Sunday, March 1, 2015

What Will She Cook up Next?

One morning last week, I came downstairs after getting ready for the day, and found this.

Delaney decided to bake a cake. She created a recipe that included flour, sugar, vanilla, milk, baking powder, and egg.

She waited for me before turning on the oven, and after a few instructions, her cake was baking.

Delaney wanted a frosting, so I got out some powdered sugar and chocolate, and she and Sophie mixed together a chocolate glaze mix.

We taste-tested it once it was finished. It was a very interesting spongy cake, and she decided that she needed to revise her recipe.

The next day, she was back in the kitchen as soon as she was dressed.

She adjusted the quantities of some ingredients and baked four small cakes this time.

They were  cute and  tasted like a moist white cake. Delaney and Sophie colored some frosting that we happened to have in the fridge and frosted the creations.

I have to admit, the first few days of this adventure made me cringe a little bit, and I would find something else to do until she finished, or asked for assistance, which was rare. I mainly stayed out of the way or played with Sophie so she wouldn't interrupt Delaney's process. By the third day, I had faith, and openly encouraged her inventiveness.

Delaney baked a 9-inch round cake that day and decorated it with the leftover frosting.

I offered her a cookbook, just in case she wanted to look at a recipe and get some ideas, or perhaps follow it.

She wrinkled her nose at me and told me that she knew what she was doing, and following a recipe is boring.

"Then you know exactly what you are going to get. Besides, it's way more fun not to know what I am doing at first, and keep trying. All of a sudden, my brain figures it out, and I know just what to do!"

She did have a point.

Day four brought the addition of brown sugar, and she made what she named a "cookie-cake". It reminded me of a coffee cake and was quite tasty.

By now, Delaney knew how to measure all of her ingredients, add and subtract some simple fractions, set the oven to the temperature she wanted, and safely get her treats in and out of the oven. She also cleaned up after herself - put everything away, washed the countertops and her dishes. Some of the days, she even washed my dishes too!

Delaney decided to branch out to cookies on day five. She asked me for some tips. I helped her figure out different ratios of flour to liquid to make a cookie consistency, and told her that sometimes cooks use applesauce in their recipes instead of butter or oil. I asked if she could make something a little healthier since we'd tasted a lot of cake that week,

She put her ingredients together and came up with "carrot-strawberry-applesauce cookies". They were great!  Moist and just a little bit sweet, with a pleasant texture.

She was so pleased with her cookies that she made a second batch the following day that included applesauce, oatmeal, and peanut butter. Sophie proclaimed them delicious, and the girls gobbled them up. Hailey and I were out for the morning, and when we returned home, the house smelled cozy and the kitchen was clean.

Delaney returned to the kitchen the next day. She decided to attempt a no-bake cake and see what happened. Her concoction sat in the refrigerator for most of the day without a noticeable difference in consistency. She was a bit disappointed. We looked at it together, and I suggested that she call it a dip and try it with some fruit. It was a very yummy dip!

She branched out to making other foods throughout the week, and created a carrot/strawberry salad, and various little snacks for Sophie. She made scrambled eggs for breakfast a few days ago and even took a few suggestions, improving her technique. She uses stove fairly independently now, and  made soup at the end of the week, using broth, water, ham, onions, green beans, a bit of homemade cream of soup mix, and some ground turkey.

I love to watch her creativity and assertiveness in the kitchen. It's all about the process for her, experimenting and figuring things out, and even if that makes taste-testing a little dangerous some days, we are all excited to see what she cooks up next.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


We have settled into a lovely tune of free range learning these days. I have started my own classes now, and have been volunteering with a few organizations. All of these things, plus the girls' busy gymnastics, sports and swimming lesson schedule keeps us on the go a lot! I have not been doing a very good job keeping up with our school blog, which makes me a little sad because we do SO MANY fun things, and I will most likely forget all about them without a written record!

I am gong to try something new in the next few weeks, which will hopefully become months, and primarily use Instagram to record our learning adventures. If you have an Instagram account, I hope you will follow us at @CreatingCuriosity and see what we do all day! If you don't have an IG account, I will have a feed here for you to view as well, which you can see is now at the top of the blog!

I know you don't want to miss these cute little faces and their escapades. <3

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Beat-Box Girls and Some Other New Skills

We have finally gotten back into the swing of regular life after our whirlwind November. This week, we stayed home quite a bit. We are taking a break from all activities except gymnastics, so our mornings have been calmer and easier to fit projects into.

Magnatiles continue to be a favorite activity. Sophie has been extra creative with them, branching out into some really interesting designs.

The girls watch a lot of BrainPop during the week. They pick out all of their topics, of which there are hundreds, so I am often surprised at their new knowledge during the day.

Sophie and I were walking around the dollar store the other day, picking up items for her upcoming birthday party, and I heard what sounded like beat-boxing happening behind me.

"Where did you learn to do that?"


Of course.

When Delaney returned from gymnastics, I asked them to give Cullen and I a demonstration.

I love BrainPop.

Sophie met a friend at the gym a few weeks ago while we were waiting for Delaney. He is about 7 or 8, and they hang out and play games on the iPad together...checkers, Temple Run, etc. He wanted to play chess this week, and she declined, saying she didn't know how. That night, however, she asked Cullen to play with her. She set up the board by herself, and made it through about half of the game before her attention span gave out. She asked to play each night this week, and now she is looking forward to a match with her new buddy.

We pulled out the paint after a long crafting vacation. I had a certain picture in mind for my Christmas decorations, and tried to commission Delaney to paint it. She wasn't interested, but Sophie was.

I asked for a snowman on a blue background, with certain specifications for his look. I don't know if I have ever told Sophie what to do while painting, and I was a little bossy about what I wanted this time. She was very patient with me, and did everything I asked.

It turned out perfectly! I made the outline of the circles for this guy, but she did the rest. I am so happy with the result.

Isn't my bathroom cute?

Delaney painted a cool view of Santa.

Once Sophie was finished with my picture, I set her free to paint whatever she wanted. She was quite happy with that.

We definitely need to get the paints out more often. The girls are so creative and have a lot of fun, and I need to increase my mess-tolerance back to its previous state.

And finally, my favorite picture from the week...Delaney's new favorite place to read. :D

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

{Stuff We Love} MagnaTiles

I have seen Magnatiles mentioned on several homeschool blogs that I follow. I'd looked them up several times, but they are pretty pricey, so I skipped over them and bought items like LEGO® instead. 

The girls have become very creative with the building blocks and and other such toys, though, and I want to keep encouraging those skills. I bought a set of Magnatiles in August, with the thought "I can always return them if they don't turn out to be as interesting as promised."

They are hands-down the most used toy in the house.

The girls use them every single day. They began building small triangular houses, then began experimenting with different geometric shapes.

Little houses...

 The "clock tower"

The Eiffel Tower...

Cool stuff...

Delaney built The Great Wall of China after learning about it on BrainPop...

Sophie made a checkerboard...

 And a firework...

 Delaney began using the tiles to make other types of designs, like this robot...

A girl with a ponytail, barrette, belt and various other accessories...

 A duck...

 Sophie made up a game with the triangles. If you step on a piece, you "fall down the chute to your bed".

These are just the shapes that I have remembered to photograph. Both girls have thought of more designs and shapes that I would have thought possible. Delaney created a whole subdivision the other day, with homes and walls. It was great.

Our living room has been covered with Magnatiles for about three months now. They are more sought after than the Ipad - which is saying something!

The company offers the translucent tiles that we have, a set of solid colored tiles, and some smaller sets. The 100-tile set is the best value, and I am glad that I purchased it. On the days that the creativity is in overdrive, 100 tiles are not quite enough. The tiles are definitely a good exercise in taking turns and dividing equally. :)  I will probably pick up an additional box around Christmas time. I can't wait to see what creations they'll make with 200 pieces!

This post is part of the GiftedHomeschoolers Forum “Resource Review” page. The links to products will take you the the GHF Amazon store, where prices are the same for buyers, but GHF receives a percentage of the sale. I benefit by supporting an awesome volunteer organization that supports gifted kids and parents around the globe!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Chalk Painting and Hieroglyphs

Back in March, Delaney went to an art day camp hosted by the Museum of Northern Arizona. She learned how to make many things out of natural ingredients like the Native Americans. One of her favorites was chalk paint.

Since then, she has experimented several times, playing with different colors and consistencies.

Directions: grind up chalk with a flat stone until is becomes a powder.

Add water until it is the consistency you desire.

Paint the house until Mom catches you.

Don't worry. It washes right off.

This week, Delaney experimented with her paint until she had created a thick consistency.

Painting Sophie's hands for some handprints
She painted a love notes to Sophie, and a little portrait.

She recently read "Seeker of Knowledge, The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphs", by James Rumford.  She decided to paint her own story with original hieroglyphs.

After that, she went inside and did some research on Chinese symbols and Korean symbols. I'm interested to see how she paints her next story.

Meanwhile, this little one is really interested in addition and subtraction.

Eating M&M's is subtraction, right, Mom?

We have been playing lots of games, many of which include making up stories about giving her candy, her sister taking some away, or her mom giving her some more. She adds or subtracts, and figures out the answer.

She also wrote me her first love note.

I wrote her a note, "I love you Sophie."

She traced it. Then she sounded out "I love Mom" (I LV MOM), wrote it independently, and proudly came to show me!

I might have to frame it. <3


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