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Welcome October’s Beauty with Family Fun and Celebration

Welcome October’s Beauty with Family Fun and Celebration

The month of October welcomes autumn with all its splendor and teases the senses with the smells of freshly turned farmers’ fields, the sight of painted forests, the sounds of geese and other fowls heading south for the winter, the taste of pumpkin pie and squash casserole, and the gentle feel of fall breezes kissing cool, apple-red cheeks. Enjoy the beauty of autumn with the precious little ones in your family. Make every day a holiday this month to celebrate October with the family.

Try a few of these silly, but actual celebrations and add some unique family ones to your calendar, too.

National Apple Month – October is the perfect month to celebrate the apple-harvest season. Make applesauce, apple salad, apple pie, and snack on all sorts of apples this month. Personalize the table with this apple-person craft, one for each member of the family. Use a red or golden delicious apple for the body. For the head, secure one large marshmallow in place using a toothpick. Cut red or black licorice into two one-and-one-half-inch long pieces for the arms and two three-inch-long pieces for legs. Secure arms and legs in place with toothpick halves.

For hair, combine two drops of yellow food coloring and three drops of water in a resealable bag. Add two teaspoons of flaked coconut, and squish the bag to color the coconut. Spread a small amount of vanilla frosting on top of the marshmallow and press the coconut hair in place. With a toothpick, spread a dab of frosting onto the flat end of two miniature chocolate chips and place them on the marshmallow for eyes. Cut a small wedge of maraschino cherry into a smile and dab frosting on the back with a toothpick; press the smile in place on the marshmallow. And, voila – an apple person as a place marker for each member of the family.

World Smile Day – Don’t let a drab day in October turn your lips into a frown. Share smiles all around, throughout the month. Share smiles with the family, with friends, with passers-by, with schoolmates you haven’t met yet, with wait staff in a restaurant, with a homeless acquaintance or someone in need, with sales clerks, with a stranger on the subway, and with anyone who crosses your path this month. Smiles are free, contagious, and infectious. Let smiles abound, then discuss at the dinner table the number of smiles each person shared during the day.

Odd Socks Day – Celebrate those random solitary socks that seem to have lost their companions with this fun family game. Fold two mismatched socks together by tucking one into the other. Use them as game pieces for a variety of games. Start by placing an empty clothes basket in the middle of the floor and see who can ring the most sock-pairs into the basket. Then turn the basket upside-down and toss the socks again. The object of this game is to keep the socks on the basket-bottom without sliding off. For another game, give each person one oven mitt to wear and then toss socks with a partner to see who can catch the most socks.

Meatloaf Appreciation Day – Prepare this yummy dish to warm the tummies on a crisp October evening. With clean hands, combine in a large bowl: one-and-one-half pounds of ground chuck, one cup of oatmeal finely crushed in a food chopper, one cup of grated cheddar cheese, one-half cup of milk, three tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, two beaten eggs, one teaspoon of garlic salt, and one teaspoon of pepper.

Squish together with hands until the ingredients are blended well. Coat a baking dish with sides or a casserole dish with vegetable spray. Then form an oval loaf from the mixture and place on the greased baking dish. Bake for thirty minutes in a 375-degree oven. Remove from the oven and top liberally with ketchup. Place dish back in the oven for another ten minutes. (This makes a large loaf that will feed six or eight. Consider halving the recipe if necessary, or freeze the leftovers for sandwiches later in the month.)

Map Reading Week – Visit a nearby state park, walking trail, or hiking trail to enjoy the changing leaves. Before you leave for the walk, print out a map for the kids to follow and let each one take turns being the leader along the path or giving verbal directions as you drive.

Celebrate the exquisite beauty of fall with the ones you love. Treasure every minute, celebrate the canvas that boasts God’s paintbrush of autumn colors, and make every day a holiday this month.

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.

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