Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Highlights!

This Christmas seems like it was one of the best and here are some of the reasons, in no particular order:

--Our annual baking day with Mom, Emily, Grandma, Uncle Paul, and Leah.

--Making a gingerbread house with Leah, a new tradition.

--Taking Leah to see Christmas lights, it really gets us in the Holiday Spirit

--Having Leah spend Christmas Eve with us this year (we usually only have her on Christmas morn)
--Seeing the love my family has for Leah, and knowing how lucky she is to have them, and we are to have her.
--Staying in my PJ's and watching my hubby and his brother play with his "new toys" for Christmas.
--Having a Rock Band (a video game) reunion with Michael and his brother.
--A mini-Haugen family reunion, at mom's and dad's.
--Michael taking 2 weeks off work, and getting to spend some quality time with him.
--Moses (the dog) and his new shoes.
Here are some pictures of the highlights: (most are also on Facebook!!)
Leah with Grandma Carol:
and with Grandpa Dan:

Mom and Grandma, ohhing and ahhing over their annual calendar gift:


Grandma loving her new slippers:

Leah "performing" for the Family on Christmas Eve:

Mom, with her family: Uncle Paul and Grandma:

Moses and his new shoes:

Leah's gingerbread house:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

Michael and I finished up the Christmas shopping yesterday and I have vowed that next year I will do my shopping online! But while spending the day together, we were able to reflect a little bit on the past year and we are so thankful that even though it doesn't seem like it in the day to day, God has been really working in our lives! I still do not have a full time job that I can call mine, but I have hope for the new year, and will continue to sub as I get called. My schedule has allowed me to be there for Leah in times of need and in the fun times. One of the latest fun times was a Holiday Concert and Class Party at school.

Here she is getting ready to decorate some cookies with her class. She had a blast introducing me to her friends. The look of joy she had when I walked into the class just warmed my heart. She is just the sweetest kid I know! The next picture, she is just belting out the Christmas Carols!! It was way too cute!!

Here she is doing a "book exchange" with her classmates. They each got a book and while listening to a story they had to pass the book clockwise when the heard the word "bear" and "snow". I love her very genuine smile!! She is becoming such a great reader, so it was awesome to get a new book!!

Here is our Christmas tree. It is such a highlight for me to get the house decked out. I also love the feeling of knowing that all the shopping is done and all the gifts are wrapped. Now, I just get to relax!!

Michael has about 2 weeks off too, so we have the days ahead to relax and enjoy the season and each other and with Leah. She has been very, very interested in wanting to hang out with us and do what we're doing, and while sometimes it gets a little old we've committed to making the most of our time with the munchkin. We know that all too soon she'll be totally uninterested in doing anything with her family.
We pray that you and your family have a joyous Christmas season and take time to fully enjoy the season. We also pray that you have a healthy and prosperous New Year. Can you believe that it is 2010?? WOW!! We love each and every one of you!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fall Highlights...so far!

Can you believe it is already November?? It has been a long time since I have posted, and we have been busy with living life. Leah has been doing well in school, Michael has been traveling all around the country and I have been recovering from sinus surgery and waiting for a new job to start. Not insurance...like I posted before. I had begun studying for the Life and Health Insurance Exam and getting ready to work for Aflac as a sales person, when I got a phone call from a school I applied to over a year ago. I interviewed the following day and was offered a teaching job...that I am still waiting to start. It is with California Virtual Academy, an online public charter school for all ages. I am responsible for teaching and managing about 20-3o students...all through the internet while working from home. It is a little "out of the box" but sound like it will be a good mix of my teaching experience and my experience as an administrator at Sylvan Learning Center. The hold up is waiting for enough students in my area to enroll. It could be that I start tomorrow or in a few months. In the meantime, I will continue to substitute teach in my area and get my Insurance Liscense. I am more than half way through the course, and it's good for 2 years, so why not? Right?? It could be something to do on the side for extra income. Pray that the waiting for the teaching job comes to an end!!

But in the meantime we've enjoyed Halloween, and 1/2 marathon for Michael and getting ready for the approaching holiday season!! Here are some photos of the marathon and Halloween!! Enjoy!!

The "after" photo of Michael and Leah

Leah showing off her medal from her Kid K

Leah running her Kid K

Waiting for the Kid K to start...a little bit bored, can you tell??

Michael getting ready to start his 13.1 mile race!! (he's so handsome!!)

In February, we're going to do the Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach. And when I say we, I mean my mom and I are going to do a 5K, Michael is going to do the half-marathon, and Leah is going to do the Kid K...I need to start training ASAP!!
Halloween Highlights!

Our Kitty Cat, with her Loot
She's soooo cute!!

The "Surgeon" and the Kitty Cat, ready to go...I stayed home and passed out candy!

Anxiously waiting to go with our pumpkins!!
Our pumpkins!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ch Ch Ch Changes...

Hi Everyone...it's time to update you all on what's happenin' with the Koontz Clan. Not much is going on with Michael and Leah, just work and school for them, but for me there is a major change going on. I have decided to make a huge career change and I took a job as an independent insurance agent at Aflac. You know, the company with the duck!! I am beginning to study for the CA State Life and Health Insurance Exam and am super excited about the potential this job will have for success. I have never really sold anything, but I am a people person who can use my life experience and stories about people I know to get people thinking about a need for supplemental insurance. Aflac is not your everyday medical insurance. It is for "extras". One thing they do is pay you while you're recovering from a hospital stay...then you can use that money to pay your bills, buy groceries, put gas in your, etc. We mainly sell to smaller businesses who can't afford the best of the best health insurance. As I embark on this new career adventure, I am asking you to pray for success and that this new path comes easily. Also, if you are a small business employee (or large business) or if you know of anyone that may need some "extra", please send them my way, or let me know and I can contact them. It would be easier to start out with people I know.
Another prayer request for me is that October 14th, I'm going in for surgery on my nose. I've lacked a sense of smell for quite sometime and it turns out I have a deviated septum, and a thick mucus wall (ewww, I know!) in my nose, so I'm going to have it "roto-rootered". I am asking you to pray that it is an easy process and heals quickly. Lots is going on for me at the moment. I am excited and nervous and freaking out internally, but I know that this is what I need to do for our family. I have not given up teaching completely...just for now to see what else I can do. The Special Ed credential is on hold but hopefully I can continue on that journey a little later. I'd love to know what the rest of you are up to...
Happy Fall!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Is Summer Really Over?

Here are pictures from the fair...I don't know why they won't go to the bottom of what I already posted, so don't miss it and read it when you're done enjoying the pictures!

Leah and a baby chick at the AV Fair!
Our Rock Climbing Champ!!

A HUGE slide...she loved it!!

The Koontz Clan!
Our little lemon girl!

I can't believe the summer is already over...it went too fast. Leah is well into first grade, having been going a week. Homework is starting to come home and we already have a full September calendar of things to remember. I am also beginning a new chapter. I have just begun to get my special ed teaching credential through Cal State Northridge. As I began the process of applying and jumping though all the hoops of the application process, I was really wondering how it was going to all work out with Leah in school, Michael traveling for work fairly often and my working. As I began the registration process I found a class that was offered completley on-line. This is great beacuse I hope to get a full time job, either as a general ed teacher, or as a special ed intern. This program allows me to work as a special ed teacher while earning my credential, so I am praying that God will open the correct doors for that to happen. Now with textbook and syllabus in hand I am flooded with memories of the beginning new sememsters of school. It looks like a lot of work, but I am sure I'll be able to handle it. The glasses are dusted off and the tv is off, so I better get working!! For now, I am subbing in local school districts, and hope I will get called everyday. Even though it seems summer is over, we made time for one last summertime favorite. The AV Fair, in Lancaster. Leah talks about it all year, so how could we say no. Here are some highlights of the fun! Enjoy! Pray that soemthing amazing, job-wise, comes along!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Grade Already???

Today was Leah's first day of First Grade. We cannot believe that she is getting so big, so fast. We asked her was she liked best about first grade and she said that the 2 recesses are the best. We are hopeful that she will continue to be a good student and we know she'll do so well. Things are the job-hunt for me are still very slow. I was hoping to get a very cool job as a Resource teacher, but it seems that God has a new plan for me. I've been accepted into the Special Ed Credential program at Cal State Northridge, with the hopes that I can intern in a special ed class. The way things are going though makes me think that subbing will be my best bet for the fall sememster, and then put off the Credential program until the Spring semester. We are seeking the Lord's guidance in all of this and we are hoping that a door, or window, or a crack in the wall opens to allow me to work full time. We would love your prayers and support during this time. Sorry there are no pictures to add this time, but I'm sure we'll do something fun in the near future and I'll post them. Let's pray that I can post about a new job for me, too!! Love and hugs to you all!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summer Highlights

This summer has been a very eventful one for the Koontz clan! Leah has been in day camp and has been going, going and going! We started out with swimming lessons and she has since become a little fish. Michael and I had a chance to do a great date night with some friends of ours at the Hollywood Bowl. We saw "The Art of Song" with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Michael Feinstein and Jewel. The best part were the fireworks at the end. We had a wonderful picnic and a great time! This past weekend, we went up to Bass Lake with my parents and Emily and Brian. We brought the dogs and they had a blast swimming...even Charley, mom and dad's dog. He finally figured it out. We can't believe our summer is coming to a close but here are some photos for you to enjoy...
Moses, our Belgian-Malinois/Boxer Mix, loves the water

Charley and Moses are new best friends

Leah is ready to use her new snorkel gear!

Jewel sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow at the Hollywood Bowl, it was great!

Picture Perfect Sunset at the Hollywood Bowl!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Independance Day!!

For the Fourth of July weekend, The Koontz Clan, dogs and all, went up to the Lake with our friends Kari and Anthony. We had a very relaxing time enjoying the lake, good food and awesome weather! Leah was our little water baby who did not want to get out of the water. This is the same kid, who 3 weeks ago at the beginning of swimming lessons, was too terrified to jump into the pool. It is amazing how a little confidence can go a long way. Leah is the joy of our lives, and I am so excited to share these photos with you. I wish I could take credit for taking all of them, but Kari took most of them and she was able to capture true "Leah" joy!! Thanks Kari!!

I took this one of the munch jumping off the dock!

Even the dogs were along for the ride!
Kari captured the joy of Leah being thrown into the Lake!

Yummy Cherries...all over her!!

Come on in, the water's fine!!

Ready to go fishing, this time with a floating fishing pole!!
Biola Babes!!
Total Joy!!! Leah is in heaven!!

Wishing she could drive the boat...she was bummed it was docked!!
Awaiting the fireworks!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Getty With Leah

My friend Tom is in the same credential program that I did. For one of his classes, he needed to see an art lesson and since it is summer, and school is not in session he invited Leah and I to join him at the Getty. They have family art lessons where you focus on one piece of art and then talk about it and draw a picture. Leah has been very into art this summer, so we were in!! While we were on our way to the piece we'd be learning about she said, "This is my first visit to a museum and I can't wait to come back!" It was so precious. Here are some photos of the budding artist and the link to the info. We'll be going back in the near future, so let us know if you want to come too! http://www.getty.edu/familyfun/index.html