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December 2009

Patsy Hallman inspiring wo m a n

Ne w S e c t i o n !

your child

Sarah Swan

I n s p i r i n g Young Woman Christmas Items, Eve n t s, and Much More! 1 / The Journey - December 2009

2009 Holiday Gift Guide

2 / The Journey - December 2009 / 3


december 2009

Your home at HoMe: tHe MaKinG of a dreaM HoUse 10 landMarKs: tHe Jones ManaGeMent BUildinG 12 HoMestead: Best HoMe iMproVeMent inVestMents 13 HoMe toUr: nacoGdocHes toUr of HoMes 14 in tHe KitcHen: HoMeMade cHristMas Gifts 16 landscapinG: steps to sUccess WitH BUlBs 18 siMple solUtions: cHristMas orGaniZinG tips 19 entertain in stYle: HolidaY tips 21 Your communitY Hot spot: eVeninG in BetHleHeM 24 BUsiness spotliGHt: dean cHerrY’s cHristMas tree farM 26 BUsiness connections: teresa darBY 27 lUfKin cHaMBer of coMMerce 28 nacoGdocHes cHaMBer of coMMerce 30 calendar 32 places and faces 34 GiVinG BacK: MUseUM GUild 40 inspirinG YoUnG WoMan: saraH sWan 42 inspirinG WoMan: patsY HallMan 44 Your liFe Hall of faMe HUBBies 48 prettY BaBies 49 Girls GroUp: HealtHY WoMan 50 YoUr Wallet: coUnt YoUr BlessinGs 51 WeddinGs 52 relationsHips: reflections 54 edUcation: Mrs. sUsie Kroll 55 Your bodY fitness: 6 WaYs to oVercoMe a plateaU 58 HealtH: HealtH Benefits of MassaGe 59

stephanie oliver p r e s i d e n t a n d e d i to r michelle brileY d i r e c to r o f s a l e s KaY hendricKs acco u n t e x ec u t i v e michelle haneY l ayo u t a n d d e s i g n Kristie huddleston graphic designer greg patterson w w w. g r e g pat t e r s o n . c o m c o v e r p h oto g r a p h e r lisa crow e v e n t p h oto g r a p h e r allYson langston c o p y e d i to r susan childers web designer


c i n dy a n d r e ws k at h i e b o n d - b o r i e f e l i c i a da r k k at h ry n g r e e n e a my g r i g g dr. brian humphrey’s da n kot tm a n anna boles lee d o n n a m a rt i n e Z kelley moore e m i ly pa r k s a my r o l a n d s h a r o n swa n


Ja n e t G lov e r e m i ly ko l k kari sPurGeon Co lto n r aW l s lu f k i n au d r e y o d o m n aco g d o c h e s C H r i s sy l av i o l e t t e l i v i n g sto n

fasHion: season to sHine 60 BeaUtY: HolidaY VelVet 61 Your child asK tHe doc: ear infections 63 cHilds plaY: cHildren’s trees 65 Kids Konnect: Heartfelt coUtUre 67 treats and eats: GinGerBread Men 68

advertisment inFormation the JourneY po BoX 150537 lUfKin, tX 75915 936-635-7369 adVertise@tJMaG.coM

faMilY Matters: QUestions for coUnselors 69 WHY i loVe BeinG a MoM: aMY GriGG 70 Gift GUide 71 JoUrneY MarKet 76 partinG adVice 78 4 / The Journey - December 2009

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5 / The Journey - December 2009

Welcome The countdown is on! Once we hit the week of Thanksgiving, it seems like our bodies go into overdrive mode. We work ourselves into a frenzy and stay in a hurry, hurry, rush mode. We have all heard that there are not enough hours in the day. It seems even more true in December! It is easy to get caught up in the craziness the season can bring. Just like anything else-- whether it is vacation, dessert, or holiday shopping--too much of a good thing is never a good thing! We have to keep what Christmas means to us in perspective. It can so quickly turn into being about Christmas morning for our kids, or trying to attend all the holiday gatherings, or having the perfect outfits for the gatherings and holiday parties. A great way to keep things in perspective is to step back and ask your children or grandchildren what Christmas means to them. More than likely, their answer is going to be what your family is modeling. We might not even want to ask to hear their answer, but it will be a great gauge to shift your current priorities. Hopefully, as you flip through this month’s issue, you will enjoy the new sections! We consistently try to bring you techniques to keep you organized, fun family events that can be shared together, and more. The Journey wishes each of you a Merry Christmas. My prayer for your family this December is, “May Jesus always be your joy, your hope, your song. And may this Christmas and each day of the New Year be directed by His guiding hand of love!”

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Stephanie oliver president & editor

6 / The Journey - December 2009

News EAST MAGAZINE Look for the newest edition of EAST Magazine. You can pick it

Is your favorite location out of magazines? Email us and let us know at

up at many places around Lufkin and Nacogdoches. Here are just a few locations: Lufkin fasteners, Tri Lakes Tackle, CMC recycling, Steel Horses, Bryan’s Smokehouse, ross Motorsports, Massengill’s Meat Market, Truss & Son’s Plumbing, The Center for Sight, Wulf Outdoor Sports, Pouland’s, and Butcher Boys.

2010 Rodeo Queen This year, The Journey and the Lion’s Club are partnering once again to bring you the 2010 rodeo Queen. We are looking for a candidate that is or has been involved in 4H, ffA, and/ or high school rodeo. All rodeo Queen candidates must be a senior in high school, attend a school in Angelina County, and complete an application. Applications can be downloaded from The Journey website (, and mailed to PO BOX 150537 Lufkin, Texas 75915. All candidates must have their applications postmarked by february 12, 2010.

7 / The Journey - December 2009

Director’s Chair Wow! It’s hard to believe that Christmas is already here! Is it just me or does it seem like we just boxed up the decorations we are now taking out again? No matter how quickly another year has seemed to fly by, one thing remains the same, my absolute LOVE of this holiday season. I love shopping for the perfect presents and then beautifully wrapping them. I love the all the decorations and the sounds of Christmas music. I love attending holiday parties and wearing clothes saved just for those special occasions. I love the smell of cookies right out of the oven. I love finding the perfect place for each ornament as I hang it on the tree. What can I say--I love it all! You can imagine my excitement when a friend sent me the following Christmas story: My son, Nicholas, is in kindergarten this year. It is an exciting season for a six-year-old. For weeks, he has been memorizing songs for his school’s “Winter Program.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’d be working the night of his show. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there’d be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise. Because the public school system had stopped referring to the holiday as “Christmas,” I didn’t expect anything other than fun songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer. So, when my son’s class rose to sing, “Christmas Love,” I was slightly taken back by its bold title. Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, all adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads. Those in the front row, center stage, held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song.As the class would sing “C is for Christmas,” a child would hold up the letter C.Then, “H is for Happy,” and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, “Christmas Love.” The performance was going smoothly until suddenly, we noticed her, a small quiet girl in the front row holding the letter “M” upside down, totally unaware her letter “M” appeared as a “W”. The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one’s mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her “W”. Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos there was a purpose for our festivities. For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:


And, I believe, He still is! So, this December, I vow to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I will have to cut back on nonessential obligations, extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending. I do not want to find myself exhausted, unable to appreciate precious family moments, and, of course, the true meaning of Christmas. For without Christ, we would have nothing to celebrate.

Merry Christmas, michelle briley director of sales

8 / The Journey - December 2009

Your Home 9 / The Journey - December 2009

sfa president’s home

/ Your H o m e

At home

The making of a dream home | by julie castleberry


few months ago, a young couple called to say that they were just finishing the building of their new home and were in need of furniture and accessories throughout. Ryan and Yolanda Garcia and their two young children, Hannah and Zach, visited our showroom soon after and, not only was a designer/client relationship established, but a friendship was quickly established, as well. The Garcias have realized the building of their “dream home” and are still in awe that the finished product is even better and more magnificent than they ever imagined. A beautiful lakeside lot in San Augustine, Texas, is the backdrop for this Tuscan-style 3000+ square foot three bedroom/three and ½ bath home complete with an infinity pool and cabana overlooking the lake. The first step in our design process was to create a color scheme and, also, hone in on the style of furniture that the Garcias envisioned. It did not take long to realize that Ryan and Yolanda were in agreement that upon entering their home, they wanted a very comfortable and relaxed feeling without sacrificing style. This “homey” feeling was accomplished by using well proportioned, traditional style furnishings upholstered in luxurious velvets, chenilles and leathers, coordinating wool rugs throughout, and, of course, strategically placed lamps to cast a warm glow of welcome. Shades of red, green, and gold with accents of black further enhanced the richness of the home’s interior. For the breakfast room, a round copper top table complete with black “rubbed through” finished side chairs was a perfect selection for enjoying everyday family meals without 10 10 // The The Journey Journey -- December December 2009 2009

the worry of stains and spills. Because of the beautiful view of the pool and lake outside the master bedroom windows, Ryan expressed his desire for the furnishings in the room to reflect a tropical feel. After taking Ryan’s suggestion into consideration, a bedroom group of furniture appropriately named “Casablanca” was the choice for most of the pieces used in the room. Two lounge chairs and a Tommy Bahama area rug at the foot of the bed completed the selections. A media room in the downstairs (pool level) of the home is conveniently located between the kids’ two bedrooms. Along with a large flat-screen television, comfortable theatre-style seating was chosen to create the perfect haven for Hannah, Zach, and their friends to watch TV or play video games. This room is great for the “boy’s night out football watching” parties that are a regular occurrence at the Garcias, too! Ryan and Yolanda are true Aggies, and their plan is to finish the room by adding many pieces of Texas A&M memorabilia to the walls and bookcases. As with most new homes this size, creating a finished product is always a work in progress. The Garcias are constantly adding to the existing furnishings in an effort to make the inside of their dream home as magnificent as the outside.

11 / The Journey - December 2009

/ Your H o m e


jones property management | livingston, tx

Telephone Company set up shop on the second floor. After the bank and telephone company moved to a new building, the Masonic Lodge purchased the second floor and the first floor housed the Post Office and Hooks Grocery. The ground floor was purchased in 1967 by Ward Jones, a local attorney. Mr. Jones purchased the second floor in 1971. The building is now the home of Jones Property Management. Over the years the building has undergone some changes. The original canted entry on the northeast corner has been removed. The rear staircase was enclosed at some point early on. The brickwork on the north and east side has been covered with stucco. The first floor windows on the north side have been covered.


owntown Livingston is filled with many landmarks. Take a stroll through downtown, and one may not even know the extensive history behind just one building. One of those buildings, known today as the Jones Property Management Building, is well over 100 years old. The Jones Property Management Building was built in 1902 following a devastating fire that destroyed all but two buildings in downtown Livingston. The building was the first brick building constructed in Livingston, built with locally manufactured bricks. Until 1913, it housed the Citizens National Bank (now the First National Bank) on the first floor. The newly formed Livingston 12 / The Journey - December 2009

The new paintwork showcases the brick and stucco detail on the upper part of the building. The original, arched window treatment is also high-lighted by the paint scheme. The awnings and shutters on the lower level complete the overall historic appearance of this handsome building. Renovation was completed in December, 2006. The City of Livingston entered the Jones Building into the Texas Downtown Association Best Rehabilitation Category in 2008. The building received recognition as runner up in the category. Main Street is proud and would love for you to come by and hear more stories of the landmarks. Christmas in Livingston’s downtown is the perfect time to visit!


best home improvement investments


hether it’s time to sell the house, or it’s just time to make some improvements, it’s important to know which projects will be the best investments.You may really want to put a hot tub in the bathroom or create an outdoor room, but will you recoup any of those costs when you sell the house? Where’s the smartest place to invest your hard-earned money? For the past 20 years, the National Association of Realtors and Remodeling magazine have produced the Cost vs. Value Report, a detailed analysis of key 30 different home improvement projects. The report shows how much the projects cost and what they typically recoup in value when a home is sold. The figures are adjusted by region as well as shown as a national average. The 2008 – 2009 Cost vs. Value Report indicates that while the average home price has fallen by a national average of seven percent, the value of homeowners’ remodeling investments has declined less than four percent. As the housing market has slowed, there are fewer upscale projects being done. Instead, the focus is on curb appeal projects. In comparing the national averages, replacement projects that boost curb appeal – siding, windows, and decks – give you the greatest chance of recouping your money. Inside, only kitchen remodels can compare, at least on a national level. The Cost vs. Value Report assumes paying the full price for labor. So if you can do any part of a project, you could save costs and, therefore, get more of your money back. Just how much is possible to recoup depends on several factors, such as the value of the

homes in your neighborhood, the nature of the project, when you try to sell the home, as well as the condition of the overall housing market.

home are in good shape first. If you replace the windows but have a leaky basement, you’ll have a problem selling the house and getting any of your money back.

Before investing in one of these curb appeal projects, however, make sure that the basic structural and mechanical systems of your

Courtesy of Family Features

Top 10 projects and how much they typically pay back Upscale fiber cement siding - 86.7 % Midrange wood deck - 81.8 % Midrange vinyl siding - 80.7 % Upscale foam-backed vinyl - 80.4 % Midrange minor kitchen remodel 79.5 % Upscale vinyl window replacement 79.2 %

Midrange wood window replacement 77.7 % Midrange vinyl window replacement 77.2 % Upscale wood window replacement 76.5 % Midrange major kitchen remodel 76.0 % / 13

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home tour Nacogdoches tour of homes

The Old University Building: 515 N. Mound

Celebrating it’s 150th Anniversary, the Old Nacogdoches University Building is a Nacogdoches Landmark, a Texas State Historic Landmark, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Opened in 1859, The Old University Building is the oldest college or university building in the state. Today the lower level is a community gathering place and the upper level houses a museum dedicated to education, a Civil War Hospital, and community events. Stop by during The Christmas Tour of Homes for a cup of Wassail, a visit with the Hostesses dressed in period costumes, and a tour of this historic public event facility and museum. Handicapped accessible.

The Sterne Hoya House Museum: 211 S. Lanana St.

The Sterne Hoya House Museum and Library was built by prominent Texas revolutionary leader Adolphus Sterne in 1830 and is the oldest building in Nacogdoches. In 1869, the von der Hoya family bought the house from the Sternes and owned the property until 1958, when it was given to the city. For the next 20 years, the house served as the Nacogdoches Public Library until the early 1980’s when it was restored and reopened as a house museum. For the holiday season, the house is decorated as it would have appeared during a Hoya family Christmas. There will be information on Victorian dress, recipes, decorations, gift giving, and other holiday traditions.

14 / The Journey - December 2009

The Home of Johnny and Barbara Sloane: 1323 North Fredonia Street

Nestled among huge old pecan trees and flowering magnolias in one of the loveliest older residential sections of the city is the 1950’s bungalow belonging to Johnny and Barbara Sloane. The 2,400 sq. ft. home was originally built by late author Garland Roark for his family. Purchased in 2006 by the Sloanes, the home has undergone a transformation that highlights the basic design of the home. The home will feature traditional decorations in each room with an emphasis in the living room which will display her collection of antique Santas, along with a large tree decorated with antique ornaments and a child’s sleigh filled with vintage toys.

The Home of Linda Sisk: 333 Deerfield Drive

Set among native East Texas landscaping, “Fawn Cottage” is the English – style home of Mrs. Linda Sisk. Located in Raguet Reserve and completed in 2007, this 4,200 Sq. Ft. home is a home showplace of construction, interior design, and décor. Elegant best describes the leaded glass windows and transom ceilings, Corinthian columns, and the abundance of regency millwork throughout the home. The beautiful finish work and carefully planned appointments reflect the homeowner’s appreciation for formal detail. Of special interest is the over-mantle above the kitchen range which features a reproduction of a French frieze of cherubs, in addition to an antique French chandelier over the island. Special paint finishes in the kitchen compliment the detailed moldings and pilasters which conceal appliances. During the holiday season, numerous themed decorated trees are placed throughout the home, as well as special Christmas collectibles.

The Home of Mike and Wendy Buchanan: 4207 Mystic Lane

The Christmas Collection of Dorothy Warren: New Zion Hill Baptist Church Fellowship Hall Located on a lush, 1122 North East Stallings

beautifully landscaped setting is the 3,500 sq. ft. home of to Mike and Wendy Buchanan. Purchased five years ago, this Mystic Lane home showcases the owner’s appreciation for family antiques. The eclectic décor features faux finishes used in numerous way to highlight the interior and to compliment furnishings and accessories. The open floor plan and numerous windows provide an inviting atmosphere to the home and a relaxing view of the backyard pool. Items of special interest are the original Nacogdoches paintings, art work from Scotland and Italy, and a large collection of “Wee Forest Folk” miniature mice. To celebrate the holiday season, eight Christmas Trees decorated in various themes and colors are displayed throughout the home.

Nacogdoches Nine Flags Festival Tour of Homes Benefiting the Friends of Historic Nacogdoches Inc. Saturday, Dec. 12, 1p.m.- 4p.m. Tickets $10 Tickets available at the NacogdochesVisitors’ Center located at 200 E. Main St. and Sloanes Antiques: 404 E. Main

Collecting Santa figures, angels, Nativity Scenes, dolls, snowmen and other items relating to Christmas has been a passion of Dorothy Warren’s for the last 14 years. What began as a small personal collection has now grown into a large varied one with family and friends also contributing to the collection. As the collection grew, Dorothy decided to display the collectibles for other to see and enjoy. Each season students in public schools, day care, and learning centers are invited to view the collection which serves as a learning experience, as well as an opportunity to have fun. The collection for 2009 will focus on the “Holy Birth”, a unique treasure of Nativity scenes of all types which include the Lenox, Willow Tree, Jim Shaw and Thomas Kinkade Collections. In addition are Santas of all descriptions and cultures, snowmen lighted houses, churches, nutcrackers, stockings, and gingerbread children. Also featured will be a miniature Alamo, M&M candy characters, family heirlooms, and numerous other items. Of special interest to all visitors is the lighted mechanized Christmas Train with animated characters.

The Enclave at

Private • Tra n q u i l • C o nve n i e n t

The Natural Habitat of each lot has been preserved for your custom design. Come design your dream! La Madera also offers: • Protective Deed Restrictions 2,500 sq. ft. minimum (heated/cooled) • Vegetation Easements • Wooded Estate Lots • Quiet cul-de-sac with only 6 lots remaining!


For more information, please call:


S Hwy 59

58 Brentwood

Stephen Greak (936) 675-5738 Ron Haney (936) 674-5655

/ Your H o m e

In the Kitchen

Homemade Christmas gifts from my kitchen to yours | by anna boles lee


andmade gifts are the best kind, especially when they are edible! Offering these types of gifts are not only a nice gesture, but also a personalized one which makes it all the more special to our friends and family. Here are a few choices for food or food related gifts that are sure to make your gift recipients happy:

Fill a whisk with Hershey’s kisses. With red ribbon, tie a note saying “I whisk you Merry Christmas” to it.

Homemade candies such as bark, marshmallows, fudge, divinity, and peanut brittle

Hot Cocoa Mix with mug or any other drink mix. Be sure to add directions!

Soup mixes put together in a glass mason jar with directions tied to the jar.

Homemade Cookies with a Christmas cookie cutter

Make a dip mix and with a note that says “Spreading some Christmas cheer.”

Quick breads such as apple cinnamon muffins, banana nut bread or pumpkin bread

Warm Turnip Green Dip Try this Southern twist on the popular artichoke dip! 5 bacon slices, chopped ½ sweet onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped ¼ cup dry white wine 1 (16 oz.) package frozen chopped turnip greens, thawed 12 oz. cream cheese, cut into pieces (may use low fat) 1 (8 oz.) container of sour cream ½ tsp. dried crushed red pepper ¼ tsp. salt ¼ cup grated Parmesan

Minted Hot Chocolate Mix A quick and easy holiday gift that is satisfying to the mind and tummy. 3 (4 inch) soft peppermint candy sticks 1 cup sugar ¾ cup instant nonfat dry milk ¾ cup powdered nondairy coffee creamer ½ cup unsweetened cocoa Place peppermint sticks in a zip-top plastic freezer bag; seal bag, and crush candy. Combine crushed candy and remaining ingredients in an airtight container. This can be stored at room temperature for up to a month.

Directions on making Hot Chocolate with mix: Stir about 2 ½ - 3 Tbsp. mix into 1 cup hot milk or water, stirring until Cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove dissolved. Top with marshmallows if desired. bacon and place on paper towels to dry. Sauté the onion and garlic in remaining bacon grease in pan for 3-4 minutes. Add wine, and cook 1-2 minutes, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of pan. Stir in turnip greens, next 4 ingredients and ½ cup parmesan cheese. Cook, stirring often, 6-8 minutes or until cream cheese is melted and mixture is heated thoroughly. Transfer to a lightly greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Broil 6 inches from heat for 4-5 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Sprinkle evenly with bacon crumbles. 16 / The Journey - December 2009

Bourbon-Cranberry Roasted Turkey This dish can also be made with turkey tenderloins instead of a whole turkey. 1 (14 lb.) whole fresh turkey 1 (16 oz.) can whole-berry cranberry sauce 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar 2/3 cup bourbon 2 Tbsp. grated orange rind Salt and Pepper Bring cranberry sauce, brown sugar, bourbon and grated orange rind to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat, and let stand 30 minutes. Meanwhile, remove giblets and neck, and rinse turkey with cold water. Drain cavity well; pat dry. Brush turkey with ¼ cup cranberry mixture and let turkey stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place turkey, breast side up, on a lightly greased wire rack in a roasting pan. Brush with 2 Tbsp. melted butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 325 degrees for 3 ½ hours or until meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of thigh registers 170 degrees, brushing with ½ cup cranberry mixture during the last 30 minutes of roasting. Serve with any remaining cranberry mixture.

Anna Lee grew up right here in East Texas in the wonderful town of Center. While growing up, she was very much involved in her local 4-H club participating in projects from foods and nutrition, showing chickens in the infamous Poultry Festival, and riding in the Shelby County mounted drill team, played on her High School Golf team, and worked at her parent’s family business, Boles Feed Company. Anna completed a Bachelors degree in Family and Consumer Sciences at SFA, Master’s degree in Family Studies at Texas Woman’s University. Anna and her husband, Justin, live in Nacogdoches. Anna is currently

17 / The Journey is working at Shelby Savings Bank. - December 2009

/ Yo u r H o m e


steps to success with bulbs| by Kathie bond-borie

a daffodil bulb is 3 inches tall, plant so its base is 9 to 12 inches down. In heavier clay soils, plant 9 inches deep; in lighter, sandier soils, plant 12 inches deep. Space bulbs according to the supplier’s recommendations.

Arrange bulbs. Set the bulbs in a planting


s the days draw shorter and the nights cool down, it’s time to get ready for the fall bulb planting ritual.

The best time to plant spring bulbs depends on where you live. Ideally, wait until the soil temperature is below 60°F. As a general guide, plant in September through early October if you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 or 5; October to early November in zones 6 or 7; and November to early December in zones 8 and 9. In mild winter regions, you can give the bulbs their required cold treatment by placing them in the refrigerator for 8 to 10 weeks in the fall. Then plant them in late December to early January. Plant a variety of bulbs to extend the flowering season. In addition to daffodils and tulips, include some early-flowering bulbs – such as grape hyacinths, crocuses, snowdrops and scilla – to herald the start of spring. Lateflowering alliums will continue the show into early summer.

Pick a Site.

Most bulb species prefer well-drained – not soggy – soil, and a location with at least 6 hours of sun a day during spring through summer. Determine light levels in summer when the trees have leafed out, and make sure the bulbs will not be in the shade when the leaves still need the sun to make energy for next year’s flowers.

Dig Holes.

Digging up the whole bed makes bulb spacing, layering and soil amending easier.The depth of the hole should equal three to four times the bulb height. For example, if

bed or in separate planting holes with their roots or basal plate downward. If you can’t tell which way is up, lay the bulb on its side. Fill the planting hole with soil and firm it gently. Water and mulch. Water the bulbs right after planting to help initiate growth. In mildwinter areas, mulch right after planting to help keep soil cool and moist. Apply mulch after soil freezes in cold-winter areas.


Bulbs need fertilizer, but the kind of nutrition varies with the plant. Tulips, hyacinths and fritillaria are best served by a 9-96 formula fertilizer. Daffodils and snowdrops need nitrogen and potassium and thrive on a 5-10-20 mixture. For both fertilizers, use about 1/2 cup per 10 square feet. Sprinkle it on top of the soil after planting, not in the hole. Fertilizer in the hole may burn tender young roots. Fertilize established bulb beds in fall, too. All the foliage is dormant then, so it may be difficult to locate bulb beds, especially if they’re naturalized. Try planting grape hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum) as indicator bulbs. They produce small blue flowers in the spring but also send up fall foliage. Plant them around the edge of the bulb area. For more tips and garden information visit

A former floral designer and interior plantscaper, Kathie Bond-Borie has spent 20 years as a garden writer/editor, including her current role as Horticultural Editor for the National Gardening Association. She loves designing with plants, and spends more time playing in the garden – planting and trying new combinations – than sitting and appreciating it.

Photo courtesy of Fotolia Courtesy of Family Features

Simple Solutions Christmas Organizing Tips There are just days left before Christmas Day. The more organization you bring to each year, the easier and easier it will be. Here are few simple ideas to make the countdown a little easier.

Gift Wrap Central This is a great idea for all year and not only for Christmas. Keep a storage bin that can slide under your bed or fit in the nook of a closet. It is important to keep the needed necessities in this one area: scissors, tape, tags, tissue paper, ribbon, gift bags, wrapping paper. This is also a great system to have to keep a running inventory. If you have a central location for gift wrap, you can see that you are out of bows, boy gift bags, etc….then when the items are drastically reduced after Christmas, you can restock for the following year!

Christmas Card List Keeping up with the list year to year is going to be your best game plan. Not having to recreate the wheel will save you the most time. The most organized way is creating a spreadsheet. That way if you choose to do labels, you are ready to go. The best part about having all your addresses in one location, and especially in a spreadsheet, is that you can update them all year long when people move and change addresses or your children have a new best friend from their class. If you are the type to go the extra mile, you can put gift ideas or gift purchases already made for Christmas, or even keep up with birthdates. Don’t forget to add the new addresses to your list from families’ cards you received this year! / 19

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Simple Solutions continued

Storage As you unwrap and pull out your Christmas decorations, take inventory of what you need. When it is time to pack up and put it all away, that is when the stores put storage bins and containers on sale. Stock up and plan, so every year you are one step closer to being more organized.

Christmas Club This is an old idea that is finally starting to gain momentum. With the economy the way it has been, it makes more sense to plan ahead. If you take your estimated spending from this year, that can help plan your budget for next year. Be sure to remember postage, holiday parties, special clothing and dinners, baking items, and gift wrap--all of these items add up just like the gifts on your list. Divide that into a monthly amount and set up a Christmas Club account. Commercial Bank of Texas has this type of account set up and would be ready to answer your questions.

Trimming the Tree The lights, the tree, garland--these are the things that make it feel like Christmas is on its way. If you are OCD by nature, then you can take this category to the extreme. For the average organizers, your best battle plan is taking pictures of your dĂŠcor. That way you can remember what you have, how you had it set up, and the things you could stand to buy the following year. You can take this idea to the next level by creating a Christmas binder system for storing decoration, inventory of decorations, etc. The pictures come in handy, too, if you take pictures as you store them--then you remember what items fit into what boxes.


ou do not have to get all of this done this year. The more organization you incorporate into each year, the better you feel coming into the holiday season. Christmas cards, decorations, and all the baked goods bring warmth to everyone’s heart, but all the stress that comes with it is not what the season is about. Just remember--Jesus is the Reason for the Season, and that can keep your feet grounded.

entertAIn In style

holiday entertaining| by brookshire brothers/emily watts


hristmas is meant to be shared. It’s a time to gather the family, friends, friends of friends, and neighbors all together at the table. Sounds wonderful, right? Well, it is if you are the “hostess with the mostest” and have put some time into planning your event. I am a “planner” – I love list-making and thinking out all the details of the perfect gettogether. So, I’ve put together a few tips to help make your holiday entertaining a success.


Flowers for the centerpiece can be as formal or as casual as you like. White roses or amaryllis are lush-looking, yet simple. Or, bring the outdoors to the table with pine cones, pine branches and red berries.


Plan your menu – think about all those that will be joining in your celebration…young, old, those with dietary restrictions, etc. A special menu might include everything from a glass of Chablis or cup of spirited eggnog to start, to soup and salad, and all the way to a fabulous dessert(s) at the conclusion of the meal.

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FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS Set A Fabulous and Festive Table with Brookshire Brothers Floral Arrangements

Bring out your best dishes for Christmas – and the silver and crystal, too. We have become very casual about our entertaining, but what better time to pull out those special pieces than the biggest celebration of the year?

FOOD TRAYS Brookshire Brothers Treats Make Tempting Towers for any Holiday Buffet

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Place cards at the table make everyone more at ease. If you don’t know everyone around the table, or if you would prefer not to be seated next to Uncle Joe again this year, place cards make for “comfortable organization”. Get the kids involved with making the place cards for everyone – they will love being a part of the celebration and you will love their being occupied!

Decorations around your home are a reflection of you from very elaborate to very simple, Christmas is a time when anything and everything goes…and usually the more the better!

For the table, choose linens in soft, pale colors such as ivory, white, or light moss green, because all the bright Christmas decorations around the house will be plenty of color.

Holiday Accents Dress Up and Transform Simple Dishes and Tableclothes Into Magical Tablescapes / 21

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entertAIn In style continued


If you are lucky enough to be the guest invited to a holiday dinner, bring a hostess gift as a “thank you” for including you in the festivities. A great idea for a hostess gift is a wine basket filled with wine and goodies that can be shared amongst the other guests.

WINE BASKETS Brookshire Brothers Wine BasketsMake Spectacular Gifts for Holiday Hosts

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Don’t forget about the music. Music in the background gives everyone a smile, and it fills in those awkward moments of silence between waves of chatter and laughter. A sure hit with the crowd might be the soundtrack from White Christmas. Hang a sprig of mistletoe in a special spot – who doesn’t love something that says it’s all right to go ahead and kiss!


Now relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor, and remember the reason for the season.

rap up your holiday celebrations with Brookshire Brothers! Your custom event order will be prepared with everything you need to make entertaining easy!

Your community 23 / The Journey - December 2009

rudolph the red nose pumping unit lufkin mall | photo by lisa crow

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hot spots an evening in Bethlehem


ne HOT SPOT you want to make it to this month is an Evening in Old Bethlehem. This is a great way to turn a regular Friday or Saturday night into a memorable family night. The night brings the meaning of the Christmas season to life. Mark your calendars for December 11 & 12 from 6-8 p.m. at the Expo Center in Lufkin. This is a spectacular night that takes you back 2,000 years. First United Methodist Church recreates the old city of Bethlehem. You can stroll the city streets of the ancient marketplace. You will see how the residents of Bethlehem lived, worked, played, went to school, and worshipped. This two-night event is so wonderful for all ages. The birth city of baby Jesus really comes to life. See and touch the animals that came to the marketplace--donkeys and cows. See a “real� wedding take place. See some of the people of the time work-- blacksmiths, carpenters, rope makers, and basket makers. As you stroll through the different areas, you can see how the citizens of the city worshiped and sit inside the Synagogue. Be on the lookout for the Three Wise Men. If you wish, you can dance with the Hora Dancers. Stop by and talk with the woman at the well. The Roman Soldiers will be there too; they are watching for the beggars and thieves that crowd the marketplace. As all of the daily customs of old Bethlehem still take place, there is something very special happening in the city--the birth of baby Jesus. Follow the star to the manger and see the precious newborn King. The wonderful families of First United Methodist Church pull together and put on this spectacular event. There are over 200 cast members for the two night event, in addition to all the behind the scenes people that move the city in, build the city, then tear down, and store it all away until next year. This is a great ministry for all of East Texas to enjoy. If you have never been, it is definitely worth seeing. And if you have been--it never gets old, and your children remember it all throughout the year. Cost for the event is $.50 per person. 24 / The Journey - December 2009

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Business Spotlight dean cherry’s christmas tree farm

three times a year,” said Cherry.


ver sixteen years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Dean Cherry turned their 13.22 acres of land into a tree farm. Prior to them taking ownership of the land, the land was leased to someone who ran a tree farm. For farmland purposes, the Cherrys decided to take the plunge and begin a Christmas tree farm. Dean Cherry did not have the first idea of what he was getting into. “We are both retired educators, so the thought of having kids and families around was very exiting,” said the Cherrys. He joined the Texas Christmas Tree Growers Association and began learning what was involved. He learned, he worked, he researched, he worked, he learned, and he planted. After harvesting and preparing for four years, he opened for his first holiday season. Mr. Cherry jokes about his first Christmas, “I still didn’t know what I was doing!” He continued by saying, “I had to learn about everything--shaking, bailing, advertising, tagging trees, trimming.” When he first started, he was trimming the trees with long knives. After a few trimmings, he realized that he needed to invest in tree trimming machinery. There is a lot of preparation all year for the Christmas tree season. “You have to stake the trees so they grow straight.You also have to shape the tree,

26 / The Journey - December 2009

Sixteen years later, he has figured it all out. Mr. Cherry says, “It is a lot of hard work. I really enjoy it. I enjoy seeing things grow, whether it is the Christmas tree or my garden. The part I enjoy the most is the shaping of the tree. I take great pride in that.” The Cherry’s have seven and a half acres cultivated for Christmas trees with over 2200 trees on the farm. It is a beautiful sight to see all of their hard work and their dedication to their farm. Being former educators, one part of the season that they enjoy the most are the PK fieldtrips. They will come as a class, walk through the farm and he will try to explain pieces of the growing process. The class will usually choose and cut a tree to take back to their classroom. “We also get kids at Easter time for fieldtrips. They come and hide eggs and have a great time!” Mrs. Cherry has always been supportive of the tree farm from day one. She says the best part of it all is getting to meet a lot of people. Dean Cherry Christmas Trees are open from 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to December 20th from 9 a.m. until it’s dark (5:30 p.m.). “But those dates really don’t mean anything,” said Mr. Cherry, “We have one man that comes to get his tree every Christmas Eve. We have even cut trees on Christmas Day. If we are here, we will help you.” Be sure to visit Tommie Jean and Dean Cherry this Christmas season. It is a great time for the whole family. The farm is located off of Appleby Sands Road. 7923 FM 2609. 936.560.4977.

Business Connections teresa darby


ast Texans have a great sense of pride in giving and volunteering. Teresa Darby is an extraordinary example of that mindset. Many who have the privilege of knowing her know how she gives with her time and heart. She and her husband, David, own a small business, Glass Castles. Owning a small business is a huge commitment alone. Carving out time to give and volunteer is not a small endeavor. Because the business is located on Main Street in the Oldest Town in Texas, a lot of her volunteering passion is geared toward that. Teresa is very modest when it comes to recognition. Glass Castles was named Small Business of the Year by the Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce. “We wanted all of our employees to attend the banquet with us because it is a group effort that make us work,” said Teresa Darby. Kelly Daniel, Marketing Director for the Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce says, “I first met Teresa visiting Glass Castles gift shop

as a customer. She and David are the strong welcoming, warm energy of the shop. I always enjoy their store front that says to downtown shoppers, ‘you have to come in to see the neat stuff happening in here.’ Getting to know Teresa better while working with her and others to produce the Blueberry Golf Bash and the Texas Blueberry Festival is a treat. I see her bringing grace and wisdom and fun to our community events. She gives a lot of her talent to the town and the people that live and visit here.”

“you have to come in to see the neat stuff happening here.” Teresa carves out special time to give to her church, the Chamber, Downtown, and SFA. All the organizations she is involved with need her. They need a volunteer that is going to work hard--she is by no means just a warm body standing around. She says, “It seems like a lot, but a lot of what I am involved in does not overlap. Most importantly, I don’t do any of this by myself. Our employees and David

support and help.” Juggling family time, work, volunteer time, and extra time for personal enjoyment is a struggle for anyone. The Darbys say Sundays are used for just that. “Sundays are for church & resting. We visit friends and family, watch football, read the papers, books, chill out in front of the TV. It gives us a priority of time to separate work from rest. Then we don’t run out of steam during the week.”  Teresa Darby has seen the importance of the need for many volunteers. She has helped with the Blueberry Festival, Scare on the Square, Art Walk, and many large events. “Working together with lots of help makes huge undertakings possible. Making time to volunteer is really a way to make friends & enjoy what Nacogdoches has to offer you. This is a wonderful community to be involved with.” Teresa Darby is one example of what makes small towns thrive. She is a wonderful asset to the whole community of Nacogdoches. Teresa gives not only of her time, but with her heart. / 27

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angelina County Chamber of Commerce The Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce Unveils the Business Hall of Fame The Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce debuted the First Annual Business Hall of Fame on October 29th at the Kurth Memorial Library. Civic leaders gathered to honor the founding fathers of East Texas during the inaugural ceremony for the Angelina County Business Hall of Fame. Three larger-than-life names were read as a plaque bearing the inductees’ image and history was revealed to the audience. Each year, three new honorees will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Walter C. Trout, Ernest L. Kurth and Arthur Temple Jr., are the first official inductees into the newly constructed hall of fame.Their plaques are proudly displayed inside the Kurth Memorial Library. The following inductees were honored:

Walter C. Trout: 1874-1947 — Trout moved to Lufkin from Wisconsin and

began selling sawmill equipment. When sawmills began to decline, Trout invented the first enclosed gear oil well pumping unit in 1922 and turned a small foundry into Lufkin Industries, Inc., which is today a worldwide producer of oil field equipment.

Ernest L. Kurth: 1885-1960 — In the 1930s, Kurth, son of an East Texas

sawmill owner, became the impetus for the creation of the Southland Paper Mills, Inc., the first mill to produce newsprint from southern pine fiber. The mill provided a new era of jobs and growth for East Texas and Angelina County.

Arthur Temple, Jr: 1920-2006 — Temple built upon the assets of Southern Pine Lumber Company, founded by his grandfather T.L.L. Temple, to create one of America’s leading forest products companies providing widespread jobs and growth for East Texas, including Angelina County.

The above histories were compiled by local historian and author Bob Bowman. Presenting sponsor for the business hall of fame is the Lufkin/Angelina County Economic Development Partnership, and gold sponsors are Brookshire Brothers and First Bank & Trust of East Texas. 28 / The Journey - December 2009

angelina County Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cuttings Integra Insurance, located at 502 N. Main St. in Huntington, celebrated their newly remodeled location with a ribbon cutting on Friday, October 16th. Pictured is: James Flournoy with Huntington Economic Development, Holly Howard, Tara Graham, Sundra Denman, Shane Tatum, Sherri Farr, Rex Lowery, Evelyn Hudnall, Melody Lowery, Julie Tatum, Misty Tatum. Also pictured are members of the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce Diplomats team. The Samaritan Counseling Center celebrated their 30th Anniversary with a Ribbon Cutting on Monday, October 19th at their new location. They are located at 607 South Chestnut in Lufkin. They offer counseling, education programs and consultation to children, adolescents and adults. Pictured is: Executive Director Jan Rhodes, counselors Marty Sholars, Angela Cooper, Jean Stanley, & Monica Oliver; board members Kari Patranella, Kristi Gay,& Melissa Chumley. Also pictured are members of the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce Diplomats Team. Dr. James W. Rogers, DO, celebrated the opening of his family medicine practice with a ribbon cutting and open house on Tuesday, October 20th. Dr. Rogers is located at 4100 S. Medford Dr, Suite 208, in the Old Texas Plaza shopping center. Pictured is: Dr. James Rogers, his wife Julie Rogers and son Seth. Also pictured is Debbie Lee, Office Manager, Corie Bonner, staff member, Dan Jacobs, Marketing Director – Woodland Heights Hospital and Yana Ogletree, Marketing Director of Memorial Hospital. Bubbles N Bows Pet Salon celebrated their grand opening with a Ribbon Cutting on Monday, November 16th. The shop is owned by Dena York and is located at 303 E. Denman Ave, Suite E. Bubbles N Bows is a full service pet salon the offers fur and nail trimming, bathing and much more in a loving professional environment. Call Dena at 634-2697 to schedule your appointment. Pictured is Owner Dena York and members of the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce Diplomats Team. Tracy Nail & Spa celebrated their grand opening with a Ribbon Cutting on Monday, November 16th. They are located at 404 N. Temple Dr in Diboll. They are a full service nail salon with nails, wraps, waxing and more. Call 936-289-4435 to schedule your appointment today. Pictured are the owners and staff of Tracy Nail & Spa and members of the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce Diplomats Team. / 29

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NACOGDOCHES County Chamber of Commerce Shop Nac First for the holidays There are a thousand and one reasons to Shop Nac First. Here are just a few: •

You help build a strong economy and tax base.

You generate jobs.

You save gas, and wear and tear on your vehicle.

And – you find there’s great service, selection and unique items right here in Nacogdoches .

So, when you’re in the buying mood….

Shop Nac First! Shop Nac First tips: * Go to the online membership directory at Search the Shopping & Specialty Retail category and find something new in Nacogdoches .  * To find the sales, specials and discounts local merchants are offering holiday shoppers, visit  * Don’t forget the true one-size-fits-all gift – gift certificates for products and services that can be selected locally.  

Ribbon Cuttings celebrating good things in business Macy May 114 N. Church St . , Owner Rebecca Welch (936) 205-5911 New downtown business and Chamber member.

Samaritan Counseling Center of East Texas 903 North St . - 2nd floor of Westminster Presbyterian Church Executive Director Jan Rhodes (936) 560-4064 30 year anniversary!

nAcogdoches county chAmBer of commerce Heart to Heart Hospice 1320 S. John Redditt, Ste. A, Lufkin , TX 75904 Executive Director Jackie Kendrick (877) 639-6001 New Chamber member. The Dragonfly Gift Shop and Gallery 134 N. Mound St . Owners Kimberly and Richard Wright (936) 558-7200 New addition to downtown business.

“We wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY, PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR” - the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and staff.

Looking ahead – year 2010 The Lone Star Legislative Summit brings elected

officials from Austin and Washington to East Texas. Bringing Austin and Washington to East Texas

Education,Transportation, Water/Natural Resources and Property Rights: Issues and legislation that affect Texans

Save the Dates!

February 17 & 18, 2010

Nacogdoches, Texas Exhibit space available

Save the date: Feb. 17 – 18, 2010 in Nacogdoches . Sponsorships available.

please see additional info:

Texas Blueberry Festival presented by Brookshire Brothers The tastiest festival in Texas will be 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, June 12, in downtown Nacogdoches . Volunteer opportunities and sponsorships available.

always know the latest nacogdoches news - Twitter updates for Chamber. - Twitter updates for Texas Blueberry festival. - The Nacogdoches County Chamber Web site is also a great place to find a community event! Online calendar (submit your events, too), links to the Chamber events photo albums, Shop Nac first and NacBlog sites, and more! / 31

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december 2009 Calendar of Events

1 - January 4 Festival of Trees Museum of East Texas 936-639-4434

5 Jingle Bell 5K Fun Run & 3k Walk 5K event begins at 8:30 a.m. 3K event starts at 8:35 a.m. Registration information and forms available online at 1 - January 19 JOHN JAMES AUDUBON: American Sponsored by Dr. Cesar DelAguila, Artist and Naturalist Museum of East Texas. Nacogdoches Main Street, and R & K Free admission. Distributors. For hours, call 936-639-4434 or go to our website, 5 Pancakes with Santa 4-6 Pancakes with Santa at Café Fredonia, SFA Original Cast production of 200 N. Fredonia St. Saturdays Christmas at the Movies through December 19. Breakfast price is “Christmas at the Movies” a holiday $9.95 adult, $5.95 children musical celebration featuring your 4-6 yrs of age, children under 3 are free. favorite movie Christmas songs. From Don’t forget your camera! Polar Express and White Christmas to 8 to 10 a.m. (December 5, 12, 19) Meet me in St. Louis and the Grinch who Stole Christmas. Tickets $8 adults, $5 5 students available at SFA box office. Lighted Christmas Parade & Fireworks W. M TurnerAuditorium. Extravaganza Dec 4 at 4 & 7:30 p.m., Don’t miss the largest lighted Christmas Dec 5 at 2 & 9 p.m. parade in East Texas as it winds its way Dec 6 at 2 p.m. through the brick streets of downtown Sponsored by Tipton Ford Nacogdoches. 6:30 p.m. Sponsored by First Bank & Trust East 4&6 Texas. Be dazzled by the 30-minute The World Famous Budweiser explosive display. Estimated start time: Clydesdales 7:45 p.m. The symbol of quality and tradition Sponsored by Austin Bank, for Anheuser-Busch since 1933. Area BancorpSouth/Joe Max Green Insurance residents are invited to attend a Concepts, ETECH, Huntington State “Stable Showing” at Barn #1 of the Bank & Mike Perry Motors. Nacogdoches County Exposition Center from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission is free. 5 Sponsored by R & K Distributors. Santa Claus Express The Texas Forestry Museum 936-632-9535. 32 / The Journey - December 2009

5 Birding with Mimi Hoppe Wolf at Kit McConnico Park. All ages and experience level of birders are welcome. Free of charge. Meet at the front gate at 8 a.m. For more information, call 936-639-4434. 5 - 31 Trail of Lights Texas Forestry Museum 936-632-9535 6 A Christmas Celebration Temple Theater 936-633-5454 6 Pet Photo Night with Santa Lufkin Mall 936-639-1249. (Also on December 13) 6 Cliff Shackelford Lecture and Book Signing: Hummingbirds of Texas 2 p.m. Museum of East Texas 936-639-4434 9 - 10 Living Nativity First Christian Church 936-634-8341. 11 SFA - A Holiday Musical Jubilee 7:30 p.m. For info, call: 936-468-6407 SFA Turner Auditorium

11 - 12 Evening in Old Bethlehem The George H. Henderson, Jr. Exposition Center 936-639-3141. 12 Birding with Louis Debetaz & Carroll Moore Kurth Lake, 8 a.m. to 12 noon For adults only—reservations required. To make your reservation, email 12 Using Evergreens to Decorate for the Holidays 9 a.m. - Noon For info call: 936-468-1832 SFA Mast Arboretum Join horticulturist Dawn Stover to learn how to make a holiday wreath and magnolia garland. 12 33rd Annual Members’ Gala 7 to 9 p.m. Black tie optional Museum of East Texas 936-639-4434

13 LampLite Theatre presents “Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol” 2 p.m. For info, call: 936-564-8300 Lamp Lite Theatre, Old Tyler Road and Loop 224 14 Cantus – All is Calm:The Christmas Truce of 1914 Temple Theater 936-633-5454 17 - 18 SFA - The Great Russian Nutcracker 7:30 p.m. For info, call: 936-468-6407 SFA Turner Auditorium 19 - 23 Extended Hours at the Museum of East Texas Come admire the 85+ trees and the Audubon exhibition after hours. Open until 8 p.m. For more information, call 936-639-4434. 20 Family Day with special guests Charlotte Henley and Santa 1 – 3 p.m. Free of charge, open to the public Museum of East Texas 936-639-4434

12 Christmas Tour of Homes Tour two beautifully decorated historic treasures and three elegantly decorated residences. Tickets are $10 25 and are available at the Visitors’ Center, 200 E. Main St. Proceeds benefit Merry Friends of Historic Nacogdoches. 1 to 4 p.m. Sponsored by Citizens 1st Bank.


Send us your events at Submission deadline is the 15th of the month prior to publication. (December 15th for the January issue) In order for your event to be included please list all ofthe following: Date, Event Name, Brief Description, Event Location, Time, and Contact. / 33

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Yo u r Co m m u n i ty /

places and faces unveiled: kasey van norman beautiful adventures ministry fredonia hill baptist church November 14, 2009 Nacogdoches

Passionate pursuit shades of grace ministries fredonia hotel November 5, 2009 Nacogdoches

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Holiday in the pines Nacogdoches junior forum hotel fredonia November 19, 2009 Nacogdoches / 35

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mistletoe market healthcare network lufkin civic center November 4, 2009 Lufkin

denim and diamonds pregnancy help center lufkin civic center November 12, 2009 Lufkin

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business hall of fame lufkin chamber of commerce kurth memorial library October 29, 2009 Lufkin / 37

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Girls night out the very thing

November 19, 2009 Lufkin

Alive After Five

Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce November 19, 2009 Clardy, Davis, & Knowles Law Firm

38 / The Journey - December 2009

rudolph lighting

lufkin mall

November 21, 2009 Lufkin / 39

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gIvIng BAck museum guild


ne annual event the community looks forward to is the Festival of Trees at the Museum of East Texas. It is a project of the Museum Guild and a holiday tradition they look forward to working on every year.

This year’s chair for the Festival of Trees is Susan Belasco. “I have been involved as a volunteer with the Museum for several years and love the opportunity to work with such a great group of women. Debbie Alexander, Guild President, and Festival co-chairs Keela Morgan, Emily Parks and Rebecca West have been instrumental in planning and executing this yuletide extravaganza,” says Belasco. If you have never been to see the trees, this is an event you will not want to miss! Belasco says, “The Festival of Trees is a cornucopia of themed trees decorated by Guild members and sponsored by the community. This year we have 85 trees! Community members sponsor a tree and the Museum provides decorations with the theme of their choosing. Past themes have ranged from collegiate pride to professional stewardship and hobbies, along with memorial trees and traditional seasonal motifs.”

The trees are breathtaking—and they range in size from 3 feet to a towering 12 feet! Two very giving Guild members, Maria Davis and Anita Martin, have spent many hours decorating a lot of the trees. There have been many volunteers and Guild members that have spent long hours in the evenings to make this event happen. They decorate and decorate and decorate some more! Some themed trees you can see are horse racing, Candyland, Beach--there is even an upside down Christmas tree! “Memories of Christmas past and present come alive to all as the Museum doors open to the magic of the season. Seeing the twinkle in the children’s eyes as they squeal with Christmas delight makes all of the hard work worthwhile,” said Susan Belasco. The Festival of Trees is something fun to do with the family, but is also a treat for out of town guests visiting during the Holiday. The best part about this beautiful undertaking is where all the proceeds go. All of the trees are sponsored for a fee, and all of the money raised allows the Museum Guild to raise scholarship funds for Art Camp. This past summer, the Museum of East Texas was able to offer 155 students scholarships for Art Camp. A large part of that was due to the generosity of the Festival of Trees sponsors. There are many ways to get involved with the Museum. The Museum Guild is an important part of the Museum that takes pride in rolling up their sleeves and getting to work on behalf of the Museum. It is because of volunteers like Susan Belasco, Emily Parks, Keela Morgan, Rebecca West, Anita Martin, Maria Davis,

Olivia Wilkins, Shannon Davis, Debbie Alexander, and many more that the Festival of Trees is a wonderful event for all of East Texas to enjoy. The Festival of Trees Exhibit opens Friday, November 27th and concludes the first week of January. Museum hours are Monday - Friday 9-5, Saturdays 105, and Sundays 1-5. Between December 19th and 23rd, the Museum will be open until 8 p.m. Admission is free and cameras are welcome. / 41


Inspiring Young Woman

Sarah Swan | by Sharon Swan

arah Swan is five-year-old “girly-girl” who loves everything pink and purple. To see her, you would never realize what she has gone through during her five little years....unless you see her chest. Sarah has had three heart catherizations and two open- heart surgeries. Despite this, she continues to inspire all those around her by being a shining example of what God can do. We never expected to have such a gift to be entrusted to us and we are so 42 / The Journey - December 2009

thankful God chose us to be her parents! Sarah was born on September 21, 2004. We had the perfect pregnancy and had a scheduled c-section delivery. We arrived at the hospital excited for the day. We went into the operating room and awaited those words: “You have a girl!” We did hear those words and saw a beautiful baby girl. She was then whisked away and I was transported

/ Features to a recovery room. Several hours passed and we hadn’t seen her again. They said they were really busy and I needed to rest and they would be bring her in later. For a short bit, everyone got to see her through the windows of the nursery, but then our family came in my room to wait for her. Finally, our family decided to leave and return later. They said the nursery curtains were closed and they couldn’t see her there either. Someone said there was a sick baby in the nursery, which was why they kept the curtains pulled. The nurses finally brought her to me and she was still not bathed. I questioned them and they said they were just busy. They knew something was wrong, but didn’t share that with me.We did notice that her hands and feet looked very blue. However, not being clean, we just thought it would go away after she was bathed. They took her after a few minutes and said they would bring her back to me later.They knew that Sarah had a severe heart murmur and they were waiting for the pediatrician to arrive and check her out. When he did, our family had finally returned. I had been moved to a regular room and everyone was there with me waiting for her arrival, including our son. In the midst of what was turning out to be a celebration, our pediatrician came through the door and delivered the news that they were going to be transporting Sarah to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. My husband and I were shocked and devastated. Houston is two hours away from us, so he and his mother were going to follow the ambulance and I had to stay in the hospital. The next morning, the doctors told us that Sarah would need to have heart surgery. I remember thinking, “Please let it wait until I can get there!” That was on Wednesday. I finally got released to be with her on Friday afternoon. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her. At this point, I had only held her for about five minutes. I got to the NICU and saw a sight I could have never prepared myself for. There was our baby, hooked up to wires and machines, looking so helpless. I felt helpless, but I had faith in God that we would pull through this and she would be fine.  She had a heart cath procedure on September 29, 2004, and then two days later, open heart surgery. We had a miraculous recovery period and were released from the hospital after only ten days! We went back for checkups until April when we were told it was time for her next round of surgeries. She had a heart cath

procedure on April 21, 2005, in which she got “heart block.” This is where the AV node in her heart got touched and was more sensitive than most. It caused her heart rhythm to get off beat. After several days of recovery, we were once again released to go home. We went back home and when we returned to Houston for her first check-up, we were shocked. Her cardiologist did not like the way she was progressing and decided not to wait for the next surgery—it had to be done the very next day.

It was an excruciatingly long day. After nine hours, the surgeon came out and said she had done fine. After a couple of hours in recovery, she looked great.We were then put in a regular room, then discharged from the hospital into a nearby hotel again, then home, once more. Today, Sarah is five and had another heart cath in June 2009.That was her first time to “know” what was going on and she was so brave. As a matter of fact, she earned a nickname that day of her cath! The nurses started saying she was “fabulous” because we were all laughing about her saying it and she informed them that “fabulous” was her favorite word. After her surgery, she woke up and said, “I took a nap.....”  and then, “Where’s my lipgloss?”  Everyone giggled about it and she immediately became “Sarah the Brave...and Fabulous.”  She had her third open heart surgery on Monday, November 16, which should be the final one to complete the repair to her special heart.  It is a Fontan procedure which is expected to last eight to ten hours with a two to three week hospital stay and recovery afterwards.   I will be thankful that Sarah’s heart has been repaired and that she is a shining example of strength and love and determination In 2008 at a cardiologist visit, the nurses tried to get her to wear a standard issue hospital gown. She refused to wear it because it was ugly and didn’t match her bow. I was so embarrassed that she was being so picky, and it was quite an ordeal! She literally took it off

and dropped it every time we put it on her. I told her daddy that if she was going to be that upset about a hospital gown, I wanted to get her a special one made for her so she would be at ease for her surgery. This turned into a wonderful mission between her mommy and another mommy named Keri in Dallas.  Heartfelt Couture was born and in the past year has provided nearly 200 CUTE hospital gowns to children in hospitals all over the country!  Sarah loves going to help pick out fabric for the gowns and seeing them completed. During her hospital stay in November, she will be passing out gowns to children on Thanksgiving Day.  Children who have to be in the hospital on any holiday deserve a little extra attention. As a mom, my goal for my children is to realize and know that no matter what your situation, you can use it to help others in some way.  Even if it is nothing more than remaining positive and being a light for God, it helps make the world a better place!  Sarah is strong willed and determined in everything she does, which isn’t always a good thing! She is a shining example of what life should be. She’s been through it all and she runs and smiles and acts like nothing has ever gone wrong a day in her life. She amazes me and I can’t wait to see the beautiful young woman she grows into. We enjoy sharing her story with others to help them through tough times and hard situations. I made it through something I never would have dreamed I could handle. But with God, all things are possible and I’ve learned--if He brings you to it, He will bring you through it and with His amazing grace, you can make it through! / 43

Inspiring Women

44 / The Journey - December 2009

The great American formula for success in life is as valid today as it was for our founding fathers and mothers: family support, faith in God, education, and hard work.” “


Patsy Hallman n Tuesday, September 29, 2009, in

especially pleased to have been a part of the fine College of

the Baker Patillo Student Center, Patsy

Education at SFASU.”

Hallman was congratulated by her peers for all of her hard work and dedication

to Nacogdoches County when the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce announced her as their citizen of the year. It was no surprise to those who know her that Patsy Hallman was named as Nacogdoches County Citizen of the Year. Very modest about recognition and awards, she felt that her time in the limelight was enough. Much to her dismay, we pushed to share her story and explain why Mrs. Patsy Hallman is an Inspiring Woman to all of those around her and her community. Mrs. Hallman grew up in Hopkins County. Her mother was a teacher and father was a farmer, and both were very involved in their church and community. Mrs. Hallman says,

“Following their model, my two brothers and I have always been involved in the communities in which we live.”

Settling for a magnificent career in education could have been her whole story. But, Hallman, because of her parent’s influence in her life, wanted to do more. As an educator, she authored numerous books--including books that focused on education, on the teacher, and mentor. The books give an insight to her teaching style, what she values, and the legacy she wants to leave as an educator. A few of her most popular books are Letters from Miss Edna, Tales from Miller Grove, and the biography of Willie Lee Campbell Glass, Psalm of Life (to see an entire list of her books, visit: patsyhallman. com) The Glass biography shares the story of an AfricanAmerican woman who modeled excellence despite living in a segregated society. Ms. Glass was a woman of “firsts,” who graciously and gently broke barriers within education and within society in general. Letters from Miss Edna is a book of

Patsy grew up and graduated as valedictorian of her class

letters written by a teacher, mother, and grandmother over

from Miller Grove High School. She went on to graduate

a 50 year period, beginning when she went away to college

from East Texas State Teachers College in Commerce in only

in 1925 and ending when she died from cancer in 1975. Her

three years. Her first teaching job was for the City of El Paso

heartfelt letters share a poignant look at a bygone world

in 1955. Hallman’s husband was offered a position at SFASU,

through the eyes of a woman who once made $90 a month

so the family moved to Nacogdoches.

teaching first grade.

When she first came to Nacogdoches, she was a stay-at-

When you ask Patsy Hallman what she wants her legacy to

home mom with two precious babies. Not long after, she

be, she replies, “I hope some people will continue to enjoy

began pursuing her master’s degree in education, while

my books.”

teaching high school. Patsy soon joined the faculty at SFA teaching Home Economics. In 1973, she graduated with her doctorate from Texas Women’s University. Mrs. Hallman had a long tenure with Stephen F. Austin State University. She was part of the faculty for thirty-six years, retiring as Dean of the College of Education. Hallman says, “I am

Many events in Nacogdoches County include Patsy Hallman on the list of volunteers, serving on their board, acting as a coordinator, or being a worker bee of some sorts. The Nacogdoches County Blueberry Festival was the brainchild of her and her husband, Dr. Leon Hallman. “We wanted to

highlight the downtown area as well as the blueberry industry.” This year, the Blueberry Festival celebrated its twentieth anniversary. Some of the other events she dedicates her time to are Old Nacogdoches University Building, the oldest college or university building in the State of Texas. Patsy also serves her church at First United Methodist Church, serves on the board of the AgriLife Extension Service, Christian Women’s Job Corp, American Association of University Women, and Friends of Historic Nacogdoches. Most of her time is dedicated to the Old Nacogdoches University Building. This year the building celebrates its 150 year anniversary. Hallman is very proud to call Nacogdoches her home. Hallman explains that, “What makes Nacogdoches great are three features. First, its natural beauty. We live in a beautiful part of the world, and it is our responsibility to promote and protect that gift of nature.  Second, we are an ‘education town’ with fine schools, both private and public, beginning with preschools and going all the way through doctoral programs!  Finally, we are a town rich in history.  We are called to treasure it and work toward preserving it. Over the years, Dr. Patsy Hallman has made quite an impact in what she touches and is involved in. A few of the honors she has received are: from SFASU, Distinguished Professor; from AAUW, Woman of the Year; from the city of Nacogdoches, Women’s Hall of Fame; from the Chamber of Commerce, Citizen of the Year; and from the state, Leadership Award from the Deans of the Colleges of Education. Another passion of hers is speaking to groups about education and history. Part of her advice to women includes, “The great American formula for success in life is as valid today as it was for our founding fathers and mothers: family support, faith in God, education, and hard work.” It is no wonder that Dr. Patsy Hallmark has made a tremendous impact on the community and continues to inspire those around her to roll up their sleeves and get involved.

To see the entire list of her books visit:

46 / The Journey - December 2009

“We have a town rich in history. We are called to treasure it and work toward preserving it.”

Your Life Nacogdoches Junior Forum Members Holiday in the Pines - Hotel Fredonia / 47

/ Yo u r l if e

Hall of fame hubbies Justin Van Norman My husband, Justin Van Norman, is the essence of a “gentle warrior.” There has not been a day in our seven years of marriage in which I have questioned his love and support. When the Lord blessed me with Justin, he was the exact man I believed I would never have the privilege and honor of marrying. My husband partners with me to raise our two gifts from God: Emma Grace (4) and Lake (2). Justin does not take his Biblical call lightly to “love his wife the way Jesus loves the church.” He forgives, protects, encourages, leads, and cares for his family each and every day. He provides for us through a career he enjoys as insurance agent for Texas Farm Bureau in Nacogdoches, and he is the finest rancher and horseman this girl has ever seen. Lord willing, I look forward to many more days of “Lonesome Dove” watching (to which he can quote every word), and those back-porch rocking chairs in the country! I love him dearly, Kasey Van Norman

Pat Ronaghan My husband, Pat Ronaghan, is an amazing father and husband. Our two little girls, Katie (5) and Allie (3), are so lucky to have a father like Pat and I’m just as lucky to call him my husband. I know it can’t be easy living in a house with three girls. The drama and emotions around our house have got to be overwhelming, but he walks in that door every night with a smile on his face and his arms open for big hugs from the girls. Pat goes out of his way to make “his girls” feel special.  He takes our five year old on date nights.  He takes both little girls to the nail salon, all by himself, for pedicures on Saturday morning, so that I can get some things done around the house.  He leaves me little notes on my car dashboard that tell me to have a good day, or that I’m a good mamma. Thank you, Pat, for everything you have done, for everything you have given, and for everything you continue to do for ALL of your girls!  We love you, Daddy! Karen Ronaghan

Please submit your Hall of Famer to Be sure to include a photo with 75 words telling us about your husband. Do not forget to list your children or grandchildren’s 48 / The Journey - December 2009

names if you would like to include them.

Pretty Babies 1.

Liam Abraham Jacobs | October 26, 2009 Parents: Lisa and dan Jacobs Lufkin


Addison Presley Courtney | July 14,2008 Parents: Ashley and john Courtney Grandparents: Vicky and delwin Shoemaker, Vickey and robert Giles Lufkin


Rylee Shay McCoy | August 4, 2009 Parents: Kim and Landon McCoy of Mansfield Grandparents: Berlene and steve McCoy of Lufkin Hazel and gary Dry of Arlington

4. Jack Hopson

| Oct. 21, 2008 Proud Parents: Kelly and Ryan Hopson Proud Grandparents:  Suzanne and Bill Barrett,  Teresea and richard Hopson


Michael Scott Davis III | September 16, 2008


Presley Paige Meyer | May 12, 2009







Proud Parents: Shellie and Scott Davis Proud Grandparents: Kittie and Mike Davis, Rinda Miller and Mark Love Lufkin

Proud parents: Miranda and Darry Meyer Proud Grandparents:  Annette and Gary Hutson, Lucille and david Meyer

We cover everything from top to…you know.

C h o o s e We l l . 40883_WHMC_7_375x3_4C.indd 1

2/17/09 6:06:20 PM / 49


Girls Group


woodland heights’ healthy woman program

ho does not enjoy being a part of a fun girls group? Well, there is a great group any woman can get involved and become a part of--The Healthy Woman program at Woodland Heights Medical Center.

Connie Reeves, Jessica Knight, and Lacey Keath at the August 2009 “Food Allergies” seminar, presented by Amy McLeod.

The group was launched in April 2008, with the Annual Women in Red luncheon. The very first meeting was held May 2008 with 21 attendees. Today’s luncheons have well over 100 attendees. There is a reason why there are over 100 women who cannot wait to attend the monthly luncheons. According to Jennifer Stevens, program coordinator for Healthy Woman, “Topics range from healthrelated (such as heart disease and thyroid issues) to financial (fiscal responsibility) and legal (estate planning) to self-defense for women.” The diverse topics have always been a draw to women. One member, Bettie Westbrook, says, “When I was younger, this type of information was not available for women. No one gave women tools to better themselves. Healthy Woman gives us ideas and ways to make ourselves healthier.”

Outside of the monthly luncheons and seminars, the group has offered a hands-on extension of being a Healthy Woman. Stevens says, “We’ve also been able to offer some different things for our members, such as resistance strength training classes with Connie Reeves; annual health fairs and Christmas Craft Fair; and we just offered a self-defense class our members and their children. We also offer a monthly eNewsletter for those members with e-mail that offers health information and event information.” The Christmas Craft Fair is right around the corner for you to enjoy on December 16, at WHMC affinity center. The meetings are generally held the third Wednesday of the month. There is no cost to join, and you also get to enjoy a very nutritious and healthy lunch for attending. “Our Healthy Woman program is a free community resource designed to empower women with the knowledge and confidence to make informed healthcare and wellbeing decisions for themselves and their loved ones,” said Jennifer Stevens. Time and time again, women put themselves at the end of the list and rarely take time for themselves. Healthy Woman gives women the opportunity to make themselves a priority once a month while they relax and receive information on how to make their lives healthier for their loved ones. Stephens says one of the best aspects of Healthy Woman is about, “taking time for yourself so you can go back and take better care of your family.” Another member, Jessica Knight says, “Healthy Woman is a great opportunity for women of all ages to receive education while enjoying the company of other women. I have not only learned how to live a healthier lifestyle, but also have gained knowledge in other areas from banking to self defense.”   Healthy Woman member Tonya LaForge and her daughter, Kendall, strike a pose at the November 2009 Self-Defense Seminar

Tara Watson, Senior Circle Advisor and Jennifer Stevens, Healthy Woman Advisor at the Annual Healthy Woman/Senior Circle Health Fair in July 2009

50 / The Journey - December 2009

If you would like to learn more about Healthy Woman, registration is free and sign-up is easy...just go to and click on the Healthy Woman link or you can call 936-637-8688. If you or your organization is interested in becoming a partner, please call Jennifer Stevens at 936-6378688. 

your wAllet count your blessings part ii

Reflect upon your present blessings of which everyone has many not on your past misfortunes, of which all have some. - - Charles Dickens Welcome to Part II of “The 12 Days Before Christmas” blessings c o u n t d ow n . In this time of economic worry, we choose to reflect upon our many financial blessings as opposed to being sucked into the chaotic media vortex of doom and gloom. “Tis the season to be jolly”, and that is exactly what we intend to do. Our jolly began last month when we reviewed the first six days of Christmas and how each symbol represents a blessing. The more we recognize our everyday abundance, the more we are financially blessed. Keeping a journal for each “Christmas day” and reviewing at the end of the twelfth day reveals our financial authenticity and holds down the hysteria the world attempts to place upon us. Continue this mindset throughout the year and you will experience a certain financial peace – a true gift. Day 7--Swans-a-Swimming: Swans represent grace and beauty. According to the consulting think tank, TrendSight Group, women are happiest between the ages of 50 and 70. One of the reasons is the freedom of no longer

feeling constrained by familial and societal pressures to be, act or think a certain way. Many women can now spend money on themselves instead of children who are now living away from home. Be proud of your age. Day 8--Maids-a-Milking: Back in the day, when a man asked a maid to “go a-milking”; he was proposing her hand in marriage. Be thankful for your partner and show your appreciation during this hectic season. Make a point to thank them for untangling the Christmas lights and putting up the tree. A soft kiss on the cheek is worth no amount of money. Day 9--Ladies Dancing: When’s the last time you went dancing? Kick-up your heels and have some fun. Try something new like square dancing or salsa. Dancing can heal the heart, mind, and soul. Day 10--Lords-a-Leaping: If you’ve seen a Nutcracker performance, you remember the Russian troupe’s impressive leaping abilities. Sometimes you have to have a “leap of faith” as high as a Lord-a-leaping to understand what you can afford to spend this holiday season. Be prudent. The old adage, “Less is best,” is true here. Create gifts from love–-not your bank account, or worse--credit cards.

common in old England and with it came the bagpipes. Pipers were hired to entertain guests with the beautiful haunting sounds that only bagpipes can produce. Enjoy the holiday entertainment and clap your hands to the carols. Rejoice. Day 12--Drummers Drumming: The last day of Christmas is known as Twelfth Night. This is the day the three Wise Men present their famous gifts. Drums were used to make special announcements. Hear ye, hear ye . . .another Christmas past full of blessings. Happy Holidays! Want to learn more? Join the Wealth Wise Woman’s FREE E-class “Creating Perfect Harmony with Money” on Saturday, December 12 at 11:00 am CDT. Call 800-289-8149 or email MariJoHarding@WealthWiseWoman. org. * Source: Nilson report, April 2009 Credit card photo from flickr, courtesy of Andres rueda.

Day 11--Pipers Piping: Scottish culture was

MariJo Harding is a Financial Advisor Coach who ministers to women by helping them create a true financial peace of mind based on what women really want, while aligning their true purpose of money with their spending and investing decisions. She has a Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW), which enables her to understand the emotional and psychological needs of female investors. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Becoming a Wealth Wise Woman: A Secret Recipe with Seven Special Ingredients. 713-899-4104 / 51

/ Your / Your liFel i F e

Wedding Bells Nicole Arredondo & Jeff Stepens May 19, 2009 Cermony in Italy Residents of Lufkin, Texas Photographer: Go Portraits

Aley LaRue and Robert Frith September 19, 2009

Wedding and Reception held at Cochino Lodge Photographer: Barbara LaRue

Cassidy Modisette and James Stillwell October 31, 2009

Wedding and Reception held at Cochino Lodge 52 / The Journey - December 2009

Photographer: Amber Horton, Garrison, Tx.

Kim Frizzell and Robert Henley

November 7, 2009 Wedding and Reception held at Cochino Lodge Photographer: Crystal Rhone of Crockett, Tx

Amber Modisette and Jeremy Parrott

December 5, 2009 Photographer: Images by Becki, Lufkin, Texas

Do you have an engagement, bridal, or wedding photo you would like to share with The Journey? Email your photo to / 53


/ Yo u r l if e

Relationships T

reflections... | by kathryn greene

hanksgiving and Christmas Holidays are a time when our thoughts go to family and the desire to be with them! I remember the days as a child when we would travel to my grandparents for the traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas reunions and special meal times. We had so much food, so much fun playing with all the cousins, and made so many great memories. What thoughts are on our mind about the holidays this year? There have been changes that have taken place during 2009 that will make some of the family traditions more difficult or some more pleasant. There will be sadness because of empty chairs, but there will be joy over new stockings that will be hung. One of our daughter-in-laws will miss her mom during these holidays, but she will also rejoice over the birth of a daughter this year. The other daughter-inlaw is rejoicing over the addition of a son that she and her husband prayed about for several months.They adopted him from an orphanage in Russia on June 17th – he was 16 months old. This made 9 grandchildren for John and me! This year maybe more than any other I want our family to give thanks for these beautiful children! Life is brief and it is our heart’s desire to see these children live their lives experiencing the purposes and plans for which they were created. The Green Family was reminded of the bridfness of life recently when Kristin’s wife, Aran, became very sick and within a short period of time dehydrated. We became acutely aware of the brevity of life and how quickly our loved one can be gone. I had recently been reminded of that when a close friend suddenly lost her husband to a very rapid infection. Again, we were reminded of life’s brevity when soldiers at Ft. Hood were attacked by one of their own and 12 of them died. They were planning on going to Afghanistan to fight, but they died on an Army base in their homeland. There were so many families that were touched by this tragic event – all of us shook our head in disbelief that this could have happened. These families will have some empty chairs during this holiday season. Life is full of contrasts – joy and sadness.

How can you and I celebrate during the holidays?

54 / The Journey - December 2009

1. Let’s give thanks for what we do have this year and count our many blessings… a job, health, family, a roof over our head, and food on the table! 2. Let’s celebrate the birth of the baby, Jesus, who let us know that there is a much bigger story going on than just what we see and hear. We are a part of a much bigger plan that God put in place a long time ago. This is not all there is! Christmas Day ought to be the celebration of the birthday of our Savior, King Jesus, who gives us hope of a home in heaven with all our loved ones who died in Him.



susie kroll - teacher of the month | by emily parks

usie Kroll, The Journey’s Teacher of the Month, is truly an amazing woman! Susie says that she retired for one day before deciding to teach again! The Head of School at Christ Episcopal School, Audrey Russell, gives a rave review of Mrs. Kroll. Ms. Russell describes Susie Kroll as “the ultimate professional” and continues with “Susie loves what she does and it is evident in everything she does.” We salute you and thank you from the bottom of our heart, Susie Kroll, for your service and the betterment of our future generations by being a teacher! TJM: Tell us about yourself and your family. SK: I grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas and graduated in 1969 from Calallen High School I attended Texas A&I University at Kingsville before finishing at SFA in 1974 with my Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling. I taught 30 years in NISD and have been at Christ Episcopal School for the last 5 years. My husband is Dr. James Kroll who is the Rockwell Chair of Forestry at SFA. I have been married to my best friend for 32 years. We raise White-tailed deer on our farm at Cushing. We have a daughter, Sydney, who lives with her husband, Damon Register, in Georgetown. TJM: Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school? SK: One of the most memorable teachers in my life was Mr. White who taught World History in my high school at Calallen, a suburb of Corpus Christi. He had worked for the Smithsonian Museum and had traveled the world. The chalkboard would be filled with drawings he had done about whatever period we were studying. I remember trying to duplicate those drawings. He had us memorize the 50 “firsts” in the world – the first alphabet, for example. For the longest time I could recite those 50 firsts if someone would just get the list started. He taught about what he had lived. He expected quality and professionalism from all of us. He insisted that I be involved in UIL Extemporaneous Speaking. I hated being expected to give a 5 minute talk on a topic that I had had no time to prepare for – not my style then or now. I wanted to get out of that so often but never wanted to disappoint Mr. White. That experience helped me so much when I gave my Salutatorian speech and, I suppose, in all these years of teaching since then. TJM:  What do you like most about teaching? SK: Teaching is really an avocation for me as much as a vocation. I love to learn new things myself and there is no more fun than sharing all the world has to offer with children. TJM:  What is the most important thing parents can do with their child at home to enhance his/her educational experience? SK: Looking back on raising our daughter, I know that Sydney knew her daddy and I were interested in everything she did. She modeled good organizational skills, planning, and quality from what she saw at home. I would suggest that parents be involved, have high but reasonable expectations, and let your children know that there is no problem too big for you to solve together. Just knowing that you have the unconditional love and support of your parents can carry a child a long way in school and life. / 55

/ Yo u r l i F e TJM: What is the best way to approach a teacher if a parent has a concern? SK: I suggest to all my parents that the best use of their time while their children are in school is to become a face to teachers. Sharing concerns, asking questions, visiting the class makes you and your child “real” to teachers. The more I know about the home life of my children, the better I can foresee and handle potential issues at school. Teachers know that children are the “apples of their parent’s eye” and that often, as parents, we don’t want to accept anything less than perfect in them. When teachers and parents are sure that the welfare of their child is priority, anything can be handled. No defense is necessary. Get to know your child’s teacher. TJM: What are your feelings about the TAKS test? SK: I feel strongly that every learner should be held accountable for their own learning. I took achievement tests every year when I was in school. The teacher and my parents and I sat down at the end of the year and discussed my strengths and weaknesses in planning for the next year. It was always a time of pride for me because I knew I had done my best and it was my time to show it. I never felt hopeless at test time because I knew that my teachers had given me all the background and opportunity to learn what was going to be on that test and that I had the ability to show I had grasped it. An interesting thing to me is that the children who were in my classes at that time in history were the same ones who put the first man on the moon and brought the Apollo astronauts home safely. Accountability, yes. But it was accountability to the students - not to make school districts look good; there were no TAKS tests then. My concern with this testing is that all children seem to be expected to be “A” students. My concern is for the acceptance of diversity and the encouragement of those who are not necessarily college bound. Children need to know how to think, yes, but there is so much more to education than what is on the TAKS test. They need to know that there are lots of other opportunities for them. I wonder how we can address all that if we spend so much time teaching, testing, evaluating, and re-teaching. Where is the time to establish those teachable relationships that make children remember teachers like Mr.White? TJM: What is your favorite thing to do to relax after a long day of teaching? SK: I love to work in the yard at home and read. Of course, I can never really read if I think there is any chore that needs to be done first.That is why I love to go to the beach. There are no chores there!

56 / The Journey - December 2009

your BODY / 57

/ Your B o DY

fItness 101

six ways to overcome a plateau | by dan kottmann

improves body composition. However, there is a limit to these “newbie gains” (as often called by the bodybuilding community). So what can you do to push beyond the inevitable plateau?

should consider taking a week to let your body recover. This gives your joints a much needed break as well as a mental refresh to pick up the intensity when you return to training.



Clean up your diet. As your body fat percentage lowers, the body clings to its remaining fat stores, making it harder to lose additional body fat. Your diet must remain very, very clean to drop below 10% for males and 15% for females.



t’s inevitable. At some point during your exercise program, your body will fail to respond to the exercise and diet that has guaranteed you results in the past.This state, known as “the plateau effect,” is your body hitting the proverbial wall. Strength increases dwindle; fat loss slows; lean muscle gains aren’t as apparent. Life was good at the beginning of the program when your body responded by shedding massive fat, gaining pounds of muscle, and gaining superhero strength almost over night.Welcome to reality. Individuals new to an exercise program typically achieve astounding results in the first 3, 6, or 12 months simply because their bodies are unaccustomed to vigorous activity. The central nervous system slowly employs additional muscle fibers to maximize performance; the body becomes stronger, more efficient, and capable of greater performance. The increase in muscle fiber increases exercise performance which, in turn, 58 / The Journey - December 2009

Cheat or re-feed. Okay, this may be counterintuitive and in conflict with number 1 above. However, if you follow a very clean diet, your body may need to be shocked. This is when eating pizza, nachos, etc. can actually jumpstart your metabolism and help push beyond your plateau. Many folks don’t believe in a dirty cheat meal (pizza, nachos, French fries, etc.), but believe in a re-feed meal or day. A re-feed meal is a clean meal (very little saturated fat) that’s high in complex carbs or good fats.


Zig-zag calorie and/or carb intake. Keep fats low. If trying to lose fat, this would entail 2-4 days of sub-BMR calorie intake followed by 1 day of at (or just above)-BMR calorie intake. If trying to gain lean muscle, this would entail 2-4 days of increased calorie intake followed by 1 day of at (or sub)-BMR calorie intake. This ensures your metabolism never settles and that you don’t lose too much muscle (when trying to lose fat) or gain too much fat (when trying to gain muscle).


Rest. Vigorous exercise puts a lot of stress on the body. Consider 7-10 days of forcing yourself to not exercise. If you’ve worked out hard and consistently for 6+ weeks, you

Variety. Consider adding variety to your exercise. You can try varying the weights and doing more or less reps (always to fatigue though). Try performing different exercises to work the body in a slightly different manner (e.g. replace concentration curls with preacher curls, replace the elliptical with the treadmill). Try to adjust timings in your exercise routine (e.g. give yourself 1 min rest between sets instead of 2 minutes). Try adding things like supersets, dropsets, negatives, etc. to your lifts. Try to introduce more intensity into your cardio (e.g. do a slow jog 3 days per week and run sprints 1 or 2 days a week).These are just a few things to prevent your body from adapting to a typical, repetitive routine.


Intensity. Perhaps your exercise intensity and focus has waned over time. The cause could be mental, physical, or both. Exercise is only as effective as its intensity.You must train hard and with consistency. Consider setting a new goal if your problem is mental. Consider supplements such as Creatine if your problem is physical. Consider training with a partner if your problem is accountability. Just remember, you can’t spell “workout” without “work.” Don’t make the gym experience overly social.

Article Source:http:/physicalfitnessarticles.netw

women’s health health benefits of massage


assage is a great gift to give or receive for the holiday season. Many people think to give a gift of massage because everyone can use more relaxation. In addition to being a great gift, there are health benefits tied to massage. It is amazing to hear all the benefits from a licensed therapist, along with testimonies from those who suffer from migraines, or someone who has chronic back pain. Massage therapy can bring much relief to their lives. Massage is no different from any other treatment--the massage modality or massage combination is not the same for everyone. Melanie from Absolute Wellness says, “I encourage my clients to try different things until they find the right combination that works for them.” Aside from being very effective in relieving stress, scientific research shows that massage can help with a variety of health conditions. Massage can improve or relieve the following:

hormonal changes.” For many women who feel pain and pressure that come from the baby positioning and movement inside a woman’s body, pre-natal massage therapy can help reduce, if not relieve, those pressure points. How can massage improve stress relief? Envisioning the tranquility of a massage can almost improve stress for anyone, but more than just the tranquil and serene atmosphere of a massage, there are chemical reasons why a massage offers stress relief. “Massage affects the nervous system through nerve endings in the skin, stimulating the release of endorphins, the body’s natural ‘feel good’ chemicals, to help induce relaxation and a sense of wellbeing, to relieve pain and reduce levels of stress chemicals such as cortisol and noradrenalin. It helps reverse the damaging effects of stress by slowing heart rate, respiration and lowering raised blood pressure,” explained Melissa Fenley, owner of Bodies and Balance.

Muscular Back & Neck Pain

Whiplash & Sports Injury

Fibromyalgia, Sciatic, & TMJ Pain

Chronic & Acute Pain

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Circulatory & Digestive Problems

Arthritis & Joint Mobility

Swelling & Inflammation

Headaches, Stress, & Tension

Pre & Post Natal Discomfort

Anxiety & Depression

Immune System Functioning

Mental & Emotional Well-Being

Health Maintenance & Wellness

Why can massage help pre-natal women? According to Bodies and Balance owner Melissa Fenley, “Massage helps the expectant mother by increasing blood circulation which provides more oxygen and nutrients to both mother and baby, helps to calm the baby, controls varicose veins, and relieves depression and anxiety caused by

How can massage help chronic pain? The benefits of massage are often heard from those suffering from preoperative pain or post operative pain, athletes, and men who have physical occupations. Melanie Richmond, owner of Absolute Wellness and Massage explains, “Massage helps reduce edema (swelling of tissues), reduces inflammation of

tissues and releases tons of endorphins (body’s natural painkillers) into the bloodstream. With the use of massage therapy, a client has the opportunity to experience a welcome respite from the merry-go-round that chronic pain is famous for. Fibromyalgia, for example, is a common culprit for chronic pain. Many people have fibromyalgia and have great difficulty managing it. Regular myofascial therapy and trigger point therapy does seem to keep the fibromyalgia symptoms at bay and allows for major pain relief temporarily.” Massage and Migraine Relief. Those who suffer from migraines are willing to try just about anything to attain temporary or permanent relief. Many migraine sufferers have found relief by using massage therapy. How? “A modality that is very beneficial for addressing migraine headaches is craniosacral therapy. Within that therapeutic model is a contact: ‘cranial base release’ (at the base of the skull and cervical spine) which has been very successful for many clients to greatly reduce and sometimes eliminate the headache altogether. The ‘release’ relaxes the tissue at the cranial base, allowing the bones to return to a normal position. Although there are many triggers for migraine headaches, massage therapy can be a sound choice for someone seeking pain relief. For more information on massage therapy: Absolute Wellness and Massage Therapy 800 North Street, Suite 100 Nacogdoches 936.560.9272 M-F 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. S 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Bodies and Balance in Lufkin 911 South Chestnut, Suite 200 Lufkin 936.637.7737 M-F 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. / 59




the season to shine | by kelley moore

ressing for the holidays means a time for you to shine! Festive attire is defined as a look with a little sparkle. Velvet pumps, textured tights, sequin tees, and maybe even a little faux fur are the “Do’s” of the season. Step out the box and be a little glamorous for the holidays. Great style is about knowing what works for you. There is nothing worse than being invited to a fabulous party and having nothing to wear. By keeping a few dressy basics in your closet, you can always be prepared for the last minute invitation. You can even re-wear certain items and make them look totally different with accessories. The friendly gathering of close friends should be casual and comfortable but festive. A dark denim jean is always right, whether it a straight leg or a wide leg, with your favorite heels, paired with a fun top. Your top could be as dressy as a velvet halter or a silk tunic or as casual as a sequined tee. Be inventive by taking a jacket usually worn as a suit and wear it with your jeans. Add some dazzling accessories and you’re the life of the party. Whether it’s your office party or your husband’s, it is definitely not the time to take a fashion risk! Play it safe with a great wide-leg black pant and a metallic top. Add an oversized clutch, certainly a trend of the season, and a pair of dazzling earrings. Your clutch should be bright and bold. Red, purple and silver are common colors this holiday season. Another option is the always safe black sheath dress topped with a bright color cardigan and

60 / The Journey - December 2009

an animal print pump. Add the texture tights for a little attitude! If you’re lucky enough to be on the A-list for a cocktail party, you will want the perfect ensemble to shine. Don’t be afraid to express your personality all the while avoiding a fashion disaster. A little bling goes a long way. If you choose a bold piece, like a sequined jacket, pair it with a basic skirt. A festive, satin or beaded skirt should be worn with a basic blouse or cashmere sweater. The always safe black sheath dress works overtime here by ditching the cardigan and adding a chiffon wrap, sheer hose, and velvet pumps. The old rule of matching the shoes to the bag is long gone. Certainly they should complement, but never an exact match! Spending a little time at home sweet home? You should be dressed comfortably, but classy. A velour jog suit and a satin ballet slipper is a fabulous look and totally put together for any drop by guests! Remember: don’t go overboard on the bling. Find the perfect spot between too buttoned up and too dressed down. Eat, drink and dress to be merry! Happy Holidays from Kelley Moore, Carlisle Consultant. For more info on the 2010 Spring Collection contact

She is clothed with strength and dignity; She can laugh at the days to come. -Proverbs 31:25

1 Pictured are 1) Robin Flournoy 2) Lynell Stover 3) Rebecca Chance 4) Nickie Ashby 5 Liz Jeffreys

2 3

4 5




holiday velvet | by amy jo roland

uring the Holiday season we all know there is plenty to stress about. Merle Norman wants to show you a simple, yet glamorous, Holiday look that can make glamming up for a special occasion simple and fun. Pictured is Lia Frost who came in searching for a new Holiday look. Since Lia is a Normal to Oily skin type, I have prepped Lias’ skin with Luxiva Foundation Primer and Merle Normans’ New Foundation--Luxiva Aqua Balance Makeup in the shade ML36and followed with a thin layer of Luxiva Flawless Effect Loose Powder in Almost Tan. Sultry eyes make a bold statement this Holiday season. Some must-have steps for eye makeup: prep eyelids, groom brows and lengthen lashes. I began using Luxiva Perfecting Eye Base in Wheat using the Makeup Artistry Face #6 brush. This will enhance any eye shadow color and allow eye makeup to last for hours. I then applied Luxiva Lasting Eye color in a new shade, Amethyst, from the lash line to just above the crease--using Makeup Artistry Eyes #1 brush. I concentrated more color of Amethyst on the ball of the lid. Then with Makeup Artistry Face #6 brush I blended Amethyst along the lower lash line. I then used a new limited edition product to add a little glamour to Lia. I applied the shadow side of Merle Normans’ Party Eyes in Berry Bubbly onto the brow bone with the Makeup Artistry Face #6 brush. With the same #6 brush, I then highlighted the inner corner of the eye and blended down to the inner corner of the lower lash line. Using the liner side of Merle Normans’ Party Eyes in Berry Bubbly, I applied thin to heavy strokes to the upper lash line from the inner to outer corner of the eye. To groom and define brows, use Natural Brow Wax and Powder Brow Pencil in Soft Brown. Apply, then blend both products on the brows with Makeup Artistry #1 brush. Finish the

eye look by applying Luxiva Lash Prep to maximize lashes. Make sure it is still wet when you apply your mascara. I used Luxiva Ultra Thick in Black on Lia. Cheeks are luxurious and silky with the application of Luxiva Cream-to-Powder blush in Pink Cashmere using the Makeup Artistry Face #5 brush. Add a subtle look to the lips with Luxiva Creamy Lipcolor in Blackberry. Lips have a natural berry stain when application is complete. To really jazz up Lia’s Holiday look, I took Crystal Eyes in Diamond Girl and applied a thin layer to the entire eye area, following with Luxiva Purely Mineral Highlighter in Gold Dust using the Makeup Artistry Face #3 brush. I applied Gold Dust around the forehead, cheeks and the bridge of Lia’s nose. With a little practice, this look can be achieved by any present or future Merle girl.

Amy Jo Roland has been in the cosmetic industry for 17years. She is the owner of Merle Norman Cosmetics in Lufkin for nine years now. Merle Norman Cosmetics is located in the Gaslight Plaza at 1865 W Frank Ave. Store Hours are M-F 9:30am-5:30pm, Saturday 10am-3pm. For more information please go to www.merlenormanstudio. com/mn-4016. / 61

your child 62 / The Journey - December 2009

peyton mathis and brady verner ms. anne’s pace kindergarten class photo by lisa crow

Yo u r b o dy /

Ask the doc

common-sense medicine for one of childhood’s most common ailments | by Brian Humphreys, md


araches are a common occurrence for small children. According to the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), ear infections are the most common bacterial illness for children in which antibacterial agents are prescribed in the United States; in fact, 90 percent of children have an ear infection usually between ages 6 months and 4 years.

Ear infections generally do not require any intervention or medication, and usually clear up on their own within one to two weeks. Studies show that children who receive medical treatment and those who don’t recover at about the same rate. Treatment with prescription medicine is usually reserved for severe infections or ear infections in very young infants. In fact, taking antibiotics Children are more prone to earaches may have the opposite effect – not only and ear infections because their ear by having minimal effect in speeding passages are smaller, narrower and recovery, but also in helping to develop angled differently than adults’ – making bacteria that are resistant to drugs. For it easier for germs to reach the middle this reason, when it comes to treating ear and for fluid to accumulate. And, potential ear infections, less is more. once the infection has settled in, it’s Many doctors recommend a wait-andmore difficult for a child’s body to fight see period of 48 to 72 hours as the first it than an adult’s. step to treating ear infections. If it’s A middle ear infection in a child determined that the child has an ear begins with a viral infection, such as infection, your pediatrician or family the common cold. Sometimes fluid physician can provide medication to accumulates behind the eardrum; in relieve symptoms, such as over-theother cases, the Eustachian tubes – counter pain relievers or eardrops. If the narrow passageways between the you do not have a physician, you can middle ear and the back of the nose – call 936-699-CARE to find a physician become swollen, blocked or infected. or visit for While ear infections often follow a a physician referral or more medical cold, the ear infection itself cannot be information. Parents can also use a warm washcloth or a heating pad on the spread from person to person.

Symptoms of an ear infection include: Pulling or tugging at the ear Sleep interruptions Fever/headache Excess fluid Irritability/crying Cough/nasal discharge Skin rash Vomiting/diarrhea Fullness, buzzing or ringing in the ears Ear drainage / 63

/ YOUR ch i ld

ask the doc Continued

ear to relieve discomfort. Appropriate doses of ibuprofen or acetaminophen help with pain relief. Avoid aspirin, which is dangerous for young children. During the waiting period, make sure your child is eating regularly and drinking plenty of liquids, and check your child’s temperature often. If your child’s pain increases with no improvement within 48 to 72 hours, their fever rises above 102 degrees, or your child experiences swelling around the ear, pain or stiffness in the neck area or becomes lethargic, your child should be seen by a doctor and may need antibiotics. Just as important as knowing the right things to do is knowing what not to do in treating a child’s ear pain or fluid in the ear.The AAP does not recommend treatment for young children with decongestants, antihistamines, steroid nasal sprays or prolonged, frequent or lowdose courses of antibiotics. In some cases – generally after multiple ear infections – your physician may recommend that small tubes be surgically inserted in your child’s ear(s), to drain fluid and relieve symptoms. The tube is usually a last resort and a method not generally employed unless the child is suffering from recurrent hearing problems and pain due to repetitive ear infections. While many ear infections are unavoidable, there are things that parents can do to create a healthy environment for your child: avoid smoking, which contributes to childhood illness, and exercise good hygiene, including frequent hand washing. About the Author: Dr. Brian Humphreys practices Otolaryngology and is certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery and the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy. To schedule an appointment, call 936-699-3141.

64 / The Journey - December 2009

Do you have a topic you would like to learn more about regarding children’s health? Send us your questions and ideas and we will find a local professional to answer your questions. Email us at editor@

child’s play


children’s trees

he best part of the holidays is seeing the joy and excitement in your children’s eyes. The cold weather, hot chocolate, warm fire, and family are enjoyed by all. One very exciting part for some children is to have their own tree decorated for their bedroom. Many moms coordinate the tree to the rest of the house, match the colors of the child’s bedroom, or decorate the tree to the hobbies and interests of the child.

Here are a few tree ideas to get your child’s tree started!

Trees courtesy of Samie Montes and Festival of Trees / 65

/ YOUR chi l d

childs play Continued

66 / The Journey - December 2009

Trees courtesy of Samie Montes and Festival of Trees

kids konnect heartfelt couture


ason Swan, 10 years old, attends Bonner Elementary in Hudson.

If you read this month’s Inspiring Young Woman article, you will be inspired to do this project! Jason Swan is Sarah’s younger brother and he really enjoys working on this. This is a great craft for families to work on together. Heartfelt Couture was born with a little inspiration from five-year old Sarah Swan. She did not like to wear the “ugly” hospital gowns when she was in the hospital. Her mom, Sharon, partnered with another mom and they make fun, pretty, and cool child size hospital gowns. This is a special treat for the children that are in many of the Texas children’s hospitals. There are many ways for you to get involved.

Step One: Print the pattern by going to this link.http://www. Step Two: Pick out fabric. This is the fun part! Remember these are for boys and girls of all different ages.You can do baby styles to cool teen boy styles, and everything in between.You will need 1 ½ yard of fabric for a small size and 2 ½ yards for a med/large size. Materials: 100% cotton, 42” width Child Small: 1 ½ yards of fabric Child Med/Lg: 2 ½ yards of fabric Step Three: Trace and cut. Be sure to follow the directions very carefully when printing the pattern. After putting the pattern together, trace the fabric to the pattern. Once your pattern is traced, very carefully begin cutting the pattern. Step Four: Sew pattern together or mail to Heartfelt Couture. Jason Swan is learning how to sew so he can do it himself. If you do not know how to sew, you can write a special note with your gown and mail it off. Heartfelt Couture will then sew it together and deliver it to children in the hospital. This is a great way for kids to realize how blessed they are and to be a blessing to someone else. Heartfelt Couture “Kids Helping Kids” Project 3101 Mossy Oak Ln Bedford, TX 76021-3615

Does your child have a craft, hobby, or interest that they would like to share with other kids their age? Tell us about it by emailing us at child might be featured in a future issue of The Journey! / 67

/ YOUR ch i ld

Treats and eats gingerbread men | by felicia dark

Looking for something fun to do with your child or grandchild this December? Here is a great gingerbread recipe that will not only taste great, but make lasting memories that you will cherish for years to come. Get creative and have fun by adding candy and colors to the gingerbread man. Happy baking!

fGINGERBREAD This recipe takes a little time, but really tastes good.  Make sure you have the right equipment to decorate with.  5 ½ cups flour, plus more for working dough 1tsp baking soda 1 ½ tsp salt 3 tsp ginger 4 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground cloves 1 tsp ground nutmeg 2 sticks butter, room temperature 1 cup packed brown sugar 2 large eggs 1 ½ cups unsulfured molasses  Whisk together dry ingredients in large bowl.  Put brown sugar and butter in bowl and mix until fluffy.  Add eggs and molasses and stir until smooth.   Add dry ingredients, and mix on low until combined.  Divide dough into 3rds, wrapping each section in plastic.  Chill one hour.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.  On a floured piece of parchment, roll dough about ¼ inch thick.  Brush off excess flour and freeze for about 15 minutes.  Cut dough into shapes, transfer to prepared baking sheets and again put in freezer for about 15 minutes.  Bake cookies for about 12-14 minutes, depending on oven. Bake until slightly crisp, but not darkened.  Let cool before icing. Icing You can use several different types of icing, but royal icing works best.  1 pound Confectioners Sugar 5 tbls meringue powder, ( you can find this in the cake decorating department,  it’s Wilton brand) 1/2 cup water Combine all ingredients, and mix on low speed until smooth.  If too thick, add a little water. If too thin, add more sugar.  Icing hardens after it dries. 68 / The Journey - December 2009

FaMily MatteRs Questions for counselors

Q: At what age should I buy my child a cell phone? A: There is no definitive answer to this question. It depends on the level of maturity of the

child as well as the necessity of the phone. Younger children usually attend activities where there is adult supervision and access to a phone. However, some families find that it is helpful in case a class or practice is over early, or a parent is running late to pick up a child. Most would agree that it is a good idea to have a cell phone as a safety device when a teenager begins driving. When a cell phone is purchased, guidelines must be discussed. Make sure they understand what features they are allowed to use as well as how often and when they are allowed to do so. Some parents use cell phone bills as a monitoring device. Each family is unique and must decide what age is the appropriate age for them. Cindi Steptow-Andrews, M.S.,LPC, NCC Counseling Center of East Texas

Q: Our parenting style is different than my sister and brother-inlaw, but our children are very close in age. The cousins want to spend a lot of time together, but I feel like my nephews are not the best influence on my children. Should I not worry about it since it is family, or how would you recommend they spend their time together? A: Family or not, the question to consider is: what do you want your children to learn? Does the child have the skills needed to handle the situation? This is not unlike many situations that proves the following. As parents, our focus in parenting needs to be on helping the child to gain the skills they need to be healthy, happy functioning adults one day…as hurtful as this may sound…so, they won’t need us. Face it. If the child grows into a self sufficient young adult, we’ve done our job as parents well! So, my answer is how can we teach the child to handle that environment? What questions might you ask the child so he/she can consider an approach to use that keeps the skills taught in your home while around influences that contrast your values? Ask your child if he/she can maintain your home values and be around these influences. Let your child know if that is possible, then the contact can continue as is. If not, consider only allowing contact while in your presences. Often as parents our tendency is to shield our children from “bad” situations. In reality, we need to teach our children how to handle these situations, to give them the skills they need to handle life! Donna Martinez, LPC

Would you like a professional opinion about one of your questions? Send your questions to / 69

/ YOUR c hi l d

why i love being a mom by Amy grigg

Photo by Jennifer Conn Photography

As sweet as that moment was, (and I say moment because looking back that seems about how long the relief lasted) life with a little one soon begins. Feedings, sleep deprivation, diapers, that sweet little face, spit up, laundry, sleep deprivation, trying to get dinner ready with an infant, precious hands and feet, trying to get the house clean with an infant, sleep deprivation, sweet smiles and snuggles that melt your heart, and did I mention lack of sleep?! Do you ever find yourself longing for just a little relief?


very mother has a story, or many stories depending on the number of children that she has. You know as well as I do that if you are with a group of women for any amount of time, you are bound to hear some labor stories. Some labors took days; some took hours; for those extremely blessed women, some took minutes! Mothers who have adopted have stories about waiting for that phone call, and remembering where they were the moment they found out that they would soon be holding their very own child.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a mother! There are so many things that I love about it that I could not fit them all onto this page. I love to hear my kids call me mommy, I love the first kisses, cuddles and hugs in the morning time, I love to watch them sleeping, I love being a witness to all of their “firsts,” I love all the drawings and special things that they make for me (although they are taking over my house because I can’t bear to part with very many of them). What I love MOST about being a mom is that GOD made me one. By His marvelous grace I am given everyday the privilege of being a mommy to three precious gifts. It is a feeling of indescribable responsibility. You see, like you I want to be the best parent I can be. I long to make the right choices, say the right things, teach my children in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. There is one BIG problem though! I am incredibly human! I get angry too quickly, sometimes I snap at them, sometimes I don’t take the time I need to with them because I am too busy or because I am just too tired.

“What I love MOST about being a mom is that GOD made me one.”

The Lord has been whispering a verse to me over the past few weeks ever so gently. It is a verse that I have heard over and over, but it has come to mean so much to me as a tired mother of three. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. The Greek meaning for rest is “to refresh”. A nap is great sometimes, a pedicure or massage is even better, but when do I truly feel refreshed? When my soul There are as many different stories as there are women and is at peace, and when I meet with my Maker to hear His voice children in this world. But there is a common thread, a common everyday. His voice is the only one that will lead me in the right denominator in all of them. RELIEF!! That may not be the word way. He makes an impossible job possible. Isaiah 40:11 says “… that you would have thought of, but as I was thinking about my He gently leads those that have young.” I don’t know about you, labor with my last child (the only one that I did au natural) I was but with the responsibility that we have to carry while doing this thinking about what a relief it was to finally get him out! After wonderfully rewarding job of mothering, to me, that spells nine months of a little sickness, a lot of weight gain, being oh so tired, and after hours of labor and a few pushes, he was here! R-E-L-I-E-F! Finally! What a relief! 70 / The Journey - December 2009 / 71

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74 / The Journey - December 2009 / 75

76 / The Journey - December 2009

409 E. Main St. Nacogdoches, Texas 936-560-1488 / 77

Parting Advice: I have a lot of holiday parties to attend. Is it still etiquette to bring a hostess gift? If so, what are good gift ideas and price range? On the guest list, Livingston, Texas

A hostess gift is always a wonderful

I think in most cases I wouldn’t give

way to say thank you! You can never

a hostess gift, but if I did it would be

go wrong by bringing a gift to your

$10-$15 and I would probably make an

hosts. Visit one of our local gift shops

ornament or an apron.

for a monogrammed cutting board or

Elizabeth Shepherd

dish towel; if it’s a holiday party, a set

Jasper, Texas

of Christmas napkins and plates. A bottle of wine is a classic gift. You can purchase any of these items for under $20 and your friend will appreciate you so much! Carolyn Ballenger Nacogdoches, Texas

Hostess gifts are always nice to give to

I do still take a hostess gift, especially

someone if you have been invited to a

during the holidays. I sometimes take a

party around the holidays. A bottle of

bottle of wine, but you might take some

wine in a cute wine tote is a popular, but

cute cocktail napkins and maybe a

not everyone drinks wine. A food item is

spreader or a Christmas ornament. One

good so they could even put it out at the

thing I learned a long time ago is that

party. We carry the Mississippi Cheese

if you take a bottle of wine, especially

Straws in a nice box or tin starting at

white, don’t take it cold because then

$5.50. Tie a bow and off you go!

your friend will think that you expect

Nancy Winston, The Very Thing

them to open it right then. Tell them it

Lufkin, Texas

is for them to enjoy at a later time. Tara Watson Lufkin, Texas

78 / The Journey - December 2009 / 79

Home for the Holidays

Monday, 7:00 a.m.

r 21



ste Robotic Hy

, Decemb ednesday W . .m p 0 7:0 s

he Home for t

er 23


At Memorial Medical Center–Lufkin, we strive to stay on the forefront of innovative technology while providing exceptional care. With the daVinci® High Definition Robotic Surgical System, Memorial is the first to offer women in East Texas a new, minimally invasive hysterectomy. For most women, this means less pain and a faster recovery time–the perfect gift just in time for the holidays!

• Less pain and scarring

• Less risk of infection and complications

• Shorter hospital stay

• Faster return to normal activities (2 weeks vs. 6 weeks)

Lufkin • Livingston San Augustine Memorial Specialty Hospital 936-634-8111 | Visit us online at

The Journey Magazine Decembe 09  

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