Thursday, February 28, 2013

Books I Read in February (#3-5)

In the month of February, I finished three books and continued with my reading of The Story {which I am reading throughout the year in conjunction with our church}. Be sure to read the last section of this post as there is a BOOK GIVEAWAY that you might be interested in.

The first book I finished this month was Song of Redemption – the second book in the Chronicles of the Kings series by Lynn Austin. I find this series to be fascinating. It gives me new incite into what it might have been like for Hezekiah to become king in the time period that he did and how difficult it might have been for him to choose to follow God and remove all of the other worship of gods at this time. As I have said before, I love historical fiction and this really gave me a new perspective on a biblical event. I gave this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

The second book I read this month was another historical novel – The Contessa's Vendetta by Mirella Sichirollo Patzer. I read this book because it was a free Kindle download for Amazon prime readers. This story is a retelling of a classic novel Vendetta by Marie Corelli. In this novel, the Contessa is thought to die from a plague and is buried. But she is not actually dead... she escapes from her tomb to discover that she has been duped by her husband and best friend. The story is her first hand account of her revenge. It was an intriguing story that I enjoyed. I gave this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

"Marriages either grow or they regress; they never stand still.

The third book I read is The 4 Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage by Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages (this book was another FREE Kindle download). I read The 5 Love Languages when Daniel and I were engaged. It is a great tool for any relationship in helping you to understand how you are different from your spouse and how to relate to and understand each other's needs. The 4 Seasons of Marriage is a follow-up to this first book and talks about how every marriage goes through the seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Ideally we want to keep our relationships in the Spring and Summer phase, but inevitably, Fall and Winter will play a part in every relationship. The book offers advice on how to move out of these more difficult phases as well as how to maintain the good phases. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in bettering their relationship, regardless of what season you are currently experiencing. I gave this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

As I continue to read The Story I find that I am enjoying reading this particular format of the biblical stories that I have grown up with. I have read through Moses leading the Israelite's out of Egypt and they are currently wandering in the dessert. 


In conjunction to reading The Story, I am looking forward to watching the History Channel's new miniseries on the Bible that will begin airing on March 3rd in the 8:00-10:00pm time slot.
From Executive Producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett comes The Bible — an epic 10-part miniseries retelling stories from the Scriptures for a whole new generation. Breathtaking in scope and scale, The Bible features powerful performances, exotic locales and dazzling visual effects that breathe spectacular life into the dramatic tales of faith and courage from Genesis through Revelation. This historic television event is sure to entertain and inspire the whole family!
I am participating in a giveaway through the History Channel to promote this miniseries. If you are interested in winning the companion book to the miniseries, A Story of God and All of Us, please leave your name and favorite Bible story in the comments section (anonymous comments won't be chose. One winner will be chosen at random on March 7.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

See Jack {late January 2013}

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. 

See Jack walk in shoes for the first time. He was not a fan to start with, but has adapted... recently he even brought us a pair of rubber soled tennis shoes to put on him.
{late January}

See Jack ride his tricycle {forward}...
{late January}

See Jack ride his horse {in reverse}.
{late January}

On a side note, I say, "Hey buddy, whatcha doing?" way too often. 
I guess it's my go-to phrase for Jack.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Weekend Project: Sign Art

UPDATE 01/07/16
This project is by far my most viewed post thanks to Pinterest and also this blog post from Make Magazine in 2014. If you are interested in purchasing a PDF of the words from me, you may do so for $20. Contact me at cheree dot moore at gmail dot com to make the purchase. If you make your own sign, I would love to hear about and see your results!

For some time, I have been intrigued by the idea of transferring printed art to wood. Specifically the transfer of words (or typography). Sign art is all over the internet – be it blogs I follow or Pinterest – and I have had an itch to try my hand at it. 

Daniel and I had some scrap wood from pallets from our move to Alabama that was in good shape and I thought that this wood gave me the perfect opportunity to create a (cheap) sign for our living room.

It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to go on the sign and then it took even longer to research how I would do the transfer. Actually doing the project took even longer since 1) I am great at starting projects and not so great at finishing them and 2) I am relegated to doing creative projects during nap time.

For my design, I thought it would be fun to do the phonetic alphabet. For one, my husband uses it all of the time for work and two, I figured that having an alphabet on the wall in plain sight of my son will be a good learning tool later on.

I knew that I wanted to use my typography skills and I also decided that I wanted to highlight the first letter of each word in red to signify that it was indeed the alphabet. Plus red would compliment my large, orange-red painting that is already in the living room. How that painting came about is a story for another day.

Step 1: Daniel and I set about taking apart the wooden pallets and refashioning them into a wooden sign. In the end what started out as an idea for a fairly small sign {initial idea was about 3' tall} grew into an 8' tall sign. The reason for the size increase was 1) we had enough scrap wood available; 2) I wanted the words on the sign to be easily readable; and 3) we have really tall ceilings in our living room and I wanted the scale of the sign to fit the living room.

Step 2: Distress the boards and paint the sign white. 

Step 3: Figure out how to transfer the art. I did quite a bit of research on this. This step included several emails to Daniel asking about different chemicals and what he thought about the process. This warranted the following email exchange between me and my husband: 
ME: Do we have acetone?

Daniel: Probably. Acetone = fingernail polish remover. HIGHLY flamable, not great to breathe, so why do you ask?

ME: Looking up ways to do an image transfer. Acetone is one option.

Daniel: It will dissolve latex paint.

me: k. Does Home Depot carry clear caulk? Specifically Elmer's Squeeze N Caulk? it's latex based. Another option would be to use Xylene (which is sold at Home Depot) but is toxic... would have to do it outside, with respirator. 

Daniel: Xylene is NASTY stuff, it's cold and dark outside, and it might dissolve paint, I'd have to look into it. Are there any transfer options that do not involve chemicals that dissolve either paint or human flesh?

We finally settled {agreed} on using clear silicone caulk {not the Elmer's, just a plain, clear silicone caulk} for the purpose of the transfer.

Step 4: Print the words for my art at a local print shop. I reversed the words and had them printed on a 3'x4' piece of paper from a laser printer for a total of $4. The girl at the sign shop was concerned that my words were backwards.

Step 5: Purchase clear silicone caulk. Cost about $3. With gloves, I used a caulk gun and my fingers to spread the silicone caulk on my board. I then placed the words face down on the board and used my hands to rub the back of the paper and make sure it was adhered to the silicone.

Step 6: Wait overnight for everything to dry. I actually waited several weeks due to having other projects on my plate {or sheer laziness?}

Step 7: Use warm water to remove the paper. The toner from the laser printer stayed adhered to the silicone {for the most part}. I am ok that it didn't come out perfect, this added to the distressed look.

Step 8: Fill in the red letters with a red pastel crayon from my college days {free}. Since I was doing this project as cheaply as possible, I chose to print my words in black and white. I made the first letter of each word gray, so that I could go back over it with a color later. Initially I thought that I would paint over the gray letters, but after looking through my art supplies, I decided that using a pastel crayon would be much easier for application and clean up. I went over the letters with red AFTER Daniel hung it on the wall. Due to the size of the sign, I had to use a small ladder to reach all of the letters.

We are really pleased with how this piece turned out. It gives balance to the huge walls in our living room. I am going to try this process again in the coming year, but I plan to use a photograph instead of words. 

Total time spent on the project: It took several months to complete.
Total Cost for project: about $7 + various supplies we already had on hand {wood, paint, nails, etc.}.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

See Jack {mid January 2013}

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.
See Jack play with his truck and blocks.
He thinks that throwing blocks is hilarious.
{mid January}

See Jack squeeze in a few minutes of playtime before bed.
He currently calls me "C" or "She" and likes to imitate how 
Daniel and I turn on his sound machine -- using his foot.
{mid January}

See Jack and I chat after our last hike to DeSoto State Park.
{mid January}   

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.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thursday Things: Valentine's Day 2013

10 Things You May Not Know About Me and Daniel

1) We met on a caving trip in the spring of 2001 – shortly after Valentine's Day, I believe.

2) The only year we bought Valentine's gifts was the first year we were dating {I think we knew that we would get married}.

3) That gift {investment} was rapelling gear. 

4) We took my family rapelling at "B" Rock in Searcy to celebrate this day of love.

5) We ran into my parents on our first date – this was probably the biggest negative to going to college in the same town your parents live in. 

6) Daniel was the first {and only} person I ever dated, so I felt very awkward seeing my parents.

7) Our first date included dinner at Colton's Steakhouse; Taming of the Shrew at HU {where we saw my parents during intermission and Daniel may have called my Canadian mother "ma'am"}; followed by an epic amount of time talking and drinking coffee at Midnight Oil.

8) Daniel does not enjoy plays or musicals. Especially musicals. I think I manage to drag him to one every other year {if I'm lucky}. *He must have really liked me to take me to see a play on our first date!

9) Our favorite song when we were dating was "Stick Shifts & Safety Belts" by Cake.

10) Today our favorite song is "All I Want Is You," the Tristan Prettyman cover of a Barry Louis Polisar song.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

See Jack {early January 2013}

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. 

See Jack try to remove his shirt after a meal. 
Typically he takes off {or tries to take off} his bib when he is finished eating. 
If he doesn't have a bib on, then, well...
{late September 2012 -- just found this video}

See Jack show off his newly acquired walking skills.
{early January}

See Jack walk, crawl and navigate stairs. 
These days he rarely crawls and he walks with ease.
{early January}

See Jack's amusement with a Christmas ornament. 
It doesn't take much to entertain a toddler!
{early January}

See Jack rock on his horse.
{early January}

Monday, February 11, 2013

Jack is 15 Months Old!

After Jack turned 1, I decided that it was too much to keep up with the monthly updates, but I thought that quarterly updates would be a good way for me to write down the things I want to remember this year.
It is so fascinating how quickly Jack continues to change and grow. He is developing by leaps and bounds.


Jack started walking around Christmas and within a couple of weeks, he was into everything. It amazes me how sure he is of himself and his steps. He occasionally falls, but he is quite adept.

He has been climbing down the stairs for some time, but shortly after he turned one, we allowed him to start climbing up. He has embraced the stairs and has never fallen.

Now he wants us to hold his hand so that he can go down the stairs standing up {and facing forward}. We allow him to do this on the 2 steps leading from our bonus room to his nursery. They are carpeted and relatively safe. Of course he is more interested in going down the big stairs this way, but his parents are not ready for him to do that yet!

Jack loves other kids. Any time we drop him off at nursery at church, or go to a park or visit his cousins in Nashville, he squeals with delight.

Last week, we were in the city and visited Chick-fil-a. Another mom commented on how expressive Jack was. His giggles are pretty adorable, in my unbiased opinion.

He gives tight bear hugs around the neck and sometimes gives open mouth kisses. He is such a sweet little guy.

Jack recently became very interested in feeding himself with real silverware. I load up the spoon and set it on his plate or tray and he proceeds to feed himself.

He continues to be a good eater, though he is not a huge fan of meat. He turned out to be slightly anemic, so we have been supplementing with iron drops and I have been on the hunt to find anything he will eat that has iron in it. After 2 weeks of supplements and lots of iron-fortified food, he is no longer anemic.

Jack is really starting to show understanding of words. He calls me, "She" {he is calling me by my first name}, though I am pretty sure he knows that I am "mama." He just likes to yell "She" in the house. He also says, "dada" and "bye bye" and "okay" and continues to do lots of babbling. He teachers at church tell us that he loves to talk {shout} during Bible class.

When we are getting ready to leave the house, he seems to know it and will repeatedly say, "bye bye" and even goes to the door to try to open it. He can reach the door knob, but can't open it yet.

He also says "nigh nigh" or "bye bye" when he is ready for bed. He will find his paci, put it in his mouth and start waving his hand to signal that it is time to sleep. When I tell him not to do something, occasionally he will he say, "okay," and then proceed to do it anyways. When all else fails, I just distract him.

Jack loves trucks and will make a "vrrrrrrrommmmm vrrrrmmm vrrrmmm" noise whenever he plays with one. He also likes toy tools and pretending to fix things. Buttons and door knobs and latches fascinate him. He has many of his father's tendencies. He also loves to go get the mail from the mailbox with his daddy every day. He takes the mail out, one piece at a time, and then puts it all back so that he can do it again.

In the last 3 months, Jack had his first hair cut, experienced his first snow and has had lots of opportunities to see family {including trips to Canada, Tennessee and Arkansas}.


Jack sleeps well -- typically 10-12 hours at night and two naps during the day. He still has only 4 teeth {two on top, two on the bottom}. We will go to his 15-month check up in a few weeks, so I am not sure about his height and weight. He is in 12 and 18 month clothes and size 4 diapers {when we use disposable}. We still use cloth diapers 90% of the time and are very happy with our decision to do so. Shoes have been difficult for Jack since he has really thick feet. He currently wears size 5 Robeez, but we can't seem to get a regular shoe to fit him. We are probably going to have to bite the bullet and spend a bit more to get him something that fits well. Jack is officially weaned and drinks whole milk from his sippy cup like an old pro.

We continue to fall in love with our little man with each passing day. He brings us such joy. In the evenings, before bed time, we enjoy playing together as a family. Parenting is exhausting at times, but definitely worth it.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party


Once again, my sister hit a home run with her party planning. For her son's first birthday she decided on a "Very Hungry Caterpillar" theme.


I helped design her invites and she took care of the rest. Pinterest is an amazing place for ideas -- the hard part is knowing how much to try to take on

She made the cutest caterpillar decorations.

And an adorable cupcake cake that formed the shape of a caterpillar.


We were glad to be able to go to the party {we missed Izzy's first birthday because we lived too far away}. Daniel didn't feel that great the day of the party, but Jack had fun eating chocolate cake and playing with cousin Levi's new toys!

A few videos from the party... these kids kept us entertained!

 Opening a box of blocks from Grammy and Grandpa Voyles. 
We missed having my parents there.
The Dancing Hamster -- courtesy of Uncle Mark.

Jack shows off his wrench skills. 
Only 15 months old and he is working on fixing a toy truck.

Roller Coaster with Uncle Mark.

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...