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Fun with the Family with Julie Lavender - Savor sweet times in September
Julie Lavender
Julie Lavender

    The sound of helmets and football pads clashing, tempered with melodious band notes in the background — the aroma of freshly mowed farmers’ fields — and the sprinkling of orange and golden pumpkins and gourds at the produce stands heightens the senses to the impending shift from summer to autumn. Celebrate and treasure a new season with family members and those you love. Create lasting memories with the holidays below, or invent some new family traditions to cherish.   
    Labor Day — Give thanks for the opportunity to work, whether that entails pulling weeds from your front yard, waiting tables at a scrumptious local restaurant, mending broken bones or infectious diseases, or teaching college students from across the nation. Think about the vast array of jobs and professions offered in the ‘Boro as you gather around the table for dinner. Tell your kids about your own profession, as well as that of other family members. Does everyone know what they want to be “when they grow up?” or are some young ones and older ones still deciding? Play a guessing game after dinner to celebrate the holiday. Each person takes turns choosing a job. Other family members ask questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no” about the profession and others try to guess the job. And don’t forget to thank someone for a job well done today!   
    National Waffle Week — Make homemade waffles (or grab some frozen ones from the store) and have a waffle bar for dinner. Who says breakfast has to be in the morning? Let the kids help you come up with all sorts of toppings for the waffles. Cut up several kinds of fruit and make homemade whipped topping; grab some peanut butter and jelly; melt butter and combine cinnamon and sugar; use marshmallow fluff with miniature chocolate chips and butterscotch chips; or put out deli-meat and condiments to turn them into waffle sandwiches. The ideas are endless — get as culinarily creative as possible.
    Line Dance Week — Can you do the Grapevine or the Macarena? How about the Chicken Dance or the Electric Slide? Can you Boot Scoot Boogie or Cupid Shuffle? Videos abound online to assist you in learning each step so that you can chase, butterfly, mambo, paddle, and sugarfoot your way into better health and some amazing family fun. Turn the music up and get moving!
    Elephant Appreciation Day — Look online to find out more info about these splendid creatures, then pretend to be an elephant for the day. Using gray construction paper, cut large ears and a long strip for a trunk. Attach the ears to the sides of an old pair of sunglasses. Roll the end of the trunk strip somewhat to give it a curl. Attach it to the nosepiece of the sunglasses. Wear your elephant headpieces and walk on all fours around the den. Give an elephant call — whatever that may be — and appreciate elephants for the day.
    Teddy Bear Day — Do you know how the teddy bear got his name? Do some research to see which president had a hand in the anointing of our favorite plush toy. Check out books from the library, like some from the Berenstain Bears series or several of the Teddy Bear Picnic titled books, or any others about teddies. Grab a blanket and a favored stuffed animal and head outside for some fun, family reading. Don’t forget the snacks for your bear picnic, like Teddy Grahams and a pitcher of lemonade!
    Fortune Cookie Day — Celebrate this special day with some surprises for the family. Find a box of fortune cookies at your favorite grocery store. With a pair of tweezers, pull out the premade fortunes that hang from the cracks of the cookies. Then give each person enough cookies for one per family member. Encourage folks to write a sweet accolade about each person on tiny slips of paper, then carefully fold and reinsert the papers into the cookies. (Find a way to keep the cookies separated, like different baggies for each person.) Then, dole out cookies at various times this month to celebrate the precious gift of family love.
    Watch throughout the month for subtle and not-so-subtle seasonal changes. Appreciate the splendor of your surroundings, while appreciating the beauty of those you love. Happy Autumn!       
    Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender celebrates with husband David and children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel, and Jessica.

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