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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!