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ASSISTANT PART TIME TEACHER

Foundations Academy is in need of afternoon teachers in various age groups. Must have at least 2 years of experience in a childcare setting and current CPR/First Aid. This is a part time position that has the potential of becoming full time.  Must be enthusiastic about working with children, be able to relate to children on their level, have patience, be a strong team player and have great communication skills.  Must be available to work 2:30-6:30pm.  Please send resumes to alaina@foundations-academy.com .  You may also call 281-599-1200 for additional information.

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Front Counter Staff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Katy, Texas Jobs

Great Harvest Bread Co is looking for a day customer staff team member to help serve customers, make sandwiches, coffee and bake for the Great Harvest Bread Co in Katy.   Positions are for day and closing staff. Positions available are Monday – Saturday with total work time of 15-20  hrs a week.   Dependable, good communication skills, ability to multi-task while having FUN are the key requirements.  No previous baking experience required.   If you are interested in joining our team, please go to www.greatharvestkatytx.com and fill in an application and bring it by the store. We would love to talk with you!

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CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE, INSURANCE PERSONNEL AND/OR TAX PREPARER

Katy office is seeking for Customer Service Representative, Insurance Personnel and/or Tax Preparer. Must be bilingual (English and Spanish). Have reliable transportation. To work well on team environment. Able to multi task. Great customer service. Paid vacations and commissions. Insurance License and/or tax preparation knowledge is a plus. All interested candidates send resumes to nohora@mcnmulti.com

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Instructor

Katy, Texas Jobs

SoccerTots is now looking to hire part time instructors in Katy, Texas.  Qualified applicants will start off at $15 hourly.  This is a rewarding job directing classes of players, ages 18 months to 8 years old. The instructors are in charge of directing the activities, teaching the kids good motor skills, good soccer skills and some behavior skills.  For more information regarding our services please visit SoccerTotsHouston.com or call 713-429-5312.  Also please email resume to south@soccertotshouston.com

 

 October 4th 2017 Posted to Katy Texas Jobs,Professional Jobs
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Grace Fellowship Students Give Back During Mission Trip

Written by Ashley Bendickson

In a culture that often shouts the message, “Me first,” Grace Fellowship Junior High students chose to spend summer counteracting that message by spending a week putting others first. About 70 junior high students and leaders recently volunteered whole-heartedly in Houston. Throughout the week they spent there, students served in a variety of capacities. Most of this was done by partnering with many local ongoing ministries that serve “the least and the lost” of Houston on a regular basis. Some groups spent mornings serving food to the homeless, making hundreds of sandwiches to distribute for free lunches, and others spent time learning from the kind people at an Alzheimer’s facility. It was a joy for students and leaders alike to meet many people that love and serve the Lord in this city.  

(more…)

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MOPS at FBC Katy Accepting Registration for New School Year

By Harmony Keel and Angie Aviki, co-coordinators for FBC Katy MOPs

We are currently having registration for our fall 2012 Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) semester at First Baptist Church (FBC) Katy. The fee for the fall semester is $70 for early registration before July 29, or $75 for registration between July 30 and Aug. 31. Registration includes childcare and specialized Veggie Tales curriculum for birth to 5 years old, and we welcome homeschool-aged children, as well. Those who register prior to Aug. 31 will receive an FBC Katy Moppets T-shirt for each “Moppets” registered child.
(more…)

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Summer Swim League

Katy Mother Gets Ready for Summer Tradition

Guest post by: Usha L. Machiraju

This is my sixth trip back to the car, I have the list of things that need to be packed, and I am franticly checking them off as they go into the trunk.  Towels – check. Food two small coolers for the kids and a big one for us – check. Swim suits, caps and goggles – check. Folding chairs and a beach umbrella – check . Plenty of water and sunscreen – check.  No, we are not going to the beach. We are going to another swim meet! (more…)

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LaCenterra’s Phase II – We want to hear from You!

August 12, 2010 – Katy, Texas – We’re currently working on an in-depth market research project that will help us answer the question, “What is best for LaCenterra’s Phase II?”  More importantly, it will help us determine what residents want and what the greater Katy area needs.

Please let us know what you think by taking our survey.  Your input will help guide us in the pursuit of additional retail, restaurant and entertainment components for Phase II.  It will also give us hard data to present to national retailers to let them know that Katy is ready to support an entrance into the market. 

Click on link – http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YCCBQHC .

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The Longhorns Win the Houston 5A Baseball Championship

August 12, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The Longhorns, from Katy, Texas, won the 2010 Houston 5A Baseball Champion of Champions Tournament which included teams from all the Houston and surrounding areas. The Longhorns is a 16 U Select Team made up of players from the Katy and Houston area. Way to guys on a great season! Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Pictured are:(kneeling) Colton Asheim, Ryne Birk, Spencer Evans, Beau Graeter, Garrett  Robert (standing) Brayson Longman, Kacy Clemens, Miles Wright, Jon Duplantier, Cole Angelle, Ryan Capel, Quinn Atwood. (not pictured) Joey Waid (back row)Coaches: Jon-Al Duplantier, Roger Clemens, Trent Angelle, Mike Capel, Brent Graeter

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Katy Worship Leader wins worldwide search to sing solo with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

August 12, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Shara McKee of Katy, Texas has been announced as the winner in the Sing With The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir contest. She has won an all expense paid trip for two to New York to sing a solo with the choir. This talented singer will perform during Sunday services at The Brooklyn Tabernacle on August 22, 2010. Shara is the Minister Of Music at The Pentecostals Of Katy (www.thePOK.com) in Katy, Texas and is married to Rev. Rob McKee, the Pastor of the church. They are parents of two adorable girls.  To view the submission, click here.  Plese mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Some of the Best ‘Meds’ Aren’t in Pills Says Therapist of Senior Community

August 11, 2010 – Katy, Texas - Those pill bottles can’t always compare with therapies that come in many different forms for seniors, according to Rehab Care, a leading national provider in managing rehabilitation programs in partnership with more than 1,250 hospitals and skilled nursing facilities in 42 states.

The Solana at Cinco Ranch, one of the local facilities who embraces the Rehab Care programs, feels confident it can offer any type of therapy a resident needs:  physical, occupational or speech.  “Additionally, we provide wellness opportunities such as exercise and aquatic classes, educational seminars and age-appropriate functional testing,” said Todd J. Merry, Rehab Care director at The Solana. 

Merry says his goal is the resident’s goal:  restoring confidence and self-reliance whether the issue is balance, clarity of speech or stamina when doing simple exercises or tasks.

Merry says the therapies are given only under a doctor’s prescription, but he can often help obtain that order from the doctor.  “Not only does therapy restore The Solana residents to normal physical function, it helps them to regain the kind of peace of mind that comes with independence. (more…)

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Taylor High Choir Goes to Camp

August 3, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Taylor High School choir students recently attended a choir camp at Houston Baptist University. Taylor Choir Director and Fine Arts Department Chairman Kevin Riehle was the major accompanist during the week and at the concert at the conclusion of the camp.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Pictured are: Zachary Burch, Jessica Parker, James Resch, Emily Sarlls, Emily and Katie Walt.

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Love Languages at Play

Using the concept of Love Languages in your Katy home

My husband and I read Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, early in our marriage.  We found it to be of such importance that I went on and read The Five Love Languages of Children, by Chapman and Dr. Ross Campbell.

The premise of both books is that love is understood differently by different people.  If I love my husband with acts of service, he will receive the love more deeply than if I love him with quality time.

I highly recommend the books for anyone who is interested in finding out your love language.  The book lists 5 basic, general love languages: words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, quality time, and gifts.

When life is busy being lived, it isn’t always easy for me to know exactly how to translate the overarching idea of ‘quality time’ into my structured week.  I know my spouse responds to love through gifts, but that doesn’t always mean I know which trinket to grab while I’m grocery shopping. (more…)

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Katy ISD Earns Recognized Rating from TEA for Third Straight Year

District misses Exemplary by three-tenths of a percentage point – plans appeal

July 30, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Final ratings released today by the Texas Education Agency show that Katy ISD earned a Recognized rating for the third straight year, even without the Texas Projection Measure (TPM).  

Although preliminary results initially pointed to an Exemplary rating for the 2009-10 school year, and while test scores placed the district at the Exemplary level, the district fell short of earning the higher rating by 0.3 of a percentage point because the completion rates for Hispanic and Economically Disadvantaged students fell just below 95 percent, the state’s requirement for Exemplary.  

According to the data submitted to the TEA, the district missed the completion rate by a total of five students. A review of the data submitted, however, shows that a group of students (some of whom were Hispanic and/or Economically Disadvantaged) who graduated between June and August of 2009 were not included as graduates in the district’s submission to the state. Had the students been noted as graduates, the district would have surpassed the 95 percent completion rate and been rated Exemplary. An appeal will be filed with the state based on this finding. 

“I am extremely pleased with the way our students and teachers performed and the fact that our test scores are at the Exemplary level,” says Katy ISD Superintendent Alton Frailey. “Although our overall rating is currently lower than projected due to the misreporting of last year’s graduates, we are still excited that for the first time, every one of our campuses is rated either Exemplary or Recognized.”  (more…)

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Local Baseball Team Goes to Nationals

July 26, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The Katy Thunder, a 9U select baseball team, came in 2nd place in the Mid-South Select Nations National Championship in Spring, TX.  During the week of July 11th, the Thunder went 11-3, winning 8 games in a row to make it to the championship game!  To begin the championship week, the Thunder took home 1st place in the “Around the Horn” competition.  The Thunder have only been together since January 2010, and look forward to many more successful tournaments.  www.katythunder.com.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Mickey Mouse Treats

Healthy rice cereal treats for your Katy cuties!

Mickey Mouse Treats

My family just got back from a stay at Disney World, and my children are all about Mickey and the princesses these days.  So, when it came time to whip up a dessert for a get-together, the decision was easy: Mickey Mouse rice cereal treats.  I was envisioning something like the classic Mickey ice cream sticks covered in chocolate, but I could not find a cookie cutter of the traditional Mickey face anywhere in town.

Instead, I did find a full body cookie cutter of Mickey, looking to the side.  Because our hearts were set on making this dessert, my daughter, age 4, and I decided it was good enough for our purposes.

I made the rice cereal treats and spread them as thin as possible over a jelly roll pan covered in wax paper and cooking spray.  After the treats cooled just enough to be easy to manage but not so much that they were set, I began cutting Mickey’s head out of the side.  Since it was a whole body cookie cutter, I had to form the base of his head once the treat was cut.  With the leftover treats, I rolled small balls and set them aside. (more…)

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Lost Boxer

July 23, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Kitana is a spayed female boxer that went missing from a home in west Katy on July 20, 2010. She was last seen by workers at Tubular Steel. She is brindle with white flashy markings on her face, neck, chest and legs. She also has a scar on her left hip. Her family loves her and misses her! Cara at 832-683-3784 or  832-577-4707.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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CRHS Bravo presents “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

July 23, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Cinco Ranch High School Bravo Show Choir is bringing Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” to life this fall. This popular show began in 1967 as a 20-minute “pop cantata” for a school Easter concert, and was revived and expanded in the mid-’70s, heading to Broadway in 1982. This lively interpretation tells the story of Joseph’s coat of many colors and has charmed audiences around the world with its excitement, energy, and musical variety. Dates for the show are September 16, 17 and 18, in the PAC of Cinco Ranch High School. Ticket information: In advance: adults  $8, students $6.  At the door:  adults  $10, students $8. Katy ISD Gold Card honored.  For more information, or to reserve tickets, please contact Dorothy Wilson at 281-237-5204 or dorothywilson@katyisd.org.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com

Back Row: Andrea Richardson, Eubie Pabilona, Eric Morgan, Olivia de Gruyter, Jacob Levy, Matthew Nelson. 3rd Row: Alex Barsalou, Amanda Menzie, Kailyn Campbell, Lindsay Bartlett, Melanie Mozer, Victoria Nation. 2nd Row: Bethany Marshall, Julian Peraza, Kale Harris, Chris Deyo, Austin Crosby, Sara Marquis. Front Row: Emily Gunter, Travis Martin, Katie Coolidge. Not pictured: Zane Hill, Lauren Linderman

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Mann Eye Institute Announces the Opening of Our New Katy Office! September 2010!

July 21, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Mann Eye Institute and Laser Center, is pleased to announce the long awaited opening of the Katy areas first “green” full service eye care center, located at the corner of Westgreen and Kingsland. The new center will house the Mann Eye Institute and Laser Center’s comprehensive eye care clinic, state-of-the-art LASIK center and Medicare and AAAHC approved outpatient ambulatory surgery center (ASC). To schedule an appointment in our new location, please call 713-580-2500 or 1-800-MY-VISION.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Progressive Dinner Part 2

 Trying a Katy Progressive Dinner on a less-expensive scale

We love the idea of a progressive dinner, whereby we travel to three different restaurants throughout the course of our meal.  Appetizer and drinks, main dish, and dessert are all eaten at different venues, making the night last a bit longer and allowing for some variety within the meal.

Our first progressive dinner date, we did on a bigger scale, budget-wise.  Then, we ate appetizers at Perry’s Steakhouse, dinner at Three Olives, and dessert at Hasta la Pasta.  While it was wonderful, we were curious: can we do it again, this time being more budget-conscience?

We decided to make the entire event hassle free by choosing a location that has it all: La Centerra.  We were able to enjoy three courses at three different locations, all on foot. (more…)

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Pigtails and Crewcuts Salon Opening 7/20/2010

July 19, 2010 – Katy, Texas - Pigtails and Crewcuts Salon 5131 S. Fry Road #500 Pigtails & Crewcuts, a premier children’s salon, is opening its doors and its barber chairs to the kids of Katy. Debuting in late July 2010, Pigtails & Crewcuts will cater to the locks of the tiniest customers. Meeting the needs of parents and children, this full-service salon offers a bevy of child-friendly products and services. In addition to the amenities at the creative kid’s salon, Pigtails & Crewcuts offers themed parties where children dress up in costumes and have the ultimate themed party in the Playroom. Themes include Ahoy Matey, Pretty Princesses, Howdy Partner, Dolly & Me Have Tea, Darling Diva Doll and Aloha. For more information please visit www.pigtailsandcrewcuts.com.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Samuel Luna receives prestigious “Legion of Honor” award

Recipient Sam Luna receives humanitarian service award from Rex Lloyd, who represents the Legion of Honor & Texas Veterans Commission

July 15, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Samuel Luna is the recipient of the “Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Award.”  His lifelong humanitarian service has focused on helping veterans in our local community.  Sam was nominated for this prestigious award by Father Rara, a chaplain at the Michael DeBakey VA Hospital, for his work with the veterans.  Sam serves as the Veterans Service Officer in Katy for VFW Post 9182, Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 723, American Legion Post 164 and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 9 in Houston. 

It’s through a program titled Vets’ Journey Home, where Sam focuses most of his time and has helped hundreds of veterans.  “When veterans get home they bring back important stories to tell, of adventures and pain, of fear and courage, of lessons learned. But often friends and family do not want to listen or are uncomfortable talking about war. So, if veterans are going to open up at all, they often seek out another veteran to talk with. Unfortunately, when veterans talk together of the war, attempts at sharing the grief and pain often slip into a ‘That ain’t nothing’ or ‘Top this one’ exchange of war stories” as stated at www.vetsjourneyhome.org. Vet’s Journey Home is designed by veterans for veterans. It’s a place where veterans can share their story in a safe environment.  In our area, weekend retreats are available for veterans as well as spouses.  Veterans of all ages have provided testimonials how the experience made a difference in their lives and how it’s helped improve their day to day relationships with others. 

Mark Goulston, M.D. author of “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for Dummies says it best. “There are hundreds of thousands of veterans living in hell alone, not being able to fully shake off the memories of the horrors of war that they physically survived, but mentally are still tormented by. The only way out of it or at least getting past it is through heart-to-heart conversations with others who have gone through the same. And yet, these legions of tormented warriors will fight the very thing that can offer hope of a better life.  Samuel is in the forefront of helping those healing (more…)

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Fourth of July Ceremonies

Colonel (Ret) Michael Mastrangelo (left) receiving the colors from outgoing Commander Colonel (Ret) Peyton Lumpkin (right) during the change of command ceremony.

July 12, 2010 – Katy, Texas  Colonel (Ret) Michael A. Mastrangelo assumed command of VFW Post 9182 from outgoing Commander Colonel (Ret) Peyton Lumpkin during ceremonies that marked the 4th of July observation at the VFW Post in old Katy. Commander Mastrangelo pledged to continue the VFW programs of support to our members and their families, service to the community, educating our young, and advocating the welfare of our military. “Katy is a great veteran town whose support to the VFW, from the City officials to the citizens, have been warm and close” said Mastrangelo.

Lumpkin, coming off of a very successful two years as the Commander, thanked his fellow veterans and dignitaries, to include the Mayor Donald Elder, for their support in making Katy “an All-American Post.” Lumpkin and Mastrangelo are two career military officers, who have worked closely together for the last three years, Lumpkin stressed that he views “Mike Mastrangelo as a close friend and will be eager to assist as the Post takes on major initiatives this upcoming year.”

Justin Perryman presided as Master of Ceremonies, keeping the ceremony professional and interesting for all in attendance. It was a tender moment during the ceremony when Dave Brasell, Senior Vice Commander, introduced surviving World War ll Prisoner Of War (POW) Warren Robertson. POW Robertson, also a Katy VFW member, found himself in the US Army in March of 1942 on the Island of Java when he was captured and held by the Japanese for 3 1/2 years. He was moved to various POW camps in the Japanese empire until he eventually found himself in a POW camp in (more…)

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Local Chapter Members Attend 81st State Convention of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International

Teresa Toliver, Pat Sebastian, Shirl Hawes, Dianne Hilderbrandt, Elinor Nichols, and Barbara Sherman

June 12, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Six Members of the Kappa Kappa Chapter attended the Texas State Convention of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International for women educators held in Waco at the Convention Center June 17-19.   Attending the convention were Teresa Toliver (incoming president), Pat Sebastian (Treasurer), Shirl Hawes (Parliamentarian), Dianne Hilderbrandt, Elinor Nichols, Barbara Sherman.

The chapter won the following awards during the convention: 

  • 5-Star Newsletter
  • Exemplary Yearbook
  • Scholarship Honors
  • Completing “Hundred for Headquarters” campaign

The theme for the 2009-2011 biennium of Texas State President, Dr. Vicki Davis, retired Provost at Texas A&M-Commerce, is Advance the Society…Believe, Engage, Learn, Lead.  Highlights of the convention included presentations by outstanding speakers such as Mr. Mark Hoog, Executive Director of the Children’s Leadership Institute and author whose topic was Conscious Leadership.    A presentation by motivational speaker Amanda Gore delivered the Secret Skills of Leadership, and the Magic of Marketing was presented by Helaine Jesse Morres, vice president of development and external affairs at Western Nevada College.  A Birthday Luncheon celebrated the 81st birthday of Delta Kappa Gamma, founded in Texas by Dr. Annie Webb Blanton and eleven other educators, and honored all members present who had been members of the society 50 years or more.  This occasion, always festive, featured area author Lisa Wingate who spoke on the topic, The Writer’s Teacher.  Dr. Pat Wallace, recently retired from Baylor University, was the guest speaker at the Texas Forum where her topic was Brain Fever: Women’s Struggle to Get in the School Door. (more…)

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Texas Children’s Hospital acquires “Partners in OB/GYN Care”

July 2, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Texas Children’s Hospital announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Partners in OB/GYN Care, a prominent private obstetrics and gynecology practice based in Houston.  As the construction of Texas Children’s new 15-story maternity center progresses, this acquisition is a strategic cornerstone of the hospital’s expansion into a new era —caring for women prior to pregnancy, during pregnancy and after delivery. For more information on the new maternity center, see: http://bit.ly/MaternityCenter

Partners in OB/GYN Care is staffed by five physicians including Bart Putterman, M.D.; Lynn Hoffman, M.D.; Samuel Law, II M.D.; Ava Erin Manning, M.D.; and Susan Shi, M.D.  The practice provides a full range of obstetric and gynecological services and currently delivers about 600 babies each year.  The discussion of the acquisition was initiated by Dr. Putterman, one of the group’s founding partners.  The group’s interest in joining Texas Children’s was sparked after hearing of plans for the new maternity center in 2006 and again in 2008 when they learned of  Texas Children’s acquisition of Women’s Specialists of Houston, another respected OB/GYN practice. The acquisition will have little effect on current patients, as the group plans to remain in their current location in Scurlock Tower. 

Expanding upon its premier reputation in fetal and neonatal medicine, the addition of maternity

services is enabling Texas Children’s Hospital to provide a full continuum of care to mothers and their babies, beginning before conception and continuing after birth. The maternity center is expected to open in late 2011.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Baseball Players and KISD Grads Make Katy Proud

July 1, 2010- Katy, Texas

A 2008 graduate of Taylor High School, Taylor Featherston made Katy proud with his performance in the College World Series. Featherston, an infielder for TCU, helped lead TCU to victory in its first CWS, making history for the Horned Frogs. Also on TCU’s outstanding team is a 2009 Katy High School graduate, Jarred Fancher. Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Fourth of July Activities

 (Mostly) sugarless crafting for Katy kids

 This year, our big annual family vacation starts quickly after the Fourth of July. Preparations are in full swing and keeping us very busy, so we are not planning a major party or event for Independence Day. A low-key barbeque, sparklers, and a few crafts are plenty to keep our 2 and 4 year olds busy and happy.

 Cutting back on the sugary treats in our house means no red, white, and blue jell-o or sugar cookies. Homemade ice cream, made with reduced fat ingredients, may still make it to the table, but we are proudly bidding farewell to the majority of our patriotic sweets. Instead, the children will help me make fruit-and-lowfat vanilla yogurt parfaits. We may make it extra fun and throw a little red and blue food coloring into our yogurt. (more…)

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Katy Girl Scout rallies senior citizens for Fourth of July Celebration

Nellie helps decorate wheelchairs for the parade

June 28, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Girl Scout Nellie McClellan has patriotic spirit and she is spreading it around the Oakmont Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Katy.  As part of her service project to earn the Girl Scout Silver Award, McClellan and her twin sister Maureen have been volunteering at the nursing home this summer. With the guidance of her advisor, Johnnie Jackson, activities director at Oakmont, Nellie is planning a Fourth of July program for the residents and their families on Friday, July 2.  She recruited friends from the local community, including band mates from Katy Taylor High School and family to help with the special event.

“One of my fondest memories growing up was decorating my bike and riding it in our neighborhood’s Fourth of July parade with my friends,” says McClellan. “I thought having a parade would bring a little cheer into the lives of these residents who have become my friends. I also knew they would enjoy live music so I asked some of my friends in my school band to play with me.”

The festivities will begin with a patriotic wheelchair parade throughout the facility. Helpers will adorn wheelchairs with red, white and blue décor and give residents flags and pom-poms to wave.  Everyone will wear red, white or blue and have kazoos to make music as they roll through the hallways. The parade will end at the outside pavilion where sparklers will be lit. Then, families of residents are invited to join residents for a “cookout” lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs. After lunch, McClellan will lead a musical ensemble in patriotic music and encourage residents to read poems and sing along. (more…)

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Congratulations to New Black Belts & Instructors at Katy TaeKwonDo

June 23, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The Katy TaeKwonDo Academy is pleased to announce its newest class of Tiger Cub graduates, new first degree black belt students and instructors who each passed testing requirements for their next level during the June rank exam.
Congratulations to these students who have earned their First Degree Level 1 “Probationary” Black Belt: Emma Duncan, Tyler Harrington, Joshua Lopez, Alex Maldonado, Garret Morris, Gianina Torres-Soto. Congratulations to these students who have earned their First Degree Level 2 “Decided” Black Belt: Mira Bhat, Neha Bhat, Joshua Boyce, Demetrius Brooks, Brenden Hutton, William Longridge, Kirsten Madina, Celine Maranon, Illiana Torres-Soto, Ryan Tough, Maggie Weeks, Michael Weeks, Patrick Whitehead. 
Congratulations to the following students for earning their Second Degree Black Belts: Travis Atchley, Emma Estephan, Robin Goswami, Alexander Hartono, Brandon Komplin, Jai Manning-Shaw, Sarah Munoz, Nicholas Saenz,Christine Thomas.  The following students have earned their Third Degree Black Belts: Dylan Jones, Trinidad Rubio. 
The Katy TaeKwonDo Academy also welcomes these dedicated students who passed instructor testing requirements during their exam to become Instructors: Level 2 Instructors Tyler Blonder, Madison Brost, Ryan Brost, Nicholas Saenz, Demetrius Brooks, Kevin Quentin; and Level 1 Instructors Christina Jones, Catherine Weldon, Patrick Whitehead and Diego Zamora.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.
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MD Anderson Honors Cancer Survivors in Katy

June 21, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The MD Anderson Regional Care Center in Katy recently celebrated National Cancer Survivor’s Day, which is held annually on the first Sunday in June in hundreds of communities worldwide to celebrate survivors and their caregivers.  Nikesh Jasani, M.D., medical oncologist at MD Anderson Regional Care Center at Katy, left, pins an “Only One Me” survivorship button on MD Anderson patient Maria Inez Danino.  Please mention you fuond this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Nikesh Jasani, M.D. with Maria Inez Danino

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First Day of Summer is here!

Katyites don’t have to look far for Summer fun!

Welcome to the first day of summer even though the Katy heat has made us feel like it’s been summer for sometime now. If you still are looking for some fun summer activities don’t worry. Katy/Houston has plenty!

For all you swimming types both Splashtown and Schlitterbahn Galveston Island are offering great summer specials and events. Be sure to visit both of their websites for information and details. If you think that your family may enjoy one of these parks multiple times this summer then consider a summer pass. If you love water parks those are a great deal.

Looking to introduce some education into your summer activities then consider visiting one of the wonderful museums in the Houston Museum District. You can read up on all of the museums at the museum district (more…)

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U of H at Cinco Ranch to Begin BBA Program

June 21, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The University of Houston-Victoria School of Business Administration is expanding its business degree offerings in the fall to include the Bachelor of Business Administration program at the University of Houston System at Cinco Ranch. The BBA program in Cinco Ranch will offer five areas of concentration – accounting, finance, general business, management and marketing. This program is intended for upper-level undergraduate students transferring from other institutions with at least 54 semester credit hours. In 2007, UHV began offering a BBA program at the University of Houston System at Sugar Land. Enrollment there grew to more than 400 students this spring. School officials are anticipating the same rate of expansion for the BBA program starting this fall in Cinco Ranch.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Beth Moore’s Inheritance

A free summer Bible study at The Waters Church in Katy

This summer, The Waters Church is offering a free Bible study session through its women’s ministry, Sisterhood.  The Bible Study consists of an hour long teaching session, on DVD, given by Beth Moore.  Following that, there is a time for discussion among the women in attendance. 

The group of women meets every other Tuesday night at The Waters Church, located at 2710 North Mason Road, # 145 in Katy.  This Tuesday, June 22nd, is an “on” week, or a week we are meeting.  For more information, or for directions, visit www.iamthewaters.com.

This upcoming Tuesday, we will be viewing the second session of the nine session series.  The DVD series is a recording of when Beth Moore taught her (more…)

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Father’s Day is almost here!

Katy resident offers suggestions from local event options to keeping things at home           

The Katy/Houston area is full of options to celebrate the Dad in your life with. It all depends on what you are looking for. Does your family want to go out to eat or stay home for a cookout? Maybe you’re looking for a fun event to attend?

The Children’s Museum of Houston is celebrating Father’s Day all week with special activities at Daddy Daze! Make a card, learn about Daddy’s in nature and so much more at the popular museum.

Sam Houston Race Park will be celebrating Father’s Day, this Sunday with live racing, great food and lawn mower races. Some lucky Dads will b (more…)

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Moorhead’s Blueberry Farm

Family Fun that’s close to Katy

Avery, helping her Aunt Amanda pick a blueberry.

This weekend, we will be participating in a three-year family tradition: picking our own blueberries off of the bush at Moorhead’s Blueberry Farm.  It is located in Conroe, a short drive from my sister’s home in Spring.  From Katy, it is roughly an hour’s drive, but well worth the trip.

Moorhead’s Blueberry Farm (www.moorheadsblueberryfarm.com) is open to the public for blueberry picking from late May until mid July, with changes each year based on how the year’s weather has affected berry growth and ripening.   They do not charge admission and blueberries cost $1.50 a pound, payable by cash or check only.  They are open from 7 am until 9 pm every day each week, but recommend coming either early or late due to the heat.

The past two years, by the middle of June, the blueberry picking has been slight due to extreme heat the first year and a long winter the second year.  However, on the website this year, the forecast for berries looks good!  The latest update says that there are still plenty of berries and we are thrilled to have our first year of a heavy harvest. (more…)

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Five KISD Elementary Students Chosen for Lone Star Leadership Academy

June 16, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Five Katy ISD fifth-grade students have been selected to participate in Education in Action’s 2010 Lone Star Leadership Academy summer program.

The students, from Griffin and West Memorial Elementary Schools, will travel to Dallas/Fort Worth to participate in leadership activities with students from all over Texas. Student participants are selected based on their commitment to community or school and overall grade point average.

The Katy ISD students participating this year are:

  • Kirsten Yates, West Memorial Elementary
  • Cody Meng, Griffin Elementary
  • Matthew Hammond, Griffin Elementary
  • Alyssa Palmer, West Memorial Elementary
  • Jamie Tan, Griffin Elementary

Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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You don’t have to Spend Money to Entertain Your Family this Summer

Katyites are lucky to find free times in Houston Museum District

You don’t have to spend money to entertain your family and introduce them to something new. You just have to know where to look. The Houston Museum District is home to some of the best museums in our nation. We as Katyites are lucky to be close enough to enjoy such opportunities but not too close that we feel like we are in the big city of Houston itself.

Just because your kids are not in school doesn’t mean that they can’t learn something this summer. If you play this right they won’t even think that they are learning because they will be having so much fun!

Of course, we know about the major museums in the district such as the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Children’s Museum. But did you know that there are 18 museums in the (more…)

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Living Between Adoration and Frustration

Life in Katy with a toddler and a pre-schooler

I am constantly amazed by my girls.  Yesterday, I went in to wake up my four-year old from her nap and just sat and stared at her.  On a daily basis, I appreciate the obvious things about her: her sense of humor, her creative mind, the way she spins in circles when she feels beautiful.  But yesterday, sitting on her bed watching her breathe in and out, I was struck by the little things.  How her hands have grown.  How this amazing creation coexists with me every day of my life.  How I can know the exact outline of her face and still be surprised when I really look closely at how perfectly she was formed.

I sat there, watching my daughter sleep, thinking about how not 2 hours earlier I was praying for more patience to deal with the latest act of defiance.  With both of my daughters, four-year-old Avery and 18-month Kate, I feel like I spend my time living between adoration and frustration.  The same little creature that throws temper tantrums is the one I was (more…)

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Local bookstores offer great summer events

Turn to Katy bookstores to have fun and escape summer heat

While most people look to event venues for summer entertainment don’t forget to think outside the box. Local bookstores often host signings and events. For anyone who loves to read or wants to share that love with someone else this is a great opportunity to get autographed books and meet with authors. And it is a budget event! It only costs the cost of the book.

Katy bookstore, Katy Budget Books (www.katybooks.com ) often hosts book signings. This is a great opportunity to share the love of reading with your family.

Murder By the Book (www.murderbooks.com) off of Bissonnet is also a popular place to follow for great events involving thriller, crime and (more…)

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The Many Uses of Corn Starch

Finding creative fun around your Katy household

Corn starch is great for cooking, I suppose.  I think it is supposed to be used to thicken soups or something.  I don’t use it much in the kitchen, because, admittedly, cooking is not one of my strengths.

However, I keep plenty of corn starch in the pantry at all times.  Some days drag on with two busy children, and the days that seem the longest are the ones that we aren’t able to leave the house because we’re waiting to be fever free for 24 hours or because I’ve somehow misplaced the keys to the car… again.

Enter corn starch.  Equal parts corn starch and water will make that fabulous stuff that is neither a solid nor a liquid.  When you pick it up, it becomes a (more…)

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Four KISD High Schools Make Newsweek’s America’s Best High Schools List

June 15, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Newsweek recently released the 2010 list of America’s Best High Schools, naming four Katy ISD high schools among top 1,622 schools in the nation. The four Katy ISD high schools ranked this year are: Cinco Ranch High School (No. 478), Seven Lakes High School (No. 689), Taylor High School (No. 982) and Katy High School (No. 1387).

The schools listed in the America’s Best High Schools 2010 report represent only six percent of all American public high schools. Rankings are determined by a combination of the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Cambridge (AICE) tests given at the schools, compared to the number of graduating seniors.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Taylor High School Sophomore Awarded Outstanding Performer at the State Contest

Melanie Piché

June 14, 2010 – Katy, Texas – James E. Taylor High School Sophomore, Melanie Piché was awarded Outstanding Performer at the 2010 Texas State Solo-Ensemble Vocal Solo contest. Of the approximately 85,000 students participating at the regional University Interscholastic League (UIL) music contests and the 22,000 musicians who performed at TSSEC, only 231 students earned the distinguished honor of being recognized as an Outstanding Performer. Piché received a UIL draped medal. The medallion is identical to those awarded to state champions in all UIL events. The above photo of Melanie will be included in the next edition of the UIL Book of Champions. This annual publication honors Texas high school students who reach the higest level of achievement in UIL competition. Piché is a member of Chorale and a member of the show choir Expressions under the direction of Kevin Riehle, Director and Kristin Tayor, Assistant Director.  

Most recently, Melanie auditioned for Houston Grand Opera’s high school summer program and was selected to play Carmen, in the opera “Carmen”. On Friday, June 25th there will be two performances of “Carmen”, one at 12:00 PM and another at 5:30 PM. These performances will be at the Heinen Theatre on the central campus of Houston Community College. The address for the Heinen is 3517 Austin St. Houston, TX 77004. Melanie would like to thank her vocal coach of four years Janna Ellsworth, choir directors Kevin Riehle & Kristin Taylor, James E. Taylor High School and former choir director Gary Leger, Memorial Parkway Junior High, for their continued support.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.
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Discovery Green

A great place to enjoy the summer while staying close to Katy

Discovery Green, located downtown, is one of the most inclusive free places to enjoy summertime in Houston.  It includes two large water features, similar to any local neighborhood splash park… except much, much larger, and a playground area as well.  Additionally, there are little remote controlled boats to rent and a snack bar/cafeteria and restrooms.

Visit www.discoverygreen.com for directions and more details, such as fun events held each weekend (and often during the week as well).

Discovery Park was opened in 2008, and I only recently discovered it last October while I was downtown for a conference.  Even when it was too cold for the water parks to be open, the playground area was an obvious draw for (more…)

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Friends of Katy High School Scholarship Winners Announced

June 10, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Katy High School’s parent teacher organization, The Friends of Katy, is pleased to announce the 2009-2010 Friends of Katy scholarship winners.  They are (front row, left to right): McKenzie Wright, Jessica Barnett, Kelsey Peters, Caroline Cowart and Nicholas Peltz with Ms. Lisa Hinks, Friends of Katy Scholarship chairperson; (back row, left to right) KHS principal, Dr. Steve Robertson, Grant Fielding, Jonathon Fisher and Matthew Perry with Ms. Cathy Sciba, KHS Lead Counselor.  Each recipient will receive $1,000 for college tuition.  Congratulations to these outstanding Katy High School seniors!  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Friends of Katy Scholarship Winners

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OKE Students Participate in The Element Song Showdown

June 10, 2010 – Katy, Texas – OKE 4th & 5th graders participated in The Element Song Showdown after their last Eureka! Experiment.  4th grade winners: Aditya Shah, Micah Wall, Pearson Broadrick, Francisco Rivera, and Paige Sauer.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

5th grade winners: Patricia Cabanilla, Gabbi Marchelli, Deborah Orta, and Emil Mudra. Winning Teachers: Katie Parnell and Angela Martin

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Katy Farmer’s Market

Fresh Produce In Katy

I am so happy to find out that we have a fresh produce market in Katy. This Market is located at 5026 E. Third St. in Old Katy. It’s hours are from 10am – 6pm Wednesdays through Mondays and closed on Tuesdays. They will not only have fresh produce but as well organic produce too. The Market is stocked with honey, dry beans, and herbs and many more to come. The Market will eventually grow bigger in time but until then I have enjoyed seeing all the produce it has stocked. Produce will vary depending on the season so make sure to go and see the different produce they have before it is gone.
 
I still remember when my parents would take me to a farmer’s market to go and get fresh produce. We would leave early to get the best picks and leave out of there with bags full. We loved going there and would spend the whole (more…)
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Katy Area Libraries

Bookworm Heaven In Katy 

Katy has so many libraries within the city that are open different hours of the day. I never knew Katy was filled with so many libraries within the city or near the city until I started to look for some with different hours of the day. This summer the library will be full of children and adults getting those exciting books to read as well enjoying their summer activities within the facility. Check out each library for their times and days of fun activities that are not only for children but as well for adults. Cyfair ISD and Katy ISD has also put out their summer reading list for our children but some of the libraries have them as well. Oh and the best part is that its in an air condition place! So start saving on your electricity bill this summer.
 
Here are some libraries that I have found near Katy or in the city: (more…)
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Staying Hydrated?

The Results of a Katyite’s water-only experiment

Last week, I posted a blog about my one big temptation: sugary drinks.  Whether it is Kool-Aid, Coke, or sweet tea, I just love to drink anything with lots of sugar and lots of calories.

For years, this has been my primary health weakness, but in the last several months, my love for sugary drinks has gotten a little out of hand. 

And so a week ago, I decided to try a little experiment.  I cut out all drinks except one coffee in the morning (I couldn’t let go of sugar AND caffeine in one week!), and committed to drinking water only for the past week.  The hope was that after a week of healthful drinking, I’d be a transformed individual; I would see the err of my healthless drinking and desire only water from here on out. (more…)

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Cool to the Pool this Summer

A Katy Mom-to-Be reflects back on a favorite childhood pool activity

With our baby due this already very hot summer I find myself thinking back to a fun pool activity from my childhood. And it’s the perfect example of how the simplest things can bring the most fun. So what is this cool idea? It’s simple, it’s cool, it’s giant ice cubes!

On hot summer days my parents use to take large Tupperware bowls, fill them with water and freeze them. In more recent years when my brother and I would talk about how much we loved those summer days with the giant ice cubes my parents told us that they would put the water-filled bowls in the freezer the night before. So it does take a little planning but the good news is that it won’t go bad. If your swim day gets rained out don’t fret!

When it’s time to swim take out the Tupperware bowls and hold them upside down to slide out the giant ice cube. Be sure to support the ice that will be (more…)

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THS Choir Students Receive Top Honors at State Contest

June 8, 2010 – Katy, Texas – At the State Solo & Ensemble Contest held in Austin on May 29th and May 31st, the following Taylor High School Choir students received medals:

  • Superior (1) rating on Solo:  Mary Kim, Natalia Romero, Jasmine Johnson, Melanie Piche 
  • Excellent (2) rating on Solo:  Jean Durbin and Bethany McDougal

The Taylor Choir is under the direction of Mr. Kevin Riehle and Miss Kristin Taylor.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Summer Movie Camp

Movie Time for Katy kids

Many of our children in Katy are looking for ways to cool off this summer and what better way to do it by going to the movies. Cinemark and AMC theaters will be having Movie Camp this summer. Cinemark is located at 1030 W. Grand Parkway N. AMC is located in Katy Mills Mall at 5000 Katy Mills Circle. The best part is that it will be affordable. Movies will be a $1 and showings are done on certain days of the week in the morning at 10am. They will also have a kids or movie pack for the kids on the days of the movie for a discounted price.
 
Cinemark will have showings on Wednesdays/Thursdays at 10am with a $1 off discount on a movie snack pack. You can buy tickets in advance for 10 shows for $5 or $1 each showing per show. Moves listings are from Madagascar, Shrek the Third, Monsters vs Aliens, Kung Fu Panda, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Planet 51, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Open Season. Check the listings online for current showings. (more…)
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A Taste of Cy-Fair

The Layla Grace Foundation’s first fundraiser held close to Katy

Little Layla Grace Marsh touched the lives of thousands with her short life.  Layla Grace was diagnosed with cancer when she was 16 months old.  Layla, along with her family of mother Shanna, father Ryan, and sisters Claire and Jenna, fought a courageous fight against the disease. 

During Layla’s battle with cancer, Shanna and Ryan began to use social media, such as twitter, facebook, and a blog, www.laylagrace.org, to share information with her family and friends and to invite people to support Layla through prayer.  Because her tweets and blog posts were so real, and because Layla has a contagious smile, the last several months of Layla’s life found her twitter with 45,000 followers (and still growing!) (more…)

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Watermelon Jello

The taste of summer in Katy, TX

Watermelon jello

This week for our summer dessert, my girls and I made watermelon Jello.  To be more exact, we made strawberry Jello in a watermelon rind.

I first found the idea at www.theidearoom.blogspot.com, a blog I check on occasion.  It’s simple and fun, and Jello is healthier by way of desserts than most of the things I make, so I included it in the summer dessert line-up for my family.

The basic idea is to cut a watermelon down the middle and clean it out.  Once the watermelon has been removed (and feasted on!), it is time to make the Jello.

To fill both halves of my ‘personal’ sized watermelon, I used 3 large boxes of strawberry Jello and 4 ¼ cups of boiling water.  I whisked them together for 2 minutes and then poured them carefully into the watermelon halves.

It should be noted here that watermelons are round, which means they roll.  And pouring boiling water into a round, rolling watermelon rind is not exactly something I’d recommend doing any time, and especially not with little helpers underfoot.  This I discovered the hard way. (more…)

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THS Student Receives Ten Year Award

June 4, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Taylor High School student, Elizabeth Neville, is pictured with her Ten Year Piano Study Award. Presented in May 2010, the award represents ten years of study with one teacher.  Elizabeth studies piano with Mary Ann LaCour of Katy and she is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Neville of Katy.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Elizabeth Neville

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Cadette Girl Scout Troop 5004 donates project to Fielder Elementary Nurse

June 3, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The troop created “boo boo bunnies” as part of their badge work and donated them to Fielder Elementary School’s Nurse Phyllis Bell.  Representing GSSJC Troop #5004 are Bethany B, Olivia F, Catherine L, Shianne W, Stephanie H and Jennifer P.  Accepting on behalf of Fielder Elementary are Phyllis Bell, RN and Chaudia Nunez, Clinic Aide.  Students at Fielder look forward to receiving this special prize when receiving care from Nurse Bell and her staff!  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Troop 5004 along with the Fielder Elementary School nurse

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MRJH Science Students Launch Model Rockets

June 3, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Morton Ranch Junior High students, including Ashley Thornhill (pictured) and science teacher, Roy Eriksen recently participated in a model rocket project associated with a unit on space exploration. Students got the chance to launch their model rockets from the MRJH football fields. Eriksen played an integral role in designing the lab, as he helped coordinate which rockets the students could build and the order in which they would be launched. The successful project was a collaborative effort among the entire sixth-grade science team, he says, and it was great to see students so engaged and excited about science.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

MRJH Science Students Launch Model Rockets

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Memebers Choice Credit Union & Kasasa Present

LaCenterra’s Summer Sounds Concert Series Beginning June 10

June 2, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Live music returns to LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch with the introduction of the Summer Sounds series presented by Members Choice Credit Union and Kasasa.  Guests are invited to unwind after a long day or get a jump on the weekend with this Thursday evening series featuring a talented line-up of local and regional artists. The Summer Sounds series offers a sizzling mix of Latin, reggae, cool jazz and Caribbean country.

 “When the opportunity to join LaCenterra’s Summer Sounds series came our way, we were delighted.  We understand the importance of community and are always looking for unique ways to share information and to say ‘thank you,’” said Kelly Gaines, Vice President of Members Choice Credit Union.  “The series allows Members Choice to introduce its newest banking product, Kasasa, while having a great time with MCCU members and Katy area residents alike.”

MCCU recently announced the availability of Kasasa, a new brand of free checking and savings accounts.  Kasasa pays consumers to use their account with what interests them most—high interest, automatic savings, money donated to charity or free iTunes® downloads.

The Summer Sounds series kicks off June 10 with JALEA, Houston’s hippest, young Latin dance band. The name JALEA, Spanish for “jelly,” says it all to music fans who love to shake and shimmy on the dance floor.  The group’s repertoire includes salsa, meringue bachata, cumbia, reggaeton and Latin pop, as well as U.S-based party favorites from disco to swing. (more…)

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Gym Day

Using our Katy community offerings to our club’s advantage

My daughter decided to do ballet as her extra-curricular activity this year, but she loves bouncing around in the gym.   Luckily for her, our mothering club, AMOK (All Moms of Katy) and Westwood Gym teamed up to offer Gym Day once a month.

Through AMOK, my daughter is given the chance each month to participate in a 45 minute gym class.  Our club has worked out an arrangement with Westwood Gym that allows children in the club to pay a small fee and participate in gym classes without any other sort of contract.

My daughter and her friends (ages 3 and 4) love Gym Day!  It is actually my daughter, Avery’s favorite day of the month.  The coaches are friendly, fun, and obviously well trained.  (more…)

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Houston Weather Museum offers Free Thursdays this month for Hurricane preparedness

How Katy Families can get ready for this year’s season

Yesterday launched the first day of Hurricane season. If your family wants to learn more about how to be prepared in a hurricane or how these massive storms form then the Houston Weather Museum is the place for you. During the month of June Thursdays are free for all museum guests. Talk to meteorologists and learn about the function and history of hurricanes in the gulf. And there are prizes involved as well. All visitors can enter to win a hurricane kit and weather radio donated by Midland Radio.

“Believe it or not we need hurricanes, states meteorologist and The Weather Museum Executive Director Jill Hasling. “The hurricane is one mechanism by which nature releases the tremendous buildup of heat in the tropics. Hurricanes also are the mechanism to bring tropical moisture into the farm lands of the central United States and often breaking droughts.” Hurricanes are useful and don’t need to be feared. As long as your family is prepared then you will be ready. There are many ways to get ready for such a (more…)

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What are you doing for National Trails Day this Saturday?

The options are endless for Katy families. Get out this Saturday in Katy and/or the Greater Houston area

National Trails Day is June 5, this Saturday and is targeted at getting people outside, on trails and walking or hiking. The Houston area offers many picturesque settings for just this occasion.

If you love your dog then take them with you and enjoy some great food at the Houston Arboretum and Nature’s Center’s Annual Tails on Trails. The arboretum, one of Houston’s best trails, invites dogs on leashes and their owners for an afternoon of hiking the arboretum trails that wind along an 155 acre of lush lands and a vast variety of wildlife.

Before your hiking journey pick up water and a doggy bag. After the hike return to the party for food provided by Freebirds World Burrito and Smartwater.  There will also be music and prices. For more information on (more…)

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Staying Hydrated

A Katyite’s Attempt at Drinking Enough Water

I rank among the middle of the crowd when we’re talking about health.  My family and I eat healthy meals for the most part, we don’t stock our kitchen with processed foods, and we are careful to keep trans fats out and saturated fats to a healthy level.

However, when it comes to staying hydrated, I really struggle to be healthy.

I’ve spent most of my life detesting water.  It’s just so… boring.  And tasteless.  And unattractive.

In order to get myself to drink water, I’ve tried many different tactics: for a while, I only allowed myself something delicious to drink (like a cola or tea) after I’d had a full glass of water first.  I’ve tried adding lemon to my water, and I’ve even tried using a shot of Kool-Aid to make water more appealing. (more…)

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Twitter can save you money while finding fun family events

How a Katy writer/mom-to-be uses Twitter to find fun while working from home

Twitter is an easy way to follow the information that you want without too much effort. Businesses are seeing this growing trend and using it to build their followers. I’m an at home freelance journalist so I follow many businesses and people on Twitter to help find topics and what is of public interest. But recently I discovered that what began as a business tactic is quickly becoming an avenue for finding family fun!

In my writing I cover a lot of events so I follow all the popular Katy and Houston area event venues. By doing so I’ve found that most of them offer special coupons and specials for their Twitter followers!

The Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Houston Symphony are taking this a step further by hosting a special event for their Twitter (more…)

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Bake and Take

A fun ladies’ night out in Katy

Last night, I participated in my first ever Bake and Take.  The concept was first presented to me by a friend, and it sounded like so much fun that we decided to organize a Bake and Take with our church, The Waters Church (www.iamthewaters.com).

A Bake and Take is like a cookie swap – except all of the baking takes place together! 

We gathered with around 15 ladies from our church and created ten amazing dessert recipes.  There was a station with the needed ingredients, recipe and kitchen appliances and utensils laid out for each of the ten recipes.  As women arrived, they chose a station and worked in twos, threes and fours to complete the recipe.  Some recipes did not need to bake, and those that did shared the oven without issue.  (When I was first thinking through this type (more…)

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Training for a 5K

A Katyite shares the reason she runs 

Angela and her husband at the Space Center 5K last year

I have never been the type of person who likes to run.  In fact, up until last year, I despised running.  It was something I did merely for the health value, but I am not like those people who enjoy running for the sake of running.

However, once we had our second child, we decided it was time to let our gym membership go to save money.   For a while, I didn’t exercise much.  But, for me, exercise is about knowing I’m doing what I can to stay healthy, to have strong lungs and a strong heart so that I can be my best for my children.

Since I’m not a runner, and since my husband and I stay very busy, I knew that there would have to be something bigger than just “today I should run” to keep me on track.  So, last year around this time, I searched the internet for 5K runs in the Houston area and found one at Space Center Houston that is held each July.  I decided to train for it, and found online guides to becoming 5K ready in 6-8 weeks. (more…)

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Katy ISD Celebrates a Decade of Volunteerism

May 28, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Katy ISD recently celebrated another successful year of volunteerism through its VIPS program by honoring its 2009-2010 Campus Volunteers of the Year.  Honorees were announced by campus principals at the district’s annual VIPS Breakfast.  The event highlighted the support of over 11,000 parent volunteers who, this school year, donated over 738,941 hours to Katy ISD.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

2009-2010 Campus Volunteers of the Year

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Bring Back the Family Picnic this Memorial Day Weekend

Katy Families can enjoy the beautiful outdoors with cool family time

This Memorial Day Weekend don’t stress about finding the right Houston area event for you and your family. You can stay right here in Katy and have lots of family fun time and for little cost. Unfortunately, since I’m seven months pregnant I’m avoiding the outdoors like the swine flu but this great weather is the perfect time for families to get out. Get your kids away from the video game systems and computers and outside!

Pack a picnic basket. Get the family involved in making sandwiches that they will like, chips and cookies, etc. Take an old blanket and pick a local park or school playground for your picnic location. Plan ahead some fun activities. Take a football to throw, a kite to fly or a board game. But don’t forget the sunblock!!

Looking for some new ideas to brighten up your picnic basket cuisine? Look online for recipes. The Food Network is always a great place to start, http://www.foodnetwork.com/. Another one of my quick recipe finding (more…)

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A Church in Katy Pays Dollar Pound for Pound

Katy Area Church Prays for Pastor to be a Loser

Last Sunday morning, The Waters Church (www.iamthewaters.com) did something bold.  During announcements, Finance Pastor Andrew Sunderman stood before the congregation and presented an opportunity.

The opportunity is for families within the church to support and pray for Assimilation Pastor Brad Graves as he begins his journey towards health.  For many years, Graves has struggled with maintaining a healthy weight.  On Sunday, Sunderman said, “I love Brad so much, and his struggle tears me up inside.  I want Brad to be here, ministering to us, for many many years to come.  And this is our opportunity to love him and challenge him towards becoming a wholly healthy Brad.”

The Waters Church has issued Brad Graves this challenge: lose as much weight as he can towards his final goal during the next six months and keep it off for a year.  Members of the church are given the opportunity to pledge an amount of money per pound.  This money will go towards funding a very (more…)

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AMOK (All Moms of Katy)

Finding a club for moms in Katy makes all the difference for this Katyite

I’ve stayed at home with my girls since my oldest was born almost 4 years ago.  And throughout my journey in mothering, I’ve been a part of one mothering club or another in the Katy area. 

I am very thankful for a friend who drug me to meetings in the very beginning.  I was still bleary eyed, smelling of spit up, and bloated from delivery when my girlfriend began calling and asking me to join her as we scoped out local mothering clubs.  It felt a bit unnecessary at the time (my baby not being but 5 weeks old), but her encouragement, and the subsequent relationships I formed from joining a mothering club, made all of the difference in the world.

In the beginning, being a part of a club (in my case, I chose All Moms of Katy “AMOK”) helped me with the common feelings of new moms: feeling alone, (more…)

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Katy Coogs Alumni Club Awards Scholarship to 3 Students

May 26, 2010 – Katy, Texas – As the goal of the Katy Coogs Alumni Club, of the University of Houston Alumni Association, has been to be involved in a variety of activities that will assist in increasing awareness for The University of Houston and to raise money for scholarships; Your Katy Coogs Board of Directors reviewed the applications for the 2010 Katy Coogs Scholarship and have selected three winners. Although we would have loved to assist all of the students who applied for the Katy Coogs Scholarship, we are limited to the amounts available from the funds raised at Katy Coogs events, and were able to award three $500 scholarships for the 2010-2011 school year. This year’s recipients are:
 
1. Diem Luong-Northbrook High School, Spring Branch ISD 
2. Wendy Chung-Hatings High School, Alief ISD 
3. Brooklynn Adelman-Morton Ranch High School, Katy ISD
 
Join with me in congratulating these future Cougars! For more information about joing this Alumni Club or assisting in future Katy Coogs activities so we may award more scholarships to future Cougars, please visit our website at: www.katycoogs.com.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Katy Coogs Founder/President Rom Crespo BS'96/M. ED '03 and Scholarship winner, Brooklynn Adelman from Morton Ranch High School in Katy ISD

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Marching Fundamentals Camp Held for Incoming THS Freshman

Incoming THS Freshman learn basic stretches

May 26, 2010 – Katy, Texas –  The Taylor High School Marching Band held its annual Marching Fundamentals Camp for incoming Freshman. The 8th graders are taught the basics of stretching, marching and correct instrument handling in preparation for the upcoming 2010 marching season.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Katy Area Retired Educators Present Its First Annual Scholarship

Katy Area Retired Educators President Norene Lueders presents the first KARE scholarship to Taylor High School student Kourtney Faldyn, who plans to major in elementary education at Texas A&M University.

My 25, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Kourtney Faldyn, a graduating senior from Taylor High School, has received a $500 scholarship from the Katy Area Retired Educators. With a major in elementary education, she plans to teach kindergarten after graduation from Texas A&M University. She is the daughter of Katy ISD educators Russell and Cindie Faldyn. 

In her senior year, Kourtney was enrolled in the Get, Ready Set, Teach Program at Miller Career center. Throughout high school, she has been actively involved in many extra-curricular school and community activities including the Taylor Pacesetter Dance Team, the Best Buddies-Peer Organization, the Peer Assistance Leadership Program, the Taylor Spanish and Book Clubs, the National Honor Society, the National Charity League, and the Epiphany of the Lord Youth Group. 

The KARE Scholarship Committee also included Nancy Gorden, Linda Bailey, Luanne Zacek, Jamie Wolman, Gail Coveler and Becky French.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Adamson Ballet School Recital

Closing out our first year of dance classes in Katy

Avery in her recital costume and make up

My daughter has been a self-proclaimed dancer since before she was two.  She loves to twirl and twist to music, and is especially fond of mimicking the dancers on So You Think You Can Dance.  When she turned three (at the beginning of this school year), I enrolled her in Creative Dance at Adamson Ballet School. 

This past weekend, a year’s worth of dance classes culminated in a 2 minute performance on stage.  And my daughter could not have been more elated by the whole experience.

Adamson Ballet School has classes ranging from my daughter’s 3 year old Creative Dance class all the way up through Pointe and Senior-Level Ballet classes.  Sitting in the recital as a mother of the youngest dancers there, I felt very emotional and connected to the experience.  In the same performance that my daughter makes her dancing debut, several other moms are saying goodbye to this chapter of their life. 

The opening performance was done by Pointe students to a beautiful orchestra arrangement of Coldplay songs.  It was moving, stirring, and poignant for me to sit there with my 3 year old, watching the beginning and the end.

My daughter’s class was later in the show, and my eyes filled with just as many tears… there was a good deal of comic relief when my daughter (or any number of her classmates) forgot their steps, but there was something that (more…)

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Creech Elementary Names Volunteer of the Year

May 24, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Congratulations to Diane Pakel, Creech 2009-2010 Volunteer of the Year.   Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Ms. Elena Thrun, principal and Ms. Pakel

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WoodCreek Junior High Choir Presented Their 2nd Annual Pop Show

Ms. Burris with 8th Grade student Mikayla C.

May 24, 2010 – Katy, Texas – On Friday, May 21st, the WoodCreek Junior High Choir, led by Lauren Burris, proudly presented their 2nd Annual Pop Show titled, “The Music of Our Lives”. Songs ranged from popular oldies to today’s favorites. The show included solo acts, duets, ensembles, and performances from all of WoodCreek’s Choirs: TimberWolf Tenor Choir, TimberWolf Treble Choir, WoodCreeek Men’s Choir, WoodCreek Women’s Choir, & the Wolfpack Singers.  They performed to a highly enthusiastic audience. Following the Pop Show, Choir members celebrated with an end-of-the-year awards ceremony which was immediately followed by an end-of-year party.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Watermelon Basket

A Katy Family Makes Summer Desserts  Fun

Watermelon Basket

This May, we decided to make a summery dessert each week to celebrate the season. I wanted to keep the desserts healthy and fun, and so week one we made a pudding ocean scene <http://www.katymagazine.com/summer-dessert-fun/ >.  This week, my daughter got very excited about watermelon carving, and so our dessert of the week was a watermelon basket with fruit salad. If she knows that watermelon and fruit salad aren’t exactly desserts… she’s not complaining!

This was one of those family projects that seemed to go wrong at every turn.
Luckily, our daughters didn’t seem to care and we were able to pull it
together in the end.

First, I bought the watermelon and all the fruit early last week and
promised my daughter the watermelon basket “this week”. Then our week got unusually busy (the last week of school and extra evening meetings for my husband and I), so our watermelon carving kept getting pushed back.

Last night, we were determined to carve the watermelon. I helped my
daughter find a few examples online <http://www.watermelon.org/watermelon_carving.asp >of what she
wanted to carve, I cut up the other fruits, and when my husband got home, we were all ready to go. Except no one could find the watermelon.  It wasn’t in the fridge, it wasn’t in the pantry, it wasn’t in my car. We assumed I must’ve forgotten to load it from the grocery store early last week and so we (more…)

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KPGT Conclude Year with Speakers & workshops, Elects New Officers, Announces Volunteer of the Year

Elise Heathman Memorial Volunteer of The Year Award, Melissa Furman.

May 21, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The Katy Parents of Gifted & Talented Students (KPGT) event calendar was full of opportunities this spring which offered star gazing, distinguished guest speakers and student workshops and rounded off the year electing new board members and announcing its Elise Heathman Memorial Volunteer of The Year Award.

The popular April star gazing event led into the much anticipated visit by special guest Dr. James Delisle at the end of that month. Dr. Delisle conducted student workshops for junior and senior high gifted students offering them guidance and encouragement for growing up gifted. Dr. Delisle also presented a talk to parents, “Parenting Gifted Kids: Tips for Raising Happy and Successful Children,” which hit upon many characteristics of parenting gifted children including embracing, encouraging and supporting personal intensities.

The school year’s events concluded May 3 with the annual KPGT membership meeting where board members were voted into office: Linda Kubena, President; VP Advisory, Lisa Lyons; Cindy Severin, Secretary. Current board members include: Len Thomas, VP Membership;  Natalie Newton, Treasurer; At-Large members Sharon Mata, Susan Sweeney, Melissa Furman, Youllonda Driver; KISD Representative Alene Lindley. After brief organizational business, guest speaker Tracy Weinberg, Associate Director of TAGT (Texas Association of Gifted & Talented) enlightened the audience with highlights to the Texas State Plan for gifted education. Earlier in the day, Mr. Weinberg presented the Texas Education Plan at a luncheon to KISD area superintendents, curriculum administration, school board members and KPGT board members. (more…)

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THS Choir Students Receive Top Honors

May 21, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Taylor High School Choir student Kathryn Heathcock was the recipient of the highest student honor awarded by the Katy Independent School District, the Award of Excellence.  This award recognizes seniors who have consistently distinguished themselves in a particular area of study.

Kathryn Heathcock

 
Taylor High School Choir students Christina Katsampes, Kathryn Heathcock, Lauren Cudney and David Cregg  were the recipients of the 2010 THS Choir Boosters scholarships.  The students received the awards during the annual banquet May 15th.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Christina Katsampes, Kathryn Heathcock, Lauren Cudney and David Cregg

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The Little Gym Parent-Child Classes

My Katy kid loves The Little Gym…

And so do I!

Kate on the bars at The Little Gym

I love The Little Gym because my 18 month old daughter Kate’s face lights up when we walk through the doors. There are so many reasons that I love this place… and so many reasons that it has become my favorite hour of the week.  It’s because it is a special hour designed for us to spend together, just the two of us.  With a big sister at home, Kate spends most of her time following us around to “big kid” activities.  Even when I am careful to focus on Kate, she doesn’t have the space to come alive while under the shadow of a very loving – and helpful – sister.  At The Little Gym, Kate works on independence and self-esteem but it is also time for us to spend bonding.  When we have a chance to interact, I am able to capture those moments between she and I and cling to them (and to her) with so much gratitude.  During the times Kate is participating in more independent activities, I am able to step back and marvel at the things she knows and how she interacts with other children her age.  These are things I long to know about my second-born but don’t always have the ability to observe while facilitating life for both of my children.  The  activities are so uniquely crafted to Kate’s age and the focus is so much about the experience and the process, rather than the actual skills and where she is on the developmental scale. (more…)

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Roosevelt Alexander Elementary Names PTA 2010 Texas PTA Lifetime Membership Honorees

May 20, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Congratulations to the Roosevelt Alexander Elementary PTA 2010 Texas PTA Lifetime Membership Honorees. All Texas PTA Lifetime Membership award winners have consistently given countless hours, undying respect and selfless actions to not only the RAE PTA and to Alexander Elementary, but to the Katy community on the whole.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com. 

Pictured with Mr. Roosevelt Alexander (L to R) are Audrey Schneider, Brenda Patterson, Laura Wiik, Kristen Smith, Becky Litton, Marie Klovenski, Krissy Garcia and Susan Sweeney

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Katy Restaurants with Sandboxes or Play Structures

Favorite Eats for Katy Families

I had a wonderful, leisurely lunch with some girlfriends today.  I know this sounds like an oxymoron since I have an 18 month old, but with all of our toddlers in tow, we sat at the table and chatted and enjoyed chips and salsa.

How did we do this?  We situated ourselves at a table near the sandbox at El Jarrito on Highland Knolls Drive.  The children enjoyed chips and their bean salsa, inexpensive kid’s meals, and an enormous sandbox while we ate at our own pace.

Usually, taking either of my children to a restaurant is a challenge.  Unless we go to Rainforest Café, it is unusual for them to stay entertained the entire time we’re there.  However, around the time my oldest daughter turned two, I discovered the magical world of sandboxes at restaurants.  Now, when my (more…)

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Local Ministry on Track to Build the First Green Church Facility in Katy Area

May 19, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The Fellowship of Love Church believes in being good stewards of the earth. From energy-efficiency tips to green preservation tools, the church has launched an aggressive fundraising and marketing campaign to educate and inform parishioners and community residents alike of the benefits of protecting the planet. Armed with eco-friendly information and divine inspiration, they are teaching area residents the importance of going green in order to build a healthy, prosperous, clean energy economy now and for the future. The church believes that now is a pivotal opportunity for individuals, corporations and governments to join together to build a more green community, city, state and region.

Lead Pastor Lorenzo Ewing believes “We should work to become better stewards over this land that God has entrusted us. By building a green worship facility, we aim to set an example for our community and demonstrate our commitment to improving the world in which we live. As a ministry, we will continue to work aggressively to empower others to begin making small sustainable changes in their homes. We believe that as individuals begin to take steps towards earth preservation; collectively, we can initiate a positive movement that impacts our communities, our nation, and world.

The Fellowship of Love Church is working diligently to complete an assertive land-acquisition project in Fort Bend County that will be home to a 13,000 sq. ft. green state-of-the-art Multi-Purpose Center. All of the church’s planned structures will feature environmentally-friendly and ecologically responsible amenities that will provide a monumental platform for green efforts in the Fort Bend/Katy area. Such amenities will include natural (more…)

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Switching Spots

This Katy couple walks a mile in each other’s shoes

Yesterday, I had a funeral in Austin that I needed to attend.  My husband willingly took a personal day from his office job and stepped into the role of Mr. Mom.  I usually stay at home and manage the children’s activities during the day, but for this occasion, we very much had our roles reversed.

While I was away all day, my husband, Jordan, was wholly responsible for attending the Mommy And Me swim class for our 18 month old, Kate.  Not only did he have to manage swimming with Kate, but our older daughter, Avery (3 ½ years old) was sitting on the bench coloring and watching, so he had to be aware of her as well.  After swim, he changed both he and our (more…)

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Splashing Fun at LaCenterra

A favorite  activity for young Katy kids

This morning, I loaded my girls up with a sack lunch, a few dollars, and 2 towels.  Then we headed to LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch and met some playgroup friends for a little fun in the sun.

This is a favorite May activity for us.  It’s finally warm enough to warrant running through the water sprays, but isn’t yet so hot that I need to be in the water as well.  My daughters, Avery, 4 years, and Kate, 18 months, loved standing over a water hole until it squirts up on them.  Later, they giggled as they walked straight through a row of streaming water. 

Once the children got hungry, we sat out at the tables provided and ate our sack lunch.  Some days, we’ll stop at Mission Burrito or Panera Bread for lunch, but today we were going the low-cost route.  Once lunch and a little more splashing were over, it was time for my daughter’s favorite activity at LaCenterra: ice cream!  There are so many wonderful options for sweet (more…)

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Schedule your trip to the Houston Science Museum

A Katy Family Beats the Heat and Learns Something New 

Natalie and her husband, Stephen, pose with a fossil on display at the museum

A great place to visit this summer, if your looking for a Katy/Houston area staycation or just a fun weekend outing is the Houston Museum of Natural Science. They are currently showing several great exhibits; The Science of Wonder: Magic, Faberge: Imperial Jeweler to the Tsars, Archaeopteryx: Icon of Evolution and those are just the special exhibits.

My family set out to see the Magic and Archaeopteryx exhibits. The Magic exhibit is filled with history of some of your favorite magicians from Houdini to Penn and Teller and who inspired them. The best part is that if you time your visit right (see showtimes http://www.hmns.org/exhibits/special_exhibits/magic/live_magic_shows.asp) you can see live magic shows by some of today’s best magicians. We saw Richard Hatch who seemed to be well trained in the traditional classics like the Chinese rings and close-up slide of hand.

We also took advantage of the special going on with the Hubble 3D IMAX and the Burke Baker Planetarium show, Life in the Universe.  With this coupon (http://www.hmnsmedia.org/Campaigns/Coupon/Hubble.html ) you can (more…)

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Katy area piano students perform in Spring Piano Recital

(L-R) (front) Michael Lennard, Brian Lennard, Elise DeGeeter, Natalie DeGeeter, Camille Boado, Chelsea Sun, Daniel Argueta, Sasha Burford, Carissa Boado, Michael Choi, Hannah Kirby. ( L-R) (middle) Sharon Zhu, Shannon Sun, Rachel Zhu, Julia Rodriguez, Katherine Zhang, Ore Omidele, Myles Burford, Rachel Tagle, Christopher Chun, Kenneth Fernandes, Emily Schauer. (L-R) (back) David Escalante, Miguel Garcia, Linden Lanier, Addie Kwon, Carolyn Zeng, Scott Lennard, Gloria Fernandes.

May 17, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Katy area piano students of Mary Ann LaCour were presented in a Spring Piano Recital on May 15th at the Living Word Lutheran Church in Katy.  The Recital included music by  composers from the Baroque through the Contemporary era, including student composer Miguel Garcia.

 
 
Singled out for outstanding performances in the Katy Music Teachers Spring Festival were Caroline Chun and Sharon Zhu and for outstanding performances in the Katy Music Teachers Sonatina Festival were Addie Kwon and Sharon Zhu.  Elise DeGeeter, Addie Kwon and Katherine Zhang earned a score of 100% on the Texas Music Teachers Association Student Affiliate Theory Test.  Awards were presented after the Recital.
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Local Teachers’ Sorority Installs Officers

May 17, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The EPSILON MU chapter of ALPHA DELTA KAPPA, recently installed officers for the coming biennium. Alpha Delta Kappa is an international honorary organization for women educators. 

The newly elected chapter officers are:

  • PRESIDENT—ELIZABETH STELEVICH,
  • PRESIDENT-ELECT—PAULA OPIELA, HAYES
  • SECRETARY—KATHY ELLIS
  • TREASURER—CAROL DIANE BINDER, MCE
  • HISTORIAN—ESTHER SCHWANN, CREECH
  • CHAPLAIN—KARLA TEAGUE, MCE
  • IMMEDIATE PAST-PRESIDENTS— BARBARA LANDIS, HAYES AND GIGI BETHKE, CREECH

Members of the chapter, which comprises women teachers in the KISD, are very active in their community.  This past year they ran several projects to benefit the Casa de Esperanza. They have also supported schools in Galveston that were damaged by Hurricane Ike, the Katy Christian Ministries, St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Research Center, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the American Heart Association, the Spina Bifida Foundation, Oakmont Nursing Home, and the Brookshire Nursing Home. They have also provided holiday gifts for needy families in Katy. Recipients of the chapters annual scholarship awards are: Matthew Patton, Brooke Vickers, and Heather Burns, all graduating seniors of KISD. 

Alpha Delta Kappa is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri and has over

40,000 members in more than 1,400 chapters located in towns and cities in every state, Puerto Rico and around the world in Australia, Canada, Jamaica and Mexico.

Alpha Delta Kappa members combine their energies and talents to enrich their lives and the lives of others through thousands of heartwarming, community-based altruistic projects. In the past two years alone, Alpha Delta Kappa members have given at the grass roots level more than 7.7 million dollars in monetary gifts, more than 1.9 million dollars in scholarships and have provided more than 1.8 million hours of volunteer service in their communities. This year, the international organization is sponsoring the building of a school in Viet Nam in conjunction with the Veterans Vietnam Restoration Project.

To be eligible for  membership, a woman must be employed full time in the education field  with two or more years professional experience, certified in teaching, administration or some specialized field of education and receive recommendations from a  member and be approved by the chapter. For more information please contact Mrs. Stelevich at aestel@comcast.net.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Favorite Movies

A Katy family brings back some of the classics

My daughter was sick last night, and so we declared today a movie marathon day.  With the rain and her recovering stomach, it is the perfect day to cuddle up in front of the tv and enjoy family favorites.

We are avid Disney fans, and have most of the movies they have released from the vault since my oldest daughter was born in 2006.  We also have the traditional child faves, such as Sesame Street, Curious George, and the Shrek movies.

This morning, though, we decided to offer my daughter Avery some “new” options: classic favorites from my childhood and my husband’s childhood.

Right now, we are watching the 1969 movie Hello Dolly with Barbara (more…)

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Firethorne Breaks All Previous First-Quarter New Home Sales in 2010

Firethorne Director of Marketing Janet Burkett (center) awarded prizes through a drawing ($1,000 and $2,500, respectively) to Realtors® Susan Key of RE/MAX Westside (left) and Mike Carew of RE/MAX Cinco Ranch (right.)

May 14, 2010 – Katy, Texas –  In 2010 Firethorne broke all first-quarter new home sales records in its five-year history, highlighted by a 284 percent increase over its first quarter new home sales in 2009.  This figure represents the greatest percentage increase in sales — double that of the next highest sales increase of 140 percent — of any of the top 14 Houston-area master-designed/master-planned communities researched by Metrostudy, the leading provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and related industries nationwide. 

Firethorne, a 1,400-acre master-designed community located in Katy/Fulshear, 15 miles west of Houston’s Energy Corridor, achieved 96 new home sales in first quarter sales in 2010, versus 25 over the same period in 2009. 

“We are extremely pleased with the results of our Firethorne sales and marketing teams and appreciate the tremendous support of the local Realtor® community,” said Firethorne Marketing Director Janet Burkett.  While she suggests the federal tax credits for first-time homebuyers may have planted a seed in people’s minds, she attributes the strong new home sales in the Firethorne community to the continued growth in the Katy and Fulshear areas and for being part of one of the best school districts in the (more…)

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Save money at the Houston Zoo

Visit the Katy Fiesta Market

Baby elephant, Baylor, was recently born at the Houston Zoo. Photo by Brian Hill.

Looking for something fun to do this summer with your family? Make plans to go to the Houston Zoo. There is always fun and excitement to be found at the Houston Zoo and when you plan your trip in advance you can save money. Visit the Katy Fiesta’s courtesy booth (or any Fiesta) for discount tickets to the Houston Zoo. Just one extra stop can save you money! Also, if you ride the METRO and you plan to purchase your tickets at the gate present your METRO pass and you will save a dollar on each ticket. Every little bit can help!

This month has brought major zoo news along with the Houston summer weather! After a pregnancy lasting almost 23 months Shanti, an Asian elephant delivered a healthy, 348-pound baby boy named Baylor. Now the (more…)

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Edith Moore Nature Sanctuary

An oasis of nature close to Katy

Avery and Hannah fishing with nets at the santuary

Yesterday, our playgroup took a field trip to the Edith Moore Nature Sanctuary.  It is literally a nature oasis in the middle of the Memorial area.  When we pulled in to the parking lot for Memorial Drive Methodist Church, the sign – and certainly the area – were not obvious.  But once we got our bearings and found the entrance to the Nature Sanctuary, we were amazed at what hides just beyond the road on Memorial Drive.

Yesterday, our children participated in a learning time, a craft, and many fun outdoor activities.  This was the last day of that particular program, but there are many more opportunities at the Edith Moore Nature Sanctuary, which you can explore by visiting http://outside.in/memorial-houston-tx/edith-l-moore-nature-sanctuary. 

The focus was on pond life while we were there, and my 3 ½ year old (more…)

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Kilpatrick students participated in the Special Olympics

May 14, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Brady won a gold medal in javelin throw and a silver in the 50 meter dash and Brynn a gold in javelin throw and a gold in 50 meter dash.  Congratulations Brady and Brynn!!! 

Teacher Kristin Hansen with Brady Faulk and Brynn Bailey.

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Homeschool Theatre Arts Students SHINE at Performance!

Katy YMCA’s Homeschool Theatre Arts class performs Peter Pan.

May 13, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The Katy Family YMCA Home School Theater Arts class performed their version of PETER PAN on May 12 in front of family and friends. Directed by Theater Arts instructor, Dori Fostok, the cast consisted of 20 Homeschool students ranging in ages from 5 to 16. Auditions were held in January and the cast met weekly for 2 hours to practice.  Not only did the students perform, they choreographed the dances, worked out the scenes, built props, designed costumes, etc.  Ms. Dori was very proud of her students and the production was a huge success!

The Katy Family YMCA is offering a Theater Arts camp June 14 – 17 from 1pm-3pm for ages 6 – 14.  Bring out your child’s creativity by learning theatre fundamentals such as acting, singing, & dancing! Learn behind the scenes processes such as prop & costume design, skit writing & stage make-up!  Call the Katy YMCA at 281-392-5055 or visit www.ymcahouston.org/katy to find out more! 

Danielle Sheridan Vacek, Amy Christine Deboyle, Daniel Joseph Decker, Abigail Dawson, Maya Ware, Cameron Davidson

 

Anna Decker, Danielle Sheridan Vacek, Joshua Decker, Amy Christine Deboyle

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Kilpatrick Elementary Annual OKE Walk Successful

May 13, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Kilpatrick Elementary held their  American Diabetes Association 5th Annual OKE Walk  on February 6th , 2010.  Our walkers raised $5,591.07.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.  

Pictured are Teri Brown and Top Donation Raiser Ethan Rothschild who raised $1,186.07.

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Kilpatrick students participated in the KISD Honor Choir

May 13, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Kilpatrick students participated in the KISD Honor Choir, directed by Michele Dial and Lynne Spears.   Please mention y ou found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Katie Aromy, Emily Baldwin, Madison Beall, Neel Bhope, Lauren Breath, Pearson Broadrick, Brett Calarco, Lizzy Cox, Victoria Delgado, Brett Dolotina, Guarav Garg, Parisa Jesudasen, Jane Lee, Katrina Kier, Sydney Maeker, Gabbi Marchelli, Jonathan Yap. The Teachers are: Suzie Calarco and Michele Dial

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Shred for Students and Teachers

May 13, 2010 – Katy, Texas - Tradition Bank – Alief, located at 12300 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, Texas, and Tradition Bank – Fry Road, located at 2117 N. Fry Road, Katy, Texas will both host a community-wide shred day on Saturday, May 22 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in support of the Alief Education Foundation. Documents will be shredded in each bank’s parking lot, and a donation of $5 per box is appreciated. Residents are asked to place old documents for shredding in a banker’s box. Staples, paper clips and binder clips need not be removed from the documents. Plastic binders are not accepted. Assistance will be available at the event to help unload heavy boxes. Shred Day Proceeds to Benefit the Alief Education Foundation.  For more information please call 713.666.2511.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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West Houston Express Network (WHEN) names its 2010 honorees

May 13, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The West Houston Express Network (WHEN) of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) recently named its honorees for 2010.  Pictured are Carol Adams, their Women of Excellence, Terri Scott, their Top Ten Candidate, and Jeanne Huiras, their Women of the Year.  WHEN meets during lunch the first Thursday of every month from 11:30am-1:00pm at the Club at Falcon Point.  Visit www.abwawhen.org for more details.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Carol Adams, Terri Scott, and Jeanne Huiras

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Morton Ranch newspaper wins national awards

May 11, 2010 - Katy, Texas – Please congratulate the student staff of the Morton Ranch High School Maverick Star newspaper! The newspaper was just awarded Second Place by the American Scholastic Press Association.  This honor puts the Maverick Star in the top 25% of high school newspapers nationwide.  The judge said that the Maverick Star’s score, based on writing, editing, photography, design, and coverage, showed a solid grasp of journalistic production in all areas.

A special award was also won by Maverick Star artist Skye Canales.  Skye’s cartoon series, “Clueless” was selected for a Special Category Award – Outstanding Cartoon.  Only 12 students across the nation had cartoons chosen for this award.  Congratulations to Skye Canales and the Maverick Star staff.  Staff members include:

  • Editors-in-Chief: Vanessa Palmer and Hector Flores
  • Design Editor: Michelle Zajac
  • Opinions and Features Editor: Paige Haubert
  • News Editor: Rebeca Trejo
  • Sports Editor: Stella Rocha
  • Entertainment Editor: Avery Jennett
  • Advertising Editor: Alyssa Uresti
  • Head Photographer: Lexie Nickerson
  • Reporters: Nancy Amin, Sam Beeler, Skye Canales, Miguel Chavez, Sara El-Nagi, Sarah Oyarce
  • Photographers: Marijose Flores, Gustavo Iglesias, Gary Loayza, Jazmin Rodriguez
  • Designers: Jordan Bragg and Brittany Parker

Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Summer Dessert Fun

A Katy family makes a beach scene to compliment dinner

My four year old daughter and I decided to make May special and to count down the days until school is out.  I wanted to keep it healthy, low-cost, and low-stress, since the end of the year has enough stress of its own.

We decided to do a healthy(ish) dessert each week that somehow makes us think of summertime.  Last week, we made beach scenes.  We used graham cracker crumbs, low-fat vanilla pudding, and marshmallows to create the beach.

In each clear cup, we lined the bottom with graham crackers to look like sand.  We had to make sure to put enough of the graham cracker crumbs along the bottom, because once the pudding is poured in, they can get hidden from the side of the cup if there aren’t enough. 

Next, we stirred blue food coloring in to the vanilla pudding to create the water.  We used a box mix of French Vanilla pudding and stirred the blue food coloring into the milk before whisking it together.  Apparently French (more…)

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Congratulations to Spring Class of Tiger Cub Grads, New Black Belts & Instructors

May 11, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The Katy TaeKwonDo Academy is pleased to announce its newest class of Tiger Cub graduates, new first degree black belt students and instructors who each passed testing requirements for their next level during the spring rank exam.

First Degree Level 1 “Probationary” Black Belts

Congratulations to these students who have earned their First Degree Level 1 “Probationary” Black Belt: Joshua Boyce, Demetrius Brooks, Joey Fullinwider, William Longridge, Kirsten Madina, Celine Maranon, Will Martin, Natasha Tamula, Illiana Torres-Soto, Ryan Tough, Maggie Weeks, Michael Weeks, Patrick Whitehead. Congratulations to these students who have earned their First Degree Level 2 “Decided” Black Belt: Tyler Blonder, Kavya Chandran, Thomas DeOcampo, Magnus Dhelie, Anna Beth Duncan, Matthew Duzant, Brooke Finkelstein, Melissa Furman, Skylar Galicia, Christina Jones, Brian Madina, Efren Munoz, Nicholas Munoz, James Nicholson, Sohum Purao, Alberto Rios, Madison Schenk, Collin Taylor, Katie Walz, Catherine Weldon. 

Second Degree Black Belts

Congratulations to the following students for earning their Second Degree Black Belts: Osama Ehimwenma, Jacob Gries, Meshach Jassal, Norma Komplin, Arnav Mohanty, Adam Mojtahed, Reese Needham, Jacob Roopchand, Natalie Russo, Wyatt Taylor, Victoria Vargas.  The following students have earned their Third Degree Black Belts: Nicholas Bean, Alex Harris, Gabriella Mills, Roberta Mills. 

Level 2 Instructor and Level 1 Instructors

The Katy TaeKwonDo Academy also welcomes these dedicated students who passed instructor testing requirements during the spring exam to become Instructors: Level 2 Instructor Arya Muralidharan and Level 1 Instructors Tyler Blonder, Nicholas Saenz, Demetrius Brooks, Kevin Quentin. 

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Pattison Elementary Students Learn a Lesson on Life

May 6, 2010 – Katy, Texas – First Graders at Pattison Elementary enjoyed watching the chicken eggs in their classrooms every day waiting for the eggs to hatch.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Reese Morgan and Evan Wetmore are able to gently touch the baby chicks that are only a few days old.

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An Amelia Bedelia Moment

Loving those priceless moments with my Katy cuties

Yesterday, my extended family and I were spending the day together.  We were sitting outside, watching my 4 year old daughter, Avery, playing in the sandbox.  My sister, Amanda, and my grandmother were talking about a new dress my sister was hoping to sew.  She went to the car to get the pattern she had purchased, only to discover she had left it at her house in Spring.  All of the adults discussed how frustrating it is to realize you’ve left something by the front door instead of loading it up.  I had no idea my daughter was listening until she interrupted the conversation.

“Mommy,” she said, “I’m all done with the sand.  I’m going to go inside and wash my hands and make Amanda a pattern.” (more…)

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Local Student Wins 1st at Texas Music Teachers Association Composition Contest

Daniel Silliman

May 7, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Daniel Silliman has been awarded First Place in the High School Ensemble division of the Texas Music Teachers Association (TMTA) Composition Contest.  He will be honored for this achievement at the upcoming TMTA Convention, to be held June 10-14 at the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington, Texas.  The sixteen-year-old studies piano and composition with Tobin Wright and is currently completing his junior year at Taylor High School.  Silliman was also awarded the American Festival for the Arts/Accessible Contemporary Music Young Composer’s Prize, which entailed a public performance of his composition at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois, last November.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Outing to Katy Mills Mall

Inexpensive fun at this Katy family’s favorite hang-out

Today I took my girls to Katy Mills Mall.  Sometimes we head there to shop, and I love those trips.  But today, we just went to be together.

Before we left, we gathered all of our change from around the house and stuck it in one of my daughter’s dress-up purses.  I was curious if it would be enough to keep us busy for the next hour, and I was pleasantly surprised.

We arrived, with no agenda except to walk the mall and spend our coins.  First, we stopped at one of those coin collectors with the funnel.  My girls had so much fun watching the coins pin around and around.  I was careful to pick out the pennies for this activity.  Total cost for this stop: approximately (more…)

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Living My Dream

Mother’s Day is the perfect time for this Katy mom to reflect

I’m living my dream.

Angela with her two daughters, Avery and Kate.

When I was young and couldn’t sleep at night, I’d lose myself in fantasy worlds. I didn’t dream of being a princess or a ballerina. I didn’t want to be a rock star. I wanted to be a mommy. I’d lay awake at night, dreaming of the day I could hold my very own little ones in my arms.

Several times a week, I catch myself with a silly grin (often with a tear as well), just soaking in these moments that are so fleeting and so very precious. The way that my oldest daughter, Avery, says “Mama”, the way that the baby, Kate, stares at her daddy when he walks in a room, the days full of learning and playing and cuddling… it’s all a dream come true. I’ll take the dishes and laundry and constant clutter. With it comes the most blessed moments I’ve lived through yet.

I wondered when my first daughter, Avery was born how people could tell me it only got better from there. She was so small and so precious and a part of me never wanted those days to end, so I couldn’t imagine it being even better than that. Now, I understand. As a 3 ½ year old, the child is so full of (more…)

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Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Volunteers Visit Stanley Elementary

May 6, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo volunteers visited Stanley Elementary to give the students an up close and personal educational experience about the rodeo.  The Houston Rodeo Speaker’s Committee and other volunteers rotated students around various stations including rodeo crafts, campfire songs, dances and animal displays.  Students were decked out in western attire, and were even treated to line dance lessons taught by Mr. and Mrs. Stanley.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Stan and Patsy Stanley pose with Roberto Graham during their country line dance lessons given to Stanley Elementary students at Rodeo Day.

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Orphan’s Hope Fund and Light of the Islands Benefit from March Profits

May 6, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Kosmos Coffee shop partnered with Grace Fellowship United Methodist to give more than $500 from its March sales to Orphan’s Hope Fund and Light of the Islands, organizations that benefited under the cause of “Hope”, one of Kosmos’ six causes. Located on Peek Road directly across the street from the YMCA at The Fellowship at Cinco Ranch, Kosmos Coffee donates all profit each month to the recipients under that month’s cause. For more information about causes, community and coffee, visit: www.kosmoscoffee.org.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Katy Teacher Receives National Recognition in Surprise Ceremony

Griffin Elementary teacher, Nancy Hess, receiving her Plank Fellowship Award.

May 5, 2010 - Katy, Texas – Nancy Hess’ celebration of National Teacher Day is particularly festive this year. Yesterday morning, during the student-produced morning announcements broadcast on closed circuit television, Hess was presented with Houston’s 2010 Plank Fellowship Award, given in recognition of the inspired implementation of her Fund for Teachers’ fellowship and the continued impact it makes on her teaching practice, her students and her community. Only eight teachers across the country received this distinction, along with the $500 prize. 

In 2007, Nancy capitalized on a Fund for Teachers grant to experience a cultural immersion in England, France, Germany and Austria. Upon her return, she recreated Monet’s most famous garden in her classroom to welcome students on the first day of school. Students dove into the fine arts curriculum to the sound of a working fountain and surrounded by flowers, prints of Monet’s work and photos of the real garden – all beckoning them to come sit on a bench and read a book. 

To introduce students to additional artists and locations, Nancy developed slide shows using the Sistine Chapel, the Louvre and the National Museum in London as examples of how art and music developed over time; built on her experience hearing a Mozart concert in a Salzburg fortress to teach The Magic Flute; and created a culminating activity for the unit – a Living Museum. Each student chose an artist to portray to the school community and created project boards enhancing their performances. Finally, Nancy is in the process of creating an ABC’s of Architecture book based on the elements of design she saw and illustrated with photos taken of the famous European landmarks she visited. 

“My fellowship showed me that as a teacher, I am responsible for bringing information to life,” said Hess. “Seeing my students excited about learning makes me excited about teaching and I’m now motivated to always bring passion and personal experiences into my classroom.”  Please mention you found this www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Spring Cleaning Helps to Prepare for Baby

 How a Katy Mom-To-Be is Embracing “Nesting”

With our daughter arriving this July and summer now at our doorsteps I decided to really make the most of spring-cleaning this year. The last month my husband and I have been cleaning house and organizing all of our stuff. Yes, of course I wanted to jump into the cute baby decorations but I quickly saw that first you have to get organized before you can any fun with the cute stuff.

Honestly though, once we got started it wasn’t that horrible. I even tackled my overflowing file cabinet. As someone with an at home business I keep files on everything from our bills to my projects. Now that my file cabinet is organized and has some order to it I’m finding that I can now save time on many daily tasks. Paying bills, sorting mail and other undesirable tasks are handled much quicker and easier now. I also am able to be more productive (more…)

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Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran donates to VFW Memorial Museum expansion

MRE - Meal Ready to Eat

May 5, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The Katy Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Museum was recently the recipient of some of the prized possessions of  one of the Post’s newest members.  Clare Wilklow, now a resident of the Katy area, served on active duty with the US Army from 2001 to 2004.  It was while on deployment that Clare came into the possession of a number of war related items.   While stationed in Wiesbaden Germany with the Army’s 141st Signal Battalion, Bravo Company her unit was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.  Her military occupation specialty (MOS) was 54 Bravo which is a nuclear, biological and chemical specialist. With this MOS, she was in the midst of the search to find chemical weapons which could have ultimately been used by Saddam Hussein’s forces against the American troops and their allies – the coalition forces. In this capacity, she obtained many valuable artifacts and her gift of them to the museum will help create a realistic setting for this wartime era.   Accepting these scarce and treasured items on behalf of the Post was Jr. Vice Commander, Dave Brasell.

Some of the these donated items include:  Iraqi chemical boots from Saddam’s Republican Guard, Iraqi chemical gas mask (Russian style, probably supplied to the Iraqi Army after the Iraqi – Iranian War), Iraqi chemical decontamination kit with Arabic instructions, two log books from one of Saddam’s many Biological Laboratories in Bagdad which are written in English as well as Arabic, and a mix of crystals and cut glass from a chandelier in one of Saddam’s palaces.  (more…)

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KISD JH Summer Band Camp Dates

May 5, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The eighth annual summer band camp, offered to next years 7th, 8th, and 9th grade KISD band students, will be held at Katy High School from July 19th to July 23rd.  The camp will include daily section rehearsals, full band rehearsals, and fun music based electives.  Lunch is also part of the camp.  The cost of the camp is $100 and will include a t-shirt if received by June 4th.  Late registration is an additional $25.  The camp concludes with the Grand Concert on Friday morning at 9am.  After the concert, those students wishing to extend the fun a little longer can join in the group’s optional trip to Splashtown Water Park in Spring, Texas for an additional $30 (park admission, meal, bus transportation, and drinks are included in price) for a total camp cost of $130 ($155 after June 4th).  The KISD JH Summer Band Camp has been a huge success each year and we anticipate a large enrollment this year. Plan to register early in order to secure a spot.

Camp participants will audition for summer band camp placement the first day of camp, beginning promptly at 8am.  Students should prepare major scales and chromatic scales specific to the student’s instrument, as well as a band camp audition etude.  Students will be ability grouped with the number of bands being determined by total enrollment for the camp.  Audition materials are available from your Katy ISD Band Director or the Camp Staff.  In addition, an email confirmation is sent out upon registration, along with attachments that include audition materials and the medical form that is required for all participants.

The camp provides an economical and convenient alternative to those who may not have had a chance to attend another band camp over the summer due to scheduling and/or costs.  Participants will receive top quality instruction on their instruments from our own great KISD and Houston area Band Directors.  Join us for the eighth annual Katy ISD Junior High Summer Band Camp and keep your playing skills sharp for next year!  To receive a brochure and registration packet email kisdbandcamp@yahoo.com.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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Mother’s Day the Creative Way

What one Katy family does to celebrate

Mickey Mouse cupcakes

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day have always seemed a bit daunting to my two siblings and me.  We love our parents so much and cherish the opportunity to show them this, but we have a bit of trouble coming up with a new, creative, meaningful way to express ourselves each year.  We don’t just want to give a gift to Mom on Mother’s Day, we want it to be a perfect gift that clearly represents how wonderful she is to us.

After several years of searching the creative vaults of our minds, my sister, brother, and I had a stroke of genius.  My mother and father want nothing (more…)

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Celebrating Mother’s Day

Teaching our Katy cutie the value of a thoughtful gift

My husband and I decided when my daughter was very young that we wanted to use Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as an opportunity to teach her about thoughtful gifts.  We wanted to teach her to give gifts that are special because she thought of the person she was giving the gift to.  We were hopeful that we could teach her that cost isn’t as important as thought.

To that end, we agreed that the most meaningful gifts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day would be gifts that she picked out herself.  One year, we took her to the Dollar Store and let her pick out anything she thought her Mommy (more…)

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Doggie Outings

Dog Parks in Katy

We are always trying to find different parks for dogs for our dog Max to exercise and have fun with other doggies. Our dog Max awaits anxiously at the door to be taken to the dog park in Katy. He immediately knows when we get his leash and he starts jumping to get it on.
Katy has several dog parks in the area that caters to the doggies. We have taken our dog to Millie Bush Bark Park on 16756 Westhiemer Parkway and he really loves it. We always see different kinds of dogs there big and small. They also have a section for the larger dogs so the smaller dogs don’t get scared of the much bigger ones there in the park. The park has fire hydrants, water fountains, doggie showers, a lake, pick up bags and a walking trail with shade trees. (more…)
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Texas Children’s Hospital Names 20-Year Nurse Leader Shannon McCord

 as Director of Patient Care Services at New West Campus

Shannon McCord, director of patient care services at the new Texas Childrens Hospital-West Campus

May 4, 2010 – Katy. Texas – Texas Children’s Hospital recently named Shannon McCord as director of patient care services at the new West Campus, its first community hospital currently under construction at Interstate 10 and Barker Cypress Road. In this role, she will plan and direct patient care services including nursing operations, administration, education and training for West Campus outpatient and inpatient facilities.

McCord has more than 25 years of pediatric nursing experience and is approaching her 20th year at Texas Children’s Hospital. A board certified pediatric nurse practitioner, her experience encompasses both hospital and private practice settings including the positions of clinical staff nurse, educator, clinical nurse specialist and nurse practitioner. She has served as assistant director of wound, ostomy and continence, which involves the care of patients with acute and chronic wounds as well as patients who have bowel or bladder conditions.  Most recently she served as the assistant (more…)

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Kilpatrick Elementary’s Para- professional of the Year

May 3, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Kilpatrick Elementary School congratulates Joanne Mickshaw. Joanne Is Kilpatrick’s Para- professional of the year.  

Joanne Mickshaw and Principal Malynn Rodriguez

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Katy Jump Rope Team Members Qualify for Nationals

Katy YMCA’s Highflyers Team sweeps competition

May, 3, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The Katy Family YMCA’s Highflyers Jump Rope team, led by coaches Dave Cazares and Tammy Aleman, competed in the Jump Rope Regional competition on April 23. Out of the 26 members competing, 25 qualified for the National Competition in various events. The team swept nearly every category capturing first, second and third place. The Highflyers youngest Double Dutch team received the highest score overall out of all the teams participating. 

In June, the Highflyers will compete at the Jump Rope Nationals to be held in Galveston, Texas and expect to take home several National Titles. The Katy Family YMCA will host a Jump Rope summer specialty camp August 9th-12th from 9am-11am for ages 6-17.  Learn single rope freestyle and speed, Chinese Wheel, Double Dutch, Group Routines and Long Rope skills. Interested in learning more?  Please view the team’s website at www.highflyersjumpropeteam.com or www.ymcahouston.org/katy or contact the coach at 281-599-9654.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

Katy YMCA Highflyers

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Pattison Elementary Receives a Special Visitor

May 3, 2010 – Katy, Texas – As part of Texas History, special guest “William B Travis”, commander of the gallant men that defended the Alamo in 1836, visited Fouth Grade students of Pattison Elementary to tell his story of the battle of the Alamo.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.  

Pictured with William B Travis is Kelsey Wright and Brandon Stokes.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Books Aplenty, Books Galore!

Parenting books are everywhere!  Which ones do you recommend for this Katy parent?

I love to read.  I have to limit myself to the amount of “for pleasure” reading that I do because I tend to get so involved with the book that I neglect my house, my children and my husband until the last word on the last page.  I’ve found that self-help books are a bit easier to pull myself away from; the information takes a while to digest and if I read too much too quickly I tend to forget what I’ve read.  

I have a pile of no less than 8 books and magazines sitting next to my bedside right now, and all of them are self-help, books for better living, or parenting related.  I am in the middle of all 8 of them, and I really do love them all.   

When it comes to parenting books, there are the highly touted (and highly controversial) baby sleep books, but I am talking about so much more than that.  I love anything inspirational, funny, or helpful about raising children or activities I can do with my children.  What follows is a list of my favorite 10 parenting books and magazines from my reading over the last year or so. (more…)

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It’s a Boy!

One Katyite has found a way to ‘give back’ on a global scale

Movies like Hotel Rwanda and Slumdog Millionaire have always been an issue for me.  On the one hand, I’m glad truth finds it way into pop culture, but on the other, I spend a lot of time wondering what truth is really worth when there is little I can do about problems so huge. 

I’ve known of Compassion International my whole life but it has never been very real to me.  I mean, it sort of seemed like a “good” thing to do.  

But suddenly all I could think of was movies like Hotel Rwanda and The Constant Gardener and even dear ole Jack Bauer in 24: Redemption.  I mean, there is so, so much pain in the world and here I am, somehow, just by coincidence, born into the wealthiest nation in the world.  I mean, who am I that I was born into such wealth?  I could just as easily have been living among the millions and millions all over the world who starve to death and die of things like diarrhea because they drink bad water.  

The way Compassion International works is you pay a set fee per month to sponsor one child in a third world country.  The monthly fee provides this child with food, clean water, medical care, and an education.  The sponsor and the sponsored child exchange letters as well.  There are other charity organizations out there that do amazing things for children as well.  This just happened to be the organization I was most familiar with. (more…)

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KVPAC’s Art for All Festival

 One Katyite looks back on a great day with her family at the festival   

This weekend we were looking for something special to do to spend time with our 3 ½ year old daughter, Avery.  Since we’re fans of Katy Magazine on Facebook, we saw a few of the posts about the KVPAC Arts for All Festival sponsored by Katy Magazine.  Avery is just now getting old enough to appreciate everything a festival like this has to offer, so we decided to take her.

Avery making a coffee filter butterfly at one of the booths at the KVPAC Arts For All! Festival.

We spent about 3 hours at La Centerra, walking around and enjoying the booths.  We visited the Katy Magazine booth and Avery had a great time dancing to the 60’s themed music, but was too shy to get her photo taken.  Hopefully she’ll be ready by next year!  We watched a performance of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by KVPAC, enjoyed a live band, and participated in many “projects”, as Avery likes to call them.

The entire square of La Centerra was bustling with activity and booths.  Children were singing karaoke, playing games and petting some lovable dogs.  There was even a bounce house for jumping! 

When we first arrived, we did a lap around the booths to take it all in.  After Avery warmed up to the excitement and after she realized that each booth had something special for her to see or do, she really came alive.  She was able to make a coffee filter butterfly, a marble-rolled painting, a shaker egg, and a stone tile decoration, among other things.  She was having so much fun that after every project, she’d look up at me and beg, “I’m not ready to go yet!  Just one more project… please!”  We were an hour late getting home for nap time, but spending such a special day with my daughter was completely worth it!  I cannot wait for next year’s Art for All Festival!

What about you?  Did you get a chance to get out and experience the Art for All Festival?  What was your family’s favorite activity?

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Meal Swap

One Katyite mom has found a way to relieve dinner stress

I believe in the power of family meals every night.   I do not particularly care for processed foods, nor do I always have the time to make something fresh and fabulous each night.

So, if I am generally opposed to easy-to-prepare processed foods but I don’t have time to cook healthful meals, what do I do? 

I meal swap.

Meal swapping is an idea that a few friends and I came up with to better answer the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?”  Each month, I prepare 2 home cooked meals to share.  I triple the recipe and feed one portion to my family that night.  The other two portions I package up in freezer safe containers, label the top of the container with the name of the meal and the last minute preparation instructions, and put it in my freezer.  (more…)

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Affordable Tutoring In Katy

Katy Mom finding ways of tutoring her children

I have three children ages 7, 11, 15 they are in elementary, middle, and high school. I find it sometimes very hard to have one on one tutoring with them. They all learn differently and sometimes I try to find other ways to help them. I have took advantage of tutoring classes at some of the schools morning, afternoon or even during classes, neighbors in our area, phone tutoring, and even computer tutoring. Some schools even have saturdays as an extra day of tutoring. I just wish I could find a tutoring facility that would not be so costly. I have three children and I am always trying to find affordable tutoring for them.
Having children in different ages and levels of learning can sometimes become overwhelming. I have called different tutoring facilities but have found it to be very costly. I have heard good things about the tutoring facilities out here in Katy but have not had the pleasure of trying them yet. I have read the reviews of some of them. I find reviews very helpful but it’s nothing like your own experience with them. Oh and let’s not forget about our children that have extra curricular activities on certain days. When can we find time to tutor during these times?
 I have applied at least one hour for each of them for tutoring but I always ask myself what about the parents that have to work? I have alot of friends that are single moms and have long hours at work. So what about them when can they help their child in reference to tutoring? Can our children tutor with friends or relatives? Also can it be more affordable? So my parents of Katy what other ways of tutoring have you found it easy for your children? I would love to hear from you.
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The Reading Countess Chair

A Katyite remembers where her love of reading originated

March 25, 2010 – Katy, Texas – I recently struck upon a picture of a “reading countess chair” while searching for comfortable seating for my classroom library. My heart did a little skip and a jump as I thought back to how I crafted my blog name, “Reading Countess.” As the only granddaughter for sixteen years, I was treated like royalty by my beloved grandfather. He was the only one in my family who called me “Contessa,” a play on my “real name”, and he went out of his way to treat me like a member of the royal court. Much to my brother’s chagrin, I received preferential treatment by Granddaddy time and time again during my childhood. When we misbehaved, it was my brother and not I who was sent outside to pick the weeds. I was even given “fresh water baths” when I was really young. My grandfather carted buckets of water from the kitchen to fill the bathtub so that I would not be forced to take a bath using the pungent sulfur water from the rest of the farmhouse’s plumbing system.   (more…)

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Reading Lasts a Lifetime

Making Reading and important part of your Katy Cutie’s Life

March 25, 2010 – Katy, Texas – One of my favorite quotes is, “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents” (Emilie Buchwald). As a reading teacher, I know all too well the absolute importance that habitual reading (a minimum of twenty minutes spent reading each day outside of school) plays in the development of a child’s emotional and academic growth. Studies show that children who are exposed regularly to the joys of literature from a young age consistently rank in the top percentile when they are at the secondary level. Not only are vocabulary development and comprehension skills stronger than those of their peers, but knowledge gained through voracious reading then applies to all areas of the curriculum.

But what can a parent do when reading is a chore for a youngster? Read aloud, say the experts. Careful selection of high interest books can be a wonderful way to “reel” a reader into the joy of books. Young  children typically enjoy repetitive books or books that contain rhymes. For an older child, selecting books that have sequels can sometimes entice a reader to want to continue a saga. (more…)

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Katy’s Easter Events for Children

Many Activities going on in Katy for children of all ages

March 24, 2010- Katy, TX — It’s that time a year where we as parents are looking for things to do with our children for Easter. There are several places that will be holding events for a little or no fee in Katy. I always try to make it to as many events as I can especially if they are free. Our children love to do these activities and these are also memories to last for a lifetime. Here are some events that will be going on in Katy just make sure to put it on your calendar so you won’t forget.

Katy Mills Mall will be having the Easter bunny in the mall from March 13- April 3 located in neighborhood six near American Outfitters store. If you are a Kidgits member then you can enjoy decorating a bucket for your eggs, a visit from the Easter bunny himself at Rainforest Cafe from 8am to 10am and an egg hunt. Don’t worry if your not a member you can join that same day for a small fee.

Bass Pro Shop will also be holding fun activities for the children as well. They will be having a free picture with the Easter bunny and crafts from March 27- April 4 starting at noon. There will also be a egg hunt on March 27- April 4 for the children to enjoy with the exception of April 1 that day the Easter bunny will be off so he can give eggs to children around the world.

VFW Park will be having a Easter event for children with a petting zoo, face painting, photo with the Easter bunny for a small fee. This event will take place on March 26 starting at 4:30pm with a egg hunt for all ages. Egg hunts will be separated by ages so make sure to bring your basket to fill them up with all those wonderful eggs. Ages from 2yrs-3yrs will be at 5:30pm, 4yrs-5yrs will be at 5:45pm, 6yrs-8yrs will be at 6pm and if you your little one has a pet she or he can take them to the City Dog Park not to far from the VFW park.

The City Dog Park for a small fee will be holding a doggie costume contest at 5:30pm with a doggie egg hunt at 6:00pm. This will be lots of fun for your pet to get that evening walk but fun as well for your little ones.

Please give us you input on your past experiences for any of these events. When I am looking for some type of event to do in Katy I look to Katy Magazine. I have made Katy Magazine my number one event locator.

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Hippity, Hoppity, Easter’s On Its Way!

Enjoying Community Activities in Katy This Easter Season

March 24, 2010 – Katy, Texas – I love spring.  I love the comfortable weather and the flowers.  But I especially love Easter.

I have such fond memories of Easters past.  My family partook in so many of the Easter traditions: egg hunts, church on Sunday morning, confetti eggs, dying hard boiled eggs… the list goes on and on.  Now that I have two children of my own, I feel giddy about the opportunity to pass these traditions down to them.  And pass them down I will.

Avery enjoying the bounce house at last year's Easter Fest.

But my new favorite tradition started last year.  The Waters Church at 2710 N. Mason Road (Suite #145) hosts an annual Easter Fest in the parking lot of the church.  Our family went last year, and we were amazed at how much there was for our children to enjoy.

A lot of community outreach programs focus on Easter egg hunts this time of year, and we plan to be a part of many of those as well.  But The Waters Easter Fest is more like a carnival than the traditional Easter egg hunt event.  Last year, my oldest daughter got to have a pony ride, get her face painted, jump in bouncy houses, enjoy a petting zoo, and eat hot dogs for dinner at Easter Fest. 

I’m looking forward to Easter Fest this upcoming Wednesday, March 31st from 6:30-8:30 pm.  I’m sure many of the attractions from last year will be back, and this year I know my 3 year old daughter is really looking forward to the fire truck and a visit from Chuck E. Cheese.   

(more…)

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Big Dogs vs Small Dogs

Finding the right pet for your Katy family

March 24, 2010 – Katy, TX – There has been a debate of whether to adopt a small dog or a big dog in our family. We have visited various shelter’s out in Katy and have seen so many beautiful dogs that we wish we could adopt all of them. We have to put the pros and cons toward adopting a big or small pet. We had visited a nearby park and had seen so many different sizes of dogs. We were amazed that some doggies identify their owners. We did noticed that the majority of the men like bigger dogs and the ladies like smaller dogs. Why is that I wonder? We also have to ask ourselves what about vet visits? Routine maintenance? Food? There is so many questions involved in adopting a bigger dog to a smaller dog. We also have seen smaller dogs being carried in retail stores in their dog carriers some even fit in our purse.  I have even seen dog strollers in stores with dogs in them. If we were to have a bigger dog there would be no dog carrier or dog stroller in the store this would be impossible because of the size of the dog. I have also seen vet bills, routine maintenance and food for smaller dogs cheaper than for bigger dogs. Having a bigger dog protects your home of intruders they can hear those loud barks that tend to put people on alert. Smaller dogs don’t do that barking that tends to intimidate intruders instead they find it amusing. What about a bed or a kennel for the dog? Will our dog be comfortable in our home if it is big or small? I would guess it would depend on the size

of the home as well as a backyard for the dog. There is one important thing that we do know is that whatever size we choose it will be part of our family for a long time.

So my fellow Katy readers to adopt a small dog or adopt a big dog that is the question?

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Getting “Good” at Date Night

Featured blog writer, Angela McClinton and her husband. KPhoto by Kristin King Photography

How one Katy couple Makes the Most of their Time Together

March 23, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Before we were married, my husband and I heard the same bit of advice over and over: “Don’t ever stop dating.  Don’t ever feel guilty for spending time and money on dates.  Be purposeful about dating each other.” 

We’ve taken that advice to heart.  Who doesn’t love to be instructed to do something fun like dating?  Before we had children, we picked one night out of every week (it was Sundays for us) and went somewhere together.  Once our children were born, date night became a once-a-month thing.   Dating monthly is less often than we were challenged to, but nevertheless, it is one of my favorite family traditions. 

If I’m honest, I’ll admit that not every date is romantic-movie spectacular.  Sometimes we’re so worn out that a movie is all we care to do.  And after a long week with two young children, we might not be feeling creative so we’ll eat out and head back home to catch up on our DVR’ed shows.  (more…)

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Rodeo Fun Facts and Stats

Record numbers and attendance at this year’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Line dancing at the Houston Rodeo

Another successful rodeo season has come to an end, shattering attendance records and breaking several junior market auction records along the way, all while providing great entertainment at a value price, showcasing Texas agriculture, and promoting Western heritage.. Following are highlights from the 2010 Show.

Fun Rodeo Stats

  • More than 1,500 kids participated in Mutton Bustin’ in the Kids Country Arena, and more than 280 participated in Mutton Bustin’ in Reliant Stadium.
  • In the birthing center, 73 piglets, 22 lambs and 17 calves were born during the Show. In the poultry exhibit, more than 1,000 chicks were hatched.
  • More than 300,000 stuffed animals were won in the carnival. (more…)
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Welcoming Baby Number Two

From our Katy family to yours–a few hints to make bringing home the new baby as seamless as possible

March 22, 2010 –Katy, TX –Being pregnant with my second child was considerably less blissful than my being pregnant the first time around.  Sure, I was sick more often the second time around (and those “slight” pains associated with Braxton Hicks were more intense), but  the thing that really plagued me, the unavoidable reality that haunted my thoughts at night, was the idea that I’d somehow have to find a way to split my love and loyalties between two children.

Big sister, Avery, holding newborn baby sister, Kate.

I adore my first child, Avery.  And while I was pregnant, I knew I would adore my second, Kate, as well.  And what new mother hasn’t heard the age old advice, “Once the second child is born you’ll understand how your heart can just swell to love both children equally.”?  Still, I had my doubts.

Besides my own doubts, I’d heard from friends that welcoming a second child into the world is significantly more challenging than the first.  The exhaustion and post-partum hormones are still in place, but added to that is the ongoing needs of your first.  I’m not one to take a challenge lying down, so I did some poking around for ideas on easing the transition from one child to two.

(more…)

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Katy’s Public Libraries

 A Free Gift To Our Katy Community

March 19, 2010 –Katy, TX –In the news the past six months, hints that the doors to public libraries throughout our great nation will be closed due to budgetary shortfalls have sent alarm bells among concerned citizens. The entire state of Florida and the great city of Philadelphia, ironically where the Declaration of Independence was signed, have met with difficult choices when faced with skyrocketing budget demands. Thankfully, our own libraries are not in the same predicament and are indeed well stocked and maintain convenient hours of operation.

Mural at Muad Marks Library in Katy

In the Katy area, citizens have a multitude of public libraries to choose from. Harris County Public Library boasts three convenient branches to residents of Katy: Katherine Tyra, Katy and Maud Marks. Fort Bend County Library is proud to offer residents of Katy services through their Cinco Ranch Library.

All libraries in our community host a wealth of services for young and old alike. For the youth, parents can enjoy toddler or preschool story time, or bring their school aged children to an after school art class. Santa has even been known to show up for some milk and cookies with the kids around the holidays. For the older participant, book clubs for teens and adults are held monthly. ESL, tax help, computer, and interest clubs such as knitting and money management even meet at our libraries. Once a month, our libraries also host a used book sale. Visitors can find a plethora of titles for a portion of the regular price, and the profits from the sale go directly back into the libraries. The libraries are always a busy place during the summer months when special programs are put on once a week for the school aged set. And don’t forget about all of the materials visitors can borrow from the library! Where else can you find books, magazines, movies, audio tapes, and free computer use all for the price of a (free) library card?

In a time when our country is facing difficult financial choices, remember that our public libraries are still a free resource. Stop by a local branch today and check it out! Who knows? You might discover a new hobby or find a book you can’t put down!

*Have you stopped into a public library branch recently? What were you looking for? How often do you visit?

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Making Memories

One Katy mom makes memories with her boys at Mason Road Skate Center

March 22, 2010 –Katy, TX –My boys had been playing hard outside all spring break soaking up the gorgeous weather, and so when they asked if I could take them to the local skating rink yesterday I was surprised. “Don’t you want to enjoy this amazing seventy degree weather before it starts to get too hot outside?” I asked them. But they persisted, and so we loaded up and started off, stopping to load up some friends in the back. As we drove, I rolled the windows down and popped open the sunroof; determined to soak up the short-lived spring weather as much as possible. I was still grumbling to myself when we entered the building, thinking how we were wasting the day inside.

As soon as we stepped foot into the skating rink, though, I was immediately transported back in time. It’s funny how some things simply never change. Flooding my senses was the overpowering smell of a locker room-or was that the rented roller skates? Be that as it may, I paid our entrance fee and the boys began to slip on their skates to the sounds of Beyonce’ booming in our ears.

This was not our first foray to the local rink before. We’ve visited on rainy summer afternoons and for numerous birthday parties throughout the years. But I was always either skating with the boys to encourage them to let go of the wall, or walking our youngest son around the rink while he fearfully held onto me for dear life. This was the first time ever that I wasn’t doing either! My boys had matured enough to whiz around the rink without any encouragement or aid from me. Sitting down at one of the many tables lined up, I settled down with a book, peeking over it every so often to cheer them on.

I remember fondly the many hours I spent at the local skating rink as a young girl.  The dimmed lights, the looming disco ball in the center of the rink casting glittery shadows on the skaters below, and the pounding music are all woven into my memory forever. Wearing my favorite blue velour bellbottom pants with the word “BOOGIE” emblazoned in rhinestones on the back pocket made me feel like a roller skating goddess.  As I sat and watched my boys glide effortlessly around and around, it occurred to me how some things in life really never change.

True, the music my boys were grooving to was not The Bee Gees or Diana Summer of my youth. They were instead mouthing the words to The Black Eyed Peas and groaning when Justin Bieber’s voice was piped in. But the pure joy on their sweaty faces, the preteen girls obsessed with their appearance looking to each other for reassurance, and the smell of the greasy food offered up made me smile in recognition. I remember this. And I hope my boys will, too. This was not a day wasted inside. This was a day for making memories.

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Katy Birthday Parties

At Home or out in the Katy community? Where’s the best place to have a birthday party?

March 19, 2010 –Katy, TX –I’m a big fan of having my kids’ birthday parties somewhere other than our home. After a particularly messy 8th birthday party at home complete with chocolate cake smashed into the carpet, I made a decision that birthday parties are best away from home.   The clean up is so much easier and the packages they offer are so convenient for moms and dads. Some of the most fun and memorable parties my kids have had were…

Times Square Entertainment – There are so many things kids can do and the party hosts are awesome. They follow you around and take care of every detail. This is best for kids age 8 through teens. Bowling, games, laser tag and pizza is fun for boys and girls.

Mason Road Skating – There is nothing like their money machine! What kid doesn’t want to stand in a money machine and catch flying dollar bills. A lifetime memory!

Laser Quest – Tweens and teens really like this place. It’s dark and kind of mysterious and they have a few party rooms to choose from. It’s on Westheimer, but not too far down, just past West Oaks Mall.

Pump it Up – I’ve had younger kids parties there and one for my 10 year old Both were a big hit. Jumping around on large inflatables is a blast for all ages, even for the adults!

Do you know a great Katy party place? Post your comment here!

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Hopping Off the Wheel

Spring Break ‘Staycation’ Means  Bonding Time for Katy Families

Over the years, my boys have been the proud and loving owners of two gerbils and a hamster (thankfully at different times). While the hamster was relatively placid and generally roamed around his cage placidly, we delighted in watching the antics of the gerbils for hours. It seemed that they were never still. If they weren’t climbing up on the various apparatus we purchased for them, they could be found running on the little wheel that went around and around but never went anywhere. We would laugh at them and think them silly for being perpetually “on the wheel.”

Since we have been on Spring Break, I feel as though I, too, have been “on the wheel” and have thankfully hopped off of it. It might be for just a brief week, but this week has proven to be a spirit renewer in ways I never envisioned. We have had a glorious “staycation.” Although we have not travelled anywhere exotic, the time off has proven to be priceless. My boys have enjoyed the quiet days spent playing outside in the temperate weather, going to various parks, fishing with friends, roller skating and riding their bikes, catching a movie, staying up later at night and sleeping in during the day, and taking a trip to the local library. We even all crammed into our car around bedtime and went for ice cream-the boys clad in their pajamas. Personally, I have read more books and have spent leisurely time mulling over writing and thinking than I ever have during the school week. We would never have been able to enjoy all of our relaxing, family bonding time during the hustle and bustle of the school week. Between the rigorous schedule of school and all the after school activities my boys participate in, finding time to “just chill” can be difficult. But hopping off the wheel has been crucial for us as a family.

What have been your experiences with Spring Break? Are you a working parent? If so, do you find it challenging to take time off to be with your child(ren)? What activities or places have you enjoyed together during this time off?

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AJ Bass Performing at Kosmos March 26

Singer Songwriter AJ Bass to Perform at Kosmos Coffee Shop in Katy

From songwriting to performance to production, AJ has been in and around the music industry for over 15 years.  From 1994 to1996, he was one of the audio techs for the band “Moriah” (later morphed into “Life Of Riley”) where he also performed as a featured vocalist during their concerts.  As the Worship Pastor of Grace Fellowship UMC for the past 13 years (1996 to present), he has performed with and provided sound support for countless bands, worship teams, and solo artists.  AJ has overseen the production of 5 Grace Fellowship CD Projects and has co-written songs with the likes of Jimmy Needham, Wayne Kerr, and Cassidy Campbell (“Life Of Riley”).  In addition, he has helped to encourage and shape numerous vocalists and instrumentalists over the years as a result of his interaction with adult, youth, and children’s worship teams and ensembles.  All of this experience has fostered within AJ a passion for musical excellence, band and artist development, and for helping musical groups and performers who might otherwise be “overlooked” get the opportunity to reach their full potential in the industry.  “I come in contact with musicians that have what it takes to be the next ‘Chris Tomlin’ or ‘Natalie Grant’ all of the time, and I would love to help those artists realize their greatest aspirations!”  See AJ Bass at Kosmos Coffee located at 22765 Westheimer Parkway (Peek Entrance Across from YMCA).  The performance will be Friday, March 26 at 7 PM.

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Adopt a Pet for St. Patrick’s Day

Lexi with her kitty

Houston SPCA Cat Adoption Specials –Not Just for the Irish!

The luck of the Irish shines down on the frisky felines of the Houston SPCA as we welcome St. Patrick’s Day and the beginning of Spring.  During the weekend of March 19th through the 21st, all cats are 2 fur 1!!! In addition, the Houston SPCA Leprechauns have made the executive decision that all cats with green eyes that are over the age of six months or have a green Shamrock on their kennel will be half off the normal adoption fee.  This means every approved adopter can take home at least two lucky animals for the price of one or just one for half price. Either way, it all adds up to giving a homeless animal a second chance at life.

With a little help from the dedicated staff at the Houston SPCA all of our very special felines will receive the following as a part of their adoption fee:

• A health evaluation; initial vaccinations; rabies vaccinations for felines three months and older

• Spay / neuter surgery

• Deworming; feline leukemia testing

• Microchipping with free lifetime registration; and of course a friend for life!

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Katy Area Proms Around the Corner

 

Photo by Katy Magazine

Katy Seniors Gear Up for this Special NightFor four years students wait anxiously for the wonder that is their senior prom. The first school to experience this memorable event: Mayde Creek. They plan to revel in the magic on April 17, 2010 from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Next is Katy, scheduled for April 24, 2010 from 8 p.m. – 12 p.m. at Brisco Hall. Their theme is an ode to the late Michael Jackson, Remember the Times, with the colors red and black.

The following day holds Seven Lake’s prom, April 25, 2010 from 8 p.m. – 12 p.m. They will dance the night away at the Intercontinental Hotel.

On May 1, 2010, Taylor will enjoy the splendor at the Houston Club from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Then Morton Ranch High School’s prom will take place at the Omni Hotel on May 8, 2010 from 7 p.m. – 12 p.m. The class song is Michael Jackson’s “I’ll Be There” and the theme encompassing the dance is Fairyland, with emphasis on the colors pink, white, and silver.

Cinco Ranch’s theme is Take My Breath Away, with the colors black, white, and aqua. They will be holding the dance at Omni River Way on May 15, 2010 from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. Olivia Davis, a senior student at Cinco, says “I’m so excited to buy a prom dress! I feel like a Barbie.”

© Katy Magazine 2010, photo and story

Do you have a funny prom story? Post it in the comments below.

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Rodeo Fun in Houston

Photo courtesy of RodeoHouston

Schedule of Events for Tuesday

It’s going to be another fun-filled day at RodeoHouston. Here’s what’s coming up for tomorrow. Don’t miss Keith Urban in concert immediately following the BP Super Sereis V – Championship Round.

Here is a schedule of events for March 16

  • 8 a.m. Quarter Horse Show: Roping Events at Reliant Arena
  • Lowline Angus Cattle Show at Reliant Center – Main Arena (east side)
  • Miniature Hereford Cattle Show at Reliant Center – Main Arena (west side)
  • 10 a.m. Ag Magic Show at Kids Country Stage
  • 11 a.m. Kids Country Carnival (closes at midnight) at Kids Country Shelley Anderson at Kids Country Stage
  • 11:30 a.m. Bravado Cattle Show at Reliant Center – Main Arena (east side) (more…)
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Resume Tips for Katy Job Seekers

Are you making mistakes sending out resumes?

How can you get your resume to outshine everyone else’s and make it to the top of the potential employer’s pile? Try these tips for finding a professional level job in Katy or West Houston.

Individualize. Never email blast the same resume to several employers at once in the same email. Chances are they’re just going to hit the delete button.

Customize. Send your resume to each job personally and customize the objective line, subject line of the email, and introductory email/letter to fit the job you’re applying for. It may take five minutes of your time, but in the end, employers will be more likely to consider you.

Use buzzwords. Use power keywords in your resume that match the items in the job description. (But only if you have experience in these areas.)

Be email savvy. Create an email account with your name through Gmail or Yahoo and check it frequently. Never send your resume from an email address such as hotchic77@aol.com or tatoodude12@sbcglobal.net. Sorry, but aol and hotmail accounts are not very impressive to employers.

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Cute Baby Rooms for Katy Bundles of Joy

Beautiful Baby rooms

Photo by Marisa Hugonnett

How to Create the Perfect Katy Nursery

Nursery planning typically kicks into gear once you know if you are having a boy or a girl. Then, you can choose a fun theme that ties in all elements of the room and sets the stage for a great beginning. Katy mom, Jessica Huntoon had an important consideration in mind when deciding on a nursery theme for her first daughter, Hanna. “I wanted a theme that could grow with her,” explains Huntoon. Her plan was successful. Hanna is now in kindergarten and her nursery theme of butterflies and dragonflies is still prevalent in her new big girl room. Really, the nursery theme is for the parents and not the baby. By picking something that they can grow with, the theme will hopefully be loved by the baby, too, and become something they enjoy. “Now Hanna loves butterflies and just pretty bugs,” Huntoon says.

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Katy Cyclists Prepare for BP MS150 Ride to Austin on April 17

Balin served both as a rider and as ride marshall

Katyites Get Ready for the Ride of a Lifetime

Last April, 13,000 cyclists came together to ride 182 miles from Houston to Austin in the BP MS 150 to raise over $17 million for those living with MS, and they will do it all over again this year on April 17. Many riders are from the Katy area including our own Katy Area Economic Development President, Lance LaCour, who is in training for the arduous journey.

Committed Katy Cyclists

Currently, more than 400,000 Americans are living with MS, according to Gena Hyde of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. It is a debilitating disease that affects each person uniquely. “There is no known cause, and so there is yet to be a known cure,” Hyde explains. Perhaps this is why Katy cyclists commit year after year to ride the 182 miles from Houston to Austin and to raise $400 or more for the National MS Society.

(more…)

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Katy Folk Life Festival Coming to Katy April 10

The Katy Folklife festival is April 10 at The Outdoor Learning Center

Katy Kids Step Back in Time Once a Year at the Outdoor Learning Center

With horses and goats walking around, blacksmiths working in their shops, and children making corn husk dolls, Katy ISD’s Folk Life Festival has brought Texas’ pioneer history to life for the past 25 years. Katy ISD’s Outdoor Learning Center will once again transform itself into scenes of Texas in the 1800’s on April 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a slew of pioneer activities planned. Kids can observe honey bee keeping, blacksmith demonstrations, horseshoeing, and a soldier reenactment, where en yell out, “Fire in the hole,” as gunshots resound.

Folk Life Festival Event

The festival will be held on Saturday, April 10 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at The Outdoor Learning Center. The OLC is located west of the Katy ISD Administrative Building at 6301 S. Stadium Lane  The cost is $1 per person. (more…)

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Working in Katy, Texas

CHRISTUS St. Catherine Hospital is one of the top employers in Katy

A Talented Workforce in an Ideal Location

Besides being a great place to live, the Katy Area is also a wonderful place to work. The community offers employers a growing, energized, and world class talent and workforce base with high educational attainment.  A majority of existing employers rate the Katy Area workforce as available, high quality, productive, and available at a reasonable cost.

Katy Workforce Stats

  • 1,564,567 civilians employed*
  • Average Unemployment Rate, 3.86%*
  • Manufacturing Employment: 167,213*
  • Engineering, Research, and Accounting workers: 105,928*
  • High Workforce Participation Rate in Katy ISD: 70.17%
* within a 30 mile radius
Source: Nielsen Claritas, a division of The Nielsen Company (US), LLC 2008  This information may not be redistributed.

Suburban Atmosphere

The Katy Area, a rapid population growth center located west of Houston, enjoys the benefits of being part of the Houston Metro area. Katy offers a (more…)

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10 Reasons to Love Katy, Texas

From outstanding public schools to affordable housing, from a family-friendly environment to a thriving economy, it’s easy to see why Katy, Texas was named the #2 Boomtown by Business Week

With an excellent school system, a thriving economy, and an abundance of sports teams, recreational venues, and family friendly activities, it’s not hard to see why Katy is one of the fastest growing communities in the greater Houston area. Although there are hundreds of reasons why Katy is a wonderful place to live, here are out top ten.

1. Exceptional Schools

Katy Independent School District (Katy ISD) is considered one of the best school districts in the greater Houston area. Katy ISD currently has 52 schools with aggressive expansion plans to meet the growing population of students, which is currently more than 55,000. All of Katy schools offer outstanding facilities and equipment for teachers and students alike, including a highly advanced technology program that includes computers in each classroom and stationary and wireless labs in every school. Students in grades K-12 are exposed to a wide variety of extracurricular activities, from sports to drama and music.

The district operates the Kenneth D. Welch Outdoor Learning Center, 35 acres of land kept in its natural state. Students at all grade levels are able to participate in hands-on science and social studies activities, including living history and science classrooms, a museum, and a barn with a blacksmith shop. Domestic fowl and animals, nature trails, and a pond stocked with fish are just a few examples of how Katy ISD is using its natural resources and surroundings to provide a quality educational experience for its students.

2. A Thriving Economy

While many cities around the country are struggling with today’s economy, Katy is fortunate enough to have world-class business leaders such as BP America, Conoco Phillips, Igloo, Mustang Engineering, and Shell Oil North America headquartered in the area. There’s also a high level of employee productivity. While the energy services sector boasts some of the biggest names in the industry, it’s important not to forget about the other strong economic sectors, including wholesale trade, plastics and advanced materials, service, and retail. According to the Katy Area Economic Development Council, in 2008 over two million people were employed within a 30 mile radius of Katy with an average unemployment rate of only 4%. Proximity to Houston and the Energy Corridor is positioning the Katy area to rapidly develop into one of the region’s premier business growth centers.

3. Outstanding Neighborhoods

From large, open floor plans to small efficiency apartments, there’s definitely a home to fit your lifestyle. Patio homes are available, as are master-planned estate homes in gated communities. Katy has a great mix of older neighborhoods with houses built in the 1980s, while other neighborhoods are still under development. Many newer subdivisions offer numerous amenities including community pools, tennis courts, parks, hike and bike trails, and workout facilities. Pricing begins below the $100,000s and can go well above $1 million in the more exclusive communities. Whether moderately priced or a grand estate – you will find a home to love in Katy.

4. Fun and Flavorful Dining

No matter what your taste, you can find food that will please your palate in Katy. New restaurants are popping up all over, yet there are restaurants that the locals have been enjoying for years. On-the-go families can enjoy the convenience of fast-food, but don’t forget the ethnic restaurants and old-fashioned Texas barbecue joints. Mid-level family restaurants offer a variety of delicious cuisine, while more upscale venues make special evenings out even more enjoyable. Check out our dining guide and katymagazine.com for more information on tasty Katy cuisine.

5. Shop ‘Til You Drop

From department stores to boutiques, you can find it in Katy. Katy Mills Mall showcases popular brands in retail and outlet shopping, while LaCenterra and the nearby Villagio feature a more upscale shopping experience. The Old Katy area is home to many smaller shops (many off the beaten path) that offer more personalized options.

Another advantage that Katyites enjoy is the close proximity to malls and outlets in Cy-Fair, Houston, and Sugar Land areas. The Houston Galleria offers a shopping adventure in an upscale, three-story complex. Houston Premium Outlets, the Conroe Outlet, and the VF Outlet in Hempstead all offer great discounts. Trader’s Village off of Eldridge is an adventure in flea markets, festivals and great bargains. And First Colony Mall in Sugar Land offers over 160 wonderful stores and eateries.

6. Parks and Leisure

Because we have typically mild weather during the winter, there are even more opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. While most subdivisions have their own playgrounds, there are numerous public parks in Katy. Katy is known for its family-friendly recreation such as hiking, biking, golf, and nature walks. Families can also enjoy fishing, playgrounds, and picnic areas. Dog owners will love the Katy Bark Park with acres of green grass, a wading pool, and doggie showers. Youth and adult sports leagues are available year round. Some of the most popular are soccer, football, baseball, tennis and swimming, among several others.

7. A Sense of Security

Because Katy is a tri-county area, dipping into Harris, Waller, and Fort Bend Counties, there’s never a need to worry about safety. Katy has its own police force and several fire stations with emergency medical services strategically placed throughout the area. Constables patrol most neighborhoods, and Sheriff’s Deputies from all counties are quick to respond to emergency situations. The school district also has it’s own police force to ensure that all campuses provide a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff. All of this protection helps keep Katyites safe and sound. The secure, home-town feel in the midst of big-city conveniences is another plus for Katy.

8. Kid-Focused Fun

Birthday parties, swimming, bowling, gymnastics and dance lessons are just a few of the fun activities for Katy kids. Inspiring and educational lessons abound in Katy, from, art lessons and music classes to martial arts and horseback riding. Whatever your youngster’s interests may be, Katy has the studios and facilities especially geared toward the development of young minds and bodies. A variety of camps and child-care programs are also available during winter, spring, and summer breaks. Read ahead – our Lessons and Activities directory offers lots of entertaining and educational opportunities.

9. A Caring Community

No matter how desirable an area may appear to be, it just wouldn’t be complete without an abundance of friendly faces. In Katy, southern hospitality still exists. You’ll meet wonderful neighbors, friendly bank tellers, dedicated teachers, and highly qualified doctors. Over the years Katy has attracted the best in healthcare practitioners and hospitals, and the job opportunities in these fields continue to grow. Construction is already underway for Texas Children’s, St. Luke’s, and The Methodist Hospital, and Christus St. Catherine’s and Katy Memorial Hermann are established facilities available for emergency care and medical procedures. Additionally, specialized and highly qualified medical practices from urgent care to long-term care keep Katy patients close to home. See our medical guide for a list of health care providers.

10. Location is Everything

For living, working, playing, and learning, when you are talking convenience, Katy has it all – and then some! People choose to live here in part because of its proximity to Houston without having to deal with the hustle and bustle of city life. Katy provides work opportunities in many fields including retail, education, and medicine. And the Katyites who commute to work can just jump on the Westpark Tollway or the HOV lanes on I-10. The METRO Park & Ride system has two nearby locations serving Katy residents, making that trek into Houston just a bit more convenient. During non-rush hours or weekends, getting into the heart of Houston is less than a 30 minute ride.

© 2009 Katy Magazine

Tell us why you love living in Katy, Texas! Post your comment or email editor@katymagazine.com

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From Fat to Fit

A personal trainer will help hold you accountable

Katy Residents Find Ways to Shed the Pounds

Monica Romero has plenty of reasons to celebrate these days. Once considered morbidly obese, the mother of two has drastically reduced her weight by 60 pounds. Although she has not reached her goal weight yet, she has made a commitment to herself and is on track to becoming a healthier mom, wife, and daughter.

Romero is not alone in her weight loss pursuits. Obesity is now one of the biggest health issues in the United States. It’s no secret that the dietary habits of Americans are spinning out-of-control. Luckily, there are solutions for everyone.

Surgical Solutions

Romero’s success is a result of the Lap-Band procedure. Laparoscopic adjustable banding and gastric bypass are the two most popular surgical options available for the morbidly obese, which includes those with a BMI of 40 or higher, or a BMI above 35 with an obesity-related disease such as diabetes, hypertension, or sleep apnea. “Studies have shown that diets and exercise alone fail up to 98% of the time in the morbidly obese population,”states Dr. Bradley Waggoner, of Cypress Bariatric and General Surgery. “My interest in weight loss surgery is not primarily cosmetic, but is for the patient to lose the appropriate amount of weight so that they may live a longer and healthier life.”

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Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital Earns Gold Seal of Approval

Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital has earned the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers and has also been designated as a primary stroke center by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The hospital is the first in Katy to receive the Gold Seal of Approval. The DSHS designation program seeks to establish a framework for developing a voluntary, statewide emergency treatment system for stroke victims, and will allow victims to be rapidly transported to and treated in appropriate stroke-treatment facilities. Strokes are the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in America. There are over 4 million Americans living with the consequences of a stroke. Every year, about 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation’s third leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes.

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