• Northwest Arkansas Calendar of Events: May 2016
  • 2016 nwaMotherlode Summer Camp Guide for Kids

The Rockwood Files: Talking to Women, 101

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

We women have an obligation to the young men in our lives. We must teach them how to keep their manly feet out of their big mouths while talking to women.

Sometimes a man runs into trouble not because of the specific words he does or does not say but because his body language says things without him even knowing it. Our sons, ages 14 and 11, recently witnessed an example of this.

I’d just tried on a new pair of jeans I was unsure about. I found Tom cooking burgers in the kitchen and asked for his opinion on whether or not I should return the jeans or keep them.

Him: “No. I don’t like them. Not at all. Those are hugging you in all the wrong places.”

Me: (Stunned shock with aghast facial expression.)

Him: “What? You asked for my opinion. Did you not want me to tell you?”

Sensing one of their own was under attack, the boys came to their father’s aid.

Teenage son: “Yeah, Mom! You said you wanted his opinion and he told you.”

surprise emojiMe: “Okay, listen boys. For future reference, when a woman tries something on and asks if you like the jeans or the dress or the bathing suit or whatever it is, you have every right to say you don’t like it. But what you should NOT do is act like you’re witnessing a train wreck. You don’t want the expression on your face to say ‘Oh, the horror!’ And you definitely don’t want to use a phrase like ‘all the wrong places’ because it implies that the woman has ‘wrong places.’ See what I mean?”

Tom: “No, boys. Just remember that this kind of question is always a trap. Just say you have to use the bathroom and then sprint out of the room.”

Caught in the midst of a verbal tennis match, the boys looked to me for the answering volley.

Me: “That’s not true, boys. Women want an honest opinion but they want you to say it in a gentle way. You could say, ‘Hmmm…I guess those jeans are okay, but I think your other jeans are much better. You look great in your other jeans, but that pair isn’t my favorite.’ See? It’s less about what you say than how you say it. Understand?”

The boys and their father looked at me blank-faced, as if they honestly couldn’t tell the difference between my softer, gentler response and the one their father had delivered while grimacing, as if the sight of those ill-fitting jeans caused him actual pain.

Me: “Never mind. Go eat your burgers. I’m taking these jeans back to the mall.”

blue bell chocolate ice creamWe must also teach our young sons when to say nothing at all. A few days after the jeans incident, I’d had a particularly frustrating day at work and decided to reward myself for getting through it. I retrieved the tub of chocolate ice cream from the freezer, promising myself I’d only “clean up the edges” and then put it away.

I’d lost count of how many edges I’d cleaned up when 11-year-old Jack walked into the room. He peered into the ice cream container and said, “Geez, Mom.” As you might imagine, I didn’t appreciate his tone, not to mention those judgey eyes.

Me: “Listen, boy. Here’s an important life lesson. If you ever walk into a room and see a woman eating directly out of a carton of ice cream, you should say nothing. I mean zero. Don’t even look at her. Pretend you weren’t there at all. Just walk away.”

Jack nodded his head and backed safely out of the room without another word. I think these guys are finally catching on.

Gwen 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 Northwest Arkansas

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1. Fitness in the Garden, Saturday {free}. The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks is starting its FREE 2016 season of Fitness in the Garden!

“We’ll be kicking off this year’s program on International Tai Chi day, featuring a special guest on April 30. Bring yourself, your family, friends, water, towel and a yoga mat.

All classes are FREE open to the public, and start at 9 a.m. on the Great Lawn at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks.

During May, there will be Power Flow Yoga with the Fayetteville Athletic Club For the month of June, Active Life Acupuncture & Wellness Center will host QiGong & Tai Chi. In July, Trailside Yoga will be leading yoga in the garden and another Tai Chi special guest will be joining us on July 30. YogaGypsy will be here for the month of August, and Soul Rhythm will be at the Garden on September 17.

Click here for more info and to see a full schedule of fitness events.

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Family bird class

2. Family Bird Class, Saturday {$20/per family of 4 for members, $25/family of 4 for nonmembers, $5 for each additional child} Speaking of the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, they’re having an  interactive children’s class on birds, bird watching, and bird nests with Donna and Kelly Mulhollan as well as Kitty Sanders from 9-10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Both parents or grandparents and children are encouraged to participate in this fun family class together as we discover the amazing world of birds and nest building. Each family will create/take home a bird nest material dispenser. This is also the same day as our plant sale so arrive early to buy plants before the class if you like!

Click here for more information about the bird class!

mill street market, springdale3. Mill Street Market opening day, Saturday.

The Mill Street Market offers farm products, crafts and baked goods on Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm and Tuesdays from 5-8:00 pm, starting April 30th. All produce is locally grown in Washington, Benton, Madison and Carroll counties. In addition to food, the market will offer Arkansas Made needlework, soaps, salves and more.

The new market will be in historic downtown Springdale, adjacent to The Shiloh Museum of Ozark History on the Razorback Trail.

Click here for more info about the market!

4. drop in artDrop-in art making, Saturday, Crystal Bridges {Free} Drop in the Durand and Estes art studio at Crystal Bridges anytime between 1 and 4 p.m. on Saturday for creative play and art making for the whole family.

If the weather’s nice, you can play on the trails afterward!

Click here for more information.

swing dance5. Swing Dance lessons at Mama Carmen’s, Saturday.

Come out for a fun night of swing dancing at Mama Carmen’s on College Avenue in Fayetteville.

The NWA Swing Dance Society will lead a brief beginner lesson at 5:30. Open floor dancing starts at 6 p.m.

Click here for more information!

Northwest Arkansas Calendar of Events: May 2016

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Strawberry Pic-nic, Dickey Farms

strawberryBring your picnic baskets, lawn chairs and instruments. Sunday, May 1st, beginning at 11 a.m.. They will be giving away free strawberry shortcake. Bring your own lunch and stay as long as you want. The farm will be open for u-pick that day as well. “We always have you out in the fall, but this year you can enjoy the spring with us and see what else we do besides pumpkins. Can’t wait to see you!”

Date: May 1

Time: 11 a.m.

Location: Dickey Farms

More info: Click here

Bentonville Film Festival

The Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) will be May 3 – 8 in Bentonville and will feature approximately 35 films in competition, and expand its platform with the addition of a short film competition, three community events and a new Diversity and Inclusion Summit to be held for senior level decision makers from multiple industries. The Bentonville Film Festival remains the only festival to offer winning films guaranteed distribution.

Date: May 3-8

Time: Varies

Location: Varies

More info: Click here

Farm Friends

farm friendsThis is a great event for kids to see live farm animals, to enjoy free beans and cornbread and lots more. So much fun!

Date: May 5

Time: 5-7 p.m.

Location: Pauline Whitaker Animal Science Center, Highway 112 South, Fayetteville

More info: Click here

First Fridays: Film Fest

Date: May 6

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

Location: Bentonville Square

More info: Click here

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Spanker Creek Craft Fair

Date: May 6-7-8

Time: Varies

Location: Spanker Creek Farm

More info: Click here

Ozark Regional Arts and Crafts Festival

springdale arts and craftsDate: May 6-7

Time: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Location: Springdale Convention Center

More info: Click here

Spring Craft Fair, War Eagle Mill

May 6 – 8 – Spring Celebration. Enjoy live music on the Mill Porch: Voxana will be playing on Saturday, 11-3 and another band to be announced will be playing on Sunday! Shop the Sharp Craft Show in the fields adjacent to the Mill, Friday and Saturday 8 am – 5pm and Sunday 8 am – 4pm. The Mill will have regular business hours.

Date: May 6-8

Time: See above

Location: War Eagle Mill, Rogers

More info: Click here

Frisco Station Mall Arts and Crafts Festival

It’s that time of year again, spring is in the air and the craft fair is back in town. Frisco Station Mall will have their spring craft fair inside of the mall starting Friday May 6th at 10 am. Lots a great vendors and an air conditioned great place. This is a free family friendly event.

Date: May 6-8

Time: Varies

Location: Frisco Station Mall, Rogers

More info: Click here

Free Comic Book Day

Date: May 7

free comic book dayFayetteville Public Library, 10:30 a.m. to noon:

Enjoy free comics, themed crafts for different ages, superhero face painting, and become a superhero in FPL’s own standup cut out!

Children will be able to decorate their own superhero mask to compliment their painted faces and teens can decorate themed book bags to celebrate the day.

Free cotton candy to be provided by Arkansas Dentistry and Braces.

This event is free and open to all ages. Art supplies and comics will be provided.

Bentonville Public Library, all day:

BPL is celebrating 15 years of Free Comic Book Day with its 4th Annual Free Comic Book Day event in partnership with Children’s Book Week and Bentonville Film Festival. Starting with the free comics, we will also have a superhero training camp for children, a cosplay accessory station for teens, illustrator workshops for teens and adults, and more.

Artosphere: Circa’s Carnival of the Animals

carnival of the animalsCirca, an ensemble of multi-skilled dancers, acrobats, gymnasts and tumblers, will perform Carnival at Walton Arts Center’s Baum Walker Hall. Tickets are only $10. One of the 2016 Artosphere Festival’s featured events for children and families, Carnival of the Animals is a blend of circus, music and multimedia. Circa’s performers will take audiences on a thrilling escapade through the wondrous world of the animal kingdom with whimsical tales of creatures from land and sea.

Date: May 13

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Walton Arts Center

More info: Click here

Kendrick Fincher Hydration race/walk event

The Kendrick Fincher Hydration Celebration will have 5 exciting events this year for the entire family: 18th Annual Youth Run, which is a free event for students in Kindergarten through 8th grade, distances are 1/2 mile for students K-3rd and 1 mile for students 4th-8th.  The event also hosts 5K run/walk and the Duathlon, which is a 3.1 mile run, 12.4 mile bike, 3.1 mile run. New this year is the addition of a Diaper Dash and Toddler Trot! There’s something for everyone!

A great way for an entire family to get active together!

Date: May 14

Location: Pinnacle Hills Promenade Mall

More info: Click here

Artosphere Festival Trail Mix: Razorback Greenway

fayetteville-trailmix-2015FREE. This year, Trail Mix has expanded to include the Razorback Regional Greenway, spanning six Northwest Arkansas cities. Join us for a festive day of free programs with artists and musicians in various locations across NWA – we’ll start with a kickoff celebration at the Fayetteville square, then meet up again for the Springdale Front Porch Festival in the Mill Street District.

There will be live performances at: Mercy Trailhead in Rogers and a final celebration at Lawrence Plaza just off the Bentonville square. Events include bike parades, interactive performance art, live music and dancing, farmers’ markets and a celebration of the one-year anniversary of the Razorback Greenway. This year’s Trail Mix also partners with the second annual “Square to Square” bike ride (fee and registration required).

Saturday Trail Mix artists include: The Bike Zoo, Evalyn Parry, Paula Fuga, Polyglot Theatre ANTS, The Okee Dokee Brothers, The Barefoot Movement and more.

Saturday’s Trail Mix will extend to the grounds of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art for the 2nd Annual Garden Party until 5 pm, with music, food trucks and special performances by Trail Mix artists Circa, Beth Stockdell and more!

Date: May 14

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

Location: Locations throughout Northwest Arkansas (see above)

More info: Click here for a full list of 2016 Artosphere events.

Artosphere Festival Trail Mix: Frisco Trail

FREE. On Sunday, Trail Mix comes to the Frisco Trail in downtown Fayetteville, starting with bike decorating at Community Creative Center at 4 pm. Then, beginning at 5 pm, head to the Frisco Trail for more outdoor fun and entertainment.

Sunday Trail Mix artists include: Paula Fuga, The Barefoot Movement and more.

Date: Sunday, May 15

Time: 4-8 p.m.

Location: Frisco Trail, Fayetteville

More info: Click here for a full list of this year’s Artosphere events.

Books in Bloom Literary Festival, Crescent Hotel

books in bloomSpend the day with inspiring writers in the garden setting of The 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa in Eureka Springs.

Date: May 15

Time: Starts around noon

Location: Crescent Hotel, Eureka Springs

More info: Click here

Artosphere: The Okee Dokee Brothers

Rafting down their neighborhood creek and discovering hiking trails through the Rocky Mountains created the Okee Dokee Brothers passion for the great outdoors. They write and perform original music to inspire children and families to get outside and get creative. The Brother’s witty lyrics, musicianship and unique folk style have won praise from NPR’s All Things Considered and USA Today. Inspire your students’ love and respect for our Natural State with these three-time Parents’ Choice Award winners! Tickets are only $8.

The Okee Dokee Brothers will also be performing at The Razorback Greenway Trail Mix on May 14.

Date: May 15

Time: 4 p.m.

Location: Walton Arts Center

More info: Click here

OkeeDokee2

The Okee Dokee Brothers

Mountain Bike Skills Clinic

Provided by Arkansas NICA and Fayetteville Parks and Recreation. Instruction will be focused on pre-ride checks, braking, cornering, body positioning, and climbing. Concludes with a group ride! Open to all ages, but aimed at getting children interested in the sport of mountain biking.

This event is FREE and open to the public.

Date: May 7

Time: 9-11 a.m., followed by a group ride

Location: Lake Fayetteville (North Shore Pavilion/Skills Park)

More info: Parks and Recreation at 444-3463, tgaulke@fayetteville-ar.gov or click here for more information.

Touch a Truck

touch a truckThis year’s Touch-a-Truck will once again feature crowd favorites – dozens of vehicles that kids (and kids-at-heart) can explore. Vehicles you can expect to see include construction equipment, safety and transportation vehicles, motorcycles, tractors and much more. There will also be special appearances and activities including mascots, costumed characters, fingernail painters, science demonstrations and building projects, just to name a few.

In addition to equipment, vehicles, and entertainment, there will be concessions available offering lunch, refreshments, ice cream and all the tasty treats you’d expect to find at a family-fun event.

Tickets are just $5 each or $20 per family (max 5 guests per family ticket). Guests can purchase their tickets online soon, or at the event. For questions about the event, please email the Touch-a-Truck Committee at TAT@juniorleagueNWA.org.

Date: May 7 (Rain date: Saturday, June 4th)

Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: Pinnacle Promenade, Rogers

More info: Click here

Discover the Grounds: Nature Photography Walk

Free. See the great outdoors through the eyes of renowned nature photographer Bob Lyons from Longwood Gardens. After an inspiring presentation about his 30-year career as a photographer and contributor for the plant magazine Horticopia, Lyons, the former Director of the Longwood Graduate Program in Public Horticulture, will guide participants in using eyes, mind, and camera to capture extended and fleeting moments in your personal landscapes. All image-taking devices are welcome; or simply come, listen, and gain a new understanding of looking at nature and landscapes.

Date: May 14

Time: 10-11:30 a.m.

Location: Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville

More info: Click here to register online or call guest services at 479.657.2335.

Under the Sea with Ariel

Come under the sea to meet Ariel in person at The Jones Center pool! On Sunday, May 15th from 1-3 pm, Ariel will be in person at the splash pool to take pictures, sign autographs, and interact with kids.

This event is MEMBERS ONLY, so make sure your membership is active, and bring your family. CLICK HERE to become a member or renew your membership online. You can also call 479-756-8090.

Date: May 15

Time: 1-3 p.m.

Location: Jones Center for Families

More info: Click here

under the sea

Egg, a children’s play

eggA magical story of friendship unfolds from a nest of twigs, feathers and shell. Three exuberant birds are on an adventure of a lifetime through which they grapple with growing up and finally take flight. Told through physical theater, illusion and music, Egg is a funny non-verbal exploration of the theme of leaving the nest performed by In Cahoots Theatre Company of Belfast, Ireland. Tickets are only $8.

Recommend for ages 4 and up, including non-English speakers.

Date: May 21

Time: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Location: Walton Arts Center

More information: Click here

Cowboys for Hospice and Family Country Fun Day

cowboys for hospiceThis free event includes: sorting competition Calcutta, pie competition and auction, outdoor music concert, greased pig catchin’, sack races, barrel train, kid’s games, BBQ chicken, smoked brisket, chuck wagon beans, turkey fries and campfire potatoes until they’re gone! Donations will be accepted at this fundraising event, with all proceeds going to Washington Regional Hospice.

Date: Saturday, May 21

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

Location: Willow Springs Ranch, 15053 Walker Road, Prairie Grove

6th Annual Block Street Block Party

Date: May 22

Time: Noon to dark

Location: Block Street, Fayetteville

More info: Click here

Rug Rat Adventure Day

Kids of all ages are invited to participate in a day full of activities and learning geared toward our primitive roots of exploration. This free event will work in stations around the Pat Rack pond, including:
– Tyrolean Traverse
– Monkey Bridge
– Rock wall
– Boat paddle
– Nature crafts
– Face painting

Ozark Off-Road Cyclists will be here with their ice cream bike churning homemade ice cream. There will also be fruit, water, and lemonade available.

Woody & Sunshine will be there with their smiles and jams.

Date: May 28

Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: Pack Rat Outdoor Center, Fayetteville

More info: Click here

Savvy Banking: Should you keep your accounts separate when you get married?

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In this nwaMotherlode segment, Savvy Banking, you’ll find the answers to a variety of pressing money questions submitted by Northwest Arkansas moms.

This month’s question is:

Q: I’m getting married in August. Is it best to keep our bank accounts separate or combine them?

Holly Wheeler: It seems that there are a lot of strong opinions out there about this particular topic. It wasn’t all that long ago that it was just assumed that a new husband and wife would open a joint checking account, combine all their finances and that’s just the way it was.

Nowadays it is more likely that both people will work and have their own income. It also seems that couples are getting married later, which means they are likely to already have a method to which they handle their finances. The thought of taking your perfectly tuned process and combining it into one joint account with a spouse who has never used a check register could cause an instant panic attack for someone with mild OCD tendencies.

On the other hand, I know couples that believe having a joint account is a fundamental part of a marriage.  When you enter into that life-long commitment with your spouse, everything should be combined, and the two of you shall operate as one.

So, what’s the solution? The answer is that there’s no single right answer! What works for one couple might not work another, and that’s ok!

The foundation of a successful marriage is trust, and with that comes open and honest communication. Many pre-marital counselors suggest that engaged couples discuss and come up with their own financial plan before making that trip down the aisle.

wedding picI’m hesitant to admit that I actually asked my husband for a copy of his credit report before we got married. How unromantic is that?

I think it was the inner-banker in me coming out, but I was relieved and pleasantly surprised to learn that his credit score was higher than mine!

I don’t recommend making a good credit score a requirement of saying “yes” to a proposal, but it is important to know the type of financial situation you are getting into.

Make it a priority to openly discuss the expectations you both have regarding future spending habits, savings goals and financial responsibilities before the Big Day. It probably won’t be the most fun conversation you have, but it will be worth it!

If you know you don’t want to keep your finances separated, but neither of you are sold on completely combining into one account, a common option to consider is to open a primary joint checking account, but also keep separate accounts.

  • The joint account can be used to pay the bills and for other household items.
  • The separate accounts can be used for individual spending money.

This option can work well, especially if your spending habits slightly differ. You can always add each other to your personal accounts if you don’t feel comfortable keeping it completely separate.

The challenge with the 3 account option can come when one spouse makes more money than the other. Will you both contribute the same amount to the joint account each month or will it be based on a percentage of your income? In this situation it’s important to come up with a solution that is fair and acceptable to both parties.

It all goes back to having open & honest communication and doing what works best for your particular situation.

Wheeler Holly Headshot_croppedHolly Wheeler is a Vice President and Private Banking officer for First National Bank of NWA She has 14 years of banking experience in the NWA market. She obtained her bachelors degree from the University of Arkansas and is an Honor’s Graduate from the Arkansas Bankers Association’s School of Lending. She is a Sustaining member and past board member of the Junior League of NWA, as well as the treasurer for both the NWA Delta Delta Delta Alumni Association and Housing Corporation. She is the proud mom to her sons Ross and Charlie and wife to her husband Britton.

5 Minutes with a D-Mom: Lori Gladden

lori gladden

Name: Lori Gladden

Children’s names and ages: Maddison age 7, Tristin age 5

What’s one movie you could watch over and over? Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Tell us about some traditions you’ve started with your kids? Every Christmas Eve we make homemade pizzas and open presents at my parents house.

Where does your family love to play in NWA? We love going to Devil’s Den and walking the trails.

What’s something your friends might not know about you? I have always dreamed of starting an orphanage.

If you could vacation anywhere in the world this summer, where would it be? I would love to travel Europe.

What are your favorite hobbies? Hiking and swimming

What’s something you have always wanted to learn? Sign Language

Which three things do you always have with you? Tea/Coffee, my phone and snacks.

Tell us about what it’s like to have a child with Type 1 diabetes: 

I have thought about this questions for a few days. For us, Type 1 diabetes is just a part of our life we have to manage and has been since Maddie was 20 months old. As a mom of a young child living with Type 1 diabetes, I am always on the go checking blood sugars, counting carbs, dispensing insulin while balancing our everyday living needs.

I am So thankful I have a wonderful husband. At the end of the day I am just a mom doing what it takes to ensure my family is taken care of.

For more information about living with Type 1 diabetes check out this video we made with Maddie:

What’s something you’d like other people to know about T1D?

Maddie is a child first who happens to live with Type 1 diabetes. She is able to eat and do everything any other child can, we just have to plan ahead for it.

How do you wind down at the end of the day? Hot tea and catch up on my shows.

One word to sum me up … I would pick determined. I asked my husband and he said Spunky.