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Billy Granville and Team

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Former Texans linebacker shares his gameplan for a happy, healthy family

Written by Tonya Ellis | Photography by Sara Isola

Sugar Land, TX News - Billy Granville and his wife Gretchen of Sugar Land have always been sports enthusiasts. He played for the Cincinnati Bengals, and she ran the volleyball ministry for Athletes in Action, when they met after college. Little did they know that this interest in athletics would play a big role in how they’d run their family.

“Parenting, in a lot of ways, is like coaching,” explains Billy, who was the captain of his football team at Duke University. “If you coached each player exactly the same, your team wouldn’t be very successful. Each player is uniquely gifted, has specific strengths, weaknesses, and different ways they are motivated.”

Starting Lineup
Parents of six children ranging in age from 10 months to 14, the Granville’s days are action-packed to say the least. Life, 14, and Zoee, 13, attend Fort Bend Christian Academy, and Zion, 12, Macy, 10, and Maximus, 8, are students at Walker Station Elementary School. Champ, their 10-month-old, still stays home with mom.

“Each one of their personalities adds so much flavor to our family,” says Gretchen. “I cherish watching them interact with each other and encourage each other.”

Zion, Zoee, Gretchen, Billy, Life, Macy, Champ, and Max Granville work as a team to stay connected in their busy lives

 

Typical Days
The Granvilles take part in two sports or school activities each night of the week, with four activities on Tuesdays, so they generally have an early dinner. Afterwards, they have snacks, finish homework, bathe, lay out clothes, prepare lunches, and head to bed. The family, strongly rooted in their Christian faith, is also involved in their church.

Dad and mom work closely together to make it all happen. “Billy will take the oldest two to school, and head to work,” Gretchen explains. “I’ll walk the next youngest three to the bus stop.” Then mom takes over with baby care, household chores, shopping, dinner planning and preparation, and errands.

Sweet Home Sugar Land
The Granvilles moved to Houston in 2002 when Billy signed on with the Texans organization. He was injured in the preseason and decided to retire from football, after he found success doing an internship in the financial industry.

“We lived a few blocks from the stadium, but as our family grew, and Billy made a career change, we decided that we could get more house and yard for our money in Sugar Land,” says Gretchen. “We heard from our friends that it was a great place to raise a family.”

Billy started his own company, the Granville Financial Group, which provides executive compensation solutions and corporate life insurance programs for financial institutions and corporate clientele throughout the southwest.

The Granvilles enjoy living in Fort Bend because it’s so family-oriented. “We love Memorial Park in Sugar Land, and Lifetime Fitness,” the couple shares. “We are very thankful for our church, First Colony Church of Christ.” Some of their other favorite places to hang out in the area include Black Walnut Café, Whole Foods, Starbucks, and Jamba Juice.

Gretchen and Billy Granville make time for each other by getting breakfast or lunch while their children are at school

Counting Their Blessings
The couple didn’t set out to have such a large family. They each came from families with three children, but say God increased their desire with each child they had. Rather than having the traditional “date night,” they find it easier to meet up for breakfasts or lunches together, while the children are at school. “We like to get up early on the weekends, get coffee, and take the baby and dog on a neighborhood walk, before the activities start,” says Gretchen.

Gretchen often finds herself reflecting on all they’ve been given. “When things are at their craziest, I count my blessings,” reflects Gretchen. “I think about how thankful I am that we have kids that are active and healthy, and that they have the opportunity to be in activities. I also think about the day when they’re all grown up, and how I’ll really miss this someday.” SLM

TONYA ELLIS enjoys feature writing and spending time with her family.

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