• Northwest Arkansas Calendar of Events: May 2016
  • 2016 nwaMotherlode Summer Camp Guide for Kids

Good Gossip: Celebrity mamas and more

Good Gossip slider 700Yes, we do love a little celebrity gossip but we also know it’s not cool to do something we teach our kids NOT to do. It’s never okay to indulge in stuff meant to humiliate or hurt another person. That’s why we came up with the concept of “Good Gossip,” which is celeb news minus any mean stuff. Have as much as you want and share it with your celeb-loving friends because this “dish” is all guilt-free.

SexyDesktop Wallpaper ImageKristen Bell, who stars on House of Lies, said she has a problem that many of us busy mamas can relate to. “I’m always late. The children never want to get dressed, and I’m not good at judging how quickly the clock moves. By the time I’m 40, I’ll learn how to tell time.” Kristen also said that every morning when she wakes up her girls (ages 3 years and 16 months), it’s a blissful moment. “I like how their breath and skin smells. I often crack their door and take a whiff right before I go to bed.”

converse orangeNia Vardoalos, fellow mama and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, gave People magazine a wish list of items she’d love to get for Mother’s Day. These fun Converse tennis shoes in a summery orange color made the list. Her new movie is in theaters now.

jenna dewan tatum and momThe most recent issue of People magazine has a great collection of photos of celebs and their mothers, just in time for Mother’s Day. The famous faces include Jenna Dewan Tatum, Vanessa Hudgens, Audra McDonald, Nikki Reed and Jamie-Lynn Sigler. Jenna Dewan Tatum, actress, dancer and wife of Channing Tatum, said she inherited her maternal instinct from her mom, Nancy Smith. “As a mother and a wife and a friend, I’m very nurturing. I know that absolutely comes from my mom.”

kelly clarkson baby2 instagramSpeaking of moms, singer Kelly Clarkson just had her baby! She and husband Brandon Blackstock shared a few shots of their second child, Remington, who was born on April 12, 2016 and joins a brother and two sisters. Congrats to the growing family.

prince passingWe were all so saddened to hear about the sudden death of Prince. For so many of us, his music is the soundtrack of our teenage years. To read about a different side of him not often seen in public, read the feature story in People magazine, which includes some quotes from one of the children of Prince’s former bodyguard, Charles Huntsberry. His daughter, Tina Kahn, said that she and her siblings thought of Prince as an honorary uncle. “Every year he would send a dozen red roses and candy on our birthday. He would come to Fourth of July cookouts and be playing volleyball with us in his high heels.”

Source: People magazine, May 9, 2016 edition

Giveaway: 2 Great Kid Shows, Circa and Okee Dokee Brothers


Happy Monday, mamas! Ready for a cool giveaway that your kids are gonna LOVE?

We’ve got family 4-packs for TWO great shows happening during Walton Arts Center’s Artosphere Festival — Circa’s Carnival of the Animals and the Okee Dokee Brothers. So 2 different mamas will win one of these family packs!

  • Circa Carnival of the Animals will be at Walton Arts Center on Friday, May 13, at 7 p.m. and tickets are only $10.
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers will be at Walton Arts Center on Sunday, May 15th, at 4 p.m. and tickets are only $8.


The wondrous world of the animal kingdom comes to life when the Circa Carnival comes to town. With whimsical tales of creatures of land and sea who tumble, fly, leap and spin, Carnival of the Animals will whisk you away on a thrilling circus escapade, with the antics of performers set to a moving backdrop with animated visuals that create the feeling of being in a larger-than-life story book.

This Carnival of the Animals trailer will give you a little taste of what to expect at the show:


Through playful songs and inspirational lyrics, this Grammy Award®-winning duo encourages children and adults alike to break away from our media driven culture and dive into the natural world right under our noses. Drawing on traditional folk and mountain music with striking harmonies and spot-on picking, The Okee Dokee Brothers make room for kids to dance and for parents to share stories.

Listen to the AWESOME Okee Dokee Brothers here (and we challenge you not to tap your toe while you listen):

Circa and The Okee Dokee Brothers will also be performing at Artosphere’s Trail Mix events on May 14-15. CLICK HERE to read more about Trail Mix event on the Razorback Greenway. CLICK HERE to read more about the Frisco Trail event.

circa circle

Carnival of the Animals

HOW TO ENTER: If you’d love to win a family 4-pack to one of these great Artosphere Shows, just click on the words “post a comment” below and tell us about your favorite place in Northwest Arkansas to enjoy nature. Since Artosphere is all about nature + art, we thought this question would be on point!

You can also email your answer to us at giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com.

INCREASE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING: Help us spread the word about this giveaway by emailing your friends and family about the giveaway. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for every person you tell. Just be sure to put giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com on the CC line of your note so we can give you proper credit.

You can also earn an extra chance to win by signing up to receive the free email newsletter we send once a week.

Our newsletter subscribers get access to the good stuff, including exclusive giveaways (like this one), information about local events, local mom interviews, recipes and more.

It’s delivered straight to your inbox so you don’t miss anything awesome. CLICK HERE to sign up. We won’t fill your inbox with info, no worries. We only send out newsletters when there’s something in it for you — and we know you’ll be interested in hearing about it.

BE SOCIAL: You can also earn extra chances to win by commenting on our Facebook page, following us on Twitter or following us on Pinterest. If you do any of those, just mention it in your comment or email so we can give you proper credit.

Good luck, mamas! We’ll choose the two winners on Friday! FYI, there are SO MANY cool events happening at Walton Arts Center’s Artosphere event this year. CLICK HERE to see a full list of activities. Many are free and others are low cost.

Devotion in Motion: It’s a matter of taste

By Bro. John L. Cash

Pork chops are not my favorite food. I don’t hate pork chops. If I sit down to a meal and the main course is a pork chop, I’ll eat it. No problem. But if I were going through a buffet line and the two choices of entrée were pork chops or something else, I’d probably choose the something else. It’s just a matter of personal taste.

That’s kind of the same way I feel about contemporary Christian music. It’s not my favorite style of music. I don’t complain when other people play it. I sing it when our choir director picks it out. But—just to give you an example–we used to have two Christian radio stations on satellite radio. One station played contemporary Christian music, and the other played hymns. I always listened to the one that played traditional church songs and hymns. It’s just a matter of my personal taste.

guitar-1343160_640Lately, however, I’ve become a bigger fan of contemporary Christian music than I was in the past. I’m a public educator, and I’m in and out of a lot of classrooms all over the place. I’ve been in two classrooms lately where the students were allowed to listen to the radio while they were working on written classwork. The students chose the station, and the one they picked was K-LOVE Radio.

I noticed that the kids really knew the Christian songs, and they’d learned the words. The other thing I noticed was that these teenagers are very loving, kind, and respectful kids. Their classroom had a peaceful ambience and a joyful vibe. The world could use a whole lot more of what these young people have.

I’ve been working in the Church a long time. Something I’ve come to realize is that the world is a big place, and Christianity is a really big religion. There are as many difference ways to express love for Christ as there are individual Christians. Because of that, I’m trying to be careful not to let my personal preferences discourage another Christian from enjoying something that is not my first choice. This modern Christian music still isn’t my favorite. But I hope and pray that the world gets a lot more of it.

rp_john-l-cash-212x300.jpgDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 30 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. Their kids include Spencer (age 25), his wife Madeline (age 24), and Seth (age 21). You can send him a note at brotherjohn@ilovechurchcamp.com.

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

quick tip mercy

What’s the best way to prevent the progression of pre-diabetes to Type 2 diabetes?

Working towards achieving a healthy body weight through diet and regular exercise, particularly a diet low in carbohydrates. Your healthcare provider may recommend a consultation with a certified diabetic educator to bananadiscuss this type of diet. “Crash” or “fad” diets will likely NOT set you up for long-term success. Staying active is also key. Look for realistic ways to implement physical activity that you enjoy and work with your lifestyle.

For example, if you’re a busy mom who spends lots of time at the ball field, make a commitment to walk briskly around the outside of the field between innings. Also be sure to pack a cooler of healthy snacks so you don’t find yourself snacking on ballpark food. There are some medications that are appropriate in pre-diabetes that your healthcare provider may recommend.

For more info on the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes as well as the latest treatments, click HERE.

The Rockwood Files: Talking to Women, 101

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

We women have an obligation to the young men in our lives. We must teach them how to keep their manly feet out of their big mouths while talking to women.

Sometimes a man runs into trouble not because of the specific words he does or does not say but because his body language says things without him even knowing it. Our sons, ages 14 and 11, recently witnessed an example of this.

I’d just tried on a new pair of jeans I was unsure about. I found Tom cooking burgers in the kitchen and asked for his opinion on whether or not I should return the jeans or keep them.

Him: “No. I don’t like them. Not at all. Those are hugging you in all the wrong places.”

Me: (Stunned shock with aghast facial expression.)

Him: “What? You asked for my opinion. Did you not want me to tell you?”

Sensing one of their own was under attack, the boys came to their father’s aid.

Teenage son: “Yeah, Mom! You said you wanted his opinion and he told you.”

surprise emojiMe: “Okay, listen boys. For future reference, when a woman tries something on and asks if you like the jeans or the dress or the bathing suit or whatever it is, you have every right to say you don’t like it. But what you should NOT do is act like you’re witnessing a train wreck. You don’t want the expression on your face to say ‘Oh, the horror!’ And you definitely don’t want to use a phrase like ‘all the wrong places’ because it implies that the woman has ‘wrong places.’ See what I mean?”

Tom: “No, boys. Just remember that this kind of question is always a trap. Just say you have to use the bathroom and then sprint out of the room.”

Caught in the midst of a verbal tennis match, the boys looked to me for the answering volley.

Me: “That’s not true, boys. Women want an honest opinion but they want you to say it in a gentle way. You could say, ‘Hmmm…I guess those jeans are okay, but I think your other jeans are much better. You look great in your other jeans, but that pair isn’t my favorite.’ See? It’s less about what you say than how you say it. Understand?”

The boys and their father looked at me blank-faced, as if they honestly couldn’t tell the difference between my softer, gentler response and the one their father had delivered while grimacing, as if the sight of those ill-fitting jeans caused him actual pain.

Me: “Never mind. Go eat your burgers. I’m taking these jeans back to the mall.”

blue bell chocolate ice creamWe must also teach our young sons when to say nothing at all. A few days after the jeans incident, I’d had a particularly frustrating day at work and decided to reward myself for getting through it. I retrieved the tub of chocolate ice cream from the freezer, promising myself I’d only “clean up the edges” and then put it away.

I’d lost count of how many edges I’d cleaned up when 11-year-old Jack walked into the room. He peered into the ice cream container and said, “Geez, Mom.” As you might imagine, I didn’t appreciate his tone, not to mention those judgey eyes.

Me: “Listen, boy. Here’s an important life lesson. If you ever walk into a room and see a woman eating directly out of a carton of ice cream, you should say nothing. I mean zero. Don’t even look at her. Pretend you weren’t there at all. Just walk away.”

Jack nodded his head and backed safely out of the room without another word. I think these guys are finally catching on.

Gwen 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.