Friday, December 30, 2011

Sleiman Family News Goes Digital

Every year, the Sleiman family sends news of their year in review to hundreds dozens of excited readers. This year, the news has exploded -- and most of the impact hit the Internet.

The Sleiman family newsletter has gone digital.

Inside, you'll enjoy articles covering topics loved by readers: the skinny on what the third child's name is, the career news from grand-poobah Youssef Sleiman and an incisive column from wife Lynné Sleiman titled, "The Dirt on Germophobia."

See what these readers already had to say about Issue 8.
It's changed my life. After reading this, I couldn't stop thinking about how it applied to me, how it changed who I was in my core. Literally, I'll never be the same. Anonymous
What can I say? I didn't know half that stuff was going on. I mean, yeah, I'm friends on Facebook, but it's not like I check their profiles all the time or anything. That's just weird. Former Facebook Friend
I started digesting my printed copy as soon as I could get my hands on it. I just couldn't stop drooling over the news. It's the best newsletter I've ever seen in my life. Natalie Grace Sleiman, 8 months old
Open your copy of The Sleiman Standard now. Print if you like, share if you want, but read it you must.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Magnet dolls

I don't have a pattern for these. They are just little X's out of scrap fabric that I had. I needed a way to house the magnets that I got for the girls (just strong craft magnets about the size each of a penny- only thicker.)
Sew right sides together leaving about an inch open at the "neck" and then flip right side out. Slip the magnets into the "hands and feet" and then top stitch the legs and arms to hold the magnets in place. Stuff just a little bit of stuffing into the body part (I didn't stuff much because I wanted them really flexible.)
Then hand stitch the neck closed and sew up threw a wood bead and up through a colored poof ball. I went up and down and up and down from the "neck" of the body and over the poof ball many many times to get it super secure.
My husband timed me when I did the sewing and it took about 15 minutes to do one whole one (minus the hand work.. that's probably another 10 minutes at least) SO, yeah.. they take a little while if you want 12 like I did, BUT I think the kids will really like them and it wasn't expensive.
Much safer with a baby in the house too. The girls get to play with their magnets, but they are now REALLY easy to see!
You could draw a face on them of course, but I thought they looked nice without any.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Pin cushion tree craft

You know how little kids like to move all the pins around on a pin cushion? Well.. why not make them their own little pin cushion tree to decorate and re-decorate?e
You could have them just use pretty pins or do what I did with these bangles. You could also do beads or buttons.

I wasn't very accurate about how I cute the scraps out. Just cut some paper in a triangle and test out the shape and size you want that way.
Right sides together and sew the seams so it's shaped like a little cone. Then stuff it nice and full.
Flip it upright and hold onto cardboard so you can trace around it.

Then pin the cardboard into place like the picture shows. I liked to pin it because then I could set it up and see if it was straight or not and re-pin if I needed to to make it look balanced.
You could use hot glue and glue it all down, but I chose to do this crazy sewing job by hand.
Again, you could use hot glue.. I just used tacky glue and placed this black cardstock paper on the bottom to make it look nice and finished.
Even my three year old thought it was super fun!

Ta da! This one is half done so you can see it well.
And, yes.. these took a little more time than ones made out of paper plates, but we are going to save them to play with every year!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Homeschooling stuff

We've been doing a LOT of decorating and Christmas themed projects lately, but here are a couple that are just school related.

We read the "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" book while the girls had the right magnet letters climb the palm tree (that I'd just quickly cut from construction paper.) I've actually read the book so often over the years that I could recite it while the girls played with the letters and I made lunch. Super handy!Also, earlier in November I'd been looking for a good way to start teaching them about calenders and the passage of time and so on. Every thing I found though was just way too complicated. Lots of great ideas, but I didn't want to put that kind of time into it. So, here's what I came up with. I had a few magnets leftover and so I just cut some paper to glue on them with the words "yesterday" "Today" and "tomorrow" on them. Yesterday is red because it's over (stopped) and Today is yellow because sometimes we have to slow down or speed up through out the day and Tomorrow is green because it's ahead (and you've got to "go" forward to get there.) Anyway, I just put a magnet for each on the back of the paper to move individually. Some day I'll have a full magnet sheet on the back so I don't have to fiddle with each individual one when I move them, but it's not really that big of a deal. Lily likes to cross off the days when I move the magnets.
This is helpful when counting down to a holiday since the kids are always asking me when "such and such" is going to happen. The other thing I did was add the red strip of paper at the top with the names of the week abbreviated and written bigger than the original dollar store calendar's were. I might actually add stickers or other indications for what is going to happen on which days. Wednesday for instance is always when we go to the library and I think it helps the girls to look forward to certain things.
I also made a little flip book (just with cheesy sketches) of different types of weather. Lily likes to change that each day too. Today she flipped it to "foggy"...