• Northwest Arkansas Calendar + Valentine’s Events: February 2017
  • 2017 Spring Break Guide: Northwest Arkansas Camps & Events for Kids
  • Above & Beyond in Northwest Arkansas

NWA Mom Prom Tickets On Sale NOW!

mompromhoriz ultimate tagHappy President’s Day, mamas! We wanted you to be the first to know that NWA Mom Prom tickets are on sale NOW! Click HERE to buy your ticket online.

friends2The NWA Mom Prom is a huge women-only dance party — a grown-up prom for women and moms age 21 and up. It is the ONLY event of its kind in the state of Arkansas, and proceeds help support a local charity. (This year’s charity is the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Family Camp. Click here for more info on the camp.)

This year’s Mom Prom will be held Friday, June 2, 2017 at The Ballroom at I Street in Bentonville from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $45, and space is limited. We do expect the event to sell out again this year, with a crowd of 300.

MPsponsor banner600x600For more details on this year’s Mom Prom, click HERE to visit nwaMomProm.com.

We want to say a huge “thank you” to this year’s Presenting Sponsor, Generations Bank. This is a bank that has been in business for more than 100 years, so they know a thing or two about the importance of supporting families through the generations. They also know that mothers are a vital part of ensuring a family’s generational success. The bank has been an enthusiastic supporter of the NWA Mom Prom since we launched it in 2013, and we’re so very proud to have them as the Presenting Sponsor this year.

lisa mac logoYou’ll also be happy to know that the phenomenal Lisa Mac of Lisa Mac Photography will be shooting the professional prom pictures again this year, and you will be able to download them for FREE, print them and share them online. In our humble opinion, having beautiful, professional pictures of you and your friends is worth the price of the ticket — not to mention four hours of fun, desserts and memories you’ll keep forever.

Bubble and Fizz use this one250In addition to the free professional photos, you’ll also be leaving this year’s event with a wonderful take-away gift, designed and produced by Bubble and Fizz Shop. We are big fans of Bubble and Fizz products for ourselves, our kids and our husbands, too. Owner Heather Francis is creating a special package just for our Prom Moms — a champagne Mom Prom Bath Bomb and a floral-scented bath melt. We have a feeling you’re going to fall in love with these luxury bath goodies, just like we did.

collage1In addition to the Presenting Sponsor, Photography Sponsor and Take-Away Gift Sponsor, we also have several Glass Slipper Sponsors including BrightHaven Christian Learning Center and Hedberg Allergy & Asthma Center. We simply could not deliver a high-quality event like Mom Prom without the support of local sponsors like these.

Mustache Logo Both Cities250As you know, Mom Prom is a “no-men-allowed” event, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate a good-looking prom date. Back by popular demand, we’ll have several Celebrity Prom Dates standing by to have their picture made with you at Prom. In the past, we’ve had famous faces including Ryan Gosling, Channing Tatum, Adam Levine, Will Smith and more. Our Celeb Prom Dates might be cardboard, but they are life-size and they NEVER ask to go home early and watch ESPN. Again this year, the Celebrity Prom Dates are sponsored by The Mustache Goods & Wears.

If you work for a local company that loves and supports local moms, click HERE for info on Mom Prom event sponsorships.

We hope you’ll join us on June 2, 2017 for the 4th Annual NWA Mom Prom. We’re so excited about this year’s event and can’t wait to party with you on Prom night!

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Inside His Head: I think my husband is an alcoholic

Relationship advice from husbandsDear Inside His Head,

I think my husband may be an alcoholic because he drinks a LOT when he comes home from work and we can’t go out to dinner or with friends without him ordering several rounds. It feels like he’s always got a beer in his hand, like he can’t cope without alcohol. Do you have any advice for what I should do first? He’s not mean when he’s drinking, but I have a feeling he’s going to be very defensive if/when I bring it up. He does get mad if I try to slow down his drinking. I’m starting to get uncomfortable leaving him with the kids by himself. Help.

greg1.thumbnailGRAY: My dad was an alcoholic. I’ve seen him function normally and seen him completely delusional and hallucinating from withdrawal. There is no cure for alcoholism – it’s a struggle the two of you have for the rest of your life. It’s not a battle you can fight on your own.

Have a plan. Find local resources for therapy. Ask friends if they are willing to help you confront him. Learn about support for yourself because living with an alcoholic doesn’t have to be endured in isolation.

Be caring and supportive. A lot of alcoholics are unwilling to admit there’s anything wrong and become defensive, sometimes to the point of enraged, if you tell them they have a problem. Instead of saying “You have a drinking problem” it’s better to say “I care about you, but think you need help.” Even if you’re the most tactful he’s still likely to get angry so be prepared and don’t take it personally.

Get him out of denial. Enlist friends and family to help make him aware of his behavior. Ultimately he’s the one who must realize he has a problem, and it might take several confrontations by many people before he accepts his behavior for what it is – alcoholism. Knowing he has you and others to support him instead of punish him can help a lot.

Find real help. Avoid his suggestions of “I can deal with this on my own.” Though he can make himself abstain from drinking for periods of time, professional-level help will enable him with tools to prevent a relapse. And even with therapy, your support and help from others there’s a good chance he’ll relapse from time to time. Continue to give him the support he needs and put him in touch with people who know how to help.

Don’t let alcoholism define your life together. Stay observant of his behavior without being constantly paranoid about him hiding bottles in the house or suspecting every time late arrival home means he’s stopped at a bar. If you act as though he’s going to fail it’s entirely likely you’ll create a self-fulfilling situation.

john.thumbnailMAVERICK: One thing you don’t mention is that he’s drinking to the point where  he’s seriously impaired. You mention you’re becoming concerned about leaving him alone with the kids, but you don’t really say why.

Since you didn’t say otherwise, I’m assuming he’s not insisting on taking the kids for a ride while he’s under the influence or he’s  not doing dangerous “Hey, watch this. Hold my beer” stuff while around you or your kids.

What you describe is a guy who is drinking a lot more than is standard, and he’s been doing it for long enough to raise a red flag with you. So, you’re smart to be concerned but my advice is predicated on the fact that he’s not really a danger to you, or the kids, or himself.

This change in behavior isn’t happening in a vacuum. It seems at this point the drinking is a symptom and not the key problem but you won’t know until he actually gives you some information about what’s going on with him.

As you implied in your question, I suspect he’d get really defensive if you go at him aggressively about his drinking. Saying something like, “Gee Bob, lately you’ve been drinking like a fish and you smell like a brewery and I find it really embarrassing” will likely be pretty counterproductive.

So, I’d suggest, if you can catch him sometime when he’s not been drinking, or at least where he’s only had a few, to look for the chance to ask him if something is bothering him. Show actual concern. Don’t toss around blame. Try not to mention the drinking right out of the gate and see what he says.

He will likely sandbag at first but continue to give him the opportunity to talk. This might take a few tries at different times but don’t nag. Eventually, he’ll come clean.

He could be feeling pressure at work, or he might be dealing with (or actually not dealing with) an emotional issue, or he might be just generally unhappy or depressed.

Once you get him talking, you can mention you’ve noticed his drinking has picked up and that you’re concerned about his health. Give him the chance to absorb that and maybe he’ll see your point. Don’t insult him or make it about how his drinking makes you feel. It will only make  him defensive. He needs to see you as being in his corner, not as his babysitter or his accuser.

In the end, he’s going to have to understand that his drinking is an issue and likely a problem and he’ll need to address it – maybe he cuts back a whole lot, maybe he stops cold turkey, and maybe he needs the kind of help you can’t get from an advice column.

No matter what the outcome, he needs to understand your concerns about the drinking are coming from a place of concern about him, not a place where his actions are bothering you or making you uncomfortable.

Got a question for the Inside His Head husbands? Send it to us at mamas{at}nwamotherlode{dot}com.

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Devotion in Motion: He will help you

Joh 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.   John 15:5  (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

Spencer and Madeline live in a studio apartment in Midtown Memphis. They are social workers. It’s really nice when your children are social workers because they are good to talk to, and they give good advice. Even though they’re still in their twenties, Spencer and Madeline are both very perceptive; I’m always amazed on how much they “pick up on” and understand about the circumstances other people are going through.

The kids came over for a visit last weekend, and I was talking to Spencer about my impending retirement as a public schoolteacher. I told him I was surprised how peaceful I feel about the act of retiring. But I also told him I feel a bit anxious about what I’ll be doing next — especially since I don’t really have the next thing lined up yet.

Spencer summed up my situation and gave me great insight when he said this: “Dad, I’m pretty sure that whatever happens, you’re going to be all right. I mean, I used to teach school when I was in my early twenties. Even though I was in perfect health, I ended each day exhausted. You, on the other hand, are the pastor of a country church who also taught school full-time AND raised two kids at the same time. If you can survive all that, it seems to me that whatever happens next, you’re going to be all right.”

I’ve thought about those words a lot in the past few days. I have done a lot of things — and I wasn’t always in the best of health when I did them. And I realized something. The only way I’ve been able to live (or survive) my life is that God has helped me every step of the way. Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing.” Looking back on my life thus far, that’s not just a memory verse. That’s the Gospel truth. And that’s the way all of human life works.

because he is goodI’m so thankful God has been with me and that He has always helped me. The most wonderful thing of all is that He did not help me because I’m good. Because I’m not. He helped be because I asked Him to help me. But most of all, He helped me because He is good.

Oh my goodness, if you’re raising kids in this present evil age, you’ve certainly got your work cut out for you. But don’t ever give up, and don’t feel discouraged. Ask our loving Heavenly Father to help you. He will help you because He is good.

rp_john-l-cash-212x3001.jpgDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 31 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.)  He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher and his wife hope to sleep late on President’s Day.) Their kids include Spencer (age 25), his wife Madeline (age 25), and Seth (age 22), and his wife Leanne (age 21). You can send him a note at brotherjohn@ilovechurchcamp.com.

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The Rockwood Files: Soup saves the day

rockwood files colorBy Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

This morning was one of those mornings. I woke up with the kind of headache that’s just annoying enough to keep me slightly on edge. I went through the usual routine – dropped the kids off at school and then started the day’s work.

But my to-do list kept getting longer. And the caffeine and ibuprofen I swallowed at breakfast didn’t shake the headache. There were so many emails with so many questions and deadlines, and I had nothing – no answers, no completed tasks.

It was the kind of morning that makes you want to crawl under the bed and hide from the world. Instead, I did the next best thing and went to lunch.

During the drive to our favorite sandwich shop, I wished aloud for the soup of the day to be chicken and wild rice. That one is my favorite because it reminds me of a bowl of soup I had the last time we were in Minnesota. The kids were taking a class to learn how to snowboard that day, and I was watching from the ski lodge restaurant. A waitress brought over a steaming bowl of creamy soup that tasted like love in a bowl. It was the perfect way to pass the time while watching the snow and my children fall down a hill.

soup bowl 185So today when Tom and I got to the front of the line at the sandwich shop, I looked for the familiar “soup of the day” sign but it was gone. I asked anyway, just in case. The bearded barista glanced behind him and said, “I think we have a bowl or two left of the chicken and wild rice soup.”

“Yes!” I said too enthusiastically. “I’ll have that.” I beamed as I carried my bowl from the counter to the table, encouraged that maybe my day was turning around. Halfway to the bottom of the bowl, I felt decidedly better – as if lunch had warmed me out of a rotten mood. I went back to work and faced the empty page with newfound hope and a full stomach.

That soup salvation made me grateful that at least one of our three kids shows some real talent in the kitchen. When our middle kid, Jack, was only 7-years-old, he marched into the room and announced that he’d decided what he’d be when he grew up: “You know that guy on the cooking show on TV?” he asked. “The one who eats the cupcakes and then says which one is the best? I’ll do that job.”

I remember being shocked at his specificity. I’d been expecting something more general like fireman or race car driver. “You want to be a cupcake judge?” I asked.

“Yep. Cupcake judge,” he confirmed.cupcake-526424_640 (2)

“I think the cupcake judge is a chef,” I pointed out. “That’s why they asked him to judge the cupcakes.”

He thought for a moment and then nodded his head. “Then I’ll be a chef and a cupcake judge.”

Kids usually grow in and out of career dreams at least a dozen times as they get older, but even six years later, Jack, who’s now 13, still says he’s headed toward cooking school one day and perhaps his own diner where he’ll serve all his favorite foods. Last summer, he took a cooking course and even won a class contest for “best cupcake.”

Tonight, as he headed off to bed, I asked Jack if he’d also serve chicken and wild rice soup at his future restaurant and reserve a booth in the back just for his creaky old mom and dad. He smiled and said he would.

It’s good to have kids with big dreams. And it’s even better if they can save a bad day with a great bowl of soup (and a cupcake for dessert).

gwen-headshot-2014Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

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2017 Spring Break Guide: Northwest Arkansas Camps & Events for Kids

Spring Break Slider 2017

Spring Break is March 20-24 for most Northwest Arkansas schools. We’ll be updating our Guide as new information becomes available, so check back! 

FYI, the Summer Camps & Activities Guide is publishing next month on nwaMotherlode! If you’d like to see your camp in the “featured” section of Summer Guide, let us know! Contact Gwen and Shannon at mamas@nwaMotherlode.com — or call us at 479-409-0424 — for more information and pricing.

Featured Spring Break Camps/Activities for NWA Kids:

Community Creative Center Camp ccc

CCC’s Spring Break camps, March 20-24, will celebrate art around the world. Throughout the week students will explore art in a variety of cultures and be inspired to create beautiful works of art using paints, pastels, and clay.

Campers will make colorful Aztec rain sticks and take part in the ancient tradition of sculpting Caddo head pots out of red clay. Inspiration will also come from Japanese cherry blossoms, New Zealand koru plants, and the cave art of France. Projects are designed to maximize the fun for campers of all ages. Community Creative camps will fill quickly, so early registration is recommended.

Rogers Activity Center Camps rac building croppedSpring Break Camp at RAC will be March 20 – 24 & 27 from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. as needed.

The fee is $20/day (RAC membership is required and early registration is recommended because space is limited. For students Kindergarten-7th grade) Each day will bring new activities or field trips and each will have ample supervision. The fee includes morning and afternoon snacks as well as lunch.

RAC is a DHS licensed childcare facility and is Better Beginnings certified so you’ll feel good about your leaving your kids to have fun there.

Activities will include: Skating, Bowling, Movies, Chuck E. Cheese’s, and the UofA Agriculture Department will stop by to visit campers.

Click here for more information on the RAC camps!

Rogers Activity Center

Rogers Activity Center Spring Break Camps, all day March 20-24 & 27

Scott Family Amazeum amazeum

Camp Theme: Under the Big Top. The Amazeum is turning into a circus for Spring Break. From jaw-dropping acts to delicious carnival foods, ringmasters will show you the ropes as you find your place under the big top.

Explore the science behind this mysterious world of wonder and discover the imagination, creativity, and STEAM principles used to create a spectacular show. *Advanced registration and payment required.

Camp runs from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. March 20-24.

The Jones Center bar-logo-jones-center

Parents and kids can enjoy special events all Spring Break week in addition to the extended public hours. Ice Rink hours will run from Noon-8pm & Indoor Pool hours will be Noon-7:45pm.

Monday – Spring Break Kickoff The whole family will enjoy an afternoon of inflatables and games in the gymnasium, as well as the entire afternoon to swim and ice skate. Location: Gymnasium Cost: $3 per person beach ball

Tuesday – Beach Party Dress up in beach attire and prepare for a day in the water. Ice skating and open basketball will also coincide with the beach party. Time: Noon-8 pm Location: Pool Cost: $3 per person

Wednesday – Open gym time for toddlers with little activities Little tikes will have a chance to roam the gymnasium to explore different age-appropriate activities designed with their age-group in mind. Ice skating and open basketball will also coincide with the beach party. Time: Noon-8 pm Location: Gymnasium Cost: $3 per person

Thursday – Block Party (evening family festivities in plaza) Camp War Eagle will host an evening block party with games and activities for families with children of all ages. Ice skating, swimming, and open basketball will be open all afternoon (noon-8 pm). Time: 5-7 pm Location: Outdoor plaza Cost: Free (block party); all access wristband just $3 per person.

Friday – Frozen Friday with special guest princesses Ice skate with the princesses from the Disney favorite, Frozen. Kids can enjoy crafts, hot chocolate, and other winter-themed activities. Open swimming and gym time will coincide with the public ice session. Time: Princesses and activities from Noon-2 pm (public sessions from 12-8 pm) Time: Princesses and activities from Noon-2 pm (public sessions from 12-8 pm) Location: Ice rink Cost: $3 per person

BONUS Saturday – Pools, Gym, and Ice will all be open to the public from Noon-8, (ice and gym Noon-10 pm) with the $3 all-access wristband still in effect.

BONUS Sunday – Pools, Gym, and Ice will all be open to the public from 2:00-4:45 pm with the $3 all-access wristband still in effect. Spring Break

Family Movie Marathon Free Movie Screenings: Bring the entire family for a FREE movie every day beginning at 2 p.m. in the auditorium. Monday: Up Tuesday: The Emperor’s New Groove Wednesday: Big Hero 6 Thursday: The Lego Movie Friday: Frozen For more details on special activities planned, visit www.thejonescenter.net/spring-break-week or call The Jones Center information desk at 479-756-8090 ext. 2100.

Art Camps

Community Creative Center, Fayetteville (see above)

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Art Live Theatre

Paper & Thread Studio, Fayetteville

Sports Camps

Rogers Activity Center (see above)

Fayetteville Athletic Club Camp

Bentonville: Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball, Softball Fastpitch

Unique Camps

The Jones Center (see above)

Scott Family Amazeum (see above) Camp Bentonville: Lego, Worlds of Amusement

Theatre Camps

Trike Theatre

Arts Live Theatre

Spring Break Activities/Events

Fayetteville Public Library movies every day at 2 p.m., March 20-24

Turpentine Creek Kite Festival, Eureka Springs, March 26

Local Spring Break spots to visit

Hiking, Devil’s Den

Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

Terra Studios

Hobbs State Park

bumblebee-flowerClick here for more information on local getaways & places to visit over Spring Break. Click here for a list of hiking trail options.

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