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Serving Richmond, Rosenberg & Fulshear

DECEMBER 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Christmas

IN BRAZOS

Year in Review

George Ranch

Exhibit

Honors Orin Covell

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We’re taking mammograms to a whole new dimension. 3 - D MAM MOG R AM S

Now available at St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital According to the American Cancer Society, the early detection of breast cancer saves thousands of lives each year. One of the newest tools in this effort is 3-D mammography, or tomosynthesis, which is now available at St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital. 3-D mammograms allow physicians to take images from different angles, providing sharper, better quality results and a reduction in “false positives.” The new technology is recommended for women with dense breast tissue and allows physicians to view images with pinpoint accuracy in order to detect smaller tumors earlier. See if a mammogram is the answer for you. Call 281-637-7001 today for an appointment.

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Board certified in Pulmonary Diseases, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Dr. Youssef has admitting privileges at Memorial Hermann, The Methodist Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital and Kindred Hospital. Dr. Youssef completed Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine from The Stony Brook University Hospital in New York and Pulmonary Transplant Fellowship at The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania. He relocated in the Houston-Sugar Land area after 10 years of private practice in Arizona. Dr. Youssef has strong roots in the community and is looking forward to serving all of your Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine needs.

www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2013

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COVER STORY December 2013

F E AT U R E S 16 HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY absolutely! BRAZOS

absolutely! Brazos Magazine celebrates a funfilled, busy first year of highlighting the people, places and happenings in West Fort Bend.

18 HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR FAMILIES WITH AUTISM

Hope for Three offers tips on surviving the holidays for families with children on the autism spectrum.

Rosenberg’s 2012 Miss Merry Christmas winners Gabby Mock, Saige Sowa and Ellen Fairfield with Richmond Mayor Evalyn Moore. Photography by Nesossi Studios.

10 RICHMOND AND ROSENBERG RING IN THE HOLIDAYS This holiday season, gather up your families and spend one special day at two great events in the heart of Brazos – Christmas in Rosenberg and Miracle on Morton Street.

20 FORT BEND FOCUS AND absolutely! BRAZOS MAGAZINES HONOR THE GEMS OF FORT BEND

Review highlights of this year’s premier event featuring dinner, live entertainment and a “chips for charity” casino benefiting AccessHealth.

31 FOCUS ON WORSHIP

Discover nearby churches for your family to celebrate this special season.

34 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

Find fabulous gifts for loved ones from local retailers.

42 AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES

Find the best and brightest in after school activities in Brazos.

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DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com


HEADACHE TREATMENTS AS UNIQUE AS EACH PATIENT. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRACTICING MEDICINE AND LEADING IT. The Headache Center at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is committed to providing advanced, personalized care to help chronic headache patients get back to a life without pain. Receive expedited access to our world-class team of headache specialists. They will provide coordinated and comprehensive care starting with an accurate diagnosis and a unique treatment plan to help alleviate and prevent chronic headaches.

Schedule an appointment and stop enduring pain. 281.276.8999 or headachecenter@houstonmethodist.org 16655 Southwest Freeway Sugar Land, Texas 77479

houstonmethodist.org/sugarland


CONTRIBUTORS

DECEMBER 2013

|

VOLUME 2

absolutely! DELICIOUS 28 A CHRISTMAS COOKIE SWAP

NEWSWORTHY 29 GET INTO THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT

|

NUMBER 1

HOME 32 HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES

Lauren Dante Benoit Contributor Page 10

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True To The Heart

absolutely! AUTO REVIEW

Patti Parish-Kaminski absolutely! focus media Page 16

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38 2013 ACURA RDX

With the Fort Bend Boys Choir on December 7th

36 TRAILSIDE EXHIBIT OPENS

In Memory of George Foundation’s Orin Covell

40 THOUSANDS ATTENDED TEXIAN MARKET DAYS 30th Anniversary

46 RICHMOND RETAILERS Aim to Reduce Youth Access to Alcohol

47 CHILD ADVOCATES OF FORT BEND

Board Member Kurt Kirchof Honored by Texas CASA

COLUMNS 60 A LITTLE PIECE OF HISTORY A Candlelight Christmas at the Moore Home

Helps Lamar CISD First-Graders Bridge the Reading Gap

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IN EVERY ISSUE 8 EDITOR’S POINT OF VIEW

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14 COMMUNITY EVENTS

Fun events the whole family will enjoy

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50 OUT & ABOUT IN THE HEART OF BRAZOS

Joan Frances Contributor Page 60

A few snapshots of people, places and happenings

58 COMMUNITY MARKETPLACE

ON THE COVER: Happy Birthday absolutely! Brazos

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DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

Caron Lopez Grand Windows & Interiors Page 32

Steve Kursar Auto Enthusiast Page 38

22 SEEN ON THE SCENE Photos from community events

48 READING RECOVERY

Stephenie Cox absolutely! focus media Page 28

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EXCLAMATION POINTS! THE INSIDE SCOOP STRAIGHT FROM THE TOP Editor-in-Chief, PATTI PARISH-KAMINSKI I’m not sure whether to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Birthday!” December marks a huge milestone for us at absolutely! Brazos as it is the month that we officially turn one-year-old! This year has been a whirlwind for us, and we have enjoyed every minute of it launching a magazine devoted to West Fort Bend. As we look back over the past year, it’s amazing to me how much we have learned – and been able to share – with our readers about our community. Take a look Patti and Tim Kaminski supporting at our year in review on page 16. It’s a walk our community as Honorary Host down memory lane of an amazing first year – a Committee Members for Bubbles & year we have you – our readers, advertisers and A Bauble at Churrascos benefitting Casa de Esperanza de los Ninos. supporters – to thank for. Celebrating “one” is truly a Christmas blessing. Of course, ‘tis the season, and the season is big in Brazos. Two great events to celebrate the season are Christmas in Rosenberg and Miracle on Morton Street, both on Saturday, December 7th. Christmas in Rosenberg features a Miss Merry Christmas pageant, and the three reigning queens from 2012 were kind enough to take a photo with Richmond Mayor Evalyn Moore to help us promote these two family-friendly holiday events. These young ladies represent Rosenberg well, and they are absolutely adorable! Read all about what these festive events have to offer on page 10, and plan on bringing your family for a day full of fun and holiday cheer. We will see you there! Speaking of family fun, absolutely! Brazos is proud to serve as a sponsor of three special screenings of The Polar Express at Imperial Arts in Historic Downtown Rosenberg on December 21st. We’ll have popcorn, hot cocoa, “golden tickets” and special gifts for the kids. It’s a perfect way to celebrate the season. Be sure to check out our Facebook page during the month of December for ticket giveaways. From our family to yours, we wish you the best the season has to offer – peace, prosperity and love. Enjoy your time with family and friends, and we look forward to spending 2014 with you and yours. Christmas blessings. Absolutely! yours,

Vol. 2 No. 1 | December 2013 4655 TECHNIPLEX DR. STE. 700 STAFFORD, TX 77477 281-690-4242 WWW.ABSOLUTELYBRAZOS.COM

EXECUTIVE PUBLISHERS

Michael & Lisa Fredrickson E D I T O R- I N - C H I E F

Patti Parish-Kaminski SENIOR AC C OUNT EXECUTIVE

Jessica Kij

AC C OUNT EXECUTIVES

Stephenie Cox Susan Dannhaus Jennifer Elliott Kay Garrett Andrea Rigamonti Bonnie Bell Woodrow A RT D I R E C T O R

Grace Belleza

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Ginger Garza

C O M M U N I C AT I O N S C O O R D I NAT O R

Sarah Bearden

CONTRIBUTORS

Lauren Dante Benoit Stephenie Cox Joan Frances Steve Kursar Caron Lopez PHOTOGRAPHER

Nesossi Studios

editor@absolutelybrazos.com

Facebook.com/AbsolutelyBrazos Ticket giveaways to area attractions and events.

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Joey Belleza INTERN

READER FEEDBACK Dear Lisa, Michael and Patti, I cannot thank you enough for your support of AccessHealth. Being selected as the beneficiary of the GEMS event is such an honor! The opportunity to get our story out is priceless and to be present to honor these three awesome men was exciting. The event exceeded my expectations in the number of people who attended and those who wanted to attend. Thank you for giving us our wings to gain recognition in the community and the momentum to do great things. We appreciate our partnership with absolutely! focus media. Best regards, Carol Edwards Chief Executive Officer, AccessHealth

WEB DESIGNER

Vinicius Soares Patti, I feel so honored and privileged to have been selected as a 2013 GEM. You made the experience so special, and I am especially grateful for the article you wrote. May God bless you. Carl Favre

DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

INQUIRIES

281-690-4242 E D I T O R IA L S U B M I S S I O N S

editor@absolutelybrazos.com

Published by

Subscription requests are free to West Fort Bend area addresses. Annual paid subscription of $25 required outside West Fort Bend area. absolutely!TM Magazines are published by absolutely! focus media, 4655 Techniplex Dr., Ste. 700, Stafford, TX 77477. Copyright © 2013 by absolutely! focus media. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. absolutely!TM Magazines does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial, nor do the publishers assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. absolutely!TM Magazines welcomes editorial submissions from its readers.


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COVER STORY By Lauren Dante Benoit

Richmond and Rosenberg Ring in the Holidays

‘T

is the season to spend time with family and friends and make special memories to last throughout the year. The cities of Richmond and Rosenberg are helping make the holidays special with two spectacular Christmas events featuring fun for the entire family. So, gather up your families and spend one special day at two great events in the heart of Brazos. Ho, ho, ho!

Richmond Mayor Evalyn Moore with Rosenberg’s 2012 Petite, Junior and Little Miss Merry Christmas title winners Saige Sowa, Ellen Fairfield and Gabby Mock at D & S Antiques in Historic Downtown Rosenberg. Photo By Nesossi Studios.

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DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com


Santa Claus, a.k.a. Don Frewin, at Christmas in Rosenberg.

Christmas in

Rosenberg

S

anta Claus is coming to Rosenberg! Join the City of Rosenberg for their annual Christmas in Rosenberg event from noon to 8 pm on Saturday, December 7th when Historic Downtown Rosenberg will be transformed into a winter wonderland complete with Santa and Mrs. Claus for this family-friendly event. Delight in the sights and sounds of the season by exploring everything that downtown Rosenberg has to offer. Known as Fort Bend County’s first cultural district, Historic Downtown Rosenberg is home to many merchants

The Cole Theater marquee in Historic Downtown Rosenberg.

including antique stores, eateries and attractions, in addition to visual and performing arts galleries and venues. All will open their doors to celebrate the season and welcome Christmas shoppers and spectators. Downtown Rosenberg merchants offer antiques, handmade collectibles, furniture and gifts. From the world famous Bob’s Tacos to Another Time Soda Fountain, the district also has an eclectic mix of food that will satisfy everyone’s taste buds. For those interested in the arts, Imperial Arts’ Center for the Arts is located in the district along with Xtreme Danz and the CAST Theatre. A focal point of the district is the Rosenberg Railroad Museum, which highlights Fort Bend’s rich railroad history. Special additions to the holiday event include a children’s carnival hosted by the Rosenberg Railroad Museum and trackless train rides. In addition to the downtown merchants, the streets will be lined with approximately 60 gift, craft and food vendors offering unique and original items. Throughout the day, various local community, school and church groups will provide holiday entertainment. The live dance and musical entertainment will once again include the Miss Merry Christmas pageant, sponsored by Southern Sister Designs. As a highlight of the entire occasion, Santa and

Mrs. Claus will be present for visits and photos. “I invite everyone to come experience Historic Downtown Rosenberg in all its glory this holiday season at our annual Christmas in Rosenberg event to explore the arts, our wonderful downtown businesses and eateries, and shop amongst the gift and craft vendors for the perfect presents,” said Vincent M. Morales, Jr., Mayor, City of Rosenberg. “Let the kids enjoy the carnival and Rosenberg Railroad Museum, and be sure to save time for a family picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus. If you’ve been waiting for the perfect excuse to check out downtown Rosenberg, this is it!” The city of Rosenberg is expecting 3,000 to 4,000 attendees for this jolly event. Sponsorship opportunities are available for this signature event and are a great way for local businesses to introduce their company or business to event-goers. The Christmas in Rosenberg event is free and open to the public, so unhitch your one horse open sleigh, and bring your family and friends to Historic Downtown Rosenberg to celebrate the joy and merriment of the holiday season.

www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2013

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Miracle on

Morton Street

J

ingle all the way to Richmond to celebrate the City’s exciting and beautiful Christmas soiree, Miracle on Morton Street. The Historic Richmond Association is proud to present this annual event to honor military men and women on Saturday, December 7th from 10 am to 7 pm in downtown Richmond. This event exemplifies old-fashioned, small town Christmas celebrations and will be an educational, fun and memorable experience for the entire family. The city of Richmond has quite a rich history, and narrated wagon rides highlighting the historic Richmond district will delight event attendees as they witness the sights and sounds of the season. Visits to the gallery of the Fort Bend Museum will be complimentary, and tickets will be available for the Moore Home Candlelight Tour. “I remember Hilmar's happiness at seeing the Moore Home so beautifully decorated year after year because he remembered how his mother would decorate their Christmas tree, and seeing the home during the Candlelight Tour would bring back many memories,” said Evalyn Moore, Mayor, City of Richmond. “The theme of the Candlelight Tour this year is Life in the Moore Home, and each room will highlight dif-

The Moore Home Candlelight Tour.

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In 2009, the Moore House got their Christmas wish: snow for the holidays.

ferent stories and vignettes of the generations of Moores who have lived in the home.” The Museum docents work year round to make hand-made decorations for this tour, and their hard work brings much joy to the community during this special season. In addition to the historic elements of the event, the downtown district will have many children’s activities such as the “Kid Zone” with moonwalks, crafts and face painting and Ronald McDonald’s Magic Show. Children can visit Santa’s Post Office, staffed with elves, to write the letters to Santa and also see the jolly old man himself. Santa’s entrance into Richmond will be one to remember as he rappels down the Richmond Water Tower. Children’s choirs and church choirs will fill the night air with Christmas favorites as Dickens’ street performers amuse the shoppers and spectators.

DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

Local businesses in the district will be open for shopping, and street vendors will be offering a variety of handmade crafts and gifts in addition to delicious food options. “I enjoy this event because it brings Richmond together as a community,” said Mayor Moore. “We get to see old friends, visit and share the beginning of the holiday season. I commend the Historic Richmond Association for organizing this event every year.” Sponsorships of the event are available and range from $100 to $5,000. The sponsorships assist in the costs associated with the event and allow the association to offer this event free of charge to the community. Venture to downtown Richmond this holiday season, and experience all that this quaint and historic area of Fort Bend County has to offer to the community.


St. Luke’s

Sugar Land Doctor Group welcomes...

Hari K. Susarla, M.D.

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics

As a doctor with dual board certifications in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, Dr. Susarla enjoys building relationships with families and patients of all ages. His interests include general wellness as well as management of a large variety of chronic conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, allergies, and asthma. He also provides hospital services for his private patients at St. Luke’s Sugar Land and other area hospitals, where he is well-regarded in the medical community. Dr. Susarla’s treatment style, like that of the traditional family doctor, emphasizes continuity of care at all stages of life.

For an appointment call: 281.637.7690

www.sugarlandprimarycare.com

1327 Lake Pointe Parkway, Suite 500 | Sugar Land, Tx 77478


EVENTS•••••••• •••• ••

December 4th, 6:30 – 8 pm Gazebo Lighting

Help officially kick off Rosenberg’s holiday season with the annual Gazebo Lighting at City Hall, located at 2110 Fourth Street. The festivities will include holiday treats, art and craft activities and carolling. Honored guests Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive on a fire truck and stay for pictures. Call 832The City of Rosenberg rings in the holidays 595-3520 or email each year with a Gazebo Lighting. lydiaa@ci.rosenberg.tx.us.

December 7th, 9 – 11 am

Saturday with the Master Gardeners Join the Fort Bend County Master Gardeners in their four acres of demonstration gardens and attend an informal garden talk on Edible Landscapes at 10 am in the E Garden. Park in front of the Agriculture Center, located at 1402 Band Road in Rosenberg, and take one of the sidewalks back to the area behind the building. Call 281-341-7068 or e-mail FortBendmg@ag.tamu.edu.

December 7th, 3 – 7 pm A Simple Christmas

Join old-fashioned family fun at Brazos Bend State Park, located at 21901 FM 762 in Needville for children’s story time and crafts, s’mores, hayrides, Dutch-oven cooking demonstrations, Victorian Era games and a sing-a-long with the Brazos River Pickers. Bring a picnic supper to enjoy under the Christmas lights. Call 979-553-5101 or visit www.brazosbend.org.

December 8th, 3 – 5 pm

Clara’s Nutcracker Tea The BalletForte Guild invites you to the 8th Annual Clara’s Nutcracker Tea at Safari Texas, located at FM 1464 in Richmond. Meet Clara and her special guests from the cast of BalletForte’s The Nutcracker. Enjoy delectable treats from the Kingdom of Sweets, along with photo and autograph opportunities with Clara and her special friends. For tickets, visit www.balletforte.org or call 281-799-7554.

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Photo from www.ci.rosenberg.tx.us.

•••••• •••• ••••

December 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st Campfire Christmas

Go back in time and visit Christmas Eves from the 1830s to the 1930s at George Ranch Historical Park, located at 10215 FM 762 in Richmond. Start with an old-fashioned barn dance and a rustic 1930s holiday meal followed by an 1891 Victorian Christmas with all the trimmings. Then, stop at an 1875 cattle drive for the Centennial Exposition. The night will end at Christmas Eve 1844 as the Republic of Texas prepares for Statehood. Reservations are required. For tickets, call 281-343-0218 or e-mail education@georgeranch.org.

December 14th, 8:30 – 11 am Family Breakfast with Santa at the Brazos River Bottom Forest

Join Santa and his elves for breakfast at Stephen F. Austin State Park, located at Park Road 38 in San Felipe. Pancakes and sausage, fruit, juice and coffee will be provided by The Friends of Stephen F. Austin State Park. Kids can share their wish list with Santa and enjoy a holiday nature walk. Admission is $5 for adults and kids ages 10 and up and $4 for kids 9 and under. For reservations, contact info@friendsofsfasp.org or visit www.friendsofsfasp.org.

December 16th, 6:30 pm

Explore Winter Festivals of the World Treat the kids to a holiday program filled with puppets, storytelling and audience participation. Julian Franklin will present “Arctic Express: A Magical Train Tour of Winter Festivals of the World” at Bob Lutts Fulshear/ Simonton Branch Library, located at 8100 FM 359 South in Fulshear. Call 281-633-4675.

December 21st, 11 am, 2 pm and 5 pm Imperial Arts Presents The Polar Express

Celebrate the season with this “new” classic holiday film perfect for the entire family. Enjoy seasonal favorites – popcorn and hot cocoa – during the show. Kids are encouraged to wear their favorite pajamas and will be given a “golden ticket” and special gift. Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for children, students, seniors and military. Seating is limited. Sponsored by absolutely! focus media and Gingerbread Kids Academy. For tickets, visit www.theimperial.org.

December 28th, 9 am – 2 pm

New Year’s Celebration and Historic Lunch Explore the traditions of the New Year at George Ranch Historical Park, located at 10215 FM 762 in Richmond, with fun, hands-on activities. End your historical holiday adventure at the George Yard with a New Year’s lunch at 12:30 pm. Learn about the unique food traditions that accompany this day while enjoying a scrumptious buffet. Cost for lunch is $13.50 for ages 13 and over, $10 for ages 5 to 12 and $4 for children 4 and under. Reservations are required. Call 281-343-0218 or e-mail education@ georgeranch.org.

DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com


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Happy 1

st

By Patti Parish-Kaminski

H

appy Birthday to . . . us! At absolutely! focus media, we can hardly believe it’s been a year since we launched absolutely! Brazos to highlight the people, places and happenings in West Fort Bend! And, what a fun-filled, busy year it has been! We’ve met so many of our friends and neighbors in Richmond, Rosenberg and Fulshear, visited with them both at events and at their businesses. West Fort Bend truly is a thriving, growing community, and at absolutely! Brazos, we are absolutely thrilled to be a part of this area rich in history, commerce and heritage. Thank you, Brazos, for allowing us to come into your community, into your businesses and into your homes each month with community news devoted to you. We are absolutely loving Brazos, and we look forward to celebrating many more milestones!

Our Debut In December 2012, we launched absolutely! Brazos with a holiday issue that focused on the economic development of Historic Downtown Rosenberg. Rosenberg Mayor Vincent M. Morales, Jr. was kind enough to grace our cover, along with Imperial Arts’ Robyn Miller and Edward Crowell, which was shot in the historic Cole Theatre. We met the Rosenberg Cultural Affairs Council and learned about how this group was leading the charge to bring both art and a boon in the economy to the streets of downtown Rosenberg.

January 2013 Our next issue showcased how Time Stands Still in Rosenberg, a community devoted to keeping its history alive for generations to come. We were Out & About in the Heart of Brazos showcasing everything from Halloween events to L.E.A.F. grant presentations. And, of course, we were at the Cirque Du Chambre Celebration Ball.

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February 2013 In February, we were proud to feature Richmond’s new Mayor. While the mayor’s name didn’t change too much, Mayor Evalyn Wendt Moore proudly stepped up to continue the legacy of Moore leadership in Richmond by completing her late husband, Mayor Hilmar Moore’s, unexpired term. When we interviewed the new Mayor Moore and asked about her philosophy of service, she naturally quoted her husband. “Hilmar felt to whom much is given, much is expected, and he lived that. In his honor, I will continue to live that philosophy as well.”

March 2013 Let’s rodeo! This was the theme of our next issue that featured Richmond’s Rosanna Pace Miss Rodeo Texas 2012. From Fort Bend County Fair Queen to a national title, Pace brought home the crown and made Fort Bend proud promoting the sport of rodeo and her love of Western heritage.

April 2013 As part of our commitment to community, absolutely! Brazos shined the spotlight on autism during Autism Awareness Month. We met Abrahim Shabib and his amazing family from Richmond. Abrahim attends Texana Children’s Center for Autism in Rosenberg, and the specialized education he is receiving there is changing both his life and the life of his family. Abrahim made us laugh, made us think and truly, stole our hearts.

DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com


August 2013

Birthday May 2013 In May, we learned it’s always time to rodeo in Brazos, especially when there are really cute cowboys involved! Cowboy Danny Quinlan rode into town to host the US Navy SEAL Danny Dietz Memorial Team Roping Weekend at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds honoring fallen Navy SEALs. The Memorial’s mission provides help and assistance to the families of SEALs who have lost loved ones in combat or training. Rodeo stars from throughout the United States saddled up to support the event – all in the heart of Brazos.

June 2013

Our August issue highlighted the importance of women and caring for the women in our lives. We met four doctors from Memorial Hermann Sugar Land who specialize in doing just that. And, we met an amazing author from Fulshear – Leilani Essary Hurles – who shared her story of overcoming ovarian cancer and life’s adversities.

September 2013 It was back to school with our September issue featuring Lamar CISD’s amazing program to help kids get outfitted for the new year: Common Threads. We visited Common Threads’ “store,” met their director and learned first-hand how this unique program is a lifeline for Lamar CISD families. Way to go Jill Dubin and team, who are all volunteers! You are helping make a huge difference in the lives of so many.

October 2013

The George Ranch’s new Heritage Trail was the cover story for our June issue. This newest edition to the George Ranch celebrated Fort Bend’s heritage with an immersive, half-mile exhibit along the banks of the Dry Creek expanding both the focus and opportunities at the famous Fort Bend ranch. We hiked along and learned about the correlation between the environment and the history of the Texas frontier to share with our readers.

July 2013 Our July issue was an eye opener. We learned how much children in the Rosenberg-Richmond area are not in love with the carefree days of summer. Why? Because, without a school lunch program, they go hungry. Fortunately, Fort Bend has Lunches of Love to fill the gaps. This extraordinary program feeds approximately 2,500 children every day during extended school holidays, including summer vacation, spring break and Christmas break, and approximately 600 chronically hungry children on the weekends. We loved Lunches of Love, and we loved sharing their story.

In October, we introduced the GEMS of Fort Bend: three Generous, Enthusiastic Men Serving our community. Joe M. Gurecky, Carl P. Favre and S. Scott West graced our cover and served as our debut GEMS to benefit a vital organization in our community: AccessHealth. They shared their personal stories and philosophy of community service, and we must say, we loved our GEMS! absolutely! Brazos and Fort Bend Focus hosted our debut event honoring the GEMS in the heart of Historic Downtown Rosenberg at Imperial Arts, and it was an amazing evening, all for a great cause.

November 2013 Thanksgiving traditions was the theme of our November issue, and we highlighted three Brazos chefs, their favorite recipes and their favorite family traditions. Chefs Robert “Bobby” Turner of BR Vino, Daniel Ornelas of Ol’ Railroad Café and Steven Onstad of Swinging Door shared recipes for their take on the Thanksgiving Feast, and of course, we were Seen on the Scene all over town. What a great way to kick off the holidays! www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2013

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Holiday Survival Guide for Families with Autism

H

ope for Three, a Fort Bend-based nonprofit whose mission is to raise community awareness and provide assistance to families with children on the autism spectrum, offers tips for surviving the holidays. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development, characterized by impaired communication, repetitive behaviors, and hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli, among other things. While most studies estimate the prevalence at 1 in 88 school-aged children, including 1 in 54 boys, parent surveys show the number may be as high as 1 in 50 children, so the chances are that you know – and will celebrate the holidays with – someone affected by ASD. “Even under the best of circumstances, holidays end up being nearly equal parts celebration and stress for everyone,” said Darla Farmer, founder of Hope for Three. “But for autistic kids and their families, the holidays can be downright nightmarish. Loud and crowded gatherings, unfamiliar foods, having company and house guests, even just departure from familiar routines can send kids reeling. But a little advance planning can go a long way toward making the holidays merry and bright.”

Tips to Minimize Meltdowns • Plan, plan, plan and plan some more. Map out the events, experiences and expectations that will comprise your family’s holidays. Think through the worstcase scenario for each situation, then make a plan to deal with it. Arm yourself with whatever soothes your child – favorite toys, books, snacks, electronics – and build in extra time to deal with meltdowns and mishaps. • Let go of your plan. Yes, that’s right. Prepare for every eventuality you can imagine, and then just trust that everything will work out. There’s only so much

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you can control, so do your best, and hold onto your sense of humor. • The internet is full of resources that can help you help your child cope. Check out websites like http://www.autismsocialstories.com/christmas/. Social stories are a great way to prepare kids for novel experiences in a way that creates real understanding and minimizes anxiety. • Know your kiddo. The behavior strategies that work well the rest of the year can and should be easily incorporated into holiday preparations. This isn’t the time to try anything new or to abandon the tried-and-true. • Lower your expectations. You and your family will make it to New Year’s. But sometimes keeping it together is the best you can do. Close out of Pinterest, put down the Martha Stewart cookbook and make friends with minimalism.

Fort Bend Families Share What Works for Them All of the families Hope for Three works with have learned the hard-won knowledge that communication is the key to success for gatherings with extended family. “We don’t want holidays to be awkward for family members who aren’t used to dealing with meltdowns, but we also want it to be a happy time for Mitchell,” said Lindsay Spradlin of Sugar Land, whose 5-year-old, Mitchell, is on the autism spectrum. “We do as much advance preparation as possible. We try to choose music and food that we know he’ll enjoy, we let him help with holiday decorations, we set his expectations for who will be coming to celebrate with us and we try to make sure he has some quiet time or a nap before the festivities get under

DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

Lindsey Spradlin and her son, Mitchell, who is on the Autism Spectrum. way.” Spradlin said that, since even the best-laid plans sometimes go awry, she and her husband let their extended family and guests know the situation when they arrive. “If we’ve been too busy and Mitchell hasn’t gotten time to nap, we’ll give everyone a heads-up that he might be overtired and that they shouldn’t be concerned if he gets emotional.” Spradlin also knows when to say when. “If I can tell he’s just had too much, we’ll let him find a quiet spot to look at books or play on the iPad until he feels ready to rejoin the celebration.” “For Aaron, waiting is the hardest part,” says Jennifer Santiago, whose 9-yearold has Asperger syndrome. “He’s okay with the noise and the changes in routine and all of that, but he knows Christmas is coming, and he just can’t manage his anticipation. Visual countdowns work well, and give him a fun way to mark time, so we’ll do a chain of paper loops with one to tear off each night or an Advent calendar with a small treat for each day. Incremental rewards and a tangible representation of how much time remains help him deal with anxiety and impatience in a more manageable way.” For more information on Hope for Three and autism, visit www.hopeforthree. org.


Real Weddings

Many Styles & Sizes

Remember the day you said “I do” like it was yesterday.

Ready, set, glow for the holidays! December Shows: 12/5 - Mazza Color Stone Collection 12/12 - Lagos 12/6 - Opal Show 12/18 - John Hardy

Have your wedding details and photos published in print and online in our magazine – absolutely free! If you or your children have recently married and you would like to enter for a chance to be featured in our Real Weddings, all you need is at least ten high-resolution photos of the ceremony and/or reception. It doesn’t matter where the wedding took place, as long as it was in the last year and you or your parent(s) reside in Brazos area. Photographers are also welcome to submit photos – all absolutely free!

Visit

www.absolutelybrazos.com

Fort Bend’s Custom Jeweler 14015 Southwest Freeway at Sugar Creek

281-242-2900 www.jloggins.com

HOLIDAY HOURS: Mon - Sat: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

JOYCE LONG’S

Watch & Jewelry Repair on Premises

A wide variety of Holistic health services since 1989

Colonic - Detox - Lymphatic - Massage Institute Massage Therapies • Reflexology • Colon Hydrotherapy and many other Holistic Treatments

1308 James Street • Rosenberg, TX 77471 by appointment only

www.joycelong.biz

713-623-0866

www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2013

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CASINO DINNER

&

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT

Honor the

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Generous, Enthusiastic Men Serving Carl P. Favre

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Joe M. Gurecky

S. Scott West

DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

Imperial Center for the Arts


Photos By Zoe Bourdon

www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2013

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S E E N on the Scene

Cowboy Up Benefitting Parks Youth Ranch

Barrett & Nicole Kirk

Brezina & Luke Ami

Russell & Nancy Smith

Johnny & Sharon Dimicelly

Paula & Phillip LaGrappe with Donna Jones

Shannon Bloch, Stephanie Martin & Kavita Self

Kelly Hogan & Becca Landry

Taylor & Bradie Bradshaw

Regina & Kevin Jones

Connie & Rene LaPotaire

Achieve the

Ultimate Smile! People seeking cosmetic or reconstructive dental work should do research before making a decision in order to ensure proper care. As ADA recognized specialists, Prosthodontists are qualified to offer services in state-of-the-art procedures and techniques, such as: cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, complete and partial dentures, replacing lost or loose teeth, jaw joint problems (TMJ), traumatic injuries, snoring and sleep disorders and oral cancer reconstruction.

Replacing missing teeth in one day! before

after

Restore your smile with cosmetic dentistry!

before

after

Stuart Rimes, DDS, MS

Crowns, Implants, Cosmetic, Reconstructive Dentistry Board Certified Prosthodontist

281-313-1565

Implant Dentures in one day! 22

15958 City Walk, Ste. 230, Sugar Land, TX 77479 www.RimesDDS.com | e-mail: dr.rimes@comcast.net Dr. Stuart Rimes

Dr. Stuart Rimes welcomes Dr. Brett McRay to the practice.

DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

Dr. Brett McRay


October 12, 2013 • George Ranch Historical Park

Betty & Bob Demara

Kevin & Diane Minor

Mary Collier, Allen Kyamb & Twana McGrath

Joe Chirco & I.V. Gonzalez

Shane Bowen with Nancy & Joe Mache

Lisa & Denver Reese

Lisa Murphy, Kolbe Curtice & John Murphy

Talha Hogan & Tracy Pipes

Brenda & Danny Burand

www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2013

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S E E N on the Scene

Patchwork of Life . . . Putting the Pieces Together benefiting

Joe Gurecky & Chris Morales

Eloise Lucas & Sheena Navarro

Carolyn Banfield, Carole Brown, Ann Council, Donna Kay Tucker & Billie Wendt

Vivian Douglas, Monica Mondrik, Eileen Akerson & Janie Trevino

Gary Pearson & Bob Hebert

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OakBend Medical Center’s ACE Unit • October 17, 2013 • Safari Texas

Lucia & Larry Street

Himesh Gandhi, Mandi Bronsell, Tracey Satterwhite & Dana Benoit

Joseph Anzaldua

Evalyn Moore & Donna Kay Tucker

Ron McCann & Vincent M. Morales, Jr.

Joe Freudenberger

Roberta Terrell 

Carole & Bob Brown with Pat Hebert

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S E E N on the Scene

4th Annual Break Out Party Benefiting the HMNS at Sugar Land

Terri Schoeneman & Teresa Barker

Beth & Phillip Butler

Chip & Cindy Sutton

Roy & Beth Clark

Nell Clingman & Kristina Thompson

Ray Aguilar, Amy Mitchell & Jim Kij

Don’t miss

Christmas in Rosenberg December 7th!

Women’s Apparel, Jewelry & Accessories L.A. Idol • Silver Denim Consuela • Lollia Circle E Candles • Cowgirl Justice Big Buddha • Corral Boots Lane Boots • Liberty Black Boots Miss Me Jeans • Vera Bradley Infant & Children’s Apparel Home Décor & Gifts Monogramming Available

281.232.7737

www.southernsisterdesigns.com

817 Third Street • Historic Downtown Rosenberg Open Tues - Sat 10:00am - 5:00pm & Sun 1:00pm - 5:00pm

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DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

Farrah & Himesh Gandhi

Laura & Jim McGregor

Paul & Keri Schmidt


November 1, 2013 • Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land

Brian Dodson & Adrienne Barker

Pat Hebert, Gay Thompson & Mary Favre

Chris & Lilly Breaux

Chris & Cindy Dempster

Sharon & Alan Bauer

Nancy & Pete Olson

Mitzi & Billy Euell

Jody & John Duffey

As home owners for over 15 years, we have had our share flooring changes from DIY to hired handyman to big warehouse jobs. On our most recent flooring job, we choose Ideal Carpet and Flooring based on affordability. From the time we walked in the door to pick products until the time the floor was finished. We received top notch service, and Arnold and Vangie have great knowledge of flooring options to best suit our home. The installers are professional and highly skilled. We couldn’t be happier with our decision to have Ideal Carpet and Flooring do this job. We will definitely be back in the future and highly recommend them for your next flooring job!

– The Tremblay Family

Cee Cee & David Parker

The Floors You Need, The Styles You Want, The Prices You Love!

Ideal Carpet & Flooring

1116 Highway 90 A East • Richmond, TX 77406

281-762-9999

Financing Available

www.idealcarpetandflooring.com www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2013

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absolutely! DELICIOUS By Stephenie Cox

A Christmas Cookie Swap M

y favorite part of Christmas is the food. December is full of baking, cooking, party planning, shopping, decorating and fun crafts, which all revolve around food. My favorite gift to give is home-baked goods, made with love, care and a delightful heart right from my kitchen. It seems with each passing year, it is harder to find the time to bake all of the delights I would like. In fact, if you received a gift from me last year, it was a jar of muffin mix, prepared in my kitchen, but jarred and unbaked. I love getting in the kitchen and baking; it’s a family tradition with my girls that I look forward to each year. Their favorites are the gingerbread cookies that they decorate. They also appreciate all the “fancy” cookies that come out of the oven as well. With family schedules running from morning to evening, it is a challenge to get it done in a festive manner without rushing or grumbling about time. I love searching out new recipes, and I am coveting some of my friend’s and neighbor’s recipes. In an effort to have a house full of baked goods, the aroma of cinnamon and vanilla wafting through my halls, and lots of happiness, I think it’s time to think about a cookie swap. This way, I can spend an afternoon in my kitchen with the girls creating beautiful, delicious treats and be able to have a pantry full of cookies for guests, events and my family throughout the entire season.

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If you are unfamiliar with the idea of a cookie swap, it goes a little like this: Invite a group of friends and neighbors who bake to come to your home. Have each one bring 10 to 12 dozen homemade cookies. Bake up a big batch of your family’s favorite holiday treats, and exchange baked goods together in a cheery, festive environment. Everyone leaves with a variety of goodies to stash away for Christmas entertaining – and perhaps a new recipe or two. Mark the beginning of the holiday season by bringing your friends together for cocktails, conversation and a cookie swap. Hosting the party is a great way to slow down, spend valuable time with friends and enjoy the blessing of friendship.

Benefits of an oldfashioned cookie swap: • Save valuable time during the busiest season of the year. It is much faster to make multiple batches of the same cookie than to purchase ingredients for seven or eight different recipes, and prepare each one. • Provide a wonderful selection of home made baked goods to serve your guests over the holidays. • Introduce new types of cookies to your palate and unique recipes to your repertoire. • Provide a fun, casual social event that is easy to host – the guests bring the goodies! • Offer an opportunity for a charitable outreach. Guests can be asked to bring non-perishable food items to donate to a local food bank.

No holiday cookie plate would be complete without my favorite cookie:

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies • 1/2 cup butter • 1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy) • 1/2 cup sugar • 1/2 cup brown sugar • 1 egg • 1/2 tsp. vanilla • 1 1/4 cup flour • 3/4 tsp. baking soda • 1/2 tsp. salt • 40 something mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

Beat butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to wet ingredients. Roll into 1 inch balls. Place in greased mini muffin pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes. When done, place peanut butter cup onto cookie and press down. Let cool in pan before removing. Yields around 3 1/2 dozen cookies. Recipe from Amy’s Finer Things: http://amysfinerthings. com/reeses-peanut-butter-cup-cookies


Get into the Holiday Spirit with the Fort Bend Boys Choir on December 7th From audition opportunities to a Christmas Musicale, it’s time to get in the spirit of the season with the Fort Bend Boys Choir. Boys who love music and singing can audition for the Fort Bend Boys Choir at an open audition scheduled for Saturday, December 7th. Young boys from all over the Fort Bend and Houston metropolitan area have the opportunity to learn more about music and singing, as well as many of life’s important lessons like leadership, making friends and building self-confidence and self-esteem – all in a safe, proactive setting. Boys age eight and older with unchanged voices are invited to audition, and no previous singing experience is necessary. Open auditions will be held at the First United Methodist Church Missouri City located at 3900 Lexington Blvd. in Missouri City, from 9 am to noon on Saturday, December 7th. Scholarships and carpooling assistance are

available. Do you hear what I hear? It’s the sound of singing boys! Join the Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas at their annual Christmas concert also on Saturday, December 7th. Three performing choirs – Training, Town and Tour – will be showcased at Sugar Land Baptist Church located at 16755 Southwest Freeway in Sugar Land at 7 pm. Special guests include Music Magic, the organization’s music class for 6 and 7 year-olds. Tickets are available by calling the choir office, from any choir member or at the door. Adult admission is $15 and children 12 and under are $5. All proceeds from the Christmas Musicale are used for program support, operational expenses and scholarships. Learn more about the Fort Bend Boys Choir and how they make a difference in the lives of boys by calling (281) 2403800 or visiting www.fbbctx.org.

NEWSWORTHY

Tour Choirboys Philip Chong and Derrick Cyprian. Photo by Nesossi Studios.

www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2013

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G ld

Connection Custom Designs are Our Specialty

Jewelers

Presents

Diamonds, Engagement Rings, Wedding Rings, Jewelry Repair Done on Premises, Watches & Watch Repair.

WE BUY GOLD! 281.344.9900 206 U.S. Highway 90A • Richmond www.GoldConnection.net

Holiday Hours: Mon - Sat : 10 am - 6 pm Thurs: 10 am - 7 pm

Christmas

at GeorGe ranch historical Park

See the Park in full Christmas decor as we explore over 100 years of holiday traditions through the month of December!

Celebrate the season with this “new” classic holiday film perfect for the entire family

Saturday, December 21st Three Screenings: 11 am, 2 pm, & 5 pm

Attention Kids!

• Wear your favorite PJ’s • Popcorn & Hot Cocoa • Receive a “Golden Ticket” and special gift

Tickets: • $6 for Adults • $5 for Children, Students, Seniors (55+) and Military

Seating is Limited Plus, join us for special after-hours celebrations!

Campfire Christmas Dec. 13, 14, 20 & 21

Children’s Campfire Christmas Dec. 19

Visit Christmas Eves from 1830s to the 1930s and explore over 100 years of holiday traditions throughout the Park.

Family fun that focuses on the little ones in your life with crafts, a hay ride, and Christmas songs around the campfire.

Tickets go on sale December 1st:

www.theimperial.org Generously sponsored by:

Dinner is included at each Campfire Christmas. Call (281) 343-0218 or email education@georgeranch.org for reservations and more information.

www.georgeranch.org 10215 FM 762 • Richmond, TX 77469 281-343-0218 • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

BRAZOS • FORT BEND • KATY • MEMORIAL

Made possible in part by the Rosenberg Development Corporation, Bayou City Sound, and presented by Special Arrangement with Swank Motion Picture, Inc.


Focus on Worship

T

Advertorial

Faith United Methodist

he lights are hung. The trees are up. Folks have the birth of Jesus changed the world. If you could use their snow shovels ready and chains on their a bit more hope, meaning and joy in your life, ’tis the tires . . . well, they do in places far north of here. season. While the snow may not be falling, ’tis the season. The Sunday Worship Times season of feasts and family, of days set apart because 8:45 The Table in the Chapel with Communion they are special, different and holy. For many of us, the 9:30 Traditional Service; Adult, Youth and cast of characters who make up our families and friends Children’s Bible Study are often more different than holy. 10:50 Contemporary Service, Adult Bible Study and It is encouraging to remember that Jesus was born Children’s Worship into a family that had more than its share of interestFaith Methodist is located at 4600 FM 359 in Riching characters, like his wild cousin John, his mom that mond. Call 281-341-8200 or visit www.faithumc.org. seemed too young and strange visitors showing up with gifts that needed explanation. This December at Faith, we will get to Christmas Eve know some of these interesting characters that had a role in the Candlelight original Christmas story, and we Service will reflect on what it means for 4 pm the story God is calling us to live. If you are looking for a place … Connecting Faith and Life to give thanks, ask questions and 832-492-5136 look for hope, join us. At Faith, Irene Stern Community Center we decorate, we gather for speSunday Worship 6920 Katy-Fulshear Rd. (Just North of Huggins Elementary) cial meals and we sing songs by 9:30 am Traditional candlelight because we believe www.newcreationfulshear.org 11 am Contemporary

Join us at Faith United Methodist in December for

Hope, Love, Peace and Joy Dec. 19th, 7 pm • Hope and Healing Dec. 24th

Christmas Eve Services Carols, Candles and Communion 5 pm • Traditional 7 pm • Contemporary 9 pm • Acoustic Carols 11 pm • Candlelight in the Chapel

4600 FM 359 – Just west of Pecan Grove (281) 341-8200

Our Christmas activities are listed on our website: www.faithumc.org

www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2013

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HOME FEATURE By Caron Lopez

Holiday Festivities True to Heart

C

hristmas, in all its glory, rests in the hearts of those who endear the Christmas scripture: a story of love, giving and inspiration. Make this Christmas holiday a Once Upon a Christmas story for your family. Simply the greatest gift you can give your family is the love you can share as you slow down from your dayto-day living. Experience the true spirit of Christmas no matter how much or how little time or money you have to prepare, decorate or shop. Memories of my family gathering through the holidays telling family tales are as timeless as the stories themselves. Create those memories; tell those tales. Talents of your family and friends can be part of the celebration the day of or in advance of the holidays. Whether it is singing, playing music, cooking, baking or decorating, have all involved. Nothing has to be perfect, just a joy!

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Deck the Halls

When decorating, infuse mementos of holidays past. A mantle of snapshots of past holiday gatherings or Grandma’s antique ornaments in a special bowl for table décor make family take note that it’s time to slow down and be thankful, worship and enjoy family and friends. Reflect what is important to you about the holidays in the style you all create together, and personalize it. Select the treasures you already have for a fascinating exhibition with fine trimmings, bold patterns or an eclectic mix of richly colored textiles and lights or candles to create a festive holiday atmosphere. Whether you live in an apartment or in a large home, group collections of like items work well together providing less clutter and more interest.

Give from the Heart

'Tis the season for warm smiles, cold noses and gifts. The gifts that leave others speechless are the ones already in your heart – you just need to speak them. One Christmas well-remembered by my children and my husband was one when we had no money for anything but food. I bought food items that could go into our stockings we had hung on the mantle. I wrote a note of funny things that each of our family members would laugh about. To my daughter, who loved knock-knock jokes and did not eat bananas, her orange said, "Orange you glad I'm not a banana." The children went back and re-gifted each item throughout the

DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

Caron Lopez

holidays with their version of humorous notes. Our gift to our children was how to live an extraordinary life with the blessings we had been given. Their gifts to us that Christmas were blessed memories. In our area, the season's dazzle of thousands of lights illuminating homes with a radiant holiday glow is not only a tradition, it sometimes becomes a competition. Forgo the competition. Simply enjoy the fascination residing around each corner. Rekindle that childlike wonder as you and yours enjoy the local traditions and family festivities, and have a Merry Christmas!


Start a family tradition with the perfect fresh cut Christmas tree from Enchanted!

Enchanted Events: Fri., November 22 - Enchanted Evening @ Enchanted Gardens Sat., November 23 - Enchanted Evening @ Enchanted Forest Sat., November 30 - Fresh-cut Christmas trees have arrived! Sat., December 7 - Holiday Decorating and Gift Giving Sat., December 14 - Pictures with Santa @ Enchanted Gardens Sat., December 21 - Pictures with Santa @ Enchanted Forest Go to www.myenchanted.com for more information.

• Outstanding selection of flowers, shrubs and trees • Fun and educational events and seminars • A knowledgeable, friendly staff

• Custom landscaping services • Handmade pottery & beautiful statuary • Gift shops full of unique finds

Enchanted Forest

Enchanted Gardens

Enchanted Landscapes

10611 FM 2759 Richmond, TX 77469 281-937-9449

6420 FM 359 Richmond, TX 77406 281-341-1206

10611 FM 2759 Richmond, TX 77469 281-937-0646

Braman Winery

Celebrate the Holidays with us Visit our Holiday Boutique or join us in our Tasting Room for your Holiday party.

3333 FM 359 | Richmond 281.762.1375 | www.bramanwine.com

www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2013

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HOLIDAY

CHARGE IN STYLE A chevron and burlap charging pocket provides a convenient way to house your phone while charging. Available in aqua, green, yellow and chocolate. Southern Sister Designs, 817 Third Street in Historic Downtown Rosenberg. Call 281-232-7737; www.southernsisterdesigns.com.

BEAUTIFUL EYES WITH OBAGI Purchase Obagi Elastiderm Eye Treatment Cream and receive a free Elastiderm Eye Serum and a cosmetic bag. Elastiderm is a topical eye cream intended to bring back lift, snap and resilience to the eyes. Sugar Land Face & Body Plastic Surgery, 6926 Southwest Freeway in Sugar Land. Call 281-313-0555; www.beautybecomesyou.com.

ENCHANTED GIFTS FOR THE HOLIDAYS The gift shops at Enchanted Nurseries are overflowing with delightful gift ideas. The abundant list includes gourmet foods, jewelry, books, chimes, candles, home dĂŠcor, holiday items and more. An Enchanted gift card is always a cherished favorite! Enchanted Forest, 10611 FM 2759 in Richmond; Enchanted Gardens, 6420 FM 359 in Richmond. Call 281-937-9449 or 281-341-1206; www.myenchanted.com.

DISCOVER AGELESS BEAUTY Discover ageless beauty in the blink of an eye at Sugar Land Plastic Surgery. Their 2-in-1 Neocutis Eye Intervention System contains an anti-aging bioserum and eye cream, and when used in combination, completely rejuvenates eyes for an absolutely amazing transformation! Sugar Land Plastic Surgery. Call 281-980-8000; www.mybodysurgeon.com.

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DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

MAKING MEMORIES Find just the right holiday gift at Gold Connection Jewelers with Story Bracelets and Waxing Poetic, as well as beautiful diamonds, colored stones, gold jewelry and watches. And, their custom designs are the talk of the town. Gold Connection Jewelers, 206 E. Hwy 90 A in Richmond. Call 281-344-9900; www.goldconnection.net.


GIVE YOUR SKIN A LITTLE TNS

RIDE IN STYLE Get a hot new ride this holiday season from TexasDirectAuto.com. With thousands of vehicles in stock, you’re sure to find a ride that you will love! Texas Direct Auto, 12053 Southwest Freeway in Stafford. Call 281-499-8200; www.TexasDirectAuto.com.

SkinMedica’s TNS Anti-Aging Serum features two antiaging formulas to help smooth fine lines and wrinkles, lighten age spots and brighten your appearance. Limited supply. Only $160 (reg. $250). Timeless Plastic Surgery, 1327 Lake Pointe Pkwy, Ste. 300 in Sugar Land. Call 281-242-TIME (8463); www.timelessplasticsurgery.com.

FASHION FORWARD BRACELETS FOR THE HOLIDAYS Ready, set, glow for the holidays with December Trunk Shows at J Loggins Jewelers: 12/5 – Mazza Color Stone Collection 12/6 – Opal Show 12/12 – Lagos 12/18 – John Hardy J Loggins Jewelers, 14015 Southwest Freeway in Sugar Land. Call 281-242-2900; www.jloggins.com.

COZY UP IN A CUSTOM OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE SIP & SHOP Visit Braman Winery Christmas Shop & Boutique for gifts galore! Shop for everyone on your list, and grab your favorite bottle of Braman wine for yourself! Braman Winery, 3333 FM 359 in Richmond. Call 281-762-1375; www.bramanwine.com.

Texas Custom Patios designs and builds custom outdoor living spaces all over the Houston area, including patio covers, outdoor kitchens, outdoor fireplaces, decorative patios, room additions, screened rooms and more. Call today to schedule a free design consultation. Texas Custom Patios. Call 281-265-1994; www.texascustompatios.com.

RAZZLE DAZZLE JEWELRY AND GIFTS GALORE Celebrate everyone on your list at the most specialized and custom gift shop in Fort Bend County. The Studio of Richmond, Inc. has it all. Find your heirloom estate quality jewelry and gifts. Engraving is done on location. The Studio of Richmond, Inc., 301 Morton Street in Historic Downtown Richmond. Call 281-342-4808.

www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2013

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NEWSWORTHY

Trailside Exhibit Opens in Memory of Orin Covell During that time, he had enjoyed interacting with visitors and would frequently take them for an impromptu bird watching drive along the creek as a special treat. Jones stated, “Orin always took the time to make a personal connection with people, and he was never too busy to stop and visit. He was very generous and caring and loved sharing information with others. I feel that this exhibit will keep that connection alive for future visitors. It’s a very personal and lasting tribute that will continue to bring pleasure to many thousands of people.” George Foundation Ranch Operations Manager Rocky Parr remembered the many times that he and Orin had driven along the banks of the creek to take a quick break from the office. Parr said, “Orin was always spotting some new bird and would ask me to take a photo so he could look it up on the computer. I know he would really like this new exhibit.” Covell’s wife, Becky, and his sister, Ann Council, thanked Jones for her commitment to create the exhibit and expressed their deep appreciation to the George Ranch Historical Park and the other donors who funded the project. The exhibit was officially opened to coincide with the 30th Anniversary of Texian Market Days on October 26th.

Brooke and Lara Covell-Tucker, Rockie Parr, Becky Covell, Candace Jones and Ann Council.

Approximately 50 family members and friends gathered together on Friday, October 25th for the ribbon cutting ceremony launching a new trailside exhibit at the George Ranch Historical Park. The exhibit is located on the bridge at the midway point of the George Ranch Heritage Trail at a particularly scenic section overlooking Dry Creek. George Ranch Historical Park Director Candace Jones explained that the project had been in the works for about a year and celebrated Orin Covell’s love for sharing the prolific bird life with visitors and friends. The exhibit consists of four panels showcasing original artwork of twenty common birds of the prairies and wetlands. The highly detailed watercolors were done by Austin artist Elishea Smith who specializes in bird images. An all-weather spotting scope

is also included for up close viewing of birds and wildlife. A dedication inscription on the first panel reads “And He will bear you up on eagle’s wings…and hold you in the palm of His hand. Bird identification exhibit and spotting scope given in loving remembrance of Orin Covell by his family, friends and the George Ranch Historical Park.” Director Jones spoke of the generosity of Covell to his community, and the great sense of loss felt when he passed away. She mentioned his selfless service given to so many organizations such as the Rotary, the Fire Department and the Fort Bend County Museum Association. Covell served for approximately ten years as the Administrative Officer for the George Foundation and officed at the Historical Park for several years.

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absolutely! AUTO REVIEW By Steve Kursar

2013 ACURA RDX T

he Acura RDX is an unsung hero of the compact luxury crossover segment. Long hiding in the shadows behind its more popular competitors, the RDX deserves much more respect. And, with a total makeover for the 2013 model year, expect to see more of these Acuras popping up in your neighbor’s driveways. It’s always been a fun car to drive. But now, it’s roomier and far more fuel efficient. The first generation Acura RDX was a bit of late-comer to the market when it came on the scene in 2006. By that time, the other luxury brands had already introduced a compact crossover and breaking into a crowded field was difficult for the RDX. As a result, it has always lagged behind in sales. And, although it’s Honda’s cousin, the CRV,

38

the RDX comes across as a very different machine. The 2013 RDX is a big step up from the old model with new styling, a roomier interior plus a bigger, more fuel efficient engine. The folks at Acura have done a great job with this new vehicle. First off, let’s take a look at the powertrain. The old four-cylinder turbo-charged engine has been replaced with a non-turbo 273 hp, 3.5-liter V6 engine. Mated with a new six-speed transmission, this Acura delivers an EPA estimated fuel economy of 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway and will get you from 0-60 in six and a half seconds. The Acura engineers are able to deliver better fuel economy with a larger engine due to cylinder deactivation while in cruising mode. The new RDX also has a different all-wheel drive system called “AWD with Intelligent Control” that serves up a smoother ride along with better fuel economy. The RDX exterior reflects a toneddown futuristic design trend that

DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

reached across the Acura model lineup. It’s different but not off-putting. The interior, however, is roomy and inviting with loads of technology that’s easy to grasp without poring through an owner’s manual. Even buying a new Acura RDX is simplified due to their pricing packages. Instead of opting for a base vehicle, and then, adding individual options, the RDX is sold in one of four packages starting with a base MSRP of $34,520, then adding a load of options for the higher trims ending with a fully loaded top trim. It’s a refreshing way to buy a new car. Follow Steve Kursur at KursarOnCars. blogspot.com.


"The Hair is the Richest Ornament of a Woman" Gift Cards and Packages Available

281.239.8601 Downtown Studio is ready for the Holidays... Are you? Let us Help! 819 3rd Street, Historic Downtown Rosenberg facebook.com/downtownstudiosalon Monday closed • Tuesday - Thursday 10am - 7pm • Friday 10am - 5pm Saturday 10am - 3pm • Sunday by appointment  www.downtownstudiosalon.com

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281-265-1994 www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2013

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NEWSWORTHY

Thousands Attended Texian Market Days 30th Anniversary

Don Herlitz, 30 year Texian Market Days participant, and his Confederate artillery crew fire off a shot at the Union soldiers during the 1860s battle reenactment.

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DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

Over 6,000 guests explored four historic sites and a plethora of activities at George Ranch Historical Park on Friday, October 25th and Saturday, October 26th. The Park was bustling with excitement over the weekend as guests traveled from miles around to experience over 100 years of Texas history at the 30th Annual Texian Market Days, benefitting the Fort Bend County Museum Association’s educational programs and historic preservation efforts. Candace Jones, Director at George Ranch Historical Park, said, “It was truly one of the best in terms of smoothness of operations, quality of programs, diversity of publicity and great customer service. The entire festival reflected commitment and teamwork. The 30th anniversary showed a strong re-focus on our historical ‘roots’ and the quality was superb. Our attendance was noticeably higher, and the visitors were enthralled with all of the activities.” Among the thousands of festival attendees were folks from neighboring counties, states and even foreign countries. Throughout the Park, familiar faces of long-time volunteers and history enthusiasts could be seen sharing their knowledge and personal collections alongside newcomers who were participating for the first time. “The Fort Bend County Museum Association would like to extend sincere thanks to all of the volunteers, docents, staff, sponsors, contributors and festival patrons who have made this living history festival possible year after year. Texian Market Days would not be successful without all of you, and we deeply appreciate your continued support and participation. Thank you for helping us keep Texas history alive!” said Krystal Willeby, 2013 Texian Market Days Chairman.


Sweetwater Pulmonary Associates Board Certified Pulmonologists,

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We will help you breathe better. SPECIALIZING IN: Dyspnea Copd/Emphysema Asthma Lung Mass Pulmonary Hypertension Pulmonary Fibrosis Sleep Apnea Dr. Bushrod sang about the amazing abilities of  Wonder Oil during Dr. Bushrod’s Medicine Show, a comedy act that has attended Texian Market Days for 30 years.

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The Studio of Richmond, Inc. Soldados marched across the field, returning from battle against roving bandits in the 1830s battle reenactment.

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The Brazos River Pickers played a tune for guests under the shade of the old oak trees in the yard of the 1890s Davis Victorian Mansion.

www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2013

41


Advertorial

After School Activities U-Pick Strawberries at Blessington Farms

A

re you ready to pick your own fresh, sweet strawberries this month? Blessington Farms’ juicy strawberries will be ready for U-Pick just in time to start a new holiday tradition. Stroll through the berry patch to pick out and harvest the perfect strawberries. These healthy, delicious strawberries are grown hydroponically in a state-of-the-art vertical gardening system. With Blessington Farms’ innovative technology, strawberries can be picked standing up, thus reducing the significant strain on the back from bending to the ground as with traditional strawberry picking. As there is no soil in the system, strawberries hang suspended from the vine rather than sitting in the dirt. With row after row of strawberry plants, families craving a sweet treat will have a great time while creating new memories and family traditions. The fun does not have to end once you have picked your strawberries. Both kids and adults will enjoy the holiday festivities in the relaxed country atmosphere. Enjoy hay rides, giant slides, barrel train rides, pedal cars, heritage breed chickens, a sand mountain, great photo opportunities and other fun holiday festivities at Blessington Farms’ Holiday Farm Funland, open on Saturdays and select holidays. Blessington Farms is located just northwest of Richmond and Rosenberg at 510 Chisholm Road in Simonton. The strawberry season at Blessington Farms runs from December to May. For more information and updates on open days/times, call 847-444-8717 or visit www.BlessingtonFarms.com. “Like” Blessington Farms at www.facebook.com/ BlessingtonFarms.

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Our Sixth Season

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Season Tickets Available Now CENTER FOR THE ARTS 823 3rd Street, Rosenberg 77471 at the corner of 3rd and Avenue G, just one block off Highway 90A

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DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com


After School Activities

Advertorial

Celebrating the Holidays and Staying Fit

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• Adult Bootcamps • Kickboxing and Conditioning Classes • Free Personal Safety and Bullying Seminars

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FM 359

id you know that functional flexibility is the ability to keep your body in balance? Balanced muscle strength and range of motion of the joints allows your body to coordinate movement properly. Ultimately, this minimizes the risk of injury and increases your mobility, which allows you to lead a more active lifestyle. Did you know that regardless of your inner clock, the optimal workout time is in the afternoon and early evening? During the second half of the day, the body’s systems are geared up for action, the heart and lungs are performing most efficiently and the body is most limber. If your goal is to tone your body, you will need to do resistance training to firm your muscles. To see the shape of the muscle; however, you will have to burn the fat off. That is primarily done with cardiovascular training. Lone Star Karate’s kickboxing class provides a high-energy cardio workout that feels more like fun than hard work. Lone Star Karate incorporates functional flexibility into workouts. Mix up your routine with balance, coordination and strength building moves while burning calories, increasing flexibility and building confidence. The group exercise instructors at Lone Star Karate are highly qualified and will work with you no matter your level of athletic training. No matter your fitness level, their kickboxing classes will help move you to the next level in a fun, rewarding and exciting environment. Lone Star Karate is located at 222 FM 359 at Highway 90 in Richmond. For more information, call 281-5135566.

• Beginner Karate and Self Defense Class (ages 4-12)

Hwy 90

U-Pick Strawberries December through May

Farm Funland

U-Pick Strawberries

Hay Ride, Pedal Cars, Barrel Train Ride, Sand Mountain, Heritage Poultry, and more.

Enjoy a fun family outing picking fresh delicious strawberries.

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43


In Print • Online • In Person

We’re absolutely enthusiastic over community magazines. They allow us to come into your homes and focus on what’s important to you – your community. So what’s the power of community magazines? They’re absolutely free, they’re absolutely timely, and they’re absolutely available 24/7 when you want to read them. And best of all, they are delivered right to your door.

Whether you live in greater Fort Bend, Katy, Me m o r i a l o r B r a z o s , absolutely! focus media brings you the power of print – absolutely free, focused on people, places and happenings – focused on where you live. Reading your community magazine – it’s easier than a click.

absolutely! focus media 281.690.4242 | www.absolutelyfocusmedia.com


Come Discover

UPCOMING

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Weddings

Owner Financing Available

713.927.2879

Private Schools & After School Activities

Acreage Lots from the 40’s! Gated Community Lake Lots Available Buy Now, Build Later!

Look for them in the January issue!

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To advertise, call 281.690.4242.

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NEWSWORTHY

Hometrust Mortgage 10707 Corp. Dr. Suite #139 Stafford, TX 77477 Office: (281) 565-7525 Cell: (281) 239-9967

Candace Jo Cagle

Richmond Retailers Aim to Reduce Youth Access to Alcohol

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Hello Neighbor, Looking for a new home can be really fun or really stressful or both. I would like the opportunity to work with you and your real estate agent on making your new home purchase stress free, but mostly financially sound for you and your family. A meeting with me will set the financial guidelines for your new home purchase.

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Beautiful Views From Your Future Colorado Home Site

You may have dreamt about a retirement house in Colorado or just a vacation home. You may want to consider a master planned development that offers much needed utilities. This beautiful waterfront lot with picturesque mountain views in Pagosa Springs is close to the family-owned Wolf Creek Ski Area and the mineral springs that made Pagosa Springs famous. This lot is approximately .24 acres in the Pagosa Lakes development that has all utilities as well as several fishing lakes, a golf course and other amenities. $89,000

Deborah Kerns • Wolf Creek Realty

With so much information available on raising awareness about teens making better decisions regarding alcohol, Richmond’s retailers are also doing their part working together to reduce youth access to alcohol. The Responsible Retailing Forum is working with the retailers to evaluate an innovative, six-month program designed to help Richmond area bars, restaurants, liquor stores and other alcohol outlets do a better job of complying with a state law that limits the sale of alcohol to customers age 21 and older. “We all must do our part to reduce underage alcohol access,” said Richmond Police Chief Bill Whitworth. “I’m glad that the Responsible Retailing Forum (RRForum) chose to work in our city and that our community is working together to keep our teens safe. In past studies, this program has produced dramatic increases in ID checking among the participating retailers, and we’re proud to assist in this national effort.” The RRForum will focus on 30 to 40 licensees, all randomly selected. As a first step, the owners and managers will assess their current efforts, after which the RRForum will advise them on a set of “best practices” for encouraging staff to do a better job of checking IDs and refusing sales to minors. A key feature of the program is the use of mystery shoppers, young, legal-age inspectors (ages 21-24) who ask to purchase or be served an alcoholic beverage. Retailers generally ask their staff to check ID for any customer who appears to be under the age of 30. “Whether an individual outlet failed to check ID will be kept confidential,” explained Brad Krevor, RRForum’s founding director, “But, we will be sharing combined mystery shopper results with key stakeholders throughout the community, including retailers whose stores are not being visited by a mystery shopper.” This feedback provides a way to monitor the project’s success and suggest further improvements, Krevor noted. RRForum is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization that engages public and private stakeholders to promote responsible retailing. In 2009, through its technical services arm (RRF Field Services LLC), RRF received a National Institutes of Health award to develop sustainable responsible retailing systems for cities, states and trade associations. Organizations sponsoring and assisting in this effort include Diageo, the Distilled Spirits Council of the US, MillerCoors, National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, National Beer Wholesalers Association, American Beverage Licensees and numerous state regulators, distributors and retail associations.

Submit newsworthy items editor@absolutelybrazos.com

970-264-4500

46

DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com


Ruthanne Mefford, Kurt Kirchof and Vicki Spriggs.

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Child Advocates of Fort Bend Board Member Honored by Texas CASA Child Advocates of Fort Bend County Board Member Kurt Kirchof of Richmond was awarded the Excellence in Governance Board Member of the Year Award by Texas CASA, the statewide network of 71 local Court Appointed Special Advocate programs which recruit, train and support volunteers who speak up in court for children in the foster care system. This award was presented during Texas CASA’s annual conference in San Marcos on October 25th. “A local CASA program’s board of directors plays a key role in the success of nonprofit organizations. A board member’s official role is to enable an organization to achieve its purpose and protect the public interest by making sure the organization’s resources are spent appropriately,” said Vicki Spriggs, chief executive officer of Texas CASA. “Good board members go beyond that definition, generously contributing their time, talents and resources to the CASA cause.” Kirchof was nominated by Child Advocates of Fort Bend, where he has served for five years on the board of directors and the executive committee. He has overseen the agency’s launch of the Voices for Children sustainable fundraising initiative, which ensures that the services for abused children provided by Child Advocates of Fort Bend will continue uninterrupted so that no child will fall through the cracks. He is also a strong supporter of efforts to recruit more volunteers of color as well as men. CASA volunteers are specifically trained to advocate for children in foster care. Volunteer advocates work to provide services and support to the children they serve by getting to know the child and the people involved in the child’s life, including family members, teachers, doctors, lawyers, social workers and others. Their recommendations, based on the information they gather, help the judges overseeing the cases make informed decisions. CASA volunteers commit to a child until the case is closed and the child is in a safe, permanent home. Texas CASA is comprised of 71 local programs serving children in 207 Texas counties. More than 7,600 trained volunteers advocated for more than 23,600 children in foster care in Texas last year. Unfortunately, more than half the children in care do not have advocates to speak up for them in court. For more information about becoming a CASA volunteer or your local program, please visit www.TexasCASA.org.

Dr. Larry Wilkinson & Associates Therapeutic Optometrists

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A Special Place for Special People Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry 15200 SW Freeway • Sugar Land, TX 77478 281.565.KIDS (5437) www.larrycaldwelldds.com Check us out on Facebook! www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2013

47


NEWSWORTHY

 Reading Recovery Helps Lamar CISD First-Graders Bridge the Reading Gap

Gorgeous Hill Country Home Site Waterfront Lot in Comal County Just 20 minutes from San Antonio and minutes from the Guadalupe River in Spring Branch, this 1.72 acre lot is your Hill Country dream come true! Amazing views on the hillside lot that features a meadow with waterfront along Spring Creek, The Crossing at Spring Creek, an acreage home site community, is the perfect place to build your Hill Country getaway. The community offers all underground utilities, paved, county maintained roads, plus a beautiful 10+ acre owners-only park with scenic hiking trails, a swimming pool and pavilion and a playground. $89,000

For Sale By Owner

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Reading Recovery is just what it sounds like – a program that helps students recover from a faulty start, catching them up with their classmates. But, it recovers something else: children who love to read. “Students will hear their friends reading and realize they aren’t reading as well,” said Aimee Santos, the Dual Language Facilitator at Smith Elementary. “It hurts their self-esteem and leads to frustration. They have no motivation to improve.” Reading Recovery, and its SpanishReading Recovery teacher Jessica language partner Thibodeaux with Smith Elementary firstDescubriendo la Lecgrader Lucki Covarrubio. tura, takes first-grade students and in 20 weeks or less, gets most  of  them back on “grade level.” The program uses one-on-one, intensive study  with personalized  instruction. Even children who don’t reach the average level of their class within the allotted time frame show great gains. Part of the lessons hinge on taking what words the student knows by sight, and the words they know how to write. Then the lessons are structured so the writing can help the reading, and the reading can help the writing. Students also reconstruct the stories they have just written. The teacher recopies the child’s sentence on a paper strip and cuts it up for the student to visually search and reorganize, to re-create his or her original message. “Manipulating the words helps build brain activity of saying it, writing it, then locating in text,” explained Alicia Roberts, the Reading Recovery teacher at Frost Elementary. Over the two-year period since the program was initiated in Lamar CISD, Reading Recovery and Descubriendo la Lectura teachers have helped 258 students on 11 campuses bridge the reading gap. In 2013-2014, teachers estimate they will serve 192 additional first graders. The majority of these children will reach the same reading and writing proficiency as their peers. And, just as importantly, they will enjoy literacy learning. By helping students to catch up in the first grade, the district is keeping students from falling behind in later years, when state assessment tests begin.  “Teachers and parents are very happy with the results,” Dr. Shannon Hood, Frost Elementary Principal said. “Reading Recovery opens the gateway to learning.”

DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com


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FREE SUBSCRIPTION www.absolutelybrazos.com absolutely! Brazos Magazine wants to provide readers with the best community feature magazine possible. We want to focus on our READERS and mail exclusively to residents who invite us into their home. Requests are FREE to all Brazos addresses*.

12 Issues a Year Delivered Free * Annual paid subscription required outside the Brazos areas. Call 281-690-4242.

AUTO • HOME • LIFE • HEALTH • COMMERCIAL

GRAYLESS We Wish You a Merry INSURANCE AGENCY

We have companies for all forms of insurance and would like to give you a competitive quote for any line of insurance you may need. 

and Blessed Christmas

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www.graylessins.com www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2013

49


OUT &

John Zerwas’ 2013 Invitational Gold Tournament was held Tuesday, October 8th at The Golf Club at Cinco Ranch.

ABOUT IN THE HEART BRAZOS

Gary Foose, John Greenberg, Frank Gracely, John Zerwas and Jon Champagne.

A Business Blender was held at Fort Bend KIA on October 3rd. Among guests were the 2013 race car drivers for the KIA racecar that participated in the Houston Grand Prix. A Ribbon Cutting at the Art League of Fort Bend and the Fifth Street Gallery in Rosenberg was held on Thursday, October 23rd.

Angie Wierzbicki and Tom Wilson.

Virgil Skinner and Mayor Vincent M. Morales, Jr.

Tony Frances and Rob Clark.

Ed Lewis and Patricia Gonzalez.

Kelly Shelton and Lisa Matthews enjoyed viewing the beautiful artwork.

50

DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com


The Rosenberg Railroad Museum hosted The Circus Comes to Town at Safari Texas. The circus-themed event was complete with clowns, a midway and yes, there were lions, and tigers and bears. Oh my!

Bob Wilson, Pete Olson, who flew in from D.C. to attend the event, with Dianne Wilson.

Terri Stuart, Patti Parish-Kaminski and Lisa Rickert clowning around.

The cast of Cheerful Clown Alley entertained the crowd.

Edward Crowell and Sheena Navarro. Kay Danziger celebrated her 60th Birthday at the Heights Theatre with Eileen Wildy.

All aboard! Eloise Lucas, Emma Sexton, Michelle Whitley, Patrick Sexton and Mario and Alicia Rodriguez.

Rick and Cindy Bilski enjoyed the evening of fun, memories and laughs.

www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2013

51


OUT &

The 77th Annual Fort Bend County Fair and Rodeo, themed “Celebrating our Western Heritage,” ran from September 27th through October 6th.

ABOUT IN THE HEART BRAZOS

Out of school and enjoying the sights and sounds of the Fair Parade were Kyle Den Herder, Kaden Thurmond, Timothy Tapley, Katie Kitto, Brian and Ben Wu and Amy Tapley.

Noell Myska, Sarah Waedemon and Kristin McNeely with the Fort Bend Zeta Tau Alpha Alumna passed out ribbons during Think Pink Day.

Cody and Colton Kainer and their rabbits participated in the rabbit show.

2013 Fort Bend County Fair Queen Sami Warriner was crowned by 2012 Fair Queen Ashley Mays during the Queen Coronation on September 27th.

Brian Wu, Mitchell Imrie and Katie Kitto loved a ride on the ferris wheel.

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DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com


Savannah Zamora enjoyed the Agtivity Barn and petting the sheep.

Enjoying Go Tejano Day were Genieva and Mikayla DeLeon with Elaine and Florence Phan.

Peggy and Mark Brown were happy to be with grandson Caden Lionberger at the Fair.

Brady Dostal was the winner of the Muttin Bustin’ contest on opening night of the Fair.

Enjoying a good time in the Grapes on the Brazos wine room were Brenda Lopez, Laurie Cavins and Jody Tancred.

Kylie Kizziah was all smiles before showing Autumn in the American Santa Gertrudes Show on October 5th.

Carter Feldhoff showed off his broiler during the auction. Kadie Kainer showed off her rabbit that placed 13th.

There’s nothing like getting your boots shined while at the County Fair. Having his boots shined was Luis Mansilla by Lovis Simpson.

www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2013

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OUT & ABOUT

Child Advocates of Fort Bend hosted a barn party in October at Vincent and Regina Morales’ barn. Guests enjoyed delicacies served by Pier 36 Restaurant, beer courtesy of St. Arnold’s Brewing Company, wine courtesy of Glazer’s Distributing, Republic National and Haak Winery and danced the night away listening to polka music from Milton Wright and friends.

IN THE HEART BRAZOS

Gale and Linda Page with Jessica and Jim Kij.

Elizabeth Duff-Drozd and Amy Mitchell.

Jennifer and Jeramy Montgomery.

Sarah and Shannon Orsak.

Pat and Brad Sommers.

Jake and Grace Messinger.

Regina Morales, Jim Shaw and Mary Favre.

Milton Wright.

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DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com


Guests enjoyed a wonderful wine selection and appetizers from area restaurants at Grapes on the Brazos, the room hosted by the wine committee at the Fort Bend County Fair in Building W. The committee was established in 2008 and has grown each year by adding new members. This year, the committee awarded a scholarship to a Fort Bend student. Cheers to Grapes on the Brazos! Keeping everyone safe at the fair were Nick Kaminski and Cheryl Hillegiest.

Patti and Tim Kaminski.

Larry and Judy Deats.

Lisa Regan and Kathy Stauffacher.

The Fulshear Art Market, held Saturday October 12th, featured several artists and vendors.

Cecilia Neely competed at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Cecelia placed in both the Summer Classic and the Bluegrass horse shows in the PreChildren’s Division. April, Tatum and Avery Huey with friends Renee and Jordan D’Rovencourt admired the unique birdhouses.

Indira and Jose Pedreira, along with Chiki and Luna, took time out to relax.

Lana Wilson, a Senior Director with Mary Kay for 25 years, earned her 11th car in September. Congratulations, Lana! www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2013

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A LITTLE PIECE O F HIST O RY By Joan Frances Photos by the Fort Bend County Museum.

A Candlelight Christmas at the Moore Home

The parlor of the Moore Home takes visitors a step back in time.

Today, Christmas is very different. Retailers stock shelves with enticing items as early as August. Choices are numerous and patrons begin the decorating protocol earlier every year. Houses are strung with never ending lights, and artificial trees make the job easy. Children make “lists” of gifts they must have. Somehow, the spirit is lost in commercialism. Wouldn’t it be amazing to go back to the way it all began?

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Fort Bend residents can take a step back in time during the holidays by visiting the Richmond home of Congressman John Moore, his wife, Lottie, and their three children. This original Victorian two-story mansion built in 1883 boasts four bedrooms, a classic revival porch and six regal columns. Richmond’s First Baptist Church was founded in the house, and the Moore’s hosted many politicians and cattlemen. They were very generous people, opening their doors for over fifty years, and Christmas was, as it is today, a very special time at the Moore Home. The Moore family shared happy as well as turbulent times. Civil War disrupted the peace of the area, and many homes were used to house military troopers passing through the town. Schools were closed, and the town virtually shut down. Through the years, the Moore house suffered disarray. Thanks to the Fort Bend County Museum Society, the home has been renovated and updated. Now used for meetings, weddings and Photo by John Baker.

O

ver one hundred years ago when land was abundant and Fort Bend residents lived miles apart, holidays were celebrated with meticulous detail. Decorations were sewn, built or cut. Ornaments were popcorn strands and pine cones. Mistletoe and holly was lavishly placed on the mantle, the smell of evergreen permeated the rooms and poinsettias dotted the halls. The oil lamps and burning fireplaces exaggerated the shadows on the wall making the large pine tree in the hall glow with the magic of the season. Gifts were handmade and wrapped with loving care. The winter air was invigorating, and wild turkey gobbled in the fields. Moods were joyous with high expectations of Christmas day. This old-fashioned Christmas made life eventful and reflective.

The dining room of the Moore Home is adorned with festive décor each December.

Fort Bend County Museum docents Dottie Allen, Claire Rogers, Joyce Lolley, Liz Stamey, Austa Sue Kelley and Felesa Baker.

DECEMBER 2013 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

holiday events, there is a museum on the main floor for touring, but perhaps the most special time of year at the historic landmark is Christmas.

Each decorated room in the home depicts family stories and events.

One highly anticipated event at the Moore Home is the annual Candlelight Tour. For over 35 years, as many as 350 people from all over the area come to enjoy the sights. Over five hundred school children make field trips to learn about the exciting cultural heritage of Fort Bend through Moore Home. This year, the Annual Candlelight Tour is set for December 6th and 7th. “Life in the Moore Home” will be the themed setting. The Fort Bend County Museum Society docents spend eight months carefully planning and orchestrating this event. They work tirelessly to capture the true essence of vintage history through authentic decorations and furnishings. The Moore Home is decorated for Christmas inside and out in early December, and tours are given on a regular basis. The residents of Fort Bend are lucky to have cities that put extra effort in capturing the authentic meaning of the season. The Moore Home is a must-see to enjoy a holiday tradition from the past.


INSIDE BACK


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December 2013 - Absolutely Brazos Magazine