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When I was a kid I loved to read. I still do. Z seems to have inherited this love of reading and I am beyond pleased. He can read quite complex words and at his last grading, he was evaluated as reading above grade level. That is always a good thing to hear! He loves to go to the library and to book stores like Barnes & Noble. He knows loads of facts and will quite happily share them with people. He has been known to have in depth conversations with kids and adults about various animals and ocean life. Several people have even commented to me that he has an impressive breadth of knowledge and knows what he is talking about. He will correct people when he knows they are wrong and will tell people where he learnt about things i.e books, his National Geographic Kids magazine or a program on The Discovery Channel or Planet Green or Animal Planet.

K is slowly getting into the reading habit and she is getting more confident in her abilities every day. She is embracing her creativity side and is enjoying making things. I gave her a craft kit when we finished up with Girl Scouts for the year and she decided to make it a few weekends ago.

It was a crystal window decoration thing that had to be baked in the oven.

She prepped her work area. And laid out the template. Her brother and dad had gone to a Boy Scout camp event so she was safe in the knowledge that no one would be trying to "help" her and end up getting crystals all over the place. (well more 'all over the place' than she does by herself!)

She started off by being very particular about certain colors going in particular bits of the design but eventually decided that mixing them up would achieve a nice effect too. Luckily pink and purple are 2 of her favorite colors so I scored bonus points for my color choices!

I put the tray in the oven to bake and melt the crystals and we watched a cartoon whilst it was 'cooking'. After letting it cool, we took it off the tray and broke off all the excess pieces and K was left with a pretty butterfly that we are going to stick to her bedroom window.

K enjoys creating things and expressing herself with color and design. She makes notes for people and little newspapers. She puts lots of color and details in pictures she draws whilst Z is trying to get details over color in his drawings.

Yesterday K decided that she wanted to be creative again. This time with food. She knew we had all the necessary ingredients and she wanted to make a strawberry smoothie. As soon as I said we would make a smoothie, she got all the stuff out of the fridge and freezer and set up in the kitchen to make her drink.

First she (with a bit of help from me) chopped up a load of strawberries and 2 bananas. She enjoyed laughing at the size of the strawberries. One even looked like 3 strawberries stuck together. There would have been more strawberries put in the blender but she ate several of them before they got that far! I am still happy with the fact that K loves fruit and veggies. If we get fresh fruit in the house we have to be quick and eat some before she eats it all!

Next came one of the most vital ingredients. 2 big scoops of vanilla ice cream. We are big fans of Edy's ice cream. Partly because of taste and partly because it is a really good price! I thought the 2 scoops would be 'kid size' scoops but they were more grown up size and it took a bit of coaxing to get them in the blender from the ice cream scoop! Finally we added a cup or 2 of milk and let the blender do its work. I am not totally sure why but K decided that she needed to hold onto the top of the blender. She may have been worried about the top blowing off!

After much whirring and blending I poured the smoothie mix into 2 glasses and let K be the first to taste her creation. She liked it. No added sugar or anything like that. Just fresh fruit, vanilla ice cream and milk. All mixed together that makes for 2 happy kids! The fact that the smoothies were quite thick meant that they both had fun making milkshake/smoothie mustaches! Our next try it supposed to involve blueberries so that will be part of the next shopping trip!


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