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Fun with the family by Julie Lavender
Start the year right make time for family
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    Are you one of the many folks who made a list of inspiring resolutions, only to have ditched the list already? Or, are you like me, and didn’t bother with a list this year? Whether you have a tangible list or a mental list, add this resolution immediately: Spend more time with family. Make this year the best ever for family memory-making events. Start with some of these zany — but real — celebrations and holidays.

- Frisbee Anniversary Month
    Take advantage of living in the south and get outdoors on one of our beautiful winter days. Take a Frisbee to the park, along with empty drink bottles and sports cones. Start off with Frisbee tossing, then create new games to play. Set up the empty bottles and play a Frisbee bowling game to see who can knock down the most bottles. Have a contest to see who can throw the Frisbee the farthest; use the cones to mark each person’s spot. Place two cones on the ground and try to get the Frisbee through the cones, like a fieldgoal.   

- National Oatmeal Month
    Bake these yummies with the kids; be sure to share some with an elderly friend who might not make it outside much during the winter. Mix together 1 cup of shortening, three-fourths cup brown sugar, three-fourths cup white sugar, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 and one-half cups flour, 1 teaspoon soda, 1 teaspoon hot water, 2 cups oatmeal, and 1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips. Roll into balls and bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

- Penguin Awareness Month
    If you haven’t had the chance to see it yet, take the family to the theater to see Happy Feet or look for an older penguin movie at a video store. Then, make penguin magnets to decorate the fridge this winter. Paint a large craft stick white. Glue a black pom-pom on top for the head. Glue on small round pom-poms for eyes, a yellow felt triangle piece for a beak, yellow felt feet, and black felt wings. Glue a magnet strip on the back and stick it to the refrigerator.      

- National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
    I’ll bet you didn’t know about this holiday! Purchase a roll of bubble wrap. Give each person an equal amount of wrap and have a popping contest. Then, read one of these picture books for silly fun: Bubble Trouble; Bubble, Bubble; Magic Bubble Trip.    
    January has arrived – it’s a brand new year to spend with those you love. Use every day of January wisely to make memories that will last forever.   
    Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender enjoys celebrating with husband David and children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel and Jessica.
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