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Fun with the family by Julie Lavender
Hot dogs, peaches and air conditioning in July
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    Checking the calendar in early July brings about the revelation that the first half of the year 2008 has come and gone. Has this year been everything that you wanted it to be? Have you created incredible and memorable times with those you love? If so, don’t slow down now; keep up the good work! If your answer was negative, then don’t waste any time – start now with the second half of 2008 and make it great!
Celebrate every day in July as if it would end with fireworks. Celebrate with some of these wild and crazy, yet actual holidays or make up your own reasons for festivities.
    National Hot Dog Month  – Find a pack of those long, skinny balloons and fill one with water to resemble a hot dog minus the bun. Pretend a couple of pillow cases are toasted hot dog buns, choose a partner to help you hold the “bread” and try tossing and catching the water-filled, balloon-weiner back and forth to other partners with pillow cases. Or, quickly toss the hot dogs, or water balloon weiners, barehanded to one another, just like a game of hot potato. End the celebration with hot dogs and your favorite topping, like chili, slaw, cheese, or onions.
    Air Conditioning Appreciation Days – Is it hot enough for you yet? In honor of the coolness your air conditioner provides, make a homemade fan with the kids using a paint stirrer glued onto a fan-shaped piece of craft foam. Glue on other foam shapes or draw on the fan with markers.   
    Tape Measure Anniversary – How would we live without this invention? Measure your foot, measure your wrist, measure your waist, measure your head, measure the table, measure the mattress – if it stays in place, measure it. Then, tie the ends of two cloth measuring tapes together and take turns jumping rope.
    Can you do it?  
    National Peach Month – Are you a native Georgia peach or a transplanted one? Celebrate with this cool summer salad. In a small saucepan, bring one small can of crushed pineapple and three tablespoons sugar to a boil. Add one large box of peach jello and stir until jello is melted. Remove from heat and cool. Stir in one eight-ounce container of Cool Whip and two cups of buttermilk. Refrigerate until firm. While waiting for the cool treat, slice and eat a couple of fresh peaches.      
    National Recreation and Parks Month – How many of the parks in Georgia have you visited? Check out this site for a complete listing of Georgia’s parks: Use a large map of Georgia to find the location of each park. Make time this summer to visit several of the nearby ones and make plans to visit more of them throughout the year. If you only have an afternoon to spare, pack a picnic and head to our own Mill Creek Park. Take along some frisbees and balls to include some recreation time after picnicking.
    Enjoy the warmth of summer by making warm memories with family and friends. Make every day a holiday that warrants fireworks, watermelon, and boiled peanuts.
    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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