Wednesday, October 31, 2012

See Jack {late September/early October 2012}

This is an ongoing series of videos that I am sharing so that our extended family can keep up with how Jack is growing and changing in these early years.

Happy Halloween yall! Since I am trying to get caught up by going in order of videos, I don't have a Halloween video for today, but if you want to see Jack in his cow costume, be sure to check out Monday's post -- there is a video of him dressed and playing in a bouncy house at the very end.

See Jack be mesmerized by the fountains at Bridge Street in Huntsville.
{late September}  

See Jack cruise. He is cruising everywhere these days
getting more proficient all the time. It won't be long until he is walking.  
{late September/early October}

See Jack bounce. 
He is a big fan of his jumparoo. Seriously, he LOVES to bounce. 
 {early October} 

See Jack watch the soccer game... 
maybe he will be a sports fan in spite of his parents.
{early October}

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Festivities

If I were being truly honest, I would have to admit that for the last 10 years Daniel and I have basically hidden from all things Halloween related. 

It's not that we have anything against the holiday, we either didn't live in kid-friendly neighborhoods or when we did live in a good neighborhood {in Charlotte}, we would turn out the lights and hide in our basement so that we wouldn't have to hand out candy. 

I think the main reason for this was that we are cheap frugal and buying candy is expensive. Or perhaps it was because in Charlotte we were living in a partially-renovated house {an ongoing 5-year project} and it felt weird to open the door to our chaotic mess to perfect strangers.

Whatever the reasons were before, we now have a child; and while we could personally care less about getting dressed up for the holiday, we don't want to rob our child of this type of fun.

As an added benefit, we are learning that there is joy to be had in vicariously doing things through/with your child.

With that in mind, it is interesting to note that while in year's passed we haven't even carved pumpkins, this year we have visited not one, but two pumpkin patches. And as of this past weekend, we have been on three hayrides.

Friday night we attended a bonfire/hayride with our class from church. Then on Sunday we went to our very first Funfest and Trunk or Treat. Jack is actually a little young for these activities, but it was fun to walk around and see people from church and show off our little cow. As a bonus, his outfit can double for free chicken sandwiches at Chick-fil-a on family day.

I know that in a couple of years he will really be enjoying these type of events. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Northwest Georgia: Amicalola Falls

In the Moore household, a vacation is not a vacation without a good hike. 

Yes, we did "hike" to the top of Brasstown Bald, but 6/10ths of a mile, one way, is a little light for us. Even if the trail was straight up the side of the mountain. Technically, since we were able to push a stroller to the top I'm not sure Brasstown Bald can actually be classified as a hike.

Anyways, our real hike was to the base of Amicalola Falls in Amicalola State Park. 

With a drop of 759-feet, this waterfall is the tallest cascade in the Southeast.

An eight-mile approach trail leads from the ranger station in the park to Springer Mountain, the southern end of the 2,135-mile Appalachian Trail. Hiking the entire AT happens to be #93 on my life list, so it was exciting to see the approach to the AT.

We had a perfect day for hiking.

Jack was a little trooper. We are so thankful he endures being hauled on our little adventures.

We took the New Appalachian Approach Trail/Base of the Falls Trail for 1 mile, which included a 604-step staircase {rated: moderate to strenuous / blue blaze}.  

For our return, we took the West Ridge Access Trail {0.3 miles / rated: easy / wheelchair accessible}. The best part of this trail is that it is composed or recycled rubber tires. It was kind of weird to walk on because it was so springy.

From the parking lot, we took the Spring Trail {0.4 miles / rated: moderate / orange blaze} to the Mountain Laurel Loop {0.5 miles / rated: moderate / green blaze} before connecting to the Creek Trail  which took us back to our car {0.6 miles / rated: moderate / yellow blaze}. 

Our hike totaled 2.8 miles. Not bad considering it was mostly moderate to strenuous and we had an 11-month-old with us.

It looks as though our dog is officially over her fear of water...

and staircases.  

Someday it would be fun to do the 5-mile hike to the Len Foote Hike Inn, Georgia's only backcountry lodge, for an overnight visit to the park.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Northwest Georgia: Brasstown Bald

We couldn't visit Northwest Georgia, the beginning of the Appalachian Mountains, without making an effort to see the highest point... 

Getting to the top of all of the highest peaks in the USA is #5 on my life list

Sadly, I think my 12-year-old self would be greatly disappointed that 20 years later I am just now bagging #7 out of 50. 

At this rate, I should see all of the high points in the USA if I live another 120 years. Yikes. I need to get on this goal and drag Daniel to more that 1 high point every 3 years. I digress.

The highest point in Georgia is Brasstown Bald, with a summit elevation of 4,784 feet above sea level. It was a 56-mile drive from where we were staying. This area of Georgia is absolutely gorgeous. After lunch and saying our goodbyes to my siblings, we headed up through the mountains so that I could cross Georgia off of my list.

Technically we didn't "climb" this mountain in the true sense of the word. We drove to the park at the top, then walked the last 6/10ths of a mile to the summit. We did it with a stroller. But I'm not going to lie, it was a pretty tough 6/10ths. We made the climb without stopping, but passed many others who had to stop.

Afterward, in the parking lot, we heard a little girl ask her grandfather why they took the shortcut coming back down!

The views from the lookout tower at the top were breathtaking – 360º of mountains. North, South, East, West. It was amazing.

I am so thankful to share these moments with Daniel and now with Jack as well. Maybe he can finish the states that I don't get to in my lifetime.

--- Highest Points I have been to at the time of this post: Mt. Magazine, AR; 
Mt. Elbert, CO; Mt. Mitchel, NC; Mt. Rogers, VA; Clingman's Dome, TN; 
Mt. Washington, NH, Brasstown Bald, GA ---

Friday, October 26, 2012

My Great Uncle Joe

My great uncle Joe Cannon went home to heaven yesterday. He lived a long, good life. He meant a lot to a multitude of people around the world. He served as a missionary to many countries for the entirety of his adult life. To many he was a hero of faith for our time. And I believe he was.

However, this man was something more for me... 

Without Joe Cannon, I don't know if there would be a Cheree Voyles Moore.

You see, when a young, foolhardy Canadian grew up and went to Harding College in Searcy, Arkansas and married a quiet girl from Oklahoma, it set a chain of events in place that allowed my parents to meet.

In 1947, this young man and his bride boarded a ship for their honeymoon that was bound for Japan to become missionaries. In 1971, Joe and Rosabelle moved their work to Papua New Guinea {PNG}. This primitive country was in need of more missionaries so Joe went back to North America to recruit.

In Canada, he sat down with Ray and Elizabeth Lock. They were considering moving their family to Africa. Joe talked to them about PNG. Their daughter, Lois Lock {Voyles} was in Switzerland for the summer. She came home and heard of the plans about PNG and told her parents, "We need to go there, and if you don't go, then I will."

So the Lock family packed up and moved to Papua New Guinea.

On the other side of the world a young, single missionary in Africa was getting lonely. Most of the other missionaries were married and single life was taking its toll on Larry Voyles. He decided to pack up for home and not come back unless he had a wife. His Uncle Joe, persuaded him to come visit in Papua New Guinea on his way back to the States.

In March 1976, Larry met Lois. He sent a letter home to his mother saying that he had met a girl. Three months later, he sent another letter saying he was marrying this girl. His mom received the second letter first. On June 26, 1976 my parents were married. Joe Cannon officiated the ceremony.

Of course there are other people involved in the story of how my parents met. There are many more stories that could be told. Joe was an amazing missionary. He loved people. He loved to laugh. He loved to make you laugh. He had faith that could move mountains. And without him, my family might not exist as it does today. And for that, I will be forever grateful.

*Being that I am the great niece, some of my facts may be slightly off. This is the story as I remember it.
**I don't have a copy of a photo with Great Uncle Joe marrying my parents -- if you have access to one, please send it my way.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Northwest Georgia: Canoeing

I am a sucker for first-time experiences. I like to go new places and experience new things. There is so much to see and do in this world that I guess I feel that I will miss out if I just spend my life repeating the same experiences over and over.

One of the great things about having kids is that not only can you have great experiences, but regardless of whether the experience is new or not, it is new to the child and you get the privilege of experience it FIRST HAND through the child. It is truly amazing.

After a busy Saturday of visiting Burt's Farm and Hillcrest Orchards, we slept in, had a late breakfast and then decided to take our canoe out on the little lake behind the cabin. We thought it would be easier to launch from a put in point up the road, so we loaded the canoe and piled into the Subaru.

This was my niece's first canoeing experience. She was so excited. She really wanted to swim and was not keen on wearing a life vest. Her mom gave her a pep talk – mostly about not tipping us over in the middle of the lake. None of the adults wanted to take a swim in October!

Then I demonstrated the vest – which ended up being too small, so we upgraded her.

Then we loaded up and were off.

The last time I was in a canoe with my brother and sister, I was in college. We went to the Spring River in Arkansas as a family. We managed to flip our boat on a rather large rapid. This was a very different experience than that!

The lake was calm and beautiful. It was a perfect fall day.

Izzy had a blast. We circled the lake, then came back so Daniel could go out. Then we swapped one final time before heading in.

I think Angela was paranoid about Izzy, because every little movement elicited a, "Don't move Izzy!" Which I thought was funny since Daniel and I take Sophie out with us and she jumps from side to side and front to back and has never flipped us. We just have to pay attention and shift our weight to compensate.

After we came in, Daniel took the boat across the lake to the dock at our cabin while I drove everyone else back.

Jack woke up from his nap and we headed down to the dock for his first time in the canoe.

He was very laid back about the whole experience {pretty typical of our little guy}. 

Though he is not a fan of having sun in his eyes. Next time we will have to remember to bring his sunglasses.

His first time in our canoe was a success!

We are so thankful for opportunities like this to share our passions and experiences with others – especially our family and the kids.

If you are interested in going canoeing sometime or would like to introduce your kiddo to this type of experience, let us know – we are always up for a new adventure.

Next time we'll have to persuade Robert and Levi to go out with us :)

Family Hike at Fiery Gizzard

On Saturday we had originally planned to go on a group hike on the Fiery Gizzard Trail , but it was cancelled at the last minutes. So...