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It’s a Brand New Year – Start the Memory-Making!

It’s a Brand New Year – Start the Memory-Making!

Can you believe that another new year is upon us? Three hundred and sixty-five days to make oodles and oodles of family memories to cherish. Be intentional this year about spending quality time together. Read books aloud, dance in the den, build blanket forts, make homemade modeling dough, fly paper airplanes, and share hugs and kisses all year long. Let your family know just how special you think they are by finding something to celebrate in each day.

And most importantly—put the Lord God first in everything you do. “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his face always” (1 Chronicles 16:11 CSB).

May God bless your 2019 calendar year with special days and memorable activities. Make every day a holiday with those you love—try some of the silly (but actual) holidays below to make January special and create a few unique family memories, too.

National Soup Month – Warm up the little tummies and the bigger ones, too, in your family this month with a large pot of soup on several occasions. (Before adding soup to the menu for the evening, check out some library books about soup, like Soup Day, Duck Soup, or Ice Cream Soup, and choose one to read aloud while the soup is simmering.)

Try this cheesy potato soup recipe on a cold evening. Gather the family in the kitchen to prepare the recipe together, assigning age-appropriate tasks to each member of the family. Peel and chop potatoes into bite-sized pieces to yield four cups. Place the chopped potatoes in a large cooking pot. Add two cups of chicken broth, one teaspoon of salt, and two teaspoons of white vinegar.

Bring the stock to a boil, then turn the heat to a lower temperature and simmer for twenty minutes. Cover while simmering, but lift the lid and stir occasionally. Whisk two tablespoons of flour into one-and-one-half cups of milk. Pour the milk mixture into the simmering liquid slowly and whisk until blended thoroughly. Simmer for another five minutes or so until the soup has thickened; stir occasionally. Add one cup of cheddar cheese to the soup and stir until melted. Serve topped with a dab of grated cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and green onion shreds.

National Bird Day – Go for a family walk and search for birds while you’re out. Walk quietly and listen for bird calls and songs. Search high in the treetops or on the ground for feathered friends. Snap a quick cell phone picture of each bird spotted and use the internet to identify the birds you don’t recognize right away.

While you’re wandering around on the bird search, gather pine cones to make homemade bird feeders. Back at home, create some bird feeders with the cones. First, tie ribbon around the tip of the cone for hanging. Spread peanut butter all over the pine cone, smooshing some into the cracks and crevices of the cone. (If a family member has peanut allergies, use vegetable shortening instead.)

Roll the cones in a shallow bowl filled with bird seed and uncooked oatmeal until all of the peanut butter is coated.

Carefully hang the cones in an evergreen tree. Then watch periodically and see what kinds of birds are attracted to the bird feeders.

 

Tin Can Day – Grocery shop as a family and purchase an abundance of vegetable cans or soup cans to take to the local food bank. Make a fun day of helping to replenish shelves that might have been depleted over the holidays by families in need.

 

 

Penguin Awareness Day – Celebrate the day with a penguin craft. Trace around a dinner plate onto black construction paper. Trace around a dessert saucer onto white construction paper. Cut out both circles. Glue the white circle onto the black circle (near the bottom) to be the white tummy feathers of the penguin. Cut two magnolia leaf-shaped pieces from black construction paper to be the penguin wings. Glue two wiggle eyes in place and add an orange construction paper triangle nose. For the feet, trace two child-sized hands onto orange construction paper; cut and glue into place near the bottom of the penguin for the feet.

Backward Day – Make it a silly and festive day by talking backwards, wearing pajamas backwards, eating breakfast for dinner and vice versa, and play some fun backward games outside. Jump backwards. Hop backwards. Skip backwards. And jog backwards.

Make memories this month that will warm your heart throughout the cold days of January. Happy New Year and remember: “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24 ESV).

By: Julie Lavender

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

One Comment

  1. Julie, I absolutely love your creative ideas! What wonderful ways to love our families and thus honor God! Putting the Lord first allows Him to guide our priorities including family time. I can just imagine children giggling with some of these activities.

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