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30 Departments 6 9

Features 19 Holiday Gift Guide A list of unique gifts to get during the holidays.

24 Reid on the Run -Renee Williams

Welcome Winter


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ON ThE COvER: Rocco Morgan, age 2 and Journey Morgan, age 3 of Evans are the children of Kayna & Sean Morgan. THE MAGIC OF


Photo by Sean Morgan


Is your child ready for their “close up?” If you think you’ve got a “cover kid,” submit their photo and information on our website and they may grace the cover of Augusta Family Magazine.

27 Fashioning the

Also, check out our contests and giveaways

{ } Go to —click on the contest page to find the current contests! augustafamilymagazine

Mom to Mom

A Merry Mix-Up —Paige Tucker


News & Notes


Doctor Dad


Eating Well with Kim


Raising Readers


Smart Mom’s Guide To


Greubels Mixed Martial Arts




Go Girl! Karolina Agner —Renee Williams

Perfect Christmas —Christa Melnyk Hines

Editor’s Page

Pick Your Parents Well -J. Ron Eaker, M.D.

Winter Fresh Salad —Kim Beavers, MS, RD, LD, CDE The Gift of Quality Time -Meridith Flory

A Healthier You —Cammie Jones

—Dustin Turner


Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019 • 5

Editor’s Notes


b y Renee Williams

PUBLISHER Ashlee Griggs Duren

EDITOR Renee Williams

ART DIRECTOR Michael Rushbrook


ADVERTISING SALES Doressa Hawes Mary Porter Vann


PHOTOGRAPHY John Harpring Chris Thelen Sean Morgan

CONTRIBUTORS Kim Beavers, MS, RD, CDE J. Ron Eaker, M.D. Karen Gordon Dr. Dana Harris Meredith Flory Cammie Jones LeeAnn Rhoden

In this double issue of Augusta Family, we feature Paige Tucker’s Christmas Eve mishap in her Mom to Mom column, Kim Beaver’s Winter Fresh Salad, Dustin Turner’s Inspiration Station and the magic of Greubel’s Mixed Martial Arts program along with many other columns. Getting in alignment with the true spirit of the holidays, we also feature Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church ’s 8th annual Reid on the Run on February 2, honoring the life and memory of Sarah Rhoads.

Naimah Shaw Paige Tucker Dustin Turner Augusta Family Magazine is published 10 times per year and distributed throughout the Augusta and Aiken area. Send press releases, story ideas or comments to the editor at renee.williams@augus-

There is something really magical and beautiful about winter. Bright chilly mornings and the clean vivid smell of cold travels straight to your lungs, making you feel rejuvenated and alive. You can forget the need for a beach body and eat all the comfort food you want during the winter months. You can cozy up and wrap yourself in comfy jackets, sweaters and scarves. In childhood, winter is a time of glitter and sparkle and the fairytale soon turns to sequin holiday dresses and a time for ballets and operas. or mail to 643 Broad Street, Augusta, Ga., 30901. For advertising information, telephone (706) 823-3702. For circulation/distribution, call (706) 828-4391.

Of course here in the CSRA, there is always the hope for the magic of snow. Snow is just so beautiful, it covers everything and makes for a pitctureque panaroma. For you and yours this season, I wish you awareness of the beauty and tiny magic everywhere. Until February,

We look forward to hearing from you; visit our website and on facebook and twitter. augustafamilymagazine @AUGFamilyMag

6 • Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019

Renee Williams

9 Augusta Christian Schools offers: • Christian worldview curriculum and excellent academic program

• Chapels every week, spiritual emphasis week

• Advanced Placement and honors courses for upper grades

• Fine Arts classes in band, chorus, drama and visual art

• Medical Health Sciences Academy

• Community service and mission projects and trips

• Classes for students with learning differences

• And more……

313 Baston Road Martinez, GA 30907 Call 706-863-2905, ext.206 or visit

8 • Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019

Mom to Mom Pa i g e T u c ke r

A Merry Mix-Up


t’s that time of year when children are making their list and checking it - or make that changing it - twice! Julia Reynolds was three-years-old last Christmas and her little wish list consisted of mostly princess costumes for playing dress-up. If you asked her on the fly what she wanted for Christmas, the two things you would definitely hear: a green Elsa dress and green Elsa shoes. For two solid months, the child told anyone who asked and everyone who would listen that she was getting a green Elsa dress for Christmas. Santa Claus and at least five of his helpers heard her request. Queen Elsa from Frozen wears a beautiful green dress in a short film called Frozen Fever. Elsa magically creates a new dress for herself and Anna to celebrate Anna’s birthday. It’s not nearly as wellknown or popular as the hit Disney movie Frozen, but the costumes and things to go along with Frozen Fever are on the market, because, well, it’s Disney. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I followed email tracking notices and peeked in the packages as they arrived before putting them away. I ordered several costumes -- Elsa and Anna’s Frozen Fever birthday party dresses, Anna’s coronation dress and her winter dress, to name a few. Like a lot of you, there were days where my front stoop looked like an Amazon warehouse. Fast forward to Christmas Eve. I gathered all the packages and bags from the various places I’d stashed them around the house and started sorting everything to set it out under the tree. For some reason, I couldn’t find the green Elsa dress. I double checked everything then started racking my brain for where I could’ve hidden it. After looking everywhere I could think of, I started searching my emails to see when it was delivered. Imagine my distress when I realized I never ordered the green dress!! I had checked out so many different options trying to find the perfect one for Julia Reynolds and put many of them in my online shopping cart, but I never clicked purchase. It was getting late. No stores were open and my husband was frantically calling around. Even if it had been earlier, because this was not a regular Frozen dress, there was no way to get it last minute. This was not happening for Christmas morning. I was devastated and burst into tears. Now trust me when I say I know this was very much a #firstworld, commercial Christmas problem. In our home, the true gift is our Savior’s birth. But I do love the magic of Christmas, too, and in the moment, I was terribly sad my little girl was going to be disappointed. The one thing she was truly hoping for was not going to be under the tree. We had gotten her a shiny, motorized Frozen sleigh as her one big gift, so I knew that would be a hit and somewhat of a distraction. But as predicted, within the first thirty seconds on Christmas morning, Julia Reynolds asked where her green Elsa dress was. (Insert Mom-guilt here.) Thankfully, the sparkly green shoes were there and Santa left a letter explaining that Mrs. Claus had just a few more flowers to stitch on the dress before it could be delivered. Christmas Day was full of joy and smiles, though she did ask a few (hundred) more times when the Elsa dress would arrive before the Prime Fairy delivered it two days later. I’ve since found a lot of parents have similar stories of Christmas Eve mishaps. The bike came without one of the wheels, the roller coaster had no nuts and bolts, the play kitchen came with 758 pieces and no instructions. And they, too, realized it late on Christmas Eve! This mama has learned her lesson. You’d better believe I’ll be making my shopping list and checking it more than twice to be sure we’re ready this time around! May this holiday season be filled with more festivity than forgetfulness, more kindness than chaos, and more memories than madness. Merry Christmas!

2018 Physicians’ Directory Available Free for iPhone® and AndroidTM.

Download the Physicians’ Directory app for free and have contact information at your fingertips for Augusta and Aiken area physicians and dentists. Database is searchable by both specialty and by name. Brought to you by Augusta Magazine.

After twelve years in local news, most recently as evening anchor of NBC 26, Paige Tucker is now a work-at-home mom and freelance journalist. She produces two series for NBC 26 TV, First Responders and 26 Women Today, and you can see those stories on Tuesday nights. Paige and her husband have one daughter, Julia Reynolds, who is three years old.

Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019 • 9

news&notes D e c e m b e r 2 0 1 8 /J a n u a r y 2 0 1 9


mommy minute

Holiday Styles with Heart and Fashion at fab’rik When it comes to holiday fashion trends, the stylists at fab’rik Augusta are the perfect resource for recommendations that will ‘wow’ your holiday guests. fab’rik offers everything from stylish tailgate looks to cool weather favorites and holiday outfit inspo. Plus, fab’rik’s in-house designed clothing line, Asher, provides financial support for Kenyan

Explore, play & learn with Santa’s elves all December long. For 13 years, Google’s Santa Tracker has been a fun, educational and interactive way for fans to celebrate the holiday season. The experience starts with the opening of Santa’s Village on December 1st to the countdown to Santa’s departure. The village unlocks new games and experiences that allow visitors to practice basic coding skills, create original artwork, exercise their geography knowledge, learn about AI & Machine Learning, and get to know more about charitable educational organizations. Teachers can even download lesson plans with all-new video guides to help teach their students about fundamental coding skills. On December 24th, the Tracker goes live allowing Santa fans worldwide to follow his progress on desktop web, mobile web (Android/iOS), Android app, Android TV app and Chromecast. Visit,

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” -Norman Vincent Peale 10 • Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019

orphans awaiting adoption, so customers can shop high style with heart. Featured twice this summer in Life & Style, the brand has several fall and holiday pieces that would be a great fit for your holiday lists. fa’brik is located in Surrey Center. For more info, visit


Active Climbing

Are We There Yet? Active climbing AugustA


By LeeAnn Rhoden

f you want to get a good workout but a traditional gym is not your thing, you need to try Active Climbing Augusta. Active Climbing is an indoor rock wall climbing facility in Grovetown. It offers a fun way to exercise, make new friends and to challenge your competitive spirit. The facility offers something for every level of experience from toddlers to sexagenarians. The bouldering area offers lower climbing heights, up to 15 feet, so no ropes required. You can practice a decent or jump off into soft landing pads. It is an excellent place for beginners and for a warm up. There is a section of the bouldering area that is “the ship.” It is an area shaped like a ship’s hull and offers climbing challenges over uneven terrain and up to 35 feet at the highest point. The “ship” is more challenging from the rest of the bouldering. A great way to challenge what skills you’ve learned. Kids love to swing on the ropes and slide down the 20-foot slide. Active Climbing has climbing walls for all levels of experience and challenges. There are top-rope and lead lines available to help you scale the walls. If you’ve never climbed before, there is a 30 minute class on the proper use of the equipment and belays – the device which allows you to control your rope. For those who like to challenge themselves, there is the Ninja Warrior Room. This area is an obstacle course with a salmon ladder, an inverted wall, jumping spider and a cliff-hanger section. Give it a try and see how you measure up! Who doesn’t want to be a ninja? Active Climbing provides an opportunity for people who want to strength train, increase flexibility, challenge their endurance and activate their minds. There are punch cards available with 10 punches you can purchase which provides a little discount from the day visit. If you’re really

into it, you can purchase a membership. There are discounted prices for students, military, teachers, firemen, police and EMTs. If you want to join a climbing team, you can. The recreational team allows you to climb with other amateur climbing enthusiasts. They offer a competitive team as well which allows you to compete against other local and national teams. Youth can even compete internationally and train for the Olympics. Active Climbing offers group rates for churches, schools, sports teams and businesses looking for trust and team-building exercises. Don’t forget about birthday parties. Who wouldn’t want to have a fantastic party climbing on a wall? Be sure to check their website for rates and scheduling. Location: 643 S. Old Belair Rd, Grovetown, GA 30813 Hours: Monday – Friday 3 p.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m .– 8 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. Budget: For first-time visitors price is $25 to include day pass, gear and belay class. Day passes run $17 for adults and $15 for children (10 and under) with $5 gear rental and $10 belay class. Discounts are available and there is the option for memberships. WHat to do: Definitely take the belay class so you’ll know how to use the equipment safely. You’ll need to sign the waiver before you’re allowed to climb. Start with bouldering. Don’t forget to stretch first! if You go: Wear comfortable clothes you can bend and stretch in easily and closed-toe shoes. Sneakers and running shoes are okay.

Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019 • 11

news&notes More than half of teens (ages 13-19) and adults (ages 20-44) who died in vehicle crashes in 2015 were not wearing a seat belt, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Safe Kids Worldwide. Please don’t get so caught up in the holiday season that you forget to practice important safety tips in the car. Whether driving just around the corner or on a long trip to visit relatives or friends, take the time to plan and follow safe travel practices. Buckling up on every ride is the single most important thing a family can do to stay safe in the car. In addition, be sure to use the appropriate car seat, booster and restraints for young children. More than 10,000 kids were saved between 1975 and 2013 because of safety seats or seat belts. Let’s save more lives. For a complete list of safety tips, read the full article on

12 • Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019

The 26th Annual Christmas in Hopelands The 26 Annual Christmas in Homelands in Aiken, SC on December 9-10, 14- 23 and 26. This enchanting walk-through exhibit features over two miles of lighted pathways and illuminated displays. Over 100,000 twinkling lights in the peaceful setting of Hopelands are a must-see during the holiday season. There is no cost to enter the event. The Rye Patch Stables will feature a new exhibit, “Aiken’s Historic Horses.” Complimentary refreshments will be served in the Hall of Fame courtyard and outside of the Guest Cottage. S’mores kits are available for purchase for $5 at Rye Patch, where you can roast marshmallows at the s’mores pit. On select nights, Mrs. Claus will be there to hear your child’s Christmas wishes and children can write a letter to Santa or make a craft to take home. Live entertainment is provided each night, either on the Roland H. Windham Performing Arts Stage or throughout Hopelands Gardens when traditional Christmas caroling takes place. On December 23, Josh Martin, Edward Phillips & Friends will perform.



Dr. Dad

J. Ro n E a ker, M . D.

PICK YOUR PARENTS WELL Choosing your parents is the single best thing you can do for your health. While the absurdity of this is apparent, it only serves to illustrate how vital genetics plays in your wellbeing. We are very much what those little double strands of DNA say we are, from the color of our eyes to the size of our feet. There is a certain inevitability baked into our genetic code, but researchers are now claiming that we are not completely at the mercy of our chromosonal captors. When I was in medical school (approximately a few decades after the dinosaurs), we were taught that if your genes said you were at risk for some type of cancer, well then, your fate was sealed. There was nothing you could do, ingest or believe that would alter that risk. Thanks mom and dad! Turn the wheel of science up 40 years and now that teaching is about as valid as honesty from politicians. Enter the world of epigenetics. Epigenetics is simply the study of biological mechanisms that will switch genes on and off. Before your brain explodes, this means that there are some things, like nutrition and exercise, that can actually change how your genes do their thing. Epigenetics tells us that the expression of things like metabolism and physical traits may be “turned on” or “turned off” by a variety of mechanisms including nutrition. So two people with similar genes, say for some metabolic pathway, may end up expressing completely different characteristics due to an epigenetic (i.e. over genetics) manipulation. Same genes, different outcome! In essence this means that in some cases, you are not a prisoner of your parental inheritance. Let me give you a specific example, especially appropriate for moms. Mounting evidence indicates that over nutrition (high sugar intake) and under nutrition (poor quality or quantity) can elicit epigenetic control on developing offspring. Both human and animal studies show that what a mom eats can effect her child’s likelihood of developing high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes in early adulthood. In rats, maternal protein restriction in pregnancy leads to higher blood pressure, impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and altered hepatic architecture and function in the adult offspring.

A study of survivors of the Dutch famine of 1944-1945 showed that when pregnant women were exposed to famine conditions, their children were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. More recently, another animal study indicated that mother rats fed a diet high in fructose had a greater predisposition to chronic disease in their offspring. The authors concluded, “Maternal intake of high fructose leads to fetal programming of adult obesity, hypertensionand metabolic dysfunction, all risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This fetal programming is more pronounced in female offspring.” The authors had no explanation as to why this phenomenon was more prevalent in girls and suggested more research was needed. Other studies suggest that eating a healthy diet during pregnancy, including some good sources of omega-3 fats (e.g. oily fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel) may give some protection against chronic diseases such as asthma, possibly by having a beneficial effect on the immune system. The take home message is two fold. First, maternal nutrition is even more important than originally thought. Fortunately the benefits can be positive as well as negative, and this can be very motivational for pregnant women. Second, we are not simply products of our genes as healthy choices and behaviors can offset some of the negative risk factors we can’t control. Oh…and it’s not limited to moms. New published research indicates that a child’s capacity for learning could actually be boosted as a result of the physical and mental exercise that their fathers carried out before they were born. These are just a few examples of how epigenetics are changing how we view our genetic heritage. It’s encouraging that those of us saddled with risk factors for things like heart disease and cancer don’t just have to lie down and take it. We can take the genes by the horns and reduce these risks, and even potentially change the fate of generations to come. Dr. Eaker is an Augusta Ob/GYN and author. He and his wife, Susan, have two daughters in college.

Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019 • 13

Eating well with Kim

Photo by taylor Kiser on UnsPlash

b y Ki m B e a ve rs , M S , R D, L D, C DE

14 • Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019

Eating well with Kim

Mindful Eating for the New Year and Beyond To be mindful is to focus on the present moment. Mindfulness is quite trendy yet also challenging for many moms – especially in regard to eating when you consider that we make hundreds of

Winter Fresh Salad with Citrus Dressing

eating decisions each day. Mindful eating practices help to form a

This salad is a welcome burst of citrus flavor during

during the holiday season. Being mindful is particularly important

healthy relationship with food which is something worth modeling

the winter months. The combination of flavors and

to children growing up in a culture that demonizes certain ways of

textures make it easy to savor and give thanks, enjoy!

eating. Below are some examples of mindful eating strategies. Savor the flavors of food: Use all of your senses to choose and enjoy the flavor and nourishing properties of all foods. Part of the idea behind savoring foods is to avoid labeling food as good or bad therefore allowing the enjoyment of food in the absence of guilt. Notice feelings in your body: Become aware of physical hunger and satiety cues; allow them to guide your decisions to begin and end eating. Notice how your stomach feels or if you are energized or sluggish. Give thanks: Thoughts of gratitude allow the body to switch from the sympathetic (fight or flight) to the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system, this can improve digestion. Focus on your food: Enjoy the eating experience, turn off the TV and remove the phone from the table. Slow down: Tricks like putting the fork down between bites, or taking a sip of water between every couple bites and chewing twenty times works to help slow the eating process. As a mom, slowing down can seem difficult. Mindful eating does not have to take much longer than hurried eating. Start by focusing on eating, breathe in, breathe out; relax and you may find you linger just a touch longer because you can. Change your environment: This strategy is not really a mindful eating practice but more the strategy that helps sustain mindful eating. For example, clear the table and create a nice eating environment, purchase delicious health promoting foods and prepare them for easy eating (thus allowing more time to savor). Kim Beavers is a Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator for University Health Care System. She lives in North Augusta with her husband and two children and she is the co-host of the culinary nutrition segment Eating Well with Kim, which airs at noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday on WRDW. To be notified of new recipes join Kim’s facebook fan page at To search for specific recipes go to

Salad: 6 cups of mixed greens ½ golden delicious apple (diced---eat the other half for snack) ½ cup diced red onion ¼ cup toasted almonds or other nut of choice 1 large orange or 2 small oranges, peeled and sliced 2 Kiwis, peeled and sliced 1 medium pomegranate, seeded To prepare salad place greens on a platter, sprinkle with chopped apples, almonds, and red onion. Then place sliced oranges and sliced kiwis on top of the greens. Lastly sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and serve with dressing on the side. Dressing: 1 teaspoon orange rind 2 tablespoon red onion, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoon fresh orange juice (could use pomegranate or lemon juice) ¼ cup red wine vinegar 2 tablespoon honey 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper ¼ teaspoon salt 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil To make dressing, combine all ingredients except oil in a food processor and process until smooth. Stream the olive oil in through the top while running the food processor to emulsify the dressing. Extra dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Yield: 6 servings (1 ½ cup salad, 1 tablespoon dressing) Nutrition Breakdown: Calories 150, Fat 6g, Sodium 65mg, Carbohydrate 20g, Fiber 4g, Protein 3g Diabetes Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fruit, 1 fat Until next time, eat well, live well.

ewwk. You can also watch the segments at

Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019 • 15

Raising Readers Me red i th F l o r y

The Gift of QualiTy Time The month of December is a hectic time for many families.

chores, schoolwork and other things we constantly ask our

Filled with holiday celebrations, recitals and school activities,

children to do, and instead simply show attention to their

there’s a rush of shopping, working, and events that may

thoughts, feelings and interests. For parents that work long or

leave your family having fun, but feeling frazzled. However,

odd hours, it can be a great time to reconnect, or for blended

as we enter the new year, if you then find a lull in your

families, a time for children to individually develop both new

family calendar, the last few days of break or the following

and continuing parental relationships.

weekends of cold, dreary winter days, can be the perfect time to reconnect with your children and spend one-on-one time

Spending intentional time with an individual child can be

away from distractions and the daily routine of parenting.

more challenging for some families. For large families or single

Planning a “date” with individual children can be a way to feel

parents and families where one parent is away frequently, time

refreshed in our parenting and help our children feel special

to manage individual plans may be hard to come by, so some

as we reinforce positive communication and traits such as

creativity may be required. For instance, instead of leaving the

creativity and kindness.

house, create a rotation of weekend nights where one child will get to stay up late for a special board game or movie. You

A planned special date is different from time that you are

may be able to find another parent to trade baby sitting with

incidentally with only one child - it is time to forget about

or involve extended family. If these options will not work for

16 • Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019

Raising Readers

you, come up with a group activity where each child still has

celebrate a tiny chef. Do you have a child with more

small moments to spend with you and allow their opinions to

adventurous taste buds than their siblings? Or one that always

shine, such as everyone picking their own dinner at a food

wants to help make dinner? A trip to a unique restaurant where

court, camping in the living room or backyard, or taking turns

their siblings would not be able to order chicken nuggets

being “in charge” of a family movie or game night.

might be in order. Consider a breakfast or brunch over the break or before school one morning if it works better in your

The time following the holidays is a good time to implement

schedule. Younger children might enjoy a fast food breakfast

this for several reasons. First, many families are working

and play date, while a teen might enjoy a coffee or smoothie

to find ways to minimize item gift giving at the holidays.

date at a local place like Inner Bean Cafe. Another option is

Purchasing an “experience” and planning a special day in the

to learn to cook together - Dolce Darlin offers baking and

near future can be a great alternative to purchasing more

decorating classes if you can make it a group date with other

things to clutter the house. Additionally, the winter break

friends ( or look into upcoming dates

may allow you to find the time and motivation to make plans

for the Kroger Chef Jr. program (

with a child, particularly older children and teens who might

If you need to find ways to fit this time in at home, a special

be more resistant to the idea if they could spend the time with

night where one child gets to help plan the meal and cook

friends. For family asking for gift ideas, suggest time together

while the others are in a different room is an option.

with individual children as well, encouraging relationship building through event tickets, or gift cards to restaurants

help your teenager dreaM big. Consider planning

and shopping with the intention of going together. These

a night out with your teen that would provide a cultural

could be things the extended family member does with the

experience connected to their current hobby or future career

child, or a contribution to parent-child activities. Some of my

interests. Do you have a budding artist, dancer or musician?

favorite memories from childhood are of time spent with my

Find tickets to a professional ballet, art show, opera or

aunts and uncles. I do not remember a lot individual gifts,

symphony concert. There are often options at the Miller,

but I do remember when my uncle took me to see Phantom

Imperial Theater or Morris Museum of Art in downtown

of the Opera, and movie nights spent with my dad’s younger

Augusta and The Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta.

sister before she had her own children.

A high school athlete might be excited to find tickets to a professional or college sporting event in their stocking or a

While a more expensive outing may be a great idea for a

budding scientist a trip to a museum.

gift, there are plenty of ways to make a parent - child outing budget friendly or free.

encourage reading. Making reading feel like a special event is a great way to model reading as a lifelong activity. A

Make it special. Regardless of how casual or upscale

date to the library or bookstore to pick out books together

an outing you decide on, make it feel fancy through small

can turn into a special occasion if combined with a meal or

personal touches. The morning before, write your child a

dessert out, or a walk in a nearby park. If you have been

small note saying that you can’t wait to spend time with him

reading a series together, find a themed outing to celebrate

or her. A small token like flowers, balloons, or even matching

finishing the books, like food that reminds you of the story or

corsages can be exciting and let the child know this is not a

an activity that the characters would have enjoyed. When I

normal outing.

was younger, my mom and I loved to go thrift store shopping together and she would give me a few dollars to pick out

express and create together. Unlock creativity and

used books. When my daughter was a toddler, a trip to a used

imagination with an outing to complete an art project together.

bookstore to choose some books together was one of our first

Artsy Me has studios throughout the CSRA where you and your

outings that felt special, rather than an errand. Augusta Book

child can decorate a piece of pottery (www.artsymestudio.

Exchange, The Book Tavern and 2nd and Charles are all great

com), Van Gogh and Vino offers child classes during which

options in the area for book shopping together.

the parent can stay as well ( For a budget friendly option, visit an art supply store and pick up things to work on a craft or sewing project of the child’s choice at home.

Meredith Flory is an Augusta-area freelance writer, military spouse and mother of two. She has a masters degree in children’s literature from Kansas State University and has taught high school and college English.

Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019 • 17

Smart Mom’s Guide C a m m i e Jo n e s

small steps

to a HealtHier You It’s that time of the year when you have survived and loved every minute of the holiday season, but your pants don’t quite fit as they did at the beginning of November. I usually get a little sad and mad at myself at this time — was eating the entire bag of peppermint white chocolate drizzled pretzels from Costco really worth it? Instead of feeling this way, how about finding some small ways to get back to a healthy lifestyle? 1. Plan your Meals Are you the person who “forgets to eat” lunch and then gorges at dinner or eats unhealthy snacks when you do finally eat something? In my opinion, the best way to watch your calories and incorporate healthy foods into your diet is to plan ahead. At the beginning of the week, look at your calendar and see what events and meetings are going to get in your way or make your life crazy. Plan around this. Make sure you have quick, yet healthy stuff to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Have plenty of cut up fresh fruit and veggies at your fingertips. Pair your cut up veggies with hummus or eat an apple with peanut butter as a filling and tasty snack. Don’t buy the unhealthy snacks at the store like potato chips or bagged cookies. You can’t eat it if it’s not there! 2. IncorPorate exercIse every Day This does not have to be an hour long class at the gym or a six mile run. Take three 10-minute breaks to stretch or do some yoga poses if you are at work. Walk your dogs around the block. Walk with a friend to catch up or make that a meeting time with a co-worker. Meet and walk as you plan an event or discuss a work issue. Do your best to get 30 minutes of some type of weight or cardio into your day. 3. oMIt 1 “sPlurge” froM your DIet For the most part, you may be a healthy eater who pays attention to your food and drink intake. But, every now and then during the week, you fix a huge bowl of ice cream or have two glasses of wine. Anything in moderation is okay, but maybe go a few weeks and take whatever your splurge is out of your diet. Give it some time and see if you see any positive results from it. 4. Don’t Make anythIng taboo With #3 in mind, don’t go cold turkey and make the “I never” statement. You know what I mean: I will never drink a glass of wine during the week or I will never eat a Dairy Queen Blizzard again. Human nature makes this extremely difficult to stick to. Once you say you will never do it again, you want it more! Eventually, you will fall off the wagon of discipline and go back to your old ways. Remember, anything in 18 • Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019

moderation is okay so allow yourself a splurge now and then. 5. Do one “healthy” soMethIng each Day Again, this doesn’t have to be a major lifestyle change. Each day, set a goal of doing one good thing for you that day. Take a walk, go for a run, attend a new exercise class, don’t eat red meat for dinner, call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while or skip dessert. Anything that can be classified as a healthy alternative will work. At the end of the day, jot down that one new healthy thing you. Everyone needs a little affirmation now and then. Know that you chose wisely at least once that day. 6. reaD labels Less is more. Look for food items, especially packaged ones, that contain the least amount of listed ingredients. Try to omit long, complicated ingredient names from your diet. Stick to fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats, and other food items that I like to say “come from the ground.” If you do (and most of us do eat these on a regular basis) need to include packaged or frozen foods, try to read the labels to find the ones that are the healthiest for you with less sodium and real ingredients. 7. Don’t gIve uP No matter what happens that day or week, please don’t throw in the towel. I know the feeling of having sabotaged your entire progress. Just pick up where you left off and start the next day off right. The past is the past and all you can do is move forward in the right direction. So what if you ate a huge cheeseburger and fries the night before. Take an exercise class and watch what you eat the next day and keep on with those same habits in the coming days. Get back on track and keep a positive mind-set. Life is a journey, not a race! All of these are just simple, small, yet smart steps toward a healthier you. By making a few positive changes, it just might lead to healthy 2019! Cammie Jones is an Augusta freelance writer and mother of three.




Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019 • 19




Ideal for holiday entertaining, this six-inch ceramic nut bowl is adorned with a towering nutcracker. Morris Museum of Art Gift Shop One 10th Street, 2nd Floor, Augusta


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20 • Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019


Corkcicle is now available in “Georgia” in canteen and tumbler. $34.95 CommuniGraphics, Inc, 1400 Georgia Ave., North Augusta


Holiday themed snow globes are back! Choose from a variety of holiday-themed motifs. Morris Museum of Art Gift Shop One 10th Street, 2nd Floor, Augusta


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Soft and Fuzzy hoodies in popular new comfy fabric. Available in Georgia, South Carolina and Christmas. A great gift for your favorite female college fan. $59.99 CommuniGraphics, Inc, 1400 Georgia Ave., North Augusta


An exceptional introduction to Kawai digital piano quality delivering grand piano touch and tone at a remarkably affordable price. Available in a Premium Rosewood Finish with updated Nickel Hardware. Christmas week delivery available. Turner’s Keyboards, Inc, 2358 Washington Rd, Augusta

Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019 • 21




Form follows function in the sumptuous Essex Contemporary Upright (EUP-116CT), designed by Steinway & Sons. A wonderful interpretation of the modern style, it features a deep eggplant / aubergine color popular for today’s furniture. Christmas Eve delivery available. Turner’s Keyboards, Inc, 2358 Washington Rd, Augusta


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Mugs are perfect in the winter and this Mommy and Me set is great to share hot cocoa or cider on a cold holiday evening or over fun Christmas movies. $19.99 CommuniGraphics, Inc, 1400 Georgia Ave., North Augusta

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24 • Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019

Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019 • 25

The first thing that stood out to Haley

about life’s ups and downs. Haley also has

Mu Alpha Theta, Cross Country Team (who

Pope when she first met Sarah Rhoads was

fond memories of watching Sarah defy her

recently ran in an All Star Cross Country

that Sarah was confident in who she was

fears while jumping on to the lake trampo-

Meet in Atlanta and made special shirts

and in who she created to be.

line at Windy Gap, a Young Life Camp in

with I RUN FOR SARAH print), Track and

Haley writes, “Sarah was invited by

North Carolina. Haley adds, “I was blessed

Field Team, Miss Lakeside Pageant and the

some other Lakeside girls I knew and quick-

with the opportunity to develop a relation-

Buddy Club. In addition, she was actively

ly became a regular at our weekly activities

ship with Sarah through Young Life. I could

engaged in Young Life Augusta, Social, Inc.

at Young Life of Augusta. Her joy and love

truly call her my friend.” Rachel thanks

and Love Unlimited. Along with her family,

for life, even with the everyday pressures

the Reid Memorial church body for loving

Sarah attended Reid Memorial and she was

of being a high school student, made her

Sarah so well and giving her a church family

engaged in the life and ministry including

stand out from her peers and one of the

and says, “I am so excited that this year’s

Sunday school, youth group, VBS, Sunday

many reasons why I wanted to become a

Reid on the Run will honor sweet Sarah

night youth worth leadership and in various

Young Life leader. I wanted to invest in real

and thankful that part of the proceeds will

mission trips and retreats. Sarah’s love radi-

life relationships with high school girls and

benefit the Young Life’s ministry that both

ated to all who knew her and inspired her

help them...”

Sarah and I loved.”

to leadership in the larger church.

Haley adds that Sarah made it easy to

Born in 2001, Sarah Rhoads is the

Put on your tennis shoes and bundle

lead by example because of the way she

daughter of Joy Maple and the late

up as the city runs for Sarah and Young Life

lived her life and how she spent her time.

Alexander J. Rhoads. She is survived by

of Augusta on Saturday, February 2. The

Some of Haley’s favorite memories include

her brother Bennett and her sisters Abby

race begins at Reid Memorial at 2261 Wal-

sharing the same birthday as Sarah. The

and Caroline. She is also survived by her

ton Way. Registration and check in begins

girls were able to make the time to have

grandmothers, Bonnie K. Maple and Carol

at 8:30 a.m. on the church lawn. All runners

frozen yogurt together and share their

J. Rhoads. Sarah attended Lakeside High

and walkers are encouraged to participate

special day. They would also ride together

where she participated in several school

in this fun, family friendly event. For more

to and from Young Life events and talk

activities and clubs. She was a member of

info, contact

26 • Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019

Fashioning the Perfect Christmas by ChrISTA MElNyk hINES

Photo by Annie SPrAtt on UnSPlASh

One December, while in my late 20s, I tagged along with my parents to visit my grandmother in Wiesbaden, Germany. I hadn’t been in Germany during the Christmas season since childhood when my father was stationed there while in the Air Force. While there, I was struck by how different the European Christmas felt compared to our own more chaotic, commercialized holiday in the U.S. My parents and I decided to stroll through the Christkindl Market in Wiesbaden’s downtown square. Though the sunny afternoon was chilly, the breeze was gentle, carrying the comforting smells of breads, savory snacks and sweet pastries. A towering evergreen decked in glittering ornaments stood in the middle of the square. Vendor stalls were set up along the cobblestones in orderly rows around the square selling handmade crafts like delicate straw angels, simple wooden ornaments, souvenirs, and starched lace stars. Surrounding the market were centuries-old baroque and Neo-classical buildings grounding the landscape in a sturdy, protective sense of history and tradition.

Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019 • 27

Photo by NastyaseNsei seNs from Pexels

28 • Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019

Even though it was around midday on a weekday, Germans, dressed in business attire, their cheeks ruddy from the chilly air, sat leisurely socializing on bar stools in some of the stalls. Their hands were wrapped around glass mugs of Gluhwein, a warm mulled red wine. Bursts of laughter would occasionally waft through the air along with the peaceful tinkling of seasonal music. As an American, I find it easy to get sucked into the more frantic culture of our holiday season. For those of us fighting perfectionist, people-pleasing tendencies, this time of the year can transform a normally calm, respectable individual into an unrecognizable, fevered harpy within days. Just ask my husband Jason, who has found me weeping in a corner or edging toward a precipice ready to jump if I have to problem-solve one more elusive gift for someone in the extended family. Once I became a mother, the responsibilities and expectations I placed on myself mushroomed. I wanted to create memorable Christmases that my kids would look back on as happy moments in their childhood. These memorable Christmases often turn out similarly to how I ramp up idyllic family vacations in my head: “Oh, we are going to have so much fun on the Road to Hana in Maui. Everyone is going to LOVE it!” In reality, our experience with the Road to Hana turned into the slow road to hell. Similarly, as soon as the Halloween ghosts and ghouls vanish, my holiday anxiety begins to creep in. My stomach loops nervously. A persistent throbbing begins behind my left eye. The nerves in my neck bundle up like a necklace that tangled itself into knots while sitting undisturbed in a jewelry box. I contemplate the must-dos and should-dos on top of the routine day-to-day to-dos. I think of the eerily quiet, snaking lines of stooped bodies shifting boxes from armto-arm at the post office. I recall the lengths I’ve gone to to fashion the perfect Christmas. Like the year I ran to toy stores all over town, making phone calls and frantically combing the Internet in search of a canary yellow remote control Porsche. My seven-year-old requested it one week before the big guy was supposed to slide down the chimney. I gnashed my teeth and pulled my brown strands of hair, surprised at how hard it was to find this particular sports car in yellow. Jason thought I’d finally gone cuckoo. (This is why he’s only in charge of two gifts.) My persistence eventually paid off. But how anticlimactic when about an hour into Christmas morning, the car sat under a

pile of red and white wrapping paper with a broken headlight because little brother allegedly crashed it into a wall. Finally, a couple of years ago, I surrendered. After a particular grueling holiday season, I woke up on Christmas morning unable to speak. My throat screamed in searing agony as if demons had partied around a fiery barbecue all night. On top of that, knife-like stabs of pain jolted my ears. Instead of cooking up a Christmas ham with all of the fixings, I sent my husband and two sons to pick up Chinese food for dinner. I spent the day in bed sucking on throat lozenges and sipping warm, honeyed tea. The next day, a white-haired, bespectacled urgent care doctor diagnosed me with the beginning stages of shingles, a painful virus typically brought on my stress. He dashed off a prescription and sent me on my way. What I actually needed was a holiday intervention and to understand that no one forces me to participate in our society’s holiday frenzy. No matter how much I try to control the outcome, the heartbeat of the holiday stubbornly unveils itself in the unanticipated moments, like that long ago German Christmas market that delighted all of my senses. It unwraps itself during an impromptu raucous Nerf gun battle between father, sons and uncle in our living room on Christmas day. It unfolds in the sounds of my kids’ giggles coming from the living room while they watch their favorite holiday movie. It betrays itself in storied family lore, like the time our naughty dog Marvin indulged in half of my son’s gingerbread house while we were at a school Christmas concert. I’ll never conjure the spiritual magic I’m craving from unending to-do lists, chaotic gatherings, or chasing down trendy gifts that no one will remember anyway. This year for health and sanity, I’ll strive for the pretty-okayChristmas. I’ll put up a few decorations, buy gifts that make me smile, bake when I feel like it, volunteer here and there when I can, and I’ll put my husband in charge of a third gift. Something tells me my whole family will love it. This year, I’ll actually be present and accounted for when something unexpected happens and we strike upon a new hilarious family memory that we’ll laugh about for years. And that’s good enough for me.

Freelance writer Christa Melnyk Hines no longer tries to fashion perfect Christmases. So far her family hasn’t seemed to notice.

Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019 • 29

Inspiration Station Dusti n T u r ne r

Greubel’s Mixed Martial Arts In a nondescript building that looks more like a

warrior out inside that I never knew I had.”

want there to be good vibes here.”

warehouse than a gym, Mark Greubel turns unco-

Mark was a successful boxer and kickboxer (two-

Mark, Sean and the other instructors work to

ordinated, nonathletic – and often overweight –

time world champion), but the injuries started to

create a family environment with a focus on self-

people into kickboxing world champions. His true

pile up. After four surgeries before his 24th birthday,

improvement. Through martial arts training at Geu-

passion, however, is helping people.

Mark decided to go into coaching. He coached his

bel’s, children have turned around their grades and

It started when he was growing up in the Barton

brother, who became the first six-time International

fended off bullies; adults have lost weight, come off

Village area of Augusta. “I was about 14 when I got

Kickboxing Federation (IKF) world champion. Mark’s

medications and gotten in shape. The goal is to gain

in a street fight over racist stuff. This guy thought I

first student became the first seven-time IKF World

self-confidence while learning self-defense.

was Chinese and wanted to fight me for some rea-


“That’s what keeps us coming here every day,”

son,” Mark says, pointing out that he is Korean. “So I

“I was asked to coach the WAKO (World Associa-

Sean explains. “Seeing transformative changes in in-

got into a street fight with this kid, and I didn’t know

tion of Kickboxing Organizations) Team USA after

dividuals. What it boils down to is this: Nowadays,

how to fight on the ground. He tackled me. I put my

one of my fighters beat a kid on the team and went

you go to the doctor and get medication; that’s the

arm out to brace myself and completely destroyed

on to win silver in the world championships, and I

simple fix. But the side effects outweigh the benefits.

my elbow. That was life-changing incident for me.”

have been doing that for 12 years.”

But if we do preventative medicine – i.e. come into a

He made a vow to myself that he would never be a

Mark enjoys training fighters and turning out

victim and would help others not be victims. “I really

champions, but his true passion is what he does at

gym atmosphere and work out - you’re going to set yourself up for success.”

started taking my training seriously then. I put my

Greubel’s Mixed Martial Arts facility with Sean Mur-

One such success story is of longtime friends

focus on real protection, real training. I got into bo-

phy, his friend and general manager. “We want this

Keith Antione and Eddie Singleton. Keith, 53, came

juka and my instructor, James Skinner, brought the

gym to be people’s Disney World, their escape. We

to Greubel’s weighing 605 pounds. He now weighs

30 • Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019

Inspiration Station 360 and is about to step in the ring to fight Eddie. At 68 years old,

deal with social pressures and how to engage with people effectively.”

Eddie has lot 45 pounds and has come off all of his diabetic medi-

Greubel’s is working with the Charlie Norwood Veterans Adminis-

cine. Mark is quick to explain that this is a friendly bout with full

tration Medical Center. Using martial arts, they work with veterans

sparring gear.

who suffer from PTSD, depression, anxiety and more.

Sean tells their story: “These guys have a relationship that goes back

“In the military, you are in an environment with a lot of camarade-

two or three decades. Eddie sort of goaded Keith into fighting him. It is

rie and structure,” Sean explains, “and you come back, the structure is

so funny to watch those two pick at each other. Now, remember, Eddie

gone. Then, many come back and are disabled. They are told they can’t

is 68 years old. Keith was working two jobs. He literally put his second

work and can’t do things. There’s an opportunity for self-loathing and

job on hold to train to fight Eddie.”

depression. Our goal is to get these guys – and women - into some-

“Yeah, Eddie has been training his butt off for this,” Mark adds. “He is in better shape than a lot of my fighters right now.” The sparring and bouts are rare, though. In fact, some people are

thing that can get them out of this dark place. Give them a little pat on the back so they can say, ‘OK, I can get over this challenge. I can get through this day and into the next day.’”

nervous when they come in, Sean says, because they have seen UFC

Right now, it is a local pilot program, but there are discussions of

on television and think they are going to get punched in the face. “The

turning it into a national program. Mark thinks that is a goal he can

fact is that 95 percent of everybody who walks through our front door

easily achieve. “Being involved with Team USA and being the head

has never done this before. Only 5 percent or less actually spar or fight.

coach, I have access to hundreds or thousands of schools across the

Most people are in here doing something that is new and fun to them

nation with other instructors who would be more than eager to jump

and that takes the monotony out of working out.”

in and help out, copy my program and implement it in those hospitals.”

Greubel’s MMA loves to work with children, too. Whether through

Whether people come to Greubel’s to fight competitively, lose

the after-school program for Steven’s Creek Elementary, the annual

weight, learn life skills or learn self-defense, Mark wants to make sure

summer camp or regular classes, children as young as 5 are learning

it is always a family atmosphere. “Here, everyone knows each other.

the basics of self-defense, gaining valuable life lessons and getting a

It is great to have this network of friends who have this one strong

good workout.

emotional commonality because we are pushing ourselves to the

“The kids learn boxing and kickboxing, then roll right into jujitsu,”

brink over and over, day in and day out. And when you are doing that

Mark says. “So they learn to fight on their feet first, then they learn to

alongside your brothers and sisters in here, those friendships become

fight on the ground. For girls, it is super-important to be able to learn


to fight and defend themselves being on their back. Jujitsu is based on

There often has been a misconception that martial arts are for the

leverage and position. You can overcome someone who is much larger

strong and athletic. Mark has a different philosophy: “Many martial

and stronger than you. It is a great self-defense art.”

arts schools make instruction so difficult that only the strong sur-

Self-defense goes back to Mark’s original mission - to keep children

vive. I think martial arts is for the weak. It is for the people who actu-

from becoming victims in a school setting that often includes bullying.

ally need it. The ones who need it the most are not very athletic, not

“What have we done to prepare our children to handle those situa-

very coordinated.”

tions? A confident, capable child is less likely to get in a fight. An un-

Mark has won world championships and trained world champions.

confident child who is pushed to the brink is far more dangerous. He

He has been the head coach for WAKO Team USA for more than a

starts grabbing weapons and thinking catastrophic thoughts. That’s

decade. He helps anyone willing to learn how to never be a victim.

someone who is going to bring guns to school. That is someone who

So what’s left? To put Augusta on the world stage for martial arts,

is not confident.”

of course. His ultimate goal is to one day host the kickboxing world

Sean underscores the importance of teaching life lessons. “We re-

championships in the Garden City.

inforce to kids – and their parents – the concepts of self respect, self-

“I want to put Augusta on the map for something other than just

discipline and self-awareness. We want kids to build good habits. They

the Masters. We could be the Masters of Kickboxing, if you will.

learn that everything is earned. There is no entitlement. If kids stumble

There are so many talented people here that just do not get recog-

– whether it’s here or at home or school - we help them get back on

nized. And we can compete with the best in the world. I know – I’ve


done it. I’ve taken guys with less than five fights, and they win silver

The good habits learned from time in the gym translate to success

medals in the world championships against guys with close to 100

elsewhere in life. Take 6-year-old Xander, for example. “He was doing

fights. What we are doing here in Augusta, Georgia, is on par with

terrible in school,” Sean says. “Within about six weeks of training, he

anybody else in the world.

completely turned around his grades in school to where he is excelling and is at the top of his class.”

I know why God put me on this planet. I know how I can help and contribute, and that is what I am going to continue to do.”

Greubel’s MMA believes strongly in giving back to the community. They work with the REC’ing Crew in North Augusta and Hope for Augusta, a Christian outreach for at-risk youth. “We help kids by teaching them basic self-defense and some life lessons along the way,” Mark says. “Kickboxing and martial arts are the draw, but they learn how to

Dustin Turner is an SEO and Content Specialist for Main Street Digital. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Jamie, for 20 uears, and they have a 10-year-old daughter, Abigail. The whole family enjoys performing in community theater. Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019 • 31

Photo by ANNEttE M. DRoWLEttE


A ChristmAs CArol, the musiCAl Brimming with music and dance, love and laughter, the Augusta Players will give the holiday spirits the full Broadway treatment with the musical version of the Charles Dickens classic. Dec. 9

We’d love to hear from you. If you have an event you’d like to add to our next issue, send an email to

D E C E m B E R /J A N u A RY

Dec 1. Jingle Jam 10K benefiting SafeHomes, Inc. promotes healthy lifestyles through fitness and furthers the mission of SafeHomes, Inc. Now in its eighth year. Evans Towne Center Park. Dec 2. All Aboard! The Polar Express. Augusta Museum of History. Get up, get on, and get ready for the ride of your life. The story of the Polar Express will be performed to the delight of the young passengers. At the end: All will believe.

32 • Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019

Dec 2. National Ballet Theatre of Odessa presents Swan Lake. Event at the Imperial Theatre, 749 Broad St. Augusta, at 7pm. 706722-8341. Dec 6. Broadway in Augusta Presents ‘Jersey Boys’ at the Bell Auditorium. They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard… and the radio just couldn’t get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story — a story that

has made them an international sensation all over again. Go behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Tony Award®winning true-life musical phenomenon, JERSEY BOYS. From the streets of New Jersey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this is the musical that’s just too good to be true. Dec 6. Holiday Spectacular. Miller Theater. The Symphony brings together singer Joan Ellison, a community chorus, and brass ensemble


for the inaugural Augusta Symphony Holiday Spectacular. Celebrate the season with this concert sure to become an Augusta tradition. Dec 7. Wycliffe and Friends Holiday Concert. AU Department of Music, 2500 Walton Way. Dec 7. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Miller Theater.

lines. Dec 9. Family Concerts at Columbia County. The Symphony brings together singer Joan Ellison, a community chorus, and brass ensemble for the inaugural Augusta Symphony Holiday Spectacular. Celebrate the season with your family at this one-hour concert.

Dec 7-8. Beta Signa Phi Christmas Tour of Homes. North Augusta.

Dec 9. Family Holiday Spectacular at Jabez Sanford Performing Arts, Evans. Celebrate the season with your family at this one-hour concert featuring singer Joan Ellison with the Augusta Symphony. www.

Dec 8. R&B Groove Fest featuring the Whispers and Midnight Star at The Miller.

Dec 11. Marcus King at Southbound Smokehouse, 1855 Central Ave. www.

Dec 8. Conflict 48. The show will feature some of the most talented MMA Fighters in the Southeast, including Georgia’s fan favorite and Augusta native Jason Faglier. Faglier, one of the most entertaining fighters to watch, will once again showcase his talents in the Conflict Cage. This event will be stacked with local and regional favorites including the return of Augusta’s own Chris Houser, “TJ” Mitchell, The Joel “The Prodigy” Faglier, Malcolm Wellmaker, Josh Blandenburg and Female sensations Amberly Murphy, Cade Dement and Alexa Weichert.

Dec 11. Christmas Cruise with Yacht Rock Revue. Miller Theater. Soul City Presents Yacht Rock Revue for a special Christmas Cruise themed concert. Cruise into the party early in the CAPTAIN’S CLUB. Secure your best seats in the house and early access to the venue for a night that is sure to be a splash!

Dec 9. The Augusta Players Present A Christmas Story, The Musical. This ALL NEW show is the hilarious account of Ralphie’s desperate quest to make sure the most perfect of gifts ends up under his Christmas tree! This musical version of the classic film captures holiday wonder with a deliciously wicked wit that will delight children and grown-ups alike! Don’t miss the delightful songs featuring heart-warming ballads and show-stopping leg lamp kick-

Dec. 13. Arts & Heritage Center of North Augusta Present ‘Fall into Art. North Augusta Artists Guild “Fall Into Art” Exhibit and photography by Cassie Bay. Dec 14. Southern Soul and Song Presents Asleep at the Wheel. Asleep at the Wheel landed a gig opening for Alice Cooper and Hot Tuna in Washington, DC in 1970. At the height of Vietnam, many Americans were using their choice of music to express their stance on the conflict in southeast Asia. “We wanted to break that mold,” said Benson. “We were concerned more with this amazing roots music, which we felt was being lost amid the politics. We were too country for the rock folks and we were too

long-haired for the country folks. But everybody got over it once the music started playing.” Dec 14. Cirque Musica Holiday Presents Wonderland at The Bell Auditorium. Cirque Musica Holiday Presents WONDERLAND is a concert and visual experience for the entire family, blending the spell-binding grace and dare-devil athleticism of today’s greatest circus performers with the sensory majesty of the greatest holiday music of all time. It is the perfect opportunity for the entire family to get into the Holiday spirit with great music including Holiday favorites from classical, POPS and more, while enjoying an edge of your seat circus experience. Dec 15. Sara Evans. Dec. 15. Black Nativity. Black Nativity is an African-American telling of the Nativity story, written by acclaimed African-American poet and playwright Langston Hughes and adapted by Robert John Connor. This one act musical opens in a modern day African-American church on Christmas day, filled with testifying deacons, sanctified ladies, and down-home preaching. Under the musical direction of Keith Wilson the show takes us on a journey back to the Bethlehem of Mary and Joseph, resplendent in African costumes, and moving songs of worship, magnificent dance choreographed by Dawn Axam and old-fashioned spirituals. The African-American viewpoint and the gospel music make Black Nativity a truly unique and entertaining theatrical experience. Dec 16. Dancing with the Stars. The Bell Auditorium. TV’s biggest dance show returns on tour this winter with “Dancing with the Stars: Live!” featuring fan favorite professional and troupe dancers in a brand-

Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019 • 33


Christmas & New Year’s Camp DECEMBER 27-28 & JANUARY 2-4 Ages 4 - 13 Camp hours 8:30 to 4:30 (early dropoff 7:30 late pickup 5:30) Each day packed with fun activities, games, gymnastics and much more

Birthday Party Time PARTY INCLUDES: 20 guests plus birthday child 60 minutes of fun activities in gym 30 minutes in party room for cake / presents Complimentary T-Shirt for birthday child Our friendly staff does all of the clean-up Call 706-650-2111 for more information or visit


new production showcasing every type of dance style as seen on ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars, ranging from ballroom and jazz to modern and hip-hop. Dec 17. O HOLY NIGHT: A Classical Christmas. Covenant Presbyterian Church 3131 Walton Way Augusta. Dec 19. The Vegabonds at Southbound Smokehouse. 1855 Central Ave., Augusta. Dec 26. Dr. Sketchy’s Anti Art School – Augusta. Let Chat Noir. AY YO ART MONKEYS! Come get tipsy and scribble in your sketchbooks! Bring all your Art Supplies and settle in for a night of Drinking and Drawing! All Media except Photography is allowed. Dec. 20. Christmas Songs and Stories with John Berry. Mention his name to just about any country music lover and the response will likely be, “What an awesome vocalist!” John Berry began doing a Christmas tour in 1996 and this year will mark his 22nd consecutive Christmas concert series.As John has grown in his walk with Christ, his calling has been to share God’s love with his audience. Moving into a new phase in his career, John’s tenor voice remains an instrument that is able to touch all our hearts. www.imperialtheatre. com. Dec 21. The National Ballet Theatre of Odessa, Swan Lake. Music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Choreography after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. This full-scale production, set to the music of Pyotr Tchaikovsky and based on Russian folklore and German legend, follows a heroic young prince as he works to free the beautiful swan maiden from an evil spell. The first visit to the United State of America the legendary National Ballet Theatre of Odessa with 55 talented and brightest ballet Stars to bring this romantic tale of true love to glorious life.

Dec 29. Moon Taxi. For more info, visit www. Dec 30. Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at The Miller Theater. www. Jan 2. Wacky Wednesday Storytime at 10:00 a.m. at Macy’s, Augusta Mall. Kids of all ages are invited to attend weekly event. Join for exciting and captivating stories and activities. Jan 3. Winter Camp Kroc. 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Salvation Army, Broad St. From Wafj. com: Join Camp Kroc for a Winter camp. Children ages 5-12 will participate in daily fun activities that include arts and crafts, team building, gym games, swimming, and much more! Register now. Jan 4 & 5. POISON PEACH FILM FESTIVAL number eleven takes place at the fabulous Imperial Theatre in downtown Augusta, Georgia. This year Friday night is horror night and features Wages of Cine’s TALES OF TERROR. Saturday night is family friendly and features the WWII aviation epic STORMBIRDS, a world premiere feature. Weekend Passes are $20 and Individual days are $13. Visit, Jan 7. Evans Library Playground. From Gchrl. org: Young Makers s a program for kids 8 to 12 to work collaboratively on a staff directed project or on individual projects of their own, or just to play with some neat technology. Evans Towne Center. Jan 8. Puddle Ducks: Kids & Caregivers Club. Phinizy Swamp Nature Park from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Bring your little ones (through age 5) out on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 10 AM for a great time together with stories, crafts and hands-on fun in nature! For more information, call 706-3961428 or email Jan 10. Clay Walker. For more info, visit

Jan 12. Diana Ross. Bell Auditorium. For more info, visit Jan 15. Imagination Station Children’s Museum. 965 Hickman Rd., Augusta. Join the amazing Ms. Kathy every third Tuesday at Imagination Station at 10:30 a.m. for stories, songs, counting and rhymes with your toddler or preschooler! They will not want to miss this morning fun!! Jan 25. Alro Guthrie. For more info, visit Jan 26. Traxxas Monster Truck Tour. James Brown Arena. See these incredible 10,000-pound, car-crushing giants compete in Racing, Wheelie Contests and then rock the house with amazing Freestyle Action during the Traxxas Monster Truck Tour! Plus, meet the drivers and see the trucks up close at the pre-event Autograph Pit Party including appearances from SKULLY, X-MAXX, CRANIAC & OTHERS PLUS, ride in a real Monster Truck during the Pit Party and Intermission. For more information go to Jan 26. The Beach Boys. For more info, visit Jan 27. Patti LaBell. Bell Auditorium. Patti LaBelle has been hugely influential to a number of artists following her work with the LaBelles and as a solo artist. She has helped spur the rise of Disco in America, with the hit songs “Lady Marmalade” and “Messin’ with My Mind.” She has inspired a whole generation of soul singers, with the likes of Christina Aguilera, Donna Summer, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. Jan 30. Open House at St. Mary On The Hill Catholic School. 9:00 a.m. For more info, visit Feb 3. Georgia Bridal Show. The Trusted, Original, and Most Awarded & Attended: Georgia Bridal Shows & Wedding Expos Since 1990! Visit, Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019 • 37

Girl Go


Re n ee Williams

Karolina Agner KAROLINA AGNER, 39, is a photographer at Karolina Agner Photography. She is married to Sean Agner, who is a sales manager at Jim Hudson Lexus of Augusta. They have three children, Chayanne 16, Collin 12 and Cameron 7. One word you would use to describe yourself: Driven.

Best thing about being a mom? Watching my kids grow.

If you could have any job, what would you choose? I have my dream job as photographer & enjoy meeting new people and being able to capture their memories. Its the best thing in the world.

Hardest part about being a mom? When they are hurt and you are helpless.

What quality do you most admire? Kindness.

What was you first job? A waitress at an Italian Ice cream shop.

What’s your favorite food? I am not picky at all and love trying new things. But the best is my grandma’s kitchen. She would cook some amazing Polish food.

Whom do you admire the most? My husband. He is one of the most amazing human beings. He works for our family so hard and always tries to find how to better himself.

Dream vacation? Greece and Italy.

Signature dish? Bigos ( Polish sauerkraut).

Favorite place to take the kids? The beach.

Are you a planner, a dreamer or a doer? Give us an example of why: All of them. My job requires a lot of planing. I do dream a lot about traveling the world and one day , when my kids are older then I will do it!

If you had a super power, what would it be? To cure all the sick people. Favorite TV show: Grey’s Anatomy. What did you want to be when you grew up? Day Care Provider. Hobbies? Photography was a huge part of my life before I became a professional photographer. What would surprise people about you? I am scared of the dark. I can not sleep without a night light.

38 • Augusta Family | December 2018/January 2019

Favorite indulgence? Nutella.

Favorite subject in school? When I attended school in Germany we had cooking classes. That was the best experience ever! Greatest hope: I hope that all my children will have a happy life . Biggest fear: Losing a loved one. What inspires you? Talented photographers all around the world. There is so much talent in the world and this makes me want to work to be better daily.

Augusta Family Magazine December 2018/January 2019  

The Magic of Winter Holiday Gift Guide

Augusta Family Magazine December 2018/January 2019  

The Magic of Winter Holiday Gift Guide