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Fun with the Family with Julie Lavender: Hot summer days provide warm family memories
Julie Lavender web
Julie Lavender

Hot much so far in your neck of the woods? Well, there's more where that came from as the Boro anticipates climbing temperatures throughout the summer months.

But don't let the heat and humidity of the South get you down. Instead, find creative ways to celebrate with those you love this summer to create lasting memories to treasure when the temperatures plunge in the opposite direction later this year.

Eat lots of cool fruits and summer salads. Play in the sprinkler or in leftover puddles from a late-afternoon shower. Swim in a neighborhood pool, visit Splash in the Boro or travel to the beach. Sit inside beneath a ceiling fan and read a chapter book aloud for hours at a time.

Use every minute possible this month for family fun, because before you know it, school bells will chime again and those extra hours in the day will be gone.

Incorporate some of the following zany holidays into the month of July, or create super-summer ones of your own.

Independence Day - Dress in patriotic colors, give thanks for the freedoms you enjoy every day, and gather the family for good food, fun times and maybe a glimpse at brilliant fireworks.

Make this yummy and festive treat to share with others during the holiday celebration.

Line a 15-by-10-by-1-inch pan with aluminum foil. Place 12 chocolate graham crackers side by side to completely cover the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

In a saucepan, melt ¾ cup butter and ¾ cup brown sugar over medium heat. Stir constantly for about 4 to 6 minutes, until mixture just comes to a boil. Pour evenly over the prepared crackers.

Bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees or until bubbles form on top. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with 3 cups of miniature marshmallows. Return to oven for 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle 1 cup of red, white and blue M&M candy pieces on top. Allow to cool completely.

When cool, lift from the pan using excess foil on sides and cut into bars. Enjoy!

Disneyland Anniversary Day - "The happiest place on earth" is about to complete its yearlong celebration of
60 years in existence.

The California Disney park opened on July 17, 1955, with several glitches - snarling traffic jams before entering the park, several non-working attractions, melting asphalt and counterfeit tickets resulting in park eateries running out of food.

Many in the day thought the park would be an embarrassing failure. I think anyone would admit that the naysayers were the ones in the wrong.

After all, who in the world doesn't recognize the name Walt Disney? He had many dreams, and most of them came true. He was quick to point out, "Always remember that this whole thing was started by a mouse."

Does your family have dreams? Little ones? Huge ones? What are you doing to accomplish those dreams?

Share your dreams as a family. Play a trivia game about Disney movies and Disney characters. Have a Disney movie marathon throughout the month. Make it a month of Disney and remember, "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."

National Air Traffic Controller Day - Where would we be without these professionals? Certainly in a pretzeled mess on the tarmac, that's for sure. Gather the kiddies and play an airplane relay in the front yard.

Let one person hold two wooden spoons. Decide on signals with the spoons, like one spoon pointing toward "noon" and one pointing toward "3 o-clock" to represent various movements, like "go backwards" or "turn left."

Once you've designated several signals, let two "planes" compete to follow the movements, with arms extended like wings, to see who can cross the finish line first. Not only is speed and agility required to be the winner, but competing planes have to be attentive and remember the assigned traffic-controller signals.

Moon Day - Celebrate the anniversary of mankind's first steps on the moon with time spent under twinkling stars and the large lunar orb. Go online to see when the moon will appear each night this month, and then fit a couple of evenings into your schedule to watch the moon rise.

Put blankets on the grass and enjoy the show. Make up stories about living on the moon or another planet. What would your new home look like? Would you need spacesuits? Is your planet made of cheese or chocolate? What would your moon-pet look like?

Fireworks Safety Month - Though they're beautiful in the air, fireworks can be dangerous. Talk about fireworks safety and holiday safety in general, then create a dazzling craft to celebrate the day.

Provide white or black construction paper, various shades of paint and plastic forks. Dip the tines of the fork in one color of paint, like blue. Make prints in a circlular pattern, leaving a small open space in the middle but keeping the tips of the fork pointed inward as you go around the circle.

Then wash the fork and use another color, like red, to print between the spaces of the previous color. Sprinkle silver or gold glitter on the paint while it is wet. Do several bursts of light in different colors on the page. Ta-da! A dazzling display of fireworks.

Let summertime fun prevail throughout the month of July. Get outdoors often and cool down frequently. Give thanks for America's freedom and the heroes who continue to make that possible. Wear red, white and blue often, and have picnics in the park or backyard. Read, sleep late and then read some more. Hold tight to those you love and make incredible summer memories.

Happy July!

Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel and Jessica.


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