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Make Memories Marking the Middle of the Year

Make Memories Marking the Middle of the Year

With the setting of the sun on July 1, half of the year 2018 has passed. Have you made six month’s worth of family memories? Begin the second half of the year with intentional plans to make the most of every minute with those you love. Fill July with water adventures, fresh vegetable samplings, picnics in the park, walking adventures, or barefoot treks through the green grass. Try some of the wacky, but real, celebrations below or create unique family ones to make every day a holiday in the month of July.

Don’t Step on a Bee Day – Ouch! Don’t step on a bee today, but do ‘bee’ on the lookout for them as they work hard to buzz and fly and pollinate their way through the summer. Read the book by Patricia Polacco, The Bee Tree. Then make this fun bee craft to decorate the family room. Trace around a salad plate on yellow construction paper to make the bee’s body. Cut carefully along the line.

Trace around the plate again on black construction paper and cut out for the bee’s wings. Fold the black circle in half and then cut along the fold for two wings. Glue one black wing to each side of the yellow bee-body circle, with only a portion of the black circle showing, to resemble wings. Glue the wings in place at about the eleven mark and two mark, if the yellow circle were the face of a clock.

Use a black marker to draw eyes and a mouth near the top of the yellow circle, where the twelve would be located on a clock face. Cut three strips of black paper about one-half to three-fourths of an inch wide and long enough to stretch across the yellow circle. Glue the bee’s ‘stripes’ horizontally across his body, with the first stripe stretching across the body at about the three and nine marks of the clock face. Glue the other two stripes below that one, evenly spaced apart, on the bee’s body. Glue or tape black, craft pipe cleaners in place to create a pair of antennae on the bee’s head and six legs beneath the last strip on the bee’s body.

Paper Bag Day – Before heading out for this family service project activity, pack a picnic lunch for each person in paper lunch sacks. Store the lunches safely in a cooler, and load the family and the picnic lunches into the family car. Take a field trip to the grocery store and shop for canned goods and other staple items. Let each person contribute his or her favorite box of pasta or can of fruits or vegetables to the grocery cart. Once the groceries are paid for, load them in paper bags (or reusable cloth ones) and drive to the community food bank to donate the grocery items. After dropping off the donation, stop by the park and have a family picnic with the lunch sacks and drinks.

National Macaroni and Cheese Day – Work together in the kitchen to create a yummy masterpiece with this recipe for Extra-Cheesy Mac and Cheese. Follow the directions on the package to cook two cups of dry macaroni in boiling water. Drain completely, then return pasta to the saucepan and stir four tablespoons of butter into the noodles until butter melts. In a large bowl, stir together three eggs, one-half cup of sour cream, one can of condensed cheddar cheese soup, one cup of milk, one-half teaspoon salt, one-fourth teaspoon black pepper, two cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese, and one-half cup of Parmesan cheese. Pour the buttered noodles into the bowl and stir gently until ingredients are blended. Pour the macaroni and cheese into a baking dish and place in a preheated oven at 375 degrees. Bake for thirty minutes. Enjoy!

Tennis Month – Get outside and enjoy the beautiful summer weather with some fun tennis ball games. Draw chalk lines on the driveway like a bowling lane and set up empty bottles or boxes at one end of the lane. Take turns rolling a tennis ball down the lane to knock over the bottles or move the boxes out of the lane. The person who knocks down or moves the most items is the winner for that round.

For another game, let one person in the family bounce a tennis ball on the driveway while two other family members holding the ends of a towel try to catch the ball in the center of the towel.

And for a third game, let each person in the family place a tennis ball in a small spoon and race to a finish line to see who can get there the fastest without dropping the tennis ball. Find time this month for a real tennis match, too, if the opportunity arises.

Family Reunion Month – Family reunions aren’t as common-place as in “the old days,” but make every effort to contact extended family members this month. With your family, make a diagram of your family tree, listing names of aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents and great-grandparents. Find some way to connect with each member of the family tree, with an online message, snail-mail note, phone call, or FaceTime treat.

Make every minute of July count with fun, family activities. Find something to celebrate each day and make every day a holiday. You’ll be so glad you made those memories!

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.

8 Comments

  1. I love these ideas, Julie! Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you, Meredith! I’ve loved any excuse to celebrate! And my kids do too! Thanks for reading and commenting! Blessings! (I just looked back at my comment – apparently I like celebrating the exclamation point!!!)

  2. Julie,
    I just love these wacky celebrations that appear on the calendar and in our Twitter feeds. Thank you for sharing these. It’s so important that we are intentional in making memories with the ones we love. I appreciate you reminding us of that.

    • Thank you, Joshua! And I agree! I just love the idea of treating every day as a gift from God, a treasure to celebrate His goodness and time spent with family, and to find any excuse to make some incredible memories with our family!

  3. Julie, I love all of your suggestions! What fun 🙂 My youngest (my daughter) just graduated from college and moved out. My two boys are newly married. So, my hubby and I are officially empty nesters! Time goes by so quickly and we must make the most of it and of our relationships.
    Blessings!

    • Beckie, I know you must have a treasure trove of memories with your kids to enjoy in your empty nest stage! What a blessing to make those memories and strengthen family relationships with quality time spent together!! I love my family’s adventures – from our little, ‘silly’ celebrations to our huge milestone-events to everything in-between! Blessings!

  4. Can every day be mac and cheese day, please? I grew up on that staple of life.

    • Katy,
      My kids LOVE mac and cheese. Whether it’s the boxed version – I have a friend that says if you open the box at home, it’s homemade!!! But, my favorite thing to do is to try all sorts of mac and cheese recipes. And, the cheesier the better!!

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