Julie Lavender-110311Listen to Julie Lavender read her 'Fun with the Family' column.
Aren’t the colors of autumn just brilliant this year? One can’t possibly walk outside without spotting a gorgeous canvas of fall colors splashed against a background of beautiful blue sky, white puffy clouds, and patches of greenery from evergreens. Each time you walk outside and see the splendor, be reminded of your blessings during this Thanksgiving season. Share blessings with those you love each day this month. Celebrate with some of the holidays below, or create your own Thanksgiving traditions with family and friends.
Look for Circles Day – Someone must have really been desperate for something to celebrate to come up with this one, but why not join in the fun by searching for circles everywhere you go this month. Don’t forget traffic lights, the tops and bottoms of those crazy road construction barriers that seem endless on a newly paved road, tennis balls on the brand new Mill Creek courts, clocks – oh my goodness, circles are everywhere! Keep a list for the entire month to see just how many circles you can find. Make a meal of circles with round slices of tomatoes on homemade rolls with hamburger patties and slices of cheese cut in circles with a biscuit cutter. Eat orange pieces cut in rounds, or sliced bananas, and treat yourself to donuts for dessert.
Go For a Ride Day – In our grandparents’ days, weekends were sometimes spent going for a drive in the country. But in our day, we seem to drive frantically to work or school or an extracurricular activity. Choose a beautiful day this month to take a slow drive around town or on a country road, just for no other reason than to take in the sights. Turn the radio to a station the entire family can sing along with or just talk about what’s going on in each person’s life. No earbuds allowed for the teens; encourage them to join in on the conversation, too.
Native American Heritage Month – Use an encyclopedia or the Internet to find out about the different kinds of homes Native Americans used across the United States. Use modeling clay to fashion adobe houses; make teepees with three pretzel logs held together with string licorice for a frame, and then wrap a thawed pie crust round of dough in place for the buffalo hides; or use graham crackers and shredded wheat cereal pieces to fashion a wattle house. Find out which Native American groups lived in Georgia many years ago. Locate some of the towns and rivers named by the Native Americans and what each word means. According to one website, “Chattahoochee” is Creek for “flowered stones.” How many other words do you know that come from Native American words?
National Cashew Day –Try this yummy recipe: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 X 9 inch baking pan with foil, and butter it. Combine one and one-fourth cups flour, 3 tablespoons brown sugar and one-fourth teaspoon baking powder. Cut in one-half cup butter with a pastry blender until the crumbs are very small. Press the crust mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, melt one-fourth cup butter. Stir in one-third cup granulated sugar and one-third cup brown sugar, one-third cup corn syrup, one tablespoon water, one-fourth teaspoon salt and one-half cup broken pieces of cashews. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove saucepan from heat, and stir in one-fourth cup whipping cream and one teaspoon vanilla. Spread the butterscotch sauce over the baked crust. Bake for ten minutes. Cool on a wire rack, then use foil to lift the dessert from the pan. When it has completely cooled, peel the foil away and cut into bars. Delicious!
Thanksgiving – Make a family of turkey magnets to decorate the fridge with this craft. Have each family member paint a large wooden craft stick with brown paint. When the paint is dry, glue wiggly eyes in place and a red felt wattle. Cut one-half inch wide ribbon into 5-inch long pieces. Each magnet will need six pieces. Mix colors and patterns to have a brilliant plumage for each turkey. Fold the ribbon in half, matching the two cut ends. Glue the cut ends of the ribbon to the back of the craft stick, allowing the folded ends to surround the turkey head. Glue a magnet to the back of the stick, below the ribbon “feathers” and adorn the refrigerator with turkeys.
Count your blessings each day in November, from the minute you awake until just before retiring for the evening, from the minute to the magnificent. Remind friends and family how thankful you are that they are in your life. And, until next month, make every day a holiday.
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender celebrates with husband David and children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel, and Jessica.