• Fall Fun Guide: Top 10 things for families to do this fall in Northwest Arkansas!
  • Northwest Arkansas Calendar of Events: October 2016
  • 2016 Mom-Approved Award Winners Announced

Giveaway: Farmland Adventures Family Fun Pack!

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Now that it’s officially fall, it’s officially time to get to the PUMPKIN PATCH, mamas!

And we’re proud that one of the best pumpkin patches/corn mazes in Northwest Arkansas is a sponsor here at nwaMotherlode. Farmland Adventures allows families the opportunity to experience a real farm and to enjoy LOTS of great family-friendly activities for one admission price.

Admission covers all of Farmland’s attractions, including the giant corn maze, mini maze, pumpkin patch, pedal karts, play areas, wagon ride, pony rides, petting farmhuman foosball and more. And today we’re giving away a Family 4-Pack to visit Farmland Adventures and enjoy all of these activities!

farmland adventures 2016HOW TO ENTER: If you’d love to win this Family 4-Pack to Farmland Adventures, click on the word “comments” (right under the headline of this post) and scroll down to the bottom of the comments posted by other moms. Then write a quick comment telling us what your kids love most about Farmland Adventures — or what they look forward to doing when you visit!

Click here to see all the activities offered at Farmland.

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLICK HERE to visit the Farmland Adventures Facebook page so you can be the first to know about any special hours, special admission prices or fun tidbits about life on the farm! Here’s their latest coupon, which you can use this coming weekend:

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Devotion in Motion: An important truth for all couples

9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.  ~ Mark 10:9  (KJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

I think the State of Tennessee is onto something good. If you’ll participate in 4 hours of pastoral counseling before your wedding, they’ll give you a big discount on the cost of your marriage license. I don’t know if it will help cut down on the divorce rate there, but it surely couldn’t hurt anything.

wedding-rings2Last year a young man from my congregation was marrying a lovely young woman from Tennessee. They came to my house for the prerequisite pre-marital counseling. He asked me how many years Susan and I had been married, and I told him that we had been married for 30 years. “Thirty happy years, right Brother John?” he replied.

I think they were shocked by my answer. “No, we haven’t had thirty happy years,” I said. “Maybe 27 happy years. Or maybe only 25. It depends if you count pieces of years. And how you define ‘happy’.”

The young man went to his mother’s home and asked her if she thought I was kidding him. She told him,“If Brother John told you that, he probably wasn’t teasing. Marriage isn’t easy. And true love doesn’t always run smooth.”

Susan and I have had more good days (and years) than bad ones. We’ve had much more joy than sadness. But there’ve been some rough patches, too. Serious problems. Maybe we even (briefly) thought about getting divorced. It’s been especially hard because we’ve always had to work out problems on our own. When you’re the preacher and his wife, you don’t really advertise that you’re not getting along.

So I think one of the best things we can do is to be honest with young married couples. True love doesn’t always run smoothly. But with some work (and the grace of God) most things can be worked out.

Well, Susan and I went to that young couple’s wedding in Tennessee. At the reception, the DJ said that all the married couples had to get up and dance, so Susan and I did. After that, he started thinning out the crowd; everybody married for less than 5 years had to sit down, and then everybody who had been married less than 10 years had to sit down.

Finally, he had all the couples who had been married less than 30 years sit down. Susan and I looked around, and we were left with about five other couples.

It was a really cool feeling to be numbered among the couples who had beaten the odds, weathered the storms, and stayed together. I told Susan, “I sure am glad we didn’t bust up.”

Then Susan started crying. I hope that was because she was happy, too.

rp_john-l-cash-212x300.jpgDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 31 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 calendar says “Autumn” but the thermometer says “92 Degrees”.) Their kids include Spencer (age 25), his wife Madeline (age 25), and Seth (age 22), and his wife Leanne (age 21). You can send him a note at brotherjohn@ilovechurchcamp.com.

The Rockwood Files: What’s for dinner?

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

There’s one question that haunts me. I can’t shake it. No matter how many times I answer, it comes back for more, more, more: “What’s for dinner?”question mark2

Honestly? I have no idea. But that doesn’t keep everyone from asking. These kids and their growing appetites have made answering this question more pressing than ever.

When the kids were between the ages of 3 and 7, we lived in the stage of questions. “Why are cars able to go so fast, Mom?” “Why do people call them cars? How did they get that name?” “Who gets to name things?” Tom and I felt like all we ever did was answer questions and then answer the questions triggered by the answers.

But now that the kids are between the ages of 14 and 9, we’ve left the constant questioning behind and have entered the age of constant hunger. The only times the kids aren’t hungry are the times when they’re unconscious. If their eyes are open, they’re hungry or they’re thinking about the next time they might get hungry and planning accordingly.

They’re hungry in the morning, at lunch, after school, right before dinner, at dinner, an hour after dinner and right before bed. The after-school hunger seems to be the most intense. Judging by how famished they are at 3 p.m., I’d guess that their teachers are having them dig educational trenches all day.

Today I picked up our 14-year-old son from school, and he hadn’t even shut the car door yet when he started reporting on his extreme hunger: “Mom, I’m so hungry. I really need some food right now. My stomach is so empty. I could eat a cow. No, I could eat two cows, stacked on top of each other – with mustard.”frenchs-mustard

(I’m still trying to erase the visual image of stacked cows slathered in mustard.)

The good news is that this near-constant state of hunger has helped the kids develop some cooking skills. The teenager has learned to make his own burgers and practices almost daily. Over the summer alone, his burger consumption probably wiped out an entire herd of cattle and doubled profits for the French’s mustard company.

When they were little, there were days when I had to practically beg the kids to eat. I’d do almost anything to get them to consume a chicken nugget or a bite of green beans before they ran off to their next adventure. But now, food is the adventure they’re interested in. “What’s for dinner, Mom?” “Are we going somewhere for dinner?” “Can we go right now?” “Are you going to eat that dinner roll, or can I have it?”

As you might imagine, all the eating has fueled some serious growth spurts. When I bump into friends who ask what I’ve been up to lately, I say two things: “I am the maker of food and the buyer of pants.” When I’m not at the grocery store, I’m at the mall buying longer jeans because their current pants are now an inch above the ankle.

I’ve never been a fan of those all-you-can-eat buffets, but I’m beginning to understand the logic behind it. When kids are in a growth spurt, they are much like a swarm of locusts, capable of wiping out an entire pantry before you can say burrito.

The next time they ask me what’s for dinner, maybe I’ll just hand them my checkbook and tell them to gnaw on that while I go out and wrangle a couple of stacked cows – with mustard on top.

gwen-headshot-2014Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

The Friday 5: Fun things to do this weekend in NWA, Sept. 23-25

Friday 5

Of course, there’s Bikes, Blues and BBQ happening this weekend! There are also a few offshoots:

bikes-blues-and-brains1. Bikes, Brews & Brains, Saturday. Make the Razoback Greenway your get-away route to Bikes, Brews and Brains for an evening of games, downtown brews and fun. On Saturday, the Downtown Springdale Alliance will host a Northwest Arkansas event that’s really unique.

Participants will fill downtown businesses while competing to see who is the brainiest person in Northwest Arkansas (based on points added up on your scorecard by the end of the event) and walk away with a crisp $100 bill.

Come play your favorite games and ride in bike drag races (if that’s your thing) in an easily walkable or bikable stretch of downtown from 6-9 p.m. for just $5. Games on tap include a bike drag race on Emma Avenue, Pictionary in Core Public House, Street Twister, giant Connect Four, bike-themed trivia at Black Apple Crossing, Clue at Emma Avenue Bar & Tap and many, many more.

Other awards include a “bikealope” wall hanging, $50 for second place, and a downtown gift card for third place.

Click here for more info!

2. Barks & Brews, Saturday. From 3-8pm (3-4 registration, 4-6 show, 6-8 after party) at the Downtown Rogers Farmers Market on Cherry Street. Main Street is hosting a dog show to raise money for City of Rogers Animal Shelter.

barks-and-brews-useContest Categories include:

  • Dog/Owner Lookalike
  • Best Trick
  • Best Costume
  • I’m so ugly, I’m cute
  • Cutest Dog (under 20lbs)
  • Most Adorable Medium Dog (21-40lbs)
  • Best Looking Big Dog (40lbs or more)
  • Best in Show

Click here for more info and to register your dog!

3. Family Story Time, Bentonville Public Library, Saturday.

This event happens every Saturday and is from 2-2:30 p.m. at BPL. After story time, families can work on a craft together. No registration required. All ages.

Click here for more info!

Amazeum logo4. Zing Adventures at the Amazeum, Saturday, 9-10 a.m. or 11 a.m. to noon. This program is for kids ages 4-6 and is open to members and non-members.

September’s theme is VROOM! WHOOSH! BOING! Time to ride some sound waves! Sound is all around us at the Amazeum. Many exhibits throughout the museum include experiences with sound and this workshop will ignite your child’s desire to want to learn more about science of sound.

$10 Amazeum member child + adult caregiver
$15 non-member child + adult caregiver

Advanced registration and payment required.

Click here for more information!

5. Super Saturday, Stevens Puppets, FPL. Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the Walker Community Room.

Stevens Puppets tours fully-staged productions of fairy-tales and classic children’s literature, featuring hand-carved wooden marionettes in front of colorfully hand-painted scenery.  The charming puppets come alive in their miniature worlds, transporting their audiences through magical journeys of endearing stories, raucous laughter, and artistic beauty.  The puppeteers give life to their little actors, weaving a spell of childhood over audiences of all ages, as they invite everyone along for a trip through “once upon a time.”

Click here for more info!

Slightly Tilted: Broken Rememberers

By Jen Adair, Blogger at Slightly Tilted, Entreprenuer, Homeschool Mom to two fab kiddos

My kids are not at all like elephants. Elephants are supposed to have great memories. My kids have no memory. At all. I don’t know what happened to it, but I think it is probably lost under their beds or crammed in their closet somewhere. I’ve given up on ever finding it again.

Some things they forget:

1. Daily chores and hygiene routines are always a surprise.

I tell my son to brush his teeth. I find him wandering the house looking for his yo-yo.

“Did you brush your teeth?”

“No, I’m looking for my yo-yo.”

toothbrushes“What are you supposed to doing?”

“I don’t know.”

“You’re supposed to be in your bathroom brushing your teeth.”

“Oh, yeah.”

*Wanders off down the hall, looking for his yo-yo.

“Dude. Teeth.”

“Brush them? Now?”

“Yes!”

*My head explodes.

2. I always win because I AM THE MOM.

nerds-candyThey sometimes (and by this I mean AT ALL TIMES) forget that my definition of any word wins because I am the mom. For example, food, as I define it, is a healthy, nutritious, and delicious way to fortify the body. Food, in my kids’ opinion, is packaged, unnaturally colored, sugar laden crap with no nutritional value at all.

“Nerds on top of ice cream is not real food and is not appropriate for dinner. Remember we had this conversation last night? Remember?”

“No. But mom…it is real food! I eat it!”

“You used to eat play dough! That’s not food either!”

3. Bedtime is not a negotiation.

There is a bedtime at our house. This is a magical time that my hubby and I look forward to because it means the kids are not with us. They are not in our field of vision. We can’t hear them. As two parents that homeschool and work from home, bedtime is our make-it-or-break-it time. The countdown to 8 PM is on from practically the minute we wake up in the morning.

There is no negotiation.

The kids try to negotiate every night.

I guess they can’t tell from our expressions and attitudes that we are in no mood for any hi-jinks from the two of them. They are good kids and they will be good kids in the morning. Right now…they need to go away to dreamland and daddy and I need to go to a kid-free land.

rp_timex-watch-183x300.jpg“But…it’s only 8!! I’m not tired yet!”

“I don’t care if you’re tired. I’m tired.”

“But…I’m hungry and thirsty and…”

“You just ate and there’s a cup. Get some water from the bathroom.”

“Bathroom water is grooooooossssss!”

“Why don’t you bring snacks and water to your room with you every night?”

“I forrrrrgggggeeeetttt!”

“You need to remember.”

“My rememberer isn’t working!”

“You must be tired.”

“I’m NOOOOOTTTTT!”

And there is the real reason for all the conflict in our house: their remeberers are broken.

Think they have those on Amazon?

jen adair3Hey. I’m Jen Adair. I’m an entrepreneur. Homeschool mom. CEO of organized chaos. Ok – it’s really not all that organized. Some days are great, some are not, some days I feel invincible, some days I can barely get out of bed. BUT…it’s my life and I’m living it. Browse my collection of random thoughts, humor (well, I think I’m funny!), images, links, whatever…at my blog Slightly Tilted. Sharing is caring, people! :)