Earlier this week, the calendar boasted the halfway point of the year. I hope you’ve taken the opportunity to make incredibly fun memories with the family during the first six months of 2013. Start now making wonderful memories for the next half of the year. Use the remainder of summer for fun in the sun, pool time, picnics, boiled peanuts, story time on the front porch and chasing fireflies. Take inspiration from some of the following celebrations, or create family holidays of your own for precious time with those you love.
National Outdoor Month — Take advantage of extra minutes of sunlight each day for outdoor fun. Brainstorm many activities to accomplish outside during the summer; make a list, and be sure to carry out each activity before school begins again. Play badminton, soccer, Wiffle ball and basketball. Picnic under the sun, and snack by starlight. Watch birds, search for insects, and chase fireflies. Pick wildflowers, vegetables and choice fruits. Play in the sprinkler, tromp in a rain puddle, and swim in the ocean. Watch a professional baseball game; hang on for a roller-coaster ride. Read a book outside, and dance barefoot in the grass. Hike one of Statesboro’s trails, or download the app and geocache. Blow bubbles, write with sidewalk chalk, and play hopscotch or marbles. Grab a pole and go fishing or scraps of bread and feed the minnows. Every extra minute of summer is a gift to be treasured; use it wisely.
Caesar Salad Day — Gather in the kitchen to make a homemade salad for dinner. Adults can chop romaine lettuce while the kids shred parmesan cheese. Prepare homemade croutons by cutting day-old bread into bite-size pieces. Melt butter and drizzle over the top of the bread that has been placed on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with a dab of seasonings or herbs, then toast in a hot oven. Watch carefully! Toss the lettuce, cheese and croutons in Caesar dressing and enjoy.
National Laughter Week — Find something to laugh about every day for an entire week. Make one night a joke night. Find a joke book at the library, or find some jokes online. Another night can be a riddle night. Make up original riddles, and see who guesses the most riddles correctly. Watch a new comedy movie one night, then find an old black-and-white comedy to watch. Look for stand-up comedian’s routines online, like the “Who’s On First?” routine by Abbott and Costello or a hilarious Bill Cosby routine. Laugh often, loudly, long. Giggle until your cheeks tingle.
Video Games Day — Celebrate this technological babysitter with a family competition. Play a few games to see who can best the other. After a game or two, try your hand at creating an original video game. Draw pictures of the characters you’d choose, and write the challenges and obstacles those characters must overcome. Who knows? Someone in the family might become a famous game-designer one day!
Corkboard Day — Who knew we had a holiday for corkboard? Well, some of us enjoy any excuse for a celebration. Purchase a small corkboard for each family member, or work together on a larger board to create a family memo board. Decorate with fabric and ribbons using craft glue or decorative tacks, paint pictures in the corners of the board, or write a verse or saying with puffy paint. After you’ve decorated and hung the corkboards, leave push-pins and note cards in a drawer nearby, and encourage family members to write notes to each other and stick them to the board.
Summer lends itself to much merriment with family members. Make so many fun memories that it will be difficult to remember them all! Remember to tell those you love how much they mean to you, and treasure each minute spent together throughout 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.