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Fun with the family by Julie Lavender
Celebrate end of school, start of summer
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    Can you believe another school year is coming to a close and summer is creeping our way? I hope you made memories to treasure throughout the school year, ones that will be recalled fondly for years to come. Celebrate the end of school with great festivities, and start planning summer merriment. Make use of every available minute in the month of May to create special times for your family. Try out a few of these holidays, or create your own!  
    National Windmill Day – Gather a handful of pinwheels and line your driveway with these colorful wind-lovers. Then, on a windy day, give everyone in the family a long streamer of crepe-paper. Run through the yard with the streamer held high or toss them from the front porch and watch them sail in the wind.
    Mother’s Day – Make a mommy book of all the mom’s in your family; add friends who are moms, too. In a scrapbook, make a page for each mom in your family tree. Paste a photo in place or let the children draw portraits of the family member. Write something special about that person on her page, and include all of her children’s names on the page, too. Make pages for friends of the family, also. Add pages for women that you know who are “moms” for someone special, regardless of the number of children they have. Give thanks for the blessings that the ladies in the book have given your family. Make an effort to visit or call many or all of the women you include in your mommy book.   
    International Pickle Week – Make homemade potato salad; give each person in the family a job to do to complete the task. Wash potatoes, peel and cut into small cubes. Place in a saucepan; cover with water and boil. Drain, when tender. Add mayonnaise, salt, chopped, boiled eggs, powdered Ranch dressing, and sweet pickles, along with some of the pickle juice. Picnic outside with salad and friends.    
    National Backyard Games Week – Well, this is a no-brainer on how to celebrate, right? Go outside on a beautiful, spring day and play as many games as you can think of before the sun goes down. Run relays, play chase, play hide and seek – create new games that you’ve never tried before. Set up cones and run backwards through the cones. Randomly place objects about in the yard for an obstacle course and gallop through to see who can go the fastest. Scatter hula hoops on the ground, one less than the number of players. Have each person stand in a hula hoop with one person for “it”. “It” skips around the yard, then calls out “squirrels in a new tree” and all of the people inside the hula hoops have to find a new hoop to stand in. “It” tries to take a place in one of the hoops before it becomes occupied.      
    National Moving Day – Have you ever moved from one house to another? Pretend to move and have a “clean up for summer” kind of day. Go through closets, drawers, desks, and so on to rid of the clutter. Donate to Goodwill or someone in need the things that you haven’t used or no longer have a need for. Then try to find some moving boxes to play in, building forts and hide-outs in the den.  

    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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