Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Two Traveling Angels

My dear friend Terrie sent this to me today. I have received it many time before, but for some reason today it felt different. I wanted to share it with everyone.



Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, 'Things aren't always what they seem.'

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest. When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field. The younger angel was infuriated and asked theolder angel how could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him, she accused. The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die. 'Things aren't always what they seem,' the older angel replied.
When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it.' Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed,the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren't always what they seem.


Sometimes that is exactly what happens when things don't turn out the way they should. If you have faith, you just need to trust that every outcome is always to your advantage. You just might not know it until some time later...

Some people come into our lives quickly go. Some people become friends and stay awhile.. leaving beautiful footprints on our hearts..and we are never quite the same because we have made a good friend!!

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present!
I think this is special...live and savor every moment.. This is not a dress rehearsal!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sarah's HomeSchool Update!

Hannah isn't the only one learning at home this year. Yes, Sarah has been eager to read on her own! We conquered vowels a few months ago, but that has not quenched her thirst to read at all. So, Mommy invested in Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read for Pre-K.
I used Hooked on Phonics with Hannah in Kindergarten and loved how the program encourages reading in a fun way. Sarah quickly picked up how to play the computer games. She was a little bothered initially because she has never used my lap top before and was not familiar with the mouse. Yet, she quickly picked that up too! :)
She tackled the letters A - D. Honestly, she breezed through the letters A - D. She was extremely proud of herself and didn't want to stop "playing." Learning can truly be fun, exciting, and rewarding. It has been rewarding to me to watch my girls learn!
So, she will play the A-D games again tomorrow. And if she does well, will be rewarded with her first sticker on her reading chart!
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Saturday, December 27, 2008

December HomeSchool Update

The Fall of 2008 has come and gone. We are four months into our HomeSchool adventure now. The girls continue to thrive and enjoy being home. We all have learned alot through this great experience. Most importantly, the girls have a desire to learn! The primary focus these past few months has been reading and math. With the new year approaching and cooler days, I think that we will be spending more time outside and incorporating more Science. There are so many resources here in North Florida. One is the St Marks Wildlife Refuge. It is a favorite of Leonard's. He tries to get out there every chance he gets. He loves bird watching and fishing. Unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to venture out with him in years! Well, I was blessed with another Friday night off this week. So, on Saturday morning we all drove down to St Marks for one of their Families in Nature educational programs. The focus this month was on the Whooping Cranes. The girls learned about their migration here in an attempt to save them. Leonard says that there are only 70 left in the wild. Hannah made a "pizza" with all the toppings that a Whooping Crane would enjoy. Leonard was able to pull out his new binoculars that he received for Christmas and the weather was awesome (mid 70s)! The volunteers at the Refuge are awesome. They shared alot of educational material with me. I also learned that they offer free environmental education programs for children! We have been inspired to venture out into nature with the new year. Stay tuned,

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hannah & Fall Dance

This week was Hannah's fall parent observation day at dance. This is her fourth season. She is taking Ballet II, Jazz II, and Hip-Hop. That's three hours every week and three different pairs of dance shoes to keep up with! She continues to look more and more like a dancer every season.


Unfortunately, she did not make the cast for Alice in Wonderland. However, she is not broken. "Mommy, not everyone can be in the show," she said. Her instructor and dance director did recommend that she audition for the company. Being a part of the company would allow her more practice and attention to grow. Also, she would have more opportunity to perform on stage.

She enjoys sharing what she learns with Sarah after class. Some days she's not so excited about going to class. So, I have to keep on her and remind her that you just can't just give up...you have to work hard...hard work pays off every time! To keep her motivated, I am planning on taking her & Sarah to Atlanta in February for Hannah's birthday. The Alvin Ailey Company will be performing at the Fox Theater. I pray that seeing others like her dancing well will inspire her.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas!



The TLH Huff's Christmas Tree 2008

Can't pull out the camera without an ANTM photo shoot




I was blessed with a Friday night off. :O) What's the big deal? I work weekend nights! What does that mean? It means that I work every single Friday, Saturday, & Sunday night from 7pm to 7am. I am only granted two (yes, 2) weekends off a year. Therefore, I have to be very careful how I choose which days to take off. So, I was extremely excited when my job called & asked if I wanted to stay home! Yippee! Not working on a Friday night meant I didn't have to sleep all day Saturday before going to work. Leonard & I could actually sleep in together on a Sat morning and spend the day with the girls before I went back to work Sat night. So, we took this opportunity to dig out the Christmas tree from the garage. We haven't bought a real tree since we brought home our first cat, Tinkerbell. She goes crazy for the Christmas tree. Last year she crawled up into it every night to sleep. Great pics! The girls were really excited about decorating it. This is the first year that Sarah is old enough to participate and not be constantly told "stop, don't pull on that, get that out your mouth!" Of course, Leonard was the sour sport that he is every year and did not help. Oh, well. He did run out and get new garland and watched the girls & I decorate. I let them decorate however they want as long as they are enjoying themselves. Christmas' lists are long this year! I don't see how my Momma did Christmas every year with four girls! Our two are going to drive us into bankruptcy! Just kidding! We love shopping for our girls and watching their faces light up on Christmas day. Needless to say, the theme for homeschool this month has been the birth of Christ and what it means for our eternal life. Thanks to a dear friend, Cory, we have TONS of arts & crafts materials to utilized. Stay tuned for more great pics!




Sarah helping Mommy decorate the tree

"Sarah, they all don't go on one branch!"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ms Sarah Frances is 3 yrs old!


Today our baby girl turned three years old! Cannot believe it has been three years already. She was very excited about the day and had been counting down the days with Hannah. Last year she celebrated with friends at Baby Power. This year we settled on a good old fashion backyard home party! The weather was great for December...low 70s! It was windy and a little cloudy, but all the kids had a great time. Incorporated some of Sarah's favorite activities. She loves playing with the hula hoops, bubbles, and balls at her mommy-and-me class and having her face painted by Sparkles the clown on Tuesday nights. So, mommy and daddy made it happen! A bounce house with slide was the hit of the day. She was surrounded by good friends and family. And we all had a great time!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008 at Dear's

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The TLH Huffs had the blessing of traveling to Grandma Dear's for Thanksgiving. I was so grateful to see all three of my sisters. We all haven't been together in a long time. We enjoyed Dear's famous dressing and sweet potatoe pies and Tee Lexy's Red Velevet cake!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fall in North Florida

Fall in North Florida means the State Fair and the changing color of leaves...both a site to see!



Hannah Banana on the Carousel...nice weather out (no sleeves)



Sarafina riding solo for the first time!


We enjoyed a lovely fall night with the McCoy Family at the North Florida State Fair. The weather was great....not too cold and not warm. I did become a little frigid towards the end of the night; however, I stay cold. The girls, like always, enjoyed themselves. We all enjoyed GREAT food...Italian sausages, pulled pork, fried turkey legs, cotton candy, kettle corn, sweet tea (for only .75), soft pretzels, and funnel cake! Hannah played "chicken" this year and didn't ride as much as usual. Sarah would have rode everything if she was tall enough! Leonard rode with Trinity on the dare-devil rides! Vince isn't a "rider." Yet, he and Leonard did tackle the mechanical bull! LOL! Leonard got him by 1 second. Now that was a site to see! So grateful to be raising my girls with a great family like the McCoy Family! Stay tuned for more of our great explorations!
Before jetting off to the fair, the girls & I met with Paige at McClay Gardens for more pictures. The gardens are so beautiful this time of year. Here are a few pics that I took with my phone. Paige has posted some on her website...check'em out!


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November HomeSchool Update











It's already November...time is flying. I cannot believe it has already been over 2 months since we started off on our homeschool adventure. The dining room remains our classroom for now... even though we have utilized the bed at times! :) The official classroom is still a work in progress. Leonard has installed the shelving in the closet to store ALL the books that we have accumulated. Thanks! Still in search for the "perfect" desk, but have tons of ideas...chalk board walls and magnetic walls and bright colors!
Hannah is still thriving and having fun. I think we have accepted the "unschool" method. The works gets done, but we aren't on a strict time schedule...tons of time to play and adventure out and just learn from life's daily lessons. Her reading improves daily. She started the homeschool book-it program and has set the goal of doing 15minutes of EXTRA reading five days a week! She is doing well with her dance as well. She is going to audition for "Alice in Wonderland" next Friday...say a prayer for her...she can be shy at times.
Sarah is approaching her third birthday (Dec 9th) and eager to learn! We are working on letter and number recognition and vowel sounds. She is doing well with colors, shapes, and puzzles! Her vocabulary is well above average and she surprises us daily with her new words.
Stay tuned,

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kennedy!

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Last week was a very busy week....on top of every day school and housework...there was the election, ACLS (Advance Cardiac Life Support) renewal, and Kennedy's 6th b-day!

Finally got the McCoy Family (Adrienne, Vince, & the girls) to come join us for dinner at Los Compadres. The girls enjoyed getting their faces painted...the men watched the election unravel...the women played around with our cameras and laughed over the silliest things.

Hannah & Sarah slept over with the McCoys because I had ACLS the next morning. Was a little sad that they were not home with us when we learned who our next "President elect" was. :( But Adrienne assured me that they watched and celebrated as well.

So, after many hours of ACLS, headed to Zoinks to celebrate Kennedy's 6th birthday. Girls, again, had a great time. I didn't have my camera. But wasn't worried because I knew Adrienne would have hers....thanks for the great pics of the girls!

After three hours of play at Zoinks and much begging and crying, I took the girls to Build-a-Bear for the first time. It's a tradition in the McCoy home that the Huffs somehow got involved in....wonder why? Hhhhmmmmm......ADRIENNE! Didn't realize that building a bear was such an ordeal. First you have to pick out the bear, then you have to stuff the bear, then you have to pick the heart and do a ceremonial dance to warm the heart, next you have to bathe the bear, followed by a trip to the "dressing room" where you pick out an outfit & accessories for the bear. Lastly, the bear must be named and a birth certificate is issued! A girl could go crazy in that store and cost her Mommy alot of money for a BEAR! So, Hannah named her bear Sierra and dressed her in a "Hannah Montana" outfit. Sarah chose a Koala and picked a pink parka jacket. Told them that they would have to earn the accessories! Tanashia

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election 2008! Vote for CHANGE!




Maybe next year, Sarah


Guess who's behind there voting?



"My turn to be heard" - Hannah


Today is the day.....the day that the whole world will see what our country is capable of doing...electing the right man for President!

I must say that the girls have been just as excited as Leonard & I about today. Leonard stood in lines with thousands of others to vote early. The girls & I walked right in today ...NO lines... and casted our ballot! Hannah participated in "Kids Voting." Sarah kept reminding her who to vote for "Brocky Obama"....she's been watching Rocky (Balboa) with her daddy....it was too cute :)

All three of us walked away with our "I voted" stickers! A right that many of our ancestors fought and died for (both for women suffrage & civil rights for blacks) ... a right that I will constantly remind my girls that is essential to be heard... a right that allows us all to be accountable...a right that should not be taken for granted! Tanashia


Obama / Biden 2008!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Jr Museum 11/3/2008

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Fall is in the air! Had to pull out the jackets this morning. Met up with Adreinne and Stacy at the museum today. This was Adrienne's first time out with us since school started. She accompanied the older girls while they attended their homeschool class for the month. The animal of the week for "critter class" was the deer. Unfortunately, we were not able to get a look at the deer in the park, but the kids enjoyed themselves anyway. Sarah really enjoys this class. However, Mommy not feelin the cold weather to come so much ! Tanashia

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Aidan Update

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Aidan is doing soooo well! He has grown soooo big...about 18lbs now. He is sitting up on his own and is a very happy little boy...even thought he fussed every time I picked him up. I think he was tired of me and my camera in his face. :) He's just sooo adorable. He celebrated his 1st birthday last month! He still has his G-tube for feedings, but thriving and well. Lord, I thank you! Tanashia

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008

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The TLH Huffs spent Halloween with TLH Huttos like we do every year! We all had a great time. Hannah talked me into dressing up..."Prom Queen." Yes, that is the same dress that I wore when I was 17yrs old to my own Senior Prom. Sarah was "Dora the Explorer", Hannah was "Major Flirt," and Leonard wore a mascaraed mask. The weather was cool, but not too bad. Enjoyed being with great friends and their families. Hands down, Michael Westiphal was the cutest lion! Jack was adorable in his tiger costume as well. Both participating in their first Halloween. Thanks, Patrick & Terrie for opening your home to all of us. It's a tradition that we look forward to every year. So, Patrick this cannot be the last one! Tanashia

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dear's House Fall 2008

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Grandma's House We Go.... Dear's House that is!







Leonard had to travel to Pensacola for work this week. So, the girls and I took this advantage to travel with him to visit family there. We stayed three nights with Dear. She was very happy. I am glad the girls are getting to spend some quality time with her. She can answer ALL the questions that they have....that I can't answer about our family. Sarah loves looking at all the pictures that are literally EVERYWHERE! She's learning everyones' names and faces. We even were able to see Tonjas (my little- not so little anymore - cousin) and I was even able to sneak in a couple of pictures. Don't go anywhere without the camera! Everyone looks great and doing well. The big adventure for the week was helping Dear apply for a passport. Had to hunt down her birth certificate and figure out her parents' birthdays! Learned alot....Lexy even learned that Dear was born in Mississippi (not Alabama)....even I knew that one! :) So, hopefully Dear will be making her first trip out of the country to Trinidad & Tobago in January. One is NEVER too old to enjoy life! Lord, I thank you. Tanashia

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Living or Nonliving


Nonliving....bike


Living...Tiger (animal)

Living...Sarah (person)

Living....grass

Nonliving....chalk

Nonliving....shadow



The difference between living and nonliving things...living things need water, air, sun light, and nutrients to grow. Living things can also make other things like themselves. Yesterday, I used my Mom's camera to take pictures of nonliving and living things outside. Hannah