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Jim's prestigious career in the cement industry has earned numerous awards and distinctions. He has worked for the
top cement corporations around the world and owns a growing number of patents for leading-edge advancements in
that industry.

The now-grown Hicks children are equally impressive.
Randy (married to Birgitt, a Registered Nurse, currently
living in Germany) earned a B.A. from Oklahoma Pan-
handle State University and M.A. from Oklahoma Univ-
ersity, has worked for years as one of the U.S. Depart-
ment of Defense's top security experts for military bases.
Kimberly (another world traveler who now lives in Atlanta),
earned her B.S. from Oklahoma State University and
currently works for CNN as the manager of platform
research and development for the network. Lindsay, a
graduate of Texas State University with a B.F.A. in Theater
Arts, was recently featured at the prestigious Texas
Shakespeare Festival and lives in New York City. Jake is
a political science major and starting offensive lineman at
Rice University in Houston, with plans to eventually enter
law.

Jim and Monica (and the entire family) are just as amazing
when it comes to hospitality as all the other areas of their
accomplishment. A visit to their home brings an abundance
of warm greetings, informative conversation and awesome
food. Jim loves to barbeque and the result is always a
variety of mouth-watering brisket, steaks, fish, ribs, lamb
roasts, pork and chicken. Monica loves to cook, often
using many wonderful recipes from her German ancestors
who settled in Moravia, Texas. She serves every flavorful
meal with pizazz and grace.

Is it any wonder why their home is not only the place to be for holidays (or any days) and filled with cherished
memories for those who visit!

One of the most delightful dishes you will eat there is Monica's Peachy French Toast that can be made the night
before, then baked when desired. She enjoys the ease of preparing and baking it. Everyone else raves about how
each syrupy, savory portion looks, smells and tastes. Mmmmm!

Serve it just once at your house, and this delightful breakfast dish is certain to become a favorite for your family and
guests, too!

MONICA'S PEACHY FRENCH TOAST
This requires overnight refrigeration.

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons water
1 (29-ounce) can peaches or fresh peaches, sliced
1 loaf French bread (12-14 slices)
5 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Heat butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium-
low heat. Add water and continue heating until sauce
comes to a full boil. Cook 10 minutes, then pour into
a 9X13-inch baking dish and cool 10 minutes.

Place drained peaches on top of the cooled sauce
and cover with slices of bread placed close together.
Then blend eggs, milk and vanilla together and
pour the mix over the bread. Cover pan, and
refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake, place the pan in a 350-degree
oven for 40 minutes, covering loosely with foil the
final 10-15 minutes if the mixture is browning too
quickly.

Serve upside-down, with the bread on the bottom
and peaches on top. Serves 12-14.
MONICA'S PEACHY FRENCH TOAST
          ...Awesome Breakfast for Guests (or Any Occasion)

Monica Hicks, my sister in law who lives in the Houston area, does everything picture-perfect. She and my
brother-in-law Jim have lived in a number of places through the years, but she always seems to have that special gift
of making each house a beautifully decorated home.

Monica graduated from Texas A & M University with a degree in sociology, then joined the personnel department at a
Texas cement company where she met her future husband Jim. They married 28 years ago, and no matter where they
have lived, she has been active in numerous civic and school organizations.

"I was brought up to believe in giving back to the community and volunteering," she says. "And I always sought to instill
those principles in our children."
(Above) Santa's Helpers Jake, Lindsay, Kimberly
and Randy; (Below) Jim, Lindsay, Monica and Jake
enjoying their first Texas orange harvest