Julie Lavender-100712Listen to Julie Lavender's latest column on Fun with the Family.
Have you picked a couple of trees to watch as autumn progresses? Search the woods for fall’s glorious shades of oranges, reds and yellows, and celebrate everything the season brings, from football games to festivals and carnivals to mornings that require jackets to costumes and candy to sunflowers and freshly mowed fields. Additionally, celebrate these holidays with those you love, or make up a few of your own.
National Newspaper Week: This year’s celebration, held annually the first full week in October, is entitled “Newspapers: The Cornerstone of Your Community.” Teach your kids to treasure the gift of freedom of the press and the Statesboro Herald’s gift to our community. Read the newspaper together, as a family, throughout the month of October, searching especially for news that involves community events or people. What better way to know what’s going on in the local area than to read the newspaper? October in the Boro is jam-packed with fun, family events. Look for those happenings on each page of the paper, or check out the October MOMents edition for details.
National Knee Day: I’m not really sure why we “kneed” this holiday; nevertheless, take advantage of another day to celebrate with an afternoon of relays and games. Gather the family outside on a cool afternoon, dressed in jeans or long pants. Have a few knee relays, like a race on hands and knees or a rousing game of knee-tag, or a relay in which players race to the finish line on their knees, hands clasped behind their backs. (It’s not as easy as it sounds, by the way!) End Knee Day with a new way to see-saw: Choose a partner — this works better with pairs of about the same size. Sit, facing one another, with legs criss-crossed, close enough to touch knees with your partner. Hold hands, then alternate leaning back and forth, as if you were on a see-saw. Try to lean back as far as possible without releasing hands or breaking contact with knees. Can you do it?
Pumpkin Day: Pick a day to search for fall pumpkins at a pumpkin patch or produce stand. Carefully carve pumpkins as a family, or, for less mess, paint faces on the outside of the pumpkins. Eat pumpkin seeds for snacks or make pumpkin prints by dipping oranges sliced in half into orange paint, then pressing on construction paper. Paint green leaves, stems and vines to create your own pumpkin patch.
National Pizza Month: Create a yummy pizza treat with an 8-ounce can of crescent dinner rolls. Remove dough from the can, but do not unroll. From each perforated section, make cuts to get 8 slices — 16 slices total. Place the slices in the shape of a circle, or a pumpkin shape, on a large, ungreased baking sheet. Use one of the pieces to form the shape of a stem by pinching the slice together and placing it at the top of the circle. Bake at 375 degrees for 11 to 13 minutes, or until golden brown.
While to bread cools, prepare the toppings and vegetables. In a mixer, combine one 8-ounce package of softened cream cheese with one-half cup of mayonnaise and one tablespoon of ranch dip powder (about half the package). Add drops of food coloring to the mixture to create a nice orange shade. Spread the mixture on the cooled bread, then top with finely chopped or shredded vegetables, like carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. Save the carrots for last for orange coloration of the pizza. Then, top with shredded cheddar cheese. Delicious!
World Rainforest Week: Do you know the difference between a tropical rainforest and a temperate rainforest? Can you locate on a map the rainforest in the United States? Take a virtual, online tour of rainforests throughout the world, then visit the local library to find fiction and nonfiction books about these beautiful parts of our world.
Use all five senses to enjoy the beauty of autumn, from the scents and flavors of cotton candy and funnel cakes at the fair, to the sights and feelings of squashes and gourds at the supermarket, to the sounds of Canada geese and trick-or-treaters. Enjoy everything October brings your way; making treasured memories with those you love.
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel and Jessica.