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Life’s a Picnic in July

Life’s a Picnic in July

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Song of Solomon 2:4 KJV

July 2nd marks the halfway point of the year, and July 15th is the halfway point of the summer. How are those days shaping up for your family? Have you enjoyed half of the summertime fun you’d planned?

Never fear – you still have plenty of time to enjoy fun in the sun for summer 2019. Be intentional to squeeze in lots of family activities. Try out some of the zany, but actual, holidays listed below or create unique family ones.

National Picnic Month – How many picnics can you fit into the month of July? Picnic in the front yard one day and in the back yard another day. Sit on the porch floor for another picnic and at the end of the driveway for yet another feast. Picnic on the den floor one evening and cover the table with a sheet to picnic under for breakfast. Pack a picnic basket and head to a local park with friends for another celebration. Plan a day trip somewhere nearby and picnic in a new location. Pack up sandwiches and chips on a rainy day, drive to a different park, and picnic in the car. Remember, life’s a picnic when shared with family! Make it a picnic-kind of life, all month long!

National Sugar Cookie Day – Prepare these yummy cookies for today’s festivities. In a large bowl, stir together two-and-three-fourths cups flour, two teaspoons cream of tartar, and one teaspoon baking soda. Set aside. Cream together in a mixer one cup of soft shortening and one-and-a-half cups of sugar. Blend in two eggs and one teaspoon vanilla flavoring. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix just until blended. Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls of dough. Then roll each cookie dough ball in candy sprinkles and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for eight minutes for a soft cookie or ten for a browner one. Cool on a wire rack.

Cow Appreciation Day – Celebrate the day with a fun bovine craft. Start with a white paper plate for the cow’s face. On pink construction paper, draw and cut out an oval-shaped nose for the cow that will fit the bottom portion of the paper plate. Glue in place with the center of the nose at the six o’clock mark, if the plate were viewed as the face of a clock. Use a black marker to color in two nostrils and a smiling mouth. On white construction paper, draw and cut out two oblong ear-shapes. Cut slightly smaller patterns from pink construction paper and glue the pink “inside ears” to the white “outside ears.” Glue the ears in place on the paper plate at the ten o’clock and two o’clock marks. Glue large wiggly eyes in place for the cow’s face. Then cut irregular-shaped black patches to glue on the cows face for spots. To complete the festivities, settle in for some reading time, accompanied by a tall glass of milk for all. Read books like, The Cow Loves Cookies, The Cow Who Clucked, Giggle Giggle Quack, Cows and Their Calves, or The Story of Ferdinand.

Don’t Step on a Bee Day – Enjoy outdoor time as much as possible during the summer to enjoy God’s beautiful creations, and remember to use sunscreen and stay hydrated. Explore some of God’s masterpieces by looking for bees and other insects while taking a nature walk. Look closely – but at a safe distance – at flowers and blooming flora, and you’ll most likely spot a bee flitting about seeking nectar. Then play an active game to get the heart racing and strengthen those muscles! Pick out different locations in the yard to represent nectar-filled flowers. Use real ones, if you have a yard with actual blossoms. Or, place sticky-notes or construction paper markers to designate the locations. For the activity, call out an action and a location, like, “Fly to the pink flowers.” The kids and adults, in response, flap their arms and run to the pink flower location. Call out another direction, like, “Hop to the white flowers,” or “Walk backwards to the purple flowers.” Take turns calling out actions and locations, until all the “bees” are exhausted. Head inside for a drink of sweet nectar – or lemonade.

All-American Pet Photo Day – Snap pictures with your favorite pooch or feline, then remember those animals that haven’t yet found a forever-home. Reach out to the local animal shelter and ask about current needs. Then take a trip to purchase dog or cat food, collars, or leashes to donate.

Enjoy every minute of July with those special someones that God gave you. Have a joyous July with family.

 

By: Julie Lavender. Of all the hats Julie’s worn over the years – Navy wife, public schoolteacher, homeschooling mommy to four, church volunteer, writer, book and magazine author, journalist, conference instructor, and crochet gal – her most favorite hat of the past will always be homeschooling mommy. Overtaking rapidly, though, is the Gramma Julie hat of the last four months. Connect with Julie on Facebook, Twitter at @JLavenderwrites, Instagram at JulieLavenderwrites, and follow her nature blog, On My Walk With God, at julielavender.blogspot.com.

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

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