Tag Archives: Features

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?”

1st Annual Wykleville Book


In an effort to continue documenting the life and times of the Wykles, I decided to take a stab at producing my own “blog book”. I wanted to take some of the more important post from the Wykleville site and document them in a book form. I also wanted this to be a surprise for the Shelley as a Christmas gift. After seeing some very neat samples online, I went and researched the different companies that provide book production. I settled on using Blurb after reading many positive reviews and a one week turn around. Blurb has their own free software that is required in order to upload the book. It also has simple production tools  and upload the book. I found the software a bit limiting and not allowing me to achieve the effects that I was after. So I expanded my search and found FotoFusion. It is a nice piece of software that met my needs. After a free trial, I found that it was quite powerful and easy to use. It allows you to easily crop, rotate, and re-size the photos. It also has many different photo frames allowing you to create different looks for each of the pictures that you drop in. Finally, the front and back cover was created with a Microsoft Autocollege product that takes a folder and creates a nice college of pictures. 

I created each page in FotoFusion and then drop them into the Blurb software in order to upload the finished product. 

You can check out the finished product here.

Legacy Gymnastics Winter Spectacular

This past Sunday (12/07/08) was the first competetive meet attended by the Level 3 team from 5-Star Gymnastics this season. The meet was held in Lexington, KY at the Legacy Gymnastic facility. Given the early start time for the level 3 team of 7:45, we needed to drive down on Saturday night and stay in a hotel close to the location. The girls had a great first showing and had a chance to see other teams in action.

Here is the scores of the 7 year old age group. 

You can find videos of each of Natalie’s events: VaultBarsBalance beam, and Floor exercise.

I took a few still shots, but it is clear that my point and shoot Canon is not going be the best tool for distance action shots. Will have to look into how to address this in the future. 

Coach Terri gives the girls a pep talk.Coach Terri gives the girls a pep talk.
Girls line up before the meet during introductions!Girls line up before the meet during introductions!
The severs at Ruby Tuesday's chipped in a gave the girls a massive sunday!The severs at Ruby Tuesday’s chipped in a gave the girls a massive sunday!
Natalie tries to eat the entire thing!Natalie tries to eat the entire thing!

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

Level 3 – Gymnastics Mock Meet

This past weekend (11/22/08) was the first public display of all the sweat and hard work expended by the Level 3 team from 5-Star Gymnastics. They had their first “mock meet” at the 5-Star facility in order to give the girls a chance to perform in front of a crowd. Parents and family friends attended to cheer on the Level 3 and Level 4 teams in preparation of the upcoming competitions. 

I will have videos of each of Natalie’s routines posted separately. You can find each here: VaultBarsBalance beam, and Floor exercise.

Cardinal of the Month

Natalie was bestowed with an award called the Cardinal of the Month (November) at the PTA meeting on Tuesday night. This award is given to students that exhibit the following:

Being happy in your work helping others, keeping school clean, being polite, obeying school rules, doing work on time, having school spirit, being a good citizen and having respect for fellow students and adults. 

This award is given to one student from each class every month. She was quite anxious waiting to go up to the stage to received the award. So much so, that she quickly hustled past Principal Breitholle after getting her medal…I didn’t even get a shot of her getting the medal.

Natalie (with medal) and Eli pose in school entryNatalie (with medal) and Eli pose in school entry
Natalie waiting in line to recieve the covented Cardinal of the Month Award - November '08Natalie waiting in line to recieve the covented Cardinal of the Month Award – November ’08
Photo with other 2nd graders - 3 months of winnersPhoto with other 2nd graders – 3 months of winners


This year was much like any other. The kids both decided well in advance (with Shelley’s guidance) what they were going to be for Halloween. Of course Eli is still in the “Star Wars” state of mind. For the second year in a row, he went adorned as one of his favorite characters from the Phantom Menace…Anakin Skywalker. Natalie, on the other hand, chose to deviate from the initial design intent of the “evil princess” theme. She was not at all interested in wearing the make-up necessary to pull off the “evil” look. The negociations ensued and she decide to go with a “beautiful princess” instead. 

The day started off at Little Red School House with Eli’s annual Halloween party. Since Friday is an off day for me, I was able to attend the craziness that is many 4/5 year olds running amok dressed as their favorite fictional character. Now add chocolate, sugar, and a Capri Sun = a realization that the ladies at LRSH should be given Saint status. I would never (I repeat NEVER) be able to perform as an educator for small children. As you can see by the attached pictures, everyone did have fun. More photos can be found here.

Natalie also had a party to celebrate the Halloween season that was held in Mrs. Owen’s 2nd grade class room at Goodridge Elementary. She did not have a typical dress-up event. They instead went for the more craft oriented activities combined with snacks and sweets. Her afternoon was capped off by a surprise drop in visit from Nagi and Mom. 

Eli posing as Anakin SkywalkerEli posing as Anakin Skywalker
Brooke and Eli...best buds!Brooke and Eli…best buds!
The vilians and super herosThe vilians and super heros
Natalie and Nagi posing at Natalie's fall party.Natalie and Nagi posing at Natalie’s fall party.
Nagi's free form pumpkin carving.Nagi’s free form pumpkin carving.
The Halloween candy house.The Halloween candy house.

2008 Fireworks

This post is definitely a little late in coming but busy times are upon us.

The WEBN fireworks is an annual event hosted in Cincinnati every Labor Day weekend. The evening was capped off by a 30-40 minute fireworks display launched from barges stationed on the Ohio River. I can say that this is an annual event a that finds the Wykles making the trip to NCC to enjoy the show. The kids really enjoy the ability to stay up way past their bed time

NCC - 2008 Fireworks FestNCC – 2008 Fireworks Fest
View of downtown Cincinnati, OH from NCCView of downtown Cincinnati, OH from NCC
Queen Shelley surveying her kingdom.Queen Shelley surveying her kingdom.
Eli, Natalie, and Aiden showing off their glow bands of POWER!Eli, Natalie, and Aiden showing off their glow bands of POWER!

WOW! 2nd Grade?

Here we are again…school is in session for the 2008 school year. Natalie has just completed her first full week in Ms. Owen’s second grade class at Goodridge Elementary. Needless to say she was very excited to get back to school and hang with many of the same students that she befriended in Ms. Clark’s first grade class. Natalie already has taken to her new teacher Ms. Owen and is look forward to learning science (a new class) and continuing her reading skills development.

Natalie posing for orientation night at Goodridge ElementaryNatalie posing for orientation night at Goodridge Elementary
Eli, Natalie, and Chris at orientation night.Eli, Natalie, and Chris at orientation night.
A big 2nd grader!A big 2nd grader!
Dressed and ready for the first day of the 2008 school year.Dressed and ready for the first day of the 2008 school year.