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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We can't wait for April, because . . .

Lillian will be a . . .

Most of you probably heard the news a while ago, but for those of you who may be farther away and not in regular contact, this is for you! We're expecting the fourth (and 99.9% likely to be the last) Bunton - Powell near mid to end of next April. I don't believe in due dates anymore, but they tell me around April 13th. I'm adding a couple weeks to that based on past experience, and hopefully I'll be surprised. There's NOTHING worse than being overdue, so if I plan now for later date, there will be no such thing this time, right??? Lillian will be 2 on March 8th, so they'll be two years apart. We had an early ultrasound since the baby gave us a scare by hiding his heartbeat, and at 14 weeks along, it looks like we'll be having another boy. I've about come to terms with it. I really felt like I was done with the baby boy thing, but that's okay! So now, we're just praying to have one more mild-tempered child. We've got one mild one so far (Sully), and the other two are soooo feisty--they take after their Dad, of course. ;) We're really excited to complete our family. I hate odd numbers--there always seems to be an empty gap. Cameron and I think it will be wonderful to have them all close in age as they grow. Sure, I'm sacrificing two more years of my sanity having 4 children age 6 and under (yikes!), but I'm sure it will be worth it and we can't wait for the adventures ahead!
Luke's excited for the next baby to come b/c I've told him there will be no pet dogs until the next baby is 5 years old!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fun in the Tarheel State!

After the family reunion, we headed over to Linville, NC in the Blue Ridge Mountains to stay in my great-Aunt Kassie's cabin for a few days. The leaves were changing, and the weather was nice and cool. It was beautiful and relaxing (well, as relaxing as we get with our group).

We drove to Asheville to spend the day at the Biltmore Mansion. That place is humongous! It's like it dropped out of the sky from France into rural North Carolina. We had loads of fun. The kids behaved incredibly well during the 2 hour self-guided tour of the house--thank goodness, b/c once you start there is NO easy way out--it's like a 2 mile one-direction maze, with one way in and one way out. We loved it--and after that we took the kids over to the Biltmore barnyard and farm. They loved the animals, and there was tons of fun things for them to do: a live country band, crafts, butter-making, carpenter-demo, etc. Lillian was too cute with the animals: "HI, Ki-caa!" over and over again (she calls all animals "kitty-cats"), to the goats, horses, chickens, etc.

We had a fantastic week in North Carolina, home sweet home.

The boy's with their "Nana and Pop-pop" who stayed in the cabin with us for a few days.

The boys had been longing to make a leaf-pile, but we don't have enough at home in SC yet. They were in heaven here!

(For the life of me, I cannot get my layouts on here to work well. If you can help me, call me up! )

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Knox Farm Reunion, 2008

We just went to the Knox family farm this past weekend, in North Carolina for the 250 year reunion of the Knox Farm and relatives (My mom is a Knox). Her father, my granddad, grew up on this farm, working it as did generations before him, and now generations after him continue to do so. It was a dairy farm when I was young, but now the mostly grow grains for feed, and soybeans. It's a beautiful, fascinating place. We even got to tour the old homestead house (left) that my grandfather was raised in. Unfortunately, my camera wouldn't work for the first day of the reunion, so I'm going to have to wait for pictures from others. The next day, we had a fish fry at the shed, and a hayride after. This is me and Lillian with my great-aunt and great-uncle, Lois and Robert. Robert resembles my grandfather, John Allen Knox (whom I miss terribly--he passed away last summer), and just turned 95! It was wonderful to see them.

Sullivan was trying to take his turn on the cool tractor, till Luke hopped on and commandeered the pedals. Poor Sully was helpless, despite being in the drivers seat, as Luke took over the steering wheel next. I thought the whole thing was hilarious. (Luke still got called out though). Their cousin James is behind them. They had a fantastic time playing together.

Lillian was so cute--flashing everyone right and left. She's just entered the inevitable skirt-up phase.

This is Lillian with my Aunt Betty, who gave us that lovely dress Lillian is wearing. It's my favorite. Thanks Aunt Betty! I took 3 pictures to try to get Betty with her eyes open, but no joke, they were in the EXACT same position every shot! ;)

There were two wagons on the hay ride--this, obviously--is the one we weren't on, which is why I could take a picture. It's a yearly tradition, and this is the first time in the last 2 years that I've attended that the wagon didn't get a flat tire, inspiring a long and beautiful walk back.

We had such a nice time. The Knox reunion is one of the highlights of my year! It is a lovely place, with kindest, friendliest group of people you've ever met. I'm so proud to be related to them.

And finally, drumroll please, we have . . . . . . . . AMANDA and AMILDA !!!

We see this woman on the hayride, and the more we look at her, the more we think she resembles my mom, on the left. We'd never met her before. Come to find out, she is my mother's 6th cousin who heard about this special reunion and decided to come. Different, but eerily similar. Amanda, Amilda. They hit it off: same tinted glasses, same salt and pepper curly/frizzy hair, similar smiles, similar style of dressing. My mom actually asked her how she did her hair. My mom never asks anyone how they do their hair. Within minutes they were even discussing their mutual love of fanny packs, and how they were both "granola" rather than "eye candy", etc. They set up a meeting in 6 months. Amilda's son, who was also there, lives just one town away from Cameron and I (he and I are 7th cousins I guess), so we may be meeting up with him as well. CRAZY! And here I thought my mom was one of a kind . . . . :)

Quirky Me, TAGGED

I've been tagged twice now to do this, by Jean and and Lea-Ann, so here we go!

The rules are:
1)Link back to the person who tagged you & post these rules on your blog
2)Share random and/or weird facts about yourself
3)Tag 7 RANDOM people
4)Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

I'm truly not a very quirky person . . . but

1) I do have an "air thing." I have to have fresh air to breath. Fresh mostly meaning not second-hand. If someone is "close-talking" to me, where their breath is coming in my face, I feel like I'm suffocating on their CO2-laden breath. Plus, I'm hyper sensitive to smells: I can't tolerate bad breath in my face, but I would never dream of letting on or telling someone, so, in both situations, instead I hold my breath and try to discreetly turn my head to intake air, letting it out very slowly to appear normal, meanwhile trying not to pass out and to still hear what the person is saying. I'm pretty sure I just look like a freak. If Cameron wants to drive me nuts, he just comes really close, and then starts sucking in air, "I'm stealing all the air right here! There's not going to be enough for you!" It doesn't work anymore, but it used to drive me nuts.

2) I have a phobia of falling. Always have. Stairs without rails, beautiful overlooks with not so big guard rails (or guardrails with big gaps in them). I've have this sensation of gravity literally trying to pull me over the edge, and I'm not as sturdy on my feet. I've always felt that gravity has it out for me, and if I'm not careful, it will yank me--or now my children--over. (This is only very tall places I'm talking about, 2nd story or higher.)

3)I have crazy half-dreams sometimes. I open my eyes while I'm still sound asleep, and see things in the room that my still-sleeping mind interprets poorly. I've woken Cameron up several times yelling in my sleep-world about the window that was scary, and my personal least-favorite, the ceiling fan which has several times woken me up by looking like a MASSIVE spider with it's legs outstretched descending on me. Which maybe explains why I'm starting to develope a fear of spiders. Cameron loves being woken up by a loud yell in the middle of the night. The yelling wakes me up, to find my eyes already open, looking at a ceiling fan instead of a spider, and feeling sheepish. It happens enough that Cameron is used to it now.

4) I have to have every light out and every closet/bathroom door shut before I can sleep.

5)Ever since being told "Bloody Mary" stories in elemetary school, I will not look into a mirror in a dark room. Creepy! Who knows what I might see???

I'm going to tag my blogging sister-in-laws:

Buffy, Nancy, Tiffany, and Heather.

If you've already done it--sorry!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Luke's First Spend-the-Night!

Luke was invited on his first spend-the-night! He had a great time, but I'm pleased to say that I think he was ready to come home in the morning. He told Shana (the mom), "I better go home, my mom really misses me. We don't see each other very often, so I'd better go."
Hilarious! (For those of you who don't know our routines: we're lucky to spend 2 hours in seperate rooms, much less apart!)

Friday, June 13, 2008

"Hey, where's their . . . . ?"

a little anecdote:

Luke loves watching Discovery shows with Cameron in the morning before Cameron leaves for work. The other day, they were watching a nature-ish show that included the obligatory authentically naked indigenous people. Since this is Discovery, they courteously blurred out the men's unmentionables as they walked around in the rainforest. After watching for a while, Luke, always trying to figure things out, calmly asks Cameron, "Dad, do those guys don't have any privates??" Too funny! . . . I love how little kid's brains work--a perfectly logical conclusion for a 5 year old!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A little summer fun . . .

Summer's beginning! Cameron and the boys did a fire pit in the back yard and we had foil dinners and corn on the cob and roasted marshmellows--delicious! Then Cameron and the boys slept in a tent in the backyard (heehee). There was no way I was doing that with Lillian! They all came running inside at 6am. Cameron was exhausted from a night of sharing the air mattress (he's a cushy camper) with Luke and Sullivan, who like to kick- I was really glad I missed that one!

Getting into trouble!

My kids are great at finding their own fun. Too bad it's usually in ways that make a load of messes! Apparently saying "No" 100 times doesn't really mean no.

Lillian loves cabinets! Especially the ones in our bathroom where she has discovered the small boxes of soap. I managed to child-lock the two cabinets to the left (out of the shot) so she couldn't get in them. Haha!

But, she found a way back to the soap by climbing in through the open un-locked cabinet to the right.

I don't know why, but my kids think they are hungry ALL DAY LONG. As soon as I turn my back they are into the food again! Usually it's Luke. I suspect he was the mastermind behind sending his brother to the front line.

Forts are a daily occurance around here. Anywhere and everywhere.

This is Lillian's favorite play spot. Scary! I'm wishing now we didn't elevate our bathtub. She bolts over here as quick as her chunky legs will take her, climbs up, turns on the water, then puts anything within reaching distance under the faucet, often one of the bars of soap she stole from the cabinet.

Apparently I need to entertain these kids better!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Southern Flair

Cameron pointed out that I forgot the most important picture; you cannot have a classic Southern home without a huge front porch. The kids like to race each other from end to end on it. Truth be told, these porches would get more use if they were found on the west coast where sitting in the shade is actually a relief! No relief from humidity out here, but we love it just the same. At least the ceiling fans keep the mosquitos away.

Finally, (drumroll) the Grand Tour!

Ok, it feels a little strange for me to be posting pictures on my blog of our home, but a lot of our family/friends have requested to see pictures, so here we are. With Cameron being a construction manager, this is the second "investment" home we've built. We have a cycle: rent, build, move in, sell, move out, rent, build, move in, sell . . . you get the idea. We'll probably be doing this the rest of our life, hopefully not too often though. It's not fun moving as much as we have, but there are some great perks--like living in such a lovely house! It's fun planning out our dream home and trying to guess what aspects will make it more marketable when the time comes to sell.

Cabinet colors and layouts, floor choices, paint and roof colors, hardware and lighting . . . so many choices. We're glad it's done and we can enjoy it! The house plan is one of William Poole's designs--he designs gorgeous east coast style homes (you can find and buy his plans online). We tried to give our home a classic southern feel like some of the old plantation homes out here. The only downside of living in our dream home is that in order for this work, we have to sell it at some point, :( preferably before our children destroy it (but hopefully not too soon!). We'd love to be here a few years, at least. Who knows--maybe we'll be here a long time (cross fingers).

Come visit us--we miss you all! All that said, here's the virtual tour . . .

Here's a close-up of the gazebo with the new landscaping. This gazebo was an incredibly difficult thing for Cameron and his framing crew to build. We were almost afraid it wouldn't work! Thankfully, it turned out perfectly. That' a Dogwood tree in front of the gazebo--North Carolina's state flower. :)
They're not blooming yet, but there are pale pink rose bushes planted around the gazebo.

The foyer's one of my favorite parts of the house; you can see one of the sconces that are on either side of the front door. We love the wooden staircase, but it's a little scary. We make the kids use the carpeted stairs off the garage entry b/c it would hurt sooo bad to fall down these!

If you go through the glass paned door, it takes you to . . .

The music room!!! I love being able to have a room just for the harp, so I can shut the doors to practice or keep kids away. It has been so nice. And with no curtains, bare walls, and hardwood floors, the acoustics are fantastic!

Across the foyer is the dining room.
Cameron surprised me by putting in a coffered ceiling. We're thinking of painting this room a different color. Any suggestions?

From the front door, walk straight past the stairs and to your right (in that little passage way) is the powder room. You can't see it, but I found the neatest pineapple light fixture (a common southern symbol of hospitality) at Lowe's of all places to go in here above the mirror. And, we love Costco sink vanities! They end up being a little cheaper than regular cabinets, and they look so cool! We put two different ones in the upstairs bathrooms too, but no pictures of those.

Keep walking past the powder room, and you'll be in conjoined kitchen/living room area. I love having the cream colored cabinets. You see these in a lot of the newer homes in the region.
There's a bay window to the left of the table that overlooks the backyard.

Turn your back to the kitchen and voila! the living room. I love the family-friendly set up with the two being connected. Also, there's a super-sized picture window that you can see part of on the right, next to the door, so that I can easily watch the kids creating chaos in the backyard.

Not all that interesting, but the cubby area is one of the features that we added in and really enjoy having. It's located through the door at the back of the kitchen. To the right in this hallway is the garage entry, and to the left is the laundry room and then the Master bedroom. The drawers of the cubby are for shoes, and inside the cubbies are hooks for the kids coats and bookbags.

The master bedroom. The best thing in here is the headboard of the bed that Cameron made as a surpise one year. The double doors to the right ilead to a small nursery/study room that we added into the plan. It's where Lillian takes her naps so that the boys won't wake her up.

Here's the master bathtub. The bathroom is nice, but not huge. It's a long and narrow design, so it's hard to get much of a picture of it.

There are 2 bonus rooms that look the same: Cameron's "entertainment" room, and the kids' playroom (which is usually much more messy than this!)
The playroom was a room we added to the plan--it was just empty rafters, so Cameron went ahead and finished it off. I heard a quote once, "it doesn't matter how much room you have--your kids will always be right under your feet." So true. They hardly ever use this room--they'd rather play right near us, outside, or in their bedrooms. But, it's great for when company comes over, then all the kids play in there

The kids' rooms are all the same: Lillian's is pale pink, Luke's is a pale green, Sully's is a pale blue, the guest bedroom is cream, and all of them have only a bed and dresser in it. I love the colors, but other than that, they're not much to look at, so I won't bore you--this tour is long enough!

Here's a shot from the corner of the property. You can see the wisteria trellis on the back porch that I'm very excited about. To the upper right of the shot you can see the edge of a big huge oak tree and a tire swing that my dad hung. The kids love it!

Phew! That's it! If I'd known how long it was going to take to load all of these pictures you would've gotten the penny tour instead of the grand tour!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Here is a picture of a picture on our wall: Our one and only professional family portrait! A lady in our ward did a wonderful job: it took 3 different pictures digitally manipulated to look like we're all together. Not bad huh? The original photos were one of me, Sully and the baby, then one of Cameron alone added to it, and who knows when or how she got such a great picture of Luke to crop in? Thank goodness for technology!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

April 2008

So here they are . . . Luke and Sullivan (5 and almost 4); if only things were really this peaceful between these two. I've decided that you are infinitely lucky if you have children of the opposite sex side by side. There's more sibling rivalry b/w two siblings, same sex, and close in age!!! It wears me out. There's a reason why Sullivan looks scared in this picture. Physical contact with Luke usually involves pain for him. ;)

We have a gorgeous view from our classicly Southern front porch during rain storms! Right now we're then only ones living on our cul-de-sac (the house you see is empty and for sale), so it's very peaceful, and wooded all around us.

Next is our fun little Lillian, who just turned one March 8th. Luke loves to rig things up--he's our little engineer--so he used a strap to tie the wagon to his "green truck". I buckled Lillian in and he drove her slowly around the yard as I followed (it was safe, I promise!). She loved it. It was too cute!

Last is a picture of me!!! Since I'm the one usually holding the camera, there really are very few pictures of me with the kids, unfortunately. I made Cameron take a picture of us today before church because Luke's supposed to bring one in to preschool for an assignment, and it feels great to have another picture of me with my child for posterity!
We're all squished next to the ground so that I could use the flowers as a backdrop. I didn't think about how strange it looks for us to be so uncomfortably scrunched. I just potted the red geranium yesterday, and it already has made me happier looking at it over the last day. I love geraniums--they easily bloom non-stop as long as they have sun. They're very tough. Can I just use this chance to say how much I love gardening? I just planted a vegetable garden yesterday (thanks to my wonderful Dad who surprised me by bringing down supplies for a raised garden box bed), and I'm anxious to see how it will do in this humid heat that will hit soon. Hopefully I have fresh BLT's coming my way!