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You provide the baby... We’ll provide the rest!


LAYAWAY AVAILABLE! Dining & Bedroom Suites Western Bedding & Prints, Cowhide Rugs Rustic Crosses, Antler & Western Lamps

Located on the Hwy 94 Exit Ramp Next to Dairy Queen, Lufkin (936)699-4530

Welcome This weather could not be any more perfect! It is funny how weather can bring back a memory in a second. I have heard a few people make comments about how “this beautiful weather reminds me of the beautiful days on campus walking to class.” For me, those beautiful clear days, when you hear the sounds of airplanes flying by, take me right back to the playgrounds of elementary school. I always remember hearing planes fly by as my friends and I ran, played and chased each other. More than that, I think it takes me back to my youth when I did not have a care in the world. Nothing else mattered more than getting to go outside and play.

Lisa Crow Photography

Our annual education issue is something else that always brings back those great memories. Although as a mother those careless days are long gone, they have been replaced with trying to create those same careless days’ memories for my children. Of course, this feels like the weight of the world on your shoulders, but with Jesus in my corner, an out of this world husband and dad, the village (my mom and mother in laws), along with the kids teachers and mentors---it is almost impossible for them to have anything more worrisome than how dirty can I get before I have to come inside and wash it all off. Living in the wonderful forest country, we are blessed to be a part of a community that feels like family. Because of that family connectedness, I have always said it, and I will continue to feel this way; you cannot make a wrong choice in education in East Texas. More than likely your children’s teachers and school staff are your neighbors, friends you go to church with, grew up with your mom and dad, they are on the same soccer and baseball teams—and the list goes on. It is a blessing to have a close knit community and know that where ever you are, your children will be loved and gain a wonderful education to carry them through life. We have excellent school districts and private school programs wherever you turn. It is finding that perfect fit just right for your family.

Stephanie oliver




In the Kitchen: Orange Brownies Decor & Design: Unique Teacher Gifts Your Pantry: Texas: A Leader in Healthier School Meals

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YOURCOMMUNITY Inspiring Woman: Lara Sowell

YOUREDUCATION Special Services A Vision for Education: The Importance of Vision School/MDO Listings: School Directory School Features

YOURLIFE Hometown Talent: The Vintage Junk Company Stretch Marks: March (Morning) Madness Relationships: It’s Hard to Keep on Feeling Love Women’s Health: Robotic Surgery Why I Love Being a Grandmother: Debbie Owens

YOURCHILD Pretty Babies Parent Thoughts: Spring Break Day Tips Birthday Bash: Larson’s Art Party Why I Love Being Mom: Nickie Ashby



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Stephanie Oliver President Beth Johnson Managing Editor Crystal Capps Sales Assistant Stephanie Johnson Administrative Assistant Macy Haffey Layout and Design Lisa Crow Eve n t P h o to g r a p h e r

6 / The Journey - March 2012


Contributors Nicole Alders Nickie Ashby D r. K a y w i n C a r t e r, M D , FA C O G Kathr yn Greene D r. J e r r y J o h n s o n , M D , FA C O G D r. C a r m o n L a m p l e y - R o b e r t s Melissa Lee Amy McLeod Distribution Lisa Crow Janet Glover Jarod Thompson

Contact Us: Mailing: P O B ox 1 5 0 5 37 L u f k i n , Tex a s 75 9 1 5

Cover Photo by Krista Hale

P h ys i c a l : 1 1 5 E . S h e p h e rd L u f k i n , Tex a s 75 9 0 1 936-634-7188

Nacogdoches Eye Associates


Continuing the Tradition of Excellence

1810 West Frank Lufkin, TX 75904



Dr. Rushing | Dr. Saldaña | Dr. Risner

We can see you today!

St. Cyprian’s

Call to schedule your appointment. Se Habla Español


3208 N. University Drive Nacogdoches

St. Cyprian’s Episcopal School 1115 South John Redditt Dr. Lufkin, TX 75904 • 936-632-1720

Hours: M-T-W & F 8-5:30, Th 8-7, 1st & 3rd Sat. 9-12

Call for Bayou Bash information and tickets.

7 / The Journey - March 2012

April 13, 2012

For all your eye care needs: • No-Stitch Cataract Surgery • Diagnosis and Management of Eye Diseases • Routine Eye Exams/ Comprehensive Eye Care • Contact Lens Exams and Fittings • In-Office Optical Boutique • Medicare and AAAHC Approved Surgery Center

Richard J. Ruckman, M.D., F.A.C.S. 8 / The Journey - March 2012

Timothy J. Veillon, O.D.

Our Focus Is YOU!

2 Medical Center Blvd. Lufkin, TX 75904 936-634-8434 | 800-833-5777 200 Ogletree Drive Livingston, TX 77351 936-328-5600 | 800-734-9086 Se Habla Español! Most insurance carriers and major credit cards accepted.

Stephanie M. Davis, O.D.

Bryan G. Pauls, O.D.

Carmon L. Roberts, O.D.

Your Home in the kitchen 10 decor & design 12 your pantry 14

photographed by Morgan Due




Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen, 2007

ORANGE BROWNIES: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups granulated sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 4 eggs 2 teaspoons pure orange extract 1 teaspoon grated orange zest 1 recipe Orange Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan. Stir together flour, granulated sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add butter, eggs, orange extract, and orange zest. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until light golden brown and set. Remove from oven, allow to cool and pierce entire cake with a fork. Spread the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting over completely cooled brownies. Cut into squares. ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING: 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened 4 tablespoons softened butter 1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar 2 tablespoons orange zest 2 tablespoons orange juice Directions: In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter and cream cheese together with a hand-held electric mixer. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until it is all combined and smooth. Beat in the orange zest and juice. Spread over brownies.

Denesha Hardiman is a Senior at Lufkin High School. She was awarded Best of Show with her Orange Brownies by Paula Dean. “Ms. Root suggested I look for something extremely different, and this recipe was the first choice I saw. And I love Paula Dean. Then when I tried the recipe, they were so good!” Hardiman was excited to do so well since this was her last year to be able to compete. Her Orange Brownies were auctioned off to Romy and Carl Ray Polk for $500. 10 / The Journey - March 2012

Appleby Sand Mercantile Cafe & Catering...

possibilities limited only to your imagination! 6530 FM 2609 - Appleby Sand Road Nacogdoches, Texas | (936)559-5151

Five locations serving East Texas for over 11 years allowing us to serve you with the best quality & price! GCS - Cakes by Cindy Metteauer | (936)564-3000



unique teacher gifts


inding that perfect gift for your most perfect teacher can sometimes be a daunting task. One thing is for sure, apple gifts are a thing of the past. After asking teachers for their opinions on some of their favorite gifts, we compiled a list of fun and unique gifts that can be enjoyed throughout the year. Candy Jar. A pretty jar that can be filled with different goodies for each month of the school year. Sharpie Bouquet. What teacher doesn’t need a wide array of Sharpies at their disposal?

End of year. Send your teacher off in style with a bag of essentials summer items. Flip flops, towel, magazines, lotion, and a favorite book. Have a few favorite teachers? Set up a hot chocolate bar or coffee bar in the teachers’ lounge. Provide a simple dessert and be sure to include copies of the recipe. Teachers love ideas for quick, yummy treats. Lend a Hand. Overall, teachers said they appreciate parental help in the classroom to do all of the simple tasks that take up so much time. Offering to volunteer even a short amount of time can help teachers in a huge way! Favorite things. Find out your teachers favorite flavor coffee, favorite lunch stop, or their favorite sugary snack for an afternoon pick me up.

A nice tray or bowl filled with their favorite fruit or even a plant. Thank you notes. Custom notes with the teacher’s name are an added bonus. They always need thank you notes.

Caffeine, please! A small gift card for a quick coffee or soda treat comes in very handy when the afternoon bell rings.

Homemade with love. Delicious dishes and desserts given around the holidays are always appreciated.

A lot of these do not cost a lot of money, but provide a small gesture to show appreciation for what they do all day long.

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

Medicare, Medicaid, VA & Private Insurance Accepted CHAP Accredited

ONE CALL DOES IT ALL! 103 B Carriage Dr. Lufkin 936-634-1617 Serving 44 Counties in East Texas At A Pineywoods, we’re a helping hand you can trust. 12 / The Journey - March 2012

locally owned and operated since 1992 by Dr. Neal and Mary Ann Naranjo


Lufkin Chamber Banquet / 13

by Amy McLeod, RD, LD


Texas: A Leader in

Healthier School Meals


n January, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that school lunches would be healthier next year. This is good news to parents who have wanted to know just how healthy the lunches are for their children. Beginning in 2012 with a ‘phase-in’ approach to each change, school meals will have more fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, less sodium, and include only milk that is low in fat. The new rules are the first major nutritional and national overhaul of school meals in 15 years and are aimed at helping to fight the childhood obesity epidemic across the country.

Parents may not know Texas schools have already implemented major changes to provide more nutritious meals to Texas schoolchildren. In 2004, Susan Combs, former Texas Agriculture Commissioner, implemented the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy for all Texas public schools participating in the federal child nutrition program. The policy limited the number of grams of fat and sugar schoolchildren could have each week and eliminated deep-fat frying in food preparation. In addition, portion sizes for items such as chips, cookies, bakery items, and frozen desserts were limited in elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. Sale of foods that compete with a school’s operation of the breakfast, lunch, or after-school snack programs were also limited, as were celebration foods such as cookies, chips or birthday cakes. Finally, the new policy mandated that all Texas schools form Health Advisory Councils, comprised of parents, educators and concerned citizens, to implement health education and activities for schoolchildren grades K-12. To get involved in your district’s Health Advisory Council, ask your child’s principal.

How will Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2011 affect your children? • Changes phased-in beginning 2012-2013 school year. • More fruits and vegetables including a weekly requirement for dark green, red/orange fruits, and beans and peas. • At least half of the grains served must be whole grain-rich. • Milk must be fat free or 1% fat. • Saturated fat must be <10% of total calories. • Calorie ranges implemented based on child’s age. • Sodium will be limited based on child’s age. The greatest change in breakfast foods is the increase in fruits, which doubles from the current requirement. In addition, grains increase by nearly 80 percent over current levels, with a shift to whole grains. For lunch, the greatest change is the increase in fruits and vegetables at nearly four half-cup servings a week. These new national rules will apply to lunches subsidized by the federal government. Already cash-strapped Texas schools express concern over how they will pay for the foods proposed by the new rules, but fortunately the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2011 will help school districts to pay for some of the increased costs. These changes are definitely a step in the right direction, and parents will be pleased to know that even further improvements are planned in the future.

14 / The Journey - March 2012

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

Your Community inspiring woman 18

Chad, Emily, Jackson, and Pierce Parks have been enjoying their pool since 2011.

When you are looking for the best! Design • Installation • Supplies • Service 1605 E Denman Ave, Lufkin Voted Best Pool Company 2009-2011

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Hgrhnkg^qmoblbm%ie^Zl^ik^l^gmmabl\hnihgpa^ghk]^kbg`'H__^k ghm`hh]pbmaZgrhma^kh__^k'Ghln[lmbmnmbhgl'Ohb]pa^k^ikhab[bm^]' >q\en]^lZ]]&hgl'Ebfbm*i^k\nlmhf^k'Ikb\^Zg]iZkmb\biZmbhgfZr o Z k r'M a b l\ h n i h gb loh b ]b gm a ^^ o ^ g mh _Z g rl Z e ^h km k Z g l _ ^ k' > Q I B K > L,(,*(*+ 'H _ _ ^ ko Z e b ]b gE n _ d b gG Z \ h ` ] h \ a ^ lh g e r'

16 / The Journey - March 2012


Lufkin Convention & Visitors Bureau Corks & Forks / 17

by Nicole Alders; photographs by Krista Hale



t’s not often you meet a real-life hero, but I’m very fortunate to work alongside many such heroes every day because I’m a teacher. If you are a parent, you know that those remarkable people, who daily pour themselves into the lives of dozens and hundreds of children like yours, are true heroes. They don’t teach with the potential for great income or fame; they teach because they desire to bless others with their energy, their ideas, their experience and their love. One of my favorite heroes has been teaching Latin at Regents Academy in Nacogdoches for the past decade. Hmmm. Latin. Who wants to learn Latin, and perhaps an even more curious question; where, in deep East Texas, do you find a teacher who can teach Latin? Lara Sowell’s journey to becoming the “go to” Latin expert for Latin questions among dozens of students, parents and teachers for the past ten years has been one of perseverance, patience, dedication and faith. When I first met Lara in 2002, I knew she was a gifted woman. I’ve spent the last ten years learning about her and learning from her. What a blessing she has been to so many people. Born a healthy little girl outside Fort Worth, Texas, Lara realized when she was in junior high that her eyesight was failing at an aggressive rate. At the beginning of her seventh grade year and after being evaluated through the annual vision testing program at her Haltom City junior high school, Lara’s vision tested at 20/30. By the end of that same school year, she couldn’t see the board from the first row. Something was seriously wrong. During the following year, Lara was diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease, a form of juvenile macular degeneration that is hereditary. However, no one in her family previously or since has experienced any symptoms similar to Lara’s. Lara soon began seeing a “low

18 / The Journey - March 2012

vision specialist” to determine what could be done to help her see as much as possible. By the time she was 18, Lara was declared legally blind with vision at 20/200 or worse. This means that what a normal person can see from 200 feet, a legally blind individual must be only 20 feet away to see. Stargardt’s disease causes one to lose central vision, which is where fine acuity vision (the ability to see details) is located on the retina. This makes reading, recognizing faces, or determining a clear picture of almost anything very difficult. With Stargardt’s, Lara can only see using her peripheral vision, coupled with tremendous magnification. “It’s like looking straight at something, but there’s a large fuzzy circle over 80% of the middle of whatever you’re trying to look at,” explained Lara. “You have to move your head and eyes to the side to be able to use your peripheral vision and see the parts blocked by the ‘fuzzy hole.’ This doesn’t stop Lara, however. As a fellow teacher and good friend, I’ve watched her accomplish numerous tasks I would have thought impossible and would have been too intimidated to attempt. I recall a couple of springs ago during our school Field Day when she volunteered to play softball on the “teacher” team against the students. She not only batted for herself, but she knocked the ball clear out into the middle of center field. I was amazed and impressed at her tenacity and confidence. I also refused to bat after her again. After Lara graduated high school, she continued on to college, still with the hope she could become a medical doctor. She soon realized this would not be a reality. Then, while working as a pharmacy technician at St. Joseph Hospital in Ft. Worth, she met her future husband, Mark Sowell. He had finished college at

INSPIRING WOMAN Stephen F. Austin State University and was also working as a pharmacy technician, while waiting to be accepted into medical school. When he moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and entered podiatry school the following year, they dated long distance through his first year of school. After they married, Lara joined Mark in Ohio, and they lived there for the next seven years, adding three children to the Sowell household. It was during this time that Lara began homeschooling their oldest, Camille, and their interest in classical Christian education was ignited. With two toddlers at her feet, Lara waded into the world of Latin chants, vocabulary and grammar with her daughter, never dreaming she would become a Latin “expert” less than a dozen years later. When Mark completed his podiatry training in 1999, the Sowells, now with three children and one on the way, moved to Nacogdoches, Mark’s hometown. Mark’s mother had passed away two years earlier, and his father needed help caring for his younger brother, only twelve years old at the time. Lara eagerly volunteered to help care for her brother-in-law while balancing the increasing responsibilities associated with opening a new podiatry practice and managing her own household. All the while, she continued to home school their children. The Sowells soon connected with other homeschooling families in the area who were also interested in classical Christian education. The spring of 2002, a handful of families formed a loose co-op, meeting in one of the family’s homes twice a week. Different parents taught in their area of expertise. Having worked with introductory Latin for the previous two years, Lara volunteered to teach Latin to the younger children involved in the co-op. She’s been learning and teaching Latin ever since. This year marks Lara’s tenth year teaching Latin for Regents Academy. The “loose co-op” officially incorporated in December 2001, and purchased property and began operating as Regents Academy the following fall. The school opened the doors of its newly-renovated facility on the northeast loop of Nacogdoches


in the fall of 2003. Currently completing accreditation requirements through the Texas Alliance of Accredited Private Schools (TAAPS), Regents Academy students study Latin beginning in kindergarten and continuing through ninth grade. While at one of the several outside training workshops she’s attended over the last ten years, Lara discovered from a simplified assessment of her learning style that she actually is a visual learner, which means she learns best by seeing things, an irony Lara finds amusing. Through the years, her faith has grown tremendously as she’s learned to depend on God and on others to help her accomplish what seem like simple tasks. Now, after a dozen years, Lara finally feels comfortable teaching Latin. She continues to study and learn the best ways to teach it to her students. Additionally, her friendship with Dr. Anne CollinsSmith, the Latin professor at Stephen F. Austin, enables her to call her should she have an especially puzzling Latin question, which happens on occasion. When asked why Lara has invested so much of her time in learning about Latin and teaching it to others, she joyfully responds with three key reasons: “Latin provides mental discipline. You have to train your mind to think through a lot of details. It’s also the most efficient way to learn English vocabulary words. It also helps to provide a better understanding of English grammar.” Having shared a classroom with Lara for three out of the last four years, I can attest that all of her reasons are not only valid; they support national statistics that show students who study Latin achieve higher SAT/ACT scores, have broader vocabularies and become better writers. The analytic process used with learning and understanding Latin benefits students in numerous ways. Many times during class discussions on a variety of subjects, Lara has piped up from the back of the room, in her ever-smiling, effervescent way, with an interesting bit of information about the etymology of a word or the Latin complement to the English / 19


“I know God has a sense of humor. After all, I’m a blind visual learner.” -Lara Sowell, self-taught veteran Latin teacher at Regents Academy

grammar concept we’re studying. Always quick to expand her knowledge base and share what she knows, she’s an invaluable resource for a variety of subjects. Today Lara realizes her vision continues to degenerate. Although she uses special equipment in our classroom to provide high-power magnification, she still has to work around the increasingly fuzzy blind spot that blocks the majority of her vision. Whereas normalsighted eyes capture letters in groups of words, phrases or even sentences, Lara’s eyes capture letters individually. This makes reading and grading students’ papers especially slow and cumbersome. To be able to read her textbooks and her students’ papers, Lara uses a closed circuit television (CCTV) which takes a live picture and magnifies it up to sixty times. She also uses the “zoom text” feature on her computer and a pair of Clear Image 2 glasses that provide 8 x magnifications; however, she is in the process of converting to a 14x monocular mounted in frames to compensate for her failing vision. As we talked about her journey to become the well-respected, well-loved Latin teacher she is today, she tearfully acknowledged her painful awareness that her vision is worsening. With no known

20 / The Journey - March 2012

cure for Stargardt’s and no corrective surgery or restorative medicine to treat the macular degeneration she is experiencing, her only hope appears to be the promise of stem cell research which may enable scientists to transplant new retinal tissue for the damaged macula. However, Lara stresses that her family in no way supports the use of embryonic tissue, especially when taken from aborted babies, to further research in this area. She trusts that the promise of stem cells taken from umbilical cord blood will yield equally favorable opportunities for scientists and doctors. Lara’s faith is exemplified by the Latin expression coram Deo (which literally means “before the face or presence of God”). She lives her entire life in the presence of God, under the authority of God and to the glory of God. Through the challenges her vision presents, her faith has been foundational for her journey to becoming not only a stellar Latin scholar and teacher, but a beloved faculty member, mother, wife and friend. Although her physical, human vision may be imperfect, her “greater vision” that God has a perfect plan for her keeps her focused on what is most important in her life, glorifying Him. Deo Gloria!

Your Education

in East Texas

special services 22 a vision for education 24 school/MDO listings 26 school features 28


With a growing number of children diagnosed with various special needs, more communities are building up a network of support. East Texas has a number of wonderful resources for parents of children with special needs. In recent years, there has been a lot learned about each of the specific needs. Families dealing with such educational needs make great strides by reaching out to those in the educational and medical community; the people who work hands on with the specialization on a daily basis. The earlier the intervention begins, the greater the success will be. Here is a list of local networks for Special needs, along with other helpful resources.

CAMPS: Elijahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Retreat A 501(c)(3) non-profit, Christ centered organization for Families Facing Autism Jeff Moore 257 CR 3110 Jacksonville, TX 75766 903-589-0145.

Lufkin First Assembly Meet once a week for special needs kids during the 11 am worship service for parents who desire a secure and fun place for their child while they attend the service. Contact Deanna Ramsey at 936-6323540 or

CHURCHES: GBC KidZ Buddies Supporting children with special needs as they learn and grow in their relationship with Christ GBC KidZ Buddies is the special needs program at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches. It is a safe and loving environment which serves any child birth-5 th grade with developmental or medical disabilities in an inclusion setting so that their families may attend church services. Children served in the program are matched (1:1) with trained volunteers.The GBC KidZ Buddies program is offered during the Sunday morning services (9:30am and 11:00am) and during our Wednesday night childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s programming for parents involved in a small group. Nikki Roberts, GBC KidZ Buddy Coordinator, at (713)471-0592 or

22 / The Journey - March 2012


clinic, consulting and parent training. The Helping House hosts a Spanish Language Autism Support Group once quarterly. Call for more information. 919 Jack Lock Nacogdoches, Texas 75964 Amanda Johnson, Director 936-371-1536

GETCAP Head Start Nacogodches County Charlotte Weaver Stokes Complex 1902 Old Tyler Rd. Nacogdoches Texas 75964 936-564-1142


LISD Special Education Deidra Harrison 936-634-6696


S.T.A.R.S Nacogdoches ISD 511 South University Dr. Nacogdoches, Texas 75961 936-569-5000 The Helping House Private School A place for children with autism and other developmental delays Full day school, after school care, summer

Dr. Kathryn Akin M.D. Developmental- Behavioral Pediatrician Tyler, Texas 903-592-1890 Search Elizabeth Houston for articles on upcoming local special needs and home school events (please retain the note about home school events since many kids with Aspergers are having to be homeschooled) Family Kite Fest Presented by The Helping House April 14, 2012 10am-2pm AL Mangham Airport



Cornerstone E.C.I. An early childhood intervention program that helps families who have children birth to three years of age overcome difficulties in the areas of early development. Together, parents and staff work to improve the child’s physical, cognitive, social, and adaptive development in an effort to build a stronger foundation for the child’s future. 2001 S Medford Dr, Lufkin , TX 75901 936-634-4703

Jeffrey Cuevas, PT 3205 North University Suite M Nacogdoches, TX 75965 936-552-7044

FUNctional Pediatrics Motor skills, Self-help, and Sensory integration 3316 N University Dr D Nacogdoches, TX 75965-2632 Brenna Knott, OTR 936-564-4661

PARENT INFORMATION: Changing the Path Monthly support group in Lufkin for families with children under the autism spectrum including Aspergers. Tennessee Love 936-414-2767 East Texas Autism Coalition Offers occasional trainings as well as an annual informational conference. David Cozadd 936-639-1141 Region 7 Education Service Center The Region 7 Education Service Center in Kilgore serves the Lufkin and Nacogdoches area. They have workshops geared toward teachers and parents regarding ASD from time to time. To find next workshop, go to Click on “Professional Development” tab then “Workshops”. 1909 North Longview Street Kilgore, TX 75662 903-988-6700

Majal Minguez, PT 913 Ellis Avenue Lufkin TX 75904 936-634-4282

SOCIAL: Best Buddies-SFA program A nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunites for one-to-one friendships and integrated employment. Stephen F. Austin chapter of Best Buddies, please contact the current College Buddy Director, Sarah Mullen at Burke Center-Family Counseling Association 4101 South Medford Drive, Lufkin , TX 75901 936-639-1141 The Helping House: Social Skills Group Tuesdays 4-5:30 pm Contact Amanda Johnson 936-371-1536

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE: Layne DeBardelaben, M.A., CCC/SLP Clinical Instructor Stephen F. Austin State University 2100 N Raguet HSTC Rm205 Nacogdoches, TX 75962 936-468-1155 voice email:

Professional Speech & Language Services Anita Scoggins CCC/SLP, Jan Ward CCC/SLP, Debra Bankston CCC/SLP 3416 East Denman, Lufkin 936-639-3007

SFA Stanley Speech & Hearing Clinic SFA Speech Language Pathology Program The Speech and Hearing Clinic offers a variety of services for individuals demonstrating communication disorders. Services that are provided include: speech and language evaluation, audiological evaluations to determine hearing acuity, speech and language therapeutic intervention, and consultation with parents and clients. Phone: 936468-7109 P.O. Box 13019, SFA Station Bridget Studer, CCC/SLP 714 Largent, Lufkin 75904 936-639-2693

SPORTS – RECREATION: Developmental Swim Class Lehmann Swim Center at Boys & Girls Club, Nacogdoches    Erik Cozadd 936-560-6844 Special Needs Gymnastics & Special Needs Softball Available at Lufkin Parks and Recreation 936-630-0535

Hetti Legg 528 Ochiltree, Nacogdoches 936-564-6907 / 23

by Dr. Carmon Lampley-Roberts


The Importance of VISION


ood vision is critical to learning and excelling in school. Students need to be able to focus at different distances so they can comfortably read, work on the computer and see the blackboard. Their eyes need to track efficiently so that they can move across a page while reading and can copy material from the blackboard onto a piece of paper. Color vision is an important aspect of early childhood learning, and hand-eye coordination is critical for handwriting, athletics and other extracurricular activities. One in four students has a visual impairment. Experts believe that approximately 80 percent of learning comes through a child’s eyes, and many school tasks such as reading, writing and computer work require visual skills. As more and more classrooms begin using high tech tools, such as interactive blackboards, 3D imaging and other digital devices, it becomes critical that students maintain good vision. Children grow and change at a rapid pace, and their eyes grow and change as well. Growth spurts or changes in the amount of near work required of them at school can lead to changes in vision. Beyond vision issues, a child’s complete ocular health needs to be examined. Many people believe that conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts only affect older people, but children can be at risk as well. It is important to monitor for signs and symptoms of vision problems as the child progresses through school, because the visual demands may vary for different ages. If a child can’t see well, smaller print in textbooks or increased amounts of homework can significantly affect a student’s grades. The introduction of interactive whiteboards can exacerbate vision problems and computer vision syndrome (CVS) has become a real issue since many children spend one to four hours a day using computers, playing video games or using other hand-held electronic devices. Students can avoid CVS by taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes to view something 20 feet away. This rests the focusing muscles in their eyes and helps keep their eyes moist. One of the most common mistakes made by parents and caretakers is waiting until the child has a visual complaint or deficiency that affects his/her schoolwork before scheduling an eye exam. Studies have indicated that some children with undetected vision problems have actually been misdiagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In fact, 64 percent of teachers witnessed a direct improvement in a child’s academic performance and/or classroom behavior after an eye or vision problem was diagnosed and treated. The American Optometric Association recommends that a child’s first eye assessment take place at 6 months of age. Comprehensive eye exams should be conducted beginning at age 3, before a child enters school, and then every one to two years, unless otherwise advised by their eye-care provider.

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Reasons Your Child May Need an Eye Exam: • losing their place while reading • avoiding close work • rubbing their eyes • having headaches • turning or tilting their head • making frequent reversals when reading or writing (if not appropriate for age) • using their finger to keep their place while reading • omitting words or confusing small words when reading • consistently performing below their potential • struggling to complete homework • squinting while reading or watching television • having behavioral problems • holding reading material closer than normal • eyes crossing or turning out Dr. Carmon Lampley-Roberts has been practicing optometry in East Texas for 10 years and is currently on staff at The Center For Sight in Lufkin. Dr. Roberts has a diverse practice which includes patients of all ages and ethnicities, and she enjoys the challenge of diagnosing and treating varied eye diseases. She grew up in Center, TX where her family still resides and upon graduating high school, she attended Baylor University in Waco. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and was accepted to the University of Houston College of Optometry which, at the time, was the only optometry school in Texas. After graduating from UHCO in 2002 with her Doctor of Optometry degree, Carmon returned to Nacogdoches and married Darren Roberts. She and her husband were delighted to welcome their son, Case, in 2010 and have thoroughly enjoyed the chaos that goes along with raising a rambunctious toddler. Dr. Roberts can be reached for questions or comments at

Classical Christian Education Pre-K through 12th Grade

(936) 559-7343

Harmony Christian School â&#x20AC;&#x153;Experiencing God through Educationâ&#x20AC;?

Register now for 2012-2013 school year.

PK4-8th grade Accredited through

Open House

March 8 | 5pm-7pm $100 gift card give away 1601 Rice Drive Lufkin, TX 75901 936.632.1905 HCS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, nationality or ethnic origin in administration of its educational and admissions policies. / 25




SPECIAL SUBJECTS  After School Creative Care  Archery  Art  Chapel  Computers ♪ Music S Spanish  Sports L Latin


Calvary Baptist Church Director: Alicia Whitehead 3732 NE Stallings Nacogdoches, TX (936)564-4539 T/TH; 9am—2:30pm Ages: 6 weeks - 4 years


Carpenters Kids Carpenters Way Baptist Church Director: Jennifer Tompkins 400 N John Redditt Lufkin, TX (936)632-6599 T/TH; 9am—2:30pm Ages: 6 months - 4 years


First United Methodist Director: Betsy Bales 201 E Hospital Street Nacogdoches, TX 75961 (936)560-4631 M-F, MWF, T/TH; 8:30am—11:45am Ages: 1 year - 5 years


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4. My Growing Place Director: Debbie Denby 805 E Denman Ave Lufkin, TX (936)639-6884 M-F; 7:30am—5:30pm Ages: 2 months - 4 years


Wee Care First Baptist Church Director: Shauna Pittman 106 E Bremond Lufkin, TX 75901 (936)634-3386 T/TH Ages: 2 years - 4 years

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SFA Early Childhood Lab Director: Lori Harkness (936)468-4006 M-F; 7:30am—5:30pm Ages: 2 weeks - 5 years Kindergarten - 5th Grade after school until 5:30pm

9. First Christian Director: Patsy Allen 1300 S First Lufkin, TX 75901 (936)634-9698 M-F, 7:30am—5:30pm Ages: 6 months - 5 years



Sonshine School North Street Church of Christ Director: Susan Bentley 3914 North Street Nacogdoches, TX 75961 (936)560-1016 M-F, MWF, T/TH Ages: 1 year - Pre-K 4


Tanglewood Learning Center Director: Elise Gavin 1118 Tanglewood Cir Nacogdoches, TX 75961 (936)564-1484 M-F Ages: 15 months - 6 years Pre-K & Kindergarten: Full Day Montessori Program Extended care to 5th grade

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10. Just Kids Preschool Director: Katrina Smith 523 S Bynum Lufkin, TX 75904 3K & 4K programs M-F, 7:30am—5:30pm Ages: Infants - After School Age Children

11. Another Just Kids Preschool Director: Katrina Smith 3024 Ted Trout Dr Lufkin, TX 75904 3K & 4K programs M-F, 7am—6pm Ages: Infants - After School Age Children


Christ Episcopal School Head of School: Audrey Russell 1428 N Mount St Nacogdoches, TX 75961 (936)564-0621 Voted Best of Nacogdoches Private School 7:30am—5:30pm Ages: 3 years - 6th Grade

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Fredonia Hill Baptist Principal: Mrs. Christopher Fedun 1711 South Street Nacogdoches, TX 75964 (936)564-4472 Extended Day Care Ages: Pre-K 3 - 6th Grade

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Harmony Christian School Administrator: Tracye Brashear 1601 Rice Drive Lufkin, TX 75901 (936)632-1905 M-F, 7:30am—5:30pm Ages: 3 years - 8th Grade Extended Day Care

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4. Crimson Christian Academy Administrator: Sheila Whitaker 1615 Tulane Drive Lufkin, TX 75901 (936)639-1222 M-F Ages: 6th Grade - 12th Grade


Lufkin ISD P.A.C.E. Gifted and Talented Director: Cindy Henderson (936)630-4254 Ages: Kindergarten - 12th Grade

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Nacogdoches Christian Academy Director: Donna Baker 211 SE Stallings Nacogdoches, TX (936)462-1021 Ages: Pre-K3 - 8th Grade

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Pineywoods Community Academy Paramus Early College HighSchool Director: Bruce Marchand ECHS Principal: Merilyn Session Secondary Principal: Monica Gunter Elementary Assistant Principal:  Delbert Murphy 602 S Raguet Lufkin, TX 75904 (936)634-5515 Ages: Pre-K 4 - 12th Grade

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Lufkin ISD DUAL Language Director: Sylvia Eubanks (936)630-4290 Ages: Kindergarten - 12th Grade

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9. Regents Academy Headmaster: David Bryant 200 NE Stallings Nacogdoches, TX 75961 (936)559-7343 Ages: 4 years - 12th Grade

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10. SFA Charter School Principal: Lysa Hagan (936)468-5899 M-F, 7:30am-3pm Ages: Kindergarten - 5th Grade

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11. St. Cyprian’s Episcopal School Head of School: Mr. Brinn Williford 1115 S. John Redditt Lufkin, TX 75904 (936)632-1720 Become a fan of St. Cyprian’s Episcopal School on facebook. Ages: 3 years - 5th Grade

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12. St. Patrick Catholic School Administrator: Jim Menz 2116 Lowry St. Lufkin, TX 75901 (936)634-6719 Visit us on Facebook! M-F, 7:15am—5:30pm Ages: 3 years - 8th Grade

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St. Cyprian’s Episcopal School


t. Cyprian’s Episcopal School is turning a corner. Literally.

Four years of sustained enrollment increases has caused the school to run out of classroom space, and Brinn Williford, Head of School, knows why. “We have been working very hard over the last several years to improve an already-great product – our curriculum is better, our publicity is better, and we are offering extra-curricular

opportunities that were previously not offered. But for us to grow over 30% in four years in a difficult economic environment can only be a God thing.” The school and its Board of Directors have been anticipating the need for a physical expansion of the school’s footprint since their annual summer Board retreat. “We looked at the enrollment numbers for this year, and knew we needed a plan,” Williford said.

A parent survey last fall indicated that the constituents of the school saw the same areas of need as the Board – increased instructional space, cafeteria space, an outdoor education center, and improved facilities for dyslexia therapy. At a presentation to the school community on February 7th, plans were shown for the proposed expansion, and then came the big news. “We received word that our grant proposal to the T.L.L. Temple Foundation was accepted. The Temple Foundation has been extraordinarily generous to our school over the years, and we are very grateful for their continued support.” Expansion of the school will go out the end of the 4th & 5th grade hallway, and “turn the corner” to connect with exterior specialty classrooms. Six classrooms will be added, allowing for the continuation of smaller, intimate class sizes that allow for greater attention to be given to each learner. The Dyslexia Therapy Department will have its own wing in that expansion, containing offices for four therapists and a large area for group therapy opportunities. The outdoor education center will be in the front of the school, offering students the opportunity to experience hands-on learning in life science and physical science. “It is just a tremendous time to be a part of the St. Cyprian’s family,”, said Williford.

28 / The Journey - March 2012 / 29




ineywoods Community Academy, Lufkin’s only charter school, is a free public school funded by taxpayer dollars and is accredited by the Texas Education Agency.

The school serves students from grades Pre-K through 12, with 12th grade being added in the fall of 2012. The class size of 20 students or less provides individualized instruction and a student-centered approach. All teachers are state certified in the subjects they teach and are designated as “highly qualified” under NCLB standards, with 30% of the staff holding advanced degrees. PCA’s director, Bruce Marchand, has 31 years of experience in Texas public education as a teacher, principal, curriculum director, and executive director of curriculum and instruction in a large suburban Texas school district. The combined administrative staff brings over 120 years of public school experience to the academy. Pineywoods also has a close working relationship with Angelina College through PCA’s PARAMUS Early College High School, which gives students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to take dual credit courses at Angelina College. PARAMUS is the name of Pineywoods’ Early College High School and an acronym that stands for Pineywoods Academy Rigorous Academic Meritorious University Studies. The motto of PARAMUS Early College High School is Ad Vitam Paramus, a Latin phrase that means “We are preparing for life.” High school students can earn up to 60 hours of college credit or an associate’s degree. PARAMUS is the only Early College High School designated by the Texas Education Agency in the greater Angelina County area. The school is expanding, with plans for a $4.5 million building expansion, and also in the number of students with enrollment now at more than 560 students. As part of that growth in numbers, the

30 / The Journey - March 2012

school will have its first senior class in the 2012-13 school year. The $4.5 million expansion, set the begin in the early fall, will include a cafeteria, competition gymnasium, science labs, and additional classroom space. The addition of a gym will help house a growing sports program that will include high school sports for the first time in the 2012-13 school year. The school currently competes at the junior high level in cross country, tennis, golf, track and boys’ and girls’ basketball. All of those are scheduled to be added at the high school level and the school is scheduled to compete in District 23 1A Division with Broaddus, Brookeland, San Augustine, Zavalla, and West Sabine. The school will have both junior high and high school cheerleading and drill team squads in 2012-13. The junior high cheerleading and drill team squads currently participate in area competitions. The school also competes in UIL Academics from grades 2 through high school and has a high school Speech and Debate team that travels to area competitions. PCA also has an award-winning choral music and theater program. Participation in other advanced academic competitions includes Robotics teams at elementary, junior high, and high school and Destination Imagination. The school recently purchased 90 iPads to give students access to enhanced learning opportunities using the latest technology. Pineywoods also has a Gifted and Talented Program and participates in National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society. Pineywoods has an Afterschool Care Program that stays open as late as 6 p.m. for younger students.

PINEYWOODS COMMUNITY ACADEMY College Preparatory Charter School

OUTSTANDING ACADEMICS • 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.

Accredited Through Texas Education Agency

602 S. Raguet • Lufkin • 936-634-5515 • / 31

A Hot Mess Fabulous Finds for Less

Upscale consignment boutique with a fabulous selection of womens, childrens & maternity clothes as well as new gift items such as trendy jewelry & purses. Currently accepting consignments.

Hilltop Nursery& Antiques SPRING GRAND OPENING

Starting Friday, March 16


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Gaslight Plaza 1825 W Frank Ave. Lufkin, TX 75904


M–F: 10am–6pm Sat: 10am–5pm Sun: Closed

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Hanging baskets, roses, shrubs, bedding plants, concrete, wrought iron, & lots more!

2524 North US 69, Lufkin – just outside the NW loop 936-637-7270 Friend us on Facebook

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32 / The Journey - March 2012

Let Your School Memories Last Forever! 121 east frank~lufkin

(936) 639-6369

Your Life hometown talent 34 stretchmarks 36 relationships 37 womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health 39 why i love being a grandmother 40

YOURLIFE | HOMETOWN TALENT MEET: Diana Grice COMPANY: The Vintage Junk Company PRODUCT: Upcycled treasures! Everything is handmade & one of a kind!


or Diana Grice, her hobby began three years ago. It all started with her and things she did for her own house. She would search anywhere and everywhere possible to find a Louis type chair. Once she had one, she would rip out the fabric and replace with a funky color or crazy fabric. “I always wanted to paint things, “says Grice, “How boring to make it look exactly the same.” She started going to garage sales and any kind of junk market she could find. Then people started asking for her stuff. In Livingston, there is a radio station called MetroFair. It is an online open market. Anyone can call in and describe their product and sell their items. Diana started calling and listing her furniture for sale on the radio station. People started calling every day. Diana began noticing in catalogs and in a lot of shops that letters were very popular. She then started cutting and painting her own initial letters. Some of the first ones to receive her beautiful letters were friends and family that she gave to as gifts. “I started having people call me that I did not know ordering things, “said Grice. A close friend suggested she do a “market.” Diana had no idea what she was talking about. She decided to trust her and do it. In the meantime, she tried her hand at making, painting, and decorating crosses to add to her line as well. Then it all began! “My hobby turned into a business! I called the comptroller and went to my bank to figure out what I needed to do. All I know is I didn’t mean to do this!” The Vintage Junk Company began. Diana Grice says she has never been good at anything and that she has finally found something she is good at. “I believe with all of my heart that I was put on this earth to be my daughter’s mother.” But now she says that she has something she can do, too. There are a lot of letters you can buy and order from an array of companies. For The Vintage Junk Company, her signature look is the finish on the wood. She has tried and tried to master different ways of doing it. Everything she does is handmade and one of a kind. She also does a lot of custom work. “I do not like to tell people no. I’ll try anything once.” She displays her work in My Place Restaurant in Livingston. The Vintage Junk Company is also on Facebook to take orders as well. To see more from Diana Grice, visit her facebook page, The-Vintage-Junk-Company, or call her at 936.328.6571


Lufkin Chamber Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Networking Luncheon / 35

by Melissa Lee



March (Morning) Madness have a friend who lives in California. Hollywood, California. This makes her a foreign specimen, to say the least. She is blond, beautiful and spoilt. When I grow up I want to be just like her. But I digress…

headlines have anything to do with politics, war, or weather leave the room. If there is a headline about a missing woman, a celebrity marriage or a pageant queen who gained too much weight, I curl back up under the covers and watch.

Several months back we were talking about our morning routine. I would now like to recant for you her morning routine, which I can remember word-for-word: “What do you mean morning routine?” she asked.

7:21 am: I overhear The Attorney General saying for the 100th time, “Pop-tart or Fruit Loops?” And I wonder why in the world he gives them a choice and now know why they think he is much nicer than me.

“What do you do in the mornings? When you wake up?” She looked at me like I was speaking German. I continued, “When the sun begins to come up and the rooster crows, what is the first thing you do?”

7:30 am: I call the first one in. “Remi! Let’s get dressed for school.” There is so much wailing and rending of garmets I feel like I am in the Old Testament.

“Nothing. I sleep.” “But at some point you have to get up, get your kids off to school, make coffee, use the bathroom…” “Oh that! Yeah, I don’t do that. My husband does it all.” “What do you mean he does it all?” “I mean, I sleep in every morning. I am just not a morning person. So he gets the kids up and off to school and then I usually wake up around 11.” Hollywood. California. Did I mention that? It was then that she asked me what my morning routine was, and because I don’t think it’s the Southern belle’s way to make people feel ill at ease, I re-assured her that my morning routine also began around 11 and that I never saw my husband and kids until they got home from work or school because I, too, was not a morning person and my husband was perfectly okay with that. (And then I went straight to hell for lying.)

7:31 am: “Fine. Rocco, come get dressed for school.” He comes, willingly. And all goes well until it’s time to fix his hair. I have to explain why camo hats are not allowed in school. I make a concession that goes like this, “Fine. You let me fix your hair and you can wear the camo hat to church on Wednesday night but you cannot take your blankie to school and no, you cannot ride in the front seat of the car but if you sit in your booster seat without crying I will buy you a slushie after school and you can go to bed thirty minutes later tonight.” I’m not sure who won but we both seem happy. And exhausted. 7:40 am: The AG has asked me for the tenth time if his hairline in back is straight. It’s been crooked since I met him in 1992. I tell him “yes” and he seems perfectly content with it. 7:41 am: I coax Remi in to get her school clothes on. When I am done I tell myself that there is now no need to work out. I am sweating, my heart rate is up and I’m starving. Seems logical to me.

Because here’s the truth: my morning routine is anything but glamourous. My morning routine consists of meltdowns, mishaps, spilt milk thoughts of murder. Here, I’ll show you…

7:45 am: The AG and I play Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who has to take the kids to school. We fight over whether it’s down on three or down on four. We do it again. Ha! Paper covers rock. I mock him.

6:45am: I inform the Attorney General that his alarm has gone off four times since 5:30 - and that if he didn’t intend on going to the gym I would prefer he cut if off entirely as it roused me from that dream where I am attending the Golden Globes in a sleeveless dress. And he knows I only get to wear sleeveless in my dreams!

7:49 am: I forgot to make the kids lunches! Ugh! I run to the kitchen to see we are out of bread. I convince Rocco that peanut butter and jelly is great between crackers. He begins to cry and I’m not sure how but he’s now wearing a camo hat to school. Remi gets another Lunchable and I remind myself to have her sodium levels checked.

7:00 am: I turn on the Today Show with Matt, Ann and Al in order to watch the headlines. If the

7:51 am: The Attorney General has opened up the door to find it is 32 degrees outside. Are you

kidding me? Yesterday it was 77. I grab a coat from the coat closet that belongs to neither of my children. “Momma, that isn’t my coat.” “Who’s coat is it?” “I don’t know, I found it at the park. And its too big for me. And it’s a boys.” “Put it on, Remi. Your teachers already talk about me!” I can’t find one for Rocco so I remind him of that lost and found jacket that has been hanging up in his classroom since Christmas. I tell him to go over and put it on before they go out on the playground. He promises he will and I cross my fingers. 7:53 am: I kiss them goodbye one at a time. First is The Attorney General, who reminds me he has a business dinner tonight with adults who sip wine and eat steak. I decide to pick up frozen waffles so the kids and I can also have a nice dinner. Second is Rocco, who reminds me that he spilt an entire cup of chocolate milk in his bed yesterday morning and now “it smelz wike a nasty.” And last, but not least, is Remi. I tell her to be good at school, do not talk when the teacher is talking, stay on green and don’t argue with the teacher! She tells me I have bad breath. I kiss her anyway. 7:55 am: The AG runs back in to grab their lunch kits that he left lying on the counter. I meet him at the door. I kiss him. I thank him for running them to school with an, “I owe you one.” He gives me the eye that means he plans to collect, and I lock the door on his way out so my mother doesn’t surprise me with an early morning “Why is your house already so messy?” visit. 7:56 am: I crawl back in to bed, look at the clock, and know that I have exactly 45 minutes to be at work. I think about my friend in California and think about all that she’s missing by not getting up and seeing her family off for the day. I think about how much she’s missing and how sweet their kisses felt as they left my door. I also think about how every article I write is supposed to wrap up sweetly and tidy and I’m supposed to realize that by me being up and being a part of my families morning routine I am contributing to their day as well as my personal well-being. But instead I roll my eyes, pull the covers over my head and think, “Well, what do ya know? Hollywood got one thing right! They let their momma’s sleep in!”

Melissa Lee recently moved back to her hometown of Lufkin after living in Nashville for 15 years as a studio session singer. She uses her maiden name as to not mortify her husband on a daily basis. Together they have two kids, Remi and Rocco, who they adore but will admit – are pretty bad. She spends her weekends traveling and speaking to women’s groups, writing or leading in worship at her church. She is constantly astounded at the sweetness of God, the goodness of her husband and the friendship of her mother. She can’t say “no” to a Channing Tatum movie or a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

by Kathryn Greene



It’s Hard to Keep on Feeling Love “I wish I didn’t care so much, and then it wouldn’t hurt so badly!” “He did it again! He said such hurtful things!” “I know my son loves me, but if I don’t do what he wants, he withdraws the grandchildren from me.” “My sister is such a manipulator – I have no desire to be around her!” Those are remarks that are heard often by people who are being emotionally hurt by those they love. People handle these hurtful relationships in different ways – some good, and some not so well. Some people withdraw and put up an emotional wall saying, “They will never hurt me again.” They determine to distance themselves from the relationship – whether it is physical or emotional distancing. The truth of that decision is that you not only keep out the hurt, but also the love. You begin to not feel love for that person, forgetting that love is a decision followed by feelings. You don’t feel your way into an action, you choose to act and the feelings will follow. To escape from their pain, people may work longer hours, spend more time at the gym, take up a new hobby, or even volunteer for more ministries at their church. Running away or withdrawing is never the answer to deal with the hurt. An often quoted verse from the Bible is, “With God all things are possible!” – (Luke 1:37) God wants to walk with you through your pain. The person that is hurting you may or may not change – you certainly can’t change them. God knows His kids and He knows what it takes to change someone. Your part is to ask God to help you! You may want to disconnect from the one that is hurting you, but you actually need to start finding ways to connect. When you feel you can’t do it anymore; stop, pray, cry, and pray some more until you have peace. We can give up on things, but not on people. God does not like abuse, and we definitely need to set boundaries, but do it the right way. God doesn’t throw us away like a paper plate – He gave His life for us to experience His life in us. It seems like everyone struggles with communicating effectively. We think we know our loved one, but do we really? One of the first things I recommend is to spend time rekindling your love for your spouse,

child, sibling, friend, etc. “Stir the flames of the love emotion.” Think about that child when you first felt them in your womb, when you first saw their tiny little face, when they took their first step or when they finally said “Mommy”. There is still that little child inside of that 6 foot frame. Think about your spouse the first time you saw him… didn’t your heart do a flutter? You thought he could do no wrong, and he certainly was the best thing that you had ever seen! Think about that friend who had always been there… you shopped together, ate together, shared secrets and loved on each other’s kids. Allow God to renew your love for her. Remember how it was as children. You and your sister would get in arguments and you would be ready to hit her. But let someone else get in a fight with her, and you would quickly come to her rescue. Although you were very different in personality, you would always defend your sister – she was flesh and blood. What do you have in common? Focus on that and let go of your differences. What happened? Hurt and pain have covered up your feelings of love. In all of our relationships there is a need from time to time to go back to the beginning and renew our love for those we care about. You will probably find out the pain they are inflicting on you is really out of their own hurt. Someone has to be the bigger one and stop the merrygo-round. Take time to read from the Bible in I Corinthians 13:7 where you will see what true love is: It never gives up, bears all things, hopes all things, believes all things, and endures all things. Look at the pain that Jesus bore for us, but He didn’t quit, He “hung” in there! The answer is not found in running away or walling up your heart to keep from feeling the pain. Love is truly the answer. God loved us when we didn’t love Him. He gives us the grace to love others when they don’t act loving toward us and when they are difficult to love. Remember, cry out to God, find the grace to keep on behaving love and let God bring about the change in them. He is the One that can change them – you can’t! You are to love them – even if they are unlovable.

David Sees, M.D., cardiothoracic surgeon and member of the medical staff at WHMC, will talk about a variety of women’s health issues, including cardiovascular disease. Abby Rike, former contestant on The Biggest Loser, will share her inspiring story.

Join us for the

8TH ANNUAL WOMEN IN RED LUNCHEON Thursday, april 26, 2012 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Pitser Garrison Civic Center, Lufkin

Woodland Heights Medical Center will celebrate the anniversary of Healthy Woman, a series of free monthly education programs and interactive events.

Tickets are $20 each or $200 for a reserved table of 8. To purchase tickets, call 637-8688. Seating is limited.


Lufkin Kiwanis Club 2011 Spelling Bee

38 / The Journey - March 2012

photographed by Lisa Crow

by Kaywin Carter, MD, FACOG and Jerry Johnson, MD, FACOG




Greater Precision, Reduced Pain & Recovery Time


f your doctor has recommended a major surgical procedure, it’s not uncommon to be anxious about the prospect of going under anesthesia, post-surgical pain, possible scarring and recovery time.

In recent years, minimally invasive surgery has become a popular method for treating many condition , both for physicians and for patients. The newest incarnation of the minimally invasive approach is robotic surgery, and the technology is revolutionizing the performance of many surgical procedures. Robotic technology has been used on a limited basis since the mid-1980s. In recent years, technological advances have made robotic surgery more accessible and widespread. Robotic surgery is commonly used in gynecological surgeries for women such as hysterectomies, uterine fibroid removal, or surgical repair of the bladder floor; uterine and prostate procedures in men; and more recently, surgeries involving the heart, lungs, thoracic (chest cavity), thyroid and general surgery. Other procedures in which robotic surgery is highly effective include removal of bladder stones, partial or full kidney removal, complete bladder removal or gastric bypass surgery. Robotic surgery is also useful in dissecting and removing lymph nodes during cancer operations. Woodland Heights Medical Center offers robotic surgery for multiple gynecologic procedures, including hysterectomy, removal of ovarian cysts and endometriosis resection. Most often, our hysterectomy patients go home after one overnight stay in the hospital. They are eating and moving about within 24 hours of surgery, and many women are able to return to their normal activities in two weeks. Robotic surgery offers an alternative to traditional open surgery and conventional laparoscopy. The system, comprised of a camera, thin robotic arms and a console located at the bedside of the patient, gives the surgeon the ability to view the entire surgical site in three-dimensional detail, magnified 10 to 15

times, and perform highly detailed, complex procedures. Instead of a single, large opening in the patient’s body, several small incisions, usually less than a half-inch in length, are made at the surgical site. The surgical robot usually has three or four arms; one that contains a small camera, two that act as the surgeon’s hands, and an optional third arm that moves obstructions. The surgeon follows the same steps used in traditional surgery, but the robotic arms act as an extension of the surgeon’s hands, translating hand motions in real-time synchronization into microscopic movements inside the patient’s body. This technique offers several advantages for the surgeon: crisp, highly detailed images of the surgical area, the ability to perform complex, precise maneuvers with greater dexterity and control and without disrupting surrounding tissues, and greater freedom of movement in a confined space. More importantly, there are several advantages for the patient. Because the surgery allows the physician to go directly to the site with minimal disturbance of other body structure, no bones are separated or muscles cut to reach the surgical site, resulting in fewer traumas to the patient’s body. The smaller incisions also mean less damage to surrounding tissue, reduced blood loss, and smaller sutures. Consequently, there is usually less healing time required for the patient to recover. Patients typically experience less postoperative pain and require a shorter hospital stay. Many patients are often ready to go home in two to four days after surgery, experience a shorter recovery time of one to three weeks, and are able to return to routine daily activities more quickly, with a reduced likelihood of post-surgical complications. And, because the surgery is minimally invasive, there is a decreased likelihood of scar tissue developing, which often requires surgical follow-up after a major procedure. Your doctor will evaluate the option of robotic

surgery with you during the planning process for your surgery, taking into consideration factors including your age, weight, general health, and any prior surgical history. Because robotic surgery typically requires a longer surgery time, patients who are ill, elderly or frail, for example, may fare best with traditional surgery. Your physician will recommend the most appropriate plan for your individual case. To learn more, visit the Health Resources link on the Woodland Heights web site at to read the latest news about robotic surgery, or call our office today at 936-632-1533 for a consultation with one of our health professionals. Remember that this information is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor, but rather to increase awareness and help equip patients with information to facilitate conversations with their physician.

About the Author: Dr. Carter and Dr. Johnson are board certified obstetrician gynecologists with extensive training in robotic surgery. They have each performed over 400 robotic surgeries.

Pictured (L to R): Katherine Diggs, Nurse Practitioner, Dr. Kaywin Carter, Dr. Jerry Johnson, Karol Brown, Nurse Practitioner Sources:, © Copyright 2010 - Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation. These articles are for use by CHS-affiliated hospitals only. / 39





ebbie Owens is “my grandma” to seven grandchildren, two of whom are foster grandchildren. She and her husband, Lawrence, have two children, Dayna and Trent. Dayna and her husband have five children, and Trent and his wife are fostering two children in hopes of adopting them. One of Debbie’s favorite things about being a grandmother is showering her love on her children’s children and teaching them in many ways. Reading to the children and having them read to her is a favorite pastime. They also spend many hours in the kitchen having fun and learning about new things. Training the children in the ways of the Lord is very important to Debbie. She says, “Each of them has such different personalities, dispositions and talents, and I can’t wait to see how they will be used by the Lord.” Although she doesn’t mind correcting her grandchildren, Debbie loves the fact that she isn’t solely responsible for it. Debbie explains, “A lot of what I get to see as a grandmother is what I experienced as a stay-athome mom. I love getting to see these things all over again with my grandchildren.” Debbie’s daughter, Dayna, is homeschooling her children, and Debbie has the privilege of teaching them math. She also enjoys doing crafty things with the children and helping them learn skills that will be useful in life. This summer, Debbie is planning a sewing camp with the girls and a bird house building camp with the boys. The Owens’ were delighted when their son Trent and his wife decided to adopt children. They have opened their hearts to two foster children and hope that very soon, they will be their permanent grandchildren. Until that happens, they are committed to pouring everything they have into the lives of these young babies. 40 / The Journey - March 2012

Your Child pretty babies 42 parent thoughts 44 birthday bash 45 why i love being a mom 46

photographed by Morgan Due

YOURCHILD | PRETTY BABIES 5 1. Jace Carlton Christopher. July 4, 2011. Proud Parents: Chad & Amanda Christopher (Pollok). Proud Grandparents: Pam Click / Tim Click / Tammy & Keith Phelps / Paul Christopher. 2. Adam Scott Hay. December 14, 2011. Proud Parents: Kyle & Kristen Hay. Proud Siblings: Caleb, Morgan, Scarlett, Anna Claire and Francesca Hay. Proud Grandparents: Tom & Barb Flournoy / Scott & LaNell Hay. 3. Elizabeth Danielle Headrick. March 16, 2011. Proud Parents: Jeff & Dena Headrick. Proud Grandparents: Godfrey & Maurine Headrick / David & Diane Wagner. 4. Aubrey Ann Leclaire. October 6, 2011.  Proud Parents: Jay & Meagan Leclaire.  Proud Grandparents: Richard & Sharon Modisette / Larry & Judi Howell / Glen & Michele Leclaire. 5. Leah Lynn Sapp. November 20, 2011. Proud Parents: Jacob & Sarah Sapp. Proud Siblings: Isaac and Rebekah Sapp. Proud Grandparents: Terry & Sally Clifton / Lewis & Libby Sapp. 6. Breylan Kace Stanbery. June 30, 2011. Proud Parents: Jake & Emily Stanbery (Huntington). Proud Grandparents: John & Holly Stanbery (Huntington) / Juanita Hardy & Donnie Carroll (Huntington) / Randy Hardy (Lufkin). 7. Jed Carter Stanbery. March 8, 2011. Proud Parents: Chris & Krystal Stanbery. Proud Grandparents: John & Holly Stanbery (Huntington) / Doris & Scott Shipley (Huntington). 8. Gunner Payton Vest. November 29, 2011. Proud Parents: Mark & Jamie Vest (Lufkin,TX). Proud Grandparents: Mark & Margie Ferden (Lufkin,TX) /James & Peggy Richard (Lufkin,TX). Proud Great Grandparents: Alice Snider (Lufkin,TX) /Ann Childress (Lufkin, TX) /Warren & Melba Ferden.

1 6 2

E-mail Pretty Babies submissions to or mail to PO Box 150537 Lufkin 75915. Please include the information seen above. Submissions are free of charge.





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springbreak MONDAY The Waterpark at the Villages


Spring Break. It’s that week the schools give us to spend with our sweet kids– long enough to reconnect, yet short enough to avoid the sounds of whining and video games that the summer break will inevitably bring. Here’s a week’s worth of day trip ideas to get you started off right!

Located in Flint, just outside of Tyler, this indoor water park, with a retractable roof, opened in 2008 and has something for everyone. There are 4 big water slides, a lazy river, and a wave pool, but the biggest draw for me is the young child’s area. This playscape has several small child water slides, a huge bucket that dumps gallons of water from overhead and bridges and waterspouts galore! Spring Break hours: M-F 10-8, Sat/Sun 10-9 | Cost: $19.95/adult, $16.95/under 48”, Free/under 2

TUESDAY SciPort Science Center

SciPort in Shreveport is a wonderful, hands-on learning experience where children of all ages can spend hours exploring and learning. The galleries and exhibits cover almost every area of science and math. From pulleys and skeletons to swamp creatures and, our children’s favorite, a bed of nails, kids will leave with full brains and tired bodies! Spring Break hours: M-F 10-6, Sunday Noon-6 | Cost: $13/adult, $10/ages 3-12

WEDNESDAY Heritage Village

Visit a pioneer village straight out of the mid 1800s to early 1900s. Walk through an old-time blacksmith shop. Check out a railroad depot. Visit a livery stable and one of the community’s many log cabins or just stroll through the East Texas forest. See demonstrations of the old ways from people who have either studied the art or lived it. While you’re there, be sure to enjoy the home style, southern food at the world famous Pickett House Restaurant. Hours: 9 - 5 | Cost: $4/adult, $2/children under 12

THURSDAY Discovery Science Place

Tyler Children’s Museum Here is a place for kids to discover through hands-on fun! Children of all ages can explore caves and a huge ship, role-play in Hometown, USA, and build, build, and build to their hearts’ content! Hours: M-Sat 9-5, Sunday 1-5 | Cost: $6/person, 2 and under free

FRIDAY Steam Excursion at Texas State Railroad

This is a must for your little train enthusiast! A roundtrip excursion on one of the historic steam engines departs from the Rusk depot at 11 am and returns at 3:30 pm. The trip is 1 ½ hours each way with a 1 ½ hour lunch layover at the Palestine depot for a total 4 ½ hour experience. Each ticket includes a delicious box lunch made fresh from the Bon Appétit Coffee Shop & Bakery. Spring Break: runs Tues-Sat | Cost: Standard Seating $56/adult, $38/ages 3-11

SATURDAY Kemah Boardwalk

Located just 20 miles from downtown Houston, the Kemah Boardwalk is home to fabulous waterfront restaurants, amusements, charming retail stores, festivals and daily seaside shows. Children can enjoy taking a ride on the train, stomping waterspouts, splashing in the sprinklers, feeding the hungry catfish, touching a stingray and much more! And for the big kid inside yourself, don’t miss the exciting roller coaster, the Boardwalk Bullet! Amusement Hours: M-Th 12-8, Fri 12-10, Sat 10:30 – 10, Sun 10:30 – 9.

For more information, visit . Logon before March 10 and enter to win 4 VIP tickets on a Steam Excursion or 4 tickets to SciPort!

Kelly Finnerud and husband, Ryan, have 3 energetic kids, Aiden (7), Trace (5) and Emmy (3).. They have been married 10 yrs. Ryan is worship pastor at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches and Kelly has a music education degree and has been a band director in the area until staying home with young children. Kelly writes for, an online resource sharing local activities, parenting stories and anything else kid-related in our area.




arsen’s 6th Birthday was full of color! The very talented Suzy Childers of Lou Stationery Studio led all the party guests in sketching and painting themselves. There was fun to be had by the parents just as much as the children! They all enjoyed being able to get creative and do something fun at a birthday party. The best part was being able to take their self portraits home as their party favors. There was nothing more fitting than hosting the event at the Museum of East Texas.  Happy 6th Birthday Larsen Goforth! / 45




am not sure when this happened, but at some point I became an adult and left my childhood years behind me. The carefree days, when my biggest decision was whether to play hopscotch in the front yard with my sister or hide and seek with my neighborhood friends, are long gone. In their place, I have been left with the real life stresses that all adults face on a daily basis; family, work, illnesses, etc. In the midst of all of this “seriousness,” God has given me two reasons to feel like a kid again with two little boys who LOVE life. Life is absolutely hilarious to them. They giggle, laugh guffaw at just about everything. Even in my carefree days, I am not sure that I thought life was just a barrel of laughs, but my two boys do. No situation is safe from their constant hilarity. If someone tells a joke, that’s funny! Hanging out together, that’s funny! If they get in trouble, sometimes even that’s funny, too! At times, their ability to look at life and laugh it all off is something of a mystery to me, but God had a plan when He gave me these two, light-hearted, fun-loving and mischievous little young men. He wanted to teach me a lesson. Life is FUN. Sure, there are hard times. Everyone has them and they usually catch up with us when we least expect it, but if I look at these times through the eyes of my boys, somewhere there is joy to be found. Everyone that knows me, knows that I am Type A (I am an accountant after all), and there have been times when things get under my skin, but these two little smiles have taught me so much. Who would have thought that the parent would be learning from the child at my age? But I do, and on a regular basis. My two little jokesters are full of beautiful spirit, and they remind me constantly that life is not all about serious situation after serious situation. Sometimes all we need is a good laugh to make it through, and that is one reason why I laugh and LOVE being a Mom.




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Journey March 2012  

The Journey Magazine March 2012