Tuesday, December 29, 2009

snow!


This happened before Christmas but I forgot to post pictures. We couldn't believe it- snow in December!!

a tender Tennessee Christmas



Here we are- home again after a sweet Christmas in TN. As with all our trips to TN there is so much goodness packed into so few days. The time with our family and friends is so precious! Plus there was the added excitement of gifts- for Natalie it was a lot of American girl stuff, and for Benjamin a combo of dinosaurs, tools, guns, sports stuff, and games. I am super excited about Natalie's Lite Brite and Guess Who? game. :) Natalie was sooo happy she got some good dog time in with Smokey (the Hagoods terrier) and Ava (my sister and Brandon's Maltese). We also got a fun surprise from my dad- two nights at a hotel with a pool, so that was a special treat. I have not been feeling well because of our Little (due Aug. 3rd), so it was good to have the kids taken care of so I could rest. And I apologize to those friends and family I didn't get to see because of this. I should be feeling much better in 2 or 3 weeks ( I hope!). I hope all of you had a very merry Christmas!! Here we come 2010!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas unwrapped




It really is the most wonderful time of the year (although summer vacation is a very, very close second). My mom asked me the other day why I liked Christmas and I said, "Everything"! I love the lights, the various events (plays, parties, pageants), the traditions, the meaning, seeing family and friends, songs (my fave is Carol of the Bells and 2nd is Oh Holy Night b/c of the line "the thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices"), the excitement, baking, and everything else. I took the kids to a Christmas celebration in downtown Burlington last Friday. Some parts of it were really sweet. They had a band performing in the sunken ampitheater at the train depot, and they had real live carolers in turn of the century costumes! Other parts of it were...um...well I sort of wished I'd had a friend with me to laugh about it with. There were these random goats in the streets, and the train ride was hilarious. We all stood in a line to get on, but when the train (if you can call it that) came it was a free for all with people throwing the tickets at the conductor and elbowing for a seat. I'm not really an elbowing person, so despite my place in line we had to wait out a train ride between giving the conductor the tickets to actually getting to ride. It sort of made the Fantasy of Trees look like Disney World :). But the kids loved it, and Ben said it was the best night of his life so it was a success.
I was talking to my bff about capturing Christmas, and how hard it is to really experience it each year. I loved that she said this fall she was playing with her son and all of a sudden leaves started falling softly all around her. She said she'd never really experienced leaves falling despite her living through many, many fall seasons. She said it was beautiful and reminded her of snow falling- so peaceful. She said for her in that moment she felt she had fully experienced fall, so if we could have one moment like that during the Christmas season we could feel like we had fully experienced Christmas. Like last year my very favorite part of the season was the day AFTER Christmas. I took the kids to the zoo. We had the zoo almost all to ourselves, and it was cold but there were so many more animals being active than there are during the hot summer months. It was so peaceful and fun, and that time together was so sweet. So that's my challenge to myself this season-to make things simple, to only do the things I want to do (no pressure on myself to make a full gingerbread house from scratch, that didn't work out too well last year), to enjoy my family, my quiet time, and the real meaning of the season.

Friday, December 4, 2009

two little elves




You know one of the best things about having kids that are old enough to help you out and are really excited about Christmas? They can decorate for Christmas faster than you can say fa-la-la! Okay maybe not that fast. We put our tree up, and yes those are winter socks at the bottom so the tree won't scuff the floor, and set the ornaments out and the little elves set to it. Natalie is tall enough now that the ornaments are set evenly over the tree instead of all at the bottom- huge plus! The tree has sort of become an interactive game where they keep moving around the ornaments and playing with them, but hey that's fine with me.

Friday, November 27, 2009

yes, Natalie, there was a Santa Claus



Once upon a time, in about the third century, in the city of Myra (modern day Turkey), there was a man by the name of Nicholas. As a boy, Nicholas loved God. As a teenager he was often called the "Boy Bishop" and was greatly loved by everyone in the community.
His family was very wealthy, and from the moment he recieved his inheritence, Nicholas began to give it away to the poor and needy. He especially loved to give the gifts to children, though he always did it in secret. The best-known tale of his generosity involves three young sisters who were too poor to pay for their wedding dowries. Nicholas wanted to help, but he didn't want to receive any credit for he act of charity.
Legend has it that Nicholas climbed onto the roof of their house and threw a gold coin down the chimney. The coin landed in the oldest girl's stocking as ut was hanging beside the fireplace to dry. The second daughter's dowry was provided in the same way. So when the time came for the youngest girl to be married, her father hid himself on the roof and waited. Nicholas's secret was revealed, and he was loved more than ever before.
Hundreds of years later, this good bishop was declared Saint Nicholas. Today he is known far and wide as Santa Claus.
His name Kris Kringle comes from the Dutch word Christkindl, meaning "Christ child." It was originally created as an attempt to refocus people's attention on Jesus as the real gift-giver.
The truth is that St. Nicholas, Santa Claus, and Kris Kringle all reveal the giving heart of God, who is the original Father Christmas.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

my little Indian




I was really trying to get a pic of these three smiling, but I'm glad I didn't b/c this pic is so them- so four year olds. Benjamin painted a fire and a snake on his outfit so he is Fire Snake. His friend Dylan is Thunder Bear, and Olivia (who I think Benjamin secretly likes but keeps running from) is Rainbow Heart. It's priceless. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I have so very much to be thankful for including this little Indian!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesdays unwrapped


I didn't know it when I posted last Tuesday but I had a surprise waiting for me that afternoon. Natalie learned to ride her two wheel bike! This may not seem too exciting, but for us it is HUGE! We got her that bike for Christmas last year since her My Little Pony bike was way too small (as in she looked like one of those clowns at the circus riding tiny bikes). She was more frustrated with our gift than happy, so I've been feeling sort of bad for the past oh ten months that her main Christmas gift has been a source of such discontent for her. We did try to help her learn, but she would get frustrated with trying and go back to the little pony bike. Learning to ride her bike has been the subject of stories she wrote for school, journaling, and her prayers. Like walking and learning to swim I think it's something that you work at and then one day it all just comes together. So now you can maybe see why we were so excited when, after practicing with Michael's mom all afternoon, she finally got the feel for a two-wheeler. Really, I almost cried. So now she can't wait to come home from school and jump on that bike. She rides all around the yard, in the empty cul-de-sac next to us, and yesterday she rode all the way to the park. Hurray!
I also had a really great date night with M last Tuesday night, and that is a huge gift (esp. here where babysitters are scarce)! We had a dinner at B. Christopher and went to see Couples Retreat, and the whole time we marveled that we were really alone.
Yep, that was a good day and there have been lots of smaller gifts to unwrap in the days since. In this house taking off the sheets is the cue for jumping on the bed for some reason. So yesterday Benjamin, of course, hopped on the bed before I even got the sheets to the washer, but this time instead of asking him to get off the bed after his little jumping session I decided to jump in with him. I highly suggest it! There was also one more HUGE gift this week. For those of you who know the story about my sister's wedding band, it was found this week (one year and three months after the wedding) in the laundry room of their apt.!! That is such a God thing to me, and something I will be praising Him for forever!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Natalie's not so American girl trunk



Natalie was looking at the trunks for the American girl dolls in the latest catalog last week and saying how it would be nice to have one to keep the doll clothes in. Since there is no way I'm paying the price they want for a trunk I got the idea to make my own to give her for Christmas. I asked Nat what she would want on it and her only request was polka dots. I found the unpainted trunk at Michael's art store for $50 but of course had a 40% off coupon. I wanted it to look a little vintage but still modern- you know shabby chic-ish. I think she will love it, but shh don't tell until Christmas!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesdays unwrapped

This morning I got an e-mail from my MOPS leader with this challenge: Each Tuesday, a small community of women write a post on their blogs to celebrate the beauty of life in the midst of the chaos. The girl in the e-mail posted a picture of a big pile of pink laundry thanking God that this laundry mean two healthy girls live in her house. I don't usually subscribe to things that put pressure on me to do things on a certain day like this, but I like the idea. I've noticed when I give thanks any worries or complaints I have for the day seem smaller and sometimes disappear completely. Sooo I'm going to give it a go.
This morning I woke up to a clear, beautiful November day. There is a small pile of dishes in the kitchen meaning, of course, that we have plenty of food. My favorite Spin class is this morning, so right now I can't get past my excitement of that but I'm looking forward to finding more things to give thanks for as the day goes on.
Give yourself permission to take the time to unwrap the small, secret gifts of the everyday; to see the moments that may have otherwise disappeared under the pile of daily tasks. What is real and true this day? Discover and receive it with thanks.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm tired




I feel a little silly saying I'm tired since the past two weeks have mainly been spent at home doing not too much. Maybe I should say I'm tired of sameness or kids or something, but the whole thing has made just...really tired. Benjamin got sick first. It started with a middle of the night cuddle that turned into a mild panic when I realized he felt like an oven. It wasn't the much dreaded flu, but still no trips out of the house for us. Then Natalie got the same thing the next week, so I finally got out of the house last Thurs. for a really good workout. But then no school Friday, and M left midday with Benjamin for Knoxville. So Natalie and I thought it would be fun to have her friend spend the night. Bad decision. I woke up at 6 am and found all the lights on in the house and TVs on. They woke up at 4 a.m. (4 a.m.!!!!). Real fun since we had to spend the whole day on the farm with the girl scouts. The farm actually was really fun- hayrides, hay maze, pumpkin picking right off the vine, soybean picking to feed to goats, pumpkin painting, corn jumping (I don't have the energy to explain), and even cotton picking. Of course by the end of the day N was quite tired and near tears. I was near tears by the end of the 45 min. drive home, with 5 screaming girl scouts in the back. We were home by 4, then bath, dinner, and she fell asleep around 5:30. I tried to wake her up to trick or treat, but it was a no go. Well, lesson learned. Sunday brought me teaching N's Sunday school class, a trip to the store, and then a little time to spare before M and B came home with M's parents. Thankfully, God knows I need a rest, and M's mom is here to help me out this week. AND M and I get to go on a date night or two this week! I have a feeling I'll be me again very soon (yay)!

Monday, October 26, 2009

so thankful


Thanksgiving isn't for another month buuut I've been thinking today about a few things I'm thankful for and thought I'd share...
-the overall health of my family
-some of the moms in my MOPS group have husbands that are soldiers overseas, so I am thankful for our soldiers and also that my husband is here with me
-Muffin (the person not the food although now that I think about it I am thankful for the food too)
-for Jesus, who I can run to when I am sad, happy, worried, excited, or anything else and He never lets me down
-and last but not least- my new lambie robe!! It is the softest and warmest robe ever, and I'm pretty sure I won't be getting out of it until next spring. A big thanks to Julie for spoiling me with this gift two months early :)! I will post a pic but it doesn't do it justice plus Natalie didn't know how to get my whole body.

pumpkin fest


Benjamin was so excited to be a horse for farm day/pumpkin fest at school!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

cinnamon rolls

For some reason I am drawn to all recipes where you roll up some sort of dough filled with yummy goodness. Maybe it's that I like to see how the filling is all swirled up inside the round treat. I don't know, but I'm fascinated. So of course I love to make cinnamon rolls. I found two great recipes on allrecipes.com. I like the 90 minute rolls better because instant yeast is so easy to use, but both recipes are good. The only difference I make is that I use half whole wheat flour and I haven't tried the glaze for the overnight cinnamon rolls but it didn't look good to me.
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Ninety-Minute-Cinnamon-Rolls/Detail.aspx

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Overnight-Cinnamon-Rolls-I/Detail.aspx

bean dip

Michael and I have been loving this white bean dip lately. I found the fresh pico de gallo at Walmart next to the lettuce. We like to pair it with Joseph's oat bran, flax, and whole wheat pitas I found at Walmart by the deli. You could also serve with tortilla chips, veggies, or crackers.

1 can great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 carton fresh pico de gallo (or 1/2 cup fresh tomatoes (diced), 1/4 cup diced onion, 1/4 cup green peppers)
1 tablespoon lime juice

Mix everything in blender. It's ready to serve but we like to chill it for an hour first.

fallin' for fall



The weather has been so perfect these past few weeks! We have had our neighbor friends over (the kids anyway) almost every day running around our yard, playing hide and seek, swinging, etc. Natalie and Erin (the little girl next door) begged me all summer to let them have a cupcake stand, and we finally got around to it last week. Some sweet neighbors stopped by, and they got some good business. They made a little over ten dollars (that they split in half), and they were thrilled with that. We LOVE our park that we can walk to through a trail in our neighborhood. There was a party this weekend at that park, and my kids dressed up as a cowgirl and cowboy. Erin was dressed as something a little scarier, so she had to keep a safe distance from Ben.

Friday, October 23, 2009

pumpkin patch with Benjamin


Despite what it looks like he was really excited to be at the pumpkin patch. Every time we passed it this week he begged to go, and since he's better today was the day. We couldn't really find an angle where the sun didn't bother him (he said the day was too shiny).

investiture ceremony




Last night we had our annual investiture ceremony with our Girl Scout troup where the girls invest (if they are new) or re-invest into the Girl Scouts. The top pic is our troop 09-10, second our friendship circle, and then Natalie investing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

haiku

The kids and I were learning about haikus today and they decided to write their own:
A noisy bird chirps
in birdbath
full of rain.
Benjamin

Delicate flower
blows in gentle breeze
softly.
Natalie

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

girl scouts


Natalie's troop (08-09) at day camp

tennis lessons



So cute to watch!

Monday, October 19, 2009

kids fall pics


Arizona





Well, it's true you usually don't appreciate something, and in this case it's heat, until it's gone. Our heat went out yesterday so last night we all had a "camp out" in the guest room since it has it's own separate heating and air. Last night was the coldest night we've had this fall, so I am so very happy the nice heating man came this morning and fixed it. Ironically this afternoon is supposed to be the hottest we've had in weeks. Go figure. With all this thought about heat I am reminded of my summer trip to AZ with my sister and thought I would post some pics. I learned many things on this trip- for example: never forget your bathing suit when going to spa and if you do the white leotards they let you borrow will be see through when wet, the cheese plate at a spa restaurant is not the sort of cheese plate you would have at your normal party, and a hot air balloon ride is a lot more relaxing and a lot less scary than I thought it would be. I was also reminded how good it feels to laugh so hard you can't breathe. Thanks for the trip Bitsy!

our very favorite muffins

Banana Chip Muffins
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup melted butter
3 medium mashed bananas
3/4 cups chocolate chips (or peanut butter chips)

In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, combine the egg, butter, and bananas. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chips. Fill greased muffin cups 3/4s full. Bake at 375 for 18-22 mins. Makes one dozen (note: the recipe says 375 but I like the just barely done and bake at 350)

my first post

I have been reading other people's blogs for the past few years when I had a few minutes of free time here and there. These blogs (all by other moms) have been both fun for me to read and informative and even sometimes inspiring. While I'm not sure if I'm all that entertaining, informative or inspiring (smile) I thought this could be a way to tell anyone interested what is going on in the Hagood house and pass on any good recipes, ideas or info. that I come across. This is in no way a substitute for calling or e-mailing my friends and family as I normally do. :) Well, here goes...