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September 2020 | Vol. 32 | Issue 9

LAUGHTER

IS THE CURE

ALLEVIATE STRESS

OF ONLINE LEARNING

SHOWING SUPPORT

DURING A PANDEMIC

CELEBRATING

GRANDPARENT’S DAY

DISCOVER SOUTH AMERICA’S

PANTANAL AT THE HOUSTON ZOO

OPEN


Bring your herd to the Houston Zoo! houston family magazine

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September 2020

The Houston Zoo is ready to welcome you with the animals you know and love. Chec including new baby Nelson—splashing in African Forest, the lion pride exploring the

Limited quantities available—rese

houstonzoo.org


HOUSTON ZOO

u and your family back to reconnect ck out the playful elephant herd— their pool, gorillas lounging in the

eir habitat, and more!

erve your tickets today!

Explore the legendary tropical wetlands of Brazil right here at the Houston Zoo.

OPENS OCTOBER 10 September 2020

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Now offering COVID-19 testing! Use our virtual care platform to see and speak directly to one of our providers from the comfort of your own home. We know that when your child is sick, having immediate access to a trusted and convenient after-hours resource is critical. You can now access the same care your little one experiences in our clinics straight from your phone.

COVID-19 Clinic Hours Weekdays 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. Weekends 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

NightLightPediatrics.com/Telemed Telemedicine Hours* Weekdays / Weekends 6 a.m. - midnight *Telemedicine is available for newborns to 21-year-old patients all across Texas. Sugar Land - Cy-Fair - Pearland houston family magazine 4 September 2020

Your night, made brighter.

Humble - Webster - Tanglewood - Garden Oaks - Katy


contents

SEPTEMBER 2020

departments

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8

features|in this issue 8

on the cover

Eva is a 10 year old student who is an aspiring actress and screen writer. She and her family often foster puppies and there is never a dull moment in her household. One of her favorite activities is snow skiing, Cover Credits: Photographer: Amy Garrett of Pop of Color Photography

Get ready for an exotic adventure like no other at the Houston Zoo's newest exhibit.

What Makes us laugh?

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Online Education Survival Tips

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24

South America's Pantanal

14 22

18

6

Support Local

7

Letter from the publisher

Show Some Love

20

family tech

21

Book Bites

Online Resources for Kids & Parents Celebrating Grandparents

26

I Am Houston

28

the dad perspective

31

beauty Bites

37

mind, body & soul

Meet Dr. Asha Virani, Founder of the Faris Foundation

HFM gets personal with actor Greg Ellis Products You're Gonna Love Sacred Space with Elizabeth Irvine

Read us on the go! Download our app in the app store or google play.

Learn the history of laughter and the science behind it's medicinal effects. Explore how nature can hep your family survive the stress of online learning.

proactive pandemic families

What can you do to support your local community during this crisis?

Celebrating grandparent's day

The Windy City Nanny discusses the importance of the role grandparents play in raising our children.

resources

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the big to-do

Activities for Families

follow us on social media September 2020

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support local | E D I T O R I A L

Local. Support

SHOW SOME LOVE TO OUR SMALL BUSINESSES

Stages Repertory Theater 3201 Allen Parkway Houston, TX 77019 713.527.0123 stagestheatre.com

A professional Equity theatre dedicated to providing Houston’s diverse audiences with challenging, provocative theatre produced with the highest artistic standards.

Jumping Fiesta Rentals With everyone sticking closer to home, you may find yourself in need of more entertainment for family or the kids. jumpingfiestarentals.com

Evelyn Rubinstein Jewish Community Center

Jupiter Pizza & Waffles Town & Country 16135 City Walk Sugar Land, TX 77479 jupiterpizzaandwaffles.com

5601 S. Braeswood Blvd., Houston TX 77096 713.729.3200 • erjcchouston.org The Evelyn Rubinstein Jewish Community Center is proud to present Houston’s own writer and food advocate, Bettina Elias Siegel on September 3 at 7:30 p.m. in part of its virtual series, Authors in Conversation @ Home. The conversation will be led by Zibby Owens, the host of the award-winning podcast Moms Don’t Have Time to Read.

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The Paisley House 2420 Washington Ave. Houston, TX 713.463.7600 paisley-house.com


Letter from the editor publisher/editor

Kimberly Davis Guerra kim@houstonfamilymagazine.com

ISN’T IT NICE TO THINK THAT TOMORROW IS A NEW DAY WITH NO MISTAKES IN IT YET?

online editor Latesa Guerra

associate editor

Chantal Lemieux calendar@houstonfamilymagazine.com

creative director/ production

― L.M. MONTGOMERY

Casey Johnson casey@houstonfamilymagazine.com

event director

Mary Sue Kent marysue@houstonfamilymagazine.com

contributing authors Kimberly Blaker Kimberly Davis Guerra Elizabeth Irvine Valerie Kohler Jan Pierce Florence Ann Romao Sandi Schwartz

contributing photographers

MISO Fotography Pop of Color Photography by Amy Garrett Traci Ling Photography

advertising sales Beverly Davis Amy Garrett Mary Sue Kent Tish Petty

printing

Midway Press, Ltd Dallas, TX

contact us:

14123 Bluebird Lane Houston, TX 77079 (P) 713.266.1885 (F) 713.266.1915 www.HoustonFamilyMagazine.com

Houston Family is published monthly by Houston Family Magazine, LLC. Houston Family is distributed free of charge, one copy per reader. Only Houston Family authorized distributors may deliver or pick up the magazines. We reserve the right to edit, reject or comment editorially on all submitted material. We cannot be responsible for the return of any submitted material. Houston Family is ©2020 by Houston Family Magazine,LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without express permission is prohibited.

ABOVE// Our Fearless Leader and Owner Kimberly Davis Guerra

THE BIG TO DO Did you know our online calender is packed with even more great family friendly events? Check it out at houstonfamilymagazine.com. FIND US ON FACEBOOK @houstonfamilymagazine FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @houstonfamilymagazine CONTACT US Let us know how we’re doing. kim@houstonfamilymagazine.com

After months of isolation and uncertainty, I find myself going through a bit of a renaissance. A rebirth, if you will. Let me explain. Over the past few weeks, our team at HFM has had to reevaluate how we communicate with our readers/followers/subscribers/ clients. Like many other local businesses that have been around for decades, we have relied on many of the ‘truths’ we have known. Our tried and true products and practices have always resonated with the community. However, in the COVID-19 times that we are all living in now, some of these ‘truths’ no longer work the way they once did. Now, we find ourselves challenged to look for new ‘truths’. Ways to improve upon the tried and true methods of the past to give them a facelift. Shake things up. Look at our products and policies in a new light. Some business owners might find this daunting. I find it exciting and inspiring. Technology offers wonderful choices in regards to publishing, social media, website, and graphic design. However, in the past, I have not often really researched what new options were available to us. COVID-19 has forced me to look at how we do everything. From the software that we use to manage the business to the look and feel of our brand. While it has been extremely time consuming, it has been eye-opening! With these newfound opportunities, we have been pushed to expand our minds. We have all been hard at work sharpening our skills through webinars, tutorials, and installations of new products & services. This will allow the HFM team to provide more information in a manner befitting our audience. We are very excited for you to engage and let us know your thoughts! It is with this enthusiasm that I challenge you to go into this fall season. With open minds and hearts, let’s embrace the best that technology has to offer to afford our kids and families the safest and healthiest environment possible. Make a conscious effort to support your local businesses to help them make it through this year intact. Keep in touch with your neighbors and extended family to lend a hand when you can. Reach out to your community if you have the ability. We may not be completely through the woods yet. There is still a long way to go before we can get back to a sense of ‘normal’. Yet, there are some positive takeaways from this year. Let’s focus on those positives and live up to our ‘HoustonStrong’ rally cry. Set the example for our kids to follow and show the rest of the country why Texas is unlike any other place in the world.

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HFM Kid Ambassadors Noelle and Emily • Photo by Traci Ling Photography

family fun | F E AT U R E

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EXPLORE THE LEGENDARY WETLANDS OF BRAZIL AT THE HOUSTON ZOO’S NEWEST EXHIBIT, PANTANAL. OPENS OCTOBER 10TH!

South America’s Pantanal exhibit allows guests to explore the tropical wetlands of Brazil right here at the Houston Zoo. The lush habitat highlights animals the Zoo is protecting in the wild, including giant anteaters, tapirs and more. Partnered with on-the-ground conservationists, the Zoo offers visitors the opportunity to view jaguars, capybaras, giant river otters, dart frogs, howler monkeys, anaconda and macaws closer than ever before in Houston.

In South America (Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia), the Pantanal region is a mix of forest, rivers, marshes, and grassland. The Pantanal’s diverse habitats are home to some of South America’s most amazing animals. Every year, rising rivers flood the landscape, and wildlife gather at every patch of dry ground. Every animal plays a role in this ecosystem—predator, gardener, and scavenger. People play a role, too, working to protect the animals living there. The Houston Zoo provides salaries and technical support for on-the-ground conservation partners who conduct research, educate and engage local people, and find solutions to protect wildlife. Houston Zoo visitors exploring this brand new, state-of-the-art exhibit

also help protect the animals living in the Pantanal region. A portion of every admission ticket and membership purchased is donated to the Zoo’s conservation partners working to save animals around the world. A stroll through South America’s Pantanal is an immersive experience that will be enjoyed by guests of all ages. As guests enter South America’s Pantanal, they encounter a set of rustic buildings, set on piers, similar to the eco-lodges that can be found near the rivers and streams in the Northern Pantanal region. The tourism these lodges support is one of the important ways this vital landscape and unparalleled wildlife assemblage is being protected. Walking under the “lodge” deck, the first animal guests will encounter are a family of howler monkeys that occasionally burst into September 2020

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Giant River Otters

a cacophony of the loud vocalizations which give them their distinctive name. The dimorphic monkeys--males are black, females are brown-rarely come down from the trees they live in and use their strong prehensile tail as a fifth limb, allowing them greater versatility when climbing. Living with the howler monkeys in this habitat are a pair of small, bright orange golden lion tamarins. These boisterous monkeys weigh less than a pound each and use roughly 40 different screams and chirps to communicate what is happening around them. Golden lion tamarins were near extinction in Brazil, but zoos have worked houston family magazine

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September 2020

together to breed the tiny monkeys for release into protected forests. Today there is a thriving population of golden lion tamarins in the

feet in the air. These rodents are the “cleanup crew” of South America’s forests. Monkeys are messy eaters, so plenty of fruits and nuts fall

DID YOU KNOW THE GIANT RIVER OTTER CAN GET UP TO 5 FEET LONG AND WEIGH MORE THAN 50 LBS.

wild. On the ground, guests will spy the red-rumped agouti. These unusual rodents have large front teeth that can crack through a Brazil nut and can use their powerful back legs to jump as high as six

to the ground for agouti to forage. On the opposite side of the path beneath the lodge, giant river otters splash in a multi-dimensional streamside habitat. At more than 50

pounds and five feet long each, giant river otters are the largest freshwater otters in the world. This is the first-time guests to the Houston Zoo will have a chance to see this type of otter. In fact, guests will get nose-to-nose with the otters above and below water! At one point along the streambank, schools of large tropical fish, sting rays and turtles can be seen in a sheltered cove, seemingly sharing the stream with the otters (but safely separated by invisible acrylic panels). Next, the heaviest snake in the world, a green anaconda, lies in wait in the water below the howler monkeys in the gallery forest


“South America’s Pantanal strengthens the Houston Zoo’s conservation commitment to this region by offering guests an immersive, engaging experience on this unique and threatened ecosystem.”

Rheas

Lee Ehmke, President and CEO, Houston Zoo

Crested Screamers

canopy. In nearby dry-season streambed channels, poison dart frogs hop amongst the greenery, an emerald tree boa lounges high on a branch, and fist-sized smoky jungle frogs peer out from a shallow pool. As guests walk around the bend, they will be met with the bright and bold colors of two spectacular and rare South American birds, blue-throated macaws and blue-billed curassows. The blue-billed curassow is one of the most endangered of all birds. This large, mainly black species is the only curassow with a distinctive blue cere (the spot at the base of the upper bill), earning the bird its common name. Blue-throated macaws have a bright yellow breast, blue wings and a distinctive blue collar. The Houston Zoo is one of a few

zoos in the US that breed these critically endangered birds, and they are working with their colleagues in South America to protect them in the wild. Guests might feel as if they are being watched from the side and above as they move along the forest trail. And they are! The largest cat species in the Americas, the jaguar, will keep a keen eye on visitors from several vantage points in their new habitat. These majestic cats can be seen inside the main habitat or above the path in a fully enclosed jaguar bridge. Created by craftsmen to look like a fallen tree, this jaguar highway will act as a path for the cats to move from their behind-the-scenes house to the spacious new habitat. On some days, a jaguar might

have the opportunity to lounge up there for as long as they like, watching guests pass below. As the path continues, guests will see across an expansive flooded grassland home to capybaras, tapirs, rheas, coscoroba swans, crested screamers, and giant anteaters. Guests will get a rare glimpse into how these different species coexist in their native lands. Nearby, adventurous children (and those young at heart!) can have a go at a wobbly cable bridge crossing the flooded pools. Massive termite mounds dot the landscape, and one of them is cut away to allow guests to see how anteaters use their incredible tongues to gather a meal from inside the mound. Close up views of the habitat are

offered from within a replica of a rustic shelter used by Brazilian Pantanieros, the “cowboys” whose cattle share the landscape with the wild animals native to this environment. Reminiscent of Southeast Texas, the Pantanal is hot, flat and wet, with lots of cattle and cowboys ranging on a largely privately-owned landscape. Rounding out the experience are two aviaries representing wetland and savanna habitats. In the savanna aviary, guests will walk through the space and be amazed as colorful birds fly above, and perch nearby. People will share the space with unusual birds like boat-billed herons, wattled curassows, Guianian toucanet and a large flock of boisterous green oropendola. Guests will September 2020

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be delighted by the intricately engineered nests built by the oropendolas. The birds weave the teardrop-shaped nests that dangle precariously from tree branches, safe from potential predators. While guests won’t see giant armadillos at the Houston Zoo, they are one of the most important inhabitants in South America’s wetlands. In the Pantanal, the world’s largest armadillos dig burrows where they rest during the day. After a day or two, they move on to dig another burrow. Then other animals use the burrows. Some animals move in while others forage for food in the disturbed soil. Guests to the Houston Zoo will get close to life-size, replica burrows that show how other animals use them as shelters or places to look for food. Though they are the largest armadillo in the world, even people who live in the Pantanal almost never see giant armadillos because they spend their days in their underground burrows. Now, researchers supported by the Houston Zoo are placing cameras outside those burrows. By understanding what these shy animals do at night and what they need to live, the researchers can make plans for their protection. The Pantanal, which means “wetland” in Portuguese, is nearly one-fourth the size of Texas. In this region, the Houston Zoo partners with four wildlife conservation organizations: Lowland Tapir Conservation, Projeto TatuCanastra (Giant Armadillo Project), Bandeira Rodovias (Anteaters and Highways), and Projeto Ariranha (Giant Otter Project).

These projects focus on research and monitoring, community development, threat reduction, and educating all local Brazilians in the surrounding regions. Through work with local landowners and communities, the programs are also unveiling the value of these iconic animals as critical elements of local ecosystems as well as through the support generated by tourism. Families of giant otters are protected through trainings the Zoo funds in Brazil that ensure local tourist guides are staying safe and healthy distances from giant otters in the wild. This will allow for the otters to hunt and take care of their young without stress and tourists will continue to come and enjoy seeing them. The Houston Zoo has provided funding and support for 44 giant anteaters to be fitted with tracking devices. The data collected from those devices will create future protection plans for giant anteaters in Brazil. The data will also inform the design of safe road crossing areas for wildlife in Brazil. The Zoo has also provided funding and support for health studies on wild tapirs to inform future Brazilian protection plans. Lastly, Houston Zoo staff have provided veterinary and education training at the Zoo for Brazilian researchers and veterinarians that work to save the giant armadillos and giant anteaters in the Pantanal.

Behind the Scenes with the HFM Kid Ambassadors The Houston Family Magazine Kid Ambassadors were able to get a behind the scenes look at the lush tropical design of the Pantanal exhibit. While the animals were not yet in their new homes, the kids were excited to see all the effort the Houston Zoo has made in creating this amazing habitat. We can’t wait to go back and check out the final product in October when the exhibit makes it’s public debut!

Noelle & Emily

Eshaan and Trevion

Be sure to make a point to visit the Houston Zoo’s South America’s Pantanal exhibit this fall. You will not be disappointed! The exhibit opens October 10, 2020.

Eva and Tatum

WWW.HOUSTONZOO.ORG houston family magazine

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family life | F E AT U R E

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s e k a M t a h W ? h g u a L Us

THE HISTORY OF LAUGHTER AND SCIENCE BEHIND ITS MEDICINAL EFFECTS written by Kimberly Blaker

Whether you guffaw, chuckle, chortle, cackle, roar, howl, or giggle, the ability to laugh is shared by all people around the world. Humans even share this ability with apes and other primates! Charles Darwin and many other researchers have recorded observations of laughing in various primate species during play and especially when being tickled. These findings suggest the ability to laugh goes back millions of years to a shared ancestor. Tickling may not be what makes you laugh – but everyone has something that tickles their funny bone. Although the jokes people tell have shifted and developed throughout history, laughter’s positive benefits are unaltered.

HOW DO LAUGHTER AND HUMOR AFFECT OUR HEALTH? Laughter may really be the best medicine. Scientific research has backed up the positive effects a good laugh can have on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Laughing is so beneficial to health that laughter therapy has even become an alternative approach to treating depression, stress, and other

mood disorders. Evidence from numerous studies finds laughter to be an effective method in cognitive-behavioral therapy because of its effects. Gelotology is the term used to describe the study of laughter. This field was developed in the late 1960s and examines the physiological and psychological effects of humor. One of the founders was William F. Fry, who would watch comedic movies while drawing blood samples. The results showed that laughter

increased the activity of immune system cells. Norman Cousins was a big proponent of laughter as medicine. At the age of 50, he was struck with a disease with a low recovery rate. But he noticed that he experienced less pain and fewer symptoms when laughing. He prescribed himself regular laughter by watching Candid Camera and Marx Brothers movies and lived another 25 years. He worked with the California University Hospital to more formally study

the health effects of laughter. Just a few of the recorded benefits of laughter on mental, physical, and emotional health include: • Increased endorphin levels • Increased production of immune cells and antibodies • Decreased levels of stresscausing hormones like cortisol and epinephrine • Improved memory • A refreshing mental break that helps replenish mental resources September 2020

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• Strengthened social bonds • Increased intake of oxygen, which stimulates organs • Reduced muscle tension • Ability to better handle scary or stressful situations As our understanding of the benefits of laughter has grown, people have started to incorporate laughter for other aspects of health, too. A physician from India, Madan Kataria, created laughter yoga which combines breathing, movement, and laughter to promote mental and physical health. A study examined the effect of this method on older adult women experiencing depression in comparison to a control group that used exercise therapy. Those who completed laughter yoga reported significantly higher life satisfaction and improvements in their depression compared to the control group. The study found laughter yoga to be as effective as exercise programs. The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor is a non-profit organization started by a group of psychologists who promote the use of humor to support improved health and well-being. They have an extensive research library that shares academic research related to the benefits of humor and laughter. Counselor and stand up comedian, Richard Granirer, of Stand Up for Mental Health, uses stand up comedy to educate the public about mental health and reduce the stigma around it. He also teaches those with mental health issues or disorders to utilize their struggles to create comedy, which gives them a sense of control and self-worth.

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Laughing is so beneficial to health that laughter therapy has even become an alternative approach to treating depression, stress, and other mood disorders. HOW HAS HUMOR CHANGED OVER TIME? Humor as a source of laughter has been around as long as humans have been able to communicate. According to Robert R. Provine, a laughter expert, “The necessary stimulus for laughter is not a joke, but another person.” Laughter seems to have evolved as an essential part of social interaction, even if it does not happen faceto-face. The current thought is that humor is based on the recognition to observe or create incongruities in a social setting, and as humans’ cognitive abilities and language has developed, so has humor. Play-fighting may be one of the earliest forms of humor due to the mix of playfulness with fighting behavior. In 2008, a group of British historians hunted down the oldest recorded joke - a fart joke in Sumeria in 1900 B.C. It was inscribed on a tablet and translates to: “Something which has never occurred since time immemorial. . .” “A young

woman did not fart in her husband’s lap.” Although the words used may change, jokes at their core tend to make light of similar ideas - like fart jokes or toilet-related humor. Top 10 oldest jokes from history (www.insider.com/ historians-10-oldest-jokesin-history-1900bc-2019-7), discovered by researchers led by humor expert Dr. Paul McDonald, reinforce the idea that at their heart, jokes have not changed too much over time. Humor has always dealt with “taboos,” witty retorts, pointing out ironies, making light of difficulties, or come at someone’s expense. The format of jokes may change, and the details may shift to reflect the times, but the basic elements remain the same. Throughout history, humor has developed to reflect the times as people used laughter to connect. What people find funny varies based on individual and shared experiences. Humor generally reflects current events and stages of life and can be a way to relate to others. Shared humor relies on shared context and understanding of content. So people may not be able to appreciate jokes that have a more specific connection to a particular group. Some types of humor may be more global and relate to the basic human experience. In contrast, others have a more narrow audience that can appreciate them. Jokes and humorous content have also been shared in a variety of different ways, depending on the technology available. Humor can be shared in any way that people communicate. Jokes have been shared through every medium

imaginable - carved on tablets, written in newspapers, sent in letters, graffitied on walls, or told by entertainers like court jesters and stand-up comedians. The rise of technology has also led to alternative ways of sharing humor. In the 1950s, Charley Douglass, a sound engineer for CBS, created laugh tracks to make a shared experience of laughter for people watching at home. Today, humor can be shared far and wide through the internet and social media in the form of memes or videos. Humor and laughter are universal and vital parts of a happy and healthy life. Keep your spirits up by finding ways to keep laughing. Though each person’s sense of humor may be a little different, you just have to seek out what you find funny or enjoyable. Especially when you are feeling down, it is even more important to try to find something to laugh at to lighten your load. Socialize with people who make you laugh for a boost. Sign up for a daily joke or comic strip. Follow your favorite comedian. Keep a running list of books, songs, tv shows, or movies that make you laugh. Or start a ‘funny file’ for emergencies with cards and pictures that bring a smile to your face. Even if you don’t feel like laughing, try forcing a few chuckles - the more ridiculous, the better. You’ll likely find yourself genuinely laughing before you know it! Kimberly Blaker is a freelance parenting, lifestyle, and mental health writer. She’s also founder and director of KB Creative Digital Services, an internet marketing agency, at kbcreativedigital.com


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Survival Tips How Nature Can Help Your Family Survive the Stress of Online Learning written by Sandi Schwartz

This school year will certainly be like no other we have experienced. If you are one of the many families who have opted for online learning for your kids this fall, then you are probably feeling a bit uneasy about what lies ahead. We are hoping for the best and that our kids stay happy, healthy, and engaged.

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Let nature in However, sitting all day staring at screens can take a toll on their physical and mental health. Physicians recommend paying attention to posture and taking breaks to stretch and move around, but there is also another incredible way to balance our kids’ screenbased school day—nature. Here are some fun, simple ways to add a bit of nature to your children’s school day to help them feel happier and calmer:

a healthy distraction to an otherwise stressful situation. You can also incorporate this tactic into your children’s workspace by having them take a video break to watch something that calms and inspires them, such as a rushing stream flowing over rocks, wildlife in their natural habitats, or sunrises and sunsets. Some of my favorites are the time-lapse videos that show flowers blooming or the seasons changing.

Decorate Their Workspace With Nature Imagery

Play Relaxing Nature Sounds

Your kids don’t even have to leave their chair to experience a burst of nature when they look up from their computer throughout the day. Just gazing at pictures of gorgeous nature scenes like beaches, forests, or snowtopped mountains can spark a sense of tranquility and wonder. Consider hanging some nature photography or paintings in their workspace or keeping several inspiring nature photography books around like Ansel Adams’ collections for them to look at when they need to recharge.

Listening to nature sounds can also help your children relax and improve mood. One study found that those who listened to ocean waves had considerably lower muscle tension, heart rates, and stress. Decide which sounds bring your children the most joy and be sure to intersperse them throughout their day. Some will have nature sounds along with music in the background and others will just be the sounds of nature. There are tons of apps that you can explore to help you find soothing nature sounds.

Show Awe-Filled Nature Videos

Read Nature Stories and Poetry

Have you ever been to a doctor’s office that has a video of nature scenes playing in the waiting room? Catching a glimpse of nature’s beauty can bring

Another simple way to add some nature to your children’s day is to encourage them to read a piece of literature, poetry, or an article about nature that inspires them. The

more vivid and descriptive, the better. Whether they love reading biographies of nature heroes like Jane Goodall or descriptive poetry about the beauty of nature, they will feel better after they take that reading break. Some other ideas include reading about scientific discoveries, animal behavior, or incredible places to visit.

Consider also adding a plant by to your child’s desk area this year. Studies have shown plants boost productivity by up to 15% and help your kids become more responsible.

Costa Farms

Bonus tip: They can also make learning about photosynthesis and science fun! www.costafarms.com

Take A Quick Field Trip It’s important to take time away from the intensity of the school day to help your kids recharge so they can come back inspired and ready to work again the next day. You are probably wondering: how can I take my kids on a field trip in the middle of a pandemic? Fortunately, there are plenty of places to visit safely, especially outdoors. Carve out some time after school to get away to places that fill your family with a sense of peace and relaxation. Some ideas include parks, botanical gardens, sculpture gardens, nature centers, wildlife refuges, hiking trails, and fountains. Depending on where you live, maybe you can head over to the beach or a lake to enjoy the sights and sounds of the water. Even a quick walk around your neighborhood keeping an eye out for wildlife or attractive gardens can lead to some nature-filled moments. Enjoy!

Sunlight Inside offers

the world’s first lamps to automatically deliver the benefits of natural light for those of us who aren’t able to get enough exposure to natural sunlight during the day, including the perfect light for a desk, bedside table or anywhere focused, natural light is needed. www.sunlightinside.com

Whether your child prefers the beach, the mountains, the forest or a babbling brook, you can find wallpaper to transform their space. Bring the outdoors in. has an amazing selection. www.muralsyourway.com

Murals Your Way September 2020

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Online Resources for Kids & Parents

family tech | E D I T O R I A L

ELEMENTARY K-5TH GRADE

Seussville.com

iCulture

Bamboo Learning

Free | Welcome to the wonderful world of Dr. Seuss! One area of Seussville that is dedicated to the parents of small ones, full of activities, crafts, and printables. In the Educator section of Seussville there are resources for supplemental activities for Art, Science, Math, Social Studies, and Language Arts. www.seussville.com

Free | A unique cultural immersion resource for Spanish, French and German language learning for grades 6-12. iCulture offers travel videos, day in the life videos, current news articles and songs that are all 100% target language, age and school appropriate, and include topics of interest to teens and young adults. https://discover. carnegielearning.com/ iculture-for-at-homelanguage-learning.html

Free | Bamboo Learning offers free, voice-based educational applications for students in grades K-5 (available on all Alexa devices, including Fire tablets, Echo Dot, Echo Show, and Fire TV) that promote active conversational learning, cover a range of academic subjects (math, ELA/listening comprehension, social studies), and focus on fun, home-based, family-friendly learning. www.bamboolearning.com

Clever Tykes Free | Entrepreneurial storybooks and resources for 6-9-year-olds, inspiring positivity, innovation, independence, resilience and resourcefulness. www.clevertykes.com

Generation Genius Free | A science teaching resource that brings school science standards to life through fun and educational videos paired with lesson plans, activities, quizzes, reading material, discussion questions and more. www.generationgenius.com

Musical Explorers Free | A free music curriculum from Carnegie Hall, Musical Explorers is a one-stop shop for all the resources you need to bring cultural diversity to your classroom—through real artists who share authentic music from their cultures. www.carnegiehall.org

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MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL

Beast Academy Online $15 per month | A complete web-based math curriculum designed to help students ages 8-13 deepen their understanding of math. www.beastacademy.com

Glose Education An inclusive social reading platform where teachers and students can read and learn together. www.gloseeducation.com

HippoCampus Free | Find more than 7,000 videos in 13 subject areas to share with your students. Teachers can set up playlists for their students too. www.hippocampus.org

Quillbot Free | An AI writing platform that has a paraphrasing tool and a summarizer. The website is building a full suite of online writing tools to aid any type of writer. www.quillbot.com

XplorLabs Free | UL Xplorlabs is an educational platform designed to encourage middle school students to solve through science. The program showcases the science behind safety engineering through interactive videos, instructional experiences, hands-on classroom activities and creative challenges. www.ulxplorlabs.com


book bites | E D I T O R I A L

BOOK BITES

CELEBRATE GRANDPARENTS this month with these books picked by Valerie Koehler of Blue Willow Bookshop. See more at BlueWillowBookshops.com

Introducing Staff Fave Fiction Bundles! We've curated two genre fiction book bundles

Romance and Historical

with three staff picks we can't wait for you to read! Grandma’s Gardens

by Hillary Clinton & Chelsea Clinton

Grandma Dorothy her daughter, Hillary, and her granddaughter, Chelsea that gardens are magical and exciting places to learn, and beautiful areas to spend quiet time and celebrate special occasions.

Learn more and order yours: bluewillowbookshop.com/FictionBundles @bluewillowbooks

Grandma’s Purse

by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Grandma Mimi’s handbag is a magical thing. It has fancy jewelry, tokens from around the world, and always something special just for her granddaughter.

The Truth About Grandparents by Elina Ellis

With sly humor and breezy, dynamic artwork in the tradition of Quentin Blake, this book is a fresh celebration of the special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren.

Memories For My Grandchild: A Journal (Chronicle Books)

This keepsake journal makes it easy for grandparents to share their lives by drawing out recollections of travel and romance, family and friends, dreams and special places.

The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor

Chapters alternate between Alice’s and Adalyn’s voices, narrating Adalyn’s experience in the Nazi occupation and Alice’s attempts many years later to understand what happened in her grandmother’s Paris.

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family life | F E AT U R E

ic m e d n a P e v ti c Proa Families

Support Your Local Community written by Jan Pierce

The Covid 19 pandemic continues to impact all of our lives in numerous ways and the numbers reported can be alarming. But rather than feeling like victims in this trying time, your family can search for ways to be part of the solution. You can help others get through to the time when the virus is under control and we all return to normal life. In the meantime‌

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THE BASICS By now we know the things we can do to keep the virus at bay and it’s important to teach our children why we’re following the rules. We can stay home most of the time. Then, when we do venture out, we wear masks to reduce the chance of spreading or catching the illness. We wash our hands regularly and we keep a distance from others at every opportunity. We respect others by doing these things and while none of the restrictions are pleasant, they are worth every bit of effort if the number of cases stays lower. It’s a golden rule idea: treat others the way you’d like to be treated and stay safe.

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BUSINESSES We’ve all seen local businesses with closed signs. Many were forced to shut down entirely or were only allowed to do partial business for the past months. This is especially true for food service businesses. While large food chains may suffer during this pandemic, it is small locally-owned businesses that are at greatest risk of permanent closure. Whenever possible, patronize those small, local businesses. Buy your morning coffee, order your take-out meals or get a socially-distanced hair cut from your small, locally-owned shop. Your effort may help keep their doors open until the pandemic is over.

CHECK ON FRIENDS, NEIGHBORS AND THE ELDERLY In this time of extreme isolation, many people are totally alone. Make the effort to call or otherwise contact your friends, neighbors and especially aged folks who may not be reaching out for the support they need. Get your kids involved in this caring project. Make a list of folks you care about and who may be needy in this time. Be sure to ask questions to learn whether your friends need help in

procurement of food, medicines or other important day to day necessities. And just take the time to talk with them and allow them the benefit of contact with other human beings.

SUPPORT FOOD BANKS AND OTHER AGENCIES Every town and every city has some sort of food bank to provide for those in need. In every area these agencies are at their breaking point in terms of the surge in requests for help. Many small food banks have sprung up in public areas because of the huge need for help in this time when many have lost their incomes. People are asked to donate food items to these small food banks or are free to take some items for their next meal. This is your family’s opportunity to donate goods or financial help to food banks, restaurants or schools which are going the extra mile to feed their communities.

Sharing His Vision. Teaching His Values.

Contact the Admissions Office Today admissions@stannecs.org or 713.526.3279

www.stannecs.org

SPECIAL PROJECTS Keep on the lookout for ways your family can support those in need. Does an elderly neighbor need help with yard work? Do they need someone to pick up medications or groceries? Does the neighborhood park need a trash clean-up? Keeping your kids involved in the community is a great way to build the caring and responsibility you want to encourage, especially in times when everyone is experiencing the pressure of the pandemic.

STAY POSITIVE There’s no better feeling than giving of your time, energy or money to help others. This pandemic can weigh us down with grief and loneliness, but let’s not let that happen. Let’s find ways to be part of the solution to living well during this especially difficult time. Let’s give and bring hope to others. Find more from Jan Pierce at www.janpierce.net September 2020

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family life | F E AT U R E

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CELEBRATING GRANDPARENTS DAY during a pandemic written by Florence Ann Romao ‘The Windy City Nanny’

Everyone has heard the phrase: “it takes a village to raise a child.” But where is the village? Is there a number you can call?! The truth is, the village today doesn’t look too different than the village of decades ago. The original village consisted of family members – more specifically, grandparents. And, today, we’re seeing grandparents make a comeback in the village. Over 64% of the U.S. population either employs nannies in their home or sends their children to daycare. Regardless which option you choose, the common denominator is that parents need help raising their children on a daily basis. That statistic will only grow – this is not a cultural fad; this is now a societal necessity. ROLE MODELS I spent over 15 years as a nanny, and I have seen firsthand how important the decision is regarding who you let into your home to care for your most precious possessions. You are essentially bringing role models into their lives, and that is an enormous responsibility – someone to love them; keep them safe; be an extension of the values of your family; educate them; create memories with them, etc. When you truly breakdown the expectations of a caregiver, you start to feel the weight of the role.

GRANNY NANNY Grandparents today have stepped in to fill the nanny role – they are affectionately known as “the granny nanny.” Grandparents are often a go-to because, speaking frankly, they are a great financial option (AKA most likely free!) But beyond the financial perks, they provide many more: 1) gives the children and grandparents a chance to establish an

unmatched bond, 2) gives parents peace of mind leaving their children in the care of someone they know and trust; 3) can be the voice of wisdom and expertise having raised children of their own, and 4) gives grandparents a sense of purpose during a different season of their life.

LIFE LESSONS I grew up with my grandparents living with me and my three siblings – it was truly the greatest blessing I have ever been bestowed. They became the loves of my life, and I know I learned life’s most priceless lessons from them – compassion; respect; empathy; kindness and everything in between. They were shining beacons of wisdom, strength and love.

COVID-19 However, due to Covid-19, having grandparents around their grandchildren is no longer necessarily safe or encouraged.

Childcare in general has taken a tremendous hit due to the consequences of Covid-19 on our economy – 90% of daycares are privately owned, and many have been unable to reopen. That said, childcare in our country is in crisis. The truth is, it was before the pandemic hit. Our country is in desperate need of stable and consistent support for working parents. I can only hope that the silver lining of this global pandemic is seeing that childcare has been put in the spotlight, and we’re forcing many conversations surrounding childcare to happen and to be made a priority.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE Having a village is not only essential to families, but to this country. Grandparents play a beautiful role in the village, and I hope to see grandparents return to the homes of their grandchildren more and more as states reopen and we start to trend toward normalcy. But,

until then, we need to take a good, hard look at who is helping raise our children; and how to make sure we are on the right side of history when it comes to solving the childcare crisis in America. For more on the Windy City Nanny, visit http://www. WindyCityNanny.com

Celebrate National Grandparents Day: This year you can celebrate your grandparents on September 13, 2020.

The official song of National Grandparents Day is “A Song for Grandma And Grandpa” by Johnny Prill. Watch the video at www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Eyq7L9azI-c

The official flower for the day is the “forget-me-not” flower.

September 2020

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i am houston | I N S P I R I N G H O U S T O N I A N S

I AM HO U STO N

ASHA JAMAL VIRANI, MD FOUNDER OF THE FARIS FOUNDATION

A

sha Jamal Virani, MD founded The Faris Foundation, a Houston-based nonprofit that focuses on childhood cancer research, creative arts programs at children’s cancer centers, public awareness and advocacy. The organization’s mission is inspired by Asha’s son Faris, who was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer when he was just 6 years old. He succumbed to the disease at age 9. Faris’s dream was for the public to recognize and rally around Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in the same way that they do other causes. To that end, the Faris Foundation hosts an annual “Let There Be GOLD” campaign, which last year raised over $1 million for transformational research in high-need, high-impact areas.

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“My greatest honor and the privilege of my lifetime is being mommy to my amazingly resilient and spirited children – Faraz, Zoya, and my sweet angel Faris D.” As both a physician and a mother whose family was affected by a rare form of cancer, Asha Jamal Virani is a passionate advocate who speaks from the heart, an expert on childhood cancer research and a proponent for art therapy. When founding the Faris Foundation, Asha was motivated by her son’s journey and her experience with science, its limitations, and “the healing and hope that lies in the human spirit – the spark of the Divine inherent in us all that can overcome anything.” Faris inspires Asha from sunrise to sunset. “This Foundation is

his legacy. His shimmering light leads the way – I follow.” Asha credits Faris with her ability to “live joyfully and love abundantly without despair, to choose grace and gratitude and faithfully submit to the mystery of life.” “During his 3-year battle with cancer, our beloved son Faris was bewildered and saddened by the lack of public awareness around childhood cancer and its symbolic gold ribbon,” said Asha Virani, MD. “He asked me, ‘Don’t kids matter? Aren’t we important? When I grow up, I will let there be GOLD.’ This is our call to action—to fulfill the wish of an angel and to raise awareness around the cause. We hope to continue to radiate the gold spirit every September and, more importantly,


to keep the awareness and conversation around childhood cancer at the forefront, so that no child with cancer ever feels they don’t matter.” The Faris Foundation’s commitment to addressing the lack of funding and research for childhood cancer is an urgent one. While childhood cancer is the leading cause of death in children in America, only 4 percent of federal funding for cancer research is allocated for childhood cancer. For underfunded cancers like Ewing sarcoma, which Faris was diagnosed with at age six, survival rates and treatments have not changed in decades despite continued progress in adult cancer treatments. The Faris Foundation plans to diminish this disparity by driving awareness and funding research in high-need, highimpact areas. Anchored by a partnership with AT&T and Prime Communications, the largest AT&T authorized retailer, the Foundation’s annual “Let There Be GOLD” campaign leads awareness efforts with public education and fundraising endeavors at nearly 2,000 AT&T stores in 46 states. In 2019, over 110,000 customers contributed to a campaign that raised $1 million dollars for childhood cancer research and creative arts programs at children’s cancer centers. The Foundation honors and recognizes children and families affected by childhood cancer through its series of signature September celebrations at children’s cancer centers, including Texas Children’s Hospital and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. In years past, these celebrations have consisted of gold parades at hospitals, art parties and talent shows. This year, in order to address the increased isolation children and families in cancer centers are facing, the Foundation has adapted its celebrations to include a socially distanced carnival for inpatients and the delivery of individually packed kits with golden craft supplies to facilitate a personal gold party for each child and family. Other awareness campaign elements reflect creative arts, one of the Foundation’s three key areas. Aligned with The Faris Foundation’s core belief that every child should have access to art as a part of their treatment plan, new public art initiatives include the inaugural “Art is HOPE” juried art competition, an installation by famed muralist Anat Ronen and a series of free online art workshops each Saturday in September.

The public is invited to take part in the campaign throughout the month of September in a variety of ways: • AT&T customers at select stores nationwide can add a donation to The Faris Foundation at point-of-sale purchases. Find store locations in your state here: https://bit.ly/3h9a71X • Individuals can donate to the campaign by visiting www.lettherebegold.org • Raise awareness through “Let There Be GOLD” social media profile picture frames and story stickers, using campaign hashtag #LetThereBeGOLD and tagging The Faris Foundation • Attend a free virtual art class; sign up for updates at www.thefarisfoundation.org/special-delivery/ • In Houston, look out for a pop-up art installation by Anat Ronan

Gold Parade at Texas Children’s Hospital

Faris Virani

Arts & Crafts at The Faris Foundation

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FARIS FOUNDATION, VISIT THEFARISFOUNDATION.ORG.

TO BECOME INVOLVED WITH THE “LET THERE BE GOLD” CAMPAIGN, VISIT LETTHEREBEGOLD.ORG.

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the dad perspective | E D I T O R I A L

L greg THE MODERN MALE EXPERIENCE

ellis interview by Kimberly Davis Guerra | photos by Dani Brubaker houston family magazine

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ast month in our Dad’s Perspective column, we spoke with Emmy nominated actor, Greg Ellis about the modern male experience. There was so much to cover, we broke it out into a two-part series. Here is the second part of our wonderful interview with Greg.

YOU MENTION RELIEVING DEVICE DEPENDENCY, TOXIC MASCULINITY, #MENTOO IN YOUR TRAILER. DO YOU FEEL THESE ARE THE DEFINING OBSTACLES MEN FACE TODAY? I think we need #MenToo in the conversation. There’s

a saying: Speak up and risk something. Remain silent and risk something else. Pick your poison.” I think it’s time for men to speak. We have reached the point where men need to stand up and explore the nature of the modern male experience in this era of deteriorating respect for family. To sever ties with #ToxicMasculinity and serve up #TonicMasculinity. What are we going through and what is our future? Men and fathers need to be the authors of their own stories of pain and struggle for redemption, they need to defend and celebrate the positive side of masculinity, and they need to advocate for the changes necessary to make life better for everyone.


EMOTIONS A key point I make in my book The Respondent is that, no matter our gender, we need to become better acquainted with our emotions, including our rage—albeit, in an effort to refocus it into beneficial channels. The deep hypocrisy in our current gender conversation is infused with a cycle of shame and rage: At the same time that men are being browbeaten with stale stereotypes about toxic masculinity, a growing chorus of writers is urging women in celebrated books to go as far as to physically assail anyone who does them wrong. How does advocating this type of behavior help our familial relationships?

TECHNOLOGY The reverse psychology embedded in the algorithms of our technology (anti-social media like Facebook etc.) and the devices we rely on such much in this age of information overload are creating chemical imbalances and dopamine addictions – where the device becomes more important than the human to human interactions. This disturbing trend is causing mental health issues, particularly with our younger generations, whereby people are exercising with the eyes down, rather than exercising from the neck up.

I JUST LISTENED TO EPISODE 1 WHERE YOU POSE THE QUESTION OF GOD & RELIGION TO STEPHEN FRY (GREAT EPISODE). WHAT ARE SOME OF THE OTHER TOPICS YOU WILL BE TACKLING ON THE RESPONDENT? Family, parenting, fatherhood, men’s mental health, philosophy, religion, psychology, politics, sports, behavioral science, family

“Advocating fatherhood is not about diminishing motherhood.” law, divorce, entertainment, feminism, and more!

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR UPCOMING GUESTS? WHO WOULD BE YOUR ULTIMATE GUEST? Christina Hoff Sommers The author of 5 books, including Who Stole Feminism? and The War Against Boys and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Bettina Arndt Australian writer, commentator and 2020 Order of Australia award recipient. We discuss positive masculinity, radical feminism and Australia’s gender violence policy. Not to mention, family law, the bias in family courts, the cash cow of domestic violence, celebrity respondents and the affliction of attorney addiction. Andy Ngo The controversial journalist and I discuss masculinity, the Overton window and hate crime hoaxes. As well as, the reactive news cycles and the rise of the domestic terrorist organization Antifa. There’s also a special celebrity guest toward the end of the season I’m just about to announce!

WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU ABOUT FATHERHOOD? How challenging, meaningful and rewarding it is. My boys are the meaning of my life. They define the modern male experience. There is always a space between who you perceive yourself and who you are

in the eyes of those close to you. I hope I’ve done enough work on myself so the more positive aspects of masculinity can be instilled in them – not by telling them what to think, rather, teaching them how to think. Preparing them for individuation as they mature into becoming their ‘own men.’ And learning from them. I’ve learned so many lessons through my experiences as a father.

Level of the Sexes” in order for boys to become more fully formed, self-actualized young men. With a deeper more ingrained sense of healthy boundaries, so that eventually they alone can begin these rites of passage. And start to ‘think like men’ (responsibility = reward) and ‘feel like boys’ (risk taking = ambition). Advocating fatherhood is not about diminishing motherhood.

BOYS VS GIRLS

WHAT IS ONE LESSON YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEAVE WITH YOUR CHILDREN?

Little Boys play with different toys than girls. They fight with clenched fists not sharp fingernails. When boys run to climb a tree and play in the branches. While their mothers are concerned at the possible dangers and risk involved, dad sees it as a necessary adventure of boyhood learning in the modern male experience. How the matriarch and patriarch negotiate these differences of opinion so that the child gets the most opportunities to take risks, but not risks that will kill or severely injure him, is vital.

BOYS SQUARE OFF I remember the first time my sons squared off to fight physically. I reassured my wife it was a necessary rite of passage, as our youngest needed to experience that prideful moment of taking his ‘elder’ brother on. (And maybe even teach him a lesson in the process). She was still somewhat distressed as I led the boys to an imaginary boxing ring in the middle of our garden. Although she trusted me enough to calm her understandable concerns to believe that I might know how better handle this ‘rush of testosterone’ situation. This sort of balanced parenting cannot take place if the father is not present. There must be a balanced “Spirit

To remember the importance of family, relationships, and to become an individual adult with a sense of empathy, integrity and a strong moral compass.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR KIDS THESE DAYS? As a father of two teenage boys, one of the things I think about is HOW I CAN HELP THEM differentiate between clean and dirty anger - as a parent, how do I provide my sons with an emotional landing strip when crisis strikes and disorienting forces threaten to debilitate me and derail them? The ability to self-diagnose and self-repair mood swings and moments of anxiety when crisis strikes is invaluable when behavior spirals out of control. Learning new coping skills and techniques to help modify pre-existing reactive behavior patterns help everyone in the family unit relate and behave with a more evolved sense of emotional maturity.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE CHANGE FOR THEM? Cancel culture waning and a healthier representation of men, fathers, and boys in the media. September 2020

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“I believe we’ve entered an ice age in which empathy for our fellow man is slowly freezing to death as we watch on” RECALIBRATING MANHOOD IN THE ICE AGE I believe we’ve entered an ice age in which empathy for our fellow man is slowly freezing to death as we watch on. On social media, we pander to faux friends and “cancel” people in crowdsourced witch hunts. “Social murder” rates are at an all-time high, redemption is considered a quaint luxury most of us don’t deserve, and lives and careers are routinely destroyed for decade-old tweets. At the same time, the sanctity of marriage diminishes daily; we are told social binds like family are dusty ideas of an era best forgotten.

#METOO A long overdue reckoning came with the #metoo movement. The ascendancy of women as they break through the last of centuries-old barriers to true equality is a beautiful thing to experience. But we must look at the other side of the coin: the necessary and important recalibration of masculinity. In my book, I make the case that when it comes to the dwindling importance of fatherhood, and a legal system that practically promotes family dissolution, something has gone completely haywire.

DIVORCE The members of the more than 800,000 families that break down each year in America are living through an overcorrection in divorce law. The no-fault divorce laws that swept through most of Western society in the 1970s and ‘80s made divorce much easier for women. But, in our zeal to make things better did houston family magazine

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we overshoot? Many experts now say divorce systems throughout the Western world are gender biased from top to bottom in favour of mothers, which is what makes it possible for some parents to game the system. For so many of us, the relationship between men and women has become strained to the point of breaking. We need to ask ourselves where we are headed in the culture war. We need to ask ourselves whether we are picking the right heroes to speak for us. I am skeptical of any ideology that insists that half the population be quiet and “sit this one out.” To the contrary, I don’t think there has been a moment in my lifetime when it’s more important for both men and women to be participating passionately in the discussion. Remind each other that love and family are not a zero-sum game.

WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO ACHIEVE WITH THE PODCAST? I want to ignite a multimedia conversation on positive masculinity. A more inclusive and civil discourse that allows for apology pathways to be unblocked. Extreme opinions to be heard and maybe even minds changed. To champion the value of family, parents and fatherhood. And further my presence in the world so that our younger generations find less problems and more solutions. So we can all begin moving from less hateful to more grateful for a better modern male experience.

CATCH EPISODES OF THE RESPONDENT http://realgregellis.com


beauty bites | S T U F F W E L O V E 

PERFECT IMAGE Medical-grade facial peels delivered to your door! Perfect Image glycolic gel peels provide a great solution for those who aren’t ready for in-person visits but want the same efficacy as in-office peels at just a mere fraction of the price. The peel comes in three strengths: 10%, 30%, or 50%. $29.95 for 30 ML or approximately 15-30 peel applications. The average use is 1-2 ML per treatment.

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The Untamed

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FLAMINGO Go hairless from head to toe! This duo combines our easy-to-use face and body wax strips for a stressfree experience anywhere you’re waxing. Don’t worry, they included step-by-step motivation too.

Forget that we adore the name of this one. Who hasn’t gone and extra day or three without a wash and blow? With this in your bathroom, no one will ever know! Texturizing Finishing Spray. A must-have for cool-girl, effortless texture. This aerosol has a translucent finish so you won’t see any residue in your gorgeous locks. $27.00 • www.glamsquad.com

$19.00 • www.shopflamingo.com

perfect for mixing in your smoothie or yogurt

HANACURE All-in-one facial start kit. This is the one you’ve seen celebrities talking about all over social media. Hanacure All-In-One Facial is an active treatment that creates an intense tightening and compression effect on the skin to address all of the most common skin concerns at the same time. You’ve got to try it before it sells out again. $29.00 • www.hanacure.com

APOTHEKARY Haters say it’s Photoshopped Basically skin food, this adaptogenic Hibiscus Chaga blend helps to reduce redness, promote gut health and give skin that elasticity and vibrant glow all-year round. If you’re looking for vibrant skin, this blend is for you. $19.00 • www.apothekary.co

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the big to do | C A L E N DA R O F E V E N T S

the big to do

September is about new beginnings as we transition from our summer to our fall routines. There are new ways to explore nature together, engage in our community, and participate in cultural happenings whether in person or virtually.

Photo by MISO Fotography | Sugar Land, TX

All events listed are FREE unless otherwise noted.

SEPTEMBER 1 Full Moon Labyrinth Walk: Harvest Moon Enjoy contemplating the quiet life during the Full Moon Labyrinth Walk. Galveston.com Seawall steps located at 17th and Seawall Blvd., Galveston 8:20pm. All ages

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Levy Park On-Demand: Family Storytime & Craft Join us from home for Levy Park’s Family Storytime & Craft. Connect for a book reading and then create a fun craft using basic household items. levyparkhouston.org Levy Park 10am. Age: 2-7

SEPTEMBER 2 Music in the Gardens Children partner with their parents and experience rhythm and music principles in a natural outdoor setting in various locations throughout the garden. Classes use Kindermusik curriculum’s songs, instruments, and movement. hcp4.net/parks/mercer Mercer Botanic Gardens 10:30am. Age: 2-3

Tadpoles Club (Sept. 2,9,16,23) Preschool-aged children can enjoy nature through stories, crafts, puppets, short walks, and animals with this interactive program led by a staff naturalist. hcp4.net/community/parks/ jones 10:30-11:30am Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center Age: 3 to 4 only. No younger or older siblings. Reservations are required


S e p te m b er 20 20 SEPTEMBER 3 Virtual Storytime at the Blue Willow Bookshop

SEPTEMBER 5 VIRTUAL Chalk on the Block

Join Valerie and Leona, our storytime librarian from the Houston Public Library, every Thursday. facebook.com/BlueWillowBooks/live/

Experience local artists creating pavement art on their driveways and neighborhood sidewalks, without leaving your house! facebook.com/midtownHOU

Virtual Event 10am. All ages

Virtual 10am-2pm. All ages

Book Reading: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Gulf Coast Volleyball Association Labor Day Classic

Jennifer Lynn Barnes will appear in conversation with Ally Carter to discuss her novel The Inheritance Games. facebook.com/BlueWillowBooks/live/ Virtual Event 7pm. Age: 15+

Concert Eagles Tribute: Escape Gone Sing along to Classic Rock band The Eagles with family and friends. visitconroe.com 500 Metcalf Conroe 7pm. All ages

Kingwood Farmer’s Market If you love fresh homegrown fruits and vegetables, now is the time to visit the Farmers Market in Kingwood Town Center Park. kingwood.com

Come out to family and friends to watch the Gulf Coast Volleyball Association will hold its Labor Day Classic tournament at East Beach. Galveston.com

meets every first Saturday of the month. www.tpwd.texas.gov Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center 11am-noon. All ages

Trading Cards: Virtual Open Studio Using readily available materials you can find at home, explore imaginative concepts inspired by world-renowned artists. camh.org Virtual Event from camh 2pm. All ages

SEPTEMBER 6

East Beach, Galveston All day. All ages

Galveston Family Beach Challenge

Wiggle with Words Arts Dance Workshop

Giant battle ships, huge bean bags and limbo showdowns are coming to Stewart Beach for the return of the Galveston Family Beach Challenge. Galveston.com

Students will explore expression through words they hear through fables, short stories, and poems. Young movers will expand their vocabulary and bring words to life through the medium of dance. Levyparkhouston.org Event Pavilion at Levy Park 1pm. All ages

Kingwood Town Center Park 3pm. All ages

Stewart Beach, Galveston 11am-5pm. All ages

Prelude Music Prelude Music Program offers family-friendly, 30-minute live music experiences geared toward babies, toddlers, preschoolers and the grownups who love them. Levyparkhouston.org Event Pavilion, Levy Park 9:15am. Age: 0-3

Crafts: Making Memories in the Fall

Children’s Storytime in the Garden Each week storytime meets at a different location around the Gardens for a nature-inspired story circle for parents and kids. hcp4.net/parks/mercer/ Mercer Botanic Gardens 10:30am. All ages

Corner of Montrose Blvd. and Bissonnet Street All day. All ages

Virtual Photography Workshop: Getting to Know Your Camera

Virtual Event 9am. All ages

First Saturday Bolivar Flats Nature Walk

Hermann Park 10am. All ages

The Hogg Bird Sanctuary is adjacent to Bayou Bend 7:30am. All ages

Explore the lovely outdoor sculpture garden filled with more than 25 sculptures www.mfah.org/sculpturegarden

These community-driven workshops focus on photography as a means for creative expression and acquiring basic photography skills. facebook.com/LevyParkHou

Bring your little ones to listen to a story every Friday. After the reading, children are invited to participate in a fun activity. The children might color a picture, plant a seed to take home or something else that ties in with the days’ theme. hermannpark.org/visit/mcgoverncentennial-gardens

The Houston Audubon conducts a monthly survey at Hogg Bird Sanctuary. Everyone is welcome; beginners, experts, or even those who are just curious to learn more. memorialparkconservancy.org

Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden

Mangum-Howell Center 11am-1pm. Please call 281-591-7830. All ages

Children’s Story Hour in the McGovern Centennial Gardens

Bird Survey

SEPTEMBER 8

Share your creative imagination by embellishing a wooden photo frame with wood markers, acrylic paint, beads, glitter, gemstones, yarn, etc. Stop by the center and pick up a craft kit. hcp4.net/mhc

SEPTEMBER 4

SEPTEMBER 7

Explore Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary and discover the diversity of life of our coastal ecosystem every 1st Saturday of the month. houstonaudubon.org Bolivar Flats, meeting point is at the vehicular 10am. All ages. $10 parking

Nature Cubs Club Lil’ nature lovers will have a chance to meet others, learn about a topic, and then explore the park together! The club

SEPTEMBER 9 Bayou Bikers Bikers meet at Market Square Park on the first Sunday of the month for 25- to 40-mile bike rides exploring the waterways of Houston (mountain bikes or bikes with fat tires required). www.marketsquarepark.com Market Square Park 8am. All ages

Guided Hike at Lake Houston Wilderness Park Come take a Sunday stroll with the Lake Houston Naturalist crew every Sunday to explore one of our best trails while showing you what this park offers. houstontx.gov/parks/parksites/ lakehoustonpark.html

Lake Houston Wilderness Park, meeting point is at the Nature Center. 10am. All ages

Fenwick Fledlings Special program for kids to connect to nature through activities, songs and crafts every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. pearlandtx.gov/departments/ parksrecreation/facilities/deloresfenwicknature-center Delores Fenwick Nature Center, Pearland 4pm Age: 5 and up

Parachute time at Evelyn’s Park It’s a morning of bubbles, Gymboree parachute time, dancing, and singa-longs every second and fourth Wednesday. evelynspark.org

Evelyn’s Park Conservancy – The Great Lawn 11am Age: 0-5

September 2020

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the big to do | C A L E N DA R O F E V E N T S SEPTEMBER 14

SEPTEMBER 10

Sea Nature at the Sea Center

Virtual Storytime at the Blue Willow Bookshop

Want Sea World? Try this fantastic little nature center, aquarium, and fish hatchery. Tpwd.state.tx.us

Join Valerie and Leona, our storytime librarian from the Houston Public Library, every Thursday. facebook.com/BlueWillowBooks/live/

Sea Center Texas All day. All ages

Virtual Event 10am. All ages

SEPTEMBER 15

Nature Nesters

Virtual Children’s Story Time

A special program designed for children to connect with nature through activities, songs and crafts every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. pearlandtx.gov

Join in for a virtual sing-a-long and reading. facebook.com/midtownHOU Virtual Event 11:30am-1:30pm. All ages

Delores Fenwick Nature Center, Pearland 10am Age: 4 and under

Craft: Plant a Little Love Featuring ladybugs, frogs, bees, and flowers, this garden pot craft kit makes a fun activity for a garden party. The garden pot can be used to add flowers, herbs, and other plants that would be easily shifted to any location in your home. hcp4.net/mhc Mangum-Howell Center 11am-1pm. Please call 281-591-7830 to sign upAll ages

SEPTEMBER 11 Virtual Beats & Eats Join our virtual party featuring live music live music from Dj Mav and a live performance from JaeRene on the Midtown Park and Midtown Houston Facebook pages. facebook.com/MidtownPark/ Virtual Event 6:30-9:30pm. All ages

Patriot Day Of Remembrance First Responders Day The Woodlands Township and the Township Board of Directors will host two ceremonies in honor of the fallen and in recognition of first responders. woodlandsonline.com 9951 Grogan’s Mill Rd, The Woodlands 5:30pm & 6:30pm. All ages

SEPTEMBER 12 Family Day: Life on a Rig Come search the museum to discover more about these vehicles at sea–see what you would look like as an offshore oil worker, try on safety gear, explore the old control room and participate in a scavenger hunt during your visit. oceanstaroec.com The Ocean Star Museum, Galveston 10am-3pm. All ages

Music Nite on The Strand: The Fab 5 Roll Up for a Magical Mystery Tour through the 60’s and 70s. Dance to all your favorite classics. Galveston.com Saengerfest Park, Galveston 6-9pm. All ages houston family magazine

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September 2020

Movie Under the Moon: Doolittle Bring your family, friends and lawn chairs to the Plaza to enjoy a free Movie Under the Moon! sugarlandtownsquare.com Sugarland Town Square 7:45pm. All ages

Native American Heritage Day

SEPTEMBER 16 Nature Story Time and Discovery Center Enjoy storytime on the front lawn of the nature discovery center. Please bring your own blanket. naturediscoverycenter.org Nature Discovery Center 4pm. Age: 0-5

Join staff, volunteers, and exhibitors for a celebration of tribal culture. Learn about the nomadic Akokisa-Ishak people and how they survived in Harris County long before European settlers. hcp4.net/parks/jjp/

Lake Houston Wilderness Park 10am. All ages

Rally family and friends to try a new sport on a 9-hole course located at the Centennial Park Disc Golf Course. FootGolf is the combination of soccer and golf. It’s played on a golf/disc golf course with a standard #5 soccer ball as the official ball size. Play is free, just bring your own ball. pearlandtx.gov Centennial Park Disc Golf Course, Pearland All day. All ages

Discovery Green Concerts: New vintage Lifetime musicians perform traditional Americana songs with a modern Bluegrass twist. facebook.com/DiscoveryGreenHouston

Blanket Bingo Bring your blanket, lawn chairs or snag one of the tables at the park for a night of music and great prizes. marketsquarepark.com Market Square Park 6pm. All ages

SEPTEMBER 13

Come take a stroll with the Lake Houston Naturalist crew every Sunday. Meeting point is at the Nature Center. houstontx.gov

Footgolf

Virtual Event 10am. All ages

Mercer Botanic Gardens 9-11am. Age: 13+

Sunday Morning Hikes

SEPTEMBER 17

Join Valerie and Leona, our storytime librarian from the Houston Public Library, every Thursday. facebook.com/BlueWillowBooks/live/

What in the natural world can be used to make dye for cloth? The forest is replete with natural materials. Join a hands-on demonstration learning to dye different types of cloth with various natural materials. hcp4.net/tap/events

Delores Fenwick Nature Center, Pearland 9am-6pm Tuesday-Saturday. All ages

Mercer Botanic Gardens 10:30am. Age: 4-5

Virtual Storytime at the Blue Willow Bookshop

Natural Dyes

Spend a day in nature by walking/ running the ~ 2 miles of trails with a edible fruit, explore the Fite Road bat colony observation area, the native bird rookeries and enjoy the Great Room which features live animal exhibits, touchable bio-facts, and a craft table. pearlandtx.gov

Children partner with their parents and experience rhythm and music principles in a natural outdoor setting in various locations throughout the garden. Classes use Kindermusik curriculum’s songs, instruments, and movement. hcp4.net/parks/mercer

A Virtual Event 7pm. All ages

Jesse H. Jones Park 1-3pm. All ages

Play Date at Delores Fenwick Nature Center

Music in the Gardens

Nature visits at the Joe Turner Nature Center Tour the Ecosystem Displays; the Bugs Room; the Reptile and Amphibians Room; and Eye on the Wilderness with lighting and sound effects. houstonparks.org Lake Houston Wilderness Park All day, Wednesday-Sunday. All ages

Coffee Cake Book Club Coffee Cake Book Club meets the third Wednesday of each month. This month’s book will be Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Until further notice, book club meetings will take place via Zoom! Email Valerie at girlboss@ bluewillowbookshop.com Virtual Event 11am. Age: Adult

Tribute to Journey: ESCAPE Gone Sing a long with family and friends to Classic Rock Band Journey. visitconroe.com 500 Metcalf Conroe 7pm. All ages

SEPTEMBER 18 On Campus Rice Art Gallery Enjoy the shaded stroller-friendly pathways. Bring a ball and toys to relax on the lawns located throughout the campus. Stop by the contemporary installation art gallery for your daily cultural fix. ricegallery.org

Rice University Campus Gallery opened Wednesday-Sunday only. All ages, free street parking


S e p te m b er 20 20 SEPTEMBER 19 Introduction to Latin Rhythms Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with by learning the basics of Latin drumming! Levyparkhouston.org Event Pavilion at Levy Park 1pm. All ages

Photography workshop: Composition & Focusing Basics Learn how to create a well-balanced and focused photograph using simple compositional guidelines, such as Rule of Thirds, leading lines, framing, and perspective. facebook.com/LevyParkHou Virtual Event. 9am. All ages

Wings & Wheels at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum Wings and Wheels is the 1940 Air Terminal Museum quarterly open house, featuring static displays of airplanes and automobiles. The ramp on the west side of Hobby airport is opened so you can get close to the action of a real airport. 1940airterminal.org/wings-wheels 1940 Air Terminal 11am-3pm. All ages

Bayou Bend Family Days: Shaping Nature An afternoon of fun and entertainment awaits! Find activities, games, demonstrations, and performances throughout the gardens and historic mansion. mfah.org/calendar/series/bayou-bendfamily-days Bayou Bend Gardens 1-5pm. All ages

Ride a Miniature Live Steamer Do you a little one that is into trains? Take the family to ride a real miniature live steamer. hals.org Zube Park 9am-1pm. All ages

SEPTEMBER 21 Story Time On The Green Story time fosters and develops toddler’s personal, social, motor, and literacy skills through music, finger play, art and storytelling. centralgreenpark.com Central Green, Cinco Ranch 10am. All day

SEPTEMBER 22

Everybody is Smart: A Texas Children’s Pediatrics Event

Sunrise Labyrinth Walk: Autumnal Equinox

Everybody is smart in their own way! Through this interactive, music-based workshop, participants will gain selfesteem while exploring and identifying the hidden talents and gifts that make them uniquely intelligent. evelynspark.org

The public is invited to participate in Seasonal Sunrise labyrinth walks. Each walk begins approximately 10-15 minutes before sunrise. Galveston.com

Evelyn’s Park 10am. All ages

To access the beach labyrinth, use the seawall steps located at 17th and Seawall Bldv., Galveston 7am. All ages

SEPTEMBER 23 Nature Story Time and Discovery Center Enjoy storytime on the front lawn of the nature discovery center. Please bring your own blanket. naturediscoverycenter.org

SEPTEMBER 24 Heights & Bike trails at Donovan Park Explore the Heights Hike and Bike Trail and view some of the most beautiful examples of Victorian and turn-ofthe-century architecture then picnic at Donovan Park. traillink.com/city/houston-tx-trails/ 2799 Moy St., Houston All day. All ages

Virtual Storytime at the Blue Willow Bookshop Join Valerie and Leona, our storytime librarian from the Houston Public Library, every Thursday. facebook.com/BlueWillowBooks/live/ Virtual Event 10am. All ages

Johnny Appleseed Day Enjoy children’s apple-themed crafts, an apple science lab, and other free, kidfriendly fun. This is an outdoor event. hcp4.net/parks/mercer Mercer Botanic Gardens 4-6pm. All ages

Craft: Catch the Sun and Create a Puzzle Picture A simple and easy way to take your home décor up a notch is with a suncatcher. While observing the sparkle of light dancing on your walls, put together your one-of-a-kind jigsaw puzzle. hcp4.net/mhc Mangum-Howell Center 11am-1pm. Please call 281-591-7830. All ages

SEPTEMBER 25 Galveston Island Shrimp Festival (September 25 &2 26) Enjoy two full days of shrimp, music, friends. Galveston.com Saengerfest Park, Galveston All day. All ages

84th Fort Bend County Fair The 2020 Fort Bend County Fair Parade will officially kick off the 84th Annual Fort Bend County Fair & Rodeo. Parade spectators will be amazed as almost 200 entries wind their way from the Historic Court House. richmondtx.gov

Richmond and proceed west down Hwy. 90-A to Jennetta Street in Rosenberg, Richmond 9am. All ages

S E E E V E N M O R E FA M I LY F R I E N D LY E V E N T S I N O U R ONLINE EVENTS CALENDAR! houstonfamilymagazine.com/event-directory/

Nature Discovery Center 4pm. Age: 0-5

Detective Days Detective Days are self-guided activity sheets that provide a focused activity, challenging a child’s observational skills and critical thinking. mfah.org Bayou Bend Gardens All day. Age: 6+

Walk on the Wild Side Sneak up on lizards, peer into the trees for looks at birds, discover the latest blooms and their pollinators, spy on the secret life of animals, and investigate more seasonal nature surprises! naturediscoverycenter.org 4:30pm. All ages

Parachute time at Evelyn’s Park It’s a morning of bubbles, Gymboree parachute time, dancing, and singa-longs every second and fourth Wednesday. evelynspark.org

Evelyn’s Park Conservancy – The Great Lawn 11am Age: 0-5 September 2020

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the big to do | C A L E N DA R O F E V E N T S N O W E X H I B I T I N G | M U S E U M C A L E N DA R

SEPTEMBER 26

SEPTEMBER 29 Tough Broads Out at Night Book Club Tough Broads Book Club meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. This month’s book will be Home by Marilynne Robinson. Until further notice, book club meetings will take place via Zoom! Email Valerie at girlboss@ bluewillowbookshop.com for an invitation. Virtual Event. 7pm. Age: Adult

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Movie Screening at the Drive-in

Lone Star Flight Museum photo: Cici Loo photography

MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS HOUSTON

mfah.org

Temporary Hours of Operation

Wednesday 11am-5pm, Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday & Saturday 11am6pm, Sunday 12:30pm- 6pm Monday- closed except selected holidays, Tuesday – closed

Proof of Concept: Artistic Process in Contemporary Printmaking, Selections from the Museum’s Collection Drawings, paintings, and proofs reveal the progress of an artwork prior to the final prints made in etching, drypoint, screenprint, and woodcut. Through October 11, 2020

Glory of Spain: Treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library The collections of the New York–based Hispanic Society Museum & Library focus on the art and culture of Spain, Portugal, Latin America, and the Philippines, from antiquity to the early 20th century. Through January 3, 2020

9am-5pm Mon-Sun

Cockrell Butterfly Center Embark on a tropical adventure in a living butterfly habitat! The rainforest conservatory, complete with thousands of live butterflies, tropical plants and a zen waterfall is enjoyed by guests of all ages.

The First Game: The Birth of Basketball Discover basketball - a game that infused qualities from soccer, American football, field hockey and other sports. Through September 27

Mars by Luke Jerram Distinctive features, like craters, canyons and Rover landing sites, are displayed in stunning resolution on this unique installation. Through October 7

lonestarflight.org

hmh.org

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9am-5pm., Sat. 10am5pm., Sun. 12-5pm

Mandela: Struggle for Freedom The U.S. premiere of Mandela: Struggle for Freedom, a rich sensory experience of imagery, soundscape, digital media and objects, explores the earthshaking fight for justice and human dignity in South Africa – and its relevance to issues of today. Through January 3, 2020

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hmns.org

LONE STAR FLIGHT MUSEUM

HOLOCAUST MUSEUM

houston family magazine

HOUSTON MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCE

September 2020

10am-5pm Tues.-Sat., noon-5pm Sun.

Waltrip and Heritage Hangars Visit the panels detailing the history of aircraft, manufacturing and aviation training in Texas, as well propeller and engine exhibits line the. Visit the featured Norden bomb-sight, service vehicles, WWII command car, MUTT service Jeep, and interactive touchscreens with a view of cockpits.

Catch a free screening of the 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (PG) at a pop-up drive-in theater in front of the Walmart in Orange. Gates open 90 minutes before the movie starts. thewalmartdrivein.com

Museum of Natural Science in the Park

3115 Edgar Brown Drive, Orange 7:30pm. All ages

SEPTEMBER 30

Invertebrates- Get up-close and personal with Earth’s largest group of animals as you meet live insects, arachnids, mollusks, echinoderms, and more! Levyparkhouston.org

Nature Story Time and Discovery Center

Zoologist for a Day

Enjoy storytime on the front lawn of the nature discovery center. Please bring your own blanket. naturediscoverycenter.org

Event Pavilion, Levy Park 2pm. All ages

Learn about the intricate career and tasks of the staff at the downtown aquarium. aquariumrestaurants.com Downtown Aquarium All Day. Age: 10+

Pontoon Boat Tours Gain a new perspective and appreciation of Jones Park and its surrounding land by hopping aboard our pontoon boat for a leisurely cruise down Spring Creek. This staff-guided trip will provide you with a unique experience. hcp4.net/jones

Nature Discovery Center 4pm. Age: 0-5

Homestead Open House (Wednesdays and Saturdays) Appreciate modern conveniences by taking a step back in time. Enjoy a look around the park’s historically accurate 1830s Redbud Hill Homestead and Akokisa-Ishak Village. hcp4.net/jones Jesse H.Jones 1-4pm. All ages

Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center Throughout the day. Age: 8+

SEPTEMBER 27 Waugh Bridge Bat Colony An estimated 300,000 Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from the Waugh Bridge every evening at dusk to find food. Buffalobayou.org Waugh Bridge Dusk. All ages

SEPTEMBER 28 Brooklyn Virtual Book Festival (Runs until October 5th) The 2020 Virtual Brooklyn Book Festival celebrates its15th anniversary of presenting free literary programming. brooklynbookfestival.org Virtual Event Various times. All ages

Aviation Learning Center Simulator Bay The Simulator Bay at the Lone Star Flight Museum is free to fly every weekend with the purchase of a general admission ticket. Lonestarflight.com Lone Star Flight Museum 11am-3pm Saturday, 12pm-3pm Sunday. Age: 10+


mind body and soul | E D I T O R I A L

Sacred Space a place to call home

A

s we are all spending more time at home these days, let’s dedicate some energy into our dwellings and create a little cherished space. Whether you live in a chic apartment amidst the business of a city, an expansive country house surrounded by acres of land or a dreamy bungalow on the beach—home is where the heart is. And, if this is true, where does the soul live?

WHAT IS SACRED SOUL SPACE TO YOU?

Is there currently a space within your home that you refer to as ‘sacred’? If not, do you long for a space in your home (and your soul) that is quiet, peaceful, and holy? I am a firm be-liever in magic, the kind of alchemy that involves the art of bringing gifts from another world into this one. When we are in a place that feels good, we find it easier to think, dream and get in touch with the best part of ourselves. To keep it simple, here are TWO easy methods you can use to tap into and transform or-dinary environments into a sacred, nourishing space.

written by Elizabeth Irvine

relaxation to get you started. In this quiet still space you can find your center, a ‘coming home’ feeling in your own body. In this grounded place, take a few nice long DEEP BREATHS IN AND OUT. Breathe in, feel your breath enter your body, watch it fill you up from the very base of your lungs all the way up to the top of your shoulders. Breathe out, release—all unwanted air, thoughts, emotions that are your past. Let go of anything that doesn’t serve you. It is now released through your breath. Do this two more times. POWER OF SUBCONSCIOUS Next, imagine you are filled with light. Take a moment and visualize the light filling you up. Now visualize the center of your physical home. Allow the light from the center of you to radiate out— working its way through your home. On an energetic level you are visualizing light moving through your home ‘clearing the space’ with the power of your intention and thought. Imagine it’s like morning sunshine

streaming in through you and then spreading throughout your home. Next, let’s tap into the power of our subconscious mind through free-flow writing. In this quiet still space take a couple of minutes (or more) to reflect and journal about a favorite spot in our home. Once you have this space in mind, write about it and how to create a feeling of sacredness in this special place at home.

NO. 2 CREATE AN ALTAR

Do you have a special place in your home to display items that represent where you place value, importance, and gratitude? This place can be as simple as your dining table set with a candle, the kitchen countertop to hold a bouquet of tulips, or the edge of your bathtub to place a photo and a stick of incense. Start small, dream big, and most importantly have fun building on the idea. I use our fireplace

mantle as an altar to represent sacred space. We display our life’s mile-stones, celebrations and mementos, symbolizing what we are grateful for and what holds value in our life. Even a small investment of dedicated energy will payback your soul (and everyone else’s too)—soon noticing the ethereal soothing feeling, called home.

UPCOMING VIRTUAL WORKSHOP

MEDITATION 101

A virtual workshop to learn how to meditate. Meditation can be as simple as five minutes of focused attention— releasing anxiety and feeling calm is a powerful life skill to connect you to your best self. Friday, September 18th, 2020 10am-11:15am CST. For more information www.elizabethirvine.com

NO. 1 QUIET STILL SPACE

You can do the following exercises in a few minutes, so do it now while you read this. Let’s begin with a short-guided

Elizabeth Irvine: Nurse, educator and award-winning author. She is the founder and owner of Truewellbeing Inc September 2020

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H O U S T O N FA M I LY M A G A Z I N E . C O M

E D I U G IVAL

RV U S G N I T N E AR P R U RS! YO A E Y 0 3 R E V FOR O WE’RE HERE WHEN YOU NEED US.

IN PRINT • DIGITAL APP • ONLINE • E-MAIL • SOCIAL MEDIA SIGNATURE EVENTS • SPEAKER SERIES • AND BEYOND

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September 2020


safe summer fun is closer than you think Make the most of your summer, and getaway to Gaylord Texan. Whether you want to swim and slide through our resort pools, float the lazy river, or rent a private cabana for you and your family—fun in the sun is waiting for you.

Book now at GaylordTexan.com September 2020

39 houston family magazine


AS HOUSTON OPENS UP, SO DO MORE WAYS TO STAY HEALTHY.

WITH SAFE WAIT™ MEASURES FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING IN PLACE, YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN HEALTH A PRIORITY AGAIN. Primary Care and Specialist Appointments – in-person or online through Virtual Office Visit Mammograms Diagnostic Imaging Colonoscopies Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Convenient Care Centers Urgent Care 24/7 Virtual Urgent Care

SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT. SEE A DOCTOR. STAY WELL. houston family magazine

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September 2020

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Profile for Houston Family Magazine

Houston Family Magazine September 2020  

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