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Katy Supermoms: Find out How These Superstar Mamas Manage to Do it All


KATY MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2018

By Natalie Cook Clark and Katy Magazine Editors

Photography by Sara Isola

They work, they clean, they dry tears, and they can leap over piles of laundry in a single bound. They're the multi-tasking superheroes of their families. They've been named Supermoms of Katy! These moms represent a small fraction of Katy moms, who are all "Super" in their own unique and sticky peanut butter and jelly fingered way. Shoutout to all the hardworking moms who are making a difference in the lives of their little ones and in the world.

Courtney Doyle

Supermom of six, Katy ISD board of trustee president, and power realtor

Courtney works at home alongside her husband Scott. He's a financial advisor and she's a realtor but spends the majority of her time volunteering. The couple has six children ranging in age from 7-25. Two boys on both ends with two girls in the middle. They have moved a total of 14 times and have had 12 pets, with anything from dogs, cats, fish bearded dragons and even a pet rat.

Just Another Crazy Day

Courtney describes their family as a "crazy bunch" and they love to travel by hopping in their 12-passenger van. She and her husband thrive on being together and serving others in their respective careers. "I spend most of my days, attending meetings, reaching out to clients, to laundry and house needs", says Courtney Doyle. When those needs are met, I research and write. I have been writing for many years, but just recently started sharing things I write on my blog, and will hopefully have the book I am working on published one day soon." Courtney had a recent skin cancer scare and shared it openly and bravely as a way to help others.

Embracing the Chaos

Courtney is currently the president of Katy ISD Board of Trustees, where she has served since 2014. "Balance comes when I slow down and remind myself and my children that life can be chaotic, hard, exhilarating and full of surprise twists and turns," says Courtney. "The more I have embraced the imbalance of our lives the better I am at riding the roller coaster of life with kids in tow, hands raised thankful for the life we have been given." Courtney says her family is bigger than most, louder than most, and more chaotic than most. 'We have had our fair share of heart break and loss, and an abundant amount of joy, peace, love and laughter."

Courtney's Super Powers: Flexible, Witty, Dedicated, Strong, Multi-tasker

Kayce Reina

Single mom of two great kids and the Director of Tourism and Marketing for the City of Katy

"I balance by prioritizing and not overloading! While I’m constantly juggling a lot of balls in the air with kids, work and life, I force myself to slow down a lot and give both myself and my children undivided time." says Kayce. "When I get home from work, the laptop stays shut and the phone away until the kids are asleep."

Constantly on the Move

Kayce is the proud mom of two children, Grant 7, who plays basketball, soccer and is a social butterfly, first grader at Katy Elementary and Avery 4, who is gymnast, more reserved, and a helper around the house.

"Together, we love to be active with sports, riding bikes, playing board games, camping and fishing. We’re constantly “on the move” but love our own living room dance parties, tickle sessions and couch snuggles," says Kayce. For us, being together and making memories is everything."

Supermoms Remain Calm

"When Grant was two, he sucked a whole grape into his throat causing complete blockage of his airway. I saw the whole thing happen and didn’t miss a beat," says Kayce. "I grabbed him out of his highchair, bent him over my leg and just started pounding his back. Kayce says even though he continued to turn blue, she kept at it with steady calmness. "Then “pop” the grape went flying onto the kitchen floor, just like in some cartoon. I put him down, he took a few big breaths, then in Grant fashion, laughed and ran off into the living room."

"I somehow stay freakishly calm even in the scariest situations and just act without hesitation. It wasn’t until after that it all hit me; my knees gave way and I burst into tears. My emotions don’t kick in until after the action."

Kayce's Super Powers: Kind, Loving, Calm, and Outgoing

Larissa Plunto

Single mom, political powerhouse, and sponsor for Compassion International

Other than carrying the powerful super mom title Larissa holds, she is also the Regional Director for U.S. Congressman Michael McCaul, and oversees four of the nine counties in his District located in the Katy office.

"In my field of work you are essentially "on call" 24/7," says Larissa. "My job often involves evenings and weekend events and meetings."

Larissa has two daughters, Adalie 10, and Alandra 7 while sponsoring four children through Compassion International, Stellah, Daysi, Denis, and Clara, while hoping to foster to adopt in the near future.

Every Day is a New Adventure

There is no "typical" day for Larissa and her family. "A few Saturdays ago my day looked like this: The kids were up by Seven AM and I refereed about six arguments between them and multiple time-outs. I took the trash out to the curb, got the kids breakfast and folded laundry, only to be interrupted by shouts that the dog escaped upstairs and “messed” on the carpet. After cleaning the “mess” up and shampooing the carpet I went outside to mow the yard and nail back a few fence posts that were falling down (All of this, before noon)," Larissa said. "Then got the kids ready and dropped them off at my parents house. I rushed back home and changed into my suit and headed out the door to meet the Congressman for a Human Trafficking event in Houston. After that concluded, I drove through the Starbucks drive thru and got a Venti coffee (with an extra shot), reapplied my powder and lipstick and then drove out to Bellville for a GOP banquet with the Lieutenant Governor. After the event, I drove back to my parents to get the littles and pulled in back home around 10 pm." Exhausting just thinking about the day to day life Larissa leads is a testament to the super mom role she hold's here in Katy.

Laugh at Life's Curve Balls

Describing how she balances the chaotic days in her life, Larissa has been a single mom for seven and a half years of which she says, "I have to laugh at all the curve balls, and plot twists that seem to have become a “normal” fixture on this crazy road of my life…or I could curl up in a ball of messy tears," said Larissa. She shares her advice for other hard working single super mom's in Katy, "It’s okay to allow others to help carry the burdens of single-parenting. We were made for community."

Larissa's Super Powers: Humorous, empathetic, passionate, and, powerful

Ginger Dewberry

Teacher, single mom, runner and rescuer during Hurricane Harvey

Ginger, a second grade teacher at Creech Elementary, is known for her heroic efforts during Hurricane Harvey where she spent countless hours dispatching boats to rescue families in and around the flooded areas of Katy.

A Super-Sized Village

Like most moms, mornings are crazy for Dewberry especially being a single parent to two kids, Reece 9, and Jackson 2. "Being a single mom requires me to wear several different hats and I feel like I can juggle several things at a time." Ginger also describes the importance as a single parent to have an amazing support system. "I'm so blessed to have an amazing tribe of people that includes my mom, brother, friends, boyfriend, and coworkers," says Ginger. "They are always willing to step in and help with me and my kiddos any time I need them! It takes a village and my village is amazing.”

Ginger enjoys quiet time of "cartoons and cuddles" with her kids after a very busy day. "Sometimes the days can feel long and tough, but they are always worth it when I see the smiles on my kiddos faces."

Ginger's Big Goal

After the kids have gone to sleep, Ginger runs on her treadmill to reach her goal of accomplishing 999 miles by the end of the year. "My running time in the evening is time to clear my head and refocus." Ginger pushes to complete her goal and participates in No Label's Running Club and also completes in various races in the area to move her toward her goal.

Super Human Strength

Ginger has been a source of strength for her daughter after the unexpected death of Reece's father, Tyrel, who was formerly an active duty soldier. "I lost my father when I was in high school so unfortunately it is something I have in common with Reece," says Ginger. Ginger says she understand the pain and sadness and is helping her process her grief and feelings, but also start to resume normal routines and everyday life.

Ginger's Super Powers: Dedicated, Caring, Hardworking, Determined, Strong

Amanda McDaniel

Mom of three, teacher, overcomer, and coach's wife

Amanda has a long history with her Katy High School roots, married to now Katy Football coach Matt McDaniel, the two met their freshman year when they were just 14 years old. Amanda works part-time at St. Peter's United Methodist Church in the Children's Ministry.

A Katy Love Story

A full circle Katy bred love story. After high school the couple attended Texas A&M and returned to their roots here in Katy to coach and teach. They had their first child, Carter and then 20 short months later they had twin girls, Madeline and Molly.

Encouraging and Equipping Other Moms

Amanda joined Mothers of Young Children, a biblical based group of mother's of young children run by St. Peter's United Methodist Church, after her son Carter was born where she gained friendships that helped her through the hardest of times. "These women have walked with me through the loss of my dad, five weeks in NICU with our twins, the loss of my nephew, and everything between," Amanda says. "They've taught me it truly takes a village to raise children and MYC has become my favorite part of my week." Amanda now co-facilitates MYC along with Dana Sitton. "I have found that encouraging and equipping other moms is one of my passions. I believe this is how we change the world: good people raising good people."

In her everyday life, "Every day is different, but I always try to start my days early while my kids are still asleep. I am fortunate to work at the church where my girls go preschool, so I can attend chapel with them, see them on the playground and around campus, and volunteer as much as possible," Amanda says.

"After school we head off to dance, gymnastics, baseball or church but on Friday nights during football season you can find us cheering for the Katy Tigers."

Amanda's Super Powers: Reliable, Organized, Katy Proud, Strong

Kelli Ashmore

A mom and former teacher on a mission to help kids with cancer

Kelli, along with her husband Garrett, are the founders of Stuff the Sleigh, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children and their families affected by cancer and hematological conditions. Both Kelli and Garrett grew up in Katy and graduated from Katy High School. Kelli is a former teacher who is now a stay at home mom of four children; Erika 11, Kiersten 9, Brock 5, and McKinley 2.

Restoring Hope

The Ashmore's established Stuff the Sleigh in 2008 as a way to help kids with cancer. "All we want is to do good for these kids and for a small moment in time, create an atmosphere where kids can be kids," says Kelli. "We want to help restore hope where hope has been lost," says Ashmore. Stuff the Sleigh partners with Texas Children's Hospital.

On a typical day, Kelli gets three kids ready for elementary school, takes her two-year-old to Mother's Day Out at Holy Covenant, works out, runs errands, goes to meetings for Stuff the Sleigh, picks-up kids, and transports kids to after school practices and activities. "To find balance I workout and find time for myself. Eating better also helps me feel good," says Ashmore.

Kelli's Super Powers: Dedicated, Giving, Helpful, Passionate

Jennifer Pelzer

Super special single mom of triplets, twins, and a teacher for 23 years

Jennifer is a remarkably hard working single mom, and educator working 23 years as a teacher for at-risk kids. At home, she is the mom to a set of triplets who are 22 years old and a set of twins who are 11 years old. Among her triplets she has one with Autism and another with Spina Bifida.

Seasoned Plate Spinner

"My day usually begins at 4:30AM when I wake up and get my exercise in before anyone is up," says Jennifer. "Then it's a coordinated masterpiece between triplets and twins and getting everyone where they need to be and doing what they need to do. "I am an awesome multi-tasker. I can have six plates spinning at once and manage to not feel overwhelmed."

Always Wanted to Be a Mom

"I always make an effort to carve out time for all my kids individually and I'm a very firm believer in family time. Jennifer always knew she wanted to be a mom more than anything else. "My triplets arrived with one physically and one mentally challenged but that has not stopped us. Jennifer later had twins and describes life as a "wonderful, scary, exciting roller-coaster ride" One that she would never choose to get off of. "My children and I are a force. We are love, joy, fun and most of all, a team!"

Jennifer's Super Powers: Patient, dedicated, caring, loving, and energetic

Dana Sitton

Photographer, writer, mom, and mom-to-be

Dana taught English and coached basketball at the secondary level as a career, but decided to be a stay-at-home mom after having children. Dana has been married to James, an engineer in the oil industry, for almost 9 years. "He has always been my greatest support in my ventures and pursuits both personally and professionally," explains Dana. They have Hunter 6, Hayden 3, and are expecting a baby girl in December.

"It's the best of both worlds," Dana says, who owns a small photography business, Haven Photography and Design, where she photographs newborns, families, real estate, and business professionals. "It is my vision in the immediate future to motivate and encourage other women/mothers in various stages of life through personal writing avenues within my own little media platform titled Cultivate the Heart."

Overcoming Adversity

In 2013, Dana's son was diagnosed with Progressive Infantile Scoliosis and a tethered spinal cord at 13 months of age. "Infantile Scoliosis is a more delicate and uncommon scenario than developing scoliosis as a teenager. Since is it progressive in nature and a child’s growth is so rapid at a young age, it can hinder growth and development," says Dana. "If not cared for properly, the condition can be detrimental for lung and organ function and development, which could drastically affect lung capacity. This guy is the real super hero!"

Through his journey we have been able to share our story and I have been able to help multiple families who reside in and around Texas to seek care at Texas Scottish Rite in Dallas, which is one of the top hospitals in the nation for scoliosis care.

Dana's Super Powers: Passionate, loyal, hardworking, strong.

Jennifer Wrzyszczynski

Stay at home mom and mega volunteer

Jennifer doesn't work outside the home but says her husband would tell you she's a chronic volunteer. "Before my children were born, I was a special education teacher. As fate would have it, my oldest was born with Down Syndrome.

Special Education Background

Even though I was passionate about teaching people with disabilities before my son was born, I was put in a position to educate myself as a parent about people with disabilities."

Married to her husband Mark for 21 years, they have lived in Katy for 11 years and have three teens, two in high school and one in junior high. "We’re the typical busy family right now. The kids are involved in Special Olympics, Boy Scouts, sports, theater and National Charity League as well as being involved at our parish, St. Bartholomew Catholic Church," says Jennifer.

Life Changing Bike Program

"I’m an extrovert and enjoy being around people. Because of that, I enjoy volunteering. However, I have learned to turn down opportunities. I can leave a legacy with my family, but I can be replaced everywhere else," says Jennifer. One of the programs that she has really developed a passion for is iCan Bike. "The program travels around the country, bringing specialized bicycling equipment and instruction to people with intellectual disabilities. 85% of participants learn to ride a two-wheel bike in five days. This is really life-changing for the riders and their families because the rider gains a new skill, independence and exercise."

"My son learned to ride in 5 days and he still rides today! The sense of freedom he has on his bike is visible on his face, every time he goes for a ride. When we returned from Maryland, I talked about iCan Bike to my friends. We hosted the first camp in 2015. My friends Christina Shabet and Katy West and I have brought the camp to Katy for three of the last four years," Jennifer said.

The 2018 camp was cancelled due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey. We do the fundraising, rider recruitment and volunteer recruitment to make the program successful. We have had riders come from Odessa, Texas and New Mexico to participate. Watch for in in 2019!"

"Moms who are motivated to make something happen are a force to be reckoned with," Jennifer said.

Jennifer's Super Powers: Helpful,Motivated, organized, patient.

More Katy Supermoms

Here are some other Katy Supermoms we would like to include you in this list of amazing, hardworking dedicated, multi-tasking moms.

Jeanna Bickerstaff - Mom of three children under six, an assistant principal and Baby Boot Camp Instructor.

Christy Bolen – Business owner, realtor, avid volunteer and mother.

Dawn Champagne - Devoted mom, mega volunteer and board of trustee for Katy ISD.

Sandra Ham- A wife and full-time working mom of an autistic child and a toddler who helps other moms of autistic children.

Jamy Johnson- A single, working mom who also serves her community.

Lori Joiner- A wife, mom of two boys, fitness instructor, and women's ministry leader.

Liz Grayson Landry- Devoted mother and successful mompreneur.

Nathalie Lara- Interior designer, worship band singer and hardwoking mom of four.

Amy Lookabaugh - Veteran, realtor, business owner, and mother of two young children.

Jaymie Massey - Hardworking mom with a 17 year age span between youngest and oldest child.

Stephanie McDaniel – Founder of Graeme’s Run that benefits sick children.

Whitney Peper - Special needs director, mom, adoption advocate

Ory Roberts- A wife, mother, cancer survivor, supporter of Special Olympics Wolf Pack.

Nicole Sanders- A hardworking mom of three and Tompkins High School coach's wife.

Heather Schomburg - Community involved mom of four boys and dedicated volunteer.

Debbie Siebert - Mother of five, volunteer, and talented singer.

Sarah Smith- Wife, mother of two, and Katy High School teacher.

Michelle Totorice - Mom of disabled twin daughters, mother of three, and super volunteer.

Lacie Truitt - Superstar doctor, caring wife, and mother of two children.

Ashley Vann – Mom of three kids, Katy ISD board of trustees and volunteer

Do you know a SUPER SUPERMOM that needs mentioning? Email us! Editor@katymagazine.com.

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