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The Isaacs

Christmas Concert Sunday, December 3rd. 6pm FREE- The Sanctuary,

4584 Cox Road, Evans (adjacent to Evans High School) | | 706-364-8284


34 Departments 6 9

Features 24 Annual Toy Guide

A listing of top-rated toys, games and more that you’re children want this holiday.





30 10 Holiday Treats to Help You Sparkle This Season

Help for the Holidays ON thE COvER: June Harper and John Bradley Black are the children of Brittany and J.T. Black of Martinez. Photo by Chris Thelen




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.

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


Mom to Mom

Partying with Jesus —Karen Gordon


News & Notes


Eating Well With Kim

Black Friday Breakfast Frittata —Kim Beavers, MS, RD, LD, CDE


Doctor Dad


Smart Mom’s Guide

—Christina Katz

Also, check out our contests and giveaways!

Editor’s Page

A Healthy Thankfulness —J. Ron Eaker, M.D.

Mom’s Guide to Seasonal Budgets —Cammie Jones


Raising Readers


Fun Food


Inspiration Station Finding Inspiration in the Face of Tragedy with Kenny George Band

I See Me Personalized Books & Gifts —Meridith Flory A Friendsgiving Feast —Family Feautures

—Dustin Turner




Go Girl! Pat Carpenter —Renee Williams

Augusta Family | November 2017 • 5


Editor’s Notes b y Renee Williams

PUBLISHER Ashlee Griggs Duren

EDITOR Renee Williams



ADVERTISING SALES Doressa Hawes Maidi McMurtrie Thompson Mary Porter Vann

PHOTOGRAPHY John Harpring Carter Koenig Photography Chris Thelen

CONTRIBUTORS Kim Beavers, MS, RD, CDE J. Ron Eaker, M.D. Meredith Flory Karen Gordon Cammie Jones Mary Ashton Mills Paige Tucker Dustin Turner Naimah Shaw 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 or mail to 725 Broad Street, Augusta, Ga., 30901. For advertising information, telephone (706) 823-3702. For circulation/distribution, call (706) 823-3722.

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

6 • Augusta Family | November 2017

Ombre September 14 started out as just a normal day. I drove Dylan to school, kissed him goodbye and told him that his brother Zakkary would pick him up from school that day. After dropping Dylan off, I returned home to begin my day. My 25 year old son Zakkary was a graduate of Evans High School and was pursuing a professional career in the music industry as a talented singer-songwriter and brilliant guitarist. Zakkary was home with me that day. Around 2:30 p.m., I began washing clothes, cleaned the house and prepared lunch. I made Chicken Parmigiana (Zakkary's favorite meal) and as he left the house, I told him that I loved him and told him to be careful. At 3:23 p.m., right around the time my children should have arrived home, my phone began ringing off the hook. I began receiving calls and texts from strangers saying, " I am here with your children. They have been in a bad accident." Trumpets of fear and desperation blared in my head. My children were less than a mile from home. As I ran outside to get into my car, I realized my kids were in my car and I had no way to get to them. Right then a complete stranger (who I now know as Glenn) pulled up and said, "Let's Go!” I jumped into the car. On the way to the hospital, I learned that a distracted driver hit my children. I also learned that Dylan (who miraculously walked away unharmed) asked this kind and considerate man Glenn to help Zakkary as he lay dying in the middle of the expressway. As my children were being taken away by ambulance, Dylan gave Glenn my number, our address and asked him to help me. As I listened to this devastating news, I screamed frantically and hysterically to God to please let my children be ok. En route to the hospital, we passed the horrific scene. My heart sank as I saw the complete devastation: four vehicles, eight injuries and two days later my son Zakkary would be listed as a fatality. The scene was horrific. Once I got to the hospital, I desperately searched for someone to tell me where my children were. Once I finally talked to a neurosurgeon, I was told Zakkary was brought to the hospital on life support and during surgery his heart stopped beating. I was told they revived him but his blood would not clot so they had to stop surgery. I was told Zakkary was in very fragile condition and could not be moved due to severe head injuries. I saw the hopelessness in the doctor’s eyes and my world stopped. Once we were allowed to see Zakkary, he was unrecognizable. For the next two days, Zakkary's hospital room was filled with family and friends and we shared in stories of how Zakkary had touched our lives. We tried to help fill the void in our hearts and tried to help ease the pain of looking at him in such bad shape. On September 16, we were told Zakkary had no brain activity. We begged for more tests, begged for answers, begged for solutions, begged for an escape but there were none. Later that day, Brian and I began discussing funeral arrangements. On Sept 23, we held memorial services for Zakkary and over 200 people were in attendance. There was an enormous outpouring of love and support from family, friends and the community. Zakkary's friends and acquaintances shared wonderful memories of how he touched their lives and nothing anyone posted or said was a surprise, because Zakkary was a unique, kind and gentle spirit. The stories merely reflected back upon us the light that Zakkary shone throughout his life. There’s a beautiful story about great jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis in The Atlantic Monthly written by David Hadju. In the article, Hadju described a time that he was at the Village Vanguard watching Marsalis play the ballad, “I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You.” As Marsalis reached the climax of the song, he began playing the final phrase when someone's cell phone went off, fully wrecking the moment. Marsalis paused, put his trumpet down at his side and stood motionless. After a few seconds, however, Marsalis took this rude interruption and did something amazing. Without missing a beat, he picked up on the tune of the cell phone's ring and incorporated it into the song he was playing, blending it with what he'd planned to play. Because that’s what great musicians do, they improvise. Zakkary’s life has been rudely interrupted but we must take the ring of death and discord and turn it into life. It is my intention to transform this rude interruption into an improvised moment of glory by bringing beauty out of tragedy, heroism out of selfishness and salvation out of sacrifice. “I loved a boy with the utmost love of which my soul is capable, and he is taken from me. Yet, in the agony of my spirit in surrendering such as treasure, I feel a thousand times richer than if I had never possessed it.”- William Wordswrth

Renee Williams

Augusta Family | November 2017 • 7

Mom to Mom b y Ka ren G o rd o n

PARTYING WITH JESUS Confession: I struggle with religion, the perks and the baggage that comes along with it. I’ve never struggled before because I’ve always been comfortable in the knowledge that there’s something bigger than all of us… something watching, waiting and keeping us safe from harm. But, as I continue to meet new and different people, I welcome diverse opinions so the struggle continues and intensifies. My husband is very conservative and I’m liberal. It is true that opposites attract, but nobody ever told me that I would have to bite my tongue this much. Sheesh! Dad (a.k.a. Bossman) recently took The Scoot to a birthday party. It was cool and they had a great time at Chuck E Cheese (translation: no skirmish). Great! Wonderful! Cool! The next day, all Scoot could talk about was what he wanted for HIS birthday. He turns nine in January and he is getting started early SO turns out Scoot wants a Jesus-themed party. He requested an inflatable Jesus in the front yard and another in the backyard. SAYWHAAAAAT?! Yes-a Jesus party! WHAT KID actually wants a Jesus party? Apparently, Scooter. Now… Scooter continued in detail what he wanted for his Jesus party, but I stopped listening because there was no win for me in this situation. I have some deep-seated issues with the Church and I’ve just gotta work through them. There are a couple of ways to look at this, but no compromise. One would work only for me and the other would only work only for Bossman. I would insist that Jesus be black, with hair in locks and that there be a communal table with cheese, bread and water turned into wine. Bossman would probably insist that we have a petting zoo of sorts with animals, maybe a stable or an ark, a Virgin Mary or a flood. But, perhaps we could compromise… between all of our artist friends, we could construct a great experience for Scoot which would satisfy him AND his parents without being too creepy. I’m up for it and we’ll be sure to send pics. PIVOTING…. On another note: In my previous column, I shared some pretty heavy thoughts about my relationship with my adult sons with respect to our family dynamic. I submitted it way after deadline, but asked Renee if she would consider publishing it if time permitted. She called, we discussed and she agreed to submit it for publication. But…we mostly talked about our boys. We talked about how cantankerous, frustrating, thankless and unforgiving some days could be but how even then, it’s a beautiful process in which we learn new things about our children and (if we allow it) we learn new things about ourselves too. I never had the pleasure of meeting Renee’s son Zakk. I never got to hear his music but I’ll never forget where I was when I heard about the accident. It was Thursday, September 14 at approximately 11:00 p.m. when I was told that it was Renee’s children that were in that car and I heard Zakk’s prognosis. The entirety of that conversation flooded my memory and haunted my thoughts for weeks afterward. There are no words to express my thoughts. I can’t imagine losing a child. At the risk of being cliché-ish, please do tell your loved ones they are loved. Keep in touch with friends and show kindness to strangers. Tomorrow is not promised. Out on the ocean sailing away I can hardly wait to see you come of age But I guess we’ll both just have to be patient ‘Cause it’s a long way to go, a hard row to hoe Yes, it’s a long way to go “Beautiful Boy” John Lennon Karen Gordon is a singer, songwriter and the founder of Garden City Jazz. She works with the City of Augusta to present the Candlelight Jazz Concert Series each year and has partnered with RCBOE to develop interactive courses such as Taking Notes: Jazz & The American Story and Jazz4Kids.

Augusta Family | November 2017 • 9

news&notes November 2017



mommy minute BEST FALL SCENTS

Perfume enhances the mood, helps lift your spirits and you can also wear a perfume that reflects your mood. Whether you feel playful, mischievous, timid or even reserved, perfumes offer many different kinds of smells for different moods. Select and wear a perfume as

ImagIne steppIng InsIde a dream closet for the holIdays. A closet filled with thousands of designer pieces, wearing whatever you want, whenever you want. Take risks and have more fun with your style every day. Rent the Runway gives you the keys to an always-expanding dream closet, filled with the latest styles from over 500 designers. Rent. Love. Return. Endless Styles. Infinite Possibilities. The Renting Revolution Is Here

per the occasion so that you can get in the apt mood for it. Here are three classics worth revisitng this season. 1. J’adore by Dior: The essence: feminine, delicate

Fashion freedom: You’ve got 100,000s of options at your fingertips. Try new things, have more fun and go for it. Total wardrobe flexibility: Let’s be real! your style, size and budget change over time. Now, your closet can too. Smarter closet: Imagine a closet that has exactly what you want, takes up no space And does all your dry cleaning. Smaller clothing footprint. Clothes end up in the back of closets or landfills. Power the sharing economy and rent instead. In The App: First Dibs: New pieces are available on the app before anywhere else, Personalized Recommendations: Our new and improved app experience makes it easier to find pieces you love. Real Time Order Info: Update your order, track your shipment and chat

and floral with ylang-ylang, damask rose and jasmine ($155 for 5 ounces; dior. com) 2. Euphoria by Calvin Klein: The essence: exotic, rich and oriental with pomegranate, persimmon, lotus blossom, black orchid, black violet and mahogany ($89 for 3.4 ounces;

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie-Author, Journalist

3. La Vie Est Belle by Lancôme: The essence: sophisticated, sweet and floral with iris, jasmine, orange blossom, praline and patchouli ($110 for 3.4 ounces; lancome-usa. com)

Augusta Family | November 2017 • 11

Are we there yet? DAUFUSKIE ISLAND By Mary Ashton Mills


f you want to get back to the basics and experience a trip that gives you that “off the grid” feeling while still close to civilization, check out Daufuskie Island. Located between Hilton Head and Savannah, the island is easily accessible by ferry or private boat charter so it definitely takes some advance planning to pull off a trip here. They say that Daufuskie is minutes away, but worlds apart and you’ll soon see why as the coastal breezes hit your face on the boat ride to the island. Your sense of time and your weekly hustle bustle vibe will slowly dissipate. While on the island, you can choose from activities such as enjoying one of their beaches, attending historical tours, crabbing, fishing, kayaking, golfing or perusing the local art galleries. Golf carts rather than cars heavily frequent the paved main street, but most other roads that still weave around the island are dirt roads, giving you that small island vibe. Get your rum on at Daufuskie Island Rum Company offering tours daily from Wednesday – Saturday. If art is your passion, don’t miss the Iron Fish Art Gallery where metal sculptor Chase Allen handcrafts whimsical coastal icons like blue crabs and mermaids. Next stop by the Glass House where glass jewelry, silverware and gift items are all made in house at the river front studio. Don’t forget Silver Dew Pottery making dishes, platters and pots on the island for over 15 years. Marsh side Mamas and Old Daufuskie Crab Company are very casual waterfront dining establishments that are the perfect place to enjoy a shrimp burger, tuna tacos or a cold drink. Come as you are! Local Gullah Sally Anne Robinson now preserves the Gullah culture that was once so dominant on the island on private

12 • Augusta Family | November 2017

Daufuskie Island golf cart tours. Famous author Pat Conroy once taught her as a child at the Mary Field School. Speaking of famous people, John Cougar Mellancamp owns a home near Bloody Point on the island and frequents this hidden South Carolina gem with Christie Brinkley. They say he’s right at home here. Didn’t he have a thing or two to say about a small town?? DISTANCE: 162 miles 3 hours 22 minutes BUDGET: Set aside some money for this trip. Ferry reservations and golf cart rentals can set you back before you even begin to rent a home and pay for meals or activities. . WHAT TO SEE: Check out the most historic landmark on the island, the First Union African Baptist Church that was built in 1881. IF YOU GO: You will need to book your reservation with the ferry in advance. Daufuskie Island Ferry - 843-940-7704. You can come for the day or stay a while. If you rent a home, make sure to choose one in Haig Point or Bloody Point and not Melrose since it is not an active resort anymore. Don’t leave without trying local specialty, deviled crab. Ask the locals where you can get some!





FALL BACK SIGNALS SMOKE ALARM CHECK It’s that time of year again. Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 5. That’s when we turn our clocks back an hour and get some extra sleep we lost in March. Well, in theory. “But what you may not know is that Daylight Saving Time is also the best time to check your smoke alarms to make sure the batteries are fresh,” said Renee´ McCabe, injury prevention and program manager of Safe Kids Greater Augusta. “In fact, research shows that having a functioning smoke alarm doubles your family’s chances of surviving a fire. Alarms are a critical first step for staying safe, but in order to be effective, they have to be working properly.” For the best protection, McCabe recommends following this advice from Safe Kids: 1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside every sleeping area and in each bedroom. 2. Use Daylight Savings Time as a reminder to check your smoke alarms. 3. Replace conventional batteries at least once a year, even if alarms are wired directly into your home’s electrical system. 4. Consider installing a smoke alarm that has a 10-year battery. 5. Smoke alarms expire after 10 years. So if your alarm is more than 10 years old, you should install a new one. 6. Create and practice a home fire escape plan with two ways out of every room. Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by Children’s Hospital of Georgia, works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading killer of children ages 1 to 19. Safe Kids Greater Augusta is a member of the Safe Kids Worldwide network. To find out more about local Safe Kids programs, call 706-721-7606, or visit To view the Safe Kids Worldwide Teens and Distraction campaign and videos, visit


This holiday season Augusta on Ice rolls out the white carpet as it transforms the Augusta Common into a winter wonderland. Complete with an expansive outdoor ice-skating rink, twinkling lights and festive decorations, Augusta on Ice is the premiere winter festival for all ages.Frosty’s thrilling ice slide, the Augusta Express train ride and family friendly concerts will truly create a winter playground for all ages. Celebrate the season with live music, dancing, s’mores, hot chocolate, craft beer and wine. Snap a selfie with Santa and shop delectable confections from Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen. Grab your coats and mittens and head to Augusta on Ice, where family and friends will experience 50 days of merry-making activities sure to inspire fun, magic and wonder. More information and complete details at

Augusta Family | November 2017 • 13

Eating well with Kim b y Ki m B e a ve rs , M S , R D, LD, C DE

Black Friday Breakfast Frittata Thanksgiving really sets up the holiday season of eating and shopping especially on Black Friday. This recipe is a perfect way to help you shop till lunch without dropping. To maintain energy during the holiday season continue good eating habits like eating a high protein nutrient rich breakfast. This is a make-ahead breakfast. It’s packed with protein and also uses leftovers from the typical Thanksgiving meal and can be made while putting leftovers away. Once the recipe is assembled just refrigerate overnight, and bake in the morning.

14 • Augusta Family | November 2017

Eating well with Kim

Black Friday Breakfast Frittata This is the perfect after Thanksgiving breakfast, easy to fix using leftovers, and a cinch to bake off in the morning before black Friday shopping. It is designed to use leftovers, so use whatever left over bread and vegetables you have in place of the bread and vegetables in this recipe.

2 teaspoons olive oil 1 cup chopped red pepper ½ cup chopped celery ½ cup chopped onion 2 cups chopped leftover rolls 1 cup chopped turkey

2 ½ cups egg substitute (or 10 eggs) ¼ cup Greek yogurt ½ teaspoon black pepper ¼ teaspoon salt 1 cup chopped spinach

If cooking this right away preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with vegetable oil cooking spray. Place a non-stick skillet over medium heat, add oil and once hot add the red pepper, celery, and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Next add the bread and turkey and allow the mixture to sauté together while you prepare the remaining ingredients. In a medium bowl combine the egg substitute, yogurt, salt and pepper, whisk until well combined. Stir in the spinach. Put the vegetable-turkey mixture into the prepared baking dish and pour the egg mixture over. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and cook for 10 more minutes or until cooked through (center will be set and not too wet). Yield: 8 Servings Nutrition Breakdown: Calories 140, Fat 3g, Cholesterol 15mg, Sodium 330mg, Carbohydrate 11g, Fiber 1g, Protein 15g. There are plenty of non-food related ways to stay healthy during the holidays as well. Here are a couple ideas to get you started. • Celebrate and reflect on what the holidays are really about-- spending time and making memories with family and friends • Sign up for a 5K or fitness walk to keep your mind focused on fitness. Check out or to find race schedules for the entire year. Until next time, eat well, live well!

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 ewwk. You can also watch the segments at Augusta Family | November 2017 • 15

Dr. Dad

b y J. Ro n E a ke r, M. D.

A Healthy Thankfulness I stepped off the bus apprehensive about the scene unfolding in front of me. The Infirmary or “Home for the Poor” as it was otherwise known, was a collection of dilapidated barracks housing abandoned physically and mentally ill men and women who were deemed to have no value to either family or society. The Infirmary was located on a purposefully isolated knoll in coastal Jamaica symbolically situated to reinforce their desire to forget its existence. The contrast surrounding its physical location was as stark as the dichotomy of the island itself. A lush forest populated with exotic fruit trees and bathed in rainbow colored foliage surrounded the ramshackle open aired barracks originally commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1898. On an island where five star luxury resorts share the same zip code as cockroach infested hovels, the mocking beauty of the surrounding forest was in contradistinction to the decaying dormitory of the forgotten. We were greeted gleefully (and a bit unexpectedly) at the door of the men’s quarters by a thirty-ish Jamaican, physically mature but with the mind of a child. Richard had a toothless smile the size of the island itself as he exclaimed, “Oh boy, they’re here! Oh boy, they’re here!” in raid fire succession. His repetitive phrases were sincere and he instantly touched our hearts and calmed some of our apprehensions. We came to learn that Richard had been housed at The Infirmary all of his adult life, and his apparent inability to understand the destitution of his surroundings was counted as a blessing. Entering the first cinder block building, I was struck by numerous sensations all vying for attention. Visually the scene was disturbing: cot after cot of ancient bodies positioned as if trapped in their bed by some invisible barrier. The distinctive odor, one I had come to associate with hopelessness was a mixture of urine, putrid food, and stale, unmoving air and it covered the room like an unseen fog. Our small band of church mission workers spent an hour in The Infirmary talking, praying, bathing and cleaning our hosts. Soon, we loaded up a few of the less ill and mobile onto our bus and made the short trip to the Jamaican beachfront frequented by the locals. There were no hotels, tiki bars or swimming pools, just a few kids and adults enjoying a respite from the oppressive heat. Those who were ambulatory walked arm in arm with their chaperone to the shoreline, while others were carried fireman style to the water. We sat in the cool, shallow waters of the Caribbean and spent the next few minutes rubbing soft sand on the resident’s life16 • Augusta Family | November 2017

weary skin, all the while hoping that they might forget for just a moment that they had to return to their reality. Earlier in the day, I had observed a skeleton-thin, talkative gentleman pacing to and fro among the cots greeting other residents all the while holding up an obviously grossly oversized pair of trousers. As I sat in the gentle cleansing waves with Zebe, the owner of the XXL pants, I asked him if he could have anything in the world - anything at all - what would he ask for? He took the question quite seriously and pondered it briefly then looked me in the eye and in his most thoughtful voice exclaimed, “A belt. Yes, I would very much like a belt!” This is a time of year when we invoke thankfulness in an almost nonchalant fashion. I have to remind myself to punch through the complacency of abundance and rethink what it means to be thankful. We are bombarded with admonitions to be thankful for a free country, good health, and material comforts. All of these things are grand and worthy of thanks; however thinking of Zebe reminds me that the things that I see as worthy of thanks are largely due to my perspective. Regardless of circumstances, I can choose to be thankful. Tethering my appreciation only to objects or accomplishments is a set up for disappointment as those things may not always be present; however, if my basis for thankfulness is rooted in my ability to choose, then no circumstance can dissuade me. Choosing to be thankful for your good health (and your ability to change it if you are not satisfied) leads to joy, peace of mind, and good will. I see the world through my own lens. In other words, where you are in the world, physically, emotionally and spiritually, colors how you understand thankfulness. If I had cancer, I would be very thankful for the anti-nausea medicine that follows the powerful chemotherapy; whereas, such medicine would not enter my thoughts otherwise. If I have all my worldly possessions stashed under a six by three foot cot, I am thankful for a belt. It is a matter of perspective. Let us celebrate this season of thankfulness with an understanding and appreciation of our choices, and hopefully this will lead us to action that will translate into healthy blessings for ourselves and others. Dr. Eaker is an Augusta Ob/GYN and author. He and his wife, Susan, have two daughters in college.

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

Budgeting for the holidays It sneaks up on me every year. All of a sudden, I am making a list of all the gifts I need to purchase for the holidays and it is overwhelming. When I say overwhelming, it is not just from a lack of time perspective, it is also the amount of money I am about to spend. It makes me a little nervous, but there are some great and clever ways to budget for the holidays ahead of time so that you can enjoy those festive weeks of hustle and bustle and avoid those January regrets. 1. Determine your BuDget Most people start buying before setting a budget and this can get you in over your head. It is crucial to make a budget first, taking into account all the extra stuff like postage for holiday cards, home decorations, costs of hosting a party and travel. Look at your finances and decide how much you want to spend. You can do this one of two ways — have a budgeted amount per gift per person or a lump sum that you don’t want to go over. Whatever your budget amount is, stick to it. 18 • Augusta Family | November 2017

2. StaSh money now Your friend pays you back in cash for something — take this money and put it in your “underwear drawer.” A little bit of cash here and there that you won’t miss can add up quickly. Put it away in a hiding place that you will not dig into and you will have a little stash of cash to use for the holidays. You can even start a holiday bank account that is used only for gifts and holiday needs. This would be separate from your checking account and would be a great way to control what you spend. 3. make early PurchaSeS If you see something that is perfect for that certain friend or family member, buy it now. Don’t wait until December to make all your holiday purchases. Designate a closet or bin of some sort where you can start collecting. The key is not to forget about what you purchased and where you put it. A little gift here or there will ease the crunch time during the holidays. Not only will you spend less in

December, you also won’t be panicking about your long shopping list. Go ahead and knock it out! 4. make a liSt & check it twice Using your set budget, make a list of every person to whom you need to give. This will allow you to know exactly what you are looking for when you are shopping or on a website looking for items. Put this list on your phone or print a copy that you can keep in your purse when you are out and about for reference. Update it as needed as you mark someone off the list. 5. watch for SaleS We all know about Christmas in July, Black Friday Sales and various sales on websites and in stores. Look for these sales and use them to your advantage. Clip any coupons or shop at various one day sales on a particular store’s website or location. Again, look at your list and see what you are looking for and then “stalk” the item to get the best deal.

Smart Mom’s Guide

6. Cash Only I hate to get that January bill from my credit card company. Avoid this hassle by paying mostly cash for gifts this year. Clark Howard, co-author of the book “Get Clark Smart: The Ultimate Guide for the Savvy Consumer,” says to set a limit, take that money out of the bank and when it is gone, the holiday buying is over. Paying cash for stuff will eliminate the post holiday blues and bills that hit us in January! 7. Get Crafty There is nothing nicer or more unique than a handmade gift. If you are artsy, use your talents to make something special for your friends and family. This is a great way to save money and put thought and a personal touch to a present. 8. start BakinG We all know the holidays are full of really good

comfort food and sweets. A homemade treat is an appreciated gift during this busy holiday season. A breakfast casserole that can be frozen and served to guests on Christmas morning is a great gift to give to neighbors and coworkers. If you can set aside a day to bake and cook, the time involved can be controlled as well. Instead of running from place to place looking for that perfect gift, you can hang out at home, listen to holiday music and enjoy the aromas of the holidays. 9. DOnate time Or mOney Reyna Gobel, author of 8 Tips to Help You Control Holiday Spending (www.investopedia. com) says, “Your friends probably struggle with overspending as much as you do over the holidays.” Instead of buying something for everyone, get a group of friends together to volunteer at your local food shelter or soup kitchen. Make a day of it and go to lunch or

dinner after to celebrate or you can have everyone over later that night for appetizers and drinks. “You’ll get to spend quality time together, plus you’ll come out of the day feeling proud of your efforts rather than suffering from buyer’s remorse.” You can also give a donation in honor of someone to their favorite charity or a charity that is close to your heart. With the recent hurricanes in our country, making a donation for those affected may be the way to go this year. ‘Tis the reason for the season! With a little pre-planning and budgeting, this holiday season can be a less stressful on your mind and your pocketbook. Take time to enjoy the holidays this year! Cammie Jones is an Augusta freelance writer and mother of three.

Augusta Family | November 2017 • 19

Raising Readers by Mere d i th Fl o r y

I See Me!

Personalized Books and Gifts for Raising Your Reader As technology and readership changes, the publishing world continues to innovate to find new ways to engage and attract young people to the page. One of the burgeoning products on the market is the personalized book - where a book is purchased that can incorporate names, pictures or other information from a specific person into the story. I See Me! Personalized Children’s Books is one such brand. I recently spoke to staff at the company, and had the opportunity to review their products with my own children on the pages. Mompreneur Maia Haag decided to embark on the creation of I See Me! Books while pregnant with her first child. Haag shared, “We received a personalized book as a gift for our new baby and while we loved it, we thought the quality could have been much better. I had always loved to write and I thought I could write a better book. My husband—a graphic designer—said that he knew he could design a higher quality book.” The storyline stays the same but the purchaser provides a 20 • Augusta Family | November 2017

name and other information pertinent to that book. The book sent to me, U.S.A. Road Trip! included a picture of my child incorporated throughout, my child’s name in the title, story, on various signs in the illustrations and a message from me at the beginning of the book. Some of their stories connect to a specific holiday and Christmas and Hanukkah ones are available for this time of year. The series for dog lovers is appropriate for an adult in your life as well - with illustrations that are tailored to match your pet, living or in memoriam. Other books are on common child interests such as pirates, fairy tale creatures and several coincide with a specific event, such as becoming a big sibling or getting a pet. Haag and her staff strive for quality and it shows. She shares, “When I am writing personalized children’s books for I See Me!, I write it with one of my own children in mind. Doing so ensures that I’m writing authentically and with emotion. When I wrote our latest book If My Dog Could Talk, I wrote it with our dog

Raising Readers and our children in mind!” While the books are separated into suggestions for boys and girls on the website, make sure to check both categories to find your child’s interest as they can be personalized the name and picture you provide. As a military family with a move coming up, the staff sent me U.S.A. Road Trip to review due to its focus on driving through all 50 states. The book places the child’s face on illustrations for a trip across our country and its delightful illustrations and beautiful pictures did not disappoint. All 50 states are included, but the story also included a page with extra information on our home state and my daughter got a kick out of her picture eating a Georgia peach (her favorite fruit of course). To move quickly through all 50 states, some states have more detail than others, however, every state is represented and a parent can easily help a child distinguish the landscapes drawn in sweet, colorful illustrations. My children’s names were also on items like a driver’s license and gas station sign - giving an opportunity to identify those items later as we drive, and to help with name recognition.

While there is a list of state flags with a space for your child to mark which states they have visited, I See Me! also has additional products that can accompany the books and add to the experience (for separate purchase or available in some cases as gift sets). Ornaments, name stickers and coloring books are some of the other options and would make easy stocking stuffers. They are releasing their first ever board game soon and as I’ve often mentioned in my column, family game nights are a wonderful way to encourage literacy skills. Haag says of the other products, “Many of our books are educational, and we try to extend the learning into other products that we offer. For example, the scratch-off map that accompanies My U.S.A. Road Trip encourages the child to scratch off the states that he or she has visited. This helps to reinforce how to spell the names of those states and where those states are located. Our My Very Own Name, My Very Own Fairy Tale and My Very Own Trucks books all teach the child how to recognize letters and spell their own names. We offer personalized coloring and activity books that encourage the child to trace the letters

of his or her name, as well as learn about different animals or trucks.” While the products from I See Me! or other personalized book companies should not replace the role of treasured story books that have more depth of plot and timeless qualities on your bookshelf (as I suggested last year, annual book awards such as the Caldecott and Newberry are excellent ways to find this year’s new classics), they are certainly an entertaining and sweet way to engage your young reader and make them feel special around the holidays. I know my children will love seeing themselves illustrated in the states we drive across to move as the year comes to a close. And if my family wears me down in the whether or not we are getting another pet argument once we arrive, the If My Dog Could Talk! Book will make its way to our shelves. (All items discussed sold at 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.

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AGES 4-14. STARTS NOV. 1ST THRU FEB. 14TH Cost of this program will be $160.00 and players will receive 2 Training Tops, Shorts and Socks. Monday and Wednesday Nights from 6:00-7:30. Designed to teach and enhance the technical skills required to develop and grow as a complete soccer player. There will be 60 Minutes of technical training and game play. Staffed by Bulls Coaches and Players, High School Coaches and Players, and College Players. Go to and click on the Register FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CALL THE BULLS SOCCER CLUB AT 706-550-2858 OR EMAIL BULLSDOC12@GMAIL.COM | WWW.GA-SCBULLS.COM

Classes begin September 8 Classes begin September 8

Classes begin September 8

Music Classes for Home Schoolers Music Classes

Music Classes for Home Home Schoolers for Schoolers Music and Movement Rhythm Instrument Stories

Boomwhackers!® Music Theory Rhythm Music Music and and Movement Movement Rhythm Instrument Instrument Stories Stories Boomwhackers!® Music Theory Boomwhackers!® Theory Skills, Service, andMusic Songs Skills, Service, Incorporating community and serviceSongs into classes

Skills, Service, and Songs

Incorporating community service into classes in preparation for performances at local retirement homes. in preparation for performances at local retirement homes.

Incorporating community service into classes in preparation for“performances at local retirement homes. I was so fortunate to have an expert “ I was so fortunate to have an expert

teaching teaching my my children children to to read read music, music, play play instruments, understand musical concepts, instruments, understand musical concepts, history, and more...”to have an expert “ I was so fortunate

history, teachingand my more...” children to read music, play instruments, understand musical concepts, history, and more...”

Join us for Holiday Camp DECEMBER 27-29 & JANUARY 3-5 8:30AM-4:30PM Early drop off at 7:30am and late pick up 5:30pm at no extra cost. Ages 4-14 Registration fee required for non - members Let us help you with some holiday shopping with new items in our pro shop.

Register online or call 706-650-2111








| 706.724.2485 | 605 reynolds Street, Augusta GA

Teach My Yoga Mat Set - Hop and Learn

Teacher’s Pet

In & Out Activity Table

Designed to encourage active learning through hopscotch and yoga. Research shows that children who move while learning may absorb more. Your child can master the alphabet, numbers, shapes and colors, while playing hopscotch and doing yoga. Using a yoga mat, spinner, bean bags and play tokens, your child won’t even realize they are learning. For Ages 3+ 24.99

An innovative classroom product that makes a great gift for your favorite teacher. Made from a proprietary microfiber blend, Teacher’s Pet is a fun and useful whiteboard eraser designed by a teacher. For Ages: for teachers & Kids ages 5-12 $16.99

A unique design features three ways to play. Twin tables open to reveal deep wells for sand, water, blocks, craft supplies, sensory water beads and more. A doubled sided table top with molded-in cup holders is great for crafting or snacking while the other side is perfect for miniature car racing fun. For space saving storage the tables nest and stack. No assembly required. For ages 1 1/2 & up $69.99

PBS KIDS Turn the Key: Around the World

Eggsplorer Transformable Drone

Turn the key, open the door, and see how and where kids live and play in faraway places. Readers will peak inside a nomadic home in Mongolia, a houseboat in the Netherlands, a bamboo house on stilts in Bangladesh, and other homes in South Africa, Siberia, and El Salvador. This colorful book introduces kids to other cultures, shares new vocabulary, and enhances fine motor coordination. For ages 1 to 4 years $12.99

A unique egg-shaped quadcopter that can open its wings to fly once activated by the touch of a button. When not flying, it can go back to it’s egg form. This is an easy-to-fly quadcopter drone with flexible flying options via the headless flying mode, speed selection, and auto hovering. For ages 8+ $29.99

My Audio Pet These are the cutest, tiniest and super pwoerful Bluetooth speakers. They’re small and pack an impressive sound. They offer Parable Wireless Stereo Technology, so you can use them individually or pair two together for an amazing stereo sound. They feature: Easy wireless connection to most smartphones and other Bluetooth-enabled devices, built-in mic for hands-free options, rechargeable battery for portable tunes wherever you go, and remote selfie Function. For ages 5+ $29.99

Augusta Family | November 2017 • 25

TOMO 2 in 1 STEM Robotic Kit

GEO Salt Water / Solar Powered Robot

IlluStory - Create Your Own Book!

An educational robot kit that teaches beginners (age 8+) about graphical programming, electronics and robotics through building and the use of smart devices. It can be assembled into 2 different robots: a tricycle or a self-balancing dicycle. Control, program and share via smartphones or tablets to explore the endless possibilities of robotics. For ages 8+ $99.99

A STEM educational DIY robot kit that teaches young kids about the value of alternative energy sources and the science behind them. Kids can learn how to use alternative green energy sources to power up Geo and see the robot zip away from their fingertips. Educational fun facts are also included in the instruction manual. For ages 8+ $19.99 www.tenergy,com

Fuel a child’s love for books, drawing and storytelling with this complete kit for writing, illustrating and publishing their very own hardcover book. Lulu Jr. book-making kits are a top choice for creative children and brings your child’s imagination to life through the fun and educational process of making their own book. For ages 4+ $29.99

The Learning Journey Match It! Spelling

Stuck On You Personalized Name Puzzles

A colorful set of three-letter and four-letter puzzle cards which provides children with an introduction to spelling. They can learn to spell by associating the object with the word and correctly assembling the puzzle pieces. The puzzles are self-correcting — only cards with the correct sequence will fit together. Match It! Spelling is a fun and easy way to learn this necessary skill. For ages 2-4 $11.99

These wooden name puzzles are a great way to enjoy learning. Wooden Name Puzzles are a fun and educational tactile toy that will improve kids alphabet recognition skills and help them learn their name will having loads of fun. Ages 2-4 and 5-8 years old. $20-$35

Marvel Spider-Man Homecoming: Official Movie Edition Spider Drone

26 • Augusta Family | November 2017

Now you can help your favorite superhero watch over the city with your own Official Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Edition Spider-Drone, Powered by Sky Viper. With eight legs and a Spidey-suit-inspired style, this drone is an authentic replica of Spider-Man’s new gadget in the blockbuster film. As your drone takes flight, follow along with the Spider-Drone app to unlock achievements and view media in the gallery. For ages 12+ $79.99

Thomas & Friends Super Station A fun multi-system track set with 3 levels of play. Children play with engines from Thomas & Friends™ Adventures, TrackMaster™, MINIS and Wooden Railway. It includes Thomas, Percy, James and Harold and holds over 100 engines with 35 feet of track! For ages 3+ $99.99

Zoo Jamz Stompin’ Fun Drums™ Children will enjoy this fresh way to practice counting and develop coordination as they follow along with the melodies and sing-along songs or create their own rockin’ beats! Mini musicians will love stepping on the elephant bass pedal to see the elephant trunk move up and down and create a fun bass sound effect. Watch kids jam out to the beat of their own drum and create some sweet rockin’ tunes! For ages 18 months-4 years $39.99

Marvel Swing & Sling Spider-Man

My Very Own Ice Cream Cart

Swing, sling, flip and tumble with the new plush toy. Spidey has some amazing moves, he can swing in the air, hang upside down, tumble forward and backwards, and even do a 360 backflip then get back up! Press his foot, then pick him up by his webs. He even says fun phrases and plays the “Spider-Man” Theme Song! Villains won’t stand a chance against you and Swing & Sling Spidey. For ages 3+ $39.99

Order up! Kids can role-play as an ice cream server when they get behind the counter of this colorful ice cream cart. Included are scoops of ice cream, cones, bowls, scoopers, serving spoons, coins, and a credit card to ring up the orders. For more role-play fun, kids can pretend to serve their friends with stackable scoops of ice cream flavors. With two big anchoring wheels, it’s easy to move the cart indoors or out. For ages 2+ $19.99

KidKraft’s Ultimate Corner Play Kitchen w/ Lights & Sounds

ThinkFun: Roller Coaster Challenge Engineering Game

The play kitchen has realistic interactive features that bring the imaginative environment to life with burners that light up and a super fun ice maker that makes realistic sounds and flashing lights! Speckled granite style counter top, knobs turn an click, convenient storage space below sink, sink with faucet and taps that turn, stove-top burners have lights and sounds. For Ages 3+ $229.99

This thrilling engineering challenge helps players understand physics and logic concepts. Choose one of the 40 challenge cards, then set up the board as directed. Using the remaining pieces, players must build a working roller coaster that meets the build conditions specified on the challenge card. For Ages 6+ $29.99

Augusta Family | November 2017 • 27

VTech Baby Beats Monkey Drum™

Monkeys Up Board Game

Marvel Spider-Man Mega City Play Set

Tap on the drum, monkey will move/play drum effects. Two sensors, rewards tapping with a variety of drum sounds/tunes. Light-up shape buttons to learn about animals, animal sounds and colors, and hear playful sing-along songs. Two learning modes encourage little ones to interact with the drum by asking them to find animals or colors, or to press the flashing light. The music mode focuses on music play, variety of fun songs/melodies. For Ages 3-24 months $12.99

This is a fast pace game that will have you going bananas. Players compete to get the best score by flipping, switching, and stealing monkeys. Each monkey has a value hidden under its feet that is only revealed when flipped. Victory will come to the player who switches, steals, and flips the best. You will find yourself laughing head over heels until all of your monkeys are up. For ages 6+ $21.99

Imagine swinging into action and saving the city with Spider-Man. At a towering 46 inches tall – nearly 4 feet! –the set includes more than 20 features and 5 levels of play, from the subway to the bank vault and Peter Parker’s secret lab. Hook Spider-Man up to the web zipline and watch as he swings into action to stop villains from using the exploding door to steal money bags from the bank. For ages 4 + $99.99

Bath Bombs

Ben 10 Rustbucket Vehicle and Playset

Disney Junior Doc McStuffins All-in-One Nursery

With these bath bombs can transform your bath with fizzy bubbles, fun color, and a fantastic fragrance. Learn the science behind creating the perfect fizz and make up to 12 colorful bath bombs in 5 different shapes. Dunk them in a bathtub full of water to release the strawberry kiwi scent then sit back, relax, and settle in for a good soak! For Ages 6+ $21.99

The main vehicle seen in Cartoon Network’s new Ben 10 animated series, the Rustbucket is a 2-in-1 vehicle that transforms into a giant 3-level playset standing over 2 feet tall! Kids can create their own adventures with all of the Ben 10 Basic Figures, using all of the action features in the Rustbucket, including an alien transformation chamber, plasma blaster, “alien-vator”, grabbing claw, alien lab and more! For ages 4+ $49.99

Preschoolers can nurture and care for their baby dolls alongside Doc McStuffins with the All-in-One Nursery – an adorable role-play center full of exciting doctor features and accessories to explore! Use Doc’s portable electronic patient laptop to diagnose, featuring a lightup screen, sounds and lullaby music. The light & sound stethoscope is great for checking baby’s heartbeat. When it’s time for a checkup, measure baby’s height and weight on the scale and so much more! For ages 3+ $79.99

28 • Augusta Family | November 2017

Groovy Blocks: 170 Piece Set

Kidizoom® Action Cam 180

Tad’s Get Ready for School Book™

Put a new twist on conventional building blocks. The brightly colored grooved blocks and links slide together in multiple ways for open-ended creativity, while the color-coded links simplify the construction process. The Parent Guide offers instructions on basic connections and construction as well as other builds to replicate or use as inspiration. Plus, playing with Groovy Blocks develops creativity and problem solving skills while building fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. For ages 4+ 34.95

The 180° rotatable camera lets kids take photos and selfies from all angles, plus shoot videos with fun features like slow and fast-motion. Use the included accessories to mount the camera to a bike, skateboard and more while taking great action shots anytime, anywhere. Add the all-weather, water-proof case for use up to six feet underwater. For even more fun, play one of the three included games. For ages 4+ $49.99

Contains 12 pages of interactive learning and introduces ABCs, numbers 1-10, colors, animals, shapes, emotions, music and more. Touch the pictures on each page and the book will come to life with learning phrases and sounds. Press the music button to hear six learning songs and watch the light flash along. Then, practice telling time by turning the hour hand on the clock. For ages 2+ $21.99

Pull & Discover Activity Elephant™

GearZooz™ Roll & Roar Animal Train™

IDO3D 3D Print Shop

Twist the dial and little jungle explorers will learn about the jungle friends, what sounds they make, fun phrases and music. When they’re feeling tame they can press light-up buttons that encourage motor skills or match the blocks with the shape sorter to discover colors, animals and shapes. Manipulative features such as the spinning flower, sliding caterpillar and rolling ball help develop fine motor skills. For ages 12-36 months $29.99

Children can create their own unique train by mixing and matching the 15 included gears while strengthening their fine motor skills and problem solving techniques. Put the Smart Gear™ animals on the pegs to learn about animals. Press the buttons to listen to different instruments or answer kid-friendly quiz questions and move the slider to explore different locations. Little ones can push the train or pull the string to watch the gears spin and move. For ages 18 months-4 years

a battery-operated tech device that provides a simple-function 3D printing experience for kids. The IDO3D Print Shop empowers kids to create any 3D object they desire or to clone those they already own. Without the need for complicated 3D modeling software, the 3D Print Shop builds objects in just minutes by using 3D technology and a new “Formula 4D” system, designed to form and then reform molds in any shape. For ages 8+ $59.99

Augusta Family | November 2017 • 29

30 • Augusta Family | November 2017

Time Out for




The holiday season can be total chaos for moms. So don’t get bitten by the over-commitment bug this year. Try to carve out daily breaks when you do something thoughtful just for you. This will help you think straight when requests for your time just keep pouring in. And don’t make the mistake of waiting for others to give you the gifts that turn on your holiday cheer. Give gifts to yourself first, and watch how much more generous you feel towards others.

Augusta Family | November 2017 • 31

You will smile all holiday season long, once you remember to inspire yourself daily: The smell of bliss. Spritz a little bit of evergreen, sugar cookie or eggnog latte room spray in the main rooms of your home. Your holiday spirit will perk right up and start to boogie, no further effort required. Purchase sprays at your local health food store or mix your own using 20 drops of essential oil, 2 oz distilled water, and 2 oz vodka in spray bottles in tinted glass spray bottles. ‘Nog your coffee. Make your own eggnog latté: Mix a half-cup of fresh eggnog with a quarter-cup of 2% milk. Steam until hot and frothy or heat in the microwave. Pour over two shots of fresh espresso or a half a cup of coffee brewed double-strength. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg. Yummy! sNowflake-sNippiNg mediTaTioN. Why not make some snowflakes for the windows? Get some plain white paper, fold it up into whatever shapes you like, and cut some chunks out of it. The more you cut, the more delicate the results, remember? Scotch tape your snowflakes up in windows where they will be visible to folks outside, so you can bring a smile to their faces, too. give yourself a quick sTreTch. All you need is a doorway and a rug. Stick out your arm and bend it straight up at the elbow. Lay your forearm on the doorjamb and twist your body gently away from your arm until you feel the stretch across your right shoulder and down the right side of your back. Ah. That feels good. Next, lie on your stomach on the rug and prop your upper body up slowly by straightening your arms. Push your hips down into the carpet as you arch your back as much as you can, stretching your upper body up and back. You will feel like a million bucks after a tenminute stretch. curl up wiTh a good book. You don’t have time to curl up with a book during the busiest time of year? But that’s precisely why you must do it. Reading

32 • Augusta Family | November 2017

slows us down and let’s us settle in. Without a book to read, you might not ever slow down all holiday season. No matter how many pages you turn, let your good read remind you that tuning out the world every so often is good for the soul. Slough city. Turn your bathroom into a skin-softening getaway by stocking up on exfoliation brushes and cloths. Then whip up a quick and minty scrub using a half-cup of sugar, a half-cup of coconut oil, and ten drops of peppermint essential oil. Use a generous amount and rub gently all over to kiss that flaky skin goodbye! Don’t reSiSt the weather. If you have the right gear for cold-weather outings, you can enjoy being out and about as much as the rest of the year. Sturdy walking boots, warm texting gloves, a comfortable hat, and a lightweight winter coat with a built-in muffler will keep you smiling as you brave the weather to get daily fresh air. Make a liSt anD check it twice. You can put anything in the world you want on your list. As you are making it, pretend the sky really is the limit. What do you dream of receiving? Write it down. Make each dream a wish. You deserve it all and more! cheriSh fuzzy frienDS. Pets are great teachers. But quality time with pets can fall to the bottom of our to-do lists at this time of year. Don’t let this happen to you. Get down on the ground and let your pets remind you to slow down and make time to snuggle and play. turn up the Sparkle. Twinkle up your finger and toe nails with some sparkle polish. Whites, silvers, and golds all match the season. For more drama, go for reds, dark blues and even blacks that shimmer. Don’t forget a bottom and top coat to protect your nails. Author, journalist, and writing coach Christina Katz turns up her sparkle every holiday season via these techniques and others. She has learned, over the years, to prioritize her holiday wishes first, before attempting to bring joy to others.

Augusta Family | November 2017 • 33

Fun Food

C o u r tes y Fa m i l y Fea tu res

Leftover Turkey Taco Crescent Ring Prep time: 25 minutes, Cook time: 25 minutes, Servings: 10

Friendsgiving A


Sides, drinks and leftovers perfect for sharing with friends Friendsgiving is the perfect opportunity to celebrate your second family with festive, fun recipes that stray a bit away from traditional fare. “Friendsgiving is often held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving,” said Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens. “It’s more of a potluck party than a traditional Thanksgiving – everyone is usually assigned a dish. Instead of stuffing or a green bean casserole, bring a dish that’s a little more fun, like corn pudding with a dash of smoky heat from chipotle chili pepper.” These recipes for a caramelized Brie and a chocolatey red wine from the McCormick kitchens are also sure to please. If your party falls after the big day, put those turkey leftovers to good use with a cheesy turkey crescent ring perfect for feeding a group of friends. Find more recipes to share with friends this season at

34 • Augusta Family | November 2017

1 package McCormick Original Taco Seasoning Mix, divided 2 tablespoons butter 1 cup finely chopped onion 2 cups shredded, cooked turkey 1 can (15 1/4 ounces) whole-kernel corn, drained 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and chilies, drained 1 garlic clove, minced 1 container (8 ounces) whipped cream cheese 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided 2 packages (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls Heat oven to 375 F. Reserve 1 teaspoon taco seasoning mix in small bowl; set aside. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion; cook and stir 3 minutes, or until tender. Add turkey, corn, tomatoes, garlic and remaining seasoning mix. Cook and stir 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in cream cheese and 1 cup shredded cheese. Unroll crescent roll dough on greased or parchment paper-lined baking pan. Separate into triangles. Arrange triangles to resemble sun with center open. Press dough where bottoms of triangles overlap. Spoon turkey mixture in ring where dough overlaps. Fold triangle points over filling, tucking into bottom layer to secure. Continue until entire ring is enclosed. Bake 15 minutes, or until golden brown. In bowl, stir remaining shredded cheese into reserved seasoning mix. Remove ring from oven. Sprinkle with cheese mixture. Bake 5 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted. Serve with desired toppings, such as shredded lettuce, sour cream or guacamole.

Fun Food

Chipotle Corn Pudding Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Servings: 8 1/4 cup cornstarch 1/4 cup sugar 2 teaspoons McCormick Minced Onions 1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Ground Mustard 1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Chipotle Chili Pepper 4 eggs 1/2 cup milk 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

2 cans (14 3/4 ounces each) creamed corn 1 can (15 1/4 ounces) whole- kernel corn, drained nonstick cooking spray Heat oven to 400 F. In small bowl, mix cornstarch, sugar, onions, mustard, sea salt and chili pepper until well blended; set aside. In large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Stir in milk, butter and all corn. Gently stir in cornstarch mixture until well blended. Pour into 2 1/2-quart baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 1 hour, or until set, stirring halfway through cooking. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Pecan Pie Brie

Slow Cooker Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 12 minutes Servings: 12 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon McCormick Ground Nutmeg 3 tablespoons butter, divided 1 cup pecans, chopped 1/2 cup light corn syrup 2 tablespoons water 1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Rum Extract

1 wheel Brie cheese, warmed In small bowl, mix brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg until blended. Set aside. In large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add pecans; toast 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low. Stir remaining butter, corn syrup, water, vanilla extract, rum extract and brown sugar mixture into skillet. Cook and stir until butter is melted and mixture is heated through. Remove from heat. Mixture will thicken as it cools. Spoon over warmed Brie.

Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Servings: 14 1 bottle (750 milliliters) red wine 8 cups whole milk 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk 1 package (12 ounces) dark chocolate chips 1 teaspoon McCormick Ground Nutmeg 4 McCormick Cinnamon Sticks Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover. Cook 60-70 minutes on high, or until chocolate is melted and mixture is heated through, stirring every 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Serve from slow cooker. Augusta Family | November 2017 • 35

Inspiration Station by D u s t i n T u r ne r

Center Ely, Scott Rankin, Kenny George, Brooks Andrews, Bucky Brown

Finding Inspiration in the Face of Tragedy Sometimes inspiration can be found in the face of tragedy. That happened for Kenny George, Scott Rankin and the members of the Aikenbased Kenny George Band after drummer Bucky Brown died while working in Nashville, Tennessee. A full-time truck driver, Brown was 54 years old. Brown’s death hit the band hard, but in that time of tragedy, the musicians found inspiration and realized that they were also inspiring others. Vocalist/songwriter Kenny George and steel guitarist Center Ely were performing in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina when they heard the news of Brown’s death on July 26. “People just showed up that night at the venue,” Rankin says. “They stopped what they were doing, left wherever they were and came to show support. Kenny and 36 • Augusta Family | November 2017

Center were devastated, and people just showed up.” The outpouring of love from friends, fans and other musicians that night was overwhelming, Rankin said. “Kenny and Center were almost four hours away, but the people there felt such a connection to Bucky and the band that they said it was where they felt the need to be.” George said he was devastated by the news of his friend’s passing. “We were absolutely in shock for at least the next 12 hours after that. All of our friends that play up there just gathered at an apartment after the show and listened to music and tried to figure out what we were going to do from there.” The next morning, some of those friends and fans drove George and Ely home. The Kenny George Band was hit hard by the

death of their colleague and friend. They were inspired, though, to see how their friends, fans and even colleagues in the music business were affected. “We heard from a lot of people after that. The calls, the text messages, the social media posts – they weren’t boilerplate stuff,” Rankin said. “It was very sincere. People were deeply affected.”

Forming relationships Rankin said he and the band members always try to engage their fans and talk to the people who come to see them. “I tell the guys in the band all the time that if you see someone is a fan and enjoying the show, make contact with them,” Rankin said, “and they will see you are not just a good band but good

Inspiration Station

people, and they will push the music and feel invested.” Brown took that concept a step further. They often had to find him after a show to help with load-out because he would spend hours talking to fans. “Bucky had an impact on people, he made them feel special,” Rankin said. “We heard from so many people that he affected. He affected people deeply that he only met one time and it was powerful to hear from all those people.” George echoed that sentiment, “To this day people come up and talk about how they played with him in junior high or how he had a big impact on them. Almost every day, someone comes up and pays respects or tells you a cool story.” Brown didn’t have life insurance, so the Kenny George Band did what it does best – it put on a show. Rankin helped coordinate a benefit concert at Sky City in Augusta. On Aug. 9, Kenny George Band and another four local bands performed. The night included a raffle for a guitar and a silent auction. Small businesses in Aiken and Augusta donated the guitar and merchandise and services for the auction. They raised almost $2,000 on a Wednesday night for their friend. People from all over were inspired to attend, which Rankin said was very moving. Musicians from other bands from Myrtle Beach and Charleston and Athens showed up to remember their friend and colleague. “People drove four to five hours the day of the memorial, just to be there...We’ve been afforded this unique and amazing opportunity to become close friends with bands trying to do the same thing we’re doing.” Some unexpected fundraising began the night before the Sky City show when George went to play his weekly acoustic set at Playoffs Sports Bar. “My friends here in town had already come in and set up everything. All I had to do was show up and play. They even put out a donation box for Bucky. Some of the band members came out and helped. We raised $400 on a Tuesday night.” From those two shows and a GoFundMe page that Rankin set up on the night of Brown’s death, they raised about $10,000 for Brown’s family.

Inspired to Continue The decision for the band to move on wasn’t easy. “We didn’t immediately know what to do or what we should do,” George said. “He was the first drummer I ever played with at about age 15. After he passed, it was pretty hard for me to figure out what we should do.” Rankin said he urged the band to continue because he knew Brown would want that. After all, Brown shared the same inspiration as the rest of the gu: original music. “It’s not about just being the center of attention and entertaining people. It’s all about the original music. The reason we’re doing it is that we feel like it’s what we have to do. Bucky and I talked all the time about how this is the best thing we’ve been a part of and something we believe the most in.” Brown was passionate about what the band did and that inspired the group to get back to making music. And when it came to original music, Brown didn’t hesitate to let George know where he stood. “There were a couple of shows in Augusta where we only did a few original songs in a three-hour set,” George recalled. “Bucky

pulled me aside afterward and asked what the problem was. He said, ‘Everything you write is better than this cover stuff. That’s what we need to be doing.” He was pushing me to play my stuff even when we were teenagers, and it was bad and awkward. Remembering that kind of thing put a fire under me lately to get back out there and play original music.” Rankin added that the simple answer is that Brown would want the band to move on. “If we stopped after his death, it would piss him off so much. He knew you have to take your lumps in this business. It wouldn’t be honoring his memory if we didn’t get back out there and play when we were ready. It would be such an injustice not to keep going,” Rankin said. With five people who knew each other so well, the Kenny George Band did not have to practice a lot – even new, original songs. “We developed a connection that transcends anything else,” Rankin said. “Nobody else can do what we do when we play our music, especially our original music. And that’s what’s going to get people connected within the band and to the band.”

Looking Ahead Brown’s family has also inspired the Kenny George Band to keep doing what it loves. They assured them that Brown would want the music to continue. At a recent concert, “his whole family came out to see us and they were really sweet and supportive,” George said. “So we are getting back in the swing of things and figuring out how we are going to go forward.” For the band to continue, however, it would need a new drummer. They didn’t have to look far – Augusta musician Dave Mercer, mostly known for the band Sibling String, was inspired to reach out and offer his services. Mercer started practicing with the band and it was a good fit. “Dave loves the original stuff and Buck’s style of drumming,” George explained, “and he is gung-ho about all the original stuff. There are plenty of hired guns out there who can play drums, but finding someone who is passionate about our music and about us as a band is about as good as it gets.” The band recently released the studio LP Borrowed Trouble and George plans to have another album written in the next year. He was even inspired to write a song about Brown. “Everybody had these stories about Bucky and he was happy to do a favor for you and never held it over your head.” George has played the song a few times in concert. Matt Williams, of the Athens band Pickled Holler even wrote a song about Brown. George said he hopes to release the two songs digitally sometime soon.Brown’s presence is felt every time the band hits the road, George said. “Bucky pretty much built the truck we tour in. I don’t think there’s ever going to be a time we get in the truck or on the road when we won’t think about Bucky. We know we are doing what we always wanted to do and what he would want us to do.”

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 | November 2017 • 37

Head to tHe Fair


The Columbia County Fair returns with rides, games, food and fun. november 2-12. . Hours: 4:00pm to 11:00pm NEW NIGHTLY SHOWS THIS YEAR - PETER HART WITH ATLANTA PUPPET - HIGH DIVE SHOW - LADY HOUDINI - HORSES, HORSES, HORSES - TREEMAN - MICHELLE’S MAGICAL POODLES - COWBOY WOODY Returning Attractions - Chases Racing Pigs, Master Chainsaw Carver, Eudora Petting Zoo FFA – Judging 6pm

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 karin.calloway@


Special eventS:

Davis has created a show that features

Christmas. A full length play, comedy.

beloved Christmas music along with

Twas the night before Christmas, when

nov. 14th

dazzling multimedia effects performed

all through the house, not a creature

19th annual KicKS 99 Guitar pull

in an intimate setting. Experience

was stirring, not even a mouse.” But

includes Darius rucker, Jake owen,

the magic as the spirit of the season

wait! A mouse is stirring - because San-

Randy Houser, Lee Brice, Brett Young

comes alive with the signature sound

ta missed his house last year. Before

and Big & Rich at the James Brown

of Mannheim Steamroller. Their holiday

you can say “Merry Christmas!”, join Ft.

Arena. For more info visit www.augus-

CDs have become synonymous with

Gordon Dinner Theatre and set off on

Christmas and continue to occupy top

the wild adventures of a mouse, an elf

spots on Billboard’s Seasonal Charts

and a spunky little girl who just won’t

every year!

take no for an answer. Don’t miss this

nov 16 Mannheim Steamroller

joyful tribute to the holiday season!

by Chip Davis has been America’s

Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, and 10

Visit for details.

favorite holiday tradition for the past

Ft. Gordon Dinner theatre.

Ken Ludwig is a two-time Olivier

30 years! Grammy Award winner Chip

Ken Ludwig’s Twas the Night Before

Award-winning playwright whose work

38 • Augusta Family | November 2017

is performed throughout the world in more than

nov. 5

McDuffie Arts Council (MAC) and sells paintings in

thirty countries and over twenty languages. He

simon & Jacques

the MAC on Main Art Gallery. She is also a mem-

has written twenty-four plays and musicals, with

Jabez s. Hardin performing arts Center

ber of Women Painters of the Southeast. www.

six Broadway productions and seven in London’s

Cello and guitar duo Simon & Jacques have been

West End.

working together since they were colleagues at


the Yale School of Music. Their repertoire includes

nov. 16

de Falla, Schubert, and newly commissioned

Gift Shop Holiday Open House

works. Visit www.

Join the fun and kick off the holiday season with a

nov. 4

day of shopping, entertainment and refreshments

Lynndale Advocates 4th Annual Vendor-Craft

nov. 9

at the Sacred Heart Gift Shop! Shop for the latest

Bazaar at Lynndale, inc., 1490 Eisenhower

Opening Reception, Melanie Stokes. Exhibit

in holiday decorating items, home accessories,

Dr.,Augusta. Event will be

through Dec. 29. Melanie Miller Stokes is an

jewelry, regional books and artwork while confec-

held inside. Past offerings include personalized

artist, a teacher, a wife, a mother, a mother-in-

tions from cookies and cakes to breads and pies

children’s books, scrap booking supplies, a wide-

law, a grandmother and a friend. She was born

tempt your appetite from the Guild Bake Sale. But

selection of creative crafts, custom ornaments and

in Macon, Ga., grew up in Statesboro, went to

wait there is more…cooking demonstrations in the

much more. To book a table or for more informa-

Shorter College in Rome and later to Georgia

Great Hall and book signings by local authors are

tion, contact A raffle is

Southern University where she earned an M.Ed. in

also featured. So take time out from the flurry of

being held. Need not be present to win. Grand

Art Education. Retired from 26 years of teaching

the season, enjoy some holiday treats and get a

Prize is $100, plus other gifts. All proceeds sup-

in Georgia public schools (twenty of those as an

jump start on all of your season’s “to-dos.”FREE

port Lynndale Advocates’ mission to continue to

art teacher) she now pursues her passion in her

and OPEN to the public. FREE gift wrapping and

serve our individuals with special needs.

backyard studio in Thomson. She is a member of

easy parking! Augusta Family | November 2017 • 39


Join us as Colton Ballet Company of Augusta brings this holiday favorite to life during the 2017 Thanksgiving Weekend! Nov 24-26 | December 11. Aiken Symphony: Home for the Holidays. Ehterredge Center. www.

Nov. 24-26

the annual A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

lyrics, join the many that make this theatrical

The Nutcracker

under the direction of Keith Shafer. The event,

event part of their annual holiday traditions. www.

The holiday season brings to mind family, friends

based on the traditional English Christmas program

and...The Nutcracker! Come and experience the

that originated at King’s College Chapel, Cambridge

same magic and grandeur that Ron Colton brought

University, England, will feature readers, the Augusta

Dec 10

to Augusta in 1971. Your entire family will enjoy this

University Choir and Davidson Chorale.

Aiken Symphony Orchestra Home for the Holidays

classic holiday tale that has become a tradition in the CSRA. Join us as Colton Ballet Company of Augusta

Call for tickets and information.

Many Moods of Christmas, Christmas at the Movies,

brings this holiday favorite to life during the 2017

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Thanksgiving Weekend!

Carol of the Drum, Audience Sing-a-Long

December 11. Aiken Symphony: Home for the

Dec. 8-10

Featuring the Aiken Choral Society. www. aikensym-

Holidays. Ehterredge Center. www. aikensymphony-


by The Augusta Players Brimming with music and dance, love and laugh-

Dec 15

Dec. 5

ter, the Augusta Players will give the holiday

Suzy Boggus

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

spirits the full Broadway treatment with the musi-

Presented by Morris Museum of Art Budweiser True

Sacred Heart Cultural Center

cal version of the Charles Dickens classic. With a

Music’s Southern Soul and Song. www.imperialthe-

The Guild of Sacred Heart Cultural Center presents

score filled with beautiful melodies and emotional

40 • Augusta Family | November 2017


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. 8-10 |

Dec 21

Dec 23

Smile, Saturday In The Park”

Christmas with John Berry

Come and Listen to a Christmas Carol

, 25 Or 6 To 4, You’re The Inspiration and songs

Mention his name to just about any country mu-

Tim Lowry as Charles Dickens

from their Album released in 2014 “NOW” Chicago

sic lover and the response will likely be, “What an

St. Andrew Presbyterian Church at 3551 Wheeler


awesome vocalist!” Between 1979 and 1990 John

Road, Augusta will be hosting a storytelling event

recorded and marketed six albums on his own Clear

featuring internationally known storyteller Tim Low-

Nov. 2

Sky Records label. Those early discs and John Berry’s

ry. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased through

Wizard of Oz

strong regional popularity attracted him attention on

the church’s website ( ) or the

There truly is no place like home as the greatest

Music Row. Capitol Records signed him in 1992 and

church office (706-736-4575) during business hours

family musical of all time, the wonderful WIZARD

it was there that he had a string of hits, including Your

(M-F, 10 AM-2 PM).

OF OZ, twists its way into Augusta! The entire family

Love Amazes Me, Standing on the Edge of Goodbye,

will be captivated as they travel down the Yellow

I Think About It All The Time, Change My Mind, If I

Bell Auditorium Events

Brick Road and beyond with Dorothy, Toto and their

Had Any Pride Left At All, Kiss Me In The Car, What’s


friends the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow in

In It For Me and “You and Only You. But it was his

this lavish production, featuring breathtaking special

stunning performance of the title track of the 1995

Nov. 1

effects, dazzling choreography and classic songs.

CD O Holy Night that led to his most enduring lega-


This spectacular celebration of the iconic 1939

cy. This year will mark his 21st consecutive Christmas

CHICAGO will perform their unforgettable collection

MGM film will blow you away from the moment

concert series.

of music and their greatest hits to include; Make Me

the tornado touches down and transports you to a Augusta Family | November 2017 • 41



Teaming up for a series of co-headlining, intimate solo acoustic performances, which includes full sets from each artist! Dec. 6 | Bell Auditorium

a dazzling Oz, complete with munchkins and flying

Dec 6

All Season Long

monkeys. Don’t miss the chance to travel Over the

Rick Springfield and Richard Marx

Salvation Army Christmas Time Programs

Rainbow and experience this national treasure on

Teaming up for a series of co-headlining, intimate solo

stage. Visit www.

acoustic performances, which includes full sets from

Bell Ringing at the Red Kettle

each artist! Over the past three decades, Rick Springfield

The Salvation Army is widely known for its outreach dur-

Nov 9

has worn many hats as an entertainer and performer.

ing the Christmas season. Since 1891, red kettles have

The Music of Journey

The creator of some of the finest power-pop of the ’80s,

been a familiar Salvation Army tradition. Money raised

Symphony Orchestra Augusta

he’s a Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and

through these kettles provides much needed funding for

Brent Havens, guest conductor

musician who has sold 25 million albums and scored 17

their free programs throughout the year. The Salvation

Don’t Stop Believin’ in that iconic sound of the 80s.

U.S. Top 40 hits. As a performer, songwriter and produc-

Army depends on local volunteers to ring bells at various

Hear the top-selling rock music of all me as you’ve

er, Richard Marx’s nearly three-decade-long career has

kettle locations to encourage donations. Visit www. salva-

never heard it before – performed by Symphony

had innumerable highlights. The Chicago native has sold to learn more about how you, your

Orchestra Augusta.

more than 30 million albums worldwide, starting with

businesses or organization can support this great program!

his self-titled debut which went to #8 on the Billboard Nov 12

Top 200 chart and spawned four Top 5 singles, Marx

Corporate Angel Tree Supporter

Straight No Chaser

achieved a seven-year string of triumphs that rivaled

Benefiting needy children at Christmas. Host an

any in pop-rock music history. To this day, he is the only

Angel Tree at your place of business to adopt local

Nov 18

male artist in history to have his first seven singles reach

needy children at Christmas. For more Information

Brit Floyd - Pink Floyd Tribute

the Top 5 on the Billboard charts.

Call John Sebby at 706-434-3177.

Augusta Family | November 2017 • 43

Girl Go


b y Ren ee William s

Pat Carpenter Age:67, Parent Involvement Aide, married to Kenneth F. Carpenter, Sr., owner of Carpenter’s Tires & Auto, with two children Fran Gay, age 41 and Frank Carpenter, age 39. Pat has been a coach for North Augusta Park and Tourism for 36 years, a Sunday School teacher, a member of North Augusta City Council and the Cross Connection Bible Club. One word you would use to describe yourself: Energetic.

Best thing about being a mom? Kisses and hugs.

If you could have any job, what would you choose? Teacher.

Hardest part about being a mom? Discipline.

What quality do you most admire the most? Love for ALL people.

Favorite indulgence? Coconut Cake.

What’s your favorite food? Fried Chicken.

What was you first job? St. Joseph. Hospital in Medical Records.

Dream vacation? Any Beach.

Whom do you admire the most? My LORD.

Favorite place to take the kids? Church.

Signature dish? Fried Apple Pies.

If you had a super power, what would it be? Help anyone in need.

Are you a planner, a dreamer or a doer? Doer, I do things at last minute.Go with the flow.

Favorite TV show: Cowboy Movies. Favorite subject in school? Psychology What did you want to be when you grew up? Teacher. Greatest hope: Peace and love all over the world. Hobbies? Coaching. Biggest fear: people suffering Is there an important life lesson you’ve learned? Yes, to treat people as you want to be treated.

What are you reading right now? My Bible

What would surprise people about you? I do coach for fun.

What inspires you? Always giving your best, even if you not as good as others.

46 • Augusta Family | November 2017

Augusta Family Magazine November 2017  
Augusta Family Magazine November 2017  

Annual Toy Guide Time Out for Mom - 10 Holiday Treats to Help You Sparkle This Season