Sunday, October 25, 2009

Good Deeds Jar

They say the best teachers are the ones who take the ideas of others and use them. I did just that this past month at our own home. We had tried a bean jar a couple of years ago, but are kiddos were just too young at the time to grasp the concept. After reading a post by I was inspired to try the jar again. We started three weeks ago and explained the rules to the kids on a Sunday afternoon. They began very quickly accumulating pebbles.

After a particularly rough day one afternoon they lost MANY pebbles and basically started over about a week into the program. BUT, they rebounded well and today we all enjoyed the rewards of their hard work! Together Ryan and Allison decided that the family would spend the afternoon bowling. Grandpa & Grandma were visiting and got to enjoy the outing with us then treated us all to ice cream afterwards, so our reward was extra sweet!

My goals for the children when starting our pebble jar was to teach them respect and responsibility for others. I also wanted to teach them to treat each other with more kindness. When we first started the project the kids had to be gently prompted to open a door for a stranger or help someone. About two weeks into our project I noticed Ryan was holding the door open at church for people without being asked and was patiently waiting his turn while other older members of church went in ahead of him!

We emptied out our bean jar after the outing and I asked the kids what they want to do next time they fill the jar. Ryan responded with "I think I'll let Allie select our next outing, bowling was kind of my thing." I thought that was an awesome response from him! The next few minutes they discussed a plan for their next outing and I think, based on their discussion, we will be visiting the local Children's museum or Chuck E. Cheese. After hearing Ryan make the comment about letting Allie select the next outing and then listening to them decide a plan together, I think I have also accomplished the goal of having them learn to be nice and work together!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


We went downtown for their Spooktacular event last night. The kids had a good time trick or treating at the different businesses and ended the evening with a parade and trip to the firestation for hot chocolate and rice crispie treats.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More pages

Here are the last few pages from Ryan's Soccer book.

Ryan's Soccer Book

Soccer season is almost over, which is a good thing since the past couple of Saturday morning games have been pretty chilly! Tonight I got to work and finished Ryan Soccer book! Below are a few of the pages.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Backing up

No, this post is not contain valuable driving tips. Instead this post contains a lesson I learned about the value of backing up your precious videos and photos. I recently had a computer go to computer heaven and am thankful I had such an extensive back up system in place to make sure I had all my memories available after the crash!

So, here is how I make sure to keep things sorted and organized:

1.) When I download my pictures from my video camera or still camera, I place them on my external hard drive in a file within the my pictures folder. In that Folder entitled my pictures, I have a folder called Leiker family personal photos. In the personal photos folder I have each year listed 2001, 2002, 2003, etc. You might ask why I have so many folders within folders, I really am not sure why I do, except to say that I like folders and feel that "filing" them within each other makes it more organized and easier to find.

So, for example, today I placed my photos from our fire station fieldtrip into a folder called October 14, 2009 which is inside a folder called 2009 which is inside a folder labeled Leiker Family Personal photos which is in the my photos folder on my external hard drive. Please note, I never store my photos on my computer. I have found that the investment of an external hard drive is an excellent one because it can be transported and secured so easily when not in use.

2.) Once a month (usually at the end of each month) I take a few minutes to burn two copies of my video files for that month and two copies of my still photos for that month onto DVD. I give one copy to my parents for safe keeping and keep one copy in a CD storage binder in a closet on our main floor in our house.

3.) Every few weeks (o.k., actually it's usually just when I remember and sometimes that is only every few months) I take a few moments to upload my most recent photos to an online back up system. I have tried Sugar Sync, ShutterFly Share and Drop shots. I have settled on Drop Shots for now. The cost is around $5.00 a month for me to keep my photos and the load time seems to be the fastest.

4.) Every few months I also back up all my personal videos, photos and digital scrapbooking files to a second external hard drive and store it in a safe hidden place.

This is the system that I have created to keep my personal memories safe. I feel that by backing up my photos and storing them in various locations in various ways, I will be protected in the event of fire, flood, theft or computer crash.

My children's first steps, photos of loved ones who are no longer with us on this Earth and yes, even my bad hair styles from previous years are so very important and can't be replaced! So I feel it is worth the few extra minutes each month to keep things organized stored safely.

How do you back up your memories?

Counting Bears

Over the past few months I have purchased many school items for the kids to help them learn while they are at home. One of the items I bought was a set of counting bears, because Ryanhad begged for them and because his preschool teacher had mentioned that he enjoyed playing with them so much in her class. The counting bears get a lot of use, but I bet you will never guess what they get used for!

Are you ready?

They are used for.......Football! Ryan divides these up into different colored teams and plays games with them on our livingroom floor. While I was taking these pictures, there was a "player" injured and the trainers and coaches were circled around him to fix him up (note the orange injured bear tipped upside down).

Fire Station visit

Allison and her preschool class got to go visit the fire station today. We were very happy the rain finally stopped long enough today to allow us to take the short walk down the street to see the big fire trucks and visit the fire station.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Student of the Month

Ryan came home today with a Student of the Month Certificate for September! He apparently was selected as the student of the month in his music class. He really has suprised us becuase he enjoys music class a lot. We are suprised, because he was the preschool boy who cried during each concert! He really likes his music teacher and looks forward to class twice a week! In the photos above, Allison is helping him show off his certificate after their baths this evening.

Fire Dog

The Fire Dept. came to visit Allison's preschool today. They did a really neat presentation and even brought their fire safety mascot and their real fire dog. Allison liked the real dog best!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What do you do....

What do you do when you kids are "sick" with coughs so violent they throw up, but not sick enough to behave? You frequently dispense medicine, hope they take naps, try your best to keep the peace and prevent fighting AND you (or they) get creative! After playing hide the snake with their blue and red rubber snakes, my overly medicated children discovered that if they launch their snakes into the air with enough force, they will "stick" to our ceilings for a few moments before falling back down on their heads!