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July 2016


Peekaboo Pet Picks A Tribute to My Sister

Heroes for Maggie

*Expires 7/31/16


Family Kimberly Enderle Editor-in-Chief editor@peekaboonwa.com | 479-957-0532

Jonathon Enderle Creative Director jon@peekaboonwa.com | 479-586-3890

Addi McNeel Associate Editor

Columnist Kim and Jonathon with Ava, Grant and Holden Enderle. Photo by Main Street Studios

contributing writer/Editor Frances Wilson

Distribution/ Circulation Joyce Whitaker Judy Evans Marcedalia Salinas

Ben Lacy Dad’s View


Jeremy Whitaker Michelle Dodson

Peekaboo Publications

Veronica Zucca Story Design

PO Box 1036 Bentonville, Arkansas 72712 Please send inquiries to: editor@peekaboonwa.com or call 479-957-0532 www.peekaboonwa.com Peekaboo may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Views expressed herein are those of the authors and advertisers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the magazine.

Peekaboo Northwest Arkansas accepts writing contributions

Kristin Hvizda Dalai Mama


Jennifer Cristofaro Events


J ULY 2 0 1 6 20

A Champion of Hope by: Sadie Yount


Dad’s View by: Ben Lacy


Preventing Heat Strokes

by: Northwest Health System


Heroes 4 Maggie


NUK Outtakes ®

by: Kelly alexander


Finding a Family-Friendly Pet at the Pound by: Addi Mcneel


DEB Project

BY: Sammy Laney


Save Our Shelter by: NWA Women’s shelter


Why I Converted to a Minivan Mom



Meet Amberlee

A Tribute to My Sister

by: Cindy Bailey

by: Cicely Samuels

by: Kate desmond


An Ameowzing New Catfe by: Addi Mcneel


Service Dogs of Distinction by: chris Erwin


Overwhelmed to in Control by: meagan ruffing

on the cover 46

Myles and Buddy by: MINDY Cavanaugh


Suzie Belle and the Dress Dilemma by: Ann averitt

Cover Sponsored by: Northwest Health System www.northwesthealth.com

10 July 2016

Rylie , 11, Cade, 8, children of Scott & Christie Hancock of Fayetteville. Copper is a golden doodle from Platinum Goldies of Everton, AR Cover Photo by: Bethany Blair Photography bethanyblair.com

from the editor A look ahead: If you have a story to share, or an idea for a story, email editor@peekaboonwa.com and be a part of the Peekaboo family! To be a part of the NUK photo outtake feature next month, email your final take as well as a funny or silly outtake to: editor@peekaboonwa.com See this month’s NUK edition on page 22-23. Photo by: Ever After Portraiture


ummer is officially upon us! Children all across Northwest Arkansas have been counting down to this season, and it is now in full swing. June 16 was Holden’s last day of kindergarten, and the end of the non-traditional year-round calendar in Bentonville.

When it comes to summer, I always find myself in a panic, a race to do as much for and with my kids as possible. The end goal: to make it the best summer ever, without a drop of boredom. The end result, though, is usually a lot of days where we over-pack our day, only to find ourselves fussing at each other, tired, cranky, and missing every fun part of the “fun” day. As I write this letter, all of the kids are indoors – I should be relaxed and enjoying the fact that I have the option to work with my littlest one laying on my lap, but, instead, I am worried that I am not doing enough for them. We haven’t been to the library in forever, the splash park hasn’t been visited yet, but they are content. Today is a “mental health” day – a day to regroup and recharge. There is no question that kids need routine, but, when the last school bell rings signaling the end of the year, all routines immediately go out the rolled down car window. Reasonable bed time? Forget it, because the sun doesn’t even think about trying to set until past my own bedtime. Meals within a normal breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner schedule? Impossible. Most of the time, the first meal falls at the same time my kindergartner was used to eating lunch at school, and unless ice cream at Spark Cafe counts as lunch, then we have missed that meal too. Rules are also relaxed in order to just keep the day moving forward. “So you mean we can

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jump on the cushions that you said we couldn’t jump on yesterday?” my kids ask. Well, as long as they give me 15 minutes to edit a story, and as long as they don’t hurt themselves, they can do anything they want, within reason. Not exactly textbook scenarios for how to run a family smoothly and with consistency, but--it’s summer! Can’t we get a break? My hope is that, at the end of this summer, the kids can say, “We had a fun summer” – one that wasn’t filled with fights and bickering because I overbooked them and pushed them to keep “doing” so I could ensure that we had done enough. That is why a mental health day is vital. A day when Netflix and cuddles are on repeat all day, and pizza delivery is on the menu. A day like this is just what we need to counteract the heat and the side effects of “sibling time” on overtime. Here are other ways we are seizing summer: Accept boredom and free play: When the kids say that they are bored, don’t take it as a sign that you aren’t doing enough – take it as a challenge! Encouage your children to not see it as a problem, but a way to get creative and find their own ways to change their state of mind. Encourage them to have time to just play, discover their own interests, and to use their imagination. Seize a slower pace - it is easy to want to pack in as much as possible, but remember the days when you could lay on the couch and watch morning cartoons in your pjs. Give your kids the same opportunity without feeling guilty about being lazy. An unhurried pace is healthy, and a little time laying in the grass with the kids finding shapes in the clouds can be both good for the mind and for the soul – all while creating memories your children will take with them forever! Happy summer!

S t o r y b y : K e ll y A l e x a n d e r

Maggie’s story starts out much like any other toddler’s story. We had our perfect little family – just me, her dad, and her sweet big brother Landon. But we wanted Landon to have a sibling. Of course, we had hoped for a little girl, a baby sister that would wrap him around her little finger. We were so excited when our suspicions were confirmed! We had only been home from the hospital with Maggie for a few days when we realized that she was not keeping her food down. Everyone told us that spitting up was normal, but this was not normal. It scared us. After many trips to the doctor, she was diagnosed with malrotation of the intestines. Immediately, we were rushed to Arkansas Children’s Hospital for surgery. At just nine days old, it was heartbreaking to see her lying in that tiny hospital bed covered in wires, tubes,

16 July 2016

and IVs. I would have to say that, at the time, it was probably one of the scariest things we had ever been through. Not long after we arrived home from the hospital, I found out that I had a breast infection and was admitted back to the hospital. After my 9-dayold newborn just had surgery, I was forced to be away from her for days and endure my own surgery. There is nothing worse than knowing you have a newborn that you cannot see, let alone hold, or take care of – especially after her tiny baby body had just gone through surgery. It was heartbreaking. Days felt like centuries without her. Once I was released and home, we were finally able to get back to our lives and enjoy our time as a family. At this point, even the normal exhaustion that comes from delivery and having a newborn was a welcome relief for all of us. Several months went by, and we were grateful that everyone was healthy, happy, and life was more or less normal. We would think back to Maggie’s surgery, to my surgery, and about how strong we had become because of it. In reality, it had all become a distant memory. Maggie, now nine months old, was a healthy and happy baby. Always smiling, always laughing at her dad and her big brother Landon, and, man, did she love to “dance” when she heard music

of any kind. She would drop everything she was doing to bop up and down to the beat. Generally, by nine months old, babies can at least sit up by themselves. Maggie seemed to really struggle at this point to sit up on her own. I grew more and more concerned about it, so we saw a doctor, just to be safe. They assured us that she was simply a late bloomer – everything was okay. But it wasn’t. It was not okay. After worry, the doctors finally diagnosed her with low muscle tone. While frustrated, we were, of course, relieved that is was something that could be corrected with physical therapy. Again, we were told that everything would be fine. At 15 months old – a time when we should have been complaining about not being able to keep up with her because she was running all over the house – she was slowly declining from a crawl to not even being able to move her body on her own. We went from frustrated to scared to death. So many things went through our minds, but nothing could have prepared us for what was about to happen.

strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to walk, and sometimes even eat or breathe.

Our little girl would not play on the playground equipment; she would not play soccer, or volleyball, or softball – not like most kids anyway. She would have to endure poking, prodding, doctor visits, wheelchairs, and breathing months of treatments. This is not how it’s supposed to be when you have kids. I’m not even My head was sure I’ve fully dealt with it yet, almost spinning, and I had two years later. I just do what I have all these questions, to do and try not to make our whole life about SMA; some days are easier but all I could do than others. It’s our new normal. was cry. I was in

a haze the next few days, maybe even weeks. Spinal Muscular Atrophy is a disease that robs children of physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to walk, and sometimes even eat or breathe.

We were referred to a neurologist who, thankfully, got us in on a cancellation – or we would have had to wait another two months for an appointment. We just could not bear the thought of waiting that long to help our precious girl. It is all a little blurry in my head... the talk of muscle diseases and what could be wrong. She didn’t know if Maggie would ever walk. I am not sure how to explain what it felt like to hear those words – to know that your baby might never walk. The neurologist felt like Maggie was showing all the signs of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). I don’t think that term sunk in at that point. We had so many questions, and not many answers.

After several blood tests, negative results, more blood tests, and weeks of waiting, Maggie was diagnosed with SMA type 2. It was July 24, 2014, a day that I will never forget. My head was spinning, and I had all these questions, but all I could do was cry. I was in a haze the next few days, maybe even weeks. SMA is a disease that robs children of physical

Reality did finally set in. Not only did we now have a baby with SMA who would need special care and treatment for the rest of her life; but also a little boy who couldn’t possibly understand what was happening. Our son Landon has taken this well. I do not think he realized what was going on initially; he was just too young. And I am not going to lie, at times, it has been just as hard or harder on him, as it has been for us. He is an incredible kid, and an amazing big brother to Maggie.

Maggie’s everyday needs are so different than that of a normal 3-year-old. She requires breathing treatments with special equipment. Maggie has been admitted to the hospital for RSV and for pneumonia, which is very dangerous for kids with SMA. It can make them much weaker than they already are, and cause them to lose respiratory function. In order that she does not aspirate, we have to thicken all of her liquids. If she does something as simple as dropping a toy on the ground, she cannot bend over by herself and pick it up. Think of almost anything that you do on a daily basis for yourself, she has to have help with it. SMA is just nasty. It is scary, and it is sad. There is nothing more heartbreaking than to have your daughter call out to you because she is slumped

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#Heroes4Maggie over in her chair and cannot sit herself up. It just breaks my heart. It scares me every time I hear her cough or see her have a running nose. A simple cold can turn into pneumonia and take so much more from her or even take her from us. I’ve seen it happen much more than I would like with other families of kids with SMA. It scares me every single day of my life. Our family and friends have been a huge support system for us. But none of them knew what SMA was, so we sought out support in the Miller McNeil Woodruff Foundation. Not only have they been there to support us emotionally, but they also helped us remodel our home so that it was wheelchairuser accessible, and helped us get a van so that we could finally transport her electric wheelchair. If it were not for them, she would not be living even

#Heroes4Maggie a sliver of a normal life. I also don’t know where we would be without Maggie’s school, Kids First. They love and take care of her just like we do. Maggie is not only an SMA patient - she is so much more than that. She is the funniest, smartest little girl. She still loves to sing and dance, and is the strongest, most amazing little 3-year-old I have ever met. She is our little sunshine. I always try to remember that when SMA gets to me. Maggie knows that something is different about her than her brother and other kids, but it doesn’t hold her back. This is her normal. She still plays hide and seek, she powers around the yard chasing her brother, she powers around the house just like the other kids when we have company over. She is a ray of light to everyone she meets. Her sweet wry grins are absolutely contagious. Maggie is doing well right now; she has recovered from her last three bouts of pneumonia this winter with no lasting effects. But that is only a small piece of what she will endure the rest of her life. We will always have to see specialists, do swallow studies, sleep tests, and bone density tests. Maggie will always need wheelchairs, equipment like standers, special car seats, and machines to help keep her lungs healthy, like her cough assist and shaker vest. We want to spread awareness about SMA and what it can do to children. There are many types of SMA, and some are worse than others. We are grateful that we have the time with her that we do. It may not be a normal life, but it is our life, and our kids are our everything. If you would like to learn more about SMA and follow Maggie’s journey, she has her very own Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ heroes4maggie/Please consider helping her on the GFM page at https://www.gofundme.com/ theheroes4maggie



A Champion of Hope

By Sadie Yount

Color of Hope Champion Child Kaylee Weaver is winning her battle against childhood cancer


his past April, the Weaver family marked a major family milestone as they sat in the clinic room at ACH waiting to be seen: three years to the day that Kaylee began her battle with cancer. In March of 2013, Nick and Jamie’s daughter Kaylee began experiencing stomach aches that would not go away. Soon after, the 3-year-old was diagnosed with a rare neurological cancer, stage 3 high-risk neuroblastoma. Kaylee’s physician suggested the family get to Arkansas Children’s Hospital immediately. “We arrived on a Thursday night, and by Monday Kaylee was undergoing an 11-hour surgery to remove the tumor. It was wrapped around one of her kidneys,” Jamie said. Following the surgery, the Weavers went back to ACH multiple times in April of 2013 so Kaylee could receive a high dose of chemotherapy to treat the aggressive cancer. Kaylee also underwent a stem cell transplant in October, a procedure involving the extraction of her own stem cells that were then placed back into her body. “Our initial experience and all of the inpatient stays were so hard,” Nick said. “I’ll never forget talking with one of the nurses when we were first admitted-our world was spinning so fast.”

20 July 2016

Kaylee is currently participating in a clinical trial with Dr. Kathleen Neville here at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. The trial offers experimental therapeutic medicine called DFMO, which has been used to treat other illnesses and shows promise in preventing a relapse in neuroblastoma. Kaylee and her family traveled for about a year to another institution to participate in the trial, until Dr. Neville relocated to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. The experimental therapeutics program is a part of the “process

that takes drugs from the ‘bench to the bedside’,” Dr. Neville said. Thanks to the work of Dr. Neville and her team, the research they are doing today will create a healthier tomorrow for children battling cancer. The road to recovery has been a long one for Kaylee, but now her scans are clear. “We are so thankful for all of the research and advancements that have been made in cancer research, and, of course, we pray for a cure – not only for neuroblastoma, but for all forms of cancer,” Nick said.

Without the community and philanthropy, programs like Dr. Neville’s would not exist. Dr. Neville explains that neuroblastoma is a rare disease, which means the funds for pediatric cancer research are hard to acquire. The research is heavily dependent on the community to help fund the trials and other research. Arkansas Children’s Hospital received more than 450,000 patient visits last year. You, too, can help kids like Kaylee have a better today and healthier tomorrow. Will Golf 4 Kids August 4-5, 2016 Kingsdale Golf Complex in Bella Vista Color of Hope August 5, 2016 John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers To register a golf team or to purchase tickets visit www.willgolf4kids.org

The Weavers, like many other families, are looking forward to the arrival of Arkansas Children’s Northwest. The family has made the six-hour round trip dozens of times. “We are excited to see Arkansas Children’s have a greater presence in the Northwest Arkansas area,” Nick said. “We know a lot of friends who have also been diagnosed and treated at ACH, and having the ability

to remain a little closer to home would be so helpful to families.” Kaylee will serve as the 2016 Champion Child at Will Golf for Kids and the Color of Hope Gala in Northwest Arkansas on Friday, August 5, 2016. She and her family will celebrate the funds raised for Arkansas Children’s Northwest, and welcome a healthier tomorrow for all children in Arkansas.

Every family picture posted on social media or framed and hanging in the hallway has a story behind it - a “real” story. A picture is worth a thousand words, but the outtakes are worth even more!

! s e k a i OU i Kids and pets make the best cover models... and also give the best outtakes!

Rylie and Cooper


Wesson Antrim, 6 months, and Josiah Wood, 10 days old. As best friends and moms of two other kids of the same age and gender, the anticipation of these two baby boys’ meeting was highly anticipated, but it was not the cute insta-friend we had hoped for! - Torrey Antrim

22 July 2016

Bethany Blair Photography www.bethanyblair.com

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If you would like to be a part of the August Outtakes, email editor@peekaboonwa.com with the final shot, the fun outtake, and photographer name. Have great shots on your camera or phone, we want to see those, too!

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Outstanding Kid by: Cindy Bailey

meet AmbeRlEe This is my sweet, spunky, 8-year-old granddaughter, Amberlee. She loves God, her family, ballet, animals, and helping others. Today, she’s the light of our lives, but, just a few years ago, we didn’t know if the happy, wonderful life she has now was even going to be possible. It began when Amberlee was in pre-K. She was sick pretty much all the time, and missed quite a lot of school because of it. It seemed that she was constantly running through a revolving door of sore throats, colds, and/or ear infections. Eventually, her mom and dad decided to have her tonsils taken out, in hopes that the surgery would help her avoid missing as much school in kindergarten. She went in as an outpatient to have her tonsils removed, and everything went smoothly. About a week after her return home, however, Amberlee became extremely ill. She only weighed 40 to 45 pounds at the time, being five years old, which meant that it made a huge difference when she

started losing weight due to diarrhea. She was so sick that she ended up losing about a fifth of her body weight. Our girl was in so much pain, and had extremely dark circles under her eyes, so her mom packed her in the car and took her to the hospital, where she was admitted immediately. Amberlee was in the hospital for an entire week. The technicians there performed all sorts of tests--blood tests, X-rays, CAT scans, ultrasounds, you name it. Then... they found it. The reason for her sickness and pain. Our beautiful little 5-year-old had cysts in her liver. As her NaNa, I remember that phone call

perfectly. I couldn’t get to the hospital fast enough. We were so, so incredibly scared, and our hearts broke for this sweet, innocent girl who was the light of our lives. The doctors in Springdale said that they had never seen these particular symptoms in a child so young – that this was something that was usually only seen in adults with liver disease. They didn’t know what to do, so she was referred to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. The whole family was so frightened, because we didn’t know what was going to happen. Her first trip to Arkansas Children’s Hospital was the week before Labor Day. She went and saw the liver doctor and had many tests done. Afterwards, her mom and dad and I took Amberlee and her little sister, Emmalee, to Mississippi for our family reunion. We wanted to make this trip as fun as possible for Amberlee, and took the girls to the

{} We know God is watching over her. There were so many times when we didn’t know if she would be able to have this life that she has now, but God has plans for her.

beach for the first time. After all, we didn’t know if it would be her last. We also took them to an alligator farm, where she loved holding the baby alligator, and, after that, we took the girls to a carnival. We were simply doing our best to keep her spirits up. When we came home from our trip, we waited for the results from her tests while Amberlee started kindergarten. She loved her teacher and her class, especially because, since her teacher knew what was going on with her, she could keep a close eye on Amberlee at school and help her if she needed it. Amberlee was still missing a lot of school because she was so sick, which was hard on her, because she’s so smart and loves learning. During that time, she would have terribly painful episodes. She could be fine, happy and playing, and then, in an instant, she would double over in pain, curling up on the floor and screaming. We never knew when it would hit her. All we could do was give her pain medication as soon as it started and sit with her and try to comfort her until it passed, anywhere from ten to thirty minutes.. She would scream and cry uncontrollably because it hurt so badly, and we would cry with her for the duration of the pain. The doctors at Arkansas Children’s Hospital had never seen this condition in a child her age either. They couldn’t tell us how it happened, what caused it, or what her prognosis was. During one

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of her MRI’s, they found that her gallbladder was not functioning correctly, so they decided remove it surgically. When we found out that she would be having this surgery, and possibly others, we pulled Amberlee out of school and I started homeschooling her. We knew she would be missing too much, and we’d have to make do with the situation we had. When she had the surgery to remove her gallbladder, it helped with the pain, but her episodes didn’t disappear. She was still having to go to Arkansas Children’s Hospital to have MRI’s and ultrasounds. The doctors were hoping the cysts would go away on their own, but it simply wasn’t happening. Eventually, they referred her to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The trip to Cincinnati was a very long drive, but she was excited to see things and places that she had never seen before. The liver specialist there did tests and decided that he didn’t think that liver

meet AmbeRlEe surgery was necessary at the time. He kept a close eye on the cysts, while she still had to make trips to Arkansas Children’s Hospital for ultrasounds and blood work. We know now that the cysts are not growing, but that they are not shrinking or disappearing either. We know if they do grow, she will be facing liver surgery. We pray every day that it won’t be necessary, but we know that God is watching over her. There were so many times when we didn’t know if she would be able to have this life that she has now, but God has plans for her. She is thankful for every day, and so are we. She still has to have ultrasounds and bloodwork to check her liver every three to four months, but, fortunately, she loves her doctors and nurses at ACH.

28 July 2016

We were so happy to see that the doctors at Arkansas Children’s Hospital were great with her. They were so kind and tender. If she had an MRI or blood drawn or an ultrasound, they always explained everything to her – even showing her videos of what they would be doing so that she wouldn’t be scared. We can never thank them enough for their kindness. Amberlee grew to trust and feel a real friendship with all her nurses and her doctor. She went through every test and every needle stick with a smile... even impending MRI’s. When she had to have MRI’s, she would have to be put to sleep so that she would be perfectly still. Every time, we worried and waited. Through all of this turmoil, Amberlee has had a smile on her face. Her faith in God is strong. She used to love playing soccer, but, after she got sick, she couldn’t play anymore, which was an understandably huge disappointment. However, she has found a new passion, ballet, and has begun dancing in a Christian ballet group. Just two weeks ago, she won a silver medal with honors in the Christian Ballet Olympics. She also says that, when she grows up, she wants to be a doctor at Arkansas Children’s Hospital so that she can help kids, just like the doctors she met there helped her. If you can’t tell, Amberlee really loves to help and give to others. She is always thinking of new ways to make other folks feel better. For instance, she has collected trial-size toiletries to give to Arkansas Children’s Hospital through our homeschool group. These toiletries will be donated to needy families whose children became sick or injured suddenly, necessitating a rush to ACH without everything they need. Furthermore, Amberlee and her friends made bracelets to sell, and then donated the money to our church. Right now, though, she is making cards to take to nursing homes to brighten the residents’ days, as well as making birthday cards to take to homeless shelters for children who are there on their birthday. She has such a pure heart, and can always be seen helping smaller children at the park or on our homeschool field trips. as well as at home, helping her younger brother and sister with their school work. She loves God, and loves going to church. Amberlee loves spending time with her family, hunting and fishing with her daddy, getting her nails done with her mommy, and playing with her beloved younger brother and sister. Amberlee loves and collects angels, and even believes that she has a special angel named Craig watching over her! We truly believe that God has a very special purpose for her. Amberlee has been through so much in her short eight years, but she has never let it get her down. She has never felt sorry for herself. She understands that there are so many other children

who are much sicker than her, and that there are children that have a lot less than she has. In fact, she is always going through her clothes and toys

to give to others that don’t have as much as she does. On that note, her newest project is to collect toys and games for children at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, because she wants to make sure every child feels the love that she has felt. She would be so happy if everyone would donate a new toy or game that can be given to the kids at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Even just a coloring book and crayons or stickers can make a child smile and forget for a little while. Amberlee has scheduled her toy drive for the weekend of July 15, 16, and 17 of 2016, so that she collect these toys to take down to the kids and give them a “Christmas in July.” Amberlee wants to set up a table at Johnson City Park to collect the new toys, games, and books. Right now, we just let Amberlee live life to its fullest. She’s experienced loss, and has learned that tomorrow isn’t always promised, so she lives her life for today. She wants everyone to feel God’s love and her love. She makes us proud every single day, showing us how to love unconditionally, and we are proud to be Amberlee’s angels. In short, she truly inspires us to be better people.

She is thankful for EveRY day and so aRe we.

If you would like to help any of Amberlee’s projects, all you have to do is donate a toy, donate trial size hygiene items, donate your time, or send a card to someone who needs a smile. If you spend some time helping others, then you will be one of Amberlee’s Angels, too!





To EaRn MoNeY



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know I’m a bit behind the times, but I just watched Captain America: Civil War with the kiddos. Not that anyone is asking, but I give it a C-, mostly due to the fact that there are now a bazillion superheroes, and after a dozen plus Avenger-centric movies I’m completely lost in the “Marvel Cinematic Universe.” However, if you factor in getting to hang out with the urchins and annihilate an unlimited supply of insanely-fatloaded-but-so-freakin-awesome-buttery popcorn and a two pound bag of M&M’s, then the grade quickly moves up to an A (don’t tell Mom). Anyway, Iron Man and Black Widow and that weird Vision dude and the freaky chick with the red stuff coming out of her hands all pounded each other into oblivion for over two hours and I still don’t know who is on what side. Not to ruin the movie – and I won’t – but it seemed like several of them switched sides. I can relate. This was the movie where the kids and I switched sides. Huh? What you talkin’ bout, Willis? Actually, that’s exactly my point. You see, the offspring now see me as the old man, the elder, pops, the dad, the guy who spouts off 80’s TV show references to

people born in a different century. This was the movie where I pleaded with them to come with me, instead of the other way around. We switched sides. For a while, when they are younger you can get away with being their friend because they don’t know any better. And don’t hit me with that “A good parent is never a friend to their child” stuff. I get it, and that’s not what I’m saying. But there is a precious space of time, just a few years while they are growing up, where your kids will willingly be seen with you in public. You know, that time in life where they want you to play Legos with them, or when you can participate in the driveway basketball game with their friends, or when snuggling with them on the couch for a Pixar flick or two is kosher. Not anymore. The Captain America movie was the turning point. I have to hand it to my kids; they were clever in avoiding spending time with me. It took me a while to figure out what was going on. They either didn’t want to hear me complain, or wanted to let me down easy; I hope the latter. First, they all drug their heels committing to the movie. In the end, I was border-line begging them to go with me (okay, I was begging). We’d watched so many Marvel movies together; we owed it to each other

to continue the streak! They finally caved, but only if we went to an absurdly early Saturday showing. Seriously, it was so early I was surprised they weren’t serving pancakes at the concession stand.

I don’t like it, but I get it. It’s one of those things that happens during the relationship evolution between parents and children.

Then they all had “things” that made me curious about their desire (I assumed they were just tired of the genre, but afterwards they seemed to really enjoy the movie). Example: the oldest wanted to wear a jacket (85 degrees outside) and a black cap pulled so far down Jay Z would have been proud. Middle kid took an inordinate amount of time getting ready. Seriously, this dude has no shame and will walk out sporting three different shades of neon green apparel with mismatched socks and not think anything about it. But, this time, it took him a half hour of prep-time which resulted in us just making the show. The youngest of the bunch finally outright refused to go because “I really want to see it, but only when it comes out on Red Box.”

One day you’re cool, the next you’re a fool.

Now I know the truth. The youngest gave me the lame “Red Box” excuse because he didn’t want to hang with Pops. Ouch. Pretty sure Child #1 and Child #2 conspired to be late so they could briskly walk through the theatre without being seen with the old guy. That’s okay, I got a little revenge: the oldest nearly passed out from oxygen deprivation, since at one point her hat was so low it covered her nose and mouth.

One day you’re holding your daughter’s hand as she leaves kindergarten, and the next day she asks to be dropped off approximately a marathon away from school lest she be seen with you. As they say, it is what it is, and in some ways it is good to see them become independent. Maybe we’ll miss the next Marvel movie in all its computer -generated glory. Or maybe I’ll go by myself and be that creepy dude in the back of the movie theater sitting alone. If that happens I’m still be getting the trash can size of buttery popcorn (again, don’t tell Mom). But, you can be darn sure I’m dragging them with me to the next Star Wars movie. Some things are too sacred!

Northwest Health System

PreventionisKey toAvoiding Heat Stroke


ronically, the first sign of dangerous heat stroke or heat-related illness is often the absence of sweat. As the temperature rises, your body’s natural cooling mechanism – perspiration – evaporates and helps to cool your body. But on those really hot and humid days, evaporation is slowed and your body runs a higher risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. “Virtually all heat-related illnesses are preventable,” said Dr. Danelle Richards, Emergency Department Physician at Northwest Health. “Be extra careful when the heat index is 90 degrees or above, and always drink plenty of water or fluids with electrolytes when the heat index is high. If you must be outdoors, take frequent breaks inside or in the shade. Heat stroke can affect people of any age or fitness level – don’t underestimate the danger.” Heat exhaustion is a precursor to heat stroke. If you experience any of these symptoms, get out of the heat immediately. Move to a cool place, and slowly drink water or other fluids with salt or sugar. Pale skin Fatigue or weakness Dizziness or nausea Profuse sweating Rapid pulse or fast, shallow breathing Muscle weakness or cramps

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Do NOT drink caffeine or alcohol, and if you don’t feel better within 30 minutes, seek medical help. Heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke if not treated. These more dangerous warning signs can indicate heat stroke is imminent: Skin that feels hot and dry, but not sweaty Confusion or loss of consciousness Throbbing headache Frequent vomiting Trouble breathing

“Heat stroke is more serious than heat exhaustion, and it can be life-threatening,” said Dr. Richards. “If you or someone you know experiences signs of heatstroke, remember NOT to attempt to bring down the temperature too quickly. Don’t use ice or ice water. Attempt to bring down the temperature gradually with cool spray or mild air conditioning,, and dial 911 or proceed immediately to the nearest ER.” Certain groups of people are more vulnerable to heatrelated illness. Babies and young children, the elderly or infirmed, and people on certain medications are all at increased risk. So, be an alert and informed neighbor this summer. Check on elderly neighbors regularly, and take action immediately if you see children or pets left in vehicles.


CALENDAR • 2016 Weekly Activities: Monday:

How People Make Things

Amazeum - Bentonville Every object has a story. Learn how it’s made every Monday!


Kids Film Fest Malco Theater - Rogers Towne Center Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10 a.m.

Malco KIDS Summer Film Fest is back, with $2 movies every Tuesday and Wednesday! A portion of the proceeds go to benefit local children’s hospitals. Arrive early as seating is limited. Kids snack packs (small popcorn, drink & candy) are available for $2.50.

Tuesday ‘Til 8 @ Rogers Historical Museum Every Tuesday from 5 pm to 8 pm

During our evening hours on Tuesday enjoy a different family activity each week. Themes: Ice cream & Old fashioned games, 3D Buildings, Pinwheels, Downtown walking tour


Little Sprouts at Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks 9:30am & 10:15am

https://bgozarks.org/event/little-sprouts-3 Little Sporuts is a weekly botanically-themed program for pre-schooolers. Stories, songs, crafts and activities!

Garden Buds at Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks 9:30am https://bgozarks.org/event/garden-buds Garden Buds is for elementary-aged students.

Kids Film Fest Malco Theater - Rogers Towne Center Tuesdays and Wednesdays Malco KIDS Summer Film Fest is back, with $2 movies every Tuesday and Wednesday! A portion of the proceeds go to benefit local children’s hospitals. Arrive early as seating is limited. Kids snack packs (small popcorn, drink & candy) are available for $2.50.


Summer Movie Series - Downtown Rogers 8:30 p.m. Bring chairs or a blanket and relax on the lawn of the Downtown Rogers Farmers Market and enjoy a fun family movie night. Every Thursday night after the Farmers Market ends we show a family-friendly movie. Starts at dark.


Summer Story Time Rogers Historical Museum 10 a.m. Ages 2-12 Snacks, stories, history lessons and activities included!


Storytime at Barnes and Noble, Rogers and Fayetteville 11:00 a.m. Join Barnes and Noble and their storytellers in this free event as they read to kids every Saturday this month at 11 a.m. in both Rogers and Fayetteville! Fun activities included!

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Friday, July 1

First Friday Kids Night at the Jones Center 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. First Friday Kids Night provides kids with an evening of high-energy FUN. Kids have the opportunity to participate in themed games and activities, run and climb on an obstacle course inflatable, enjoy pizza and end the night with a movie. July’s theme is Red, White, and Blue Blast! Ages 5 - 12.

Monday, July 4

Fourth at the Field Arvest Ball Park In addition to the largest Fourth of July fireworks show in NWA, 4th at the Field will include an exhibition baseball game between two teams from the M.I.N.K Collegiate Baseball League, the Joplin Outlaws and the Nevada Griffons, which will begin at 6:35 p.m. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. for the special event and the Naturals will have Kansas City Royals Kid Zone passes available for purchase for the 4 inflatables as well as the Kids Train, Speed Pitch, and the Bella Vista POA 5-hole Mini Golf Course open throughout the game.Fireworks Spectacular will start at approximately 9:05 pm to conclude the night. July 4th Fireworks Spectacular at the AMP with SONA Amp - Rogers 8 p.m. The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA), under the musical direction of Paul Haas, will present a concert celebrating both the beauty and grandeur of America, as well as honor those who have served in our nation’s armed forces. This July 4th celebration will feature a concert followed by a traditional fireworks display provided by the City of Rogers. Program to include Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.” Orchards Park Bentonville’s 4th of July Celebration Celebrate the Fourth at Orchards Park with a concert from Kaylee Rutland on stage at 7:00 p.m. Following their performance the Arkansas Winds Orchestra will play a series of patrotic songs at about 8:00 p.m.. The largest fireworks show in NWA begins about 9:30 p.m. Independence Day Celebration 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. War Eagle Mill 11045 War Eagle Rd, Rogers Children’s crafts and lunch special at the Bean Palace Restaurant.

Saturday, July 9

Museum Storytime With Miss Sarah Museum of Native American History 10 a.m. - www.monah.us Museum storytimes are geared towards preschoolers but great for all ages. Storytime features a Native American folk tale, animal stories, seasonal rhymes, activities, and more!

Library story times:

Bentonville Public Library: bentonvillelibrary.org Fayetteville Public Library: faylib.org Springdale Public Library: springdalelibrary.org Rogers Public Library: rogerspubliclibrary.org Siloam Springs Library: siloamsprings.com

Kids Day at the Farmers Market Downtown Siloam Springs 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. A bounce castle, crafts, activities, story time and live music light up the market on Kids Day at the Market each second Saturday during the market season. EAA732 Rogers Young Eagles 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Rogers Airport Civil Air Patrol Hangar www.eaa732.org Founded in 1992, the Young Eagles program has dedicated nearly 25 years to giving youth ages 8–17 their first free ride in an airplane. It’s the only program of its kind, with the sole mission to introduce and inspire kids in the world of aviation. Today, the Young Eagles program has flown nearly 2 million kids with the help of EAA’s network of volunteer pilots and ground volunteers. Join us in offering every child, tween, and teen the chance to experience the Spirit of AviationTM.

Friday, July 15

History Story Time - Detectives 10:00 a.m. Rogers Historical Museum Education Annex, 120 W Poplar St History Story Times delight and educate young children and their families with stories, crafts, activities, and artifacts based around a different theme each session. Guiness Book of World Records Night Bella Vista Public Library 6 p.m. Think you’ve got what it takes to set the record? Who will come out on top in these challenges and events? Only one way to find out, join us as we put your skills and endurance to the test! Free event.

Saturday, July 16

Firefly Fling at the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks 6 - 10 p.m. Firefly Fling engages the senses, inspires imagination and immerses all in nature play. This approach includes a variety of hands-on activities that strengthen family and community bonds, reawaken our sense of belonging to the larger community of life, and ignite deep caring and concern for the Earth. This Saturday evening event attracts an average of 3,000 guests of all age groups. Create-it-Con Rogers Public Libraary 10 a.m. Makers of all shapes and sizes. 3D printing, cosplay, gaming, technology, crafters, drones, live music and loads of hands on fun you will find nowhere else! Food trucks will be on hand the Library, the Pine Street Park even the parking lot will have so many exciting things to see and do.

Monday, July 18

Bentonville No Kid Hungry 5:30 - 9:30 p.m. The Hive in Bentonville Join No Kid Hungry and Host Chef Matthew McClure on July 18, 2016, for a special multi-course dinner to end childhood hunger now. The dinner be preceded by a cocktail reception and will feature a live auction in which guests can bid on a variety of luxury culinary and travel items. All proceeds from the event support No Kid Hungry’s work to end childhood hunger across the country and right here in Arkansas. Tickets available at http:// ce.strength.org/events/bentonville-nokid-hungry-dinner

July Friday, July 22

Rogers Cycling Festival - Family Night The Northwest Arkansas Emerging Leaders are excited to announce the 2016 Rogers Cycling Festival! For those who have enjoyed the Race for the Spike and the Frisco 5 Card Poker Ride in recent years, you will have the opportunity to participate in those events as well as an expanded menu of cycling events. There are opportunities for all skill levels and events for road cyclists and mountain bike enthusiasts.

Friday, July 29

Mary Poppins Arkansas Public Theatre - Rogers Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins delighted Broadway audiences for more than 2,500 performances and received nominations for nine Olivier and seven Tony Awards, including “Best Musical.” Full of the songs you love from the movie, MARY POPPINS is an enchanting mixture of irresistible story and unforgettable songs.

A LOOK AHEAD: Bentonville Public Library Usborne & Kane Miller Book Fair - Thursday, August 4th from 10am - 5pm, Friday, August 5th from 10am - 5pm and Saturday, August 6th from 10am to 4pm. All book purchases will go towards earning new books for our Library who is celebrating their 10 year anniversary this year!

A Tribute to My Sister

J essamy b y: C ice ly S a m u e l s


ay 15, my sister’s life came to an abrupt end in a place that she loved whole-heartedly, doing something that made her intensely happy. It was a freak accident. A fluke. It should never have happened. But it did. Things like this are out of anyone’s control. My sister lost her footing and fell near Hawksbill Crag, one of the most beautiful places in the universe.

The beauty of the area, and the fact that her death was sudden and painless, is the only thing that makes it all sting a little less. She was not alone, for that I am glad. She was with a good friend of hers, over 50 volunteers who helped at the scene, and the last friend that she ever made (making friends was her specialty), a man from Salt Lake City who she met on the trail. This man, who I am now eternally grateful for, told me something magical about that day that brings me so much peace. First of all, he told us how much of an impact Jessamy made upon him in the few hours that he knew her. This made me smile. He told us how heartbroken he was to have lost her, but he also told us that he knows with certainty that she is completely okay now, that she has found even greater joy. He knows this because he saw a sign that was, undeniably, from Jessamy. Whilst driving away from the scene, he pulled over to cry and looked up to see a trailhead sign for the Hemmed-In-Hollow Falls. He told us that he turned back and saw a big rock, with three hiking sticks leaning against it (two together, one further apart – representing her leaving her two hiking companions), a little girl’s shoe, and a beautiful bouquet of wildflowers. It was her. This was no coincidence. It was Jessamy letting everyone know that she is on the path to a beautiful place and that she is fine.

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Describing Jessamy Samuels is guaranteed to put a smile on my face. Even when it’s really hard to smile, because I miss her with the entirety of my heart. Jessamy was and always will be my little sister, my fantastic and energetic other half. I don’t even remember a time before she was born, the day that she came home from the hospital is my earliest memory and the best thing to ever happen to me. Now that she is no longer with me, I feel lost and confused. Why someone so young? So wonderful? So ready to drive change in the world? It’s just not fair, I tell myself. But it seems that asking “why” serves no purpose toward healing. Remembering her serves a purpose. Living life with her gumption and pure heart serves an even greater one. Jessamy was truly good. I know people tend to glorify those that are no longer with us, but her good nature was contagious. She was a friend to everyone, and a great one. She was the kind of

Losing her has been like losing a part of myself. The part that made me feel safe, sound, and smiley. I can’t let myself believe that I won’t get to hear that laugh again, or receive one of her famously comforting hugs again. It’s going to be really hard for a really long time, but remembering her makes me smile. So I will remember her every single day. I’ll remember her with each new freckle I get in the summer, with each leaf that falls in the autumn, with every dirty chai latte in the winter, and with everything that blooms in spring. I know that I am not the only one who has been saddened by her exit. I know that the passing of such a young, bright light has been a communitywide heartbreak. So, for those who didn’t know her super well (and even for those who did) here’s a little list of things that we can do to remember her:

friend that would listen to your whole life story with interest and admiration, the kind of friend you could call at any given time and she’d make sure to give you her very best advice. I’m so lucky that I had her as a best friend for 19 years. Jessamy tried her very best at everything. She was a straight ‘A’ student with countless accolades, accomplishments, and leadership roles with the Young Democrats of Arkansas. But she’d never brag about that because she did these things for all of the right reasons. She believed in people and the power of positive, forward thinking. She learned everything about anything that sparked her interest and she’d tell you about it in a way that inspired you to turn off the darn T.V. and pick up a book. In the community, Jessamy fought for what she believed in and what she felt was best for others, and she did this with a passion that was never abrasive or disrespectful to viewpoints different than hers. She was just kind. She was goofy, too. Goofy with no sense of spotlight syndrome. Jessamy could be silly in any situation and wouldn’t worry about what anyone else thought about it. She let me (and so many others) feel like it was okay to be goofy and carefree, too. She brought so much light to my life, my little sis. Everyone who knew her is better for it. Her kindness, her wit, her strength, and her sunny disposition have affected us all in ways that we will never stop seeing and feeling.

Put chia seeds on your breakfast. Read at least a chapter of a book that sweeps you up, every day. Love, endlessly. Hug everyone you know hello and goodbye. Compliment a stranger. Dance in public. Vote in every election. Speak up about something that you truly believe in. Something that I hope Jessamy knows, is that she has left a legacy. A legacy of positivity, finding the beauty in everything, fighting the good fight, being a little silly, and smiling - always. To honor my little sister’s love of learning and passion for education, we have created The Jessamy Eve Samuels Scholarship for the Fulbright College at the U of A. To help fund this scholarship, we have designed T-shirts featuring Jessamy’s (now famous) quote that you can wear and carry on her happy spirit. To order go to peekabooapparel.com/ products/ jessamys-shirt-1


Myles -&Buddy A

year ago, if you had told me that a service dog would be part of our journey, I would have probably laughed and told you that you were delirious. We had our hands completely full with our four children and grandson, especially as the youngest of our children is on the Autism spectrum. Parents of children on the spectrum must endure their child’s daily struggles with them, and it can be completely exhausting. We had struggled for years, trying to figure out the correct avenues to get our son the help he needed. We started with his primary care physician, as he was unable to pass kindergarten. She put him on ADHD medication and that seemed to do some good, but there were still major deficits. For the next two years, we went through day after day of meltdowns, sensory overload, depression, wandering, failed social interactions, and anxiety. It was not until last year, with the help of an exceptional therapist, that we were able to put all the pieces of the puzzle together and come up with a possible diagnosis. I began to do a lot of research to see what type of help was available. My friends and husband have called me a “supermom,” but, honestly, I felt as though I was treading water, just trying to stay afloat. I was giving it everything I had to try to cope with his daily struggles. I could not even take him to the grocery store for fear that he would bolt on me, or that he would have sensory overload and have a meltdown. I really began to pray and seek

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God for answers on how to help my son. At this point, he was on different medications to try to help him function, but he still had daily struggles. Our son also has asthma, and when he has asthma attacks, he is unable to take his daily medications because the asthma medicines make his heart race. One day during an asthma attack, he was unable to take his regular medication. He was having a rough time, and it was at this point when I felt the Lord remind me of the benefits of animal therapy. I decided to bring a family member’s dog into our home, and, suddenly, there was an immediate calm. I could instantly see a difference in my son. After discussing and agreeing with his therapist that it would be an appropriate route, I began to pray more about the situation. If this was indeed what God had in his plans for us, I prayed that He would open the doors. With all the research that I had been doing, I knew that service dogs are highly trained in their specific fields, and it takes a dog with an “appropriate disposition” for service work. By “appropriate disposition,” I am referring to the genetically based tendencies, inclinations, and temperament that he or she is born with. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act Title II, “Service Animals” are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service animals are working animals, not pets, and the work or tasks a dog is trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Knowing this would be a huge task, I began to contact service

dog organizations and found that everyone that I had contacted had a waiting list of at least two years, and the cost ranged anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000. I have a friend that has a therapy dog (a little different from a service dog) but they are required to have the same disposition, so I contacted her breeder and decided to purchase a Golden Doodle from her. At first, we did not tell our son about the purchase in case something fell through. Then, one Saturday morning, we gave him a gift. It was Buddy’s collar. Later, we went and picked Buddy up at just six weeks old. At eight weeks, we began Buddy’s general obedience training. When God lays something on your heart and, in faith, you step out and obey his calling, He will open doors you did not know were possible. It was around this time that I met Dillon Maxwell, of Maxwell Advance Obedience. The first day Dillon and I met, we had a heart-to-heart conversation about our struggles with our sons’ disabilities, and our desire to get Buddy trained to be Myles’ service dog. Little did I know, Dillon had a background in training service dogs, and he has a huge heart for children with special needs. I then teamed up with Dillon to train Buddy to meet our son’s needs. It takes a lot of time, as I am meeting with Dillon

weekly. We take what he teaches us and we do our homework daily. In an average week, we do approximately 15 to 20 hours of training. I decided to share our journey with you for reasons bigger than my family. I want you to realize that not all disabilities are visible, and I want to help educate you on the benefits of service dogs. It is also very important that if you see a service dog with their handler, you do not distract or pet them, as they are trained to refrain from paying attention to distractions. They cannot properly do their tasks if members of the public are trying to get their attention. I believe this is what God has called me to do as a ministry to our son. Seeing Myles and Buddy work as a team, and knowing how much it helps our son, has been a huge blessing to us. So far, Buddy has been essential in keeping Myles calm, and since he is the one with the main control of the leash, it acts as a focal point for him, which reduces overstimulation. I have been able to do some shopping, as Buddy keeps Myles from wandering. At just five months old, Buddy is learning to track Myles’ steps and can already find him in short distances. Buddy will continue to be trained to mitigate Myles’ disabilities, improve independence and social interactions, and enhance his quality of life.


Finding a Family-Friendly pet at the Pound By: Addi McNeel Growing up with a pet can be very beneficial to children. It teaches them to be patient, nurturing and responsible. But how do you know what type of pet is right for your family? Where do you look for a family-friendly pet? Instead of automatically turning your attention to a breeder, consider adopting a pet from your local animal shelter. Pets that come from the pound can be loving, loyal, and well-behaved! When you finally decide to adopt, there are a lot of decisions to make, and a lot of important options to consider. Because it can be difficult choosing the right pet, we sat down with Audra Cattaneo, the Administrative Assistant for the Washington County Animal Shelter, to discuss how to pick the perfect family-friendly pet from the pound so that you can make the best, most informed decision for your family’s needs.


Should families take their children to the pound with them to find a pet?


What type of characteristics should parents look for when trying to find a family-friendly pet at the pound?

We highly recommend families bringing their children with them to meet their potential future pet. It’s always good to see how the pet and children are going to do together before the family makes that commitment to bring the pet home.

Look for the pets that know some manners and who don’t seem to react negatively to a little bit of children interaction. If the pet is snapping, growling, hissing, or constantly jumping, that is probably not the ideal family pet for you, especially for small children.


What age is typically best for families looking to adopt? Anywhere from young adult to a senior. If it’s a puppy, the older the children – the better.

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Are there any specific breeds that families should look for or stay away from?


Is it best for a child to be a certain age before adopting a pet from the pound?


Why adopt a pet from the pound as opposed to a breeder?

No! It’s all about the individual’s personality; breed has little to do with it. Depending on if you live in a small apartment or on a large farm, there are going to be certain individual pets that would do better or worse depending on the living situation.

Parents of young children (about six years and younger) should not consider a puppy. Puppies know very little about appropriate behavior when it comes to interacting with small children, especially children who are too young to know how to appropriately handle a puppy. Puppies can constantly play bite and jump. Young children don’t always understand this or know how to redirect such disruptive behaviors with positive reinforcement. If a puppy isn’t raised appropriately from the start, it can quickly become a disobedient adult dog, making it very difficult to rehome if it comes back to the shelter. This is similar for a cat as well.

To prevent unnecessary euthanasia. Millions of animals are euthanized every year in shelters across the nation. We hope to someday see euthanasia as no longer an option with the decreased population of homeless pets. This is why we advocate spaying and neutering your pet so much. If you’re ready to adopt your new family member, visit one of your local animal shelters today!

DEB Project

by: Sammy Laney


n March of 2012, I lost one of my best friends, Deborah. From the age of eight, I cannot remember one birthday celebration that we weren’t together. We were thick as thieves all through our childhood, and it endured past our teenage years into our adulthood. Everyone loved Deborah, and she was never without friends. I loved the way she could brighten a room with her smile and her love of life. Some of her closest friends used these words to describe her: adventurous, athletic, friendly, free-spirited, genuine, impulsive, fun-loving, beautiful and – my personal favorite – strong.

Fast forward to June of 2012. I began an organization and started reaching out to foster parents in the community. While I was able to make a dent, several foster kids in the greater Bentonville area were still in need of things like clothing and hygienic products. So I reached out to school counselors in the Bentonville School District to see how I might be able to provide additional help for families and children in need by giving them clothing. It was then that I realized that I could really make a difference in these children’s lives, and I could honor my dear friend Deborah at the same time. So I started the DEB Project – Deserving, Enriched & Blessed. The hope of the DEB Project is to make every child recognize that they are a special gift from God. They are loved, they are deserving and they are blessed. The DEB Project is a non-profit, community supported, outreach organization with a desire to help every child in need obtain clothing and daily living essentials. The goal of the organization, with the help of the community, is to provide for children who are victims of either disaster, economic distress, or are entering the foster care system.

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The DEB Project strives to honor these requests with dignity and grace. There are currently over 500 children in the foster care system, and only a little over 180 foster families to house these children in Northwest Arkansas – and that is just in Benton, Carroll, Madison and Washington counties. These children are in foster care for various reasons and sometimes, on a rare occasion, only temporarily placed in foster care until a family member or relative can care for them. More often, the children in foster care are there until they are either adopted or age out of the system at 18. Children are often placed in multiple foster homes their first couple of years, sometimes being moved to a new home in the middle of the night with just the clothes on their back. These children have nothing to call their very own, so to see the look of joy on their faces when they receive something as simple as a backpack filled with clothes, soap, shampoo and their very own toothbrush is beyond any words. These are things most of us take for granted each and every day, but to them it is a way to feel cared for and loved. I have recently been able to fulfill one of my dreams for the DEB Project by opening a storefront. Our store is located at 1140 N. Walton Blvd., Suite 6, in Bentonville. With this store, school counselors and foster families can obtain a voucher and

pick out five tops and five bottoms The DEB Project would not be as The DEB Project is a along with a hygiene kit. The foster successful as it is today without the non-profit, community children can go into the dressing support from community members supported, outreach room and try on their new clothes to organization with a desire like you. Your participation is critical ensure they fit, and, after they have to help every child in need for us to be able to meet the needs of made their clothing selections, they obtain clothing and daily these deserving children, and there living essentials. will be given hygiene items. The kids are several ways that you can help. walk out of the store with their heads held high Please consider donating any new or gently used and feel like a million bucks. I want to make sure clothing and shoes of all sizes in both genders. every child has what they need. They deserve to The items can be dropped off at the DEB Project’s feel special and to have the love that I had as a child store in Bentonville. We also accept and greatly and still have as an adult today. If I can give love appreciate monetary donations. Another way to with clothing, then that is my way of giving back help that can be fun for everyone is to encourage to these children. your school or workplace to hold a fundraiser, or donation drive, to collect hygiene items, backpacks My next dream for the DEB Project that I am and/or clothing. We also welcome our community currently working on trying to fulfill is a Closet to become involved by volunteering your time Program for low-income schools in NWA. This to help at the store, or distribute clothing to the would be a startup scholarship program that the counselors when the need arises. school would be able to apply for to start a “closet” within the school. The school will house the closet, Mark your calendars for the 2nd annual H2O and, when a student is in need they will have (Help to Others) 5K run to benefit the DEB something on hand to help meet that student’s Project, which will be held on October 15, 2016 at needs. If you would like to help the dream become Grace Point Church in Bentonville, Arkansas. This a reality, you can make a donation to the Closet is both a 5K and a family-fun walk event! For more Scholarship. Please go to www.debproject.com and information on how you can help these children, click on the “Projects” tab for more information. visit our website at www.debproject.com If you work for or own a business that would be interested in sponsoring the DEB Project, please contact me at s.laney479@sbcglobal.net or 479-544-9397.

Local Author Creates Children’s Book B

a SuzAiveeriBttealnlde and the Dress Diles m a Paula e G lusha d by L y A nn C aten • Illustrate

To our grandaughter Cameron Averitt Bobbitt, who loved princess dresses and tea parties


sometimes think that if a time traveler from the 1950’s visited our planet today, one of the first differences she would notice would be our clothes! “Where are the dresses?” she would wonder. As a child in the 50’s, I wore a dress to school every day. It wasn’t a rule... my friends and I just never considered wearing anything else. We wore dresses; our teachers wore dresses; our mothers wore dresses; dresses were everywhere. One of my favorite games inside my head was to pretend that my dresses loved for me to wear them to school. Each morning, they would vie for my attention and beg to be allowed to go to school with me. I enjoyed this game so much that one night I even dreamt that I was a dress. I was also something of a sleepwalker at times, so when my dad looked in to check on me during the night, he panicked when he couldn’t find me. After a search of the whole house, he finally discovered me in my closet! The inspiration for Suzie Belle and the Dress Dilemma grew out of this childhood fantasy. When my friend Paula Caten suggested we write a children’s picture book, I said, “I don’t have any ideas to write about unless. . .” Then I thought, “Why don’t we write about my dresses who wanted to go to school?” The result was a story about Suzie Belle, whose dresses all wanted to go to school with her. The dresses have names like Brown, Satin, and Torn. One dress, Satin, is passed over many times and doesn’t get to go anywhere all week. Suzie Belle feels sorry for her and plans a special surprise for her on Saturday. Paula and I worked together at Bonnie Grimes Elementary School in Rogers, teaching reading and writing. When we retired from teaching, it seemed like the natural next step was to put this love of literacy into writing for children. We met once a week. We would write and rewrite all

morning and then do lunch together. We struggled over every word to get it just right. It took several years, so long that our husbands said we would wear the dresses out! Les Galusha is a talented young man who works as a commercial artist. He and my son, Chris, were friends growing up, and my husband is a lifelong friend of his dad, Harry. Making dresses look like they have feelings and personalities was quite a challenge, but Les was up to it! He was very patient with us and never seemed to tire of us saying, “Make the dress look a little sadder,” or, “Make Suzie’s hair look like she just got up!” Paula, Les and I had a wonderful time producing this book, and we are very excited to share it with children everywhere!

Suzie Belle and the Dress Dilemma by Ann Averitt and Paula Caten is available from:

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www.amazon.com • www.barnesandnoble.com www.buybooksontheweb.com • www.InfinityPublishing.com


100 West Center, Ste 101 Fayetteville 479-444-7778

Better known for its shelter, NWAWS also provides advocacy for its in-shelter and outreach clients. Through advocacy, trained professional staff help adult clients establish and work toward personal goals of safety, financial independence, and continued progress in living violence-free. A child’s advocate will strengthen emotional language and emotional health of the child who has witnessed violence in their homes. A legal advocate also helps clients file orders of protection and seek additional legal resources.

The Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter (NWAWS) is uniquely positioned to provide emergency safety and ongoing support for victims of domestic violence whether it is moms, dads, or their children. Its crisis hotline (479-246-9999), answered 24/7, is often the first point of contact for victims or their families to create a safety plan and to learn about additional resources. www.nwaws.org NWAWS is also committed to community educational outreach. In its work with school districts, other youth-focused organizations, and NWA colleges, NWAWS educates youth and young adults to identify red flags of abusive relationships that lead to violence and to promote healthy relationship dynamics. Mindy is a former resident of NWAWS. Her story speaks to the positive, life-changing impact NWAWS had in saving her life and providing a future for her children.

Mindy’s Story:

I was 28 years old, and had five children relying on me when tragedy struck. I found myself living in utter fear, running for our very lives, unsure of where we would go, and how I would keep my dear ones safe. Investigations, FBI, detectives, questions and interviews…life had suddenly turned upside down for my family. I had only a few trash bags full of clothes and my homeschool materials when I loaded up my five wounded children and drove to Arkansas. After realizing “he” (the one who had been terrorizing us with his evil crimes) was coming for us, I wanted to panic. I was given a phone number that would bring us the hope and safety we desperately needed. It was the number to the Benton County Women’s Shelter. After answering a few questions and being lovingly and professionally spoken to, the lady on the other line invited us to head toward the shelter house. I was so relieved that they had space for a large

By receiving the emergency help we needed, I was able to get us safe, protected, and back on our feet. The support from the staff gave room for hope to grow within me again. My life and my children’s lives were changed in a very real way by having others around who cared, who provided practical aide, and who were there when no one else was.

www.facebook.com/nwaws family like mine because, I had heard many places could not accommodate like that. The staff was welcoming. They gave practical help with living necessities, helped in legal matters, and had a wonderful children’s advocate who counseled, played, and spent special time with my kids.

I am now a nurse managing a large family practice clinic. The coping and caring skills I learned while walking through tragedy, abuse, and the healing process that followed prepared me to be who I am today. Quite frequently, I am able to share pieces of my story and give hope in the darkest of times to other people. The shelter gave us safety, provision, hope and love that no one else, anywhere else, could give.

Why I converted to a Minivan Mom And I’m Proud of it

by: Kate Desmond

Originally posted on Simplemost.com

Kate is a freelance writer, mommy blogger, safe sleep crusader, and wannabe inventor in search of her next great idea. She lives in Bentonville, Arkansas with her husband and two little girls. They are the loves of her life, but also drive her to insanity. She writes about living on that brink on her blog, thetinyfashionista.com.


was the poster mom for the “I’m never driving a minivan” club. I judged. I scoffed. I rolled my eyes at the convenience. In fact, I spent my first four years of motherhood driving my Subaru Outback, content, happy, sometimes squished and sweaty, but still not driving a minivan. I hung onto hope that our 4-wheel-drive wagon would take us on far-away adventures in the mountains with our two kids, a tent and a canoe – you’ve seen the commercials, filled with gorgeous visuals. I was daydreaming and delusional. If the Subaru couldn’t hold up to its promise, I thought, could those ugly rockets really promise a life of ease? I would soon find out. A few too many bad road trips, coupled with an overzealous 4-year-old door opener – AKA human denting machine – and we slid (or, rather, my husband pushed me) down the very slippery slope and right into the Honda dealership. I blame my husband entirely. It was his idea…he was so happy to purchase a minivan that he was actually whistling in the dealership. Can you imagine? Whistling! He did all the things – the schmoozing, the wheeling, the dealing, the paperwork. I couldn’t face it – I could barely test drive it. I spent the good

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part of our nearly eight hours at the dealership in the parking lot, sucking down secondhand cigarette smoke just to feel alive and dangerous. I called my best friend from that parking lot. She had just been duped into a minivan by her own husband a few months earlier. I was looking for a partner, someone to commiserate and give me ammunition to march back in there and tell salesman Tony where he could shove his Odyssey. But, what I heard instead was “I know I’m supposed to be on your side, but….(long pause) I’m actually on Bret’s.” WHAT!?! This can’t be happening…I’m on an island. Alone. Staring into an Ugly Rocket future. She continued, “Listen to me, if you can just suck it up, I guarantee within 48 hours you are going to love it. This will be the best decision you ever make.” And, so, with one last deep breath of nicotine filled air, I sulked back into the dealership, tail between my legs. Moments later, I kissed my Outback goodbye and drove off with the sinking sun at my back – my dignity and dreams slowly dying with the daylight. Well, I’m here to tell you my bestie was dead wrong. It didn’t take 48 hours – it took less than 48 minutes.

My name is Kate, and I freaking love my minivan. But, Kate, how? Why? It’s so not you! Oh…but friends, it is. I am a loud and proud minivan driving convert. For all the little things it knew I needed before I knew I needed them. A cooler, built in retractable sun shades, back up camera, right turn camera, tiny compartments for E-V-E-R-T-H-I-N-G. My minivan anticipates my needs like it has known me for years and has been waiting for me all along. It’s almost, dare I say, romantic! Anyway... The doors. Period. With the push of one tiny button the doors slide open like a spaceship and miraculously close with that same tiny button. Why on earth don’t all cars have sliding doors? It is just so darn convenient. It can fit all the people. I have yet to face a scenario where the following sentence is true. “Sorry guys, no more room left in the minivan.” We packed a family of four and two weeks’ worth of Christmas luggage in the back of our van with room to spare. How is the trunk soooo deep? It’s like Mary Poppins’ bag! There are 16 cup holders. 16! That means everyone in my family can each have 4 beverages AT. THE. SAME. TIME. My car isn’t the thing that makes me uncool. My life is. Ha, but seriously. No one is going to mistake me for a 20-year-old sorority girl. My kids think I have the coolest car in the world... and gosh darn it if they aren’t right. So, I do what any proud minivan driving mom would do. I roll down those windows, put on my shades, blare Toddler Radio as loud as their little ear drums allow… and ride.

An Ameowzing New Catfe by: Addi McNeel

Purr Catfe & Lounge is a meeting place for purrsons (that’s you) & adoptable cats to mingle, play about, frolic, and generally enjoy each other’s company. Purr Catfé is always hosting fun events, from game nights to yoga seshes. Feel free to bring your own food and drinks to the catfé, or purchase them there. If you would like to visit Purr Catfé & Lounge, you can find them at 125 E Township St. in Fayetteville, open Wednesday through Sunday from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. www.purrnwa.com

New Catfe Has Plenty of Cattitude


hat’s better than lounging around, drinking a cup of coffee and petting cats all day? Not much. That’s one of the reasons why Lauren Solomon, owner and operator of Purr Catfé & Lounge, decided to open a business where you can do just that.

While very popular in Japan and other parts of Asia, cat cafés have only recently started popping up across the United States. Solomon said that she decided to open one in Fayetteville not only because she calls the town home, but also because she knew it would be well received in this petfriendly community. “Fayetteville has such a rich fostering and animal services community that this seemed like the perfect place,” Solomon said. “Also, with the University of Arkansas, we’re the perfect place for students who can’t have animals in their dorms or rentals. This allows them the chance to get in their cat time and, in turn, they are helping socialize these buddies for their new homes.” Purr Catfé may have opened on April Fool’s Day of this year, but the adoptions that take place are anything but a joking matter. These animals come from Fayetteville and Springdale Animal Services, as well as the Northwest Arkansas Community Cat Project. Since Purr Catfé opened, seven cats have been adopted and a few have been fostered into loving homes. For those that aren’t able to take home a cat, the benefits of just visiting are numerous. The purring of the cats sends off vibrations that affect the human body in positive ways. Many studies claim that these vibrations – sometimes called purr therapy – help calm and soothe stress signals, enabling deep relaxation. “Purr therapy has gone without a name for so many people but we all know what it is,” Solomon said. “After a stressful day, or when you just need a break, there’s nothing like sitting with some felines

and enjoying some serious pets.” Cats purr at a frequency between 20 and 140 Hz. This frequency of vibration has been shown to help lower blood pressure, decrease symptoms of dyspnea, and even help heal broken bones, according to the Purr Catfé website. Solomon said that purr therapy could also be very beneficial to those who are affected by certain conditions, such as Autism. “There is much research to show that purr therapy is great for such conditions,” Solomon said. “The nonverbal communication, the quick affection and instant connection that a cat buddy offers are among the benefits cited.” Cats can be a wonderful addition for families with children. Besides the benefits of purr therapy, kids get a sense of responsibility and learn how to be patient when the cat is feeling independent. If adopting a cat is something your family has considered, try visiting Purr Catfé to see how your children will interact with the furry felines before you decide to take one home. However, Purr Catfé has an age limit of eight years and up.

“It became apparent that we’d need an age limit pretty quickly here,” Solomon said. “All these guys have come from disparate, often difficult backgrounds and maintaining a calm and peaceful environment is paramount. It’s a wonderful place for older kids to learn about caring for an animal, but it can be frustrating for younger ones who don’t realize that cats pretty much never do what you want; they only do what they want. Eight years old definitely seemed like the threshold where a child can understand it’s not personal, it’s just the way cats are!” Solomon said Purr Catfé’s number one goal right now is focusing on adoptions and getting as many cats as possible to loving homes. “We’re in growth mode here,” Solomon said. “That means more visitors, more adoptions, more exposure for our buds, and absolutely as much help as we can offer our local shelters. It’s a full court press – especially during kitten season – to get the word out and make as many happy matches as possible.”

A Few of Our

Favorite Things... Ollie Swaddle

theollieworld.com Every mom’s dream! You want your child to feel safe, warm and protected the minute they come out of the womb, and the Ollie Swaddle can provide that! This science-backed swaddle enables your baby to have enough room to move around, while not coming unswaddled! This allows your baby to sleep for longer periods and, in turn, you to sleep for longer periods!

Lorena Canals Rugs lorenacanals.us

Lorena Canals rugs aren’t just a cute way to dress up a drab room or make cold, carpet-less floors a bit more inviting... they are magic carpets for families with kids. Our kids are constantly playing on the carpet, whether play-wrestling or lining up super hero toys, so a rug that is free of toxic compounds and chemicals (yuck) is essential. So you can stop worrying about what food, drinks or questionable substances will end up on the carpet,, the Lorena Canals rug is 100 percent cotton and machine washable. This makes having a clean, safe and cute home not only possible, but easy!

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The difference between the Ollie Swaddle and other swaddling blankets is in the design. The Ollie Swaddle is made with a specific type of moisture-wicking fabric to reduce the risk of your baby overheating. There is a flap at the bottom of the swaddle that enables you to change your baby’s diaper without unswaddling them, and Velcro is used so that your baby can be swaddled even as he or she grows! Because sleep is so important for babies and their brain development, and because feeling safe, warm and protected is something every baby should be entitled to, the Ollie Swaddle is our goto swaddling blanket!

My Bucklemate

mybucklemate.com Kids want to be independent. They want to be able to do everything themselves and being able to buckle up on their own is a huge milestone and confidence booster. Unfortunately, sometimes the seat belt buckle doesn’t always make it easy. They are floppy and sometimes get stuck between seats or wedged under a booster seat. That is why I love the MyBucklemate! MyBuckleMate keeps the buckle in place so kids don’t have to have wobbly buckles moving around when they are trying to clip their seatbelt in. MyBuckleMate keeps back seat buckles

The Heroines Club

By: Melia Keeton-Digby

Picklez by AC Lens aclens.com/picklez

AC Lens, a leader in the eye care industry, just introduced a new glasses line for kids called Picklez, and we got to try them out. The kids loved them! The frames are thin and very lightweight making them comfortable to wear and the flexibility keeps them from breaking easily like most glasses.

A lot can be learned by studying women throughout history. Stories from role models such as Frida Khalo, Amelia Earhart, Anne Frank, Maya Angelou and Malala Yousafzai will continue to inspire generations of women every where. In The Heroines Club, author Melia Keeton-Digby offers both guidance and a creative approach to mothers and daughters who want to learn about these women, what they have done and/or are doing to change women’s history. The book is for daughters aged 7 and up, and for mothers to use as a way to nourish the mother-daughter relationship and establish confidence, worth and self-esteem as something you learn to give yourself, not as something someone else gives you. The book is filled with discussion prompts, stories and activities that will keep you and your daughter busy, laughing and learning for hours on end. Definitely a win in our book!

Just because a child needs glasses doesn’t mean they have to sacrifice style- and, more importantly, comfort. My husband wore glasses as a child and hated every second of it. When he did remember to wear them, he was either leaving, losing or breaking them. We have had these for a few months ,and the kids always know where they are because they actually want to wear them! These are not just a smaller version of an adult pair of glasses... they are designed specifically for kids, with kids’ needs and comfort in mind! The lenses are scratch-resistant and have a UV protected coating – available in 11 trendy styles and 36 vibrant colors at the affordable price point of $49 per pair. For more information on the Picklez collection, visit AC Lens online www.aclens.com. propped up and easy to reach. It is a truly “why didn’t we have these sooner!” product that takes away a daily struggle. MyBuckleMate makes it so that my oldest kids can consistently buckle quickly and safely.



FAITH IN THE JOURNEY An Interview with Amanda Wherry Faith-Based Program Coordinator at Children’s Therapy TEAM


manda Wherry is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist at Children’s Therapy TEAM. She is a local and international advocate for individuals and families with disabilities. She spent nearly seven years in a remote area in central Asia developing a hospital pediatric therapy program with teaching in physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as NICU therapy.

As the recently named FaithBased Program Coordinator at Children’s Therapy TEAM, what do you hope to achieve? I have a lot of goals, but ultimately I want to see all families in Northwest Arkansas whose lives have been touched by disability actively thriving, knowing that they are loved, supported and being embraced by the community. I also want families to have avenues to actively participate and contribute back to their community. I would love to see Northwest Arkansas become a landmark area of the world in regards to disability awareness and ministry.

How has your past missionary experience abroad served you in your current work? I think a big way that my time overseas is playing into the present is that I don’t fear taking risks – even if sometimes I fail. I also really experienced the joy of being so completely dependent on Jesus. It leads us to wholeness and healing. This is a foundational driving force in all that I do.

As an Occupational Therapist, you are obviously well grounded in medical science. What is your understanding of the role that faith and spirituality has in medicine? A big theme in OT is holistic-ness. I believe that spirituality is a piece of being holistic. For me personally, it is

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my faith in Jesus that brings me peace, comfort, joy, perseverance, compassion, and so much more. My faith is what keeps me grounded in knowing that I can’t fix everything, but I believe in a big God who can. For me as a practitioner, it is what pushes me to pray for the kids that I see, to constantly try to see their inner value - the gold inside of them - and bring that gold to the forefront.

What tips do you have for families and faith communities? Create an atmosphere for open dialogue. For those of us attempting to love and support your families, we are going to make mistakes. You might walk into a church and have someone stare at you. You might have someone approach you

and ask a really ignorant question. But choose to be unoffendable. Instead, help us. Communicate with us on what your needs are, how we can better meet those needs, and what is helpful or hurtful.

What are some local outreach programs that you are particularly excited about? How do families learn more about them? I literally get excited about whatever program I’m working on in the moment. I honestly think each one, in different ways, has the potential to truly change lives. As events develop, I’ll post them on the Community Calendar on Children’s Therapy TEAM’s website - along with more detailed descriptions of the various programs as they launch. This is definitely still a work in progress, so keep checking for updates.


ONLY Warm-Water Pediatric Therapy Pools Constraint Induced Movement Therapy Comprehensive Family Support TEAM Exclusive Pediatric Aquatic Center VitalStim Therapy Provider TEAM Clinic-Based Licensed Orthotic Provider Augmentative & Alternative Communication Evaluations Clinic-Sponsored Financial Hardship Program Heroes for Kids Recreation Equipment Program Nationally Board Certified Pediatric Specialist (PT) TEAMworks Nonprofit Global Outreach

An inspiring choice for your child!

Call us at 521-TEAM or visit us at www.ChildrensTherapyTEAM.com



Picks www.allcatsclinicfayar.com

Any cat owner knows that kitties are a very special kind of pet – independent, intelligent, and very much individuals. In agreement with this, Dr. Barbara Larsen, the licensed veterinarian in charge of All Cats Clinic in Fayetteville, and her team run the All Cats Clinic in order to focus entirely on the beloved felines of NWA. What’s more, they’re now running a cats-only boarding house with a specially trained team of staff, so that you can enjoy your time away without worrying about Fluffy running away from house sitters, meowing sadly at the food bowl, and/or ripping up your entire collection of Martha Stewart linens out of sheer boredom.


As pet owners themselves, the owners of Phenom-ADog know how hard it is to be away from your animal. That is why they offer all of their puppy owners the chance to be with their little ones while they are apart through their live webcam stream! You will be able to see your dog play and interact. Instead of leaving them home alone all day, allow them to play with other dogs and have an adventure, all with professional supervised care in Northwest Arkansas at Phenom-A-Dog!

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Does your pup get the summertime blues while you’re on vacation? What about the anytime blues when you’re at work? Do you feel anxiety or guilt when you (understandably) need some alone time, away from the responsibilities of hearth, home and hound? Enter Dog Party USA, whose owners confidently call “the best dog boarding, dog daycare, and dog obedience training facility” in NWA. Since 2005, the 2.5 acre, stateof-the-art facility has been creating a fun, safe, comfortable environment for NWA’s “man’s best friends” to socialize and wear themselves out with playful, healthy exercise. The facility offers 5 indoor, climate-controlled play areas and 8 outdoor enclosures for allweather fun, the aforementioned two acres of fenced outdoor land for dogs to run free safely, trained play supervisors, professional grooming technicians, obedience training lessons, and much, much more. Dog Party USA more than lives up to its name and reputation in excellent dog care – after all, dogs need (and deserve!) a vacation, too!


All Pets Animal Hospital has been Bentonville’s go-to for topnotch family pet care since 1990, and not just for your typical dog or cat. Pets like birds, reptiles and “pocket pets” can receive medical attention, too! The staff ’s commitment to excellence in animal care, already appreciated by pet lovers and owners all over NWA, has also been recognized by national organizations. For instance, All Pets is the only animal hospital in the Bentonville/Bella Vista/ Centerton area – and is one of only 11 animal hospitals statewide – to receive accreditation from the prestigious American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). AAHA requires rigorous standards for animal care, spanning over 900 standards in 20 categories, from cleanliness and organization of the hospital, to quality of equipment, procedures, and pain management techniques. Additionally, All Pets has voluntarily met criteria to be certified by the American Association of Feline Practitioners as an official Cat Friendly Practice. They are equipped with a diagnostic laboratory on-site, as well as an ECG and ultrasound equipment, so that your pets can be diagnosed quickly in one place, minimizing their stress. The friendliness, quality and professionalism at All Pets is simply top-notch and expanding! Keep an eye out for a new location, coming to Rogers in 2017.


Feeling sorry for Fido when he gazes longingly at your daily breakfast donut? Want to give Trixie a treat, but worry about the weird polysyllabic ingredient list on the back of your “bacon” strip bag? Fear not! Three Dogs Bakery in Bentonville focuses on both delectable tastes and healthy ingredients, so that you can rest easy while your pet devours a delicious, Instagramworthy treat. According to their website, “Celebration cakes is what we do best, but you will always find a wide variety of toys, training items, U.S.A.-made rawhides and chews, bowls, whimsical collars, leashes, beds, and novelty apparel. We are the one-stop-shop for your dog!”

Service Dogs of Distinction Training Superior Dogs for Extraordinary People Article and pictures provided by Chris Erwin and Accelerator Consulting Group


ou may have heard the incredible statistic of 22 veterans a day committing suicide – a shattering reality in our country. These are the individuals who cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel. We should all share some portion of responsibility for letting these men and women down after serving our country. Many veterans speak of feeling totally hopeless and believing they are out of options, leaving them as prime candidates to commit suicide. A veteran with PTSD/ TBI suffers on a multitude of levels. Commonly, the veteran may experience nightmares/night terrors, anxiety attacks, depression, confusion, severe social anxiety, balance issues, hyper-vigilance and uncontrollable anger. The PTSD sufferer tends to isolate and attempt to deal with their problems alone. Many PTSD veterans don’t drive, don’t answer the phone, don’t go out in public, don’t interact with strangers, and vehemently resist assistance of any kind. Many PTSD veterans avoid or abandon traditional treatment and choose to self-medicate through street drugs and alcohol. This is where the newly formed non-profit organization called Service Dogs of Distinction can help. The goal of this organization is to provide quality service dogs for veterans with a variety of service-related traumas and for other individuals in need of a well-trained service dog. With a receptive veteran, a calm, attentive, loving dog helps the veteran to stay focused on the immediate. Does his dog require walking, feeding, training, playing or brushing? If the veteran is considering staying in bed with his depression, there is a dog next to the bed insisting that it is time to go outside to play! The dog is brilliant with his ability to deter the veteran’s emotions by interacting

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and diverting his handler’s negative reactions. The relationship that the veteran builds with his dog is reminiscent of the relationships he had with his service comrades. He begins to feel that he can trust this new relationship and put some faith in the dog’s commitment to him as his “battle buddy.” Service Dogs of Distinction is an organization dedicated to veterans with PTSD and the dogs that could save them. “We say we are training superior dogs for extraordinary people,” said Don Gardner, Co-Founder and Trainer. Don is from Arkansas and was trained as an arms & explosives K-9 handler/trainer in Nottingham England by British military personnel. Don and his dog teams have participated in searches for Harrod’s of London, Marine One, NASA, and many other venues. Creating the Service Dogs of Distinction organization has been a lifelong dream for Don after his 30+ years of breeding and training experience. “I always wanted to train and provide service dogs for our nation’s veterans so I could give something back to those that have already given so much,” Don said. “Not only are we saving the lives of many of these veterans, but in most cases the dogs as well. As often as possible we try to identify and train dogs from local humane societies and shelters.” Service Dogs of Distinction trains prospective dogs and works with each veteran and dog team once a week for two hours. Additionally, all trainers are available 24/7 to our veterans if they need phone consultation or support. They train all veteran/ dog teams to pass their Canine Good Citizen test as described by the American Kennel Club. This test indicates a dog’s basic obedience and social skills necessary for service dog work. The teams also work on their Public Access Test as outlined by Assistance Dog International – an industry standard that is well recognized. Each team will

identify the three demonstratable tasks that the dog must learn specifically for that veteran. Each dog is trained using Operant Conditioning, a detailed method of positive reinforcement. Operant Conditioning is simply the marking of a desired behavior with an audible sound, then reinforcing that behavior with a reward. Training scenarios are set up in favor of the dog. Whether it is a natural occurring behavior being reinforced or a new behavior being molded, the dog has a high rate of success and reward, thus creating the desire to repeat said behavior. In our veteran/dog teams, teaching the veterans the mechanics and timing of the training is by far our greatest challenge. “Each of our current graduating teams are functioning very well, with a heightened level of social activities and a reduction in medications (where doctor approved). They all show very noticeable signs of improvement over their previous condition,” said Marsha Wyatt, CoFounder, Client Coordinator and Trainer. “There are over 40,000 veterans in the Northwest Arkansas area, and statistics show that 20 percent of them may be suffering from PTSD or related illnesses, leaving us trying to serve 10,000 possible veterans in need of service dogs. We absolutely

must expand our program immediately to meet this growing demand. We must help these veterans who are suffering before they become part of the 20 percent who commit suicide. They have given so much for us... it’s time we all gave back!” Marsha said. Service Dogs of Distinction operates solely as a 501(c)(3) non-profit and relies on donations and corporate sponsorships to be able to provide dog acquisition, training, and to provide service dogs to veterans in need at no cost to them. If you are, or know of a veteran suffering from PTSD, TBI, or a related illness and are need of a service dog or would like to make a donation or get involved please contact Service Dogs of Distinction today at www.servicedogsofdistinction.org or call (501)730-3928.


Several outdoor and indoor areas to play in supervised play groups


912 S. Maestri Rd., Springdale, AR


Overwhelmed In Control by: Meagan Ruffing


➽ to

eing a mom is tough stuff. I should know. I have three little kids who keep me on my toes and ready to go at a moment’s notice. What I have found through my seven (almost eight) years of mothering is that it is so much easier and much more fun to do it with a group of women who get me. I wrote a book called, “I See You,” which is about my son Dylan, who has several different behavioral challenges and how that has affected our family. The second half of the book is about building yourself back up as a mom so that you can pour love back into your children. Out of that book came my idea to start a Facebook group called “Overwhelmed to In Control.” This is a place where moms, just like you and me, can ask questions, get advice and cheer each other on when we need it the most. My very first question to the group was, “What makes you feel overwhelmed?” Not surprisingly, finances, money, and debt were high on the list. I would love for you to check out the group, join if you feel comfortable and drop a comment to me and let me know what’s overwhelming you.

72 July 2016

Amanda Bidwell

In case your morning didn’t end in laughs, maybe your afternoon will after you read this. I have been going to a spin class at 5:30 a.m. two to three days a week. I’m getting pretty good and happy with my “dancing” on a bike skills. Although, today I was in a “super strong sprinting mode” to end the class on a high, when I must have lifted my ankle too high. I pulled my clip-shoe off the bike, causing me to fly forward and trying to hold myself up on the handles while my left leg was still going full throttle! I was trying so hard to act like nothing was happening, but the teacher saw the struggle and jumped off her bike to stop mine! (So smooth, Amanda.) I get home, shower, get the kids up and I’m on my first cup of morning Joe when Deric leaves for work. Just as the garage door goes down, the smoke detectors start blaring! I can’t make them stop, and my house is clearly not burning down. I’m trying to reset it with the broom (you know you’ve tried) and it won’t work. I finally got it ripped off the ceiling after dragging in the heaviest ladder we own! I call the fire department to tell them the carbon monoxide alarm is going off. We had two fire trucks with lights and sirens headed our way within minutes. Thankfully, everything was fine and it was faulty detector! I’m also so thankful I looked so calm and collected with my hair up in a towel and no bra on, all before 8:30 a.m.!

Naomi Buchanan

Took my two boys plus a friend to run errands. Bribed good behavior with a cookie. Oldest child, 8, decides he won’t eat the cookie, but rather lick on it all throughout the store, thus ending in a wildly chocolate face and hands. Why can’t we just eat the cookie like a human being? Then, after purchasing two pints of blueberries, my youngest insists on carrying them. Yet somehow he manages to drop the bag and the blueberries spill out ALL over the floor near the exit. My blood pressure rose and I wanted to yell and scream at my children, but knew that the 8-yearold friend would forever think Logan’s mom is crazy! And then, when no store help came to my rescue-- instead they just watched me crawl around on my hands & feet collecting my blueberries-- I wanted to cry. Now I’m home and hiding from the kids in the closet.

Tally Paris Whitmire

Okay, so this is more of an overwhelming moment for me today. I went to the doctor for an appointment to check on my baby. 14 weeks and they couldn’t find a heartbeat. This is literally the same thing that happened in January, and I had a miscarriage at that time, so today I felt like I was going to die. My body started shaking and I couldn’t stop, and they took me to an ultrasound. Well, the tech was gone, and the doctor didn’t know how to work the machine and he was panicking because I was panicking and he finally got it turned on and then it had to warm up and it felt like an eternity. Then we saw her heartbeat and I saw her wave her arm. I thought I might pass out. God is SO good and was watching over me today. The doctor and nurse and I all hugged in relief and I hugged my other sweet babies tight when I got home. They all were good kiddos tonight so after many tears, we had a nice sweaty walk and ended the day with baths and bedtime stories.

Marguerite Perry

My child asks politely for something but they haven’t been listening all night, so I don’t give it to them. Said child starts throwing a fit. Then my husband goes in and asks what’s wrong and same child asks politely for same thing and dad gives it to them. Most overwhelming thing ever! I discipline 85 percent of the time because I stay home. It just annoys me. He said if he asks politely for something he should get it. It’s so annoying!

For more encouraging stories and everyday life with me, visit Helping Moms Go from Overwhelmed to In Control. My book will be available for pre-order this summer. You can sign up for my free newsletter at my website www.meaganruffing.com for more details!

XOXO, Meagan

At a


Mathnasium (Pg. 61) (479) 657-3000 The New School (Pg. 25) thenewschool.org (479) 521-7037 Super Science (Pg. 19) (479) 444-0303 www.super-sci.com Shiloh Christian School (Pg. 62) (479) 756-1140 www.shilohsaints.org Trike Theatre (Pg. 29) (479) 464-5084 www.triketheatre.org

ARTS and MUSIC Crystal Bridges (Pg. 15) (479) 418-5700 crystalbridges.org School of Rock (Pg. 65) (479) 936-8838 Trike Theatre (Pg. 29) (479) 464-5084 triketheatre.org

BANKS First Security (Pg. 43) www.fsbank.com; www.onlyinark.com

CHILDCARE/NANNY SERVICES ABC Happy Kids Learning Academy (Pg. 55) (479) 202-5691 abchappykids.com Better Beginnings (Pg. 74) (800) 445-3316 arbetterbeginnings.com Mary’s Little Lambs Preschool (Pg. 57) (479) 273-1011

DANCE Kaleidoscope Dance Academy (Pg. 7) (479) 464-5977 www.dancewithkda.com

DENTIST Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics (479) 582-0600 (Pg. 37) Smile Shoppe Pediatric Dentistry (Pg. 12) (479) 631-6377 Rogers

DERMATOLOGY / SKIN CARE Advanced Dermatology / Skin Care Center (479) 268-3555 (Pg. 69) Lips & Lines (Pg.49) (479) 330-1201 NWA Center for Plastic Surgery (Pg. 2) (479) 571-3100 nwacenterforplasticsurgery.com


Larson’s Language (Pg. 41) (479) 633-9900 Lifeway Warriors Christian School (Pg. 32) (479) 795-9322 www.lwcsar.com

FAMILY FUN / ENTERTAINMENT Crystal Bridges (Pg. 15) (479) 418-5700 Fast Lane Entertainment (Pg. 53) (479) 659-0999 www.fastlanebowl.com Fayetteville Public Library (Pg. 35) www.faylib.org/summer Little Gym (Pg.73) (479) 636-5566 Princess Party Palace NWA (Pg. 24) princesspartypalacenwa.com Rogers Historical Museum (Pg. 47) (479) 621-1154 Starlight Skatium (Pg. 51) (479) 444-STAR Super Science (Pg. 19) (479) 444-0303 www.super-sci.com Xtreme Best Jumpz (Pg. 34) (479) 466-8481

FITNESS/SPORTS ATA (Pg. 4) Bentonville: (479) 273-1212 Fayetteville: (479) 443-5425 Rogers Activity Center (Pg. 13) (479) 631-0336

FOOD / DRINK TCBY (Pg. 3) (479) 636-8229 (TCBY)

HAIRCUTS Pigtails and Crewcuts (Pg. 38) (479) 935-4121

HEALTH AND WELLNESS Northwest Primary Care (Pg. 8-9) nw-physicians.com Tate HealthCare (Pg. 56, 77) (479) 271-6511 www.tatehealthcare.com

HOUSE/YARD Natural State Treehouses (Pg. 39) (479) 387-0701

JEWELRY AND GIFTS Belle Boutique (Pg. 37) (479) 268-3189

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To advertise and become a part of the Peekaboo Family email: editor@peekaboonwa.com

David Adams (Pg. 55) davidadams.com (479) 444-7778 Oh Baby Boutique (Pg. 58) (479) 254-2911 www.ohbabynwa.com

LEARNING CENTER ABC Happy Kids Learning Academy (Pg. 55) (479) 621-6126 www.abchappykids.com The Elizabeth Richardson Center (Pg. 21) (479) 443-4420 (Fayetteville)

MARTIAL ARTS ATA (Pg. 4) Bentonville: (479) 273-1212 Fayetteville: (479) 443-5425

OPTOMETRIST Pediatric Vision Development Center (Pg. 18) nwavisiontherapy.com (479) 795-1411

PEDIATRICIAN Bentonville Pediatric Clinic (Pg. 42) (479) 273-5437 Best Start Pediatric Clinic (Pg. 27) (479) 575-9359 Friendship Pediatric Services (Pg. 63) (479) 524-2458 Siloam Springs Living Tree Pediatrics (Pg. 78) (479) 282-2966 NWA Pediatric Clinic (Pg. 52) (479) 443-3471

PET SERVICES All Cats Clinic (Pg. 49) (479) 571-1228 www.allcatsclinicfayar.com All Pets Animal Hospital (Pg. 60) (479)273-9299 allpetsbentonville.com Dog Party USA (Pg. 71) (479) 306-4660 www.dogpartyusa.com

PLASTIC SURGEON NWA Center for Plastic Surgery (Pg. 2) (479) 571-3100 www.nwacenterforplasticsurgery.com

PRESCHOOL/ PRE-K ABC Happy Kids Learning Academy (Pg. 55) (479) 621-6126 www.abchappykids.com Friendship Pediatric Services (Pg. 63) Lowell: (479) 770-0744 Siloam Springs: (479) 524-2465 West Fork: (479) 839-3359 Mary’s Little Lambs Preschool (Pg.55) (479) 273-1011 The New School (Pg. 25) thenewschool.org

RELAY SERVICE Arkansas Relay (Pg. 11) arkansasrelay.com

THERAPY ABC Happy Kids Learning Academy (Pg. 55) (479) 621-6126 www.abchappykids.com Children’s Therapy T.E.A.M (Pg. 66-7) www.childrenstherapyteam.com The Elizabeth Richardson Center (Pg. 21) (479) 443-4420 (Fayetteville) Friendship Pediatric Services (Pg. 63) Lowell: (479) 770-0744 Siloam Springs: (479) 524-2465 West Fork: (479) 839-3359 T-Force Green (Pg.59) (479) 927-3000

WOMEN’S HEALTH Lifespring Women’s Health (Pg. 49) (479) 271-0005 Northwest Women’s Health Associates (Pg. 79) (479) 553-2525 Parkhill Clinic for Women (Pg. 19) (479) 521-4433 parkhillclinic.com Siloam Springs Women’s Center (Pg. 75) (479) 524-9312 siloamwomenscenter.com Willow Creek Hospital (Pg. 5) (479) 684-3035

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July 2016  

July 2016