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Patience rewarded

Miller family celebrates completed Habitat for Humanity home

For a while, it seemed like having a house built through Habitat for Humanity just wasn’t going to happen for Carla Miller and her children.

Then, once the process got started, a worldwide pandemic and local rainy weather meant that dream of homeownership had to wait a couple more months. But on July 30, their new house was dedicated.

“We knew it would be ready when it’s time,” Carla said. “The kids were anxious. They’re like, ‘When’s it going to be done?’”

Carla has three children: Charlie Newman, Austin Miller and Aspen Miller. The three huddled around their mother during the dedication ceremony and took turns thanking the group for the work the volunteers put in and for the donations their family is receiving.

Austin spoke about how much he learned from the men on the build team. For Aspen, one of the most exciting features of her new home is the pantry, she told the mask-clad crowd.

Each member of the family dedicated hours of work on building the house as well as hours spent on community service, Habitat for Humanity of Denton County Executive Director Lora Blakeslee Atkinson said.

She also said Carla is the first person in her family to own a house.

It meant a lot to Carla that she and her kids were able to work on the build and was grateful to the Cross Timbers Rotary Club.

“For the kids to be able to experience the build themselves, they learned ... not just building, but to respect their home because they put their own hard work into it,” Carla said. “And it’s really cool to be able to do that. Not many people can say they built their own house, and I can say I did.”

For Charlie, the oldest and a 2019 graduate of Aubrey High School, this experience has shown him the value of commitment, he said.

“Despite hard trials in life, there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

He also spoke about his family’s closeness. Charlie is attending college virtually, studying animal science and ag economics.

Austin plans to be the first person in his family to go into the military by joining the Navy. After he completes his service, he wants to become a surgeon.

“My mom has worked really hard, and she’s prayed about this a lot in the past, and we’ve all prayed together as a family, and it feels really good to just have a house of our own,” he said.

Aspen, who has aspirations of owning a nice farm when she grows up, spoke of the admiration she has for her mother.

She was also bursting with pride and joy about the work she and her cousin put into building her room.

“I can say every day I walk in here that I helped build this house,” she said. “So, it’s really cool that, like over here, I put my favorite memory verse.”

As she said that, she pointed to her bedroom window sill. That verse was Psalms 119:11.

In addition to donations within the home from local businesses, including Chandler Cabinets and D&L Farm and Home, the Miller family was gifted handmade quilts made by the Denton Quilt Guild for each individual family member as well as a small decorative piece that says “Home Sweet Home.”

The Miller family is scheduled to close on Aug. 17, the first day of school for Aspen and Austin, who will still attend school in Aubrey ISD.

Visit for information about how to donate or get involved with the organization.

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