he best way I can describe summer is to relate it to my pseudo name, “Momma.” I have never loved a name so much, but at the same time, I need a break from hearing it. I absolutely love having four precious God sends call me Momma. However, Baylor, the 16 month old, says the name Momma around 500 times a day. Having the other three home all summer, we can add another 100 momma shout outs to my daily routine. So I hear over and over, MOMMA, MOMMA, MOMMA, MOMMA, and by August I’m ready to pull out my hair! That being said, I love summer! I also love August 27. I think after spending everyday together, the kids are ready to play with their friends and hear their teacher’s voice instead of momma’s voice every second of every day. I miss that morning kiss and hug goodbye and when they run into my arms as I pick them up from school! That is the “MOMMA” that is so endearing to hear! So, as the book is about to close on another summer, I hope you have all made some wonderful memories! I love and appreciate being able to have the lazy days of summer to give the kids some down time and relax with no agenda. However, there is a reason we are all on a Monday-Friday 8-5 schedule. Routine is a good thing!
Lisa Crow Photography
So here’s to all of you trying to enjoy the last few days of summer break. Have a great first day back to school!! Happy August All!
2002 S. First Street Lufkin, TX 75901 936.637.2848
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CONTENTS | AUGUST2012 YOURHOME
Home Tour: A Grand Estate Decor & Design: Stylishly Organized In the Kitchen: Make Back to School Taste Better Your Pantry: Popular Diet & Supplement Reviews
10 12 14 15
YOURCOMMUNITY Calendar Dream Homes: New Retail Plaza is Coming to Lufkin! Giving Back: the FCCLA Inspiring Woman: Faith Through Tragedy Inspiring Young Woman: Lizzie Wallace
YOURLIFE Hometown Talent: the Twisted Sisters Stretch Marks: Making Waves Weddings Womenâ€™s Health: Hit the Hay for Heart Health Bankruptcy: Financial Advice Relationships: I Want to Leave the Past Behind Heart Health: Heart & Vascular Care
YOURCHILD Pretty Babies Parent Thoughts: Pregnancy Superstitions Look at Me Birthday Bash: Remi is 6! Why I Love Being a Mom: Lorraine Lazarine Dorman
17 18 20 22 23 26
29 30 31 32 33 34 36 38
41 42 44 45 46 48
Stephanie Oliver President Beth Johnson | firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Kim Iribarren | email@example.com Director of Sales Terry Campbell | firstname.lastname@example.org Office Manager/Accountant Macy Haffey Layout and Design Lisa Crow | email@example.com www.lisacrowphotography.com Event Photographer Mike Floyd | firstname.lastname@example.org Media Consultant
Contributors Kelly Finnerud Kathryn Greene Amy McLeod Melissa Radke Jane Shepherd Misty Spencer Distribution Lisa Crow Janet Glover Jarod Thompson
Mailing: P O B ox 1 5 0 5 37 L u f k i n , Tex a s 75 9 1 5 P h ys i c a l : 1 1 5 E . S h e p h e rd L u f k i n , Tex a s 75 9 0 1 Cover Photo by Morgan Due
936-634-7188 email@example.com facebook.com/tjmag twitter.com/tjmeast
Lufkin Plastic Surgery William D. Strinden, M.D. Dr. William Strinden is a board certified Plastic, Reconstructive, and Hand Surgeon. He has been in practice for over twenty years since opening his practice in 1988. Dr. Strinden performs many cosmetic procedures such as tummy tucks, liposuction, breast enhancements, nose revision, facelifts, and more. He also performs numerous reconstructive procedures such as skin cancer removal, scar revision, carpal tunnel surgery, tendon repairs, would closures, and more. According to Dr. Strinden, “Our goal is to provide excellent surgery of a quality expected in a major medical center, but delivered with personal attention.” Safety, privacy, and affordability are the top concerns of the entire staff at Lufkin Plastic Surgery. Every patient is treated with kindness and the utmost professionalism. You can come in to visit the office and discuss your needs, knowing your visit and information is confidential. You can view actual photographs of the procedures you are interested in and receive price quotes competitive with any plastic surgery center in Texas. Dr. William Strinden is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons and the American Board of Surgery. The office surgery center is accredited by the Joint Commission. For a comprehensive list of services and procedures, call Dr. Strinden’s office. An initial cosmetic consultation appointment can be arranged to go over which procedure would be the best for you.
116 Christie Drive | Lufkin, TX 75904 | 936.637.1145 | lufkinplasticsurgery.com
8 / The Journey - August 2012
Your Home home tour 10 decor & design 12 in the kitchen 14 your pantry 15
YOURHOME | HOME TOUR
he beautiful estate of Dr. Sergio and Samantha Moreira sits on 5 acres in historic Nacogdoches. The original home was built in 1984 by Mr. and Mrs. Jackie Miller. The traditional Georgian style home was a gift by Mr. Miller for Mrs. Miller. When the Moreira’s found the 6,000 square foot home on the market in 2007, it was a six bedroom home. The minute the Moreira’s walked into the home, they knew it was the one. Samantha knew she wanted to open up the home by taking down walls. The home underwent an
10 / The Journey - August 2012
extensive nineteen month renovation; gutting the home down to the studs. The Moreira’s enlisted the help of construction builder, Jeff Hamilton. Samantha had a vision for the home to create a Eurocentric style: 1st floor for entertaining complete with a pool room, bar, living room, dining room, kitchen, mudroom, half bath, and foyer. 2nd floor for living: master bedroom, bath and closet, guest bedroom and bath, and son’s room and bath. 3rd floor for the gym and theater.
a grand estate
by Jane Shepherd
YOURHOME | DECOR & DESIGN
ho doesn't love to organize in style? Use these colorful, stylish ideas to create a great home for all of the information you will collect this school year. To start, use a foam core and magnetic board with flashing. Choose your favorite paper or fabric to cover the board. If you want to add more flare, put your finished product in a frame. Add your own personal touch by hot gluing jewels onto push pins or magnets. Stay on top of all of the school year happenings, in style!
Jane Shepherd grew up in Diboll. She went to Savannah College of Art and Design and majored in fibers. Shepherd has been teaching for 7 years. She has one daughter, Hazel, who is in 2nd grade.
H BACK TO SC
Enjoy your summer. We have you covered.
er g r u b a t ha : L > H ? freePw A B M A I N K< RI NK ED L A R G Y R F L A R G E > Q I B K > L 1 ( ,*( *+
• Vehicle Insurance • Property Insurance • Life Insurance • Business Insurance
Clark Insurance Agency • Nicole Clark, Agent
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(936) 824-2178 (936) 824-2931 4100 S. US Hwy 69 Lufkin, Texas 75901
Owners Mark & Margie Ferden
Prince Gunner says, “Don’t get took!”
YOURHOME | IN THE KITCHEN
In the rush to get everyone off to school, it’s easy to fall into a food rut, serving the same things for breakfast, lunch and snacks. But with some inspiration and a little planning, going back to school can taste a whole lot better than it used to. To make things even more fun, have the kids help with these recipes and ideas. Once they get the hang of it, they can experiment with new ingredients and do it themselves, taking one more thing off your to-do list. BREAKFAST: Start the day off with pizza — Breakfast Pizza, that is. This recipe layers eggs, cheese, turkey bacon, hash browns, sour cream and guacamole on your favorite pita or flatbread. Kids can make it as hot or as mild as they like. It’s a great way to sneak in avocados’ 20 vitamins and minerals, and it will give them energy to get going on their busy day. LUNCH: Skip the same old sandwiches and liven up the lunchbox with these tasty creations. Try a Tortilla Wrap made with chicken, Wholly Salsa, Wholly Guacamole and a hint of lime juice. Experiment with different kinds of tortillas, from whole wheat or sundried tomato, to spinach or jalapeño. For a full-of-flavor favorite, make a Mexican Turkey Torta. Thin turkey slices get topped with a zesty black bean and corn relish, crisp lettuce and your favorite guacamole. To help keep all the delicious flavors inside the roll, hollow it out a bit so the other ingredients don’t fall out. AFTER SCHOOL SNACK: Whether they need something to hold them over until dinner or a quick bite on the way to practice, these Wrap It Ups will do the trick. Turkey, garlic and herb spread, Havarti cheese, guac, lettuce and tomato get wrapped up in a tortilla or flatbread, then sliced into bite-sized swirls of deliciousness. Make them ahead of time, then just slice when it’s time to enjoy. Get more back to school inspiration — including quick-fix dinner recipes for busy school nights — at www.eatwholly.com. BAN THE BORING LUNCHBOX: Keep school lunches interesting — and healthier — by including something nutritious to munch on. Guacamole and salsa are perfect for dipping into, and individually portioned packs of all natural Wholly Guacamole and Wholly Salsa are the perfect fit for a lunch box. Here are some “and” options to make lunch something fun to dip into: Guacamole and… • Zucchini sticks • Baby carrots • Whole grain pretzels • Sweet potato chips
Salsa and… • Blue corn chips • Sliced jicama • Cucumber slices • Baked pita chips
MEXICAN TURKEY TORTA | Yield: 4 Black Bean and Corn Relish 1/2 cup cooked black beans, no salt added 1/4 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro 1 tablespoon chopped red onion 4 teaspoons cider vinegar 2 teaspoons honey 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin 1/3 cup reduced fat Mexican style shredded cheese Sandwiches 4 2.6-oz bolillo rolls or baguettes 4 tablespoons Wholly Guacamole 12 1-ounce slices ultra-thin, lower sodium, oven roasted turkey 1 cup lettuce, shredded
DIRECTIONS: In medium bowl, combine beans, corn, cilantro, onion, vinegar, honey, hot pepper sauce, and cumin; mix to combine. Gently mix in cheese. Set aside. Cut rolls in half horizontally, remove soft center, leaving a 1/4-inch thick shell. Spread 1 tablespoon guacamole inside each hollowed roll. Top each with 3 slices turkey, 1/4 cup black bean mixture, and 1/4 cup shredded lettuce; top with remaining roll tops.
BREAKFAST PIZZA | Yield: 2 pizzas 2 1/2 2 1/2 4 1/4 1 2 1 1
pita wraps or flatbreads cup Wholly Salsa scrambled eggs cup Mexican 3 cheese blend strips turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled cup hash browns, thawed tablespoon sour cream tablespoons Wholly Guacamole teaspoon cilantro, minced teaspoon hot sauce
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread 1/4 cup salsa on each flatbread. Spread scrambled egg over each flatbread. Evenly divide cheese, crumbled turkey bacon and hash browns, then spread over pizzas. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes. While baking, mix sour cream, guacamole, minced cilantro and hot sauce. Remove pizzas from oven and top with sauce.
TORTILLA WRAP | Yield: 1 wrap 1 cooked boneless skinless chicken breast 1 medium-sized tortilla, corn or flour Wholly Guacamole, to taste Natural salsa, to taste Juice of 1/2 a lime Hot sauce, to taste
DIRECTIONS: Slice chicken. Spread guacamole on a tortilla. Add salsa. Squeeze lime juice over salsa. Add chicken on top and add the hot sauce to your liking. Roll the tortilla up and enjoy. Note: You can add low fat mozzarella cheese or Greek yogurt if you like.
WRAP IT UPS | Yield: 1 1 1 2 1/4 1 2-3 2-3
flatbread (tortilla, wrap, lavash) tablespoon garlic and herb flavored spreadable cheese tablespoons Wholly Guacamole classic avocado cup shredded lettuce small tomato, diced slices Havarti cheese slices turkey (optional)
DIRECTIONS: Spread the garlic and herb spreadable cheese on flatbread. Spread guacamole on top. On one end of the flatbread, sprinkle a line of lettuce and diced tomatoes. Layer cheese and sliced turkey beside lettuce and tomatoes, leaving at least two inches of untopped bread at the other end. Starting from the lettuce/tomato end, roll up bread/ tortilla, tucking in the vegetables with the first roll and proceeding to the cheese/meat. Stick in toothpicks to keep the roll rolled, and slice in two-inch thick spirals.
by Amy McLeod, RD, LD
popular diet & supplement reviews
mericans want to lose weight – and want to lose weight RIGHT NOW! We all desire the magic potion, pill, trick or diet advice that will help us lose weight for good and increase energy levels, and we are willing to pay a pretty penny for the help. This is the reason Americans support a billion dollar weight loss industry. You can quickly rule out products by checking out manufacturer claims. Take caution if the product claims to “melt fat away” or help you lose weight too quickly. If the diet or supplement does not mention the need for whole foods and calorie restriction, then it’s a
no-go. Next is a close review of the ingredients, and finally, the cost. A popular ingredient in supplemental shakes is plant extracts touting antioxidant benefits. Consumers should always look for caffeine in these products, which is often the reason for the proposed, “increase in energy.” Check with your Brookshire Brothers pharmacist to determine if any ingredients could potentially interact with medications. Here is a brief review of two companies selling weight loss products. The products reviewed are available online or by individual distributors.
BODY BY VI
Claims A powdered drink mixed with water. Plexus claims loss of weight and inches by burning fat, not muscle. It also claims to promote healthy blood sugar levels, decrease blood pressure, support healthy cholesterol and lipid levels, and improve will power over food choices and free radical scavenging.
Diet Plan According to the website, the diet plan for Visalus Sciences® (Body by Vi) is the suggestion to drink two shakes per day and eat a “sensible” dinner of small portions. The products claim to build lean muscle, boost metabolism and control hunger. More diet information is provided after purchasing one of the kits.
Diet Plan A question and answer section on the Plexus website answers only a few questions regarding diet. Plexus mainly discusses smaller portion sizes and increased exercise to speed up the weight loss. Buyers are encouraged to listen to their body for hunger signals. Nutritional Pros and Cons Plexus Slim ingredients are said to be natural and safe. The product is sweetened with natural sweeteners, Stevia and Lohan. The Plexus Slim Accelerator contains caffeine. No nutritional information for calories, protein or fat is available on the website. Bottom Line Since the product is consumed as a meal replacement, you may lose a few pounds. However, Plexus does not appear to be a long term solution to weight loss. Particular concern is found in the claim that Plexus decreases blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. The addition of caffeine in the Accelerator product could be harmful to those with hypertension or cardiac disease. One of the ingredients is labeled “Proprietary Blend” and not disclosed. Note: If you are required to take a drug test from your employer, beware as the ingredient Geranium Flower Extract may show a false positive for amphetamine in urine tests. Cost for a 30 day supply of Plexus Slim is $84.95. The Plexus Slim Accelerator Combo is $114.95.
Nutritional Pros and Cons Visalus Sciences® offers several nutritional kits called Balance, Shape, Core and Transformation. With each kit you receive a shake mix with added items, such as a proposed metabolism booster and flavor mix-ins, but the shake is the one consistent component. The nutritional information for the shake is 90 calories per serving, 1 gram fat, 7 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber and 12 grams protein. The shake contains the daily value for several vitamins and minerals. Bottom Line The shake would be appropriate for a snack, but too low in calories for a meal replacement (90 calories.) The shake is high in protein, low in fat and high in fiber, which may help curb hunger. The shake might help to lose some initial weight but is not likely to provide a long term solution for weight loss. Body by Vi Kits range from $49.00 - $249.00.
Amy McLeod, RD, LD is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian and Healthy Living Spokeswoman for Brookshire Brothers Food and Pharmacy.
23rd Annual Texas Blueberry Festival
16 / The Journey - August 2012
photographed by Bruce Partain
Your Community calendar 18 dream homes 20 giving back 22 inspiring woman 23 inspiring young woman 26
Macy May, Downtown Nacogdoches
YOURCOMMUNITY | CALENDAR
calendar of events August 4 Junior League of Lufkin Back to School Bonanza 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Lufkin. You must be PRE-REGISTERED before the event by contacting Buckner Children & Family Services at 936-637-3300.
August 10 Second Annual Community Impact Awards Lufkin Pitser Garrison Civic Center. 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. For more information, contact Susan Robertson at 936.639.5673.
Cheryl Suiter, MD & Jana Davis Brazil, WHNP Pineywoods Obstetrics & Gynecology
936.699.7575 We’ve moved! Our new location is 402 Gaslight Blvd Lufkin, TX
Wee Art Held at the Museum of East Texas in Lufkin. Classes are designed specifically for three year olds and a parent, grandparent or guardian. 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Contact 936.639.4434 for registration information.
August 30 Black Tie Bingo Benefitting the Boys and Girls Club of Lufkin. Cocktails 6:00 p.m./Dinner 6:30 p.m. For ticket and table pricing, contact Cristy Sorrells at 936.560.6844 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 1-17 Tree Art Classes Held at the Texas Forestry Museum. Learn how to draw leaves, fruits and trees from internationally known Forester-Artist, Bruce Lyndon Cunningham. Child classes, ages 6-12, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Adult Classes, ages 13-adult, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. For cost and additional information, call us at 936.632.9535. 1st Week Classes: August 1- 3 Drawing and watercolor of various kinds of LEAVES 2nd Week Classes: August 8 – 10 Drawing and watercolor of various kinds of FRUITS 3rd Week Classes: August 15 – 17 Drawing and watercolor of various TREE SHAPES
August 26 Art Camp Reception Held at the Museum of East Texas. 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Event is free of charge. For more information, contact Ann Reyes at 936.639.4434.
To submit your event for the September issue, email your event to email@example.com by August 20th.
Edgar and Joe Ann Burton with grandaughters Sydney and Jordan Verner.
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www.nacogdocheseyeassociates.com Hours: M-T-W & F 8-5:30, Th 8-7, 1st & 3rd Sat. 9-12
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YOURCOMMUNITY | DREAM HOMES
READY... SET... GO! A NEW retail plaza on the South
ike Hineman was first introduced to the construction business in 1988. As a high school and college student, he worked for Duncan & Ainsworth Construction, all the while soaking it up and learning the business. Once he graduated from SFA, there was not enough business for all of them. That is when Dream Homes & Drafting came along. Mike first began drafting home designs as well as opening Mike’s Stereo Shop. He drew plans for over thirty different builders for years. After twenty years of owning Mike’s Stereo Shop, he sold the business and became a full time home builder. Dream Homes took over the Mike’s Stereo Shop location and has been there for the last seven years. After 150 different building projects in the Lufkin area, it was time for a new location.
G N I M CO ! SOON “Dream Homes is interested in adding to the excitement and growth in Angelina County.” - Mike Hineman, Founder
MIKE IS AT IT AGAIN! Lo o p i s i n t h e w o r k s fo r L u f k i n ! Q&A with Founder, Mike Hineman: Why are you building a retail plaza? Dream Homes is interested in adding to the excitement and growth in Angelina County, specifically right here in Lufkin. Outgrowing our old location and needing more office and storage space has given us the perfect opportunity to add to our economy. We had been looking for a place to build our new office for a year before we bought the land on the loop next to Choice Cut Meat Market. One thing led to another and now we are building a retail complex with restaurants and office spaces.
How is the center different? We didn’t want to build retail/restaurant spaces without character. Each space will have its own individual personality with different exteriors offering 16’ tall ceilings and lofts in some buildings. We will be opening “The Meeting Spot,” which will be a space offering rental opportunities for meetings, birthday parties, private clubs, scrapbooking parties, etc. You can also look forward to Little Caesar’s, Daily Donuts and Royal Interiors moving into this location. Look for Trailwood Square to open October 2012.
Are all the spots filled? We still have one restaurant/drive-thru and an office/retail location open for lease. If you are interested, give us a call at 936.634.3400.
Dream Homes & Drafting, LLC 304 S. Timberland Lufkin, TX 75901 (936) 634-3400 Mike Hineman & family
by Misty Spencer
YOURCOMMUNITY | GIVING BACK
uture Homemakers of America (FHA), founded in 1945, touched the lives of many young ladies over the span of 54 years. In 1999, FHA changed its name to FCCLA. Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is not your mom’s FHA! FCCLA is the only national student organization that encourages personal growth, career preparation, fosters family and community involvement and helps youth become leaders. FCCLA also offers student competitions called STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) Events in over 30 different genres ranging from Culinary Arts to Job Interview to Fashion Design. Central High School has a very active FCCLA chapter. Laura Ferguson was Central’s first region officer two years ago, holding the position of Region III Vice President of Finance. Her involvement sparked the interest of many more members to get involved at a higher level. Because of Laura’s leadership, Central had two more students run for office for this past school year. Katie Campbell was elected as Region III Vice President of Projects
the FCCLA and Brittany Ogden was elected as Region III Vice President of Parliamentary Law. At the end of the school year, Brittany Ogden ran for a state officer position and was elected as the Texas State Recording Secretary for 2012-2013. Also adding to the list of accomplishments, Central had their first national competitor. Jennifer Campbell competed in a STAR Event called Recycle and Redesign in which she recycled old glass bottles into a chandelier. Jennifer won 1st place at the region III state competition and claimed a silver medal at the national competition. This past school year their chapter was very busy! Competitions and office positions are not all FCCLA has to offer. Central is very active in community service projects. This past year their major service project was raising money for March of Dimes. Previous years’ projects include: Operation Christmas Child, Dress A Girl Around the World, Barefoot for Barefeet, volunteering at The Amazing Turtle Race, Texas State Forest Festival and Family Day at the Zoo. In addition to community service, FCCLA members learn to educate their peers through Fall
Leadership workshops. Central hosted their workshop at Lon Morris College in Jacksonville, Texas in which they reached several students from various schools in the East Texas Region. The students who attended the workshop went through the following sessions: STOP the Violence, Student Body, and Teambuilding. Students also had the opportunity to participate in a leadership enhancement opportunity exam over the following subjects: etiquette, consumer math, interior design, job interview, step one, and creed/mission/purpose. The FCCLA organization has chapters in nearly 8,000 schools across the country with over 200,000 members. If you are interested in how to get your student involved in FCCLA, contact your local Family and Consumer Science teacher. For more information about FCCLA, to volunteer as a STAR Event judge, to become a corporate sponsor, or if you are hosting an upcoming event in which you need volunteers, please contact Misty Spencer at 936-853-9374. www.fcclainc.org; www.texasfccla.org
faith through tragedy
Lauren Alston was a beautiful young lady who had a contagious smile and zest for life. Her mom is quick to point out that she wasn’t a perfect child, but had developed a strong sense of right and wrong, and didn’t mind letting you know if you weren’t playing by the rules. Those who knew her say she was sassy, but in a good sort of way. In fact, her mom gave her the nickname ‘bossy cow’ from when she was very young, and this stuck with her to her young adult life. Her life was always about helping others, whether she was reaching out to the new kid that no one noticed, going on summer mission with the UMARMY (United Methodist Action Reach-Out Mission by Youth) or working with Dream Builders to build new homes for those struggling financially, Lauren’s life was about serving others.
Taylor Chambers always had a huge smile on his face. His auburn red hair was much like his bubbly personality. Taylor loved to joke and have fun with his friends. He was energetic and could always make anyone laugh. He absolutely loved people and the relationships he had in his life were of utmost importance to him. Taylor enjoyed attending church at Harmony Hill Baptist and was active in youth activities. Taylor strongly believed in paying it forward. He was constantly going out of his way to do good things for others, assured that one day, the favor would be returned.
Patrick Scott’s personality was much like he was; it was larger than life. He loved everyone unconditionally. It was nothing for him to spend hours talking to friends about his faith and God. His mother always told him to “make good choices and use your powers for good.” Patrick lived that out, always seeking to look past a person’s mistakes and accept and love them regardless of their differences. From the time he was a young boy, he was a passionate Texas Longhorn fan. He lived and loved every moment of his life.
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YOURCOMMUNITY | INSPIRING WOMAN break, and she had just spent a Friday night with her family enjoying dinner and sharing many stories and moments of laughter. This evening would stand out to the Alston’s as a beautiful gift, their final memories of their beloved daughter. That next day, Lauren was asked to go four-wheeler riding. Text messages on her phone show she hesitated with the idea, because her brother suffered serious injuries in an ATV accident at the age of 12. Lauren made the decision to go. Before she started riding, she asked for a helmet, but there were none available. While she was driving the four-wheeler, reports state she hit a sandy spot in the road, lost control and suffered a closed head injury and punctured lung. She was rushed to Nacogdoches Medical Center, where her parents, Suzanne and Bryan Alston, met her. Suzanne remembers, “To look at her, she was just laying in the bed asleep; she really had no outside proof of her serious injuries.” Lauren went home to heaven peacefully on Sunday, March 7, 2010. She graduated from Stephen F. Austin Cum Laude posthumously on May 15, 2010.
Joy Killam, Suzanne Alston & Tricia Chambers. Photographed by Morgan Due.
mong the stories of these three beautiful souls, there are many common threads. Most importantly, they all had a mother whom they loved and adored. Each of these women taught their children diligently in the ways of the Lord, supported them through hard times and celebrated everything that was good about their lives. In addition, Lauren, Taylor and Patrick were each connected in some way. Lauren and Patrick grew up together, both attending First United Methodist
Church in Lufkin. Taylor and Lauren attended school together at Harmony Christian School, and Lauren’s brother, Taylor, was very good friends and housemates with Taylor Chambers when he passed away. Patrick and Taylor also worked together at a local restaurant. Each of their lives, woven together in some way, would prove to be a great support in times of loss and grief. Each of these young lives ended much too quickly when measured by human understanding. Lauren was attending Stephen F. Austin, set to graduate in August 2010 with a degree in hospitality administration. It was the week before spring
Taylor Chambers was very excited to join the United States Army, and he was thrilled to be doing it with his oldest brother, Patrick. A few weeks before they left, the two sat down with their mother, Tricia Chambers, to watch a video meant to prepare families for the transition into military life. Patrick and Taylor were hoping to provide some comfort for their mom, who was still very nervous about seeing two of her three sons join the army. The watched the film and the brothers were excited to be a part of the unique camaraderie exclusive to military
service men and women. Taylor and Patrick, along with their brother, Kyle, joined their dad for a ski trip to Colorado to spend some time together before they left for the service. They were returning home from the trip when they passed a truck stranded on a snowy embankment. Taylor noticed there was an army sticker on the window, and echoing the video he had recently watched, he told Patrick, “It’s -4 degrees out here and we can’t leave him behind; he’s one of us.” While Taylor and Patrick were unhooking the tow strap from their fellow serviceman’s car, a drunk driver approached from behind and hit them. On February 7, 2011, Taylor died on the way to the hospital, and the lifeflight helicopter, meant for Taylor, ended up saving Patrick’s life. Patrick Scott was enjoying life in Austin, Texas. His mother, Joy Killam, and his stepdad, Steve Killam, had spent Easter Sunday with him in Austin. (Patrick’s dad died when he was in high school) They ate Sunday lunch at the restaurant where Patrick worked and were able to sit and visit for over five hours. They talked about everything and when Joy asked Patrick about his relationship with the Lord, Patrick responded, “Don’t worry about me; me and God are on a first name basis.” This sacred time would provide the memories Joy needed to survive in a world without Patrick. Patrick came home to Lufkin on a Saturday night and immediately began making the
rounds to visit his friends. He visited his brother, Adam, and made a few other stops to make plans for the week. He was headed home about 3:00 a.m. when his car flipped and he was partially ejected. Patrick never made it to the hospital. He opened his eyes in heaven on May 15, 2011.
at all. Simply letting someone know they are in your thoughts and prayers can acknowledge their pain and let them know you care. After all, when a mother has experienced such loss, no one can make it better; words can’t encourage enough and clichés’ can’t be spoken so appropriately that it will bring back their child.
Lauren’s mother, Suzanne Alston, Taylor’s mother, Tricia Chambers and Patrick’s mother, Joy Killam, are now members of a group they never wanted to join; they have suffered the tragic loss of a child. Joy says, “We’ve lost more than our children, we’ve lost a part of our future: their first job, weddings and grandchildren.” Although their paths have been similar, their journeys do not look the same; they are coping with their new reality in different ways.” Joy says, “Since Patrick died, it is very hard to attend children’s birthday,” Tricia chimed in, “And I can’t go to baby showers; it’s just too hard.” Suzanne says, “If you haven’t walked this road, you cannot understand what we have been through or question how we are dealing with it.”
There are ways to support a friend and honor the memory of their loved one. Tricia remembers receiving a card from a neighbor on Christmas Eve that honored Taylor and helped her through that first Christmas without him. Suzanne and Bryan Alston have started the Lauren Alston Foundation to provide college scholarships and financial assistance to young people going on mission trips. www.laurenalston.com Joy and Steve are looking forward to remembering Patrick by giving to the First United Methodist Church scholarship set up in his memory on his birthday and holidays. Tricia Chambers is looking to get involved with MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. We as friends can come along side these families and support them in what they are doing to remember their loved ones. All of the families have enjoyed hearing stories of how their child impacted the lives of others.
Life is hard, cruel and, many times, unforgiving. Tragic events happen, and at some point we will all be affected, whether directly or indirectly. These ladies give an honest glimpse into how we should react when a friend is in the midst of a nightmare. Collectively, they have stories of people who spoke words meant to comfort, yet only added to their pain. Remember, your words have untold power, so use them wisely. It is quite possible that in such circumstances, you shouldn’t say much
Life will never be the same for these families. Joy describes, “You want to be happy, but your ‘happy’ isn’t 10 anymore, it’s just about a 7 right now.” The story of their lives ended sooner than their mothers had hoped. For these ladies, their worst moment was their child’s best. In God’s mercy and love, each of these young people, Lauren, Taylor and Patrick, all had a relationship with the Lord, and that provides their life story with a happy ending. tjmag.com / 25
26 / The Journey - August 2012
photographed by Morgan Due
INSPIRING YOUNG WOMAN
ancer: a word that does not often pass through a teenager’s mind. Sure we all know what it is. We acknowledge the deadly effects the disease has on people, but we never think that we’ll get it. It’s almost as if we believe we are immune to a sickness such as this one. This mentality of cancer only being the disease that our mom’s friend, our teacher, or a fellow church member has puts us at risk. We almost beckon the disease by going to tanning beds, smoking cigarettes, or drinking alcohol. I was certainly one of these teens. I never smoked or drank in my life; however, I am guilty of forgoing sunscreen at the beach in an attempt to get a nice tan. In my mind, cancer was not a disease with a teenage face. I definitely never thought I would hear the words, “Lizzie, you have cancer”. Before hearing those words, I was just another seventeen year-old girl. I liked hanging out with my friends, attending church, and going to accounting practice. Nothing about my life was extraordinary. My life had been extremely safe, and I saw this as a hindrance to my spiritual growth. I wanted to witness to people, but I felt like I was not qualified for such a job. I had never experienced a trial where I had to rely solely on my faith, so every night I prayed for a better testimony. Although I prayed to live a godly life, I was not ready to fully surrender control. I had planned out the next few years of my life already; I wanted to study accounting at the University of Texas. I wanted to get a great job in the business world so I could afford the lifestyle that I so badly longed for. Sadly, these plans were only corporate, mindless, and safe dreams. None of them really involved my true joy in life, helping people or even remotely spreading God’s love. Boy did God have different plans for me! I can remember the first day that I knew something was wrong. At the beginning of August, I drove to Coston Elementary to help my mom decorate her classroom before school started. After helping out for a while, I began to feel nauseous, but I just attributed it to car sickness. I was notorious in my family for being extremely prone to motion sickness. In fact, my little sister nicknamed me the Vomit Comet after I puked on her only one hour into an eight hour plane ride. What was strange, though,
was that my nausea didn’t subside, it only got worse as time went on. Just getting off the couch made me sick, so my mom took me to the doctor where I was diagnosed with the stomach virus and told to let it run its course. Little did we know this was the beginning of a long journey to diagnose my mystery illness. When we realized that this was more than just a little virus, we returned to the doctor and found out my liver levels and SED rate were extremely high. I was sent to a liver specialist at the Texas Children’s Hospital clinic in Sugarland, but he could not figure out what was wrong. Over the next couple of months, the doctors monitored my liver levels, and we watched them slowly return to normal. Everyone assumed I was getting better, but I was still plagued by bouts of nausea, excessive lethargy and unexplainable vomiting. Finally in January, we took a step forward when doctors found an abnormality during an ultra sound. An endoscopy and MRI was immediately scheduled to find out more about the irregularity. My appointments were back to back. Immediately after the MRI, I rushed over to have the endoscopy. During the procedure, my pediatrician called my mother to say he wanted to see us immediately. I was still out of it after the endoscopy and extremely sick from the anesthesia, so the next few hours are really just a blur. I can remember nurses rushing me in through the back door and into a room where my doctor walked in and said there was a large tumor in the right lobe of my liver that looks malignant. My heart did not drop or skip a beat; I was not in hysterics, because I already knew. God had prepared me for this moment. The first thought that crossed my mind was that this must be the testimony for which I was praying.
able to make an impact on so many people’s lives. I am so glad that I have been able to share the lessons I’ve learned along the road, such as not caring about what others think, actually living life and not just going through the motions and knowing God is so great. As humans, we are often satisfied with settling for something mediocre, because we fear taking risks that may result in a poor outcome. We need a push that gives us the drive to take chances. Sometimes the push needs to be earth rattling. This experience was the push I needed. Being reminded that life is not eternal changes everything about you. Cancer does steal many pieces from your life, but not as many as it bestows. This experience has given me a strength and knowledge that I never thought I could posses. Eleanor Roosevelt was correct when she said, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the things which you think you cannot do.”
“As humans, we are often satisfied with settling for something mediocre, because we fear taking risks that may result in a poor outcome. We need a push that gives us the drive to take chances. Sometimes the push needs to be earth rattling.”
I often wonder what my life would be like if I had not gotten sick. Sometimes I yearn to be able to do the same things my friends do, but given the chance, I would not change the path that my life has taken. I believe I was given this life because I’m strong enough to live it. Instead of wallowing in my own self pity and mourning my losses, I choose to focus on the positives. Without this illness, I would never have been
Currently I am in remission, but due to the aggressive nature of my cancer, the chances of recurrence are high. I will have scans every three months for the next five years to see if any tumors have grown. Eventually, the time in between my scans will grow longer. My first set of tests will be at the end of July. My family and I are anxiously waiting for this date that will determine my future. If my scans are clear, fingers crossed, I will be able to start college in the fall at The University of Texas in Austin and begin my journey towards becoming a counselor to children in hospitals.
tjmag.com / 27
28 / The Journey - August 2012
photographed by Clay Bostian and Kelly Gann
Your Life hometown talent 30 stretch marks 31 weddings 32 womenâ€™s health 33 bankruptcy 34 relationships 36 heart health 38
photographed by Lisa Crow
YOURLIFE | HOMETOWN TALENT
THE TWISTED SISTERS
isters Robin Herbst and Pam Jones are the “Twisted Sisters.” It all began with their mutual love of home decor. For years, Robin and Pam have talked about doing something they love. Then they chose a name for themselves, Twisted Sisters, and their business was born. The Twisted Sisters began researching and finding just the right vendors. Little by little, they acquired a unique inventory that has become the hallmark of the Twisted Sister brand. Once Robin and Pam found enough goodies, they needed a place to sell their treasures. That is when they found Ashley Courtney and The Posh Cottage. “It was the perfect place to call home. Ashley is always changing things around, and we love it,” said Robin. The company is not only unique to the sisters. Robin says, “My husband and brother in law are very much involved. They have
made furniture, helped set up and take down the shop, and set up at different markets--they do whatever needs to be done. It’s great and we love them for being so involved.” “A unique aspect about us is that we use recycled Christmas cards for our price tags,” says Robin. “It’s just a small thing, but I think it says a lot about who we are.” They find a lot of cute stuff from vendors, but they make items as well. In fact, the driving force to start the business came when they would create things and then see them at other places. Stop in and visit Twisted Sisters at The Posh Cottage. They are always posting new items on their facebook page. One of their most popular items is a pet bed made out of a suitcase, along with many more!
by Melissa Radke
really think this article is going to make a splash with our readers. Mainly because it isn’t an issue I want to dance around, nor do I want to let the topic just float right by and never address it. Oh help me, I’m drowning in cliché’s. I’ve written about my mother. You all are probably sick to death of hearing about my kids. I’m pretty sure you all know how I feel about Pinterest. So here and there and hither and yon, I will begin to talk about things from around the area. Places I go (a whole article on Chikfil-A? Don’t tempt me… it can be done), people I meet (beware! I’m watching), things I see (B ERNIE!) or something I want to do. Take this week for instance. This week I have decided to write to you about something I have recently discovered here in our fine East Texas town, something that might peak an interest in a few of you sitting at home right now drinking a Big Red and eating Oreos. Aqua Zumba. So when I moved here a few years ago, Zumba was becoming a pretty hot topic. Now I missed it all together, because somewhere between the Mason Dixon line and the Mississippi River, Zumba got lost in the shuffle. So, Tennessee wasn’t quite on to it when I moved away, but lo and behold if I didn’t pull into this town and the first friend I made asked me, “Want to Zumba?” I wasn’t sure what she was asking, but I was pretty certain we couldn’t be friends unless I got her saved. However, I was hard up for friends (and I’m nosey as heck), so I said “yes” and away we went. Zumba fact #1: Some bodies were never designed to move that way. As I stood among a throng of women
wearing everything from sequins to doorags, I remember thinking two things:
when she says “four more!” I’m not saying, “Nope! Only two!” See? To me, it’s a win-win.
The woman on the front row in green should have stayed at home tonight with me and watched The Bachelor. This just ain’t our thing.
Zumba fact #4: Wear support. That’s all I’m sayin’. I’ve been going to Aqua Zumba for a while now, and I can spot a novice a mile away. She’s the one who is wearing her nice, beach bathing suit. It has spaghetti straps and a diamond cowboy hat on the tummy. She’ll never last. A real aqua girl is girded up. Her bathing suit is made of Spanx, and the only thing she can do is hold her breath and pray for mercy.
Wouldn’t this be fun if there were the innate possibility I might die while trying to do it? I don’t know, say, in water? Zumba fact #2: If a new friend invites you to Zumba, they don’t want to be your friend. They want to laugh at you, internally, for an hour. I went to Zumba only once; mainly because I was so out of shape it hurt to drink water the next day. However, I also ended up watching all three Step Up movies in one weekend until The Attorney General turned off the television set by saying, “One Zumba class does not mean you can move like this. Someone has to be honest with you.” I never went again. Until last month… Zumba fact #3: When done in water, no one knows you don’t move like J Lo. Aqua Zumba classes are being offered in this town, and I’m enjoying the heck out of them. Oh sure, I don’t enjoy the first part where you take off your cover-up and walk into the water, and I really hate the last part where you walk out of the water and rush to get into your cover-up. But the parts inbetween are a lot of fun! Just imagine doing Zumba, but in the water, or imagine doing water aerobics a tad more provocatively. That’s Aqua Zumba! And the thing about it I love – other than the fact that I’ll get to hang on to my knees a few more years – is that what was shimmying in Zumba is now shimmying much less-self consciously in the water. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love land Zumba. I do! (I went out and bought a Pitt Bull CD right away.) I’m just not very good at it. (Which is why I also bought Kenny G.) But in the water no one knows I’m not good, that I have no rhythm or that
Zumba fact #5: Believe it or not, it’s a work-out. Imagine you’re standing on land. Now imagine you’re jumping and kicking. You’re twirling and hopping. You flip from side to side. Now dance! Dance! Dance! Heavy breathing, yet? Not so much in water. Oh sure, I’m shriveled like a prune and my hair is starting to fall out in huge clumps due to the chlorine, but man, I look good! Okay, I’m kidding, but if you really are reading this while drinking a Big Red and eating Oreos, isn’t it worth a try? I’d love to see you there. Don’t be afraid I’m going to write anything bad about you… I would never! We’re all in this together! Unless you look like J Lo or move like J Lo. Then, I’ll be totally honest; you’re on your own.
Aqua Zumba with Tammy Lee is offered in Lufkin on Mondays and Wednesdays at the East Texas Boys and Girls club from 8-9pm and Saturdays 8-9am. They are $5 a class or 10 for $30. Aqua Zumba with Rudy Flores is offered at the Crown Colony Club pool on Saturdays from 9-10am. Club members pay $8, non-members pay $10.
Melissa Radke is married to the best looking man in town, whom she affectionately refers to as The Attorney General. They have two children, Remi and Rocco; you have probably seen their picture in the Most Wanted list at your local schools. She loves movie popcorn, telling her friends what to do with their hair and being the center of attention. You can find her anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or Chik-fil-A. You are encouraged to ask for her autograph. In fact, she insists.
YOURLIFE | WEDDINGS
— and —
Aaron Graham Bride’s parents: David & Kelley Moore and the late Todd Doyle Groom’s parents: Robert & Karan Graham The wedding was Saturday, July 21, 2012 at First Christian Church.
Amber Graw — and —
Daniel Warner March 3, 2012
E-mail wedding/engagement submissions to email@example.com. Submissions are free of charge.
32 / The Journey - August 2012
Hit the Hay for Heart Health Inadequate sleep can increase risk for heart disease.
he link between sufficient sleep and good health is well established. A growing body of research gives added weight to the argument that shorting yourself on sleep may shorten your life – by significantly raising your risk of heart problems.
More than 40 million people in America suffer from chronic sleep problems. Insomnia, the most common sleep problem, affects 30 percent of adults – around 60 million individuals – in America. Another 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, of which 80 to 90 percent are undiagnosed. Insomnia involves the inability to fall asleep and remain asleep all night. Sleep apnea is the interruption of sleep due to reduced air intake when the muscles of the throat weaken and the windpipe fails to stay open during breathing. Sleep disorders can have serious effects on heart health by raising the risk of heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. According to the American Heart Association, individuals with sleep difficulties may have as much as a 45 percent higher risk of a heart attack. While studies have demonstrated the detrimental effects of insufficient sleep on the heart, the relationship between the two is not clearly defined. Studies show that insufficient sleep does not directly cause heart disease, but increases the risk factors for heart disease: weight gain, stress hormone production, and high blood pressure, to name a few. Shortened sleep duration – less than six hours – can have a variety of negative effects on heart health. Researchers theorize that, because blood pressure and heart rate fall at night, sleeping for shorter durations does not allow sufficient time for this restorative cycle of lowered heart rate and blood pressure to take place. Therefore, the heart has to work harder and blood pressure remains elevated, which can damage cause long-term damage to the heart. Adults who sleep fewer than six hours per night also produce more of a protein that is usually released during stress or when inflammation is present in the body; both conditions are risk factors for heart disease. According to a 2008 study at the University of Chicago, insufficient sleep can also lead to calcium deposits in the arteries, narrowing the pathway for blood flow and raising heart attack risk. This landmark study of 495 men and women ages 35 to 47 documented the exact risk of shortened sleep. An average of one hour less a night can increase coronary calcium by 16 percent. Among this group, 27 percent of patients who got less than five hours of sleep each night developed plaque in their heart vessels, compared to just 11 percent among those sleeping five to seven hours and only 6 percent of people who slept more than seven hours nightly.
A 2011 European Heart Journal review of 15 medical studies involving almost 475,000 people found that short sleepers had a 48 percent increased risk of developing or dying from heart disease in a seven to 25-year follow-up period (depending on the study) and a 15 percent greater risk of developing or dying from a stroke during this same time. If you suffer from excessive sleepiness during the day or have other symptoms of sleep deprivation or a sleep disorder (see sidebar), talk with your doctor about undergoing an assessment to determine your sleeping habits. Sleep disorders can be diagnosed through some simple tests, including a sleep study, in which the patient is observed during sleep to detect patterns of interrupted sleep, abnormal heart rate and rhythm, and much more. Treatments may include a continuous positive airway pressure device, weight loss, surgery on the windpipe, sleep aids to promote optimal body positioning while sleeping, and dental devices to promote good airflow. Learn more at WoodlandHeights.net by clicking on “Health Resources” and “Interactive Tools,” and taking the “Sleep Quiz” or the “Sleep Apnea Quiz.” For additional information, call 936-639-6863 for an appointment. Remember that this information is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor, but rather to increase awareness and help equip patients with information and facilitate conversations with your physician that will benefit your health. Sources: American Heart Association, www.heart.org, National Institutes of Health, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, WebMD, www.webmd.com, National Sleep Foundation, www.sleep.org
SYMPTOMS OF SLEEP TROUBLE Having trouble catching enough ZZZ’s? Symptoms of sleep deprivation or sleep disorder can include: •
Decreased alertness or concentration capabilities
Inability to stay asleep at night (irregular sleep patterns)
Morning headaches or waking and not feeling well rested
Snoring, snorting or gasping for breath during sleep (often first noticed by a sleeping partner) tjmag.com / 33
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he traditional stigma of bankruptcy has faded and been replaced by the view that it is a fresh start after a time of trouble. Most bankruptcy debtors experience unexpected and extreme financial shock, such as that caused by sudden events like job loss, business failure, death, divorce or illness. In such cases, filing bankruptcy may be the right answer. If you are facing serious financial challenges, it is very important to seek the counsel of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. 1. It’s all available… financial temptation. In today’s society, we want things, and we want them NOW. Whether it’s the new car with the $800 per month payment over 6 years, the biggest TV we can buy, the new bedroom and living room furniture or anything else, many of these items are financed. All of these monthly obligations can quickly turn your life into a nightmare if there is a sudden loss or reduction of income. Most of these consumer loans have an interest rate higher than the prime +3 that most favorable customers get. Once payments are missed, you can quickly be charged a default interest rate of 18% or more, as well as late charges and other fees. You should carefully consider financing these type items. For example, consider driving an older, but paid for, vehicle a couple of years longer than you normally would. Save an amount equivalent to what you would make on a new car payment for that time. You will have a sizeable down payment when you decide to replace the vehicle. Negotiate the interest rate. Don’t just accept what the dealer can get you. The more you pay down, the less risk the lender is taking. Banks will agree to accept a lower interest rate when there is less risk of loss. 2. Give and you will receive… Tithing – Luke 6:38. It is important to recognize that God has an interest in your life, even your financial life. Tithing sometimes becomes difficult during financial crises. Remember what you believe. Are the scriptures true that say ‘give and you will receive; you will be given much. Pressed down, shaken together, and running over, it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.’ Do not forget to give unto God what is His during these times of your life.
4. Live Joyfully… How? I’m losing my house. One of the main conversations that I have with clients is to STOP worrying. With extremely few exceptions [child support or IRS] you cannot be jailed for a debt in our state. Even child support and IRS claims can be relieved in a bankruptcy plan. Aggressive creditors can be dealt with in a firm, legal fashion to stop harassment. In the vast majority of all cases we file, clients are relieved after they receive just a briefing on their rights as a consumer or debtor. There are various restructuring plans available to save homes, cars or other mortgaged assets. Do not let your debt situation affect your quality of life. 5. Bankruptcy: Deuteronomy 15:1. At the end of every 7 years, you [creditors] must tell those who owe you anything that they do not have to pay you back. This is how you must do it: Everyone who has loaned money must cancel the loan and not make a neighbor or relative pay it back. This is the Lord’s time for cancelling what people owe. Have you ever considered what this means? Obviously, if you have the ability to pay your debt, you should pay it. However, if it is a mathematical impossibility, do not stress. Look at your credit card bill and see the amount of time it would take to pay back a $10,000 credit card debt if you make the minimum payments [26 -29 yrs]. At some point, it becomes impossible to pay these debts. Do the creditors have free reign to take action against you? Absolutely not! 6. My legal practice. I have been practicing law since 1980. I was born and raised in Lufkin, Texas and graduated from Lufkin High School in 1973. I am board certified in consumer bankruptcy law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. I have dedicated my practice to assisting troubled East Texans who are agonizing over the prospect of not being able to timely pay their bills. There is relief available under law. Do not be bullied or intimidated.
3. Saving… how much, how long. It is always a good idea to have a savings plan, even if it is just $50 per month. Maybe you cut down on eating out one time per month. This rainy day fund can provide money for a new washer, dryer or unexpected repair bill. It is a better alternative than being forced to visit a high interest rental store or other in-house financing store. These merchants may take advantage of your dire situation and plug in an interest rate of 18%. Typically, consumers do not read the fine print. They just want to know, “What is my monthly payment?” regardless of how long the contract lasts. This results in paying 2 or 3 times what the purchased item is worth. Avoid these like the plague. tjmag.com / 35
by Kathryn Greene
YOURLIFE | RELATIONSHIPS
I WANT TO LEAVE THE PAST BEHIND! “I’ve blown it – I’ve made so many bad choices! The Bible says God will forgive me if I confess it all to Him, turn around from the wrong path I have been going down and go in the opposite direction. But, I can’t forgive myself! Everyone knows what I have done! I don’t have anything to tell anyone that will make a difference for good in their life! I can’t have a ministry – look what I have done! God can’t use me!”
“Your scar, your pain, your hurt is not to be wasted, but it is to be shared so someone else’s life may be saved! That someone can identify with you and have the hope of experiencing a life of freedom from guilt and shame.”
I have heard these phrases said many times by women whose lives have been redeemed; they are totally different than they once were. But in their head and in their heart, they see themselves as broken and non-repairable. They can’t see they have a second chance in life. Their wrong decisions have not destroyed their life, but that God wants to use their hurt and pain, even their scars, to make an impact in the lives of others. There are many who are emotionally paralyzed and cannot move forward. They keep holding on to the past and looking back with regret. A verse of scripture from the Bible that has come to mean a lot to me is Philippians 3:13-14, “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” You cannot go forward if you keep looking back. It’s like you are trying to run a marathon with heavy weights on your back. You have to take the time to take the weights off and cast them to the side. God intended the “weights” to build great muscles, but many times we allow them to side track us into the ditch, and we can’t get back on the road. The purposes and plans of God overshadow the messes we’ve made. God’s thoughts toward us to do us good and not evil are much bigger, much greater than our thoughts. He wants to take our messes and make them into opportunities to grow us in character and strength. Each one of us needs strength to persevere through life’s ups and downs, and that comes as our faith muscles are exercised and built up. II Corinthians 1:4 says, “He [God] comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. “ (The Message) Our life story can be used to make a difference in another person’s life. Your scar, your pain, your hurt is not to be wasted, but it is to be shared so someone else’s life may be saved! That someone can identify with you and have the hope of experiencing a life of freedom from guilt and shame. Your past will no longer have a grip on you. You can be free from Satan’s blackmailing tactics. He can no longer deceive you by making you think that you are the only one that has ever done such a bad thing. The Bible says there is nothing new under the sun! You don’t have to live being identified by your past, but by who you are today. Your past can be a stepping stone for what God has for you today and tomorrow. Release your past to Him; He can turn it into a blessing! You have a story – you need to share it – someone needs to hear it – a life can be changed!
36 / The Journey - August 2012
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YOURLIFE | HEART HEALTH
Memorial Announces Partnership with The Methodist Hospital to Enhance Heart & Vascular Care Within Memorial’s service area, the prevalence of stroke, heart disease, diabetes and obesity is higher than the state average. The statistics for smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and residents who do not regularly exercise are also higher in deep East Texas than across the state. Angelina County ranks 177 out of 221 counties in Texas for poor health.
Heart & Vascular Initiative was originally presented to the T.L.L. Temple Foundation in November 2011 and was approved for funding in February 2012. The initiative will be funded with a $3.5 million grant for the next three years.
Armed with this alarming information, the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center (MDHVC) and Memorial Health System of East Texas joined together for a three-year collaboration to announce the East Texas Heart & Vascular Initiative. The overall goal of the initiative is to elevate the level of heart and vascular care to the residents of deep East Texas by offering skills training specifically designed for the Memorial physicians and staff and educating the public about prevention of heart and vascular disease.
At the program’s core, the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center will provide cutting-edge skills training and education designed specifically for heart and vascular professionals at Memorial. Memorial will also have unlimited access to MDHVC specialists and resources through a 24-hour direct referral line with remote viewing and conference capabilities. This will allow MDHVC professionals to assist Memorial providers in locally treating challenging cases. Clinical staffs in both hospitals will work side by side to bring the latest, most advanced training to the East Texas region. Memorial physicians will also have access to MDHVC’s extensive symposia and conferences.
Funded by the T.L.L. Temple Foundation, the Heart & Vascular Initiative follows Memorial’s highly successful Stroke Initiative, which is still in progress. The
In creating a center of excellence, Dr. David Ladden, a cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgeon joined Memorial in September 2011. Dr. Ladden brings with him extensive
experience in minimally invasive surgeries with outstanding results. EVAR, or Endovascular Aneurysm Repair, indicated for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm and TEVAR, or Thoracic Endovascular Aneurysm Repair, indicated for Aortic Dissection are new and exciting procedures that Memorial is beginning to offer. The endovascular procedure for varicose veins, an area seeing explosive growth in terms of demand, especially among women, is in place and fully functioning at Memorial, thanks to Dr. Ladden and the Heart & Vascular Initiative. In addition to intensive training and education for Memorial professionals, the Heart & Vascular Initiative will provide extensive community outreach and heart and vascular disease education to local population. Due to the high numbers of those in poor health from the local community, a full-time educator will join the Memorial staff to educate and provide valuable information to the public in order to increase awareness and teach prevention strategies for heart and vascular disease. The new Critical Care Educator at Memorial – a position created and funded by the initiative – will also develop core nursing competencies to reinforce learning and skill enhancement, coordinate training, and be responsible for the development of annual education programs for Memorial’s clinical staff. Through the help of MDHVC, Memorial will seek numerous nationally recognized certifications for the Vascular Lab, Chest Pain Center and the Heart Failure/Acute Coronary Syndrome program. By the end of this month, Memorial will be fully prepared to seek an accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers, an international not-forprofit organization committed to leading the fight to eliminate heart disease as the number one cause of death worldwide.
Buddy Temple, Chairman of the T.L.L. Temple Foundation; David Ladden, M.D., Director of Heart & Vascular Surgery at Memorial; Alan Lumsden, M.D., Professor and Chairman of Cardiovascular Surgery and Medical Director of the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center; and Gary Looper, President & CEO of Memorial, explain the Memorial and Methodist partnership at a recent media conference.
Once achieved, Memorial will be the only institution within an 80-mile radius to hold these multiple, advanced certifications.
23rd Annual Texas Blueberry Festival
photographed by Courtney Schmidt 40 / The Journey - August 2012
Your Child pretty babies 42 parent thoughts 44 look at me 45 birthday bash 46 why i love being a mom 48
photographed by Morgan Due
YOURCHILD | PRETTY BABIES 2
1. Carson Rene Esteves. 3/8/12. Proud Parents: Conchita Reyes & Marcus Esteves (Lufkin, TX). Proud Grandparents: Jesus & Leandra Reyes (Lufkin, TX) / Rene & Debbie Esteves (Diboll, TX) / Oleta Tusing (Hudson, TX). 2. Kayla Camise Garner. 1/23/12. Proud Parents: La’Dondra Murphy & Calvin Garner. Proud Grandparents: Sheila Murphy & the Late Hollis Forney / Bobby Lynn & Sandra Kay Williams (Many, LA). 3. Wilson Holt Johnson. 9/26/11. Proud Parents: Cory & Patti Johnson. 4. Raleigh Faith Mahr. 11/30/11. Proud Parents: Ryan Mahr & Jessica Thomas. Proud Grandparents: Andy & Kathy Mahr / Daniel & Kim Thomas. 5. Breyden D’Juan Mask. 1/18/12. Proud Parents: Natoya Bennett & Darryl Mask. Proud Grandparents: Shronda Mask & William Walker / Shana Bennett / Mr & Mrs Cedric Gilder. 6. Mia Marie Montelongo. 10/7/11. Proud Parents: Rafael Jr & Maria Montelongo (Lufkin, TX). Proud Grandparents: Rafael & Sara Montelongo (Lufkin, TX) / Elida Mendoza (Lufkin, TX). 7. Sydney Joy Turner. 2/01/2011. Proud Parents: Megan Rhodes & Eric Turner (Huntington, TX). Proud Grandparents: Karen Ellis (Huntington, TX) / Millie Turner (Huntington, TX). 8. Landry Kate Warden. 3/23/12. Proud Parents: Thad & Paula Warden. Proud Grandparents: James & Ellen Gaston (Hull, Texas) / Glenda Salinas (Lufkin, TX). E-mail Pretty Babies submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the information seen above. Submissions are free of charge.
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CHARTING YOUR PATHWAY TO BETTER NEUROLOGICAL HEALTH HEADACHE SEIZURES
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Healthy Beginnings, Healthy Lives We specialize in the treatment of Infants, Children & Young Adults
Melinda Wenner, D.O. 2702 N. University Dr. Nacogdoches, TX 75965 936-205-5805
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College Preparatory Charter School Accredited Through Texas Education Agency
• PCA is a comprehensive free public charter school serving students in grades PreK-12th grade. • PARAMUS Early College High School students grades 9-12 take Dual Credit courses at Angelina College and can earn up to 60 college hours or an Associate’s Degree. • PARAMUS is the only ECHS designated by the Texas Education Agency in the greater Angelina County area.
OUTSTANDING ACTIVITIES • UIL District 23 1A sports at the Junior High, Junior Varsity and Varsity levels including boys and girls basketball, track, cross country, golf, and tennis. • UIL Academics, Destination Imagination, and Robotics activities elementary through high school. • Award winning choral music and theater program.
OUTSTANDING ADVANTAGES • Class sizes of 20 students or less provide individualized instruction and a student-centered approach. • $ 4.5 million dollar building expansion project slated to begin in Summer, 2012.
602 S. Raguet • Lufkin • 936-634-5515 • www.pineywoodsacademy.org
by Kelly Finnerud
YOURCHILD | PARENT THOUGHTS
everal of my friends are expecting, and talking to them always brings back memories of things people told me while I was pregnant. I remember painting a wall in my house while 6 months pregnant. My sweet mother-in-law mentioned she used to believe raising your arms over your head to paint or hang laundry could tie the baby’s umbilical cord around its neck. I remember laughing with her that raising my arms would be more concerning than painting in an enclosed room. There are countless superstitions and old wives’ tales about pregnancy and caring for your baby. I suppose since there’s little we can actually do about our baby’s development in the womb; we like to pretend we have some control. Here are some of my favorite pregnancy Wipe your and child rearing superstitions. And what I really think about them. Enjoy! newborn’s urine on
your face to keep your skin young.
for the expecting mothers: • Rubbing your pregnant belly too much can produce a spoiled child. So pat your belly for a rule-follower? • Put a knife under the labor bed, and you’ll cut the labor pain in half. I think an epidural would do a better job. • If you crave sweets, you’re having a girl. Crave protein and you’ll have a boy. I craved guacamole, but my baby was white as can be. • The temperature of the sperm has an effect on the baby’s sex. I actually remember watching The Crocodile Hunter explain that warm sperm increases chances for a girl and cold sperm makes a boy. Good luck trying that one out with your husband. • Give a pregnant woman whatever she’s asking for or you’ll get a sty in your eye. Or a kick in the butt with some choice words. • Combine a tablespoon of Drano and urine. If it turns green, it’s a girl; blue means a boy. That is if you’re still pregnant after the chemical explosion. Please don’t try this one at home.
Must be why he pees on himself, too. and for the babies: • When a baby smiles in his sleep, angels are talking to him. I always thought it was gas. • Visit a new baby boy and kiss him. You will have good luck. Kiss a new baby girl, not so lucky? • A baby with a large mouth will be a good singer. Or just really loud. • If an infant clutches a coin put into its hand, it will grow to love money. Gasp! Choking hazard! Now how will I know?
• If you get forgetful and ditsy while pregnant, you’re having a girl. What if I started out that way?
• Put the child on the floor with a Bible, a dollar, and a deck of cards. The one he chooses first indicates his future: preacher, financier, or gambler. And if he chooses you, he’ll live at home till he’s 35.
• When making a tortilla, flatten it when it puffs up. It helps prevent pregnancies. Cheap birth control, and delicious too!
• It brings bad luck to change a baby’s name. You had 9 months to decide!
• If you stay mad at someone while you’re expecting, the baby will end up looking like them. Mine all look like their father. Coincidence?
• It’s bad luck to cut a baby’s hair before he’s one year old. Oh. I thought it was just cute.
• Lots of heartburn means a baby with a full head of hair. Apparently this one has been scientifically proven. So if you had heartburn and a newborn with no hair, it must’ve all burned off.
• When a baby sticks out his tongue, he wants something he doesn’t have. True for big kids too. • It’s bad luck to comb or cut baby’s hair while he’s asleep. Remember Lloyd on Dumb & Dumber?
We often laugh at superstitions, but honestly, there are times when I do my best to not step on a sidewalk crack or walk under a ladder. I don’t like it when a black cat crosses in front of me, and I won’t pick up a penny laying tails up. And yes, I will still blow with all my might to get every last seed off a dandelion in one breath, just so my wish will come true. Kelly Finnerud and husband, Ryan, have 3 energetic kids, Aidan (7), Trace (5) and Emmy (3). They have been married 10 years. Ryan is a worship pastor at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, and Kelly has a music education degree and has been a band director in the area until staying home with young children. Kelly writes for ParenThoughts.com, an online resource sharing local activities, parenting stories and anything else kid-related in our area.
LOOK AT ME
Grand Champion Overall Science Fair Winner at St. Cyprian’s: Jack Woodford
4th grade Science Fair Winners at St. Cyprian’s: 1st place from left: Laurel Ainsworth & Grace Montes; 2nd place: Katie Davis; 3rd place: Matt Hineman
BENCHMARK OPTICAL CATARACT, GLAUCOMA & RETINA CONSULTANTS OF EAST TEXAS
5th grade Science Fair Winners at St. Cyprian’s: 1st place from left: Cielo Perez & Elizabeth Jones; 2nd place: Whit Wesoloski & John Ryan Werner; 3rd place: Paxton Ford & McCary Miranda
Aubree Rose, 3 months old, loves having her picture taken!
Back (L-R): Morgan Brooks (Soph), Alyssa Innerarity (Fresh), Madelyn Modisette (Fresh), Brittany Caswell (Fresh), Katelyn Boles (Fresh), Kaylon Alsbrooks (Fresh), Baylee Adams (Fresh), Krissy Capps (Soph) Front (L-R): Halie Patterson (Jr), Ashlynn Brown (Sr), Ondey Clarke (Sr), Chelsey Taylor (Sr), Haley Clark (Soph), Jena Roland (Fresh)
Send a photo of your child and information to email@example.com. Submissions are free of charge.
YOURCHILD | BIRTHDAY BASH
REMI IS 6!!!
emi Radke celebrated her 6th birthday in style. The day started off with swimming with friends. Then the group enjoyed dinner at Tokyo Steakhouse. The grand finale took place at Blithe Boutique. Blithe Boutique and the Junior League of Lufkinâ€™s Provisional class hosted Remi and her friends. They welcomed them in style with Pink Lemonade and hors dâ€™oeuvres, and then each of the girls chose an outfit to change into. Afterwards, they received manicures and makeovers. Of course, they had a few moments to pose for pictures. It was a fabulous 6th birthday for the one and only REMI!
46 / The Journey - August 2012
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YOURCHILD | WHY I LOVE BEING A MOM
lorraine lazarine dorman a teacher to see him attain his lofty high school goal. As a mother, we all desire to see our children reach their true potential.
osh, I have a plethora of reasons I could write about to explain why I love being a mom, but I will try to focus on the ones that have, over the course of the past 19 years, brought the most joy. God has blessed me abundantly beginning with bringing my wonderful husband, Michael, into my life almost 23 years ago. This blessing was followed by welcoming into our lives the three most caring, loving children I could have ever hoped for: Clark (19), Mallory (17), and Evan (10). I love being a sports mom. Spending countless hours watching my children participate in a variety of competitive sports is one of the greatest memories from their early childhood extending into high school sports. Whether it was a baseball game, basketball game, soccer game, cross country meet, or track meet, I have enjoyed every minute of each of their sporting events I have attended. Being present for Evan’s first homerun hit, Mallory’s first soccer goal scored, or Clark’s first race won is something I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world! I love being a dance mom. Yes, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to experience raising 48 / The Journey - August 2012
both genders, and let me tell you, they are different! Mallory has danced since the age of four, and this has been one of the most wonderful aspects of nurturing a daughter. In her younger years, she depended on me for help with frilly costumes and hair and makeup preparation for years of recitals and dance competitions. Of course, once she reached high school, she didn’t need help with her hair, makeup, or drill team uniform, but I will always cherish the memories I have made with my dancer. I love being a teacher mom. Being a mom actually led me to a mid-life career change some eight years ago. After earning a business degree in college, I spent 15 years in the corporate world. By this time, I was the mother of three and my priorities had changed. I had come to realize that if your children are happy at school, they are happy at home, and having happy children makes Mom happy! Having just finished my seventh year of teaching, I can honestly say there is nothing quite comparable to spending the day answering to 20 or so children calling you Mom; I love it! One of my proudest moments thus far of being a “teacher” mom was watching and listening to Clark deliver his valedictorian’s speech at his high school graduation in May 2011; it made me proud both as a mother and
I love being an Aggie mom. Ok, I am not going to sugarcoat this; having your firstborn leave for college is a tough one! If you think sending your eight year old off to summer camp for the first time is difficult, just wait. With our oldest leaving home this past fall, the dynamics of our household changed dramatically; it is so different not seeing your child on a daily basis. However, we are thrilled with Clark’s choice of attending Texas A&M and being part of the Corps of Cadets, and I had much fun this past year putting together care packages full of home baked goodies to send fish Dorman. I am certain it won’t be any easier when Mallory graduates next spring and follows in her big brother’s footsteps to A&M, but at least I will have seven years to prepare before Evan leaves for Aggieland! Mom, such a simple, short palindrome, but the sheer joy it brings each time I hear one of my children say it is priceless. Whether it be from across the room, the other end of the house, or even on a phone call from miles away, this awesome little word reminds me each day of the true blessing it is to have this as my name. Being a mother is absolutely a challenging task, but at the same time, it is undeniably the most rewarding responsibility I have. I do love being a mom!
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50 / The Journey - August 2012
photographed by Clay Bostian and Kelly Gann