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MAY 2014

Meet Mothers of Hope

Comes to Town May 10th



Texana Sunshine

+ Mother's Day Gifts

TargeTing breasT cancer cells WHile PrOTecTing HealTHy Ones. THe difference beTWeen PracTicing medicine and leading iT. At Houston Methodist West Hospital , we offer innovative, image-guided radiation technology that targets breast tumors and minimizes the radiation dose to the heart and lungs. Our comprehensive care team's approach to developing personalized treatment plans allows patients to focus on healing and getting back to living their lives. For more information on our cancer services, call 832.522.5522.


A Texas state of mind. Neuroscience Center At Texas Children’s Neuroscience Center, we think about the treatment of pediatric neurological disorders in our own unique way. From autism to Rett syndrome to epilepsy, our comprehensive approach to the research, innovation, treatment and cure of these and other disorders is unmatched. We’re proud to be here in Houston, and we’re even more proud of the work we’re doing to help children with neurological disorders. To find out how our state of mind translates into exceptional care, visit

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Michelle Johnson absolutely! focus media Page 8

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Featuring competitions, a silent auction, games and music, The Rotary Club of Katy’s third annual event benefiting local charities has become a Katy tradition.


Transformational mentoring between ARTreach volunteers and Texana clients creates work of art


Every day mothers in our community are saving the lives of foster and adoptive children through their work with Casa de Esperanza, and because of their commitment of time, love, patience and sacrifice, they have forever changed the lives of countless children and our community.


For Mother’s Day Gift Giving


Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Child Custody Cases and a Child’s Preference as to Which Conservator They Want to Live or Primarily Reside

absolutely! AUTO REVIEW 28 2014 CADILLAC CTS




8 Robin Ebrecht absolutely! Fabulous Finds Page 12


12 Linda K. Eaves Contributor Page 14


Creates Labyrinth at Katy Church



Henry Dibrell Katy ISD School Board Page 18

Steps Toward a Brighter Future



Wins District Title in Boys Golf

absolutely! HEALTHY LIVING


34 absolutely! Q & A

Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus Answers Your Questions About Allergy and Immunology

Steve Kursar Auto Enthusiast Page 28


absolutely! DELICIOUS 38 A FUN FIESTA FEAST For Cinco de Mayo

Jennifer L. Evans Out & About in the Heart of Katy Page 30

30 Amy Gross VineSleuth/Wine4.Me Page 42

40 GET TOGETHER AND GRILL Easy and delicious recipes for entertaining



Mary Raines What’s Kickin’ in Katy Page 44


43 absolutely! DELICIOUS LISTING

Nancy L. Rommelmann Family Law Attorney Page 20




MAY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

ON THE COVER: The Rotary Club of Katy’s Wild West Brew Fest 2014.


Publisher, LARA BELL Happy May everyone! I can honestly say that by the time May gets here, I’m done! I’m done with making sure lunches are perfectly packed, library books are returned on time, end of year gifts are wrapped with pretty bows, and on and on. That being said, May is also a celebration of the very thing I love and cherish most in my

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


EXECUTIVE PUBLISHERS Michael & Lisa Fredrickson E D I T O R- I N - C H I E F Patti Parish-Kaminski PUBLISHER Lara Bell Bonnie Bell Woodrow and Lara Bell.

life – being a mom. In this issue, we highlight things we love and the best gift ideas ever for mom this Mother’s Day, and we take a look at three extraordinary Casa de Esperanza moms changing the lives of children in need. Also in this issue our cover story is something so fun: The Rotary Club of Katy’s Annual Wild West Brew Fest (WWBF). This year marks the third year for the Brew Fest, and each year’s proceeds have allowed the Rotary Club to donate even more to local charities. Read all about what is new this year and what thee organizers have planned to make this years the best yet! In closing, we at absolutely! Katy Magazine want to congratulate, praise, admire and love all of the moms out there who get up day after day and do it again and again. I want to especially thank my mom, Bonnie Bell Woodrow, who in my opinion the best mom ever! Absolutely! yours,


Lara Bell-Milam

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 C O M M U N I C AT I O N S C O O R D I NAT O R Sarah Bearden WEB DESIGNER Joey Belleza CONTRIBUTORS Henry Dibrell Linda K. Eaves Robin Ebrecht Jennifer L. Evans Amy Gross Michelle Johnson Steve Kursar Mary Raines Nancy L. Rommelmann INQUIRIES 281-690-4242




absolutely! Katy is colorful, bright and informative. Every issue shows me new and interesting information. Karen Bullock


The people make Katy what it is. absolutely! Katy helps us get to know our community personally. Laura Macicek

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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.


JOINT PAIN Stop suffering from joint pain. Staying active is key to staying healthy. That’s why at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital, affiliated joint specialists use the most advanced treatments to get you moving again. From new prescription options and physical therapy to minimally invasive surgical interventions, our affiliated physicians will put you on the path to the life you want to live. Call 713.222.CARE (2273) or visit to learn more.



College: A Common Stressor for Depression and Anxiety


ecent studies have shown that many young adults experience the first symptoms of depression during their college years. In 2011, the American College Health Association–National College Health Assessment (ACHA–NCHA) conducted a nationwide survey of college students at two and four-year institutions and found that about 30 percent of college students reported feeling “so depressed that it was difficult to function” at some time in the past year.1 While depression and general anxiety has many causes, the college experience, which is typically a new environment with new surroundings and life experiences, can contribute to these disorders. Stresses of college life may include: • Living away from family for the first time • Missing family or friends • Feeling alone or isolated • Experiencing conflict in relationships • Facing new and sometimes difficult school work • Worrying about finances Dr. Kimberly Cress, medical director of the TMS Serenity Center in Sugar Land, has seen first-hand the toll that depression and anxiety can take on college students. “College can be a major stressor for young adults, especially for those who have struggled with depression, anxiety and sleep issues during adolescence.”

Meet Eric

Eric came to the TMS Serenity Center as a 21-year-old male who had been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Since middle school, Eric suffered with symptoms of panic in public situations. Despite his depression and anxiety, Eric worked diligently as a student at the University of Houston and with a therapist as well as psychiatrists, who prescribed multiple medications, to assist Eric with his mood disorders. In February of 2013, at the age of 23, Eric’s mood disorders became so overwhelming and unmanageable that he made the decision to quit college. “My doctor helped me end a harmful Obsessive Compulsive Disorder behavior where I was constantly biting my lip,” said Eric. “Ending that behavior brought stress, depression and my self-esteem tanked. I got to the point where I couldn’t be in class without feeling like I’m never going to get out – claustrophobic. I had to stop going to classes. It was hard to get out of bed, talk to my own family – something I never thought could happen.”

Eric and TMS

With Eric’s family as a constant support, they heard about TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) Therapy and began researching to see if it was an option for Eric. “Medications helped to a point,” said Eric. “But that feeling of not having a safety net – of being out there adrift – did not go away with medication. I wanted to feel normal again like when I was a kid.” Eric and his family wanted to find something that would make him better and get him off some of his medications. After six weeks of TMS, Eric and his family saw a profound differ-

The team at the TMS Serenity Center: Roxane Zotyka, TMS Coordinator; Beth Landry, TMS Coordinator and Dr. Kimberly Cress, Medical Director of TMS Serenity Center.

ence. “TMS changed my outlook on life. I didn’t like life back then. I had thoughts of suicide. Really the only thing stopping me from killing myself was my family. When I say TMS changed my life, I’m not throwing that around. It literally changed everything of how I view the world.” “Eric can now experience joy and happiness,” said Dr. Cress. TMS is an in the office procedure that uses an MRI-strength magnet. The magnet pulses on and off over a 30 minute period of time stimulating the area of the brain that is less active due to the mood disorder. This magnetic field stimulates the nerves to release chemicals or neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. These are the same neurotransmitters that are provided artificially through antidepressant medications but without risk of side effects seen from medications. TMS is six to nine times more durable than effects of antidepressant medications or Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT).2 “I’m back at school, which is tremendous for me. It has been over a year since TMS and my mood has improved greatly, and if I get anxious, I can manage it. My family says, ‘We have the old Eric back,’ said Eric. Eric’s medications have been simplified, his mood has stabilized, his appetite is now normal and his sleep has improved. Lori, Eric’s mom, had this to say to Dr. Cress: “Eric’s dad and I very much appreciate all you have done for him, and we couldn’t be more thankful and full of joy that Eric has hope again.” And what does Eric have to say about his life-changing transition with TMS Therapy? “TMS did everything that we hoped it would do. I don’t understand the science of it all, but whatever that machine did, it definitely worked and put a smile on all of our faces.” Can TMS Therapy help put a smile on your face or on someone you love? Contact the TMS Serenity Center at or 281-240-4322.

1. American College Health Association. American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment II: Reference Group Executive Summary Fall 2011. Hanover, MD: American College Health Association; 2012. 2. Dr. Tarique Perera, Clinical Results of TMS in the Treatment of Major Depression. Texas TMS Society Meeting, Sugar Land, Texas, April 12, 2014.

Experience why we are Texas’ leading center for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. 6

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COVER STORY By Michelle Johnson

Comes to Town

Peter Heinze


t’s almost summer, and it’s time for what has become a tradition in Katy: the Rotary Club of Katy’s Annual Wild West Brew Fest (WWBF). This year marks the third year for the Brew Fest, and each year’s proceeds have allowed the Rotary Club to donate even more to local charities.

Committed to Helping Others

Angie Hundhausen


“Thanks to our sponsors, patrons and Club for supporting our efforts, there will be a lot of people who will benefit from this all over our city,” said David Loesch, Chairman of the WWBF. Once again, this year’s event will be held at the Villagio Town Center on May 10th. “We encourage people to buy their tickets for this great event, as we donate the proceeds right back into our community.” The Rotary Club of Katy has been helping families in and around Katy for over 67 years. Helping others is why the Rotary Club of Katy exists. The Club is

MAY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

comprised of all types of people with one thing in common: they strive for “Service Above Self,” the Rotary’s motto. In addition to the 15 scholarships currently provided by the Club, members wanted to have the flexibility to seek out other charitable organizations and families who need assistance in the Katy area. According to Loesch, “After visiting the Breckenridge Rotary’s Brew Fest in Colorado, I noticed that this festival was the perfect vehicle to raise money for our community.” Members of the Rotary Club of Katy agreed, thus the Brew Fest began in 2012. The WWBF is one of the few beer festivals sponsored 100% by a non-profit organization and staffed 100% by volunteers. The Club volunteers not only have regular jobs; they devote many hours to assist those in need.

Program Sponsorships The Rotary Club of Katy is committed to assisting young students through programs such as Katy ISD’s Future Farmers of America and Fine Arts. The Club committed thousands of dollars to support selected students with their projects. Students were selected based on economic need by their Ag Teacher, along with individual school’s booster clubs that supported the feed and vet bills. The Rotary Club was able to assist several students who would not have been able to participate in this program if not for their donation. During this year’s Ag show, the

Jeanne Mason

Rotary Club teamed up with the buying group known as the “Mega Stuffed Group” and Fort Bend County Commissioner Andy Meyers. Together, they purchased two steers and a lamb from one of the sponsored students. In addition, the Club purchased seven pigs from various students at the Barn Sale from students whose animals did not make the auction. The animals purchased by the “Mega Stuffed Group” were processed and yielded over 3,000 pounds of meat. The group plans to donate the meat to worthy causes such as Katy Christian Ministries. Only with the ongoing support of sponsors and the community is the Club able to accomplish these goals. The Club donates 100% of the proceeds from the WWBF to the Katy community by participating in activities like the FFA show. The Club is also committed to supporting Katy Fine Arts and a host

of other organizations including Brookwood, Breath of Life and Paint USA on the Katy ISD elementary school’s basketball courts. A Pre-Party sponsored by the City of Katy kicks off the WWBF on May 9th at 7 pm on 1st Street, adjacent to the No Label Brewery. The Wild West Brew Fest will commence May 10th, offering 60 craft brewers and over 200 taps. The WWBF is one of the only brew fests that are members of the Brewers Association of America featuring only “Craft Brewers.” The VIP Tent, the Hop House, will host the event’s first ever “Best Bites” competition challenging five premiere restaurants to pair their best dish with the participating craft brewers. Other activities include the “Best Tap Wall” competition, the “Taste Off” contest, “Best Dressed Volunteer” and “Home Brewer” competition. The event also boasts a silent auction and music from bands Horizon and Kaos, along with great games at the game tent. For tickets and more event details, visit

Wild West Brew Fest May 10th • 2 pm Villagio Town Center 22756 Westheimer Parkway NE Corner of South Peek Road

Advance Purchase Tickets: $25 Tickets at Gate: $30 Designated Driver Tickets: $15


May 9th • 7 to 10 pm 5351-A 1st Street (Adjacent to No Label Brewery)

Tickets: $30

David Loesch, Vicki Rao, Brian Royo, Jennifer Royo from No Label Brewing.

Includes food, band, beer from seven different breweries and a pint glass. l MAY 2014


Photo by

ARTreach and Texana Center Create

“Texana ” e n i h s n u S W

ith a paintbrush in hand and a brow furrowed with focus, Texana client Amy Crane saturates the broad canvas with green paint. A majestic tree begins to take shape through Crane’s careful application of paint. As a client of Texana’s Fort Bend Center, Crane is a beneficiary of a partnership forged between ARTreach and Texana. The first ARTreach project with Texana Center included the creation of a twenty by nine foot mural – the largest mural ever created by ARTreach artists and volunteers. Entitled “Texana Sunshine,” the mural features a nature scene filled with the bold colors of the sun, purple hills and periwinkle streams, not to mention flowers and trees that rise off the canvass with a three dimensional affect. Equally captivating as the art were the emotions and excitement stirred within the Texana clients. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that facilitates mentoring and art-related activities for at-risk and underserved groups including the developmentally disabled, ARTreach and Texana Center were ideally matched. Texana Center provides behavioral healthcare and developmental disabilities services to residents of a six county area that includes Austin, Colorado, Fort Bend, Matagorda, Waller and Wharton Counties. Thanks to a grant provided by the Texas Commission on the Arts, Texana Center was able to utilize ARTreach artists and volunteers for an unforgettable art experience for their clients. Elizabeth Linder, the lead artist who


Texana clients and ARTreach volunteers pose in front of "Texana Sunshine," a mural designed by ARTreach artist Elizabeth Linder and painted by Texana clients and ARTreach volunteers. Pictured are artists Jimmy Broomfield, Wayne Heitman, Chris Kruppa, Aaron Lindsey, Tyrone Fredrick, Curt Moore, Jill Palacios, Yasmine Scott, Darrell Richard, Rafika Milledge, Debra Taylor, Giovanny Alcantara, Michael Trent, Dinora Davalos, Micah Koser, Elizabeth Linder, Amy Crane, Vonda Drees, Juan Opsina and Melba Lee.

designed the framework for the mural, sought the direction of Texana Center clients before putting together the base of the painting. She said the uninhibited delight of the clients served as a great reward for the time and work she and other ARTreach volunteers put into the mural. Texana Center Community Relations Manager and Volunteer Coordinator Andi Wallis said ARTreach volunteers were able to explain art in a way their clients could understand. Moreover, Wallis was delighted that the project gave Texana clients an opportunity to hone in on their creative abilities. “This project provided an opportunity for our higher functioning clients to create a piece of art that will hang in our sensory room where our more profoundly disabled clients are treated,” Wallis said. The mural, which was unveiled during a ceremony on March 28th, has become a source of pride for the Texana clients. Debra Taylor, a Texana client who also works for the organization, said the ARTreach volunteers showed her how to paint and then gave her a paint brush of her very own. “I feel proud that I helped create this mural,” Taylor said. “I also liked the volunteers from ARTreach. We did a good job.” The mentoring that occurred between the ARTreach volunteers and Texana clients was uniquely transformational. Marla Ward, ARTreach Volunteer Director, worked closely with many of the Texana clients showing them different brush strokes and where to apply paint to the canvass. “The Tex-

MAY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

ana clients really got into it!” Ward said excitedly. “This mural really was a team effort. It would never have gotten done without everyone’s help.” Albert Gonzales, a Texana client who loves painting, was thrilled by the experience of meeting new people. Rafika Milledge, also a client of Texana, said the volunteers provided guidance and taught her about art. “I love the different textures, and this mural just makes me happy. The volunteers gave us so many suggestions,” Milledge said. Linder said art really is therapeutic and creating a mural develops skills such as patience, responsibility, teamwork and seeing a project through to the end. Moreover, Linder encourages others to volunteer and grow with ARTreach. “If you enjoy color, nature and relationships with people, ARTreach is a great outlet. You get as much out of the experience as you give,” Linder said. During the unveiling ceremony, a particularly touching moment occurred when several of the immobile Texana clients were wheeled into the sensory room. Mary Wentz, a Texana Center employee who works with this group, was overjoyed when her clients looked up at the mural. She said her clients never look up, but the mural gave them a reason to lift their gaze. Crane, who also serves as President Elect for the Exchange Club of Rosenberg, said the mural inspired her and she believes it can inspire others. “We need to bring more light into the world,” Crane said. “I have a bright personality, and I love bright colors. I hope others see this mural and feel cheerful.”

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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!

s u o l u b Fa inds F BY RO B I N E B R E C H T

Rita Rims Plastic cups that come pre-salted and presugared – oh my goodness! These are so awesome! Whether you are having a cold lemonade on the patio or enjoying a cocktail by the pool, these cups are perfect. They are great for parties and to take to the beach, too. I will be packing mine for vacation for sure!

Vaseline Lip Therapy Suffering from chapped lips is something I have always dealt with, but I discovered this cute little gem at Walgreens and love it! Of course, it caught my eye because it’s tiny, it’s pink and it’s cute. But, it really works, and it gives just a hint of color.

Sunglass Storage Station If you know me, you know that I love my sunglasses! This clever storage idea for sunglasses is next on my list of things to purchase. Not only does this keep your glasses organized, but it keeps them from getting dusty or scratched. I love it!

Clarisonic Pedi A lot of you probably have the clarisonic facial brush, and if you're like me, you absolutely love it! But, this is the clarisonic brush for your feet. It's amazing! With summer approaching, we will all be wearing sandals and will be more aware of the condition of our feet, so this clarisonic pedi system is perfect to maintain our feet between pedicures.


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Jewelry by Debbie Clemens I have featured Debbie’s magnetic jewelry before, but now, she has ventured into new designs that are not magnetic but just as beautiful! Her new sophisticated neutral designs are so pretty and great for all seasons – and for Mother’s Day! She now carries bone beads, metallic wood beads, turquoise and chain tassels. l MAY 2014


By Linda K. Eaves Photos by Nesossi Studios Flowers by Nora Anne’s Flower Shoppe

Casa Moms Colleen McLaughin, Mary Scalise and Eileen Piette-Cryar.

Casa children at play enjoying new homes and their new Casa Moms.

A Casa child: David.

Casa De Esperanza’s


Mothers of Hope

ope springs eternal for the children of Casa de Esperanza thanks to Fort Bend County Casa de Esperanza Moms. Casa de Esperanza de los Niños – the House of Hope for Children – is a safe place for children in crisis due to abuse, neglect or the effects of HIV. Case de Esperanza provides residential, medical and psychological care according to the needs of each child. 14

Richmond-Rosenberg area Casa de Esperanza mothers Mary Scalise, Colleen McLaughin and Eileen Piette-Cryar have plenty of love to go around and consider themselves “Mom” to all 70 children they have fostered in the past 15 years. They tell each child they’ll always love them no matter where they are in life – whether they are back with their family or whether they have been adopted by a new family. These three special Casa de Esperanza Moms have grown their families by adding 10 children to their homes through adoption. “The kids are amazing,” said Mary Scalise. “Casa de Esperanza Moms have a saying: ‘They choose you – you don’t choose them.’ I always asked my adopted son as I tucked him into bed each night, ‘Why did God give you that smile?’ He would reply, ‘So you would find me.’”

MAY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

Providing a Safe Haven

Eileen Piette-Cryar began her involvement with Casa de Casa de Esperanza provides services to stabilize the Esperanza as a community volunteer. She served in one of the children’s emotional and developmental needs, but most agency homes offering assistance to the house parent once a importantly, the organization provides a home and hope to week for three hours per week. Piette-Cryar played games children who have previously lived their lives in a state of with the children, participated in crafts, birthdays and stoconstant fear. When the children arrive, ry-time, providing assistance wherever they have multiple medical, emotional she was most needed. During her time and developmental problems due to the as a volunteer, she fell in love with the “These children really trauma they have experienced. Many children in Casa de Esperanza’s Resitaught us the rest. have not had routine medical care. dential Program and was so moved with Their early life experiences leave the compassion that she made the decision They are the heroes, children with reduced abilities to selfto open her home to children in crisis. the champions of their regulate their behaviors, difficulties in While a foster parent, she cared for six stories.” – Colleen McLaughin abilities to reciprocally and safely atchildren, and then she and her husband tach and deficits in social functioning. adopted two children. She is a full-time Foster parents are tasked with the remother who acts as a support system sponsibility of helping these children feel safe enough to love for other adoptive mothers in the greater Fort Bend commuand trust the adults in their lives. The Casa de Esperanza nity. Piette-Cryar supports other mothers of the Richmond and Rosenberg community have mothers in Fort Bend by besuccessfully accomplished this with the foster and adoptive ing a shoulder to cry on, ofchildren in their homes. fering constant emotional Eileen Piette-Cryar These moms are ordinary people; most already had chilsupport, as well as being dren. But, they are extraordinary because they open their present during medical hearts and homes to give children the love and nurturing emergencies with spethey so desperately need. Like everyone, these moms lead cial needs children. busy lives but have made these children a priority. “The needs of our children are basic,” shared A Team Effort Piette-Cryar. “They need Casa de Esperanza Moms are a close knit group, supportto understand that when ive of one another. They get together every three months or they’re hungry, they will be so for potluck dinners or barbecues to celebrate birthdays fed. They need to believe when they wake up, someone will and holidays. The moms usually end up discussing problems be there. They need to know when they cry, someone will and solutions they have experienced with their children. The hold them. Our fears about fostering pale in comparison to families help each other with babythe fears these children have without us fostering.” sitting, driving to the hospital The Fort Bend Program and doing household repairs. “We all support each Mary Scalise is not only a Casa Mom; she is Casa de EsColleen other, similar to a large peranza’s Fort Bend Coordinator. She, too, began her work McLaughin family. We pinch hit for with Casa de Esperanza as a volunteer and has since become each other all the time. I a dedicated part of the agency’s staff. In her role as Fort don’t do it all by myself,” Bend Program Coordinator, Scalise is responsible for prosaid Scalise. viding support and coordinating services for families in the Colleen McLaughin has greater Fort Bend Community. As one family shared, “Mary raised her seven children walked us through some of the most difficult experiences with a sacrificial love. She we’ve faced as a family with our firmly believes her experience as foster children. Her personal a foster parent has not only changed her life but also the lives experience and compassion Mary of her biological children, as it has helped them learn comfor serving others is eviScalise passion and empathy for disadvantaged populations. Her dent in her willingness oldest daughter has been so greatly impacted by her foster to go above and beyond and adoptive siblings that she spent one year as an intern at for all of the families in Casa de Esperanza. “We never felt like we were ‘equipped’ our community.” or ‘qualified’ to be foster or adoptive parents; we just knew Often the Casa de we couldn’t deny the profound calling to share the love that Esperanza families can consumed us each time we looked into their eyes,” shared be found walking into McLaughin. “These children really taught us the rest. They church or shopping, someare the heroes, the champions of their stories.” times with two baby carriers l MAY 2014


Casa children Connor and Chance.

in hand and three or four children of “We just ask for you different ages folto take a small life lowing them. The next Sunday or and make it whole shopping trip, the with your love.” family may have – Mary Scalise three different children in tow. The length of time required to foster a child may vary from one day to six months depending on the situation. A Casa de Esperanza family stands out as the children are often of different races. While people seeing Casa moms with different children in tow each week may wonder who the children are, Scalise has the perfect answer. “We are a family.” The Casa de Esperanza moms all have their stories. For example, the baby boy who came to the mom as a “failure to thrive” baby, which Casa means he didn’t have the will siblings. to live. This mom made a decision that she couldn’t let him go, and today, she’s celebrating a thriving nine-year-old that brings her more joy than she ever imagined! Casa de Esperanza Moms are available to speak to any organization or anyone who will listen about being a foster parent. Because of their outreach to community organizations such as the Rotary Club, Exchange Club, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, St. Laurence Catholic Church, First United Methodist Church and Calvary Episcopal School, many children have benefited from getting the care they so desperately need. Like our Casa de Esperanza Moms, many foster parents have gone a step further and adopted the children. The Fort Bend County Program includes the generous support of many volunteers, foster families, adoptive families and community partners, but the need is great and more foster families are needed. “We always tell others you will get more than you give, and we stand as proof that you too can be a foster or adoptive parent,” said Scalise. “We need


you, but most of all, the children need your love. If you don’t have a crib, we can get you one. You don’t have a car seat? No problem. The Casa de Esperanza team, moms, dads and children, will support you and provide the resources you need. We just ask for you to take a small life and make it whole with your love.” “I believe that being a mother is about what you can give someone else. It’s not about what you get in return,” said McLaughin. This statement epitomizes the philosophy of the Richmond and Rosenberg area mothers who work tirelessly to provide the best possible care for their children. Every day mothers in our community are saving the lives of foster and adoptive children through their work with Casa de Esperanza, and because of their commitment of time, love, patience and sacrifice, they have forever changed our community. To donate or learn more about volunteering, contact Casa de Esperanza at 713-529-0639 or visit their office located at 500 Austin Street in Richmond.

Casa de Esperanza Providing Hope for Children


asa de Esperanza currently has 68 adoptive families with 133 adopted children in Fort Bend County. This number continues to grow as the agency actively works to expand its Volunteer Community Foster Care Program. In 2013 alone, Casa de Esperanza provided 3,594 days of residential care to children in Fort Bend County. Children are admitted to Casa de Esperanza from Fort Bend, Harris and surrounding counties. Of the children in care, 76% have a history of Children’s Protective Service (CPS) involvement, but only 20% are in CPS custody at the time of admission. The children’s ages ranged from newborn to eight-years-old, and 100% of the children came from families with a history of domestic violence. Many of these children were homeless at the time of admission, had been exposed to drugs and alcohol and demonstrated developmental delays. While in Casa de Esperanza’s care, each child received developmental evaluations and was screened for occupational, speech and physical therapy. Casa de Esperanza does not charge for any services and does not accept government funding. Its services are dependent on funding from the private sector of the communities served by the agency. To learn more about how you can help the children of Casa de Esperanza, call 713A Casa de Esperanza Mom rocks 529-0639. a newborn in his new home.

MAY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or



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The Advocacy Role By Henry Dibrell


ne of the most important roles of a school board member is advocacy. We advocate in many ways. Our community engagement program is one area, but an unseen and very important area is helping to shape legislation. We give our time and our money to travel to Austin to meet with Texas legislators to advocate on behalf of children and the community.


Katy Independent School District

Legislative Priorities


• Support the restoration of public education appropriations to the 2010-2011 per-student level. • Maintain a fast-growth allotment within any revision to the existing school finance and formula system. • Fund the New Instructional Facility Allotment (NIFA) in the 2014-15 biennium at levels that support the pace of escalating start-up cost. • Maintain the defined benefit plan for TRS that has served Texas for the last 75 years. • Do not pass any new legislation for which adequate funding is not appropriated.

GOVERNANCE Henry Dibrell; Susan Patrick, Harris County Precinct Chairman; Dr. John Zerwas, State Representative and Rebbecca Fox, President Katy ISD Board of Trustees.

On a recent trip, Board President Fox, Harris County Precinct Chairman Susan Patrick and I had an opportunity to talk with many of our Katy area elected officials. We talked about testing, school choice, local control of calendar and the big one: finance. One of the difficult things about education legislation is the vast diversity of all of our school districts in Texas. Katy ISD is a district of 65,000 students, one of the largest in the state. Most districts across the state are very small; districts with 250, 1,000 and 2,000 students are quite common. This presents a huge dilemma in that what works in rural communities does not work in urban communities and will not work in suburban areas. Katy ISD trustees have taken the time to look at legislation that is of special interest to Katy ISD and have developed a list of priorities for this legislative session. Please join with us in supporting these priorities and consider talking to your representatives regarding them so we can see Katy ISD shine. The following are those priorities:


• Support less intrusive government by leaving authority and meaningful discretion to the locally elected school board of trustees. • Support legislation allowing local districts greater flexibility in setting the school calendar.


• Reduce the number of End of Course (EOC) test requirements from 15 to 5 and permanently repeal the use of the EOC exam as 15% of the student’s final grade. • Support the repeal of the cumulative score requirement for graduation. • Support a 24-credit foundation diploma. • Fund costs associated with mandatory testing and remediation of EOC failures and Student Success Initiative (SSI) requirements. • Support the exclusion of English Language Learners’ (ELLs) assessment results from the accountability system for the maximum appropriate amount of time.


• Support delaying the implementation of the new statewide accountability system until it accurately reflects student achievement and progress.

We will be sending this list out to all of our legislators and the community. We also work with other statewide agencies to support positive legislation on behalf of children and the Katy community. At the recent Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) convention, trustee Bill Proctor served as the Katy ISD delegate to help shape the TASB legislative priorities. Trustee Joe Adams is s member of the State TASB Board, which gives us a loud voice across the state. I would like to thank some of our local officials for all of their hard work in Austin and for their open doors: Rep-

MAY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

Henry Dibrell and Bill Callegari, State Representative.

resentative Bill Callegari, Representative John Zerwas, State Senator Glenn Hegar and State Senator Joan Huffman. Thank you for your hard work on behalf of our children.

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Does a child’s preference eliminate the court’s discretion? No. The decision remains solely in the court’s discretion.

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How can a child’s preference be made known to the court? In a nonjury trial or at a hearing if an application is made to the court, the court shall interview in chambers a child 12 years-old or older and may interview in chambers a child under 12 years-old to determine a child’s wishes as to conservatorship or as to the person who shall have the exclusive right to determine the child’s primary residence.

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Q: A: Q: A: Q: A:

What are other issues for which a judge can interview a child? The child’s wishes for possession, access or any parent-child issue relevant to the case.


Who can be present when a judge is interviewing the child in chambers? The court can allow the attorneys involved in the case to be present at the interview.

Will a court reporter be present at the interview? If a child is at least 12 years-old, the court must, either on its own motion or that of one of the attorney’s involved in the case, make a record of the interview.

Q: A:

Does a child have to be taken out of school for the interview? This is in the judge’s discretion, but subject to the court’s schedule, a judge will try to schedule the interview after school.

Q: A:

Can a child sign an affidavit regarding which parent with whom they prefer to live? No. It is no longer the law that a child can sign an affidavit regarding the child’s preference as to which parent they want to live.

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What To Do With the Kids This Summer? When school lets out, parents want to ensure their children are safe, supervised and engaged in activities that keep their minds and bodies active. The Katy YMCA offers many options for parents who are looking for a safe and fun place for their kids to build healthy mind, body and spirit this summer. In YMCA camps, children have the opportunity to play and participate in character building activities, arts and crafts, sports, games and so much more under the watchful eyes of caring role models. This summer, the Katy YMCA is offering a variety of exciting options to choose from! Financial assistance is available for all summer programs.

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Day Camp Held at YMCA’s 220 acre Camp Cinco nestled amongst huge oak trees, their unique outdoor day camp features a rock wall, ropes courses, hiking trails, archery range, sports fields, covered basketball pavilion, old west town façade, misting stations, a ranch house and more. Drop off as early as 7 am and pick up as late as 6:30 pm. Youth Camp is for ages 6 to 12; Teen Camp is for ages 13 to 15. Sports and Specialty Camps These camps provide the opportunity for children to learn specific skills based on their individual interest. Offerings range from basketball, soccer, tennis and volleyball to Theatre Arts, Cheer, Dance, Photography, Jump Rope and more. Classes offered various weeks throughout the summer for ages 5 to 14. Sleepover, or resident, camps are also part of the YMCA summer fun at Camp Cullen located along the shores of Lake Livingston. Sleepover camp activities include a wide range of water sports, horseback riding, canoeing, archery, rock climbing, crafts and fun! Swim Lessons The YMCA has been teaching swim lessons for over 100 years to individuals ages six months to adult. Group, private morning, afternoon and Saturday sessions are available. Childhood obesity has reached an epidemic level. YMCA camps provide an opportunity for kids to get active through play. YMCA camps and summer youth activities reinforce the Y’s core values of respect, responsibility, honesty, caring and faith. Visit or call 281-392-5055.

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Eagle Scout Andrew Jelson Creates Labyrinth at Katy Church A sophomore at Cinco Ranch High School, Andrew Jelson has devoted many hours to an organization he loves: Boy Scouts. As a boy scout, Jelson has camped out over 125 nights, hiked over 177 miles and has over 225 community service hours. He has held various leadership positions in the troop including Chaplain Aide, Den Chief and Senior Patrol Leader of 100 scouts. He has completed all three high adventure camps – Philmont, Northern Tier and Seabase – but his most recent achieve is perhaps the most impressive. For his Eagle Scout project, Jelson wanted to create something to benefit his Episcopal community and that would last for a while. “I wanted something that I could come back to when I am 20 or 30 years-old with my family and remember that I built this and took the time to make it,” Jelson said. “An Eagle project is something that needs to be here for a long time.” For his project, Jelson built a 26-foot labyrinth on the property of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Katy. On March 8th, Jel-



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The Styles You Want The Prices You Love Andrew Jelson began the labyrinth construction with the first plunge of a shovel in early March.

son broke ground on the project, and he worked through his Spring Break to complete it. With a budget of $5,000, Jelson obtained $3,000 from St. Paul’s Vestry in addition to $1,000 from his parents and another $1,000 from the Katy Rotary Club. The Pavestone Company’s Houston vendor was so impressed with the project that they donated all of the stones needed for his project. Less than 10 percent of Boy Scouts attain the highest level of Eagle Scout, a level that must be achieved before a scout turns 18. Jelson achieved his Eagle Scout ranking at age 15, which is rare for scouts. Congratulations to Andrew Jelson for his hard work and amazing achievement!

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Andrew Jelson standing on the newly completed Labyrinth. l MAY 2014



Katy Christian Ministries Steps Toward a Brighter Future This year celebrates Katy Christian Ministries’ (KCM) 30th anniversary. Since 1984, KCM has been actively caring for those in the community who are in need and has continued to live up to its mission: “Making a difference in the lives of others through God’s grace and the goodwill of the community.” With significant changes over the last 18 months, KCM has engaged in a positive and realistic process of organizational development. In 2014, the main goal is to have full force engagement in the community to strengthen and develop relationships among people, churches and other organizations, documenting the tangible and intangible resources available in the community. “While concentrating on strengths, we are assessing the variables affecting identified concerns, and we have formulated a plan of action to help people in need in the most cost efficient way,” said KCM CEO Deysi Crespo. With rising operational costs and excess space after a reduction in staff, the new plan of action includes relocating KCM’s administration office and food pantry to a smaller space that is more efficient to the organization’s needs. The current property on 3.76 acres on East 5th Street and Katy Fort Bend will be listed for sale. The property includes a garden and 16,000-plus square foot office building and workshop. The First Street Resale store and Donation Center will continue to operate as usual.

Crespo emphasized, “Please understand that KCM is not going away. This is one of many changes to help us be good stewards of the resources God provides through the community and other organizations. With a reduced staff, we no longer have a need for the amount of space that we have used in the past. We will continue to serve the community through our social services, crisis center, food pantry, donation pickups and resale store.” KCM considers downsizing to be the best option, for clients, employees and the community. KCM Facts from 2013: • Crisis Intervention, counseling, emergency shelter and advocacy: 1,398 victims of domestic abuse, of which 54% are children and 209 victims of sexual abuse, of which 46% are children were provided services. • Social services provided financial assistance to 551 families. Services provided include rent/mortgage and/or utilities assistance (water, gas, & electricity), financial assistance for urgent need for gasoline and prescriptions. • Food Pantry has distributed 10,863 bags of groceries. Clients also benefited from personal care items, milk, juice, meat, rice, beans and fresh vegetables. For more information, contact the KCM Administrative Office at 281-391-5261.

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absolutely! AUTO REVIEW By Steve Kursar



ntil recently, German carmakers have all but ruled the mid-size performance sedan market. But an American car brand is challenging the Europeans and beating them at their own game. That brand name is Cadillac, the General Motors marquee most often associated with the kind of large land yachts that your grandfather had in his garage. The all new 2014 Cadillac CTS couldn’t be farther from that. This is the third generation of the Cadillac CTS. The first one, introduced in 2002, was pretty forgettable, but the second generation, which came out in 2007, was a head turner. It was raw power and covered in sharp, angled sheet metal. It showed that Cadillac could manufacture a serious performance rear-wheel drive sedan.


It wasn’t a BMW-killer yet, but it was getting close. Now we have the 2014 model which should make the BMW 5-Series engineers nervous because it’s that good. This all new CTS is a little wider, longer and lower than the second generation model, which makes it both sportier to drive and better on the road. The new exterior design has softer angles, and the grill is much bolder. The interior design is very new Cadillac with buttery soft leather covering the seats and real wood accenting the touch points. The Cadillac CUE system, the heart of the infotainment technology, dispenses with traditional knobs by acting more like your smart phone. One swipe, and you’ll figure it out. But the heart of the CTS is the powerplant, and the 2014 model offers three options. The base model, for an MSRP of $45,100, has a 272 hp, 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a sixspeed automatic transmission. This base model will deliver 20 mpg in

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the city and 30 mpg on the highway. It’s definitely a fun car to drive but to get a real thrill out of the CTS, opt for the CTS Luxury trim, which includes the 321 hp, 3.6-liter V6 engine and an eight-speed transmission bringing in fuel economy numbers of 19 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. Move up to the V-Sport option, and you get the 420 hp, 3.6 liter twin-turbo V6, which is an absolute blast to drive. The CTS is offered as both in rear wheel and all wheel drive configurations. The new CTS is the new face of Cadillac: luxury, style and real performance. There’s no longer an excuse to only look overseas for a superb driving car. Follow Steve Kursur at


Pope John XXIII High School Wins District Title in Boys Golf 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. The Lions bested second place Second Baptist of Houston by 20 shots and had several individual winners in addition to the team title. Junior Philip Nijoka, with a score of 75, tied for second place overall, junior Mark Nijoka placed fifth overall with a score of 80 and senior Peter Thorseth placed seventh with a score of 82. These three students, along with senior Woody Hardy and junior Taylor Potts, earned All-

work our golfers have put in this school year,” coach Larry Finke said. “I am certain our golfers will represent the school well at the Regional Tournament.”

District honors. Other members of the boys golf team included senior Joseph Drewes, juniors Case and Jake Garrison, sophomore Philip Grandjean and freshman Michael Gandolfo. Two members of the girls golf team also participated in the TAPPS District IV tournament. Senior Maria Corte, with a score of 96, earned All-District honors and qualified for the regional tournament. Junior Katie Doyle also played, and she earned her best score of the year. “We are very proud of all of the hard


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

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By Jennifer L. Evans

The 2nd Art Share presented by Katy Area Artists at the Katy Contemporary Arts Museum was well-attended with 23 artists, including one from Bellaire, one from Marble Falls, one from Sugar Land and two from Houston. Photos by Derek Warneke.


Tatiana Escallon and her 3D art piece.

Artist Harshada Jashwant.

The Ballard House, a Cinco Charities community, celebrated its start with a ribbon cutting and VIP brunch.

Creech Elementary sent its glee club, Cosmic Chorale, over to serenade the guests. Pictured are club members Cole Tipton, Sophie Randall, Chloe Jabel, Chaney Hutchins, Maren Jensen and Garrett Reider.

Denise Einkauf and Linda Swan Adkins.


MAY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

Katy Area Economic Development Council Vice President Frank Lombard, Duval McDaniel from the Ballard Foundation and Cinco Charities’ Board Member Andrew Hall.

Katy-ites went in force to Houston’s 12th Annual Run for the Rose 5K and 1K events in support of Katy miracle child Ava Klein who recently celebrated another “clear” anniversary since her battle with cancer. Ava’s Army team members – led by Ava herself – ran and raised funds.

Alyssa Klein.

Ava’s Army: Lynn Marsack, Emily Carroll, Sydney Walker, Scott Marsack, Carson Kennedy, Tanner Klein, Olivia Walker, Allie Schauer, Lisa Klein, Victoria Anderson, Madelyn Jackson, Angie Schauer, Lauren Plummer, Alyssa and Ava Klein.

Creech Elementary hosted its “Read, Deed, Run” program and invited the whole school to participate in an evening Glow Run one-mile jaunt around the track. Hundreds showed up to participate in the event.

Eshan, Yasmeem and Saniya Muzumdar.

Kelsey and Colton Cornell dressed up for the run.

Taber Lamb.

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Evan, Kelly and Emerson Dunn, along with Stacy and Camryn Mills made it a family night. l MAY 2014



The 2nd Fotofest Katy opening at Babaloo Gallery was a hit with “Our Texas” as the theme. Sangria and Prosecco were served to a crowd of photography enthusiasts and collectors. The Babaloo Gallery was proud to exhibit 67 photographs by local photographers. Ana Villaronga-Roman, curator of the Katy Contemporary Arts Museum, curated the show. Photos by Derek Warneke.


Debi Beauregard, Becca House and Ana Villaronga-Roman.


Joel Braga, Fatima Donaldson and Odila Cuellho Braga.

Beck Junior High School’s Future City team won Best Space Based Design, Most Creative Use of Material, Best Teacher, Best Mentor and Best Student Presenter. The Beck Junior High team placed 3rd overall in the Future City Competition.

Mentors Puneet Wahi and Ge Wang with Julia Yang, Beck Junior High Principal Carra Fleming, Shruti Machiraju, Pranay Anad, Amy Wang, Humzah Mirza, Sid Wahi and mentors Ravi Machiraju and Binay Anand.


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Brookwood Resident Wins “Dunkin’ Cups for Charity”


ore than 100 members of the public, fans of local high schools and non-profits and discerning coffee drinkers helped Dunkin’ Donuts celebrate the Grand Opening of the new Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin-Robbins combo restaurant located at 3061 N. Fry Road in Katy. To celebrate the first Katy area Dunkin’ Donuts, guests sampled coffee, hot chocolate, donuts and breakfast sandwiches, played games to win prizes and more. Selected local schools and non-profits competed in a “Dunkin’ Cups for Charity” cup stacking competition. Carlos Macias, representing The Brookwood Community, won the grand prize, a $1,000 donation for his organization. Other participants in the contest included Cinco Charities’ Executive Ginger Hopper; Mayde Creek High School’s Principal Dr. Cazilda Steele; Morton Ranch High School’s Principal Lee Crews; Taylor High School’s Principal Jeff Stocks and Raines High School’s Assistant Principal Richard Merriman, who was the runner-up.

Individuals participating in the ribboncutting festivities included Lance LaCour, Beth Strand, Trazanna Moreno, Patricia Paetow, Cassandra Hedgpath, Jennie Philbeck, Walt Henry, Nathan Pressler,

Cosmo, Stephen, Rosemary, Steve, Jim, Will and Bradley Parisi, Kyle Toussant, Greg Glauser, Mayde Creek High’s cheer squad and mascot “Ram” and Dunkin’ Donuts mascot “Cuppy.”

And the winner is . . . Carlos Macias! Presenting the winning check was Dunkin’ Donuts mascot “Cuppy,” Mayde Creek High School Principal Dr. Cazilda Steele, Taylor High School Principal Jeff Stocks, Cinco Charities’ Executive Ginger Hopper, The Brookwood Community’s Carlos Macias, Raines High School Assistant Principal Richard Merriman and Morton Ranch High School Principal Lee Crews.

Jeff Stocks joined guests in playing Dunkin’ Plinko. No one left emptyhanded.

Carlos Macias completed his winning stack.

Barbara and Caroline Aldridge enjoyed some treats at the event.

Mayde Creek’s mascot “Ram” with Cazilda Steele.

Ginger Hopper didn’t win but left with goodies for guests of Ballard House.

Richard Merriman completed his stack in the allotted time – only three seconds behind the winner. Tough luck! l MAY 2014



& QA

Allergy and Immunology



The two broadest categories of childhood allergies are environmental and food allergies. Environmental allergies can include pollen, dust mites, mold and animal dander. Food allergies, which typically appear in young children, often include milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts and fish or shellfish. The allergies that children develop heavily depend on what they are frequently exposed to in their natural surroundings.

potential indoor allergens can be done at a much younger age, as exposure begins much earlier in life. The allergy test is fairly simple. We introduce a small amount of allergens to the child by slightly “pricking” the surface of their skin. For babies and toddlers, the test is typically performed on their back because there’s more surface there. For older children, it is often done on their forearm because they tend to like to see what is going on, and they have fun guessing which allergen they will react to. After about 15 minutes, we begin to see swelling around the specific allergens that are causing the problems.





A good allergy evaluation starts by taking a detailed history of your child’s symptoms and performing a physical examination. Then, your allergist will discuss with you if allergy testing is recommended. For seasonal allergies, I typically encourage parents to wait until their child is at least three-years-old before testing, as it will be more accurate if the child has been exposed to a variety of potential allergens through the different pollen seasons. Testing for food allergies and


It’s best to take your children to a pediatric-specific allergy and immunology clinic like at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. In a pediatric setting everything from the equipment and facility is designed specifically for children. For instance, at our clinic we only see children so we are very familiar with what type of reactions to expect from the

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Expert: Dr. Maria Buheis, pediatric allergy and immunology attending physician at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus answers some of the most common questions about childhood allergies.

child, as well as the common allergy test indicators. For younger children, distractions are sometimes needed to get their attention away from the slight pinch of the prick. For these patients, child life specialists are available who can provide toys and interact with the child to help them through what can be a scary time. Since older children like to know what to expect during the allergy test, the child life specialists can help explain the entire process and can play guessing games with them to predict the allergens that will appear.



The short answer is sometimes. For some food allergies, such as milk, eggs and soy, about 60 to 80 percent of children outgrow them by school age. But only about 15 percent of children outgrow peanut allergy. It also, however, works in reverse. Your child can develop an allergy later on in life as a teenager or an adult. If you ever have any questions, you can always contact the Allergy and Immunology Clinic at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus by calling 832-2272280.

t n e t t A

s! d e w wly e N ion Coming June 2014

Real Weddings Submit your info today and have your wedding details and photos published in print and online in our magazine. If you or your children have recently married and you would like to enter for a chance to be featured in our Real Weddings, all you need is at least ten high-resolution photos of the ceremony and/or reception. It doesn’t matter where the wedding took place, as long as it was in the last year and you or your parent/s reside in Katy. Photographers are also welcome to submit photos.

Contact: or visit l MAY 2014



things we

SkinMedica’s TNS Anti-Aging Serum features two antiaging formulas to help smooth fine lines and wrinkles, lighten age spots and brighten your appearance. Limited supply. Only $160 (reg. $250). Timeless Plastic Surgery, 1327 Lake Pointe Parkway, Suite 300 in Sugar Land. Call 281-242-TIME (8463);

for Mother’s Day Gift Giving


Keep Mom “cool” in one of many selections at Texas Direct Auto! Texas Direct Auto, 12053 Southwest Freeway in Stafford. Call 281-499-8200;

Surprise Mom with one of her favorite scents this Mother's Day. SS Votives has a variety of scents to choose from. It will be a gift that will touch her heart. D&S Antiques, 801 Second Street in Historic Downtown Rosenberg. Call 281-232-0035.

WRAP MOM IN LOVE J Loggins presents the gift that any mom would love to wrap around her wrist at just $250. The Bamboo Collection by John Hardy is exclusively in Fort Bend, and supply is limited. J Loggins Jewelers, 14015 Southwest Freeway in Sugar Land. Call 281-242-2900;

RELAXATION GETAWAY AGELESS BEAUTY Discover ageless beauty in the blink of an eye at Sugar Land Plastic Surgery. Their 2-in-1 Neocutis Eye Intervention System contains an anti-aging bioserum and eye cream, and when used in combination, completely rejuvenates eyes for an absolutely amazing transformation! Sugar Land Plastic Surgery, 16614 Creek Bend Drive in Sugar Land. Call 281-980-8000;


Give Mom a gift of love and relaxation in her own backyard. Make every event an outdoor event with family and friends. Call today for a free design consultation. Texas Custom Patios. Call 281-265-1994;

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Fort Bend Focus

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a l MAY 2014


absolutely! DELICIOUS

A Fun Fiesta Feast

Cinco de Mayo for


inco de Mayo is one flavorful fiesta and while it may land on a Monday this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun. Inspired by delicious Mexican cuisine, this holiday is all about flavorful recipes and great times spent with friends. This year, make things simple and celebrate this festive day with these stress free tips: • Keep the menu simple with 4-Ingredient Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas, rice and refried beans. • Make your own tortilla chips. They are an easy, delicious side dish and you can wipe away oil splatters quickly with a tough cleaner, such as Formula 409, to make cleaning a breeze. Just cut soft tortillas into triangles, fry until crispy and sprinkle with salt, or even a squeeze of lime. • Create a focal point for all of your party decor with tissue paper flowers in bright springtime colors and a fiesta or party banner to set the stage. • For less clean-up, take the party outdoors. Paper plates and inexpensive table covers will make clean-up quick. Pick red, green and white for a color scheme inspired by the flag of Mexico. • Try a taco bar. They are a fun way to serve your guests, and you can use your disposable table covers to catch spills, scraps and avoid stains. • Party drinks can be really sticky. Gather abandoned, partially consumed beverages right away to avoid sticky spills. • When the party is over, grab dishes and trash first, so the mess seems less daunting. It also leaves you free to simply wipe things down with an easy-to-use cleaner, such as Formula 409 Antibacterial AllPurpose Cleaner. Now, enjoy your day. ¡Olé! Source: Family Features



Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas By Erin Chase of $5 Dinners Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken 2 cups salsa verde, divided 16 corn tortillas 1-1 1/2 cup shredded jack cheese 1. Preheat oven to 350ºF, and lightly grease 9-inch-by13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 2. In mixing bowl, combine cooked and shredded chicken with 1/2 cup salsa verde. 3. Warm tortillas in slow oven or wrapped in dishtowel in microwave. Warmed tortillas fold and roll better when making enchiladas. 4. Spoon a thin line of chicken-salsa verde mixture into a corn tortilla and wrap tightly. Place seam side down in baking dish. Repeat until chicken and tortillas are used up, and baking dish is packed full of enchiladas. Pour remaining salsa verde sauce over top and sprinkle about 1 to 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese on top. 5. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until cheese has melted and salsa verde is bubbling. 6. Serve warm with side of rice and refried beans. Tip: Prepare shredded chicken on Sunday to save time. Throw 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs and 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breast in a slow cooker, and cook on low for 8 hours.

MAY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

Beautiful Views From Your Future Colorado Home Site

You may have dreamt about a retirement house in Colorado or just a vacation home. You may want to consider a master planned development that offers much needed utilities. This beautiful waterfront lot with picturesque mountain views in Pagosa Springs is close to the family-owned Wolf Creek Ski Area and the mineral springs that made Pagosa Springs famous. This lot is approximately .24 acres in the Pagosa Lakes development that has all utilities as well as several fishing lakes, a golf course and other amenities. $89,000

Interested? Please call 281-798-6432

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Get Together and Grill Easy and delicious recipes for entertaining


implify your summer entertaining routine with quick, easyto-make dishes that feature fresh, scrumptious ingredients. Laid back and lovely, summer parties call for wonderful friends, flavorful foods and refreshing beverages. But having company over to enjoy the beautiful outdoor surroundings doesn’t mean you have to stress over time-consuming meals that can take all day to prepare. Luckily, there are yummy options available for every al fresco host.


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Keeping it simple, fresh Make a warm weather gathering great by incorporating creative dishes that require the beloved summertime ritual of firing up the grill. Simple grilled recipes, or those that require no cooking, allow you to cut down on the prep and clean up time. Your guests will love these recipes, which all feature Sabra Hummus, a better-for-you dip. Available in more than 10 flavors, Sabra allows you to customize to your guests’ favorite, flavorful preferences. Serve up those summer flavors all season long. Visit for more recipes that please guests and save on time while entertaining.

Grilled Flatbread with Hummus & Mixed Veggies


Prep time: 5 minutes Total time: 30 minutes Yield: 4 servings 1 1 1 1 8 1 4 1 4 1 2 2

tablespoon olive oil clove garlic, minced sweet onion, thinly sliced red bell pepper, thinly sliced large mushrooms, thinly sliced cup baby spinach Indian flatbreads (naan) or pocketless pita cup Sabra Hummus teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded teaspoons dried oregano tablespoons balsamic vinegar Red pepper flakes, optional

1. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. 2. Add garlic, onion bell pepper and mushroom. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes or until veggies are soft. 3. Remove from heat and stir in spinach. Set aside. 4. Place flatbread on grill or stovetop gas flame; grill for a couple of minutes or until lightly browned, turning once. 5. Place all four flatbreads on baking sheet. To assemble flatbreads, evenly spread surface with hummus. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of hummus. Top with veggies then mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with oregano and red pepper flakes. Place in oven and bake for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Loaded Chopped Salad with Chipotle-Hummus Dressing


Prep time: 15 minutes Total time: 15 minutes Yield: 4-6 servings For salad: 1 red bell pepper, diced 2 celery ribs, diced 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese 2 heads romaine lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces 2 carrots, peeled and diced 10 grape tomatoes, halved 1/2 small red onion, diced 1/2 English cucumber, diced For dressing: 1/2 cup Sabra Chipotle Hummus, including all of topping 1/4 cup reduced fat milk 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1. Place all ingredients for the salad in large bowl and toss gently to combine. 2. Whisk all ingredients for dressing in small bowl. 3. Pour half of dressing on top of salad and toss well to coat. Add more dressing as desired or serve extra on side. Source: Family Features l MAY 2014



By Amy Gross


hen the summer calls, I love a nice Sauvignon Blanc or great bottle of bubbles, but for parties, sangria is super easy to make and serve and is always a crowd-pleaser. With Mother’s Day,

Wine Day on May 25th, Memorial Day and graduations all in May, there are plenty of reasons to party and enjoy sangria! One thing I love about sangria especially is that you can make a few pitchers of it ahead of time for a party, and keep it in your fridge to serve a crowd and welcome the summer. This recipe is my favorite. It is a cinch to make, and always turns our perfectly. Want to serve white sangria instead of red? I’ve got you covered there, too. Just substitute a bottle of white Albarino, white Rioja, Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc for the red wine. Looking for more entertaining ideas with wine for the summer? Check out my blog at Cheers to a happy summer!

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Just combine all of the following: • 1 bottle of red wine (Rioja, Syrah or Sangiovese work especially well) • 1 cup of simple syrup (Boil 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar to make simple syrup.) • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Triple Sec, Grand Marnier or brandy, or a combination of all three • 10 ounces of tonic water or club soda • 1 or 2 tablespoons of orange juice, sweet tea or pineapple juice • Slices of fruit oranges, apples, grapes, pineapples and raspberries Pour into some fun glasses to serve, garnish with extra fruit, toast and enjoy!


GRILL TEXAS MESQUITE GRILL 20095 Katy Freeway, 77450 281-829-0444 Located on the southwest corner of I-10 and Fry Road in Katy, Texas Mesquite Grill is one of Katy’s newest and finest restaurants. Texas Mesquite Grill offers an amazing variety of fresh menu items. Owner Austin Yates says that Texas Mesquite Grill “caters to all families in Katy.” The rustic country atmosphere is family-friendly with several televisions, an energizing bar area and a huge open air patio.

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What’s Kickin’ in


By Mary Raines


ummer is upon us! School will be out soon, and vacations are being planned. This is a great time of year when we all like to be out and about. I am sure all of you will agree that one of the best places to enjoy summertime activities is Katy. Now is the time to get kickin’ and explore what the summer months have to offer. All Month Summer Camp Registration for All Ages Katy YMCA 22807 Westheimer Parkway Katy YMCA summer programs offer children the opportunity to play and participate in character building activities, arts and crafts, sports, games and so much more under the watchful eyes of caring role models. Registration is now open for summer day camps, sports and specialty camps, overnight camps and swim lessons. For more information, visit or call 281-3925055. May 1st – 3rd Spring Extravaganza Thursday – 4 – 7 pm Friday and Saturday – 9 am – 5 pm Brookwood Community 1752 FM 1489 in Brookshire This three-day event will feature unique home décor, gifts, clothing, jewelry, plants, food and more from Brookwood and a variety of local vendors. The evening event on May 1st includes complimentary appetizers with wine and champagne available to purchase. On Friday and Saturday, enjoy lunch in the Café at Brookwood followed by shopping and an afternoon Wine Bar in the Garden. Visit or call 281375-2100 for more information.


May 2nd Spring Art Gallery 6:30 – 8 pm Katy Visual & Performing Arts Center (KVPAC) West Oaks Mall Location 2600 Hwy 6 South, Suite 504 Free and open to the public, KVPAC’s Spring Art Gallery will feature a collection of artwork from talented students in the Katy area. You will be impressed! For more information, visit or call 281-829-ARTS (2787). May 8th Gardening Club 11 am Katy Library 5414 Franz Road Join other gardeners in the area to learn new ways to garden. Bring leftover seeds, and exchange them for new seeds to try. The Katy Library Gardening Club meets on the second Thursday of every month. For more information, call 281-391-3509 or visit May 9th and 10th How to Eat Like a Child Friday – 7 pm Saturday – 2 pm and 7 pm KVPAC 2501 S. Mason Rd, Suite 290 This KVPAC performance by the Junior Company Production is a hilarious musical romp through the joys and sorrows of being a child. Children give 23 lessons in such subjects as how to beg for a dog, how to torture your sister, how to act after being sent to your room and how to laugh hysterically. The pace is fast, the tone subversive and the recognition instant. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students. For tickets, visit or call 281-829-ARTS (2787).

MAY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

May 10th Connected to Life Opening Reception 5 – 7 pm The Katy Contemporary Arts Museum 805 Avenue B View the contemporary artwork of painters Linda Dautreuil and Earl Staley at the not-forprofit Katy Contemporary Arts Museum. The exhibits will be on view through June 30th. For more information, visit www.katycam. com or call 832-857-1340.

May 17th Make A Splash 10 am – 12 pm Cinco Ranch High School Swimming Pool 23440 Cinco Ranch Boulevard Katy Aquatics and Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus will host a free water safety event perfect for the whole family! The morning will include free swim lessons and stroke clinics, a safety fair, lifeguard rescue demonstrations, interactive water safety activities including kayak rides, free raffles, food and special appearances by the Sugar Land Skeeters Mascot and the Chick-fil-A Cow. Goody bags will be given to the first 400 participants. Local Community Partners include the American Red Cross, Fort Bend Police and Fire Departments, USA Swimming and more. For more information, visit www. or call 281-391-7200.


DOGGONE GOOD TIME A s part of their ongoing commitment to supporting their Fort Bend County neighborhood, Texas Direct Auto proudly announced the opening of a community dog park in the spring of 2013. Now, in celebration of this anniversary, the Stafford-based dealership would like to cordially invite everyone and their dogs out to the park for a day of furry fun on Saturday, May 31st from noon to 2 pm. James Coney Island’s “Coney Cruiser” will be on-site serving up complimentary hot dogs for all, and attendees can rock out with Theresa, dog-lover and midday hostess on 94.5 The Buzz FM. Texas Direct Auto’s lovable canine mascot, Auto, will be there as well, handing out over $500 in PetSmart gift cards and other treats for dogs large and small. Texas Direct Auto is a dealership unlike any other, so naturally the dog park had to be extraordinary as well. Located in Meadows Place, the Texas Direct Auto Dog Park features four levels of cascading waterfalls, two cooling ponds, shaded cedar pavilions, walking paths, a dog-washing station and separate areas for large and small dogs – it even has a doggie slide! In short, it’s fourlegged heaven. Jessica DeMarr, Texas Direct Auto’s Director of Busi-

The Texas Direct Auto Dog Park.

ness Development, said, “We hope everyone will come out and bring the kids for a day of fun in the park. We’ve invited several rescue organizations, so if you don’t have a dog, you can adopt one!” The Texas Direct Auto Dog Park is located just across Highway 59 from the dealership at 11230 Dorrance St., City of Meadows Place, TX 77477. Both the park and the “Paws in the Park” event are open to the public, and there is no cost to attend.


Where ver life takes you


kelly Chamberlain 281.582.3984

martha Clark

Josh Clark



rebeCque demark & nanCy sCott 281.582.3964

rita donnelly

Christine dunCan

JaniCe ireland 281.620.8427


sCott landreth

Clarann mCCoy

suzan PheniCie

Julie PiCkett

Jessi sChaefer

marCia serafin

kim Gordon sChorre

robin mueCk









lisa Jones



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


May 2014- Absolutely Katy Magazine  

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

May 2014- Absolutely Katy Magazine  

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