Monday, August 29, 2011

4th of July Festivities

Kaiya, Riley, Kyndall, Ryder, Kassidy, Rustin and Kaydence on the 4th of July

We spent the 4th of July doing the standard Independence Day activities...neighborhood bike parade, cooking out on the grill, making homemade ice cream and swimming. I was bummed that with the drought conditions in Texas this year, we didn't get to do fireworks, but we still had fun!

Starting line for the neighborhood bike parade

Kyndall, Ryder, Kassidy, Kaydence and Rustin----ready to show and set to go!

The whole Wilkinson family after the bike parade

The quints "help" GG make some homemade ice cream

Kaiya, Jayson, Rachelle, Kyndall, Riley, Kaydence, Ryder, Kassidy and Rustin

Jayson made a short video on 4th of July....if you missed it, here it is again:


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Swim Lessons

The quints have been taking weekly swim lessons for several months at the Nitro Swim School and I have really seen a lot of progress! They all LOVE the water now and have no fear of jumping in!

These are some pictures taken by the Nitro staff during swim lessons. I thought they were super cute, and I was also impressed that they got the kids to smile and look at the camera---no small feat!

Ryder, Rustin, Kyndall, Kassidy and Kaydence with teachers Ms. Sami and Ms. Bonnie

The Girls with Ms. Bonnie

The Boys with Ms. Sami


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Riley's Harry Potter Birthday

In June, Riley turned 11! This was his year for a big "friend" birthday party. He is a HUGE Harry Potter fan. At my last count, he had read all seven books in the series at least four times each. He has been Harry Potter for Halloween twice and Draco Malfoy once. Even his room is decorated in a Harry Potter theme, so it was no surprise that he wanted to have a Harry Potter themed birthday party. Thanks to my sister-in-law, Alicia, who recently threw a Harry Potter party for my nephew and mailed me all of her leftover stuff and thanks to the internet, we were able to put together a pretty fun party!

Party Invitation--outside

Party Invitation--inside. Using a mixture of baking soda and water, we wrote an invisible ink code word in the blank space on the bottom of the invitation. When heated, the solution turns brown, revealing the code word.

Decorations--I wish I could take credit for these, but they all came from my super sister-in-law

Staircase Banner

Hogwarts House Banner and Dining room (the ceiling has been "enchanted" to look like the night sky)

Hogwarts students (aka party kids)

When the kids arrived, we used a sorting hat to sort them into different houses. Each kid got a robe for his/her house (robes were made from XL Men's black t-shirts cut up the middle and ironed on house crest).

Each "student" received a wand (pencil spray-painted gold) and a Lesson's book, which they used for each of their "classes".

They started in "Charms" class, where each house (team) was given a list of spells which they had to match to their function.

Next they went to "Care of Magical Creatures" class where everyone made their own origami owl. (I was so busy running the party that I didn't get pictures of these, but they were cute!)

Page from the Lessons Book for Care of Magical Creatures

The third class was "Divination". I the kids several different Jelly Bellys and they had to taste them and use their powers of divination to determine what flavor they were.

The fourth class, which was definitely everyone's favorite, was Potions! I found a great "potion" online that changed colors and bubbled. The kids thought it was great!

Potion ingredients

Potion Instructions from the Lessons Book

Basilisk Venom: red cabbage juice (made by chopping up red cabbage, putting it in a bowl and pouring boiling water over to cover. Leave for 20 min--water will be purple = red cabbage juice)
Mandrake Root: long pretzel stick
Boomslang: Powder laundry detergent (changes the potion's color)
Eyeballs From a Blind Cat: Garbanzo beans (does nothing, just sounds gross)
Truth Serum: Vinegar (changes the potion's color again)
Bat Dung: black beans (just for fun)
Horn of Bicorn: Baking soda (makes the potion bubble up)
Hippogriff Gizzards: saurkraut (just for fun)
Gillyweed: Italian seasoning (just for fun)

Mixing up the potions

Riley's bubbles over

We ran out of time for the fifth class, which was going to be "Transfiguration" (basically charades with the Harry Potter characters)

We ended the party with a feast in the dining hall and cake.

The "feast"--nothing too magical, just pizza, but I did put a drop of food coloring in the bottom of each of the cups, then covered with ice, so that when the Sprite was poured in, everyone's drink turned a different color

Riley with his friends and Hogwarts cake

The goodie bags were also courtesy of Alicia (my sister-in-law). She had some leftovers from her party. They were so great! Inside the goodie bags, we put Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, Butterbeer and a golden snitch.

Goodie Bag

I love planning fun kids birthday parties, but they sure are a lot of work!!! Riley loved everything, though, so it made it all worth it!

On Riley's actual birthday, we celebrated with a small family party

Riley with his presents (Back: Kaydence, Kassidy, Ryder and Kyndall, Front: Kaiya, Riley and Rustin)

I loved the creative duct tape wrapping on this present from Grandma and Grandpa Wilkinson---almost too cute to open!

The kids crowd around Riley while he opens his presents. Riley is a GREAT present opener---he gets super excited about everything and always jumps up to give the present giver a hug and a Thank You.

Blowing out the candles on his Sour Cream Lemon Birthday Pie!

I cant' believe that I am old enough to have an 11-year old! Riley starts middle school this year and I am just not ready for the drama that usually comes with that. I am sure he will do great--he is such a happy, positive, upbeat kid. His mind is always thinking up some new invention. He has a quick smile and a giggly laugh that is contagious. He has really matured a lot this past year and become much more responsible. I am lucky to be his mom!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Utah Valley Half Marathon

I am still playing "catch-up" with the posts from my crazy summer! Back in June, I took a quick trip to Utah to run the Utah Valley Half Marathon with my dad and my sister, Tiare. My trip was only four days long, but I managed to see several of my Utah friends and family members and eat at all of my favorite Utah restaurants.

When I flew in to Salt Lake, my friend Meagan Greenleaf picked me up from the airport. Meagan was one of my best friends in Austin before she moved. Meagan was babysitting Kaiya for me the day I had the ultrasound that revealed I was carrying quintuplets, so she ended up being the very first person I told.

"Girls Night" with my sister, mom, grandma, sister-in-law, cousins and aunts on my mom's side of the family. Quite a group! I have a large extended family! I have 64 first cousins (47 on my mom's side and 17 on my dad's side).

Sam, Mimi, Tiare and Rachelle in front of my Alma Mater! Go Cougars!

For lunch we met my old roommate and bridesmaid, Becki for lunch at Zupa's. It has been several years since Becki and I have gotten together, so it was so much fun to catch up!

Rachelle, Papa, Tiare: Friday night we picked up our race packets!

After picking up our packets, we headed to Mimi's for our carb-load dinner (I chose to consume most my carbs in the form of chocolate). Both sets of grandparents came with us.

Bright and early Saturday morning, my mom dropped us off at the starting line. My first half marathon was the Zooma Half back in April. It was a very challenging course with lots of hills. This race was mostly downhill and the scenery was amazing! I loved it!

My dad (aka "Papa") and Tiare are on their way! Yes, I was the crazy person who carried my phone and took pictures the whole way.

One of the scenic hot spots on the route: Bridal Veil Falls

Mt. Timp---gorgeous! Unlike Texas, Utah got TONS of rain this year and everything was so GREEN!

Coming out of the canyon, we ran past BYU

Mimi and Sam kept trying to follow us in the car and cheer us on. Sam took this picture hanging out the window.

WooHoo---I made it to the finish line! My time was 2:02, which was 5 minutes better than my previous half marathon time. I was happy!

Tiare, Papa and Rachelle at the finish line

Chocolate milk at the finish line....this is my kind of race!!

Can't you just hear the theme song from "Rocky" playing?

Papa, Tiare and Rachelle with our cheerleaders, Mom and Sam

After the race we headed up Provo canyon for a picnic with the Curtis (my dad's) side of the family

Tiare, Mimi and Rachelle

My Grandma and Grandpa Curtis---don't they look so cute?? They just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary!

Me and my Aunt Debbie---my brother's call her my "look-a-like"--what do you think??

Late night snack at Yogurtland. It was so much fun hanging out with my mom, sister and sister-in-law all weekend! My brother Shane and Sam just got married last summer, so I haven't had a chance to get to know Sam very well until the Utah trip.

Me with my Grandma Rappleye. She just celebrated her 90th birthday---doesn't she look amazing? If any of you saw the TLC special "Texas Quints", she was featured in the 2nd episode.

Sunday dinner at my Aunt Kathy Sue's house with my cousins Heather and Heidi and their families.

The "goodbye" picture: Sam, Tiare and Rachelle.

It was SO nice to get a few days break from my "mom" responsibilities! I came back rejuvenated! I am trying to talk myself into running the FULL marathon next year!