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Fun with the Family with Julie Lavender - Short month is long on fun
Julie Lavender
Julie Lavender

   There must be a reason that the shortest month of the year was chosen to contain the most romantic, love-filled day of the entire year. Heart-shaped cards and candy and everything pink and red remind us regularly that February is the month of LOVE. Use all twenty-eight days of this month to show the ones that you love just how very special they are to you. Start with a few of the celebrations below, then make up some of your own.
      National Weatherman’s Day – The forecast for February, apparently is “rain and a soggy back yard.” Don’t grumble – turn it into soggy fun. Put on rainboots and stomp around in a puddle on a warm day. Find a creek and have stick races. Go for a walk with umbrellas. Once you’re completely soaked, change into dry clothes, sip some hot chocolate, and check out the games and puzzles at theweatherchannelkids.com. Play games together and see who would make the best meteorologist.
      Winter Olympics – Check out the schedule for the Olympic games and make plans to watch some of the events as a family. To set the mood for the games, create a few paper snowflakes for ambiance. (Google “homemade paper snowflakes” and you’ll get a couple of sites for easy folding instructions.)
      Valentines Day – Tough economic times doesn’t mean you need to pass on Valentine’s treats for those you love. Make a coupon book for each member of the family, personalizing each with special gifts for just that person. If your little one loves to be read bedtime stories, give a coupon that says, “This coupon good for one extra bedtime story tonight.” For a child who loves board games, give a coupon for a couple of hours of uninterrupted game-playing time. Write coupons for a favorite dessert, a movie rental, a trip to the park, a bike ride, a day without chores, or an evening walk to look at stars. Create a coupon book for your spouse, too, with the promise of a favorite meal, backrub, no-honey-do day, or an uninterrupted football game or shopping trip.
      Walking the Dog Day – Though this may be an every-day experience for some, make an attempt to view the world through your dog’s eyes. Find a grassy area and have the family walk on hands and knees, next to your pooch. Appreciate the world from his or her eyes. Or, take Spot to a spot he’s never traveled on before and go for a family walk.
      Tennis Day – Well, I guess this one might be self-explanatory, but after a fun game of tennis, find creative ways to play with tennis balls. Learn to juggle, play bouncing games to see who can dribble a tennis ball the longest, or play a tossing game while wearing gloves. Or, place empty water bottles in a pyramid on the driveway and play a bowling game. See just how many ways you can create family fun with a tennis ball.
      National Tortilla Chip Day – Have your kids help you prepare this crock-pot recipe in the early afternoon for a fun evening celebration. Place these ingredients in a slow-cooker or crock-pot: two 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, two 12.5-ounce cans of chicken (drained and crumbled), two cups of grated, sharp cheddar cheese, one cup of ranch dressing, and 3 ounces of hot sauce. Cook on low for several hours; stir once or twice to combine melted ingredients. Enjoy with tortilla chips!   
      Make the most of every day this month. February may be short on days, but you can make it long on memories. Create warm memories with those you love, share lots of hugs, kisses, and special times together, and celebrate every day as a gift with your family. 

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

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