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Twins, twins, twins and more twins

Lora (Luthi) Gibson with her two sets of twins, Michelle and Ashley, born in December 1993. She is holding Riki and Rili born in October 1998. This picture was featured in a November 1998 article by Irene Jeppsen in the Star Valley Independent.

• “Honestly, I wanted twins. I prayed for twins. When it happened. I was really excited.”

When Lora Luthi (now Gibson) had her first set of twins 25 years ago, she couldn’t have imagined it wouldn’t be her last set, nor that one twin she had in her second set, Rili, would also have twins. Fast forward to the present: they have two sets each.

Having twins sounds great, but it’s not all easy or fun.

Rili Wolfley explained, “Growing up we were told your kids might have twins—that often it skipped a generation––so when I found out I was having twins it was definitely scary. It’s actually very rare, so when I came home from finding out, I was kind of mad at my mom.”

Rili had her first set of twins, Dalli and Layton, three months early, so they all spent three months in the Neonatal ICU in Utah. They had to be on oxygen because they were so premature. When they came home, they still had to be on oxygen for about another 2 months. The Wolfley’s living room turned into a mini-care unit with monitors, oxygen, wires running everywhere. They lived in their living room. Rilli explains it succinctly: “It was really, really hard.”

With her second set of twins, Harlynn and Reed, she made it to 38 weeks, which is full-term for twins.

Rili and Casey Wolfley with twins Dalli and Layton born in April 2020, and Harlynn and Reed born March 2023.

Lora Gibson spoke glowingly of her son-in-law Casey––Rili’s husband: “Rili has an amazing husband. He is there through every single moment. You know, you just she couldn’t ask for a better dad for these kids. And his mom and dad, Mark and Tamira Wolfley, are a huge help. They live within a few miles of Rili and Casey have been extremely supportive and helpful with both sets of twins.”

Gibson also explained she really likes the idea it takes a village to raise kids and she expressed appreciation for her former husband Dean Luthi and his support for their children and grandchildren.

She thanked her current husband, Don, saying, “Don has been a major factor in raising the kids as well as continuing to be extremely involved in all aspects of the kids and grandkids’ lives so of course we all love and appreciate him so much.”

Don and Lora have one child together, a boy named Jessie.

Lora Luthi Gibson considers her boys “Irish twins” since they were born just over a year apart, so she views she has 3 sets of twins: Bryan and Michael, Michelle and Ashley, and Rili and Riki.

Gibson was certainly okay with having twins. She commented, “Honestly, I wanted twins. I prayed for twins. When it happened. I was really excited. And when they turned out to be girls, it was great because of my two boys, two girls and we were good.” (Lora Gibson considers her sons, Bryan and Michael, who are born 11 months apart “Irish twins,” so she views she has 3 sets of twins.) And when I found out I was pregnant with Riki and Riley, I cried. And then when I found out they were girls, I cried harder.”

Gibson explained that she just had to figure it out. She just had to do what she needed to do, so she knew she had to work. She started a daycare and is still doing childcare 30 years later.

Twins, Rili and Riki, never had much in common, according to Rili. She explained, “My twin sister and I had nothing in common. We looked completely different. We didn’t look alike; we didn’t dress alike. We had zero of the same interests. She played different sports in school, but I didn’t. Growing up, we always got along. And I think that was because we were different. For me, it was more like she was just a plain sister to me than my twin sister.”

If people didn’t know Rili and Riki, they wouldn’t have any idea they were twins.

Lora Luthi Gibson’s 2 sets of twin daughters: Riki, Ashley, Rili, Michelle.

Rili explained that the whole twins thing got interesting in school because a lot of teachers would mix them up in classes even though they looked different, but for the most part they had a lot of fun with it.

Part of the difficulty in twins is in the logistics of going anywhere. Rili said, “Having just the first two, I felt like it was possible to go anywhere. As they got older, things got easier. With the second set of twins, it takes me two hours just to get everybody’s stuff ready. About the time we’re ready to walk out the door, someone taking clothes off, or the babies are crying, or they’re hungry.”

Twins, clearly, are not for the faint of heart.

Rili commented further, “Growing up most of our life, we shared the same bedroom. So it’s like Riki’s just always there. You know, like you always have someone to talk to, even though it may be only some of the time. So I mean it’s nice that your twin is always there.

As to the possibility of more twins in the future, Gibson says, “We’ve met the quota for sure. But we don’t know. Never say never. Check back with us in 10 years.”

One thing’s for certain: Rili Wolfley’s twin, Riki, who lives in Ireland, is expecting. It’s just one this time though.

Children of Rili and Casey Wolfley, Dalli and Layton Wolfley, holding their twin siblings, Harlynn and Reed.
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