School bells tolled several days ago for many, but summer lingers as evidenced by temperatures and official calendars. Don’t give up the family fun of summer just yet. Enjoy lots of time outdoors during evening walks with just barely slightly cooler temps and afternoons of pool time or sprinkler fun or water balloon tosses. Eat watermelon and boiled peanuts and drink lemonade and sweet tea.
Keep celebrating as much as possible, because the days will continue to shorten as the calendar marches forward. Enjoy some of the celebrations below to help you make this an awesome August with the family and create some unique family ones, too.
➤ National Eat Outside Day — Fit in a few more picnics to celebrate this holiday. Make sandwiches to eat on a blanket in the backyard. Pack a picnic and head to one of Bulloch County’s parks to enjoy an outdoor meal together, and then take a spin on the playground equipment and end with a walk around the park. Enjoy crackers and cheese on the front porch or snack on a bowl fruit while sitting on the driveway. Or sip lemonade on the patio or back steps. Get creative with locations and food choices and celebrate more than just one day!
➤ National Crayon Collection Month — Nothing says childhood nor back to school time like the smell of a freshly-opened box of crayons. Relive your childhood and encourage your child’s imagination with a coloring party. First, take a field trip with the family to purchase some new crayons to keep at home, instead of the classroom (and if you’re homeschoolers, obviously that’s one and the same), and also purchase several extra boxes to share with someone who might can’t afford to buy them. Share with your child’s teacher for use in the classroom or give to the children’s minister at your church to donate to someone in need.
Then pick an evening to color together as a family. Share your drawings and dreams and imaginations with each piece of artwork. End the party with a reading of these colorful picture books: "The Day the Crayons Came Home and The Day the Crayons Quit" by Drew Daywalt and "How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow" by Monica Sweeney.
➤ National Sandwich Month — Enjoy a fun way to eat sandwiches with this recipe you can make together as a family. Spray a 9 X 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Remove rolls from a package of Hawaiian sweet rolls and slice them in half horizontally. Place the bottom half of the rolls into the prepared baking dish. Layer 1/2 pound of thinly sliced deli meat over the rolls. Pick the family favorite, like deli ham, turkey or roast beef. Top evenly with 1/2 pound shredded cheese. Again, pick a family favorite that pairs well with the meat choice, like cheddar, mozzarella or Swiss cheese.
Reposition the roll tops. In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of melted butter, 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons mustard, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon onion flakes. Spread the butter mixture on top of the rolls. Bake the rolls in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until warm throughout. Use a knife to separate the rolls into individual sandwiches and enjoy!
Statesboro native Julie Lavender loves encouraging families to make each day a celebration and make family memories to treasure for a lifetime. She compiled lots of ways to make memories in her newest book, "365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories."