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The Thanksgiving Issue


Note from the President

president: Stephanie Oliver general manager: Kim Iribarren business development: Briana Harkness managing editor: Beth Johnson staff writer: Cami Rhome event photography: Lisa Crow layout and design: Macy Haffey ad design: Samantha Miller contributors: Melissa & Tiffani Jessica Tinsley Bridges Claire Brody Emily Courtney Majal Minguez Angie Nichols Corey Pigg Melissa Radke Joel Redus

photo by Stephanie Davis


hhhhh, the month of November, so crisp, cool, refreshing, and beautiful. If only I could bottle it up and let it out in spurts during the year. The fall is absolutely breathtaking, yet it's so rushed! The leaves fall off too quickly. The coolness turns to freezing too quickly. Fall turns into winter and Christmas way too soon. It's the one time of year I wish I could press pause to be able to enjoy the days a little more. Thankfully, this issue is jam packed with everything that makes fall great. It's the perfect issue to read while sipping on your warm coffee or maybe even cuddled up by a camp fire. There are a lot of great things, and we hope you enjoy this issue. As I hope you know, "I thank my God always for you." 1 Corinthians 1:4 STEPHANIE OLIVER




10 Home Tour | photo by Lisa Crow
















ON THE COVER: model: Whitney Lowery | photo by Jenni Blackledge


Mailing: PO Box 150537 | Lufkin, Texas 75915 Physical: 115 E. Shepherd | Lufkin, Texas 75901 936-634-7188 |

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in East Texas 10 HOME TOUR | 12 BURLAP & BESTIES | 14 LIFE & DESIGN | 18 {DIY} | 22 HOMEGROWN


home the Beard's


his gorgeous French Country home overlooks the beautiful golf course and lake in a gated community. The nearly 5,000 square feet home boasts a rustic, glam style throughout the five bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths. The gourmet kitchen has a vent hood custom designed by the home owners. Other beautiful aspects of the home are stained concrete floors, wood beams, an over sized walk in closet, and an outdoor kitchen.

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photography by Lisa Crow

HOME : Home

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The Beard's Home /// Continued

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written by Melissa & Tiffani

HOME : Burlap & Besties



hhhh, fall is finally here! It’s time for cool, crisp mornings, football, scarves, boots and all things pumpkin spice!! It also means it’s time to get out your fall decor and that always gets us excited!!


Fall decor can be a great, subtle addition to your home this season! It doesn’t have to be anything over the top. You can paint pumpkins to match your home as well as add details that tie into your other decor. This vignette is in the dining room and the doily on the pumpkin ties in the doily table runner!

• painter’s tape and plastic bag

Supplies: • feathers • jute • hot glue • gold spray paint 1 1. Place your painter’s tape on the feathers that you want to

paint and cover the top half of the feathers with a plastic bag.

2. Spray paint the tips of your feathers and let dry. 2 3. Use your hot glue gun to attach your feathers to your jute. 3 4. Let it dry and hang up your banner! 4

Melissa is a housewife who loves her husband and son, Ben and Ty, more than anything else on earth. In a previous life, she was a CPA. Her passion for serving Jesus took her and Ben to Africa for two years where, among other things, she learned she can never pack too many crafting supplies. If you want to see a happy girl, give Melissa an old piece of furniture and a paintbrush then stand back and watch the magic happen. 

Tiffani Brantner is a part-time nurse and student, a constant crafter, party-thrower, "ideacomer-upper", and a richly rewarded wife and mother to Jeff and Cullen. Call her to come and get your old junk, she LOVES it! She'll turn it into something beautiful, create a theme, throw a party around it, and invite you as the guest of honor. You can reach Tiffani day or night at

PARTY TIP: This one is for all the kiddos at your fall gatherings! Do an online search for “Hedgehog Coloring Page”. Find your favorite one and print it out. Then let the kids go out and pick out leaves and glue them on for the body!


We love decorating with things you may not normally consider. Here we took a pallet and cut it in half to fit our porch. We painted “harvest time” on it and filled it with corn stalks. An old milk jug is being used as a vase for some floral sprigs we scored at an estate sale. I got some craft pumpkins on sale from Target last year and used a paint marker to write our initial on the front. These pumpkins can be stored and used each year! This helps create a nice fall welcome to any guests we have dropping by this season.

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written by Claire Brody

HOME : Life

& Design


Leather Furniture Hello. I’m Claire, an interior stylist living in Austin, TX with my husband, Parker. I’m the blogger and business owner behind Claire Brody Designs. I specialize in providing unique and one of a kind spaces on an affordable budget.


eather furniture was predicted as a top trend for 2015, and it has certainly made its mark. While it was named a trend, leather is timeless and will always be relevant.  It’s now showing up in a modern way, and I have rounded up some of my favorite modern leather pieces for the home.

Leather Sofa West Elm $2,299

Leather Director’s Bench CB2 $449

Leather Pouf CB2 $199

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Metal Frame Leather Chair West Elm $1199

Leather Sling Side Table CB2 $249

Baron Kick-Off Party

photography by Lisa Crow


Interested in purchasing a photo you see? Visit!

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written by Majal Minguez




f you’re a busy mom like me who majors in multi-tasking, going to a spa for some pampering is the last thing on my list. Besides, after finding out that an all-over body scrub in a nice spa costs a fortune and is most probably laden with questionable chemicals, the sound of a homemade body scrub out of ingredients that are already in your kitchen, seems to be more and more appealing. No, don’t even think of buying an expensive sugar scrub from your nearby department store … because these luxurious mixtures cost a few dollars or maybe even pennies to make. So whether this is your first DIY beauty product or you’re a veteran beauty naturalist, I highly encourage you to try and make this for yourself. Health and beauty advocates recommend that we scrub or exfoliate 1-2 times a week. A 25 year old person has an average of 14 layers of dead skin, and a 50-60 year old has an average of 40 layers. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells, dirt and excess oils from your skin. It is one of the most effective anti-aging beauty secrets and it will give you that gorgeous and youthful glow. Sugar may have a bad reputation in sweets, but it is an amazing ingredient in beauty products. It’s a natural humectant which means it draws moisture and hydrates your skin. It is also a natural source of glycolic acid which breaks down the “glue” that bonds dead skin cell layers. Because sugar granules are so minute, it makes a perfect exfoliant and it melts easily when you rinse in warm water, so it will not clog your drain. There are so many versions of homemade sugar scrubs out there, but since it is fall season, I can’t help but share with you this wonderful Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub recipe. This only takes a few minutes to make, and by just whipping up these few ingredients, you are able to give yourself a home spa experience that will reveal a softer, smoother and healthier skin. Pamper yourself !!!

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Pumpkin Spice Hand and Body Sugar Scrub • 1 cup brown sugar (organic preferred)

Join our dynamic and fast-growing group of oil users. This fun and educational workshop will discuss the basics of essential oils and the many uses of the 10 most commonly used oils. Each participant will Make and Take an 8 oz. household cleaner, 8 oz. foaming hand soap and a 4 oz. air freshener spray. All supplies provided.

• 1 cup white sugar (organic preferred) • 1/3 cup Olive oil • 1 tsp Pumpkin Spice (or a mix of nutmeg and allspice) • 10 drops Young Living Lavender or Palmarosa essential oil Mix all ingredients in a Ziploc bag, except for essential oil. Knead the mixture until well blended. Place sugar scrub in a glass jar with a wide mouth. Add 10 drops of Lavender or Palmarosa essential oil, and use a fork to mix the oil with the rest of the ingredients. In the shower, scrub your skin with 2 tbsp. (or as needed) of sugar scrub mixture. Scrubbing should be done gently with fingertips in a circular motion. Rinse with warm water.


This Bible study on the Healing Oils of the Bible is so popular that I’ll be offering it twice. Each participant will make roll ons and sprays using essential oil blends containing some of the Biblical oils. These products will be valuable to help prepare ourselves for the Christmas Season. All workshops are held at the Oil Drops DIY Shop at 911 Ellis Ave in Lufkin. Contact Majal at 936.634.4282 or whollymerry@ for more info.

TIPS: • When exfoliating in the shower, the floor may get slick from the oil – so use caution. • Don’t scrub too hard, it may cause redness or blotchiness especially if you have sensitive skin. • You can use other essential oils that are nourishing for the skin … Geranium, Jasmine, Ylang ylang, Frankincense and Myrrh are great choices. • Make another batch and place it in your kitchen sink for a hand scrub. • Interested in more sugar scrub recipes? Email me to get your free copy!

Majal Minguez and her family live in Lufkin. Her youngest son in on the Autism Spectrum. In their journey to recover him from Autism, the family has learned that detoxifying his body and their house are major pieces of the puzzle to Autism Recover. For more information, please follow me on Facebook at “WhollyMerry Majal Minguez” or email me at

Baron Gala 2015

photography by Lisa Crow


Interested in purchasing a photo you see? Visit!

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written by Joel Redus

HOME : Homegrown

How to Sell Homemade Treats: Understanding the Texas Cottage Food Law

Do you make cookies, bread, jam, pickles or other non-refrigerated treats so delicious that friends and family often suggest, “You should sell this stuff,” but you are wary of confusing regulations, expensive permits, and red tape? If so, you will want to get familiar the Texas Cottage Food Law, which makes it easier than ever before to legally sell certain homemade goods.

TEXAS COTTAGE FOOD LAW BASICS Texas Cottage Food Law allows the sale of foods that are prepared in residential homes as long as gross sales do not exceed $50,000 annually. This type of business is not regulated by a local or state health department, which means that your kitchen will not be inspected by a health inspector (unless there is concern about the public’s health). A number of foods that are not considered “potentially hazardous” are allowed to be sold under the law, but must be properly labeled. Labels should include the name and address of the operation, the name of the product, possible allergens that are in the food, and a statement saying the food was not prepared in a kitchen that is inspected by the Department of State Health Services or a local health department. The amended law also requires that anyone who operates a cottage food business have a food handler’s card. Individuals interested in receiving their food handler card can do so online at

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ALLOWED FOODS • Baked items that do not require refrigeration (breads, rolls, biscuits, sweet breads, muffins, pastries, cookies, cakes, fruit pies) • Candy • Coated and uncoated nuts • Unroasted nut butters • Fruit butters • Canned jams and jellies (but NOT canned fruits, vegetables, or salsas) • Dehydrated fruits and vegetables, including dried beans • Popcorn and popcorn snacks • Cereal (granola) • Dry mixes • Vinegar • Pickles (cucumbers only) • Mustard • Roasted coffee or tea • Dried herbs/herb mixes

SELLING YOUR FOODS Foods can be sold at the individual’s home, a farmers’ market, a farm stand, or at municipal, county, and non-profit events. Foods can also be delivered to the customer where the sale can then take place. Foods cannot be sold over the internet, by mail order, or at wholesale.

USE SAFE FOOD HANDLING PRACTICES WHEN PREPARING YOUR COTTAGE FOODS Each year, nearly 1 in 6 people become sick from the foodborne illness. Reduce the risk of foodborne illness by: • Practicing good personal hygiene • Preventing germs from spreading from one surface or food to another (cross contamination) • Cooking food to a proper temperature • Storing food properly If you are making shelf stable food products (e.g. jams, jellies, and pickles), be sure to use tested recipes and process them correctly in a boiling water bath canner.

GET STARTED WITH YOUR OWN COTTAGE FOOD BUSINESS! The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is pleased to present “Cooking up a Cottage Food Business” on Monday, November 16th at 6:30 pm at the Angelina County Office in Lufkin. Julie Prouse, Food Protection Management Extension Assistant, will provide an overview of the Cottage Food Law and answer any questions pertaining to selling homemade goods in Texas. Cost is $10 at the door and no advance registration is required. For more information about the Cottage Food Law or the upcoming seminar, contact or 936-634-6414.

Joel Redus is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and County Extension Agent for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Angelina County.


photography by Lisa Crow


Interested in purchasing a photo you see? Visit!

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St. Cyprian's students Ridge McDonald , Jeremei Pleasant & Krystal Varghese at their school pumpkin patch. photo by Jenni Blackledge

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the Date




December 1, 2 and 3rd at Angelina College Cafeteria. Tickets may be purchased at the door.

November 23-Jan 3. Free of Charge.

Nov 21 5pm. Lufkin Mall



Dec 4-5. George H. Henderson Expo Center. 5pm- 9pm. Donations accepted at the door.

December 10. 11am, 1pm, 7pm. The daytime performances are open to schools and day cares to attend. For reservations and ticket information call 637-3547.

CASA CHRISTMAS HOME TOUR The tour will be held Thursday December 3rd from 2:30pm to 8pm. Tickets are $15. Available at CASA office, The Very Thing, and Merle Norman.

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Ties & Tiaras

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© 2015 Pandora Jewelry, LLC • All rights reserved • PANDORA.NET


2002 S. FIRST STREET LUFKIN, TEXAS 75901• 936.637.2848


the News


s any parent knows, balancing a career and spending time with family can be a difficult task. So many parents have found unique ways to achieve their career goals, while managing family and personal time. Whitney Husband, a single mother and driven businesswoman from Huntington, TX, found a way to provide for her family, pursue her dreams, and take care of her 3 year old son, Ayden, through a networkmarketing business – Younique.

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Younique is a makeup and skin care company with a beautiful mission – to uplift, empower, and validate women around the world. This company was created not only to make women feel beautiful, but also as a resource for any woman who needs an avenue to provide for her family. Anyone can join as an individual business entity by purchasing the $99 business kit and beginning to advertise and sell the products themselves. When Whitney bought her starter kit 2 years ago, she was desperate to find a job that could adequately provide for her family, while utilizing her talents in business. “I graduated from SFA with a business degree when I was 5 months pregnant. After graduation, I could not find any jobs that paid enough to cover day care, clothes, gas, and everything else we needed. My family agreed to help me while I stayed at home with my son, but I had dreams. I wanted to be successful. I saw Younique on Facebook one night, so I found someone successful in the business to tell me about it. I talked to a woman selling Younique for 3 hours one night and signed up immediately after without knowing much about how network-marketing worked. Before my starter kit even arrived in the mail, I had made all my money back!” After working in the company for 4 months, Whitney had already earned the top rank in the company and earned a $10,000 bonus. Now, Whitney travels for work often, telling people about her products and seeking out opportunities to learn more about being a successful businesswoman. “Working for someone else is never an option for me. It’s not something I even need. Besides travelling for corporate events, I started traveling for my own personal development. In this business and in life, creating the right mind set and constantly growing is so important. Most people go to school to get a job, but this helps you learn and grow continuously.” Not only does Whitney enjoy these opportunities for personal growth, but she has also been able to use her own experience to help other women. Whitney had a friend from college who was unhappy and restless working in corporate America, so Whitney told her about Younique.

“My friend had never heard of Younique until I told her about it, and she signed up using me as her sponsor. I had already experienced great success in Younique, and just a few months after I reached the top, she reached the top of the company too! She was someone who needed it, who worked hard for it, and I helped! I’ve sponsored over 200 people in the company, and a huge amount of those people are top leaders now. There are a tremendous amount of women making a full-time income, while others make a good part-time wage, or enjoy Younique as hobbyists.” To other women wanting to follow a path similar to Whitney’s, she gives these words of wisdom: “First, find something you are passionate about – a person, a product, or a business. Take it seriously, treat it like a business. Be completely honest with people about your business and your product. Put others first – no matter what path you’re on, because if you help others succeed, you will succeed.”

If you would like to contact Whitney to buy Younique products, or learn more about the business, you can find her on Facebook, or visit her website

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Home 1: Gayle & Jesse Brooks 432 S. FM 706 Lufkin, TX 75915

Home 2: Annie Schroeder & Russell Allen 462 Jefferson Avenue Lufkin, TX 75904




his 17 year tradition is often what kicks off the holiday season for so many people. The funds from this fundraiser go to help serve abused and neglected children with a CASA advocate. Next year marks CASA of the Pines 20th year to be able to help foster children.These children are, without a doubt, some of the most needy individuals in our society, and it is our responsibility as a community to help these children.

Thursday December 3rd from 2:30pm to 8pm. Tickets are $15 and sponsorships are also available. Home 3: Jennifer & Rob McCarroll 1213 Wildbriar Drive Lufkin, TX 75904

Home 4: Christi & Brian Melancon 104 Whitehouse Oaks Lufkin, TX 75901

CASA Home Tour tickets can be purchased at CASA, The Very Thing, and Merle Norman.

Home 5: Susan & Jeff Belasco 478 Bourrous Drive Lufkin, TX 75901



ilk is in short supply among America’s food banks – it is desperately needed, but seldom donated. On average, food bank clients get 1 gallon of milk per person, per year. Yes, you read that correctly. One gallon per person, per year. That doesn’t bode well for the children in our communities who need milk’s vital nutrients for healthy growth. Local grocery store Brookshire Brothers is helping to change that statistic. In September of 2015, Brookshire Brothers partnered with The Great American Milk Drive campaign to help bring awareness to the growing epidemic of food insecurity within the community. By giving shoppers an opportunity to donate to the campaign at check out, Brookshire Brothers and their customers

have currently raised over $21,000 for local families who will benefit directly from The Great American Milk Drive. “The money raised here stays here,” says Kim Ogden, Brookshire Brothers representative. “Funds generated at our Brookshire Brothers stores will be given to the East Texas Food Bank where they will be distributed to those most in need. This is truly a campaign of neighbors helping neighbors.

Donations to The Great American Milk Drive can be made now through December 1st, 2015 at area Brookshire Brothers stores.

COMMUNITY : Leadership

Mary Ann Whiteker –


Superintendent of the Year

ary Ann Whiteker has been Superintendent of Hudson ISD for 21 years. After so many years of dedicated service to the children, parents, faculty, and staff of Hudson ISD, she was awarded the honor of Texas Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards.  Whiteker received a Bachelor of Science in Education from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1973 with a focus in elementary education, music and early childhood. She went on to earn a Masters of Education through over 60 post graduate hours in administration. Whiteker began her professional

career in 1973 as a 1st grade teacher in a neighboring school district, Corrigan-Camden ISD. As Superintendent, Whiteker has been actively involved in the Texas Association of School Administrators, serving on the Executive Board and Legislative Chair for 2 years. Her impressive list of organization involvement includes being past president of the Texas Association of Midsize Schools and the Texas Association of Community Schools. She also has served as a board member of the Chamber of Commerce, Coalition for a Better Community, Drug Free Communities & School Task Force, the Area P-16 Council, and much more.

Of receiving this high honor, Mary Ann Whiteker states, “I am extremely honored to be selected as the 2015 Superintendent of the Year.  There are so many great educational leaders in Texas, it is an humbling experience to be chosen among so many dedicated leaders.  Thank you to the Hudson ISD Board of Trustees for nominating me for this honor.” Mary Ann is married to Jerry Whiteker, and she has 2 children, 2 step-children, and 4 grandchildren. While she isn’t working hard for her ISD and community, Whiteker loves to cook and learn to play golf.

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COMMUNITY : Spotlight




eing the only Christian school in Angelina County to offer K-12th, Crimson Christian Academy (CCA) relies heavily on community support, financial assistance, and fundraising efforts. On September 29th, the school hosted its second annual Crimson and Camo dinner and auction fundraiser. CCA is a non-profit, non-denominational Christian school with accreditations from both Association of Christian Teachers (ACTS) as well as AdvancedEd. With the success of  Crimson and Camo and other fundraisers, they are able to cover expenses beyond tuition along with reaching their goals:  keeping tuition low for families’ affordability, growing their course offerings/programs to build enrollment, and building their own facilities. With 300 in attendance, the night was full of entertainment and a great success with the help of Master of Ceremonies Mike Mathis and auctioneer Kent Krank. Those who came enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by Marc and Jenn Miranda. CCA was able to raise over $70,000 thanks to all those who sold raffle tickets, donors, and the volunteers who rolled up their sleeves and worked. There were many exciting events that evening. • Linda Beth Wisener’s banana pudding was the highest going dessert selling for $800.  • Kadie Beth Wisener's strawberry cake went for $700. • Skylor Davis won a Ted Nugent signed guitar. • Attendees left with great items: hunting trip from Scotland Red Stag Hunt, bear or lion hunt in New Mexico, fishing at the coast, quail hunting in New Mexico, and a thermal imaging hog hunt.   • 10 blessed individuals won guns from the highly anticipated gun raffle.  As it is written in Romans 1:19-20 “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” If you would like information about Crimson Christian Academy, please call 936-639-1222 or email

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Model: Rachael Meyer Hair Styled by: Rob Fisher Makeup by: Ashley Conlon Rose Gold Sequin Mini Dress with Scoop Back $70 /// Oxblood Cardigan $60 Clothing available at Bella Salon and Boutique in Downtown Lufkin.

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LIFE : Fashion Models: Krystin Massingill & Rachael Meyer Hair Styled by: Rob Fisher Makeup by: Ashley Conlon Burgundy Long Sleeved A-line Dress $45 /// 2 Layer Navy Top $48 /// Green and Navy Plaid High-low Skirt $42 Clothing available at Bella Salon and Boutique in Downtown Lufkin.


photograph by Oh Sugar Photography by Kylie White

LIFE : Family


isters and Lufkin residents Lacey Luce and Leeanne Haglund are combining their love for family and celebration into a new business – Pineywoods Storks! Both wives and mothers, Lacey and Leeanne understand the importance of savoring all the big moments in life. And what could be more fun than celebrating a brand new baby! In Lacey and Leeanne’s business, clients can rent 6 foot storks to be placed in their yards to commemorate baby showers or a new baby’s arrival home. The idea for Pineywoods Storks partly originated from the sisters’ own family traditions.

“Coming from a large family, we have always decorated each other’s yards for the delivery and arrival home of a new baby. We got information of the 6 foot storks from our sister who started a stork business in Fort Worth, and we

thought that was just what Lufkin needed. Bringing a baby home from the hospital is such a special experience for families and we wanted to be a part of that and help make the first days at home an even more exciting time.” The storks can be ordered for parents and grandparents on any baby occasion – even gender reveal parties! Lacey and Leeanne have created a simple ordering process that takes away all of the hassle for the families. “Ordering a stork couldn’t be easier! If you are reserving for a scheduled event, we can put you on the books whenever you have a set date. If the stork order is for a delivery, you can contact

us via email or phone the day the baby arrives - the sooner the better! Upon payment, we will customize, deliver, and set up the stork by the time you arrive home from the hospital. You do not have to worry about a single thing with the stork!” Make sure to submit the baby’s first and middle name, weight, length and birthdate along with the order, and Lacey and Leeanne will take care of the rest! After the rental period is over (7 or 14 days) Pineywoods Storks will pick up the stork and leave a personalized bundle on your front step. So far Lacey and Leeanne’s business has been well received by our community!

If you would like to order a stork for the arrival of a sweet little one, you can visit for more information.  

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written by Angie Nichols

LIFE : Something

A TIME TO GIVE THANKS “Best of all is it to preserve everything in a pure, still heart, and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving, and for every breath a song.” --Konrad von Gesner


y only child, Mycah spent a week in a small hospital room on the tenth floor of Children’s Medical Center in Dallas when she was four years old. It took that long for a team of oncologists to determine the reason for her high fever and low blood counts, and then initiate the two and a half year treatment plan to eradicate her bone marrow of blood cancer. She was diagnosed in the fall of the year. The holidays were just around the corner. I remember looking out a wall of windows in a hallway of the tenth floor, watching as people in cars, buses, airplanes, and even on foot moved about freely in a normal day for them, but one that served as the beginning of a hellish prison term for me. In the months and years to follow, my husband, daughter and I drove to that hospital on a regular schedule. We saw the hospital transform in every season. The vast entrance decorated in pumpkins in the fall, Christmas lights in the winter, flowers in the spring, and sunshine and butterflies in the summer. As a child of God, I was familiar with the famous Biblical teaching, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) Yet God chose the specific season of my daughter’s cancer to teach me how to grow up to a bride of Christ. While there is a time and season for every purpose under heaven, a bride must learn to be thankful in all such circumstances. “ Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

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In everything and in every manner, all men and all women are to give thanks everyday and always. In other words, in a world where there is a time and season for every purpose under heaven, God says there is never a time to be ungrateful. Since that season of my daughter’s cancer and the most critical, spiritual intensive care of my life, I’ve learned something profoundly helpful in the living out of gratitude. Silver and gold I don’t have, but if you would allow me a few more moments of your precious time, I would love to give you a timeless treasure: Being thankful in all things isn’t about an attitude adjustment as much as it is a key to unlocking God’s power to intervene in your every circumstance. First, let me give you an example. Often times when Mycah, who is now a blossoming tween-ager, lacks an attitude of gratitude, I am tempted to demand one from her. When she snarkily comments on what is lacking (like an Instagram account when all her other friends already have one), I command her to notice and appreciate the food on her plate and the roof over her smart mouth. On the other hand, when my schedule is spinning out of control and she selflessly folds the load of laundry piled on the couch, saying only, “I thought you could use some help,” my heart melts. Now reason with me. Selflessness is evidence of maturity. Gratitude can only be expressed when one looks beyond her own selfish desires to notice what already has been given. Therefore, to the Heavenly Father, gratitude in any circumstance is unquestionable evidence of His child growing into a perfected beauty fit for eternal union to His Son. So here is the truth: Jesus loves His Bride (the Church). He died to save Her. If you believe upon the name of Jesus and His life, death and resurrection, you are His bride. Living powerfully, uniquely, and personally in that truth gives you unhindered access to His intervention in your every circumstance. Consider this: Jesus comforted His disciples just before His death with the words of a Jewish wedding vow, “I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where

I am... (see John 14:2-3)” John’s gospel goes on to tell us the promises Christ makes to the Bride He will soon return for. “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. [S]He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it (John 14:12-14).” O, if we could wrap our minds around the truth of this power, we would see the Church moving in great strength for the salvation of a broken world. But we will never have access to that sort of “anything you ask of me” power until we learn to be thankful in “every circumstance.” Just as a child does not make a fitting bride, a child of God isn’t necessarily an effective bride of Christ. It’s time to grow up. As a mother who grieved the reality of her only child’s cancer, I will tell you the sacrifice of a thankful heart in a sucky circumstance possesses a faith to move mountains. Did it take me a long time to catch on? Yes. Do I still miss it too often? Uh, yeah. Is it easy? No. A bride lifting her tear stained face to offer humble and sincere thanks to the Most High God is contrary to every sensibility of her human heart. But it is exactly the evidence of mature faith required to give her anything she asks in Jesus name. He will wait. While the ticks of a clock keep time with the pulse of your heart, there is yet time for gratitude. Because ours is an eternal Lover who takes His time. He lives outside its limitations on human scheduled days and years. He easily affords to tarry, weaving experiences and tying memories, sweetening mountain top climaxes that seem, to us, far apart in long waiting. Time isn’t a precious commodity for Him. Time belongs to Him. He uses it--creates heart pounding anticipation. You know, like the swollen, frozen pause before a first kiss. He inclines to let it linger. For then, He is rewarded the allusive and rare treasure His heart was pierced to win. He looks full in the face of His still, knowing bride, her whole soul freely offered to Him for all time.

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PUT YOUR GRATITUDE IN ACTION! If you, your family, service organization, or church group is looking for a way to bless someone this holiday season, Something Abundant Ministries (SAM) would be so grateful for your help! We will be delivering Mother Comfort bags to 25 mothers of critically ill children during Thanksgiving/Christmas. Long hospital stays, treatment plans years long, and an unwanted new “normal” put a mother in a most vulnerable position--one that often tempts her to doubt in a loving God--especially when facing such grief during the holidays. Mother Comfort bags will be delivered to the bone marrow transplant unit of Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and others will be mailed to various hospitals and homes across the nation in Jesus name. The bags give a mother a way to

stay organized and feel a small sense of control in an out-ofcontrol situation. We include an organizational notebook, journal, calendar, devotional materials, a copy of the book, Something Abundant: growing from a child of God to the bride of Christ by Angie Nichols and other personal care items and goodies for enduring long hospital stays and lengthy treatments. By providing a Mother Comfort bag, you extend the comfort and love of the Father to a hurting mother. For a donation of $100 SAM can assemble and deliver one bag. We are happy to note your name or organization as the donor of all bags you provide. Donate online at or mail donations to Something Abundant Ministries P.O. Box 155255 Lufkin TX 75915 or email for more information. “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you...” Isaiah 66:13

Angie Nichols is the founder of Something Abundant Ministries, serving women through worship, ministry, and Biblical teaching and the author of Something Abundant: growing from a child of God to the bride of Christ. Her passion is for women to know the beauty of an abundant life knowing Christ as Bridegroom. She is married to Chris and they have one daughter, Mycah. For more information, to read Angie’s blog, or book speaking events visit:

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LIFE : Ask

the Reader

What Is Your Favorite sure I have all the cooking tools I may need. We make all the desserts the day before and anything I can make ahead of time and freeze weeks before is also very helpful. My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is making my grandmother’s favorite pie recipepumpkin chiffon. –Amy Mcleod

Decorating for Fall. –Cheri Teutsch Since the girls are grown and have their own homes now, in the last five years we’ve started a new tradition where everyone brings a dish made from a new recipe every year.

It’s been fun to try something new instead of having the same traditional foods. Even though we do this, everyone still gets to pick one favorite dish from past Thanksgivings that they want to have. The weeks before I start putting together a “To Do” list. I start with making sure my kitchen is organized from the pantry to the refrigerator, to the decorations that I plan to use for the table and around the house. Having a detailed list of the menu helps me to prepare an easy grocery list to make sure I don’t overlook anything.

–Karen Alston

We have a little tree made of branches with fall leaves. Everyone writes things they are thankful for and hangs it from the tree. I use it as a fall decoration in our home during the week of thanksgiving. –Jeanne Blacksher

All the girls cook together in the kitchen while listening to music and singing and dancing. –Alex Shaw

The key for me is being organized, right down to making

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We love Thanksgiving! Our family alternates years - when LSU plays at home, we spend Thanksgiving with my family in Baton Rouge so we can cheer on the Tigers. When LSU plays away, we spend Thanksgiving somewhere in Texas. When we host in Lufkin, we always have a Thanksgiving tree. My girls cut out brightly colored leaves and each

Thanksgiving Tradition? guest writes on it what they are thankful for. Before we sit down for lunch, we circle the table, join hands, pray and then each person goes around the circle and reads the words of Thanksgiving on the leaf. When we sit down to eat, there’s rarely a dry eye around the table. Our hearts are always full.

recipes was shared by my sister many years ago ... pumpkin pie! –Shelli Ellis

the same recipe to come out tasting as great as hers. The recipe was in her head and magic in those fingers, but spending time with my daddy in the attempt is precious time to me!

I look forward to all year. The entire Hale clan are Dallas Cowboy fans and being together cheering them on Thanksgiving Day is something we cherish. –Krista Hale

–Lisa Griffin

–Sally Alvis

Thanksgiving was always a family centered holiday, but it became more so when Keven and I chose to get married Thanksgiving weekend nearly 22 years ago! Since that time, we began hosting Thanksgiving at our home and cook for about 25! One of my favorite “go to”

My grandmother Floras pumpkin pie recipe. I look forward to sharing this dessert with our family and passing the recipe and memories down to my children. –Anna Polk

Trying to make my Granny’s dressing each year. My dad and I just can’t get

The tradition in our family is gathering at my in-laws around 10:30am for our early feast. My mother-inlaw is known as one of the best cooks in East Texas, and her dressing is something

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My favorite family Thanksgiving tradition is family being together. Cousins, aunts and uncles all meeting at the grandparent’s house cooking family tradition dishes. Followed by the kids playing a game of ball in the yard afterwards. –Laurie Godfrey

written by Melissa Radke

LIFE : Stretch


THANK It comes in many forms, doesn’t it? We show our thankfulness. We receive someone’s thankfulness.  We pretend to be thankful when we’re not. We resent what someone else has to be thankful for - and we don’t! We resend thankfulness. (As in, “Thank you Lord, for this sweet child.” And then when they’re 16, “What did I do to deserve this punishment, Lord?”)  We’re thankful over the small. And we’re thankful over the big. And we’re thankful for the good. And we’re thankful - with a cherry on top - for the great. But there’s one more we forgot. Or maybe it’s just me. Maybe just I forgot. I’m thankful that my son is spending his days with you, God. Because that means his body is whole and his smile is wide. Here, on Earth, he would have struggled. Thank you for seeing the whole forest when I could only see the trees. And thank you....dare I say it...thank you for not answering my prayers the way I wanted them answered. I’m so thankful that there was a time my marriage was a real piece of crap. Thank you, God, for the times I lay on the bathroom floor, crying, and asking you who a good divorce attorney was. I’m thankful for every time my car pulled into the driveway when it didn’t want to. When my key unlocked the front door when it wanted to check in to a hotel. And when my ring stayed on my hand instead of slipping off. Thank you for taking ugly and making beauty. For taking weak and making strong. For taking tears and making laughter. We wish we could return the favor, but we never could.

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FULNESS. Thank you for 12 sad, lonely, angry, depressed years of infertility. Those years made me tough. They made me lean in to you. They made me believe for possible things in impossible situations. They also made me very receptive to that need in others; I wish we all had matching t-shirts that said “Get! In! My! Belly!” or “This Sucks!” and when we saw each other with it on we hugged and cried. Thank you for the lessons I learned. Thank you for Remi and Rocco. Thank you for adoption. That is all my tears will allow me to say right now, God. Thank you for not making me look like Jennifer Lopez. (Because seriously, God, with a body like hers and a personality like mine - I’d be unstoppable and every woman would hate me!!) Thank you for making me imperfect. Terribly, utterly, shockingly imperfect. I notice I keep my hand a bit tighter in yours when I don’t feel like the pretty girl in the room...and since that’s most of the time, our hands fit nicely together, don’t they? Thank you for reading this article, my lovelies. I’m so grateful that you do. If true courage is just showing up and being vulnerable then SOMEBODY BUY ME A CAPE WITH AN ‘M’ ON IT, because I just “vulnerabled” the crap outta this article. And it was worth it. I’m looking ahead to a new year of being brave, courageous and vulnerable. Because it seems to me the harder the test, the more grateful I am for the lesson.  Merry Thanksgiving,

Melissa Melissa Radke is married to the best looking man in town, whom she affectionately refers to as The Attorney General. They have two children, Remi and Rocco; you have probably seen their picture in the Most Wanted list at your local schools. She loves movie popcorn, telling her friends what to do with their hair and being the center of attention. You can find her anytime at or Chik-fil-A. You are encouraged to ask for her autograph. In fact, she insists.

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written by Jessica Tinsley Bridges

LIFE : Fashion

IT’S BOOT SEASON! THE BEST BOOTS FOR FALL! Slowly but surely it is starting to feel like fall. For me, as soon as the temperature drops below 75 you can bet that I will have on my boots. The best part of fall for any fashionista is slipping into your boots.

With so many styles, colors and prints, the outfit possibilities are endless! To show you just how amazing this fall’s boots really are, I’ve rounded up 10 cool styles to rock in fall 2015. From gorgeous black ankle booties to on-trend leopard, here are the boots you need this fall.

$44 Becca Leopard Print Booties Jess Lea Boutique

$49.99 Tysen Quilted Boot Payless

$34.99 Annie’s Side Sip Ankle Booties Target

$44.99 A+ Melody Booties Target

$49.94 Tall Buckled Boots Old Navy

$44.99 Utility by Carlos Santana Hayden Ankle Boot Target

$42.94 Sueded Dressy Ankle Booties Old Navy

$44.99 Merona Lily Wedge Booties Target

$72 Leo Knee High Boots Jess Lea Boutique

$79.99 Indigo Road Jabaret Ankle Boots Bealls

Jessica was born and raised in Lufkin. She is in love with fashion, shopping & beauty products. She graduated from Stephen F. Austin with a Fashion Merchandising degree. She now lives in Cypress (a suburb of Houston) with her loving husband, their son, Landry and two fur babies. Jessica has worked for many retailers in the past but is now a full time mom to Landry and owns an online boutique, Jess Lea Boutique. www.JessLeaBoutique. com | photo by The Silhouette Studio

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in East Texas 54 SUPER KID | 56 LOOK AT ME | 58 PRETTY BABIES


Analeigh Watkins, daughter of Tara & Brent Watkins on her Gran An's (Ann Watson's) Fall porch. photo by Jenni Blackledge

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t The Journey, we love to see kids being resourceful and using their own individual talents to raise money. It’s even better when they make people smile along the way! Twelve year old Devon Crew wanted to raise money for a cruise she will be taking with her grandparents this winter, so she decided to put her love of baking to good use.

Using her great grandmother Faye Cumming’s famous recipe, Devon started a small pie business over the summer. She would bake beautiful pies and hand deliver them door to door. People loved her pies – especially the homemade crust – and the personal touch of delivering them herself. “It was really fun (and tiring) to go house to house delivering the pies! This one time I was delivering a pie to someone in a business, and I didn’t know which door she was in. I went door to door asking for her by name and ended up getting a couple more orders out of that!” Because Devon is a vegetarian, she often cooks her own food. Making food for others seemed like a great way to use her talent to raise the money she needed. She even designed her own logo and used farm-fresh eggs from her pet chickens in the pies! Devon carries her passion for cooking and baking beyond her small pie business. She often wakes up at 2 am on weekend mornings to cook something special. Some of her favorites are spaghetti with garlic and basil and zucchini stir fry. In the future, Devon would like to start her own gourmet restaurant featuring fresh fruits and vegetables. She would love for her restaurant to have its own garden that supplies the kitchen with all the fresh ingredients it needs. Devon currently attends Pineywoods Community Academy. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her pet duck, Monty. In addition to cooking, Devon also loves to draw and practice all different types of art. She is truly a remarkable young lady.

Mental illness is [Even when you can’t see it.] Mental illness is real, and it’s all around us. Depression. Anxiety. Bi-polar disorder. Eating disorders. One in four of us will face a mental illness in any given year. Yet, too many people are afraid to get the help they need or even talk about it with their friends or family. We need your help. Visit to get the facts, learn how to help those in need, and read stories of people right here in East Texas that are taking control of their mental health.

To make an appointment with a mental health care professional, call 936-634-5010.


brought to you by Smoothie King of Lufkin


at Me

Central Junior High won 1st place in the Junior High Division 1 Cheer Competition at the 2015 Texas State Forest Festival. (back, L-R) Nathaly Sarmiento, Claire Childers, Alyssa Butler, Tori Woodford, Morgan Skates, Madison Warren, Kendall Smith, Maci Rice, & Tori Bollinger. (front, L-R) Kallie Parker, Kaylee Harris, Emily Meshell, Jaci Watson, Madison Durant & Mikayla Hill.

Diboll Primary PreK 4 students dressed up for Spirit Week to support the Lumberjack football team. (L-R) Arreaux Kellett, DaLila Silva, & Aspen Fussell.

Trent Ashby presents the 1st grade class at St. Cyprian’s with a Texas flag that has flown over the state capital.

Former St. Cyprian’s teacher, Martha Currie, celebrates her 100th birthday with current St. Cyprian’s students, Aiden Ehrlich, Anna Kate McKinley, Savannah Brightwell, Sawyer Brightwell, Taylor Thomas, Allie Frost, Laney Peterson, & Lexan Peterson.

Pineywoods Community Academy’s Kade Murry won the District 23-2A cross country meet in Zavalla on Wednesday, October 14th with a time of 17:23. The win was Murry’s second of the season and advances him to the Class 2A Region III meet to be held on Monday, October 26th at Sam Houston State University.

The Pineywoods Academy girls cross country team advanced to the Class 2A Region III meet with a third place finish in the District 23-2A meet in Zavalla on Wednesday, October 14th. Lexi Nelson and Marcy Flores had top 10 finishes for the Lady Wolves with Nelson finishing 9th (15:37) and Flores in 10th (15:53). Other runners for the Lady Wolves were Micole Jackson in 13th, Megan Greusel in 14th, Vanessa Dao in 15th, Dana Little in 19th and Tina Douglas in 20th. The regional meet will be held at Sam Houston State University on Monday, October 26th.

Smoothie King • 4505 S Medford Dr. • (936) 632-5464 • Like us on

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years in business

A Lifetime of Experiences

And we’re just getting started. Lufkin - Downtown 415 S. 1st Street 936-639-2141 Lufkin - West 805 S. John Redditt Dr. 936-632-6621









1. Lyla Louise Atkins. 12/29/14. Proud Parents: Erika McGaughy / Chelsea Atkins / Shaun Barker. Proud Grandparents: Daphne Barker / Gary Barker / Brandy Atkins / Susan Dobbs. 2. Harper Danielle Bellamy. 8/31/15. Proud Parents: Alicia Baker & Josh Bellamy. Proud Grandparents: Angela & Bubba Pate / Glinda Morgan & Chris Smith. 3. EmmaLee Grace Budro. 5/27/15. Proud Parents: Jennifer & Kevin Budro. Proud Grandparents: James & Judy Tobias / Jerry & Leslie Budro. 4. Kaydance Grace Cecil. 8/18/15. Proud Parents: Garrett & Ryanne Cecil. Proud Grandparents: Tommy & Tami Wood / Randy & Jennifer Cecil / Renee Kleinik / Delbert Kleinik & Tina Chapman.





5. Clark Allen Chipman. 7/14/14. Proud Parents: David & Tiffany Chipman. Proud Grandparents: Jennifer & Darien Allred / James & Nelda Howell / Steve Chipman. 6. Mariah Elizabeth Dixon. 7/10/15. Proud Parent: Tyesha Elizabeth Dixon. Proud Grandparent: Tameisha Jones. 7. Kiran Parker Nelson Ivins. 12/23/14. Proud Parents: Avery Nelson-Patel & Gary Ivins. Proud Grandparents: Hali Nelson-Patel & Bob Patel / Janie Ivins & Gary Ivins. 8. Macie Kay Medley. 2/25/15. Proud Parents: Brandon & Jayme Medley. Proud Grandparents: Richard & Deanna Baxter / Glenn & Loretta Medley. E-mail Pretty Babies submissions to Please include name, date of birth, parents & grandparents. Submissions are free of charge.


Prepared for your little bundle with advanced care. The region’s only Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is here to help your newborn get a healthy start. Should you need high-risk pregnancy care, we’re also home to a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Clinic. Schedule a tour of our birthing center today. Call 936-634-8311. Trained, caring staff Spacious private labor and delivery suites Skilled OB/GYN physicians Free childbirth and infant feeding classes 24/7 neonatology coverage

505 South John Redditt Drive, Lufkin • Woodland Heights Medical Center is directly or indirectly owned by a partnership that proudly includes physician owners, including certain members of the hospital’s medical staff.



Texas State Representative Travis Clardy and Judge Perry were pleased to welcome Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller to Nacogdoches.

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the Know


"It was an honor to receive the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals’ TORCHbearer award for our legislative efforts this past session." - Rep. Clardy

TRAVIS CLARDY TEXAS STATE REPRESENTATIVE Fall has brought with it cooler weather and many notable visitors to House District 11. Several of our state officials visited Nacogdoches this month including Comptroller Glen Hegar who swung through on his Good for Texas Tour to discuss the resilience of the Texas economy. We made sure that he got a peak at the renovations underway at the Hotel Fredonia. Senator Robert Nichols joined us and later visited with me and local county officials to discuss solutions for addressing mental health issues affecting our jail population, a common problem around the state. Later in the month, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller stopped by and we had a chance to discuss agri-

culture and economic development in our East Texas region. There’s always something exciting and meaningful going on in our community. This month we celebrated Rees Jewelry, a local Nacogdoches Main Street business. It was my honor to present the Texas Treasures Award to Charlene Rees for owning a business with 50 or more years of continuous service. Both the Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce and the Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation had their annual membership meetings. At one event, the community said goodbye to Bruce Partain, longtime President of the Chamber, who has influenced the

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growth and vitality of Nacogdoches as much as any one person could. At the other event, we said hello to the newest member of the Board of Regents at Stephen F. Austin State University, Nelda Luce Blair, a real estate attorney and leader in the economic development of the Woodlands. Ms. Blair was recently appointed to serve as Regent by Governor Greg Abbott. It’s an honor to represent the citizens of East Texas and my office is here to serve you. Feel free to call my District (936-560-3982) or Capitol (512-463-0592) office with any questions or requests for assistance.

TRENT ASHBY TEXAS STATE REPRESENTATIVE The Capitol is mostly quiet during these fall months, as most legislators are back in their districts. In the recent past, there have been a handful of high profile instances in which certain state agencies have had their contracting practice brought into question. In an effort to guard against future fraud, waste, and abuse in state contracting, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 20 during this past session. This bill will ensure that large government contracts are audited regularly, thereby helping the public know that their tax dollars are being spent efficiently and effectively. These audits will be submitted to the Legislature for oversight, and will be made available to the public for those who are interested. I believe this bill will help make our state’s agencies more lean and efficient, and will help state government better serve all Texans, and I am proud to have supported it. In mid-October, Speaker Joe Straus appointed Rep. Trent Ashby to the Joint Interim Committee to study Teacher Retirement System (TRS) Benefit

Plans. The committee was created due to the passage of HB 2974 and will be comprised of three members of the Texas House of Representatives and three members of the Texas Senate. The purpose of this committee is to review the health benefit plans administered by the TRS of Texas and propose reforms to address the financial soundness of the plans, cost and affordability of plan coverage, and sufficiency of access to physicians and healthcare providers. “Representative Ashby has quickly become a leader in the Texas House on both budget and education issues,” Speaker Straus said. “He understands that it is important to keep TRS on strong fiscal footing while honoring the state’s commitment to retired educators.” The committee will hold public hearings, conduct research, and make their recommendations regarding system improvements public no later than January 15, 2017. The TRS Benefit Plans will face an estimated deficit of $1.7 billion by fiscal year 2019 and this deficit will only grow if the Legislature doesn’t act. If the deficit is not addressed,

it would likely force drastic changes to retirees’ benefit plans and drive up the cost of healthcare for retired teachers. “During this past session, the issue of short and long-term liabilities facing our TRS benefit plans was one of the most challenging we faced. While we were able to address the immediate funding needs, there is much more work to be done. I appreciate this opportunity the Speaker has given me and look forward to rolling up my sleeves and working with my colleagues to ensure our retired teachers have access to the high quality healthcare they deserve.” said Rep. Ashby.

BUSINESS : Business





cott Franks grew up in Nacogdoches, Texas after his parents moved there so that his dad, Thomas Franks, could begin his career as a faculty member at SFA. During his senior year at Nacogdoches High School, Scott started dating Carolyn Fish, who would eventually become his wife. His love for the East Texas area began with these family bonds. Over 31 years of marriage, Scott and Carolyn have been blessed with three children, and they have loved raising their children in the Lufkin community. Scott’s roots have grown deep into Lufkin soil, and now he’s beginning a brand new venture – LUFTEX GEARS. This new business will provide manufacturing and services for the industrial gearbox market. Even more, Scott and his business partners hope that LUFKTEX GEARS will help stimulate Lufkin’s economy and provide more jobs for our community in light of this difficult season of layoffs. We asked Scott a few questions about the process of starting his new business,and his hopes for the future.

Can you tell us a little bit about LUFTEX GEARS and how it will benefit our community?

We strategically named our business in an effort to explain what it does. LUFTEX GEARS, Manufacturing and Services just felt right. It describes our business in a name. We’re a company in Lufkin, Texas that will offer manufacturing and services for the industrial gear box market. My business colleague, Albert Stokley, is another product of the local community. He and I have had a vision for quite some time of operating our own manufacturing and services company for the industrial gear market. Industrial gear boxes are utilized in many different machine packages throughout a variety of industries. LUFTEX GEARS will provide technicians to do field service work on the gear boxes at a customer’s site, a manufacturing facility to produce components for the gear box along with assembly and testing of the unit, and engineering support to provide technical assistance for gear box operations. To be able to achieve its goals LUFTEX GEARS, Albert and I are excited about using the local talent and experience of residents that were caught up in the recent layoffs that have affected our area. Also LUFTEX GEARS will tap into the wealth of expertise among the locals that spent many years in the manufacturing and services arena that are now retired but still willing to share their own lessons learned and pass on their knowledge. We have every intentions to be involved in the community and have been brainstorming different fund raising ideas that we can develop and put the proceeds we generate back into the community.


How is the business coming along, and have there been any significant steps toward opening?

Anyone who travels highway US 69 north of Lufkin should be able to see the progress of our facility, which is located on the east side of US 69 just north of where the loop and US 69 merge together. The main structural steel is mostly complete and the metal siding “skin” is currently being placed around the structure. We will soon begin forming and pouring the special foundations that are required for some of the machines. We have purchased almost all the equipment and we are extremely eager get it moved in and set up in our new building. Needless to say we are looking forward to the day when we are finally up and operating out of the new facility. That day can’t get here quick enough.

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Can you share a favorite moment since you have started this venture?

My favorite moments of this venture have come on separate levels and on a few different occasions. On the professional level, the first moment was when I realized Rufus Duncan Jr. was not going to laugh me out of his office when I first presented the idea to him. He was incredibly supportive and had a group of equally supportive colleagues from both Lufkin and Nacogdoches that have been as excited about LUFTEX GEARS as I am. Also favorite professional moments occur each time I receive an overwhelming positive response from customers that I’ve come to know over the years. The positive feedback from them has validated the appreciation they felt. Also the incredible support that the community has shown as they have found out about the venture. East Texas has been my home and we have extraordinary people. Almost everyone that’s talked to me about the business has ended our conversation by saying they’ll be praying for our company to be successful. I personally can’t think of anything more comforting that knowing people are praying for something that you’re involved with to succeed.

On a personal level, one my favorite moments was when I presented the idea to my wife, Carolyn. Without hesitation, she told me to do it and has supported me whole heartedly since. That incredible show of support meant everything to me, knowing that it was such a leap of faith. With all this said, my absolute favorite personal moments have been when it becomes obvious that God has his hands in this. There have been connections made and timing of circumstances that came out of nowhere. We’ve always described such occurrences as a “God Thing” because there is no other logical explanation for them.

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BUSINESS : Chamber


The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce recently held a Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the remodel of Nacogdoches Massage Station, 2502 North St., (936) 652-2318, Owner Janette Soto welcomed sponsors, Chamber members and guests.

The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce recently held a Ribbon Cutting ceremony for Nini’s Fresh Donuts, 1617 South St., (936) 645-7446. Nini, owner, welcomed sponsors, Chamber members and guests.

The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce recently held a Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the new off ice location for Greg Hyde, M.D., 1116 N. University Dr., (936) 560-2600. Dr. Hyde and his staff welcomed sponsors, Chamber members and guests.

The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce recently held a Ribbon Cutting ceremony celebrating the newly remodeled BancorpSouth, 2400 North St., (936) 564-6191, Division President Stan Sisco and bank staff welcomed sponsors, Chamber members and guests.

Luf kin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony for Citizens National Bank.

Luf kin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony for Pregnancy Help Center.

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r. Michaela Overturf is a small town girl who has recently made Nacogodches her home. Overturf moved to East Texas to join her husband, orthopedic surgeon Steven J. Overturf M.D., to serve the medical needs of the community.

She is very familiar and comfortable in a small town. Overturf grew up in Wallis, Texas a small Texas town of 1100 people and graduated from a 2A school, Brazos High School. She then went on to graduate from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, completing her internship at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. Most recently, Dr. Overturf served as Chief Resident in Dermatology during her Dermatology Residency at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. On August 20, she was excited to open her practice Dermatology Associates of Nacogdoches. The office is beautifully designed and decorated with five patient rooms. Services include skin cancer prevention and treatment, cosmetic dermatology, and general dermatology cases such as rashes, acne, infections and more and available to see all ages. Her passion for dermatology came when she was about 13. “After meeting a couple of different dermatologist in treating some of my own skin issues, I was impressed with their compassion. And the impact they made on my self esteem and my life was dramatic. I wanted to be able to do the same for others.” “Nearly every day I am reassured that I have made the right career choice when I see someone whose rash has cleared or whose skin cancer has been cured. One particular situation that really moved me was when I was about to complete my residency training. I was seeing one of my military veteran patients in follow-up and mentioned that I would be leaving soon. He started to cry, expressing his gratitude for what I had helped to do for him and his skin condition. I feel like I can really make a difference in my patients› lives.”

Dermatology Associates of Nacogdoches is located in the North Village Market, 3611 North Street Suite 140 Dr. Micheala Overturf can be reached by calling 936.585.7770 or by visiting

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written by Corey Pigg

BUSINESS : Anniversary




n August of 2015, S&W Expert Collision Repair turned 40 years old. “It’s an honor to have served, and to continue to serve, East Texas for so long,” says Wendell Matchett, founder of S&W Expert Collision Repair. Early on, Wendell knew the type of business he wanted. He had worked in dirty, dusty, and outdated shops when he was younger and knew that customers would much rather walk into a clean, polished, state-of-the-art facility. He believed that if he knew his business and took care of customers better than anyone else, then he would one day have a successful business. This vision is what makes S&W unique and is, to this day, the driving force behind S&W Expert Collision Repair. All businesses have to start somewhere. Some start with a lot of publicity and pageantry. Others have more modest beginnings of simply providing a product or service that a customer needs. The latter describes S&W’s origins. S&W was established in Lufkin in August of 1975 by three friends. They opened the first S&W location on First Street across from the old Coleman-Arco gas station, which was located just north of the Civic Center. Within a year, two of the partners decided to move to Houston and left their stake of the business, which primarily consisted of a growing debt, with the third partner and painter, 21 year old Wendell Matchett. The story goes that Wendell

faced the tough decision of throwing in the towel and giving up or fighting tooth and nail to pay back all the debt and somehow make S&W work. After seeking some much needed council from a few well trusted mentors, Wendell chose to fight for his business and what he believed in. In 1977, Wendell purchased the property where S&W is currently located. Back then the only businesses on that stretch of the South Loop were Texas Timberjack, the old Burke Center, and a car wash. 1984 brought one of the monumental benchmarks S&W had to that point. Wendell started using Sikkens Paint, which was the best paint the automotive industry had to offer. He also installed a Blowtherm paint booth, the first heated downdraft booth in the Deep East Texas area. These investments marked a major commitment to the

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type of quality of service S&W would provide for years to come. In 1993, S&W moved into the new offices it currently operates out of now. S&W opened its second location in Nacogdoches in June of 2001. The original idea of a small shop in Nacogdoches grew into a fully operational repair facility with all the tools necessary to handle the various kinds of collisions that Deep East Texas would throw at customers. S&W quickly became a major collision repair leader in the Nacogdoches area. The reinvestment in both facilities and its employees continues to this day. The S&W family has grown from the original few that started it 40 years ago to over 40 employees at the two locations combined. Wendell has assembled a great team over the years and expects S&W to be running strong long after he retires. Each person

understands the importance of being a leader in the collision repair industry and maintaining second to none customer service. S&W customers come from all over East Texas. Some live hours away and some live right down the street. Some customers know the S&W family really well. They, unfortunately, have to visit the shop pretty frequently. There have been some interesting requests, too. On one occasion, a lady showed up asking for help getting her mom out of the trunk of her car. Who knew? S&W has seen bullet holes through bedsides and doors, stolen vehicles, and vehicles that have hit deer, cows, and even horses. They’ve seen vehicles that have gone air-born through fences and trees. They’ve seen vehicles in trees. They’ve pulled vehicles out of Sam Rayburn that had fish in them

when they got the doors opened. S&W has repaired both minor and major accidents over its 40 years in business. A lot of customers will even come by for advice about how to handle a small scratch or a cosmetic issue on a vehicle. S&W has learned the value of simply helping customers navigate the complex world of collision repair, whether the issues are big or small. S&W’s most successful and probably longest running tag line has been, “It’s your car. It’s your choice.” The goal is to get everyone to choose S&W. “East Texas is our home and we want to take care of our East Texas family,” says Wendell. His vision in the early years remains the same today. “If we know our business better than anyone else and take care of customers better than anyone else, then our business will succeed for another 40 years.”

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Crimson & Camo

photography by Lisa Crow


Interested in purchasing a photo you see? Visit!

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Jody Glazner and Randy McBrayer, a Father-in-law and Son-in-Law duo, are self-proclaimed “life-long” hunters who have turned their love into a career. After discovering an available camp in the northern Rockies, Jody and his business partners decided to start 4U Outfitters. Now Jody has been guiding hunts professionally for 7 years, while his son-in-law, Randy, has been professionally guiding for 4 years. | photo by Brittany McBrayer Photography

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the Scope 4U Hunts /// Continued

4U Outfitters offers once in a lifetime trips that any hunter can enjoy. Located in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, the outfitting camp ranges from 7,500” to 10,000”. They offer two different experiences – the lodge hunt and the camp hunt. In the lodge hunt, the hunters stay in furnished cabins and are transported along with horses to different hunting areas. The hunters and guides spend the entire day hunting in the mountains and return to the lodge where the staff is waiting for them with a hot meal. In Randy’s opinion, the camp hunt is 4U Outfitter’s specialty, offering a real, rustic experience. Hunters and guides pack in the entire camp via horseback, including tents, stoves, cots, and all other equipment. In this option, hunters stay in camp for 6 days and hunt up to a 3 hour horse ride distance from their site. “You wake up to a hot breakfast, saddle your horse, and then it’s off in to the darkness to find the screamin’ demons. Then it’s back at dark to the cook tent for a fantastic meal. I tell people that I don’t guide for the hunt, it’s for the food. Our staff really makes the hunters feel at home.” –Randy

Having guided hunts for many years now, both Jody and Randy have encountered some prize game and made lasting memories with hunters from all walks of life. The game in 4U Outfitters area are usually elk, mule deer, moose, black bears, grizzly bears, and grouse. “There are many favorite memories from my trips. One favorite is guiding a hunter to his first bull elk. This happened literally in the last few minutes of the final day of his hunt. He killed a nice 5x5 bull.” –Jody “Words can’t describe the excitement of each screaming bull elk combined with the beauty of the Tetons just behind every ridge top. If I were to name one favorite memory, I would say it was during the 2014 season. My hunter and I had hunted hard and had a few close encounters. He failed to fill tags with his bow

in previous years, and this was probably going to be his last hunt. We found a herd with several bulls and tried our hand. It was a 2 hour chase, but we were able to pull a satellite bull from the herd, and I called him to 30 yards where my hunter closed the deal. It was a great day and a great harvest. To see people’s faces when bulls scream that close is priceless and makes all the loss of sleep worth it.” –Randy Both Jody and Randy truly love the thrill of the hunt and leading their fellow hunters on these amazing trips. When Jody isn’t hunting, he enjoys snow-skiing and spending time with horses. Randy also owns Little Retriever Kennels in Weches, TX, where he trains Retriever puppies. Randy’s wife, Brittany, is also an avid hunter.

If you would like to schedule a trip with Jody and Randy, or simply to learn more about 4U Outfitters, visit their website,, or find them on Facebook.

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Texas State Forest Festival photography by Lisa Crow


Interested in purchasing a photo you see? Visit!

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written by Emily Courtney




The Spirit of Fall

hose who enjoy the outdoors can appreciate the fact that while writing this, I’m sitting beneath a Water Oak tree enjoying the lower temperatures that the fall brings. Each season is special in its own way, but what makes fall unique? Perhaps it’s the cooler temperatures, various leaf color, hunting season, bon fires, or the holidays. Let’s just be honest, we also anticipate chili, gumbo, soup, chicken & dumplings, red beans & rice and all the other great foods of fall. While we go through another cycle of change, nature is also doing the same. Trees go dormant and shed their leaves to store energy until the growing season returns. Oaks begin dropping their acorns in hope that their offspring will grow into a mighty oak like they’ve become. Squirrels begin storing their cache for food supply. The breeding season returns for deer so they can leave their imprint long after they’re gone. These are all common occurrences along with many others. For us, it’s also a time of reflection near the year’s end. When we slow down from our busy lives and spend time outside, we can sometimes reflect on who we are. There’s something about the therapy nature brings that allows us to do this during any season. We’re the only ones who can make time to receive this therapy that comes with it. It’s important to use nature’s time to reflect on the differences we made in people’s lives, growth of our families, memories spent with family and friends, and the giving back to the things that we receive the most from, hence “Thanksgiving”. For many, this may be church, time spent with family and friends or time outdoors. Reflections are important, so spend them in the right place and give back to the things you receive from the most.

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brought to you by XILE Fitness




hether it involves long hikes with heavy gear, dragging over 100 pounds of meat out of the mountains, or drawing a 60-80 pound bow, hunting can be the ultimate test of functional fitness. Functional fitness simulates movements done at work or in sport to prepare you for daily activities. The goal is to show what you can do with what you learn at the gym.

Hunters spend hours and hours preparing for the hunt… scouting for the perfect spots, buying the necessary gear, and reading articles with the best hunting tips. One thing a hunter often overlooks is the important role physical fitness plays in the sport. Being physically fit can tremendously improve the quality of your time in the woods. Functional fitness is the best way to get fit for the hunt! The movements will involve several muscle groups working together simultaneously to build strength, increase flexibility, improve metabolic conditioning, and reduce the risk of injury. This is important to a hunter because they will not be isolating one muscle group while hunting. A bicep curl may give you bigger arms but will be of much less assistance when trekking over rough terrain or coming into a safe kneeling position while at full draw. Josh Torres says that functional fitness has helped him in all aspects of hunting, “From scouting on long walks to climbing up a 25’ lock-on stand to take the shot of the season.” Give functional fitness a try! Some movements are very basic, but some can be difficult. A good coach can help you out with proper and efficient form. Josh Torres

“I know what it is like to get out of breath walking to and getting in your stand. I know what it’s like to struggle to hold your bow in position for an extended period of time. The workouts we do at Xile Fitness have helped me in every aspect of hunting. They have better prepared me for controlling my breathing and the work after the shot.” -Josh Ivy

XILE Fitness • 7001 E State Hwy 103 • (936) 465-0186 • Follow us on



Macay Maddox. 8 pound bass. Toledo Bend.

Tribe 11u. Second place winners Global NIT tournament at Scrapyard. Cooper Perry, Gavin Deltorro, Christian Mumphreys, Cade York, Wil Stafford, Malcolm Deason, Collin Ross, Mark Requena, & Chandler Spencer. Coaches Malcolm Deason & Court Perry.

Kallie Wilson. 9 point killed opening day of bow season. Deer scoring 128. Houston County. First bow kill.

Jeremy Ross. Striped Marlin caught in Cabo on September 11th.

Connor Morgan, 11 yrs old. First deer. 10/17/15. Scrapping Valley.

Garner Rodriguez, age 7, of Nacogdoches won the Home Run Derby sponsored by Whataburger in Lufkin this past weekend. Ten pitches were allowed and Garner hit 10 of them over the fence to take home the trophy.  Garner is a second grader at Central Heights Elementary School. 

Amanda Lawrence. 9 point. 1st buck. Mommy/daughter hunt!

Addison Dodd. First deer. 157lbs field dressed and scored 125 7/8. 10/21/15. North Biloxi Creek Hunting Club.

Send a photo of your trophy hunt & information to Submissions are free of charge.

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TJMag November 2015  
TJMag November 2015