Stepping Shadow Stepping Shadow Word Out Word - Now Magazines

Stepping Shadow Stepping Shadow Word Out Word - Now Magazines

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August 2008

It’s All About

Against

Toes

All Odds

Getting the Word Out

Stepping From the

Shadow PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID FT. WORTH, TX PERMIT NO. 711

At Home With

Michael and Carrie Newman

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6 Against All Odds: A Story of Survival

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It’s All About Toes

Stepping From the Shadow

On the Cover: There is nothing like a slice of watermelon to help you cool off on a hot, August day.

Publisher, Connie Poirier General Manager, Rick Hensley Managing Editor, Becky Walker Editorial Coordinator, Sandra McIntosh Creative Director, Jami Navarro Art Director, Chris McCalla Office Manager, Lauren Poirier

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BusinessNOW

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Only the Best Will Do

Getting the Word Out

At Home With Michael and Carrie Newman

SportsNOW

Photo by Terri Ozymy.

August 2008, Volume 4, Issue 8

Dreaming, Believing and Achieving

22

ArtsNOW

Contents

EducationNOW

42 Around TownNOW

46 FinanceNOW

44 Who’s CookingNOW

Midlothian Editor, Betty Tryon Contributing Writers, Alex Allred . Faith Browning Dr. Brad Collins . Clay Money Photography, Natalie Busch . Ivey Photography Diana Merrill Claussen . Terri Ozymy Monica J. Pechal Contributing Editors/Proofreaders, Pat Anthony Pamela Parisi . Jaime Ruark . Beverly Shay

48 HealthNOW

Advertising Representatives, Rick Ausmus

. Will Epps . Carolyn Mixon . Steve Randle Eddie Yates . Terri Yates Linda Dean

Linda Moffett

Graphic Designers, Julie Carpenter Allee Brand

MidlothianNOW is a NOW Magazines, L.L.C. publication. Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. MidlothianNOW is published monthly and individually mailed free of charge to homes and businesses in the Midlothian zip codes. Subscriptions are available at the rate of $35 per year or $3.50 per issue. Subscription and editorial correspondence should be sent to: MidlothianNOW, P.O. Box 1071, Waxahachie, TX 75168. For advertising rates and other information, call (972) 937-8447 or e-mail us at: [email protected] www.nowmagazines.com

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. Marshall Hinsley . Arlene Honza . Brande Morgan

Steve Koldjeski

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Editor’s Note Hello, Midlothian! August is one of the months that represent an ending and a beginning. The leisurely days of summer and vacation fun are coming to a close and many are on the precipice of facing another year of education. Congratulations to the Panther Pride Newspaper as they prepare for another award-winning year after receiving the Texas Silver Star and many other awards in April. Speaking of education, Jana Hathorne, Public Relations Coordinator for MISD, keeps us informed about all the important matters of our school district in EducationNOW. Other stories for leisurely August reading include: Jana Watts, who leaves an incredible history of encouragement in sports from her 17-year tenure as head coach for the girls at Frank Seale Middle School. Marianne Waite recounts her story of living across the street from the Gestapo as a youth and her family’s flight from Czechoslovakia during WWII. Enjoy these and many other stories about your neighbors in this issue. Betty Tryon MidlothianNOW Editor

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“This is a story of survival when you have nowhere to go but up.”

Against All Odds: A Story of Survival F

Freezing temperatures caused the occupants in the cattle car to shiver uncontrollably. The cold was inescapable as everyone huddled together for warmth. On the long trip from Sudetenland, Germany, to Heidelberg, Germany, 14-year-old Marianne Waite traveled with a growing sense of trepidation at what might lie ahead. Recounting her trip, she said, “We were transported in endless cattle cars to the west. We didn’t know where we were going, just knew we

— By Betty Tryon

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had to go. It was a trail of tears for my parents. All we had to eat on that long trip was cabbage soup.” Marianne, born in what is now called the Czech Republic, is German. Her family lived in Sudetenland, which was an enclave of German people. All Germans living in Czechoslovakia lived in that region. “The Czech’s

tolerated us but did not accept us,” she stated. “My oldest brother was drafted into the war [WWII] at the age of 16 in 1943. He was lucky enough to come home before the Russians came. We learned from him that the war was going badly for the Germans. In 1945 with the retreating German army, the street was flooded with refugees. We fed as many as we could on our farm. The Czech Commissar (Gestapo) lived across the street from us in a stolen home. He was the top boss, the ruler of the militia and very mean. He allowed us to keep two horses for his purposes because he enjoyed daily rides. There were many people jailed during that time, but not my father because of the rides the Commissar took.” “In 1946, our luck ran out. We were driven off our ancestral land. The Czechs told us we had 24 hours to get off and could only take 20 kilograms — that was about 44 pounds. We had heard the horror stories of children freezing to death in the cattle cars and being thrown off the train, so mother took our feather beds to keep us warm on the trip,” Marianne recalled. Subsequently, Marianne’s family and other refugees arrived at a refugee camp. “We were there for eight days. The camp was in deplorable condition. www.nowmagazines.com

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We had to line up and be deloused [process of removing lice]. You don’t know what you are capable of doing until you have to. After traveling on the train, we got to a place where we saw American allied trains. I had learned English in school and could read the signs; I told my parents this is where the Americans are.”

“We were transported in endless cattle cars to the west.” Their trek west ended in a community outside of Heidelberg, Germany. The city was destroyed, having been bombed methodically during WWII. Placed in a wooden barracks shelter, the refugees found that in spite of it being drafty and cold, for them it was luxurious. Marianne said, “It had wall-to-wall mattresses and plenty of water, a luxury we had not had in a long time. We were grateful for someplace to sleep. www.nowmagazines.com

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Many of the people we traveled with had sponsors, who came to help them. We were so many, 10 children and parents, that no one wanted to sponsor us. The mayor, desperate to help us, found a youth hostel we could stay in. It was bombed out, all the windows were gone, but the mayor was able to find enough cardboard to cover the windows. We lived there for two years.” The spirit of survival remained in her family despite such trying times. All of the children found jobs. Marianne stated, “I had just turned 15 and worked in a bakery. I did everything, even cleaned toilets. I had learned how to work hard on the farm. I remember once collapsing in my room, and the lady who owned the bakery found me. She said to me that from now on I had to go to bed at 10 o’clock; it was still not enough rest.” Even with the children working, they still had difficulty meeting their dietary needs. Rations were the order of the day. “We had ration cards for food, for our flour, sugar, a small pat of butter. We had very little meat and our rations were so meager, so frugal. My mother was wonderful. She could make something out of nothing. I remember my 3-year-old brother used to say to my mother that she had food and just did not want to give him any. www.nowmagazines.com

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There was no food, and that devastated my mother.” Marianne passionately declared, “We used to have a farm; we had everything! There was food in abundance. Mother used to make 12 loaves of rye bread a week. We fed our farm hands, but now through no fault of our own, we had nothing and were treated like unwanted refugees.” During the train ride to their present home, Marianne’s father had noticed all the bombed-out buildings with the crumbled marble littering the ground. Trained as a stonemason as a boy, he and his son traveled by train to all the spots where they saw the marble and were able to gather the stones to make

“We didn’t know where we were going, just knew we had to go.” marble desk sets. The desks were a big hit, giving him a new way to support his family. His business of stone masonry is still active today in making decorative headstones, as well as other items. Marianne remarked proudly that the business flourished and still carries her dad’s name, Rolke. Marianne, in time, went to Bavaria, Germany, to live with her aunt and became a dressmaker. Returning to Heidelberg, she met her husband, an American soldier. They moved to America in 1957. They had one son named Steven and two daughters: Linda Rose, who lives in Midlothian, and Diana Provins, who lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Sadly, Marianne is now a widow and also lost her son when he was 29 years old. Clearly haunted www.nowmagazines.com

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by the loss, she stated painfully, “Out of all the stuff I have been through, that was the hardest. Afterward, I came to Midlothian to live with Linda.” Even though Marianne lived through some harsh times that many of us

“With those words of wisdom, she pursued something she always wanted to do — art.” could not even imagine, her spirit is still strong and gracious. “This is a story of survival when you have nowhere to go but up,” she said. “Dad always told us, ‘You are down now, but you have brains and you will make it.’” With those words of wisdom, she pursued something she always wanted to do — art. She graduated from the University of Texas in El Paso, where she studied art history and painting. It took her 10 years to accomplish her goal. “You can do whatever you want to do. There is no limit, just go do it.” www.nowmagazines.com

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Dreaming, Believing and Achieving — By Sandra McIntosh

M

Michael and Carrie Newman moved to the four-bedroom, three-and-onehalf-bath home in 2004. Sadly, the ranch style house, built in 1979, was not the main reason for relocating from Duncanville. “I transferred to the Midlothian school district,” Carrie said, explaining her career as an educator. “The schools here are great.” As a self-employed entrepreneur, Michael is able to live just about anywhere, but what first drew him to this spot was the land and all it offered his family. “There’s nearly four acres,” he beamed. “There’s also a stocked pond nearby that we utilize. We bought the land and have made the house work.” Moving in for the young family, with two children at the time, really meant living in one small wing of the abode while major renovations began immediately. The home’s interior was stripped down to the bare walls and outdated shag carpet was pulled up and replaced with bamboo floors. “Michael and his brother,

At Home With

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Bruce, did more than half of the work themselves,” Carrie said. “The only work we contracted out was the painting, plumbing and electrical,” Michael interjected. Several large projects totally changed the overall look, layout and feel of the home. A jackhammer was used in the master bathroom to create a modern walk-in shower/Jacuzzi tub combination behind a wall of glass doors. The soft green shower tiles blend beautifully with the dark wood flooring. The patio off the master suite allows the couple to escape into another world as they venture out to what they lovingly call “Faith Harbor,” a covered patio, overlooking the swimming pool and beyond. The mural on the wall, as well as personalized paintings found throughout the home, were done by the talented hands of Jamie Kelley, decorator, muralist, organizer and now a bona fide member of the Newman family. “Look closely at the clouds,”

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Carrie said. “Each child’s name is found within a cloud. That was all Jamie’s idea, and we just love it.” Other additions and structural changes included the island in the kitchen, the half-bath created from a cedar closet in the game room, arches and a barreled ceiling in the entryway, the multipurpose sports court located on the far side of the two-car garage and Flamingo Field, a homemade whiffleball court, out front. “Every

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door and window was replaced,” Michael said, re-emphasizing the magnitude of the remodel. “We also added four French doors.” Their goal was to modernize a home, which had been “top-of-the-line” back in the ’70s. They wanted it to be open, airy, comfortable and inviting. “Coexisting was the most difficult time,” Carrie said, as Michael shook his head in agreement. “At one time, we didn’t have any appliances, so eating fast food was the norm.” During the

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final stages of the overall facelift, Carrie learned she was pregnant with their third child, Lilly, now a toddling 2year-old. “Thankfully,” she added, “the master bedroom was near completion.” When asked how long the renovation process took, Carrie looked at Michael with a smile, because she already knew his answer. “It’s still a work-in-progress,” he laughed. “Maybe when the youngest graduates from high school, we’ll be through.” He also stated that the

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upstairs media room, with bar area, theater seating and an area for karaoke, had just recently been completed. With two teenagers, Presley, 17, and Trent, 15, the Newman home is the place where neighborhood children come to have a great time. Not only do they swim, fish and use the sports court, Michael has also added horseshoes, a putting green and four amazing places in the backyard to congregate year-round. “We love to entertain,” Carrie said. “Our adult friends act like kids, so I guess you could say we entertain lots of kids.” Michael’s youngest brother, Brandon, was also married in the couple’s backyard last summer.

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Sometime in the future, Michael plans to construct a park with its very own cottage and pond, as well as purchase a horse for Lilly. “All this fun stuff is what I wanted to experience as a kid,” Michael explained. “I love being able to experience it all with my own children.” Since Lilly joined this fun-loving family, the home office was converted into a bedroom fit for the princess she is, while the formal dining room has since become a playroom. “We’re not formal people,” Carrie said, “so letting go of the dining room was easy.” Jamie’s handiwork is prevalent in

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Lilly’s room with a whimsical castle on one wall and the words of Isaiah 46:34 completing the room’s hand-painted border. “You can’t walk through this house without seeing Jamie,” they both agreed, referring to the scriptures found in each bedroom, as well as sentiments found on walls and doorways. “She has her signature everywhere.” The home’s interior is eclectic, as well as quite unique. Carrie has been collecting crosses for no less than 10

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years, but visitors would guess much longer based on the number, with no two matching. “I think I have about 100,” Carrie said. Her collection started with a cross from Guatemala, Mexico, and has grown with each vacation, birthday and holiday. “There’s at least one cross in every room,” she said, adding that the majority are displayed in her kitchen. She also mentioned the crowns intermingled with the crosses, the

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family photographs and the overall decor. “My love for the crowns has evolved from that of princess to something much more spiritual.” What makes the home one-of-a-kind is the large collection of family

photographs and memorabilia found on the walls in the living room and game room, respectively. Where most homes boast of a famous NFL quarterback or an MLB pitcher, the Newman home proudly displays the trophies, ribbons and awards of their own stars — their children. It is a room filled with affirmation for the youngest members of the household. “Presley has been cheering since she was 6,” Michael said, pointing at the shadow box that holds her first cheerleading outfit. www.nowmagazines.com

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Trent’s wall represents his travels around the world playing ice hockey, as well as his years as a baseball fanatic and young fisherman. The tennis racket and dated megaphone that once belonged to Michael’s parents will have to be

moved to make room for Lilly’s accomplishments in the days to come. The Newman home is a reflection of what happens when two people fall in love. The home radiates family, and for Michael and Carrie, that is a very good thing. The bench out back says it best, “Dream It, Believe It, Achieve It.” Eighteen years ago this past June, Michael and Carrie chose to believe their dream, and now they are achieving what they envisioned and so much more. www.nowmagazines.com

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Toes

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It’s All About

— By Betty Tryon

L

Leopards, zebras and tigers! No, we are not talking about a new zoo in town, just the latest in artwork on a most unusual canvas. Cathy Curry, pedicurist and occasional manicurist, carved a niche for herself that earns her the spot of being one of the very best. “I don’t really call myself a pedicurist, but am a self-proclaimed digitologist! That is a name I made up for myself,” she informed. “I can paint anything.

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After the Cowboys won the Super Bowl in 1993, I think I painted Cowboy helmets on every girl’s toes in school!” That was at Hill College in Cleburne. Cathy’s personal photos on the changing display of her screen saver, illustrates her level of expertise in designs such as abstract art with bold bright colors, plaid designs and the obligatory collection of beautiful flowers. Expanding on her collection of art painted on toes, she stated, “The young girls like the Juicy Couture emblem. I do a lot of Grinches at Christmas. I can do sports emblems and once did The Red Sox [logo], against my better judgment,” she laughed. “The Mavericks are my team and their emblem is probably the most elaborate one I paint. When I paint the Mavericks on my own toes I have to do it upside down and backwards!” She stated referring to the fact of not being able to face her own toes from the front. “My most fun design was one I did of Hooters,” displaying a photo of her design with an owl on the big toe and the word spelled out on the rest of the toes. Brimming with enthusiasm Cathy

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said, “I am so blessed to be doing this. I don’t ever take it for granted. I’ve been doing this for 15 years and have done literally thousands of toes.” Before Cathy painted toes, she painted toys. “My husband used to make wooden toys like gum ball machines. He made them and I painted them. One day I painted a design on my toes and I liked it,” she stated. She credits her success to her friend, Andrea Bentley. “We were working together one day and she said, ‘Cathy, let’s paint leopard spots on our toes!’ Well, after we did that, everyone who came into the shop wanted those toes. After the leopard toes, people started asking, ‘What do you have besides this?’” With her creativity and skill, she began to expand her portfolio of artwork. People, mostly females, brought pictures, swatches of material and even clothing for Cathy to duplicate. Her only limit was the size of the area in which she had to work. “In painting the Texas Longhorns, it’s hard to get the whole thing in with the horns because the toe is not wide enough.” Cathy prefers toenails to fingernails for the durability of her artwork. “My designs on toenails will last four to six weeks or even longer. They don’t chip or wear off. The designs on fingernails will only last two weeks. I use acrylic paint with a top coat to seal it. I don’t skimp on quality. When you do skimp on quality it shows.” Cathy grew up thinking she would be a hairdresser someday, but her love for art overrode the original plan. “I love art. It was always my favorite www.nowmagazines.com

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subject in school. I thought it was everyone’s favorite subject. I remember that my grandfather thought I was awesome. Art was fun. ... I am so much happier this way, working for myself instead of for someone else. “I only have an eighth-grade education and my GED, which I call my good enough diploma,” she said smiling. “I want others to know that just because you had a hard start doesn’t

mean you have a bad finish.” Cathy went to school at Hill College in Cleburne to become a hairdresser. Her sojourn into education persuaded her that she preferred doing nails to hair. Joining her soon will be daughter, Jessi, who recently gave birth to her first baby, Ruby Catherine, who has big dimples. Cathy and her husband also have another daughter, Ashley. “Jessi has been an artist ever since she could hold a crayon. I taught her how to paint designs on toes,” she said smiling. Cathy’s eye for artistic endeavors reaches beyond painting designs on toes. An extension of her creative spirit decorates her shop. Artfully displayed is her collection of vintage hats and antiques, including a 1950s pink hair dryer and an elaborate birdcage. She said, “I didn’t know how to decorate my shop and I had all these hats at home, so I thought to bring them up here and display them.” Browsing through her collections is almost as much fun as having your toes painted with just about any design or color you wish. She is more than a “digitologist”; she is a true artist. www.nowmagazines.com

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Stepping

Shadow From the

— By Alex Allred

I

If Peter Pan had a sister, she would live here in Midlothian. Also a child at heart, Coach Jana Watts has that rare ability to understand and decipher the high-pitched, excited tones of pixies and princesses, also known as the girls of Frank Seale Middle School. After 17 years of coaching, Jana has not lost her passion for sports or coaching children. “This is what I’ve always wanted to do,” she said. Just as Peter Pan thinks “happy thoughts” in order to fly, “I come here happy every day. As soon as I wake up, I’m looking forward to coming to work.” For Jana, every day in the gym is her day to fly. As a graduate of Duncanville Independent School District, Jana received a dual athletic scholarship in basketball and www.nowmagazines.com

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softball, earning her degree in physical education at Sam Houston State University. Jana made the difficult decision to drop basketball and finish out her athletic career playing softball, earning the NAIA National Championship in 1982 and NCAA Division 2 National Championship the following year. Her career began rather tumultuously when she and her sister, Pam, opened the Cedar Mountain Ski Shop, a unique, winter sports equipment store. Although the business only lasted two years, its concept fit nicely with who Jana is: fearless, risk-taker, fun. As the chapter of the winter sports equipment store came to a close, she began a new one as a coach, taking her first coaching job in Cedar Hill as the varsity assistant coach for girl’s basketball and head coach for track. From there, she coached in Irving, then back at Cedar Hill until the family moved to Midlothian in the late ’90s. During that time, Jana MidlothianNOW August 2008

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relied heavily on the support of her family. When she and her husband, Bob, celebrated the birth of their first child, Chase, in 1990, Jana’s close-knit family rallied. “I was very blessed that my mom and sister were able to watch him during the day,” Jana said of Chase. With the help of family, Jana continued to coach full time, but it is her husband that Jana most credits. “Bob basically raised Chase. He was my most devoted fan!” When her daughter, Chelsie, was born, Jana stayed home briefly with the children.

“You know, people always talk about how a good teacher can change lives at this age, but let me tell you something,

we [teachers] learn so much from the students

every day.” Just like Peter Pan, her energy could not be contained. The little girl who never grew up turned her attention back to the children of Midlothian. She loved teaching the fundamentals of teamwork and good health, but she also loved playing games. While her own children attended T.E. Baxter Elementary School, Jana served as the school’s gym coach. Then, in 2004, she moved to Frank Seale and found her true calling. Just talk to the middle school students about Coach Watts and stories abound. “She is funny.” “She cares.” “She loves us.” “She is tough, but fair.” “She laughs a lot.” www.nowmagazines.com

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“You know, people always talk about how a good teacher can change lives at this age, but let me tell you something, we [teachers] learn so much from the students every day. Every day they teach me something new,” Jana said with a smile. Whatever her students may have to say about her, she said, “the feeling is mutual.”

Despite serious knee surgeries, including a probable knee replacement in her future, Jana cannot stop herself from running with her students. Armed with her favorite, Peter Pan-esque saying, “I am me, and I want to be the best me I can be,” this energetic and competitive coach lives not for the win, but for those teachable moments in which she can create life lessons for her young charges. Ironically, Coach Watts offered one last teachable moment to her students before she left her post as head coach at Frank Seale this summer. For more than a decade, she has pounded home the finer points of camaraderie, devotion, integrity and teamwork to her athletes. Throughout her own athletic and coaching career, her family followed her faithfully. So when her father’s health grew progressively worse, Jana played the ultimate move. “They’ve always been there for me, so it’s time to give back.” With tears in her eyes, she www.nowmagazines.com

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said leaving Frank Seale was difficult. Her students, her coaching staff and the parents of Frank Seale have meant more to her than anyone could fully know, but “time is precious.” In turn, Jana may never fully appreciate the impact that she has had on the growing community of Midlothian. Through her own coaching

“She is funny. She cares. She loves us. She is tough, but fair. She laughs a lot.” abilities and relentless enthusiasm, she has helped create and mold athletes and young scholars. The devotion her students feel for her cannot be measured. On one particularly warm school day, two sixth-grade girls followed Coach Watts at every step, giggling behind her, asking endless questions and basking in the adoration of their favorite coach. At last, Jana sighed and said, “Geez, I can’t get rid of you two. You’re like my shadows!” One of the little girls smiled and said, “You can’t get rid of your shadow, Peter Pan!” This is her legacy. www.nowmagazines.com

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Only the Best Will Do

J

Janet and Bert Calvert are committed to bringing the best to their clients, hence the name of their business, The Elite Realty Group of Texas. The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word ‘elite’ as “The best or most skilled members of a group.” The Calverts incorporate this philosophy for excellence into their business. Their real estate business, established in 2007, will “provide the southern counties of the Metroplex the finest group of real estate professionals available,” Janet stated. “Here we have put together an elite group of Realtors to service this area and we offer excellent service. Our goal of treating our customers the way we want to be treated is evident from the first moment contact is made with our associates and office staff.”

Although Elite Realty Group of Texas was formed only recently, Janet’s background in real estate goes back many years. She attended the University of Texas in Austin and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She earned a double major from UT in real estate and finance. In 1975, she received her salesman license, and in 1981, started a realty business with her mother. Bert moved to Midlothian in 1983 and has been building, both residentially and commercially in the Ellis County area since the mid-’80s. To his credit as a builder, he has a number of residential subdivisions around the Midlothian School District and The Town Center at the Meadows

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— By Betty Tryon

that will ultimately contain a total of 25,000 square feet of office space. Today, Janet and her husband work together at the company they built — Elite Reality. Clearly, the partnership works well as they share ideas and make plans. “Just talking about it makes me excited,” Janet shared. They want to give their clients a broad range of services. “The services we provide cover all aspects of the real estate industry, including residential sales, property management, commercial and industrial site selection, lots, small acreage and farm or ranch land.” Part of the business plan is to offer a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere and conference areas in which to conduct business. Their new office, tastefully designed and beautifully decorated, makes it a lot easier. Built in 2008, their office building is the first one on the property of Lagniappe Development Corporation, a development company which they started. Janet stated, “We

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have owned this land a long time and envision building an upscale office complex on it. It is an ideal location with the Hwy. 287 bypass. Our business is the first of five buildings.” Acknowledging the other Realtor offices in the area, Janet said, “In this business, all of the Realtor offices provide the same service. It is just the manner in which it is given. We want to be a step ahead. We want to be the best Realtor for our customers by giving them the service they need. Our Realtors have the best knowledge and the most experience.”

Janet and Bert place a lot of value on the Realtors who work with them. They are under the umbrella of the Elite family. According to Bert, they “want to provide an atmosphere and a place where they enjoy coming to work. We provide them with everything they need to be successful in business with state-of-the-art technology.” Smiling, Janet agreed and said, “Yes, we coddle them. They receive a lot of support here.” Bert and Janet enjoy working with people and the freedom the business allows them. As Bert said, “This is a challenge to us. We did what we did. We want to do it better.” For all of your realty needs, Elite Realty can be reached at (972) 723-5483, or visit them at 110 Roundabout Dr. in Midlothian. www.nowmagazines.com

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Word Out Getting the

— By Betty Tryon

H

Have you ever wondered what exactly is going on in the administration building for the school district? Well, wonder no more. Jana Hathorne, Public Relations Coordinator for Midlothian Independent School District (MISD) can help you get to the facts. It is her job. Jana said, “An important part of my job is to share our students’ achievements. Our students succeed on a district, regional, state and national level. Their stories need to be celebrated with everyone. I manage a consistent message for the district.” Managing a communication message in a district the size of Midlothian, now stretching at the seams with growth, can be a daunting task. Six years ago, the information highway in the school district was somewhat fragmented. The administration saw the need for everyone to be on the same page and

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created the office Jana runs. “There was a need to channel information through one department,” she explained. “Taxpayers and parents need to know what’s going on in the schools.” As in any school district, the information circulating in the community never lacks for opinions. Jana tries to bring truth and clarity to the discussion. She explained, “I try to be proactive instead of reactive, before the news gets out. I want to get in front of it. When there is internal information that needs to be communicated, I share it with the staff so the right information gets out. I try to engage what people want. We have open records so everything is out there for those interested. It is important to follow policy and we respond within guidelines. We have local (MISD) and legal policy; the state sets the legal policy.”

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Jana considers every employee of the school district to be an ambassador. “We are all in public relations. We have a common goal. The secretaries of each school are on the front lines. They are well in-tune with what is going on in their schools. The challenging part is targeting the right group. With each group, the message has to be delivered differently. For example, the senior citizens don’t use the Internet as frequently as other groups so I have to use another form of communication. The communication is a constant challenge.

“An important part of my job is to share our students’

achievements. Our students succeed on a district, regional, state and national level.” Our number one communication tool is the Internet.” Dennis King, the district webmaster, “knows how to organize and design the site for viewers to easily navigate to find district info.” The different campuses and the public relations office furnish the information for their respective Web sites. Another part of Jana’s job is being the coordinator for the Midlothian ISD Education Foundation. This foundation obtains funds from the generosity of donors and distributes it directly back into the school system, to teachers and students for programs that will enrich the learning process. “We have 27 board members.” She continued, “It is challenging to coordinate the efforts of the foundation which benefits the www.nowmagazines.com

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students and teachers. We started in April 2004, and have given out over $100,000 to students. Our biggest fundraiser, a golf tournament is in September. We also have donations made, staff contributions to the program, and some businesses in town earmark donations to us. When we go on Star Patrol, (name designated for delivery of funds to a school), it is so exciting to see the joy on the teachers’

Jana Hathorne pictured with Duke Burge, Cindy Williams and Dr. Kennedy at the National School Board Association Conference. MISD was invited to display its annual Educational Showcase event with other top districts in the U.S.

and students’ faces when they receive their grant.” Since the beginning of the public relations office in the school district, Jana has managed to cut through the clutter to deliver a concise and informative message. Clearly enjoying her job she stated, “What I like about my job is that each day brings a different challenge, and sometimes challenge brings change. For example, there is the issue of rezoning due to growth.” Jana makes an effort to keep the district visible in the public’s eye. One of the ways she accomplishes that is to organize the Realtor’s breakfast twice a year. Dr. Kennedy delivers the message. She said, “I take the opportunity to provide them with the latest in rezoning information and maps. Many times, they see new people who come into the district before we do. They are partners in education. www.nowmagazines.com

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Schools sell, and we want the Realtors to put out current information.” Jana’s background is rooted in education. She majored in English and received a minor in education from the University of Texas in Arlington. After marrying her high school sweetheart, the couple moved to Virginia, where she taught school before returning to

“We started in April 2004, and have given out

over $100,000 to students. ... I know I’m making a difference because I am in the school system, and I know it’s benefiting kids.” Midlothian. She wanted her children, Courtney, now a freshman and Jake, a second-grader, to go to school here. While working as an instructional technologist in the school, she transitioned into the position of public relations coordinator in the new communications department. “I am a behind-the-scenes person. It is definitely not all about me. I work in an environment that is filled with energy. I want taxpayers to know we are not just sitting behind desks twiddling our thumbs. I know I’m making a difference because I am in the school system, and I know it’s benefiting kids.” www.nowmagazines.com

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A groundbreaking ceremony, top left, was held for the new Vintage Bank. Ribbon cuttings were held at the following: Lisa Wyatt, PLLC, Attorney at Law, top right; Holiday Inn Express - Mansfield, second row left; Mr. D’s Tire Shop, second row center; Bois D’Arc Gardens, second row right; Memory Creations, bottom left; and Document Solutions, bottom right. TXI Midlothian Cement plant manager Randy Walser, bottom center, received the PCA Safety Award for the company.

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The Summer Balloon Classic was held recently at Midway Airport. Photos of the event include: evening glow, top left; up, up and away, top center; crews working hard, top right, to prepare the balloons for flight; a pilot from Louisiana, second row left, started the process of filling his balloon with hot air; curious and excited drivers, second row center, pulled off the road to get a better look; crowds gathered outside the corporate offices of Ennis Business Forms, second row right, to watch the balloons land; children, bottom left, were amazed at the size of the balloons; and Hunter and Preston Colburn, bottom right, had a fun time getting the remaining air out of one of 50 balloons at the Summer Balloon Classic event.

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I

t is all about serving others in Fireman Sean Kelly’s book. Enjoying time at home with his wife, Laura, and daughter, Makyla, preparing meals at the fire station for fellow firefighters or helping put out fires for distressed souls is a great part of what brings joy to Sean’s life. “My daughter is my biggest fan,” Sean said. “The guys at the fire station are my biggest critics on my meals, good and bad.” Sean spends most of his spare time enjoying the outdoors. Playing baseball, camping, hunting, fishing and operating his own business, Watson Lawn & Landscape, are several ways Sean relishes life. You can also find Sean outdoors cooking. “I enjoy grilling, because it’s easy,” he said. “You can throw anything on a grill!”

Look Who’s Cooking — By Faith Browning

IN

THE

KITCHEN

WITH

SEAN KELLY

GREEN CHILI CHICKEN ENCHILADAS 2 cups cooked chicken or turkey 1 cup chopped green chilies 1/2 cup onion, chopped 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped 1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese 1 8-oz. jar salsa 8 6-inch flour tortillas 3/4 lb. Velveeta cheese, cubed 1/4 cup milk Heat chicken, green chilies, onion, bell pepper, cream cheese and 1/2 cup salsa on low heat until cream cheese is melted. Spoon 1/3 cup mixture on each flour tortilla, rolling up and placing in a lightly greased 8 x 12-inch baking dish. In a saucepan, heat Velveeta and milk; stir until smooth. Pour sauce over tortillas; cover with foil. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes, until hot throughout. Pour remaining salsa over the top. Serve with rice and beans. Lemon pudding is great for dessert! BREAKFAST CASSEROLE 6 slices bread, cubed

To view more of your neighbors’ recipes, visit our archives at www.nowmagazines.com.

12 eggs 1 1/2 cup milk 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (not salt; sausage has enough salt) 1/2 tsp. pepper 1 lb. sausage (browned and drained on a paper towel) 1 16-oz. bag frozen hashbrown potatoes 2 cups shredded cheese 1 cup onion, chopped (optional) 1 cup bell pepper, chopped (optional) Spray 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking oil; place bread in the bottom. Beat eggs and milk together; pour 1/2 mixture over bread. Sprinkle garlic powder and pepper over mixture. Sprinkle sausage, potatoes, cheese, onions and bell peppers over the eggs; pour on the remaining eggs. Refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 F for approximately 45 minutes. Can add salsa over the top after it has baked. APPLE DUMPLINGS 2 Granny Smith apples 2 8-ct. cans of crescent rolls

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cinnamon, to taste 2 sticks butter 1 1/2 cups sugar 1/4 tsp. vanilla pinch of salt 1 12-oz. can 7-Up Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray bottom of 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking oil. Core and peel apples; slice into 8 pieces each. Roll each apple piece in a crescent; place seam down in pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon. In a saucepan, melt butter and sugar; add vanilla and salt. Pour over cinnamon-topped rolls. Pour 7-Up over all. Bake 30 minutes. Let sit 45 to 60 minutes allowing liquid to absorb.

DEATH BY CHOCOLATE 1 3-oz. box chocolate pudding 1 16-oz. box chocolate cake mix 1 16-oz. tub Cool Whip 1 1-lb. bag Heath bars, crushed First, prepare pudding according to directions on box; refrigerate. Prepare cake according to directions on box; let cool. Break cake up into

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small chunks. In a large bowl or a trifle dish, layer 1/4 of cake, pudding, Cool Whip and Heath bars. Continue layering, finishing with the crushed Heath Bars on top. Great for a large party or an office dessert.

CHRISTMAS CUTOUTS 1/2 cup shortening 1 cup sugar 1 egg 2 tsp. baking powder 2 1/2 cup flour 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 cups milk 1 tsp. vanilla Cream shortening, sugar and egg. In separate bowl, mix together baking powder, flour and salt; add to creamed mixture alternating with milk. Stir in vanilla. Chill dough in refrigerator. On floured board, roll dough 1/16-inch thick. Cut out cookies with Christmas cookie cutters. Bake at 350 F for 10 - 12 minutes. Do not brown. Cookies should be slightly soft. Do not re-roll the pieces of dough left over from each cutting until all the dough has been used. Then, if needed, add a few drops of water to re-roll and continue cutouts. Can be used for any holiday by changing the cookie cutters. Decorate with cookie frosting recipe.

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SHOPPING FOR

Auto Insurance — By Clay Money, CLU

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Whether you’re a first time buyer of auto insurance or already have it but are looking for a better deal, you should be asking several questions. First, is the person from whom you’re buying (your agent) a visible, established member of your community — someone you know and trust? Second, is the company from whom you’re buying well known? What is its reputation? What about price? Because there are hundreds of companies competing for your business, prices vary — sometimes a lot. It may pay for you to shop around. Be sure the premiums you’re quoted are for equal amounts of coverage. How about service? Price is important, but saving money won’t mean much unless you get the service you need — when you need it. If possible, ask other clients of your prospective agent how they’ve been treated, especially when they’ve had a claim. Find out how the company handles claims. Is the method convenient for you, no matter where you have an accident? How about solvency? Is the company you’re considering still going to be in business when you file your claim? Your state department of insurance has financial rating information on all of the companies that do business in its state. Once you’ve decided on a company and an agent, there are more questions to ask: How much coverage do you need? The required minimum amounts of liability coverage may not be enough for you. Consider your needs in light of your assets and income. How much can you afford to pay if there’s a big judgment against you because of an accident? What about deductibles? Deductibles lower your premiums — most

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commonly for collision and comprehensive coverage — but increase the amount of loss that comes out of your pocket. How much additional risk are you willing to take in order to save? Should you carry collision and comprehensive coverage? As your car’s value decreases, you might consider dropping these coverages and pocketing the savings on premiums. But consider if the savings are enough to offset the risk of footing the entire cost of repairing or replacing your car. Auto insurance is not a generic commodity. It is a product that should be tailored to each individual. Your agent can help you answer these questions and help you tailor your auto insurance to your specific and unique needs. Clay Money is a State Farm agent based in Midlothian.

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Holy Mackerel! Research identifies fatty fish oil’s many health benefits. — By Dr. Brad Collins

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It is no fish story that those who include seafood as a staple in their diet benefit from the ingestion of high levels of omega-3 fatty acids — known to reduce the risks for heart-related diseases, age-related cognitive decline, abnormal brain development and functioning, even obesity and mood disorders. Now, new studies have shown oil from fatty fish (salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel) may offer the most health benefits. Even lean fish — although to a lesser extent — provide similar health benefits. Consuming fish oil or eating raw, baked or broiled

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fish — not fried — can also protect your heart’s electrical system by decreasing the risk of fatal heart-rhythm disorders. Omega-3 fats have been found to benefit a healthy heart rhythm. This study also found a diet including fish at least once a week has other significant health benefits for the elderly. These finds included a 60 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as a 10 percent slower rate of annual age-related cognitive decline (and a 13 percent slower rate decline when fish was consumed more than once a week). In addition, seafood and by products decreased incidences of strokes, because high levels of omega-3 fatty acids (especially DHA or docosahexaenoic acid) are crucial for normal brain functioning. There’s even more to this school of thought. Several epidemiological studies find a correlation between omega-3 fatty acids intake and mood disorders like depression, which are affected by an omega-3 fatty acids deficit. In addition, people suffering from coronary artery disease may benefit from omega-3 fatty acids, as well, since there is an established link between the disease and depression. An increased omega-3 intake, even through supplementation, may have therapeutic benefits. Fishing for compliments about a

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reduced waistline? A study conducted by the University of South Australia noted that daily omega-3 fatty acids intake, when combined with exercise, can aid in weight loss because fatty acids increase blood flow to the muscles during exercise and thereby assist in fat burning. Sources: Journal of the American College of Cardiology: July 12, 2006. “Fish Oil Prevents Potentially Deadly Heart Rate Variability,” Science Daily: December 2005. “Fish Consumption May Be Linked to Reduced Cognitive Decline,” Medscape: Oct. 11, 2005. Gordon Parker; Gibson, Neville A.; Brotchie, Heather; Heruc, Gabriella; Rees, Anne-Marie and Hadzi-Pavlovic, Dusan. “Omega-3-Fatty Acids and Mood Disorders,” The American Journal of Psychiatry: June 2006. “Australian Study Finds Fish Oil Helps Weight Loss,” Reuters: July 28, 2006.

Dr. Brad Collins Midlothian Chiropractic

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August 2008 Every Tuesday Midlothian Rotary Club meeting, noon, Midlothian Civic Center, 224 South 11th St. (972) 775-7118.

Second and Fourth Tuesdays Midlothian City Council meeting, 6:00 p.m., City Hall, 104 West Avenue E.

Third Thursday ABWA – Empowering Women Express Network monthly meeting, 5:45 p.m., Midlothian Conference Center, 1 Community Circle. Please RSVP to Daphne Brewer at (972) 723-6551. Visit their Web site www.abwa-empoweringwomen.org. First and Third Thursday Midlothian Lions Club meeting, 7:00 p.m., Midlothian Civic Center, 224 S. 11th St. (972) 775-7118.

Every Saturday in August Waxahachie Downtown Farmer’s Market, 8:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m., Franklin Street between Rogers and College. Produce, plants, jams, jellies and other goods available. Call Anita Williamson at (972) 9382101, ext. 198. August 6 Business Over Breakfast, 7:30 a.m., Midlothian Conference Center, 1 Community Circle.

Community Calendar

August 7 Small Business Committee meeting, 9:00 a.m. at Chamber offices.

August 9 SETTLES Nature and Science Center’s Dallas Zoo Nature Exchange, 9:00 a.m. - noon, Pettigrew Academy, 806 East Martin Ave. in Waxahachie. This free children’s event is open to the public and includes, games, crafts and snacks. (972) 923-1633.

August 11, 12, 16 The King and I, produced by Waxahachie Community Theatre, will conduct adult auditions at 7:00 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 600 West Red Oak Rd. Children ages 8 -14 will audition August 16 at 10:00 a.m. Call PJ at (972) 723-6976 or visit their Web site www.waxahachiecommunitytheatre.com. August 16 Community Computer Classes: 10:00 a.m. - noon. Contact Susie Yarbro at [email protected] or (972) 775-3417, ext. 1061 or 1057. August 18 Community Computer Classes: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Contact Susie Yarbro at [email protected] or (972) 775-3417, ext. 1061 or 1057.

August 20 Business Luncheon featuring Congressman Joe Barton, 11:30 a.m., Midlothian Conference Center, 1 Community Circle. Please RSVP to (972) 723-8600 or [email protected] Ellis County Christian Women’s Connection monthly luncheon, Waxahachie Country Club, 1920 W. Hwy. 287. $13 inclusive. Nursery vouchers available. Make reservations by August 17. (972) 937-2807, (972) 937-9984 or [email protected] August 25 MISD First Day of School (2008-2009) Tears & Cheers, 7:45 - 9:30 a.m. (Come & Go), The Loft, FBC Midlothian. Calling all moms. Drop off your kids for the first day of school, then come enjoy breakfast on us. September 27 Texana: Sights and Sounds of the Lone Star State, 12:30 p.m. at the Chautauqua Auditorium, Waxahachie. Chuck wagon dinner and Dallas Wind Symphony, 7:00 p.m. www.waxahachiechautauqua.org.

For more community events, visit our online calendar at www.nowmagazines.com.

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