Monday, December 20, 2010

The Grinch Who "Stroll" Christmas

One of my passions is wrapped up tight in the Georgetown Christmas Stroll. I LOVE planning the kids area each year. I think it's funny though, because 6 years ago I'm absolutely certain I NEVER would have said that. Organizing, planning and implementing something that is on such a large scale terrified me. I can still vividly remember when Pastor Lee asked me to take on as the Champion for the Christmas Stroll. I immediately said "No Way". We still lived in Temple, had an 8 month old, and I knew "no one" in Georgetown, and I'm horrible at speaking in front of people I don't know. He said "OK, well just thought I'd ask." When I hung up the phone I felt horrid, and knew that I had made the wrong decision. But I tried pushing it aside and went about my day. I remember talking to Chris about it that evening and him saying there isn't any reason why you can't do this. So, I called Lee back. And I'm pretty sure he said something like "I knew you'd call back" ;)

I have to say I am soooo glad I followed God's prompting and called back. I won't lie, the Stroll is a lot of work and stress. But it is a pure joy every year to stand back and watch faces of children and families play all day.

This year was especially fun and different for me. This event has gotten to the point where I can't do it all on my own. I had to delegate. This was incredibly hard, but so rewarding. I had the pleasure of working with a fabulously talented group of people. They made the whole day possible. I can't wait to get started on Stroll 2011 because of them. I know they will come up with something super fun, new, and exciting ideas for our community.

This year we added a lot of new entertainment. Our theme has been Whoo-Ville for several years. But this year it really came alive. Friday night we kicked it off with Desserts with the Grinch. Our local cupcake bakery, Galaxy Cupcakes, donated 500 cupcakes. We gave them out for free and had the kids decorate them and share their evening with the Grinch. The Grinch had a great time handing out cupcakes to kiddos. Saturday morning we kicked it off early with set up. We added Kid Fish.

They brought in 500 pounds of catfish and had the kids catch release. It was so fun to watch these little kids catch a huge fish and try to pull it up out of the tank. Our biggest draw of the day was a real snow hill. One of our team members found the company Mireles Party Ice. They make a hill that you can sled down. It had a line all the way down the block. Another addition was Whoo Hair. Families lined up to have their hair made like a Whoo, then they'd go wait in line for a picture with the Grinch.

Here are a few of our Happy Whoo's

We brought in a super talented makeup artist named Tara Cooper. She's from Austin and was so wonderful to work with. I can't wait to work with her again. Here she is the middle of transformation of the Green Guy.

All Done!!!

Here is the Green Guy with one of his favorite Whoo's

As you can see this was super fun day. God has really blessed NewChurch with the ability to take part in this community event. I can't wait to see what else He'll throw our way through this event. You'll have to stay tuned to find out!!! =)

More Handsome at 32

Chris celebrated his "Beloved" Birthday on November 28th. It was on a Sunday, so we had a very busy day. The girls couldn't wait for him to open his gifts, so we went ahead and celebrated before church.

We picked out this great hat and a nice shirt.

Here he is in his new duds.

One of Chris' best friends, Mike, wanted to get Chris his favorite treat. We couldn't get ice cream cake, so he got his second favorite. Those wonderful cake like cookies from HEB. Mike finds them revolting and couldn't believe they were his favorite. =) He was so excited to get Chris candles and sing him Happy Birthday.

We also celebrated church wide with this great cake.

I can't believe how much God has blessed me and the girls with Chris. He is our Knight in Shining Armor, and treats us all like we hung the moon. Happy 32nd birthday and here's to 32+ more!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Portrait of a Family

For Mother's Day I asked my Dear Husband for family pictures. So last month we finally had free time to get them done. Chris has a friend (Scott Wade) who is a FANTASTIC photographer. We met him in Austin at this really neat nature park (with free roaming peacocks) and he worked his magic. We started off with the girls in this planter of overgrown flowers. Mac was up first and loved picking the flowers one by one. She pretty much ignored Scott and the camera. Aby took a little longer to warm up. Once she got in there and showed McKinley where the good flowers were her natural "hamminess" shined. My most favorite pictures are the ones that are candid. I love how Scott captured the girls flair and personalities.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


This November many blessings were brought to our attention. It really has been a great year in the Graves' household. We have experienced many firsts this year, and it's been quite an adventure.

This Thanksgiving we spent the afternoon with the Andrews' side, and then spent the evening with the Graves' side of the family. It was nice to spend a good chunk of time with my family. It's been a long time since we've all been together. It was loud and crazy, just the way I like it. Of course how could it not be with 7 grandchildren running around. This year my Memaw Mary came down from Ft. Worth to spend the day with us. It was nice to have her and Papa Harold hang out with us. So, here are some things that I feel Thankful for.

Crazy faces that MIGHT stick



(if you've ever been to my mother's house you understand why I'm thankful for this)

Pumpkin Pie and Reddi Whip

Chris has been full time at NewChurch Georgetown for a full year now. I can't believe it's already been a year, AND on the flip side I can't believe it's ONLY been a year!

Kissing Cousins

Hanging out with the ones you love

All the Men

Little Women

The Andrews' Line carries on with these 3!!!



The future

Little Girls, Little Girls, Every Where I look, I See Them

A school that encourages family participation

A Love for School and Learning

Spooktacular Halloween

This Halloween was Super fun! Halloween fell on Sunday, so naturally at church we had a Costume Contest. It was fun to see all the kids dressed up, but it was interesting to see all the outfits the adults came up with. My 2 favorite were the pregnant nun and the burning bush!

That afternoon we had a neighborhood festival. There were games, entertainment. a fun photo booth, and a costume contest. We ended up Trick or Treating with the girls' cousins, Kaylee and Emalee.

My Cheerleader and Angel/Ice Princess (she didn't want to wear the halo)

KK and Emmy

They were good buddies. Emalee took great care of Mac the whole time.


Aby and Sami

We then met up with Gomer and Jackson. They were very anxious to get started walking the neighborhood.

These girls have been friends forever, and both love Miss Bonnie to death. We get this shot of all three of them every year.






So happy to be Trick-or-Treatin'