Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pumpkin Perfection

Pumpkin Pancakes

With Thanksgiving just a couple of days away, I thought I would share some of my favorite pumpkin recipes.

Pumpkin Pancakes
2 cups flour
2 T sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs--separated
1/4 cup melted butter

Sift together dry ingredients. Combine milk, egg yolks, vanilla, butter and pumpkin puree. Stir into dry ingredients until just blended. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into batter. Pour onto hot, oiled griddle about 1/3 cup at a time. Cook until tops bubble and turn and cook other side. (Note: sometimes I don't bother to separate the eggs and the pancakes still turn out great!)

These taste great with syrup, but my kids favorite way to eat them is to sprinkle mini chocolate chips on the warm pancakes, let them melt a little bit and then top with a dollop of whip cream. YUM!

Pumpkin Dump
(It tastes better than the name sounds, I promise! It is kind of like a pumpkin cobbler.)

1 (29 oz) can pumpkin
1 can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves)
1/2 tsp salt1 pkg cake mix (I like vanilla, but the original recipe calls for yellow or spice)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices. Stir in the milk, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Pour into prepared pan.

3. Sprinkle cake mix over the pumpkin mixture, then sprinkle on the pecans. Drizzle melted butter over all. Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Allow to cool.

4. Serve with whip cream, refrigerate leftovers.

I have found that when I drizzle the butter, I sometimes get areas of dry cake mix in the end result, so what I do is take the butter (cold) and slice it thinly and cover the cake mix with the thin slices. It takes a little longer, but I think it is worth it.

Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes
(OK, so technically this isn't a pumpkin recipe, but it tastes a lot like pumpkin pie, so I am including it anyway)

1 40 oz can sweet potatoes
¼ cup orange juice
¾ cup all –purpose flour
½ cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch salt
½ cup butter or margarine
1 ½ cups miniature marshmallows

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place sweet potatoes in a 8x8 inch shallow baking dish and pour orange juice over.

3. In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt; mix well and then cut in margarine. Sprinkle over sweet potatoes.

4. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with marshmallows and broil until browned.

Even people who are not sweet potato fans love this recipe (how could they not---let's face it, by the time you add all the extra stuff on top, they can hardly be considered a vegetable!) If you have extra time, I think it tastes better to use "real" sweet potatoes rather than canned. Just peel and slice 2.5 lbs of sweet potatoes, then boil until soft.

Pentuplet Pumpkin Patch Pictures
(Yes, I know there is no such word as "pentuplet", but "quintuplet" doesn't start with a "P")

5 adorable 2-year olds
1 pumpkin patch
1 digital camera
2 adults who are willing to embarrass themselves, if necessary, to get a good shot

Kassidy, Rustin, Kyndall, Ryder and Kaydence. This is the "October" picture for the new 2010 Wilkinson Quints Calendar. To see more pictures from the calendar, or to order your own copy, use the PayPal link on the right, or click HERE.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wilkinson Quints 2010 Calendar

the Wilkinson Quints 2010 Calendar!

The calendar features 12 months of adorable pictures of the Wilkinson Quints. Photographers for this years calendar include Kristen Duke, Betty Ann Curtis (my mom) and myself. Below is a peak at some of the pictures included in calendar. To see thumbnails of all 12 pictures, visit our website at http://www.wilkinsonquints.org/.

Calendars are just $12.99 each or 3 for $30, and would make a great gift! All proceeds from the calendars will be used to support the consumption of diapers and wet wipes at the Wilkinson household!

To order, click HERE, or use the PayPal button on the right.





Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bye, Bye Binkys!

It has been a long time coming, but we finally got rid of the binkeys this weekend! Both Ryder and Kyndall were REALLY attached to their pacifier. Ryder's was almost a permanent extension of his face and anytime he lost it, MANY tears were shed. Kyndall seemed slightly less attached than Ryder, but she would wake up in middle of the night 2-3 times a week and cry for her pacifier. I was sure that taking away the binkys would lead to days of endless crying and torturous tantrums (the whole, "get worse before it gets better" idea) so it has taken me months to work up the courage to take the binkys away. I have always been able to come up with some excuse why we should wait.....illness, vacations, out of town visitors, etc. Last week, we finally decided enough was enough---no more excuses---it was time!

Sunday was D-Day and we talked with the kids all week about how we were going to say "bye, bye binkys". Sunday night we invited a few people over for dinner and managed to talk a few of them into staying for our "Bye, Bye Binky Party". This party was pretty similar to the "Bye, Bye Bottles Party" we had a few months ago. All the kids gathered around the table. We told them that it was time to say bye, bye to the binkys and that we were going to give all the binkys to Cassaundra, who would find a baby that needed them. We are big kids now and don't need binkys. Then each of the kids took turns throwing a binky into a big plastic bag, saying goodbye and cheering. Surprisingly, Ryder really got into it and thought it was great fun. Kyndall thought it was fun until we told her she had to throw the binky that was in her mouth into the bag also.

Next we sang several good-bye songs and took pictures of everyone saying goodbye. Finally, we had treats and ceremoniously handed the bag of binkys over to Cassaundra.

At bedtime both Kyndall and Ryder were distraught to not have their binkys. Ryder cried on the way to his crib, but I gave him a hug and reminded him that he was a big boy and that we said bye, bye to binkys. He looked up at me with a sad face and said, "Bye, bye binkys. Give it to a baby, bye, bye." Then he snuggled right down in his bed and went to sleep.

Kyndall cried for about 3 minutes when we put her down, but then she went right to sleep as well. We did not hear from anyone the whole night. We were so surprised! We had been anticipating meltdowns and struggles, so we were completely AMAZED by how smoothly things went. The next day Ryder and Kyndall each asked for a binky a couple of times, but as soon as we reminded them that we had said bye, bye to binkys, they accepted it and moved on.

I would never in a million years have guessed that it would be this easy to get rid of the binkys! Ryder actually seems like a much happier kid now that he doesn't have his binky. It is such a relief to be rid of them :-) If there are any of you out there who have been thinking about getting rid of the binkys at your house, my advice is DON'T WAIT!!!

Ryder, Kyndall, Rustin, Kaydence

Kaydence putting a binky into the bag.

Ryder and Kyndall put their binkys into the bag

Party treats

Bye, Bye Binky Party---group shot (Back: Cassaundra, Mimi, GG, Riley, Jayson, Ronnie, Front: Ryder, Kyndall, Rustin, Ellis, Kaydence, Kassidy and Kaiya)


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

And the winner is.....

.....Rosalee Dougal from Orem, Utah!!! Congratulations Rosalee! Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway.

To hear a sample of Arian's new CD or to order your own copy, visit her blog at http://www.ariangjohnson.blogspot.com/. There is still time to get your order in before Christmas!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Halloween Video

***Don't miss out on your chance to win a fabulous CD in my first ever giveaway! The deadline for entering the drawing is tomorrow (Wednesday) at midnight. For more details, click HERE***

See the quints in action in this little video that Jayson put together of our Halloween:


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Funny Faces and the Fish Fiasco

***Don't forget---the last day to enter the drawing for the AWESOME FREE CD is Wednesday! To read more about the giveaway, click HERE***

Kaydence, Kyndall, Rustin, Ryder and Kassidy

Within the last couple of weeks, the quints have started making these funny faces. I think one of my friends taught them to do it when she was watching them for me (although I haven't gotten a confession yet). Now whenever I tell them to smile for my pictures, they pull this face instead. They think they are being pretty funny, and well, they are!




Kyndall--she is the best at making the face!

Ryder is the worst at it---he has a hard time letting go of the nuggie long enough to pull a good face :-)

If any of you have been wondering what it is like to have five two-year-olds running around the house, then you will appreciate this next story...

A few days ago I was trying to get the house clean because my in-laws were coming to visit. The babies were finishing up snacks in their high chair, so I left Riley in charge while I went upstairs to vacuum. I told him he could get them down when they were done, but he needed to put the boxes of snacks away. After vacuuming for about 5 minutes, I called down to Riley to see how he was doing. He said he had gotten all but one of the babies down, and again I reminded him to put away the snacks. When I finished cleaning and went back downstairs, this is what I found:

Do those look like guilty faces, or what?? There were goldfish crackers EVERYWHERE! They had taken the box (we are talking about the huge, 38+ ounce box which was at least half way full when I went upstairs), dumped out all of its contents and were having a great time hearing the fish crunch under their feet. Riley was nowhere in sight. I called out, "Hey Riley, did you put away the snacks like I asked?" and he said, "Oh, yeah, I forgot!"

Kaydence decided to go "swimming" with the fish

The pile of goldfish and crumbs---really this picture does not do the mess justice!

With five two-year-olds, it seems like somebody is always getting into something! I finally had to take the Butt Paste jar out of my changing table drawer because I got tired of cleaning it out of the kids hair and clothes (that stuff is so greasy!). A couple days ago, I left my in-laws in charge while I drove Kaiya to gymnastics. While I was gone, Ryder managed to get into the laundry room and pour laundry detergent all over himself and the floor. Just this morning, I found Kaydence and Rustin giving each other facials with a jar of Vicks vapor rub. Fortunately no one has done any permanent damage (to themselves anyway), and I certainly can't complain about life being boring!!

"Crazy Hair Day" at school:

Kaiya Front

Kaiya Side

Riley Front

Riley Side


Thursday, November 5, 2009


Halloween was so great this year! The quints were adorable as the "five little monkey's jumping on the bed". Jayson was the doctor and I was the mama monkey. The "five little monkey" theme must have been popular this year, because someone pointed out to me that the Murray Quads did the same thing (their costumes are even identical to ours).

Riley and Kaiya like to do their own thing. Kaiya was an angel and Riley was Draco Malfoy. He has already been Harry Potter twice, so he decided to go for something a little different. He really wanted to be something relating to Harry Potter because he just finished reading the entire Harry Potter series the week before Halloween.

Our Halloween celebration actually started on Friday night, when we went to our church Trunk or Treat party. Everyone at our church has been so great since we had these babies. Each of the babies has someone who has "adopted" them as their "church baby". At the Trunk or Treat, nearly everyone got whisked away as soon as we pulled into the parking lot. They each had a great time with their "church family" going from trunk to trunk. Riley and Kaiya had a blast too---of course they love that trunk or treating is the most efficient method for getting the most amount of candy in the shortest amount of time.
Kassidy on the way to the Trunk or Treat (she must be rubbing the spot where she "fell off and bumped her head")

Kaydence with Norm doing the cake walk

Rustin with Kevin

Barbara with Kyndall

Tammy with Ryder

Kaiya---she looks angelic enough that I ALMOST believe it...

Riley (aka Draco)---Expelliarmus!

For lunch on Halloween, we made cute spiders out of spaghetti and hot dogs.

While the babies napped, Riley and Kaiya carved pumpkins.


Kaiya's finished product!

Riley's Masterpiece

Halloween night Jayson's brother and family and Jayson's parents came down to go Trick or Treating with us. We ate Jack-o-Lantern pizza's, drank "blood" juice and then headed out! This was the quints first real trick-or-treating experience. Last year we just pushed them in the stroller, but this year we let them do it all. They LOVED it! It did not take them long to catch on. (I did have to stop them from going all the way inside a few houses, though). The neighbors got a kick out of having them all come trick-or-treating. Riley and Kaiya quickly got bored of our slow pace and they went off with Grandpa so they could go at their own pace. In the end, we ended up with WAY too much candy. I left a ton of it on the porch, hoping some greedy teenager would come take it off my hands (it worked--at about 9:30, I heard a car drive up and kids jump out and run to the porch---when they left, there was not a single piece left in the bowl!)

Rustin, Ryder, Kassidy, Kaydence and Kyndall

All the kids--Ryder, Rustin, Kaiya, Kassidy, Riley, Kaydence, Tobi, Kyndall, Cora and Alec

Mama called the doctor and the doctor said, "No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

After the trick-or-treating is over, I let the kids (well the older two anyway) pick out their top ten favorite candies which they can eat whenever and however they want. The rest of the candy goes into a big bowl for after dinner treats or lunches. My parents had a similar policy when we were growing up. I always had a strategy for choosing my "top ten"---I started with full size candy bars (if there were any), then I went for my favorite chocolate stuff (Milky Ways and Twix bars). I took this picture of Riley and Kaiya's top ten bags because I thought it was funny how different their preferences are---hardly a chocolate candy in sight, and Kaiya chose not one, not two, but SIX Dum Dums. She must have got her candy cravings from the Wilkinson side of the family, because at my house we were all about the CHOCOLATE!!!

Of course we couldn't let the moment pass without getting a picture of the Monkeys actually jumping on the bed. Here is a SNEAK PEAK at one of the pictures from the 2010 Wilkinson Quints Calendar!!! (Ordering information for the calendars will be posted soon!)

Kassidy, Rustin, Kaydence, Kyndall and Ryder (the fallen monkey). It is amazing how much they look alike when they have the costumes on!

PS Don't miss out on your chance to enter the drawing for my first ever GIVEAWAY! The deadline is next Wednesday, Nov 11th. See more details HERE.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"A Time To Love"

Thanks to the wonders of Facebook, I recently became reconnected with one of my dearest friends from college, Arian Johnson. Arian and I lived in the same dorms our freshman year at BYU and we later became roommates when we moved off campus. Arian is one of the most happy, likable people I know. My freshman year at college was really tough, and I would not have survived it without her!

Rachelle & Arian 15 years ago!

Arian is also one of the most talented people I know. She was a member of the University Singers, the top choir at BYU and played the violin in the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra.

Because I know how musically gifted Arian is, I was excited when I heard that she was making a CD featuring her violin music. The CD was officially released on October 16th. It is entitled, “A Time To Love” and it has eleven inspirational pieces ranging from sacred to classical favorites. I got my copy a little over a week ago and I have listened to it several times. The music is BEAUTIFUL and it brings such a sweet, peaceful spirit into the home every time I play it. I LOVE this CD and I quickly ordered copies to give to everyone on my Christmas list.

Now here is the really exciting part….Arian is offering to give a FREE, autographed copy of her brand new CD to one of my blog readers! All you have to do to enter the drawing is click HERE to find the answer to this question “What is the name of the song that Arian and her Granddad played together?” Send me an email (WQplus2@gmail.com) with the answer to the question and you will be entered into the drawing to win the CD. (Hint: the answer to the question is found in the “Why I Made This Recording” blog entry.) The deadline for entering is Wednesday, November 11th at midnight CST. The winner will be notified via email and announced on my blog.

Visit Arian’s blog (http://www.ariangjohnson.blogspot.com/) to hear excerpts from the new CD or to order your own copy.

PS--I have lots of great pictures from Halloween. The quints were the "Five little monkeys jumping on the bed" and they were so cute! I should have them posted in a day or two, so check back!