THE LIFESTYLE MANUAL FOR THE MODERN MOM
OCTOBER 2016 Â· THESAVVYMOMS.COM
MEET THE BURKHALTER GIRLS ON PAGE 20.
10 UNDER 10
GET DEVILISHLY DECORATIVE
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Now she is using her mind. She remembers. She
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imagines. She creates.
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of paper and ask her to draw a flower.
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OCTOBER 2016 THERE ARE LOTS OF SPOOKY EVENTS HAPPENING THIS MONTH!
MODERN MOM 14 MAMA SAID
IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S ME: THE ROLE PARENTS PLAY IN TOO MUCH SCREEN TIME
16 MIND, BODY & SOUL ALIGN YOUR SPINE
SAVVY FAMILY 18 SAVVY STYLE
20 MOTHER, MODEL, CANCER SURVIVOR
PENNY BURKHALTER SHARES HER SURVIVAL STORY
24 THROW A FRONT YARD MONSTER BASH
HALLOWEEN FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
32 10 UNDER 10
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT FOR THESE KIDS
IN EVERY ISSUE
MEET NYLA AND THE REST OF OUR 10 UNDER 10!
6 EDITOR’S NOTE 10 NEWS & NOTES
CALENDAR & FOOD REVIEW
12 ROAD TRIP MORRILTON
38 BAG CHECK BETH HALL
ON THE COVER: (FROM LEFT) ANNA GRACE, PENNY AND JOHNNA KAY BURKHALTER. PHOTOGRAPHY BY LILY DARRAGH.
OCTOBER 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
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THESAVVYMOMS.COM We work with a variety of private insurance providers as well as ARKids 1st, Medicaid, TEFRA and TRICARE. | OCTOBER 2016
October is my favorite month. Every weekend seems to be jam-packed with festivals and community events, and if we cross our fingers, the weather may finally cool enough to let us enjoy being outside. News & Notes on page 10 is filled with events like the Arkansas Cornbread Festival, Boo at the Zoo and the Arkansas State Fair that you'll definitely want to add to your calendar. Log on to thesavvymoms.com for an extended version! It's also time for another one of the state's largest annual events, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Oct. 22. So many of us have been affected by breast cancer, whether personally or through a mother, wife, grandmother or daughter who's battled it. Our cover story this month features the unique story of survivor Penny Burkhalter, who was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer at the young age of 32 just out of her first trimester of pregnancy. Penny graciously opened up to talk about tough choices, fears and finding the ability to trust her instincts during what was the most difficult time in her life. We also introduce Savvy's 10 Under 10 on page 32. This is another impressive bunch of kids with bright futures ahead! The main reason October is my favorite month is because of Halloween—it's my absolute favorite holiday—and this issue is full of great ideas on how to celebrate with the kids. Kerry Guice threw a front yard Monster Bash and shared ideas for snacks, crafts and costumes your kids will love on page 24. Savvy Style on page 18 takes a look at some great decor, costumes and more from both local and national retailers to make the holiday complete. At my house, we start talking about our costume ideas in August, and pull out the bins of spooky decor in September. The kids love helping with the decorations and getting into the Halloween spirit. It feels like Christmas when we unwrap each orange-and-black figurine to arrange on the mantel, and the outside of our home is enough to scare most small children—but our kids are pretty good sports about it. I hope you'll take some time to get in the Halloween spirit this month. Curl up on the couch and watch a scary movie (I recommend "The Descent" if it's just adults, and "The Nightmare Before Christmas" is a classic for kids), brainstorm creative costume ideas, carve a pumpkin with the little ones and release your inner ghoul!
Skeletons are scaling our house!
Amy Gordy Editor, Savvy @SavvyAR
OCTOBER 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
PHOTOGRAPHY: LILY DARRAGH
A MONTH FILLED WITH WICKED FUN
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OCTOBER 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
contributors OCTOBER 2016
KERRY GUICE is a food blogger and photographer living in Little Rock with her husband, two kids and their dog. When she’s not sharing her latest meal on Instagram, Kerry is planning her family’s next Arkansas adventure or crafting with her creative tots.
LILY DARRAGH is a photographer in Little Rock. She studied photography at Parsons the New School of Design in New York. Currently working out of a photography studio in downtown Little Rock, Lily loves to shoot people and places unique to Arkansas.
KD REEP is a writer and public relations practitioner in Little Rock. She owns Flywrite Communications, Inc., a public relations agency, and is the PR director for Mass Enthusiasm, a fullservice marketing communications firm in Little Rock.
YOUR HOPES. YOUR STORY. OUR FOCUS. For over 130 years, Centers for Youth and Families has remained true to our mission to build socially and emotionally healthy children, families, and communities. The Centers’ Outpatient Clinic provides same day access for treatment to help address emotional needs today, when you need it most. Our trauma-focused care throughout our programs helps children, teens, young adults, and thier families find hope, learn resilience, and rediscover possible.
Little Rock • Monticello 501.666.8686 or 888.868.0023 www.cfyf.org
DWAIN HEBDA is a writer and editor living in Little Rock. He and his wife, Darlene, are the parents of four grown children. The empty nesters spend their time traveling, working out and spoiling their two dogs.
@TheCentersAR THESAVVYMOMS.COM | OCTOBER 2016
news & notes
AbleTalks, a nonprofit based in Fayetteville that provides educational and emotional support to adults with autism, is hosting its first Print Gala at the Fayetteville Old Post Office. The event will feature limited edition prints donated by 25 artists working globally in illustration, animation and fine art. abletalks.org.
"Sawyer" By Ashly Lovett
Check out kid-friendly activities at the 25th Anniversary Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival. The festival runs Oct. 7-16, but special children’s programming is scheduled throughout the day on Oct. 9. Activities include an appearance by Clifford the Big Red Dog; entertainment by Justin Time, the Juggling Balloon Art Fun Man; an afternoon block of family-friendly short documentary films; a live comedic performance by Magic Man Jimmy Rhodes; and much more. hsdfi.org.
Things are going to get spooky at Boo at the Zoo! This fun, annual Halloween festival at the Little Rock Zoo is filled with age-appropriate fun for the whole family. Enjoy trick-or-treating, decorations, attractions and more. littlerockzoo.com.
10 OCTOBER 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
SUSAN G. KOMEN RACE FOR THE CURE IN LITTLE ROCK!
It’s officially fall when the Arkansas State Fair comes to town! Enjoy a day filled with rides, great fair food, livestock competitions, creative arts contests, interesting attractions, professional bull riding and much more at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds. arkansasstatefair.com. Enjoy an evening of chef-created treats and cocktails at the Capital Hotel with the Thea Foundation at Blue Plate Special, formerly known as the Governor’s Culinary Challenge. This event raises money for the Thea Foundation’s scholarship program and is chaired by South on Main chef Matthew Bell. theafoundation.org.
Get all the cornbread you can eat at the beloved Arkansas Cornbread Festival in the South Main neighborhood. Help raise money for the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, Our House and studioMAIN while enjoying live music, family fun, vendors and, of course, cornbread. arkansascornbreadfestival.com.
PHOTOGRAPHY: COURTESY OF VENDORS
NATIONAL TACO DAY!
ALL ABOARD FOR A GOOD TIME! KIDS AND ADULTS HAVE A TIMELESS FASCINATION WITH TRAINS. ALL ABOARD RESTAURANT & GRILL IN LITTLE ROCK INCORPORATES THAT WITH GREAT, KID-FRIENDLY FOOD DELIVERED TO THE TABLE VIA LOCOMOTIVE TO CREATE THE PERFECT RECIPE FOR A RESTAURANT BOTH KIDS AND PARENTS WILL ENJOY. HERE’S WHAT 10-YEAR-OLD JACKSON CASE (AND HIS MOM, KERRI) HAD TO SAY ABOUT ALL ABOARD: SAVVY: WHAT DID YOU ORDER? JACKSON: My mom and I both had cheeseburgers. S: WHAT DID YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR FOOD? J: I thought the cheeseburger tasted good, but my dad still makes the best cheeseburgers. I liked the way the food came to the table: by train. S: WHAT DID YOU LIKE ABOUT THE RESTAURANT’S ATMOSPHERE? J: I liked the chairs. (Mom’s note: They were typical booths, but he insisted they were super comfortable.) My mom liked that they served wine and beer. S: WOULD YOU COME BACK AND EAT HERE WITH FRIENDS? J: I think it would be fun with friends. S: WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT THE RESTAURANT? J: I would have some more things for older kids like me. I’m 10 years old. Most things there were for younger kids. S: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT TO A FRIEND? J: It’s good if you like trains.
BEST FIELD TRIP EVER! presented by
ArkansasStateFair.com HERE’S WHAT MADISON HAD TO SAY:
COCA-COLA KIDDIE DAYS October 17 & 21 Ages 6 and under can ride Kiddie Rides free from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Free gate admission for adults bringing kiddies. (Parking included.)
FFA/FCCLA, SCOUT DAY & 4-H DAY October 22
DISCOUNT GROUP RATES AVAILABLE!
$3 gate admission for FFA/FCCLA students, Scouts and 4-H members, sponsors and bus drivers.
Visit our website for information on services, upcoming events, and access to our resources! Kidsourcetherapy.com Services We Provide: •Early Intervention Services •Therapy Evaluations •Speech/Language Therapy •Occupational Therapy •Physical Therapy
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Benton• Hot Springs • Little Rock• North Little Rock• Arkadelphia• Malvern THESAVVYMOMS.COM | OCTOBER 2016
October is the perfect month to get out and enjoy one of Arkansas’s most beautiful state parks. There is plenty to see and do in and around Petit Jean State Park, from horseback riding to exploring museums, waterfalls, petting zoos and more.
GRAB A BIG BURGER
DRIVE BACK IN TIME
Kids will love viewing more than 50 antique vehicles ranging from a 1904 Oldsmobile French Front to a 1967 Ford Ranchero at the Museum of Automobiles. The majority of vehicles predate 1950, so expect lots of “oohs” and “ahhs” from both kids and adults. 8 Jones Lane, 501727-5427, museumofautos.com.
R FUN IS THE OUTDOO TIT JEAN PE ENDLESS AT , FISH KE HI ! RK STATE PA TO THE AND DROP IN TER FOR VISITORS CEN ! IR A SOUVEN
MEET THE ANIMALS
Feed, pet and snuggle the furry creatures at the Barnyard Friends & Stables. It’s an educational petting zoo with a playground, picnic area, pony rides for the little ones and horseback riding. 110 Jones Lane, 501-208-7287, barnyardfriends.net.
12 OCTOBER 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
WHERE TO STAY
There are plenty of overnight options in the state park. Mather Lodge is the only lodge built in Arkansas by the Civilian Conservation Corps. It fills up fast, so call well in advance to book a room. Amenities include a beautiful restaurant and outdoor swimming pool. For more rustic digs, check out the yurts, cabins and campgrounds. 1-800-264-2462, petitjeanstatepark.com.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND TOURISM/JASON MASTERS FOR ARKANSAS WILD
The whole family will love the Morrilton Drive-Inn Restaurant. The menu includes classics like burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, barbecue, catfish and plate dinners. Kids will marvel over the extra large Super Cheeseburger. Don’t skip dessert! Grab a fried pie on your way out. 1601 Oak St., 501-354-8343.
Have A Howling Ghoul Time! 21st Annual
pick up a game card for prize drawings!
ENJOY A SAFE AND FUN HALLOWEEN THURS., OCT. 27 FROM 5:30 PM TO 8:30 PM • Trick-or-treating • Fun and games • Safe and accessible for children and families
• Arkansas Arts Center • Dickey-Stephens Park • Historic Arkansas Museum • Little Rock Visitor Center at Curran Hall • MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History (partnering with the Firehouse Hostel & Museum) • Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (partnering with the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site) • Museum of Discovery • Old State House Museum (partnering with the Arkansas Secretary of State) • Witt Stephens Jr. Nature Center • Arkansas Maritime Museum (partnering with North Little Rock Heritage Center) SPONSORED BY:
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT LITTLEROCK.COM
PUBLIC EDUCATION: PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES
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Choose PCSSD schools for– Certified teachers with advanced degrees Test scores higher than other local districts Millions awarded in college scholarships Talented and Gifted programs State-winning sports teams 1;1 tech program providing iPads, Chromebooks Facilities upgrades and new schools underway pcssd.org
501.234.2000 THESAVVYMOMS.COM | OCTOBER 2016
IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S ME The Role Parents Play in Too Much Screen Time
e recently canoed and tent camped the Buffalo River with friends. A gaggle of kids from ages 3 to 12 swam and played and explored and—wait for it—used their imaginations. We held real conversations and observed the stars together, which are so much clearer and brighter away from the lights of the city, aren’t they? Not once did an electronic tablet grace their grubby fingers. There were no requests for tablets or phones, to my knowledge. And yeah, so it was just a few days and they were busy skipping rocks and making s’mores. But you know what? In their downtime, they worked together to build a five-station make-believe spa, complete with a meditation center. They dug in the sand and built river rock towers. They learned to paddle a canoe. It’s true that camping trips are special and rare occasions; and, of course, kids are entertained when taken out of their element and into the great outdoors. Home is where screen time gets to be a problem. This topic has come up several times recently among other moms I know. It seems every household that owns a tablet or television has difficulty deciding how much is too much. If your house is like mine— and everyone else’s—kids think there’s never enough screen time. If I turn my head for five minutes, someone has found a tablet or switched on the TV. It’s habit now. And by habit, I mean habit. Did you know, research that took images of brains using technology like tablets, phones and game consoles has shown the same effects to the frontal cortex as cocaine? And clinical studies show that too much screen time increases anxiety and aggression, depression—even loss of touch with reality. No wonder we have such a hard time peeling tablets away from our kids. And no wonder they’re agitated and angry when we do. When I read this information my initial thoughts were, “Oh, not my kids. They don’t have enough screen time to be affected like that. It’s just here and there.” But then I started paying attention. Instead of a book or a Lego, they reach for their iPads at every free moment, and many that aren’t free. They’ve watched so many home video feeds from the YouTube Kids app they’ve started singing the homemade theme songs. In no time at all they’ll be little robot children, I just know it. “I. Want. iPad. I. Want. iPad.”
My husband and I conducted an experiment. A weekend at home without screen time resulted in noticeably less fighting among siblings. They paid better attention and, gasp!, obeyed without having to be asked 16 times. There were no Chernobyl-level meltdowns when asked to put the tablets away because…there were no tablets. One child reported reading a book, but like trees in the forest, if no parent is there to see the book being read, did it really happen? What role do we parents play in our kids’ addictions to screen time? I recently discovered with horror that I may be the lead, or at least the supporting character. Even with the topic weighing heavily on my mind, when my 3-year-old came into the kitchen whining about some wrong her brother had done, I said without thinking, “Just go get your iPad and sit down for a few minutes.” And to be honest, many times I’m glad to have an hour to pick up the house and make dinner unencumbered by their incessant demands. Before a long car trip, we load the tablets up with movies so the kids will veg out in the backseat and we can drive in peace. Last week I let them take their tablets onto the deck as some sort of partial-credit compromise for getting fresh air. What?? Someone has seriously gotten off course here, and it’s not the kids. Where does the buck stop in this scenario? With me. So, what are we parents to do? Do we become e-totalers and sell off every tablet and smart phone and declare the house tech-free? Do we set strict limits? If we go with limits, how much time should kids get per day? Per week? Here’s what I know: Restrictions range from household to household. Some families have no restrictions. Others allow an hour per day. Some are OK with an hour only on the weekends, and though I don’t know anyone personally who does this, I read that some people are refusing any kinds of phones or tablets before age 10. At our house, we’ve put the restriction at an hour per day, and trust me when I tell you, I have a hard time admitting that. It seems like an awful lot. This is our test run, and it may very well change in the near future. But, we’re making a conscious effort to redirect the kids to books or trucks or baby dolls when they can’t resist the call of technology. How do you handle screen time in your house? I would love to know—this imperfect mom could use the advice! TIME TO TRADE YOUR SCREENS FOR THE GREAT OUTDOORS!
Jen Holman is often irreverent and frequently imperfect. But she’s happy, by God, and that’s what matters. She lives in Little Rock with her husband and three children, striking that delicate balance between inspiration and frustration. Jen has published three novels under the pen name Jen Crane, the second of which was selected by iTunes/ iBooks as “Our Pick” in fantasy sci-fi.
14 OCTOBER 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Meet Leila. She came to Friendship Community Care and learned how to walk. We see success stories happen every day. To learn more about FCC programs for children with disabilities, please call us directly at 1-800-461-1793 or visit www.fccare.org. Now offering fun, healthy, educational opportunities at 11 locations throughout Arkansas.
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | OCTOBER 2016
mind, body & soul
ALIGN YOUR SPINE
It’s hard to stand up straight when you’re carrying the world on your shoulders BY KD REEP Take care of your neck and back to lift with more ease.
Caring for your neck and back may seem like one more thing you have to add to your to-do list, but viewing it as self-care will allow you to maintain your health and continue to lift the load with a little more ease. Here are a few ways to help you align your spine and your priorities: 1. Relax your back. Sleep is the body’s way of repairing and rejuvenating itself, and if you wake up with a sore, stiff back or neck, your body has to work overtime to heal. Make sure you have a comfortable bed and pillows that support your spine and allow you to sleep with minimal, if any, interruptions. 2. Give your spine some support. Those six-pack abs are good for more than an envious glance or two. Exercise your body’s core muscles in your lower back and abdominals, which will relieve the pressure from and support your spine. Yoga is a good way to exercise all the muscles in your body while focusing your attention and providing total body relaxation. You can take any number of classes throughout central Arkansas, watch YouTube videos for instruction or workout with a friend to stay motivated. 3. When tension, stress and old injuries become too much, consider a massage. Whether performed by a massage therapist or a loved one, massage increases your blood flow and circulation, decreases tension and releases endorphins. When you combine massage with a good night’s sleep and a strong core, your neck and back will be much more flexible and forgiving of each day’s tasks.
efting the responsibility of family, work, home and community commitments can take a physical toll in the form of neck and back pain. Sometimes, it’s tension and stress. Other times, spinal pain can indicate a more serious cause. For chronic or undiagnosed pain in the neck or back, it’s vital to seek the counsel of a physician trained in spinal conditions. “When dealing with neck and back pain, core strengthening and stretching of the spine is essential to make it stronger and more resistant to injury,” said Dr. Justin Seale, a spine surgeon who works at CHI St. Vincent. “We pursue nonsurgical intervention through physical therapy, rehabilitation and pain management. Neck and back pain, especially if radiating, can greatly affect your quality of life and prevent you from doing things you enjoy. See a doctor to diagnose your problem. There are customized treatment plans that can help you get back to life,” he said. When the world gets to be too much to tote, put it down for a while and have your own back. Your neck and spine will thank you.
16 OCTOBER 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
4. Give flip-flops the cold shoulder. Shoes support your lower back, which supports your upper back, which supports your neck and head. Without the right shoes giving you a sturdy and comfortable foundation, your neck and back don’t stand a chance of staying in alignment. Instead of flip-flops and heels for daily wear, choose shoes that fit well and support your entire foot. 5. Seek out a professional. If you’ve done all these things but your neck and back pain still lingers, consider going to a chiropractor or other medical professional. Getting your spine in alignment can relieve pain in your muscles, joints, bones and connective tissue. Through hands-on manipulation and other alternative treatments, a chiropractor can help your body heal without surgery or medication. In particular, a chiropractor can help treat headaches, neck pain and osteoarthritis in addition to muscle strains from overuse.
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THESAVVYMOMS.COM | OCTOBER 2016
A SPECIAL SAVVY ADVERTISING SECTION
Devilishly Decorative Inject some Halloween spirit with these spooky and kooky party, costume and decor ideas
2 Rhea Drug
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DRESS UP THE REFRESHMENT TABLE!
THIS STYISH BLACK CAT CAN'T BE BAD LUCK!
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18 OCTOBER 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
WE LOVE THIS SMILING JACK-O'LANTERN!
PHOTOGRAPHY: BRIAN CHILSON/COURTESY VENDORS
PERFECT TO CARRY YOUR CANDY LOOT!
EVERYONE WANTS TO BE A MERMAID!
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COLOR/HIGHLIGHTS 1. This Melissa & Doug mermaid costume with a flared tail and seashell tiara is perfect for any kid who would love to trade in their legs for a set of fins. Available at The Wonder Place, Little Rock, thewonderplace.com. 2. Make trick-or-treating easy with a Two's Company glow-in-the-dark Halloween bag. Available at Rhea Drug, Little Rock, 501-663-4131. 3. Whether you are serving mocktails or cocktails, these 2-liter bottle labels will put a little more spook in your drink. Package includes four labels. Available at Party City, partycity.com. 4. Your living room will be spook-tacular with this soft, felt decorative pillow. It's 11-by-11 inches and unbelievably soft. Available at Pottery Barn Kids, potterybarnkids.com. 5. Make your jack-o'-lantern stand apart with these fun Pumpkin Buck Teeth. Just carve a big smile and stick in the teeth for a funny grin! Available at Party City, partycity.com.
THE TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT
Do you have or know a kid with food allergies? Halloween can be more trick than treat for kids who are trying to navigate food allergies and still get in on the festive fun. If you want to pass out allergy-friendly, non-food treats this year set out a teal pumpkin to let parents and kids know your home is food-allergy friendly!
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everything for the
HERE ARE SOME GREAT NON-FOOD ALTERNATIVES TO HAND OUT: Spider rings | Vampire fangs | Spooky pencils Stickers | Tattoos | Glow sticks | Bubbles | Bracelets Notepads | Paper masks | Rubber critters | Crayons
MODERN MOM in one place. stay in the loop. sign up for our enewsletter. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | OCTOBER 2016
CANCER SURVIVOR Penny Burkhalter received an unexpected breast cancer diagnosis at the young age of 32, just out of her first trimester of pregnancy. Her inspirational story is one of courage, hope, sacrifice, hard decisions and faith.
BY DWAIN HEBDA PHOTOGRAPHY BY LILY DARRAGH
20 OCTOBER 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Penny Burkhalter always wanted to be a mom. Growing up the fifth of six children, home was a place of noise and constant activity. And while her own brood is substantially smaller—16-year-old Johnna Kay and 13-year-old Anna Grace— the daily shuttle between dance, pom squad, school and church is the very breath of her life.
“As a mother,” she said, “Well, I feel like it’s one of the best jobs that I’ve ever been able to do in my life. There are so many working mothers these days who have careers and everything, but I just never felt that, honestly. I was raised in a big family and I knew that I always wanted to be a mother, that was my No. 1 thing.” As Burkhalter speaks, she and the girls are on their way to the first football game of the new school year, and a touch of wonder enters her voice pondering where the time has gone. She marvels at how her babies have grown into graceful, athletic young women close in age, yet so much their own person. “You keep thinking, ‘Oh I wish they’d get through the diaper phase’ and then you can’t wait until they start school and then you start a whole different phase,” she said. “Now we’re into the teenage years, and the driving and the other things that go with that. Each of my children’s lives has been so different. Each one has been fulfilling but at times challenging.” She pauses. “So far, so good.” It’s an incredibly nonchalant summary of Burkhalter’s road. When she was 32 and still glowing in the discovery she was pregnant with Anna Grace, she and her husband, John, were slammed to earth by Penny’s diagnosis of breast cancer, the first in her family. “I was diagnosed when I was about three months into my pregnancy,” she said. “Because of the type of cancer I had, and being pregnant, it was a little bit more aggressive, so we decided to do the surgery.” “The surgery” was a double mastectomy and it wasn’t the end of the story. When one of Penny’s lymph nodes showed evidence of cancer, her doctors urged chemotherapy. While that sounds counter-intuitive, research shows certain chemo poses relatively little danger to an unborn child if administered past the first trimester. Intellectually, Penny and John weighed their options based on advice from their doctors as well as other medical professionals within their wider circle of friends. Emotionally, the decision was gut-wrenching. “I’m not going to lie, it was probably a lot more emotional for me,” Penny said. “I was just so blown over by the whole diagnosis. I was told that I had cancer and within five days I was having surgery, you know, everything moved so quickly. It was so much to take in. “Initially they said we’ve got to focus mainly on you because we need you to be healthy to have a healthy pregnancy, but in my mind I could not focus on myself. I just remember praying that I was making the right decision for [my baby]. I just … I guess I knew in my heart that I was.” Though the chemotherapy posed little threat to her unborn child, its effect on Penny hit with some savagery, as she learned during five treatments between February and May 2003. Along the way, she also discovered that while she may only have been carrying her second baby, she had a far bigger family than she knew. “I had family members and friends and an outpouring from people I didn’t even know,” she said. “They’d show up at my house and help me and bring food to us.” Anna Grace was born perfect and screaming with joy. Penny said she remembers the run-up to the scheduled C-section, and the rush of emotions upon learning her newborn was the picture of health. “Gosh, that day couldn’t get here fast enough, just knowing she was going to come out and be perfect,” she said. “Anyone who has children knows what that day is like, you wish every day could be like that, you can just never get enough of it. And knowing that she was here and that she was healthy, it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. All the emotions of being a mother.” The Burkhalters’ calculated decisions not only yielded a healthy daughter, but stopped Penny’s cancer in its tracks. As the family settled into a new normalcy, parenting their two girls, Penny found it natural to be the kind of mom who could talk easily about the scariest of topics, even with the people she loves most.
THE INSIDE SCOOP with PENNY WHERE WERE YOU BORN? North Little Rock. WHERE DID YOU GO TO HIGH SCHOOL? Cabot High School. WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL? My mother has been such a great role model. She is a true example of what a mother should be. She selflessly raised me and my five brothers and sisters. She taught us how to be loving, compassionate and always encouraged us to be the best we can be. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A PARENT? The hardest thing about being a parent is realizing that they aren’t always going to like you. Also, allowing them to make their own mistakes. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A PARENT? The best thing about being a parent is getting to experience all the different stages in their lives—watching them grow and making memories. WHAT DO YOU ADMIRE MOST ABOUT YOUR HUSBAND? The thing I admire most about my husband is that he is truly the hardest-working person I know. He is loving and supportive and is a great father. WHAT ARE THREE THINGS STILL ON YOUR BUCKET LIST? Cage dive with great white sharks, go on an African safari and learn to scuba dive. WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX? Take a hot bath. WHAT IS ONE GOOD PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE PICKED UP ALONG THE WAY? To remember that every single day is a blessing. WHAT IS ONE THING MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU? I have a huge fascination with sharks. I love Shark Week! THESAVVYMOMS.COM | OCTOBER 2016
UNDER-40 BREAST CANCER STATS
Younger women face special challenges with breast cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most breast cancers occur in women 50 years of age and older. The American Cancer Society says only about 5 percent of cases, in fact, affect women under 40. Add to these statistics that across all age groups, 80 percent of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease, and it’s easy to see why the typical woman under 40 isn’t on the lookout for breast cancer. However, this still translates to 70,000 cases in women age 15 to 39 and 1,200 deaths annually in this age group. Younger women also tend to get more aggressive types of cancers, and have lower survival rates than older women. Incredibly, there is no effective breast cancerscreening tool for women under 40, according to Young Survival Coalition. This can be explained in part by the relative rarity of younger patients, which makes them under-represented in many research studies. The emotional toll of being diagnosed and undergoing treatment at a younger age can be overwhelming for a younger patient, combined with issues surrounding future fertility, body image and financial problems related to the disease. Education is critical; to learn more about breast cancer and early detection in young women, visit the American Cancer Society (cancer.org) or Young Survival Coalition (youngsurvival.org). RESOURCES Baptist Health Breast Center 501-202-1922; baptist-health.com Breast Cancer Clinic at UAMS 501-296-1200; uamshealth.com/breastcancer BreastCare This state-funded program provides breast and cervical cancer screening and services for eligible Arkansas women. Services include: mammograms, clinical breast exams, pelvic exams and pap tests; and follow-up testing, if needed. 501-661-2513; healthy.arkansas.gov. CHI St. Vincent Breast Center Locations in Little Rock and Hot Springs 800-527-3279; chistvincent.com Komen Arkansas, Race for the Cure and Runway for the Cause 501-202-4399; komenarkansas.org
22 OCTOBER 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Anna Grace, Penny and Johnna Kay Burkhalter, now 13 years after Penny's diagnosis.
“Well, initially it was brought up by the fact that there are scars and [the girls] asked me questions about that at an early age,” she said. “I would just explain to them mommy had breast cancer and they had to remove it to get rid of it so I could be healthy. As they’re getting older we talk about it more and they kind of bring things up. ‘How did it feel when you lost your hair?’ and all of those things. I just explain the emotions I went through. “Obviously, the girls realize I had cancer, but I don’t think they’ve completely grasped what the effects of this disease can do because, thankfully, they were both so little they don’t remember it,” she said. “They do ask me sometimes, you know ‘Does this mean that I’m going to get it?’ I tell them it’s not a guarantee, but obviously because we have a history of it now, they’re going to have to get screenings for things sooner than someone who doesn’t have a history of it,” Penny said. She’s also taken time to care for the other family birthed during that pregnancy, the community of cancer patients and survivors who walk the same road she did. She’s been to 13 Komen Races for the Cure and for about as many years has been involved with Runway for the Cure, a fashion show benefiting research that features survivors as models. It was a group she discovered in the most unusual way. “I was on the elevator coming from an OB appointment and I was pregnant and I didn’t have any hair and this lady, Evelyn Menz, said, ‘Do you have cancer?’ She started calling me and asking me to model as soon as I got through everything. I knew immediately that I wanted to be involved, because I could see the difference this made to someone who, after going through treatment and losing her hair, got to feel beautiful for a day.” The activity allows her to be inspired by patients older than her, and to act as a mom to the young women with their whole lives ahead of them, and who these days look an awful lot like her own daughters. It’s a tangible way to give back for the blessings her life holds. “It’s just overwhelming; it makes me tear up right now just thinking about it,” she said. “It was such a hard journey and it’s hard enough just being pregnant, but to do it while you’re going through cancer treatment …” Another pause. “It’s not anything you ever want to go through, for sure, but it has changed our lives and it’s made me so much more thankful for my children and everyone in my family.”
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THESAVVYMOMS.COM | OCTOBER 2016
Throw a Front Yard Monster BasH! HALLOWEEN IS A GREAT REASON TO THROW A FRONT YARD PARTY! INVITE YOUR KIDS’ FRIENDS TO TRICK-OR-TREAT IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, AND FOLLOW IT UP WITH A SPOOKY PARTY TO REMEMBER. IT’S A FUN, SAFE WAY TO CELEBRATE AND ENJOY ALL THE CLEVER COSTUMES!
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY KERRY GUICE CONTINUED ON PAGE 29.
24 OCTOBER 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE THIS HALLOWEEN?
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THESAVVYMOMS.COM | OCTOBER 2016
WE HAVE ALL YOUR FAVORITE
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PARTY INSPIRATION I’ve always enjoyed Halloween, but having kids brings it to another level of fun! It takes my kids the entire month to choose their costumes, and they get so excited to trick-or-treat with their friends. It’s always hard to choose where and with whom to go trick-or-treating, and I hate feeling like we missed seeing friends in their costumes, so I’ve decided setting up a front yard party is the best way to see the most people! Visit with friends and neighbors as they trick-or-treat around the neighborhood, and let the kids get their fill of sugar while running around with their buddies. It always seems that I underestimate how much time it takes to get us all ready for the evening, which means that easy snacks and treats are the key to a fun night with no stress! No real cooking involved, just assembly, and most everything can be done the day before! All the party supplies you need can be found at Party City, so you don’t have to run around town looking for them, and while you’re there, grab your costumes! After a spooky night of partying and playing, not even all the candy in their treat bags will keep them from a good night’s sleep! Happy Halloween!
REESE AND LILLY SHARE A PLATE OF SNACKS!
MAKE RADIOACTIVE PUNCH WITH LEMONADE AND A FEW DROPS OF FOOD COLORING!
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | OCTOBER 2016
LILA IS A CHOCOLATELOVING KITTEN!
spooky Party Snack Ideas 1. CHEESY GHOSTS
Draw a ghost’s face on the blank side of wrapped mozzarella string cheese. It's healthy and spooky!
2. DRACULA DONUTS
Fit vampire teeth in the middle of a donut. It's a snack and a party favor!
3. HALLOWEEN CHOCOLATE BARK
Melt different colors of chocolate and swirl them together. Top with festive sprinkles, candies and sugar googly eyes and let harden. Break into large pieces.
4. MUMMY PRETZELS
Dip pretzels in white chocolate and let harden. Using a spoon, fill the top holes with more white chocolate, then add sugar googly eyes. Drizzle some of the white chocolate back and forth to make the mummy.
5. CARAMEL APPLE KABOBS
Cut apples into large chunks and skewer them with unwrapped caramel candies. Takes no time at all, and doesn’t leave a mess!
30 OCTOBER 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
CReepy crafts & games
IAN AND VIOLET MAKE CREEPY CRITTERS!
For activities, I like to choose one game and one craft. For a fun Halloween twist on bowling, paint some ghost faces on plastic bowling pins and use plastic skulls for the balls. Use a plastic witch’s caldron to hold the skulls. For an easy craft that doesn’t require an adult’s help, paint empty toilet paper rolls a variety of festive colors, tie some twine to the top, scatter craft supplies like pipe cleaners and googly eyes and glue, and let the kids make their own scary critters to hang around their house! This is always a fun hit with kids because they love having the freedom to make what they want, and they get to do it all by themselves (and it won’t break the bank)! OUR HOSTS BEN, KATHERINE, LILLY AND BENJAMIN BUTLER.
For the Adults Don't forget to take care of your grown-up guests! Encourage parents to get in the spirit and dress up as well. We provided a few "spirits" for them with an adult drink station filled with wine and beer. Add a spooky touch and leave an "eyeball" ping pong ball in the wine glasses! Popcorn is an easy, filling snack that kids and adults will both enjoy. If you have a popcorn machine, it can produce large quantities for your guests. Or, save time and buy it prepopped at the grocery store.
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | OCTOBER 2016
THIS GROUP IS MAKING BIG WAVES IN THE JUVENILE WORLD! SELECTED FROM READER NOMINATIONS BY PROUD PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS, THEY REPRESENT THE NEXT GENERATION OF ARKANSASâ€™S INNOVATORS AND VISIONARIES READY TO MAKE STRIDES IN ZOOLOGY, SPORTS, ENGINEERING, ART, CLOTHING DESIGN AND MORE. PHOTOGRAPHY BY LILY DARRAGH
32 OCTOBER 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
CAMILLE HAS DIMPLES AND DETERMINATION!
CAMILLE DION BROOKS
This bright, bubbly 6-year-old has plenty of personality to go around. She and her brother, Carter, are “Irish twins” at only 9 months apart. They live with their mom, Carmen Bradford, in Little Rock. Here’s what Mom had to say about her tenacious “twins”: Camille is the embodiment of a girlie girl. Pink frilly things, cheerleading, and an attitude as bright as the sun brings her and those around her nothing but laughs and joy. Math comes very easily to Camille. Her last teacher once expressed being worried about her attention span in class, but she knocked every test out the park!
CARTER IS A FUTURE FOOTBALL STAR AND ARTIST!
CARTER DEVIN BROOKS
Not afraid of any sport, Carter is on track to be an all-star on any team he plays for. Here’s what Mom had to say about her awesomely athletic 5-year-old: Carter is all boy down to his favorite muddy shoes because he can never resist jumping in puddles. He loves to color everything. He’ll color his face, and yours if you let him. He’s undoubtedly a future artist and mathematician-in-the-making, and he loves every sport!
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | OCTOBER 2016
MAYA'S PAINTINGS ARE ALREADY GALLERYWORTHY!
She’s a 7-year-old Picasso-in-the-making. Maya loves art and honing her skills in any medium she can get her hands on. She lives in North Little Rock with her parents, Anthony and Stacey Valley. Here’s what Mom had to say about her young artist: Maya is an aspiring artist and started taking art lessons back in January from local artist Virmarie Depoyster. Maya’s paintings are quite remarkable for her age, and she loves mixing colors. Now she’s learning how to model clay. She recently had her art on display at Fellowship North through the month of August.
ZAY IS ALWAYS READY WITH A SMILE AND A HELPFUL HAND.
ISAIAH “ZAY” MICHAEL FREEMAN
He’s a polite young man who’s full of sunshine and ready to spread it wherever he goes! This 7-year-old was nominated by his grandma for his attention to his younger siblings and readiness to help around the house. He lives in Bryant with his parents, Kenneth and Heidi Freeman. Here’s what Zay’s “Nonna,” Deborah Phillips, had to say about her bottled sunshine: This infectious, megawatt smile comes from his helpful, generous heart. Zay has three younger siblings whom he adores. His little sister just started kindergarten, and he walks her to her class every morning and checks on her at lunchtime to make sure she finds a place to sit and people to talk to. In the mornings, he helps make the beds and reminds his siblings to brush their teeth. His brother relies on “Bubba” to help with his shoes as they get ready for school. Zay also has a new baby sister. She already smiles when she sees him, and loves having him read to her before bedtime.
34 OCTOBER 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
BRYSON SHOULD START WORKING ON HIS ACCEPTANCE SPEECH!
BRYSON MATTHEW HARDIN
Model, actor, clothing designer, sports fanatic. Bryson is not your typical 8-year-old. With tons of professional acting and modeling under his belt, the future is bright for this limelight-loving kid. He lives in Little Rock, and his parents are Joy Matthews and Ventrica Hardin. Here’s what Mom had to say about her rising star: Bryson is proof that a parent’s love combined with hard work and dedication can not only beat the statistical odds, but also blaze new trails in the pursuit of purpose! Bryson has had the opportunity to participate in several commercials, campaigns, magazine features, fashion shows and modeling events. When he’s not busy in the limelight, he is a normal 8-year-old who considers himself one of the biggest UAPB Golden Lion and Arkansas Razorback fans. On any given Christmas or Thanksgiving holiday he can be found with his parents serving at the local shelter, or giving back to those less fortunate in some capacity.
EVAN'S PRIZED POSSESSION, A BASEBALL SIGNED BY THE ST. LOUIS CARDINALS!
He’s got book smarts and a passion for athletics. Evan is a wellrounded 7-year-old who has an amazing determination, and loves making new friends. He lives in North Little Rock with his parents, Dave and Lisa Dziadek. Here’s what Mom had to say: Evan loves to learn and is constantly amazing us with all that he knows. He gets very upset if he misses school for any reason. He collided with a friend last year on the playground, and had a huge knot on his head. The nurse called to let us know, but he refused to let me check him out because he wouldn’t earn the “Perfect Attendance” award if I did. He won an award for reading the most chapter books in his class last year, and his teachers say he’s a rock star! He plays baseball, soccer and basketball.
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | OCTOBER 2016
TRINITY LOVES ALL THINGS RELATED TO DINOSAURS AND ALLIGATORS!
CHAMP SPENDS TIME STUDYING MINECRAFT AND BUILDING LEGOS!
CHAMP & TRINITY DRIGGERS
Opposites attract with these 7-year-old twins, who, according to Mom, couldn’t be more different. Champ and Trinity may be different, but they’ve got each other’s back, and that’s what being a sibling is all about. They live in Maumelle with their parents, Daniel and Kim Driggers. Here’s what Mom had to say about her rambunctious duo: Champ and Trinity are fabulous together. They are funny, kind, creative and joined at the hip. What makes them unique as a set of twins is they are so very different from one another, yet they are best friends. Given their opposing interests, it’s not surprising that they rarely “play” together, and have never really bonded during playtime. Instead, their connection forms in the day-to-day experiences growing up as a twin. When they stand up for each other to bullies on the playground, when they keep secrets from Mom and Dad, when they wrestle on the couch in the afternoons, and when they snuggle in bed at night are times when these two bond as friends and siblings. They smile and giggle and wrestle more than any other set of twins that I have ever met. I am so privileged to be their mom. I know they will continue to grow their bond as they grow older. I can’t wait to watch what they do next!
36 OCTOBER 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
NYLA SHINES BRIGHT!
NYLA ELISE CARTER
She’s sweet and vivacious, all wrapped up in a tiny package! Nyla is 5 years old with a determination that will lead her to do great things. She lives in Sherwood with her parents, Demetrius and Jazmin Carter. Here’s what Mom had to say about her: Nyla is a joy to all she meets. She has an eagerness to learn and loves life. She strives and is determined to do her best in all things. She had a week of assessment testing in school and her only concern was, “Mom, if they ask me to draw a star, I cannot do that. I can recognize a star, but I cannot draw one.” I found out that she was the only one in her class to make a perfect score on the test. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for my little girl!
CARTER IS READY FOR A CAREER IN ENGINEERING!
This 6-year-old guy was a pillar of strength for his momma as their family transitioned through a divorce. He’s sensitive, caring and always finds the brighter side of any situation. He lives with his mom, Tabitha Ransom, in Little Rock. Here’s what Mom had to say about her tender tyke: I was a stay-home mom until Carter could begin day care at the age of 2. After the divorce, I was working full time and had full custody. Carter is now 6, and as time has gone by, he encourages me and always seems to see the brighter side of things. He makes great grades, won trophies in baseball last season and got a bible trophy last school year. He loves trains and math, and already says he wants to be an engineer. He is not only my son, but a boy who loves his momma with encouraging words, laughter and lots of hugs when I didn’t even ask. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | OCTOBER 2016
bag check I BRING CANDY AND FRUIT FOR THE SUGAR, WHICH HELPS WITH ALTITUDE SICKNESS.
MY FAVORITE BAG FOR HIKING BECAUSE IT IS SO LIGHTWEIGHT.
MY SON, HAP, IS A BIG EATER SO I ALWAYS HAVE TO BRING LOTS OF SNACKS WHEN WE HIKE.
ZIPLOC BAGS ARE GREAT TO PACK OUT WHAT YOU PACK IN. THEY KEEP ALL THE MESSES CONTAINED.
HAP AND I HAVE MATCHING SKETCHBOOKS, AND WE LIKE TO SIT DOWN AND DRAW TOGETHER.
I SHOOT STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY, TOO, SO I STOP QUITE A BIT TO TAKE PHOTOS.
38 OCTOBER 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
PHOTOGRAPHY: BETH HALL
BETH HALL IS A COMMERCIAL, ADVERTISING AND EDITORIAL PHOTOGRAPHER BASED OUT OF NORTHWEST ARKANSAS. BETH HALL PHOTOGRAPHY IS THE CULMINATION OF HER EXPERIENCE AND LOVE OF PHOTOGRAPHY. SHE’S WORKED AS A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER FOR MORE THAN A DECADE DOING CORPORATE, COMMERCIAL AND EDITORIAL PHOTOGRAPHY. BETH LIVES IN FAYETTEVILLE WITH HER 10-YEAR-OLD SON, HAP, WHERE THEY ENJOY BIKING, HIKING AND COOKING TOGETHER. THIS YEAR, THE PAIR CLIMBED 14,440-FOOT MT. ELBERT, THE SECOND HIGHEST POINT IN THE LOWER 48 STATES.
ON A LONG HIKE, I’LL BRING TWO LIGHT SOURCES, IN CASE ONE GOES OUT.
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