Author Archives: Chris

About Chris

Chris Wykle is the site administrator of Wykleville. Chris is a husband to Shelley and father to Natalie and Eli.

Natalie Attends Olympic Gymnastics Camp (OGC)


For anyone that follows Wykleville, you obviously know that Natalie is very involved in gymnastics. After a successful 2008/2009 season at level 3, Natalie was moved up to level 4 after the year end Five Star dinner. To further develop her skills and diversify her experiences, she signed up for a gymnastics camp that was held in nearby Batesville, Indiana. Natalie (and five team mates) attend a week long camp hosted by OCG. The obvious draw of this camp besides the learning opportunity was the interaction with former Olympic gymnasts. This camp’s director is former gold medalist Svetlana Boguinskaia (1988, 1992 & 1996). In addition to Svetlana, this camp would also be attended by Samantha Peszek from the 2008 Olympics. Natalie thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was beaming for days afterwards and has many items that have been signed by both Svetlana and Samantha. Treasures to last for sure!

Sam Peszek and NatalieSam Peszek and Natalie
Sam Peszek signing Natalie's camp shirtSam Peszek signing Natalie’s camp shirt
Look...I'm never going to wash it!Look…I’m never going to wash it!
Natalie's camp certificate - signed by Svetlana Boguinskaia and Sam PeszekNatalie’s camp certificate – signed by Svetlana Boguinskaia and Sam Peszek
Natalie's signed photo of the two olympians - Peszek and svetlana BoginskayaNatalie’s signed photo of the two olympians – Peszek and svetlana Boginskaya

Punta Cana 2009


“The Tradition Continues”

This post is definitely late given that we returned from Punta Cana on July 18th. Busy times lead to prioritization of efforts…the Wykleville blog has taken a back seat. Needless to say, the trip was a hit! As can be seen in the above picture, only two couples (Wykles and Noltings) from the 1st annual adult vacation were able to make it. The Robertsons had family related issues that precluded them from attending the 2nd annual trip. However, in an effort to keep the tradition alive, a flat version of Tina and John made the trip. The “Flat Robertsons” had a blast also! You can see their escapades in a separate photo album here.


Given the great success of last year’s trip, the group decided to return to the same resort Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort and Spa in the Dominican Republic. The resort was the same and the weather cooperated perfectly, with only 30 minutes of total rain fall during our 7 days. The following pictures are a few shot from our first evening in Punta Cana.

First dinner - Punta Cana 2009First dinner – Punta Cana 2009
First dinner - Punta Cana 2009First dinner – Punta Cana 2009
The whole gang pose with MargaritaThe whole gang pose with Margarita

Before leaving the mainland, we decided that we would again go on the Saona Island excursion due to the immense fun that we had last year. We were not disappointed, as the trip proved again that it was a nice distraction from the daily resort laziness. Our videographer turned out to be the same guy from the previous year. Ricardo claimed to remember us from the previous year…I’m not completely convinced, but it made for a cool instant connection.

Heading to SaonaHeading to Saona
Chris and Shelley heading to Saona IslandChris and Shelley heading to Saona Island
Ready for the gun show!Ready for the gun show!
Shelley soaking at Saona IslandShelley soaking at Saona Island
Wykle's self portrait in the natural poolWykle’s self portrait in the natural pool

This year we decided we would try and venture out and meet some other vacationers. We were quite successful and met many nice Canadians and a group of brothers from England. Here are a couple of pictures of our new vacation friends.

Chris, Shane, Shelley, and Mayra hangin' at the poolChris, Shane, Shelley, and Mayra hangin’ at the pool
Cat, Chris, Pedro, and Shelley pose in the poolCat, Chris, Pedro, and Shelley pose in the pool
Andy, Phil, Chris and the Flat RobertsonsAndy, Phil, Chris and the Flat Robertsons

Conclusions – The second year was as memorable and delightful as the trip last year. We left the island vowing to make the trip again next year. The 7 days of rest and relaxation is therapeutic for both Shelley and I. After 11 years of marriage and kids, it is easy to loose ourselves in the day to day grind and forget about what made us who we are. Love, fun, and sun for us all!!!

The Williams Wedding


This post a few weeks late in coming due to much traveling. My sister Jackie was married to Todd Williams on June 27, 2009. The Wykles made the trip back to WV to catch all of the festivities. Check out some of the photos from the ceremony below.

The full party wait for the lovely brideThe full party wait for the lovely bride
The kiss!The kiss!
The cakesThe cakes
Natalie, PapPaw, and EliNatalie, PapPaw, and Eli
Nice looking crew...Wykles all aroundNice looking crew…Wykles all around
Taste the cakeTaste the cake
Dad and daughter have their danceDad and daughter have their dance
PapPaw dressed upPapPaw dressed up

To the Capital We Go!


Given our close proximity to our Nation’s capital while in Maryland attending Corey and Jodi’s wedding, the Wykles decided to make a detour to DC.  After the ceremony on Saturday we grabbed Nana and hopped in the van and headed south toward Obama headquarters. It took about 2 hours to arrive at our hotel in Alexandria, VA. Shelley had booked us in the Washington Suites. It turned out to be a older apartment building that had been converted into a hotel. Our room included a full two bedrooms, two baths, and fully functional kitchen. The kitchen appliances were circa 1970’s, but functional and came in very handy to prepare the quick snacks and a few diners.

Eli and Natalie pose in front of the Washington Monument.Eli and Natalie pose in front of the Washington Monument.

Our first day touring was Sunday. We hopped the Metro blue line at the Van Dorn Street station. 45 minutes later and we arrived at the Smithsonian stop. We decided to start off with the Gray Line double-decker bus tour. We hopped the bus at stop #3 on Constitutional Ave and jumped off at the Lincoln Memorial.

Shelley, Eli, Natalie, and Kelly pose at the Lincoln MemorialShelley, Eli, Natalie, and Kelly pose at the Lincoln Memorial
Natalie and Eli strike a pose in front of Lincoln.Natalie and Eli strike a pose in front of Lincoln.
Natalie on the steps of Lincoln's Memorial.Natalie on the steps of Lincoln’s Memorial.

The tour took about 2 hours to see most of the popular DC sites. The weather was gorgeous! The next stop took us to the Natural History Museum. We also met up with a HS friend (and family) of Shelley’s that happened to also be traveling through the area. Both families strolled casually through looking at all of the cool exhibits.

Natalie and Eli in their authentic dress.Natalie and Eli in their authentic dress.
Shelley and high school friend JennShelley and high school friend Jenn

The first full day of touring took at a lot out of the troops. Here is what a full day of sight seeing can do to a person.

Shelley after a long day of walking and kids whining...Shelley after a long day of walking and kids whining…

The second day of touring started off with a great start. We set up a guided tour of the Capital through Representative Davis’s (R-KY) office. Intrestingly enough, the intern that was assigned to give our tour was a former student of Shelley’s…what a small world!

Heading the Capitol tour.Heading the Capitol tour.
Our tour guide (Krista) describing facts about the Capitol rotunda.Our tour guide (Krista) describing facts about the Capitol rotunda.
Eli and Natalie stand in the center of the crypt...the center of DC.Eli and Natalie stand in the center of the crypt…the center of DC.

After the Capital tour, we headed to the American History Museum. Next  we hit the Crime and Punishment Museum. Lastly, to round out the day we ended up at Madame Tussauds Was Museum. The kids (and adults) enjoyed this attraction the most. The figures are unbelievably realistic.

Chris and General Lee have a discussion.Chris and General Lee have a discussion.
Natalie and LincolnNatalie and Lincoln
Shelley giving Bush the look.Shelley giving Bush the look.
Shelley and JFKShelley and JFK
Shelley feeling up the RockShelley feeling up the Rock

Corey and Jodi Get Hitched


Last weekend, the Wykles made a trip to Hagerstown, Maryland to attend the wedding of my brother Corey Morgan and his lovely finance Jodi Bowman. We left early on Friday to make the 7.5 hour car trip to Hagerstown. The trip was uneventful as expected. The ceremony was planned to be a small and intimate with only immediate family and a few close friends. On Friday evening we all headed over to Corey and Jodi’s house to check out all of the byproduct of all of the sweat/tears that has been invested in their 1920’s home. After a tour, the group headed out for dinner and then back to Corey/Jodi’s house to unwrap some wedding gifts.

The gang having dinner the evening before.The gang having dinner the evening before.
Corey and Jodi open a wedding present.Corey and Jodi open a wedding present.

Saturday arrived and the big day was here. We got moving early and decided to get a little exercise prior to heading over the ceremony. The kids hit the pool and Shelley and I tried to keep up with a little treadmill and P90X action. Needless to say, we didn’t execute our timing as we had hoped. We were late leaving the hotel and didn’t realize that the ceremony was 30 minutes away from Hagerstown. Time to drive like a bat out of hell! We arrive at what we thought was 20 minutes late at the Purple Iris at Hartwood in Martinsburg, WV. Thankfully, we made it in plenty of time and a service didn’t kick off until shortly after 12 PM. Whew! That would have been a had one to live down.

The Purple Iris at Hartwood.The Purple Iris at Hartwood.
Jodi and father make the walk.Jodi and father make the walk.
Jodi and Corey with the hand fasting ceremonyJodi and Corey with the hand fasting ceremony

The first kiss as the married coupleThe first kiss as the married couple

The venue was beautiful and the weather was picture perfect. The couple provided a string trio for everyone’s musical enjoyment. The ceremony was an outdoor service and was delivered in an expedient fashion. The ceremony was officiated by Pastor Debra and featured a hand fasting ritual.

The parents and the couple pose.The parents and the couple pose.
Corey and Dad.Corey and Dad.
Corey, Jodi, Eli and Natalie.Corey, Jodi, Eli and Natalie.
Chris, Mom, and CoreyChris, Mom, and Corey
Chris and CoreyChris and Corey

After the ceremony many pictures were taken of all of the attendees. I have included a few of my own that were taken along side the professional photographer. Many more can be located in the photo album.

Natalie starts the signing of the guest plateNatalie starts the signing of the guest plate
The couple's place setting.The couple’s place setting.
The wedding cake.The wedding cake.

To wrap up the perfect day, the couple hosted a lunch reception inside the beautiful Hartwood Mansion. Ordeuvres were served and the attendees were encouraged to sign the guest plate. The plate will capture all of the signatures and will be fired in order to preserve the memory.

Butterfly Show

The kids and I went to the 2009 Butterfly Show at the Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park. Natalie exhibited quite a nack at wrangling the butterflies. Check here for the full album.

Eli and Natalie in Eden ParkEli and Natalie in Eden Park
2009 Butterfly Show @ Krohn Conservatory2009 Butterfly Show @ Krohn Conservatory
Natalie holding a butterflyNatalie holding a butterfly
Natalie again holding a butterflyNatalie again holding a butterfly
Kids cool off at the waterfallKids cool off at the waterfall
Natalie and Eli hanging at the Eden Park duck pondNatalie and Eli hanging at the Eden Park duck pond

Level 3 KY State Champion!


Saturday (04/18/09) marked the end of a very productive gymnastics season for the 5 Star Gymnastics level 3 team. The 5th and final meet took place in Hopkinsville, KY at Angles Gym. This meet wraps up the season as the KY State USGA meet. After a very shaky start, Natalie found her resolve and secured two first place finishes in the floor exercise and vault.

Uneven Bars – The day started out on the infamous uneven bars. This event has proven to be the most sketchy over the 5 meets this season. Natalie was lead-off and delivered a solid routine. No major blunders and a nice stuck landing. It appeared to be a foundation routine for the team to capitalize on. Then the score…8.65? Not what we were expecting. Natalie was visibly disturbed and even showed a few tears. The rest of the team’s scores hovered around mid 8’s with Kate pulling the top score with a 9.1. The 5 Star faithful took a deep breath and knew it was going to be a long day with scoring this tight. 

Balance Beam – The next event was the balance beam. This has clearly been Natalie’s strongest event all season and should help to erase the unpleasantness of the bars. Kate and Brooklyn mustered 9.15 and 9.125 respectively. Natalie was the anchor member for this event. She had a beautiful mount and a nice Arabesque. Her handstand was one of the best I’ve seen her perform. She continued through the routine to the pivot and proceeded to execute her split jump. The jump was very nice with good height. She appeared to land fine, but her balance was off, sending her off the front side of the beam. This was her first fall in a competition…and her expression after remounting the beam says it all. She managed to finish her dismount but ran off sobbing towards the coach. She still managed an 8.8 even with the fall (0.5 point deduction).

As the team waited to move to the next event, Natalie was quite upset. Many people tried to console and encourage her. Both Shelley and I stayed out of the mix in order not to exacerbate the situation. Natalie appeared to regain her composure enough to move to the next event. BTW – At the conclusion of the meet, we found out that coach Terri had to finally issue a little tough love to Natalie. She told her that she would not be allowed to continue with the meet until she pulled herself together. Nicely done coach!

Floor Exercise – The floor routine was the next event on the rotation. Natalie had a solid routine and landed her best score (9.45) of the season.

Vault – The vault was the final event. Natalie carried her new found attitude to the vault and landed again her best score (9.35) of the season. 

After the very questionable start, the Level 3 team put together a good showing for this season ending meet. Natalie finished the day with two first place finishes for the floor and vault in the 8JR age group. The floor and vault scores pulled her through in the all around to capture a respectable 5th place. She was beaming!

Girls warm up for KY State meetGirls warm up for KY State meet
Brooklyn looks serious during bars warm up.Brooklyn looks serious during bars warm up.
Kate warms up on beamKate warms up on beam
Natalie gets 1st place in vault at KY state meetNatalie gets 1st place in vault at KY state meet
Brooklyn, Natalie, Kate, and Faith get ready to eat after the meetBrooklyn, Natalie, Kate, and Faith get ready to eat after the meet
Silly faces from the 5 Star teamSilly faces from the 5 Star team

The 17th Annual Derby Classic


Sunday (03/15/09) was the forth competition, Champion’s 17th Annual Derby Classic, attended by the Level 3 team from 5-Star Gymnastics this season. The meet was held in Louisville, KY at the MidAmerican Sports Complex and hosted by Champion Gymnastics. Today we were lucky to have a mid-day start. The level 3 team didn’t need to be at the gym until 12:30. We were able to make the 2 hour trek the morning of the competition. We were lucky to have Nagi in town so that she may take part in the activities. 

Again, Natalie set a goal for herself prior to the start of the meet. She wanted to score a least a 9 on every event.

This meet started out with the balance beam. Natalie anchored the routine and had a very solid performance. She completed the routine within the event time and without significant balance checks. She posted a 9.35 which was the second highest score for the team on this event.

The team moved on to floor exercise, Natalie went in the last half of the event rotation. She had an average routine without any major errors. She scored a 9.1 and left the floor smiling. 

The next event was the vault. Natalie was placed in the middle of the rotation. Here first vault didn’t appear to get the best height or distance, but the landing was solid. The second vault showed better form but had a small step on the landing. She squeaked out a 9.05…so far 3 for 3, now on to the dreaded uneven bars.

This event has consistently been the toughest and most prone to major mistakes. The bars would not test the 5 Star team today. Only a few mistakes were committed with Brooklyn taking the top position in the event with a 9.3. Natalie scored a solid 9.1. 

On to the awards ceremony. Natalie and Brooklyn are both classified in the 8 JR age group. There were 11 girls competing in their specific age category. Given the size of this competition, the awards given were to be issued to only the top 50% (+1) of each age group. For the 8 JR group that would be the top 6 places in each event would be given recognition. This is a significant change from the 3 previous competitions and would be quickly noticed by the 5 Star team as the award ceremony started. It was clear by the facial expressions that the girls were clearly confused that everyone did not get an award. Welcomed  to the big time ladies!

Natalie placed 2nd in the beam and 4th in the bars. Brooklyn scored a 1st in bars and 5 in beam. Natalie’s consistency across all 4 events afforded her a 5th place all-around in what appeared to be one of the toughest age groups. In a continuing moment of misunderstanding, Natalie was visibly upset (crying on the podium) due to the lack of awards for her and the team. See the picture below for a “upset face” that was a product of this building frustration. Shelley and I were quick to explain the situation regarding the scoring/awards system for this large competition. This will be a lesson for the future.

Then the team awards. The top three gyms were awarded team trophies. Legacy placed 1st with a 113.8, Champion placed 2nd with a 112.75, Todds scored 111.45 and landed them in 3rd. The 5 Star team placed 4th with a 110.7. Overall, a great showing for the 5 Star team and should be a good motivator for the last push to the state tournament in April. 

Here is a recap of the scores of the entire level 3 5-Star team.


You can find videos of each of Natalie’s events:  balance beam, floor exercise, vault, and bars.

Natalie leading the streching at the 2009 Derby ClassicNatalie leading the streching at the 2009 Derby Classic
Natalie practicing before the floor routine.Natalie practicing before the floor routine.
Brooklyn's got some hops!Brooklyn’s got some hops!
Natalie and the team wait their turn.Natalie and the team wait their turn.
Natalie and Shelley...quite the cuties!Natalie and Shelley…quite the cuties!
Nagi and Natalie smile for the cameraNagi and Natalie smile for the camera
Natalie's upset face.Natalie’s upset face.
Natalie displays her awards from the Derby Classic - Louisville, KYNatalie displays her awards from the Derby Classic – Louisville, KY