Been Gone Awhile

It’s been a crazy few months at our house this summer. My husband hasn’t found another job, but we had to find another house, as the lease was up on the house we were living in. God planned it all out. Some friends of ours had moved last summer to Atlanta, but hadn’t been able to rent their house, as the school district it is in is not necessarily the most desirable. 

It’s the perfect fit for our family, however. As we homeschool, the schools don’t really make that much of a difference to us. It’s a long drive for my husband to work (about 15-20 minutes, still not too bad) but we are, literally, half a mile from our church. All our friends live out here; our dentist and doctor is out here; Target is out here(!). So it’s a better move. The kids loved it, because it’s a  new house, but they don’t have to make new friends.

We also started school the second week of August. Here in Georgia, they start school early and take breaks often. We also finish school right as May turns to June, so that’s nice.

I’ll be trying to get back to posting more often as we keep up with school. I’ve got a 2nd grader, 1st grader and Pre-K-er this year; we have a new school room in the new house and we have expanded our curriculum choices a bit this year. I really like what we have going on, so I’m excited to share it!

Cheese Empanadas

Have you ever made empanadas before? They remind me of pizza pockets or calzones. My husband really likes them; growing up in South America, they ate empanadas all the time. So for the end-of-the-year party at our co-op, I decided to bring them to share. I never have much success with the dough, though, so I was really hesitant to make them. UNTIL I discovered pre-made frozen empanada dough! Amazing! I did have to go to the Hispanic market, but the package was only $2. Well worth my wasted time and effort to make gross dough!

So anyway, I thought I would share the (EASY) recipe, along with photos, so you can make your own. Although I was only making cheese empanadas, you could easily add ham, so it’s more like a sandwich, or pepperonis for a calzone taste.

Leave the frozen dough disks on the counter for about an hour to defrost. Don’t try to pull them apart while frozen, you’ll only tear them. Separate a few eggs and save the egg white; you don’t need the yolks. Whisk the whites together a little bit.

Pour several tablespoons of oil in a pan and turn the heat on medium high. You want the oil to heat to about 350 for cooking.

Lay the thawed dough disks on the counter or pan. I used a pan for easier clean up. Brush the egg white mixture on one side of each disk.

Place your filling in the middle. Again, I just used shredded mozzarella cheese, so it was easy. Get creative with your own filling!

Fold the dough over in half, forming a half moon. Use a fork to press down around the curved edges.

Place the empanadas in the hot oil. Allow them to cook for two to three minutes, or until lightly browned.

Turn the empanadas over and allow them to cook on the second side.

Place the finished empanadas on a paper towel to soak up some of the oil. Allow them to cool several minutes before eating.

Dip the empanadas into pizza sauce, sour cream or salsa. Almost anything tastes good with these!

Scholastic Books is Having a Sale!

Scholastic, as many of you probably know, publishes great children’s books. They are currently having a sale, 50 books for $50! They are grouped into three categories, Grades K-2, 3-4 and 5-6. All the books are paperback, and you can’t choose the books you want, it’s already a collection. BUT, it’s still a good deal. I say, if you get one you already own, donate it or give it as a birthday gift to your child’s friend. These collections retail for over $150, so it’s a great deal, check it out!

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Kindergarten through grade 2 sample books

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Grade 3 through 4 sample books

 

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Grade 4 through 5 sample books

 

Quick and Easy Homemade Play-Dough

So we made play-dough this morning! We’ve made it before, but not in a while. This recipe is great, and only takes about ten minutes start to finish.                             

All the ingredients, ready to go!

Begin by placing all the ingredients in a pot or saucepan.

1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 Tablespoon oil

1 cup cold water

Our smooth mixture

Whisk them together until the mixture is smooth. Turn the stove on medium and stir continuously with a spoon. After just a few minutes, the mixture will turn into a mashed-potato consistency. Continue stirring until it gets thicker.

Beginning to mix together

Once it gets thick enough, dump it out on the counter. I placed a piece of waxed paper down first, since we were going to add food coloring.

Plain play-dough

Add drops of food coloring to the dough. You can wear plastic gloves or simply use your hands to knead the dough. Be careful, it will stain your hands for the rest of the day (don’t ask me how I know!) And be careful, the dough will be warm still.

Making yellow play-dough

Our finished yellow play-dough! We also made pink, blue, green and turqoiuse (which was then mixed with blue, so we have a TON of blue!)

Our finished yellow product

Playing with our finished products! We had play-dough out all morning, and the kids loved it. We hadn’t played with it in so long, since we hadn’t had any, but we had a great time today.

Playing at the kitchen table. Note our upscale tools like plastic knives and empty thread bobbins!

The Augusta Canal Museum

So besides going to see the Archie Butt Memorial Bridge and learning a little about his life, we got to see the inside of the Canal Museum. I’ve lived in Augusta for two years and never knew this existed! I am a sucker for history, so I ate it up. My husband and kids also seemed to enjoy it. We learned about how they built the canal so Augusta could become a cotton and clothing manufacturing city, the major one in the South. Very interesting stuff, I love learning all these new things.

The Major Archibald Butt Memorial Bridge. The city was considering tearing it down in 1983 or so, but a group got together to try and save it. They made sold bumper stickers that said "Save our Butt!" and had a rock concert called "Butt Jam!" Oh, the jokes could go on and on...

We had fun inside the museum after the walk down to the bridge.

These things are so fun, and they make me laugh. The kids had a great time.

But then I had to take individual pictures of each child…they were hilarious!

Caleb - So cute and funny!

Madeleine - is that a smile or a grimace?

Christopher - note how the head is so much larger than the body!

But in all, we had a fun time at the museum, and learned a lot about Augusta at the same time.

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