like.
Riley does swimming and likes to create.
This year he was baptized because he turned eight.
Kaiya likes reading and going to school,
And playing with Riley 'cause she thinks he's cool.
They star in their own YouTube video show,
Might one day be famous (but let's not let them know).

As for Mom and Dad, they'd like a good rest--
A cruise or a trip to get out of the nest.
Well, for that they’ll simply just have to keep waiting.
But, because of good friends, they still do some dating!

Now that just sums it up. Yes, it's been a good year.
Thanks to our friends from far and from near.
Now if you want more, you will just have to log
Onto your computer to check out the blog!

Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Getting Ready for Christmas...

I love Christmas. I love the decorations, the music, the lights and just the general air of excitement and anticipation. I love reading Christmas cards from friends and family. I love the sappy Christmas movies they show on the Hallmark Channel (and other similar stations). I love wrapping presents. I love taking my kids shopping and seeing what creative things they come up with to give people. I love baking goodies for the neighbors. I love all the special foods that we make only at Christmastime. I love dressing the girls in their Christmas dresses and the boys in their Christmas ties. I especially love all the family traditions associated with Christmas.

One of my favorite traditions is reading Christmas stories. We have three different “Countdown to Christmas” story collections, so every night we sit by the Christmas tree and read stories. A couple of my all–time favorites are “The Tale of Three Trees” and “Trouble at the Inn”. Although I have read these stories many times, I still get choked up every time I read them!

Unlike many families, one of our traditions is that we don’t cook on Christmas Day. Instead we have our nice dinner on Christmas Eve. Since we did not live by family when I was growing up, we always got together with friends on Christmas Eve. We eat dinner and sometimes go caroling or out to look at Christmas lights. Then we don bathrobes and towels on our heads to reenact the Nativity while reading the story of Jesus’ birth from the bible.

Last year's Nativity Reenactment---Shepherd Riley, Angel Kaiya, Wiseman Alec and Cora as Mary

On Christmas Eve, after our dinner is through and any guests have gone home, we sit around the Christmas tree and we each choose our favorite Christmas song to sing. Then we take lots of pictures by the tree---we take the girls together, the boys together, the whole family, the kids, etc. We always finish with a “pile” picture. Growing up, I had four brothers. As you can imagine, this was NOT their favorite part of the evening. I think it has actually become part of the tradition for them to whine and complain the whole time.

Group Shot from Christmas Eve 2007 (Wow, I forgot how bald all the babies were!)

After pictures, we each open one present, which is always pajamas. After putting on the new jammies, we of course have to take a couple more pictures before setting the milk and cookies out for Santa and jumping into bed.

For breakfast Christmas morning, we always have those little single-serve boxes of cereal. My grandparents started this tradition when my mom was a young child. They couldn’t afford to have cereal all the time, so having cereal on Christmas morning was a special treat. Even though we have cereal for breakfast almost every day at our house, my kids still love getting the little boxes for Christmas. In fact, if you ask my kids what traditions we have for Christmas, the little cereal boxes are usually the only thing they remember. With our little cereals, we also have cinnamon rolls and chocolate milk.

Christmas this year should be a lot of fun. We have had to be a little bit creative with our Christmas decorations. The babies are that stage where they are curious about everything, and don’t quite listen when you tell them “no”. Our Christmas tree has a baby gate surrounding it, and all of our other decorations have been placed out of reach. I am sure the babies will like opening presents and playing with the paper and boxes. Riley and Kaiya are a bit concerned that the babies will attack all of their presents as well.

The Christmas Tree

Ryder, Kassidy and Rustin attempt to overpower the barrier--So far their attempts have been unsuccessful!

The Mantel---Check out all those Christmas stockings! (Which fortunately are too high for the babies to reach.)

Creative measures to keep cords and decorations out of reach of little hands!

Today was the Sunday before Christmas and all the kiddos were dressed in their Christmas clothes. I attempted to get a picture of each of the kids in front of the Christmas tree, but not everyone wanted to cooperate!

Riley--"All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth!"







Kaiya and Riley

The Boys: Rustin, Jayson, Ryder and Riley

The Girls: Kassidy, Rachelle, Kaydence, Kyndall and Kaiya

Jayson and Rachelle

My brother Colby and his girlfriend Neeha stopped by this weekend for a couple of hours on their way to Arizona. I made them pose for a few pictures. Colby said that he thinks I may have become worse than our mom when it comes to taking lots of pictures-----I think I will take that as a compliment!

Ryder, Rustin, Kaiya, Kassidy, Neeha, Kaydence, Colby, Kyndall, and Riley


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quint Olympics: Gobble, Gobble Competition

After a long hiatus, the Quint Olympics are back! This episode features another eating competition, but with a different twist. The gold medal will go to the most adventurous eater.

If you missed the other Quint Olympics episodes, you can watch them using the links below:

Event 1: Toy Wrestling
Event 2: Cheerio Eating
Event 3: Crawl Race

Which Quint Olympics episode is your favorite so far? Cast your vote in the poll to the left --->

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Recent Poll Shows...

5 out of 5 Babies Recommend
the 2009 Wilkinson Quints Calendar






To see pictures from the calendar, or to order your own, click HERE.

PS-- Check back tomorrow for another exciting episode of the Quint Olympics!


Friday, December 5, 2008

Now Shipping!

The calendars arrived at my house yesterday and they look great! I am so happy about how they turned out! Last year's calendar was good, but this year's calendar is even better. Now that they are older, the babies have so much more personality and it really comes out in the pictures.

***All calenders that were pre-ordered were shipped this morning.***

Here are a couple more pictures from the final product:


Monday, December 1, 2008

Calendar Update

The calendars are printed and are finally on the way to my house! They should get here on Thursday. For everyone who has ordered calendars---THANK YOU! Assuming I get the calendars on Thursday, I will be mailing orders out on Friday.

For anyone who hasn't ordered a calendar yet--there's still time! To order a calendar or to see thumbnails of all the pictures, click HERE.

All proceeds will be used to support the seemingly endless consumption of diapers and wet wipes by the Wilkinson Quints!


Sunday, November 30, 2008


Our good friends, the Woods, were crazy enough to invite our family to Thanksgiving dinner. As you can imagine, with a crew like ours we don't get invited many places, so if we do get an invitation we almost always accept! Thanksgiving morning we loaded up our van with 5 high chairs, 5 pack-n-plays (since we would be there long enough for the babies to need naps), 5 sippy cups, 5 bibs, 5 spoons, 15 diapers, plenty of wipes, 48 rolls, 1 festive Jell-O salad, 1 pan of sweet potatoes, 5 bottles of sparkling grape juice, 1 video camera, 1 tripod, 1 still camera, 1 large diaper bag and 5 “nuggies” (little blankets the babies sleep with). The van (affectionately nicknamed “The Beast”) was so full after loading all our gear that there was no room for people, so the babies and I walked over in the stroller while Jayson drove the van.

Once we got there, the kids (all seven) had a blast! The Woods kids had set up all kinds of activities for the babies to do—from dollhouses to trains to playing outside. I think the quints were just happy to be anywhere but our house! Their nap was strategically timed with dinner, so Jayson and I actually got to sit down and eat. It was great! The babies enjoyed the meal when they woke up.



Ryder--checking out the Black Friday ads

Kassidy--a little bit upset when I told her she wouldn't be getting up at 4:30 am to go shopping with me :-)


Kassidy, Kaydence, Ryder and Kyndall--The Woods breed labradoodles and the babies followed Boomer the dog all around the house. Fortunately, Boomer was very good natured and didn't even complain when Ryder repeatedly pulled his tail!

Riley--enjoying the pumpkin pie!

Kaiya--her favorite part was the Jell-O and the chocolate pie.



Rustin--I think the tryptophan in the turkey is setting in---he's looking a little tired



Calvin Woods, Natalie Woods and Rachelle


Kyndall, Ryder, Kaydence, Kassidy, Rustin and Boomer--I am not much of an animal lover (I think kids are hard enough to take care of without throwing a pet into the picture) but I loved having Boomer there to clean up the floor after dinner!

The day after Thanksgiving we had a visit from Dr. Elliott--my doctor from Arizona. He was in town visiting his sister for the holidays. It was so fun to see him again! I think he enjoyed seeing the babies too. He is the reason I was able to make it to 34 weeks before delivering these babies! There were times near the end of the pregnancy when I was ready to be done, but he would not let me deviate from the goal of 34 weeks. Now that I have five beautiful, healthy, normal babies, I am so thankful that he pushed me as far as he did. I will be forever grateful for him and all he did for me!

Ryder, Kassidy, Rustin, Kaydence and Kyndall with Dr. Elliott

My friend, Lyndi, was also in town visiting relatives. Lyndi has 4 1/2 year old quads. She delivered her quads with Dr. Elliott also, and talked me into calling him when I found out I was pregnant with quints. Lyndi was a huge support to me throughout my pregnancy. She called every week to check in on me and I loved having someone to talk to who had "been there, done that."

Rachelle, Dr. Elliott and Lyndi


Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Top Ten Time-Saving Tips

With seven children, including five one-year-olds, time is a precious commodity—especially around the holidays! Because of that, I am always on the lookout for ways to save time. Here are my top ten time-saving tips:

1. No sorting laundry---I used to take everyone’s laundry, put it together, sort it into whites, lights, darks and denim, wash each load and then re-sort things back into the appropriate person’s basket. I have recently discovered that in today’s color-fast world, all that sorting is unnecessary. Now I wash each persons clothes separately (except the babies—I still wash all of their clothes together). I wash everything on cold---it all comes out looking great and no time is spent sorting!

2. Pizza Cutters and Kitchen Shears---these are my favorite kitchen tools. They quickly cut everything from chicken to grilled cheese sandwiches into bite size pieces. Even when I just had one baby at a time, I always carried an extra pair of kitchen shears in my diaper bag.

3. Schedule Chores---I have a specific day for doing laundry, changing sheets, giving the babies a bath, etc. I find that if I schedule things, I plan for it and it gets done. If I don’t schedule it, it is too easy to put off.

4. Toy Bins for each day---The babies have way too many toys with a million parts. Instead of letting them play with all the toys everyday, I have divided the toys into five different bins. Each day I pull out a new bin of toys for the babies to play with. This saves time because I don’t have so many toys to clean up at the end of the day. It is also easier to play with the toys because the pieces are kept together. In addition, the babies don’t get sick of seeing the same toys everyday.

5. Freezer Sandwiches---Instead of making sandwiches for Riley and Kaiya’s lunches each morning, I make several sandwiches all at one time and keep them in the freezer. In the morning when things are rushed, I just grab one and throw it in the lunchbox. By lunchtime, the sandwich is thawed and ready to eat. This works great with all kinds of sandwiches—ham and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, etc. With only two school-age kids, I only have to make sandwiches about once every other week. I am sure that will all change when the quints go to school!

Sandwich production--PB with Nutella and PB with Jelly

6. Pay bills automatically---Each of my regular bills (water, phone, internet, electric, gas, TV, cell phone, mortgage, etc.) is set up to be automatically paid each month. Most companies now have a way to easily set this up. All my bills get paid on time without me doing anything, and I don’t have to spend money on stamps! For places that don’t offer automatic payments (like Riley’s piano teacher and Kaiya’s dance studio), I use my bank’s online bill pay to set up automatic payments.

7. Store trash bags in the bottom of the trash can---I keep a roll of trash bags at the bottom of my trash cans. When the trash needs to be taken out, I don’t have to waste time searching for a new liner. When I have my kids take out the trash, seeing the roll on the bottom of the can is an extra reminder that they need to put a new liner in the can.

8. Brown several pounds of hamburger and freeze---Whenever hamburger goes on sale for a good price, I buy about 10 lbs. Then I brown it all together (usually I do two batches of 5 lbs because of the size of my pot) and divide it into Ziploc freezer bags and toss it in the freezer. When I need it, the meat is very quick to thaw in the microwave and it works great for taco salads, sloppy joes, spaghetti sauce, casseroles, etc.

9. Pre-buy toys for birthday parties---Once kids start going to school, it is amazing how many birthday parties they get invited to. If I find a good sale on toys, I will buy several and save them. When a party comes up, I am not forced to go to the store at the last minute and the kids still get to pick something they think their friend will like from the stash of toys I have saved.

10. Music---The power of music is amazing! If I am having troubles getting some of the babies to eat their baby food, I just start singing to them, and that usually distracts them enough that they will eat. When I want my older kids to get their rooms clean in a hurry, I turn on an energetic song (“Flight of the Bumblebees” works particularly well). When several babies are crying and needing my attention all at the same time, I can usually calm them down by singing “The Wheels on the Bus” or some other action song. At my house, The Wiggles rank right up there with disposable diapers and microwaves. Without The Wiggles, my family would never get dinner!

Kaydence, Kassidy, Kyndall, Ryder and Rustin are entranced by The Wiggles

***If anyone has another great time-saving tip, I would love to hear about it!***

In other news.....

This year both Riley and Kaiya entered the PTA Reflections contest. The theme this year was "WOW!". Riley did a video entry and Kaiya submitted a photograph. This week was the school awards ceremony. Both Riley and Kaiya received an "Award of Excellence" for their entries! They were both very excited to receive a trophy--especially Kaiya. This was her first trophy and she insisted on keeping it on display in the kitchen for the whole week. Both entries will go on to compete at the district level.

Riley with his awards. Riley's video was called, "A Trip to Rudy's" and his artist statement was "Wow, it's a lot of work to take five babies out to eat"

Kaiya by her photo entitled, "Wow--It's a Quintmobile"

Jayson's parents were also in town for a few days this week. Plane tickets were super-expensive the week of Thanksgiving, so they decided to come the week before instead. While they were here, we enjoyed shopping at IKEA, eating lunch with Riley and Kaiya at school, visiting with Jayson's brother's family, eating an early Thanksgiving dinner, and watching "Twilight". Of course no trip to Austin can be complete without a trip to Rudy's (Texas BBQ).

Kaydence, Sylvia, Rustin, Kassidy, Kyndall, Ryder and Kevin

Kyndall and Kassidy--these two usually like to ham it up for pictures

Kassidy (at Rudy's)




Ryder--who seem to always have something hanging out of his mouth!

I thought this picture of Jayson, his dad and his brother was too funny not to include.