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TEXAS PROUD Kurt Morgan Agency Manager

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2804 Atkinson Dr. Lufkin, TX 75901 936.634.7285

Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Companies received the highest score among auto insurance providers in the Central Region in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Auto Insurance Study(SM). Study based on 34,828 total responses measuring 14 providers in the Central Region (AR; IA; KS; MN; MO; NE; ND; OK; SD; TX) and measures opinions of consumers with their auto insurance provider. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed March - April 2012. Your experiences may vary. Visit © 2012 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Companies.

That is why so many are heart-broken. We lost a vital person in our community, that smile and spirit that drew everyone in, made them feel welcomed, and found them a seat right next to her. Emily Shelton Watts was one of a kind. She was the face for Brookshire Brothers, but also the face for many, many organizations.

Anything she participated in, she became the face for, because she poured everything she had into it. Emily is such a great loss for our community, and anyone who knew her. I wonder how we will recover and take up where she left off. To all who knew her, and those that did not, if we all carry 1% of the load she did, we can all share the load. I know those who loved her most are inspired to carry on her legacy for her. She definitely has a legacy that will continue on for many years past our generation and her children’s generation. The Journey was so blessed to have her grace our cover in December 2007 with her Lufkin pioneer mother, Emily Shelton, and her sister, Becca Shelton Chance. They live a life that exemplifies what Jesus came to do; do unto others and serve. Their servant’s hearts are why they were honored as our Inspiring Women. Many East Texans reap the benefits of the years of work and service these women have given to this community and are unaware it was from the work of their hands that we get to enjoy a better piece of Lufkin. I will miss her hugs and that smile and laugh no one can ever forget, but I know she has already inspired me to share that same genuine love with

those around me. I do not want to live with regret. I want those around me to know how much they are loved and appreciated, just like Emily made those around her feel.

Stephanie oliver




hen I first moved to East Texas, almost 12 years ago, I knew immediately it was different. We all know it isn’t an easy place for “outsiders,” and that’s only because we are a tight nit community. Everyone is involved in something, some organization, a volunteer; everyone is involved in doing something to make this community what it is. When a new person comes in, obviously they aren’t involved yet; they don’t know what they should do first, where to turn, or who to call. I laugh thinking about what a friend that was new to town once told me, “Everyone’s favorite question, the most common question we are asked is, “What church do ya’ll go to?’” It’s like everyone immediately pounces on the newbies in town and wants to recruit them into their circles. But with anything, as I did, they eventually find their way and figure out what they enjoy. They find their perfect match for living in this wonderful community and decide where to roll up their sleeves and get involved.


CONTENTS 9 10 12 14 16 18

YOUR HOME Home Tour: Spring is in the Air! Decor & Design: L•O•V•E In the Kitchen Your Pantry: Top 5 Red Foods Grammy's Dirt: Kale: The Powerhouse of Nutrients

19 YOUR COMMUNITY 20 22 26

Cover Photo by Morgan Due

On the Scene: Spring into Spring Fun Run Calendar: Upcoming Events Inspiring Women: Macey & Makaila

29 YOUR LIFE 30 32 36 38


Changing the World: And the Greatest of These is Love Something Abundant: Good News Relationships: And the Best... is Love! Stretch Marks: 5 Steps to a Healthy Heart

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

39 YOUR BODY 40 42 46 48

Fashion: Brighten up Your Wardrobe Makeup Box: Beauty Heaven Health: Livewell Life Change: Rudy Flores

51 YOUR CHILD 52 54 55 56 58


Pretty Babies Parent Thoughts A New Approach Look at Me Birthday Bash: Madison's Big Day Out! Why I Love Being a Mom: Kim Kassaw



president: Stephanie Oliver managing editor: Beth Johnson | director of sales: Kim Iribarren | marketing consultant: Kevin McCarty | layout and design: Macy Haffey event photographer: Lisa Crow | event photographer: Morgan Due | contributors: Becky Bell, Jessica Tinsley Bridges, Felicia Dark, Kathryn Greene, Jennie Madsen, Amy McLeod, Angie Nichols, Melissa Radke, Jane Shepherd, Lizzie Wallace, Raegan Cassels Williamson distribution: Lisa Crow, Janet Glover, Jarod Thompson

We’ll help you get a healthy heart!

City-Wide Delivery

8am-6:30pm M-F 9am-1pm Sat 200 Gaslight Blvd. Lufkin, TX


• Compounding Pharmacy • Jobst Leg Wear • Therapeutic Shoes • Diabetic Supplies • Medical Supplies • Durable Medical Equipment

Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. Thank you to our readers & advertisers!

• Mastectomy Fitting Room • Medicare & BCBS Provider • Most Insurance Accepted




DAY SALE! February 18th • 9 - 6 p.m.

Appointments are available if needed, but you can bring in a prescription from any doctor and receive the sale prices!

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Expect to be Impressed


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Every Friday from now until February 15th from 4:00-5:00. We’ll be working on:

Jumps, Cheer, Dance, Tumbling, & Spiriting $5.00 for students $10.00 for non-students

Treat your sweetheart to a




Academy of Gymnastics and Dance 1604 Tulane Dr. • Lufkin, TX 75901 • (936) 637-3547



OFFER EXPIRES 2/28/2013.

On your next visit, please present this coupon when ordering. Coupon does not include cheese, bacon or jalapeñ Limit 1 per customer. Price and participation may vary. This coupon is void in the event of any sale or transfer. Valid only in Lufkin, Nacogdoches, Mt. Enterprise, Jasper, Timpson, Carthage, Center, Joaquin and Corrigan.

When your heart’s on the line, choose nationally accredited care. The moment you feel chest pain or shortness of breath that could be a heart attack, go to Woodland Heights Medical Center. We are Lufkin’s only hospital to be accredited by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, the national chest pain center accreditation agency. That’s important because accredited chest pain centers have demonstrated expertise in the timely diagnosis and treatment of cardiac emergencies.* So in an emergency, call 911 and know where to go. Choose a nationally accredited Chest Pain Center. Choose Woodland Heights. Take our online heart risk assessment to learn your risk of heart attack and how you can reduce it. Visit

*According to the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, Woodland Heights Medical Center is directly or indirectly owned by a partnership that proudly includes physician owners, including certain members of the hospital’s medical staff.


10 home tour • 12 decor & design • 14 in the kitchen • 16 your pantry • 18 grammy's dirt

photographed by Lisa Crow




fter a long winter, Texans are ready to see those first blooms and the green grass starting to bud. It is never too early to start getting your home ready for the spring season. Here are a few tips from the professionals on how to transition winter out and spring in.

According to interior decorator, Jenny Self with Roger Sanders Architecture and Design, the easiest and most budget friendly way to transition your home is through textiles. Change out your throw pillows and lamp shades and add a spring color throw. The nurseries and home improvement garden sections suddenly boom in spring, because people are ready to add those spring blooms to their homes. She also suggests revamping your front door and porch with spring plants. If you would like to take it to another level, having a spring and winter bedding option is always a great way to shed the winter coat. Of course, the phrase synonymous with spring, ‘spring cleaning,’ is another great way to transition seasons. Through de-clutter and reorganization, you can breathe new life into a room and home. More budget friendly textile ideas are spring color dish towels in a kitchen and changing out heavy drapery to a soft linen texture.

10 • THE JOURNEY • FEB2013

Protect Your Greatest Investment. We provide coverage for most types of homes. We also can coordinate your entire insurance program to include your auto, business, and other property.

Temple Rodriguez with Greer’s Interiors in Nacogdoches is a must for all your home décor needs. She offers advice and ideas on transitioning spring indoors. The quickest way to bring spring into your home is bringing the outdoors in. Anything to bring life inside: plants and floral arrangements. It doesn’t always have to be live plants or floral arrangements. It can be a silk spring bouquet or green topiaries; add a spring colored ribbon around the vase. A can of paint is very inexpensive. Paint a small area, like the entryway of a home, with a fresh coat of paint in a bright spring color. Matelasse’s are a very popular style sold in a rainbow of colors. Purchase one in a lightweight spring color and add it to your bedding to bring the new season into your master bedroom.

Let us help you get the insurance you need.

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3110 South First St. Lufkin, TX 75901 (936) 634-2291


by Jane Shepherd

L•O•V•E • Use scrap booking paper to cut out a heart. Paint the words on a gray background and put in a simple frame. This project is super easy, inexpensive and very cute!  • Cover a simple framing mat with your choice of scrap booking paper. For the middle of the frame, write or trace the words with a sharpie. Glue a heart-shaped bead or scrap booking embellishment in the middle. • Purchase words from a craft store and wrap them with variegated yarn in different shades of pink. In some of the hard to wrap parts, you might need to tack it down with hot glue. • Layer scrap booking paper and embellish with tape and chipboard letters. Put it in a frame and you can write on top of it with a dry erase marker, personalizing your love notes every day of the year. • For this frame full of hearts, use rub on heart stickers and sharpies to add your own words of ‘love.’ * For all of these projects, be sure to re-purpose old frames that you need to put to good use! 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.

photographed by Lisa Crow


Angelina Arts Alliance: Moulin Rouge, The Ballet

Interested in purchasing a photo you see? Visit!


Chicken & Fruit Salad Ingredients

Pomegranate, Orange, Papaya & Kiwi Green Salad

1 lb roasted chicken breast

Serves 6

1 medium-size bunch spinach

2 medium-size pink or white grapefruit

2 medium-size red delicious apples

3/4 lb seedless green grapes

1/3 cup fat-free Dijon salad dressing

Serves 4  Each serving equals 2 cups of fruits and vegetables

Directions Remove and discard skin from chicken; tear chicken into bite-size pieces. Chop 1 cup loosely packed spinach leaves; set remaining leaves aside. Cut peel from grapefruit; remove sections with knife. Cut unpeeled apples into 3/4-inch chunks. In large bowl, combine chicken, chopped spinach, fruit, and salad dressing; toss to coat. To serve, arrange remaining spinach leaves on platter; spoon chicken salad over spinach leaves.

Nutritional analysis: Calories 380, Fat 5 g, Calories from Fat 12%, Protein 40g, Cholesterol 95mg, Carbohydrates 45 g, Fiber 6 g, Sodium 380 mg. NOTE: Grapefruit products are known to have potentially serious interactions with pharmaceutical medications including certain calcium channel blockers and cholesterol lowering drugs. If you are concerned about the effect of grapefruit juice on your medications, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Click here for more information. Courtesy of

14 • THE JOURNEY • FEB2013

Ingredients: •

1-1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup olive oil

1-1/2 quarts mixed greens

2 oranges, peeled and sliced

2 medium papayas, peeled and sliced

4 kiwis, peeled and sliced

1 medium pomegranate, seeded (about 3/4 cup)

Directions: To make dressing, combine vinegar and next three ingredients; whisk in oil. Toss greens with 2-1/2 tablespoons dressing; arrange on a serving platter. Alternate orange, papaya, and kiwi slices over greens. Drizzle with remaining dressing; sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Source:

Spiced Salmon Tacos These slightly messy tacos are busting with heart healthy avocado. It’s ironic that avocado, the fattiest of all vegetables, helps lower cholesterol levels: The phytochemical beta-sitosterol literally blocks the absorption of cholesterol from foods. Serves 4  Heart healthy ingredients: 8 Ingredients •

8 (6”) corn tortillas

1 Hass avocado, halved and pitted

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

1 medium tomato, seeded and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

½ teaspoon grated lime peel

1 tablespoon lime juice

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon ground red pepper

1 ½ pounds salmon fillets, skinned

2 cups shredded romaine lettuce

3. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, chili powder, pepper and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Rub over the salmon. Place in the prepared baking pan and bake for 7 minutes, or until opaque. Remove and turn off the oven. Place the tortillas in the oven for 3 minutes, or until warmed. 4. Unwrap the tortillas. Flake the salmon into a bowl. Divide the lettuce evenly among the tortillas. Divide the salmon and place over the lettuce. Top with the avocado mixture.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 480 calories, 185 calories from fat, 21 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 9 g monounsaturated fat, 5 g polyunsaturated fat, 94 mg cholesterol, 488 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 37 g protein Source: WomenHeart's ALL Heart Family Cookbook: Featuring the 40 Foods Proven to Promote Heart Health. Rodale Publishing, 2008.

Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Coat a baking pan with cooking spray. Wrap the tortillas in foil. 2. Using a spoon, remove the avocado flesh from the shell. Place in a shallow bowl and mash with a fork. Add the cilantro, tomato, garlic, lime peel, lime juice and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Stir until well blended. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and set aside. • 15

by Amy McLeod, RD, LD


Enjoy a Healthy Heart with These



ooking for a brighter future and a healthy heart? Try eating a diet rich in the color RED! For heart month, why not try some flavorful and nutritious RED fruits and veggies. The potential benefits associated with eating more fruits and vegetables stack up quickly and help to reduce your risk for heart disease. Each serving of these red fruits and veggies is under 100 calories and power packed with nutrients. Whether fresh, frozen or canned, these taste sensations will keep you healthy for heart month and all year round. Red Bell Peppers – One whole red bell pepper is just 46 calories, fat free, sodium free and has 2 grams fiber. An excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of folate. Serving idea: Slice red and green bell peppers instead of chips and serve with Wholly Guacamole® salsa for a low fat and virtually carbohydrate-free snack.

Strawberries – Eight medium berries is just 50 calories, fat free, sodium free, cholesterol free and high in vitamin C and folate.

Cherries – One cup of raw cherries is 77 calories, zero fat, 2 grams fiber and an excellent source of Vitamins A and C.

Serving idea: Skewer strawberries alternately with grapes and drizzle with melted white chocolate bark. A perfect party idea for school or work!

Serving idea: Life can be like a bowl of cherries sweet and tart, so enjoy them on their own! Toss dried cherries into oatmeal or whole grain cereal for added flavor and fiber.

Apples – One medium apple is 65 calories, zero fat, 3 grams fiber, and just 1 milligram of sodium. A good source of Vitamin C.

Serving idea: Place four washed and cored Honeycrisp apples in a casserole dish sprayed with butter flavored cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fill each with 1 Tablespoon brown sugar and 1 teaspoon butter. Sprinkle apples with cinnamon. Bake for 15 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve with whipped topping sprinkled with cinnamon. Try this in your slow cooker by heating on low for 4-6 hours.

Tomatoes – One cup of cherry tomatoes is 27 calories, zero fat, 2 grams fiber, 7 milligrams sodium and provides 57% of the daily recommendation for Vitamin C. Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene which may help guard against several types of cancer. Serving idea: Spread cherry tomatoes on a foil-lined cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with fresh minced garlic and roast for 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees F. Serve roasted cherry tomatoes on salads, pasta or sandwiches. Roasted tomatoes will keep in the fridge up to five days.

Amy McLeod, RD, LD is a registered and licensed dietitian and Healthy Living Spokeswoman for Brookshire Brothers Food and Pharmacy. For products “Approved by Amy,” go to

On purpose. With a purpose. For a purpose.

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(936) 639-1668 • 918 E. Denman Ave ~ Lufkin •

by Felicia Dark




ale is a member of the cabbage family, including collard and mustard greens, broccoli, and brussel sprouts. It is fast becoming known for its nutritional value. It is low in calories and high in fiber, calcium, vitamins A, B and C, as well as vitamin K. It is also an excellent source of minerals such as iron, potassium, copper, and manganese plus antioxidants. The list just keeps on going.

Prepare your garden now. Add good compost or some other rich organic matter, and then till it very good. The soil needs to be well draining and also needs to be in a sunny spot, but can tolerate some shade. Plant this month between February 1-15. This vegetable likes temperatures of around 65 degrees during daytime. It is ready to harvest in 60 days. The leaves are ready to gather when they are bright green in color.

Kale is very versatile in recipes. It can be used in salads, stir fry, and many other recipes. I recently used it in a tossed green salad and served it to my family. Of course, I didn’t tell any of them. After my youngest (36 years old) picky, no vegetable eating son had a big helping of the salad, I asked him how he liked it. He replied, “It was really good.” Then I told him what I secretly included. He wanted to know what kale was and gave me only a small lip curl, which I consider as progress.

So why not reap the benefits of this dark leafy green vegetable and serve it to your family.

Kale can also be grown easily. Since it is in the collard and mustard green family, you can plant it in the same way, although kale can tolerate the cold better than its cousins and it is usually better after the first frost.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:  March 18th at 6:30pm will be the homesteading class on native plants at the county extension building. Dr. David Creech will be our speaker. 

NOTE: Even though kale is very good for you, if you are on certain medication such as blood thinners, do not eat this vegetable. It can also block calcium absorption, so avoid eating calcium rich foods like dairy at the same time as kale.

We’d love to work with you. Keep us in mind for all your financial needs.

• SAVINGS • CHECKING • LOANS 204 Gobblers Knob Road | Lufkin, TX 75904 P: 936-632-4397 | F: 936-632-3044

Federally insured by NCUA

YOUR COMMUNITY 20 on the scene • 22 calendar • 26 inspiring woman

photographed by Lisa Crow



hat better way to be active and have fun at the same time than to be at the 2nd annual Junior League of Lufkin Fun Run.

Last year’s race was a huge hit. According to this year’s event chair, Renee Robertson, "Last year we had approximately 175 runners. This year we are anticipating 200-250 with a goal to raise $9,000." Monies raised from this event and other JLL fundraisers, such as Spring Market, are used to support charitable work this group of women support in the community. Their mission statement: "The Junior League of Lufkin is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism and to improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable." There are seven programs in the community that JLL is responsible for creating, overseeing, and operating; programs such as the wildly successful Back to School Bonanza, Camp Get Fit, and Vision Screening. These programs would not be possible without the community support for JLL fundraisers. The JLL Fun Run will take place Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Crown Colony Country Club. On the day of the race, all pre-registered runners will check-in at the country club. If you still need to register, you can do so on the day of the race at the club. "The the race will begin and end at Crown Colony Country Club," says Robertson. There will also be a kid's run and 5k as in years past. "Something new this year will be an additional 10k route for our long distance runners." Children ages 4 - 12 years of age will be able to register for the kid's run. For the 5K and 10K, the starting age will be 10 years old. The race will be a "chip-timed" event. Robertson explains, "We will be using a timing device attached to your running bib number that will clock the exact time it takes you to run the 6.2 mile or 3.1 mile race.” Awards will be presented to the first male and first female to cross the finish line for the 10K, 5K and kid's race. Medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in each age division. You can register on-line at If you are interested in learning more about the Junior League of Lufkin, visit 20 • THE JOURNEY • FEB2013


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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 • • 21




Black History Exhibition

3rd Annual Burgers and Bingo

Angelina College Art Gallery. Reception is Tuesday, February 5 at 6:00pm. Admission is free. For more information, call 936.633.5233

Hosted by the Angelina County Aggie Mother’s Club at the Pitser Garrison Convention Center in Lufkin. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door and include a hamburger dinner and 12 bingo games. For more information, call 936.635.0010.

2/5 Lufkin/Angelina County 93rd Annual Chamber Banquet The Pitser Garrison Convention Center at 6:30pm. Individual tickets, $40; Table for 8, $600. Call Sally Allen at 936.634.6644 or email to reserve your seat today.

2/7 Diabetes Support Group Memorial Health System of Lufkin Community Room A from 12-1pm. Cost is $5 and includes lunch. For more information, call 936.639.7585

We offer a wide range of services & treatments. • Permanent Hair Removal • BOTOX

2/7 Kid’s Valentine Crafts The Judy B. McDonald Public Library in Nacogdoches. 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 936.559.2970

3/1 The Harmony Hoedown The annual fundraiser for Harmony Christian School at the Life Outreach Center of Harmony Hill. Dinner and silent auction begin at 5:30 p.m. Tickets $25/person or $40/couple. Be a table sponsor for $500 or a program sponsor for $250. For more information, call 936.632.1905

3/2 Sprint into Spring 5K Fun Run Hosted by The Junior League of Lufkin. Also offering a 1 mile kids run. For more information, call 936.676.2645 or visit

3/2 Landscape Task Force Event, “A Taste of Napa”

• Dermal Fillers


• Thermage

Danny Wright

• Body Shaping & Cellulite Treatment

The Pines Theater in Lufkin. 7:00pm. For more information, call 936.633.0349

The Crown Colony Country Club at 7:00 p.m. Enjoy food, wine pairings, music and a live and silent auction. All proceeds benefit the projects of the task force. $55 a person.



Woodland Heights Annual Heart Fair

Rescued 2013 Teen Girls Conference

• Laser Skin Resurfacing • Spider Vein Removal (Sclerotherapy) • Chemical Peels

It is our goal to help you achieve the look you desire for yourself.

8am – 11am Lufkin Mall Sears Court. Free health screenings and information.

2/23 Bull Bash The Angelina County Expo Center. 7:00pm. For more information, call 936.637.3976

2/25 Call 936.699.4330 today to schedule a consultation! 302 Medical Park Drive Suite 105 • Lufkin

Dr. Suess’s Birthday Celebration The Judy B. McDonald Public Library in Nacogdoches at 6:30pm. Admission is free. For more information, call 936.559.2970

Clawson Assembly of God Church in Pollok. Open to girls grades 6th-12th. Early Registration, through February 24, is $20 and includes a t-shirt, lunch and a chance to win a Kindle Fire. $25 after February 24th and includes lunch only. To register, visit

3/21 2013 Women’s Conference of East Texas Crown Colony Country Club. This year’s conference will be a half day with an Opening Keynote Speaker, 2 general sessions, lunch/ closing Keynote Speaker and presentation of the 3rd Annual ATHENA Leadership Award. For more information, call 936.634.6644.

To submit your event for the March issue, email your event to by February 20th.


The Coalition Drug Free Luncheon • 23

We can assist you at every stage of your financial life.

OUR SERVICES: • Bookkeeping • Tax preparation • Business problem solving • Payroll • Business sales and acquisitions • Lease-buy decisions • Business expansion • Real estate sales and acquisitions • Payroll taxes • Retirement planning • Inventory control systems • Equipment purchases and sales • Office systems and controls • Tax problem resolution • Financial and estate planning • Divorce tax planning • Planning for education expenses • Business succession planning

520 S. First Street • Lufkin, TX 75901 P: (936) 634-6407 • F: (936) 634-6409 •


macey & makaila

photographed by Lisa Crow


he beautiful smile on these precious girls comes from deep within. Looking at their sweet faces, you would never know their little hearts have been through so much at a very young age. Macey Little and Makaila Pinkerton were both born with heart defects and have already inspired so many in such a short amount of time. Behind these girls are two incredible mothers who have nurtured, loved and supported their daughters through many hardships.

MACEY’S STORY Macey’s parents, Jeff and Kim Little, were high school sweethearts. They both grew up in the Lufkin area and were married in January 1994. Two years later, their first daughter, Megan, was born. Three and a half years later, they welcomed their second daughter, Morgan, into their family. As a family, they were active members of Harmony Hill Baptist Church, enjoying life as a family with young children. Kim remembers, “The girls were healthy and growing. They had friends and we had friends. We were constantly on the go and life seemed perfect.” In 2003, the Littles found out they were expecting their third child. Kim says, “I specifically remember saying this baby is not going to change anything; I intended for us to continue doing everything like normal.”

In May 2004, Macey Abigelle Little was born, weighing in at 6lbs. 11ozs. Kim’s pregnancy had been normal and she had carried Macey to full term. The night before they were preparing to leave the hospital, Macey’s nurse came in and let them know she heard a little murmur in Macey’s heart while she was performing a routine exam. She assured them this wasn’t uncommon. The next morning, the pediatrician confirmed that she, too, had heard the murmur, but offered the same encouragement as the nurse; this was not uncommon finding. Jeff and Kim took Macey home with the orders to have the heart evaluated again at their 2-week check-up. At two weeks old, Macey’s heart murmur was still there, and the Littles were sent to consult with a pediatric cardiologist in Dallas. Macey’s little body was undergoing many tests to determine the problem. Kim remembers, “At this point, I wasn’t very concerned that anything major was wrong until the cardiologist came in during the echocardiogram and told the technician that she needed to know where the blood was coming from.” Later that day, after the tests were completed, a mother’s worst nightmare began to come true. Something was not right with Macey’s heart.

Kim recalls, “As soon as she started showing us pictures of how a normal heart functions, I knew something was wrong.” She went on to explain that Macey would need to undergo a series of 3 surgeries to correct the problem. Kim says, “Somewhere during the conversation, I remember thinking I hope Jeff is getting all of this, because my world had just crumbled to pieces in a little exam room in Dallas, Texas.” Macey was diagnosed with Tricuspid Valve Atresia, Transposition of the Great Arteries, and Double Outlet Right Ventricle. At the recommendation of their local pediatrician, they confirmed the diagnosis with a second opinion at Texas Children’s Hospital. The surgeries were scheduled to begin as soon as Macey could gain weight. However, she lost weight and was down to 5lb 8oz by the time she was hospitalized at seven weeks old. They spent a week at Texas Children’s waiting on the surgery schedule to open up so a little band could be placed around Macey’s pulmonary artery. She had too much blood flowing to her lungs and not enough going to her body and other organs. When surgery day finally came, Jeff and Kim were overwhelmed by the people who came to support them. They were

surrounded by their family, friends, and church family from Harmony Hill. After the first surgery, Macey spent 14 days in ICU. Then, she was moved to a normal floor for 7 days. The family spent another 7 days at the Ronald McDonald House before they were released to come home to Lufkin.

hooked up to a temporary pacemaker. Kim recalls, “All I could think was, really God? Hasn’t she gone through enough?” In the post-op meeting, doctors made plans to keep Macey on the temporary pacemaker for seven days. If the heartbeat was to return to normal, it would happen during that time period.

The family did what they could to return to some type of normalcy. They kept going to church, but spent most services secluded in the cry room so Macey would not be exposed to germs she did not need. On one particular Sunday, Kim had a divine appointment with a young mother who was also facing a challenging situation with her child. Kim recalls, “Hearing her tell her story, seeing the faith she had, and knowing she had been praying for me moved and encouraged me in ways that she will never understand.”

It was a grueling seven days in ICU. When Macey would drift to sleep, her heart would start racing and she would jump and awake again. The doctors knew she was experiencing post-traumatic stress caused from the surgery. Kim chose to take the advice from Thelma Wells, a speaker she had heard some time before; don’t whine and complain until you’ve turned on some praise music. There in the ICU while Macey watched television or attempted to rest, Kim would sing over her. Late at night when there wasn’t much going on, Kim would speak the encouraging words of those songs. She wrote down scriptures and began to claim the promises of God.

When Macey was eight months old, the family went back to Texas Children’s for the second surgery. In this surgery, the doctors began reconstructing; redirecting blood flow and helping her heart function more efficiently. This was a much quicker trip than the first time and everything took place without any complications. After the second surgery, God began to show Kim that the prayers of those around her were carrying her through this difficult season in her life. She remembers, “I realized how many prayers had been sent up on Macey’s behalf over the last nine months, and while I was so very thankful for them, I began beating myself up for not praying for her more fervently.” Again, God spoke to comfort this hurting mother’s heart. She explains, “God helped me realize that those prayers were bringing me through, too. I realized God loves Macey and He brought her through and had great plans for her. But, He also loves me and was bringing me though.” Macey had her last surgery when she was 3 ½ years old. Leading up to the last surgery, she lived a fairly healthy life. This surgery was to be the final reconstructive work on her heart. Kim remembers, “During surgery, they have a nurse that comes in periodically to keep you updated during the many hours of surgery. The last time the young guy came in to update us, we could tell he was preparing to give us bad news.” While shaving some tissue that grew inside Macey’s aorta, the doctor cut one of the firing nodes that control the heartbeat. Because her heart had defects, this node was not in its typical location. Macey had to be

Kim says, “In the future, our prayer for Macey and all of our kids is that they will realize their full potential and find God’s purpose for their lives. We want them to remember what God has already done for them and share their stories so other can see how good God is.”

On the fifth day after surgery, the doctors ordered Macey back into surgery to hook up a permanent pacemaker. Kim says, “I wish I could say I handled that news gracefully and without worry, but I didn’t. However, God was so good to me. He handled me with gentle hands every time I questioned Him. He gently calmed my fears and kindly reminded me that He loves Macey more than me.” The Little family did not walk this journey alone. They had numerous friends and family members who reached out to them. They had money placed in their hands and food brought to the hospital and their home. There were fundraisers that raised thousands of dollars to help them care for Macey and her needs. Kim says, “Everywhere we turned, we were showered with love and encouragement.” In 2006, Josh was born into the family. He has been loved and adored by his sisters ever since. Currently, the Littles are in the process of adding another member to their family through adoption, a 14-year old girl named Dana. Today, Macey enjoys playing piano and dancing. She has tons of energy and is constantly going. The doctors say she will get tired before other kids her age, but that doesn’t stop her. When she’s busy playing, she stops to take a rest and returns right back to her play. On her last two yearly visits to Houston, she has scored above average on her fitness test for kids her age, including those with normal hearts.

MAKAILA’S STORY Makaila’s parents, Keith and Michele, have been married for 11 years. They both grew up in East Texas, and they now have three children; Blake 17, Marina 6 and Makaila 3. When Michele was pregnant with Makaila, she was excited to find out more about her baby, especially if it would be a boy or girl. Her close friend had gone to her doctor visit with her to hear the baby’s gender. Michele remembers, “The doctor was spending a lot of time looking and she was especially quite. It was then I knew.” The doctor went on to explain that the baby was a girl, and there was something wrong with her heart. The rest of the day was spent preparing to reveal the baby’s gender to her family, but Michele was in a fog. She says, “I remember going to the store to buy girl things, but it was all in this weird haze.”

In the coming months, she would have to lean on the support of family, friends and church family. Michele says, “There were some days I literally took 5 minutes at a time.” She was experiencing normal pregnancy sickness, but add to that the stress of worrying so much about her baby girl, and many days were more than she could handle.

In the coming days, they were referred to a specialist in Houston. Doctors performed an echocardiogram, and Michele and Keith were given the diagnosis. The doctors explained that Makaila had multiple heart defects, the main one being Ebstein anomaly of the tricuspid valve. She went on to explain that the fact Makaila was still alive in the womb was a good sign. She continued saying that babies with this disease never survive heart transplants, so this would never be an option. Michele says, “Talk about taking the wind out of a person. The idea that we had a baby with a heart problem was bad, but to know that a transplant wasn’t even a possibility made for a very long ride home. There was no denying the fact that we had a baby who could die at any time.” During subsequent visits to Houston, The Pinkertons learned more about the severity of Mikaila’s case. Ebstein anomaly occurs when the tricuspid valve is seated too low and results in the chambers of the heart not being equal. The heart is overly large and takes up so much space there isn’t room for the lungs. The chamber that should pump blood to the lungs was very small and the upper right that pumps blood to the body is overly large. Michele was told that because of Mikaila’s complications, she would probably be born blue and not be able to really cry, but on April 28, 2010, a very loud and pink Makaila made her way into the world. Immediately after birth, she was rushed to the NICU 3 of Texas

Children’s Hospital. They ran an endless series of test and hoped to get her healthy enough for the first surgery. Each day consisted of the doctors reporting on Mikaila and reminding Michele and Keith of the severity of the heart problems. Michele remembers, “It was an emotional roller coaster, for sure.” The first surgery was postponed due to a valve pressure release for the right side of her heart. The doctors later described this as her ‘God given surgery.’ Her oxygen levels hovered near a critical point and that was the one thing that would trigger a surgery sooner than scheduled. The doctors explained that her levels would drop and the surgeries would begin, but so far that has not happened. The family was released after 10 days and then called back the first day they were home, due to test results. Mikaila stayed in the hospital 3 more days over Mother’s Day weekend before returning home to stay. In the following months, Michele became an expert in checking Mikaila’s heart rate, oxygen and weight. Her weight had to be closely monitored, as weight loss is another key indicator of her heart beginning to fail. Since those first few months, Mikaila has made many trips to Texas Children’s Hospital. There have been scares where she has had to wear a heart monitor and undergo lots of echocardiograms. Every time Michele gets alarmed, Mikaila manages to get better. The last trip to Houston showed the right side of Mikaila’s heart is once again growing rapidly. The doctors have explained that surgery is unavoidable. The valve in her heart will have to be replaced. When that first surgery takes place, it will begin a series of surgeries. The question that is constantly on Michele’s mind is, “When?” God and Mikaila seem to have their own ideas, and they keep postponing it. Her doctor often reads lab results and laughs, saying, “Well I should have known this would be the results; Makaila always goes against the rules!” Michele has learned how to live each day to the fullest. She explains, “Having a positive outlook isn’t as much of a decision as it is a lifestyle. Life throws us curve balls; everyone has something going on. In the end, I know my Heavenly Daddy has got this all under control.” There are many days that are hard, and Michele wonders how she can face the

struggles ahead. She continues, “I have stomped my feet a few times and gotten frustrated that my child is going through this, but then I am reminded of how awesome God is and that this isn’t my plan, it’s His.” As many hardships do, this journey has brought the Pinkerton family closer. In the first months of Mikaila’s life, they became the germ patrol, installing automatic hands-sanitizer dispensers at the entrances of their home. They support each other and pray diligently for their precious daughter and sister. Today, Mikaila loves to watch Elmo and Caillou. She also loves trains. Her best friend is the family’s 4lb. Teacup Shih Tzu, Audrey. Michele says, “My hopes for the future are best explained by a prayer I say over Makaila nightly. I pray she lives a long, healthy, normal life. I want her to have a chance to finger paint in kindergarten and dance at her prom. I want her to go to college, get married and have a family of her own. However, if she does have to go home as early as the doctors say, I pray she feels love and is pain free.”


30 changing the world • 32 something abundant • 36 relationships • 38 stretch marks

photographed by Morgan Due


by Lizzie Wallace



hat is the ultimate definition of beauty? Is it just a physical attribute? Does being ‘beautiful’ revolve around having sculpted legs, great hair, and a white smile, or is it something more? Do you need a great sense of humor, a knack for being crafty and certain knowledge of the world? I know, I know, these are a lot of questions to ask, but these are the things I think about. If we asked society to point out one person as the ultimate example of true beauty, would they be able to do that? I seriously doubt it. There are so many people that have completely different ideas of what beauty is that it’s impossible to have just one perfect example. So here’s one more question, if it’s true that there are such a plethora of differing opinions on the picture of true beauty, then why do so many of us strive to look like the same impossible definition. I often feel like I’m in competition with myself. I know that’s a weird thought, but I catch myself thinking it more often than not. I see old pictures of myself and don’t even recognize that girl. I’m not even kidding; it takes me a few seconds to recognize my pictures in a yearbook. I see pictures of my old self and long to look like that girl again. I compare how I look now to how I used to look. That’s a completely unfair thing to do to myself, because it’s a game that I can’t win. I’m now covered in scars, my teeth have taken a beating from constantly being sick, and I’m a curly haired mess half the time… ok all of the time. This was such a drastic change that occurred in such a short amount of time, that my self esteem has taken a large hit. I knew that I wouldn’t look the same forever, but I definitely wasn’t prepared for that type of change. People were looking at me for a completely different reason, and I didn’t like it at all. It’s one thing to age or gain weight, but it’s another to suddenly look like the boy from My Sister’s Keeper. I suddenly found myself in the middle of an identity crisis. I didn’t know who I was anymore just because I couldn’t recognize myself in a mirror. I was fighting a war on two fronts, one with cancer and one with myself. My determination to fit into a certain idea of beauty was hurting me more than I knew. Only now do I realize how superficial this crisis is, because I am way more than just my appearance. I still struggle to realize this every day. The girl I see in my old pictures is the same girl that looks back at me in the mirror, and they are both beautiful. Beauty is way more than a smile, a perfectly made up face, and coiffed hair. Beauty is something that shines within, and it has taken months of self- crisis to help me realize this. This brings me back to the ultimate question: if there is no concrete idea of what beauty is, then why do we all strive for the same image of beauty, even if it is totally superficial? We beat ourselves up trying to achieve an unrealistic image of beauty that is completely unachievable while completely ignoring the fact that we are already beautiful. If we start obsessing over our flaws, we get no closer to the image of beauty we have in our heads, but make leaps and bounds towards a low self esteem. We are already beautiful, because God made us just the way he wants us to be. We are beautiful because God loves us and he knows our true selves. He knows our “flaws” and still thinks we’re more beautiful now than we could ever be if we looked like we wanted to. So even though society is constantly shoving these morphed ideas of beauty down our throats, remind yourself that you are beautiful the way you are right now. We are more than our thighs, we are more than our hair, and we are more than our face. We are beautiful.

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by Angie Nichols

Good News

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. -Proverbs 15:30


f a cheerful look brings joy to the heart and good news gives health, I need correction. I’ve been watching too much cable news. Although FOX News and CNN channel-surfing may not be a sin, I think it falls into, “everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial,” territory (see 1 Cor. 6:12). One can sure schlump herself into a paralyzed lump watching all the bad, worse, and ugly. Natural disasters, political train wrecks, and out-right evil; the news of our current days is not just bad, it breaks your heart.

You know the drill. First you have the news anchors and reporters who report facts, the who, what, when, where, why, and how. Then come the analysts and experts who put all the facts into context and give perspective from their professional opinions. Then, there is my favorite—the eye witness, the man-on-the-street’s take on the whole drama. I especially like when they interview the woman in her house shoes. It always sounded like a freight train to her.

But what if breaking news looked like this: The REAL Truth News Anchor: Tonight, we begin with breaking new. There have been numerous reports from members of the body of Christ, also known as the Church, that Jesus is indeed still at work in the lives of those who love Him. Amidst the chaos and panic of a tanking economy and the ‘gloves off ’ political swings, it appears there is an increasing movement among Christian believers who cite the Bible as their guide for life. We have a network contributing analyst here with us tonight to give us more information on this developing story. Analyst: Yes, we can confirm the accuracy of the claims of the faithful. The Bible is the inspired Word of God. The Word was with God in the beginning and the Word is God. Jesus, who was reported as the Word made flesh, has been confirmed to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Those who believe upon Him will be saved. The members of the body of Christ have chosen to not conform to the pattern of this world, but have been transformed by the renewing of their minds. Then they are able to test and approve what the good, pleasing, and perfect will of the LORD is. Many have repented and yielded their lives to Christ and are now experiencing the benefits of sonship. When faced with the financial meltdown, the faithful say, "Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil." When asked about Congress and the President, their answer is, "All authority in heaven and on Earth has been given to Christ." News Anchor: Thank you for that report. We now turn to our field reporter who is with an eye witness to the faithfulness of God. What can you tell us? Field Reporter: I am here with Angie Nichols of Lufkin, Texas. She and her husband recently faced a storm with hurricane-force winds and an earthquake that shook their entire home. Angie, can you tell us what you saw? Eye-witness  (Here’s where they put the camera on me in my house shoes): Well, it felt like a freight train. First, our bodies shook all over when they told us our four-year old daughter had cancer. We were so scared. 32 • THE JOURNEY • FEB2013

We ran and hid in our home and we prayed to God! We gave Him our little girl, because we had nowhere else to go. And then…you ain’t going to believe what happened next. He taught us about His Word and opened our eyes to the truth. He said if we trusted in Him with all our hearts and stopped trying to understand things in ourselves, if we acknowledge Him in our ways, He would make the way straight. And you know what happened? The storm stilled and the Earth stopped shaking beneath our feet. We’ve been walking on a straight path ever since. I wouldn’t have believed it myself if I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes. This Bible, it is the TRUTH! Praise God! Field Reporter: Well, there you have it, an eye-witness to the power and truth of the Word. Angie and her family say God revealed, saved and proclaimed— it was Him, and not some foreign god among them. They are His witnesses, that He is God. Back to you.

Wouldn’t it be something if we heard that on the news? I wondered if I would be so bold about what I’ve experienced of Christ if a reporter put a camera in my face. Then I wondered who in the world would watch it? Who really would be the audience to that sort of news? Would I? Would you? Maybe. Maybe not. Just as I started to shrug the whole thing off, I felt the Holy Spirit remind me of something very sobering and very loving. He said, “Angie, don’t forget. I am the real audience. I am always watching. I never sleep or slumber. I see everything. Even the doe as she bears her fawn does not go unnoticed.”(Job 39:1) Even if it feels like no one else cares about the truth, He sees us living it. He’s always tuned in, and that is good news.

Angie Nichols is the founder of Something Abundant Ministries, serving women through worship and Biblical teaching and the author of Something Abundant: Growing from a child of God to the bride of Christ. Her passion is for women to experience the beauty of an abundant life knowing Christ as Bridegroom. She is married to Chris and they have one daughter, Mycah. For more information, visit


Pines Theater Grand Opening • 33 • 34



hat’s the strongest, most important muscle in your body? It’s your heart. Every day, your heart beats about 100,000 times and sends 2,000 gallons of blood surging through your body. Although it’s no bigger than your fist, your heart has the mighty job of keeping blood flowing through miles of blood vessels that feed your organs and tissues. Any damage to the heart, or its valves, may reduce that pumping power. This forces the heart to work harder just to keep up with the body’s demand for blood. As we age, we all face the chance of developing heart disease, and women are often unaware of their specific risks and symptoms. Approximately 42 million American women live with cardiovascular disease, but many are unaware of the threat they face. When it comes to matters of the heart, men and women definitely aren’t on equal footing. Not only is a woman’s heart smaller than a man’s, but the signs that it’s in trouble are a lot less obvious. When women have a heart attack they’re more likely to have nausea, indigestion, and shoulder aches rather than the hallmark chest pain. Fortunately, women can take steps to understand their unique symptoms of heart disease and begin to reduce their risk. Although the traditional risk factors for heart disease – such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity – affect women and men equally, other factors may play a bigger role in the development of heart disease in women. For example:

• Metabolic syndrome – a combination of fat around the abdomen, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high triglycerides – has a greater impact on women.

• Mental stress and depression affect women’s hearts more than men’s. Depression makes it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle and follow recommended treatment.

• Smoking is a greater risk factor for heart disease in women than in men.

• Low levels of estrogen after menopause pose a significant risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease in the smaller blood vessels.

making them good alternatives to meat. Try to limit sodium, and avoid saturated and trans fats often found in butter or margarine. In addition, women can further reduce their chances of heart disease by taking these actions:

• Know your blood pressure.

• Avoid smoking

• Get tested for diabetes

So how do you make sure your heart is in tip-top shape? There are positive steps you can take to keep your body in good health allowing the heart to be a more efficient organ. In other words, eat healthy, wellbalanced meals, and don’t skimp on the exercise.

• Keep an eye on your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

• Maintain a healthy weight

• Find healthy ways to cope with stress. For example, try talking with your close friends, or try writing in a journal.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. Aim for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Physical activity is anything that involves moving your body and burning calories. Aerobic exercises that are good for your heart include walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bicycle. But don’t forget strength and stretching exercises that are beneficial for stamina and flexibility. Being active can help prevent and control both high blood pressure and diabetes, and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Most importantly, try to keep laughter in your life. Health experts now have proof that laughter really is a good medicine. A deep laugh actually promotes more blood flowing through your entire body. When you watch a funny movie, your blood flow noticeably increases. It is nice to know that laughter might just be the perfect antidote to stress. So have a good giggle. Your heart will thank you.

Your heart needs nutritious foods to stay healthy. Start with a plenty of fruits and vegetables, add a variety of whole grains and high-fiber cereals, and opt for lean meat, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, and egg whites or egg substitutes. Don’t forget to include legumes, such as beans, peas, and lentils, which are good sources of protein that also have less fat and no cholesterol,

Dr. Deppisch graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University. In 2006, she received a doctorate of Medicine from Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in Temple, Texas. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. in 2009. Dr. Deppisch completed her Fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease at Texas A&M Health Science Center/Scott and White Memorial Hospital of Temple, Texas. Dr. Deppisch is American Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease.


by Kathryn Greene

“Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self.


and the best … IS LOVE! ne of my favorite months of the year is February – Valentine’s Day! In February, you can see heart decorations everywhere, lots of red (my favorite color), advertisements for our favorite colognes, and many displays of cards for our favorite people - so many positive and uplifting messages of “love”.

One usually thinks about their boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, and special family and friends on this special day, but what about the others around us? When I read the words from I Corinthians, we are given some great instructions about how to show love. Love never gives up… you keep trying, you keep reaching out, you keep extending a hand.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love cares more for others… you aren’t selfish, you prefer others over yourself. Others needs are placed before your own.

Love doesn’t strut,

Love doesn’t want… you don’t covet what others have, you are thankful for what you have and you love to share it with others.

Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always, “Me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.” Copied from The Message (I Corinthians 13)

Love doesn’t strut… you aren’t arrogant, or prideful, but you humbly submit to those around you. Love doesn’t have a swelled head… you don’t think you are smarter or better than anyone else. You invite others’ thoughts and opinions, valuing them like your own. Love doesn’t force itself on others… you don’t smother and try to manipulate others to be a friend or companion. Love isn’t always “me first”… you take a back seat offering others the front seat. Love doesn’t fly off the handle… you are in control of your emotions, being very considerate of the feelings of others. Love doesn’t keep score of the sins of others… you don’t compare yourself to others; you take responsibility for your own actions. You remember when you point out someone else’s faults, there are four fingers pointing back at you! Love doesn’t revel when someone else is groveling… You are quick to offer a hand to lift someone up or give a shoulder to cry on. You don’t ever judge someone’s response to life until you have walked in their shoes. Love takes pleasure when truth prevails… when you do what is right, a blessing will always follow. Love puts up with anything… you are longsuffering. When you think how patient God is with you, it encourages you to behave love towards those who are struggling. Love trusts God… “When we can’t trace His hand, we can trust His heart!” Love always looks for the best in others… “If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything at all.” Love never looks back… You can’t go forward as long as you are looking back. The thoughts and plans of God are to bless you and do you good! Love makes it to the end… You don’t give up! You keep on, keeping on! You persevere knowing you are not alone! Our Heavenly Father said He would never leave us or forsake us! Even when things are swirling around us, God is still the same – “yesterday and forever!”

36 • THE JOURNEY • FEB2013

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by Melissa Radke


5 STEPS TO A HEALTHY HEART ho am I to write an article on my cardiac infarctions or P90X? I don’t know what either of those things even means. No, I will leave heart attacks and cottage cheese to my friend, Amy McLeod. Instead I will focus on the other areas of the heart; the parts of the heart no one sees. Not your dietician. Not your physician. Not even your Pastor. So, in my lowly opinion, here are the five steps I suggest you take to live long and prosper.


Nothing. Absolutely nothing will do your heart better than forgiveness. You can P90X yourself all day and night and you still won’t rest easily or breathe properly without a healthy amount of forgiveness in your heart. Pastor T.D. Jakes said, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” And it’s true. Take it from me. I spent too much time, too many tears and way too much money on journals. I recorded my thoughts and my hatred. I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. I begged and pleaded with God to make their hair fall out and their car get keyed, and the only person suffering was me. Once forgiveness came, so did rest, and happiness, and a brand new outlook. Once forgiveness came I could move on. I put down poison and picked up peace.


Here’s a great quote, “I’ve never seen an unhappy volunteer.” I don’t know where I heard it, but it’s true! Go look at the volunteers at the Lufkin Dream Center. They aren’t scowling! Take a look at the Bible Study teachers giving their time at the Mosaic Center. Do they look miserable to you? Ever seen someone serving up hot soup spit in it? Didn’t think so. Giving of yourself takes the emphasis off of you and places it on them. It takes your momentary troubles and puts them into an eternal perspective.


I’m not talking about a good bargain. (Though mama does love a good pair of shoes…) I’m talking about a good friend. Choose carefully. Think long and hard about who you tell your secrets to, share your time with and bring around your family. The “life of the party” is not always the best thing for your heart. Here are some tried and true tips: If they talk about people when they are with you – then they talk about you when they are with people! If you feel more challenged and more encouraged after a few hours with them – there’s a good chance they are heart healthy. If you’ve had a bad week and they spend hours over MarTeres chocolate cake and almond tea with you, hold on to them for dear life!


When my kids have to be separated from screaming at each other, I know they’ve only learned that one place. Me. When they surprise me with their ability to laugh at themselves or make friends easily, I know they’ve only learned that one place. Their dad. It is my desire that my children, my family and my friends know who I am and what I stand for. And though I sometimes succeed, more often than not, I fail miserably. But still I try. I try to lead by my attitude, my words and my actions. It isn’t easy and my kids pick up my bad habits on a daily basis, but I admit my faults, seek their forgiveness, and start all over. And I hope that they are secretly picking up the ability to do that same thing: admit, ask forgiveness, repeat.


Take Ambien. Oh, I’m kidding, calm down!  This step is the most simple. Re-read steps 1-4 and the rest will come…trust me.

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


40 fashion • 42 makeup box • 46 women's health • 48 life change

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Be good to yourself Southloop Crossing Shopping Center Lufkin | Next to Old Navy 936-632-5465

American Glass Company New Residential & Commercial Construction 800 University Drive Nacogdoches, TX 75961 Ph: 936-569-0819 | Fax: 936-569-0291 Emergency: 936-564-4937 Todd Hargis, Owner • 41

by Raegan Cassels Williamson | photography by Morgan Due


beauty heaven


s I was reading my best friend Jessica’s fashion blog, I came across every beauty lover’s dream, the BIRCHBOX. I am super excited and in beauty heaven, but I am wondering why no one has told me about this fabulous find before. It’s extremely easy and super affordable. I simply went to, clicked on join now and filled out a simple profile. When you join for $10 a month, you will get a cute, little box filled with hand-picked beauty and lifestyle samples. The shipping is free, and each month you will be able to sample the best beauty and lifestyle products for a fraction of the cost. You will also learn tips and tricks from the experts and have the luxury of buying what you love! If you are like me, you get bored with the same products and enjoy trying new things. Birchbox is a win, win situation. I can’t wait to receive my box in the mail. The site also offers a box for men.

Raegan Cassels Williamson is a wife, mother, nurse and cosmetic enthusiast. She has put her career on hold to be a mother to her two-year old son, Legend. In her spare time, she owns her own business, Airbrush Artistry. She specializes in airbrush tanning, airbrush and traditional makeup applications and makeup tutorials.

Medical Clerical Industrial

Your Hiring Source Test Drive OUR People for YOUR Business. Let US Handle Recruiting and Screening for YOU. ADVANCE’D TEMPORARIES, INC. 1411 Turtle Creek Dr. • Lufkin, TX 75904 936-632-8204 •

Discover the Garage Door Women Adore.

$5 OFF

ANY GUEST CHECK Receive $5.00 off any guest check with a minimum purchase of $20.00 (excluding taxes and tip). Valid Anytime. Offer Expires 4/30/13. Valid at Lufkin restaurant only.

Please present coupon when ordering. Not valid with any other coupons, discounts, specials or senior menu. One coupon per person per visit. Dine-in only. No cash value. ©2013 IHOP IP, LLC.

20% OFF


Overhead Door Company of Lufkin 936-632-3426

Valid Anytime. Offer Expires 4/30/13.

Please present coupon when ordering. Not valid with any other coupons, discounts, specials or senior menu. One coupon per person per visit. Dine-in only. No cash value. ©2013 IHOP IP, LLC.

(Regularly priced menu items only.) Valid at Lufkin restaurant only. / 43

Better hearing.

It’s in your budget. Approximately 28 million Americans have a hearing impairment. Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent chronic health conditions in the United States, affecting people of all ages, in all segments of the population, and across all socioeconomic levels. Hearing loss affects approximately 17 in 1,000 children under age 18. Incidence increases with age: approximately 314 in 1,000 people over age 65 have hearing loss. Offering complete hearing care and a wide variety of hearing aid brands and styles, our hearing professionals can fit your needs and your budget. We want you to compare our low prices and our dedicated, personal care to any other hearing group in Angelina County. Call (936) 699-3141, to schedule your free hearing test or visit Dr. Brian Humphreys’ office at 121 Gaslight Medical Parkway in Lufkin.

Know your hearing health. Get it checked today.

Types Of Hearing Instruments That Are Custom Made To Fit In Your Ear COMPLETELY IN-CANAL • Virtually invisible • For mild to moderately severe hearing loss IN THE CANAL/HALF SHELL • Less visible • For mild to mildly severe hearing loss IN THE EAR • Easy to adjust • For mild to severe hearing loss

Receiver Style Hearing Instrument RECEIVER IN CANAL • Comfortable fit • Sleek design, barely visible when worn • Variety of color options RECEIVER IN CANAL – ABSOLUTE POWER • Ultimate power & performance • Replaces large behind-the-ear products for power needs • For moderate to severe hearing loss BEHIND THE EAR • First ever touch control panel • No hard-to-use buttons or dials • Discreet, barely visible • For moderate to severe hearing loss • Variety of color options available

Brian Humphreys, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Cassandra Whitehead Hearing Aid Dispenser License # 80478

Hearing Protection To avoid hearing loss from environmental noises, which includes workplace equipment, loud music, firearms and even your lawn mower, Dr. Humphreys’ office offers a wide variety of custom, made-to-fit hearing protection ear pieces. Different hearing protection devices provide protection depending on your need.

121 Gaslight Medical Parkway, Ste. 100 • Lufkin • (936) 699-3141

Financing available through Care Credit.

*Bring in this ad to receive your free hearing test. Plus, we will provide free batteries for the first three months you have your hearing aid.

Latest technology available for sinus & allergy sufferers Dr. Humphreys, a board certified otolaryngologist, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas, and medical degrees from both the UCLA Medical School and Stanford Medical School. He continues to research and explore new technology in an effort to bring the most advanced procedures and Brian Humphreys, M.D., F.A.C.S. equipment to East Texas. Dr. Humphreys is the only Lufkin physician trained in the latest sinus care - Balloon Sinuplasty. Balloon Sinuplasty opens blocked sinus passages with the use of a balloon system. The procedure uses a small, soft, flexible devised introduced through the nostrils. A balloon is inflated to gently open blocked sinus passages. No bone or tissue is removed during the procedure and the need for uncomfortable nasal packing may be eliminated. Sinusitis affects 37 million people each year. Sinusitis is usually preceded by a cold, allergy attack or irritation from environmental pollutants. If the symptoms from these issues persist, a bacterial infection or acute sinusitis may occur.

Symptoms of allergy & sinusitis:

• Facial pain, pressure, congestion or fullness

• Nasal obstruction or blockage

• Discolored nasal discharge

• Loss of smell and taste

• Headache

• Fatigue

Dr. Brian Humphreys is specially trained in the care of all medical conditions concerning the ears, nose and throat. He specializes in both medical and surgical treatment for all aspects of the head and neck. As your physician, he will take a complete history and physical examination of the head and neck. When health problems affect your well-being, it is his life’s commitment to provide you with the best care. He is dedicated to working with you in restoring your health and well-being. Dr. Humphreys’ medical experience & care includes: • Face - facial lesions and resurfacing • Nose & Sinuses - allergy testing and treatment, sinus infection and disorders of taste and smell • Ears - infections, pain, balance disorders, Audiograms and hearing aids • Mouth - diseases of the mouth • Throat & Voice Box - swallowing and acid reflux problems • Neck - thyroid, parathyroid, salivary stones and other neck tumors/cancer

The Balloon Sinuplasty approach How does the technology work? Step 1. Gain Access to the Sinus. Step 2. Inflate Balloon Across Ostium. Step 3. Remove Balloon and Irrigate Sinus. Step 4. Remove System.




t’s that time of year where a lot of people are ready to dust off their sneakers, stretch, and maybe follow through with a sweat. We live in some of the most gorgeous surroundings in the country. You don’t have to join a program or a gym to get your heart pumping. So, whatever you do, don’t let that lie stop you from getting your daily exercise. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to be active and get moderate exercise every week. However, we also live where there are wonderful amenities to encourage us along in our quest for health and wellness. Live Well Athletic Club offers a great variety of programs and atmosphere for everyone’s comfort level. It is the largest, most comprehensive fitness center in Deep East Texas. Nestled on 16 acres, LiveWell offers something for the whole family, so health and fitness can be another avenue in family time.

The 24,000 square foot fitness center is outfitted with the latest fitness equipment, an indoor track, racquetball courts, separate ladies workout area, free weight gym, saunas, whirlpools and childcare area. Outdoor areas include a junior Olympic-sized pool, half-court basketball, four tennis courts, and a 1/3 mile outdoor track. There are many classes offered, as well. Included with your monthly membership, the classes offered are Zumba, Circuit Training, Ripped, Step Aerobics, Silver Sneakers Senior Adult Program, and Aquatic Fitness. Additional programs, such as, Boot Camp, Biggest Loser Live Training and Karate are available for an additional fee.


Biggest Loser with Beth


SilverSneakers is an innovative health, exercise, and wellness program designed specifically for older adults. The classes offer a comprehensive fitness program, including aerobic, strength, and flexibility training in an engaging environment. The workouts utilize weights, resistance bands, and balls to provide an exciting and effective fitness experience. Whether you are 50, 90+, or somewhere in between, the exercises can be modified to fit your health and fitness needs. SilverSneakers classes are held at three convenient times on MWF at 7:15, 10:15, and 11:15 at LiveWell.

The Biggest Loser Program at LiveWell is a safe, comprehensive program for people who want to lose a significant amount of weight. The program includes assistance with a personalized food and exercise plan, meetings for support and accountability, workouts, and ongoing training in nutrition, health and fitness and underlying issues, such as emotional eating. Lifestyle change is key to losing weight and keeping it off.

Zumba is the Latin-inspired dance workout that is more like a party than a strict exercise regimen. As one Zumba certified instructor put it, “Zumba is exercise in disguise.” The classes are held T/H 9:3010:30, T/H 4:30-5:30, M/W 4:30-5:30, M/T/H 5:30-6:30.

Aquatic Fitness (Water Aerobics) Aquatic Fitness is an exciting, fun-filled fitness program in LiveWell’s heated pool, utilizing aquatic belts to keep participants vertical in the water. Experience an intensive, enjoyable workout that is gentle on bones and joints. All ages can receive an appropriate workout for your health and fitness level. The class is offered daily, Monday through Friday at 8:10 am.

Christie Burdick, a Biggest Loser member, has this to say about the program: “The Biggest Loser program at Livewell with Beth Wilbanks has not only changed my life, but it has saved my life. Beginning the program at 343 pounds, I had no quality of life. Now with 98 lbs of that weight gone, I am not only functioning again, but enjoying life. Through the heartfelt instruction and motivation of Beth, the program teaches a balance of healthy nutrition and daily cardio intensive exercise combined with strength training. The Biggest Loser program is not a fad diet, but a total lifestyle change!”

R.I.P.P.E.D. (Resistance, Intervals, Power, Plyometrics, Exercise, and Diet) is a total body, high intensity style program for all levels. It is a one stop body shop if you are 8 months pregnant to 70 years old or anywhere in between. You work at your own pace.  T/H 8:30-9:30; T 6:30-7:30pm. Salon & Spa In our new Salon & Spa, our hair design professionals provide their expertise for beautiful results for a little something different or for a total transformation.  Whether you’re an occasional tanner or want the maximum exposure, we have the right bed and the perfect package for you!

Toning with Natalie Work every muscle group with low weights and high reps. Includes weight training, cardio, and ab work. M/W/F 8:30-9:45.

46 • THE JOURNEY • FEB2013

For more information visit our website and like us on Facebook!

“Ou rS Your trength is Beau ty!”


Salon & Spa (936) 699-5000

Like us on Facebook to see our tanning specials, product specials, professional styling tips, and wellness and beauty secrets!!!!

New Ownership and Management LiveWell Salon & Spa

LiveWell Salon & Spa

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Limit 1 Coupon per Visit 1614 Tulane Drive


Original Coupons Only-No copies-Expires 3/31/13

Limit 1 Coupon per Visit 1614 Tulane Drive


Original Coupons Only-No copies-Expires 3/31/13

Our services include:

• Skilled Nursing: RNs/LVNs • Physical, Speech, Respiratory & Occupational Therapy • Wound Care • Home Health Aides • Medical Social Workers • Anodyne Therapy • IV Therapy • Home Medical Equipment • Providers

Medicare, Medicaid, VA & Private Insurance Accepted CHAP Accredited


At A Pineywoods, we’re a helping hand you can trust.

103 B Carriage Dr. Lufkin 936-634-1617 Serving 51 Counties in East Texas locally owned and operated since 1992 by Dr. Neal and Mary Ann Naranjo


RUDY FLORES Teaching Zumba Classes Zips Down the Waistline of Popular Instructor Who Has Struggled with His Weight All His Life


udy Flores never knew what it was like to have his clothes look like they did on store mannequins until he discovered his passion for Zumba exercise class. Now weighing 85 pounds less, he said feeling good overall is even more satisfying than great fitting clothing. Flores had never heard of Zumba before his aunt invited him a couple of years ago. Now as the instructor of Zumba classes five times a week at First Methodist United Church in Lufkin, Flores said at the time he thought nothing of how challenging the class would be for him. At the time he was 24 and his aunt was 45. “I figured it would be no problem, and then after the first five minutes I could not breathe. I had been smoking since I was 18, but after that I quit.” Flores, a 2005 graduate of Lufkin High School, has struggled with his weight all his life. At 6-foot-3, 280 pounds, his body size would have made it easy for him to predominate on the football field. Although he tried football, he said it never felt as fun to him as dancing with the show choir in high school or later at Angelina College. He describes himself as always being the “big guy on the dance floor who could dance.” In the first three months of Zumba, the big guy that Flores had always identified himself with gradually began to disappear as he dropped thirty pounds and headed to the store to buy a new wardrobe. That was just the beginning of the benefits he would see from a class that feels more like dancing than exercising.

by Becky Bell

Flores explains, “I started losing weight in front of the class. It just started dropping off and soon I was down to 200 pounds. I took pictures of the scale at 200 and 199 because I had been big all my life. Each time I bought clothes, they did not look the same way as the guy who was modeling it.” To Flores, Zumba provides a popular exercise backdrop because of the rhythmic music and party-going atmosphere. During every class, Flores encourages his students to shout out as they sway in time with the music that incorporates Latin-style dance movements. “One of the most beautiful things about the class is that it’s about 70 percent Latin. I grew up with this music, but for most of the non-Hispanic students, this is the first time they are getting to experience a different genre of music,” Flores said. “In the class it is very lively and we are all in sync. When everyone is comfortable and having fun while they are working, they will keep coming back.” Although Zumba has definitely changed Flores’ life for the better, there was a scare six months into his Zumba journey. Flores went to the hospital with chest pains and a blood clot was discovered. As he recuperated for two weeks, his students sent him plenty of encouragement while he was unable to teach their class. “They sent me cards and told me to come back to class even if I was in a wheelchair so I could tell them how many times to go to the right and how many times to go to the left.” Being hospitalized and going through the three month recovery period afterwards gave Flores a perspective not only about how it felt to be incapacitated, but also about how to help students in his class who have leg and knee challenges. He said he now knows how to show them to make modifications in class to fit their needs. Those who are making New Year’s Resolutions will want to make a note that Flores has been hired as a Zumba instructor at Angelina College. His classes have spaces for 90 to 120 in open enrollment with class times on Mondays and Wednesdays and Tuesdays and Thursdays. He will continue teaching Zumba at FMUC, but will be stepping down as the church’s administrative assistant. Flores said he hopes he continues to inspire students to think about how much fun they can have exercising and that other students, especially males, discover a way to move that isn’t the stereotypical movement on a football or baseball field. Look at Elvis, look at Frank Sinatra; these stars were dancers. What could be more masculine than that?”


Lufkin Community Partners Reindeer Run

50 • THE JOURNEY • FEB2013


52 pretty babies • 54 parent thoughts • 55 look at me • 56 birthday bash • 58 why i love being a mom

photographed by Morgan Due




3 5





1. Brycen Shane Basham (11/4/12) & Brayden Seth Basham (10/12/10). Proud Parents: Seth & Chaynna Basham. Proud Grandparents: Allen & Gail Lunsford / Bobby & Tisha Basham. 2. Austin Heredia. 5/13/2012. Proud Parents: Cynthia & Jesse Heredia (Lufkin, TX). Proud Grandparents: Glenda & Sergio Valdez (Lufkin, TX) / Cuca & Refugio Heredia (Alto, TX). 3. Adrian “Tripp” Leyva III. 11/13/12. Proud Parents: Adrian & Jessica Leyva (Lufkin, TX). Proud Grandparents: Marina Cabrera (Hudson, TX) / Maria Espino (Lufkin, TX). 4. Carson Dale McDaniel (1/15/08) & Chelsie Kay McDaniel (3/28/12). Proud Parents: J.R. & Joanna McDaniel (Lufkin, TX). Proud Grandparents: Brenda Vinson (Lufkin, TX) / Phyllis Cunningham (Katy, TX) / Jim McDaniel (Steubenville, OH). 5. Jaxson Glenn Medley. 5/16/12. Proud Parents: Brandon & Jayme Medley (Nacogdoches, TX). Proud Grandparents: Richard & Deanna Baxter (Houston, TX) / Gene & Pamela Tatum (Douglass, TX). 6. Emmalyn Grace Pinner. 9/20/12. Proud Parents: Jonathon & Amanda Pinner (Huntington, TX). Proud Grandparents: Joel & Vicki Pinner (Huntington, TX) / Ana Lopez (Lufkin, TX). 7. Charles Jace Turner. 11/15/12. Proud Parents: Zach & Miranda Turner (Huntington, TX). Proud Grandparents: Gaylene Jones (Lufkin, TX) / Mike & Linda Whitten (Cullman, AL). 8. Trevor Williams. 7/28/10. Proud Parents: Jeffrey & Nicole Williams (Apple Springs, TX). Proud Grandparents: John & Kathy Williams (Wells, TX) / James & Darlene Whittlesey (Apple Springs, TX). E-mail Pretty Babies submissions to Please include the information seen above. Submissions are free of charge.

Introducing a program that covers everything in between. Head Tiny Toes™ has your pregnancy covered from the first trimester until your baby is born. Conceived with you and your baby in mind, Tiny Toes offers expectant moms childbirth classes, the best-selling book for expectant mothers, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, online pregnancy and childbirth information, and more! We’ll even give you a tote bag, a bib and a photo of your family’s newest addition online. And the best part? Tiny Toes is free. Call us today for more information, and let us welcome your newest bundle of joy to the world.



www.woodlandheig toes • 936-637-8688

by Jennie Madsen


A New Approach


hat would you think if I suggested to you that spelling and writing do not have to go hand in hand? That we could, in fact, teach our children to be excellent spellers and masters of the English language without using their hands at all! Would you panic? My kid’s teacher sent home instructions to write each word one time on Monday and three times on Tuesday and in a sentence on Wednesday! What I’m suggesting…. what I have discovered to be true for many students, not just my own, is that while they can (and do) learn to spell through repetitious writing, there is another way. While homeschooling our now-publicschooled-third-grader through Kindergarten and First grade, we were directed by her reading tutor to a book called Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling. That book, in combination with our daughter’s special needs (poor hand strength, awkward pencil grip and a language based learning disorder), helped us discover that spelling and handwriting are two separate subjects and there’s success to be had when they are studied and practiced independently of each other. Let’s face it; at the end of the school day, kids are tired. Their brains are tired. Their hands are tired. But there is still work to be done. So a question to ask yourself when dealing with the spelling word lists that come home each and every week is this: Do you want your child to learn to spell the word (and understand its role in language and how it relates to other words like it) or do you want your child to draw perfectly shaped letters? Both those skills are important, necessary even, for them to do well in school and make passing grades. But all too often, there is a time in learning when children can’t do both at the same time. It’s simply too much to think about to write neatly, each letter formed correctly, and remember

what order to put those perfectly formed letters in to spell a new word. At my house, “that time” is usually about 3:45pm when they’ve just come home from school. So, for the past four years, insofar as spelling is concerned, we’ve put down the pencils. My students don’t write their words at home anymore. Instead, we take their lists of seemingly unrelated words, and by adding more words, turn them “word lists.” These new word lists teach them not only how to spell (and read) the spelling words, but also a series of words like the spelling words. Are you thinking: What!?! You add more words? My kid can barely handle the ten (or twelve or twenty) that come home each week! Take a deep breath and remember, they aren’t writing these words. They are reading, rhyming and spelling them aloud, and those extra words are the key to the whole system. You can turn two spelling words like make and take into a six word list (make, take, rake, fake, lake, and sake) to teach through repetition that “-ake” will almost always sound like “ache.” By having your children see, read, spell aloud and hear those words together each day, they can then spell any word that they hear ending in the sound “ache.” (Well, expect the actual word “ache,” which they would probably pronounce as if saying the letter ‘h’. Ironic, I know. Spelling is hard!) If the spelling words have one or two digraphs (or “blends” as my first grader calls them, you know, st, sl, fr, fl, etc) then you use those when making the word list. Example: two of the spelling words are stop and sled because ‘st’ and ‘sl’ are the blends of the week. Perhaps ‘fl’ was last week’s blend, and your child is still having some trouble with it. So, you may write out a word list for your child that reads: stop, slop, flop, hop, top, and mop. And then one that reads: sled, shed, fled, bed, red, and wed.

I promise you, it is that simple and that effective. A young girl in school with my first grader recently experienced an exciting “Aha!” moment when working with the set of words from that example above (make, take, rake, lake, etc) as she realized that her own name fit the pattern perfectly. My guess, knowing this tenacious girl, is that she’s still actively discovering words and names that fit the pattern and is still every bit as excited about them as she was about her name. And, ha! She’s probably driving her mom crazy with it, too. In practice each week at home, it does take some prep time. It can be annoying when I see the spelling lists and no two words seem to have anything in common. Sometimes, I struggle to group them together. There were many conversations with teachers (not just my own kids’ teachers, but also teachers of children that I have worked with in different grades and different schools) regarding the change in “spelling study” at home. Not a single teacher had a problem with the children not turning in “written” work, especially after seeing the test grades. Who doesn’t love getting a 100? For spelling purposes, the kids just read the lists that are posted out loud, spelling the words and telling me how they are alike (or different). All the minor inconvenience of setup has been made up for by the lack of complaining about homework time, the ease of use of the word lists rather than writing and writing and writing, and in time saved. On any given day, it takes less than ten minutes for both of my children to complete spelling homework. Added bonus? We never have to search for a pencil, or sharpen the pencil, or hunt down an eraser. If you try it out and find it works for your child, too, then my final suggestion for you is this: take that “time saved” and put it to good use. Nap.

Jennie Madsen is a Christian woman, wife of ten years and mom to three kids under the age of eight. She guest blogs on and is in the process of patenting a Bipolar Disorder education and management system for caregivers and parents. Her creative outlets include watercolor art and fiction writing.



LOOK AT ME! 1. Alexa Roach. 2. Corey Rice. 3. Jace Camp riding his first motorcycle. It was a Christmas gift from his Papaw! 4. Stacia and Sundai Rice. 5. Noah, 8 years old. Lufkin, TX. 6. Chloe Camp with her blue ribbon drawing for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on display at the MET! 7. Cutter Warren, 5 years old.



2 3 6



Madison's Big Day Out!


adison Greak celebrated her 8th birthday American Girl style. With the newly opened American Girl store in Memorial City Mall in the Houston area, East Texas girls have a store a little closer to enjoy. Madison’s parents, Julianne and Stephen, loaded up her friends to celebrate. The girls were able to enjoy their lunch with their dolls, and then it was off to the beauty shop where they could choose from a variety of things to have done to their doll. The trip was a big hit for the girls and a birthday party to remember for Madison.

Style By Angie (owner of Bravo Salon) I have moved my business to:


Family Owned & Operated Since 1964

Expressive Images Salon and Spa in The Fashion District

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1905 Tulane Dr., Lufkin, TX



Looking forward to seeing you at my new location!

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Bove Sewing Center


1520 N. Timberland Lufkin, TX 75901

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(936) 634-1500 / 57




hen asked to write a few words about being a mom, a million thoughts and precious memories flooded my mind! I am the proud mother of 2 wonderful children, Katie (20, junior at Texas A&M) and Tanner (16, junior at Lufkin High School). Truly, two gifts from God that I give thanks for every day. The many blessings that they bring to my life are too numerous to count or completely elaborate on, and fill my heart with an overwhelming sense of joy. Watching them grow into responsible young adults has been one of the most rewarding stages of my life. Over the past year and a half, I’ve truly seen the ‘young adult’ in both of them. On December 14, 2012, I underwent a very rare, open heart surgery procedure to correct a genetic issue that had affected us ALL for a number of years! As scary as it was for everyone, the strength and support of my children made the road leading up to the surgery and the weeks of recovery after, a bearable experience. Their support and assistance throughout the entire process was truly amazing! I got a true glimpse of the supportive, considerate and caring adults they will be. I really never thought that at 45 I would be turning to them for this level of support, and now can’t imagine facing this life event without them. As with any illness or medical event, things change. These changes can be very small or quite significant. For me, it was the way I viewed my children’s ability to nurture. I was forced to stop, quit being the caregiver and accept the fact that I had to be cared for. It was a very humbling

experience, and I will admit it was very difficult for me to give up that control. To depend on them for so very much, just after the surgery, was necessary and it resulted in a growing experience for each one of us. They demonstrated the ability to calmly handle adult situations with a strong will and heads-up attitude. I now have such a peace as they move on to their young adult phase, and I know that they will be just fine without me! As I ride the bullet train through my late 40’s, the demands of being a mom have certainly changed. I’ve traded being a ‘taxi cab’ driver for staying up late on weekends to insure curfews are kept. I’ve traded constantly buying crafts for school projects at Hobby Lobby for paying rent and college tuition! Gone are the days of getting children up for school, those crazy mornings fighting school traffic (LMS & LHS!), rushing to school to deliver forgotten items, driving to dental/ doctor appointments, constant reminders to do your homework, and massive loads of laundry. For those moms still in this stage, who literally feel that you are “meeting yourself coming and going,” I say two words…….ENJOY IT! It will come to an end before you know it. Those little moments of giving and getting those morning hugs; “enlightening” conversations while waiting in school traffic, big smiles when you deliver that forgotten item, and giving comfort when illness strikes……..will be over way too soon! Being a mom is the greatest accomplishment of my life, and I thank GOD for the opportunity and constant support HE has provided to guide me along the way.


Abby& Ashley AT MARICELA'S

Retail Boutique, Parties & Makeovers

105 Miles Way, Ste 300 • Lufkin Located in Garden District Shopping Village next to Buffalo Wild Wings

(936) 632-3472

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At Laine’s, you’ll find a Valentine for every sweetheart in your life… including YOU!

Laine’s Hallmark 3205 N University Dr Nacogdoches 936-564-6724 • 59

The Journey Feb 2013  

The Journey Feb 2013

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