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Fun with the Family with Julie Lavender - Chase fireflies during the summer
Julie Lavender
Julie Lavender

      Afternoon thundershowers, early-evening firefly theatrics, and warm, humid mornings....Let summertime begin! Use the warm weather as a reminder to make warm memories with your family that will last long into the winter months.
Chase fireflies, dance in sprinklers, walk barefoot in the grass. Enjoy every moment of summer with these and other holidays and celebrations.  
      Bald Eagle Day – Have you ever watched an eagle soar or looked upon one closely? Celebrate the beauty of America’s bird – the eagle – with a visit to the Raptor Center on GSU’s campus.
      Fishing Week and American Rivers Month – Make sure to celebrate these summertime holidays before the month ends. Look at a map to find the major rivers of the United States. How many have you visited? How many Georgia rivers can you spell? Read an old favorite by Vera B. Williams, Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe and then take a trip to the river for some fishing and picnicking fun. For extra excitement, look for a red blow-up raft to float on in shallow water.
      National Fresh Vegetable Month – Go to the Farmer’s Market or visit a produce stand to pick out some fresh vegetables. Choose a variety of colors and shapes. Wash and dry the vegetables appropriately. Cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and eat with this delicious dip: Blend together one cup mayonnaise, one cup sour cream, one cup cottage cheese, one eight-ounce package of softened cream cheese, and one package of Ranch dressing mix powder. (For variety of to suit the taste buds of your family, substitute other cheeses for the cottage cheese.) Save a vertical slice and horizontal slice of each vegetable for a fun painting project. Dip the veggies in paint and press onto large sheets of white paper. Leave the painting as an abstract art project, or add other features to turn the shapes into people or animals.    
      Sunglasses Day – Use old plastic sunglasses or purchase some inexpensive ones for this project. Use craft glue to embellish the glasses with foam shapes, sequins, or beads. After the glasses are dry, go for a walk on a sunny day and take in the beauty of summer. 
      Hot Air Balloon Anniversary – Celebrate the anniversary of the first hot air balloon flight with some balloon fun of your own. Using twelve-inch balloons (and following all safety precautions if you have young children), inflate each person’s balloon to approximately the same size. Standing next to each other, on “go,” release the balloons into the air. See which balloon travels the farthest, which balloon travels the shortest distance, and which balloon turns the most somersaults. If it’s a really hot day, why not get some of those tiny balloons and have a water balloon day! Fill balloons with water and toss back and forth with a partner, like an egg toss. End the day with another old favorite, Hot Air Henry, by Mary Calhoun, about a cat who stows away in a hot-air balloon.     
      May your entire summer be filled with celebrations, sunshine, and special memories.

      Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender celebrates with husband David and children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel, and Jessica.

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