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Fun with the Family with Julie Lavender: April showers bring the treasures of springtime
Julie Lavender web
Julie Lavender - photo by Special

    The month of April showers the observant one with a magnificent display of colors, from the fragrant wisteria blossoms creeping through the boughs of trees to the willowy stems of bright-yellow Jessamine, to the snowbells bowing their heads and wild azaleas bursting forth. Seemingly every shade of green imaginable puts on a show just for the month of April before fading and dulling as summer approaches. New life springs forth: buds and blossoms, chicks and bunnies, an empty tomb and the Resurrection.
    Enjoy the beauty of springtime with those you love. Go to a softball game, plan a picnic, run barefoot in the freshly mown grass or pick wildflowers to adorn the dining room table. Celebrate spring with traditional holidays, create some of your own or try out the April festivities below.
    Easter — Visit the worship house of your choice and take lots of pictures in your Easter duds. Celebrate new life with a fun painting craft. Make pictures of baby chicks by dipping the bottom of a glass or cup in yellow paint and pressing it onto a large sheet of green construction paper. Using a toothpick dipped in the yellow paint, make small wings next to the circle. When the paint dries, use a black marker to add eyes and feet. Glue a small orange triangle onto the circle for the chick’s beak. Add baby bunnies to the picture, too, by dipping the bottom of a glass or cup in white paint and printing the circle onto the paper. Dip your index finger into the white paint and print onto the paper above the circle for the bunny’s ears. When the paint dries, use a cotton swab to add pink paint to the inside of both ears and a black marker to draw eyes and whiskers. Glue a small pink triangle in place for the nose. 
    Organize Your Files Week — Perhaps this holiday should be celebrated long before tax papers are due, but nonetheless, organize and celebrate away. Honor the holiday by starting E.L. Konigsburg's classic chapter book, "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler." Read a chapter each night until you’ve completed the adventures of Claudia and Jamie in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
    Peanut Butter and Jelly Day — Plan a peanutty picnic to celebrate this holiday. Stir together peanut butter with various flavors of jelly such as strawberry, grape or peach. Try some combinations with smooth peanut butter and some with the crunchy kind. Stir together only small bits of each so that you’ll have several kinds to sample. Then make sandwiches with the mixtures using Ritz crackers or some other buttery cracker. You can also dip pretzel logs into the mixture for sampling the flavors. 
    National Sibling Day — Paint a family tree to celebrate the love and bond of your household. Paint a brown trunk and write the names of Mommy and Daddy on either side of the trunk. Paint a branch for each child in the family. When the paint dries, use a marker to write each person’s name near the branch. Use hole-punchers to punch small circles from construction paper of varying colors to add to the tree. Choose the favored color for each sibling and punch enough circles to decorate the branch. When the paint is completely dry, brush glue onto the tree limb, then sprinkle on the punched-out holes like blossoms on the limb.
    Zipper Day — Count how many zippers you have in your closet. Don’t forget pockets, jackets, blue jeans and the backs of shirts or dresses. Be mindful of your blessings and share your wealth with those in need. Pull out gently-worn clothing with zippers or take a family trip to purchase some new ones. Donate the zippered clothing to the clothing closet at your church or to Fostering Bulloch’s Clothes Closet.
    Watch for April’s showers to bring blessings, blossoms and beauty to your little neck of the woods. Don’t miss a moment of the sights and sounds and aromas of spring. Make beautiful family memories to accompany the beauty of the season.
    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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