Julie Lavender-030412Listen to Julie Lavender's latest 'Fun With the Family' column.
The month of all things green leapt onto the calendar just after the gift of an extra day in February. Celebrate the blessings of family with green treats and surprises throughout the month, like green grits and milk, green shirts and matching hair bows, cloverleaf searches and barefoot walks in the grass. Look for every shade of green imaginable, as sprinkles of leaflets begin to dot the formerly barren trees of winter. Welcome hints of springtime with original celebrations or try some of the holidays below.
Straw Hat Week — Purchase straw hats for each member of the family from a favorite garden supply store. Using yarn and large plastic needles, weave patterns along the brim of the hat in a variety of colors. Personalize the hat by spelling your name with yarn or attach beads between stitches of yarn for added embellishment. Celebrate the holiday with a straw hat parade or wear the hat for the celebration below.
Plant a Flower Day — Pick a day to take the family shopping for a rainbow of flowers. Let each person choose his or her favorite shade of florae and then take the selections home to plant together.
National Second-Hand Shopping Week and Clean Your Closet Week — The month of March is the perfect time to encourage new “green” habits for your family. Recycle some of the clothes you no longer wear by cleaning out your closets and drawers and donate the gently-used clothing to another family or the local thrift shop. While there, shop for a few new-to-you, but second-hand items that your family could use or enjoy. (Pick up a copy of the Herald’s MOMents Magazine for other “green” suggestions for your family.)
Save a Spider Day — Get up early one morning this month before the dew dissipates and search for spider webs. Look for the glistening displays of spider-silk artwork, but be careful not to step on or destroy a spider’s hard work and creativity. Take a closer look, but beware of spiders guarding their webs. Check out a copy of Charlotte’s Web from the library and read a few chapters aloud while the little ones make a spider web craft. Pour white glue into a shallow bowl and add about a teaspoon of water, then stir to mix. Cut white yarn into strips about eight inches long. Give each person a large piece of wax-coated paper. Encourage each person to dip the yarn into the glue until coated. Hold the strip over the bowl to let excess glue drip, then lay four strips of yarn on the waxed paper like spokes of a bicycle tire. Using another long piece of yarn that has been dipped in the glue, start near the center of the strips of yarn and form a spiral towards the outer edge of the spokes, forming a spider web-pattern. Sprinkle white glitter on the web, then let it dry completely. Peel the web away from the paper when it’s completely dry and hang near a window to catch the sunlight.
National Chocolate Caramel Day — Celebrate this holiday with a yummy treat. Place waxed paper on a baking sheet. In the microwave, melt about half of a pound of chocolate candy coating according to package directions. Drop by tablespoons onto the prepared sheets. Let stand for several minutes until set. Meanwhile, combine fourteen caramels and one tablespoon heavy whipping cream in a heavy saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Spoon melted caramel mixture over the hardened chocolate. Let this stand until set. Then melt half of a pound of chocolate candy coating and spoon on top of the hardened caramel coating. Let stand for about thirty minutes, then peel off paper and store in an airtight container.
Look for leprechauns and four-leaf clovers; watch for rainbows and trees that dance in the breeze; hug and hold those you love. Fill March with memories that are more valuable than a pot of gold.
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel, and Jessica.