Page 1

JULY 2014

Pain Management Dream Team

Houston Methodist West Hospital




Pastries $2.95

+ absolutely! Kid Friendly



Texas Children’s Hospital, a Texas original for 60 years, Is ranked fourth in the nation and best in the southwest. We’re changing the face of pediatric medicine By providing the best care for our patients, No matter where they hang their hat. Look for us in Houston. You won’t find us anywhere else.

Only in Texas.

© 2014 Texas Children’s Hospital. All rights reserved. Ranking based on U.S.News & World Report Best Children’s Hospitals 2014-2015. MPR1009_051914

West Campus


J U LY 2 0 1 4








10 absolutely! FABULOUS FINDS

The team of neurologists, neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons at Houston Methodist West Hospital treat a vast array of neurological and orthopedic conditions – each with an individualized, multidisciplinary and conservative approach to pain management.

FEATURES 12 MARY KAY DIRECTORS SPREAD CHEER TO CHILDREN WITH CANCER THROUGH “ADOPT A MOM” PROGRAM Since 2006, the program has provided children with sponsored Mary Kay gift baskets to give their moms on Mother’s Day.


Find the best and brightest in private schools and after school activities to meet your child’s needs.


It’s not too soon to start planning! Great ideas for gift giving, booking events and preparing your home for the holidays

14 NEW KID ON THE BLOCK Guide to Relationships 101 and Some Lagniappe for Summer Travel

Henry Dibrell Katy ISD School Board Page 14





Presented by Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus


Jennifer L. Evans Out & About in the Heart of Katy Page 22


Unites Civic Leaders and Community Members

27 LITERACY ADVANCE OF HOUSTON Celebrates New Computer Literacy Lab


absolutely! AUTO REVIEW

28 absolutely! Q & A

Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus Answers Your Questions About Pediatric Urgent Care vs. Pediatric Emergency Center

G. Alexander West, MD, PhD; Christopher Smith, MD and Mohammad Al Baeer, MD. Photography by Nesossi Studios.

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Nancy L. Rommelmann Family Law Attorney Page 17 Christopher Hill Contributor Page 18


absolutely! HEALTHY LIVING






Robin Ebrecht absolutely! Fabulous Finds Page 10

Steve Kursar Auto Enthusiast Page 26

26 Mary Raines What’s Kickin in Katy Page 32



For a Fabulous 4th of July




Publisher, LARA BELL The dog days of summer are upon us, and wow, is it hot! If you are spending July in Katy like most of us, then you can’t help but sweat a little, so stay hydrated! In this issue, we are taking a look at Houston Methodist West Hospital and the great plans they have for their West campus. I am amazed every time I drive down I-10 and see the growth of the hospital! Also in this issue, we learn about LitStephenie Cox, Lara Bell and Suzanne eracy Advance’s new computer lab and of Stiles enjoying summer. course, some Fourth of July fun including some patriotic pastries you can make with your kids. We also take a look at some great summer activities for the kids because before you know it, it will be back to school. Next month, we are helping you get ready for back to school by introducing you to new company coming to Katy that will change the game in high school students’ study habits! Finally, I wanted to show off this cute photo of Cole Evans, our Out & About in Katy columnist Jennifer Evans’ son. I saw this adorable photo of him as a winner in a recent golf tournament, and I just couldn’t resist! Great job Cole! Have a great summer, and see you in August!


Lara Bell-Milam @larabell

Kiana Kosack


EXECUTIVE PUBLISHERS Michael & Lisa Fredrickson E D I T O R- I N - C H I E F Patti Parish-Kaminski M A NA G I N G E D I T O R Sarah Bearden PUBLISHER Lara Bell S E N I O R AC C O U N T E X E C U T I V E Jessica Kij AC C O U N T E X E C U T I V E S Stephenie Cox Susan Dannhaus Jennifer Elliott Kay Garrett Juliet Hubbell Michelle Johnson Andrea Rigamonti Suzanne Stiles Bonnie Bell Woodrow A RT D I R E C T O R Grace Belleza GRAPHIC DESIGNER Ginger Garza

CONTRIBUTORS Henry Dibrell Robin Ebrecht Jennifer L. Evans Christopher Hill Steve Kursar Mary Raines Nancy L. Rommelmann INQUIRIES 281-690-4242

READER FEEDBACK Having recently adopted a vegetarian diet, I appreciated the article about bacteria and cancer in the June issue. The information in the article gave me additional reasons to commit to this new, healthy lifestyle.



Absolutely! yours,

Cole Evans.

4655 TECHNIPLEX DR. STE 700 STAFFORD, TX 77477 281-690-4242

I loved the article in June’s issue called Energy Grows Here and There: Local Businesses Plant Seeds of Support in Branding Campaign Initiative. I love how businesses are trying to brand the Katy name. As a 35 year Katy resident and realtor, I love to see how much Katy is growing. We live in a great community, and I can’t wait to see what is in Katy’s future! Cyndi Colvin Kornegay

JULY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or


Published by

Subscription requests are free to Katy area addresses. Annual paid subscription of $25 required outside Katy area. absolutely! KatyTM Magazine is published by absolutely! focus media, 4655 Techniplex Dr., Ste. 700, Stafford, TX 77477. Copyright © 2014 by absolutely! focus media. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. absolutely! KatyTM Magazine does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial, nor do the publishers assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. absolutely! KatyTM Magazine welcomes editorial submissions from its readers.

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f o c u s e d


A Place to

Manage Your Pain Right Here in



ith the arrival of summer and warmer weather comes a greater sense of adventure, an increased desire to be outdoors and the urge to be more active. As we try new activities, or get back to those we love, we may unexpectedly find ourselves in pain. Some of us may endure injuries playing sports, while others of us may experience a flare-up of our chronic pain from arthritis or other ailments. At Houston Methodist West Hospital, medical professionals from many disciplines work in concert to heal acute and chronic pain.

The team of neurologists, neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons treat a vast array of neurological and orthopedic conditions such as neck and back pain, seizures and COVER STORY epilepsy, spinal disorders, stroke, degenerative conditions and joint injuries—each with an individualized, multidisciplinary and conservative approach to pain management. “For example, if a patient comes in with a headache or neck pain, our first inclination is to treat them with medication possibly combined with physical therapy. We think about surgery only after all other avenues of treatment have been explored,” said Mohammad Al Baeer, MD, a Houston Methodist West Hospital neurologist. “Also, we don’t just treat the symptoms. We use high-tech diagnostic imaging and nerve tests to find the source of the pain and then treat the condition accordingly.” Doctors in these specialties collaborate in the best interest of the patient. Two of the areas that both depend on are anesthesiology and physical therapy. “We rely heavily on our sub-specialty fellowship trained anesthesiologists to provide pain injections to manage pain, which allows for faster recovery and shorter hospital stays,”


said Christopher K. Smith, MD, orthopedic surgeon. “We also work closely with patient care coordinators to educate patients about rehabilitation, physical therapy and home support after leaving the hospital. This is an important part of the recovery process.”

The Headache Center Diana Reese became a patient of Dr. Al Baeer after suffering from chronic migraines. She typically experienced up to 25 a month. The pain was so debilitating that many times she ended up in the emergency room. “I have had three natural childbirths and donated a kidney to my stepfather, but nothing compares to the unbearable pain of my headaches,” Reese said. “I would always argue with the well-intentioned folks in the ER because I didn’t want narcotics. I knew from experience that they always had a rebound effect and ended up making my headaches worse.” “I never prescribed narcotics because they can become addictive,” Al Baeer said. “Fortunately, we have preventive treatment options for migraines that address their frequency and move beyond just pain reduction.” Every three months, Reese visits Al Baeer for re-evaluation and medication administration. She has responded so

JULY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

well that the dosage of her anti-seizure drug has been reduced to the lowest level, which has eliminated side effects. Reese’s last ER visit was six months ago at the Houston Methodist West Hospital ER where specific protocols for her treatment were on file per Al Baeer’s request. Today, Reese is driving again, back at work as a realtor and enjoying a normalcy with her family she hasn’t had in years. “I’m living a miracle,” Reese said. “I hope sharing my experience will bring hope to others who live in fear of their next migraine headache pain. It’s no way to live.” Al Baeer and his team believe communication with every patient is very important, and they take the time to carefully evaluate each specific case. “In addition to medication, sometimes a lifestyle change such as adding exercise such as yoga will relieve someone of their headaches,” Al Baeer said. “Sometimes injections for pain will do the trick. This is why we maintain an open line of communication with the patient.”

The Spine Center Houston Methodist West Hospital is opening a spine center, a place designed to take care of all aspects of neck and back pain. The center features state-ofthe-art equipment such as Whole-Body 3-Tesla MRI scanners and 64-slice CT scanners, both of which provide the highest possible quality imaging and

motion correction while reducing exam times. The team also features doctors with expertise in the treatment of degenerative spinal disease, disc herniation, tumors, trauma, complex adult scoliosis and osteoporotic spinal fractures and in the use of numerous cutting edge technologies including artificial disc replacement, autologous stem cell transplantation for spinal fusion, minimally invasive spinal fusion and intraoperative computer-assisted image guided surgery. “This new facility provides unparalleled diagnosis and treatment options for the Katy area,” said Alexander West, MD, Houston Methodist West Hospital Department of Neurosurgery Chief and director of the center. “Our group of specialists, sub-specialists and health professionals are committed to easing our patients’ pain in the most effective and state-of-the-art manner.” If surgery is indicated, the latest minimally invasive techniques are employed resulting in shorter hospital stays, less pain and less surgical complications. The center also features fellowshiptrained neuroradiologists who are specially trained to diagnose spine and neck problems and provide sensitive, compassionate care. In addition, technologists, radiologists and physical therapists hold the most recent certifications and licenses while keeping up with the latest innovations through continuing education.

The Joints Center Many of us have experienced meeting up with a group of friends to play football or basketball for fun, only to have one of the group blow out a knee trying to score a

touchdown or driving to the basket for a layup. The team at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine is dedicated to getting every athlete back on the field of play. “We offer preoperative review, physical therapy, rehabilitation, pain management and, of course, surgery,” said Smith. “Our program brings together all different types of specialties to take care of our patients.” Pain management is an important part of getting patients back on the road to recovery. Houston Methodist West Hospital has a program that is designed to control acute pain with fewer side effects. “Nausea, for example, can keep a patient from being able to participate in physical therapy which, in turn, can delay the overall recovery process,” Smith said. “We also use what are called regional anesthetic blocks, which pump medication to certain areas to manage pain.” Smith explained that there is an emphasis on using minimally-invasive techniques, when applicable, as well as managing pain to reduce the length of stay in the hospital.

“Our group of specialists, sub-specialists and health professionals are committed to easing our patients’ pain in the most effective and state-of-the-art manner.” - Alexander West l JULY 2014


Photography by Nesossi Studios.

Mohammad Al Baeer and G. Alexander West.

Houston Methodist West Hospital volunteer Helen Evans with Christopher K. Smith.

Most people think that joint replacement surgery is only an option for the elderly. However, that is no longer the case. Newer techniques and more durable materials are making it more attractive for younger people. “We have seen younger patients receive hip replacements to get back to their active lifestyle,” Smith said. “Patient education regarding our emphasis on rapid recovery is an important part of what we do, and we let them know exactly what to expect before undergoing such a procedure.” After a procedure, most patients undergo some type of physical therapy and rehabilitation. Houston Methodist West Hospital has licensed therapists and trainers with special expertise in joint replacement, neck and back therapy, hand therapy, general orthopedics, athletic training and sports-specific training and therapy. For outpatient follow up, rehabilitation is offered at two convenient locations in Katy, Houston Methodist West Hospital and Houston Methodist St. Catherine Hospital. We always introduce our patients to our physical therapists before they undergo a procedure,” Smith said. “We tell them that our therapists are the people who will get them moving after surgery, and it gives them comfort to know who will be taking care of them post-surgery.” The sports medicine specialists at Houston Methodist West Hospital offer comprehensive care for the evaluation, prevention and treatment of sports or exercise-related injuries. The athletic trainers partner with local team coaches and trainers in order to respond quickly to injuries with appropriate care directed at safely returning injured players to action as soon as possible. Houston Methodist takes care of the Houston Texans, Houston Astros and Houston Dynamo as well as Rice University, the Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera and Houston Symphony. The system offers a variety of services that include diagnosis and treatment for orthopedic conditions resulting from injury, disease, development and aging. No one should have to live in pain when there is a wide variety of treatment options available right here in the Katy area. For more information about Houston Methodist West Hospital, call 832-522-5522 or visit houstonmethodist. org/west.



ouston Methodist West Hospital offers a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to managing pain which helps patients recover more quickly. Doctors and other medical professionals in a wide variety of specialties collaborate for the best interest of the patient.

Christopher K. Smith, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon

Dr. Al Baeer treats a broad spectrum of neurological diseases and has a special expertise in diagnosing and treating nerve and muscle disorders. A member of the American Board of Neurology, he trained at the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute and is fluent in English and Arabic. For an appointment, call 832.522.8520.

Dr. Smith is a third-generation orthopedic surgeon, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, both of whom were leaders in the local medical community. Dr. Smith specializes in adult and pediatric orthopedics. In addition to complete joint replacements, he performs partial replacements and utilizes technology that customizes the replacement joint to a patient’s body. For an appointment, call 832.522.BONE (2663).

Mohammad Al Baeer, MD, Neurologist

G. Alexander West, M.D., Ph.D., Neurosurgeon

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Dr. West is Chief of Neurosurgery and director of the spine center at Houston Methodist West Hospital. Dr. West has an extensive experience in neurosurgery and has been head of spine programs at several large academic programs. Dr. West is involved with the development of new minimally invasive technology. He recently moved here from Denver and specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery and micro-neurosurgery. For an appointment, call 713.441.3800.


Houston Methodist West Hospital’s team of orthopedic surgeons specialize in treating injuries and disorders of the foot, hand, spine and joints, as well as sports or exercise-related injuries.

With access to the most advanced technology available in Katy and West Houston, the team provides compassionate, personalized care for every generation in your family.

CALL 832.522.BONE (2663) TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT. 18400 Katy Freeway, Suite 200 Houston, Texas 77094 832.522.2663 l JULY 2014


You may know me as a Katy mom of three amazing boys and wife to Daryn, but what you may not know is that I love finding cool and unique products because, let’s face it, in a house full of boys, a girl needs her girl stuff! So, here are some things I absolutely love... and hope you will, too!

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T-Shirt Quilt

Swarovski All Star Quartet to Go

This is the best t-shirt quilt I’ve ever seen! I’ve had a few made in the past, and this one is my absolute favorite! Tonya really takes her time going over each shirt and deciding where they will go and what colors and fabric you want on your quilt. Not only that, she adds a personal note or photo to your quilt to make it more special.

What woman wouldn’t adore having her daily choice of four Swarovski pavé-studded pocket sprays? How gorgeous are these? I love Bond No. 9 scents. They are pricey, but oh so beautiful and blingy.

Cape Cod Beach Chair I’m loving these chairs! The colors are fabulous, and I’m having a hard time deciding on which ones to get! I am getting these for the summer trip to the beach – they recline and have cup holders.

Journée Day Cream by Neocutis Diminish the signs of aging with help from Neocutis Journée. It’s great for all skin types, and this day cream protects and improves your complexion. This moisturizer with sunscreen works well under makeup to defend against sun damage, free radicals and environmental stress. The tinted formula blends into skin tone to minimize the appearance of pores.


Bacon Wrapped Quail Bites These tasty treats are made with smoked, boneless quail wrapped in jalapeño-smoked bacon along with tangy cream cheese, jalapeño and a touch of cilantro. They’re bite-sized perfection! You can find them at Katch 22 in Houston.

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Mary Kay Directors Spread Cheer to Children with Cancer Through

“Adopt a Mom” Program


irectors and consultants with Bullard’s Mary Kay Cosmetics team have taken a stand to help make the lives of those battling cancer a little brighter by participating in an annual project where anyone can “Adopt a Mom” for Mother’s Day. Through their program, individuals can “adopt” a mother who has a child battling cancer or other illnesses by providing the child with a sponsored Mary Kay gift basket for his or her mother on Mother’s Day. For the eighth consecutive year, Bullard’s Mary Kay consultants and directors teamed up with Houston hospitals to help bring some joy to families dealing with cancer. Kathy Bullard, Senior Sales Director at Mary Kay Cosmetics and former Medical Sales Representative, created the program in 2006 so that she could help people, especially children, through her Mary Kay Cosmetics business. “With my love for children, passion to help others and admiration of Mary Kay Inc., I created the ‘Adopt a Mom’ program for children with cancer,” Bullard said. “The children love it when we come and visit them at the hospital and tell them we brought them a gift to give their mommy for Mother’s Day.” The gift baskets were delivered to patients at Houston hospitals, such as Texas Children’s Hospital, MD Anderson Cancer Centers and Ronald McDonald House. With this year’s continued success, the program was also able to provide gifts to both Shriner’s Hospitals, Casa de Esperanza de los Niños and the NICU at Women’s Hospital. Quinn Franklin, child director at MD Anderson’s Children’s Cancer Hospital, said, “We appreciate that we have received the Mary Kay gifts for a few years from Bullard’s group, and each time we give them to our patients’ mothers, they are so incredibly thankful. These moms are so focused on taking care of their children that they rarely get a moment for themselves. These gifts give them a Kathy Bullard, founder chance to feel pampered and remember of the “Adopt a Mom” program. to take care of themselves.”


Kathy Bullard, Linda Balas, Amanda Knox and Joyce Otto dropped off gifts for children at hospitals to give their moms as part of their “Adopt a Mom” program.

Jamee Rivera, community relations coordinator at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers, explained that the children are very grateful for the Mary Kay consultants who deliver the gifts before Mother’s Day. “The ‘Adopt a Mom’ project has been an incredible success,” Rivera said. “I believe the project has nearly tripled in size since the very first year.” Bullard found her inspiration to create the project through the success of The Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation, which she describes as, “a wonderful charitable foundation that supports finding a cure for cancer.” The Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation’s mission is to “eliminate cancer and to end the epidemic of violence against women.” In 1996, The Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation was established to formalize the raising and distributing of research funds for cancer. In 2013, the Foundation awarded $1 million in grants to select doctors and medical scientists focusing on curing cancers that affect women. These 10 recipients from across the United States received a $100,000 grant to conduct cutting-edge research. Since 1996, the Foundation has given more than $19.6 million to support this effort. The biggest indication that the “Adopt a Mom” project has been successful is the continued participation of hospitals in the program for the past eight years. Bullard’s group received sponsors for over 860 gifts this year. “We couldn’t do this program without our amazing sponsors, which are Mary Kay customers, business owners, neighbors, family and friends,” said Bullard. The sponsor’s donations cover the cost of the gifts, and any profits are forfeited by the Mary Kay consultants for this campaign. “This year, we even had students and their teacher from the Katy High School Interact Club help put a lot of the gifts together. They are an amazing group of young adults!” “It is an amazing day filled with joy and tears,” Bullard said. “The hospitals that allow us to hand deliver gifts are so great to work with as they escort us around and let us see the joy on the children’s faces as we hand them a gift. That is priceless and such a blessing to make someone else happy.” Contact Kathy Bullard via e-mail at to learn more about sponsoring a gift for next year’s “Adopt a Mom” project.

JULY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or


Houston Center for Spinal Reconstruction and Disc Replacement • Adult & Pediatric Scoliosis • Cervical & Lumbar Disc Replacement • Complex Spinal Reconstruction • Minimally Invasive Surgery • Stem Cell Therapy • Customized Treatment Plans

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Kid on the Block

By Henry Dibrell

I would also encourage each of you reading this to attend at least one board meeting this summer. The summer is the time we work on the budget. It’s a time we decide what priorities we have for the coming year, and put the dollars into those areas. Come speak out, and let us hear what your priorities are because at the end of the day, the schools are yours. We are only the keepers of the trust. As we move into the summer, we have two new board members, two wonderful ladies I would like to take this opportunity to introduce to you. This month, I had the opportunity to visit with Ashley Vann. Ashley, what would you like the 181 square miles we call Katy ISD to know about you? May 14th, 1982 was my eleventh birthday and the day my parents moved my family from Houston to Katy, Texas. That fall, I walked the halls of Memorial Parkway Junior High (MPJH) as a sixth grader, the very first year it opened. From MPJH, I went on to James E. Taylor High School (THS), the second high school built in Katy. In the 1980s, anyone who lived in Katy was well aware of the staunch rivalry Ashley Vann that existed between Katy and Taylor. It was a Texas A&M/UT sized rivalry. Oh the stories that can be told! Taylor also had the occasional win in football against Katy in the 80s and that kept the rivalry quite strong. My greatest memories during my years at THS involved being a Pacesetter and a founding and active member of the first National Charity League chapter in Katy. Being a part of those organizations helped me value my grades, engage in the community, have immense accountability and create friendships I hold onto tightly today. My college of choice since I was nine was Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and in 1989, I was fortunate to attend such a great university. In 1990, I came home to Katy for the summer, and my best friend, Laura, introduced me to her new boyfriend, Peter, and his best friend, J Scot, who were attending Texas A&M with her. Both boys were Katy High School grads – please remember the aforementioned rivalry. I graduated in 1994 with a BA in Communica-

tions with plans to take the local news production industry by storm. Instead, I applied for and got the only job open at KBTX-TV in College Station, and it was in the advertising sales department. By that time, my best friend’s boyfriend’s best friend was now my fiancé. J Scot and I were married in 1994. We moved to Austin after our honeymoon, where my husband received his Masters from The University of Texas, I worked as an advertising media buyer for GSD&M and our two sons were born.

Photography by Country Park Portraits.


s we head into summer, let’s look ahead to another great year in Katy ISD. Let’s take time with our young people, point them towards excellence and use this summer to prepare them for achieving great things in the 2014-15 school year.




Carter, Jensen, Ashley and Campbell Vann. In April 2000, we relocated to Houston for J Scot’s career, and we knew it was time to come home to Katy. Our oldest son, Carter, started at Roosevelt Alexander Elementary (RAE) in 2002. Mr. Alexander was my husband’s principal and the first person he met at Katy Junior High, so having kids attend a school named after him was, and is to this day, an honor. I was fortunate to become a stay at home mom exclusively and committed to volunteering full time. In 2004, we welcomed our daughter, Jensen. Being a family of five was not in our plans but exactly what we were meant to be. I’ve been fortunate to be involved and a leader in the PTAs at all of my children’s campuses and in the district on the VIPS Executive Board and in Leadership Katy. The coming school year will be an exciting one as our oldest will be a senior at Seven Lakes High School, our second son, Campbell, will enter high school, and our littlest will be in fifth grade, our last year at RAE after 13 consecutive, wonderful years. On top of all of that, I will serve in my first year as a Katy ISD Board of Trustees member. Katy is special place to not only live, but to call “home.” I have been fortunate to call Katy “home” most of my life, and my children have all of their lives. I see great things for the future of Katy, and I am excited to be an important part of it through my service for KISD. Ashley, I look forward to serving with you. Remember, together we are Katy ISD!

JULY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or


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It’s time again for LaCenterra’s 4th of July Celebration! With live music, an interactive Kids’ Zone, food and drinks for purchase and an extraordinary fireworks display, the 7th annual Independence Day tradition is the perfect way to celebrate the day. The family-friendly event kicks off Friday, July 4th at 4:30 pm with a Kids’ Patriotic Bike Parade located at Central Green at LaCenterra. Kids are welcome to participate with their decorated, patriotic bikes by meeting in LaCenterra’s courtyard at 4 pm and then parading to Central Green. First, second and third place prizes will be given for “Most Patriotic Bike.” No sign-up is required. The main event starts at 5:30 pm in the courtyard with a live musical performance by Nashville Star top 10 finalist Sheila Marshall followed by a live performance by three-time winner of the Guitar Wars Competition Chris Boss at 7:30 pm.

Photo by Adventure Photo & Design.

LaCenterra’s 4th of July Celebration Presented by Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus

Guests are invited to visit the Patriotic Outpost, Post 9182, presented by the Katy Area Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) and stock up on all things red, white and blue. Proceeds benefit Katy Area VFW programs for active and retired military personnel and their families. The Kids’ Zone is back and better than ever! Located in Central Green Park, the children’s play area is hosted by Pump


It Up. Little ones can enjoy inflatables, a juggler on a unicycle, stilt walkers, face painting, balloon art, a photo booth, musical entertainment and a special performance by Move Dance and Fitness Center. An Independence Day fireworks display by Pyrotecnico at approximately 9:30 pm will round out the evening. Food and beverages will be available to purchase in the courtyard and at LaCenterra restaurants. Purchase beer, wine, sodas, water and those all-American cookout favorites – burgers and hot dogs! No outside alcohol is allowed. Blankets and lawn chairs are welcome as seating is limited. Surface and garage parking is available. Overflow parking is available at Cinco Ranch High School and Cinco Ranch Branch Library. LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch is located at 23501 Cinco Ranch Boulevard in Katy. For more information, visit

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Guide to

Relationships 101 and Some Lagniappe for Summer Travel By Nancy L. Rommelmann, Family Law Attorney


I geared this article to relationships between children and their parents, and upon reviewing it, I realized these points would improve a relationship with your spouse. Give it a go, and watch relationships around you improve! 1. Actively listen to your child/spouse. Give them your undivided attention as much as possible when they speak to you. Give them eye contact. 2. Minimize conversations on your cell phone/use of your iPad while with them. 3. Ask for your child’s/spouse’s opinion: “What do you think about…?” 4. In appropriate circumstances, ask how something makes your child/spouse feel. Be sensitive to their emotions. 5. Don’t negate a child’s/spouse’s feelings, but be a listening ear. You might want to follow up with, “Why do you feel that way?” or “Why do you think you feel that way?” 6. Tell your child/spouse how much you love and value them. Don’t assume that they know. Don’t assume they are clairvoyant! 7. Tell your child/spouse that you will consider their point of view and then do so. Follow up with them about how you factored their viewpoint into your plans/decision. Children learn a lot by this type of discourse. 8. Don’t embarrass your child/spouse in public by making fun of them at their expense or chastising them in public. 9. Spend quality time with your child/spouse, giving consideration to what they want to do. Don’t underestimate the value of the amount of time you spend with your child/spouse. It is very important as well. 10. Walk next to your child/spouse, not ahead of them or behind them. Lagniappe: If you are traveling on an airplane with your child, always bring something for them to eat or drink while the plane is ascending and descending. A young child doesn’t always have the understanding that they should swallow to decrease the pressure in their ears when a plane takes off or lands. If your child is traveling by plane to visit you this summer, be on time to pick them up at the airport! “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

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ph 713-622-3000 Call us today for a consultation! l JULY 2014


By Christopher Hill

Hiccup´s long-lost mother Valka (Cate Blanchett) has lived among dragons, learned their ways, discovered their secrets and become their fierce protector. How to Train Your Dragon 2 © 2014 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved.

How to Train Your Dragon 2


artoon movies used to be a child medium targeting wide-eyed youth with less discriminating tastes than their eye-rolling guardians. No longer. The past two decades have shown a multitude of films providing as much enjoyment to the kids as the adults who take them. Revenues from these films put the studios on notice. Where there used to be a handful of cartoon films a year, now it’s a summer swarm. The challenge used to be finding a film that was visually enjoyable to keep youths engaged while providing just enough over-the-head humor to engage their elders. Now, in addition to those requirements, the story must be unique enough to stand out in a crowded field. Four years ago, Dreamworks Animation discovered that trinity after loosely


adapting the British book series How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell. Their movie by the same name was a blockbuster earning critical acclaim and almost $500 million worldwide. The sequel is the uniquely named How to Train Your Dragon 2. The first story centered on the town of Berk, their battles against dragon attacks and a boy’s discovery and eventual befriending of a rare Night Terror Dragon. Eventually, the pair save their village and provide an olive branch between dragons and the town. The follow-up brings us five years in the future, and the integration experiment is a full on success. The dragons are full members of the town and all seem better for the change. The boy, Hiccup, voiced by Jay Baruchel, is again with his dragon friend named Toothless, exploring and mapping beyond their world. They discover dragon hunters who work for a mad conqueror named Drago Bludvist. Knowing this hoard will find Berk, they seek a way to end an eventual conflict. In so doing, they find a Dragon haven organized by Hiccup’s long thought deceased mother Valka, voiced by Cate Blanchett. The movie brings a story with an expected outcome but a unique path getting there. Adult themes of abandonment and loss provide an interesting narrative to what is really a coming of age story. Perhaps most impressive in the writing is their avoidance of clichés concerning the protagonist’s physical limitations. In the first film, Hiccup befriends

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Toothless by creating a mechanical harness to help the injured dragon fly. Later in the film, Hiccup loses his own leg and must rely on Toothless for support. How to Train Your Dragon 2 shows their ailment but showcases their ability to move forward. At no point do their noted differences endanger their capability to save their village. It would have been an easy plot point that the disciplined writers avoided to their credit.

Toothless and Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) make plans for their next adventure.

This is a truly a “Family Night at the Movies” film. Absolutely amazing animation showcases an incredible depth of field as you truly find yourself immersed in their world. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a visual treat that leaves a solid aftertaste. Strong writing, delivered well with enough humor for the entire family to feast on. Violence: Cartoon based, but there is a dramatic loss. Language: None Sexuality: None Now Showing: In Local Theaters MPAA Rating: PG

absolutely! Kid Friendly Schools & Activities

Tips for Choosing After School Activities


he intense demands of schoolwork may cause parents to hesitate when it comes to after school time. Although parents don’t want to overload their child’s schedule, the academic, social and physical benefits of extracurricular programs are hard to ignore. The Afterschool Alliance, an information clearinghouse and advocacy group, reports that kids who participate in after school programs have better school attendance, higher grades and loftier aspirations about graduation and college attendance. They’re less likely to use drugs or get into trouble with police, and – because they log less screen time – kids in after school programs are at lower risk of obesity. Kids also develop social and leadership skills in after school programs, as they interact with peers in cooperative roles and mentoring relationships. Before signing up, do your homework. These guidelines will help you sort the best from the rest. Content. “Let kids choose activities based on their personal interests,” said Susan Kuczmarski, Ed.D., author of The Sacred Flight of the Teenager: A Parent’s Guide to Stepping Back and Letting Go. Help them find activities that reflect who they are and what they want to learn instead of imposing your preferences on them. Kids flourish when they’re deeply engaged. Quality. “Discipline-based activities that allow kids to create a quality product over a period of time are best,” said Sara Hill, Ph.D., Senior Consultant for the National Institute on Out-of-School Time. For instance, kids might learn math and science by building a boat or practice art and leadership by putting on a play or musical. Staffing. Staff members should have legitimate skills and experience. Programs with strong community connections usually have the best resources, Hill said. Kids may get to work with talented artists, scientists and athletes from local organizations. Movement. After school sports encourage persistence, provide exercise and more. John Ratey, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, prescribes exercise for kids with ADHD (and everyone else) because exercise boosts mood, improves learning and memory and relieves stress. Leadership. Extracurricular activities, including sports and clubs, are ideal places for kids to explore and practice what it means to be a group leader, said Kuczmarski.

Logistics. “After school activities can provide balance to a class schedule that is overly academic,” said Kuczmarski, if locations and timing fit your lifestyle. And remember that good programs don’t necessarily cost big bucks. As you weigh the options, keep in mind this goal: You want your child to be a well-rounded citizen and a healthy, happy person, said Hill. After school activities can provide enrichment, adventure and variety. They shouldn’t be driven by high-stakes testing, and they shouldn’t be box-fillers for college applications. Innovative programs promote learning without rote or repetition. If you can’t find quality after school activities near you, contact your school district to advocate for programs you’d like to see. Source: l JULY 2014


absolutely! Kid Friendly Schools & Activities


Innovative Children’s Fitness at The Gym Station

Special Advertising Section


ince 2001, The Gym Station has been innovating children’s fitness through gymnastics, dance, music and movement, and they are proud to bring their newest location to the West Katy community! Whether your child is 12 monthsold or 10 years-old, The Gym Station has the perfect class for your child. The Gym Station designs all of its classes to grow healthy bodies and challenge growing minds. The Gym Station’s classes for younger children focus on gross motor skill development through crawling, reaching, bending and touching, while classes for older children focus on fine motor skill development in grasping, hand/eye coordination, direction following and most importantly, fun! This summer, The Gym Station offers Mommy and Me classes for younger participants starting at 12 months-old and tumbling classes, flip flop clinics, cheer camps and even hip hop classes for older children. These classes are a blast! The Gym Station’s clean and safe facility, along with its proprietary curriculum and certified staff, produces classes that both parents and children can enjoy. Not sure? Come tour their newest facility off of FM 1463 between Cinco Ranch and Cross Creek Ranch at 5929 FM 1463. Be sure to stop by soon as classes fill up fast. The caring staff at The Gym Station looks forward to seeing you and is excited to be a part of your child’s strong, healthy and happy future! For more information, contact 281-394-7844 or visit

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absolutely! Kid Friendly Schools & Activities The Learning Experience: Katy’s Academy of Early Education



he Learning Experience® of Katy believes that each child deserves to grow and learn at his own pace. As an Academy of Early Education, The Learning Experience’s responsibility is to provide the tools and environment that will give every child the opportunity to develop to his greatest potential. Children deserve to receive all of the support and respect it takes to establish a strong foundation for the future. The Learning Experience does all of this in a safe and nurturing environment that is both fun and exciting for children. Making learning fun and exciting is just one of the ways The Learning Experience is able to develop each child’s potential. The other is to focus on the three key educational platforms for children: cognitive, social and physical or “learn, play and grow!” The Learning Experience’s curriculum is designed to provide an early education that promotes competency and successful mastery of early developmental tasks. Their L.E.A.P.TM curriculum was specifically designed to assist and guide children through the most crucial stages of their early development. The Learning Experience promotes educational and emotional development by including sign language, Fun with Phonics, Spanish, Manners Matters with Coach Penny Polite, Physical Fitness with Flexi Flamingo and Charlie Choo Choo with their curriculum. The center is located at 21418 Kingsland Boulevard in Katy, and hours of operation are 6:30 am to 6:30 pm Monday through Friday. They take children ages six weeks to 10 years-old. For more information, call 832-321-4418 or e-mail

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832-321-4418 l JULY 2014


By Jennifer L. Evans

Katy ISD took some grief for making Memorial Day a weather makeup day, but all campuses embraced the opportunity and held some kind of festivity to commemorate the day.


Creech Elementary’s Dennis Welch, retired Marine and fourth grade teacher, conducted the flag raising with students Sebastian Silva, Cole Evans, Assistant Principal Sally Gupton, Emma Donaldson, Isarely Barrientos Zepeda and Principal Elena Thrun.

Firethorne’s developer presented the Wauhob family with a $1,000 check to celebrate their purchase of Firethorne’s 2,000th home in the Katy/Fulshear residential community. In a second act of generosity, the Wauhobs immediately contributed the gift to the Firethorne Firefish Swim Team.

Todd, Jennifer, Ella and Ava Wauhob.


The Pope John XXIII High School Boys golf team won the first district golf title in the history of the school on Monday, March 31st at Sienna Plantation.

Maria Corte, Case Garrison, Philip Nijoka, Jake Garrison, Woody Hardy, Peter Thorseth, Taylor Potts and Mark Nijoka.

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With well over 4,000 craft brew enthusiasts invading the Villagio Town Center, the Wild West Brewfest festival had everything going for it, including the weather.

Mary Adams, Debbie Reynolds and Cindy Taitano.

Sara Bracho, Ashley Loesch, Randy Pauly and Joshua Loesch.

The winning team was B52 Brewing Company: Vanessa Jordan with Jessica, Chad and Ron Daniel.

Darla and Todd Bergeron.

Alton Frailey, Richard White and David Frishman.

Mark Evans and John Fortier.

Kristen Vigeant and Beth Fortier.

Dan and Janet Plummer.

Ralph Brock, Malcolm Junior and David Loesch.

Beck Junior High School recently announced its PTA Volunteers of the Year nominees: Maggie Boyle, Joanne Dean, Jane Gehring, Laura Hoffpauir, Rong Liu, Eve Schaefer and Joy Siebenman. The Volunteer of the Year was presented to Eve Schaefer. Beck Junior High Principal Carra Fleming and Volunteer of the Year Nominees Maggie Boyle, Eve Schaefer, Laura Hoffpauir, Joanne Dean, Jane Gehring and Joy Siebenman. l JULY 2014



Spotlight Acting Academy introduced the “Doo Wop” girls, formally called The Spotlights, to Katy this spring. The young trio performs music from the 60s at festivals and special events including the Kite Festival at Hermann Park, Summerfest at The Villagio, The Children’s Festival at Central Green and Katy Rocks Music Fest at Central Green.


On stage at Central Green were Alisa Martin, Rachel Santos and Skylar Hemenway.

Dunkin’ Donuts celebrated the Grand Opening of its 14th Houston area restaurant at 2808 Highway 6 South near West Oaks Mall with a signature event: “Dunkin’ Cups for Charity.” The cup stacking contest provided a $1,000 prize for the best cup stacker representing a non-profit near the new store. The four “stackers” for the West Oaks opening represented Alief Family YMCA, Literacy Advance of Houston, Spring Branch ISD’s Stratford High School and West Houston Assistance Ministries, Inc.

Winner of the $1,000 prize, Christopher Juntti, Principal of Stratford High School, was cheered along by Athletic Director Eliot Allen and Associate Principal Danny Gex.

Cuppy and event judge and food blogger Hank Lewis.

Dunkin’ Donuts Mascot Cuppy, Literacy Advance’s Josh Beasley; West Houston Assistance Ministries’ Cindy Orman; Alief YMCA’s Kevin Kebede; Dunkin’ Field Marketing Director Nathan Pressler; Stratford High School’s Christopher Junnti and Franchisee Stephen David.


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Dalton Discovery Park Groundbreaking Unites Civic Leaders, Community Members

Members of the Brookshire Youth Foundation Janet and Michael Montgomery, John Hovas, John Boaz, Dottie Dumas, Harris Garrett and Jimmy Sanders broke ground at the future home of the Dalton Discovery Park.

Close to 100 civic leaders and community members joined together at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Dalton Discovery Park on Friday, May 16th. The park initiative, led by the Brookshire Youth Foundation (BYF), includes an interactive, Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM-focused) playground with several other family and youth-oriented features. Waller County Commissioner Stan Kitzman, also a retired staff sergeant for the Texas Air National Guard, attended the ceremony and shared an empowering message with the assembly. “In the military, we have a saying that ‘you always improve your foxhole, no matter how long you are there.’ Thank you to everyone for being here and working to improve your community,” Kitzman said. Once constructed, the park will provide a safe environment where Brookshire’s youth and families can unite and learn together. The innovative play equipment proposed will provide unparalleled learning opportunities and expose STEM concepts to young people in a fun and energizing manner. Additionally, the current plans include community sports and fitness as a component of the park. The park will be located at the corner of Bains Street and Fifth Street, just south of the Cotton Gin. The foundation is working to raise money to fund the park equipment purchase and installation and will then donate the park to the City of Brookshire. For more information, contact Marlene Cogwin at 281-375-5526.

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absolutely! AUTO REVIEW By Steve Kursar



he 2014 Toyota 4Runner is the last true SUV in a long list of pretenders. Many of its competitors are capable but not as truly rugged. Want to drive off-road again and again with your family in the back seat? Well, there’s only one affordable mid-size SUV that can handle the stress. Back in the late eighties when the Ford Explorer made the American car buying public SUV-crazy, automakers fell over themselves to introduce their own SUV. Soon, every manufacturer had reconfigured their truck platform to bring an SUV to their respective showrooms. But, as gas prices rose and as consumers complained of the harsh ride afforded by these body-on-


frame SUVs, the automakers made a clever switch. They created the crossover: they took a car-based platform and built what looked like an SUV on top of it. Now they had a vehicle that got better fuel economy and drove like a car but could not brave a ranch road. Well, the 2014 Toyota 4Runner is NOT one of those. It’s a true body-on-frame SUV that can take most things that you can throw at it. But wait, there’s more… The 4Runner handles beautifully and doesn’t show any harshness on the highway. The Toyota designers updated the styling for 2014. So the 4Runner looks hip and cool driving either to the Galleria or the Piney Woods. The rear compartment has an optional rear heavy-duty sliding tray that allows you to save your back and keeps things organized. The interior is remarkably quiet and refined with all the tech features that you expect in any new car. It’s roomier than most of its

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competitors, and the cabin materials are designed to withstand more wear and tear as well. There’s only one engine offered in this model, the 270 hp, 4.0 liter V8 that develops 278 pound-feet of torque. It feels a little heavy driving on the highway, but that’s what a true SUV does, which is why you should expect fuel economy that’s also a bit heavy at 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. At a base MSRP of $32,820, you get a ton of rugged capability at a mere fraction of the price of a new Toyota Land Cruiser, the 4Runner’s big brother in the Toyota lineup. It’s nice that Toyota is keeping the spirit of the SUV alive in a sea of crossovers.


Literacy Advance of Houston Celebrates New Computer Literacy Lab

Tutors Carlton Cook, Pat Seago, Suzanne Epison and Volunteer Coordinator Anna Zubkova.

Literacy Advance welcomed guests to its main office in the Westchase District for a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception on May 29th to celebrate the Grand Opening of the Cameron Computer Lab. The new training space will help to expand the organization’s focus to not only serve the immediate, basic literacy needs of students, but to address the long-term goals of each individual. Through the generosity of lead underwriter Cameron, as well as support from The Bank of America Charitable Foundation, State Farm Insurance, The Hamill Foundation and United Way THRIVE, Literacy Advance will utilize the Cameron Computer Lab to help learners become self-sufficient, work-ready members of the Houston community. “Literacy Advance was founded in 1964 by volunteers who wanted to help adults improve their lives through better literacy and communication skills. Fifty years later, we offer transition services to help students who need help with computer literacy classes and customized workforce development assistance. Every adult needs to be computer literate today, and the Cameron Computer Lab provides a major resource to help our adult students prepare for today’s workforce,” said Development Director Josh Beasley of the new lab. Visit for more information about Literacy Advance of Houston.

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Pediatric Urgent Care vs. Pediatric Emergency Center

O Dr. Joseph Allen Expert: Dr. Joseph Allen, medical director of the emergency center at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus


ftentimes, families turn to an emergency center after hours, on weekends or perhaps even during the day when a significant event occurs with their child. Though the emergency center is the right place for some incidents or ailments, the majority of the time, minor illnesses can and should be treated at a pediatric urgent care facility. Texas Children’s Urgent Care recently opened its first location in Cinco Ranch, with a second location slated to open this summer. The clinic offers high-quality, efficient and affordable patient care during evenings and weekends in convenient, community locations.


If your child is younger than eight weeks and has a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, you should take them to a pediatric emergency center immediately. If your child is older than eight weeks and has a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, you should contact their pediatrician or seek care at an urgent care clinic. Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus is Houston’s first community hospital designed, built and equipped exclusively for children. Their dedicated pediatric emergency center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is staffed with board certified pediatric emergency medicine physicians.



Conditions that are life or limb-threatening should be treated at a pediatric emergency center. The emergency center at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus is available to treat pediatric patients with illnesses and injuries requiring immediate attention. The emergency center can also provide initial stabilization for severely injured pediatric patients. Other conditions that should be treated at a pediatric emergency center include: • Bleeding that won’t stop • Extensive or complicated cuts or lacerations • Fainting or head injury with loss of consciousness or disorientation • Loss or change of vision • Major fracture that breaks the skin or is at a severe angle • Serious burns • Seizures without a previous diagnosis or epilepsy • Snake bites • Sudden change in mental state • Sudden shortness of breath or difficulty breathing • Vomiting or coughing up blood





Conditions that require immediate care but are not life threatening should be treated at a pediatric urgent care clinic. Texas Children’s Urgent Care is equipped to treat the following conditions: • Allergic reactions • Pink eye • Cough • Rashes • Croup • Simple lacerations • Ear pain • Sinus infections • Fever • Skin infections • Flu • Sore throat • Mild abdominal pain • Sprains and strains • Mild asthma • Urinary tract infections • Minor burns • Vomiting and diarrhea • Minor injuries from falls or sports

Texas Children’s Urgent Care is open Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 11 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 8 pm. Clinics are staffed by board certified pediatricians who have privileges at Texas Children’s Hospital. Visit for more information about the emergency center at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. And, for more information about Texas Children’s Urgent Care, visit Photo by A. Kramer.


& QA


The emergency center at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

JULY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

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Lots of fabric, thread and patterns Classes from beginner to advanced Wide backing fabric for your larger quilts We make custom t-shirt quilts and memory quilts Batting and thread for longarm quilting We offer computerized machine quilting for your projects Mon: 10am – 5pm Tues: 10am – 7pm Wed – Sat: 10am – 5pm Sun: 12pm – 4pm

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COMING AUGUST 2014 Special Advertising Section

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Christmas in


he hustle and bustle of the holidays will be here before you know it. Get a head start on the holidays with this handy guide. CAPTURE A MOMENT IN TIME ‘Tis the season! Book your holiday portraits now at Nesossi Studios. With over 70 combined years of experience, their talented team of photographers will capture a moment in time for your family. Nesossi Studios, 131 Brooks Street, Suite 100 in Sugar Land. Call 281-242-6601;

CELEBRATE THE SEASON IN STYLE It's not too early to book your holiday events at Safari Texas Ranch, a premier event facility. A full-service venue, Safari Texas Ranch boasts 10 exceptional banquet facilities, special event coordinators and a professional staff with 20+ years of food and beverage experience. Safari Texas Ranch, 11627 FM 1464 in Richmond. Call 281-277-7888;

ENJOY CHRISTMAS IN JULY Enjoy the outdoors with a new patio surrounded by family and friends. Call for a free design consultation. Texas Custom Patios. Call 281-265-1994;

HO, HO, HO! With Christmas just around the corner, this light-up Santa will certainly dazzle. Visit D & S Antiques to see their Christmas collection. D & S Antiques, 801 Second Street in Historic Downtown Rosenberg. Call 281-232-0035.


DON’T WAIT UNTIL DECEMBER... When you can have Christmas in July! Buy that present early. Texas Direct Auto, 12053 Southwest Freeway in Stafford. Call 281-499-8200;

JULY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

absolutely! DELICIOUS

Sweet Tips for a

Celebrate the holiday in style by serving classic entrées everyone loves and focusing your attention on delicious, easy-to-make desserts.

Yield: 6 servings ★ 1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin ★ 1/4 cup granulated sugar ★ 3/4 cup boiling water ★ 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

Yield: 12 mini cakes

★ 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ★ 1/8 teaspoon salt ★ 1 bag (12 ounces) royal blue Candy Melts candy ★ Lollipop Sticks

★ 2 cups heavy whipping cream ★ 2 cups fresh or frozen ★ 1 package (4.9 ounces) mixed berries vanilla wafer cookies ★ 2/3 cup granulated sugar ★ 1 tablespoon lemon zest ★ 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

Prepare 6-cavity star silicone mold with vegetable spray. In small bowl, whisk gelatin, sugar and water until dissolved. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, vanilla and salt until smooth. Gradually add gelatin mixture, beating until fully combined. Pour into prepared pan. Refrigerate 2 hours or until completely set. Carefully unmold cheesecakes onto cookie pan. Melt small amount of Candy Melts candy. Dip lollipop stick in melted candy and insert 3/4 way into cheesecake stars. Freeze 30 minutes or until firm. In large bowl, melt remaining Candy Melts according to package directions. Drizzle or pipe candy over cheesecake stars, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Note: Choose a firm, brand name full fat cream cheese for best results.

Line muffin pan with plastic wrap. In large skillet, combine mixed berries, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until berries soften and liquid reduces to 1 cup, about 20 to 25 minutes. Gently mash berries. Transfer to medium bowl and cool completely. In large bowl, whip cream on medium-high speed until cream holds stiff peaks. Gently fold in berry mixture and zest until combined. Place whipped cream in decorating bag and cut off pointed end. To assemble, pipe small amount of mixture into each muffin cavity. Lightly press a cookie into whipped cream. Continue layering whipped cream and cookies until cavities are full. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove plastic wrap and carefully flip out onto serving platter.

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281-265-1994 l JULY 2014


What’s Kickin’ in


By Mary Raines


ummer in Katy is the very best time as so many places are buzzing

with activities for the entire family to enjoy. Here are a few you don’t want to miss that will also keep the kiddos busy while school is out. Enjoy just kickin’ around!

Former Fort Bend Boys Choir members Michael Goodchild, Adrian Alba and Michael Duty.

All Month Ongoing Auditions for the Fort Bend Boys Choir Boys, it’s cool to sing! Encourage the boys in your life to audition beginning July 1st for the Fort Bend Boys Choir for boys ages 8 and up who have an unchanged voice. Rehearsals are once a week on Thursdays at the First United Methodist Church Missouri City, located at 3900 Lexington Boulevard. For boys ages 6 and 7, inquire about the choir’s Music Magic program. For additional details and to make an audition appointment, call 281-240-3800 or visit


July 4th Katy Freedom Celebration 9 pm Katy Mills Mall 5000 Katy Mills Circle Watch the skies light up with color at the City of Katy’s fabulous annual fireworks display. The fireworks are launched between the east side of the mall and Katy Fort Bend Road beginning at dark, approximately 9 pm, and can be viewed from several miles away. For more information, call 281-391-4800. July 7th – 11th Trinity Baptist Church Vacation Bible School 9 am – 12 pm Trinity Baptist Church 10000 Spring Green Boulevard This fun-filled week is free and open to children who have completed kindergarten through 6th grade. A parent must accompany each child to the registration table on the first day. For more information or to register, call 281-579-6724 or visit July 10th Katy Gardening Club 11 am Katy Branch Library 5414 Franz Road Join other gardeners in your area to learn new ways to garden. Bring leftover seeds to exchange for new seeds to try. The Katy Library Gardening Club meets on the second Thursday of every month. Call 281-3913509 for more information.

JULY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

July 11th – 12th Pocahontas Friday, 7 pm Saturday, 2 pm and 7 pm Katy Visual Performing Arts Center 2501 S. Mason Road, Suite 290 This KVPAC Summer Broadway series performance of the classic Pocahontas is sure to delight the audience. The daughter of the mighty Algonquin Chief Powhatan, Pocahontas makes friends with the English settlers of Jamestown, a community struggling with starvation and sickness. Tickets are $6. For more information, call 281-829-ARTS (2787) or visit July 21st – 24th Major Steko VBS and VBX 9 am – Noon Second Baptist Church 19449 Katy Freeway Major Steko is getting an upgrade, but chaos ensues when a virus is uploaded into the system! Join Major Steko and his team rally to stop the virus. VBS is for children ages 5 through entering 3rd grade. Kids entering 4th and 5th grades are invited to register now for VBX where they will enjoy fun skits, team games and awesome worship with a live band. To register, visit or call 713-465-3408. July 25th – 26th Disney Sleeping Beauty Kids Friday, 7 pm Saturday, 2 pm and 7 pm Katy Visual Performing Arts Center 2501 S. Mason Road, Suite 290 After an evil sorceress leaves a curse on baby Princess Aurora, she is hidden in the forest until the time of the curse passes. On her 16th birthday, Aurora’s fairy friends must save her from the spell of evil sorceress. Instead, a spell casts her to sleep, only to be awakened by true love’s kiss. For tickets, call 281-829ARTS (2787) or visit


Where ver life takes you


Kelly Chamberlain 281.582.3984

ChriStine DunCan 281.582.3959

martha ClarK 281.582.3949

JaniCe irelanD 281.620.8427

Julie PiCKett 281.582.3974

JoSh ClarK 281.582.3929

rebeCque DemarK & nanCy SCott

rita Donnelly

liSa JoneS

Clarann mCCoy

Suzan PheniCie


marCia Serafin 281.582.3908



Kim GorDon SChorre 281.582.3923



robin mueCK PreSiDent/Ceo

W E ’ R E S O L D O N K AT Y

14340 Memorial Drive • 281.493.3880

23123 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Suite 200


July 2014- Absolutely Katy Magazine  

Community magazine absolutely highlighting the people, events, happenings, businesses and town of Katy Area, Texas.