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NOV/DEC 2011


Days of Christmas

Katy Family Gives Back Ashmore Family Brings Holiday Magic To Families Facing Difficult Times


Inside • Local Restaurant Celebrates Milestone Anniversary • Katy Residents Take Part in Historic Film • Seen on the Scene in Katy


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Conveniently located in the heart of West Houston, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus now brings the highest level of pediatric care available right to your community. Children are our only focus, from our highly trained pediatric physicians and staff to our brand new state-of-the-art facility. So when you need the best pediatric care in Houston, as ranked by U.S.News & World Report, come on over. We’re just up the road.

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I-10 and Barker Cypress | FRONT INSIDE l NOV l DEC 2011


Katy office conveniently located at

La Centerra Center at Cinco Ranch 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd. C-140


Associates Serving the Katy and Ft. Bend Areas

Phillippa Chevalier 281.235.8245

Bob Christian 832.875.8555

Darla Dever 832.419.1970

Al Foster 281.451.6706

Bob Gilbert 281.904.6772

Jennifer Jackson 832.922.8695

Carolina James 832.243.2896

Aliona Maturan 713.584.9284

Scott Mendell 281.433.7621

Rachael Monroe 832.623.2834

Cheryl Nelson 281.382.0378

Cynthia Semaan 832.282.0858

Fadi Semaan 832.282.0201

Terry Shelton 979.418.0197

Grace Simpson 281.798.6631

Kim Thaler 281.788.4710

Stacy Thompson 832.630.1909

Ed Ware 713.882.4547

Cynthia Wiles 281.546.2556

Cindy Wingo 713.927.4910



La Centerra Center at Cinco Ranch



23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Suite C-140

C e rt i f i e d r e lo Cat i o n P r o f es s i o n a ls


Katy, Texas 77494

713.882.4311 l NOV l DEC 2011


Shop and


Your Way

23501 Cinco Ranch Boulevard, Katy, Texas 77494 | 281.395.5533 | | 4

NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242




here is no doubt that the Katy community has a big heart when it comes to helping others – especially around the holidays. When Garrett and Kelli Ashmore took it upon themselves to dedicate their time, talents and efforts to making the holidays merrier for kids suffering from cancer as well as their siblings and parents, Stuff the Sleigh was established. By enlisting generous local sponsors and a bevy of hard-working volunteers, they have made many families believe that the people of Katy are caring and know what the spirit of the holidays really means. I am hoping that their wish to make this year’s event extra special comes true, and I hope we, as a community, will pitch in to help them do so. You may notice that absolutely! Katy has changed ownership in this issue. While it is sometimes hard to say goodbye to old friends, I am happy to say that we have many exciting changes ahead and a good company to carry out our new goals. Focus Media already has award-winning magazines, and we will benefit greatly from their experience and leadership. Some of the changes slated to take place are an enhanced dining guide, business-friendly features, more medical and all delivered every month. This will not only increase our circulation to 30,000 monthly or 90,000 quarterly, but it will also provide timely material and increased potential for fresh features, events and must-know information. We can also cover more events that Katyites are attending, so if you have something you would like to see in the pages of our magazines, feel free to let us know. In the meantime, I hope your holidays are merry and bright and that you enjoy them with good health, good food and a good magazine to keep you up-to-date on all the happenings in Katy. I’m pretty sure I know which one that is!


Contents 12 BARKING OUT ORDERS Adopting Retired Military Working Dogs 14 KATY’S 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS Family-Friendly Holiday Events In and Around Katy 22 THE LIVING ARTS ARTreach Rises to the Occasion


34 MEDICAL BRIEFS 36 absolutely! Q & A Childhood Asthma

absolutely! HEALTHY LIVING

26 absolutely! INTERVIEW Robin Mueck


40 FOCUS MEDIA EXPANDS Holdings Include Two New Titles



42 LE MISTRAL Uniquely French and Uniquely Houston

23 IT’S ALL ABOUT YOUR MONEY Destitute at 80


absolutely! DELICIOUS


AC C O U N T E X E C U T I V E S Sarah Ware Tara Collins Jessica Kij A RT D I R E C T O R Grace Belleza A RT & P R O D U C T I O N C O N S U LTA N T Joey Belleza GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Debi Beauregard Elizabeth Pace

O F F I C E M A NAG E R Norma Loredo



M A NAG I N G E D I T O R Patti Parish-Kaminski



A S S O C IAT E P U B L I S H E R Claudia Richter

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Claudia Richter Janet Buller Jason Hodge Tim Sojka


8 STUFF THE SLEIGH OF KATY Local Family Brings Holiday Cheer to Children with Cancer

PUBLISHERS Michael & Lisa Fredrickson

O F F I C IA L P H O T O G R A P H E R Sam Schultze, Country Park Portraits



Vol. 8 No. 6 Nov/Dec 2011


Tom Gibbs (Santa) with Garrett, Kelli, Erika and Kiersten Ashmore. The Ashmore family created a fundraising event – Stuff the Sleigh – to help make the holidays merrier for children suffering from cancer.

IN EVERY ISSUE 6 10 16 18 41


NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

SALES & RATE INFORMATION 281-690-4242 EDITORIAL 4655 TECHNIPLEX DR. STE 400 STAFFORD , TX 77477 281-690-4242


absolutely!TM Magazines are published by absolutely! Focus Media, 4655 Techniplex Dr., Ste. 400, Stafford, TX 77477. Copyright © 2011 by absolutely! Focus Media. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. absolutely!TM Magazines does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial, nor do the publishers assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. absolutely!TM Magazines welcomes editorial submissions from its readers.




C U T T I N G E D G E T E C H N O L O G Y T R E AT I N G D E P R E S S I O N :

What is

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation? By Kimberly Cress, M.D.



any people who struggle with depression now have an option that can help them lead a more productive and successful life - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). TMS is a new alternative treatment for individuals diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, and Dr. Kimberly Cress, director of the TMS Serenity Center, is one of the first psychiatrists to offer this alternative technology in the greater Houston area. With a 75% success rate with varying degrees of improvement, Dr. Cress’ patients are realizing remarkable progress with TMS which has been FDA approved for treatment of depression since October, 2008. “With TMS, I’ve been able to get patients to a place I’ve never been able to before with traditional therapies,” said Dr. Cress. “I’ve seen real, tangible results from treating patients with this new technology.” New to the mental health industry, TMS was ranked by CNN as one of the top 10 health innovations of 2009.

How does TMS work? TMS uses a magnet similar in strength to the one used in an MRI. It is placed on the left front portion of the head. This magnet turns on and off rapidly, generating a highly concentrated magnetic field. The pulsed magnetic field stimulates nerve cells within the area of the brain thought to control mood. When these nerve cells are activated, they release chemicals (neurotransmitters) that are naturally found in the brain, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These are the same chemicals provided by antidepressant medications, but with TMS,

there is not the risk of side effects seen in antidepressants. Individuals frequently stop medication due to side effects such as sexual dysfunction, weight gain, fatigue, sweating, anxiety and nausea compared to little to no side effects with TMS.

Does TMS work? For nearly two years of providing TMS therapy, Dr. Cress has seen dramatic improvements in her patients. After TMS therapy, Gail said, “I have had depression a number of years and have taken several different medications. Some did not work at all, some worked for awhile, and some did have an impact. However, none have had the impact that TMS has had. I no longer wake up in the morning wondering if I’ll be able to push myself enough to get one thing done or will it be another day of languishing around the house. Now, I wake up and plan what I’ll get done and what I will do for myself as a reward. I do not look at each day as just another one to get through. I look at it as a new beginning. I am no longer a person just surviving my depression. I’m a happy person with the motivation to make a life for myself. That is what six weeks of TMS has given to me.”

Your TMS Resource The TMS Serenity Center and Dr. Kimberly Cress is one of the first in the Greater Houston area to provide this alternative treatment for depression. For more information, please contact the TMS Serenity Center 281.240.4322 or visit

mental illnesses to the TMS Serenity Center. A graduate from the University of Texas Health Science, San Antonio Medical School, Dr. Cress’ vast experiences includes treating patients with treatment refractory depression, anxiety disorders and bipolar disorders at the Mood Disorder Center at the Baylor College of Medicine. Now, at the TMS Serenity Center, Dr. Cress is once again at the forefront of her field bringing ground-breaking technology to her patients suffering from depression with TMS – an effective treatment option for individuals who have failed one antidepressant trial according to the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Cress has treated patients with TMS Therapy for nearly two years in addition to completing the Harvard Medical School’s Intensive Course in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. She is an advisory board member for Texana, an organization that provides behavioral healthcare and developmental disabilities services, and she is a member of Mental Health Services of America of Fort Bend County.

Do you have a question about mental health? Ask the Expert Kimberly Cress, M.D. E-mail your questions to

About Kimberly Cress, M.D. With over eleven years in private practice in Psychiatry, Kimberly Cress, M.D. brings her extensive experience for difficult to treat

4545 Sweetwater Boulevard, Sugar Land, Texas 77479 | 281.240.4322 | l NOV l DEC 2011


Stuff the Sleigh of Katy Local Family Strives to Bring Holiday Cheer to Children with Cancer and Their Families


Some of the volunteers involved in Stuff the Sleigh are Janet Burkett, Lori Bode, Andy Wohlgemuth, Susie Price, Sean Fecht, Jamee Rivera, Garrett, Kelli, Erika and Kiersten Ashmore, Katie Sparkman, Tom Gibbs (Santa), Heather James, Wanda Cramer, Natalie Gables, Madison Chalker, Lauren Jodi Carroll andCALL 281.690.4242 8 NOV l DEC 2011Fecht, l TO ADVERTISE Michelle Hardt.

By Claudia Richter Photography by Country Park Portraits


iving kids suffering from cancer and their siblings a holiday filled with presents, a visit with Santa and a nice holiday meal was the idea behind Stuff the Sleigh, a Katy community toy drive for local families. This is the second year for the event that was started by Garrett and Kelli Ashmore. “The event was a huge success last year,” said Garrett. “It was life-changing for everyone involved, and I hope and pray that this year the Katy community will embrace it again so that we can give families with sick children a nice holiday to remember.”

Giving Back Garrett and Kelli both grew up in Katy and have known each other since elementary school. Garrett graduated from Katy High School in 1994, went on to graduate from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and came back to Houston to eventually be hired by Enron. He spent three years with the company and like scores of others, ended up losing everything he had. “It was a huge learning experience for me,” he said. “I learned both personally and professionally from it, and I have moved on from the experience.” Kelli is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin University where charitable giving, especially raising funds for Susan G. Komen, was a main focus. Both feel a deep sense of appreciation for being part of such a giving community and wanted to think of a meaningful way to give back. They thought about their own family and friends. Another couple, Dan and Missy Geddes, who also grew up in Katy and are childhood friends of the Ashmore’s, have a son who was diagnosed as a toddler with brain cancer. Their family opened the Ashmore’s eyes to the reality of families who are battling childhood cancer, and the fact that many times, holidays are filled with visits to the hospital, lab or doctor’s office, leaving little time or money for shopping for gifts, having a holiday meal or just having a nice family day. “Dan and Missy told me how nice it is for kids to have a toy or game to play with while they are waiting for treatment, and what a nice, welcome distraction it can provide,” said Garrett. “What people don’t realize is that even middle-class families

ing that we can keep building on this, and make it a holiday tradition for the Katy community. I am also grateful for my family, and especially my wife, Kelli, who has devoted so much time and energy to making Stuff the Sleigh such a success.”

How to Help

Lucy Schuler visits with Santa during the 2010 Stuff the Sleigh holiday event. can’t give these things to their kids when faced with huge medical expenses.” The Geddes family, although still focused on fighting their son’s cancer which has spread to his spine, made a generous contribution to Stuff the Sleigh to help other families who are in the same fight.

Filling a Sleigh Once the Ashmore’s determined the focus of their charity event, Stuff the Sleigh of Katy was born. In December of 2010, the inaugural event took place at the Firethorne neighborhood community center. A sleigh was filled with donated toys and 50 children, along with siblings and parents, were treated to a spectacular holiday celebration. Their hope is that this year’s event will be even bigger and that more families can be included. With the opening of Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, they have located children and families in need. Every bit of the proceeds collected will be used for the toys and the event, and any remaining proceeds will be placed in a fund for families who need help paying for treatment.

The community can help again this year by dropping off toys or monetary donations to the Firethorne Community Center located at 28128 N. Firethorne Road in Katy. After the sleigh is full, the families will go to Firethorne for a private event that will include Santa and his elves, a lunch donated by Chick-fil-A and Chuy’s, and receive grocery gift cards from H-E-B for a holiday meal. Donations can also be sent to Voice Runner, C/O Stuff the Sleigh, 2501 S. Mason Road, Katy, TX 77450. Sponsorship has grown to include Cinco Charities, Chick-fil-A, Target, Chuy’s, Country Park Portraits, Firethorne, Academy, Keller Williams Realty, Texas Children’s Hospital, Holy Covenant Child Development Center, Odessa Kilpatrick Elementary, Memorial Parkway Junior High cheerleaders, Voice Runner and the Ashmore and Geddes families. For more information about Stuff the Sleigh, please email stuffthesleigh@

Grateful Families For families facing a devastating illness, Stuff the Sleigh has been a blessing. Many of the families explained to the Ashmores that without it, they would have had nothing, and no means to celebrate the holiday season. “To me, that’s what the holidays are about,” said Garrett. “I can’t tell you how much it means to me to know that my family has helped other families at this time of year and given the kids something to smile about. I am hop-

Santa visits with Erika Ashmore. l NOV l DEC 2011


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

November 16th

November 17th-19th

November 19th

10:30 am Children’s Book Author Joe Sutton to Conduct Free Reading

7:00 pm Seven Lakes High School Sensations Show Choir

3:00 - 6:00 pm Home for the Holidays Festival and Tree Lighting

November 17th

November 19th

Houston-based Joe Sutton will read his new children’s book Wanda and the Oblahlahs, based on a story he dreamed up for his children that has been stored away in the attic for 35 years. The reading will take place at Learning Express, at 5556 S.Peek Road in Katy.

7:00 pm Master Gardener Meeting

Join the Fort Bend Master Gardeners, sponsored by Texas AgriLife Extension Service, to hear Bob Pierce, PhD speak on Native American Gifts to the World. The program is free to all. No reservations required. Anyone with an interest in gardening is encouraged to attend. Call 281.341.7068 or visit for more information.

Seven Lakes High School Show Choir performs Green Light Songs from Red Light Musicals at the Seven Lakes High School Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students. Gold Card tickets are $5. For ticket information and group sales, contact 281.237.2857 or www.

Noon - 6:00 pm 2nd Annual Katy BASH

This year’s BASH is at the Villagio Town Center. Fun for the whole family. Includes live music, children’s activities, concessions and more. All proceeds from the $10 raffle tickets benefit Child Advocates of Fort Bend and help abused and neglected children in our community. Raffle items include a 7 night Carnival Cruise from Viking Travel. Visit for more information.

LaCenterra and the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce present The Home for the Holidays Festival and Tree Lighting. Fun for the entire family, this Katy tradition features holiday music performed by talented KISD students, free children’s activities and the lighting of LaCenterra’s sparkling Christmas tree. Plus, a visit from the big guy himself!

November 24th 6:45 - 8:45 am YMCA Turkey Dash

The Katy Family YMCA located at 22807 Westheimer Parkway is hosting Katy’s largest fun run! Awards in age categories, door prizes, post-race party with complimentary food and refreshments, kids’ fun zone, games, live band and more! For more information, fees and registration, visit

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Karapasha Team Recognized • Respected • Recommended Specializing in Relocation Listings and Buyers Recognized Top Realtor Team by Houston Business Journal 2000-2010 Ranked 5th Producing RE/MAX Team for State of Texas in 2010 RE/MAX Westside Overall Top Producers 2010

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Celebrate Christmas Dec. 11 - Christmas on Bethlehem Boulevard, a family festival, 3 - 6 p.m. Dec. 11 - Messiah Singalong, 7 p.m. Dec. 15 - Travelers’ Christmas Service, 7 p.m. Dec. 24 - Eight Christmas Eve Services, Traditional and Contemporary

20775 Kingsland Blvd.

Join us at St. Peter’s as we celebrate the birth of Christ. For more information, please visit l NOV l DEC 2011


Barking Out Adopting Retired Military Working Dogs Made Possible by Non-Profit Organization

Nasty is enjoying the retired life thanks to Lucille Patton.

Orders By Claudia Richter Photography by Mark Linder


fter spending two years working for Homeland Security in Kandahar, Afghanistan in explosives detection, seven-and-ahalf-year-old retired military working dog (MWD) Nasty has found a happy home locally with Lucille Patton. He is a friendly dog and well-behaved considering he has hundreds of thousands of dollars in training invested in him while serving his country. Sadly, many of these brave, loyal and heroic animals do not get a chance to become adopted, and they are euthanized. For Nasty, who is still full of energy and likes to chase a ball in the park with Lucille and her daughter Carla, it is a far cry from spending ten or more hours a day running on hot sand while he was on duty as a mercenary. Lucille enjoys his company and takes him on frequent outings. In November of 2000, a bill was


passed allowing civilians to adopt a retired military working dog, and these beautiful and deserving dogs can now become part of a loving family. A contractor in North Texas began bringing them back and helping to facilitate the adoptions. Online at www., information can be found about adopting one of these veterans, and included is an application, what to consider when contemplating an adoption, and postings of dogs that are available for adoption. You can also read stories of several very positive adoption experiences. One story credits a MWD with saving between 800 and 1,000 lives and was first of his kind to be inducted into his local American Legion Post as its first card-carrying member. Others are enjoying being part of a new family with other pets,

NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

Lucille Patton is happy with her retired military working dog Nasty, who served in Kandahar, Afghanistan in explosives detection.

kids and favorite toys. Although adoptions are free, donations are needed to help with transportation and medical costs that are sometimes necessary. The organization is in the process of obtaining 501 c 3 status. At the present time, the military does not pay for retiring military dogs to be transported overseas, and retires them where they are stationed. It is the adopter’s responsibility to pay for these costs. With continued support, Military Working Dog Adoptions will be able to give these dogs the respect and loving home they deserve.




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Te X AN S l NOV l DEC 2011


K AT Y ’ S

November 2011 through January 2012

12 Days of


Family-friendly holiday events in & around Katy.

City of Katy Tree Lighting and Holiday in the Park • November 29th

Photo courtesy of

On the first day of Christmas, go to Katy Heritage Park for the City of Katy Tree Lighting and Holiday in the Park. The festivities start at 5:30 pm on November 29th and include photos and letters to Santa, children’s activities, family entertainment and holiday treats. Katy Heritage Park is located on the corner of Avenue D and George Bush Drive in Old Katy.

CRHS Cougar Stars Holiday Parade of Homes • December 1st & 2nd On the second day of Christmas, get in the holiday spirit by touring the 8th Annual Cinco Ranch High School Cougar Stars Holiday Parade of Homes. Mark your calendars for December 1st and 2nd, and prepare to be dazzled by six Katy area homes, professionally decorated by Curtain Call, that are decked out in elegantly traditional, whimsical and fun styles. Appearances by the Bravo Choir and CRHS Orchestra Quartet make this a wonderful event. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased from a Cougar Star or at Beau Kisses, Hauerlands, Ya Ya Club, and Curtain Call.

James E. Taylor Show Choir Madrigal Dinner • December 2nd & 3rd

Photo by Piche Photography.

On the third day of Christmas, the Taylor High School Choirs present the 28th Annual Madrigal Dinner on December 2nd and 3rd at 7:00 pm. The choirs perform holiday music during the five-course banquet. The King and Queen, Court Jester and the Lords and Ladies of the Royal Court preside over the festivities while the meal is served by students in the school’s ‘Medieval Castle’ Commons. A professional juggler entertains, and a silent auction and raffle are available. Tickets are $25 through November 18th and $30 after. Visit or contact any choir student or director for tickets.

Epiphany of the Lord’s Frostyfest • December 3rd

On the fourth day of Christmas, get ready to shop, eat and visit with Santa at the Epiphany of the Lord’s 17th Annual Frostyfest. This fun for the family event will be held from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on December 3rd at 1530 Norwalk Drive in Katy. This art fair offers handmade merchandise from craftsman and artisans. In addition to the more than 80 vendors, there will be a quilt raffle, silent auction, bake sale and photos with Santa.

The Spartan Showcase of Holiday Homes • December 8th & 9th

On the fifth day of Christmas, the Spartan Showcase of Holiday Homes, presented by the Seven Lakes High School PTSA, takes place. The Spartan Showcase of Holiday Homes takes Katy residents on a tour of stately homes beautifully decorated for the holidays. On December 8th and 9th, the tours start at 6:00 pm and go until 9:00 pm. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Advanced ticket sales begin on November 21st at Seven Lakes High School, 9251 S. Fry Road, the SLHS PTA Website,, and at Ace Hardware, Cinco Ranch on Mason Road.


NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

Messiah Sing Along • December 11th

On the sixth day of Christmas, the Chancel Choir of St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in Katy will host the Fifth Annual Messiah Sing Along with full orchestra. The event will be held in the church sanctuary (located at the corner of Shillington & Kingsland) Sunday, Dec 11th at 7:00 pm. For information, call 281-492-8031 or visit Loaner scores will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis, and there will also be scores for sale to help you sing along. To many people, it’s just not Christmas without singing or hearing Handel’s Messiah.

Two Churches, One Message, LDS and Catholic Church Present Annual Christmas Concert • December 11th

On the seventh day of Christmas, the combined choirs of Epiphany Catholic Church and the Katy Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will present their annual Christmas concert on Sunday, December 11th at 7:00 pm at the Epiphany Catholic Church, 1603 Norwalk Drive in Katy. The concert will feature traditional Christmas music as well as holiday songs from other cultures. The event is free and open to the public.

A Katy Old-Fashioned Christmas • December 17th

On the eighth day of Christmas, back by popular demand, the big Christmas event featuring 20,000 pounds of snow, Santa and many vendors will take place in Old Katy at A Katy Old-Fashioned Christmas. Watch for details on the absolutely! Katy facebook page and save the date for December 17th!

Theatre Under the Stars Presents Irving Berlin’s White Christmas • December 6th – 18th

Photo courtesy of

On the ninth day of Christmas, Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) is proudly producing the classic holiday story White Christmas running December 6th – 18th at the Hobby Center for Performing Arts. The all-time number one pop song and most-recorded tune in history inspired first, a beloved classic film, and now, a fun-filled musical for all ages to enjoy. Tickets are available online at or by phone at 713-558-TUTS (8887).

Moody Gardens Festival of Lights • Now through January 1st

Photo courtesy of

On the tenth day of Christmas, visit the Moody Garden’s 10th Annual Festival of Lights, one of the region’s largest holiday celebrations and a favorite family holiday tradition. Enjoy over 100 sound-enhanced animated light displays, live entertainment, outdoor ice skating rink, and pictures with Santa evenings from 6:00 – 10:00 pm. For tickets and more information, visit

Deck the Halls with the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra December 4th

On the eleventh day of Christmas, attend a family concert presented by the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra at the Stafford Centre on December 4th at 2:00 pm. Enjoy holiday favorites such as Frosty the Snowman, Let it Snow, March of the Toys, selections from the Nutcracker and LeRoy Anderson’s classic Sleigh Ride. The Stafford Centre is located at 10505 Cash Road in Stafford. Call 281-208-6900.

Houston Ballet’s The Nutcracker • November 28th - December 28th

Photo courtesy of

On the twelfth day of Christmas, go to the Wortham Theater Center for the dazzling holiday spectacle, the Nutcracker Ballet. Dancing dolls, flying cooks, giant rats and living snowflakes perform to Nutcracker music by Peter I. Tchaikovsky. Recommended ages are two-years and older. Ticket information at or by phone 713-227-2787. l NOV l DEC 2011



on the


Go to

Fulshear Creek Crossing 2nd Annual Scarecrow Festival & Feast Saturday, October 22, 2011 • Lodge & Sports Club at Fulshear Creek Crossing

Mandy & Ira Leary

Debbie & Noah Worley

Tommy Kuykendall with Shirl & David Hawes

A Scarecrow Entry

Todd Averette & Linda Winne

Marcia Simmons

Tracy Wade & Fred Simmons

April & Doug Konopka

Karen Avid Thompson & Mark Wade

Kenneth & Cheryl Stalinsky

Jeffrey MacMillan & Kristin Cady

Ray Salti


NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

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OUT & ABOUT IN THE HEART K AT Y The 2011 Cinco Ranch High School Homecoming Court included: Sarah Thomas, Al Spikes, Becca Calfee, Tony Castillo, Megan Zhang, Chris Cernota, Claire Bartlett, Ryan Oldroyd, Taylor O’Hara, and Jake Glass.

The Webelos Den from Cub Scout Pack 780 recently toured the Emergency Room of the West Houston Campus of Texas Children’s Hospital with Dr. Todd Johnson.

The 2011 Mayde Creek High School Newspaper, The Rampage, has been awarded a First Class Rating with one Mark of Distinction by the National Scholastic Press Association. They also received a Silver Medal by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Pictured are Carmen Flores, Corey Barber, Travis Harris, Santana Rodriguez, Danny Alexander, Mark Jablinski, James Yang, Sarah Castillo, advisor Shetye Cypher, Ramisha Khan, Emily Grizzell, and Sarajean Walker.


James E. Taylor High School’s show choir, Expressions, kicked off their new season with Songfest, a coffee bar musical delight in October. The evening included ensemble, solo and duet performances. They are under the direction of Kevin Riehle and Kristen Likos. Members include: Emily Sarlls, Alli Kuhn, Bethany McDougal, Melanie Piche, Lindsay Blair, Jasmine Johnson, Erin Connors, Leanne McBride, Stephen Hargis, Amanda Melvin, Troy Hubble, James Resch, Zachary Burch, Patrick Morgan and Scott Kim. Photo by Piche Photography.

NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

PTA Members at Roosevelt Elementary recently recognized their Volunteers of the Month, they included: Andrea Berry, Shelly Martin, Beth Morris, Stephanie Rice, Dawn Crabtree, Lisa Preen, Debbie Kallina and Jessica Manske. Not pictured Richard Martin.

Hutsell Elementary has been awarded the Green Ribbon Schools Award from the Texas Education Agency in partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife for promoting and encouraging a healthy and environmentally-friendly learning environment. Pictured are Assistant Principal Carrie Lowery, Brenda Shaver-PE teacher, and Principal Keiko Davidson with Hutsell students.

Pattison Elementary kindergarten students recently dressed in red as part of a theme day that tied all things red into their lessons. Pictured is teacher Marcy Rose-Moehnke’s class.

It was Wacky Wednesday for Pattison kindergartners and teacher Logan Satterwhite, Jennifer Tang and Karys Williams.

Congratulations to all of the Cinco Ranch High School Choir Students who earned a spot in the Texas Music Associations Region 23 District Choir. These students earned the honor to audition for the Region Choir. They are under the direction of Dorothy Wilson and David Lee. l NOV l DEC 2011



The McMeans Junior High National Junior Honor Society recently held a donation drive to help those who lost their homes and belongings in the recent wild fires. They collected clothing, toothbrushes, water, canned food, school supplies, and pet food. Pictured are Ms. Canavati, teacher and NJHS sponsor; Sarah Vohra, Shawna Chen, Catherine Xu, Humera Aziz, Kayla Rodriguez, Jessica Bui, and teacher and NJHS sponsor Ms. Krolczyk.

Thomas Park in Old Katy is a little more colorful thanks to the efforts of the Cub Scouts of Pack 542. They spent a Sunday planting a tree in honor of Arbor Day.

Students from Lindsay Dunn’s class at Pattison Elementary recently participated in their annual Gingerbread Man hunt. Pictured are Michelle Demari, Daniel Ahmad, Lindsay Dunn, Alhana Johnson, David Fu, Julia Dumas and Gabriela Acosta.

The Cinco Ranch High School swimmers took time out of the pool to make sack lunches for “Feed the People” at Living Word Lutheran Church in Katy. The lunches are distributed to day laborers in the area, and to many, it is their only meal of the day.


NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

Mrs. Burn’s kindergarten class at Pattison Elementary showed off their silly socks recently during a special book project. Pictured are Jane Kim, Megan Carlson, Alexis Roberts, Kyle Smythe, Dante Arellano, Cedric Blangy, Jackson Herleth, MJ Wojcik, Roman Bancroft, and Allison McAfee.

The 7th Annual Latin Fest took place in September at the Performing Arts Center of Morton Ranch High School. The packed house welcomed the annual event that pays tribute to the achievements and contributions of famous Hispanic-Americans. Pictured is the Group Imagines de Mexico. The group danced to choreography by Mariana Luviano. Photo by Taylor Marron.

Each year, the Arbor Belles host a welcome to the neighborhood for the newcomers to The Arbor at Willow Fork. This tradition was enjoyed this year by Stephanie McLeod, Andra Oliver, LouAnn LaGrasso, Pam Chapman, Melissa Craner, Lynn Marsack, AJ Whitener, Cathy Ferrell, Pam O’Bryan, Jennifer Reider, Melissa Roberts, Karen Combi, Karen Woodworth, Lanette Lowe, Stephanie McClver, Norma Freudenberg, Joan Lowe, Connie Clancy, Becky Ricketts, Jimmibeth Hankins, Janet Plummer and Melissa Argo.

Alyssa Wessels, 11, of Katy, was cast out of 150 dancers to be Mother Ginger Clown in Houston Ballet’s The Nutcracker.

Kathleen Mueller, three-years-old, from Katy was recently crowned International Tiny Tot, in Las Vegas at the International Cinderella Scholarship Pageant. The Pageant’s philosophy is “real kids in real clothes,” instead of expensive pageant wardrobes and heavy make-up. Kathleen was also named Texas State Tiny Tot for 201112. The pageant awards thousands of dollars in college scholarships and prizes each year.

In September, the principals from Beckendorff Junior High and Katy Junior High, pictured center, Mindy Dickerson and Scott Sheppard, along with PTO reps from each school, met for a Sister Schools breakfast sponsored by the BDJH PTA. l NOV l DEC 2011



Story & Photos by Janet Buller


Rises to the Occasion


epresentatives from Katy-based ARTreach were overjoyed to attend the dedication ceremony for The Rise School of Houston’s new facility on October 11. This summer, ARTreach worked with all of The Rise School students to paint a colorful, lively mural together. ARTreach’s “Within My Reach” program supports children and adults with special needs. It was a perfect fit for The Rise School, which is a pre-school for children with and without disabilities from six months to six years of age. This unique school integrates “typical” children along with special needs children, preparing them all to enter mainstream elementary schools. ARTreach artist Elizabeth Linder and volunteers worked closely with the children so they could all be part of creating the artwork. They painted with a variety of tools that could be easily held by the children, including having children squirt paint from a ketchup bottle towards the end of the project. “Van Gogh said there was a musical note equivalent for every color,” said Linder. “When I look at the art, I hear a symphony of children’s giggles. I smile every time I see it.” In the new facility, the mural was reproduced on the wall of the entryway, and some of the abstract areas were transferred onto the overhead garage door that pulls down in the middle of the playroom. Mary Henderson and Patricia Harris, who are both Rise School employees and Katy-area residents, said they appreciated that the kids get to look at it and touch it everyday. They even play games throwing light balls against the seethrough panels, using the colors as a teaching device. Teacher Kathy Fisk exclaimed that the children are very proud of all their artwork.

The children used ketchup bottles for some of the mural painting.


NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

Katy artist Elizabeth Linder painted with the children. In a beautiful blessing at the dedication ceremony, Dr. Tom Pace, Senior Pastor at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, said the children “remind us we are always becoming.” Jan Stailey, Executive Director of The Rise School, told a story about the joy of having room for more students in the new facility. She described the benefits of the inclusive classrooms including the fact that typical students exhibit a high degree of kindness, consideration, empathy, compassion and caring not seen in other children. Keynote speaker Coach Gene Stallings, whose son Johnny had Downs Syndrome, shared the incredible ways that his son touched the lives of everyone around him. He used Johnny’s examples to illustrate the importance of offering little acts of kindness and truly appreciating people around you. John Holland, Chairman of the Board of The Rise School of Houston, described the heart of what the school offers – “unconditional love.” The Rise School of Houston founder John H. Duncan described the incredible community effort that went into the new facility. He said there was no other case where five 501(c)3’s had combined efforts to create something on this scale. The Texas Medical Center provided the tract of land, charging $1 per year, and FKP Architects built the facility pro bono. The Rise School is an affiliate of Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH). Ben Broiller, a TCH board member, remarked, “ARTreach has been a big part of our facility and the children recognize the parts of the mural they painted.” This three-day art residency program was made possible by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts, supporters of ARTreach and The Rise School. For more information about ARTreach and to view more photos of the project, visit www.


I T ’ S




Lance Roberts, CEO/Chief Economist & Investment Strategist


Destitute at 80 The key variables are


here has never been a thir-

ty-year period for the stock market when investors have lost money; yet there have been quite a few thirty-year periods that have bankrupted senior citizens who were relying upon their stock portfolios for retirement income. With today’s economic malaise, political messes and stock market crashes, it is highly likely that many entering into retirement will be destitute by 80.

Whether you are there now

or saving to be there one day, retirement for many is that time when we use the “goose” that we have built over many years of saving to fund our retirement. For those of us that are still building the nest egg, we want to know how much will be required to meet our needs. Upon retirement, we need to know what level of income (or withdrawals) from our investments that we can have each year to sustain our lifestyle – the safe withdrawal rate of “golden eggs” from the “goose.” The “safe” withdrawal rate is the percent of the starting portfolio that can be harvested each year for living expenses. For example, a retiring couple with $1 million that needs $50,000 to supplement social security would be taking a withdrawal rate of 5%. Of course, expenses rise each year due to inflation. Therefore, the withdrawal in future years should keep pace with inflation. As a result, there is a key assumption for retirees about the initial and continuous rate of withdrawals from their investment portfolios to be safe from failure.

1 2 3 4

Success rate, as reflected in the percentage risk of not running out of money. Portfolio mix and return assumptions. How long the retiree assumes that they will live. A variety of other variables including tax rates, investment expenses, etc.

In general, most models say that a retiree can withdraw 4% to 5% of the original balance each year, increased annually to cover inflation, and still have a very good chance of not running out of money. A retiree today has a relatively long-term horizon with an average retirement age near 60 and an expected lifespan for the last surviving spouse of almost 30 years. Despite the use of average assumptions, your results will unlikely be “average.” As far as success is concerned, your results will be binary--either you will be successful or not.

It does not matter whether you– on average–have a 75% chance of success. For you, it will either be 100%

or will either have enough or you will run out. Therefore, we are keenly focused on the implications of the assumptions and the likely impact that they have on your future. Using history to assess the likelihood of success, a retiring couple that starts with withdrawals of 4% has a 95% chance of success of not running out of money before the average last surviving spouse no longer needs withdrawals. For example, this represents an initial $40,000 for a retiree with $1 million, increasing the $40,000 at the start of

each year by inflation. Since MOST individuals have far less than $1 million saved up for their retirement and $40,000 is near poverty levels in the U.S., this should start you thinking about saving or pre-applying to Wal-Mart for a greeter position. As you try to better determine the odds that drive whether it will be success or cat food, the key difference is the economic strength of the country when you are heading into retirement and the level of interest rates. Unfortunately, both of those are not at levels that can sustain the average portfolio for the next 30 years. It is more critical now than ever, that individuals think about income generation and capital preservation far more than hoping the stock market “casino” will bail them out.

Being destitute when you turn 80 is not something that anyone plans for. However, it will be a reality

for far more people due to lack of planning, preparation and discipline. It is never too late to get started; it just gets harder the longer you wait.

Streettalk “Live” Tune in nightly to Streettalk “Live” as we cover the reality behind how YOUR money works. If you are ready for something different and want to know what is really going on “behind” the numbers and what you can do to start winning at the game of investing...the Streettalk “Live” is what you have been looking for.

Tune in tonight and see why it’s been called “addictive”.

Mon - Fri • 6-8 pm

For More Info & FREE HELP visit | 281.822.8800 | l NOV l DEC 2011



Recent Ribbon Cuttings Katy Area Chamber of Commerce

September 1 • First Community Credit Union - Cinco Ranch 23120 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Katy, TX 77494


September 7 • Good to Go 23144 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Katy, TX 77494

September 27 • Health One 24 Hour Emergency Care-West Campus 5510 W. Grand Parkway S., Richmond, TX 77406

September 8 • The Learning Experience 21418 Kingsland, Katy, TX 77450

September 28 • Stadia Sports Grill 20900 Katy Freeway, Suite N-1, Katy, TX 77449

September 15 • Learning RX of Cinco Ranch 24124 Cinco Village Center Blvd., Suite 20, Katy, TX 77494

October 12 • Floriography 22758 Westheimer Pkwy., #200 (in Villagio Town Center), Katy, TX 77494

September 21 • Fulbrook 5530 Fulbrook Green, Fulshear, TX 77441

October 13 • Medifast Weight Control Centers 22140 Westheimer Pkwy.,Katy, TX 77450

NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

KISD Partners in Education Open House at Leonard E. Merrell Center

Janet Theis, Kristen Harper, Mindy Dickerson & Brenda Paterson.

Photos by Katie Theis

Send Some Holiday Cheer!

Michael Guevara, Lynn Collins & Sherry Callahan.

Holiday Centerpieces

Whispering Willow Florist & Gifts

281.395.9934 Ryan Biggerstaff, Jenna Milisheski & Nick Castro.

24210 Westheimer Pkwy.

Downy Vickery, Don Elder Jr., Alton Frailey, Claudia Richter & Walt Sass.

Katy Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours Hosted by Country Park Portraits and Venus Construction Thursday, October 25

Sarah Ware & Angie Tomlinson.

Ida Franklin & Sam Schultze.

And your wallet. It’s our multi-policy discount. Besides putting money in your pocket, you get me in your corner. I’m here to help anytime you need me. And only Farmers has HelpPoint, your 24/7 restoration team Nobody offers more discounts than Farmers. Call me. It’ll be good for you.

Tom Mann 281-693-2500 23144-J Cinco Ranch Blvd Katy, TX 77494

Jay & Nancy Jorns.

Craig Brooks & Doyle Callendar l NOV l DEC 2011


absolutely! Interview By Claudia Richter

Robin Mueck l

President/CEO of Heritage Texas Properties Robin Mueck, president/CEO of Heritage Texas Properties, recently spoke to absolutely! Katy about the opening of the company’s 13th office, which opened in Katy on November 9. Heritage Texas Properties is Houston’s largest independent real estate firm and has been operating in and around the Katy area and the Energy Corridor for more than 25 years. Recently given the Most Innovative Brokerage Award at the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World Annual Conference for incorporating technology into their work environment, this new office will allow agents and clients to meet in a convenient locale. The new office is located in the Icon Bank Building at 23123 Cinco Ranch Boulevard.


How will Katy residents benefit from having their own Heritage Texas Properties office right in their neighborhood?


The consumer wants convenience and efficiency in the transaction of real estate. Our Katy office not only provides state-of-the-art connectivity to the consumer and sales associates, it is also located in the heart of Katy, which makes it convenient to do business with Heritage.

in and out of the city. Relocation has become a global service that goes beyond brokering real estate. It includes many additional, practical resources for assisting the Buyer or the Seller such as interim housing, moving services, mortgage services, a concierge, and many other benefits to make it a seamless move.




What is the current real estate climate in Katy? 

What do you think sets Heritage Texas Properties apart from other real estate companies? 

Katy is one of the fastestgrowing suburbs in the nation; number one in 2010 according to the Gadberry Group. It is popular, sought after, warm and friendly, and has a variety of housing choices, which make it an attractive city.




Over 30 years of corporate relationships with Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies and emerging corporations in the Greater Houston market. A seasoned, respected Relocation Management Team with highly trained sales associates who cater to those individuals transferring


Do you have agents that live in Katy and specialize in the area? 


Yes. We have a continuously flowing number of professionals who live, work and play in Katy.

NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

Do Katy homeowners face any special challenges when placing their home on the market? 


Unlike most parts of the country, because Katy is so popular, the supply of housing is not a surplus. Therefore, sellers in Katy have more of an advantage than most parts of the country. Do you have a certain philosophy when it comes to the real estate business?


Yes. It’s all about the people. It’s never about the deal. The people who are employed and affiliate with Heritage all share a common thread and it is of warmth, heart and maintaining the highest level of professionalism. Their first concern is always about what is in the best interest of the people they do business with. Having been in business for over 30 years, it is our highest priority to be rooted in every community that we serve. Community matters.

Your Premier Event Facility


Safari Texas Ranch 281.277.7888

11627 FM 1464, Richmond, Texas 77407 | e-mail: l NOV l DEC 2011



Photography by Country Park Portraits


The sunken living room soaks up light from the large windows.

A Stunning Collision of

Influences T here is a principle of conformity in real estate. The principle clearly states that neighborhoods with homes that are similar tend to sell better. This principle leads to uniformity; however, it can also lead to yawns.

Sometimes an architect successfully crashes through the glass ceiling of conformity to deliver truly stunning homes. Architect and builder Talal Sabbagh has done that with the three story home he designed for his family, a truly unusual and beautiful home right here in Katy. “I designed the home very carefully for the lot we selected,� said Sabbagh. The home faces west with views of the lake and a beautiful fountain on the rear. Everything about the home is designed to take in water views. When you enter the home, the first thing you see is water. The covered patio connects to the home in a way to give the feeling of an extension to the home. The patio, the living room, and


NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

Asian and Texas Hill Country influences make this home stand out from the crowd.

family areas intermingle as one creating a feeling of grand indoor/outdoor space, which is exactly what the homeowners intended. The home shades the backyard in the afternoon, which allows hours of enjoyment even on the hottest summer day. Most rooms in the home have views of the water. The third story was added to offer the owners a place for serenity and also offers a stunning view of the lake and nearby George Bush Park. The two influences of design are two sources that could not be any more different—the Texas Hill Country and Asia. The Texas Hill Country manifests itself in the stone, the woodwork and the general feel. The Asian influence can be seen in the design, colors and dÊcor selection. Many people would assume that these influences would clash, but they add to a truly beautiful and relaxing home for the family. Few homes more completely break the rules of conformity. However, few homes will make the homeowners and guests more aware that some rules are made to be broken.

Jolly, Jingle, Merry & Fun

Make This Shopping Season your Merriest One!


Gourmet, DĂŠcor & Gift Boutique


1720 S. Mason Rd. at Cinco Ranch For Recipes, Events & Tips, Visit


 FINE FURNITURE Unique Home Furnishings Lamps & Accessories Luxurious Mattresses Contemporary Gifts Staging and Re-Design Design Services G.E. Financing Available Easy Terms


 l NOV l DEC 2011


By Jason Hodge

a bsolutely! H E ALTHY LIVING


How to Stay Healthy During the


he Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays have a reputation of forcing weight gain on all of us, or so it seems after hearing everyone’s weight gain stories in January. Not everyone gains weight though, and I want to tell you how they can stay trim despite the holiday rush. There is so much going on between Thanksgiving and Christmas! There is shopping, parties, traveling to visit family, and all of the great Christmas specials are on television. Our regular schedule makes it hard enough to exercise and eat healthy, but the holidays are especially atrocious. There is only so much time in your day, but if you set your priorities right, you won’t miss a beat.

Guilt Free Solutions Shop Online: Shopping online for Christmas presents has gotten easier every year. With websites such as (Black Friday Ads) and www., many of the presents you are planning on physically shopping for can be purchased over the phone or online before the malls get crowded. Use websites such as this to save you time and money, which gives you a better chance to squeeze in your workout.


Exercise Early: If you plan to go out to the mall for a full day of shopping, exercise before you go. Taking just 20 minutes to work up a sweat will boost your metabolism, and give you peace of mind for the rest of the day. Yes, it is a good thing that you are walking all day, but typically, it is a low impact activity to walk around all day. When you work out, try to exercise at a higher intensity than a casual mall walk. Plan for Parties: If you have a party you are attending that evening that has the annual “unforgettable dessert,” plan for it. Spend a few minutes exercising earlier in the day, and keep your food intake lower so it doesn’t hurt you as much. Just that small adjustment will make up for the extra calories that evening. Make Deals with Yourself: Truthfully, going off your diet for one day a week isn’t as bad as eating a little unhealthy every day. If you have a day that you are visiting family, and you know you are not going to be able to eat right, use it as motivation to stay on track during the week. Make a deal with yourself that you won’t feel guilty about the one day as long as you stay focused during the week. This teaches

NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

you to stay disciplined and shows you that you are capable of accomplishing it. During the week, it is easier to have a healthy diet when you prepare your own meals at home instead of eating fast food. When at the grocery store, purchase foods that are sold on the perimeter of the grocery store rather than in the aisles. Fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients and fiber, lean meats and dairy items are great sources of healthy protein, and if you are eating starches such as bread, pasta, rice, try to find those with the most amount of fiber and least amount of added sugar. Remember, Thanksgiving and Christmas are not week long holidays. If you can stay focused on eating clean when you can, you won’t be a holiday weight gain victim. Jason Hodge has more than 15 years of experience in the health and fitness industry as a personal trainer and medical exercise specialist. He is the owner of Medical Fitness Pros in Katy and chairs the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce Health and Wellness Committee.

Emergency? Log on. Check in. Get seen. Check in online to the Katy ER with ScheduleNow. With Memorial Hermann’s online scheduling tool, ScheduleNow, you are a few clicks away from checking in to our ER. Simply head to our website, choose the best time for you and reserve your spot. Once you arrive, a healthcare professional will see you within 15 minutes.

If you have symptoms of heart attack or stroke, or other life-threatening conditions, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room (ER) immediately. ScheduleNow should only be used if you have a non-life-threatening situation that requires urgent attention. l NOV l DEC 2011






BREAST CANCER AWARENESS WALK Members of Katy Daisy Troop 17493 and Katy Junior Troop 17495.

A Benefit for CHRISTUS St. Catherine Breast Cancer Awareness Fund at Cross Creek Ranch in Fulshear Saturday, October 22 Sarah & Tara Collins.

Melissa Blair & Dana Mersiovsky.

Sarah & Kya Camacho.

Rosemary Derstler & Cynthia Berry. Christie Ramirez & Kimi Hayes with Chloe.

Anna Chen, Lauren Mosbacher, Debbie Mosbacher, Emma Chung & Jerry Mosbacher.


Dylan & Elena Gracia with Susan Lee.

NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

Jennifer & Krista Keese with Cooper.

Tim Douglas.

Michelle Stephenson.

Beating the Holiday


he holidays are considered a time of joy and giving, but they also can be a time of seasonal blues. Unrealistic expectations, loneliness, stress, grief and resentment can all contribute to transitory feelings of depression. The mere changing of the seasons can affect one’s outlook. People with seasonal affective disorder feel low energy from the drop in serotonin levels and limited amount of sunlight during the winter months. Throw expectations into the mix, and the season can become a burden instead of a joy. What can you do to beat the holiday blues? • Ask yourself, “Can I accept that I feel this way?” Don’t push against it. Whatever we focus on expands. Don’t confuse acceptance with approval. We can accept something without approving or liking it. Acceptance is simply a state of not pushing against something. • Share with someone you trust. Can you remember how many times just


talking about how you feel has helped you? Sharing your own darkness can bring you and the other person into the light. • Take action. The holidays are really about presence, not presents. Taking the time to write a special note to someone you’ve lost contact with or serving food at a homeless shelter are both actions that can help boost your mood. • Lower your expectations. What are you expecting during the season? A perfect gourmet holiday dinner? Harmonious family activities? Romantic evenings by the fire? Giving or receiving the perfect gift? How long is your to-do list? Simplify your life. Resolve to stay in the present moment. • Emotionally detach from gifts. Often we attach a person’s affection for us to their reaction to our gift. The message we receive is “If you don’t love my gift, you don’t love me.” Or, we expect a gift of great meaning from someone we love and then feel disappointed if the gift does not meet

absolutely! H E A LT H Y L I V I NG By Shannon Ingram

our expectations. Releasing emotional strings from giving and receiving gifts frees everyone involved. • Find support for your grief. Hospice organizations provide excellent resources for dealing with grief during the holidays. They offer grief counseling, coaching and support groups to help you experience your feelings. • Love yourself. Sometimes during the holidays we focus too much on loving everyone else but ourselves. Louise Hay says that “love and acceptance of self” is the answer to many things. Can you love and accept yourself right now? Can you do something special to nourish and celebrate you? Look in a mirror, take a deep breath, smile and love the person you see. Shannon Ingram is the author of The Heart Way-A Journey from Corporate to Care, a book about her experience leaving a thriving corporate marketing career to care for her elderly parents. Currently, she is Vice President, Communications for Silverado Senior Living at the company’s home office in Irvine, CA.

Our Hospice Team: • Respect patient and family decision making • Are experts in palliative care • Enhance and retain family unity • Educate in palliative care • Provide bereavement support and counseling

“We recognize the physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions in patients AND families.”

North houstoN

south houstoN

(888)328-6640 (866)716-2486 l NOV l DEC 2011



MD Anderson in Katy Brightens LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch with Pink Lighting in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pysicians and staff from the MD Anderson Regional Care Center in Katy joined the community in honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pictured are Susan Hoover, MD, Associate Professor, Surgical Oncology; Sunil Patel, MD, Assistant Professor, General Oncology; Nery Berrios, Medical Technologist; Rachel Theriault, MD Associate Professor General Oncology; Nella Gimang, Outpatient Clinic Nurse, and Celesta Williams, Patient Services Coordinator.

Dr. Aleksandra Lawera Welcomes New Patients to CHRISTUS St. Catherine Medical Plaza 1 Office Dr. Aleksandra Lawera recently hosted an open house at her Medicine and Wellness office in the CHRISTUS St. Catherine Medical Plaza 1 office at 705 South Fry Road, Suite 300 in Katy. Dr. Lawera is an internal medicine doctor who incorporates all aspects of health and wellness in her practice, including weight loss and the Zerona Laser.


Artist Bekah Kelso performed for the crowd.

The MD Anderson Regional Care Center in Katy recently recognized Breast Cancer Awareness Month by lighting Heritage Square at LaCenterra in a soft pink blush in an event designed to celebrate survivors, inspire those still in treatment, honor those who have lost their battle and remind all women to get appropriate screenings. MD Anderson physicians and staff were on hand during the event to pass out free educational materials and pink glow necklaces to spread the light of breast cancer awareness.

Memorial Hermann Launches Innovative Online Scheduling Tool Service will provide unparalleled convenience to healthcare consumers Continuing to establish itself as one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the country, Memorial Hermann recently launched ScheduleNow, a free scheduling tool that will enable patients to easily search and book real-time appointments online. “We are among the first healthcare systems in the nation and the first in Houston to offer appointment scheduling for an array of outpatient services through our website,” said David Bradshaw, Chief Information, Planning and Marketing Officer at Memorial Hermann. “We’ve reduced the hassle factor for patients, making scheduling an appointment much more convenient. From doctor office visits to mammograms and even emergency room reservations, patients can now book their appointments at the click of a mouse.” Here’s how it works: Patients simply go to, click on the ScheduleNow icon, and choose physician office visit, screening mammogram or ER. Patients then follow the prompts to schedule their appointment. ScheduleNow provides appointment reminders via email, as well as a link to a map for directions. Appointments can be made 24/7 from any internet-connected device. A number of Memorial Hermann-affil-

NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

iated primary care physicians and orthopedic surgeons across the greater Houston area have adopted the technology to provide convenient, online appointment scheduling for their patients. Patients also can schedule a screening mammogram at one of four participating Memorial Hermann Breast Care Centers, or make a reservation for a non-life-threatening ER visit at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital. In the near future, more doctors, outpatient services and locations will be added. The ScheduleNow tool will be particularly supportive of clinically-integrated physician groups such as MHMD’s Advanced Primary Care Practices, a patient-centered medical home initiative launched earlier this year. ScheduleNow is powered by HealthPost, a provider of cloud-based healthcare search and booking solutions. “Leveraging HealthPost’s capabilities, Memorial Hermann has reinvented access to care across a broad range of healthcare services,” said Omar Alvi, CEO of HealthPost. “Working together, we’re bringing unprecedented convenience to patients.” For more information, visit or call 713.222.CARE (2273). Learn more about HealthPost at l NOV l DEC 2011



& QA

Childhood Asthma

Texas Children’s West Campus Physicians Answer Your Most Common Asthma Questions School is now underway, and the cold and flu season is starting up. It’s important for parents and teachers to be aware and prepared for how this may affect children suffering from asthma. Parents and caregivers need to be educated about the signs, symptoms, medication uses and doses. Two experts from Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus answer some of the most common childhood asthma questions and provide recommendations and tips to ensure asthmatics have a safe and healthy year.

Experts: Dr. Jennifer A. Rama and Dr. Siby Moonnumakal, Texas Children’s Hospital



Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in children caused by two different reactions that cause narrowing of the airways: bronchospasm and inflammation. Bronchospasm is a tightening of the muscles around the airways, and inflammation involves swelling and excess mucus production inside the airways. When the airways are narrow, it is hard to breathe air in and out of the lungs.



WHAT SIGNS/SYMPTOMS SHOULD I WATCH FOR THAT WOULD INDICATE MY CHILD MAY BE STRUGGLING WITH ASTHMA? Although signs and symptoms vary for each child, the most familiar are wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. However, parents should watch for other indicators as well including chest tightness, fast or heavy breathing or trouble with exercise. Most people with asthma have times when there is a

NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

flare-up of symptoms and times that are symptom-free.







There are many triggers of asthma symptoms, but not everyone has the same ones. The most common in children include viral infections (colds), weather changes, exercise, allergies to pollens and dust, cigarette smoke, air pollution and strong emotions. Allergies to airborne pollens (trees, grasses, weeds, molds), dust mite and animal proteins can worsen asthma. It is important to identify your child’s specific triggers and try to avoid them. Your pediatric allergist can help identify allergic triggers.

Because there is no single test for asthma, the diagnosis is made over time based on your child’s history. It is important to know and describe your child’s exact symptoms, when they occur, if there are any specific triggers and what helps their symptoms improve. Your physician will conduct a history and physical exam. If your child is old enough, they may perform lung function testing which can help in diagnosing asthma.

Although asthma is a chronic disease, your child’s symptoms can be treated and even prevented. Everyone with asthma needs to have some medicine that can help with acute symptoms. Bronchodilators, like albuterol, are medicines that open the airways and treat bronchospasm. They should be used as a “rescue” or “quick-relief” medicine. Sometimes, bronchodilators are used before exercise to prevent symptoms. Most children with asthma have more frequent symptoms and need to be on a “controller” or “preventive” medicine. The most common asthma controllers are medicines that treat inflammation in the airways (also called anti-inflammatory medications). Allergic asthma can be prevented with antihistamines and avoidance of identified allergens. Preventive medicines must be taken every day to work properly. You can discuss the right combina-

tion of medicines with your child’s pediatrician. With proper treatment and follow-up, your child can be symptom-free and participate in all activities.



There are several things you can do. First, be aware of the signs and symptoms of your child’s asthma. Secondly, be aware of your child’s triggers, and avoid these whenever possible. Your child should take all medicines as prescribed by their pediatric pulmonologist and be sure to have regular follow-up visits. Home and school/daycare allergy avoidance plans can be developed by your pediatric allergist to help better control your child’s asthma.


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If your child’s symptoms are frequent or difficult to control, you may be referred to an asthma specialist such as a pediatric pulmonologist. For patients with allergic asthma, you may also be referred to a pediatric allergist. You can have your pediatrician contact The Children’s Asthma Center at Texas Children’s Hospital. We are very excited to offer pediatric hospital and clinic services at the new West Campus location, serving Katy and the West Houston area.







The goal of asthma therapy is for your child to be able to participate in all sports and activities. Some children have trouble with their asthma during times of play, such as recess or while participating in sports. In these cases, a child can use their rescue inhaler 15 to 20 minutes prior to activity to prevent asthma symptoms. Be sure to discuss any concerns about activity limitations with your child’s asthma doctor.

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An asthma action plan is a written plan of instructions for treating your child’s asthma when your child is well, sick and in an emergency. The green zone gives instructions on which controller medicines your child should be taking when they are well. The yellow zone instructs you to add rescue medicines when your child is sick. If your child’s symptoms are not getting better with rescue medicines, the red zone describes who to call and what to do in an emergency. You should keep this plan handy. Share the plan with others who care for your child like the school nurse or baby-sitter. Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus Now open at I-10 and Barker Cypress, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus houses 19 subspecialty outpatient clinics, inpatient hospital services and the only 24/7 dedicated pediatric emergency center in the West Houston area.

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Most asthma medicines can be delivered to the lungs by a nebulizer or inhaler. Although they are both effective, many people find inhalers to be more convenient and faster to give to their children. Inhalers should always be used with a spacer as they can improve delivery of asthma medicine to your child’s lungs. You should discuss the best device for your child with your asthma doctor.

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Testing for Breast Cancer Mutations: Not for Everyone UT MD Anderson experts share advice to help adults make informed decisions about genetic testing Too many average-risk women and too few high-risk women receive genetic counseling and testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers, research shows. Experts at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center share advice to help patients and their doctors better evaluate family history and make more sound decisions about who should be tested. “If you find out you’re the right candidate for genetic testing, one benefit of learning you have a mutation is that you and your doctor can work together to monitor and address your cancer risks,” said Karen Lu, M.D., co-medical director of the Clinical Cancer Genetics program at MD Anderson. “This can help prevent cancer or find it early, when it’s most treatable.” Women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations are much more likely to get breast and ovarian cancers. Men with these mutations face an increased risk of breast cancer and possibly pancreatic and early-onset prostate cancers.


NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

Focus on close blood relatives But, only about 5 to 10% of cancer cases are due to an inherited cause. So, the chances that the disease “runs in the family” are slim, even if several family members have had cancer. Before jumping to conclusions, Lu suggests focusing on first-degree blood relatives (parents, siblings, children) and second-degree relatives (grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews). Women are twice as likely to develop breast cancer if one or more of these relatives have had the disease. Breast cancer risk is even higher if the disease has appeared in multiple generations on the same side of the family. “For example, breast cancer probably doesn’t run in the family if your mother’s sister and father’s sister had breast cancer,” Lu said. Size up these relatives’ personal cancer histories Testing for BRCA mutations may be appropriate if one or more close blood relatives were diagnosed with: • the same type of cancer, • a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, • breast or ovarian cancer before age 50, • both breast and ovarian cancer, or • male breast cancer The chances for a BRCA mutation is even higher for people of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish descent with one or more relatives who fit this description. Speak with a genetic counselor If one or more close blood relatives fit these criteria, ask a doctor for a genetic counseling referral. A genetic counselor can discuss the risks and benefits of genetic testing. If genetic testing is appropriate, the best person to test is usually the person with cancer. “After we identify the mutation that caused their cancer, we can test first-degree relatives — mother, sisters, daughters — to see if they also carry it,” Lu said. Carefully weigh testing’s pros and cons It’s also important to consider family members’ feelings. That’s because the test results may forecast their cancer risks as well. “No matter what you decide, remember that finding out you have a gene mutation doesn’t mean you’ll definitely get cancer,” Lu said. “And, learning you don’t have a gene mutation doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get cancer.” For more information on genetic testing and cancer risk, visit For more information about the MD Anderson Regional Care Center in your community, visit

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Focus Media Expands Holdings to Include Two New Titles


ocus Media, publishers of Fort Bend Focus, Pearland Focus and Focus on Women, is proud to announce the acquisition of two new magazine titles: absolutely! Memorial and absolutely! Katy. The publishing company purchased the two six-year-old absolutely! titles in September of 2011 from founder and publisher Beth Nightingale. “Focus Media is proud to add to our roster of publications these two outstanding community magazines,” said Michael Fredrickson, owner, along with wife Lisa, of Focus Media. “Our mission with our Focus community titles is to provide an informative resource to their respective areas and be essential partners with the community as a whole. We look forward to expanding this mission to the Memorial and Katy areas with the absolutely! magazines.” With an extensive newspaper background, the Fredrickson’s started Fort Bend Focus magazine in 2004, and it quickly became the magazine focusing on people, places and happenings in Fort Bend. In 2009, they expanded with a regional women’s magazine, Focus on Women, and in 2010, they added the Pearland Focus title. All three titles have won awards for their editorial, columns, graphics, online and special events. As part of Focus Media’s commitment to their publishing communities, the Fort Bend and Pearland titles are regionally distributed in their respective communities via complimentary subscriptions and strategic rack distribution in area businesses. The absolutely! Memorial and Katy titles will feature the same complimentary distribution in their target areas insuring a broad and diverse distribution available and easily accessible to the entire community. Both absolutely! titles will have local


NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

associate publishers at the helm. For absolutely! Memorial, veteran journalist and television host Lara Bell will serve as the associate publisher. A familiar face in the greater Houston area, Lara hosted a weekly magazine show, Wild about Houston, on KTBU-TV Channel 55 for the past fourteen years, and she and her family reside in Memorial. Her emphasis for the magazine will be to continue to tell compelling, fun stories while supporting the community she loves. “My goal is to make absolutely! Memorial magazine the go to neighborhood resource for information, fresh ideas and interesting tidbits,” said Bell. Katy resident Claudia Richter will serve as the associate publisher for absolutely! Katy. Claudia has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the magazine for the past five years and brings not only her journalism skills to the publication but also plans to utilize another of her talents: her extensive culinary background. With a degree in culinary arts from Horst Mager Culinary Institute, Claudia plans to “beef” up not only the dining section with expert restaurant reviews, recipes and dining tips, her plans include focusing on area businesses. “Our goal with absolutely! Katy is to continue to be a vital part of our community focusing on our people and events while integrating the many aspects of our business community that make our area not only successful, but a great place to live, work and raise our families,” said Richter. For the remainder of 2011, the absolutely! titles will remain a bi-monthly publication with the completion of the November/December issue. Beginning in January of 2012, both magazines will be published monthly. For more information on Focus Media or any of their magazines, call 281.690.4242.

High School HOT SHOT

By Claudia Richter

Making an Impact


orton Ranch High School Senior Nicole Vazquez has spent her high school years focused on student government, helping others, earning good grades, theater and also working jobs outside of school to gain practical experience. Nicole says these roles have given her confidence and a sturdy foundation to build on after graduation. As a freshman, Nicole took the opportunity to serve in student government and became the vice president of her class. She enjoyed it so much she has served as class president for the last three years. She especially enjoys the Superintendent’s Student Roundtable, which unites students and administrators throughout the year to gain perspective on issues that

Nicole has been active in student government, PALS, Best Buddies and musical theater.


Nicole Vazquez at Morton Ranch High School.

affect students. “I have always liked to lead,” says Nicole. “I have always pushed myself to make a better experience for myself and for other students.” That desire to help others is also evident in her role serving in PALS mentoring elementary students who need some extra attention to boost their confidence and through Best Buddies, another program that helps kids. Best Buddies matches special needs students with other students to go on outings and do special activities. “I really enjoy helping others,” says Nicole. “So many kids are faced with problems, and I like being able to help.” In addition to holding down a sched-

ule of advanced classes and earning good grades, Nicole spends as much time as she can in musical theater. She is currently cast in the role of Velma Von Tussle in the musical Hairspray, which will open at the school on January 20. Nicole has performed with TUTS and The Masquerade Theater in Houston on a professional level and plans on earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theater after high school graduation. She squeezes in acting, singing and dancing classes in order to perfect her craft. Her outgoing personality makes theater a great place to channel her energy. Outside of school, Nicole has worked as a hostess at a restaurant and as the weekend receptionist at a busy Katy real estate office. “I have learned so much about office etiquette and how to get respect from older people,” she says. And, while Nicole has enjoyed high school and calls Morton Ranch “awesome,” she will be ready for what comes next. She would like to be able to travel in a musical production and see the world. To the many students and friends she has met along the way, she can be confident that she has made a positive impact on them and their school and possibly inspired them to step up and take the lead.

“I really enjoy helping others,” says Nicole, “so many kids are faced with problems and I like being able to help.” - Nicole Vazquez l NOV l DEC 2011


absolutely! DELICIOUS

Uniquely French and Uniquely Houston By Claudia Richter

Le Mistral

1400 Eldridge Parkway 832.379.8322

Chef David Denis co-owner of Le Mistral. Photo by Kevin McGowan.

Sylvain Denis co-owner of Le Mistral. Photo by Shannon O’Hara.


The goat cheese salad is composed of baby spinach, warm imported cheese, caramelized pecans and drizzled with pear vinaigrette.

he best advice when it comes to anything is stick with the classics; they will never go out of style. This philosophy has worked well for David and Sylvain Denis, brothers and co-owners of Le Mistral, the award-winning French restaurant in West Houston. A recent gathering to celebrate the restaurant’s milestone 10th anniversary drew an adoring crowd that relished their favorite classical French dishes while paying homage to their congenial hosts. Executive Chef David Denis describes his menus as uniquely French and uniquely Houston because he likes to incorporate fresh, locally available ingredients while adhering to a classically French preparation. By making everything from scratch, as he learned growing up helping in his mother and grandmother’s restaurants in France and later after receiving professional training in culinary school, he has never strayed from utilizing his ingredients to the fullest and keeping healthy dishes at the forefront of his kitchen. After becoming the first local chef to receive the prestigious Waterford Crystal Chef of Chefs award at Wine and Food Week’s Wine Rendezvous Grand Tast-


ing and Showcase and the first chef to win two years in-a-row, plus being honored as the best food in Houston by Zagat in 2010, as well as numerous other awards and recognitions, he has earned the right to take a little break. But for Chef Denis, Le Mistral is where his heart is. So much so, that he has added Foody’s Gourmet next door to Le Mistral, to offer many of the restaurant’s signature items, such as breads, pastries, olive oils, sauces, dressings, imported cheeses and of course, wines to pair with any meal. In addition, cooking and wine classes will be offered to share some of Le Mistral’s coveted recipes and cooking methods. As most restaurateurs know, success such as what Le Mistral has enjoyed comes with having all the elements in place to give diners a reason to keep coming back. Since moving from their original location, a cozy and quaint single dining room, to a spacious new building, Le Mistral offers a variety of dining options to suit any occasion. Upscale, but never stuffy, the beautiful bar, private wine cellar dining area that seats 10 and a chef’s table in the kitchen that seats 12, as well as a banquet room for parties and busi-

NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

ness events, have made Le Mistral a popular choice for diners in the neighborhood and from the Houston area. Sylvain Denis, general manager and co-owner, presided over the design of the building using his experience as an architect and project manager in France and his extensive training as a Sommelier to build an extensive French wine collection, one of highest rated in Houston and recognized by Wine Spectator magazine with Awards of Excellence in 2009 and 2010. Signature items from the menu include Salad Mistral with Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette, Escargots, Seared Foie Gras, Veal and Spinach Ravioli, Rack of Lamb and Osso Bucco. The lunch menu has a good mix of appetizers, soups, salads, fish, meat dishes and sandwiches and offers an express and business lunch. Sandwiches are served with a small Mistral salad or homemade French fries. Crème Brulee, Chocolate Fondant, Crepes, Tarte Tatin, and homemade ice cream and sorbets are a wonderful finish to any lunch or dinner at Le Mistral. The brunch menu features delicious drinks and specialty coffees and breakfast favorites such as ham and Gruyere cheese crepes with béchamel sauce, homemade buttermilk pecan pancakes and Le Mistral Eggs Florentine plus a complete offering of soups, salads, appetizers, main dishes and desserts. For David and Sylvain, the plan for the next 10 years is to keep working hard to share their love of food and hospitality at Le Mistral and to help teach another generation the fine art of French cuisine.

Keep the holidays happy!

All that Hasta la Pasta goodness for dine in, pick up or delivery. • 4 for $30 - Pick-Up Family Dinner • Pans to Go for Parties • Full Service Catering for Larger Events • Private Banquet Rooms Available

1450 W. Grand Pkwy. S. - Katy, Texas 77494 - 281.392.0045

BAKERIES OOH LA LA 23920 Westheimer Pkwy., 77494 281-391-2253 20155 Park Row, 77449 281-492-6166


There is always room for dessert when it comes to Katy’s Ooh La La Dessert Boutique. Native Texan Vanessa O’Donnell stocks made-from-scratch treats such as cupcakes, pies, cakes, pastries, cookies, dessert bars and cheesecakes daily and fills custom orders with a 2448 hour advance notice. Most items can be bought by the slice or whole and can be enjoyed in the beautiful dining room with a specialty coffee drink or at home. There is a handy drive-thru window and delivery available.

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Chocolate Gift Boxes, French Macaroons, Gift Baskets

CHOCOLATIERS ARAYA ARTISAN CHOCOLATE 1575 W. Grand Parkway S., Ste. 1000, 77494. 832-967-7960 Araya Artisan Chocolate creations are made from fresh ingredients and premium Venezuelan chocolate. Currently offering 32 different flavors ranging from Pink Salt to Passion Fruit, Margarita and Orange Marzipan, Araya Artisan Chocolates are an unusual alternative to the bottle of wine when invited to a dinner party or to any other special occasion. FAMILY & KID FRIENDLY ALL STARS FAMILY GRILL 26440 FM 1093, Richmond, 77406 281-394-2100 www.

Bakery Selections Catering · Custom Cookies and Cakes Cupcakes · Pies · Specialty Coffees · Corporate Gifts

Sweets of the season... almost too pretty to eat. Eat In · Take-Out · Delivery · Drive-Thru (Westheimer Location Only) 23920 westheimer pkwy. katy, tx 77494 · t. 281.391.2253 20155 park row katy, tx 77449 · t. 281.492.6166 town & country, 770 west sam houston parkway north, suite 200, houston, tx 77024


NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

All Stars Family Grill is Katy’s largest latest & greatest kidfriendly family dining restaurant! Featuring 2 covered, fencedin, state-of-the art playgrounds (toddler and 5-12 yr old), 3 private party rooms, a 12 game arcade, and 12 flat screen TVs for the adults, there is something for everyone! The menu features gourmet burgers, salads, sandwiches, wraps, steak and chicken entrees, finger foods and an awesome kid’s menu!

ITALIAN HASTA LA PASTA 1450 W. Grand Pkwy. S., 77494 281-392-0045

Come for the food, wine, service and atmosphere of Katy’s favorite oasis. Perhaps the most well-renowned restaurant in Katy, Hasta la Pasta Italian Grill has achieved a cult following with the classic dishes, fragrant sauces and extensive wine selections offered every day of the week. Families, couples and parties of all sizes can select pasta, pizza, soups and salads, as well as chicken, veal, seafood and beef entrees and top them off with a frothy cappuccino and wonderfully rich dessert. Diners can choose seating in separate sections of the dining room, cozy bar area or attend a special wine dinner in the completely private banquet room “The Cellar.” Owners Jeff and Susan Smith are active community leaders supporting Katy schools, nonprofit organizations and other businesses within the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce. The Smith’s success has led to other locations in the Houston area and a thriving catering business that can accommodate just about any type of event, including wedding receptions and corporate events.

WINE CELLARS DRIX WINE BAR & GRILL 1850 S. Mason Rd., Ste. 100, 77450 20920 Katy Frwy.,77449 281-829-3749 Drix Wine Bar & Grill is a brand new way to experience fine wine and gourmet tapas in two convenient locations in Katy. Join us Wednesdays for our special Ultimate Pasta Night! Choose from a 5 different pasta entrees or try our Ultimate Combowith a taste of any three! A few of these options are only featured on this special menu so don’t miss out. All dishes are served with a side salad and garlic bread. Add a slice of Tiramisu-another option not found on our regular menu-for only $4!

“Uncork the Good Times” Saturday & Sunday Brunch Starting at 11 am

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Open Mon. - Thurs. 4 – 11 pm Fri. 4 - 1 am Two Locations: 20920 Katy Fwy. 281-829-3749

1850 S. Mason Rd. 281-371-2479 l NOV l DEC 2011




Ooh La La The Dessert Boutique 23920 Westheimer Pkwy., 77494 281-391-2253 20155 Park Row, 77449 281-492-6166 770 W. Sam Houston Pkwy., 77024


Impress Computers 1718 N. Fry Rd. 77084 281-647-9977



Tista’s Fine Furniture and Bedding 403 W. Grand Pkwy. S., 77494 281-347-5289

Edward Jones 5538 S. Peek Rd., 77450 281-371-0025



First Community Credit Union 15260 FM 529, 77095 281-856-5300 Members Choice Credit Union Grand Pkwy, N. Fry, Park Row, Mason Rd. 8951 S. Fry Road @ Katy Gaston 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd @ Grand Pkwy, Ste. K100 281-398-9900 Streettalk Advisors, LLC 800 Town & Country Blvd., Ste. 410 77024 281-822-8800 www. Tradition Bank 1515 S. Grand Pkwy., 77494 2117 Fry Rd., 77449 550 Pin Oak, 77494 713-666-2511


Katy Area Economic Development Committee 6301 S. Stadium Lane, 77494 281-396-2200


FamilyKare Dental 24210 Westheimer Pkwy, Ste. 800, 77494 281-392-3022

> HOME HEALTH/HOSPICE Silverado Hospice North Houston 888-328-6640 South Houston 866-716-2486


CHRISTUS St. Catherine Hospital 701 South Fry Rd., 77450 281-599-5700 Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital 23900 Katy Freeway, 77494 281-644-7000


Texas Children’s Hospital-West Campus I-10 @ Barker Cypress Toll free 800-364-KIDS (5437)

Safari Texas Ranch 11627 FM 1464, Richmond, 77407 281.277.7888


Gingerbread Bash Children’s Museum of Houston 1500 Binz, 77004 713-522-1138


ESN Health 22756 Westheimer Pkwy, Suite 160, 77450 281-395-0827 Healing Center, The 607 Park Grove Ln., Ste. B., 77450 281-647-7703 Medical Fitness Pros 21938 Royal Montreal Dr, 77450 281-500-6055


TMS Serenity Center for Depression 4545 Sweetwater Blvd., Sugar Land, 77479 281-240-4322

St. Peters United Methodist Church 20775 Kingsland Blvd., 77450 281-492-8031


Whispering Willow Florist & Gifts 24210 Westheimer Pkwy, Ste 400, 77494 281-395-9934

Lifetime Dental Care 970 S. Fry Rd., 77450 281-579-2233

Araya Artisan Chocolates 1575 West Grand Pkwy. S., 77494 832-967-7960

Bridgepoint Bible Church 13277 Katy Freeway 77079 832-448-1330


NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242


Farmers, Tom Mann 23144-J Cinco Ranch Blvd. 77494 (281) 693-2500


Elite Woman’s Care Center 23920 Katy Fwy., Ste. 470, 77494 281-391-7500 Bao-Quoc Core La, M.D., P.A. 12121 Richmond Ave., Ste. 315, 77082 281-589-0156 Lawera Medicine and Wellness 705 S. Fry Rd. Ste. 300, 77450 281-599-0300

> MILITARY United States Air Force 19918 Park Row Road, 77449 281-579-7291


Country Park Portraits 555 Park Grove Lane, 77450 281-398-8707



Anderson Properties/ Better Homes and Gardens 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd., C-140 77494 281-392-0200 Guadalupe RIVERFRONT DUPLEX 832-788-2294 Heritage Texas Properties 14340 Memorial Dr, 77079 281-493-3880 2312 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Ste. 200 77494 281-493-3880 Karen Karapasha Team, RE/MAX 21306-A Provincial Blvd., 77450 281-599-6590 15119 Memorial Dr., 77079 281-599-6590


All Stars Family Grill 26440 FM 1093, Richmond, 77406 281-394-2100 Hasta la Pasta 1450 W. Grand Pkwy. S., 77494 281-392-0045 Drix Wine Bar 1850 S. Mason Rd., 77450 281.371.2749 20920 Katy Fwy., 77450 281-829-3749


Ace Hardware & Gifts 1720 S. Mason Rd., 77450 281-392-5200 La Centerra at Cinco Ranch 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd., 77494 281-395-5533


Grand Vision 1534 S. Grand Pkwy., 77494 281-693-EYES (3937)



Ace Hardware & Gifts



Streettalk Advisors, LLC


All Stars Family Grill

Back. Heritage Texas Properties


Texas Children’s Hospital

Anderson Properties/ Better


Impress Computers


Tista’s Fine Furniture

Homes and Gardens


Karen Karapasha Team


Araya Artisan Chocolates


La, Bao-Quoc Core, M.D., P.A.



Bridgepoint Bible Church


LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch


Tradition Bank

Lawera Medicine and Wellness


United States Air Force


Lifetime Dental Care


Whispering Willow Florist

& Gifts



CHRISTUS St. Catherine Hospital


Healing Center, The



Country Park Portraits


Drix Wine Bar


Medical Fitness Pros


Edward Jones


Members Choice Credit Union


Elite Women’s Care Center


Memorial Hermann Katy

ESN Health



Family Kare Dental


Ooh La La The Dessert


Farmers Insurance, Tom Mann



First Community Credit Union


Safari Texas Ranch


Grand Vision


Silverado Hospice


Guadalupe Riverfront Duplex


St. Peters United Methodist


Hasta la Pasta



TMS Serenity Center for

Your Source for Local Business

To advertise, call 281.690.4242

Friends Working Together. A Community Tradition. Tradition Bank has been in the business of building traditions for more than 48 years. Not only building our own traditions…but also helping others build theirs. Financing your new project allows us to invest in our communities and create new opportunities. Working together with you, we help our neighborhoods prosper. Big questions deserve local answers. Stop by any time, where our bankers are always ready to assist you. Tradition Bank is a community bank with an experienced management team, and the same ownership our customers have trusted for more than 48 years. 713.666.2511


Tradition Bank is proud to partner with our good friends, Jeff, Susan and Alan Smith, on the build-out of their new Lasagna House restaurant in the Town Center in Sugar Land, Texas.

Alief H Katy Bellaire H The Plaza Fry Road H The Woodlands Grand Parkway l NOV l DEC 2011




Sam Houston:

Sam Houston’s influence was important to Texas, but he contributed significantly on a national level as well in the expansion of the United States.

American Statesman, Soldier, and Pioneer Historical Documentary Incorporates Katy Residents


everal Katy residents had a hand in the filming of the first ever documentary about the life of Sam Houston, based on the book Sam Houston, by celebrated author and biographer James L. Haley. One of those residents, Scott Griffin, a member of the Katy Area Retired Educators, taught history in Katy ISD for 32 years and has been involved in the Cane Island Volunteers reenactment group since its formation in 1986 for the Texas Sesquicentennial. Griffin portrayed the elder Sam Houston and was among approximately 30 other Katyites involved in the project. “The film could not have been done without the people of Katy who made such enormous contributions,” said Denton Florian, the film’s executive producer. “Their involvement was absolutely crucial to the level of authenticity we were going for.” Many important historical sites in the film are within


Scott Griffin, a retired Katy ISD teacher and avid history buff, portrayed the elder Sam Houston in a documentary about his life.

easy driving distance from Katy. In all, over 200 historical re-enactors participated, as well as politicians, family descendants and teachers. The film includes the people Sam Houston knew

NOV l DEC 2011 l TO ADVERTISE CALL 281.690.4242

and interacted with, such as Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Alexis de Tocqueville, John James Audubon, Francis Scott Key, Dolley Madison and Thomas Jefferson, and it touches on the national reach of his influence since he was not just a Texas figure. Filming took place at over 30 locations in four states: Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama and Texas. “There wouldn’t be a Texas if there weren’t a Sam Houston, you could say,” said Senator Lamar Alexander from Tennessee. “Surely he’s the largest figure in the history of Texas, and in my view, one of America’s most interesting figures. He’s the one I admire the most.” Several others with Katy ties were involved in the project and include Kenneth Welch, Maynard Ripper, Charles Cardiff and Neal Frank. The filming took five years to complete. For more information about the feature, visit


h e r i ta g e e x pa n d s t o k at y




23123 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Suite 200 Katy, Texas 77494


























14340 Memorial Drive • 281.493.3880


23123 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Suite 200

November-December-2011- Absolutely Katy Magazine  

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

November-December-2011- Absolutely Katy Magazine  

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