The first part of July marks the halfway mark of the year. How are your family adventures stacking up for the first six months of 2019? Brainstorm and think creatively to plan family fun and festivities for the next six months, to make sure you get in much quality family time and memory-making opportunities.
The hot summer days of July might mean most of those activities take place inside, but nonetheless, enjoy every day of the month with those you love. Try out some of the wild, but real, holidays below and throw in some unique ones created just for your family, too.
➤ Gingersnap Month — Combine the tastes of gingersnap and chocolate to make a yummy cookie for dessert after a July meal. In a large bowl, stir together these ingredients: 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set the mixture aside. Place 3/4 cup unsalted and softened butter in a mixer. Cream the butter for 1 minute, then add 3/4 cup brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add 1/3 cup molasses, 1 egg and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Mix well. Slowly add the dry ingredients on low speed and mix just until combined. Cover and chill the dough for at least two hours.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in granulated sugar, placing balls about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately press a Hershey’s chocolate kiss in the middle of the warm cookie. Transfer to a wire track to cool. Enjoy!
➤ Tell the Truth Day — Well, obviously, this shouldn’t take place only one day a year, but play a fun game in honor of the special day. Let each family member share four things about himself or herself that perhaps other family members might not be aware of, like something that happened a long time ago. Three of those statements should be true, and one should be false. Family members try to guess which statement is an untruth. As an additional way to celebrate this holiday, check out a fun summertime read, "Tom Sawyer," from the library and read a chapter together each night as a family. Talk about Tom’s lies in the book and discuss the importance of being truthful.
➤ New Conversations Day — Treat this as a celebration for the whole month of July and look for people you don’t know yet at work, at church, at the ballfield, at the park, standing in line at the grocery checkout or at the table next to you in a restaurant. Start new conversations with new people, and you might just find a new best friend!
➤ Moon Day — With the temps rising to stifling-degrees this month, getting outside under the cover of darkness is a great way to avoid the heat. Pick a time after dark and walk outside (with flashlights, if necessary) and observe the moon. Is it in the same place in the sky each night? Does the shape change? Learn about the phases of the moon so that you’ll know what you’re looking at when you gaze into the nighttime sky.
➤ Rain Day — Make a fun craft and use the final product to remind you to pray for rain on the farmers’ fields during the hot days of summer! On a sheet of light-blue construction paper, glue cotton balls to make a puffy cloud. Then create raindrops by dipping the index finger in dark blue paint and making fingerprints all over the page.
July is a hot month in the Boro, but you can create cool family memories by being intentional and creative. Find pool time, beach time, lake time or sprinkler time to cool down. Read books in a hammock in the coolness of the early morning and drink cool lemonade later in the day. Stay cool, stay hydrated and make many memories in the month of July.
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel and Jessica.