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February 2018 Vol. 12, Issue 2

Praying Through The Storm The Jackson's Story

God's Plan & A Mother's Love A look into Creating Baby Jones

(On The Cover)

Wedding Issue

As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

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F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8 / Vo l u m e 1 2 / I s s u e 2


God's Plan & A Mother's Love


Fish Tales


Praying Through The Storm


Financial Focus


Local Weddings and Engagements


Local Hot Sports


Ribbon Cuttings


Calendar of Events


Local Rescues

Inside This Month... The Jackson Family

Fo r a d ver t i s i n g info r m atio n, c all 903. 334. 9605 COO / PUBLISHER / FOUNDER Debbie Brower CO-FOUNDER Jaclyn Gooding SALES & MARKETING Debbie Brower Jaclyn Gooding 903.334.9605 GRAPHIC DESIGN/LAYOUT Alyssa Bertrand PHOTOGRAPHY Alyssa Bertrand, Debbie Brower, Jaclyn Gooding, Sylvia Jennings, Karen Lansdell, Rosie Posie Photography, Helms Photography, K8Photography CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mike Brower, Dustin Stringer FEATURE WRITERS Anne Granado If you have an event you would like to include in our Upcoming Events section, please e-mail us at:

A LT - M AG . c o m 101 Slaton Dr. Nash, TX 75569 (903) 334-9605 ALT Magazine is published the 1st business day of every month. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission of ALT Magazine is strictly prohibited. ALT Magazine is distributed free of charge. Direct mail subscriptions are available for $42.00 per year. Contributions from our readers are welcome. We reserve the right to edit or reject any material.

06 ALT Magazine | February 2018

From the Publisher Love can be so many different things. The love we have for our family, whether it is mother, father, daughter, son, sibling. It can also be between friends, co-workers, and pets. I am surrounded by the people I love daily. I am very fortunate and blessed. Kayla Jones was blessed to have a husband, Cody, who loves her, and a family who helped make a dream come true. Patty Resecker, Kayla’s motherin-law, volunteered to be a surrogate to her grandchild when other options failed. Their miracle baby, Kross, was born on December 30, 2017, and quickly became the center of everyone’s love. What a wonderful beginning to a new year! Love is all around. The love of a husband and wife is something to be cherished. For those who are struggling with medical issues, the love becomes even stronger as the struggle becomes more real. I have known Travis and Whitney Jackson since the time of their engagement. In fact, photographing their wedding, you could see the love between the two of them and know it was real. For years, their life was perfect – two beautiful people, with two adorable children, living their lives like any other person. When Travis began having kidney problems, they became the rock that each leaned on. Their faith is strong, and they believe that there is an answer – someone out there will step forward and donate a kidney. I hope that someone out there reading this will decide that it’s their turn to love someone enough to share their love, and their kidney, so that this wonderful young man can continue his ministry. If you are Type O, please consider this request. God has big plans for so many of us. I know both families have had their struggles, and will continue throughout their lifetimes. The thing that keeps them going is love. The love of their family, friends, and the love of our Lord. I know that I struggle daily with decisions but I always put my trust in the Lord. And I am very proud to say that I truly am surrounded by people I love and who love me. What better way to live my life. God bless you and your family…

08 ALT Magazine | February 2018

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God's Plan & A Mother's Love

By: Anne Granado Newborn Pictures: Rosie Posie Photography Maturity Pictures: Helms Photography

"A Mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path." --Agatha Christie Cody and Kayla Jones longed to have a family of their own, but they both knew that the possibility was a long shot at best. When options for a biological child began to run out, Cody’s mother, Patty Resecker, volunteered to be their surrogate. At fifty-years-old, Patty gave birth to her grandchild, Kross Allen Jones. “I had always offered to be a surrogate for Cody and Kayla as we would joke around,” Patty says. “After their other options fell through, I started really thinking about it and I said to them, ‘What about me? What kind of mother would I be if I could help my children and didn’t? I would do anything for my kids.”

large tumor. She was sent for multiple tests including a dilation and curettage (D&C) to test the cells of her uterus. The pathology came back showing abnormal cells, and she was told to prepare for the worst because it was probably uterine cancer. She was sent to UAMS for a hysterectomy. “Doctors were able to save both of my ovaries, but they had to remove my uterus because there was no normal uterine tissue left,” Kayla says. “After lots of prayers, the final pathology came back benign. Doctors informed us the only way I could have biological children was to have a gestational surrogate.”

Kayla Jones found out at age 17 at her very first gynecological appointment that she had a very

Cody and Kayla both grew up in Texarkana and both graduated from Arkansas High School in

2007. They were not high school sweethearts, although Cody told Kayla he had always liked her in school. They started dating a year after high school when two of their mutual friends started dating, and they went on a double date. As they got serious, Kayla felt like she needed to address the issue of children with Cody. “For years, I used to question a lot like why did this happen to me? When I was first told about my tumor, I was sad about it, and I prayed that it would be on my ovaries, so that they could take those out and still have kids,” Kayla says. “I was devastated they took out my uterus. For a few years, I pushed it out of my mind, but when Cody and I got serious, I felt like I had to tell him that we might not have kids. However, because we had gone | February 2018 013

to high school together, and I went through this my senior year, he had some idea of what happened. I just wasn’t sure he knew the whole story. When I told him, he was nonchalant about it. It never bothered him. I knew it bothered me way more. I always felt like there was something I could not give him, but he’s always told me that I was ‘enough for him’ if we never had kids. Later in our marriage, I used to ask, "Is this going to be enough for you?" He always said,"I was enough for him.”

Cody and Kayla did discuss adoption, and this is still an option they may pursue in the future, but again, the couple was faced with waiting a long time and paying a lot of money to start the process. Many families wait years for their miracles. Then, Patty brought up the idea of her surrogacy again, only this time she wasn’t joking. Kayla started researching and to their surprise, they found a few other documented cases of grandmothers being surrogates. One of the best tips Kayla has for other couples struggling with fertility is to join support groups online. She is a member of IVF Pregnancy and Beyond Support Group and Intended Mothers (for women who had to use surrogates) online. It was there that she heard about a doctor in Dallas with high reviews for addressing fertility issues. Doctor Le is an IVF MD in Irving, Texas. “We researched

Photo by: Helms Photography

Even in the beginning, Kayla’s mother-in-law, Patty, was supportive of the couple. Cody’s family knew from the beginning that Kayla could not have children and would have to use a surrogate. Patty joked about liking being pregnant and being their surrogate, but they didn’t think it would

be possible, so they began to save money for the future. “It took us a long time to save up money to afford In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), let alone the extra cost of having a surrogate,” Kayla says. “Cody and I started getting serious about finding a surrogate, and all of our options ran out. When you are asking someone to risk their life to have your child, you don’t just have people lining up at the door! Also, the women who are surrogates have to be pretty healthy and cannot have had any complicated pregnancies or births.”

014 ALT Magazine | February 2018

several doctors in Texas, but we are so happy we went with Dr. Le,” Patty says. “They were so wonderful and always upbeat. IVF is expensive, but his prices were reasonable. I felt like he really did his job because of the patient and not the money.” When Patty told Kayla that she was in menopause, Kayla really lost hope that this would be a viable option. However, Dr. Le told her that it was actually easier to manipulate hormones in menopausal women. Patty had to undergo extensive testing, including stress tests on her heart. After Patty was cleared, they started the egg retrieval process from Kayla which included daily injections and many trips back and forth to Dallas to see their reproductive endocrinologist. During this process, a person’s body is forced to mature more than one egg that is usually matured each monthly cycle. When the eggs

become the right size, the doctor goes and retrieves them under unconscious sedation. The embryos were then created with Cody’s sperm. After five days of growth, they had 6 healthy embryos: three boys and three girls. The embryos are graded on a system to help determine which ones are more likely to “stick” and result in a pregnancy. On March 7, 2017, they transferred their highest graded embryo into Patty with high hopes. The transfer failed. “Through the process, when praying, I would use the words ‘however God will give me my child,’" Kayla says. “I didn’t know what would happen. I wasn’t sure if the surrogacy would work or if we would



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go through with adoption. What I learned from this process is that God has a plan. We may not be on the right path for that plan, but there is a plan. It was really hard when the first transfer failed, but we decided to give it one more shot. We just couldn’t put her body through more hormones. I told myself that it wasn’t going to work so that I

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wouldn’t get my hopes up.” The couple and Patty moved on and tried a new medication. On April 27, 2017, they transferred another embryo. This one was only graded a 5CC, which is a lower grading. However, this is the embryo that took. “After the first transfer, we took a test every day afterwards, so with the second transfer, we waited

the full seven days. I was actually going to wait a little later because we had a trip planned to Camp Petit Jean,” Kayla says. “I knew it would ruin the trip if we tested and it was negative, but I couldn’t wait. I thought that maybe if it was negative, we could get away for a little bit, and if it was positive, we could celebrate. We found out on May 11, 2017, and besides his birth, that was the best day of my life.” Looking back, Cody and Kayla realized how much they had to learn about themselves as they struggled with hopes and disappointment. “I 016 ALT Magazine | February 2018

mainly learned patience. I had to learn I could not control everything,” Kayla says. “There were so many ‘what if’s’ during the process. I learned that sometimes the best things just take a little extra time.” As the pregnancy progressed, Kayla and Patty got really close. “I know more about my mother-in-law than most people probably know about themselves,” Kayla says. “I learned that Patty likes peanut butter toast and bacon for breakfast, sleeps sitting up, hardly ever drinks a soda, and definitely loves with all her heart.”

Patty also found ways to help Kayla be a part of the pregnancy. “Words can’t really describe how thankful I am to Patty,” Kayla says. “My son would not be here without her. People say that it takes a village to raise a child. Well it took a village to get him here, and she was one of the biggest parts of that. I feel blessed to have known my surrogate and have such a close relationship

with her. She would send me a video of him kicking or text me and say ‘He’s jumping around right now!’ I was able to feel on her belly and talk to him. I went to every doctor’s appointment, and she texted me all the time, even before she took a Tylenol. Being so close made me feel so much more involved.” Kayla and Cody struggled to pick out a name. They went back and forth on a few and would settle on a name for a few weeks only to find another one to replace it. “Cody and I were heading home one day, and I told him that I was still not 100 percent set on the name we picked out,” Kayla says. “I told him I wish we had a name that started with a ‘C’ or a ‘K’ to go with ours. Cody said, ‘Like Kross?’ And I instantly knew that was it! Deciding to spell it with a ‘C’ or a ‘K’ was another battle. His middle name is Allen, after my dad, Dwight Allen. Kayla also started a blog called Creating Baby Jones to help document what the couple was going through. It started as a way to keep family updated on the details of the process, but Kayla has almost 4000 followers now. “I get lots of private messages asking about IVF.

One of the first things we did when we decided to see if Patty could be our surrogate was research,” Kayla says, “Maybe there is a woman out there struggling to conceive who sees our story and feels a little hope. That makes it all worth it. Someone may not even realize this possibility.”

However, Kayla and Cody did have to field awkward questions and comments about their surrogacy. They are very open on the blog about the whole process, but they found that telling a stranger in person could be weird. Kayla is a nurse for St. Michael’s Home Care, and Cody works at Cooper Tire. As a nurse, Kayla was asked daily if she had any children. Most of the time, she would just answer with a “someday” and move on from the question. “Explaining surrogacy on a daily basis can get exhausting. The ones I did share with seemed excited and amazed at the process,” Kayla says. “However, when my story first hit the news, reading some of the comments was hard. I finally is just stopped reading them because

I wanted to defend ourselves to the negative comments. The negative comments came from those who were uneducated on what surrogacy is. If they understood the process, most probably would not feel the way they do. I just want to make surrogacy more normalized or at least educate more people about it.” Kross Allen Jones was born on December 30, 2017, at 6:01 p.m. and weighed 8 pounds and 2 oz. Both Kayla and Cody were in the room when Patty had a C-section delivery. Cody stood next to Patty’s head, and Kayla stood at the back of the room so she could see everything. As a nurse, Kayla had witnessed several C-sections; otherwise, they probably would have made Kayla stand at Patty’s head as well. “When they broke Patty’s water, that’s the moment it finally felt like, ‘Oh my god! He’s almost here!’ Then I saw his


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head full of hair; that’s when I couldn’t hold my emotions in any longer,” Kayla says. “The nurses and staff were absolutely amazing. I was able to help wipe him down as soon as they came out. The only thing that would have made the moment better is if Patty was more awake when it happened.” After the C-section, Patty healed very well. The first day the nurses asked her to walk around, she made the walk from labor and delivery to Kross’ room like it was no big deal. However, at the time of this story, Patty had not seen Kross outside of the hospital because she got sick with a cold. She has Facetimed him throughout the last week, and Kayla and Cody cannot wait to see Kross and his “Lolli” together. This is Patty’s second grandchild, and she goes by Lolli and her husband, Chris, goes by Pop. “The hardest part of the whole process was being sick after I had Kross and not being able to see Cody and Kayla with him,” Patty says. “I told my husband to make sure he got pictures after I had him because I wanted to see the joy in their faces when they got to see that

018 ALT Magazine | February 2018

baby for the first time. The best thing is knowing I was able to accomplish this for my children and just knowing that Kross will be loved by so many is a blessing to me.” Kayla loves seeing her family with Kross. She says that the first time her father saw Kross outside of the hospital, he got down on his hands and knees in front of the swing, and Kayla got emotional. “He has so many grandparents to love on him,” Kayla says. Now, Kayla cannot believe how fast time is going. Even through all the

sleepless nights, Kayla and Cody are so grateful for their blessing that they are soaking up every minute. “It’s still so surreal. Sometimes I cannot believe he’s actually here,” Kayla says. “It’s been exhausting but so worth it. The best part is just getting to hold him and getting to have special time to bond with him. I swear he’s only 5 days old, but he reacts to us. We are first time parents, and we don’t know what to do. It’s scary because you don’t want to make mistakes, but you know you will because we live and we learn.”

Kayla says that she always heard how seeing a spouse with a child can deepen your love for them, and she now knows how true it is. “Cody is so good with Kross,” Kayla says. “Our first night at home, by the fourth time I got up, I asked Cody if he would switch with me. Cody got up, changed his diaper, and rocked him back to sleep. I cannot wait to see Kross’ interaction with Cody. We

would have been happy with either sex, but having a boy is so special. They will go hunting, and fishing. Cody will have a little partner.” Cody and Kayla are looking forward to enjoying every minute with their miracle baby, and they don’t have words to thank Patty for her sacrifice in helping their dream come true. When the time comes, they will

tell Kross his amazing birth story. “I have already bought several children’s books that explain surrogacy on a kid-friendly level,” Kayla says. “When Kross is old enough to understand the biology, we will tell him that God made him out of Mommy and Daddy, but Mommy’s oven was broken, so God had to use Lolli’s to grow him.”

Photo by: Rosie Posie Photography

Welcome to the World Kross Allen Jones December 30, 2017 | 6:01 p.m. | 8 lbs. | 2 oz. | February 2018 019

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"To trust God in the light is nothing, but trust him in the dark... ... That is Faith." -C.H. Spurgeon

The Storm

By: Anne Granado Pictures by: K8photography

We are always aware that our lives can change in an instant, but until those moments hit, we tend to live in a false sense of security that we are in control. When those life-changing moments come, we realize how much is out of our hands. It is in the valleys of our life when our faith is tested, and Travis and Whitney Jackson are steadfast in their faith through the good times and bad. When Travis Jackson, Next Generation Pastor at Church on the Rock, and his wife, Whitney Jackson, received news in 2013 that he had kidney disease, they were hopeful that he wouldn’t have to experience renal failure for many years to come; however, on December 7, 2016, doctors told Travis that he would need a kidney transplant or he would be on dialysis for the rest of his life. With two small children, Gabriel, 4, and Aslyn, 2, and an active ministry and mission,

it might be easy for the Jacksons to question God’s plan. Instead, the Jacksons are praising God through the storm and using their story to talk about God’s faithfulness. “My faith in God has been everything. Even when things don’t necessarily look the way that you would like, its only God that can give peace and joy,” Travis says. “If you read the Bible, God never said that their wouldn’t be storms in our life, but he did say that He would be with us. And I know that He is with us.” Travis and Whitney are high school sweethearts. They also work together at Church on the Rock. As the Next Generation Pastor, Travis oversees college and youth ministry. He preaches every Thursday night and on some weekends. Travis accepted a job there right out of college, and they have been with Church on the Rock for twelve years

now. “Travis has a passion to see people closer to God, and we love our pastors, staff, and congregation,” Whitney says, “It’s crazy to think about, but now Travis and I have been together more than half our lives. Our values, dreams, and ambitions all aligned, and I knew that God put us together to be each other’s biggest cheerleader.” After his diagnosis in 2013, Travis tried some medication to see if they could slow down the process, but the damage had already been done. The doctors were hopeful that it would be years before Travis would need a transplant. Then, in February of 2016, he got viral meningitis which drastically changed his levels. The doctors hoped that the change was simply his body trying to fight infection, but by December, Travis was facing end of stage renal failure. “I can remember trying to hold it | February 2018 023

together as the doctor told us Travis will either need a new kidney by the end of the year or start dialysis,” Whitney says. “This was a shock to us both. We knew he had kidney disease. It was discovered 3 ½ years ago, but at that time he was functioning at 50%. I’m trying to ask the doctor all the questions I could think of in the moment and process all at the same time. I’m thinking about our future, our life, our plans, and most importantly our two very small children. As soon as my feet hit the pavement outside the doctor’s office, I lost it. Travis held me. HE held me; I was supposed to hold him. This was his diagnosis. This wasn’t the plan. He just laughed it off and said, ‘Oh I’m going to be fine,’ with that grin on his face.” For Travis, it took a few days to let the news sink in, but from that moment, Travis’ mindset has been one of “let’s do it.” “Throughout this whole process I have had peace and joy, two things that only God gives,” Travis says. “My faith in God has only increased through this process. I think sometimes in the storm you really see where your relationship with God is. I have pressed in and prayed like never before because I need God more than ever before. Sometimes when all is well, you lose the realization of how much you really need God, but everyone needs God and we must depend on him. I have also noticed that this whole ordeal has given me more compassion for hurting people. I can now say that I can relate 024 ALT Magazine | February 2018

a lot better. People are hurting everywhere and everyday and I am noticing them now a lot better.” Most of 2017 was spent waiting for Travis’ body to get worse so that he could start dialysis. Whitney says that it was just a progression of him

feeling really tired. In September of 2017, his levels had dropped again, so in October, Travis got a dialysis port. “If you look at him, you would never know about his diagnosis and you never hear him complain,” Whitney says. “It doesn’t seem real sometimes because it looks like nothing’s wrong. His attitude has

always been one of ‘I’m ok! Let’s keep going.’” Every four hours, Travis is able to have peritoneal dialysis at home. They have a station set up in his office. This type of dialysis allows two liters of fluid into the abdominal cavity to pull out toxins. Not only does this mean changes to the family’s daily activities, it means that Travis and Whitney have to suspend their ability to travel outside the country to build churches. “Travis and I, with our closest friends, have raised money to build churches in the third world. Our ministry is called 1heartproject. com because we believe God has a heart for the world,” Whitney says. “Many pastors are meeting under trees or tarps and are in need of a building. We pray about where we should build, and we raise money for that project. Each project is different and up to date we have raised money and built five churches. We have built churches in India, two in Mexico, Haiti, and a persecuted church in Syria.” Travis and Whitney have a contact in Syria. They cannot use his real name because he could be tortured or killed for his faith. He worked in a refugee camp where he passed out Bibles. One day, he started

witnessing to a group of women in the camp who had been tortured by ISIS. Forty women were saved and baptized. When Travis and Whitney heard his story, they helped raise enough money to pay for two years' rent on a building for the women to use as a church. To say “thank you,” the women made homemade table cloths that Whitney says look like wedding dresses with ornate beads and cloth. “My wife and I have a passion for World Missions. Jesus told us to go into all the world and make disciples, and I believe that is a mandate for every Christian,” Travis says. “Several years ago, our pastor’s wife, Lanell Miller, took us on our first foreign mission trip and something just grabbed our heart. I fully believe that because of how much God has blessed us we have a responsibility to help others and share the love of Christ. We feel specifically that we are called to

build churches and train leaders in the third world, and it has been really cool how God has used us. I look forward to getting a new kidney so I can get back out there!” For Whitney, it was hard to accept that this was all a part of God’s plan until she remembered a favorite Bible verse. “Jeremiah 29:11 says, ‘For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to give you a hope and future.’ Right after Travis’ diagnosis, I was holding my babies as they were watching TV, and I was holding back tears thinking about everything. I was thinking to myself, ‘God you have given us big plans; you put big dreams in our hearts.

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Just last year alone we have been invited on more mission trips than ever before,” Whitney says. “I really was praying and telling God that I didn’t understand why He would


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give us all of these dreams and then restrict our quality of life. When I looked up, I saw a set of scriptures I had just purchased with Jeremiah 29:11 on them, and I heard God say, ‘Although this caught you off guard, it didn’t catch me off guard. I have already gone before you. I have a hope and future for you.’ After my moment with the Lord, I have complete hope that God will bring us through this and be with us every step of the way.”

Now, with only 8% function, Travis is hoping to find a donor kidney soon. Though Travis doesn’t enjoy the spotlight, Whitney has been integral in getting the word out about their story through her blog, social media and a video made by Michael Ulmer who does videos for Church on the Rock. Whitney’s goal is to try to find her husband a donor kidney, and her efforts have received a lot of

Whitney and Travis have also been contacted by the Organ Transplant Awareness Nonprofit, who do a 5K every year for one family to raise awareness for organ donation. This year, they chose the Jacksons to be the beneficiary of the race. It will be held at 9 a.m. February 10 at Christus St. Michael’s campus. There is a link to sign up at Anyone wanting to join simply has to search for Stinson Organ

Gabriel and Aslyn are really too young to know what is going on with Daddy. “A funny story in all of this is that we told Gabe that Daddy needed a new kidney, and at the time we had a babysitter named Kennedy,” Whitney says. “Gabe asked, ‘Why does daddy need a new Kennedy? He don’t like her?’ We laughed and laughed, so for now, every night we pray for Daddy’s back.” Though the children do not quite know what is going on, Whitney and Travis have had to make a lot of changes and compromises in their daily lives as they wait on a donor kidney. “Marriage is always an adjustment. When you add a kid, it’s an adjustment. Then, you add another kid, and you adjust again,” Whitney says. “No matter what happens, we both know we are on the same team, and we are going to fight together. This experience has definitely brought us closer.” 026 ALT Magazine | February 2018

responses. She included a link that helps people get tested to see if they might be a match for Travis. Even though many people have reached out and said they wanted to get tested, they have yet to find a match. “We just want to get the word out, and we have been very humbled by the response,” Whitney says. “Many people are getting tested because of it, and we are praying there will be a match soon.”

Transplant Awareness and get registered. “We are so incredibly grateful they chose us this year,” Whitney says. “We know that medical expenses are going to be a lot, and this is not only a huge blessing, it’s a great way to get our story out.” Through it all, Travis and Whitney’s family, friends, and church family have rallied around them and shown them support. Whitney says that

people have called, texted, sent encouraging word and offered to keep the kids during doctor’s appointments. As the Jackson family faces the unknown, they know

Whitney says. “There has been a supernatural grace to walk this out, and our family and friends have shown us such love and support. I think when we face tough times, the initial shock wakes us up. Although Travis’ condition is serious, we will not let this hold us back. We are determined to live life to the fullest, and maybe our story will

help someone else walking through a valley right now.” Travis needs a kidney blood type O. If you are interested please start here: LivingDonor/prescreen or call 1-800-552-8026.

they have support all around them, and they know who they will trust to see them through. “God is our anchor and our strong tower. I can’t imagine getting through something like this without having faith in God,”

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3900 St. Michael Drive | Texarkana, TX 75503 | 1-430-200-0742 | | February 2018 029

September 30, 2017 Kiefer and I met in 2010 through mutual friends and became inseparable very quickly. Throughout our relationship, we have grown together and supported each other during several events in our lives both good and bad. He is my love and best friend no doubt. Kiefer proposed to me on Christmas Eve of 2016. It was one of the best days of my life! He was adamant that we exchange one small gift amongst the two of us the night before Christmas in our home. Little did I know that "small" gift would be a ring! Our wedding day was perfect and one of the most significant times of our lives. Thank you to all of the vendors, family, and friends who made our special day unforgettable.

Being the first grandchild to get married, it was an honor to have my beloved grandmother, who gained her angel wings January 4th, at our wedding. I’m so thankful she was able to be a part of that special time and those memories and moments captured on camera are very sentimental to me now and always. She will be greatly missed and forever in our hearts. Our wedding day was also extra special to me because it was my wonderful mother’s birthday as well. I felt very happy and blessed she was able to be a part of our big day and that we had the opportunity to celebrate her during one of the most memorable times of my life.

Parents of the Bride: Mark and Christy Foster Parents of the Groom: Lisa Vandegraaf (Mother), Scott and Tonja Peek (Step Mother), Maid of Honor: Cheyenne Foster (sister) Bridesmaids: Chelsea Peek, Emily Peek, and Darcy Peek Best Man: Scott Peek Groomsmen: Bobby West and Austin Aikin Ushers: Nick Delarosa, Anthony Manker Flower Girl: Jaidah Forte Ring Bearer: Kayden Starks Pastor/Officiant: Don Embry Rings: Micah's Jewelers Flowers: Albertsons on Stateline Hair & Make-up: Kelley White

Band: Fabienne Thrash (DJ) Venue: Timeless Traditions Hope, AR Cake: Be the Blessing Bakery Caterer: Sugar and Spice Catering Rentals: Special Events Photographer: Stark ImagesBobbie Starks and Karen Lansdell Videographer: Cornelius CinematicsMatthew Cornelius and Eric Fuller Wedding Invites: Wedding Programs: Lisa Vandegraaf Ceremony Music: Fabienne Thrash (DJ) Wedding Dress: Traditions Bridal and Formal Wedding Jewelry: Dillard's Tuxedos: Traditions Bridal and Formal

#thisjustgotreal 4055 Summerhill Square | 903.792.3354 | | February 2018 031

October 21, 2017 We met through one of my brother’s friends, during the summer of 2015. Michael came to Texarkana for a weekend and the first night they invited my brother, Alex, to come see Max at the movies. Alex asked me to tag along and from that day on Michael and I talked constantly. We fell in love over weekend road trips and new adventures. Then March 10, 2016, Michael planned a date night at the ice-skating rink in Little Rock. I was exhausted and actually didn’t want to go, but Michael convinced me it would be fun! He was right. So, we went and our song, Yours by Russel Dickerson, played over the sound system. Michael grabbed my hand, dropped to one knee, and asked me to spend forever with him. I said yes and the rest is history!

One of the things that made our wedding special was that we included our “fur baby”, Dax, in the wedding as our ring-bearer. That dog is Michael’s second love to me and we couldn’t imagine tying the knot without including him in the big day!

Parents of the Bride: Samantha and Brandon Frederick Parents of the Groom: Angela Jackson and Jeremy Jackson (Step-Dad) and Art Hardage (Dad) Matron of Honor: Hannah Garrett Maid of Honor: Jordan Thomas Bridesmaids: Stephanie Cates Best Man: Caleb McCollett Groomsmen: Bobby West Jimmy Abshure, and Alex Frederick Ushers: Nick Delarosa, Anthony Manker Flower Girl: Jaidah Forte Ring Bearer: Dax Hardage

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Pastor/Officiant: Stephen Dumas Flowers: Albertsons on Stateline Hair: Stylerz Make-up: Leann Hardage, The Bride DJ: Wes Spicher Venue: Blessing Tree Farms Cake: All In Good Taste Caterer: Samantha Frederick and Erin Walker Photographer: Courtney Garrett Photography Videographer: Bryan Jefferies- Fresh Focus Films Wedding Dress: The Bridal Cottage - Sorella Vita Tuxedos: Jos A. Bank

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November 3, 2017 Scotty and I met when he came to Texarkana for Thanksgiving holiday visiting family. What started as me stopping by to say "hi" quickly turned into an instant connection. We bonded over oysters, trivia, and being the only two people tearing up the dance floor. The rest was history!

We loved that the day was truly about celebrating our love with our family and friends that mean the most to us. Everything about the ceremony from the music to the tree ceremony, to the food, were totally “us�.

Parents of the Bride: Stephen and Karen Johnson Parents of the Groom: Margaret Barlow Maid of Honor: Eva Kathryn Johnson Bridesmaids: Keely Johnson, Keaton Cordray, Libby Hedeman, Lulu Martin, Margie Krempein, and Kate Spencer Best Man: Christopher Flynn Groomsmen: Bob Cardamone, Jacob Rhame, Zach Bird, Spencer Johnson, Sam Horn House Party: Jane Vanderburgh Ushers: Worth McMillen and Cayden Johnson Flower Girl: Natalie Debenport Ring Bearer: Ian Whitehouse Pastor/Officiant: Frank Poff

Minister: Andrew Whitehouse Flowers: Sticks and Stones on the Blvd Hair: Lauren Starkey Make-up: Kimberly Rayburn Venue: Garrison Gardens Cake: Julie’s Deli and Market Caterer: Julie’s Deli and Market Rentals: Special Events on the Blvd Photographer: Debbie Brower Photography Videographer: Bryan Jefferies- Fresh Focus Films Wedding Dress: Morilee Gown from Traditions Bridal and Formal Wedding Jewelry: Gray’s Jewelers Tuxedos: Traditions Bridal and Formal


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November 11, 2017

I met Brady when I was an 8th grader and he was a Junior in high school. I had no clue that this meeting would forever change both of our lives. I am so glad it did! We began dating in May of 2012 (can’t remember the exact day) and became engaged in May of 2016. That is a total of 5 years together with 1 year engaged. Brady proposed on May 30, 2016. My family was just getting home from visiting my sister and welcoming my niece home from the hospital. I called and told him we were on our way home and he asked if I wanted to get dinner. I told him that we ate at DFW and he said, “Well, you want me to bring you anything when I come over?” I said a small M&M blast from Sonic would be nice. He told me he would get it and hung up the phone. When I got home, I changed into some comfier clothes and started laundry. He got there and we began watching Inside Out. About halfway through, he looks at me and asks, “On a scale of one to ten, how happy are you right now?” I responded with a hard, “6 (he thinks I said four but...).” A look of surprise came over his face as he asked, “why?” I told him that I was exhausted because we had just finished an extremely busy year at work and I was traveling all day. Then a spark of mischief enters his eyes, “What do I need to do to make it a 10?” I thought he was being silly so I leaned up to begin telling him a long list of things. He grabbed my hand and slid the ring on my finger. “How about that?” he said. I looked down at the ring in disbelief and then back at him, then back down and up. I couldn’t believe that this was happening. “Are you serious?” I asked. He responded with a nod.“ Are you sure?” He again nodded. I pointed to the other part of the house, “Do they know about this?” “Yes, I asked them on Thursday!” I began to cry and stood up. He slid off the couch and got on his knee and said, “Will you marry me?” I nodded and we hugged. Then, we went off to talk to my parents.

Celebrating with all of the special people in our lives. It truly was a perfect day filled with love.

Parents of the Bride: Rita and William Morriss Parents of the Groom: Dow and Susan Wright Matron of Honor: Melanie Tkach Maid of Honor: Sarah Norvell Bridesmaids: Shelby Saulsbury, Laila Al-Dubais, and Rose Kinney Best Man: Mark Wright Groomsmen: Cameron Quinn, Drew Sloan, Taylor Sutton, and Adam Lyons House Party: Susannah Morriss Linnett, Katrina McGinnis, and Beth Formby Ushers: Robert McGinnis, Ben Tkach, Ben McGinnis, and Jonathan Formby Pastor/Officiant: Brad Morgan

Flowers: H & N Floral Hair: Diane Jones- Shear Country Make-up: Gayles Hines Band: Fabienne Thrash (DJ) Venue: Williams’s memorial UMC and Silvermoon On Broad Cake: Julie’s Deli and Market Caterer: Julie’s Deli and Market Photographer: Debbie Brower Photography Wedding Invites: Polka Dot Parties Wedding Programs: Polka Dot Parties Wedding Dress: Lulu’s Bridal - Dallas Wedding Jewelry: Lulu’s Bridal - Dallas Tuxedos: Squires | February 2018 037

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November 4, 2017 We went to neighboring school so we knew each other but never actually met in person. We started talking on Facebook in 2012 and have been going strong ever since! Now we are married!

All of our family and friends were able to make it there and share the day with us. It made all the planning worth it!

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Parents of the Bride: Ronda and Ray Portfield Parents of the Groom: Patricia Smith and the late Wesley Fred Smith Matron of Honor: Emily McCoart Bridesmaids: Lauren Kilboy, Lyndy Raley, Amanda Sorrells, and Chelsea Reeh Best Man: Ben Boze Groomsmen: Michael Blalock, Andrew Alderman, Jonathan Westbrook, and Caleb Smith Ushers: Will Portfield and Caleb Portfield Flower Girls: Evue Smith, Claire Portfield and Bailey Westbrook Ring Bearer: Gavin Portfield Pastor/Officiant: Kendall Hale

Flowers: Bonnie Westbrook Hair & Make-up: Lauren Kilboy and Brooke Elkins Band: DJ Shane Pons Venue: Blessing Tree Farms Cake: Robin Hamnetts Cakes Rentals: Dots Rental, Pursuing Eden, and Front Porch Treasures Photographer: Suns & Roses Photography Videographer: Brani Kirland Films Wedding Invites: Jennifer Hobbs-Esty Wedding Dress: Stella Tork- Happily Ever After Wedding Jewelry: Kendra Scott

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903.614.3007 | February 2018 041

December 16, 2017 Dane and Courtney met in 2009 at Clark Hall at the University of North Texas. Courtney was standing at the front desk and Dane was in the TV room when he heard her Texarkana twangy accent and it sparked his interest. He immediately came over to the front desk just to say, “Hi! I’m Dane Dawson and I think you’re the cutest girl I’ve ever seen.” From that moment on, they were inseparable. Flash forward to March 26, 2017, the anniversary of their first date, they began their day like any other. Dane left for work like normal and Courtney planned on driving to Denton to have brunch with a friend. As they walked through the campus to get to the restaurant, Courtney was convinced to go check out Clark Hall and reminisce on good times. When she walked into the dorm, she was met by Dane, both of their families and all of their friends. Dane got down on one knee and said, “Courtney, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?” and of course, she said “Yes!!!”

The history of marriages in the church was our favorite part. It made our ceremony that much more special. Courtney’s grandparents were married there in 1957, parents in 1987, sister in 2007 and us in 2017. The number 7 is purely coincidence!

Parents of the Bride: Kimberly and Scott Kennedy Parents of the Groom: Terri and Darryl Dawson Matron of Honor: Ashley Warwick Bridesmaids: Caitlin Badarack, April Cisneros, Rebecca Courtney, Will Dawson, Teresa Doyle, Amber Lundstrom, Colleen Spangler and Brittney Wood Best Men: Derek Dawson and Devin Joll Groomsmen: Lance Henry, Matthew Kennedy, Brandon McMillon, Ryan Russell, Joshua Shronce and Clayton Wood House Party: Steven Kennedy Flower Girl: Marielle Dawson and Megan Warwick Ring Bearer: Evan Warwick Pastor/Officiant: Deacon David Fowler Flowers: Ruth’s Flowers Band: Our DJ/Emcee was Marcus Rollins

Venue: Silvermoon on Broad Cake: Julie’s Deli and Market Caterer: Texas Roadhouse Rentals: Horse and carriage send off by Howdy Smith Reining Horses Photographer: Daisy Photo Studio Videographer: Silverbear Creative Wedding Invites: Wedding Programs: Printing with Pizazz Ceremony Music: Chrys Capshaw and Melissa Carson Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige from StarDust Celebrations Wedding Jewelry: I wore my mother’s headpiece and bracelet, veil is by Toni Federi from StarDust Celebrations Tuxedos:

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4038 Summerhill Rd, Texarkana, TX 75503 | (903)793-1570 | February 2018 043

October 7, 2017 They, along with their family and friends celebrated a touching observance, their love for serving one another with a foot washing ceremony! Parents of the Bride: Tim and Eileen Jett Parents of the Groom: Martha Jones and Tim Jones Maid of Honor: Courtney Thomas Maid of Honor: Lauren Jett Bridesmaids: Kaylee Jones, Marisa Pearcy, and Anna Wharry Best Man: Kevin Peyton Groomsmen: Austin Jones, Andrew Jones, Alex Jett, and Jacob Hill Ushers: Seth Thomas and Ben Wharry Pastor/Officiant: Micah Sullivan Soloist: Blair Marsh Flowers: H & N Foral Hair & Make-up: Donna Caver, Stephanie Moldanado DJ: Donnie Hunt

Venue: The Blessing Tree Farm Wedding Coordinator: Lisa Vickers-Best Day Ever Cake: Heather Rose Caterer: Gusanos Chicago Style Pizzeria Rentals: Erica Ramage- Bella Roo Events Photographer: Andrew Mathias Videographer: Bryan Jefferies- Fresh Focus Films Wedding Invites/Programs: Marisa Pearcy Ceremony Music: DJ Donnie Hunt And Soloist Blair Marsh Wedding Dress: Bella Amore and Traditions Tuxedos: Traditions

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November 11, 2017 Christopher and I met November of 2012 working at his uncle's Subway restaurant in New Boston! Before he started working there his uncle would joke around with him and tell him he needed to come meet one of his employes, but Christopher always brushed him off. After he started working there we quickly became friends and after about a year of friendship, we started dating. We were both in school and worked but we made sure to always find time with each other, even if it was just a nap together because we were so exhausted! After two years of dating he asked me to marry him and I couldn't have been any happier to say YES to the man of my dreams!

My favorite part of our wedding was being able to spend it with all of our family and friends in the most beautiful venue! It felt like a fairy-tale!

Parents of the Bride: Cameron Brooks and Linda Bilimek Parents of the Groom: Mark and LouAnn Foster Maid of Honor: Sara Brooks Bridesmaids: Erica Vernon, Kourtney Rodriguez, Nikki Foster, and Taylor Peek  Best Man: Timothy Foster Groomsmen: Matt Smith, Jon Smith, Connor Peek, and Billy Hurst  Ushers: Caleb Taylor, Justin Scrivner, and Alexander Carter Flower Girl: Gracie and Gemma McCord, and Aubree Foster  Ring Bearer: Gabriel McCord Pastor/Officiant: John Michael Bullock

Flowers: Pleasant Grove Florist/Angela and Anita Peek Hair & Make-up: Kenzie Bullock Venue: The Blessing Tree Farm Cake: All In Good Taste Caterer: Larry’s Pizza Rentals: Dots Rental & Sales and Events by Cece Photographer: Kendal Dockery Photography Videographer: Brandi Kirkland Films Wedding Invites: Basic Invites Ceremony Music: Darryl Miller Wedding Dress: Low’s Bridal and Formal Shoppe Wedding Jewelry: Crocker’s Jewelers Tuxedos: Squires Formalwear


Perfect Gift For Your


903.278.4444 . 903.334.9605 | February 2018 049

Thank You For Voting Us Texarkana’s Best Urgent Care!

3515 Richmond Rd - Open 24hours 4701 7th St and 125 Arkansas Blvd 8am-8pm 7 days a week 106 S Loop Hwy 59 Atlanta, TX 8am-8pm 7days a week

Michelle Dunn and Jeff McFarland Michelle - “Micah’s Jewelers helped Jeff design the perfect ring without ruining the surprise. They took several elements from rings Jeff knew I liked and use them to create the ring of my dreams.” Jeff - “I couldn’t have asked for a better experience for such an important purchase. Micah custom designed a ring for Michelle that I knew she would be proud to wear and love forever.” 050 ALT Magazine | February 2018

Meet Mike... Served in Navy, Air Force, Army and Coast Guard- 3 Tours in Vietnam Married, Wife, Kathy, 6 children, 14 grandchildren Former Owner Central Air Conditioning & Plumbing Co., 1978-2014 Served on TexAmericas Board of Directors Member- American Legion, Elks Club and Past Master of Masonic Lodge Bowie County Precinct 4 Member- Vietnam Veterans of America Past President- Texarkana Jaycees, 1978-1979 Reduced tax rate from .473610 to .424322 for county taxes. Past President- Arkansas Heat Pump Association Past President- Texarkana A/C Contractors Association Successfully implemented a program to improve Wake Village City Council - 8 years Precinct 4 roads and to date have overlayed more Past President- Texarkana, Tx Dixie Baseball Association (9 years) than 30 county roads and will continue to move forward with this program. Bowie County Commissioner 2014 to Present

Absentee Voting by mail - January 1 - February 23 Call 903.628.6810 to request application.

Early Voting February 20 -- March 2

Election Day March 6

Political Advertising paid for by Mike Carter For Commissioner, Precinct 4, Jay Wommack, Treasurer

14 years in the military and 40 years as a successful businessman gives me the experience, discipline and leadership to continue moving Bowie County forward.

Dedication of Veterans Wall in New Boston, Texas November 11, 2017

Worked with Commissioners Court and improved financial position of Bowie County to A+ bond rating and $6 million in reserve. Refinanced Highway 82 project bonds, and with improved bond rating, will save Bowie County $9 million.

with your continued support, i will continue to improve our county.


Mike Carter For

Commissioner Precinct 4


Hope Littlejohn and Walton Gamble I chose Micah’s Jewelers because Hope’s family has known Micah and his family forever. We have friends and family that have used Micah’s also, and all had great experiences. Hope told me what she liked and I knew what I wanted to add. I knew I wanted it to be a custom ring. On my first visit to Micah’s I met with Kayla and Micah and told them what I wanted. An oval diamond with a halo on an East to West setting in rose gold and to elevate the diamond like my Mother’s wedding ring. Micah had not made a ring like that before so he was as excited as I was to make Hope the perfect engagement ring. And HE NAILED IT!!! Thanks Micah and Kayla from Walt and Hope | February 2018 051

September 30, 2017 Dane and I met in 2009 at a college baseball game. Our love for the game of baseball brought us to be dear friends. Timing never was quite right for us to ever be more than friends until the Summer of 2013. Dane asked me to go on what would be our official first date. We went to dinner and was to no surprise he took me to catch the last bit of an American Legion baseball game. I think he fell in love that night because I didn’t complain once. Our second date was dinner and a game of “MLB: The Show”. It’s safe to say about 75% of our togetherness revolved around baseball but we both wouldn’t have it any other way. Three years later, Dane proposed to me after winning the American Legion State baseball tournament in Conway, AR. Later on that year they went on to win the American Legion World Series. We wed on September 30, 2017 at Blessing Tree Farm. Our love story has been nothing less than a bottom of the ninth, last at bat, tied game, grandslam kind of feeling.

All of the family and friends that were there to celebrate us. 052 ALT Magazine | February 2018

Parents of the Bride: Ronnie and Carla Alexander Parents of the Groom: Joey and Laura Peavy Matron of Honor: Brooke Davis Maid of Honor: Amanda ward Bridesmaids: Hanna Clements, Dara Sivley, Rachael Godwin, and Madeline Wilbur Best Man: Reid Peavy Groomsmen: Brett Jones, Brian Barr, Bryan Bearden, Brandon Martindale, Benton Cater, Brad Hoover, and Jake Alexander Ushers: Michael Watson, Johnathan Orr, Dusty Griffis, and Carlton Bailey Flower Girls: Raeley Clements and Nora Walters Ring Bearer: Coleman Jones Pastor/Officiant: Bro. Jim Cross Flowers: Cindy White and Jennifer Martin

Hair: Miranda Haywood and Elizabeth McClure with The Fringe Salon Make-up: Krystal Harris Band: Carlton Bailey Venue: The Blessing Tree Farm Cake: Heather Rose with Sweet Rose Bakery Caterer: Katherine Guidry Rentals: DOTs Rental Photographer: Karen Redfearn Wedding Invites: Wedding Programs: Texarkana Digital Press Wedding Dress: The Bridal Cottage Wedding Jewelry: Micah’s Jewelers Tuxedos: Squires

Texarkana Convention Center

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903.255.4664 903.792.1065

2910 S. Cowhorn Creek Loop, Texarkana, Texas 75503 | | February 2018 053

“Faith, Family, & Fariness” Early Voting: February 20th thru March 2nd Election Day: March 6, 2018

Pol.Ad Paid for by Craig Henry in Compliance with the voluntary limits of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act- Mark Addingtion and John Mercy, Treasures

Meet Craig Craig Henry was born in Marshall, Texas and moved to Texarkana when he was six years of age. His mother, Lonnie Jones, was Clerk of the Sixth Judicial Court of Appeals in Texarkana for a number of years. Lonnie left her position at the Court of Appeals to operate The Red Barn Restaurant. Craig's step-father, Clyde Jones operated CJ's Restaurant, farmed soy beans and raised cattle. Craig inherited a strong work ethic from his parents. Craig is married to Lisa Henry, and they are the proud parents of Zane Henry, who is in the 7th grade at Pleasant Grove Middle School. Lisa is employed as a cardiac sonographer with Texarkana Cardiology. The Henry family attends First Baptist Church on Moores Lane. Craig is also active in Boy Scouts Troop 16 where Zane currently holds the rank of Star Scout.

Cassidy Shaw and Chris Birdwell “We’ve known each other since 6th grade, but our love story began October 5th of 2011, which was our junior year in high school. Growing up together I always had a crush on her, we’ve always been best friends, so the thought of being more was a little scary! I finally got the nerve to ask her to be my girlfriend and she said yes. Cassidy was a single mom to a 6 month old baby boy named Kayson. I instantly loved him as if he were my own. As Kayson grew he started calling me “Daddy” and I’ve been his daddy ever since. On December 2nd of 2017 I finally decided to propose. I got the PERFECT ring from Micah’s Jewelers, and decided to do it on the day of our family pictures. I hung lights and pictures of all of the memories we’ve shared over the past 6 years. Kayson held up a sign as she walked up a hill that said “Mommy will you marry Daddy”. She said “YES!” Everything about it was perfect. We have now set the date to be married October 6th and we couldn’t be happier. I couldn’t have done it without the help of Micah’s Jewelers, they really helped me make the perfect ring to propose with! “ 054 ALT Magazine | February 2018

Education • Craig attended public school in Texarkana graduating from Texas High in 1981 • University of Texas, Austin, B.A. in Government - 1986 - Craig worked full time while attending college. • University of Arkansas, School of Law, Fayetteville -1989- Craig worked part time while attending law school. Judicial Experience Frequently appointed Special Judge in the District Courts of Little River and Miller County, Arkansas. Craig volunteers his time to serve those counties.

Professional Experience • Harkness and Friedman • Bryant and Henry • Law Offices of Craig L. Henry Areas of Practice • Complex Business Litigation • Contract Dispute Litigation • Insurance Litigation • Qualified Guardianship Attorney State Bar of Texas • Probate • Divorce and Custody • Criminal Defense

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Kellye McDowell and Jeff McIver “I went to Micah’s to find just the right ring for Kellye. Allison listened to my ideas about what I was looking for and then helped walk me through finding the perfect one that I was looking for. She went out of her way to make sure that I got exactly that I wanted! I got her family involved with the proposal plan, surprising her this past September and our wedding is coming up in April! Thank you to Micah’s for the perfect ring!” | February 2018 055

The new generation of emergency care.

“I love working a Texarkana Emergency Center because of the culture that we have created. We are a big family and we want our patients to feel welcome just the same.”


Lead Patient Registration Clerk I love working at TEC with the best doctors, medics, nurses, and techs around. Working at TEC I am able to give the patient my full attention, providing the best care possible. When you’re taken care of by your employer as we are, it’s easy to care for the patients in the community. I’m so grateful to be a part of the TEC family.”

Sarah RN Centrally located East of Central Mall 4646 Cowhorn Creek Texarkana, TX 75503 903.838.8000



Sign up today! Limited space! We are looking for models for our high school program, grades 10 through 12, and our “tween� program, grades 7 through 9, for the 2018-2019 school year! If you are interested in fun, creative photos, this opportunity is for you! In addition, you will be featured in ALT Magazine and on our website! All of this for only $150/year! More details and sign-up info on our website and FB page! / 903.278.4444 / 903.334.9605 / Award Winning Photography

Fish Tales with Mike Brower

Gonna Fish? After all this extreme cold, I started thinking about some of the colder tournaments I have fished in and a couple stood out because of the sheer stupidity of it all.   Bill Stueart and I were fishing a tournament on Ouachita, and at take off the temperature was 17 and the wind was about 15 mph out of the North East. After a 20 minute run down the lake, we shut down and our conversation went like this:   Bill: You gonna fish? Me: Not now. Bill Why not? Me: Too cold.  

10 minutes later Bill: You gonna fish? Me: Nope    10 more minutes   Me: You gonna fish? Bill: Nope, too cold.   We sat there for almost an hour before we made a cast. We came in 2nd with 17 pounds.    One winter in March, we were fishing a club tournament and the temperature was in the mid 20’s

and snowing lightly. We were in Red Slough and had not seen a boat all morning. I get the boat hung up on a stump at an odd angle and could not get off. I had to strip down and bail off into knee deep, 40 degree water to move the boat around in order to get off the stump, just as two boats came around the bend. Needless to say I was laughed at with little mercy as Bill regaled them in how it happened. E tu, Bill?




058 ALT Magazine | February 2018


OPEN TUES-SAT: 10:00-6:30, SUN: 1:00-5:30

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The Other Half of the Story... The other half of the story After years of saving and investing, you now need different strategies to generate retirement income In an ideal world, when we’re ready to retire, we’d bid our co-workers farewell and do a few laps in a pool of cash (not unlike Scrooge McDuck on his daily money swim). In reality, there’s a little more planning involved to ensure that your cash flow doesn’t end at the same time your paycheck does. A financial advisor who specializes in retirement can help you create and manage your income when it comes time to draw down the funds you’ve been saving your entire working life. You’ll want to start this process several years before you deposit your last paycheck, so that you’ll feel confident your retirement income will last for decades (some estimates suggest your retirement could last 20 to 30 years, given longer life expectancies and a greater emphasis on healthy living). That means you’ll need to structure your income in a way that will more than cover decades of housing, food, healthcare costs, gifts for the grandkids, entertainment, transportation, haircuts and Wi-Fi service, among other things.

sources, like: 1. Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) 2. 401(k)s 3. Pensions 4. Other personal savings 5. Income-producing investments, such as bonds that provide fixed income, dividend-yielding equities, real estate and annuities Even if you have more than enough saved to take care of your family’s needs, that doesn’t mean you should stuff all your cash into a mattress. It may be smarter to take out only what you need, when you need it, as part of a systemic withdrawal strategy, thus allowing the rest to continue working for you. If you have more assets than you can use in your lifetime, your heirs and other beneficiaries (say, a favorite charitable organization) will benefit from your strategic planning.

Creating a strategy that works for you Part of that planning is developing a financial and retirement income plan that works for you. You’ll likely need to rely on a combination of savings, fixed income and equity investments to provide a predictable current and future income stream. Replacing your paycheck The fixed income part of your portfolio can create a Creating a steady income stream in retirement is solid foundation for the post-employment phase of a little different than receiving a salary every two your life, while also offering an acceptable amount weeks. There’s no one major source of cash. It’s a of risk, stable returns, predictable cash flow and combination of various sources that sustains this possible tax advantages. A financial plan that stage of your life, including pensions, annuities, includes individual bonds and other fixed income Social Security benefits, dividend-paying stocks, products can help provide a level of confidence as interest-yielding bonds and employer-sponsored you draw on earnings generated by your lifetime retirement accounts, just to name a few. A savings. An advisor with fixed income expertise can knowledgeable advisor can help you consolidate determine which products and structures (short/ these disparate streams into a cash flow that makes long barbell investments, laddered bond portfolios, sense for your desired lifestyle and long-term goals. laddered CDs) make the most sense for you and your family and help you monitor and adjust your The first step is identifying the sources of income allocations as your needs continue to evolve. you can count on, then talking with your financial advisor to determine how much of your retirement Although fixed income can provide sustainable needs will be covered by those more reliable income, a more diversified approach may include income sources (for example, the Social Security dividend-paying equities to provide income and a payments mentioned above). Any assets left component of potential capital appreciation. Simply over will then be available to pay for your wants. put, your portfolio needs to keep growing to sustain However, if you need more income to cover the withdrawals from the first day of your retirement basics, you’ll likely need to tap into additional until the last. 060 ALT Magazine | February 2018

Financial planning in or near retirement isn’t that different from any other time in your life. You’ll still need to plan for your short- and long-term goals and monitor your plan regularly to ensure you’re on track to achieve them. The main difference is how you manage the various income streams to create a steady flow of income to cover your expenses when you’re no longer working full time. The good news is your financial and tax advisors can help you structure yours in a way to maximize your current and future cash flow, while minimizing taxes. And, they can help you implement a systematic strategy to give your money the best chance of lasting as long as you need it. As featured in WORTHWHILE, a quarterly periodical dedicated to serving the clients of Raymond James advisors and affiliated advisory firms. Diversification does not guarantee a profit nor protect against loss. Dividends are not guaranteed and will fluctuate. Bonds are subject to risks including credit risks and interest rate risks and if sold prior to maturity, you may receive more or less than your initial investment. ©2014 Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC ©2014 Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC Investment products are: not deposits, not FDIC/NCUA insured, not insured by any government agency, not bank guaranteed, subject to risk and may lose value. 14-FA-WW-0177 CW 5/14

Texarkana, Atlanta, & Surrounding Areas Birthdays Graduation New Baby Thank You School Event

Sports Party Sports Events Open House Marketing Anniversary

Back to School Holidays Wedding Shower Welcome Home Homecoming

ys a There’s alwleabrate! reason to ceelp you we can h say it...

Engagement Good Luck Get Well Prom Congrats


Like us on Facebook @signgypsiesarklatex 903-392-9935 | Clyde and Beckie Lewis

Tasty Donuts Donut • Croissant • Kolache • Fruit Sticks • Burrito Biscuit • Muffin • Coffee

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870.773.4072 | February 2018 061

Pinnacle Creative LLC 101 Slaton Dr Nash, TX 75569 Phone: 903.334.9605 E-mail: Web :

Marketing and Pubic Relations



If you are looking for the top professionals in the marketing world, we pride ourselves on providing outstanding service, exceptional creativity and strategy-driven marketing programs. We have decades of industry expertise in website design, integrated marketing, graphic design, photography, video, event production and promotion. Our goal is to grow your business by producing extraordinary creative campaigns that tell your brand story.

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Fur Ball



LOCAL HOT SPOTS We’re sharing your stories! Anything and everything from local events around town to what you’re sharing on Facebook. We would love to hear from you.

Women for A&M Holiday Social 2017

Dr. Emily Cutrer and Pasty Morriss

Joyce Mitchell, Dee Reece, and Chris Terry

Junie Young and Diane Green

LeAnne Wright and Kerry Ribble

Lekia Bella Jones, Fuqua,Jenn Whitney Lockman, Fuqua,and Clara SueAyres Beck

Michelle Shores and Bettie Hastings

Nancy King Claudia Snow and Sue Beck

Diana Davis, Judith White and Annette Quinnelly

Patsy Morriss and Michala Terrell

Ruth Ellen Whitt and Martha Morriss

Sara Weber, Martha Prieskon, Missy White and Mindy Day

Sherry Hawkins, Charlotte Potter, Becy Stuart, and Cammille McGinnis

Susan Nawrocki and Beverly Carter 064 ALT Magazine | February 2018

Dianne Roy, Trish Reed, and LAcey McMillan

Planet Fitness November 2017

2018 Annual Celebration- Winter Wonderland

Jennifer Felyes, JoAnna Rice, and Brittany Brookes

Cary and Suzanne Rochelle

Kwana Easter and Warren Smith

Bryan Hughes, Jackie and Mayor Bob Bruggeman

Kayla Wood and Marianne Hawkins

Lacretia and Dean Barry

Neika Shavers and Dr. Brian Matthews

Jennifer Stayhorn, Cindy Malone, and Terri Peavy

Richard and Heather Krow | February 2018 065

What's on the AGENDA?

FEBRUARY 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

February 9-11 and 16-18

TexRep presents: Peter and the Star Catcher (a prequel story of Peter Pan) February 9,10,16, & 17 at 7:30 pm February 11 & 18 at 2 pm Texarkana College's Stilwell Theatre. Tickets available online at

Saturday, February 17

Wednesday, February14

Saturday, February 10

Organ Transplant Awareness 5K/10K & Family Stroll 9 am CHRISTUS St. Michael Health & Fitness Center 2223 Galleria Oaks Dr. Texarkana, TX 75503 Both races will be CHIP timed All proceeds go to the Stinson Organ Transplant Awareness and Support Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization formed to educate and increase awareness for the need for individuals to register as organ donors and provide financial aid for those currently awaiting organ transplant and/or immediately post-transplant. An opportunity to register as an organ donor will be provided at the race. $35 runners / $10 walkers For questions please contact Susie Stinson 903319-6537 Online Registration:

Saturday, February 10

ROYAL PALACE PARTY: Girls and Boys alike can enjoy a Royal Makeover into the Princess or Knight of their choice. Professional Makeup Artists, Photographs, Games, Tea Party and Prizes in our very own Royal Palace Contest! Come to Win. Stay to Play. Discovery Place Interactive Museum 2 to 3 pm 215 Pine Street Texarkana TX 75501 903-793-4831

066 ALT Magazine | February 2018

Victorian Children's Workshop: Victorian games, peg dolls, paper dolls and Victorian hats. All manners of fun from the Victorian Age and the history behind them will be the theme for your children this Saturday. 11:30 am to 12:30 pm Ace of Clubs House 420 Pine Street Texarkana TX 75501 903-793-4831

Saturday, February 24

Saturday, February 17

Kids Run the Line Too - 1 mile run/walk 4 pm Christus St Michael Fitness Center Kids aged 5-12 Entry Fee $15 Sign up at

Saturday, February 17

VALENTINE BUNNY CRAFTS: Spend an afternoon making your loved one a cute Valentine Bunny to show how your love is HOPPING! Come to Craft. Stay to Play. Discovery Place Interactive Museum 2 to 3 pm 215 Pine Street Texarkana TX 75501 903-793-4831


KINETIC SAND: Add a little beach play to a cold wintry day and come learn what makes Kinetic Sand different from beach sand? Come for the Science. Stay to Play. 2 to 3 pm Discovery Place Interactive Museum 215 Pine Street Texarkana TX 75501 903-793-4831

Saturday, February 24

Novelist Workshop: Bring your imagination and writing skills and join us as we learn how to create great characters and develop a plot. We'll help you work towards the first 20 pages of your novel from beginning through editing. 10 am to 12 pm P. J. Ahern Home 403 Laurel Street Texarkana AR 71854 903-793-4831

March 3rd through March 31st

The Texarkana Museums System celebrates Women's History Month by exploring the impact women have had on our community. See for more details and specific events.

2018 Bridal Fair | February 2018 067

Local Rescues

Adopt, Don’t Shop! ARKLATEX COCKER SPANIEL RESCUE ArklatexCockerSpanielRescue ARTEX ANIMAL WELFARE, INC. (mostly horses) 903.824.1990



Boxer Rescue of Texarkana Texarkana Animal League


Kitties Pad Rescue


Passion For Pooches


Queenie - Arklatex Cocker Spaniel Rescue


Texarkana Humane Society


Muttley Crew


Poodle Patch Rescue Inc.





The Animal Care & Adoption Center of Texarkana, Arkansas is located at 203 Harrison, Texarkana, AR, 71854. For more information, call 870.773.6388, or visit: www. or AdoptionTXK.


Please note, all dogs adopted from this shelter MUST be spayed or neutered. Spays cost $89-$104, neuters are $76-$92 depending on the weight of the dog.








068 ALT Magazine | February 2018


We also have SPONSORED dogs and cats! This means someone has already paid for their vetting! Come see who’s waiting! We are always in need of caring, capable volunteers to assist in with duties at the center, adoption events, fund-raising activities and more.

WE’RE OPEN! M-F 11A-5P & SAT 11A-2P

I’ll Be Your Valentine This Year! SPAY



5820 Richmond Rd. | Texarkana, TX 75503 | (877) 525-4825 | Fax: (870) 330-0057 | February 2018 069 |





OPEN TUES-SAT: 10:00-6:30, SUN: 1:00-5:30

9 03 . 33 6 . 61 3 9 925 Brower Lane, Texarkana, TX 75501 www.legendar 070 ALT Magazine | February 2018


4 Playing Fields Fully Netted & Insured Gun Speed Tested Experienced Refs Shaded Picnic Area Private Parties Available

Start your life in a NEW HOME this year!

Bill Spradlin Realtor 903-748-3186

Tracy Spradlin Broker 903-748-2477

Jan Williams Realtor 903-277-5771

Stephanie Maddox Realtor 903-701-1341

1356 N. Kings Hwy. | Nash, TX 75569 | 903.223.0710 | |

February 2018  

The Month of February 2018 Magazine

February 2018  

The Month of February 2018 Magazine