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Fun with the family by Julie Lavender
Make September an adventure
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    Slightly nippy breezes blow, football announcers clear their throats, and leaves whisper shades of yellows and reds. Autumn creeps upon us, albeit subtly, here in the southeast! Enjoy the crispness of a new season this month as if experiencing it for the very first time. Make September an adventure for everyone in your family.
    Celebrate with these seasonal activities or make up a few of your own.
    Anniversary of the Stapler – Now, isn’t this a holiday that every family should enjoy together? Because, after all, a family that staples together, stays together, right? Get it? Oh well – my teenagers think I’m corny, but what do they know? Play this corny game about things that go together and remind the family that you all fit together like a “hat and a glove.” Divide into two teams. Each team should make a list of things that go together, like: stapler and staples; biscuit and honey; mashed potatoes and gravy; flowers and a vase; pencil and eraser; socks and shoes; and so on. The teams take turns calling out one word in the pair of words. If the other team guesses the matching word in five seconds, that team gets a point. Switch back and forth between teams to see which one gets the most points.
    Comic Strip Day – Collect newspapers and cut out some favored comic strips. Use white-out to delete the words in the balloons; make a fresh copy of the comic strip with blank bubbles. Then, create your own words for the comic strip. Or, if you have really creative geniuses in your family, have each person create their own comic strip, illustrations and words.   
    Pumpkin Day – Don’t wait until October or November to partake in delectable pumpkin desserts. Try this delicious pumpkin bar recipe and give your kitchen the aroma of fall: Mix together one cup oil, one and two-thirds cups sugar, two cups pumpkin, and four eggs. In another bowl, sift together two cups flour, two teaspoons baking powder, one-half teaspoon salt, one teaspoon baking soda, and two teaspoons cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients; mix well. Pour into greased jellyroll pan. Bake 25 minutes in 350 degree oven.  
    National Flower Day – Take a walk and collect a handful of wildflowers. Try pressing some of the flowers by placing them individually between two sheets of paper, then placing the paper between the pages of a heavy book. Weigh the book down with other heavy books, and leave it in place for a couple of weeks. Then view the finished product.
    Sew-Be-It Day – Create a simple sewing project. Using elastic thread, string together old buttons alternately with colorful beads to make a bracelet or anklet.
    As the temperature begins to drop ever-so-slightly this month, gather your family close for snuggly hugs and warm embraces. Remind each person how very special he or she is to the family, and point out that your family is “stuck” together for many seasons to come. Happy September!

    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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