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Fun with the Family with Julie Lavender - Leaves, fruit and reptiles
Julie Lavender
Julie Lavender

      At last ... the coolness in the air gives us the feeling that autumn truly has arrived. Savor each beautiful, crisp morning and celebrate the new season. Take in a football game or two; look for pumpkins and scarecrows; attend a fall festival or fair parade; and look for every shade and hue of orange imaginable. And, as if the adventures above weren't enough to keep your family busy, try some of these zany holidays.
       Look at the Leaves Day - The splendor of autumn splashes onto the canvas of trees in indescribable beauty. Without being deliberate, one can easily miss the many colors of fall. Pick out two to three trees in your world - one near your home, one on the way to work or school, and one more that you pass by regularly. Make a point to observe your choices regularly and note how the colors and leaves change almost on a daily basis. Collect a few of the changing leaves and really look at them. Get a magnifying glass and observe closely. How many colors can you find on one tree? On just one leaf? How long does it take for all the leaves of one branch to let go?
      National Newspaper Week - Read today's paper together as a family. Then, turn your family into a household of reporters and create your own family newspaper. Include stories about important events that took place this week in each person's life. Don't forget the who, what, when, where, and why of each article, preferably in the first paragraph. And you'll need a photographer to record each event. Have someone create a comic strip. Let someone give a weather forecast for the week. Perhaps another person wants to write an advice column. Treasure our country's freedom of the press as you celebrate National Newspaper Week.
      Plush Animal Lovers Day - How many stuffed animals do you have in your home? Celebrate the gift of these companions with a reading of one of the Corduroy books or a version of The Velveteen Rabbit.
      National Fruit Day - Create a fruit basket for a special friend or loved one or someone who just needs his or her day brightened. Or, concoct this recipe together as a family. Combine one can or peach pie filling, one can of drained pineapple tidbits, one can of drained mandarin oranges, and ten ounces of sliced, frozen strawberries. Chill overnight, then add two sliced bananas just before serving. Stir well.

      Reptile Awareness Week - Do you know the difference between a turtle and a tortoise? Can you recognize a gecko, skink, anole, or lizard? Have you ever heard of a tuatara? Would you know a crocodile or alligator if you happened upon one? Chances are you might not really need that info on a daily basis, but why not spend some time appreciating these amazing creations. Check out the National Geographic website to see gorgeous pictures of almost any reptile you could think of (and those you've never thought of!) Then take a field trip to the Raptor Center on GSU's campus and get some up-close, personal contact with a few of these critters.
      Be intentional as you capture the beauty of autumn this month. Watch for reds, golden yellows, and oranges on the canvases surrounding you. Look for squirrels stashing acorns and nuts for the winter. Smell the squash and pumpkins; hear the crows and Canada geese; nibble on apples and popcorn. Celebrate the warmth of family and friends during the month of October.

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

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