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Unselfish Hearts couple helps others at home and abroad

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Legendary love

Historic oak serves as a backdrop to perfect proposal

A 120-year-old oak tree stands on the campus of Texas A&M University-College Station. Its majestic limbs stretch out over the sidewalk and lawn, creating a canopy of history. Steeped in tradition, the legend states if a guy walks under the tree with a girl, she will be his girlfriend. “If you walk under the tree with someone you are going to marry, you will be together forever,” added newlywed Cooper Terrill. By CATHERINE HOSMAN


Colorful connection Plan a creative, romantic date at Painting with a Twist


Forged in faith

Longtime friendship leads to loving marriage

Matthew and Molly Mastrilli were childhood sweethearts. Growing up in Rowlett, Texas, they saw each other on Sundays at church services and at youth events. Molly was a third-grader at Rowlett Elementary School the first time she set eyes on Matt, while attending the First Baptist Church of Rowlett with her family. He was a second-grader at Dorsey. By CATHERINE HOSMAN 


Painted canvases hang on the wall. Easels line the table and palettes filled with a rainbow of paint colors wait for the guest artist to start dipping and creating art on a fresh canvas. Finding a romantic place to go on Valentine’s Day, or even for a first, second or third date can be challenging. Dinner and a movie is always a good choice, so is creating a home-cooked meal and watching a video. Flowers and heart-shaped boxes of candy are always welcome, but they don’t last. Today’s couples want to find something unique to do, something that will last and many are finding their creative muse by painting an original work of art that they can take home. It doesn’t matter if they’ve ever picked up a paint brush before. By CATHERINE HOSMAN


Fur love

Texas Humane Heroes helps you find a fur-ever friend

It’s quiet time in the dog kennel at Texas Humane Heroes in Killeen when suddenly, the door opens and humans walk in. Four adult dogs still available for adoption after a successful weekend of matching dogs and puppies with new pet parents bark with anticipation. By CATHERINE HOSMAN





TexTalk Neighbors Don and Helen Rowland fell in love in Kabul, Afghanistan

16 TexTalk FLAVOURS Stillhouse Wine Room in Killeen

18 TexTalk SCENE New Year’s Eve Gala benefits Ralph Wilson Youth Center

20 TexTalk CALENDAR Upcoming events in February





Cooper and Amanda Terrill 24 Photograph by JULIE NABOURS


49 TexFIT


Krav Maga: A new way to defend yourself







“For the Love” by Jen Hatmaker



Larry and Beverly Luedke commit to volunteer work



From the Editor

Tex Appeal Life & Style in Central Texas

Dear Readers,

People often ask, “What is love?” Is it a feeling, a knowing, or something else? While preparing for our February issue, I found myself surrounded by love over the course of interviews. We all know love comes in many forms. We can love our friends, our spouses, significant others, and the many pets that come into our lives. We can love what we do for a living, love a book, a place or even a thing. But from what I witnessed these past few weeks is that love, real love, is action. Meet your neighbors, Don and Helen Rowland. In December they celebrated 50 years of marriage. What makes this couple unique is where and how they met. In 1966 Don was an APO specialist with the U.S. Air Force serving in Kabul, Afghanistan, and Helen, a former member of the U.S. Women’s Army Corps, was serving with the United States Agency for International Development, also in Kabul. They were in their early 20s when they first set eyes on each other in a club at the USAID staff house where Americans gathered to socialize. It didn’t take long for this couple to know they were in it for life, Page 11. Meeting someone with the potential to be your life partner can be a challenge. There are so many ways to meet someone today, with social media playing a big part in matchmaking. But for two Central Texas couples, the old fashioned way worked well. Cooper and Amanda Terrill were introduced on a blind date by a mutual friend. It only took a few turns on the dance floor and some conversation for this young couple to know they found their life mate. They were introduced in 2014 and Cooper knew in just four months he wanted to marry Amanda, Page 24. Matthew and Molly Mastrilli married in December 2013. They grew up together in Rowlett, Texas, attending the same church and eventually the same middle and high school. Molly first noticed the dark-haired, dark-eyed boy at church when she was in the third grade and he was in second. By the fourth grade, she found a way to let him know she liked him and a childhood friendship began and endured well into their high school years when they started to see each other in a different way, Page 26. Anyone who has ever loved an animal knows the bond between human and pet. In today’s world there are many cats and dogs left homeless by abandonment or surrender. Many are brought to area shelters that often euthanize overpopulation. With the help of Texas Humane Heroes who rescue excess animals from shelters, many of these orphan animals have found new families, love and a fur-ever home, Page 40. Giving seems to come natural for our volunteer couple Larry and Beverly Luedke. Married 39 years, this selfless duo finds time to help out at local charities and sometimes they even travel overseas to help less fortunate citizens through local organizations such as Rotary International and Altrusa International, Page 56. Looking a fun thing to do on Valentine’s Day with your sweetie, or even friends? Shernell Mays of Painting with a Twist invites couples and singles to come and find their inner artist at one of the studio classes. No experience necessary, Page 33. If you want to shake up your exercise regime, try Krav Maga at Legacy Martial Arts. Krav Maga is an intense form self defense that teaches a person how to make the right moves to disable an attacker twice their size, Page 49. Wherever you are in your day, take a break, pour yourself a cup or glass of your favorite beverage, dip into some special chocolates and read about love in the February issue of Tex Appeal.

Catherine Hosman

Tex Appeal Editor 254-501-7511 


Published by FRANK MAYBORN ENTERPRISES, INC. KILLEEN DAILY HERALD 1809 Florence Rd., Killeen, TX 76540

TEMPLE DAILY TELEGRAM 10 S. Third St., Temple, TX 76501

Publisher SUE MAYBORN Editor CATHERINE HOSMAN Editorial Director ROSE FITZPATRICK Photographers/Graphic Designers

M. CLARE HAEFNER JULIE NABOURS ERIC J. SHELTON Contributors MITCHEL BARRETT Advertising 254-778-4444 254-501-7500

Tex Appeal Magazine is published monthly by Frank Mayborn Enterprises, Inc. 10 S. Third St., Temple, TX 76501. The cover and content of Tex Appeal Magazine is fully protected by copyright and cannot be reproduced in any manner without prior permission. Subscriptions: For the United States, $24 per year, 12 issues. Mail check to P.O. Box 6114, Temple, TX 76503-6114.

Questions about subscriptions, call 254-778-4444.

Postmaster: Send address changes to: Tex Appeal Magazine, P.O. Box 6114, Temple, TX 76503-6114. How to contact us: Advertising: Call 254-778-4444 or 254-501-7500. Editorial: Contact Catherine Hosman at 254-501-7511 or email


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Email a letter to Please include your name and a phone number for verification. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

Contributors MITCHEL BARRETT is an award-winning photographer and owner of Mitchel Barrett Photography. Although originally from the British Virgin Islands, for the past 12 years he has come to call the city of Killeen his home. He developed his love of photography while attending high school and the KISD Career Center, and has enjoyed life behind the lens ever since. When not busy taking photos, you can probably find him at the movies with friends or at home with his family and two dogs.

Tex Appeal Magazine is looking for photographers and freelance writers with experience photographing and/or writing features for a newspaper or magazine. We are seeking candidates from the Central Texas area. Candidates must be detail- and deadline-oriented and good storytellers, and must be familiar with AP style. Ability for writers to take photos is a plus, but not required. Interested candidates may send their resumes and three to five recent stories and/or photographs for consideration to



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A Kabul romance

Don and Helen Rowland in their home at Wildflower Country Club. Behind them is a curio cabinet filled with camels Helen collected over the years, a memory of Afghanistan. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


TexTalk neighbors

Couple finds love in an ancient land

Story by Catherine Hosman Photos by Mitchel Barrett and contributed by the Rowlands


on and Helen Rowland’s home in Temple is filled with mementos from a life well shared for 50 years. Asian art is juxtaposed with Southwest Native American imagery and wall hangings. But the most prominent of all their collections, except maybe Don’s golf clubs, is Helen’s collection of more than 100 camels, some big, some small, some ceramic or china or stuffed toy camels — her favorite animal and a memory of her life in Kabul, Afghanistan, where she met Don, just a little more than 50 years ago. One might wonder how did a boy from Carthage, Texas, with a passion for golf meet a girl from Denver, Colo., with a passion for adventure in 1966 Kabul. The journey began for Helen in 1958. After deciding to leave college, she joined the U.S. Women’s Army Corps and spent two and a half years stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. During that time she traveled to other European countries. Kabul was just a dot on the world map; a place she didn’t even know existed at the time. After her discharge from the Army in 1962, she went home to Denver and took a job. But something was missing. “A chance reading in the Denver Post Want Ads looking for people who wanted travel and adventure with the State Department caught my eye,” she said. The ad was with the secretary of agriculture for the United States Agency for International Development. It didn’t take long for the travel bug to bite again. Her choices were between working in Pakistan, India or Afghanistan. She chose Afghanistan because “it was the most remote, and I never heard of it.” Her work with the USAID Department of Agriculture was aimed to help Afghans “grow more and better crops.” “Joining the Foreign Service was 12


Don and Helen Rowland celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in December, hosted by their daughter, Caycee and daughter-in-law, Tommie, at the Wildflower Country Club on Dec. 10.

exciting, a new opportunity,” Helen said. Just as she was beginning her service in 1965 in Kabul, Don Rowland, a young Air Force APO specialist who served in Madrid, and opened an APO in Tehran, Iran, was about to be reassigned for his last six months of duty in Kabul. “Madrid, Tehran and Kabul were my three assignments,” Don said. “We

opened the APO postal services in Tehran and I assisted the US Air Force couriers traveling through Tehran to Kabul, Afghanistan. In Kabul, I opened the APO to support the Americans and I assisted the Air Force couriers traveling through Kabul to Pakistan.” Living in Kabul at the time was fairly safe for Americans, but precautions still

Don and Helen Rowland met in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1966. They celebrated 50 years of marriage in December. BELOW: Helen and Don Rowland relaxing on a day off in Kabul.

had to be taken. Helen lived in a house completely surrounded by a six-foot wall. She had a servant, a stable for her horse that she freely rode around the area, and kept a bicycle as her primary mode of transportation to and from work. “People were friendly, they loved Americans. I rode my bicycle two miles back and forth to work, and was never afraid,” she said, adding that there was a Russian presence on the roads in and around Kabul at that time.

Beginning of a lifelong romance On nights she wanted to socialize, Helen sometimes rode her horse over to the USAID staff house that housed U.S. military and American diplomats, and also offered a restaurant and club for Americans in Kabul. She was decked out in her riding gear when she strolled into the club one night, unaware of a young U.S. Air Force APO specialist sitting on the opposite side of the small horseshoe-shaped bar, watching her. The club was a safe place for Americans and was not so different

from that TV bar from the 1980s where “everyone knows your name.” She was greeted with a friendly wave or a loud hello from some of the other patrons, and the young Don was

captivated by the tall, blonde woman strolling in. “I was attracted to Helen the first time I saw her,” said Don, smiling as Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


he recalled the night he met Helen. “I thought she was absolutely beautiful.” Helen was sitting on the opposite side of the bar from Don. He said hello to her from his seat, and several others acknowledged her presence, but she got up to walk to the other side of the room. She wasn’t immediately impressed. “From what I saw going on, on his side of the bar, I thought he was a little arrogant,” she said. Don wasn’t alone for long. Several other young women attracted to the tall, handsome Texan made their own presence known to him. But Don’s attention was solely on Helen. After finally getting to spend a little time with her that night, he said he knew she was going to be a challenge. “She was very astute,” he said. Helen had a boyfriend at the time, a Navy Seabee. But that didn’t stop Don from inviting her to the George Washington Ball, a formal event with local diplomats. Helen accepted his invitation but needed a gown. So she flew to Pakistan the following week to have a custom gown made. “The ball was fabulous, we had such a nice time,” she recalled. “We both knew at that moment we were meant for each other.” More dates followed the ball and Don was a welcome dinner guest at Helen’s home. “My servant loved him.” With his service coming to an end, he didn’t want to lose Helen. Just before he left for Tehran, Iran, to be processed out, he proposed, but her response was not what he expected. “I didn’t give him the immediate, positive response he hoped for,” she said. “I was crushed. It wasn’t an absolute no; she said she had to think about it,” he added. Once he returned to the States and was discharged, he waited about two weeks. “And then I sent her an engagement ring,” he said.

A new life The Rowlands were married in Carthage on Dec. 15, 1966, less than one year from when they first met. They lived in Carthage for the first three months of their marriage before moving to Denver, where they lived for 15 years. Don began his career in the candy industry and Helen worked in customer 14


Helen Rowland holds up a colorful chadri or burqua Muslim women are required to wear in Kabul.

service for Frontier Airlines before their son Paige was born. A second child, their daughter Caycee, followed. Don’s career took the family from Denver to Chicago to Bryan, Ohio, before moving to Central Texas in 2000, where they’ve lived for 16 years in a golf community. “When Helen and I moved to Temple, we both thought this probably would not be the last stop,” said Don, who retired as the vice president, sales, for the Spangler Candy Co., in 2006. “But

economically, the state of Texas made great sense, not to mention, living in a golfing community with many wonderful friends.” For Don, who started golfing at the age of 12, this means he can get out and play three to five times a week. Helen also plays in a woman’s golf association. When asked what the secret is to their long marriage, and what advice they may have for couples just starting out, Don said, “Three things would help the

longevity of a marriage: Be patient, be a good listener and be flexible.” With flexibility, they both agree, don’t always think you have the right answer or that your idea is the best. “Be flexible with decision making,” he said. When it comes to listening, Helen said “listen to each other, talk to each other.” “Most people learn to be a good listener in business, they have to be able to listen (at home),” added Don. “But most people just don’t like to listen and prefer to do all the talking, so be a good listener; and have patience with things that may not go along the way you might want them to go. And also be willing to compromise.” If there is a disagreement, he said it “must be resolved before going to bed.” “All marriages have challenges. It’s easy for us because our love has grown each year. Fifty years doesn’t seem possible. Our bond keeps getting stronger and stronger as time goes on,” he said. “I’m here for Helen.” “And he is my heart and soul,” Helen said.

ABOVE: Helen and Don Rowland had a chance encounter with former President George W. Bush at the Wounded Warriors Golf Tournament at Las Calinas Country Club in Dallas. Pictured from left are Bud and Kathy Folley, former President Bush, and Helen and Don Rowland. AT LEFT: Helen and Don Rowland play a round of golf in Kabul, Afghanistan, where they met when Don was serving in the Air Force and Helen was serving in the USAID.



TexTalk flavours

Stillhouse Wine Room adds a touch of class

Story by Catherine Hosman Photos by Eric J. Shelton


tillhouse Wine Room in Killeen offers its patrons a respite from noisy sports bars that dot the landscape of the city. There is no blaring music, just the soft sounds of jazz, or crooners, like Frank Sinatra, singing in the background, and there is no TV showing the latest news or sporting event. Owner Kevin Stuart said he didn’t intend to open a wine room, a departure from his former career as a CAD 3-D Modeling engineer, when he moved to Killeen four years ago. But after talking to a friend in Florida who owns a similar establishment, the seed was planted. Stuart said finding the right balance of ambiance, comfort and sophistication took a lot of time and thought. The room became his intimate creation with tables for two and more, comfortable seating areas with plush sofas, side chairs and coffee tables, and a marble bar to sidle up



to where you can choose a glass or bottle of one of the 70 international wines, or one of the 25 international beers he has available. His establishment goes beyond a place to sip beverages and chat. Open Tuesday through Saturday, there is a different theme each night of the week. Tuesday is a gathering night. The hot menu items are not available, but guests can enjoy fine wine or beer, talk about the days’ events or have a conversation about one of the books on the tables that range in topics from trivia to the best all-time four-star movies ever made. Board games are available and include checkers, chess, Monopoly and Scrabble, to name a few. Wednesday is karaoke and food truck night, one of the few times outside food is allowed in the room during business hours. Thursday is Trivia night; Friday and Saturday offer live music. An array of cheese platters is available nightly, and a dinner menu is available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

The room is available for private parties during non-business hours, and guests may bring in their own catering. “We’ll open before 4 p.m. for a lunch meeting or catered event,” Stuart said. You can call for a reservation on Friday and Saturday nights, but there is a fee of $10 per table of two or four. A reservations-only Valentine’s Day evening event is planned and will offer a pre-priced set menu with select entrees, and live music by solo artist Bryan Thym. The Stillhouse Wine Room menu offers an array of cheese platters, meals and desserts including Stillhouse Pork Tenderloin. The combination of ingredients for this dish created a flavorful aroma that filled the room. It was served with their Stillhouse Mediterranean salad, a “blend of grapes, cherry tomatoes, olives and feta cheese marinated in garlic & basil olive oil,” and served with French bread. It can be paired with your favorite red wine or cold beer.

Stillhouse Wine Room owner Kevin Stuart and Gina Waterfield, culinary consultant.

Stillhouse Slow-Cooked Pork Tenderloin Serves 10 to 12 5 pounds lean pork tenderloin, excess fat removed 5 medium Granny Smith apples sliced 1 large yellow onion sliced 1 cup honey ¼ cup maple syrup 1½ teaspoons ginger

1½ tablespoons oregano 1 teaspoon thyme 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon nutmeg Brie cheese sliced and rind removed 1 cup pecans Place half of the apple slices in the bottom of a slow cooker. Cover with half of the honey. Slice ¾ through the pork roast diagonally. Place in slow

cooker and insert more apple slices into the cuts. Add the onions, remaining apples and spices, then top with syrup and remaining honey. Cook on low for 5 or 6 hours. Place on serving plate or shallow bowl and top in with Brie slices. Cover with bowl to allow cheese to melt, about 20 seconds. Top with pecans and serve with a salad or your favorite side dish. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


TexTalk scene


New Year’s Eve Gala benefits Ralph Wilson Youth Center 3 2

1. Eric and Micah Hildenbrand, Larry and Angela Parsons, Keith and Melissa Ross, Melissa and Steve Stacey, Hope and Kevin Koch, Cheryl and Henry Garza attend the New Year’s Eve Gala benefitting the Ralph Wilson Youth Center in Temple. 18


2. From left, Deanna, Steve and Marie Pina. 3. From left, Joanna Moore and Carlie and Tyler Hill. Photos contributed by Bill and Michelle DiGaetano.





scene TexTalk

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4. Daeric and Shawna Graeber, Michelle and Bill DiGaetano, Sara and Jim Riddles, Jenny and Bill DiGaetano. 5. Terri Hoelscher and Seleese Thompson. 6. Charlie and Katy Kimmey, Becky and Kenny Paysse

7. Cindy and Guy Fowler. 8. Nia Harden and Drayton McLane III. 9. From left, Sue Mayborn, Soozie Zysk, Sharon Wilson and Ken Zysk. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


TexTalk calendar

Food for Thoughts Now through April 1 Art quilts from Studio Art Quilts Associates. We eat every day, but how do we really think about the food we eat? Each culture has its celebrations, family meals and traditions that involve food. Although these vary in different parts of the world, the impact of food is unmistakable. Thirty-four artists use the traditional craft of quilting to create beautiful works of art celebrating the many roles food plays in our daily lives. Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum 315 W. Avenue B, Temple Call 254-298-5172 or visit for more information. Country Dances at Belton Senior Center Feb. 2, with Shorty Grisham & Friends Feb. 16, Out of the Blue 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., $5 suggested donation Bring a small food item for the snack table. 842 Mitchell St., Belton Call 254-939-1170. 18th annual Father-Daughter Dance Feb. 3 and 4, 6 to 9 p.m. $12 per person Tickets are available online only at and not available for purchase at the door. Price includes admission, one free gift for each young



Tiffany and Christopher Ward dance with their daughter Valencia during last year’s Valentine’s Dance sponsored by the Harker Heights Parks and Recreation Department. Photo by Gabe Wolf

lady and dessert. Carriage ride tickets presale only. Professional photography and additional concessions will be available for purchase. Frank W. Mayborn Convention Center 3303 N. Third St., Temple Call 254-298-5733.

Daddy Daughter Dance 2017 Feb. 9 and 10, 6 to 8 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.) Enjoy music and dancing, snacks,

drinks, candy and photo opportunities. Tickets are $30 for each daddydaughter couple and $10 for each additional daughter. Each night will be limited to 100 guests. Harris Community Center 401 N. Alexander St., Belton Call 254-933-5861.

8th annual Valentine’s Family Dance Feb. 14, 6-8 p.m. Celebrate Valentine’s with the whole

calendar TexTalk family. Enjoy dancing, light snacks and activities. Harker Heights Activities Center 400 Indian Trail, Harker Heights Call Nichole Broemer at 254-9535465 for more information or email

Belton Market Days Feb. 18, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Buy, sell and trade in downtown Belton. Visit our vendors and farmers market in the historic downtown on Central Avenue. Enjoy food and entertainment. Every third Saturday of the month. For more information, visit Central Texas Orchestral Society presents Bob Schneider and His Moonlight Orchestra Featuring The Tosca String Quartet Feb. 10 6 p.m. optional dinner from Pignetti’s 7:30 p.m., performance $40 in advance, $45 at the door, $30 dinner Bob Schneider has been the singer and main songwriter on nearly 30 studio albums, and he has been named Musician of the Year six times at the Austin Music Awards. The Tosca String Quartet is Leigh Mahoney (violin), Tracy Seeger (violin), Ames Asbell (viola), and Sara Nelson (cello). They began in 1996 as members of the Tosca Tango Orchestra, a seven-piece

ensemble that captivated the Austin live music scene. Valentine’s dinner menu is baconwrapped meatloaf, red wine mushroom demi mashed potato, sautéed haricot verts, rolls, side salad with ranch; choice of tea, water, wine or beer. Cultural Activities Center 3011 N. Third St., Temple Call 254-773-9926 or visit

Friends of the Community Clinic 23rd Annual Caring Ball Benefiting the Temple Community Clinic Feb. 11, 6 p.m. to midnight Enjoy wine tasting, a silent auction, dinner and dancing. Call 254-771-3374 for information or visit for reservations. 8th annual Chili Cook-off Fundraiser For Texas Humane Heroes Feb. 25, 1 to 4 p.m. $30 chili entry fee; $10 general admission; kids 10 and under free Calling all chili chefs for a chili cook-off showdown: Does your chili make people cheer? Are your spices spectacular? Does your recipe rock? Take the chili challenge and enter. Would you rather taste the chili and help select the top three recipes? Enjoy the chili entries as well as all-you-can-eat chili from CJ’s Catering. There will be vendors as well as live entertainment from

Joe and Bethany. Vaccinated and leashed pooches are welcome. If you don’t have a furry friend, check out our animals available for adoption. Leander Adoption Center 10930 E. Crystal Falls Parkway, Leander For more information, visit https://

The Central Texas Orchestral Society presents Baltimore Consort Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m. $25 adults; $10 students The Baltimore Consort has delighted audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Their arrangements of early music from England, Scotland, France, Italy and Spain speak to the heart as well as the mind, and their love for the early music of English/Scottish heritage has led them to delve into the rich trove of traditional balladry and dance tunes preserved in the Appalachian Mountains and Nova Scotia. More recently, the group has explored the extraordinary repertory from the Iberian peninsula Awill, in a program entitled “Cancionero: Early Music from Spain.” Cultural Activities Center 3011 N. Third St., Temple Call 254-773-9926 or visit Email upcoming events to



TexTalk well-fed head

Find inspiration to live a life filled with grace



f I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t excited about reading this book. I started with the synopsis on the cover — I like to know a little about what I’m devoting an afternoon to reading before I start — and it didn’t really pique my interest. It seemed obvious that “life can make us competitive and judgmental” and that it’s easy “to lose love for others and then for ourselves.” I’ve heard and experienced all that before. Of course the world is full of impossible standards, that’s nothing new, and I doubted Jen Hatmaker would have anything to say that radically changed my outlook on life. But I had an assignment to complete, so I began reading, despite my initial lack of interest, and it didn’t take long for me to change my mind. As it turns out, Jen Hatmaker is funny, and reading her inspirational essays in “For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards” (Nelson Books 2015) is like spending an afternoon swapping stories and getting advice from a good friend. “For the Love” is filled with advice, from how to build better and lasting relationships with other women, to how to balance work and family and how to face the challenges of motherhood and marriage without losing your mind. The secrets are laughter, especially not being afraid to laugh at yourself, and forgiveness — asking others for it, giving it and most importantly forgiving yourself. No one can do everything well, and Hatmaker makes this crystal clear as she shares her struggles to conform as a young newlywed and mother of five, to her decision to live life by doing the best she can each day. In her introduction, Hatmaker relates her dream for this book: “I hope you close the last page and breathe an enormous sigh of relief. I hope you laugh out loud because you just got free. Then I hope you look with fresh, renewed eyes at all your people—that one you married, those ones you birthed, the ones on your street and in your church and at your work and around the world—and you are released to love them as though it is your job.” Her ambitions seemed lofty, but by the end, her goal was realized because she shifted my perspective, reminding me that the world is so much bigger than I generally think it is, and that things that seem so important are just things — experiences to learn from and let go of as life goes on. I couldn’t relate to all of her advice — I’m not married and don’t have children, but I certainly appreciated her perspective and her straight-forward yet humorous approach to writing. My favorite sections of “For the Love” were the thank-you notes, filled with sarcastic shout outs, such as “Thank you, To-Do List, for going along with it when I add 22


things to you that I’ve already done, just for the satisfaction of crossing them off.” Her sense of humor really shines in these passages, and made me see her as a friend whose advice I’d take to heart because she sees the world a lot like I do, even though a lot of our life experiences are vastly different. I also really enjoyed her chapters about the mission work she’s done at home in Austin and around the world as a pastor’s wife. It showed me her compassion for people and reinforced a theme found throughout the book — you can’t do everything, so quit trying. At the end of the day, life isn’t perfect. We all make many mistakes, and there will always be challenges, people who thrive on conflict and obstacles that threaten to overwhelm us. But what’s important is how we react, or as Hatmaker would say, how we overcome, set the struggles aside and commit to loving each other. Let God be God and let us be loving, graceful and here for one another. It’s great advice. Hatmaker inspired me to live each day for the love. I won’t always succeed, but I will always try.



Legendary love

Cooper and Amanda Terrill were introduced by a mutual friend. 24


Historic oak serves a backdrop for perfect proposal Story by CATHERINE HOSMAN Photos by JULIE NABOURS and contributed by the TERRILLS


120-year-old oak tree stands on the campus of Texas A&M University-College Station. Its majestic limbs stretch out over the sidewalk and lawn creating a canopy of history. Steeped in tradition, the legend states if a guy walks under the tree with a girl, she will be his girlfriend. “If you walk under the tree with someone you are going to marry, you will be together forever,” added newlywed Cooper Terrill, Williamson County extension agent and a graduate of Texas A&M. “I was raised an Aggie, my dad is an Aggie and so it holds a special place in my heart.” The tree took on a whole new meaning when he took his girlfriend, Amanda Loggins, to campus on Labor Day weekend 2015 to propose to her under it. Cooper said the trick is to get your girlfriend to the tree without her knowing it, so he devised a ruse. He told her they were going to have a romantic dinner at the top of Rudder Hall, a campus restaurant that gives its diners a panoramic view of the campus and beyond. But the restaurant was closed that weekend. “We parked near the tree and had to pass under it to get to the restaurant,” he said. “I asked her if she would like to walk under the tree with me.” Amanda was very familiar with the tree and its story. She comes from a family of Aggies and she knew about this famous Texas oak. “I had asked him if he ever walked under the tree before and he said ‘no,’” said Amanda, who will graduate from Temple College with her associate’s degree in nursing this year. “I said when he does, it better be with me.” As they were walking toward the restaurant, Cooper took a slight detour and walked Amanda under the tree. “It was really special,” she said. “I didn’t know he was going to pop the question that day.” Cooper was very serious, Amanda recalled. She also said she didn’t see

Cooper and Amanda Terrill’s first date was in Waco. They enjoyed a concert and dancing.

anyone else on campus at the time. But somewhere in the background was a photographer friend of Cooper’s waiting for the right time to capture the moment. “I brought a Kendra Scott bag with me because she likes Kendra Scott jewelry,” Cooper said, admitting the bag was empty and only meant to distract her while he took the engagement ring out of his pocket. Before Amanda could figure

out what wasn’t in the bag he knelt down on one knee and proposed. “Oh my gosh,” Amanda exclaimed, as the photographer captured the moment.

A blind date Cooper was the agricultural extension agent in Falls County attending a state meeting in Lufkin when a mutual friend, Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Cooper Terrill proposed to Amanda Loggins under a 120-year-old oak tree on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station. 26


Sheryl Long, the extension agent in Hill County where Amanda lived at the time, told Cooper she had a girl for him. “Amanda and I were at dinner one night, and it kind of came to me that her and Cooper’s personalities would be a perfect match,” Long said. “I told Amanda I had a friend who is an extension agent who is tall dark and handsome who would be perfect for her. She was open for it. She and I were best friends, and I knew if Cooper and I got along well, they would do the same.” “One thing, I like to joke and have a lot of fun,” Cooper said. “Sheryl said my honesty and openness would match with Amanda.” “I’m a little quirky too, and I like to have fun,” Amanda said. In turn, Long told Cooper she had an awesome girlfriend who’s gorgeous with long dark hair and asked if he would be interested in meeting her. “Amanda and I hung out for years, played the dating game,” Long said. “I’m happy to see my friends together and that they found their perfect match. Now we get to go on double dates, so that’s fun, too.” “We matched very well, we had a lot of the same interests,” Amanda said, adding that whomever she met had to know how to dance. The couple met on a blind date in Waco at the Wild West nightclub to enjoy a live concert and dancing. “I was taken aback. She was beautiful,” Cooper said when he first saw Amanda. “I thought he was handsome,” Amanda admitted. They talked a bit, listened to the concert and danced a lot that night. “Dancing worked really well,” Amanda said. “It was easy to follow him, it was refreshing.” “I’ve learned how to dance all my life because it’s a big deal when you meet someone that you can dance,” Cooper said. They stayed until closing, then talked a bit in the parking lot. When Cooper walked Amanda to her truck, he held her hand, spun her around in a circle, pulled her in to him and kissed her. “I thought I was being very smooth,” he said, smiling, his eyes twinkling. “I had the same idea,” Amanda added, blushing just a bit. It didn’t take long for Cooper to ask Amanda on a second date the next day. She was working three-to-eleven as a licensed vocational nurse at a nursing home and met Cooper at a local restaurant for lunch before starting her shift. A lot of phone calls followed and he would bring dinner to her during the long nights she worked the second shift. Sometimes he would bring her a Dr Pepper. “And I still do,” he quipped. By Christmas 2014, Cooper knew he wanted to marry Amanda, but he waited, secretly looking at rings. “I knew after four months that she was the girl for me,” Cooper said. “One thing about her that has increased every day is that she makes me want to be a better person, a better man, and that’s something I’ve never felt with anyone else I’ve been with.” Hearing this for the first time, Amanda looks at her husband and sighs a bit, and flashes him a big smile. Amanda said there wasn’t a “pivotal moment” for her, but rather, she said he just fit. “He’s my go-to. I’m very chaotic and he calms that, he balances me,” she said. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Forged in faith

Molly and Matt Mastrilli met at church in Rowlett during elementary school. 28


Longtime friendship leads to loving marriage Story by CATHERINE HOSMAN Photos by JULIE NABOURS and contributed by the MASTRILLIS

Molly and Matt Mastrilli were high school sweethearts.


atthew and Molly Mastrilli were childhood sweethearts. Growing up in Rowlett, Texas, they saw each other on Sundays at church services and at youth events. Molly was a third-grader at Rowlett Elementary School the first time she set eyes on Matt, while attending the First Baptist Church of Rowlett with her family. He was a second-grader at Dorsey. By the fourth grade, she had developed a crush on him and she made her feelings known through a mutual friend. Like most boys at that age, when Matt got the message, he shrugged his shoulders and said, OK. But the seeds of a childhood friendship had been planted. They both attended the same middle school and their friendship continued, but they still weren’t close. It wouldn’t be until high school when there would be a seismic shift in their friendship. “Once we got into Rowlett High School, we started to hang out with mutual friends. We were close, but not dating,” Molly said. Like most youth at that age, they were dating other people, but when those respective relationships came to an end, she started looking at Matt through a different lens. By then she was a junior and he was a sophomore. During summer break, and at church events, they started talking — casual at first but then they started getting closer and spent most of that summer hanging out. “It was casual at first, then we started getting closer,” she said. The teens were getting ready to attend a weeklong church camp that summer, and a week before the camp, they got up early one day to go and hang out with friends. “That’s when I realized I was having feelings for her. It was the summer between my sophomore and junior year,” he said. “It was just being together, we

always had fun together and I realized how pretty she was, a good faithful woman of God, faith in Christ, she was athletic and took care of herself. She was looking good.” “I always thought he was handsome and a believer, which is very important,” Molly added. “I always thought he was very handy. He could work on his own truck. All of the families that had girls in the church youth group wanted their daughters to grow up and marry Matthew.” After church camp, Matt asked Molly to be his girlfriend and he asked her out on their first official date: to a sports pro shop on the banks of Lake Ray Hubbard, in Rowlett, where they could walk along the shores and onto a pier that led over the lake, talking about whatever came to mind. “We didn’t have a need to get to know each other. We just wanted to be

together,” she said. A stop at a local burger drive-in followed their walk along the lake and when he took her home, they sealed their new relationship with a kiss. “He asked me first if he could kiss me,” said Molly, blushing just a bit at the memory. “We had our first kiss after our first date; then he ran off after that to go home.” Molly graduated high school a year before Matthew and enrolled at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor where she majored in nursing. For the first year, the couple endured a long-distance relationship until Matt graduated and joined Molly at UMHB, majoring in history with a minor in education and art. But doubts started to cloud Molly’s thoughts and she broke off her relationship with Matt and tried dating other men. That only lasted three weeks Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Molly and Matt Mastrilli got married on Dec. 13, 2013, in Salado.



before they got back together. “I knew I wanted to marry Molly through most of college, but her dad said, ‘let’s wait,’” said Matthew, who now teaches world history and career prep at Belton New Tech High at Waskow in Belton ISD.

A family affair, and a stranger Molly graduated from UMHB in May 2012 with her degree in nursing and went back to Rowlett to spend the summer with her family before starting work at McLane Children’s Hospital in Temple. Matt had one more year to go at UMHB but couldn’t wait another year to ask Molly to marry him and decided it was time to pop the question. He wanted it to be special, something Molly would never forget. After all, he already had a ring. That August he enlisted the help of 50 of their closest friends, and their parents, to pull of the surprise proposal of the year. While Matt and friends from Belton caravanned up to Rowlett, local friends and family members were at his parents’ home staging an engagement party. After he dropped off his friends at his house, he picked up Molly for what she thought was going to be a romantic dinner at Gloria’s restaurant on Lake Ray Hubbard, to celebrate five years of dating. He even brought a shoe box filled with souvenirs

from their dating life to look at with her. He parked his car near a park a short walk from the restaurant. Matt had arranged for their mothers to be hiding in the bushes in the park, ready to ambush the couple with cameras to capture the moment he proposed. They exited the car and started walking toward the restaurant when Matthew stopped suddenly and got down on one knee. “I was blubbering,” said Molly. “He got down on one knee.” “She was crying, but she got a yes out,” Matt said, smiling. As the moms came out from behind the bushes, taking photos, a stranger in a pickup truck drove up behind them, thinking they were about to perpetrate a sinister plot against the couple. Once they explained the situation, he drove away. “I was so overwhelmed,” said Molly, a nurse in the medical surgical unit at McLane Children’s Hospital. “We had talked about getting married, even in high school. We just celebrated our third wedding anniversary in December.” Matt and Molly married on Dec. 13, 2013, at The Chapel at Caliber Oak in Salado. “I felt in my heart only a couple of months into dating him that this is the one,” she said. “We broke up a little bit, but it didn’t last long,” Matthew said. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Shernell Mays is co-owner of Painting with a Twist. 32


Colorful connection Plan a creative, romantic date at Painting with a Twist



ainted canvases hang on the wall. Easels line the table and palettes filled with a rainbow of paint colors wait for the guest artist to start dipping and creating art on a fresh canvas. Finding a romantic place to go on Valentine’s Day, or even for a first, second or third date can be challenging. Dinner and a movie is always a good choice, so is creating a home-cooked meal and watching a video. Flowers and heart-shaped boxes of candy are always welcome, but they don’t last. Today’s couples want to find something unique to do, something that will last and many are finding their creative muse by painting an original work of art that they can take home. It doesn’t matter if they’ve ever picked up a paint brush before; anyone can be an artist and bring home their masterpiece after a couple of hours as they go “Painting with a Twist.” “Anybody can do it,” said Shernell Mays, franchise co-owner with her husband, Jeremy, and her parents, Michael and Annette Hampton. “No experience necessary. It’s something fun, something different, something creative.” Couples who come in to paint are given a double canvas. Each has their own side to paint. Each side is different. Once the pieces are complete, they blend into one picture. To get started, an art instructor Continued

Killeen residents Michelle and Andre Ford create art together for the second time at the studio. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Rue Neumann, a makeup artist and actor, enjoys creating outside of the box. 34


stands on a stage at the front of the room and walks the guests through the painting. Since BYOB is allowed, there are sodas, water bottles and filled wine glasses on the table. “Don’t dip your brushes into the drinks and don’t drink the paint water,” Michelle Santiago calls out from the stage. “This is fun art, not fine art.” To keep her students on target, she names each of the three brushes they will use. On this day she names the larger, fatter brush Big Poppa, the medium brush is Little Brother and smallest brush is Little Mama. “Once they get started, the artists take the students step-by-step (through the process). They don’t use technical terms. They keep it simple,” Mays said. “They tell the students how much paint to use, what brush to use — there are no mistakes in painting. Guests have the feeling that when you paint it’s relaxing — they call it art yoga.” Andre and Michelle Ford are dipping their paintbrushes for the second time. “It’s fun. We enjoy ourselves,” said Andre Ford. “And it can be romantic. Couples can bring in their own drinks.” It was Terron Flemmings and Cindy Isom’s first time at the studio. Their style was a little more competitive, but he said they would come back. Friendly competition between couples does happen sometimes and Mays said she hears couples say, teasingly, ‘If you don’t paint your side right, it’s not going on the wall.’” Before she became a franchise owner (she owns the Temple, Harker Heights and Tempe, Ariz., locations), Mays was a customer. “I fell in love with it. It’s a fun atmosphere, relaxing. More of a getaway where you are not thinking about every day life,” she said. It’s not just romance that blossoms behind the canvas, friendships form as well and Mays said

Terrence and Elizabeth Butler put the finishing touches on their blended painting. BELOW: Artist Michelle Santiago talks the class through their first brush strokes.

“It’s totally romantic. We’re creating a beautiful piece of art you can keep on your wall.”

— Rue Neumann, on a date with his wife, Andie

often singles come in and are painting by themselves; soon a conversation starts and friendships bond. But when romance does bloom, it returns in the form of a proposal. “We have many proposals,” Mays said. “Guys looking for something different will call ahead and tell us their plan to propose. They talk to the instructor and ask her to do a canvas that says ‘Will You Marry Me,’ on Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


While singles work on individual paintings, couples work on blended pieces during a class. BELOW: Terrence and Elizabeth Butler share a laugh while painting.

one side. It’s a nice place to propose during the month of love or any other day.” “It’s totally romantic,” said Rue Neumann, on a date with his wife, Andie. “We’re creating a beautiful piece of art you can keep on your wall.” “My husband and I are both very artistic. We love painting,” Andie said. “It’s something you can do together, make something together, and take it home and have it forever,” added Rue. Giving back But it’s not just romantic and artistic muses that Painting with a Twist nurtures. Once a month the studio is turned into a fundraising venue as they invite guests to come and “paint with a purpose.” Mays said Painting with a Purpose was the idea of corporate Continued 36


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Rue and Andie Neumann, both artists, found the experience to be romantic and fun. BELOW: Michelle and Andre Ford have a little fun with paintings from the portrait gallery.

owners Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney who founded Painting with a Twist ( in Mandeville, La., after Hurricane Katrina hit, to try and raise the community spirit. As their company grew, they came up with the idea of Painting with a Purpose to raise money and give back to the local community. The shop will support any local or national 501(c) 3 organization in need. Special nights are announced, and usually sell out. Mays said they donate one-half of the proceeds from that night, before expenses, to the charity. Some of the local groups helped include Texas Humane Heroes, Vera Bradley Breast Cancer, Wounded Warrior, Wreaths for Vets, the American Cancer Society, and Autism Service Dogs of Texas. “The founders wanted their franchises to give back to community,� Mays said. 38


Artist and instructor Miriah Knapp, Shernell Mays, her mother, Annette Hampton and sister Sherce Hampton. BELOW: Paints and aprons await use at Painting with a Twist.

The studio is open to all ages and has a specific calendar for family night, date night, open night and private events. This Valentine’s Day, artistically

inclined couples can enjoy an adultsonly night at the studio, reservations required, bring their favorite beverage and enjoy a sweet buffet while creating their blended masterpiece. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Fur love

Texas Humane Heroes helps pet-parents find a fur-ever friend to bring home



t’s quiet time in the dog kennel at Texas Humane Heroes in Killeen when suddenly, the door opens and humans walk in. Four adult dogs still available for adoption after a successful weekend of matching dogs and puppies with new pet parents bark with anticipation. They are alert, jumping around in circles and hoping this may be the day they get a forever home. On the other side of the building is the cat and kitten area. Two kittens, a grey tabby with tufted ears and a tiny calico, play hide and seek in the cat condos set up in a room that leads to an enclosed patio. Felines are a little standoffish at first, because after all, cats choose us. But then they come out of their lairs and greet you with a head butt against your hand. If you get close enough, they nestle a furry face against

yours. That’s the moment you know that cat or kitten is yours. Pets of all species have been adding love to humans’ lives for centuries, but in the last 20 years or so that bond seems to have deepened. For many pet owners, the psychology of master-pet has given way to the pet-parent connection, and humans now refer to their fourlegged housemates as fur kids. Finding your fur-ever friend Anyone who has ever loved a pet knows the human-animal bond that begins the moment you look into your new fur-kid’s eyes. It’s that moment of joy when the four-legged critter realizes someone is taking him or her to a forever home where he or she will be warm in the winter, cool in the summer, be able to romp and play in a loving home and maybe even have a backyard to explore. “Go into any shelter and look into their eyes. They want to come out and be your beloved pet,” said THH Board Member George Grammas. “People and animals have that connection. They give you unconditional love and are so innocent. Our connection with our family pets is an unbreakable bond.” Finding that special fur-kid, however, takes a little time; especially if you are looking at orphan animals at one of the many local shelters in Central Texas. To help out the overflow of abandoned or surrendered pets, Texas Humane Heroes of Killeen and Leander ( take in the overflow of animals from kill shelters to help mitigate euthanasia. As many as 200 pets a month are collected Continued



Marty gets some play time with Texas Humane Heroes board member George Grammas.



Christine Rankin, marketing manager for Texas Humane Heroes, soothes one of the kittens still waiting for adoption.

This pretty calico kitten is looking for her fur-ever home. 42


from shelter facilities around the state and brought to Leander to be prepared for adoption. “All the animals come into the Leander location first,” said THH Marketing Manager Christine Rankin. “Every Tuesday we transfer adoptable animals to Killeen where they are available Tuesday through Sunday for adoption.” Approximately 2,400 animals are brought to Leander every year, and as many as 200 pets a month are adopted. Some people drive from out of state to adopt a pet after finding it on the internet. All incoming animals are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. It costs $200 to prepare one animal for its prospective new home. If you are not sure about being a for-life pet parent, consider becoming

Cat condos at Texas Humane Heroes give cats and kittens a safe place to play and rest. The felines also have access to an outdoor enclosed patio. Only two kittens remain from a recent adoption weekend.

“People and animals have that connection. They give you unconditional love and are so innocent. Our connection with our family pets is an unbreakable bond.”

— George Grammas

a foster parent through Texas Humane Heroes. But keep in mind these are mostly special-needs animals. “We foster for a few reasons like mamas-to-be, nursing babies, heartworm positive dogs, and behavior problem dogs. Humane Heroes pays all expenses for foster pet parents. If an animal becomes sick, bring it back and we will take it to our onsite veterinarian or to an outside veterinarian,” Rankin said. People cannot just say they want to foster a pet, Rankin explains. Prospective foster parents must complete a volunteer application and be

approved by the volunteer coordinator. A detailed foster training manual is provided to help foster parents understand the responsibility they will be undertaking. But beware, sudden love is a hazard for foster parents and Rankin said Humane Heroes loves what they call “foster failures.” “That means the pet has found a good forever home,” Rankin said. “Foster moms are so dedicated. They want to keep their guy or girl, but want to foster more.” Rankin said it takes discipline to let go of a foster pet when the time

comes, especially if the foster parent has become emotionally attached to it. “It takes discipline to let go,” Rankin said. “Know that it is going to a good home. Foster families are our lifesavers.” Saving lives The annual budget is $1.2 million, and is covered by grants and donations. Fundraisers are held on a regular basis, and last year they hosted their first Diamond in the Ruff Gala in Austin and raised more than $60,000 for the shelters. Monetary and in-kind donations of cleaning supplies, toys to keep the animals busy, canned dog and cat food, (no dry food please, the animals are on a strict diet), blankets, leashes, paper towels and hand sanitizer are welcome. With all of the help the shelter receives from the community they give back through educational programs. “One of the things we do is Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


From left, Christine Rankin, Texas Humane Heroes marketing manager based in Leander; Killeen THH staff members Charity Iles, Jessica Jackson, holding Marty, and board member George Grammas. BELOW: This little fella’ peeks around the corner of a cat condo, wondering if it’s his time to leave.

to go into public schools and give presentations to kids in the area,” Grammas said. “The younger we can get them, the better.” Grammas said it’s teaching kids about pets through community outreach. “We get invited all the time. We set up tables, take animals with us, teach them (the kids) about basic pet care, how not to get bitten by an animal,” he said. “Kids come in here for a tour. Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts of Leander earn their merit badges.” Another way THH helps is through Pets for Patriots. Military staff can come in to adopt a companion animal at no charge. But Grammas said too often the soldiers who come in to adopt are deployed unexpectedly and they have to surrender their pets. “Think before you adopt,” Grammas said. “Animals need a forever home.” For soldiers who do deploy but 44


want to be sure their pet is waiting for them when they return, Grammas said the Guardian Angels in Gatesville

(https://guardianangelsforsoldierspet. org/) will foster out a pet, at the soldier’s expense.







Amanda and Chris Hamm teach taekwondo and Krav Maga at their Harker Heights studio.



Krav Maga


Discover a new way to defend yourself



usband and wife team Chris and Amanda Hamm want to help you stay safe in your surroundings. As owners of Texas Legacy Arts in Harker Heights, and with the assistance of trained staff members, they teach traditional taekwondo to children and adults. They also added Krav Maga to their class schedule — an intense form of mixed martial arts that Amanda said “includes adapted techniques from everything.” “It teaches how to strike (an attacker) and where for the most effectiveness,” she said. “It also teaches a new mentality — how not to be scared and take control of a situation. Confidence is a big part of it.” “(Krav Maga) trains the body to move before the mind thinks about it,” Chris said. “You train to be the attacker, not the victim. Just do it.” Krav Maga is a fairly new form of martial arts training that dates back to the 1930s and 1940s. According to Wikipedia, “it is a self-defense system developed for the Israeli Defense Forces using a combination of aikido, judo, boxing, wrestling and street fighting. The practice was brought to the United States in the mid-1990s for civilian use, by men who had trained in the discipline in Israel.” “Krav Maga is like a mix of martial arts or UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) without rules made for self-defense — it is made for combat,” Continued

The Jab Cross Hook | The jab cross hook uses both hands. The point is to strike with the left hand to the nose, then the right hand to the nose and finally the left hand to the jaw. The more you do it, the faster you get. The faster you get, the more you can overcome your opponent. (The jab is not illustrated.) TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Amanda and Chris Hamm demonstrate master taekwondo moves at their martial arts studio in Harker Heights.

Chris said. “It teaches self-defense and awareness to your surroundings at all times.” He said awareness includes how you use a cellphone when you are out in public. “Cellphones are a distraction, whether it’s in your ear or in front of you,” he said. “If you are not aware of what is going on around you an attacker can approach you.” Other common sense tactics include staying in a lit public area if you are out at night, staying away from buildings and large groups. “Krav Maga is having awareness once an altercation starts,” he said. “Know who the ring leader is (if there is more than one person), and be aware if anyone has weapons. The immediate reaction, taking into consideration the element of surprise, is as soon as you get grabbed you attack. If there is a knife, how would you defend yourself against it?” 50


DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME The accompanying photos are for illustration only and Chris Hamm cautions not to do these moves at home. They need to be in a controlled environment under the supervision of an instructor. “We learn how to fight so we don’t have to fight. Stay aware,” he said. Chris said Krav Maga is taught by certified instructors and is a high intensity workout that not only burns more calories then traditional exercise, but also teaches how to be ready to defend yourself in the event of a personal attack. “It has a lot of success with women,” he said. But it’s not for everyone, and he doesn’t recommend couples partnering up for this high-

intensity sparring. “This is a contact exercise and injuries can occur,” said Chris, who is a fourth-degree black belt in taekwondo. You must be 18 or older to take the class; however, he said he would consider a 16-year-old with parental consent. For older folks who want to work out, he said people in their 40s and 50s must have a doctor’s release to practice this form of self-defense. Kindred spirits Chris and Amanda Hamm met nine years ago and married one year later. They have two children ages 7 and 2. Chris, a martial arts instructor, was working at a bookstore in the Killeen Mall when Amanda came and bought a book about medieval ethics and sagas — the last one that Chris had coveted. They saw each other again when Chris Continued

THE HEADLOCK | If an attacker gets you in a headlock, find something to gain leverage against him or her. It could be the nose or the eyes or the chin. Push attacker away from you and escape.



The Ground drill | If you are pushed down, or fall to the ground, you don’t want an attacker to get any closer than that. With a leg, aim for the center of the body to stop the attacker’s movement; look for an opening and get away.

The punch capture | If someone tries to hit you, grab onto and control the attacking hand. With your free hand, attack back by doing whatever you have to do to overcome the attacker. 52


was invited to be a guest lecturer at her college and she was in the audience. He said he remembered her from the bookstore. “I knew I was going to do something,” he said. He asked around about her and was given her email address. After waiting a little while, he emailed her. When they finally met officially, he said they hit it off. “It was just chemistry,” he said. They had a lot in common. They both enjoyed exercise and the both liked medieval fantasy and science fiction. They evolved as a couple, both attending Central Texas College. Chris knew he wanted to do something that would share his passion for martial arts, so while still working at the book store and attending college, he opened his own martial arts school, teaching classes at the local community center. When his class size grew, he asked Amanda to help with the business side of the school. “The financial part of the business — ordering uniforms, equipment,” he said. By 2009 they had outgrown the space at the community center and decided it was time to expand. In 2010, they opened their first school in a 1,200square-foot building. They continued to grow and outgrew that building in 2011, when they moved to a location in downtown Killeen, where they taught for five years. In 2016, they opened a new school in a space with 6,500 square feet. In addition to Krav Maga, the studio also offers adult martial arts, kids martial arts, birthday parties and summer camps. “Taekwondo is a favorite, depending on what students are looking for,” said Amanda, a third-degree black belt in taekwondo, who teaches the art to children and adults. “Taekwondo is more structured; it has a specific belt ranking system. Students can learn at each belt rank starting as young as 3 years old to adult. Krav Maga is more about ability, not ranking,” Chris added.

The DOUBLE PLUCK | If somebody is trying to choke you, you want to get the attacker’s hands away from your throat. After the hands are clear, follow up with the attack. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Unselfish hearts



Larry and Beverly Luedke’s home overlooks Belton Lake.


Temple couple spreads love through volunteering Story by CATHERINE HOSMAN Photos by MITCHEL BARRETT and contributed by THE LUEDKES


hile some people decorate their homes with the latest trends, Larry and Beverly Luedke adorn their home with art, sculpture, tapestry, rugs and artifacts that have a special meaning for them. Much of their collection is from their worldwide journeys volunteering with Rotary and Altrusa International and each item has its own story. Beverly calls the sitting room off the kitchen area in their home that overlooks Belton Lake the international room. Memorabilia from their many trips are displayed in individual vignettes, some domestic, others international, in compartmented shelves of the built-in entertainment wall unit. The Luedkes global volunteer opportunities have taken them to places most people just read about, or see on TV. With Rotary International they traveled to Cancun, Mexico, in 2009 and Lima, Peru, in 2012, where they helped to distribute more than 800 wheelchairs, collectively, to disabled children and adults. When they traveled New Delhi and Ghazihabad, India, in 2011, Beverly said they were “part of a 10-day trip for National Immunization Day, in which 1.5 million doses of oral polio vaccine was given to citizens living in the slums and city dump.” Traveling with Altrusa International, they visited Toledo, Spain, “to investigate a possible project to improve the lives of young adults with Down’s Syndrome.” In 2014-15, Beverly led an Altrusan project locally to raise funds to provide solar powered lighting in Restoration Gateway orphanage library and huts in Uganda. But of all the journeys they’ve taken, the two that impacted the

This photo of a Peruvian man hangs at the top of the stairwell on the second floor of the Luedke’s Temple home. Beverly Luedke said it spoke to her when she saw it during an Altrusa trip to Peru, and knew it had to come home.

Luedkes the most were their trips to New Delhi and Lima. “I never saw poverty like we saw in India,” said Beverly Luedke, 2016-17

president of Rotary Temple-South. “It stuck in my heart. It made me want to do more service. Until you see it, you Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Beverly and Larry Luedke said they never saw poverty like what they witnessed in India during a trip with Rotary International to administer polio vaccines to more than 1.5 million citizens. BELOW: The Luedkes in front of the India Gate.

can’t understand it.” Beverly said serving internationally, especially the India experience “makes you appreciate the country you live in. It’s not just about you — it’s about others.” When the couple traveled to Peru the following year to help distribute wheelchairs to disabled adults and children, Beverly said she was deeply affected by the people and culture of Peru. She brought home a bigger-thanlife portrait of a Peruvian man wearing a traditional hat and robe that hangs on the wall at the top of the stairs in their two-story home. She said it spoke to her when she viewed it, as it tells the story of the man’s life, readable in the lines on his face. A life of service Volunteering has been a life-long commitment for the Luedkes, who have been married for 39 years and raised two children: the late Matt, and daughter, Lauren, a speech pathologist 56


Beverly Luedke, right, administers an oral polio vaccine to a baby in India. BELOW: Larry Luedke gives a polio vaccine to a little girl during a Rotary International trip to India.

who lives and works in Pflugerville. When they are not globetrotting to help others, they are at home in Temple where they donate their time to numerous organizations including Helping Hands of Belton, the UnIncluded Club, Feed My Sheep, the United Way, Altrusa and Rotary. “Beverly and Larry are two of the most giving people I know,” said Mary Beth Kauk, director of marketing and volunteerism for the United Way of Central Texas. “Any time someone has a need, they are one of the first ones to step up in the community to help. They are a very inspiring couple and they set the bar high for volunteerism.” “People want to serve,” Beverly said. “They just don’t know how to do it.” Beverly said sometimes she does have to nudge Larry out of his comfort zone to help out. “It doesn’t take much,” he said. “My comfort zone is sitting on the back porch, reading. When she says, ‘We are Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Considered one of the eight wonders of the world, the Taj Majal in Agra, India, built of ivory-white marble is a mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. (Wikipedia)

Beverly Luedke and a polio victim in India. 58


going to do something,’ I say, ‘OK, let’s go.’” “He doesn’t fuss,” Beverly said, smiling. “If he fusses, I don’t listen.” “Sometimes I go kicking and screaming,” Larry responded, grinning. Larry is a retired pharmacist who now owns a pharmaceutical benefits managing company, and Beverly is a retired physical therapist. They began volunteering during the early years of their marriage in Rosebud, Texas, where they donated time at their children’s school, coaching sports teams, and contributing to community needs. Larry served as a Rosebud city councilman and worked for the Rosebud Hospital until he opened the Rosebud Pharmacy in 1988. He also served as a volunteer firefighter for more than 20 years, including assistant fire chief for four years. Beverly served as a volunteer emergency care attendant for the city Continued



Call us at 254-501-7500 or 254-778-4444 to advertise. 60


Larry and Beverly Luedke volunteer at Feed My Sheep in Temple.

of Rosebud, riding in the back of the ambulance stabilizing patients. “I did everything but start an IV,” she said. She often found herself working the same collision scenes with her husband. Beginning a life together Sometimes people seem to be born to meet and be together forever. Their upbringing, values, interests and academic studies are similar, but sometimes different. Yet, somehow they blend into one and complement each other. The Luedkes grew up in the same part of Central Texas: Beverly is from Rosebud and Larry is from Marlin. They were teenagers when they met at church where each of them was playing on a youth group volleyball team from their respective towns. They took an immediate liking to each other. “I was attracted to his intellect and

“God chose us to be a light for someone else, a light for whomever.”

— Beverly Luedke

athleticism,” Beverly said, smiling. “I knew I wanted to have a life mate from the time I was 15,” Larry said. “I wanted a life partner who was Christian Lutheran and who shared the same values.” Because Larry was too young to drive, on their first date his parents drove the duo to Concordia College in Austin to see “The Sound of Music” on stage. That first date was followed by many typical teenage dating rituals: going to a movie, hanging out with friends, playing “putt putt,” or grabbing a taco at their local fast-food restaurant.

During their college years, the couple faced a long-distance relationship. While Beverly attended Baylor University, the University of Texas Austin and UT Health Science Center in Dallas, graduating with a certificate in physical therapy, Larry attended the University of Texas, graduating with honors from the UT School of Pharmacy. But the distance that separated them didn’t affect their ties to one another. In an era of no computers, emails, Skype or cellphones, they kept in touch by writing letters to each other every day. “We still have most of them,” Larry said. Community service came natural for this service-oriented duo. Once the children started to arrive Beverly switched gears and became active with her children’s school activities. When Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Once a month, during the school year, members of ASTRA, the student arm of Altrusa at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, visit the Luedke home for brunch and a relaxing day in the pool.

the children left the nest, Beverly refocused her energy on her Physical Therapy career and practiced for 23 years at the Rosebud Physical Therapy clinic. In total, she worked as a PT for 35 years until retirement four years ago. No empty nest syndrome Matt Luedke was a 1999 graduate of Rosebud-Lott High School, and a junior at the University of Texas majoring in economics when he died in a tragic accident along with two friends in 2001. “After Matt died, we searched for a year. When a life is cut short ...,” she 62


said, her eyes glistening with tears of remembrance for her son, her voice trailing. “God chose us to be a light for someone else, a light for whomever.” To fulfill that legacy, they decided to give to others in memory of their son. “That year we named a scholarship in his honor at Rosebud-Lott High School,” Beverly said. “We also wanted to do something at UT and we were asked to name the (Iron) Spike of the Year in Matt’s honor.” The Luedkes established the Matthew Luedke Citizenship Award, a $500 scholarship awarded each fall/ spring semester to a deserving Spike.

The Iron Spikes is an all-men service organization at UT. Founded in 1994, its “core values focus on community service and promoting spirit for The University of Texas’ baseball team.” ( “The Spikes do a fundraiser for Special Olympics and volunteer in the community. Matt would call Bingo at a local retirement home. Matt was an old man in a young body,” Beverly said, tears forming in her eyes as she spoke of her son. The Luedke’s didn’t have an empty nest for long. In 2002, the year after Matt’s death, the Spikes began visiting

The Luedke’s look at photos of their trip to India with Rotary International where they helped to administer oral polio vaccine to more than 1.5 million people living in slums and dumps. BELOW: The Luedkes open their home to members of the Iron Spikes service fraternity at the University of Texas. Their late son, Matt, was a member of the group.

the Luedkes at their home in Rosebud. “The UT Kids would come to our house and camp out, hang out, spend the night, sleep outside,” she said. Fifteen years after their first visit, the UT kids still come out to their home in Temple every semester for Sunday lunch, to hang out, swim and for those who can, play the grand piano in her living room. “They love to see photos of Matt,” she said. “We lost Matt, and gained 100 Iron Spikes. Kids who didn’t even know Matt come out and make a night of it. Matt was the glue.” The Iron Spikes aren’t the only group that frequents the Luedke home. Four years ago when ASTRA, (Ability Service Training Responsibility Achievement), a branch of Altrusa and a co-ed service organization at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor was established, they were invited to come to the Luedke home.

“ASTRA kids have been coming here for their entire existence,” said Beverly, District Nine Leadership Committee 2015-17, Chair Altrusa International of Temple, Inc.

“Kids will always be invited. It makes me happy to have the house full of kids. This is their home away from home.” TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


ADVERTISERS INDEX ACT Central Texas.................................................................. 7

Metroplex Hospital.................................................................. 3

Affordable Insurance............................................................. 45

My Giving Tree...................................................................... 46

Bartlett CCA.....................................................................10, 51

My Therapy Cloud................................................................... 7

Bell County Museum............................................................. 45

Old Man Scary Cellars.......................................................... 59

Coryell Memorial................................................................... 64


Crotty Funeral Home............................................................ 23

Sally’s...................................................................................... 46

Cultural Activities Center..................................................... 60

Seton Medical Center.............................................................67

Curtis Cook Designs............................................................... 7

Shoe Box...........................................................................46, 47

Devereaux’s Jewelers.............................................................. 59

Smile At The World Orthodontics....................................... 60


Stoney Brook...........................................................................47

Dr. Phillip Davis...................................................................... 9

Susan Marie’s..........................................................................47

Dr. Shelley Geibel.................................................................. 45

TDT Day for Women.............................................................. 2

Ellis Air Systems..................................................................... 20

Temple Area Builders.............................................................. 5

English Maids.................................................................. 46, 59

Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum...................................51

Extraco Banks.........................................................................37

Texell......................................................................... Back cover

Grand Avenue Theater.......................................................... 23

Total Retirements Wealth Mgmt. Firm................................. 59

Hallmark Service Co................................................................ 5

Truecore Fitness......................................................................10

Headshapers........................................................................... 46

Union State Bank.................................................................. 23

Lampasas County Higher Education Center........................ 23

Visiting Angels......................................................................... 5

Lastovica Jewelers................................................................... 45

Wisener’s Auto Clinic........................................................... 60

Marvina’s Optical Boutique...................................................47


The Advertisers Index is published for reader convenience. Every effort is made to list information correctly. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.

Want more Tex Appeal? Find older issues online at



Save  Date for our upcoming


Ä– March 2017 To participate, call (254) 501-7500 (KIlleen) or (254) 778-4444 (Temple)


“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”

— Mother Teresa



Tex Appeal Magazine | February 2017  
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