Bell County Living Magazine is published quarterly and distributed throughout Belton, Temple, Harker Heights, Salado and Killeen. We produce each edition with exceptional quality and content to become long-lasting, coffee table-quality magazines.
The magazine is printed on high quality thick paper stock to give it a better feel and increased thickness. The spine of each publication is perfect-bound to resemble a book, and to hold together for many years to come. The covers are UV tinted to withstand exposure and maintain a quality our readers have come to expect.
Editions of each publication are proudly displayed throughout businesses, professional waiting rooms and state legislative offices around the area. Being area-specific, the content within the pages of each publication is sure not to become dated or out of style. Residents have stated that each edition is a legacy, holding information about its people and events that one can reflect on and show for years to come.
We would like to say Thank You for all those who’ve made Bell County Living possible. We look forward to bringing you many more editions for years to come. Please let us know if you have any article suggestions, or have an event you’d like featured in the pages.
Moving with the Military: Maria Reed’s Journey to Being Named Army Spouse of the Year
When Maria Reed met her husband in Florida and found out he was in the military, she immediately thought that would be the end of their story. “I didn’t want to have anything to do with it,” Reed said. “The moment he told me he was in the military my love language shut off. I’m not even sure why I had that response, because I don’t have any background or experience or know anyone in the military. I didn’t know anything about the military except what I saw on television.” Now, after 16 wonderful years of marriage to her military man, Reed has been named Army Spouse of the Year and is in the running for the overall Military Spouse of the Year. To become Military Spouse of the Year you must first be nominated for your base. Each base has a Spouse of the Year that is voted on by anyone via social media. The base winners then submit applications to a panel within the military that chooses their top three spouses for each branch of the military to determine the top 18. Branches include Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines, Air Force, and National Guard. Another panel then picks each installation’s spouse of the year, for example, Maria was named Army Spouse of the Year. Those six are then in the running to be named Military Spouse of the Year.
Meet Mrs. Bell County
Mother of five and Harker Heights resident, Lauren Brown, flits around her home, making phone calls, preparing snacks and helping her two-year-old son, Remington, fasten a bicycle helmet he is insisting on wearing indoors. Although her role is much like other stay-at-home moms’, Brown is also wearing a different hat these days. Lauren, an army wife who has lived in Bell County for the past five years, was crowned Mrs. Bell County 2019, and has been working to connect with and serve her adopted community for the past several months. But wearing the crown wasn’t always on Lauren’s radar. Her journey to the pageant began during her husband’s deployment in 2017. “It was probably our hardest deployment yet because the kids are getting older and understanding more,” she said. “And I kind of hit a wall. I was asking myself, ‘What am I doing? Why am I sad? Why am I not hitting my goals?’” It was during this difficult time that she came across the social media page of Sarah Walker, who was the reigning Mrs. Bell County at the time. “I watched her through her journey the last few months before the Mrs. Texas pageant and I was really inspired,” Brown said. “She had never done pageantry before, and I was really inspired by the growth within her and in her community.”
Wolfgang Gillmeister, a very active and intelligent six-year-old gardener, recently shared his garden with me in a FaceTime interview on our phones. My first question was, “What do you like most about your garden?” Running through the asparagus and hollyhocks, then back again, his big smile appeared on the screen. “I like my sunflower seeds. I can eat them.” Although our interview was too early in the season for sunflower seeds, Wolfgang showed me a vast garden that rambled on and on. Flowers grow, hugging vegetables and weaving together colors and shades of green. In the winter of 2015, Marjorie Gillmeister searched for containers to use to plant seeds so the seedlings could get a head start before spring. Wolfgang sat nearby. Even at two, he loved to talk and help his mom. “One morning,” Marjorie explained, “Wolfgang and I were in his Nana’s kitchen, washing eggshells to compost. We were teaching ourselves how to grow our own food by starting seeds in various types of pots. We embarked on our journey as mother and son, sustainable gardeners.” Holding an eggshell in his tiny hands, Wolfgang said, “Momma, plant seeds.” “How fascinating!” Marjorie decided to do just that—start the seeds in the eggshells. Research further into the importance of recycling eggshells into a garden, I found that eggshells are beneficial in many ways. Eggshells are mostly made up of calcium carbonate. Calcium from eggshells is 90% absorbable and is an essential nutrient for a plant’s growth, helping such things as healthy cell walls. The eggshell is a biodegradable seed starter that feeds the soil nutrients when transplanted into the garden.”
Muddy Memories are More Fun
Be more than a runner, be a warrior! Get down and dirty for approximately three miles, in and along Nolan Creek, and conquer this course! Belton’s only obstacle course race, established in 2012, includes 10-12 obstacles, including 2-3 with mud and water. Challenging and fun, you will not want to miss this race sponsored by ASCO Equipment in Belton. The ASCO Foundation matches each donor’s total gift up to $10,000.00. However, the total amount matched by ASCO Foundation from all donors will not exceed $500,000.00. ASCO’s number one Core Value is “Honor God.” To be a blessing to our employees and their families by providing them a standard of living and an opportunity for growth and self-improvement well above the norm. With those values and purposes, each ASCO Branch is challenged by ownership to create and hold some sort of charity event to raise money for a chosen charity. In the beginning, all employees could nominate a charity. The owners vetted the list to get it down to a manageable number. Then a companywide vote selected the winning charity. After all the different events were held, all the money was pooled together and matched dollar by dollar by the ASCO Foundation to double the proceeds sent to the charity.