Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wilkinson Family Reunion

Last weekend was the first-ever official Wilkinson Family Reunion. Because the Texas Wilkinsons make up over half of the clan, (and because everyone was nice enough not to make us drive a super-long-distance with five almost 2-year-olds), the reunion was held here in Central Texas. Jayson's brother, Joel, lives in Ft. Hood, about an hour from us, so between our two houses and an extra bed at Virginia's house, we managed to find room for everybody. There are four siblings in Jayson's family. Jayson is the oldest, followed by Alicia, Joel and Megan. Alicia has three boys: Trevor (6), Andrew(4), and Jake (almost 1). Joel has two kids: Alec (6) and Cora (almost 4). Megan has only been married a year, and doesn't have kids yet. All together, there were 22 of us. We had a great time visiting with everyone over three fun-filled days.

Day 1: Sea World San Antonio & Rudy's BBQ

Despite the nearly 100 degree temperatures and high humidity, everyone had a great time.

The Whole Gang at the entrance to Sea World. Megan, Jayson's youngest sister, designed T-shirts for everybody. If the stroller didn't catch every one's attention, the bright green shirts sure did! They had a picture of an old Vega car on them and said: "Be like a Vega: Endure to the End, Wilkinson Family 2009". (It is an inside joke in Jayson's family--Vega's are known for being horrible cars, but growing up that had one that defied the odds and lasted forever)

The highlight of the day was the Shamu Show

Everyone waiting to see Shamu

Kaiya and Riley

The park had a huge playscape for the older kids, and an enclosed playplace for kids 3 and under. The quints had a great time playing with the big soft blocks.

There was a little pond at the park with a duck family swimming around. The baby ducklings kept climbing on the mother's back. If there wasn't enough room, they would just shove somebody else off. The daddy duck was swimming around too, and even though he had a perfectly lovely back with plenty of room, the ducklings just wanted to fight over the mother's limited back space. I could REALLY relate!!!

Kaydence--her hair was cute at the beginning of the day--I promise. I think the humidity melted it :-)

We traded off staying with the babies so the adults could ride some roller coasters.

After our Sea World adventure, we went to Rudy's BBQ. By this point, the babies were hot, tired, and past their bedtime, so they were quite a handful. While we were at Rudy's, a lady came up to me and said, "I just have to ask, What do your shirts say?....Oh, 'Be like a Vega'----so you're all VEGETARIANS, isn't that nice!" I thought her comment was particularly funny since we were at Rudy's, with a table full of ribs, brisket and turkey.

Day 2: Family Photos, Crazy Glasses and Splash Park

Kristen Duke, my favorite photographer friend, attempted to take family photos. The dress code was black shirts and jeans. I had an unbelievably hard time finding black shirts for the baby girls. Black is not an "in" color for baby girls right now! After all my searching, I have decided that Navy Blue is the new black. In the end, I did find some black onesies with a picture on the front, so I had the girls wear them backwards for the pictures. Several babies were not happy about the photo shoot, so I was pretty amazed that Kristen actually got a few decent shots. You can see a preview of the photo shoot on her photography blog. Click HERE for the whole group shot, and HERE for some photos of the individual families.

Rachelle, Kyndall, Rustin and Kaydence (two words: mother duck)

Everyone did their best to get the kids to smile while Kristen worked her magic! (Back to front: Tobi, Kristen, Megan, Alex)

Rustin was pretty unhappy during the group shots, but gave us his signature cheeseball grin a little later on.

Following the photo shoot, everyone headed back to our house to compete in the first ever Wilkinson Family Crazy Glasses Contest. Sylvia (Jayson's mom) provided a bunch of old glasses (which she found at thrift shops), pipe cleaners, beads, foam stickers and feathers---the rest was up to us. It was pretty funny to see what people came up with. My friend Natalie came over to judge. Megan (in the middle) was declared the winner!

Next we tried to beat the heat by going to the splash park. The boys jumped right in, but the girls, Kassidy especially, were a little bit more timid. (Pictured: Kyndall, Ryder, Kassidy, Kaydence and Rustin)






Riley and Rustin

The mostly kids table: All that splashing caused us to work up an appetite, so we had a pizza party picnic in the park. By this time it was pretty windy and all the kids plates kept blowing away. Thank heavens I married an engineer, who never leaves home without his duct tape! It saved the day :-)

The mostly adults table.

Day 3: Church, Dinner and Dancing

Sunday was Father's Day. After church, we headed up to Ft. Hood for dinner at Joel and Tobi's house.

The baby table: Kassidy, Kaydence and Kyndall

The Kid Table: Riley, Trevor and Kaiya

More Kid Table: Cora, Grandma and Alec

Riley and Trevor

After dinner, each family was supposed to perform a dance number (ours was Hot Potato, Hot Potato by the Wiggles). Jayson's sister, Alicia, had the best moves of the night!

Kassidy shows off her moves

Grandma and Grandpa's number involved all sorts of crowd participation exercises--including push-ups.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy 9th Birthday Riley!

Last Thursday was Riley's 9th birthday. It is hard to believe I have been a mom for 9 years! Someone told me that since Riley is 9, his time at home is now half way gone. That is crazy to think about.

At our house, we do "friend" birthday parties every other year this was Riley's year for a party. Riley really wanted to have a LEGO birthday party. Since I really went all out for Kaiya's Princess party back in March, I tried to make Riley's party equally as great.

The kids played "hot LEGO" (aka hot potato with a box that looked like a LEGO), had a LEGO building contest, and raced to see how many LEGOs they could pick up using chopsticks. The kids were actually a lot more skilled with the chopsticks than I thought they would be.

The kids worked hard to come up with their LEGO creations.

For dinner, we had LEGO shaped pizzas.

Of course no LEGO party could be complete without a LEGO cake! I made this one using Betty Crocker's recipe.

I attempted to make the goodie bags look like LEGOs by cutting out four circles and attaching them with foam tape. I also found a LEGO font online to print the names with.

The goodie bags were filled with LEGOs (of course), candy, and a homemade LEGO bookmark.

All in all, I think the kids, and most importantly Riley, had a great time!

Riley's actual birthday was the day before our Wilkinson Family Reunion (more on that in an upcoming post), so he was lucky enough to have some extended family members here to help him celebrate.

Cousins Andrew and Trevor with Riley and Kaiya

Not surprisingly, the main thing that Riley wanted for his birthday was....LEGOs!!

Riley is one of those really great kids who gets totally excited about every present he opens. It is so much fun to watch him. When he opened this one he exclaimed, "Oh, AWESOME!!! Some new Sunday pants!"

The whole gang (minus the babies who were in bed). Back: Rachelle, Jayson, Grandma Wilkinson, Alicia (Jayson's sister), Mike (Alicia's husband), and Grandpa Wilkinson. Front: Kaiya, Riley, Trevor and Andrew

Riley blows out the candles on his birthday "cake" of choice----a Double Cream Lemon Pie from Marie Callendars--YUM!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fox & Friends Video Clip

This morning we were on the Fox & Friends morning show on the Fox News Channel. Live TV is always a little scary for me! We had to be at the studio, which was in downtown Austin at 6:45 this morning. We didn't actually go on air until 7:19 am, so the kids enjoyed exploring the set until it was our turn. Unfortunately, by that time, the babies were not quite as subdued as when we first got there, so they were all over the place during the interview. My sister, Tiare, who is here helping for a couple weeks was on the sidelines to wrangle all the run-a-ways. I think one of my favorite parts is when Kassidy hurls a little stuffed animal at us and Jayson masterfully catches it. I also had a talk with Kaiya beforehand about what kinds of things she should or should not be doing during the interview. She did great. As it turns out, it was Riley I should have had that conversation with!!

Here are some "behind the scenes" photos from this morning:

Bright and Early! Kaiya, Riley, Rustin, Ryder, Tiare, Kaydence and Kyndall. We were up ready and on the way to the studio at 6:15 this morning.

Setting up: Kassidy, Ryder, Riley, Rustin, Kyndall, Kaiya, Jayson and Kaydence. The guy at the studio said he had done thousands of interviews with everyone from governors to singers, but we were his first set of quintuplets. I have to say he was amazingly relaxed, considering the chaos we were creating.

More setting up---TV Guy, Kassidy, Ryder, Riley, Kyndall, Rustin and Kaiya. The original idea was for Jayson and I to sit in the chairs, Riley and Kaiya to stand on the sides and all the babies to sit nicely in front of us.

Riley, Kyndall, Kaiya, Rustin, Ryder, Kassidy and Kaydence. With several minutes left before our "hit time", we decided we better distract the kids with TV (they watched Animal Planet) so they wouldn't completely dismantle the TV studio.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fox & Friends Monday June 8

Tomorrow morning (Monday, June 8) we are going to be on the Fox & Friends morning show (on the Fox News Channel). We are scheduled to be on at 7:20 am central time.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Water Fun and ABC News Story

I was interviewed yesterday for an article on ABC I am not sure how long it will be there, but right now there is a picture of our family with a link to the article on the main ABC news home page. It is kind of funny to see my family's picture right below Oprah, Obama and Angelina Jolie. The reporter had a definite plan for the article and he only used quotes that supported his thesis. He also got a few little details wrong. For example, I don't actually spend $60/week on milk. I told him the babies drank 5 gallons of milk/week----for $60 that would have to be some pretty great milk!

Here is a direct link to the article:

Since the "Octomom" made headlines, I get asked A LOT why I implanted five embryos--Just to set the record straight, I DID NOT do IVF (in-vitro). I did use fertility drugs, for which the odds of conceiving quintuplets was 1 in 56,000. For more info, check out my early posts:

On another note....

A couple of weeks ago, our good friends, the Park's, invited us over to play outside and have dinner. They had sprinklers and a water toy that the babies just loved. The Park's have kids close in age to our kids, so we all had a really great time. I forgot my camera at home, but fortunately my friend had hers! (Her camera was on a strange setting for part of the time, which is why the colors are a little off in some of the pictures, but they were too cute not to include!)

Kassidy, Rustin, Nolan, Kaydence, Ryder and Kaiya play with the fun water toy.

Rustin REALLY enjoyed the chocolate chip cookies!

Riley and Jared playing soccer

Cameron and Kaiya