Devotion in Motion: Throughout the House

perfume150.jpg“Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. ” John 12:3

By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”

When you are born with no sense of smell, as I was, you need help. People who are blind in their eyes need a “seeing-eye dog”. People who are blind in their noses need a “smelling-nose friend”. I have always been blessed with people to help me in situations where smelling is necessary. Most of the time I enlist the help of my family members because they’re usually handy and also because they’re obligated to me because we’re related.

Just yesterday I made my sons sniff an empty litter box that I had just cleaned to see if it needed any more cleaning. I got Spencer’s girlfriend, Bethany, to sniff it, too, for good measure. (Just in case this thing gets serious, she needs to know what sort of family she is marrying into. I’m sure she’s praying that the insanity gene skips a generation.)  Everybody said the freshly-cleaned litter box smelled fine. It’s good to have family when you’re blind in your nose.

But, what’s a person to do when they’re away from home without a sense of smell?  Then, you have to enlist the help of a friend. And let me tell you, a friend who will sniff for you is a friend indeed.tranthams.jpg

The best “smelling-nose friend” I’ve ever had was one of my college roommates, Ray Trantham, pictured here with his wife Pam. (He is Dr. Raymond S. Trantham now and is a missionary and seminary professor in Odessa, Ukraine.) He was the best because, first of all, he had the most incredibly sensitive sniffer this world has ever known, and also because he would gladly sniff anything I asked him to sniff. (Remember, he’s a brave and rugged missionary.)

Back in our Bible college days, he sniffed leftover vegetables to see if they were tainted and new brands of bath soap to see if they smelled sissy. He smelled shirts that were worn for thirty minutes and then hung back on a hanger and laundry that had been left too long in the hamper. Once his sniffed under my armpits when I ran in after a busy day at work and was on my way out the door to talk to a pretty girl. His verdict? “Well, you smell just a tiny, tiny bit, but I have to get really, really close, and she’s not going to have her head up under your armpit—I hope!”

From my friend Ray, I learned a great deal about the nature of smells and aromas. Brother Ray always drank instant breakfast powder mixed in two-percent milk for breakfast instead of eating in the Bible college cafeteria. When I asked him why he never ate school breakfast, he said, “If you go in there, you smell like the kitchen for the rest of the day.” I was always amazed that when I came back from breakfast he could always tell what the menu of the day was by taking one sniff when I walked back in our dorm room.  He would inhale once and then make a pronouncement:  “Oatmeal” or “Sausage gravy”; “Bacon and Eggs” or “French toast”. Just one sniff, and he always got it right.

Now, here’s the thing that amazed me the most. He could always tell what girl had walked through the student lounge based on the aroma of perfume the young lady left behind. There was one girl at our college who always wore a perfume called Cinnabar. (I can’t imagine, but it sounds like it would smell like “Big Red” chewing gum.) When Ray and I would head to New Testament Theology class at eight in the morning, he would comment that this young lady had already gone to class because he could smell her perfume.

[A side story here: Because he liked the way the other girl smelled, Ray bought a bottle of Cinnabar for the girl he was dating, Pam Hassell, who is now his wife. She said something like, “I-think-I-can-pick-out-my-own-perfume-thank-you.” She and her missionary friends of all denominations read this column in Ukraine now. It’s quite popular there. True story.]

All foolishness aside, here’s what I learned from Ray Trantham. Fragrances travel all through the house. We see that illustrated in today’s gospel lesson (at the top of the page).  Mary Magdalene had bought a jar of expensive perfume, probably worth about $800 dollars. She broke the jar open and poured the entire contents on our Lord Jesus—because nothing is too beautiful for God. St. John then makes a wonderful observation in the story: “And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.” Simply put, we learn here some important spiritual lessons. You can’t pour perfume on someone else without getting some on yourself. And whenever we do any deed that brings glory to our Saviour Jesus, the fragrance goes all through the house.

So, don’t forget. You can’t bless others without blessing yourself. And you can’t honor the Lord without making the world more beautiful for everyone. Dear mama, live this week to spread spiritual perfume on the Lord and on all those you come in contact with, especially your little ones. Your life (and theirs) will be sweeter for it.

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad” *Sing that  title to the tune of “Secret Agent Man” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is beginning his third decade of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi.  He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 18) and Seth (age 14) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church” (where the Preacher is usually in charge of  dumping the litter box because his handicap is handy). You should write him at extramailbox@juno.com.

The Rockwood Files: Big Bad Mama

By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

At some point, we all have to accept that there are some things we don’t do well. New mothers typically try to be Supermom for a while. I did. But then we realize it’s impossible, hang up our capes, and settle for doing a good job at the things that matter most. We focus our efforts in the areas where we have the most skill.

But, sometimes, one of the deficits rears its ugly head. Yesterday, I emptied my 7-year-old’s backpack and scanned through the school papers inside. One of them was a reminder about the school’s Fairy Tale Ball at the end of the week. “Don’t forget your costume,” the note read.

“Costume?” I said, aloud. “Adam, do you need a costume for Friday?”

“Yeah. I’m going to be the Big Bad Wolf,” he replied, in a confident tone that indicated he was certain his mother had not forgotten all about the Fairy Tale Ball and his need to dress up like a fairy tale character.

wolfmask.jpg“Okay,” I said, my mind racing around town wondering where I might find a Big Bad Wolf costume when Halloween was still five months away.

“Are you sure you don’t want to be Jack from ‘Jack and the Beanstalk,’” I asked, knowing that costume would be more open to interpretation and easier to pull off in three days time.

“No, Mom. I’m going to be the Big Bad Wolf because he huffs and he puffs, remember?” he asked, exasperated that I wouldn’t realize how much cooler a wolf is than a mere beanstalk-climbing boy.

“Oh, I see,” I said.

What my son doesn’t know is that his mother is useless when it comes to costumes. I don’t sew. I don’t even own a hot glue gun, mostly because I’m certain it would end with me going to the ER to have my fingers surgically separated from one another. And despite sewing lessons my mother forced me to take as a teenager, I never quite got the hang of it.

Mom convinced Ms. Lucille, who went to our church, into giving me lessons once a week at her house, hoping I’d turn into the seamstress she never was. She said she had always regretted not learning to sew and she didn’t want me to end up feeling the same way one day.

So I went to the lessons, but it just wasn’t my thing. After several weeks bent over a sewing machine at Ms. Lucille’s kitchen table, all I had to show for it was a bath towel with a patch of Velcro sloppily sewn onto it – a bath wrap, we called it. I also had a red jumper with navy blue buttons, but the truth was that Ms. Lucille ended up doing 98 percent of the work and let me take credit for it. I think it was just too frustrating for her to watch me fumble around at something that came so naturally to her.

This week I’m wishing I’d paid more attention to those sewing lessons. If I had just been a better student at Ms. Lucille’s house, I wouldn’t be in this dilemma right now. I’d just pop over to a fabric store, collect the necessary supplies, and I’d whip out an original Big Bad Wolf costume in no time. But I can’t do it. Wouldn’t even know where to begin. So I did what I know how to do – I “googled” it.

I typed the words “Big Bad Wolf costume” into the search engine and prayed the results would go my way. The Internet can be a wonderful thing sometimes. I found a great wolf outfit from a company in West Virginia. Within minutes, I was on the phone with them, but they couldn’t get it here before the Fairy Tale Ball. Back to the computer keyboard I went. There was one more affordable Big Bad Wolf mask. I ordered it as fast as my fingers could type. But there was no guarantee it would make it on time. Sure, I could have ordered the expedited shipping but that would have cost more than twice what the mask itself cost, which would have made my husband do his own version of huffing and puffing once he saw the bill.

So I wrote an e-mail to the manufacturer and asked – pleaded – that they ship the Big Bad Wolf costume to me as quickly as humanly possible. I signed it “The Big Bad Mama who Forgot the Fairy Tale Ball.” The shipping manager saw my note, was amused, took pity on me, and the mask is on its way even as I type.

So I’m no June Cleaver. I hardly cook. I don’t sew. But give me a computer and a deadline, and I’ll deliver every time. One of these days, when my kids need someone to edit their essays for college applications, they’re going to be really glad their mother was a geeky English major.

Want to read previous installments of The Rockwood Files? Click HERE!

Divine in ’09: Home Makeover Winners!

big-spring-clean-logo1.jpgWOW! Thanks so much to everyone who told us what they love about coming home to a clean, organized space. The desire to have a little help getting there is definitely something we can all relate to. We’re so happy to offer giveaways on this website that help Northwest Arkansas moms solve a problem. And for some, this is a problem that’s downright monumental.

Of course, we hate that all of you couldn’t win these great prizes. Hopefully it helped to vent a little and know you’re in good company, though!

The winners of the Big Spring Clean Home Makeover are:

  • Katherine Vandiver — Zecena Cleaning Service, deep cleaning (479-616-0541)
  • Brenda Ward – Modoa Interiors, professional design service (479-530-7357)
  • Murray Atchison — Simply Organized, professional organizing service (479-790-6146)

Katherine summed up a thread that ran through most of the comments in this giveaway: “I feel less stressed and more at peace with a clean home — like I can move on to what is really important.”

Murray’s note also struck a common chord: “When my house is clean and organized, I feel like my life is clean, calm and organized. Also, I’m much easier with my kids (at least until they mess it up again!).

Brenda reminded us that sometimes life feels like the movie Groundhog Day when you have kids. She said, “I have two girls (ages 4 and 1) and I feel that all I do ALL DAY LONG is pick up toys, books, clothes, etc… and stuff in a toy box, book shelf or closet. I would love to have an organized place to put everything at the end of the day (or even in the middle of the day). I would also love to have my furniture rearranged – my husband doesn’t like my ideas. My whole family would be surprised and enjoy it for a long time.”

Congratulations to all three winners!

Signed Sealed Delivered is moving!

movingtruck.gifYou heard it here first! We just got a little inside scoop about one of our favorite shopping spots. Signed Sealed Delivered is moving and expanding! Currently located on 52nd Street in Rogers, the store will soon be moving into a new space in the Shoppes at Pinnacle Hills, right across the street from the Embassy Suites (near the Cold Stone Creamery area).

We hear that the move will be complete sometime in early August but the store will remain open in its current location until the new space is ready. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on any moving sales, etc.

crown.jpgDid you know that Signed Sealed Delivered is offering a $100 shopping spree to the winner of our Crafty Mama Queen contest? There is still time to enter the contest, if you’re interested, so click HERE if you’d like to get the details about how to enter.

FYI: It’s Friday which means Signed Sealed Delivered is having a Happy Hour sale with special deals available only during noon until 1 p.m. and 5:30 until 6:30 p.m. Today, one of the sale items is photo frames for 50 percent off! 

Yard Sale Alert!

yard-sale-sign.gifIf you love a huge yard sale, we’ve got one to tell you about. We hear that several families are all pitching in for a big yard sale to be held this Saturday (May 30th) from 7 a.m. to noon at Central Park Elementary School in Bentonville. One of the teachers there tells me there will be kids items, clothes, toys, furniture and lots more. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the school. (Bargains plus a good cause? We like it.)

Central Park Elementary School is located at 1400 SW Liberty Avenue in Bentonville. Click here to put in your address and get specific driving directions. Happy bargain hunting!!

Healthy Mama: Foods that help you lose weight

Foods that might help me lose weight? Sign me up. I just ran across this article on the Parade.com website and thought I’d pass it along, just in case I’m not the only one dreading the approach of swimsuit season. Here are four foods scientists believe can help you lose weight:

  • walnuts.jpgWalnuts

  • Watermelon

  • Green Tea

  • Whole-Grain Cereal

watermelon_slice1.jpgFor more info on why and how these four foods help control weight, jump over to the Parade.com website by clicking here and read the short article by reporter Michael O’Shea.

Meet our ‘Divine in ’09′ Smile Makeover winner!

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It took some time for the dental evaluation process to wrap up, but we’re ready to introduce the winner of the Divine in ’09 Smile Makeover: Savanah Hamby of Fayetteville!

Over the next few months, Dr. Hubbs at Life Style Dentistry (who donated her services for this amazingly generous giveaway!) will transform Savanah’s smile. We’ll be sure to post “before” and “after” pictures so you can see the exciting results!

Savanah, originally from Eureka Springs, is a 25-year-old writer, cook, vegetable gardener, avid exerciser and outdoorsy mom to 10-month-old Sawyer. She was shocked that Dr. Hubbs of Life Style Dentistry had chosen her to receive this wonderful gift.

“I never win contests and this was a big one!” she said. “The alignment and color of my teeth have always bothered me. The best thing about having a ‘new’ smile will be seeing it in photographs. I’ve always been told I have a pretty smile, but when I look in the mirror or see photos, all I can see is my teeth.

“I’m tired of comparing myself to others, so this will make a big difference.”

When Savanah was 13, she was hit in the mouth with a rock and part of her front tooth was chipped. The chip was repaired, but she has always dreamed of straight, white teeth with no spaces in between. That’s exactly what she’ll get with this makeover. And more.

Dr. Hubbs has already started the makeover process, which has focused on healthy gums and teeth so far. Dr. Hubbs is first addressing any cavities or disease and is removing all of Savanah’s old silver fillings and replacing them with tooth-colored material.

“It’s not just that we want her smile to look great,” said Dr. Hubbs. “We want to achieve optimal oral health for Savanah as well.”

“To me, a great smile means a healthy smile.”

Dr. Hubbs said periodontal disease affects three out of five adults and there are correlations between heart disease and periodontal disease. She noted that tooth decay and periodontal disease are both caused by bacteria. “These can reside very quietly in our mouths, causing damage for a long time without proper dental check-ups and treatment,” she said. (Does this make you want to call and set up a dental appointment right now? It makes me want to!)

After Savanah’s underlying issues are addressed, Dr. Hubbs will continue the makeover with veneers. We should all be able to see Savanah’s new smile by the beginning of July!

Savanah said her time with Dr. Hubbs and her staff has been amazing. She can’t wait to see the final results and to feel good about an overall healthy mouth.

“This is the opportunity of a lifetime!” she said.

Dr. Hubbs office is located in the Tuscany Square shopping plaza on Pleasant Grove Road in Rogers (across from the Pleasant Grove Wal-Mart Supercenter). For more info about Dr. Hubbs, visit her online at www.lifestyledentistrynwa.com or call her office at 479-636-8700. (Read a previous interview we did with Dr. Hubbs by clicking here.)

What’s On Sale: Photo Frames at Signed Sealed Delivered

big_sale_tag.jpgThought you might want to know about a half-off sale that could come in handy for your Father’s Day gift ideas. (Yes, Father’s Day is creeping up fast! It’s only about 3 weeks away.) Let’s face it: If you give a man a loose photo, that photo will lay around or go into a drawer or on the refrigerator because the act of actually finding or buying a frame and inserting that photo is just a little too much for most men. But if you give a guy a framed photo, he’ll put it in a favorite spot and enjoy it right away. My dad really likes getting framed photos of his grandkids, so maybe yours does, too.

miracle-frame.jpgAs you may already know, Signed Sealed Delivered has a special “Happy Hour Sale” every Friday from noon until 1 p.m. and then again from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. This week, photo frames will be 50 percent off! And they’ve got some beautiful ones to choose from. There will also be other sale items in various areas of the store, but those are top secret so you’ll just have to cruise by there to see for yourself.

Signed Sealed Delivered is located at 602 S. 52nd Street in Rogers (not far from Village on the Creeks). Call 479-271-7747 if you need specific driving directions. Happy shopping!

Life With Ladybug’s Dad: Night at the theatre!

By Shannon Magsam

machomerweb_photo_donut1.jpgI took my husband out on a date last night. I even drove. We went to see a sneak peek of MacHomer at Walton Arts Center, which opens this weekend. You mean you don’t have tickets yet? DOH!

Seriously, if you — or someone you love, as in our case — is a Simpson’s fan, you have got to see this show. I have the added bonus of having a husband who also loves Shakespeare’s Macbeth, so I knew this was a show for us.

I figured I’d enjoy it fine, but I really went for John. (Well, I also love the theatre and didn’t want to pass up free tickets.) Minutes after the show started, I realized I would have been happy to pay full price.

Canadian Actor Rick Miller was sensational and I was terribly impressed with his ability to seamlessly and swiftly move from one Simpson’s character to another. Not only did he do spot-on impressions of practically EVERY ONE of the television show’s characters, but he brought in other TV commentators from shows like Family Guy, PBS and South Park. I’m still trying to figure out how he managed to pull off throwing Marge, Homer and the whole Simpson’s gang into a Shakespeare play, but he did it in a way that had the whole audience laughing — loudly. And much of the Macbeth dialogue was left intact. Thither.

I couldn’t imagine how Rick spoke non-stop for near 1 1/2 hours without getting completely hoarse. Then, THEN he came out for a curtain call and did the most amazing singer impressions. He got a standing O.

There were assorted donuts on the way out. Homer would have been happy. I was.

I didn’t drive on the way to retrieve Ladybug from her friend’s house. I really only drove to the theatre because John got home so late that we had no time to eat dinner before the play. I ate standing over the sink just before he got home, then I handed him some food and a drink as we walked out the door. He ate it on the way. A little bare bones as dates go, but it was successful, nonetheless. We laughed, we held hands, we spent a few hours in the theatre together, something we often used to do pre-kidlet.

After we picked up Ladybug, we were a threesome again. But we were relaxed and rejuvenated. The opposite of tragic.

If you’d like to see MacHomer, go to the Walton Arts Center website and order tickets for Friday, Saturday or Sunday (link).

Fayetteville Drive-In Featuring ‘Up’ & ‘Hannah Montana’ this weekend!

marquee.jpgA local mom just sent out a message that the movies “Up” and “Hannah Montana” will be playing this weekend at Fayetteville’s Hwy. 112 drive-in theatre. How fun!

Up (PG) will start at 8:45 and Hannah (G) will start at 10:45 (a special treat for tweens, maybe?) If you’ve never been there before, they have a snack bar with everything from hamburgers to hot dogs to pretzels. Or you can bring your own food. You tune your radio to 92.7 FM to hear the movie. If it doesn’t rain, the weather is just perfect for the drive-in!

The cost is $11 per carload and they don’t take debit/credit cards or checks. Cheap date!

For more info, call the theatre at 479-442-4542.

You’re not all that!

twenge35790514.JPGI wanted to share the link to a story about a book by Dr. Jean Twenge, pyschologist and social commentator. Her brand new book is called The Narcissism Epidemic. and it’s sitting on my bedside table right now.

Check out this story in Newsweek (link) for an interesting review on the book, which explores whether our nation is in a narcissism epidemic (which might be toned down by the recession).

Dr. Twenge also wrote the book Generation Me, which I read last year. It made me really think about how I parent and what I might need to change if I want my child to grow up to be a productive citizen rather than a self-serving drain on society.

Can’t wait to read this new book.

~ Shannon M.

Friends of Motherlode: Kate Austin Jewelry & Gifts

kateaustinlogoandnumber1.jpgToday we welcome a new Motherlode sponsor — Kate Austin Jewelry & Gifts in Rogers. They’re located in the Tuscany Square shopping plaza off Pleasant Grove Road (a few doors down from Mad Pizza).

If you are into accessories, this shop will soon become a favorite. I really love the way the shop is organized. If you need an accessory that has some red in it, it’s already grouped together for you by color. A spot for green, brown, pastels, silver, gold — you name it. I recently bought a dainty little butterfly necklace there (from the Firefly line) and I really love it. I particularly appreciate that, even this piece that cost me only $38, is guaranteed for life by the manufacturer. Impressive.

Owner Claire Branscum is a fellow mom and was kind enough to answer our nosy questions about her great accessories boutique. Read on:

Since Kate Austin isn’t your name, tell us how you came up with the name for the shop?

It is a combination of my daughter’s first name and my maiden name, which was Austin. Since there is already a well-known jewelry chain called by my first name (Claire) we decided to come up with something else that would be classic and appealing.

As a busy mom of 3, what inspired you to take on the challenge of running your own jewelry boutique?

God used several different circumstances in my life at that time that caused me to take the risk to do something I never imagined doing before. I can’t say that it was just one thing or another. There’s no doubt that providing for my kids was a large part of the motivation to pursue this opportunity.

What are some of the most popular items in the store right now?

Pandora jewelry is still a huge seller as well as the “Mom” necklace I designed and we introduced for Mother’s Day. We also sell a lot of crosses this time of year for Easter, confirmation and graduation gifts.

Besides your wedding ring, what’s your favorite accessory in your wardrobe and why?

switchflopsblack.pngIf flip flops could be considered an accessory I would definitely say that I adore them!! They are so comfortable and are an inexpensive way to add character to an outfit. We have a new heel style at the store that is even appropriate for the office. (“Switchflops” are shown here, and the straps can be changed to coordinate with different outfits.)

What are the current trends in accessories?

Scarves are definitely big still and will be the new “necklace” even for summer. We have some light weight scarves that can even be paired with tank tops.

What are the most common fashion mistakes people make when it comes to accessorizing?

The most common mistake I see women make is wearing jewelry that is either too large or small for their body type. Also, many women think that earrings and necklaces have to “match”. The trend right now is that they should complement each other, but that they don’t have to be a perfect match.

Your shop is still fairly new, so what do you wish more women knew about Kate Austin kateaustin-necklace.jpgJewelry & Gifts?

The biggest misconception that we try to overcome on a daily basis is that we are not a “fine” jewelry store. Many customers are afraid to walk in because they immediately assume that they cannot afford jewelry. We have jewelry to suit any budget. (The Kate Austin “Faith” necklace pictured at right is only $32. There are similar designs with the words “Hope,” “Peace,” “Friends,” or “Love.” Click the photo for more details.)

What’s the toughest part of balancing motherhood and small business ownership?

Time management is huge. I think you have to accept that there are some things that will fall through the cracks that might not have before you were working. Forgiving myself for not getting everything done perfectly all the time is important to remaining balanced. We’ve also become very protective of our family time and have scaled back on “extra” activities to make sure that we keep that intact.

If you had three hours to spare and your kids were busy and the shop was fine, what would you do for fun?

I would go to lunch with a friend and indulge in a pedicure (so I can wear my flip flops).

(Claire Branscum, owner of Kate Austin Jewelry & Gifts, is pictured below. If you need help finding accessories that are the right size for your body type, Claire is a great person to ask.)

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Final note: You should also know that this shop will put your gift items in a nice bag with pretty tissue paper, so you’ll save the time and expense of wrapping it yourself. That’s always a plus in my book. Have fun exploring this jewelry and gift shop. I know you’ll enjoy it. Happy shopping!

Good Gossip: A Guilt-Free Celebrity Dish

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Good Gossip is our bi-weekly round-up of the best celebrity news and local gossip we can find. The best part? It’s all been sanitized for your protection and enjoyment. No nasty rumors or half-truths. Just “good” gossip that you can enjoy, guilt-free. Remember when your own mama told you that if you didn’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all? We were listening, Mom. Now, on to the gossip! (And don’t forget “Local Dish” at the bottom. We’ve got babieeeeeeeees!!!)

Celebrity Dish:

sarah-chalke.jpgIf you’re a fan of Scrubs or How I Met Your Mother, then you’re probably also a fan of actress, Sarah Chalke, pictured right. She will star in a new miniseries on the Lifetime channel called Maneater, premiering on May 30th. Sarah is fluent in French and German and said her biggest vice is dark chocolate. She also admits to a fear of flying, saying “I always have to tap the plane on the way in. Just a little love pat.” (Source: People Magazine, June 1, 2009 issue)

Alison Sweeney, star of Days of Our Lives and host of The Biggest Loser, said that spin class and her Wii Fit got her back into shape after her second baby was born in January. (Source: People Magazine, June 1, 2009 issue)

Ralph Macchio, former teen star of The Karate Kid, is now a part of the Ugly Betty cast. He is the karate_kid.jpgmarried father of Julia, 17, and Daniel, 13. (And yes, his son’s name was partly inspired by his role on Karate Kid.) He says his biggest accomplishment has been raising his family. Macchio says he still owns that “wax-on, wax-off” Ford convertible from the movie. He let his son wear the famous headband to school on Halloween one time. He said his teenage daughter is dating. “Give me the crane kick,” he said with a sigh, invoking the film’s signature knock-out move. “This is the toughest job on the planet.” (Source: People Magazine, June 1, 2009 issue)julianne-hough-country-singer-photo.jpg

Saturday Night Live star Maya Rudolph is expecting her second child. She has a 3-year-old daughter named Pearl.

Julianne Hough, country singer and member of Dancing with the Stars, said the three things she can’t live without are Armani, Sour Patch Kids and Chapstick. (Source: People Magazine, June 1, 2009 issue)

Local Dish:

lisamacbaby.jpgBentonville photographer Lisa McSpadden and her husband Dr. Glen McSpadden welcomed their first child, Josiah Samuel, born Tuesday May 19, 2009, after an amazing 26 HOURS of labor. (Lisa, you are a gladiator!) This story is even sweeter, when you consider that Lisa and Glen have been trying for this baby for more than 7 years! Congrats to Lisa and Glen! You have certainly been blessed.

bradybabyphoto3.jpgWe’d also like to congratulate Jennifer Haile and her husband, Charles! Jennifer, a Sunrise reporter at 40/29, also has a new baby boy! Brady Hudson Sebourn weighed 6 lbs., 12 oz., and has a big brother named Jackson.

Jennifer said Jackson has been very sweet with his new baby brother and loves to give lots of hugs and kisses. Welcome to Northwest Arkansas, Brady!

katie2.jpgWe also have a baby girl picture to include! We wanted to share the birth announcement picture of Katherine Marie, the new baby girl belonging to our Mommy in Progress blogger Jacqueline Presley (and husband Spencer!). Katie came on the scene May 6 after much prayer and a dose of castor oil!

Reception Announcement: Faye Jones, who has worked in the Fayetteville School District for 38 years, recently retired as principal of Root Elementary. There will be a reception for Mrs. Jones from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, at the Root Elementary Library. Mrs. Jones has touched the lives of many children and will continue that work moving forward. She is dedicated to helping Children’s House (a safe haven for abused children) build a brand-new facility. The public is invited to the reception!

Spaghetti Dinner, Bake Sale & Silent Auction: A fellow NWA mom needs our help. Cindy Hawkins, an RN at a local hospital, has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). Cindy and her husband, Buddy, have three children, 15, 9, and five months. The ALS Association of Northwest Arkansas will be hosting the Cindy Hawkins Benefit Spaghetti Dinner, Bake Sale and Silent Auction on Saturday, May 30, from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church, 2535 New Hope Road in Rogers. Dinner is $5 and baked items are as priced. For more information about the local ALS Association, call 479.621.8700 or go to their website, www.als-arkansas.org.

Do Fans Help Decrease Risk of SIDS?

We just ran across an interesting article about SIDS over at Parade.com that we wanted to share with our fellow moms. For any mother of an infant, SIDS is a scary topic, particularly because no one is absolutely certain what causes it. We do know, however, that putting a baby to sleep on his back helps decrfan.jpgease the risk dramatically.

The article on Parade.com suggests using a fan in your baby’s bedroom to help circulate the air, since some researchers believe that babies re-breathing their own carbon dioxide may contribute to SIDS events. A small study reported in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine says that crib deaths decreased by 72 percent when infants slept in a room where a fan was on. You can read more about the details of the study by clicking HERE and reading the Parade article by Dr. Ranit Mashori.

Divine in ’09: Win a home “makeover”!

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EDITOR’S NOTE: You’ve got about an hour left! We’re choosing the winners today (May 29) at 4 p.m. Good luck!

When we’re kicking around ideas for our next big giveaway, we always ask ourselves some critical questions: What do mamas really want? What would make their busy lives a little easier? And one of the things almost all of us want is a clean house. We’re talking about a serious clean — the kind of cleaning job big-spring-clean-logo.jpgthat would take you hours and hours (or maybe days) to do on your own. Windows, baseboards, floors, window blinds, bathrooms, kitchen, woodwork, rugs — the works.

Along those lines, how awesome would it be to take a room in your house and just mix it up? It’s tired, you’re tired, and it would be great for a professional to come in and turn it into a new space right before your eyes! Beverly Odom of Modoa Interiors can do that. Beverly can take your existing accessories and furniture, make some sketches and come up with a brand new look for your room — one that you’ll enjoy looking at every day.

Some of us are living in clutter. There’s some area in our house that’s just covered in papers or so unorganized it gives us a stomachache just walking past it. Maybe it’s your home office or the kitchen cabinets. If you could use some help organizing a space in your house, Holly Shacklett and Janet Filbeck of Simply Organized are prepared to come in and help you whip that spot into neat, clean shape.

modoa.jpgSo guess what? Today we’re giving away three, count ‘em THREE, awesome prizes for three different Motherlode readers: a “Deep Clean,” courtesy of Zecena Cleaning Service of Northwest Arkansas; a room rejuvenation from Modoa Interiors; and a three-hour organizing session with Simply Organized.

Gwen and Shannon are particularly excited about these giveaways because they have personally experienced services from these companies. Zecena has been Gwen’s house cleaning savior for more than three years now, so she can tell you from experience that their work is top notch as well as licensed and insured. (Note: Our website is not being paid to write about these companies.)

Gwen says: Diana Zecena is the owner and is the most conscientious, hard-working young entrepreneur I’ve ever met. This lady just does not stop. Just ask my fellow blogger Terri Chaddick over at Life + Kids. Terri also uses Diana’s company for house cleaning, and we both think she and her crew are amazing. They are like the SWAT team of clean. Over the years, I’ve recommended her work many times and at leacartoon_house.gifst six of my friends/neighbors, etc. have become her clients.

Shannon has experienced the joy of a rejuvenated living room after Beverly of Modoa Interiors dropped by and rearranged her furniture, art and accessories. It was simply amazing to have her walk in, “see” the room in a new light and get right to work making it better. The results were a more “pulled-together” room that is intimate and cozy. (See more about Modoa Interiors in a previous Motherlode story HERE.)

Shannon has known Holly Shacklett of Simply Organized for several years and has always appreciated her dedication to organizing spaces with the goal of helping people enjoy their lives more. She even offers organizing advice and encouragement to people on her Simply Organized blog.

HOW TO ENTER: If you live in Benton or Washington County and you’d like to win a spring “home makeover,” (remember, we’ll have three winners) you can throw your name into our online hat by clicking the word “comment” below. Then tell us what you love most about coming home to a clean, organized house. (That lemon smell in the bathroom? The papers in your office stacked neatly? An artfully appointed living room? The peace of mind that comes from knowing it’s all done?) And DON’T think you’re house is too far gone for one of these services — these girls realize you’re real people with real, sometimes messy lives. And we can vouch for their laid-back style.

zcs.JPGFor extra chances to win, simply e-mail some of your friends about this website and giveaway, and we’ll give you an extra chance to win for every friend you tell. (Spread the word to 10 people, and your name goes in the hat 10 more times. Fifteen friends, 15 entries.) Just be sure to copy us on the message by putting mamas@nwaMotherlode.com in the CC line, so we can give you proper credit.

Good luck, and Happy Spring!

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