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Fun with the Family with Julie Lavender - Grow family time in 2010
Col Julie Lavender

The first few days of 2010 have slipped by... It's a brand new decade! What will our children say about us years from now? Will they talk about our skinny jeans tucked into our boots and our flat hair? Will they think vampire movies are so old-fashioned and cell phones are outdated? Yes, years from now our children may remember and poke fun of our so-cool-now fashions and tastes, but hopefully, they'll have an incredible array of warm, fun, family memories that will diminish even the worst fashion faux pas.
     Make every moment in January and each day of 2010 special for your family. Give lots of hugs, kisses, and accolades. Talk about each day at the dinner table. Rent old movies, watch some new ones, film your own home movies. Pick flowers, plant flowers, smell flowers. Do puzzles, play board games, make up a new game. Read books, look at photo albums, prepare recipes. Invite friends to dinner, renew old friendships, start some new ones. Go to the beach, go to the mountains, go to the zoo, go to Mill Creek. Every day in 2010 is an open invitation to create wonderful memories with those you love. Try something new or repeat something old and true. Whatever you do this year, make it the very best and blessed year your family has ever had.
      Make every day a holiday in "oh-ten." Try some of these zany, but authenticated, celebrations.
      National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day - If you didn't get a box of these over the holidays, make a batch of your own. Purchase a jar of cherries from the grocery store and drain carefully. Melt a small amount chocolate candy coating and dip the cherries, using the stem or a small fork. Place them on waxed paper to set.
      National Letter Writing Month - Speaking of old-fashioned and retro - when is the last time you actually wrote a real letter, put a stamp on it, and mailed it to someone, without using any form of modern technology? Encourage each family member to write a note to someone near or far sometime this month. Use the letter as thanks for a Christmas gift, to get reacquainted, or to simply encourage. A special friend of our family who lives in a local nursing home uses his gift of letter-writing to encourage others. He writes lengthy notes to children and adults regularly, letting them know just how special they are.
      Swiss Cheese Day - Now here's a yummy celebration. Make a sandwich with ham and Swiss cheese for lunch today or let the kids help you make this delicious appetizer. In a mixer, blend two eight-ounce packages of cream cheese with twelve ounces of Swiss cheese and one cup of mayonnaise. Spread mixture in a small baking dish. Top with two packages of real bacon bits. Bake at 350 degrees for about thirty minutes. Serve with chips.
      National Hobby Month - The start of a new year is a great time to take in a new hobby. Try something new that the entire family can enjoy and work on together. Start a new collection, like coins or stamps, or learn a new craft, like quilting or painting. Set a goal to read all of the Hardy Boy mysteries or Encyclopedia Brown books aloud. Learn how to cook all sorts of homemade breads. Whatever you choose, spend quality time as a family with your new hobby this month.
Forget the pounds and the promises you made just before 2009 ended and 2010 began and make just one simple resolution - put family first. Don't waste a minute; make the most of this year with warm memories and cool activities.

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

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