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Serving Families in the Greater Cy-Fair Area

Winter 2012

special SALUTE TO


MILITARY FAMILIES Our red, white, and blue issue celebrates Cy-Fair Olympians, Veterans, and Military Families

Events Calendar

Afterschool Programs TO ADVERTISE OR SUBSCRIBE CALL: 281-579-9831 EMAIL: VISIT:


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Katrina Katsarelis | EDITOR’S NOTE

Celebrating Veterans and their Families A special salute and a big thank you from the Cy-Fair Magazine Team In honor of Veteran’s Day, our team decided to put together a special tribute issue to Veterans and Military Families in Cy-Fair. Just about everyone in our country has a loved one who is serving, has served, or has died serving their country. Since our Winter Issue debuts in November, we felt it was great timing for Cy-Fair Magazine to salute the many dedicated veterans and their families in our community. A lot of people remember to thank our soldiers whenever we see them in uniform, but those at home are sometimes left to worry and handle all the household responsibilities on their own. That’s why we included a salute to family members as part of this special tribute issue. We frequently run a small section dedicated to our Veterans called Hometown Heroes in Cy-Fair Magazine, but in this issue we’ve also included several other feature stories on amazing Veterans in our area. On page 28, we have a heart-warming story on local Military Families and the many challenges they face every day. From coping with constant worry, to staying in communication with deployed loved ones, the story is an eye-opening look at how these courageous families manage to stay strong through many long absences. Also, Marcus Luttrell’s story on page 32 is a must read. This heroic Navy SEAL was the lone survivor of a four hour ambush in Pakistan that took the lives of 20 of his fellow servicemen and left him horrifically wounded. Riddled with shrapnel and badly injured, he evaded death by crawling seven miles to find shelter. After recuperating, Luttrell redeployed to Iraq for a second tour of duty. His fascinating book Lone Survivor details the gripping true story of how he survived. Our Veterans section also profiles other Cy-Fair heroes, a family of Marines, local Veteran’s support organizations, and other snippets of news about Cy-Fair area soldiers. If you’re reading this, chances are you are a Veteran, or a family member of one, who is left behind to hold down the homefront. On behalf of the Cy-Fair Magazine team, I want to say thank you for serving our country or supporting someone special who is.

P.S. If you have a great story idea, tell me! Email

Katrina Katsarelis Editor-in-Chief & Publisher

Navy SEAL and Lone Survivor author Marcus Luttrell, page 32

SFC Kenneth Ramos with his wife, Joanne, and their children Jared, Je’Anna, Jayden, and James, page 28

Marine Sergeant Marty Gonzalez with his wife, Tawnee, page 28.

To advertise, call 281-579-9831 or email


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Celebrating Families in the Greater Cy-Fair Area

Katrina Katsarelis

Matt Katsarelis

Bonnie Cerny

Publisher/Editor-In-Chief/ Creative Director


Sales Director

Valarie Brown

Kirsten Ham

AWARDS Tex as Community Newspaper Association (TCNA) 2011 William A. Altman Community Service Award - “Donate 4 Life”, Best Advertising Headline Association of Free Community Papers (AFCP) 2011 Single Ad – Color – Children’s Lighthouse, Best Ad Copy Writing – Houston Pediatric Dental Specialists, Newspapers Fighting Cancer Award “Andrew E. Shapiro Foundation”

Accounting/HR Manager Editorial Coordinator

Julie Dold Editorial Coordinator

Cy-Fair Houston Chamber of Commerce Cy-Fair Small Business of the Year - 2009 Better Business Bureau Houston Winner of Distinction – 2008 and 2009, Pinnacle Award - 2007

The format and stories are a great blend! I think this magazine overall is a hot ticket in Cypress. EVERYONE reads it! I think that it provides not only good stories, but a great load of information and education to the community. That is a great value no doubt. - Leigh Ann Mitchell

Lindsey Fojtik

Jason Lehecka

Daneen Rivera

Lead Graphic Designer

Staff Photographer

Production Supervisor

Morgan Gomez

Taryn Arbeely

Roxy Ventura

Accounting/ HR Coordinator

Sales Representative

Customer Service Representative

Melissa Evans

Tammi Rogers

Gail Collins

Customer Service Representative

Distribution Representative

Contributing Writer

TO ADVERTISE Call 281-579-9831 for advertising rates, information, and closing dates. Email or visit CYFAIRMAGAZINE.COM Find more resources, articles, and information online at TO SUBSCRIBE A subscription costs $16 annually for four quarterly issues. Call 281-579-9831 to subscribe. PHOTO & ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS We enjoy publishing Cy-Fair-related items and photos from the community. Please do not send material protected by copyright. Email items to Contact us Our publishing headquarters for Cy-Fair Magazine, Katy Magazine, and Sugar Land Magazine is located at 605A Park Grove Dr., Katy, TX 77450. Email or call 281-579-9831.

Lorrie Crow Kimble

Liza Winkler

Contributing Writer

Contributing Writer

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Gail Collins, Kirsten Ham, Katrina Katsarelis, Lorrie Crow Kimble, Leigh Ann Mitchell, Jen Petty, Lona Shipp, Liza Winkler

© 2012 Cy-Fair Magazine™ All Rights Reserved. No part of our online or printed magazine may be scanned or reproduced. Cy-Fair has an 80,000 printed circulation.

To advertise, call 281-579-9831 or email


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THE HEART AND VASCULAR CENTER Methodist Willowbrook Hospital

SERVICES  Chest Pain Unit  HeaRTS Heart Rhythm Treatment Services (arrhythmia)  Interventional and Diagnostic Cardiology  Non-Invasive Cardiology Pacemaker Clinic  Cardiac Catheterization  Coronary Artery Bypass

In a cardiac emergency, there’s only one name you need to know— Methodist. Through a unique collaboration between Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center and community physicians, Methodist Willowbrook Hospital is a one-stop destination for diagnostics and treatment of cardiac and vascular illnesses. Methodist Willowbrook Hospital offers world-renowned expertise in a personalized environment. Methodist Willowbrook Hospital offers complete cardiac care in a single, leading edge facility that is unmistakably Methodist—when and where you need it most.

Ask your physician to refer you to Methodist Willowbrook Hospital Heart and Vascular Center, or call 281–737– 2500 for a Physician Referral.

If you experience any of the following, call 911 and ask to be taken to the Methodist Willowbrook Hospital Emergency Department:    

Chest pain or pressure (may radiate down your arm) Shortness of breath Nausea, vomiting and/or severe indigestion Breaking out into a cold sweat

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Š2011 Cy-FairMagazine

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The Community & Family Magazine for the Cy-Fair Area CFM

The Heroes Issue

Cy-Fair Magazine™ | WINTER 2012



Bridgeland Ladies Association • 40 Busy Bridgeland ladies touch lives in the Cypress community and beyond

Sergeant Marty Gonzalez and his family are grateful for the support they have received from the Cy-Fair community

Top Discipline Dilemmas for Cy-Fair Parents • 42 Advice from experts and parents on some of the most common discipline frustrations A Family Affair • 58 Local family-owned eateries serving up unique creations in Cy-Fair

Bridgeland Ladies Association


Pink Carpet • 70 Scenes from the Cypress Texas Alumnae Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha’s Casino Evening Afterschool Programs • 74 Local programs offering enrichment, play, and study time Military Families Military parents share their unique struggles and how they keep their families strong


Skating Starz • 80 Local competitive ice skating team defends their National Championship title

Pink Carpet Pictorial


Marcus Luttrell Lone Survivor • 32 Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell shares his harrowing story of survival

Saluting Our Hometown Heroes • 34 Honoring Cy-Fairians who are protecting our country by serving in the armed forces

Campus Snapshot


Hopper Middle School • 88 It’s all about the TEAM Dedication to a Degree • 90 83-year-old Lone Star College Grad Peggy Wills earns a degree Cy-Fair Educational Foundation • 92 Supporting Cy-Fair students with college scholarships Marine Family Legacy • 36 Local Cypress family shares a legacy of service

SGT Matthew Harvey • 38 Cy-Fair family and friends honor the memory of this hometown hero

School Scoop • 94 News from Cy-Fair area schools




CrossFit for Life • 98 Exploring the constantly varied, high-intensity world of CrossFit workouts Surviving Preeclampsia • 102 Local survivor Ambra Kent shares her ordeal overcoming a common pre-pregnancy diagnosis Health Bulletins • 106 Health-related news tidbits for Cy-Fair families

To advertise, call 281-579-9831 or email



The Community & Family Magazine for the Cy-Fair Area CFM

Cy-Fair Magazine™ | WINTER 2012

Cy-Fair People 46


IN EVERY ISSUE Editor’s Note • 7 Staff • 9 Events Calendar • 22

Super Mom Jennifer Cooper

50 Cy-Fair Events Calendar


Olympian Johnathan Horton

Jennifer Cooper • 46

Cypress Super Mom shares how she balances the chaotic world of family, sports, career, and volunteerism

Mark and Cimbrey brannan • 50

Cy-Fair authors encourage Aggie traditions through penning the children’s book, Goodnight Aggieland

Cammile Adams • 68

Cy-Fair local goes for gold at the 2012 Olympics

marissa mcphaul • 78

Authors Mark and Cimbrey

Cy-Fair model goes from Carhop to Cat Walk on the E! TV show Scouted

Jonathan Horton • 64

Two-time Olympian proves to be an all-around Champion

Liezel Huber • 66

Olympian shares her journey to becoming the top women’s doubles in the world

Pictorials Cy-Fair Cuties • 19

78 Notes and News

Where to find Cy-Fair Magazine


Notes and News• 85

See page 111 for all of the area establishments that carry Cy-Fair Magazine.

Biz Chat • 108 Advertiser Index • 110 Cy-savings • 113 Model Marissa McPhaul

Cute pets • 48

Wedded Bliss • 56

To advertise, call 281-579-9831 or email


Photo by Amy Dunn




og lena Zi Phot Photo by Ye raphy


August Nia & Aniyah Andrew

Photo by Lady Lindsay Photography






cture Peop



phy d Photogra imberly Lloy

Photo by K

Photo by Pi


We’re on the lookout for more Cy-Fair cuties for our upcoming issue! Send your best shots to Please do not send photography protected by copyright.

shopaholic \sha-pa-’ha-lik\: (noun) One who is excessively fond 

of shopping at To the Nines Boutique.  Can also be a fashionista.

Define Your StYle. 832.220.1529 •

Texas Children’s Heart Center placed 4-month-old Leanny on a Berlin Heart EXCOR® Pediatric that pumped her blood until she received a heart transplant.

Over 50 years without skipping a beat Since the beginning, Texas Children’s Heart Center has been saving lives with the best possible pediatric cardiovascular care. Ranked among the top pediatric heart programs in the nation by U.S.News & World Report, Texas Children’s Heart Center has been a leader in the field for more than half a century. We have pioneered many of the now-standard procedures and therapies related to the diagnosis and treatment of children needing cardiovascular care. Find out more about the history, advancements and future of one of the country’s most dynamic pediatric cardiology centers at © 2012 Texas Children’s Hospital. All rights reserved. HEART096_091412


Events and happenings in the Cy-Fair area


Events Calendar 22 • CY-FAIR MAGAZINE Visit for Cy-Fair jobs, events, news and more.

Photo by Brandie Smith


Nov. 16

Nov. 25

Dec. 1

Lone Star College–CyFair Main Stage Theatre 9191 Barker Cypress Rd. 7:30 p.m.

Houston Oaks Country Club 22602 Hegar Rd. Hockley 1 p.m.

Lone Star College–CyFair 9191 Barker Cypress Rd.


Take a tour through a century of America’s music as Lone Star CollegeCyFair’s Jazz Ensemble presents this stellar performance. For tickets visit,

Nov. 17

Christmas at the Creek Gift Market YMCA at Cypress Creek 19915 SH 249 Houston 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Whether you’re looking for home décor, jewelry, yard art, or gifts you’ll find it here. Guests will enjoy food, music, indoor and outdoor booths, kid’s activities, and more. Email

Boot Run

Run off your turkey day feast at the inaugural Marcus Luttrell Boot Run Houston half marathon and 5k. Proceeds will provide medical and school supplies for Sabray, an Afghan village sympathetic to American troops. Email

Nov. 28

Glee Concert

Lone Star College–CyFair 9191 Barker Cypress Rd.

The new Glee Club presents its first show, bringing together some of the hottest singers and dancers on campus for a concert of rock, pop, hip-hop, musical theatre, and more! Visit

Nov. 17, Dec. 15, Jan. 19

Nov. 29 – Dec. 23

All-Star Martial Arts 14405 Telge Rd. 6 – 10 p.m.

Texas Repertory Theatre 14243 Stuebner Airline Rd. Houston

Parent’s Night Out

Parent’s Night Out is the perfect solution for children ages 4 through 12. Kids enjoy games, G movies, pizza, juice, and more while parents enjoy a date night. Call 281-373-5425 for details.

Nov. 19

Reader’s Perspective Book Club Northwest Branch Library 11355 Regency Green Dr. 2 p.m.

A book club where members read books and share the books that they have read with other book-lovers! All programs are free and open to the public. For details, call 281-890-2665.

Nov. 20

BoleroandtheWorks Lone Star College–CyFair Main Stage Theatre 9191 Barker Cypress Rd. 7:30 p.m.

The passion of strings, rhythm, and brass blend together in perfect harmony. For tickets visit,

Nov. 21 – 23

Cy-Fair ISD Thanksgiving Break

It’s a Wonderful Life

Enjoy this nostalgic, heartfelt, family favorite Christmas classic in the form of a live radio play. Five actors creating 40 different voices bring back a time when radio was king. For tickets, visit

Dec. 1

Annual Bridgeland Chili Cook-Off Lakeland Activity Center 16902 N Bridgelands Lake Pkwy. 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Join Bridgeland for an afternoon of fun as they look for the best chili cook. Cooking will begin at 6:00 a.m., judging at 12 p.m., then chili will be available for all to taste. Entries will be judged on presentation, smell, and taste; 1st - 3rd place winner trophies will be awarded. Visit

Dec. 1

Live from Broadway Berry Center Theater 8877 Barker Cypress Rd. 7 p.m.

The Arthur Murray Dance Studios of Houston present a Dancing with the Stars event featuring local amateur and professional dancers with all proceeds going to the Big Little JC Association which helps children with special needs obtain lifesaving equipment and medications. Tickets are $30. Call 832-593-0090.

Popular Songwriting Concert Don’t miss this concert of all new songs from rock to pop to folk and more with words and music by LSC-CyFair student songwriters. For tickets, visit

Dec. 1 - 2

Country Christmas Craft Show Cy-Fair Exhibit Center 11206 Telge Rd.

Shop from more than 200 vendors for holiday gifts at this fundraising event, hosted by the Cy-Fair High School FFA Booster Club. Event also includes photos with Santa. Call 281-373-1991.

Dec. 2

Mistletoe Fun Run

Lakeland Activity Center 16902 N Bridgelands Lake Pkwy. 7 a.m.

Mistletoe Fun Run benefits Run Over Cancer which helps families currently dealing with the disease by providing food, housing, and assisting with medical expenses. Events include a half-marathon, 5K run or walk, and a half-mile children’s race, with strollers allowed on the 5K certified course. Awards will be given for male and female top finishers in a variety of age groups, as well as for best costume. Santa and his helpers are expected to visit. Register at

Dec. 2

Winter Wonderland

K2 Academy of Kid’s Sports 12603 Louetta Rd. 12 – 3 p.m.

This event is open to the public and includes open gym time, pictures with Santa, hot chocolate, and cookie decorating. Plus, kids get to make snow and take it home with them! Cost is $15 per child. Please bring personal cameras to take pictures. Pre-register by calling 281-655-7272. Visit

Dec. 4

Baylor Brass

The Centrum 682 Cypresswood Dr. Spring 3 p.m.

The Baylor Brass brings a wealth of experience to its performances and educational clinics. Members have impressive credentials as chamber music performers, clinicians, and as instrumental coaches. For tickets, visit

To advertise, call 281-579-9831 or email


Dec. 5 - Feb. 8

Dec. 8 - 9

Jan. 24 – Feb. 17

Head Start to Reading 12310 Jones Rd. Houston

The Berry Center 8877 Barker Cypress Rd.

Texas Repertory Theatre 14243 Stuebner Airline Rd. Houston

Registration for Spring Classes

Do your cuties want to get a head start on reading? Attend registration for the spring session of Pre-K and Kindergarten reading classes. Children will attend class once per week for ten 55-minute sessions. Visit

Dec. 8

Dinosaur iPad Drawing Program Northwest Branch Library 11355 Regency Green Dr. 2 p.m.

Do you like to draw? Would you like to learn how to draw dinosaurs? If you answered yes, then come to the iPad drawing class. All supplies are provided. Ideal for children 5 years and up. Come early as space is limited. For details, call 281-890-2665.

Dec. 8

Handel’s Messiah

Lone Star College–CyFair 9191 Barker Cypress Rd.

Enjoy an evening of beautiful choral collaborations as LSC’s Concert Choir presents Handel’s Messiah, the most beloved of all classical works with beautiful solos, chorus, and orchestra. For tickets, visit

Dec. 8

WindSync “in Wonderland” The Centrum 682 Cypresswood Dr. Spring 10 a.m.

WindSync’s seasonal assembly program gives children an interactive look into a variety of holiday traditions inspired by storytelling, music, and ballet. The program will feature holiday music with plenty of group sing-alongs and energetic holiday fun. All Children’s Series concerts are free. Visit

Dec. 8, Jan. 12 Teen Party

All-Star Martial Arts 14405 Telge Rd. 7 – 11 p.m.

Teen Party is the perfect safe spot for children ages 13 through 17. Enjoy teen related games, movies, pizza, soda, and more. Call 281-373-5425 for details.

The Nutcracker

Artisan Ballet Company invites you to attend its annual performance of the timeless ballet classic, The Nutcracker. Don’t miss this great opportunity to introduce your children to the fantasy Kingdom of the Sweets to meet Clara, the Nutcracker, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and the Snow Queen. For tickets and show times, call 832-717-3263.

Dec. 17

Mrs. Kringle’s Story Time Northwest Branch Library 11355 Regency Green Dr. 4:30 p.m.

With all the favorite sing-a-long holiday songs and great storytelling flair, the fabulous Mrs. Kringle shares the excitement about her new book club at the North Pole! She talks about the adventures she’s had reading and spending time at the North Pole Public Library. Mrs. Kringle wraps up her visit with T’was the Night Before Christmas. Come early as space is limited. For details, call 281-890-2665.

Dec. 20 - 22

Kids Crazy Christmas Show The Berry Center 8877 Barker Cypress Rd.

Please visit for details.

Dec. 24

Christmas Eve

Check your local area churches for special services and events.

Dec. 24 – Jan. 4

Cy-Fair ISD Winter Break

Dec. 31

Houston Symphony Orchestra The Centrum 682 Cypresswood Dr. Spring 8 p.m.

Join the Houston Symphony and conductor Brett Mitchell as they ring in the New Year with class at. This year’s concert will celebrate the art of dance with both classical and light classical selections. For tickets, visit

Jan. 21

Cy-Fair ISD Student Holiday

The Lion in Winter

A legendary king and incomparable queen meet for one last battle that will determine the future of an empire. Historical insight meets mordant wit in this must-see theatrical event. For tickets, visit

Jan. 25 – Feb. 10

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown Houston Family Arts Center 10760 Grand Rd. Houston

Told through the hearts and voices of childhood, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown examines the good in all of us. For tickets, visit

Jan. 27

Northwest Private School Preview Cypress Creek YMCA 19915 SH 249 3 – 5 p.m.

Explore the rich variety of private educational opportunities in our community. Admission to the event is free and provides opportunities to visit with representatives from over twenty private, independent, and parochial schools which represent all grade levels including high schools.

Jan. 31

Reach Unlimited Gala

Cypress United Methodist Church 13403 Cypress N Houston 6 – 8 p.m.

This year’s gala will celebrate Reach Unlimited’s 30th year. Come learn how Reach is making a difference in the lives of their clients and the Cy-Fair community. Admission is free and includes food, soft drink, and dessert. Visit

Feb. 9

Inspiring Possibilities Casino Night Enchanted Ball Room 12603 Louetta Rd. 6 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Enjoy auctions, poker, roulette, and other casino games while benefiting Inspiring Possibilities, funding athletes with special needs. Tickets include dinner, casino money, beverages, and a raffle ticket. For tickets, call 281-373-5425.

For more up-to-date Cy-Fair events, visit To submit calendar events, email

24 • CY-FAIR MAGAZINE Visit for Cy-Fair jobs, events, news and more.


There’s no better place to welcome your new baby to the world. Skilled OB/GYNs and compassionate nurses. Comfortable, all-private labor and delivery suites. The highest level Neonatal ICU available. The Tiny Toes OB program for expectant parents. When you have your baby at Tomball Regional Medical Center, you’ll find that quality care, technology and comfort come bundled. To learn more about our Women’s Center or for tours of our OB suites, visit or call 281-401-7788.



Military Families

Keeping family bonds strong Page 28

Marcus Luttrell Navy SEAL shares his harrowing story of survival Page 32

Hometown Heroes

Saluting our local veterans

Page 34

Marine Family Legacy

Local family shares a legacy of service Page 36

Remembering SGT Matthew Harvey

Honoring the memory of a hometown hero Page 38

To advertise, call 281-579-9831 or email


CY-FAIR FAMILIES Marine Sergeant Marty Gonzalez with his wife, Tawnee, and their children Alyssa, Adryan, and Kaylen ent rec ly received a new Cypress Lakes home from Helping a Hero

Military parents share the common struggles experienced in these unique families and how they stay strong

Photo Courtesy of Coady Photography

tography Photo Courtesy of Coady Pho

Written by Kirsten Ham

28 • CY-FAIR MAGAZINE Visit for Cy-Fair jobs, events, news and more.


Daily routines of balancing school activities, preparing meals, planning constructive playtime, and homework pose challenges for any set of parents. For military families, complications such as deployments and relocations are added into the mix. We spoke with Cy-Fair military parents about how they keep their marriages strong and successfully raise children while their spouses are away serving our country.

os Army SFC Kenneth Ram also an with his wife Joanne, rs, Army soldier for 14 yea d, Jare en; ldr chi ir the and their Je’Anna, Jayden, and youngest, James

“It may sound cliché but being a military wife is the toughest job in the Army; it means you worry all the time,” says Army wife and former soldier Joanne Ramos. “When he is away I worry for his safety and when he is home, I worry that any day will be the day that he receives orders to deploy.”

Military Moms

Often when spouses are overseas, communicating can be difficult. Tina Dealy served in the Air Force for eight years. “It would be weeks, sometimes months before I would see my spouse,” says Dealy. “When I was in, we didn’t have Skype and Tango, we used the phone or email.” Dealy recalls scheduling times for her husband to be at home so she could get a minute to hear the sound of her baby’s voice. Theresa Bradshaw, having served in the Army for three years, is now the parent of Lt Alexandra Bradshaw, also a member of the US Army. “Cell phones and internet did not exist when I was in the Army,” she recalls. “When I was in Korea, I had to rely on the US Postal Service for communication. I think I called home maybe three or four times the entire year.” Being married to a civilian often posed role reversals for Dealy and her husband. “He would ask questions that could not be answered,” she explains. “I would have to ask him to help out, and with young children at home, I found myself frustrated because I’d miss the first steps or the first lost tooth.” “While my husband Kenneth was in Iraq we wrote actual letters and daily emails to keep him and the kids connected,” says Joanne Ramos. “We even made videos of our important moments and sent them to him on a DVD.”

Relocation Woes

Moving to new places and meeting new people sounds like fun, and it can be, but it can also cause tension especially with schoolage children in tow. The Ramos family began their journey at Ft. Hood, were relocated to Boston, and eventually found themselves back in Cypress. “I personally enjoy relocating,” Ramos explains. “I love the excitement of meeting new people, seeing new places, and decorating a new house. Ironically the man who chose the military hates change. The Army is all about change.”

“I have learned if you are strong your spouse will be stronger. Above all, enjoy the ride; it’s an amazing journey when you embrace it.” – Joanne Ramos Both former military, Richard and Theresa Bradshaw are now raising their children Charrell, Alexandra, Rebekah, and Thomas

“Curtains were always a challenge,” laughs Dealy. “I used to joke that when we’d relocate I would have six windows in one house and two in the next. By the time I got them hung, we would move.” Friends come quickly when you are aware that you’ll be moving soon. All spouses agree that these bonds are strong, and when traveling across the country, occasionally you have the opportunity to reconnect. “We traveled from Boston to Houston with three kids, one cat, one dog, and then mom and dad,” recalls Ramos. “It was a tough

To advertise, call 281-579-9831 or email


All Aboard For

Christmas At Second D

r. E d

tor Young, Pas

Kids Crazy Christmas Show Dec. 20-22 Berry Center • Free

Miniature Train Display Dec. 1 - Jan. 1 Berry Center • Free

Christmas Eve Candlelight Services Dec. 23 - 24 Berry Center • Free

Second Baptist Church • 8877 Barker Cypress Road at West Road •

30 • CY-FAIR MAGAZINE Visit for Cy-Fair jobs, events, news and more.

move but I planned to stop to visit family and friends along the way. It is a plus to have military friends all over.” Bradshaw doesn’t remember when relocation was not a part of their lives. “Moving has become part of who we are,” she explains. “We have been married for 24 years now and the longest we’ve stayed in one house has been five years.” Ramos remembers their move to Houston being particularly difficult for their 10-year-old son Jared. “He was in fifth grade and had made friends,” she says, “and when they’re that age they believe the world is over once it changes. He wouldn’t talk to us for days.” It took some time to get settled in Cypress, but now they wouldn’t have it any other way. “Our kids have grown up in military life, they don’t know any different,” she adds.

Show Support

For any military family the support of their family, friends, and community is vitally important. “Take the time to let military members know you care,” says Bradshaw. “Regardless of how you feel about the war or politics, the soldiers did not choose or start the wars we are currently involved in.” Bradshaw also points out that there are a wealth of organizations available that could use the time and support of community members. “These are our young people and they are defending us and our freedom,” she adds. For Ramos, she and her family find solace in their faith. “Kenneth is a strong guy who doesn’t show his weakness, but when he is in need of support he turns to his faith,” she says. “We always make it a point to find a Catholic church to attend Mass and be involved in activities.” “I don’t know who has it worse the soldier or the spouse,” admits Bradshaw, “when your spouse is deployed you become an instant single parent.” During deployments spouses not only have to remain strong for their children but for their military partner as well. “Unless you have a great support system, you don’t have anyone being strong for you,” she explains.

After Deployment

Even after spouses return from deployment, families have to work at staying strong. “Spouses need time to ease back into civilian life,” explains Bradshaw, “it isn’t as easy as you think it would be.” Dealy, being the soldier returning, expresses the view from her angle. “Let us take a nap when we get home, it is the only sleep that we have had in a while,” she says. “We will pay attention to you when we wake up and calm down.” Ultimately military parents stay strong for themselves, their children, their spouse, and their country. “I have learned if you are strong your spouse will be stronger,” says Ramos. “Above all, enjoy the ride; it’s an amazing journey when you embrace it.” CFM KIRSTEN HAM is the editorial coordinator for Cy-Fair Magazine and esteems our own military spouses and parents, Daneen Rivera and Valarie Brown.

To advertise, call 281-579-9831 or email



Marcus Luttrell

Lone Survivor

Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell shares his harrowing story of survival Written by Kirsten Ham

Luttrell with fellow Navy SEALs deployed in Afghanistan

Marcus Luttrell was a member of Navy SEAL Team 10, and the only one to survive an intense ambush in the mountains above Pakistan

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At the age of 14, Luttrell’s twin brother Morgan decided that they were going to become Navy SEALs. “He had seen it in a movie and just thought it would be the cool thing to do,” recalls Luttrell. In March of 1999, he made a fateful decision and joined the United States Navy. In the stillness of the night on June 27, 2005 helicopters performed decoy drops as a four-man Navy SEAL reconnaissance and surveillance team took their positions in Sawtalo Sar Mountains along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. What happened next would change all of their lives forever.

A New York Times Bestseller In late June 2005, four U.S. Navy SEALs left their base for the mountainous Pakistani border. Their mission was to capture or kill a high-ranking Taliban leader. Less than twenty-four hours later, only one of them remained alive. In this emotionally raw account, Luttrell honors the memories of all those who died, sharing with readers the incredible bravery, courage, and honor of these extraordinary warriors.

A Fatal Mission

Luttrell and SEAL Team 10, made up of Michael P. Murphy, Danny Dietz, and Matthew Axelson, were assigned to capture Ahmad Shah, a high-ranking Taliban leader. A group of sheep herders stumbled upon the SEALs as they were stationed in the mountain range. Having determined that they were civilians, the herders were released and headed out over the mountain. “I believe they immediately betrayed my team’s location to the local Taliban forces,” says Luttrell. “Within an hour, we were engaged in intense gunfire.” The ambush proved fatal as the SEAL team endured hailing gun fire, AK-47s, and propelled grenades. A MH-47 Chinook helicopter with a force consisting of eight SEALs and eight 160th Nightstalkers was sent to the team’s aid, however it was shot down by an RPG. “We fought for hours, refusing to retreat from the fight despite being heavily outnumbered,” recalls Luttrell. In all, 20 members of our military were killed in action that evening, leaving Luttrell as the lone survivor.

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The Rescue

“My face was shredded, nose broken, rotator cuff torn, three vertebrae were cracked, and my body was riddled with shrapnel,” says Luttrell. Unable to stand, he began a seven mile crawl in search of shelter. The local Afghan village of Sabray offered him safe harbor and at risk to their own lives, bandaged his wounds and protected him from the Taliban. Not to be outwitted, the Taliban encircled the village and threats intensified. “An elder then sought help from the nearest Marine outpost,” says Luttrell. Five nights after lying unconscious in the mountains under enemy fire, he was rescued. This nightmarish ordeal did not slow Luttrell down. After recuperating from severe injuries, he redeployed to Iraq for a second tour. Luttrell has received a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and the highest honor, Navy Cross Recipient for combat heroism. After nine years of service, Petty Officer 1st Class Luttrell, retired. Luttrell stresses that he does not consider himself a hero. “I am an American patriot,” he says.



In the years since his retirement, Luttrell has made it a point to honor the lives of his fallen brothers. His #1 New York Times best-seller, Lone Survivor, is a moving tribute about teamwork, fortitude, and modern warfare. “We can never forget the sacrifices of those we’ve lost at war,” says Luttrell. This incredible story is making its way to the silver screen in

fall of 2013. Universal Studios has commissioned actor Mark Wahlberg to play the role of Luttrell. He has also released his new book Service which focuses on the nature of service on America’s battlefields and the soldiers who defend their nation and each other.

Guiding Philosophy

Luttrell met his wife Melanie and the two settled in the CyFair area where they are raising their children Hunter, Axe, and Addie. In what little spare time he has, Luttrell enjoys hunting, the occasional golf game, and being able to spend time with family and friends. Luttrell continues to attend speaking engagements sharing his powerful narrative and his family’s experience of community support and generosity. He honors the memory of those who’ve died and holds their lives as examples of the guiding philosophy of the SEALs, “I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time.” CFM KIRSTEN HAM enjoys being the editorial coordinator for Cy-Fair Magazine and will always regard Marcus Luttrell and Team 10 as true American heroes.

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Saluting Our Hometown


The idea of being separated from our loved ones for months or years is often a devastating thought. This is a sacrifice that men and women of the armed forces, along with their families that support them, make every day. We thank you for your commitment to preserving the freedoms we enjoy here in the U.S. Written by Kirsten Ham

Andrew Lawson

PFC Andrew Lawson is the son of Leslie Lawson of Houston. A graduate of Cy-Fair High School in 2010, Lawson enlisted in the US Army in September 2011. After completion of basic training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, Lawson went on to complete airborne training at Fort Benning. After earning his wings, he accepted his assignment to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg where he awaits deployment. Leslie Lawson expresses an immense amount of pride and gratefulness at her son’s willingness to defend our nation. Private First Class Andrew Lawson

Lieutenant Alexandra Bradshaw with fiance Lieutenant James Teskey

Alexandra Bradshaw

Lt Alexandra Bradshaw is the daughter of Richard and Theresa Bradshaw of Cypress, both military veterans. Alexandra is the fourth generation of her family to serve in the military. She graduated from Katy High School in 2007 where she was a 2 year state wrestling placer. She is a 2011 graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point and is currently serving at Fort Bragg as a member of the 82nd Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. She has received the Army Achievement Medal and is scheduled for deployment in 2013.

James Teskey

Would you like to see your loved one featured on the Hometown Heroes page?

Lt James Teskey, recently became engaged to Lt Alexandra Bradshaw and is the son of James and Florence Teskey of Carmel, IN. James follows in the footsteps of his father, a graduate of the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, his sister Lara Aguilar, an Army veteran and her husband, John Aguilar who is currently serving in the Army. James graduated in 2011 from the US Military Academy at West Point and is a member of 2-505 Task Force Panther, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division and recently returned from deployment in Afghanistan. James has received an ARCOM, and Nato Medal. He is scheduled to return to Afghanistan for his 2nd deployment in 2013.


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Daniel G. Martinez III

Cpl Daniel G. Martinez III, son of Dan and Deborah Martinez of Cypress stands proudly with the Third Battalion First Marines and is currently attached to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) aboard the USS Makin Island. In 2010, Martinez received a combat action ribbon while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His military honors include the Navy Unit Commendation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and NATO Medal-ISAF. He is scheduled to return from deployment to his wife, Marissa Martinez, and complete his enlistment at Camp Pendleton. Martinez plans to pursue an Engineering degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Upon completion, the couple intends to reside in Cypress.

Corporal Daniel G. Martinez III with his wife, Marissa

Erik T. Moore

SGT Erik T. Moore, son of Tamara Moore of Cypress, has been in the US Army since graduating from Cy-Fair High School in 2000. He is currently stationed at Fort Bliss with his wife Cheryl and their three daughters Makayla, Loralyn, and Tenley. Moore has served in Iraq during three deployments and is currently deployed in Afghanistan. Moore has received numerous recognitions including 5 Army Commendation Medals, a National Defense Service Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, 2 Army Overseas Service Ribbons, and his Sharpshooter Badge. In 2003, he was part of the invasion into Iraq. Seeing the look of gratefulness on the faces of both kids and adults as they drove through villages was a moment in his career that he will never forget.

Sergeant Erik T. Moore with his daughters, Makayla, Loralyn, and Tenley

GIVING BACK Spotlight on local veteran helping other veterans

Retired U.S. Army Sergeant Derek Kolb

Wounded Veteran Serves as President of LSC’s Student Veteran’s Association SGT Derek Kolb joined the US Army in 2003 and proudly served his country for eight years. During that time, Kolb was wounded while serving in Iraq when an improvised explosive device detonated. After undergoing 25 surgeries on his legs, he also began recovery for post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury. Upon returning from deployment, Kolb enrolled at LSC-CyFair with a goal of pursuing a doctorate in psychology and in hopes of becoming a clinical psychologist counseling other PTSD veterans. However, Kolb is not waiting to finish his degree before giving back to his fellow military alums. He is currently the president of the Student Veteran’s Association on campus and spearheads many events educating veterans on local available resources.

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military families

2nd Lieutenant Aaron Anderson and 1st Lieutenant Clay Anderson stand alongside their father, Toby Anderson, who was also a Marine Corps Corporal

Written by Kirsten Ham

marine family legacy Local Cypress father and sons share a legacy of service to our country

son is flight Ander in Aaron y enrolled isti ll t hr curren Corpus C l in schoo

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Clay A n joined derson th after S e Marines eptem ber 11 th

Toby Anderson, the son of Army soldier James Anderson, joined the Marines after graduating high school. His fatherin-law, Dean Todd, served as a Colonel in the Air Force. With a family tree rich in military service, it is no surprise that his sons, Clay and Aaron, also enlisted in the Marine Corps. “It’s hard to describe how I felt when I heard of their decision,” says Toby proudly. “It was something that was never pushed on them and is a tremendous blessing.”

The Decision to Enlist

Upon graduation from Cy Creek High School, Clay headed to Blinn College in Bryan, TX. “Clay was in college but after 9/11, he dropped out and announced he was enlisting,” recalls Toby. After Clay’s third deployment he was able to attend California State University and finish his degree. Aaron graduated from Texas A&M University and began his career. “After a year, I decided I really wasn’t happy and I wanted to fly,” says Aaron. He also joined the Marine Corps and in 2009 was guaranteed two flight contracts.

Inevitable Challenges

Without a doubt many challenges, including both mental and physical aspects, face those who have joined the armed forces. For Toby, it was being away from home for the first time. “When I got off the bus at Parris Island it was a real wake up call,” he remembers. “Everyone was pushing, screaming, and shoving. I thought ‘What did I get myself into?’” As a 1st Lt, Clay is in charge of the men in his platoon. “One of my greatest challenges is training men in my command for combat,” he says, “many of them have never seen combat before.” Aaron, who is a 2nd Lt, is currently enduring his most inspiring obstacle; flight school. “I will always remember preparing for and taking my first solo flight as one of my most impactful moments,” he says.

Defined Brotherhood

Boot Campaign Supports organizations that provide services to wounded veterans, including counseling, financial support, housing assistance, academic assistance, job placement, and training.

Cypress Cares Provides community support for the troops with care packages and letters of encouragement.

Helping A Hero Builds specially adapted homes for severely injured military personnel and their families.

Michael E. DeBakery VA Medical Center 713-791-1414 l Provides a wide range of services from addiction recovery to women’s wellness programs.

Lone Star Veteran’s Association Offers programs such as resume workshops, family events, crisis response, internships, and fellowship.

Once inducted into the Brotherhood of Marines, members are defined by the three constant Corps Values: honor, courage, and commitment. “The missions are always larger than self,” explains Aaron. To Toby, it teaches people who they really are and paves a path toward other goals. “It is a great start to any career,” he says. “It teaches you to think on your feet and how to be a leader.”

Lone Survivor Foundation

“As a Marine, I have learned to stay alive, complete missions, and bring my men home safely,” Clay says. They all agree that the best thing the Cy-Fair community can do for military members is pray for them and their families while they are deployed. “Someone is always going to be in harm’s way defending our country,” adds Aaron. Being a military parent himself, Toby encourages parents to stay connected. “Getting involved with other military parents and families always helps,” he suggests. “Pray a lot and trust that God will watch over them, that’s really all you can do.” CFM

Lone Star College-CyFair Veteran’s Affairs education opportunities, benefits, and counseling. Has separate veteran academic advisors on campus, groups, and career services. Helps America’s Wounded Warriors and their families adjust to the effects of their experiences and aides them in transition.

Student Veteran’s Association

Wounded Warrior Project Works to fill in the gaps for injured veterans and their families.

KIRSTEN HAM would like to thank her own Hometown Hero, Marine Sergeant Troy Hull.

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Military families

Remembering our Local Heroes

Sergeant Matthew Harvey Cy-Fair family and friends honor the memory of this special soldier


Written by Gail G. Collins

Sergeant Matthew Harvey, affectionately known to friends as Matt, was a loving husband, a devoted father, and a dedicated soldier decorated with two Purple Hearts when he died tragically at the age of 29.

service as a paratrooper and as part of combat – there was none better,” she shares. “He lived life to the fullest.” Matt was driven and high-spirited. “The only time he was still was when he was asleep. He left some big shoes to fill,” she adds.

Several Close Calls

Matt’s dad, Bill Harvey, agrees. Matt was unbelievably considerate in candid conversations with his soldiers, but if there was any way to make a situation fun, Matt would find it. In Matt’s early days in the Army, the drill sergeant shouted at Matt and his fellow soldiers in formation at the end of their training. They were ragged and dog-tired, and the sergeant encouraged the men to look to him for everything, saying to see him as their mother and father. “Well,” Bill laughs, “Matt wanted to lighten the mood and knew there would be consequences, but he said, ‘Dad, can we have a dog?’”

The Cy-Fair High School graduate was deployed to Iraq three times, suffering a bullet to the head on one occasion. His Kevlar helmet saved him, but his wife Crystal can’t forget his phone call regarding the mission to clear roadside bombs. “He told me ‘Don’t Matthew freak out, but I got shot in the Harvey served as a Sergeant in head, and I’m okay,’” she says. On his third deployment, his appendix ruptured, and while calling to assure Crystal he was fine post-surgery, his lung collapsed. After surviving those situations, Matt was involved in a fatal car accident in Stuttgart, Germany on temporary duty. Winter’s black ice and a speeding automobile had caused serious harm to a vehicle carrying Matt and two other soldiers.

the Army and was a member of the 10th Special Forces group

Crystal explains that when military personnel return to duty, wives return to their routine of life alone, but with the expectation of waiting for a loved one to come home. For her, that cycle was interrupted with tragedy.

Light-hearted Memories

Matt was tasked to the 10th Special Forces group out of Fort Carson, CO as a construction supervisor. His natural ability for precision engineering developed from his struggles in high school. Woodshop provided a positive outlet and his drive saw him through four years of competitions to win the Golden Hammer and a stack of ribbons for state honors. His mother, Vicky Jordan, has a roomful of finely crafted furniture to prove it. “Matt did the same with his military

Strong Texas Roots

Though Matt’s unit deployed from Colorado, he remained a proud Texan. His sister, Rev. Amanda Davis, confesses that her brother’s three loves were family, the military, and a tie between Texas and football. She admits, “He had deep Texas pride and every soldier in Colorado knew it, too. Matt loved to hassle and tease, but he was a friend to everyone.” Crystal shakes her head, thinking of her hard-working and hardplaying husband. She is proud of him for achieving the rank of Sergeant First Class (E-7) in 10 years. Their son, Hunter, has grown into a sturdy boy, and already shows some of his father’s characteristics. Like Matt, when he is excited, Hunter shuffles his feet, winds up his hands, and rakes them through his hair. And, he gives his mama one of his dad’s goofy looks. CFM GAIL G. COLLINS enjoys telling people’s stories and is grateful to those protecting our freedoms and those lost in doing so.

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Cy-Fair Groups

Busy Bridgeland ladies touch lives in the Cypress community and beyond Written by Lona Shipp

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Bridgeland Ladies Association President Crystal Sanders, Treasurer Kristen Sodolak, Vice President Judy Mohn, and Social Vice President Kelli Servello are all proud to have an active voice in their community

While certainly influential in the community, the Bridgeland Ladies Association’s reach extends far beyond the development’s borders. In fact, it spreads halfway across the world to Afghanistan. Joining Forces

The collection drive is held for several weeks and then the ladies meet to pack everything in flat-rate boxes from the U.S. Postal Service. Items are packed tightly, and as an added sweet incentive, loose candy fills the extra spaces. An anonymous Bridgeland resident covers the cost of shipping the boxes overseas. In gratitude, a veteran and Bridgeland resident who recently returned from the Middle East spoke to the ladies during the packing event, letting them know that their efforts were very much appreciated.

The ladies group joined forces in 2009 with another local organization, Cypress Cares, to collect and ship items to military men and women in active war zones. The annual donation effort has become one of the group’s major events. “Each year, we collect more and more items,” explains Theresa Bradshaw, a member of both the ladies association and Cypress Cares. “This year, we even enlisted our Bridgeland Ladies gather supplies husbands and a for military care packages Girl Scout troop to help pack items.” Are you a Bridgeland resident?

The group’s focus is to build a better Bridgeland through “friendship, philanthropy, and fun.” “Bridgeland was a young community when we started the organization in 2007,” explains Crystal Sanders, the current president of the association. “There were only three houses in my neighborhood then. We wanted not only to socialize and welcome new ladies moving into Bridgeland, but also to participate in the community’s growth.”

A Core Foundation While a core group meets monthly, more than 130 ladies “meet” online through BigTent, a Facebook-style Website that caters to organizations. Through this framework, these industrious ladies have been the impetus for additional resident groups as women found others with similar interests. Since that first meeting in September 2007, Bridgeland women have formed a garden club, the Bridgeland Book Club, the Bridgeland Studio Art Series, the Bridgeland Mah Jongg Group, and various other organizations. Men have also joined in the community group foray with monthly Texas hold ‘em tournaments and participation in some of the other special interest groups.

Learn how you can become involved in neighborhood groups by visiting

Bradshaw was instrumental in forging the relationship between the two groups. Retired from the Army, married to an ex-Marine, and proud of a daughter who graduated from West Point last year, Bradshaw saw Cypress Cares as a natural fit. When someone mentioned Cypress Cares at a meeting of the Bridgeland Ladies Association, she was glad to make the connection.

Packages of Appreciation

The ladies association sprang into action, placing collection boxes at Bridgeland’s activity center and spreading the word among neighbors to gather toiletries, canned goods, and other items servicemen and women might need or miss from home. Their efforts propelled the Bridgeland Book Club to join the collection effort, with books and magazines added as donation items.

“It really means a lot to our servicemen and women when they receive these care packages, but even more, they also know they are remembered and appreciated,” Bradshaw says. “Once, a pilot who had received a small U.S. flag in a Cypress Cares box not only kept that flag in his cockpit, but brought back a real flag to the young girl who sent him the memento.”

Building Community

The Cypress Cares event is one of four the Bridgeland Ladies Association sponsors each year. The group’s inaugural event is a holiday cookie exchange that has morphed beyond a bake fest into the newcomer event of the year. An annual business fair highlights the many business owners in Bridgeland, and a fall Bunco game is all about fun and camaraderie.

“The role these ladies have played in shaping our community is simply amazing,” says Elizabeth Dominguez, Bridgeland’s lifestyle director. “From nothing, these ladies created the foundation for 20 successful resident groups. It has helped Bridgeland solidify its reputation as a lifestyle community.” CFM LONA SHIPP enjoys being a Bridgeland resident and volunteering her time with the Bridgeland Ladies Association.

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Cy-Fair Parenting

Top Discipline We asked Cy-Fair parents to tell us their top discipline frustrations. Here are the most common complaints, along with advice from experts and parents on what to do. Written by Katrina Katsarelis





Every night you tell your son to put on his pajamas and brush his teeth before bed. Every night he ignores you and you find yourself spending an extra hour each night nagging him to obey.


Most temper tantrums happen out of frustration when young children can’t communicate very well or they are not getting what they want. The more you give in to the tantrum, the more frequent they become.


Establish family house rules and be prepared to communicate the rules often and enforce them consistently. Unclear boundaries and shallow consequences are the number one reason children don’t obey. When it’s time for bed, give him advance notice of what he’s expected to do at bedtime and what will happen if he doesn’t do it. Then issue a warning or a count to three before swiftly enforcing the consequence.


It’s difficult to have a conversation with your kids becuase they are always texting, playing Angry Birds, Tweeting, or Facebooking.


Set limits on the amount of time your kids and teens should spend on these distractions and then enforce them. Establish and enforce social media use rules as well. During meals, car rides, or family meetings, you can have an ‘all electronics off ’ rule to help facilitate family communication. If it still doesn’t work, remove the distraction until they can follow the rules.

Before every outing, explain to your child what you will be doing and how you expect her to behave. Children who are tired, hungry, or off-schedule are at high risk for a meltdown. When a tantrum hits, just stay calm and remove yourself from the situation. Reacting and giving in to the tantrum will only guarantee more tantrums in the future.


You caught your child feeding her sandwich to the dog again and, even though you saw her do it, she won’t fess up.


Teach your child from an early age that lying is against the family’s values, and that you expect truthful behavior. If lying persists, give her a consequence such as a time out or removal of privileges. When a child does tell the truth in a difficult situation, make sure to acknowledge her for being honest and reward her positive step forward.

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for Cy-Fair parents

Anyone who has ever held the job title of “parent” knows that it isn’t a job for sissies. It takes a lot of time, dedication, love, and boundary setting to raise well-behaved Cy-Fair kids. We asked Cy-Fair families about their top discipline concerns and solicited advice from professionals and parents on how to dole out effective discipline. Here are the most common discipline dilemmas according to Cy-Fair families.





You asked your daughter to clean her room three times today and instead of cooperating, she gives you another argument about how it’s her room, not yours!

Whenever you say no, your preschooler immediately starts whining and cajoling you in hopes of changing your mind.


If you have already said no, do not respond or react to the whining and simply walk away. The more you negotiate and converse with a whining child, the more you are teaching her that this technique works.

If you’re asking your child to do something three times, you are probably being inconsistent with discipline. Let her know you don’t allow back talk and why; that it is disrespectful and it’s against the family rules.


Whining and cajoling is not just reserved for young children; it can also become an annoying habit of school-agers, tweens, and teens. The earlier you teach her to accept no for an answer, the better off you will all be.

Whenever back talk happens, swiftly impose a consequence such as losing a privilege or turning off her cell phone for a day. Teach her appropriate ways to communicate to get her needs met.




Your daughter has always been sweet and loving, but lately you’ve noticed she doesn’t seem grateful for what she has and even gets upset if things don’t go exactly her way.

Your kids will play nicely together for awhile, but soon it erupts into fighting, screaming, and sometimes, even hitting.



tography Photo Courtesy of Coady Pho

Overindulging your child with over-the-top birthday parties and expensive gifts at an early age may give her an over-inflated sense of entitlement. Plan age-appropriate parties and save that lavish country club party for her wedding. It’s important for parents to teach delayed gratification by encouraging children to wait for video game systems for Christmas or birthdays. Save iPhones and iPads for high school or college.

Teach children how to resolve conflicts by sitting them down and showing them how to communicate calmly by talking things out and coming up with solutions together. Set house rules for what is never allowed, such as hitting, name calling, bullying, and taking someone else’s things, and have consequences when the ground rules are broken.

Special thanks to the Cy-Fair families and experts we talked to for input and advice on this story.

Camel jockeys accept their To advertise, call 281-579-9831 or email prizes in the winner’s circle


Camel jockeys accept their prizes in the winner’s circle

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Camel jockeys accept their prizes in the winner’s circle



t n e r a p r i a F from Cy

Model the kind of behavior you expect your children to exhibit. If children see you lie about something, they will learn to lie too. If they see you bending the rules, they will learn that rules can be broken.


Mom and dad need to be on the same page with regard to enforcing consequences, or the children will run amok. By being consistent each time, every time, you will teach children that when they choose the behavior, they choose the consequence.


Take time to set your behavioral expectations and establish family rules for good behavior and post them where the children can see them. Update them with new rules as often as needed.


Weekly family meetings are a good time to talk about how each person is doing, discuss any issues, and stay in communication. Encourage children to bring their issues to the table for open discussion and then listen to them. HAVE FAMILY DINNERS Try and have dinner together each night with electronics off-limits. Spend that time talking about the day, not discussing problems, complaining, or criticizing. CATCH THEM BEING GOOD When you see your child following the rules, overcoming a pattern of behavior, or resolving conflicts appropriately, make sure to notice and acknowledge their effort. Always try to notice the good things they do instead of focusing on the negative.

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Cy-Fair People

Jennifer Cooper enjoys relaxing by reading modern classics such as Animal Farm and In Cold Blood

She works full-time, cooks, cleans, cares for her family, and flies to sports practices, school conferences, and games without missing a beat. How does she do it? Written by Kirsten Ham

Jennife r three c Cooper is a wo hildren Jayden rking mothe r , Zacha ry, and of Ryder

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1. What makes you a Super Mom? I’m a married, have a full-time job, and am the mother of three athletic and energetic boys. We have four parakeets, four goldfish, and three Austrailian Shepherds. I take my boys to church and attend church ladies meetings, when I am not otherwise overscheduled with baseball, football, or math homework. I attend all parent-teacher conferences, most school parties, every doctor’s appointment, dentist appointment, tonsillectomy…you name it. I am the mom that always shows up. 2. What are some of your favorite kid-friendly hangouts? For dinners out, we like to meet our friends at Buffalo Wild Wings. It’s a kid-friendly environment, and kids eat free on Wednesday nights. For outdoor activities, we like to walk and ride our bikes around the lakes in our subdivision. 3. How are you and your family involved in the Cy-Fair community? We support local small businesses whenever possible. Each season, the kids and I go through our clothes and toys and take a trip to Goodwill. I explain to the boys that this is a way to share with less fortunate people in our community. I also organize a toy drive at my office each Christmas. I get my co-workers involved, and it’s a great way to spread Christmas cheer.

with their own personal items for the car ride. Our top picks include ChapStick, gum, a book, and a video game. They are each responsible for their own items to keep them occupied. 7. What is your secret to balancing career and family? Stay organized, plan ahead, and get plenty of sleep. I am always searching for helpful hints and tricks on how to make my home and life more efficient. One of my best organizational areas is what I call my “launch pad.” Each child has a hook to hang their backpack and lunchbox on. There is a wall pocket above each hook for important paperwork that needs to go back to school. Above that is a picture of each boy, so they know where their stuff should go. We also have a corkboard to display notes, report cards, art work, and their chore chart. I drew out the plan for the launch pad, and my husband helped by painting and hanging everything.

- Stay Organized - Get Plenty of Sleep - Love your Children

4. What activities are your children involved in? My oldest son, Jayden attends Goodson where he plays football, is a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and is an honor roll student in level one classes. He is also a member of the Duke University Talent Identification Program for gifted children. My younger boys, Zachary and Ryder, are at Farney Elementary and are involved in baseball through the Fairfield Sports Association. We are in the process of signing them up for gymnastics, which I believe will be a fun way to develop their coordination and upper body strength. 5. What has been your best family vacation? Last Christmas, we went to San Antonio, where we met with family from Maryland and Austin. The Riverwalk was decorated with Christmas lights and the mood was very festive. The weather cooperated and allowed us to spend time outside visiting the Alamo and Sea World. Going to Sea World during that time of year is wonderful; there were no lines for rides, and it was almost like we had the park to ourselves. 6. Do you have any suggestions on how to sucessfully travel with children? Plan ahead and be organized. Explain the plan with the children, so that they know what to expect. Let each child pack a small travel bag

8. What is one of your family’s most treasured traditions? Birthday dinners with extended family are special for us. The birthday boy gets to pick where we will eat, and we try to get everyone together for a special celebration.

9. What do you feel is one of the most imperative habits you can instill in your family? The power of focus and organization. I want to teach them that if your home life is organized, it will carry over into your school and work life. 10. How do you go about teaching values and lessons to your children? We attend church and discuss Bible lessons. We talk about the golden rule a lot: Treat others the way you want to be treated. 11. What advice do you have for other parents? Love your children. Realize that while they are young you will have to make sacrifices. Keep your kids occupied and show them the kind of adult that you expect them to be. CFM KIRSTEN HAM enjoys being the editorial coordinator of Cy-Fair Magazine and tips her pen to Cy-Fair’s many super moms.

Are you a SUPER MOM?

We think every Cy-Fair mom is a SUPER MOM. Each issue we will be profiling a local, hardworking mom. If you know an extra-special, Cy-Fair Super Mom, tell us! Email

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pet corner

Cute Cy-Fair Pets owner Sheila



owner Mairi



owner Nolan

owner Jason

owner Sean


owner Romina

owner Dee




owner Jake

owner Keith

owner Laura


owner Ashley

owner Lauren




We’re on the lookout for more cute pet photos for our next issue! Send your best photos to Please do not send photography protected by copyright.

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Cy-Fair Author

Cy-Fair authors Mark and Cimbrey Brannan encourage Aggie traditions through penning a children’s book

Texas A&M graduates Mark and Cimbrey Brannan wrote Goodnight Aggieland for their adopted son, Zane

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Written by Lorrie Crow Kimble

Three-year-old Zane Brannan yells, “Gig ‘em Aggies”, gives a short “Whoop” and throws his head back and laughs. He knows all about the traditions of Texas A&M University, which is remarkable considering he was born in Ethiopia. Zane recognizes these Aggie customs because of a book his adoptive parents, Mark and Cimbrey Brannan, Fightin’ Texas Aggie graduates, dedicated to him. Goodnight Aggieland, reminiscent of the children’s classic Goodnight Moon, spawned out of love for Aggieland and for the Brannan’s new son. “When we began the adoption of our future son, then 19 monthsold, from Ethiopia, we searched in vain to find a children’s book that would help explain Texas A&M from the inside out,” says Mark. “So, then, we decided to write our own.”

“Our illustrator did an outstanding job with the many details of the book, and in the end, both he and the publisher were very impressed with Aggie traditions and we were proud to be able to win over some new Aggie fans,” adds Cimbrey.

A Spirit of Tradition

The Brannans were determined to fill the book with as many key traditions as possible. “We also included an Aggie Archive of traditions and definitions at the end to be sure we captured and explained as much as possible,” says Cimbrey. “It was very important to us to accurately portray the details of the Corps uniforms, buildings, and scenes one might see on campus.”

Chicago and our illustrator in North Carolina,” remembers Mark. “Aggies have a detailed appreciation for their customs, so we thought it was critical to retain certain phrases, words, and pictures to ensure the book was credible to a die-hard Aggie.”

The 12th Man

Zane is a die hard Aggie despite being born in Ethiopia

Neither of the Brannans has published previously, but both of them have long enjoyed writing and the creative process. “I taught 7th grade English for many years and was part of the National Writing Project, an organization of teacher leaders established to improve writing and learning,” says Cimbrey. She is also a National Board Certified teacher and was named the 2010 Louisiana Middle School Association Teacher of the Year. Mark developed the original transcript for the book and they refined the text together for several months before testing it with a few close Aggie friends. The authors add that they started with a clear vision as to what they wanted the book to look like, and they were determined not to deviate too much from what they saw as the final product. “We had some very interesting conversations as we tried to explain the intricacies of Aggie traditions to a publisher in

The book was also written to help Aggie insiders explain and outsiders understand the place known as Aggieland. It covers time-honored traditions from the Elephant Walk to Midnight Yell. “We hope to help build a love for Aggieland in our young readers and help lead them to one of life’s most important decisions – picking Aggieland over that other school in Austin,” laughs Cimbrey. Adults have loved the book as well. “We wrote this book with the intention of reaching any Aggie who appreciates the sights, sounds, and Spirit of Aggieland,” says Mark. “We have received notes and feedback from many adults who tell us that the book takes them down memory lane and helps them to remember their days in College Station.” The Brannans also received a personal letter from Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin that stated the book “was certain to become a classic within the Aggie Family.” Just as Aggies stay on their feet during football games, ready to stand in as the 12th man if a player is injured, so the Brannans stand behind their beloved school and its traditions.

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“Aggies have a detailed appreciation for their customs, so we thought it was critical to retain certain phrases, words, and pictures to ensure the book was credible to a die-hard Aggie.”

– Author, Mark Brannan

Influencing New Generations

And what about the person for whom the book was originally written? “Zane loves the book and nearly has it completely memorized,” says Cimbrey. “Several of our customers have mentioned it is the book of choice for their elementary-aged kids during story time,” she adds. When asked about writing additional books, Mark only smiles and says, “For now, our plans are to get Goodnight Aggieland into the hands of as many Aggies as possible.” CFM LORRIE CROW KIMBLE is an Aggie mom. Her sons, Jeremy and Zach, graduated from Texas A&M. WHOOP! She is purchasing Goodnight Aggieland for her grandson, future Aggie Braden Crow.

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Gig ’Em At a 1930 game vs. TCU, a dedicated fan and member of the Board of Regents, Pinky Downs, yelled “What are we going to do to those Horned Frogs?” Referring to a sharp frog hunting tool, he yelled, “Gig ’Em!” while giving a “thumbs-up.” All Aggies continue to use the phrase and sign today as their rally cry.

Aggieland Gives Back Ten percent of proceeds of Goodnight Aggieland go to Legacy 685, a non-profit organization that supports adoption, foster care, and orphan care around the world. To purchase your own copy of Goodnight Aggieland,


The 12th Man While playing Centre College in 1922, the Aggies suffered many injuries. With only 11 players remaining, Coach Dana X. Bible asked E. King Gill to come down from the stands and get ready to play. Gill didn’t play, but was the last man on the sideline - the 12th Man. The Aggies won, and since that day, Aggies stand at games, ready and willing to support their team. Yell Leaders

Aggies have yells, not cheers. Yell Leaders use “Pass Backs” to communicate “old army yells” all the way to the back of the stadium.

Source: Goodnight Aggieland

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Gynecologic oncology services now in Katy


he University of Texas MD Anderson Regional Care Center in Katy has expanded its services to include treatments of various gynecologic and reproductive cancers. Michael Bevers, M.D., and Nicole Fleming, M.D., board-certified gynecologic oncologists, recently joined the team at the Katy Regional Care Center. Bevers and Fleming will manage the diagnosis and surgical treatment of female patients with cancers of the reproductive organs, including uterine, ovarian and cervical cancers. They will collaborate with a team of surgical, medical and radiation oncologists, as well as nurses, dieticians, social workers and physical therapists all working together to provide customized care. I see my relationship with a patient as a partnership. As in, ‘I listen to you and you listen to me because we are going through this together.’ I want patients to know they always have my support. Michael W. Bevers, M.D., Gynecologic Oncologist

We really become a part of our patients’ lives and they become a part of ours. My love for women’s health, working with women and surgery inspire me to provide the best care. Nicole Fleming, M.D., Gynecologic Oncologist

Board-certified gynecologic oncologists Michael Bevers, M.D., and Nicole Fleming, M.D., work with a multidisciplinary team of specialists in Katy.

Other advanced MD Anderson treatment options available in Katy include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, clinical trials and support services. The compassionate care team also provides educational and emotional support to patients while guiding them through the team-based treatment planning process. The Katy Regional Care Center is located on the campus of CHRISTUS St. Catherine Hospital. Appointments are available and easy to schedule. For more information, visit or call 713-745-9940.

“MD Anderson is known for its team approach to fighting cancer, that’s why we want people to go there,” Fleming said. “To provide this level of care in a convenient, local setting is attractive to patients and families.” Early and accurate diagnosis of gynecologic cancers is important. Innovative treatment options available at MD Anderson include minimally invasive Da Vinci® robotic surgery, fertility-sparing surgeries and specialized care for women at high risk of gynecologic cancers.

Appointments Available



Piper and Anthony Sais’ wedding was held on July 28. The bride is the daughter of C. Ted and Linda Heinrich. The groom is the son of the late Dick and Lillie Sais. Piper is a Catering Sales Manager at the Hilton Garden Inn Houston Northwest, and Anthony is a Sheriff Deputy with Harris County. The couple lives in Cypress.

WEDDING COLORS Hot Pink and Tangerine Orange BRIDESMAIDS Matron of Honor: Kim Serna Bridesmaids: Martha Heinrich, Barbara Loera, Miriam Schuessler, and Gabriella Serna Junior Bridesmaid: Meadaux Heinrich Flower Girls: Sofia Serna and Easton Heinrich FAVORITE MOMENT “During the ceremony and during the prayer, we asked the entire wedding party to place their hands on one another and for the pastor to place her hands on the groom and I and pray. It was a special moment because it meant that all of our wedding party was laying their hands on us and praying for us!” WEDDING SNAFU “My niece Easton, one of the flower girls who is 5 years old, was walking out of the bride’s house and fell on the steps. This was right before the ceremony and she dropped her basket with all her petals and tripped on her dress. My father helped her pick up the petals and thank goodness she decided to be a big girl and not cry and ended up walking down the aisle with a smile. We were so proud of her.”

Photography by Nader’s Photography

HONEYMOON “Since we couldn’t fly to Italy we stayed at the Venetian in Vegas so it was like being in Italy. We saw the Beatles Cirque de Soliel ‘Love’ and zip-lined on Freemont Street.” PHOTOGRAPHER Nader’s Photography, John Nader g Piper enjoyed sharin ls gir r we flo h wit y her da Sofia and Easton

FIRST DANCE SONG “‘Santa Maria Del Buen Ayre/Gotan Project’. We did our best to recreate the tango from Shall We Dance.” WEDDING LOCATION Butler’s Courtyard Gazebo, League City

Cy-Fair Magazine will be featuring a local couple’s wedding in each issue. If you would like us to spotlight your Cy-Fair wedding, email We will need permission from your photographer.

RECEPTION LOCATION Butler’s Courtyard In the Grand Hall under an air-conditioned tent with chandeliers

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A Family Affair


Local family-owned eateries serve up unique creations in Cy-Fair Written by Leigh Ann Mitchell | Select Photography by Sarmiento

Adriana and Gerry Sarmiento have always loved fine dining which is why they established the Cy-Fair favorite, Mezzanotte Ristorante

Whether they are doing the cooking, creating new exciting dishes, keeping the books, running the front of the house, or shaking hands with regulars or even new patrons, these families have put their heart, soul, and energy into their beloved restaurants. They have a passion for quality foods and exceptional dining experiences and feel that they need to share this with the Cy-Fair community.

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13802 Fleur de Lis, Cypress 281-469-3485

Opening just this year and run by the McShaffry family, the Backyard Smokehouse serves up mouth-watering barbeque and other fantastic dishes. Mosey on down and enjoy the Rodeo Platter, a plate of tasty sliced brisket and juicy jalapeño sausage. You’ve never seen Texas Lobster quite like this. A moist pork tenderloin is stuffed with cream cheese, jalapeños, and sautéed shrimp then wrapped in bacon and hickory smoked. Priding themselves on keeping a fun atmosphere, their attention to detail on their dishes, service, and overall quality make this a must-see experience.

Photo by Woodfired Pizza Co.

Backyard Smokehouse

Woodfired Pizza Co. serves up delicious and unique creations such as Beef N’ Basil and BBQ Chicken pizzas

Bluewater Seafood Restaurant 3 Local Area Locations

Bluewater Seafood and the Aplin family has been serving up fresh dishes from the sea since 1996. Brad, third generation commercial fisherman, and his wife, Ping, wanted to stay involved with seafood and therefore decided to take on a new adventure, the restaurant industry. Bluewater’s signature dishes include the blackened Mahi Mahi topped with a creamy shrimp sauce and Tina’s special, which is especially dedicated to seafood lovers, a tantalizing platter featuring succulent snow crab, crawfish, and fresh boiled shrimp. Bluewater Seafood accepts the challenge of satisfying any seafood craving.

Carpaccio and other Italian delicacies are served up daily at Mezzanotte Ristorante

Carl’s Bar-B-Que

21920W Hwy. 290 W., Cypress 281-890-2275 Resting on highway 290 between Huffmeister and Telge, Carl’s Bar-B-Que, owned and operated by Michael and Sherry Reiland, has been slow smoking, grilling, and serving up fresh, made from scratch sides since 1986. Indulge in a piping hot Chow Down potato topped with butter, Carl’s savory chopped beef, their signature barbeque sauce, sour cream, crisp bacon, and fresh chives. The hot potato salad casserole and homemade banana pudding are also must-haves. Loyal patrons will tell you that daily runs are made by Carl’s Bar-B-Que.

From bar-b-que to seafood, Cy-Fair offers a variety of tasty eateries

Cypress Station Grill

26010 Hempstead Rd., Cypress 281-304-1290 Nestled across from rail road tracks on Hemptead Highway, owners Paul and Jean Bellow have been proudly serving the patrons of Cypress Station Grill a diverse menu of traditional American temptations since 2008. Paul’s love for food began more than 30 years ago and he happily spent a year testing and perfecting recipes before they opened. Sink your teeth into juicy chicken fried steaks, flavorful pork chops, fresh fish, or savory classic meatloaf. Ask Chef Paul about his infamous blackened fresh tilapia, seasoned with his own perfected spices.

Joe Jr., Alma, and Joe Gonzalez Sr. take pride in creating a familial environment at Mamacita’s

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9522 Huffmeister Rd., Houston 832-427-5153 If you’re looking for the newest hot spot, be sure and check out the made-to-order burgers at Dine-O-Bite. Debra Jackson and Tenisha Reynolds recently opened Dine-OBite, but for Jackson, the restaurant business has been a family legacy as her father opened his first restaurant in San Diego when she was 7 years old. Only garden-fresh local ingredients are used for their menu items. A recipe passed down from Jackson’s father, their decadent Sweet Potato Custard Pie is a beloved family treasure. Their most widely ordered menu item is their 6 ounce Dine-O-Bite which is cooked to perfection, topped with American cheddar, crisp lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, red onion, mayonnaise, mustard and of course, a special secret sauce.

Las Mañanitas

152 Mason Rd., Cypress 281-256-7818 Located in the heart of the Fairfield community, Las Mañanitas Mexican Restaurant brings delicious dishes from south of the border. Owner Gumer Guzman, has worked in the restaurant industry since the tender age of 15. Las Mañanitas offers guests a wonderful array of traditional Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes using succulent chicken, beef, pork, and seafood. They offer lunch specials and health conscious choices alongside their regular dinner menu assuring choices for every palate. Their star attraction is their mouth-watering, sizzling fajitas. The Guzmans take great pride in their restaurant and provide fresh quality ingredients, unbeatable service, and a warm family friendly atmosphere.


19831 NW Fwy., Houston 281-469-3663 Joe and Alma Gonzalez’s restaurant experience dates back to 1976. Joe’s front of the house experience and Alma’s management experience, along with her mother’s treasured recipes, were the keys to opening Mamacita’s three locations. Take a trip across the border with the classic Chile Relleno, one of Alma’s mother’s cherished recipes, is made from scratch using fresh egg whites, seasoned ground beef, Mexican cheeses, and smothered in a Spanish vegetarian sauce. You cannot frequent Mamacita’s without treating yourself to their most popular dish, the Pechuga Gretinada. Six ounces of tender, juicy fajitas on a bed of sautéed onions, smothered with a tantalizing mixture of Monterey jack cheese, bell peppers, and mushrooms. You’re in for one hearty meal. See ad on pg. 60

Mezzanotte Ristorante 13215 Grant Rd., Cypress 832-717-7870

Gerry Sarmiento and his wife, Adriana, have always loved dining at fine restaurants. Nurturing this love for food, they opened Mezzanotte Ristorante in 2005 where they serve authentic cuisine from all regions of Italy. Mezzanotte prides

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itself on creating an extraordinary dining experience for each person. Their most loved creations include their slow braised Ossobuco served with risotto Milanese, their sweet, yet savory Pumpkin Ravioli with sage butter sauce and the Fileto au Poivre, a certified Angus tenderloin crusted in black peppercorns, pan seared and flambéed with brandy then topped with a flavorful butter, brandy sauce. From tasty antipastos to rich pastas, you’ll always feel like part of the family at Mezzanotte.

Season’s Harvest Café

10609A Grant Rd., Houston 281- 807-9000 The Griffith family, who has a passion for healthy eating and teaching their children to take care of their bodies through nutrition, wanted to share this love with the Cy-Fair community. Season’s Harvest Café brings from the farm to the table, a scrumptious menu of healthy cooking. A variety of savory soups, fresh wraps, and flavorful frittatas are available. Signature dishes include raw nut meat tacos, Season’s Harvest Salad, and their most loved dish, the wonderful Curried Chicken Salad. Season’s Harvest offers an all-day breakfast on Saturdays which includes healthful options such as hot buttermilk and gluten-free buckwheat

Prmrs_64004_7.5 x 4.85 - Ad #1288- THIS

pancakes and a fresh omelette bar. Any of their dishes can be made vegetarian or gluten-free.

One of Mamacita’s most popular dishes, steak fajitas with bacon wrapped shrimp

Woodfired Pizza Co. 2 Local Area Locations

If you’ve never had a pizza freshly baked in a genuine oak wood-fired oven, you are in for a real treat. Growing up, Tom and Lisa Molen both developed an early passion for cooking and preparing foods. After years of dreaming and talking about it, the Molen’s opened Woodfired Pizza Co. Every pizza is hand baked with top quality all natural ingredients in a true wood burning brick oven. Diner’s top choices include their Beef N’ Basil pizza, which was developed by their daughter, Kourtney as well as a new twist on BBQ Chicken pizza, which their son, Chris created. Woodfired’s top selling item is their Fully Loaded Pizza which is a well-balanced blend of Canadian bacon, pepperoni, Italian sausage, sweet red onion, green bell pepper, fresh mushrooms, and black and green olives. CFM LEIGH ANN MITCHELL is a graduate of Southwest Texas State University. She and her family enjoy restaurants whose families haveNOT put their heart and soul into their cuisine. AD CAN BE EDITED

An investment in your child’s future. Proprietary Balanced Learning curriculum ®

Music, Spanish, Computer Technology Before and After School programs for school-age children

Primrose School of Copperfield 15550 Ridge Park Drive, Houston, TX 77095


Each Primrose School is a privately owned and operated franchise. Primrose Schools, Balanced Learning, and The Leader in Educational Child Care are trademarks of Primrose School Franchising Company. ©2011 Primrose School Franchising Company. All rights reserved.

MAGAZINE Visit1 for Cy-Fair jobs, events, news and more. 64004_Prmrs_LocalAd_ID_1288.indd 62 • CY-FAIR

3/23/11 2:58 PM

We treat the whole child.

We offer well-child care, sick-child care, chronic disease management, immunizations, sports physicals and lab services to children from newborn to 18 years old. We’re also among the few clinics in the area that provide behavioral health and psychiatric services. We accept all insurance plans, as well as Medicaid and CHIP. Call 713-873-KIDS (5437) today to schedule an appointment. Pediatric and adolescent HealtH center - cyPress

12340 Jones Road, Suite 100

Pediatric and adolescent HealtH center - bear creek

5870 Highway 6, Suite 108

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Cy-Fair Olympian

Two-time Olympian Jonathan Horton proves to be an all-around Champion Written by Kirsten Ham | Photo Courtesy of John Cheng

Many children dream of being an elite athlete. Beginning his gymnastics career at a mere 4 years old, Jonathan Horton already demonstrated the tools required for such a high intensity goal.



Olympic team member Competed in high bar finals U.S. still rings champion and high bar bronze medalist


World all-around bronze medalist

Olympic horizontal bar silver medalist and team bronze medalist

Two-time U.S. all-around champion


World Championships Team member


USA Gymnastics Men’s Athlete of the Year

World Championships Team bronze medalist

U.S. still rings and high bar (tie) champion

Three-time American Cup all-around champion

Two-time U.S. all-around champion

World Championships Team member

World Championships Team member

“It’s always a thrill and a rush of adrenaline,” Horton says describing the sport he loves. “The greatest thing about [gymnastics] is learning a new skill and perfecting it when you’ve struggled for a while.” Training for Gold Horton began his training at Cypress Academy of Gymnastics and has remained there throughout his career. “I started working with Jonathan when he was nine years old,” explains Tom Meadows, Assistant Coach for the 2012 Olympic Team. “He is the definition of a ‘coachable athlete’, determined and hard-working.” The following year fellow Olympian Chris Brooks joined the academy and the two quickly became close friends and fierce competitors, pushing each other to succeed. “We train together, went to the same college, and even had the same major,” Horton explains.

Both young men qualified for the 2012 Olympic Men’s Team and it was not unusual to see Brooks and Horton pushing each other in a brotherly spirit to perfect maneuvers. “Jonathan would come off a piece of equipment frustrated about a routine,” recalls Meadows. “Brooks would yell ‘Put in the alternate!’ He was ready to go.” Known for his high-risk, daredevil moves, Horton enjoys pushing the envelope. Although he demonstrates unparalleled talent on the high bar, he also loves pommel horse and is working on improving at it. “I’ve always been known as the trickster,” Horton laughs. Competing with Character Although Horton has been securing medals since 1999, he reached pinnacle success at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Going into competition as the underdogs, the USA Men’s Team walked away with the bronze medal. “Nobody really believed in us,” Horton recalls, “we had lost our

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Olympic medalist Jonathan Horton ranks his priorities as being a Christ follower, dedicated husband to wife Haley, and then, a gymnast

top two guys and everyone just wrote us off. We went on the floor like we had nothing to lose and fought ‘till the end.” The team’s reaction to their win and Horton’s individual silver medal on the high bar will be forever replayed in athletic history. “We lost our minds when we won that bronze medal,” laughs Horton. Through many world and national competitions, Horton has remained grounded portraying a level of high moral character, integrity, and a desire to represent his country at the highest levels of competition. “Nobody’s drive is equal to his,” says Meadows. “He is so passionate for the sport and his country’s success. He literally gives anything and everything he has. Everything he does is high quality.” Appreciating Struggles During the 2011 World Championships, Horton suffered what many would consider a careerending tribulation, a Lisfranc injury which results from the bones in the mid-foot being broken or ligaments being torn. Horton was told it would be nine months of recovery before he could think about returning. “If it took that long I would have missed qualifying for the Olympics,” Horton recalls. Horton immediately scheduled his surgery and endured his physical therapy with full force. In five months, he was back training with his coach. “Everything he had already established in his life pushed him through the injury,” explains Meadows.

Horton and Meadows agree that the days that really count are when you power through and accept the struggles that come your way. Push for 2016 When not practicing risky routines, Horton enjoys the same pastimes as many others, listening to 311 and Linkin Park, eating barbequed chicken, and picking his top number on Deal or No Deal. Horton and Brooks are both determined to be on the 2016 Olympic team. “We’ll continue training, taking care of our bodies, and start our push for Rio,” says Meadows. In the end, Horton explains that he simply does gymnastic because he loves it and feels deep down it is something he has to do. Admittedly, while training as a world champion requires an emphatic life decision and many dedicated hours, he stresses that it was all worth it. “The moment you step out there on the Olympic floor,” he says, “whether you win or lose, it’s just something to be so thankful for, to have the opportunity to be a part of.” CFM KIRSTEN HAM enjoys being the editorial coordinator for Cy-Fair Magazine and is truly inspired by Jonathan Horton’s high moral integrity and fierce determination.

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Cy-Fair Olympian

Olympian Liezel Huber shares her journey to becoming the top women’s doubles in the world Hailing from Durban, South Africa, Liezel Huber arrived in South Carolina with two suitcases and a couple of tennis racquets in hand for a 3-week tennis academy. The 15-yearold would ultimately find herself an American citizen, married to professional tennis coach Tony Huber, and excitedly pursuing her Olympic aspirations. “The day I became a U.S. citizen is definitely one of my most memorable experiences,” shares Liezel. “It’s been an honor to represent the country that has given me so much.”

Settling in Cypress

Huber eventually made her way to Hilton Head Island, N.C. where she met Tony Huber who shared Liezel’s vision and the pair soon proved formidable. “She has a commitment to excellence and demonstrates that through dedication, hard work, and perseverance,” says Tony. When Tony decided to move back to Texas, Liezel followed and the couple was married in 2000. With a desire to pour back into the country she loved so much and the nurturing community of Cypress, the Hubers set their sights on opening a tennis facility. “I love training at our 15 court facility,” says Huber. “We have the best juniors in town and they also aspire to become Olympians.”

Competing as an Olympian

Liezel’s parents noticed her athletic prowess early on and researched avenues that would allow Liezel to prosper. “They took a huge interest

in my tennis skill and supported me in making the most out of my talent,” Liezel says of her family. Tennis became a part of everyday life, infiltrating both social and competitive aspects and Liezel was permitted to move to the United States and pursue her dreams. “I have learned a lot along the way and every practice has been worth it,” she shares. Liezel’s refusal to settle for second best served her well as she made her way through the professional circuit. “My determination and work ethic have contributed to my success,” explains Liezel. “I want to keep learning and I still love the competitive side.” Pulling in Grand Slam Champion titles in Wimbledon, Australian Open, French Open, and US Open led to Liezel’s first Olympic Games in Sydney and ultimately to competing in Beijing in 2008 under the red, white, and blue of the USA team. “It is part of every athlete’s dream,” she says proudly. “Nothing compares to representing your country and competing at the highest level.”

Complete Dedication

The lives of professional athletes often take challenging turns. The defining moment of any career is how you handle those obstacles. “I have had ups and downs for sure,” shares Liezel, “but that is what makes me as an athlete and a human being.” Liezel won her first Grand Slam title in Wimbledon only to blow out her knee four days later. After a total knee

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Written by Kirsten Ham Photo by Ron Angle

reconstruction, Liezel found renewed resolve in accomplishing her goals. Preparing for the Olympics of course results in a lot of hours, both on and off the court. “The qualifying process is tough in itself, everyone is good,” Liezel explains. “Some people think we just show up they don’t realize that we eat, sleep, and dream tennis. We have dedicated our entire lives to our sport.”

What’s Next

When she’s not tearing up the court with doubles partner Lisa Raymond, Liezel adores spending time in the growing community of Cy-Fair. “It’s home and we love it,” laments Liezel. “It’s grown so much and we’re excited to be a part of it.” The 2012 London Summer Olympic Games marked Liezel’s third and final appearance. “I may volunteer or coach at another [Olympics],” she says. “As an athlete though, that’s it for me.” Liezel encourages players to find reputable role models and mimic their examples. “Train hard, be committed, and don’t expect anybody to do it for you,” implores Liezel. “And also, go for it!” CFM KIRSTEN HAM enjoys being the editorial coordinator for Cy-Fair Magazine and applauds Liezel for being committed to fulfilling her dreams.

Huber and Raymond have captured eight titles together and are the #1World woman’s doubles team in the history of the sport

“It’s been an honor to represent the country that has given me so much.”

- Liezel Huber

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Photo courtesy of Eddie Adams

Cy-Fair Olympian

Cammile Adams and her twin sister, Ashley, both swim competitively for the Texas A&M University team

Cy-Fair local Cammile Adams goes for gold at the 2012 Olympics Outpouring of Support

Cammile and her twin sister Ashley began swimming at the tender age of four years old. “My dad swam so we carried on the tradition,” she smiles. Both of her parents have served as inspiration for Cammile, albeit in different ways. “My daddy has always been someone I can count on for advice whether it’s swimming or life in general,” she says. “My mom is my best friend. She is my solid rock and helps keep me sane,” she adds with a laugh. Even after traveling to compete in London she has not forgotten her Cypress roots. “Cy-Fair has been more than amazing,” she says. “All of the letters, Facebook posts, and tweets I have received have been so sweet.”

Becoming an Olympian

Written by Kirsten Ham

stories about their ups and downs was truly an inspiration. I’ve made friends that will last a lifetime,” she adds. Cammile appreciates the hard work and training that is involved in her athletic endeavors but her real passion derives from a drive within herself. “I know that I can do better. I am always striving to do my absolute best and I know I’m not there yet,” she explains.

Racing in London

Competing at the Olympic level as an elite athlete has always been a long-term goal for Cammile and although stakes are high and competition rigorous, she keeps a sense of calm and enjoys the sport she has come to love. “My biggest piece of advice to aspiring athletes is to have fun,” she says. “People can take sports so seriously and it’s key to remember why you began in the first place.”

After competing in the 2012 Team Trials, Cammile took first in the 200m fly and qualified for the US Olympic Team. No one was as thrilled as her twin sister, “It was such a special memory getting to celebrate with her after I made the team,” Cammile recalls.

Like most athletes, Cammile sticks to strict pre-competition rituals, “I jam to Justin Bieber,” she says with a laugh. “I’m such a little kid at heart.” Cammile succeeded in her dream of competing at a world level and came away earning fifth place in the women’s 200m butterfly.

Getting introduced to the rest of the Olympic team at Trials was an event forever ingrained in Cammile’s memory. “It was definitely something I won’t forget. Getting to know other people on the team, especially the girls, and hearing

Proud of her accomplishments Cammile is happy to share this glory with her family who has been her primary support and backbone. “I feel in some way I got to make their dreams come true as well.”

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As a young girl watching the Olympics take place in Sydney, Cammile Adams already knew she would work as hard as she could to achieve her dream of being on the US Olympic team. After training in local facilities and graduating from Cy Woods, she was recruited to the Texas A&M swim team and ultimately, qualified for the 2012 London Summer Games. “It has been my goal for such a long time,” she says. “It was awesome to watch my wildest dream come true.”

Sweet Victories

When she is not competing in world-wide swim meets, Cammile enjoys attending Texas A&M University with her sister and teaching children’s swim lessons. “It’s my favorite thing to meet little kids and watch their faces light up when I take a picture or something with them. I want to work with kids in some way for the rest of my life.” Cammile plans to continue her training and qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. But her ultimate plan is to pursue her degree as an Education major and become Special Education Certified.

KIRSTEN HAM enjoys being the editorial coordinator of Cy-Fair Magazine and feels that Cammile Adams is truly a role model for young athletes.

Qualified for the 2012 Olympic team by finishing first in the 200m fly Finished third in the 400m IM at the 2011 ConocoPhillips National Championships Placed fourth in the 200m fly at the 2009 National Championships Won gold in the 200m fly at the 2009 Junior Pan Pacific Championships

Photo by Katie Hill

Through all of her victories and trials, Cammile remains grounded, kind-hearted, and still harbors the original love she had as a young child for the sport of swimming “Remember that in life everyone goes through ups and downs. Remember the ups; those times will get you through the downs. However, the downs make your victories that much sweeter.” CFM


Placed eighth in the 1500m free at the 2009 U.S. Open Some of Cammile’s fondest Cy-Fair memories include attending Cy Woods’ football and baseball games as well as driving around with friends

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Shia and Jason Wood

Bret and Giovanni Locandru

Alex and Chave Swing

Tony and Melinda Kraft


PINK CARPET Scenes from the Cypress Texas Alumnae Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha’s Casino Evening held at Sterling Country Club and benefiting breast cancer awareness and research

Darold and Mamie Bittick

Elizabeth and Jared Day

Drs. Kristie and Jason Moss

Heather and Jamie Bubela

Tiffany Throne and Laura Steele

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Nicole and Robert Porter

Tami and Larry Obrien

Monte and Erica Conner

Ryan and Amanda Levermann

Robin Jones and Kyle Levermann

Kathryn Gehl and David S Folds

Ray and Marilyn Daigle

Marti and Kurt Kristynik

Renie and Larry Kristynik

Tammy Chambers, Karen Harrison, and Deborah Houghtailing

Rebekah and Clay Martin

Lori and Jerry Salinas

Melissa and Casey Haire

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Joel Braswell

Ellis-Nabors Team 832.457.1103


Carmen Fujimoto

Shannon Lester

Tiffany Nolan

Michele Verwold

Sarah Atchison




25250 NW Freeway, Suite 200 Cypress, Texas 77429

Tina Fife

V.P. Sales - Cypress

Office: 281.463.4131 Sensory learning, neuromuscular activities, and spatial awareness, otherwise referred to as,

The Little Gym helps children reach their greatest potential. From 4 months through 12 years, classes promote development and build confidence during each stage of childhood.

Parent/Child, Pre-School and Grade School Gymnastics Sports Skills Development, Dance and Karate Copperfield






Call to schedule your FREE introductory visit! 72 • CY-FAIR MAGAZINE Visit for Cy-Fair jobs, events, news and more.

Caroline and Joey Daigle

Crystal and Matt Mueller

A c a d e m i c E x c e l l e n c e • B i b l i c a l Va l u e s

Preview Dates Online Laurie and Thomas Waligura

Celebrating 35 Years of Educational Excellence

Lisa and John Cook

Home of the Warriors! • Accredited K-12/College Preparatory • AP, Honors, and Dual Credit Courses • Award-Winning Sports and Fine Arts • Integrated K-12 Technology 281.469.7745 11123 Cypress N. Houston Rd • Houston, TX 77065 Eric and Anne Lippmann

Kyle and Tiffany Kristynik

Serving Families in Northwest Houston

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Cy-Fair Guides

Many afterschool programs feature designated homework time for students

Children will benefit from active outdoor play

Afterschool Programs

Local Programs Offer Enrichment, Play, and Study Time

Written by Kirsten Ham

Primrose offers a creative balance of fun and learning

At Building Rainbows students enjoy puzzles, games, and crafts

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Finding constructive activities for your children between the time they leave school and when you leave work can sometimes prove to be a challenge. We’ve put together a list of top-notch local facilities that will help your cuties with everything from homework to a round-off back handspring. Take a look and find the perfect fit for your Cy-Fair family.

Building Rainbows Day School

13922 Schmidt Rd. Cypress 281-890-7498 Before school, children are able to eat breakfast and enjoy a variety of games, puzzles, and arts and crafts activities. After school, children have time to work on their homework and then have a chance to play outdoors or in a variety of indoor centers. During school breaks, school-agers have the opportunity to participate in off-site field trips to bowl, see movies, go rock climbing, or visit museums. See ad on page 44 S, T

Childrens Lighthouse - Cypress

8525 Queenston Blvd. Houston 281-500-8060 Their afterschool programs feature a specific time period for children to begin their homework assignments. Ideal for children ages 5 to 13 years, creative curriculum is used to incorporate a fun learning environment while enforcing healthy character values. Full-time holiday and in-service care is provided and includes plenty of activities and planned field trips. See ad on page 104 S, T

Chrysalis Christian School

11522 Telge Rd. Cypress 281-807-0764 A ministry of the Messiah Lutheran Church, Chrysalis provides Christian-based learning by dedicated and caring teachers. Elementary-aged children are encouraged to participate in a variety of enrichment programs that include homework assistance and Bible stories. S

Club Rewind

Cy-Fair ISD Elementary Campuses 281-807-8900 htm The Club Rewind afterschool program begins immediately after school and operates until 6:30 p.m. Children are divided by age and grade into programs that provide a variety of activities with topics like arts and culture, healthy living, literacy, recreational games, math and science, and leadership. Activities will rotate from movement to handson, as children move throughout the program.

Dance Factory

17619 FM 529 Houston 281-859-9383 Kids ages 2 and up can enjoy Dance a la Carte programs, featuring ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, combination classes, and acrobatics. Performance companies participate in noncompetitive and competitive performances throughout the dance season. A homework room is also available for students. See ad on page 60 A, S

Family Activity Center

14555H Skinner Rd. Cypress 281-256-6300 With both before school and afterschool care provided, your cuties will love meeting friends and participating in fun activities including art, movies, and homework time. Specialized happenings, such as martial arts classes, strike fitness, holiday camps, dodge ball, and jungle gym are also available. S, T

Great Play of Cypress

11808 Barker Cypress Rd. Cypress 281-246-7529 Great Play focuses on giving children a more comprehensive and well-rounded physical foundation starting at a young age. Younger players, ages 6 months to 5 years, can participate in a full range of locomotor and manipulative skills. Ages 4 to 12 years, can enjoy programs that give them a toolkit of essential sport, fitness, and coordination skills for growth and success. Four- to eight-week programs are available. See ad on page 45

Head Start to Reading

12310 Jones Rd. Houston 281-897-9991 Head Start to Reading offers reading programs for children in pre-K and kindergarten. Ten-week classes are filled with fun learning activities that teach beginning readers how to read. Parents love that their children’s confidence and love of reading grows as they participate in this class. All supplies are included in the registration fee. See ad on page 73

K2 Academy of Kid’s Sports

12603 Louetta Rd., #114 Cypress 281-655-7272 K2 Academy’s afterschool programs strive to develop children globally, enhancing their mental, physical, emotional, and moral development. Outdoor play, homework, and activities like arts and crafts and community service are built into the schedule. Also offering gymnastics, cheerleading, and tumbling. See ad on page 57 A, T

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Kids ‘R’ Kids

9 locations At Kids ‘R’ Kids, children ages 5 to 12 years won’t experience just another day. A large gym area features air hockey, foosball, video games, arts and crafts, board games, a shaded playground, and fun with friends. Nutritional meals are provided in the kids’ café, along with homework help and a well-trained staff to schedule your child’s learning and fun. See ad on page 77 S, T

Kid’s World Learning Center

16210 West Rd. Houston 281-861-2588 Offering before-school and afterschool activities, Kid’s World utilizes a large gymnasium set up with games, DDR, ping-pong tournaments, and air hockey, as well as outdoor activities. Kids have time to complete homework assignments and some tutoring is available. See ad on page 72 S, T


12312 Barker Cypress, #1800 Cypress 281-304-1818 Kumon provides children with materials and instruction needed to work daily to develop and improve academic skills. Students learn effective and accurate study habits, making them efficient and responsible. Award-wining instructors partner with parents to ensure that children advance continually to the best of their ability.

Langham Creek Family YMCA

16725 Logenbaugh Houston 281-859-6143 At the YMCA, children in kindergarten through the sixth grade can engage in physical, learning, and imaginative activities that encourage them to explore who they are and what they can achieve. Participants enjoy interactive learning models that engage critical thinking skills, assistance with their homework from trained YMCA staff, and the chance to socialize with each other and form long-lasting friendships that enhance their development, growth, and self-confidence.

Lango Kids

Various locations 832-217-7671 When children ages 18 months to 13 years come to Lango, they not only learn a new language, but also an appreciation for other cultures. Full immersion classes help make developmental strides that will prepare them to succeed in school. Engaging classes use music, games, art, and stories to teach kids new languages. Classes are offered in Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese.

Primrose School of Copperfield

15550 Ridge Park Dr. Houston 281-858-5600 Primrose Schools Explorers Club offers the perfect balance of homework help, creative pursuits, and fun times with friends. Whether your child is into art, sports, or just hanging out with friends, Primrose provides an engaging environment. Perfect for students in kindergarten through third grade, Primrose is a place where imaginations and friendships flourish. See ad on page 62 S

West Houston Gymnastics

11712 Grant Rd. Cypress 281-205-7450 With classes designed for preschoolers through those schoolagers wishing to learn acrobatic stage performances, West Houston Gymnastics has the perfect program for your cuties. Innovative lessons encourage students to participate and learn in an atmosphere that will enable them to be successful and increase their self-esteem. All skill levels are welcome. See ad on page 93 A

Young Leaders Campus

106E Vintage Park Blvd. Houston 832-559-8710 Cuties in pre-K through fifth grade can participate in Young Leaders’ specialized programs. Building upon the traditions of higher education, the club engages kids with hands-on learning in a minimum of five activities per week. Core classes focus on building good habits and nurturing creativity. See ad on page 86 T CFM Denotes a Cy-Fair Magazine advertiser

KEY T = Transportation Provided A = Additional equipment or uniforms needed S = Snack Provided Transportation may be limited to certain schools

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KIRSTEN HAM is the editorial coordinator for Cy-Fair Magazine and is continually impressed by the high levels of child care in the Cy-Fair area.

Cy-Fair People

After competing on E! Scouted, McPhaul signed a modeling contract with One Management out of New York

Cy-Fair model goes from Carhop to Cat Walk on the E! TV show Scouted Written by Liza Winkler Photography Courtesy of Page Parkes Talent Agency

Discovered while working at a Cypress Sonic fast-food joint last year, Marissa McPhaul is busy making a name for herself in the modeling world. Unknowingly delivering a peach non-sweetened ice tea to Page Parkes, a nationally renowned model and talent agent, resulted in the opportunity to model professionally. After starring on the E! network’s TV show Scouted, the bubbly, outgoing 20-year-old signed a modeling contract with One Management, and is heading to New York to further her modeling career.

Humble Beginnings

McPhaul moved to the Cy-Fair area when she was just 5 years old, and her family has remained here ever since. She comes from a large family with four siblings, and she recounts some of her best memories with friends from the street she grew up on. “My block was filled with about seven girls, so there was always something to do,” McPhaul recalls. “I just loved growing up here.” McPhaul is a proud graduate of Cy-Fair High School and is furthering her education at Lone Star College-CyFair.

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Scouting Talent

McPhaul feels fortunate to be signed with Parkes, who has more than 25 years of scouting experience. Parkes has turned her corporation into the largest talent and model group in the southwestern U.S. Several notable celebrities have worked with the Page Parkes Corporation at the beginning of their careers, including Angelina Jolie, Channing Tatum, and Charlize Theron. Parkes has a mental checklist of important characteristics to look for while she is out scouting potential clients. She says the average height of a female model is 5 feet 9 inches, with most male models reaching a height of over 6 feet. “When Marissa came at me with her little tray at Sonic, I saw her body shape was correct,” Parkes says. “From there, I could see her gorgeous skin, her long legs, and her really interesting eye color. The shape of her face is a lot like Heidi Klum; she’s a beautiful girl.” Parkes believes in the natural beauty of her clients and had McPhaul take off her makeup to reveal her true self for photographs.

“I’m so happ y a n blessed t hat I’v d so e g t o exper ience a otten l l of t his.” Mar issa McP


Despite facing challenges associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and suggestions of removing a distinguishing birthmark, McPhaul has held on to her dream and pursued it with a determinedly positive attitude.

McPhaul has enjoyed several opportunities such as this print ad featured in DRIVEN Magazine

In March 2011, the contributors at the E! show Scouted contacted McPhaul to film the show’s pilot episode. She happily agreed and began filming three months later. McPhaul honed her skills by attending model camp, learning how to perfect her walk and pose for photographs, and concluding the experience with a fashion makeover. “I got a call back last August saying I was in the One Management agency,” McPhaul says. “Then in September and October, we actually started filming for the main Scouted episodes. It all happened so fast, I still can’t believe it.”

Embracing Unique Beauty

The modeling industry is known for cross-country traveling, exciting opportunities, and tough constructive criticism on up-and-coming talent. McPhaul has learned to stay true to herself and keep her head up despite any criticism she may face from potential clients. “My mom always said, ‘You’re pretty on the inside and that’s what counts,’” McPhaul says. “That’s something I grew up with. If you are that way on the inside, people can see it on the outside.”

She advises kids and teenagers to avoid changing their unique physical and personality traits in order to fit peer pressure molds of society. “There’s so much desire to want to be skinny,” McPhaul says. “I think we drive ourselves crazy trying to think ‘what is perfect?’ You don’t want to give people the image that modeling is being super skinny. I want to be healthy, that is my goal.”

What the Future Holds

The future is bright for several of the newly discovered models on Scouted, and McPhaul is no different. Although she has booked several local castings in the past year, her continued education is still a top priority. “We are big on trying to get her to finish school, as well,” Parkes says. McPhaul is headed to New York this summer to truly begin the foundation of her modeling career. McPhaul’s big break that came while delivering a drink order at Sonic has proven to be a dream come true. “I’ve enjoyed everything so far,” she says. “I’m so happy and so blessed that I’ve gotten to experience all of this.” McPhaul hopes to be a role model for others who aspire to feel beautiful in their own skin. CFM LIZA WINKLER is a junior at Texas State University studying print journalism. She is a fan of Marissa and wishes her the best of luck in the Big Apple.

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Skating Starz Local competitive ice skating team defends their National Championship title


Written by Jen Petty | Photos courtesy of Houston Starz Theatre on Ice

Underneath the umbrella of Starz of Houston, Cypress developed its own Theatre on Ice program, a non-profit figure skating club. This team, which began in 2005, recently brought home their second consecutive Junior National Championship.

supportive in helping my athletes succeed at this level of competition.” Emily Tucker, a student at Cy-Fair High School, has been with the team since its second year. “The team has definitely evolved,” she says. “It has gotten stronger and better. The unity and sportsmanship of the team has improved.”

“This area has a thriving group of skaters who are eager to perform and be their best,” explains Tammy Janoschak, head coach of the team. “The parents and schools are very

Team Building

The Theatre on Ice team, ranging in ages from 9 to 20, is selected based on skating level and the ability of a skater

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The Cypress-based Houston Starz Theatre on Ice team are two-time Junior National Champions

to perform in front of an audience. Members are able to experience the excitement of being able to compete nationally and internationally. Janoschak points out that the girls are proud to represent Cy-Fair, their school, district, city, state, and country. Opportunities to compete at elite level skating competitions are rare for individual figure skaters and being integral parts of a competitive team is not only exciting, but teaches the girls accountability as well. “They depend on each other for strength and help each other through training,” says Janoschak. Paige Shurman, a third-year member of the team, echoes these sentiments. “I have loved ice skating so much more since I joined the team. It’s been an honor to compete with the team and travel around the world. It has been a great experience.” Caitlin Bell has been on the ice since she was seven and still loves it ten years later. At age 11, she excitedly joined the Theatre on Ice team. “I love performing and being with

Fun Fact

Athletes perform challenging jumps, spins, and other intricate moves on ice.

all my friends,” says Bell. “Skating is usually by yourself, so it is nice to be with a team and be able to lean on your teammates.”

National Champions

Although fun and exhilarating, skating on a competitive team requires an incredible amount of dedication and hard work. Skaters practice on their own an average of five hours per week and then an additional two hours with their team. Competitions require the team to prepare two performances, a choreographic exercise and a freeskate program. The girls relentlessly perfect their performances, as only the top three performance teams from the United States are deemed gifted enough to move on to the World Championships.

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This team has been working together for 7 years building and performing exciting routines that take them to National and International competitions

Fun Fact

Figure Skating has been a sanctioned Olympic Sport since 1908

Houston Starz Theatre on Ice team is thrilled to have won for two consecutive years and in spring of 2013, will head to Spain to compete for the world title. The previous year, the team took fourth place competing against teams from notable teams such as Spain, France, Slovakia, Russia, and Australia. In addition, the team has been nationally recognized with special awards and recognition for the visual effects of their performances. “My favorite aspect of being involved with the Houston Starz Theatre on Ice is the chance to work with an amazing group,” says Janoschak. “Their desire to perform and always do their best is amazing! The way they pull together as a group is awesome to watch. To see them become so close through the season, the way they work together to achieve a goal is honorable. The way they help each other, treat each other, and care for their team is amazing to me and I am proud of them.”

Professional Aspirations

Many of the Theater on Ice team members dream of pursuing a career in figure skating or performance. Some are looking to the Olympics, while others are interested in programs like Disney on Ice or the possibility of becoming a skating judge. Whichever path they choose, for now they are excited to practice their craft and compete once again, at the worldwide level. “They all have the opportunity to take their skills as far as they can, only time will tell.” CFM JEN PETTY works full-time as the mother of four and parttime as a writer, photographer, realtor and preschool gymnastic coach… though not all at the same time.

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Notes & News News from around the Cy-Fair community

Local Graduate Named Aggie Band Leader Michael Froebel, a graduate of Cy Ridge High School, was recently appointed as the drum major for the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. Froebel is currently a senior pursuing a degree in industrial distribution. Following in his father’s footsteps, Froebel always wanted to join the Corps of Cadets. Having enjoyed seeing the Aggie Band march on Kyle Field at the many football games he went to growing up, Froebel has now accomplished his prestigious goal.

Cy-Fair Youth Compete in Miss Harris County Fair Pageant Five Cy-Fair students were recently crowned at the Miss Harris County Fair Pageant. Winners include Junior Miss Emma Conn, Little Miss 2012 Hannah Sizenbach, Tiny Miss 2012 Cylee Jones, Toddler Miss Peyton O’Rourke, and Miss Photogenic Kristina Hobbs. All royalty received a crown, sash, belt buckle, trophy, and arm bouquet of roses, as well as gifts from the pageant committee.

Habitat for Humanity Celebrates 200th Home

Cy-Fair Resident Wins Karate World Championship Cy-Fair resident Alfredo Bustamante recently competed in the U.S. Karate Alliance (USKA) World Championship, where he placed first in the kata and kobudo weapons divisions. Bustamante has been practicing karate since he was 5 years old and holds a black belt in Shotokan Karate-do and also practices Hapkido and Shin Mu do with Master Shin from Cypress.

News to Share? Email Us

Habitat for Humanity Northwest Harris County recently celebrated the start of construction of its 200th home in the Hamill Crossing neighborhood. Ms. Harris, the home’s recipient, is a single mother of two daughters and has already given more than 150 hours of volunteer time or “sweat equity” working on her neighbors’ homes and will contribute 200 more hours before moving in. Visit to find out how you can help.

Cypress Symphony Debut The Cypress Symphony, the first orchestra formed in the community, recently made its chamber music debut. These outstanding musicians offer moving musical experiences and provide numerous opportunities for community engagement. Through concerts, private lessons, educational workshops, and competitions, their goal is to enrich the community by keeping classical music alive and fresh.

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Photo by Lady Lindsey Photography

INSIDE THIS SECTION Hopper Middle School

Campus snapshot on the Huskies

Page 88 Dedication to a Degree

83-year old Peggy Wills earns a college degree

Camen Garrett is a kindergartener at Cypress Christian School

Page 90 Educational Foundation

Supporting Cy-Fair students with college scholarships

Page 92

School Scoop Page 94 To advertise, call 281-579-9831 or email



Hopper Middle School is named for George E. Hopper, Jr. who served in Cy-Fair ISD for 32 years

Students are encouraged to gain inspiration through their attitudes

Wendi Witthaus considers it an honor to serve as principal for HMS

Student participation is imperative in HMS classrooms


middle school Written by Kirsten Ham Photos courtesy of Hopper Middle School

Extracurricular organizations encourage a creative, positive environment

Hopper Huskies stick by their mission statement in all that they do. They stress the importance of TEAM: empowerment through trust, growth through effort, inspiration through attitude, and support through message. Walking through the halls the mantra, “It’s all about TEAM” can often be heard from staff and students alike. “Here, it’s definitely all about the TEAM,” says principal Wendi Witthaus with a smile. “It is vital that we establish partnerships between the staff, students, and the community.”

The symphonic band has received multiple UIL honors

Hopper’s Players enjoy being the One-Act Play District Champions

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The HMS Team is proud of their student’s accomplishments


Building a Team

Hopper Middle School serves over 1300 students with varied economic and ethnic backgrounds. “We have a tremendous staff, great students, and a supportive community,” says Witthaus. The campus boasts a powerful history and deep Cypress roots behind its name. The school’s namesake, George E. Hopper Jr., served as teacher and coach for 32 years in Cy-Fair ISD. In addition to being a part of Jersey Village High School’s inception, he also served as a principal, opening Campbell Middle School, Langham Creek Interim School, Langham Creek High School, and Cypress Falls High School. HMS continues to strive toward this precedent level of dedication to education. “I am extremely honored to be serving as the principal of HMS,” shares Witthaus. “Our highly talented staff joins efforts to foster success for Hopper students.” Extracurricular clubs and organizations, as well as a variety of electives, create a positive environment in the school and undoubtedly a positive effect on overall student performances. Students can choose to participate in programs such as art design, band, orchestra, theater arts, professional communications, Spanish, French, teen leadership, yearbook, and a diverse selection of career portals.

Making the Grade

In only five short years, HMS has received 46 awards for various athletic and extracurricular activities. The symphonic band, concert women’s choir, and sixth-grade choir have all received

UIL and festival sweepstakes honors. Hopper’s Players, the school’s one-act play group, represented their classmates as district champions this year. Both the girls’ and boys’ soccer teams demonstrated elite athleticism, bringing home district championships. The basketball team also scored as zone and co-zone champions. Proud participants of the nationally recognized Science Olympiad competition, HMS students won the regional team spirit award for the fourth year in a row. “Students work hard, encourage each other, and are proud to display their accomplishments,” says Witthaus.

Visions for the Future

HMS thrives on creating a constructive and encouraging learning environment for its students, where they can experience both academic and social development growth. “The middle school years are vital in creating a solid foundation for future success,” says Witthaus. “Our vision for Hopper is that all of our Huskies leave here with a passion for learning and an inner drive to achieve greatness.” CFM KIRSTEN HAM enjoys being the editorial coordinator for Cy-Fair Magazine and is continually impressed by the level of education available in Cy-Fair.

HOPPER Fast Facts School Colors: Red, white, and blue Mascot: Husky Principal: Wendi Witthaus Assistant Principals: Roy Kemble, Ray Gibson, and Reginald Mitchell Location: 7811 Fry Rd., Cypress Year Opened: 2007

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Dedication to a Degree Lone Star College-CyFair Grad, 83-year old Peggy Wills, schools others in sticking to it and earning a degree Written by Gail G. Collins


“It’s been a wonderfully blessed, marvelous, eight years since I started the journey to get my degree. I wanted to do something good.” - Peggy Wills

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After two hours of filming, Peggy Wills knew she would be earning her associates degree in visual communications and production


If Peggy Wills had to be described with one word, it would be determined. With her children grown and recently widowed, Wills decided to pursue her college degree. Working part time and attending classes proved difficult, not to mention she was 75 years old when she started. Still, Wills cheerfully says, “It’s been a wonderfully blessed, marvelous, eight years since I started the journey to get my degree. I wanted to do something good.” Recently Peggy Wills, now 83, earned her associate of arts in visual communications and video and post production from Lone Star CollegeCyFair.

Discovering her Passion

Wills met David Potts, professor of TV/Motion Graphics at Lone Star College, and he invited her to join his class. Seeing her great rapport skills, he knew Peggy would be successful. The department was new to the college, and Potts had outfitted it with state of the art equipment. There were only eight or so students in that first class, and Potts threw them in headfirst to film a play. “I hardly knew what the buttons on the camera were for,” Wills says, “but Professor Potts showed me how to turn it off and on, zoom in and out, and walked off. Then, he turned and said, ‘You’ll be fine.’ By the end of the two hours of filming, I’d fallen in love with it!”

Dedication and Resolve

their ambitions

About her resolve and work as a part-time Video Lab Coordinator at Lone Star-CyFair, Potts says, “Even after the money in the budget to pay her was gone, she worked the rest of the year for free. That’s the kind of dedication that you cannot teach a person, but it is one of the most important traits that a graduate needs. I’m convinced this has guided her throughout her life.”

Stick to It

The class used professional software to edit, and Wills became enthralled. “I can lose all track of time when I am editing.” Early on, she worked on a project on location with other students filming a seminar which is now used for

About Peggy

The road to education has not been easy as Wills had to take time off twice from her goal due to helping a friend manage cancer, and another because she was so ill herself. “I didn’t know if I’d be well enough to continue,” she recalls of the difficult period.

Professor Potts admires Wills’ determination and generosity for others. “It’s rare that you meet someone like Peggy Wills. She has an unusual personality trait – making everyone on a set relaxed, focused, happy, and so young-feeling that the whole room Wills hopes that her journey will just becomes tingly with exciteencourage others to be life-long ment.” learners and never give up on

Wills confirms that it isn’t as simple as pointing and shooting. It takes long hours of dedication for the demanding job. Other students were much younger, and made it clear she would have to pull her weight. She did, and soon reached iconic status among the students earning the affectionate tag of Miss Peggy.

Fast Facts

training. “It was a marvelous experience,” she adds.

Peggy has attended college before at different points in her life, but was unable to finish. This time, she stuck to it, and encourages others to do the same. “You don’t know what you can do until you try” she says. “There is nothing like learning something new.” Over the last eight years, Peggy has spent a lot of time working and studying, there are still a lot of things on her to-do list. Utilizing her degree, Wills plans to take some time off to travel and visit a friend who has cancer. Armed with her camera, she will create a video of her friend’s life to share with her grandchildren. Gail G. Collins loves to meet new people, hear their stories, and spread the word through writing.

• Loves Scrabble and her family holds a tournament each Christmas • Is a Prayer Warrior for her faith • Acts as techie, recording her actress granddaughter’s professional performances • Believes that perseverance separates those who can from those who can’t

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Educational Foundation Supporting Cy-Fair students with college scholarships Written by Jen Petty


As an ambitious student at Cy Creek High School, Deena Morgan earned the Cecil Hall scholarship from the Cy-Fair Educational Foundation (CFEF) and pursued her studies at Texas A&M University. “Realizing at that moment that someone recognized me as a person they wanted to invest in was both humbling and inspiring,” she shares. “It made me want to make sure that I didn’t let anyone down and inspired me to continue to work hard and maximize every dollar that was invested in my education.”

Coming Full Circle

After receiving a scholarship from CFEF 17 years ago, Morgan is now a general manager and vice president of GDF Suez. She has since started her own endowment to provide scholarships to other students and is also a trustee for CFEF. “Three years ago, I was researching what happened to CFEF and wanted to find out how to give back,” she recalls. “I was at a point in my career where I was able to start donating to causes I was passionate about, and the Educational Foundation was one of those. I started funding an endowment and was asked to be on the board of trustees.” As far as being on the board of trustees, Morgan describes it as interesting having the chance to look at the foundation from the inside. “It is exciting to evaluate the scholarship applications and to reward deserving students,” she shares. “This year, I was able to award the Cecil Hall scholarship to a Cy Ranch High School student. It was exciting that I was in her place so many years ago, and now I was on the giving end.”

A Growing Need

Since its inception, CFEF has awarded more than $4.9 million to more than 1,000 students, with scholarships ranging from $500 up to $20,000. As Cy-Fair ISD has grown over the years, the foundation has expanded to keep pace with increased need, making volunteer help more essential than ever. “The Cy-Fair community is at the heart of our success,” shares Marie Holmes, Executive Director of CFEF. “Our community businesses, as well individual donors, have made it possible for the foundation to continue to grow and meet this goal.” CFM Deena Morgan received the Cecil Hall scholarship from the Cy-Fair Educational Foundation and is now funding her own endowment as well as serving on the Board of Trustees

JEN PETTY and her husband are the parents of four young and very energetic, but wonderful, kids. When she isn’t mothering, she especially enjoys writing and photography.

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SCHOOL SCOOP News from Cy-Fair area Schools

Secondary Educator of the Year Aragon Middle School seventh- and eighth-grade teacher Andrea Barnes was recently named the Secondary Educator of the Year by the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE). Barnes, a 23-year veteran of public education, teaches READ 180 at Aragon, a program that accelerates students’ reading comprehension. Her students are encouraged to stand on a floor tile facing a mirror and state what they hope, believe, dream, and want to achieve. Barnes brought the tile with her and stood on it as she accepted this prestigious award, reminding her of all of her students.

Students Qualify for Duke Program Goodson Middle School students Madison Lucas and Ryan Lowe, recently qualified to participate in the Duke SAT/ACT Seventh Grade Program. This distinguished honor, allows them to participate in taking the test with high school students as well as access to various camps and programs. When they are not studying, Lucas enjoys playing tournament softball and volleyball while Lowe excels at football and baseball. Maintaining a balance between schedules and qualifying grades is truly an outstanding accomplishment.

Cy Ranch Students Saves a Life

Boosterthon Fun Run Students at Keith Elementary recently participated in the Boosterthon Fun Run event, a 9-day fitness, leadership, and character experience. In addition to classroom character lessons, students are encouraged to give back through its “Pass It Forward” initiative. For every student who reaches the giveback reward level, the program will give both the student and a child at a local hospital a basketball hoop for their bedroom or hospital room.

As a trained lifeguard, Cypress Ranch High School junior Shady Sheded is well-versed in spotting safety hazards. When he witnessed a gentleman running toward his perch in the pool area of the YMCA, he blew his whistle, but this man had a bigger emergency to report, an elderly man had collapsed due to a heart attack. Sheded’s training prepared him to quickly follow the necessary steps for resuscitation. When the paramedics arrived, the man had regained consciousness. Sheded’s classmates, friends, teachers, and coaches commend him for his quick thinking.

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Football Brothers There is something special about being able to play football with your brother. The Warriors of Cypress Christian School take to the field this year with five sets of brothers among the 46 team members. When the 2012-2013 football team players were asked for words to describe their team, one word resounded above the others, brotherhood. It is truly becoming that for these young men both on and off the field, but for ten players in particular, it provides a truly deeper meaning.

National JROTC Award Recipient Cypress Ridge High School junior Jared Reese is the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR) Enhanced Junior ROTC award recipient. The national award is presented to an outstanding cadet of JROTC who has a high degree of merit with respect to leadership qualities, military bearing, and general excellence. Reese has earned $1,000 in scholarships from both the national and state societies. In addition to his participation in the JROTC program, he’s an active member of the Boy Scouts, drama club, student council, Thespian Honor Society, and Peer Assistance and Leadership Program (PALs).

School News to Share? Email it to and visit for more up-to-date school news. Please do not send photography protected by copyright.

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Photo by Eye Candy by Candace

Sydney and Addison Dumoit are looking forward to fun, healthy activities this winter



CrossFit for Life

High-intensity workouts

Page 98


A common pregnancy disorder

Page 102

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healthy Families

Laura Dowdey, owner of CrossFit Copperfield, prepares for another high-intensity work out

Exploring the constantly varied, high-intensity world of Cy-Fair’s CrossFit workouts Written by Gail G. Collins

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There is no mirror or air conditioning, and big fans create warehouse utility that leads members to call their gym “the box.” Truck tires lean against a slump block wall, kettle bells line up behind free weights, jump ropes wait for another sweaty skip, and pull-up bars resemble scaffolding. This is no-frills, functional fitness. This, is CrossFit.

The first CrossFit affiliated gym opened in Santa Cruz in 1995

Greg Glassman started the CrossFit phenomenon

Outside Your Comfort Zone

Greg Glassman conceived the tough workout format to keep the Santa Cruz, CA Police Department in shape. In 2000, Glassman founded CrossFit and describes it as “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement.” All coaches receive training based on his principles to become level one trainers.

CrossFit can be modified to meet anyone’s physical needs

Adam Dunin is an example. At 31 years old, he has a new baby in the house and a desire to recapture the form he knew as a school athlete. Under the leadership of an ex-Olympian swim coach, Dunin has known hard work. Remembering his first impression of CrossFit, Dunin says, “It’s crazy.” But he showed up at his local box and was hooked. “Sometimes, you hurt from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. It’s not about going to the gym, but what you do there.” The unorthodox and diverse range of activities is the appeal for Dunin, who has adopted the mantra, “What can challenge me today?”

Laura Dowdey, owner of CrossFit Copperfield and a certified personal trainer, says that the most popular misconception about CrossFit is that you must be in shape before you start. The multi-dimensional workout involves calisthenics, gymnastics, strength-building, cardio, and stretching. It’s demanding and different every day. Enter the WOD, which outlines a series of activities the group performs as a team. “CrossFit pushes people past their comfort zone, helping them to be comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Dowdey says.

Breaking Records

Such determination bonds group members. “Most people start coming three times a week, but on the days they don’t come, they wish they were here,” Dowdey says. “There is a powerful sense of accomplishment. I love to watch people grow and succeed.”

When she first saw CrossFit, Thomas was impressed. “The women looked so strong,” she recalls. But men do not necessarily fair better just because of their inherent strength. Egos are quickly humbled in the scalable workouts. CrossFit

Darlene Thomas is in the family business with Mike and Tammy Thomas, managing CrossFit Cypress. “It’s safety, first and foremost,” Darlene Thomas says. “We always go over the WOD, even if you’ve done it 100 times before.” The chances of that are slim, considering the variety of workouts.

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is evidence-based, which requires measurable, observable, and repeatable data; participants can track the return on their investment. Maximum lifts and fast times are noted, and soon, they are beaten. Running, rowing, and boxjumping join push-ups and medicine balls to form couplets, triplets, and chippers. These are types and numbers of activities that include strength and agility to form a routine.

“We program the workout for you, adjusting for your abilities and needs. There is coaching and guidance from start to finish with every workout.” –Pam Munson of CrossFit Champions

Training for Life

Despite the punishing workouts, every age and ability can participate. Pam Munson of CrossFit Champions says, “We program the workout for you, adjusting for your abilities and needs. There is coaching and guidance from start to finish with every workout.” Anyone from grandparents to Special Forces personnel can benefit, as workout intensity and activities are modified. Munson claims 6- to 70-yearolds train at her box, where sessions are typically 40 minutes to an hour.

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“Diet is a huge focus, eating clean and understanding nutrition,” Munson says. “We train for life.” All of this creates a healthy lifestyle with a ready support group at the box. Members set accountable standards encouraging one another with shouts of, “You can do it,” and they often exchange nutritious recipes on Facebook. “It’s a cross between church and Cheers,” Munson laughs, referring to the 1980s sitcom. Box owners Dowdey and Thomas echo that, saying, “Everyone knows your name.” CrossFit coaches mount challenges at their boxes to keep members motivated, and their groups participate in many fundraisers related to health issues. Friendships grow, as does fitness and confidence. CFM Gail G. Collins enjoys writing health articles and hates to miss a workout. CrossFit Copperfield 7520C Cherry Park Dr. Houston CrossFit Cypress 14216E Cypress N. Houston Rd. Cypress

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CrossFit Champions 17575 N. Eldridge Pkwy., Bldg. C Tomball * Many local gyms offer a trial class for beginners on Saturdays. Please call to verify class times and schedules.


Come Grow With Us. ®

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CYPRESS 14602 Spring Cypress Rd.








(Corner of Louetta and Spring Cypress Road)


Goddard Systems, Inc. program is AdvancED accredited. *Offer valid for new Goddard families at the above locations only. Some program restrictions apply. Not valid with any other offer. Offer expires 1/31/13. The Goddard Schools are operated by independent franchisees under a license agreement with Goddard Systems, Inc. Programs and ages may vary. © Goddard Systems, Inc. 2009

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Healthy Families

“I was still so excited to be having this new little baby but on top of that, I was so nervous about what was going to happen to not only me but the baby, too.” – Ambra Kent

Ambra Kent with her daughter Rowan whom Kent was pregnant with at the time of her diagnosis

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Local survivor Ambra Kent shares her ordeal overcoming a common pre-pregnancy diagnosis which can have devastating effects on both mother and child

Written by Lorrie Crow Kimble

Ambra Kent went in for a routine check-up with her OB/ GYN during her first pregnancy when suddenly she was on her way to Methodist Willowbrook Hospital with a prediagnosis of preeclampsia.

the face and hands from one visit to the next. “Patients are also warned about greater than 3-4 pounds of weight gain in less than a week as a possible risk factor.”

According to Dr. Kerry Kirkman, Chairman of the Department of Gynecology at North Cypress Medical Center, preeclampsia is generally defined as a condition of pregnancy, usually presenting after the twentieth week, in which the patient develops high blood pressure and excessive protein excretion.

After telling the nurse about her horrible headaches and the blurry vision, Ambra says the nurse did her routine checks. “She then took me back into the exam room, and immediately, the doctor came in.” Knowing that patients tend to wait a while before seeing the doctor, Ambra says she knew something was not right. “My doctor explained to me that my blood pressure was elevated and that I had protein levels in my urine, and with my complaints about blurry vision and headaches, she was worried that I had preeclampsia.”

Warning Signs

Preeclampsia does not have to catch you off-guard, there are several warning signs you can look out for. “Swelling of the face and hands, rapid and excessive weight gain, severe headaches, visual disturbances, and elevated blood pressure, greater than 140/90, are all indicators of preeclampsia,” says Dr. Kirkman. Looking back, Ambra realized she had several of these signs. “I had blurry vision, black spots, or floaters, in my vision, and headaches,” she says. “I had complained to my original OB/GYN about them at my five-month checkup and was told, ‘You are too early for that to mean anything. So, don’t worry about it’.” Overlooking the warning signs of preeclampsia can be very dangerous. “If left untreated, this disease can result in maternal organic damage including kidneys, heart, brain, and liver as well as severe bleeding,” explains Dr. Kirkman. Although not aware of what preeclampsia indicators were, Ambra knew her symptoms were not normal and changed doctors. Dr. Kirkman, with Dr. Rachel Robinson, operate Cypress Women’s Center, says that generally, patients are given instructions regarding warnings signs of severe swelling of

Confirming the Diagnosis

It is not uncommon for pregnant women to be unaware anything is wrong, according to Dr. Lindsey Longerot, an OB/GYN at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. “Frequently, for the typical patient, the only sign that she is developing the disorder is that her blood pressure is increasing each time she sees her doctor,” she says. “Some women will notice significant swelling of their hands and feet, but many pregnant women without preeclampsia also have this problem. Women with a severe form of preeclampsia may develop an unrelenting headache, vision problems, or persistent abdominal pain,” Dr. Longerot adds. After her pre-diagnosis, Ambra immediately called her husband. “As soon as he answered, I started crying. I just had a very good friend of mine deliver three months early due to preeclampsia and her baby was still in the hospital. That was such a scary time and I will remember it forever.”

An Emotional Battle

Ambra was ordered to be on full bed rest at home. “I was not allowed to do anything but get up for the bathroom, and take one shower a day,” she says. “I had to buy a home blood

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CHINA 2011

Dedicated to fostering a dynamic and engaging learning environment, Houston Christian High School offers students opportunities to stretch their intellectual abilities, develop leadership skills and explore a wide range of interests from athletics to fine arts. A highly accredited, independent, non-profit, coeducational, college preparatory school, Houston Christian is located on a beautifully appointed 45-acre campus near the intersection of I-10 and Beltway 8. The campus is easily accessible to families in Cypress, Katy and West Houston. For more information about Houston Christian, visit us online at and call 713-580-6020 to schedule a tour.


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pressure cuff and check my blood pressure numerous times during the day and chart it. From then on out I had to have weekly checkups, ultrasounds, and stress tests.” Because preeclampsia poses a danger to the health of both the mother and the baby, close monitoring by a physician is very important, regardless of gestational age. “If a woman has not yet reached term and has only a mild form of the disease, she can often be monitored closely with bed rest and more frequent visits to the doctor,” Dr. Longerot says. Ambra was understandably emotional during this difficult time. “I was still so excited to be having this new little baby but on top of that, I was so nervous about what was going to happen to not only me but the baby, too,” she recalls. “This was my first pregnancy so everything was strange and new to begin with and then to have this added stress of not knowing if I was going to be able to keep the baby to term and if this baby was even going to make it.”

The Cure

Dr. Longerot points out that, unfortunately, the only known cure for preeclampsia is delivery. “If the woman has reached term, or 37 weeks of gestation, I would recommend that she be delivered. Severe preeclampsia generally warrants delivery regardless of gestational age,” she adds. Ambra was medically induced at 37 weeks and one day, which is considered full-term. “I was able to have a very uncomplicated delivery,” she says. “I was monitored closely throughout the whole delivery. After eight hours of labor, we welcomed Rowan Kathryn-Lynn into the world at a healthy 7 lbs. 12oz. and 21 1/2 inches long.” Three years after delivering Rowan, Ambra delivered her second daughter, Ezra, at 40 weeks with zero complications. “We are so blessed to have two healthy, wonderful, smart, wild, and full-of-life daughters.” CFM LORRIE CROW KIMBLE’S daughter-inlaw, Lindsay, experienced warning signs of preeclampsia with her first pregnancy. She delivered healthy Braden Michael Crow.

Expert Advice Dr. Kerry Kirkman A few risk factors for Preeclampsia include obesity, diabetes, first pregnancy, and older than 35.

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Health Bulletins Health-related news tidbits for Cy-Fair Families

New Pediatric Health Center in Cypress

The newest addition to Harris Health System, Pediatric and Adolescent Health Center, is raising the level of pediatric expertise by offering parents a convenient medical home for all of their children’s healthcare needs. The center has a boardcertified psychiatrist and licensed counselor available for children and adolescents who experience emotional disorders and behavioral issues such as depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, eating disorders, and other mental health challenges in a coordinated approach. Other services available include well-child care, sick-child care, chronic disease management, newborn follow-up, immunization and vaccinations, as well as sports physicals.

Updating the Flu Vaccine

The winter season brings with it bouts of influenza, commonly known as the flu. Flu viruses are unpredictable and cause a respiratory illness that generally lasts a week or longer. Symptoms to look for include fever, chills, body aches, sore throat, hacking cough, runny nose, or vomiting. These viruses change from year to year so be sure your vaccine protects against last year’s strain as well as two additional ones. Vaccines last about 6 to 12 months so your protection usually needs annual updating. Learn more about the flu vaccine at

Baby Air Travel

During the winter months many families travel to see loved ones. Be sure your air travel is on track with these helpful tidbits. Baby’s ears may plug up or hurt during takeoff or landing due to the change in cabin air pressure. Keep their ears clear by feeding when the plane is climbing and descending as swallowing helps equilibrium. Bring small snacks such as Cheerios or bagels for nibbling. As always, give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport and go through security so that you and your baby are as relaxed as possible. For more helpful tips, visit

Methodist Willowbrook Hospital recognized as B.E.S.T.

Methodist Willowbrook Hospital was recently recognized by the Cy-Fair Chamber of Commerce and Cy-Fair ISD for its partnership with the school district, which helps students and staff achieve their goals through a variety of programs. The mission of Business and Education Standing Together (B.E.S.T.) is to identify and promote area businesses that accept a set of principles that allows all employees to make education a priority and support the educational involvement of student employees. Methodist Willowbroook was recognized for its participation on the board of trustees, its involvement in the Salute to the Stars Gala, Cy Hoops Basketball Invitational, serving as “Bus Buddies” for Cy-Fair ISD elementary buses, as well as taking a leadership role at Bleyl Middle School by providing supplies and assisting with special events.

Car Seat Checklist

Even if your car seat is right for your child’s size, it may not provide the necessary protection unless used correctly. Here are a few tips for a quick checkup. Never place a rear-facing car seat in the front of a car with air bags. If older children must ride in the front, a forward-facing seat with a harness is the best choice, but be sure the seat is moved as far back as possible. Typically, when children have reached 4’9” in height or are between the ages of 8 and 12, their seats should be replaced with a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle seat belt fits properly. For more on tips, visit healthychildren. org.

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Biz Chat

News from Cy-Fair Area Businesses Eye Trends Celebrates 10 Years in Cypress

Dr. Dyer Is Proud to Serve Cy-Fair

Dr. Charles Dyer takes pride in being at the forefront of technology and surgical technique. He offers personal, tailored care to achieve the most successful patient results. Not only is he trained in advanced periodontology and implantology techniques, he continues to become certified in use of comfortable surgical procedures. The surgical office of Dr. Dyer continues to offer a wide range of advanced services, taking pride in servicing its Cy-Fair patients.

Since 2002, Drs. Jenkins, Pham, and Ziskrout have proudly served the greater Cypress community. They strictly adhere to their commitment of providing exceptional patient medical and visual care and are proud of having the most diverse optical boutique in town. Their mission is simple: Exceed their patient’s stringent visual and eye health requirements by applying cutting-edge technology and dedicated professional care. Each doctor is a Texas state licensed therapeutic optometrist and Texas certified optometric glaucoma specialist.

281-304-9911 | | See ad on page 6

281-373-1020 | | See ad on page 4

Copper Creek Orthodontics Loves to See You Smile

High-Energy Classes at Great Play

Meet Dr. Noriega and her friendly team at Copper Creek Orthodontics. With a high-tech, welcoming office, they pride themselves on providing orthodontic care to people of all ages, from children to adults. Whether you require clear brackets or Invisalign, orthodontics has come a long way. Copper Creek Orthodontics offers flexible, no-interest payment options to make treatment very affordable. Call for a complimentary consultation, and find out how you can get the smile you’ve always wanted!

Great Play is a unique new gym in Cypress just for kids. Their classes, in their incredible patent-pending interactive arena, make it fun for kids to develop motor skills, sports skills, fitness, and coordination. Great Play’s award-winning birthday parties are a blast, too! They now offer Zumbatomic, which is Zumba designed for kids. Zumbatomic classes are rockin’, high-energy events packed with specially choreographed, kid-friendly routines, with some of Great Play’s favorite games mixed in, as well. Free trial classes are available.

281-463-6757 | | See ad on page 52

281-246-7529 | | See ad on page 45

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Pediatric and Adolescent Health Center

Harris Health System’s Pediatric and Adolescent Health Center-Cypress offers parents a convenient child-friendly medical home for children up to age 18. Among the services available are well-child care, behavioral/psychiatric care, chronic disease management, newborn follow-up and immunizations. The center operates 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and accepts all forms of insurance including CHIP and Medicaid. 713-873-5437 | | See ad on page 63

Serving Families at Cypress Springs Family Care

At Cypress Springs Family Care, providers are board certified and experienced in family practice. Their knowledgeable staff is efficient, kind, and courteous and they truly care about you as a patient and a person. They see adults and children ages 2 years and up, offering numerous services such as sick visits, school and routine physicals, immunizations, well woman exams, STD screenings, diabetes, and minor procedures. For your comfort and convenience, they have on-site Lab and EKG. 281-463-1400 | | See ad on page 39

Academic Excellence and Biblical Values at Cypress Christian School

Helping Children Reach Their Potential at Epiphany Lutheran School

Since 1978, Cypress Christian School has partnered with parents to educate and train the next generation of Christian leaders. Students in kindergarten through 12th grade are taught by faculty members who are committed to academic excellence and biblical values. The Christ-centered environment, college preparatory curriculum, and strong athletic and fine arts programs ensure that students have the opportunity to develop and excel in every area of their lives. Call to learn how your child can become a CCS Warrior!

Epiphany Lutheran School provides a kindergarten through eighth-grade Christian education in a loving environment characterized by ongoing communication between parents and teachers. Parents foster this relationship, because they care about the education of their children academically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Teachers are state certified and have degrees in education and religion. Working together, caring teachers and parents create a learning environment where children work hard to reach their maximum potential.

281-469-7745 | | See ad on page 73

713-896-1843 | | See ad on page 107

If your business would like to be featured in Biz Chat, email To advertise, call 281-579-9831 or email


Cy-Fair Magazine Advertiser Index ATTORNEYS The Vitelli Law Firm

12010 Fullers Grant Ct. 281-898-0941

pg. 107


12210 FM 1960 W. Houston 832-237-7027

Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union

9601 Jones Rd., #100 281-890-7676

pg. 111

pg. 93

8608 Hwy. 6 N. Houston 281-861-7402

pg. 111

13922 Schmidt Rd. 281-890-7498

Childrens Lighthouse

8525 Queenston Blvd. Houston 281-500-8060

Kids ‘R’ Kids

See ad for locations

Kid’s World Learning Center

16210 West Rd. Houston 281-861-2588

The Goddard School

See ad for locations

Young Leaders Campus 106E Vintage Park Blvd. Houston 832-559-8710

pg. 44

pg. 104

pg. 77

pg. 72

pg. 101

pg. 86

16333 Mueschke Rd. 281-758-0458

Second Baptist Church Cypress Campus 8877 Barker Cypress Rd.

9521 Huffmeister Rd. Houston 832-593-0090

Dance Factory 17619 FM 529 Houston 281-859-9383

Hintze Dance Center

17333 Spring Cypress Rd. 281-256-1161

pg. 105

pg. 30

James F. Ramsey, DDS 21208 N.W. Fwy., #115 281-890-5555

Latrice R. Foster, DDS, MPH, MSD 8945 Hwy. 6 N., #250 Houston 281-401-9647

pg. 107

pg. 60

Charles E. Dyer IV, DDS, MS, PC pg. 6

pg. 18

pg. 3

pg. 60

pg. 100

Head Start to Reading 12310 Jones Rd. Houston 281-897-9991

Houston Christian High School 713-580-6020 See ad for locations

Northwest Private School Preview

19915 SH 249 Houston 281-367-0900 Ext. 2308

15550 Ridge Park Dr. Houston 281-858-5600

Rosehill Christian School

19830 FM 2920 Tomball 281-351-8114

pg. 52

Painting with a Twist

pg. 82

12344 Barker Cypress Rd. 281-256-8383

Smith Ranch

pg. 53

25440 Beckendorff Rd. Katy 281-371-3318

AAA Plumbers

pg. 39

6547 Petropark Dr. Houston 713-462-4753

pg. 49

Texas Shutter Company

pg. 57

Westside Maids

pg. 107


Excel Urgent Care

pg. 107

pg. 73

MD Anderson Cancer Center

See ad for information 713-745-9940

21214 N.W. Fwy. 832-912-9812

pg. 100

pg. 83

See ad for information

Texas Emergency Care Center

17255A Spring Cypress Rd. 281-304-9113

Tomball Regional Medical Center

605 Holderrieth Blvd. Tomball 281-401-7788

pg. 55

pg. 12 & 13

North Cypress Medical Center

Texas Children’s Hospital

pg. 104

pg. 111

25801 Hwy. 290 281-304-1100

18220 State Hwy. 249 Houston 281-737-2500

pg. 8

pg. 21

pg. 83

Cypress Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Alex Bachoura, MD, DDS 26321 N.W. Fwy., #700 281-256-8400

pg. 115

pg. 25

pg. 14

Harris Health System

pg. 63

Houston Fertility Institute

pg. 11

See ad for locations 713-873-5437

See ad for locations

110 • CY-FAIR MAGAZINE Visit for Cy-Fair jobs, events, news and more.

pg. 105


pg. 5


Cypress Creek Lakes

pg. 10


pg. 116

Towne Lake

pg. 2

OBSTETRIC/GYNECOLOGICAL Cypress Women’s Center Kerry Kirkman, MD Rachel Robinson, MD 21216 N.W. Fwy., #520 281-955-7900

pg. 96

Obstetrics & Gynecology Center of Northwest Houston pg. 93

Dr. Marcus Barnett Dr. Michelle Chong 11307 FM 1960 W., #210 281-807-0111

ORTHODONTICS Copper Creek Orthodontics

pg. 52

Creed Orthodontics

pg. 31

Cypress Orthodontic & Pediatric Dentistry

pg. 49

Virginia Noriega, DMD, MS 5547 Hwy. 6 N. 281-463-6757 Benjamin L. Creed, DDS, MSD 26281 N.W. Fwy., #900 281-256-3838

Daniel Le, DDS, MS, PA Michelle Lin, DDS, MS, PA 14315 Cypress Rosehill, #100 281-256-8585



The Foot Wellness Center

Dr. Judith E. Rubin 21216 N.W. Fwy., #240 281-955-5500


20220 Hempstead Rd., #1 Houston 832-748-8837

Methodist Willowbrook Hospital

pg. 101

Shah N. Siddiqi, MD, FRCS(C), FACS 13323 Dotson Rd., #100 Houston 281-469-0339



pg. 73

Texas Spine Center


EDUCATION/PRIVATE SCHOOLS 11123 Cypress N. Houston Rd. Houston 281-469-7745

Duchess & Divas

Big Chuck’s Sprinkler Systems

pg. 63

Cypress Christian School



Heights Dermatology & Aesthetic Center Dr. Alpesh Desai Dr. Tejas Desai 11302 Fallbrook, #110 Houston 713-864-2659

pg. 49

16518F House & Hahl Rd. 281-975-2556

pg. 61

Lisa Hitchins, MD 10720 Barker Cypress Rd., #200 281-256-2000

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School

6646 Addicks-Satsuma Rd. Houston 281-463-1444

Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston

Primrose School of Copperfield

pg. 82

pg. 89


Lone Star College-CyFair

DENTISTS 13611 Skinner Rd., #230 281-304-9911

Celina Longoria, DDS 15210G Spring Cypress Rd. 281-213-8700

Epiphany Lutheran School

DANCE STUDIOS/LESSONS Arthur Murray Dance Studio

Longoria Dentistry

14423 West Rd. 713-896-1843

CHURCHES Christ Family Church

Julie Longoria, DDS, MSD Regina Lewis, DDS 11455 Fallbrook Dr. 281-890-7475

Say Ahhh! Pediatric Dentistry


Houston Pediatric Dental Specialists

North Cypress Dental

COFFEE SHOPS Tuscan Sun Coffee Co.

Handley Dental

Ron Handley, DDS 10730 Barker Cypress 281-304-4744

Cypress Springs Family Care

pg. 39

Medinet Family Care Clinic

pg. 54

OZA Family Care and Wellness Center

pg. 44

Ramsey Pediatric Center

pg. 57

Anh Do, MD Jalpa Patel, PA-C 7630 Fry Rd., #300 281-463-1400

Bharat Gandhi, MD, MRO Karen Scott, PA-C 6860 Hwy. 6 N. 281-564-3300

Vijay Oza, MD 10490D Huffmeister Rd. Houston 281-552-8368 Karla Ramsey, MD, FAAP 21216 N.W. Fwy., #570 281-469-4377

Your guide to advertisers and resources mentioned in this issue of Cy-Fair Magazine. PET CARE Barks 5th Avenue 10620 FM 1960 W. Houston 281-970-2284

McAlister’s Deli

pg. 49

McAlister’s Deli

PSYCHOLOGISTS / COUNSELING SERVICES Banyan Counseling 8955 Hwy. 6 N., #150 Houston 281-855-1982

Cy-Fair Psychological Associates

Teresa Tarver, PsyD 11811 FM 1960 W., #130 Houston 281-943-9250

pg. 52

25250 N.W. Fwy., #200 281-463-4131

25282 N.W. Fwy., #120 281-256-0737

Mamacita’s Mexican Restaurant

19831 N.W. Fwy. Houston 281-469-3663


pg. 111

7302 Hwy. 6 N. Houston 281-859-9936 25712A N.W. Fwy. 281-758-1300


pg. 111

pg. 111


Nandana Day Spa

pg. 53

12603 Louetta Rd. 832-717-4300

Salons at Stone Gate

pg. 111

11734 Barker Cypress, #111 281-256-2204

pg. 82

Cypress Ace Hardware & Feed 11655 Jones Rd. Houston 281-469-8020

18020 FM 529 281-855-6801

To the 9’s


14625 FM 529 Houston 281-463-9088

Willowbrook Mall

2000 Willowbrook Mall Houston 281-890-8000

pg. 111

pg. 111

pg. 20

pg. 111

pg. 112

All-Star Martial Arts

pg. 84

Great Play

pg. 45

K2 Academy of Kids Sports

pg. 57

14405 Telge Rd. 281-373-5425

11808 Barker Cypress Rd. 281-246-7529

The Little Gym

8504 Hwy. 6 N. Copperfield 281-859-3939

West Houston Gymnastics Club 11712 Grant Rd. 281-205-7450

pg. 72

pg. 93

SWIMMING POOLS Aqua Blue Custom Pools

pg. 30

Cypress Custom Pools

pg. 26

9120 Sweetbrush Dr. Houston 832-912-7665 14119 Grant Rd. 281-351-6113

Richard’s Total Backyard Solutions


12603 Louetta Rd. 281-655-7272


Langham Creek Ace Hardware

25282 N.W. Fwy., #155 832-220-1529

18025 FM 529 281-856-8060

RESTAURANTS Brother’s Pizzeria

pg. 111

7502 FM 1960 W. Houston 281-897-8777

Newk’s Express Café

pg. 95

REAL ESTATE Heritage Texas Properties

pg. 111

25672A N.W. Fwy. 281-758-1225

1701 Hwy. 6 S. Houston 713-777-7665

pg. 114


Dr. Dana Ziskrout Dr. Katie Pham Dr. Yvonne Jenkins 12320 Barker Cypress, #400 281-373-1020

Pearle Vision

See ad for locations 281-256-8774

To advertise, call 281-579-9831 or email

pg. 4

pg. 16



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