Saturday, September 08, 2012

Langley Open 2012

Over the Labour Day long weekend, I played in the 2012 Langley Open chess tournament. It's the fourth time I've played this tournament, and had my best performance yet.

The tournament is six games over three days. I played a wide range of opponents, played some of my best Chess ever, and even got a bit lucky. As a result, I came away with 3.5 points (3 wins, 1 draw) out of a possible 6.0.

That score placed me 22nd out of 60 players, and tied with two other players for "Best Under 1700", splitting the $500 prize.

Best U1700 winners

I also reached my highest rating to date: 1600! Below is the full tournament results list.

Tournament Results

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The ABC's Of Being A Toddler

After hearing the song quite a number of times, and seeing a couple of letter videos, William has his ABC's figured out pretty well -- at least in a song!

William sings the ABC song.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Greater Vancouver Zoo

Here's a video of our recent trip to the Greater Vancouver Zoo!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Langley Open Chess Tournament 2012 Trailer

I put together a little "movie trailer" for the upcoming 7th Annual Langley Open Chess Tournament. Should be another great event this year and I am really looking forward to playing again.

Friday, July 06, 2012

2012 Summer Swiss Chess Tournament

I just completed a Chess tournament over the last few weeks, and had my best results to date. Not only did I get a plus score, with 3.0/5.0, but I also got my best performance rating, biggest rating increase, and highest ever rating to date: 1542. In fact, one of my goals for 2012 was to break the 1500 mark which I've done well ahead of schedule.

The tournament results

Over the last six months, I have put in extra effort to improve my game, and it paid off in this tournament. Now I look forward to playing the Langley Open in September, a six-round tournament that draws between 40 and 50 players, including some of the best from BC and Canada.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Just Say "No" To Training Wheels

When we first decided to get Charlotte a balance bike, I was impressed by the videos I saw of other children riding them. She had a bit of a late start, but picked up on it once she had enough time and is really great on it, able to keep up with children years older than her.

I've been a big promoter of these bikes, despite some criticism by naysayers, and even being called a "balance bike snob". But honestly, when I see the successes, I'm more than confident in the fact that balance bikes are the way to go.

Here's a recent video of William (just a couple of months over two years old) and Charlotte riding their Strider bikes!

Why should you get your child a balance bike?
  • It's a bike/toy your kids will love. When your child discovers the mobility and speed they can have on a balance bike, they won't want to ride anything else.
  • They're light. Even small bikes with pedals and training wheels are heavier than a toddler or preschooler can handle. Our Striders are light enough for a two-year-old to pick up.
  • No teaching required. Kids get comfortable on their own and balancing comes naturally. The days of Dad running behind the bike are over!
  • Your child will be well ahead of most other children, and you'll be proud to see them zooming around having fun.
  • There is something special about learning to balance, and your child will show a level of excitement when they figure it out that you won't see from them riding anything else.
So, just say "No" to training wheels! Before you buy pedal bikes, tricycles, or anything else that's going to sit in the corner of your yard, go out and buy a Strider balance bike. It's the best $100 you'll spend on outdoor equipment for your child.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Charlotte: Four Years Old!

Today is Charlotte's fourth birthday! Our little girl is getting bigger, and having a lot of fun doing it. She's riding her Strider balance bike really well, and being a great example for William to see. Also, she loves books, especially if she gets read to. Despite infrequent bouts of sassiness, she really is a sweet and smart girl, and we're so looking forward to seeing her grow up from year to year.

Below are a few feature photos from the last couple of days.

Happy Birthday, Charlotte!

The birthday cake! Oink! Oink!

Blowing out the candles.

Opening the gifts!

Making cupcakes!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

William: Two Years Old

William turned two years old today! It's a milestone that has come up quickly, but one that seems a bit late. We've thought of him as "two" for a while, largely because he's advancing quickly. In fact, just today he said his first 5-word sentence, opened a door for the first time, and went all day without a nap.

William is a very sweet-natured, loving, and cuddly boy, often with a smile on his face (sometimes even after a fall), and very photogenic. His interests these days are mainly with things that move (trains, planes, and cars) and things he can ride. The summer is going to be a great time for him as he'll be the perfect age to get out and enjoy it.

And now, a small selection of photos!

Happy Birthday, William!

William got one of the candles on his own.

A nice Thomas play set.

Umbrellas indoors is fun!

William's favorite birthday gift, a trike!


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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Little Scribes: Android Market

After a successful launch of three Little Scribes apps for the iOS platform, we have now released Little Scribes: Bible Flash Cards for the Android Market! For all you Android users, now you can get this great app for your kids too!

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2012: A Busy Year, Already

If you look back at just our last few blog posts, you'll see that we have been very sporadic. Indeed, it's probably the worst neglect the blog has ever seen. It can only mean one thing: Life is busy, and good!

For the first time in years, we missed a Happy New Years post, we didn't blog anything about our Christmas vacation, any of the activities we've been up to, and more recently, the 7th Anniversary of this blog!

Unfortunately, we make no guarantees regarding posting more. We'll keep up as best we can, try to keep our photo albums up to date, and just see how it goes.

What have we been up to? Well, as for me, my software development business has been going well since the start of the year. iPhone development, technical writing, web and database work, and more. I've been playing in Chess tournaments again, am on the Strata Council for 2012, and the list goes on.

Natasha is busy with everything she's always done such a great job at; Taking care of the house, the kids, and me! She's joined the church choir again, and has been singing more regularly.

And of course, there are our children! Charlotte is nearly four, and William almost two, and they keep us on our toes. Most days, we are very happy to get the kids into bed and crash on the couch, usually with tea and cookies, pot stickers, spring rolls, nachos, fresh mango salsa, or whatever other snack we come up with.

Our kids continue to amaze us. William's vocabulary and pronunciation is improving daily, and he's pretty much the cutest thing on two little legs these days. Charlotte is becoming a big girl fast, and has started to call us the very grown up "Dad" and "Mom". Just a few days ago, Charlotte was riding her balance bike, and had her feet up off the ground for a couple of seconds at a time (That's right -- just say no to training wheels). William has taken an interest in cars and trucks, and spends long periods of time driving them around the play room, and down the ramp. Oh, and don't get me started about trains -- they both love them.

Thank you to all who have continued to keep up with the blog even during the slow times. We hope you won't be disappointed, and will try to concentrate on quality where quantity fails.

All the best in 2012!

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Chess Set

For a few years now, I've been searching for a chess set that I really like, and at a cost I was willing to pay. I saw these at a recent tournament, offered to buy them from the player, and they are now paired with a board I've had for some time.

My new chess set

Made by House of Staunton, the pieces are wood, nicely weighted, and have leather pads instead of the usual felt. Each piece also has a particular look I like, something not easy to find with all the variety available. Can't get much better than that.

Now I can play in style! One thing that I really like about Chess is the aesthetics of the board and pieces, and having a nice set to play on makes it that much more fun.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas, 2011!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you, our friends, family, and readers! We are enjoying the holiday season with our family, and taking some time away from the usual activity to relax and enjoy each others company.

Click to see full size image.

Wishing you all the best as we head towards the New Year, and for all of 2012!

The Hoyers

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bible Pairs, by Little Scribes

I am happy to announce a brand new app in the Little Scribes series that was just launched in time for Christmas!

This clever game features an object, person, or place along with three others, one of which is related somehow. Some are simple relationships, such as a fish and a river, while others require some story knowledge, such as pairing Moses with the burning bush.

Once again, much credit is deserved by the artist, Susanna Holdren, who did a great job with this app. An app can be great on its own, but the artwork can make it awesome!

Click to view on iTunes!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011 Winter Swiss Chess Tournament

I played in a local chess tournament that ran for a number of weeks during November and December. With fifteen players, it was an above average turnout, and I had a great time, and some really good games.

Tournament Results

The tournament set a few new milestones for me. First, you'll notice that my new rating is also the highest I've achieved to date. Second, I'm no longer the lowest rated player in the club, something that was the case for quite a while. And third and probably most importantly, it's the first time I've scored two wins in a single tournament.

2011 has been a good year for me in terms of chess, and I've been able to play in a number of tournaments. My plan for 2012 is to continue to play in tournaments regularly, keep improving my play, and keep my performance and rating on an upward trend.


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Autumn 2011

It's the first of November and the chilly breeze of autumn has set in. The leaves are turning colors, and everyone is enjoying the beautiful transition between summer and winter.

We recently had photos taken of our family, and we wanted to share a few with you here.

The Hoyer Family!

Charlotte, our big girl!

William going for a swing!


Little man.


All the best from our family to yours this autumn! Get out and enjoy the sights and sounds while they last.

Photos by Alyssa Rae Photography.

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