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Giveaway: Tickets to the Washington County Fair!

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One of my family’s favorite Northwest Arkansas traditions is attending the Washington County Fair in Fayetteville.

For 13 years, we’ve visited the animals, walked through the exhibition halls, eaten ourselves sick on fair food and whirled and twirled on the rides.

Of course, the Washington County Fair  — which is the largest county fair in the state — has been running for much longer than 13 years. It was founded in 1857. How cool is that?

This year, the fair will be on Sept. 1-5. If you’d like to take your kids this year and have some tickets already in your pocket, we’ve got you covered. We’ve got $100 worth of fair tickets to give away!

Heads-up: It’s $5 for ages 6 and up to get into the fair except on Tuesday night when it’s only $2 (with a canned food item). The carnival midway opens at 5 p.m. every day, except for noon on Saturday.

ferris wheelHOW TO ENTER: If you’d like to win the $100 worth of tickets, just click on the words “leave a comment” at the bottom of this post and tell us your favorite memory from the Washington County Fair. If you’ve never been, tell us what you love about county fairs. The funny-looking chickens? The ferris wheel? The nostalgia?

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.

(You can also earn an extra chance to win by signing up to receive the free email newsletter we send once a week. Click here to sign up.)

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.

We’ll choose a winner on Friday afternoon, mamas! Good luck!

CLICK HERE to visit the newly-remodeled Washington County Fair website to find out more! CLICK HERE to like them on Facebook and see the latest news!

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Devotion in Motion: A special cousin

11 “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.   Matthew 11:11 (NKJV)

 By Bro. John L. Cash

I’ve always believed that a person’s cousins are very special people. After all, our first-cousins are our very closest kin next to our brothers and sisters;  we share the same grandparents.  My Grandpa and Grandma Cash had seven grandchildren: Richard, Jeanne, Joe Thelbert, Dale, Linda, Cathie (my sister), and me. My father was “the baby” in his father’s family, and I am my father’s “baby.” So that makes me the youngest of all the cousins.

I got some sad news during the first part of July. Our oldest cousin, Richard Wayne Cash, had passed away in his sleep with a stroke at the age of 78. When I cousinsheard the news, it was like getting hit in the chest with something. But then I thought, “No, I can be all right with this. Richard is with the Lord, and that is what he wanted all his life. He is receiving the object of his faith.”

It comforted me, too, to think that Richard would be very glad to get to see his loved ones in Heaven. Every year there are more and more members of the Cash family there. Two of the cousins—Thelbert and Linda—have been there a long time.

I adore all my cousins. But I’m pretty sure that Richard was my favorite of them all. You’d think that my other cousins would be mad because I’m saying that. But I really don’t think I’m going to get in any trouble with them. If you pinned them down on the subject, I’m pretty sure they would say that Richard was their favorite cousin, too.

There are a lot of reasons for that—and I’ll try to tell you more in future stories. But mostly, Richard was just such a good, kind, loving person. He was like a Snickers bar. You can slice through a Snickers bar and everything in there is good. You can look the whole world over, and there is really nothing more beautiful than a person who has the Lord living inside.

Did you know that the Lord Jesus had a cousin? Jesus’ cousin was John the Baptist. From what I read in the Scriptures, Jesus thought that John was wonderful. In Matthew 11:11 He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist….” That’s quite a ringing endorsement; I mean, when the Son of God says that you’re the greatest man who ever lived, who can top that?

I’m sure you remember from Sunday School that John the Baptist’s life came to a sad end. His enemies cut off his head and put it on a platter. John’s disciples came and buried his body. And the Scriptures say that Jesus went off by Himself, away from other people. You have to know that His heart was broken.

We’re called as Christians to love everyone. But it’s normal and right to have a special kind of love for the members of our family. And it’s holy to grieve when we remember the lives of our loved ones. Tears are always the price we pay for loving someone.

Especially when we think of our cousins.

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 30 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 people have frequently heard about Richard in sermons, even though they never met him.)  Their kids include Spencer (age 24), his wife Madeline (age 24), and Seth (age 21).

The Rockwood Files: Back to school, back to reality

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

By the time this column prints, the Rockwood children will be back at school. Summer’s slower pace will end and we’ll shift into a different gear as we hit the back-to-school freeway. Crisp new backpacks are lined up on hooks by the door, and the No. 2 pencils have freshly sharpened points and perfectly pink erasers.

Most parents are either thrilled about the kids going back to school or sad to see them go, but I find myself stuck somewhere in the middle. I love watching the kids enjoy an unstructured summer – the leisurely afternoon board games, swimming with friends, movie marathons and playing outside until 9 o’clock on some nights.

But as a work-from-home mom, I’ve seen my work days go from being predictably productive to completely chaotic. I’ve spent the past 10 weeks schlepping my laptop around with me so I could squeeze in a few extra minutes of writing time while waiting for a dance camp or a swim team practice to end.

One day while waiting and working in yet another parking lot, a man came up to my tinted driver’s side window and knocked on the glass. I was deep in thought and seven paragraphs into a new essay when the knock jolted me back into the moment. Startled, I lowered the window a few inches and peered out at him.

“Oh, I wasn’t sure anybody was in there,” he said. “I thought someone had accidentally left their engine running.”

“Nope. I’m just in here working,” I said, gesturing toward the laptop propped open between me and the steering wheel.

free wifi“Oh, okay,” he said, looking slightly confused. He walked away mostly likely wondering what kind of weirdo has a mobile office in the middle of a dance studio parking lot. But this summer I’ve learned exactly which parking lots have free Wi-Fi access, and I know how to park so the hot sun doesn’t shine on my computer screen. If I slide the car’s center console forward as far as it will go, I can fit my mousepad and wireless mouse on it in a position that you could almost call comfortable, in a pinch.

Deadlines don’t care if your son has to be driven to basketball camp or if you’ve got to pick your daughter up from Vacation Bible School. They don’t care about summer or snow cones or slowing down, so I’ve learned to work when and where I can.

The start of the new school year will give me back a block of uninterrupted work time during the day while the kids are away, and I’ll spend less time washing the unending loads of beach towels used during countless trips to the pool. Summer’s free-wheeling unpredictability will give way to the school year’s schedule. “It’ll be good,” I reassure myself. “Time to get back to normal.”

But part of me knows that every time I snap the annual back-to-school photo, I’m one year closer to the day our kids will pack up their stuff and go off to college. They won’t need me to pick them up from basketball practice. And no one will climb into the car in her ballet leotard and ask if we can get ice cream on the way home. The house will be still and quiet and empty, and what if that just kills me?

So yes, the start of a new school year is good and necessary and, in many ways, a welcome change. But the thought of seeing them leave for college during an August in the not-so-distant future, leaves me wishing that summer would last just a little while longer.

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.

On Sale! Appliances at Metro Appliances & More

big_sale_tagMamas, if one of your appliances is hanging on by a thread, this might be a good time to retire it and get a new one. There’s a HUGE sale right now in the Scratch & Dent room at Metro Appliances & More. I’ve personally bought appliances from this area for my own home and so has Shannon.

The scratch or dent is usually so minor that you wouldn’t even see it unless someone pointed it out to you. But the difference in the price is noticeable, which will make the family budget very happy.

One nwaMotherlode reader messaged us yesterday on Instagram to tell us that she got a washer, dryer, huge fridge and a double oven for $2,700 TOTAL. Congrats, Mama! (She shopped on the opening day of the sale, which was Thursday the 20th.)

So grab your purse and get out there quickly because the sale only runs through this Saturday, August 22nd. (The store closes at 3 p.m.)

If you have a question about the sale, call Metro at 479-750-5200. The showroom is located at 5700 N. Thompson in Springdale. (That’s U.S. 71 Business, on the edge of Springdale but pretty close to Lowell.)

Tell them the Mamas of Motherlode sent you. ;-)

Happy shopping!

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Back to School Picture Collage!

How did the first week of school go?

back-to-school3We hope your kids had a great week and are starting to settle into the groove of a new school year.

Earlier this week, we kicked off back-to-school week with a few photos shared by moms whose kids started hitting the books in early August at year-round schools or at charter schools. See those photos by clicking here.

The photos below were shared by moms whose kids started school this week all over Northwest Arkansas. Thank you for sharing these snapshots, mamas! It’s fun to see the excitement of that first day come to life in these great shots. Enjoy, and Happy Friday!

kathleen collagekristy1

angela1

whitney

christi

jodi1

heidicollagerockwood collageHave a GREAT school year!