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COLUMN ~ Mama Drama: Worldview

Lynette Gillis

Lynette Gillis

By LYNETTE GILLIS, Concordia professor, River Place mom

My husband travels a lot for work, which can be tough for a mom of four kids. However, it does have it its perks; sometimes I get to travel with him. Our family has had the opportunity to travel to Australia, New Zealand, England and Canada. The most recent trip was to Dubai.

When my husband first told me about the trip I was not so sure that I wanted to go… surprise, he already bought my ticket. Looks like I was headed to the Middle East for the first time in my life.

As the date approached my anxiety grew. I was leaving our four kids for a week headed to a place where I could not have pinpointed geographically. Dubai is located in the Arabian desert, east of Saudi Arabia and south of Iran separated by the Persian Gulf.

It is one of the wealthiest and most demographically diverse places in the world. Still, I was a woman traveling to a part of the world that I believed to be oppressive to women with laws so strict that any form of public affection, including holding hands with your husband, may land you a year in jail. I was nervous. I left just wanting the trip to be over and wanting to be home safe and sound with my kids. Continue reading

COLUMN ~ Everything Home: May peace begin with-bins

Susan Arant

Susan Arant

By SUSAN ARANT

 

There are times that the sheer volume of activities in a day can be exhausting. We all have busy lives with hectic schedules and at days end, I relish the time that I can walk through my door and be home.

In theory, being home should provide a sense of calm, yet on a daily basis I used to find myself stepping over an obstacle course of shoes and backpacks and needing to push back stacks of mail to put my bags down.

It occurred to me recently that my real-life sanctuary, was a bit disorganized and my “home Zen” may be a bit out of balance. Continue reading

RRE book fair money missing, LISD and Texas PTA investigates

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

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The PTA of River Ridge Elementary in Steiner Ranch hosted a fall book fair, and it was recently discovered that not all of the deposits from the school fundraiser were made.

“The district was made aware of a RRPTA issue, and the district is supporting both the River Ridge PTA and the LISD Council of PTAs as they work their established processes and procedures to investigate discrepancies in the the financial documents of the RRPTA,” said Veronica Sopher, spokesperson for Leander ISD.

Book fairs, like this, raise thousands of dollars for schools, and sources say likely thousands were allegedly not deposited.

“We know this has been a very emotional issue for many of our River Ridge families, and we are working to ensure that the campus learning environment is not negatively impacted by this PTA issue,” Sopher said.

Christina Morales, RRPTA president, posted a letter on the PTA website on April 11 that explains what happened. During a routine review, the PTA’s chairman and treasurer discovered a “significant discrepancy in the amount of deposits that the PTA should have deposited” for the fall book fair that took place in November. Continue reading

Team George helps friend with cancer

By SARAH DOOLITTLE, Four Points News

George Deuillet III was diagnosed in December with Stage IV melanoma, which has metastasized to his brain and several internal organs. George’s family and friends are rallying beside him to help, support and encourage him.

Team George supporting George.

Team George supporting George.

“We knew we lived in a good neighborhood. But to have so many friends and neighbors and (friends of friends) ​—​ even they’ve reached out. It’s just amazing,” said Danielle, George’s wife. The family lives in Steiner Ranch.

Their long-time friends Claire and Derek Balfour, who also are in Steiner, stepped up to coordinate a page on CaringBridge.org where the family can share news and photos. It’s also where those wishing to can sign up for specific tasks. Danielle has a hard time asking for and accepting help but she is grateful for it.

George Deuillet III and Claire Balfour, who helped organize Team George, at Run the Ranch on March 30.

George Deuillet III and Claire Balfour, who helped organize Team George, at Run the Ranch on March 30.

“It’s been a struggle. But you realize that there are things that you just can’t do and that even though you’re a good cook, (due to his chemo side-effects) your husband would rather have someone else’s dinner,” she said.

The Balfours also spearheaded the creation of Team George in George’s honor. On March 30, 150 people showed up in Team George t-shirts to Run the Ranch, a Steiner Ranch 5K, in George’s name.

The local Team George contingency at Run the Ranch on March 30. Photo by James VanderWeide

The local Team George contingency at Run the Ranch on March 30. Photo by James VanderWeide

Continue reading

Deuillet family fights cancer with grace

By SARAH DOOLITTLE, Four Points News

When Steiner Ranch residents George and Danielle Deuillet look into each other’s eyes, the mutual admiration between them is palpable. After 13 years of marriage they share a tight circle of love that includes one another, their family, their friends, and their faith in God.

In December, however, the family of four was handed a challenge that could strengthen or destroy the tightest of bonds, the deepest of faith. Their challenge? Cancer, which has found a formidable opponent in George Deuillet III.

Before George was diagnosed, here is a photo of the Deuillet family in Hawaii, where Danielle grew up: George, Skyler, Danielle and Dylan.

Before George was diagnosed, here is a photo of the Deuillet family in Hawaii, where Danielle grew up: George, Skyler, Danielle and Dylan.

A very hard year

George, 46, who has dealt with bouts of genetically inherited melanoma since the age of 22 ​—​ including a Stage III growth on his neck in November of 2012 ​—​ was diagnosed in December 2013 with Stage IV melanoma that has metastasized to his brain and several internal organs.

The diagnosis was one in a string of blows that plagued the family last year. In addition to the Stage III growth, the family was in an accident on I-35 South in June that totaled their car. In July, George and a friend were sailing on Lake Travis when a drunk driver in a power boat hit their sailboat, splitting it in two. Then came the new diagnosis in December.

Continue reading