THE LIFESTYLE MANUAL FOR THE MODERN MOM
THE ULTIMATE SLUMBER PARTY AMAZING ARKANSAS DESTINATIONS
JUNE 2015 路 THESAVVYMOMS.COM
BEHAVIORAL HEALTH FOCUS
Honoring the Class of 2015
CLASS OF 2015 HIGHLIGHTS • 1 U.S. Presidential Scholar and 4 U.S. Presidential Scholar Nominees • 4 National Merit Finalists and 4 National Merit Commended Students • $5.5 million in Scholarships Offered • Performed over 5,857 hours of Community Service • 7 All-State Athletes • 43% of Class scored a 30 or above on the ACT • Average ACT of 28
Episcopal Collegiate School Congratulates the Class of 2015 on Their Acceptances to the Following Colleges and Universities. Arizona State University Arkansas State University Austin College Baylor University Belmont University California College of the Arts California Lutheran University Centre College College of Charleston Davidson College Duke University Florida Institute of Technology Georgia Institute of Technology Henderson State University Hendrix College High Point University
Lipscomb University Louisiana State University Lyon College Millsaps College New York University Northwestern University Oklahoma State University Ouachita Baptist University Pratt Institute Rhodes College Rice University Saint Louis University Sam Houston State University Sewanee: The University of the South Southern Methodist University Swarthmore College
Syracuse University Texas Christian University Trinity College Trinity University University of Alabama University of Arkansas University of Arkansas at Little Rock University of California, Davis University of California, Santa Cruz University of Central Arkansas University of Chicago University of Kentucky University of Massachusetts, Amherst University of Mississippi University of Missouri, Columbia University of Montana, Missoula
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill University of Oklahoma University of Richmond University of St. Andrews, Scotland University of Texas, Austin University of Tulsa University of Virginia Vanderbilt University Virginia Tech Wake Forest University Washington and Lee University Washington University in St. Louis Yale University
Jackson T. Stephens Campus 1701 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, Arkansas www.episcopalcollegiate.org | 501.372.1194
Serving Grades Pre-K3 through 12
Episcopal Collegiate School welcomes students of any race, color, religion, and national or ethnic origin.
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ON THE COVER: IT’S SLUMBER PARTY TIME FOR AVA, CHOLE AND LOLA. PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARA REEVES.
26 GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN
HOMEMADE TENT? CHECK. CHOCOLATECOVERED MARSHMALLOWS WITH SPRINKLES? CHECK. SUPER-CUTE CRAFTS AND TREATS? CHECK. WE’VE GOT ALL THE INGREDIENTS FOR THE ULTIMATE SUMMERTIME SLUMBER PARTY
In Every Issue
6 LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 36 HAPPENINGS 46 DADSPEAK: BEN BRAINARD
*Chole gets comfy on the floor pallet.
ALL ACCESS A MAN APART
THE SCIENCE OF ADDICTION BROTHERLY LOVE SUPPORT SYSTEM MORE THAN JUST A PHASE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH RESOURCE GUIDE
BETWEEN THE LINES
POOL PROTECTION ART IN THE PARK STAYCATION FUN
Studies show early exposure to nature helps children develop resistance to allergies and certain other diseases. Mud is a great medium for children to unleash their imaginations and release energy. Visit our website to download ideas on good, healthy fun with mud.
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www.ARBetterBeginnings.com â€˘ 1-800-445-3316 Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education
LETTER FROM THE
SCHOOL’S OUT FOR SUMMER
It’s June, which means summer is officially just a few weeks ago. But outside, we’re already there. The kids are out of school, swimming pools are open and ready, and everything outside is so lush and verdant, albeit a little soggy. The seemingly unending rain means that my garden is officially growing out of control. I’ve got squash and zucchini plants crawling all over each other, and I can’t wait for them to give me some fresh veggies ASAP. But mostly, I can’t wait to get outside more: Playing in the garden, grilling with my husband, chasing the dogs around the yard—bring it all on! This issue is filled with loads of fun ways to enjoy the summer months. Dwain Hebda takes us on a cool tour of some of Arkansas’ more unique destinations, perfect for those of us planning a long-weekend staycation. Between this feature and some of the fun stuff we’ve been working on for the summer issue of Arkansas Wild, I have a serious urge to hop in a canoe and hit the water! Summer is also prime time for having a sleepover, and this month’s cover story is all about the ultimate slumber party. We had so much fun at this shoot—creative director Mandy Keener made the cool tent you see on the cover and throughout the story (she’s even provided us with a how to!)—and I thoroughly enjoyed making chocolate-dipped marshmallows covered in sprinkles (shout out to my husband for his expert sprinkles technique!). The girls had a great time too, and I have to thank Ava and Lola’s parents for letting us shoot in their playroom, and for my girlfriend Vanessa for letting her adorable daughter Chloe come play with us! This issue also has a special focus on behavioral health. The UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute shared a fascinating study from their Brain Imaging Center on the link between addiction and brain development. We also talked to William McCastlain about 3people4life, the campaign he started after his older brother Cal committed suicide in 2014. William’s story is a must read, as he is truly bringing grace out of this tragedy. In addition to a behavioral health resource guide, you’ll also find two stories about recognizing the signs of mental health issues in kids and teens, as well as how to support your kids if they’re coping with any of these issues. Finally, in honor of Father’s Day this month, we’ve taken a departure from our usual “Momspeak” department on the back page. Be sure to check out the great “Dadspeak” feature on local chef and restauranteur Ben Brainard on page 46.
P.S.: In the May issue, Kathi Frieberg’s name was mispelled in the “Excelling in the Summer” article. In the “Sleep Tight” article, we misreported that Jaime Herring of Baby Charmz ensures that parents are using bumpers in their babies’ cribs. Herring does not recommend using bumpers in cribs. Savvy regrets both errors.
JUNE 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
MEL JONES, EDITOR MELANIE@ARKTIMES.COM @SAVVYAR
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As the state’s only adult Level 1 Trauma Center, UAMS is on a mission to create a better state of health — for you and all of Arkansas. At UAMS, you’ll find treatments for complex conditions that no one else in the state can offer. You’ll receive care from medical professionals who also teach, which means they deliver medicine based on the most advanced practices. With our convenient clinics and centers of excellence, you can feel confident that we are here for a better state of health.
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LRSD Salutes 2015 Teachers of the Year The Little Rock School District honored outstanding educators at its annual Crystal Awards Ceremony, on April 27, 2015. Special thanks to Presenting Sponsor First Student, Gold Sponsor Valic and Silver Sponsors LREA and Will Sub for supporting the event.
Spencer Sutterfield, a drama teacher at Parkview Arts & Science Magnet High School, was named Teacher of the Year and recipient of the Marian G. Lacey Award. Sutterfield will represent the district at the state level. Elementary, middle and high school level winners include: Nathalie Anne Massanelli, Jefferson Elementary; Michelle Joslin Vire, Pulaski Heights Middle School; and Summer Vaught, Central High School. Elementary School Winners Bale Kimberley Washington Baseline Latonya Jackson Booker Deborah Ramsey Brady LaRonda Murry Carver June Dewana Joseph Chicot Kristen Billings-Racanelli Dodd Boyce Neal Pearson Fair Park Kelly Gray Forest Heights (K-5) Gina Khoury Forest Park Lonnie C. Smith Franklin Melvin Campbell, Jr. Fulbright Micah Haupt Geyer Springs Elizabeth Clifford Gibbs Jocelyn Love Jefferson Nathalie Anne Massanelli King Connie Pesek Mabelvale Chaley Holland
McDermott Jennifer Grider Meadowcliff Jherrithan M. Dukes Otter Creek Melody J. Wyatt Pulaski Heights E.S. Sandra Fountain Roberts Jillane Johnson Romine Kayleen Alumbaugh Stephens Valerie Duckery Terry Jill Wright Wakefield Kelly Burrus Washington Thelma P. Shorter Watson Rachael Gonzales Western Hills Sharon A. Brashears Williams Barbara Strickland Wilson Tianka R. Sheard Woodruff Jennifer Elledge
Middle School Winners Cloverdale Christopher Ishmon Cloverdale Lâ€™akeia Lovelace Dunbar Kiah M. Eull Dunbar Jason A. Raymond Forest Heights (6-8) Gaibrielle Hoffman Forest Heights (6-8) Mario D. Tims Henderson Teretha E. Kelly Henderson Spiro-John Kikrilis Mabelvale Christine A. Cannon Mabelvale Matthew N. Farr Horace Mann Brittney Choat Horace Mann Paula Harris Pulaski Heights M.S. Ardell Thomsen Pulaski Heights M.S. Michelle Joslin Vire
J.A. Fair Judy A. Ward Hall Tracy L. Mason Hall Beatriz Varela Hall Lula C. Williams McClellan Joe W. Green, Jr. McClellan Michele Renee Brown McClellan Katina Harper-Hill Parkview Patrick Donovan Parkview Michelle Jackson Parkview Spencer Sutterfield
Non-traditional School Winners Accelerated Learning Center Rebecca Newberry Hamilton Learning Academy Ginger C. Beck Metropolitan Career Tech Center Warren L. Booker, Jr. Group Photo #1 (left to right): Nathalie Anne Massanelli, Michelle Joslin Vire, Spencer Sutterfield and Summer Vaught Group Photo #2 (left to right): Reggie Garrett, First Student; Deputy Supt. Marvin Burton, Dr. Marion G. Lacey and Spencer Sutterfield
High School Winners Central Lori Schaffhauser Central Rosie Valdez Central Summer Vaught J.A. Fair Ashia Darnell-Jackson J.A. Fair Brenda Harrison
Little Rock School District
The NEW Little Rock School District Where WE Put Children First
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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 full-service marketing communications firm in Little Rock.
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.
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is a licensed marriage and family therapist for the Arkansas Relationship Counseling Center.
is a local photographer and co-owner of Sterling Imageworks. In addition to photography she has always loved to write. She received a journalism degree from the University of Central Arkansas. Originally pursuing broadcast, Callie has since found that print journalism is more of her passion. She enjoys playing with her two dogs and traveling with her husband.
SOCIALLY Snell Laboratory's network of nine offices located throughout the state is especially important for individuals like Preston Breshears. As a cattle rancher living in rural Missouri, Preston can visit Snell’s community-based facility in Mountain Home for adjustments and maintenance so that he rarely has to travel to the main office in Little Rock.
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NEST PARENTING | FAMILY
The connected life can leave you disconnected—here’s how to help you and your family overcome the constant pull of electronic media, social and otherwise BY CHARLIE SIMPSON
In days of old, many parents would shake their heads and wonder what the world was coming to. They were concerned about the younger generation’s preoccupation with television, music or video games. These consumer items were considered rude interruptions to traditional family activities and often frowned upon or tightly controlled by parents or authority figures. Nowadays, for generations young and old, technology and its devices have moved beyond “interruptions” and have assumed a status as essential tools for daily living. American adults spend more than 12 hours a day with various media, according to research company eMarketer. Several of these hours are spent multitasking by viewing television while browsing the Internet. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation study reveals that children ages 8 to 18 spend almost 11 hours per day with media, with 29 percent of that time spent multitasking like their adult counterparts. Ironically, our connected world has diminished personal accessibility for every age group. It’s more important than ever to ensure that you as a parent are available, regardless of the immediate demand that a text message, email or social media post may present. Parenting doesn’t take a break, and if your children are to thrive you have to maintain personal connections with them. Here are a few ideas to overcome media’s pull. CREATE BOUNDARIES: Your children need to know that there are appropriate times to use their electronics—and time to unplug. Immediately
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after school is a good time for them to play sports or board games, read books or magazines, dance, or hang out with friends instead of spending time online. Ration the kids’ time with Netflix or other streaming services so that unlimited access doesn’t become a habitual practice. The dinner table should be an electronics-free zone—you can choose a topic of conversation to discuss. In the car, try turning off the radio or mp3 player and engaging in conversation or just enjoy some quiet time. Every waking moment doesn’t have to be filled with sound or stimulation. And collect portable electronic devices before bedtime and secure them so there’s no access during sleep hours. CREATE SPACE: Plan a block of tech-free time on weekends to fill with outdoor or out-of-the-house activities. Everyone can benefit from being more physically active, and central Arkansas offers a huge assortment of reasons to get out of the house. Check out a local farmers market, go on a nature hike or take an overnight camping trip. If you have to respond to email or text messages in the morning, do so before your kids wake. That lets you spend time with them before school. If you sense a theme developing here, it’s balance. The technology we’ve grown so dependent on in our modern lives is as invasive as we let it be. We’re responsible for maintaining the relationships that define family—just like in the old days. Devoting time to keeping those relationships healthy helps keep technology in its proper place, as a tool.
I AM THE AEA oger Darren High joined the Star City High School faculty as the art teacher in the fall of 2011 where he teaches Art 1, Art 2, Art 3, and Advanced Placement Studio Art. Since becoming the art teacher for Star City High School, High has increased student performance on the Advanced Placement Studio Art exam and increased student participation and achievement at the Arkansas Young Artists Association competition. High serves as advisor for the Star City High School Art Club as well as the Star City High School chapter of the Arkansas Young Artist Association. He has also founded a local chapter of the National Art Honor Society to recognize outstanding art students and serves as that group’s advisor. Since 2012, High has served as the Vice President of the Star City Education Association, the local AEA affiliate. In 2014 High also became the Arkansas Art Educators Southeast Regional Director, and he coordinates the regional K-12 student art exhibit for ten counties. High entered the teaching profession in 2005, becoming the first certified elementary art teacher for the Dermott School District. He taught art for the Dermott School District until 2011. Since becoming a teacher, High has been awarded approximately $19,000 in grant money for educational programs and has helped implement 40 educational field trips to provide educational opportunities for his students. Field trips included visits to art galleries, plays, historic sites, cultural festivals, science museums, planetariums, zoos, parks, bridges, waterparks, amusement parks, movie theatres, riverboats, and nature centers. High has been awarded a Target Field Trip Grant five times. In 2015, 2014, and 2013 he was awarded the grant which enabled students to tour art museums. He also received the grant twice when he served as the art teacher for Dermott Elementary School, each time funding a visit to an art museum. What he enjoys most about teaching is the ability to introduce students to new ideas and new experiences that they have never had. The majority of his students have come from lower income families and have not had the opportunity to travel much. Through the 40 cross curricular field trips he has been able to implement, he has been able to give students the opportunity to explore, observe, and investigate at educational sites, giving them first-hand experiences they would not have been able to have in a traditional classroom environment.
BA IL E Y M IL L ER
Roger Darren High enjoys teaching students through field trips and first-hand experiences
High also enjoys being able to use art to help students realize their creative talents. Visual art engages students in the development of creative problem-solving skills and a better understanding of human experience and other cultures. High first joined the Arkansas Education Association when he began teaching. As a rookie teacher he wanted the opportunity to learn from experienced teachers from a professional organization. As a teacher with just a few years of experience he was able to serve with veteran teachers on an Arkansas Department of Education committee related to Benchmark exams and was one of 12 teachers from the state who helped develop the current teacher evaluation system. High says, “Being a member of AEA enabled me to have those valuable educational experiences and others like them. Being a member of AEA has provided me with the support and professional development that I need to be an effective teacher.”
1500 W. 4th St. Little Rock 501.375.4611 aeaonline.org
nest | Thrive | NOSH | CULTIVATE
A MAN APART
Attitudes, institutions evolving as ranks of single dads grow B Y D WA I N H E B D A
You don’t have to look far to see the challenges of single parenting these days, as more men are discovering firsthand. A 2013 Pew Research study showed the growth of single fathers is exploding. Census Bureau figures listed fewer than 300,000 households headed by single dads in 1960; 50 years later the number exceeds 2.6 million. A quarter of single-parent households today are headed by men. Larry Paladino of Maumelle is one of them, having gained sole custody of his two now-adult daughters in 1992. In some ways he was remarkable—the only man in his circle raising kids alone—but in other ways, the story was alltoo-familiar. “I went (into court) knowing the deck was going to be stacked against the father, and it was,” he says. “The judge went so far as to say I would be an excellent father, but since they were still young he didn’t want to change things.” Once the situation reversed (shortly after the court’s decision, his ex-wife surrendered custody) Paladino found few resources for negotiating the more delicate aspects of raising girls. He tackled what he could and called his mother for the rest. “I would ask more questions than they wanted to answer,” he says. “And what I found out with my two girls, when you asked a question they didn’t want to talk about, back off and let it stop there. They would come back a few hours later and answer the questions. “I wanted to raise them to be independent. I wanted them to grow up and not have to rely on anyone. And if life was fortunate to them and they met wonderful husbands that would be a bonus. But if not, then they were going to be prepared to deal with life.”
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On that front, not much has changed for today’s single dads. When Brian Holloman’s son Peyton was born three years ago, he felt equipped to raise a boy; the arrival of daughter Emily four months ago, not so much. “It definitely changes your perspective,” he says. “A boy is tough love, you can go through life being Chuck Norris, you know? It’s not that anymore. Now you wanna go through life leading by example because at some point, just like a man looks to his mother as the example for what qualities he wants in a woman, women look to their fathers for an example of the kind of man they’ll wind up with.” Holloman says it’s not particularly unusual to be a single dad these days, but being an involved single father is often another matter. He credits the constant presence of his own father as the blueprint for commitment to one’s children. “When I was a child, I had my father and my mom in the home, but other guys in my neighborhood did not,” he says. “I can honestly say between me and my two brothers, we were the only guys growing up who had both mom and dad there. He laid the foundation that no matter what, Daddy has to be there.” Comparing the experiences between Paladino, 63, and Holloman, 32, reflects how far personal and societal attitudes have come for single dads. “It’s really rare now for me to hear the allegation that my client is fighting for custody just because he doesn’t want to pay child support,” says Bonnie Robertson, whose Robertson Law Firm in Little Rock specializes in fathers’ rights. “Now, sometimes that’s true, some guys are like that, but most of the time it’s a sincere desire to stay in their kids’ lives as much as they can.” Robertson said there’s also been a noticeable shift in attitude from the bench that, while not entirely eliminating the old adage, “It’s always Mother’s Day in family court,” has leveled the playing field considerably.
IN 1960, LESS THAN 300,000 HOUSEHOLDS WERE HEADED BY SINGLE DADS. BY 2010, THAT NUMBER EXCEEDED 2.6 MILLION. “Moms have always been good or bad, but either way they got custody. That’s changed to where gender isn’t mattering as much to judges,” she says. “Frankly, the young male judges who are more of my generation in their 40s and 50s are home every night helping raise their children. They aren’t just a paycheck. They know that fathers are capable and they know that fathers bond just as strongly with their children.” Court-related or not, the aftermath of becoming a single dad takes adjustment. Robertson says in keeping up with her clients, she notices many struggle to find a support circle, particularly for the long haul. For other men, help comes from unexpected places. Following the 2012 death of his wife, Leigh, Chuck Green of North Little Rock first leaned on church and extended family support, only to discover the potential to be had among his three daughters, now ages 17, 15 and 12. “Each of them has their own strengths and their own weaknesses and they each step up in their own way,” he says. “Actually, the youngest has probably stepped up the most. She’s kinda the peacemaker in the family. When I get angry over something that somebody did or didn’t do, she steps in and calms me down. She’s the baby, but she’s grown up a lot.” His advice to other dads coping with loss as family life goes on: Learn and leverage your children’s talents for the good of the family. “Encourage (kids’) strengths and don’t be so hard on their weaknesses,” he says. “Each one of the girls has different strong points and getting them to use their strengths to the best of their ability is really the key. You can’t do that unless you know them very well.”
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The insula is a brain structure that processes internal sensations like hunger and craving, and the anterior cingulate is a brain structure in the middle of the brain that monitors attention. These two regions become more tightly linked as addiction increases.
IMAGE COURTESY UAMS PSYCHIATRIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE
FASHION | LIFESTYLE | HEALTH
THE SCIENCE OF ADDICTION Little Rock researchers seek link between brain development, addiction B Y D WA I N H E B D A
Throw aside for a moment the space-age imaging equipment, the cadre of brilliant researchers and the multi-million dollar grants fueling the work and you get down to the heart of UAMS’ Brain Imaging Research Center (BIRC): Dr. Clint Kilts, director and dad. “(My kids) always used to say, ‘Are we gonna get the Bad Gene Talk again?’” he says with a chuckle. “They would get the Bad Gene Talk whenever I knew they were going to a party or I was taking them some place. My daughter got in the car once and said, ‘Let’s get the Bad Gene Talk out of the way right off the bat, OK? I’m going to a little party.’” In a lot of ways, Kilts is still giving the Bad Gene Talk, except now to a much wider audience of parents and children facing the spectre of addiction. And he’s not alone, having devoted much of his career and the center’s human and technological resources toward revealing how substance abuse fishhooks itself into the brain. It’s a simple target cloaked in a maddeningly complicated structure. “Easily, the brain is the most complex organ in the body—it constantly changes with your experiences,” he says. “We do mainly functional imaging which looks at how activity in the brain organizes things, in a very orchestrated way, to cope with complex human behavior.” Kilts and his team at UAMS’ Psychiatric Research Institute harness the power of sophisticated imaging equipment, the same used by cardiologists and
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pulmonologists, to provide insight into the changes that occur when the brain is subjected to various stimuli along the growth continuum. The breadth of these stimuli is staggering, flows constantly and feeds the one organism hard-wired to proactively adapt in defense of its host. Imagine swinging at a piñata on a breezy day when the piñata is capable of analyzing your batting style and using that to teach itself evasive maneuvers. “We focus broadly on three areas,” Kilts says. “We focus on the personalized approach to medicine as it relates to human brain development. We work on trauma; in our field of psychiatry, the most prominent research for risk factors for mental illness is having traumatic experiences, particularly early in life. And we have a large addiction program.” Last May, BIRC landed a $1.45 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to study possible direct links between trauma on adolescent girls and later substance abuse, due to brain chemistry and function altered by the childhood event. The impetus for the research is sobering: A single emotionally or physically traumatic event is enough to set the wheels of addiction in motion and once rolling, the window for effective intervention is narrow. Substance experimentation often starts as early as age 10, and it doesn’t take long to cement itself deep inside the psyche.
“It’s very hard to take an individual who’s alcohol-dependent or is addicted to cocaine or methamphetamines or prescription opiates and to render them sober for the rest of their lives. It’s a very difficult process and we have limited success and we’ve been doing it for a long time,” Kilts says. “So the goal of this study and others like it is really not to inform treatment so much but to inform how we can eventually prevent the risk of addiction in individuals that have risk factors.” Equally disturbing is the general public’s persistent belief that drug addiction is disproportionately affected by socio-economic status, a red herring no parent can afford to fall for. “Socio-economic status has nothing to do with your risk,” says Kilts. “The tendency in the past to think that this is really a characteristic of adolescents and young adults in lower socio-economic status is really not true and hasn’t been true for a long time. Addiction plays no favorites, whether you come from wealthy or impoverished groups, you are equally at risk for developing drug use disorders.” The four-year NIDA study has already yielded groundbreaking findings such that Kilts has turned his sights to the next, and much more ambitious chapter. “We’ve just submitted a large grant proposal to a whole other mechanism,” he says. “This particular grant proposal is going to look at 10,000 9-year-olds and 10-year-olds and follow them across the country for 10 years.”
Over that period, Kilts says, the team would perform regular imaging studies as well as meticulously track risk and protective factors such as family structures, poverty, community health and neighborhood health among other variables. In so doing, the team hopes to draw correlations in brain development and function and corresponding positive or negative behaviors, including substance abuse. “When you ask me where (our work) is going, that to me is the most impactful study that I have ever heard of in my field of behavioral health and that the NIDA has ever proposed,” he says. “It’s an absolutely brilliant study and we really want to do this.”
BIRC SEEKS STUDY PARTICIPANTS BIRC is actively seeking participants for its research studies. To learn more, contact: Sonet Smitherman at 501-526-8386 or SMSmitherman@uams.edu Jonathan Young at 501-526-8339 or JAYoung@uams.edu Jan Hollenberg at 501-526-8321 or JAHollenberg@uams.edu
Autism Waiver Provider. Helping Hand was one of the few facilities selected in the central Arkansas area to be a part of the Autism Waiver Program. This program provides Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) treatment to children 18 months to 7 years of age. Services are provided in the home and the community, and must include parent participation to be successful. Contact Helping Hand for more information on how to get your child started.
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BROTHERLY LOVE Little Rock teen honors brother through work with peers B Y D WA I N H E B D A
William McCastlain is bringing grace out of tragedy. The 18-year-old from Little Rock, newly graduated from Episcopal Collegiate School and headed to Vanderbilt University in the fall, has already discovered his mission in life: To help other teens cope with depression and despair before their thoughts turn to hurting themselves. “If you have any situation and it’s a bad situation, you want your closest friends to tell you about it or make you realize something,” he says. “A peer perspective, someone saying, ‘Hey we’ve noticed this. I don’t know what’s up, man, but you’ve been acting weird.’ And since it’s your best friend, you trust him enough to listen, too. “I mean, you don’t want to look back on it and say, ‘Well, what else could I have done?’” McCastlain helped launch 3People4Life, a grassroots initiative that encourages teenagers to enlist three friends they can talk to at any time, particularly in instances where they are struggling with hidden depression or thoughts of suicide. It’s a movement he started with his youth pastor, Rev. Jay Clark of Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church. And it was for this work that he was recognized as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Lifesaver of the Month in December. It’s a movement of which he is justifiably proud, even though a part of him wishes he hadn’t discovered his life’s calling in such a personal way. The movement grew out of his trying to channel his grief over his older brother Cal’s suicide last year. “He never showed any signs, every time I saw him he had a smile on his face,” William says. “He loved hunting and we’d always talk about that and the
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outdoors and go hang out with his friends. I thought that everything was fine. And that’s why it was such a shock to me.” The tragedy was made worse by the fact Cal’s college friends were just as in the dark about his state of mind as his family back in Little Rock. Nothing in Cal’s personal effects gave any clue as to what drove him to such a desperate act; even so-called professionals could offer only theories. “We’ve had no sort of closure in that area. We’ve had doctor’s explanations about what could have been wrong and like, this would have made sense if he had this certain condition, but none of his friends had seen anything like that. That’s just what makes it even harder for us because we have no idea and they have no idea.” Perhaps it was this suspended state of things that caused William’s grief to lie dormant long enough to open a door for the good work that was to follow. He felt sadness, sure, but what he really felt was committed to doing something that both honored his brother and helped others in the process. “It never fully hit me at first,” he says. “Then it would just make me upset that I never fully understood it. So I decided, OK, I’m not going to focus on my emotions right now, people are going through the same thing. I need to help them and we can do that.” That epiphany led him to AFSP where he launched a memorial fund in Cal’s name, (http://afsp.donordrive.com/campaign/calmccastlain) which has raised more than $24,500 to date. He also discovered the organization’s More Than Sad program, which helps teachers and students learn to recognize the red flags of depression and suicidal thoughts in others. William saw the program at work in public schools and he wanted to bring it to kids like himself whom society often writes off as too privileged to be
“YOU DON’T WANT TO LOOK BACK ON IT AND SAY, ‘WELL, WHAT ELSE COULD I HAVE DONE?’” —WILLIAM MCCASTLAIN
A SCHOOL AND A THERAPY CLINIC A place where children with developmental disabilities and learning differences can grow and develop in an environment tailored to meet their unique needs.
susceptible to such issues. “Just because I have the means for a therapist or means for all this other stuff, doesn’t mean that I cannot get depressed,” he says. “Some people look at it, like, ‘Wow, they have a lot of money and they have everything they want,’ but in real life, they’re kids that are just as at risk as anybody else.” The crowning accomplishment, 3People4Life, came out of a sermon Rev. A place where children with developmental disabilities Clark gave following Cal’s death in which he demanded of his young audience, and learning differences can grow and develop in an “Go home and write down three names, three people, three of your closest environment tailored to meet their unique needs. friends that you can always go to whenever you feel upset or something, whether it’s a bad day or a constant sadness,” McCastlain remembers. “And Akey place children with developmental disabilities A place where children with d we decided to turn that into the aspect where of this thing.” McCastlain plans to furtherand his involvement such issues after learningwith differences can grow and develop Autism in an and learning differences can reporting to college in the fall. He’s excited for the strides Rev. Clark has environment tailored to meet their unique needs. Asperger Syndromeenvironment tailored to me already taken and envisions a day when 3People4Life reaches farther than Little Rock. He can also see himself coming back after graduation to pick up Pervasive Developmental Disorder where he left off. Down Syndrome Most of all, he sees the work done thus far as a fitting tribute to, and an accurate representation of, the person Cal was. Autism • Asperger Syndrome Apraxia Pervasive Developmental Disorder “Ask anybody, he always had a smile on his face and was always looking to Other Language Down Syndrome • ApraxiaDisorders • Other Language Disorders help somebody else,” William says. “This is a really good way to honor him, Sensory Integration issues Sensory Integration issues because it’s helping more people that we even know or could ever talk to. I could Contact us today for more information or to not ask for a better organization or a better thing that could represent him.”
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How to be a supportive parent when your child is experiencing mental health issues BY CALLIE STERLING
When a child is diagnosed with a mental health issue it can be uncomfortable to discuss, however it is imperative that parents are supportive. “Hiding the problem won’t make it go away,” says Misty Juola, a licensed psychological examiner and director of clinical services at Rivendell Behavioral Health Services of Arkansas. Before parents can be a strong support system for children, they must first have a levelheaded grasp on the situation and remain positive. Other parents may be feeling the same nervous, apprehensive thoughts when a child is diagnosed with a mental health disorder. It is important for parents of children and teens with mental health issues to support one another emotionally. “Many parents are excessively worried or feeling stressed by the time they receive help because they have tried to go it alone for so long,” says Megan Holt, a licensed clinical social worker and director of clinical services at The BridgeWay Hospital. “Parents should have a strong support network, particularly one that may be empathetic to the challenges they are facing. They should remember to be open-minded since things may never be ‘perfect’.” Slowing down is important for the emotional health of the parent. “They should also remember to slow their pace,” Holt says. “This helps them to have time for the members of the family and to be able to lend extra support to their child with a mental health disorder.” Support groups can be a helpful resource for parents that have children or teens with mental health issues. “There are several groups around central Arkansas,” Juola says. “A good place to start is the Department of Human Services website, Centers for Youth and Families, your local community mental health center or Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Rivendell Behavioral Health Services offers a confidential assessment any time, day or night, if there is an emergency situation or for parents who simply want to have a professional assess their child’s treatment needs.” “Make sure as a parent that you take time to care for your own mental well being,” Juola says. “Join a support group, attend a parenting class or schedule an appointment with a family therapist.” Advice from a friend or family member is not as helpful as advice from a health professional and can be detrimental.
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“Be careful about taking advice from someone who is not trained,” Juola says. “While it is great to have a friend to listen and support us as we maneuver through parenthood, it’s always best to seek help from a licensed mental health professional for serious concerns.” Some parents may have uneasy feelings when a child or teen is diagnosed with a mental health disorder, these feelings can be common in the beginning stages. “Many parents worry about the stigma related to mental illness and try to minimize the warning signs instead of seeking help,” Holt says. Early detection and professional diagnosis is key when dealing with mental health issues in children and teens. “Especially with childhood mental health disorders, early intervention through psychotherapy and in some cases medications, can provide support to the parent and the acquisition of skills that may reduce the symptoms of the disorder significantly. This also promotes the stability and health of the entire family.” Ways to support a child or teen with mental health issues are simple, yet crucial. “Parents can support their children by being compassionate rather than confrontational,” says Amy Freer, a licensed clinical therapist at Pinnacle Pointe Hospital. “Communicate concerns with school staff and others who may be able to offer additional information on your child’s ability to function.” It is important to have a designated place for both the parent and child to unwind from any daily stressors when mental health issues are involved in a child’s life. The designated comfortable place should be the home. “Make home a civil safe place to decompress from the day,” Freer says. The main way to help a child or teen who is experiencing mental health issues is to be supportive, calm and responsible as a parent. It is a parent’s responsibly to seek professional help that the child may need. “Kids need us to remain calm and help coach them through difficult times,” Freer says. “They model themselves after the adults in their lives, for better or worse. If you find yourself dealing with depression, anxiety, anger, aggression, seek help for yourself and your child.” Finally, remember to listen. “Listen without judgment to what your child has to say,” Freer says. “Lecture less. Help them learn to problem-solve.”
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MORE THAN JUST A PHASE Certain behaviors can signal a potential for mental health issues in children and teens BY CALLIE STERLING
Recognizing signs of mental health issues in a child or teen can be a difficult task for a parent. Children can show signs of mental health issues early on, however, the age children and teens begin to show signs of mental health issues can vary drastically depending on the individual. “Children can begin to show signs of problematic behavior as early as they are able to communicate and will vary depending on their environment, caretakers and resources,” says Amy Freer, a licensed clinical therapist at Pinnacle Pointe Hospital. Some studies show that there is a significant increase in the percentage of individuals with mental health issues in teens in comparison to children. “Approximately 20 percent of youths ages 13 to 18 experience severe mental disorders in a given year,” says Megan Holt, a licensed clinical social worker and director of clinic services at The BridgeWay Hospital. “For ages 8 to 15, the estimate is 13 percent.” Many factors can play a role in the timeframe of when individuals begin to show concerning signs regarding mental health. “The age at which a child will begin to show signs of mental health issues will vary depending on what the child has been exposed to or experienced, traumatic events, how others in the home cope with stress and respond to their child’s behavior, family history of mental illness and how quickly parents notice and acquire help for their child,” Freer says.
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Some concerning behaviors are more apparent than others and can easily be detected. “Obvious signs of mental health problems are screaming, throwing things, self-harm behaviors, intense mood swings without clear cause, highrisk behaviors such as running away, sneaking out, skipping school, using drugs and alcohol, disrespecting authority, and physical aggression,” Freer says. Some behaviors can be mistaken for “acting out” but can truly be concerning if these behaviors continue over time. “While some may argue that these are just ‘teenage issues,’ when they begin to interfere with the child’s ability to function at home, school or in the community, there is reason for concern,” Freer says. Isolation can be especially difficult due to the common misconception that isolation is a phase that will pass in teenagers. “One commonly misunderstood sign/symptom of problems can be isolation,” Freer says. “Adults rightly assume that most adolescents and teens prefer to be alone or with friends rather than spend time with family but excessive time alone, a decrease in involving parents in their lives, markedly reduced communication, irritability and withdrawn appearance when made to engage with others can be a sign that the child is not simply experiencing a normal stage of development.” Teens or children may express themselves verbally or artistically in a negative manner, which could indicate signs of a larger issue. “Talking, writing or drawing about death and/or hurting others can be a clue that your child
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MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AFFECT EVERYONE DIFFERENTLY AND IT CAN BE DIFFICULT TO JUDGE THE IMPACT OF A DIAGNOSIS BECAUSE SOME CASES MAY BE MORE SEVERE THAN OTHERS.
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Be the Party HERO, CALL TODAY! is entertaining these thoughts,” Freer says. “Suicidal statements such as, ‘I wish I were never born’ or ‘I’m just going to kill myself’ may be said in the heat of an argument. Those statements should not be mistaken as mere venting. Kids need to know that statements like that will result in a serious look at their ability to cope with life’s stressors without endangering oneself or others. Parents should respond to these statements with compassion and seriousness.” Experts agree that alarming behaviors in children and teens should be handled with caution. If alarming behavior occurs it should be addressed sooner as opposed to later. “Behaviors such as crying, impulsivity, hyperactivity, aggression or selfharm would need evaluation by a mental health professional,” says Misty Juola, a licensed psychological examiner and director of clinical services at Rivendell Behavioral Health Services of Arkansas. When concerning behaviors begin to interfere with a child’s or teen’s overall happiness and contentment, professional help should be sought out. “If issues are severe to the point of negatively impacting an individual’s quality of life, then the child may be diagnosed as having an anxiety or mood disorder,” Juola says. Mental health issues can vary drastically by type and severity. “Some that we see include attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder, depressive disorder, impulse control disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder or oppositional defiant disorder,” Juola says. “On a positive note, all of these issues are treatable.” Seeking treatment for a child or teen who has been diagnosed with a mental health disorder is imperative, as it can prevent other issues from occurring. “If left untreated, a child suffering from ADHD, for example, may also become depressed if the problems are not addressed,” Juola says. “A student, having failed to pay attention in school, scoring poorly on tests, receiving disciplinary action and being isolated from peers may experience increased sadness or insecurities. Truly, any negative behavior can become problematic if not carefully attended to.” Mental health issues affect everyone differently and it can be difficult to judge the impact of a diagnosis because some cases may be more severe than others. “Mental health seriousness can only be ranked by how much it affects the life of the person suffering from the illness and how much or little that person is able to function in their daily lives,” Freer says.
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BEHAVIORAL HEALTH RESOURCE GUIDE The organizations listed below specialize in a wide range of behavioral health issues and treatments, including depression, anxiety, trauma, emotional difficulties, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, physical and/or sexual abuse, eating disorders, drug and alcohol addiction, and much more. Arkansas Children’s Hospital Eating Disorder Clinic–Child and Adolescent 16101 Cantrell Rd., Ste. 114 Little Rock 501-364-8957 www.ARChildrens.org Arkansas Children’s Hospital Neurodevelopmental and Neurobehavioral Clinic 1 Children’s Way Little Rock 501-364-4000 www.ARChildrens.org Arkansas Neuropsychology and Behavioral Health 1701 Centerview Dr., Ste. 123 Little Rock 501-537-1388 www.andrewsneuropsychology.com Baptist Health Counseling Center/Baptist Health Southwest 11401 Interstate 30, Exit 128 Little Rock 501-202-7587 www.baptist-health.com Bridgeway 21 Bridgeway Rd. North Little Rock 501-771-1500 www.TheBridgeWay.com The Centers for Youth and Families 6501 W. 12th St. Little Rock 501-666-8686 www.centersforyouthandfamilies.org
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Community Counseling Services, Inc. 125 Dons Way Hot Springs 501-624-7111 www.communitycounselingservices.org
Oasis Renewal Center 14913 Cooper Orbit Rd. Little Rock 501-376-2747 www.oasisrenewalcenter.org
Counseling Associates 50 Salem Rd., Ste. 9 Conway 501-336-8300 www.caiinc.org
Pinnacle Pointe Behavioral Healthcare 11501 Financial Center Pkwy. Little Rock 800-880-3322 www.PinnaclePointeHospital.com
Families, Inc. 1200 James St. Jacksonville 501-982-5000 www.familiesinc.net
Rivendell Behavioral Health Services 100 Rivendell Dr. Benton 501-316-1255 www.RivendellofArkansas.com
Lifeway International Faith Lutheran Church 7525 W. Markham Ave. Little Rock 501-920-2531 www.lifewayinternational.org
UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute 4224 Shuffield Dr. Little Rock 501-526-8100 www.psychiatry.uams.edu
Methodist Family Health 1600 Aldersgate Rd. Little Rock 501-661-0720 www.MethodistFamily.org National Alliance on Mental Health, Arkansas Chapter 1012 Autumn Rd., Ste. 1 Little Rock 501-661-1548 www.namiarkansas.org
Experts agree that alarming behaviors in children and teens should be handled with caution. If alarming behavior occurs it should be addressed sooner as opposed to later.
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100 Rivendell Drive • Benton, AR • www.rivendellofarkansas.com THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JUNE 2015
Homemade tent? Check. Chocolate-covered marshmallows with sprinkles? Check. Super-cute crafts and treats? Check. Weâ€™ve got all the ingredients for the ultimate summertime slumber party BY MEL JONES
26 JUNE 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
PHOTOGRAPHY SARA REEVES
STYLING MANDY KEENER
Pile up pillows and blankets to make a cozy floor pallet for watching movies and hanging outâ€”we combined a ruffled duvet with cute printed sheets for the girls. Chloe and Lola have the essentialsâ€Śstuffed animals and popcorn!
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JUNE 2015
Chocolate-Covered Marshmallows (With Sprinkles!) WHAT YOU NEED: 12 ounces of semi-sweet milk chocolate chips 1 bag of large marshmallows (we found these neat square ones at Target) Sprinkles HOW TO: 1. Line a large baking sheet with wax paper or parchment. 2. Melt chocolate chips on the stovetop using a double boiler (you can make your own with a medium-sized saucepan and a glass bowl), stirring constantly. 3. Dip each marshmallow into the melted chocolate, quickly coating one end. At first we tried to use utensils to hold the marshmallows, but soon discovered that it was faster and less of a mess to just use our hands. 4. Place each dipped marshmallow on the baking sheet. Cover with your choice of sprinkles. This is a great step to let the kids get involved with! 5. Once all marshmallows are dipped and sprinkled, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow them to set, then serve! We had time to refrigerate ours overnight, and can confirm they are delicious cold!
28 JUNE 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Mini boxes of cereal with wooden spoons + a princess-worthy light-up wand + a sweet little pail.
Ava approves of the marshmallows!
Are we having fun yet? Yes!
Craft Time: Cereal Necklaces! This is a fun and easy craft project for smaller kids. All you need are Froot Loops and some long pieces of yarn or thin ribbon. Go ahead and cut the yarn or ribbons for your guests. Place the Froot Loops in a big bowl or jar, and let the creating begin!
Sweet & Salty! THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JUNE 2015
Fill with pillows and stuffed animals!
Pitch a Tent-Indoors! What You Need: A hula hoop Two to three full-size flat sheets (we even included a cute fabric shower curtain!) Large binder clips Ceiling hook Twine String lights Decorations
How To: Attach the sheets to the hula hoop withe the binder clips. Then string the twine through the hooks of the binder clips to create a larger loop that will hang from the ceiling hook. Pin back two sides for the opening and add your string lights and decorations. Ta-da! Instant tent in less than 45 minutes.
30 JUNE 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
IS TRADITIONAL SCHOOL WHERE YOUR CHILD NEEDS TO BE? K12 TOP 5
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You know that your child has something special inside them and we know it too. The Arkansas Virtual Academy (ARVA) and K12 gives students the chance to learn in ways that are right for them.
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Parents can rely on education experts for best-in-class suggested weekly schedules, complete lesson plans, curriculum along with parent supportneeded programsto (seminars and Unlike previous years where students SIGNS YOU MAY HAVE AN ADVANCED LEARNER networking with fellow parents), help parents feel Homeschooling: Parents spend a lot of time picking andattended have a public school to skills. enroll, ARVA is now Your child is Your child demonstrates 1. Your child demonstrates advanced skills. confidentadvanced rather than overwhelmed. K12 online schools choosing from a broad range of homeschool curriculum Advanced le Notice your child incorporating “fastidious” into able to accept students from across the state of also have special education teachers, school counselors 2. Your child is an independent andin motivated learner.and that varies greatly quality, assessments, to learn and conversations? Was she reading before kindergarten? and advisors, paraprofessionals. Arkansas, regardless of priorand education type. 3. Your child is observant and inquisitive. accreditation. They may worry whether their program can also ena Can he recite multiplication tables while his peers are will meet adequatesolver. academic standards. 4. Your child is a curious problem
or engage in still struggling with simple addition? Advanced Interested families are encouraged to visit learners not to exhibit -sponsored social students wo Parentsacademic can take advantage K12as Online School: K12 parents save time and effort bytend 5. Your child demonstrates creativity. 4 advanced ability as of well www.k12.com/arva for more information on the having to research curriculum programs, individual that build on master basic skillsopportunities with less practice. They also tend to school and how to apply! ARVA and will other serve students lessons, and supplemental resources. They rest easy Arkansas Virtual Academy (ARVA), a tuition-free, respond well to teachers, parents,Parents adults and virtually all ofevent about Homeschooling: have to create knowing their children are learning with the aid ofin grades K-11 for the 2015-2016 school year. ARVA online public school option, welcomes families with their children’s social and educational than 150 stu crave structure, organization, and consistency in theiropportunities on research-based curriculum created by education experts 12 their own. will add a high school grade level each year until it public, tuition-free partner session, with environments. In most K students in grades to K-11 therequirements. 2015-2016Online public meettoorenroll exceedfor states’ 12 schools, our Advanced Learner Program (ALP) begins reaches grade level offering. have access to a diverse about their f Online School: K students academic year. schools must meet the same accountability standards as the full K-12
as early as kindergarten with exciting enrichment community—both online and off—to explore their traditional public schools. And K12’s three private school opportunities for these talented students. Your child de interests and develop friendships. More than 100 online ARVA takes an individualized to learning, options are allapproach fully accredited. TUITION-FREE F U L Lschools, -TIM E Educator an clubs are available through K12 online partner combining online instruction and hands-on plus individual schools frequently offer local in-person Your child is an independent and motivated learner. creativity an I N D with I V I the D Usupport A L I Z EofDArkansas-licensed LEARNING O N L I N E12 P U B L I C S C H O O curriculum don’t need to be experts in every subjectAdvanced learnersclubs extracurricular activities. K online clubs developmen mayand excel at working independently 2 Parents include American Girls, newspaper, teachers who are available online and by phone. and have longer attention spans. For example, theychess, math, book are often ori Homeschooling: Parents are generally responsible for club, photography, Spanish, and much more. There are may be the kind of child who hides in corners with associations teaching subject matter, even as math, science, and also in-person field trips to parks and zoos, as well asideas, or fac chapter books and later describes the stories in great other subjects become more complicated. virtualaccuracy. field tripsAdvanced to historic sites with expert guides. advanced ab detail with remarkable learners Online School: In K12 programs, parents take on the And an Advanced Learner Program for multiple age may also show a strong desire to learn more. One of the a number of role of the Learning Coach to support, guide, and groups offers additional enrichment opportunities. 12 ’s ALP is our inclusiveness. activities, clu unique characteristics of K help their children stay on track. But state-certified We encourage motivated children who might not to programs teachers instruct students. Teachers instruct and cut-off conventional A R Kclasses, A N hold S Amake S VanI arbitrary R T5U A L Afor Caenjoy A Dmajor E Mcost YAdvanced monitor students, run web-based Parents can savings THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JUNE 2015 31 Learner Program to participate in ALP activities. online office hours, and are available by phone, chat, Homeschooling: Parents spend, on average, more and e-mail to answer student and parent questions. than $1,000 on school curriculum and resources.*
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BETWEEN THE LINES TAKE A BIRTHDAY PARTY TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITH A COLORING BOOK CAKE BY MEL JONES
32 JUNE 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
PHOTOGRAPHY SARA REEVES
The coloring book cake is available in almost any theme, and includes six little pastry bags of colored buttercream icing. Facing page: Carter and Maddie are ready to decorate.
Cake time is undoubtedly the most-anticipated part of a birthday party, and what better way to make it even more memorable than with a coloring book cake? Natalie Madison of Natalie Madison Artisan Cakes in Little Rock agrees, because she is creating the most amazing experience for kids and adults alike! When we heard about this unique activity that combines arts and crafts with cake, we had to take it for a test drive. Natalie designed a dinosaur-themed coloring book template on a 1/4-sheet birthday cake, complete with six bags of colored buttercream frosting for “crayons.” Our testers, Maddie and Carter, each chose a color and got to work. After a few minutes of meticulous “coloring,” they were giggling and trading colors to decorate their triceratops. The entire activity only takes about 15 minutes, and soon Maddie and Carter presented the finished product—a and colorful dinosaur covered in delicious buttercream squiggles. RR savvy advibrant 2015.pdf 1 4/8/15 10:36 AM
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Carter and Maddie show off their delicious masterpiece.
34 JUNE 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
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Accepting New Patients Birth Through Adolescence Most Insurance Accepted Lourie Battles, MD • Robert Choate, MD • Kim Clinton, MD Anthony Elias, MD • Kim Hurlbut, MD Stephen Fiedorek, MD • Eric Fraser, MD • Gary Fowler, APRN Bishawn Morris, MD • JoAnne Wilson, APRN Tina Jones, MD • Nicole Turner, APRN
Natalie’s coloring book cake was definitely a huge hit, and is a great way to engage party guests in a creative activity that results in a priceless memory for everyone. We love that the cakes are customized for almost any theme— including sports, animals, hobbies and more—so no matter what your child’s interest, he or she can look forward to creating an edible work of art to celebrate the big day.
3401 Springhill Drive, Ste. 245 North Little Rock · 501.758.1530 CLINIC HOURS: MONDAY-FRIDAY 8 AM-6 PM WALK-IN SICK CLINIC: SATURDAY 8 AM 203 B Plaza Boulevard Cabot · 501.843.0068 CLINIC HOURS: MONDAY-FRIDAY 8 AM-5 PM THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JUNE 2015
MOVIES IN THE PARK
JUNE-JULY, EVERY WEDNESDAY AT SUNDOWN, FIRST SECURITY AMPHITHEATER The summertime favorite Movies in the Park returns with blockbusters and classics alike on the marquee. The June lineup includes Divergent (June 3), Ghostbusters (June 10), The Proposal (June 17) and Oz the Great and Powerful (June 24). The July lineup features Sherlock Holmes (July 1), Despicable Me (July 8), Mamma Mia! (July 15), The Goonies (July 22) and Iron Man 3 (July 29). The event is free and open to the public. Visit moviesintheparklr.net for more information.
HAPPENINGS OUR PICKS FOR COOL TO-DOS AROUND CENTRAL ARKANSAS for a complete calendar of events, visit our website at thesavvymoms.com.
CELEBRATE THE GRAPE WINE, FOOD & JAZZ FESTIVAL JUNE 5, 6 P.M.-9 P.M., ARGENTA FARMERS MARKET PLAZA Hosted by the Arkansas Times and benefitting the Argenta Arts District, Celebrate the Grape will feature more than 300 wines from around the world, food from eight local restaurants—Arkansas Ale House, Arkansas Fresh Bakery, Kent Walker Artisan Cheese, Cocoa Rouge Chocolates, Graffiti’s, SO, Two Sisters Catering & Café, and Whole Hog Café NLR—and plenty of jazz with the Little Rock Central High School Swing Band Reunion. Tickets are $30, $40 at the door. Visit eventbrite.com and search “Celebrate the Grape 2015.”
LEGENDS OF RHYTHM JUNE 12, 7:15 P.M., RON ROBINSON THEATER Presented by Untapped, Arkansas’ only professional tap dance company, Legends of Rhythm will take you back in time to relive the work of some of the biggest legends in tap history. Featuring reenactments and tributes to iconic tap routines from movies and TV, all set to live music! Tickets are $20 and are available at Shuffles, Dance Dynamics, Studio 1, Rock City Dance Center and Footlights Dance Store, or by emailing email@example.com. All proceeds will support Untapped school programs and community workshops. Visit untappedlittlerock.org for more information.
TSC FAMILY FLIP FLOP WALK Join us for the TSC Family Flip Flop Walk benefiting Camp Sunshine, and take a walk in your flip-flops for a good cause! Sponsored by Tropical Smoothie Café, participants will walk from Murray Park to the Big Dam Bridge and back. Once at the park, enjoy a big party with free food, smoothies, live music, circus performers, games, bounce houses and much more! Admission is $15 for individuals and $30 for a family of four ($5 for each additional child). For more information, contact Amber Helms at 501-978-6331 or visit facebook.com/TropicalAR/events.
TINKERFEST JUNE 20, 10 A.M.-3 P.M., MID-AMERICA SCIENCE MUSEUM, HOT SPRINGS The third-annual Tinkerfest is inspired by the Maker Movement that is growing across the country. Tinkering is all about making discoveries and using those discoveries in creative ways. Tinkerfest is a chance to combine and put a creative spin on science, technology and art. There is no extra cost to attend Tinkerfest. Regular museum admission will apply—$10 for adults, $8 for children and seniors, free for members. Visit midamericanmuseum.org for more information.
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PHOTO COURTESY OF MID-AMERICA SCIENCE MUSEUM
JUNE 12, 6 P.M.-8 P.M., MURRAY PARK
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY JUNE 3-21, THE REP
When the patriarch of the Weston clan disappears one hot summer night, the family reunites at the Oklahoma homestead, where long-held secrets are unflinchingly and uproariously revealed, dramatizing three generations of unfulfilled dreams and leaving each family member changed forever. One of the most bracing and critically acclaimed plays in recent Broadway history, “August: Osage County” is a darkly comedic portrait of the dysfunctional American family at its finest—and absolute worst. Visit therep.org for tickets and more information.
AN AFFAIR OF THE HEART CONWAY
all about summer safety
JUNE 26-28, CONWAY EXPO AND FAIRGROUNDS The inaugural An Affair of the Heart Conway is a three-day shopping event features unique, one-of-a-kind and often handmade items from jewelry and handbags to furniture, clothing and gourmet foods. Shop for housewares, clothing, jewelry and more from nearly 200 independent retailers from across the country in one building. An Affair of the Heart Conway is presented by An Affair of the Heart, the largest arts, crafts and antiques show in Oklahoma. Admission is $7 per person for all three days. Visit heartofconway.com for more information.
It’s June, and families across Arkansas will be hitting the road for summer vacations. While summer break brings fun memories, safety should not take a backseat. “As families head out for vacations and cross-country road trips, it’s important to ensure your family’s safety by being prepared for problems that might arise,” said Chuck Smith, M.D., a family medicine specialist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). For a smoother ride, look for rest stops or historic sites where kids can get out and run around. If you ever feel tired behind the wheel, pull over immediately. Saving an hour is not worth your family’s safety. Keep these safety tips in mind: Buckle up and check car seats. Ensure car seats are properly installed, with children under 2 in rearfacing seats and any child under 13 in the backseat. Secure loose items. Don’t let luggage and gear become projectiles. Bring necessities. Bring drinks and snacks, and don’t forget garbage bags, baby wipes and paper towels. Be prepared for emergencies. Have a cell phone, first-aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, tire jack, work gloves, basic tools and duct tape. Remember, it’s a time to unwind and enjoy each other. That’s why it’s called vacation.
STARGAZING CRUISE JUNE 28, 9 P.M.-10:30 P.M., JOLLY ROGERS MARINA/LAKE MAUMELLE View the stars as you cruise on the tour boat on Lake Maumelle near Pinnacle Mountain. A park interpreter serves as your pilot and guide to learn about stars, constellations and satellites in the sky! Admission is $15 for adults, $8 for children ages 6 to 12. Advance payment and registration required. Call 501-868-5806 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For an appointment, call 501-686-8000 UAMShealth.com/centerforprimarycare THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JUNE 2015 Summer safety advertorial_FINAL.indd 1
5/12/15 12:59 PM
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POOL PROTECTION Ensure summertime swimming is safe and fun by following these tips
Who doesn’t love a weekend at the lake with their family, or maybe a relaxing Sunday by the pool? Temperatures during Arkansas summers make the water one of the most popular places to relax. But it’s important to educate your kids about the importance of swimming safely. Make sure that children always swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards, and ensure they are always accompanied by a responsible adult. It’s also important to always swim with a buddy, never alone. And while it may seem like common sense, never leave a young child unattended near water. Never swim in the dark, as it increases the risk for accident and injury. Also, it’s important to teach kids to refrain from any horseplay in the water, which includes any head-first diving. Having the appropriate safety devices is also key to swimming safety. Young children or anyone who is an inexperienced swimmer should wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while around water, but don’t rely solely on life jackets. It’s helpful to always have different types of flotation devices available—in and out of the water, for emergency situations and for general swimming. Also, if you have a pool at your house or a family member’s house, make sure that it’s secured with appropriate barriers. It’s important that everyone in your family learns to swim. If a parent does not know how to swim, there is only a 13-percent chance that a child in that household will learn how to swim, according to a national research study by the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis. Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine reports that participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children ages one to four years. Educate yourself and your family on the different types of swimming classes available. There are many for children and adults in central Arkansas. Educate yourself on what drowning looks like. In the movies it’s easy to spot: someone in the water is waving frantically and calling for help. But
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that isn’t how it usually happens. The call for help may come first, but when someone is actually beginning to drown, he or she is desperate for air. They are silent and struggling just to keep their nose and mouth above water. They could be bobbing up and down, stiff-armed and very still. Someone in this position will only be able to stay like this for 20-60 seconds before going underwater. Be aware of your surroundings and never assume someone who looks like they may be drowning is playing or joking. If you see someone drowning, immediately shout for help. No matter your experience or training, it’s always a good idea to have others assist you. If the victim seems to be unconscious, have someone call emergency services immediately. While it is hard to do, remember to stay calm and focused. People who panic are more likely to make mistakes and may also stress out the victim. Let the victim know that you’re coming to his or her aid. Next, remain calm and decide which rescue method to use. If a person is close enough to grab an arm, leg, paddle, shirt or something similar, perform a reaching assist. This is generally only helpful if the victim is within reach of the edge of the pool. Don’t attempt this type of rescue while you’re standing, as you’ll likely fall into the water. Instead, lie face down on the edge of the pool. Throw a flotation device to the victim if one is available. Dive into the water and swim to the victim as a last resort, when the victim is out of reach. Make sure to wear nose plugs and be careful to not swallow any water when you’re swimming in any type of warm, untreated freshwater, such as ponds. These bodies of water can be breeding grounds for life-threatening amoeba. If you’re swimming in this type of water, be sure to avoid stirring up the sediment, where the amoeba may live. The water can be so much fun, but only if you stay safe. For more information and tips on how to keep your children safe this summer while enjoying the water, visit QualChoice.com.
ing m o c s i g n i k c o something sh ery v o c s i d f o m u to the muse
world record bi-polar tesla coil debuting july 4
500 President Clinton Ave, Ste 150
Little Rock, AR 72201
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Inspiration, in the form of influencing ambient elements, is heavy in the air at Wildwood Park for the Arts. The wooded oasis in western Pulaski County is centered on the idea that natural, organic surroundings foster artistic endeavors of all sorts. That connection comes into sharp focus with Wildwood Park’s exhibition Inspired by Wildwood, which runs June 5 through August 2. Young artists from North Little Rock high schools spent a day in March taking ideas from their surroundings at Wildwood Park and used their sketches, photographs and interactions with the park to develop finished pieces. The students are part of a collaboration between Argenta Art Connection, an after school and summer visual arts work program, and Wildwood Park. As Art Connection’s executive director Hollie Lewis puts it, “All of the things we do—peer critique, teen leadership opportunities and professional development outings—are meant to propel these teens into leaders. We are hoping that we have equipped them with the 21st century skills that are needed for college, work and life.” Inspired by Wildwood was scheduled for the summer months in order to coincide with the Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts (WAMA), which will host over 100 students ages 6 through 18 from June 9-July 31. WAMA students will be surrounded by the work of Art Connections’ artists
GET READY TO CELEBRATE TH THE 4 OF JULY... EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR YOUR PARTY! ITEMS AS LOW AS
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PHOTOS COURTESY OF WILDWOOD PARK FOR THE ARTS
YOUTH ART EXHIBIT INSPIRED BY PARK’S SURROUNDINGS
ART IN THE PARK PRESENTS
INSPIRED BY WILDWOOD AN EXHIBITION FEATURING WORK BY ART CONNECTION ARTISTS AND ARTIST MENTORS, LILIA HERNANDEZ AND JUSTIN BRYANT
while making art of their own during visual arts classes inside Wildwood’s Art in the Park gallery spaces. Sofia Gonzalez, educational programs and Art in the Park coordinator, develops and curates Wildwood’s Art in the Park exhibitions. A professional artist, Gonzalez works behind the scenes at Wildwood to create, curate and schedule exhibitions. Her focus for Wildwood’s Art in the Park program is to create exhibition opportunities for young and emerging artists, in addition to artists with a new body of work that may not have a venue in Little Rock. Gonzalez says, “I think the best way to navigate the art world is by creating genuine connections and conversations with artists.” She created an online Art in the Park interview series to supplement each exhibition and allow the public to learn more about the artists in each Art in the Park show. “By exposing the person behind an art piece, including an artist’s studio habits, process and inspiration, art becomes more relatable and impactful for a viewer.” Inspired by Wildwood, as well as the opening reception, will be free and open to the public to experience the works and meet Art Connection artists. The exhibition will be accessible Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday hours will be noon to 4 p.m. Additional hours will be included for community events and WAMA faculty, guest artist and student performances throughout the summer.
11218 N. RODNEY PARHAM RD. / LITTLE ROCK
June 5-August 2 Wildwood Park for the Arts Gallery Hours: Weekdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Opening Reception: Thursday, June 11 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Free and open to the public Sponsored by Whole Foods Market Little Rock For more information about Inspired By Wildwood, visit wildwoodpark.org/art/ upcoming-exhibits. To learn more about Art Connection, visit argentaartconnection.org
4822 N. HILLS BLVD. / NORTH LITTLE ROCK
INVITATIONS • DECORATIONS • PARTY FAVORS • BALLOONS • PIÑATAS • CAKE SUPPLIES THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JUNE 2015
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Staycation Fun! GET OUT AND EXPLORE THE TREASURES OF THE NATURAL STATE
for Dig away diamonds !
Arkansans are particularly fortunate when it comes to the “staycation” as The Natural State features a wide range of attractions to fit any taste. In fact, the list of activities and attractions is so long and diverse, it probably will surprise you, especially if you haven’t ventured outside central Arkansas in a while.
Explore CRATER OF DIAMONDS STATE PARK In more than a century since the first diamonds were discovered on a farm near Murfreesboro, the 37-acre surface diamond dig has grown to host more than 60,000 visitors a year and yielded over 75,000 diamonds. Crater of Diamonds is the only place in the world you can pay a fee to dig for diamonds and keep whatever you find. Over the years, the park has grown to include other familyfriendly attractions, including a visitor’s center, campsites and picnic facilities, a café, hiking trails, interpretive programs and the Diamond Springs Water Park.
ings nchard Spr
Bla Cool off at
Hope Cave City or o ns , which d watermelo ? you prefer
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CAVES Diamonds aren’t the state’s only geological wonders: Underneath Arkansas’ scenic landscape lies a subterranean world of caves, fossils and crystals. For a fee, visitors can tour these weird and fascinating natural spaces at Bull Shoals, Berryville, Harrison, Rogers and Eureka Springs, among others. Cave tours are particularly attractive in the summer because the average temperature in a cave hovers around 60 degrees year around. Some tours require more physical exertion than others and access points vary, so be sure to ask questions before planning your vacation around a particular site. COMMUNITY FESTIVALS Something that makes a vacation memorable is the local flavor lent by summertime festivals across the state. Only in Arkansas can you cheer the World Championship Rotary Tiller Race (Emerson), celebrate pink tomatoes (Warren), salute the grape (Altus) and choose your side in the ongoing battle royale over who is really the Watermelon Capital of the World: Cave City or Hope.
PHOTO COURTESY ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND TOURISM/ILLUSTRATIONS VINCE GRIFFIN
B Y D WA I N H E B D A
Outdoors CANOE/FLOAT Nothing personifies stress relief than floating down one of Arkansas’ rivers. One of the most famous is the Buffalo National River, the first national river in the country. At 150 miles long, the waterway offers a little something for everyone’s tastes. From hiking around the Upper Buffalo Wilderness at its headwaters to the prime floats between Ponca and Arkansas Highway 7 (formerly Pruitt) or from Carver to the U.S. 65 Bridge, the Buffalo offers scenery, tranquility and even whitewater for those who seek it. From U.S. 65 to Buffalo City where it meets the White River (itself offering outstanding fishing and floating options), things slow down and unwind in some of the state’s most rustic areas. Experienced floaters point to the 7.5mile stretch from Buffalo Point to Rush as the perfect family float—short, safe and scenic. ADVENTURE PARKS Those who take their vacation with a side of adrenaline will want to consider some of the extreme activities offered through the state’s parks system. Nicknamed “Adventure Parks,” every state park offers something interesting, including kayaking on the Cossatot River, rock climbing at Mount Magazine, hiking or mountain biking at Pinnacle Mountain or Devil’s Den, hang gliding at Mount Nebo, or horseback riding at Village Creek or Hobbs State Park. Ages and physical restrictions may apply.
Paddle On !
Buffalo Na ti
Grab the b ikes and get rea dy
to roll ...
Hang gliding at Mount Magazine
Lake Catherine State Park
Arkansas state parks are yours to enjoy. Choose from 52 parks where you can connect with nature, experience new adventures, and play in Arkansas’s big backyard.
My park, your park, our parks
A r k a n s a s S t a t e Pa r k s . c o m
# A R S t a t e Pa r k s THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JUNE 2015
Take an art break at Crystal Bridges .
ails Enjoy the tr
Delta Cultural Center is great for music lovers.
ZIPLINES One of the fastest-growing attractions in Arkansas are ziplines—steel cables on which visitors are harnessed and whiz through the treetops—offering the thrill of a roller coaster with the scenery of the forest. Some are located in and operated by Arkansas state parks, others are operated in conjunction with ropes courses while others are privately operated and may be part of another attraction such as a dude ranch. At last count, there were more than a dozen such sites, most of which welcome groups as well as individual families. Pricing and hours of operation vary by location.
Arts & Heritage
CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART Located in Bentonville, this cultural gem offers a permanent collection spanning five centuries of American masterworks. In addition to the art, Crystal Bridges includes three miles of walking/biking trails, a restaurant— Eleven— and areas for concerts and public events. Families will appreciate the wealth of programs and events designed especially for children and families including public performances, family tours and a variety of drop-in and guided art-making sessions with artist-educators. The drop-in classes give Mom and Dad the chance to take in the attraction while the kids create and learn.
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ler Bob Whee
w Science Sky
OZARK FOLK CENTER & DELTA CULTURAL CENTER Celebrating two of the state’s distinct regions, the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View and the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, trace the unique history and music of the region. The Ozark Folk Center is dedicated to sharing the heritage and handicrafts of the Ozark Mountain people. Attend workshops in pioneer crafts, herb gardening and traditional American folk music, as well as special folk arts and crafts programs for children and seniors. See traditional handiworks made by local artisans and listen to the music of the hills from the many folk music concerts and performers. Music lovers will appreciate the Delta Cultural Center’s tracing of the American art musical art form, including live broadcast legendary King Biscuit Time radio show. A special area for kids features a fully-restored caboose and exhibits showing the role of the river as a social and commercial touchpoint in the region. Other exhibits examine the evolution of the Delta from native peoples and settlement through the Civil War and the struggle to remain viable in changing times. MID-AMERICA SCIENCE MUSEUM The newly renovated Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs has tons of exciting things for families to explore. The Oaklawn Foundation Digital Dome Theater seats up to 50 people and has full-dome projection-style films that will immerse you with a 180-degree viewing area.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY/ARKANSAS PARKS & TOURISM/MID-AMERICA MUSEUM/LOCO ROPES/OZARK FOLK CENTER
Zip over to Loco Ropes whil e you’re in Mounta in View !
Exercise yo ur noggin’ at the M indbend er Mansion
Learn abo ut film Animation Workshop at M id -Am erica Science Mu seum
The Bob Wheeler Science Skywalk is an outdoor exhibition that extends into the forest canopy from the main building, offering visitors young and old an opportunity to experience a shift in perspective as they investigate science found in nature. A tree-house pavilion, rope netting and hands-on activities add to the adventure. And don’t miss the four workshops, each of which is based on specific topics in science. The “Animation Workshop” explores stop motion animation using computers, 16mm film and a variety of zoetropes. A 10-foot tall climbing structure anchors the “Rhythm and Patterns Workshop,” where children and adults can learn how math is used in our daily lives. The “Force and Energy Workshop” uses a vintage steam engine, infrared imaging and a giant gravity tower to examine the relationship between force and energy, while the “Fluid Motion Workshop” showcases a two-story interactive water tower that will engage all ages. MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY For those staying very close to home, check out the Museum Discovery in Little Rock and Mister E. and the Mindbender Society, which leads kids through Mindbender Mansion. This unique attraction is filled with puzzles and interactive challenges that test the brain power and problem-solving skills of children and adults alike. Some of the challenges offered by Mr. E. are solved individually while others require visitors to work together. The exhibit runs through September. 7. For more ideas, visit the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism website, www.arkansas.com. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JUNE 2015
DAD MOMSPEAK BEN BRAINARD PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARA REEVES
AGE: 38 OCCUPATION: PARTNER, YELLOW ROCKET CONCEPTS CHILDREN: JOHN HOLDEN, 5; MIRIAM RYAN, TURNS 1 IN LATE JUNE ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS TO DO WITH MY KIDS IS: I really enjoy reading
to my children at night before bed. It seems so insignificant, but I work such bizarre hours that the opportunity to see them before they go to sleep is really special. John Holden is at the age were he picks the longest book possible to delay going to bed. What I haven’t told him is I will pick the longest book as well just to spend a little more time with him. THE MOST AWESOME PART OF BEING A DAD IS: My son thinks I’m the strongest person alive. It’s a preposterous idea obviously, but I really take pride in how proud of me he is. I drive a pickup truck, but to him I drive a “monster truck.” It’s awesome that I am so cool to him because I’m just about the least cool person on the planet. THE BEST PART OF MY JOB IS: I love feeding people. I love serving people. I love
welcoming people into my businesses and taking care of them. Happy customers make my job the best job in the world. IF I COULD ONLY EAT ONE DISH FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, IT WOULD BE: Fried
chicken. I love old Southern staples like collard greens and corn bread with it. Fried chicken reminds me of growing up watching my grandmother cook. She is the reason why I cook now. I LOVE MY COMMUNITY, I GET INVOLVED BY: Often times, this will find me
donating gift cards or auctioning myself off for a private evening cooking at someone’s home. But that is such a passive way to be involved. A little over a year ago I found myself giving in a different, more active way. I found myself driving down I-40 the day after Mayflower was hit by a tornado. I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived, all I knew was I couldn’t sit back and watch the news without getting involved. I found myself going back the next day, and the next, and the next, this time with a plan and a truck full of food, clothes and toiletries. I gave where it was needed most and those few days had a more profound impact on me than I could have ever anticipated. SUMMER IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER. I PLAN TO: Every summer our
family travels to Rosemary Beach, Florida, for a week. It is the highlight of my year. Rarely am I able to kick off my shoes and not think about work for 10 days in a row. I play in the sand, fly kites, cook huge pieces of fresh fish and laugh. It is a wonderful opportunity to relax, enjoy time with the family and be thankful for everything that we have. MY FAVORITE PICK-ME-UP ON A STRESSFUL DAY IS: My daughter. She smiles so big when she sees me, that truly nothing else matters in the world. She is just now getting her first teeth, but I will forever remember that huge toothless grin greeting me every time I walk in the door. She is my angel. IT’S FRIDAY NIGHT AND I’M HOME ALONE, SO I: Open a bottle of wine, turn on
a movie and lay in bed. It isn’t often that I have the opportunity for complete silence. My day-to-day life is so loud that when I can get a few hours of quiet, I really enjoy it. Though more often than not, I would just as soon have the twerps next me and watch Star Wars with a bowl of popcorn.
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