Good Gossip: Hollywood baby boom

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 ashton mila instagramall guilt-free.

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher are expanding their family. A second baby is on the way and will join big sister Wyatt, who is 21 months old.

kris allen baby girlSpeaking of babies, there’s a baby boom in Hollywood these days! Some of the celebs who have recently welcomed new babies include Chelsea Clinton and her husband Marc Mezvinksy (a baby boy named Aidan); Eddie Redmayne and his wife Hannah (a baby girl named Iris Mary); and American Idol winner and Arkansas native Kris Allen and his wife Katy (a daughter named Rose Elizabeth, pictured left). Congrats to all the new parents!

christina aguilera 2016 instagramChristina Aguilera released a new song called “Change” earlier than originally planned and she is using the proceeds from the song to benefit victims and their families in Florida. Some of the lyrics say “Waiting for a day that hate is lost and love is found.”

matthew mcconaughey people 2016In a recent issue of People magazine, Matthew McConaughey talks about the night he met his wife, Camila. …”We went on our first date three nights later, and I knew then. The next night after that, I wanted to go out on another date. I’ve been wanting to go on a date with her for the last nine years and not with anybody else.” (Let’s say it together, ladies: “Awwwwww.”)

olivia wilde jason sudekis instagram 2016Actress Olivia Wilde says her fiance, actor Jason Sudekis (who is also father of their 2-year-old son, Otis) is good at giving compliments. “It’s really nice when you’ve been working hard all day and you’re exhausted, and your dude says, ‘You look fantastic.’ And you’re like, ‘Little do you know I”m a hollowed-out zombie.’” Olivia, who is currently pregnant with their second child, says that pregnancy makes her feel beautiful because she feels more connected to her body. “Other times we lose touch with that, so now I feel beautiful just living my life, working hard and being a good mom to my son.”

jinger duggar 2016Local celeb Jinger Duggar, who appears on the TLC show “Jill & Jessa: Counting On,” is featured in the most recent issue of People magazine, which reports that she is dating a professional soccer player named Jeremy Vuolo. The pair were introduced by her sister, Jessa, and got to know each other better while they were part of the same mission trip. “I really admired his character,” said Jinger. (Did you know Jinger likes to take photos of her family and friends? Check out this post and video which captures the day she shadowed one of our favorite family photographers, Lisa Mac.)

Jinger Duggar Lisa Mac 2016 600

Local family photographer Lisa Mac and Jinger Duggar of “Counting On.”

Source: People magazine, July 4, 2016 edition

Inside His Head: How to handle your mother-in-law moving in

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Dear Inside His Head husbands,

My mother is planning to move in with us soon — for a while. My father passed away recently and she’s going to stay with us so she can get her finances in order and deal with her grief. My husband is worried about our family dynamic. It’s just a big change. What can I say to help with the transition?

generichead-1MICHAEL: The first thing I hope you can say is that you’ve discussed with your mother exactly how long this arrangement is going to last and that you’ve talked about ground rules for life at the house.

Because it’s your mother you’re going to be the proxy for all disagreements and snide remarks. Be prepared to deal with it. It’s understandable that this type of thing happens, however, it doesn’t sound like it’s been planned for so the best thing you can do is anticipate what the challenges will be.

remix (4)Examples are things like:

♦ Your mother doesn’t hear well so now the television has to be turned up all the time.

♦ You watch what your kids eat very carefully and your mother questions your choices in front of them.

Just having another opinion and voice around the house will make it stressful. You’ve got to make sure that you’re not consistently siding against your husband. Remember you’ve got to put with him forever. Your mother hopefully only for a short while.  Make sure he knows you realize that.

MAVERICK: I’d tell him in the nicest way possible that there’s no sense in worrying about something until an actual problem occurs.

If you mother is overbearing or generally a pain in the butt or objects to your husband breathing air or thinks him a fool, well, you or more accurately he, is hosed. But since your husband agreed to this arrangement, I can assume either he likes your mother or he’s a good son-in-law, or really just a decent guy trying to help here.

The main way you can calm his fears about your mother messing with the family dynamic is not to let her mess with the family dynamic. She’s your mother, so she’s yours to deal with where conflict is concerned. He’s the son-in-law, which gives him less power in the relationship than a bum off the street.

♦ The best way to avoid trouble with the new situation is to head it off.

♦ Make your mother feel welcome, let her pitch in and help, be there for her, be kind, be supportive, be family.

♦ Don’t let her take over your house, determine your family routine, decide what you eat or where you go or undermine your husband’s authority in his own home.

If she likes certain TV programs, get her her own flat-screen for her room – they’re not super expensive now-days and this ill will avoid conflict. Most of us guy-types can relinquish control of the remote when needed or on short trips to visit family, but don’t expect us to do it for an extended period of time and in our own living rooms.

If she becomes critical of your husband, nip it in the bud. Your mother is in a less than happy place and needs support but she doesn’t get to bad-mouth your spouse. If it starts, you have to tell her to stop. It’s your place. Fight the dynamic that says your mom is always right. Your husband does not deserve to be ganged up on.

And remember, even with your mom in the house, he’s still your husband.

Don’t let the new arrangement turn you into your mother’s daughter at the expense of being your husband’s wife. Turn things to your advantage. Let mom watch the kids so you can go out on a date or a romantic mini-vacation. Spend time together.

In short, give your mother a place in your home but don’t let her make herself comfortable at the expense of your husband’s peace of mind or your relationship. This could be a great time for your husband and your mother to become close.

He’s being a decent guy for opening up his home. Don’t make him regret it.

greg1.thumbnailGRAY: “We’ll get a cat…because your mom is deathly allergic. That way she can’t move in,” would likely be my wife’s remedy to the issue should we face a similar situation.

We’re not a culture that’s used to living with extended family and it can be a mess. The best thing is to get your husband’s worries addressed before the situation turns into a bundle of frustration, before your mother even arrives.

I would be worried about never having privacy, always turning around and finding her there, perhaps thinking I’d like to hear the 2-hour story of the summer she grew a pumpkin for the county fair.

So set some boundaries. Maybe meals are family time, but after the last meal of the day it’s understood that everyone gets some alone time, completely uninterrupted. You get the idea.

But what if mother says, “Well, I’m so comfortable here. What if I just stayed? Would that be so bad?”

The thought of having an in-law transition from temporary to permanent would push many husbands right off the edge of the cliff (and, no, that’s not just a figure of speech) but it’s easy enough to allay. Put a timeline in place. It doesn’t have to be meticulous, but don’t let “three months” become “some day.” Always move forward and don’t let a setback derail the whole works.

The most difficult issue would be personality conflicts. Does your husband fear hearing “my daughter used to date that nice boy before she met you…he’s a doctor now” or some kind of continual drone about how he’ll never be good enough? You may need to play referee for a while and make sure his head doesn’t explode. Just keep reminding him it’s only temporary.

Finally, having you on his side can carry a lot of clout. Let him know that if things don’t go as planned you’ll buy that cat she’s allergic to ensure she’s heading out the door.

July 2016: Northwest Arkansas Calendar of Events

FireworksWondering where to see fireworks in Northwest Arkansas? Click here for a detailed list and a printable version for your fridge!

Other July 2016 events:

Friday, July 1st:

Reading Roadshow with FPL at Panera

The Fayetteville Public Library and Panera Bread are partnering to bring an Interactive Reading Program to the Fayetteville Panera restaurant. The FPL Reading Roadshow is a 30- minute interactive reading session, will be at on these dates from 9-9:30 a.m.:

Dates: July 1 & August 5

Time: 9-9:30 a.m.

Location: Panera Bread, 3638 N Front Street, Fayetteville

reading roadshow 2016

First Friday Flicks, Lawrence Plaza, Bentonville

The movies start at 8 p.m. Bring a lawn chair or blanket.

  • Friday flicksJuly 1st- Finding Nemo
  • August 5th- Teen Beach Movie 2
  • September 2nd- Zootopia

More info: Click here

First Fridays Bentonville

On the First Friday of every month (April through November) Bentonville Square is transformed into a themed community block party with live music, food and family-friendly activities. Thousands of members come out to celebrate the community. This month’s theme is Americana Music. The main stage opens at 4:30 p.m.

Date: July 1

Time: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Location: Bentonville Square

More info: Click here

Firefly Run

firefly runGrab the kids and enjoy a 1-mile “glow run” at Gulley Park. Participants will receive flashy neon accessories and navigate the Gulley Park trail. The Firefly Run is $10 a person or $30 for a family of 5. All proceeds go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – Arkansas Chapter. The Firefly Run will take place within Gulley Park, using the paved trail around the perimeter of the park. This fun-run will not be timed. The glow run will start at 8:00 pm.

Date: July 1

Time: 8 p.m.

Location: Gulley Park, Fayetteville

More info: Purchase tickets at the event or before the event at Click here to visit the event’s FB page.

Saturday, July 2nd:

Astronomy Night

No registration required. You may use our telescope “Big Boy” or bring your own. Binoculars work too. Bring a red lens cover, such as a cloth or balloon. You may also bring chairs and drinks for outdoor comfort.

Date: July 2

Time: Evening

Location: Hobbs State Park, Rogers

More info: Click here

Monday, July 4th:

**To see a list of fireworks displays on July 4th, click here!

41st Annual Devil’s Den Games

Celebrate the 26th year of the Devil’s Den Games. Enjoy a fun-filled family day of horseshoes, softball, sack races, parades, and much more… all topped off with homemade ice cream. Free event. Meet at the softball field in Area E.

Date: July 4

Time: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Location: Devil’s Den, West Fork

More info: Click here

Independence Day Celebration at War Eagle Mill

This event is for families. It will include a lunch special at the Bean Palace, kids’ crafts and more. It will start at 11 a.m. on Monday and run through 3 p.m.

Date: July 4

Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: War Eagle Mill, Rogers

More info: Click here

Tuesday, July 5th:

Ice cream and old-fashioned toys

On Tuesdays in July, enjoy a different family activity at the Rogers Historical Museum. Tuesdays from 5-8 p.m.

Date: July 5 (Every Tuesday in July)

Time: 5-8 p.m.

Location: Rogers Historical Museum

More info: Click here

Thursday, July 7th:

Movie nights rogers

Summer Movie Series, downtown Rogers Farmer’s Market

Date: July 7 (and other Thursdays in July)

Time: Movie starts at dark (see movie titles in the graphic above)

Location: Downtown Rogers Farmer’s Market

More info: Click here

Fleur Delicious Weekend, Eureka Springs

Date: July 5-10

Time: Varies

Location: Various venues around Eureka Springs

More info: Click here

Saturday, July 16:

firefly fling

Firefly Fling

Garden fairies, food trucks, live music, fairy house building, obstacle course and more.

Date: July 16

Time: 6-10 p.m.

Location: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Fayetteville

More info: Click here

create it conCreate-it-Con

Create-it-Con at the Rogers Public Library is a celebration of the Maker Movement. It’s a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. Create it Con gathers together tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, food artisans, hobbyists, engineers, musicians, actors, science clubs, artists, students, cosplayers, food trucks and lots of other exhibitors. Admission is always free so come and play all day.

Date: July 16

Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: Rogers Public Library

More info: Click here

Thursday, July 21st:

Homegrown Music Festival

A weekend on the Mulberry River, with Leftover Salmon, The Wood Brothers and more. Arkansas’s first sustainable festival. Family-friendly.

Date: July 21-23

Location: Byrd’s Adventure Center, Ozark

More info: Click here

Friday, July 29th:

mary poppins clipMary Poppins

Date: July 29-31 & August 4-7, 11-14

Time: Varies

Location: Arkansas Public Theatre, Rogers

More info: Click here

Devotion in Motion: There’s just no room

31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. Ephesians 4:31 ~ (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

As you might imagine, I’ve heard a lot of sermons and taken a lot of Bible classes in my life. Pastors are taught the Scriptures when they’re preparing to enter the ministry, and they continue to learn as a part of their daily remix (4)lives. But something I’ve noticed is that some of my most enduring lessons weren’t taught to me in a church service or a seminary class. Instead, somebody told me something profound while we were going about our ordinary lives.

Let me tell you a story. When I was 18 years old, I was a Bible college student at a very small Christian college. All of my professors preached revivals in addition to their teaching duties. Because every traveling preacher needs a song leader, I sometimes accompanied various professors to lead singing at their meetings. Often when I rode with these men of God, I learned as much during the car ride as I did from the sermon.

At the beginning of one such trip, the evangelist I was traveling with read his mail before we set out on our journey. Reading a letter from a businessman in our brotherhood, he turned his head and shut his eyes with a pained look on his face. He looked as if something had pierced his heart.

no room for meannessHe read aloud part of the letter, revealing the writer’s threatening words of anger and hate. He then said, “I wish I had not read this letter before we left for the meeting. John, never forget: ‘There is no room for meanness in the Christian life.’”

I’ve never forgotten those words: “There is no room for meanness in the Christian life.” Even though I don’t always succeed, I try to live by them because they are the truth. I think we’re all tempted to do things that are petty and to repay insult with insult when we’re angry. It’s then that we have to remember that, as Christians, we are called by our Saviour to live lives of love. For anything else, there just isn’t room.

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 (where the outdoor-cats are growing their winter coats for cooler weather.) Their kids include Spencer (age 24), his wife Madeline (age 24), and Seth (age 21). You can send him a note at

The Rockwood Files: Once upon a story

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

Just when I thought the machines had truly taken over and that kids’ attention spans had shrunk down to the time it takes to download an app, something wonderful happened.

books-441866_640My 12-year-old son had birthday money burning a hole in his pocket, and he asked if we could go to the bookstore to spend it. Immensely grateful that it was the bookstore and not the arcade, I said an enthusiastic yes. Any excuse to go to the bookstore is a good one. His brother and sister wanted to go, too, so off we went.

I love the bookstore. It’s good for a writer’s soul. Writing is a solitary experience, which is ironic because writers who spend too much time inside their own heads are prone to despair. “Why the heck am I doing this? Nobody wants to read this stuff. This is ridiculous, just stringing these words together, trying to make sense from this jumble of thoughts. Why didn’t I learn a more useful, marketable skill? Like computer programming or transmission repair. Nobody wants stories anymore. They’re too busy with tweets, posts and likes. They want something simple and quick.”

But at the bookstore, I walked down aisle after aisle of books that were neither simple nor quick to produce or to read. The range of topics is immense – everything from ancestry to zombie novels. I scanned the colorful rows of book spines and thought about all those despairing writers – toiling away alone somewhere, stopping occasionally to berate themselves for being too queasy to have gone to med school or too bad at algebra to have become an engineer. Wondering why they feel compelled to write a story that people might never even read.

Somehow, they beat back their own neurosis and the seemingly impossible odds of getting a book published, and they filled this expansive store with books. And despite the 24-hour buffet of daily distractions from social media, YouTube, the App Store, Netflix and so many others, people still show up here in search of stories.

The kids and I drifted in different directions, finding each other now and then so we could hold up a book and say “Look at this one!” Finally, we each narrowed down our book choices and headed for check-out.

But the true magic happened on the way home. As soon as I started the car, the three kids reached into the plastic bag and fished out the book they’d just chosen. They couldn’t wait. Those books were like hot fries from the drive-through, and the temptation to reach in and consume one was too strong to ignore.

The car ride home was as silent as it has ever been – broken only by the sound of our own breathing, pages turning, and the rhythmic click of the car’s blinker. It was serene, and it renewed my faith in the power of stories.

The kids’ book bliss also reminded me to be grateful. Because I might not be any good at math or be able to diagnose appendicitis, but occasionally I’m able to write down a good story – one that reading bookmakes someone feel a moment of joy. And that’s something – a little piece of magic.

We live in an increasingly complex world – one that practically screams for our attention in dozens of different ways – but we’re still hard-wired to seek out stories. We crave them, like hot waffle fries on the car ride home.

Despite all the digital clutter out there, thank God we still gravitate to something as powerful and simple as “Once upon a time…”

gwen-headshot-2014Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of 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.