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Podcasting Saves My Sanity

How one Katy mom uses technology to “get away” for a while

As a stay-at-home mom, I like to be available to my children.  But there comes a point at which I need a mental break in order to keep going.  This has become especially true now that my oldest daughter has given up naptimes.  She still reads or plays quietly in her room, but silence in our house is a thing of the past.

I’ve found that podcasting can really save my sanity.  During “rest time”, I don’t want to hear every little bump that my daughter is making.  However, I don’t feel comfortable tuning her out by cranking up the tunes to drown her out completely.  My solution: Podcasting!  (more…)

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Katy ISD Posts Summer Reading List for 2010

Check out what your Katy kid should be reading this summer!

Katy Library

It’s out! Hot off the presses, the summer reading list for 2010 is officially posted on the Katy ISD website. Students can get a  jump start on their summer reading by checking out the reading lists for the grade level they will enter in the fall.

So why should they read during the summer? Summer is supposed to be for relaxing, taking vacations, and having fun,. That’s true, but part of the adventures of summer can include the adventures found in good book. We’re not talking about making them read because they “have to” learn something for school. The books on these lists are chosen to foster enjoyment of (more…)

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oodCreek Jr. High Choirs give Outstanding Performances at Alamo Showcase

Wood Creek JH representatives receive the throphies for their choirs

April 29, 2010 – Katy, Texas – On April 17th, all of the WoodCreek Choirs took a trip to the Alamo Showcase of Music Festival and Competition in San Antonio, TX. The WoodCreek Women’s, WoodCreek Men’s and the TimberWolf Beginning Mixed Choirs competed and all were awarded a superior rating trophy. Each choir was also chosen as the Outstanding Overall Choir in their category (Women’s, Men’s and Beginning Mixed). To top it all off, WoodCreek Choirs were chosen as the OUTSTANDING OVERALL MIDDLE SCHOOL CHOIRS to perform at the competition site that day. This means the judges selected our choirs to be the BEST of any choirs to compete that day.

Following their performances, WCJH Choir members had an afternoon of fun in Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Then, that evening, they were awarded their trophies at Fiesta Texas. Choir members were truly in celebration mode.

WoodCreek Choirs have earned 14 trophies this year. Since WoodCreek Jr. High opened its doors in 2008, our talented choir students have earned a total of 27 trophies in just 2 years. This is a true testament to the talent, dedication, and musical growth happening here at WoodCreek Junior High. Way to go TimberWolves!

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Deceptively Delicious

Using Jessica Seinfeld’s Cookbook in our Katy home

I put Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook, Deceptively Delicious, on my wish list the year it came out.  I received it as a Christmas gift and immediately began cooking from it.  Her premise is that we can puree vegetables and include them in recipes to boost the nutrition of a meal.  The idea is that as children eat the muffins you serve them or the chicken nuggets you’ve made for dinner, they are also getting a serving of vegetables, which they may not otherwise have eaten.

When I first began using the book, I was already pureeing foods for my first-born.  She was in the baby food stage, and so I’d chop and steam and puree (more…)

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Ah…Boys

One Katy mother shares her experience from growing up in a house full of girls to raising a family of mostly boys

I was raised in a family with three sisters, a composed mother and a soft-spoken father.  Memories of my childhood consist of piano lessons, ballet lessons, creating musical productions with my sisters, and all things beautiful.  I remember collecting flowers, pressing them and making stationary with them.  I cherished family meal time and basked in the warmth of my fellow family members.  Ok, maybe it wasn’t all perfect, but that’s how I like to remember it. (more…)

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Save Hundreds of Dollars by Doing One Simple Thing

Little mistakes can cost your Katy family hundreds each year!

Yesterday I went to the grocery store for my weekly shopping trip.  I piled the cart with fruits, vegetables, cereal, milk, bread, and the necessary ingredients for a week’s worth of meals.   As I unloaded my grocery cart and watched the cost add up, I was shocked!  My total came to $188.64.  Reluctantly, I scanned my credit card and signed my name on the credit-card machine.  I couldn’t believe how much I was spending on groceries!  I knew the cost would go up as my children grew, but boy, the cost never ceased to amaze me! (more…)

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An Abundance Mentality

How one Katy family inspires others in the community

Some time ago, my husband and I met a family who had a significant impact on our lives. This remarkable family taught me how one can live with what I like to call “An Abundance Mentality”.  They inspired me to live life to its fullest in spite of circumstance.     

I met the Smith family the first day we visited our new church.  We had recently moved, and had not yet met anyone.  Upon entering, Shannon Smith walked up to me and introduced herself.  Shannon promptly asked if she could help me in any way.  Not knowing her, I was at first reluctant to ask, but I desperately needed some help with my younger children while we unloaded the moving truck. I decided to go ahead and ask if she could help (more…)

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Scavenger Hunt at the Park

Making your kid’s playdate at the park even better!

Avery, holding up her completed scavenger hunt

My daughter, Avery, has been a part of a playgroup since she was 3 months old.  Which I realize means it was really more of my playgroup than hers.  But, having grown up with the other children in her playgroup, three years later she is fabulous friends with each of the children.

We take turns planning events for our group of nearly-four-year-olds.  Ordinarily, we choose a park and provide the snack during the week we hostess.  If the weather is bad, we’ll either open up our homes or meet at a bounce warehouse or play area at a restaurant.

This week, our friend Miss Stephanie and her son Tyler played hostess and host.  We met at Mary Jo Peckham park, which in itself makes for a wonderful playdate.  However, Stephanie also provided the children with a scavenger hunt.  She gave each child a paper with words and pictures listing items to find: squirrels, trees, fish, flowers, leaves… As each child found something on the list, they’d get a sticker to put in a box next to the (more…)

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Memorial Hermann Katy Named One Of ‘Nation’s 100 Top Hospitals’

April 28, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital was recently named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions designed to improve the cost and quality of healthcare.

The hospital’s sister campus, Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center, was also an honoree.

The award recognizes hospitals that have achieved excellence and overall organizational performance in clinical outcomes, patient safety, patient satisfaction, financial performance and operational effciency. The two facilities are the only Houston hospitals to receive the honor. This is the first time the two hospitals have been recognized with this honor. Memorial Hermann Memorial City was awarded in the category of large community hospitals; Memorial Hermann Katy won among medium-sized community hospitals.

 “We are proud to be recognized as one of the country’s leading hospitals in a comparison that is based on stringent criteria and quantifiable results,” said Rod Brace, Memorial Hermann West and Southwest Market CEO. “This award highlights the world-class care that our physicians and staff bring to Houston.”

The winners were identified through an in-depth analysis.  The study evaluated 2,926 short-term, acute care, non-federal hospitals in the areas of mortality, medical complications, patient safety, average length of stay, expenses, profitability, patient

satisfaction and adherence to clinical standards of care, as well as post-discharge mortality and readmission rates for acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and pneumonia.

“The 100 Top Hospitals winners raised the bar again this year, delivering a higher level of reliable care and greater value for their communities,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and 100 Top Hospitals programs at Thomson Reuters.

Announced in the March 29 edition of “Modem Healthcare” magazine, Thomson Reuters will present the awards to executives and board members of the winning organizations in June during the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals Summit in California.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Katy Cub Scout Pack 1209 Win Parents vs. Scouts Kickball Game

April 28, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Katy Cub Scout Pack 1209 had their parents vs. scouts kickball game at their April Pack meeting.   The parents started off strong but the scouts overtook them to win the game.  Pack 1209 will have its annual scarf burning/scarf test ceremony on May 21, 2010 at Katy City Park at 7:00 pm.   Pack 1209 will have activities all summer long and invites anyone interested can come by the May pack meeting for more information.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Katy Cub Scout Pack 1209

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Cimarron Elementary School Hosts Dad’s Day

Fathers helped out around the school including reading books to the students

April 28, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Cimarron Elementary School hosted its first Dad’s Day on April 15.  We had a great turnout of fathers to welcome the kids in the car rider line, volunteer in the library and cafeteria, and read stories to the children in their classrooms.  The children were so excited to have them, and sent home handwritten Thank You cards to all of the Dads.  What a success, and a new tradition for the kids and Dads to look forward to every year.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Second Graders of Pattison Elementary Perform Circus, Circus

Pattison students dressed up as different circus characters

April 28, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The Circus has come to town!  Second Graders of Pattison Elementary entertained students and parents with a performance of Circus, Circus.  Pictured is Addy Aliaj the Band Member, Sigurd Smith the Elephant, Alexandria Skillern the the Circus Girl, Grace Fisher the Bear, Sasha Burford the Clown and Grace Kim the Horse.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Hospitalization Makes You Humble

A Katy Mom shares her triplet experience

Although my triplet boys were born last week and I am out of the hospital, they must remain in the NICU for an unknown period of time.
 
This is obviously difficult and emotional, but I wanted to blog about how this is a immediately humbling event in our family’s life. It has taught my husband and me that we are not an island unto ourselves. We cannot do everything.  We must rely on the kindness of friends.
 
I won’t be able to drive for at least the next week. Who will take my toddler to school? How will I get downtown to be with the Trips? Will my husband have to take time off of work? (more…)
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West Houston Airport Flies High with Air Show

The Katy community shares in the flight experience

A popular community event flew into Katy’s West Houston Airport the last weekend of April. The CAP Wings Over Houston Air Show was staged

Visitors got to get up close and personal with the planes.

 through the voluntary endeavors of the Commemorative Air Force in conjunction with West Houston Airport and Gulf Coast Wing. The organizations displayed US modern military, WWII, and  Korean War era aircraft, and even a Soviet fighter plane.

History buffs and airplane fans alike explored the WWII museum in one of the hangers, examined the planes up close, and then watched as many of the aircraft flew in formation overhead. A few of the spectators who bought tickets were offered the chance of a lifetime to ride in one of these historic airplanes. (more…)

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Social Media Can Save Your Family Money

Katy families should take advantage of  free internet resources

We’ve all been there. It’s the weekend or summer day and you are looking for something fun for the whole family to do without costing the bank. Sometimes saving money can be so easy and informative. We are fortunate to live in a world run by the Internet. Businesses can reach out to their target markets and for free. 

Your family can use the success of social media to save money and not miss out on great events. By following local event venues you can easily stay up to date on events and programs but you can in many cases gain access to great coupons and offers. I have seen several cases where a company has posted a special offer to their Twitter followers where you can get two admission tickets for the price of one. That can be helpful when planning family outings.

 Businesses are doing the same thing with their Facebook accounts. Following a business that you like on Facebook is another way to let your voice be heard. Many companies seek out information from their Facebook friends. We do it at the Katy Magazine (follow us @ http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Katy-TX/KATY-MAGAZINE-Katy-Texas/ .) There are many times that we are looking for a particular type of person to interview and we will put out a request.

With summer quickly approaching many favorite event venues and local activity centers are going to be preparing for social media summer campaigns. This is the time for you to put in a little time at your computer that could result in great savings.

Sit down with your family and think of some of your favorite places to go around town. Then visit sites such as http://www.houstonmuseumdistrict.org/ and pick out some places that you haven’t been but would like to try. Take a few moments and search for the places on your list on Twitter and Facebook. Commit to follow them.

That’s all you have to do. Then while you follow your family and friends online each day don’t forget to pay attention to any great offers or events that pop up on your newsfeeds. Take advantage of the savings and offers thanks to social media and enjoy your time together as a family! If you’ve had a great savings experience by following a venue through their social media please share. Also, feel free to post links to businesses Twitter and Facebook pages if you find them to be helpful.

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Sick Kids!

Having sick Katy kids can be a hard experience

My oldest daughter and I spent the morning at the doctor’s office.  She woke up in the night with croup and a high fever, and needed cuddling and to be rocked most of the night.

Although she is four, and we have been through many illnesses, it is still such a painful, disappointing experience every time she gets sick.  For one, it is so hard to watch your baby feeling so ill.  It hurts to not be able to do anything for her.  One of the worst feelings in the world.

Add to that sleep deprivation from being up with the sick child all night.  And the need to clear your schedule, make an appointment, drop some cash on a doctor visit and a prescription… it is just a miserable experience. (more…)

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Katy Christian Women’s Connection Names Mother of the Year

The Katy Christian Women’s Connection awarded Rosemary Petter, left, the Mother of the Year Award. Rosemary’s daughter Jennifer Petter, right, submitted the winning entry.

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Cinco Ranch’s Kyle Westmoreland signs with Air Force

Seated: Mom (Kim), Kyle, and Sister (Tara); Standing: Dad (Don), Jonathan Stone (Asst Golf Coach), Rick Nordstrom (Head Golf Coach), James Cross (CRHS Principal), and Don Clayton (CRHS Athletic Coordinator)

April 27, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Cinco Ranch’s outstanding golfer Kyle Westmoreland will continue his career with Air Force as he has signed to play for the Falcons. Kyle has been instrumental in leading the Cougars to the Regional Tournament four straight and is currently in the hunt for a State Championship. Joining Kyle on this great day are:

We are thankful to have had a young man of Kyle’s character and competitiveness in our athletic program and he has done a lot to bring positive accolades to CRHS. We wish Kyle the very best the rest of this spring for the Cougars and in the future for Air Force.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Bonnie Holland Elementary Kicks off Keep America Beautiful: Great American Cleanup

They came. They worked. They learned. 

Front row (L to R): Schon Cormack, Ben Boozer, Ben Po III, Chris Wilson, Joseph Pruett; Back row (L to R): Carra Fleming, Dr. Hal Stevenson, Dr. Ben Po

April 27, 2010 – Katy, Texas – On April 10th more than 150 boy scouts, cub scouts, students, PTA members, teachers and community members took part in the beautification project at Bonnie Holland Elementary School.

The project was organized by the school’s PTA Environmental Awareness Co-Chairs, Cathy Buss and Lori Alten, in recognition of Keep America Beautiful: Great American Cleanup.

The day included a clean-up walk where students and adults walked through Seven Meadows and picked up trash, cleaned up the community and learned about what items are recyclable.

Bonnie Holland, the school’s namesake and Katy ISD’s Assistant Superintendent for Governance, Legal Affairs, and Special Programs greeted the students and checked them in.

Back at the school, members of Boy Scout Troop 925 and Cub Scouts from Pack 281 planted Crape Myrtles, donated by Benjamin Po, D.D.S. of Pediatric Dentists of Katy and Hal Stevenson, D.D.S. of Stevenson Orthodontics.

Bonnie Holland Elementary students also incorporated the beautification project into their reading program.  Students were encouraged to read three books about the environment and were rewarded with a tag for their reading chain.   

Keep America Beautiful: Great American Cleanup is the nation’s largest community improvement program. The goal of the organization is to engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environments.

An estimated 3 million volunteers and attendees donated more than 5 million hours in 2009 to clean, beautify, and improve more than 32,000 communities in all 50 states and beyond.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Exley Elementary First Graders Complete Service Project

April 24, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The first grade team at Exley Elementary thought it would be a great idea to incorporate community service into our curriculum.  The project began on Monday, February 1st. Teachers began  explaining to students that February is the month of love. It is a time for individuals to show love and kindness towards others. We then utilized the time to inform students about the issues of homelessness.  Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting was read to students. The misconceptions

Exley Elementary student creates his square for the quilt

associated with homelessness were discussed and the hardships homeless individuals face were identified. One specific hardship included harsh weather and temperatures during the winter months. Students brainstormed ways in which they could show love and kindness towards the homeless. Students were then informed that they were going to make their very own classroom quilts.

 It was through much collaboration with employees at Quilt N’ Sew in Katy, Texas, that we came to formulate a plan for creating the quilts. Quilt squares and fabric markers were provided for each student in first grade. Students then decorated their square with a motivational message or illustration. Squares were then collected and combined with additional quilt pieces. We contacted the president of the West Houston Quilt Guild to inquire about their participation in this project. Their charity bee agreed to donate their time. They also provided all sashing needed to complete the quilt tops. They sewed the quilt squares and sashing together to compete all nine quilt tops. (more…)

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Caramel Brownies

 An all-time Katy family favorite… perfect for any occasion!

Whenever I need to sign up to bring a dessert to an event, I know just what to make.  My mom has been making caramel brownies my whole life, and when I started making them for my own functions and get togethers, people loved them.  They were even re-named “Ridiculous Brownies” because of how ridiculously rich and good they were.  We use the same basic recipe as the one found online when you do a search for “caramel brownie recipe”, but I like to think of it as a family recipe.

The recipe calls for: (more…)

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Bathroom Art

Being a Katy mom is full of surprises! 

Simple things seem to make life wonderful.  That’s why I decided to try this new, really cool toothpaste.  I was honestly excited to brush my teeth.  Yes, I had spent a little extra on it, but, goodness, I was a mother of four.  It was okay to splurge on myself.  I deserved it.  The first morning I used it was like magic.  My breath was as fresh as it had ever been.  I liked spoiling myself!

I wasn’t the only one who was excited about my new toothpaste.  He must have known how much it meant to me, because he waited until I was on the phone to make his move.  My toddler snuck into my bathroom, located the new toothpaste and commenced the experiment.  He smeared it all over the tub, counters, sinks and floors.

When I discovered my new toothpaste was already used up, I set out to get my next luxury.  Lipstick!  I was in need of a new color.  I had worn the old color for a long time and was ready for a change. The search began for the perfect new lipstick.  Finally, I found the perfect color.  It was called Burgundy Wine.  I bought it and stashed it in my purse. 

Again, the undercover rascal lay in wait.  This time, he waited until I was in the shower.  How did he know it was in my purse?  While drying my hair, little Braden walked in my bathroom.  I immediately noticed his hands and panicked.  Was it blood on his hands?  I threw the blow dryer down and rushed to him.  Upon closer examination, I discovered it was lipstick.  My brand new, beautiful, perfect lipstick covered him.  A smile crept over his face. 

“Where is it?”  I demanded.  “Where did you put it?”

He led me to the powder room and pointed.  The white pedestal sink was now a red pedestal sink.  And, there, lying on the toilet was my new lipstick…now only a stub.  There was nothing left. Ah…the joys of motherhood!

Do you have any zany motherhood stories to share?  Please do!

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Several Reasons to Love Living In Katy, Texas

“You’ll love this place!”

Fabulous Schools– Most people admit that an excellent school district is what brought them to Katy.  The Katy ISD school district is indeed impressive.   Most of the elementary, junior high, and high schools within Katy ISD are rated exemplary.  There is tremendous parent involvement within the district, and students within Katy ISD become accustomed to a rigorous academic environment.

Extra-Curricular Choices-There is no shortage of choices when it comes to extra-curricular activities in Katy.  Sports offered in Katy include Roller Hockey, Basketball, Bowling, Dodge ball, Fencing, Football, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track, Volleyball, and Baseball.  There are also many excellent dance studios, martial arts studios and art, theater and music studios.     (more…)

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Cinco Ranch High School CRyptonite Robotics Team 624 Competes at Regional Competition

April 26, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The Cinco Ranch High School Robotics Team 624 participated in the Lone Star Regional at the George R. Brown last month.  The competition proved to be more exciting than ever before for Team 624! Our team finished the qualifying match round with a 7-1-1 record leaving us as the 3rd seeded team out of a field of 66 teams going into the elimination rounds.  After exciting wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals we made it to the finals to take on an alliance that included both the first and second seeded teams.  We won the first match of the best of three match final, leaving the other alliance in shock!  Unfortunately, two opposing alliance robots were able to turn our robot over and prevent our relentless scoring attack giving them the victory.  Even with this loss, it was a proud moment for our team to compete at this level of competition.  Team 624 was the recipient of the “Engineering Inspiration” award which qualified us to attend the FIRST Championship in Atlanta. The TEA and the Houston Endowment provided grants to offset our entry fees to the Championship.  With the help of our school administrators, teachers, sponsors and mentors, travel/lodging arrangements for over 40 people were made within 48 hours!  The competition in Atlanta was fierce with teams from all over the world vying for a spot on the Championship EINSTEIN Field.  The team did a fantastic job making it to the Curie Division Quarter Finals.   We are all extraordinarily proud of our performance and look forward to next season.  Keep a look out for our Green Hair Spikes!!!  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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West Houston Community Invited to Make a Lasting Mark at New Pediatric Community Hospital

April 26, 2010 – Katy, Texas - Businesses and families in West Houston and surrounding areas are being invited to make their name a permanent part of a new community landmark, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, by underwriting a brick for the West Campus Brick Campaign. Recently announced by the hospital, the brick campaign will raise funds to support Texas Children’s first community pediatric hospital, currently under construction at the intersection of Interstate 10 and Barker Cypress Road. With a gift of $500 or more, a brick will be engraved with the donor’s name and permanently installed as part of the West Campus entrance plaza, creating a lasting legacy for participants and helping to ensure that high quality pediatric care will be accessible to the community for years to come.  For more information on Texas Children’s West Campus brick campaign, see: www.bit.ly/WestCampusBricks.

Donors purchasing bricks before August 31, 2010 will be recognized with a specially-designated brick featuring the word “Founder” engraved above their personalized inscription on their selected brick style. Among the first installed, Founders’ bricks will be placed in a circular area of the plaza just a few steps from the main entrance. The brick unveiling will take place during the grand opening of the hospital’s inpatient facility and emergency center in spring of 2011.

Three types of bricks are available for purchase through the West Campus Brick Campaign:

  • 4” x 8” with two lines of inscription for $500
  • 4” x 8” with three lines of inscription for $1,000
  • 6” x 9” with four lines of inscription for $5,000

For each brick ordered as an honor or tribute, a special acknowledgement can be requested.  To order bricks or for more information, please visit www.westcampusbricks.texaschildrens.org.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Katy Heritage Society Works for Historic Landmark Recognition for Local Cemetery

Katy is rich with history, including local cemetaries

Just North of I-10, lies an unpretentious cemetery. The modest plot of land

Katy's Antioch Baptist Church

 was originally owned by Adam Stockdick who donated it  in 1915 to the Colored Baptist church — now called Antioch Baptist Church. It contains the graves of some of Katy’s early settlers, several farm workers, war veterans, and workers for the MKT Railroad.

Katy Community Cemetery (KCC) is located on Stockdick Road, between F.M. 1463 and Danover Street. It is fenced in on three sides and neatly maintained by the church. Antioch Baptist church members have done a great deal of work on determining where many of the grave sites are and identifying several of the people known to be buried there. A list of names has been compiled, but the names on the graves don’t always match the list. Some of the recorded names and some of the unmarked graves have not been located so far. Moreover, some of the names on the graves are not on the list. (more…)

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Spring In Katy – Beautiful!

Your Katy garden will enjoy this time of year

Humidity can be a good thing, in a small amount.  As April is progressing here in Katy, that small amount is growing!  As a gardener and nature lover, I love it!  The lettuce is already forming small bunches, and I’m salivating at the thought of homegrown salad! My parsley, basil, chives and dill are turning into miniature herb fields, and the okra, peppers and tomatoes are all growing nicely.  The flowers here…don’t get me started!  My gladiolas are about to burst into bloom at any moment, the deep pink impatiens have become weeds, and the geraniums in red, white and pink are brilliant in the front yard.

So, humidity and I get along just fine.  Without the rain, moisture and mist, my garden and flower babies wouldn’t look the same.  Trust me, I’ve lived without it!  The roadsides in town are amazing, lit up with rose and violet colored azaleas, which grow like roses here.  Further out of town, into the countryside (my favorite place!), the wildflowers grow in abundance, like a flag spread over the meadows. (more…)

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Training Systems

There are many different fitness options in Katy, how do you choose?

Many people often wonder what are the best ways to get in better physical condition. I am one of those people and with some research I have found  3 methods of training that seem to work fairly well and they are –

3. High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T)- This training system offers great balance between scientific theory and intense physical effort.The theory for this paricular system is intense short busrt of effort and muscular tension whether it be with cardiovascular training or weight training followed by longer but effective rest periods. The other method is a complete contradiction of the previous idea, but just as effective.This method involves long, strenuous and intense muscular movements followed by shorter resting periods. While the second method is intended more for athletes or weight lifters with intermediate to advanced levels of fitness, both are effective and with proper technique and form mastering both routines will come easily. (more…)

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Standardized testing in the Katy area

Should this type of test be required for our Katy kids?

Annual standardized testing throughout the United States is common and to some degree a necessity; however,  it could be debated that in many states including Texas it is an unnecesary necessity.
The structure of the students annual agenda is based around not only the semester exams but the standardized tests. The Texas ASSESMENT of Knowledge and Skills  or TAKS for short requires five weeks out of every school year for students to prepare, which includes the pre-TAKS and TAKS itself. That five weeks,while miniscule to many, is an actual necessity to many students.
In a state such as Texas where grade point average and class rank could essentially reward a student full scholorships to top schools (University of (more…)
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Helping with Bedrest

How you can help a fellow Katyite in their time of need

It’s been five days since my doctor has assigned me to bedrest for pre-term labor. Today my mother graciously brought me a laptop–I had been close to losing my mind in the hospital.
 
My husband and I are eagerly expecting triplet boys. We’re at Week 29, so we are happy that the boys are almost here. We also have a toddler who is almost three. My being out of commission has really put a strain on our daily schedules.
 
Our friends and family have really come through for us. It has been a humbling and blessed experience to see how much we are in others’ thoughts. How can you help a friend in need? (more…)
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Using the power of reward cards to save money for baby

A Katy mother-to-be starts saving before the arrival of baby 

I use to be one of those people that despised having extra cards in my wallet. However, expecting a baby quickly changes you! Now that I’m 6 months pregnant I’m quickly becoming a collector of coupons and reward cards as a way to save money.

At the local Katy Babies R Us my rewards card helps me earn points towards savings and alerts me via email on great coupon specials. Thanks to paying attention to such coupons my husband and I were able to save 20% on our crib. This was a significant savings and with a baby on the way every little bit helps. (more…)

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The Cinco Ranch Stars Dance Team’s Annual Spring Show is this weekend

Come support one of the Katy area’s many Fine Arts programs

My four year old daughter loves dancing.  She is in a dance class, watches So You Think You Can Dance every season, and generally believes all dancers are princesses. 

So, the Cinco Ranch High School Stars Dance Team’s Annual Spring Show is perfect for us.  Each year, I let my little dancing princess choose an extra special outfit and we gear up for the big night of dancing.  She gets so excited to see all of the performances. 

There are a variety of dances put on by each grade level within the Cougar Stars, each squad of girls, and some really special performances by the mothers, fathers, and Cougar Men of CRHS.  There are solos, small group (more…)

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Baby Bottle Blessings-Fundraiser for the Pregnancy Help Center

April 23, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The Pregnancy Help Center of West Houston is excited to announce that 30+ local churches are participating in this year’s Baby Bottle Blessings Event. The event runs Mother’s Day thru Father’s Day. Local residents will be picking up Baby Bottles at their home church and filling them with change during this month long event. This event spotlights the extensive help that the Pregnancy Help Center provides to area residents who are faced with unplanned pregnancies. Pregnancy Test, Counseling, classes for Moms and Dads, as well as ultrasounds, and help with maternity clothing and baby layettes are just some of the services that the center provides to their clients.

Anyone interested in participating or in learning how to be a volunteer should contact the center at 281-578-0078.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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My Time – A Powerful Parenting Tool

How one Katy mom shares her time with her children

When I first became a mom, I devoured every parenting book I could get my hands on.  I wanted to be the best mom I could be.  I wanted to parent correctly!  The more I read, the more amazed I was at the abundance of parenting theories.  From sleep to discipline to diet, there was no shortage of advice on how to raise happy, well-adjusted children.  So, I began my long journey through motherhood, daily testing the theories I had read about.  At times I felt really good about my parenting…the methods were working!  But, it seemed that just as I mastered a particular parenting technique, my child changed and I found I needed to adjust my style.  There is one parenting technique, however, that serves as a powerful tool at every stage of child rearing.  That tool is my time. (more…)

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Outdoors!

Favorite Katy locations and activities for enjoying the weather as a family

We have enjoyed the fair weather this last month or so and have spent most of our time outside.  My two daughters have gotten their fill of indoor activities… in my opinion, winter (even in Katy) goes on two months longer than it is welcome. 

Angela, along with her daughter Avery, enjoy a bike ride around Katy

Over the past month, with the weather being as nice as it is, almost every play date and get together has involved some sort of outdoor activity.  Some of my favorites include…

*Walking around the large lakes at Cinco Ranch Blvd and Spring Green.  This is a family favorite, and we will sometimes pack a lunch and eat out on the grass.

*Playing outside at La Centera.  And what trip to La Centera is complete without a treat from one of the several shops around?  The girls love to get ice cream or cookies, I love the Starbucks and Jamba Juice.

*Visiting the parks in each of our friends’ neighborhoods. 

*Geocaching in and around Katy (for more, go to www.geocaching.com).  Geocaching is like a global scavenger hunt, with locations given in GPS.  We use my iPhone and my 4 year old has a blast helping us discover the hidden capsules.

*Local Katy parks are a real hit.  Mary Jo Peckham, the ‘train park’ nearby it, George Bush park – we love making the park rounds! (more…)

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Celebrate Earth Day with your family

The Houston and Katy areas offer many fun (and sometimes free!)options for families.

Earth Day would be great time to take your children to a local Katy park. You can search for the one nearest you right here on the Katy Magazine site http://www.katymagazine.com/parks.htm. Fly a kite, take a walk, enjoy the beautiful Katy weather before things get too hot!

If you want to tie in a little more education into your Earth Day celebration the short drive into Houston can provide you with many options. Today you can celebrate Earth Day at a most appropriate venue, the Houston Weather Museum. From 10am-4pm the museum will celebrate the Earth and the museum’s birthday. Admission is free. For more information visit http://www.wxresearch.com/earth/index.html.

The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is also always a great place to go to be close to nature. It also is free! Enjoy walking the trails and coming face to face with wildlife. The Arboretum also has many great programs that you can learn about on their site at http://www.houstonarboretum.org/

If you want to celebrate Earth Day this year in the comforts of air conditioning Disney is debuting their documentary, Oceans in theatres today. This is a great way to show your children some of nature’s masterpieces! You can read more about this at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0765128/.

Even with these options if you want to stay home there is always a way to incorporate a love for nature in what you do. Channel surf the National Geographic, Discovery and Animal Planet stations. There is bound to be something on that will peak your family’s interest.

Earth Day is a great time to have family discussion about what you love most about the Earth and how you can help to make a difference. Discuss the importance of conserving electricity by turning off the lights in rooms when you leave them. Come up with a family recycling plan or decide to help through volunteering. If your family is doing something fun and unique for Earth Day please share it in a comment!

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Katy ISD Announces VIPS Breakfast

April 21, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Katy ISD’s volunteer celebration, the VIPS Breakfast, will be held in the Merrell Center Arena on Friday, May 21, from 9-10:30 a.m.  This annual event honors the thousands of school district volunteers who donate hundreds of thousands of hours each year to our students and teachers.  In addition, each school’s Volunteer of the Year will be announced.

This years VIPS Breakfast keynote speaker is YouTube sensation and internationally acclaimed inspirational comedian Judson Laipply.  His “Evolution of Dance” has been viewed over 140 million times and led to appearances on the Today Show, Ellen, Inside Edition, E!, Oprah, and hundreds of other media outlets around the world.  Entertainment for the VIPS Breakfast will include a Katy ISD Show Choir and Jazz Ensemble, both comprised of students from every district high school. 

Katy ISD parent volunteers who need more information may contact their school’s VIPS Campus Liaison or Katy ISD Partners in Education at marthabrown@katyisd.org.  Volunteers planning to attend should RSVP online at www.katyisd.org.  The VIPS Breakfast is hosted by Partners in Education, the Katy ISD department that brings the community into the classroom!

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Yo Gabba Gabba

One Katy Mom shares how she uses her kids’ TV favorite as a parenting tool

What is it about these guys?

I skipped the Barney craze and luckily missed out completely on the Teletubbies.  I did some babysitting and so I knew of them, but I never had a deep understanding of these children’s television icons.

I am getting paid back tenfold via Yo Gabba Gabba. 

In today’s media driven society, there are so many more choices out there for television for children.  And, with as much as we limit tv time in our house, we’ve been through a few crazes: Sesame Street, The Wiggles, The Doodlebops… and most recently, Yo Gabba Gabba. (more…)

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Katy/West Houston Aggie Moms Support Big Event with “Fit to be Tied” Service Project

April 21, 2010 – Katy, Texas – “Big Event,” an Aggie tradition since 1982, is the largest, one-day, student-run service project in the nation where students of Texas A&M University come together to say ‘thank you’ to the residents of Bryan and College Station.  On Saturday, March 27, over 12,000 student volunteers completed jobs for residents and community organizations in the Bryan/College Station area.  To recognize and support this student event, the Katy/West Houston Aggie Moms met at Living Word Lutheran Church to tie fleece blankets.  The group completed 51 blankets which were donated to the Krause Center and Pregnancy Help Center here in Katy.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Katy/West Houston Aggie Moms and KISD student volunteers pose with completed blankets

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Down Days

Creating space to play and be together with your Katy family

I got a phone call from a friend of mine the other day.  “Angela!  You will never believe how much fun we just had!”  She and her 4 year old son were running an errand at Katy Mills Mall when they discovered a sidewalk full of caterpillars.  She happened to have a container in the car, so the two of them spent the next 30 minutes collecting caterpillars to take home and nurture together.  It was a moment of unplanned fun, and it reminded both my friend and I that so much of our time has become scheduled.

I stay home with my two girls, but we have activities planned most days.  With pre-school, The Little Gym, ballet and playgroup, we are very rarely home and almost always have a schedule and a plan wherever we go. (more…)

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Art in Houston

Fine arts facilities and programs are in full bloom in and around Katy

Art is prevelant in the city of Houston and to no surprise alive and well in Katy as well. There are so many oppurtunities in Katy to experience the colorful and creative atmosphere of our city. In terms of the physical arts,
Katy as well as Houston offer quality art exhibits such as The Museum Of Fine Arts in Houston, The Houston Contemperary Art Exhibit, Forbidden Gardens ect.
Musically there is a seemingly endless amount of mucisians and
bands that are not only talented but hungry for success which equates to some awesome performances. Houston itself is home to the HGO(Houston Grand Opera) and the HTD( Houston Theatre District). These operatic powerhouses offer performances that will leave you speechless. (more…)
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THS Choirs Receive Excellents Ratings

April 20, 2010 – Katy, Texas – At the UIL choir competition held at Tallowood Baptist Church on April 8 and 9, the Taylor High School Concert Women, Chorale Women, Cantilena and Varsity Chorale choirs received Superior Ratings in Concert and Sight Reading, as well as Sweepstakes overall from the UIL judges; Concert Men received an Excellent Rating in Concert and a special plaque for straight Ones in Sight Reading.  The Taylor Choir is under the direction of Mr. Kevin Riehle and Miss Kristin Taylor.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

THS Men's Choir

THS Women's Choir

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Date Night, Katy Style

Tips on creating a fun date night for you and your significant other in Katy

It’s not easy for parents to get out on a date night, but it is possible–and necessary. Planning is key. My husband and I love to get out of the house for a little while at least once a month. At times we have to cut out of work early or go in late to make use of our son being in school. We will go out for a leisurely breakfast or brunch. If we leave work after lunch, we can usually find a movie or have fun just getting out to some stores without the responsibility of watching our two-year-old.
 
But, when we can manage going out at night, we usually head to Alamo Drafthouse (531 S. Mason Rd., 77450). Here, it’s like a one-stop date night venue. First of all, the Alamo’s policy of no children under six years of age really makes a romantic difference. (I’ll tell you later about their great Baby Days, though!) All children under the age of 18 must be with parents. Nice, huh? (more…)
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Searle Wins Derby Championship for Third Time

April 19, 2010 – Katy, Texas – On Saturday, April 17, 2010, John Searle won 1st place overall in the Texas Skies District Pinewood Derby for the third year in a row. The 2010 Pinewood Derby was held at Morton Ranch High School and was open to every Cub Scout in the Texas Skies District.

John Searle - Pack 239 and Greg Allen - Texas Skies District Pinewood Derby Chair.

 

Searle was representing Pack #239.  John Searle is a Cub Scout Webelo 1 and calls his championship Pinewood Derby car “The Green Light.”  John, age 10, is the son of Kameron and Marisa Searle.

The Texas Skies District is part of the Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and comprises all of Katy ISD and Royal ISD. John Searle has won the Texas Skies District Pinewood Derby each year since the creation of the Texas Skies District.  Searle won the derby in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Each year more than a million boys team up with their parents to build and race cars in local competitions held all over the United States.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Roosevelt Alexander Elementary Hosts Spring Carnival

April 19, 2010 – Katy, Texas – On April 15th, 2010 the Roosevelt Alexander Elementary PTA hosted the fun filled family event, “Sweet Home Alexander”, RAE PTA’s 2010 Spring Carnival.

Students of RAE enjoy the Spring Carnival

The RAE and Grand Lakes community anticipates this annual community event as being one of the most fun all school year. This year’s spring carnival was just that! It was a huge hit with parents and kids, and a great fundraiser for the RAE PTA. The carnival had a live band playing songs for all ages, rides and games for the kids, wonderful fresh cooked food, a bake sale and an amazing silent auction.   Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

 

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Raising Yin and Yang

The intricacies of raising two Katy kids that are as different as night and day

My first daughter, Avery, is what most would call strong-willed.  She is emotional and excitable, which make her fun to be around… most of the time.  Anyone who has been in our lives at all will vouch for the fact that when Avery is in her element, feeling wholly loved and supported, she is a gem.  However, when something goes wrong or when she is asked to obey and she doesn’t want to… well, everyone knows about it.  (more…)

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Fresh Fruit in Katy

Making the perfect selection of fruit for your Katy family

I was shopping in one of my local grocery store and saw so many fresh fruit out ready to be bought. As I walked by several of them they smelled so sweet that tempted me to grab one and put it close to my nose and enjoyed that wonderful smell of fresh fruit. I saw mango’s, oranges, strawberries, grapes, apples and cantaloupes. Upon selecting the fruit I would put it close to my nose and see if it had that sweet smell. I would also check the tenderness and color of the fruit. I always wonder if the fruit would be sweeter if I would go to a farmers market instead of the grocery store. (more…)

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Exercise for Fun- Exercise for a Lifetime

Katy has many work-out options to fit your budget and your interests

No one likes spending time doing activities they find disagreeable, even if the activities are good for them.   So, what is the best way to ensure you will exercise throughout your life?  The answer is finding a form of exercise that you love.  Once you find a kind of exercise that is fun, you will be hooked and exercise will become a pleasure.

My favorite form of exercise is dancing.  I enjoyed ballet and ballroom dance when I was younger and find that I work hardest when the form of exercise is somewhat creative.  I was thrilled when we moved to Katy and found that several of the local fitness centers offered cardio dance classes.  If you pay for a membership to Lifetime Fitness or the YMCA, for example, the fitness classes are included in the membership cost.  I have loved attending Latin Dance, Hip-hop and Zumba classes.  They are great cardio workouts and they make me feel like a teenager again. (more…)

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A Lesson In The Park

One Katy mom discovers the philosopy of motherhood

Some of my greatest learning moments have occurred as I have talked with other women about motherhood and life in general. Often, these conversations happen spontaneously. Sometimes, they occur at times most unexpected. Years ago in a neighborhood park, I learned a lesson on motherhood.

Children really seem to be in their element when they are given the freedom to run and play to their heart’s content. On one particular day, the weather was perfect and we decided to pack a lunch to eat at the neighborhood park that was close to our home. The land on which the park was situated was really quite beautiful with rolling hills and large, majestic trees. A walking trail surrounded the entire park and the flowers and shrubs were abundant in their variety. (more…)

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Thank you CRHS JV Cheerleaders!

 

Front Row: L to R – Kelsey Snyder, Kendall Cole, Haley Hill, Shannon Creedon, Haley Hammond, and Cali Littlejohn, Marina Munoz; Back Row: L-R – Joanna Calhoun, Sarah Bockholt, Heather Donnella, Hannah Rousseau, Taylor Lyons (not pictured Morgan Nelson)

Congratulations Cinco Ranch High School to our 2009-2010 Junior Varsity Cheerleaders!  It has been a great year and you have been amazing!  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Alvin Law Performs for Students of Pattison Elementary

Pictured with Alvin is his neice and nephew, both students of Pattison, Rebecca and Nicholas Reitsma.

April, 16, 2010 – Katy, Texas – On Thursday, April 1, 2010, Pattison Elementary’s 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students and parents had the opportunity to hear a most inspiring story from Alvin Law himself.  Attitude, Learning, Value, Imagination, Never give up are the “Laws” Alvin lives by every day and promotes across the US, Canada and the globe since 1981.  Being born with no arms, Alvin has accomplished things in life most of us only dream about.  He is a trained broadcaster, fundraiser, and musician.  Pictured with Alvin is his neice and nephew, both students of Pattison, Rebecca and Nicholas Reitsma.  Alvin plays a tune for the students showing off his talents.  Sponsored in part of Arts in Education, Pattison PTA.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com. 

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The Aquarium

One Katy family’s favorite place for the big celebrations in life

My daughter loves birthdays.  She loves her own (of course), her friends (the parties!), and especially birthdays of family members.  Our extended

Avery and Kate enjoy watching the fish swim around the tank

 family’s tradition is to go out to eat for any adult birthday, as a large family unit.  We used to try to head to places like Fogo de Chao or Perry’s Steakhouse, but as the children get older (and as there are more of them!), anywhere we go needs to be kid-friendly.

Enter our new family favorite: The Downtown Aquarium.  The food is still fancy enough to warrant a birthday celebration, and the children have so much to do that the event is at least as special for them as it is for the birthday celebrant. 

Before heading in to eat, we enjoy the shark tunnel train ride.  As we’re seated and making our dinner selections, the children can walk around the huge aquarium and pick out their favorites (this past time is was the green eels).  It’s not hard to keep the children entertained as we wait for our food with the cast amount of fish, sea horses, sharks, and eels to scope out.

The food is always amazing, and my youngest daughter especially loves the shrimp and chicken plate for children.  (more…)

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Progressive Dinner

Making eating out in Katy an event

This weekend, we had the opportunity to double date and go on a progressive dinner.  The premise was that we would go out and enjoy appetizer, main course, and dessert at three different Katy restaurants, thereby making an entire evening out of eating dinner.

We have never done a progressive dinner before, and neither had our friends.  But, being good sports, they agreed to give it a go.

We began at Perry’s Steakhouse in the bar section.  We enjoyed drinks and an appetizer at a leisurely pace.  Perry’s is a favorite of ours, but the price tag keeps us from being able to do dinner there most of the time.  Having drinks and appetizers was a fun way to get the experience and the fabulous food without such a high bill. (more…)

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Mother Code

Katy Mothers Helping Mothers

April 14, 2010 – Katy, Texas – This week, while waiting in the airport to board my plane, I noticed a mother approach the ticket counter with a young toddler and an infant in her arms.  She struggled to carry her belongings, and her two children through the throngs of people gathered to board.  Floods of memories came to my mind as I remembered myself in the very same situation.  I remembered the looks and smiles of those around me.  I remembered I yearned for an additional arm.  As I watched the mother carefully move to the boarding ramp, I remembered the numerous kind women who offered assistance when I needed it most.

On this trip, I was traveling by myself, but, I could recall many other trips with my babies and toddlers that had been quite stressful. On one particular occasion, a sweet middle-aged woman shared a row with me.  As I juggled cheerios, bottles, and Sippy cups, she was an angel.  She helped me the entire flight and turned a very difficult time into a manageable, happy time. (more…)

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Houston Zoo’s Zoobilee

One Katy family’s first trip to the annual celebration did not disappoint

This is the first year that we are members of the Houston Zoo.  On a recent trip, we calculated how many times we visit the zoo, and becoming a member suddenly made financial sense.

A couple of bears at the Houston Zoo showing off for their spectators.

My girls are ages 18 months and 3 ½ years, so it is especially nice not to worry about how much each zoo trip costs.  Some trips, the girls are ready to stay all day, but on other occasions, 2 or 3 hours is all they can make it before we have to head home.  I never worry about if the trip will be an all day event or a quick stop now that we’re members, since we don’t pay per visit.

One of the perks of being a member of the Houston Zoo is Zoobilee, an annual event for members only.  Two nights a year (this past Thursday and Friday were the chosen nights this year), the zoo closes to the public at 4:30 and from 5:00 until 8:00 pm, members roam the zoo, filling their “passports” with stamps of chosen animals, watching the animals come out to play at night, and even getting to touch a snake and an enormous rabbit.  There were dancers dressed as animals (a crocodile, zebra, lioness, and even giraffes on stilts!), snacks, and carousel rides.  (more…)

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Assisted Living Neighborhood Opens In The Solana Terrace

State of the art independent living and assisted living community located in the upscale Cinco Ranch neighborhood of Katy draws much attention and interest.

With the Solana at Cinco Ranch opening its doors in October of 2009, the Katy and surrounding areas got a taste of senior living at its best.  “Now we have extended our senior living services with the opening of The Solana Terrace, the Solana’s state-of-the-art assisted living neighborhood,” says Nick Roccaforte, Executive Director for The Solana at Cinco Ranch. 

“We are committed to a holistic caring process for the seniors we serve and are delighted with the welcoming reception we have already received from the Katy and surrounding communities,” Roccaforte said.  The Solana at Cinco Ranch, designed for gracious senior living and compassionate care, added 32 assisted living apartments to the 158 apartment senior living community named The Solana Terrace.  (more…)

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Thomas Park

Having a picnic in a Katy park can be a small, family affair

Have you ever planned a family picnic, only to find other families with the same idea thronging to the park you have chosen? Have you ever wished you could find someplace a bit smaller? Less crowded? More private? There is such a place, right in the heart of Katy.

The tri-country marker in Thomas Park.

Thomas Park is a charming little recreational area at the end of 3rd Street, just off Avenue D.  This quaint green space boasts large trees, a play ground, a gazebo, picnic tables, park benches and paved walkways. It is spacious enough to contain everything including a restroom facility, yet small enough to feel like you have your own personal green space.

At one end of the park, the key attraction is the Tri-County Marker designating the junction where Katy’s three counties meet: Waller (to the North), Fort Bend (Southwest), and Harris (East) Counties.  The original marker is a triangular, concrete pillar, whittled to a nub by time and weather.  The county names engraved into each of the pillar’s three sides are equally worn by time and weather, making them difficult to read. The pillar is now permanently affixed atop a triangular base of concrete, surrounded on all sides by bricks and marble plaques engraved with each of the County (more…)

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For Newcomers to the Katy Area

For anyone new to Katy and the Houston area, these few tips can make getting around town seem less intimidating.

April 13, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Have you investigated navigating the City of Houston? Chances are, you took one look at the road maps and decided that, if it wasn’t close to home, you’d have to do without. Here are a few tips for navigating Katy’s largest neighbor without becoming overwhelmed.

Kingsland Park & Ride serves the majority of Katy commuters.

If you absolutely must drive, here are a few highway basics. The major crossroads are: I-10 running East/West, and both I-45 and U.S. 59 which go North/South. The Hardy Toll Road runs North/ South from Spring to downtown. The Westpark Toll Road runs East/West from Highway 99 to I-610. There are two loops around Houston: the inner loop (I-610) and the outer loop (Beltway, or the Sam Houston Tollway). Further out, State Highway 6 travels most of the way around Houston and Highway 99 will eventually go around the city. For more specific street directions, it’s best to look up the information before you leave and always carry a map.

If you don’t want to drive, you have the options of taking a taxi or a bus. Either option is reasonably affordable. Houston has a fleet of over 200 taxis in service. A small fare of $6 makes getting around Houston’s business district a snap. As you’ve  probably guessed, longer distances command higher fares. The maximum fare is roughly in the vicinity of 75 dollars. The (more…)

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The Cinco Ranch High School Boys Golf Team Win Big

Head Coach Rick Nordstrom, Sr. Micah Hill, Soph. Dylan Reynolds, Jr. Jake Leatherwood, Jr. Scott Newell, Sr. Kyle Westmoreland and Asst. Coach John Stone

April 13, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Cinco Ranch boys varsity took the District 17-5A Championship shooting rounds of 315-296 for a 28 stroke victory and total score of 611.  Cinco shot an impressive 71, 75, 75, 75 & 76 on the final day distancing itself from second place Katy and Katy Taylor.  Katy and Katy Taylor both shot a 639 to tie for second.  Katy won second place in an exciting 10 man playoff.  Mayde Creek shot 647, Seven Lakes shot 651, and the Cinco Ranch B-Team shot 659 to stay in the mix.  Cinco Ranch was led by Junior Jake Leatherwood who won the individual first place medal with a 73-76.  Senior Kyle Westmoreland shot the low round of the tournament with a 71 to finish in 4th place.  Senior Micah Hill shot 79-75 for 6th place, Sophomore Dylan Reynolds shot 81-75 for 8th place, and Junior Scott Newell shot 83-75 to tie Senior Jake Hartill 78-80 for 11th place.  The Cougar Boys advance now to the Regional Tournament at Eagle Point GC on April 21-22.  The Cougars are coming off of their big win at the Region Preview there on March 26-27 and will try to duplicate that victory when it counts towards the State Championship in Austin on May 13-14th.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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How the New Health Care Law Affects You

New Health Care Law Hits Katy

It has been an interesting time for Katy residents as the Health Care and Reconciliation Act bills recently became law. Below is a list of provisions in the new legislation that all Katy residents should know.  The following items will be implemented throughout 2010. 

To be implemented immediately:

  • Employers with 50+ employees must provide breast feeding breaks to new mothers.
  • Small Business Tax Credit (for businesses with less than 50 employees) of up to 35% of employer’s contribution to health insurance. 
  • Medicare Part D rebate of $250 after you spend $2,830 in total drug spending to help fill the  “doughnut hole” in Medicare prescription drug coverage.
  • Adoption Tax Credit and Adoption Assistance increase of $1,000.
  • Temporary credit to organizations for investing in new therapies to prevent, diagnose and treat acute and chronic diseases.
  • Tax relief for health care professionals who work in underserved or shortage areas and have state student loans.
  • Establishes a National Health Care Workforce Commission for Health Care professionals.
  • All new health plans must provide coverage for preventative care without co-pays.
  • Requires group health plans to cover dependent children up to 26 years old.
  • Requires Health and Human Services (HHS) to award grants to States to create health insurance consumer assistance to receive and respond to inquiries and complaints regarding health insurance coverage.
  • Requires better screening of health care providers to reduce fraud.
  • Creates a federal council to promote healthy policies.
  • Extends Medicare payment protections for small rural hospitals.
  • Establishes a private, non-profit institute to identify national priorities and provide for research to compare the effectiveness of health treatments and strategies.
  • Offers an option to allow States to cover parents and childless adults up to 133% of the poverty level.
  • Creates new requirements of non-profit hospitals.
  • Expands and improves low-interest student loan programs, scholarships and loan repayments for health students and professions.
  • Requires BCBS organizations to have a medical loss ratio of 85% or higher to receive special tax benefits.
  • Insurers cannot cancel policies to avoid paying medical bills if a person gets sick.
  • No more lifetime limits on benefits.
  • Creates a grant program to help the States in requiring health insurance companies to submit justification for all requested premium increases.

To be implemented July 1

  • Eligible people cannot be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.
  • Indoor Tanning Services will be taxed an additional 10%.
  • Creates a temporary reinsurance program that helps companies provide early retiree health benefits for those ages 55-64 to help with the expense of the coverage.
  • Requires the HHS to create a website for people and small businesses to find affordable state health insurance.  It will also give information regarding reinsurance for early retirees and small business tax credits.
  • Creates an investment fund for prevention and public health programs.

To be implemented by October 1

  • Insurance companies cannot cancel coverage when a person gets sick.
  • No lifetime limits on benefits.
  • Requires new group health plans to provide an appeals process for coverage determinations and claims.
  • Children cannot be denied for pre-existing conditions in employer and individual plans. (Will be effective for all plans by 2014.)

My future posts will describe what the law provides from 2011 – 2020.

So how does this new law affect you and your family?  Are you happy about the new health care bill or does it cause you great concern.  Let me know what you think.  Email me at lmcland@mclandhr.com  I am running an unofficial survey and will publish the findings in a future blog.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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Westlake Academy hosted its first Spelling Bee

April 9, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Westlake Academy, a new private Christian school, hosted its first Spelling Bee on Thursday, March 11, 2010.  A total of 18 students from Kindergarten through Fifth Grade participated, and they all had a wonderful experience!  It was a long race to the finish line; the winner and first runner-up competed in numerous rounds before finally declaring a winner.  Congratulations to all of the Super Spellers!  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

1st Place: Holly Gibson (3rd Grade), 2nd Place: Daniel Folse (2nd Grade), and 3rd Place: Thomas Folse (4th Grade).

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Cougar Stars Summer Dance Clinic is Around the Corner

April 8, 2010 – Katy, Texas – This clinic is to help students who are interested in dance and dance team, gain confidence and provide them the opportunity and enjoyment of working with the Stars.  This clinic is sure to be the highlight of their summer. It is open to any girl or boy interested in dance or dance team between the ages of 4-18. 

The clinic will take place Monday June 21st- Friday 25th, 2010 from 8:00 am- 12:00 pm daily at the Cinco Ranch Cougar Stars Dance Gym.  Tuition: $125 for clinic and t-shirt. A light snack will be provided. 

Students will be divided by school grade and will learn age appropriate routines from the 2010-2011 Cougar Stars.  All participants should come in shorts, shirts, leotard, and tights, or anything comfortable to move in.  Please wear tennis shoes or jazz shoes. Clinic participants will perform routines in a special showing for the parents 11:15 am on Friday, June 25th.

Registration: 7:00 am-12:00 pm or pre-registration through the mail.  Check must accompany registration form and should be made payable to CRHS DTBC.  Mail registration forms to: Cougar Stars Dance Clinic Attn: Lindsey Dresner, 23440 Cinco Ranch Blvd. Katy, TX 77494.  Registration forms can be found at www.crhscougarstars.com.  If you have any questions, contact Lindsey Dresner at LindseyMDresner@katyisd.org.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Katy Neighborhoods with HOA’s

The Benefits vs. Regulations of living under s Katy Home Owner’s Association

My family and I have never experienced living in a neighborhood with HOA’s before Katy, Texas.  Meaning the fees or the benefits.  There are plenty of benefits, and I had to overcome my frustration with the fact that I could not have chickens in the backyard (“Even if they are kept inside an enclosure?” I asked the representative on the phone in disbelief, while she practically snorted “Absolutely NOT!”) before I could stop to appreciate the strengths of HOA’s!  Well, after I got over my initial trepidation with this new idea, I decided to explore what I could do in my backyard.  Or at the park, the gym, the pool, and all the other beautiful amenities that we, after $700 a year, bought rights to!

“So I can’t have more than two in-laws at the pool with us?”  I asked the clubhouse receptionist, as she gave me the “tour.”  This time I think my jaw was dropping, because she looked at me funny with her head tilted, as she slowly nodded, “That’s right, maam.”  So I need to call up those friends and family members that I promised could come over and swim for the Fourth of July party!  Other plans are now necessary. (more…)

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Spring Picture Books

One Katyite’s top 5 favorite spring time picture books

My mother and I both went back to school and got our Masters in Library Science.  That means, among other things, that my children have a double dose of avid readers gifting them with books upon books.  And they love it!

With the beautiful weather outside and the promise of longer evenings, there are a few favorite books I like to read with my children during this season especially.  Some are oldies but goodies, while others are recent discoveries. 

*The Aminal by Lorna Balian – This is a fun little story about a boy who finds an aminal.  The children spend the rest of the book picturing what this aminal might look like, and in the end, all are surprised by the friendly creature. (more…)

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Marching Bands Make Presentation to Katy ISD Board

Doug Dunlap - Taylor High School Band Booster President, Mr. Bailey - Taylor High School Director of Bands, Rebecca Fox – Katy Independent School Board Member, Mr. Archer - Seven Lakes High School Director of Bands, and Larry Miller - Seven Lakes High School Band Booster President

April 12, 2010 – Katy, Texas – A special presentation was made to the Katy ISD School Board during the recognition of “Music in Our Schools Month”. Each member was presented with a framed photo commemorating the first combined half time show with Taylor High School and Seven Lakes High School students taken by Craig Moseley.

The story behind this collaboration goes back to a car accident, which resulted in the loss of a fine young man who marched in the Seven Lakes Band, named Matthew Schmidt. Matthew’s love of music and marching band, inspired hundreds of students who wanted to support one another during this tragic time and has since created a new level of friendship, respect and love between the students in marching band at Seven Lakes and Taylor.

The presentation to the KISD board members, Superintendent Mr. Alton Frailey and Fine Arts Director Mr. Bob Bryant was an effort to capture this spirit as well as those inspiring moments.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Reading with Children

One Katy mother shares her tips on getting your child to appreciate reading

We all know how important reading is for children. Children who are readers score higher on standardized tests, show a love for literacy, and are usually clearer writers and spellers. There are even studies that show that reading to a child still in the womb is a calming and beneficial practice. Parents of toddlers and pre-readers know the joy children exhibit as they wander through a bookstore or library and choose a book of their very own. My son loves to climb into any family member’s lap and simply say, “Read to me.” Books are one of his favorite hobbies, and I think it’s mainly because both his parents enjoy reading and reading to him.
 
So, how do you get your child to enjoy reading? Here are some simple ways parents can involve their families in literacy. (more…)
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Two Free Christian Concerts – And You’re Invited!

Katy church offers family-friendly entertainment

Life Church of Katy is an excited host to two different musical events coming up in April.  The first is guest Rick Pino this Saturday, the 10th of April and is being held at 7PM in the fellowship hall at Life, which is located at 2610 Greenbusch Rd. in Katy.  For information on Rick and his musical ministry, you can visit his website at www.RickPino.com. 

He usually charges for these events, but has “connections” within the congregation at Life Church and is giving away his gift on Saturday!  So come join him and Life in this awesome evening!

 The next event is Kim Walker on Saturday the 24th, at 7PM and Sunday the 25th at 10:30 AM, where she will lead worship for the regular morning service.  Again, this event is FREE to attend, and Kim has a powerful ministry in worship.  See her detailed information on her website at www.kimwalkermusic.com.  She is also known for her role in the revival in youth ministry today.  Her home base is Bethel Church in Redding, California, where she is an integral part of the ministry there. (more…)

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Chesson Dental Grand Opening

April 8, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Dr. Chad Chesson is proud to announce the opening of his own practice in Katy. Chesson Dental has provided a new state of the art office, with the latest in dental technology.

Dr. Chesson grew up in San Antonio and graduated from Texas A&M University in 1993. He earned his Doctorate of Dental Surgery at the University of Texas-Houston Dental Branch in 2000.  After graduation he worked for eight years in the Memorial area of Houston for one of the largest family practice offices in the city. Here he treated a wide variety of patients and performed multiple procedures including the placement of implants.  It was also here that he met his wife Kristen. After they were married they made their home in Katy. Dr. Chesson is a member of multiple dental societies and routinely attends lectures nationally to keep up-to-date of new techniques and dental advances.

A grand opening will be held on May 1, 2010 for anyone who would like to meet their new dentist and tour the office. Drinks and snacks will be served as well as drawings for prizes and new patient specials. To find out more information please visit www.chessondental.com.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Dr. Chad Chesson

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30 Minutes Alone

One on one time in a busy Katy household is hard to come by, but it is possible!

My children, ages 18 months and 3 ½ years, are very busy.  They (luckily) love playing together and most often keep each other pretty well entertained.  We’ve reached a point where I can even spend 5 minutes tending to a household chore while the children play nearby.  We’re in the eye of the storm: my baby has not yet hit her terrible twos, and my oldest daughter understands how to share to some extent.  It is wonderful.

Yet in this blissful break, it is also important to me that I remember my favorite poem of all time.  It is called “Song for a Fifth Child” by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton, and while I never plan to have a fifth child to recite the poem to, I love the heart of the message: “The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow, for children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.  So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep. I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.” (more…)

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Katy Senior Prom

Katy kids get ready for Senior Prom

I recently went to Katy Mills Mall and noticed so many young ladies and young men shopping for their upcoming prom. There were alot of young ladies that were shopping with excitement for that special dress that they would be wearing for prom and not to mention those special accessories as well. Many of them debating whether to have a knee length dress or a long length dress. Many of the girls showed themselves different colors of dresses and wanted to know each others opinion. Many of the young men looked for that perfect suit to fit for that special night as well those perfect shoes. This was going to be a special night with so many memories to be remembered for their entire life. (more…)
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West Houston Charter School Dancers Win 1st

The Junior High dancers of West Houston Charter School competed in the Crowd Pleasers dance competition on Saturday, March 6, 2010.  They won 1st place for their lyrical and modern pieces, and they received the Crowd Pleasers Award which means they received no score lower than 85 from the judges.   Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

West Houston Charter School Jr. High dancers

Top Row from Left to Right
Katelyn Jezierski, Sierra Walker, Emileigh Brewer, Samantha Fowler,  Marie Terjero, Amanda Nunamaker, Mandy Hellwig, Director Gladys Sue Hovis 
Bottom Row  from Left to Right
Ana Patino,  Kaila Hernandez, Megan Hellwig,  Scarlett Dwyer, Whitney Brewer, Danna Hamilton, Maggie Arieu
 
 
 
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Horses on the Brain!

Katy has many resources for the horse lover in you

My family and I have joked since we moved here that Texas is the only place where you see goats in the front yards and horses in the back!  Being the country girl that I am at heart, I love that fact!  I have always loved horses, and my siblings and I were lucky enough to experience them growing up.  So I decided to do some research online about what Katy has to offer our kids as far as horseback riding lessons, and I found some interesting information. 

Here are several locations that offer lessons for children (and adults, if you are interested in experiencing time with these incredible animals for yourself!)  Circle Lake Ranch is located only one minute from I-10 on FM 1463, and they offer many services, from the basic horseback riding lessons to western and english riding styles.  They start at age seven to adult, and charge $200 monthly, for 50 minutes of riding, and 10 minutes of tack knowledge.  They also offer summer day camps, beginning in June, for $350 a week.  You can check out all the details for yourself at their website at circlelakeranch.com, or call 281-395-4311. (more…)

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Katy’s Fair (Usually!) Weather

 How do you make your Katy garden grow?

As an avid gardner who had struggled with the oppressive heat and lack of natural moisture back in Arizona, I have to admit I was relieved to be coming to live in Katy where it is green and wet!  I looked up the statistics online before we even arrived here last fall, and was the thrilled with the promise of a lack of cold weather and bounty of rain.  I told friends that I would be able to “throw the seeds in the ground, and they’ll just grow!”  OK, I’ll admit, I’ve doubted those numbers a lot recently, as this area went through record-breaking cold weather, rainfall, and even heat this past six months!   Needless to say, I’ll tell you that it hasn’t been quite that easy to garden here!  It is, however, not a disappointment to me at all.

I tried a couple of different options this year for planting, just to see how it would go.  I planted seeds inside, in the seedling trays you can find at Wal-mart.  I also planted the same seeds outside by the first week in March.  (I planted bulbs, like the onions, garlic and flowers, earlier, around the beginning of February.)  Interestingly, the outside seeds are doing better as far as strength and tolerance.  The inside seeds grew larger plants, but not as hardy to the weather.  Of course, the typical hardier plants are doing fine (more…)

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Ah…The Majesty of Spring!

As summer approaches, this Katy mom knows how to plan

As the chill of winter melts into spring, there seems to be a certain feeling of excitement in the air.  Color emerges from every yard as the grass turns green and the trees and shrubs blossom with new growth.  Families can be seen working in their yards- trimming bushes, clearing fallen leaves, spreading mulch, planting flowers- creating a natural work of art.  Flowers fill the medians as care is taken to beautifully adorn the city of Katy. 

Yes, spring has arrived.  Cool breezes float gently into homes as air conditioning is postponed for a brief time.  We have the desire to sort closets, clean out the garage, dust the blinds, and get rid of some of the clutter.  The inside, as well as the outside of our homes, emerges, new and improved.  Birds sing happily and create a symphony of melodious harmony, and we try to savor every last minute of the cool, temperate weather. (more…)

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Taylor PlayMakers advances at Zone UIL Competition

Wendi Reichstein, Jeff Mertz and Amanda Vandiver

April, 7, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Taylor PlayMakers award winning performance of ‘The Children Hour” advances at the Zone UIL competition.  Students performed against area schools and advanced to the District level.  Amanda Vandiver was named Best Actress. All Star Cast award went to Wendi Reichstein.  All Star Cast Honorable Mention awards went to Sydney Adkins, Jeff Mertz, Megan Rutherford and Rachel Stur.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Wendi Reichstein, Jeff Mertz and Amanda Vandiver.

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Sugar Overload

One Katyite is rewriting holiday traditions to include less sugar and more nutrition 

When holidays roll around, the pull towards the kitchen gets stronger.  My desire to bake to make every occasion special is so deep rooted that I have had the hardest time breaking the trend.

I should stop and present this disclaimer: I’m not against sugar intake.  On the contrary, I love all things sugar.  But at some point, when the kitchen is overflowing with candy and my daughter brings home cupcakes from Nana’s house, the need to bake sugar cookies just because it’s a holiday deserves an honest assessment.

This Easter, I realized that we, as a family, are on sugar overload without me adding to the baking mix.  I knew this cognitively, but there was a powerful inner force that kept bringing me back to the kitchen, over and over again, reaching for the mixer.  “But baking a bunny cake is tradition,” I’d tell myself.  Or, “Sugar cookies at every holiday is so much fun!  I want my kids to have fun, don’t I?” (more…)

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A Trip to the West Houston Airport

Beat the Summer heat with this unique trip without leaving the Katy area

My two and half year-old son loves all things motor! He has a large collection of Matchbox and Hot Wheel cars, a few trains, and some airplanes to play with at home. When we go outside, he is always looking up to find planes or helicopters.

My husband and I recently took him to the West Houston Airport (18000 Groschke Rd. 77084). You may not have even known this little gem was right here in Katy! It was a huge hit with all of us.

It’s a real, working airport. When we go, we are treated to planes taking off, landing, and parking. It’s fun for our son to see the different colors and sizes of the planes. Once we saw a dog getting out of the plane, and he thought that was a real hoot! (more…)

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Taking Care of Me So I Can…

When you are running on low, this Katy mom knows how to relax

For the most part, I tend to be a fairly up-beat person. In fact, most days I wake up with a sense of anticipation for the day ahead. The one exception, however, is when I am sick. I learned early on in motherhood that gone are the days when someone waits on me hand and foot when I am under the weather. In fact, it seems fair to say that mothers simply aren’t allowed to be sick. There is no such thing as taking a sick day, calling in sick, or taking a leave of absence. For, there is always a fire to put out, a heart to cheer, a kitchen to be cleaned, a meal to prepare, and an extra-curricular activity to attend.
 
So, when one day, I found myself sick with a horrible case of the flu, I was grumpy. My muscles ached, I had no energy, and of course, my husband had to work late. By the time I was giving the children a bath, reading to them and tucking them in bed, I felt absolutely horrible. I feared I was feeling what it must be like to get old. Every step hurt. My neck and shoulders throbbed, and I couldn’t seem to get comfortable. Suddenly, I felt angry. (more…)
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Mommy Rock Star – Helping at School

There are many volunteers opportunities in Katy

Several days ago, I went to my child’s elementary school for a class party.  Upon entering the classroom, I felt like a rock star!  When the children saw me, they all began saying, “Hi, Mrs. Lewis!  I remember you!  How are you?”  You see, I had been their Junior Achievement teacher, so I had taught five short Junior Achievement lessons in their classroom.  I had loved every minute!  As I walked into the classroom, I felt honored that they knew me and felt even happier as I watched my son swell with pride.  I have really enjoyed helping in the Katy School District.

I am amazed at the parent support in the Katy schools.  I have never seen more parents who are willing to donate time and energy to making the schools better.    Some parents spend hours and hours volunteering at the schools as room mothers, PTA board members, lunchroom helpers, library volunteers, workday helpers, party planners, and organizers of special programs such as PATHS, Ranger Science, and Junior Achievement.   No wonder the schools are so good in Katy!  The parent support is unmatched!  I have just started to become acquainted with all the volunteer opportunities, but, boy is it fun!     (more…)

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Good Neighbors Make Good People

Living in a great neighborhood makes one family greatful that they in Katy

While building our new home in Katy, we frequently visited the building site to watch the progress of our home.  It seemed as if every time we came to the home, neighbors greeted us and extended a warm welcome to the neighborhood.  Being new to a city is sometimes difficult and I have been grateful for the friendly folk of Katy, Texas.  Neighborly neighbors really make one feel at home. 

Since settling into our home, I have learned from the examples of many great neighbors.  I believe that being a good neighbor truly makes you a better person.  Looking out for the needs of others takes the focus from self and helps us to learn and grow.  Let me share some of the kind acts performed by my fabulous neighbors.

Upon moving into our new home, several neighbors stopped by to exchange phone numbers with us.  They introduced themselves and let me know that they were friends that I could turn to if a need arose.  It was a great comfort knowing that if I found myself in a bind, I had some kind and willing neighbors who could step in and help. (more…)

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The Year of the Indian Paintbrush?

Searching for good bluebonnet photo locations in and around Katy

Avery, 2 1/2 years, and Katie Beth, 6 months, at their blue bonnet photo shoot last year.

We took a road trip to Austin last weekend.  It was a quick trip with very little time to stop and smell the roses (or to stop and take photos with the bluebonnets).  But while we were driving, I made it my personal mission to scout bluebonnet spots along I10.

I was surprised to see many, many Indian Paintbrushes but very few patches of bluebonnets.  They were out along the side of the road, but not in any real numbers.  It wasn’t until 2 hours outside of Katy on I10 that I started noticing fields of bluebonnets and cars pulled over to take pictures. 

I love taking annual pictures in the bluebonnets with my children.  But a 2 hour trip seems a bit excessive just to snap a few shots.

Two years ago, we loaded my then 19 month old daughter into the car and drove up and down roads for about an hour before giving up and heading back for home.  That year, we captured no bluebonnet shots.  Just an adorable little girl in the grass.

Last year we had much better luck.  Twice we stumbled upon amazing bluebonnets – as far as the eye could see.  We snapped some of my favorite photos of my girls (now two of them!) and enjoyed a picnic dinner in the spring sun. (more…)

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West Houston Charter School students competing at state PSIA

April 5, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Five West Houston Charter School students won 1st or 2nd at the PSIA (Private School Interscholastic Association) competition on March 27th and are heading to state competitions which will be held at TCU campus on April 24th.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Pictured left to right are: Tylar Tidden, Kristen Graham, Sophia Wyatt, Phillip Mills, and Megan Hellwig.

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Where I’ll Be on Wednesday Night

Katy Baskin-Robbins is hosting a 31 Cent Scoop Night

My family loves to go out for ice cream.  We have two daughters, and to save money, we usually buy one kids cone and then half it between two bowls for them to share.  But this Wednesday, April 28th at Baskin-Robbins, they will each enjoy their very own scoop of ice cream.  Baskin-Robbins stores across the nation are hosting a 31 Cent Scoop Night.  They will donate $100,000 to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and reduce the price of a scoop of ice cream to 31 cents from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm this Wednesday night.  Some locations will also provide customers with the opportunity to give back to local fire departments as well.  For our family, ice cream and supporting a great cause is a winning combination.  It’s no question where we’ll be on Wednesday night! (more…)

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Today, I Appreciate My Mom

Having Katy kids of my own really does help me see how much my mom did for me

Today, I stand in the kitchen surrounded by sugar cookies.  They’re out of the oven, half-iced, and cooked unevenly because I’m still learning to roll dough correctly (after 29 years!)
All of the baking and rolling and icing makes me think of my mom.  It’s too true that we don’t fully appreciate our own moms until we ourselves are moms.  
My mom used to make sugar cookies at every major holiday: Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s, Easter… she’d bake them and then let us help ice them and add the eyes and decorations as we saw fit.  When I was a kid, it looked like this:
(Skipping in from careless play)
Mom: I have cookies, you want to ice them?
Me: Yes!
I never realized that “I have cookies” meant she’d spent the last 2-4 hours mixing, rolling, cleaning… I never stopped to think that she had a million other things going on.  It was just cookie day.  Man, I love that lady.
This got me thinking about other things.  Like the fact that if I brought home 1 or 14 friends, she’d order pizza for us or hand out candy bars like a vending machine or have fresh baked brownies.  Like the fact that I had more experiences in my youth than most people have their whole lives.  Like the fact that she constantly had a new art project, a new science experiment, or a new pet for us to use as we learned through play.  And she did it all for us, all without ever having anyone fully realize the depth of love and effort she was pouring into us, every single day.
I take being a mom more seriously than any other job I’ve ever had.  I love it, I throw myself into it.  If only I can give my girls what my mom gave me.
Today, I appreciate my mom.
What about you?  What is it that you appreciate about your mom?  Post a comment below.
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Easter Fest with a Little Extra Excitement

The Waters Church’s Annual Easter Fest had fun and surprises for Katy families

Avery on a pony ride at Easter Fest 2010.

We attended the 2nd Annual Easter Fest event last night at a local church, The Waters Church, located on 2710 North Mason Road #145 in Katy.  We arrived slightly early since my children are young and would need to head home to sleep before the event was over.

When we arrived, everything was being set up: no less than 4 bouncy houses, a pony ride, a balloon artist, a petting zoo, popcorn, hot dogs, and 2 brand new 2010 fire engines (one with a ladder)!  Chuck E. Cheese was there as well, and for the lucky early birds, he had cotton candy that he was handing out.  Within the first 30 minutes, we had already enjoyed our hot dog dinner, 2 of the jump houses, and were waiting for a turn on the pony rides.  After watching my 3 ½ year old ride a pony and marveling at how big she is getting, we headed to the balloon artist for our own personal Easter Fest tradition: a pink and purple butterfly balloon.  My daughters were in carnival heaven! (more…)

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Sport Activities In Katy

Katy Mom enjoys seeing her children having fun

I love the different kinds of sports that Katy offers for our children. There are so many choices that our children can pick from that they even want to do all of them. My son has selected t-ball and this is his first year in the sport. He has become a real pro at it. He anxiously awaits for his practices that he even tells me not to forget. I find this very amusing because he stares at his schedule and even the calendar just to make sure we don’t miss it. When we went to select his items for t-ball he was very excited that he wanted every item in the store.
Our first day of practice was real fun. He learned how to put on a baseball glove, hold the bat, hit the ball, pitch the ball, and even throw the ball to his teammates. I was on the bench being the cheerleader of the team. I even wanted to go out there and run with them. My camera will be full of pictures of his many special moments with his team to last for a lifetime. The practice went by so fast because of all the fun they were having that my son didn’t (more…)
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Cell Phone Introduction

Katy Mom wants to know what age is appropriate

I have a 6yr old  and 11yr old and they both been asking me when will they get their own cell phones. I have been debating what age should I start giving them cell phones. I didn’t give my 15 yr old a cell phone until he was 13yrs. Did I start too early or too late? I decided to give him one because of all the extra curricular activities he was in. The one thing that I am concerned about is too much phone usage. Are we ready to hear those rings and what about those text messages? What cell phone plan would benefit them? Should I get them on a texting plan? Also what phone would be best? These are some of many questions that come to mind.
 
I have seen children as young as 9yrs of age with cell phones in their hands. A cell phone can always be handy in an emergency when needed especially if they have to stay after school or attend extra curricular activities. This has came in very handy for me with my 15yr old.  (more…)
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The Great SW Equestrian Center and Texas Children’s Partner Up

The Great Southwest Equestrian Center recently held a lunch reception to dedicate the Texas Children’s Hospital Arena Club, the newly renovated reception room at the center. The new partnership coincides with the development of the new West Campus, Texas Children’s first pediatric community hospital that will serve the Greater West Houston area from Sugar Land to Bryan – College Station.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Jeff Hildebrand, founder, president and CEO of Hilcorp Energy Company; Lynn Walsh, president of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show; Michelle Riley-Brown, vice president of Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus

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THS Golf Teams Place 2nd at Tournament

The Taylor High School Girls’ and Boys’ Junior Varsity golf teams both placed 2nd in the Katy ISD district tournament held on March 22.  Hunter Clemenceau and Remi Fruge placed third individually.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.
 

Shown are, left to right, Kendall Bosse, Rachel Klein, Hannah Grimsley, Remi Fruge, Kirby Bosse and Emily Williams.

 
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