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.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2009 Wilkinson Quints Calendar

Move over Anne Geddes.....
Announcing the 2009 Wilkinson Quints Calendar!

The calendar features 12 adorable photos of the Wilkinson quintuplets. Photographers for this year's calendar include Kristen Duke, Betty Ann Curtis (my mom) and myself. Below is a sneak peek at some of the pictures included in the calendar. To see thumbnail versions of all the pictures, click HERE.

The calendar is being offered this year at the low price of $13.99.

The calendar is currently being printed and is expected to start shipping by the end of the month. Stay tuned to the blog for more shipping updates!

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

To order, visit our website at:

Here is a sneak peak at some of the pictures included in the calendar:


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Melts in Your Mouth....Not in Your Hand

I have always thought it would be fun to do a family costume theme for Halloween. I have seen other families dress up as characters from Toy Story, Flinstones, the Adam's family, etc, but I have never been able to convince MY family that it would be fun. This year, however, I discovered one of the benefits of having quintuplets---five kiddos who don't have enough language skills to tell me no! The babies dressed up like M&M's and Jayson and I dressed up like M&M bags. Riley and Kaiya (whose language skills are much better than a one-year-old's) protested the family theme and decided to do their own Cowboy/Cowgirl theme.

With the help of my friend, Virginia, I made all the costumes. They turned out great---so, I was glad that we had more than one place to wear them. The week before Halloween we went to our church "Trunk-or-Treat". We also went to a Halloween festival at Jayson's work, and of course we went Trick-or-Treating on Halloween night! Despite being non-conformists, Riley and Kaiya looked cute in their western wear, too.

Riley, Kyndall, Rustin, Kaiya, Kaydence, Kassidy and Ryder at the church "Trunk-or-Treat"

Cowboy Riley and Cowgirl Kaiya strike a pose


Kyndall, Rachelle and Kaydence at the church party

I got a little bit carried away with the M&M theme---when Kaiya brought the class stuffed animal "Mr. Bear" home for the night, we made him an M&M costume too.

Kaydence, Rustin, Kassidy, Ryder and Kyndall anxiously wait to go Trick-or-Treating on Halloween

Kaiya and Kyndall

Trick-or-Treating in the "Silver Bullet". Riley was too cool to go with us---he wanted to go with his friends (who made him trade in his boots for running shoes so they could get as much candy as possible)

My friend and favorite photographer, Kristen Duke, took some great pictures of the babies in their Halloween costumes.

Kyndall, Kassidy, Rustin, Kaydence and Ryder