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Fun with the Family with Julie Lavender - Give thanks & eat turkey
Julie Lavender
Julie Lavender

      Copious turkey decorations everywhere we turn signify that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Though it shouldn't take a ceramic or wooden turkey to remind us to be thankful, November seems to prompt us to be more aware of our blessings. Use every day this month to appreciate the blessings in your life - family, friends, freedom, beautiful weather, gorgeous autumn colors abounding, delicious harvest foods, and each precious day. Celebrate a season of thankfulness and the celebrations below.
      Geography Awareness Week - Studies show that many elementary-aged children are lacking in geography skills. Counteract those statistics with a fun, family celebration. Use a large map of the United States and small star stickers to designate places your family has traveled, sites you hope to visit, hometowns of all relatives and friends, and locations mentioned in news stories this week. Then turn deli meat and cheese slices into a geography lesson: let your child cut meat and cheese slices with a plastic knife into several state shapes, roll together, and much with crackers for a snacky lunch.
      Deviled Egg Day - Celebrate this holiday with a picnic of deviled eggs and sandwiches. Hard-boil several eggs; when cooled, encourage your children to help you peel, slice in half, and remove egg yolk to another bowl for each egg. Let them smash the egg yolks with a fork and add a bit of mayonnaise, a dab of mustard, and some pickle relish and stir together. Let your child spoon the mixture back into the cut egg whites and refrigerate until needed. .
      Basketball Day - Grab a basketball and head outside for some family fun. Practice dribbling with both hands. See who can dribble the longest. Can you dribble and hop at the same time? Can you race and dribble without losing the ball? Bounce the ball to one another; play under/over relays. After all this warm-up, play a game of basketball in the driveway. (If you have no goals, try using a large garbage can pushed against a tree.)
      Game and Puzzle Week - Think of as many blessings as you can name; write down all the things your family is thankful for. Then turn the words into a word search puzzle for other family members to solve. Use graph paper to fit the letters into or look online for sites that will put your words into a puzzle. Or, choose a night to solve a crossword puzzle together.
       Thanksgiving - Create cute turkeys to decorate your table for Thanksgiving. Let each child trace his shoe onto brown craft foam and cut out. This will be the turkey's head (heel part of the shoe) and body (toe part of the shoe). Glue on wiggly eyes and other craft foam pieces for facial features. Then glue on pre-cut autumn foam leaves (available at craft stores) for the turkey's
      Wake up each day this month with a grateful heart. Find something to be thankful for, even on a gloomy day and find much to be appreciative of on bright, sunny days. Share your thanksgivings with those you love and have a blessed November.

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

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