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Welcome t happens every year. September is a month of new beginnings for the Oliver house. It begins the month of our new routine. After a very long summer, there is no doubt, Momma Oliver is ready for the month of September to roll around. We had a fun, eventful summer, but trying to keep four kids busy and entertained for 12 weeks— after week 8—September could not come soon enough! I have to make notes and mental notes for what I will do differently and change for next year’s summer schedule.


I know I am not the only one. I have heard from many mothers out there trying to co-op summer activities and whatever else they can come up! September is also a new beginning for friendships for the kids and parents. We have new classes with new class mates, which also means I will make new friends with all the new classmates’ parents. The parents of my children’s friends are some of my dearest friends. It is so neat to look back on your journey and see the paths God has created for you; the people God put in your life through different circumstances. This year, our super energetic, hyper active, ball full of energy, never slows down, 90 to nothing four year old (Brodie for those of you who could not guess) will play on his first organized sports team. Yes, it makes this momma nervous and excited all at the same time. Nervous for all those anxious thoughts like, “Will he stop

long enough to listen to the rules? Will he follow the rules? Will he understand when they say you cannot to do___?” It really means do not do it even if you are really really tempted?” At the same time, I am excited, because for once, he will finally be in his element! He was made to be outside and run! I might as well go ahead and tell everyone to remember his name, Brodie Cole Oliver; he is a future Olympian! Clay and I have yet to agree on the ”perfect” sport for him to excel in. Hopefully that rabbit trail explained, that because of the new sport, we will meet new parents and hopefully make new friends. It is exciting to see your children excel and do something they enjoy— whether that is through their academic studies, extracurricular studies, or skills you see they good at around the house. Thanks to every September rolling around, we can see what the new school Lisa Crow   year will hold for the Oliver family. New skills learned. New friends made. New challenges set. All in all, a season for new beginnings! Happy September for your family!



A vacation to remember... EXPLORE OUR  VARIETY  OF   TROPICAL  CHARMS.

2002 S.  First  Street Lufkin,  TX  75901   936.637.2848 Sterling  silver  charms  from  $25


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9 YOURHOME 10 12 16 17

Home Tour: the Hicks’ Home Decor & Design: Glow Bubble Party In the Kitchen: Homegating Playbook Your Pantry: More Fruits & Vegetables

19 PARADEofHOMES 25 YOURCOMMUNITY 26 27 30 32 39 42

Hometown Talent: Hayle Garner & Love Letters Stretch Marks: Modern Family Vacation Calendar Texas State Forest Festival Inspiring Woman: BJ Johnson Inspiring Young Woman: the Hudson Lady Hornets

Stephanie Oliver President Beth Johnson | Managing Editor Kim Iribarren | Director of Sales Terry Campbell | f]ÔZ\7kadX^%Zfd F]ÔZ\DXeX^\i&8ZZflekXek


Macy Haffey Layout and Design

45 YOURLIFE 46 48 50 51

Girls Group: the Panther Nation Wallet: Consignment Relationships: Patiently Waiting Women’s Health: Find Relief for Fall Allergy Symptoms

Lisa Crow | Event Photographer Morgan Due Event Photographer

53 YOURCHILD 54 56 57 60 62

Pretty Babies Parent Thoughts: Potty Talk Look at Me Birthday Bash: A Splashing Good Time Why I Love Being a Mom: Pam Hudson

CONTRIBUTORS Kelly Finnerud Kathryn Greene Pam Hudson Amy McLeod Melissa Radke Jane Shepherd Jennifer Stevens


DISTRIBUTION Lisa Crow Janet Glover Jarod Thompson



16 Cover Photo by Morgan Due

Contact Us: Mailing: P O B ox 1 5 0 5 37 L u f k i n , Texa s 75 9 1 5 P hys i c a l : 1 1 5 E . S h e p h e rd L u f k i n , Texa s 75 9 0 1 936-­634-­7188

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City-­Wide  Delivery


                  200  Gaslight  Blvd.                  Lufkin,  TX


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8  /  The  Journey  -  September  2012

Your Home home  tour  10 decor  &  design  12 in  the  kitchen  16 your  pantry  17


the H icks’  home he beautiful and traditional home of David and Bonny Hicks rests on the backside of 30 private acres. Their love for antiques and heirlooms, matched with historic homes and beautiful estates, gave them the inspiration needed for their family of five. David and Bonny are the parents of three toddler boys: Ben, John, and Luke. The Hicks patterned their home after a 1920’s style home. The one and a half story home features 12 foot ceilings, five bedrooms, four baths, formal living room, play room, and upstairs den. A few of the custom additions are the unfinished oak floors that David installed himself, eight foot double mahogany front doors, and the living room mantle that was salvaged out of a house being torn down in Lufkin. Being in the Estate Sales business, the Hicks family home is filled with character and charming additions in every room.


by Jane  Shepherd


glow bubble  party his time of year lends itself to fun outdoor gatherings. What better addition to nighttime fun than a glow bubble party? To make the bubbles, pour a large container of bubbles into a pitcher. Open several yellow highlighters and squeeze the juice out of them into the bubbles. Stir it well. To make the bubbles glow best, you need to hang a black light over the area where you will be blowing the bubbles. They will shine a great neon color.


To make the labels for the containers, use neon stickers and a black background paper. Use the labels for gift bags and various containers. Make small glow bubble wands by taping glow bracelets into small circles. Use a pipe cleaner to attach another glow bracelet for the wand’s stick. You can also use glow straws and tape them together to make small bubbles. Be sure to tie a glow bubble wand around each jar of bubbles. These make great party favors. To make the slime, follow the recipe at It won’t hurt to add more highlighter juice to enhance the color. For additional party decorations, string a garland of glow sticks around the table. Use fabric with neon colors to make a tablecloth. Remember, anything neon and white glows under a black light! At our party, the highlighter juice didn’t stain anything, but you might want to have an adult monitor the bubbles, just to make sure the mess stays to a minimum.

12 /  The  Journey  -  September  2012

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.

Emily Watts’  Oasis

When you  are  looking  for  the  best! 'HVLJQ‡,QVWDOODWLRQ‡6XSSOLHV‡6HUYLFH (936)  637-­6252 1605  E  Denman  Ave,  Lufkin

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HOMEGATING PLAYBOOK Tips to make a game day party fun for everyone

Game day is no time to be sidelined in the kitchen. Do a little pre-game planning so you can spend less time cooking and more time cheering on the home team. Keep it simple — Instead of taking up space with a lot of dishes to hold condiments, use muffin pans. Each well in the pans can hold a different topping for your burgers, hot dogs or chili. Put a spoon in each for easy dipping. It’s simple, fun, and you’ll have fewer post-game dishes to wash. Set up a dipping station — Have a selection of salsas and guac available so everyone can have their favorite. From Wholly Salsa’s classics to the new red pepper mango or roasted tomato varieties, fans can find a salsa to cheer about. And for guacamole lovers, try Wholly Guacamole’s all-natural, gluten free varieties. In addition to chips, set out some of these tasty dippers:


SNACKERS Yield: 10 to 12 1 tube pre-made pizza crust (thin) 1 7-ounce package Wholly Guacamole dip 1 red bell pepper cut into small strips Roll out uncooked pizza dough on counter. Use football or other shaped cookie cutter to cut pizza dough and place on cookie sheet sprayed lightly with oil. Yield: 28 taquitos

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1 orange, juiced 1 lime, juiced 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 2 teaspoons chili powder 1 teaspoon ground cumin 6 tablespoons canola oil, divided 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs 1/3 cup minced yellow onion 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced Make sure you have enough — Don’t disap- 1 7-ounce package Wholly Guacamole point guests by running out of munchies or 28 corn tortillas

drinks. Here’s how to figure out how much Mix together orange juice, lime juice, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin and 3 tablespoons canola. you need to prepare: ɅƌɄ !Ʉ4*0Ɩ- Ʉ#1$)"ɄźɄ/*ɄųŲɄ"0 ./.ƇɄŨ"0- Ʉ*)Ʉ Add to chicken and marinate for 20 to 30 minutes. three different appetizers. For up to 16 guests, Heat remaining canola oil over medium high heat. plan four or five appetizers. Remove chicken from marinade. Reserve marinade

ƌɄ *-Ʉ )*)Ɲ'*#*'$Ʉ -$)&.ƇɄ +')Ʉ *)Ʉ /2*Ʉ for later. 16-ounce cups per person. Plan on about two glasses of wine or three beers per person. ɅƌɄ*Ʉ#1 Ʉ )*0"#Ʉ$ Ʉ!*-Ʉ-$)&.ƇɄ.Ʉ2 ''Ʉ.Ʉ to keep drinks cold in a cooler, get about a pound and a half of ice per person. These game day recipes will score big with the crowd at your house. You can find more delicious ways to homegate at

Cook dough according to packaging instructions. Allow to thoroughly cool. When cool, spread with guacamole and use cheese shreds and pepper to create football laces and markings. Optional: Plate on a bed of shredded lettuce, and use sour cream to create field yard lines.

Cook chicken for 3 minutes on one side. Flip over and cook for another 3 minutes. Add reserved marinade, turn heat to low, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover, and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes. Shred chicken into a separate pan. Coat with a little of the reduced sauce — don’t use all of it or the taquitos will be oily. Mix chicken with guacamole, cilantro and onion. Warm tortillas, between wet paper towels, in the microwave (about 5 at a time), or by dipping them into a hot pan with a few tablespoons of oil. Add about 2 tablespoons filling to each tortilla. Roll up and skewer with a toothpick to hold it together. For best results, prepare deep fryer according to manufacturer’s instructions, and fry in batches for 2 minutes. When all taquitos have been fried, warm them up in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes.



by Amy  McLeod,  RD,  LD



Moms Survey Says We Need to Consume More Fruits & Vegetables s families cut back on grocery spending, they are also cutting back on fruits and vegetables. An annual survey of moms, conducted by Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), the nonprofit group behind the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® national public health initiative, has found that although 60 percent of moms continue to believe that their families eat too few fruits and vegetables, they are including less of them in meals and snacks. As a working mom, I know all too well how challenging this task can be.


the negative impact on mothers’ attitudes and shopping habits regarding fruits and vegetables, most notably in lower income households.

The results of the survey are a bit startling. Reported fruit consumption has dropped 12 percent since a year ago, and vegetable consumption is down 6 percent. The survey points to the nation’s current economic recession for

To give moms the tools they need, Brookshire Brothers supports the Produce for Better Health Foundation and the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® campaign. The Fruits & Veggies—More Matters website,

Most moms surveyed (87 percent) still believe it’s important to include fruits and vegetables in their family’s diet, but cost and family preferences cause them to feel defeated when it comes to incorporating healthier foods into their menus. Moms do need help as 90 percent of Americans consume fewer fruits and vegetables than the recommended daily amount, which ranges from 2 to 6 cups each day.


Preparation time: 20 minutes Serves: 1 ½ Cup of Vegetables per Serving 2 seconds butter-flavored cooking oil spray 1 (6-inch) flour tortilla 1½ tablespoons mild salsa ½ cup frozen yellow corn, cooked 1½ tablespoons cooked chicken breast, shredded 1 tablespoon cheddar cheese, shredded ½ teaspoon dried chives Instructions: Preheat oven to 400° F. Cook corn according to package instructions. Spray cookie sheet with cooking oil. Place tortilla on oiled sheet. Top with chicken, cooked corn, cheese, chives, and salsa. Bake for 10 minutes. Cut in quarters and serve. Nutrition Information per serving: calories: 257, total fat: 7.6g, saturated fat: 2.4g, % calories from fat: 26%, % calories from saturated fat: 8%, protein: 12g, carbohydrates: 38g, cholesterol: 19mg, dietary fiber: 4g, sodium: 441mg, includes tips, recipes and other resources to help moms make adding more fruits and vegetables to their families’ diet easier and more affordable than they might think. For example, to stretch their food budget, moms may use all forms of fruits and vegetables— fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100 percent juice—to satisfy their family’s healthy eating requirements. Health professionals agree it doesn’t matter what form you get your fruits and vegetables, just as long as you get them most days. Here are a few low-cost, quick recipes with simple ingredients to help you add more fruits and vegetables to your family’s diet, courtesy of Fruits and Veggies – More Matters.

FROSTY ORANGELICIOUSNESS Preparation time: 5 minutes Serves: 1 1 Cup of Fruit per Serving

½ cup fat-free vanilla ice cream ½ cup orange juice 1 orange, peeled and frozen 1 teaspoon orange zest (optional) Instructions: Place all ingredients in blender and enjoy! Nutrition Information per serving: calories: 211, total fat: 0.4g, saturated fat: 0.1g, % calories from fat: 2%, % calories from saturated fat: 0%, protein: 5g, carbohydrates: 49g, cholesterol: 0mg, dietary fiber: 4g, sodium: 67mg Each serving provides: An excellent source of vitamins A and C, folate and potassium, and a good source of calcium, magnesium and fiber. Recipe was developed for Produce for Better Health Foundation by Erika Kaeser-Stanley. Recipe from the Cool Fuel for Kids cookbook.

Each serving provides: A good source of vitamins A and C, folate, calcium and fiber. Recipe was developed for Produce for Better Health Foundation by Chef Mark Goodwin, CEC, CNC.

Amy McLeod,  RD,  LD  is  a  Registered  and  Licensed  Dietitian and  Healthy  Living  Spokeswoman  for  Brookshire  Brothers.


Aggie Moms Back to School Dinner

18 /  The  Journey  -  September  2012

Parade of  Homes  (DETAB) There  will  not  be  a  cost  to   enter  the  food  drive  this  year.   All  we  ask  is  that  you  bring  a   canned  good  so  it  can  be   donated  to  a  local  charity.   The  hours  will  be: September  8th  (10  am  -  6  pm)   &  September  9th  (1  pm  -  5  pm)   There  will  be  arrow  signs  up   near   a ll   o f   the   h ouses.  If   you  have  any  questions,   please  call  (936)676-9702.


3HW BUILDERS, LLC RICHARD HOOD “Every Home  We  Build  is  Custom.” [  191  Oak  Meadow  Lane  ]

20 /  The  Journey  -  September  2012



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[ 717  CR  1165,  Kennard,  Texas  75847  ]

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Your Community hometown  talent  26   stretch  marks  27 calendar  30 forest  festival  32 inspiring  woman  39 inspiring  young  woman  42


hayle garner  &  love  letters

round 2006, Hayle started doing little craft projects here and there for her family and friends. When she was doing projects, there was not a fee and she was not asking for anything in return. She says, “There were many times it was expensive and I would pray about it. I would ask God how could I make a living out of something I really wanted to do?” She felt His answer was to just wait. That is where the name “Love Letters” came from, since everything she made was coming from the love in her heart.

When she first started, she was making a lot of letters. Since then, she loves trying new things. She explains, “Most of my work now is mainly custom orders. My customers know I make anything. Now I have made garters, wedding decorations, homecoming mums and everything in between.”

It did not hurt her business to have her mom as a nail tech. Little by little, her mom started showing projects to her customers. Hayle laughs saying, “We all know how women are when it comes to cute stuff!”

You can find Hayle on facebook through “Love Letters” and see pictures of some of her work. She can also be reached at 936-675-3237.


26 /  The  Journey  -  September  2012

Hayle says her favorite item to make is her custom garter. She says, “It is just my way of putting my crafty touch into someone ‘s special day.” One of her most unique orders was for a custom wedding guest book.

by Melissa  Radke



modern family vacation The Loner: This is the one who you can never find. When it’s time to pack up and head in to town, they are taking a hike. When it’s time to sit down for dinner, they are out for one last swim. When it’s family picture time, they are across the lawn learning to make grass ornaments. The “Why do it alone when we can do it all together”: Why would we eat lunch by ourselves when we can eat as a group? Why would we separate in to three cars when all 12 of us can squeeze in to one? Why would we meet up at the pool when we can all go down there together? Why would you want to go to the bathroom alone when 11 of us can go with you and watch? The Shopper: “Yes, Maui is beautiful. The water is clear and the sand is white. Do they have an Old Navy here?”

bout a month ago, I was pleasantly surprised with a trip to Maui. For the 12 members of my family who were packing our bags and headed for Florida, we were more than shocked when we found out our plane wasn’t going to Florida at all, but Hawaii!! This was all my dad’s doing, and I must admit the man did well….very, very well.


But there’s something to be said about vacationing with your family. Actually, there’s a lot to be said. Have you seen the ABC comedy, Modern Family? If you have, then you have met my father. He is Jay Pritchett (played by Ed O’Neil). He is Jay in every sense of the word. He isn’t into family board games. He’s sitting up in his chair snoring by 9:07pm. He avoids any family activity that doesn’t involve reading a spy novel, by himself, in the shade. And whenever we found ourselves sitting by the pool with a hot dog in hand, you could trust that he was somewhere in an air-conditioned restaurant with a shrimp salad. But hey! He took us to Maui, so who’s complaining? And then there’s Gloria, played by Sophia Vergara. My mom? Yeah….she’s nothing like her.

Going to Hawaii with my family has been something I’ve dreamed of doing. Generally, if it involves something big, fantastic or exciting, I want to do it with my family. We are a close bunch and always have a lot of fun together. I’m not trying to sound like it’s all hunky-dory. Far from it. I believe at one point I heard someone yell, “You can either get out of that bathroom or I’ll drag you out!” One night my mom yelled, “If you people don’t get out of my bedroom and take your game of charades with you, I’m gonna act out something you won’t soon forget!” And I believe there was a brother/ sister argument that ended in, “NO! You are just like mom! You just don’t have as much facial hair!” And just like your family, we also have… The Eager Beaver: This is the person who wakes up at the crack of dawn every day because there’s “a lot to do… a lot to see…a lot to take in…a lot to take pictures of… a lot to eat…a lot of ground to cover…” The Bed Head: This is the family member who doesn’t care where you are vacationing, they are sleeping in. Houston? I’m sleeping in. Maui? I’m sleeping in. Mars? I’m sleeping in. Beautiful sites, pool-side lunches and snorkeling have got nothing on waking up with bed-head at 11am.

The Librarian: I brought this book, and I can’t put it down. No matter what. Can’t put it down. Can’t stop reading. Not for a luau. Not for a dolphin sighting. Not for a moment. Must read it. Must. Read. Book. Now. The Kid: You want sushi. They want Chuck E. Cheese. You want to lie out. They want to cover you in sand. You want to snorkel. They suddenly hate water. You want them to take a nap. They have recently turned 4 and decide they hate naps. You want to drop dead in the bed at 11pm. They are still going strong. The Hypochondriac: I’m allergic to fish. The mosquitoes are eating me alive. I got sick on halibut once. These waves are making me sea sick. I’m having a heat stroke. I caught bacteria in the hot tub. Does anyone know anything about sun poisoning? Does anyone think the water tastes funny? These palm trees are giving me a headache. If we do one more turn on this mountain, I’m going to throw up in this Jeep. Can’t a zip line give you a flesh-eating virus? Any of these sound familiar? They should. They are in each family. Yours, mine and ours. Although I wouldn’t trade them for the world – although I love them dearly – and although I would take a bullet for each and every one of them – it’s probably best we only vacation with each other once a year. So….which one are you?

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. /  27

Providing Comfort to the Families of East Texas for Over 35 Years Family traditions are what this country was built around. The spirit of good customer service, hard work and being trustworthy are valuable foundations of any company. McWilliams and Son was built on those same principles and has focused on that since 1974. For 3 generations, McWilliams and Son has proven to be a reliable, locally-­owned, trustworthy business in Angelina County. In a small shop located in Diboll, Texas, McWilliams Appliance and Refrigeration was born. After retiring from a 20 year career with the Navy, Irvin (Mac) McWilliams moved to Diboll and started his business using basic guidelines of good customer service, hard work and pride. In 1979, McWilliams Appliance and Refrigeration became McWilliams and Son Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. In the mid 1980s, it moved to a bigger office in Lufkin on Frank Street to better serve its growing business. As the business grew even more, it relocated to an even larger location on Loop 287. Finally, 17 years ago, McWilliams and Son ended up at its current location at 912 East Denman Avenue. Following in his dad’s footsteps, Irvin McWilliams Jr. began working as a helper while still in high school. As the years have passed on, he has now moved to President and oversees the financial aspect, media consulting and long term planning for the business. Trey McWilliams, the 3rd level of generation, has been following in his dad’s footsteps since he was a little boy! Trey has worked his way up the ladder from tool helper to service technician and is now the Operations Director and oversees the day to day operations of the business. Mac, Irvin and Trey have put in their time working long days, hot summers and chilly winters. These three generations of men have always focused more and more on what the community needed and have strived to meet the needs, all while protecting their customer’s values. Recently, McWilliams and Son moved right next door to a new, current and modern location adding a sales room, training room, warehouse and lobby area. Teresa Thompson, Administrative Assistant, has been with the company since August of 1991. She has 21 years worth of knowledge and expertise and is responsible for all the accounting aspects. Sarah Law has been with the company for almost 2 years and is the friendly voice you hear when you call McWilliams and Son! These two ladies are always ready and willing to meet and greet you with a friendly smile and helpful advice. At McWilliams & Son Heating & Air Conditioning, we're proud of our years of service to the Lufkin and Nacogdoches areas and look forward to helping you with your air conditioning and heating needs. We're pleased to serve both residential and commercial customers; our team is prepared to help you with the sales, service, and installation of the comfort system that is ideal for your home or business. Whether it's a new installation or routine service, our factory-­trained technicians provide the expertise your comfort depends on. At McWilliams & Son, we repair all makes and models. When it comes to your family, you want dependable air conditioning and heating systems that provide you with value as well as comfort. Thanks to McWilliams & Son, you can expect just this. Remember…We’re not comfortable until YOU are!

McWilliams and Son Heating and Air

(936) 639-­1668 Visit our NEW office at 918 E. Denman Avenue in Lufkin!

From 3 Generations to Our Future Generation… We’re Not Comfortable Until You Are!

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calendar of  events Wednesday,  September  5

Saturday, September  15

Saturday, September  8

3rd Year Birthday Party at Heritage Antiques in Downtown Lufkin

Evan Bradford Memorial Golf Tournament

Tire and Electronic Recycling Collection Day

Red Carpet Salute from the Chamber of Commerce at 10:00 a.m. For more information, contact Laura at 936.632.0110.

Crown Colony Country Club in Lufkin. Proceeds benefit March of Dimes. Tournament begins at 1:00 p.m. For registration information, call 936.639.4557.

From 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the City of Lufkin Solid Waste/Regional Recycling Center located at 500 Southpark Drive in Lufkin. For more information, contact Amanda Anderson at 936.632.5326 or visit

Saturday, September  8

September 21  –  23

Grand Opening at the Naranjo Museum of Natural History

Crossmen Outdoor EXPO

Located at 5401 South First Street/ Highway 59 South in Lufkin. Ribbon cutting at 10:00 a.m. Children 3 and under, free; children 4-18, $5; adults, $7.50. Colossal Cocktail Reception from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Children 12 and under, free; adults, $25. For more information, contact 936.639-DINO (3466).

Tuesday, September  11 The Nacogdoches American Association of University Women (AAUW) Open House 5:30 p.m. at the Cole Art Center. AAUW invites women to join in our continuing efforts to motivate young girls to seek a college education, to provide scholarships and to celebrate women’s achievements. Lifelong friendships are formed through shared ideals. Come join us for good conversation, lively speakers and delicious refreshments. For more information contact Michelle Williams, chapter president, at 936-554-8510.

All events will take place at Southside Baptist Church in Lufkin. For more information about any of these events, call 936.632.3292 or visit Friday night is Ladies night with a craft fair beginning at 4:00 p.m. and dinner at 6:00 p.m. Speaker Edwin Patterson will begin at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $15. Saturday is Family Fun Day beginning at 10:00 a.m. Join Kindgdom Dog Ministries and John Goodwin from Duck Dynasty and enjoy fun activities for the whole family. Free Admission. Saturday Evening Men’s Dinner features Jay Lowder. Tickets for the dinner are $12. Sunday enjoy Jay Lowder and the Justin Cofield Band.

Saturday, September  15 Walk Across Texas Kick-Off Kiwanis Park in Lufkin from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. For more information, contact Christie King at 936.634.6414 ext. 101.

Wednesday, September  19   –  Sunday,  September  23 28th Annual Texas State Forest Festival The George H. Henderson, Jr. Exposition Center in Lufkin. Tickets are $5 online or at any Lufkin Brookshire Brothers Store. Tickets are $6 at the gate. For more information, contact Melissa Wheeler at 936-634-6644 or visit

Saturday, September  22 A FAR CRY Chamber Orchestra The Temple Theatre at Angelina College. Begins at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 936.633.5454 or visit

To submit your event for the October issue, email your event to by September 20th.

jewelry to tell  your  story...


314 East Main ›Nacogdoches 936-­564-­4101 /  31


presents the 28th Annual Texas State Forest Festival Schedule of Events September 19-­23, 2012 George H. Henderson, Jr. Exposition Center WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19TH Gates Open: 5:00 PM– 10:00 PM

9:00 pm Timberworks Lumberjack Show Crosscut Corner

Century 21 Shows Carnival Southern Pine Pavilion Commercial Booths Loving Toyota/Scion New Car Display Cypress Court Barn Food Court Sawdust Row Barn Show-Me Safari Petting Zoo Show-Me Safari Pony Rides Loblolly Barn Come Grow With Us Children’s Festival Roving Acts ZOOperstars Washboard Willy Zach Wilke – Sleight of Hand Artist Main Arena 6:00 pm Townsquare Media Pom Pon / Dance Team Competition Festival Shows 5:30 pm The Show-Me-Safari Swine Races Sawdust Row Barn 6:00 pm Bear Mountain Show Southern Pine Pavilion 6:30 pm Kid’s Celebration 100% Interactive Family Event Loblolly Barn 7:00 pm Timberworks Lumberjack Show Crosscut Corner 7:30 pm The Show-Me-Safari Swine Races Sawdust Row Barn 8:00 pm Bear Mountain Show Southern Pine Pavilion 8:30 pm Kid’s Celebration – 100% Interactive Family Event Loblolly Barn

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20TH Gates Open: 5:00 PM– 10:00 PM Century 21 Shows Carnival Southern Pine Pavilion Commercial Booths Loving Toyota/Scion New Car Display Cypress Court Barn Food Court Sawdust Row Barn Show-Me Safari Petting Zoo Show-Me Safari Pony Rides Loblolly Barn Come Grow With Us Children’s Festival Roving Acts ZOOperstars Washboard Willy Zach Wilke – Sleight of Hand Artist Main Arena 7:00 pm 7:30 pm 8:00 pm 8:30 pm 5:30 pm Bear Mountain Show Southern Pine Pavilion 6:00 pm Kid’s Celebration – 100% Interactive Family Event Loblolly Barn 6:30 pm Timberworks Lumberjack Show Crosscut Corner 7:00 pm The Show-Me-Safari Swine Races Sawdust Row Barn 7:30 pm Bear Mountain Show Southern Pine Pavilion

8:00 pm Kid’s Celebration – 100% Interactive Family Event Loblolly Barn 8:30 pm Timberworks Lumberjack Show Crosscut Corner 9:00 pm The Show-Me-Safari Swine Races Sawdust Row Barn

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21ST Gates Open: 5:00 PM– 10:00 PM Century 21 Shows Carnival Southern Pine Pavilion Commercial Booths Loving Toyota/Scion New Car Display Cypress Court Barn Food Court Sawdust Row Barn Show-Me Safari Petting Zoo Show-Me Safari Pony Rides Loblolly Barn Come Grow With Us Children’s Festival Roving Acts ZOOperstars Washboard Willy Zach Wilke – Sleight of Hand Artist Main Arena 7:00 pm 7:30 pm 8:00 pm 8:30 pm 9:00 pm

5:30 pm Timberworks Lumberjack Show Crosscut Corner 6:00 pm The Show-Me-Safari Swine Races Sawdust Row Barn

6:30 pm Bear Mountain Show Southern Pine Pavilion 7:00 pm Kid’s Celebration – 100% Interactive Family Event Loblolly Barn 7:30 pm Timberworks Lumberjack Show Crosscut Corner 8:00 pm The Show-Me-Safari Swine Races Sawdust Row Barn 8:30 pm Bear Mountain Show Southern Pine Pavilion 9:00 pm Kid’s Celebration – 100% Interactive Family Event Loblolly Barn 9:30 pm Timberworks Lumberjack Show Crosscut Corner

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22ND Gates Open: 9:00 AM-­ 10 PM Century 21 Shows Carnival Tall Timbers District Belt Loop Bonanza Scout Fair (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) Southern Pine Pavilion Commercial Booths Loving Toyota/Scion New Car Display Cypress Court Barn Food Court Sawdust Row Barn Show-Me Safari Petting Zoo Show-Me Safari Pony Rides Loblolly Barn Come Grow With Us Children’s Festival Roving Acts ZOOperstars Washboard Willy Zach Wilke – Sleight of Hand Artist Main Arena 10:00 am Yates Media Presents the East Texas Cheerleading Championship 2:00 – 6 pm Brookshire Brothers/Hytop Southern Hushpuppy Championship 7:00 pm 7:30 pm 8:00 pm 8:30 pm 9:00 pm

10:15 am Kid’s Celebration – 100% Interactive Family Event Loblolly Barn 11:00 am The Show-Me-Safari Swine Races Sawdust Row Barn 11:45 am Bear Mountain Show Southern Pine Pavilion 12:30 pm Timberworks Lumberjack Show Crosscut Corner 1:15 pm Kid’s Celebration – 100% Interactive Family Event Loblolly Barn 2:00 pm The Show-Me-Safari Swine Races Sawdust Row Barn 2:45 pm Bear Mountain Show Southern Pine Pavilion 3:30 pm Timberworks Lumberjack Show Crosscut Corner 4:15 pm Kid’s Celebration – 100% Interactive Family Event Loblolly Barn 5:00 pm The Show-Me-Safari Swine Races Sawdust Row Barn 5:45 pm Bear Mountain Show Southern Pine Pavilion 6:30 pm Timberworks Lumberjack Show Crosscut Corner 7:15 pm Kid’s Celebration – 100% Interactive Family Event Loblolly Barn 8:00 pm The Show-Me-Safari Swine Races Sawdust Row Barn 8:45 pm Bear Mountain Show Southern Pine Pavilion 9:30 pm Timberworks Lumberjack Show Crosscut Corner

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23RD Gates Open: 11:00 AM– 5:00 PM Century 21 Shows Carnival

Loblolly Barn Come Grow With Us Children’s Festival Roving Acts ZOOperstars Washboard Willy Zach Wilke – Sleight of Hand Artist Main Arena 1:00 pm 1:30 pm Presentation by the Forest Festival Beauty Pageant 2:00 pm 3:00 pm 3:30 pm 12:30 pm Timberworks Lumberjack Show Crosscut Corner 1:00 pm The Show-Me-Safari Swine Races Sawdust Row Barn 1:30 pm Bear Mountain Show Southern Pine Pavilion 2:00 pm Kid’s Celebration – 100% Interactive Family Event Loblolly Barn 2:30 pm Timberworks Lumberjack Show Crosscut Corner 3:00 pm The Show-Me-Safari Swine Races Sawdust Row Barn 3:30 pm Bear Mountain Show Southern Pine Pavilion 4:00 pm Kid’s Celebration – 100% Interactive Family Event Loblolly Barn 4:30 pm Timberworks Lumberjack Show Crosscut Corner *SPECIAL PRESENTATION – 3:00 pm POLK’S PICK-IT-UP $1,000 GAS GIVEAWAY in the Main Arena **ALL TIMES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE!

Southern Pine Pavilion Commercial Booths Loving Toyota/Scion New Car Display Cypress Court Barn Food Court Sawdust Row Barn Show-Me Safari Petting Zoo Show-Me Safari Pony Rides /  33

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Cypress Court







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DĂŝŶƌĞŶĂ /  35

First Day of School

Makenzie Harris-16,  Corbin  Harris-8,   and  Blake  Harris-10

Maci Rice-  5th  g rade,  Central  Elem Garrett  Rice-  3rd  g rade,  St  Cyprian’s

Hayden Yount, 4th  g rade

Rebekah Poret,  11  years  old. 6th  g rade  student  at  Hudson  Middle  School.

Crimson Christian  Academy:  K adie  Beth   Wisener-  8th  g rade,  K allie  Wisener-  11th   grade,  Sadie  Wisener  12th  g rade

Chance Iribarren-  Senior

Kerstin Andrews First  day  of  7th  g rade!

Nickolas Hodges 1st  day  of  kindergarten  

Brooklyn Yount,   Kindergarten

Blayre’s 1st  day  of  4th  g rade

Calli &  Emma  Airington First  day  of  school,  2012

Eli- 1st  g rade

First Day of School (continued)

Halle Rice-4th  g rade Diboll

Trae, Tyler,  Trevor,  and  Emma  Nichols   Huntington  ISD

Corbyn-3K /  37

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38  /  The  Journey  -  September  2012


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photographed by  Morgan  Due




Johnson & the  Dream Center /  39


ften times, our life events will dictate our future. Every journey has its ups and downs, some worse than others. At the end of those struggles, we have a choice. They can define who we are and lead us back to the same destructive path, or they can be used as a catalyst to push us forward in helping others through similar situations.


Billie Jean (BJ) Johnson lived most of her childhood years on an emotional roller coaster. She lived in Corrigan with her mom and dad until she was 3 years old. Her mother made the courageous decision to save her and her children’s life when she fled the abusive home of BJ’s father. She took BJ and her older daughter to Jasper to be near family.

time, I couldn’t separate the man from the addiction; I thought it was a choice he made every day and I wasn’t the one he chose.” On the phone with her father, those feelings could not be kept in any longer and she told him she hated him. Those were BJ’s final words to her biological father. One February night in 1988, her father was killed instantly in a drunk driving accident. For many years to come, she would wrestle with the guilt of her last words to her father. When BJ was 14, Jeramy Johnson moved in across the street from her. She remembers, “After a little chasing on his part, I finally let him catch me.” BJ got married, graduated high school and had her first daughter, Jessica, when she was 18. Nine years later, their second daughter, Haley,

“I see  this  as  a  place  where  God  unites  His  body     to  work  together,  regardless  of  doctrinal  issues  or     denominational  lines,  to  reach  out     and  be  Jesus  with  skin  on     to  those  who  are  desperate     to  meet  Him.” When BJ was 5 years old, her mother remarried a kind man who became much more than a step-dad. BJ and her sister quickly referred to him as their ‘dad,’ and he made it official by legally changing their last name. Not only did the girls gain a loving father, but a new sister as well. BJ attended Central school from kindergarten to twelfth grade. She graduated from Central High School in 1992. Throughout her childhood years, BJ was always aware that her father was a destructive alcoholic. That didn’t change the fact that she desperately desired a relationship with him. She remembers, “He would tell us he was coming to get us for the weekend, and I would pack my bag and wait at the kitchen table for hours. Time and time again he wouldn’t show.” On one occasion when he did pick the girls up, he hired a babysitter from the Peddler to watch them so that he could go out and drink. BJ says, “My feelings of hurt, rejection, abandonment and neglect from my father turned into anger.” She began to despise the drunkenness that stole her father’s love, life and family. She says, “At that

40 /  The  Journey  -  September  2012

was born. BJ worked as a manicurist at her mother’s salon while working towards her nursing degree. She and Jeramy strived to give their children a good life; however they struggled with each other. When they came to the end of themselves, they asked God to rescue them and their marriage and take control of everything in their lives. As time passed, BJ’s sister married and moved to Houston. She became addicted to crack cocaine. Her marriage ended and she was out on the streets. After one particular traumatic event, she ended up in a Houston hospital. Weighing only 80 pounds with sunken eyes, BJ could hardly recognize her when she came home. She remembers, “I ran to the bathroom and locked myself in; all I could do was pray that God would save her.” Over the next twenty-four years, her sister has been on a cycle of addiction. She has two beautiful children, and over the years, BJ has rushed to their rescue when their mother’s addiction has taken over. BJ was forced to watch as her life, and the lives of those who loved her, spun out of control. BJ now has legal

guardianship of her nephew. Her niece is grown and has a child and a baby on the way. Recently, her sister is working on staying clean and sober. BJ and Jeramy were in the middle of building their “dream home” when they both lost their jobs. They felt the Lord leading them to open their own home health agency. Jeramy had a background in marketing and BJ had experience in nursing administration. BJ says, “With faith and a small loan from Jeramy’s parents, we opened A Compassionate Care Home Health Services.” They have successfully run the business for over six years and were recently voted best home health care in Lufkin. Today, the Johnsons are more in love than they have ever been. God has restored their family and is still performing miracles among them, one of which came in the birth of their first grandson, Deagan. He was born on February 2, 2012 when an emergency c-section was ordered to save his and his mother’s life. He weighed only 2 pounds, 10 ounces. He has been diagnosed with Grade IV Intraventricular Hemorrhage with Parenchymal Hemorrhage in the left frontal lobe. Doctors stated he had an extensive amount of brain damage to his left frontal lobe and warned there would be years of therapy and interventions. Deagan is now 6 months old and has not shown any signs of residual effects. Addiction and abuse have surrounded BJ in many ways throughout her life. She has seen it destroy families and with some, ultimately take their lives. She admits, “I use to really despise those who abused or sold drugs, physically or mentally abused others and abandoned and neglected their families; I was very judgmental.” BJ finally realized she was projecting her own hurt and insecurities into anger for others. She says, “It was easier to blame someone else than to deal with my own inability to forgive.” About 3 years ago, God began to deal with her heart about having love for ‘the least of these.’ She remembers, “In prayer, God began to impress upon me that He wanted us to go to those who can’t or won’t come to Him.” This led her to develop His Heart His Hands Ministries. They began Christmas Day of 2010 feeding people at a local park. God has used this ministry to help hundreds of people with food and clothing and Godly encouragement.

ing many resources into the development of the Dream Center. She says, “This vision is much bigger than what our family can support on our own. Every day is an absolute walk of faith.” The Lufkin Dream Center is a faith-based 12 month residential discipleship program with a second year intern option. The program is based on Matthew 25:31-46. BJ adds, “We are not a mental facility or a shelter, but we are focused on helping those who are overlooked and often feel they aren’t wanted or welcome in a society or even in our churches.” The facility is located at the property formerly known as Peavy Switch Recovery Center. The 81-acre facility includes a large men’s dorm, women with children’s dorm and an educational building that will become a library, computer lab, and meeting room. There is a fully functioning state of the art ropes course and cabins that will be open to the public for reservations. The Dream Center is currently using less than half of the property, but already has God’s bigger vision drawn out for expansion. The plans are to include a new women with children building, facilities for teens and families and a transitional apartment living. The Lufkin Dream Center is a place where lives will be restored and wounds will be healed. BJ says, “I see this as a place where God unites His body to work together, regardless of doctrinal issues or denominational lines, to reach out and be Jesus with skin on to those who are desperate to meet Him.” Those who come to the center will receive one-on-one Biblical and chemical dependency counseling. The center will also offer Most Excellent Way meetings once a week, life skills classes, financial management counseling, job skill training and job placement. When a person graduates from the Lufkin Dream Center, they will have the skills and mindset to live a healthy, God-led life. This month, the Lufkin Dream Center will open and many volunteers are needed. There are buildings and beds to be built for future residents, phones to be answered, classes to be taught and mentors to be established. The center is also in need of financial donations to cover operating expenses. BJ assures, “The Dream Center is good soil to sow your finances.” For more information about the Lufkin Dream Center, go to or call 1-855-LOVE-911

God continues to bless the Johnsons in ministry and business. They have always strived to be good stewards of the financial blessings that God has given, always keeping their personal expenses low enough so that they can pour into things of eternal importance. Most recently, they are invest- /  41



ith a season ending record 36-5, it is no wonder why the Hudson Lady Hornets had everyone on the edge of their seats. Coach Jimmy Eby said he knew going into this year the team could do great things!

Eby remembers, “I knew we had that opportunity and everything on our end to earn the state title. We just had to get out on the field and compete.” This year’s team was able to earn Coach Eby his 300th win. After coaching for thirteen years, he knew this year was going to be a little different. “I could see it in their eyes. They were focused and their attitude was different. Once they got to state, their demeanor really changed and I knew without a doubt they had it in them,” says Eby. The team motto was “FINISH.” That was the look in their eyes. They believed they could come into the playoffs and “FINISH”

42 /  The  Journey  -  September  2012

the work they started. All the while, the Bible verse, Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” is what kept them going. Each game, the girls had to come out and battle to make it one step closer to their goal of State Champions. During the playoffs, there were several key plays that really helped turn games around and lead them to their title goals. One particular turn-around happened during the first game against Huffman Hargrave. It was the bottom of the 7th inning, with the winning run for Huffman about to score. Centerfielder Bryli Lee threw the runner out at home plate. Eby says, “The game was back and forth in a tight race. After that play, the momentum shifted our way.” The Lady Hornets closed that game with a win 8-6. Coach Eby recalls, “Another very momentous play came during the game versus Splendora. Madison Sellman drove in our only run in the 7th inning, which won us the game.”

the Hudson  Lady  Hornets Eby said winning the state title was very surreal and humbling. Eby recalls, “All the credit goes to the players. This was an incredible run. It was exciting to hear about everyone cheering on the team and driving back into town and seeing the support lined up alongside the road. What made it work for the team is exactly that they were a team. If the offense was struggling, the defense would pick up the slack. If the defense was struggling, the offence would pick up the slack.” The 2012-2013 Lady Hornets return with seven players from the State Champion team. “That is a great core. We have a great start. We are going to work hard this fall and try to get back out there to defend our title,” says Eby. /  43


Museum of East Texas Art Camp 2012

44 /  The  Journey  -  September  2012

Your Life girls  g roup  46   wallet  48 relationships  50 women’s  health  51

MarTeres Tea  Room


THE PANTHER NATION o doubt the sudden passing of Coach John Outlaw took this town by surprise. For the Panther Nation, it rocked them to the core. Coach Outlaw brought a new excitement to Friday nights. He was more than just a football coach. For this reason, his death impacted so many around him.


Prior to Coach Outlaw’s passing, the coaches’ wives always loved each other. After, their friendship and ‘coaching family’ meant a lot more. This past April, the Angelina Heart Alliance held their annual Heart Walk. This year’s walk was dedicated to Coach Outlaw. Several of the coaches’ wives thought it would be a great idea for them to form a team. The ladies explain, “We thought it was a good way to raise money for the Heart Alliance and get us all together. Coach Outlaw’s passing and all the subsequent changes were still so fresh to all of our families. It just seemed that we needed each other more than ever.” The walk gave a new purpose to this group of ladies who normally congregated together on game days; they had new reasons, outside of sporting events, to get together more often. For the walk and their team, the wives designed a custom shirt that they could wear for the walk and to games. “After the walk, we had people coming up to us asking where they could get a shirt, so we decided we would sell them with the proceeds benefiting the John Outlaw Scholarship Foundation.” To date, the wives have raised $1400.00. Being a wife of a coach means something different to each one, but no doubt they all share a special bond. The group explains, “No one

else can understand what it is like to plan your life around basketball season, football season, baseball or soccer season. The seasons are hectic, emotional, and full of organized chaos. We also agree that it is an honor to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves. Our husbands are shaping and guiding the lives of children every day. It is difficult to hear people criticize our husbands in the stands, but we have all learned to develop thick skins about it and not let it get to us. We know our husbands are wonderful, caring men.” The bond does not begin and stop with football. They share, “We absolutely love going to each other’s sports! You can find us and our children at most of the basketball, baseball, and soccer games. WE ARE THE PANTHER NATION, which is more than just football!” This group of women is comprised of many different ages and that from various professions and backgrounds. The common bond of being coaches’ wives binds them in a way they do not share with other wives. “Our husbands are very close, and by virtue of that, we are often together. We also get to watch, along with thousands of other people, while our husbands do their jobs.” At the end of the day, at the end of the game, at the end of the season—this group of women agrees, “As long as we have our Lufkin Panther shirts clean, we know everything will be okay!” **Shirts available to purchase at Smoothie King. Proceeds benefit John Outlaw Scholarship Foundation

Pictured (L-R): Caron Cook (Jeff-Football & Track), Gina Green (Scott- Football & Track), Gaby Murphy (Chuck- Football), Kacie Bridges (Football & Baseball), Carrie Scroggins (Harold-Football & Basketball), Cheri Quick (Athletic Director and Head Football), Julie McManus (J.T.- Head Basketball), Pam McPherson (David-Football & Soccer), Melisha Stafford (Brooke- Football & Head Track), Kym Guzman (David- Football & Track), Brandie Knight (Matt- Football & Track). Not Pictured- Sharon Shaw (Russell- Soccer), Jennifer Stover (Rusty- Cross Country), Marlene Caldera (Eliazar- Soccer), Marilyn Berry (Clay- Baseball), Laura Stanley (Jason- Baseball), Evie Stewart (Andy- Swimming). /  47




y now you may have heard of an awesome consignment sale around town. Two women, Aran Greene and Dalene Merrel, took on the huge endeavor themselves.

Aran and Dalene said, “We always participated in the Tyler consignment sale and loved it. It was a great way to get rid of unwanted clothing and children’s items while earning a little money. Over time, we thought it would be a huge blessing to the Lufkin area and surrounding communities.” That is how the Pineywoods Children’s Consignment Sale (PCC Sale) was born. In fall 2011, the first sale took place in Lufkin. Aran and Dalene hold the sale twice a year, covering the main seasons in Texas: Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. The sales are held in April and October. Aran states, “Both of our families are blessed with children who go through clothes over night! The PCC sale gave us the ability to sell any of those great condition clothes the kids out grew and buy more clothes for the kids with huge cost savings.” Both ladies wanted to fill that same need for other families in the community. “That was our vision, to give the community an opportunity to find or sell great clothes in a safe, clean, and inviting environment. Parents always want the best for their kids, regardless of the economy. We want the PCC sale to assure parents they are going to find wonderful clothing items each year at a fraction of retail price.” The sale has always been open to new and gently used children’s clothes, shoes, toys, baby gear, and maternity clothes. The clothing sizes are infant to 5T as well as size 6 to junior sizes. The ladies both say, “It grows each year, both in volume of sale items and number of sellers/shoppers.” This year, they are excited to announce the addition of home furniture to the sale. Anyone can participate, either as a seller, shopper, or volunteer. The sale is held at Abram’s in downtown Lufkin. To contact or receive more information, you can visit or join their facebook group, Pineywoods Consignment Sale. At the end of every sale, the sellers have the option to donate or pick up their items. Because of these donations, many local families have been a great blessing to organizations like the Pregnancy Help Center and East Texas Women’s Shelter. Both Aran and Dalene agree, “We have met so many wonderful families. The Lord has blessed us with people along the way like The Main Event, Signs by Debbie, Quality Bargains, sellers, and volunteers. We want to thank each of them for making the sale successful and fun!” 48  /  The  Journey  -  September  2012 /  48

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t has often been said, “Don’t pray for patience!” You may wonder why… think about it. How can you learn to be patient? You go through situations that will teach you that you have to be still and wait. So, if you pray for God to give you patience, watch for trials to come that don’t work out how you planned. God said, “His plans are not our plans.”

John and I have recently remodeled the kitchen and replaced the flooring in three other rooms of our house. It was a six-week project! For some reason, God decided we needed new lessons in patience. There were boxes of kitchen products, dishes, and more dishes, books, etc. in all the bedrooms. Furniture was stored in the glassed in patio and our bedroom. Stuff was everywhere! We couldn’t find the granite we wanted for the counter tops. (You know us women… when we see something we like, that is what we want!) So it was down to the “wire” finding the granite, but we did find it! The floors were removed several weeks before the new flooring could be put down. We walked on bare concrete floors and floors with dried tile grout for 4 weeks. We did not have a kitchen sink for 3 weeks. It is amazing that liquid was not accidentally thrown in the sink that had been installed with the granite but without any drainage pipes connected. There could have been a big mess! The new refrigerator was finally installed, (The old one was on the patio – at least we had one) but water ran out of the top when it was connected. We had to call the warranty people to send a repairmen, which showed up a day later and a couple of hours behind what we had expected. The range was installed, but the granite did not quite come to the back. So, the granite people had to be called to come back out – they fixed the problem. The toe molding was to be replaced. The guy was supposed to come one afternoon at 2 and called at 2:15 saying he could not make it until the next morning at 8ish. Well he made it at 1:30 that afternoon. The sink was to be installed – the guy didn’t show, would come the next day, didn’t show – he had hurt his back. He was going to send someone else – he didn’t show. Then the guy was better, he would be there that afternoon – had to work late. He finally showed a week later than first expected. I think you get the jest of our remodeling journey! Evidently, God wanted us to learn we aren’t in control of anything. We are at the mercy of many others. Particularly, we are at His mercy. Did John and I pass the test? I believe we did! We became weary in the journey, but we only lost it a couple of times! What did we learn? Good things to come to those who wait. We really, really like our “new” kitchen and wood floors in the other three rooms. We feel like we are in a new house. The dust will all soon be gone, and that six weeks of our life will be a distant memory. My desire is that we have learned to be more longsuffering and patient in all areas of our life.

by Jennifer  Stevens



Find Relief for Fall Allergy Symptoms & Start Enjoying the Cooler Weather he seasons don’t discriminate when it comes to allergies. For many who suffer from seasonal allergies, fall is the worst time of year. Though the cooler weather is welcomed, the foliage is changing, and weeds and other plants release pollen that can send allergy sufferers indoors. Unfortunately, allergens can lurk there, as well.


the leaves and mow the lawn, or wear a facemask and goggles if you must do it yourself. %

Don’t hang clothes outdoors to dry. Wet laundry attracts pollen that will eventually end up indoors.


Stay clean. Minimize allergen exposure by washing pollens off your skin and hair after spending time outside. You should also change your shoes before entering the house and change clothes inside the front door to reduce the amount of pollen and allergens you may bring in the house.


Use a dehumidifier. Because dust mites and molds flourish in a humid environment, using a dehumidifier to remove some of the humidity from the air inside your home will help reduce indoor allergy symptoms.


Use hypoallergenic filters. Forget the instructions on the package. Change your air conditioner filters monthly, using HEPA filters, if possible. Always place the used filter in a plastic garbage bag, then dispose of the bag outdoors.


Use the air conditioner at night. To keep your bedroom clean and pollen free, close the windows and turn on the air conditioning. A HEPA filter system, especially during high pollen season, will help ensure you breathe purified air while you sleep.


Take an over-the-counter antihistamine. This is an effective step, and fortunately, many OTC allergy drugs are now non-drowsy, long-lasting, and effective.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, almost 40 million Americans suffer from allergies. While there is no cure, allergies can be managed with proper prevention and treatment. Ragweed pollen is one of the most common triggers for fall allergy symptoms. This hardy plant is common in the Northeast, South, and Midwest regions of the United States. Peak ragweed season starts in mid-August and lasts through October. Ragweed pollen can cause oral allergy syndrome. In OAS, you may experience itching in the mouth and throat, along with mild swelling after you consume fresh fruits and vegetables such as banana, cucumber, melon and zucchini. This syndrome occurs because proteins in the ragweed pollen and certain fruits or vegetables are similar in structure; therefore, your body has the same reaction to both the ragweed pollen and the food. In addition to ragweed pollen, pollen from other plants, trees, and grass can set off allergies in the fall. Mold can grow under leaves that have fallen, and this can lead to a reaction, too. FALL ALLERGY SYMPTOMS Allergy symptoms can vary depending on the part of the body exposed to the allergen. %

Skin – hives; dry, itchy skin; eczema


Lungs – wheezing and asthma

% Eyes and nose – watery, itchy eyes; clear, runny mucous; sneezing %

Mouth – itching in the back of the throat; upset stomach; diarrhea; and, in extreme cases, anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic reaction)

CONTROLLING FALL ALLERGIES Here are a few allergy management tips to help you get back to enjoying life, both inside and outside: %

Check pollen levels. If you live in a high pollen zone, limit your time outdoors on high pollen count days.


Limit yard work. Have someone who is not allergic rake

If seasonal allergy symptoms interfere with your daily life, visit your doctor, an ENT (ear, nose and throat specialist) or allergist who can correctly diagnose your allergy and recommend ways to manage it. An allergy test will help identify the source of your suffering and determine the right treatment to control symptoms. Treatment may involve medications such as antihistamines, Leukotriene receptor antagonists, steroid nasal sprays, decongestants, or immunotherapy (i.e., allergy shots). If you’re a fall allergy sufferer, there’s little reason to dread the arrival of autumn. Knowing how to reduce your exposure to mold and pollen can make all the difference. Learn more at Click on the “Health Resources” and search “Fall Allergies” to read informative articles, such as “Avoiding Fall Allergy Triggers,” as well as to take a “Seasonal Allergy Quiz.” /  51


Aggie Moms Back to School Dinner

52 /  The  Journey  -  September  2012

Your Child pretty  babies  54 parent  thoughts  56 look  at  me  57 birthday  bash  60 why  i  love  being   a  mom  62

Kendall Jackson  |  photographed  by  Images  by  Becki



1 2 8




1. Berklee Rae Clifton. 05/30/2012. Proud Parents: Bradley & Lauren Clifton. Proud Grandparents: Doug & Desiree’ Barnett / Mark & Julie Clifton. 2. Levi Mason Hennigan. 5/14/12. Proud Parents: Kim & Jarrod Hennigan. Proud Grandparents: JoAnn Andrews / Kay & Joe Hennigan. 3. Mackenzie Jones. 2/28/12. Proud Parent: Jasmine Stewart (Apple Springs). Proud Grandparents: Vernon & Karen Stewart. 4. Damian Michael Martinez. 6/28/11. Proud Parents: Richard & Amanda Martinez (Lufkin). Proud Grandparents: Mike & Debbie Reid (Lufkin) / Richard Sr. & Delpha Martinez (Grand Prairie). 5. Valerie Padilla. 6/4/12. Proud Parents: Jose Padilla & Alma Padilla (Lufkin). 6. Madalyn Nicole Talley. 5/9/12. Proud Parents: David & Jessica Talley. Proud Grandparents: Ronald & Kathy Risenhoover / Mark & Donna Talley. 7. Guillermo Daniel Wheeler. 6/23/11. Proud Parents: Guillermo Wheeler Jr. & Monica Yuridia Chavez. 8. Gavin Blake Whitehead. 5/9/12. Proud Parents: Michael & Shea Whitehead (Hudson, TX). Proud Grandparents: Linda Dunn & the late Glenn Dunn (Hudson, TX) / Leon Moore (Lufkin, TX) / Eddy & Dora Whitehead (Lufkin, TX) / Carolyn Goodwin (Wells, TX). E-­mail Pretty Babies submissions to Please include the information seen above. Submissions are free of charge.

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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

by  Kelly  Finnerud




otty training young children makes going into a public restroom anything but a rest room. At, we asked local parents to tell us what they like and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like to see in a public bathroom. The answers have been thoughtful, enlightening, and entertaining!

Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what we want:

Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how we deal with it:

Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;É&#x201E;0/*(/$É&#x201E;ĹŤ0.# -.Ć?É&#x201E;# 4Ć&#x2013;- É&#x201E;'*0Ć&#x2020;É&#x201E;# 4Ć&#x2013;- É&#x201E;.-4Ć&#x2020;É&#x201E;# 4Ć&#x2013;- É&#x201E; Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;Ć&#x201C;--4É&#x201E;*./Ć? /É&#x201E;*/ .É&#x201E;$)É&#x201E;4*0-É&#x201E;+0-. Ƥ$+ -É&#x201E;"Ć&#x2020;É&#x201E;/$&É&#x201E;/# (É&#x201E;*1 -É&#x201E; absolutely a terror for many children. the flusherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;eyeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; then drop in the trash when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re done.â&#x20AC;? - Shelly É&#x201E; Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;â&#x20AC;&#x153;Omgosh. I HATE automatic flushers! They always go off in the tiniest of stalls when I am crouched down helping my 3year old. Toilet flushes in my face?! No thanks.â&#x20AC;? - Lindsey â&#x20AC;&#x153;Over a year ago, when my youngest was being potty trained, a toilet in a local restaurant flushed while she was still sitting on it. She jumped up screaming and crying, and she still wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go to the bathroom in that restaurant.â&#x20AC;? - Kelly

Ć&#x152;É&#x201E; É&#x201E;/#-**(.Ć&#x2020;É&#x201E;Ć&#x201C; É&#x201E;2$.#É&#x201E;/# 4É&#x201E;#É&#x201E;+*//4É&#x201E;. /É&#x201E;+-*/ /*-.É&#x201E;Ƨ++ -ƨÉ&#x201E; that COVER and drape over the edges!!! Little hands like to hold on to the potty seat, and if the protectors were BIG then they could do this!â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Miranda Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;$"É&#x201E; )*0"#É&#x201E;./''.É&#x201E;!*-É&#x201E;/2*É&#x201E;+ *+' É&#x201E;/*É&#x201E;)*/É&#x201E;#1 É&#x201E;/*É&#x201E;/*0#É&#x201E;/# É&#x201E;/*$' /É&#x201E; just to shut the door. Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;+ -É&#x201E;/*2 '.Ć&#x2020;É&#x201E;)É&#x201E;-4 -.É&#x201E;- É&#x201E;'*0É&#x201E;)É&#x201E;.-4Ć&#x2020; Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;/ +É&#x201E;./**'Ć&#x2020;É&#x201E; É&#x201E; Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;â&#x20AC;&#x153;A step stool would be a great help! The sinks and soap dispensers are too high, and it is often hard for them to be able to wash their hands.â&#x20AC;? - Jennifer É&#x201E;

Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some toilets are too tall for a 3 year old boy to go while standing up.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Laura

Ć&#x152;É&#x201E; )É&#x201E;+' .É&#x201E;'$& É&#x201E;'Ć?(-/É&#x201E;2# - É&#x201E;&$.É&#x201E;/4+$''4É&#x201E;" /É&#x201E;É&#x201E;./$& -Ć&#x2021;É&#x201E;0. É&#x201E;$/É&#x201E; in the restroom to put over the infrared sensor on automatic toilets so it wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t automatically flush. Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;Ć&#x201C; Ć&#x2013;1 É&#x201E; )É&#x201E;-+$)"É&#x201E;É&#x201E;+$  É&#x201E;*!É&#x201E;/*$' /É&#x201E;++ -É&#x201E;*1 -É&#x201E;/# É&#x201E;. ).*-É&#x201E;2# )É&#x201E; I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a sticker. Works GREAT!â&#x20AC;? - Lindsey Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;Ć&#x201C;- +-$)"É&#x201E;#$'- )É&#x201E;/*É&#x201E;# -É&#x201E;/#/É&#x201E;$)0./-$'É&#x201E;ĹŤ0.#É&#x201E;$.É&#x201E;É&#x201E;"**É&#x201E;$ Ć&#x2020;É&#x201E; Telling them it will be a little loud is smart. They will know it wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be like the one at home.â&#x20AC;? - Erin Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;Ć&#x201C;# É&#x201E;"**É&#x201E;/#$)"É&#x201E;*0/É&#x201E;*4.É&#x201E;Ć?Ć?É&#x201E;+$&É&#x201E;É&#x201E;/- Ć&#x2021;É&#x201E;)4É&#x201E;/- Ć&#x2020;Ć&#x201D;É&#x201E;Ć?É&#x201E;+-$' Least favorite restrooms: Ć&#x152;É&#x201E; *)'.É&#x201E;$)É&#x201E;*"*# .Ć&#x2020;É&#x201E;*É&#x201E;#)"$)"É&#x201E;/' .Ć&#x2021;É&#x201E;)*É&#x201E;++ -É&#x201E;/*2 '.Ć&#x2020;É&#x201E; Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;'Ć? -/Ć&#x2020;É&#x201E;0/*(/$É&#x201E;ĹŤ0.# -.É&#x201E;)É&#x201E;.$)&.É&#x201E;2$/#É&#x201E;24Ć?/**Ć?#*/É&#x201E;2/ -Ć&#x2020;É&#x201E; Here are our favorite restrooms in the area:

Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;#$&Ć?Ũ'Ć?É&#x201E;É&#x201E;$)É&#x201E; 0ĹŞ$)É&#x201E;)É&#x201E;*"*# .É&#x201E;*/#É&#x201E;-  $1 É&#x201E;&$Ć?!-$ )'4É&#x201E; reviews. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s automatic soap, automatic paper towels, and the Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;Ć&#x201C;# É&#x201E;#)"$)"É&#x201E;/' .É&#x201E;- É&#x201E;) 1 -É&#x201E;' )Ć&#x2020;É&#x201E;# 4É&#x201E;#1 É&#x201E;É&#x201E;+' É&#x201E;!*-É&#x201E; door going out swings out, so you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to grab a nasty disposable covers, but I have yet to see and be able to use handle with just-cleaned hands.â&#x20AC;? - Lindsey one.â&#x20AC;? - Whitney Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;Ć&#x201C; 4É&#x201E;!1*-$/ É&#x201E;$.É&#x201E;/# É&#x201E;#$'- )Ć&#x2013;.É&#x201E;- É&#x201E;*!É&#x201E;/# É&#x201E;+0'$É&#x201E;'$--4É&#x201E;2$/#É&#x201E;$/.É&#x201E; little potties and short sinks!â&#x20AC;? - Jennifer *Side Note- Since the dislike for the automatic flushers was Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;Ć&#x201C;# É&#x201E;*) É&#x201E;/É&#x201E;/# É&#x201E;1$.$/*-.Ć&#x2013;É&#x201E; )/ -É&#x201E;$)É&#x201E;*2)/*2)É&#x201E;*"*# .É&#x201E;$.É&#x201E; overwhelmingly the number one complaint, I scoured the web nice. What I like in a restroom is cleanliness, big enough stalls trying to find out why theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re even being installed. The ONLY for two and a changing station. When I was new at nursing, it was reasonable explanation I could find was that some people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t nice if they had a couch.â&#x20AC;? - Cindy flush. So instead of expecting people to take care of their own business, businesses have chosen a device that scares young Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;Ć&#x201C; É&#x201E;2$.#É&#x201E;(*- É&#x201E;+' .É&#x201E;#É&#x201E;/# É&#x201E;*) É&#x201E;/#-**(É&#x201E;/#-**(.É&#x201E;*-É&#x201E;É&#x201E;!($'4É&#x201E; children and frustrates their parents. Hear us now. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like bathroom like Samâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club. I can stand outside the door and know my son is fine in there ALONE.â&#x20AC;? - Hillary them! Now, moving on... Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;Ć&#x201C;#)"$)"É&#x201E;/' É&#x201E;$)É&#x201E;/# É&#x201E;( )Ć&#x2013;.É&#x201E;/#-**(Ć&#x2020;Ć&#x201D;É&#x201E;Ć?É&#x201E; - (4É&#x201E;

Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;Ć&#x201C;# É&#x201E;- ./-**(.É&#x201E;/É&#x201E;/# É&#x201E;É&#x201E; 3+ -$( )/'É&#x201E;!*- ./É&#x201E;#1 É&#x201E;/# É&#x201E; ./É&#x201E; acoustics ever!! My daughter and I like to go in and sing, and it sounds like we are in a huge church. Bathrooms are clean too.â&#x20AC;? - Julie

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



3 1. Adisen Massie holding her District Champ softball trophy. 2. Chloe Camp with Leslie Clothier and Jessica Stovall at Rangerette Day Camp in Kilgore. 3. 2012 Lufkin High School graduates: Kivana Ford, Jada LaRue, Amanda Castillo & Kayla Williams enjoyed a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cruiseâ&#x20AC;? to Cozumel, Mexico with their mothers, other family members & friends. A great getaway and after graduation celebration!! 4. Garrett Croley- 2nd trip to NASP National tournament in Louisville, KY. Qualified by placing 5th in Texas State Tournament. Finished in top 16% nationally. Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest archery competion; Guiness World Record was there to record it. 8700 participants. Hudson Middle School 6th Grade. 5. Charla Ann Raines, 4 years old, on vacation visiting her Grandparents in Thailand. Her parents are Yam & Charlie Raines and she has baby sister, Kaelee. Grandmotherr Cindy Raines and Great Grandparents Betty and Charles Chambliss.  Charla lives in Virginia. 6. Makayla Mahr at Susanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dance Studio.


6 Send a photo of your child & information to Submissions are free of charge.








:9HN\L[Â&#x2039;3\MRPUÂ&#x2039; Â&#x2039;^^^WPUL`^VVKZHJHKLT`VYN

7PUL`^VVKZ*VTT\UP[`(JHKLT`3\MRPUZVUS`W\ISPJJOHY[LYZJOVVS PZHMYLLW\ISPJZJOVVSM\UKLKI`[H_WH`LYKVSSHYZHUKPZHJJYLKP[LK I`[OL;L_HZ,K\JH[PVU(NLUJ` The  school  serves  students  from  grades  Pre-­K  through  12,  with  the  first  senior  class  slated  to  graduate  in  June  2013.  Class   sizes  of  20  students  or  less  provide  individualized  instruction  and  a  student-­centered  approach.  All  teachers  are  state   certified  in  the  subjects  they  teach  and  are  designated  as  â&#x20AC;&#x153;highly  qualifiedâ&#x20AC;?  under  NCLB  standards,  with  30%  of  the  staff   holding  advanced  degrees.  PCAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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  PCAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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  the  2012  enrollment  set  at  640  students.  A  $4.7  million  dollar  building  project  is  scheduled   to  begin  this  Fall  and  will  include  a  new  cafeteria,  competition  gymnasium,  science  labs,  and  additional  classroom  space.   For  this  year  the  school  has  added  six  temporary  classrooms,  a  new  weight  room,  and  a  new  student  parking  lot. The  addition  of  a  gym  will  help  house  a  growing  sports  program.  Pineywoods  secondary  students  can  compete  in   basketball,  track,  cross-­country,  golf,  and  tennis,  and  this  year  high  school  varsity  competition  will  begin  in  UIL  District   23-­1A  with  Broaddus,  Brookeland,  San  Augustine,  Zavalla,  and  West  Sabine.  The  school  has  both  junior  high  and  high   school  cheerleading  and  drill  team  squads.  The  junior  high  cheerleading  and  drill  team  squads  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  where  students   can  participate  in  UIL  Solo  and  Ensemble  as  well  as  One-­Act  Play  competitions.  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  opens  early  at  6:30  a.m.  to  accommodate  working  parents  and  has  an  afterschool  care  program  that  stays  open   as  late  as  6  p.m.  for  younger  students.


a splashing good time hat better way to celebrate another year older than celebrating with three friends? This year, Austin DeArmond, Brooks Varkados, and Emmerson Jackson all celebrated together. The moms transformed the Skate Ranch into a deep sea “Shark Attack.” The space was taken over by many underwater sea creatures. Guests were invited to “Enter at their Own Risk” and enjoy “Squid Ink Tattoos” and  “The Great White Grin” photo booth. Of course, any under water adventurer needs to refuel with “deep sea drinks” at the “feeding frenzy” and “shark attack” table.  This Shark Attack Skating Party could not have gone over any better with a skating rink full of friends! Austin, Brooks, and Emmerson all commemorated another year old by diving into the deep ocean blue.


60 /  The  Journey  -  September  2012



121 east fr ank~lufkin

(936) 639-6369


PAM HUDSON love a challenge. Being “mom” to 4 girls can be incredibly challenging! Sometimes it’s like “herding cats,” but most of the time it’s the greatest blessing anyone could receive. Kevin and I were blessed with two beautiful daughters. Alexis just graduated from SFA and Megan is 12 and will begin 7th grade in a few days. God’s additional blessings are a beautiful granddaughter, Addison, who’s 4 and full of life, and Naarah, my sometime daughter, who will be a high school senior this year. (We are her some time parents while her parents are busy serving as missionaries in the Amazon River basin.)


Many years ago, as a young married professional, I didn’t see parenting in my future. There were promotions to chase and exotic places to be visited. Children would “just slow us down.” I think my selfishness just clouded my view on what it’s like to be a mom.

62 /  The  Journey  -  September  2012

In Psalms 127:3 it says, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” I was rewarded 21 years ago with my first bundle of joy, and God has chosen to bless me over and over by waking up to new adventures and challenges every day! Some days I just sit back and watch the drama that unfolds. There may be a “rule enforcer”, a “pot stirrer”, a “mediator” and a “mischief-maker” appearing daily at the Hudson household. Life is incredible when I wake up and face what God has for us. I’m never bored. Whether the day means taxi driving, caring for the sick, tutoring for the latest test, relationship counseling or lending funds, my days are filled with mostly joy and, on occasion, heartache. As mom, I celebrate the triumphs and endure the struggles. I pray for my children constantly. I believe God gives us supernatural love for our children. I love my children more than life itself. This is

the unconditional love that has to come from God, because occasionally they do things that I don’t like very much. God blesses me with the noble task of teaching my children about Him. This task gives me both purpose and meaning. I grew up with the knowledge that we are all God’s children. I believe it’s my role to make sure my children grow up with the understanding that the most important relationship in their lives is their intimacy with God. I get accused of “preaching” quite a bit on the way to school, but I don’t want to miss an opportunity to use real life situations as teachable moments. Trust me, we all need God in all of our moments. Being a mom allows me to be caretaker, cheerleader, coach, nurse, best friend, mentor and sometimes referee. It’s the most challenging, yet rewarding role I’ll ever play!



The Journey September 2012  

The Journey Sept 2012

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