Category Archives: Eli

Eli’s Achieves Yellow Belt

We have been in the constant pursuit of an activity that suits Eli. I think we have finally found a fit.

For the last few years, we have driven past the Ichiban Karate School and thought “hummm, I wonder”. Finally Shelley was motivated one day to stop in a check out the facilities. They offered a 2 week trail for $20. You could attend as many classes as you would like. Shelley and Eli packed in as many as they could manage. The main instructor, Renshi, has quite the knack of making the instruction fun. The kids seem to enjoy the conditioning.

Eli is in the “Little Dragon’s” age group. He has been quick to pick up the basic skills and has progressed quickly. He was just recently awarded the Yellow Belt Junior Grade. The attached video shows the awards ceremony.


Eli’s 6th Birthday

Eli has finally reached the big S-I-X. This year he wanted to have a sleep over for his birthday party. After a bit of waffling and contemplating, Shelley and I decided to float the idea with some of his friend’s parents. Most parents polled seemed agreeable to the idea. We sent out the invitations and 7 of Eli’s friends RSVP in the affirmative. On the official day, January 27th, Eli got to pick his restaurant of choice. He picked Dewey’s Pizza. We ate and proceeded home to open his family gifts.


Then Friday, sleep over time, rolled around. The event kicked off with some crazy “run around the house and shoot Nerf guns” time.  In order to regain order, we went had everyone sit and eat some chili and grilled cheese. The night consisted of bouts of chaos and order. The night wound down with cake, presents, pictures, and then bed time preparation. The kids then piled on the downstairs couch and watched Star Wars Clone Wars. This put the bunch into a trance and acted as a nice tranquilizer before bed. Everyone went down without issue and the night was considered a grand success.


2nd Wykleville Book

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In keeping with last year’s promised tradition, I created another “Wykleville – year in review” scrapbook. I took most of the posts from Wykleville as the foundation and added many additional photos. Given the success from last year, I used Blurb again to produce the book and FotoFusion as the software creation tool. I upgraded to the “Extreme” version of FotoFusion in order to the full double page layouts and higher resolution. I also used Microsoft Autocollege product that to produce a few of the picture collages (soccer and gymnastic pages).

This year I did something a bit different on the front and back cover. In an effort to capture the look and feel of the Wykleville site, I wanted to duplicate the website layout on the book’s cover. I tried a few different methods to screen capture the site from the web browser, but was not happy with the results. The outputs from this method were quite low in resolution and would have looked crappy in the printed high resolution end product. The only alternative I could find was to create the site fully in a graphics program (Gimp). I’ve been using Gimp for many years. It is a free and open source program that mimics many aspects of the extremely expensive Adobe PhotoShop. This took a few hours of manual creation time, but I think was well worth the extra effort. This will allow me to remember the progression of the Wykleville site’s layout and design.

You can check out the finished product by clicking on the icon below…

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2009 Soccer Season


This year’s outdoor soccer season has come to a conclusion. Eli played in the Boone County Youth Soccer League this year. He got to play with a number of kids that he already knew which made things easy. Eli and friends (Aidan, Corinne, and Caroline) complete 6 games with an undefeated record. It was clear that many of the Grasshoppers had previously played soccer. Most of their competitors clearly were quite green and suffered against the skills of the Grasshoppers.

Eli has already started talking about playing indoor soccer this Fall. This negotiation will be tough considering Natalie’s gymnastics season is also running parallel to most of the indoor soccer games. More to discuss.








First Day of School – 2009


Today was another momentous day for the Wykle family. Many firsts were accomplished today.

  1. Shelley started a new position at Cooper High School as a full-time Chemistry teacher.
  2. Eli started kindergarten at his beloved Little Red School House.
  3. Natalie caught the school bus from home instead of suffering the “before & after school care” program at the local YMCA.

Here were a few shots from the Goodridge “open house” hosted on 08/18.




At the day’s conclusion, all were happy and excitedly discussed their productive “firsts”!





Valentine Piñata


This post is a few weeks late, but I got a real kick out of Eli’s class during their Valentine party on 02/13/09. Someone brought in a heart shaped piñata. Unfortunately, their was no easy place to hang the piñata. I found a broom and decided to tie the heart to the end and hold it up for the kids to take a whack. The facial expressions were worth the price of admission. Check out the following individual shots for some quick laughs.








Birthday Boy, Eli is 5


Our little baby boy Eli turned 5 today. Above is a collage displaying pictures from today and of course one of his first pictures the day he was born. As I write this post, I reflect fondly on that memorable weekend in 2004 that brought this little package of joy into our lives. He was 8 weeks early and only weighed 4 pounds 7 ounces. It was a scary and trying time for us all. With a lot of love, luck, and support from great friends and family we got to taken him home in a short 10 days after he arrived. Fast forward, 5 years…he is now 37 pounds and full of himself. 

His day started off with the greatest news any young kid could expect to hear during the winter months. School is closed! A lovely snow system pushed it’s way through during the early morning and dropped 4-6 inches of fresh powder on the greater Cincinnati area. After some dancing around and celebrating, he quickly wanted to get down to the business at hand…opening the many presents that had been taunting him since the weekend. Shelley of course staged the presents such that the anticipation would build as he opened the loot. His big gift this year was not a true surprise given the constant negotiations that had been ongoing for nearly a year. It seemed that he had longed for his very own for an eternity. All of his “closest” friends all had their own. He even forfeited his right to have his own party in the effort to leverage the ultimate goal.

The holy grail ~ A Nintendo DS ~


He even went so far to tell his mother that if he had his very own DS, he would not “need” to “bother us” to turn on the Xbox or the TV. He would just be able to play the DS by himself.  

You can find video 1 (opening of the DS) and video 2 (singing Happy Birthday). 









Eli lost 2nd Tooth


Eli just lost his second tooth and not more than 1 week after loosing his first. Shelley had to persuade him to let her help with the extraction. After much wincing and dancing around, the tooth popped out without issues. He now has a double gap on the bottom in the middle. This time he decided to write the tooth fairy a note in an effort to sweet talk her into leaving more money than the last time. He, with the help of his mom, authored the following note:

“Tooth Fairy, this is the second tooth I lost. I was very brave. Would you please give me more money? Like 2 or 3 dollars. My name is Eli Wykle.”


Eli Lost His First Tooth


Eli has reached his first big “dental” milestone. His lost his first tooth while at school this morning. He lost it while eating his breakfast before heading to his classroom. He was ecstatic when Natalie and I arrived home after gymnastic practice. He was smiling from ear to ear. 

Before bed he placed his tooth under his pillow and then proceeded to ask many of the same questions that most first timers

“How big is the Tooth Fairy?”

“Have you ever seen her?”