Mama Wikipedia: Do you know these words?

Mama WikipediaMamas, we know that you guys already speak fluent “mom.” But your husband, kids or single friends might sometimes be confused by some of the words that come flying out of your mouth on busy days.

So we put together our own version of Wikipedia so we could explain some of these terms. Hope this “Mama Wikipedia” starts off your October with a smile.

To hear the Mamas on Magic 107.9 radio segments (where these audio clips first aired), listen to Magic 107.9 at 7:45 a.m. Click the left side of the audio bars below to hear them now.

Defining the term: “Botox Brow” (not the cosmetic procedure!)

Defining the term: “Mama Meltdown”

Defining the term: “Brutal Honesty” (As in… Do these jeans look okay on me?)

Defining the term: “Mom-Brain”

Defining the term: “Sass Talk”


Giveaway: Tickets to WAC show Home Free + U.S. Pizza!

Happy giveaway Monday, mamas!

Who’s ready for a double date night or Girls’ Night out? Ok, you got it!

Home_Free_TNEWWe’ve got FOUR tickets to see the country music a cappella group Home Free Vocal Band at Walton Arts Center on Oct. 9 plus a gift certificate toward dinner at U.S. Pizza (delish!)

ABOUT THE SHOW: Five guys. Five microphones. No instruments. Hailing from Minnesota, the Home Free Vocal Band claims the title of the world’s first country music a cappella group.

The band won the fourth season of NBC’s “The Sing-Off ” in December 2013 with an arrangement of Hunter Hayes’ “I Want Crazy.” The win on national television catapulted the group to stardom, earning them $100,000 and a Sony record contract.

With the harmonic sound of a traditional barbershop quartet, Home Free consists of five formally trained vocalists who started the group in 2000 while some of the members were still teenagers.

Home Free entertains audiences with their high-energy show peppered with quick-witted humor that meshes Nashville standards with pop hits dipped in country flavor.

You have to watch their country-fied version of Meghan Trainor’s “All About the Bass”. Hilarious! Watch:

ABOUT THE FOOD: We love U.S. Pizza! It’s right on Dickson Street — just down the street from Walton Arts Center — USpizzaand they have parking just outside the doors. Of course, the pizzas/salads/sandwiches are amazing.

U.S. Pizza is seriously a Fayetteville legend.

HOW TO ENTER: If you’d love to win these four show tickets plus dinner at U.S. Pizza, leave a comment telling us why you need a date night or GNO immediately if not sooner. Working extra hard at work recently at your job? The kids have been going through the terrible twos (or threes)?

INCREASE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING: If you’d like to increase your odds of winning a night out on the town, share! Email friends and family about the giveaway and CC us so we’ll be sure to give you credit. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for each person you tell. The email is

(You can also earn an extra chance to win by signing up to receive the free email newsletter we send once a week. The sign-up box is at the top right of this page.)

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

Good luck, mamas! MWAH!

~ Gwen and Shannon

Mealtime Mama: Cool kitchen hack with eggs


Do you have any recipes that call for just the egg whites?

Well, it can be kinda messy to separate the whites from the yolks. We recently tried this little trick and it worked! So of course we had to share with you, mamas!

A very cool way to separate egg yolk:


Devotion in Motion: Seeing the end of the story

7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you..              

1 Peter 5:7 (KJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

I have so many happy memories of  “the Good Old Days” of my younger years. The passing of time paints the past in rosy tones of simplicity and perfection. But the older I get, the more I see that all the same problems existed back then (in some form or fashion) as the problems people have now.

Recently I’ve had a realization. Part of the reason that the events of the past seem so pleasant is because we can see the end of the story. Sure, we can still see the endthe problems we had all those years ago. But we can also see that so many of our problems “worked out.” And the solutions to our difficulties very often came in ways we never could have predicted—or even imagined.

I’m in a different stage of life now because my children are pretty much grown. But I always notice young couples who are “in the thick” of raising their kids, and my heart goes out to them. Seeing their stresses and struggles brings back waves of emotion as I’m reminded of what it was like to be going through that time in life.

These young parents are dealing with overwork, financial worries, health problems, and assorted overwhelming griefs and stressors. Maybe that’s what you’re going through, too.

Well, I want to tell you what I always tell them. Put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. And try not to worry, because your story is going to have a happy ending.

Things are going to work out, because the Lord never fails.

The portion of your life that you’re going through now will later be part of your “Good Old Days.” God is going to see you through.

Trust me on this one.

john l cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 29 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 weather joyfully had the first hint of Autumn this week.)  Their kids include Spencer (age 23), his wife Madeline (age 23), and Seth (age 20).

The Rockwood Files: Completing the loop

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

If you’re feeling a little distracted and loopy lately, the culprit might just be – get this – loops. Specifically? Open loops.

An “open loop” is anything that pops into your mind – or your email inbox or voicemail – that distracts you and needs your attention. It could range from small things like “buy cat food” to big things like “start a new business” or anything in the middle.

The idea of “open loops” became popular more than a decade ago when author David Allen published a business book called “Getting Things Done.” But 12 SONY DSCyears ago I was busy with babies instead of business books, spending most of my time on repeated readings of Goodnight Moon. So I was out of the loop on the problem with loops. The only loops I knew about were Froot Loops and the actual loops I ran while chasing toddlers around the house.

But now that those three babies are busy school-age kids, I find myself in a constant quest to get more done in a day. Some weeks feel like a blur of work, school, piano lessons, dance classes, dentist appointments, birthday parties and an endless stream of work and family tasks I can’t seem to tame. So if “open loops” are keeping me from getting ahead, I’d like to find out how to close them.

After a little research, I found some real science behind the “open loop” concept. Back in the 1920s, a Lithuanian graduate student named Bluma Zeigarnik sat in a restaurant and noticed that waiters were able to remember complicated dinner orders right up until the customers finished the meal and the waiter dropped off the check. After the check was paid, those complex orders seemed to vanish from the waiters’ minds.

So the observant grad student theorized that mental energy is drawn to tasks that are incomplete. Once the task is dealt with (and the loop is closed), it leaves the mind. Lab studies backed up her theory, and the concept of being distracted by incomplete tasks is now known as the “Zeigarnik Effect.” (If you’ve ever studied half the night, took a test the next morning, and then realized that you’d already forgotten at least half the study material during the 10 minutes after finishing the test, then you’ve had personal experience with the Ziegarnik Effect. Apparently my college years were chock full of the Ziegarnik Effect, but I digress.)

If Ms. Zeigarnik was alive today, I bet she’d be astonished at all the dangling, open loops in modern society. Social media, in particular, has brought an onslaught of new loops. After I spend a few minutes scrolling through my Facebook feed, I feel overwhelmed by hundreds of new bits of information that probably float in and around the open loops in my head, creating a tangled mess where forgotten appointments go to die.

Perhaps our human nature craves a complete circle. We want novels to be tied up in a bow by the final line. And we can’t help but feel supremely annoyed when a television show leaves us hanging in the final minute with nothing more than those maddening three little words: to be continued.

Productivity experts like Allen say that one of the best things we can do to clear our heads is to find a system for capturing and writing down all those open loops. Once we write them down and figure out the next step needed to close the loops, the more our minds can relax and stop running around in proverbial circles. No more bolting upright in bed, just as you were drifting off to sleep, because you suddenly remembered something you were supposed to do.

So this week I’m going to avoid tackling a bunch of new tasks and focus instead on closing the ones already in progress. Who knows? Maybe finishing more projects will clear my mind and put me into a zen-like state of loop-free contentment.

Or maybe this is all just a bunch of psycho-babble hooey, as my dad might say. I suppose there’s only one way to know. We should test it out by giving ourselves the satisfaction of closing a…

loops2(See what I did there?)


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

Photo credit: Lisa Mac Photography

Perks and Pitfalls of the Tween Years

perks pitfalls tween yearsHave you or are you now parenting a “tween”? You know that lovely stage of life that happens somewhere between 10 and 13? Well, Shannon and I are in the radio microphonethick of it right now, so we devoted a whole week of radio segments to a discussion on the “Perks and Pitfalls of the Tween Years.”

If you’ve already traveled this road with your kids, we hope you get a laugh or two over some fond memories when you hear these segments. And if you’re heading into this phase soon with your own kids, we hope you pick up a helpful tip or two. And if you’re in the “tween trenches” with us right now? Well, let’s all stick together and get through this thing, shall we?

You can hear the Mamas on Magic 107.9 radio show at 7:45 a.m. Monday through Friday on Magic 107.9. Click on the left side of the audio bars below to hear the segments on tweens.

Monday’s segment

Tuesday’s segment

Wednesday’s segment

Thursday’s segment

Friday’s segment


What you and your husband need to know about men’s health

keep-calm-and-go-to-the-doctorWe all know a few men in our lives who are stubborn about doctor’s appointments and having medical tests done. But we also know that avoiding the doctor’s office — and especially avoiding life-saving medical screenings — can carry a huge price.

September is Men’s Health Month, so we interviewed Dr. Robert Zimmerman, who is a urologist with Mercy Health.

Please read the information below and get your husband to schedule an appointment if he needs to be screened or if he needs to talk through any issues with a doctor. (And by all means, if he won’t do it, schedule it for him and get him to that appointment!)

If you were talking to my husband today, how would you convince him that it’s important to come in for a check-up? (Because so far my nagging isn’t working.)

The key to men taking control of their own health care is empowerment. Historically, women have been better at assuming health care for their families.  Much marketing for health care is directed to women – even for men’s health. Women tend to lead lead their partners into the health care system.

Men must develop self-reliance for their health care. Empowering them through education is important. Helping men understand the need for heath maintenance and “taking charge” of their health care is paramount. I see education as a vital aspect for this. Helping men to understand this begins in the exam room and in the interactions with their physicians. Physicians should educate their patients on why they are doing what they are doing and foster an atmosphere where the patient understands their health care needs. That understanding is essential to men feeling empowered to take charge of their own health care.

What are the most common types of problems you treat in men ages 30 to 60? What are the symptoms men most often seek treatment for?

men restroom signAs men age their prostates continually enlarge. This enlargement is a normal part of the aging process for men and it results in reduced flow, increased urgency and frequency, increased trips to the restroom at night and, in extreme cases, cause urinary retention and the inability to void.

Approximately 60% of men at age 60 will display symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is not cancer. But it should be evaluated by a urologist who will typically offer prostate cancer screening simultaneously.

Treatment for BPH usually includes the use of medications as a first-line therapy. These medications relax the smooth muscle of the bladder neck allowing the prostate to open to allow better flow through it. Medications in this class are called alpha-blockers (terazosin, tamsulosin, e.g.).

Additional medications may be used which can assist in reducing the size of the prostate (finasteride, e.g.). If these medications do not give a satisfactory result, or if men are unable to tolerate the medications, then surgical options may be provided. There are some office-based procedures that can be done, however, most are offered a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). In this surgical procedure (which usually requires an overnight stay in the hospital) excess tissue is removed from the prostate allowing a larger channel for urine to flow through.

This surgery is highly successful and provides lasting results, but it may need to be repeated for any “re-growth” of tissue. There are also laser techniques which can be used to accomplish the same results. These are done as an outpatient surgery and also require limited catheter drainage for a short period after the surgery similar to the TURP.  Men having urinary flow issues should seek advice from the health care provider and seek out a urologist if medical therapy is not accomplishing the desired effects.

What are the most common causes of E.D.? (Can an underlying heart problem be the cause of E.D.?) What are today’s leading treatments for this problem?

Erectile dysfunction affects millions of men. The incidence of erectile dysfunction increases with age. The major risks factors for erectile dysfunction are vascular disease (40%), diabetes mellitus (30%) and medication side effects (15%). For instance, a diabetic male who has a history of cardiovascular disease and who may be on offending medications may carry a nearly 85% risk of associated erectile dysfunction.

Treatment options for erectile dysfunction include oral medications (Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, e.g.). These medications increase vasodilation of the arteries supplying blood to the penile tissue – hopefully increasing the quality of the erection. Presently, the expense of these medications and the often limited coverage by prescription drug plans make these medications limited to patients.

If this first line therapy fails, there are multiple other modalities that can be tried including vacuum pump devices, penile injections and urethral suppository.  In the event of failure of these therapies, a penile prosthesis can be utilized. This is a medical implant which is completely self-contained in the patient which provides an “artificial” erection.

These devices are surgically implanted and are generally covered by most insurance plans including Medicare. Penile prosthesis carry very high patient and partner satisfaction rates of greater than 92%. Men seeking this form of therapy to restore erectile function should seek out a urologist who does a fair amount of this type of work.

What do my husband and I need to understand about the risk of prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer epidemiology, screening and treatment is a very large subject area – too large to be completely addressed here. Some basic facts of prostate cancer are that for Caucasian males, one out of every six males may be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. If they have a first degree relative prostate-sticker(father or brother) with a prostate cancer history, this risk increases to one in two, or 50%.

Though highly treatable if detected early, more men die from prostate cancer than do women from breast cancer in the state of Arkansas, according to data provided by the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Screening for prostate cancer involves a simple blood test and a prostate exam. Though the blood test looking at Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is not a perfect test and its utility is debated, it is one of the best screening tools we have. We know that when done together with a simple prostate exam, detection rates are higher for prostate cancer.

The PSA test must be interpreted for each particular patient’s risk stratification. This includes family history, past values, voiding symptoms and physical exam to name a few. Presently, most urologists still advocate screening in men between the ages of 45 and 70. If the screening tests are suggestive of an increased risk, a prostate biopsy would be offered to the patient. This is a simple procedure performed in a clinic setting.

There has been recent research about the benefits of a “wait and see” approach to treating prostate cancer. How do you know when it’s more beneficial to treat it aggressively?

Treatment for prostate cancer involves many different possible modalities – all of which have good success rates when tailored to the individual’s disease state. Treatment options may include surgery which may be done through an open incision or via a minimally invasive technique utilizing the DaVinci robotic assisted surgical platform. Radiation – either alone or in conjunction with medications may also be utilized for excellent patient outcomes. The different treatment options for prostate cancer all carry some potential side-effects and risks. In minimal disease presentations, active surveillance options (also called the “wait and see approach” may be utilized.) All of these options must be discussed at length with a urologist.Robert_Zimmerman_1669420931

Our thanks to Dr. Zimmerman for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Zimmerman, call the Mercy Urology Clinic at 479-636-9669. He has offices in Rogers and Bella Vista. Or click HERE for more clinic information.


Five Minutes with a Mom: Hannah Carter

Hannah Carter


Hannah Carter

Kid’s names and ages:

Colin is 5 and Mason is 2.

Where are you from and how long have you lived in NWA?

I’m actually from Arkansas!  Both my husband and I are–I grew up in Heber Springs and Trey grew up in Pine Bluff. We’ve been in Rogers for 7 years now.

Which songs are on your iPod right now?

Such a hodgepodge!! I love oldies and classic rock–so, The Rolling Stones, Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival to name a few.  I also love Dave Matthews Band and keep those in heavy rotation.

Tell us about a day in your life:

I stay busy with the boys!!  No day is exactly the same! I’m not a morning person though. One thing that remains constant is getting to the gym–I won’t skip a day!

Tell us about some traditions you’ve started with your kids:

Our faith is so important to both Trey and I–we want our boys to grow up in a house where we live it out everyday–not just on Sunday.

What has been one of the most surprising things about motherhood?

That I can feel so frustrated and mad at a person (or sometimes both little people) I love more than anything else on this earth.  A Mama’s love really is unconditional. It’s given me a much better appreciation of my own amazing mom!

Where do you and your family love to play in NWA?

We love Fast Lanes, the Gentry safari, and Chickfila. :)

Do you have any fun hobbies?

I sell some ridiculously amazing mascara in my “spare” time!

If you could vacation anywhere in the world this winter where would it be?

The beach.  Any beach. As long as it’s warm. Can I go now? Maybe without kids??

Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

Reese Witherspoon–even though she looks nothing like me.

What’s something you’ve always wanted to learn?

How to sew.

What three things do you always have with you?

iPhone, lip gloss, wallet

How do you relax at the end of the day?

I watch Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show–it never fails to make me laugh!

One word to sum me up:


If you’d like to be featured in 5 Minutes with a Mom — or if you’d like to nominate someone — email us at mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com.

Voted Best Orthodontist: Storms Orthodontics

Dr. storms staff, cropped

Dr. Storms and staff

Visit Storms Orthodontics in Fayetteville and you’ll see a huge wall of thank-you notes to Dr. Storms — and pictures of happy kids wearing big smiles.

Many of the kids are holding a small paper replica of Dr. Storms (think Flat Stanley) and are pictured with him in all sorts of places: in a canoe, under a bronze John Wayne statue or even picking squash in the garden.

These shots were all part of the “Where in the world is Dr. Storms?” contest. Here’s the squash picture on the wall:

dr. storms in the squash

Dr. Storms visits patients at two locations, Fayetteville and Siloam Springs. Our readers here at nwaMotherlode chose Dr. Storms above all the other orthodontists in Washington County. This clinic has been Mom-Approved!

Here are some recent reviews posted on the Storms Orthodontics website:

Dr. Storms reviews

Here’s a little more about Storms Orthodontics to help you get to know them:

Tell us about the technology that Storms Orthodontics uses:

Our practice’s top priority is to provide you the highest quality orthodontic care in a fun and comfortable Arkansas Razorback-friendly environment. We utilize the latest technological advances in the industry, such as tooth-colored ceramic braces and Invisalign, along with the latest in computer technology (intraoral scanning, digital imaging and advanced computer graphics) to ensure that you receive the most effective care possible.

What is your treatment philosophy?

Our treatment philosophy is a very personal approach to each patient’s treatment. We are not interested in performing stormsorthoquantity – we are committed to QUALITY!

We recognize that every patient has different needs, and we pride ourselves in the courteous service we deliver to each person who walks through our door. You will find our practice to be a unique and pleasant experience in every way as we understand the importance of choosing an office that truly values the quality of service it provides.

We encourage open communication with our patients and provide constant feedback on your treatment progress.

Is Storms Orthodontics just for teenagers?

Whether an adult, adolescent or child, Dr. Storms and his experienced staff are committed to helping you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.

A little more info about Dr. Storms and his family:

Dr. Storms and his wife Amy are the proud parents of Will and Sarah. In addition to spending time with family and friends, Dr. Storms enjoys golf, basketball and is an avid supporter of the Arkansas Razorbacks. Go Hogs!

Click here to visit the Storms Orthodontics website or call 479-521-8887. You can also visit the Facebook page by clicking here.

Be sure to tell Dr. Storms and his staff that you saw the Storms Orthodontics ad on nwaMotherlode. We love our sponsors! ♥

Fashion Fairy Godmother: How to wear ankle, riding boots

By Lizzy Miller, fashion blogger, U of A student and nwaMotherlode intern

Fashion Fairy GodmotherMy favorite fall style wear has to be boots. Boots can be worn with just about anything and can dress up or dress down an outfit.

Boots are so versatile for fall that you need a couple pairs in your closet. Whether you go for riding boots or ankle boots, I can show you ways to wear both!

My favorite way to wear ankle boots is with skinny jeans. But I always recommend rolling up your jeans slightly at the ankles. You can pair your ankle boots with jeans and sweaters or even a nice blouse.

As you can see in the photo (below), I like going with cohesive colors. I try to match my boots with my bag and keep the sweater somewhat plain. This creates a classic and simple fall look. Ankle boots and nice skinny jeans also look great with silk tops, and basic jewelry.


A second way to wear boots this fall, and probably the most common way, is wearing riding boots. You can never go wrong with investing in a great pair of riding boots.

Pictured below are examples of dressing up your riding boots. I love to throw on a dress and my boots for an easy, cute outfit. With a simple dress, you don’t have to think too much and it’s pretty comfy most of the time. You can accessorize easily with a long necklace or pretty scarf.

This look is perfect for game days, farmers market, family dinners out or lunch with girl friends:


I hope you enjoy these tips for fall boots! Show us your cute fall boot outfits on Instagram (click here to find us) and tag us @nwamotherlode!

Elizabeth Miller, intern (cropped)ABOUT ELIZABETH: Elizabeth is a senior Ad/PR major at the University of Arkansas. She’s been in various leadership positions in her sorority, Chi Omega, and is part of the Order of Omega Greek Honor Society. The Motherlode mamas would like to add that she’s a fabulous intern and we appreciate her keen eye for fashion (we’ve already lined her up to help us pick out a new fall wardrobe) as well as her work ethic, creativity and ability to quickly grasp what we need and pull it off.

Good Gossip: New babies, new hits and ocean getaways

good gossip celebrities

Yes, 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 because this “dish” is all guilt-free.

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.

tim mcgrawIn a recent interview with People magazine, Tim McGraw said his idea of heaven on earth is a day at the beach with “my girls,” which includes his wife Faith Hill. “We have a vacation home that we always go to that’s somewhere way south, in the middle of the ocean. It’s way quiet and private, and it’s a bit of heaven for us.”

eva amurri martinoActress Eva Amurri Martino, who is also daughter to Susan Sarandon, just welcomed her first child into the world with husband Kyle Martino. (To see the sweet baby photos, pick up the latest issue of People magazine.) It’s obvious that the new mom and dad are in that perfect state of newborn baby bliss. The new dad said, “I’ll be changing her diaper and get a fraction of a smile, and it’s incredible that the most insignificant gesture can light up my whole world. She smiles at me and I’m glowing.” The new mom went on to say, “I was holding her last night and she was drifting off to sleep — and then all of a sudden she just started hysterically laughing. And I just thought, ‘This kid is awesome. I’m totally obsessed with her.’” Congrats to the new parents and grandparents.

meghan trainorThere’s an interesting story behind the smash hit “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor. Although the songwriter had written songs for groups like Rascal Flatts, she didn’t think she looked like an artist but also couldn’t find anyone to sing the new song she’d written about body image. So producer L.A. Reid signed her to sing the song herself. The rest, as they say, is history. The song has now received more than 50 million hits on YouTube and has reached the top of the iTunes chart. Meghan said that she was friends with pretty, popular girls in high school but constantly beat herself up about her weight, saying that it was her mom who encouraged her to stop worrying about her size and to just love herself. Meghan said that, since the explosion of the song, she got a message fro a fan that said, “I was anorexic and cut myself… until I heard your song.”

kenny chesney2It’s great to find an activity that takes your mind off of anything that might be stressing you out. Kenny Chesney said that he regrets not learning to surf earlier in his life because it has become like therapy for him now. “I don’t think about anything other than keeping my a– up on that board!”

Source: People magazine, September 22, 2014 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.)

Giveaway: Tickets to see Sid the Science Kid on stage + dinner!

sid artThis is a HAPPY MONDAY, mamas, because we’re starting a super fun giveaway.

One lucky Northwest Arkansas mother will win four tickets to see Sid The Science Kid Live! on stage at Walton Arts Center on Oct. 12. You’ll definitely win some major “cool mom” points for this one!

In the PBS KIDS show Sid the Science Kid LIVE!, kids and parents discover the curiosities of the world with characters Sid, May, Gabriela and Gerald.

A lively musical score sets the tone for fun and adventure with audience interaction, cooperative problem solving and plenty of laughs. Join the gang in the Super Fab Lab!

The winner also scores dinner at Hammontree’s! Delicious food AND a show. YES!

Hammontree’s is a cheese lover’s dream. Seriously, their grilled cheese sandwiches are downright addictive. They have names like Parmageddon, Bries Company, The Scarlet Cheddar and Cheebacca. They actually have 15 different grilled cheese options including build-your-own.


Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese

Hammontree’s also has gourmet hot dogs, soups, fabulous 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.

HOW TO ENTER: Mamas, this one’s going to be a little different to enter, but FUN! Just send us a short video of your kids asking a “science” question. Kids ask questions all the time, so you might just get them to repeat one they asked you recently.

Here are a few examples of questions your kids could ask on the video:

Why is the sky blue?

Why do snakes shed their skin?

Why do leaves change colors in the fall?

candy making machineYour second option to enter the giveaway is this: Have your child(ren) draw a picture of their “big idea”.

It could be an invention, a wish for mankind (world peace) or just the solution to a problem they recently had.

Just in case what they drew is not obvious to us (wink!), write the name of their big idea on the page, take a picture of it on your phone/camera and email it to us! Email is: mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com.

Here are some Big Idea art ideas:

A homework-erator (Does all your homework for you!)

A jet pack (Who doesn’t want to fly?)

A candy-making machine (Kids love their candy)

A bully shrinker (Shrink that mean kid down to size)

We can’t wait to see all the videos and Big Idea art! Have your entries submitted to us by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3, and we’ll announce the winner that next week. BONUS: Some of the art/videos may be shared on the Walton Arts Center website or at the show!

INCREASE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING: If you’d like to increase your odds of winning this Sid family pack, just share! Email friends and family about the giveaway and CC us so we’ll be sure to give you credit. We’ll give you an extra pbs kidschance to win for each person you tell. The email is

(You can also earn an extra chance to win by signing up to receive the free email newsletter we send once a week. The sign-up box is at the top right of this page.)

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

If you don’t want to take any chances and want to make sure you get to go see Sid with your kids, CLICK HERE to visit the Walton Arts Center page about the show and grab some tickets. It’s coming up SOON and you don’t want to miss out on the fun! (There’s also the option of paying $20 more per ticket so your kids can interact with the cast after the show.) 

Good luck!

Devotion in Motion: Dysfunctional families in the Bible

¶ Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. ~ 1 John 3:1 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

I overheard a television program the other day on which they were discussing “dysfunctional families.” That got me to thinking. I’ve been working around people a long, long time. In my whole lifetime, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a perfectly “functional” family. Have you?

dysfunctional familyDid you ever stop to consider that the families we read about in the Bible would fall into the “dysfunctional” category? Adam and Eve had two sons, and one was good and the other was wicked. Noah had a drinking problem. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all showed favoritism in the raising of their children. St. Peter had a sick mother-in-law. St Paul and his sidekick Barnabas had a parting-of-ways over their dealings with Barnabas’ nephew John Mark. King David’s children didn’t get along with him—or each other—at all. And these examples just scratch the surface. I’m sure you can think of other examples from Scripture.

So, try not to feel too bad about your drunk uncle, your aunt who’s been married 6 times, or the first-cousin that you’d never let into your house except for the fact that you share the same set of grandparents. The Biblical record shows you that you’re not alone in having a few offbeat family members. :-)

Have you noticed that we have a lot more tolerance with the quirky behavior of our relatives than we would have with the idiosyncrasies of random people off the street? That’s because we’re related by blood to our kinfolk; somewhere back in the family tree we share a common father with them. And since this is true with our earthly families, I believe we certainly should have a lot of patience with the people in our “church families.” After all, we’re related by the blood of our Saviour to all Christians — and we all share the same Heavenly Father.

john l cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 29 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher hopes his kinfolks don’t count him as one of their crazy relatives.) Their kids include Spencer (age 23), his wife Madeline (age 23), and Seth (age 20).

The Rockwood Files: Taking out the digital trash

digital trashBy Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

It was the summer of 1980 and the open field next to our house was overgrown with tall grass nearly waist-high. Then one day papers blew all over the field, getting snagged and tangled in the unruly grass, making it even more of an eyesore. So my mother sent me and my big brother out one afternoon to pick up the litter.

My brother, who must have been about 13 or 14 that year, grumbled about the chore all the way out to the field, while I trailed behind him. He griped loudly right up until the second he picked up the first piece of trash and realized what it was. I saw the paper, too, but my 7-year-old brain assumed it was simply a magazine photo of a lady wearing black underwear, her hair blown back and a long string of pearls draped around her neck, which was odd because she’d forgotten to put on her shirt.

My brother stared down at that crumpled page for a second and then spun around on his heels with the page held behind his back. “You can go home and play. I’ll pick these up by myself,” he said.

I didn’t argue since playing sounded much better than picking up litter in the field, so I skipped back home, leaving my brother alone with the trash he was suddenly eager to collect all on his own.

Years later, I realized that what my mother had assumed was just litter blowing around an overgrown field was actually pages from an abandoned Playboy no litteringmagazine. It took my brother a couple of hours to pick up all those pages, which he said he threw away. Looking back on it? We all know he didn’t throw them away. Those crumpled pages were probably smoothed out and passed around a large group of neighborhood boys who were likely amazed when my brother told them about that special “field of dreams.”

Fast forward nearly 35 years later. Here I am, the mother of a nearly 13-year-old boy as well as a 10-year-old boy, both of them traveling the on-ramp to puberty. And I’m realizing that the overgrown field is still right here – only now it’s not a literal place. It’s a web – a World Wide one. And we don’t even have to walk outside to see it. It’s on our computers. Our phones. Our iPads. Even our TV has access. We’re living right smack in the middle of that tangled, gnarly field, and keeping the trash picked up is a full-time job.

To be honest, it scares me. My boys don’t have to wait for the wind to blow somebody’s forgotten nudie magazine into the field. The pictures – and, even worse, the videos – are a click away. Even though Tom and I have spent days installing internet filters and monitoring software and parental controls, I worry that clearing this figurative field is impossible. The sickest parts of humanity will always bubble up through the cracks. Statistics say that, on average, kids first see porn online at the age of 11. And by the time boys become college freshman, about 60% of them are addicted to pornography.

After reading those stats, part of me wants to pack up and move to a cave in Antarctica where there’s no Wi-Fi. And the other part of me – the part that knows we can’t outrun the world – hopes we can somehow stay a technological step ahead of our kids’ next temptation. But even more than that, I pray – now more than ever – for the help we need to raise good human beings, even in the midst of so much trash.

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

Photo credit: Lisa Mac Photography

Local student needs our help

Happy Friday, mamas. Earlier this week, a friend who is also a doctor for Mercy Health passed this information along to us to share with all of you. As moms, our hearts hurt when we hear about a child in our community with a serious illness. Below is information about a Rogers High School Student named Jackson who has been diagnosed with a form of leukemia. He’ll need a bone marrow transplant and the people in his family are not a bone marrow match for him.

Getting tested to see if you’re a match is as simple as getting the inside of your cheek swabbed. So please go by the donor registry event on September 26th at 6 p.m. at the Rogers High School football stadium (on Dixieland Road in Rogers). If you can’t make it to the event, there’s also a way to join the donor registry online. All the details are below, or you can CLICK HERE to see more info online.

bone marrow