Hurricane Ian blew in the month of October with great gusto. While you’re hunkered down with the family avoiding the weather, make plans for fun activities and celebrations to enjoy autumn October days. Try out some of the zany, but actual holidays below and create a few unique family ones, too.
➤ Eat Chicken Month — Work in the kitchen as a family to make a yummy casserole for a cool evening. To make poppy seed chicken casserole, cook four skinless, boneless chicken breast halves by boiling on the stovetop over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until the center is no longer pink. Drain and cool, then shred chicken using two forks. Stir together one can of condensed cream of chicken soup and 8 ounces of sour cream. Add the shredded chicken and mix well. Pour the chicken mixture in a 9-inch square baking dish. Top with 1 1/2 cups of crushed Cheez-It crackers. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of poppy seeds over the crushed crackers. Melt 1/2 cup of butter and drizzle over the crumbs. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Enjoy!
➤ Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month — Celebrate this one with a note of appreciation to your favorite authors or editors. Let each person in the family pick out their favorite book. Go online to find the website of the author or editor. Many authors and editors also have Facebook author pages. Send a note through the website or comment on their Facebook page and share your thoughts about the book. Make sure to mention a favorite part of the book or favorite character. Hopefully, you’ll get a response.
➤ National Truck Driver Appreciation Month — Considering the fact that almost everything we eat, drink, use, or play with made its way into our possession by way of a truck at some point, this festivity is one we should all celebrate! Have fun making a fun craft in honor of the special day. Cut a three-inch square from construction paper. Cut a rectangle, five inches by eight inches from construction paper. Cut wheels from black construction paper. Let your child glue the square truck “cab” onto a large sheet of drawing paper. Glue the rectangle “container” behind the cab, but leave the top of the truck unglued. Glue the wheels in place. Add trinkets to the picture to give the appearance of a loaded truck. Let your child glue objects in the top of the “container,” like cotton balls or dried beans or small candy pieces or small toys. Embellish the picture by adding a highway, trees, sky and more, using markers or crayons
➤ National Indoor Plant Week — Shop as a family for a new indoor plant. While you’re there, pick up an extra plant to deliver to someone you know who might need cheering up or a reminder that they are loved and appreciated. When you get home, research the name of the plant together to find out exactly how to best care for the plant. Let each person in the family take a turn caring for the plant for a week at a time.
➤ National Fall Foliage Week — Go for a family walk and look for signs of autumn all around you. If you stay in the ‘Boro, you’ll most likely need to wait until the end of the month to see much color. Or, plan an out of town trip and head north to find leaves that are already changing colors. See how many different shades of autumn you can find with each walk. Snap pictures and selfies of the family with seasonal colors in the background. You might even want to collect a few leaves to bring home to preserve.
The simplest way to preserve fall-colored leaves is to sandwich them between two sheets of wax paper. Spread leaves onto a large sheet of wax paper. Make sure no leaves are touching. Spread another sheet of wax paper on top. Cover the wax paper with paper towels to protect the surface of the iron. Then iron slowly over the paper towels with a hot iron, melting the waxed paper such that it adheres to the leaves and presses the two sheets of waxed paper together. The colors will fade somewhat, but will preserve them for a short period of time.
Enjoy a new month of autumn and make the most of every day of October. Thirty-one days of fun and festivities await your family! Don’t let a day slip by without making a memory to treasure.
Julie Lavender loves everything about autumn and is looking forward to making memories with her family this fall. The Statesboro native is the author of "Children’s Bible Stories for Bedtime" and "365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories."