What Easter is All About

¶ Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed–

in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52  (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

The other day I was digging through a box of papers from my childhood that my mother had saved.  My elementary school report cards and VBS completion certificates looked pretty familiar, but near the bottom of the stack was a diploma that had slipped my mind. In my 6th grade science class (Mrs. Davis, 1972) I completed a unit from the U.S. government and passed a test that earned me a Civil Defense Preparation Certificate. What that means is that if the Russians drop a nuclear bomb on your neighborhood, I’m the one you need to be standing next to. The government made sure that  I am trained to know what to do in the case of an actual atomic-bomb-attack emergency.

Bert2Part of my training was watching a black-and-white film called “Duck and Cover.” In this vintage educational gem (which can be seen on Wikipedia), various scenarios involving grade school kids are presented. The one I remember best goes something like this: Children are standing reciting the pledge of allegiance when they are suddenly blinded by a flash of white light.

Instantly realizing that a 500-megaton-bomb has just exploded next to the monkey-bars on the playground, they “duck” under their desks and “cover” their heads with their notebooks. Because of their quick thinking, they are kept safe from instant death, and live to continue working the puzzle in their “Weekly Readers.”

Well, more than 40 years have passed since I watched that classroom movie. I’ve never seen the flash of light from a nuclear blast, and I hope that we never see one. I’m older now, and I realize that, in the case of a disaster of this magnitude, ducking under my desk isn’t going to do much to save me. And, truth be told, the whole scenario isn’t something I spend any time fretting about or thinking about. It just doesn’t worry me any more.

Instead of fearing and dreading that flash of light, I find myself longing for and awaiting a different flash of light. In today’s Scripture lesson (at the top), St. Paul tells us that when Christ comes again, we will all be changed “in the twinkling of an eye.” The dead will be raised, and God will give them glorified, incorruptible bodies—the same kind of body that Jesus had when He was raised from the dead. Once and for all, in a flash of light, Death will be swallowed up forever by Eternal Life. Because Jesus Christ is raised from the dead, we shall be raised also. That, my friends, is what Easter is all about.

May the light from His empty tomb illuminate your heart and your life on this good Easter Sunday. There’s no need to “Duck and Cover.” Instead, let’s follow our risen Lord as we “Trust and Obey.”

john and susan cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 27 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 and teaches Latin on closed-circuit-television.)  He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where there will be a fellowship dinner and Easter egg hunt today.) The Cashes have two sons, Spencer (age 21), and Seth (age 18), who live in the parsonage, too, except when they are away at college. He would love to hear from you in an email sent to countrypreacherdad@gaggle.net.


“May the light from the empty tomb illuminate your heart and your life on this good Easter Sunday.”


The Rockwood Files: Gliding through Spring Break

By Gwrockwoodfiles2-205x300en Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

It’s the first day of Spring Break, and I did something this morning I haven’t done in more than a decade. I slept – until noon.

I don’t know if I should be proud or ashamed, but since I so rarely get that much time to sleep, I’m going with proud. The kids were awake, of course, watching cartoons and playing video games under paternal supervision while their mother did her best impersonation of an unconscious slug buried deep under the covers.

sleeping signThey woke me up a few times mid-morning to ask some question I’ve since forgotten, but I just mumbled “Ask your father,” and rolled over into oblivion again.

If we’d been at home today, there’s no way I could have slept so late. At home, my writing desk beckons and the washing machine is always asking for its next load. The phone rings, the doorbell dings, and the reminder alert on my iPhone chirps at me all day. If it was a normal weekday, I’d have already gotten the kids dressed, made breakfast, driven them to school and returned home to tackle the to-do list on my desk.

But we’re spending a few days of Spring Break at a cabin in the woods about 45 minutes from home. It’s our little getaway that’s not too far away, and I’ve decided it’s just disconnected enough from our daily routine that it gives me a serious case of the sleepies. As soon as we walk through the door, my brain switches over to “vacation mode” – where “hustle and bustle” is replaced with “hang out and just be.”

Life moves at a much slower pace around here, slow enough that even deer aren’t scared away when we come and go from the cabin. As our minivan eases down the road, they look up briefly from the plants they’re munching on, stare at us unimpressed through the windshield and then grudgingly move out of the way so we can pass.

The cabin is perched on a hilltop, giving it a beautiful view of the valley and lake below. Yesterday when we got here, I sat by the window for a while watching a huge hawk fly circles over the treetops. He made several passes around an area the size of a football field, and he barely flapped his massive wings at all. He just glided effortlessly – letting the wind take him higher, steered only by his own whims.

I pointed the hawk out to the kids. “Look how easy he makes it look,” I said. “He’s barely moving his wings at all. People have to work so hard to make airplanes with enough power to fly, but this bird makes it look like the easiest thing in the world.”

It was one of those moments that makes me realize how much smarter God is than the rest of us. His designs work so brilliantly. And it also made me thankful for things like Spring Break – when we have a chance to stop flapping our wings so hard and just glide serenely through time, admiring the view below us. Granted, sometimes the view is only of the back of our eyelids, but that, too, is a welcome relief from the busyness of everyday life.

When I finally emerged from my darkened bedroom cave, the kids bounced around energetically asking, “So what are we going to do today?” Their father peeked up from the book he was reading long enough to reply, “Whatever we want.”

Hurray for Spring Break. We’re going to enjoy the glide.

gwen rockwoodGwen 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 new book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

Author Photo credit: Lisa Mac Photography

NWA Calendar of Events: April 2013

An Evening with Kool and the Gang

Date: Tuesday, April 2

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Location: Walton Arts Center

More info: Click here

Goodbye Charlie, Rogers Little Theatre

Date: April 4-7 (March 29-31 also)

Time: Varies

Location: Rogers Little Theatre, Rogers

More info: Click here

first thursday logoFirst Thursday, Fayetteville

Date: April 4

Location: Fayetteville Square

More info: Click here

Bentonville Street Fair First Friday

This First Friday brings the entire party out into the streets with musicians, jugglers, stilt walkers, comedians, magicians, and more from around the country. This event is sponsored in part by Vita Coco and Team Direct.

Date: April 5

Time: 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Location: Bentonville Downtown Square

More info: Click here

Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre

popovich updatedDate: April 6

Time: 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Location: Walton Arts Center

More info: Click here

NWA March for Babies

Date: April 6

Time: 10 a.m. (register at 9)

Location: Arvest Ballpartk

More info: Click here

“Insane City” Author Dave Barry, Fayetteville Public Library

Date: April 12

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Fayetteville Public Library, 401 W. Mountain Street Fayetteville

More info: Click here

Moms on the Farm Tour

moms on the farmThe tour will include trips to beef, poultry and dairy farms. Lunch will be provided, followed by cooking demonstrations by the Arkansas Cattlewomen. The tour begins at the Pauline Whitaker Arena (1335 W. Knapp St.) off Garland Avenue, approximately two miles north of the University of Arkansas campus. Participants will be transported by bus to tour locations. The deadline to register is April 5. The goal of the tour is to help mothers understand more about agricultural production, food safety and nutrition and experience Northwest Arkansas agriculture first-hand.

Date: April 13

Time: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: Starts at the Pauline Whitaker Arena in Fayetteville

More info: Click here

Hogeye Kids Marathon and Hogeye Jr Run

Kohl’s Cares presents the 3rd Annual Hogeye Kids Marathon and Inaugural Hogeye JR run! 

Date: April 13

Time: 2 p.m.

Location: Kohl’s Store, Fayetteville

More info: Click here

Little Big Town: The Tornado Tour with guest David Nail

Date: April 19

Time: 8 p.m.

Location: Arkansas Music Pavilion; Washington County Fairgrounds

More info: Click here

Dancing with the Stars

Date: April 20

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: John Q. Hammons Ballroom

More info: Click here


Champions for Kids’ flagship event, Abbott Nutrition RazorFest is a FREE family event on April 20, 2013 at Razorback Stadium. The 9th annual event, includes fun zones, games, music, mascots, giveaways, health zones, fitness activities, nutrition education and more. The event concludes with the University of Arkansas Razorback Red-White game! Our ultimate goal is to mobilize those in attendance to provide resources and opportunities to benefit children.

Date: April 20

Location: Reynolds Razorback Stadium

More info: Click here

komenRace for the Cure

Date: April 27

Location: Pinnacle Hills Promenade Mall

More info: Click here

On Your Mind: High energy kid or ADHD?

on your mindDear Tom,

My 5-year-old son is very high-energy and has always been “on the go.” I always thought this was normal for boys this age. But lately I’ve had a few people ask me if he is ADHD. I dismissed the comments as rude, but last week my son’s Sunday School teacher asked me the same thing. She is also a school teacher and I value her opinion, so now I’m starting to worry. She says he just can’t sit still and focus, even for 20 minutes. He is an only child so I really don’t have any point of comparison if his ability to focus is normal or not, but it really bothers me when people assume there is something wrong with him. What should I do?

Dear Mom,

You ask an excellent question and one which occurs frequently and crosses the minds of many, many parents who have an active, high-energy child. The question or suggestion that an active boy always “on the go” may have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is very common. You often hear of family doctors, school nurses, teachers, family members, neighbors, and others suggesting that an active child has ADHD. There are a few things to keep in mind before assuming those suggestions are correct.

First, ADHD overlaps quite a bit with anxiety, adjustment, or changes in mood. A five-year-old child may be going through some significant changes, like starting school, beginning peer or friend relationships, learning or testing his boundaries with his parents, or comparing himself to other children (especially since he is an only child). All of these things could overlap or be contributing to behavior that looks like ADHD.

timeoutchairThe second thing to look for is whether your son’s active, high-energy behavior is consistent over time in different structured environments. Is he acting this way at school, Sunday school, during structured playtime, mealtime, or during any other structured environment or activity? It’s important to watch how he behaves in structured settings compared to other kids his age.

The third thing to consider is whether his behavior is leading to chronic problems in day-to-day life, like frequent discipline at school, frequent time-outs, poor relationships with kids his age, and/or regular conflict and discipline at home.

If you see other active, “on-the-go” behavior in several structured environments over time and/or your son is having chronic problems in daily functioning, then find a professional who is trained in diagnosing and treating ADHD. That may be a licensed professional counselor, social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist.

Good luck to you and your son.


Tom Petrizzo serves as CEO of Ozark Guidance and has degrees in social work and law. You can reach Ozark Guidance at 479-750-2020. Tom has spent the last 20 years managing non-profit centers in Texas, Kansas, Colorado and Arkansas. He has also served as adjunct faculty at the social work graduate program at three large universities. He’s married to Teri Classick, a licensed clinical social worker, and they have two daughters. When he’s not at work, Tom likes to jog, bike ride, read and he even belted out the National Anthem lately at a Northwest Arkansas Naturals Game!

Tom would be happy to answer your questions and read what’s on your mind. Click the butterfly icon below to fill out an anonymous submission form with your question or concern. The form contains NO identifying information and is designed to give local women an online place to share concerns with a person qualified to offer feedback. Tom will be back each month to answer another woman’s question.

Disclaimer:  This RESPONSE does not provide medical advice It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on nwaMotherlode or Ozark Guidance websites.

Northwest Arkansas March for Babies

MODBrooke Pencil (3)

As mothers, we all know that — even though pregnancy is a miraculous, wonderful thing — it can also be scary. And anyone who has ever been pregnant worries about premature labor and what might happen if the baby comes too soon.

For many families, that fear becomes reality. Brooke and Baylee Tabor are sisters who were born at 25 weeks and 29 weeks respectively. They spent months in the NICU before coming home. Thankfully, each baby girl came home healthy and happy — thanks in part to the dedication of the March of Dimes. The picture above shows newborn Brooke lying next to a pencil which shows just how tiny she really was.

Below is a picture of the Tabor sisters taken last Christmas — a beautiful, spunky 6-year-old and her adorable 1-year-old sister.

MODBrooke  Baylee xmas 2012 (3)

Brooke (left) and Baylee Tabor (right) are now healthy and thriving.

If you care about babies — and we already know that you do — we hope you’ll consider participating in the Northwest Arkansas March for Babies on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Below are the details for when and where to be. We’ll see you there.

What:  Northwest Arkansas March for Babies

When:  Saturday, April 6, 2013 Registration begins at 9:00amWalk begins at 10:00am

Where:  Arvest Ballpark, Springdale, AR

Description:  Registration begins at 9:00am with the 2-mile walk kicking off at 10:00am followed by awards and lunch. Participation in March for Babies will provide a memorable and rewarding day for the whole family.

Activities will include a visit from Strike, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals’ Mascot and inflatables games like the Bounce-Around House, Speed Pitch, Football Toss and Soccer Kick. Other activities include:  face painting, team sign/poster creating, stroller decorating and more.  There will also be a garden of hope, where walkers can honor the babies in their life that they are walking in honor or memory of.

Why:  When you walk in March for Babies, you give hope to the more than half a million babies born too soon each year. The money you raise supports programs in your community that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. And it funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten our babies. We’ve been walking since 1970 and have raised an incredible $2 billion to benefit all babies


Giveaway: ‘Anything Goes’ at Walton Arts Center plus dinner at Hammontree’s

anything goes2

If you’re in need of a great date night or a fun girls’ night out, we’ve got theater tickets with your name on them. A Broadway revival of “Anything Goes” sails into the Walton Arts Center on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 7 p.m.  We’re giving away TWO tickets to the opening night performance plus a dinner gift card at Hammontree’s, just steps away from the theater.

ABOUT THE SHOW: This show is about a ship, the S. S. American, heading out to sea. Once it sails, etiquette and the rules get tossed overboard as two couples find love with a little help from a crew of singing sailors, Public Enemy No. 13 and some good old-fashioned AnythingGoes-Posterblackmail. Tony Award-winning actress Rachel York plays the star of the show, nightclub singer Reno Sweeney.

Some of the songs featured in this musical include “You’re the Top,” “Anything Goes,” and “I Get a Kick Out of You.”

Here’s a list of the available show dates and times:

  • Tuesday, April 9, 7pm
  • Wednesday, April 10, 7pm
  • Thursday, April 11, 7pm
  • Friday, April 12, 8pm
  • Saturday, April 13, 2pm
  • Saturday, April 13, 8pm
  • Sunday, April 14, 2pm

ABOUT THE FOOD:  If you haven’t eaten at Hammontree’s you are missing OUT. These grilled cheese sandwiches are definitely not what we’re serving up to the kids at home.

hammontrees logoThese bad boys are amped up. Here are a few of the grilled cheese choices: Parmageddon, Bries Company, The Scarlet Cheddar and Cheebacca. They actually have 15 different grilled cheese options including build-your-own.

Hammontree’s also has gourmet hot dogs (for example, the Aloha Dog has smoked mozzarella and chicken sausage with grilled pineapple, jalapenos, teriyaki sauce and pepper jack on a Scali roll) and soups. They’ve also got sensational salads, classic melts — if you don’t like all that fancy stuff — and amazing desserts.

The atmosphere at Hammontree’s is really fun and they have outside seating. It’s on West Avenue, just around the corner from Dickson Street.

blueberry grilled cheese

HOW TO ENTER: To throw your name in the online hat to win the tickets and dinner gift card, take a cue from one of this musical’s songs (I Get a Kick Out of You) and tell us something that you always get a kick out of. Your kid’s dancing? Funny movie? Your husband’s jokes?  Click on the words  “post a comment” below this post and let us know.

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

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ODDS: Help us spread the word about the giveaway and we’ll give you extra chances to win. Send an email to your friends about the giveaway and be sure to put giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com on the CC line of your note. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for every person you tell.

BE SOCIAL FOR MORE CHANCES TO WIN: Spread the word via social media and we’ll give you extra chances as well. Just share the giveaway with your friends on Facebook or share about the giveaway on Twitter to increase your odds of winning. If you do either of these things, just let us know in your posted comment or send us an email so we can give you proper credit.

We’ll choose a winner for the show tickets on Friday, so be sure to put your name in the hat asap. Winners are always chosen at RANDOM.

To guarantee your tickets, buy them online by clicking HERE or call the Walton Arts Center Box Office at 479-443-5600.


Updated list of 2013 Easter Egg Hunts in Northwest Arkansas

cross church pic

We keep hearing about new Easter egg hunts around Northwest Arkansas, so we decided it would be a good idea to post an updated round-up!

Please share any others you might know about in comments below.

Pinnacle Hills Promenade Egg Hunt

Children can hunt for eggs with the Easter Bunny starting at 1:30 p.m. on the lawn area in front of the Malco Theater. Fabulous Easter baskets full of delicious Ghirardelli Chocolates and prizes will be awarded the winners in each age category. Appearances will be made by the Naturals baseball team mascot “Strike” between 1:30-2:30 p.m., as well as the Build-a-Bear Workshop mascot and the Easter Bunny! Games, Inflatable Bounce, Balloon Twisting, Face Painting and more!

Date: Saturday, March 30

Time: 1:30-4 p.m.

Location: Pinnacle Hills Promenade mall

More info: Click here

Cross Church Egg Drop, Magician

We will have a GIANT Easter Egg Hunt with 20,000 EGGS kicked off by a HELICOPTER EGG DROP over the baseball fields on our Springdale Campus. We are also excited to welcome Curt Anderson, a magician known for his unique and powerful gospel presentation. You don’t want to miss this FREE community outreach event. It’s going to be epic!

Date: Saturday, March 30

Time: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Location: Cross Church, Springdale campus baseball fields

More info: Click here

fayetteville egg drop

Pathway Church Egg Drop, Fayetteville

The drop itself will begin at 2:00pm but we have inflatables for all ages and a netted paintball target shoot for older kids. These have been donated so they’re free of charge. The gates will open at 12:00pm. Try to be there AT LEAST 30 minutes early as the last minute rush might keep you from getting your kids registered in time.

Date: Saturday, March 30

Time: Starts at noon, drop is at 2 p.m.

Location: Washington County Fairgrounds, 2536 N McConnell Ave, Fayetteville

More info: Click here

The City of Lowell’s Easter Egg Hunt

The egg hunt will be held at Ward Nail Park in Lowell and there will be prizes for ages 3-12. Refreshments will be provided.

Date: March 30

Time: 2 p.m.

Location: Ward Nail Park, Lowell

More info: Click here

Easter Bunny at the NWA Mall

parsons stadium

Easter Egg Round-Up, Parsons Stadium

Pictures with the Easter bunny, egg hunt, games, face painting.

Date: Saturday, March 30

Time:  10 a.m.

Location: Parsons Stadium, Springdale

More info: Click here

Easter at Orchards Park, Saturday and Sunday, Bentonville

Free Easter Week-end Celebration for all, brought to you by the City of Bentonville, Arvest and Bentonville First United Methodist Church.

2 – 7 pm — free inflatables and games for children
2 – 5 pm — free face painting for children
2 – 7 pm — food vendors
3 – 3;30 pm — free Easter egg hunt
3:30 – 8:30 pm — free “Jesus Jam” Contemporary Christian Concert

7 – 8 am — Community Sunrise Service featuring former American Idol contestant Patrick Hall and a community orchestra. Bring lawn chairs and blankets.

More info: Click here

War Eagle Mill Celebration

Fun for the entire family. 8:30 am – 4 pm: Breakfast and lunch at Bean Palace Restaurant; Kids crafts starting at 11am: Decorate eggs and pictures! 2 pm: Easter Egg Hunt outside the War Eagle Mill on the grass fields. Starts at 2pm SHARP! Don’t forget your basket! 4 pm – 5pm: “Tea Time” serving delicious cobbler and ice cream in the Bean Palace Restaurant.

Date: Sunday, March 31

Time: See in above description

Location: War Eagle Mill

More info: Click here

Easter Brunch & Egg Hunt at the Crescent Hotel-Sunday, March 31st

Bring the family and enjoy brunch, served from 9am-3pm and reservations are required by calling: 479-253-9652. There will also be the annual Easter Egg Hunt at 1PM in the Crescent Gardens. There are two age divisions: 0-5 years old and 5-12 years old. Two golden eggs will be hidden and the Easter Bunny will be available for photo ops after the hunt on the boardwalk for pictures.

Date:  Sunday, March 31

Time: Easter Egg Hunt, 1 p.m.

Location: Crescent Hotel, Eureka Springs

More info: Click here

Good Gossip: Updates on Jessica Simpson, Miranda Lambert, Collin Egglesfield and more!

good gossip celebrities

It’s Tuesday which means it’s time for a little “Good Gossip” — the only guilt-free celebrity gossip column in Northwest Arkansas. We scour the magazines and the Web for the latest in celebrity news, being careful to weed out the nasty rumors so that you can enjoy your gossip without the guilty conscience. As always, this feature is sponsored by Great Day Farms, a national brand based right here in NWA. Look for their products at the Walmart Supercenter. Click HERE to like them and get coupons on their Facebook page.

FYI: Great Day Farms is also the premier sponsor of the very first Mom Prom in Northwest Arkansas! It’s happening May 4, 2013 at the Springdale Holiday Inn Ballroom. Get the prom details by clicking here. And sign up for a chance to win free tickets by clicking here.

storkDuring an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Jessica Simpson accidentally spilled the beans that the baby she is carrying is a boy! The line that gave it away was “I never knew that a wiener could actually make me nauseous.” After she realized what she’d done, she added “Well, I guess I just told the whole world I’m having a boy!” Jessica is engaged to Eric Johnson, and they are already parents to a baby girl.

Dr. Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klarnold and kleinein, stars of The Little Couple on TLC, have adopted a 3-year-old boy named William. The toddler also has a form of dwarfism and is from China. Jennifer and Bill have struggled to conceive and their journey is documented on their TLC show. The adoption will be featured in the upcoming season of the show.

lisa ling2Lisa Ling, host of Our America on the OWN channel, has become a mother. She and husband Paul Song had a baby girl named Jett on March 8, 2013 in California.

pink pistolIf you’re ever in the tiny town of Tishomingo, Oklahoma, cruise over to Main Street and visit a little shop called the Pink Pistol. It is owned by country singer Miranda Lambert (married to singer Blake Shelton) and it opened for business last November. Pink Pistol sells clothes, boots, gifts and homemade drinks from a restored soda fountain. Miranda, who is a fan of arts and crafts and garage sales,  says the store is part of her personality and it gives her something to do while Blake is off in the woods.elle macpherson

Elle Macpherson is engaged to marry Jeffrey Soffer, a real estate developer and billionaire. The couple has dated for two years. Elle is mother to two sons named Arpad and Aurelius.

Swoon-worthy Colincollin egglesfield Egglesfield may be ready to find Ms. Right. In a recent interview with People magazine, the actor (who starred in Something Borrowed and also stars in The Client List) said he just turned 40 and is starting to think about settling down and starting his own family.

kelly osbourneAfter a very scary five days in the hospital, Kelly Osbourne got a clean bill of health from her doctors. While filming an episode of Fashion Police on E!, Kelly had a seizure. Doctors say the incident was likely a onetime freak episode and gave her medication  to help prevent a second seizure.

Source: People magazine March 25, 2013 issue

Good Gossip is sponsored by CCF Brands, a Northwest Arkansas company which makes Great Day All Natural Eggs. These eggs are produced by happy hens who are fed premium vegetarian diets with no animal fats, animal by-products, or antibiotics. Great Day Farms also offers hard-boiled eggs, which you can find in the deli section of the Walmart Supercenter. (Love the hard-boiled eggs because they’re peeled and ready to eat! Perfect in salads.)

Empty Nexter: Is she really wearing that?

By Carrie Perrien Smith

Okay, brace yourself. I’m going to weigh in on fashion.

I’ve loved to follow fashion trends my whole life. I haven’t necessarily looked the part but often admired those that did. Early in my professional career in Dallas, I tried to get into the apparel manufacturing industry. It was a short-lived dream.

I was already making more than the jobs I qualified for and I was barely making it at that. Making a jump like that didn’t make sense for my family. So I continued to follow the industry as a fan.

Over the years, I’ve learned that clothing affects a person’s self-image. What we wear often determines whether we feel successful, relaxed, uptight, confident, or attractive.

There is nothing that looks more beautiful on a woman than confidence and a warm smile. It is evidence to the world that we believe in our value, love ourselves, and have something to offer wherever we go.

I wish I could say that clothing doesn’t matter. It would be awesome if the only thing that counted was what is inside.

But here’s the dirty little secret about clothing: what we choose and how we wear it makes a huge difference in how people perceive us. And if we’re serious about respect wherever we go, we influence people more if our clothes don’t get in the way.

I share this with you not only because we need to understand that. We also need to reach back to the generation coming along behind us and help them understand it. Here are three rules that I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way).

Fashion Rule #1

There’s a rule that has served me well as a woman of a certain age: If you were old enough to wear it the first time it was in style, you are too old to wear it when it comes back in style again.

This thought kept running through my mind as I was shopping eBay for some stage apparel last week. I sing in a 60s/70s rock band called Paper Jam. Yesterday, after watching some YouTube videos of 70s bands, I decided I need something leather with fringe — and it has to be tasteful.

I could take a lot of fashion license with my band apparel, but I work in this community and my professional contacts also come to our shows. Plus, I’m hanging out in establishments with people who occasionally drink more than they should (wink wink). It’s easier to be the same person on and off the stage, at home as a parent and working in the community and with my clients. Because of that, I make careful apparel choices.

Fashion Rule #2

And this reminds me of another fashion rule: Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. We might have the figure for it or everyone else might be wearing it but that doesn’t make it a good choice. The fashion industry’s sole motive is to provoke us to buy clothes. And sometimes, the industry promotes trends that look dumb on slender models and celebrities and even dumber on the rest of the population.

A male friend gave me a good piece of information a few years ago. In essence, he said cleavage was a huge distraction for guys. This is probably not news to you. But just like that little V shape at the top of you lip draws attention to your teeth, that vertical shadow of exposed cleavage draws a person’s eyes down to your breasts. No matter how endowed a woman is, the low-cut shirt may be in style but it draws the eyes to a place that shouldn’t draw attention in the workplace.

And while I’m here, remember that safety pins are your friends — especially on button-down shirts. Manufacturers never put enough buttons on them to close the gaps that pull across the chest. Fill in the gaps with a safety pin from behind. I’m surprised how many women don’t realize that people sitting beside them are getting a prime view of their bra. They are good for keeping bra straps out of sight too. There you go. That’s my public service announcement.

Fashion Rule #3

It isn’t always about the individual items but how we pair them. This goes far beyond making sure we aren’t wearing low-cut shirts and showing bra straps. Let’s take some current fashion items and discuss their appropriateness for professional settings. For instance, we have leggings, sheer shirts, and stiletto pumps. Ladies are wearing them together … to work. Ack!

All three are great fashion items. However, any woman who wants to be taken seriously at work needs to mix wisely. There are great outfits and then there are pairings that just make people stare.

leggingsLeggings. The thing with most leggings is that they are a few fibers away from being tights. We wouldn’t wear tights alone without something over them.

Why on earth do people think it’s okay to wear leggings with a short shirt? I’ve been behind a few ladies in public that frankly had the figure for it but still, it exposes a little too much of the goods. A mid-thigh-length sweater or opaque shirt with boots or flats is a good pairing. Leggings are popular to wear for exercise, but I avoid them when I work out at a gym where my potential clients or professional peers also work out.

Sheer shirts. The last time these were in style, I had one that I loved to wear over a tank top and slacks. The tank top and slacks would have even been appropriate worn without the sheer shirt. However, I had a few comments that made me question whether the sheer shirt was a good professional choice. While appropriateness is about how garments are paired, I’ve learned that some people consider sheer fabric to be for the bedroom. You never know what kind of paradigms and baggage people drag around with them. It can affect how they view a woman professionally if she is wearing something that is regarded as too provocative.

stilettosStiletto pumps. I love these although I just can’t walk in them anymore. Actually, I didn’t do such a good job in my younger days. They look great with a longer skirt or slacks.

But once someone pairs a skirt length above the knee, it heats up the sex appeal and changes how people in the workplace view the woman wearing it. Choosing shorter heel heights can take the hotty factor out of wearing shorter skirts. And your knees will thank you later in life. Click here to watch a video about the long-term dangers of high heels.

The Workplace Factor:

Over 75 percent of my clients and professional relationships are men. I’ve not only garnered their respect but their wives do not feel threatened by our professional relationship. I value that and I regard how I dress to be part of honoring that trust and maintaining that respect. There is obviously more to the equation than that but clothing plays a significant role.

Choosing appropriate clothing makes it more comfortable for men and women to work together without the inherent distractions of human nature. And it is still possible to be hip and fashionable in the process.

If this article has you saying “I wish [insert name here] would read this article” or even better, “I wish our supervisor would talk to [insert name here] about what she’s wearing,” next month’s article will provide a loving way to address the issue.

Smith-51-Twitter-SquareCarrie Perrien Smith is mama to Darcie and a pack of black dogs (Snappy, Jazmin, and Midgieboy — in pack order), grandma to Robert, wife to world-traveler and Walmart-blue-bleeding Tom, daughter to Wayne and Phyllis, speaker bureau and publishing company owner, Business: Engaged! small business radio show host, community activist, singer in a party band, and home improvement junkie. Follow her on Twitter @soarwitheagles or contact her at carrie@soarhigher.com.

Northwest Arkansas Mom’s Choice Awards 2013 and a HUGE giveaway!


**Voting is closed! We’ll reveal the winning businesses — and the winner of the Mother’s Day giveaway package — soon.

When it comes to finding the best businesses in town, who knows better than a mama?

That’s why we want YOUR opinions! Women and mothers are always on the lookout for the “best” when it comes to restaurants, doctors, party places, music lessons and all the businesses necessary to take care of the whole family.

Once again, the mamas at nwaMotherlode.com have teamed up with the lovely ladies over at Kid’s Directory Northwest Arkansas magazine to present the Mom’s Choice Business Awards.

By taking time to choose your top business picks, you’ll not only help fellow shoppers, you’ll also reward your favorite companies.

And another BIG perk? When you fill out the survey (CLICK HERE TO TAKE IT NOW!) you’ll automatically be entered to win a huge Mother’s Day Giveaway package, which includes:

  • $100 shopping gift card from Legacy National Bank
  • 3 $100 gift cards from WellQuest Medical and Wellness
  • $100 gift card to Mellow Mushroom
  •  $75 gift certificate at Bordinos Italian Restaurant
  • 2 Walton Arts Center show tickets

Are you in? :) You’ll be picking a business or service in each category, and we need to have those completed by April 24, 2013. The winner will be chosen at RANDOM on May 10, 2013, the Friday before Mother’s Day.

The results will be posted on nwaMotherlode.com in May and will be published in the June edition of Kid’s Directory. We’ll also provide a downloadable listing of the winners and their phone numbers that you can print and keep as a handy reference.

We can’t wait to reveal your favorite business and to announce the BIG WINNER of the Mother’s Day package. Thanks and good luck!

Giveaway: Children’s show with pets at Walton Arts Center!

Popovich show, WACNote from the mamas: Congratulations to Laura Wakefield, winner of the Popovich tickets! Have a great time, Wakefield family!

Do you think your kids would love a show that involves a juggling comic who’s assisted by 15 house cats, 10 dogs, four geese, eight white doves, and two parrots?

We thought so! We’ve got FOUR tickets to give away to this awesome show, Popovich Comedy Pet Theater.

Popovich will be at Walton Arts Center on Saturday, April 6, at 10 a.m.

ABOUT THE SHOW: The World Famous Popovich Comedy Pet Theater is a favorite across the U.S., performing a family-oriented blend of the unique comedy and juggling skills of Gregory Popovich, and the extraordinary feats of his amazing pets.

Popovich and his pets have made the rounds on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Late Night with David Letterman,” and NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”.

It’s an extravaganza of European-style clowning, amazing juggling and balancing acts, and of course, very talented performing pets.

arts for animalsHOW BUYING A TICKET CAN HELP ANIMALS: Walton Arts Center has partnered with the Humane Society of the Ozarks for the first-ever, “Arts for Animals” program designed to raise money and educate the community about services for the humane treatment of animals.

But there’s only a week left! Through the end of March, when you purchase a ticket to any of Walton Arts Center’s five animal-themed performances, Walton Arts Center will donate $1 to the Humane Society of the Ozarks.

All “Arts for Animals” performances include:

  • Popovich Pet Comedy Theater – two performances, April 6, $16-28
  • Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live! Part of Artosphere, one performance May 3, $18-28
  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Part of Artosphere, one performance May 12, $5
  • War Horse, seven performances, May 22-26, $49-73
  • Scooby-Doo Live! three performances, May 28-29, $19-76

To order tickets to these and other performances, call 479.443.5600 or visit the website and use the code GERBIL.

HOW TO ENTER TO WIN POPOVICH TICKETS: To throw your name in the online hat for the tickets, click the orange comment button below and tell us about a trick your own talented pet can do (or a pet you had as a kid). Does your cat turn on the water by himself? Can your dog jump through a hoop? Does your bird say hilarious things when you have company over? You can also email your answer to giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com.

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ODDS: Help us spread the word about the giveaway and we’ll give you extra chances to win. Send an email to your friends about the giveaway and be sure to put giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com on the CC line of your note. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for every person you tell.

BE SOCIAL FOR MORE CHANCES TO WIN: Spread the word via social media and we’ll give you extra chances as well. Just share the giveaway with your friends on Facebook or share about the giveaway on Twitter to increase your odds of winning. If you do either of these things, just let us know in your posted comment or send us an email so we can give you proper credit.

We’ll choose a winner for the show tickets on Friday, so be sure to put your name in the hat asap. Winners are always chosen at RANDOM.

To guarantee your tickets, buy them online by clicking HERE or call the Walton Arts Center Box Office at 479-443-5600.

Arts for animals, collage


Mealtime Mama: Boil extra Easter eggs and make this!


Christy Walker, who blogs locally at Violets Before Roses, loves to collect cookbooks.

She recently shared this “deviled eggs” recipe with us and she said they are absolutely delicious. She plans to make them for her family’s Easter brunch. The original source is Susan Bigelow of Westover Jr. H.S., Morgantown, West Virginia.

Ms. Bigelow was a Home Economics teacher and her recipe was printed in a cookbook from 1988.

Gourmet Stuffed Eggs

Great-Day-Hard-Boiled-Eggs6 hard-boiled eggs

½ tsp. prepared mustard

2 tbsp. shredded Cheddar cheese

1 tbsp. melted butter

2 tsp. lemon juice

3 tbsp. crumbled crisp-fried bacon

1 tsp. chopped olives

½ tsp. salt

Pepper to taste

Paprika to taste

12 strips pimento

eggs02Directions: Cut eggs into halves lengthwise. Remove yolks, reserving whites. Combine yolks with next 8 ingredients in bowl, mix well. Fill reserved egg whites with yolk mixture. Sprinkle with paprika. Garnish egg halves with pimento.

Yield: 6 servings

What’s your favorite Easter recipe? Leave a comment and share with the rest of the class, says Ms. Bigelow!

Ozark-Logo1-300x214If you want some delicious food to take to Easter brunch, Ozark Natural Food’s deli and produce areas have been fully a remodeled. The deli is now called À La Carte, and the produce department has a new cooler that includes cut fruits and vegetables. Click here for more info on the remodel or about becoming a member at Ozark Natural Foods.


Mamas on Magic 107.9: Milestones for older kids


This week we’re talking about the milestones older kids go through — those all-important steps they take as they approach adulthood. Click the links below to hear each day’s segment:

Monday, March 25, 2013 radio segment

 Tuesday, March 26, 2013 radio segment

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 radio segment

Thursday, March 28, 2013 radio segment

Friday, March 29, 2013 radio segment

More resources:

The Driving Academy of Northwest Arkansas

How To Teach Teens About Money, from Dave Ramsey’s website

Devotion in Motion: A blessing returned

“Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” ~ Hebrews 6:14 (NKJV)

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

When I was a little boy in the 1960’s, before I started elementary school, I watched Captain Kangaroo every morning.Children’s programming was special back in those days.We didn’t have VCR’s, or DVD’s, or cable TV back then. Everybody got the same three networks, and cartoons came on Saturday mornings and for an hour each afternoon on weekdays.If you were going to watch kid shows, you had to be there in front of your set when they came on. Believe you me, our harried moms made sure we were there.

So, there I was, morning after morning, waiting for the good Captain and his sidekick Mr. Greenjeans to come on. And, every morning, right before the Captain Kangaroo theme song began, an Episcopalian priest came on and offered a devotion. I still remember his name: “The Reverend womble.jpgRufus J. Womble”. I always liked seeing him. He looked like a really nice man. I can’t remember a single devotional thought that he gave, and, being a child, I really couldn’t understand much of what he was talking about. But even though I didn’t understand everything, there was one thing I’ve never forgotten. Every morning, as he ended his talk in his clerical collar and flowing black robe, he lifted up his hand in benediction, and said, “May GOD bless you, THIS day!”

As you can see, The Reverend Rufus J. Womble made a deep impression on me. Well, flash forward about 40 years. I was sitting at a meeting with a preacher friend of mine, and out of the blue I told him what I just told you. He said, “Dr. Rufus J. Womble? Yes, I know of him. He’s a famous Christian writer, living in Virginia. I have his books. I think he’s still living, but he is quite old.”

I decided to call Dr. Womble on the telephone. No, it was more like I had to call him, or maybe I was supposed to call him. The next Sunday afternoon, I dialed Dr. Womble’s number. Lo and behold, he came to the phone.

I told him how much I liked him when he was on TV all those years ago. We visited for quite some time. Then Dr. Womble said, “John, thank you so much for calling me. You would think that people who write books would have exciting lives. But, I’m over 90 years old now, and really, it’s kind of lonely. It is so nice to be remembered. Now before you hang up, I want you to pray for me.”

So, that afternoon, over the telephone wires, a little boy blessed an old man. It was the same old man who had blessed the little boy, over the television, so many years ago.

Live the way you’re supposed to this week. There’s no telling who might be watching, and how things may turn out. May God bless you, this day.

john and susan cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 27 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 and teaches Latin on closed-circuit-television.)  He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church. The Cashes have two sons, Spencer (age 21), and Seth (age 18), who live in the parsonage, too, except when they are away at college.  He would love to hear from you in an email sent to countrypreacherdad@gaggle.net.

The Rockwood Files: Playing the referee

By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

When you give birth to your second child (or third or fourth or fifth), the nice people at the hospital usually give you a little gift as you leave to take the baby home. It’s typically something like a new diaper bag or a basket full of coupons for baby products. It’s a sweet gesture, but a mother who has given birth before already has a diaper bag and most of the baby stuff she needs. What the hospital ought to give referee-shirt.jpgsecond-time moms is a black and white striped shirt and a loud whistle. Because she’s not just a mom anymore. She’s a referee.

It’s not like we parents don’t know what we’re getting into when we bring another baby home. Most of us have either heard about or lived through our share of sibling rivalry, so it’s no secret there’ll be some conflict along the way. We figure brotherly and sisterly love will win in the end, and it typically does. But man, oh man, playing the part of referee can be downright exhausting.

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve said the words “Don’t sit on your brother’s head!” during the past six years, I’d have roughly two trillion dollars by now. And it’s not just the occasional physical scuffles. It’s the bickering, tattling and the pointless arguments about nothing. It wears a mother OUT.

I’ve mediated more sibling disputes than I can remember, but the themes tend to repeat themselves over and over: “I had the toy first,” “He’s not taking turns,” “She only wants to play with it because I picked it up,” “He’s copying me!” “She said I’m a doody head.” The list goes on and on. You do the best you can to be an impartial judge and make sure the guilty party faces the appropriate consequences.

But today was one of those days when I just couldn’t blow the referee whistle anymore. I was tired, and my head hurt. When I picked up my three kids from school, it only took them about eight minutes to get whistle.jpginto their first squabble. It was going to be one of “those” afternoons.

When we got home, 5-year-old Jack asked if he could play with his new water blaster toy outside, and 3-year-old Kate immediately tacked on her request to do the same thing. I said they could both play with water blasters but only if they followed one important rule. (One of the perks of being an experienced mother is being able to predict the arguments before they happen and giving specific instructions in hopes of avoiding it.) So I stated clearly, “You may squirt the ground, the plants, the trees and the flowers, but you may not squirt each other.”

Then I walked inside to make a snack for 8-year-old Adam who said he was too hungry to play with water blasters.

About 47 seconds later, a wet, angry 3-year-old little girl burst through the door yelling as loud as she could in the direction of my headache: “He squirted me. Jack squirted me, Mom!” From the driveway, I could hear Jack yelling, “It was an accident, Mom! I didn’t mean to squirt her, but she just walked in front of me!”

So I did something we moms don’t typically do. l left. The maternal referee left the boxing ring. “Listen guys,” I said, in my most menacing mad-mommy tone, “I’m going to go to time-out now because my head hurts and I need some time alone. You guys have to work out your own problem. Don’t come talk to me about ANY of it unless you want to go to bed for the rest of the day.”

time-out.jpgThen I walked into the other room and found a dark, quiet spot for my own little “time out.” Honestly I didn’t much care if they both got drenched by water blasters. I simply didn’t have the energy to get in the middle of it.

After about 10 minutes of blissful silence in my “time-out” spot, I came out of hiding, hoping to find that the children hadn’t killed each other. What I found surprised and enlightened me. The three kids were lounging around in the kitchen watching a cartoon and eating popsicles. No one was crying or wrestling or hitting or tattling. It was quiet. It was AWESOME.

The quick, peaceful outcome showed me that perhaps getting out of the way is sometimes just as effective as determining guilt and innocence and doling out consequences. By leaving the ring and protecting my own sanity, I had forced them to work things out on their own.

I think I’ll be visiting my “time out” spot a lot more often.

gwen rockwoodGwen 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 new book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

Author Photo credit: Lisa Mac Photography