Category Archives: Other

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

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

Thanksgiving…A Time for Family.

This year was out of the norm for our family. Instead of heading to Wild and Wonderful West Virginia, the Wykles decided to hang out closer to home. Forty-five minutes away to be precise. For those who don’t know, we have quite a few relatives from my side (Kellison/Blankenship) in vicinity of NKY. My grandmother Pearl and Aunt Lisa live in Middletown, Ohio. My other Aunt Angie lives in West Chester, Ohio.

The plan was initially hatched far to the north (Ottawa, ON) by my uncle Ron. In a moment of sentimental weakness, he wanted to get all of his siblings (and families) together to break bread in West Chester Ohio. Ron and his wife Sue arrived on Monday (after a lengthy drive ~ 12 hours) and had plenty of time to help out with some routine maintenance around Pearl’s house. My mother Kelly and brother Corey (with fiance Jodi) arrived on Wednesday afternoon after driving up from West Virginia. The stayed with us in Burlington. 

Angie and her husband Mark decided to host the festivities at their house.  The potluck dinner commenced around 4:00 PM and was well attended with more than enough food and drink to satisfy everyone. 

Family talking about old times.Family talking about old times.
Kelly and Shelley looking lovely.Kelly and Shelley looking lovely.
Shelley and Jodi...what's that on Jodi's left hand? A ring?Shelley and Jodi…what’s that on Jodi’s left hand? A ring?
Corey helping out his adoring nephew Eli with the menu.Corey helping out his adoring nephew Eli with the menu.
Ron and KellyRon and Kelly
Shelley and Natalie smile prettyShelley and Natalie smile pretty

Earthquake in the Midwest

At around 5:30 EST this morning, Shelley and I were awakened by what I thought to be the cats romping and wrestling under the bed. After fully assessing the situation, we quickly realized (after hearing the glasses in the kitchen rattling) that we must have just experience an earthquake.

Holly shit! My first earthquake! I know this isn’t much for people used to this type of activity, but it was quite unnerving for rookies like us.

It was confirmed on the news this morning that a magnitude 5.2 was recorded in southwest Illinois. The origin was 177 miles away. You can see more info on the following government website USGS. Look for the big box in the middle of the country…that’s it. And after further investigation regarding the earthquake potential in our area, I was shocked to find out that there is a considerable fault line that runs throughout the Midwest (see here). You can also find additional information with this informative document.

Update – Another tremor (4.5) was recorded near the same origin at 11:15 this morning. This time I was at work and did not feel the effects.

From the Mouths of Babes

I got a good chuckle out of the following quick snippets. I can so hear this kind of thing from both Natalie or Eli. Enjoy!

I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, ‘Mom, that lady isn’t wearing a seat belt!’

On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, ‘The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents.’

A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. ‘Mommy can’t come to the phone to talk to you right now. She’s hitting the bottle.’

A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women’s locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, ‘What’s the matter, haven’t you ever seen a little boy before?’

While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school, I was interrupted by a little girl about 6 years old. Looking up and down at my uniform, she asked, ‘Are you a cop? Yes,’ I answered and continued writing the report. My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right?’ ‘Yes, that’s right,’ I told her. ‘Well, then,’ she said as she extended her foot toward me, ‘would you please tie my shoe?’

It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front of the station. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me. ‘Is that a dog you got back there?’ he asked.

‘It sure is,’ I replied.

Puzzled, the boy looked at me and then towards the back of the van. Finally he said, ‘What did he do?’

While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, ‘The tooth fairy will never believe this!’

A little girl was watching her parents dress for a party. When she saw her dad donning his tuxedo, she warned, ‘Daddy, you shouldn’t wear that suit.’

‘And why not, darling?’

‘You know that it always gives you a headache the next morning.’

While walking along the sidewalk in front of his church, our minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made his collar wilt. Apparently, his 5-year-old son and his playmates had found a dead robin. Feeling that proper burial should be performed, they had secured a small box and cotton batting , then dug a hole and made ready for the disposal of the deceased.

The minister’s son was chosen to say the appropriate prayers and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of what he thought his father always said: ‘Glory be unto the Faaather, and unto the Sonnn, and into the hole he goooes.’

A little girl had just finished her first week of school. ‘I’m just wasting my time,’ she said to her mother. ‘I can’t read, I can’t write, and they won’t let me talk!’

A little boy opened the big family Bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages.

‘Mama, look what I found,’ the boy called out.

‘What have you got there, dear?’

With astonishment in the young boy’s voice, he answered, ‘I think it’s Adam’s underwear!

Quick Draw

The family enjoyed Aidan’s (friends of the family) 4th birthday part this past weekend. This short movie shows a funny expression when he blew out the candles too early. Priceless look.